Fashion Philanthropy: 5 Amazing Women Who Are Giving Back

These entrepreneurs make giving back an essential part of their companies (6 Photos)

Dawn Papandrea on Aug 1, 2013 at 11:17AM

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Donna Spiegel

The Snooty Fox

a Dawn Papandrea on Apr 12, 2011 at 1:52PM

The Company
The Snooty Fox is one of the largest retail consignment chains in the country with 12 locations.

The Cause
Funds raised via Spiegel's business have built The Greater Cincinnati Conductive Learning Center, a nonprofit school that helps children with Cerebral Palsy and other motor challenge syndromes get specialized therapy and treatment.

"I knew that my loyal customers would be all for helping out such a worthwhile cause that could help children with motor challenge syndromes (CP and others) throughout Greater Cincinnati. So one of the things I did was develop a discount loyalty card," explains Spiegel. Customers who purchase a $10 "platinum card" receive a 10% discount off all merchandise. This 10% savings goes directly to The Greater Cincinnati Conductive Learning Center.

"Last year alone, $100,000 was raised for the school, which is entirely paid for by gifts and donations," she says. "My customers know that when they are shopping with this card they are helping the school, and some very special children, and by that I am deeply touched.

The Inspiration
Spiegel's own grandson, Dayton, was diagnosed with a motor challenge syndrome that mimics Cerebral Palsy at a very young age. "We were told by doctors that he would never walk or talk. I refused to believe what doctors were saying, and knew that I had to do everything that I could to find a program that would help him gain the greatest level of independence possible," she says. She researched and discovered a Hungarian form of therapy called Conductive Learning. "Children work with specially trained 'conductors' who work on basic everyday tasks that involve movement on a repetitive basis, usually four to eight hours a day. Unfortunately there was no program in Greater Cincinnati, and I had to take matters into my own hands." The Conducive Learning Center of Greater Cincinnati opened in September 2006.

Today, Dayton can walk and is beginning to verbalize, even saying his first few words; and other children are having similar success. "I am on a mission to tell the world!"

The Takeaway
You can truly do any type of charitable work if you have a business background, assures Spiegel. "Don't be afraid to use your business connections and your clients -- they will help if you just ask," she says. "One path in life leads us to the next, and I credit my retail business with helping me open the doors of my center."

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