To celebrate the five-year anniversary of funding the first microcredit loan by Whole Planet Foundation, we are launching a special new Whole Foods Market gift card. Check out the image here of this really unique card made from all natural wood with a cellulose overcoat. In addition to looking cool, when you purchase this card you donate a dollar to help alleviate poverty. That’s what making a difference is all about.It’s very simple to do. When you initially buy the gift card, you pay $1 more than the face value of the card and that goes directly to the Whole Planet Foundation. Then you (or your gift recipient) can use the card to pay at our registers just like any other retail gift card. When giving them away, your recipient gets two gifts: one for themselves (who doesn’t love a gift card to Whole Foods Market?!) and another by helping others in their honor (by making a lasting impact through microcredit).
These wooden cards not only do good by helping end poverty, they also do good in a green way. Most conventional cards are made from petroleum-based PVC that ends up in our landfills. The wood for these special Whole Planet Foundation cards comes from sustainably managed forests, and using this wood has been shown to be more sustainable than other alternative materials such as recycled PVC or bio-plastic. And the company who makes these cards also donates a part of their sales to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment.Need more inspiration? Here’s a little bit about how Whole Planet Foundation is supporting poverty alleviation through microfinance partners in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Your $1 will get repaid and reloaned in rural communities again and again, helping families there lift themselves out of poverty.The first microloan funded by Whole Planet Foundation was in the Limon Province of Costa Rica, where Whole Foods Market sources Whole Trade™ bananas and pineapple through EARTH University. The Foundation has approved $2.2 million over 4 years for Grameen Trust to create and manage a new microfinance institution, extending microcredit to 10,000 of the poorest women in Costa Rica. Grameen Trust, a sister organization to Grameen Bank which is a registered non-profit NGO in Bangladesh, was established in 1989 by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus.
According to World Bank reports, women make up 54% of the extreme poor in Costa Rica. Of the poorest households, 48% are headed by women. Access to credit enables these women to fund businesses to use their own creativity and hard work to make a better life for themselves and their families.Purchasing a gift card is one of the many ways you can support Whole Planet Foundation’s global mission of empowering a community of microentrepreneurs. It’s easy to donate online. You can also spread the word to your social network or start your own campaign!