I suspect that many corporations have begun to understand that they have an important role to play in the lives of their communities, and that allocating funds to support local groups helps them discharge that function and also burnish their image.
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I am a passionate traveler, and from the time I was a child, travel formed me as much as my formal education. In order to appreciate cultures of another nation, one needs to go there, know the people and mingle with the culture of that country. One way to do that, if one is lucky enough, is to buy things from those cultures.