How we support girls and women at home and around the world
The Girls Inc. network serves about 100,000 girls in 350 cities across the United States and Canada, including our hometown of Seattle. Founded in 1864, they work to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. In partnership with schools and in their 1,500 centers across the US and Canada, Girls Inc. focuses on providing mentorship, safe spaces, and programs that have been proven to help girls develop their inherent strengths.
Pictured: In addition to our Girls Inc. give back, we host Career Day events for high school girls and youth
Girls Inc.’s comprehensive work addresses the needs of all girls ages five into adulthood, especially those from low-income communities and girls who face multiple, intersectional challenges such as those based on sex, race, religion, ethnicity, immigration status, and gender identity. Their unique approach focuses on the development of the whole girl, helping them realize all the power they already hold within. In a pro-girl environment they cover topics like safe relationships and financial literacy, in addition to a 5-year STEM magnet program for high schoolers. We’re proud to support Girls Inc. in the incredible work they do!
Pictured: Participants at our 2022 Career Day Event learning about the manufacturing process
Supporting Female Cocoa Farmers
In 2024, we’re thrilled to expand our giving mission to support female cocoa farmers in Ghana. 70% of the world’s cocoa is grown in West Africa, and as chocolate makers (and eaters!), we have the chance to make a big impact, right where most cocoa is grown.
After connecting with some incredible experts on the ground in Ghana who work with the local cocoa farmers to learn what they most need, we’ve already begun progress on two projects that will directly improve the lives of women and children in the cocoa industry.
Translating to “Cocoa Women,” Cocoa Mmaa is a women’s farmer’s cooperative made up of about 600 female farmers in the Upper Denkyira East district. Founded by Leticia Yankey, an experienced cocoa farmer with a Bachelor of Education and Commonwealth Executive Master in Public Administration, Cocoa Mmaa helps women get agricultural, financial, and entrepreneurial skills to improve their farms and their lives. It is the biggest group of its kind in Ghana!
Pictured: Leticia Yankey and members of Cocoa Mmaa
Three Mountains Cocoa, Asante Akim South District Widow's Group
Widows are among the most vulnerable members of cocoa farming communities. When a husband passes, it can be extremely difficult for his widow to keep the farm commercially viable and protect the family's income. We’re honored to support a Widow’s Group in the Asante Akim South District in diversifying their livelihoods to include organic pig farming in addition to cacao farming.
Pictured: Mercy Ankomah, Three Mountains Cocoa Treasurer and leader of the Widow’s Group, tending pigs as part of an alternative livelihood project
How will we support these two beautiful organizations?
By making sure they have fresh, accessible water. Both groups have a need for a borehole to be drilled in order to access clean water that is safe and nearby. In rural areas like these, women and children sometimes walk over a mile to access water. Some areas also have the issue of illegal gold mining, which can deposit mercury into water sources. Ensuring water is available directly in their villages will make an immediate impact on the women and families of these two communities, and allow for more efficient and lucrative farming practices. Our support of female cacao farmers is just getting started, and we hope to support their growth into the future by listening to what they most need.