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About 4,000 children in developing nations die every day because they don't have clean drinking water -- a disturbing fact that prompted water-filter maker Pur to get into the business of saving lives. Using purification packets developed by Pur scientists, the company's Children's Safe Drinking Water program has supplied 1.8 billion gallons of clean water to communities across the globe since 2004. In January Pur responded quickly to the devastating earthquake in Haiti, sending 6 million packets and $650,000 to aid the survivors.Helping Students Make the Grade
At Jones New York doing good is just as important as looking good. In 2005 the women's clothing company created Jones New York in the Classroom, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the quality of education. Since then it has contributed nearly $5 million to organizations such as Adopt-A-Classroom; employees volunteer by tutoring students and by helping to renovate schools in need.Proving That School Rules
Concerned that a third of America's high school students drop out before graduating, AT&T decided to take action by teaming up with Junior Achievement to launch the AT&T/JA Worldwide Job Shadow initiative. Since 2008 more than 23,000 at-risk students have worked alongside AT&T employees to see how lessons they've learned in the classroom can translate to success in the business world. AT&T makes it easy for its nearly 300,000 staffers to give back in other ways as well. The company is currently developing a database that will allow employees to search for volunteer opportunities based on their interests and location.Making Strides Against Breast Cancer
Last year activewear company New Balance celebrated a particularly meaningful anniversary: its 20-year partnership with Susan G. Komen for the Cure, which has raised more than $1.3 billion to fight breast cancer. In addition to sponsoring the organization's famous 5K Race for the Cure, New Balance unveiled its latest Lace Up for the Cure collection of footwear, apparel, and accessories in 2009; $1 million in proceeds went to Komen. New for 2010 is the Instant Give program: from now until April 4, New Balance will donate $1 to Komen, Girls on the Run, or the Special Olympics every time a customer tries on their shoes.Giving Back to the Global Community
International food producer and marketer Cargill (responsible for products like Shady Brook Farms turkey and Truvia natural sweetener) is committed to helping people close to home, particularly children. And in Cargill's case, home is the 68 countries where its 159,000 staffers work. "Many of our employees come from rural communities, and we've made it our goal to help these areas grow and thrive," says Mark Murphy, director of corporate responsibility. For example, Cargill has donated $1 million to renovate 21 schools near its Chinese plants; in impoverished Gujarat, India, Cargill and the global humanitarian nonprofit CARE supported learning centers for teen girls.
Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal, April 2010.