Companies with a cause


AHS student models her TOMS, which donates a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair purchased

Everyone has seen the tear-jerking television commercials of the malnourished, practically naked children of poor, third-world countries begging for money donations. While these painfully sad commercials hit home inside the hearts of sympathetic individuals, many are unsure of how or where to donate money to help those in need. What a lot of people do not know, is that by supporting certain brands or companies, a portion of their money is donated on a large scale to charities and organizations around the world.

“I am much more likely to buy something if I know my money is going to a worthwhile cause,” senior Ashley Whittle said.

With all of the technological and medical advances prevalent in the world, the theme of giving back is spreading among companies. Slowly but surely popular name-brands are jumping on the humanitarian bandwagon, so to speak, and are supporting unique causes.

A large scale and widely known example of this is the TOMS shoe brand. TOMS has been donating shoes to children in need around the world since 2006, because they know shoes are a basic necessity and are lacking for children in many countries. Their motto is, “One for one” meaning for every pair of TOMS purchased, a pair is also donated to a child in need. The shoes can be bought for a price as low as $54, available in a variety of styles and color.

“I love wearing my TOMS. I have two pairs and I wear them all the time! It’s a great feeling knowing

that once I put my pair on there is someone else in the world in need who is also benefiting from the comfort of these shoes,” junior Hayat Yusuf said.

A perhaps lesser known but equally influential brand is People Water, which is a water brand sold in 7-11s and other locations. They are committed to making clean water available around the world and have a “Drop for Drop” initiative where for every bottle of People Water purchased an equal amount of water is donated to a person in need. People Water is built on the foundation that success is also about giving back, and they do so in the form of the most basic human necessity; water.

“To me all water tastes the same, so I don’t mind buying People Water if I need to buy a bottle of water because I know I’m not only helping myself but am also giving back to the world,” senior James Terrell said.

Vera Bradley is a popular fabric brand that can be seen in just about every hallway at AHS, whether in the form of a backpack, pencil pouch, lunch box or notebook. What many students do not know is that by purchasing breast cancer awareness colors, among which are multiple pattern choices but all involve pink, Vera Bradley donates 10 percent of the net proceeds to the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer. This foundation has donated more than $15 million to breast cancer research.

“I didn’t know at the time that my money was going toward breast cancer, but if I had known when I was buying my Vera Bradley tote then I would have been drawn to it even more,” senior Shannon Casey said. “It makes me feel good that my money is going toward such a good cause and is being used for a beneficial purpose.”

It is becoming very common to see more and more companies with mission statements to make the world a better place. By doing something so simple as purchasing a pair of TOMS, or even a bottle of People Water, consumers are able to give back to people in need around the world.