Many people know of Young Living for its high-quality essential oils and other related products that support a natural approach to wellness, maintaining a household, and more. However, not as many people have been exposed to the company’s charitable foundation which has a long legacy of coming to the aid of some of the world’s most vulnerable populations. Since the foundation has recently announced ongoing efforts to help these populations, this serves as a good time to recap its legacy and to take a closer look at its recent initiatives.
The work engaged in by the foundation is supported by Young Living and its approach to bettering the lives of individuals around the world. This commitment manifests in every level of how the business is run, from charitable giving to its rigorous commitment to quality throughout the oil production process. This commitment stems, in part, from the company’s humble roots as a passion project of its founders, D. Gary Young and Mary Young. Created to help them address their own need for high-quality essential oils, it has since grown into one of the world’s leading suppliers of essential oils and related products.
One of the reasons this serves as an opportune time to analyze the work of the foundation is that it just completed a virtual convention to support its efforts. The 2020 Young Living Virtual International Grand Convention helped the organization raise $1.2 million for use in its work. This work will revolve around the foundation’s newly-defined mission, which looks to the ways it can protect and empower the global population of young people. The convention also served as a platform to unveil the foundation’s first essential oil blend — One Heart. The blend will be offered as a fundraising tool to support the organization’s mission, with 35 percent of sales being allocated towards that goal.
The remote nature of the convention was unique in the organization’s history, it served as a rallying moment for those with an interest in helping to empower and come to the aid of the world’s young people. Commenting on the convention, Jackie Skinner, executive director of global philanthropy at the company, spoke to the importance of the foundation’s mission and the enthusiasm for that mission moving forward. “We recognize that our youth are the most vulnerable and exploited,” said Skinner, “but also provide the most significant capacity for change, and we are beyond excited about the new projects and how they will support this important mission.”
While the organization’s new mission centers on protecting and empowering the world’s youth, it plans to accomplish these goals through three main pillars of focus that will help guide projects moving forward. The first of these pillars concentrates its focus on education. It’s no secret that education represents an area of great potential for helping a person develop their access to opportunity. The foundation aims to open doors to this work through both traditional and vocational education as well as the development of leadership ability and other skills. In the pursuit of this goal, the organization will focus on five areas:
- School funding
- Skills training
- Educational access
- Access to funds for higher education
- Leadership development
Another area of focus for the organization will be seeking out an end to human exploitation. It is a sad truth that many people across the world have lost their freedom to abuse and/or human trafficking. This robs huge populations of young people of their ability to pursue a happy life fueled by access to opportunity and free will. Combatting this exploitation has been a major goal of the organization for years and that focus has seen it partner with Hope for Justice, whose mission is “to bring an end to modern slavery by preventing exploitation, rescuing victims, restoring lives, and reforming society.”
The third pillar in the foundation’s approach centers around enterprise development. This work is largely directed at female-owned small businesses, providing them with support to help them break the generational cycle of poverty for themselves and their children. Coming to the aid of women in this manner provides assistance for some of the world’s most disenfranchised individuals to help them break free from bonds of poverty and insufficient access to opportunity. This area of focus sees the foundation provide micro-funding to small businesses that are female-led and are located in areas experiencing economic hardship. The sustainable household income generated by these actions helps women improve their own situations and provide greater access to education and economic opportunity for others in their family.
As it has done in the past, the foundation is committed to partnering with global organizations to better achieve its goals. These partnerships have come in many forms, from local communities to large international non-profits. For some of its initiatives, the organization has partnered with local communities to support them in their endeavors. Such is the case with its Global Artisan Collaboration, which has seen the foundation join forces with 15 women’s groups to build capacity at the grassroots level. Its work with nonprofits such as Hope For Justice and Cities Without Hunger, a group transforming unused urban spaces into gardens, helps to showcase the other end of this spectrum.
While Young Living is known widely for its quality products and commitment to its customers, many people are not aware of the numerous ways in which it gives back to the global community. The above overview not only provides a look at those efforts, and how they’re benefiting some of the world’s most vulnerable populations, it also provides a roadmap for other companies in their goals to be more active in the global community. Look to ongoing work by the foundation to see how its mission continues to impact the world now and into the future.