LEADER OF THE PACK
Forgoing creature comforts for the frontlines, Georgina Bloomberg is a hands-on Humane Society activist.
Despite being surrounded by animals her entire life as a competitive equestrian, it wasn’t until Georgina Bloomberg rescued her first dog that she became involved in adopting and advocating for animals. “I left with a dog called Hugo, one of the loves of my life, and he completely changed my life,” she says of the experience that set in motion her lifelong passion to aid animals. Today, Bloomberg emphasizes that education is key. “Why they’re in the pound is a multilevel issue encompassing puppy mills, spaying and neutering, and many people’s inability to pay for vet care. There is not just one reason why dogs end up in pounds, so there are many parts that need to be tackled,” she explains. The petite powerhouse dedicates herself fully to the cause, taking an active role in services ranging from puppy mill raids to sending cargo planes to rescue animals in Puerto Rico. Bloomberg learned from her parents that both financial support and active involvement are fundamental. “Both sides are incredibly important—you can’t have one without the other,” she says. Her advocacy efforts also include keeping a menagerie of rescue animals of her own. “I just adopted my fifth dog from Miami-Dade Animal Services a few weeks ago,” she shares of the special-needs dog that just joined her loving family. “I always wanted to have another small, senior, special-needs dog that nobody else wanted. I was looking at my group of dogs, and they’re all amazing, but I knew that I could be doing more.”
FEED founder Lauren Bush Lauren toasts her benevolent brand’s 10th anniversary with a new tote.
“When I was in college, I had the opportunity to travel with the UN World Food Programme and see the effects of hunger firsthand,” explains Lauren Bush Lauren of the trip that sparked her to found FEED. “In starting FEED, I wanted to create a tangible and fashionable way people could get involved in the fight against hunger.”
Over the past 10 years, FEED has evolved from a single bag to an omnichannel lifestyle brand. “Sometimes it’s hard for even [me] to believe how far we’ve come,” Lauren says of the booming brand that now extends to new categories including jewelry and apparel, and an assortment of leather goods. This summer, FEED opened its first physical location, the FEED Shop & Cafe in Dumbo, Brooklyn. “We just hit the milestone of 100 million meals donated to children around the world,” she shares. “This number in itself is cause for celebration and proof that what we do matters, which is the most motivating driver for my team.”
This fall, Lauren celebrates FEED’s 10th anniversary with the release of a new collection—the FEED 1 leather bag—a fresh take on the tote that kicked off a craze. “The design is based on our original FEED bag and provides 185 meals, which is a full school year’s worth,” says Lauren. Sounds like a tasteful choice, indeed.
Photo courtesy of FEED
For Veronica Webb and Chris Del Gatto of DELGATTO, charity begins at home.
“For me, it just didn’t feel right to pursue material success and overall productivity completely devoid of the idea of helping others,” Chris Del Gatto of DELGATTO says of his desire to form a jewelry business with a charitable component. “When my daughter Alessandra was born, however, like most dads, I fell completely head over heels in love, and I asked myself what I [could] do for women in particular,” he shares. “That thought led me to becoming very involved in the BCRF [Breast Cancer Research Foundation] and to a wonderful friendship with the amazing Evelyn Lauder. That’s when we [he and his wife, former model Veronica Webb] first had the idea of buying jewelry from people and having the company give an additional percentage to the BCRF.” Filling a void in the market while meeting the needs of the philanthropic community, DELGATTO is the largest buyer of fine diamonds, jewelry and watches from the public globally, and today they count key partnerships with organizations ranging from the Melanoma Research Foundation to the Hope for Depression Research Foundation. “Giving back is something that I like to think you do all day, every day,” says Webb, who with Del Gatto encourages their four children to think charitably. “Smiling at people, going out of your way to open a door or help someone with a package—I get so much back from people when this happens,” she says. “Your day becomes better and I bet theirs does too, and hopefully it keeps getting passed on. Big changes start small.”
HOSTESS WITH THE MOSTESS
At her newly founded farm upstate, social swan Cornelia Guest is saving all creatures great and small.
“I would try to save everything that needed saving—dogs, cats, horses, donkeys… the list grew as I got older and became more aware,” shares Cornelia Guest of her lifelong love of animals. One year ago, the vegan cookbook author, fashion designer and star of PETA’s “I’d Rather Go Naked” campaign founded Artemis Farm Rescue, a 501(c)(3) that rescues miniature horses and donkeys saved from slaughter mostly out of kill pens. Today, she has saved more than 100 animals and rehomed about 50 animals.
“My parents were always heavily involved in charitable causes, and I got involved at a very young age and loved it,” shares the daughter of legendary socialite, muse and philanthropist C.Z. Guest. “There’s nothing like the love of a rescue,” she says. “Watching them lose the fear, and becoming themselves and... happy is the greatest gift in the world.”