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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
social entrepreneurship, impact investing, philanthropy
and corporate social responsibility.

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: December 2013

Bay Area Non-profit Among Nation’s First to Be Certified for Outstanding Volunteer Program

CaliforniaVolunteers recognizes The Shanti Project as a Service Enterprise, providing support to San Francisco’s most vulnerable individuals

San Francisco, CA (I-Newswire) December 18, 2013 – The Shanti Project announces today that it was chosen to be one of the first U.S. non-profit organizations to be certified as a Service Enterprise. Shanti scored the highest of the 18 non-profit organizations assessed in the San Francisco Bay Area, with its volunteer time valued at $25.84 per hour and the total services provided to the community valued at $361,760 during the 2012-2013 fiscal year. The designation by CaliforniaVolunteers recognizes organizations that fundamentally leverage volunteers and their skills across all levels of the organization to deliver on a social mission.

Research conducted by the TCC Group demonstrates that nonprofits operating as Service Enterprises receive a 600 percent return on donor investment through more efficient program delivery. The research also shows that when an organization leverages volunteers and achieves an effective volunteer management model, not only do they lead and manage their organizations better, but they are also significantly more adaptable, sustainable and better resourced to do their work, and therefore able to sustainably go to scale.

The Shanti Project enhances the quality of life, health and well-being of people living with life-threatening illnesses, including Breast Cancer and HIV/AIDS, by providing compassionate practical and emotional support to more than 1,800 clients each year. The Shanti Project currently engages over 250 volunteers, who served over 14,000 hours throughout the 2012-2013 fiscal year. According to the Service Enterprise standard, that equates to $361,760 in services provided to the community.

“For the last 40 years, Shanti has been training ‘ordinary people to do extraordinary things’ to quote Shanti founder Charlie Garfield “We’ve trained over 15,000 individuals, and over 600 organizations worldwide,” says Kaushik Roy, Executive Director of Shanti. “To be recognized at the forefront of the Service Enterprise movement, with this elite group of organizations, is an honor and validates the services our volunteers have been providing, and the work we’ve been executing. A Shanti volunteer often represents their sole source of support-the difference between having one compassionate advocate by their side, or no one at all.”

“The CaliforniaVolunteers Service Enterprise Initiative diagnostic, delivered to over 80 organizations in California so far, has given us the opportunity to shine a light on organizations such as Shanti that are already operating a close to optimal volunteer practice and to certify them as Service Enterprise organizations. As well as simultaneously identifying nonprofits that may want to invest their resources into attaining this Service Enterprise status,” says Jill Blackburn, Director of Programs at The Volunteer Center. “Not surprisingly, after administering the inaugural round of the Service Enterprise Diagnostic, The Shanti Project showed-up as a champion among champions at leveraging the time and talents of volunteers. As the Service Enterprise initiative rolls out to a national audience, we anticipate that Shanti will continue be at the top of the curve.”

About The Shanti Project
Founded in 1974 by Dr. Charles Garfield, Shanti has been at the forefront of a growing national movement to enhance the quality of life for persons living with life-threatening or chronic illnesses by providing volunteer-based emotional and practical support. For more information, visit www.shanti.org.

The Art Of Elysium Announces Seventh Annual Black Tie Charity Gala “Heaven” To Be Held On Saturday, January 11, 2014 Sponsored By Mercedes-Benz

Linda Perry Announced As 2014 Visionary Ali Larter And Hayes Macarthur To Receive The “Spirit Of Elysium” Award

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. — December 17, 2013

The Art of Elysium is holding their seventh annual black-tie gala, “Heaven,” on January 11, 2014. Heaven is The Art of Elysium’s largest annual fundraiser, supporting the majority of the foundation’s operating costs, and ensuring the continuation and expansion of its mission to make art a catalyst for social change, and bring creativity into the lives of tens of thousands of hospitalized children. Linda Perry has been chosen to serve as the 2014 Visionary, and Ali Larter & Hayes MacArthur will be honored with the 2014 “Spirit of Elysium” Award for their involvement in the charity. This year’s gala is sponsored by Mercedes-Benz.

Guests will first enjoy a cocktail hour provided by Perrier-Jouët champagne while they enjoy music from Micah Sheiner who will play the Tibetan Bowls and Gingger Shankar who will play with tabla and Sitar. Following the cocktail hour, dinner will be served and guests will enjoy a fashion show along with performances by The Smokin Knights, Linda Perry, The Art of Elysium children, Evan Rachel Wood and Steven Tyler.

“The Art of Elysium is the art of Heaven,” said founder Jennifer Howell. “Artists are mirrors of what is going on in society. When an artist shows love, compassion, and philanthropy through their work, they are not just building a career, they are reflecting those values onto an entire community.” Every year, the organization chooses one visionary artist to create his or her own conception of “Heaven on Earth,” through a larger-than-life art installation, to be unveiled at the event. This year, the Heaven gala will unveil Linda Perry’s vision of Heaven— “Heaven is Resonance.” Perry is an American rock musician, songwriter and record producer. Known as the lead singer and primary songwriter of 4 Non Blondes, Perry has founded two record labels and composed and produced songs for Pink, Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani, Alicia Keys, Jewel and many others. Past Visionaries include: Colleen Atwood, Jim Sheridan, Mark Mothersbaugh, Shepard Fairey, and Cameron Silver.

In addition to an unparalleled artistic experience, incorporating the four main disciplines that make up the foundation’s self-sustaining model for philanthropic entertainment—music, fine art, fashion, and theatre/media arts, the charity will also honor two special artists with their highest distinction, The Spirit of Elysium Award. Given to artists who have shown incredible initiative, sincerity, and consistency in volunteering with the organization, this year’s Spirit of Elysium Award recipients are Ali Larter and Hayes MacArthur. They are the first ever couple to receive this award.

“I am thrilled to be honoring Ali and Hayes with THE SPIRIT OF ELYSIUM award. They are like family to me, and it is a thrill to have them as the first-ever couple to receive this award. While they have both volunteered for years, I feel that after they had Teddy, their dedication to the charity took on a deeper meaning. As parents, Ali and Hayes have a strong connection and understanding to volunteering because they can not only empathize with the children, but they can also empathize with what the parents are experiencing,” says Jennifer Howell of the award recipients. Past Spirit of Elysium recipients include: David Arquette, James Franco, Kirsten Dunst, Elijah Wood, and Eva Mendes.

The host committee this year, all of which are confirmed to attend, will be the following: Justin Bartha, Kristen Bell, Camilla Belle, Michel and Jeffrey Best, Pete Black, Brent Bolthouse, Shea and Brian Bowen Smith, Eric Butterbaugh, Scott Caan, Tarina Tarantino and Alfonso Campos, Melonie Diaz, Domenica and Andrew Dunlap, Daya Fernandez, Ashlee Margolis and Dan Fishman, Andrea Fiuczynski, Topher Grace, Nyakio and David Grieco, Alice Evans and Ioan Gruffud, Shanola Hampton, Amber Heard, Anne and Michael Herwick, Ashley Hinshaw, Tracey Jacobs, Jade Jagger, Vince Jolivette, Anna Kendrick, Joe Manganiello, Katrina Begin and Michael Masini, Leon Max, Mason McCulley, Patrik Milani, Moby, Laurie Mulstay, Olivia Munn, Ahna O’Reilly, Amy Smart and Carter Oosterhouse, Chris Panizzon, Gregoroy Parkinson, Rain Phoenix, Kate Bosworth and Michael Polish, Mike Rosenthal, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Abigail Spencer, Selly Straight, Michelle Trachtenberg, Emily Yomtobian and Jeff Vespa, Kat Von D, Alicia Witt, Johnny Wujek, Finola Huges and Russell Young.

For more information regarding tickets or general inquiries about The Art of Elysium, please contact Allison Beck at abeck@theartofelysium.org or at (213) 387-3944.

For press inquiries or credentials, please contact Chet Mehta or Alyssa Some of PR Dept. at chet@pr-dept.com / Alyssa@pr-dept.com or at (323) 556-3100.

ABOUT THE ART OF ELYSIUM

The Art of Elysium is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization, founded in 1997 by Jennifer Howell, which encourages actors, artists and musicians to voluntarily dedicate their time and talent to children who are battling serious medical conditions. They provide artistic workshops in the following disciplines: acting, art, comedy, fashion, music, radio, songwriting and creative writing. They work with numerous hospitals and hospices throughout Los Angeles, California and began servicing hospitals in New York, New York in 2009.

ABOUT MERCEDES-BENZ

Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), headquartered in Montvale, New Jersey, is responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service for all Mercedes-Benz products in the United States. MBUSA offers drivers the most diverse line-up in the luxury segment with 13 model lines ranging from the sporty CLA-Class four-door coupe to the flagship S-Class and the SLS AMG GT.

MBUSA is also responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Vans, and smart products in the U.S. More information on MBUSA and its products can be found at www.mbusa.com, www.mbsprinterusa.com and www.smartusa.com.

Accredited journalists can visit our media site at www.media.mbusa.com.

ABOUT TWEEZERMAN

Tweezerman International is recognized in the beauty industry for setting the highest standards of quality, reliability, innovation and service with every beauty tool sold. Tweezerman features cutting edge beauty tools for brows, lashes, face, manicure and pedicure. Tweezerman products are sold through professional beauty suppliers as well as top cosmetic and department stores, chain drug stores, and specialty shops. Additionally, Tweezerman operates a Second Bottom Line through which the company allocates a portion of its profits to charitable organizations, while actively supporting local communities.

New York’s Power Couple Jill And Bobby Zarin Collaborate With Suttons & Robertsons, One Of London’s Oldest Bespoke Loan Companies, To Unlock The Value Of Their 30 Hirschfeld Drawing Collection For Haiyan Relief

New York’s favorite housewife, Jill Zarin and her husband Bobby, partner with luxury loan company Suttons & Robertsons, to bring aid to the Philippines during the holidays by donating the profits from the sale of their hirschfeld collection to the American Red Cross

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New York, NY – DECEMBER 17, 2013 – Original Housewives of New York former cast member, Jill Zarin and her husband Bobby, welcome their new Upper East Side neighbors, Suttons & Robertsons, a UK based collateral loan company to NYC. Together, Jill & Bobby Zarin and Suttons & Robertsons are teaming up to do some good to help the disaster victims of Typhoon Haiyan. The famed NY duo’s collection of 30 rare pieces of artwork by Al Hirschfeld will be sold off for Typhoon Haiyan Relief benefiting The American Red Cross. The Zarins will donate the profits from the sale of their artwork and Suttons & Robertsons will contribute an additional amount that together will be donated to The America Red Cross. Through the entitled “Hirschfelds for Haiyan” program the Zarin’s 30-piece collection will be sold in-store at Suttons & Robertsons starting January 6, 2014, when the NYC Suttons & Robertsons’ flagship store opens.

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When asked about the “Hirschfelds for Haiyan” project, Jill said: “Bobby and I are thrilled to be able to contribute a portion of our personal art collection to do something for people in such dire need.” She added, “My mother taught me, and I have passed it onto my daughter Allyson, that ‘to those much is given, much is expected.’ I only hope that these portraits are cherished and enjoyed by their new owners as much as we enjoyed having them in our homes. They are reminders of our favorite TV shows, movies, Broadway shows and comedians that have given our family and friends hours of enjoyment.”

imageOpening January 6, 2014, Suttons & Robertsons’ newest store at 875 Third Avenue (at 52nd Street) represents the 240-year-old lender’s first expansion outside of Europe. The breathtaking and luxurious 2,500-square-foot New York space will be home to the corporation’s US headquarters and include retail space and private collateralized lending facilities.

At a time when banks and other forms of traditional lending have become more difficult to access, asset-rich New Yorkers will now have a place to temporarily trade their precious possessions for cash. Collateralized lending is actually one of the oldest forms of banking in the world. The customer simply presents an item of value to an experienced appraiser and will then be offered a loan based on a percentage of the asset’s fair market value. The customer may redeem the item, normally within six months or less, once principal and interest are repaid. While valuable items are in Suttons & Robertsons’ possession, the company holds them in a state-of-the-art secure vault.

There is essentially no form of lending as hassle-free, discreet, and efficient as collateralized lending. There is no lengthy application process and, best of all, cherished possessions are only temporarily out of their owner’s hands.

In addition to offering loans upwards of $1 million, the New York store will buy and sell gold, diamonds, fine estate jewelry, watches, artwork and antiques. Some of the fascinating and exceptional items valued and held as pledges over the years by Suttons & Robertsons have included: a 19th Century Russian side cabinet that once belonged to Tsar Nicholas II; artwork by Salvador Dali and Damien Hirst; a first edition X-Men comic; rare pink, green, and blue diamonds; and a myriad of rare timepieces.

Since 1770, Suttons & Robertsons has built an eminent reputation as one of the most discreet and discerning collateral loan companies for high-value assets ranging from Rolex watches and diamonds to artwork by Picasso. Chairman and CEO Jeff Weiss explains, “We are thrilled to bring a legacy of valuation expertise and world-class service to New York and continue our global expansion of this extraordinary brand. At a time when many individuals are facing short-term cash needs, Suttons & Robertsons will present a confidential and highly efficient lending option.”

ABOUT SUTTONS & ROBERTSONS
Suttons & Robertsons is one of London’s oldest active collateralized lending businesses and among the largest in the UK. Its heritage of service began with Mr. Thomas Miller Sutton when he founded his business in 1770. Robertsons, established in 1797, remained a family-owned UK business until the 1960s. In 2006, these two venerable UK businesses joined together to become Suttons & Robertsons. Sutton & Robertsons is now part of the DFC Global Corp (NASDAQ:DLLR) portfolio of companies. DFC Global Corp operates a network of approximately 1,500 financial services locations globally and generates $1.1 billion in annual revenue (2012).

Suttons & Robertsons has an international presence with luxury retail locations in London and across Great Britain as well as in Spain. The New York store will become the 11th store of the Suttons & Robertsons brand.

ABOUT COLLATERALIZED LENDING
Collateralized lending is the business of advancing loans that are secured against pledges of personal assets. Those assets could include anything from jewelry, diamonds, watches, and gold, to silver, antiques, and fine artwork. Customers receive loans based on a percentage of the fair market value of their personal assets. These loans can have fixed interest rates of between 2.49% – 3.99% per month for a term of 4 to 15 months. For more information, please visit www.suttonsandrobertsons.co

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PRESS INQUIRIES
For press inquiries or interview requests please contact:

James P. Campbell
What You Say – NYC
610 West 42nd Street
Suite 45G
New York, NY 10036
O – 212-228-0517
M – 646-884-3601

The American Red Cross name and emblem are used with its permission, which in no way constitutes an endorsement, express or implied, of any product, service, company, opinion or political position. The American Red Cross logo is a registered trademark owned by the American Red Cross. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org.

One Hour Translation Offers Free Translation Services to Fair Trade Farmers

Leading translation provider offers complimentary translation services to fair trade farmers to streamline communication and help enhance international business

New York, NY (December 17, 2013)One Hour Translation, the web’s leading professional translation service, announced today the launch of its global fair trade program, which will provide farmers across the globe with free translation services to help facilitate clear and direct communication with their customer base and partners. This initiative aims to support the estimated 500,000 small-scale farmers responsible for putting food on the plates and coffee in the cups of two billion people around the world today.

“As a company that stands behind fair trade practices, we strongly believe in supporting the farmers who feed people all over the world on a daily basis,” said Yaron Kaufman, Co-Founder and CMO of One Hour Translation. “In a global marketplace, communication is essential to getting the right message to the right people, and fair trade farmers require enhanced communication services to bridge the language divide in order to promote their products and earn a living. One Hour Translation is proud to become part of the fair trade equation and to help alleviate some of the financial burden that contributes to the disenfranchisement of our farmers.”

Joining the likes of Starbucks, Nestle, and Ben & Jerry’s, One Hour Translation seeks to assist the independent fair trade movement – which benefits farmers in over 60 developing countries – by providing translation services at no cost to farmers across the globe. Through this free translation service, farmers can convey messages directly to their target markets, in their respective native languages, regarding what they are producing, how their products are grown, packaged and shipped, and why the products are beneficial to local communities and the environment. Additionally, providing free translation services helps to eliminate the costs associated with hiring outside sources to act as intermediaries and help boost overall awareness, revenue and keep the global farming infrastructure operational.

A majority of farms are family-owned enterprises that brave exceptional risk and tight margins to provide for the world’s population every day. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, for every dollar spent on food, the average farmer receives less than 12 cents for the raw products due to external costs. By alleviating some of the monetary hardship farmers endure in marketing their products, One Hour Translation aims to give back to farmers behind the global food supply by empowering them to communicate with their target markets.

For more information on One Hour Translation’s global fair trade program, visit http://www.onehourtranslation.com/translation/fair-trade-program.

About One Hour Translation

One Hour Translation is a global human translation company showcasing translations services in 73 languages and 2,500 language pairs. A network of over 15,000 professional translators spanning 100 countries, One Hour Translation works around-the-clock to offer customers premium-quality translations. Professional and affordable translations services are offered by the company for multiple business purposes in rapid time. Customers enjoy the added benefit of a fixed price per source word of content. To learn more about One Hour Translation, visit http://www.onehourtranslation.com/.

Pacific Students’ Volunteerism, Fundraising Make Major Impact

University of the Pacific students last year logged more than 50,000 hours of community service, provided health care and legal assistance to more than 32,000 people in underserved communities, and raised more than $63,000 for charitable causes, according to the latest tallies from the university’s three campuses.

The efforts provided an estimated $10 million in uncompensated dental care to underserved patients from San Francisco to San Diego; helped thousands of elderly people save on prescription drug costs; donated more than 1,000 new books to a San Joaquin County early literacy project; and benefited regional food banks, national cancer research programs, scholarships and more.

“These volunteer efforts not only benefit the community, they give our students learning opportunities and help them to develop a lifetime ethic of service,” said Erin Rausch, director of the university’s Center for Community Involvement. “The contributions that Pacific students make, year in and year out, have a deep impact on the daily life of our community.”

Undergraduate contributions

Pacific undergraduate students reported performing 12,615 hours of community service during the 2012-13 academic year. Beneficiaries included Habitat for Humanity, the Stockton Shelter for the Homeless, Delta Blood Bank, YMCA of San Joaquin County, and more than a dozen other agencies and organizations.

The largely undergraduate Greek community, in a separate tally, reported 11,108 hours of service to the office of Housing and Greek Life. (Dual reporting to Greek Life and the Center for Community Involvement is not tracked, so the two cannot be totaled.)

Greek organizations at Pacific also reported raising more than $63,000 for philanthropic causes – or roughly $115 per Greek member. (Many other students and student organizations also raise funds for charitable causes, but only the Greek organizations aggregate and report this information.)

Clocking the most volunteer service hours per member was Gamma Alpha Omega, with an average of 34.2 hours per student. The biggest fundraiser was Pi Kappa Alpha, generating $25,010 overall.

About 16 percent of Pacific’s 3,388 undergraduates belonged to one of the campus’s 13 Greek organizations during the last academic year.

Greeks donated their time and money to such causes and organizations as education, women’s issues, Shriners Hospital for Children Northern California, and the Second Harvest Food Bank of San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties.

“Community service and philanthropy are founding principle of Greek life at Pacific, and our fraternities and sororities demonstrate their commitment to giving back every year,” said Torry Broulliard-Bruce, executive director of housing, residential and Greek life. “Their cumulative contributions during the 2012-13 academic year once more were impressive. We are so proud of them.”

Health sciences and professional schools

Students at the Pacific McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco, and the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Stockton also gave generously of their time and skills.

Law students provided much-needed legal assistance to 587 clients throughout Northern California, logging 1,297 hours of pro bono service.

Dental students provided oral health information and screenings for underserved groups at 43 free community health events throughout the Bay Area and as far away as San Diego and Reno. This included free screenings and follow-up care provided through Project Homeless Connect, a San Francisco-based nonprofit serving the homeless. All told, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry students logged an estimated 7,584 volunteer hours and provided $10 million in uncompensated services to adults and children throughout the region and state.

Students at the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences volunteered an estimated 30,000 hours to efforts ranging from early literacy to children’s health:

  • Speech-language pathology students collected and purchased more than 1,100 children’s books for Pacific’s annual Holiday Roar early literacy program for San Joaquin County children.
  • Pharmacy students, working with faculty and preceptors, provided more than 100 free health care programs that offered medication therapy reviews, mental assessments, asthma care, and screenings for blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol and osteoporosis.  The clinics served more than 3,600 patients and provided immunizations to 650 patients. Students also also served 6,521 elderly patients through free Medicare Part D clinics, helping participants save up to $1,149 each on annual prescription drug costs.
  • Physical therapy students reached about 7,500 at-risk young people in the Stockton region in the past two years through Healthy Children, a project in which they visit after-school programs to provide K-12 students with information and activities that encourage healthful physical activity and good nutrition.

According to estimates of the dollar value of volunteer time developed by Independent Sector, an association of charitable nonprofits and foundations, the combined volunteer hours logged by students at Pacific’s Center for Community Involvement, Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, and McGeorge School of Law – 51,496 hours — are worth more than $1.2 million in California’s economy.

About University of the Pacific

Established in 1851 as the first university in California, University of the Pacific prepares students for professional and personal success through rigorous academics, small classes, and a supportive and engaging culture. Widely recognized as one of the most beautiful private university campuses in the West, the Stockton campus offers more than 80 undergraduate majors in arts and sciences, music, business, education, engineering and computer science, and pharmacy and health sciences. The university’s distinctive Northern California footprint also includes the acclaimed Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco and the McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. For more information, visit www.pacific.edu.

Media contact:

Claudia Morain, (209) 946-2313, cmorain@pacific.edu

WorthWild.com Launches Crowdfunding Platform to Benefit Environmental Initiatives

                Black&White WorthWild logo

A new social funding platform hit the scene on December 1st as WorthWild garners support for environmental education, conservation and change for individuals and businesses.

(Norfolk, MA) — (December 1, 2013) WorthWild is the latest online crowdfunding platform positioned to help individuals, nonprofits and businesses use their on and offline networks to drum up support, feedback and create awareness for environmental initiatives. Like popular crowdfunding sites, Kickstarter and Indiegogo, WorthWild empowers their user community to share their environmental initiatives with the crowd and to ask for support. Members are encouraged to share video pitches on this meant-to-inspire, simple to use platform. WorthWild offers project Initiators intellectual resources and provides a platform for sharing ideas, experience and project feedback.

Unlike other crowdfunding platforms, WorthWild is environmentally focused as they provide the platform to bring awareness and increase the impact of environmental efforts that focus on educating the youth, engaging communities in conservation and outdoor recreation and supporting the development of new products and processes for a more sustainable future. The site officially launched on December 1st, 2013.

The environmental crowdfunding platform has a focused approach with four general categories, igniting environmental action across all generations and disciplines:

1.     Education: WorthWild offers a platform to help educators request funding for projects that bring young students into the environmental fold through field trips, volunteerism and environmental education.

2.     Entrepreneurial:  WorthWild provides individuals access to monetary and intellectual resources to help move green businesses, products and community projects forward.

3.     Conservation and environmental stewardship: The crowdfunding platform provides a simple way for nonprofits to reach a broader audience when seeking funds for new equipment, sustainable building materials, or project costs.

4.     Recreation: The company provides a space for individuals to fund their forays into the wilderness and entire organizations to fund their efforts to help people discover their passion for nature through play. The crowdfunding campaigns must be for no-emission activities that do not risk significant alterations to the environment.

Co-founder, Cori Snedecor talks exclusively about why they created WorthWild, While many crowdsourcing platforms are designed solely to collect monetary support, WorthWild expands upon this model by offering a consolidated source for intellectual support and vetted resources from the environmental community. Even established businesses can contribute by becoming sponsors of initiatives in exchange for recognition on the site. We’re fostering connections in order to make a greater impact.”

“The world needs a way to creatively fund the movement to get people outdoors,” adds co-founder, Kyle Pribish.  “We’re here to make environmental initiatives fun and engaging for students and educators by combining simple video production and technology with worthwhile causes.  We’re supporting environmental initiatives that protect our resources and inspire the stewards of tomorrow. We want grassroots environmental efforts to get the attention they deserve in the crowdfunding world.”

The company is charity focused and as such is an active member of, and contributor to The Conservation Alliance, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to “engaging businesses to fund and partner with organizations to protect wild places for their habitat and recreation values.” WorthWild is also a member of 1% for the Planet and is dedicated to contributing 1% of their revenue to organizations that further the mission of supporting environmental education, innovation, recreation and conservation.

Founded in May of 2013, WorthWild is the premier crowdsourcing platform for environmentally conscious individuals and organizations to give their input and contribute financially to compelling initiatives.

The company is co-founded by Kyle Pribish and Cori Snedecor, both of whom devote their time and effort to promoting environmental efforts, getting kids outside, conserving natural habitats and playing in the outdoors themselves. The company plans on becoming the number one platform for the best environmental charities and their advocates.

For media inquires regarding WorthWild.com and their upcoming launch please contact Co-founder, Cori Snedecor at 1-617-826-9453 or via email csnedecor@worthwild.com. To learn more about WorthWild, or to begin crowdfunding visit: www.worthwild.com  

Deloitte Teams With Humanitarian Groups To Prepare For Crises

International Organization for Migration, AtrocityWatch selected for new Humanitarian Innovation Program

New York, 16 December 2013 – Deloitte is to help two humanitarian organizations design technology solutions to tackle some of the world’s most pressing issues including natural disasters, famine, human rights violations, and conflicts. AtrocityWatch and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) were selected for the new global Deloitte Humanitarian Innovation Program. These technology-based solutions will improve how the organizations communicate, coordinate, and deliver on the ground help during crises.

Details of the project were made public recently at a United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) event at the UN in New York.

“Deloitte believes that when the private and public sectors combine their skills and work together – in new and innovative ways – we can better tackle the big issues facing society today. It’s a responsibility and a privilege to bring what we do best to the vital work of these organizations,” said Barry Salzberg, Global CEO, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. “Adding our innovative thinking to the skills of startups, such as AtrocityWatch, and established organizations, like IOM, allows us to leverage each other’s expertise to create solutions that better enable the sector to prepare and respond to crises.”

Deloitte member firm professionals will team with AtrocityWatch, a technology startup that monitors global atrocities, to help develop a big data application that leverages social media and person-centered data around the world to provide early warning of potential mass atrocities. Deloitte member firm professionals will provide data analytics and cyber security expertise to help shape the creation of a mobile application to link people under threat with decision-makers who are in a position to respond.

“AtrocityWatch’s mission is to couple vanguard technologies and analytical techniques with humanitarian expertise to prevent atrocities around the world,” said Geoff Green, Founder, AtrocityWatch. “Collaborating with the Deloitte Humanitarian Innovation Program will enable AtrocityWatch to deliver on our mission for decades to come.”

Deloitte UK’s Switzerland office will team with IOM, a leading intergovernmental organization that facilitates the orderly and humane management of displaced populations, to help with a systems model to manage refugee migration and allow the different organizations involved to stay better informed, coordinated, and connected to each other during crises. The model will use technology to enhance the information sharing between sector-specific responders such as those responsible for food distribution, infrastructure rehabilitation, shelter and health. These organizations work together in camps to coordinate the delivery of life-saving support.

“Accurate and timely information sharing is vital. Our goal through this collaboration is to design an operating model that will enhance the real-time processing of information between humanitarian cluster coordinators offsite with those on the ground managing the day-to-day needs of the humanitarian camps,” said Mohammed Abdiker, Director of the Department of Operations and Emergencies, IOM. “This is especially relevant in the context of the current Philippines disaster response, where cross-sectoral concerns are closely linked with mobility. The new model, will further improve exchange of information, and help provide the population with multi-sectoral assistance.”

Deloitte member firms will be executing this Program with joint humanitarian-Deloitte project teams over the next three to six months, with the projects formally commencing in early 2014.

The Deloitte Humanitarian Innovation Program was developed after broad consultations with leading humanitarian organizations that identified the need for innovation and collaboration with the private sector. The Program has already successfully delivered projects with UN OCHA and Save the Children International (SCI).

“When disasters strike, Save the Children International must be ready to rapidly transform its operations from every-day activities to a large-scale emergency response. The more efficiently we can do this, the more people in crisis our organization can potentially reach with life-saving food, shelter, and supplies,” said David Wightwick, Deputy Humanitarian Director, Operations. “We asked Deloitte to assess how effectively we scale up and scale down our local operations during international humanitarian crises, knowing that they would draw on their broad experience of tackling similar challenges within the private and public sectors. The resulting findings have provided us with a deep analysis of the way we operate, and a framework for how we can strengthen our model in the future.”

Deloitte’s intention is to share the outcomes of projects conducted under the Humanitarian Innovation Program so that the wider humanitarian sector can benefit from, and scale the solutions.

To learn more about the positive impact already being delivered by the Deloitte network with the humanitarian sector visit http://www.deloitte.com/humanitarian or watch the video on the UN OCHA leadership development project:

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About Deloitte

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL), a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see www.deloitte.com/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and its member firms.

Deloitte provides audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. With a globally connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries, Deloitte brings world-class capabilities and high-quality service to clients, delivering the insights they need to address their most complex business challenges. Deloitte has in the region of 200,000 professionals, all committed to becoming the standard of excellence.

Deep Spring International Launches New Alternative Christmas Gift

Not Sure What to Give the Person Who Has Everything? Give a Bucket of Life

PITTSBURGH – Dec. 16, 2013 – Deep Springs International, a nonprofit organization that addresses the safe drinking water crisis in Haiti, announced that they are launching a new program called Buckets of Life, which can make a great alternative Christmas gift.

“In spite of the economy, many Americans are realizing that we are truly blessed and live in luxury compared to the poor in developing countries,.” says Michael Ritter, CEO and Co-founder of Deep Springs International. “This year we are launching our new Buckets of Life program, which makes a unique alternative Christmas gift for the same price as a shirt or sweater, and has a lasting impact.”

A Bucket of Life is a simple, sustainable and affordable way for the poorest of the poor in Haiti to purify their own drinking water, regardless of its contaminated source. It is a simple five-gallon bucket with a lid to keep out dirt, a tap for sanitary dispensing, and three year’s worth of chlorine subsidy and education for just $34.

Donors can honor a friend or loved one with the gift of clean, life-saving water for a struggling family in Haiti whose only concern during the holidays will likely be survival. Donors have the option to send a personalized gift card to the Haitian family when ordering a Bucket of Life at http://deepspringsinternational.org/Home/BucketsofLife.aspx. A copy of the card can also be given to the friend or loved one who is being honored by the gift.

Low tech by design – The Bucket of Life has few moving parts, no complicated filters to clean or replace, and requires no electricity. All it takes is a capful of locally produced chlorine solution for a family to have five gallons of clean water. To assure sustainability, local health agents earn an income by distributing the chlorine product. The Agents – equipped with chlorine test kits – visit families or communities to train in proper hygiene and system usage and to re-fill chlorine bottles.

There are currently about 900,000 families in rural Haiti who lack access to clean and safe drinking water. That is nearly half the entire population of the country, which is still considered the poorest in the western hemisphere. Over 8,500 lives have been lost in Haiti to cholera, a completely preventable water-borne disease. The Bucket of Life is a key tool in the arsenal to fight this deadly disease, which has now spread to the Dominican Republic on the other side of the island.

Deep Springs International has been working to provide safe drinking water in Haiti since 2006, working through the 2010 earthquake and the 2011 cholera epidemic. They estimate that they have saved 3,000 lives since 2006 with their water treatment systems.

Join Deep Springs International in the effort to fight cholera and bring safe drinking water to Haiti. For more information, please contact Steve Bostian at 828.773.7242 or partnership@DeepSpringsInternational.org, or go to www.DeepSpringsInternational.org.

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About Deep Springs International

Deep Springs International is a non-profit organization that provides a solution to the water crisis in Haiti, with the goal of sustainability. Using a simple and affordable chlorine system, they empower individuals to provide safe water to their communities as a sustainable business. Even the poorest families can treat their water with this system, regardless of the source. There are currently 320,000 rural Haitians using the system that has been recognized by UNICEF, the Centers for Disease Control, Save the Children, and the World Health Organization. For more information, please visit http://www.DeepSpringsInternational.org.

About Michael Ritter

Deep Springs International Co-founder and CEO Michael Ritter is living proof that young leaders can accomplish anything they set their minds to, with the right preparation, passion, and purpose. While still a graduate student, Ritter co-founded Deep Springs International along with Dr. Timothy Mech and Ruth Entwistle. Starting out with a shoestring budget was no obstacle for Ritter – his passion for saving lives by bringing clean water to poor Haitians was so strong that he literally operated out of his backpack for the first few years!

Ritter earned a B.S. in molecular biology from Grove City College and a Masters of Public Health from Emory University in Atlanta. He also serves as the National Director in Haiti – leading an entirely indigenous team of over 260 Haitians. As a specialist in water interventions, particularly Household Water Treatment and Storage (HWTS), he has served in leadership with U.N. Committees and presented at key health and water conferences.

Utah Produces Top Student Entrepreneurs Globally Three Years in a Row

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Utah is gaining worldwide recognition for its entrepreneurial spirit

Salt Lake City, Utah – December 16, 2013 – For the past three years, students from Utah have taken the top spots at the Entrepreneurs’ Organization’s Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA). Spencer Quinn, founder and CEO of FiberFix, won on November 23 and Chelsea Sloan, founder and CEO of Uptown Cheapskate, won in 2012. Garrett Gee, founder of Scan.me took second place in 2011. The students competed on an international level against roughly 1,600 applicants from 37 countries on six continents.

Quinn, a Brigham Young University student will receive $150,000 in cash and in-kind business services from the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO). Earlier this year, Quinn and his cousin Eric Child founded FiberFix, the long-lasting repair tape that is 100x stronger than duct tape. They have been featured on Shark Tank, QVC, and are already in more than 1,600 stores across the country.

“The business community here in Utah is very supportive of young entrepreneurs. I’m incredibly grateful for the local business mentors who have shared valuable advice,” said Quinn.

GSEA winners have the opportunity to learn how to become a better entrepreneur from EO members worldwide and in Utah through mentoring. According to Shaun Ritchie, EO Utah President, many Utah business owners have built companies in a state where giving back is common so they are happy to provide mentorship opportunities to young entrepreneurs.

“EO Utah supports GSEA because it’s a great opportunity for more experienced entrepreneurs to engage with younger ones who are just staring their businesses and seeing some initial success,” said Ritchie. “We have been able to mentor some of them as well as highlight some of their accomplishments. We’re all about sharing our own experiences, both successes and failures, to build a better entrepreneur.”

According to John E. Richards, the founder of the Utah Student 25 competition, it’s the pioneer spirit that fuels entrepreneurship. Richards is currently head of operations for Google Fiber in Utah and also teaches at BYU. The Utah Student 25 competition encourages student entrepreneurs with at least $1 in revenue to submit his or her company to the competition for consideration of being ranked in the Top 25 by revenue and profits.

“BYU has a highly ranked entrepreneurship program with massive mentoring programs and other universities in Utah are strong,” said Richards. “The pioneering spirit in Utah is congruous with entrepreneurship. Youth get acclimated towards calculated risk management due to general ‘can do’ belief system,”

In 2012, Chelsea Sloan was the GSEA’s first female winner. Sloan and her brother Scott founded the Uptown Cheapskate franchise, which buys, sells and consigns new and gently used clothing and accessories. Uptown Cheapskate has expanded to 26 locations in 16 states with 14 more stores expected to open by the end of the year.

“I think people underestimate Utah. We have a thriving entrepreneurial culture, and people are confident and optimistic in their prospects for success. I’m not the only one of my friends to start a business in college – it’s common,” said Sloan. “Best of all, Utah is business friendly, and we don’t have to fight overly restrictive regulations in order to help people buy and sell stylish used clothing.”

Both Sloan and Garrett Gee, CEO and co-founder of Scan.me, have used their financial success and resources to give back to the community. In 2013, Uptown Cheapskate raised almost $40,000 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation and Kiva by having customers make a small donation instead of using a plastic bag. Uptown Cheapskate also donates hundreds of items to the Salt Lake mission and Road Home daily. Garrett Gee was the 2011 GSEA 2nd place winner and also a contestant on Shark Tank. According to Gee, Scan.me is currently beta testing a QR code product to collect donations on behalf of non-profits. Scan.me connects the real world with the digital universe through mobile technologies like QR codes, NFC, image recognition and other products.

“With more than 50 million downloads to date, we wanted to give back and make this world a better place. GSEA really kick started our business helping us transition from a student project to a multi-million dollar funded start-up,” said Gee.

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About the Entrepreneurs’ Organization:

The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) – for entrepreneurs only – is a dynamic, global network of more than 9,500 business owners in 40 countries. Founded in 1987 by a group of young entrepreneurs, EO is the catalyst that enables entrepreneurs to learn and grow from each other, leading to greater business success and an enriched personal life.The Entrepreneurs’ Organization also operates the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA), the premier award program for high school, undergraduate and graduate students that own and run businesses while attending college or university. We have 79 members in the Utah chapter.

Contacts:

Shaun Ritchie, EO Utah President
(801)641-8131 | shaun@neutroninteractive.com
Micaela Choo, EO Utah PR/Social Strategic Partner
(801) 319-7121 | micaela@bitingdogcommunications.com

Grassroots Effort Focusing on Fostering Positivity in Kids Takes South Florida by Storm

Created by a Lake Worth Resident, the Positive Words Movement Strives to Change Lives through School Programs and an Interactive Website Which Uses Fun Games and Videos, Using Comedy and Pop Culture To Change Lives.

Lake Worth, FL – December 13, 2013 – The founder of a new grassroots organization intended to inspire and educate youth and change lives by instilling positive thinking and positive language announced a bold new plan for his group for the next year.

Ike Thaler, founder of the Positive Words Movement, decided to take action after witnessing the effects of negative language and behaviors among kids. He believes that by transforming language, we can instill positivity in the younger generation, and that they will carry it forward until eventually society is transformed from its current negative state.

Thaler held his first in-school discussion on December 6, 2013 at a private charter school in Palm Beach County, including the screening of a Harry Potter parody and a Raps4U kid’s hip hop video. The goal was to educate kids about the power of words they hear (from family, friends, culture), help them be aware of the words they say, and teach them to turn negative words into positive ones. Thaler also urged the students to become ‘positive words soldiers’ on a mission to educate others around them about the importance of positive words and thinking. To help with that effort, Thaler gave each participant three awareness bracelets as part of a “viral” campaign. One is to keep as a reminder to stay positive and spread the word to 10 other kids. Two are to give away to other kids to give them the positive words message and the mission to talk about it with 10 more kids.

This was the first of many such presentations planned as the Positive Words Movement spreads statewide, nationwide, and eventually, internationally. In time, Thaler hopes to make positivity a central part of the school curriculum and after-school programs.

“The curriculum will teach, encourage and reward kids to be positive while encouraging them to be themselves,” explains Thaler. “The program is designed to give them the skills to maintain a positive outlook by being aware of language that is being used. My goal is to create a fun, interactive, and intrinsic curriculum that makes learning about positivity enjoyable and effective while providing measurable results that improve academic performance, conduct and self esteem.”

As an integral companion of the school programs, Thaler will take the Positive Words Movement online through interactive games similar to those already popular with students learning math, science, and other subjects. There will also be hundreds of fun videos with lesson plans, music, science experiments, and more – all centered around the theme of positivity. Many of the videos will be submitted by students as part of online contests. The goal is to make the program interactive and keep kids engaged so they learn positivity – and have fun too. Examples of the videos can be found here: http://www.positivewordsmovement.org/videos/

Thaler is seeking to partner with organizations, individuals, sponsors and volunteers who are interested in helping this program grow and develop. Thaler is also working on creating alliances with established organizations with similar goals, such as the Police Athletic League, to ensure that the message is effectively reaching the audience. Those wishing to support the effort financially or intellectually can donate to the cause.

“I have spoken to thousands about this movement and everyone has been positive. This is something that as a culture we need to work together to ensure that it succeeds,” say Thaler. “I will not rest until we get bipartisan support in 2014 with the help of celebrities like Oprah, Tim Tebow, and Lebron James and by testifying in front of Congress about it. Our words create worlds and we need to make sure that we make them beautiful worlds. I challenge everyone reading this to make a difference!”

For more information on the Positive Words Movement and to volunteer, visit: www.positivewordsmovement.org.

About the Positive Words Movement

The Positive Words Movement was developed by Ike Thaler in response to the bombardment of children and young people these days with negativity and the promotion of conflict and violence. This organization is dedicated to teaching youth about the impact and importance of positive thinking and action. The Movement will spread its message through school programs and an interactive website, starting in Florida, with plans to go nationwide and then worldwide.

For more information on the Positive Words Movement, please visit: www.positivewordsmovement.org.

For more information on this press release visit: http://www.abnewswire.com/pressreleases/grassroots-effort-focusing-on-fostering-positivity-in-kids-takes-south-florida-by-storm_6966.html

Media Contact:
Ike Thaler
Company Name: Positive Words Movement
Email: info@positivewordsmovement.org
Phone: 561-856-5713
Address: 6130 OAK BLUFF WAY, LAKE WORTH, Florida, United States
Website: www.positivewordsmovement.org

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