Monday, March 31, 2008

Jiffy Lube Raises $1 Million for American Heart Association's Go Red For Women

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Jiffy Lube presented the American Heart Association with a $1 million check benefiting the Go Red For Women movement at the Jiffy Lube International 2008 Convention and Trade Show. More than 1,750 Jiffy Lube service centers participated in the Jiffy Lube Maintenance Partners for Life campaign, which raised awareness and funds for heart disease prevention. The two-month program ends March 31.

Jiffy Lube Maintenance Partners for Life leverages the strong parallels between properly maintaining both heart health and vehicle health, and educates people on smart preventive maintenance for their bodies and vehicles. The campaign is the first-ever Jiffy Lube national cause campaign. One hundred percent of the funds raised will benefit the local communities in which they are raised, and these funds will contribute to the fight against heart disease -- the number one killer of women and men in the United States.

"The generous support of our customers and the passion of our franchisees and their employees made it possible for us to present this check today to the American Heart Association," said Lisa Carlson, global director of marketing for Jiffy Lube International. "Together, we've succeeded in meeting our fundraising goal, and we're honored that we can contribute to important research and development toward wiping out this deadly disease."

The campaign raised funds through Maintenance Partners for Life savings books, which were given to customers in appreciation for a $3 donation to Go Red For Women. Many service centers raised additional funds by hosting local events and visiting local businesses in their communities.

"This is the first time ever in the 80 years of the American Heart Association's history that a corporate partner has raised $1 million in the first year," said Lyn Hughes, vice president of national corporate relations for the American Heart Association. "We extend our deepest thanks to Jiffy Lube for this phenomenal achievement. The Maintenance Partners for Life campaign clearly made a distinct connection with consumers, and the efforts of Jiffy Lube help fight heart disease in our local communities where we all work, play, and raise families."

Since 2004, Go Red For Women has captured the energy, passion, and intelligence of women to work collectively to wipe out heart disease -- the No. 1 killer of women. Using the simple platform "Love Your Heart," Go Red For Women engages women -- and the men who love them -- to embrace the cause. Health care providers, celebrities, and politicians also elevate the cause and spread the word about women and heart disease.

Jiffy Lube, with more than 2,200 franchised and company-owned service centers in North America, serves approximately 27.5 million customers each year. Jiffy Lube pioneered the fast oil change industry in 1979 by establishing the first drive-through service bay, providing customers with fast, professional service for their vehicles. Headquartered in Houston, Jiffy Lube International Inc. is a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of Shell Oil Company.

This campaign enables Jiffy Lube stores throughout the country to benefit people in their own communities. It's amazing that Jiffy Lube was able to raise $1 million in this campaign's inaugural year.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Travel Web Site Partners With Vacations for Veterans

BUFFALO, N. Y. — FindRentals.com, an online vacation rental resource, is partnering with Vacations for Veterans , a non-profit organization created to provide recently wounded veterans of the United States Armed Forces with a week of free lodging. With the number of veterans wounded in the Afghanistan and Iraq campaigns growing every day, FindRentals is encouraging its clients to donate a week or more to Vacations for Veterans.

"Veterans give so much for our freedom," says Anthony Vaarwerk, owner of FindRentals. "I'm happy to be able to give back in any way that I can. The FindRentals family is very proud to be a part of such a great cause."

Established in 2002, FindRentals is a worldwide vacation rental resource with over 20,000 listings. It is owned and operated in Buffalo, N. Y., and has grown into one of the largest and most widely used vacation home resources on the Internet today.

Vacations For Veterans is a 501(c)(3)nonprofit organization created to provide recently wounded veterans of the United States Armed Forces with a week of free lodgings donated by a vacation homeowner. All contributions are tax deductible.

This is perfect partnership between a business and non-profit, and the beneficiary will be U.S. veterans. It's a nice way to encourage support of veterans and provides them with a much-deserved vacation.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Naples Businesses Honor Neighborhood Health Clinic

NAPLES, Fla. — On March 13, First Integrity Bank, the Olde Marco Inn & Suites, and Kruchten Law Firm presented a reception honoring local community organizations. The “Honoring the Community” award series honors charitable, non-profit organizations and philanthropic groups throughout Collier County (Fla.). This final reception of the series reception honored the Neighborhood Health Clinic.

Board members and staff of the Neighborhood Health Clinic enjoyed a cocktail reception in Kruchten Law Firm’s private penthouse at the Inn. The Neighborhood Health Clinic was recognized for their work delivering quality medical care to low-income, working but uninsured Collier County adults, using a volunteer professional staff.

“I am grateful that the clinic received this recognition because we constantly strive to let Collier County residents know we are here and are dedicated to providing quality healthcare for the working poor. We save lives and this miracle occurs almost daily. Our founders, Nancy and Dr. Bill Lascheid, have devoted their retirement years and funds to the Neighborhood Health Clinic. They are true heroes and to honor the organization is to honor them. It is recognition they truly deserve and would never seek,” sais Nina Gray, CEO of Neighborhood Health Clinic.

The Olde Marco Inn is located at 100 Palm Street on Marco Island. It offers one and two bedroom suites, five penthouses, plus two restaurants on-site and complete meeting and wedding facilities.

First Integrity Bank is an FDIC insured commercial banking institution, offering a full range of financial products and services, from checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit and IRAs, to commercial and residential loans.

Kruchten Law Firm focuses on transactional real estate law, general real estate matters, banking law, corporate law and structured and traditional financing law.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Office Depot Funds Keep America Beautiful's Clean Sweep Web Site Redesign

STAMFORD, Conn. — Keep America Beautiful, Inc., America's leading nonprofit volunteer-based education and community action organization, has been awarded a $75,000 grant from the Office Depot Foundation to redesign and enhance its Clean Sweep U.S.A. environmental education Web site.

The new site features interactive learning modules that help students, teachers and families address real-world issues about waste. Building on the site's original lessons related to garbage, source reduction, composting, recycling, waste-to-energy and landfills, the new games and lessons cover KAB’s focus areas of litter prevention and beautification with new interactive games, background materials, and more.

"Clean Sweep U.S.A. is a great platform for teachers to provide fun, interactive lessons that will give their students a better understanding of the increasingly critical issues surrounding waste reduction, recycling, litter prevention and beautification that are core components of environmental education," said Keep America Beautiful President & CEO Matthew McKenna. "Keep America Beautiful is very fortunate to have the Office Depot Foundation as a partner in our educational outreach, which will provide a positive impact on the lives of many students who are exposed to the site."

A portion of the Office Depot Foundation funds will go to marketing the site to teachers.

Keep America Beautiful, Inc. (KAB) ,established in 1953, is the nation's largest volunteer-based community action and education organization. With a network of nearly 1,000 affiliate and participating organizations, Keep America Beautiful forms public-private partnerships and programs that engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community environments.

The Office Depot Foundation is an independent foundation that serves as the primary charitable giving arm of Office Depot. In keeping with its mission, Listen Learn Care, the Foundation strives to make a positive impact on many lives in many communities around the world. The Foundation supports a variety of programs that enhance the quality of life for children, strengthen communities, encourage local and global economic growth, and empower schools and civil society (non-profit) organizations. It also provides support when disasters strike _ doing what it can, not only to speed the process of rebuilding, but also to mitigate the impact of future disasters.

Thanks to this grant, the newly redesigned site has expanded to include lessons on litter prevention and beautification. There are also interactive learning modules to help students, teachers and families adress issues about waste. The site targets students in grades 4-8.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Carpet One Floor & Home Raises Funds For Breast Cancer Research and Awareness

MANCHESTER, N.H. —Carpet One Floor & Home is rolling out the welcome mats for breast cancer research and awareness with the Spring 2008 Carpet One Floor & Home Welcomes Your Support Campaign. Store locations throughout North America continue raising funds through the sale of exclusive, limited edition pink ribbon welcome mats specially designed for Carpet One Floor & Home. Twenty-five percent of U.S. sales go to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), while 25% of sales in Canada go to Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) breast cancer research and support programs.

“To know that Carpet One Floor & Home has raised over half a million dollars (over four years) through the sale of pink ribbon welcome mats for such an important cause makes me very proud,” said Eric Demaree, president of Carpet One Floor & Home. "Our families, friends, customers, and communities are affected by this cause. It is an honor to join the BCRF and the CCS each fall and spring in their mission to eliminate this disease."

The welcome mats are available from April through June at Carpet One Floor & Home stores for approximately $21.99 USD each.

Carpet One Floor & Home is North America's leading floor covering retailer, with more than 1,000 independently owned and operated locations in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Carpet One Floor & Home stores are known for a broad selection of carpet, wood, laminate, ceramic, vinyl, and area rugs, including exclusive brands like Liz Claiborne Home, Good Housekeeping, and Lees.

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation was founded in 1993 by Evelyn H. Lauder as an independent, not-for-profit 501(c) (3) organization dedicated to funding innovative clinical and genetic research. The Foundation supports scientists at top universities and academic medical centers worldwide, conducting the most advanced and promising breast cancer research that will lead to prevention and a cure in our lifetime.

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is to eradicate cancer and improve the quality of life for people living with cancer.

Since the Welcomes Your Support Campaign was founded in 2004, it is projected to have raised more than $630,000 to fund breast cancer research and awareness in the United States and Canada. Carpet One Floor & Home partners with the community in socially responsible ways, and this annual campaign is a fine example of its successful efforts.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Yahoo! Employee Foundation Bestows $5k Grant

LOS ALTOS, Calif. — The Global Learning Foundation (GLF) in Los Altos, Calif., is the recipient of a $5,000 grant from the Yahoo! Employee Foundation (YEF), in Sunnyvale, Calif. The funds will support GLF’s programs for children in orphanages in developing countries. These programs provide funds for English language, special skills teachers and Internet access to children in orphanages in developing countries.

The support from the YEF grant will enable the Global Learning Foundation to hire English language and special skills teachers to teach at the orphanages and help children getting out of orphanages to obtain critical skills to support themselves after graduation.

Started in 1999 by Yahoo!’s co-founders as a way for employees to personally give back to their communities, Yahoo! Employee Foundation (YEF) is entirely employee driven. All of its funds are donated by Yahoo! employees, all grant recipients championed by employees, and all YEF activities are run by a volunteer committee of employees. YEF also enables employees to increase contributions exponentially by championing their favorite community causes. YEF champions who donate at least $50 a year can secure up to $40,000 a year for the charity they support. Since its inception, YEF has donated over $5.9 million to non-profits championed by employees.

Founded in 2007, the Global Learning Foundation addresses the educational needs of children in developing countries. As a part of the program, The Global Learning Foundation provides funds for English language and special skills teachers, Internet access to children in orphanages in developing countries. The Global Leaning Foundation is a 501(c)3, federally registered, tax-exempt organization.

This grant will help bring technology and education to needy children, giving them a hand up in the global market as they grow. Yahoo! employees take an active role in their communities, and their foundation sets a strong example of what can be accomplished when employees work together for good causes.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Jessica McClintock, Agassi Boys & Girls Club Assist Las Vegas Prom Closet

LAS VEGAS — Las Vegas Prom Closet is collecting gently used and dry cleaned prom and bridesmaid dresses and accessories (handbags, shoes and jewelry) through March 29. Items can be dropped off at the Jessica McClintock store at the Fashion Show Mall, 3200 Las Vegas Blvd. South.

The Prom Closet “store” will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 5 and Saturday April 12, at The Agassi Boys & Girls Club, located at 800 N. Martin L. King Blvd.

Students wishing to attend a prom but who cannot afford a dress will be able to choose from an array of more than 800 gently used prom dresses and accessories. A school ID is required at the Prom Closet. Items are provided at no charge to students.
Las Vegas Prom Closet is staffed and run by volunteers, and all donations directly benefit students.

Las Vegas Prom Closet is a non-profit organization dedicated to making prom a reality for students who wish to attend, but could not otherwise afford the expense. The organization’s focus is to distribute gently used prom attire to disadvantaged young women. It also provides financial assistance to young men needing tuxedo rentals, girls needed hair and make-up design, and couples needing assistance with dinner/entertainment options.

Las Vegas Prom Closet, formerly known as Aly's Prom Closet, was founded by the mother of a girl killed in a car accident. The mother, Becky Christensen, and countless volunteers, donors and sponsors have made it possible for hundreds of girls to attend their proms who might not otherwise be able to afford to do so. Anyone with gently used prom dresses are encouraged to donate them for this caring cause.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

UnitedHealthcare Donates $10,000 for Make-A-Wish Foundation Web Site

LAS VEGAS — The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Nevada today unveiled its new Web site, www.snv.wish.org, to reach more families, sponsors and volunteers.

The site is powered by UnitedHealthcare through a $10,000 donation.

The new site offers visitors an in-depth look at the local chapter’s activities, events and fundraising efforts. The redesign aims to simplify the process to refer children to the organization and to streamline online contributions, including ways to donate air miles, vehicles and volunteer time.

“The Foundation granted more than 150 wishes in 2007, and we know there are many more children in our community who qualify for a wish,” said Karen Iglesias, president of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Nevada. “With more donations and more awareness about who we are and how to refer a child, we can share the power of a wish with every child who is fighting a life-threatening medical condition. We believe snv.wish.org will help us accomplish this mission.”

Igelsias also points to enhancements such as actual wish stories from local families and a special section devoted to spotlighting corporate donors who have sponsored wishes as ways to acknowledge support for the organization. One such example is a feature on a recent wish sponsored by UnitedHealthcare.

In addition to the company’s financial support of the new local Web site, UnitedHealth has a national alliance with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America. The three-year, $4.5 million alliance – one of the largest in the nonprofit organization’s 27-year history – allows each of the foundation’s 69 chapters to be eligible to receive wish-granting funds. In October, funding by UnitedHealth helped Make-A-Wish of Southern Nevada send a three-year-old Las Vegas boy to Hawaii to search for Elvis.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Born in 1980 when a group of caring volunteers helped a young boy fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer, the Foundation is now the largest wish-granting charity in the world, with 67 chapters in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 25,000 volunteers, the Make-A-Wish Foundation grants a wish every 41 minutes and has granted more than 153,000 wishes in the U.S. since inception. The Southern Nevada chapter was established in 1996 and has granted more than 870 wishes for local children.

UnitedHealthcare provides a full spectrum of consumer-oriented health benefit plans and services. The company organizes access to quality, affordable health care services on behalf of more than 25 million individual consumers, contracting directly with more than 560,000 physicians and care professionals and 4,800 hospitals nationwide to offer them broad, convenient access to services nationwide.

The new Web site will help the local Make-A-Wish Foundation reach out to the families of children in need and help children see their wishes come true. It's a smart partnership for UnitedHealthcare.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

US Airways Gives Wings to Theatre for Young Audiences

TEMPE, Ariz. — In a "first" for theatre for young people, US Airways is sponsoring a three-city festival , "Imagination Begins with US," which debuts three original plays in the airline's three hub cities of Charlotte, Philadelphia and Phoenix.

"There is a long tradition of new theatrical productions being made possible by individual 'angels' and foundations. The idea that a corporation, especially an airline, is serving that function for young audiences is truly innovative," said Jenny Millinger, director of strategic initiatives at Childsplay, one of the participating theatres.

The three new plays will be produced and performed in rotation during the 18-month festival, which opens in spring 2008. Participating theatres are People's Light & Theatre near Philadelphia, Children's Theatre of Charlotte, in Charlotte, N. C.; and Childsplay in Tempe, Ariz.

Each play, written for youth ages 8 to 18 and their families, is a page-to-stage production, based upon a novel. US Airways is underwriting the festival with a significant financial contribution.

"We are extremely proud to be spearheading such an innovative festival. This is the first time that three theater companies in three different cities are collaborating to produce and exchange three new plays for young audiences. These plays promote literacy, creativity, and ultimately, academic success for students," said C.A. Howlett, senior vice president of public affairs at US Airways.

US Airways is the fifth-largest domestic airline employing more than 36,000 aviation professionals worldwide. Charlotte, Philadelphia and Phoenix are major hub cities for the airline.

This unique festival provides audiences with access to diverse plays that address critical issues facing today's young people: war, loyalty, racial and class prejudice, and the loss of a parent. It's nice to see a major company investing in a cultural opportunity for young people and their families.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

PepsiCo Donates $1 Million to UNCF

NEW YORK CITY — PepsiCo has committed $1 million to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) to help provide financial support to UNCF's 39 member institutions and scholarships to students at over 900 colleges and universities around the country. PepsiCo, one of the world's largest food and beverage companies, made the donation on March 7 at UNCF's 64th Anniversary Dinner in New York, where it was the presenting sponsor. The event raised a total of $2.7 million.

"PepsiCo is a proud supporter of UNCF and has been for 60 years. We are committed to expanding opportunities to help minority students secure higher education," said Indra Nooyi, CEO and chairman of PepsiCo. "That's why we're excited to present this gift of $1 million to UNCF to ensure that deserving young people continue to get a chance to go to college and earn degrees -- and have the opportunity to make their mark in the world."

Minority education has long been a funding priority for PepsiCo's Foundation. In 1981, PepsiCo donated $1 million, the largest multi-year corporate donation ever pledged to UNCF's annual campaign at that time. Last year alone, the PepsiCo Foundation provided grants for education programs in excess of $8 million to fund education programs that promote academic excellence for all students.

UNCF — the United Negro College Fund — is the nation's oldest and most successful minority education assistance organization. Its mission is to increase minority degree attainment by providing financial support to its 39 member institutions, reducing financial barriers to college and serving as a national advocate for minority education. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 18 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 900 colleges and universities across the country.

PepsiCo is one of the world's largest food and beverage companies, with 2007 annual revenues of more than $39 billion. The company employs approximately 185,000 people worldwide, and its products are sold in approximately 200 countries. Its principal businesses include: Frito-Lay snacks, Pepsi-Cola beverages, Gatorade sports drinks, Tropicana juices and Quaker foods. The PepsiCo portfolio includes 17 brands that generate $1 billion or more each in annual retail sales. PepsiCo's commitment to sustainable growth, defined as Performance with Purpose, is focused on generating healthy financial returns while giving back to communities the company serves. This includes meeting consumer needs for a spectrum of convenient foods and beverages, reducing the company's impact on the environment through water, energy and packaging initiatives, and supporting its employees through a diverse and inclusive culture that recruits and retains world-class talent.

This donation underscores PepsiCo's investment in minority men and women. The company's generosity will enable thousands of students to pursue degrees that will help them play important roles in the global economy.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Boot Camp for New Dads Receives Grant from Pacific Life Foundation

IRVINE, Calif. — The Pacific Life Foundation of the Pacific Life Insurance Company recently bestowed a grant upon Boot Camp for New Dads , a non-profit orientation program for fathers-to-be, operating in more than 260 hospitals, clinics, schools and churches around the country.

The grant will be used to develop tools for outreach and marketing to dads-to-be in communities across the U.S.

“We’d like to thank the Pacific Life Foundation for their generous donation and their commitment to helping men ‘hit the ground crawling’ in their new role as fathers,” said Greg Bishop, founder and head coach of Boot Camp for New Dads. Research has shown that if men get involved early, they are more likely to stay engaged with their kids and continue to be a positive force in their children’s lives.

The Pacific Life Insurance Company, which was founded in 1868, provides life insurance products, annuities, and mutual funds, and offers a variety of investment products and services to individuals, businesses, and pension plans. The company’s charitable giving is distributed through the Pacific Life Foundation based in Newport Beach, Calif.

Celebrating its 16th year, Boot Camp for New Dads is nationally acclaimed as the “Best Practice” for preparing men to be fathers and has been named a U.S. Navy Model Program. With a mission “to help assure every child a father they can count on, no matter what”, Boot Camp for New Dads has prepared more than 160,000 men for fatherhood over the years.

The National Center for Health Statistics reports that 1.5 million men become new dads each year. As a result, it's important that new dads understand and are prepared for the critical roles they will play in their children's lives. This grant will help impact many lives in a positive way.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Opportunity Village to Host Career and Services Fair For Adults With Disabilities

LAS VEGAS — Opportunity Village is hosting a career and services fair from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, March 7 for adults with disabilities. The event takes place in the organization’s gym, located at 6300 W. Oakey Blvd.

Opportunity Village can help adults with disabilities by placing them in jobs throughout the community. Attendees will learn how job training can help to achieve their goals and will also be able to explore enrichment programs including innovative arts, leisure and recreation for those who cannot or do not desire to work competitively. Applicants are encouraged to bring resumes and dress to impress.

Human resource recruiters will be on hand to discuss employment, direct care and case management opportunities. The following agencies will be present: Nevada PEP, Southern Nevada Center for Independent Living, Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation Client Assistance Program, Nevada Job Corps, Special Olympics, CSN Disability Specialist, Family TIES of Nevada , Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, and the Public Guardians Office.

Currently, Opportunity Village serves more than 800 people with intellectual disabilities every day with 52 percent employed throughout the community at places such as Mon Ami Gabi, Nellis Air Force Base, McCarran International Airport, VA Clinics, American Nevada, Bureau of Reclamation, Clark County Government Center, Capital Grille, Lied Animal Shelter, Springs Preserve, Variety Early Learning Center, The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, Foley Federal Building, The Lloyd D. George Federal District Courthouse and many more.

Opportunity Village is a Las Vegas-based, not-for-profit organization that serves people with intellectual disabilities to improve the quality of their lives and the lives of their families. It is the largest private provider of vocational training, employment, advocacy and recreation for people with disabilities in Nevada.

Individuals employed through Opportunity Village's two work centers earn their own wages and become productive members of society. They are taxpayers too. This event is an excellent way to connect people with disabilities and businesses in need of their enthusiastic service. Opportunity Village is a tremendous asset to the community.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Toys for Tots Launches Year-Round Literacy Initiative with The UPS Store, Mail Boxes Etc.

QUANTICO, Va. — After 60 years of delivering holiday joy to millions of disadvantaged children, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation today announced its first year-round initiative, the Toys for Tots Literacy Program.

The new initiative will offer economically disadvantaged children the ability to compete academically and to succeed in life by providing direct access to books and educational resources that will enhance their ability to read and to communicate effectively.

"The mission of Toys for Tots has always been to deliver a message of hope and inspiration to needy children through the power of a gift. One of the keys to unlocking the door to a brighter and more prosperous future for these children is a good education," said Lt. Gen. Pete Osman, USMC (ret), president and CEO of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. "With the Toys for Tots Literacy Program, we will be able to extend our reach and impact in a very meaningful way by giving the gift of reading to those who need it most."

The national network of The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. franchisees will serve as exclusive sponsors of the initiative.

Throughout March, participating The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. locations will collect $1 donations for its Buck a Book program through which every dollar donated will place a book into the hands of a economically disadvantaged child in that local community. Stores will continue additional fundraising activities throughout the year. To kick-off the program, MBE, franchisor of The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. brands, is donating $125,000, which will distribute 125,000 books to children in need.

To help support this initiative, Scholastic, the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books, will offer a selection of children's titles to the Toys for Tots Literacy Program at a special, discounted non-profit rate. As a long-standing partner of Toys for Tots, Scholastic will help the Toys for Tots Literacy Program select age-appropriate books that will not only teach a child how to read but instill a passion for learning.

The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, a not-for-profit public charity, is the authorized fund-raising and support organization for the 60-year-old Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. The Foundation provides the funding and support needed for successful annual toy collection and distribution campaigns. The foundation is located at Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Virginia. Local Marine Corps Reserve units and volunteer organizations collect and distribute toys in more than 600 communities covering all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. retail locations are franchised by Mail Boxes Etc., Inc., a UPS subsidiary. Together The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. locations comprise the world's largest franchise network of retail shipping, postal and business service centers, with more than 5,900 locations around the world.

Mail Boxes Etc. franchisees have raised more than $1.3 million since signing on as a Toys for Tots national sponsor in 2005. Now, franchisees are lending their support to the literacy program, which will help economically disadvantaged children throughout the U. S. gain access to books.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Businesses Reach Out to 40,000 Nevadans In the Wake of a Health Crisis

LAS VEGAS — In response to serious concerns about the health of at least 40,000 Southern Nevadans who were potentially exposed to blood-borne illnesses while undergoing treatment at the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada, three organizations are lending their support. All 40,000 people are urged to be tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV immediately.

UMC Quick Care Centers are offering free visits for those receiving letters from the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) notifying them of possible hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV exposure. Visits will include a physician’s order for the necessary lab work and patients must bring a copy of their SNHD notification letter. Patients will be sent to independent labs for testing and may incur costs for that.

Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp) is waiving test fees for insured and uninsured patients within the affected group. The company has 12 area patient service centers and is extending it afternoon hours to accommodate impacted Nevadans.

Quest Diagnostics is reducing the cost for hepatitis C and hepatitis B testing at its 22 patient service centers for those affected by the recent health concerns.

University Medical Center (UMC), affiliated with the University of Nevada School of Medicine, is the premier teaching hospital in the state. The medical center serves the medical needs of Southern Nevada and parts of California, Utah and Arizona as well as the millions of visitors to Las Vegas every year. UMC operates 10 quick care centers in Southern Nevada.

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LabCorp) is more than a routine clinical laboratory. As a pioneer in genomic testing and the commercialization of new diagnostic technologies, LabCorp is one of the world's largest clinical laboratories, with annual revenues of $4.1 billion in 2007. Headquartered in Burlington, N. C., LabCorp has approximately 26,000 employees and offers a broad range of genomic/esoteric tests. The company tests more than 370,000 specimens daily for over 220,000 clients nationwide.

Quest Diagnostics is a leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services that patients and doctors need to make better healthcare decisions. Its customers and payers include patients, physicians, hospitals, health insurers, employers and government agencies. Each year the company performs personal health testing on more than 150 million patients.

UMC, LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics are reaching out to help those in need at a time when it is needed most. It's a shame that the company allegedly responsible for the health crisis isn't paying for testing for all 40,000 of the patients it endangered. Thankfully the community can turn to UMC, LabCorp and Quest.

Monday, March 03, 2008

US Airways and RIF Put Children's Books on Planes

TEMPE, Ariz. — US Airways has joined with Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) to launch a new early childhood literacy campaign, "Fly with US. Read with Kids," which features a free children's book for passengers traveling domestically during March, the online "Read with Kids Challenge," and support of RIF programs serving young children across the nation.

During the month of March, US Airways, the official airline of RIF, will distribute copies of best-selling author/illustrator Lucy Cousins' children's book “Come Fly with Maisy” to passengers on domestic, mainline flights to take and share with a child. The organizations' "Read with Kids Challenge" encourages Americans to read with young children during March, April, and May in an effort to log one million minutes reading. All entrants who log their time will qualify for a grand prize drawing of a family vacation to Walt Disney World® Resort in Orlando as well as other prizes. Participants can enter their time online at RIF.

"Reading, much like travel, is an adventure and a way to explore new worlds," said Doug Parker, US Airways chairman and CEO. "By teaming up with RIF on this first-of-its kind campaign, US Airways is helping foster literacy skills and a lifelong love of reading in children throughout the country - a key foundation for future academic and economic success."

The campaign also includes donating 80,000 books to 25,000 children in RIF programs. US Airways' 3,300-member employee volunteer corps, the Do Crew, will participate in RIF book distributions and reading rallies in communities where the airline has large employee concentrations: Boston; Charlotte, N.C.; Las Vegas; New York City; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Pittsburgh; Washington, D.C.; and Winston-Salem, N.C.

Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), founded in 1966, is the nation's oldest and largest children and families’ literacy nonprofit organization. RIF's programs work to improve literacy by providing children with free new books, promoting reading for fun, and involving caring adults-all proven to support academic achievement. Because research has shown the importance of early childhood language development, RIF's highest priority is reaching underserved children from birth to age 8. In 2007, RIF distributed 16 million books to 4.6 million children at nearly 20,000 locations, including schools, clinics, Head Start centers, and other sites throughout the U.S. RIF’s website offers educators, parents, and children advice and activities that support literacy.

US Airways is the fifth largest domestic airline employing more than 36,000 aviation professionals worldwide. US Airways, US Airways Shuttle and US Airways Express operate approximately 3,800 flights per day and serve more than 230 communities in the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. US Airways is a member of the Star Alliance network, which offers customers 17,000 daily flights to 897 destinations in 160 countries worldwide.

RIF and US Airways are sponsoring the Read With Kids Challenge, and those who participate may qualify to win a vacation to Walt Disney Resort or other prizes. US Airways' support of RIF is critical. About 37 percent of American fourth graders read below the basic level of the National Assessment of Educational Progress and 40 million adults in the U. S. can't even read well enough to read a simple story to a child.

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