Charity Section  








 
National Youth Science Day

Yellowstone Park Foundation

Sally Foster Fundraising Cards Help Cancer Patients Angel Food Ministries Heinz Family Philanthropies Strengthen Your Community Extraordinary Artists

4-H Youth: A Revolutionary Force in Science

(NAPSI)-At 14, Luana Xiong, from Merced County, California, has participated in a wide variety of activities throughout her five-year 4-H career, but nothing has intrigued her more than the 4-H science programs.

For the last two years, Luana has participated in the 4-H National Youth Science Day (NYSD)--an event in which hundreds of thousands of young people throughout the world simultaneously conduct a single science experiment. With aspirations to become a cardiovascular surgeon, Luana appreciates her 4-H science programs, as involvement in the curriculum and activities have helped her become comfortable with the subject.

In 2009, Luana demonstrated the 4-H National Science Experiment for 250 members of her community. The experiment, Biofuel Blast, showcased how cellulose and sugars in plants can be converted into fuel. “My goal was to spread my knowledge to as many people as I could.”

As a newcomer to 4-H science, Brit Stevens from Gibson County, Indiana, will be getting his first taste of 4-H science at the 2010 4-H National Science Experiment: 4-H2O.

At 13, Brit’s favorite 4-H activities involve showing animals at fairs. But as an aspiring architect, Brit knows the importance of having a solid foundation in the sciences. “I am pretty good at science. People should know the scientific explanation about things.”

With plans to participate in NYSD again, Luana thinks it’s important for youths like Brit to get involved in 4-H science. “I am participating in 4-H Science Day again because I enjoy it so much. I also think it is so important to get the word out about what 4-H is and why Science Day was created-to get youth to go into science careers.”

As part of 4-H’s One Million New Scientists, One Million New Ideas™ campaign, 4-H science programs like 4-H NYSD work to spark an early youth interest in science education in an effort to combat a national shortage of young people pursuing science in college and future careers.

“Engaging youth in scientific exploration early on provides the necessary platform that they need to build a long-lasting interest in the field and to make ongoing contributions to the sciences,” said Donald T. Floyd, Jr., National 4-H Council president and CEO. “Science is often an overwhelming and consequently overlooked subject for young people, but 4-H science programs make the subject exciting, accessible and relevant.”

The 2010 4-H National Science Experiment: 4-H2O—was developed in conjunction with North Carolina A&T State University and the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Program. Generous sponsor support has been provided by Toyota, John Deere, IBM, BAE Systems and Karo. For more information on 4-H National Youth Science Day, please visit www.4-H.org/NYSD.

Download article content

Showcasing The Wonders Of A Favorite American Park

(NAPSI)-Visitors to one of America's most time-honored vacation destinations--Yellowstone National Park--now have the opportunity to learn much more and broaden their exploration of the park.

The recently opened Old Faithful Visitor Education Center features new ways for people of all ages to appreciate this natural, national treasure: hands-on, interactive exhibits, a theater for viewing films about the park, and a special area for kids to embark on their own exploration.

Yellowstone National Park features more geysers and hot springs than the rest of the world combined. The best known of its geysers, Old Faithful, is one of the nation's most recognized landmarks. Ninety percent of Yellowstone visitors stop by to see Old Faithful.

At the Center, visitors can learn about the park's 10,000 geysers and other geothermal features. They can discover what makes a geyser erupt, what microscopic creatures thrive in the scalding-hot springs and how the park's fascinating volcanic past is visible today.

The Center's exhibits are designed to help visitors better understand the broader ecosystems and natural resources in the park, and why it is so important to protect them.

The Center was made possible through an extraordinary private/public partnership. Hundreds of individuals, foundations and corporations contributed to the Yellowstone Park Foundation's (YPF) successful $15 million capital campaign to build this new Center, including major corporate support from ConocoPhillips, Unilever, Toyota and Coca-Cola. These donations were matched by $12 million in federal funding.

A fundraising campaign was necessary because government funding only covers the park's basic infrastructure, staffing and day-to-day operating needs. Private contributions funded the development of exhibits and enabled the building to be large enough to house them. The Yellowstone Park Foundation is the official fundraising partner of Yellowstone National Park.

Since 1996, YPF has raised $60 million to support more than 200 projects in the park. Such projects help to make visits to the park safer, more inspiring and more enjoyable. Examples include hiking trail rehabilitation, wildlife research and educational programs. To learn more about the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center or to become a Friend of Yellowstone, visit www.ypf.org.

Download article content


Five Simple Tips To Successful Fundraising

(NAPSI)-Many schools and nonprofit groups depend on fundraising to round out their operating budgets.

The difference between a so-so and a successful fundraiser can be five simple tips.

1. STATE your goal plainly. Whether your goal is revamping a playground or providing your school with funding for the arts, be specific about what you hope to achieve.

2. PROVIDE added value. Rather than just asking for money, find a fundraising partner and offer your potential donor an item with high-perceived value.

3. OFFER convenience. Today’s busy consumer values convenience. Make your offer easy to explain and use--your volunteer salespeople will appreciate it, too!

4. PARTNER well. Choose a fundraising partner company with a track record of success and a product that is fresh and appealing. Chairpersons like an established program that reduces their headaches--and leads to big sales!

5. RECOGNIZE your donors. Publicize donor names in a letter to the newspaper and post the list at your school or headquarters. And be sure to send a thank-you letter--it will help in future fund drives!

SALES APPEAL is the key to making it all work. For example, one of the most popular fundraising lines is Sally Foster and its gift wrap, gift items, gourmet chocolates, books and home decor items. Sally Foster has a new approach that adds convenience to its sales appeal: Donors purchase gift cards and make purchases online. In the new program, donors can order whenever they want and have the products shipped directly to their door.

For schools, this approach is simpler and less labor intensive than traditional fundraising. In the past, once the sales drive was complete, the school still had to receive and distribute the items to donors. With the gift card system, the fundraisers simply submit their record of sales and receive their funds.

An organization like Sally Foster has been in the fundraising business for a long time, too. It can share its knowledge and experience, and provide fundraisers with the tools and support they need.

In addition, schools can receive additional revenue if a gift card buyer makes more purchases at www.sallyfoster.com beyond the value of the initial gift card.

Download article content


You Don’t Have To Be A Doctor To Wear Scrubs And Help Patients

(NAPSI)-Scrubs are useful for more than just scrubbing up in. A recent issue of Oprah magazine featured one luxury scrubs designer both for its quality work wear and because sales of those clothes were helping cancer patients feel better.

The Problem

A big fear among cancer patients is losing all of their hair. Now, thanks to the company, Blue Sky Scrubs, patients can get free, attractive hospital scrubs hats that offer a way to cover hair loss with a bright and sophisticated look.

A Solution

The hats are sent to cancer patients whenever someone buys the attractive clothing and accessories created by a company that specializes in medical wear, a style now increasingly popular for casual wear all over the country.

In fact, though it’s branched out since, the firm was founded to make surgical headgear—so it knows how to turn out top-quality, good-looking toppers. Consumers who buy scrubs can have the free hat sent to themselves to give to a cancer patient of their own choosing.

The hats are fun and can make people feel good. As one recipient, Margaret Moore, put it, “After undergoing chemotherapy at MD Anderson in Houston, I finally got to wear a Blue Sky Scrubs hat. I feel so much better now. This is a big ego booster.”

Cancer Facts

No one knows the exact cause of most cases of cancer, the American Cancer Society explains. Scientists are studying and learning more about the many steps it takes for cancers to form and grow.

Although some of the factors in these steps may be a lot alike, the process that happens in the cells is generally different for each type of cancer.

Learn More

The hats, clothes, jewelry and other accessories are available online at www.blueskyscrubs.com.

Download article content


Help For Families Affected By The Oil Spill

(NAPSI)-For 16 years, one nonprofit, nondenominational organization has provided food relief and financial support to communities throughout the U.S.—and it recently lent a helping hand to families affected by the Gulf oil spill.

Angel Food Ministries recently arrived in Pensacola, Florida, with two semi trucks containing more than 80,000 pounds of food for people affected by the BP oil leak. The oil spill not only left a slick across the water and coastal region but did lasting damage to industries from fishing to tourism.

Pensacola was one of the areas that was badly affected, its families taking a direct hit from the economic blow.

To bring relief, representatives from 200 hunger advocacy agencies across the Gulf area came with trucks and trailers, delivering donated food to those who needed it most. Almost 40,000 families were helped.

The relief organization recently also sent food to needy fishermen and families in the area of St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana.

The program, which began with 34 families in Monroe, Georgia, has grown to serve hundreds of thousands of families every month across 44 states. The organization crosses denominational lines, and various nonprofit organizations and churches have signed on to use the program to feed people in their communities.

Much like a food cooperative, Angel Food is available in a quantity that can fit into a medium-sized box, and the cost of these boxes ranges from $22 to $30. Each month’s menu is different and consists of both fresh and frozen items.

One unit of food usually feeds a family of four for about a week or a single senior citizen for almost a month.

There is no limit to the number of units or bonus foods an individual can receive, and there are no applications to complete or qualifications to which participants must adhere.

Angel Food Ministries also participates in the U.S. Food Stamp program (SNAP) and can assist applicants in obtaining food stamps.

For more information, visit www.angelfoodministries.com or call (877) FOOD-MINISTRY.

Download article content


Humility And Common Sense In Politics by Jeffrey R. Lewis

(NAPSI)-After all the rhetoric, finger-pointing and stimulus, America’s economy has moved from “free fall” to “standstill”.

This should be an occasion for humility and a little common sense. But common sense is a little uncommon in Washington. Instead, a willingness to develop and implement a bipartisan effort to solve problems in the national interest seems absent.

The Republicans hope to gain complete control of the Congress. The image of the Republican Party is so bad, however, that they have embraced the Tea Party, and many of the Tea Party candidates want to destroy a part of the nation’s social fabric, such as Social Security.

Democrats hoping to hold on to a deteriorating base of support continue to condemn everything Republican and cloak the Tea Party in doom and gloom. All this at a time when every American family is asking, What is our economic future?

Today, perhaps more than ever before, there is an absence of real leadership. Political pontificating is not creating jobs and is not offering Americans any sense of hope.

Years ago, when Congress tried to make a political football out of the solvency of Social Security, Senators John Heinz, R-Pa., and Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y., came together, putting aside partisanship to help broker a successful resolution. Their efforts were not focused on their individual political parties, but rather the common good of all Americans. This was not only the demonstration of real leadership, but it also exemplified two congressional leaders who put the interests of the nation ahead of partisan politics.

America’s economic well-being is fragile. There is no one right answer. If there were, the Obama administration or the Republican leadership would have put it forward and blistered the media with all the reasons.

Politicians know they’re only one vote away from retirement, but for those who put the country ahead of their own political future, it’s a legacy no one can refute. Sens. Heinz and Moynihan demonstrated that; now we must ask ourselves whether the voices of the past can influence the politics of today and hope that two other bipartisan leaders emerge to create an economic path for America’s future. All that is needed is a bit of humility and a desire to serve not political interests, but the national interest.

• Mr. Lewis is president of the Heinz Family Philanthropies and was staff director for the late Senator John Heinz.

Download article content


Strengthen Your Community

(NAPSI)-According to a recent survey by MerchantCircle.com, the largest online network of business owners, about 42 percent of local merchants believe the current economy is weaker now than 12 months ago.

Improving your community is an important part of rebuilding the economy and is easier than you may realize. Here are three ways you can help your local community bounce back from the recession and thrive.

• Shop locally. Local shops create employment and self-employment; then these people spend in the local economy. Research shows that for every $10 spent in an independent shop, $25 is generated for the local economy.

• Volunteer. Check the local paper or websites such as VolunteerMatch.org to learn what you can do to help your local schools, libraries, charities and community centers.

• Staycation. Save travel expenses and strengthen your community by enjoying a staycation or weekend getaway at home. Discover all the local treasures including parks, museums, theaters and unique shops.

An easy way to find businesses in your community is through www.MerchantCircle.com, an online network of over 1.3 million local businesses. When you visit the site, you can search for businesses and service providers, get coupons, read reviews and learn about special events and offers. The MerchantCircle.com “Answers” service lets you get free expert advice from local businesses in your community and around the country.

 

Download article content


Share The Exceptional Work Of Extraordinary Artists

(NAPSI)-You can be known for having a gift for giving if you heed four hints:

1. Tailor your gift to the person. Books for book lovers, for example, especially young readers, or art prints for anyone who loves beautiful pictures—or needs to decorate. For those with a busy life or bad memory, consider a birthday book or address book. People who prefer their communication on the formal side might like exquisitely decorated note paper, while the clever may be pleased with an attractive jigsaw puzzle.

2. Your gift can brighten the lives of friends and family who enjoy genuine, original fine art and help people who inspire in their battle with adversity. How? By getting and giving cards and calendars created by a group of professional artists who are severely disabled and so paint with the brush in their mouth or their foot.

One example is Cindi Bernhardt, an L.A. college girl practicing gymnastics when her back handsprings took her straight through an open, second-floor window, resulting in her finishing up a quadriplegic and losing the use of her limbs for life.

Even the simplest tasks such as signing letters had to be done by gripping a pen between her teeth and using an “X” as her signature. Bernhardt was devastated but went on to develop a talent for painting by mouth, commenting, “I wasn’t meant to be an ‘X’ for the rest of my life.”

Bernhardt even produced a painting called “Crying Eagle” to honor the emergency rescue service people of 9/11.

One of the high points of her life was to carry the Winter Olympic torch on the back of her wheelchair through the streets of Pasadena. She was nominated to do it by a friend who explained, “Cindi captures perfectly the spirit of the Olympics.”

Now she and 70 of her U.S. colleagues at The Mouth and Foot Painting Artists (MFPA) are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their organization. To mark the occasion, they’ve produced a special 2011 desk calendar featuring their artwork.

3. Make gift giving an occasion. Taking the time and the trouble to wrap up a present prettily is usually recognized and appreciated by the recipient. Get attractive wrapping paper and add the finishing touch with a colored ribbon or cord.

4. Find gifts for the creative. Consider a book about the lives of the MFPA artists and their inspirational work.

There are three ways to get the calendar, greeting cards and other products featuring the works of MFPA artists. You can respond to a national mailing sent out every October, visit www.mfpausa.com or call (877) MFPA-USA.

 

Download article content

AMERICA'S HEROES



Bookmark and Share LIST OF SUBJECTS LEAVE A MESSAGE  Follow Me on Pinterest