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NEW YORK — Just in time for Black History Month, Verizon Thinkfinity has added a new feature highlighting free lesson plans, teacher resources and student activities to bring the inspiring stories of black leaders to life.

From the contributions of prominent leaders such as a W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington, to the advances brought about by black scientists, to the story of the Underground Railroad, Black History Month provides a tremendous opportunity for teachers to share these valuable lessons with their students.

The Verizon Thinkfinity Web site contains thousands of free, engaging educational resources that make learning fun. Lesson plans, in-class activities and homework help can be found quickly and searched by grade level, keyword or subject.

Among the resources included in the Verizon Thinkfinity feature for Black History Month, which is observed in February, are:

Martin Puryear’s “Ladder for Booker T. Washington”: In this resource from the National Endowment for Humanities’ Edsitement, students examine Puryear’s “Ladder for Booker T. Washington” and learn about Washington’s life and explore the African-American experience through Washington’s perspective.
Martin Luther King Teaching Resources: A set of social and behavioral science resources from the American Association for the Advancement’s Science Netlinks to celebrate King’s work and legacy.
Science Update, Spotlight on African-American Scientists: In this series of 60-second audio podcasts from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, students can hear African-American scientists talk about their work in the fields of science, technology, engineering and medicine.
National Geographic Underground Railroad: In this interactive online activity from National Geographic, students take part in an online journey through the eyes of a slave selecting different paths or answers that will lead him or her to freedom, or back to the plantation.
• W.E.B. Du Bois: The University of Massachusetts at Amherst is digitizing an estimated 100,000 works by W.E.B. Du Bois. Once complete, the Verizon Foundation-funded project will include more than 4,000 articles, essays and books, as well as correspondence with historical figures such as Albert Einstein and Mohandas Gandhi. A link to the University’s online Du Bois collection is included in the Thinkfinity Black History Month feature.

“Black History Month presents a tremendous opportunity for teachers to raise awareness of the valuable lessons of black history,” said Verizon Foundation President Patrick Gaston. “Through Verizon Thinkfinity, teachers will have easy access to dynamic educational resources to bring these valuable lessons to life.”

Content for Verizon Thinkfinity is provided through a partnership between the Verizon Foundation and 11 of the nation’s leading organizations in the fields of education and literacy: the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Council for Economic Education, International Reading Association, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, National Center for Family Literacy, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Council of Teachers of English, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, National Geographic Society, ProLiteracy and the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

The Verizon Foundation supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its free educational Web site, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence. In 2009, the Verizon Foundation awarded more than $67.5 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad. It also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in an additional $26.1 million in combined contributions to nonprofits. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation’s largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 5 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit Verizon Foundation.

Media contact:
Brian C. Malina
908-559-6434
brian.c.malina@verizon.com

NEW YORK – The Verizon Foundation and Verizon employees have pledged more than $600,000 in donations to support earthquake-relief efforts in Haiti. In addition, Verizon Wireless customers have pledged more than $6 million to the American Red Cross’ relief efforts in the country.

Of the $600,000, more than $500,000 has been raised through the Verizon employee disaster-relief matching-gift program. Under the program, the Verizon Foundation is matching employee donations dollar for dollar, up to $1,000 per employee, to two nonprofit organizations, World Vision and Food for the Poor, that are providing aid in Haiti.

In addition, the Verizon Foundation has awarded grants of $50,000 each to World Vision and Food for the Poor.

“Verizon employees have a long tradition of mobilizing quickly to assist communities in need,” said Verizon Foundation President Patrick Gaston. “We are proud that so many Verizon employees and customers have come forward to assist the people of Haiti in this time of great need.”

Text ‘HAITI’ to 90999 to aid Red Cross Relief Efforts

Verizon Wireless customers can aid American Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti by texting “HAITI” to 90999 to donate $10 from their personal phones. Verizon Wireless is waiving the text-messaging fees, and 100 percent of each $10 donation goes to the Red Cross.

Verizon Wireless customers have pledged more than $6 million to the American Red Cross through texting. Verizon Wireless has already transmitted more than $2.9 million in pledges to the Red Cross, representing all of those made by Jan. 15.

Verizon Wireless also opened a Haiti Relief Connection Center in Miami to help the local Haitian-American community connect with family and friends in Haiti, and Verizon is helping to set up emergency communications services there.

In addition, Verizon Wireless has provided 50 pallets of supplies to American Red Cross Disaster Services and free cell phone memory cards/SIM cards to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The Verizon Foundation supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its free educational Web site, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence. In 2009, the Verizon Foundation awarded more than $67.5 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad. It also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in an additional $24.4 million in combined contributions to nonprofits. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation’s largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 5 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org

Contact:
Brian C. Malina
Verizon Media Relations
908-559-6434
Brian.c.malina@verizon.com

MOUNTAIN VIEW — Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund will now match an additional $50,000 in donations to help Haiti and its people recover from the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake.

The new matching challenge, provided by The Lieve Roelandt Foundation, a donor advised fund of Silicon Valley Community Foundation, means that up to $100,000 in donations to Haiti quake relief will be matched, dollar for dollar.

The first $50,000 match, provided by the Irene S. Scully Fund, was met in less than 24 hours.

Roelandt’s gift ensures that additional contributions from other donors, corporations and the community will also be matched. For every dollar raised, $2 will be sent to organizations working to provide critical assistance to help Haiti following the worst earthquake there in more than 200 years.

Roelandt said she hopes the response to her matching challenge will be as swift as the response was to the initial challenge from the Irene S. Scully Fund.

“I am pleased that our donors have shown such great leadership and generosity. They sparked the creation of this fund to help Haiti in the wake of this enormous human tragedy,” said Emmett D. Carson, Ph.D., CEO and president of the community foundation. “We have received donations both large and small. We’ve heard from students in our region who want to help by pooling small contributions and from donors who want to make large gifts. As a center for philanthropy, we are pleased to help those who want to give at this time.”

In addition to creating the matching fund and extending the impact of individual donations, community foundation staff have researched organizations on the ground in Haiti that are best positioned to provide effective assistance. The community foundation has contributed $10,000 to the fund.

To donate online to the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund, go to www.siliconvalleycf.org and click on Donate Now. Those interested in making a donation can also email donate@siliconvalleycf.org or call 650.450.5444. Checks also can be mailed to Silicon Valley Community Foundation, 2440 West El Camino Real, Suite 300, Mountain View, CA, 94040, attn: “Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund.”

About Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Silicon Valley Community Foundation is a catalyst and leader for innovative solutions to our region’s most challenging problems. Serving all of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, the community foundation has more than $1.5 billion in assets under management and 1,500 philanthropic funds. The community foundation provides grants through donor advised and corporate funds in addition to its own Unrestricted Endowment Fund. The community foundation serves as a regional center for philanthropy, providing donors simple and effective ways to give locally and around the world. Find out more at www.siliconvalleycf.org

CONTACT:
Rebecca Salner
Vice President, Marketing and Communications
650.450.5525 or rsalner@siliconvalleycf.org

Genocide Prevention: On the Air and On the Ground

Posted by Press Release On January - 15 - 2010

January 15, 2010, New York — The Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR) launches its mission of genocide prevention into the New Year with two upcoming events.

Next Friday, Jan. 22, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., AIPR director Tibi Galis will be on the WBAI radio show “Ethics on the Air” to talk about the inspiring success of the AIPR’s most recent genocide prevention training, held in Auschwitz, Poland. He will also take calls from listeners. Tune in live at 99.5 FM, or on the Web at stream.wbai.org.

Next, on Monday, Feb. 1, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., at the Center for Jewish History, the AIPR cosponsors “Diplomacy and Genocide: Challenges for the Future”, a panel discussion of diplomatic approaches to the prevention of genocide. Featuring Ileka Atoki, UN Ambassador for Congo DRC; Francis Deng, UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide; Moné Dye, First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of South Africa to the UN; Stephen Rapp, US Ambassador at-Large on War Crimes Issues; Joe Mellot, Public Diplomacy, US Department of State; Renee Jones-Bos, Dutch Ambassador to the US, former Dutch Ambassador-at-Large for Human Rights. The Center for Jewish History is located at 15 West 16th St., between Fifth and Sixth Ave. in Manhattan.

AIPR is a nonprofit organization that seeks to prevent genocide by building a worldwide community of policy makers with the tools and the commitment to stop it before it occurs.

Contact:
Alex Zucker
Communications and Development Officer
Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation
870 Fifth Avenue, Suite 9H
New York, NY 10065
212 794 9760 (tel.)
212 794 9796 (fax)
pr@auschwitzinstitute.org
www.auschwitzinstitute.org

Be sure to check out The Daily Tell’s exclusive interview with Tibi Galis and Alex Zucker.

Community Foundation Donor to Match Haiti Quake Relief Contributions

Posted by Press Release On January - 14 - 2010

MOUNTAIN VIEW — The Irene S. Scully Fund, a donor advised fund of Silicon Valley Community Foundation, will provide up to $50,000 in matching donations to help Haiti and its people recover from the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake.

Through the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund at the community foundation, gifts from other donors, corporations and the community will be matched dollar for dollar. That means that for every dollar given, $2 will be sent to organizations working to provide critical assistance to help Haiti following the worst earthquake there in more than 200 years.

The community foundation on Wednesday became the first to contribute to the fund, making a $10,000 donation.

Kathleen Maloney, a spokeswoman for the Irene S. Scully Family Foundation in Greenbrae, said that the foundation focuses primarily on the Bay Area but became interested in Haiti through its work with the What If? Foundation.

“Of course there is immediate need in Haiti. But the needs in Haiti go so far beyond immediate,” said Maloney. “Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a tragedy to highlight needs that have existed for some time. I hope this provides an opportunity for us to help Haiti now and in the long term.”

Maloney said she was pleased to partner with the community foundation and to quickly help leverage donations.

“In the wake of this enormous human tragedy, it is our responsibility as a center of philanthropy to be a role model for those who want to help,” said Emmett D. Carson, Ph.D., CEO and president of the community foundation. “We know that this disaster, in one of the world’s most impoverished nations, will motivate many in Silicon Valley to give. We want to help channel that generosity.”

In addition to creating the matching fund and extending the impact of individual donations, community foundation staff immediately researched organizations that were on the ground in Haiti and best positioned to provide effective assistance.

“Our donors, much like the region we live in, have global connections and global interests,” said Carson. “At times like these, it is the responsibility of those of us in one of the world’s wealthiest nations to give what we can.”

To donate online to the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund, go to www.siliconvalleycf.org and click on Donate Now. Those interested in making a donation can also email donate@siliconvalleycf.org or call 650.450.5444. Checks also can be mailed to Silicon Valley Community Foundation, 2440 West El Camino Real, Suite 300, Mountain View, CA, 94040, attn: “Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund.”

About Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Silicon Valley Community Foundation is a catalyst and leader for innovative solutions to our region’s most challenging problems. Serving all of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, the community foundation has more than $1.5 billion in assets under management and 1,500 philanthropic funds. The community foundation provides grants through donor advised and corporate funds in addition to its own Unrestricted Endowment Fund. The community foundation serves as a regional center for philanthropy, providing donors simple and effective ways to give locally and around the world. www.siliconvalleycf.org.

Foundation Accepting Donations for Haiti Earthquake Relief

Posted by Press Release On January - 14 - 2010

VENICE, FL (January 14, 2010) – Gulf Coast Community Foundation of Venice is accepting donations to help victims of the devastating earthquake in Haiti.

Donors may contribute to the Foundation’s Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund online at gulfcoastcf.org. All contributions will be directed to responsible organizations that are providing immediate relief in the earthquake-stricken nation.

“Generous members of our community have responded instantly to disasters in our own region, and we know that many want to support this international relief effort,” said Teri A Hansen, president and CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation. “Our Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund gives them a quick and efficient way to assist the rescue and recovery efforts in Haiti.”

For donors who would like to contribute directly to relief agencies, the Foundation also has provided access to a list of direct links at gulfcoastcf.org.

Gulf Coast Community Foundation of Venice builds strong communities through leadership, partnership, and endowed philanthropy. A public charity committed to improving the quality of life in the communities it serves, it is the largest community foundation in Florida. The Foundation was founded in late 1995 and has awarded more than $93 million in grants in the areas of arts and culture, health and human
services, education, civic affairs, and the environment.

The Board of the Foundation envisions a region known for endowed philanthropy, a vital nonprofit community, and the ability to address
emerging issues.

For more information about the Foundation, visit gulfcoastcf.org .

Henry Kravis Prize in Leadership Awarded to Pratham

Posted by Press Release On January - 14 - 2010

India’s largest educational nonprofit impacts more than 34 million children

Claremont, Calif., January 13, 2010-Claremont McKenna College (CMC) announced today the selection of Pratham, India’s largest educational nonprofit organization, as the recipient of the fifth annual Henry Kravis Prize in Leadership. The Henry Kravis Prize, which carries a $250,000 award designated to the recipient organization, recognizes extraordinary leadership in the nonprofit sector.

Pratham improves educational access and educational quality for children in India. The Henry Kravis Prize will be presented to the organization’s representatives at ceremonies on March 23 in New York City.

“Pratham embodies the leadership and entrepreneurial spirit that Claremont McKenna College imparts to its students each year,” said Henry Kravis. “Pratham’s work is making a difference in the lives of millions of children. Their approach to improving educational quality is targeted, cost-effective, and sustainable.”

Founded in 1994, Pratham strives to improve the quality of education for India’s most vulnerable children. Read India, Pratham’s flagship program, works with governments and communities to improve the reading, writing, and basic arithmetic skills of children ages 6-14. The program has reached approximately 34 million children to date, resulting in large-scale improvements in literacy levels across several states in India.

“Every child has the right to learn to read,” said Dr. Madhav Chavan, Pratham’s Co-founder and C.E.O. “One of the great joys of our work is seeing children read their first words and open their eyes to the power of words. We believe in the power of literacy to transform lives.”

Pratham’s additional programs include preschools and libraries; training of teachers, volunteers, and government officials; rehabilitation and education of vulnerable and working children; early childhood care and education; and computer and English literacy. These programs reach over one million children each year. Pratham Books develops and publishes low-cost books in 11 Indian languages. In addition to these programs, Pratham implements and oversees the largest evaluation study of children’s learning levels in India and publishes the results in the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), which is used widely by governments, education policymakers, academics, and other nonprofits.

“Every year we look for nonprofits that achieve sustainable and significant impact among their target communities,” continued Henry Kravis. “By collaborating closely with government and local communities Pratham has shown tremendous results and improved millions of children’s lives.”

Established in 2006, The Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership recognizes and celebrates extraordinary accomplishment and bold leadership in the nonprofit sector. The Kravis Prize is presented and administered by Claremont McKenna College and Marie-Josée Kravis and Henry Kravis. Mrs. Kravis, an economist, is a Senior Fellow of the Hudson Institute; Mr. Henry Kravis, founding partner of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., is an alumnus and trustee of CMC.

Kravis Prize Background

The Kravis Prize Selection Committee, chaired by Marie-Josée Kravis, includes: Harry McMahon, CMC alumnus and chair of the Claremont McKenna College Board of Trustees, and executive vice chairman, Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Amartya Sen, Nobel Laureate in economics and the Thomas W. Lamont University Professor, Harvard University; Lord Jacob Rothschild, chairman, Rothschild Investment Trust Capital Partners; and James D. Wolfensohn, chairman, Wolfensohn & Company, L.L.C., and former president, The World Bank.

While the Prize typically recognizes an outstanding individual, in exceptional circumstances the Prize may be awarded to an organization. It is awarded annually based on nominations that are received from a group of confidential nominators. These nominators are selected on the basis of the breadth and depth of their knowledge of the nonprofit sector. Nominators are chosen internationally and from a variety of fields. Prize candidates may also be suggested by the public through the Henry Kravis Prize’s web site.

Nominations span a broad range of sectors, including economic development, public health, law/justice/human rights, education, and capacity building in the nonprofit sector as a whole. Selection criteria include boldness, innovation, creativity, consistency, persistence, and effectiveness in bringing a vision to fruition. Nominees are also evaluated based on their accomplishments in realizing the mission of an organization and demonstrating best practices in managing that organization.

The Prize is affiliated with The Kravis Leadership Institute (KLI), one of CMC’s ten distinguished research institutes. KLI advances the College’s mission of preparing students for responsible leadership in business, the professions, and public affairs through its academic research, model leadership development programs, broad leadership curriculum and systematic outreach efforts. Through these programs, the Center has become one of the most recognized leadership programs in higher education.

Past recipients of The Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership are: Roy Prosterman, the inaugural recipient (2006), founder of the Rural Development Institute; Fazle Abed (2007), founder of BRAC; the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) (2008); and Dr. Sakena Yacoobi (2009), founder of the Afghan Institute of Learning.

About Claremont McKenna College

Claremont McKenna College, established in 1946, is among the highest-ranked and most selective liberal arts colleges in the nation. CMC excels in preparing students for leadership through the liberal arts in business, the professions, and public affairs. The College is home to more than 130 accomplished teacher-scholars who are dedicated to teaching and to offering unparalleled opportunities for student collaboration in the research process. Enrolling approximately 1,200 students in 2009, CMC launched the Robert Day Scholars Program and added a Master of Arts in Finance degree. CMC combines highly-selective admission, need-blind financial aid, innovative programs, a 9-to-1 student-faculty ratio, ten research institutes, the impact of the seven-member Claremont College Consortium, and a strong and committed network of alumni, to educate its graduates for a lifetime of leadership.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Claremont McKenna College
Richard Rodner – (909) 607-9099, (310) 422-5011, richard.rodner@cmc.edu

Dorothy Buchanan – (909) 621-8582, (909) 477-9764, dorothy.buchanan@cmc.edu

400 North Claremont Blvd., Claremont, CA 91711
www.cmc.edu
www.cmc.edu/kravisprize

Dorothy Buchanan
Claremont McKenna College
Media Relations Specialist
400 N. Claremont Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711
Office Phone: (909) 621-8582
Mobile Phone: (909) 477-9764
Fax: (909) 621-8100
dorothy.buchanan@claremontmckenna.edu
www.claremontmckenna.edu

GEMSCD3c

Renowned recording artists SINEAD O’CONNOR and MARY J. BLIGE have joined forces for a remake of O’Connor’s 1996 song, ‘This is To Mother You’ to bring awareness to the issues of child sex trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of American girls. The song was recorded as an outreach and benefit tool for GEMS (Girls Educational and Mentoring Services) and its Girls are Not For Sale campaign. GEMS is the nation’s largest non-profit organization designed to empower American girls and young women, ages 12-21, who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking.

The updated version of “This is To Mother You” was produced by Martin “Doc” McKinney (Sting, Alice Smith, Esthero) and Ali Shaheed Muhammad (A Tribe Called Quest, Lucy Pearl) with supervising producer Paul Heck (Red Hot).

“I am moved by the really important work that GEMS is doing,” says O’Connor, who has consistently used her voice to advocate against injustices impacting children. “I was delighted to contribute my song to the campaign if it can help and inspire women and children to feel safe.” O’Connor recorded at Dublin’s legendary Windmill Lane Studios (also dubbed ‘the U2 Studio’).

Mary J. Blige, who was invited to participate by O’Connor, recorded at Germano Studios in New York City alongside newcomer and GEMS member, MARTHA B. “When I read the lyrics to ‘This is to Mother You’ I really fell in love with the song,” says Blige, who like most Americans was unaware of the prevalence of child sex trafficking stateside until her introduction to GEMS. “It describes how I feel about my work and how so many fans view me – as a mentor and a mother figure. It has always been my dream to be able to encourage women and let them know that if I can make it, they can make it too despite any physical and emotional abuses they may endure.”

“I’m honored that Sinead donated the song for our campaign,” adds Rachel Lloyd, Founder and Executive Director of GEMS and one of Ms. Magazine’s ’50 Women Who Change the World’. “To have artists of her and Mary’s caliber taking a stand and joining our campaign to promote girls empowerment and education as critical tools in the fight against child traffickers is incredible. It is even more special to have Martha, a GEMS member and survivor who I have known since she was 14, realize her dream and be included on this song.”

“This song is so true to GEMS and how it is impacted my life,” says Martha, now 21. “GEMS and Rachel have truly been a mother to me.” Martha is also featured in the critically acclaimed Showtime documentary, ‘Very Young Girls’ that follows thirteen and fourteen year old American girls served by GEMS as they struggle to overcome the trauma experienced at the hands of traffickers and pimps on the streets of New York. The film is currently available online and on DVD at Netflix.com.

“There’s so much in this song that speaks to the way we feel about the young women and girls we serve at GEMS especially in terms of being protective and supportive towards them,” says Lloyd, a survivor of commercial sexual exploitation as a teen in Europe. “It is also speaks to the way we feel they should be treated by society in general. They should be protected and not sold.”

“This Is to Mother You” is available for purchase online at major retailers and at www.gems-girls.org.

For more information about GEMS: www.gems-girls.org.
For more information about Sinead O’Connor: www.sineadoconnor.com.
For more information about Mary J. Blige: www.mjblige.com.

Contact Information:
Muhammida El Muhajir
Media Relations
718.496.2305
muhammida@gems-girls.org

VENICE, FL (December 29, 2009) – Gulf Coast Community Foundation of Venice recently awarded more than $1.2 million in grants from its Florida BRAIVE Fund to seven nonprofit organizations that serve military personnel of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and their families. The funding supports everything from financial assistance for injured troops’ families to job training and counseling for returned veterans trying to reintegrate into their communities.

The following grant awards from the Foundation’s Florida BRAIVE Fund will help military personnel in central and southwest Florida and beyond:

* American Red Cross – Tampa Bay Chapter – $500,000 to provide assistance, including direct emergency financial relief, to soldiers and veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom and their families

* Florida National Guard Foundation – $243,792 to provide emergency financial assistance to personnel of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom

* Haley House Fund – $60,000 to provide temporary lodging to the families of active-duty military personnel being treated for life-threatening injuries and diseases at James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital and Polytrauma Unit in Tampa

* Operation Helping Hand – $50,000 to support and assist wounded or injured active-duty military patients being treated at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, and their visiting families. Support includes welcoming kits, monthly dinners, and day-to-day needs of patients, as well as air travel and other expenses for immediate family members who are visiting in Tampa.

* Seminole Behavioral Healthcare – $49,479 to provide treatment and early intervention services for troops with mental health or substance use issues

* State College of Florida Foundation – $219,775 to create a globally accessible, multimedia Web site to help veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families prepare for and access postsecondary education

* Welcome Home, Vets – $125,000 to provide counseling and other clinical services for returning veterans and their families, care packages to overseas troops, and outreach to improve community sensitivity to the needs of veterans

Since 2003, more than 1.8 million American troops have served in military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and thousands have been deployed multiple times. “We know the future is uncertain for our military heroes, even when they have returned home,” said Teri A Hansen, president and CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation. “The BRAIVE Fund is our signal to those men and women that we care and want to help them as much as we can.”

The $5-million Florida BRAIVE Fund at Gulf Coast Community Foundation was created in 2008 to assist military personnel and the families of military personnel who are serving or have served in Afghanistan and Iraq from a 25-county area in central and southwest Florida. The fund was established with a generous gift from the Iraq Afghanistan Deployment Impact Fund (IADIF) of the California Community Foundation.

The California Community Foundation has released a new report on the achievements of IADIF and the ongoing needs of our military community, which is available online at calfund.org.

For information about making a contribution to The Florida BRAIVE Fund, visit gulfcoastcf.org.

About Gulf Coast Community Foundation of Venice

Gulf Coast Community Foundation of Venice builds strong communities through leadership, partnership, and endowed philanthropy. A public charity committed to improving the quality of life in the communities it serves, it is the largest community foundation in Florida. The Foundation was founded in late 1995 and has awarded more than $93 million in grants in the areas of arts and culture, health and human services, education, civic affairs, and the environment. The Board of the Foundation envisions a region known for endowed philanthropy, a vital nonprofit community, and the ability to address emerging issues. For more information about the Foundation, visit gulfcoastcf.org.

Additional Media Contacts:
For more information on individual grant awards and the projects they support, please contact:

American Red Cross – Tampa Bay Chapter
Janet McGuire, Chapter Disaster Communications Officer
727.967.8351

Florida National Guard Foundation (St. Augustine)
Roger Williams, Executive Director
904.827.8519

Haley House Fund (Brandon)
Dave Braun, Director of Finance and Administration
813.310.8513

Operation Helping Hand (Tampa)
Captain Robert J. Silah, Chairman
813.963.1854

Seminole Behavioral Healthcare (Fern Park)
Laurie Reid, Director of Veteran Services
407.831.2411

State College of Florida Foundation (Bradenton)
Peg Lowery, Executive Director
941.752.5390

Welcome Home, Vets (Melbourne)
Colonel Nathan Thomas, Jr. (Retired), President
321.987.9181

UnitedProsperity.Org Launches Gift Certificates

Posted by Press Release On December - 22 - 2009

Another Step by a Person-To-Person Microloan Guarantee Organization to Combat Extreme Global Poverty

San Francisco, CA, December 21, 2009 – Unitedprosperity.org recently launched its gift certificate offering in time for the holiday season. These gift certificates allow individuals to invite their friends and loved ones to join a movement to combat extreme poverty.

UnitedProsperity.org gift certificates start at only $5 but have the capacity to improve the lives of many aspiring poor entrepreneurs living in developing countries. These gift certificates are not donations but micro-loan guarantees that are paid back upon loan repayment.

In a very simple to use interface and easily understood process with a few clicks, UnitedProsperity.org gift certificates can be purchased either with a PayPal account or a credit card. These gift certificates are sent to recipients via email who can redeem them and use the funds to guarantee loans to poor entrepreneurs or even donate funds to UnitedProsperity.org.

The gift certificate recipients can browse through the profiles of entrepreneurs looking for funding and select an entrepreneur that they would like to support. Not only does the gift certificate extend the connection between friends and family it also creates new connections between the gift certificate recipient and entrepreneur. One gift therefore creates more than one emotional connection and changes the life of someone living in extreme poverty.

Gift certificate recipients can change the lives of people like Farida Begam who recently applied for her microloan as a hardworking mother stitching school uniforms for a living. Without a loan, her enterprise required her daughter to work with her at home. Through UnitedProsperity.org and the generosity of individual guarantors, Farida was given a microloan that covered the cost of two new sewing machines and new hires that could help her with her work. Because of the increased income, she is now able to send her daughter to school. Like many of our other entrepreneurs, she hopes to apply for a larger loan after finishing repaying this one so she can expand her business even more.

About UnitedProsperity.org

Using an innovative ‘microloan guarantee’, non-profit UnitedProsperity.org revolutionizes giving to developing world entrepreneurs by enabling individual microlenders to nearly double the impact of their small contributions to fund the poorest entrepreneurs in the world. UnitedProsperity.org is the world’s first microloan guaranteeing website.

The mission of UnitedProsperity.org is to combat extreme global poverty by enabling entrepreneurs living in extreme poverty to access microloans so that these individuals and their families can invest in, and build their own small businesses, build assets and increase their income-earning capacity. UnitedProsperity.org supports entrepreneurs, mostly women, who are in extreme poverty, living on less than US $2/day.

UnitedProsperity.org is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, charitable organization. For more details please visit UnitedProsperity.org.

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