For those of you who may not know, Whole Foods Market has many non-profit organizations. One of them is called the Whole Planet Foundation. If you have been to Whole Foods in the past couple months, you may have been asked to buy a calendar by team members like me ($4 for a calendar with $44 worth of coupons? Not a bad deal just so you know).
On Wednesday, Whole Foods (or at least, my store) launched the Whole Planet Foundation campaign. What is Whole Planet you may ask? Whole Planet is a non-profit that focuses on giving micro-credit loans to people around the world – 58 countries to be exact – in order for them to establish businesses in their local towns or villages. The loans are $175 each and 88% of the recipients are women. There is a 97% return investment because the loans are being repaid in groups. If one person does not have enough to pay back the loan, the group pitches in. This builds a sense of community within the village or town, which is great if there is high inequality in terms of class, race or gender.
So what are the benefits? Well, for women, it is more freedom. There is a reduced percentage in domestic violence because women are bringing in income. Along with that, women are more inclined to spend the money on their children and family’s education and health (sorry men but that’s the truth). For children, it’s education. They are able to get an education which will lead to a job which will lead to income and rising themselves up from the poverty line. Therefore, by donating you are impacting multiple generations of people and giving them hope for a better future. And for you? Well international products ranging from your favorite coffee to nuts to bananas to even the scarf you bought at your local WF store the other day. Everybody wins!
How do you donate? There are a variety of ways you can help the cause. One is to go to your local WF. At the time of your checkout you can ask or your cashier will ask about donating. You can donate a nickel, dime, a dollar, $5, even a full $175 loan. The way that’s successful so far is rounding up to the nearest dollar. You are paying only cents and you can donate multiple times because it’s not one huge donation. Plus it makes it 10x easier to balance your checkbook. Don’t live near a WF or live in a country that does not have WF stores? No need to worry! You can also go onto the Whole Planet Foundation website and create a campaign and start your own fundraiser! Simply register, upload videos, photos, a logo or text explaining your motivation and presto! You can join in on the fun and help bring donations in.
It really is a great cause and though it’s tax season here in the U.S and some people don’t believe in charity, it doesn’t hurt to donate your two cents (literally and metaphorically speaking). 100% of your donations go straight to these loans so if you are concerned about there being a middle man there is none.
If you want more information on the Whole Planet Foundation, check out their website at Whole Planet Foundation. You can also pick up a pamphlet during checkout. Let’s investment to end poverty today.