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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

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Twenty Jurisdictions Receive $34 Million in Federal Funding to Support Comprehensive Rape Kit Reform

Press Release – NEW YORK – The Joyful Heart Foundation, one of the leading advocacy organizations working toward nationwide rape kit reform, today applauded awards by the federal government of more than $34 million in grants to address the backlog of untested sexual assault kits in jurisdictions including Georgia, Kentucky and Washington State, as well as in Albuquerque, Austin, Cleveland, Orleans Parish (Louisiana), New York City, and Philadelphia. A full list of awards is available here.

This is the third year that the federal government has invested dollars – through the Justice Department’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) – to provide communities critically needed resources to: supplement efforts to test backlogged kits in law enforcement facilities; create multidisciplinary teams to investigate and prosecute cases connected to the backlog; and address the need for victim notification and survivor re-engagement with the criminal justice system.

“These focused resources are helping law enforcement get serial criminals off of the street, easing the burden on personnel, facilitating community engagement and relationship building, and making communities safer,” said Sarah Haacke Byrd, Joyful Heart’s Managing Director.

“These funds are also providing a path to justice and healing for survivors of sexual assault. Focusing a national effort on comprehensive reform demonstrates a commitment to survivors that we will do everything possible to bring long-awaited healing and justice.”

Joyful Heart serves as a technical advisor for SAKI grantees, with a focus on ensuring a survivor-centered, trauma-informed response as a fundamental part of comprehensive reform.

When tested, rape kit evidence can identify an unknown assailant, reveal serial offenders, and exonerate the wrongly convicted. Yet, there are hundreds of thousands of rape kits sitting untested in police storage facilities across the country representing potentially serial offenders free on the streets to commit more crimes, and thousands of leads to investigate, cases to prosecute, and survivors to re-engage with compassion and care.

Ending the rape kit backlog will take a coordinated effort and deep commitment at all levels of government and in communities across the United States. Joyful Heart has launched a national campaign, developed following an extensive review, which formalized six pillars for reform. The goal: to pass comprehensive rape kit reform legislation in all 50 states.

“SAKI has become a critical tool in conducting reform work,” added Ilse Knecht, Joyful Heart’s Policy & Advocacy Director. “Many jurisdictions received federal funding to address their backlogs before their state enacted rape kit reform laws, but after seeing firsthand the value of testing backlogged rape kits, in terms of public safety and justice served, many of these states have begun the necessary work on legislative change.”

Today, only 8 states have laws requiring the testing of both current and backlogged kits. That means in most states, the decision to send kits for testing is left up to individual discretion. Research has shown discretion to be a major contributing factor in the massive number of untested rape kits sitting on shelves across the country.

This work takes political will, but it also takes significant resources. Implementation of state laws often depends on whether law enforcement, crime labs, and prosecutors receive additional resources and funding dedicated to clearing the backlog and pursuing leads. As jurisdictions enact legislation and policies to reform law enforcement practices around rape kit testing, the need for funding will increase.

Joyful Heart has created the premier national resource about the rape kit backlog, which includes an interactive map and resources for survivors, legislators, and the media. Learn more at:

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Projects Abroad Volunteers Present Typhoon Survivor With New Home

Philippine woman receives key to new house four years after Typhoon Haiyan

Projects Abroad building volunteers present the key to a newly built house to a Typhoon Haiyan survivor

Press Release – NEW YORK – October 11, 2017 – Nearly four years after surviving Typhoon Haiyan that struck the Philippines in 2013, a local woman has been presented with the key to a new house built by Projects Abroad volunteers. Construction on the house began earlier this year, and volunteers from countries including the United States, Japan and the United Kingdom combined their efforts to build it. Projects Abroad continues to provide assistance in the Philippines in the form of rebuilding classrooms, schools, and ablution facilities, to benefit communities in the long-term.

The Philippines is not the only country where Projects Abroad volunteers are actively involved in providing support to communities that continue to suffer from damage caused by natural disasters. In March this year, Cyclone Enawo caused devastation on the island nation of Madagascar. Last month, batches of nursery saplings that had grown enough after being planted immediately after the cyclone, were re-planted in a national park by conservation volunteers. This is part of an ongoing reforestation effort by Projects Abroad’s Madagascar team. Volunteers also helped complete a bridge damaged by the cyclone to provide access to the national park.

Sri Lanka experienced large flooding in May this year, to which Projects Abroad responded by sending medical volunteers to conduct health checks in affected communities. After the devastating 2015 earthquake in Nepal, Projects Abroad immediately launched their Disaster Relief program which ran for more than a year, and today continue to send volunteers on their Building Project to construct school classrooms that were destroyed in the earthquake.

Natural disasters can set communities back for many years, who without outside assistance can struggle to recover fully. “To see our volunteers give a gift as big as a new house to someone who has been suffering for years makes doing what we do so rewarding,” says Ligaya Basalo, Projects Abroad staff member in the Philippines. “Hearing success stories encourages us to continue helping in as many areas as we can, and we are looking forward to seeing more like her receive new homes, toilet facilities, schools, etc. Our goals cannot be achieved without continued volunteer assistance, so we need more volunteers to join us to help more communities.”

When mother nature strikes, thousands can be left helpless and in need of immediate and continued intervention. Projects Abroad is always ready to help where it can, to facilitate disaster relief and to continue seeing communities recover fully and thrive once more.

About Projects Abroad

Projects Abroad was founded in 1992 by Dr. Peter Slowe, a geography professor, as a program for students to travel and work while on break from full-time study. The program had its genesis in post-USSR Romania, where students were given the chance to teach conversational English. After a few years just sending volunteers to Eastern Europe for teaching, the company expanded to sending volunteers of all ages around the world on a wide range of projects.

Projects Abroad is a global leader in short-term international volunteer programs with projects in 30 countries and recruitment offices in the UK, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Holland, Hong Kong, Norway, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and the United States.

For details on volunteering abroad, visit Projects Abroad’s web site at

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ImpactUs Marketplace Welcomes Two New Issuers to its Online Impact Investing Platform

Press Release – Washington, D.C.— Ahead of SOCAP17, impact investing’s leading industry conference, financial technology provider ImpactUs has announced two new issuers to its impact investing platform, ImpactUs Marketplace—a community-driven site that offers institutions, individuals and financial advisors an extensive range of private impact investing opportunities.

The two issuers* are mission-driven organizations dedicated to building strong, healthy and successful communities, and will be at SOCAP17 all week:

  • Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF): LIIF is a national community capital organization that has invested more than $2 billion to build healthy, vibrant communities and create pathways of opportunity for over 2 million low income people.
  • Meow Wolf: An arts and entertainment company that creates immersive, interactive experiences to transport audiences of all ages into fantastic realms of story. This certified B Corp transforms community spaces with 400,000 visits in the last 12 months at its Santa Fe, New Mexico location. The company provides living wages to artists, advancing the arts and creative economy.

*Some of these issuers’ offerings are only available to accredited investors. Investing in private investments requires high risk tolerance, low liquidity concerns, and long-term commitments. Investors must be able to afford to lose their entire investment.

The new issuers added to the platform mark a milestones for ImpactUs. Meow Wolf is ImpactUs’ first early-stage venture and first issuer that brings a creativity lens to impact investing through the ImpactUs Marketplace. The Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) is the first Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) on the platform available to non-accredited investors.

“These two organizations are the newest examples of a growing number of mission-driven institutions that are expanding their reach to prospective impact investors and bolstering support for their current investors by utilizing our technology and administrative services,” said Reginald Stanley, President and CEO of ImpactUs.

The foundational support necessary to launch ImpactUs was provided by some of the leading organizations in the social impact sphere, including MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, Open Road Alliance, Enterprise Community Partners and City First Enterprises.

“Organizations like these are vital to our shared-mission of creating flourishing communities through impact investments. We’re excited to make our services and technology available to help these institutions connect with investors that share their vision for vibrant and supportive communities,” said Liz Sessler, Vice President of ImpactUs. “Investors can seek both financial and impact returns in the (areas or sectors) of affordable housing, healthcare, employment, and now, the arts, through these issuers.”

ImpactUs will have a strong presence at and around SOCAP17. CEO Reginald Stanley will be a participant in the 4:00 PM PDT SOCAP panel on Thursday, October 12 titled “Bridges Not Walls: Interdependence Powering Greater Impact in North America and Beyond,” while Vice President Liz Sessler will be on a panel with LIIF on Wednesday, October 11th titled “Off Wall Street: the Democratization of Impact-First Investing.” ImpactUs looks forward to meeting with like-minded organizations.

Those interested in learning about these investment opportunities and more can log onto to register.

About ImpactUs

ImpactUs Marketplace simplifies the impact investing process. It provides investors, advisors, and impact organizations greater choice at accessible costs while directing more capital to funds and projects that seek to deliver community, societal, and environmental benefits. Every day, ImpactUs connects investors with purpose, creating more equitable and thriving communities.

The information contained in this press release does not constitute an offer or solicitation and may not be treated as an offer or solicitation (i) in any jurisdiction where such an offer or solicitation is against the law; (ii) to anyone to whom it is unlawful to make such an offer or solicitation; (iii) if the person making the offer or solicitation is not qualified to do so. The issuers named in this press release can only be marketed in certain jurisdictions only.

All securities related activity is conducted through ImpactUs Marketplace LLC a registered broker-dealer and member FINRA/SIPC, located at 1875 Connecticut Ave., NW 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20009. ImpactUs does not make investment recommendations and this communication should not be construed as a recommendation for any security offering named in this press release. Private investments are only suitable for investors who are familiar with and willing to accept the high risk associated with private investments. Securities sold through private investments are not publicly traded and are intended for investors who do not have a need for a liquid investment.

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UK Government To Double Donations To Camfed, Unleashing GirlGuardian Powers To End Child Marriage And Keep Girls In School

  • This International Day of the Girl, leading girls’ education charity Camfed launches a UK Aid Match appeal with real-life superheroes, giving UK residents the opportunity to change the world.
  • The #UnlockFutures appeal will focus on keeping girls in school and out of child marriage by unleashing the power of young women once at risk of becoming child brides.
  • Trained as ‘GirlGuardians,’ they will be leading the charge, with UK Aid Match contributions doubling the number of girls protected.

Press Release – Cambridge, UK – October 11, 2017. Camfed, the Campaign for Female Education, will announce the start of its three-month UK Aid Match appeal during an intimate launch event at the Institute for Government today. The appeal focuses on the issue of child marriage in some of the poorest areas of sub-Saharan Africa, where as many as 6 out of 10 girls are married before the age of 18. Locked in a cycle of poverty and hopelessness, they are at grave risk of HIV/AIDS, rape and abuse, and serious complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Poverty and inequality drive this injustice, and the practice perpetuates this vicious cycle.

“Imagine your daughter graduating from primary school into marriage and motherhood when she herself is still a child, her life stopped when it is just beginning,” says Camfed CEO Lucy Lake. “Where extreme poverty leaves families with little choice, and traditional practices discriminate against girls and young women, it feels like an intractable problem. But together we can make sure that a girl is married to her future, not a man three times her age.”

The plan is to unleash the power of young women like Camfed alumna Alice, who grew up in Samfya District, Zambia. Once destined to be a child bride, she now works with schools and communities to keep girls in school and out of child marriage, personally supporting 10 girls to go to school, and looking after two orphans. The powers of the young women who have completed their education with Camfed’s support come from their lived experience, their deep roots in their communities, and the respect they command from girls and families alike. As GirlGuardians, these real-life superheroes will be equipped with additional knowledge to deliver sexual and reproductive health and life skills training, career guidance and financial literacy sessions. Each GirlGuardian will reach 80 vulnerable girls in her local school, and advocate for girls’ education and against child marriage with families and traditional leaders.

“Giving vulnerable girls the power to take control of their futures is fundamental to helping them escape the dangerous cycle of child marriage, early motherhood and poverty. By matching every penny of the UK’s generous donations to Camfed’s appeal, we are giving girls across Africa the hope of a better future.This money will help them finish their education and get good jobs, giving them brighter and more prosperous lives.” says Secretary of State for International Development, Priti Patel.

The UK Aid Match scheme allows taxpayers to make informed decisions about how a portion of the international development budget is spent, and it allows charities to explain why we should care for causes further away from home. Combined with the multiplier effect of the Camfed model, which sees every alumna support at least two more girls through secondary school with her own resources, donations made during this three-month period have the chance to exponentially increase the impact.

Camfed argues that when it comes to the proven returns on girls’ education and women’s empowerment, and their key role in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals, protecting girls and unlocking their potential is the best investment all of us can make.

To find out more about Camfed’s #UnlockFutures appeal and invest in girls’ education, visit

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New Report Reveals £300bn Opportunity For The ‘Impact Economy’

Press Release – The UK National Advisory Board for Impact Investing (UK NAB) has highlighted the opportunity to unlock an additional £300 billion in investments that directly address social and environmental challenges, and establish the UK as a global hub for impact investing.

The report, titled “The Rise of Impact: Five Steps Towards an Inclusive and Sustainable Economy”, is aimed at business leaders, investors and Government. It identifies five areas where action is required to build an inclusive economy that accelerates the rise of purposeful business and enables more people and places to benefit from economic success.

Recommendations include the creation of a £2 billion UK Inclusive Economy Catalyst Fund which could jump-start investment and stimulate opportunities in communities that have seen decades of under-investment and no real income growth. This is expected to draw in significant private investment and reach tens of billions of pounds over 5-10 years, tackling issues including social care, affordable housing and climate change.

Recognising both the imperative and the benefits of action, the report highlights how institutional investors can seize on the investment prospects that will help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the UK, following the precedent of European financial institutions that are already leading the way. A coalition of the largest investors in the Netherlands – with a combined 2.8 trillion Euros in assets under management – has already agreed an action plan for investing in SDG themes, and the UK is in danger of falling behind.

Michele Giddens, Chair of UK NAB and Co-Founder and Partner at Bridges Fund Management, said:

“Impact investing has shown its value across multiple sectors and asset classes, achieving strong returns on investment while also financing new solutions to some of the UK’s most difficult social and environmental challenges. Over the last few years we have seen an explosion of interest globally, with more and more mainstream investors coming into the space. We are reaching the tipping point; we hope this report can help the sector move from the margins to the mainstream and, in the process, enable the UK to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.

“The world is facing a funding gap of tens of trillions in addressing sustainable development issues and recent political events have highlighted that large segments of the UK population feel left behind by economic growth. If investors, business leaders and policy makers all consider social and environmental impact alongside financial value then we can start to redress these issues. This is an incredible opportunity to evolve our traditional investment model and release billions of pounds to reduce inequality, protect our scarce resources and stimulate innovative new solutions.”

Other recommendations in the report include the creation of ‘Pensions with Purpose’ that will enable savers to invest in line with their values. UK NAB highlights the potential of harnessing the assets within Defined Contribution (DC) pension schemes, which are predicted to grow six-fold to $1.7 trillion over the next two decades. Three-quarters (77 percent) of DC pension fund members have already said they would prefer a social investment fund compared to a conventional one; and 44 percent said they would do so even if their final retirement pot ended up eight percent smaller .

Government is the single largest buyer of goods and services in the UK and UK NAB wants it to place even more emphasis on social value within public procurement. It is also calling for more support for purposeful businesses that contribute positively to society and the environment, and has outlined an enhanced role for the UK in international development finance – with CDC visibly championing investment in developing markets, and large asset owners allocating more of their capital to address challenges aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The UK has been recognised as a global leader in impact investing since the Government commissioned the first Social Investment Task-force in 2000. The world’s first social impact bond was launched in the UK in 2010, and the world’s first social investment bank Big Society Capital was also created in the UK in 2012. A representative of the Government’s Inclusive Economy Unit has attended UK NAB’s Practitioners’ Council as an Active Observer throughout this process.

There is currently at least £150 billion of capital currently committed to impactful investments in the UK, and interest in the area has been growing. Mainstream investors such as Barclays, Blackrock and Standard Chartered have recently joined Bridges Fund Management, Un Ltd and other pioneers by launching products or platforms that explicitly seek both to achieve financial returns and drive social change.

Sacha Romanovitch, member of UK NAB Advisory Board and CEO of Grant Thornton UK LLP said:

“Imagine a world where everyone could say ‘I know where my money goes and the positive impact it has – as a tax payer, saver, consumer’. A world where investing with impact is not at the expense of financial return. This report shows this is already emerging and provides a vision and a plan for putting purpose at the heart of our economy. When this happens, we’ll build markets people trust and in turn that will drive innovation. We’ll have environments that enable business and people to flourish. We’ll have dynamic organisations, growing sustainably. We’ll have a vibrant economy.”

UK NAB is the UK’s voice in a Global Steering Group of 15-member states plus the EU, chaired by Sir Ronald Cohen, which was established as the successor to the Social Impact Investment Taskforce set up during the UK presidency of the G8. It is composed of a diverse group of senior leaders drawn from across the public, private and non-profit sectors of the economy, united by a single vision: to build an including and sustainable economy by ensuring that measureable impact is regularly embraced as a deliberate driver in investment and business decisions, to create better outcomes for all stakeholders and wider society. Chaired by Michele Giddens (co-founder of Bridges Funds Management), its members include David Blood (co-founder of Generation Investment), Saker Nusseibeh (CEO of Hermes Investment Management), Sacha Romanovitch (CEO of Grant Thornton), and Hazel Blears (former Labour MP).

For a copy of the report and recommendations, please visit

1 April 2017, Peter Thomson, President of UN General Assembly estimated a shortfall of US $90 trillion over 15 years to 2030; in July 2016 the World Economic Forum estimated a shortfall of $3.9 trillion per year

2 DCIF (2013) ‘Identifying new ways to engage savers in Defined Contribution Pensions’

3 UK National Advisory Board on Impact Investing: 2017 Impact Investing Guidance note

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DKT Nigeria’s Omolara Aluko Wins 2017 Bill & Melinda Gates Institute “120 Under 40” Award

Press Release – Washington, D.C: DKT International is proud to announce that Omolara “Lara” Aluko of DKT’s Nigeria program is a recipient of the 2017 “120 Under 40” award, created by the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health. The “120 Under 40” award recognizes the accomplishments of the next generation of leaders in family planning.

“Omolara’s work has been instrumental in the nationwide development and implementation of radio and television programs that discuss family planning and contraception in a refreshing, interesting and interactive manner,” says Dimos Sakellaridis, Country Director of DKT Nigeria. “We are excited that our social marketing efforts have made great strides in educating young women and couples about contraceptives- giving Nigerians the power to shape their lives and futures.”

Aluko will be one of 120 outstanding leaders given this award by the year 2020, in recognition of the Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) partnership. DKT International continues to work towards its commitment to FP2020, with a goal of providing an incremental 10 million couple years of protection (CYPs) above and beyond what it would otherwise have provided by the end of 2020.

DKT Nigeria’s Honey & Banana brand, offering information and contraceptive options, has amassed over 7,000 followers on Twitter and 65,000 on Facebook in less than a year. This success on social media is the result of fun advertising, user engagement, and the integration of radio shows and TV specials. Honey & Banana campaigns have spurred some of DKT’s most recent successes in Nigeria, including the introduction of Sayana Press and the TV premiere of “Contraceptive Chat with DKT Nurses.” After just a few weeks on air, the television and radio shows generated 2,000 calls from listeners and viewers with questions of contraceptive methods and myths.

In 2016, DKT Nigeria sold over 47 million condoms, 600,000 emergency contraceptive pills, over 430,000 oral contraceptives, 33,000 implants, 51,500 IUDs and over 4 million misoprostol tablets. DKT began to offer Sayana Press injectable contraceptives in 2015, and has sold over 750,000 units. Overall in 2016, DKT Nigeria provided over two million couple years of protection (CYP) and averted 195,964 unintended pregnancies, 4,420 maternal deaths, 5,390 child deaths and 686,433 unsafe abortions.

“We are extremely proud of the work and contributions of Lara Aluko and the continued success of DKT Nigeria in reaching new users with modern contraceptives,” adds Chris Purdy, President and CEO of DKT International.

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YWCA USA Statement on Las Vegas Mass Shooting

Press Release –

Statement by YWCA USA CEO Alejandra Y. Castillo

“We at YWCA USA are shocked and horrified by the mass shooting of concert goers in Las Vegas. Fifty-eight people are dead and more than 500 injured at this time. The impact of tragic events like this is overwhelming for those who witness it, but can also impact others who have been touched by violence in the past. We must come together as a community and provide support for those who have been impacted by this devastating act of violence. Let us strengthen our communities by caring for each other and work to root out violence and hate wherever it may be.”

Learn what you can do to address violence during YWCA’s Week without Violence, October 16-20, 2017


YWCA USA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. We are one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation, serving over 2 million women, girls, and their families.

YWCA has been at the forefront of the most pressing social movements for more than 150 years — from voting rights to civil rights, from affordable housing to pay equity, from violence prevention to health care reform. Today, we combine programming and advocacy in order to generate institutional change in three key areas: racial justice and civil rights, empowerment and economic advancement of women and girls, and health and safety of women and girls. Learn more:

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IIX Catalyzes Impact Investing in the Pacific with Pacific Trade Invest Australia

Press Release – SINGAPORE, 2 October, 2017 – IIX announces the signing of a letter of engagement with Pacific Trade Invest Australia (PTI Australia), the lead trade and investment promotion agency in the region, to catalyze growth of the impact investing market across the Pacific Islands. Drawing on PTI Australia’s extensive network in the region, IIX will begin to effectively build the market for impact investing beginning in aquaculture and agriculture sectors with plans to expand the ecosystem deeply across sixteen pacific island countries and the surrounding oceans. This understanding between IIX and PTI Australia aims to drive economic growth in the region while highlighting the potential of women-focused enterprises in the agriculture, ecotourism and fisheries industries.

Chad Morris, General Manager, Investment & Tourism, PTI Australia said that he welcomes formalizing the relationship between the two initiatives. “IIX is achieving great things in the impact investment space. I’m excited about the opportunities formally strengthening our relationship brings for the people of the Pacific Island countries.”

IIX Founder, Durreen Shahnaz, expresses, “The Pacific is a region brimming with innovative companies tackling the pressing social and environmental challenges of today. IIX is beyond excited to work with leading institutions to strengthen the impact investing movement and apply a multi-stakeholder approach to sustainable development across the pacific island countries that are some of the most vulnerable countries in the world.”

IIX officially extended its reach into the Pacific earlier this year working in the fisheries sector and then expanding its involvement with support from PTI Australia and Pacific Readiness for Investment in Social Enterprise (Pacific RISE). Pacific RISE is an innovative initiative of the Australian Government established to pioneer and facilitate a social impact investment market in the Pacific. With the support of Pacific RISE, IIX has facilitated an accelerator program with Australian Business Ventures and are looking to support impact enterprises with a gender lens. Together, Pacific RISE and IIX also educated global investors on the potential of impact investing in the region through an online webinar series. Both PTI Australia and Pacific RISE are supported by the Australian Government via the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

About IIX:

Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) is a Singapore-based impact enterprise that builds pathways to connect backstreets of underserved communities to the Wall Streets of the world through impact investing. IIX investment platforms and innovative financial products enable impact enterprises to accelerate their business and scale their positive impact, while pushing the impact investing space from the margins to the mainstream. To date, the work of IIX has spanned 20 countries and continues to expand with the mission of unlocking US$5.6 billion of impact investment capital, impacting 300 million lives by 2022.

About Pacific Trade Invest Australia:

Founded in 1979, Pacific Trade Invest Australia (PTI Australia) is an Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)-funded Pacific Island agency that creates jobs in the Pacific Islands by facilitating trade and attracting impact investment into the region. With an extensive network and a deep understanding of the Pacific Islands, PTI Australia supports private sector growth to reduce aid reliance, making long-term, sustainable improvements to the region’s economy and the livelihoods of Pacific Islanders.

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Catch Every Kid and Costco Partner to Promote Family Flu Immunizations

The Catch Every Kid campaign from the Group Health Foundation returns for a second year with a focus on flu prevention and health for all children in Washington state.

Press Release – SEATTLE — Today kicks off the second year of Catch Every Kid, Group Health Foundation’s effort to promote childhood immunizations throughout Washington state. This year, Catch Every Kid has partnered with Costco to promote flu vaccination and prevention. Millions of people across the U.S. come down with the flu each year. And, while anyone can get the flu, kids catch it most often.

Catch Every Kid aspires to protect 100 percent of Washington children through vaccination, which is the best defense against the flu. Flu is highly contagious and can lead to serious complications such as bacterial pneumonia, other infections, worsening of chronic medical conditions like diabetes, asthma, and congestive heart failure, and potentially even death. Last year, Washington State Department of Health reported 276 flu related deaths, of which seven were from young people (aged 0-24).

“Last year, Washington state was hit hard by the flu and saw a record breaking number of fatalities. This is even more tragic because there’s a very good way to prevent flu. In fact, vaccinations help decrease the chance of getting the flu by 50 percent,” said Sam Selinger, MD, Group Health Foundation Board member. “We want everyone to have access to the life-saving immunizations they need.”

The Foundation also emphasizes the need to vaccinate your whole family against the flu early this Fall before flu season hits hard. Dr. Selinger notes, “Flu and any communicable disease can spread fast, especially with kids. Most people are contagious before they even realize they have the flu.” Healthy adults can infect others one day before flu symptoms develop, but young children and people with weakened immune systems can spread the flu even earlier. Once flu symptoms develop, people with flu are contagious and do not feel well for up to another week.

This year, getting your vaccination is even easier. Costco and Catch Every Kid are teaming up to make flu vaccinations part of your regular Costco trip: just stop into a Costco Pharmacy with kids starting at age four between October 1 and October 31. No appointment needed. You can make the stop at the Pharmacy go even faster by filling out this form prior to your visit. For children between the ages of six months and four years old, check with your local pharmacy or doctor’s office.

“We believe everyone should have access to vaccinations, and want to make it even easier to protect Washington’s residents by reaching people where they already are,” Dr. Selinger added. “In addition to getting the flu vaccine at Costco, you can also ask about other important and life-saving vaccinations for your family, such as Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR), Chicken Pox, Pertussis, Shingles, and HPV.”

The Group Health Foundation is a philanthropic organization in Washington state. Catch Every Kid is a Momentum Fund of Group Health Foundation that aspires to protect 100% of Washington state children through vaccination. We’re partnering with Costco Pharmacies across the state of Washington and Cliff Avril, a professional football defensive end, to help spread the word and provide access to immunizations.

For more information, please visit

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OXXO Partners with The Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer Awareness

OXXO supports #breastcancer awareness during the month of October together with the World’s Largest Breast Cancer Organization

Press Release – Hollywood, FL, October 3, 2017OXXO Care Cleaners®, the environmentally friendly garment cleaning franchise that was first to use GreenEarth® solvents while offering 24/7 ATM-style service, announced today that it will partner with the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the ONLY organization that addresses breast cancer on multiple fronts such as research, community health, global outreach and public policy initiatives in order to make the biggest impact against the disease, throughout the month of October to support breast cancer awareness.

“This month, OXXO, together with our employees, customers and the local community will proudly support Susan G. Komen’s Foundation through a Cause Marketing Campaign and will create awareness about the critical need to find a cure for Breast Cancer. We are involving every one of our franchise stores in this effort. OXXO has also created its very own “OXXO Cares for the Cure” team of runners that will participate in the Race for the Cure 5k on October 14th. We are truly passionate about this cause and hope to raise significant funding for the organization,” said Salomon Mishaan, CEO & Founder of the OXXO Care Cleaners franchise.

“OXXO was founded on the “we care” principle. We are proud to support Breast Cancer Awareness month through the Susan G. Komen Foundation,” said Elizabeth Pereira, Marketing Manager at OXXO. “We will obtain monetary donations for the organization by distributing flyers in the Community and among our customers, creating a social media awareness campaign, and conducting a mass email marketing campaign. We will also distribute online flyers among our customers and via the Greater Hollywood Chamber of Commerce website,” she added.

To participate, community members and customers can donate in the OXXO Cares for Cancer Donation box located at all of our stores or donate online.

Other recent OXXO community affairs efforts included the Broward Peanut Butter and Jelly Drive, Operation Backpack at the Broward Pantry, the Red Nose Event with Walgreens. Tomorrow’s Rainbow, South Broward High School Band Club, aid for the Women in Distress of Broward County, and Day of Giving to the American Red Cross.

OXXO is excited to hint that it will launch a “surprise” year-long campaign later this month in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Stay tuned!!

About OXXO®

OXXO® is an environmentally-responsible dry-cleaning franchise in the United States. At OXXO®, customers experience the ultimate in garment care with the use of environmentally safe GreenEarth solvents (no use of Perc (Perchloroethylene) chemicals common at other dry cleaners) and now TOP Terra for regular laundry, the latest 24/7 ATM-style pick up service, the most technologically advanced European manufactured garment care equipment and the traditional method of hand-ironing. All garments are cleaned right the first time and personally inspected by OXXO® garment care specialists to ensure superior handling and meticulous attention to detail. Visit for more information and the OXXO® nearest you. For more information about the OXXO Care Cleaners® franchise opportunity, call 1.866.462.6996.

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