Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Nissan North America Partners with Habitat for Humanity

FRANKLIN, Tenn. — For Franklin residents Georgi Hodge and her daughter, Martha Gilbreath, moving into their new Habitat for Humanity home will be a dream come true.The same is true for Thelma Harrison and her grandson, Chris, who are moving from a small mobile home to a three-bedroom home.

Their homes are part of a $1 million partnership between Habitat and Nissan North America. The side-by-side homes were built at the same time during a six-week period beginning in September.

"Having a Habitat home is a true blessing for us. We would not have been able to buy a home in Franklin without the generosity of Nissan and the partnership with Habitat for Humanity," Gilbreath said.

The new Habitat homes will feature eco-friendly amenities, which align with both Nissan's Green Program 2010 initiative to reduce its impact on the environment and Williamson County Habitat for Humanity's recent initiative to build Energy Star certified homes. These two homes are the first Habitat homes in Williamson County to receive Energy Star certification.

In addition to sponsoring and building these two homes, Nissan also donated a new, 2008 Titan King Cab truck to Williamson County Habitat for Humanity. The truck, valued at over $35,000, will be used to further Habitat's mission of providing affordable homeownership to hardworking families in Williamson County, just south of Nashville.

The Hodge/Gilbreath and Harrison homes are the first Nissan-sponsored Habitat homes built in Franklin. Nissan's $1 million partnership with Habitat for Humanity International includes house sponsorships, the donation of Nissan trucks and products and support of Habitat's disaster-relief initiatives.

More than 350 Nissan employees and executives in Franklin donated time to building the homes, which are two of eight Nissan-sponsored houses built in conjunction with Habitat affiliates in Michigan, Tennessee, Mississippi, Texas, California, Georgia and Arizona. Additionally, Nissan employees will volunteer their time to help construct five houses with Habitat for Humanity in California, Georgia, Illinois and Arizona.

Habitat for Humanity of Williamson County (HFHWC) was chartered in 1992 and is a full affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. Governed by a volunteer board of directors, HFHWC is an ecumenical Christian organization dedicated to building and selling homes at cost in partnership with working families in Williamson County.

Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built nearly 300,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1 million people.

In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program 2010, whose key priorities are reducing CO2 emissions, cutting other emissions and increasing recycling.

Nissan North America plans to help build 13 homes in North America this year alone, and its employees have donated hundreds of volunteer hours to make the dream of home ownership a reality for neighbors in need.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Nevada Volunteers Accepting Nominations for 2009 Governor's Points of Light Award

RENO, Nev. — Nevada Volunteers is accepting nominations for the 2009 Governor’s Points of Light Award. The Governor’s Points of Light Award recognizes individuals and organizations for their dedication, commitment and determination in promoting and supporting volunteerism throughout Nevada.

“The Governor’s Point of Light Award is the highest honor given by Nevada Volunteers and the state of Nevada to deserving individuals and organizations who have given a voice to volunteerism and civic service and have inspired others to help make a difference in their communities,” said Shawn Lecker-Pomaville, chief executive officer of Nevada Volunteers.

Online nominations may be made at

All nominations must be submitted no later than 5 p.m. on Nov. 21, 2008. Award winners will be announced at the Governor’s Points of Light Award Gala on Feb. 26 in Reno.

Nevada Volunteers, formerly known as the Nevada Commission for National and Community Service, creates countless opportunities to inspire, teach, train and recognize individuals, organizations, and businesses across Nevada to develop a legacy of service and citizenship. The Nevada Volunteers is the governor's commission that administers AmeriCorps programs statewide. Since 1994, over 2,047 AmeriCorps members have served throughout Nevada recruiting more than 14,000 volunteers who have donated over 97,000 hours of service to local communities.

Monday, November 03, 2008 Partners With Refugees United

SAN ANTONIO, Texas —, the fastest-growing social network for bloggers on the Internet, is partnering with Refugees United, which provides refugees with an anonymous forum to help reconnect missing family members. The goal of the event is to raise global social awareness on Nov. 10.

The campaign, Bloggers Unite For Refugees, asks bloggers from all over the world to post about the plight of refugees on the same day, Nov. 10. Collectively, their posts will reach millions of people all over the world at the same time, even in those countries where freedom of expression is regularly suppressed.
“This Bloggers Unite campaign continues our efforts to promote human rights like we did on May 15 with Amnesty International by narrowing our efforts to benefit the victims of global atrocities,” said Antony Berkman, president of “Refugees United goes a long way in helping refugees reconnect with their family, anonymously when needed.”

In addition to promoting the campaign to its members, Refugees United aims to form alliances with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to work with it to help refugees find missing family.

“More than 11 million people are stateless and more than 40 million people are displaced around the world,” says Christopher T. Mikkelsen, founder, Refugees United. “All too often, because of wars and natural disasters, families lose everything, including citizenship when they lack any official proof of birth. Without these documents, they become ghosts with no government willing to provide them any assistance whatsoever. Many of them lose contact with family members forever.”

Berkman said many bloggers would expand on their stories about the displacement of people in Darfur, Sudan; the continuing plight of thousands in Myanmar; and other areas of the world where government has abandoned people. He added that some bloggers might even consider writing about the thousands of people who remain displaced in Houston, Texas.

“While they are not refugees attempting to escape war and persecution, they are people who have lost everything and have nowhere to go,” said Berkman. “We thought it would make a suitable option for some American bloggers to help them relate to what many refugees have struggled against for more than a century.”

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) can award legal refugee status, but only one percent of all refugees are offered an opportunity to resettle in a third country. Currently, only Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States have resettlement programs for refugees.

Since last year, has evolved from a blog directory into a member-driven online community for bloggers. More than 150,000 individually approved bloggers interact on BlogCatalog every day.

The mission of Refugees United is to help refugees in their search for lost loved ones. Its aim is to provide a global, anonymous, and dedicated refugee network that will eventually end the torture of not knowing whether relatives and loved ones are dead or alive. continues its commitment to giving back with its excellent Bloggers Unite Campaign. To learn more, visit

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