Friday, July 31, 2009

Boeing Continues Support to Chicago High Schools

CHICAGO — New Leaders for New Schools, a nationally recognized program devoted to urban education reform through cutting-edge principal training and support, and The Boeing Company today announced that The Boeing Company Charitable Trust has awarded $320,000 in support of New Leaders' work in Chicago high schools. This grant brings Boeing's seven-year commitment to the Chicago program to $2.4 million.

As a leading supporter of New Leaders for New Schools, The Boeing Company is a member of the national board of New Leaders. Last year, Anne Roosevelt, Vice President of Boeing Global Corporate Citizenship, received a Leadership Award at the New Leaders' Chicago's Leadership Awards Gala for being an extraordinary advocate for Chicago Public School children.

"All research shows that when there is strong school and classroom leadership, children do better," said Nora Moreno Cargie, director of Boeing Global Corporate Citizenship in Chicago. "We want to continue to support the results seen by New Leaders for New Schools, where on average students in schools where they are engaged outperformed the district in math and reading. Additionally, New Leaders-led high school students graduated at a rate of 81 percent, compared with district average graduation rates of 69 percent in the 2007-08 academic year."

New Leaders for New Schools has partnered with Chicago Public Schools since 2001. 135 New Leaders have been trained and are driving change and ensuring student achievement for nearly 50,000 Chicago Public School children.

New Leaders is incredibly grateful for the amazing support The Boeing Company has provided our Chicago program," said Jon Schnur, New Leaders for New Schools CEO. "Their generous contribution fuels our pursuit to propel academic improvements for the children in Chicago Public Schools."

New Leaders for New Schools mission ensures high academic achievement for every student by attracting and preparing outstanding leaders and supporting the performance of the urban public schools they lead, at scale. It has partnerships in Baltimore, the Bay Area of California, Charlotte, Chicago, Memphis, Milwaukee, Greater New Orleans, New York City, Prince George's County (MD), and Washington, DC. Since 2000, New Leaders has selected and trained over 550 outstanding leaders from over 8,500 applicants. New Leaders for New Schools was recognized in 2005 as the highest rated social enterprise and nonprofit in the nation by Fast Company magazine, and was the only national group chosen by the U.S. Department of Education in its best practices guide to school leadership.

Boeing, headquartered in Chicago, is the world's leading aerospace company and the largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft combined. Additionally, Boeing designs and manufactures rotorcraft, electronic and defense systems, missiles, satellites, launch vehicles and advanced information and communication systems. As a major service provider to NASA, Boeing operates the Space Shuttle and International Space Station. The company also provides numerous military and commercial airline support services. Boeing has customers in more than 90 countries around the world and is one of the largest U.S. exporters in terms of sales.

Although Boeing is a company that works in countries across the world and could receive more attention by supporting a national or even international nonprofit, they haven't forgotten the importance of supporting their community. Their donation of over $2.4 million, over the last seven years to local education, is an investment in their community, but also in employees and their families. It's refreshing to see a large company adopt such practices. I am sure their employees appreciate the investment in their children's future.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Local Companies Donate Goods To Cooling Stations

HENDERSON, Nev. -- No one feels the heat like the homeless in Las Vegas. That's why the city added more cooling stations and local businesses are donating items to make the summer a little more bareable.

Citibank dropped off cases of water, sunscreen, crayons, coloring books, and pencils. In addition, TWI Group donated company t-shirts. These items help distract from the stifling heat and make the cooling stations all the more welcoming.

Also, county employees have been going to parks and handing out water to the homeless along with maps of the new cooling centers.

The cooling stations in Henderson are a place where homeless can relax, cool down, drink some water and get out of the heat. As temperatures climb to dangerous highs, the cooling stations are absolutely necessary.

At Valley View Recreation Center, they call them Compassion Stations, where the homeless can cool off, use clean restrooms, drink water and even enjoy a good book.

“It’s critical because there are lots of places they are not allowed to go -- they don’t feel welcome. And a place like this is for those people but also for seniors without air conditioning and people who need to get out of the heat and don’t have a place to go," said Kim Becker, of Henderson Parks and Recreation.

The cooling stations are Cambridge Recreation Center, Hollywood Recreation Center, Walnut Recreation Center, Dula Gymnasium, Valley View Recreation Center, Catholic Charities, the Salvation Army and Shade Tree. Call 211 from any pay phone to find the nearest cooling center.

This is a great example of how to get involved in the community in a down economy. As the dollars donated to local charities quickly diminish, donating goods can be a great alternative. Even if you think the items are insignificant, you may be suprised at the excitement with which they are received. Sure, maybe a company t-shirt doesn't seem impactful, but if it was the first clean shirt you'd worn in weeks, you might think otherwise. So, survey your office and donate those items collecting dust in the corner. I guarantee someone has use for them.

Monday, July 27, 2009

SONIC and Partner to Support Local Teachers

OKLAHOMA CITY — Resources and funding for teachers are lessening everyday, and SONIC Drive-In is stepping in to help. Through a new program, Limeades for Learning, SONIC will donate more than half a million dollars to classrooms in local communities across the country and SONIC customers will direct the donation. The program stems from SONIC's new partnership with, a non-profit organization that helps public school educators find resources for classroom projects they wouldn't have funding for otherwise.

"SONIC and our franchisees have supported schools in local communities for decades," said Clifford Hudson, chairman and chief executive officer for Sonic Corp. "During a time when teachers need help the most, we look forward to partnering with to place supplies into classrooms and ultimately help students reach their full potential."

August 31 through October 1, when customers purchase a small through Route 44 sized fountain or frozen drink at SONIC, they can go online and vote for their favorite teacher's classroom project. Each drink will have a unique code used to place one vote for projects registered. SONIC will fund up to $100,000 of projects with the most votes each Friday for five weeks during the campaign. Though the voting campaign doesn't begin until late August, teachers are encouraged to visit Limeades for Learning to register their project and learn more.

"Limeades for Learning and its integration into the entire SONIC system is a first for," said Charles Best, founder and CEO of "We're excited to embark on this unique opportunity and look forward to helping even more teachers because of it."

Limeades for Learning is a great way to do good, while also engaging the SONIC consumer. Many companies assign a product that when purchased benefits a cause, but few go farther. Limeades for Learning allows the customer to vote for which school supplies SONIC's donation supports with the simple purchase of a small fountain or frozen drink. Not only does this show a corporate philanthropic spirit, but it also encourages it within the consumer by empowering them to be involved in the giving process.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Subaru Sponsors Seek The Peak Fundraiser

CHERRY HILL, NJ — Subaru of America, Inc. will once again sponsor the Seek the Peak Hike-a-Thon, July 24-25. With every step, hikers will help raise money for the Mount Washington Observatory (MWO). In 2008, hikers raised over $100,000 for the 77-year old non-profit organization.

The Mount Washington Observatory is a private, non-profit scientific and educational institution organized under the laws of the state of New Hampshire. Its mission is to advance understanding of the natural systems that create the Earth's weather and climate, by maintaining its mountaintop weather station, conducting research and educational programs and interpreting the heritage of the Mount Washington region.

"Sponsoring Seek the Peak is a great way for Subaru to interact with people that have an affinity for our products," notes Tim Mahoney, senior vice president and CMO, Subaru of America, Inc. "We know that our customers enjoy the types of educational activities offered through the Mount Washington Observatory and hope that our support has helped expand their educational offerings."

Subaru renewed it sponsorship with the Mount Washington Observatory in 2009. The brands are a good fit as Subaru customers are adventure seekers as are those who visit the legendary Mount Washington Observatory.

"Subaru's support means so much to the Observatory," says Scot Henley, Mount Washington Observatory Executive Director. "As a presenting sponsor of Seek the Peak and an underwriter of our educational programs, Subaru makes a real impact in the Observatory, year after year."

This year marks the seventeenth year of the Mount Washington Observatory sponsorship, which is Subaru's longest running non-profit partner. Subaru is the "Official Vehicle" of the Mount Washington Observatory and the observatory receives two vehicles from the manufacturer to support its mission in education and research.

As seen in the February edition of National Geographic Magazine, Mount Washington is home to some of the fiercest winter conditions on the planet. During summer, it is the pinnacle of the New England hiking scene, with several routes to choose from, unique above-tree line tundra and stunning views east to the Atlantic Ocean, north to Canada and west to the Adirondacks.

Many companies are using the economic recession as an excuse to lessen their philanthropic endeavors, but not Subaru. In fact, Subaru is doing good and promoting their business. The Seek the Peak event is a great way, as (more or less) stated by Subaru's CMO, for Subaru to interact with their target demographic. The partnership with MWO allows Subaru to invest in its consumers by supporting a cause that they are passionate about. Thus, improving not only the consumer relationship with the product, but also increasing the strength of their brand. And let's be honest, we love when our favorite companies support the things important to us.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

IBM Partners with Nonprofit to Mentor Returning Vets

NEW YORK — IBM partners with American Corporate Partners (ACP), as part of a nationwide career mentoring program for the generation of veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

ACP, a New York-based nonprofit, provides a unique career development opportunity for veterans, from former enlisted members and officers to current Reservists and National Guard members, who have served on active duty after 2001. Also welcome in the program are the spouses of those service members severely wounded or who died while serving. ACP is not a jobs program, but designed to assist veterans in their career development.

"I don't believe there is another program like this in the country," says ACP founder Sid Goodfriend. "You don't have to be an expert or possess a particular skill set to be a mentor. What we are looking for are mentors who care and are willing to put the time in with the veterans. This will be a real boost to our program because IBM employees are innovators and role models in the business world who have community service in their DNA."

IBM has enlisted its award-winning, community volunteer program, On Demand Community, to serve as the company's online recruiting hub to initially provide mentors in five U.S. cities — New York, Washington, D.C., Raleigh/Durham, Denver and San Francisco — to help veterans transition from the armed services to private enterprise through career counseling and networking with IBM's cadre of professionals serving as role models.

On Demand Community delivers to IBM volunteers a portfolio of more than 200 proven technology solutions for schools and nonprofit organizations. The site also enables them to assess their skills, take online training to improve their volunteer efforts, and search for volunteer opportunities based upon their time, areas of interest, and other criteria. Today, On Demand Community includes more than 124,000 employees with close to 6,150,000 volunteer hours logged, and almost 13,000 retirees with close to 2,700,000 volunteers hours logged.

Here's how the new program works:

• Mentors are chosen by ACP Staff. The ideal mentor is over 35 years old and has significant corporate experience.
• Mentors and Proteges are matched one-on-one by city and according to their mentoring preferences.
• ACP encourages Mentors and Proteges to spend four hours together monthly engaging in the activities of their choice.
• The mentoring commitment is for one year, with both parties encouraged to maintain the relationship for a considerably greater period of time.
• Once matched, ACP staff will be in contact regularly to track the progress of the relationship.

"The addition of American Corporate Partners gives IBM volunteers another opportunity to share their wisdom," said Gary Ambrose, IBM Vice President for the US Department of Defense and retired US Air Force Brigadier General. "IBM volunteers are not only caring, but they have a lot of constructive and practical advice they can share with veterans based on their own professional experiences. This is the right thing to do for the returning men and women who have given so much to their country."

As part of the resources IBM is bringing to the program, the company will now make available to all veterans, from enlisted members and officers to current Reservists and National Guard members, access to an online portal used by entrepreneurs called the Small Business Toolkit. It provides marketing and sales advice often only obtainable by Fortune 1000 companies, along with tax forms and guidelines for operating a global business and business calculators to help decipher costs of insurance, HR, etc.

IBM joins a growing list of corporate partners including Campbell Soup, Energy Future Holdings, General Electric, The Home Depot, MacAndrews and Forbes, Morgan Stanley, News Corporation, PepsiCo, URS Corporation, and Verizon Communications. In addition, two universities have joined the program: The University of Oklahoma and The University of Texas. Employees from each company or university volunteer to mentor veterans in one-on-one partnerships for one year.

By offering mentoring and networking opportunities with corporate mentors, ACP provides veterans and reservists with the tools needed to build a successful civilian career. Participation is open to qualified veterans and reservists who have served on active duty since 2001. ACP also serves the spouses of those who were severely wounded or died while serving. ACP is currently accepting applications from qualified veterans in its sixteen participating cities. Those interested may apply online.

American Corporate Partners is a nationwide mentoring program dedicated to helping veterans transition from the armed services to private enterprise through career counseling and networking with professionals from leading US companies. ACP features a bi-partisan Advisory Council of retired generals and political figures, including Generals Richard Meyers, Peter Pace, and Jack Keane, former U.S. Senators Bob Dole and Bob Kerry, and former Cabinet-level officials Richard Danzig, George Shultz and Paul Wolfowitz. The program operates in Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Norwalk, CT, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Raleigh/Durham, San Antonio, the San Francisco Bay Area, Tulsa, and Washington, DC.

Facilitating a mentor program is a great way to boost company morale. It allows staff to engage with their coworkers on a different level. Instead of the infamous water cooler gossip, they have a shared positive experience to discuss. And by investing in your community, you are also investing in your staff.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Aflac Fights Pediatric Cancer

ATLANTA, GA — Children's Healthcare of Atlanta - Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service reached the 10,000 member mark for causes on Facebook.

For those who are already a member of the cause on Facebook, you are probably aware of the many contributions Aflac has made to pediatric cancer, but for the rest of us, you can see why so many people have joined the cause.

In 1995, Aflac and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta joined forces in the fight against childhood cancer and blood disorders by establishing the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service.

Aflac assumed a $3 million sponsorship of the center, which was then located at the Egleston campus of Children's. Aflac helped transform the facility into one of the most modern of its kind. In February of 1998, Egleston and Scottish Rite merged to become Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, with an Aflac Cancer Center at both campuses. Aflac's employees, executives, and sales associates have embraced the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service as the company's largest community project.

In addition to the company's initial donation to the renovation of the cancer center at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Aflac employees help support patients and their families year-round through volunteer opportunities and fundraising events. Also, members of the Aflac sales force may elect to have monthly deductions from their checks and regularly engage in friendly competition among other Aflac associates to raise money for the Aflac Cancer Center.

Though it may be far from their own backyards, Aflac's sales force (with representatives in each of the fifty states) is aware of the national preeminence of the hospital and its treatment of children from all over the United States. In December 2001 Dan Amos, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Aflac announced a gift of $10 million to the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. The gift is the largest in Aflac's history and is the largest corporate gift ever made to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

In addition to its role as Aflac's brand icon, the Aflac Duck has come to symbolize the companies national philanthropic focus of pediatric cancer treatment and research. Over 73,000 lush Aflac Ducks have been sold on the Aflac Web site, with proceeds benefitting the Aflac Cancer Center.

During the 2008 holiday season, Aflac again partnered with Macy's to sell special limited editon Aflac Holiday Ducks. More than $2 million has been raised to fight pediatric cancer since the sales began in 2001. Funds were donated to children's hospitals across the country.

A little effort can make a big difference. It may seem insignificant, the mere act of buying an Aflac Duck, but it was all those small acts that now benefit children across the nation. Think of small ways to get involved that make a big difference — there are many. At the very least, join a cause on your social networking sites and get the word out about who is doing good.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

NV Energy Steps Up in Support of AmeriCorps

LAS VEGAS — NV Energy donated $5,000 in support of Nevada Volunteers, a nonprofit organization and gateway to the AmeriCorps program.

Nevada Volunteers faces a financial crisis due to an oversight in the last legislative session. Had the bill passed, federal funding would have matched the states investment 19:1, bringing in $7.5 million to the state over the next two years. Now, Nevada Volunteers is relying solely on the support of the community to raise the money.

Fortunately, some members of the community are taking action. The $32,500 needed by Oct. 1 seemed like a debilitating amount to Nevada Volunteers, until NV Energy led the community with their donation, reducing the amount owed to $27,500. Motivated by NV Energy's initiative, another $250 was donated anonymously.

"It's refreshing to see some businesses, individual citizens, and members of the media like KLAS taking a lead to help save AmeriCorps in Nevada," said Richard Becker, commissioner for Nevada Volunteers. "We clearly need more help until the state recognizes the need and finds a suitable solution to save AmeriCorps. Sometimes, even a single business donation can be the catalyst for an entire community to rally behind."

Since it was formed eleven years ago as the Nevada Commission for National and Community Service, Nevada Volunteers has provided the administration for programs in which nearly 2,000 AmeriCorps members — mostly college age students paid minimum wage — have provided needed services throughout the state. Add thousands of volunteers to the mix and the effect on social services and the environment has been substantial.

As one example, during the 2007-08 service year, the organization provided support to 721 homeless veterans, giving them the ability to maintain a stable place of residence. In another community AmeriCorps members have collected and distributed almost 60,000 pounds of food and clothing to 21,500 Nevadans.

Whether it is a $5,000 donation or a $5 donation, it could be the catalyst for change in your community. NV Energy saw the value in investing in the community, and it didn't take long for others to follow suit. Often, this is all it takes.

If you too would like to donate to Nevada Volunteers, please visit their Web site.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Stripes Supports Programs for Children

CORPUS CHRISTI — The United Way of the Coastal of the Bend wants to better local children’s lives. Stripes gave more than $68,000 on Tuesday to help make that happen.

Stripes charitable contributions focus on efforts designed to enhance the health and education of youth residing in the communities served by the company.  

“United Way is focusing on three areas: education, income and health,” said Catrina Wilson, United Way president and CEO. “We believe those are the real building blocks for a good life.”

The donation will benefit more than 17,000 Coastal Bend children in about 20 non-profit organizations, including the Boys & Girls Club of Corpus Christi, Bethune Day Care Nursery and the YMCA of the Coastal Bend.

Funds were raised through Stripes’ annual Turf & Surf Golf and Fishing tournament. The event raised more than $300,000, which will go to the 30 United Way organizations in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico where Stripes has stores.

In addition to their contribution to United Way, earlier this month, Stripes committed a minimum of $1 million to Driscoll Children's Hospital to support the Stripes Child Life Program.  At least $200,000 annually will be given to the hospital over the next five years.  This year, officials are expecting to donate more than $300,000.  

“Our heart of charitable giving is for the kids,” said Steven DeSutter, Stripes president and CEO. “Their education and their health. Children are our future.”

Stripes' multi-level involvement in the community is a great paradigm for other businesses.  Their tailored giving policy — spreading out the donation over a period of time — serves as a reminder that it's not necessarily how or how much you give, but that you give, that makes a difference.  

Monday, July 13, 2009

Ciara Teams Up with and Staples in National School Supply Drive

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — and Staples are teaming up for the 2nd annual national Do Something 101 school supply drive. Joining them to support the cause is Grammy®-winning singer-songwriter, Ciara.

She is encouraging teens to make a difference this summer by collecting school supplies and dropping them off at their nearest Staples store, from July through September.

In addition, Staples customers can get involved by donating $1 at any Staples store with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting local teens in need. Each Staples store is matched to a local educational and not-for-profit organization serving disadvantaged youth, and and Staples will ensure that all the donations get to these partners just in time to head back to school.

"The Do Something 101 campaign is such a great cause. I can’t imagine going to school without pencils, notebooks and other basic supplies,” said Ciara. “Every little bit counts and, through Do Something 101, the more we can get these essential products to teens, the more we help kids stay in school and excel even further. I look forward to working with and Staples to spread the word!"

To help kick-off the campaign, Ciara is starring in a public service announcement (PSA) that will air on television and radio stations nationwide, and Staples is donating more than $125,000 worth of school supplies to the program.

“The feedback from teen volunteers and recipients during our inaugural school supply drive in 2008 was inspiring,” said Demos Parneros, president of U.S. stores at Staples. “With help from celebrities like Ciara, we will continue to raise awareness for underserved youth in local communities who need the basic supplies to succeed in school.”

Teens who want to get involved can go to for ideas on how to run local school supply drives. Whether holding a school supply drive at summer camp, during a summer sports league, or at a neighborhood block party, and Staples offer tips, resources, and flyers for how to get started and make the most of every teen’s summer.

“ is all about encouraging teens to take action in their own communities. We’re proud to be spearheading a campaign for the second year, with the help of Staples, that allows young people to really make a difference among their peers,” said Nancy Lublin, chief executive officer of

The Do Something 101 initiative is an unique opportunity to get involved on a local level, while still impacting children across the nation. It inspires Teens to make a difference in their own communities by encouraging them to use a variety of outlets to host a school supply drive. Not only does this initiative have a positive effect on the respective communities, but it also instills a sense of giving in younger generations.

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