Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Anya's Garden is Giving Goats - and Grants

Earlier today my assistant Giselle blogged on the Natural Perfumers Guild blog about a microgrant program that is being started to provide assistance to growers and distillers of botanical aromatics worldwide. The Guild will help those involved in our industry, while I have chosen to "pay it forward" to a wider variety of folks.

I've donated a percentage of my income from Anya's Garden to the Red Cross and other rescue agencies since the garden began. Living in Miami, my heart goes out to those in need because of natural disasters. We've been slammed so many times down here I've lost count, and organizations like the Red Cross always come through. Now as my business picks up, I have the need to give more. I'm fortunate and blessed, and grateful, and when I lay my head down at night I want to feel I've made the world a better place - and I'll be you do, too, so maybe you'll follow my lead on this.

Let's face it - perfume is a luxury, and natural perfume even more of a luxury. The art of it satisfies my soul, and I have a decent income from sales, teaching and consulting to the industry. So today I started to share more of the monies I make from Anya's Garden with people and causes near and dear to my heart. The world is full of those for whom a roof over their head, daily food, medical supplies or schooling are a luxury. Day-to-day life is a struggle, and we need to step up and help.

First stop - Global Girlfriend (part of GreaterGood/Hunger Site) and imagine my smile and good vibes as I helped a Rwandan family receive two goats - although goat hair tincture was not listed as one of the products they obtain from the goats ;-) On this site you'll find any number of charitable choices - I also donated to help send two Afghani girls to school and purchase a stove for Darfur refugees.

My first donation was made in honor of Mother Cedella Marley Booker, who passed this past April. She traveled to Rwanda in the past and helping the people of that country was near and dear to her heart. Rest in peace, Mother B.

For the upcoming crop of students for my natural perfumery class - $50 of each tuition payment will be donated to a charity. I will make a lump sum donation and try to leverage it with a matching grant.

I encourage all natural perfumers, associates and suppliers - we who for the most part live in a safe part of the world, we who don't have to worry about where our next meal is coming from - to consider upping your charitable contributions. There is a worldwide food crisis, a fuel shortage (which greatly affects those in the Third World) and other problems - and every little bit helps. Open your hearts and help, please. It will do you and the recipient a world of good.

Next goal: solar cooking ovens for Haiti

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