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Social Responsibility In the Realm of HIV/AIDS

Social responsibility is, for those who don’t know, an ethical framework that suggests that an entity, be it an organization or individual, has an obligation to act for the benefit of society at-large.

Most large businesses and corporations do partake in some form of social responsibility in some way or another. There are thousands of businesses all over the world that are socially responsible by responding to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and making it a priority to support the efforts of individuals and other organizations that work directly to impact change in regard to HIV.

This year alone, I have seen numerous companies and organizations stepping up to take a stand on a serious health issue that is still affecting people all over the world. Earlier this year, we saw Apple release the red iphone7, from which proceeds from sales benefitted (RED). Organizations that partner with the world’s most iconic brands also contribute up to 50% of profits from (RED)-branded goods and services to the Global Fund. (RED) partners with companies such as Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Beats by Dre, Bank of America, Apple and a few other corporations. However, one company is making their social responsibility “oh so sweet!”

Sprinkles Cupcakes has recently launched its "Summer Icon Series," wherein they honor an icon who has impacted the world in some way. This month, they’ve taken things a step further and added a charitable feature to their series. During the month of July, sprinkles is selling one of its most popular flavors, red velvet, and adorned with Elizabeth Taylor’s beauty. Sprinkles has agreed to give 10% of all proceeds from the red velvet cupcake to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) to help advance the work and the legacy that she began long ago in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

This partnership between Sprinkles and the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation is one of many more that are needed in order to see an AIDS-free generation and to get to zero new infections. The work and resources that ETAF provides is part of what has helped many organizations become successful in their community engagements, including the work that they do here in the United States and across the world. Domestically, ETAF has awarded grants to organizations that primarily focus on sexual health education and HIV criminalization reform, which are two very important topics that must be addressed to reach the goal that we all want to see. To date, ETAF has granted to more than 675 organizations in 44 countries, including 42 states in the U.S.

The efforts of ETAF wouldn’t be possible without the help of others. Through communities, businesses and various corporations, ETAF is able to impact a huge number of people all over the world, and now you get the chance to partake in supporting these efforts. It’s simple: you can order online or in your nearest Sprinkles Cupcake store. Make sure you get the Red Velvet cupcake, but don’t be selfish. Get a box, share with your kids, loved ones, co-workers and whomever else you see fit. Be sure to post a picture with your cupcake, hashtags #ETAF #CupcakesForACause, and tag the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. More importantly, when you bite into that cupcake, remember that you’re helping make a difference in the lives of many; which makes it that much sweeter.

Deondre Moore is an ambassador with the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.