La Petite Caravane In Support of Room to Read

07Jun11

Beyond awakening curiosity, creativity and imagination in children who wear clothes from La Petite Caravane, I want to support other children.

For that reason, I will donate 10 percent of the price of each item sold at the trunk shows to my favorite cause: Room to Read. (I will also have a collection jar for people who want to donate more.)

Where and when are the trunk shows? Full list here.

In 2007 I launched the first Room to Read event in Paris and have seen how they open horizons for children by providing books. John Wood, a friend, built the organization after leaving his job at Microsoft. It is a remarkable story that he turned into a book, Leaving Microsoft to Change the World.

Looking ahead, I want to integrate social change for good into La Petite Caravane.

Most would agree this is a worthy goal, but how?

Any business aiming for social change needs to do so in a sincere, transparent and credible manner.

There are a number of models to follow, perhaps the best pioneered by Marc Benioff, founder of Salesforce.com.

Benioff, whom I once met briefly, is wildly passionate about his company’s role in society. He began with a concept that evolved into a pledge by Salesforce to dedicate 1 percent of its resources into making the world a better place.

At the start, that was a small pledge. Now, however, Salesforce has grown into a Silicon Valley giant working to spread the model.

The one percent model involves dedicating:

- 1 percent of time: All Salesforce employees get 6 paid days off a year devoted to volunteerism.

- 1 percent of product: Salesforce donates licenses to non-profits to help them increase effectiveness.

- 1 percent equity: Salesforce dedicated one percent of the company’s stock, which now provides for grants and monetary assistance to support youth, technology and employee-inspired volunteer projects.

Should La Petite Caravane adopt the 1 percent model?

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