June 4, 2012 at 4:02 pm , by Ron Kelly
One could say there’s a lot of buzz around this year’s CMT One Country spokesperson. Just as Sara Evans is about to start a chat with me about her role with the country music station’s volunteer initiative, she’s stung by a bee. “It’s good,” Evans casually assures me, barely missing a beat. “It’s a little swollen but I’m fine. I’m gonna live.” Her stoic resilience really shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, this is the singer of the can’t-keep-me-down anthem “A Little Bit Stronger,” a National Celebrity Cabinet member of the American Red Cross and the mom of a blended family of 7 children, all ranging in age from 7 to 13. So while the bee might have picked the wrong lady to mess with, CMT on the other hand seems to have chosen wisely.
“Well, CMT viewers are country fans and country fans are without a doubt, in my opinion, the most charitable, giving, caring, down-home people,” says Evans, who’ll be shouting out to CMT One Country’s volunteer efforts this Wednesday during the 2012 CMT Music Awards. “I’m a farm kid from a town of 1,200 people in Missouri,” Evans continues. “Everything about me speaks to exactly what country fans are. And my mom was really big on always inviting people over and feeding people, helping them out, giving away our clothes—just everything she could do to help people less fortunate than us.”
As she looks forward to her work with CMT One Country, Evans is especially drawn to one of the initiative’s ongoing six partnerships. “I love the BackPack Program,” she says, referring to Feeding America’s growing effort to get bags of nutritious and easy-to-prepare food to students who are struggling with hunger issues at home. Each year, bags of food assembled at more than 150 local food banks are distributed at the end of the week to nearly 230,000 children. “The fact that there are people who can’t afford school lunches just blows me away,” Evans says, “so I’d like to get more involved with that. It’s a really nice, really sweet program.” (It’s also sweet that, in lieu of providing pricey artist gift bags to those appearing at their awards show, CMT makes a group donation to the BackPack Program at Feeding America’s local Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee.)
In addition to being on hand to promote the CMT One Country initiative during Wednesday night’s award show, Evans also has the honor of competing in the Female Video of the Year category, in which she’s nominated for “My Heart Can’t Tell You No.” Asked whom she’d favor in her category other than herself, Evans’ decision comes pretty easily. “I’d probably have to go with Miranda Lambert, [nominated for “Over You”],” she says. “She’s just cool. I met her when she was on Nashville Star and I told her she was going to win. She was so sweet and I like her because she’s remained very humble and down-to-earth. And I think she has a really cool voice.”
Believe it or not, picking an outfit for the awards seems to be the biggest source of stress for Evans, who is currently headlining concert dates across the country and gearing up to promote “Anywhere,” her newest single. “I swear to you, I literally will pick [my outfit] out an hour before the show. I’m such a country girl, so low-maintenance,” the songstress says, before poking a little fun at how she handles the whole fashion decision-making process. “Maybe it’s because I think I’m just so beautiful that everything’s going to look great. Maybe I’m just that delusional,” she offers with a laugh. Well, we don’t buy that for a minute—and we have a feeling she’ll look positively buzzworthy in whatever she chooses to wear.
May 29, 2012 at 10:34 am , by Sue Erneta
As a fashion editor, I get pitches everyday for products that donate a portion of the proceeds to a charity. And while this is generous, it’s often only a small percentage of the purchase price that actually makes it to the charity. That’s what makes Joan Hornig’s jewelry really special.
Every piece she makes gives 100% of the proceeds to a charity of your choice. You can choose from over 700 charities at joanhornig.com.
And her jewelry is beautiful. I especially love this brass cuff that was molded from alligator skin. (Check out this amazing outtake from our June 2012 beauty feature. Gorgeous model + Joshua Tree + BCBG dress + Joan Hornig bracelet = Perfection!)
You’ll find everything from fine jewelry that rings up at over $6000 for the true philanthropist, or silver charm necklaces under $100. I know it sounds cliche but there really is something for everyone…and every charity.
Happy (guilt-free) shopping!
Photo by Tom Corbett.
September 12, 2011 at 1:48 pm , by Gabrielle Porcaro
I like a good T-shirt almost as much as I like a good pair of heels. A T-shirt with a message, I like even better! I was recently introduced to the Yellow Bird Project. The website teams up bands to design shirts and donate the proceeds to charity. The bands involved are a pretty impressive list of indie rock groups like Wolfmother, The Shins and Bloc Party. The charities include St. Jude’s, Greenpeace and Amnesty International, as well as other lesser known—but just as important—charities.
My favorite tee is designed by the Freelance Whales and supports MarbleRoad, a non-profit organization offering financial assistance and support services for people with complex and rare illnesses. I love the teal color, unique design and the cause happens to be near and dear to my heart. I love this idea—it’s a cool, interesting approach to raising awareness (and money) for a charity. And these tees are a stylish update to those old high school or college T’s you might be rocking way past their prime. Not your style? They also make great gifts (with a great message) for hard-to-shop-for, too-cool school kids.
March 17, 2011 at 3:32 pm , by Amanda Wolfe
We need your help! General Mills and Merck have committed to donating $900,000 (!) to Join My Village, a program that helps fight poverty in Malawi, run by our friends at CARE. The initiative helps lift whole African communities out of poverty (and hunger) by giving girls the tools they need to spark change, whether that’s fertilizer to grow corn or teachers and school supplies. On the site your clicks help unlock tokens—and $1 donations—to the cause.
So what can you do? If you go to JoinMyVillage.com right now and sign up with the code “JMV4LH,” it will release $5 (for the first 2,000 LHJ readers) to help these women and girls in need, and then of course you can stick around and keep learning and unlocking dollars. These girls’ stories are so powerful that I’d watch and read even if there wasn’t a donation attached—but how awesome is it that there is?
So go right now and sign up! A few minutes of your time could truly change lives.
February 4, 2011 at 3:26 pm , by Amanda Wolfe
In our latest issue, we salute six American women who are changing lives around the world. Check out these resources to get involved in one of their causes (or all of them, if you’re feeling ambitious!).
The Humanitarian Doctor: Marlo Hodnett, M.D.
You don’t have to be a doctor to help feed hungry kids. Dr. Hodnett volunteers with the National Association for the Prevention of Starvation, which is always looking for volunteers for its U.S. efforts and mission trips abroad, as well as donations.
The Cultural Ambassador: Ginny Lou Laughlin
Ginny Lou is active in her town’s sister cities organization, which help kids and adults connect with other cultures from around the world. Check with your local government or Sister Cities International to find out if your town has a chapter. If you don’t have a sister city, help hook up your town!
The Compassionate Coach: Colleen Lewis-Aguilar
Coleen’s organization, Basketball as a Mission, helps bring sports camps—and the self confidence that comes with learning a new skill—to underprivileged kids. They’re looking for donations (of gently-used gear or money) and volunteers, and you don’t have to be a jock to get involved.
The Selfless Saleswoman: Pati Going Frey
Patti sells bags that are handmade by women in Zambia, and 100% of the proceeds go to the women to help them take care of their families. They don’t have a website (yet!) but you can email Pati if you’d like to buy a bag or sell them in your area.
The Nurse Without Borders: Mary Loftus
Mary volunteers at a rural health clinic in Haiti with the group Friends of the Children of Haiti. If you’re not up for a trip to Haiti yourself, you can sponsor a child through the organization and provide your child with food, education and health care.
The Knitter Who Sends Hope: Amy Berman
If your’re into knitting, this one’s for you: Amy’s Mother Bear Project sends handmade bears to kids in Africa. You can knit or crochet bears with their provided patterns and send them to Amy for distribution. Not so crafty? Sponsor a bear instead, donate supplies or volunteer.
December 8, 2010 at 10:46 am , by Sara Dayton
I’m always thrilled to find gifts that treat friends and family to something special while giving back during the holidays (’tis the season, after all). This year I’m inspired by three sites that provide the perfect solution: original, affordable art that supports various charities.
1. The Working Proof
Founded with the goal of promoting art and social responsibility, The Working Proof donates 15% of every sale to a charity of the artist’s choice. With a new print released every Tuesday (and prices ranging from $25–100), there’s a ton of great options to choose from. Charities include Doctors Without Borders, The Jane Goodall Institute, and Smile Train.
2. Tiny Showcase
Tiny Showcase has a fitting name: Every week (also on Tuesday), founders Jon Buonaccorsi and Shea’la Finch pick a small piece of artwork to feature, turning it into a limited-run print edition that is sold on their website. They made donations a part of the site in 2005, and now a portion of each sale goes to a group chosen by the artists. Charities include St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Youth Pride Inc., and Oxfam International.
3. Creativity Explored
Based in San Francisco, Creativity Explored is a nonprofit visual arts center where artists with developmental disabilities create, exhibit, and sell art. If you live in the area, check out the studio—they welcome visitors. If not, you can buy the works online here. Creativity Explored splits the profits evenly with their artists, using their half of the proceeds to pay for local, regional, and national exhibitions of work produced in their studios.
November 22, 2010 at 5:27 pm , by Amanda Wolfe
For most people, Thanksgiving is one of those holidays where being thankful for our abundance (and sitting down to a table overflowing with holiday bounty, like the ridiculously good-looking truffle butter bird at right) goes hand-in-hand with being mindful of those who are less fortunate, and whose bellies are less full. Does your family volunteer or give back during the Thanksgiving season? It’s a wonderful tradition to start, and great a way to make Thanksgiving about more than just food and football (not that there’s anything wrong with either of those things…). Here are a few ways to give back.
- Does your family go around the table and say what you’re thankful for? (Love that tradition.) Put each family member in charge of coming up with a group volunteer idea for the upcoming year based on their “thankful” thing. That way you’ve got volunteer ideas for the year, not just the season. Kids count too! For instance, is your little niece Addie thankful for her pet kitty? Take everyone to the animal shelter to help out for a day.
- Take the pledge and donate to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. No child in America should have to go hungry on any day (not just a holiday), and Share Our Strength’s goal is to end childhood hunger by 2015. That’s a mission we can all get behind.
- It’s a cliche but if you’ve never actually volunteered at your local soup kitchen or homeless shelter, now is the time. But before you package up all your leftovers to bring along, call the shelter to ask about their food donation policy. Even better, sign up to volunteer on a monthly basis so your holiday spirit keeps on giving.
- I think we’re all thankful for our service men and women who put their lives on the line to protect our country. Operation Gratitude is a great organization that sends thank-you care packages to our troops, and they’d love your help all holiday season (and year!) long.
- To find specific Thanksgiving volunteer opportunities in your area, do a quick search with our friends at Volunteer Match. Just type in your zip code and “Thanksgiving” as the keyword.