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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

General

This category includes articles that apply to social good in general and may include policy, practice and other stories relevant to everyone.

FeedingNYC and LivePerson Announce Thirteenth Annual Event Providing Thanksgiving Dinners to Local Families in Need

NEW YORK, Nov. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — FeedingNYC, a nonprofit organization based in New York, announced plans for its annual event to be held on Tuesday, November 25th, 2014. LivePerson, the leading sponsor and organizer of FeedingNYC, will host employees and friends, along with more than 400 volunteers, to organize and hand-deliver over 3,000 Thanksgiving dinners to displaced families in New York City.

In the days leading to Thanksgiving, volunteers gather to assemble holiday meals, which are then distributed to shelters throughout the city. The shelters include those partnered with Women in Need, Jewish Federation, Catholic Charities, and City Harvest. Thanks to the generosity of FeedingNYC partners, sponsors and crowdsourced funding, nearly 35,000 Thanksgiving meals have been donated to families facing hunger during the holiday season.

“Every year, friends, family and members of the community come together for a day to pack thousands of meals and personally deliver them to local families who cannot afford a Thanksgiving dinner. Our goal is to take this opportunity to meaningfully connect with the local community, and thanks to the dedication of our sponsors and volunteers, we are able to host FeedingNYC for the thirteenth consecutive year,” said Robert LoCascio, Founder of FeedingNYC and CEO of LivePerson.

This year’s sponsors include BDO, Eisner Amper LLP, FlatRate Moving, The Gansevoort Hotel Group, Heffernan Insurance Brokers, Joyride Coffee, Manhattan Mini Storage, McGladrey LLP, Monster Savings, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, Pier Sixty The Lighthouse, Proskauer Rose LLP, StructuredWeb, Wegmans, and William Gallagher Associates. FeedingNYC will once again be headquartered at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers. Volunteers will arrive at 6:00 AM to begin packing boxes, provided by Manhattan Mini Storage, with turkeys and fixings and then load them onto large trucks for delivery.

FeedingNYC is still accepting donations. To make a donation, please visit www.crowdrise.com/FeedingNYC2014. For more information on FeedingNYC, please visit www.feedingnyc.org.

About FeedingNYC

FeedingNYC is an annual charity event sponsored by The Dream Big Foundation, a nonprofit organization that was conceived by LivePerson CEO Rob LoCascio in the aftermath of 9/11 when the employees and friends of LivePerson first assembled and hand-delivered turkey dinners to disadvantaged families around New York City for Thanksgiving. With the support of the local community and corporate sponsors, the project which began with serving 40 families in Harlem in 2001 has since grown to deliver meals to more than 35,000 families throughout the five boroughs. Please visit www.feedingnyc.org to learn how to get involved.

About LivePerson

LivePerson, Inc. (NASDAQ: LPSN) offers a cloud-based platform that enables businesses to proactively connect in real-time with their customers via chat, voice, and content delivery at the right time, through the right channel, including websites, social media, and mobile devices. This “intelligent engagement” is driven by real-time behavioral analytics, producing connections based on a true understanding of business objectives and customer needs. For more information, please visit www.liveperson.com. To view other global press releases about LivePerson, please visit pr.liveperson.com.

Utah Votes via Social Media on The Community Foundation of Utah’s New Look for “Love Utah Give Utah” Day of Giving Campaign

CLEARLINK donated design and digital marketing expertise as a way to creatively give back to communities across Utah.

Salt Lake City, UT (PRWEB) November 25, 2014 – After two weeks of voting via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, powered by CLEARLINK and akavit, today The Community Foundation of Utah unveiled the new Love Utah Give Utah logo. Nearly one-thousand votes were cast, with a social media reach of over 100,000 people.

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The winning Love Utah Give Utah logo

Chosen by the online public, the new logo design is part of getting Utah ready for an even bigger and better 2015 fundraising campaign. The new look will help Love Utah Give Utah develop a strong identity, and more clearly identify the campaign as one of The Community Foundation’s efforts to benefit the people, places and causes of Utah.

Five logo designs were submitted by local Salt Lake City web designers at CLEARLINK. Adam Palcher, Senior Designer at CLEARLINK designed the winning logo. “I wanted to help Love Utah Give Utah expand its reach in the coming year and evoke a feeling of community, while reflecting the unique aspects of Utah,” said Palcher a 6 year web designer and 3 year CLEARLINKer.

CLEARLINK, a Salt Lake City based marketing and sales leader and long-standing partner of the Community Foundation of Utah, donated design and social media marketing services as a way to creatively give back to the local non-profit community. CLEARLINK and Akavit’s social media strategy did more than drive “Likes.” The voting campaign focused on connecting people active on social media to The Community Foundation of Utah’s movement to make Utah a better place.

“It was important to us that Utah communities had a voice in the new look for Love Utah Give Utah,” said Blair Hodson, Director of Initiatives at The Community Foundation. “We appreciate the donors and sponsors in our state and want them to be proud of our efforts. The support of local businesses like CLEARLINK in this effort reflects the commitment to giving-back that runs deeply throughout Utah.”

The 2015 Love Utah Give Utah day of giving is set for March 26, and will harness the non-profit community and all their champions in unison for 24 hours of fundraising. Organized by the Community Foundation of Utah, Love Utah Give Utah 2014 raised $1,058,839, gathering 15,311 donations from 10,562 unique donors and benefiting 460 schools, universities and non-profit organizations throughout the state of Utah.

Non-profits and schools who would like to take part in the 2015 event can register in January 2015. Watch for further details from The Community Foundation of Utah.

About CLEARLINK:

CLEARLINK partners with the world’s leading brands to increase their reach, drive and fulfill valuable transactions, and deepen insight into consumer behavior. CLEARLINK has delivered millions of customers to its brand partners over the past ten years through its customized marketing, sales and analytics platform. CLEARLINK, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah and established in 2003, employs over 1,200 local sales, technology and marketing professionals. For an opportunity to join the growing CLEARLINK family, visit http://www.clearlink.com/jobs.

About The Community Foundation of Utah and Love Utah Give Utah:

The Community Foundation of Utah is a catalyst for philanthropy that is visionary, diverse, and inclusive. For more information go to http://www.utahcf.org.

About Akavit:

Akavit bridges the gap between a traditional marketing agency and a software development company. Seven years and countless awards in, Akavit’s fingerprints are all over the newest trends of the global digital landscape. Delivering technical solutions on par with the best software development companies, while taking into account strategic, marketing and business objectives to create big ideas. Akavit builds stunning digital experiences that sell. It’s in our DNA. http://www.akavit.com

SDSU Greek Community Statement on Sexual Violence

InterFraternity Council will suspend all social activity.

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014) — The leaders of San Diego State University’s Greek community issued the following statement today regarding sexual violence on the SDSU campus.

Sexual violence is a significant issue on our campus and on college campuses across the country. As campus leaders, we are committed to ending sexual violence. We recognize that we must change attitudes and practices in our community to accomplish this goal.

Recently, it was alleged that fraternity members acted in an inappropriate and disrespectful manner toward campus community members who were participating in a Take Back the Night march. The university is currently investigating these allegations. To the extent such allegations are true, this conduct is unacceptable and does not reflect the values of the Greek community at SDSU. We do not condone this type of behavior, which has led us to the following decision.

Greek student leaders, with support from President Elliot Hirshman, Vice President of Student Affairs Eric Rivera, SDSU’s Sexual Violence Task Force and other members of the university administration, will immediately take proactive steps toward addressing this extremely serious issue and the Greek community’s role in it.

Specifically, the InterFraternity Council will voluntarily suspend all social activities in order to focus on educating its members about sexual assault prevention. The Panhellenic Council and National Pan-Hellenic Council will be providing programming and education for its members and the United Sorority and Fraternity Council will be educating all of its members on the impact sexual assault has on their diverse communities.

Every member of the Greek community will be required to undergo sexual violence and bystander training. We will all participate in events and activities that promote an end to sexual violence. Moreover, we will meet regularly with each other and administrative leaders to determine better ways to regulate ourselves and our members.

Our intention is to become leaders on this issue by bringing together our community, as well as others in the campus community, to discuss, create and implement policies and procedures in the effort to end sexual violence on our campus.

The statement was signed by J. Cole, President, Associated Students; Brittany Sidler, President, Panhellenic Council; Marc Hess, President, InterFraternity Council; Mireya Meza, President, United Sorority and Fraternity Council; and Ezinne Ofoegbu, President, National Pan-Hellenic Council.

Quote from SDSU President Elliot Hirshman

“I commend the leaders of the Greek community for recognizing our shared responsibility to end sexual violence and taking these proactive steps to address this critical issue. We must work as one community to create the substantive changes necessary to end sexual violence on our campus. The steps outlined today are the beginning of what must be a sustained effort to change attitudes, culture and actions and the university is committed to working with, and supporting, our Greek community as it pursues these essential efforts.”

Quote from Vice President of Student Affairs, Eric Rivera

“We are pleased to see the Greek community step forward and acknowledge they have an important role to play in this ongoing discussion and cultural change on our campus. We have many tools and programs already in place for them to take advantage of. And we will work collaboratively with them to support their ongoing efforts to make our campus more safe.”

About San Diego State University

San Diego State University is a major public research institution offering bachelor’s degrees in 91 areas, master’s degrees in 78 areas and doctorates in 22 areas. The university provides transformative experiences, both inside and outside of the classroom, for its 35,000 students. Students participate in research, international experiences, sustainability and entrepreneurship initiatives, and a broad range of student life and leadership opportunities. The university’s rich campus life features opportunities for students to participate in, and engage with, the creative and performing arts, a Division I athletics program and the vibrant cultural life of the San Diego region. For more information, visit www.sdsu.edu.

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New Proxy Resolution Urges Exxon Mobil To Return Capital To Shareholders In The Face Of Global Climate Change & Carbon Asset Risk

Arjuna Capital and As You Sow File Shareholder Proposal Asking Exxon Mobil to Return Capital to Shareholders Rather than Invest in High-Cost High-Carbon Projects.

BOSTON AND OAKLAND– (November 25, 2014) – In a first of its kind proposal, Shareholders Arjuna Capital/Baldwin Brothers Inc. and As You Sow seek increased dividends or share buybacks from Exxon Mobil given structural challenges facing the industry — historically high capital expenditures, decreasing profitability, and global climate change. This represents the first shareholder proposal asking a company to return capital to shareholders in light of climate change risk.

Exxon Mobil wrote a report in response to Arjuna Capital and As You Sow’s shareholder proposal this spring on the potential for stranded assets associated with climate change. Exxon ignored major risk factors projected by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and Wall Street energy analysts regarding stranded carbon assets – i.e. that the company’s most-costly projects may become uneconomical in a low demand or low oil price environment.

The new shareholder resolution calls on Exxon Mobil (XOM) to protect investor value by “increasing the amount authorized for capital distributions to shareholders through dividends or share buy backs,” rather than invest in high-cost, high-carbon oil projects.

Exxon Mobil has maintained that none of its carbon assets will be stranded, based on projections of unabated global energy demand and a belief that global governments will not take meaningful action to curb global warming. Despite pressure from shareholders, the company has failed to stress test the impact of governments reacting appropriately to limit climate disruption to agreed upon international targets.

The recently announced U.S./China agreement to reduce carbon emissions stands in contrast to Exxon’s outlook and could cut demand substantially. The International Energy Agency (IEA) states that, “No more than one-third of proven reserves of fossil fuels can be consumed prior to 2050 if the world is to achieve the 2° C goal” needed to avoid catastrophic climate change.

In addition to the likelihood of reduced demand, the cost of oil and gas exploration and development is dramatically increasing and Exxon Mobil is making extremely risky bets on new energy exploration that run counter to the assessments of leading market experts.

According to Carbon Tracker Initiative (CTI), 39 percent of Exxon Mobil’s potential capital expenditures through 2025 requires an oil price of $95 per barrel to be economical, and 17 percent requires a price of $115 per barrel. By the end of 2025, CTI expects high cost projects to represent 35 percent of Exxon Mobil’s potential future production.

The resolution states: “In light of the climate change related risks of decreasing profitability and stranded asset risk associated with planned capital expenditures on high cost unconventional projects, Exxon Mobil commit to increasing the amount authorized for capital distributions to shareholders through dividends or share buy backs.”

Natasha Lamb, Director of Equity Research and Shareholder Engagement at Arjuna Capital said, “This proposal is breaking new ground by asking Big Oil not to break ground on high-cost, high-carbon projects. Exxon Mobil should return capital to shareholders rather than gamble with investor resources. A fossil fuel volume play in the face of global climate change is simple folly. We should not be in a rush to find and burn all the carbon we can, regardless of cost and irreversible climate impact, but instead focus on value, figuring out how to do more with less.”

“Exxon has taken a public position that demand for oil will continue to grow, no matter how warm the globe gets, no matter how harsh the impacts of that warming, and regardless of technology changes allowing for cheaper, cleaner renewable fuels,” said Danielle Fugere, President of As You Sow. “The recent U.S.-China accord on carbon emission reductions is just the latest indication that ExxonMobil’s view of the world does not square with reality. Our goal is to protect shareholders from the clear and inevitable changes to the global economy that mean ExxonMobil is likely to have substantial stranded carbon assets if it continues on its current path.”

The shareholder proposal notes that “(m)assive production-cost inflation over the past decade has made the industry particularly vulnerable to a downturn in demand.” The Arjuna Capital and As You Sow proxy resolution cites the following analyst reports:

  • According to Bloomberg, capital expenditures by the largest oil companies has risen five-fold since 2000, yet overall industry production is nearly flat.
  • Goldman Sachs notes in the past two years no major new oil project has come on stream with production costs below 70 dollars per barrel, with most in the 80-100 dollar range, raising the risk of stranded, or unprofitable, assets.
  • Kepler Cheuvreux declares a “capex crisis” as companies invest in higher cost, higher carbon unconventional crude to stem conventional crude decline rates. Since 2005, annual upstream investment for oil has increased 100 percent, while crude oil supply has increased 3 percent.

For the full text of the Arjuna Capital/As You Sow shareholder resolution, go to: http://www.asyousow.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/exxonmobil2015carbonbubble.pdf.

This proposal reflects increasing investor concern about the issue of stranded assets and builds on a shareholder initiative started in 2013 and coordinated by Ceres, in which shareholders representing $3 trillion in assets under management, asked 45 companies for increased disclosure about whether they are implementing strategies to address carbon-related risk and avoid stranded assets.

Last year, shareholders built on this campaign by filing resolutions at 10 fossil-fuel companies. The resolutions sought reports from companies on the risk of stranded assets associated with the increasing likelihood of action to prevent climate change. Filings included a successful withdrawal of a resolution to Exxon by Arjuna Capital and As You Sow in which Exxon agreed to prepare a report on its risk of stranded assets. Exxon released the report, acknowledged the growing problem of climate change, but failed to admit to any potential for stranded assets. Last year, As You Sow also filed carbon asset risk resolutions at Chevron, Anadarko, Hess, and CONSOL Energy.

This year, shareholders will continue to file resolutions seeking greater disclosure and action to address the risk of stranded assets from structural changes associated with higher cost supplies and reduced demand.

Arjuna Capital is the sustainable wealth management platform of Baldwin Brothers Inc., an SEC-registered independent financial advisory firm established in 1974. For more information visit www.arjuna-capital.com.

As You Sow is a nonprofit organization that promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies. For more information visit www.asyousow.org.

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Local Companies Gathered At OC Food Bank In Celebration Of National Family Volunteer Day

Families Break Food Bank Record for the Largest Numbered of Food Boxes Assembled in One Day

GARDEN GROVE, CA [November 24, 2014] – On Saturday, November 22nd, more than 1,500 volunteers representing ten of Orange County’s local companies broke the OC Food Bank record for the largest number of food boxes assembled in one day. Families assembled 34,887 (prior record was 32,435) food boxes that will be delivered to at-risk local seniors throughout the holiday season.

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The OC Food Bank, a program of Community Action Partnership of Orange County, is ensuring that thousands of seniors living on fixed incomes will receive the food they need to remain healthy this holiday season and live independently in their own homes. With this year’s drought, many seniors have been unable to pay for the rising cost of groceries. The OC Food Bank’s National Family Volunteer Day is dedicated to providing nutritious shelf-stable food to Orange County’s most vulnerable seniors.

The family members of employees from the Disneyland Resort, Wells Fargo, Ingram Micro, First American, Experian, KPMG-LLP, Edison International, Broadcom, Pacific Life, and Traneworked side by side to package 506 tons of food, making this one of the largest National Family Volunteer Days events in the country.

“It is so inspiring to see families from Orange County’s most successful companies come and spend their Saturday giving back to the community,” said Mark Lowry, Director of the OC Food Bank. “The turnout was beyond impressive and we hope many more families follow their lead and get involved in supporting our holiday campaign this year.”

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With nearly one in four Orange County residents struggling to put food on the table this Thanksgiving, the OC Food Bank is calling on the public to support hungry children, working families, and seniors by participating in their Hope for the Holidays Campaign. If you are interested in more information on how you can help end hunger this holiday season and feed Orange County’s most vulnerable, please contact (714) 897-6670 x3404, mmorrill@capoc.org, or visit www.capoc.org/h4h. Together, we can eliminate hunger and poverty in Orange County.

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God’s Love We Deliver Races To The Finish At The 21st Annual Race To Deliver

God’s Love We Deliver Celebrates the 21st Annual Race to Deliver

BROOKLYN, NY, Nov. 24, 2014 — On Sunday, November 23rd, God’s Love We Deliver held its 21st Annual Race to Deliver in Central Park. The Park was bursting with over 5,300 runners, and 200 children joined in the Kids’ Races. The festive pre-Thanksgiving mood lit the morning.

Celebrating its 21st year, the Race to Deliver is one of God’s Love We Deliver’s largest annual fundraisers. It is a 4 mile run/walk in Central Park, followed by multiple-distance Kids’ Races. The Race to Deliver symbolizes the daily race to ensure that no one faces the dual crises of hunger and illness. The 21st Annual Race to Deliver was a huge success for God’s Love We Deliver. It was a beautiful morning in Central Park as everyone raced for a wonderful cause.

This year, money raised at the Race will fund 40,000 meals and nutrition education and counseling for our clients living with severe illness. A $10 donation to www.racetodeliver.org funds one nutritious meal.

Many wonderful individuals and organizations supported this year’s Race to Deliver. Noah Neiman, Celebrity Fitness Personality, Nike sponsored trainer, and Master Trainer For Barry’s Boot Camp led invigorating warm-ups for the participants. Fox 5 anchor Ben Simmoneau welcomed Race participants and congratulated the winners at the awards ceremony. God’s Love would also like to thank New York Road Runners and event sponsors M.A.C AIDS FUND, Global Brands Group, Fox 5, Gramercy Tavern and Simon & Schuster.

At the Kids’ Races, runners ages 2 to 12, dashed in their own races, by age. At the end of each Race, the children involved in the Kids’ Races received their own awards. God’s Love Leadership Council members Katy and Greg Williamson and God’s Love Board members Scott Bruckner and Sylvia Vogelman cheered on and congratulated the runners of the Kids’ Races.

God’s Love We Deliver is continuing to raise necessary funds from the Race to Deliver. Donations can be made at www.racetodeliver.org and the Race to Deliver website will be available until December 21.

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About God’s Love We Deliver

God’s Love is the New York metropolitan area’s leading provider of life-sustaining meals and nutrition counseling for people living with severe illnesses. Begun as an HIV/AIDS service organization, today God’s Love provides for people living with more than 200 individual diagnoses. God’s Love cooks and home delivers the specific, nutritious meals a client’s severe illness and treatment so urgently require. Meals are individually tailored for each client by one of our Registered Dietitians, and all clients have access to unlimited nutrition counseling. God’s Love supports families by providing meals for the children and senior caregivers of its clients. All of the agency’s services are provided free of charge, and in its 29 year history, God’s Love We Deliver has never had a waiting list. For more information, visit www.godslovewedeliver.org. Follow God’s Love on Facebook and follow them on Twitter, @godslovenyc. God’s Love is a non-sectarian organization. For more information on the Race to Deliver, visit racetodeliver.org.

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Campaign Celebrates 10 Years, 22,000 Child Adoptions

New PSAs focus on the importance of adopting siblings

WASHINGTON, November 18, 2014 / PR Newswire / — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), AdoptUSKids and the Ad Council announced today the release of a new series of public service advertisements (PSAs) designed to encourage the adoption of children from foster care with an emphasis on the importance of keeping siblings together.

“As a mom, I know personally the joy of parenthood. My husband and I adopted our son internationally, and he, like our daughter, is a blessing in our lives,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “There are nearly 102,000 children in foster care who are currently waiting for the stability, love and protection of a permanent adoptive family. That’s why HHS is joining AdoptUSKids and the Ad Council to launch a new series of public service announcements designed to encourage prospective parents to consider adopting from foster care.”

The new PSAs will be unveiled at an event celebrating the 10th anniversary of the National Adoption Campaign and will be distributed to media outlets nationwide this week.

“The bond between brothers and sisters is critically important, particularly for children in foster care. Being with their siblings can enhance their sense of safety and well-being and provide natural, mutual support,” said JooYeun Chang, associate commissioner of HHS’ Children’s Bureau. “The message of this new round of PSAs is essential, and I look forward to the continued success of the campaign.”

Since the launch of the original campaign in 2004, more than 22,000 children who were once photo-listed on the AdoptUSKids website now live with their adoptive families, and over 35,000 families have registered to adopt through AdoptUSKids.

“Adopting Deanta and Ranija is the most important thing that I have done in my life,” said Raenell Crenshaw, an adoptive parent who adopted her two children out of foster care. “I am so glad that my husband and I were able to keep them together. Having a brother or sister is such an influential and life-defining relationship. I want to encourage all prospective parents to think about the importance of keeping siblings together. I am so happy that I welcomed them both into our family.”

The foster care system in the U.S. currently holds 402,000 children, and nearly 102,000 children (under 18 years of age) are waiting for adoption. Approximately 23 percent of children and youth actively photo-listed on the AdoptUSKids website and waiting for placement in adoptive homes were registered with one or more siblings. Sibling relationships are often the longest-lasting relationships for children in foster care.

Created pro bono by advertising agency Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners (kbs+), and Hinge Digital, the new English and Spanish television, radio, print, outdoor and digital PSAs conclude with the well-known tagline: “You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent.” The PSAs feature parents participating in activities with their children such as a father trying to build a tree house without carpentry skills, a mom roller blading with her sons even though she is not a skilled skater and a mom and dad accidentally burning their daughter’s favorite breakfast. The objective is to reassure potential parents that all kinds of people have the potential to make a positive impact on a child’s life. All of the PSAs direct audiences to visit AdoptUSKids.org or to call 1-888-200-4005 (English) or 1-877-236-7831 (Spanish) to receive the latest information about the foster care system and the adoption process.

“This campaign has one of the hardest asks in a PSA and the results in the last ten years have been truly extraordinary,” said Lisa Sherman, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “Thousands of parents have welcomed children into their homes, their families and their hearts. By reminding parents that they don’t have to be perfect to make a lifelong difference in somebody’s life, we look forward to continuing to see the transformative impact of this campaign on families throughout the country.”

Since its initial launch in 2004, the campaign has received more than $430 million in donated media support across television, radio, print, outdoor and digital media.

“Working on this campaign over the last several years has truly been a rewarding experience for many at KBS,” said Ed Brojerdi, CEO of KBS NY. “We hope the campaign and this new, comical series of PSAs helps bring greater awareness to issues surrounding adoption and draws attention to the importance of keeping siblings together.”

“It was a pleasure to bring this important adoption message to life,” said Roland Gauthier, executive producer and founder of Hinge Digital. “We are seeing clients that want original creative, in part because of the popularity of independent animation on Vimeo, YouTube and other social media platforms. We are very proud to be part of such an important and emotionally touching campaign and want to help spread the word.”

For more information about adoption or about becoming an adoptive parent to a child from foster care, please visit www.AdoptUSKids.org or visit the campaign’s communities on Facebook and Twitter.

Campaign Partners

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families

Within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is the agency that is responsible for federal programs that promote the economic and social well-being of families, children, individuals, and communities. The Children’s Bureau focuses on improving the lives of children and families through programs that reduce child abuse and neglect, increase the number of adoptions, and strengthen foster care. For more information on ACF’s adoption programs, please visit the Children’s Bureau website.

AdoptUSKids

AdoptUSKids is a multi-faceted, federally funded project whose mission is to raise public awareness about the need for families for children in foster care, and assist States, Territories and Tribes to recruit and retain foster and adoptive families and connect them with children. The project is managed through a cooperative agreement with the Children’s Bureau at ACF.

KBS (kirshenbaum bond senecal + partners)

KBS (kirshenbaum bond senecal + partners) is the brand agency for an inventive world. We are an integrated creative, advertising and marketing agency committed to inventing the highest value ideas for our clients and for ourselves. Our team of passionate inventors and creative entrepreneurs is dedicated to doing things that matter and making things that matter. Today KBS serves a diverse roster of clients that includes American Express, BMW, Harman, HomeGoods, Simmons Bedding Company, William Grant & Sons, Boar’s Head, TE Connectivity and Vanguard. For more information on KBS a member of the MDC Partners Network, please visit www.kbsp.com or follow us @kbsp_agency.

Hinge Digital

Hinge Digital (Hinge) is an integrated creative production studio and digital agency, specializing in dynamic visuals for broadcast, film, out-of-home, digital and print. Our work spans from strategy and concept development through live action production, animation and post-production visual effects. Our team of passionate and experienced storytellers is dedicated to bringing your ideas to life. Hinge serves a diverse roster of clients that includes adidas, Intel, UPS Store, Dunkin’ Donuts, Microsoft, Merck, Nike, UPMC, NVIDIA, and EA. For more information on Hinge, please visit http://www.hingedigital.com or follow us @hingedigital.

The Ad Council

The Ad Council is a private, non-profit organization with a rich history of marshalling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of PSA campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has affected, and continues to affect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action and saving lives. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit http://www.adcouncil.org/, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or view our PSAs on YouTube.

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Young Professionals Raise Over $400,000 to Grant Wishes of Children with Life-Threating Illnesses

Under-40 Board of Make-A-Wish® Metro New York Hosts Fifth Annual Toast to Wishes

November 21, 2014, New York, NY – Last night at the 5th annual WishNYC: A Toast to Wishes, generous young professionals raised over $400,000, bringing the event’s 5-year fundraising total to over $1.5 million benefiting Make-A-Wish Metro New York. Proceeds raised help grant wishes of children diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of the event’s host committee and the Make-A-Wish Metro New York New Leadership Council (NLC), over 650 guests attended the sold-out event at Marquee NYC, with another 250 attending the after-party at The Raven. Guests were treated to an open bar sponsored by The Patron Spirits Company, Perrier Jouët, and Corona Light, passed food from Luke’s Lobster, Takumi Taco, Eddie’s Pizza Truck, Arancini Bros, and The Treats Truck, with music by Chachi, Tom Macari and B. Mills, and a premium silent auction with 50+ high-end items.

“We appreciate the generosity and passion of young New Yorkers, whose enthusiastic support of Toast to Wishes 2014 will bring joyful smiles to many wish kids as they experience their dreams come true,” said Zach Coopersmith, New Leadership Council President and Toast to Wishes Co-Chair. “When we started this event five years ago, it was hard to imagine how quickly it would grow and we are so grateful to everyone who has made this growth possible.”

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WishNYC: A Toast to Wishes at Marquee NYC

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WishNYC: A Toast to Wishes at Marquee NYC

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Toast to Wishes Host Committee and members of the Make-A-Wish Metro New York New Leadership Council (NLC)

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(l to r) Event co-chairs and NLC members Lauren Goodrich, Zach Coopersmith and Alli Holzberg

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(l to r) Super DJs Chachi, Tom Macari, and B. Mills with Zach Coopersmith

Photo(s) by Stephen Smith – Guest of a Guest

The event has become one of the most talked about of its kind in the New York City area, successfully introducing and engaging under-40 professionals to the Make-A-Wish mission. In fiscal year 2014, the chapter touched the lives of 886 wish children and their families by granting 637 wishes of local children, and by facilitating 249 wish assists for children who reside in other areas, but whose wishes took place in New York.

“We are simply in awe of what Zach, fellow event co-chairs and NLC members Alli Holzberg, Lauren Goodrich and the entire Toast to Wishes Host Committee have accomplished over the last five years,” said Gail Monaco, Senior Director, Corporate Philanthropy, Make-A-Wish Metro New York and Western New York. “Their commitment to bringing hope, strength and joy to the children we serve, combined with their determined efforts to promote and support our cause within the under-40 demographic are extraordinary. We are extremely grateful to them and all who sponsored and attended the event and for their significant contributions to our mission.”

Top sponsors of the event include: Eastdil Secured, Southern Wine & Spirits, Zurich, ABCO HVACR Supply + Solutions, NBC Universal, Holland & Knight, The Patron Spirits Company, Manhattan Beer, Royal Caribbean, HBO, Weil, The Line Group, Wuhl Shafman Lieberman, EisnerAmper, Single Platform, and Rugby Architectural Building Products.

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About Make-A-Wish:

The mission of Make-A-Wish is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. The Metro New York and Western New York chapter serves a total of 23 counties in New York State, including the five boroughs of New York City. In fiscal year 2014, the chapter touched the lives of 886 wish children and their families by granting 637 wishes of local children, and facilitating 249 wish assists for children who reside in other areas, but whose wishes took place in New York. The chapter is a proud participant of the Better Business Bureau Charity Seal Program, which indicates that the organization has met the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability. Make-A-Wish Metro New York and Western New York received 4 Stars – the highest rating – from Charity Navigator in December 2013. For more information, visit www.metrony.wish.org and www.toasttowishes.com.

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OC Food Bank Provides Hope To OC’s Hungry This Thanksgiving

Thousands of OC Families will Receive Much Needed Thanksgiving Meals

GARDEN GROVE, CA [November 24, 2014] – The OC Food Bank, a program of Community Action Partnership of Orange County, is celebrating this Thanksgiving season by ensuring that thousands of families in need will be able to enjoy a healthy, traditional meal this holiday season.

While most Orange County residents are combing through cook books getting ready for Thanksgiving, more than 174,000 others are wondering how they are going to put food on the table this year. Since 1979, the OC Food Bank’s annual holiday effort has distributed nutritious meals to individuals and families in low-income households and neighborhoods throughout Orange County.

With this year’s drought, many families have been unable to pay for the rising cost of fresh produce. The OC Food Bank is dedicated to providing fresh and nutritious produce to Orange County’s most vulnerable families. This holiday season, they will distribute thousands Thanksgiving meals – complete with a turkey, green beans, stuffing, corn, cranberries, and potatoes.

In our county, the number of people living in poverty continues to grow. While many low-income families work or have income, they often do not have sufficient resources to meet basic needs due to low wages, high housing costs, rising food prices, cost of healthcare,and other economic problems that are making it harder for families to make ends meet.

“We are so thankful to our donors and volunteers who helped us serve more than 56,606 unique families last November,” said Mark Lowry, Director of the OC Food Bank. “This time of year, it is especially important to remember those who may not have access to a hot meal. Unfortunately, there are even more families this year that need our help and we need the support of our community now more than ever.”

With nearly one in four Orange County residents struggling to put food on the table, the OC Food Bank is calling on the public to support hungry children, working families, and seniors by participating in their Hope for the Holidays Campaign. If you are interested in more information on how you can help end hunger this holiday season and feed Orange County’s low-income children, please contact (714) 897-6670 x 3404, mmorrill@capoc.org, or visit www.capoc.org/h4h. Together, we can eliminate hunger and poverty in Orange County.

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Hookah Smoke Exposure Doubles Dangerous Benzene Uptake

Many believe hookah is a safe alternative to smoking; this study suggests otherwise.

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Nov. 21, 2014) — Hookah smokers, as well as nonsmokers exposed to hookah smoke at social events in hookah lounges, showed a significant increase in uptake of benzene, a chemical substance associated with an increased risk for leukemia, according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Some people believe that because hookah smoke is filtered through water before being inhaled, it’s somehow safer than smoking cigarettes or other forms of tobacco. But that’s simply not the case, according to Nada Kassem, associate director at the Center for Behavioral Epidemiology and Community Health at San Diego State University.

“Hookah smoking involves the use of burning charcoal that is needed to heat the hookah tobacco to generate the smoke that the smoker inhales,” Kassen said. “In addition to inhaling toxicants and carcinogens found in the hookah tobacco smoke, hookah smokers and nonsmokers who socialize with hookah smokers also inhale large quantities of charcoal combustion-generated toxic and carcinogenic emissions.”

Up in smoke

For the study, Kassem and colleagues analyzed levels of S-phenylmercapturic acid (SPMA), a metabolite on benzene, in the urine of 105 hookah smokers and 103 nonsmokers. They obtained urine samples the morning of and the morning after participants attended a hookah-only smoking event at a hookah lounge or a private home.

Researchers found that SPMA levels were four times higher in hookah smokers and two times higher in nonsmokers after attending the hookah lounge event. Levels of SPMA were also significantly increased in hookah smokers after attending a the private home event.

Curiously, SPMA levels were found to be similarly high for the nonsmoking group both before and after the participants attended the private home event. Kassem believes this may be due to the nonsmokers’ chronic exposure to benzene prior to the study.

No safe levels

Taken together, the results indicate that smoking a hookah is no safer than other kinds of tobacco smoking—and that regulations should reflect that reality.

“In contrast to what is believed, hookah tobacco smoking is not a safe alternative to smoking other forms of tobacco,” Kassem said. “Because there is no safe level of exposure to benzene, our results call for interventions to reduce or prevent hookah tobacco use, regulatory actions to limit hookah-related exposure to toxicants including benzene, and include hookah smoking in clean indoor air legislation.”

The study was supported by the American Cancer Society and Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute.

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