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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
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Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: August 2016

The Broad Foundation Establishes $1 Million Endowment to Provide After-School Help for Homeless, Low-Income Students Across City

Press Release – LOS ANGELES–For homeless students with nowhere to go after school and low-income students whose families can’t afford computers or internet access, free afterschool homework centers in 38 branches of the Los Angeles Public Library across the city provide a safe haven. The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation announced today it has awarded a $1 million grant to endow the centers and ensure students continue to have free access to computers, laptops tablets and printers in these libraries.

The grant will fund continuing purchases of state-of-the-art technology, giving students access to dedicated equipment and support from staff during after-school hours to help them complete their homework and even assistance completing college and scholarship essays.

The endowment was established in honor of Broad Foundation co-founder Edythe Broad, whose love of books and reading has made her one of the Library Foundation’s most devoted supporters.

“When I was a child growing up in Detroit, my sister and I always went to the library, and I have such fond memories of how I could be transported through books,” said Edye Broad. “For so many students who don’t have a place to study after school, libraries can provide a place to go. And today, libraries have so much more than books. Everything a student needs to do their homework is available at the library.”

Last year, The Broad Foundation gave $250,000 to the Library Foundation to increase the number of “student zones” across the city, which enabled the libraries to serve more students, especially those in homeless shelters, foster care and low-income communities. More than 100,000 children and teens use the Los Angeles Public Library, making it the largest single provider of free after-school activities in the city.

“We are asking our students to do so much more these days-to think critically, to solve complicated problems, despite all the distractions and challenges happening in their lives,” said April Bain, a Los Angeles Unified School District high school math teacher. “You can’t think critically and solve complicated problems if you can’t hear yourself think or get internet access to complete an assignment. I love that this is providing an essential need for students-a safe, quiet space to learn.”

“We know that the hours immediately after school are crucial to the success of many young people,” said Ken Brecher, president of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. “The generosity of The Broad Foundation helps to make our Student Zones true safe havens and productive centers for students to do their homework now and in the future.”

Additionally, this year in honor of Edye Broad’s birthday, staff of The Broad Foundation, The Broad Center for the Management of School Systems and The Broad museum donated more than 100 books to the Central Library in downtown Los Angeles.

“Many of my students don’t have computers or Internet access at home, so I encourage them to go to the public library after school to do their homework,” said Phina Ihesiaba, a sixth-grade social studies teacher at KIPP Academy of Opportunity. “It’s great to have a safe space with the free tools and help they need.”

“We are thrilled that the Broad Foundation is investing in young Angelenos through the Los Angeles Public Library,” said City Librarian John F. Szabo. “Students across the City rely on their neighborhood branch libraries as an extension of their academics-taking advantage of services such as our online tutoring and coding workshops, and this gift will allow us to further our efforts to help every student succeed.”

Founded by entrepreneur Eli Broad and his wife Edythe, both graduates of Detroit Public Schools, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation is a philanthropy that seeks to ensure that every student in an urban public school has the opportunity to succeed. Bringing together top education experts and practitioners, the foundation funds system-wide programs and policies that strengthen public schools by creating environments that allow good teachers to do great work and enable students of all backgrounds to learn and thrive. For more information, visit

#20forHope Social Campaign to Raise Awareness of Neuroblastoma on September 20

Children’s Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation invites people to post dance videos that day on social media to help raise $700,000 by year’s end to fight aggressive childhood cancer

Press Release – CHICAGO, AUGUST 30, 2016 – During Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, neuroblastoma, an aggressive childhood cancer, will be the focus of the #20forhope social media campaign created to raise research dollars and awareness of a disease more common in infants than leukemia but sorely lacking in funding.

On September 20, people everywhere – best buddies, neighbors, co-workers, dance troupes and cast members – are being asked to spread the word about neuroblastoma by posting dance videos of 20 seconds or more that day to social media using #20forHope, tag @cncfhope and their followers, and invite them to donate online at and share their own dance videos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Proceeds will benefit the Children’s Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation (CNCF), a nonprofit founded by the parents of a neuroblastoma victim that funds research and educational programs for families.

CNCF officially launched the #20forhope promotion today with a video featuring neuroblastoma survivors and kids still in treatment or dealing with the after effects, which can be severe and last a lifetime. The objective of #20forhope is to move CNCF closer to its goal of raising $700,000 by year’s end on behalf of the estimated 700 children diagnosed in the United States with neuroblastoma every year. Funds will be used to support research grants, like the $35,000 CNCF recently awarded to a neuroblastoma researcher at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston to conduct a stem cell cancer study, as well as education programs aimed at raising awareness about neuroblastoma and potentially life-saving treatment options and clinical trials.

Neuroblastoma has been called “the great masquerader” because it mimics common childhood illnesses. It originates from immature nerve cells and manifests as a solid tumor most commonly in the adrenal glands above the kidney and in nerve tissues in the neck, chest, abdomen or pelvis. Its primary victims are under age 5. Survival rates for patients in advanced stages of disease is 40 percent, and there is a high rate of relapse.

Since 2005, CNCF has contributed nearly $2.5 million to fund neuroblastoma research, helping to fill funding gaps that, unfortunately, are typical for lesser-known childhood cancers. In the U.S., the majority of cancer research dollars go to fight cancers most commonly found in adults. Less than 3 percent of the American Cancer Society’s funding is designated for childhood cancer research.

“It comes down to this: We can do more with more. But the reality is the way cancer research is funded, our children are largely being left out,” said Pat Tallungan, president of CNCF. “There are neuroblastoma researchers on the cusp of major breakthroughs that would give the youngest cancer victims a real chance at survival and a better quality of life. On September 20, we’re asking the public to care enough to give a few dollars and hope to children and families suffering with this terrible disease.”

When Tallungan’s son Nicholas was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 1995, there was very little information available on the disease. Tallungan co-founded CNCF in 2000, one year after Nicholas died at age 10. In 2002, CNCF held its first Parent Education and Medical Symposium to connect families with the leading neuroblastoma researchers to learn about the latest treatment therapies and clinical trials.

“CNCF’s motto is hope unites us,” Tallungan said. “On September 20, we hope that people who care about children’s health and well-being everywhere will dance with us to give children with neuroblastoma a fighting chance.”

For more information on CNCF and neuroblastoma visit Follow CNCF on Twitter and Facebook.

SOCAP Announces Speakers & Sessions Preview for SOCAP16

This story was originally posted here.

Press Release

SOCAP16 Speakers & Sessions Preview

Social Capital Markets Conference (SOCAP), the world’s leading gathering for impact investors and social entrepreneurs, announced a preview of speakers and sessions for SOCAP16, taking place September 13-16 at Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, CA.

Since 2008, SOCAP has created a platform where social impact leaders can connect and present their ideas to a global audience. The annual flagship event in San Francisco is the largest conference for impact investors and social entrepreneurs and has drawn more than 10,000 people since the first gathering.

Now in its ninth year, SOCAP16 will host over 3,000 attendees including leaders in business, finance, tech, the sharing economy, philanthropy and more, who are working to create positive social impact at the intersection of money and meaning.

“We want to make it easy for the investors who are putting money toward meaning to fund people making the change we all need,” said Kevin Jones, SOCAP Co-Founder & Convener.

SOCAP16 Speakers

More than 500 changemakers and thought leaders will share their perspectives in over 140 sessions at SOCAP16, including the following mainstage speakers.

SOCAP16 Sessions

For a current list of sessions, see the SOCAP16 agenda. Session themes include impact investing, meaning, neighborhood economics, cities as centers for change, clean energy for all, sustainable food and agriculture, and inclusive entrepreneurship.

“SOCAP content is created by our community, and reflects the current challenges, best practices, and areas of development for the social capital markets. Sessions are designed to inspire collaboration and action, to move the fields of impact investing and social enterprise forward.” said Lindsay Smalling, Producer and Curator of SOCAP.

In addition to three days of programming for SOCAP16, some additional events are also taking place before the conference on September 12th and 13th. These events require a separate registration and are not included in the SOCAP16 ticket.

SOCAP16 is made possible with support from Bain Capital and Blackstone Charitable Foundation; California Clean Energy Fund, Energy Excelerator, Etho Capital, New Energy Nexus, and The Rockefeller Foundation. For a full list of sponsors, visit


SOCAP (Social Capital Markets) is a world-renowned conference series dedicated to increasing the flow of capital toward social good. Our annual flagship event in San Francisco is the leading gathering for impact investors and social entrepreneurs. We take a unique approach that emphasizes cross-sector convening and gathers voices across a broad spectrum to catalyze unexpected yet impactful connections. From the leading edge to established players, SOCAP brings together global innovators, investors, foundations, governments, institutions, and social entrepreneurs to build the world we want to leave to future generations. We actively seek out opportunities to accelerate the market at the intersection of money and meaning and, in pursuit of that goal, have convened more than 12,000 people since our founding in 2008. SOCAP is a convening platform operated by Mission Hub LLC (MissionHUB).

Expert from Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees to Offer Factual, Non-Partisan View on U.S. Refugee Resettlement

Dr. Georgette Bennett, founder of Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees, is available for interview via Skype on Wednesday, August 31st

Press Release – (New York, NY – August 30, 2016) – The U.S. has reached its goal of resettling 10,000 Syrian refugees five weeks early. While resettlement agencies work directly with refugees to find housing and work, the cultural integration comes from concerted community efforts. Civil society groups such as the nearly 70 faith-based and secular organizations that are part of the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees (MFA) – have an important role to play in welcoming refugees at all levels of society.

Dr. Georgette Bennett, founder of MFA the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, of which it is part, is the daughter of Holocaust survivors, arrived in the U.S. as a refugee, having escaped from Hungary to France, where she and her family lived for several years while awaiting their papers to enter America. On the passenger manifest for the ship that brought her and her family to America, their nationality was listed as “stateless.” For these reasons, Georgette is compelled to act in the face of the immense suffering of the Syrian people. In 2013, Dr. Bennett founded MFA, utilizing the moral authority of religious leaders to mobilize support for alleviating the suffering of Syria’s war victims. Throughout the years of her interreligious activities, Dr. Bennett has been honored by: the New York Board of Rabbis, Auburn Seminary, International Council of Christians and Jews, Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding and The Distinguished Service Award from the New York City Comptroller’s office, among many other awards.

Texas A&M Students Honoring Victims Of Bonfire Tragedy With Ambitious Project

Press Release – COLLEGE STATION, Aug. 29, 2016 – Good can come from tragedy if students at Texas A&M University have anything to say about it. The student-led organization BUILD has a mission of completing 12 Texas Aggie Medical Clinics (TAMCs) this fall, each dedicated to one of the 12 students killed in the 1999 collapse of the school’s annual bonfire.

BUILD is preparing to complete the three-year project to transform shipping containers into portable medical clinics destined for Central American and Caribbean countries with limited access to medical care.


“These clinics have a tremendous impact on the communities in which they are placed because a lot of the people in these areas are at least an hour drive from the nearest hospital,” says Mackenzie Rogers, a senior geology major from Frisco, Texas, and BUILD’s chief financial officer. “Many things we take for granted, such as anti-inflammatories and antibiotics, can keep injuries from turning life-threatening, but these communities don’t always have access to that type of care.”

So far the students have built eight clinics, which are located in Haiti, Honduras, Guatemala and Jamaica, with an eye next on Costa Rica. “We are currently serving about 2,000 people per week between all of the clinics we have in service,” Rogers notes.

Each portable clinic contains a waiting area, exam room and operating room and is outfitted with cabinetry, light fixtures and electricity, sinks and plumbing, and air conditioning.

Rogers says BUILD has many partners and donors who have assisted in making this project happen, including Medical Bridges, a Houston non-profit organization which, for a small fee, stocks each completed clinic with about $100,000 in medical equipment and supplies. “They also coordinate with the Non-government Organizations (NGOs) that accept these clinics to get the TAMC through customs and to make sure they have the capability to staff them with doctors and nurses,” she explains.

Several vendors in Texas A&M’s local area have donated supplies, including Lowe’s, McCoy’s, Summit Electric, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, Zwernemann Flooring and Chapman’s Paint Company, and several Texas A&M entities have assisted through a variety of services.

BUILD welcomes cash donations and Rogers says they are about halfway to their goal of raising $100,000. To make a donation, visit BUILD’s donation page.

The group will be starting construction on the final four TAMCs on Sep. 26, planning completion by Nov. 4. Student volunteers and adult advisors can apply to work via BUILD’s volunteer page.

Rogers says being a part of BUILD is beyond rewarding. “It’s amazing to walk on site the first day and see four empty containers, then realize at the end of the project just how much work students from all over campus have put in to make these dreams a reality,” says Rogers. “We are also getting former students and other community members involved, and I love to see everyone’s reaction the first time they see a completed clinic.”

As for the future, Rogers says the group plans to continue building the clinics, hoping to dedicate the next project to fallen veterans.

For more information on BUILD, visit

5 Ways Your Spare Change Can Make A Big Impact

Press Release – SAN DIEGO, California – (August 29, 2016) – Nearly every time we make a purchase, it results in spare change. Some of us let it jingle around in our pockets, while others drop it into the charity bucket next to the register, hoping that it makes it to the featured charity. Even more of us let it pile up in our vehicles, waiting for a chance to put it to use. But, what if that spare change, as small as it may seem, could actually add up to something big – making a difference in the world or give your family a fun vacation? The good news is that you can!

“We all have spare change, and most of us see it as trivial, ” explains Leena Patidar, chief executive officer and co-founder of Coin Up. “What people don’t realize is that the aggregation of this spare change is actually quite powerful. It adds up quickly, allowing for major effect, depending on how you want to use it.”

According to the Transportation Security Administration, there was over $531,000 worth of spare change left behind in the country’s airports just during 2012. Imagine what that much money could have done to help a charity. There are some good things that your family can do with their spare change. Here are 5 things to keep in mind as the change begins to pile up:

  1. Save for a family vacation. Many families find it challenging to pay for a family vacation. Yet if they saved spare change throughout the year, putting it into a big bank in the closet, they may have $600 or more at the end of the year. That’s enough to take a nice little family vacation or staycation and create some memories.
  2. Keep saving it. If you put all of your spare change into a bank in the closet, and then once per year you cash it out and add it to a savings account at the bank (or invest it), you will be building a nice nest egg toward retirement. Even saving a few hundred dollars per year, this will add up to a nice payday once retirement hits and the money has all been compounded in the bank.
  3. Pay it forward. Use your spare change to pay it forward for someone else. If you let it pile up in the car, once you see you have a few dollars just use it to pick up the tab for the person’s latte in line behind you. That good deed is likely to create a ripple effect of kindness.
  4. Eliminate debt. In our society, most people carry around some debt, whether from credit cards, automobile payments, or student loans. Save up the spare change, and every time it adds up to $25-50, apply it to debt. Over time, those extra payments will add up and will help eliminate the debt quicker.
  5. Give to your favorite charity. Everyone has a cause they are passionate about. Giving spare change to a favorite cause or charity can help have a major impact on that issue and lead to a better world. Apps such as Coin Up have helped make giving spare change to one’s chosen charity effortless. By downloading the app and choosing a charity to donate to, your purchases are rounded up to the nearest dollar, with the change going to your chosen charity each month.

“We know the impact and power that spare change can have on society,” added Coin Up co-founder and chief technology officer, Scott Graham. “That’s why Coin Up is revolutionary, because we are creating a society that can easily engage in charitable giving through the convenience of every day transactions; taking incremental spare change from your daily credit/debit card transactions and donating it to the charity of your choice.”

The Coin Up app is free to download. All users do is download the app to register, choose a cause they are passionate about, put in their payment source, and set a monthly limit. The spare change from their transactions (at stores, restaurants, or that daily coffee) will automatically be given to their chosen charities. The app provides a secure way for people to control their monthly charity donation amount, and provides for a tax-deductible donation. For more information on the Coin Up app, visit or download it today on the Apple App Store.

About Coin Up:

Coin Up is an innovative mobile app that provides a platform for donors to give to their favorite charitable causes effortlessly. Once downloaded and registered, the app will round up purchases made on your credit card or debit card and give the spare change to the person’s chosen charities. The app is free to use and has been designed to help people give monthly to charities they are passionate about, making it easy for their spare change to have a big impact.

Coin Up’s mission is to create a society that engages in charitable giving through the convenience of every day transactions. The company was co-founded by Leena Patidar and Scott Graham. For more information on Coin Up, visit the site at: YOUR CHANGE. YOUR IMPACT @CoinUpApp

New Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital Neurosurgery Fellowship Honors Community Leader

Press Release – St. Petersburg, Fla. – August 29, 2016 – Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital received a commitment of $300,000 to support a three-year fellowship for the hospital’s Institute for Brain Protection Sciences. The donation honors the 28-year career of Tom Dorety, Suncoast Credit Union President and CEO, who will be retiring at the end of 2016. The gift is made possible through a donation by the Tampa Bay Area Credit Unions for Kids, raised by their annual Tampa Bay Area Credit Unions for Kids golf tournament.

“This gift signifies and extends the commitment Tom has generously supported and encouraged on behalf of his relationship with Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. As a former board member of the hospital, Tom became aware not only of the extraordinary care that is provided here, but also of the teaching and research component that came with the Johns Hopkins relationship,” said Cindy Helton, executive director of Suncoast Credit Union. “We couldn’t think of a better way to honor Tom’s 28 years with us, the last 20 as our President and CEO.”

This one-time gift will fund a three-year neurosurgery fellowship at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Institute for Brain Protection Sciences from 2017-2020 enabling Johns Hopkins All Children’s to continue recruiting the best and brightest physicians to further its proud tradition of elevated pediatric care grounded in research.

“The establishment of this neurosurgical fellowship is a critical step in the advancement of brain health for children everywhere and particularly at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital,” said Jenine Rabin, executive vice president of All Children’s Hospital Foundation. “The future Tom Dorety Fellow will be trained toward exceptional leadership in patient care, neurosurgery and research under the tutelage of internationally respected pediatric neurosurgeon George Jallo, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Institute for Brain Protection Sciences. He will be joining a culture of inquisitiveness and innovation at one of the few comprehensive, multidisciplinary care centers for pediatric patients with neurological disorders.”

Tom Dorety and the Tampa Bay Area Credit Unions for Kids have generously supported the growth of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital over the past decade. Funding of the pediatric intensive care unit and the Autism Center at Johns Hopkins All Children’s exemplifies Dorety and the Tampa Bay Area Credit Union for Kids’ generous commitment and past contributions.

About All Children’s Hospital Foundation

All Children’s Hospital Foundation provides philanthropic support for the mission and vision of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and to ensure that charitable donations are stewarded directly toward the greatest needs of the hospital and its patients. Its sole function is to raise, steward and distribute donations to benefit Johns Hopkins All Children’s, a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. As a non-profit organization, the Foundation works together with individuals, corporations, charitable trusts and other organizations who share its vision, that all children deserve the best pediatric care available. Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital is a leader in children’s health care, combining a legacy of compassionate care for children since 1926 with the innovation and experience of one of the world’s leading health care systems. The 259-bed teaching hospital, ranked as a U.S. News & World Report Best Children’s Hospital, stands at the forefront of discovery, leading innovative research to cure and prevent childhood diseases while training the next generation of pediatric experts. For more information, visit

$1 Million Gift Will Build State-Of-The-Art Weight-Training Facility

Kathleen Lagorio Janssen and Dean Janssen, prominent Central Valley philanthropists and business leaders, have donated $1 million to University of the Pacific to expand the popular Janssen-Lagorio Gymnasium on the Stockton Campus, representing one of the most significant gifts to Athletics in the university’s history.

The gift was announced Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Pacific Athletic Foundation’s annual Orange & Black Ball, which raises money for scholarships for Pacific student-athletes.

The new Janssen-Lagorio Performance Center, slated to open in spring 2017, will provide state-of-the-art conditioning facilities and a “fuel station” offering quick and nutritious snacks for student-athletes.

A “crowdfunding” campaign is underway to raise an additional $50,000 toward the $450,000 needed to complete, equip and maintain the planned $1.45 million project, of which $300,000 has already been raised.

The addition will expand the Janssen-Lagorio Gymnasium, widely recognized as one of the finest training gymnasiums in the West Coast Conference. Built in 2009 with a leadership gift from the Janssens, the gymnasium serves as the practice facility for Pacific’s basketball and volleyball teams, as well as for campus recreational sports. It is also a popular venue for community and special events.

“We are deeply grateful to Dean and Kathy for their great generosity in helping our students achieve their dreams,” said Pamela A. Eibeck, president of University of the Pacific. “Their support, and that of our other Board members, faculty, staff, coaches, donors and alumni, is vital to ensuring that Pacific students receive a superior education that prepares them for success in their careers and lives.”

Lagorio Janssen, who chairs the university’s Board of Regents, is an alumna of University of the Pacific’s Gladys L. Benerd School of Education. She and her husband both began their careers as teachers in the Stockton Unified School District. Today they own and operate the Stockton-based Lagorio Family of Companies, which grows, packs and ships high-quality fruits and vegetables worldwide.

“Dean and I couldn’t be happier to make this gift,” said Lagorio Janssen. “Our Tigers deserve the highest quality facilities, and we are proud to be able to support them.”

The Janssen-Lagorio Performance Center will offer student-athletes more access to strength-and-conditioning training, which is known to reduce injuries and improve performance.

“The Janssen-Lagorio Gymnasium has had a tremendous impact at Pacific and in the greater Central Valley region,” said Ted Leland, Athletics Director at University of the Pacific. “Dean and Kathy’s latest gift ensures that Pacific Athletics will continue to offer the world-class facilities that empower us to recruit and train the best and brightest student-athletes.”

The existing weight room has become too small to accommodate the growing number of student-athletes at Pacific. Some 350 student-athletes now share the small room.

The expansion will include installation of dynamic flooring and space-efficient power racks. A state-of-the-art video analysis system is planned, as well, as a way for coaches and athletes to conduct in-depth analyses of technique, movement, performance and execution during conditioning sessions.

The addition will be constructed facing Larry Heller Drive and will include large windows looking out on the activity in the gymnasium.

About Pacific Athletics

Pacific’s nationally ranked student-athletes participate in 16 NCAA Division I sports while receiving a superior education. The university competes in the West Coast Conference, NorPac Conference (field hockey), Golden Coast Conference (women’s water polo) and Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (men’s and women’s swimming, men’s water polo). For more information, visit:

About University of the Pacific

Established in 1851 as the first chartered institution of higher education in California, University of the Pacific prepares students for professional and personal success through rigorous academics, small classes, and a supportive and engaging culture. Widely recognized as one of the most beautiful private university campuses in the West, the Stockton campus offers more than 80 areas of study in seven schools. The university’s distinctive Northern California footprint also includes a campus in San Francisco, home to the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry and new graduate programs in health, food and technology fields, and in Sacramento, home to the Pacific McGeorge School of Law and new graduate programs in health, education, business and public policy. For more information, visit

Three-time Olympian/Runner/Author/Advocate Suzy Favor Hamilton will speak at Alive & Running 5K Walk/Run for Suicide Prevention

Press Release – Los Angeles, Calif. (Aug. 29, 2016) – Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services proudly announces that Suzy Favor Hamilton, a three-time Olympian whose brother died by suicide, will speak and lead the pre-race warm up at its18th Annual Alive & Running Walk Run for Suicide Prevention. The event takes place at West 88th Street and La Tijera Boulevard, just north of Los Angeles International Airport, on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016; the pre-race program begins at 7:30 am; the race, at 8 am.

Alive & Running is an inspiring gathering that remembers loved ones and raises money and awareness for the Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevention Center. The family-friendly event also includes a Health & Wellness EXPO to educate people about suicide, as well as live music, a raffle, and a Kiddie-K. It is expected to draw more than 2,000 runners and walkers and to raise about $350,000 for the center.

Hamilton, a seven-time U.S. National Champion and record nine-time NCAA Champion runner, wrote the New York Times Bestselling memoir, Fast Girl – A Life Spent Running from Madness, which details her life with mental illness, the effects of her misdiagnosis, her brother’s death by suicide and her own suicide attempt.

“Suzy Favor Hamilton’s openness about her brother’s suicide and her own struggle with bipolar disorder and depression raises awareness and inspires others to seek help,” said Didi Hirsch President/CEO Dr. Kita S. Curry, PhD. “We are grateful Suzy is sharing her family’s story at Alive & Running.”

The Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevention Center was the first in the nation to study suicide and to provide a 24-hour suicide prevention hotline. Now a renowned leader in training, research and services, the Center helps people thinking about suicide, concerned loved ones and those who have attempted or are grieving a loss. The Center’s multilingual crisis line answered more than 70,000 calls/chats/texts nationwide in 2015 and is one of three that takes calls on the national Disaster Distress Helpline.

Over the years, Alive & Running has raised over $2.2 million for the Suicide Prevention Center, which provides lifesaving services to people who have thought about, attempted or lost someone to suicide. Proceeds from the event send staffers to the scene of a suicide, fund eight-week support groups for people who have attempted suicide or are grieving a loss and provide chat counselors to teens in crisis who otherwise wouldn’t call for support.

The Fletcher Family Foundation is the event’s Presenting Sponsor. Platinum Sponsors include The Kluft Family and Andrew E. Rubin. Didi Hirsch Board members Pamela Kluft and Andrew E. Rubin are the event’s co-chairs.


About to celebrate its 75th anniversary, Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services has been a leading provider of community mental health and substance use services since 1942. Dedicated to serving communities where stigma or poverty limits access, Didi Hirsch helps more than 90,000 children and adults each year from 11 locations and 100 schools in Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura Counties. Founded in 1958, the the Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevention Center is the nation’s first and a world leader in training, research and services for people who have thought about, attempted or lost someone to suicide.

To learn more, go to or follow us:



Giving Circle Members Distribute $15,000 in Local Grants

Interfaith Human Services, Centre County Women’s Resource Center, and Mount Nittany Health Foundation to Benefit

Press Release – State College, PA – After members’ votes were tallied, the $10,000 Giving Circle grant was awarded to Interfaith Human Services’ Financial Care Program, which assists local families who are experiencing short and long-term financial instability. Many of these families suffer from mental or intellectual diagnoses, are susceptible to financial scams and abuse, or rely on a financial power of attorney to oversee their financial matters.

“This grant allows us to expand our financial care program, helping more low-income families budget their finances through one-on-one money management counseling,” explained Wendy Vinhage, Executive Director at IHS. “If we can help more people with money management, we can put them on their way to self-sufficiency.”

Over 70 people gathered at the Mountain View Country Club on August 25th for the annual reception of Centre Foundation’s Giving Circle. The giving circle was established in 2006 as part of Centre Foundation’s 25th anniversary celebration. To date, it has distributed $109,000 in grants to fund important projects of local non-profit organizations. This year, the membership drive was again successful enough to ensure that the runner-up organizations to also received grants.

“I’m happy to announce that Centre County Women’s Resource Center (CCWRC) and Mount Nittany Health Foundation will each receive a $2,500 grant due to the expanded membership and generosity of our Giving Circle members,” announced Molly Kunkel, Executive Director of Centre Foundation.

This year, the membership nominated local organizations that work in the fields of Health & Social Services. Members then ranked the nominations and the top three were asked to attend the reception to present their unique grant ideas before the full membership.

Anne Ard, Executive Director, and Lindsey Faussette, Director of Outreach and Education, were on hand to represent CCWRC. Matt Hardy, Foundation Director, and Dr. Veeral Patel, Radiation Oncologist, presented on behalf of Mount Nittany Health Foundation.

There was also a brief presentation by last year’s recipient, Park Forest Preschool, about how their grant was used for facilities renovations such as replacing asbestos flooring tiles and painting to help the program secure state licensure to become a Universal Pre-K site. Barbara Geist, Director of the Park Forest Preschool, provide this progress report.

Previous recipients of Giving Circle grant include Park Forest Preschool, House of Care, Discovery Space, Housing Transitions, Strawberry Fields, and the Community Help Centre.

More information about the Giving Circle program is available at

Centre Foundation is committed to helping donors fulfill their philanthropic goals by building and maintaining a permanent collection of endowment funds. The Foundation champions the betterment of Centre County for both present and future generations with trustworthy leadership in shaping effective responses to community issues and opportunities.

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