THE BLOG

The Power of Caring

05/07/2012 03:17 pm ET | Updated Jul 07, 2012

This is one of my favorite times of the year -- the time when Coty celebrates its commitment to support DKMS, the world's largest bone-marrow-donor center. You will see numerous public expressions of this commitment this week, with so many activities surrounding the fabulous gala held in New York for six years running, but what you may not see publicly expressed is the passion to support charitable causes that runs deep in the Coty family. This passion is one of Coty's core values -- and we've created a corporate climate that highly values it.

Supporting charitable causes is a responsibility that we do not take lightly at Coty. It is my belief -- and that of all of Coty's leaders -- that the power of caring makes us a better company. It gives us a guiding shared purpose that is greater than any self-interest, which makes us stronger as an organization. We often include our celebrity partners in our charitable endeavors: Vera Wang was the first of our big names to throw her hat into the ring for us, and she enlisted Leighton Meester to join her in some amazing initiatives for DKMS, including the current "Share the Love" T-shirt. Kate Moss, with Rimmel, created a "Kiss of Life" lipstick shade for DKMS. And Heidi Klum has joined us this year; she helped us in illuminate the Empire State Building red to shine a light on this fight against leukemia; she met with leukemia patients who have benefited from bone-marrow donations through DKMS and gave a makeover to one. These efforts unite us all and create strong ties between Coty and its partners.

I am so proud of the Coty family for its generosity of spirit. Coty is the founding corporate sponsor of DKMS, which was created by Coty chairman Peter Harf. When he lost his wife to leukemia, he was inspired to transform his personal pain into an entity that would do good for all -- an organization with the mission to defeat leukemia and blood cancers by empowering people to take action. And take action they have: DKMS currently has more than 3 million donors registered worldwide, more than 30,000 of which have helped save lives with a bone-marrow donation. Coty's fundraising and promotional efforts have facilitated those impressive achievements.

The entire Coty team shows its engagement in multiple ways. Beyond volunteering at donor drives, fundraising and getting swabbed, the good people at Coty find innovative ways to raise awareness and money for DKMS year after year. For further example, there's the Sally Hansen team, who developed the "Color that Cares" initiative to raise awareness for DKMS. And OPI launched an "I Love DKMS" promotion (the colors were developed in 24 hours -- truly embodying the Coty motto of "Faster. Further. Freer.").

Coty formed its Linked Against Blood Cancer partnership with DKMS to bring even greater awareness in the U.S. to the organization's vital cause. Knowing that blood cancer is the second leading cause of all cancer deaths and kills more children in the U.S. than any other disease spurred our decision to create this partnership -- though thousands of lives have been saved, we recognize that there is still much work to be done in this fight. Six out of 10 patients never receive the lifesaving transplant they need because a match can't be found. We at Coty want to help DKMS change that sad statistic.

This year, our fundraising efforts for DKMS have set a new best for the company: almost $3 million raised, and in these still-difficult financial times that is an accomplishment of which we are extremely proud. Knowing DKMS so well makes us 100 percent confident that our efforts and these funds are going to the very best use possible: to help underwrite the battle against leukemia.

In addition to our Linked Against Blood Cancer initiative, Coty supports national organizations as well as local charities where our plants and facilities are located. Among the worthy organizations we support are the American Cancer Society, amfAR, the Look Good ... Feel Better program, March of Dimes and the World Wildlife Federation.

We also understand the importance of providing help during times of crisis, demonstrated by our practice of making donations when areas are hit by natural disaster. For example, we gave relief funds for Haiti's recovery after an earthquake devastated the country in 2010 and to Japan following the horrible earthquake and tsunami of 2011, as well as that same year providing financial support for regions of North Carolina that sustained extensive damage from a tornado.

We are active in all of these efforts primarily because we want to be a good corporate citizen and make this world where we all live a better place. But we also put our money where our mouth is for these causes because we hold the firm belief that the benefits we reap as an organization are worth every cent and every second of time spent. The power of caring cannot be measured in dollars, but is immeasurably valuable to all companies.