What started as a five-year commitment to raise a minimum of $50,000 in scholarships for the Williams-Franklin Foundation (WFF) at the start of 2021 by Organic & Natural Health Association, has blossomed into a $55,205 total in less than two years throughout various natural products industry events and supporters. These funds have raised more visibility for opportunities in the natural products industry for students of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU).

So far in the program’s second year, Organic & Natural Health has hosted six informational and fundraising events to date with more scheduled. Major industry organizations including AIDP, Atrium Innovations, Barrington Nutritionals, Council for Responsible Nutrition, Health Wright Products, Informa Markets, Mercola, Natural Grocers, New Hope Network, Nordic Naturals, Pitch Publicity, Purity Products, RedLeaf Biologics, RFI Ingredients and What’s Up With Supps have sponsored, partnered or supported the WFF “Organic & Natural Health Scholarship Fund,” which has supplied seven scholarships, to date, to HBCU students interested in pursuing health and wellness careers, with more scholarship recipients being announced later this year.

The Williams-Franklin Foundation is a 501(c)3 incorporated nonprofit that provides academic scholarships, business/career networking, and mentoring opportunities to HBCU students with extreme financial need. Founders, Dwight and LaShelle (Williams) Franklin, both HBCU graduates, will share their story in person at NBJ Summit from 11:35 to 11:50 a.m. PT, on July 26 (both in-person and virtual conference attendees may attend). One-on-one meetings with the Franklins at NBJ Summit may also be arranged during the conference through Organic & Natural Health. Following the NBJ Conference, on July 28, What’s Up With Supps will host an industry-wide networking event to benefit WFF’s “Organic & Natural Health Scholarship Fund.” RedLeaf Biologics has been partnering with Organic & Natural Health during the 2022 fundraising events to entice more participation from the industry by offering WFF donors the opportunity to participate in an all-expenses paid trip to Lexington, Kentukey’s “All Jockey Access” at the Keeneland’s Fall Race Meet, including a private distillery tour complete with Kentucky food and libations. There will be one more opportunity to attend this VIP event, on Oct. 14-15, by supporting WFF at NBJ Summit and the ensuing What’s Up With Supps “NBJ Summit” after-party.

For natural products industry professionals and companies who wish to donate a tax-deductible gift directly to the Organic & Natural Health Scholarship Fund, please visit www.wmsfranklinfoundation.org/donate and select “Organic & Natural Health Fund” in the drop box when donating.