As a Certified B Corporation, Opticos is committed to a triple bottom line that includes sustainable business, accountability, transparency, and meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance. As part of our B Corp goals, Opticos sets aside a portion of money on an annual basis to give to a charity or group of charities that are important to us.
Below is a selection of local and international groups that we have contributed to in the past or hope to contribute to in the future. This holiday season, why not join us to support your favorite charitable organization in whatever way you can?
Planting Justice has built more than 250 edible permaculture gardens in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2009. The group works with local high schools to develop food justice curriculums and also jobs in the food justice movement for men transitioning from the prison system. The Planting Justice education team also leads workshops using their self-designed curriculum in food justice, culinary arts, and permaculture design to give the participants the skills and knowledge they need to transform their common spaces into productive and educational organic gardens. Planting Justice gratefully accepts donations and also offers a number of ways to get involved. (Main image courtesy of Planting Justice.)
Hogar Sagrado Corazón
The Hogar Sagrado Corazón orphanage and school in Montero, Bolivia provides a home to around 120 girls that have been abandoned, orphaned, or victims of abuse. The school has several ongoing renovation projects including repairing the roofs of several dormitories and rebuilding bathrooms. Donations can be earmarked for construction projects, food, or clothing. Sister Rosario Huanca, director of the school, also hopes to some day build an orchestra and is seeking donations to hire a music teacher. Designer Melia West spent a year volunteering at the Hogar before joining Opticos in 2012. Instructions for how to donate can be found on the Hogar Sagrado Corazón’s website.
TransForm, California’s leading non-profit promoting transportation and walkable communities, seeks to change regional transportation priorities to link land use and transportation decisions by merging the goals of social justice and environmental groups, and encouraging them to broaden the way they think about transportation and planning. They also advocate for the planning and implementation of safer streets and bike paths, expanding urban mass transit, and building housing developments within walking distance of transit hubs. Opticos Principal Dan Parolek recently joined the TransForm board. TransForm’s current fundraising goals include raising $50,000 by December 31st through their Campaign to Connect California. Click now to support TransForm’s efforts!
Women’s Daytime Drop-In Center
The Women’s Daytime Drop-In Clinic was the first daytime program for homeless women and children in Berkeley. The center offers free meals, support groups, counseling, children’s programs, and a transitional housing program. The center accepts donations and is actively seeking volunteers for a variety of roles.
Engineering2Empower is a housing initiative with the goal of designing safe and affordable houses founded by members of the University of Notre Dame engineering department in response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The group has since designed two housing prototypes that can be practically implemented using locally available technologies, capabilities, and materials. E2E has already built its first home, and recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to begin construction of five more homes in 2015.
Youth Spirit Artworks
Youth Spirit Artworks is a Berkeley-based interfaith “green” art jobs and job training program homeless and low-income young people ages 16-25 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The group offers three primary programs: The Fine Art program teaches youth to create artwork from traditional, recycled, and reused materials; the Community Art program engages youth to create murals and other public art to revitalize their neighborhood; and the Art Entrepreneurship and Sales program teaches young people how to market and sell original and reproduced artwork using entrepreneurial and business skills. Youth Spirit Artworks is currently seeking new board members and volunteers, as well as donations.
Envision Academy Sailing Team
The Envision Academy Sailing Team was founded by Anthony Sandberg, who also founded Berkeley’s Olympic Circle Sailing Club. Sandberg’s goal for the team is to make sailing accessible for hundreds of Oakland teenagers, many of them from low-income families. OCSC is partnering with the Treasure Island Sailing Center, which specializes in teaching teens to sail, and the tuition-free charter high school to create the extra-curricular sailing program that Sandberg says will have a profound effect on Envision students’ lives, positively affecting college acceptance and future successes. Many OCSC boat owners have donated the use of their boat, as well as funds toward the program. Sandberg has said that any funds needed for the program that can’t be raised through donations, he will contribute himself. Donations to the EAST sailing program can be made through the TISC website.
The SAGE Project
The SAGE Project, (Standing Against Global Exploitation), is a survivor-led and focused organization working to bring national attention to commercial sexual exploitation and human trafficking for sex and labor. The group provides local and regional services to adults and youth who have been affected by sexual exploitation, trauma, and abuse. SAGE also works nationally and internationally to address the demand side of sexual exploitation, train organizations other organizations and communities on how to assist survivors, and works law enforcement and lawmakers to understand the dynamics of trauma and exploitation. SAGE accepts donations via their website, and you can also make a donation in the name of or in memory of a loved one.
Opticos became one of the first Certified B Corporations in 2007, and in 2012, became one of 12 initial California Benefit Corporations. Opticos was recently named to the B Corp 2013 Best for Workers list, putting the company among the top 10% of all B Corps that create a positive impact for their workers.
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