Charity Section  








 
Online Fundraising

Science And Math Education

Exploring Chemistry Breast Cancer Survivors America's War Veterans Cold War Patriots Project Gemini Spirituality Faith And Religion

Charitable Giving Gets Easier

(NAPSI)—Even in these economic times, nearly eight out of 10 Americans want to keep up the tradition of giving to charity during the holiday season. The good news is that it is getting easier to support the cause of your choice with new options like online fundraising.

For example, one organization called Razoo.com provides anyone looking to create a fundraiser or donate to a charity with user-friendly online tools that encourage giving and make it easy to do. The site is revolutionizing philanthropy by helping donors and fundraisers alike experience the joy of giving and by making it easier for everyone to share their stories and their passions and raise money along the way.

By using the resources available on its website, you can set up a fundraiser in less than two minutes and, because there are no setup or monthly subscription fees, more of every dollar donated will go to charity.

Here are some hints to help you get started:

• Start early in the season to give your fundraiser time to gain momentum.

• Create seasonally themed events.

• Choose a cause to which friends and family can relate.

• Create excitement and involvement with regular updates and reminders.

• Do a traditional giving fundraiser or create your own custom one.

Holiday Fundraising

There are a number of ways to raise money for your favorite charity. For example, on Razoo you can offer to dye your hair pink for the yearly family photo if family members help you raise money for breast cancer research. Gather a group to host a gift-wrapping event for a new piece of playground equipment for school. Or challenge co-workers to a cookie-baking contest to support a food bank.

Donating Made Simple

If you’d rather donate to a cause, check out the more than a million officially registered nonprofit organizations at Razoo.com.

There, you can find and research nonprofit organizations, donate online, keep up to date about the world of giving and activism and manage your charitable portfolio online. All donations go through a registered 501©(3) entity and are tax deductible to the extent of the law. So far, the site has sent over $49 million to more than 7,000 projects, making a difference in lives and building a better world.

Learn More

You can find further information at www.razoo.com, www.facebook.com/RazooGiving, http://twitter.com#!/razoo and (866) 437-1952.

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Growth Starts At The STEM

(NAPSI)—To become more competitive in the all-important science and technology fields, today’s young people start at the “STEM”—Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education, that is.

This hot-button acronym has long been the hallmark of the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision program, the world’s largest K−12 annual science competition, celebrating 20 years of motivating students to excel in STEM.

Students work in teams of two to four to envision innovative and useful future technologies that could make the world a better place. The four first-place teams each get a $10,000 U.S. Savings Bond and second-place winners each receive a $5,000 bond.

More than 287,000 students have participated in ExploraVision, which is sponsored by Toshiba and administered by the National Science Teachers Association, and serves as an integral part of science curriculums in schools throughout the U.S. and Canada.

For an application, visit www.exploravision.org or e-mail to exploravision@nsta.org. Follow on Twitter @ToshibaInnovate and www.Facebook.com/ToshibaInnovation. The deadline is February 1, 2012.

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Helping More Children Enjoy Exploring Chemistry

(NAPSI)—The next time you enjoy a good meal, good health or a good time, chances are you can thank a chemist. This vital science plays an important part in nutrition, medicine and just about everything around you.

One way to show your gratitude may be to encourage kids to appreciate how much fun chemistry can be. To help, the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society, has come up with a couple of clever publications.

One, ChemMatters, is a magazine for high school students and it’s available at www.acs.org/chemmatters.

The other, Chemistry: Our Health, Our Future, is a newspaper for elementary school students available at www.acs.org/ncw, featuring many hands-on activities that highlight:

• Why eating well and staying active is important at any age;

• How medicines are created and how they work in your body;

• Why washing your hands properly is so important and how it can help you and others around you stay healthy.

This website also features fun and simple experiments children can do at home or in the classroom, including measuring how much sugar is in soda. Here’s how:

Sweet Measurements

Materials:

1 empty soda bottle or can with a “Nutrition Facts” label (8 or 12 oz., not diet soda)

1 kitchen or postal balance with a gram scale

1 box of sugar cubes or sugar packets

Tongs

Procedure:

Read the “Nutrition Facts” label on the soda bottle to see the number of servings in the bottle and how many grams (g) of sugar are in each serving. Put the balance on a sturdy table or desk. Use the tongs to add sugar cubes or packets to the weighing pan of the balance one by one. Watch the scale on the balance and keep adding sugar cubes until the reading on the balance is equal to the number of grams of sugar in one serving of soda. You’ll see just how much sugar is in each glass of soda you drink.

Learn More

For more information about chemistry, free resources and other activities, visit www.acs.org/ncw or call (800) 227-5558.

 

Note to Editors: While National Chemistry Week this year is October 16 to 22, this article can be useful to your readers at any time.

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Pink Hope Collection

(NAPSI)—This year, hope is pink and it sparkles.

That’s because a leading designer and producer of fashion jewelry and crystal objects has introduced a collection of glittering pink jewelry that will benefit breast cancer patients and survivors.

Swarovski introduced its Pink Hope Collection to celebrate its support of The Libby Ross Breast Cancer Foundation and its Pose for Pink Yoga Program, which offers free yoga classes that enrich the lives of women recovering from breast cancer.

The breast cancer awareness collection includes the Pink Hope pin (retail $55), the Pink Hope charm (retail $55) and the Pink Hope pendant (retail $65). All the pink products will be available at the company’s 240-plus boutiques nationwide this October.

The company first partnered with The Libby Ross Breast Cancer Foundation in 2003. The organization’s free yoga classes are designed to address the specific needs and physical restrictions of breast cancer patients and survivors.

For more information, please visit www.swarovski.com or www.thelibbyrossfoundation.com.

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Making Veterans Day Even More Meaningful

(NAPSI)—The Library of Congress Veterans History Project (VHP) is calling on all Americans to make Veterans Day more meaningful for the veterans in their lives by recording their memories of military service.

Preserving History

Established by the U.S. Congress in 2000, VHP’s mandate is to collect, preserve and make accessible the firsthand recollections of America’s war veterans. Through a network of volunteers from across the country, VHP has collected more than 75,000 stories, of which more than 10,000 have been digitized and made accessible via VHP’s website, www.loc.gov/vets.

“Our goal is to help make Veterans Day more meaningful and personal for veterans and their loved ones,” said VHP Director Bob Patrick. “What better way to do that than by recording their war stories and submitting them to the Library of Congress, where they will be preserved for generations to come,” he added.

A Free Guide Is Available

Straightforward guidelines in VHP’s Field Kit (a how-to-record-a-story booklet) show volunteers how to interview a veteran for 30 minutes or longer while recording the conversation using their own audio- or video-recording equipment. Next, volunteers may send the original recording, along with VHP’s required forms, to the Library of Congress, where they are added to the Library’s permanent collections.

A profile page for each veteran who shares a story with VHP appears on www.loc.gov/vets four to six months from the date VHP receives the collection, and the profile is accessible to researchers, teachers, authors and the general public through VHP’s searchable online database.

The project also accepts original photographs, letters, military documents, diaries, journals, two-dimensional artwork and unpublished memoirs.

A Meaningful Project

National organizations, local groups and individuals, including students in grades 10 and higher, are encouraged to mark the day with this meaningful volunteer project by interviewing veterans within their own families or communities or by collaborating with local veterans service organizations to collect stories.

For more information or to request a VHP Field Kit, contact VHP at (888) 371-5848, e-mail vohp@loc.gov or visit www.loc.gov/vets

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Quilt Keeps Memories Alive

(NAPSI)—Visitors to Washington line up every day to pay tribute to veterans of World War II, Vietnam, Korea and the Civil War. But there is no memorial to commemorate the sacrifices made by nuclear weapons workers and uranium miners during the Cold War. Their work was done in top secret facilities, so their service is largely unknown or forgotten.

A nonprofit organization called Cold War Patriots hopes to change that. The group is organizing friends and family around the country to create a mobile quilt project to honor the service these forgotten Cold War veterans gave to their country. The quilt will tour the country and be displayed everywhere from community centers and museums to the halls of Congress. Eventually, the U.S. Department of Energy will include the quilt with other memorabilia in a time capsule to help future generations understand the Cold War.

The government estimates that between World War II and the end of the Cold War, around 700,000 people worked in 350 facilities located in 43 states. In 1945 alone, there were 132,000 people working on the Manhattan Project to develop the first atomic bomb. In most cases, these facilities were so secretive that even family members did not know what the workers were doing.

“Unfortunately, many of them never realized just what a sacrifice they made for their country until they developed cancer and other illnesses from exposure to radiation and toxic chemicals,” said Greg Austin of Cold War Patriots.

The quilt project is just one of the ways that Cold War Patriots hopes to help nuclear weapons workers and their families. Each year on October 30, the group organizes events around the country to commemorate a National Day of Remembrance, which is annually designated with a unanimous resolution passed by the United States Senate.

The good news is that workers who fell ill and their family members can apply for assistance from the U.S. Department of Labor. If you or someone you know worked in one of these facilities, here is what you should know:

• Compensation is available to help you cover medical bills;

• Resource centers can help you file a claim to get the benefits you are entitled to;

• Cold War Patriots can assist you and answer your questions.

For more information, contact Cold War Patriots at (888) 903-8989 or visit www.coldwarpatriots.org.

 

Note to Editors: The United States Senate designated October 30 as a National Day of Remembrance honoring Cold War nuclear weapons workers and uranium miners for their service to their country.

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Project Gemini Opens New Doors

(NAPSI)—It can be easier to cope with a situation if you talk to someone who shares your unique point of view—and that’s especially important for blinded veterans. To reach out to other blinded veterans and their families, six U.S. Armed Forces veterans without sight recently traveled to the United Kingdom.

Project Gemini, a joint effort of the Blinded Veterans Association and St Dunstan’s, took the veterans, four of them blinded in recent combat operations, across the Atlantic Ocean for six days of educational exchange and the sharing of friendship, knowledge and insights with their British comrades.

The project obtained its name from the transatlantic telecommunications cable that stretches from England to the United States. Project Gemini created an opportunity for blinded veterans to meet in a relaxed environment and, formally and informally, exchange ideas and views regarding the best ways to support veterans who have lost their sight.

Subjects of discussion were rehabilitation and readjustment training, vision research and adaptive technology for the blind.

“During the week, we shared helpful hints about coping with blindness and the ‘war stories’ that are part of the adjustment process,” said Tom Zampieri, director of government relations at BVA. “We compared the British veterans’ health care system with the American system operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs and its dozens of component medical centers, outpatient clinics and veterans homes throughout the country.”

Project Gemini is an outgrowth of Operation Peer Support, a BVA program begun in 2006 that brings together veterans of recent conflicts with those who have lost their sight in Vietnam, Korea or during World War II. The program’s objective is to provide Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families with examples of and opportunities to interact with men and women who have led happy and prosperous lives despite their blindness.

Chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1958, BVA links veterans with the services they’ve earned. Membership is open to all legally blinded veterans who have served in the U.S. military. Membership is not required for veterans to receive assistance, which is free of charge. For more information, call BVA at (800) 669-7079 or visit www.bva.org.

 

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Spirituality, Faith And Religion

by Father Steven E. Boes

(NAPSI)—Recently, I got to do something very special. I said the opening prayer at a session of the United States House of Representatives. It was a wonderful experience, one I won't forget.

As I was writing the prayer, I thought about the powerful roles spirituality, faith and religion play in our country and at Boys Town. We tend to lump these three words together and use them interchangeably, but they are different in both subtle and profound ways.

How we explain it to our kids is that spirituality involves your will. That is, you choose to act a certain way based on your beliefs. Some of our kids struggle with their beliefs. They've had only negative influences to help them form their beliefs and as a result, for instance, they have a hard time telling right from wrong. You can be spiritual about lots of things—including God.

When you have faith, it means you have an intellectual relationship with someone or something that is strong enough to earn your full trust. Faith moves us closer to God, who's always there for us. Getting children to trust again and have faith is a powerful way to change behaviors and begin the process of bringing God into their everyday lives.

The habits you form in daily life demonstrate to the world that you have faith in God. This is religion, and it's the toughest one for us. It's the practice of our faith—praying each day, going to church, putting others first. These habits are important because they can help us through rough times. We encourage our kids at Boys Town to practice their faith, whatever that faith may be, so they can be resilient when they face life's challenges and trust that God is always by their side.

Take the time to get back to religion. Take your family to church, pray before a meal. Sharing these habits with your kids will give them and your family powerful ways to exercise their faith, grow their spirituality and experience the resiliency only God can provide.

• Father Boes is president and national executive director of Boys Town, which has been saving children and healing families for more than 90 years. He offers more good advice at www.boystown.org.

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AMERICA'S HEROES



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