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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: January 2017

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Police Officer and Veteran to Receive Service Dogs from Paws of War

Florida chapter of Paws of War is pairing two American heroes with rescue dogs

Press Release – PALM COAST, FLORIDA – (January 30, 2017) – A U.S. Air Force veteran and a Flagler County Sheriff’s Officer will be uniting with service dogs through the Paws of War program. The nonprofit organization rescues dogs, gives them the necessary training, and then pairs them with veterans in need of service pets. The official introduction of the dogs with their caregiver will take place on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at the Beach Front Grill, located at 2444 S. Ocean Shore Blvd. in Flagler Beach, Fla. The two will receive their service dogs, free of charge, at a special ceremony that will take place beginning at 11 a.m.

“We are thrilled every time we have a special day like this, where we can pair service dogs with those in need,” explains Lauren Driscoll, the person who trained the dogs and program director of the Paws of War Florida chapter. “These two men have given so much to our country, and we are happy to help give something back to them that may help make their lives more enjoyable.”

One of the dogs that will be given to the two men was a rescued dog from Port Saint Lucie Humane Society. Following adoption by the organization, dog underwent extensive training in order to become a service pet. Many veterans are helped by service dogs, including those who suffer from such issues as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury, anxiety, and more.

The two men who will be receiving the service dogs are George Gonzalez and Stephen Watkins. George, who lives in S. Louis, Missouri, spent 10 years in the United State Air Force as an Aircraft Armament Systems Craftsman working on F-16s, F-15s and the Predator UAV. During that time, he spent two tours in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He will be paired with Sully, a beagle hound mix around three years old. George suffers from night terrors, and needs to go through the house when he wakes up with them. Sully has been trained to turn on all of the lights in the house, before George gets to each room, helping to ease his night terror anxiety.

“I am looking forward to the comfort and assistance that a service pet will bring me when I’m experiencing the night terrors,” says George Gonzalez. “I am happy that they have a program like this to help with such things.”

Stephen, who lives in Flagler County, is the caretaker of Mya, a four-year-old pit bull Lab. He has always been the caretaker of the dog, but the organization evaluated her for training, and has provided several months of training for Mia to become a service pet. The trainer goes to their home, and Stephen attends training classes. A Flagler County Sheriff’s Office detention deputy, Stephen was diagnosed with a staph infection on his spine, which left him paralyzed from the breast down. He comes from a family with a history of law enforcement, with his father serving as a police officer in New York for 25 years. His service dog has been trained to be able to open the refrigerator, turn on lights, and pick up anything that is on the floor that Stephen may not be able to reach.

“The benefits from having a service dog is always having a companion by my side,” says Stephen Watkins. “Having a little help in picking things up off the ground and someone always there just in case I fall out of my wheelchair, are things that will be helpful and bring some peace of mind.”

“Anytime we can help our veterans as well as an animal in need, we fulfill our mission,” says Dori Scofield, of Paws of War. “Through our charitable organization we get to help our veterans, police officers, and give these pets a whole new leash on life.”

Driscoll has successfully trained 21 dogs prior to the two being paired up with the veterans this month. She is the owner of Pet Peeves Dog Training Florida, and volunteers her time for the Paws of War organization. The Florida chapter of Paws of War was launched in May 2015 and is located in Palm Coast. Paws of War is an all volunteer organization that provides assistance to military members and their pets, and provides service and service dogs to veterans suffering from PTSD. To learn more about Paws of War or make a donation to support their efforts, visit their site at:

About Paws of War

Paws of War is a 501c3 organization devoted to helping both animals and veterans. The Paws of War goal is to train and place shelter dogs to serve and provide independence to our United States military veterans that suffer from the emotional effects of war such as PTSD. In turn each veteran can experience the therapeutic and unconditional love only a companion animal can bring. To learn more about Paws of War, visit the site at

The Give Agency And Sun Life Financial Launch Toronto’s Biggest Creative Agency To Help Local Charities

New initiative brings 150 top marketing and creative experts together for five days of good thinking for good things

The Give Agency Founders Chaz Thorne, Mike Maloney and Brian Hickling are building one of the biggest agencies in Toronto for one week to help charities. (CNW Group/Sun Life Financial Canada)

Press Release – HALIFAX/TORONTO, Jan. 10, 2017 /CNW/The Give Agency and Sun Life Financial Inc. (TSX: SLF) (NYSE: SLF) in association with the National Advertising Benevolent Society (NABS) Canada are joining forces to launch one of Toronto’s largest creative agencies to help local charities for one week free of charge. For five days in February 2017, The Give Agency, Sun Life Financial and some of Toronto’s top marketing and communications experts will come together to help community charities tackle some of their toughest marketing challenges.

Originally launched in Halifax in 2016 by industry vets Brian Hickling, Mike Maloney and filmmaker and strategist Chaz Thorne, The Give Agency empowers charities by providing them pro-bono ideas, strategies and tactics on everything from branding, marketing and communications challenges to events, strategic partnerships and more.

“We believe that great ideas can change the world which is why we founded The Give Agency,” said Brian Hickling, Creative Director and Co-Founder, The Give Agency. “By tapping into top marketing and communications minds, we can deliver each charity with up to 100 new ideas they can use to ignite revenues, boost engagement and make their organizations more sustainable – all at zero cost. It’s exhilarating. It’s transformative. It’s holistic. And most of all, it’s fun.”

Open from February 6 through to February 10, The Give Agency is a volunteer-based super team of Toronto’s top talent in advertising, PR, social media and strategy. Each day, volunteer “Givers” work collaboratively with a different charity using a high-speed “barn raising” process that directly embeds the client into the curating and harvesting of creative solutions specific to their work.

“At Sun Life, we’re focused on building sustainable and healthier communities where we all live and work,” said Lisa Ritchie, Senior Vice-President & Chief Marketing Officer, Sun Life Financial. “That’s why we’re thrilled to bring The Give Agency movement to Toronto and empower people to join us as we make our communities brighter by giving these organizations the tools they need to shine. We look forward to working side-by-side with these industry professionals to support positive change.”

Call for charities

The Give Agency is now accepting applications from organizations that are interested in working with the industry’s top talent. Charities are encouraged to visit to apply by January 20, 2017. Five non-profit organizations will be selected and each will work with The Give Agency for one day.

Call for volunteers

The Give Agency is also accepting applications from marketing, advertising, communications and strategy rock-stars interested in donating one day of their time to collaborate and team up with other talented experts to make a difference. To apply, please visit

About the Give Agency

Originally founded in Halifax by Brian Hickling, Mike Maloney and Chaz Thorne, The Give Agency is a social movement that provides top idea rock-stars in marketing, advertising, communications and strategy with a compelling way to put their skills to work for the community. Leveraging a unique marketing barn-raising process, the agency aims to deliver as much as 100 ideas in one day that help non-profits grow their revenues, boost engagement and enhance their sustainability – all free of charge. For more information, please visit

About Sun Life Financial

Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Sun Life Financial and its partners have operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of September 30, 2016, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of $908 billion. For more information please visit

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

About NABS Canada

NABS Canada is the only charitable group in the country set up exclusively to provide assistance to people in the communications and related industries who may need help due to illness, injury, unemployment or financial difficulties. NABS services include a national toll-free counselling HELPLINE (1-888-355-5548) and financial assistance, as well as personal and career counselling. NABS is supported 100% by the advertising and media industry, and has established chapters in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec to provide services to all provinces.

HomeAid America Names Scott Stowell as Chairman for 2017-18

CalAtlantic Homes Executive Chairman to lead building industry charity helping the homeless

Press Release – NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Jan. 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — HomeAid America, a building industry charity and one of the nation’s largest builders of housing for the homeless, announced today that CalAtlantic Homes’ Executive Chairman and industry leader Scott Stowell will lead their Board of Directors as Chairman for 2017-18.

“We are thrilled to have someone of Scott’s stature and passion leading our efforts for the next two years,” said Peter Simons, CEO of HomeAid America. “Homelessness remains a major problem in this country, and its causes are numerous and diverse, including job loss, medical crisis, domestic abuse, substance addiction, and post-traumatic stress syndrome in veterans. Indeed, 80% of the homeless are only situationally so and can be moved back to self-sufficiency with the right help at the right time.”

Scott Stowell said, “I am proud to take on the Chairmanship of HomeAid America as it continues its 28-year role as the leader in the building industry’s efforts to help those people in the greatest need in our country; those without a place to call home. HomeAid has a proven model and track record in this area, and our work is needed now more than ever with several major cities experiencing homelessness crises.”

“Scott’s leadership will be invaluable to HomeAid as we seek to build on the great strides we made to help the homeless in 2016.” Simons noted, “We completed 30 new projects across the country last year which added nearly 500 beds for the homeless. We also conducted nearly 100 community outreach activities that involved over 1,800 volunteers. I am certain that with Scott’s commitment to our cause and his position of respect and influence in the industry, it will allow us to reach new levels in the coming year.”

Scott Stowell is the Executive Chairman of the Board for CalAtlantic Group, one of the nation’s largest publicly traded homebuilders. Stowell was instrumental in the creation of CalAtlantic through the merger of Standard Pacific Homes and Ryland Homes in 2015. Prior to that, he held various roles at Standard Pacific for almost three decades, culminating with his appointment as CEO and President in January 2012. Stowell is also active in numerous other industry related organizations such as the Leading Builders of America, the Fisher Center for Real Estate at UC Berkeley, and the Harvard Center for Joint Housing Studies.


HomeAid is a leading national non-profit provider of housing for homeless families and individuals, founded in Southern California in 1989. Through the generosity of builders, their trades and their suppliers, HomeAid has completed 475 multi-unit housing projects nationwide at a value of more than $215 million, of which nearly 50 percent—over $100 million—has been donated by the building industry. HomeAid currently has 70 additional projects in development across the country. HomeAid has added over 9,000 beds in facilities helping the homeless through HomeAid’s network of 17 active chapters in 12 states across the country. These beds have been used by over 270,000 previously homeless people over HomeAid’s history. For more information about HomeAid, call 1-888-3HOMEAID or visit

Daniels Fund Gives $58.8 Million In Grants And Scholarships In 2016

— Surpasses $700 million awarded since inception —

Press Release – DENVER, January 31, 2017 — The Daniels Fund announced that it distributed $58.8 million in grants and scholarships in 2016. This brings the total to more than $700 million in grants and scholarships distributed since the Daniels Fund’s inception in 2000.

The 2016 total includes $41.4 million in grants to highly effective nonprofit organizations throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming, as well as to select national organizations. Colorado communities are benefiting from $25.3 million in grants to outstanding nonprofits throughout the state.

Also included in the 2016 total, is $17.4 million in scholarships across the four-state region through two distinct programs — the Daniels Scholarship Program, which provides college scholarships to deserving high school seniors, and the Boundless Opportunity Scholarship (BOS) program, which provides funding to participating colleges to offer scholarships to non-traditional students. Colorado students received $12.7 million in scholarships.

The Daniels Fund makes grants in eight funding areas as specified by its founder, Bill Daniels: Aging, Alcoholism & Substance Abuse, Amateur Sports, Disabilities, Early Childhood Education, Homeless & Disadvantaged, K-12 Education Reform, and Youth Development.

The Daniels Fund also provides grant funding for ethics education through the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative and other efforts.

“We look forward to the impact these grants and scholarships will have across our four-state region,” said Linda Childears, president & CEO of the Daniels Fund. “It was important to Bill Daniels for the Daniels Fund to give back to citizens of these states that contributed so much to his success in business.”

About the Daniels Fund

The Daniels Fund, established by cable television pioneer Bill Daniels, is a private charitable foundation dedicated to making life better for the people of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming through its grants program, scholarship program, and ethics initiative. Visit to learn more.

Markets for Good Grants Nearly $275,000 to Boost Digital Impact in the Social Sector

New Good Data Grants program from Stanford PACS funds research and innovation to use data safely, ethically, and effectively for social good.

Press Release – STANFORD, CA – Markets for Good (MFG), an initiative of the Digital Civil Society Lab at the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (Stanford PACS), has awarded nearly $275,000 in grants to seven projects spearheaded by U.S. nonprofits and universities to build a higher impact social sector founded in responsible digital data use and infrastructure.

The selected projects represent the first cohort of grantees for the new Good Data Grants program, which launched in June 2016 with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The program aims to advance the role of digital data and infrastructure for improving decision-making in philanthropy and the social sector writ large.

Grant awards range from $12,000 to $100,000 and will fund both new and ongoing innovation and research to be conducted in 2017.

The grantees and their funded programs include:

Standardizing Resource Data APIs (Open Referral)

Drexel University (Neville Vakharia)
Nonprofit Ecosystem Research and Visualization

Engagement Lab at Emerson College, MIT Center for Civic Media, & TNB Labs
NonProfit. A Data Literacy Toolkit for Nonprofit Organizations (

The Governance Lab/National Center for Civic Innovation
Data Labs: Applying the Model in Other Contexts

Informed Giving Through Rapid Community Surveys

Media Mobilizing Project
Bad Data In: Communities Build Best Practice Database and Toolkit on Predictive Algorithmic Risk Assessment in Pretrial Detention

SIMLab, The Engine Room, Center for Democracy & Technology, & FPF Education and Innovation Foundation
Good Data Collaborative

“We’re excited to work with this inaugural cohort to see what we can learn and achieve for the benefit of the entire social sector,” said Lucy Bernholz, Senior Research Scholar at Stanford PACS and Director of its Digital Civil Society Lab. “We’re very encouraged by the response to the program and hope to leverage its outcomes to spur additional innovation, collaboration, knowledge building, and funding. We want to see a real shift toward digital data use and infrastructure that is not only effective but safe and responsible in supporting social impact.”

Grantees will use funds to develop research, prototypes, and shared learning that can help donors and social sector organizations use digital data safely, ethically, and effectively to improve their work. All work supported by Good Data Grants will be publicly shared and geared toward improving practice in the field.

Grantees will attend the upcoming Data on Purpose / Do Good Data conference at Stanford University on February 7-8, 2017, and they will present the outcomes of their work to the Stanford PACS community in late 2017.

Markets for Good has shared an interactive data visualization of the projects and ideas proposed through the first Good Data Grants cycle, and will add to it through future cycles with the goal of spurring additional collaboration, ideation, and investment in the field.

Applications for the second cycle of a planned three-year Good Data Grants program will open in Spring 2017.

For more information, view the full announcement and the original Good Data Grants Request for Proposal via Markets for Good.

Brittle Diabetes Foundation (BDF) Provides Visibility to A Rare Disease

Press Release – EAST NORWICH, N.Y., Jan. 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — BDF was established in 2012 by the Sorge family and their friends after nearly losing their 40 year-old daughter Rosemarie to Brittle Type 1 Diabetes (BT1D). Despite the diagnosis by attending physicians, US health agencies, at that time, did not recognize BT1D’s existence.

BDF’s 2012 research into Brittle Diabetes, found 1,000+ medical research articles on BT1D and that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) had funded research for its cure. BDF requested an NIH review. On July 3, 2013 the NIH included BT1D in its list of rare diseases, set up an informational website, and listed BDF as the only organization supporting BT1D.

BDF’s mission is to raise awareness of the differences between stable type 1 diabetes and those diagnosed as being brittle, the primary characteristic of BT1D. Brittleness describes a rapid shifting in blood glucose levels, either up or down in a matter of minutes – the symptoms of which results in a disruption in daily life activities.

Unlike stable T1D, BT1D defies all known therapies. It is unstable, uncontrollable and unpredictable. There is always a secondary cause for brittleness (18 identified to date) which when diagnosed and treated returns the patient to a more stable Type 1 condition.

BDF looks to increase physician awareness of this disease by having them first determine their patient’s level of glucose instability. If brittleness is diagnosed, the physician should determine its likely cause rather than labeling their patient non-compliant.

At BDF’s request, JDRF, a leader in T1D research, recognized the existence of brittle diabetes in 2016.

On March 4, 2016, BDF submitted a proposal to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) for the classification of BT1D as a rare disease offering two recommendations to help guide physician care: the establishment of regional panels of experts to assist physicians with difficult BT1D cases and the development of an informational platform to close an existing five-year gap in information flow, between basic researchers and practicing physicians. ADA suggested BDF wait for publication of ADA’s 2017 Standard of Medical Care (SOMC) in Diabetes.

On January 1, 2017, ADA answered by omitting any mention of BT1D and the term brittleness in SOMC. As a result, BT1D remains invisible to most members of the medical community, governmental agencies and the public.

BDF asks – Given the evidence, why is ADA refusing to consider BT1D as a rare disease?

BDF is a 501C3 non-profit organization whose volunteers help those suffering with BT1D to realize that they are not alone in their struggle for survival. For up to date BT1D information visit BDF supports some 4,500 people in America and 150,000 worldwide diagnosed with BT1D. BDF hopes to develop a Brittle Diabetes Center for the customized treatment of those diagnosed with this disease.

Shatterproof Awarded $600,000 Grant by Helmsley Charitable Trust

National Nonprofit Will Use Funds to Reduce Addiction

Press Release – NEW YORK, NY – January 30, 2017 – Shatterproof, the leading national nonprofit working to reduce the devastation of addiction, has received a $600,000 grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. The grant was awarded to Shatterproof to support its work in protecting loved ones from addiction to illicit prescription drugs and alcohol. Shatterproof works to end the stigma and suffering of those affected by this disease.

The Helmsley Charitable Trust began making active grants in 2008 to support a wide range of charitable causes, primarily including medical research and health institutions.

“We are deeply grateful to Helmsley for their generous contribution to our organization.” says Gary Mendell, Founder, Chairman and CEO, “The Helmsley Charitable Trust has had a tremendous impact in so many diverse areas of health. We are so pleased that it has enabled our organization to comprehensively address the disease of addiction and make enduring improvements to the way that we prevent and treat this devastating disease.”

Addiction is a chronic disease that is currently plaguing the United States. The nation is experiencing an epidemic of drug overdose deaths that have now overtaken car crashes as the number one cause of accidental death. Beyond the human toll, addiction is costly for the healthcare and criminal justice systems, as well as the economy in lost productivity – totaling upwards of $400+ billion annually. After surveying the fragmented response to this public health crisis, Shatterproof was founded to address the urgent need for a national entity to tackle the problem comprehensively and to reduce the devastating impact of addiction on families across America.

Shatterproof works expansively to reduce the devastation of the disease of addiction by providing evidence-based resources, creating a community, advocating for change, and developing evidence-based solutions, all while addressing the stigma of addiction. In just over three years, Shatterproof has been able to pass life-saving legislation in 11 states. With the generous contribution of the Helmsley Charitable Trust, Shatterproof will build long-term capacity and sustainability in order to provide resources for more than 22 million Americans who are affected by substance use disorder and their families.

About Shatterproof

Shatterproof is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the devastation the disease of addiction causes families. Shatterproof works to end the stigma and foster a community of support for families. Shatterproof provides families with evidence-based resources to support prevention, treatment and recovery. Shatterproof advocates for changes in policy at the federal and state level and supports the development and implementation of evidence-based solutions for substance-use disorders.

About Gary Mendell

Gary Mendell is the founder and CEO of Shatterproof, the leading national nonprofit dedicated to reducing the stigma of addiction and the devastation it causes families. Mendell has spent more than 25 years as an entrepreneur. He founded HEI Hotels & Resorts, a multi-billion-dollar company that oversees 70 hotels, and he previously served as President of Starwood Lodging Trust. Losing his son, Brian, in 2011 after a ten year struggle with addiction, Mendell made a promise to spare other families from this tragedy. Shatterproof was created to change how addiction is perceived, prevented, and treated in the U.S. Mendell received his B.S. from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and his MBA with distinction from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

About the Helmsley Charitable Trust

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional efforts in the U.S. and around the world in health, place-based initiatives, and education and human services. Since beginning active grantmaking in 2008, Helmsley has committed more than $1.5 billion for a wide range of charitable purposes. For more information, visit

Utah’s 2016 Human Trafficking Hotline Case Data Released

Press Release – WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 31, 2017)Polaris released national and state-by-state human trafficking case data for 2016 today from the National Human Trafficking Hotline (1-888-373-7888), showing a significant jump in cases nationwide. For Utah, 39 cases of human trafficking were reported to the National Hotline in 2016, which included 29 cases of sex trafficking and 5 cases of labor trafficking. In 2015, 22 human trafficking cases were reported. Since 2007, the National Hotline has received reports of 129 cases of human trafficking in Utah.

Polaris also released its combined data for the National Human Trafficking Hotline and the BeFree Textline (233733) for the entire United States and cases originating overseas. Those 2016 statistics show a 35% jump in reported cases. Together, the Polaris-operated hotlines handled a record 8,042 cases of human trafficking in 2016. The data from the National Human Trafficking Hotline constitute one of the largest data sets on human trafficking for the U.S. Comprehensive case and call data for the U.S., all 50 states, and D.C. are here. Data for the BeFree Textline are here.

Key highlights from the 2016 data from Polaris-operated hotlines for the entire U.S. and international locations include:

  • Cases of reported human trafficking continue to increase each year, with the most significant increase last year. In 2016, 8,042 cases were reported to the hotlines, which include 7,572 cases to the National Human Trafficking Hotline from within the U.S. and 301 reported cases from overseas, as well as 169 cases reported to the BeFree Textline. This number compares to 5,961 reported cases in 2015. Polaris largely attributes this increase to greater awareness of human trafficking and the National Hotline, especially as more people become aware of its effectiveness in connecting people to a broad range of services. Additionally, more recognition of the various types of sex and labor trafficking serves to better reach and identify specific victim populations.
  • More survivors than ever reached out for help. The 2016 data reflect the importance of ensuring survivors are aware that help is available so they can actively reach out for options to stay safe. In 2016, 2,042 survivors reached out to the hotlines for help, a 24% increase over the 1,641 survivors who did in 2015. The 2016 data better illuminate how survivors were most often recruited for sex trafficking (through intimate partners, family members, and those posing as benefactors) and labor trafficking (through fraudulent job offers and false promises). Demographic data also show that reported victims were predominantly people of color, and U.S. citizen victims outnumbered foreign nationals.
  • Reports of labor trafficking to the National Human Trafficking Hotline soared by 47% within the U.S. In 2016, 1,057 labor trafficking cases were reported to the National Hotline, compared to 717 in 2015. The types of labor trafficking most often reported included domestic work, agriculture, and traveling sales crews. Even with this increase, Polaris strongly believes labor trafficking cases in the U.S. are chronically underreported due to a lack of awareness about the issue and a critical lack of recognition of the diverse vulnerability of workers in labor sectors across the U.S. By identifying and effectively targeting the specific sectors and venues where labor exploitation and trafficking occur, more success can be realized with prevention by increasing outreach to specific groups of vulnerable workers.

A detailed report of 2016 statistics, including key victim demographics, can be viewed here

Locations of U.S. human trafficking cases reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline in 2016

“Not only did the National Human Trafficking Hotline handle a record number of reported cases and hear directly from more survivors than we ever have before, but the data from the thousands of calls received each month are better illustrating the various types of sex and labor trafficking present in the U.S. The more we are able to target efforts at specific types of trafficking, such as domestic work or sex trafficking in cantinas and bars, the more effective we can be in reaching survivors and preventing exploitation in the first place,” said Bradley Myles, CEO of Polaris.

The National Human Trafficking Hotline (1-888-373-7888) is a confidential, multilingual service that provides survivors of human trafficking with vital support and a variety of options to get help and stay safe. It offers a robust 24/7 infrastructure with highly trained staff able to field crisis calls and report actionable tips to law enforcement. The National Hotline is operated by Polaris and funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and other private donors. Polaris’s BeFree Textline offers the same services via text. Currently, the BeFree Textline operates from 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. EST.

“Human trafficking hotlines are lifelines for survivors, providing them with an outlet to be connected with the services and resources they want and need along their long path of recovery. While gaps in services remain, the success of the National Hotline is a reflection of the incredible dedication of our more than 3,100 service provider and trained law enforcement contacts, as well as the agencies and government officials that continue to work tirelessly to help survivors and strengthen a victim-centered safety net,” said Caroline Diemar, National Hotlines Director.

Polaris will be releasing a groundbreaking report on the various types of human trafficking that exist in the U.S. later this spring. Polaris emphasizes that the data are not intended to represent the full scope of human trafficking, but rather the incoming communications received only through the National Human Trafficking Hotline and BeFree Textline. Breakdowns of case data available online are non-cumulative because cases may involve multiple victims, and callers do not always provide specific demographic information.

People can receive help or report a tip of suspected human trafficking by calling the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or by sending a text to Polaris at “BeFree” (233733).

Soledad O’Brien And Brad Raymond Rename Their Foundation From “Starfish Foundation” To “PowHERful Foundation” Reenforcing Their Core Mission Of Helping Transform Lives One Young Woman At A Time

Press Release – NEW YORK, NY – January 30, 2017Soledad O’Brien and Brad Raymond today announce that they have renamed their foundation from “Starfish Foundation” to the “PowHERful Foundation” along with a new logo and website.

The mission of the PowHERful Foundation is to help young women get to, and through college. They provide financial assistance, mentorship and wraparound services to help their scholars achieve their highest potentials. Assistance that is now needed more than ever. Their summit series, held in several states throughout the year with host and Co-Founder Soledad O’Brien, and other notables, discusses what makes them “PowHERful”, path roads to success, alumni success stories and helps reach an even broader audience.

In 2016 celebrities and notables that graciously participated in summits and events included Dascha Polanco of Orange is the New Black; J.W. Cortes an award–winning actor, filmmaker and philanthropist; Actor Berto Colon of Two Night Stand; Karina Ortiz of Orange is the New Black and popular musical “Plantos y Collard Greens; Fitness Superstar and motivational speaker Massy Arias; Jennifer Tavernier of American Ninja Warrior; and Emily Keener of The Voice.

2017 is shaping up to be an exciting year for the PowHERful Foundation as well. While the roster of celebrities and influencers have not yet been announced, they have announced upcoming PowHERful Summits in Atlanta, Austin, Bronx, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Manhattan, Minneapolis and more to be announced with a gala in June in New York City.

Their expanding 2017 board members include: Soledad O’Brien Co-founder, Board Chairperson; Brad Raymond Co-Founder and Treasurer; Kim Bondy, an award-winning TV producer and media executive serves as the Board Secretary; Sonny Kalsi, a real estate veteran who was recently named by PERE as one of the most influential people in private real estate from the past decade; Jay Kriegel, Senior Advisor for the related companies, developer of the Hudson Yards the largest project in New York City History with 17 million square feet of residential, commercial and real estate space; Deborah Pond, General Counsel for Coca- Cola Beverages Florida; Prashanthi Rao Raman, Senior Public Policy Manager in Government Relations at Lyft; Keith Reinhard, Chairman Emeritus of DDB Worldwide; and Pharrell Williams, music artist and former coach of the hit show The Voice.

PowHERful Foundation also launched a new website which they will develop into a content hub for engaging with the PowHERful community over the next year and continue to develop resources for both their community and the broader public.

Soledad O’Brien stated, “We are so thrilled to continue our mission to fulfill PowHERful Foundation’s mission as we work to empower more young women.”

The idea for the Foundation came after O’Brien and Raymond witnessed the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina in 2006 and decided to privately award scholarships to young women in the area. The PowHERful Foundation was started in 2011 and has since helped 27 young women around the country.

#IDontDoUgly: The Anti-Bullying Campaign Inspired By Cancer Patients

Press Release – When Jason Pinchoff suffered the loss of his family, including his mother who lost her battle to breast cancer, the entrepreneur turned his pain into business plan that would help others as he coped.  He created the The Linda B. Pinchoff Foundation to raise cancer awareness that not only focuses on not only the patients suffering, but the families who suffer with them as well. He introduced the fashion line called A PINCH LIFE® to provide accessories for children in hospitals. His inspiration continued to flourish and finally, he launched the powerful I Don’t Do Ugly campaign.

I Don’t Do Ugly is a campaign inspired by cancer patients that curbs the hateful insult out of the word “ugly” and transforms it a declaration of independence from the scars of the illness, hurtfulness, and negative purpose. Pinchoff launched the anti-bullying campaign with an array of tees and accessories with the slogan on them. The hashtag, #IDontDoUgly, isn’t just relevant to cancer patients. People are using it to combat all forms of bullying.

“If you don’t learn how to treat society right, nothing else at the end of the day really matters … We’ve got to find a way for people to come back together” – Jason Pinchoff

Pinchoff challenges people to take a picture of themselves with a #IDontDoUgly sign, share their personal stories and triumphs over negativity on social media, and challenge their friends to do the same. All the better if you’re wearing one of Pinchoff’s shirts or hats.

Check out A PINCH LIFE ® Instagram to check out more of the #IDontDoUgly stories: and add a post of your own!

For more about A PINCH LIFE visit:

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