CHARITY

Clean Water Tap Project

Haitian School Children Food Donated To Families Parenting Tips Boys Town Model Emergency Housing and Services Retirees Get Involved Korean War Women Human Rights Reforms and Progress

Turning On The Tap To Save Lives

(NAPSI)—Waterborne illnesses are the second-leading cause of preventable childhood deaths in the world-killing almost 4,000 children every day. Fortunately, the UNICEF Tap Project is helping to provide safe, clean water to children around the world—and you can drink a glass to its success.

During World Water Week, March 19-25, dining patrons can pay $1 or more for the tap water they usually enjoy for free at participating restaurants. With $1, UNICEF can provide a child with access to clean, safe water for 40 days, or 40 children with access to safe water for one day.

"In communities without access to a safe water source and adequate sanitation, disease can spread with lethal swiftness," said President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, Caryl Stern. "Today, for too many of the world's children, clean water can mean the difference between life and death."

For the third year, Giorgio Armani Fragrances returns as national sponsor of the UNICEF Tap Project as part of its Acqua for Life campaign, to raise awareness and funds to help UNICEF improve access to safe, clean water for children worldwide. During the month of March, the company will donate $1 for each Acqua di Giò for Men and Acqua di Gioia for Women spray cologne or gift set purchased in the U.S. , and $1 for the first 100,000 people who "like" the Acqua for Life page on Facebook. Also, new to the program this year, for each 10-ml Acqua di Gioia Rollerball Eau de Parfum purchased in the U.S. , the company will donate 100 percent of the retail sales price-up to $15 per item-to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, while supplies last.

Since 2007, more than 10,000 UNICEF Tap Project volunteers have provided their time and creative solutions to build awareness and drive donations for water and sanitation programs in Belize , the Central African Republic , Côte d'Ivoire , Guatemala , Haiti , Iraq , Togo and Vietnam .

Once again, the project will benefit from promotional support by ZAGAT.com, OpenTable.com, Seamless.com and Yelp.com.

All print advertisements for the UNICEF Tap Project will feature the work of internationally recognized artist Tavis Coburn. A new public service announcement was directed by the international commercial director Brent Harris and supported by Egg Films of Cape Town, South Africa and Skunk of Los Angeles, Calif.

Supporters can learn more by visiting www.uniceftapproject.org.

Working in more than 150 countries, UNICEF provides children with health and immunizations, clean water, nutrition, education, emergency and disaster relief. Since 1990, more than 2 billion people have gained access to improved drinking water and 1.8 billion people have gained access to improved sanitation facilities. UNICEF has made a major contribution to this figure through its work with governments and partners around the world.

For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org.

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Haiti, Two Years Later: Eye MDs Continue Efforts To Improve Eye Care

(NAPSI)—Two years after an earthquake devastated much of Haiti , ophthalmologist Dr. Mildred Olivier is optimistic about the progress being made in improving the eye health of Haitians and the services offered by Haitian ophthalmologists. "I have hope for Haiti more than ever," said Dr. Olivier, a Chicago-based glaucoma specialist whose parents were born in Haiti and who has been traveling to the country for years to volunteer her time and expertise.

Dr. Olivier visited Haiti a week before the two-year anniversary of the devastating quake. During her trip, she and a volunteer team of U.S. ophthalmologists, nurses and technicians provided everything from vision checks and eyeglasses to cataract and glaucoma surgery. Dr. Olivier and other ophthalmologists have also helped organize major donations of surgical equipment, supplies and ophthalmic medications that total more than half a million dollars. These are now benefiting and will continue to benefit people cared for in Haitian clinics and hospitals like Sacré Coeur in Milot and Bernard Mevs Hospital in Port-au-Prince.

Ophthalmologists have rallied to help Haiti since the first days after the January 2010 earthquake. The American Academy of Ophthalmology formed a Task Force on Haiti Recovery under the leadership of Michael W. Brennan, M.D., a military veteran with unique humanitarian experience in Iraq and Afghanistan . The task force worked in close collaboration with the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology (PAAO) and the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO) to help Haitian Eye M.D.s rebuild their practices and help restore quality eye care to the people of Haiti .

The long-term goal has been to create improved, sustainable eye health services for the Haitian people. From the very beginning, the ophthalmology community responded in overwhelming fashion, and thanks to the efforts of many dedicated ophthalmologists like Dr. Olivier, the drive to improve eye health in Haiti has not been forgotten.

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John Deere Sets World Record With Combine Constructed From Canned Food

(NAPSI)—It's a new world record! John Deere's Project "Can Do" created a full-sized combine made entirely from food—308,448 cans of food and 11,268 bags of food, to be exact. According to Guinness® World Records, that's a new record for the largest sculpture ever built from canned food.

The combine can-food sculpture, which is 60 ft. wide, 80 ft. long, 16 ft. tall and weighs approximately 170 tons, recognizes the vital role America's farmers play in feeding the world. The sculpture depicts John Deere's new S-Series Combine harvesting corn and showcases how new equipment and technologies are helping farmers meet the growing world demand for food.

The can sculpture was built November 12-17 by a team of 450 John Deere volunteers, including employees, retirees, employee families and friends. The can-food sculpture took more than 1,800 hours to build and contains more than 15 different kinds of canned food, as well as 11,268 bags of popcorn, peas and beans. The sculpture was on display at the John Deere Pavilion in Moline, Ill., until December 12.

"Project 'Can Do' gave our employees, retirees and their families a tremendous sense of accomplishment and pride in being part of this goodwill effort," says Nicole Schneider, project co-leader/copywriter for John Deere Ag & Turf Division. "We are all thrilled with the success of this project and that all the food was donated to help those in need. In fact, for every volunteer who worked on the build, one person in need will be fed for one year with all the donated food."

Richard Williamson, project co-leader/art director for John Deere Ag & Turf Division, says the project is considered a zero-landfill project with all of the building materials being recycled or reused. In addition, he credits several organizations for supporting the company's efforts to create the world's largest can-food sculpture.

"The project wouldn't have been possible without technical help from a number of organizations," Williamson adds. "Those include Canstruction®, Inc., which organizes canstruction competitions worldwide; the Chicago architectural firm RTKL, Inc., that led the design and construction of the project; and Hy-Vee Food Stores, which helped source and deliver all the cans of food."

During the construction phase of the project, John Deere fans from around the world participated by designing "virtual cans" and submitting them via the John Deere Facebook page. Photographs and videos about the project and its construction can be found at www.Facebook.com/JohnDeere.

On December 12 all the food was donated to River Bend Foodbank, which serves families in the Quad Cities and 22 counties in Iowa and Illinois.

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Time For An "Electronic Media Time-out"

(NAPSI)—While stopped at a red light the other day, I glanced in my rearview mirror. In the car behind me, the mom (and driver) was talking on her cell phone while her teenage daughter sat in the passenger seat. I wondered what that young girl might have shared with her mom if mom had just put down the phone.

While we worry that electronic media is overtaking our kids' lives, more and more adults seem to be too locked in to their phone and computer screens to notice that it's happening to them as well. The result is that modern media is stealing away face-to-face time between parents and their children, fracturing these most important relationships.

The Boys Town Model aims to mend those breaks. Designed to help children and families build healthy relationships, our model has undergone years of research that shows it delivers significant and lasting positive results for families across the country.

You can use its principles and strategies to change your and your child's media habits and recapture valuable face-to-face time. Closing the media-induced gaps in your relationship with your child can open up real communication and bring you closer together.

Laura Buddenberg, Boys Town author and family expert, has some great advice on how parents can make these changes and bring their family back together. I encourage you to watch her "At Home With Kids" video presentation, "Texts, Tweets and TV: How Much Is Too Much?" and learn what you can do to create more family time while balancing the use of electronic media in your home. For parenting tips, go to www.parenting.org.

• 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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Brightening Lives

(NAPSI)—Here's a beautiful idea: giving emergency shelters uplifting color paint makeovers.

The Color Care Across America project reached a range of shelters—some serving homeless men or women only, some women and families seeking aid from domestic violence. Among the 51 shelters-one in each state plus in Washington, D.C.—there were some offering drug rehabilitation, others dedicated to adults with developmental disabilities, those for recent refugees from war-torn countries and even one that provided sanctuary from child trafficking.

Many Mayors Major Players

Mayors of nearly every city on the Color Care "to do" list took time out of their schedules and appeared at the shelters to express thanks to the volunteer paint crews and meet with the shelter directors and their management. They witnessed firsthand how color almost magically and instantly brightens and revitalizes a facility. Several of the mayors rolled up their shirtsleeves to roll on some paint, as well.

"Many hardworking families are experiencing the loss of their homes and finding that the American dream of home ownership is fading. They are among the growing ranks winding up in shelters. It's demoralizing, and in some cases, a dehumanizing condition that can break the spirit of any family. Obviously, there's no simple solution to this troubling occurrence, but Color Care at least helped bring attention to the issue while helping to improve the living environments for those who seek this basic human need of having a roof over their heads," explained Eileen McComb, key engineer of Color Care and director of corporate communications for Benjamin Moore, a sponsor of the project, along with the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Painting an Decorating Contractors of America.

All told, approximately 3,000 gallons of paint were contributed, including a few extra gallons left behind with brushes and rollers, in case residents, staff or volunteers became inspired to spruce up other areas.

Expert Advice On Hues To Use

Helping to ensure that the color options for these community residences added an upbeat mood while respecting local and regional tastes, the editors of House Beautiful magazine worked with Benjamin Moore's senior interior designer, Sonu Mathew, to put together seven suggested palettes that each shelter was able to choose from.

"There were no cookie-cutter looks," said McComb, "and no standard institutional hues. This was meant to be an empowering opportunity for the shelters to select colors that are livable and likable."

Learn More

For more information about the project, you can visit http://apps.facebook.com/bm-colorcare.

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Retirees Get Involved

(NAPSI)—Recent retirees are looking to community organizations for meaningful ways to stay active and these organizations are tapping into the retirees' expertise by creating meaningful opportunities for them to contribute.

In addition to traditional roles like delivering meals or providing rides, community organizations are now looking to skilled volunteers for program development, mentoring, leadership coaching, tutoring and providing management assistance for nonprofit organizations.

With cuts in funding and the demand for critical services on the rise, volunteers help fill the void by sharing knowledge from their years of professional experience to help those in their community.

Volunteering is an excellent way to stay active, stay healthy and make a difference. If you are a recent retiree looking for new opportunities, find out how your skills might benefit community organizations in your area. To get connected with a local organization, contact the Eldercare Locator at (800) 677-1116.

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Korean War Women

(NAPSI)—During the Korean War, women in the Armed Services went from being a footnote in history to a source of labor and skills for the nation's military.

The United States found itself once again involved in a war, only a few years after the end of the second World War. The military rushed to call up, draft and recruit manpower. When it came up short, the services asked American women to leave their homes, jobs and families to serve their country.

When President Harry S. Truman ordered U.S. air and naval forces into Korea , women in the armed services numbered 22,000. Roughly 7,000 of these women were health care professionals. The rest served in line assignments in all branches of the military.

Although nurses and medical specialists were the only military women allowed into the combat theater throughout most of the war, women serving stateside were assigned to a variety of non-traditional jobs including military policeman, parachute rigger, pharmacist and engineer.

These women volunteered to serve their country at a difficult time. They should be remembered and commended for their patriotism and personal sacrifices.

 

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Progress And Reform In Bahrain

(NAPSI)—When 35 people tragically lost their lives in the wake of street protests in Bahrain , its rulers decided to deal with the disaster promptly and truthfully.

In an unprecedented move, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa appointed an independent commission of international human rights experts—the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry—to investigate and make recommendations.

The wisdom of this, in contrast to other parts of the Arab world, is reflected in a national dialogue and important recommendations to strengthen democracy and allow peaceful protest in Bahrain .

Bahrain has also been undertaking major human rights reforms: strengthening the laws, providing more effective judicial oversight and better police training—leading American and British police experts have been hired to lead police reform—and supervising what happens to people held in police custody. The International Red Cross has agreed to inspect all the detention facilities in Bahrain to be sure the human rights of detainees are being maintained.

The government proposed that parliament change the law to give greater protection for freedom of expression and assembly and ensure Bahrain 's human rights laws are in line with international standards. Already, women are politically empowered to an extent that is rare in the Middle East—there are 11 women out of 40 in the appointed upper chamber.

In his speech on the Independent Commission report, King Hamad urged all Bahrainis to address mistakes and promote a community based on tolerance, pledging an environment of "a pluralistic, cohesive and prosperous society; a society that guarantees the rule of law and human rights; a society that ensures the tranquil pursuit of opportunities and fulfillment for everyone."

Bahrain 's commitment to human rights reform was reaffirmed when the Independent Commission published its report, which included 33 recommendations for government action and reform. An independent and impartial national commission has been established to implement the commission's recommendations.

The real story in Bahrain is of an Arab government resolving to improve its country's governance, to strengthen judicial procedures, and to entrench human rights in accordance with the best possible international advice.

Editor's Note: This announcement is distributed for Sanitas International on behalf of The Government of Bahrain . Additional information is available at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.

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