Friday, September 28, 2007

REI Grants $100,000 to Bikes Belong Foundation

BOULDER, Colo. — Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), a national retail cooperative providing quality outdoor gear and clothing, announced that it has provided a $100,000 grant to the Bikes Belong Foundation to support a series of grant awards to help U.S. cities become more bicycle friendly. The Bikes Belong Foundation, in cooperation with the League of American Bicyclists, will direct the new effort.

REI's financial support will enhance the successful Bicycle Friendly Communities program (BFC), which was launched by the league in 1997 and has been supported since 2001 by Bikes Belong. The program inspires city governments to create safe, appealing and interconnected bicycle routes and facilities, as well as programs that encourage citizens to ride bikes for transportation and recreation. To date, 73 communities across the country have been honored with bronze, silver, gold or platinum BFC awards. Bikes Belong will distribute grants in two cycles of four to five awards each, with the first cycle scheduled for January 2008.

The grant from REI will help designated Bicycle Friendly Communities achieve their long-term bicycle-friendly goals by providing seed money for technical assistance and evaluation, bicycle master plans, infrastructure improvements, and innovative pilot programs and projects. The BFC review committee—comprising League and Bikes Belong staff—will invite communities that exhibit ambition and potential to improve their bicycle facilities and programs to apply for the funding.

The Bikes Belong Foundation is dedicated to getting more people riding bicycles more often. The Foundation focuses on improving bicycle safety, enhancing children's bike programs, and helping communities become more bike friendly. The Foundation's sister organization, the Bikes Belong Coalition, works to maximize government support for bicycling, awards grants to support innovative bike projects, and promotes bicycling and its many benefits to the general public.

REI is a national outdoor retail co-op dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting its members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure. Founded in 1938 by a group of Pacific Northwest mountaineers seeking quality equipment, REI is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions. For 10 consecutive years, REI has been recognized by FORTUNE magazine as one of "100 Best Companies to Work for in America." In 2007, the company ranked 27th overall and first among companies that encourage employees to balance their work and personal lives.

The League of American Bicyclists promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation, and works through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America. The League represents the interests of 57 million American cyclists, including its 300,000 members and affiliates.

This grant helps reinforce REI's commitment to making outdoor recreation more accessible to everyone. The benefits include less pollution and healthier populations.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Brighton Collectables Donates $69,000 to USA Cares

PASADENA, Calif. — Brighton Collectables recently presented USA Cares with a check for $69,000. The funds were raised form the sale of the Brighton Peace Bracelet. Brighton Brighton pledged a donation of $5 dollars from every sale to one of four charities to be selected by the purchaser them selves.

"USA Cares is proud to be supported by the customers of Brighton Collectables," says Jennifer Robinson, operations coordinator for USA Cares. "By creating this opportunity, Brighton Collectables has made it easier to shop for your favorite cause, offering a chance to support those who need your good will."

Training, temporary duty, and deployment are factors of military life that cause distance and lend to hardships. USA Cares focuses its efforts on supporting service members and their families with financial assistance in their time of need.
Brighton was launched in 1991 with a single collection of belts. Over the years, it has become an accessory company with something for everyone. Handbags were added to the line in 1993, followed by small leather goods, watches, fragrance, jewelry, home accessories, eyewear and most recently, luggage.

USA Cares is a world wide charitable organization serving military service members and their families of all ranks and branches with direction and advice along with grant assistance for quality of life issues caused by military service. USA Cares has assisted thousands of service members and families with millions of dollars in organizational and found resources.

This donation will support USC Cares' continuing mission to aid military families with essential services. USA Cares has granted more than $3.5 million to date.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Clinique Supports Breast Cancer Awareness

NEW YORK CITY — Now you can soften, smooth and improve the condition and texture of your skin, knowing that $10.00 from your purchase of this limited-edition Dramatically Different™ Moisturizing Lotion at clinique.com helps support The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Clinique’s bestselling moisturizer in a specially designed 6.7 fl. Oz. Pump bottle plus 3 decorative charms: a silver Clinique “C,” a miniature 3-Step Skin Care and a breast cancer awareness pink ribbon. The officer is valid through Oct. 2 and is available to US residents only.

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation supports clinical and genetic research into the causes and treatment of breast cancer. Founded in 1993 by Evelyn H. Lauder, its targeted funding has led to breakthrough advances in research, detection, prevention, and treatment.

More than 85 cents of every dollar donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation goes toward breast cancer research and awareness programs. And for the sixth straight year, the Foundation has received the Charity Navigator’s highest rating, outperforming 5,000 other charities.

Clinique Laboratories, LLC. is one of the world's leading manufacturers and marketers of prestige skin care, makeup and fragrance products. Clinique was first launched in 1968 with skin care and makeup products that are all allergy tested and 100% fragrance free. Our products have been designed to address individual skin types and needs. The products are based on research and related expertise of leading dermatologists. Clinique's skin care products are marketed as part of the Three-Step System: Cleanse, Exfoliate, Moisturize.

This is an excellent way for people to support an important cause. Thousands of women use this product, and now is the time to stock up so that $10 from the purchase of every bottle will benefit breast cancer awareness. It's nice to see a company that sells products primarily to women supporting an important women's cause.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Volvo Doubles Award Money for America's Top Hometown Heroes

IRVINE, Calif. — Volvo Cars of North America announced it is doubling its charitable donation to the top three heroes in its 6th Annual Volvo for life Awards. Volvo is accepting hometown hero nominations for the nation's largest annual search for and celebration of everyday heroes at www.volvoforlifeawards.com now through Oct. 15. Three winning heroes - one in each category of safety, quality of life and environment - will receive $100,000 for their charities; two runners up in each category will receive $25,000 charitable contributions. One extraordinary winner will go on to receive the title "America's Greatest Hometown Hero," and with it, a new Volvo car every three years for life.

"Our awards program recognizes and rewards people already doing amazing things in their communities, often with very little help or resources," said Anne Belec, president and chief executive officer for Volvo Cars of North America. "We're thrilled to be able to do our part through the Volvo for life Awards to bring funding and awareness to their causes. By increasing our contributions this year, we hope to continue to see our heroes' dreams fulfilled."

When the nomination period closes Oct. 15, Volvo will select the top 10 semi-finalist heroes. This year, there is also a fourth Volvo for life Awards category. Volvo is elevating its annual Butterfly Award to its own youth hero category, with a $25,000 charitable donation for the winner and $10,000 to two runners up, and welcomes nominations for heroes 16 and under. From Nov. 7, 2007, through Jan. 7, 2008, the American public can vote for their favorite heroes. The voting process will narrow the semi-finalist pool to three finalists in each category. A panel of distinguished judges will then select one winner in each of the four categories.

Since 2002, Volvo Cars of North America has recognized more than 17,000 heroes and donated millions of dollars to their causes. This program is especially unique because individuals of all backgrounds can take part.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Follett Book Stores Partner to Support National Reading Campaign

WOODBRIDGE, Ill.— Follett Higher Education Group bookstores along with
the Pearson Foundation, joined hundreds of thousands of children and adults across the country to break the world record for the number of people reading the same book on a single day. Follett bookstores on the campuses of Florida State University, Georgetown University, Washington University in St. Louis, Morehouse College, Rutgers University, Baylor University and University of Massachusetts Boston joined Jumpstart's Read for the Record campaign, hosting events today to raise awareness about the importance of early childhood education and reading to young children. The national reading campaign raised $1 million to support Jumpstart's work with at-risk preschoolers.

The Follett bookstore events helped create the world's largest "shared reading experience" as children, college students and adults gathered to read this year’s official campaign book The Story of Ferdinand, written by Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson. Many Follett bookstores nationwide sold the custom campaign edition of the book and participants registered to read or donated books for children in need through the campaign Web site.

The Pearson Foundation matched each online book donation/purchase with a donation of another children's book and will deliver those to children in at-risk communities. Pearson also covered all publishing costs, making it possible for Jumpstart to receive 100 percent of the funds raised through the sale of the special edition books.

Jumpstart's Read for the Record campaign included thousands of events across the country, with a national event at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. First Lady. Laura Bush kicked off Jumpstart's Read for the Record Campaign on NBC’s TODAY Show with Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira. Lauer and Vieira wrote the foreword to the custom limited edition of The Story of Ferdinand.

Follett Higher Education Group is a family-owned bookstore provider that has operated with integrity and respect for 133 years. Follett's manages more than 750 bookstores nationwide and provides management systems, support services, and used textbooks to over 1,800 independently managed bookstores.

Jumpstart and the Pearson Foundation share a passion for education and inspiring people to reach their full potential. These shared goals and values led Jumpstart and the Pearson Foundation to create the Pearson Teacher Fellowship in 2001. Each year, the Pearson Teacher Fellowship provides the opportunity for a select group of achievement-oriented college graduates to enter the early education field by becoming preschool teachers in Head Start and other early learning centers serving at-risk children. The Fellowship provides these talented individuals a stipend, intensive training, assistance earning teaching certification, and additional support and resources during the first two years of their teaching careers. In 2006, Pearson and its businesses The Financial Times Group, The Penguin Group, and Pearson Education became a major sponsor of the inaugural campaign for Jumpstart's Read for the Record, which raised over $1 million for Jumpstart's work to help preschoolers from low-income communities with their language and literacy skills.

This event does a fantastic job of generating awareness on the need for children to have access to books and for their parents to share reading experiences with them.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Macy's In-Store Shopping Event to Raise Funds for HIV/AIDS Research

LAS VEGAS — Macy’s is hosting a Passport In-Store shopping event on Saturday, Sept. 29 at its Las Vegas store (located at the Fashion Show Mall). The shopping event will benefit local HIV/AIDS research, care, prevention and education programs. Shoppers can buy a $10 ticket and save 10-20 percent on most Macy's purchases. All ticket proceeds go directly to participating HIV/AIDS organizations. Tickets can be purchased from participating Macy's stores or organizations.

This year marks the silver milestone of Macy's Passport, commemorating a quarter-century of men's, women's and children's fashion, state-of-the art theatrics, celebrity guests and dedication to the HIV/AIDS community. Since the onset of the AIDS pandemic in the early 1980's, Macy's — in partnership with its sponsors, top designers and community organizations — has raised invaluable awareness and, with proceeds from this year, $25 million toward saving lives.

"People of conviction began this fight and people of compassion must keep it going — until education and treatment are available to all, until no child grows up orphaned and alone because of HIV, until there is finally a vaccine that will rid or world of this devastating disease,” said Robert Mettler, chairman and CEO, Macy's West.

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 macys.com.

Now in its 25th year, Macy's Passport is the result of fashion and compassion joining forces for the common good. It is fitting that this year's event will raise an estimated $25 million on its 25th anniversary. It's an excellent example of an industry and a company consistently focusing on an important cause.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Copywrite, Ink. & BlogCatalog.com Sponsor Blog For Hope Post Competition

LAS VEGAS — In cooperation with BlogCatalog.com, Copywrite, Ink. is sponsoring a “Blog For Hope Post Competition” with a first place prize that includes $250 (U.S.) donated to a recognized charity of the winning bloggers' choice, six months of premium services on BlogCatalog.com, choice of “Bloggers Unite” merchandise, and additional recognition. There is no fee to enter.

Bloggers are asked to join the “Blog Against Abuse” campaign by posting about abuse on Sept. 27. The subject can be about any topic revolving around abuse. Hundreds of bloggers from around the world have already committed their blogs to the campaign.

On Oct. 10, they can e-mail a link from their post along with any results (number of people reading the post, comments made on the post, links from other blogs, etc.) to blogforhope@yahoo.com. For additional contest details, visit the Copywrite, Ink. blog.

“We’ve participated in past social media awareness campaigns led by BlogCatalog.com and wanted to recognize the individual bloggers behind the effort,” says Richard Becker, ABC, president of Copywrite, Ink. “It’s not a competition as much as it is an effort to recognize the positive influence social media can have in the real world and encourages more bloggers to do good by joining this timely and worthwhile campaign.”

Copywrite, Ink. is longtime supporter of charitable causes and has worked on dozens of campaigns, including the American Heart Association, Business Community Investment Council, Citizens Action Against Rape, Friends of the Children of Lascahobas, Goodwill, Opportunity Village, Ronald McDonald House, Southern Nevada Literacy Coalition, United Diabetes Foundation, and United Way of Southern Nevada.

Copywrite, Ink. is a strategic communication and writing services firm, with experience on more than 1,000 accounts. BlogCatalog.com is the fastest-growing social blog directory on the Internet.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Grimes Companies Makes Turf Dream Reality in Alaska

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Grimes Companies recently took part in the first-ever delivery of a high school football field playing surface to the town of Barrow, Alaska.

Previously, the Barrow High School Whalers faced a number of hardships trying to get their football program off the ground. In addition to lack of funding, low participation and poor facilities, the team practiced on a frozen muddy surface.

In Florida, Cathy Parker, the wife of a former NFL player, learned about the Whalers and decided to help in some way. She founded Project Alaska Turf and began seeking donations. Parker also engaged Bartram High School, where her husband served as a football coach.

But Parker and her volunteers soon discovered that Alaska’s permafrost conditions made growing grass impossible for the football field, so the decision was made to install artificial turf on a complete playing surface.

“Unfortunately those types of materials are pretty hard to come by in Alaska,” said Ike Sherlock, director of fleet operations for The Grimes Companies. “That’s when we got involved. Cathy Parker approached us about their logistics needs and transporting the field along with the necessary supplies up there.”

The job was a big one because there are no roads into Barrow, which lies north of the Arctic Circle. It is only accessible by air or dog sled. Sherlock was told there was no way to get a complete playing surface to such a remote location, but was determined to make it happen.

The Grimes Companies contacted carriers and providers across the country, even enlisting the support of its competitors. Companies including Totem Ocean Trailer Express, Bowhead Transport and UPS all agreed to help out.

Grimes Transportation donated all of its time and transport costs and coordinated the logistics and movement of all materials using nine different carriers while utilizing all modalities of transport including truck, rail, air and sea.

As the project gained momentum it received national press coverage, including featured segments on ESPN, ABC News and Good Morning America. NBC’s The Today Show was on hand for the installation of the field and the Whalers’ first game on Aug. 10.

“It just turned into this amazing thing,” said Michael O’Leary, president of The Grimes Companies. “To see it all come together in time for the Barrow Whalers’ first home game after the tremendous efforts of so many people was incredibly rewarding. We were just proud to be a part of something that we often forget about, how important it is to help others.”

The Grimes Companies, based in Jacksonville, Fla., operates both public and contract warehouses in Florida and Maryland. As a single-point solution for logistics and supply chain needs, TGC provides warehousing, transportation and packaging services to its clients. FileSafe, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Grimes Companies, offers document storage services to businesses in Northeast Florida.

This is a wonderful example of how a company can use its people and its services to help others, even those in a remote community thousands of miles away. Kudos to The Grimes Companies on also fostering partnerships with other businesses in its industry to help bring this ambitious project to fruition.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Stuart Weitzman's Celebrity Shoe Auction To Benefit Ovarian Cancer Research

LAS VEGAS — Stuart Weitzman, Inc. is hosting its Seventh Annual Celebrity Shoe Auction now through Oct. 4. Proceeds from the auction will benefit ovarian cancer research. Celebrities have design the shoes offered for bid. In most cases, the shoes are autographed by the designing celebrity and will be accompanied by an autographed photo.

Celebrity participants include Oprah Winfrey, Courteney Cox, Marcia Cross, Sharon Stone, Nicolette Sheridan, Vanessa Williams, Debra Messing, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Anika Noni Rose, Hayden Panettiere, Glenn Close, Fran Drescher, Kyle MacLachlan, Rachel Zoe, Minka Kelly, Charlize Theron, Queen Latifah, Rose McGowan, Mario Lopez, Eric Dane and Rebecca Gayheart, Molly Sims and Kelly Ripa.

Also up for auction is a Stuart Weitzman tote bag with a floral motif that was signed by celebrities at the Fox Teen Choice Awards in 2007. Those signing include Jessica Alba, Avril Lavigne, Emmy Rossum, Sophia Bush, Miley Cyrus, Jordin Sparks, Jaslene, Nikki Blonsky, Adrianne Palicki, Taylor Kitsch, Sum 41, Chingy, Nick Cannon and Snoop Dogg.

Stuart Weitzman is the founder of Stuart Weitzman Inc. Combining an eye for beauty with the technical expertise of a master craftsman, he creates more than 300 new styles of shoes and handbags a year. Weitzman's trademark use of unique materials (name another shoemaker who has worked with cork, vinyl, Lucite, wallpaper, and 24-karat gold!) and his legendary attention to detail have garnered him and his company a global following. His shoes are now sold in 45 countries - everywhere from France to the West Indies to Japan. Shoppers in the U.S. forage for his footwear in major department stores and fine retail shops, as well as in his free-standing boutiques, located in several major cities across the country. With plans to open additional signature stores in the U.S., Weitzman is also expanding his retail footprint abroad. The flagship European Stuart Weitzman boutique is now open for business in Zurich.

Ovarian cancer is 90 percent treatable, but unfortunately most cases aren't diagnosed until it's too late. Stuart Weitzman, Inc. is using its brand and celebrity connections to bring attention to the need for research. It is hoped that new research will be able to pinpoint a method of early detection, which will save lives.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Allstate Awards $100,000 Grant To Prevent Domestic Violence in Texas

AUSTIN, Texas — The Allstate Foundation has awarded a $100,000 grant to the Texas Advocacy Project. The grant will enable the Texas Advocacy Project to expand its reach into areas of the state that are in greatest need of legal representation. The grant is the largest the Project has received this year.

The Texas Advocacy Project serves as a last resort for women trying to escape the dangerous daily dilemma of domestic violence -- helping more than 8,000 people across the state. The Project has closed more than 6,000 legal cases; often taking on precedent-setting issues that are setting the tone in survivors' legal battles for years to come.

"Allstate is a natural partner for Texas Advocacy Project," said Andrea Sloan, the Project's executive director. "We are both in the business of providing safety, peace of mind and security. Allstate's investment in the Project will help us do just that, over the long term, for thousands of Texans in need."

The Project's roots originated with its desire to provide a legal hotline for victims in need and it began with only three volunteer lawyers. Today, that hotline serves more than 10,000 Texans each year and the Project provides a full range of legal services to help survivors.

Texas Advocacy Project is a statewide non-profit organization providing legal solutions to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

The Allstate Corporation is the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer. Allstate helps individuals in approximately 17 million households protect what they have today and better prepare for tomorrow through approximately 14,800 exclusive agencies and financial representatives in the U.S. and Canada.

This grant fits nicely into The Allstate Corporation's focus ares of save and vital communities and economic empowerment, with a strong emphasis placed on its cornerstone program of Domestic Violence Recovery.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Commission Gets New Name, Support from Nevada's First Lady Dawn Gibbons

FALLON, Nev. — The Nevada Commission for National & Community Service (NCNCS) has been renamed Nevada Volunteers. The name change is to better generate awareness for the need and role of volunteers in a range of organizations. Nevada Volunteers also named Nevada First Lady Dawn Gibbons honorary chairwoman.

Nevada Commission for National and Community Service, Inc. (NCNCS) was established as a 501(c)3 organization in 1998 and, by executive order, gven full authority as the governor's commission for the administration of AmeriCorps programs. NCNCS was created to link community-building organizations with the resources to utilize people like you who can make a difference.

Since 1998, over 900 AmeriCorps members have served at 13 programs throughout Nevada. NCNCS continues to grow by expanding quality AmeriCorps programs, establishing new programs to meet the state's changing needs, and by working with other organizations focused on community-building.

Today, NCNCS administers more than $1.5 million in federal funding for AmeriCorps programs statewide. Eight programs in Las Vegas, Reno and Elko utilize the skills of 208 highly trained AmeriCorps members: volunteers who dedicate between three and 12 months of their lives to community service. In exchange, they receive stipends for minimal living expenses and an education award up to $4,725 for their own educational advancement.

A new goal for the commission is to develop a statewide system that connects volunteers with groups that need them most. A new Web site will be up soon to help promote this effort (nevadavolunteers.org).

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Genzyme Awards Community Grants

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Genzyme Corporation announced it awarded more than $85,000 in community grants and sponsorships in the third quarter of this year to support 11 non-profit organizations located in areas throughout the United States where Genzyme has operations. The grants are designed to further science education and access to health programs and are consistent with Genzyme's commitment to encouraging innovation in science and addressing areas of unmet medical need.

Genzyme contributed $30,000 to the Boston University School of Medicine MobileLab project. The company has been a long-time supporter of the biotechnology-learning laboratory, which seeks to provide equal learning opportunities to all students. The MobileLab program provides science teachers with the equipment, supplies and staff support required to implement hands on, inquiry-based laboratory investigations. These labs are performed at either Boston University School of Medicine or aboard MobileLab's 40-foot fully equipped mobile laboratory.

Genzyme provided $10,000 in support of the Wellness Program at the Center for Cancer Support & Education (CCSE) to assist cancer patients, their caregivers and loved ones. The Wellness Program teaches patients how to increase their own healing capabilities through a variety of different strategies including meditation, movement and relaxation techniques. The Wellness Program also educates medical professionals so that they can incorporate these techniques into their medical protocols.

Genzyme also contributed $10,000 to the Hearts and Noses Clown Troupe whose mission is to support hospitalized children who are ill and disabled by making bedside hospital clown visits that alleviate fear and stress. The clowns seek to promote healing and joy for children with cancer, physical disabilities, AIDS and sickle cell anemia. Two years ago, Genzyme helped the Hearts and Noses program get its start at Boston Medical Center and now the program has expanded to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and Franciscan Hospital for Children. The Troupe has visited more than 27,000 children in the Greater Boston area.

There are many underserved populations in the Boston area that benefit from non-profit organizations that promote healthy living. This quarter, Genzyme provided $10,000 to the Crittenton Women's Union Healthy Families Program, This program provides education and support to first-time mothers under age 21 and their children regarding health, nutrition and parenting skills. Home visits are offered to ensure that the mother is meeting both her own and her child's basic needs and also to offer information about programs and services that are available to the family.

Genzyme also provided grants to the following health and wellness programs:

A $5,000 grant to benefit the Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation's Bedbugs Eradication Initiative.

A $3,000 grant for the Cambridge Women's Health Initiative facilitated by Self Esteem Boston.

A $2,000 grant to support free medical escort services to low-income elders through the Somerville- Cambridge Elder Services.

One of the world's leading biotechnology companies, Genzyme is dedicated to making a major positive impact on the lives of people with serious diseases. Since 1981, the company has grown from a small start-up to a diversified enterprise with more than 9,500 employees in locations spanning the globe and 2006 revenues of $3.2 billion. In 2006 and 2007, Genzyme was selected by Fortune as one of the "100 Best Companies to Work for" in the United States.

Charitable organizations located in towns and cities worldwide in which Genzyme has operations are encouraged to apply for financial assistance through Genzyme Community Relations. The company has a strong commitment to helping people, especially in underserved areas.

Monday, September 10, 2007

BlogCatalog.com And Bloggers Call For An End to Abuse

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — BlogCatalog.com, the fastest-growing social blog directory on the Internet, will launch its third social awareness campaign on Sept. 27. BlogCatalog.com estimates as many as 1,500 bloggers will participate by writing about abuse on or around Sept. 27.

“This is the first time in history that social network members have chosen and will collectively promote a single social awareness issue on hundreds of blogs all over the world on the same day,” said Anthony Berkman, president of BlogCatalog.com. “We continue to be amazed by the outpouring of support our members extend toward social awareness issues, and think it demonstrates the positive influence bloggers can make in the world when they unite to do good.”

Previous social awareness campaign efforts include: generating awareness and raising funds that directly benefited more than 1,000 students in the United States through DonorsChoose.org (May); and raising awareness about organ donation around the world by increasing organ donation-related stories on the Internet by 10 times the amount last July.

“While the topic is broad and may cover any number of issues related to abuse, ranging from drug addiction to domestic violence, it will be difficult for people not to take notice,” said Berkman. “Since we first introduced the ‘Bloggers For Good’ concept, we’ve committed to fine tuning and improving upon what we have learned from past campaigns. People want to do good and this an especially timely topic as domestic and teen violence is on the rise all over the world.”

BlogCatalog.com is offering badges to bloggers as an optional form of recognition. Badges range from campaign-specific messages such as “Stop The Abuse” to general messages such as “Bloggers Unite.” BlogCatalog also invites bloggers to post links to their stories on designated discussion threads so they receive additional recognition for their participation. To date, the announcement thread has received approximately 400 responses in support of the campaign, which is three times more than previous campaigns.

“We have always seen this as an opportunity to empower and recognize bloggers to collectively focus their blogs for good and establish a sense of community by uniting together for worthwhile causes,” said Berkman. “As much as bloggers can write about Britney Spears, we know that they can collectively raise awareness of important issues like education, organ donation, and calling for an end to abuse.”

Berkman said that while he did not specifically ask bloggers to cite a beneficiary, he encourages them to mention a local or national non-profit organization that might benefit. If the campaign succeeds in stopping one person from being abused or assists one victim in receiving the support services they need, then the campaign has done its job.

BlogCatalog.com is the first social network directory to organize its members to raise funds for a non-profit organization, first to launch an international social awareness campaign, and first to ask members to select a social awareness topic. Berkman acquired BlogCatalog.com in February 2007 and quickly redeveloped it into a hand-approved social directory with dozens of social media applications.

For more information about BlogCatalog.com, visit blogcatalog.com

Friday, September 07, 2007

Families Forward's There's No Place Like Home Gala Set for Sept. 29

IRVINE, Calif. — Families Forward , a non-profit agency dedicated to helping low-income and homeless families in need, will host its 2nd Annual There’s No Place Like Home gala on Sept. 29 at the Fairmont Newport Beach Hotel. The event will feature silent and live auctions, a performance by Haute Chile Productions, a gourmet dinner menu and dancing. Tickets and event information are available by calling 949-552-2727.

At the event, Families Forward will honor Standard Pacific Homes-Orange County Division for its invaluable support and commitment to the local community.

Sponsors include: Churm Media; Standard Pacific Homes; Toyota Motor Sales U. S. A., Inc.; Vineyard Bank; The Capital Group Companies, Inc.; JZMK Partners; Manatt, Phelps & Phillips; NMG Geotechnical; Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; LSA Associates, Inc.; McLarand Vasquez Emsiek & Partners, Inc.; Penco Engineering; Pinnick Inc.; TRG Land; and Valley Crest Land Development.

Families Forward is a non-profit agency dedicated to helping low income and homeless families in need. The agency offers programs and resources designed to alleviate the pressures that struggling families face day to day. Families Forward addresses families’ needs at any point in their crisis by providing a broad spectrum of services, including: housing, counseling, food, education, case management, life-skills training and rent or utility assistance.

Located in Orange County, Calif., Families Forward serves mostly working-class people who are struggling in an out-of-control housing market — Orange County rakes among the top 10 most expensive counties to live in across the nation. This excellent event will help Families Forward assist those struggling to pay the rent and feed their children.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Papa John's & Fireman's Fund Award Grant

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Papa John’s International, Inc. pizza and Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company awarded a $5,000 grant to the Portage Township Fire Department (PTFD). The department, which is facing funding issues, plans to use the grant to purchase a hose tester and fire educational materials.

The grant is part of Fireman’s Fund Heritage, a nationwide program that aims to provide equipment training and tools to local fire departments.

Portage Township is located in St. Joseph County on the west side of South Bend. PTFD responds with six apparatus from one station to protect 10 square miles and approximately 1,200 residents. Its protection district surrounds the South Bend Airport.

Fireman's Fund Insurance Company is a premier property and casualty insurer, providing personal, commercial and specialty insurance products nationwide. Founded in San Francisco in 1863, Fireman's Fund was named for its founding social mission: contributing a portion of its profits to widows and orphans of firefighters. Today the company continues its philanthropic mission, supporting firefighters for safer communities through its Fireman’s Fund Heritage program.

Headquartered in Louisville, Ky., Papa John's International, Inc. is the world's third largest pizza company. For eight years running, consumers have rated Papa John's No. 1 in customer satisfaction among all national pizza chains in the highly regarded American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).

This grant is significant in that until this donation, 14 townships in the South Bend area had to share one hose tester to maintain their equipment.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Qwest Awards $8,000 for Camp Eureka

MISSOULA, Mont. — The Qwest Foundation announced it awarded $8,000 to the Montana Conservation Science Institute's annual Camp Eureka! - a summer natural history camp for blind children. This year's camp took place Aug. 13-17 at Flathead Lake in Polson, Mont.

"We were pleased to participate in this year's Camp Eureka!," said David Gibson, Qwest president for Montana. "Qwest is committed to education in Montana, and this camp gave us a unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of blind and low-vision children."

Camp Eureka! is a program that was created in 2005 through a partnership with the Montana Conservation Science Institute, the National Federation of the Blind's Jernigan Institute and National Center for Blind Youth in Science, and the Montana Association for the Blind. The program provides an opportunity for children ages 9-14 to come together with peers and mentors and explore nature in Montana while practicing the alternative skills of blindness.

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.

Qwest's award will continue to help Camp Eureka enable blind children to learn and acquire important life skills that will help them succeed in life. With the right skills and attitude their dreams for the future can come true.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Safeway Raises $7 Million for MDA

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway, Inc. announced today that it raised a record $7 million for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) during a month-long campaign at the company’s more than 1,600 U.S. stores.

The annual Safeway fundraising drive for "Jerry's Kids" is part of a companywide initiative to assist people with neuromuscular disease. The money raised goes to MDA-funded, leading-edge research and treatment programs. Over the years Safeway has raised more than $32 million for MDA through customer donations at checkout and a broad range of store fundraising events, including its participation in the long-standing Aisles of Smiles program. Over the Labor Day weekend, Safeway employees volunteered time and participated in various regional Jerry Lewis MDA telethons presenting checks and staffing phone banks.

"Raising funds for MDA has become an important late-summer tradition at Safeway and a core part of how our company gives back to the community," said Larree Renda, Safeway executive vice president and chair of The Safeway Foundation. "We are grateful to our customers for their generosity and extremely proud of our employees for their hard work. Our commitment is paying off with research and treatments that are making a difference in the lives of more than one million Americans living with neuromuscular disease."

Safeway supports a range of important causes with funds, informational outreach and volunteer hours. In 2006 Safeway and The Safeway Foundation donated nearly $154 million in food and financial support to education, hunger relief, medical research and other important causes and is on a record pace to set new fundraising records in 2007.

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.

In addition to the funds raised, Safeway employees volunteered hundreds of hours in more than a dozen cities staffing phone banks and taking pledges at telethon sites in Houston, Los Angeles, Baltimore and San Diego. Safeway sets a good example not only in its philanthropy, but also in its business practices. The company has a strong record of hiring and supporting people with disabilities. Currently, the company employs nearly 10,000 people with disabilities in its stores and support facilities nationwide.

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