2016 was a challenging year for many reasons, none of which I'm going to list because it's 2017 now, and I'm optimistic. Plus, it did have some decent moments, and one of them was me launching The Select 7 (wouldn't you agree?). And one of the best parts of this site, for me anyway, is learning about a new charity every week. This site is, at its heart, a lifestyle website. And while that does mean our focus might tend towards the more material, I also recognize and truly believe in the importance of paying it forward, and I love waking up on Mondays to a new guest and their Random Acts: those causes and organizations that resonate with this group of incredible people who have agreed to share their time with us. So I thought the best way to dive into 2017 would be to look back and make a list of what motivates each guest we've welcomed over the past year. Please take a look and make a note of the ways you might want to give back. Because I really do think that if we could all find a way to be just a little nicer, we might be able to turn this year around. It's a big world out there, and there are even bigger opportunities to make it better if we all work together.
1% FOR THE PLANET (Shanan Campanaro)
I surf and love the ocean, and due to the fact that a lot of issues involving our food chain and the environment stem from water pollution, overfishing, and oceanic neglect, this is where our giving is focused. Eskayel donates 1% of its net sales to environmental charities as a member of One Percent for the Planet which organizes charities and companies with an environmentalmessage.
96 ELEPHANTS (Katie Lee)
A few years ago, my dog Fionula’s veterinarian, Dr. Amy Attas, invited me to a lecture with the Wildlife Conservation Society on elephant poaching and the ivory trade. I was absolutely blown away to learn that 96 elephants are killed in Africa every day for their ivory. Even more surprising, New York City was one of the top ivory markets in the world, right up there with Beijing. I had always loved elephants, particularly after taking a safari in South Africa and seeing them in their natural habitat. They are incredible creatures and I felt a strong need to be involved. I started working with the Wildlife Conservation Society as an ambassador for their 96 Elephants organization. Together, we worked with Governor Andrew Cuomo to pass legislation to ban the sale of ivory in the state of New York. Since then, many states have followed. There is still so much that needs to be done to stop this massacre and time is running out. Just last week, a bust was made in Manhattan of $4.5million worth of illegal ivory at an antique store. Within a decade, we could see African elephants disappear completely from our planet. Please sign the petition on www.96elephants.org to support the Multinational Species Conservation Funds and make a donation if you can.
AARON SANCHEZ SCHOLARSHIP FUND (Aaron Sanchez)
I’m so excited to tell you guys about the Aarón Sánchez Scholarship Fund, an initiative I just launched in partnership with my good friend, Chef John Besh’s, Chef’s Move! program. The Aarón Sánchez Scholarship Fund is an initiative that empowers aspiring chefs from the Latin community to follow their dreams of attending culinary school. We’re going to provide a full scholarship for one year of culinary school in New York at ICC, mentoring opportunities and I’ll be taking them on an immersion trip to Mexico once they’ve finished school. I’ve been so fortunate to have so many amazing mentors throughout my career, who have helped me both in and out of the kitchen, and I’m hoping to do the same for the younger generation.
ACRIA (Yale Breslin)
ACRIA envisions a world where all people with HIV receive the treatment, care, and support they need to lead healthy, productive lives and where new transmissions of the virus have been eliminated. Part of ACRIA's fundraising comes from selling art donated by some of the world's most renowned artists.
ADOPT AN ELEPHANT (Pamela Murphy)
What kid doesn't want a pet elephant? The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Elephant Fostering Program is a great way to get one and also to save a whole bunch of elephants that are in danger of being killed thanks to the ivory trade.
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is dedicated to fostering baby elephants that have been orphaned largely as a result of the Ivory trade. When you adopt one online, you'll receive a fostering certificate with a profile and photograph of your adopted orphan with a description of the Orphans’ Project; An interactive map indicating where your orphan was found and a description of the habitat and the plight of the elephants in that area; A monthly summary highlighting events of the previous month with a direct link to the ‘Keepers Diary’ for your elephant. In the diary you will be able to access the daily calendar entries and the monthly photos. You'll also receive a collectable monthly watercolor by Angela Sheldrick; and from time-to-time, you'll receive news of new arrivals and rescues.
ALEX'S LEMONADE STAND (Pamela Murphy)
When Alexandra Scott was four years old, she told her parents she wanted to set up a lemonade stand. But this wasn't just any lemonade stand: Alex had been diagnosed with cancer at the age of one, and her plan was to give the money she raised to doctors to help find a cure. And so, Alex's Lemonade was born. Her first stand raised an incredible $2,000 in one day and while she fought her own cancer, she continued to set up the stands every year. As news spread of the remarkable girl so dedicated to helping other sick children, people everywhere were inspired to start their own lemonade stands — donating the proceeds to her cause.
In 2004 when Alex died at the age of eight, she had helped to raise more than $1 million towards finding a cure. Her parents started the Foundation the following year to continue their daughters' work and the mission is simple: "to raise money for and awareness of childhood cancer causes — especially research into new treatments and cures — and to encourage and empower others, especially children, to get involved and make a difference for children with cancer." Today, many chefs are involved in this incredible cause, and I have had the great fortune to be at some of their events. It is an amazing foundation for an amazing cause.
ANIMAL HAVEN SHELTER (Yale Breslin)
Animal Haven Shelter finds homes for abandoned cats and dogs in New York City and throughout the Tri-State area, and provides behavior intervention when needed to improve chances of adoption.
BEST FRIEND'S ANIMAL SOCIETY (Alissa Jacob + Aliza Zelin Neidich)
Best Friends Animal Society. As proud parents of rescue dogs, we both know firsthand how much joy they are capable of providing and how much of an impact you can have by rescuing. BFAC is the largest no-kill animal shelter in the US. They do a great job of organizing community programs and partnerships in support of their mission to bring about a time when there are no more homeless pets. Why buy a pet when there are so many who need homes?
THE BIRTHDAY PARTY PROJECT (Geoffrey + Margaret Zakarian)
We are loving The Birthday Party Project, a new charity whose mission is to bring joy to homeless children through the magic of birthdays. They are in 10 cities and throw once a month birthday parties for these children - cakes, balloons and presents included.
BREAST CANCER RESEARCH FOUNDATION (Yale Breslin)
BCRF is a nonprofit organization committed to achieving prevention and a cure for breast cancer. We provide critical funding for cancer research worldwide to fuel advances in tumor biology, genetics, prevention, treatment, metastasis and survivorship.
BRIGAID (Victoire Loup)
Daniel Giusti used to be the head chef at Noma (one of the best restaurants in the world), and he started ‘Brigaid’ to change the way kids eat in schools. They believe that kids deserve better food, cooked with care and passion.
C-CAP (CAREERS THROUGH CULINARY ARTS PROGRAM) (Pamela Murphy)
C-CAP works with public schools to prepare underprivileged high school kids for college and for career opportunities in the restaurant and hospitality industry, which is amazing. We have actually used a number of their students as interns, and they are all really incredible. C-CAP offers job training, internships, teacher training, college advising and culinary scholarships. Since it was founded in 1990, they have awarded over $43 million in scholarships and classrooms have received $3.8 million worth of supplies and equipment. All amazing stats, but as I said, most amazing is the passion these kids have and the opportunities that they get that they would never have had before.
CANADIAN CANCER SOCIETY (Erin Kleinberg)
Several strong women around me have suffered from some form of cancer and it is close to my heart to help efforts to find treatments and work towards the goal of helping to cure some types of cancer. In college I ran a fashion show where we raised 25k for the Canadian Cancer Society and ever since I have tried to stay active in supporting this charity.
CEDARS-SINAI WOMEN'S CANCER PROGRAM (Elyse Walker)
I have been raising money for the Cedars-Sinai Women’s Cancer Program for over 12 years. I lost my mom to stage four ovarian cancer when she was just 42 years old. I have been raising money for the Cedars-Sinai Women’s Cancer Program for over 12 years. I lost my mom to stage four ovarian cancer when she was just 42 years old. I’m in the dressing room with women every week and there isn’t a week that goes by in which I don’t hear about a cancer scare or concern. Thanks to my relationship with CSWCP, I have been able to connect people affected by cancer with hospitals all over the country. CSWCP brings doctors and scientists together and focuses on how cancer impacts women. From gender-specific cancers such as breast and ovarian, to other forms of cancer, which may affect women differently than men, the program does very important work. Led by Dr. Beth Karlan, whom I have known for a long time, CSWCP is one of the country’s foremost translational research programs. From clinical trials, new approaches to early detection, prevention and individualized treatments, cswcp is focused on improving cancer survival for women.
CENTRAL PARK CONSERVANCY (Ruth Zukerman)
I am involved in a never-ending love affair with New York City, sowill always be a supporter of the Central Park Conservancy. I believe Central Park to be the greatest gift to our city. Living hear the park allows me to appreciate it every season and every day. Maintaining its beauty for all to enjoy helps provide balance when we are so often feeling the stress of the “urban jungle.”
CHILD MIND INSTITUTE (Alissa Jacob + Aliza Zelin Neidich)
Child Mind Instituteis an amazing organization dedicated to helping children and families struggling with mental health issues and learning disorders. We both grew up either dealing with these issues ourselves or with loved ones who struggled to find appropriate care. Their approach is rooted in science and founded on empowering children and parents with the tools they need to succeed.
CHRON'S AND COLITIS FEDERATION OF AMERICA (Carolyn Rowan)
I also work very closely with the women who chair the Chron’s and Colitis Federation of America (CCFA) Women of Distinction luncheon; the CCFA works tirelessly to bring awareness to and raise funds for researching cures and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these two diseases. These women are motivated through their own personal journeys with these diseases — as mothers, wives, sisters, or patients. As a friend, I was drawn to the organization due to their strength and purpose. We’re hard at work on next year’s fundraising and we’ve partnered with Moda Operandi to produce the annual fashion show. As a designer, it’s exhilarating to see fashion working as part of a cure. Moda was the first online retailer to carry Carolyn Rowan Accessories, so it’s even sweeter to come full circle with them four years later and have them involved with both of my passions: philanthropy and design.
CITY HARVEST (Pamela Murphy)
Nearly 20% of New Yorkers are currently living under the poverty line, and it's City Harvest's mission to help feed these nearly 1.5 million people who are facing hunger each year. By rescuing more than 150,000 pounds of food EVERY DAY from restaurants, hotels, grocers. Farmers markets and more that would otherwise go to waste, City Harvest is able to provide food and meals to over 500 community programs as well. They also run great programs to teach people living under the poverty line how to make healthy meals, and they run incredible mobile markets in these underserved areas so that community members can "shop" for fresh fruits and vegetables. It's truly an incredible organization making a real dent in the hunger issue in New York.
COOKIES FOR KIDS CANCER (Pamela Murphy)
When Gretchen Witt's 2-year-old son Liam was diagnosed with cancer, she couldn't believe the lack of effective treatment there was out there for kids. So she took to the kitchen and, with the help of 250 volunteers, baked and sold 96,000 cookies, raising over $400,000 for research. Incredible, right? What I love about this organization is that it's an amazing one for kids to get involved with — it's accessible and meaningful, and who can't get behind a good bake sale?
CULTURE FOR ONE (Jennifer Bandier)
Culture for One is a charity near and dear to my heart. The organization is devoted and committed to providing cultural experiences and exposure for kids to a broader world through mentoring and trips in the arts. We recently did a collaboration with K.Deer (a brand we carry at Bandier) to create a special legging, the Jennifer Stripe, which benefits this organization.
CYCLE FOR SURVIVAL (Jeffrey Alan Marks)
Cycle for Survival because I’ve had people close to me who have been affected by cancer.
DINATING (Benita Litt + Krista Lissner)
The name says it all: part dining, part donating. This amazing organization has figured out a way to help feed hungry Angelinos by setting up genius eat one/feed one dining experiences. To do this, Dinating selects a restaurant that is both great and socially responsible, then curates an evening where a portion of the cost of your meal is donated to feeding in-need families. So far they’ve provided more than 14,000 meals. At Legend of Lido, we are inspired by global travel and with global travel comes global cuisine, so Dinating has been our perfect charity partner for many events in Los Angeles.
DRESS FOR SUCCESS (Andi Dorfman)
I work a lot with Dress for Success, an organization that gives underprivileged women clothing for job interviews and employment. Having been in the professional world, it's something that I'm very passionate about. I work there a few times a month helping dress the women and also doing mock interviews with them to help them land a job.
FABULOUS AND FIGHTING (Geoffrey + Margaret Zakarian)
Another new one that has got our attention is Fabulous and Fighting, a charity focused on collecting donations from fashion houses to deliver to women at cancer treatment centers, helping them to feel beautiful in the midst of challenging times. Both are delivering small acts of kindness that brighten the day. We love the pay it forward attitude of both.
FAVELA ORGANICA (Victoire Loup)
I discovered Regina Tchelly through Le Fooding, which organized an event with her back in September. Regina founded Favela Organica five years ago in Rio: she’s been feeding people in the favelas since that day, and teaches them how to cook with zero food waste. She even showed us how to make a banana tart using the banana skins!
THE FIGHTING KIT (Victoire Loup)
My friend Charlotte used to be a fashion designer, and then battled — and defeated! — ovarian cancer. She decided to change her life completely, create a blog and a start up called ‘The Fighting Kit’. She helps cancer patients to keep their head high with beauty boxes that are specially catered to their needs.
FOOD BANK FOR NYC (Kelly Killoren Bensimon)
I have been working with Food Bank for NYC for several years now, as I am so passionate about their goal to provide meals to those in need. I have personally seen the impact this assistance has on so many lives, having worked both in the kitchen and food pantry. I feel so fortunate to be able to lend my support to such a worthy cause that is so close to home. Food is power.
F*CK CANCER (Stacie Brockman)
I'm all about supporting other SHE-E-O's and my friend, Julie Greenbaum is the most bad ass girl in the charity game. I’m not talking Dallas society types like the ones you see on Real Housewives. At 19 (yes, you read that right), Julie created F*ck Cancer with the goal of creating an organization to unify a generation of young adults who have been affected by the disease and raise funds towards cancer research. Starting as a 350-person party in Montreal, Canada, Fuck Cancer events quickly tripled in size, eventually spiraling into numerous events across North America as an outlet for young people to connect and unite in the fight against cancer. Since 2010, Fuck Cancer has raised over $2.5 million collectively toward research and digital solutions to prevent cancer. I’m eternally inspired by her! She’s been on everything from Forbes to Sophia Amoruso's GIRLBOSS Radio podcast. She’s managed to activate young millennials and our quick-to-spend, yet fleeting bank accounts by creating, F*CK CANCER - a charity that, in essence, let's you party (read: get black out drunk & twerk like you're Miley Cyrus circa 2015) with your best friends for a cause. I think everyone has been affected by cancer in some capacity, but losing my grandmother two years ago to brain cancer really made my connection with Julie's charity stronger.
For each event, your ticket is a T-shirt with the words “F*CK CANCER” on it; each shirt color represents a different form of cancer (Breast Cancer, Brain Cancer, etc.) I love their forward-thinking mentality of tapping into “Gen-C” a.k.a. Generation Connected, who they classify as a generation defined by a behavior rather than a birthdate. I think their approach to make light of something serious, yet still have a level of seriousness makes it approachable and relatable.
GO CAMPAIGN (Jeffrey Alan Marks)
Go Campaign because I think it’s always important to foster the development of children.
GOD'S LOVE WE DELIVER (Amanda Freitag)
I am fully devoted to my charity, Gods Love We Deliver. I have been working with them for many years now and I am always moved by the work they do. As a chef, this organization touches me deeply. Their charge is to deliver meals to people who are too sick to cook or shop for themselves. It is free of charge and GLWD delivers over 5,400 meals per day in the NYC metropolitan area. They believe, as I do, that food IS medicine.
GOOD+ FOUNDATION (Pamela Murphy)
When you listen to Good+ founder Jessica Seinfeld discuss her foundation, it's impossible to not want to get involved. For the past 15 years she has worked tirelessly to change the way the more than 16 million children living in families with household incomes below the federal poverty line (which is $23,350 a year for a family of four, FYI) live. She does this by focusing on early childhood needs (for example, diapers: For a low-income family, a parent will need to work approximately 1.5 hours at the federal minimum wage to afford a single pack of diapers.), mother support, and most recently, father engagement. In a world where it’s too easy to look away, GOOD+ is looking these families in the eye and changing their futures.
| Bruce Bozzi | We (The Palm and I) have partnered with GOOD+ for several years to help raise awareness, funds and support in our local communities. Help us end family poverty by doing good yourself. #DoGoodGiveGoods.
HARLEM RBI (Pamela Murphy)
My son is a baseball fanatic and so, with our Mark Teixeira obsession, we learned about Harlem RBI. Teixeira is on the board of this organization that provides inner-city youth with opportunities to play, inspiring kids to recognize their potential and realize their dreams. Another great one for kids to get involved in, especially all of the sports fans out there.
THE HOLE IN THE WALL GANG CAMP (Bridget Moynahan)
Remember when you went to sleep away camp? Remember all the fun you had — new friends, fishing, archery, swimming, arts + crafts? The freedom to do whatever you wanted and let your true spirit shine? Remember how you felt when you had to leave and go home? You didn’t want to because you had the best time ever! That’s exactly what The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp is like for a special group of kids. The camp was started 26 years ago by Paul Newman, and it's been going strong ever since. THITWGC provides a seriously fun summer camp experience for children with serious illnesses. It's truly a place that changes lives. I have been proudly and gratefully part of their family for nine years.
HOMEBOY BAKERY (Victoire Loup)
Homeboy Bakery was founded in 1992, after the Los Angeles riots. Each year, more than 10,000 former gang members come to Homeboy to change their lives. Homeboy offers an 18-month training program, full-time improvement, a new hope and even laser removal for those who want to get rid of their gang tattoos. And on top of all that, their pastries are delicious!
HOPE FOR THE WARRIORS (Rebecca Perkins)
Military wives founded this organization in 2006 as they witnessed first-hand, the effects of war on spouses and their families. The group's mission is to enhance the quality of life for post-9/11 service members who have sustained physical and psychological wounds in the line of duty. Services include career transition and education programs, health and wellness counseling, and community building initiatives for military families as they transition into civilian life.
HOUSING WORKS (Noa Santos)
Amazing cause, great furniture.
THE HUMANE SOCIETY (What I'm Holding)
I love being able to use the platform I’ve been given through @whatimholding for good. This post was sparked by a partnership with Hint’d (an online space to create wishlists or "hint" at what you want. You can update your list at any time and also search through the people they have highlighted for inspiration. While the most obvious things to hint are material objects, you can also include experiences and charities on your list which led to this work). When they suggested working with the Humane Society, it felt like a perfect fit. I grew up with dogs and nothing compares to seeing my furry friend when I’m visiting my parents. It’s humbling to think that this post might have helped some animals find a forever home.
JOYFUL HEART FOUNDATION (Pamela Murphy, Rebecca Perkins)
When Mariska Hargitay started playing Detective Olivia Benson on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, the content of the scripts, as well as the work she did to prepare for the role, opened her eyes to the epidemics of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. What she learned was staggering:
• One in three women report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives.1
• Every two minutes in the United States, someone is sexually assaulted.2
• More than five children die every day in this country as a result of child abuse and neglect, and up to 15 million children witness domestic violence in their homes each year.
But what really opened her eyes—and subsequently, her heart—was the fan mail she received. The letters didn't say, "I love your show. Can you send me an autographed picture?" They said, "I was raped when I was fifteen. I'm forty now and I've never told anyone." Survivors were disclosing their stories to her, many for the first time. The fact that these individuals were revealing something so personal to someone they knew only as a character on television demonstrated to her how desperate they were to be heard, believed, supported and healed, and Mariska’s response was to create Joyful Heart.
Today, Joyful Heart is a national organization with hubs of service in New York, Los Angeles and Honolulu. The vision of the Joyful Heart Foundation is a world free of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse and their mission is to transform society’s response to sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse, support survivors’ healing, and end this violence forever.
JUMPSTART (Bridget Moynahan)
I have also been proudly working with Jumpstart for the past seven years. Jumpstart brings reading and development programs to children in low income neighborhoods. Studies show that when kids start behind they tend to stay behind. I truly believe that Jumpstart gives children that extra support and tools they need to be prepared for kindergarten and beyond.
LA KITCHEN (Victoire Loup)
"Neither food or people should ever go to waste" is the motto of LA Kitchen. They use so-called ugly vegetables and other foods prepared by volunteers to serve meals on Skid Row, an area of Downtown Los Angeles that needs help. It’s really easy to volunteer, anyone can do it — even if you have no idea how to cook!
LEGACY CITY CHURCH (Julie Van Daele)
The organization I am most passionate about is Legacy City Church, based in Studio City. Legacy’s mission is to love the people and the city of Los Angeles, striving to break down barriers and stigma with a simple message: Love God, Love People. I am continually inspired by Josh Thompson, who leads Legacy, in his commitment and dedication to loving and serving in an authentic, compassionate and lasting way.
NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE FUND (Gabby Reece + Laird Hamilton)
And of course we love Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which helps protect the air, land, and water from forces of pollution and corporate greed.
ONEKID ONEWORLD (Stephanie March)
I dedicate a pretty serious amount of time (and travel) to philanthropy. I have been so very lucky in this lifetime and I haveresponsibility to practice mindfulness around that and to give back. There are three organizations that are near and dear to my heart. The first is OneKid OneWorld and it is with them I first traveled abroad in a charitable capacity. OKOW refurbishes schools in the developing world (primarily Kenya and Central America) and gives them a chance to survive and thrive. Education is the only silver bullet in philanthropy. No one has ever suffered from receiving an education. No one.
PADDLE FOR PINK (Gabby Reece + Laird Hamilton)
Paddle for Pink is a great event in the Hamptons that raises funds and awareness for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. We were special guests at this year's event and it was really incredible.
PENCILS OF PROMISE (Noa Santos, Jennifer Fisher)
I think education is one of the few tipping points in our struggle to change the world. Pencils of Promise makes it easy to get involved and make a difference. (Noa Santos)
PLANNED PARENTHOOD (Stephanie March)
And this list would not be complete without Planned Parenthood. My great-grandmother, Ruby Webster March, co-founded the clinic that went on to become Planned Parenthood of West Texas and I could not be more proud to have such a legacy in my family. My travel abroad has consistently and emphatically reinforced the need for women to have access to medical care and family planning no matter where they reside.
PS ARTS (Jeffrey Alan Marks)
PS Arts because supporting arts in public schools is something near and dear to my heart.
RAINCATCHER (Gabby Reece + Laird Hamilton)
RainCatcher was started by a friend of ours, and we really love the organization, which is dedicated to healing communities by providing clean water for children in the developing world using affordable and sustainable solutions.
ROUTE (Pamela Murphy)
The world is mostly not a nice place. Route is paving the way to make it a little bit nicer. Started my good friend Margaret Zakarian’s cousin, Christina Weaver, Route is an online shop selling everything from jewelry and clothing to gifts and home goods. But that’s not all. Every single item offered on the site is ethically produced, which means that every maker is provided safe working conditions and fair wages.
Route works with over 25 partners, some not-for-profit and others for-profit, but what they all have in common is that they are each committed to ethical employment, they are run by “caring, thoughtful entrepreneurs who are changing the world by changing production practices.” Many of them go beyond fair wages and safe working conditions to include a variety of other supports as well: outreach in their maker’s communities, providing education, healthcare, using environmentally sustainable production practices such as natural dyes or remnant fabrics or the use of renewable energy sources. Each product on the site is carefully selected to also be high quality, fashionable and have the highest impact. From clothing sourced from zero-waste facilities in Cambodia to micro-jewelry made by refugees in the U.S., the stories are endless.
This small nonprofit believes strongly in the power of purchasing to change the status quo. Child labor, dangerous factories and slavery plague the production industries. Route believes that every purchase of an ethically made product is one significant step away from those atrocities and towards a safer, more equitable world. Purchases from Route, and other ethically sourced retailers, create paths — routes — from maker to customer that are safe and sustainable. In a time when there are more slaves than ever before; when hundreds die every year because of unsafe working conditions; when millions of children are working instead of going to school – the more we are committed to ethical purchasing from Route, and others like them, the more we can help. Check them out at shoproute.org or @knowtheroute. They also have a brick and mortar store in Columbia, Missouri, so if you’re in the hood, please stop in, say hi and tell them we sent you.
If this isn’t the best way to make the world a nicer and better place, then I don’t know what is.
RxART (What I'm Holding)
This is another organization I fully support. RxArt is a NYC-based nonprofit that works to bring healing to sick children through art. They work with artists to commission installations and do other projects with the children, transforming sterile healthcare facilities into engaging and inspiring environments full of beauty, humor and comfort.
SHARE OUR STRENGTH (Pamela Murphy)
Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry Campaign is working to end childhood hunger in America. Wait, what? Childhood hunger? In America. Yep. It's hard to believe, but it's true and luckily brother and sister Bill and Debbie Shore believe that everyone "has a strength to share on the global fight against hunger and poverty." A future without childhood hunger is a future where kids have access to healthy food all of the time. It gives them good breakfasts at school and food all year long, even in the summer. This is an organization very near to our hearts and one that make huge impact in the lives of all of our children every day.
STAND UP 2 CANCER (Ruth Zukerman)
Stand Up 2 Canceris a charity for which I was so happy to host a ride for this year with my friend, Katie Couric. Having had two parents afflicted with cancer, it is one with which I can identify and enthusiastically support in our ongoing battle against this disease.
THE TREVOR PROJECT (Noa Santos)
The idea that kids grow up afraid of being who they are is unacceptable, and I love the work that the Trevor Project is doing everyday to change this.
WORLD OF CHILDREN AWARDS (Stephanie March)
The second group I work with is called World of Children Award and I have been bouncing around the planet with them for eight years. WOCA gives grant money to change makers all over the world who devote their lives to helping children in need, building clinics in remote countryside, rescuing and rehabilitating victims of human trafficking, establishing schools for the disabled ... the list is incredible. I am humbled (and proud) to say WOCA is honoring me this year at their annual gala in October. I honestly cannot believe I get to stand side by side with these innovative, remarkable, heroic people.