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

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Nonprofit

This category includes articles about nonprofit organizations and NGOs that are actively working to accomplish a social mission. The work of foundations that primarily work as grantors to other nonprofits is covered in Philanthropy.

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The Community Chest Launches 85th Anniversary History Exhibit at Englewood Public Library in September

Press Release – (Eastern Bergen County, NJ; August 17, 2018) — The Community Chest, a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization serving eastern Bergen County, continues its 85th anniversary celebration with a special history exhibition spanning over eight decades of making a difference in the community. The exhibit will be on display from Thursday, September 6 through Friday, September 28.

An Open House launches the exhibition at the library on Thursday, September 6, 2018 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend this free event. Light refreshments will be served.

This unique exhibition highlights The Community Chest’s lengthy involvement and work in the area with a display of photos and historical documents charting the nonprofit organization’s founding 85 years ago. This project is sponsored in partnership with the Englewood Historical Society and the Englewood Public Library, located at 31 Engle Street in Englewood, New Jersey.

“We enjoyed discovering the history of The Community Chest since its inception. Interesting letters were found from 1932 of recorded conversations among people, who had ideas to create a community chest, asking Elizabeth Cutter Morrow to lead the organization. Other documents showed the process the founders used to research the needs in the area by surveying the service agencies to determine if a community chest would be helpful,” said Dr. Shelly Wimpfheimer, Executive Director of The Community Chest.

Elizabeth Cutter Morrow, first president of The Community Chest’s board of managers.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of The Community Chest

For more information about the exhibition or the Open House, contact Dr. Wimpfheimer at 201-568-7474.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Founded in 1933, The Community Chest supports local nonprofit organizations serving people in need. With the motto, “Neighbors Helping Neighbors”, The Chest’s mission is to lead initiatives and support nonprofits that make communities stronger and benefit the people of eastern Bergen County in New Jersey. For further information about The Chest or to make a contribution, visit www.thecommunitychestebc.org/ or contact (201) 568-7474. Stay updated about the organization’s activities on Facebook and Twitter.

About The Community Chest

Founded in 1933, The Community Chest, a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, has supported local not-for-profit agencies for 85 years. The Chest leads initiatives and supports nonprofits that make our communities stronger and benefit people in need in eastern Bergen County. Each year, The Chest raises funds and allocates them to agencies demonstrating the capacity to provide services to local citizens. The organization also provides coordinating and planning services in its communities, serving as a bridge between agencies and organizations and investing in the stability and quality of the service network.


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On 15th Anniversary Of Baghdad Bombing, UN Humanitarian Chief Renews Call For Protection Of Aid Workers And Civilians

In remembrance of humanitarians killed in the line of duty, a ‘living petition’ was launched calling on world leaders to take action to protect civilians and aid workers.

Press Release – (New York, 17 August 2018) World Humanitarian Day 2018 marks the fifteenth anniversary of the bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq, in which 22 UN staff and other civilians lost their lives. Each year on 19 August, the humanitarian community remembers humanitarian workers who lost their lives in the line of duty and pays tribute to those who deliver aid to vulnerable communities in some of the world’s most dangerous crises.

Last year, 139 aid workers were killed, 102 were wounded and 72 were kidnapped in the line of duty. This marks the 5th year in a row that more than 100 humanitarians lost their lives on the job and is the highest recorded annual death toll since 2013 when 156 were killed.

“It is unconscionable that each year civilians and aid workers who are trying to help them are killed and maimed in conflict zones with utter impunity. We need this to end,” said Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock.

In 2017, out of 42,972 people reportedly killed or injured by explosive weapons, 31,904, or three out of every four victims, were civilians — a 38 per cent increase compared with 2016. More than 26,000 civilians were killed or injured in attacks in just six conflict-affected countries in 2017, the UN Secretary-General noted in his recent Protection of Civilians report. Reversing the high numbers of civilian casualties in conflicts will require sustained advocacy.

Governments and non-state armed groups have clear legal obligations to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure, protect aid workers and ensure the safe and unimpeded passage of supplies in armed conflict. “It is imperative that we continue to hold men with guns and power accountable when civilians and aid workers are illegally targeted,” Mr. Lowcock said.

More than 2 million people participated in the #NotATarget campaign last year. Building on that success, the UN and humanitarian partners launched this week a ‘living petition” calling on world leaders to take action to protect civilians and aid workers. Global Citizens are asked to ‘sign’ the petition with their selfies through a custom website that innovatively transforms their 2d selfies into 3d portraits of solidarity. The faces of citizens will be displayed on an installation that was unveiled at UN Headquarters today. The installation will remain in place throughout the UN General Assembly, which begins in September.

“The thousands of faces that make up the living petition will be on the display are to remind world leaders of their legal obligation to protect civilians in conflict,” Mr. Lowcock added.

About World Humanitarian Day

In an effort to raise awareness of humanitarian assistance worldwide and to pay tribute to the people who risk their lives to provide it, the United Nations General Assembly in 2008 designated August 19 as World Humanitarian Day.


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National Health Foundation Partners With Meal-Delivery Service Fitness Kitchen LA To Bring Healthy Food To LA’s Homeless

Press Release – Los Angeles, Aug. 16, 2018 – In its quest to improve the health of underserved communities and boost nutrition for those without homes recovering from illness, National Health Foundation (NHF) is teaming up with healthy meal delivery subscription service Fitness Kitchen LA to provide food at two of NHF’s recuperative care facilities, including its soon-to-be-opened Pico-Union location in downtown Los Angeles.

NHF is one of the leading providers of recuperative care in Los Angeles County, offering those without homes a safe place to heal once they are discharged from area hospitals. Fitness Kitchen LA is one of the top nutrition-focused daily meal delivery services in Southern California, known for its high quality, fresh and affordable prepared meal program offerings.

The unique partnership allows NHF to provide nutrient-rich meals to its clients for nearly the same cost of NHF’s previous food service arrangements. Under the agreement, Fitness Kitchen LA will prepare and deliver family-style meals each day to NHF’s Pico-Union and mid-city facilities.

“NHF is committed to doing everything in our power to enhance dignity and create the conditions in which every person we serve has opportunities to thrive,” said Wade Trimmer, executive director of housing and homeless services for NHF. “Individuals who are experiencing homelessness deserve the very best. Getting the private sector and like-minded partners involved is one way of getting this done.”

“Just because you are without a home doesn’t mean you don’t deserve nutritious, healthy food,” said Fitness Kitchen LA Co-founder Tom Aaron, whose team is working with NHF to design low-cost, nourishing meal plans for its facilities. “At Fitness Kitchen LA, we are very passionate about promoting nutrition and delicious food for all, and this partnership allows us to both spread that message and give back to the community at the same time.”

NHF’s new 62-bed recuperative care Pico-Union facility is scheduled to open in October 2018, with a goal of setting a new standard for how both recuperative care and homeless shelters deliver services to clients. In addition to serving highly nutritious, family-style dining delivered by Fitness Kitchen LA, the new facility will also feature more home-like amenities such as semi-private rooms vs. dorm-style, and regular visiting hours for clients’ families and loved ones. There will be a community garden on-site that will be available to both clients and neighbors to use.

Recuperative care has been shown to be significantly more cost-effective than extended hospital stays. Homeless patients use hospitals at a much higher rate than housed patients, with lengths of hospital stays twice the average. Without a place to recover, many homeless clients end up back in the emergency room within 30 days. Recuperative care not only offsets the financial impact to hospitals, but also reduces hospital readmissions by as much as half. A hospital stay in California currently averages $3,300 per day, compared to an average of $250 per night for recuperative care.

The new NHF Pico-Union facility will be a redevelopment of a 100-year-old sanitarium currently vacant on the site. The renovation project is being done in partnership with HomeAid Los Angeles, with etco HOMES serving as the project’s build captain. A grand opening and celebratory block party is planned for October 12.

About National Health Foundation

Founded in 1973, National Health Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation that works within communities to eliminate barriers to health, address the root causes of poor health, and advocate and empower under-resourced communities to find solutions that lead to lasting change. Embracing the guiding philosophy that health begins where we live, learn, work and play, the organization’s advocacy and work focuses on four key areas: housing, food access, built environments and education.

About FITNESS KITCHEN LA

Fitness Kitchen LA is a daily diet meal service that delivers delicious, nutritious chef-prepared cuisine, including custom wellness meal programs, a la carte options, and provides catering services. The expert team at Fitness Kitchen LA combines their knowledge of nutrition, fitness and gourmet cuisine to create the most nutritious meals to support a variety of wellness goals.


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VolunteerMatch and Verified Volunteers Join Forces

Strategic partnership brings comprehensive background screening to more than 120,000 organizations & millions of volunteers

Press Release – FORT COLLINS, Colo. and SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Whether it’s parents supporting their child’s sports team or individuals lending a hand after a natural disaster, volunteers perform an essential service – particularly when budgets are stretched thin. This support is welcomed by the thousands of organizations who rely on volunteers to fulfill their missions – yet it also adds to the daunting administrative tasks around recruitment, as well as to ensuring a safe and secure environment for everyone involved. That’s why VolunteerMatch, the web’s largest volunteer engagement network, and Verified Volunteers, the leading background check platform tailored to the specific needs of the service sector, have partnered to provide greater protection for these organizations and the populations they serve.

“VolunteerMatch is all about making it easier for good people and good causes to work together to make a difference,” said Greg Baldwin, CEO, VolunteerMatch. “That is why we are partnering with Verified Volunteers, to help create more safe spaces to volunteer.”

Together, VolunteerMatch and Verified Volunteers aim to help organizations minimize risk and safeguard their people, assets and reputation through a high-quality background screening program and access to a library of resources designed to establish screening best practices and improve volunteer management. Through their VolunteerMatch dashboards, organizations can easily connect with Verified Volunteers and request a comprehensive background check that allows potential volunteers to order and control their information using Verified Volunteers’ secure platform. These screening services are available to all VolunteerMatch organizations including more than 120,000 government agencies, hospices, hospitals, nonprofits and schools.

“Our shared commitment to helping so many wonderful organizations successfully carry out their good work really makes this the perfect partnership. By joining forces, we aspire to have an even greater impact,” says Katie Zwetzig, Executive Director, Verified Volunteers. “For instance, we know through our own research that background check quality is increasingly important for nonprofits, yet the appropriate level of risk mitigation is still not being met by current screening programs. By joining forces with VolunteerMatch, we can provide education and guidance to greater numbers of organizations on how to address these critical gaps.”

Verified Volunteers’ screening platform, with self-service features, sharing capabilities and management tools, enables the VolunteerMatch community to:

  • Ease administrative burdens. Volunteers order and control their own background checks using a secure, online platform.
  • Give their volunteers the option to pay – or ask for an optional contribution. With budgets stretched thin, this option can preserve valuable funds by allowing (or requiring) volunteers to pay for all or part of their screening.
  • Receive complimentary monthly updates. While other background checks are “one and done,” Verified Volunteers provides the added security of monitoring volunteers for new criminal records during the first year.
  • Accept background checks from previously vetted volunteers. Within the Verified Volunteers network, volunteers who have previously been vetted with one organization can store and share their existing background check with other organizations at no additional cost. In addition, if a volunteer background check is shared with another organization, the organization that initiated the original check can earn rebates.

About VolunteerMatch

VolunteerMatch believes everyone should have the chance to make a difference. As the web’s largest volunteer engagement network, serving over 120,000 participating nonprofits, 150 network partners, and 13 million annual visitors, VolunteerMatch offers unique, award-winning solutions for individuals, nonprofits and companies to make this vision a reality. Since its launch in 1998, VolunteerMatch has helped the social sector attract more than $12 billion worth of volunteer services. Learn more about VolunteerMatch at VolunteerMatch.org, and follow @VolunteerMatch.

About Verified Volunteers

Verified Volunteers helps nonprofit organizations gain confidence in their volunteers by delivering thorough, compliant background checks using a sophisticated suite of federal, national, state and local criminal locator tools. Extensive expertise in screening and compliance best practices helps clients recruit the best volunteers to maintain a safe environment and positive reputation. By enabling volunteers to order, manage and share their background checks via a secure online platform, Verified Volunteers creates a community of vetted volunteers. Verified Volunteers is backed by Sterling Talent Solutions, one of the world’s largest background screening companies and is partnered with Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service.


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American Nuclear Society And Discovery Education Launch Advanced STEM Initiative To Inspire The Next Generation Of Energy Innovation Among Nation’s Youth

— Initiative supports educators in meeting Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) by helping today’s students understand the role of nuclear science, technology and innovation in our modern world —

Press Release – Silver Spring, Md. (Wednesday, August 15, 2018) – The American Nuclear Society (ANS) and Discovery Education today announced the launch of Navigating Nuclear: Energizing Our World™, a new partnership designed to educate today’s students about the important role of nuclear science in the modern world. Reviewed by a national panel of independent educators and nuclear science experts, Navigating Nuclear guides students to examine the ways nuclear energy powers our world from multiple perspectives and explores current, real-world applications of nuclear processes. Aligned to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), Navigating Nuclear encourages students to explore applications of nuclear science including energy, medicine, geology and astronomy. The program aims to help students explore current, real-world applications of nuclear energy and its role in future advancements.

The American Nuclear Society is excited to collaborate with Discovery Education in creating this curriculum,” said ANS President Dr. John E. Kelly, who recently retired from the Office of Nuclear Energy, U.S. Department of Energy, as Chief Technology Officer. “Our members are passionate about promoting awareness and understanding of nuclear science and technology. Navigating Nuclear brings educators and students curriculum content that has been vetted by engineers, scientists and other professionals who are experts in a wide range of nuclear fields.”

Available to any teacher and designed to empower educators with tools to enhance students’ understanding of the role nuclear science plays in the fields of power generation, medicine, space exploration, food preservation and molecular science – Navigating Nuclear provides dynamic digital lessons, STEM project starters and career profiles. An upcoming immersive Virtual Field Trip, which debuts during Nuclear Science Week this fall, will go behind-the-scenes at Arizona’s Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, the largest power plant in the United States.

“My class and I are looking forward to Navigating Nuclear as it will give us real-time access to STEM professionals and demonstrates first-hand the real-world applications of our classroom lessons,” said Jessica Donaldson, pre-engineering teacher, Berkeley County School District, Moncks Corner, S.C. “I hope to introduce my students to some of many STEM career paths that are in their reach and open their eyes to the role science plays in our everyday world.”

Navigating Nuclear: Exploring Our World will explore topics such as:

  • Facts about nuclear power
  • How energy is stored in the nucleus
  • Fission and fusion
  • Naturally occurring and human-made radiation
  • How reactors produce electricity
  • Advanced nuclear reactors of the future

“Empowering students to explore anabolic principals, as they hone their research abilities and study of scientific breakthroughs, will ultimately help improve lives,” said Sukesh Aghara, Ph.D., associate professor of chemical engineering, Francis College of Engineering. “I’m proud to join ANS and Discovery Education to engage in insightful conversations about STEM, and help students match their skills and interests to exciting new opportunities in nuclear science.”

In addition to the digital learning tools, the program’s careers module will expose students to nuclear science-related occupations. Navigating Nuclear’s Virtual Field Trip will explore how nuclear technologies are generating electrical power, and producing carbon-free energy across the nation and around the world. Overall, the initiative seeks to empower teachers to discuss a range of topics, from how energy is stored in an atom’s nucleus to how that energy transforms into the electricity that powers our lives.

“Empowering students with hands-on learning opportunities inspires a life-long commitment to solution-seeking and unlocks the potential of a new generation of young scientists,” said Stacie Kronthal, vice president of corporate education partnerships, Discovery Education. “As many states now require nuclear science education as part of the NGSS guidelines, this initiative empowers educators with immersive digital tools and virtual experiences that encourage the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills.”

Navigating Nuclear: Energizing Our World resources are available at navigatingnuclear.com, and are also available through Discovery Education Streaming and Science Techbook. For more information about Discovery Education’s digital content and professional development services, visit discoveryeducation.com. Stay connected with Discovery Education on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @DiscoveryEd.


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Global Agreements Bring New Life to Voluntary Carbon Markets

Press Release – Aug 15, 2018 WASHINGTON, DC | Voluntary carbon markets are heating up as companies and consumers are taking action on climate change. After years of at-times sluggish activity, Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace’s new report called Voluntary Carbon Market Insights: 2018 Outlook and First-Quarter Trends finds that supply and demand for voluntary carbon markets hit record-highs in 2017, at 62.7 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions (MtCO2e) and 42.8 MtCO2e, respectively.

The report also tracks voluntary activity at a time of great potential for regulated carbon markets, as nations are figuring out how to implement both their own Paris Agreement commitments and a global cap on cross-boundary airline emissions. Many are looking to voluntary markets for guidance, and some are incorporating voluntary carbon markets into their strategies.

“We’ve been tracking voluntary carbon markets for more than a decade, and it’s been about that long since we’ve seen this much potential for growth,” says lead author Kelley Hamrick, cautioning that much of the optimism is contingent on the degree to which compliance-driven markets accept or recognize offsets generated under voluntary systems.

The voluntary market has the potential to grow and evolve in several different ways:

  • Regulators could allow offsets produced for the voluntary market to be bought and sold in compliance markets under the Paris Agreement and the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).
  • Voluntary offsetting could accelerate emissions reductions in sectors that are not covered by existing compliance markets, or in countries without compliance markets, provided agreements are reached to avoid double claiming.

“Voluntary and compliance markets are usually treated as two different things, but a decision to allow voluntary offsets into a compliance market could vacuum up existing supply and create a powerful incentive for new projects,” says Hamrick. “In the meantime, voluntary market participants aren’t waiting idly for a government decision; they are exploring ways to integrate new technologies like blockchain into tracking and registration schemes, and starting to bring carbon-accounting rigor to the many additional benefits – like biodiversity and gender equality – brought about by carbon projects.”

Even without the compliance-driven tailwind, voluntary offsetting has grown dramatically in recent years, as household names like Microsoft, Disney, and Lyft have incorporated offsetting into their sustainability strategies. The voluntary carbon markets have also pioneered technical advancements to quantify, verify, and track emissions reductions activities around the world. Governments from California to Colombia have taken notice and integrated some of these elements into their compliance carbon markets.

Since voluntary trading of carbon offsets first took off in the late 2000’s, demand for voluntary carbon offsets has increased more than 140-fold, from just 0.3 MtCO2e in 2008 to 42.8 MtCO2e in 2018. These voluntary carbon projects have helped to reduce, sequester, or avoid more greenhouse gasses than were emitted by Australia’s entire energy sector in 2016 – more than 437 MtCO2e.

About Us: Ecosystem Marketplace, an initiative of Forest Trends, is a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC that focuses on increasing transparency and providing reliable information for ecosystem services and payment schemes.


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National Domestic Workers Alliance Awarded Grant from TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund to Support Survivors of Sexual Harassment and Related Retaliation in the Workplace

Press Release – (New York, NY) – Today, the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund announced the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) as the recipient of a grant to support low-wage workers who have experienced sexual misconduct or related retaliation in the workplace. NDWA will use this grant to support domestic worker survivors of sexual violence through know-your-rights trainings and leadership development. The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund, which is housed and administered by the National Women’s Law Center Fund (NWLCF), awarded eighteen grants to organizations around the country to build on its commitment to support survivors of sexual harassment and retaliation across all industries and connect them to attorneys and public relations experts.

Domestic workers and care workers makeup one of the fastest growing industries in the country, yet this mostly immigrant and woman of color workforce continues to face immense barriers to seeking justice against sexual violence. That is why NDWA is committed to reaching over 250 domestic across the New York and New Jersey areas through its innovative and community-based domestic worker leadership program, “Groundbreakers.” The grant will allow NDWA to create and deliver trauma-informed and culturally appropriate trainings to get at the root of sexual violence in the domestic work industry.

“The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund believes that no worker at any job should ever have to endure abuse for a paycheck,” said Sharyn Tejani, Director of the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund. “We want all survivors to know that there are available resources to help them deal with sexual misconduct. The projects awarded today have the potential to change lives, and I could not be more excited for the work that lies ahead.”

“We are thrilled and honored to receive a grant from the TIME’S Up Legal Defense fund to support survivors in the care and cleaning workforces.” said Ai-jen Poo, Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. “We know that courage is contagious. We believe that courage of those most vulnerable in our economy can lead us to the strongest solutions to violence and harassment at work. This support will bring us closer to that vision.”

The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund received more than 120 applications for these funds. The applications proposed a broad range of diverse public engagement projects, including those offering targeted resources for Latinx workers, Asian immigrants, transgender workers, domestic workers, farmworkers, retail workers, restaurant workers, hotel workers, poultry workers and more.

Awardees were determined based on organizations’ community ties, planned outreach to low-wage workers in target populations, demonstrated commitment to advocacy on behalf of workers’ rights—and with attention to geographic distribution across the United States and diversity in populations served.


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Amida Care Hosts Music, Dance, and Fitness Event as Part of Soul Summit Music Festival with Support of NYC Council Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo

Free Community Wellness Event Promotes Healthy Living

Press Release – New York, NY – On August 12, Amida Care, a not-for-profit New York community health plan, hosted a free “Music, Fun and Dance” event at the “Soul Summit Music Festival” at Fort Greene Park Conservancy in Brooklyn. The afternoon included an interactive dance and exercise class with fitness instructor Nakisha Ross of Alwayz Fit 4 Lyfe. This event is part of Amida Care’s “Live Your Life” program, designed to keep healthy and active lifestyles at the center of New Yorkers’ everyday lives. The event was made possible with support from NYC Council Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo (Brooklyn District 35).

“Amida Care puts the whole person at the center of everything we do. While doctor’s appointments and prescribed medications are necessary components of being healthy, especially for those living with chronic conditions, we know that this is only part of a healthy lifestyle. Our ‘Live Your Life’ events encourage New Yorkers to address their social, physical, and emotional needs. We’re grateful for the support of NYC Council Majority Leader Cumbo to help promote health and wellness in Brooklyn,” said Doug Wirth, President and CEO of Amida Care.

Amida Care holds monthly Live Your Life wellness events throughout the five boroughs of New York City, where members and their guests learn about ways to get and stay healthy. In addition to dance and fitness classes, the events cover topics such as healthy cooking, art therapy, meditation, aromatherapy, and more.

“Amida Care really goes above and beyond for their members to make sure they have access to programs such as ‘Live Your Life’ events that emphasize a healthy, active lifestyle. I’m excited and proud to partner with them to encourage the Brooklyn community to live their best life,” said New York City Council Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo.

Amida Care Inc. is a not-for-profit health plan that specializes in providing comprehensive health coverage and coordinated care to New Yorkers with chronic conditions, including HIV and behavioral health disorders, and people who are of transgender experience or homeless (regardless of HIV status). Amida Care has a wide network of health care providers throughout New York City and is the largest Medicaid Special Needs Health Plan (SNP) in New York State. For more information, visit www.amidacareny.org.


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Newk’s Cares Begins Fifth Year of Its Fight Against Ovarian Cancer

Philanthropy Announces Events, Promotions and Limited Time Cancer-Fighting Soup for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

Press Release – JACKSON, Miss., Aug. 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Beginning its fifth year, Newk’s Cares — the ovarian cancer awareness movement founded by fast-casual Newk’s Eatery— is spearheading efforts to fight for the one in 78 women who will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in their lifetime, in honor of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in September.

Newk’s Cares is the philanthropic arm of Newk’s Eatery, established in 2014 by Newk’s Eatery CEO, Chris Newcomb, and his wife Lori Newcomb. Lori was diagnosed with stage IIIC ovarian cancer in 2013, which inspired her to establish Newk’s Cares as a way of giving back to an important cause that has personally impacted the Newk’s family. To date, Newk’s Cares has raised over $720,000 for ovarian cancer research through the organization’s partnership with Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance (OCRFA), the largest global organization dedicated to advancing ovarian cancer research while supporting women and their families.

“I hope to use the Newk’s Cares platform to inspire women to communicate how they are feeling and put their health first, as they do with the loved ones most important to them,” said Lori Newcomb, Newk’s Cares co-founder and ovarian cancer survivor. “I believe women should listen to what their bodes are telling them to truly take care of themselves, and to find a doctor who will also listen to them and their symptoms. Even though the symptoms may be vague, your body is trying to tell you something. Early detection is the key to incrementally increasing the survival rate.”

To kick off Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, Newk’s Cares is hosting the following events for the Jackson, Miss. community, where Newk’s calls home:

  • Newk’s Cares and St. Dominic Hospital are again joining efforts to raise critical awareness and support of ovarian cancer prevention and treatment. A free Lunch & Learn event will be held on Thursday, August 16 at noon at Sparkman Auditorium on the campus of the Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum. Lori Newcomb, along with St. Dominic’s gynecologic oncologists and ovarian cancer survivors will share their stories, and guests will also hear from Dr. Katherine Fuh, an Assistant Professor in the division of Gynecologic Oncology at Washington University in St. Louis, regarding her latest research. Dr. Fuh’s research on the inhibition of metastasis in BRCA2–associated ovarian cancers is funded by a grant from OCRFA made possible by a donation from Newk’s Cares. Attendees can pre-register for the lunch and submit questions to the panel by emailing NewksCares@Newks.com. This event is free and open to the public.
  • The community is invited to aid in the fight against ovarian cancer by participating in Ovarian Cycle® Jackson, an annual outdoor spin event that will be held at The Club at The Township in Ridgeland on Thursday, September 20. Riders can participate in one of five 45-minute time slots every hour from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. There is a $50 registration fee to ride and ovarian cancer survivors ride for free. Registration is now open at http://support.ocrfa.org/Jackson2018.

The following initiatives will take place across all Newk’s Eatery’s 121 locations to raise awareness of the cause:

  • Beginning August 20 through the month of September, Newk’s iconic collectible black cups will turn teal, the color of Ovarian Cancer Awareness. Guests will have the option to make a donation in support of ovarian cancer research and education both in-store and through online ordering. All funds collected between September 3 – 30 will be donated to OCRFA.
  • Available during the month of September, Newk’s is introducing a new seasonal Thai Chicken soup that features numerous cancer-fighting ingredients including mushrooms, carrots, turmeric, garlic, and green and red bell peppers, which contain antioxidants that can help reduce the risks of cancer. This soup will remain in all Newk’s Eatery locations through March 2019.

For more information, visit NewksCares.com and follow Newk’s Cares on Facebook, where Newk’s Cares will feature the brave faces of ovarian cancer survivors and their stories throughout the month of September.

ABOUT NEWK’S EATERY

Based in Jackson, Mississippi, Newk’s Eatery is leading the next generation of fast casual with its culinary-driven menu prepared in Newk’s open-view kitchens, featuring made-from-scratch soups, fresh tossed salads, hand-crafted pizzas, hot toasted sandwiches and desserts. Founded in 2004, Newk’s currently operates and franchises more than 121 restaurants in 15 states and is gaining national attention for its accelerated growth and commitment to community. FastCasual.com has named Newk’s among its Top 50 “Movers and Shakers” from 2015-2018, while Franchise Times magazine ranked Newk’s among its top “Fast and Serious” franchise brands for the fourth year in a row, and Technomic listed Newk’s in its Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report and the “Best Overall” fast casual and “Most Kid Friendly” fast casual Consumers’ Choice award. Also recently, the brand was named among NRN’s Top 200 and Top 5 Fastest-Growing Chains, along with Restaurant Business’ Top 40 Fast-Casual Chains. For more information, visit Newks.com, join the Roundtable Club or follow Newk’s on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

ABOUT ST. DOMINICS

St. Dominic’s is more than just a hospital. It is a family of services focused on fulfilling a mission of Christian healing to those in need. St. Dominic Health Services, Inc. is the parent company for a large group of subsidiary organizations and programs dedicated to the same mission. These include St. Dominic Hospital, the Community Health Services Clinic, St. Dominic Medical Associates (physician network), New Directions for Over 55, MEA Clinics, The Club at St. Dominic’s, the School Nurse Program, St. Dominic’s Foundation, St. Catherine’s Village and Care-A-Van.

St. Dominic Hospital is a 571-bed tertiary care hospital located in Jackson, Mississippi serving all of central Mississippi and employs approximately 3,000 employees inclusive of nurses, physicians, and skilled caregivers. The medical staff, of nearly 500 leading physicians and specialists, makes St. Dominic’s one of the most comprehensive hospitals in Mississippi. Through nearly seven decades, St. Dominic’s has remained true to its vision. We are St. Dominic’s – a Christian healing community called to provide quality, compassionate care and an Exceptional Encounter Everytime.

ABOUT OCRFA

Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance (OCRFA) is the world’s largest organization dedicated to fighting ovarian cancer through research, advocacy and support. OCRFA advances research to prevent, treat and defeat ovarian cancer, works with all levels of government to ensure ovarian cancer is a priority and supports women and their families before, during and beyond diagnosis. Visit ocrfa.org to learn more.


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Myanmar: Access to Health Care Blocked in Northern Rakhine

Rohingya continue to be hit especially hard as policies hinder access to treatment, medical fees remain too expensive

Press Release – NEW YORK/AMSTERDAM, AUGUST 11, 2018—Independent humanitarian agencies remain largely blocked from accessing vulnerable communities in northern Rakhine state in Myanmar, raising major concerns about the unmet medical and humanitarian needs in an area where Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) previously treated thousands of patients per month, the organization said today.

On August 11, 2017, two weeks prior to attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) and the Myanmar Army’s so-called “clearance operations” that followed, MSF lost government authorization to carry out medical activities in northern Rakhine. One year later, MSF remains unable to operate in northern Rakhine. While MSF has repeatedly requested that the Myanmar government grant it the necessary travel and activity authorizations to provide medical care to those in need, administrative red tape has made this impossible.

“The lack of sustained independent assessments in northern Rakhine means that no one has a comprehensive picture of the situation on the ground and the medical and humanitarian needs,” said Benoit De Gryse, MSF’s operations manager for Myanmar. “MSF, once again, requests the government grant immediate and unfettered access to northern Rakhine to all independent and impartial humanitarian actors to ensure that the health care needs of the population can be evaluated and addressed.”

MSF had provided health care to all communities in northern Rakhine since 1994. At the time operations were suspended on August 11, 2017, MSF was operating four primary health care clinics in northern Rakhine—three of which were subsequently burnt down—and was providing over 11,000 primary and reproductive health care consultations per month, as well as emergency transport and assistance for patients requiring hospitalization.

The “clearance operations” that started around August 25, 2017—which are estimated to have resulted in the deaths of at least 6,700 Rohingya—spurred more than 700,000 Rohingya to flee targeted violence in northern Rakhine for safety in Bangladesh, leaving many areas of this state sparsely populated. However, there are still 550,000 to 600,000 stateless Rohingya across the state.

The Myanmar government claims that health care needs are being met, but the severe limitations on humanitarian access to northern Rakhine make it impossible to gather independent and impartial information about public health and medical humanitarian needs of people living in this region. This is especially important given discussions of repatriating Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh to Myanmar. MSF continues to assert that all repatriation must be voluntary, and that access to basic services like health care, water, sanitation, and shelter must be met for those who choose to return.

“The medical needs of the remaining Rohingya population in northern Rakhine, as well as those of ethnic Rakhine and other minorities, must be thoroughly and independently assessed,” De Gryse said. “Humanitarian access is key to understanding the situation on the ground; without credible information, there is no way to assess conditions for return.” De Gryse said.

MSF maintains a staff presence in Maungdaw, northern Rakhine, despite being unable to run medical activities, and teams continue to hear from the Rohingya community there about the difficulties they face accessing health care. For example, they continue to face restrictions on their freedom to move around the region, cannot reach better health facilities in the country, and face unaffordable medical fees.

One person* MSF spoke to was forced to seek medical care in recent months for their mother in Bangladesh, who died there. “We don’t have access to Sittwe or Yangon, so the only option is to cross the border to Bangladesh,” they told MSF. “This is a very risky route. If I could take my mother’s body back to my village and have a funeral next to my father I would be very happy. But that is not going to happen due to the situation of my country. If we had been able to see a specialist here, we wouldn’t have had to go to Bangladesh.”

MSF continues to provide primary health care and emergency referrals for patients in Sittwe district, Central Rakhine. Elsewhere in Myanmar, MSF continues to run its medical projects in Shan, Kachin, and Yangon, as well as in the Naga Self-Administered Zone and Tanintharyi Region.

*The identity of the person has been withheld at their request.

This press release can be found online here.


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