Giving Back: Some of Our Favorite Female Philanthropists and Humanitarians
In honor of women’s history month, we put together a short list of ladies who have made it a priority to give back. In no particular order, here they are:
Education is the door to freedom. So believes Oprah Winfrey. Using her incredible power as a media personality, not to mention her personal fortune, The Oprah Winfrey Foundation has awarded hundreds of grants totaling millions of dollars to organizations that support the education and empowerment of women, children and families in the United States and around the world. Her public charity, Oprah’s Angel Network, has raised more than $80 million, with 100% of donations funding charitable grants and project around the world.
Marie Whitney/Two Penny Blue
Entrepreneur and designer Marie Whitney founded her clothing company, Two Penny Blue, in 2010 with a dream to use fashion as a way to educate and empower young women and children around the world. For each one of her stylish and chic jackets and blazers purchased, a school uniform is donated to a girl in need in Africa, opening the door to education and creating the opportunity for a brighter future. In Sub-Saharan Africa, millions of girls can’t afford to go to school because although school is often free, they can’t attend because they can’t afford a uniform. Educating girls is widely considered the single most effective way for overcoming world poverty.
Ophelia Dahl/Parters in Health
Ophelia Dahl, daughter of the writer Roald Dahl, has been advocating for the health and rights of poor people for nearly thirty years. She met Dr. Paul Farmer while volunteering at the small Eye Care Haiti clinic in 1983 and they have been working ever since to deliver high-quality health care to the destitute sick. Partners in Health strives to achieve two goals: to bring the benefits of modern science to those most in need of them and to serve as an antidote to despair. Their tireless work in combating tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS amongst the poorest of the world’s populations is considered groundbreaking.
Melinda Gates/Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Melinda Gates has assumed a hands-on leadership role within one of the world’s largest private foundations, created in 2000. Guided by the belief that every life has equal value the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is dedicated to addressing extreme poverty and poor health in developing countries and in improving the U.S. educational system. The Gates’ have donated a total of $28 billion to the foundation. A key initiative is eradicating AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria worldwide.
Evelyn Lauder/Breast Cancer Research Foundation
Daughter-in-law of cosmetics magnate Estee Lauder, Evelyn Lauder was a passionate champion for women’s cancer research and Founder/Chairman of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. She brought breast cancer out of the shadows when she helped create the iconic pink ribbon campaign in 1992. That year, she also raised money to establish the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation has raised millions of dollars which are awarded directly to top scientists and doctors around the world to put life-saving research on the fast track. Mrs. Lauder was also a top executive of Estee Lauder Cosmetics for 50 years. Sadly, she died from complications of ovarian cancer in 2011. Purple Cowboy wines and Tough Enough To Wear Pink have been supporters of the BCRF since 2004.
Terry Wheatley/Wine Sisterhood
Terry, our fearless leader and “boss lady” has always believed that brands have a responsibility to give back to the people who purchase them. A breast cancer survivor, Terry established Tough Enough To Wear Pink in 2004, the western community’s grassroots movement to raise money to fight breast cancer. With the help of rodeos across the country, Tough Enough To Wear Pink has donated over $17 million dollars to local breast cancer organizations and the national organization, the Breast Cancer Research Organization. Purple Cowboy wines are long-time supporters of the cause and are proud to donate a portion of sales to Tough Enough To Wear Pink.
In addition, Terry created the “Help A Sister Out” campaign, dedicated to supporting causes women care about. A portion of sales of Middle Sister, Wine Sisterhood and other wines in the portfolio support “Help A Sister Out.” A cause especially near and dear to Terry’s heart is the Emily Fund for Art in Schools. Named after her “adopted” daughter Emily, a talented artist and designer who passed away from cancer in 2011, the fund supports special projects and grants art supply “wish lists” in elementary and middle schools.
Who are your favorite female philanthropists? Share them in a comment!