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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
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Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: May 2015

Knight Prototype Fund Supports 20 New Projects Focused On Data-Driven Storytelling and Community Problem-Solving

Next Prototype deadline is May 15

MIAMI — April 30, 2015 — The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation today announced funding for 20 new projects through the Knight Prototype Fund, which helps people explore early-stage media and information ideas with $35,000 in funding.

Several of the projects focus on data-driven storytelling, offering tools that allow journalists and others to unlock insights and answer questions by making data easier to find, explore and understand. They also include projects that use better information resources to solve community challenges, from a tool that opens opportunities for low-income families to participate in civic life, to a platform that addresses cyberbullying of women bloggers and publishers. Some of the projects further highlight the need for greater government transparency, offering users ways to make legislators more accountable and get to know political candidates.

Knight launched the Prototype Fund in June 2012 to invite people to experiment, learn and iterate before moving on to the more costly stage of building out a project. Prototype Fund projects go through a six-month process that begins with a three-day course in human-centered design, facilitated by LUMA Institute. Using this training to develop their projects, after six months teams gather for a demo day to share their discoveries and prototypes.

The next deadline for prototype applications is May 15, 2015.

“The Prototype Fund is designed to promote learning beyond the boundaries of a single idea or project team,” said Chris Barr, Knight Foundation director for media innovation, who runs the Prototype Fund. “It encourages people to share lessons and develop a better understanding of user needs and the problem they are trying to solve through a thought-provoking and collaborative process.”

The projects receiving investments in this Prototype Fund round are:

Ballot by WeVote LLC. (Project Lead: Amy Chiou) (Charlotte, N.C.): Making voting easy by matching voters with candidates that share their political views on a free web and mobile app that provides simple quizzes and surveys and uses a matching algorithm to sort candidates by compatibility.

Community Resource Aggregator by Union Capital Boston (Project lead: Laura Ballek) (Boston): Developing a mobile-based loyalty program for low-income families that provides social and financial service rewards in exchange for community involvement in schools, health centers, and civic programs.

Culture Conversations by Dance Heritage Coalition (Project lead: Imogen Smith) (San Francisco): Helping the San Francisco art community preserve digital arts criticism related to dance to support their work and the future study of the arts through a tool that will make these stories fully searchable using descriptive metadata and linking it to streaming dance videos.

Futurism.co 2.0 The Evolving Knowledge System by Futurism (Project lead: Alexander Klokus) (Brooklyn, N.Y.): Helping readers easily access a collection of top science and technology stories curated through a tool that aggregates and ranks based on source credibility, keywords, and social media metrics.

KLRN Virtual Classroom by Alamo Public Telecommunications Council (Project lead: Katrina Kehoe) (San Antonio, TX): Using PBS LearningMedia and the OVEE video platform to support students who are homeschooled through a virtual classroom experience that allows them to interact with their peers online and take advantage of PBS educational resources.

Metadata Beyond the Open Graph by Contextly (Project lead: Ryan Singel) (San Francisco): Developing a new kind of writing interface that helps journalists and others create stories that include additional context and descriptive metadata, so it can be found and used more easily.

A Metadata Graphing Interface by Chicago Public Media (Project leads: Matthew Green and Brendan Metzger) (Chicago): Enabling content creators to provide audiences with smarter, better search results, story recommendations and the ability to explore content through an easy to use publishing platform.

mRelief (Project lead: Rose Afriyie) (Chicago): Helping people in financial need access public assistance resources through a platform that enables them to locate and apply for benefits.

Neighborhood Drawing Tool by The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (Project lead: Matt Cloyd) (Boston): Helping people find information on a wide range of topics specific to their location through a tool that allows users to define the boundaries of their neighborhood or community of interest and crowdsource popular cultural knowledge.

Numina by CTY (St. Louis, Mo.) (Project lead: Tara Pham): Allowing cities and planning organizations to capture more accurate pedestrian and cyclist data by installing a machine learning-based sensor tool in city neighborhoods.

Open Permit by Aecosoft Corp. (Project lead: Martin Maykel) (Miami): Helping citizens more easily access business permitting information by creating a platform that lets multiple jurisdictions present permit data in standard formats and can be integrated with existing systems.

Perceptoscope (Project lead: Ben Sax) (Los Angeles): Helping civic institutions like museums and historical sites present local information through augmented reality enabled coin-operated binoculars that provide immersive experiences to public spaces using interactive art, historical re-creations and real time data visualizations.

Playable Stories by Arizona State University New Media Innovation Lab and Center for Games and Impact (Project Lead: Retha Hill, Juli James, Adam Ingram-Goble) (Tempe, Ariz.): Enabling journalists to produce interactive, mobile-ready news experiences based on the principles of gaming and journalism in a WordPress plugin and theme; for example, audiences will be able to interact with stories to choose sides, make decisions and see the outcomes.

Railroad Project, Inc. (Project lead: Seth Forsgren) (Miami Beach, Fla.): Allowing journalists, governments and the public to foster two-way communications with their audiences, through a video messaging tool that captures both sides of a conversation.

The Ripple Mapping Tool by Allied Media Projects (Project lead: Jenny Lee) (Detroit): Allowing social good organizations and others to measure the outcomes of a particular event through a tool that collects information from participants on what they did or did not learn, who they met and what, if anything, grew from the experience.

Semantic Timeline Maker by The Lens (Project lead: Abe Handler) (New Orleans, La.): Helping make sense of large amounts of data, such as emails and news articles, via a program that extracts structured facts from free text.

She said, he said by Open Media Foundation (Project lead: Leo Kacenjar) (Denver, Colo.): Helping citizens hold legislators more accountable through a video and audio library tool that allows users to more easily access and discover archived video recordings from House of Representatives and Senate sessions.

Troll-Busters by (Project lead: Dr. Michelle Ferrier) (Athens, Ohio): Addressing cyberbullying of women bloggers and publishers through an online and mobile reporting, notification, monitoring and rescue tool.

Unveillance (Project lead: Harlo Holmes) (New York): Allowing journalists and others to uncover answers and explore datasets through a friend-to-friend file-sharing platform in which users can “drop” documents into a folder have them quickly analyzed and explored.

Verified Pixel Project (Project lead: Samaruddin Stewart) (Daly City, Calif.): Helping news organizations quickly verify photos captured by everyday people through a platform that allows automated testing of the photos through metadata and image analysis.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more visit, www.knightfoundation.org

Henry Anhalt, DO, Named Chief Medical Officer for T1D Exchange

Noted pediatric endocrinologist brings deep clinical and industry experience in type 1 diabetes to innovative research program

Boston, April 30, 2015 – Henry Anhalt, DO, a renowned pediatric endocrinologist with deep clinical and industry experience related to type 1 diabetes, has been named the first chief medical officer of T1D Exchange, a nonprofit organization that has created a new paradigm fostering collaboration among patients, physicians, researchers and industry to speed discovery of better therapies for type 1 diabetes. The announcement was made at T1D Exchange’s annual meeting.

The appointment comes as T1D Exchange, launched in 2009, is growing swiftly across all aspects of its multi-faceted model. Anhalt will oversee all aspects of T1D Exchange’s groundbreaking research program and provide clinical leadership as the organization expands its capabilities and develops new initiatives to transform clinical care for patients, drive and support therapeutic advances and ensure patients are at the center of research.

Some 35 million people worldwide live with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and over 30,000 new patients – half of whom are children – are diagnosed annually in the U.S. alone. The physical, emotional and financial toll on patients and families is incalculable; this unpreventable, incurable disease also costs the U.S. economy and healthcare system over $14 billion each year. While recent discoveries and treatments demonstrate progress, the burden of living with type 1 diabetes remains.

Anhalt joins T1D Exchange after serving the medical industry in multiple key senior executive roles. Most recently he was senior medical director, medical diabetes at Sanofi, where he developed, led and executed the North America medical affairs strategy supporting the approval and launch of Toujeo® insulin. Prior to that, Anhalt served as chief medical officer and medical director of the artificial pancreas program at Animas, a Johnson & Johnson company.

“Henry Anhalt’s dedication to patient care, experience in medical-device and pharmaceutical fields and expertise with artificial pancreas and development of new insulins make him exceptionally qualified to lead our clinical program at this pivotal moment in our existence,” said Dana Ball, Executive Director of T1D Exchange and CEO of Unitio. “Under his aegis, we will have even greater opportunity to make tangible improvements in clinical care, outcomes and quality of life for patients with type 1 diabetes – through new research initiatives, partnerships, products, policy and advocacy.”

From its original vision of providing a single access point to critical data and research, the T1D Exchange has become a recognized resource in the global medical and research community. Today, T1D Exchange has a clinic registry with more than 26,000 well-characterized T1D patients ranging in age from under a year to over 93; an online, nearly 13,000 -strong patient/caregiver community, Glu; a unified clinic network of more than 230 collaborating clinicians and coordinators from 76 U.S. pediatric and adult sites seeing more than 150,000 patients; and a repository with biosamples from roughly 2,000 participants, plus a Living Biobank composed of over 1,700 consented individuals.

Anhalt’s recent work builds on more than 20 years in clinical practice, plus two decades’ worth of published research and presentations. He has led pediatric endocrinology divisions at Saint Barnabas Health Care System, Children’s Hospital at Maimonides Medical Center and The Brooklyn Hospital Center. Anhalt was also program director for the SUNY Downstate pediatric endocrinology fellowship training program. He has held other academic appointments at New York University School of Medicine, New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, and SUNY Stony Brook, among others.

Anhalt will be responsible for long-term strategic clinical priorities, plans and program execution. He will serve as principal investigator on research grants and funding opportunities; oversee coordination with T1D Exchange’s partner, the Jaeb Center for Health Research, home to the T1D Exchange Clinic Coordinating Center; and manage relationships with Clinical Research Organizations, industry and foundation sponsors, regulatory and clinical consultants, and key opinion leaders.

“Working with T1D Exchange is an opportunity unlike any other to make a tremendous and lasting change for the whole T1D community,” said Anhalt. “As a mission-based nonprofit focused on improving care and relieving the burden for all people with type 1 diabetes, T1D Exchange represents the culmination of everything I’ve worked for as a physician. I look forward to helping lead the advancement of type 1 diabetes research and care under this novel model poised to finally make real progress in ending this terrible disease.”

Crescent Oklahoma Citizens Launch Campaign to Spark Positive Environmental Action

OKLAHOMA – (April 30) – Citizens of Crescent, Oklahoma recently launched http://KeepCrescentOK.com , a community campaign to raise awareness and inspire positive environmental action in response to potentially harmful, industrial activity happening in a residential area of the city.

Inspiration for the initiative began in September of last year when 79-year-old Crescent-native, Olether L. Patmon-Toliver, witnessed large volume water trucks, dirt hauling trucks and flatbeds drive and park near her residence. The number of trucks continue to increase, cause loud, disruptive noise, and emit harmful fumes.

“The piercing noise from trucks awakens me, at 7 a.m., every morning,” Toliver said. “Since the trucks arrived, I can see smoke seeping in through my window and air conditioning vents, and I’ve developed severe headaches. We must protect Crescent’s ‘http://crescentoklahoma.com/about/  and we have the right to know what is happening in our neighborhoods.”

Multiple residents say neither City of Crescent nor http://www.logancountyok.com/ officials have been helpful or responsive to questions about the activity in the area or provided information on how the area was zoned for heavy equipment without input from the impacted residents.

“My son contacted the city manager who referred us to the company that owns the trucks,” Toliver said. “He has followed-up with both contacts multiple times over the past eight months, but we still haven’t received any information if it’s zoned properly or what to expect in terms of future plans for the site. My family’s roots to Crescent trace back almost 100 years and I know citizens want our city to prosper, but not at the cost of our personal property values or well-being.”

Toliver’s family owns several parcels of land in Crescent. She said the city has allowed industrial type facilities, including a lubricants storage facility, to encroach on her neighborhood before without any involvement of the residents who live nearby.

According to an article published in http://finance-commerce.com/2011/08/lost-real-estate-value-at-issue-in-zoning-cases/ , this type of industrial activity could have an impact on residential property values. The article states, “Generally, land that is zoned industrial may be worth significantly less than land zoned for residential use, which in turn may be valued less than property for commercial or retail use.” Multiple universities and real estate groups have also published research studies with the same findings.

“The legacy my grandparents started and I plan to leave to my children is now at risk,” Toliver said. “In addition, the environmental and health hazards threaten the Crescent promise to be ‘one of the safest places in America to raise a family.’ That’s why we are inviting everyone to join our movement to keep our community healthy and prosperous.”

Keep Crescent OK has already gained traction across social media and recently launched a website, KeepCrescentOK.com, to raise awareness and get more citizens involved. The website allows visitors to join the movement by inviting them to participate in a community dialog and providing contact information of local government officials they should contact to help obtain information and drive awareness.

For more information about the campaign, visit http://KeepCrescentOK.com  and connect on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook under the handle @KeepCrescentOK.

About Keep Crescent OK:

Keep Crescent OK is a movement committed to raising awareness and inspiring positive environmental action in Crescent, Oklahoma. Concerned citizens founded this movement in light of recent, unidentified industrial activity that is feet away residential homes. Our mission is to create a meaningful impact by educating and empowering the entire community to participate in open dialog to foster effective change and stay informed. Join us at http://KeepCrescentOK.com or on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook under KeepCrescentOK.

Support for Students in Economic Crisis

SDSU is launching an Economic Crisis Response Team to better help students facing economic crisis.

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (April 30, 2015) — San Diego State University has launched an Economic Crisis Response Team, or ECRT, to better assist students who are facing an unexpected economic crisis.

The ECRT, which began meeting in October, includes faculty, staff, students and administrators from across campus who are working together to develop a plan to support SDSU students facing financial instability that could result in them being homeless or hungry.

“We have always supported students in need, but a formalized process to assist students in these types of situations has never been in place,” said Christy Samarkos, associate vice president for Campus Life. “As we noticed an increase in the number of students coming forward seeking help, we gathered a team to work on identifying all of the resources available to our students and establishing a process to help students access those resources.”

Resources and support

In addition to establishing a process for students to follow so they can receive support, the ECRT is also:

  • Working to more efficiently coordinate existing campus resources
  • Pinpointing off-campus resources available to students and their families
  • Determining the most effective way to communicate with students about available resources and processes
  • Planning programming and other forms of education to help students avoid financial crises in the future
  • Identifying areas of need for additional campus resources

“Our students find themselves in these situations for any number of reasons,” Samarkos said. “It can range from a parent losing their job and no longer being able to help with expenses, to students facing the costs of treating a serious illness to mismanagement of their financial aid funding.”

Help on and off campus

Existing on-campus resources include providing temporary housing and meal assistance; help with applying for and obtaining additional financial aid due to a change in financial status; assistance with finding on-campus employment; and social worker and/or counseling services.

Off-campus resources that have been identified include longer-term housing assistance, career assistance, counseling and crisis management support and application for longer-term state or federal assistance and access to health care.

Survey: Financial Professionals Offering Fossil-Fuel-Free Portfolios Nearly Doubled From 2013 To 2015

SRI Conference Poll Confirms Strong Growth of Fossil-Free Focus, Interest in “Low Carbon” Investments

NEW YORK CITY AND COLORADO SPRINGS – April 30, 2015 – The number of investment professionals in the U.S. offering fossil fuel-free portfolios to investors nearly doubled—jumping from 22 percent to 42 percent of those polled—from 2013 to 2015 amid growing signs of retail and institutional investor interest in such choices, according to The SRI Conference 2015 Fossil Fuels Divestment Survey released today by First Affirmative Financial Network.

The 2015 Fossil Fuels Divestment Survey is being released in advance of the 26th annual SRI Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing, the largest annual meeting of responsible investors and investment professionals in the U.S. With a theme of “All In For Impact,” The SRI Conference (http://www.SRIconference.com) takes place November 3-5, 2015 at The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Based on 510 responses primarily from the ranks of SRI investment professionals, the survey findings contain these highlights:

  • 73 percent of SRI professionals see 2015 as “the right time for investor to assess and perhaps alter” their investments in fossil fuels.
  • Two thirds of respondents (67 percent) indicated that retail investors want fossil-free investing choices.
  • The number of respondents indicating that institutional investors are interested in fossil fuel free investing rose from 49 percent in 2014 to 61 percent in the 2015 survey.
  • 77 percent of respondents believe that there are growing risks associated with investing in fossil fuel extractors/manufacturers.
  • Nearly half (47 percent) of respondents said they believe “the movement to divest from fossil fuel extraction companies is expanding to include companies that produce large… greenhouse gas emissions.”
  • When SRI investment professionals divest of fossil fuel companies, the three places they are most likely to reallocate those investments are:  renewable energy companies (59 percent); “proportionately across the remaining portfolio (56 percent); and clean technology companies (52 percent).  (Respondents were allowed to provide multiple answers to this survey question.)
  • Many more survey respondents (61 percent) are concerned about “stranded asset” risks to investors created by climate change than those who are not (15 percent).  Only one in four respondents either don’t know about or are unsure about this “carbon bubble” risk.

First Affirmative President Steve Schueth, producer of The SRI Conference, said: “Fossil fuel divestment has become a high priority for many socially conscious investors over the past couple of years. The steady growth in the number of investment professionals offering fossil-fuel-free portfolios indicates that this trend is likely to continue for years to come. Our new survey clearly reflects one of the real strengths of SRI, which adapts to and embraces major new issues as they arise for concerned investors.”

The full survey findings are available online at http://bit.ly/1JbUPC8.

The SRI Conference 2015 Fossil Fuels Divestment Survey was conducted in April 2015. SRI industry professionals were asked to weigh-in on 15 questions regarding fossil-fuel-free investing and related investor concerns. The survey was completed by 510 industry investment professionals, including advisors, asset managers, institutional investors, and representatives of SRI investment companies, community development financial institutions, and social research/proxy voting organizations.

ABOUT THE SRI CONFERENCE

Now in its 26th year, The SRI Conference (http://www.sriconference.com/) will take place November 3-5, 2015 at The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Leaders in the philanthropy and foundation worlds are invited to participate in the largest, longest-running annual meeting of responsible investors and investment professionals. Early-bird registration is now open at http://www.sriconference.com/documents/registration-form.pdf

Conference participation is open to investment professionals, institutional investors, and related organizations and individuals who are working to direct the flow of investment capital in more positive, healthy, transformative ways—toward the creation of a truly sustainable future. The conference experience features an outstanding series of educational sessions and a focused opportunity to network with hundreds of like-minded individuals, organizations, and industry leaders.

ABOUT FIRST AFFIRMATIVE FINANCIAL NETWORK

First Affirmative Financial Network, LLC (http://www.firstaffirmative.com) is an independent Registered Investment Advisor (SEC File #801-56587) offering investment consulting and asset management services through a nationwide network of investment professionals who specialize in serving socially conscious investors. First Affirmative produces The SRI Conference (http://www.SRIconference.com).

May Marks the Return of the Annual Spring Plant Sale at Cranbrook Gardens

43 years in, the plant sale continues to be a winner for Cranbrook House and Gardens Auxiliary

Bloomfield Hills, MI – More than 700 pots and growing! Dedicated volunteers continue to get their hands dirty at Cranbrook House and Gardens, planting, propagating and making other preparations for their ever anticipated 43rd Annual Spring Plant Sale. Held this year on Tuesday, May 12 from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm, and Wednesday, May 13 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, the sale has blossomed into one of the largest fundraisers for Cranbrook House and Gardens Auxiliary.

The plant sale will feature annuals, perennials, Conservatory Greenhouse tropical plants, herbs, vegetbables and more, including Native Michigan plants and wildflowers that have been rescued by volunteers from sites where they were endangered. Visitors can also purchase Thistle Gift Shop locally produced arts and crafts merchandise, gardening books and materials, Cranbrook mementos, and more.

Cranbrook House and Gardens Auxiliary volunteers, some of which are Master Gardeners, will be on hand and ready to share their green thumb knowledge with plant sale guests.

Admission to Cranbrook Gardens is free during the spring plant sale and the entire 2015 tour season (May through October), courtesy of presenting sponsor PNC Bank, and sponsors Roberts Restaurant Group and Meijer. Proceeds from the plant sale and donations help the non-profit, volunteer organization with the preservation of Cranbrook House and Gardens, a National Historic Landmark. Funds raised have been used for the restoration of iconic fountains and sculptures, to improve walkways, install a sprinkler system, and perform other necessary maintenance on the historic and extensive grounds, for instance.

Cranbrook House and Gardens is located at 380 Lone Pine Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303. Guests should park across the street at Christ Church Cranbrook, 470 Church Road, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where a shuttle service will be provided. Plant sale goers are also encouraged to bring wagons to transport their purchases back to their vehicles. Uneven terrain in some areas may make walking difficult. Assistance for persons using wheelchairs and walkers is recommended.

For more information on Cranbrook House and Gardens Auxiliary or their 43rd Annual Spring Plant Sale, please visit http://housegardens.cranbrook.edu

The Alpha Workshops TO Host Annual Awards on May 12th

Jamie Drake, Best & Company and Founding Board Members Will Be Honored as The Alpha Workshops Continues to Celebrate Its 20th Anniversary

NEW YORK (April 2015) – This year marks two decades of success for New York City-based non-profit The Alpha Workshops, an organization that provides creative HIV-positive individuals with industry-specific training and employment in the decorative arts. The 20th Anniversary celebration will continue with the annual Alpha Awards on May 12, 2015 at The Broad Street Ballroom in the Financial District.

The benefit will honor Alpha’s founding Board Members, Barry Head, Ellen Levy, Elinor Polansky and Barbara Small; Chip Brian and Michael Daddio of Best & Company; and Jamie Drake, in conjunction with the launch of the Alpha Workshop’s Scholarship Fund. For the first time, Alpha will introduce a specialized endowment to finance the tuition of incoming students, encouraging their studies in high-quality craft and focused artistry.

“All of our Alpha Awards honorees have given so much time and generosity to The Alpha Workshops,” says founder and Executive Director Kenneth Wampler. “It has been incredibly rewarding to work with such talented individuals over the past two decades and we are ever so thankful for their contributions. We look forward to another twenty years of changing lives through decorative arts education.”

Over 350 influential New Yorkers will come together in an effort to raise awareness and funding in support of The Alpha Workshops’ $300,000 Benefit goal. In addition to live and silent auctions, guests and supporters of the organization are encouraged to participate in an online auction, where bidding is slated to begin on April 28, 2015. Please visit https://www.501auctions.com/alphaawards for more information and an opportunity to bid on offerings including luxury travel, dining experiences, and home decor items, among others.

Sponsors of the 2015 Alpha Awards are: Event Co-Chairs Steve Symonds and Jonathan L. Raiola, Auction Co-Chairs Guy Clark and Jerry Austin, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Jamie Drake, Mary Fisher, Ellen Levy and Gregg Horowitz, and Steve Symonds.

The Alpha Workshops Gallery is located on the ground floor of 245 West 29th Street. Please visit www.alphaworkshops.org for more information.

ABOUT THE ALPHA WORKSHOPS

Dedicated to creating beauty and changing lives, The Alpha Workshops is the nation’s only non-profit organization providing creative HIV -positive individuals with industry-specific training and employment in the decorative arts. Founded in 1995, the multi-faceted organization encompasses The Alpha Workshops Studio School (AWSS), a vocational school licensed by the New York State Department of Education, and Alpha Workshops Studios, an award -winning professional design and decorative arts atelier staffed exclusively by AWSS graduates. In March 2015, The Alpha Workshops opened its first exhibition of fabrications and finishes in its new storefront gallery below its school and studio space. The venue will serve as a multipurpose atelier, showroom, exhibit and event space. Alpha’s staff of artists also produce hand -painted wallpapers, custom built and hand-finished case goods, hand-fabricated lamps, and accessories made to specification and available through select showrooms.

United Way Mexico Recognized as Top 10 Foundation in Mexico

United Way Mexico (Fondo Unido Mexico) was recently named as one of the top non-corporate foundations in Mexico. Last year, Fondo Unido Mexico came in the top 10 for the amount of money raised and number of people engaged on a local level without the name recognition of other Mexican foundations like Fundacion Televisa or Fundacion HSBC FE. The CEO and the Board Chair both are available to discuss how the United Way has been successful working alongside the Mexican government to improve the lives of Mexican people through education, health care, and jobs. The CEO and the Board Chair are in Dallas, TX this week to receive the United Way Worldwide Common Good Award for its program solution called Nacer Aprendiendo, an early childhood education program also known as Born Learning in the U.S. For the past 5 years the program in Mexico has improved the learning conditions of more than 12,000 children aged 3-6 in 6 different Mexican States and has trained 800 community educators. Below are the CEO and the Board Chair’s bios.

Mauricio Kuri, CEO of Fondo Unido México

Prior to joining Fondo Unido Mexico, Kuri spent more than 20 years as an executive for several global corporations like Six Flags, Chrysler and General Motors. His experience allowed him to successfully face the most terrible crisis on the automotive business history in 2009 when he was the head of Public and Governmental Relations of General Motors Mexico and helped strengthen the company’s reputation in Mexico. Kuri is also Professor for the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (Monterrey Institute of Technology). He is a top Automotive analyst who goes on Bloomberg TV Mexico and contributes articles for Manufacturing Magazine. Born in Mexico City, Kuri studied at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Alfonso Villalva, Fondo Unido México Board Chair

Alfonso Villalva is an international attorney and partner at Bufete Villalva, S.C. Throughout his career, he has represented Mexican, U.S., Canadian, European, Asian and South American banks and corporations by negotiating joint ventures and strategic investments in Mexico, Latin America and many other countries. Villalva has been director, secretary, assistant secretary and alternate director of several public and private corporations and institutions in Mexico, South America, the United States and Europe. Alfonso has participated for over 20 years in different capacities at United Way México (serving as member of the board and Secretary for more than 14 years); he was elected Chair of United Way México on December 2011. Since 2012 he has been a member of the United Way Worldwide Leadership Council.

The Miracle Foundation Launches Campaign that Uniquely Honors Our Mothers & Supports Orphans

Non-Profit Hopes to raise $100k to Fund New Orphanage by Mother’s Day

AUSTIN, TX – There are millions of orphaned children in the developing world, many of whom languish in sub-standard institutions without access to basic food, clean water, clothing, schooling and medical care. That’s why The Miracle Foundation, a non-profit organization that empowers orphans to realize their full potential by turning orphanages into places where children thrive, is launching its unique Mother’s Day campaign. The 501(c)(3) charity, which revolutionizes the way orphanages are run, funded and managed, hopes to raise $100,000 with its campaign by May 10th to fund its next orphanage in India, thereby securing happy childhoods for a new group of orphans.

“This Mother’s Day, instead of giving her flowers, candy, or dinner at a nice restaurant, we invite you to honor your Mom by spending the same amount of money in a much more meaningful way, one that gives children without parents a real childhood,” said Caroline Boudreaux, Founder of The Miracle Foundation. “Participating in our campaign will engage both of you in the lives of less fortunate children in the developing world. What better way to pay tribute to your mother than by donating to those who don’t have one?”

To honor a Mom, gift givers simply visit www.miraclefoundation.org/mothers. There, for as little as $10, they can make a tax-deductible donation in the name of their mother or other special woman in their lives, which will go towards the $100,000 goal. The gift-giver will receive an email with a special message and certificate they can forward to their mother, along with “before” and “after” photos of one of the Miracle Foundation’s partner orphanages, demonstrating what a difference their donation will make.

“We believe in quality over quantity, in supporting the whole child and breaking the cycle of poverty. The new Mother’s Day campaign represents a meaningful new way that every person can get involved and honor a mother at the same time,” added Caroline Boudreaux, Founder of The Miracle Foundation. “Helping children go from hopeless and head-down, to empowered and standing-tall, with bright futures ahead of them, is one of the most fulfilling endeavors in the world.”

Launched on Mother’s Day in 2000, The Miracle Foundation turns struggling, institutional orphanages into stable, loving, nurturing homes where children can thrive and truly change the story of their lives. The Austin, TX-based organization partners with existing orphanages to implement its proven and systematic method for providing a home where the fundamental needs and rights of growing children are met, from the day they arrive until the day they graduate into adulthood.

The Miracle Foundation is unique in that its metric-driven method is measurable, scalable, and transparent, guarding against corruption and ensuring that all donations go directly into nurturing and transforming the lives of the children they serve.

“The Miracle Foundation proves that one person can make a difference,” said Shelley Seale, donor. “I have witnessed first-hand what my monthly donation can do to change the lives of many. I’ve traveled to India and visited the orphanages and have seen the difference my investment makes in orphans’ lives. We are empowering children to be the best that they can be.”

The Miracle Foundation has been honored with the highest possible rating of four stars by Charity Navigator, an independent organization that evaluates U.S. charities’ effectiveness and financial transparency:

http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=11895#.UwPGOWJdU1I

For more information, please visit www.miraclefoundation.org.

About The Miracle Foundation

The Miracle Foundation is an Austin, TX-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that transforms the lives of orphan children and empowers them to reach their full potential by revolutionizing the way orphanages are run, funded and managed. Launched on Mother’s Day in 2000, The Miracle Foundation partners with existing orphanages to implement its proven and systematic method that turns struggling, institutional orphanages into stable, loving, nurturing homes where children can thrive and truly change the story of their lives. The organization is implementing a world-changing idea for orphans everywhere, centered on its “12 rights of an orphan child” philosophy. Currently, the Miracle Foundation supports nine orphanages in rural India, with plans to be in 14 orphanages by the end of 2014

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