Photo Credit: Max Orenstein / Clinton Global Initiative

Giving Back on #GivingTuesday

By Maura Pally, Senior Vice President for Programs, Clinton Foundation

This #GivingTuesday, we’re giving thanks for our partner organizations who work with us every day to improve lives and create opportunities for people across the country and around the world. Together, we are helping kids and families eat healthy and get active, promoting early brain development for school readiness, improving opportunities for small business owners and entrepreneurs in Haiti, cultivating the next generation of leaders, supporting local community service, and providing access to life-saving medications. Here is a closer look at the important work our partners have helped us achieve.

Helping Kids Eat Healthy and Get Active

Thanks to our partnership with the American Heart Association, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation is helping kids develop lifelong, healthy habits by ensuring the environments that surround them provide and promote good health. As a result of the Alliance’s work, nearly 35,000 schools in 50 states provide students with healthier foods and more physical activity in an effort to decrease childhood obesity; more than 20 million students across the U.S. have access to healthier school meals; more than 2.9 million children have expanded access to preventative health care; and there has been a 90 percent decrease in total beverage calories shipped to schools.

Read what this work means to President Clinton in this piece he wrote for CNN, and learn more about one of the country’s healthiest schools in this op-ed from American Heart Association Chief Executive Officer Nancy Brown in The Huffington Post.

You can donate to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation here.

Ensuring Kids Are Ready for School

We’re proud to work with our partner, The Opportunity Institute, to bring our early childhood initiative, Too Small to Fail, to life. Too Small to Fail works on a national level and with local communities to promote the importance of early brain and language development and to empower parents with tools to talk, read, and sing with their young children from birth.

Because of Too Small to Fail’s partnerships and programs, more than 835,000 books will be distributed by the end of 2016 to encourage reading to babies from birth; new audiences have been reached through nine television shows and counting (including Orange is the New Black, Law & Order SVU, The Fosters, Jane the Virgin, and Doc McStuffins), which have incorporated messaging about early language development into their storylines; more than 125,000 moms receive research-based tips about the importance of talking, reading, and singing to their newborn children through Text4Baby (learn more from Chelsea Clinton and Elmo in this story from PEOPLE); 20 playgrounds have been designed to incorporate “Talking is Teaching” messaging (like this one in Oakland); and we’re providing 5,000 laundromats in underserved communities with resources to make even the most mundane task — laundry — an opportunity to talk, read, sing, and bond with your baby.

Whether at the pediatrician’s office, the playground, or on a playlist, Too Small to Fail aims to make small moments big by creating opportunities for meaningful interactions anytime, anywhere. Read more about our work in the New York Times, Education Week, and Parents Magazine. Learn more about their “Talking Is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” awareness campaign at

Improving Opportunities for Workers in Haiti

More than 1,100 Haitian artisans and farmers are receiving access to literacy and financial training as a result of our partnerships with local organizations in Haiti.

In Haiti, less than 50 percent of adults are literate. The consequences of illiteracy tend to be greater for women, many of whom are heads of households and responsible for their children’s education. That’s why we’re so proud to work with people like Magalie Dresse. Dresse is the co-founder of Caribbean Craft — a Haitian artisan business which has improved the lives of hundreds of women artisans by providing access to good, stable jobs. In addition to a steady income to help provide for their families, workers at Caribbean Craft as well as several other Haitian artisan businesses also have access to literacy and finance classes thanks to our work with international retailer West Elm.

Learn more about Dresse and our work in Haiti from Refinery29.

Building Upon President Clinton’s Legacy of Partnership and Preparing the Next Generation of Leaders

Thanks to the Clinton Presidential Center’s partnership with the George W. Bush Presidential Center, the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation, and the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation, we’re activating the next generation of public servants and innovative leaders through the Presidential Leadership Scholars Program. The program draws from the resources of each presidential center to cultivate the leadership strengths of participants by emboldening them with the practical skills needed to drive solution-oriented action in their communities. This past spring, the 61 members of the 2016 Class of the Presidential Leadership Scholars Program graduated in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Learn more about the program and hear directly from some of its graduates, including BJ Goergen in the Huffington Post, Casey Gerald, Holly Gordon, and Jake Harriman.

Since 2004, the Clinton Presidential Center has welcomed more than 4 million visitors from all over the world to its grounds, including more than 315,000 students who have visited free of charge. The Center was the first LEED-certified Presidential Center in the nation, providing an energy efficient space for 78 million pages of official records, 20 million emails, thousands of objects, and, to date, 43 temporary exhibits. And, an October 2014 study by the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce found that the Center has helped catalyze $3.3 billion in economic impact in the Little Rock community.

Encouraging Local Community Service

Volunteering and community service is an important aspect of any organization — and I’m proud that since 2012, the Clinton Foundation has hosted 31 “Days of Action” to give back to the communities where we are most active. To date, the Day of Action program has mobilized more than 6,500 volunteers and donated more than 27,000 volunteer hours.

Founded and led by Chelsea Clinton in the wake of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the Clinton Foundation Day of Action program seeks to create service opportunities and mobilize thousands of volunteers to give back to their communities. Read about one woman’s homecoming after Hurricane Sandy from CGI Member St. Bernard Project on our blog.

In 2016, we worked with community-based organizations in Atlanta to promote access to healthy foods and environments throughout the city, and in Oakland, we partnered with the Oakland Unified School District and the Oakland Public Education Fund to plant trees, organize libraries, and paint murals at the Havenscourt and Lockwood Campuses. Learn more about the Day of Action in Atlanta from 11Alive, read more about the Day of Action in Oakland from NBC Bay Area and ESPN, and see Chelsea talk with Access Hollywood onsite at the Havenscourt and Lockwood Campuses here.

Providing Access to Lifesaving Drugs

More people in the U.S. died last year of drug overdoses than from car accidents, making prescription drug abuse a leading cause of accidental death. That’s why the Clinton Foundation’s Health Matters Initiative works with partners to make life-saving Naloxone more accessible to those who can respond and intervene quickly in the event of an emergency or overdose.

Health Matters was early in recognizing and beginning to address this national overdose crisis and is working with partners to prevent 10,000 opioid overdose deaths nationwide by negotiating lower prices, as was reported in The New York Times, and increasing distribution and access to first responders. For example, this year we were proud to announce that Adapt Pharma, Inc. and the National Association of School Nurses are working together to make sure that a free carton of NARCAN® (naloxone hydrochloride) Nasal Spray and opioid education materials are accessible to all high schools in the United States.

Read more in stories from US News & World Report, Refinery29, and Headlines for the Hopeful.

We believe that the best way to unlock human potential is through the power of creative collaboration and partnership. This #GivingTuesday, a special thank you to our partners and the programs we’ve created together to maximize our impact to transform communities.