Friday, June 29, 2007

Vail Resorts Donates $75K to Communities Impacted by Tahoe Fire

BROOMFIELD, Colo. — Vail Resorts Inc. announced that it will donate a minimum of $75,000 to aid those impacted by the Angora Fire near South Lake Tahoe, Calif. where it operates Heavenly Mountain Resort, the region's largest ski resort. Five dollars from every Heavenly season pass purchased between June 24, the day the fire began, and December 2007 will go to local residents affected by the fire, which has destroyed over 2,700 acres and approximately 178 homes.

"The partnerships we share with our communities don't stop at the end of each business day; we are committed to aid local residents and Heavenly employees who have been touched by this terrible disaster," said Rob Katz, chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. "The loss of nearly 3,000 acres of forested and residential land in the Lake Tahoe Basin is a tragedy which reminds us all of the importance to protect and enjoy our national forests."

Vail Resorts will look to aid residents who urgently need essentials such as clothing, food and shelter and will advance funds as necessary and as requested by relief agencies. Vail Resorts and Heavenly are partnering with the South Lake Tahoe community and local businesses to manage the distribution of collective funds.

While Heavenly Mountain wasn’t impacted by the fire, daily gondola operations were suspended to accommodate emergency support operations and to allow employees to tend to their families and communities. Resort operations, including Gondola sightseeing tours, resumed normal hours on Thursday, June 28 and Heavenly and South Lake Tahoe are preparing to welcome visitors from around the country to the community's annual Fourth of July celebration.

Heavenly Mountain Resort is a world-class destination offering guests a combination of scenic beauty and exhilarating on-snow experience. Heavenly is a subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc.

Vail Resorts, Inc. is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The company's subsidiaries operate the mountain resorts of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado, Heavenly in California and Nevada, and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

The South Lake Tahoe community has been devastated by this fire, which as of this writing, continues to burn and is just 55 percent contained. It's nice to see a resort operator lend a hand in support of the community during this difficult time.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Goizueta Foundation Awards $2.6 Million To YMCA

CHICAGO — The Goizueta Foundation has awarded a grant of $2,612,055 to pilot early childhood outreach for Hispanic communities at five YMCA program sites in Georgia.

The grant will also provide funds to conduct national research and program development on early childhood education and care for Hispanic children and provide immediate need-based tuition assistance to children at the proposed YMCA early childhood centers in Georgia over three years.

The Goizueta Foundation funding will enable YMCA of the USA to work with the YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta, the Moultrie (GA) YMCA and the YMCA of Coastal Georgia to initiate a program entitled Welcoming Hispanic Families at selected program locations. The program is specifically designed to address the challenges of serving the growing Hispanic community by providing bilingual staff and staff support, culturally relevant curricula, and professional development opportunities to help retain staff.

"I am very pleased that the Welcoming Hispanic Families program will help us to develop new resources to engage Hispanic children and families in YMCA early childhood education and care," said Neil Nicoll, president and CEO of YMCA of the USA. "The pilot program in both rural and urban settings will certainly have an important impact on how we improve our service to Hispanic communities, while generating positive services and improvements to the communities themselves."

The project will involve local collaborations and long-term community-based planning and research to develop new ways to engage the Hispanic community in YMCA early childhood education in Georgia and, eventually, at other Ys throughout the country. For more information about the YMCA, please visit their Web site.

The Goizueta Foundation, established in 1992 by Roberto C. Goizueta, aims to support educational programs that promote sustainable change and have a long-term impact in the community. In this case, The Foundation has identified a growing need to assist undeserved Hispanic families in Georgia. As a large grant covering a small geographical area, it has the potential to do the greatest good.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Qwest Awards $5,000 to Reading Camp

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The Qwest Foundation has awarded a $5,000 grant to the Washington Pavilion's Reading Adventure Camp. The Reading Adventure Camp is a collaborative program between the Washington Pavilion and the Sioux Falls School District. The reading program, designed for kindergarten through fifth grade students, provides children with an interactive opportunity to make a daily text-to-world connection through visual arts, performing arts and science while simultaneously preventing summer reading loss.

"The Washington Pavilion's Reading Adventure Camp is a creative program that helps youngsters maintain their reading skills between school years," said Larry Toll, Qwest president for South Dakota. "This grant provides a unique opportunity for Qwest to make a difference in the lives of South Dakota students."

The grant money will be used for teachers and supplies for the summer session of 2007. The program is free to families who qualify - as many as 432 students from eight school sites encompassing 44 different languages can enroll.

"We are very thankful to receive the grant money from the Qwest Foundation to help fund the Reading Adventure Camp," said Chris Rossing, director of the Kirby Science Discovery Center at the Washington Pavilion. "Thanks to Qwest, we'll be closer to our goal of offering our services to students in a productive manner that will keep them at the same developmental level as their middle- and upper-classmen peers."

Qwest is a provider of full-service voice, video and data services for people at work, home and on the move. Across America and across the world, our innovative offerings evolve to meet customers' ever changing communications and entertainment needs.

The Qwest Foundation’s core principle is that investing in people and communities provides lasting value for the future. The Qwest Foundation awards grants to community-based programs that generate high-impact and measurable results, focusing on K through grade 12 education and economic development.

This is another excellent example of a major company supporting youth literacy in the communities it serves. Qwest has a stellar history of supporting charitable endeavors throughout the nation.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q Restaurants Continue Support of Breast Cancer Treatment

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Breast Health Center received a $10,000 donation from Birmingham-based Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q restaurants to help patients defray some of the costs associated with starting and completing breast cancer treatments.

The donation will help provide gas cards, meal tickets and hotel vouchers for patients and their families if they are unable to cover some of the personal costs of traveling to The Kirklin Clinic at UAB for breast cancer treatments.

“Breast cancer just touches so many lives. And it can be devastating to families,” said Sam Burn, a company spokesman for Jim ‘N Nick’s. “We decided several years back this was the kind of cause worth getting behind.”

For the past six years the restaurant’s owners and managers have partnered with the UAB Breast Health Center through its volunteer survivor group, Angel Squad. Jim ‘N Nick’s invites Angel Squad members to help staff its Trussville, Gardendale, Homewood, 5 Points South, U.S. 280 and Riverchase restaurants for a day each October to raise awareness about breast cancer and survivorship. The Angel Squad members spend the day at the restaurants handing out cancer education literature and answering questions about screening, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship.

Angel Squad provides comfort, hope and compassionate services to breast cancer patients and their caregivers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q restaurants serve mid-scale to casual Southern cuisine, with a menu featuring barbecued pork, chicken and turkey platters, chicken fried catfish, Angus beef, baby back ribs, homemade pies and more. Everything is made from scratch, including the piecrusts. The company operates in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee and Colorado.

This is a fantastic example of a public/private partnership that benefits women suffering from breast cancer. The combination of services and support will ease the burden of treatment and perhaps improve the quality of life for those touched by this donation.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Valero Donates $1.39 Million to MDA

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Valero Energy Corporation (Valero) has donated $1.39 million to the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). The donation is part of Valero’s “Share the Shamrock Spirit” campaign, which enables customers at Valero’s company-operated stores to make a donation to MDA.

MDA is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing vital services and information to individuals affected by neuromuscular diseases.

Valero is a Fortune 500 company headquartered in San Antonio with approximately 22,000 employees. It is the largest refiner in North America with a geographically diverse refining network that spans from Canada to the U. S. Gulf Coast and from the West Coast to the Caribbean.

MDA has a long history of being one of the most visible non-profits focused on finding a cure. Valero has demonstrated its commitment to MDA for more than two decades, raising in excess of $11 over the last 21 years.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Hammond Lumber Donates to Maine Food Bank

AUGUSTA, Maine — Hammond Lumber Company recently donated $1,580 to Good Shepherd Food Bank, which includes proceeds from an annual fundraising event and company-matched dollars.

According to Good Shepherd Food Bank, for every dollar donated, it can provide more than $12.50 worth of food through one of more than 500 local agencies in Maine. Good Shepherd Food Bank has worked for 25 years to establish partnerships with those concerned about ending hunger in Maine. The organization gathers and distributes millions of pounds of food to hunger relief agencies throughout the state. Last year, it distributed more than 9 million pounds of food.

Hammond Lumber Company is a Maine-based family-owned business. It supplies building materials to contractors and homeowners throughout New England. Its features include computer design assistance and free on-site estimating. The company also has a reputation for its public service and contributions to the local and regional communities that it serves.

It's always nice to see a company support the communities it serves. This donation will translate into nearly $20,000 worth of food for food banks serving people in Maine. Talk about a great return on investment!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Volunteers Needed to Help the Homeless

LAS VEGAS — Volunteers are needed to help with homeless outreach on Nov. 6 at Project Homeless Connect, an event formerly known as Stand Down for the Homeless.

The 15th Annual event, to be held at Cashman Center, 850 Las Vegas Blvd. North, helps thousands of homeless people each year receive needed services, such as food, clothing, grooming, housing, transportation, job training, health care, substance abuse treatment, child care and veterans and legal services. Staffed by volunteers from local governments, charities, shelters, businesses and others interested in ending and preventing homelessness, the event is coordinated by the Nevada Homeless Alliance (NHA) and is co-sponsored by the city of Las Vegas.

"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. "The idea is to bring the community together to give people the help, hope and housing that they need to get them off the street."

Participants include Clark County Social Service, City of Las Vegas, city and county courts, emergency shelter and housing providers, 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, and faith-based groups.

Homelessness continues to be a serious problem in Southern Nevada, where a census indicates there are an average of 11,369 homeless people staying in shelters or on the street at any given time. This event provides valuable resources and assistance in helping get homeless people off the streets and on the road to independence.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Home Makeover Contest Provides Environmental Education

WASHINGTON D.C. — NBC Universal's SCI FI Channel has partnered with The Alliance to Save Energy and Edison Electric Institute (EEI) to promote an innovative energy-efficiency campaign. The campaign provides low-tech energy-efficiency solutions and high-tech tips that tie into the SCI FI show "Eureka."

The campaign and home makeover contest website will launch June 26 at SCI FI coinciding with a Eureka marathon that precedes the show's second season. The premise of the show is that the government has been relocating the world's geniuses and their families to the picturesque Pacific Northwest town of Eureka. The lead character lives in a "Smart House," which ties in well with the campaign.

Other partners in national campaign includes the U.S. Department of Energy, American Gas Association, Consumer Electronics Association, Whirlpool Corporation, OSRAM Sylvania, The Dow Chemical Company, and CMC Energy Services.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

International Paper Recognizes Conservation Leaders

Washington D.C. — International Paper and The Conservation Fund today recognized John Tippett, executive director of Friends of the Rappahannock, and Donald Sprangers, a secondary school educator at Washington Academy in Maine, for their outstanding efforts to protect natural resources through leadership in conservation and education at the International Paper Environmental Excellence Awards.

The awards for excellence in partnership and education were accompanied by an unrestricted $10,000 grant from the International Paper Company Foundation. They were presented in Washington, D.C., at the National Press Club. U.S. Sen. John Warner (R-VA) delivered the keynote address. International Paper Chairman and CEO John Faraci and The Conservation Fund President and CEO Lawrence A. Selzer presented the awards.

"The individuals recognized here today are leaders among their peers and champions of creative and collaborative conservation," said Sen. Warner. "It is fitting that International Paper and The Conservation Fund highlight the accomplishments that these two award winners have made to promoting partnerships and environmental education."

The Conservation Partnership Award honors an individual who has achieved significant results in the protection of habitat through a cooperative relationship with a business or company. The Environmental Education Award honors an educator who has developed an innovative approach to environmental education that significantly improves student comprehension of environmental issues, fosters an understanding of the link between environmental protection and economic growth, demonstrates leadership and inspires achievement.

John Tippett, the 2007 IP Conservation Partnership recipient, was recognized for his work to protect Virginia's Rappahannock River. Mr. Tippett's efforts include cooperative conservation programs and the education of stakeholders on key issues and the balance of environmental and economic benefits. His continuing initiatives on the Rappahannock include the removal of the Embrey Dam to restore more than 100 miles of spawning habitat for native fish species, mobilization of governmental agencies and real-estate developers for low-impact development, and the completion of two conservation easements on key river frontage.

The 2007 IP Environmental Education recipient, Donald Sprangers, was honored for outstanding curriculum innovation and cooperative education. Mr. Sprangers created the Sustainable LIFE (Lessons in Field Ecology) Curriculum to allow students to develop key science skills through applied research projects they create and implement. He continues to challenge his students in the classroom through community based projects such as the release of endangered Atlantic salmon in Maine, streamside restoration using plants grown in the school's own wetland nursery and a forest inventory growth project.

To view short videos with more about Donald Sprangers and John Tippett and their contributions to environmental education and conservation partnerships in their communities, visit YouTube Tippett or Sprangers.

This worthwhile recognition program not only draws attention to important conservation efforts, International Paper Company does an outstanding job at demonstrating social media at its best. By embedding links to videos on Tippett and Sprangers, we were able to fully appreciate their outstanding work. Check them out.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Mittal Steel Donates For Water Quality

CLEVELAND —Mittal Steel USA donated $30,000 and an acre of land for the purpose of developing and testing prototype bulkheads designed to help improve water quality and increase the fish population in the Cuyahoga River.

The donation will be made to the Cuyahoga River Remedial Action Plan, which must raise $125,000 for the project. The new bulkheads(retaining walls) will replace existing steel plates built more than 70 years ago, which are used to shore up land along the river leading toward Lake Erie.

The donated land, which is along the river bank, will be donated to the city of Cleveland.

Mittal Steel USA is the largest steel producer in the United States and a major supplier to the North American automotive industry. The company serves customers in the trucking, off-highway, agricultural equipment and railway industries. It also serves the appliance, office furniture, electrical motors, packaging, industrial machinery and other manufacturing sectors.

This donation is significant because it will not only help to improve water quality, but also increase the declining populations of more than 70 species of fish.

Friday, June 15, 2007

San Diego Firm To Renovate Community Fire Station

SAN DIEGO — Jay Riordan, president of Dream Design Builders, a San Diego-based design/build company, announced his company will donate its resources and talents to renovate the kitchen and dining area at Rancho Bernardo Fire Station 33, located in the Rancho Bernardo neighborhood. The kitchen is antiquated, has holes in its walls and shows signs of water damage.

While Dream Design Builders will renovate the kitchen/dining areas, the Rancho Bernardo Community Council is working to raise funds to repair the entire building, which is 48 years old and currently houses more than double its intended capacity of firefighters and vehicles.

Dream Design Builders is a design/build company with expertise in kitchen, bath and home remodels. The company primarily services clients in San Diego’s North County.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Bank of America Helps Nonprofit Buy A Forest

SAN FRANCISCO — Bank of America and the Redwood Forest Foundation (RFFI) announced the country's first forest acquisition by a nonprofit using 100 percent private capital to close the deal. The transaction preserves more than 50,000 acres of critical working timberland in the Usal Redwood Forest, just north of Fort Bragg in Northern California's Mendocino County.

This transaction will stop the forest's fragmentation while also allowing the property's coastal redwood trees to grow and be managed as a working sustainable forest. The foundation will purchase the acreage from Hawthorne Timber Company using $65 million in flexible long-term financing from Bank of America.

This unique structure provides a national model for nonprofit ownership of a forest, and enables local environmentalists and timber companies to implement sustainable timber practices that sustains jobs and tax base while protecting critical ecological areas. The transaction also provides a return on investment for Bank of America.

"This is the beginning of a new era for our local community," said Art Harwood, President of RFFI. "We are banding together to protect and manage our forests. We are pulling together private capital, and the hopes and aspirations of people from all walks of life to create a bright beacon for our future. We are doing this by ending the 30 years of fighting, and focusing on what unites us."

RFFI's oversight of the forest will preserve open space, restore the quality of the Redwood forest, purify waterways, enhance wildlife habitat and maintain family wage jobs for those who depend on forests for their livelihoods. Upon fulfilling its financial obligations, RFFI will continue to harvest timber and reinvest in the community as determined by RFFI.

Almost 75 percent of the nation's nearly 70 million acres of privately-owned industrial forests has changed hands between 1995 and 2006. As more tracts are put up for sale or fragmented, communities and businesses are seeking alternative ways to finance large-scale forest acquisitions.

If this works, which is seems like it will, it could usher in a new era of private stewardship for our country's environmental asssets beyond the public lands our government perserves.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Endo Pharmaceuticals Contributes Anesthetic

CHADDS FORD, Pa. — Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. donated more than 200,000 Synera(R) (lidocaine 70 mg / tetracaine 70 mg) topical patches to the humanitarian organization AmeriCares, a non-profit international relief organization that delivers medicines and medical supplies to people in need around the globe.

Synera is a topical anesthetic approved in the United States for use on intact skin to provide local dermal analgesia for superficial venous access and superficial dermatological procedures in both children 3 years and older and adults.

"One of the most difficult health issues in developing countries is that many people lack access to medicine," said Curt Welling, president and CEO of AmeriCares. "AmeriCares is grateful to Endo for giving us the ability to provide a much needed product to thousands of children around the world who are unable to get the care they desperately need."

AmeriCares partners with local health care providers in more than 30 countries and plans to distribute the topical anesthetic patches to those who have requested the product in order to limit the pain children experience during superficial venous access procedures.

"We feel extraordinarily privileged to partner with an organization that has helped so many when help was needed most," said Peter A. Lankau, president and CEO of Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. "We hope this charitable donation will help provide relief to those who need it around the world and we are proud to support AmeriCares' mission."

Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc., which is a subsidiary of Endo Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc., is a pharmaceutical company with a focus in pain management products. The company researches, develops, produces and markets a broad product offering of branded and generic pharmaceuticals, meeting the needs of healthcare professionals and consumers alike.

One of the best and sometimes easiest contributes a company can make is in offering the products it produces or the services it provides. Here, Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. was able to make a substantial contribution of product to a nonprofit organization with that specific need.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Company Partners With the New Jersey Audubon Society

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. — In might seem like a small gesture, but there is something to learned from Verizon's new partnership with the New Jersey Audubon Society and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Tomorrow (June 13), more than 550 native trees and shrubs will be planted as part of a habitat improvement project at Verizon's corporate campus in Somerset County.

The project, a partnership involving the New Jersey Audubon Society (NJAS), the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Verizon, is aimed at cultivating the natural greenscape and wildlife communities on about 25 acres of grassland, riparian and wetland habitats on the Verizon site.

"Corporate landowners, through wise land stewardship, can enhance the ecological value of their properties for the benefit of surrounding communities," said Brian Marsh, private lands biologist with USFWS. "The Verizon Center in Basking Ridge is a good example of a corporate entity taking a keen interest in land stewardship."

Last year, Verizon forged a partnership with the New Jersey Audubon Society and the USFWS to enhance 25 acres on the property, which serves as a buffer to the Passaic River.

"The face of our landscape is constantly changing, and with increasing urbanization and development comes fragmentation and loss of critical habitats," said John Parke, NJAS stewardship director for the North region. "Habitat loss is the greatest single factor adversely affecting wildlife populations today. The habitat enhancements that Verizon has implemented at its property through the Partners Program are expected to have far-reaching benefits for not just wildlife, but for the watershed and the community as well."

Improvements will include: invasive vegetation-species removal and control; native warm-season grass, wildflower and riparian buffer plantings; delayed mowing; and installation of a vernal pool, nest boxes and turtle nesting areas. These enhancements are currently providing suitable habitats for a variety of wildlife this spring, including numerous bird and herptile species.

As of last month, over 60 species of wildlife have been observed utilizing the improved habitat at the site. Some of the species were never before recorded on the property. By actively managing and protecting natural resources through its participation in the Partners Program, Verizon is demonstrating an outstanding commitment to sustaining native wildlife populations while providing a healthy landscape for the community at large.

The NJAS and the USFWS welcome Verizon as a Partner, solidifying a symbiotic relationship with the community to foster environmental awareness and a conservation ethic while enhancing wildlife and natural systems in New Jersey. Under the partnership, Verizon is scheduled to plant 500 more trees and shrubs in 2008.

Given most people see corporations as destroyers of the environment, Verizon demonstrates an excellent example of how many companies are working hard to preserve the environment and natural habitat. Further, it demonstrates the power of partnering with a nonprofit organization and government to get the job done. Well done.

Monday, June 11, 2007

US Airways Seeks Grant Applicants

TEMPE, Ariz. — The US Airways Education Foundation announced it has begun accepting applications for its 2007 Community Education Grant Program. The nonprofit Education Foundation, governed by a group of educators, community leaders and US Airways employees, will award grants up to $5,000 to nonprofit organizations located in the markets served by the airline.

Eligibility includes educational programs that respond to the special needs of disadvantaged or disabled individuals, teach or enhance social responsibility, facilitate parental and/or community involvement, and enhance academic achievement. Interested nonprofit organizations should visit US Airways Education Foundation guidelines. The application deadline is Wed., August 1, 2007 and awards will be distributed in October.

Recent award benefactors include the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Ariz., Briggs De Laine Cultural Center of Summerton, S.C. and the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition.

Since the Education Foundation's inception in 1990, more than $1.75 million in grants (and college scholarships to dependents of US Airways employees) have been awarded. Funding sources include contributions from US Airways employees, fund raising events, and private donations.

US Airways, which is the fifth largest domestic airline in the world, has done a fine job at developing a program that reaches out to all 240 of its service areas. Sometimes it makes sense to focus funds toward a few key organizations, but in this case it seems to make sense to diversify funding to as many markets as possible, given that the company's employees reside in each of these markets.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Dairy Farmers Donate Cheese to Food Banks

INDIANAPOLIS — In recognition of June as Dairy Month and Hunger Awareness Day, Milk Promotion Services of Indiana (MPSI) and Fair Oaks Farms have partnered to donate 4,000 pounds of cheese to food banks in the Hoosier State. Five food banks will each receive 800 pounds of Fair Oaks Farms' Muenster cheese.

“Muenster is a kid favorite and great on gilled cheese or deli sandwiches and tastes great in quesadillas or lasagna,” said Julie Basich, general manager of Fair Oaks Farms.

Fair Oaks Farms is a family-owned business located in Fair Oaks, Ind., that provides milk to some of the largest companies in the country for their dairy products. Fair Oaks produces all of its award-winning artisan cheeses without added growth hormones or antibiotics. All of the milk needed to make the cheese comes from the farm’s 27,000 cows.

MPSI is a not-for-profit nutrition education and advertising promotion organization funded by and serving Indiana dairy producers.

This is a fantastic example of a company donating its goods or services to benefit the communities it serves. Food banks are always in need, and what could be better than a 4,000 pounds of award-winning gourmet cheese!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Nut Company Raises $17,000 For Disaster Relief

LINDEN, NEW JERSEY — NutsOnline.com became an online donation collection center during the largest television cancellation protest in history (Jericho). In doing so, it has raised almost $17,000 for Greensburg, Kansas, a town hit by a series of devastating tornadoes in May.

For every pound of peanuts shipped as part of the protest to save the show, NutsOnline.com donated 10 cents to the Greensburg Rebuilding Fund. In addition, NutsOnline.com raised more than $3,000 in T-shirt sales (with all proceeds donated to disaster relief efforts) and collected more than $9,000 in direct donations made by Jericho fans.

The decision to cancel Jericho might have been reversed yesterday, but Greensburg still needs disaster relief. For more information on how you can donate direct through the NutsOnline program, visit NutsOnline.com.

Our company's blog, Copywrite, Ink., covered much of the show protest, but we did not have an opportunity to cover this store's generosity in developing this program as it deserves. It's an interesting idea that we hope can be duplicated by other companies during time of need. Out of necessity, great ideas are born. And in this case, NutsOnline.com came to the call. Well done.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Bank of America Commits To Affordable Housing

LAS VEGAS — The Bank of America Charitable Foundation today announced the donation of $240,000 to 12 local housing nonprofit organizations in recognition of their work championing housing and homeownership opportunities in Southern Nevada. The housing counseling agencies, homebuilding developers, and housing assistance and rehabilitation partners will each receive $20,000 in unrestricted grants.

"These funds are especially important in Nevada as foreclosures increase and low-income housing needs rise," said George W. Smith, Nevada President, Bank of America. "The grants will help nonprofit developers build new affordable housing, and housing counselors educate more buyers on how to make better financial decisions. I am honored to recognize these nonprofits today as they are truly the foundation of housing solutions in Southern Nevada."

The grants were given at the Las Vegas Housing Champions Breakfast, featuring UNLV Basketball head coach Lon Kruger. At the breakfast, Coach Kruger spoke to the grant recipients about the importance of teamwork and the potential impact these organizations can have by working together.

The grant recipients include: ACORN Housing, Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Southern Nevada, Housing for Nevada, Neighborhood Housing Services of Southern Nevada, Nevada Fair Housing Center, Inc., Women's Development Center, Habitat for Humanity, HomeAid of Southern Nevada, Rebuilding Together/Christmas in April, Community Services Agency Development Corporation, Idaho Nevada Community Development Financial Institution, and Nevada HAND.

We appreciate Bank of America focusing in on Nevada's housing challenges, including having the highest foreclosure rates in the U.S., and a growing need for lower income housing for the local workforce. It also demonstrates how focused giving can make a real impact anywhere.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

VSA arts Hosts Congressional Reception

WASHINGTON D.C. — VSA arts will hold a congressional reception honoring 13 students with disabilities for their artwork. The students participated in ArtLink, an international cultural exchange program.

ArtLink paired 51 U.S. classrooms with a classroom in another country last November. Students of all levels of ability aged 7-14 created visual artwork and exchanged it with their partner classroom. One piece of artwork by a student in each classroom was selected to join the exhibition. Representatives from the embassies of several of the participating countries will also be in attendance at the reception.

The representative artists include: Seng Keng Moua from Anchorage, Alaska; Robert Bernal from Sacramento, Calif.; Queen Hudgins from the District of Columbia; Catie Updyke from Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.; Kim Squires from Kansas City, Kan.; Curtis Schaefer from Clio, Mich.; Alexis Baham from Puckett, Miss.; Dylan Gray from Aberdeen, N. J.; Luke Montemarano from Westerville, Ohio; Erin White from Pawtucket, R.I.; Jose Antonio Pradofrom Salt Lake City, Utah; Matthew Cartner from Brattleboro, Vt.; and Gabrielle Reimann from Casper, Wyo. Their work is part of the "CultureScope: Focusing in on My Life" exhibition on display at Union Station from June 5-24.

VSA arts is an international nonprofit organization founded in 1974 by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith to create a society where people with disabilities learn through, participate in, and enjoy the arts. VSA arts is an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Since our focus is business giving, we don't often promote nonprofit organization programs direct. However, this news from VSA arts really jumped out at us. The artists are extremely talented, enough so that it makes you wonder if the more appropiate term is "gifted" instead of "students with disabilities." The work is stunning. The artists interesting. The program more than worthwhile.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Monsanto Company Donates to Greensburg

PRATT, Kan. — Monsanto Company has donated $50,000 toward the Greensburg Future Fund to help rebuild the community devastated by a tornado. The donation will help rebuild schools, health services, and libraries that were destroyed by the tornado after the clean up is complete.

"We are so grateful that Monsanto recognizes that the needs in Greensburg will continue long past the initial disaster," said Denise Unruh, South Central Community Foundation director.

The Greensburg Future Fund was established through the South Central Community Foundation to help the community rebuild. South Central Community Foundation (SCCF) is a community foundation whose seven-county area includes Kiowa
County. The Greensburg Future Fund is a "pass through" fund with 100 percent of the donated dollars going to Greensburg projects.

Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto Company is a global business headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri.

With the Greensburg community struggling to rebuild, public institutions such as schools will be critical to the town's success. Monsanto Company has set the bar in terms of contributing to the town's future. It's nice to see a global business like Monsanto take an interest in smaller communities, particularly those in most serious need.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Family Business Supports The Urban League

OKLAHOMA CITY — Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores recently donated $65,000 to The Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City. The funds will be used for programming, client services, and much-needed capital improvements.

Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores is a family-owned company with headquarters in Oklahoma City. it was established in 1964 and includes more than 180 locations. The company has a long-standing tradition of contributing to the communities it serves and supports a number of charitable and non-profit organizations.

The Urban League of Oklahoma City assists African Americans, other minorities and the poor achieve social and economic equality through advocacy, bridge building, program services, and research.

This is an excellent example of a family-owned business making philanthropy an important facet of its business plan. All of the company's Travel Stops and Country Stores actively support local organizations and events throughout the year. Love's demonstrates that local companies can take a leadership role in business giving.

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