Friday, December 28, 2007

AT&T and USO Launch Text Message Donation Program Supporting Military Families on New Year's Day

DALLAS — AT&T announced a new text messaging program that will support the USO -- and U.S. military families -- with free prepaid phone cards. The program launches at the AT&T Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Beginning Jan. 1, and running through March 31, 2008, customers can make a $2 donation in support of the USO by text messaging USO to short code 740 from their AT&T wireless devices.

Donations will support the USO Operation Phone Home program, which provides free prepaid phone cards to military members serving active duty away from home so that they may stay in touch with loved ones. After callers send the message USO to short code 740, they will receive a response asking them to confirm their $2 donation by replying YES. After text messaging YES back to the 740 number, callers will receive a message letting them know that the donation is complete.

This text messaging program extends the support that AT&T has provided to the USO for the past 20 years, including contributing tens of millions of dollars in support of Operation USO Care Package, USO Operation Phone Home and USO entertainment tours. AT&T also has assisted the USO through funding regional operations in Europe, Southwest Asia and the Pacific.

"This texting program is a simple and convenient way to help support the many military families across the country that may be apart this New Year's Day," said Mark Collins, vice president of Consumer Data for AT&T's wireless unit. "At AT&T, we're glad to lend one of our most popular messaging tools to make it easy for folks who want to join us in helping to connect military families during the holidays and all year long."

The new text messaging donation program also builds on the continued support of military members via free prepaid phone cards, compliments of AT&T and the USO: In 2007, AT&T has donated more than 50,000 prepaid phone cards, valued at more than $450,000, for distribution to military personnel in Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, South Korea, Japan and Europe. With the help of the USO, the phone cards were distributed for Mother's Day, Father's Day, Independence Day and the November and December holidays.

For more than 66 years, the USO (United Service Organizations) has been providing morale, welfare and recreational services to U.S. military personnel and their families. The USO is a nonprofit, charitable organization, relying on the generosity of the American people to support its programs and services. The USO is supported by Worldwide Strategic Partners AT&T Inc., BAE Systems North America, Clear Channel Communications, The Coca-Cola Company, DRS Technologies, Inc. and TriWest Healthcare Alliance. Other corporate donors, including the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381), have joined thousands of individual donors to support the USO.

AT&T Inc. is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates, AT&T operating companies, are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. Among their offerings are the world's most advanced IP-based business communications services and the nation's leading wireless, high speed Internet access and voice services. In domestic markets, AT&T is known for the directory publishing and advertising sales leadership of its Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations, and the AT&T brand is licensed to innovators in such fields as communications equipment. As part of its three-screen integration strategy, AT&T is expanding its TV entertainment offerings.

This is an excellent way to show support for our nation's troops. AT&T and the USO have worked together for decades and this program is a fine example of what can be accomplished. Those who don't have AT&T cell phones can still make a donation at AT&T's Web site,

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Fresh & Easy Sponsors Holiday Card Recycling Program to Benefit American Forests

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market announced a program for customers to recycle holiday cards at each store location. Proceeds from the sale of the recycled cards will benefit American Forests, a non-profit organization that focuses on planting trees in restoration areas throughout the country.

The company is a subsidiary of U.K.-based Tesco and plans to have 50 stores open in the U.S. by February and 200 by the end of next year.

The holiday card recycling program started Dec. 18, 2007, and will continue through the end of January 2008. A holiday card drop-off box is located at the front of each store location. Fresh & Easy will recycle the holiday cards and donate the proceeds to the American Forests. For every dollar donated, American Forests will plant a tree.

"We want to make it easier for customers to make more environmentally friendly decisions," said CEO Tim Mason, Fresh & Easy. "If everyone in the neighborhood brings their holiday cards back to our stores to be recycled, we can make a big difference."

American Forests is a world leader in planting trees for environmental restoration, a pioneer in the science and practice of urban forestry, and a primary communicator of the benefits of trees and forests. The mission of the organization is to grow a healthier world through tree planting and education on restoration.

"Last year, there were 1.1 million acres of National Forest in need of restoration. With increased intensity in wildfires, the need for restoration tree planting is even greater this year," said Greg Meyer, vice president of marketing and development at American Forests.

As part of the company's commitment to be a good neighbor and friend of the environment, Fresh & Easy has committed to build LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified buildings, recycle or reuse all shipping and display materials, and voluntarily joined the California Climate Action Registry to disclose its greenhouse gas emissions. The company also invested in California's largest solar roof installation on its distribution center in Riverside.

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market is a local, neighborhood store committed to providing customers with fresh, wholesome food at affordable prices. It has 27 grocery markets open in neighborhoods throughout Southern California and in Nevada and Arizona. Fresh & Easy is a company of Tesco, the UK's largest retailer and one of the world's leading international retailers. Tesco operates over 3,200 stores across 12 countries and employs more than 400,000 people.

It's a fine idea to sponsor a holiday card recycling program to benefit American Forests. Most people simply throw their cards away, but this gives them a new purpose. With more than a million acres in need of restoration, this is a good a place as any to start and to generate awareness across the country.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Salvation Army Receives $200,000 Wal-Mart Gift Card Donation for Christmas

ALEXANDRIA, VA — The Salvation Army announced that Wal-Mart will donate $200,000 in gift cards to the organization for distribution in eight U.S. communities demonstrating a particular need this season. The gift cards will enable thousands of underprivileged families across the country to purchase toys, clothing, food and other items this Christmas.

Wal-Mart will donate 500 gift cards totaling $25,000 to local Salvation Army corps in each the following areas: Anchorage, Alaska; Ashland, Ohio; Benton Harbor, Mich.; Camden, N.J.; Detroit, Mich.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Portland, Ore.; and the Northern West Virginia Panhandle. Announcement ceremonies will be held in each market and The Salvation Army will begin distributing the $50 gift cards to needy families this week.

"Wal-Mart takes great pride in being able to help The Salvation Army continue its important work in these communities," said Margaret McKenna, president of the Wal-Mart Foundation. "From red kettles in front of all of our stores across the country to partnerships like this one, we remain committed to giving back."

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for 127 years in the United States. More than 35 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. About 83 cents of every dollar raised is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide.

Every week, millions of customers visit Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club locations across America or log on to its online store at The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally. Wal-Mart is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $270 million to local communities in the United States.

Support from national and local organizations help the The Salvation Army serve nearly 5 million people at Christmas and 35 million year-round. Partnering with The Salvation Army is a great way for Wal-Mart to give back to the communities it serves, particularly in areas in the greatest need this holiday season.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Payless Teams With Barefoot Kids Foundation

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Barefoot Kids Foundation and Payless ShoeSource, Inc. are teaming up to provide $25 footwear shopping cards for needy children.

Barefoot Kids Foundation exclusively provides new footwear to kids in need through its national distribution network in 20 cities throughout the USA. Childcare organizations such as Boys & Girls Clubs, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Salvation Army and Court Appointed Special Advocates provide Payless ShoeSource shopping cards to underprivileged kids.

The National Center for Children in Poverty reports that 17 percent or 12.7 million American children live below the poverty level, and may of these children are in desperate need of new footwear.

Barefoot Kids Foundation is a non-profit corporation that works with established child charities and service organizations to provide footwear to needy children. Trained professionals supervise distribution of the footwear and follow up with the children as their feet grow.

Payless ShoeSource, Inc. is the largest specialty family footwear retailer in the Western Hemisphere. The company was founded in 1956 in Topeka, Kan., on a revolutionary idea of selling shoes in a self-select environment. More than 50 years later, Payless serves millions of customers through its network of more than 4,500 stores, in a variety of retail settings, in all 50 U.S. states, as well as in Puerto Rico, Guam, Saipan, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America. In fiscal 2006, Payless sold nearly 180 million pairs of shoes, generating $2.8 billion in net sales.

A proper fitting pair of shoes is something every child in America should have, but unfortunately thousands do not. It's good to see Payless partnering with an organization like Barefoot Kids to reach out to those kids in need and give them one of life's basic necessities.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sallie Mae Employees, The Sallie Mae Fund Contribute $1 Million to The United Way

RESTON, Va., In 2007, Sallie Maeemployees reached into their hearts and wallets to provide assistance to families and communities across the country: with matching grants from The Sallie Mae Fund, combined giving to the United Way totaled $1 million. Employees donated nearly $650,000 through payroll deductions in 2007 and The Sallie Mae Fund, a charitable organization sponsored by Sallie Mae, gave more than $350,000.

The gifts from Sallie Mae employees and The Sallie Mae Fund help United Way in its effort to improve the quality of life for children and families by uniting effective partners, wise investments, and committed volunteers to create measurable differences in local neighborhoods. Since 2005, Sallie Mae employees and The Sallie Mae Fund have donated more than $2.7 million to the United Way.

"The Sallie Mae Fund is proud to honor the philanthropic commitment of more than 12,000 Sallie Mae employees nationwide by providing additional funding to local United Way chapters," said Kathleen deLaski, president of The Sallie Mae Fund. "Along with our important efforts to increase access to higher education for deserving students, The Fund aims to bolster employee volunteerism and community service in the communities where Sallie Mae employees live and work."

Beneficiaries of Sallie Mae/The Sallie Mae Fund campaigns since 2005 include United Way chapters located in and around:

Chemung and Steuben Counties, N.Y.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Denver, Colo.
Eastern Massachusetts
Ft. Hood, Texas
Indianapolis, Ind.
Johnson County, Iowa
King County, Wash.
Maricopa County, Ariz.
Northwest Florida
Southern Nevada
Washington, D.C.
Wyoming Valley, Pa.

SLM Corporation , commonly known as Sallie Mae, is the nation's leading provider of saving- and paying-for-college programs. The company manages $160 billion in education loans and serves nearly 10 million student and parent customers. Through its Upromise affiliates, the company also manages $19 billion in 529 college-savings plans, and 8 million members have joined Upromise to help save for college with rewards on purchases at nearly 70,000 places. Sallie Mae and its subsidiaries offer debt management services as well as business and technical products to a range of business clients, including higher education institutions, student loan guarantors and state and federal agencies. SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.

Sallie Mae serves people around the country, and its approach to giving back is no different. From Massachusetts to Arizona, the company and its employees are helping United Way chapters across the country. The company's employees give through payroll deduction, and then the Sallie Mae Fund matches those donations. Perhaps other national companies will follow their lead.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Top Stars Telecast 12 Hours of Holiday Music and Memories for the Visually Impaired to Over 80 Million Homes on Multiple Cable Networks

LOS ANGELES — For 12 days leading up to Christmas, many top stars along with top athletes and various states’ governors, will record audio greeting cards for the blind and visually impaired. The 13th Annual "Eyes of Christmas" presentations are being telecast via multiple cable and satellite networks to over 80 million homes. Stars include Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Garth Brooks, Reba McIntyre, Sandra Bullock, Charlton Heston, Tom Hanks, Drew Barrymore, Nicole Kidman, Pierce Brosnan, Jay Leno, Bob Costas and Natalie Cole. Music performances will be featured by Sting, U2, Christina Aguilera, Brian McKnight, Jon Bon Jovi, Kenny G, Natalie Cole, Stevie Wonder, The Blind Boys of Alabama and Jose Feliciano.

Former President Bush begins the broadcasts with a description of the classic, "It's A Wonderful Life" on NBC, with repeat airings the week of Dec. 17. His narration is delivered through TheatreVision, which adds a description of the action and scene to the actors' dialogue, enabling the blind to enjoy the film along with the sighted.

Special broadcasts will air throughout the holidays on the Dish, PAX and ION Networks, as well as on independent stations in top US markets (check local listings for dates and times). This year's "Eyes of Christmas" telecast will culminate with a special Christmas Eve airing of the Charles Dickens' "Scrooge," between midnight and 8 a.m., Christmas morning.

"The Eyes of Christmas" benefits RP International, the nation's leading non-profit fighting RP (retinitis pigmentosa) and other degenerative eye diseases. Founder Helen Harris also encourages sighted viewers to tune into "The Eyes of Christmas" broadcast to take the "traveling eye test," which enables early diagnosis and treatment of disorders. This year's telecast celebrates amazing, breakthroughs in genetic and cell-transplant therapies, which hold great promise of restoring vision to victims of degenerative eye diseases.

Information on the live podcast, purchase of the Eyes of Christmas CD, donations and RP International's efforts are available at RP International's websites and

This 13th annual program benefits both vision impaired and sighted people during the holidays. More than 50 well-known stars are taking part and lending their names not only to The Eyes of Christmas, but also RP International, which is leading the fight against RP (retinitis pigmentosa) and other degenerative eye diseases. Everyone should tune in and take the traveling eye test as well.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Walt Disney Company Volunteers Build Playground for the LA Boys & Girls Club

LOS ANGELES — The Walt Disney Company's President and CEO, Bob Iger, and 150 other Disney VoluntEARS, including the company's senior management team, built a new playground for the kids of the Boys and Girls Club of East Los Angeles. Known as the "freeway club," this club daily serves more than 300 low-income children in the immediate neighborhood. For this ond-day project, hundreds of volunteers from Disney and the Boys & Girls Club built a playground that was designed with the help of the children. The project was completed in collaboration with KaBOOM!, TreePeople and other local community members. The group was later joined by Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa who participated in a special dedication ceremony.

"Safe, clean and creative playgrounds make a world of difference for the children whose lives are brightened and enriched by these facilities," said Mayor Villaraigosa. "Thanks to Disney, KaBOOM!, the Boys and Girls Club of East LA and TreePeople, many young Angelenos will be smiling, laughing and playing here for many years to come."

Since 2005, Disney has committed more than $7 million to the Boys & Girls Clubs Of America (BGCA), including a $1 million contribution to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Anaheim, the single largest gift that organization has received in its 16-year history. Disney's history with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America spans more than 50 years, beginning when Walt Disney was an honorary member of the organization's board of directors.

Disney brightens the lives of children in need around the world through global outreach programs, local community initiatives and the Disney VoluntEARS program. Last year, Disney donated more than $177 million in cash and in-kind support to various charities throughout the world, and Disney VoluntEARS contributed more than 466,000 hours of service. The Disney VoluntEARS program provides opportunities for Disney employees to contribute their time and expertise towards making a positive impact in the communities they serve while furthering the traditions and ideals of The Walt Disney Company.

KaBOOM! is a national nonprofit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Since 1995, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to bring together business and community interests to construct more than 1,300 new playgrounds, skateparks, sports fields and ice rinks across North America.

It's good to see Disney continuing to support children in its home base of Southern California. The Boys & Girls Club of East Los Angeles is probably a home away from home for many young patrons, and the playground will enhance their outdoor experiences.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Cascade Community Credit Union's Annual Rudolph Run Toy Drive Concludes Dec. 15

PORTLAND, Ore.— Cascade Community Credit Union, a local co-op credit union committed serving residents of Douglas County, Ore., concludes its annual Rudolph Run Toy Drive this Saturday, Dec. 15, with a live radio broadcast held at the credit union’s West Harvard branch (1123 W. Harvard). Over 100 motorcyclists are scheduled to meet to begin gathering the collection boxes from designated locations, and all riders are welcome.

For the fourth consecutive year, Cascade Community Credit Union is the title sponsor of the new toy collection run, benefiting Douglas County’s branch of the Oregon Adult & Family Services Department. Since Nov. 19, collection boxes for new toys have been on display at local companies, provided by Brooke Communications (radio).

“The annual Rudolph Run Toy Drive has become a Douglas County tradition and Cascade Community Credit Union is honored to be the title sponsor as it benefits the Oregon Adult & Family Services Department,” says Gretchen Koester, CEO of Cascade Community Credit Union.

Established in 1948, Cascade Community Credit Union exclusively serves members in Douglas County, OR. All residents of Douglas County are eligible to join the credit union.

This annual event brings together Douglas County residents and businesses to help the needy in their own community. Kudos to Cascade Community Credit Union for once again playing an integral role in the event.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Houston Attorney/Law Firm Donates $200,000 to Goodfellows Fund

HOUSTON — Williams Kherkher Hart Boundas, LLP, announced today that Houston attorney John Eddie Williams, Jr., and his wife Sheridan donated $200,000 to the Houston Chronicle's Goodfellows Fund. Goodfellows provides new toys for needy children ages 2 to 10. Donations go towards the purchase of toys and other gifts for the children. This is the fifth year in a row that Williams, managing partner of Williams Kherkher, has made a donation, and this year's matches the largest ever received by the fund in its 96-year history.

"John Eddie and Sheridan's generosity is truly inspiring," said Nelle Spates, director of Goodfellows. "This extraordinary investment in our program will allow Goodfellows to help even more children in the Houston area this year."

The Houston Chronicle assumes all costs for administering the program. Toys are distributed to over 100,000 children each holiday season.

Williams Kherkher is one of Texas' leading personal injury firms. In the last decade, it has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for its clients.

The Houston Chronicle is the largest daily newspaper in Texas and the ninth largest newspaper in the United States. It is owned by the Hearst Corporation.

This donation is a nice example of a local businessperson supporting those in need right in the Houston community. Goodfellows is a fine program, and this donation will enable the group to provide toys to so many children who might otherwise go without this holiday season. Perhaps the Williams Kherkher firm can challenge other law firms to match their donation!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Village East Cleaners Spearheading Donation Drive to Benefit St. Jude's Ranch for Children

LAS VEGAS — Village East Cleaners & Alterations (Village East Cleaners) is conducting a holiday donation drive to benefit St. Jude’s Ranch for Children now through Jan. 4. The company is collecting monetary donations; new, unwrapped gifts; and gently used books appropriate for children (ages 5 an up) and teens. Checks should be made payable to St. Jude’s Ranch and are tax deductible.

Individuals and businesses may mail donations to Village East Cleaners or drop off at either of the company’s two stores, 1760 W. Horizon Ridge Parkway (at Valle Verde) or 11041 S. Eastern Avenue (at Sunridge Heights). Hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. All monetary donors will be recognized with a certificate that will be displayed at Village East Cleaners.

“There children right here in our community who have been abused, forgotten and abandoned, with no homes and no families. They need and deserve our help and our compassion, especially now during what should be a most joyous time of year,” said Edwin Los, general manager of Village East Cleaners. “Our company and our customers have chosen to lend our support to St. Jude’s Ranch because of the remarkable work they do. It is our wish to give these kids a memorable holiday and let them know that people care.”

In addition to collecting donations and delivering them to St. Jude’s Ranch, Village East Cleaners will also make a monetary donation to the charity.

St. Jude's Ranch for Children has a 40-year history of caring for abandoned and neglected children. Since it was established in 1967 by Father Jack Adam, St. Jude’s Ranch for Children has cared for more than 1,000 children in a safe, home-like environment designed to provide opportunities, choices and hope.

Village East Cleaners & Alterations is a family-owned business that has served the Las Vegas Valley for nearly three decades. The company is a full-service cleaners with stores located at 1760 W. Horizon Ridge Parkway and 11041 S. Eastern Avenue. Its community service includes an annual clothing drive for the homeless and a holiday donation drive to benefit St. Jude’s Ranch for Children.

Village East Cleaners is a shining example of a small business making a meaningful and lasting impact through community service. The company supports several charities every year, and selected St. Jude's Ranch once again because of the critical niche the non-profit fills in the community. This giving program is an excellent example for businesses of all sizes to follow.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Charles Schwab to Sponsor One Warm Coat's Annual Coat Drive

SAN FRANCISCO — One Warm Coat, a national nonprofit organization that assists in the donation of free coats, announced that Charles Schwab Foundation is an official sponsor of the 2007-2008 coat drive campaign. Through this sponsorship, Schwab will help One Warm Coat distribute the tools and resources needed to create coat drives across the country.

One Warm Coat's largest organizational expense is postage to send branded banners and box labels to locations and organizations that want to organize coat drives nationwide. Through its donation, the Charles Schwab Foundation will contribute to the mailing of an estimated 500 resource kits this year.

Three years ago, Charles Schwab Foundation established a One Warm Coat drive at its San Francisco headquarters. Through the efforts of Schwab employees, One Warm Coat drives now take place at six of the company's regional locations: San Francisco, Chicago, Denver, Indianapolis, Phoenix and Richfield, Ohio.

"We are really pleased to continue supporting One Warm Coat," said D'arice (Annie) Anderson, community relations specialist with Charles Schwab Foundation. "Organizations like this one provide an excellent example of simple ideas put into action to benefit those in need."

During the 2006-2007 season, One Warm Coat supported more than 1,000 coat drives in 42 states, providing 200,000 coats for people in need. The 2007-2008 coat drive campaign, which is expected to collect 500,000 coats through more than 2,000 coat drives in 49 states, was launched on Sept. 23. Schwab has already completed its coat drives for this campaign and collected more than 1,000 coats and over 200 pieces of winter clothing accessories from its employees.

One Warm Coat (OWC) is a national nonprofit organization that assists in the donation of coats. OWC helps individuals, groups, companies and organizations across the country collect coats and deliver them to local agencies that distribute them free, to people in need. The organization's mission is to ensure that anyone who needs a coat has one. Providing this simple, yet vital, need helps people live productive lives year round. Since inception, more than 500,000 coats have been collected and distributed through One Warm Coat activities.

Charles Schwab Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization funded by The Charles Schwab Corporation. Its mission is to give back to the community by supporting employee-selected causes and fostering financial literacy through funding, involvement and expertise.

Donating something as simple as a coat is an act of kindness that just about anyone can do, and it will help keep a needy person warm during the winter months. Schwab has done a fine job supporting this excellent program at six of its offices, and engaging employees to lend their support. It's a nice example of how even the smallest donation can make a difference.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Nevada Youth Empowerment Project to Host Holiday Open House

RENO, Nev. — The Nevada Youth Empowerment Project (NYEP) is hosting an open house from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 12, to celebrate the opening of its new, phase one home for at-risk girls, and to introduce its program to the community. The event takes place at 2030 West 6th Street in Reno. Guest speakers include Sam Hudson, Reno/Sparks director of Senator John Ensign’s office, and Tina Burke, director of constituant services for Governor Jim Gibbons’ office. RSVPs can be made by calling Sandy at 775-544-1660.

This year, NYEP implemented a community living program in Reno to address the growing needs of older female youth leaving the dependency system. NYEP provides housing, case management, food, clothing, bus passes, basic skills training, behavioral interventions, independent living training, primary education completion, post-secondary education assistance, employment training referrals, money management classes, job placement assistance, social and recreational activities, mental, medical, and dental health referrals and service coordination.

The core purpose of the community living program is to assist female foster youth, 17-21 years old, in becoming empowered to acquire the concrete skills and knowledge as well as the emotional growth necessary to live successfully on their own. Additionally, specialized services are offered for those with a mental disability or for pregnant or parenting young women.

NYEP is also asking individuals and businesses to help sponsor youth wish lists for the holidays.

The non-profit Nevada Youth Empowerment Project provides a safe haven for the homeless young females on the streets of our communities. Young females, ages 17-21, are given a safe and serene place to live, skills training to move them toward independent living, an opportunity to complete their high school education, access higher education or vocational training, specialized services are offered for those with a mental disability or for pregnant or parenting young women.

NYEP serves young women who are aged out of foster care or living on the streets. The program gives these young women the tools and resources they need to succeed in life, but it also gives them hope. If even a dozen or so individuals and businesses lent their support, even if it is just to supply a gift from one girl's wish list, it would brighten the life and holiday of a young person.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

15th Annual KTVN Channel 2 Share Your Holiday Drive-By Food Drive to Benefit the Food Bank of Northern Nevada

RENO, Nev. — The 15th Annual KTVN Channel 2 Share Your Holiday Drive-By Food Drive to benefit the Food Bank of Northern Nevada will be held from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 14. The Food Bank of Northern Nevada needs donations to help feed the 58,000+ hungry people it serves year-round. Currently, the food bank is at just 25 percent of its goal of 200,000 pounds of food for its holiday food drive.

Cash and non-perishable, non-expired food donations can be dropped off from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the following locations: The Grand Sierra Resort (2500 East 2nd Street in Reno), Summit Sierra Mall (13925 S. Virginia St in Reno), the governor's mansion (600 N. Mountain St. in Carson City) and the Carson Valley Inn (1627 Hwy 395 in Minden). KTVN will be broadcasting live from these drop-off locations.

The Food Bank of Northern Nevada is a food distribution and support system for more than 100 different direct service, non-profit agencies serving the needy, the ill, the elderly and children. Last year, it distributed more than 4 million pounds of food to more than 80 member agencies. This food, valued at more than $6.7 million, fed more than 58,000 people.

Television station KTVN Channel 2 is a CBS affiliate serving Reno, Nevada, and Lake Tahoe, California. The station is owned by Sarkes Tarzian, Inc.

Two-thirds of the people served by the Food Bank of Northern Nevada are under age 18 or over age 65. About 85 percent of the food collected is distributed to families of the working poor and elderly. Since residents of the community constitute 89 percent of the food bank clients, it is essential for people to lend their support to help their neighbors. Kudos to KTVN for continuing to support and publicize this annual event and the critical niche that the food bank fills in the community.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

YellowPages.Travel Donates to Multiple Jewish Charities

LOS ANGELES — Yellow Pages Corporation, operator of online YellowPages sites and telephone books including travel Website aggregator YellowPages.Travel, announced it will be donating to multiple Jewish charities, including the Israeli Defense Fund (IDF), Simon Weisenthal Center, and the Jewish Federation.

YellowPages Corporation, an entity that has been providing business directories for nearly 100 years, has entered the travel market with YellowPages.Travel. The site is a tool that enables users to search the top 12 travel websites such as Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline, Kayak, HotWire, SideStep, Travelzoo and other major travel Websites side by side on one screen without having to search each site individually.

The company announced that it will donate 15 percent of the net proceeds of YellowPages.Travel to select charities listed on its Web site.

Also, users of Google and Yahoo! use, a site that places both Google and Yahoo! side by side, on one split screen. Fifteen percent of all revenue generated by will also be donated to multiple Jewish charities.

YellowPages.Travel is a tool that enables users to enter their travel and flight information once and have the results pages of the major travel sites placed on one screen. is owned by YellowPages Corporation and managed by, an Internet incubation company.

YellowPages.Travel has selected a variety of charities it will support, but we like that customers can vote for the ones they like most. The company donates profits (in this case 15 percent) based on votes (each IP address can only vote once). Even better, customers can submit a charitable organization for consideration to YellowPages.Travel. A nice way to not only support charities, but also a way to involve customers in the process.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Coca-Cola Company Supports Polar Bear Conservation With World Wildlife Fund

ATLANTA — As part of a larger commitment to climate protection, The Coca-Cola Company launched a new Web site, to help raise public awareness about the plight of the polar bear. Through the new digital portal and North America Coca-Cola stores, consumers can directly support polar bear conservation projects undertaken by World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The company has also established a conservation seed fund called the Coca-Cola Polar Bear Support Fund, which will support new and existing projects by WWF.

"The polar bear has been an icon of Coca-Cola holiday marketing for nearly a century," said Jeff Seabright, vice president, Environment and Water Resources. "As its habitat declines with accelerating polar ice melt, the polar bear is now also a symbol of climate change. With this effort we hope to help WWF protect an animal that means so much to our Company and our consumers around the world

In addition to basic information about polar bear populations and habitat, the site includes external links to WWF that allow users to donate directly to WWF or to symbolically adopt a polar bear. The launch, along with the availability of polar bear e-cards, has been timed to encourage people to remember and support polar bears during the holiday season.

Until Dec. 31, consumers also will have the opportunity to support WWF's polar bear conservation efforts at all four North America Coca-Cola retail stores. Shoppers will be able to add $1, $3 or $5 to their purchase at checkout for donation to WWF. In addition, for every plush bear sold at Coca-Cola retail stores, The Coca-Cola Company will contribute $1 to WWF for polar bear conservation.

WWF is dedicated to ensuring that polar bear populations across the Arctic are more resilient to climate change and have a better chance of adapting to and surviving a warming Arctic. The WWF strategy focuses on reducing direct threats to polar bears, their habitat and their prey; engaging scientists, communities and other partners in conservation of the species and coastal and marine habitats; promoting and supporting field research; and communicating globally about the threats to the species.

The iconic polar bear advertising has become synonymous with Coca-Cola and its products. And it's nice to see the company lending support and helping to generate awareness about the plight of these animals. Today, less than 25,000 polar bears live in the wild and the species may become officially listed as endangered in the near future. Conservation solutions are needed today if the polar bear is to survive in the wild tomorrow.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Garth Brooks to Play LA to Raise Money for Fire Victims and for the Future of Fire Fighting in California

LOS ANGELES — Having been approached by California state elected officials as well as civic leaders from areas affected by recent wildfires, music superstar Garth Brooks has agreed to perform a benefit concert to raise money for the recent fire victims and for the future of fire fighting in the state of California.

Tickets for the Jan. 26, 2008, benefit concert at Los Angeles' STAPLES Center will be available Dec. 1. Tickets priced at $38.60 (plus $1.40 city amusement tax and $5 handling charge) for all seats will be available via the Ticketmaster charge-by-phone network and online at Ticketmaster .Tickets will not be available at the STAPLES Center Box Office or other outlets. There will be a limit of six tickets per person.

Organizers AEG and Brooks announced that all ticket sale proceeds from the concert sponsored by American Express and official media sponsor the Los Angeles Times, will be donated to the "Southern California 2008 Fire Relief Campaign," a campaign of the McCormick Tribune Foundation. The funds will be granted to agencies providing aid to victims and the first responders of the Los Angeles and San Diego wildfires in addition to providing financial assistance to California firefighting departments and organizations in need of additional or replacement firefighting equipment to better perform their heroic duties. The Foundation will also be responsible for grant administration and recordkeeping.

American Express will donate $20 for each ticket purchased with an American Express card with a guaranteed commitment to the fund of $1 million. The McCormick Foundation has also pledged to match the first $2 million raised at 50 cents on the dollar (up to a $1 million match) in addition to promotional support from the Los Angeles Times. AEG has donated the use of STAPLES Center for the night of music starring Brooks who last appeared in Los Angeles in 2001.

"Please let everyone know I hate to ask so much for a ticket but, 100 percent of the money is going to victims of the recent fires and to the firefighters facing future fires," said Brooks.

Elected officials on both the state and local levels have already spoken with Brooks to pledge their support for his appearance and efforts to make this important event a reality.

“On behalf of all San Diegans, I commend and thank Garth Brooks, his band, American Express, the Los Angeles Times, McCormick Tribune Foundation and STAPLES Center for making this benefit concert a reality," said San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders. "To have a star of Mr. Brooks' stature dedicate his talent and time to help raise funds for those who lost their homes and to better equip our brave firefighters is truly uplifting."

Certified by the RIAA as the #1 selling solo artist in US history, Garth Brooks has sold in excess of 123 million albums. He is the only solo artist in RIAA history to have 6 albums top the 10 million mark. Brooks has earned numerous awards, including: 2 Grammys, 17 American Music Awards, 11 Country Music Association Awards, 18 Academy of Country Music Awards, 5 World Music Awards, 12 People's Choice Awards, and 36 Billboard Music Awards. He was named Artist of the '90s at the 1997 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, received the Artist Achievement Award at the 1997 Billboard Music Awards, and was named Artist of the Decade at the American Music Awards in 2000 and the Academy of Country Music Awards in 1999.

AEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world. AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Anschutz Company, owns or controls a collection of companies including facilities such as STAPLES Center (Los Angeles), NOKIA Theatre Times Square, NOKIA Theatre at Grand Prairie (TX), the El Rey Theatre (Hollywood, CA), the WaMu Theatre (Seattle, WA), Target Center (Minneapolis, MN) and three just opened arenas, Sprint Center (Kansas City, MO), Prudential Center (Newark, NJ) and The O2, a 28-acre development located in the eastern part of London along the Thames River which includes a 20,000 seat arena and over 650,000sf of leisure and entertainment use; sports franchises throughout the world including the Los Angeles Kings (NHL), Los Angeles Riptide (MLL), the Los Angeles Galaxy and Houston Dynamo (MLS) in addition to overseeing privately held management shares of the Los Angeles Lakers (NBA). AEG's live entertainment division, AEG LIVE is one of the world's leading concert promotion and touring companies.

American Express Company is a leading global payments, network and travel company founded in 1850.

The Los Angeles Times is the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the country, with a daily readership of 2.2 million and 3.2 million on Sunday. The Los Angeles Times and its media businesses and affiliates -- including, The Envelope/, Times Community Newspapers, Hoy, and California Community News -- reach approximately 8.1 million or 62 percent of all adults in the Southern California marketplace. __

The McCormick Tribune Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to making life better for children, communities and country. The Foundation's communities program is a unique effort that stimulates local philanthropy and improves community life. Each year thousands of people make donations to the Foundation through various fundraising activities, including direct mail, online giving and special campaigns. Together with newspapers, broadcasters and sports teams nationwide, the Foundation raises money from the public for important local and national causes, including disaster relief. The Foundation encourages donations by adding 50 cents to every dollar contributed, up to set limits. Then, the Foundation makes grants to nonprofits in the communities from which the donations originated.

Although Brooks retired from touring nearly a decade ago, he occasionally performs for his favorite charities, and that makes this event unique. Brooks sets a great example for entertainers because he consistently lends his name and talents to important causes. Earlier this month, he launched a pink edition of his "The Ultimate" hits CD available only at the Susan G. Komen Web site.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Las Vegas to Walk Now For Autism Dec. 1

LAS VEGAS — A Walk Now For Autism event will be held on Saturday, Dec. 1, at Star Nursery Field at Sam Boyd Stadium, 7000 East Russell Road. Registration and a resource fair open at 8:30 a.m. Opening ceremonies begin at 9:30 a.m. with the walk starting at 10 a.m.

A local team will be walking in support of Daniel Allen, a bright and energetic 4-year-old who was diagnosed with autism a year and a half ago. Individuals are invited to join Daniel’s team, called DanieLove07, by walking or making a donation. To join, visit Walk For Autism to register. Click on the Las Vegas link, then “register,” and then “join a team.” Click “DanieLove07” under “join an existing team.”

Walk Now For Autism unites communities in support of those affected by autism with a noncompetitive 5K walk and community resource fair, raising funds for autism research, awareness and outreach.

Every 20 minutes another child is diagnosed with autism. It is a neuro-developmental disorder that is commonly diagnosed by the age of three, and in some cases, as early as one year. Affecting one in every 150 children born today, autism is characterized by varying degrees of impairment in communication skills, social interactions, and restricted, repetitive and stereotypical patterns of behavior.

The money raised at Walk Now For Autism supports Autism Speaks/Cure Autism Now's mission to find the causes, effective treatments and a cure for autism through funding essential biomedical and scientific research.

Autism Speaks and Cure Autism Now are dedicated to increasing awareness of the growing autism epidemic and to raising money to fund scientists who are searching for a cure. Cure Autism Now was founded in 1995 by Jonathan Shestack and Portia Iversen, parents of a child with autism. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, grandparents of a child with autism.

Autism Speaks and Cure Autism Now (CAN) recently announced plans to combine operations, bringing together the two leading organizations dedicated to accelerating and funding biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatments and cure for autism; to increasing awareness of the nation’s fastest-growing developmental disorder; and to advocating for the needs of affected families. Together the organizations have awarded autism research grants valued at more than $50 million.

Autism affects thousands of children in every community, and just about everyone knows a child who is affected by autism. Finding a cure requires extensive research, and events like this one held across the country generate much needed funds and raise awareness about the disorder. Even a small donation will play an important role in finding a cure.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

T.G.I. Friday's Announces Partnership With Make-A-Wish Foundation

CARROLLTON, Texas — T.G.I. Friday's (Friday’s) restaurants announced it has formed a national partnership with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America, which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Friday's has pledged $250,000 by December 2008.

"T.G.I. Friday's is proud to name the Make-A-Wish Foundation our 'charity of choice'," said Mike Archer, president and chief operating officer of T.G.I. Friday's USA, who presented the Make-A-Wish Foundation a $26,000 check at the recent opening of Friday's 600th U.S. restaurant at NorthPark Center in Dallas, where Friday's celebrated the 25th anniversary of the foundation's North Texas chapter.

Under the partnership, funds raised by T.G.I. Friday's USA and the Carlson Restaurants Worldwide Support Center will benefit the world's largest wish-granting organization. The first joint initiative of the partnership is fundraising in conjunction with the T.G.I. Friday's World Bartender Championship, an annual event involving 8000 of Friday's famed mixologists from 58 countries who compete for the title of "Greatest T.G.I. Friday's Bartender in the World."

Carlson Restaurants Worldwide Inc., the parent company of TGI Friday’s Inc. and Pick Up Stix, is a privately held company owned by Minneapolis-based Carlson, a world leader in the hospitality, travel and marketing industries. As of November 2007, Carlson Restaurants Worldwide owns, operates, franchises or licenses more than 1,000 restaurants in 58 countries.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation America has granted more than 156,000 wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. TGI Friday's partnership with Make-A-Wish will make it possible for more life-changing wishes to be granted not only in Texas, but also throughout the United States.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland Receives Grant from PR Newswire

CLEVELAND — The Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland (BGCC) has been selected by PR Newswire’s local office as the recipient of a cash grant and group volunteer hours.

As part of its 2007 Charitable Giving Program, 'Doing Well by Doing Good', PR Newswire employees select a charity located in an area in which the company has substantial operations for which they will volunteer as a group and to which the company will make a cash donation. The Boys and Girls Club, an organization dedicated to promoting and enhancing the development of children by providing guidance and a safe environment, has already benefited from the volunteer efforts of local PR Newswire staff.

"Volunteers act as positive role models for young people at the Boys and Girls Clubs," said Ron Soeder, president, Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland. "PR Newswire's staff has generously given their time, and the company's grant will assist us in providing the children with programs and services that will aid them in pursuing their dreams and succeeding in life."

To date, local PR Newswire staff has volunteered for events with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland, including the National Day for Kids on September 16, a day of sports, recreation and companionship, as well as chaperoning a trip to the circus, supporting athletic programs and developing a computer skills and safety program.

"As a company with global operations and staff working in cities all around the world, it's important to us to give back to the community in which we work," said Charles Gregson, chief executive officer, PR Newswire. "We found through researching our program that as much as charities are seeking financial assistance, they are also extremely interested in finding dedicated volunteers. With this knowledge we designed a program that gave our staff a voice in the charity selection in order to maximize the volunteer participation. The Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland is an extraordinarily worthy charity and we are very pleased to be able to assist them in this way."

PR Newswire Association LLC provides electronic distribution, targeting, measurement and broadcast services on behalf of tens of thousands of corporate, government, association, labor, non-profit, and other customers worldwide. Using PR Newswire, these organizations reach a variety of critical audiences including the news media, the investment community, government decision-makers, and the general public with their up-to-the-minute, full-text news developments. Established in 1954, PR Newswire has offices in 14 countries and routinely sends its customers' news to outlets in 135 countries and in more than 40 languages.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland started in 1954 and currently serves 3,000 youth in seven centers. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland provides: a safe place to learn and grow, ongoing relationships with caring adult professionals, life-enhancing programs and character development experiences and most importantly, hope and opportunity. The mission of the national organization is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need it most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.

In its involvement with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland, PR Newswire is giving a cash grant and, equally important, volunteer hours. Often volunteers can impact the lives of children through their example of giving and serve as positive role models. We look forward to learning which charities other PR Newswire offices will select in other communities it serves.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Contentnea Creek Development Company and Standout Properties Partner with Communities In Schools of NC

RALEIGH, N. C. — Communities In Schools of North Carolina (CISNC) has teamed up with local developer Contentnea Creek Development Company and the real estate firm Standout Properties to ensure area students stay in school. Contentnea Creek and Standout Properties have agreed to donate $200 per house sold in their communities as part of the CIS initiative, Lots For Learning.

“Lots For Learning is a statewide financial development initiative of Communities In Schools of North Carolina,” SAID Linda Harrill, president and chief executive officer of CISNC. “CIS continues to be strengthened because of companies such as Contentnea Creek and Standout Properties getting involved and recognizing the economic impact of keeping our students in school.”

In addition to $100 per home sold donated by Standout Properties, the onsite listing agent will also donate $100 per home sold. Currently, Standout Properties is the exclusive agency for all of Contentnea Creek Development’s neighborhoods, Ethan’s Glen, Normandy Glen, Bishop’s Grant, Windfall, and The Gates.

Standout Properties is a full-service real estate company based in Raleigh, NC. Building on over 50 years of combined experience and referrals from satisfied customers, the firm helps buyers and sellers with all areas of real estate marketing.

Communities In Schools has earned its place as the nation’s leading community-based organization helping kids succeed in school and prepare for life. There are 39 local operational affiliates in North Carolina serving over 400 schools and other sites. During the past school year, CIS served over 130,000 youth and family members and it maintains a presence in the five largest school districts in North Carolina.

When businesses and non-profits create community partnerships, it is a win-win situation for the community. CISNC creates such partnerships and provides services at schools and other sites. The outcome for the participating students is improved attendance, improved behavior and higher graduation rates. That only helps the community.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Online Art Auction to Benefit Disabled Artists & Craftspeople

LAS VEGAS — Transition Services, Inc. is hosting a unique online art auction to raise money for Studio 8 Ten. A downtown Las Vegas redevelopment project, the Studio 8 Ten art studio will eventually be home to more than 30 artists and craftspeople with disabilities in the Las Vegas Valley. The purpose of Studio 8 Ten will be to create unique entrepreneurial and community-based job opportunities for its patrons.

Studio 8 Ten will not only host a public art studio where members of the local community and tourists are welcome to come in and interact with the craftspeople at work, but will also be home to a boutique-style gift shop where customers can purchase everything from handmade paper to all-natural dog shampoo in a warm, welcoming environment.

The online art auction features original Thonet designer chairs that have been turned into works of art by 32 talented artists, including Dirk Vermin, Steve Scott and Jennifer Spear. The art ranges from acrylic and oil paintings, to mixed media art; from a desert landscape to a skateboard complete with truck and grip surface. The chairs will be available for bidding until Dec. 3 and can be shipped anywhere in the world. but any chairs that have not been sold may be available at a live auction during the grand opening of Studio 8 Ten at 810 Las Vegas Blvd. All auction proceeds benefit Transition Services Inc.’s Studio 8 Ten project.

Transition Services, Inc. provides services for people with developmental disabilities who were not successful in other Las Vegas-based programs. In eight years, it has grown to four Southern Nevada locations and expanded its services to provide fulfilling work and social experiences for 170 individuals each day. As a 501 c 3 nonprofit organization, it is committed to offering meaningful work programs that allow the people it serves to reach their highest potential in their own way. Transition Services, Inc. is accredited by United Way of Southern Nevada.

Thank you to artist Jennifer Spear for bringing this important fundraiser to our attention. Transition Services, Inc. fills a critically underserved niche in the Las Vegas community, and its Studio 8 Ten project is truly unique. The chairs up for auction are one-of-a-kind, original works of art, and they deserve a look. I have long been a big fan of Spear's work. In fact, one of her beautiful pieces hangs in a hallway in my home. Check out her amazing Bettie Page chair, which is #29 in the auction.

Monday, November 19, 2007

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Kicks Off Fourth Annual Thanks and Giving Campaign

NEW YORK CITY — St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has launched its 2007 Thanks and Giving campaign, announcing that it has reached the unprecedented 50-partner milestone, said Marlo Thomas, St. Jude National Outreach director.

also announced that the National Football League has become the first major sports league to sign up for the Thanks and Giving initiative, joining the nation's leading brands and most respected companies and their customers, as they help St. Jude to fulfill its mission of saving the lives of children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases.
"I am so proud to be involved with these 50 wonderful companies, who are able to drop their competitive armor and unite each holiday season through the Thanks and Giving campaign to support St. Jude Children's Research Hospital," said Thomas.
The Thanks and Giving celebrity family of Jennifer Aniston, Bernie Mac, Robin Williams, Ray Romano and Antonio Banderas has once again volunteered to appear in national television spots that ask customers to "Give thanks for the healthy kids in your life, and give to those who are not" by donating to St. Jude and its lifesaving work. New Orleans Saints' running back Reggie Bush has also been drafted as the first sports figure featured in the television campaign.
"It is very exciting to be part of this campaign, which has become-in just four short years-an annual holiday tradition," said long-time supporter Jennifer Aniston.
In addition to the NFL, the 2007 Thanks and Giving initiative welcomes five new partners-Ann Taylor Brands, Chili's Grill & Bar, Dick's Sporting Goods, Hershey's and National Beverage Corporation.
Also, St. Jude announced that seven of its returning Thanks and Giving partners-CVS/pharmacy, Dollar General, Domino's Pizza, Kay Jewelers, Kmart, Target and Williams-Sonoma, Inc.-each raised more than one million dollars last year for this special holiday-focused campaign.
St. Jude is the nation's leading children's cancer research and treatment hospital, and the only one that covers all of the costs for medicine, treatment, food, travel and lodging. Children come to St. Jude from across the country, and 85 cents of every dollar received goes directly to research and treatment.
Customers are encouraged to participate by:
Shopping where there is a St. Jude Thanks and Giving logo, a magnifying glass set against a bright green background, which symbolizes the ongoing search for cures.

Adding a donation at the check-out counter.

Purchasing specialty merchandise at participating companies to benefit St. Jude.

Donating online.

Because of the pioneering treatments developed at St. Jude, the survival rate for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common form of childhood cancer, has risen from 4 percent when the hospital opened in 1962 to more than 90 percent today. The research and treatment protocols developed at St. Jude are freely shared with the scientific community and used by hospitals across the nation and around the world.

Thanks and Giving is a national fund-raising and awareness campaign created by Thomas and her siblings, Terre and Tony Thomas, the children of hospital founder Danny Thomas. In the spirit of their father, they have once again called on St. Jude's cherished celebrity family, all of whom donated their time and talents for new national television spots produced by Tony Thomas which will air on broadcast and cable networks, in both general and Spanish-language markets. The Thanks and Giving campaign will also feature Internet banner ads that will run on thousands of sites, including, and Yahoo!; and a 60-second movie trailer, which will once again reach millions of moviegoers on more than 20,000 movie screens nationwide and on American Airlines flights during the holidays. Radio spots featuring country artist Keith Urban will run on hundreds of stations across the nation throughout the campaign. The national media blitz also includes print ads in leading magazines and newspapers in 20 major markets and USA Today. The online visibility encompasses banner ads on more than 3,000 Web sites and spectacular outdoor advertising from coast to coast.

The St. Jude Thanks and Giving partners bring the energy and enthusiasm of their organizations to this holiday campaign. The 2007 Thanks and Giving partners include: CVS/pharmacy, Dollar General, Domino's Pizza, Kay Jewelers, Kmart, Target, Williams-Sonoma, 7-Eleven, AOL (America Online), American Airlines, American Kiosk Management, Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Factory Store, Ann Taylor LOFT, AutoZone, Bandolino, BJ's Wholesale Club, Brooks Brothers, Busch Gardens, Casual Male XL, Chili's Grill & Bar, Club Libby Lu, The Coffee Beanery, Diane Von Furstenberg, Dick's Sporting Goods, Easy Spirit, GNC (General Nutrition Centers), Gymboree Play and Music, Hershey's, HSN (Home Shopping Network), Janie and Jack, Marshalls, The Melting Pot, Memphis Grizzlies, National Beverage Corporation, NFL (National Football League), Nine West, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Bed + Bath, Pottery Barn Kids, PBteen, Rochester Clothing, St. Louis Rams, Sag Harbor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th, SeaWorld, West Elm, Westfield, Williams-Sonoma Home and Yahoo!.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. Founded by late entertainer Danny Thomas, St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world. No family ever pays for treatments not covered by insurance, and families without insurance are never asked to pay. St. Jude is financially supported by ALSAC, its fundraising organization.

It's great to see so many celebrities and companies taking part in this annual campaign, which benefits critical research and medical treatments at St. Jude. Kudos to the NFL for joining the campaign this year.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Alcoa Foundation Awards $200,000 Grant to California Land Conservancy

NEW YORK CITY — Alcoa Foundation announced today a $200,000, two-year grant that will enable the California Council of Land Trusts (CCLT) to implement a program that identifies and addresses the impacts of climate change on land and water conserved by California land trusts. The CCLT is a statewide association for more than 150 land trusts devoted to conserving special lands and waters throughout California.

"In many respects, land trusts will be at the forefront of dealing with climate change. This project will address the needs of land trusts and the local communities they serve by increasing land trusts' knowledge and understanding of California's response to climate change, how their conservation programs can provide climate benefits, and the possible changes needed in their stewardship and protection activities," said Darla Guenzler, executive director of CCLT.

Land trusts are the current U.S. leaders in permanently protecting forests, grasslands and other natural resource lands which can make a significant, positive contribution to climate change due to the capacity of these lands to sequester carbon dioxide.

Aspects of the project include creating a planning model to assist land trusts in developing adaptations for their stewardship and conservation activities in light of possible climate change impacts, and improving communications to increase understanding within local communities about long-term stewardship needs and issues, and how climate change can be expected to bring about significant changes to important open space lands that the public currently enjoys.

As part of the program, CCLT will bring together scientists, communication specialists, other experts and land trusts in a series of events and workshops to develop pertinent information.

The project will have several specific products, including presentations and materials, adaptation plans as well as a model for plan development, and a report with positioning, messages guidelines and recommendations for communications about long term stewardship with an emphasis on climate change.

The results of the project are expected to bring benefits to the general public through ensuring that conservation efforts undertaken by land trusts will be better adapted to changing climate. This effort should also bring about better information about climate change impacts and open spaces in local communities, which provide a variety of benefits, including education, exercise and recreation.

Alcoa Foundation is a separately constituted nonprofit U.S. corporate foundation with assets of approximately $534 million. Its mission is to actively invest in the quality of life in Alcoa communities worldwide. Throughout its history, the Foundation has been a source of positive community change and enhancement, with nearly $437 million invested since 1952.

The California Council of Land Trusts (CCLT) is a statewide association for more than 150 land trusts devoted to conserving special lands and waters throughout California. The Council works to increase funding, advance policy solutions and build strong laws for conservation, raise awareness about the benefits of land and water conservation, and provide research and education to increase land trust effectiveness. CCLT is guided by a governing body of land trusts and conservationists throughout California.

Alcoa Foundation is funding a variety of projects related to climate change and conservation. Perhaps this program will offer up a new model to help communities throughout the United States and the world address concerns about climate change.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Motorola Foundation Grants $3.5 Million to Inspire Next Generation of Inventors

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. —The Motorola Foundation announced the recipients of its Innovation Generation Grants, a $3.5 million initiative to inspire young people to embrace science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The 2007 Innovation Generation Grants support 106 breakthrough programs that use innovative approaches to develop interest in technology-related fields while strengthening leadership and problem-solving skills. The grants target programs that encourage girls and ethnic groups currently underrepresented in technology fields. Of the recipient programs:

41 percent serve African American students
19 percent reach Hispanic youth
31 percent specifically target girls

"Motorola wants to show the next generation of inventors that science is fun, challenging and possible," said Eileen Sweeney, director of the Motorola Foundation. "Through the Innovation Generation Grants, organizations across the country are helping students develop a passion for science and math by making the connection between the cool technology they enjoy every day and the educational foundation they will need for greater success in the classroom and beyond."

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs requiring science, engineering or technical training will increase 24 percent between 2004 and 2014 to 6.3 million, making critical thinkers and practical problem solvers fluent in today's technology even more crucial.

The programs supported by the Innovation Generation Grants range from after-school and summer science enrichment programs to activities that promote innovative technology use and teacher-training initiatives, including:

Global Kids, Inc. in New York will develop and test a high school curriculum that will enable educators to utilize the virtual world of Second Life to engage students in exploring global science, technology and programming.

Half Moon Bay High School in Half Moon Bay, Calif., will implement a new way of teaching algebra in Spanish that engages students in learning math concepts using new technology and hands-on learning, inspiring interest and pursuit of math, science and technology careers.

The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York will work with four public schools from the Young Women’s Leadership Foundation to develop curriculum, train teachers and host student workshops in school classrooms and aboard the former aircraft carrier turned museum to cultivate a deep interest in science among young women.

The Marine Science Institute in Redwood City, Calif., will engage students in conducting scientific exploration of the San Francisco Bay on its 90-foot research vessel, at its pier lab, in the classroom and through the Internet.

The National Society of Black Engineers in Alexandria, Va., will meld the engineering design process with math and science knowledge in a fun and interactive environment at its Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) Camp.

Working In The Schools' (WITS) new Chicago workplace mentoring program will provide a literacy program with a math and science focus, matching elementary school students one-to-one with business volunteers.

Since 2000, Motorola Foundation has contributed more than $35 million in grants to a variety of programs that expand student access to science and technology fields.

The Motorola Foundation is the independent charitable and philanthropic arm of Motorola. With employees located around the globe, Motorola seeks to benefit the communities where it operates. The company achieves this by making strategic grants, forging strong community partnerships, fostering innovation and engaging stakeholders. Motorola Foundation focuses its funding on education, especially science, technology, engineering and math programming.

Beyond funding, Motorola is linking recipients of the Innovation Generation Grants with each other through a new company-hosted portal site that expands and enhances the global network of advocates for education in science, technology, engineering and math. Many of the grants also involve volunteer Motorola engineers and scientists, who guide, mentor, tutor and provide valuable insight into the opportunities of their line of work.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Art Students Offer Complimentary Design Services to Local Nonprofits

SANTA ANA, Calif. — The Art Institute of California — Orange County is accepting applications from nonprofit organizations for pro bono graphic design, Web and interactive media design, animation and culinary services.

In the last five years, students at The Art Institute have completed nearly 100 projects for local nonprofits through the school’s Community Arts Resource Exchange Program (CARE). CARE is part of the school’s community service initiative to benefit the local community and give students opportunities to develop their skills in art, design and culinary, while reaping the rewards of charitable giving.

“The CARE program allows students to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to professional projects,” said graphic design and advertising academic director Catherine Stickel. “It’s real-world experience that gives students fully-produced work for their portfolios.”

Organizations may apply for student assistance in areas such as logo development, poster design, creation of brochures, flyers, postcards and other marketing collateral material, as well as interactive media projects, computer animation sequences, Web sites and other projects that fit into the school’s curriculum.

To apply for project assistance from the school, local nonprofit groups may request an application from Veronica Orozco by calling 714.830.0221. Applications must be received by Thursday, Dec. 13 to be considered for the winter 2008 quarter.

The Art Institute of California — Orange County is a design, media and culinary arts school providing bachelor’s and associate’s degrees in culinary arts, game art & design, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, media arts & animation, visual & game programming and Web design & interactive media. The school is one of The Art Institutes with over 35 education institutions located throughout North America.

Students at the Art Institute have delivered nearly 100 projects for local nonprofits. It's a win-win for the students and the nonprofits and teaches the students the importance of giving back to the community. In-kind donations are often overlooked, but they are important facets of giving.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Competition Yields 28,627 Cans of Food to Benefit Long Island Cares, Inc.

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — CANstruction, a national charity committed to ending hunger, is using “one can” as a catalyst for change which was sponsored locally by the Long Island Chapter of the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) under the auspices of the Society for Design Administration. Teams of design and construction industry professionals, led by architects and engineers, built 8 giant self-supporting structures out of 28,627 cans of food ultimately destined for the hungry on Long Island.

The teams spent two months designing and testing their structures prior to the final build-out. Once completed, the eight structures were judged by a panel including Comedian Paul Anthony, Restaurateur Tom Schaudel, Long Island Pulse Publisher Nada Marjanovich and New York Islanders Head Coach Ted Nolan.

Winners were declared in the following categories:
• Structural Ingenuity - “Whale you help feed the hungry?”, by The LiRo Group
• Best Use of Labels – “Scaring hunger away”, by H2M Group
• Best Meal – “BeaCAN of hope in the fight against hunger” by the team of J. S. McHugh, Inc. and Sidney B. Bowne & Son, LLP
• Honorable Mention – “Spongebob CANpants”, by the team of Burton, Behrendt and Smith (BBS) Architects and Stalco Construction, Inc.
• Juror’s Favorite - “Scaring hunger away”, by H2M Group

Winners of the competition will go on to compete nationally in May 2008.

The structures were on display to the public from Oct. 26 to Nov. 4 daily, with the price of admission being one can of food. At the close of the exhibition, the 28,627 cans used to create the sculptures along with all cans collected from the public were donated to Long Island Cares, Inc. The Harry Chapin Food Bank to help feed the hungry on Long Island.

Long Island Cares is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, community based, regionally responsive, and working in partnership with other charitable agencies to fight hunger in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. It is the leading anti-hunger organization and the only food bank on Long Island. Long Island Cares was founded in 1980 by the late singer/activist Harry Chapin in response to the immediate needs of hungry Long Islanders. It is continued today by his wife, Sandy Chapin. In the years since Harry passed away, Long Island Cares has become an organized force of caring, dedicated people who are making a difference in the fight against hunger on Long Island.

When the Harry Chapin Food Bank first opened its doors in February 1982, it served a mere handful of agencies in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Today, it delivers food to over 600 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, group homes, day treatment facilities, senior nutrition sites and day care centers in Nassau and Suffolk counties. These agencies, in turn, distribute the food to their clients and/or provide meals from the food received.

The Long Island Chapter of the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS-LI), established in 2004, provides education, networking and business opportunities for marketing professionals in the architecture, engineering and construction industries. Recognized as one of the fastest growing chapters of the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS), the organization’s mission is to advocate for, educate and connect leaders in the building industry.

This competition to showcase creativity is also one of Long Island Cares'largest food drives. A surprising number of people are at risk of hunger on Long Island, an area that is one of the most prosperous in the nation. But in fact, there are an estimated 259,000 Long Island residents who are hungry, including about 93,000 children and 39,000 seniors.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Abbott Donates Sculpture to Lake County Forest Preserves for Permanent Display

NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. — To help raise environmental awareness in Lake County, Abbott has donated a "Cool Globes" sculpture from a recent outdoor public art exhibit to the Lake County Forest Preserves (LCFP) as a permanent display at the organization's Greenbelt Cultural Center in North Chicago.

The Cool Globes program, which Abbott sponsored, featured sculpted globes, each five feet in diameter, on which artists from around the world applied their designs to present messages and images on environmental issues like climate change solutions. After the exhibit ended, the artworks were sold in a public auction to raise money for environmental education.

The Cool Globe Abbott acquired and donated to LCFP, "Nature Nurture: Raise Future Environmentalists," was created by Chicago artist Nancy Pochis Bank. The artist's piece presents how the earth's future stewardship depends on children connecting with nature. Bank used whitewashed, "blank slate" children covered in patterns of nature icons with silhouetted moms and dads positioned over their shoulders to illustrate them overseeing their children's interactions with the natural world.

"Abbott's support of the Lake County Forest Preserves and the Cool Globes art exhibit is part of our commitment to environmental sustainability," said John C. Landgraf, senior vice president, Global Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Supply, Abbott. "Families across the north suburbs enjoy the Lake County Forest Preserves, and we believe the family-focused message conveyed in the Cool Globe'we're donating will inspire visitors to be part of the solution of protecting the environment for future generations."

The Lake County Forest Preserves manage over 25,500 acres of land and offer innovative educational, recreational and cultural opportunities for all ages. Visitors enjoy over 125 miles of trail for a variety of outdoor recreation uses, fishing ponds and lakes, public access to the Fox River, award-winning nature and history education programs and events, and four public golf courses.

Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. With global headquarters in north suburban Chicago, Abbott is the largest non-government employer in Lake County, Ill.

This donation will make a nice addition to the Lake County Forest Preserves, especially because it promotes environmental protection awareness, which is critical.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Kristi Yamaguchi to Chair 23rd Annual A Toast to the Triangle

RALEIGH, N. C. — The Tammy Lynn Center for Developmental Disabilities announced that Olympic gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi will again serve as honorary chair of the 23rd Annual A Toast to the Triangle, scheduled for March 2008 at North Carolina State University’s McKimmon Center.

A Toast to the Triangle raises funds for the Tammy Lynn Memorial Foundation, Inc., which supports the children and adults of the Tammy Lynn Center for Developmental Disabilities. The center provides programs for children and adults with special needs, including educational services, respite care, early childhood intervention, residential services and a summer program.

“I have a special place in my heart for children with disabilities,” said Yamaguchi. “To be able to work with an organization that does so much for children with special needs is a wonderful opportunity.”

The event offers guests samples from over 40 of the area’s finest restaurants, caterers and purveyors of fine wines and beers, as well as friendly competition among the participants. The 2007 event raised nearly $175,000 and more than 1,350 guests attended.

“We are excited to have Kristi join us again this year for the Toast,” said Freeman. “Her enthusiasm for the Center and the Toast is inspiring to us all, and we look forward to working with her to make this year’s event the best yet.”

The Tammy Lynn Memorial Foundation, Inc., founded in 1969, supports the children and adults of the Tammy Lynn Center for Developmental Disabilities. The center provides programs for children and adults with special needs, including educational services, respite care, early childhood intervention, residential services and a summer program. The Tammy Lynn Center serves nearly 400 children and families each year.

Located on a nine-acre campus near North Carolina State University in Raleigh, the Tammy Lynn Center for Developmental Disabilities (TLCDD) offers educational, residential and family support services to children and adults with special needs. In its 38th year, the Center remains committed to providing the individuals it serves with the opportunity to maximize their abilities and potential in a loving, nurturing environment. TLCDD is owned by the Tammy Lynn Memorial Foundation, Inc. and is independently operated by TLC Operations, Inc. Both corporations are under the parent company Tammy Lynn Center, Inc. All organizations are nonprofit entities (510(c)(3).

A Toast To the Triangle was first held in 1986. Approximately $6,000 was raised and given to the Tammy Lynn Memorial Foundation’s building fund. Since, the event has been held annually to raise funds for the Tammy Lynn Memorial Foundation, Inc. and its affiliated organizations. The event offers an array of culinary creations from 40 of the Triangle’s finest restaurants, caterers and purveyors of fine wines and specialty beers.

The Tammy Lynn Center was established in 1969 by the parents of children with special needs. Today, the facility continues to serve special children and provide an invaluable service to their families and the community. Kudos to Yamaguchi for lending her support to such a worthwhile organization.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Dannon Company Awards Second Annual Nutrition Grants

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — The Dannon Company, Inc. has awarded the second annual Dannon Next Generation Nutrition Grants to address the need for educating children about healthy eating practices and proper nutrition.

The Dannon Company established the Dannon Next Generation Nutrition Grants in 2006 to promote childhood nutrition education and provide total funding of more than $100,000 to four nonprofit organizations that operate in communities where a Dannon facility is located. Each organization developed a program that nurtures healthy eating habits among children in the community and encourages children to develop life-long habits for good nutrition and exercise.

According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, obesity rates have soared among all age groups, more than quadrupling among children ages 6 to 11, during the past four decades. Today, more than 33 percent of children and adolescents — approximately 25 million — are overweight or obese. Dannon hopes to help curb this trend by supporting youth education programs that provide long-term, grassroots solutions.

Grant winners are:

Westchester County, N.Y. — Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Westchester County received $19,500 in support of its program, Shake & Bake in partnership with the White Plains Youth Bureau. CCE aims to improve dietary habits and encourage the adoption of fitness into the daily lifestyle of 75 middle school youth in the White Plains area.

Fort Worth, Texas — United Way of Tarrant County received $26,100 in support of its Little Bites, Big Steps preschool nutrition education program. United Way and its partner, KERA, will address the national problem of preschool children's health and fitness by helping parents and caregivers understand their role in promoting healthy eating in preschool children through educational programming.

Minster, Ohio — The Ohio State University (OSU) Extension in Auglaize County received $29,900 in support of its program, Team Up for Good Nutrition with OSU Extension. The Dannon grant will expand the nutrition education opportunities it provides to youth in Auglaize County and will provide support to OSU Extension’s programs.

West Jordan, Utah — Utah Food Bank Services received $30,000 in support of its Child Health and Nutrition Education Program. Utah Food Bank Services will host nutrition related classes and activities that will be taught at participating Kids Cafe sites and quarterly health fairs to expose children to health lifestyle concepts through visually engaging and activity promoting lesson plans. The nutrition education program will serve about 1,000 low-income, at-risk children in Salt Lake County.

"Through the Dannon Next Generation Nutrition Grants, Dannon is committed to helping people make informed food choices to improve their nutrition and health," said Gayle Binney, manager, Corporate Responsibility for The Dannon Company. "This year, Dannon is also celebrating the ten-year anniversary of the Dannon Institute, an independent, nonprofit foundation which promotes the relationship between nutrition and health."

The Dannon Company is America’s founding national yogurt company and continually leverages its expertise to develop and market innovative cultured fresh dairy products in the United States. Headquartered in White Plains, NY, Dannon has plants in Minster, OH, Fort Worth, TX, and West Jordan, UT. The company produces and sells approximately 100 different types of flavors, styles and sizes of cultured fresh dairy products. Dannon is owned by Groupe Danone, one of the world's leading producers of packaged foods and beverages, and Dannon is the top-selling brand of yogurt products worldwide, sold under the names Dannon and Danone. With a strong commitment to high-quality, wholesome, nutritious and innovative products, The Dannon Company is committed to encouraging healthy eating and living. This commitment is also illustrated through The Dannon Company’s support of the Dannon Institute, an independent, non-profit foundation dedicated to promoting research, education, and communication about the links between nutrition, diet and health.

It's great to see Dannon awarding nutrition grants for the second year in a row, and we hope it will be an annual tradition. The company awards grants to worthwhile organizations in and around the communities where it has facilities and employees, which is a nice way of giving back.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth Honors Supporters

LAS VEGAS — Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth (NPHY) held its annual awards luncheon in October at the Stirling Club.This year's honorees included:

Youth of the Year- Callyce Carroll

Donor of the Year- Bill Fry. Fry has the distinction of writing the largest private donation check in the history of NPHY. Due to his generous donation of $250,000 for the naming rights to one of the new buildings, the capital campaign is well on its way.

Board Member of the Year- Mike Mullin

Supporter of the Year- Nevada Power Company. Nevada Power Company has been a generous donor over the past year. NPHY received a capacity building grant that allowed it to have its first board retreat. Nevada Power sponsored Homeless Youth Day in Carson City during the 2007 legislative session and President Pat Shalmy spoke in front of the legislature about NPHY.

Volunteer of the Year- Susan Somers

Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth is the only youth service provider in Nevada with a continuum of care extending from street outreach and 24-hour crisis intervention services to a full-time drop-in center and an independent living program.

It's good to see people in the community supporting NPHY, which fills a critically underserved need in Southern Nevada. We hope others will support the organization and help its capital campaign reach its goals.

Monday, November 05, 2007

BlogWorld Expo Donates A Booth To Soldiers’ Angels

LAS VEGAS — BlogWorld & New Media Expo, which is the first and largest blogger and new media dedicated conference and tradeshow held in Las Vegas, will donate a booth and exhibit space to Soldiers' Angels, a volunteer-based non-profit organization that sends hundreds of thousands of care packages and letters to troops stationed all over the world.

The conference, which will be held Nov. 8-9 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, features more than 90 acclaimed bloggers/speakers including Shel Israel, Mike Arrington, Leo Laporte, Brian Clark, Will Leitch, Eric Olsen, and Dr. David Perlmutter. Topics include everything from blogging to podcasting as well as an expansive exhibit floor and he 2007 Weblog awards.

“We have a dynamic conference that brings together old and new media for two entire days,” says Rick Calvert, creator of BlogWorld & New Media Expo. “But as good as everything we are doing is, it’s important for us to reach out to the community and support one of the most notable causes on the Internet today.”

Soldiers’ Angels, which was originally incorporated in Nevada, has grown to become a national organization with members in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and other friendly countries all over the world. Together, they provide aid and comfort to the men and women of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard as well as their families.

The many activities that Soldiers’ Angels has taken on includes sending letters and care packages; providing First Response packs to combat and support hospitals (CASH), in Germany and the U.S.; aiding military families in need and disabled military personnel at home; shipping level III Kevlar blankets to provide additional protection; and honoring fallen soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

“We want to assist Soldiers’ Angels in whatever way possible — to help them and their members get the word out and develop more partnerships — is one of the most significant things we could do at BlogWorld,” said Calvert. “Just one of the many worthwhile programs they have created provides disabled veterans with laptop computers and voice recognition technology as needed so they can reconnect with family and friends when they return home.”

Soldiers’ Angels was started by the mother of Sgt. Brandon Varn, who was deployed in Iraq. In the summer of 2003, Sgt. Varn expressed concern to his mother that many soldiers never received any mail or support from home. His mother contacted a few friends and extended family to ask if they would write to a soldier or two. Within a few short months, Soldiers' Angels went from a mother writing a few extra letters to an Internet community with thousands of angels worldwide.

Soldiers' Angels was recognized in October 2007 by Congress with a certificate of Congressional recognition. The organization fills an underserved niche and impacts the lives of American soldiers every day. We hope that by participating in the expo that thousands of people get the chance to learn about this worthwhile charity and will lend their support.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Keep America Beautiful, Sprint and ReCellular Sponsor Cell Phone Round-Up

STAMFORD, Conn. — Keep America Beautiful (KAB), Sprint and ReCellular are co-sponsoring a program for recycling retired cell phones called the Cell Phone Round-Up in celebration of America Recycles Day (Nov. 15).

The goal of the Round-Up is to raise awareness about cell phone recycling and collect retired cell phones to benefit KAB. Keep America Beautiful affiliates across the country will be leading local and regional events to promote the Round-Up, pass out postage-paid recycling envelopes, and collect retired cell phones. Free postage-paid mailing labels can be printed by visiting The Cell Phone Round-Up.

"The goal of the Cell Phone Round-Up is to provide a fun way to show people how easy it is to recycle a retired cell phone," said G. Raymond Empson, president of Keep America Beautiful. "The best part of this program is virtually everyone has one or two unused, retired cell phones that could be recycled.”

It's estimated that there are tens of millions of phones currently unused, and the available supply of unwanted cell phones will continue to increase. The Cell Phone Round-Up is a November promotion of Keep America Beautiful's year-round "Wipe Out Wireless Waste" campaign, which is conducted with the support of Sprint and ReCellular.

Keep America Beautiful, Inc., established in 1953, is the nation's largest volunteer-based community action and education organization. This national nonprofit forms public-private partnerships and programs that engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community environments.

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two robust wireless networks serving 54 million customers at the end of the second quarter 2007; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international walkie-talkie capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone.

With offices in the United States, Hong Kong, and Brazil, ReCellular Inc. is the world's foremost collector, reseller and recycler of used cell phones and accessories. It provides solutions for the collection, reuse and recycling of used personal electronics that generate financial return for its partners, quality products for its customers, funding for charity organizations, and protection of the environment.

This is an easy and free way to put old cell phones to good use. With the average person retiring a cell phone every 16 months, there are more than 130 million cell phones retired every year.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Ark of Hope Moves Closer to Building Homes for Children in Foster Care

HIGH SPRINGS, Fla. — Ark of Hope for Children, Inc. (Ark of Hope) is striving to build three to six homes near Gainesville, Fla., for abused siblings, children and youth who live in foster care. By keeping siblings together, ending unnecessary moves to new homes every two months or so, and providing love, mentors, tutors and counseling, Ark of Hope can provide real life change to some of the more than 513,000 children living in foster care.

Each home will house up to six foster children to allow each home to retain the feeling of a normal home. Foster parents will serve for a minimum of one to two years and will receive salaries, food, vehicles, benefits and respite breaks.
The charity has an 80-acre parcel of land upon which to build, and has received support from community partners and businesses to help make building a reality. Donations, including in-kind, include surveying the property and clearing a 1/4-mile easement road.

A national supplier has offered to donate materials, a builder has offered to serve as general contractor, another builder has volunteered to “dry-in” the building for cost, a plumbing contractor has offered free plumbing labor for the entire house, a cement contractor has offered to provide free labor in laying the foundation of the house, an air conditioning and heating subcontractor has offered free labor, and a cement plant has offered to donate cement for the complete foundation.
According to Blair Corbett, vice president of Ark of Hope, in order to move forward on the project, Ark of Hope still needs to raise building funds and create a floor plan suitable enough to receive building permit approval.

To help raise needed funds, Ark of Hope is selling one of its 20-acre parcels in High Springs. The property is selling for $13,900 per acre, which is below market value. Sale of the property will pay off the balance owed while providing approximately $100,000 for Ark for Hope’s building fund. Click here to view the parcel for sale, courtesy of Jay Rist of RE/MAX Professional, Inc.

Ark of Hope For Children, Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit organization based in High Springs, Fla. The organization is building a Christian-based community to provide homes of hope for siblings from foster care. All of the children served by the program were previously abused and neglected in the Florida foster care system. The goal of Ark of Hope is to bring and keep siblings together in a loving, caring environment and to give them hope for a bright future.

Siblings in foster care are able to remain together less than 30 percent of the time, and most children move from four to six homes per year. These children need stability in their lives, and Ark of Hope seems to be meeting an underserved need by finding a way to keep these children together. We hope the organization will continue its successful efforts and achieve its goals.

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