Companies That Care
Home-furnishings retailer Ikea came up with a bright idea to help kids in developing nations do their homework at night. Every time a customer buys one of their $20 solar-powered Sunnan desk lamps, the company (in partnership with UNICEF) donates one to a child living in a home without electricity. Since the initiative began in June 2009, Ikea has distributed 500,000 lamps to needy kids. And from now until December 24, Ikea will give $1 each to UNICEF and Save the Children for every plush toy they sell.Providing Meals to People in Need
Arkansas-based Tyson Foods, one of the world's largest processors of chicken, beef, and pork, has spent a decade working to eradicate hunger in America. Through partnerships with nonprofits Share Our Strength and Feeding America, Tyson Foods has donated more than $3 million and 85 million pounds of food to hunger-relief agencies and food banks since 2000. The company's employees contribute to the cause by staging fundraising events such as pie-throwing contests and a 477-mile bike race across Iowa.Bringing Hope to Children with Cancer
When Vicki Riedel asked insurance company Aflac to make a donation to the Egleston Children's Hospital in Atlanta back in 1995, she had no idea they'd be so generous. "I thought maybe they'd give $25,000 to name a room," says Riedel, who was the hospital's associate director of development at the time. Instead, Aflac gave $3 million to create the Aflac Cancer Center; today, it's one of the top childhood cancer centers in the country. All proceeds from sales of the plush Aflac duck mascot (duckgear.com) support the center. There's also a holiday version currently available at Macy's and aflacholidayduck.com; sales benefit the children's cancer hospital closest to where the toy was sold.