I feel very fortunate to be able to share with others, my passion and knowledge for healthy living. Giving back is food for my soul. Giving back makes an immeasurable difference in the lives of others. Evidence suggests that volunteering and philanthropy have positive effects on social psychological factors, such as one’s sense of purpose. Those who give to others not only help their community but also experience better physical and mental health in later years.

Giving back allows you to experience “The Happiness Effect” from the release of dopamine from the brain.

Decreases your risk of depression by increasing social interaction and builds a support system based on common interests.

Giving releases oxytocin, a hormone that induces feelings of warmth, euphoria, and connection to others.

Karen’s Summer Philanthropy Project

I donated 15,000 Thank You Bars to hospitals and healthcare professionals who are working tireless hours on our behalf.

Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern Medicine

I serve as a philanthropic council member and co-chair of major fundraising events. The Osher Center is directed by my colleague, Melinda Ring, MD. The Center’s mission is to develop a health care system in which all appropriate conventional and complementary approaches are used to optimize health, well-being of the whole person, and prevent chronic illness.

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Environmental Working Group (EWG)

As a board of director, I share the research and work of EWG in their mission to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Check out their healthy living app on your mobile device!

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As a board of director, I support their mission to grow healthy futures to connect food through experiential, garden-based learning in the Chicago Public School System.

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Spiral Sun Ventures

As an advisory board member, I support this mission-based seed capital fund that promotes a healthier lifestyle by investing in companies that create better-for-you consumer products.

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Gaples Institute for Integrative Cardiology

Founded by cardiologist, dear friend, and teacher, Stephen Devries, MD, the Gaples Institute provides research and education for the medical community to promote heart health through nutrition and lifestyle changes.

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Integrative Medicine for the Underserved (IM4US)

As an IM4US supporter and event co-host, I believe deeply in their mission: IM4US is committed to accessible and affordable integrative health care for all and dedicated to promoting health in the underserved populations with a focus on wellness, prevention, patient empowerment, and self-care.

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“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.”

-Oscar Wilde

Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)

CSPI has been providing advocacy and advice towards a healthier food system since 1971. Some of CSPI’s goals: keep junk food out of schools, reduce the consumption of sugary beverages, reduce sodium in processed foods and restaurant food, improve food safety laws, eliminate food dyes from foods, and to ensure honest and accurate labeling on food packages.

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The Center for Mindful Eating (TCME)

TCME trains professionals to help people achieve a balanced, respectful, healthy, and joyful relationship with food.

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Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE)

FARE works on behalf of the 15 million Americans with food allergies with the mission to improve the quality of life and the health of individuals with food allergies, and to provide hope through the promise of new treatments.

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Common Threads

Common Threads delivers cooking and nutrition curriculum to kids in underserved schools and communities with a goal of creating life-long lasting healthy habits.

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World Bike Relief (WBR)

As a passionate cyclist, I fell in love with WBR and their passion to mobilize people through The Power of Bicycles. By supporting social enterprise and donating bikes to people in developing countries, they help them conquer their challenges of distance and achieve independence.

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