Sara feels grateful to be a woman in America who was given the opportunity to achieve her dream. She wants women everywhere to have the same opportunity. For all the women who feel as grateful, and for all the men who see the global potential of women, The Sara Blakely Foundation is an opportunity to truly make an impact on families, villages, and nations. The Sara Blakely Foundation is dedicated to helping women globally and locally through education and entrepreneurship. By finding the future female entrepreneurs and leaders of the world and giving them the "leg-up" they need to succeed, the whole world will benefit.
Using her resourceful entrepreneurial approach, Sara is devoted to running her foundation as effectively and efficiently as possible, making the absolute best use of donations and her own money to strategically help women. She has pledged a portion of all SPANX and ASSETS sales directly to The Sara Blakely Foundation.
The Sara Blakely Foundation's first project was in partnership with Virgin Unite helping CIDA City Campus in South Africa. When Sara traveled with Sir Richard Branson on "Rebel Billionaire: Branson's Quest for the Best" she had the opportunity to spend an afternoon with Nelson Mandela and his wife Graca Machel. This meeting had a tremendous impact on Sara. Both Nelson Mandela's passion for his country and the dire need for help inspired her to focus some initial attention on women in South Africa. She also met Taddy Blecher, an amazing entrepreneur from Johannesburg who started CIDA, the first free university in South Africa, from scratch. After visiting the school several times, Sara decided that all ticket donations for the "Give a Damn" VIP Dinner would go towards scholarships for young women to attend CIDA. The event raised more than $600,000 and provided scholarships for 278 women to attend CIDA in 2006.
The Sara Blakely Foundation was able to immediately contribute to helping young women by providing entrepreneurial training and seed money in the form of grants to aspiring entrepreneurs with viable business plans. The program, 'Women On The Move' was in partnership with Virgin Unite and CIDA City Campus in South Africa.
|Oprah Winfrey discovered SPANX Footless Body-Shaping Pantyhose and placed them on the coveted "Oprah's Favorite Things" list for 2000. Seven years after this discovery while taping a show on how SPANX shapers are made, Sara surprised Oprah with a check for $1,000,000 for The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation in South Africa. Sara credits Oprah as one of her biggest inspirations.|
|The Sara Blakely Foundation provided over $150,000 in funding to build two homes for single mothers and their families through the Women Build Program of Habitat for Humanity. The program was created to encourage the involvement of women in the construction of Habitat homes. Spanx employees went to the building site every weekend and worked alongside the Marist students and the female homeowner for 6 weeks to pour concrete, build walls, install shingles,hang siding, paint and landscape. Spanx was drawn to this cause because all of the Habitat Women Build houses are built by only women for deserving women who need a leg up.|
|The Sara Blakely Foundation granted four young women from Zimbabwe the educational opportunity to attend Brenau University in 2009. Brenau's mission includes not only providing the opportunity for students to understand the world through educational experiences abroad, it also allows for students to live and learn with students from across the globe. The grant from the Sara Blakely Foundation has provided these four young women the opportunity to receive an excellent education, learn critical skills and begin making a difference in their home country of Zimbabwe.|
The Sara Blakely Academy of Entrepreneurship at Atlanta Girl's School was launched with a $50,000 grant from the Sara Blakely Foundation. The program combines the fundamentals of economics with an entrepreneurship curriculum. The goal of the Academy is to equip girls with the ability to write and defend a business plan and prepare them to be leaders.
Spanx held a competition in "venture capital" as the climax to a year of business training for the students. Students were challenged to develop their own business plans for new products. Six of those plans were presented during a competition for $1,000 in seed money. The projects were judged by Spanx CEO Laurie Ann Goldman and Brad Bell, the company's Chief Financial Officer, who scored them for their creativity, practicality and profitability. Taylor Vande Beck, a 17 year old budding entrepreneur, won the competition for her Straightener Mitts business plans.
Spanx has been a longtime supporter of Dress for Success Atlanta, a workforce development program that works with disadvantaged women to give them the tools they need to get, keep and advance in a job.
After donating Spanx throughout the years, Sara Blakely and Laurie Ann Goldman were recognized as 2011 Champions for Success at a breakfast hosted by the organization. Since Sara and LA were unable to attend, Jadideah and Tosha stepped in to accept their awards.
The board members of Dress for Success approached the ladies to share their own experiences working with women in the program and seeing a change in their self-esteem when they donned their Spanx. It was a truly rewarding morning all around.
American Heart Association National Volunteer Star Jones stopped by Spanx in June of 2011. Star and her pup Pinky got the grand office tour from CEO Laurie Ann Goldman and Chief Canine Officer Lou Lou. After checking out Spanx HQ and the latest and greatest from our product development team, Laurie Ann presented Star with a $10,000 check in support of the Heart Association's Go Red for Women Campaign.
In celebration of the 10th Birthday of SPANX, the Sara Blakely Foundation and Spanx, Inc. sponsored the Atlanta Women's Foundation 'Numbers Too Big To Ignore' Luncheon. As part of the $100,000 sponsorship, ten organizations were selected to receive $10,000 grants to help give women and girls a leg up through entrepreneurship, education and empowerment programs. Spanx team members surprised grant recipients by delivering the good news in person!
|Sara used her lucky red backpack to get through college, launch her company Spanx (she presented her first prototype to the Neiman Marcus buyer out of her red backpack), and survived all 13 episodes of the Rebel Billionaire where she won $750,000 to start the foundation. Now Sara wants to pass it on... Sara would like to pass on the "lucky red backpack" to women as a symbol of starting small, thinking big, and remaining true to yourself. Each woman who receives a grant from The Sara Blakely Foundation will also receive their very own "lucky red backpack" ...which Sara believes is almost as important as the funding.|
| The 100 Mile Man Foundation
African Women's Development Fund
The Atlanta Girls School
The Atlanta Women's Foundation
Dress for Success
Emily Krzyzewski Center
Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention
Habitat for Humanity - Marist Women Build
Harmony: Atlanta's International Youth Chorus
Partnership Against Domestic Violence
Pray the Devil Back to Hell
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Market Women's Fund
Project Clean Water
Step Up Women's Network
True Colors Theatre Company
Washington Women In Need
For more information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org