Earlier this week, during its “Over the Moon Celebration,” Paul Newman's Newman’s Own brand announced that it surpassed over $300 million in charitable giving.

To cross the milestone, and in the company of dedicated individuals and organizations that made it possible, Newman’s Own Foundation awarded $1.4 million in grants. The evening’s reception was co-chaired by Joanne Woodward Newman and Clea Newman Soderlund, Paul Newman and Joanne’s youngest daughter.

“When people would thank Paul for his charitable giving, he would always reply that he didn’t think he was doing anything special,” said Robert Forrester, president of Newman’s Own Foundation. “He believed that the real thanks should go to those people and organizations… who work every day to make ours and the future’s a better world. For Paul, it was a privilege to be just one among these many. That’s how we all feel today as we carry on this unique and wonderful philanthropic legacy.”

Over twenty-five years ago, Paul Newman launched Newman’s Own, which today is a leading premium food business. Since the beginning of the company, every penny Paul earned from the sale of Newman’s Own products has been donated to thousands of charities around the world by Paul and Newman’s Own Foundation.

“We are grateful that our founder’s vision began with giving, and we are glad to be able to continue the giving back to those who have a life mission of helping others,” said Tom Indoe, president and COO of Newman’s Own, Inc. “As we remain closest to what we do best – making good-tasting, all-natural food – we know that our future holds many more significant milestones.”

To cross over $300 million in charitable giving, Newman’s Own Foundation awarded $100,000 grants to two charities from each of the Foundation’s priority grant-making categories to represent the thousands of charities supported. In total, fourteen grants were announced. Receiving these grants at the “Over the Moon Celebration” were:

ENCOURAGING PHILANTHROPY

  • Shining Hope For Communities (SHC) combats intergenerational cycles of poverty and gender inequality in Kibera, Kenya, the world’s second largest slum. With support from Newman’s Own, SHC is in the final stages of building a community health clinic and a center for providing safe drinking water.
  • The Discovery Center shapes positive attitudes about race and diversity by engaging 4th, 5th, and 6th graders from the largely poor minority populations of inner city schools with students from affluent suburbs.

CHILDREN WITH LIFE-LIMITING CONDITIONS

  • Hole in the Wall Gang Camps are now the world’s largest family of therapeutic camps for children. In 2010 alone, over 42,000 children from 45 countries will “kick back and raise a little hell,” and show us once again what it means to be a child.
  • Giant Steps is an independent school that addresses the needs of students between the ages of 3 and 21 who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders and/or other neurological impairments.

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

  • Fauna and Flora International (FFI) acts to conserve threatened species and ecosystems worldwide, and pursues solutions that are sustainable and based on sound science, which also take into account human needs.
  • Maritime Aquarium of Norwalk inspires people of all ages to appreciate the diverse and unique ecosystem of Long Island Sound, and to protect it for future generations through living exhibits, marine sections, and environmental education.

EMPOWERMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY

  • Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network adds value to people’s lives through programs and services that inform, educate, entertain and inspire audiences.
  • UNESCO Chair in Human Rights – International Youth Forum promotes human rights through education and research, and is part of a worldwide network of 52 such programs.

HUNGER AND NUTRITION

  • National Alliance for Hispanic Health (NAHH) is the nation’s foremost source of information on Hispanic health, and as a science-based and community driven advocate, NAHH’s mission is to promote good health within Hispanic communities.
  • Feeding America is a national leader in providing hunger relief to low-income populations, annually serving more than 37 million people facing hunger, including 14 million children and 3 million seniors.

EMERGENCY RESPONSE

  • International Rescue Committee (IRC) offers lifesaving care and life-changing help to refugees forced to flee from conflict or disaster.
  • National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF) maintains 70 search teams, which are dispatched to assist survivors of disasters nationally and globally.

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONMILITARY

  • Outward Bound For Veterans helps returning service members readjust to life at home through powerful wilderness courses that draw on the healing benefits of teamwork and challenges, in an outdoor environment.
  • Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation is dedicated to promoting increased independence to the blind, including veterans who have been blinded due to combat-related incidents, by breeding and training the highest quality guide dogs.

“Paul believed in the power of philanthropy,” said Forrester. “With over $300 million in charitable donations, we hope the impact of our grantmaking continues and inspires the next great generation of philanthropists.”

“This milestone represents so many people, so much great work and so many amazing organizations that have given back,” Newman’s youngest daughter, Clea Newman Soderlund told USA Today “I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was bittersweet. Everyone misses him very much. He was such a visionary, and was way ahead of his time in so many ways. Our goal is to keep it moving in the direction it’s moving by continuing to be creative, quirky and fun, as Dad would have done.”

Read more about Paul Newman and Newman’s Own here.

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