Spanx founder Sara Blakely is donating a large chunk of her fortune as part of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet’s Giving Pledge, which encourages the world’s richest to donate at least half of their wealth to charity.
Blakely is the first in the fashion industry to sign onto the philanthropic venture, adding to her existing generosity. She previously donated $100,000 to The Empowerment Plan, which creates jobs for homeless women to produce sleeping-bag coats for others sleeping on the streets.
She solidified her pledge on Tuesday morning by submitting a letter explaining her decision to participate to the Gates Foundation. As it turns out, she credits the blessing of being born in America with her ability to become a self-made woman. “It was very emotional writing it,” she explained to Forbes. “When I read it out loud, I cried. I have so much gratitude for being a woman in America. I wouldn’t have had these opportunities if I wasn’t born in the right place at the right time.”