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Monthly Archives: July 2016

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Roaring Success As Tiger Population Rises In Nepal

ZSL celebrates as Endangered Bengal tiger sightings increase by 90%

Endangered tiger numbers have nearly doubled in Nepal in just three years, thanks to conservation efforts by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).

Survey figures released on International Tiger Day (July 29), show that Endangered Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris) numbers have risen dramatically since the Society and its partners began their important conservation work in the Chitwan-Parsa tiger complex in 2014.

ZSL collaborated with The Government of Nepal’s Department for National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC), the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) and Panthera, the global wild cat conservation organisation, to carry out the2016 survey in Parsa – as part of their ongoing partnership to protect and monitor tigers throughout the lowlands of Nepal.

ZSL’s Conservation Programmes Director, Prof. Jonathan Baillie said: “Success for tiger conservation requires viable habitats, stringent protection, effective monitoring and community engagement and when those conditions are in place, tiger numbers will flourish as Parsa has demonstrated very clearly. Nepal’s exemplary track record in conserving its iconic wildlife makes it a conservation leader in the South Asian region.”

Today, just 3,900 wild tigers remain in all of Asia, largely due to poaching for the illegal wildlife trade. In 2013 Nepal was estimated to support 163-235 Bengal tigers; the latest survey confirms that Parsa is now home to approximately 90% more.

Nepal’s Director General of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Krishna Acharya said: ‘The tiger population in Parsa Wildlife Reserve has significantly increased since the last census, this is fantastic news for tigers and it demonstrates that Nepal’s dedicated conservation efforts are delivering clear results. Nepal has committed to doubling its tiger population by 2022 and encouraging results like these show that we are on track to achieve that.”

Panthera Senior Tiger Program Director, Dr. John Goodrich, stated: “The impressive doubling of tigers in Parsa, and the almost unprecedented speed of this recovery, is testament to how law enforcement and strong government leadership can help save the species. At a time when poachers are waging an all-out war against wildlife, Nepal serves as a beacon of hope for the tiger.”

Goodrich continued: “The country’s conservation model and the courageous spirit of those working to protect Nepal’s natural heritage, particularly given the devastating earthquake of April 2015, must be celebrated and replicated to ensure the tiger lives on throughout Asia.”

The Chitwan-Parsa complex – made up of Chitwan National Park and the Parsa Wildlife Reserve -contains nearly 2000 km2 of contiguous tiger habitat and is one of the highest priority landscapes for conservation in Nepal.

Since 2014, ZSL and Panthera have collaborated in the Parsa Wildlife Reserve to monitor tigers and their prey using camera traps, and provide training for effective law enforcement training and the use of the SMART system – a computer-based platform that improves the effectiveness of wildlife patrols.

Parsa is also a trial site for innovative conservation technologies, which have been effectively deployed to provide valuable information to park managers including ZSL’s seismic and magnetic sensors and Panthera’s PoacherCam – a remote camera that distinguishes people from wildlife and can transmit images to law enforcement.

ZSL in partnership with the DNPWC has also recently equipped and supported the deployment of a state of the art Rapid Response Patrol team in the Parsa Wildlife Reserve which further strengthens the park management’s capacity to prevent tiger poaching before it takes place.

Over the next few years ZSL and Panthera plan to expand their conservation efforts to three other protected areas that are home to tigers in the lowlands of Nepal.

Jay Leno Joins Forces with Veterans Charity Ride for a Second Year

Leno to be honorary chairman for 2016 new year-round motorcycle therapy program

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Press Release – LOS ANGELES – July 29, 2016 – Comedian and host of Jay Leno’s Garage, Jay Leno, will serve as honorary chairman for Veterans Charity Ride and its new year-round motorcycle therapy program. Leno first became involved with the organization during its inaugural ride last year when he hosted veterans at his garage in Los Angeles. The Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis will kick off again this Saturday, July 30. Leno, a longtime motorcycle enthusiast, will support the veterans as they ride from Los Angeles to the 76th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota. The ride provides motorcycle therapy to veterans as an outlet for post-traumatic stress (PTS) and other challenges associated with assimilation back to civilian life.

“This is the second year I’ll be supporting the Veterans Charity Ride, and I’ve already learned so much from interacting with these courageous men and women,” said Leno. “I’m very thankful to be part of such a worthwhile and life-changing event with heroes who share my passion for cars and motorcycles.”

In addition to Leno, actor Mark Wahlberg, another motorcycle enthusiast, has shared his support for Veterans Charity Ride. This year, Wahlberg created a personal greeting video, as well as a series of videos, announcing his support of the program and showing his gratitude to veterans for their service.

“I’m so inspired by the brave men and women I’ve met through Veterans Charity Ride, and it has been an incredible experience to work alongside them on such a great cause,” said Wahlberg.

Joining the veterans for the launch at LA. City Fire Station #77, 9224 Sunland Blvd, Sun Valley CA 91352 on Saturday is Danny Trejo, iconic actor, motorcycle enthusiast and veteran supporter.

“I am honored to be at the launch of the Veterans Charity Ride. These veterans have given so much to this country, and I am happy to support them as they take off for this life-changing ride,” said Trejo.

Founded by veteran Army paratrooper Dave Frey and Emmy-award-winning director Robert Manciero, Veterans Charity Ride, along with main sponsor Indian Motorcycle, treats veterans to the ride of a lifetime. During the 1,776-mile ride through the western United States, the participating wounded and amputee veterans not only ride together but also come together to share their experiences with one another. The ride ultimately serves as a mechanism for them to begin to heal, de-stress and find emotional balance through the brotherhood of riding. Recently designated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Veterans Charity Ride will broaden its commitment to veterans with year-round support as an outlet for their stress, and create a way for them to bond with other veterans.

“As a veteran, I’ve used riding motorcycles as a way to alleviate stress for years. Many veterans, especially today’s younger veterans, suffer from PTS and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and they need a positive outlet to help them cope,” said Dave Frey, founder of Veterans Charity Ride. “Motorcyclists will tell you that riding isn’t just a hobby; it’s an experience that deeply impacts you. I realized that motorcycle therapy could be that positive experience for veterans.”

Several veterans who have suffered traumatic amputations will also participate in the ride. They will ride Indian Motorcycles with sidecars donated by Champion Sidecar. The sidecars the iconic journey to Sturgis possible for riding enthusiasts who can no longer operate traditional motorcycles without modification, including veteran Marine Sean Carroll, who will join the ride for a second year as a mentor.

This year, the ride will make six stops, including Las Vegas and Denver, before arriving in Sturgis for the weeklong rally and its festivities. During the rally, the veterans will partake in the ultimate Sturgis experience, which includes riding as special guests during the Buffalo Chip’s Freedom Celebration Ride.

Sponsorship and support for Veterans Charity Ride is provided this year by Indian Motorcycle, Monster Energy, Champion Sidecars, Lexus, Liberty Sport, Nordic Components, Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys, Sturgis Buffalo Chip, Cycle Gear, WASPcam, Branigan Communications, WhiteHeart Foundation and Resurgence Jeans.

For more information about Veterans Charity Ride, visit http://veteranscharityride.org

ABOUT FULL VISION PRODUCTIONS

Located in La Crescenta, California, Full Vision Productions was founded in 1994 by producer/director Robert Manciero. Since then, it has grown into a full service production company and agency with 11 Emmy awards and several festival awards to their credit. Originally specializing in extreme sports, Full Vision Productions has expanded into commercial, promotional and documentary film work for networks, major corporations and government agencies. In 2015, Full Vision Productions launched the Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis.

Please visit http://www.fullvisionproductions.com for more details.

ABOUT VETERANS CHARITY RIDE USA

Veterans Charity Ride USA is a non-profit organization that uses Motorcycle Therapy to provide a healing and fun experience for wounded, severely injured and amputee veterans from all branches of service who need support. Veterans Charity Ride provides our veterans with Indian Motorcycles, Champion Sidecars and Trikes to ride through the most beautiful scenic back roads of this great country, exploring America, getting our veterans outdoors, connecting veterans with mentors and visiting with other veterans, groups and supporters.

Challah for Hunger Launches New National Campaign to Address Food Insecurity among College Students

National advocacy and research project launching on 40 US college campuses

Press Release – WEST CHESTER, Pa., July 29 – Challah for Hunger announced the launch of a national advocacy and research project today during its annual leadership summit at West Chester University. In its first year, the “Campus Hunger Project” will train 80 student volunteers from 40 U.S. colleges to research the growing problem of food insecurity on campus and to investigate how administrations are addressing the growing problem.

The Campus Hunger Project is a collaboration of Challah for Hunger and MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger. While several universities and colleges have recognized food insecurity as a growing problem, few, if any, institutions have sought to understand the scope of this issue – or to recommend long-term solutions.

“The issue of hunger on college campuses is one that is hidden in plain sight – and since college is so expensive, people tend to assume that students can afford healthy meals,” said Carly Zimmerman, CEO of Challah for Hunger, which has worked with college students on hunger advocacy and education for 12 years. “The cliche of the college student who survives by eating ramen is becoming more and more of a reality.”

Photo Credits: Nick Thompson.

As college tuition costs continue to rise, an increasing number of students cannot afford adequate housing and sufficiently nutritious food. More than 56,000 college students identify as homeless on their financial aid applications and one out of every seven students visited a food bank last year. One in five students enrolled in the City University of New York system reported having to choose between buying books and food last year.

“Food insecurity on campus is a hidden health crisis that we intend to address through research and advocacy with the Campus Hunger Project,” said Zimmerman. “We believe that if you work hard and are accepted to college, you shouldn’t have to forfeit basic rights to food, shelter, and safety to pursue a higher education.”

The national initiative was announced at the Challah for Hunger Leadership Summit at West Chester University. The summit is a three-day conference gathering more than 100 students, alumni and partners. To learn more about the summit, please visit: http://challahforhunger.org/summit2016/.

About Challah for Hunger

Challah for Hunger is a Philadelphia-based nonprofit organization that involves more than 3,000 youth annually in activism and advocacy for social justice through 80 student-led, college-based chapters in 28 U.S. states, the U.K. and Australia. Volunteers gather to bake and sell challah, traditional Jewish bread eaten on the Sabbath and on holidays. Fifty percent of its profits are donated to anti-hunger organizations in each chapter’s community, while the other half goes towards Challah for Hunger’s national and philanthropic education partner, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger. To date, Challah for Hunger has raised and donated over $900,000 to these causes. Fore more information about Challah for Hunger, please visit: challahforhunger.org.

With My Own Two Hands celebrates five years of helping Kenyan children in need

Over the past five years, the non-profit has supported hundreds of children

Press Release – Laguna Beach, Calif.With My Own Two Hands, an Orange County-based non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of orphaned children in Africa, celebrates its five-year anniversary this month. To date, the non-profit has provided 77 children with shelter, given 144 students access to education, 783 people access to clean water, 152 children access to food and 71 children have been given new clothes as birthday gifts.

In celebration of its five-year anniversary, WMO2H’s is releasing a documentary, featuring four major projects in Kenya that further the organizations goal of providing education, food, water and shelter to orphaned or disadvantaged children.

St. Ann’s Orphanage

  • After six months of fundraising, WMO2H was able to build a four bedroom home, giving additional children a place to call home at the orphanage. In 2015, WMO2H partnered with EDUN and J.Crew to design and sell clothing, with the profits benefitting St. Ann’s. The funds from the collaboration were used specifically to build a greenhouse, providing fresh vegetables and a sustainable way of life for the kids.

HELGA Rescue Center

  • WMO2H raised more than $77,000 at a documentary screening in July of 2015 to fund a project to build a new dormitory to house 42 girls. The dormitory gives girls a safe place to live freely, while providing them with an education. All 42 beds were filled as soon as the space opened.

AIC Rescue Center

  • In 2015, WMO2H sponsored the education of 27 girls rescued from Female Genital Mutilation and forced early marriage, furthering the organization’s goal to provide a safe space for girls to learn.

The Wholistic Center

  • In February 2015, WMO2H opened a new school at the Wholistic Center in Ruiru, Kenya. In addition, WMO2H renovated an old school building with new windows, fresh paint, a full computer lab and indoor plumbing.
  • In 2013, WMO2H raised $17,000 to drill a water borehole to provide clean drinking water to children at the Wholistic Center. The center now has running water that can be used for drinking and agricultural needs.

Tumanini School

  • A new water borehole was drilled at the Tumanini School in Tumanini, Kenya in December 2015. The school educates over 170 children, and the borehole now provides water for over 400 people in the surrounding communities.

“With the helping hands of so many, our organization has helped provide education and basic necessities to hundreds of children,” said Lindsey Pluimer, founder and CEO of With My Own Two Hands. “We have also helped many projects in Kenya become self-sustainable by generating their own income to support the kids they take care of. We are proud of our work the last five years and look forward to expanding and growing in the next five years ahead.”

For more information on With My Own Two Hands Foundation, including ways to get involved, visit http://www.withmyown2hands.org/.

About With My Own Two Hands

With My Own Two Hands Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is dedicated to improving the lives of orphaned or disadvantaged children in need. With the belief that diminishing poverty must start with the children, the organization’s goal is to provide an education to children in need while making sure they have the necessities of shelter, water, and food. For more information, please visit http://www.withmyown2hands.org/.

 

All Hands Deploys New Insect Prevention Tactics for Volunteers as They Rebuild Homes/Hope in Ecuador

Just before 7pm local time on April 16th, 2016, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the coast of Ecuador, killing 661 people and leaving over 20,000 others homeless.

Into the zone of destruction flew All Hands Volunteers, the world’s leading disaster relief organization powered by volunteers. The non-profit organization addresses the immediate and long-term needs of communities impacted by natural disaster by engaging and leveraging volunteers, partner organizations and local communities.

All Hands were on the ground within 60 hours of the event and have been in the ManabÍ province ever since, demolishing unsafe structures, building temporary and permanent homes, and rebuilding hope for the some of the worst affected communities.

While both a humbling and transformative experience for all involved, it is easy to forget that volunteering in a disaster zone can also be precarious work. For, as is the case in Ecuador, not only is a volunteer entering an active seismic zone, but is also putting him or herself at risk of contracting mosquito-borne diseases that may be prevalent in the area.

“The health and safety of our volunteers is absolutely paramount,” said Tanya Glanville-Wallis, Director of PR & Communications for All Hands Volunteers. “But other than the obvious tactics such as mosquito nets and insect repellent, it has been difficult to prevent outbreaks and we have been looking for a way in which to generate peace of mind as our volunteers perform this important recovery work.”

Indeed, unlike Malaria for instance, for which preventative measures can be taken, there is no vaccine for diseases such as Zika and therefore prevention of mosquito bites is critical in an area where the virus is rife.

Enter Insect Shield®, an organization specializing in repellent technologies, who has partnered with All Hands in a bid to provide a much needed additional layer of protection. The Insect Shield process binds a proprietary permethrin formula tightly to fabric fibers—resulting in effective, odorless insect protection that lasts the expected lifetime of apparel. Proven to effectively protect from the day biting Aedes mosquito, transmitter of the Zika virus, this product has now been applied to the t-shirts worn by All Hands Volunteers in the field.

“This partnership is invaluable to our staff on the ground in Ecuador, our incoming volunteers and the local communities we are doing our best to assist,” says Erik Dyson, All Hands’ Executive Director and CEO. “By adding this extra layer of cover, our hope is to help prevent the spread of disease, therefore allowing us to continue our work uninterrupted and enabling us to continue to reach the communities that need us most.”

About All Hands Volunteers:

Since its inception following the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami in 2004, All Hands Volunteers has responded to 66 disasters worldwide, engaging over 35,000 volunteers and donating 180,000 days; including Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and last year’s devastating earthquakes in Nepal. Philanthropic leaders say the organization is known for being nimble, collaborative, and professional in its response to the immediate and long term needs of those suffering in the aftermath of a natural disaster.

More Information:
Support All Hands Volunteers’ efforts in Ecuador by making a donation at www.hands.org/donate
For more about All Hands Volunteers, visit www.hands.org

About Insect Shield® Technology:

Insect Shield Repellent Apparel and Gear are revolutionary products designed to provide long-lasting, effective and convenient personal insect protection. The durable protection provided by Insect Shield is the result of years of research and testing. In July 2003, Insect Shield Repellent Apparel was registered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Insect Shield Technology is utilized by leading lifestyle brands, work wear distributors and International relief organizations across the globe to provide effective protection against insects and the diseases they can carry. Insect Shield is an approved vendor of the US Army and US Marine Corps. insectshield.com

Insect Shield Global Health & Humanitarian Efforts
http://www.insectshield.com/AboutUs/GlobalHealth.aspx
Where to buy Insect Shield protective clothing:
Insect Shield Online store
How to get your own clothes treated with Insect Shield® protection:
Insect Shield Your Own Clothes

Chideo Announces Partnership with Circa to Produce and Stream New Cause-Focused Celebrity Web Series

New web series “In the Back Seat with…” will stream on Circa, giving millennials an intimate look into how celebs give back. The series focuses on in-depth, one-on-one celebrity interviews about their charitable causes and latest projects.

Press Release – Los, Angeles, CA (PRWEB) July 28, 2016 Today, Chideo, part of the Charity Network, announced a partnership with Circa, a new mobile-friendly, video-driven news and entertainment portal that launched today. Under the new deal, Chideo, a leader in cause and entertainment content, will produce a celebrity-driven web series called, “In the Back Seat with…” that will stream on Circa’s various digital platforms, including its website and mobile app.

The new web series, which can be accessed at Circa.com/pop-culture, will focus on in-depth, one-on-one celebrity interviews about their charitable causes and their latest projects as they ride around in the back seat of a luxury SUV. Each celebrity guest can drive direct donations to their favorite charity or cause through tie-ins with the Charity Network’s fundraising platforms Charitybuzz and Prizeo. Initial “In the Back Seat with…” interviews will feature music and sports legends including LL Cool J supporting Jump and Ball, Kevin Love supporting St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Mike Rowe supporting mikeroweWORKS and Cardinal Timothy Dolan in support of the Archdiocese of New York.

“As we continue to build the Charity Network, we want to make cause-centric content readily available to people across multiple platforms, which is why Circa is such a great partner,” said Charity Network founder and chairman Todd Wagner. “Chideo’s new web series will give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at each celebrity’s life and how they give back, resulting in increased awareness and donations for the causes they care about most.”

John Solomon, Circa’s chief creative officer, said the partnership offers a chance to inspire a new generation of volunteers and philanthropists. “We know the next generation of consumers have a healthy appetite for cause-focused content, and we’re excited to be partnered with Chideo, the leader in this space, to create an entertaining series that will drive people to learn, think and become engaged themselves,” Solomon said.

“In The Back Seat with…” will be hosted by Circa’s Los Angeles Bureau Chief Stephanie Abrams and Chideo’s Cash Sirois, both longtime experts on Hollywood and charitable giving. Abrams has been a journalist in Los Angeles and the national scene for two decades and has chronicled the rise of charitable giving in the digital era through her regular Give Back News reports. Sirois is an Emmy® Award-winning sports journalist and co-host of the “Cirque du Sirois Show” on Dallas’ SportsRadio 1310 The Ticket.

The new project builds on an existing partnership Chideo struck in May 2015 with Circa’s parent company, Sinclair Broadcast Group (Nasdaq: SBGI), the largest television broadcaster in the country. Through this unique distribution deal, Sinclair connects approximately 43 million homes with Chideo’s inspirational and entertaining content – all to benefit the world’s leading charities. With the addition of Circa, we expect to add millions of unique web visitor per month.

About Chideo

Chideo (Charity + Video) is redefining “charity content,” teaming up with celebrity ambassadors, charity partners and brands to create compelling content by, for and about cause. Through a growing list of syndicated distribution partners – Sinclair Broadcast Group, Tribune Company, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Twitter, Delta Airlines and many more – Chideo reaches audiences across TV, Online, and In-flight—all to benefit the world’s leading charities.

By offering users exclusive and original video content across a broad spectrum of entertainment, sports, business, music, fashion, food, design and culture, Chideo gives celebrities, nonprofits and brands an easy way to quickly drive awareness and raise funds for important causes. Founded by entrepreneur and philanthropist Todd Wagner, Chideo is a member of the Charity Network. It serves as a sister company to Charitybuzz, a charitable online auction platform, and Prizeo, a charitable online sweepstakes platform.

About Circa

Circa LLC is a mobile-friendly, video news and entertainment portal designed for the next-generation consumer who wants to do more than just read or watch content. Circa has been creating original news content in the following areas: politics, U.S. and world news, security, entertainment, lifestyle, pop culture, documentaries and quizzes. Circa will launch two daily newscasts, The Circa 60 and Great American Pop Report, and will be bringing you the latest in original coverage. Backed by Sinclair Broadcast Group, Circa has offices in Washington DC, New York, Los Angeles, Austin, and Seattle.

Jobs for America’s Graduates Announces the Best Results in its History: 94% Graduation Rates and Doubling the Rate Disadvantaged Youth Secure Work

Completing its 35th anniversary year of serving over one million of the nation’s most at-risk and disadvantaged young people, Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) announces the results of its services to the JAG Class of 2015. JAG provides a full 12 months of intensive support after graduation to help ensure a successful transition to work, college, or – for about half the students – both.

Four bipartisan Governors lead the JAG Board of Directors (two Democrats and two Republicans). More Governors serve on the JAG Board than on any other non-profit board in the nation (11). In addition, serving on the JAG Board are national leaders such as former Michigan Governor John Engler (President of the Business Roundtable), Stacey D. Stewart (U.S. President of the United Way Worldwide), Marc Morial (President of the National Urban League), and a dozen C-Suite executive of the Fortune 500.

The results for the 12 months of follow-up for the Class of 2015 across more than 1,000 classrooms in 32 states highlight the program’s ability to enhance the academic and economic outcomes for these at-risk and disadvantaged youth:

  • Graduation Rate:  94%
  • Positive Outcomes Rate:  82% (work, college, or a combination)
  • Job Placement Rate:  61% (the highest in 20 years)
  • Full-time Jobs Rate:  73% (the highest in 20 years)
  • Full-time Placement Rate:  89% (The combination of work or college alone or together equal to a 40-hour weekly commitment of time)
  • Further Education Rate:  43%

Jobs for America’s Graduates Board Chairman, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, commented on the new results: “JAG convincingly demonstrates that we do know what it takes to help challenged youth succeed. These results are why Governors, State Legislatures, school systems, and leaders of the private sector are so committed to the program.”

Reflecting the value that the business community has found in the employment preparation JAG students receive in the program, Governor Engler noted: “It is a remarkable fact that 5,000 employers across the nation hire JAG students every year. They do so for the very best of business reasons. JAG’s young people come to work on time, are excited about their work, anxious to grow in their jobs, and are all about customer service to and the success of their employers.”

Stacey D. Stewart, the U.S. President of the United Way Worldwide, highlighted the “Collective Impacts” that JAG provides that also reflects the goals of the United Way: “The success of these very disadvantaged and at-risk young people demonstrates that they are also young people of truly great promise. They are successful not only because of the extraordinary effort the staff and schools make, but also because of the coalescing of the schools and community around the JAG organization to help these young people succeed.

Jobs for America’s Graduates offers Middle School, High School, and Out-of-School applications of the JAG Model, as well as alternative school settings serving high school dropouts and other disadvantaged populations. Twenty-three State Legislatures invest in the program, as do dozens of other agencies, workforce boards, hundreds of schools, and a broad range of private sector contributors and leaders who have given of their time and financial resources.

For more information, please visit the JAG website at www.jag.org.

Maytag and Boys & Girls Clubs of America Enlist Kid President to Help Honor ‘Awesome’ Adults

New Kid President Video Encourages Nominations for Maytag Dependable Leader Award

Press Release – PR Newswire, Benton Harbor, Mich., July 28, 2016 : Dependable adults make a difference in the lives of youth every day, and oftentimes the hard work can go unnoticed. That’s why Maytag and Boys & Girls Clubs of America have been honoring Boys & Girls Club members with the Maytag Dependable Leader Award for six years. Each year, the award honors executives, staff members and volunteers who are nominated by Club members for going above and beyond for America’s youth. New this year, Maytag has teamed up with YouTube sensation Robby Novak, aka Kid President, to help drive award nominations and highlight the positive impact of dependable leaders in the lives of children through a video that explores what it means to be a dependable leader.

“Maytag and Boys & Girls Clubs of America both share a heritage of dependability dating back to more than a century, which is why this partnership is such a natural fit,” says Brendan Bosch, Maytag senior brand manager. “We are so proud to help honor Club members who serve as such reliable and inspiring role models in the lives of our youth, and what better way to get more attention for these deserving members of our community than to partner with Kid President, as one of the leading voices of today’s youth.”

The Kid President video is meant to spread awareness and promote nominations of the Maytag Dependable Leader Award. Any Club leader or volunteer is eligible for the award which has recognized more than 75 individuals since launching in 2010.

“I’m lucky enough to know a lot of awesome grown-ups, like my brother in law, Brad. When adults show kids that you can really count on them, it’s one of the coolest things they can do,” says Novak, whose brother in law co-created the Kid President brand. “If you know someone at a Boys & Girls Club who helps make kids’ lives great, nominate them!”

Past recipients of the Maytag Dependable Leader Awards include Chris Molina, the Director of Operations for Boys & Girls Club of Kern County in Bakersfield, CA. Winning the award in 2015, Chris oversees three clubs and 59 school based sites in Kern County, serving more than 8,000 children per year. Chris started at Boys & Girls Club as a young boy and continues to offer support and mentorship to Club members and youth in the area.

The leaders at Boys & Girls Clubs demonstrate dependability, reliability and a commitment to excellence every day, going above and beyond to make a positive difference in the lives of others and their communities. These communities across America depend on Boys & Girls Clubs to help young people achieve great futures and reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Maytag believes that the power of one dependable adult can change the future of America’s youth with a positive impact.

The Maytag Dependable Leader Award’s final round of submissions ends on August 15, 2016, with winners announced on August 29, 2016. Recipients of the award will receive this distinction along with $20,000 financial award to support their local club’s efforts to be a safe, dependable place that enable young people to achieve great futures.

Visit youtube.com/soulpancake to watch the video from Kid President and go to BGCA.org/Maytag to nominate a dependable leader from a local Boys & Girls Club.

About Maytag Brand

For more than a century, Maytag® appliances have been synonymous with dependability and durability. For over 100 years- Maytag has an enduring tradition of quality production and powerful performance. Durable, commercial-grade components are found in many Maytag® appliances – including Maytag® front-load and top-load washers and dryers. Maytag also offers a full range of kitchen appliances – Maytag® dishwashers with the PowerBlast® cycle, Maytag® refrigerators with the Powercold® option, as well as Maytag® ranges, cooktops and ovens with Power™ burner and Power™ element options. In January 2014, Maytag introduced America to the Maytag Man – a dependable machine and the human embodiment of the durability, reliability and power inside all Maytag® appliances. In addition to creating durable appliances, Maytag also is a dependable partner to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America in their effort to support communities across America and help young people achieve great futures. For more information about Maytag, please visit Maytag.com, or find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Maytag, Twitter at @TheMaytagMan, Instagram at instagram.com/Maytag or Pinterest at pinterest.com/Maytag.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America

For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,100 Clubs serve nearly 4 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Club programs promote academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at BGCA’s Facebook and Twitter.

About Kid President

Brad Montague and Robby Novak are co-creators of Kid President, the popular web series featured on Rainn Wilson’s SoulPancake YouTube channel. Together the two have created a movement of joy and fun and created work seen by tens of millions. Brad and Robby truly believe that if we make the world better for kids, then the world will be better for everyone. For more than five years, Brad and Robby have dedicated time both overseas and here in the U.S. to ensure kids have access to food – from volunteering at local soup kitchens in their hometown to packing more than 570,000 meals for kids all over the world to working with organizations like UNICEF and Rice Bowls. They believe that kids should simply focus on being awesome and not have to worry about their next meal, especially right here in our backyard. With a passion for fostering creativity and compassion in young people, Brad is also the director of Go Camp, an experience for teenagers who want to change the world. Robby is in seventh grade. He likes basketball, football, soccer and making the world better. The two live and work in Tennessee.

About SoulPancake

Actor Rainn Wilson founded media company SoulPancake to create inspiring content designed to explore life’s big questions. The mission-driven company reaches audiences across multiple platforms with an Emmy Award-winning television division; Webby Award-winning premium YouTube channel with nearly 1.5 million subscribers; and a creative agency production team that has worked with international brands such as Nestle, Disney and the United Nations. Named one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies in Video” and ranked #114 in Inc. Magazine’s list of the 5,000 fastest-growing companies in America, SoulPancake’s success lies in its authentic, engaging content that receives unprecedented levels of engagement. For more information about SoulPancake visit www.youtube.com/soulpancake or find us on Twitter and Facebook via @soulpancake.

Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA) Awards Annual College Scholarships to Twelve NY College Students That Have Excelled Under Challenging Circumstances

Recipients Honored for their Success Battling Adversity in Communities Across the City

Press Release – July 28, 2016 (New York, NY) — The Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA) presented 12 New York college students with a $2,000 scholarship at the 2016 annual College Scholarship awards breakfast held at its headquarters in Manhattan on July 27, 2016. Recipients are college juniors and seniors who were selected for their individual abilities to excel despite challenging circumstances. These young adults are individuals who have been identified by FPWA’s member agencies and have demonstrated a commitment to furthering their education.

FPWA CEO and Executive Director Jennifer Jones Austin, Chief Strategy and Program Officer Wayne Ho, and Director of Member Initiatives Vanessa Leung kicked off the program by welcoming the recipients. Program Manager Blanche Centeno-Hatwood presented the awards to the 12 recipients with representatives of the member organizations that referred the scholars, who spoke about each student’s unique qualifications and background. These included Big Brothers Big Sisters, Cypress Hills Local Development Corp., Edwin Gould Services for Children & Families, Forestdale, Inc., Goddard Riverside Community, Inc., Henry Street Settlement, and Hudson Guild.

According to Jones Austin, “The college scholarships are one of the many ways that we seek to address the needs of New York’s young people and potential future leaders, all of whom who have been through adversity yet are excelling in school or in their personal lives.”

For nearly 30 years, FPWA has awarded college scholarships to students who have overcome personal hardships and demonstrate financial need. FPWA decided to provide financial support specifically to students of junior and senior status since there are less scholarships available when students become upperclassmen. All of the scholarship honorees are working tirelessly to turn adversity into advantage.

2016 College Scholarship Award Recipients:

  • Alexander Philip Torbov, CUNY Baruch College: “I feel very privileged to receive this award. These networks of support have been extremely helpful. Without this, so many students feel helpless and many give up.” Referred by Henry Street Settlement.
  • Demetrius Johnson, New York University: “Thank you FPWA for this scholarship. I want to go on to Harvard Law School. I am really interested in politics and using my voice to advocate for those who can’t speak for themselves and inspiring other youth in foster care that they can do whatever they put their minds to.”  Referred by Edwin Gould Services for Children & Families.
  • Bibi Morium, CUNY Baruch College: “As a young Bengali woman, I am fighting against ideals set forth upon me by generations and generations of men and women who value my worth only in the home. My…hope is that a traditional culture will view the benefits of their daughters, and the community itself, when we educate our women and empower them to pave the future generation to even higher heights.” Referred by Henry Street Settlement.
  • Yuan Chen, SUNY New Paltz: “Thankful is an understatement. I am, to put it simply, very happy to receive the scholarship.” Referred by Forestdale, Inc.
  • Raymi Echavarria, CUNY Hunter College: “I think we are a result of the opportunities that are made available to us – thank you for this outstanding award.” Referred by Cypress Hills Local Dev. Corp.
  • Neha Basnet, Brooklyn College: “Finance is a barrier for many students and it limits us in countless aspects. With tuition rates skyrocketing and being able to afford college becoming nearly impossible, generous educational scholarships like this is a true gift. Referred by Goddard Riverside Community.
  • Desire Nizigama, Stony Brook University: “This scholarship will be a major help in achieving my educational goals. It means I can focus more time on my studies, research and extracurricular activites. Everyone deserves a college education and I will work hard to honor my scholarship commitment.” Referred by Goddard Riverside Community.
  • Alexus Murray, John Jay: “It feels great to receive some kind of recognition for my hard work over the course of my college career. Going to college is a challenge itself.”  Referred by Goddard Riverside Community.
  • Jhoel Peguero, Lehman College: “My family came from the Dominican Republic to give me and my younger brother a better life. I not only want to achieve a higher education for my family, but because an education is important to have and can benefit me as I progress further in life.” Referred by Hudson Guild.
  • Xue Lin, Hunter College: “From my immigrant experience I know that where there’s a will, there’s a way. I would like to thank FPWA for acknowledging me and supporting my career goals.” Referred by Big Brothers Big Sisters.
  • Aderys Adames, Queens College: “I know my parents left the Dominican Republic behind so I could have better opportunities. This award represents hope for another future.” Referred by Cypress Hills Local Dev. Corp.
  • Larissa Jimenez, SUNY Old Westbury: “This scholarship is special because it will help ease the financial burden I have experienced over the past two years. It has proven to me that regardless of circumstance you can achieve your academic goals.” Referred by Cypress Hills Local Dev. Corp.

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FPWA’s 2016 College Scholarship recipients attend annual awards breakfast to accept $2,000 scholarships, totaling $24,000. Students pictured left to right: Raymi Echavarria, Aderys Adames, Larissa Jimenez, Neha Basnet, Yuan Chen, Xue Lin, Bibi Morium, Alexus Murray, Jhoel Peguero, Desire Nizigama, and Alexander Philip Torbor.

FPWA CEO and Executive Director Jennifer Jones Austin (pictured far right) alongside New York college students honored at FPWA’s annual College Scholarship awards breakfast. Students pictured left to right: Jhoel Peguero, Bibi Morium, Alexander Philip Torbor, Neha Basnet, Alexus Murray, Raymi Echavarria, Yuan Chen, Xue Lin, Larissa Jimenez, Desire Nizigama, and Aderys Adames.

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The Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA) is an anti-poverty, policy, and advocacy nonprofit with a membership network of nearly 200 human-service and faith-based organizations. FPWA has been a prominent force in New York City’s social services system for more than 92 years, advocating for fair public policies, collaborating with partner agencies, and growing its community-based membership network to meet the needs of New Yorkers. Each year, through its network of member agencies, FPWA reaches close to 1.5 million New Yorkers of all ages, ethnicities, and denominations. FPWA strives to build a city of equal opportunity that reduces poverty, promotes upward mobility, and creates shared prosperity for all New Yorkers.

 

Marking World Hepatitis Day 2016, Amida Care Welcomes Medicaid Policies on Funding HCV Drugs

As World Hepatitis Day is observed on July 28, Amida Care, New York State’s largest Medicaid HIV special needs health plan, is taking pride in its local contributions to the global drive toward eliminating the public health threat of viral hepatitis by 2030.

Nationally, up to 40 percent of people living with HIV are co-infected with Hepatitis C virus (HCV), which can cause chronic liver infection, serious liver damage, and even liver failure. HIV co-infection more than triples a person’s risk for liver disease and liver-related death from HCV.

Until recently, HCV was an incurable chronic infection for most people with HIV. Across Amida Care’s New York City service area, the organization found that at least 30 percent of its 6,000+ members were co-infected. Then, in 2013, costly but curative HCV medications were approved by the Food and Drug Administration and came on the market.

Since then, Amida Care has been in the process of covering treatment for hundreds of its co-infected members. Of those who already have completed the 12- to 24-week drug regimen, 400 have been cured of HCV.

Amida Care has achieved successful clinical outcomes while also reducing spending on inappropriate prescribing, dispensing and use of expensive HCV medications. Amida Care has advocated for providing appropriate Medicaid drug coverage for these medications to all who test positive for HCV. Each daily pill can cost up to $1,000.

In late April, NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman reminded state Medicaid insurers of their obligation to follow the federal Medicaid guidelines announced on Nov. 5, 2015 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. In these guidelines, CMS committed to providing medically necessary drug coverage to all those who are eligible for Medicaid and test positive for HCV.

Amida Care understands the importance of providing access to HCV medications and prioritizing early treatment. In affirming this Medicaid policy, Schneiderman echoed the approach to care that was voiced several years ago by Amida Care’s Chief Medical Officer Jerome Ernst, M.D., and other physicians who worked with NYS Medicaid officials to review criteria for coverage of the pricey but effective new HCV medications.

As Terry Leach, Pharm.D., Amida Care’s Vice President of Pharmacy, puts it: “People need access to these drugs. It’s about doing the right thing and keeping members healthy. Cost reductions will follow.”

Others in the medical community, including Ken Davis, M.D., President and Chief Executive of Mount Sinai Health System, have also been outspoken. Commenting earlier this month on the pricing of HCV and other specialty drugs, Davis said pharmaceutical companies are “breaking their social contract with patients and [U.S.] taxpayers,” by charging “prohibitive specialty-drug prices that exceed what’s needed for a return on their investments.”*

Amida Care’s role in curing HCV among New Yorkers on Medicaid who are co-infected with HIV is expensive, but it saves lives and saves money in the long run by reducing hospitalizations and end-of-life care, among other medical expenses. In addition, more people with access to medication means a greater volume of revenue.

The resources and treatments to cure HCV are now available and must be accessible to all, as the NYS Attorney General recently underscored.

Ultimately, these efforts also further the global initiative of World Hepatitis Day: to eliminate this public health threat worldwide by 2030.

*Crain’s Health Pulse (Crain’s New York Business), July 6, 2016

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