Items that help our Earth… as well as others!

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Earth Day, April 22nd, marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. At HHR, every day is Earth Day! We like to call what we do Green+™: offering opportunities for companies to practice not only environmental sustainability but social sustainability, too. These solutions are great for companies like yours, that are looking to enhance their corporate social responsibility footprints.

JOURNALEvery Litter Bit Helps Journal

These beautiful journals are handmade by a family of artisans in in Tegallalang, Bali who have mastered the art of turning nature’s litter into art. They collect the materials from their garden to create the covers and make paper using a kitchen blender. The family also employs women and older members of the community who are able to work from home. Available in Brown and Green/Brown Circles. Retail: $18.

WASHIron Washer Bowl

Let freedom ring – Freedom and independence ring true in these bold iron bowls. Artisans of Noah’s Ark in Moradabad, India collect each individual iron ring from local repair shops, hand-welding each of the nearly 1,000 connection points. Noah’s Ark provides jobs and stability where few employment opportunities exist – offering women the freedom to live independently. Retail: $30 11” bowl and $40 14” bowl.

WINERecycled Colored Glass Wine Bottle

A “green” candle inside and out, reclaimed and recycled wine bottles are used to create each cobalt blue or green glass container, then filled with hand poured eco-friendly soy wax. Created by the social enterprise for New Moms Inc., which provides a job development training program for homeless and at-risk young mothers between the ages of 17 and 24. Available scents: Vanilla Honey, Pacific Redwood, Aloe Lily, Lemon Tea, Yuzu Coconut, and Lavender Milk. Approximate burn time: 40 hrs. Retail: $30.

debDeborah Clutch

Eco-friendly, chic and perfect for all occasions, this recycled “pop-tab” purse was designed by the motivated young women of Moda Esperanza in Honduras. These women and single mothers, many of whom are orphans themselves, are empowered by earning a fair wage, turning recycled pop tabs into beautiful purses. Available in Black and Pewter. Retail: $32.


YOGARecycled Yoga Bag

Made from recycled Vietnamese rice bags, this yoga bag is perfect for the yoga enthusiast! Features a drawstring closure and shoulder strap. Proceeds increase economic opportunity for women in Cambodia and support organizations that fight human trafficking in Southeast Asia. Available in Green, Light Blue and Red. Retail: $22.


MESSENGERRecycled Motorcycle Seat/Netting Messenger

Both durable and functional, this eco-friendly messenger bag is made from recycled motorcycle seats and recycled netting. Features include an adjustable strap, snap hook for keys, front pocket, back pocket, and two inside pockets. The purchase of this product provides income, dignity and hope to artisans and their families and free daycare for their children. Available in Black and Brown. Retail: $74 Small and $80 Large.

Helping Hand Rewards Newsletter – November 2012

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Welcome to the November issue of the Helping Hand Rewards Newsletter

Our newsletter brings you the latest information from Helping Hand Rewards and our socially responsible partners.

This issue includes:

  • 2012 Motivation Show Highlights
  • Education Spotlight: Help Your Customers Get a Competitive Edge
  • New Partner Spotlight: Misericordia
  • Case Study: State University Alumni Association Giveaway 

Click here for the current issue.

Looking for great holiday gift ideas? Let us know your budget and we’ll suggest some socially responsible gift items!

CSR at the Motivation Show

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With new partners and a few social media tricks up our sleeve, we’re getting excited about this year’s Motivation Show. Setting up shop at Booth #4503 this year will be a treat to anybody browsing through the show floor.

We will be featuring several of our social enterprise partners at our booth this year. New to the team is Lambs Farm, a social enterprise located in the Chicago suburbs bringing samples of cookies and other baked goods to the show. Our additional new partner is Nikaya Handcrafted who will have a few jewelry samples at our booth including their “community bracelet” – a bracelet made out of recycled bomb shell casings!

In addition to adding new friends to our old friends like Greyston Bakery, Bright Endeavors, Mary Fisher, Women’s Bean Project and Mercado Global, we will try and be active social media participants during the show. Adding to what Hinda Incentives said in their blog post, we will actively engage with others on the show through the #moti Twitter hashtag. If you’re watching afar from online, keep your eyes peeled at our YouTube channel for videos from the show including some potential Q&A with some of our partner groups.

Going to be at the show? Stop on by and say hello (or even check-in on Foursquare) to the most socially responsible booth in McCormick place (#4503). You may even get some free food samples while you’re there.

Lambs Farm: Bringing More Than Baked Goods to the HHR Table

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Helping Hand Rewards’ newest partner is Chicago-based Lambs Farm, a non-profit organization helping over 260 people with developmental disabilities. Through employment opportunities, these individuals learn valuable vocational skills that can be transferred to other jobs in nearby communities, helping them create more sustainable lives for themselves.

What started as a small pet shop has grown into a sprawling campus. Located in Libertyville, Illinois (a Chicago suburb) they’ve grown their outreach to a country-style restaurant, a petting zoo, a country store and an amazing bakery. With these different business functions all out at their farm, Lambs Farm has been able to help, teach and even house hundreds of mentally disabled individuals have a more normal working life.

Social outreach isn’t all that Lambs Farm brings to the table. Their assortment of baked goods is absolutely out of this world! Famous for their “Butter Cookies,” they also provide toffee and turtleletts. In our Holiday Card assortment this year, we’ll be featuring their “Chocolate Lovers Collection” – three pounds of a lavish chocolate variety including an array of  buttery English toffee, dark, milk and white Lambs Farm logo chocolates, dipped fruit, enrobed sandwich
cookies, dark chocolate nut bark, turtles, nut clusters and coconut patties.

Want to learn more about Lambs Farm? Check them out at or even on Twitter as @lambsfarm.

If you’re attending the Motivation Show this year, it makes a prime opportunity to learn more in person. Lambs Farm will be featured at our Helping Hand Rewards Booth at this years show. Check in at the booth on Foursquare and you’re likely to score some free samples.

Free Coffee: Starbuck’s One Day CSR Campaign

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Starbucks is doing more to improve upon their role as the most socially responsible coffee chain. After all, if you’re going to pay that much for coffee, they might as well be doing some good for the world right?

For one day this year, you get to keep the wallet in your pocket when you approach the Starbucks counter…provided you have your own tumbler. On April 15th, tax day, patrons will have the opportunity to indulge in a free coffee fill up of their tumbler. What’s the occasion?

To offer something free, the Ides of April make for an appropriate enough time, seeing how that’s one day where money will be on almost everyone’s mind thanks to Uncle Sam. From a marketing perspective, it’s a good way to increase foot traffic into stores and potentially increase sales in other products outside of coffee. However, Starbucks has a greater mission in mind. By encouraging consumers to have re-usable mugs for their Starbucks coffee consumption on a regular basis, there will be less paper cups filling up landfills, dumps and littering streets. They are looking to reduce their own footprint on the environment with their own small move of reducing waste.

In the grand scheme of the environmental issues out there, it’s a small step. Though small, it’s those little victories that help achieve greater results.

Michael Arkes Talks CSR

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In the latest edition of IMI Media’s magazine, Hinda CEO and Helping Hand Rewards founder Michael Arkes discusses how corporate social responsiblity is becoming more and more prevalent in meeting planning and and incentive programs. He mentions how products from various HHR partner organizations have been successfully used as corporate gifts and promotional items. Recipientes liked the quality but especially liked the cause it helped as a result of giving/receiving those gifts.

The full article is listed here. Check it out!

Love All. Serve All.

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How does rocking out help out those in need? Hard Rock Cafe has found a way.

Turns out that “Save the Planet” slogan seen in its stores isn’t just for decoration.

Standing behind its “Love All-Serve All” statement, Hard Rock CEO Hamish Dodds uses the company’s resources to partner with numerous philanthropic organizations around the world. Domestically, a Hard Rock Hotel in Biloxi, MS took action helping those less fortunate around the Mississippi Gulf Coast. After receiving new linens for their guest rooms, the hotel decided to distribute their 636 sets of hardly used linens to various organizations across the coast instead of just tossing them away like normal.

Recently, the chain has taken a huge role in aiding World Hunger Year, using celebrities to draw attention and support in the fight against hunger (no, Bono is not in the above video). The video above and another on this page explains more about the program and its results.

Hard Rock isn’t the only company using their resources to achieve social good and give back. What other examples of corporate social responsibility have you seen out there?

CSR’s Bottom Line: Disney Volunteer Day

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If any of you have seen any TV in the last month or so, you more than likely have seen ads featuring Disney’s new offer to boost volunteerism. If you give a day of service to any participating organizations, Disney will give you a free day at one of their parks. This is one pretty neat way the company is encouraging other people to get involved in helping others without just making a lump donation. The program engages people to pick which organization they want to volunteer with, since  people are more passionate about some causes over others.

Disney’s push for volunteerism will also potentially help create more consistency in giving back among those who may not do so on a regular basis. Seeing how many people will only do it just for the free pass, they will be exposed to a new experience and/or organization and could be more inclined to help them out in the future, without the free ticket incentive.

This is not only a win for volunteering, Disney will be able to put up a W for themselves before it’s all said and done. Corporate social responsibility nearly always improves a company’s image and increases the likelihood of the public wanting to do business with them. The image factor isn’t the only way Disney benefits. Admission prices are only a small part of revenue generated from park visits. Anybody who has been to a Disney park knows that the average person spends as much (if not more sometimes) on other things while in the park like dining and souvenirs. This will help the parks earn money from people they may not typically have revenue from.

Who says CSR doesn’t help the bottom line in the end? Genius idea on Disney’s part. What do you think?

Want to see other companies doing good things? Click here to see more!