Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Singer Gwen Stefani To Donate Proceeds of San Diego Concert to Wildfire Relief Effort

SAN DIEGO — Singer Gwen Stefani announced she will donate proceeds from her Oct. 30 show at San Diego State University’s Cox Arena to the San Diego Foundation’s After The Fires Fund 2007, which benefits disaster response, recovery and building.

A native of Southern California, Stefani said San Diego has been like a second home to her and has always supported her career. The Grammy Award-winning singer said she originally planned to cancel the show because of the fires and out of respect to residents, but then realized there might be a better solution.

The San Diego Foundation’s After-the-Fires Fund 2007 was opened on Oct. 21 to receive donations for making emergency grants to first responders and other nonprofit service organizations engaged in disaster response, recovery and rebuilding.

Gwen Stefani is a singer, songwriter and clothing designer. She has sold more than 30 million albums globally both as a solo artist and as lead singer for the band No Doubt.

Gwen Stefani was born in Fullerton, Calif. but grew up in Anaheim, and has always supported her community in Southern California. It's refreshing to see a popular artist give back in such a timely and meaningful way. Kudos to Stefani, and we hope that other artists follow her lead.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The DOW Chemical Company Supports Habitat for Humanity Project in Los Angeles

MIDLAND, Mich. — The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) is lending support to Habitat for Humanity's 24th annual Jimmy Carter Work Project (JCWP), Oct. 28 - Nov. 2, in Los Angeles. During the weeklong project, thousands of volunteers from around the world will join former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in building 30 new homes and rehabilitating 70 homes this week and through the end of the year.

As a result of Dow's unique donation, which includes financial and employee volunteer support as well as product contributions like Styrofoam and Weathermate housewraps, new homeowners will benefit from significantly reduced energy consumption and increased savings. Using Dow product contributions, a new multi-family unit will reduce natural gas consumption for heating by 23 percent, and provide 30 percent overall reductions in electricity consumption.

"Dow is helping to make a difference in the lives of families in need by supporting Habitat for Humanity and the Jimmy Carter Work Project," said Scott Young, global portfolio director of energy efficiency for Dow. "Together, we are building strong communities where people have a sustainable and affordable place to call home. With the substantial savings from reduced energy use, these new L.A. homeowners will enjoy a more comfortable living space and enjoy lower utility bills - month after month, year after year - long after the last nail is hammered."

The Habitat for Humanity homes will be built in partnership with 30 low-income families in South Los Angeles and in the San Pedro area near the port. Families partnering with Habitat for Humanity complete 500 hours of 'sweat equity' in building both their home and the homes of the other partner families. Families also pay a no-profit mortgage for their homes, which is then used to build even more simple, decent and affordable housing in the Los Angeles area. In addition, 70 homes in these two neighborhoods, already owned by low-income families, will be repaired through Habitat for Humanity’s "A Brush With Kindness" program.

Dow is a diversified chemical company that harnesses the power of innovation, science and technology to constantly improve what is essential to human progress. The company offers a broad range of products and services to customers in more than 175 countries, helping them to provide everything from fresh water, food and pharmaceuticals to paints, packaging and personal care products. Built on a commitment to its principles of sustainability, Dow has annual sales of $49 billion and employs 43,000 people worldwide.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles strives to eliminate poverty housing through advocacy, education and partnership with families in need to build simple, decent affordable housing. Since 1990, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles has built more than 200 homes, transforming the lives of hundreds of individuals. In the spring of 2007, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles kicked off its three-year "Building a Greater Los Angeles" campaign to build or rehabilitate 250 homes in Los Angeles County.

Dow has maintained a relationship with Habitat for Humanity for 27 years. The company lends is expertise in science and technology to help solve pressing challenges such as affordable housing, energy efficiency and sustainable development.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Blogging For Hope Winners Announced

SAN ANTONIO — On Sept. 27, BlogCatalog became the first social network to ask its members to collectively call for an End to Abuse (of all kinds). On thousands of blogs all over the world on the same day, BlogCatalog members and other bloggers did just that.

Google revealed more than 66,000 mentions of “Bloggers Unite” and abuse; more than 10,000 of those included “BlogCatalog,” linking back to the campaign so other bloggers could be discovered.

To highlight and recognize those who did their part, Copywrite, Ink., in cooperation with BlogCatalog, invited any blogger who participated in this campaign to submit a link and other measurements for consideration in the Blog For Hope competition.

Out of more than 100 entries, six judges chose the following. For additional details and links to the winners, visit Copywrite, Ink..

First Place — Lisa Wines

Wines wrote about an everyday hero. Robert Miley, an artist in Phoenix, has developed a workshop curriculum for abused children and at-risk youth to discover themselves and gain empathy for others through art. Art is often used as a medium for children who have suffered abuse to transform their pain and association with the abuse into something manageable. Wines’ efforts to recognize Miley through Bloggers Unite brings awareness to a technique that helps victims cope with abuse.

Second Place — Barbara Sweat (Jane)

Sweat chronicled how verbal abuse sometimes escalates from put-downs under the guise of jokes into disparaging comments that aim to control, manipulate, and intimidate, leaving an impact on the victim forever. She then gave readers information from several sources and prompted the victims of verbal abuse to contact the state branch of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence if the abuse crosses into domestic violence.

Third Place — Verna Corbett

Corbett revealed a very personal story of how, by learning more about the foster care system, she was personally touched and moved to action. Her family has adopted ten children from the foster care program and is now working to build a group of homes for siblings, children and youth on 80 acres of land so they may receive the caring, understanding, and unconditional love they deserve.

Honorable Mentions
Hartley B. Singer summarized dozens of powerful posts to call for an end to animal abuse. He includes information about what you can do to help.

The NAFASG Team captivated readers with a powerful tribute to a Nurin Jazlin, who was abducted and murdered. The story is shocking; the call to action memorable, with scores of people joining their efforts to end child abuse.

CreativeBlogger used their blog to share the undeniably tragic story from Africa — adults infected with HIV sexually assaulting children, which is a death sentence beyond the abuse these children already endure.

Cynthia Newcomer Daniel gave up space to recount her personal story of abuse, demonstrating true courage in sharing her story so that others might know they are not alone.

Saphyre Rose, who is a 25-year cancer survivor, stopped us with a powerful introduction: I was a victim of abuse. She shares her personal experience and prompts victims to have the courage to take action.

It's amazing what people can accomplish when they write about a topic that has impacted them and others. BlogCatalog is the fastest-growing social network on the Internet, and its innovative Bloggers Unite campaign is being copied by other networks as BlogCatalog members demonstrate the power of bloggers doing good.

Friday, October 26, 2007

GM Relief Efforts in Response to Fires in Southern California

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — General Motors and the GM Foundation are putting in place several efforts to help those impacted by the devastating fires that have raged across Southern California.

The GM Foundation has contributed $100,000 to the American Red Cross (ARC), which also has a fleet of GM-donated HUMMER vehicles available to provide relief in natural disasters. In addition, 12 Southern California HUMMER dealerships are standing by to assist with relief efforts.

"Responding to natural disasters is a priority of GM's corporate outreach, and we welcome the opportunity to work with the American Red Cross again to aid those Californians who must overcome hardships caused by the recent fires," said Rod Gillum, GM vice president, chairman of the GM Foundation. "GM employees will be able to make contributions to the relief efforts and those contributions will be matched by the GM Foundation through Nov. 30."

GM OnStar has activated its Crisis Assist program for OnStar subscribers. Crisis Assist allows subscribers in the designated crisis area to take advantage of all OnStar services, at no additional charge, regardless of their service plans. OnStar offers routing assistance, help with hotel reservations and will even download minutes into vehicles so that the subscribers can connect with family/friends to tell them they are okay. OnStar’s recent partnership with the American Red Cross also allows subscribers access to ARC's shelter information.

General Motors Corp., the world's largest automaker, has been the global industry sales leader for 76 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 280,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 33 countries. In 2006, nearly 9.1 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn and Vauxhall. GM’s OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services.

This donation is yet another example of companies lending their support during a crisis. We especially like the OnStar Crisis Assist program, which could help people find places to stay or connect with loved ones to let them know they are safe.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water Contributes to Wildfire Relief Effort

GREENWICH, Conn. — Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water has donated 115,000 bottles of water to rescue workers who are currently fighting the Southern California wildfires, as well as to evacuees who are being housed at temporary shelters at Qualcomm Stadium and others throughout the region.

"All of us in Southern California are affected by this disaster and we're eager to pitch in and help with the relief efforts in whatever ways we can," said Ron Kane, Regional Logistics Manager for Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water. "Access to safe, potable water is critical during disasters and we'll continue work with the American Red Cross, local response agencies and our retail partners to make sure everyone's needs are met during this challenging time."

Through its longstanding relationship with the American Red Cross, Arrowhead has provided 36,000 bottles of water to various Red Cross shelters. Additionally, Arrowhead has donated 36,000 bottles of water to Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego in coordination with stadium staff for people being temporarily housed there and another 36,000 bottles of water to the Forestry Service fire fighters in Lake Arrowhead and surrounding communities in the San Bernardino Mountains.

Other requests for bottled water from local fire departments, police departments, hospitals and others involved in relief efforts are being fulfilled either directly through Arrowhead, its retail partners or the military. In the last two days, Arrowhead has donated thousands of cases of bottled water to first responders fighting fires in San Diego, the San Bernardino Mountains, the San Fernando Valley and Orange County.

"Through our own donations and coordination with retail partners, we've already facilitated the movement of more than 3 million bottles of water for wildfire relief efforts," Kane noted.

Arrowhead and its parent company Nestle Waters North America frequently pitch in with bottled water donations when natural disasters strike. In 2006, Nestle Waters North America donated 1.2 million bottles of water to the Gulf Coast region in preparation for the hurricane season and to mark the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. During Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the four 2004 Florida hurricanes, Nestle Waters provided millions of bottles of water and financial aid to Gulf Coast communities.

Arrowhead Brand Mountain Spring Water is a natural mountain spring water selectively sourced from multiple mountain spring sources in the United States and Canada. Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water, which is available in the western region of the United States, including California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona and Nevada, is distributed by Nestle Waters North America Inc., located in Greenwich, Conn.

We like to see companies lending their resources and support to communities in need. This donation not only helps to fill a critical need for those affected by the fires, but it also considers firefighters and rescue workers whose lives are on the line every day.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Alcoa Foundation Contributes $50,000 for Wildfire Disaster Relief

NEW YORK — Alcoa Foundation today announced that it has contributed $50,000 to the Orange County, California Chapter of the American Red Cross for disaster relief efforts following devastating wildfires in Southern California.

The wildfires that began on Sunday have devastated over 200,000 acres of land, destroyed thousands of homes, forced the evacuation of 750,000 residents, and have caused several injuries and fatalities.

Alcoa employs 3,000 people in California at its Alcoa Fastening Systems and Kawneer Company businesses. The company has five operating locations in the affected counties of Los Angeles, Venture and Orange.

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.

With all of the devastation in California, it's important to see companies lending their support immediately. Alcoa has employees in California and it is possible some of them might be impacted by the fires too. Hopefully other companies will get involved and make a difference too.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Southern Ladies Purse Gala Raises $35,655 for Me Fine Foundation

RALEIGH, N.C. — Lori K. Lee, executive director of Me Fine Foundation, Inc. ,
announced that the 2nd Annual Southern Ladies Purse Gala raised $35,655. The event was held on Sept. 16 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Cary and featured a live auction of unique, one-of-a-kind purses, including items donated by local celebrities and designers nationwide. All proceeds will be directed by Me Fine Foundation, Inc. to provide assistance for children and families at Duke Children’s Hospital and the North Carolina Children’s Hospital at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“We appreciate the time and dedication everyone devoted to make this event a huge success,” said Lisa Valentino, director of development for Me Fine Foundation, Inc. “The proceeds raised will support the much-deserving families at Duke and UNC, and we look forward to an even bigger event next year.”

Me Fine Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that provides assistance for children and families at the Duke Children’s Hospital and the North Carolina Children’s Hospital at UNC. The foundation was founded by friends and family of Folden Lee, IV, who was diagnosed with AML Leukemia in 2003. During his 15-month battle with this disease, Folden’s family found that along with the tremendous stress of caring for a child with a life-threatening illness, most families struggle with overwhelming medical costs as well as personal outpatient housing and living expenses while their child is undergoing treatment. Me Fine Foundation, Inc. is dedicated to relieving these families of this added stress as they face these life-changing challenges.

While only in its second year, this event does an amazing job of raising funds for the Me Fine Foundation, which provides an invaluable service to children and families in a time of great need.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Project Homeless Connect Adds Sponsors for Nov. 6 Event

LAS VEGAS – Organizers of a Nov. 6 outreach event called Project Homeless Connect announced several new sponsors and donors and issued a last call for any additional volunteers interested in joining the event to help the homeless in Southern Nevada.

“We’re confident that this will be our largest and most successful event yet to help homeless people here in Southern Nevada,” said Kim Amato, executive director of the Nevada Homeless Alliance, which coordinates the Project Homeless Connect event. “We expect to serve more than the nearly 2,000 people we helped at this event last year.”

The 15th annual day-long event at Cashman Center, located at 850 Las Vegas Blvd. North, was formerly known as the Stand Down for the Homeless. It helps thousands of homeless people each year receive “a hand up, not a hand out.” Staffed by volunteers from local governments, charities, faith-based groups, shelters, businesses and others involved in ending and preventing homelessness, this event is coordinated by the Nevada Homeless Alliance (NHA) and co-sponsored by the City of Las Vegas. Project Homeless Connect is free to people who are homeless. The event opens at 8 a.m.

Amato said the event is being made possible with support from sponsors such as US Airways, MGM MIRAGE, Harrah’s Entertainment, Clark County, Nevada Community Foundation, Nevada State Bank, Henderson Civitans, Central Las Vegas Rotary Club, Assistance League of Las Vegas, ERealEstateExec, America’s Second Harvest, Supercuts, Trader Joe’s, U.S. Food Service, AAA, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Brown & Partners Advertising and Public Relations, Cox Communications, Univision Radio and others.

“Project Homeless Connect is an important part of our regional Help Hope Home initiative to help homeless people get off the streets,” said Shannon West, regional homeless services coordinator for Southern Nevada. “The idea is to bring the community together to give people the help, hope and housing they need to get them off the street.”

In 2006, nearly 2,000 homeless people received help with food, clothing, grooming, housing, transportation, job training, health care, mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment, child care, veterans and legal services. In addition, West said nearly 300 attendees were placed in housing during and after the outreach event.

Amato said organizers are still seeking support from local residents, businesses and organizations that can volunteer, donate money or provide in-kind services for the event and for the Help Hope Home initiative in general. The deadline to volunteer or sponsor the event is Oct. 30.

Project Homeless Connect participants include Clark County Social Service, City of Las Vegas, city and county courts, emergency shelter and housing providers, Nevada Legal Services, Nevada Health Centers, Lutheran Social Services of Nevada, employment and training agencies, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department HELP (Homeless Evaluation Liaison Project) Team, street outreach service providers, state welfare and mental health agencies, the Veterans Administration, faith-based groups and various housing providers.

A comprehensive study census conducted in Southern Nevada last January indicates there are approximately 11,417 homeless people staying in shelters or on the street there on any given day. This event will not only help homeless people by connecting them with the resources they need, but it will also generate awareness of issues related to homelessness in Nevada and how it affects the community and the economy.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Lawyer James Smyth Appointed to Blind Center of Nevada Board of Directors

LAS VEGAS – James (Jim) Smyth, a partner with the Nevada law firm Kummer Kaempfer Bonner Renshaw & Ferrario (Kummer Kaempfer), has been appointed to the Blind Center of Nevada board of directors where he will assist the nonprofit in expanding public awareness, community involvement and employment opportunities for its clients.

The appointment follows more than a year and half of Smyth’s pro bono services to the nonprofit. Kummer Kaempfer has provided complimentary legal advice to the Blind Center of Nevada for several years as a result of long-standing relationships between leaders of both organizations.

“The Blind Center has been strengthened by Jim’s legal advice and expertise due to the generosity of Kummer Kaempfer,” said Ronnie Wilson, president and chief executive officer of the Blind Center of Nevada. “The Blind Center will now benefit from his increased commitment to help serve the often over looked community of people dealing with vision loss. We are honored to welcome Jim as he joins our dedicated board of community-minded business leaders. As the remarkable Helen Keller once said, ‘Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.’”

The Blind Center of Nevada offers programs and activities, both on and off-site, that encourage independence and improve the quality of life for individuals with visual limitations.
Smyth is a native Nevadan who began as an associate at Kummer Kaempfer after being admitted to the State Bar of Nevada in 1997. His practice encompasses primarily construction, commercial litigation, real estate and land use and zoning entitlement litigation matters.
The Blind Center of Nevada is a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting blind and visually impaired persons of all ages in reaching their highest physical, social, intellectual, and economic potential.

Kummer Kaempfer is a prominent force in Nevada, serving local, regional, national and international clients in the real estate development, hospitality, gaming, manufacturing, service, high-technology, and energy and utilities industries. Founded in 1994, Kummer Kaempfer is one of Nevada’s largest law firms, specializing in complex corporate transactions, federal and state securities matters, commercial litigation, zoning and land use and regulatory law.

Smyth has a personal reason for choosing the Blind Center of Nevada for his volunteer work. His mother was involved in an accident that caused her to be come blind. Since, she has become a member at the Blind Center of Nevada

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Delaware Investments Charity Golf Classic Raises Funds for Philadelphia Society of Services to Children

PHILADELPHIA — Delaware Investments announced that the third annual Delaware Investments Charity Classic, held on Oct. 8, raised more than $134,000. All proceeds will benefit the Philadelphia Society for Services to Children (PSSC) a private social service agency founded in 1835 with a mission of promoting the wholesome development of Philadelphia's youth in a family environment.

The funds raised will be used to enhance PSSC's commitment to providing programs and networks that help children grow up in safe, stable, and supportive family environments as an alternative to allowing children to remain in unsuitable situations or taken from their families. PSSC's work begins before a child is harmed or placed into foster care by offering social services programs that strengthen families, preventing child abuse and neglect. PSSC's programs are voluntary, serving men and women who want to be better mothers, fathers, and caregivers for their children, thereby enriching the Philadelphia community.

In addition to the money raised at the golf outing, Delaware Investments employees are also giving additional support to PSSC by organizing a toy drive during this holiday season for all the children that PSSC supports on a regular basis.

"The Delaware Investments family is dedicated to the Philadelphia community, our home for more than 75 years," said Delaware Investments President Patrick P. Coyne.

The 2007 Delaware Investments Charity Classic was sponsored by Delaware Investments. Additional sponsors included BMO Capital Markets; Citigroup; DST Systems, Inc.; GR Consulting, LLC; Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP; and Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP; BNY ConvergEX Group; and Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.. In all, 26 companies and dozens of individuals contributed to the event, which was held at Fieldstone Golf Club in Greenville, Delaware.

Philadelphia Society for Services to Children (PSSC) is a family-focused, child abuse prevention agency. PSSC programs build on the existing strengths of the family and community in order to help each child grow up in a safe, stable, and supportive family environment.

Delaware Investments, an affiliate of Lincoln Financial Group, is a Philadelphia-based diversified asset management firm with more than $164 billion in assets under management as of June 2007. Through a broad range of managed accounts and portfolios, mutual funds, retirement accounts, sub-advised funds, education savings plans and other investment products, Delaware Investments provides investment services to individual investors and to institutional investors such as private and public pension funds, foundations, and endowment funds. Delaware Investments is the marketing name for Delaware Management Holdings, Inc. and its subsidiaries.

This worthwhile annual event surpassed last year's fundraising total, and the proceeds will benefit children in the communities Delaware Investments serves. It's nice to see a variety of sponsors supporting this important program.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Danny Gans Run For Children's Charities Set for Oct. 20

LAS VEGAS — The Fifth Annual Danny Gans Run For Children’s Charities will take place on Saturday, Oct. 20. The 5K run and 1-mile walk will be hosted by Boca Park Shopping Center, located at 700 S. Rampart in Summerlin. The event is a collaborative effort of the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Nevada and the Lili Claire Foundation. Through the event, the three organizations will raise funds to help children around the world.

Registration starts at 6 a.m., with the 1-mile fun run/walk beginning at 7:30 a.m. The 5K race (competitive and non-competitive) gets underway at 7:45 a.m. and the Champions Run for Life starts at 10 a.m. The latter is a mini event for critically ill children.

The event will feature live entertainment, raffles and medals in all 5K divisions. For event details or to register, click here.

Since 1980, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has enriched the lives of children with life-threatening medical conditions through its wish-granting work. The Foundation's mission reflects the life-changing impact that a Make-A-Wish experience has on children, families, referral sources, donors, sponsors, and entire communities.

The mission of the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation is to work side by side with the medical community to provide social, emotional, educational, and psychological support services and programs to families of all children who are diagnosed with a life threatening or critical illness such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, sickle cell, hemophilia, renal disorders, and other immunologic diseases. It provides comfort and support while empowering and educating families.

Keith and Leslie Litt-Resnick created the Lili Claire Foundation in 1998 to help enhance the lives of individuals living with neurogenietic conditions and their families through medical and social services. Additionally, the Lili Claire Foundation strives to encourage these children and young adults so that they may discover their innate talents and abilities and live productive, independent lives.

Danny Gans is a singer, comedian, impressionist, actor and philanthropist. In 2007, he celebrates 11 years as a Las Vegas headliner, with the last seven of those years being spent in his own 1,250-seat theater at The Mirage. Gans was recently named "Las Vegas Entertainer of the Year" for the tenth consecutive year.

There are few local celebrities that are as active and dedicated to children's charities as Gans. This event will help three important children's charities raise funds to benefit children not only in the Las Vegas community, but also throughout the nation and the world.

Monday, October 15, 2007

UPS Employees Around the World Launch Global Volunteer Week

ATLANTA — As UPS continues to celebrate its 100th birthday in 2007, its employees around the globe plan to devote thousands of hours giving back to their communities this week during the company’s annual Global Volunteer Week.

Now in its fifth year, Global Volunteer Week was started to extend the company's long-standing commitment to volunteerism. For the entire year, the company's employees are expected to donate more than 1 million volunteer hours in 2007. UPS's involvement with communities dates back to the early days of the company under founder Jim Casey.

"UPS was founded on the philosophy that volunteering is essential to healthy communities," said Mike Eskew, chairman and CEO. "Global Volunteer Week builds on this spirit of volunteerism by giving employees an opportunity to improve their communities."

More than 35,000 employees will participate in activities around the world from planting trees in India to transporting food in New York. Global Volunteer Week projects were chosen by UPS employees in each participating country.

UPS, which celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2007, is the world's largest package delivery company and a global leader in supply chain services, offering an extensive range of options for synchronizing the movement of goods, information and funds. Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS serves more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.

This volunteerism program offers diverse activities that benefit communities around the world. For example, UPS employees in Atlanta will provide support for the Susan G. Komen breast cancer walk, employees in Greece will volunteer 150 hours assisting with disaster relief planning for the Greek Red Cross, and in the Philippines, employees will volunteer to clear farmland and plant trees at schools.

Friday, October 12, 2007

CSX and City Year Join Forces to Support Atlanta

ATLANTA — Approximately 50 CSX employees, 50 community members and eight City Year members will complete more than 430 total hours of community service at Lang Carson Community Center and Krog Street Tunnel entrance tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 13. The participants in the service event will participate in the following activities:

• Landscaping the Cabbagetown and Reynoldstown sides of the Krog Street Tunnel entrance

• Brightening Lang Carson Community Center basketball court with a new mural and playground games

• Landscaping the grounds of the Lang Carson Community Center

This event is the fifth in a series of six CSX and City Year cooperative service days this year. As part of CSX's community outreach program, each service day is planned in an area where CSX has significant train operations and impacts the local community. CSX employees have participated in service days in New Orleans, Washington D.C., Cleveland and Louisville; the last will be held in Jacksonville, Fla.

City Year is a non-profit organization that unites a diverse group of young people in a year of full-time community service and leadership development. Headquartered in Boston, City Year is located in 17 communities across the United States, as well as in Johannesburg, South Africa.

CSX Corporation, based in Jacksonville, Fla., is a leading transportation company providing rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services. The company's transportation network spans approximately 21,000 miles with service to 23 eastern states and the District of Columbia, and connects to more than 70 ocean, river and lake ports.

This project is an excellent way to engage young volunteers and for CSX to give back to the communities it serves. Beautification projects such as this enhance morale in neighborhoods and encourage other companies to get involved in similar projects.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Tom's of Maine Announces Five-Year, $1 Million Rivers Awareness Partnership Program

KENNEBUNK, Maine — Tom’s Of Maine co-founders Tom and Kate Chappell recently kicked off the company's five-year, $1 million Rivers Awareness Partnership at twelve public, retail, and community events in San Francisco and Portland, Oregon.

Tom's of Maine is pledging $1 million over five years to help American Rivers and River Network, the two leading grassroots river groups in the U.S., representing well over 100,000 members across the country.

This five-year commitment (2007-2012) follows the first phase of the company's rivers program (2001-2006) and continues a deep connection with protecting clean water that goes back to the founding of the company in 1970. Tom and Kate Chappell created their first product, a phosphate-free laundry detergent called "Clearlake," because of the damage done by phosphates to rivers and waterways.

"We are very excited to see our Rivers Awareness Partnership taken to the next level and to be working with the two groups that support people who are making a difference for rivers in communities across the country," said Kate Chappell.

American Rivers American Rivers is a national organization standing up for healthy rivers so communities can thrive. Through national advocacy, innovative solutions and its growing network of strategic partners, it protects and promotes rivers as valuable community assets that are vital to health, safety and quality of life. Founded in 1973, American Rivers has more than 75,000 members and online supporters nationwide.

Since 1988, River Network has provided organizational, technical and networking assistance to people working to protect their local watersheds. It helps people to build strong organizations, monitors and assesses water conditions, uses best practices to protect and restore freshwater ecosystems and finds solutions to water-related human health problems. With more than 700 partner groups in all fifty states and beyond, River Network is helping build a powerful new watershed protection movement nationwide.

Founded in Kennebunk, Maine, by Tom and Kate Chappell in 1970, Tom's of Maine creates effective personal care products using natural ingredients derived from plants and minerals. Tom's of Maine products (toothpaste, mouthwash, floss, deodorant, shave cream, and soap) do not contain artificial sweeteners, preservatives, colors, flavors, or animal ingredients; are tested for safety and efficacy without the use of animals; are biodegradable; and are packaged in earth-friendly ways. Its philosophy of "Natural Care" guides the company in doing what is right for its customers, employees, communities, and environment. The company donates 10 percent of its profits to charitable organizations; by encouraging employees to use 5 percent of their paid time in volunteer work; by adhering to standards of natural, sustainable, and responsible; and by not testing on animals.

This renewed investment by Tom's of Maine will assist in the preservation and conservation of waterways across the US for generations to come. According to River Network, community-based groups are they key to protecting and restoring lakes, streams, etc.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation Awards Grants to Pet Programs

ST. LOUIS — Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation is awarding cash grants totaling over $99,700 to 28 domestic pet programs in the United States and Canada. Funding for the grants is provided by the Bearemy's Kennel Pals program. Each time a Build-A-Bear Workshop guest purchases a full-sized Bearemy's Kennel Pals friend—a collection of plush dogs—one dollar is donated through the Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation to local animal shelters, stray pet rescue and rehabilitation organizations, and pet education programs.

"The Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation is proud to partner with Build-A-Bear Workshop Guests to offer assistance to thousands of beary special pets in need. We look forward to the continuation of this collaborative giving program which lends a helping paw to domestic pets," said Matt Oldani, manager of the Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation.

Grant recipients include:

Animal Advocates of South Carolina (Barnwell, SC)To fund a spay and neuter program

Animalkind, Inc. (Hudson, NY) To fund low-cost or free spay and neuter procedures

AniMeals (Missoula, MT) To fund a nutrition program for pets owned by families in need

Animal Welfare Society of Camden County (Blackwood, NJ) To provide funding for an outdoor area for shelter dogs

Bakersfield Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Bakersfield, CA) To fund the expansion of existing spay and neuter programs

Bangor Humane Society (Bangor, ME) To cover veterinary care, rehabilitation, shelter, adoption expenses

Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society (Berkeley, CA) To provide funding for a humane education program for school-aged children

Birmingham Boston Terrier Rescue (Birmingham, AL) To fund pre-adoption veterinary care

Caleb Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers (Whitefield, NH) To fund veterinary care of pets belonging to senior citizens

Community Partnership for Pets, Inc. (Flat Rock, NC) To fund a spay and neuter program

Dreampower Animal Rescue Foundation (Colorado Springs, CO) To fund pre-adoption veterinary care

Erie County SPCA (Tonawanda, NY) To fund an adoption program

Etowah Valley Humane Society (Cartersville, GA) To fund a spay and neuter program

Gateway to Canine Partnerships (Salt Lake City, UT) To cover costs associated with training service dogs

Georgia Canines for Independence (Acworth, GA) To provide funding for the training of an assistance dog for a child with physical disabilities

Humane Society of Louisiana (New Orleans, LA) To fund veterinary care and medical treatment for adoptable animals

Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region (Colorado Springs, CO) To fund a humane education program

New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program (Hilliard, OH) To support an adoption program for former races horses

Ogemaw County Humane Society (Rose City, MI) To cover shelter expenses

Ozark Mountain Basset Rescue (Fayetteville, AR) To fund veterinary care for basset hounds

Pet Adoption Fund (Canoga Park, CA) To fund veterinary care

Pet Rescue of Mercer (Hamilton, NJ) To fund an adoption program

Ryerss Farm for Aged Animals (Pottstown, PA) To cover medical expenses for horses

Save A Kitty (Canyon Country, CA) To fund operating expenses of the shelter

Save The Animals Rescue Team (Totowa, NJ) To fund a spay and neuter program

Spay Central Toronto (Toronto, ON) To aid in opening a not-for-profit spay and neuter clinic

The Brooklyn Animal Foster Network (Brooklyn, NY) To fund program expenses

The Oasis Animal Sanctuary, Inc. (Williamstown, NJ) To fund a low-cost spay and neuter program

Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation is committed to making life more bearable for children, families, and pets in need of a helping paw. The Foundation makes grants to qualified non-profit organization that support the health and wellness of children and families, the care and welfare of animals, the preservation of the environment, and the promotion of literary and education for all.

Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. is the only global company that offers an interactive make-your-own stuffed animal retail-entertainment experience. Founded in St. Louis in 1997, the company currently operates more than 290 stores in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland. The addition of franchise stores in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia make Build-A-Bear Workshop the leader in interactive retail.

Since 2001, more than $2.7 million has been awarded by the Bearemy Kennel Pals program to over 300 animal welfare organizations in the US and Canada. Funding is made available to charities that help domestic pets through a quarterly grant process. We like the fact that these grants benefit animals in communities across the US (and Canada).

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Adoption Exchange Sets February Fundraiser to Help Children Find Families

LAS VEGAS — The Adoption Exchange in Southern Nevada will host its third annual Monopoly-themed fundraiser from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Feb. 23 at the Four Seasons Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip to help the charity find “forever families” for local children waiting to be adopted.

All proceeds from the evening event benefit The Adoption Exchange, a local charity that connects children with adoptive families.

Sierra Health Services executive Jamie Jackson, chair of the Nevada advisory board for The Adoption Exchange and adoptive parent, said he hopes to attract more people and donations this year. Besides raising money, Jackson said the event generates community awareness of this important cause and the increasing number of local children seeking foster and permanent parents.

KLAS-TV Channel 8 news anchor Dave Courvoisier will serve as master of ceremonies for the event, which features a cocktail reception, dinner, entertainment and silent auction leading up to a Monopoly tournament where players compete for a grand prize and bragging rights.

Event sponsors include Nevada State Bank and Health Plan of Nevada, a subsidiary of Sierra Health Services, Inc. Sponsorships start at $2,000, with individual seats selling for $250 per person.

The Adoption Exchange connects children and families. It is a non-profit 501(c) (3) child welfare organization founded in 1983 to work for safety and permanence in the lives of foster children. Since its inception, the agency has helped find families for more than 4,700 children, including hundreds here in Southern Nevada. The Adoption Exchange needs volunteers, donations and families interested in adopting children.

In Clark County, Nevada, nearly 2,000 children are currently in foster care and approximately 100 of them are waiting to be adopted at any given time. With the number of local children needing shelter increasing by almost 30 percent every year, the need for adoption programs such as this one are more critical than ever.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Swarovski Raises Funds, Generates Awareness of World Orphan Week

WASHINGTON — SOS Children’s Villages, the largest international orphan care organization in the world, is recognizing World Orphan Week with Swarovski by auctioning off celebrity designed jean jackets on eBay. All proceeds from auction will benefit SOS Children’s Villages, which is home to thousands of orphaned and abandoned children in 132 countries.

The sparkly jackets available for auction include those designed by Jessica Alba, Carrie Underwood, Vanessa Williams, Reba McEntire and Eric Dane.

“SOS Children’s Villages is thrilled to be partnering with Swarovski for World Orphan Week. Swarovski understands the needs of orphaned children around the world and with their sponsored charity auction of one-of a-kind celebrity designed jackets, they have joined us in an important way to make a difference to children who have lost everything,” says Dr. Heather Paul, CEO of SOS Children’s Villages USA.

The charity auction partnership between Swarovski and SOS Children’s Villages started as a way to create awareness of the global needs of orphaned and abandoned children and to activate volunteers to raise funds for vital programs that can support these children. SOS Children’s Villages provides homes for over 65,000 orphaned and abandoned children and helps thousands more through family strengthening programs.

The partnership between SOS Children’s Villages and Swarovski dates back to the founding of SOS in the Tyrol region of Austria, home of Swarovski’s world manufacturing headquarters, in 1949. Daniel Swarovski was a humanitarian who personally supported the charity.

SOS Children’s Villages was founded in 1949 in response to the needs of the many children left orphaned and abandoned after World War II. The original concept is still working today, over 55 years later, to provide children who have lost their parents or who are no longer able to live with them a loving home and a stable environment in which they can thrive. The mission of SOS Children’s Villages is to build families for children in need, help them shape their own futures and share in the development of their communities.

Swarovski is the world's leading producer of precision-cut crystals. The company is comprised of two major divisions: The first, dating back to Swarovski’s origins in 1895, producing precision-cut crystal components, the crystal elements, catering to a wide range of design-driven industries in the fashion, lighting and interior business, the second, established in the mid 1970’s, using these same elements to create finished crystal products — jewelry, fashion accessories, and home décor objects- which are sold through the worldwide network of more than 1150 Swarovski stores.

This partnership uses celebrity glitz and glamor to benefit orphaned children in the United States and around the world. Swarovski has a long history of supporting SOS Children's Villages, and it is hoped that this fundraiser also generates awareness of the charity and the many lives it impacts.

Friday, October 05, 2007

L'Oreal PARIS Accepting Votes for National Women of Worth

L’Oréal PARIS invites the public to help select their National Woman of Worth, a woman who has made outstanding community achievements and positive impact, through volunteering, in tackling community issues.

A panel of distinguished judges has already narrowed the field down to 13 honorees; each will receive a $2,500 donation to the charity of their choice. Now the rest is up to you! Visit Women of Worth to read their amazing stories and vote for the woman that you think has made the greatest impact on her community. A $25,000 donation could be made in her name to support a charitable cause. Voting ends Oct. 15.

The Women of Worth initiative is inspired by L’Oréal PARIS’ iconic brand philosophy, "Because I’m Worth It" and recognizes the achievements of real women who embody the spirit of the L’Oréal brand - women who possess self-confidence and are committed to distinguishing their own lives by making a difference in the lives of others. The program is administered by the Points of Light and Hands On Network.

L’Oréal PARIS is dedicated to women around the world and the company has been inspired to give back and make a difference in their lives. In 1997, L’Oréal PARIS made a significant commitment to The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF), which continues to build. To date, L’Oréal PARIS has helped raise over 13 million dollars on behalf of OCRF with fundraising efforts such as the L’Oréal Legends Gala and L’Oreal’s annual "Color of Hope" cosmetic and jewelry collection.

This is a very rewarding program that recognizes outstanding women nationwide. We also like that voting is open to anyone with interest in making a difference.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Macy's Promotion Raises Record $2.5 Million for RIF

WASHINGTON — Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF), the nation's oldest and largest children’s and family literacy organization, announced today that a six-week promotion held at all Macy’s stores has raised a record $2.5 million, which will be used to fund new books for underserved children and an ongoing multicultural literacy campaign.

"Thanks to the support of Macy's and the generosity of its customers, RIF can advance its mission to motivate young children to read by expanding its outreach to children and families who most need books and literacy resources," said Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO of RIF. "Local RIF programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia will benefit from these additional resources."

More than 850,000 Macy's employees and customers made a $3 contribution to RIF during the Be One for the Books promotion, which ran July through September 2007. The promotion offered Macy's customers an opportunity to make a $3 dollar contribution for RIF, in exchange for a Macy's savings pass that provided $10 off most purchases of $50 or more. This year's promotion, a new RIF record for a customer-supported donation, more than doubled the $1.2 million raised by Macy's customers for RIF in 2006.

"Macy's is committed to supporting education and helping RIF reach more at-risk children with new books and services to promote literacy," said Bill Hawthorne, vice president, Diversity Strategies and Legal Affairs for Macy’s. "These funds will help RIF advance its important new multicultural literacy campaign, which RIF announced in June 2007."

RIF's multicultural literacy campaign is a multi-year effort to promote and support early childhood literacy in the African-American, Hispanic and Native American communities.

Macy's has already provided the funding for a RIF early childhood public service campaign and multicultural book collections and literacy activity kits donated to RIF programs in low-income communities throughout the U.S. Each collection includes hard-bound books with themes of interest to African-American, Asian, Hispanic, and Native American children.

Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF), founded in 1966, motivates children to read by working with them, their parents, and community members to make reading a fun and beneficial part of everyday life. RIF’s highest priority is reaching underserved children from birth to age 8. Through community volunteers in every state and U.S. territory, RIF provides 4.5 million children with 16 million new, free books and literacy resources each year.

Macy's, the largest retail brand of Macy's, Inc., delivers fashion and affordable luxury to customers at more than 800 locations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam. Offering distinctive assortments including exclusive fashion and home brands, Macy's stores are operated by seven regionally based retail divisions - Macy's East, Macy's Florida, Macy's Midwest, Macy's North, Macy's Northwest, Macy's South, and Macy's West - and an online store at

This emphasis on multicultural awareness and literacy is especially timely given that reading scores among African-American, Hispanic and Native American fourth graders lags behind those of white and Asian children (according to the US Dept. of Education).

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Amazing Race Winner On Mission to Raise Awareness of HIV/AIDS

MIAMI — Chip Arndt, who teamed with Reichen Lehmkuhl to win the Amazing Race 4, has teamed up with Hollywood creative minds Luis Iga, Jorge Valdés-Iga, Eric Levine, Kyle Alvarez and Good-Cop Bad-Cop Productions to produce a music video for YouTube. The video is an addition to Arndt’s campaign, Chip’s Personal Response to AIDS Across America (CPR to AAA) is Arndt’s effort to raise funds for those living with HIV/AIDS. His goal is to raise $100,000 by Dec. 1 for nine nonprofit organizations that help persons living with HIV/AIDS. He completed his second AIDS ride from Gettysburg, VA, to New York City in September and will appear as the grand marshal of the Washington, D.C. AIDS Walk on October 6.

“There are 1.2 to 2 million Americans living with HIV/AIDS in the United States. My goal with this campaign is to help those organizations helping people with HIV/AIDS and to raise awareness among the youth,” said Arndt. “All donations are 100 percent tax deductible. The idea for the video came out of a collaborative effort when Luis and Jorge approached me and pitched the idea in June.”

Creative director Iga and director Valdés-Iga learned about the campaign on Arndt’s MySpace page.

“When we read about this great cause, we instantly had the idea to create an anti-viral viral video to raise youth awareness about HIV/AIDS. Naturally, we figured that the best forum in which to do so was YouTube,” said Iga.

Despite the serious nature of CPR to AAA, the music video uses humor to appeal to its target audience. Frequent visitors to the popular video sharing site may recognize imitations of their favorite YouTube celebrities.

“The idea was to impersonate the YouTube celebrities and to take advantage of their popularity to help spread the message and give a sense of humor to the video,” said Valdés-Iga.

It's refreshing to see a reality TV show personality use their newfound recognition to help others and support a critical cause. Perhaps other reality TV stars will follow Arndt's lead and make a positive impact to help their favorite causes too.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Safeway Teams With Melissa Etheridge for Breast Cancer Public Service Campaign

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway, Inc. (Safeway), one of the nation's largest corporate supporters of cancer research and treatment, launched a month-long public service campaign to help find a cure and encourage mammogram screenings and examinations for women. The company is teaming up with Grammy and Oscar award winner Melissa Etheridge, a breast cancer survivor, to encourage women, families and loved ones to join the fight against breast cancer by taking action through preventive screenings and self examinations.

"I am proud to join together with Safeway's customers and employees in the fight to help educate and find a cure for breast cancer," said Etheridge. "This important public service campaign will reach millions of women, families and loved ones and make a positive difference by encouraging breast cancer screenings and funding critical research to prevent this disease and find a cure for breast cancer."

The public service campaign during the month of October coincides with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and is the largest breast cancer event of its kind by a grocery retailer. The initiative combines store fundraising with a broad-based information and outreach campaign designed to encourage women to receive regular mammogram screenings and examinations.

The company, together with its 200,000 employees, will reach out to millions of customers during October to raise millions of dollars through a number of in-store activities. For example, customers can make a donation at check stands at each of Safeway's 1,740 stores. Etheridge's new CD, "The Awakening", will also be sold at every check stand and a portion of the proceeds will support critical breast cancer research and awareness programs. Additionally, Safeway and vendor partners will contribute to the breast cancer fundraising campaign when customers purchase specially marked products in stores with a specially marked pink ribbon.

The campaign is also focused on educating women about detection and prevention of breast cancer, which is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths among women. Public service messages will appear during October in a range of different media, including radio commercials, the company's in-store communications network, on electronic point-of-sale screens at the check stand, in-store signage, weekly print sales circulars and on the company's Web site.

Employees will sponsor various events throughout the country including breast cancer walks, breast cancer screening events, and volunteer activities. This includes sponsoring the Komen Foundation "Race for the Cure" events in multiple major U.S. cities and funding mobile mammogram screening services.

Safeway Inc. is a Fortune 100 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America, based on sales. The company operates 1,740 stores in the United States and western Canada and had annual sales of $40.2 billion in 2006. Safeway supports a broad range of charitable and community programs and last year donated more than $154 million to important causes, such as cancer research, education, food banks and programs focused on assisting people with disabilities.

Over the last six years, Safeway's annual breast cancer campaign has raised in excess of $25 million to fund major cancer research programs at institutions and hospitals in North America. Safeway customers can join the company and its employees in supporting this critical cause.

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