Brands That Give Back: Reaching a Quarter of a Billion [The Home Depot]

Brands That Give Back: Reaching a Quarter of a Billion [The Home Depot]

Known for assisting millions of people achieve their DIY dreams, providing design solutions, as well as fixing, renovating and upgrading personal spaces, The Home Depot holds the title of being the largest home improvement retailer in the world, with a reputation for having an even bigger heart. A crew of nearly 400,000 associates is responsible for manning more than 2,200 stores across the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Those numbers produce an impressive squad of volunteers who donate their time, energy and innovation to The Home Depot Foundation programs and Team Depot projects – the company’s way of giving back to the community.

The bulk of charitable actions that The Home Depot Foundation and Team Depot primarily focuses on include improving the housing situations and quality of life of U.S. veterans; providing natural disaster relief to communities in need, and education such as transforming individuals into skilled tradespeople and addressing the skilled labor gap.

The Home Depot

The Home Depot Foundation often joins forces with a wide range of local nonprofit groups and other organizations, such as Meals on Wheels, American Red Cross, Volunteers of America, Gary Sinise Foundation and Habitat for Humanity International, to form partnerships that complete endless “do-good” projects across the country. For example, their joint venture with Habitat for Humanity led to the formation of Repair Corps in 2011, which funded the remodel, repair, and renovation missions of nearly 100 homes belonging to U.S. military veterans and their families demonstrating a critical need.

The Home DepotThe Home Depot

And, The Home Depot’s month-long ‘Celebration of Service’ campaign honoring military vets wound up investing in initiatives that totaled 9.1 million dollars in giving power that culminated on Veterans Day, with the promise of roughly 20 million more in funds being delegated over three years to meet the housing needs of veterans. In 2016, The Home Depot Foundation announced a goal to invest a quarter-billion dollars in veteran-related causes by 2020. This May, the Foundation far exceeded its objective – two years earlier than expected – just in time to make the announcement at the 40th anniversary celebration marking the founding of The Home Depot.

Home Depot

Every year, The Home Depot funds multiple grants and local programs that uplift and enhance the quality of living for communities across the U.S., such as:

  •        National Partner Grants Program: Helps fight against homelessness in veteran populations, as well as actively satisfies the housing needs of veterans such as building unique customizations for senior vets and veterans with disabilities.
  •        Veteran Housing Grants Program: Provides large grants to nonprofits for the development and repair of veteran’s housing, including permanent supportive residences and transitional living facilities.
  •        Community Impact Grants Program: Delivers small financial grants to non-for-profit organizations to breathe life into community volunteer projects which place special emphasis on serving local veterans.
  •        Retool Your School Campus Improvement Grant Program: Donated over $1.8 million in the form of 490 grants that has been used to enhance the college campuses of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
  •         The Home Depot for Kids Workshops: Introduces local youth to confidence-building, family-friendly workshops on the weekend (like constructing a birdhouse or wooden car) that take place on a monthly basis and are completely free.
  •        Disaster Relief Program: Offers supplies, resources and manpower to residents affected by natural disasters that require recovery and rebuilding efforts.

The Home Depot

Home Depot also gives back to the community through the sales and discounted goods they offer shoppers throughout the year and for every season.

Right now, fall décor savings are in full swing – from back to school sale items, like room accents that add just the right touch of home to a college dorm room to cozy bedding for all of those chilly autumn nights. Take up to 30% off (including top sellers) with their home décor sale that offers discounted duvet covers, faux mink throws, reversible comforters, and bath towel sets.

Also, keep an eye out for discounted The Home Depot furniture sale prices; it’s the perfect time of the year to revamp your style for the colder season. Tables, chairs, sideboards, cabinets, and complete sets for the living room, dining room, and bedroom are up to 25% off this season.

The Home Depot

And, if you’re interested in keeping up with the latest The Home Depot coupon codes, don’t forget to download our Giving Assistant Button, which keeps you up to speed on the latest ways to save money and do a little giving of your own in the process.  

Nonprofit Highlight: Best Day Foundation Celebrates Amy Hansen

Nonprofit Highlight: Best Day Foundation Celebrates Amy Hansen

Everyone benefits from the opportunity to broaden their horizons, create unforgettable memories, grow as an individual, and achieve milestones viewed as too impossible to accomplish. The mission of the California-based nonprofit, Best Day Foundation, delivers on all of the above (and much more). Through their work with local communities, children and young adults with special needs get a chance to enjoy exhilarating outdoor experiences. Best Day provides the appropriate support, training, services, and resources for establishing supervised programs centered on water fun, beach activities, and snow sports.

Sponsorships, grants and donations fuel Best Day events that allow communities to provide thrilling outlets that create lasting bonds, build confidence, and boost the self-esteem of participants. Fundraising plays an integral role in expanding programs to include more people. Working with organizations, such as Giving Assistant, Best Day Foundation is able to make it possible for more special-needs youths to ride a wave, conquer a snow hill, or stand on the “back of a flying dragon,” like Best Day ambassador, Amy Hansen.

Best Day Foundation

Amy is an excellent example of how focused determination and a support team full of positive energy can empower the mind and body to overcome physical and medical obstacles. Born with two particularly rare genetic disorders that affect her skin, bones, brain, eyes and other organs, Amy hadn’t engaged in a wide range of “exciting” activities because of her medical conditions…like becoming a surfer. Being invited to a Best Day event was just the kind of challenging opportunity she needed in her life.

The first time Amy stepped onto a surfboard was invigorating, and she was eager to get back on again. However, her next adventure would hit a bit of a snag, as disease caused the bone in her right femur to fracture. Emergency surgery followed, and Amy was outfitted with a titanium rod in her leg. While in the hospital and having to learn how to walk again, Amy felt her days on the top of the surf were over.

But, this was not acceptable for the Best Day team; they refused to let Amy’s injury take her away from something she truly enjoyed. With her doctors and physical therapist on the same page, everyone shared the same goal of getting Amy back on the board. Eventually, her strength and balance increased. After saying ‘goodbye’ to wheelchair rides, Amy graduated to a walker, and then worked her way up to taking steps without any assistance. In three months’ time, she was ready to rejoin her surf crew at the beach.

Best Day Foundation

It took a couple times to get her sea legs, but by the time the third wave rolled in, Amy slowly rose up and balanced on her feet – riding a wave with the support of a tandem surfer. Back on shore, Amy beamed, “I feel like I can do anything now!”

With the Best Day Foundation cheering her on, Amy was able to overcome her fractured femur; to the point where she could surf again. And, she didn’t stop there…18 months later; Amy completed a Disney 5K run.  

“My favorite part of Best Day is the volunteers,” Amy said at a thank you speech to the Foundation’s Orange County chapter at a 5-year anniversary celebration, “…for believing in us and letting us have fun out here.”

Amy Hansen Speaking at Best Day Foundation’s 5 Year Celebration

Best Day organizes events that support adventure seekers with autism, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, cancer, blindness, Down syndrome, and other physical and developmental challenges. In addition to Orange County, the Foundation has chapters in other parts of California (Los Angeles, San Diego, Ventura, and Santa Barbara counties), as well as in Chesapeake Bay Virginia, Northern North Carolina, New Jersey, and Florida.

Select the Best Day Foundation as your nonprofit of choice to receive donations via your cash back earnings. It is through the generosity of organizations and individuals, like Giving Assistant shoppers, that the Best Day Foundation is able to provide unique experiences to the youth, like Amy. 

Best Day Foundation

Brands That Give Back: ACE x 3 Wins Fitness

Brands That Give Back: ACE x 3 Wins Fitness

Reach new career heights, and level up your ability to help others become their best self. Empower individuals with tools for leading a healthier lifestyle. Zero in on improving the quality of life of those in need. Does any of this sound like something you’d like to do? Giving Assistant joins forces with many not-for-profit organizations that enact positive change, but when it comes to our partnership with ACE Fitness, there’s a bit of uniqueness we’d like to highlight.

The American Council on Exercise wears two special hats: one that reflects the passion of a nonprofit on a mission to spread health awareness and make physical activity available to the greater public. The second represents a brand you can shop that offers the type of essentials that not only better the lives of others but as well as yourself. When you use an ACE Fitness coupon from Giving Assistant, you’ll earn incentives and save money on ACE products and resources. Your purchases can also help further a good cause and a much greater objective.

ACE

ACE Fitness is a powerhouse when it comes to the education, certification and support of professionals in the health and fitness industry. In over 30 years of existence, the American Council on Exercise has become the largest nonprofit of its kind with tens of thousands of life-changing professionals having completed one of four training study programs.

ACE provides a path to NCAA-credited certification which allows health and fitness pros to:

  • deliver customized, one-on-one attention to clients seeking to reach optimal function and performance (as a Personal Trainer)
  • help keep preventable diseases associated with a sedentary lifestyle at bay and encourage people to make healthier lifestyle choices (as a Health Coach)
  • cast a wider net that gets more people moving in the right direction all at the same time, like leading weekly CrossFit, Pilates, cycling, yoga, or Zumba classes at indoor facilities (as a Group Fitness Instructor
  • provide vital treatment to those looking to overcome chronic disease and injury (as a Medical Exercise Specialist).

And, good news! To make the next step in your educational journey a little easier to accomplish, Giving Assistant offers a variety of ACE Fitness promo codes that’ll help you save money on certification, training materials, and study bundles on the above programs.

In addition to outfitting health and exercise professionals with accredited certification, ACE also partners with numerous local and national organizations to give back to the community.

A Win-Win-Win Situation for All Involved

With headquarters in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley, 3 WINS Fitness is an outstanding example of the kind of nonprofit that ACE partners with. Both nonprofits work towards increasing community access to activities and opportunities that advance the physical health for all age groups and levels of fitness.

ACE

In an effort to amplify the connection between kinesiology (the study of movement regarding the human body) and public health, 3 WINS Fitness grew from the vision of a handful of California State University Northridge students and a professor within the field that established a free community fitness program at a low-resource neighborhood park. Success! The response led to a much larger measure to connect future generations of health and fitness professionals to those in need of a realistically, attainable workout (and in some cases, life-saving opportunity that wouldn’t otherwise be available).

So far, ACE has lent a hand to the education and advancement of roughly 100 kinesiology students, who help manage numerous 3 WINS Fitness sites across California, such as Los Angeles and San Francisco. Hundreds of locals in all shapes, sizes and ages sweat it out at weekly fitness classes – from curious couch potatoes having no routine exercise experience to newly inducted retirees trying to tame chronic diseases, like high blood pressure and diabetes.

What makes 3 WINS Fitness a glowing success is the trifecta of benefits associated with their free community programs…truly a win-win-win situation. For starters, kinesiology students and volunteers receive class credit and invaluable, hands-on, job-related experience that far exceeds the basic strengthening of leadership and business skills. Secondly, participants gain access to free fitness classes. And, as a result, the overall community becomes stronger and healthier as residents get up and moving, transforming into more active members of society.

The ACE Fitness and 3 Wins Fitness partnership proves physical fitness that motivates and changes lives doesn’t have to feel like a luxury…or uncomfortable visit to a crowded fitness center. You don’t need a fancy gym membership (and when options for physical exercise are running low), there’s always an option – like taking advantage of a session with 3 Wins Fitness.

In addition to providing the public with essential information, instruction, advice and online tools that accommodate all fitness levels, ACE also sells products that make it easier for you to achieve your personal fitness and health goals. You’ll find ACE Fitness coupon codes on Giving Assistant that’ll come in handy the next time you need books, DVDs or fitness equipment, like a stability ball, FlexBands, or an ACE FitKit.

ACE

Lastly, make sure you’ve downloaded our Giving Assistant Button, so you can keep up with the latest American Council on Exercise promo codes. We’ll keep you updated on the different ways you can save money as you work towards improving your career, health or overall wellbeing.

 

Shop with Purpose: 6 Nonprofits Saving Our Planet

Shop with Purpose: 6 Nonprofits Saving Our Planet

Earth Day is quickly approaching! April 22nd is a yearly reminder that the environment plays a significant role in our lives, and it’s up to us to ensure that clean air, land and water are available now and for future generations. Earth Day dates back to 1970, where 22 million Americans participated, and today, it’s observed in 175 countries. It’s a time to celebrate the environment, and educate ourselves on the issues that threaten the planet’s wellbeing. On this day of global recognition, some people choose to volunteer while others dive deep into recycling. You can also celebrate by taking the time to acknowledge the achievements and efforts of environmental defenders, like some of these phenomenal organizations listed below, and select one of them as your nonprofit of choice while shopping with Giving Assistant.

1. Bitter Root Water Forum

Serious about protecting the lifeline of the world, the Bitter Root Watershed Forum (BRWF) is a nonprofit focused on the restoration and education related to a watershed in the Rocky Mountains of Western Montana – an area known for its jaw-dropping views and picture-perfect backdrops. On the education front, the BRWF starts ’em early with an Earth Stewardship Program that includes hands-on lessons, playing ‘Water Quality Jeopardy’, and field trips for over 300 students in Ravalli County. The Future Irrigators of the Bitterroot Program connects students to the outdoors, where they learn about protecting fisheries and conservation methods.

The BRWF actively defends the water resources in the Bitterroot Valley through restoration projects that elevate water health. In an effort to support, clean and celebrate their local waters, the group hosts outdoor events to raise money for river clean up, such as the Run for the River 5K, as well as organizes clean up parties where volunteers learn more about the importance and methods of ecological conservation.

2. Green Umbrella

What started as an organization geared towards preserving and restoring the unending diversity of plants and wildlife in the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana area has since expanded to include projects in clean air and other eco-friendly causes. Green Umbrella has a goal to elevate their region as one of the top 10 most sustainable metro areas in the U.S. by 2020. With a commitment to promote the beauty of outdoor recreation and instill nature awareness in adults and children across 10 counties in the area, this nonprofit is known for lending eco-friendly startups and organizations a helping hand, which includes support for the following:

  • Red Bike: a bike-share program that promotes cleaner air and provides affordable, healthy, green transportation
  • Taking Root: tree conservation responsible for the planting of almost a ½ a million trees
  • Outdoor Adventure Clubs of Greater Cincinnati: molds future generations of environmental advocates by nurturing an appreciation for healthy recreation; teens explore nature’s playground through hiking, camping and fishing.
  • Tri-State Trails: the creation of multi-use trails, on-road bike lanes and hiking trails support cleaner air practices and an improved quality of life for residents

3. Marine Conservation Institute

Calling all water babies! Without the efforts of organizations, like the Marine Conservation Institute, the largest life support system in the world would fall victim to pollution, destructive fishing techniques, and loss of amazingly unique ocean life. As defenders of global waters, the Marine Conservation Institute identifies marine protected areas and maintains the most complete online databases in the world. They pinpoint fish habitat conservation zones, forge sustainable seafood partnerships, and advocate for critically endangered animals. Marine Conservation Institute also welcomes the public to nominate great MPAs for Global Ocean Refuge awards and to help spread the word about GLORES.

To ensure future generations have a chance to enjoy the hypnotic waters, tropical coral reefs and exotic marine creatures of the deep blue sea in places like California, Hawaii, New Zealand, and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the Institute also uses donations from eco-warriors such as yourself to promote sustainable tourism.

4. West Sound Wildlife Shelter

Here’s a nonprofit for the animal lover in you. The Washington-based West Sound Wildlife Shelter combines quality care with public outreach and education to make sure that injured, orphaned, and sick wildlife get a new lease on life. They’re the ones you call when you see an injured critter by the side of the road. They’ll do their best to patch it up and make sure it’s ready to return to its natural habitat. Rowdy raccoons and other wild animals becoming a nuisance at home? They’ll give you non-lethal advice on possible solutions.

Wildlife ambassadors, like turkey vulture Remi (aka “Princess”), Sunny, the great-horned owl and Opal, the Virginia opossum, are on hand to educate with live animal presentations that local groups can book. The Shelter cares for more than 1,600 wildlife patients yearly, and your donation can go towards the rehabilitation of their next animal ambassador.

5. Rhode Island Environmental Education Association

Education is essential for spreading the word on the importance of protecting the planet, and the Rhode Island Environmental Education Association (RIEEA) is no stranger to utilizing the power of knowledge. Fueled by a network of individuals, teachers, schools, state agencies and other organizations devoted to increasing the environmental awareness of all adults and youths in the state, RIEEA makes its mark in many ways.

This nonprofit has a solid reputation for getting families and students excited about the outdoors, as seen in the workshops hosted through a recent Land & Water Conservation Summit partnership. RIEEA workshops and training equips educators with the information and tools needed to teach the value of earth-friendly practices. They also award professional development scholarships to members. Past collaborations have also included hosting an Environmental Leadership Seminar with the Department of Education at Brown University.

6. LandTrust for Central North Carolina

With 25,000 acres already protected, the Land Trust for Central North Carolina is dedicated to the conservation of the natural escapes, breathtaking landscapes, historic sites, and wildlife refuges in a 10-county region of the state. Because of the LandTrust, it’s possible for you to hike Catawba Ecological Preserve Trail, birdwatch at Dunn’s Mountain Park, indulge in wildlife photography at Eagle Point Nature Preserve, and swim Barnes Creek at Jumping Off Rock. The LandTrust’s Three Rivers Canoe & Kayak Race Series raises money through an ultra-scenic event where participants get a chance to (re)visit the region’s unique wildlife and woodlands atop refreshing waterways. They also host an annual Naturalist Day that includes a morning hike and native plant exploration, with music provided by neotropical migrant songbirds. Your donation to The LandTrust could help conserve the additional 10-15,000 acres of land they’d like to protect in the near future.

Want to get active for Earth Day? You can participate in a clean-up day, install a bird feeder, plant a tree, or buy locally sourced foods. And, it’s also the perfect time to support an environmentally friendly company or nonprofit by putting your shopping power to good use. All you have to do is share all or some of your cash back with Mother Nature when you shop 36 brands like S’well, Backcountry, and Clarins participating in our Earth Day Double Cash Back Event from 4/17- 4/23!

Shop with Purpose: Support & Empower Women Everywhere

Shop with Purpose: Support & Empower Women Everywhere

International Women’s Day has roots dating back to the early 1900s and the fight for equal rights and gender equality is far from over. Each year, March 8th is dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women and encouraging female empowerment across the globe. Advancing women’s rights means that mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, and best friends enjoy increased access to the same opportunities as their counterparts and for the next generations ahead of us.

Each year, International Women’s Day takes on a different theme, and for 2018, it’s time to #PressforProgress. This is a call for family, friends, school peers, colleagues and communities to make a stronger effort to unite and embrace a more gender inclusive attitude towards the way we think, act and exist. One way to participate in International Women’s Day is to support brands that support female empowerment all year round. Check out these powerful brands below.

Rebecca Minkoff

Amplifying the voices of the superwomen responsible for organizing the national Women’s March is just one of the ways Rebecca Minkoff uses her fashion clout to advocate for female empowerment. With a heavily involved social media presence, the millennial designer has built a space bursting with positive energy for women to thrive online. She encourages followers (referred to as ‘RM Superwomen’) to be bold and courageous, as well as stay fearless as they accomplish challenging goals. In addition to providing daily encouragement and sharing the inspirational tales of women leaders and female entrepreneurs, Rebecca Minkoff also contributes to the fight for women’s rights, equality and diversity through clothing designs and accessories that incorporate the words ‘feminism’ and ‘GRL*PWR.’

FOREO

In addition to supplying skincare and beauty solutions that create a more radiant appearance, FOREO also encourages us to share snapshots of inspirational women in celebration of International Women’s Day. Those who upload photos to Instagram of their favorite ladies (and use the hashtag #FOREOForHer) will have a chance to win one of five FOREO gift sets. That’s a lot of pampering for you and the special lady in your life! You also still have a chance to snag FOREO’s anti-aging Luna 2 facial cleansing brush and Iris illuminating eye massager for less during their 20% Off Facial Cleansing Products sale (until 3/11).

 

Ann Taylor

You may know Ann Taylor for their classy suits, sharp-looking dresses, shoes and accessories, but were you aware that their dedication to female fashions also includes supporting causes that strive to enhance the health and livelihood of women? ‘Ann Cares’ is fully engaged in the breast cancer battle, spreading awareness and supporting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation®. Since 2005, over $38 million has been raised, where their annual contribution is currently funding nearly 20 grants that support groundbreaking research across the world.

The giving continues with HERlead Fellowships, which are given to the next wave of female leaders and fund social impact projects that help young women find their voice within the business world. They also provide mentorship opportunities, leadership training, and skill-building with the assistance of influential role models. Through the HERproject (with ‘HER’ standing for Health Enables Returns), Ann Taylor touches the lives of women within their international supply chain with programs that oversee in-factory women’s health education and/or financial literacy training in locales such as the Philippines and Indian Himalayas.

Sephora

In a world where women of color crave a broader representation in the beauty industry, Sephora answers their calls by maintaining a unique beauty presence on the market. One way that the cosmetics powerhouse celebrates diversity is through their marketing campaigns – such as the recent casting of their own employees to model for a more inclusive holiday print ad. And, Rihanna’s Fenty line that they carry boasts an overwhelming 40 shades of foundation that accommodates skin colors and undertones of women representing all ethnicities and countries.

Sephora also has programs in place that give back to the community. Sephora’s Classes for Confidence has already empowered tens of thousands of women with specialized beauty training, while the Sephora Accelerate program aims to increase the number of female entrepreneurs in the beauty industry. And lastly, whenever you purchase the FEARLESS shade of Sephora Stands lipsticks, the company donates $10 towards the above programs.

Tory Burch

Just as empowering as a pair of black and gold ballet flats or a sleek designer dress, Tory Burch is a motivating force for women looking to take a risk and make their grand entrance in the business industry. As a strong advocate for female entrepreneurship, the Tory Burch Foundation benefits an ever-growing network of diverse women through three distinct programs:

  • The Fellows Program helps female entrepreneurs overcome common obstacles of business ownership during a 1-year fellowship and $10,000 grant that advances their business education.
  • A partnership between Bank of America and the Tory Burch Foundation led to the Capital Program, which connects women entrepreneurs in the U.S. to affordable loan options through Community Lenders.
  • The Education Program equips eligible, small business-owning New Yorkers with the tools, resources and support needed to catapult their enterprises to the next level (with the help of Babson College and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses).

Nonprofits that Empower & Support Women

Celebrating International Women’s Day doesn’t have to be a one-time occurrence. Every time you shop with any partnered brand through Giving Assistant, you can show your support all yearlong by contributing to nonprofits that empower females. Simply select the nonprofit of your choice to donate all or a percentage of the cash back you earn with Giving Assistant. All of the nonprofit organizations listed below benefit women and have proven to be effective in more ways than one. 

Tostan

Tostan is a Senegal-based organization that works directly with rural locals through their Community Empowerment Program. Their human rights-based education agenda has elevated the lives of tens of thousands of women. For example, Tostan has improved health conditions for females by lowering the overall acceptance level of genital cutting. The organization also fights to lower the incidence of child marriage. And, with Tostan’s help, 20,000 women and counting have been chosen to assume leadership positions within their communities. 

Keep A Breast

Support the Keep a Breast Foundation, and you’ll donate to a cause that’s on a global mission to empower females with the knowledge of breast health education at an early age. They also provide the kind of support that youths need in order to become their own health advocates. From healing art projects to prevention programs (such as the Non Toxic Revolution), Keep a Breast has been spreading awareness and changing lives since 2000. 

Freely in Hope

Your contribution to Freely in Hope helps fund a holistic and educational approach towards healing survivors of sexual violence. This faith-based nonprofit organization empowers women and girls from rural villages and urban slums in Africa with the tools to heal and harness a healthy future. Donations go towards funding academic scholarships, health care, counseling, and safe shelter for survivors, who also benefit from the art therapy, violence prevention workshops, and training for HIV prevention that the nonprofit provides.

She Should Run

Despite the name, this isn’t a charity for marathon runners. She Should Run is a non-partisan organization dedicated to empowering women with the knowledge, inspiration and community support needed to pursue a public leadership role in politics. Since the 2016 election, this nonprofit has played a role in inspiring over 18,000 women to run for office, and has a goal of encouraging and assisting at least 250,000 women to make their mark in an election by 2030.

Girls Who Code

The tech world is captivating, but many girls miss out on all the excitement because they lack the exposure, encouragement, and support needed to turn a spark of interest into a flame. Girls Who Code is a national movement responsible for setting up after school clubs and free summer programs with the goal of closing the gender gap in technology.

Lotus Outreach

Lotus Outreach is a nonprofit devoted to helping at-risk and exploited women in India and Cambodia lead a healthier, safer, and more prosperous life through education and economic empowerment. Your donation will go towards improving the lives of residents by establishing grassroots projects in vulnerable communities. The organization successfully increases the number of females gaining an education, as well as provides safe transportation for schoolgirls.

To keep up with the best deals and opportunities for saving money on purchases from companies and brands that empower women, don’t forget to download our Giving Assistant Button to receive the latest updates and alerts.

Freely in Hope: Empowering Survivors of Sexual Violence

Freely in Hope: Empowering Survivors of Sexual Violence

This article was written by Lauren Rutherford, Charity Advocate at Giving Assistant. You can read more about Freely in Hope and ways to support their scholars here.

As a Charity Advocate with Giving Assistant, I have the honor of hearing the stories of change makers in communities near and far. One such group has shown what it means to help sexual assault victims view themselves as survivors. By doing so, Freely in Hope has connected the plights of women on the other side of the world with individuals in Giving Assistant’s own backyard.

Headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, Freely in Hope is a nonprofit organization that assists survivors of sexual assault in Kenya and Zambia by way of education and opportunities in leadership development and restorative storytelling.

Through their community centers, Freely in Hope runs violence prevention workshops, art therapy, HIV prevention trainings and more to women and girls from urban slums and rural villages. The Freely in Hope scholars, young women who are survivors of or vulnerable to sexual violence, receive academic scholarships, health care, safe housing, and counseling. With the support of this faith-based nonprofit, the scholars now have visions of themselves as nurses, lawyers, women’s rights advocates, and more.

The ultimate vision of Freely in Hope, however, is to see an end to the cycle of sexual violence.

Nearly one in three Kenyan girls experience sexual violence before the age of 18; in Zambia, 59% of women have been sexually violated. Freely in Hope bravely works through the complex and destructive issues facing women in these countries and beyond, such as: human trafficking, rape, female genital mutilation, and child marriage.

Although this is no small task, it was clear at Freely in Hope’s 7th Anniversary Gala in August 2017 that the Freely in Hope team and the FIH scholars are eager to continue working hard to achieve and expand their mission.

Hosted in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood, I had the honor of attending the Gala. The Gala raised over $100,000 to bring five new scholars into the program in Kenya. Attendees wrote handwritten letters to Freely in Hope scholars, enjoyed live music, and listened to the powerful story of Maryclare, one of FIH’s first scholars in Kenya. Maryclare, an advocate of storytelling as a means of healing, shared her own accounts of sexual violence and abuse at the Gala.  

Although Maryclare’s story was haunting, her story was also transformative— an impressive example of Freely in Hope’s mission brought to life. Today, Maryclare is a Program Designer and Storyteller for Freely in Hope, paying forward the benefits she reaped from the initiative. FIH once helped her to reclaim her voice. Now, it provides a platform for her to do the same for those who need it most.

I am excited to have an organization like this based where I live and work. And, Giving Assistant is proud to work with and support the mission of Freely in Hope!

Giving Assistant hopes that you’ll join us in supporting Freely in Hope through everyday purchases and holiday shopping at over 3,000 online retailers. If you’re already part of the Giving Assistant community, your next step is to select Freely in Hope on your account settings menu. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can join here to begin donating a portion or all of your cash back to Freely in Hope.