What is CSR?

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Corporate Social Responsibility—you’ve heard this term a lot lately. Businesses promote themselves as being socially responsible because it’s a good for society. But, it’s also good for business. Consumers are not only buying products that are socially responsible, they are choosing to do business with companies that are socially responsible. Studies show that corporate social responsibility:

  • Builds brand loyalty
  • Increases sales and profits
  • Attracts investors
  • Attracts and motivates talent
  • Improves employee retention
  • Gives you and your customer a competitive edge

So, selling and using products that promote corporate social responsibility is—simply put—smart. One way you can be socially responsible is to promote, purchase, and use products made by social enterprises and fair trade organizations that manufacture goods for the sole purpose of funding their social programming. Helping Hand Partners partners with a variety of social enterprises and fair trade organizations that manufacture a wide array of unique, high-quality products including jewelry, bath products, housewares, and food. Here are just a few ways to use our socially responsible products and make a difference at the same time:

  • Promotional Products
  • Customer and employee loyalty programs
  • Rewards & recognition
  • Sales meetings
  • Incentive travel
  • Room gifts and Welcome Bags
  • Weddings & Special events
  • Donor “Thank You” gifts
  • Retail
  • Corporate Inventory

It takes so little to make a big impression and an even bigger difference. Build your brand with corporate social responsibility.

Our NEWEST Partnerships!

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New Partners Email Graphic

We are so excited to announce our two newest partnerships! We now offer handcrafted precious metal jewelry from the Nepal and India based organization, Relevée, and beautiful, distinctive home décor items from the Tanzania based organization, WomenCraft.

Relevée

Relevee logoRelevée, meaning ‘to rise up’ in French, is a non-profit organization that gives 100% of its proceeds to Made By Survivors, a charity that helps women and girls get free from exploitation and slavery. Their jewelry is designed and fabricated by vulnerable women overcoming severe human rights abuses such as human trafficking and child marriage in India and Nepal. Relevée provides a safe and loving place for rescued survivors to heal and rebuild their lives with shelter, education, job training, and employment programs.

Here are a couple of products we’re offering from the Relevée jewelry collection.

Gold Plated Bright Futures Earrings

Gold Plated Bright Futures Earrings
These free-spirited hammered earrings, are plated in 22 karat gold, hung on vermeil (sterling silver plated in gold) ear wires, and inspired by a deconstructed bullseye. Measures 2.2″ long exclusive of ear wires. Relevée is all about bright futures—for their artisans, their artisans’ children, and for women everywhere. They believe education and employment are necessary tools for hitting that target. Socially Responsible, Fair Trade.

Bright Futures NecklaceBright Futures Necklace
This dramatic statement necklace is inspired by a deconstructed bullseye, plated in 22 karat gold and featuring hand-hammered discs, plated in 22 karat go, on a 17.5″ handmade loop chain. At Relevée, we are all about bright futures – for our artisans and their children, for our customers, and for women everywhere. We believe education and employment are necessary tools for hitting that target. This necklace is artisanally crafted and ethically made to remind you to always shoot for your dreams. Socially Responsible, Fair Trade.

WomenCraft

WomenCraft LogoWomenCraft is a community-driven social enterprise operating from one of the poorest areas of the world, Ngara, Tanzania. WomenCraft creates local employment opportunities by bringing rural women together, facilitating their growth, and connecting their artistry to the global marketplace. Through WomenCraft, 300+ rural East African women express their culture and use their talents by weaving home décor products that are beautiful and functional. With the skills gained and income earned, WomenCraft members can now send their children to school, grow nutritious food, and start micro-enterprises. They create a brighter future for their families and inspire the world around them.

Here are a couple of products we’re offering from the WomenCraft home collection.

WC-MAUA-SKY

Maua Fruit Bowl
The maua design, which means “flower” in Swahili, was inspired by the flower design seen on traditional Hangaza bowls. This bowl can function as a centerpiece on a dining room table, be hung on your wall for decoration, or placed in a bedroom or bathroom to help you stay organized. Available in Sky Blue, Jungle Green, and Safari Red. Socially Responsible, Fair Trade, Green.

WC-MKATE-SKYMkate Handled Basket – Set of 3
This bread basket set is a unique and functional addition to any dining room table or kitchen. Use it for storing your breakfast pastries, cookies, or warm dinner rolls. Available in Sky Blue, Jungle Green, and Safari Red. Comes with one small, one medium, and one large basket. Socially Responsible, Fair Trade, Green.

Handmade in the USA

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In honor of the July 4th holiday, we’ve chosen a selection of our Handmade in the USA products that we think you’ll love! These Green+™ items are smart choices that help your company enhance its corporate social responsibility footprint and encourage recipients to celebrate all that our great country represents. There’s no better way to celebrate the birth of our nation than with 4th of July promotions and incentives!

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Mahogany Octagon 12″ Quartz Clock

This elegant mahogany octagon hardwood clock features a white dial with Roman numerals and glass crystal with bezel. The Chicago Lighthouse is a non-profit agency committed to helping the blind and visually impaired. Fair Wage, Green, Made in the USA. Retail: $74.45

 

BE-2VOTVotive Gift Set Duo

Our votive gift set is like scented fireworks for your home. Each gift set contains two glass votive soy candles in Vanilla Honey and Aloe Lily. Fair Wage, Green, Made in the USA. Retail: $13.00

RX-BOTTLEBottle Opener

Sure to become the most useful tool in your home. Made in Chicago from stainless steel and reclaimed lumber destined for the landfill. Fair Wage, Green, Made in the USA. Retail: $25.00

 

GB-BROWN8Gourmet 8-Piece Brownie Box

Pack eight times the happiness with this 8-piece box of gourmet brownies.  Choose from Brown Sugar Blondie, Chocolate Fudge, Walnut Fudge, or Assorted. Fair Wage, Made in the USA. Retail: $25.00

LF-TRIO-clipped

Jam Trio

Three favorite preserves in one fabulous gift assortment. A small wooden box arrives with blueberry, strawberry, and red raspberry preserves. Fair Wage, Made in the USA. Retail: $25.00

Important Announcement!

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Customers and friends: We are excited to announce that we changed our company name from Helping Hand Rewards to HHP/helping hand partners to better reflect who we are and what we do.

The past year was an incredible one for Helping Hand Rewards; we received our 501(c)(3) certification which will allow us to really focus our efforts. The first step was a minor rebrand—we’re the same people with the same great service.

We are also moving to a much larger facility where we will be warehousing our products and fulfilling orders! Due to the move, we will not be shipping on Friday, September 19th or Monday, September 22nd, but will resume shipping on Tuesday, September 23rd.

Your patronage and support of our organization has allowed us to expand, and for this we thank you! Our telephone number will remain the same, but our new address is:

770 N. Halsted St., Ste. 105
Chicago, IL 60642

Effective Friday, September 19th, our new website URL and email addresses will be:

www.HelpingHandPartners.com

Mike Arkes
President & Founder
mike@helpinghandpartners.com

Dena Hirschberg
VP, Marketing & Sales
dena@helpinghandpartners.com

Lucy Kron
Sales, Incentive Market
lucy@helpinghandpartners.com

Jessie Jury
Communications Manager
jessie@helpinghandpartners.com

 

Allyson Zelinski
Graphic Designer
allyson@helpinghandpartners.com

Thank you all so much for your continued support and awesome relationships.

Introducing Our New Partners

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New Partners Email GraphicWe are so proud to announce our two new partnerships with the Bangladesh based organization, Motif Ltd., and the USA based organization, Ūsful Glassworks. These exciting collaborations allow us to support the good they’re doing in the world—providing sustainable futures to those who need a little help—by promoting their exceptional products. Let us introduce you to them:

Motif Ltd.

motif_logo_squareMotif is a fair trade organization that generates and fulfills deep hope and sustainable livelihoods for Bangladeshi women and men. Motif works directly with 20 to 100 artisans at any given time, while touching the lives of many more family and community members. Women are given a ‘safe place’ where they earn a good wage with integrity and respect. Whether inspired by the local traditions and materials of Bangladesh or custom designed, all Motif products are handmade from recycled, eco-friendly materials.

Here are a couple of products we’re offering from the Motif jute collection:

MOT-SHOP-Clipped

 

Jute Shopping Bag
Handmade from jute and cotton net weave, this super-size bag is lightweight, strong, and stylish. Features an outer pocket for everything eco-friendly. Straps measure 21″. Bag measures 14.5″H x 15″W x 5″D. Socially Responsible, Fair Trade, Green.

 

MOT-GROC-Clipped

 

Jute Foldaway Grocery Bag
This strong, lightweight, eco-friendly foldaway bag is made from jute and cotton, and is a statement of all things good for your groceries. Pouch measures 5.5″ square. Bag measures 14″H x 13″W x 6″D. Socially Responsible, Fair Trade, Green. 

 

Ūsful Glassworks

UsfulLogoPrimaryŪsful Glassworks is a USA based nonprofit organization out of Boise, Idaho that produces repurposed glassware from empty wine, liquor, beer, and soda bottles. Ūsful’s mission is to help those with job barriers feel useful again by creating environmentally friendly products while building proficiency in workplace ethics, production operations and other vocational skills. Their job-training participants include offenders, refugees, homeless, at-risk youth, veterans, those on public assistance, and low-income seniors.

Here are a couple of products we’re offering from the Ūsful glassware collection:

UG-12SET-AMB

Tumbler Glass Gift Set of 4, 12 oz.
This four pack of recycled wine bottle glasses is a terrific conversation piece at any gathering. Made from 750ml wine bottles, these tumbler-sized glasses come in Clear, Green, Olive, Amber, and Variety Pack. Great for serving water, wine, juice, or beer. Dishwasher and microwave safe. Socially Responsible, Fair Wage, Green, Made in the USA. 

 

UG-CARSET-GRNWine Bottle Carafe Set
This carafe set is an elegant gift for anyone on your list! Made from Italian glass, this set includes four 10 oz. glasses wine bottle glasses and a beautiful matching decanter. All five pieces are made from recycled 750 ml wine bottles. Available in Clear, Green, and Olive. Socially Responsible, Fair Wage, Green, Made in the USA.

Travel Gift Ideas

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Summer’s here, and that means vacation is too! Why not customize a unique travel accessory for your clients to use on their next trip? Not only are these products handmade, they’re socially responsible as well; your purchase supports causes like empowering impoverished women, providing free education for children of the artisans, and providing job training and support for homeless and at-risk youth. Stand out from the crowd and make a difference in someone’s life by choosing a unique, socially responsible item to promote your business.

FIVE-BAGTAG-ALLCOLORSLuggage Tag – Retail: $12.00

Dress your luggage for your next destination with these beautiful and rugged luggage tags handmade from netting under fair trade labor practices in Cambodia. The purchase of this product provides income, dignity, and hope to the artisans and their families and free daycare and preschool for their children. Fair Trade.

 

FIVE-TRAVPASSPORT-GRNPassport Travel Wallet – Retail: $32.00

Keep travel documents and important papers together in this stylish pouch handmade from netting under fair labor practices in Cambodia. Features include snap closure and two zippered pockets. The purchase of this product provides income, dignity, and hope to the artisans and their families and free daycare and preschool for their children. Fair Trade.

 

FIVE-TRAVBUDDY-AllColorsTravel Buddy Organizer – Retail: $38.00 

Prepare for your next trip with this folding organizer handmade from netting under fair trade labor practices in Cambodia. Features include multiple transparent and net pockets as well as a loop for hanging. The purchase of this product provides income, dignity, and hope to the artisans and their families and free daycare and preschool for their children. Fair Trade.

 

BE-TTTSET

Tea & Tin Travel Set – Retail: $14.00

Each travel set contains one Lemon Tea 2 oz. travel-sized eco-friendly soy candle and two pods of Lemon Tea scented bath teas. This product is handmade by employees at Bright Endeavors, the social enterprise for New Moms. Inc. Bright Endeavors provides a job-development training program for homeless and at-risk young mothers between the ages of 17 and 24. Fair Wage, Green, Made in the USA. 

 

MG-WKEND-MATEA

Matea Weekender – Retail: $328.00

Handmade by Guatemalan artisans, the Matea Weekender combines traditional stripes with intricate hand-woven brocade. Features include inner and outer pockets, a detachable strap, and macramé pompom details. Accented with nickel hardware and 100% cotton. The purchase of this product provides basic necessities such as nutritious meals for Mercado Global’s women cooperative members and their families, as well as schooling for their children. Fair Trade.

Press Release: We Partner With The Chicago Lighthouse To Reach Incentive and Promotional Markets

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Helping Hand Rewards (HHR), a Chicago-based organization that provides business development and marketing assistance to social enterprises, has added The Chicago Lighthouse to its list of mission-driven partners. HHR is helping this important social service agency promote the wall clocks made by Chicago Lighthouse Industries-its modern manufacturing facility employing blind and visually impaired workers-to the corporate, incentive, promotional, and recognition markets.

Since 1906, the Lighthouse has been a national trendsetter in providing educational, clinical, vocational, and rehabilitation services that open doors of opportunity for people with visual impairments. Chicago Lighthouse Industries holds the official contract for manufacturing clocks for the U.S. government. In a given year, it manufactures between 160,000 and 200,000 clocks distributed around the world. The sale of this merchandise helps fund a wide array of social service programs, including the nation’s oldest Low Vision Clinic, a nationally acclaimed school for children with multi-disabilities, an innovative Legal Clinic to help combat discrimination, and a VA program to assist veterans in all 50 states.

Helping Hand Rewards was founded in 2006 by Michael Arkes, CEO of Hinda Incentives. His goal in starting the organization was to stimulate mutually beneficial relationships between businesses committed to social responsibility and social enterprises, like The Chicago Lighthouse, that manufacture and sell merchandise for the sole purpose of giving people in need the knowledge and resources to take charge and improve their lives.

“With the unemployment rate for blind people hovering around 70 percent, there is a tremendous need to support the agencies and organizations working proactively to provide training, job counseling, placement services, and employment opportunities to people with visual impairments,” said Arkes. “Organizations like The Chicago Lighthouse understand the critical and fundamental importance of giving people the knowledge and resources to be economically independent and self-sufficient rather than just giving them a hand-out.”

In addition to The Chicago Lighthouse, HHR partners with nine other social enterprises that primarily focus on creating opportunities for people to overcome barriers to employment and self-sufficiency. Using a zero-based profit structure, HHR provides marketing, business development, and distribution expertise to these partners and helps them connect with potential customers. For more information, visit www.HelpingHandRewards.org.

Winning Awards and Podcasting: HHR’s Week at the Motivation Show

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Building off of our success from last year and adding a couple of new partners along the way, Helping Hand Rewards had yet another great Motivation Show. This past summer we added Lambs Farm to the HHR product mix and they proved to be a fun addition to our booth line-up.

In regards to last year, we did more educating people about who we were and what we were all about. Apparently the word had spread and we talked with several people who were familiar with our organization and the social missions we strive to help accomplish. Thanks to a few other areas of recognition, we were able to steal the spotlight on a couple of extra occasions.

Of foremost importance was the recognition bestowed upon our founder Michael Arkes by the IMA Circle of Excellence. This year, Michael won the organization’s first annual award in Social Responsibility. Thanks to his efforts pioneering CSR in the incentives marketplace with Helping Hand Rewards, Michael was definitely a deserving candidate for this honor.

Our new friends @lambsfarm

In addition, HHR received some internet airtime. Thanks to the gracious invitation of Paul Hebert, the Managing Director of I2I, we were invited to speak on his Influence Insiders monthly podcast about our organization. A huge thanks goes out to Paul and his willingness to help spread our message and help further achieve our social mission goals. Check out the entirety of that podcast by clicking here. We come in around the six minute mark of the show.

All in all we had what should be described as a very successful week. What were some of your take-aways from this year’s Motivation Show?