Fashion designers drawn to causes near and dear
She adds, ‘‘We thought of doing a school, but I thought what they really needed was a home and some semblance of normality. They go to school, but it’s a regular school nearby. I get all their marks sent to me, and they get really good grades.’’
—Tommy Hilfiger and Millennium Promise.
Hilfiger says that giving back had to be a part of his growth plan, personally and professionally. He grew up in a small upstate New York town and thought about the big time. ‘‘I always wanted to be successful enough to give back to causes that are near and dear to my heart,’’ he says.
Hilfiger and his wife Dee, each with a child affected by autism, joined the Autism Speaks board earlier this year. And the Tommy Hilfiger Corporate Foundation gave a five-year commitment to Millennium Promise, a nonprofit that aims to eliminate extreme poverty, hunger and preventable disease through partnerships with groups such as UNICEF and the World Agroforestry Centre.
All it took to convince him was one conversation with Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and a co-founder of the organization, Hilfiger says.
‘‘We can end extreme poverty in our lifetime. We can pass on our skills, dedicate our resources, and share our ambitions with communities across the globe. What we get back is immeasurable.’’