Giving is in the air today and everyday at Lilly Pulitzer. Lilly Pulitzer herself said, “If you haven’t got any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble” and we couldn’t agree more. This year, our customers have joined us in our support of 365 charitable organizations to-date, including the GirlKind Project, Girl Scouts of America, The First Tee, and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Our Magical Mary and Pinking Positive prints allowed our customers to join in to support women and children in their communities and touched hearts across the country. Browse all of our Gifts that Give Back here.
For Lilly lovers, the spirit of giving shines so bright! Every day, we hear impactful stories of your big hearts and true commitment to making a difference in the lives of others.
Today, we are celebrating just four of those stories, from amazing members of the Lilly Pulitzer community:
Stephanie, Founder/CEO The Confetti Foundation:
Tell us about why you founded your organization?
I started The Confetti Foundation because I had learned about a little boy who was turning 1 and had lived his entire life in the hospital. The hospital was providing the cake and gifts, but not party decorations, it was the responsibility of the family. His Mom had never left his side and she was so upset she could not decorate his room. My best friend, who had a sick baby of her own in the NICU, went to the store and provided this mom enough supplies to celebrate his 1st birthday. Having spent my own 13th birthday in the hospital, I knew first hand that families crave that milestone when their child is sick. Being a professional event planner, I knew the elements that were needed to produce a memorable birthday party. It was time for me to give back and create a charity that values birthdays for sick children and neighbors coming together to celebrate one another.
Most memorable celebration?
A birthday party for a 6 year old little girl who was waiting for a heart transplant. She had been hospitalized almost 7 straight months waiting. Her wish was that when she got a new heart, that she could go to Disney World to meet a real live Princess. The hospital reached out to us to tell us her love for princesses and her circumstances. We sprang into action and decorated her room to look like a princess castle and we had a surprise of 6 Princesses to sing with her favorite songs! She was so excited she had leaped out of bed (she had not moved in 2 months) her family, nurses and doctors joined in the sing along. She told us it was the best day of her life and it was ok that someone couldn’t give her a heart yet because her wish had already come true.
What advice would you give to 12 year old you?
To be kinder to myself and to other people. To also be grateful for my health and all the privileges my parents provided for me.
What are your tips for someone who wants to have an idea/cause they are passionate about but don’t know where to start?
Try to find an organization that already exists. There are so many organizations that are doing wonderful things. Be a part of their mission. There are so many forms of giving back (time, in kind or monetary) We all have our strengths, skills and talents, share them! We start charity’s because we want to fix a problem or have been personally affected by a situation. Look for an organization that welcomes community involvement. We all want to feel included in the greater good, bringing communities together is the number one priority when starting an organization.
Barbara, Founder of Fashion for Life with Lilly
Building confidence and self-esteem in young women for over 30 years through her fashion camp.
How did Fashion for Life come to be & what is the mission?
“My mission as an adult has always been to empower girls and young women. I do this through Fashion for Life, which is a program that incorporates fashion, health, nutrition, self-discovery, styling for yourself, and etiquette to share tools in building confidence in who they really are. My three-week program based out of our Palm Beach Gardens store and I travel around to our Florida stores to do one-day intensive programs. I incorporate Lilly Pulitzer’s life, passion, style, and legacy. This is all about #GIRLPOWER! I ask the girls what kind of person do you want to be—do you want to be the kind of woman who appreciates other women for their talents and specialties that they share with the world? Will you embrace that and learn from them? That way they can lead by example with their own peers.”
An inspiring moment of Fashion for Life?
“I have been doing the Fashion for Life program for 30 years in Florida. I love when girls who had been in the program, who are now dults, come into the Palm Beach Gardens store to shop, catch up, and share with me that the tools they learned in Fashion for Life have helped them become successful.”
If you had to give advice to 12-year old you, what would you say?
“Love yourself. Discover your talents. Never give up on yourself. It will come to you. Don’t be afraid to try something and fail—you can learn more from your failure than your successes.”
What advice would you give to someone who has an idea or a cause they care deeply about?
My suggestion is to not ever let go of what your dream and I believe you have to take small steps to work up to it. I’ve always approached things with the three E’s that I teach in my fashion camp: Energy, Effort, Enthusiasm. This is a great recipe to follow—it can lead to unexpected success and adventure.
Lillie, Brooke it Forward supporter & store manager of Palm Village, a Lilly Pulitzer Signature Store:
Continuing to embrace and honor the spirit of a very special girl who touched the hearts of many
Share a little bit about Brooke and how you got to know this special girl
“In 2015, I worked for Biltmore Properties and I managed a JOS A Bank for our owners. At that time, I met a client by the name of Todd Gregory. He was engaged to this wonderful lady named Marie Rudd. I helped them plan their suits for their wedding and life was great.
In the first quarter of 2016, I made a transition to Biltmore Properties Palm Village Mandeville a Lilly Pulitzer Signature Store. Throughout that first year Brooke and her mom Marie would come in the store. Brooke was near the end of her senior year at Mandeville High School and had committed to attend Louisiana State University. Although graduation was still a couple of months away, Brooke walked into our store on March 14th looking for a graduation dress. She knew right away the one she wanted! She asked me to please hold Valli shift in onyx that tingled her fancy. With a smile on her face she told me she would be back to let her mom look at it. As promised, Brooke and Marie returned to the store later that afternoon. Brooke tried on the “perfect” dress and Marie couldn’t have agreed more. Marie and I chatted a long while and Brooke would chime in “the more y’all talk, the more I shop”. We laughed and continued chatting about her husband’s job relocating them to Minneapolis. Brooke grumbled about Marie moving away during her first quarter of collage. I offered that my daughter Savannah would be at LSU and if she needed anything, I would be up there at least once every other week. I gave my number to Marie who noticed Brooke was adding to the ticket and said we will chat again soon. I laughed and said goodbye.
Two days later, (3-16-17) Brooke was traveling to the Equestrian center in Gulfport, Mississippi for a competition taking place that weekend. Sadly before Brooke could arrive at her destination, she was hit head-on by another vehicle and killed instantly. I had no knowledge until my daughter said her friend at Mandeville High School had lost a friend in a car accident. She didn’t recall the young lady’s name. I just happened to go on my Facebook and Marie’s husband Todd had posted about the accident and the arrangements.
I attended the wake with a heavy heart but two things stood out to me when I walked in the church. First, there were 6 to 7 24×36 posters of pictures and positive quotes by Brooke and her love for her family and horses. Second, was her sister wearing Brooke’s Valli shift in her honor because she loved it so much. Over the past two years, Brooke’s mom and I have remained friends. A local women’s group dedicated two annual scholarships in Brooke’s name. When Marie returns home, she stops in the store and chooses a Lilly dress in Brooke’s honor. This past year, not only were there scholarships to award, but Marie kicked off the Brooke It Forward Foundation, on what would have been Brooke’s 20 th birthday wearing Fancy Feet because it ‘looked like a Brooke dress.’ Other family members often celebrate Brooke’s memory on special occasions by wearing Lilly.”
How do you “Brooke it Forward” in your everyday life?
“I Brooke It Forward everyday by introducing new and old Lilly Lovers to the warmth and smiles that Lilly clothing bring into one’s life. Our store adores each minnie that comes in our store. My staff and I make it easy to shop by holding or entertaining young children. I think that if you touch someone with love, you will be blessed.”
Brynne, founder of the Pink Lemonade Stand Challenge:
Brynne, now 10, founded the Pink Lemonade Stand Challenge Campaign as a charitable crusade when she was just 7 years old
Tell us how the Pink Lemonade Stand Challenge Campaign came to be:
In the summer of 2016 the Rhodes family of 6 was enjoying a summer vacation by the beach in New Jersey. The youngest member of the family, Brynne, then 7 years old, asked her mom Kim if she could open a lemonade stand. In honor of her mother Kim, then in treatment for breast cancer, Brynne decided to make it a PINK lemonade stand and donate the money to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). Kim pledged to match every dollar Brynne raised from her stand. Shortly after the lemonade stand opened for business, Brynne’s parents could not run pitchers of the cool drink to Brynne’s lemonade stand fast enough. People were making donations well above the price of lemonade! In 2017 Brynne made short video explaining the Pink Lemonade Stand Challenge and recruited her friend Maddie to take the challenge – together they raised over $1000. Brynne thought it would be GREAT if everyone who opened a lemonade stand TURNED IT PINK and donated the proceeds to BCRF! In 2018 Brynne’s school hosted a Pink Lemonade Poster Party hoping to inspire her classmates to #MakeAStand of their own. And did they ever – classmates from Brynne’s grade school in the Philadelphia suburbs took their stands to many states and cities over summer break including, Philadelphia, Florida and even Alaska! Brynne’s family and friends contacted family and friends all over the country asking them to make a PINK lemonade stand to benefit BCRF. The campaign’s initial goal in 2018 was 10 Stands in 10 States, but by the end of October 2018, the campaign had reached 15 states, making local news in cities all over the country and raising $10,000 for breast cancer research! Also in the Fall of 2018, www.PinkLemonadeStandChallenge.com was launched to provide a single communication channel for supporters nationwide and a quick link to the BCRF donation page. 100% of funds raised at PINK lemonade stands are donated directly to BCRF.
Then on May 20th 2019, Brynne and Kim were invited to launch the 4th year of the campaign by sharing their story with millions of viewers around the country on the TODAY show with Hoda & Jenna! Thanks to the national new exposure, Brynne was able to inspire many more PINK lemonade stands in 2019. With the help of 37 Lilly Pulitzer stores all over the US, the campaign has now reached more than 25 states and raised over $50,000 for BCRF. College Student interns from around the nation joined Brynne in 2019 to support and grow the campaign through participation in the Pink Lemonade Stand Challenge College Intern and Ambassador program. In 2020, Brynne plans to continue to grow the campaign and reach all 50 states – hoping to inspire more kids and families nationwide to take the challenge – together we can #BeTheEnd of breast cancer!
What advice would you give other girls who have an idea or a cause they care deeply about?
They should GO FOR IT! There is nothing to lose, and helping others makes you feel great. Kids who care about others can positively impact the lives of those around them. Keep in mind that being passionate and incorporating fun into any idea will make it more contagious.
What’s your biggest dream for the Pink Lemonade Stand Challenge?
That the Pink Lemonade Stand Challenge inspires other kids to get involved and to end breast cancer! Thank you Lilly Pulitzer! It is such an honor and a gift to have Lilly Pulitzer’s team of compassionate and beautiful (inside and out) team members supporting Brynne and BCRF by making stands and helping to spread the word about the Pink Lemonade Stand Challenge. Although breast cancer affects women and men, the overwhelming majority of patients are women, many of them mothers. The gorgeous styles, the flare and the pink that is iconic Lilly Pulitzer and adorns women, including mothers and daughters, is an incredible compliment to a campaign focused on curing an illness that has become an epidemic for women worldwide. Lilly Pulitzer has brought something truly magic to life through the individual store teams who share this passion and recognize that they are in the unique and enviable position to further our shared goal to #BeTheEnd of breast cancer!
If you are inspired by Brynne’s story and want to give to the breast cancer research foundation, go to: www.PinkLemonadeStandChallenge.com & clock donate now.
In honor of Giving Tuesday and the holiday season, participating retail locations will have a Toys for Tots box in their stores. Call your local store for details.