How Damian Graybelle, Madeline Stuart, Michele Gannon and Maria McKeon, Lana Parrilla, and Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller are Making an Impact

With the New Year comes a new round of organizations with which to get involved and make an impact on your life and the lives of others. Check out this amazing group of entrepreneurs who make giving back part of their company culture.

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Madeline-Stewart for EverMaya

Damian Graybelle | EverMaya

Damian Graybelle is the cofounder of EverMaya handbags. These unique bags are handwoven on backstrap looms using timeless techniques passed down for generations. The brand is committed to a spirit of philanthropy, including giving back to the communities that make the project possible. That’s why EverMaya donates a portion of every sale to Education for the Children, a school in Jocotenango, Guatemala, that provides education, nutrition, health care, counseling, and career guidance to local children of disadvantaged upbringing. EverMaya is also one of the first brands to partner with a teen model with Down syndrome, Madeline Stuart, who is breaking down barriers in the fashion world and proving that disabilities shouldn’t stop anyone from chasing their dreams.

Mary's Place

Michele Gannon and Maria McKeon | Mary’s Place by the Sea

Mary’s Place by the Sea was born from love in January 2009 when founder Michele Gannon was recovering from an illness. Trying to balance her needs with those of her three young children and her husband, as well as the demands of daily life, Gannon realized how difficult it is for women with cancer to take care of their families and homes while trying to maintain their own physical and emotional health. Gannon shared her vision with Maria McKeon, a fitness and wellness coach with more than 30 years of experience. The two women moved quickly to make Mary’s Place a reality, renting space in a bed and breakfast in Ocean Grove and establishing a bona fide non-profit organization. Today, Mary’s Place by the Sea is a respite home for women who are receiving treatment for all forms of cancer. Because of its integrative approach, the services the women receive complement their medical treatment, including oncology massage, individual counseling sessions, nutritional counseling, guided meditation, reflexology, journaling, yoga, and much more – and are free of charge.


Lana Parrilla | Face Forward 

Lana Parrilla is best known for her role as Mayor Regina Mills/The Evil Queen on ABC’s hit show “Once Upon a Time.” When not in front of the camera, Parrilla is passionate about several causes, including Face Forward. The organization was established in 2007 by David and Deborah Alessi, who have a long history of supporting charitable initiatives. Face Forward provides pro bono physical and emotional reconstruction for women and children who have been victimized by domestic violence. Parrilla launched her Long Live Hope Tee, of which 100 percent of proceeds are donated to the life-changing work of Face Forward.

Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller

Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller | Hilarity for Charity 

Hilarity for Charity (HFC) is a movement led by Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller to inspire change and raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease. The husband and wife team developed HFC U, a nationwide program that encourages and supports college groups to host their own Hilarity for Charity events to raise awareness among the millennial generation. Over the last four years, HFC’s Los Angeles Variety Show has entertained young, hip professionals through evenings filled with music and comedy while creating the next generation of Alzheimer’s advocates – not to mention raising more than $4.2 million.

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