NEW YORK, March 7 /PRNewswire/ -- In celebration of International Women's Day, Avon Products, Inc., a leading supporter of women's issues, announces a unique new initiative that will empower women and change our world: the Avon Hello Tomorrow Fund. Every week for a year, commencing April 2007, the Hello Tomorrow Fund will award $5,000 to a U.S. individual to help realize a program, project or idea to empower women in one of three areas: business development, community service, or awareness and outreach. The winners will be selected by an expert panel of judges, including Suze Orman, America's most recognized expert on personal finance.
Research has shown that an investment in women is an investment in the community. For over 120 years Avon has provided economic opportunity for women worldwide, often in places and at times when employment options were limited, and today there are 5.3 million independent Avon Sales Representatives in 100 countries. The Hello Tomorrow Fund has been created as another tool to drive the advancement of all women. The Hello Tomorrow Fund was announced by Andrea Jung, Chairman and CEO of Avon, at The Global Summit for a Better Tomorrow held at the United Nations, which was presented by Avon in partnership with the Virtue Foundation.
"The Hello Tomorrow Fund is the latest realization of Avon's profound commitment to empowering women around the world," said Ms. Jung. "Given the resources, women can impact their lives, families and communities in meaningful ways. Women can change our world. It is in this spirit that we have created the Hello Tomorrow Fund, and I am especially gratified that the Hello Tomorrow Fund is also launching in various forms in 18 countries around the globe. Avon understands women, and we also understand the power of the individual to effect significant change."
Ms. Jung announced the first honorary winner of the Hello Tomorrow Fund: Darlene Morgan Brown, Ph.D., a leader in the New Orleans charter school movement whose school was selected to participate in the Virtue Foundation Katrina Education Initiative, a program providing 21st century technology enabled education to hundreds of children affected by Hurricane Katrina. Among Dr. Brown's projects was the successful transformation of failing schools, only to see them heavily damaged by Katrina. With her Hello Tomorrow Fund award, Dr. Brown will start an entrepreneurship program for 6th and 9th grade girls and their mothers in the reconstructed Capital One University of New Orleans Charter School system, which includes many students who still live in trailers. "Education is the means to growth and sustainability for the individual and community," stated Dr. Brown. "Every child has leadership potential and the right to a quality education. With the Hello Tomorrow Fund award I will be able to help secure the financial future of the girls and their mothers."
About the Hello Tomorrow Fund
In the U.S., the Hello Tomorrow Fund will provide one $5,000 award per week to a deserving individual who will be selected from the pool of applicants by an expert panel of judges. Women and men are eligible to apply, and the winning programs must present unique and achievable initiatives to empower women or girls and ultimately improve society in one of three areas:
- Business Development: A for-profit business that directly empowers women through its mission, product or service, or through the means of doing business. - Community Service: A non-profit project or program that helps women of any age realize their full potential or overcome obstacles. - Awareness & Outreach: Educate others about an issue that affects women to inspire and empower other women and have a positive impact on the issue.
Applications and guidelines will be available at all times as of March 8 at www.avon.com/hellotomorrowfund. Application submission and selection of winners will be organized in a quarterly cycle. One winner will be publicly announced every Tuesday through the Hello Tomorrow website beginning April 17, and profiles of the winners will be featured on the website to further share their inspiring ideas.
To further support women's empowerment, www.avon.com/hellotomorrowfund will also offer links to resources and organizations in the areas of the awards -- business development, community service and awareness and outreach -- as well as general women's issues. This service will provide information to all persons interested in these issues regardless of participation in the Hello Tomorrow Fund.
About the Judges
Every application will be thoughtfully and carefully reviewed by an expert panel comprised of notable public figures, philanthropic leaders and heads of business, including:
- Jillian Dempsey: influential makeup artist, beauty industry icon and entrepreneur - Anne T. Dowling: President of the Institute for Cultural Enterprise (ICE), a nonprofit agency; past President of the Texaco Foundation and Director of Corporate Contributions for Altria - Carol M. Kurzig: Executive Director of the Avon Foundation - Joan LaRovere, M.D.: Associate Director of the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at The Royal Brompton Hospital in London and co- founder and Vice President of the Virtue Foundation - Suze Orman: personal finance expert, Emmy Award-winning television host, author, magazine and online columnist, writer/producer, and motivational speaker. Suze's new book, Women & Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny, was just released February 27. - Maria Peninger: Vice President of Representative Development for Avon Products, Inc. and strong advocate for women's empowerment - Cynthia Rowley: award-winning fashion designer, author and entrepreneur - Joseph Salim, D.D.M.: tireless humanitarian, co-founder and Executive Director of the Virtue Foundation - Lynn M. Stekas: nationally-recognized leader in corporate community involvement, philanthropy and volunteerism, and former President of the MONY Foundation To Apply for the Hello Tomorrow Fund
The fastest way to apply or learn more is at www.avon.com/hellotomorrowfund. For those without internet access, a friend or colleague can download a printable PDF file of the application on the website, or a request for paper copies of application materials can be sent to: Hello Tomorrow Fund, c/o Changing Our World, 220 East 42nd Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10017.
About The Global Summit for a Better Tomorrow
The Avon Hello Tomorrow Fund was announced at The Global Summit for a Better Tomorrow, which marked the eve of International Women's Day. The Global Summit for a Better Tomorrow took place at the United Nations in New York City on March 7 and was presented through a partnership of Avon with the Virtue Foundation, along with supporting organizations UNICEF, UNIFEM and UN-DESA. The Summit gathered some of the most influential and accomplished leaders in the area of women's empowerment throughout the world and addressed three major areas affecting women today: healthcare, education, and economic empowerment.
About Avon Products, Inc.
Avon, the company for women, is a leading global beauty company, with over $8 billion in annual revenue. As the world's largest direct seller, Avon markets to women in well over 100 countries through over five million independent Avon Sales Representatives. Avon's product line includes beauty products, fashion jewelry and apparel, and features such well-recognized brand names as Avon Color, Anew, Skin-So-Soft, Avon Solutions, Advance Techniques, Avon Naturals, Mark, and Avon Wellness. Avon is also a leader in corporate responsibility and philanthropy. In addition to a heritage of women's empowerment, Avon and the Avon Foundation have robust programs worldwide to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer, domestic violence and emergency disaster relief. Learn more about Avon, its products and programs at www.avoncompany.com.
Countries slated to launch a local version of the Avon Hello Tomorrow Fund throughout 2007 include:
Argentina Mexico Australia Philippines Brazil Poland Canada Russia China Taiwan Colombia Turkey Czech Republic UK Hungary Ukraine Japan Venezuela
Source: Avon Products, Inc.
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