Speaking at Dillard University, actor Denzel Washington encouraged the graduating class with these words: “Don’t just aspire to make a living, aspire to make a difference”. Neora Brand Partners and corporate staff have also been encouraged to do the same thing since the company’s inception in 2011. Our company vision and philosophy is “Making People Better.” Here are some of the major highlights from 2017 as we live out that mission and our core values.
More than $643,000 was raised for two of our Neora Ripple Foundation philanthropic partners, Big Brothers Big Sisters (associated in U.S., Canada, Australia, and Austria) and World Vision International (associated in Mexico, Colombia, and South Korea). And, $65,275 of that total was raised during our annual Get Real conference in St. Louis, Missouri. The majority of funds were raised through monthly donations from our Independent Brand Partners. Many Brand Partners and their friends also participated in Big Brothers Big Sisters’ largest community fundraising program, Bowl for Kids’ Sake. Funds raised by Neora bowling teams are matched to add even more impact to local BBBS affiliates.
Get the ‘Big’ Picture
Since 2012, Neora has raised more than $4.5 million for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA). In an interview with Addison Magazine, Neora Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer and President of Neora Ripple Foundation Amber Olson Rourke shared this: “Neora chose to partner with Big Brothers Big Sisters because its values very closely align with what we stand for as a brand, including the power of associations, mentorship, and truly impacting the life of another.”
In celebration of the 5-year corporate partnership, Neora was honored as Gold Sponsor at the 2017 BBBSA National Conference. BBBSA President and CEO Pam Iorio thanked Neora publicly in their Thanksgiving newsletter: “Neora Brand Partners are among our most committed monthly supporters.” At the close of the year, 103 Neora Brand Partners, executives, and corporate employees were volunteering as mentors and more than 100 at-risk youth were sponsored.
Catch the ‘Vision’
World Vision Colombia launched their first initiative in 2017 to help children with reading in Cali-Valle del Cauca, Colombia. World Vision Colombia shared via Twitter, “With the commitment and support of @NeoraOfficial, we offer children of Soacha more than a gift, a special moment where they share and take great memories, brightening up these Christmas holidays. Through Christmas stories, we offer children in Soacha a space in which they learn and reflect, bringing a message of love and understanding to their community. #NecesitamodATodoElMundo” We also partnered with World Vision International to provide disaster relief to victims of Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, and the Central Mexico earthquake. More than $10,000 was raised in this recovery effort, thanks to our generous Independent Brand Partners.
Recognizing the Hero Inside You
Success for Teens, an annual three-hour workshop designed for teens ages 12 through 17, was held during Get Real in 2017. Teacher, speaker, and activist Victor Palomares directed the group with a super-hero theme to encourage kids to be leaders in their community. “It’s kind of awkward in the beginning. You don’t know each other but it gets really fun,” said 13-year old Ryan from Dallas. “It was easy to make friends because everyone is shy and kind of nervous but you just start a conversation and you have a friend. BOOM!”
“I love working with young people and seeing them develop these necessary life skills is incredibly rewarding,” said Palomares. “It’s always my goal to help as many young people as possible. That’s my purpose, and I love it.”
Between these highlights were the individual stories of lives made richer by the currency of human connection and empathy. In Making People Better, we start with ourselves. We know that 2018 will present new opportunities to make a difference. We hope you will join us. Find out more about Neora Ripple Foundation events and stories at NeoraRipple.org.