Spanx Founder Gives Half Her Fortune To Charity


Sara Blakely is the first female billionaire to join The Giving Pledge, a call to action from Warren Buffet, and Bill and Melinda Gates to the nation's billionaires to give half their net worth to charity. Just by reading the first paragraphs of her Giving Pledge letter, it seems that this is something Blakely's been waiting for her whole life.

"Since I was a little girl," she says, "I have always known I would help women." She also wrote she is grateful to have been born a woman in the United States. "I never lose sight that I was born in the right country at the right time, and that there are millions of women around the world who are not dealt the same deck of cards... They are not given the same chance I had to create my own success and follow my dreams. It is for those women that I make this pledge."

According to CNN, Blakely founded Spanx in 2000 and is still 100% owned by her. CBS reported that last year, the company was valued at $1 billion, and is estimated to have annual sales of $250 million.

In her letter, Blakely writes about her company's continual in-house practice of philanthropy. "We have a rotating philanthropy board made up of employees," she wrote. Each board is allocated a portion of money and employees volunteer their time to research which charity should receive it. Once a decision has been reached, they make a surprise visit to the organization with a check and "witness the tears firsthand." Blakely and her staff have made it so other female entrepreneurs can promote their products in in their catalog free of charge, sent women to college, built homes, and even joined in a dance flash mob to end violence against women. At first glance, one might wonder how Spanx does so well while focusing so much energy on charity--energy that could be spent exclusively on making Spanx more successful. The key to success, however, seems to be more rooted in giving, and serving others.

Professor Adam Grant is the youngest tenured and highest-rated professor at The Wharton School, the United States' oldest business school. He's published more papers in top-tier journals than most of his colleagues that have won lifetime achievement awards, according to NYTimes MagazineHe teaches organizational psychology, and dedicates his time to unpacking his own success to help people become efficient and productive enough to reach their goals. He, like Blakely, makes an effort to help those who need it.

Adam Grant, via Give and Take

He told NYTimes Staff Writer, Susan Dominus, the following:

"The greatest untapped source of motivation, he argues, is a sense of service to others; focusing on the contribution of our work to other people’s lives has the potential to make us more productive than thinking about helping ourselves."

In an interview with CBS News, Blakely talked about the importance of practicing philanthropy as part of a business plan. "You don't have to make all your money, sell it, then become philanthropic," she said. "Engage your company." Engagement in a continual practice of giving seems to be the key to not only success, but also to the self-fulfillment of one's work. Both Blakely's and Grant's success proves that giving is not a one way street, and that it is an investment in others that we won't regret.


These Portraits Of Fallen Heroes Are Healing Hearts

** OGTV's second MILITARY MATTERS playlist story of the week is about the generosity of a Vietnam veteran who uses his artistic skills to create portraits of fallen heroes and then donates them to their families. **

There may be no right answer on how to grieve a loved one, but Michael G. Reagan and George W. Bush have found ways to help.

Keep reading... Show less

3rd Generation Family Farm is Bustling Community Hub - South Mountain Creamery

** OGTV celebrates Ice Cream Day with this story about a family that has been farming the same land for 3 generations and now has the first on farm dairy processing plant in Maryland that home delivers their own milk, yogurt, and ice cream. **

The Sowers family has been farming in Middletown, Maryland for almost 40 years and in all that time their philosophy has never changed - producing and delivering products that you can put on your table and feel good about. Fresh. Produced responsibly. Wholesome and nutritious.

Keep reading... Show less

Veterinarian is a Modern Day Dr. Dolittle - Dr. Amy Jo's Wild Life (Part 1)

** OGTV's first GOOD STORY of the week is about the "wild" life of Dr. Amy Jo Pilmer, a Texas Veterinarian with a heart for animals that is as big as her state. **

This is the story of a modern day Dr. Doolittle with her own personal wildlife sanctuary, a local veterinarian who's life is dedicated to caring for unusual and extraordinary animals. These animals have become more than her patients or pets, they have become her family!

Keep reading... Show less

Rising Pop Star and Cancer Survivor - Caly On The Good (Trailer)

In this original OGTV series, Caly On The Good, viewers are going to be able to follow Caly as she inspires other young adults with cancer, works with various organizations and charities, and tries to launch her pop music career. Caly is using her new found platform to support other survivors. "No matter what happens with music, I will always fight for people who have cancer." See all of Caly's inspiring moments here!

Keep reading... Show less

Cooking To Say Thank You - Random Acts Of Cooking (E2:P2)

** To celebrate World Gratitude Day, OGTV is sharing this story that follows our friend, Chef Plum, as he guides a bunch of students through the skills and process of creating a celebratory meal to honor their mentors and teachers. **

St. Benedict's Prep in Newark, New Jersey is devoted to educating young men to help them fulfill their potential. In Part 2 of this 3 part episode of Random Acts of Cooking, Chef Plum is going to put the potential of seven students to a test that they have never faced - preparing, cooking, and presenting a celebratory meal in honor of their school teachers and mentors.

Keep reading... Show less

Army Ranger Uses Fashion For Freedom

** OGTV's first Military Matters playlist video of the week is about a veteran of the war in Afghanistan who returned there to help survivors establish businesses so they could begin to lead better lives. **

Matthew "Griff" Griffin is a Graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and served in the 75th Ranger Regiment as a Rifle Company Fire Support Officer with three tours to Afghanistan and one tour to Iraq. Despite his years of training and a built up perception of what serving in a foreign country would be like, Griff's perspective was challenged on his first deployment as soon as his boots hit the ground. "Within the first two days of being in Afghanistan I really needed to work my empathy muscles because it is the most impoverished place I have ever seen in my entire life."

Keep reading... Show less

Honoring Service People Around The World - Military Matters (Trailer)

OGTV has a long tradition of sharing the lives of our brave service men and women - their heroic achievements, their physical and mental challenges, and their inspirational strength in the face of adversity. We invite you to watch all of their stories during our MILITARY MATTERS Playlist Week here!

Keep reading... Show less

Ryan's Recycling: 9-Year-Old Entrepreneur Goes Green and then Goes Global!

** OGTV celebrates National Cleanup Day with this story about a young man who has gone green! He has his own recycling company so that he can help the environment while keeping cans and bottles away from the ocean and the marine mammals he loves. **

Ryan Hickman is a kid with a unique perspective about how he likes to spend his free time. "We all have our passions," he explains. "My only sport is recycling…which is probably not a sport to other kids, but it is to me…so it's a sport!"

In 2012 at the age of 3, Ryan went along with his dad, Damion, to the local recycling center and cashed in a few small bags of cans and bottles and quickly decided that recycling was in his future. The very next day, Ryan notified his parents that he wanted to give empty plastic bags to all their neighbors and maybe they would save their recyclables for him. Not only did the local neighbors rally to support Ryan' efforts, but so did their friends, families and co-workers. Today, Ryan has customers all over Orange County, CA.

Keep reading... Show less


* OGTV Top Videos *

Watch and Subscribe
It's a Positivity Movement
OnlyGood TV on YouTube


Get your Only Good TV Newsletter