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.

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