Pairing Wine with Wheels
October 20, 2011
There are more than 150 million people—roughly 2 percent of all the people on earth—who are in need of a wheelchair, but cannot afford one, according to the World Health Organization.
My long-time friend Gordon Holmes, publisher of Streetwise Reports (The Gold Report and The Energy Report) and founder of Lookout Ridge Winery, has developed a unique approach to help this cause called the “Wines for Wheelchairs” program. For every bottle of a certain wine or every case of wine you buy, the winery donates a wheelchair in your name to an individual anywhere in the world who is in need. Gordon also began the “Movement for Mobility” program, which works with mining companies all over the world to provide turnkey solutions to bring wheelchairs into their local communities.
To Bloomberg, he described his passion this way: “The first time we distributed wheelchairs, in Mexico, I saw how one could instantly change someone's life. I picked up a little boy whose dad was wheeling him in a wheelbarrow and sat him in a wheelchair. The look on his face now that he could get around by himself -- wow.”
I applaud my friend’s efforts to pair wine with wheels to create a lasting impact. Streetwise was one of our earliest content partners and was instrumental in placing our message in front of an important audience. I’m proud that U.S. Global will be partnering with Lookout Ridge Winery again at this year’s New Orleans Investment Conference to bring Gordon’s expertise in wine to a great wine tasting event while promoting a very worthy cause.
It’s fitting that Gordon will be sharing his talents in New Orleans because the founder of the Investment Conference, Jim Blanchard, was confined to a wheelchair for most of his life. Instead of dwelling on his misfortune, he became a successful businessman, a thought-leader in gold investing, executive editor and publisher of the oldest precious metals-related advisory publication, the Gold Newsletter, and a world-traveler lobbying for liberty and free markets.
The emerging world is currently the epicenter of our global investment philosophy. Emerging markets have the strongest balance sheets and fastest growing economies, and they hold the majority of the world’s natural resource reserves. The two factors go hand-in-hand because the natural resources can unlock the door to a greater standard of living for a large portion of the population.
However, the road to achieving this better way of life is filled with potholes and speed bumps, such as corruption and civil war. This is why U.S. Global and I support the work of the Clinton Global Initiative and the International Crisis Group. Using the “teach a man to fish” ideology, the Clinton Global Initiative has made great strides in cultivating leadership, alleviating poverty, and raising health and education standards to new heights in Africa and Latin America.
U.S. Global is particularly committed to one of the foundation’s initiatives, the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative. CGSGI focuses on alleviating poverty in the developing world by identifying opportunities to assist local leaders in addressing social, economic and environmental issues.
I was fortunate to be present when former President Bill Clinton and Canadian businessman Frank Giustra launched CGSGI in 2007. CGSGI soon gained the support of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helú, who joined Giustra in pledging at least $100 million for CGSGI’s efforts in South America. I have witnessed the great work of this organization firsthand in Colombia, where its support of entrepreneurship has led to a transformation in the South American country.
The International Crisis Group focuses its efforts on resolving deadly conflicts around the world. In places such as Burundi, which is on the brink of civil war, to Kosovo, where longstanding tensions with neighbor Serbia threaten to escalate into armed conflict. The International Crisis Group is also highly involved with the Arab Spring, negotiating for peace and protecting human rights in countries such as Syria and Yemen.
These organizations provide examples of how corporations that profit from the emerging world can help improve the lives of families and individuals residing in those communities.
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