Saturday, July 31, 2010

Companies Partner For Gulf Coast Fishing Families

On Aug. 25, Citizen Effect has slated a national day of action to help raise funds for educational programs designed to help fishing families impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf Coast. More than a dozen different companies and organizations have already committed to the cause.

The campaign is focused on social media and live events in more than 13 cities (and counting) around the United States, including Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Antonio, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. The events will have New Orleans themes with live jazz, blues, or Zydeco music.

Event hosts, many of them organized by the Social Media Club, will ask for a $10 donation. All proceeds being donated to Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans.

Other Ways To Help Fishing Families In The Gulf.

• Direct Donations To Citizen Effect CitizenGulf.
• Vote For Gulf Coast Benefit on Pepsi Refresh.
• Join BloggersUnite.org and help raise awareness.

The CitizenGulf National Day of Action is currently a living case study on how online and offline partnerships can work in tandem to help increase awareness, enhance attendance, and raise funds for worthwhile causes. To learn more, visit the link above or alternative review site Liquid [Hip].

Liquid [Hip] has also become a primary vehicle for bringing awareness to various causes close to our hearts. NBCB will be updated from time to time, but Liquid [Hip] will be our primary site to generate direct support for nonprofit organizations under the Good Will section, about once a month.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Starbucks Partners To Protect Forests


Arlington, Va. - In the battle to sustain natural resources, one area of focus remains offsetting carbon dioxide by replenishing forests. And recently, Starbucks and Conservation International (CI) partnered to help protect the forests, which naturally consume and offset carbon dioxide. This program began on Mar. 9 and will run through the end of the year.

This program partnership works by allowing customers to initiate a green program when they purchase any Starbucks products with the new CI Starbucks card. Starbucks will automatically donates five cents of each purchase to CI. The CI Starbucks card can be used as a gift card or for personal use.

“We have long shared our customers’ commitment to the environment,” said Ben Packard, vice president of Starbucks Global Responsibility. “Partnering with organizations like Conservation International allows Starbucks to give our customers an opportunity to make simple, sustainable decisions that collectively make a big difference.”

Upon receiving the donations from Starbucks, CI will allocate the money raised to protect and restore forests. Part of CI’s mission is to secure a globally stable climate.

“The involvement of Starbucks and their customers provides a tremendous boost to global forest conservation and climate solutions,” said Justin Ward, vice president of Business Practices at Conservation International. “We value our long term relationship with Starbucks and we are pleased that support raised from the Preservation Card will benefit sustainable management of the world’s natural resources.”

The program is another excellent example of how partnerships can successfully attain the common goal that enriches the community while allowing people to participate in a personal, local, and global way.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Pictage Develops Photography Skills for the Boys & Girls Club


LAS VEGAS - With new state and federal budgets cutting artistic programs in public schools, private companies and professional association members are stepping up to sustain them.

One recent example comes from Pictage, which is an association of professional photographers, who went to work with Boys & Girls Clubs of Las Vegas to host a photography education day. The half-day event, “Lens & Learn: Inspiring Kids with Photography,” benefited more than 100 boys and girls.

“This photography education day is an excellent example of our commitment, one which helps us expand our portfolio of program activities in the arts, and in education and career development," said Dulcinea Almazan, executive director and chief operating officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Las Vegas.

The program commenced with a class of photography basics. The first lesson included the importance of choosing content and the strategy in which to present it by using perspective, framing and lighting choices. Next, students learned the fundamentals of operating a digital Canon SLR camera. Understanding how the camera's aperture, f-stop, focal length and shutter speed operate together is key in producing a professional photograph.

Following the photography class, a photo “scavenger hunt” was set at the Springs Preserve. The challenge: to apply the photography basics they were taught and turn it into real world experience. The photos taken during the “scavenger hunt” were printed and made into a portfolio for each student to take home.

“It’s our sincere hope that this event encourages boys and girls of all ages to fully explore the creative appeal of photography, as a hobby or as a career, and we’re excited about doing many more of these experiential workshops across the country with this great organization and others,” said Jim Collins, chief executive officer of Pictage, Inc., and a passionate amateur photographer.

Companies and associations can make a big difference in our communities when federal and state funding is cut. Partnerships, especially those between professionals and children, are vital in helping children learn the value of education and the arts.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Drew Brees Raise The Bar For Community Giving

NEW ORLEANS — Nearly five years after hurricane Katrina, New Orleans continues to rebuild city structures such as schools, homes, recreation centers, and roads. But as Drew Brees, quarterback of the New Orleans Saints, (Saints) toured New Orleans during his recruitment trip, he discovered that the challenge entailed more than rebuilding a team. It meant helping to rebuild a city.

"This is where I belong," Drew Brees said. "And it felt like this was a calling."

Brees set the standard from day one. Its charity, The Brees Dream Foundation, immediately expanded outreach from the Layfayette/Purdue and San Diego communities to include New Orleans. The mission is to advance research in the fight against cancer and provide care, education and opportunities for children in need.

Since 2006, Brees has donated $4.5 million of his own money into The Brees Dream Foundation. And in addition to funding, Brees makes weekly appearances at community events and in classrooms. It helps connect him to and spend time with kids.

"It sends a really big signal that he's made himself a citizen of the community," says Errol Laborde, editor of New Orleans magazine.

Since, asking his fellow teammates to join in on charitable endeavors hasn't been difficult. One such opportunity came when local teacher Brian Bordainick, a teacher at George Washington Carver High School, asked the Saints to help with the school’s athletic program. The entire team helped, along with a personal commitment from Brees.

"Drew [Brees] didn't just cut a check," said Bordainick. "He came down to the school, toured the site, found out what was going on, and even followed up with e-mails afterward seeing how it was going."

Even after his recent Super Bowl victory, Brees contacted Bordainick again. This time, Brees had some ideas on how to raise more money for the school's athletic stadium and track. The result: an additional $15,000 with text message campaign, raising the total amount raided to $1.2 million.

Scott Fujita, linebacker of the Saints said, "...I've never been somewhere where players were so invested in it, where they spend so much time and so much money trying to help people. It's not just donating money to the United Way. It's players on the ground with hammers, helping build homes. The connection between players and the community here, it's unparalleled."

Alongside millions of dollars donated to charity efforts every year, Brees delivers integrity, respect, and devotion on and off the field. By investing in children and the community alike, Brees demonstrates the value of social advocacy as an individual and proud member of the New Orleans Saints.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Champions Against Child Hunger Finalists Compete Online


OMAHA, Neb. - In a time when millions of Americans struggle to put food on the table, the ConAgra Foods Foundation, in participation with Share Our Strength’s Operation Frontline program, celebrate individuals who help fight hunger in the Champions Against Child Hunger contest.

Five finalists from across the nation were selected in response to their inspiring and persistent work to help end child hunger.

“Each finalist has tackled the issue of child hunger in ways that are unique to the communities where they live and work,” said Chris Kircher, president, ConAgra Foods Foundation. “The five finalists embody the mission of the ConAgra Foods Foundation, and they are truly passionate about fighting hunger and ensuring that all kids have access to the food they need to live active, healthful lives.”

Although the top five finalists, Charlie Kozlesky, Nancy Pope, Tom Ramsey, Eileen Rasnick, and Diane Reeder were chosen by ConAgra Foods Foundation and Share Our Strength, the winner will be decided by consumers.

Through Mar. 18, consumers can cast their vote by visiting Champions Against Child Hunger's Web site. With the generous donation of $20,000 given to Share Our Strength for the competition, ConAgra Foods Foundation pledged to donate $1 more per vote (up to $80,000) until the contest ends.

The money earned during the voting period will be allocated to the winner, the top four finalists and to Share Our Strength or a food bank of their choice.

“Nearly 17 million kids in America struggle with hunger, but the Champions Against Child Hunger are changing that,” said Patricia Nicklin, managing director of Share Our Strength. “We hope that each story serves as an example to others and encourages more Americans to share their strengths to end child hunger in their own neighborhoods.”

With food scarcity at its highest recorded point, the top five finalists for the Champions Against Hunger contest are inspiring examples of an individual's ability to stimulate positive change in their community. They impact lives today for a better tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Safeway’s Annual 10% Back to School Program Raises $3.4 million



PLEASANTON, Calif. - Safeway and partnering manufacturers donated $3.4 million to schools across the nation through an annual 10 percent back-to-school program. For the past five years, Safeway’s "10% Back to School program," held August through September, helps schools earn money from purchases of more than 2,500 selected products during the back to school season.

Customers participate in the program. During the payment process, customers swipe their Safeway club cards and automatically accumulate donations or “school dollars” for the school of their choice. This year's program came at the right time, given government cutbacks. Thousands of schools and education programs need funding to sustain vital programs, purchase equipment, and recognize excellence.

“This will allow us to purchase laptops for the mobile computer lab,” said Tonya Hodsdon, office manager of Chapman Hill Elementary School in Salem, Ore. “We’re making due with less. Luckily we had some really motivated parents who wanted to help our school and they really supported this program.”

Facing the reality of the economy with nearly closing its doors, a children’s museum and educational activity center called The KidZone Museum, in Truckee, Calif. also earned $25,515 to remain open.

“This is a big donation for us,” said Romina Branje, manager of The KidZone Museum. “With the economic situation now, we’ve had to make some cutbacks. So we told everyone about the program. We are so happy for this support.”

The program demonstrates a commitment to communities where Safeway operates. It sends a message to promote and aid education, which helps empower people to support their own communities. Educators, parents, and students all benefit, which leads to a richer community.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Teenagers Allocate $1 Million Via Best Buy’s @15 Exchange Program to Non-Profits


MINNEAPOLIS — Created by Best Buy, @15 Exchange answered its commitment to shine a light on the voices of American teenagers by empowering them as important community participants. These community participants recently helped chose a charity to receive funding from Best Buy.

Over the course of a year, participating teens will help donate $1 million. Teens do this by competing in activities, earning points, and then using those points to help fund specific charities.

“The overwhelming response to the @15 Exchange demonstrates that teens are motivated by opportunities that allow their voices to be heard,” said Brian J. Dunn, chief executive officer of Best Buy. “Best Buy is thrilled with the efforts of the nonprofit partners to bring the @15 mission to life and empower teens to use these diverse and powerful voices for social good.”

Teenagers choose from four different non-profits that are posted on the @15 Exchange Web site and then allocate the points they’ve earned during a four month period. Points are earned by creating a profile, referring a friend, taking surveys, posting comments in forums, and by playing games and quizzes.

“Best Buy’s @15 Exchange offered Do Something a great opportunity to motivate all of our awesome Do Something members, especially our Youth Advisory Council, to take the lead and get involved,” said Aria Finger, chief marketing officer at Do Something.

Do Something received the most points during the last non-profit voting. Do Something provides tools and resources for people to convert ideas and energy into positive action.

For example, Maggie Doyne dreamed of opening an orphanage in Nepal. Do Something awarded her $100,000 to help open the Kopila Valley Children's Home, which provides food and shelter for children who would otherwise live on the streets.

“One of Do Something's core beliefs is that teens can lead right now, so putting teens in the driver’s seat and giving them the power to decide how the funding was allocated, was a great way to show that young people can be key influencers and promoters of social good,” Finger said.

@15 Exchange’s success of maintaining teenagers interest and participation is with a variety of motivational endeavors. These ventures include: community impact challenges; political participation; personal growth; short film contests; and participating journalist camps around the country.

Recognizing the important role our youth holds, @15 Exchange creates an environment that enables them to utilize the necessary tools to accomplish their goals. @15 Exchange is investing in the future by helping teens communicate, practice social advocacy, and share their experiences while doing social good.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Shoes For Haiti Now Donates New and Used Shoes


SAN ANTONIO, Texas - After the earthquake in Haiti, the devastation was broadcast and is still is being broadcast to the rest of the world. But one interesting element not covered often enough is how such broadcasts have impacted individuals like Gylon Jackson. He was inspired.

Relying on his skills as a Web site designer, Jackson launched ShoesForHaitiNow.com. His mission was to collect, deliver, and distribute 100,000 pairs of new or gently used shoes to the children, women and men of Haiti.

Three days after launching the site, Shoes For Haiti Now added a Facebook account and a Twitter account. The program has also partnered with BlogCatalog.com, which is the largest social network for bloggers on the Web, and BloggersUnite.com, which was the first program to ever develop a social outreach campaign driven by bloggers.

“Quite simply, I believe that one person, with the help of a crowd, can make a real difference in peoples lives,” said Jackson. “I also figured not everyone in America can donate money to a cause, but they can donate gently worn shoes.”

Companies and individuals across the nation are donating funds, but the Jackson's concept to send shoes stands out because it is simple, sustainable, and provides an long-term tangible good. Moreover, the distribution and allocation of the shoes are guaranteed to directly aid Haitians.

With no budget for traditional marketing, advertising, or public relations, Jackson also saw social media are a natural means to reach a specific end. One advantage, he says, is that the production (with the exception of the time invested) was free. Second, he added, his effort had the ability to reach both local and international audiences.

“I have been contacted by people in New York, Mississippi, San Antonio, Saint Louis, California, Houston ... I think you get the idea,” said Jackson. “With traditional media like radio and television, I could not reach or affect a crowd. Today, I am affecting and influencing people across America for a good cause.”

With growing awareness and community support, Shoes For Haiti Now has a strong start to accomplishing its goal. The deadline, set by Jackson, is Feb. 28, 2010. Donations can be sent to Shoes For Haiti Now, 7126 Eckhert Road, Suite 208 and 209, San Antonio, TX 78238.

“The best thing that has come out of Shoes for Haiti Now is that I have been able to bring awareness to such a large group of people,” said Jackson. “I may NEVER know how many people I have touched, only that I have touched them deeply.”

A simple idea like Gylon Jackson’s Shoes For Haiti Now, illustrates that a single person has the potential to positively impact their community from a local to an international level. Coming together during a time of crisis, such as Haiti, with gifts of shoes, money, love and support demonstrates the power to make a difference.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

LBS: A Burger Joint Donates $8,448 to Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Southern Nevada Chapter

LAS VEGAS - A local restaurant in Las Vegas LBS: A Burger Joint, located in the Red Rock Hotel & Casino, partnered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Nevada for a holiday fundraiser.

“More than 1,000 wishes have been granted through the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Nevada and now LBS will help grant at least one more,” said Billy Richardson, chief executive officer of LBS. “On behalf of LBS, I would like to thank the community for coming together and helping support the charitable cause.”

When customers ordered the “Make-A-Wish” burger between Dec. 9, 2009 and Jan. 1, 2010, LBS: A Burger Joint donated a portion of the proceeds with each purchase. The support received by regular and new customers alike, far outreached original expectations.

“We are delighted that LBS: A Burger Joint chose to sponsor the wishes of children fighting life-threatening illnesses when sharing their success with our community,” said Karen Iglesias, president of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Nevada. “The Make-A-wish Burger was enjoyed by so many of their customers this holiday season they actually raised a staggering amount.”

The holiday event held at LBS: A Burger Joint, alongside Make-A-Wish Foundation, is an excellent example of utilizing a partnership to engage community members and customers to participate in philanthropy events. The best part is, the company, the charity and the community benefit.

Strengthening relationships within our community is key to creating opportunities not only for charities, but also for businesses and potential donors. The goal here was to impact and improve lives, but in doing so LBS demonstrated they are interested in more than consumer sales. They are part of the community too.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

How Several Companies Hope To Aid Haiti

Dozens of companies have stepped up efforts to provide relief to Haiti after the catastrophic damage cause by the 7.3 earthquake on Tuesday, Jan. 12.

Amgen, a biotechnology company, contributed $2 million; Nestle Co. sent $1 million in water bottles; and Kellog Inc. donated $250,000 in cash and cereal products.

"The earthquake that hit Haiti last week has devastated the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in Port-au-Prince and beyond," said Kevin Sharer, chairman and chief executive officer of Amgen. "The contributions are expressions of our sincere sympathy for those directly affected by this tragedy."

AT&T and Verizon Wireless both made donations. Their efforts were unique in that by partnering with Mgive, it allowed wireless users to donate cash directly to the American Red Cross.

Some other unique displays of support came from BloggersUnite.org, which rallied members to raise funds, and American Psychology Association, which expanded its donations to include mental health services to the survivors and to the families of victims.

"The sheer number of lost lives, the wounded and the destruction of homes and communities as a result of the earthquake is tragic," said Carol Goodheart, Ed.D., president of American Psychology Association. "This is also a difficult time for those who are witnessing from a distance the loss of friends and family and the destruction of land in their native country."

Giving during a time of immediate need demonstrates the human spirit behind organizations, reminding people that these organizations are made up with people who have the courage, strength, and fortitude to make a difference. While it always a good idea to respond effectively, sustained support, especially monetary contributions while supply chains are established, are welcome.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Staples Donates $2,500 to Public Education Foundation

Staples, Inc., one of the largest office and school supply retail chains in the United States, used the opening of its first North Las Vegas store as an opportunity to set its community outreach in motion. The company donated $2,500 to Public Education Foundation.

“Staples is committed to building a better community in North Las Vegas by supporting organizations that help local youth succeed,” said Dan Hernon, general manager of Staples.  “Through this contribution, Staples is helping The Public Education Foundation enrich and expand educational opportunities for students in the area.”

The donation is related to Staples Foundation for Learning, which helps fund local programs that provide education or job skills targeting disadvantaged youth. Staples Foundation for Learning’s mission is to teach, train, and inspire.

The Public Education Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to mobilizing community and global resources to meet the challenges of educating a growing and diverse Southern Nevada population. The Foundation’s programs and initiatives are designed to improve student performance and advance quality educational opportunities for all children.

Staples Foundation for Learning furthers their outreach connection through several partnerships, including organizations like the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Other beneficiaries include: Ashoka, which empowers youth to act as positive agents for social change in their communities; Earth Force, which trains and supports youth to connect to their communities and address environmental issues; Initiative for Competitive Inner City, which aids business development to accelerate job growth and income for inner-city residents; and Hispanic Heritage Foundation, which focuses on supporting and celebrating Hispanic role models.

The donation provides an excellent example of using an event, such as a store opening, to establish the company's mission, vision, and values through community outreach. The donation also comes at the right time for Nevada, which has been challenged by state education budget cuts. Private donations help fill the financial void.

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