Do Me A Solid: Stephen Lewis Foundation

We’re thrilled to continue the Do Me A Solid series with The Stephen Lewis Foundation and their amazing upcoming event, Hope Rising!. 

On May 3, the first Hope Rising! annual benefit concert will be held at The Sony Center. Proceeds from the event benefit the Stephen Lewis Foundation, helping them support grassroots organizations at the frontlines of the AIDS pandemic in Africa.

 
Alicia Keys and K’naan.
This will definitely be one of the concerts of the year, with a stellar lineup of artists. Alicia Keys, K’naan, Rufus Wainwright and Grammy Award-winning Angélique Kidjo headline the event, each performing some of their best-loved songs. As if that weren’t enough, the evening will also feature performances by Canada’s reigning R&B queen Jully Black, jazz songstress Holly Cole, and Lorraine Segato. Hosts Jian Ghomeshi, Marci Ien, and Gloria Reuben will also participate, making this evening truly spectacular.

Rufus Wainwright and Angélique Kidjo.

But, it’s not just a concert. The legendary Harry Belafonte will co-host a roundtable dinner and discussion with Stephen Lewis, providing a unique opportunity for philanthropists to discuss the real affect they can have in Africa with their donations.

 
Harry Belafonte. 

The night will also feature unique video shot in Africa, stories from African grandmothers who live in the midst of the pandemic, and other one-of-a-kind experiences. Hope Rising! is meant to celebratory and fun, sharing the joys and successes of the grassroots organizations working to turn the tide of HIV/AIDS in Africa.

 Photo: Alexis MacDonald

These grassroots groups are lifelines for their communities: they provide care to women who are ill; assist orphans and other children affected by the AIDS pandemic; reach heroic grandmothers who care for their orphaned grandchildren; and support people living with HIV and AIDS.

Tickets are still available at Ticketmaster, or at 1-855-872-7659, and start at just $75. That is a serious bargain for this incredible cultural event that offers you a one-of-a-kind concert and the chance to help out people who truly need it across the globe.

See you there!

Do Me A Solid: Designers give back

Because giving back never goes out of style, we are buying up fashionable, socially responsible products. To look great and feel even better doing it, grab your credit card and join us on this Warby Parker, MAC Cosmetics and TOMS Shoes shopping spree.


Warby Parker
Call us “four eyes,” because wearing specs just got a whole lot cooler with designs by Warby Parker. Off the runways, fashion week’s front row trendsetters were all about these vintage-inspired chunky frames. 

 
Much more than just the latest accessory, Warby Parker is giving vision to some of the one billion people around the world without access to glasses. Through their Buy A Pair Give a Pair policy, the company has already distributed 20,000 frames to those in need. For the nearsighted or those with 20/20 vision, Warby Parkers are a fashion statement with heart.   

MAC Cosmetics
VIVA GLAM lines by MAC Cosmetics colour their users pretty, while supporting men, women and children living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. For its spring 2011 line, MAC has bottled the spirit of Lady Gaga in nude shades of lipstick and Lipglass. Inspired by the pop icon, soon Little Monsters everywhere can just dance in hues of Gaga, because we were born that way. 


With 100 per cent of the proceeds donated to the MAC AIDS fund, looking good has never felt so great.

TOMS
Take a step towards a better tomorrow with TOMS Shoes. Based on a One for One model, TOMS donates one pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair purchased. Lead by founder Blake Mycoskie, TOMS Shoes is changing the way we buy shoes and the way we give back. 

Made of canvas and lined in suede with a rubber sole, TOMS are equal part style and comfort. Up next, The Row mega designers, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen will design a limited edition collection for TOMS. Made with luxe fabrics in cool prints, it’s the signature The Row style we love at prices we can afford. We’ll take them all, because hey, it’s a really good cause. 


We love that these designers and companies are giving back to those in need, and hope that more enterprising folks follow suit.

Do Me A Solid: Jake’s Gigantic Give

One of the best parts of PR is helping charities throw fundraisers that benefit those that are less fortunate, or need our help with research, awareness, life’s necessities or simply some toys to play with. We happily pitch in for these events, and they’re often some of the most fun that we work on (or attend!) all year. 

This new section, Do Me A Solid, is devoted to featuring the worthy charities and events that we, and other PR colleagues, are working with. We want to help spread the word about the great charity work that so many are dedicated to. Help us shout it far & wide!  

We’re thrilled to launch this series with a wonderful, child-focused charity called Jacob’s Ladder, The Canadian Foundation for the Control of Neurodegenerative Disease. This charity was created after Jacob Schwartz was born with Canavan disease, an inherited, neurodegenerative disorder that affects his ability to walk, speak, see and eat. Jacob’s parents, Ellen and Jeff Schwartz, were told by doctors that their son would not live past his fourth birthday. 

Photo by Hudson Taylor

This past year, with great fanfare, Jacob celebrated his 13th birthday. Although severely disabled, Jacob loves life and this infectious optimism inspires all around him. Since launching Jacob’s Ladder in 1997, the Schwartz family has organized various annual fundraisers and initiatives raising millions of dollars. 

Jake’s Gigantic Give, presented by Scotiabank and Fabricland, is a unique holiday fundraiser where children can experience the power of giving back during the holidays.

Participating children (and adults) come in to a big “warehouse” full of 10,000 donated toys, from Mastermind Toys and Spin Master Toys. They will choose one to give to a child in need to one of seven charities (SickKids, Variety Club of British Columbia, Jewish Family & Child Services, Children’s Aid Society, Chum City Christmas Wish, Chai Lifeline, Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada and the Jean Tweed Centre). In the end, they can choose a gift for themselves, teaching them that giving always has its rewards. 

As well as the fun gift giving experience, there will be tons of entertainment and snacks, including food donated by Pizza Pizza, Kernels, Hershey’s and Cake For You (750 cupcakes!).

The toy-filled fundraiser expects more than 2,000 people to participate and over 200 volunteers to help with logistics and act as “Mission Makers” – working with the kids to choose their gifts. 

Everyone is welcome!  

What: Jake’s Gigantic Give
Where: 150 Lesmill Road, Toronto, Ontario
Why: To support local charitable organizations and help fund research of neurodegenerative diseases.
When: Saturday, November 27 and Sunday, November 28, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day
Admission Fee: Adult admission to the lounge is by voluntary donation; $25-admission fee for participants
We hope to see you there. x