Friday, November 27, 2009

Collaborative Consulting Partners with The Home for Little Wanderers

BOSTON — Collaborative Consulting, a company that specializes in optimizing its clients' business and technology capabilities, has partnered with the nation's oldest child and family services agency — The Home for Little Wanderers — to help make holiday wishes come true for at-risk children this holiday season. By donating staff time and services, Collaborative Consulting has created a new functionality for The Home's Big Wishes for Little Wanderers Gift Drive online "wish list" database that will allow donors to fulfill more than 3,600 wishes.

According to Christine Robertson, The Home's Graphic Design and Web Manager, "The Collaborative Consulting Team that has been working on this project has improved the capabilities of our system to make it user-friendly for staff and donors. Their work on the wish list website will not only benefit The Home's donors and program staff, but ultimately the children and families we serve."

The site's new functionalities also allow donors to easily choose between "Adopt a Family" and "Children's Wishlists" links and provide an option to narrow searches by a child or family member's age, gender, and type of gift request.

"Last year we were able to help more than 100 families and nearly 500 family members through our Adopt a Family program," explained Scott Inman senior corporate relations manager. "In tough economic times, many of our families are in desperate need of necessities such as clothing and household items, so the enhancements to the site come at an important time as the need for our services continues to grow."

The Home for Little Wanderers' annual Big Wishes for Little Wanderers Gift Drive is one of the oldest toy drives in the Boston area. The event runs December 1 - 22, 2009. Donations may be delivered to the Toy Room at 161 South Huntington Ave., Jamaica Plain, MA or at a community drop-off location. To learn more, visit the website.

With the increased need this holiday season making a fundraiser more accessible is only going to increase a non-profit's reach to potential donors. By creating an online website to host The Home for Little Wanderers' holiday toy drive, it not only makes it easier for locals to participate, but it creates an opportunity for non-local donors to get involved. Collaborative Consulting Partners is giving this non-profit a gift that will continue to positively affect the community for a long time to come. The best part is, it didn't take loads of money, it just took a company to recognize its strengths and use them for good.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Southwest Airlines Employees Give Turkeys to Feed Thousands

DENVER — In response to a call for help feeding Denver's poor and homeless population during the holidays and beyond, Southwest Airlines today announced a $50,000 donation to the Denver Rescue Mission, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing food, shelter, clothing, and rehabilitation services to the estimated 11,000 homeless people in Denver.

The donation is the largest turkey donation in the Denver Rescue Mission's history, and the food will be distributed to families at this year's Thanksgiving Banquet-in-a-Box and be served at this year's Great Thanksgiving Banquet. Additional turkeys will be distributed to families in need through churches and other non-profits across the Denver Metro area.

"Southwest Airlines is committed to Denver, and our commitment includes helping the less fortunate. In these challenging economic times, we're grateful for the opportunity to step forward to support the Denver Rescue Mission," said Dave LaPorte, Southwest's Station Manager in Denver. "By supporting something so close to the hearts and minds of our Denver Customers and local Employees, we're making an investment to help strengthen our community."

The Denver Rescue Mission will serve the turkeys purchased by Southwest and other donors beginning on Wednesday, Nov. 25, during the Great Thanksgiving Banquet, an annual event hosted by Colorado Governor Bill Ritter. Additional items needed for the Thanksgiving food boxes include canned fruit, canned vegetables, canned pumpkin, boxed stuffing, canned cranberries, and canned yams. Donations can be dropped off at the Denver Rescue Mission's Lawrence Street Shelter at the corner of Park Avenue and Lawrence Street.

"By stepping up to the plate with the largest turkey donation in the Denver Rescue Mission's history, at a time when other local companies have been forced to cut back, Southwest Airlines has demonstrated a strong commitment to the Denver community," said Brad Meuli, president and CEO of the Denver Rescue Mission.

Southwest Airlines Employees from Denver also will volunteer at the Denver Rescue Mission to help prepare for this year's Great Thanksgiving Banquet. Southwest encourages its employees to get involved in the communities they serve through its Share the Spirit program, which helps the airline's Employees make a difference in cities across the U.S.

This is a great example of a national corporation making a big difference in a small community. Southwest's giving model encourages employees to give locally. It would be easy for a corporation of its size to only give to the high profile national nonprofits, but instead they take a much more grassroots approach. It's encouraging to see a company take such pride in the individual communities it serves.

Monday, November 23, 2009

You Decide What Matters


For the first time ever, Facebook® users will be able to choose from more than 500,000 small and local charities to decide which community organizations they want to receive donations totaling millions of dollars from a corporate philanthropy fund. Chase and Facebook launching Chase Community Giving: You Decide What Matters, a grassroots campaign to inspire a new way of corporate philanthropy.

“Every year, our company donates more than $100 million to non-profit organizations in local communities, nationally and abroad, and our employees dedicate countless hours of their own time to helping those in need,” says Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co. “The grassroots nature of Facebook will allow us to hear directly which local charities matter most to our communities, hopefully creating an even bigger impact.”

Chase is enlisting Facebook users, now totaling more than 300 million, to vote for which small and local non profits will receive donations totaling $5 million. The eligible charity receiving the most votes will be awarded $1 million, the top five runners-up will receive $100,000 each and the 100 finalists, including the top winners, will be awarded $25,000 each. Additionally, a special Advisory Board featuring members who are active in philanthropy, including actress Eva Longoria, Do Something founder Nancy Lublin and NBA Hall of Famer David Robinson, will allocate a total of $1 million to the nominated charities of its choice.

“Facebook has become a global platform people use for all types of philanthropic causes from medical research and human rights, to disaster assistance and children’s rights,” says Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook. “Chase's creative approach -- crowdsourcing for charity -- puts the power of corporate giving directly in the hands of Facebook users. Thanks to the Chase Community Giving program, millions of Americans will be able to join together to have an unprecedented philanthropic impact on communities across the nation.”

Online tools are making it increasingly easy to reach a large consumer base in order to affect change. Much to some's dismay the online world gives the consumer infinite choice, so much so that consumers have come to both expect and relish it. Chase's community giving campaign exemplifies their ability to adapt in order to make the greatest impact — a positive thing, both in for and non profit.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Brown Bag Project



On Nov. 21, BlogCatalog.com and HalfHourMeals.com are asking bloggers to help someone in need by packing a meal and delivering it to a family in need, holding a food drive at your school or church or business, or donating food or money to your local food bank.

Then, use your blog to raise awareness about hunger, share what you learned from giving, or motivate others to help someone who is hungry.

BlogCatalog.com and HalfHourMeals.com staff will be hand delivering meals to families in San Antonio on the day of the event. We will be delivering them anonymously and attaching a card that says "from someone who cares about you."

If you are unable to physically deliver a meal to someone or deliver food to a food bank, there are ways to donate online.

Our local San Antonio Food Bank has a virtual food drive that makes donating food or funds as easy as clicking a few buttons. You can donate to their virtual food drive here.

Or, look for a virtual food drive sponsored by your local food bank.

Not only have BloggersUnite events generated widespread awareness for a variety of causes, but BlogCatalog also encourages philanthropy within its own company. Encouraging consumers to participate in philanthropic endeavors is great, but it has little impact if your company isn't taking action as well. It seems simple, but leading by example is a powerful thing.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Public Service Enterprise Group Celebrates the Power of Volunteerism


NEWARK, N.J. — Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) is celebrating the power of volunteerism by recognizing exemplary employee volunteers and rewarding the nonprofit organizations they support. The energy company will award 17 New Jersey nonprofits a total of $34,000 in recognition of the work of employees who donate their time and energy to philanthropic organizations throughout the Garden State.

The employees were formally recognized today by PSEG Chairman Ralph Izzo and Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells at an afternoon luncheon at the company's headquarters.

"Though our employees expend a great deal of energy at work, they still manage to find time to give back and make their communities better," said Ralph Izzo, PSEG chairman, president, and CEO. "We honor their commitment and support their efforts. They are truly remarkable."

The nonprofits receiving the grants are as diverse as the employees who support them. This year's recipient organizations provide valuable services for youth, the homeless, disabled, elderly and low-income families, and concentrate their efforts on areas such as substance abuse, grief counseling, premature births, conservation and animal rescue.

For a list of awardees please visit PSEG's website.

Taking a moment to honor your employees for their philanthropic contributions is an ideal way to foster a giving spirit within your company and the community at large. Not only does PSEG encourage employees to get involved, but they also provide the causes additional financial support, thus demonstrating their commitment both to the community and their employees.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Medela Recognizes National Prematurity Awareness Month

Every year, 20 million babies are born to soon, too small and very sick — half a million of them in the United States. In an effort to reduce the increase in prematurity around the world, we are joining BloggersUnite.org and March of Dimes to spread awareness and funding for continued education and research. We are honored to dedicate today's post in order to highlight one of the many companies supporting March of Dimes during the month of November.

MCHENRY, Ill. — Medela will host a Virtual Human Milk (breastmilk) Collection Campaign in honor of the March of Dimes' National Prematurity Awareness Month and the thousands of dedicated Neonatal healthcare professionals nationwide.

Throughout the month of November, individuals can visit Medela's website to register their vote for their preferred Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The four NICUS, one in each of four geographic regions, that obtain the most votes will receive at least $5,000 each worth of Medela products or education services for their facility.

"Medela is committed to providing Neonatal healthcare professionals with products and education to help them better promote and provide the life saving benefits of breastmilk for the premature infants in their care," says Carolin Archibald, vice president, professional business at Medela Inc. "Human milk works like a medicine to help protect premature babies from many complications during and after their hospital stay."

Research shows the more human milk feedings, the better the health outcomes for the infant. Feeding human milk rather than formula in the NICU has shown to reduce the length of hospital stay, reduce the days of oxygen therapy needed, reduce the incidence of late onset sepsis, Necrotizing Entercolitis (NEC), ear infections, serious respiratory tract infections and gastroenteritis.

By voting, individuals are helping their preferred NICUs to potentially receive products and services from Medela. Each individual may only vote for one NICU. Winning NICU facilities will be notified by December 10, 2009. Full participation guidelines, terms and conditions are available at Medela's website.

"It is critical to equip NICUs with the products and knowledge needed to promote and provide the life giving benefits of human milk to the one in eight babies born prematurely each year in the U.S.," adds Archibald. "We hope this Virtual Human Milk Collection campaign brings awareness to this issue while rewarding outstanding NICU facilities that care for premature infants."

Medela has invested in the fight for preemies, but also in their products' ability to improve infant health. This demonstrates the company's passion for their product and the positive impact they believe it can have on the future of neonatal care.

Many companies began with a vision for improving one thing or another. Getting back to the foundation of why you started may inspire you to make a difference for a cause that desperately needs your help.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Six Flags Mobilizes Universal Workforce to Lend a Helping Hand

NEW YORK — Today Six Flags will close its gates to launch Project 6, the company's first annual Day of Service. The entire Six Flags workforce will collectively press pause on all day-to-day duties to spearhead and participate in volunteer projects within their local neighborhoods aimed at improving overall quality of life. All full-time employees will join more than 55 organizations from the US, Mexico and Canada to hand-deliver Six Flags smiles to those in need this holiday season.

All local volunteer initiatives will benefit organizations dedicated to the needs of children and families, public welfare or environmental issues. Each Six Flags employee, representing a broad spectrum of talents ranging from entertainment to engineering, will be paired with a project that matches their expertise. For example, Rob Lindsay, Maintenance Supervisor and 14-year veteran of Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, will lend his knowledge to Project WARM, a nonprofit based in Louisville, Kentucky that provides free weatherization services for low-income families who can no longer afford their high utility bills. His services will range from hanging plastic over windows to repairing broken glass to changing furnace filters.

"Six Flags' geographic span, coupled with the size, talent and quality of our workforce puts us in a position to inspire real and timely change," said Walt Hawrylak, SVP Administration. "Project 6 reconfirms our commitment to corporate responsibility by helping the communities in which we work, reside and play."

According to The Corporation for National & Community Service, as the economy slows and nonprofit organizations struggle to provide services, volunteers have become even more vital to the health of our nation's communities. Six Flags provides a realistic solution for many of these organizations. With almost 4,000 full-time employees participating in Project 6, Six Flags will donate more than 28,000 hours of service in just one business day - time worth over $567,000.*

Interrupting operations sends a powerful message to employees and consumers about the importance of philanthropy. Not many companies will take a potential loss in revenue, much less a guaranteed loss. Nevertheless, Six Flags didn't ask employees to donate personal time, instead Six Flags donated a day of work. It shows true leadership when a company takes such initiative.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Under Armour Steps Up in Support of the Wounded Warrior Project


In support of Bloggers Unite Veterans Day event, Who Will Stand, it is an honor to highlight the Wounded Warrior Project and their corporate sponsor, Under Armour. Their efforts continue to make a significant and lasting impact on our Veterans.

Baltimore, MD. — Under Armour (NSYE:UA) today announced its partnership with the Wounded Warrior Project, a not-for-profit organization that provides programs and services for injured service members and their families. The two have joined forces in conjunction with the University of South Carolina and University of Maryland football teams to recognize the sacrifices made by those who have served and those that continue to serve in our nation’s Armed Forces.

On November 14, in honor of our troops, the University of South Carolina Gamecocks and University of Maryland Terrapins will wear specially designed head-to-toe uniforms for their Game Day match-ups versus the University of Florida Gators and Virginia Tech Hokies respectively. The teams will take the field in black and desert camouflage uniforms featuring the Wounded Warrior Project logo. The uniforms will also have a unique twist; a core value embellishment - Duty, Honor, Courage, Commitment, Integrity, Country, and Service - will replace the players’ last name on the back of each jersey. Both games will be nationally televised.

Wounded Warrior Project and Under Armour will create special make-up products for fans to wear on game day to show their support. The gear will be sold in college book stores, local military base exchanges, and online. A percentage of the fan gear proceeds will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project. Additionally, a select number of game jerseys will be auctioned off after the game on the University websites and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.

“Partnering with an organization such as the Wounded Warrior Project allows Under Armour a unique opportunity to connect with college football fans and our athletes on a whole new level, while also supporting the overall mission of the Wounded Warrior Project - to build public awareness and help support injured service men and women and their families,” said Kevin Plank, founder and CEO of Under Armour. “We will continue to both honor and empower those who have been wounded and we are proud to support our troops.”

Under Armour's collaborative effort to support the Wounded Warrior Project greatly benefits Veterans, but also invigorates football fans to get involved and support the cause. Fan participation creates additional exposure for Under Armour and their notable contributions, while also increasing awareness about the undeniable need to support Veterans. As this example highlights, a healthy partnership can do a lot of good for the cause and your company.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Dominick's and ABC 7 Chicago Join Forces for Annual Holiday Food Drive in Support of Greater Chicago Food Depository

CHICAGO — Dominick's Finer Foods and ABC 7 Chicago will help stock pantry shelves this holiday season through the annual Dominick's & ABC 7 Chicago Holiday Food Drive. The eight-week event runs from Nov. 5, 2009, through Jan. 3, 2010. Last year, the food drive collected the equivalent of 837,653 pounds of food that benefited hungry men, women and children. This year, the goal is to gain the equivalent of more than 1 million pounds of food so that everyone in our community may enjoy the bounty of the holidays as 35 percent more people are turning to pantries for food assistance.

ABC 7 meteorologist Tracy Butler and anchor Hosea Sanders will help focus attention on the critical need to fight hunger, with live reports and weathercasts from three Dominick's stores on Tuesday, Dec. 1. To donate food and see the reports, visit the Dominick's store at 2550 N. Clybourn from 7-9 a.m., the store in Park Ridge (1900 S. Cumberland) from 11 a.m.-noon, and the store in Downers Grove (42 E. Ogden) from 4-4:30 p.m.

Additionally, Butler and Sanders will appear in public service announcements supporting the food drive. Butler has helped to spearhead the public service campaign for the Holiday Food Drive since 1999. ABC 7 public affairs program "Chicagoing," featuring Bill Campbell, will examine the issue of hunger in the area and the importance of the Holiday Food Drive with Kate Maehr, executive director, Greater Chicago Food Depository, Sunday, November 29 at 11:30 a.m. on ABC 7.

During this effort to fight hunger across Cook County, individuals can drop off nonperishable food items at the ABC 7 Chicago lobby, at 190 N. State Street, or at any local Dominick's location or by making a donation to the Greater Chicago Food Depository through Depository Dollars, available at the check-out counters of any Chicagoland Dominick's store in $1, $2 and $5 denominations. A complete listing of Dominick's stores can be found at www.dominicks.com.

A Virtual Food Drive will also be included on the ABC 7 Web site. The Virtual Food Drive appears similar to Web sites for online retailers, where Food Drive supporters can "buy" food items for donation to the Food Depository. All money raised from the Virtual Food Drive will be used to purchase high-quality, nutritious food needed by men, women and children in Cook County.

Dominick's Finer Foods and ABC 7 Chicago are leading their community in a multi-level effort to do good this holiday season. From encouraging individuals to donate can goods, donating themselves, and hosting an online donation campaign, they are doing everything they can to surpass the needs of the community. Not to mention, the ample media exposure their efforts are receiving — what better way to be known than as a company that is truly invested in the community it serves.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Verizon Legal Volunteers Launch New Program to Provide Free Legal Services

NEW YORK — Verizon attorneys and legal staff have started a program that will provide free legal services to needy individuals and nonprofit organizations.

The program helps address a major issue: Nearly 1 million poor people will be denied representation in courts across the country this year because of insufficient resources, according to a recent study by Legal Services Corporation.

Verizon attorneys, who specialize in a variety of legal fields, and legal staff, will donate their time, talents and professional expertise, with an emphasis on civil matters involving education, domestic violence, and supporting veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

"This program is a natural extension of Verizon's long-standing commitment to the communities we serve," said Randal Milch, executive vice president and general counsel for Verizon. "With attorneys and staffers in 20 states and the District of Columbia, Verizon's pro bono program has the potential to have a significant impact in many of these communities."

Under the program, the more than 700 attorneys, paralegals and staffers in the company's legal department will be encouraged to volunteer a minimum of 25 hours a year. The department has established a Pro Bono Committee to oversee the program, approve pro bono projects and partners, assess the program's effectiveness, and ensure that volunteers have access to proper training resources.

The program will provide legal assistance in three key areas: education, domestic violence, and Veterans.

To broaden the program's reach, Verizon has partnered with the law firm of DLA Piper, which has a similar program that provides legal services to the needy, and joined the Corporate Pro Bono Challenge - a program sponsored by Corporate Pro Bono. The Challenge's goal is for at least half of the members of Verizon's legal department to participate in the program.

Partnering with other companies in the community can be a great way to make a big difference. Through Verizon's determination to meet a community need, others are encouraged to join in, allowing a greater number of people to be impacted by Verizon's initiative.

There is a strength in numbers. If you are feeling overwhelmed by a cause you want to support, try partnering with other companies that have similar passions. You might be amazed at the impact you make and the new relationships you gain in the process.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Independent Film Unites Bloggers and Hosts Free Screening in Honor of Veterans Day



LAS VEGAS — In honor of Veterans Day, independent filmmakers are using "Who Will Stand" to raise awareness for veterans on Nov. 11.

The campaign includes a BloggersUnite.org event that asks bloggers to post and write about veterans on Veterans Day, including nonprofit organizations such as The Soldier's Project, Defending Freedom, Canines for Combat Wounded, Blue Star Mothers, and the Wounded Warrior Project.

Concurrent with the online event, The Galaxy Theatres at Cannery Casino & Hotel will host a special open-to-the-public, free screening of “Who Will Stand”. The screening will also feature entertainer Clint Holmes who performed the title song.

The free screenings will take place at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Veterans Day, Wednesday, Nov. 11 at the Galaxy Theatres in Las Vegas. Attendees are invited to make a donation to HELP USA LAS VEGAS, a Las Vegas-based organization that finds housing for homeless veterans.

The movie focuses on more than a dozen soldiers who were physically or psychologically wounded. It also profiles several charities dedicated to helping veterans.

Director Phil Valentine and Director of Photography Michael Bedik traveled across the United States to find soldiers who were willing to talk candidly about their issues. “Who Will Stand” is a call to action and inspires the community to help those brave men and women of our military.

A portion of the DVD sales will go to support organizations that help veterans anonymously, immediately and without cost. This includes the Wounded Warrior Project, Canines for Combat Wounded, The Soldiers Project and Help USA.

Not only is this film creating awareness in communities across the nation, but a portion of the proceeds will benefit many local nonprofits. By supporting the causes that support Veterans "Who Will Stand" is doing good and creating additional support for the film from people who are passionate about these causes.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Miracle Recreation Equipment Company Partners With National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to Promote Child Safety


MONETT, Mo. — Miracle Recreation Equipment Company proudly announced today they have become a corporate sponsor of The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC). They have pledged to donate more than $250,000 to NCMEC over the next three years, and to help cover lodging costs necessary to reunite family members upon the recovery of missing children.

The money will be used to support NCMEC's mission of finding missing children, preventing child abduction and sexual exploitation, and serving child victims and their families. It will also support NCMEC's prevention education efforts targeted at providing resources and information for families to help keep their children safer. As part of the partnership, NCMEC will develop child safety tips for playgrounds and parks.

"In today's world, we as a society must all look out for the safety and security of our children," said Mike Sutton director of sales at Miracle and a former law enforcement officer.

Miracle's donation will be funded by the sale of playgrounds incorporating Miracle's new patent pending MiracleTech® integrated security product line. The MiracleTech® product line includes the ParkWatch® infrared security camera to digitally record events and to help deter inappropriate activity, SiteBrite® low voltage lighting, and the SonicScreen® patented sound technology, which is designed to help deter vandalism after hours.

"It is with the generous support of partners like Miracle that we are able to continue our work and help make children safer and better prepared for the risks that they face in today's world," said Ernie Allen, NCMEC president and CEO. "Together we can provide families with the tools and resources that can help make our communities safer, something that is important to both of our organizations."

Miracle's dedication to this cause sends a strong message to costumers. Miracle doesn't just sell playground equipment, they are invested in children's safety and well-being. Safer communities means more people will utilize parks and playgrounds. When we give to the community, the community inevitably gives back.

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