ATLANTA, January 25, 2016 A young woman from New Jersey rushes headlong into the Liberian Ebola crisis when most westerners are racing to get out. A Congolese wife and mother has the chance to leave one of the most impoverished and dangerous communities in the world, to join her family in the U.S., but stays to build a future for orphaned children. These are just two of the remarkable stories of courage and commitment profiled in a new podcast series from Aptos, being launched today on commerceofcaring.org.
Commerce of Caring explores the power and possibilities of positive change, and the unsung heroes who are using it to create real opportunities for children in need. Through exclusive interviews and first-hand accounts, these humble agents of progress explain what led them to get involved, the choices they made to help, and how those same choices are available to everyone — through organizations that are connected directly to local needs and solutions.
For people within the retail industry, that organization is the Retail Orphan Initiative (RetailROI). As an established charitable group funded by dozens of companies, RetailROI channels financial support, material resources and hands-on assistance from retailers, analysts, and technology providers such as Aptos into a wide range of education, health and social projects that are making a real and often dramatic difference in the lives of orphans and vulnerable children around the world.
Commerce of Caring brings you their stories. Each episode in the series will showcase a different country and community, the context of their crises, and the impact they have had on children. But the focus is on transformation: on how, with the collective support of people half a world away, dedicated local leaders are succeeding against great odds to turn heartbreak into hope.
West Point, Liberia: A Community Re-Born
Episode one of Commerce of Caring tells the compelling story of people who have come together on the front lines in Liberia, West Africa to deliver children from the legacies of civil war and Ebola. They include Katie Meyler, a Time magazine “Person of the Year” in 2014. In her own words, Meyler explains how she went to Liberia to help build a school for children, and why, instead of fleeing from the Ebola crisis, she went back in. Her organization, More than Me, has been a life-changing force for the communitys children and the future of young girls. The first episode also features the experiences of Bishop Emmanuel and Ramona Jones of Lifesong for Orphans, an organization providing education, security and a future for children without parents, and of the people of RetailROI and Aptos who are supporting Lifesongs work.
Conquering Crises in the Congo
The second episode in the series introduces listeners to the Democratic Republic of Congo, one of the poorest and most dangerous countries the world. It is a story of pure commitment by the people of CongoVoice to build schools and opportunities for children while overcoming tremendous obstacles, including a legacy of poverty and oppression that has adversely affected not just how they live but also how they view themselves. This episode also showcases the Congo Animal Traction Initiative, another RetailROI-sponsored program that highlights how truly great changes can sometimes come from the most humble resources — such as an ox in a field.
The first season of Commerce of Caring will include six additional episodes. They will be produced by Aptos and released regularly on the website, commerceofcaring.org.
Aptos: Social Responsibility and a Commitment to Change
“At Aptos, we believe that success is defined by more than financial results; success means being an active part of a larger community and an agent of change,” said Noel Goggin, Aptos CEO and culture leader. “We see ourselves as part of a larger community responsible for supporting not only those who enjoy the rewards of education and good work, but also those who aspire to those same privileges, especially children who lack basic foundational resources such as education, clean water and secure home environments. This is why we are proud to support RetailROI.”
“Through our Commerce of Caring podcast series, we hope to share these important and amazing stories of the people of retail as they expand their focus beyond the challenges of omni-channel commerce to make a difference in the world. Because when people hear these stories, we hope they will get involved — that they will donate, volunteer and take action,” he said.
RetailROI is a charitable foundation that sits under the umbrella of the Giving Back Fund a 501c3 charity organization, and is supported by close to 50 leading retailers, technology suppliers, consultants and media organizations, as well as countless individuals who contribute to its fundraising initiatives. Its mission is to provide real solutions for vulnerable children worldwide by raising awareness; by leveraging their skills and networks to make a difference; and by channeling resources to proven, local organizations delivering frontline support directly to those in need.
Since its inception, RetailROI has raised millions of dollars for a diverse range of projects in 19 countries around the world helping over 185,000 children in need. These include programs to educate and empower girls in Liberia; to acquire cattle for farming in rural Congo; to provide education for orphans in Honduras; to combat child trafficking in Nepal and India; to establish computer labs for schools in many locations; and to deliver support and resources for foster families in the U.S. More than 94% of the funds raised go directly to the programs they are intended to support. For additional information, visit www.retailroi.org.
To learn more about the Commerce of Caring podcast series and to listen to the latest episodes, visit www.commerceofcaring.org.
Aptos: Engaging Customers Differently
In an era of virtually limitless choice, sustained competitive advantage only comes to retailers who engage customers differently by truly understanding who they are, what they want and why they buy. At Aptos, we too, believe that engaging customers differently is critical to our success. We are committed to a deep understanding of each of our clients, to fulfilling their needs with the retail industrys most comprehensive omni-channel solutions, and to fostering long-term relationships built on tangible value and trust. More than 500 retail brands rely upon our Singular Commerce platform to deliver every shopper a personalized, empowered and seamless experienceno matter when, where or how they shop. Learn more: www.aptos.com.
Follow Aptos on Twitter @Aptos_Retail
Lutz PR for Aptos
+1 714 256 8452