Companies That Care
In 2003 executives at Alacer, maker of Emergen-C flavored vitamin drink mixes, came up with a refreshingly good idea: The company would donate its products to Operation Gratitude, a nonprofit that assembles care packages for soldiers deployed overseas. Since then it has contributed more than 1.5 million drink packets. Alacer's latest charitable venture is the launch of the dragonfruit-flavored Emergen-C Planet, available at Whole Foods; sales will help provide microloans to small-business entrepreneurs.Comforting Sick Kids
Each year children account for more than 6 million hospital stays. To make the experience a little less scary, Downy partnered with the nonprofit Quilts for Kids to provide handmade quilts to young patients across the country. Since 2009 its Touch of Comfort program has delivered more than 7,000 quilts to hospitals. The company makes it easy for customers to get involved in its do-good efforts by offering free quilting kits at downy.com.Funding the Fight Against Breast Cancer
Earlier this year, chicken chain KFC set an ambitious do-good goal: to make the largest single donation ever to the breast-cancer advocacy group Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Its "Buckets for the Cure" campaign raised an impressive $4.2 million for breast-cancer research, education, and treatment. "Our partnership with KFC helped us raise awareness of the disease in communities where we didn't have a presence," says Margo Lucero, director of global corporate relations for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.Doing Good Close To Home
For the 50 employees at specialty food company Conifer, supporting the local community is at the heart of their business. The Woodinville, Washington-based company helps keep area farms in business by purchasing the organic wheat for its products from Shepherd's Grain, a cooperative of 33 local farmers. Conifer has also donated over 50,000 pounds of food to Food Lifeline, a local hunger relief agency, in the past year.