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Dear Spanx Family,

Let me first say that human beings can be quarantined, but the human spirit cannot be contained.

I am in awe by the amount of giving and acts of kindness taking place around the world right now. Strangers helping strangers...neighbors helping neighbors...it's truly inspiring. I want to help too. I have decided to donate $5 million directly to female entrepreneurs to help their business, families and employees. This donation will immediately provide 1,000 female business owners here in the United States with $5,000 in funding each. My hope is that this gift will help alleviate some of the pressures caused by this horrible pandemic.

20 years ago, I started Spanx with $5,000 in savings and I see this as a time to pay it forward. Small business is the backbone of our culture. I know what it's like to be a small business owner, and I want to provide some relief to these entrepreneurs during this time.

We have teamed up with GlobalGiving to manage the fund and application process. The first round of applications were open from April 6 at 12pm ET through April 12 at 11:59pm ET. Each month, we will accept additional applications. The portal will open for applications again on May 4, June 1, July 6, and August 3. All you have to do is visit GlobalGiving's website and complete an application for The Red Backpack Fund.

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My hope is that this donation will allow many small businesses to continue to operate and thrive. It has been my greater mission throughout my life to elevate women. I truly believe when you elevate women you are elevating the greater whole. I also know when you help a woman fulfill her potential, magic happens.

In addition to the financial gift, each woman will also receive a "lucky" red backpack. I started Spanx with my "lucky" red backpack from college. It was with me every step of the way. The lucky red backpack is a symbol of starting small while dreaming big. It's become the official icon of The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation. The red backpack also hangs on the wall at Spanx headquarters in Atlanta. It's a wonderful reminder that everything you need to succeed is already on your back.

Thanks to MasterClass's generous donation, all 1,000 women will also receive a free annual All-Access Pass to all 80+ MasterClass instructors, including my class on entrepreneurship. In my class I share the importance of positive mindset, how to scale your business and how to turn obstacles into opportunities. My hope is that providing some mentorship and sharing my lesson learned through many ups and downs over the past 20 years will also be helpful to these women at this time.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to my customers, the team at Spanx and anyone who has ever bought Spanx products...this $5 million gift is from you too. Your support means the world to me and continues to allow me to make the world a better place...one butt at a time.

Sending love and light into the world,

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