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Chobani’s founder Ulukaya donates $700 million to refugees

Hamdi Ulukaya

Chobani’s founder Hamdi Ulukaya

By Ergulen Toprak

New York

The founder of Chobani Hamdi Ulukaya will donate most of his wealth, at least 700 million dollars, to help the Kurdish refugees as well as refugees from all around the world.

With his statement on Thursday, Ulukaya announced that he is going to join the Giving Pledge, the funding system the riches donate half or their wealth, by building a new foundation called Tent. “I have always planned to give most of what I had. Growing up, I watched my mother give to those who needed and it came from the most amazing place in her heart,” Ulukaya said.

One of the biggest American companies Chobani, founded in 2005, started making Greek-style yogurt in 2007, in Upstate New York. Within his family’s farming background, Ulukaya used his experiences to create a great opportunity to build Chobani.

Ulukaya said what brought him to the USA was to learn English, but seeing the great opportunities in the USA made him stay here after school. “In 1994, I came to New York to study English and later became drawn to the idea that anyone can start something in America—all you needed was a dream and the willingness to take a risk,” Ulukaya said.

 

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Leaving his home and making the USA his permanent country motivated Ulukaya to start Chobani. “I grew up in a Kurdish dairy-farming family in Eastern Turkey. Anatolia is a bridge between the East and the West and has a rich history that you see in the faces of its people. The hardworking, communal culture shaped me as a person,” he said. “The small farming towns in Upstate New York reminded me of Anatolia. The people, like the shepherds I grew up with, lived off the land and gave what they could.”

Ulukaya continued with what he learned from his family. He was able to do more with that experience. “After a few years, I took a loan from the Small Business Administration, bought an old yogurt plant and brought a small group of us together to make the real, wholesome yogurt of my childhood,” he said. “We called the company Chobani, ‘shepherd’ in Turkish, to put the hardworking, giving spirit of farmers into the heart of the company.”

Chobani was a small factory located in Upstate New York and then lead Ulukaya to be one of the richest people in America. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires List of 2014, Ulukaya’s personal wealth is over 1.4 billion dollars.

In 2014, Ulukaya was invited to the White House and called a member of the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE).

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“From the start, I wanted Chobani to be committed to making better food for more people—and to stand for something even bigger than the natural food we made,” Ulukaya said. “Since day one, we have given 10% of our profits to charity through the Chobani Foundation and stayed true to our mission to make food the right way, and make it available to all. Building Chobani, I found that the real power of entrepreneurship was the impact you can have on communities. Ultimately, Chobani’s journey proved that if you have the right mindset, the sky is the limit.”

chobani

Remembering his real story is what encourages him to get involved with a new donation organization, Ulukaya says. Knowing his own people who are being attacked by the ISIS, in the city of Kobani located in northern Syria, and Iraq, in need of everything after they had to flee from their home, Shepherd’s Gift Foundation of Chobani donated 2 million dollars for them through United Nation, UNHCR, in 2014.

After building the Tent, Ulukaya is willing to donate half his wealth, over 700 million dollars to buıld a new charity organization for the refugees in Kurdistan as well as all around the world.

 

Related articles published in Turkish:

Clinton sordu Ulukaya cevapladı: Mültecileri yüzüstü bırakırsak çocuklarımızın yüzüne bakamayız

ABD’li Kürt milyarderden jest!

“Today, I dedicate my signing of the Giving Pledge to my mother and I am publicly committing the majority of my personal wealth—along with everything else I can do—to help refugees and help bring an end to this humanitarian crisis.”

song oof my mother (4)

“My story, like so many others, is only possible in America. The magic and power of the American dream is something I believe should be available to everyone—and is part of my hope for a modern Turkey and for entrepreneurs around the word,” Ulukaya said. “In the decade since I started Chobani, dramatic changes have occurred around the world. One result has been a shocking increase in the number of people made homeless by the conflict. Today, more than 50 million people—most of them women and children—are living as refugees or displaced people, robbed of life’s opportunities by war, persecution, and natural disasters.”

Ulukaya follows Bill Gates and others who have started the Giving Pledge. “I believe that as people who have been blessed with opportunity in our own lives we must give hope to others,” he said. “I thank Bill Gates and Warren Buffett for providing the inspiration for this important commitment and hope that my commitment to the Giving Pledge will in turn inspire others to do the same.”

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This article was first published at the below link and shared on the social media over 550K.

https://ergulentoprak.wordpress.com/2015/05/29/chobanis-founder-ulukaya-donates-700-million-to-refugees/

 

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About Ergulen Toprak

I am a reporter based in New York. I cover stories for Turkish and Kurdish media. My articles are mostly about the Kurdish and Turkish societies in the U.S. Most of them are feature stories, interviews and opinions that related the Kurdish issue and Turkish politics. My articles are being published in different languages, Turkish, Kurdish and English. https://myreportsny.wordpress.com/ Gazeteciliğe 2000 yılında başladım. Ankara ve İstanbul'da uzun yıllar çalıştım, Diyarbakır, Erbil'de de zaman zaman bulundum. Avrupa'da da çok sayıda konferans ve gezilere katıldım. 2011 yılından beridir New York'tayım. Daha çok siyaset ağırlıklı yazıyorum. Haberlerim üç dilde, Kürtçe, Türkçe ve İngilizce olarak yayinlaniyor. Bazı haberlerimi buradan takip edebilirsiniz. https://myreportsny.com/

Discussion

127 thoughts on “Chobani’s founder Ulukaya donates $700 million to refugees

  1. Hi colleagues, how is everything, and what you would like
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    Posted by maker profit | March 21, 2016, 2:42 pm
  2. I want said thank you mr.hamdy.
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    Sayed Hamdi refugees from Kobani We highly appreciate your solidarity with us in our difficult circumstances and are looking for more who have the ability to help

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by mustfa bozi | April 27, 2016, 3:46 pm

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Chobani’s founder Ulukaya donates $700 million to refugees | MyReports - May 2, 2016

  2. Pingback: Hamdi Ulukaya’dan yeni bir proje: Kim milyarder olmak ister? | MyReports - April 22, 2017

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