RetailROI SuperSaturday Event at Microsoft Headquarters NYC-2023

By: Gloria Smith, Associate Editor for World Liberty TV

Over 220 retail executives recently met at Microsoft’s New York headquarters for a day of top retail business content and networking for a greater cause – helping orphans and foster children. The SuperSaturday event from The Retail Orphan Initiative combines charities, retail executives and technology executives together in an event often called “Tech and Tears” for the purpose of raising funds and creating real solutions to help the most vulnerable in our society – orphans and children in the foster system.

The day marked the 14th SuperSaturday event. Since inception, the proceeds of the event have helped over 311,000 children in 28 countries, funding projects ranging from clean water to building/remodeling schools as well as computer labs. In total, over $4.2 Million USD in grants to worthy charities have been awarded from the proceeds of SuperSaturday in the first 13 years.


Retail ROI

Past attendees include executives from Kroger, Target, Walgreens, Quick Trip, Tractor Supply, Bed Bath and Beyond, Giant Food Stores, Sodexo, Rooms to Go, Restoration Hardware, The Vitamin Shoppe, Ulta Beauty, Lululemon, Genesco and many others.

The Purpose of the Retail Orphan Initiative (RetailROI) is to raise awareness and provide real solutions for the more than 400 million vulnerable children worldwide.

Casita Copan

RetailROI has 3 primary goals: Bring Awareness to the enormous needs of orphans worldwide:    There are over 143 Million Orphans in the world, according to UNICEF. If Orphans were a country, they would be the 8th largest…larger than Russia.    A child dies every 5.2 seconds…. that’s over 16,000 children EVERY DAY.   In the NY foster care system, 60% of children who are out end up homeless.

Dr Abbey with Sharon Leite Former CEO Vitamin Shoppe

Encourage companies (Retailers, Vendors, Manufacturers) to create programs internally for their companies to help with the need:    Be mentors for foster kids in your area, provide non-paid leave for employees who adopt or who are foster parents and Establish grant or no-interest loan programs for employees who want to adopt.

Hundreds in attendance at Super Saturday RIO

Raise Funds through the following ways to help “feet on the street” charities who are making a real difference:    Direct donations from companies and individuals, Making RetailROI a charity that receives matching funds from your company,    Specially marked packages of toys, cereals, and clothing for kids,    Roundup for Orphans at the point-of-sale where consumers can round up their transactions to the nearest $.Starting in 2022 100% of all RetailROI donations are going directly to helping orphans and vulnerable children.

kate McLean Exec Dir CCAI

Former Vitamin Shoppe CEO Sharon Leite, Corin Dennison of adidas, Jim Kuerschner of Kule along with other analysts and top influencers in a special event that has been labeled “Tech and Tears”.

The Program started off with RetailROI Overview Greg Buzek – President RetailROI, thanking everyone being in attendance to his sold out event, Greg thanked the Sponsors, Retailers and Charities engaged in Retail ROI.

Dr Abbey with Maridel Sandberg Founder Together for Good

Other Prominent speakers included:  Sharon Leite, former CEO – The Vitamin Shoppe, Vicki Cantrell – CEO Vendors in Partnership and VP of RetailROI, Jim Kuerschner – President – Kule, Networking Tables: Group 1 – Sponsors and Retailers Only,1:1 Meetings for Retailers/Sponsors – Scheduled by RetailROI Networking with Charities/Trip Signups – All others.

Charity Keynote – The Seeds Have Grown – RetailROI Opportunity in Jamaica, Janeth Simpson Brown – Executive Director – Fergus Simpson Foundation and Tricia Gustin – Senior Director Marketing – The Parker Avery Group. Working Together to Solve Charity Issues – Optional Doing a Company Fundraiser for RetailROI, How Retail Can Help Reduce Social Worker Turnover and the Exponential Cost to Society.

Gary and Andrea of Sunrise Home Youth Development Center

Upcoming Trips: Jeffreys Bay, South Africa – May/June 2023: This trip goes to the only area where we have a continuity of involvement/care from age 3 all the way through university for children from the townships/projects. We start with pre-school, help with elementary school, then high school and even post high school.  2 years ago, we had our first two graduates go through the entire program. This trip includes all the bucket list activities as well: elephants, sharks, big cats and some of the best waves in the world.

Dr Abbey with Greg Buzek President RetailROI

Jamaica  – June 20-26, 2023:This trip would be our 5th trip to Jamaica and it would be specifically designed so that our teens can attend.  We will be visiting with kids from age 5-17 as part of this trip in the Chapelton, Jamaica area.  As a stable, English speaking country we will have several opportunities to invest our time and energies with the time in up to 6 schools.  Depending on who will attend, this will range from crafts and games to computer and life skills training.  If we have enough teens, we may also look at some athletic competitions.

Fran Maynard of TN Alliance for Kids

Honduras – Summer 2023: This 4-5 day trip ( departing on Saturday & returning on Tuesday or Wednesday) will be visiting our partner Casita Copan Children’s Home in Copan Ruinas.  We’ll visit with the school children, install a second computer lab, get a understanding of the important work Casita Copan is doing for Orphans and Foster children by providing education, meals, a safe place to go after school, and foster house mothers. We’ll make a side trip to the Mayan Ruins, Coffee Plantation, or Macaw Sanctuary so you can get a flavor of the area. This is a great trip to bring your teens- ages 14+ and will be limited to 15 people.

Guatemala – September 2023: We will visit rural Guatemalan projects that include working with disabled youth living in rural areas and providing customized wheelchairs to them.

Dominican Republic – November 2023: Join Mary & Jay Fagnano, founders of the Thrive in Joy Nick Fagnano Foundation, on their annual vision trip to the Dominican Republic. All accommodations and transportation are coordinated through our partnership with Vision Trust Dominicana. If you like to cook- this is a trip for you! We provide a meal for 425 students at a school in Herrera, an extremely underserved community in Santo Domingo and we make a party for the children and staff living at the Remar Orphanage in another section of Santo Domingo. We make time to play with the kids, connect, and show them we care and are there to offer encouragement. We bond as a team, bring our love, and whatever our gifts might be…whether it’s chopping vegetables, throwing a baseball, giving a piggyback ride, sharing a selfie, or just giving and getting lots of hugs.

Vicki Cantrell VP RIO Interviewing Sharon Leite Fmr CEO Vitamin Shoppe

India – Fall 2023:The trip will be to visit CHI Ekalavya School in Bangalore, India.  The school provides formal education opportunities to underprivileged children living in slums. We will visit the school and look for opportunities to work together. It may also have an IT tour combined with it.

R-L Janeth S Brown Founder Fergus Simpson Foundation with Staff Members

Retail Orphan Initiative raises over $384,000 to help Orphans and Vulnerable children in Supersaturday event.

It was a truly great experience attending Retail ROI, with Retailers working in partnerships with Charities working with Orphans worldwide, Mr.Greg Buzek ,CEO of the organization did a wonderful job of bringing all the people together in one location and forge partnerships to help some of the poorest Orphans around the World.

To help, or go to one of the above trips you can go to the website to learn more about Retail RIO, Click here for more information.

See More about our Humanitarians of the World Inc., doing similar work World Wide, by clicking here.

See more in our World Liberty TV, Humanitarian Channels and Blogs by clicking here.

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