"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." — Dr. Seuss
The Select 7 is, at its heart, a lifestyle website. And while that does mean our focus might tend toward the more material, we also recognize and truly believe in the importance of paying it forward. To that end, we think it's imperative to start each week with a Random Act, so please take some time to meet our Guests and learn about which causes and organizations resonate with them. It's a big world out there, and there are even bigger opportunities to make it better if we all work together.
When my son was an infant, he was very sick with a rare disease about which little was known. He thankfully recovered — we were the lucky ones — and when he was 13, on the occasion of his bar mitzvah, he raised $10,000 for the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD).
My husband and I love helping out. We are super fortunate in our lives and it’s always good to give back. However, I think the most important part of giving back is being a good example for our kids. I have found it gives them a bigger perspective in life and in turn I see them wanting to help out on their own.
Mothers2Mothers is a charity that is near and dear to my heart. I am an ambassador for this international nonprofit organization that is dedicated to preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV by providing education and support for pregnant women and new mothers living with HIV.
The Samburu Women Trust is an organization in Kenya started by a friend who saw the importance of educating girls and promoting the rights of women. By providing jobs for women and building schools for girls, this trust promotes the rights and well-being of indigenous women.
As of late, my attention has turned to This Is About Humanity, founded by my friend Zoe Winkler alongside Elsa Collins, in support of the families separated at the US/Mexico border. In light of recent political events, Zoe and Elsa began a grassroots effort to make a difference for the families affected by these issues.
Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve considered myself a feminist, and I’ve always cared most about the issues that surround women’s lives and their experiences. It’s incredibly important to me that we have the same opportunities as men culturally, professionally and in educational institutions, since it wasn’t that long ago that regressive legislation kept us on the sidelines by prioritizing motherhood over our individual passions and pursuits.
Everyday I feel grateful for the opportunity to live and work in New York City, with exciting, creative challenges in both fashion and decorating. My motivation for making a difference in the world is based in helping people feel beautiful, comfortable, and fulfilled
As the son of immigrants, I feel incredibly strongly about immigration and the policies of the current administration and how it affects people everywhere. I've used my platform to try and shed light on it.
I grew up always feeling a little different. The way I dressed, the people I surrounded myself with, the activities I chose to focus on and the memories I sought to create – I was different. I was bullied for this – hard; so hard that I almost switched schools multiple times.
Women's health and public education are both issues close to my heart. Growing up, my aunt Helen Greico, was the executive director of NOW, the National Organization of Women. I watched her champion women’s empowerment, appearing on major talk shows as well as leading demonstrations as far back as I can remember. Her advocacy helped me develop my own value as a woman in the world.
The environment and our beautiful earth is something that I feel strongly about doing my part to protect. A few years ago, my husband left his cushy job to go work with a friend who had a startup that was developing a machine that efficiently turns wasted plastics into diesel fuel.
In 2015, I started going to Haiti with some friends to work with orphaned children. I got so inspired by the work, and when I began posting about my time there, one of Y7’s clients reached out to me to tell me about the organization she works at called buildOn.
Giving back to me is a huge deal as a business owner, as a consumer and as a citizen of this world. I wanted to cultivate a company that cared about this, and could create ways of building community through giving back.
I want to live in a world that is transparent with us. Transparency allows us, as individuals, to make educated decisions that are in line with our values. Mercy for Animals delivers truth that has been hidden for too long.
As a female business owner, I wanted so desperately to do whatever possible to help her pursue her dreams too. I'm over the moon that we successfully raised enough funds to put Joury — along with 30 other young girls — back in school this year.
I will always continually aim to spread the word about the amazing work Best Buddies does, it’s really fulfilling for me. If you want to find out more about Best Buddies and how you can support check out their site.
I am beyond grateful for everything I have experienced in my life. I am so blessed. I feel a responsibility to pay it forward and I believe that my purpose on earth, like so many others, is to be a good person by doing good for others, especially those in need.
I offered facial treatments at Saks Fifth Avenue every year when I was predominantly in Santa Barbara, and when clients purchased products, a portion of the sales was donated to the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation.
When I think of philanthropic causes I most admire, I think of the women who are their mouth pieces and greatest advocates. Toby Anne Milstein, who comes from one of New York’s leading philanthropic families, is a powerhouse in her own right who uses her network and social platforms to elevate important causes.
Ever since I was two years old, music has been my lens into the world. Through music I have learned to understand my roots and where I wanted to take my life. Willie Mae Rock Camp gives young girls a chance to become empowered as I did through music.
The B Project is a female led, local initiative which I am undertaking with a group of Nepali women to rebuild schools after the earthquake and work towards gender equality and prevention of sex trafficking in isolated areas.
For as long as I can remember, my mother has been raising money for the Association pour la Langue Française Parlée Complétée. It’s an association that offers LPC (French Cued Speech) classes to deaf and hearing people. Cued Speech is a very important tool for deaf children to learn how to speak, read and write. It’s very different from Sign Language but just as important.
At a time when the entire world seems to have gone extra mad, it’s hard to know what to focus on, so I donate locally and globally, which is fitting since I’m a constant traveler who loves to come home.
I was raised in a house where social justice and social action was always being modeled. My mother was a homeroom teacher and mentor at a public school in Harlem for over 30 years. My father, a Holocaust survivor, spent decades as the director of an organization devoted to fighting anti-Semitism and promoting civil rights. It's what I have been taught and it's what I know.
Being from a third world country makes one realize how precious the opportunity in the U.S.A. is, and when you see real poverty first-hand it strikes a chord. In fact, at Fourth & Heart we plan to start a charity of our own. Stay tuned for more information!
LNA started donating extra inventory and un-used samples to a store they do in downtown Los Angeles called Fresh Outfitters. This store is set up so foster kids have something to look forward to and get to go in and pick out new outfits like they are shopping in a real store.
My best friend, Samantha Allen, passed away earlier this year after a long battle with cancer, among many other health issues. Sam believed in the greatness of gratitude, never taking a day for granted and always creating your own story.
I absolutely love to surf and heard about Waves for Water through the surf community here in Venice. They are truly community-oriented and are small and nimble, making them able to move into direct activism.
Women’s Venture Fund is an organization that I’ve been involved with since 2011. Their mission of helping to create female independence through hands-on guidance and education is so meaningful to me. We’re all always learning.
One of the biggest hurdles of my career has been belief in myself — despite having a wonderful support group of peers and friends, my own lack of confidence has stood in the way of taking more risks and pushing myself further.
From a young age I have always been active in the gay straight alliance/LGBT community! Currently, I am an ambassador for One Together Org which allows me to use my voice to bring awareness to the LGBT community.
So I'm feeling as though we might be watching the world getting ready to combust. Shit feels nuts from earthquakes to hurricanes to mass shootings to wildfires to car bombings, everything is feeling untethered and unsafe right now, and I've found that the only way to combat that feeling is to do something about it.
Right now, Everytown for Gun Control has unfortunately become somewhat of a priority for me in terms of charitable donations because it feels like a small thing we can do in an otherwise helpless feeling situation.
When you're working with the children and patients of Operation Smile, it's remarkable to see that the simplest thing, like a smile, can change someone’s life tremendously. It is never too late to get involved whether you donate your time or your money.
I've realized just how fortunate I am. I have a flexible job, family support, and I have the resources to provide for my baby. That's why the charity, Baby2Baby is so important to me. Baby2Baby supplies low income families with everything they need to care for their baby: diapers, clothes, food, and more.
As I continue to mature as an adult, I am increasingly aware of the value of exploring ideas through reading and writing — pursuits that, during my own childhood, formed a strong foundation for the successes I’ve experienced in my own life.
I think it’s crucial to send the elevator back down to anyone who needs it, so, I donate as much time and knowledge as I can to my friends. Helping them with auditions and self-tapes motivates me to work harder.
National Eating Disorders Association is something so close to my heart. I spent the majority of my life fighting with food. My innocent decision to start dieting at age 14 turned into an obsession and resulted in me thinking my worth was relative to how much I weighed.
I started volunteering with The Art Of Elysium this past summer, which is an organization whose goal is to empower communities in need to join together and emotionally triumph over their circumstances through art.
In September I returned to Rwanda and visited with some of the amazing high school students from the Gashora Girls Academy, who have come from all over Rwanda to study STEM at a very special boarding school founded eight years ago.
I believe that comprehensive sex education fights poverty. By giving people the tools and education necessary to make smarter and safer decisions, we help people better plan their lives and fulfill their own dreams.
ALADS (Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs) and The Heart Foundation are two that mean the world to our family, as my husband was miraculously saved by a sheriff after his heart stopped while on his daily morning run.
Philanthropy is very important to us. In 2017, we volunteered our teams' time to provide social media marketing services to High School Yearbook, a non-profit on a mission to connect teens with cancer.
I created Happy Noise from the desire to make the world a better, more positive place. I think in the time we are in, the overwhelming number of problematic issues makes you feel hopeless. Emojis are our modern day hieroglyphics.
We just kicked off our yearly partnership with Baby2Baby on October 26th. You can come into any Drybar location and donate directly, or check out you can donate directly on their site, by clicking here.
MFTA collects unneeded items from businesses and individuals, and make these donations available to its recipients — nonprofit organizations with arts programming, government agencies, and public schools — for free.
I have the privilege of serving on the board of the Juvenile Arthritis Association, a non-profit dedicated to raising funds for increasing awareness, creating training fellowships for specializing physicians, and providing resources for kids and young adults with pediatric rheumatic diseases.
The purpose of The THUTO Foundation is to empower people and give them the strength to follow their dreams. I fell in love with their mission to offer education to those of all socio-economic backgrounds who normally would not have such an opportunity to learn and thrive.
There is no question that the New York City grind can unconsciously prevent you from stopping to smell the roses. You get wrapped up in the fast-pace, competition — and ultimately, yourself, My mother’s sage advice on how to best combat this is to focus on someone other than you, give back and help those less fortunate.
Colombia is one of the top five most unequal countries on the planet — the divide between the haves and have-nots is staggering, and overwhelmingly it is the afro and indigenous communities of Colombia that suffer most. I would like to highlight FEM (Fundacion por la Educacion Multidimensional), a non-profit organization operating in Cartagena that works to empower indigenous and afro communities to create a better future by supporting sustainable development projects.
I’m on the board of the writer’s foundation called Speakeasy and it brings incredible writers together and raises money to buy books for children in poor areas who don’t get the chance to go to the library.
I think we often forget that many children right in our own backyard are struggling to get the nutrition that they need. Share our Strength is trying to make sure that every child in the US has access to healthy foods.
Four years ago I created and implemented a PE Program for these girls. It was a life changing experience. I witnessed the power of education combined with physical movement. These girls were empowered and inspired by the movement their bodies were doing and we were able to communicate through movement alone.
I was shocked to learn about the millions of girls around the world who are denied access to education, but didn't know how I could create change with a background in luxury fashion. When I later learned that school uniforms were often the cost barrier to education, I felt strongly that I could create a fashion brand to authentically address this clothing-driven need.
I don’t believe in many charities. I mean not the ones who just give things. Don’t get me wrong, I would rather people do something than nothing, but I believe in creating change, and you can't do that if you just give handouts. To make real change, you have to educate and empower people — It’s like giving a person a fish to eat or teaching them how to fish.
These days I have less time to do the hands on work, which I regret. That combined with a recent personal experience, made me change the way I feel about giving money to people begging on the street. So now if I have it, I always give it. I believe that sometimes charity doesn’t have to be more complicated than that.
I have recently partnered with 5 Under 40, which is a non-profit that provides medical, wellness and beauty services to women under the age of 40 who have been diagnosed with breast cancer or have tested positive for a BRCA gene mutation.
As the mother of two young boys, inevitably I instinctively feel most drawn to children’s charities and I have been producing annual limited edition collections designed to benefit a select charity since 2008
After the horrific tragedy of Sandy Hook, I was made aware of a fledgling organization, Mom's Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, and the more I learned, the more I realized I had a passion for, and commitment to, its mission.
I have been going on medical missions since graduate school with the non-profit Mission To Heal, a non-profit medical missions organization that strives to help heal underserved people around the world.
I have been touched in a very personal manner by addiction and lost people who were close to me because of it. It took me a while to understand that it is a disease similar to cancer or diabetes, and it's so important to educate people on what addiction really is and to shatter the stigma that all too often goes along with it.
Losing my father, Stephen Devack, has been my number one motivation. It is surprisingly my silver lining: it's the reason my family created the organization Erase Amy as well as the reason I started my jewelry line, SINCERELY. I strive to honor him and his memory in everything that I do.
Everyday, I am reminded of human trafficking and slavery. I live in Asia and am surrounded by women who are desperately looking for a better life, only too often to find themselves involved in prostitution in one form or another; exploited morally and physically by an employer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Remember when you went to sleep away camp? Remember all the fun you had … new friends, fishing , archery, swimming, arts and crafts? The freedom to do whatever you wanted and let your true spirit shine?
I really believe that giving back is essential today more than ever. The good fortune that has surrounded me, and the hard work I do, allows me the privilege to participate with charities that help others.