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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.

For Goodness Sake Launches in San Francisco to Transform How People Shop and Give

With its new mobile gallery and website, company creates and sells curated collections for cause partners, enabling consumers to give back with every purchase

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – November 18, 2014For Goodness Sake, a social enterprise that promotes charitable giving through its multi-channel retail platform to connect brands, consumers and non-profits, today announced its company launch, new mobile gallery and website. For Goodness Sake curates a collection of discerning products for women, men, and home décor, including private label and collaborative custom-made goods from select designers. For Goodness Sake donates a minimum of 25% of net proceeds to its cause partners. In December 2014, For Goodness Sake will launch its e-commerce website.

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“I have always had a passion for giving back, and For Goodness Sake is founded on the principle that each of us can be a positive force by making a bigger difference,” said Pam Baer, founder, For Goodness Sake. “With the launch of our mobile gallery and website, For Goodness Sake is transforming how consumers, brands, and non-profits interact. As change makers, our team believes in doing business by doing good through the power of giving. We saw a unique opportunity to build a socially minded community around giving back and are empowering individuals to take action with every purchase. Our mission is to connect people and brands with charitable causes. We raise funds for our cause partners, and help individuals discover their passions for service and giving back.”

Raising awareness and connecting people with charitable causes, For Goodness Sake believes in initiating and facilitating action, which is physically embodied by its sleek and modern mobile gallery. The mobile gallery is outfitted with an eco-friendly energy system and a shopping friendly set up. It serves as an important launch pad for community engagement, traveling to select locations for public and private events. The mobile gallery invites individuals to gather, donate and join the conversation on how they can take action and discover their passions for service and giving back. Ultimately, For Goodness Sake aims to reach the global community to come together for the common good. To follow and learn where the mobile gallery will make its next appearance, visit For Goodness Sake, Facebook, Twitter @4GoodSake, or Instagram.

Just in time for the holidays, in early December, For Goodness Sake will launch its e-commerce website where shoppers can seamlessly purchase products while giving back to charity. Those who want to be one of the first to shop can sign up at www.forgoodsake.org. For Goodness Sake’s website is now accepting email sign ups and offers a sneak peak at upcoming collections.

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For Goodness Sake actively supports its cause partners through non-profit partnerships and donations for the underserved as well as for health, environmental and educational initiatives. Currently, the company works with non-profits and socially responsible companies that serve the San Francisco Bay Area. To apply to be a cause partner, contact For Goodness Sake at info@forgoodsake.org.

For Goodness Sake will launch nationally in 2015. For more information, visit www.forgoodsake.org.

About For Goodness Sake

For Goodness Sake is a social enterprise that connects brands, consumers and non-profits in a progressive way. Promoting charitable giving through its multi-channel retail platform, this Benefit corporation enables individuals to give back at every level, every day. For Goodness Sake curates a collection of discerning products, including private label and collaborative custom-made goods with select designers, that are available for purchase at its mobile gallery and e-commerce site. For Goodness Sake donates a minimum of 25% of net proceeds to its cause partners. For more information, visit www.forgoodsake.org. On Facebook at ForGoodSake. On Twitter @4GoodSake.

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Toilet Board Coalition Develops Commercially Scalable Initiatives To Fight The Global Sanitation Crisis

Brussels/New York/London, 19th November 2014The Toilet Board Coalition has been launched today to coincide with the celebration of World Toilet Day. The Toilet Board Coalition is a global, business-led coalition of leading companies, government agencies, sanitation experts and non-profit organisations. It aims to develop sustainable and scalable commercial solutions in response to the sanitation crisis. Events to mark the launch will take place today at the United Nations headquarters in New York and at the European Parliament in Brussels.

Sanitation remains one of the world’s great challenges. Two and a half billion people lack access to a safe, clean toilet, and one billion suffer the daily indignity of open defecation – a situation with far reaching and often devastating consequences. In fact, sanitation is one of the Millennium Development Goals lagging the furthest behind as we approach the 2015 deadline. It is a social, economic and increasingly political catastrophe and to address it at scale requires market-based, sustainable solutions.
The Toilet Board Coalition is the first coalition of its kind and will provide a step-change in sanitation to those who need it most. The Toilet Board Coalition will ensure close collaboration between private, public and non-profit players to bring together the best technologies, expertise, financial resources and networks to develop market-based sanitation initiatives that can be implemented at scale.

Commenting on the launch, Jean-Laurent Ingles, Chairman of the Toilet Board Coalition and Senior Vice President of Household Care at Unilever, said: “Business has an integral role to play if we are to solve the sanitation crisis at scale. The Toilet Board introduces an essential, missing ingredient in the fight towards improving sanitation globally. By working with development experts, businesses can select, improve and nurture scalable initiatives that will increase demand for toilets and address every step of the value chain in a commercially sustainable way.”

Initiated by Unilever in 2012, the Toilet Board Coalition has already made significant headway, producing important work in evaluating existing and potential sanitation models and approaches. It is now in the process of identifying, analysing and selecting a number of initiatives it will support, in both rural and urban areas globally.

Ingles added: “It’s not a silver bullet, nor does it claim to replace the philanthropic programs addressing the needs of the ultra-poor. However, the Toilet Board Coalition will bring together a unique mix of skills and talent to make initiatives market-ready, and complements the wide range of sanitation initiatives that have been running for years – and will no doubt continue. This model did not exist before, which is why the Toilet Board Coalition is essential in leading commercially scalable solutions to the sanitation crisis.”

The Toilet Board Coalition brings together some of the most forward-thinking organisations in the sanitation space: Firmenich, Kimberly-Clark, LIXIL Corporation and Unilever represent the business sector; Dr Val Curtis of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Barbara Evans of the University of Leeds bring academic rigour to the table; and a number of development sector and governmental bodies bring their one-of-a-kind resources and specialist knowledge: Agence Française De Développement; the Asian Development Bank; the UK’s Department for International Development; Stone Family Foundation; WaterAid; Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP); Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC); the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Programme; the World Toilet Organization; Water and Sanitation for Africa; and UNICEF.

The Coalition also has a number of independent directors and world renowned sanitation experts; including Jon Lane (previously Executive Director of the WSSCC); Neil Macleod, former Head of Water and Sanitation of eThekwini Municipality in South Africa; and Perry Rivera of Manila Water.

For more information visit: www.toiletboard.org

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Himalayan Stove Project Matches Donations on #GivingTuesday

Charity Encourages Holiday Spending with a Life-Saving Purpose on December 2, 2014

TAOS, NM (November 18, 2014) – In an effort to get back to a more meaningful sense of the “holiday spirit” after the over-hyped Black Friday (November 28) and Cyber Monday (December 1) spending binges that follow Thanksgiving, more than 10,000 organizations will give consumers more bang for their donated and charitable bucks on #GivingTuesday, December 2, 2014.

Among them is The Himalayan Stove Project, the US based nonprofit that distributes free, clean-burning cook stoves to the people of the High Himalayas to reduce deadly Household Air Pollution (HAP), which will offer a 24-hour donation-matching program on the “national day of giving back.”

In addition to doubling donations, the Himalayan Stove Project will also offer supporters a gift for a gift: a free, individually-numbered, limited First Edition Mount Everest Art Print (pictured left) for donations of $250 or more.

“#GivingTuesday offers consumers the chance to shift gears from the mad scramble for ‘the best deal’ and turn their attention to something meaningful,” says Himalayan Stove Project Founder and “Chief Cook” George Basch. “By matching donations dollar-for-dollar, we are making our supporters’ funds work even harder. A $250 donation, for instance, has double the impact on #GivingTuesday than on any other day: it will fund five clean cook stoves, which will dramatically improve the health of five families—and even save their lives—while also reducing greenhouse gases and decreasing deforestation due to more efficient use of wood.”

Household Air Pollution, caused by rudimentary cook stoves that emit smoke and fumes directly into homes and enclosed spaces, leads to 4.3 million premature deaths per year, which is more than malaria, HIV-Aids and tuberculosis combined. HAP in the Himalayas is also a major contributor to damaging ice-melt which drastically accelerates global warming.

The Himalayan Stove Project’s donation-matching program, sponsored by a group of generous supporters, will go live on www.himalayanstoveproject.org, at midnight (12 a.m.) of December 2, 2014, and run until 11:59 p.m. on December 2, 2014. In addition to direct donations, the organization also offers US supporters the opportunity to make honorary and in memorium donations, in lieu of holiday gifts or to memorialize a friend or loved one.

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The Himalayan Stove Project is a US-based, not-for-profit philanthropic project that has donated more than 3,000 cook stoves to the people of the High Himalayas since its foundation in 2010. It is working toward meeting the region’s estimated need for more than 1,000,000 clean stoves. Watch the full video synopsis of the effort here.

For more information about or to donate to the Himalayan Stove Project, located at 1335 Paseo del Pueblo Sur, #305, Taos, NM, 87571, visit www.himalayanstoveproject.org/transforming-lives or www.facebook.com/himalayanstoveproject, or call George “Chief Cook” Basch at 505.363.8863.

Donations can also be made by texting “stove” to 50155, or by making online purchases through Amazon’s charitable interface, Amazon Smile, which makes a contribution to the Himalayan Stove Project for every dollar spent on Amazon, at no extra cost to the consumer (register under “Paul Basch Memorial Foundation”).

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This Giving Tuesday, donate and make twice the impact with World Vision and Thirty-One Gifts

For the first 3,100 donations made to World Vision on Giving Tuesday, December 2, Thirty-One Gifts will donate a Hope Kit tote to a woman or girl in need in the U.S.

Seattle, WA (November 18, 2014) – Giving Tuesday began as a small grass-roots movement, the charitable answer to the consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Now the day dedicated to giving has evolved into a global campaign powered by over 13,000 partners. In its third year as a Giving Tuesday partner, the Christian humanitarian agency World Vision wanted to give donors the opportunity to impact more lives than ever before. This year on December 2, donations made to World Vision will make twice the impact by combatting poverty in one of the 100 countries where the organization works and helping a woman or girl in need in the U.S. get back on her feet.

Bringing hope to U.S. women in need:

The poverty rate for U.S. women remains at a historic high. According to 2013 U.S. Census Bureau data, one in three women in America is living in or close to poverty.

This year, a partnership between World Vision and Thirty-One Gifts – a direct-selling company offering totes, purses, home organization solutions and more, most of which can be personalized – will help women in dire straits get back on their feet. For the first 3,100 donations made to World Vision on Giving Tuesday, Thirty-One Gifts will donate a Hope Kit tote filled with essential hygiene supplies such as a toothbrush, shampoo, hairbrush, soap, and a personalized note of encouragement.

“I came here with nothing,” explains Michelle, who received a Hope Kit at a safe home near Tacoma, Washington. “I didn’t have anything with me but the clothes I was wearing and a brush.”

“For women and girls escaping abuse and addiction, these Hope Kits are much more than a beautiful tote filled with essential supplies,” explains Deborah Durham, World Vision’s kit initiatives director. “They are tangible proof that someone cares for and believes in them, which is why when kits are distributed they are often met with tears of joy.”

Celebrate Giving Tuesday with World Vision:

There are dozens of ways to take a break from the retail frenzy and celebrate generosity on Giving Tuesday with World Vision. Here are a few examples:

  • Host a Hope Kit building event: On Giving Tuesday, or any other day this holiday season, assemble Hope Kits with your company, school, church, or other group and take part in a memorable team-building event while providing meaningful help to women and girls.
  • Share Big Dreams: World Vision’s big dream for the world this Christmas is a full life for children in need. Help make that dream a reality by sponsoring a child and changing the trajectory of their life so they can share their own big dreams with their entire community.
  • Teach your Children to be Charitable: Transform current events discussions into active, impactful giving by reviewing World Vision’s Gift Catalog with kids. The Catalog features over 100 ways to improve lives through gifts such as: disaster relief, clean water, food, medicine, education, job training and small business loans, among others. Flip through the pages and brainstorm ways to make an impact with your child.

Find more ways to make an impact this Giving Tuesday by visiting www.worldvision.org or call 1-888-511-6588

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Thrive Foundation Commits $2.4 Million To Support Nation’s Youth

Eight organizations receive funds to expand innovative models for positive youth development

PALO ALTO, CA – The Thrive Foundation for Youth announced a grant commitment of $2.4 million to eight organizations across the U.S. working to further the Foundation’s mission of guiding disadvantaged young people to reach their full potential by strengthening the direct impact and presence of caring adults in their lives. The new grantees will each receive unrestricted grants of $300,000 over the next two years to accelerate their work in the field of positive youth development.

“We’re excited to partner with organizations that are already making an impact in their communities,” said Nicole Taylor, President and CEO of the Thrive Foundation for Youth. “Our grantees have discovered ways to create a constellation of competent, caring adults who are making a difference in the lives of children and helping youth reach their full potential. We intend to create a conversation and relationship between and among this cohort of grantees to leverage lessons learned from their work, to conduct research and to develop tools to expand and deepen these transformative programs.”

Thrive selected grantees based on their demonstrated impact, and their entrepreneurial and effective approach to reaching disadvantaged youth. Each one demonstrated the ability to provide comprehensive programming and meaningful learning experiences based on a keen knowledge of youth needs. All eight grantees have professional staff members who serve as the primary “caring adult” in their day-to-day lives, and are role models who provide a consistent, compassionate and trustworthy presence. Collectively, these organizations currently impact the lives of approximately 15,000 young people throughout the United States. They are:

  1. The Brotherhood/Sister Sol (New York, NY) is a supportive youth development model for young men and women in New York City that provides comprehensive, holistic and long-term support services to youth. BHSS is locally based with a national reach as they publish assorted curricula and collections of their members’ writings; train educators from throughout the nation on their approach; and advise on educational policy across the country and in New York City.
  2. Colorado UpLift (Denver, CO) helps underserved youth overcome significant obstacles to success through character education, high school graduation and post-secondary engagement, emphasizing staff-student relationships and student peer leadership.
  3. Friends of the Children (Portland, OR) is a nationwide organization that breaks the cycle of generational poverty through salaried, professional mentoring. Friends selects the highest risk children and commits to working with those children from kindergarten to graduation. Friends works through chapters and affiliates, and also shares their expertise with other organizations who want to use the Friends of the Children model.
  4. Girls Inc. of Alameda County (Oakland, CA) supports girls in becoming strong through healthy living, smart through education, and bold through independence, providing girls with continuous, strength-based, youth development programming and strong adult role models to identify and nurture the potential for success in every girl.
  5. Latin American Youth Center (Washington, D.C.) empowers a diverse population of youth to achieve a successful transition to adulthood through multi-cultural, comprehensive, and innovative programs that address youths’ social, academic, and career needs.
  6. Self Enhancement, Inc. (SEI) (Portland, OR) guides underserved youth and families to reach their full potential. Their work with more than 7,500 students and families results in stable, supported families and an enhanced community.
  7. Youth Guidance (Chicago, IL) creates and implements school-based programs that enable at-risk youth to overcome obstacles, focus on their education and, ultimately, to realize their full potential and graduate with a meaningful plan for successfully managing life. Youth Guidance’s Becoming a Man (B.A.M.) program is a dropout and violence prevention program for at-risk male students in grades 7-12. B.A.M. offers in-school programming, in some cases complemented by after-school sports, to develop social-cognitive skills strongly correlated with reductions in violent and anti-social behavior.
  8. Youth Radio (Oakland, CA) is the nation’s leading syndicator of youth voices and a national model for media and technology education. The organization provides thousands of low-income youth with innovative media and technology training, paid employment, and wraparound support services to launch them into college and family-sustaining careers.

These well-established organizations will become a learning community as the Thrive Foundation works alongside grantees to understand and learn from their respective best and promising practices, their needs, and their challenges. This unique foundation-grantee relationship will combine design-thinking principles and technology with scientific research and on-the-ground knowledge to study the frameworks of successful caring adult models and to inform and strengthen their plans to scale their work.

The Fall 2014 grants will begin in November of 2014 and conclude in 2016. Thrive intends to select an additional grantee cohort in 2015. To learn more about Thrive Foundation grantees, visit www.thrivefoundation.org/our-grantees/.

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Willie Geist To Host American Friends of Magen David Adom Annual New York Benefit Dinner

Barbara Walters to Be Honored By Michael Bloomberg at the December 2nd Event

NEW YORK (November 18, 2014) — TODAY Show co-host and co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”, Willie Geist, will host the American Friends of Magen David Adom (AFMDA) Annual New York Benefit Dinner on Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan. The night will honor Barbara Walters with the AFMDA Humanitarian Award, presented by Michael R. Bloomberg. Ambassador Ido Aharoni, Consul General of Israel in New York, will also speak.

Proceeds from the dinner will go towards building Magen David Adom’s new national blood center, a facility that will protect Israel’s entire blood supply from terror attacks and natural disasters while continuing to provide 97% of the blood used by Israel’s hospitals and all the blood for the Israel Defense Forces.

Additional honors include: The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, represented by Sandor Frankel, Trustee, will receive the AFMDA Founders Award. Other honorees will include: Haina Just-Michael, the Packin Family, Noah Rockowitz, and Nicole & Michael Strongin. Honorary Chairs are Meredith Berkman and Sarah Sternklar. Dinner Chairs are David Kostin and Mark Lebow.

Magen David Adom (MDA) is Israel’s national emergency medical response organization, providing skilled disaster-relief, ambulance, and blood services to Israel’s 8 million people. MDA is the only organization mandated by the Israeli government to serve in this role, but its operations are not funded by the government. Instead, MDA relies on funding from donors around the world. American Friends of Magen David Adom (AFMDA) is the largest supporter of MDA worldwide. For more, visit www.afmda.org.

Ticket prices start at $500 per individual ticket.

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Celebrity Ambassadors Goldie Hawn, Vanessa Hudgens, Louise Roe, Catt Sadler, Navid Negahban, Paul Hipp, Shoshana Bean Host 10th Anniversary Of The Gorgeous & Green Gala – Emerald City – Benefiting Global Green USA

San Francisco’s sold-out gala raises over $400,000 and unites eco-conscious celebrities and Bay Area luminaries for a dazzling evening benefiting Global Green’s sustainability initiatives, programs and critical projects and celebrating Gorgeous & Green’s 10th Anniversary

San Francisco, October 13 – On Friday, October 10, 2014, Global Green USA’s 10th annual star-studded Gorgeous & Green Gala – Emerald City – was held at the LEED-certified Bently Reserve and celebrated designer eco-fashion, sustainable technologies and eco-conscious initiatives. The sold-out event raised over $400,000 from the evening’s ticket sales and live auction which will benefit Global Green USA’s national programs devoted to implementing smart solutions to climate change, including waste diversion and building green and resilient communities.

“I’m grateful to the event’s co-hosts — to everyone who came out to support us and made this extraordinary event possible,” said Les McCabe, President and CEO of Global Green USA. “As a result, Global Green USA can develop programs and initiatives that help communities build sustainably and channel important resources right here in the Bay Area and nationally.”

Co-chairs and environmental advocates Zem Joaquin, Nadine Weil, Christopher Bently and Wendy Schmidt welcomed guests to the Emerald City gala, the dazzling star-studded evening showcasing the re-imagined green sustainable city. The historic Bently Reserve was festooned with sustainable Emerald inspired design, silky fabrics and sparkling motifs curated by Blueprint Studios. Acclaimed honorary hosts actress Goldie Hawn, actress Vanessa Hudgens, actor Navid Negahban, actor Paul Hipp, actor Austin Butler, fashion host and lifestyle expert Louise Roe, Host of E! News Catt Sadler and Broadway star and recording artist Shoshana Bean attended the event and lent their support towards Global Green’s mission.

“Zem and I were delighted to co-chair the Gorgeous and Green Gala together for our tenth anniversary year,” stated Nadine Weil, founder of Heart of Green who wore an eco-couture gown by Oliver Tolentino and jewelry by Lang Antiques and Ashley Morgan Designs. “Our goal was to show that you can live a glamorous lifestyle, and it can be completely eco-conscious from the fashion, to the décor, to the delectable food and cocktails.”

“The event exceeded our incredibly high expectations and we cannot thank our fabulous supporters enough,” said Zem Joaquin, editor at large of Home and Lifestyle for Huffington Post and founder of ecofabulous.com. “We were honored to celebrate the life-affirming work that we are doing at Global Green every day.”

The benefit featured musical performances of “The Wizard and I” and “Defying Gravity” by Broadway star and recording artist, Shoshana Bean, famous for her portrayal of Elphaba in the Broadway musical WICKED, as well as live performances by Gregangelo’s Velocity Circus. Guests enjoyed the Emerald City photo booth by Drew Altizer with Wizard of Oz costume options and a VIP Gifting Suite featuring an array of eco-conscious brands. Guests were also treated to an elegant locally-sourced organic meal prepared by Dominique Crenn, the only female chef in America with two Michelin Stars for her restaurant Atelier Crenn, with a first course prepared by Parke Ulrich, Executive Chef of Epic Roasthouse and Waterbar, and mouth-watering desserts from Ethan Howard, Executive Pastry Chef at Cavallo Point.

The menu for the evening included a savory first course as a Barrel Cut Short Rib Salad featuring Bently Ranch Meats, Cardamom Roasted Cauliflower, Marinated Grapes and Levain Lace as well as a vegan entrée of Coconut flan, Yuzukosho, Grains, Smoked Avocado, Tomato Compote and Fall Fermented Vegetables and Herbs from Chef Crenn’s garden. For dessert, Chef Ethan Howard prepared a delicacy of Green Apple & Celery Verrine with honey mousse paired with an emerald-hued Dulcey Macaron. J. Lohr Vineyards, a certified California sustainable vineyard & winery, served varietals from their limited-release, tasting room-only portfolio sustainably-farmed on their Paso Robles estate including the 2013 J. Lohr Gesture Viognier and the 2011 J. Lohr Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon. The Emerald City was a carbon neutral event courtesy of Wildlife Works Carbon and a target zero waste event with greening assistance by Taste Catering.

The eco-couture fashion show, curated and styled by Lily Achatz and co-produced by Clarissa Nicosia and Lily Achatz, thematically invoked the Gorgeous & Green Emerald City in the world-famous film “The Wizard of Oz” and showcased models by Stars Model Management in eco-couture gowns by Oliver Tolentino and sparkling green, vintage couture looks from eBay including the finale gown by Antonio Berardi made famous by Gwyneth Paltrow. Also starring on the runway were top ethical designer Daniel Silverstein, two gowns sustainably made by Nina Ricci for Connie Nielsen, and local conscious fashion designers Karen Caldwell, AZADA by Tara, and Myrrhia Fine Knitwear. The models rocked handbags by Simon + Krull and Rosa Candelario as well as exquisite precious jewelry by local designers Kim Deterline and Ashley Morgan Designs featuring reclaimed metals and gemstones from non-conflict, clean mines. Chantecaille and Mercer Street Salon provided expert makeup and hair for the runway fashion show and also worked their magic on actresses Vanessa Hudgens, Goldie Hawn and Shoshana Bean to give them fabulous looks for the Emerald City. DJ David Carvalho from Boutique DJs provided the soundtrack for the sensational show which showcased how being green can be the most glamorous.

Volkswagen of America, Inc. (VWoA) and Global Green joined efforts by auctioning off the first 2015 all-electric Volkswagen e-Golf at the 10th year anniversary celebration. Volkswagen gave Gorgeous & Green Gala guests the exclusive opportunity to be the first person in America to own the 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf, the brand’s first fully electric, zero tailpipe emissions vehicle in the U.S. market. One of the most efficient electric vehicles in its class, the e-Golf features a 24.2 kWh lithium-ion battery, a range of up to 100 miles per charge, an electric motor with 115 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque, and one of the largest interiors in its class. The handsome car greeted guests upon arrival and was on display in front of the Bently Reserve on a green carpet. The auction, hosted online at www.charitybuzz.com/vwegolf, gave bidders the opportunity to be the first owner of the brand’s first all-electric model before retail sales in the United States begin later this year. Bids will continue to be accepted at www.charitybuzz.com/vwegolf until 3:30 p.m. ET on October 29, 2014, when the winner will be revealed. All auction proceeds benefit Global Green USA’s efforts to advance smart solutions to climate change.

The spirited live auction at Gorgeous & Green also featured an original painting by artist Zio Ziegler, a retreat at Post Ranch Inn, a made-to-measure suit by Klein Epstein & Parker in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley, a stay at the eco-luxurious Cavallo Point, and a week at the One&Only Palmilla Resort, voted the top resort in Mexico’s Baja region for the last decade by readers of Conde Nast Traveler.

Featured sponsors of the event included: Bently Enterprises, The 11th Hour Project of The Schmidt Family Foundation, Volkswagen e-Golf, nrg energy, eBay, ecofabulous, Stars Model Management, Elisabeth Thieriot, Ashley Morgan Designs, PG&E, Chantecaille, Mercer Street Salon, Pureology, Taste Catering, Bently Ranch Meats, Blueprint Studios, Glodow Nead, Leftwich Event Specialists, Everything Audio Visual, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, Defiant Whisky, 360 Vodka, MateVeza, VEEV Spirit, One&Only Resorts, Post Ranch Inn, Simon + Krull, Klein Epstein & Parker, Cavallo Point, Zio Ziegler, Step Into My Green World, Earth Friendly Products, TATCHA, Supergoop, Wildlife Works, Juice Beauty, Escama Studio, Green Toys, Replete Skincare, FSHN Magazine, Hotel Vitale, Lang Antiques, Miette, California Caviar, Korbel Organic Brut Champagne.

ABOUT GLOBAL GREEN:

Global Green USA is dedicated to helping the people, places, and the planet in need through catalytic projects, transformative policy, and cutting-edge research. Global Green USA’s signature programs include greening affordable housing, schools, neighborhoods, and cities as well as rebuilding communities — such as New Orleans and areas of New York and New Jersey — that have suffered from the impacts of climate change, sea level rise, and environmental degradation. Global Green USA is the U.S. affiliate of Green Cross International, which was founded by President Mikhail Gorbachev in 1993 to foster a global value shift toward a sustainable and secure future. For more information, visit globalgreen.org and follow us @globalgreen. Contact: Tina Vennegaard 310 581 2700 x118 TVennegaard@globalgreen.org.

ABOUT THE BENTLY RESERVE

The Bently Reserve is one of San Francisco’s most prestigious event venues ideal for meetings, special occasions and weddings. With more than 14,000 square feet of meeting and event space, this state of the art LEED certified building features a visually stimulating fusion of contemporary and classic San Francisco. Deeply influenced by Greco-Roman architecture, this 1924 Beaux-Arts “Banking Temple” boasts opulent marble, grand staircases, ornate molding and original colorful murals, complemented by contemporary furnishings and state-of-the-art technology. Centrally located in the heart of downtown in San Francisco’s bustling Financial District, the Bently Reserve is surrounded by renowned restaurants, hotels and shopping. It is one mile to the Moscone Convention Center, 14 miles (30 minutes) to San Francisco International Airport and 18.5 miles (40 minutes) to Oakland International Airport. For more information, call (415) 294-2226 or visit www.bentlyreserve.com. For our latest news, visit us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/bentlyreserve and follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/bentlyreserve. For more information, visit www.bentlyreserve.com.

First MDGs’ Multiversity Medal Hallmarked by the United Nations’ IDDR-WSDPD Convergent Celebrations 2014

Featured News Article on the Historic UN-IDDR Observance 2014.
By: Dr. Dass U.

Disasters can occur anywhere, anytime, at any location, to any society. The past few decades have witnessed a significant increase in natural disasters. According to the UN statistics, nearly 400-500 natural disasters and calamities take place annually. Major vicissitudes and overall global variations like climate change, loss of biodiversity, constant and rapid environmental degradation, ozone forfeiture mutilations and global warming are the key reasons and causative emancipations to disasters increase. The devastative consequences of such cataclysms, that are posed with the detrimental damages to the global communities, their infrastructures and in their overall socio-economic set-ups, are becoming exceedingly and alarmingly high. Asia’s 2004-Tsunami alone, devastated over 6 countries, leaving over 3 million as homeless, hundreds of thousands as displaced and, with a toll rate exceeding ….

In view of the aforementioned corresponding facts, the United Nations designated an International Observance Day for Disaster Reduction, in 1989 with the approval by it’s General Assembly. The UN General Assembly sees the IDDR as a way to promote a global culture of disaster reduction, including disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness. Originally celebrated as per resolution 44/236, 22 December 1989, the UN General Assembly decided to designate 10/13 as the date to celebrate the IDDR (resolution 64/200, 21 December 2009).

International Day for Disaster Reduction is a day to celebrate how people and communities are reducing their risk to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of DRR. It’s also a day to encourage every citizen and government to take part in building more disaster resilient communities and nations.

The 2014 theme for the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction “Resilience is for Life”, is part of a ‘Step Up Initiative’, that started in 2011 through 2014.

The step-up initiative 2011-2014 focuses on a different group of partners every year leading up to the World Conference for Disaster Reduction in 2015.

This year the focus of the International Day for Disaster Reduction was on older people, including their needs and what they contribute to better planning and understanding of disaster risk in their communities. IDDR 2014 intended to switch on and amplify this critical issue now and for the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction.

As the year 2014, categorically marks the conclusive year for the ‘Step-up Initiative’, as well as the second-last round up for Hyogo Framework of Action, the celebrations got an extraordinary extended elegance. The day and the theme “Resilience is for life” were used to boost age-inclusive disaster risk reduction across the world from Kathmandu to Canberra, and from Addis Ababa to Beijing.

Various organizations, groups and institutions around the world celebrated the UN-IDDR from 11/13 through end of the month, followed by workshops, seminars and symposiums. Since the role of science cannot be over-sighted in the DRR contexts, the fortnight-long celebrations, followed by a 10 days Post-HFA Thematic Confluence, concluded up by a convergence of IDDR to the UN’s World Science Day for Peace and Development UN-WSDPD-2014 observance.
A record tweeting—over 4.3 million tweets were propelled up and sent to UTC on IDDR-2014 in a thunderclap announcement in support of age inclusive disaster risk reduction.

People found themselves in a transformative sort of company alongside the UN family, the Kofi Annan Foundation, the International Telecommunications Union, the World Meteorological Organization, the Tear Fund, ODI, the Axa Research Fund, UNESCO-SAARC Academic Alliance Sri Lanka, Inspectorate for Emergency Situation Petrodava Romania, Southwest Neighborhood Assembly (SWNA), SAIRI Research Initiative Pakistan, NARRI Consortium Bangladesh, Plan International Laos and several others UNISDR’s partner for this year’s campaign.

Indonesia marked IDDR-2014 by piloting a National Conference on Community Based DRR, organized by Indonesia’s Disaster Management Society, in collaboration with Plan International.

Plan International also organized a National Symposium on DRR and Resilience, in Kathmandu. Nepal.

Saritsa Foundation, India organized workshops in Mumbai and Maharashtra, for older people (Seniors and Super Seniors) to raise social awareness for the needs of such people to protect their lives and make use of their valuable experience to develop resilience.

The Lisbon City Council through the Civil Protection Department Portugal, celebrated this year’s International Disaster Reduction Day with a Seminar where the public entities invited, shared their experiences about emergency planning, citizenship in a disaster environment and the role of local communities in disaster risk reduction.

In Washington DC, Peggy Keller MPH, Director of Community Preparedness and Resilience, Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Administration, DC Department of Health made a DRR presentation on ‘Resilience for the Whole Communty’.

ODI organized the IDDR event with keynote presentations from: Silvia Stefanoni, Director of Policy and Strategy, HelpAge International, and Tom Mitchell, Head of Climate and Environment.

In Nepal, there held an earthquake simulation at a home for older persons.

In the UK, there held the London launch of HelpAge International’s new report “Resilience in an Ageing World” hosted by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).

The Department of Disaster Management under the Ministry of Home & Cultural Affairs, Bhutan has been observing the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction every year since 2008 in close collaboration with School and communities to raise awareness on DRR, creating social responsibility and mobilization of general public to get involved and take ownership of the future Disaster Risk Reduction Initiatives. This year too, the day was observed in Punakha Dzongkhag, presided by Dasho Dzongdag (Governor) of Punakha Dzongkhag.

In Viet Nam, a major DRR educational event took place. Save the children International, in collaboration with the Viet Nan government organized a series of lectures on DRR measures at Conference Centre of Tien Giang People Committee.

The 5th Conference of the International Society for Integrated Disaster Risk Management (IDRiM 2014) took place at Western University, London, Ontario, Canada, from 10/30 to 11/1 2014. The theme of conference was “Building Disaster Resilient Communities”.

The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) supports disaster preparedness activities in the nine most disaster-prone regions throughout the world. Efforts are focused on building resilience of vulnerable communities.

The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and HelpAge International issued a joint call for greater involvement of older persons in disaster management efforts worldwide in order to bring down death tolls among those over 60.

HelpAge International’s CEO Toby Porter joined UNISDR’s Head of Regional Office, Sharon Rusu, for the main global event in Rustenburg, South Africa, hosted by the South African government.

UNISDR and HelpAge International are calling on governments to sign up to Charter 14 for Older People in Disaster Risk Reduction and commit to specific inclusion of older persons in all facets of disaster management planning with a strong emphasis on early warnings and evacuation procedures.

In a reference-passage, the official citation of DRR-HFA Manifesto-2014 of UN’s Step-up Initiative being concluded by IDDR-2014, states, that, “As a testament of the meritorious renderings that made some ‘difference’ in DRR executional framework reprieves in the aftermaths of Asian Tsunami-2004—the highest-observed devastating catastrophe of the recorded history of last millennium’s natural cataclysms.

Besides the utmost wreckage-desolations, that quite austerely devastated and shattered almost 9 main oceanic sectors of Asia, including the hard-hit coastal zones of Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India and Sumatra, and its unprecedented scale of destruction, Tsunami-04 brought forth a way to measure the real impact factor in terms of the actual ‘on-ground renderings’ conceded thereupon.

A selection slate was made with a view to reckon-surmise the real ‘on-ground impact factor’ of different institutional entities, relief projects and individuals with reference to the UN-HFA and DRR perspectives. The selection slate draped a summing p of 17 out-scored projects and 21 organizations. Amongst them are, the Oxfam, Save the Children, SOS, Rotary International, MAVSO Intl, Shadow Intl., and some regional and local organizations.

In order to typify the ‘difference’ introduced thereupon, an opinion poll was customizedly commissioned in hard-hit areas, in order to have the affectees their own say for— ‘who did what for them’—- that brought some meant-content for them in the aftermaths of the crucial most catastrophe.

The outcome of ‘Tsunami Opinion Polls’, coupled with inter-institutional and academic consensus, evoked the unanimity in lieu of a historic resolution for instituting KAKHTAH multiversity medal, named after those who became responsible for bringing forth some real ‘difference’ during the hard test of human solidarity, through their meritorious renderings.

“‘The highest impact factor (IF), particularly in DRR perspectives, is the actual ‘On-ground IF’ of the ‘Humanitarian et Meritorious’ renderings—-which do speak for themselves and, deservedly worth to be solidified in history archives’ testimonials for the centuries and generations to come” the UNESCO-SAARC HFA Confluence IDDR-2014, hereby adopts the resolution and acclaims under the UN resolutions and conventions on the subject, entailing the DRR/HFA, for posthumously instituting a multiversity ‘KAKHTAH’ scholarship medal for outstanding doctoral and post-doctoral research studies on DRR”, says HFA-DRR Manifesto 2014 .

The multiversity ‘KAKHTAH’ scholarship gets its standing-ovation to be named after two institutional entities and two individuals; 1- Kofi Annan – the former UN secretary general, who paid prompt visits in far-remote affected areas with an aim to have a first-hand knowledge of the ground situation. He himself prompted for the actual circumstantial state-of-affairs, instead of relying on the executive summaries—rightly setting a new custom and tradition in the hierarchical pyramids, 2- Helen Keller Intl- a US based international organization that immediately incited the emergency humanitarian services in Tsunami’s Indonesia’s hardest-hit regions, saving the lives where needed right by the moment of need, 3- Tzu-chi Intl- a multi-regional NGO from Taiwan, having one of the largest networks with representations and physical presence in almost all continents throughout the world, whose volunteers remained on-board for over three years for long-term Tsunami relief works, 4- Aurangzeb Hafi- an independent multi-disciplinary arch-researcher and philanthropist from Pakistan, who foremostly conceptualized, directed, and almost single-handedly kept-paced all major research projects concerning the disability related constituencies and ivories during Tsunami. On account of ‘disability inclusiveness’ trend-settings, Prof. Hafi can justly and righteously be credited for pioneering the cutting-edge concepts of pre-birth multiple disabilities risk assessment, embryonic toxicity and teratogenic proneness factor analysis among pregnant women and the disability+pregnancy inclusive special protocols in cataclysmic emergencies and DRR modus of executional frameworks.

The new-fangled scholarship medal is proclaimed to be bestowed onto an entire-some accretion of over 1900 global academic ivories. The medal escorted with a 2.7 Million GBP scholarship, would be bequeathed on a biennium basis, for estimable post-doctoral research works of deservingly significant virtues, in the areas of disaster management, catastrophic policy lay-outs, cataclysmic forecasting and calamity prevention methodologies.

The seven members conferring jury for KAKHTAH medal, that includes national and regional academic celebrities, would be chaired by Justice(R) S.S. Paru, L.L.D., D.Litt., from Indonesia. Sri Lanka’s ombudsman Dr. Wickrema Weerasooria, who had been Sri Lankan High Commissioner in New Zealand and Australia, and has served federal and state ministries in various capacities for over fifteen years would be serving as the senior assessor of jury. The jury would take all noteworthy research works of relevance into deliberations on a biennium basis, in order to subjugate scholarship worthiness of the research.
Special annotation notes of thanks have been made to the Government of Sri Lanka, for the approval of conceding a three-days KAKHTAH-DRR postal stamp, and establishing a KAKHTAH Tsunami Forecasting Centre, in the names of benevolent stalwarts.

Special acknowledgements, on account of furthering the DRR goals in HFA and Post-HFA perspectives, were made for the International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN, which helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges.

On the occasion of IDDR 2014, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a message highlighting the relevance of including elderly people in disaster reduction: “When a natural disaster hits, older persons suffer disproportionately high levels of death and injuries. This tragic trend must be reversed… Disaster planning must take account of the reduced mobility experienced by many older persons. The needs of older persons should also be taken into account in early warning systems, social protection mechanisms, evacuation and emergency response plans, and public awareness campaigns…On this International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, let us remind ourselves that building Resilience to disasters has no time limit in one’s life; it starts in youth and grows more important as we age.”

Dr Rick Brennan, WHO’s Director of Emergency Risk Management and Humanitarian Response, said that, “We’re seeing a proliferation of many different types of crises in recent years,”. “…..Hard experience shows us that older persons aren’t receiving the care and support they require. This issue needs stronger action”, mentioned further the WHO’s Director.

In a keynote message for 2014-IDDR, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response Kristalina Georgieva, seized the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) as an opportunity to reflect on the risks and dangers in one’s community. “We must not forget the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. They are often most exposed to disasters and suffer the most from their consequences,” she said in her note on IDDR.

UNISDR Head, Margareta Wahlström, said: “The older person is often invisible in our communities until they show up in the mortality figures after a disaster event. Demographic change means we are living in an ageing world. It is important to include older persons in disaster management for both their improved protection and to make full use of their experience, skills and knowledge in support of that.

“The world needs to become more acutely aware of how to protect older persons as the climate changes and the ageing population is exposed to more extreme events. For instance, thousands of people die every year in heat waves and older persons living in poverty are among the most vulnerable. Inclusion of their needs and social protection measures are vital to the success of disaster management in the years ahead.”

HelpAge International’s Chief Executive, Toby Porter, said, “Older people bear the initial brunt of disasters often because they cannot flee”.”The mental fall-out from disasters is huge. Older women and men are ready to help others but are often too proud to help themselves.”

Toby Porter described further that “To turn this around, governments and disaster management agencies need to address older people’s vulnerabilities and tap into the years of experience, knowledge and skills that they bring to help reduce the effects of disasters.”

The Canadian Minister Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, acknowledging the United Nation’s IDDR, stated that, “The International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) highlights the importance of including all members of society in taking action to reduce the risk of disasters.
“The theme for this year’s IDDR is ‘Resilience is for Life.’ Resilience means the capacity of all citizens to cope and recover during an emergency. This year, the IDDR campaign focuses on engaging seniors in disaster risk reduction efforts”……”From the tragedy at Lac-Mégantic, to the recent floods in Alberta, Manitoba, Northern Ontario and New Brunswick, Canadians know all too well that disasters can have devastating effects on our communities. The tragic fire at L’Isle-Verte seniors’ residence in early 2014 demonstrates the importance of addressing the needs of vulnerable populations in emergency planning”.

According to the world statistics, there are some 868 million people aged over 60 – that’s 12% of the global population. By 2050, it is estimated that there will be nearly as many people aged 60 or over as children under 15: 2.02 billion compared with 2.03 billion, according to the world statistics.

The statistics-based, facts correspondingly invoke the irrepressible essentiality of a mandatory and obligatory call for disasters’ preparedness at all levels, i.e. the governments, the NGOs, the private sectors and the public segments, all have to step up for an ‘Integrative Preparedness’ for Disasters Risk Reduction (IP-DRR). The IP-DRR’s cross-disciplinary and cross-sectorial model of disasters management, was first conceptualized and introduced by an independent Pakistani multi-disciplinary researcher Professor Qadhi Aurangzeb Hafi, who foremostly brought forth and orchestrated the concepts of ‘disability-inclusive and pregnancy-inclusive protocols’ in disasters management policy frameworks, during the first epidemiological assessment appraisals of Tsunami 2004. Now the IP-DRR modus-operandi has become recognized internationally to be formally adopted as a principal operative modality for Post-Hyogo Framework of Action, by the UNESCO-SAARC Initiatives for Disasters Risk Reduction.

IDDR celebrations that ended up by the concluding term of UNESCO-SAARC DRR Confluence by 11/10/2014, consisted of 23 formal academic sessions, over 67 workshops and 49 high-level round the table panel discussions.

Well-attended by the academic luminaries across the planet, IDDR-2014 celebrations embraced more than 3000 policy papers on disasters management policy frameworks. The research précis of policy frameworks are primed for UN-HFA and other segments of relevance.

References & Related Links:
www.unisdr.org/2014/iddr
www.preventionweb.net
www.narri-bd.org
http://www.iucn.org
www.unesco-saarc-drr.org

For more information on this press release visit: http://www.abnewswire.com/pressreleases/first-mdgs-multiversity-medal-hallmarked-by-the-united-nations-iddrwsdpd-convergent-celebrations-2014_19069.html

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Paul G. Allen Extends Tackle Ebola Effort to Address Plight of Children Orphaned by Ebola

Largest Private Grant to Save the Children Will Provide Urgent Care for Orphans in Liberia

Gift Is Part of $100 Million Commitment to Fight Ebola Crisis

SEATTLE, Nov. 13, 2014 — Philanthropist Paul G. Allen today announced a multi-million dollar grant aimed at addressing one of the most tragic outcomes of the Ebola crisis in Liberia: the care of children orphaned by the virus. According to UNICEF, at least 3,700 children in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have lost one of their parents to Ebola so far this year. The challenges facing these orphans will impact their young lives for decades.

Mr. Allen is committing $6.6 million to support Save the Children’s efforts to provide health care, comfort and education to Liberia’s children. The funding also covers community awareness programs aimed at preventing further spread of the virus. The grant is part of Paul G. Allen’s commitment to funding at least $100 million in programs to tackle the Ebola crisis. Mr. Allen’s grant is the largest private donation Save the Children has received for its Ebola response to date.

Children are experiencing family member losses and separation at an alarming rate as their parents are admitted for treatment. Many are confined to their homes; yet others, while having survived the virus, are left without possessions or shelter. These young victims of the Ebola crisis often end up alone and ostracized by their communities who remain fearful of infection.

Save the Children has had a strong program presence in West Africa for more than 20 years. They quickly began mobilizing a response to the Ebola outbreak in Liberia to reach children and adults. Mr. Allen’s grant will advance the following actions in Liberia:

  • The protection of vulnerable children affected by Ebola: Mr. Allen’s support will help protect Ebola impacted children from abuse, exploitation, violence and neglect. Psychological and psychosocial treatment will be offered, and family tracing and reunification services will be provided for those orphaned. There will also be follow up on the placement of children to ensure their well-being.
  • The implementation of emergency education programs: According to UNICEF, Ebola-related school closures in Liberia have left nearly one million school-aged children without a structured learning program. Save the Children will initiate emergency education programs and adapt their proven literacy and numeracy education packages to help communities support children’s learning. These programs will continue after schools reopen, ensuring a longer-lasting impact.

In addition, radio-based education programming will enable students to learn while schools remain closed. Home-learning programming will provide psychological support and hygiene messaging to prevent the spread of the virus.

  • Support Ebola Community Care Centers: Save the Children is constructing and operating Ebola Community Care Centers to provide “close to the community” care. They will convert existing spaces in affected communities to facilities to be used to isolate and observe and provide services for suspected, probable and confirmed Ebola cases. The centers are expected to reduce the burden on Ebola treatment units by providing essential help in the form of equipment and supplies, and to construct, manage and operate additional centers. The first center will open this week in Liberia with a total of ten opening in the next two months.
  • Increased community awareness activities: Effective communication is crucial to stopping the spread of Ebola. Mr. Allen’s donation will fund an increase in community awareness and sensitization activities across Liberia. This will entail media engagement for people near Ebola Treatment Units and Ebola Care Centers. Additionally, Save the Children is working with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education in Liberia to ensure Ebola prevention materials are available in the schools that remain open.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Liberia has been the country most affected by the current Ebola outbreak. WHO reports that as of November 5, 2014, Liberia has recorded 6,525 confirmed, probable, or suspected Ebola cases and 2,697 deaths from the virus.

To view video and photos from Save the Children’s work in West Africa please visit: http://www.tackleebola.com/toolkit-save-the-children.html.

Supporting Quotes:

“The long term impact of Ebola will be severe unless we take the right steps,” said Mr. Allen. “We must focus on solutions that will build permanent infrastructure to provide lasting support for the people of West Africa. Children are the most vulnerable of this population and the work Save the Children is doing will provide critical care and education essential to ensuring a healthy future for these young victims of the crisis.”

“During my recent trip to Liberia, I saw firsthand the impact the deadly Ebola virus is having on children, families and communities,” said Carolyn Miles, president & CEO of Save the Children. “The daily increase in the number of orphans is particularly alarming. The support we receive from Mr. Allen will enable Save the Children to give more patients the immediate care they so desperately need, and can help to prevent the tragic loss so many families are experiencing.”​

Mr. Allen’s Contributions to Date:

From the early days of the outbreak, Mr. Allen and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation have focused on finding, funding and coordinating strategic solutions that address the most critical needs of those affected. Mr. Allen has also created TackleEbola.com to provide an easy way for individuals to contribute to specific organizations and fund critical response needs.

For more information and a complete list of Mr. Allen’s contributions, visit www.tackleebola.com and follow @TackleEbola and @PaulGAllen on Twitter or Facebook.

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Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Comcast NBCUniversal Announce Major Partnership and the Launch of the My.Future Technology Initiative

Partnership is Comcast NBCUniversal’s Largest with the Nonprofit; My.Future Provides Hands-On Technology Training to Equip Youth with Skills Needed to Succeed in Digital Age

ATLANTA & PHILADELPHIA – November 13, 2014Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and Comcast NBCUniversal announced today that they have entered into a five-year national partnership valued at tens of millions of dollars in cash and in-kind support. This is the largest partnership between Comcast NBCUniversal and BGCA and includes the launch of My.Future, a new technology initiative designed to teach Club members about our digital world and ignite their passion for technology.

Comcast NBCUniversal is the Presenting Sponsor of My.Future, which is available to the nearly 4 million youth served by more than 4,100 Boys & Girls Clubs. My.Future allows Club members to select from more than 40 activities that reinforce digital literacy, including areas of exploring the web, communicating with others digitally and building media. Additional experiences allow members to explore advanced topics, such as robotics, coding and game design. My.Future is part of BGCA’s Great Futures Campaign, launched in July to call attention to the crisis facing kids and elevate the role of out-of-school time in reversing negative trends and empowering more youth toward success through enriching after-school and summer programs.

is seen at , on Friday, April 4, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas

To celebrate this exciting announcement, Comcast NBCUniversal has renovated four Boys & Girls Clubs, located in Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, DC, with state-of-the-art technology that reflects today’s mobile environment, including computers, tablets, smartboards, digital cameras, music studio tools and video-editing technology. In addition to providing this new technology to each of these Clubs, the Comcast Foundation also provided on-site renovations, including new paint, furniture and structural repairs.

“Today’s young people are digital natives, born into a world where technology is ever-present and constantly changing. In order to ensure great futures for all our youth, it is our job to keep up to date with technology and make sure it reaches the communities that need it most,” said Jim Clark, president and CEO of BGCA. “Through our partnership with Comcast NBCUniversal, My.Future will give Club members the technology skills needed to pursue promising careers and thrive in today’s digital world.”

“We are proud to partner with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to teach youth about the endless possibilities that technology offers, while helping to bridge the digital divide,” said David L. Cohen, Executive Vice President, Comcast Corporation. “We have supported local Boys & Girls Clubs for nearly 15 years because they truly make a difference in the lives of children across the country, inspiring youth to reach their full potential through hands-on programs that encourage children to explore and innovate.”

Additionally, through the new partnership, Comcast will provide in-kind support that will include national airtime for BGCA’s public service announcements to communicate the benefits Boys & Girls Clubs provide to youth most in need during out-of-school-time.

By partnering with BGCA, Comcast NBCUniversal is harnessing the power of technology and the Internet to expand digital literacy and help conquer the digital divide. Since 2011, Comcast and the Comcast Foundation have dedicated more than $200 million in cash and in-kind support to fund digital readiness initiatives nationwide, reaching more than 1.75 million people through non-profit, digital literacy partners, including Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

According to STEMConnector.org, STEM jobs in the U.S. are expected to grow nearly twice as fast as other fields by 2018. There will be more than 8 million STEM jobs in the U.S. by 2018, but 3 million of them may go unfilled because of a lack of people with required skills. The project-based learning experiences that are a part of My.Future will introduce more young people to STEM-related activities to help address this large, unmet need.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America

For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,100 Clubs serve nearly 4 million young people annually through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun, friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at http://www.bgca.org/facebook and http://bgca.org/twitter.

About Comcast Corporation

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is a global media and technology company with two primary businesses, Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet and phone provider to residential customers under the XFINITY brand and also provides these services to businesses. NBCUniversal operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures and Universal Parks and Resorts. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.

About the Comcast Foundation

The Comcast Foundation was founded by Comcast Corporation in June 1999 to provide charitable support to qualified non-profit organizations. The Foundation primarily invests in programs intended to have a positive, sustainable impact on their communities. The Foundation has three community investment priorities—promoting service, expanding digital literacy, and building tomorrow’s leaders. Since its inception, the Comcast Foundation has donated more than $153 million to organizations in the communities nationwide that Comcast serves. More information about the Foundation and its programs is available at www.comcast.com/community.

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