Walnut Creek, Calif., (Thursday, February 23, 2023) – One Planet Group has raised over $172,000, via its annual fundraiser, Holidays with a Purpose. The money will be split between Lidé Haiti and Starfish International, two outstanding non-profit organizations working to empower girls in Haiti and The Gambia, respectively. $100,000 was donated from One Planet Group directly, over $50,000 from employees, and about $20,000 from partners and friends of the company.
“The equality of women and men is one of today’s most pressing issues, globally, but especially in the regions where Lide Haiti and Starfish International operate. We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to partner with these incredible organizations who dedicate themselves to making the world a better place for all of us.” — Payam Zamani, Founder of One Planet Group
Holidays with a Purpose returned in 2023 after a hiatus due to the global pandemic. In contrast to a traditional holiday party, One Planet takes a portion of the funds that would otherwise be spent on an event and puts the amount toward something impactful. The concept originated from One Planet employees who wanted to turn their holiday events into something that could bring good to the world. This year, over 100 members of the One Planet team gave personal donations – including the company’s entire team in Ukraine – as well as a mix of clients, vendors, and personal friends. One Planet’s gratitude is extended to DataStat Solutions, New Car Prices/PriceWheels Inc., BPM, Lotlinx, Media.net, Taylor Marketing Data & Analytics (ICS), AutoData Solutions Inc., and OddBytes LLC.
“The core of our organization is service to humanity and so everything we do is reflected in this virtue. This is because we believe that girls' education, in particular, is the key to mitigating or even remedying humanity's issues. Our hope is to educate as many girls (and boys) as possible, exposing them to numerous resources and opportunities that they can use to further themselves and their communities. Through Starfish, we also hope to support young girls and boys as they discover their nobility and self-empowerment so that they go on to benefit their communities, their country, and the world at large.” — Mam Yassin Sarr, Founder and Director of Starfish International
At this year’s event, Rainn Wilson, Lidé’s Co-Founder, and Mam-Yassin Sarr, the Director of Starfish International joined the One Planet team to share their respective organization’s missions, challenges, goals, and most-importantly triumphs. The group was also joined by current and former students of Starfish International, who shared their incredible personal stories and the profound impact that the organization has had on their lives.
“We are overjoyed at the generosity of One Planet Group’s global staff and partners and are deeply grateful for their investment in our work with adolescent girls in Haiti. This gift will support the sustainability of our growing programs, as we expanded the number of girls we serve by 50% in the last year, including growing our scholarship program by over 850%.” — Sharona Shuster, Director of Development and Communications, Lidé Haiti
Starfish International is dedicated to providing a well-rounded and quality education for Gambian girls and boys. Working with roughly 150 students annually, Starfish International has been in service for twelve years providing world-class education that is focused on service to humanity while also offering international service-learning opportunities for volunteers. The key values of focus at Starfish International are nobility, independence, courtesy, knowledge, and service.
Lidé Haiti takes a whole-person approach to building capacity, empowerment and resiliency among at-risk Haitian adolescent girls who have been denied equal access to education. Currently serving over 1,200 girls in 8 locations across rural Haiti, Lidé programs in the creative arts, education, and health reach girls ages 11 to 21 who: are out of school or significantly behind in age-to-grade, live in rural underserved communities where the majority of the community is living in extreme poverty, have experienced trauma or live in chronic stress, live in situations of domestic labor, have or are currently suffering abuse, are experiencing food insecurity or the effects of malnutrition, and/or have a disability.
Over the years, Holidays with a Purpose has raised over 2 million dollars for organizations supporting women’s rights and education. Previous beneficiaries have included the Tahirih Justice Center, the MONA foundation.
One Planet Group strongly believes that businesses can and should be a source for social good. It challenges the idea that only non-profit organizations can serve humanity, and firmly believes that for-profits also needs to be a vessel for good. By having strong values and ethics, a thriving internal culture, and contributing positively to humanity, companies have the opportunity to build better for profits. One Planet Group believes that capitalism can and should serve humanity.
About One Planet Group
One Planet Group is a closely held private equity firm that owns a suite of online technology and media businesses while also investing in early-stage companies. Owned and operated businesses span a variety of industries including ad tech, publishing, and media. One Planet Group’s mission is to support strong business ideas while building an ethos that helps improve society and give back to communities.
Infused with foundational values which promote diversity and inclusion, unity, service to humanity, and excellence in all things, One Planet Group strives to foster an environment that promotes equality, love, and empowerment.
The company’s investment portfolio includes over 40 startups representing a diverse group of innovative tech-enabled products and solutions. Investing primarily in high-growth early-stage entities, with an emphasis on companies that aspire to the concept of ‘Innovation + Intention.’ Specific areas of focus include the future of mobility, education technology, health technology, and environmental solutions.
One Planet Group’s core operating businesses include Buyerlink, a leading online marketplace for performance-based marketing; Autoweb, a company that provides performance-based marketing solutions to the automotive industry; California.com, a curated guide to traveling and living in California; and Contractors.com, a site connecting homeowners and service providers. One Planet Group also operates BahaiTeachings.org, a non-profit platform that shares personal perspectives to promote the oneness of humanity.
One Planet Group was founded by tech entrepreneur Payam Zamani in 2015. With offices and employees in over ten countries, their global headquarters is located in Walnut Creek, California.
About Starfish International
Starfish International is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing a well-rounded and
quality education for Gambian girls and boys. Working annually with 100 girls and 35 boys, Starfish International has been in service for 12 years, uplifting, educating, accompanying, and providing a safe haven for their students' growth, wellbeing, and development.
Starfish’s mission is to uplift Gambian girls by providing them with a world-class education that is focused on service to humanity while at the same time providing international service-learning opportunities for volunteers.
The values and the five qualities highlighted at Starfish International are nobility, independence, courtesy, knowledge, and service. As an organization, its major achievement is to have graduated and impacted over 900 students who are now doctors, teachers, lawyers, nurses, and many other professionals in their respective fields. Their three significant areas of impact are education, health, and agriculture, with a focus on mentorship, entrepreneurship, character development, scholarship opportunities, leadership training, career counseling, public speaking, and community service.
About Lidé Haiti
Lidé Haiti was co-founded in 2014 by actor Rainn Wilson, author Holiday Reinhorn, and psychologist Dr. Kathryn Adams, inspired by a successful short term project they led to provide healing through the arts for adolescent girls who had survived the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
Lide’s comprehensive approach includes programs in the arts, education, and health. Our creative arts programs, which include photography, creative writing, dance, and theater, enable girls to increase their creativity, resiliency, motivation, and self-confidence. Our academic support programs expand girls' educational attainment by offering over 1,100 primary, secondary, and vocational school scholarships, along with academic tutoring and training in literacy, numeracy, and computer skills. Our health programming strengthens girls’ mental and physical health through daily nutritious meals, medical services, individualized counseling, family planning education, and psychosocial support services.
Combined, these programs create an ecosystem that allows girls to find their voices, thrive, and become actively engaged participants in their communities.