Charity Special Section

Charity:

Helping Others Girl Scouting Aiding Children Feeding 9 Billion People Childhood Obesity Cash Grants Fighting Hunger Breast Cancer Support

Paying Tribute On 9/11 By Helping Others

(NAPSI)-The anniversary of September 11 is a day of history, emotion and reflection for most Americans. Over the last nine years, this day has also come to symbolize the resilience, kindness and unity of our citizenship, inspired by the outpouring of goodwill throughout the nation in the months following the attacks. Americans pulled together in countless ways after 9/11 to help each other and revive our national spirit. And it is that spirit that infuses our remembrance of 9/11 each year and inspires us to serve our neighbors in our own communities every day.

September 11 is now a National Day of Service and Remembrance, a result of federal bipartisan legislation passed and signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2009. Establishing 9/11 as a National Day of Service was the culmination of years of work by the nonprofit MyGoodDeed, on behalf of many 9/11 family members and organizations that sought to create this forward-looking observance to forever remember the lives of those lost, pay tribute to the many who rose in service, and honor the brave soldiers who serve our country at home and abroad every day.

"Our ultimate goal is to establish a permanent legacy of service and compassion that will forever honor the 9/11 victims and heroes," said MyGoodDeed President David Paine. Paine founded the organization in 2002 with close friend Jay S. Winuk, the brother of 9/11 rescuer Glenn J. Winuk, an attorney, volunteer firefighter and EMT who died in the line of duty when the South Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed.

This year, the 9/11 Day of Service initiative is being promoted by a public-private partnership of organizations that includes the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), HandsOn Network, the National September 11 Memorial and Museum and MyGoodDeed.

"Through this effort, we hope to rekindle the spirit of unity and compassion that swept our nation after 9/11 to help meet the challenges we face today," said CNCS CEO Patrick Corvington.

MyGoodDeed has created a special website to support the new observance. Individuals are encouraged to visit http://911dayofservice.org and "adopt a cause" of their own choosing for 9/11. At the site, people can also post and share good deeds, and teachers can download education lesson plans about 9/11. Nonprofits can build profiles of their organizations and post volunteer opportunities.

Service opportunities about 9/11 are also available through the CNCS at http://serve.gov.

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What Did You Do Today?

(NAPSI)-So, what did you do today? If the answer is "fed the homeless," "provided expert testimony to congress," or "designed a national business plan," you might be an emerging world leader. Or you might be a 12-year-old Girl Scout.

After learning that people have a limited view of what Girl Scouts do, the 98-year-old Girl Scout organization has launched a campaign to show girls all the opportunities it offers today. Girl Scouts today build robots, go rock climbing, study fashion design, consult with the United Nations and meet with legislators to advocate for themselves and others.

• They use a brand new program to instill leadership skills and to help girls take action to make the world a better place. From the Girl Scout Brownie troop that convinced City Hall to install a sidewalk on a dangerous road, to the teen Girl Scouts who recycled hundreds of cell phones and batteries. And they tackle tough issues from cyberbullying to body image.

While cookies and camping will still be around, camping now also can mean Space Camp or Camp CEO, which teams girls with leading women executives from local businesses for a mentoring experience in a camp setting.

What Parents Can Do

Helping girls become leaders is all about increasing their confidence, which is the most important factor in whether girls decide to pursue leadership actively, according to a 2008 study from the Girl Scout Research Institute. Here are some tips from the Girl Scouts on fun ways parents can encourage leadership qualities:

• Talk with your daughter about the accomplishments of extraordinary people from history and about family members who showed leadership at crucial moments. Discuss the options they had and how making the right choice influenced others.

• Encourage girls to get involved in planning and overseeing family, school and/or community events.

• Give girls the opportunity to practice speaking in front of others. Only 24 percent of girls consider themselves a good speaker, according to Girl Scout research.

• Do your best to be an inspiring role model. Parents, especially mothers, are a primary influence on the lives of their daughters.

• Volunteer together. Girls especially are interested in making a difference in the world around them. Partner with your daughter to show your support for her desire and ability to change the world.

Learn More

To learn more about Girl Scouting and the "What Did You Do Today?" campaign, visit www.girlscouts.org or call (800) 478-7248.

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Aiding Americans With Autism

(NAPSI)-Research shows treatment in the form of early intervention services, such as therapy to help a child with autism communicate, learn and interact with others, can greatly improve the child's development. That's good news considering that a child is diagnosed with autism every 20 minutes. Autism has become the fastest-growing developmental disability in the world. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates as many as 1 in 110 children in the U.S. has autism--a developmental disability that significantly hinders social interaction, communication and behavior.

What To Watch For

Autism Spectrum Disorders tend to begin before the age of 3 and last a lifetime. Symptoms vary but can include:

• Not responding to their name by 12 months

• Not pointing at objects to show interest by 14 months

• Not playing "pretend" games by 18 months

• Avoiding eye contact and wanting to be alone

• Having trouble understanding other people's feelings or talking about their own feelings

• Getting upset by minor changes

• Having obsessive interests

• Having unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look or feel

All this can cause a high level of stress in a family--the average lifetime cost for caring for a child with autism is $3.5 million--so it's critical to not only help the child but to support the child's family as well.

To that end, Easter Seals has become one of the leading nonprofit service providers for children and adults living with autism and their families.

How You Can Help

Upload a photo of your child (age 5 or younger) to www.21centurychild.com along with an inspirational message. Then, post a link to the profile on your social network pages and encourage friends and family to make a donation to Act for Autism in your child's name. With a goal of raising $1 million through this 21st Century Child: Picture the Future campaign, Century 21 Real Estate LLC will donate $1 for each uploaded photo*. The biggest fundraiser wins a $2,100 Apple Gift Card. The next 6 fundraisers will receive an iPad.

All the money raised will help Easter Seals' Act for Autism provide families affected by autism with assistance, including emotional support for parents, equal access to treatment, and innovative coping strategies for children.

Learn More

To see the adorable pictures, get more information about autism or to join the campaign, visit www.21centurychild.com.

*Up to $100,000

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Helping America's Farmers Grow

(NAPSI)-With the world facing the challenge of feeding 9 billion people by 2050, equipping the future leaders of the agriculture industry is more important than ever.

That's why one leading agribusiness firm, Syngenta, is working with FFA (formerly Future Farmers of America) through a variety of scholarships, internships and mentorship opportunities to support education and career development of agriculture's next generation.

FFA is a dynamic youth organization offering agricultural education programs at middle and high schools. Today, student members are engaged in a wide range of activities, leading to over 300 career opportunities in agriculture. Surprising to many, only 27 percent of FFA members live in rural farm areas. More than a third live in urban and suburban areas, with chapters in such large cities as New York, Chicago and Philadelphia.

One way FFA helps its members is by providing valuable knowledge from sponsor companies. For example, Vern Hawkins, president of Syngenta Crop Protection in North America, who is also serving as chairman of the National FFA Sponsors' Board, suggests a few important actions students should take, as well as skills that will help them prepare for success.

"Pursuing opportunities to gain work experiences through internships with companies or industries you believe are interesting is invaluable. The work experience will strengthen the students' résumés and often improve their view of what work experience is most interesting to them. Taking the initiative to pursue leadership opportunities is also important."

He further advises upcoming or recent college graduates as they begin their careers: "Take the initiative to use your network and create opportunities to meet or connect with prospective employers. It's helpful to know what you're looking for in a prospective employer and what careers or positions you aspire to learn, but it is not necessary for you to be certain as you begin your career. It is important to be flexible and willing to pursue alternative positions if you believe they will still enable you to achieve your career goals. Also, willingness to relocate is an advantage that will help young graduates access more career opportunities and provide more personal and professional development.

"Self-motivation, integrity, willingness and ability to learn, communication and listening skills, composure and teamwork skills are capabilities new hires should work to develop and demonstrate to their employers."

Learn More

To learn about jobs, e-mail college.recruiting@syngenta.com. For facts on mentoring, internships and scholarships, e-mail young.leaders@syngenta.com. For further information, visit www.syngenta.com or www.ffa.org or call (866) 796-4368.

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Playing Can Help Combat Childhood Obesity

(NAPSI)-Play is in peril. Play is quickly disappearing from our children's lives, and it's taking a toll on the health and happiness of our children, our families and our communities. Today, children spend less time playing outdoors than those in any other generation, spending instead an average of 7.5 hours a day in front of a screen.

Lack of play is directly linked to increased childhood obesity--one of the main issues facing the younger generation today. The White House Childhood Obesity Task Force recently issued a report with recommendations on how to "solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation." Physical activity and play were cited as key elements. Lack of play is also linked to a decrease in creativity, imagination, problem-solving skills, resiliency and an increase in classroom behavior problems.

Play Matters!

"Play is inherently active and is a long-term, preventative measure for obesity. Kids who play are less likely to develop obesity-related problems. Play is also a critical factor for improving attention, attitudes, creativity, memory and so many other vital learning skills," said Darell Hammond, CEO and Co-Founder of KaBOOM!, the national nonprofit leading the movement to save play. "We want to restore a culture of play so that playing and being active are a natural part of our lives."

Saving Play!

For 15 years, KaBOOM! has led the effort to help save play by constructing innovative, kid-inspired play spaces, using a community-built model that improves the well-being of children as well as the neighborhoods in which they live. "Organizations such as KaBOOM! are necessary not just to the health of our children, but to the health of the entire nation," said first lady Michelle Obama in a speech at a KaBOOM! playground build in San Francisco.

Get Your Play On!

KaBOOM! offers resources to help communities become more playful:

• Support Your Local Playground--At playspacefinder.kaboom.org/, neighbors can connect, share, and discuss safety issues and favorite playgrounds.

• Plan a KaBOOM! Play Day--At playday.kaboom.org, communities can organize fun field-day events that get the whole family active and having fun.

• Build/Improve a Playground--To build a new playground or to give an existing playground some TLC, kaboom.org offers a free, interactive project planner that helps novices plan and execute playground builds and park improvement projects.

• Get a Ph.D. in Play--Playschool.kaboom.org offers free online training sessions with child development and play industry experts so that anyone can learn more about the importance of play.

"Without ample play we will continue to see a decrease in creativity, resiliency and imagination, as well as other vital life skills that help children learn more effectively in school and prepare them for a successful adulthood," added Hammond.

Celebrate Play!

Kids need the same opportunities to play that we had growing up. Take your kids to your local park or playground. Get a street blocked off for play or get everyone together to build a playground in your community. Join the movement to save play and help restore the health of our children.

For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.

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Doing Good With Wood

(NAPSI)-Men and women who do good rarely seek the spotlight. But one wood-finishing company would like to honor them with its 2010 Community Craftsman Awards.

Past winners include groups and individuals who built and donated wooden holiday toys, high-school students who built a new house for a low-income family, and a former homeless man who now mentors at-risk youths at his furniture repair and refinishing business.

Entry is open to anyone who "does good with wood" by engaging in activities that involve wood finishing. Prizes include cash grants of up to $5,000, a supply of Minwax products, and a consultation with DIY expert and author Bruce Johnson.

The submissions deadline is Dec. 31, 2010. Send a summary of the project to Minwax Community Craftsman Award, c/o Brushfire, Inc., 2 Wing Drive, Cedar Knolls, NJ 07927. Visit www.minwax.com for more information.

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What Others Are Doing--How You Can Help

(NAPSI)-In tough economic times, there are ways you can contribute to your community without turning to your wallet. Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation, suggests thinking strategically about how you can give back. She offers these tips to help:

• Focus on basic needs. Start by asking yourself, "What are the needs in my community?" According to the USDA, hunger rates in the U.S. are the highest that they have been since 1995, making hunger a major issue across the country. One in six Americans currently faces hunger, and 90 percent of food banks are reporting an increase in first-time clients. Knowing these increased rates, ask yourself, "What can I do to help?"

• Give your extra food. Scan your pantry to see if there are excess items that could be donated to your local food bank. If there is a good deal on canned foods at the grocery store, pick up a few extra cans to donate.

• Give your expertise. Giving your time and talent can be helpful to a charity, especially because lots of organizations are cutting staff to reduce overhead expenses. Find a volunteer opportunity that utilizes your expertise.

• Join with others. Include your kids in community projects. It can enhance a sense of family as well as community unity. Look for organizations that are already making a difference and join their efforts. For example, as the nation's largest grocer, Walmart associates have made working to combat hunger one of their top charitable-giving priorities. In its last fiscal year, Walmart and Sam's Club donated more than 127 million pounds of nutritious food including fresh fruits and vegetables to those in need. They fed 93,000 children across the U.S. through a summer feeding program and donated refrigerated trucks to dozens of food banks to increase efficiency. In a new initiative, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have committed $2 billion to help end hunger in the U.S. They will donate 1.1 billion pounds of food and give grants totaling $250 million to support hunger-relief programs through 2015. "We've challenged ourselves to look at ways to make a long-lasting impact in communities around the globe by funding programs that address critical needs," said Margaret McKenna. Walmart will help its U.S. associates and customers find opportunities to support food banks, meal delivery programs and other hunger-relief organizations. "Knowing that the need is great, we are urging people to volunteer or make a donation with a local food bank or hunger relief organization," said McKenna.

To learn more, go to www.walmart.com/fightinghunger.

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Finding Support For Women With Metastatic Breast Cancer

(NAPSI)-Facing a diagnosis of breast cancer can be terrifying for any woman. And that fear is compounded when the diagnosis is metastatic breast cancer--cancer that has spread beyond the breast. While there is no cure for metastatic breast cancer, it is treatable and today, more and more women are living longer, fuller lives with the disease.

Still many women with metastatic breast cancer can feel isolated and neglected by a lack of information geared toward the unique issues they face. They are not alone: In 2007, approximately 155,000 women in the United States were living with metastatic breast cancer and by 2011, that number is expected to increase to nearly 162,0001.

"Women living with metastatic disease have different psychosocial and medical concerns than women with other types of breast cancer," said Jean Sachs, CEO of Living Beyond Breast Cancer, a breast cancer organization that assists women at all stages of diagnosis, treatment and recovery. "She may not relate to the term 'survivor.' For women with metastatic breast cancer, the goal of treatment is to keep the disease under control for as long as possible while trying to enjoy the best possible quality of life."

Thankfully, the medical community and support organizations are turning their attention toward women living with metastatic breast cancer and offering their support.

"What a woman needs to know once she's been diagnosed with metastatic disease is that there are other people like her," said Ms. Sachs. "New programs and resources are cropping up to fill the information gap and provide critical support to patients and their loved ones. Programs like the Many Faces of Breast Cancer allow women to meet others who are facing the same issues they are, while learning more about living with this disease."

The Many Faces of Breast Cancer is an educational initiative that addresses the critical concerns of both the survivor community, including those with metastatic breast cancer disease. Sponsored by AstraZeneca, in partnership with cancer centers and breast cancer organizations nationwide, the Many Faces of Breast Cancer is connecting women with leading medical experts to address their unique needs. Through educational programs and events, these women and their loved ones are empowered with new information about breast cancer, treatment options, nutrition and diet, methods to help them cope with the disease, and more. Equally as important, the program connects these women with other local women living with metastatic disease.

The Many Faces of Breast Cancer is expanding its reach online, offering information, links, downloadable video and audio talks with leading breast cancer specialists and organizations, and announcements about upcoming educational events. To learn more about the Many Faces of Breast Cancer, visit www.Facebook.com/ManyFacesofBreastCancer. For information and support services for women with metastatic breast cancer, visit Living Beyond Breast Cancer at www.lbbc.org.

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Note to Editor: 1Data on File, 226478. AZPLP. Wilmington, DE.

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