Thursday, August 28, 2008

PSI Seminars Graduates Lend Support to Elementary School Students

LAS VEGAS — Graduates of PSI Seminars (PSI), a personal development and educational company, have donated more than $30,000 through the organization’s non-profit PSI World to provide support to children attending Cynthia Cunningham Elementary School (4145 Jimmy Durante Drive, Las Vegas). The school, which opened in 1989, serves a high percentage of economically disadvantaged, at-risk and transient children.

Funds were used to purchase backpacks, school supplies, shoes and new athletic socks for 830 children in grades kindergarten through fifth. In addition, 15,000 T-shirts were donated by Just Kiddin’ Playwear — 2,000 for Cunningham Elementary students and 13,000 for Communities in Schools Nevada, a non-profit organization that assists Clark County schools.

More than 50 PSI graduate volunteers measured children’s feet, shopped for school supplies, and assembled and delivered the backpacks to the school, just in time for last week’s open house. Volunteers also enjoyed working with teachers to paint murals in the library, transforming it into a more fun and vibrant place to read, learn and study. PSI plans to continue its support, especially for the school’s most needy children.

“We were shocked to learn that Cunningham Elementary serves as many as 300 transient children each year, children whose families may be in temporary housing and often sleep on the floor,” said Teresa Corbitt, area director for PSI Seminars. “To lend a helping hand, PSI donated 120 sleeping bags to the school and we plan to deliver 100 rolling backpacks in the next few weeks. Since many of these children go without meals on the weekends, we hope the rolling backpacks will enable the children to take food home with them on Fridays. This way they’ll have something to eat on the weekends.”

Several PSI graduates will also be at the school today to fit all 830 children with brand new athletic shoes. “Wal-Mart really stepped in to assist us with special pricing and special delivery of the shoes for the fitting,” said Corbitt.

PSI Seminars is the oldest running personal development company in the United States. For more than 35 years, PSI Seminars has worked with hundreds of thousands of people all over the world to help them discover their ultimate effectiveness through educational programs. Its non-profit PSI World has contributed to many charitable organizations.

This is an excellent collaboration between PSI graduates and students who can use some support. We like that the PSI folks donated not just money, but also their time. Their involvement will positively impact the lives of all 830 students.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Ronald McDonald House Charities Announces North American Sponsorship with La-Z-Boy

OAK BROOK, Ill. — Ronald McDonald House Charities announced a multi-year sponsorship with La-Z-Boy Incorporated that includes annual furniture donations to all Ronald McDonald Houses (RMHC) and Ronald McDonald Family Room in Canada and the United States, a cash contribution and volunteerism by members of the La-Z-Boy family.

"We are proud to be associated with the La-Z-Boy brand, which has been a symbol of comfort and support for more than eight decades," said Marty Coyne, president and CEO of RMHC. "RMHC wouldn't be where it is today if it weren't for the support of corporate donors. RMHC is projected to grow our programs by 37 percent by 2010 and we couldn’t do that without the generous contributions of time, money and in-kind donations from companies like La-Z-Boy. Their furniture will bring comfort to families every night who are experiencing one of the most stressful times of their life. RMHC is a global organization, and our corporate donors allow us to directly impact children and families on a local level."

In September 2008, La-Z-Boy will provide four new pieces of furniture per year to existing Ronald McDonald Houses and will furnish the common areas of Ronald McDonald Houses and Ronald McDonald Family Rooms constructed during the sponsorship. La-Z-Boy plans to establish a unique volunteer program that encourages employees to get involved with local RMHC events in their communities.

The Ronald McDonald House program provides families with a "home away from home" while their children receive treatment in a nearby hospital or medical facility. Here, family members can sleep, eat, relax and find support from other families in similar situations. Since 1974, Ronald McDonald Houses have helped more than 10 million families in need. There are currently 174 Ronald McDonald Houses programs in North America.

The Ronald McDonald Family Room program provides a home-like haven inside hospitals, offering families of critically ill children an opportunity to reflect, shower or rest while being steps from their child. There are currently 70 Ronald McDonald Family Rooms in North America.

Ronald McDonald House Charities, a non-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation, creates, finds and supports programs that directly improve the health and well being of children. Its programs are grassroots-driven to enable the Charity to offer help where children need it most — right in their own communities. RMHC makes an immediate, positive impact on children's lives through its global network of local chapters in more than 53 countries and regions and its three core programs: Ronald McDonald House, Ronald McDonald Family Room and Ronald McDonald Care Mobile. RMHC and its global network have awarded hundreds of millions of dollars in grants and program services to children's programs around the world.

La-Z-Boy Incorporated is one of the world’s leading residential furniture producers, marketing furniture for every room of the home. The La-Z-Boy Upholstery Group companies are Bauhaus, England and La-Z-Boy. The La-Z-Boy Casegoods Group companies are American Drew/Lea, Hammary and Kincaid. The corporation's proprietary distribution network is dedicated exclusively to selling La-Z-Boy Incorporated products and brands, and includes 335 stand-alone La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries stores, 57 La-Z-Boy In-Store Galleries and 333 Comfort Studios, in addition to in-store gallery programs at the company's Kincaid, England and Lea operating units.

It seems fitting that a company known for providing comfort would provide the same to the families of seriously ill children. RMHC is an outstanding organization, and La-Z-Boy has found an important niche that needs to be filled.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Lend America Teams Up With Dream House to Help Medically Fragile Children

MELVILLE, N.Y. — Lend America, recently ranked as the 12th largest direct-to-consumer FHA lender in the nation, announced today it will make a financial contribution to Dream House for Medically Fragile Children for each loan it closes. Dream House for Medically Fragile Children, Inc, a 501(c) 3 non profit children's charity, teaches families and communities how to help kids with complex health issues thrive in a home setting instead of being institutionalized for life.

Based in Atlanta, Dream House was founded in 2001 by Laura Moore, a licensed pediatric nurse and clinical educator, who while caring for these children for more than 20 years, decided that these children just like any other children deserve a home, a family and a future. Dream House receives no state or federal funding and relies solely on private donations. Since 2001, Dream House has helped more than 820 families caring for over 730 medically fragile children by providing education al programs for families and care givers, assisting in the development of specially equipped and accessible homes, increasing community awareness about the needs of medically fragile children, and creating opportunities for community and corporate partnerships focused on improving the quality of life for medically fragile children and their families.

"As a caring and compassionate organization that is focused on helping borrowers achieve the dream of sustainable homeownership, Lend America has a responsibility to help Dream House provide safe, effective and long-term care for these medically fragile children in a stable nurturing home," said Michael Ashley, chief business strategist at Lend America. “We believe as Lend America continues to grow, we can make a difference, one child at a time, and have a significant impact on improving the quality of life for more of these children by training and enabling more families to care for them at home."

A medically fragile child is one who, because of an accident, illness, congenital disorder, abuse or neglect, has been left in a stable condition, but is dependent on life sustaining medications, treatments, equipment, and has need for assistance with activities of daily living. A medically fragile condition crosses all diagnoses including chronic health care conditions such as diabetes, oxygen dependency, cerebral palsy (CP), organ transplants and most require special health care support, such as tube feedings, suctioning, tracheotomy care, a respirator or have limited mobility and require special health care support due to paralysis or chronic disease.

"Reality comes crashing down for these families faced with the challenge of caring for their precious children who have dramatically complex health issues," said Laura Moore, founder and CEO of Dream House. "Unless you are faced with this situation or know someone going through this, you are completely oblivious to this tragic epidemic sweeping across American communities touching hundred's of thousands of families. Lend America has embraced the Dream House mission, and in doing so, is helping us open a door on a situation that together we can address."

Lend America, a National Mortgage Banking Organization and one of New York's largest privately owned direct lenders, has served the residential mortgage marketplace for over 20 years. The company is one of the most successful direct-to-consumer lenders in the United States and is the region's largest and most well known FHA direct lenders and is a GNMA approved mortgage backed securities issuer. Lend America employs approximately 525 employees and is located in Melville, N.Y.

Dream House for Medically Fragile Children is a children's charity that teaches family and communities how to help kids with complex health issues thrive in a home environment instead of being institutionalized for life. Fueled by community support, Dream House has set the standard for home care of medically fragile children, which will someday have national impact. The organization aims to improve the quality of life for these children, including dramatically reducing the number who are in foster care. Since 2001, Dream House has served over 820 family members caring for more than 830 medical fragile children in 37 Georgia counties.

This is a wonderful partnership that benefits the most medically fragile of children. Some of the children served by Dream House will rely on treatments, medications or equipment for the rest of their lives. Their needs are complex, and it is refreshing to learn that a non-profit (and a corporation) are giving these children and their families a voice.

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Selective Group Foundation Donates $30,000 to Iowa Flood Recovery Effort

BRANCHVILLE, N.J. — Flood relief efforts across the Midwest received a much-needed boost this week, as

Selective Insurance Group, Inc., announced a $30,000 donation to the American Red Cross from The Selective Group Foundation. The donation will assist with flood relief efforts across the Midwest. The company also launched an employee giving campaign that will raise additional money to benefit victims of the flooding.

On behalf of Selective's Independent Agents across the state of Iowa and all of Selective's employees, The Selective Group Foundation will make financial contributions to Red Cross chapters in Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Des Moines and the Quad Cities area.

"We are proud to have Selective as a valuable partner as we continue to deliver upon the promise to bring hope and relief to thousands of Iowans in need," says Jodie Warth, chief development officer of the Central Iowa Chapter. "The Red Cross relies on companies like Selective. Investments such as this assure that Red Cross disaster relief services are immediately provided to families suffering loss."

Selective Insurance Group, Inc. is a holding company for seven property and casualty insurance companies rated "A+" (Superior) by A.M. Best. Through independent agents, the insurance companies offer primary and alternative market insurance for commercial and personal risks, and flood insurance underwritten by the National Flood Insurance Program. Other subsidiaries of the company provide claims, human resources and risk management services.

Selective's donations were inspired in part by agents, who have been working with those impacted by the flooding since day one. These communities need support now more than ever, and it's nice to see Selective taking the lead.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

AT&T Pledges $1 Million in Support of the National Urban League's Project Ready College Access Program

DALLAS — AT&T Inc. announced a $1 million contribution over two years in support of the National Urban League's (NUL) Project Ready College Access Program. Targeting 11th and 12th graders, it is an initiative that seeks to provide enhanced academic support to students in high school and prepare them for post-secondary education.

The project works with families to accomplish the following: increase college awareness; improve navigational and life skills; raise confidence and self-awareness around decision making; gain greater understanding and appreciation for one's own cultural identity and cultural diversity; and understand the correlation between higher education and income.

"We strongly support the great work of the National Urban League's Project Ready Program. This program is particularly effective in encouraging students to set goals and understand the correlation between higher education and future life success," said Marie Long, vice president of Constituency Relations at AT&T.

AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its philanthropic initiatives and partnerships, AT&T supports projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; and address community needs. In 2007, AT&T contributed more than $164 million through corporate-, employee- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs. AT&T and the AT&T Foundation, the corporate philanthropy organization of AT&T, combine more than $1.9 billion of historic charitable commitment to communities across the country.

AT&T Inc. is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates, AT&T operating companies, are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. Among their offerings are the world's most advanced IP-based business communications services and the nation's leading wireless, high speed Internet access and voice services. In domestic markets, AT&T is known for the directory publishing and advertising sales leadership of its Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations, and the AT&T brand is licensed to innovators in such fields as communications equipment. As part of its three-screen integration strategy, AT&T is expanding its TV entertainment offerings. In 2008, AT&T again ranked No. 1 on Fortune magazine's World's Most Admired Telecommunications Company list and No. 1 on America's Most Admired Telecommunications Company list.

This program will benefit many high school students, and it is admirable that National Urban League has partnered with the Academy for Educational Development to measure the program's success.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Flitz International Supports Children's Hospital of Wisconsin

WATERFORD, Wisc. — Flitz International announced that $2 from each of its premium polishing products sold at the 2008 Wisconsin State Fair will benefit Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

“It is always a good thing when corporations give back to society,” said Ulrich Jentzsch, president of Flitz International. “Even better, when they give back to their local community.”

Angelica Hensley, chief operations officer for Flitz, added “Flitz chose Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin as recipient of this donation specifically because "its efforts can have such an immediate, positive impact on the lives of its young patients. We are proud to assist Children’s Hospital in brightening the days of those children and their families."

Flitz International is a manufacturer of premium polishing products and is headquartered in Waterford, Wisc. The company has been a leader in the manufacture of premium polishing products for 30 years.

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is recognized as one of the leading pediatric health care centers in the United States. It is included on Child magazine’s 10 Best Children’s Hospitals list and is named by U.S.News & World Report as one of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is a Level I Pediatric Trauma Center verified by the American College of Surgeons. Children’s Hospital is the flagship member of Children’s Hospital and Health System. The health system is able to fulfill its mission thanks in part to philanthropic gifts and support from members of the community. Private, independent and not-for-profit, the hospital serves children and families from Wisconsin, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, northern Illinois and beyond.

It's nice to see a local company supporting an important cause in its own community. The Children's Hospital is planning an expansion to better meet the needs of children and their families in its service area, and every dollar of support will help.

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