Wednesday, April 30, 2008

BlogCatalog.com Partners with Amnesty International for Bloggers Unite For Human Rights

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — BlogCatalog.com, the fastest-growing social network for bloggers on the Internet, is partnering with Amnesty International, a worldwide movement that campaigns for internationally recognized human rights, to expand a global social awareness campaign for human rights by launching a major initiative on May 15.

The campaign, Bloggers Unite For Human Rights, asks bloggers from all over the world to post about human rights on the same day, May 15. 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.

"Amnesty International is thrilled to be a part of Bloggers Unite for Human Rights," said Larry Cox, executive director of Amnesty International USA. "Bloggers Unite for Human Rights is a great way to harness the power of the Internet to fight injustice and make the world a better place."

In addition to promoting the campaign to hundreds of thousands of members, Amnesty International is providing BlogCatalog source material for bloggers. Several topics include: the wrongful imprisonment of journalist Shi Tao in China; the illegal detentions at Guantanamo Bay; and the continuing murder, rape, abduction and displacement of people in Darfur, Sudan.

“Since its early beginnings, Bloggers Unite has truly evolved into a member-driven social awareness campaign that is conceived, promoted, and supported by tens of thousands of bloggers,” says Antony Berkman, president of BlogCatalog.com. “We are thrilled that their hard work has attracted the attention, admiration, and support of Amnesty International.”

Berkman said since each blogger is choosing his or her own human rights topic — the wrongful imprisonment of journalists, governments that abuse and murder their own citizens, and censorship of the Internet — he expects some may even share human rights stories that have yet to be covered by mainstream media.

Since 1961, Amnesty International members have worked to stop the abuse of internationally recognized human rights in over 150 countries and territories and in every region of the world. The organization won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1961. Visit www.amnestyusa.org for more information.

Since last year, BlogCatalog.com has evolved from a blog directory into a member-driven online community for bloggers. More than 100,000 approved bloggers interact on BlogCatalog every day.

BlogCatalog.com continues to build on the momentum of its successful Bloggers Unite campaign and this May's Bloggers Unite For Human Rights promises to be perhaps the most visible and meaningful to date. Kudos to all the bloggers who will take part, and thank you to event sponsors BlogCatalog.com, Amnesty International USA and Copywrite, Ink. for giving a voice to an important issue.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

CNN's Veronica De La Cruz Lends Voice to Lions HealthFirst Foundation

LAS VEGAS — Veronica De La Cruz, news anchor and Internet correspondent for CNN’s flagship morning news program “American Morning” will present “The Impact Of The Internet On Media And Community Outreach” at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 16. The event is part of the Lions HealthFirst Foundation Inaugural Dinner and will be held at McCormick & Schmick’s, 335 Hughes Center Drive.

The topic will include information on how online information resources and blogs are changing mainstream media outlets like CNN as well as how local philanthropic leaders and non-profit directors can better utilize social media for community outreach, public education, and volunteer engagement. De La Cruz will also discuss how CNN and publications like the New York Times are expanding the concept of the citizen journalist by encouraging the public to submit their own stories online, some of which will then be sourced for the evening news.

The Lions HealthFirst Foundation Inaugural Dinner is sponsored in cooperation with Aaron Lelah Jewelers; CNN; Copywrite, Ink.; Las Vegas International Lions Club; McCormick & Schmick’s; and Herb Perry, public affairs director for CBS Radio Group. Tickets are $250 per person and seating is limited. For more information, call 702-739-6430.

Proceeds will benefit Lions HealthFirst Foundation, a non-profit 501 (c ) (3) organization responsible for many philanthropic efforts in southern Nevada, including: free exams for people with vision problems and affordable preventative ultrasound testing for anyone at risk of cancer, stroke, or a heart attack. The event corresponds with the first anniversary of the Lions Institute of Health Sciences, where many tests are performed.

“The topic presented by Veronica De La Cruz is especially timely not only because the role of mainstream media is changing but also to draw attention to how important medical screenings are in the prevention and early diagnosis of health problems,” said James Bartel, president of Lions HealthFirst Foundation. “Since the recent health scare in southern Nevada, we’ve seen interest in screenings drop by nearly 40 percent, even though our screenings are noninvasive.”

The Lions HealthFirst Foundation is a public charity. It maintains a community health education and preventive screening program for the purpose of reducing the rate of stroke and heart attacks and to aid the public in the early detection of tumors. The foundation is supported by Lions Clubs International as a model for future programs in other cities across the United States.

Founded in 1917, Lions Clubs International is the largest volunteer service organization in the world, with nearly 1.4 million members in 200 countries and geographical areas. There are 48 Lions Clubs in Nevada, with over 1,400 members strong, making a difference in the everyday lives of people in need.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Baxter International Plans Variety of Eco-Friendly Activities for Earth Day

DEERFIELD, Ill. — On Tuesday, April 22, Baxter International Inc. will join businesses and communities across the United States in celebration of Earth Day. Several Baxter facilities nationwide will sponsor events that promote earth-friendly activities and sustainable living while encouraging employees to learn more about the many ways to help support Baxter’s commitment to creating a more sustainable world. Examples of these events and activities include:

Unused/Unwanted Medication Collection: In conjunction with the Earth Day Challenge, sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a local environmental service group will collect unused and unwanted non-controlled medications from Baxter employees at company facilities in Illinois. Proper destruction of these medications may help protect water quality.

Shopping Bag Giveaway: Several facilities will distribute free reusable grocery bags made from recycled materials to promote waste reduction.

Nike Reuse-A-Shoe Collection: Collection of old, used or worn-out rubber soled athletic shoes will continue at Baxter facilities in Illinois and Irvine, Calif. through April 22. Donated shoes will be recycled by Nike, Inc. and rubber soles will be ground to create building material for area playgrounds, sport courts and playing fields.

Earth Friendly Commuting: Baxter's facility in Bloomington, Ind. will launch a carpool database to promote earth friendly commuting. The site will allow the nearly 1,000 employees at the facility to develop carpool groups with coworkers who share similar schedules and commutes.

Local Beach Cleanup: Baxter employees in Irvine, Calif. will join the Surfrider Foundation and the Ocean Institute in a local beach cleanup project in Dana Point.

Baxter International Inc., through its subsidiaries, assists health care professionals and their patients with the treatment of complex medical conditions, including hemophilia, immune disorders, cancer, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma and other conditions. The company applies its expertise in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology to make a meaningful difference in patients' lives.

Baxter's mix of events and promotions underscore the importance corporations becoming more eco-friendly. The unused/unwanted medication collection drive is of particular interest, and it's something other businesses might want to do as well.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Commerce Bank Celebrates National Library Week With a $200,000 Donation to Area Libraries

CHERRY HILL, N.J. — Commerce Bank is celebrating National Library Week, April 13-19, with a $200,000 donation to libraries in low- to moderate-income areas throughout Commerce's footprint.

During the week of April 14, local Commerce executives will surprise 50 area public libraries with a $4,000 grant each for books, technology resources or existing library programs. About 86 percent of the donations will support libraries in low-to moderate-income areas across eight states — Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, Virginia, Florida and Washington DC.

"Libraries are a pivotal part of our communities," said Fred Graziano, regional bank president, Commerce Bank. "They are a haven for creativity and education, and a great resource for people of all ages. We are thrilled to support these organizations, that like Commerce, wow people in their own way every day."

The bank's celebration of National Library Week will serve as the official kick off to Commerce Bank's Summer Reading Program, which encourages young people to read and additionally provides a goal for them to learn the importance of saving and money. Commerce contributes $10 into a new or existing young saver’s account for each child who reads 10 books throughout the summer.

According to educators, summer reading is critical in continuing good academic performance and advancing literacy skills. Studies show that children who read several books during the summer maintain or surpass the reading skills they achieved during the previous school year.

Commerce Bank is a leading retailer of financial services with 470+ convenient stores in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Virginia, Maryland and Florida. Commerce is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J.

The donation in recognition of National Library Week is an excellent segue into Commerce Bank's Summer Reading Program. That program encourages and rewards children for reading during the summer months when school is not in session. It's a nice way to support education and children in the communities the bank serves.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Louisville Ladder Steps Up For a Good Cause

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — April 1 through Oct. 31, 2008, Louisville Ladder is offering a special edition pink step stool in two- and three-step models. Louisville Ladder has pledged to donate $2 for every two-step and $3 for every three-step step stool to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, with a guaranteed minimum donation of $20,000.

The pink step stool, which has a 225 lbs. duty rating, is sold at participating retailers across the country.

Founded in 1946, Louisville Ladder is one of the largest ladder
manufacturers in North America. Over the years, the company's product line
has grown while the company has kept its commitments of delivering high
quality product to its customers. Today, Louisville Ladder provides a wide
range of climbing products including stepladders, extension ladders,
scaffolds, work platforms, attic stairways, articulating ladders, specialty
ladders, platform ladders, planks, decks and accessories.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure is the world's largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure, it has invested nearly $1 billion to become the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world.

These cute pink step stools are not only functional, but they are also supporting a great cause. Louisville Ladder's donation program is a nice way to give back. This program is proof that thinking out of the box often results in a win-win situation for a company and a good cause.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Lincoln County Egg Farm Donates 216,000 Fresh Eggs to St. Louis Area Foodbank

ST. LOUIS — Egg farmers, including Lincoln County Egg Farm, donated more than 12 million eggs in March to help feed the hungry across the nation. In coordination with America's Second Harvest — The Nation's Food Bank Network, egg farmers from across the country delivered fresh eggs to help local food banks.

Based in Hawk Point, Missouri, Lincoln County Egg Farm delivered 216,000 eggs to the St. Louis Area Foodbank on March 11. The St. Louis Area Foodbank serves 500 charitable agencies including food pantries, homeless shelters, soup kitchens and emergency feeding programs. Last year, the food bank distributed nearly 13.4 million pounds of food throughout 14 counties in eastern Missouri and 12 counties in southwestern Illinois.

“This donation of nutritious, high-protein product comes at a great time for the people we serve, especially as families struggle with continuing high prices of gasoline and winter utility costs,” said Frank Finnegan, executive director of the St. Louis Area Foodbank. “We are so grateful to United Egg Producers and Lincoln County Egg Farm for supporting this initiative with their generous donation.”

With each egg containing 13 essential nutrients, including the highest quality protein, choline, folate, iron and zinc, the more than 12 million eggs donated comes at a time when food banks are struggling with low inventories, while facing a sharp increase in demand for food.

United Egg Producers (UEP) is the nation’s leading trade association for U.S. egg farmers, representing 97 percent of U.S. egg farmers, whose members produce eggs including modern cage production, cage-free, free range, organic and other specialty eggs.

The St. Louis Area Foodbank feeds hungry people by distributing food through its member agencies, and educates the public about the nature of and the solutions to the problems of hunger. It gathers and distributes nearly 13.4 million pounds of food each year to 500+ food pantries, homeless shelters, soup kitchens and emergency feeding programs throughout 14 counties in eastern Missouri and 12 counties in southwestern Illinois.

America's Second Harvest — The Nation's Food Bank Network is the largest charitable domestic hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through its network of more than 200 member food banks, America's Second Harvest annually provides assistance to more than 25 million people in need, including more than 9 million children and nearly 3 million seniors in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Each year, America's Second Harvest secures and distributes more than 2 billion pounds of food and grocery products to support feeding programs at approximately 50,000 local charitable agencies, including food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, after-school programs, and Kids Cafes.

Egg farmers around the country worked together to donate eggs to local food banks in their communities during the month of March. Kudos to Lincoln County Egg Farm for being a part of the program and lending its support in Missouri and Illinois.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

MetLife Foundation Awards $815,000 to Alzheimer's Association

CHICAGO — Recognizing the escalating number of Alzheimer's cases in the U.S., MetLife Foundation has awarded two grants to the Alzheimer's Association, totaling $815,000, to support educational outreach to the Hispanic community and training for emergency responders who encounter those with Alzheimer's and dementia in their work. MetLife Foundation is a longtime funder of research, advocacy and programming around Alzheimer's disease and has been providing grant support to the Alzheimer's Association for more than two decades.

The Hispanic outreach grant of $400,000 will continue to fund efforts previously supported by MetLife Foundation. The grant will fund an extensive media and outreach campaign to the Hispanic population that will include radio and Internet messaging. Further, it will include the introduction of a Family Caregiver Resource Kit using existing and new Spanish-language educational materials that raise awareness about the disease. The general public will be able to order the kit online and by phone through a toll-free, bilingual line.

Research suggests that Hispanics are at greater risk for Alzheimer's disease along with other health problems now linked to Alzheimer's, including diabetes, heart and vascular disease. With the Hispanic population growing at a 3.4 percent rate, the highest rate of any minority group, the incidence of Alzheimer's disease in this population is projected to increase by 600 percent by 2050.

MetLife Foundation's award of $415,000 for the Emergency Responders Outreach Initiative will support the development of a national training program for emergency responders, including law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and others. Funds will be used by the Alzheimer's Association to update and enhance existing training resources, including a DVD, a program curriculum, tip cards and other materials for first responders. The Alzheimer's Association and its network of 77 chapters use these items to train emergency personnel on Alzheimer's issues, such as how to communicate with someone who has Alzheimer's or dementia, and on caregiver stress and safety issues. The information focuses on specific safety areas like wandering, impaired driving, gun safety, shoplifting, abuse and neglect, and disaster preparedness. The tools will also incorporate a primer on the MedicAlert and Alzheimer's Association Safe Return programs.

"We hope to make the challenging job of being an emergency responder a bit easier," said Julie Sipchen, associate director, Safety Services for the Alzheimer's Association. "These tools will strengthen the partnership between our chapters and those in the community who are working to keep people safe and supported."

The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Its mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Its vision is a world without Alzheimer's.

MetLife Foundation
has supported Alzheimer's disease research and outreach activities for more than 20 years. MetLife Foundation has awarded over $11 million in grants through its Awards for Medical Research in Alzheimer's disease program. It also has a long history of providing support to the Alzheimer's Association in its mission to advance research, public awareness and diversity outreach, as well as enhancing care and support, through initiatives that include caregiving videos, resources for the Hispanic community, and Safe Return.

The Alzheimer's Association is the best resource for the public when it comes to up-to-date information and the latest research news. The organization's important initiatives benefit communities across the United States, and MetLife's donation ensures needed resources help the group continue its efforts.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Goosie Lends Support to Autism Speaks

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. — Goosie, LLC announced it is pledging additional support for Autism Awareness Month with a donation of 15 percent of all online sales for the month of April to Autism Speaks.

The donation is in addition to the special discount program the company is offering for families with autistic children, which was announced in March.

Goosie is the market leader for custom flash cards, called Goosie Cards. The cards are created online by uploading personal photos and adding text to customize flash cards.

Goosie, LLC was founded by a mother who created Goosie flash cards out of a desire to teach her child about their family through family photos. The company’s philosophy is that parents inspire learning in their children through sharing experiences together.

Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders, to funding research into the causes, prevention and treatments for autism, and to advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. It was founded by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism.

Goosie, which emphasizes family relationships and education, is a perfect partner for Autism Speaks. It's nice to see the company not only donating a portion of its online sales to the non-profit, but also lending its support to families of autistic children by offering them discounted prices on its products.

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