Aaah! Another year in the books…
As I sit back and reflect on the year, it’s hard not to feel proud of the things that we’ve been able to do as a company. I mean, after all, we’re not a company that measures success in ways that are typical to the corporate world. We look at the community around us, how many folks we’ve been able to help, how many smiles we’ve created, how many lives we’ve helped save (yes, save!) and how much good, overall, that we’ve been able to do with the help of our users, online merchants, and nonprofit partners. And it feels pretty awesome.
Check out some of the good that we were able to accomplish in 2015…
To kick off the new year, We-Care.com launched a campaign with a new year’s resolution– to help America quit smoking. For every We-Care user that chose to support this campaign with their online shopping, donations were collected and used to create a fun, but effective video to educate Americans on the dangers of tobacco and tobacco products. Learn more here.
As a very special Valentine’s Day treat, the We-Care.com team visited NYU’s Tisch Pediatrics and Fink Children’s Ambulatory Care Center to make Valentine’s Day cards with children that are chronically and severely ill. Most of us agree that kids just need to be kids, but that isn’t always easy for kids that have been forced to tackle more than most adults experience in an entire lifetime. On this day, We-Care had a chance to help these kids feel like kids again, and the celebration wasn’t just inspiring, it was… magical.
We-Care.com also worked with its sister company, Sweeps4aCause, and rewarded a couple, the Benson’s with a prize of $12,000! We then matched that prize and donated the same amount to their favorite nonprofit, Save the Children. Check out the video of this awesome moment.
Who doesn’t love their pets? We-Care.com is no exception! We take every opportunity to support animal causes very seriously, and March was no exception. We spent all month encouraging shoppers to join the fight against animal cruelty and the results were fantastic as $18,956.89 was donated to the ASPCA.
In April, Nepal was hit with an earthquake that killed over 9,000 people and injured more than 23,000. We-Care.com had to do something to help. We collaborated with our merchants and donated $1200 to the Khusi Hona Foundation, a nonprofit that was on the ground in Nepal. The funds donated supported citizens of a small village that had lost more than 90% of its standing buildings. The entire village needed to evacuate and move to a higher location on the mountain in order to avoid the dangers of the earthquake aftershock. Our funds made it possible for them to receive tents (to set up homes), tools to help clear the debris of fallen homes, food for survival, and a temporary school tent so that the children could continue to feel a sense of community and safety in their new location. One man that was air-lifted was attempting to walk (it’s a two day walk), but his back was already broken. Without that helicopter run, a small knock to his body (likely during a 2 day walk through the debris) would have left him paralyzed.
“You hear buzzwords like “lifesaving” in nonprofit work so often, but support like yours literally saved lives in the Nepal earthquake relief effort and the words took on a whole new and very real meaning.” – Matthew Van Rooyen
In April, We-Care.com also worked closely with the Eating Disorders Coalition of Tennessee to launch a #NoBodyisPerfect campaign. The campaign was a huge success as thousands of We-Care users shopped online in support of this great cause. $4,878.34 was raised through everyday shopping and donated to the Eating Disorders Coalition of Tennessee. Read more about the campaign here.
We-Care.com was inspired by the Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014 and set a goal to do something to move ALS research forward. They collaborated with a group of driven individuals to sponsor a race that would honor a friend of We-Care’s, Brianne Schmidt, who had lost her father to ALS. $7,168.24 was raised for Donn’s Dash, and memories of the experience stretched far beyond any dollar amount.
We-Care.com worked with the Leap NYC program to offer two schools assistance beyond the standard public education system. Leap offers a hands-on, arts-based approach to teaching the academic curriculum and has a goal to empower students to reach their full potential.
We-Care.com has always felt inspired by the athletes in the Special Olympics so we began a campaign that made this a month we’d never forget. In July, shopping online made it possible for two athletes to accomplish the ultimate dream of participating in the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles, California. Not only did Chavez and Natalia compete in multiple athletic and aquatic events at the Olympics, but both athletes raked in gold medals! We-Care was so proud to be a part of these amazing accomplishments.
In the spirit of going back to school, We-Care.com encouraged online shoppers to support a Title 1 school (a school district that requires supplemental funding from The U.S. Department of Education to meet the needs of at-risk and low-income students) in Greenacres, Florida. We worked with AdoptaClassroom.org and Jeanne Bootz Brown (one of two art teachers at the school) to provide some additional funding to the school to offer arts and music programs that the school may not have otherwise been able to offer. $2,107.60 was raised through everyday shopping and the funds were used to purchase supplies for the program.
We-Care.com has always had a special place in our hearts for veterans. We’ve also all had a special place in our hearts for animals. When we learned about the organization America’s VetDogs, a nonprofit that combined our appreciation of both veterans and animals, we had to help. In September, we launched a campaign to encourage shoppers to support this organization. $2,249.21 was raised to provide guide dogs to veterans and first responders who are blind or have low vision; hearing dogs for those who have lost their hearing later in life; service dogs for those with other physical disabilities; facility dogs as part of the rehabilitation process in military and VA hospitals, and PTSD service dogs to help mitigate the effects of PTSD in an effort to provide the emotional and physical support needed.
In observance of National Bullying Prevention Month, We-Care users were encouraged to shop in support of our Bully-Free Zone campaign. The donations earned throughout the month of October supported our friends at the Matthew Shepard Foundation, a nonprofit committed to erasing hate by replacing it with understanding, compassion and acceptance. Over $1,600 was raised which allowed this amazing organization to continue its hate crime prevention trainings in Kansas City, Missouri and Miami, Florida.
Baby, It’s Cold Outside. And We-Care.com wanted to continue our mission to give back to our own community this holiday season by hosting a coat drive for Covenant House. Together, with our sister company, Didit, We-Care was able to collect enough coats to fill half our office! Here’s a look at some of the items that were collected:
Gina Navani helped launch the We-Care.com website 8 years ago with one very important goal-- to incorporate donating into people's everyday lives. By strengthening affiliate relationships, We-Care.com users were empowered to make philanthropic purchase decisions. Gina's passion for nonprofits began at a young age when she developed programs to educate high school students about various topics including physical and verbal abuse, HIV and AIDS. Gina's passion for shopping also began at a young age when, at 3 years old, she sat her mother down for a talk about the importance of fashion. When the idea of We-Care.com-- a shopping portal that gives back-- was presented to Gina, she knew she'd found her dream job. Gina is the VP of Marketing and Strategy at We-Care.com.