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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
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Monthly Archives: March 2017

Awards Celebrate Technology As A Force For Good

  • 12 inspiring tech for good projects crowned winners at DigitalAgenda’s Impact Awards
  • Barbican Awards ceremony, sponsored by Nominet Trust, recognises digital innovation making a positive change

Press Release – 2nd March 2017, London – A new national initiative celebrating digital innovations making a positive impact on the way the UK lives, learns and does business, announced 12 winners at its inaugural awards ceremony today.

The winners of the 2017 DigitalAgenda Impact Awards, sponsored by Nominet Trust, have been recognised for the meaningful contribution they are making to change the world for the better.

The 12 winners, picked from more than 200 entries across three overarching categories – people, places and business – include literacy support software helping over 3.5 million children overcome everyday reading and writing challenges in classrooms worldwide, a network connecting businesses to ensure no edible food goes to waste and a new platform harnessing blockchain technology to ensure aid reaches its desired destination.

A panel of 12 judges* with extensive experience in startups, investment and impact technology chose the winning projects based on the innovative nature of their idea, project and their team, as well as their potential for scalability and impact.

The award-winning projects are:


  • Education (sponsored by Edtech UK) – Texthelp provides literacy support software for reading, writing and language learning in classrooms worldwide, helping students to overcome everyday reading and writing challenges.
  • Employment & skills (sponsored by ConnectTVT) – Founders4Schools is a charity that helps students aged 10 to 18 bridge the skills gap that bars them from entering work, connecting schools and students to an impressive network of digital business leaders.
  • Health (sponsored by Digital Catapult) – Babylon was created to put an affordable health service into the hands of everyone. As well as video GP appointments and free medicine delivery, Babylon uses artificial intelligence, which is always learning, to provide a 24/7 symptom checker service.
  • Money (sponsored by BWB Compliance) – Squirrel is a simple bank account controlled by an app that makes it easy to budget, save, and avoid running out of money. It aims to empower users to take control of their money by putting money away so that it’s spent on what’s needed.


  • Cities (supported by Future Cities Catapult) – Pavegen is a clean technology company looking to redefine sustainability in the built environment, with the creation of a pioneering flooring technology that generates electricity and captures data from footsteps.
  • Climate (sponsored by The Planet Mark) – Bulb is a technology-led, renewable energy supplier on a mission to transform the way energy is bought, used and produced. It gives UK homes and businesses a choice of low-cost renewable energy alongside excellent customer service.
  • Food – FoodCloud is a social enterprise connecting businesses that have surplus food with local charities and community groups, helping ensure no edible food goes to waste.
  • Smart (sponsored by Design for Social Change) – Wayfindr is a non-profit on a mission to empower the 285 million people living with sight loss worldwide to take new journeys, increase confidence and open up new opportunities for relationships, employment and cultural experiences. Its open standard is designed to help make places and spaces more accessible.


  • Business transformation – Saberr creates happy, high-performing teams through software that helps people work well together, using data collection and algorithms to predict and improve performance.
  • Investment (sponsored by GP Bullhound) – ClearlySo ATLAS is a digital platform created to assess the social and environmental impact of businesses and investment portfolios. Developed jointly by ClearlySo and Reason Digital, ATLAS encourages more ethical and sustainable investment by making it easy to produce investment strategies that are not just for financial gain but also for the greater good.
  • Sharing & partnership – Neighbourly is a social platform that connects local projects with people and businesses that want to help. It connects local community and charity projects with companies and people that can help by giving donations of time, money or surplus food.
  • Social and economic transformation (sponsored by ClearlySo) – AID:Tech harnesses blockchain technology to ensure that every donated resource – financial, medical supplies, food or blankets – is traceable at the point of use, ensuring that the right people receive the right help at the right time.

Nominet Trust, the UK’s leading social tech funder, was the headline sponsor for the DigitalAgenda Impact Awards. Vicki Hearn, director of Nominet Trust, said: “We’re incredibly proud to support DigitalAgenda in championing the pioneers using digital technology to enable positive change, and in raising the profile of the flourishing tech for good sector in the UK. Through our grant funding, partnerships and annual NT100, it is clear that Nominet Trust shares with DigitalAgenda a belief in the transformative power of digital technology when creatively applied to social challenges. It has been an honour to recognise these inspiring entrepreneurs and to celebrate their achievements.”

DigitalAgenda director and editor Julian Blake, who has led the creation of the Impact Awards, said: “Technology isn’t seen by everyone as a force for good. There’s actually a tense relationship between the public and technology, with understandable fears about its effect on fundamentals like privacy, work and even happiness. But digital offers to answer some of the big challenges we face. Digital has the potential to deliver positive change fast, and at scale. It is changing the way children learn. It is making people healthier. It is improving public services. It helps us respond to people movements and floods. And it helps us understand global trends.

“The Impact Awards highlight the extraordinary potential for technology to be a positive force and celebrate technology that is being used for impact, not just for profit.”

The ceremony took place at London’s Barbican Centre, with speakers including:

  • Sir Tim Smit – co-founder of the Eden Project
  • Mike Bracken – head of digital from Co-op
  • The team from BBC2’s Big Life Fix
  • Sue Black from #techmums/Saving Bletchley Park – and the winner of a special editor’s Impact Award on the day for her outstanding contribution to technology for good.
  • The event also featured a Nominet Trust innovator showcase featuring groundbreaking tech for good startups GiveVision and Open Bionics.


Semper Fi Fund And The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation Raise $20 Million For Veterans

Press Release – NEW YORK (March 2, 2017) – The Semper Fi Fund today announced it has raised a total of $20 million in its annual “Double Down for Veterans” fundraising challenge. The campaign ran for two months, with The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation pledging to match all donations, dollar for dollar, up to $10 million. Fulfilling more than 22,000 immediate need requests per year, the Semper Fi Fund provides critical resources, often in 24 hours, to post-9/11 wounded, critically ill and injured members of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families.

Vigilant champions for veterans’ issues, Bob and Renee Parsons are long-standing supporters of the Semper Fi Fund and, through The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, have generously granted more than $31 million to the organization. This marks the fifth consecutive year that Mr. Parsons – a U.S. Marine Corp Vietnam Veteran and recipient of the Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry – issued a personal rallying cry to join him and Renee in caring for our nation’s veterans.

“Renee and I want to thank everyone who joined us in donating to the Double Down for Veterans challenge and for answering the call to give back to the men and women who have sacrificed so much to serve our great nation,” said American entrepreneur and philanthropist Bob Parsons. “Semper Fi Fund is doing incredible work, providing critical support to veterans during what is often the most vulnerable and difficult time in their lives.”

Since its inception in 2004, the Semper Fi Fund has awarded more than $143 million in assistance to 18,000 service members. The organization has been able to maintain an extremely low overhead average of only six percent, and donations are made directly to service members within 24 to 72 hours. As a result, charity watchdogs have given the Semper Fi Fund their highest ratings for six consecutive years.

“Our vision is simple, to provide our country’s heroes with the best care and support available in their hour of need,” said Semper Fi Fund President, Executive Director and Founder Karen Guenther. “We are humbled by the outpouring of support for this campaign, and are incredibly thankful to Bob and Renee for their remarkable generosity. These funds will go a very long way in making a true difference in the lives of veterans and their families.”

Once again this year, cloud platform giant GoDaddy jump started the campaign with a $50,000 donation, along with a pledge to hire a minimum of 500 veterans, or spouses, over the next five years. Mr. Parsons, who has long been recognized for his philanthropic and entrepreneurial leadership, founded GoDaddy in 1997, and instilled the importance of charitable giving as a priority at the company.

In addition to financial support, Semper Fi Fund offers a variety of programs to aid veterans during recovery and throughout the transition back to day-to-day life. This includes ongoing support through specialized and adaptive equipment grants, education and career assistance, service dog training, caregiver support and treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries. Learn more about Semper Fi Fund by visiting

About the Semper Fi Fund

The Semper Fi Fund provides urgently needed resources and lifetime support for wounded, critically ill and injured members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. Case managers from the Semper Fi Fund work one-on-one with service members and veterans to understand and support their individual needs right now and throughout their lifetime. We keep our overhead low so our impact on the lives of service members and veterans is greater. The Semper Fi Fund has been awarded the highest ratings from charity watchdog groups for six consecutive years: A+ from Charity Watch, one of only two veteran nonprofits to receive this rating, and Four Stars from Charity Navigator. To learn more, visit

About The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation

The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation inspires hope by providing critical funding at critical times to communities striving to make a difference. The Foundation primarily focuses on issues in the greater Phoenix area. The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation believes every person is entitled to an education, good nutrition, medical care, a stress-free, happy environment and the hope that they too, will share in the American Dream. The Foundation provides funding to nonprofit organizations that are successfully addressing these essential needs. The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation is also committed to the children of Haiti, helping to grow and improve schools, medical services and overall well-being for communities in rural Haiti. Visit

About GoDaddy

GoDaddy powers the world’s largest cloud platform dedicated to small, independent ventures. With more than 14 million customers worldwide and more than 63 million domain names under management, GoDaddy is the place people come to name their idea, build a professional website, attract customers and manage their work. Our mission is to give our customers the tools, insights and the people to transform their ideas and personal initiative into success. To learn more about the company, visit

About GoDaddy Cares

GoDaddy believes that its responsibility as a corporate citizen is to make a difference in the communities in which it operates. As part of that philosophy GoDaddy contributes to nonprofit organizations that focus on causes which are meaningful to our business, our customers, our employees and our community. Since 2002 GoDaddy has donated more than 15 million dollars to a variety of charitable organizations. GoDaddy understands that giving back to the community is not just accomplished with money and resources but also with talent and time. Visit to discover how you can join us to make a difference.

Naughton Family to Host “A Tribute to Pamela” Fundraiser at the Westport Country Playhouse

Benefit supports pancreatic cancer research at Western Connecticut Health Network (WCHN)

Press Release – NORWALK, Connecticut – March 2, 2017 – Tony Award-winning star of theater, film and television James Naughton of Weston and his family will host A Tribute to Pamela, an evening of musical entertainment to benefit promising new research aimed at the early detection of pancreatic cancer, on Sunday, May 7 at 5:30 pm at the Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, Westport.

Honoring the legacy of Naughton’s wife, who lost her courageous battle with pancreatic cancer in 2013, A Tribute to Pamela will feature solos, duets and group performances by Naughton and his family, including daughter Keira, a Broadway and television actress; son Greg, a producer, actor, singer and songwriter; and daughter-in-law Kelli O’Hara, a Broadway superstar who won the 2015 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Anna in the King and I.

Proceeds from A Tribute to Pamela support a landmark, three-year pancreatic cancer research study at WCHN being led by Richard C. Frank, MD, a hematologist/oncologist and the Director of Clinical Cancer Research at Norwalk Hospital’s C. Anthony and Jean Whittingham Cancer Center.

“My family and I are extremely grateful to Dr. Frank for his exceptionally compassionate care of my wife throughout her course of treatment at Norwalk Hospital,” said Naughton. “A Tribute to Pamela is a meaningful way for us to honor her and to give back by advancing Dr. Frank’s promising pancreatic cancer research, the goal of which is the early detection of pancreatic cancer.”

For information about ticket and sponsorship opportunities for A Tribute to Pamela, call the Norwalk Hospital Foundation at 203-852-2386 or visit

WCHN Research Study

Although pancreatic cancer is curable when detected at a very early stage, no effective means currently exist for pancreatic cancer screening in the general population, and pancreatic cancer causes few symptoms until in its latest stages.

Focused on individuals with a family history of pancreatic cancer and those with recent-onset diabetes mellitus, WCHN’s research study explores the efficacy of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as a screening tool to detect early pancreatic cancer. The study will also create a serum bio-bank with the potential to support the development of novel biomarkers for use in detecting pancreatic cancer at its earliest stages. For more information about the WCHN research study, call 203-855-3517.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal of human malignancies. The fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, pancreatic cancer has a five-year survival rate of less than 10 percent. Pancreatic cancer is on a trajectory to become the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States by 2020, and Connecticut currently ranks first (tied) in pancreatic cancer incidence in the U.S.

About Western Connecticut Health Network

Western Connecticut Health Network is the region’s premier, patient-centered health care organization serving residents of Western Connecticut and adjacent New York. The organization is anchored by three nationally recognized hospitals, Danbury Hospital, New Milford Hospital and Norwalk Hospital, and their affiliated organizations. The continuum of care offered includes numerous Western Connecticut Medical Group medical and sub-specialty practices, home health care services, a nationally renowned biomedical research institute, the Danbury Hospital & New Milford Hospital Foundation, the Norwalk Hospital Foundation and other affiliates. For more information, visit Share your comments with us at; and/or

Tourism Cares Welcomes New Chairman And Officers, Adds Three New Strategic Corporate Partners

Press Release – Canton, MA—March 3, 2017—Tourism Cares—the philanthropic community of the travel industry—is pleased to announce Derek Hydon as the new chairman of the board, along with other newly elected board positions.

“I am humbled to lead our talented board of directors; Tourism Cares has such an important role to play uniting us all to protect the heart of travel,” said Hydon, “It is fantastic to see our members, partners, sponsors and volunteers freely give back and our industry be recognized as a powerful force for good.” Hydon served as the vice chair of Tourism Cares from 2013 to 2016 and has been actively involved with Tourism Cares since 2003. He is the president of MaCher, a certified B Corporation, based in Los Angeles.

Other newly elected officers of Tourism Cares are:

  • Vice Chairs: Greg Takehara, senior vice president of business development and industry relations at Trip Mate and Carolyn Cauceglia, vice president of strategic sales and account management at Amadeus;
  • Secretary: Martha Troncoza, vice president of air operations for Viking Cruises;
  • Treasurer: Jessica Patel, consultant.

Tourism Cares thanks outgoing Chairman Brad Finkle for his leadership and continued support of the organization. Finkle is the president of Trip Mate and has served on the board for nine years, remaining as immediate past chairman.

In addition to the new board positions, the organization has also welcomed Mayflower Tours, Marriott and AIG as strategic partners, who join Delta Air Lines, The Travel Corporation, Travel Weekly, and Trip Mate in supporting Tourism Cares at the highest level.

Membership to Tourism Cares is based on voluntary contributions starting at $1,500/year, with chairman’s circle members investing more than $10,000 in membership, programs and activities and strategic partners’ investments exceeding $40,000 a year.

“Strategic partners play an important role in leading our community by example,” said Tourism Cares CEO Mike Rea, “They also help us make an impact by investing in programs and destinations and by promoting meaningful travel.”

A list of member companies can be found at:

A complete list of Tourism Cares’ 20-member board of directors is at:

About Tourism Cares

Tourism Cares, Inc., a US 501(c)(3) public charity, maximizes travel’s potential to be a global force for good by leveraging the care that travelers and the industry feel for the places we love. We unite the travel industry to make a greater impact on shared priorities, and to help each company fulfill its giving goals. Together, with leading travel and tourism companies and associations, we make a greater difference on three shared issues: helping destinations in need, supporting our workforce, and improving our corporate social responsibility. Learn more at and @TourismCares.

The Secret Weapon to Close the Global Gender Gap: Access to Water and Sanitation

By Jennifer Schorsch, President,

For many of us, the day starts with the simple pleasure of a warm shower and a necessary stop to the bathroom. These conveniences allow us to move quickly through our mornings and on to a productive day. However, for women like Kontala mornings look very different. She walks three kilometers to collect water, making multiple trips to ensure the family has enough for bathing, meals, and laundry.

She is not alone. Of the 663 million people who lack access to safe water and the 2.4 billion without adequate sanitation, women and girls suffer the most. They are locked in a cycle of poverty. They spend time traveling and waiting to collect water or relieve themselves instead of going to school or working.

Access to water and sanitation changes this cycle of poverty into a cycle of opportunity. Women have proven that when given access, they transform their families and communities.

A key barrier to household access to safe water and sanitation is affordable financing. This is why created WaterCredit— the first program to put microfinance tools to work in the water and sanitation sector. WaterCredit allows people access to small loans for water connections or toilets at their homes. More than one million loans have been taken, 93% of borrowers are women, and their repayment rate globally is 99%. These women transform the lives of their families and community.

I will never forget visiting a village outside of Bangalore, India where WaterCredit loans were available; it was a microcosm of entrepreneurship. Women who previously waited and walked now prepared incense sticks, dried herbs, and wove beautiful fabrics to sell at the market. By taking a loan, they had bought back their time. No longer consumed by meeting fundamental needs, their creativity and drive led them to create businesses, thus enhancing their income and stature within their communities.

Access to finance for water and sanitation leads to opportunity for women. It is the secret weapon to closing the gender gap. This International Women’s Day, give to and give water credit for empowering women to live more productive lives.

Top 20 Startups Announced in the 2017 Utah Entrepreneur Challenge

Competition features the best college entrepreneurs in the state vying for $100,000 in cash and prizes, including a $40,000 grand prize

Press Release – March 3, 2017 – Utah’s best college entrepreneurs are competing for $100,000 in cash and prizes, including a $40,000 grand prize, in the 2017 Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, one of the biggest student-business competitions in the country. Today, the competition got a lot more interesting with the top 20 teams being announced.

Hundreds of students from all colleges in the state compete in the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, a business-model competition requiring teams to submit a full business plan. The competition is managed by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, a nationally ranked division of the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah, and sponsored by Zions Bank.

“We had a record number of teams entering the competition this year, and we are looking forward to seeing who wins the grand prize,” said Jaron Hall, the student director of the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge and a business student at the University of Utah. “This is the biggest business-plan competition in the state, and we invite everyone to get involved by voting for their favorite teams in our video voting contest or attending our final showcase and awards ceremony.”

The top teams are competing with ideas ranging from a peer-to-peer solution for storage and an app for finding casual events to an innovative baby monitor and fanny packs to keep your food cool. (Find a complete list of the finalists with descriptions of their ideas below.)

The next step will be online video voting, which is open to the public from March 28 at 8 a.m. until April 14 at 5 p.m. Vote online here: The top teams also advance to the final event, where they will meet for the last judging round and a public showcase and awards ceremony on April 15 at Lassonde Studios at the University of Utah. All are invited to the public showcase and awards ceremony from 4 to 6 p.m.

“We are always impressed by the quality of ideas we see in this competition, and I think we have one of our best groups of finalists ever,” said Troy D’Ambrosio, the executive director at the Lassonde Institute and an assistant dean at the David Eccles School of Business. “Last year, we had a medical device company win with a new way to insert breathing tubes. It will be interesting to see who wins this year.”

The top 20 startups in the 2017 competition come from colleges including: Brigham Young University (3 startups in the top 20), Dixie State University (1), LDS Business College (1), Salt Lake Community College (1), Snow College (1), Southern Utah University (1), University of Utah (7), Utah State University (2), Utah Valley University (1), Weber State University (1) and Westminster College (1).

Student startups advanced to the top 20 in the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge by either winning a qualifying event at their individual colleges in the Opportunity Quest competition series or by entering the open round that was judged by professionals across the state through an online process.

Learn more about the competition at

Utah Entrepreneur Challenge Season Timeline

  • Monday, Nov. 28, 2016: Submissions open
  • Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017: Application submission deadline
  • Thursday to Wednesday, Feb. 23 to March 1, 2017: Online judging
  • Friday, March 3, 2017: Top 20 announced
  • Friday, March 24, 2017: Top 20 videos due
  • Tuesday, March 28, 2017: Public online video voting begins at 8 a.m. at
  • Thursday, April 13, 2017: PowerPoint presentations submitted by 11:59 p.m.
  • Friday, April 14, 2017: Top 20 dinner at 6 p.m. at Zions Bank
  • Friday, April 14, 2017: Public online video voting concludes at 5 p.m. at
  • Saturday, April 15, 2017: Private judging and mentoring at the Spencer Fox Eccles Business building from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Public showcase and awards ceremony at the Lassonde Studios from 4-6 p.m.

Utah Entrepreneur Challenge Top 20 Teams

Here are the top 20 teams in the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge. These teams will advance to the final showcase and awards event. They are listed in alphabetical order:

  • Breathe Easy Mat (BYU) – A thin pad that delivers oxygen to infants at night
  • Cedar Sports (SUU) – Provides Cedar City and surrounding areas with high quality new and used outdoor recreational equipment
  • Coverall Homecare (Westminster) – A subscription-based monthly home maintenance service
  • Course Credit (USU) – Offers affordable online courses to non-traditional students who then transfer the credits they earn to online universities and community colleges
  • Courtney’s Dresses (LDSBC) – A formal dress company designed to cater to a growing market
  • Dentium Club (BYU) – Dental-grade whitening delivered to your door for a few bucks a month
  • EMJ Medical (UofU) – Creating a simple, mechanically driven medical device that will be applied to laparoscope lenses and restore the vision field of the operating team while the device is still in the patient
  • Gingerbracket Company (Weber) – A mess-free product that makes snapping gingerbread houses together easier
  • Hashtaggy (UofU) – Provides a new and innovative way for students to find fun stuff to do with their friends
  • LIT Outdoors (UofU) – An outdoor company that focuses on the emerging opportunities in the outdoor recreation industry
  • Lunch Money (Snow College) – A fanny pack company that will design and sell multiple lines of hip and cool packs for people of all ages
  • Neiybor (UofU) – A peer-to-peer marketplace for storage
  • OverPowered (USU) – A junior sports league for the players of League of Legends
  • PerkNow (UVU) – Streamlines the acquisition, implementation, promotion and distribution of convenient on-site services and desirable company perks
  • Portal Cord (UofU) – Portal Cord creates a simplistic portable charger
  • Savor Life (SLCC) – A food truck that meets the needs of vegan diners who want to “savor life” by enjoying the food truck experience
  • SunShine Sync (UofU) – App improving transfers of value between medical salespeople and physicians
  • Sweet Heart (BYU) – A maternity band-like wearable fetal monitor that can provide expectant mothers with real-time data to their smart phones about their baby’s kick count, heart rate and fetal position
  • Tenant Joy (Dixie) – A web app that helps with onboarding each student, making payment transactions easy and will also contain many more features
  • XLynk Surgical (UofU) – A faster more effective postoperative adhesion barrier

About the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute

The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute is a nationally ranked hub for student entrepreneurship and innovation at the University of Utah and an interdisciplinary division of the David Eccles School of Business. The first programs were offered in 2001, through the vision and support of Pierre Lassonde, an alumnus of the Eccles School and successful mining entrepreneur. The institute now provides opportunities for thousands of students to learn about entrepreneurship and innovation. Programs include workshops, networking events, business-plan competitions, startup support, innovation programs, graduate seminars, scholarships, community outreach and more. All programs are open to students from any academic major or background. The Lassonde Institute also manages the Lassonde Studios, a new $45 million innovation space and housing facility for all students. Learn more at

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire And iHeartMedia Team Up To Raise Funds For The Fire Family Foundation

Benefit concert series across 11 cities to drive donations in support of firefighters

Press Release – LYNCHBURG, TENN., (FEBRUARY, 28 2017) – Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire and iHeartMedia announce the “Rise From The Fire” Concert Flyaway Sweepstakes. Consumers ages 21+ can now enter for a chance to win a trip for two to New York for a benefit concert featuring a top music act. The event will conclude an 11-city iHeartRadio concert series to benefit firefighters and communities affected by fire.

The sweepstakes and concert series are part of an effort by Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire to raise funds in support of the Fire Family Foundation, an organization that offers immediate assistance to firefighters and their families, fire victims, fire departments and charities. The Foundation believes that by coming together as a “Fire Family,” assistance can be provided by those impacted by fire.

“We are truly honored to have the support of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire to expand our efforts,” says Robin McCarthy, Executive Director, Fire Family Foundation. “It’s refreshing to work with a brand that’s values are aligned with our mission to help people reclaim their lives after a tragedy such as a fire.”

The ‘Rise From The Fire’ program pays homage to Jack Daniel’s history. In April of 1930, the Jack Daniel distillery in Lynchburg, TN, was devastated by a fire. The distillery was later rebuilt, and operations resumed in 1937 with a fully functional fire brigade on the grounds. Now, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire will carry on the tradition and help others rebuild. The brand will drive donations for the Fire Family Foundation via the website, concerts and at location activations. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire will kick off the fundraising efforts with an initial donation of $25,000 to the organization to further enhance its efforts.

“Jack Daniel himself was a man committed to bettering the community, and with “Rise From The Fire,” Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire will continue his legacy,” says Casey Nelson, Brand Director, Jack Daniel’s Flavor Portfolio. “Through this initiative, we will help firefighters and their families in their efforts to rebuild, while celebrating their selfless contributions.”

The sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the United States, who are at least 21 years of age. Consumers can enter until April 30 by visiting and completing the entry form. The concert series will visit San Francisco, Tampa, Cincinnati, Austin, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Phoenix, Seattle, Los Angeles, Boston and New York. For official rules and tour dates, visit

For Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire news and updates, follow the brand on social media at Facebook (, Twitter ( and Instagram (

About Jack Daniel’s:

Officially registered by the U.S. Government in 1866 and based in Lynchburg, Tenn., the Jack Daniel Distillery, Lem Motlow, proprietor, is the oldest registered distillery in the United States and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Jack Daniel’s is the maker of the world-famous Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey, Gentleman Jack Rare Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire, Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select, and Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails.
Please Drink Responsibly.

JACK DANIEL’S and TENNESSEE FIRE are registered trademarks of JACK DANIEL PROPERTIES INC. ©2017. Jack Daniel’s Whiskey Specialty, 35% ALC./VOL.(70 proof). Produced and Bottled by JACK DANIEL DISTILLERY, Lynchburg, TENNESSEE, U.S.A.

About iHeartMedia

With over a quarter of a billion monthly listeners in the U.S. and over 85 million social followers, iHeartMedia has the largest national reach of any radio or television outlet in America. As the leader in multiplatform connections, it also serves over 150 local markets through 858 owned radio stations, and the company’s radio stations and content can be heard on AM/FM, HD digital radio, satellite radio, on the Internet at and on the company’s radio station websites, on the iHeartRadio mobile app, in enhanced auto dashes, on tablets, wearables and smartphones, and on gaming consoles.

iHeartRadio, iHeartMedia’s digital radio platform, is the fastest growing digital audio service in the U.S. and offers users thousands of live radio stations, personalized custom artist stations created by just one song or seed artist and the top podcasts and personalities. With over a billion downloads, iHeartRadio reached 95 million registered users faster than any other radio or digital music service and even faster than Facebook.

iHeartMedia’s platforms include radio broadcasting, online, mobile, digital and social media, podcasts, personalities and influencers, live concerts and events, syndication, music research services and independent media representation. iHeartMedia is a division of iHeartMedia, Inc. (OTCBB: IHRT). Visit for more company information.

Bringing Communities Together Through the Arts

Northern New Jersey Community Foundation Awarded Grant to Dr. John Grieco Scholarship Fund for Englewood Idol

Michael Shannon (front row) presented a scholarship award to Englewood Idol.
Photo Credit: Jennifer Johnson

Press Release – (Bergen County, New Jersey; March 1, 2017) — The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF), a not-for-profit organization based in Englewood, New Jersey, awarded a grant of $1,100 to the Dr. John Grieco Scholarship Fund at the Academies@Englewood for its annual Englewood Idol talent competition’s program. The grant award provided $100 scholarships for each contestant to record one song and the entire group to collaborate and record two songs together on a professionally developed CD.

The grant award complements the Foundation’s mission to build stronger communities through collaboration. A NNJCF board member conceived Englewood Idol as a way to bring together Englewood public and private high school students through the arts.

NNJCF has supported the talent competition since its inception in 2005. “We are pleased our initial effort to bring students together has grown into an exemplary demonstration of how the arts can bring together not just students, but whole communities. The arts are a universal language that we all speak. The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation congratulates first place winner Chris Victor, second place recipient Genesis Capellan, and third place winner Kenya Silas,” said Michael Shannon, President, NNJCF.

Englewood Idol is an annual singing competition open to any high school student who currently lives or attends school in Englewood, New Jersey. The 2017 Englewood Idol was held on February 7 at the Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC) in Englewood. The talent competition attracted students from several towns, including Englewood, Bergenfield, Cresskill and Oradell in northern New Jersey, attending Dwight Morrow High School, Academies@Englewood, Dwight Englewood or Eagle Academy.

“Englewood Idol 2017 was a huge success thanks to the support of NNJCF. The grant enabled each of our 11 contestants to work with a professional music producer and sound engineer to record their own song. It would never have been possible without the grant from the NNJCF. This has given these young artists so much confidence, as they work to pursue their individual goals as performers,” said Judy Aronson, faculty advisor, Dr. John Grieco Scholarship Fund.

For further information about the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation or ArtsBergen, contact or call 201-568-5608.


The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF), a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization based in Englewood, New Jersey, focuses primarily on civic engagement, education, public health, and the arts. NNJCF works with local governments, school districts, businesses, non-profit organizations, and citizen groups in Northern New Jersey to improve community life. The Foundation’s partners identify and resolve regional problems and opportunities by talking and learning from each other, by sharing ideas, best practices, services, and resources.

For more information, visit, send an email to, or call (201) 568-5608. Follow the NNJCF on Facebook at Northern NJ Community Foundation/ArtsBergen and Twitter @NNJCF.

About ArtsBergen

ArtsBergen, an initiative of the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, is an emerging arts alliance in Bergen County, New Jersey that supports and encourages creative placemaking, the practice of integrating arts and culture into a neighborhood, town, or region to build community and livability and boost local economy. The initiative’s mission is to energize and unify artists and arts organizations and connect the Bergen County community to the arts. For more information, visit, send an email to, or call 201-568-5608.

Pet-Related Organizations Received more than $31 Million in Support from Purina in 2016

Donations touched shelter pets, survivors of domestic violence, and St. Louis Children’s Hospital patients who can now be comforted by their pet during treatment

Press Release – ST. LOUIS, March 2, 2017 – Purina today announced that in 2016 the company donated $31.2 million worth of pet food, pet supplies and monetary contributions to pet-related charities and other community organizations across the country, including its hometown of St. Louis. The donations reached more than 650 organizations throughout 2016.

During the past three years, Purina has donated nearly $90 million to pet-related charities and community organizations across the United States. Purina’s contributions help fulfill its vision to enrich the lives of pets and their owners by building stronger communities.

“Whether it’s helping children reunite with their pets in hospitals, keeping victims of domestic violence and their pets together during times of crisis, or bringing food to pets displaced by natural disasters, we at Purina are dedicated to bettering the lives of pets and the people who love them in communities across the country,” said Kasey Bergh, director, Purina Community Affairs. One of the company’s more innovative initiatives included collaborating with St. Louis Children’s Hospital to create the Purina Family Pet Center, a comfortable, safe and welcoming environment where patients and their families can reunite with their family pet during the treatment process.

Two patients who have benefited from the center, Elias and Kristen, had not seen their dogs in more than two months due to hospitalization. This past December, they had the chance to be reunited for quality time together after their dogs made the two-hour journey from their hometown of Salem, MO.

“The treatment process is even more challenging when you’re far away from home and separated from family, including four-legged members,” said Julie Strebe, mother of Elias and Kristen. “Pets bring so much joy to our lives, and having the chance for my children to be comforted by their dogs at the Purina Family Pet Center was a true blessing!”

The Purina Family Pet Center opened its doors on May 18, 2016 and is the fourth family pet center at a pediatric hospital in the world.

Sharing the belief that pets and people are better together, Purina and St. Louis Children’s Hospital aim to bring joy and overall emotional well-being to children and their families through the therapeutic impact of personal pet interaction. To date, the center has welcomed 16 patients and 20 dogs.

In addition to helping St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Purina’s donations were given to a variety of pet-welfare organizations in 2016. Purina donated $100,000 to the Friends of the Animal Shelter (FOTAS) in St. Joseph, MO., to help build a “catio,” a meet- and-greet area at the shelter where cats and adopters can get to know each other in a home-like environment. The donation also helped kick-start the FOTAS capital campaign, which was developed to build an entirely new shelter to house its pets.

Purina also used its resources to respond quickly to those in need during a number of unexpected disasters. One in particular was the flooding in Louisiana in August, and with the help of Rescue Bank, Purina distributed 42,000 pounds of food and 17,500 pounds of cat litter to rescue and shelter organizations in Baton Rouge.

In 2016, Purina continued to support Urban Resource Institute (URI), a leading non-profit organization which operates six domestic violence shelters in the New York City area and provides comprehensive social services that aid New Yorkers in times of crisis. URI and Purina worked together last year to open the third Purina Pet Haven, a space at a URI domestic violence shelter where residents and their pets can play in safety.

In November 2013, URI started its innovative PALS (People and Animals Living Safely) program. URIPALS is New York City’s first initiative, and one of the few in the country, to allow victims of domestic violence to enter shelters with their pets. To support the URIPALS program the past three years, Purina donates pet food and pet supplies to help victims as they move into a URI shelter, as well as funds to build Purina Pet Havens. Purina and URI are also supporting the Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act on Capitol Hill to encourage allowing pets in more domestic violence shelters.

About Nestlé Purina PetCare

Nestlé Purina PetCare promotes responsible pet care, community involvement and the positive bond between people and their pets. A premier global manufacturer of pet products, Nestlé Purina PetCare is part of Swiss-based Nestlé S.A., a global leader in nutrition, health and wellness.

Lava Mae To Bring Pop-Up Care Village Program To SXSW, Delivering Essential Services And “Radical Hospitality” To Austin’s Homeless

Nonprofit Known for Innovating Mobile Showers for the Homeless Partners with Businesses, Nonprofits, Volunteers to Create One-Stop Shop for Critical Services

Press Release – San Francisco, CA – March 1, 2017Lava Mae, a San Francisco-based nonprofit transforming the way Communities see and serve people moving through homelessness, announced today that it is staging one of its Pop-Up Care Village events in Austin, Texas during the SXSW Interactive Festival to deliver essential services for individuals experiencing homelessness.

On Saturday, March 11 from 10am to 2pm at 700 Red River Street in downtown Austin, Lava Mae and its Pop-Up Care Village partners – businesses, nonprofits and local volunteers – will create a one-stop shop to provide homeless guests with essential services including mobile showers, food, haircuts, clothing, dental and medical care. The event uniquely enables guests to easily access resources in a festive atmosphere featuring live music, arts, entertainment and social activities, all delivered with ”radical hospitality” – an unexpected level of care designed to help restore dignity, rekindle optimism, and fuel a sense of opportunity.

Lava Mae is partnering with Austin-based technology startup Encast to power its SXSW Pop-Up Care Village, along with a host of for-profit and nonprofit collaborators including Unilever, KIND Snacks, Mitscoots Outfitters, Mission Accomplished, Mealshare, Beyond The Grade, Adomo Nail Bar, Help Portrait Austin, Art From the Streets, Central Texas Food Bank. Cross-sector collaboration has been a fundamental component of all Lava Mae programs – making it possible to provide a wide array of services and learn from on-the-ground partners how to more effectively meet the needs of those experiencing homelessness in a particular community.

Widely known for its blue buses providing mobile showers and toilets on wheels for people moving through homelessness, Lava Mae piloted its Pop-Up Care Village program in 2016 to mobilize private sector, nonprofit and government partners together to bring more critical services to the street – where people moving through homelessness need them most. Over the past year, Pop-Up Care Village events demonstrated that a mobile, collaborative, human-centered model can increase access to services, restore dignity, and boost resilience for homeless guests.

In addition to joining the Austin Pop-Up Care Village team for the March 11 event, Lava Mae founder and CEO Doniece Sandoval will be speaking at SXSW Interactive at 3:30pm on Sunday, March 12 as part of the “Shut Up and Do Something” panel about turning social impact ideas into action.

“Lava Mae is excited to bring our Pop-Up Care Village program to Austin – our first outside of San Francisco – and honored to partner with so many businesses, nonprofits and volunteers who share our commitment to bringing new innovations to better serve individuals moving through homelessness,” said Sandoval. “SXSW is a hub for innovation, and an ideal setting to highlight creative new ways that for-profit and nonprofit sector partners can transform the way essential services are provided to our homeless neighbors. We hope it will inspire SXSW attendees and the broader Austin community to join us in this social movement.”

“Encast is delighted to partner with Lava Mae and all of our collaborators on bringing a Pop-Up Care Village to Austin,” said Leo Ramirez, Jr., CEO and founder of Encast. “Our entire reason for being is to enhance charitable giving and engage businesses and individuals in helping more causes, doing more good. We hope to support more social innovators like Lava Mae, and change the way Americans give to nonprofits and charitable causes so that their giving has greater impact.”

For more information and to take part in Austin’s March 11 Pop-Up Care Village, please visit Lava Mae’s Facebook event: Lava Mae Pop-Up Care Village Goes to SXSW

About Lava Mae

Lava Mae is a San Francisco-based nonprofit that is disrupting the way Communities see and serve people moving through homelessness. Founded in San Francisco in 2013, Lava Mae began by converting public transportation buses into showers and toilets on wheels to deliver hygiene and rekindle dignity. Today, Lava Mae is taking “Radical Hospitality” to the street by bringing humanity, innovation, and collaboration to the way services are provided to those experiencing homelessness.

To-date, Lava Mae has served more than 3,200 individuals who have taken 17,000+ showers on our mobile units, inspired replication of our hygiene services, innovated new one-stop Pop-Up Care Villages to more effectively meet the needs of homeless neighbors, and dramatically raised awareness about the lack of access to showers and basic hygiene across the U.S. and around the globe. For more information, please visit, and connect with the Lava Mae community on Facebook and Twitter.

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