Each year, on October 25th, Whole Planet Foundation (WPF) celebrates the 5% Day in Whole Foods Market stores that took place in 2003 which raised seed funds to make the foundation a reality. They call this anniversary “Poverty is Unnecessary Day” because of the words of Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank. On October 25, 2018 we at VOS® had the honor to participate in the Poverty Is Unnecessary Benefit & Live Auction in Austin, Texas that was organized and hosted by WPF.

The aforementioned occasion celebrated the impact of the global work by WPF and its supporters. In addition, during the occasion the current Mayor of the City of Austin (Steve Adler) proclaimed October 25th as Poverty is Unnecessary Day! A performance by West African dance and drumming ensemble Bramaya and lounge music by DJ Ang delighted the attendees. The party for a purpose menu was inspired by microcredit client recipes from around the globe and was created by Executive Chef Rob McMahon of Whim Hospitality.

During the 13th annual event hosted at Fair Market, attendees were able to bid on a range of things such as a Fair Trade Safari to Kenya, handmade masks from Malawi, baskets from Vietnam, Queen Alaffia goods and of course The World’s First artiSOULnal Bracelets by VOS®. In all there were over 120+ unique curated items from around the globe to choose from. All proceeds from the event funded microcredit loans for impoverished entrepreneurs around the world.

Poverty is Unnecessary Day is a reason for millions around the world to celebrate an opportunity for a better life. On this day WPF also celebrates its supplier partners, corporate partners, donors, volunteers, advocates and sponsors. Since inception, Whole Planet Foundation has funded more than $71 million to create 2.9 million microloans to entrepreneurs living below the poverty line. WPF works in 17 U.S. cities — including Austin, where the foundation is headquartered —and in 72 other countries around the world. Microloans are small loans  — with no formal contract or collateral — provided to microentrepreneurs for the chance to create or expand a home-based business and generate income through their own hard work and ingenuity.

Philip Sansone, president and executive director for WPF shared, “Our purpose is to provide opportunities for entrepreneurs through small business loans.  Currently, the average first loan size we fund in the United States is approximately $1,500 and the average first loan size across all of the countries where we are funding microcredit is just $180.  These loans might seem small, but they give the world’s poorest people – mostly women – the chance to change their own lives. We know that poverty is unnecessary, these women know it, and our partners are investing in a future without poverty because they also know it to be true.”

We at VOS® love what WPF represents and below is a recap of the event!