Social Enterprise Is The Winning Ticket For Everyone

I just returned from a five day "spa souljourn" and my world-weary self was gifted a reprieve from the daily onslaught of challenges. Imagine feeding your mind/body/spirit with only the best in luxury pampering, gourmet healthy cuisine and loving experiences. What an opportunity, getting away from it all while being engulfed by loving healers and professional feel-good envoys. It could not have come at a better time, with stress peaking in all areas of my life. Having a technology detox in addition to all of the other attributes of visiting a healing retreat, lifted the heavy cloak of negativity that I was wearing for several months.

We all need a way to release stress, especially at peak times like now, before the presidential election where so much disinformation is bombarding us daily. It may seem like all we are being fed is negativity, from the mass media barrage of news, weather and even sports.

Yet this morning I woke up to rain, the kind of real drizzle that has been missing for several months, in this drought-ridden state of California. This is good news for us. So I decided to seek out other good news that would continue my good vibrations from the previous week at the Golden Door Spa in San Marcos, California.

Visiting a spa may seem frivolous and self-indulgent, especially with all of the chaos ensuing in the world today. However, we're always told by the airline personnel that in case of emergency be sure to put the oxygen mask on ourselves first before we take care of our children. The truth is, we need to be strong so we can help others. The balance we gain from taking care of ourselves can then go back into the community.

Taking care of ourselves is the first line of defense so we can gain strength to assist others. What's even more noble is that some of these places are focused on giving back, as well.

As Golden Door General Manager, Kathy Van Ness says,

"The Golden Door changes people's lives every day. And part of our mission now is that Golden Door wants to give it back. The Golden Door has joined with the local government of Escondido, California, to keep the doors open at Forensic Health Services, which helps victims of child abuse and sexual assault. By pledging 100 percent of the resort's net profits to 'select charities in support of their missions,' that's how, Golden Door shares

How great is that? To indulge oneself in something so wonderful and also be linked into a new business model that gives all of its profits to charity!

Count me in!

Their motto :"WE RECEIVE BY GIVING... We give thanks for our fortune by helping where and when we can" is a 21st century business model that is catching on quickly.

One of the first corporations to give all its after-tax profits to charity was Newman's Own, founded by actor Paul Newman and A.E. Hotchner in 1982. The Golden Door has created its own new business model. Like Newman's Own, which started out with a homemade salad dressing and has grown into a many-faceted food company, this private non-profit organization gives back to various educational and charitable organizations.

It started out as a joke and sort of got out of control -- Paul Newman

This tiny boutique operation has been around for 30 years, and Newman's Own Foundation have given over $450 million to thousands of charities.

Social media is now giving rise to so many kinds of viral fundraising campaigns. Remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge with all of the Facebook videos of friends, celebrities and corporate honchos joining in, having frozen buckets of ice spilled over their heads? This fundraising phenomenon broke out like a racehorse at the starting gate and become a huge success.

As the story goes, it began when Pete Frates, a former Boston College baseball player, was diagnosed with ALS in 2011. On July 31, 2014, he challenged some friends and celebrities (including NFL quarterbacks Tom Brady and Matt Ryan) to take the ice bucket challenge to "strike out ALS." More than 17 million people participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge to support ALS and other causes. Nationally, 2.5 million people donated $115 million to the ALS Association.

"The money from the challenge has helped fund the research and development of treatment drugs and has been used as prize money to entice people to design technology for people living with the disease, which causes a rapid breakdown in a person's ability to control muscle movement," reported Katie Rogers of the The New York Times.

As a health and wellness reporter, I noticed that even in my industry, there are companies looking to help promote charities in their own way. I recently came across several companies who are using their brand to help raise awareness for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. A disease which affects the lives of millions around the country and even more globally. As an avid preventative medical advocate, many of my contemporaries are passionate about giving back, and making sure they take the proper nutritional supplements and early detection measures.

So it is important to remember that amongst the greed and ruthlessness in modern business, there are those who make substantial efforts to give back and evidence of the good that still gets done in this world. This in spite of the constant reminder of war, fear-mongering in financial markets and politicians failing to indicate what they would do for the better of the country in favor of mud-slinging.

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