Non profit living

Non profit living

Watch Live – NBC Boston

King Boston, the non-profit racial equity organization working closely with the City of Boston
and the Boston Foundation to create an inclusive and equitable Boston for all, will commemorate June 19 on Monday, June 20 with “One Night in Boston,” a half-hour special, which airs on NBC10 Boston and NECN at 7:30 p.m.

“One Night in Boston” focuses on the importance of black arts and culture in Boston and is a celebration of Juneteenth. The program will feature nine of Boston’s talented young black and brown artists, including King Boston artist-in-residence Kaovanny, R&B singer Divine, and students from Boston’s only public arts high school, the Boston Arts Academy. . Beyond Measure Productions, a black man and women
owned film company, is working with King Boston to produce the special program.

“Our latest film is part of our overall commitment to elevating the best and brightest artists in our city and regions,” said Greg Ball, director of digital strategy and promotion at King Boston. “Art allows us to see ourselves and be seen by each other. Our sincerest hope is to be able to change the narratives surrounding our city’s culture by showcasing the work of these stellar artists.

“One Night in Boston” also marks the end of a historic week for King Boston. From June 13-17, the nonprofit organized The Embrace Ideas Festival, a unique five-day celebration of Juneteenth.

Through panels and discussions, the festival highlighted the work needed to propel anti-racism and usher in a vision for a new, more equitable Boston. The Embrace Ideas Festival wrapped up Friday night with a Block Party in Nubian Square, another celebration of black arts and culture for the city.

“Celebrating the work of black artists in the city is a priority at our stations,” said Maggie Baxter, vice president of programming for NBC10 Boston, NECN and Telemundo Boston. “We proudly stand with our partner King Boston in honoring, recognizing, celebrating and elevating the June 19 message of resilience to our bilingual and multiracial communities. »

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June 19 celebrations honor heroes and fight for freedom

The weekend of June 19 in Greater Springfield opened with a flurry of activity from different groups and entities, all marking a national commemoration of the practical end of slavery in the United States.

As President Joe Biden signed legislation making June 19 a federal holiday a year ago, the country found itself in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic and unable to officially mark the occasion. This year, after months of vaccinations, reminders and remarkable luck, June 19, 2022 is fully celebrated.

June 19 marks the day, June 19, 1865, when Union troops under the command of Major General Gordon Granger entered Galveston, Texas, the last area to be held back two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

As part of yesterday’s Juneteenth celebration, a section of Wilbraham Road in the Mason Square neighborhood of Springfield was renamed in honor of former State Representative Benjamin Swan, D-Springfield.

“My name is Ben Swan, SWAN, one N. We could only afford one,” joked the longtime lawmaker, now 89.

Despite his self-deprecating humour, Swan was the focus of more than 100 dignitaries, spectators, friends, political allies – and some enemies – and several generations of his family. They gathered in the small Mason Square Black Vietnam Veterans Park.

Ben Swan Way is a section of Wilbraham Road parallel to State Street. It runs between Hawley Street at its western end and Eastern Avenue to the east and is not far from where the Swan had its district officer during the 22 years he served in the Legislative Assembly of State.

Considered by many to be Black Independence Day, Swan said he felt the day was very important overall and to him individually. “It’s an important day,” he said. “I appreciate it immensely.”

Swan was praised for his years of service to Springfield, first as a civil rights activist and then for the 22 years he served in the state House of Representatives.

Although not originally from Springfield, Swan, born in Belzoni, Mississippi, came to Springfield when he was 16 with his family. A veteran of the United States Army, Swan later became a postman with the United States Postal Service. In the 1960s he was active in the civil rights movement and joined the Congress of Racial Equality. He was active in civil rights protests in Springfield and nationwide, working to end segregation.

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno pointed out how ironic the situation seemed given that rather than a man who would become revered by his community, Ben Swan started out as an outcast.

“Just think back to the (19) 60s during the civil rights issues that were unfolding. He never sought accolades for it, but Ben became a civil rights icon. Look where we are now, fast forward since Ben Swan was arrested multiple times on the steps of City Hall with Ray Jordan and others to make it happen, the street, the school (named in his honor). This is what America is,” he said. The mayor explained how the new DeBerry-Swan Elementary School will now also honor the former representative.

State Rep. Bud Williams, D-Springfield, said Swan and his fellow activists were disruptive and sometimes destructive as they fought for civil rights. But, that, Williams said, is what they had to do to be noticed and recognised.

“That’s what they had to do, and they did. And, they did it regularly. Before Barack Obama, before Jesse Jackson, there was Ben Swan. These are his shoulders that we sit on,” Williams said. “Yes, he went to Selma, Alabama, to the Pettus Bridge. He did all of this. He was in prison, but he fought for the people, everyone, and we really appreciate the sacrifice you made,” he said.

Swan was also honored by Rev. Torli Krua of Liberia, who traveled from Boston to deliver a proclamation. Krua said Swan had traveled to Liberia many times and bonded with its people, and fought for Liberia’s Refugee Equity Act to allow Liberian refugees a place in the states. -United.

“He went to my village in Liberia, and he was well received by the people. I stand here today on behalf of the people of the republic of Liberia and the people of my village and thank you for coming,” Krua said. “Thank you for welcoming the refugees who did not live in your district as human beings. I will take this news to the people of the village, the people who gave you a cane and say that we want you back.

Later that day, several hundred people gathered at the Raymond A. Jordan Senior Center in Blunt Park to participate in the Brethren Community Foundation’s June 19 celebration. While the nonprofit organization has celebrated Juneteenth for 20 years, this is the first year it has been a federal holiday. It was also the first year without Jordan, who had been a founding member of the organization. He died in February.

The Brethren is a non-profit organization made up of black businesspeople, mentors and influencers working to improve the quality of life in Greater Springfield.

In honor of Jordan’s memory, the 2022 celebration included a tribute to the former state representative, including a video presentation and a poem by local poet DMoss.

Jordan’s daughter, Denise Jordan, presented two college youth awards given in her father’s name. The awards were presented to Tayvion Griffin and Ivory Johnson, two recent Renaissance School graduates.

Later in the day, Springfield’s Jubilee Block Party kicked off around 4 p.m. in Court Square with live music, food from area restaurants and caterers called Taste of Dine Black, and arts, crafts, and entertainment. crafts and clothing from local black-owned businesses.

Jessenia Ortiz showed her acrylic resin art in all shapes and sizes, from fantastical sculptures to down-to-earth products with a special flair.

“Self by Nikai” is a West Springfield makeup and skincare company that offers all handmade products. Nikai Fondon said she does the preparations herself and can design the right product for a client’s skin type. She makes her products available in sample packs designed to be given as party favors.

Bridgette Kilpatrick calls herself a “traveling caterer”. She lives in Maryland but has family in Springfield, so she spends time here. His company, Rasta Pasta, offers culinary specialties.

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Where to Celebrate the Summer Solstice – NBC Los Angeles

Temperatures are rising and the days are getting longer, which can only mean one thing: summer is upon us.

With summer fast approaching, many wonder how it can sound like the start of the hottest season of the year, but first let’s see what the summer solstice is all about.

What is the summer solstice?

The June solstice, or summer solstice, marks the beginning of astronomical summer in the northern hemisphere.

Earth naturally orbits at an angle, which means half of the year the northern hemisphere is tilted towards the sun while the southern hemisphere is tilted away from the sun, creating summer in the north and winter in the south, according to NASA.

Solstices only occur twice a year. The summer solstice is the longest day of the year, with some states seeing up to sixteen hours of sunshine.

Where can I celebrate?

While we wait for our official introduction to summer, here are some places that will host celebrations on June 21.

Griffith Observatory

Historic Griffith Observatory in the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles, California.

Getty Images

Historic Griffith Observatory in the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles, California.

Most know that the observatory is a must-see in Los Angeles for its great view of the city and its worthwhile space museum.

This year they will host a live show at noon and sunset. There will be discussions as well as a live viewing of the solstice.

Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Parade and Festival

Performers marching in the Santa Barbara Solstice Parade

Santa Barbara will host its annual Midsummer Parade and Festival on June 24. The festival takes place over two days with a celebration on the first day and a parade on the second.

The festival is free and will include live music, food vendors and local artists.

LA music party

Musicians playing their instruments along the street.

Make Music Day is a non-profit organization that will hold its annual celebration on June 21. The event, which shares the day with the summer solstice, is a day when musicians around the world celebrate their love of music.

There will be live music in several parks, streets and sidewalks in Los Angeles.

The event is free to the public and will last until 10 p.m.

Midsummer Festival at the Bower Museum

Mitch Diamond

Bower Museum in Santa Ana, California

The Bower Museum will celebrate the solstice with its family festival on June 19.

The festival will include live music, food, arts and crafts.

The festival is free to the public and will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. A recording will also be available for viewing on Facebook and YouTube one week after the event.

Part of the Fowler Museum’s Summer Solstice at UCLA

The Fowler Museum at UCLA

The Fowler will be hosting an in-person celebration which will include a walk through their latest exhibition, ‘High End Australian Aboriginal Screen Printed Textiles’.

There will also be a reception which will include live music, food, wine and a walk with the curator of exhibits.

The exhibition, which runs until July 10, can be seen at the summer solstice.

The event will run from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and will require a reservation.

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Sternberg named Director of Outreach and Communications at Citizens for a Safe & Clean Lake Superior | News, Sports, Jobs

Caitlin Sternberg has been appointed Director of Outreach and Communications at Citizens for a Safe & Clean Lake Superior. (Courtesy picture)

MARQUETTE – Citizens for a Safe & Clean Lake Superior, a Marquette County nonprofit, welcomes a new staff member, Caitlin Sternberg, as Director of Outreach and Communications. Sternberg, a 2021 Magna Cum Laude graduate from NMU with a degree in environmental science, “has the experience, talent, youthful energy and vision to help us raise awareness and unite our community to defeat the planned heavy industrial rocket launch site near the shore of Lake Superior at Granot Loma,” said CSCLS President Dennis Ferraro.

Previously, she worked as a Great Lakes Climate Corp Team Leader with the Superior Watershed Partnership, partnering with various groups like the National Forest Service or the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community on environmental projects, and she also worked as a land steward with the Rocky Mt. Conservancy in Colorado. These are examples of his organizational and leadership skills, according to Ferraro.

After growing up in a Chicago neighborhood where jets from O’Hare Airport exploded overhead, Sternberg says “Living near Lake Superior reframed my worldview and values”and that in addition to the strong connection she feels with the lake and the surrounding habitat, she is “also impressed with the connection Marquette County residents have with each other and with the environment,” she said in an announcement.

Commenting on the rocket launch plan, Sternberg said she considered this type of “the unnecessary industrialization of our lake shore as an environmental and community threat” which must be guarded against “even after the failure of the rocket launch plan.”

In addition to involving people at community events, developing bonds with community members, and involving volunteers to help with the mission of CSCLS, she also hopes to expand the participation of students from universities and schools. local secondary schools, which she considers “very eco-friendly” she says.

Ferraro noted that “you will also see lots of Cait not only here in Marquette but also at events with locals from Powell Township who have been such great stewards of the environment preserving the beautiful natural landscape we all enjoy.”

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Teaching kids life lessons on the golf course

Sport teaches people so much more than the game itself – and our latest Everyday Hero is a perfect example.

What do you want to know

  • Matt Mussett is this week’s everyday hero
  • Besides being a mentor, teacher and coach for young people, Matt is also an e-bay manager for an amazing idea that has helped this non-profit community pay their bills.
  • More Everyday Hero Titles
  • Want to name an everyday hero? Click here

While the game he teaches is golf, Matt Mussett’s lessons are really about perfecting your swing in the game of life.

Some future pro-tour prospects were working on their game the day we visited the First Tee in St. Petersburg. The children of Mt. Zion Christian Academy made their regular visit.

Mussett says young students learn more than golf here.

“Youth mentorship and the development of healthy habits and lifestyle skills for children who may not be getting enough of this education at school or at home,” he said. “Or need to complement what they’re doing.”

Currently working with four schools, Matt says what they learn about golf goes beyond golf.

“In golf, you’re always going to fail before you succeed, and persistence is one of our main things we talk about and teach,” Mussett said. “If you take 10 breaths but hit 11 and it goes up in the air, you feel pretty good.”

Besides being a mentor, teacher and coach for young people, Matt is also an e-bay manager for an amazing idea that has helped this non-profit community pay their bills.

Their Donate a Club Help a Kid program is a huge success.

“Over the past four years, we’ve grown from a few hundred online ads to over 16,000 right now,” Mussett said.

Donated golf items are cleaned and restored and find new homes.

Use the video above to learn more about this week’s everyday hero.

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High food and gas prices add further challenges to the organization that helps feed tens of thousands of local children

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) – Rising prices for everything from food to gasoline are hitting us all and that includes a number of nonprofit organizations.

Connecting Kids to Meals is a real lifeline in our community. The organization helps feed thousands of children every day, and as gas and food prices continue to rise, so does the need for help.

Wendi Huntley is the president of the organization. “One in four children in the region suffers from hunger. Nearly 40% of children in Toledo live in poverty,” said Wendi Huntley, president of the organization.

The organization feeds children at more than 150 sites during the summer months.

“Some sites are daily, others are part of a two-week camp. Others are only Mondays and Wednesdays. Some are breakfast, some are breakfast and lunch while some are dinner. We suggest people visit our website for all the details. We’re also adding a feature this week where you can type in your address and find a location near you,” Huntley said.

Wendi said this year there were several additional layers of economic challenges. “We get some money from the federal government, but not enough to cover all our costs. With rising food prices, this gap is widening every day. There is also the increase in fuel prices. We have delivery vehicles to get the food to the kids, so all of those things are taken care of. »

Wendi adds that sourcing has also been a challenge. “We regularly have food substitutions because we can’t get certain things that we thought we could. We currently make 4,000-5,000 meals a day and want those meals to be the same across our footprint. We work as best as we can. »

It takes a lot of hands to make it all possible, from employees to volunteers. Teens and young adults who are part of a Harbor vocational training program are working this summer.

“They pack meals, clean, load and unload, wash dishes. Everything we need to do, they do,” said Jason Moss, youth employment coach at Harbor.

Jason said it’s work that helps develop important life skills.

“It lays the foundation for their future. Have a boss, log in and out, and show up on time. This makes them accountable and responsible for their daily lives.

Wendi said more help is always needed for this life-changing work.

“For us, it’s bittersweet. Bitter because so many children need help, but sweet because we are helping tens of thousands of children with the program and we have so many people helping us along the way.

If you want to learn more about the work of the organization and how you can get involved, click here.

See a spelling or grammatical error in our story? Please include the title when you Click here to report it.

Copyright 2022 WTVG. All rights reserved.

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Maine Voices: Depp verdict will silence survivors

Stone face. This is how a class of middle school students took care of me. I introduced myself as the president/founder of a Maine non-profit organization that is breaking the silence about domestic violence in Maine. The concepts of enforced silence and domestic violence seemed foreign to them.

I was there to present the art project Finding Our Voices K-12 Love/not Love, allowing young people to find their voice around what is love and what is not. Eye-, mind- and heart-opening results – painting, collage, poetry, sculpture and comics, by boys and girls aged 4 to 18 from a dozen partner schools – are on display at Midcoast Maine until June.

Alright, I said. Tear up a piece of paper and write down why someone might keep quiet. Folded pieces of paper were picked up. I read aloud the anonymous sentences written in pencil.

“I don’t want to rock the boat.”

“Another person could retaliate”

“Afraid of being laughed at. »

“They might not think it’s important (even if it is)”

“No body will listen.”

These statements from 13 and 14 year olds are darts that explain why there is so much terror in the kitchens, living rooms and bedrooms of our communities, and also why the verdict that has just been handed down in the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard -The trial is so dangerous for victims of domestic abuse.

Heard was ordered to pay Depp $15 million for calling herself a “public figure representing domestic violence” in a 2018 Washington Post op-ed. She didn’t mention him by name. She gave no details of what he allegedly did to her. She only said that she had been the victim of domestic violence.

Anyone can sue anything, and Depp sued her for it. And, for that, a jury found her guilty of defamation.

It doesn’t matter here if Johnny Depp was abusive, if Amber Heard was abusive, or if they were both abusive.

What matters is that someone has been severely punished by our justice system for publicly calling themselves a victim of domestic violence, and that a legal precedent has been set that everyone – victims, lawyers, abusers – now knows.

An emboldened domestic abuser is a more dangerous domestic abuser. And this verdict is sure to further embolden the aggressors and further silence the victims.

Someone does not “stay” in domestic violence. They are held hostage, traumatized every day by the endless quest to “keep the peace” with someone who only wants to create chaos and who is totally unpredictable as to what will trigger it.

The key to breaking free from domestic violence and freeing your children is to tell someone something. Saying something alerts others that something is wrong and also alerts you, because to express it is to make it real. Saying something can produce help you don’t know is there and break the intergenerational cycle. It can save your sanity, restore your life and save your life.

But when you’re trapped in domestic violence, everything conspires to silence you and that’s why it almost never gets reported.

Here are a few other reasons during my visits to the school that were cited by middle schoolers in Maine for keeping quiet:

“You don’t want to get the abuser in trouble because you love him.”

“Their partner/family member can be scary.”

“It’s embarrassing for people to see me like this.”

“Afraid you’ll be hurt again”

“The victim might think there is no help.”

And this one: “Afraid of what the outcome might be and who it would benefit.”

— Special for the Press Herald

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Alan Cumming co-star’s missing chimpanzee thought dead, found alive

Last May, Tonka the chimpanzee, an elderly monkey who played in George of the Jungle and Buddy alongside actor Alan Cumming in 1997, died, according to court records.

The chimpanzee had recently suffered a stroke and died of heart failure, owner Tonia Haddix claimed, submitting a statement and court documents to a Missouri judge that detailed how the animal’s body was burned. in a hearth.

But this week, Tonka was found alive, secretly hiding last year in Haddix’s Clever, Missouri home, where he had a 60-inch television, an iPad-like interactive touchscreen device, and celebrated St. Patrick among some of Haddix’s close friends.

Authorities raided her home on Thursday under an emergency court order obtained by PETA, which she has been fighting in a heated lawsuit since 2018. Fake Tonka’s death was a last-ditch effort by Haddix to keep her beloved chimp after a judge ordered Tonka and six other chimps to be delivered to the Center for Great Apes Sanctuary in Wauchula, Florida.

Haddix was surprised by a recording of a phone call PETA said he received where the exotic animal breeder “confessed that [Tonka] was still alive but would be euthanized on June 2.

With officials still on his property Friday, Haddix admits to having rolling stone that she lied about Tonka’s death, saying he was with her the whole time. “Oh absolutely, 100%,” she says. “In my house, yes.”

However, she denies that she intended to euthanize Tonka anytime soon, insisting that due to her poor health, her long-time vet was simply planning to do an exam that day, although the doctor recommended that Tonka should eventually be put down.

And despite being found in contempt of court for lying under oath, Haddix laughs. “Honey, I’ve been held in contempt of court three times,” she said. “I paid $50 a day [in fines]. I went through the mill. I’m sure there will be jail time in there. Do I care? No I do not care. It’s because it’s about this kid. As long as this kid is safe, I don’t care about anything down there.

Tonka’s discovery is the latest tiger king-esque twist in PETA’s lawsuit against Haddix, which says a documentary is being filmed about her and the legal battle, with the camera crew en route to capture the latest development in the story.

Ron Galella Collection via Getty

It’s been a saga, with PETA first suing Tonka’s original owner, Connie Casey, who ran the defunct Missouri Primate Foundation in Festus, Missouri, in 2016. (Casey was the breeder of a male chimpanzee who mutilated a Connecticut woman in 2009, and owned another chimpanzee who was shot in 2001 by a neighbor after the animal escaped.)

At one point, the facility was home to at least a dozen chimpanzees, and PETA claimed there were numerous violations of the Endangered Species Act, including cockroach-infested facilities, “keeping isolated chimpanzees”. [and] confining them to cramped and sterile enclosures.

Wanting to help Casey, Haddix took in seven chimpanzees, including Tonka, but PETA claimed the facility was still not adequate for the animals, and so added Haddix to the suit. After a back-and-forth over various improvements to the facility, as well as a judge limiting the number of chimps Haddix could have in her care, the chimps were finally ordered to be sent to the sanctuary.

But Haddix says she couldn’t bear to part with Tonka, saying she made him a promise that he “would never have to do anything he never wanted to do again”. And after her alleged stroke earlier that year, Haddix claims she decided to fake her death.

The animal rights group had doubted Haddix’s story from the start, citing her conflicting accounts of how her body was disposed of and a whistleblower last August who claimed Haddix had admitted that he was still alive. After several public pleas for information, the nonprofit has teamed up with former Tonka co-star Cumming to offer a $20,000 reward to anyone who can help them locate Tonka. which led to its discovery.

“After months of searching, Tonka has finally been found and help is on the way,” PETA attorney Jared Goodman said in a statement. “He has endured nearly a year in solitary confinement and is likely in need of urgent care, but if all goes well PETA will soon arrange for him to be moved to a lush sanctuary where he will finally have a chance to live. real life.”

The organization said it is also hiring an “independent veterinarian to assess whether Tonka is healthy enough to travel to an accredited sanctuary.”

But Haddix thinks Tonka won’t survive being transported to a sanctuary, and even if he did, she says a lack of human contact at the rescue facilities would kill him.

“Tonka just can’t tolerate this,” she explains. “If anyone knows Tonka, Tonka is not a normal chimp. He is a popular chimp because he was bred for film shoots and he doesn’t care about other chimps. He doesn’t act like any other chimpanzee, he loves people.

Haddix says she doesn’t know who informed PETA that she was harboring Tonka, saying only a select few knew about it. “I’m sorry for the person who did this and not because I’m threatening them in any way but whatever it is will be made public on all social media to be desecrated under this shape and this way,” she says.

According to a 10-page transcript of the recorded phone call PETA received rolling stone reviewed, Haddix was on the phone with someone who appeared to be part of the documentary crew, discussing potential interviews with family members and updates on Tonka’s health, including the apparent confirmation of Tonka’s euthanasia plans.

“I had [the vet] came out the other day on Mr. T and he has congestive heart failure, again, really bad,” Haddix said. “And [the vet] wanted me to put it down the other day, but I couldn’t. So he made an appointment for the 2 [June].”

“Yeah,” the other person replies. “Maybe we could interview your son and be there at the same time. Let me pass it on to everyone, but it would work.

“Because it’s the end of the legacy,” Haddix said.

While Haddix did not respond to further comments on Friday whether she was indeed planning to euthanize Tonka, she describes the chimp as her “best friend,” saying that if PETA takes her away from her, she will die.

“I won’t do that and that’s fine because if they want it on them, each in turn,” she adds. “At this point, I don’t even care, other than that I want Tonka to be okay. That’s all I care about. And they’re going to kill him, and I’ve already warned all the feds marshals If anything happened to this kid, I feel sorry for them because they will be prosecuted from here to there.

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Non-profit organization helps the public know the signs of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias

June 2—This June, during Alzheimer’s Disease and Brain Awareness Month, the Alzheimer’s Association reveals insights from people with early-stage dementia and what they would like others to know about living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Here are six things people with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia want you to know:

>> My Alzheimer’s diagnosis does not define me. Although a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is life-changing, many people with the disease say their diagnosis does not change who they are. Many people diagnosed say they want to continue doing the activities they love for as long as possible and stay engaged with family and friends.

>> If you want to know how I’m doing, ask me. The sudden change in how others communicate with someone recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia is a frustrating experience for many people living with the disease. Many people say it can be upsetting when family and friends only verify the person through a spouse or adult child. They say avoiding or avoiding direct communication only makes them feel more isolated and alone.

>> Yes, young people can get dementia. While the vast majority of Americans affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are age 65 and older, the disease can affect younger people. People diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at an early stage (before age 65) say it is important for others to avoid the common misconception that Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias only affect than older people and to take cognitive problems seriously at all ages.

>> Please don’t discuss my diagnosis or tell me that I don’t look like I have Alzheimer’s disease. While family members and friends may be well-meaning in trying to dismiss an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, many people living with the disease say such responses can be offensive. If someone says they’ve been diagnosed with dementia, take them at their word.

>> Understand sometimes that my words and my actions are not me, it is my disease. As Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias progress, individuals may experience a wide range of disease-related behaviors, including anxiety, aggression, and confusion. Those diagnosed say it is important for others to recognize symptoms related to the disease, so they are better prepared to support the person and overcome communication and behavioral issues.

>> A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s does not mean that my life is over. Earlier detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias gives those diagnosed more time to plan for their future and prioritize the things most important to them. Many people with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease and dementia say they want to continue leading active, fulfilling lives for as long as possible.

“The stigma surrounding Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is due in large part to a lack of understanding of the disease,” David Hernandez, executive director of the West Texas Chapter, said in a press release. “These personal insights from people with early-stage dementia highlight common stigmas associated with the disease and provide valuable tips for improving how Texas residents can support and engage these people.”

To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia and how you can support individuals and families affected by dementia, visit

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DC’s youth are learning life lessons through robotics

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The Capitol City Robotics club recently participated in a world robotics championship in Dallas. The young people were surprised by the quality of the coding and the know-how of their foreign peers. A duo from Mingdao High School in Taichung, Taiwan built a robot that far outpaced the competition and won the world championship in the prestigious teamwork category.

“We were overwhelmed,” said Michael Daza, an eighth-grade student at the DC-based robotics club. But the disappointment did not last long. “Now that we know what to expect, we’ll be ready next time,” he said.

No defeatist attitudes on the part of these young people. No desperation or despair. In robotics, problem solving is the name of the game. And if the problem is systemic, they will design a new system if they have to. They will form a new team. And fix it.

“If you work as a team, it’s much better,” said club member Zahra Merchant, who is in her fourth year.

It would also be good advice for a group like, say, Congress. But the young people were just talking about the skills they were learning in robotics – skills they were honing for a future that sometimes seemed as promising as it was perilous.

Just days after the DC teams returned, a gunman massacred 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, about 350 miles from where they competed in Dallas.

School shootings in America

Like most people, the students were shocked and saddened. But as desperation and frustration spread across the country, causing some adults to give up in despair, young people clung to the belief that if you have the will to solve a problem, you will find a way.

“Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with a new idea, a new way of trying to solve a problem,” Michael said. “I’ll usually get up and try it. I actually started to visualize solutions to problems.

Afghan robotics team arrives safely in Doha: ‘The girls ran away’

Just going to the Vex Robotics World Championship in Texas was proof of that. A total of 20,000 teams from 50 countries vied for entry. Only 2,300 teams from 36 countries were selected. The DC-based nonprofit robotics club had eight qualified teams, five of which were all-female.

It was a big win right from the start.

Ryan Daza, a 45-year-old economist, quit his job as a data miner about five years ago and founded the robotics club. About 150 young people from DC-area schools were meeting at a school in the district on Sundays for practice sessions.

When the school was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Daza turned the basement of his northeast Washington home into a robotics workshop. He installed tables and benches. He bought tools. He cleared a veranda to make room for the teams to test out their newly built robots.

Club members would come to his house in rotation, adhering to social distancing and other virus protocols. For almost two years, he worked 12 hours a day, seven days a week, to keep his club running. He purchased robotic parts and delivered them to members’ homes. He also found three garages in the city that the club could use to test robots that were too big to work in its basement.

He organized remote and live tournaments; he found mentors and sponsors.

“I grit my teeth, I squint and my brain just says ‘do it,'” said Daza, who is club member Michael’s father. “If I fail, I adapt and try again. When you try to create something that didn’t exist before, that’s what you do. Continue like that.

The club continued to rack up tournament wins and eventually qualified for the event in Dallas.

Robotics is one of those subjects that can engage virtually any student, if taught properly. It promotes critical thinking skills to solve complex problems through teamwork.

“In competitive sports, only 1 or 2 percent of participants can expect to become professionals,” Daza said. “In competitive science, it’s 100 percent.”

Despite the pandemic, the Capitol City Robotics organization has grown to over 300 members. From kindergarten age, children learn robotics. And as they grow, so do their robots. Some are eight feet tall. Daza is out of space. It needs a space at least as big as a basketball court to serve as the club’s new home.

There is also a waiting list of over 150 people wishing to join the club. Who knows? A robotics program just might keep a kid away from a gun. Take care of these children now, when they need help. Don’t raise your hands. Help them.

By all means pass any laws that might help stop the slaughter. But don’t forget to support the living. The kids at Capitol City Robotics aren’t thinking of giving up. They intensify.

They didn’t complain about how China and Taiwan seem more committed to teaching robotics in schools than educators in the United States.

They also don’t complain about the injustice of having problem-solving exercises that go way beyond robotics – like how not to get killed by a gunman if you find one loose in your school. Students in Taiwan are free from such misery.

Each of the Capitol City Robotics teams has names – Michael is a member of the Techs; Zahra’s team is the Robokitties. Ila’s call themselves the Unhidden Figures, which is a way to signal progress and optimism. “Hidden Figures”, you may recall, was the title of a 2016 film about a group of black female NASA mathematicians who only belatedly got credit for their role in flight history. spatial.

The almost forgotten story of the black women who helped land a man on the moon

At Capitol City Robotics, approximately 75% of members are people of color, and five of eight robotic teams are all-female.

“We’re going out,” Ila said.

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Non profit living

Coyote enters Woodland Hills home through dog door – NBC Los Angeles

Coyote sightings often prompt owners to keep their small pets indoors. But what do you do when a coyote breaks into your home? This is what a resident of Woodland Hills experienced.

Julie Levine runs a non-profit dog rescue called Canine Rescue Connection.

Saturday morning around 1 a.m., at home, Levine received a visit from a dog she was not expecting.

Surveillance footage captured the moment the coyote entered his home through a dog door and spent about three minutes inside.

“He walked along this pathway like you see in the video, jumped right here, the motion sensor lights came on and he found the dog door,” Levine said.

Levine didn’t realize she had an intruder until her senior rescue dogs started barking.

“I think he walked three quarters of the way down the hall and maybe saw us and kind of realized what he was up against and kind of took off,” Levine said. “I have beagles and that’s what the tracking was, they got the smell in their nose and they just went crazy,”

The coyote had already escaped, Levine checked her cameras to figure out what it was and couldn’t believe what she saw.

Although coyotes rarely attack humans, in April a coyote attacked a child at Huntington Beach Pier, leaving her with facial injuries.

Entering a house is also not something you often hear about, but coyotes have been known to injure and even kill small pets.

“They’re bold, they’re smart, they search for food, they search for water, and they might just bring some friends next time,” Levine said.

Levine thinks this coyote has been in his neighborhood before. Just last week, surveillance cameras captured this video of his neighbor chasing a coyote from his property.

“Coyotes are out there, we all know they can climb fences. It was a 6-foot fence,” Levine said.

Levine says she’s grateful the coyote didn’t reach her dogs and will take extra steps to keep her precious pups safe.

Now Levine’s dog house door is closed and she wants to make sure it never happens again.

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Wayne Health Mobile Unit to Unveil New Van Meets U.S. Disability Standards – Medical School News

The Wayne Health Mobile Unit will unveil its new Americans with Disabilities-compliant van to provide health screenings and COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters at the June 7 Empower Brightmoor: Self Advocacy, Health Equity and Intersectionality Resource Fair.

The van, donated by Ford Motor Co., is also equipped with bins of sensory items donated by the Autism Alliance of American.

“Having an ADA complaint vehicle was critical to the growth of the Wayne Health Mobile Unit program,” said Phillip Levy, MD, MPH, chief innovation officer at Wayne Health and associate vice president of translational research at Wayne State. University. “We are working to remove barriers to care for underserved populations in metro Detroit. Thanks to the generosity of Ford, coupled with the DDI grant, we are able to deepen our community health awareness and impact with a new group of people. This is just our final step to help make our community healthier overall.

At the fair, which will take place from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Brightmoor Connection Food Pantry, 16621 Lahser Road, Detroit, the Wayne Mobile Health Unit will offer vaccines and boosters, as well as screenings for diabetes, cholesterol and kidney function. ; blood pressure screening; COVID-19 testing; HIV testing; mental health screenings; and referral to health and care resources in the community. The show is presented by Michigan Vaccination Partners and co-sponsored by the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Institute and Disability Rights Michigan.

The Michigan Developmental Disabilities Institute at Wayne State University recently received a three-year, $7 million grant to address COVID-19-related health disparities in Michigan. The goal of the grant is to increase the number of people with disabilities immunized, as well as their family members and caregivers; people confined to their homes or isolated; people with transportation limitations; and people living in communities with a high social vulnerability index.

The statewide project involves the Wayne Health Mobile Unit, the Integrated Biosciences Center, the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, the Office for Community Engaged Research and the Institute of Gerontology . Other partners include Michigan State University’s Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council, Disability Rights Michigan, and The Arc Michigan.

The team aims to improve understanding of disproportionately affected populations and barriers to vaccination by cultivating and strengthening community partnerships, expanding and diversifying vaccination opportunities, and improving and disseminating messaging and education. around vaccination.

Wayne Health launched a drive-thru COVID testing program in March 2020 in Detroit and Dearborn days after the first cases in Michigan through a partnership with WSU Health Sciences and ACCESS. Initially focused on healthcare workers and first responders, it has expanded to other members of the community. To date, more than 63,000 people have received health care and/or been connected to social services through the mobile health program at more than 1,891 sites in the region.

The Wayne Health Mobile Unit represents the future of health care, providing “care your way, where you live and work,” with the long-term goal of improving population health outcomes.

Wayne Health is a nonprofit multispecialty physician group affiliated with Wayne State University School of Medicine. With nearly 400 physicians and advanced practice providers in 50 medical specialties, Wayne Health provides a full range of care, from birth to end of life, for individuals and families throughout Southeast Michigan. Wayne Health’s multi-specialty clinics are conveniently located in Detroit, Dearborn, Southfield and Troy, with single-specialty clinics in Livonia (psychiatry), Monroe (dermatology) and Taylor (ophthalmology). For more information, visit

To make an appointment with a Wayne Health provider at Detroit Mack Health Center or another location, call 877 WAYNE-HC (877-929-6342). To learn more about Wayne Health, visit

The Michigan Development Disabilities Institute is Michigan’s academic center of excellence for developmental disabilities and the home of Michigan leadership training in neurodevelopmental and related disorders. The mission of the institute is to contribute to the development of inclusive communities and the quality of life of people with disabilities and their families through a national program of interdisciplinary education, community support and service, research and the dissemination of information. culturally sensitive information. For more information, visit

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Non profit living

The Hancock project to house the homeless navigates through the Planning Commission

Thursday May 26th, 2022 by Jonathan Lee

The Planning Commission unanimously backed a zoning change on Tuesday that would allow housing for people exiting homelessness to be built in the Hancock neighborhood.

A group of affordable housing developers hopes to rezone three lots at 1004-1008 E. 39th St. in Multifamily-Moderate Density (MF-4-NP) to build 100 permanent supportive housing units, an arrangement where tenants stay long term and have access to on-site support services.

“This project helps meet the needs of the most vulnerable we see in Austin, those we see struggling to find stable housing as we move through our great city,” said Megan Lasch of Saigebrook Development and O-SDA Industries.

The project, called Cady Lofts, is proposed as a three- and four-story building with studio apartments. The development team includes Austin Affordable Housing Corporation and SGI Ventures as developers, and New Hope Housing, Saigebrook Development and O-SDA Industries as consultants. The AAHC is a non-profit organization affiliated with the City of Austin.

Even without the rezoning, the project would likely be built anyway — with just six floors instead of four — using Affordability Unlocked, a program that waives parking and compatibility requirements for affordable housing. But Lasch said that wasn’t ideal. Building taller costs more, and a shorter building is better suited to adjacent single-family homes, she said.

Cady Lofts stands a good chance of receiving the competitive 9% tax credits that the state distributes. The project achieves the best results in its region partly because there are no similar projects nearby. Few affordable housing projects are built west of Interstate 35 in part due to high land values ​​and well-organized neighborhood opposition.

At the last planning commission meeting, the Hancock Neighborhood Association asked for a long delay which, if approved, could have jeopardized the tax credit application and the project as a whole. The commission instead granted a two-week postponement. The neighborhood association opposes the project, with 87.5% of members voting against.

Thanks to the efforts of the advocacy group Austin Justice Coalition, more people came out in favor on Tuesday than against — a rarity in rezonings. “I want to send a very clear message to all neighborhoods in Austin today: We are ready to stand up and fight for (permanent supportive housing),” said João Paulo Connolly, director of the organization of AJC.

Chris Baker, executive director of homeless aid provider The Other Ones Foundation, expressed exasperation with opposition to the project. “The whole idea that there would be people in this community who would oppose housing for our brothers and sisters who live on the streets, when we as a city have collectively decided that we are going to make it illegal for the people. living outdoors is beyond pale,” Baker said.

A statement by the Austin Justice Coalition in support of the project has been signed by numerous organizations, advocates and politicians, including Mayor Steve Adler and all members of City Council except Mackenzie Kelly, Kathie Tovo and Alison Alter. The project is located in District 9 of Tovo.

Neighbors opposed to the rezoning said they needed more time to assess the project’s impact on them.

“The need for experts is evident here on our side, that we need to do our due diligence and look for the issues,” said HNA President Coan Dillahunty. “Not because we are opposed to this project or to supportive public housing, but we have real concerns about how it will work in our neighborhood and how safe it will be for the neighborhood and future tenants.”

Dillahunty said neighbors can hire an attorney “to see if there’s a violation (of state law relating to) spot zoning or contract zoning.”

Lasch said she has been trying to address neighbors’ concerns since January.

After questions and discussion from the commissioners, the members voted unanimously in favor of the zoning change.

“It’s a lot of density for the site, but I have a lot of confidence in the detail and the attention that is given to each piece,” said curator Carmen Llanes Pulido, who presented the motion.

Commissioner Greg Anderson applauded those who spoke in favor of the project. “There are always excuses against housing. But I heard a lot of pro housing voices today, and it was really, really wonderful.

The city council is due to vote on the case on June 9.

Rendering of Cady Lofts, courtesy of Saigebrook Development.

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A Utah judge will hear arguments on Wednesday over the misuse of public funds for the tanker train

SALT LAKE CITY― A Utah District Court judge will hear arguments on Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by conservation groups challenging the misuse of public funds for fossil fuel projects, including the railroad project. iron from the Uinta Basin.

In August 2020, conservation groups sued the Utah Permanent Community Impact Fund Board for awarding nearly $28 million in public funds to the 88-mile railroad project. The railroad, which could facilitate a quadrupling of oil production from the Uinta Basin in northeastern Utah, would transport Utah crude through Colorado to refineries on the Gulf Coast .

What: Arguments before Utah District Court Judge Adam T. Mow on the Center for Biological Diversity’s motion for summary judgment in its challenge to the Impact Fund Board’s misuse of public money permanent community

When: Wednesday, May 25, 1:30 p.m. MST

Or: Judge Mow’s Courtroom, Utah District Court, 450 S. State St., Salt Lake City, Utah, 84114

Who: Center attorney Wendy Park will be available for comment after the hearing

The Uinta Basin Railway project would spur new drilling and fracking in the region, damaging roads, straining public facilities and services, worsening the climate crisis and harming public health. The railroad, along with access roads, well pads, pipelines, and increased trucking, would also fragment wildlife habitat and put a strain on precious water supplies.

State and federal laws require that these public funds be used to support projects that help communities deal with the impacts of mining development on federal public lands. But the council transferred nearly $28 million to the Seven County Infrastructure Coalition to move the railroad forward.

A 2020 report from Utah’s Office of the Legislative Auditor General raised serious concerns about the Community Impact Board, including improper funding of economic development projects. The audit highlighted the Uinta Basin Railway as one of the projects demonstrating the need to improve council policies and practices.

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How do you find a roommate if you’re older and need to split the costs?

Q I am in my 60s and married to a wonderful, much older man. I hope he lives forever! Being pragmatic, I have to plan my financial security. How do I find a roommate to share the housing costs if I find myself alone? I would like to stay in my same neighborhood if possible. Where do I start? HEY

Do you remember “The Golden Girls”? Who can forget Rose, Dorothy, Blanche and Sophia? This sitcom featured four roommates sharing almost everything, bringing attention to what we now call senior housing. Few thought the Golden Girls pattern would turn into a trend of older adults looking for roommates or housemates. Although this trend is small, it is growing.

Choosing the right roommate takes some homework. Consider the following helpful checklist compiled by Agewise Colorado:

  • Consult the references. Call them and ask about their experience with candidates regarding their integrity, honesty, communication skills, and cleanliness.
  • Determine if applicants are financially stable. Do they pass credit and background checks?
  • Check their names on the internet and see if there are any warning signs.
  • Find out if the person is able to live independently, both physically and mentally?
  • Identify your deal breakers. Are pets ok? What about overnight guests and alcohol consumption?
  • Does this person share your values? Are they considerate? Do they respect the property of others? Is this person clean and tidy or it doesn’t matter?

While a roommate’s motivation may be financial, a second motivation and benefit is social. Living alone doesn’t mean you’re alone. However, studies indicate that living alone is a predictor of loneliness which can lead to health issues such as depression, cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline. Also, living with a roommate means having someone to share some of the household chores and maintenance needs, especially if that roommate is younger..

Here are some resources:

Silver Nest: Launched seven years ago, it’s a home-sharing service for elderly homeowners that matches them with roommates. Founder Wendi Burkhardt says “senior homeowners can earn between $12,000 and $18,000 a year renting a room,” according to a Kiplinger story called “Moves to Make Now to Age in Place.” In addition to the matching service, Silvernest offers help tools for living conditions, background checks, setting up automatic lease payments and more. About 30% of their couples are intergenerational. Fees are charged to roommates wanting a room. Silvernest has a presence in Los Angeles and several other California communities. See

Senior roommates: This is a nationwide online roommate service specifically designed for seniors. The service matches people who have an extra bedroom in their home with other seniors who are usually on fixed incomes and are looking for safe and affordable housing. Many housemates are empty-nesters, widows or widowers who may find it difficult to adjust to life alone. Homeshares, a non-profit organization, is free and welcomes donations. According to their website, Homeshares “helps you find companionship, live more securely, and ease your finances.” To see

ALA Shared Housing Program: This program matches two or more unrelated people in Los Angeles to share a home in exchange for rent or services such as cleaning or cooking. Donors can be owners or tenants with an average age of 75 years. Housing applicants can be retirees, employees or students. Their average age is 65 years old. Housing applicants must be mentally, physically and financially self-sufficient. ALA is the intermediary that selects both providers and applicants. To see

Intergenerational housing: An example is Nestle, a marketplace that connects older adults with younger tenants in the extra space of their homes. They charge an upfront matching fee and a percentage of the monthly lease. To see In Orange County, Homeshare OC Programsspecifically matches university students with landlords with a free room to rent. All parties benefit as students pursue their educational goals while enriching the lives of seniors. To see Also check with colleges and universities in your community for student housing applications.

National Shared Housing Resource Center. It is a network of independent, nonprofit home-sharing programs across the United States, providing referrals to local agencies, programs, and guidelines on finding a roommate. They offer a program directory with nearly 20 in California, including Ventura and Orange counties.

On a more informal approach, use your network of book groups, garden clubs, churches and synagogues, senior centers, libraries and more to let people know you’re looking for a roommate. Networks continue to be a powerful resource.

Thank you, ET, for your important and pertinent question. Good luck finding the right roommate at the right time. As always, be careful and kind to yourself and others.

Helen Dennis is a nationally recognized leader on aging and new retirement issues with academic, corporate, and nonprofit experience. Contact Helen with your questions and comments at [email protected]. Visit Helen at and follow her at

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A non-profit organization for incarcerated women asks for help

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) – A woman is dedicating her life’s work to helping others get second chances. She is looking for help to take this effort to a much higher level.

“We are a non-profit organization serving women coming out of long-term incarceration,” said Lindsay Holloway, founder of This Is Living Ministries in Cookeville. “The house we are currently in is for women aged 12 to 18 months. We train and train them to reintegrate into society.”

There is training in money management, interviewing, learning the marketable skills they have by teaching crafts and gardening and much more.

The program is the pride of Lindsay and her husband, a couple who have reason to believe in this mission to give others another chance.

“Twelve years ago I was charged with aggravated burglary for breaking into homes,” she said. “I was also facing federal charges for possession of stolen weapons. I still cry thinking I got to that point I wanted to kill myself. I thought I was so useless I thought the world would be a better place. without me.”

Lindsay said she returned to her community of Cookeville after a life-changing experience on The Next Door program. Her husband was also able to spend his time in prison. Both know the challenges that come after, like struggling to even find a place to rent.

“People said things about both of us that we wouldn’t stand for,” Lindsay said. “We’ve had over 30 women who have gone through the program that we’ve led to new lives.”

Lindsay said it was time to take her efforts to a new level. She hopes to purchase about 20 acres of land to expand her program for incarcerated women. Her hopes for the land include apartments for women that no one will rent and a community center.

“I wish I had another home where women who get custody of their children can learn how to be mothers to their children,” Lindsay added.

Lindsay said her life’s work is helping people understand that people can grow and change.

“If you see a woman who is recovering and in a program, give her a chance,” she said. “I was so grateful to have had a chance. All it takes is one person to do it.”

If you would like to participate in the fundraising effort, go here.

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Battle of the Wings, Long Island Medium, Film Festival: 13 Things to Do in CNY This Weekend

Lots to do this weekend. First: “Battle of the Wings”. Head to Inner Harbor to weigh in on the best wings in the area. Then, watch a show. There is an opera production, a pop sibling duo and a string quartet of music through the ages. There’s also a 70s disco dance at the Oncenter this weekend, and all proceeds go to charity. SUNY Cortland will host its annual free Blackbird Film Festival featuring shorts from around the country, and psychic Theresa Caputo will perform at the Landmark Theater on Friday. There are two occasional drawing meetings this weekend, plant sales and a high school chess championship.

Do you know of an event you would like to see on this list? Email us at [email protected]

These Limp Lizard Chicken Wings are among those served at this year’s Battle of the Wings in the city’s Inner Harbor. (Charlie Miller | [email protected])

Chicken wing fight

A festival celebrating the almighty chicken wing will return to the city’s inner harbor for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic. Eleven restaurants and bars will face off in the “Battle of the Wings” on Friday and Saturday. The two-day festival will also feature 11 bands on two different stages, and a dozen food trucks will line the grounds and sell their food. Tickets are $10 at the door. has the details.

Or: 328 W. Kirkpatrick Street, Syracuse

When: Friday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 11 p.m.

How much: $10

Blackbird Film Festival

SUNY Cortland will host the 8th Annual Blackbird Film Festival in Cortland this weekend, screening 136 short films over three days in themed time blocks like “Dead & Gone (Sorta),” “Rhythm & Vibe,” and “Re-Opening: A Lockdown Mockumentary.” The weekend begins with two hours of “Micro Madness”, a screening of 20 short films of less than three minutes each. Each session lasts approximately 70 minutes and includes 6 to 8 short films of 1 to 30 minutes. All films will screen at the Brown Auditorium Theater at SUNY Cortland. For a full list of films and events like the Film Trivia Luncheon, go to

Or: 32 Graham Ave, Cortland

When: from Thursday to Sunday

How much: Free

United Booty Foundation

Boogie down to the Oncenter on Saturday for a 70s show, the United Booty Foundation’s first since 2015. There will be photo booths, a silent auction, costume contests, 70s-themed drinks and lots of dancing. Tight pants and sequins strongly recommended. Doors open at 8 p.m., “Booty time” starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $31 after fees through Ticketmaster or $20 if you buy at the box office in person. The box office phone number is (315) 435-2121. All proceeds will go to Give it Back to the Kids, a non-profit organization that funds kids in sports.

Or: 800 S. State St., Syracuse

When: Saturday at 8 p.m.

How much: $31 online or $20 in person at the box office

Therese Caputo

(Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images)

Therese Caputo

The star of the TLC show, “Long Island Medium,” will speak at the Landmark Theater on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Caputo will share personal stories and read to a few audience members during the show. Tickets cost between $56 and $109 after fees. Visit for more information and to purchase tickets. Proof of vaccination or recent negative COVID test required for ages 12 and up. Mandatory masks.

Or: 362 S. Salina Street, Syracuse

When: Friday at 7:30 p.m.

How much: $56 to $109

Geneva Music Festival

The Fête de la Musique de Genève 2022 will begin on Friday with “New Beginnings: From Quartet to Hard Core”, a concert hosted by musicologist Anya Wilkening. Violin, viola and cello musicians will preview the musical motifs of the festival season, from Haydn to ATLYS pop rock and ska punk. The performance will include “Only Now” by Seven Lions and Tyler Graves, “Allegro moderato, cantabile” by Haydn, “Larghetto espressivo-Allegretto agitato” by Beethoven, “Shenandoah” arranged by Joseph Ittoop, “Believer” by Imagine Dragons and more . The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. at The Cracker Factory in Geneva. Tickets are $30 for adults, free for children through grade 12, and $10 for students. Season passes are $200. For more information, visit

Or: 35 rue Lehigh, Geneva

When: Friday at 7:30 p.m.

How much: $30 for adults, $10 for students, free for children up to grade 12

Open figure drawing

Open Figure Drawings Inc. will be leading another open figure drawing session at the Rosamond Gifford Sculpture Court at the Everson Museum of Art on Thursday from 6-8 p.m. model. Bring your own pencils and sketchbooks. Admission is free as part of the museum’s Free Third Thursday series. Come back on Fridays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for food truck lunches on the square. Call the museum at (315) 474-6064 for more information.

Or: 401 Harrison Street, Syracuse

When: Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

How much: Free

W. Genesee Chess Championship

Chess championship rules. Provided by Robert Nasiff.

High School Chess Championship

The West Genesee School District will host a chess championship on Saturday open to all CNY school players from K-12, including home-schooled players, school teams and non-club players. The Championship is a four-game non-elimination event. The first round begins at 10 a.m. and prizes will be awarded after the last round, usually around 2 p.m. Register by Friday by sending your name, school, class, phone number and section to [email protected] Registration is $12 per person with discounts for teams and families. Late registration on site is $15 per person. Do not send your fees by mail; bring cash or a check to the tournament. Email for more information.

Or: 5201 W. Genesee Street, Camille

When: Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

How much: $12 per person with registration before Friday. $15 per day’s person. Team and family discounts apply.

Plant sales

The volunteer Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of Onondaga County will hold their annual plant sale (including native plants) Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon at the Beaver Lake Nature Center in Baldwinsville. The event is free but it’s $5 to park at the center. Bring cash or checks. For more information, visit The Baltimore Woods Nature Center in Marcellus will also be holding a native plant sale on Friday from 4-8 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Kambuyu Marimba will play at 6 p.m. on Friday. More information at

Or: Baldwinsville and Marcellus

When: Friday or Saturday

How much: $5 to park in Baldwinsville, otherwise free.

The Splitting Chelsea Opera

Image courtesy of Chelsea Opera

“The Separation” at the Chelsea Opera

Chelsea Opera will present “The Parting”, a contemporary opera for voice and chamber ensemble, Saturday and Sunday at CNY Jazz Central. The production is a lyrical imagination, sung in English, of the final moments of Hungarian poet Miklós Radnóti and his wife Fanni on their last night together in May 1944, before their assassination in World War II. Tickets are $40 after fees. For more information on the opera, visit Masks and proof of vaccination or recent negative COVID test required.

Or: 441 E.Washington St., Syracuse

When: Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

How much: $40 online

Java and drawing

A no-frills drawing meet at Cafe Kubal in downtown Syracuse. Bring a sketchpad and crayons and sit at a table with a cup of coffee and illustrator Rebecca Miller to sketch. The event is the brainchild of the non-profit Cathedral Collective, which is also running an art scavenger hunt around the city until the end of May. Cathedral Collective hides a piece of art from a local artist around Syracuse every day, then posts a hint of where to find it on its Instagram by 11 a.m. Whoever finds art can keep it! Head over to the Cathedral Collective Instagram page for more information.

Or: 401 S. Salina Street, Syracuse

When: Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

How much: A beverage

Oshima Brothers

Photo courtesy of Folkus

Oshima Brothers

Maine-based roots-pop duo “Oshima Brothers” will perform as part of Syracuse’s Folkus Series Friday at 8 p.m. at the May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society. The brothers, Sean and Jamie Oshima, sing, loop and play guitar, keyboard and bass, often at the same time. Tickets are $20 after fees or $17 for members. For tickets and more information, go to Masks and proof of vaccination required.

Or: 3800 East Genesee St., Syracuse

When: Friday May 20 at 8 p.m.

How much: $20 for general admission, $17 for members

Red Oak Music Series

Open air music. The Lime Hollow Nature Center and Homer Arts Center will hold monthly outdoor concerts outside the Lime Hollow Environmental Education Center through September. Folk musician Austin MacRae and indie-folk singer-songwriter Jen Cork will perform at this month’s concert Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. Hiking, picnicking and land exploration are encouraged. Free entry; donations accepted.

Or: 3277 Gracie Road, Cortland

When: Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.

How much: Free

Sale of albums and rubber stamps

Take the baby pictures. Vendors selling rubber stamps and scrapbooking supplies will set up shop in the Fingerlakes Mall in Auburn this Friday and Saturday. Demonstrators will also be present to share design tips and tricks. Find the show at the north end of the mall. More information at

Or: 1579 Clark Street, Auburn

When: Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

How much: Free

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Non profit living

Food truck for charity: British Columbia doctor launches nonprofit

A Vancouver-area surgeon, inspired to try to give back to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic, has launched a food truck that will raise money for charity and employ people struggling to make ends meet .

Dr. Sharadh Sampath says the Cultivate food truck will start by parking outside hospitals in Metro Vancouver, giving healthcare workers the chance to grab a healthy meal on their breaks while contributing to a good cause .

“It kind of created momentum during COVID because obviously people who were struggling before COVID were having a much worse time during COVID,” he told CTV News.

He says that while he has worked hard to achieve success in his life, he acknowledges that his relatively privileged position has also played a role.

“If I didn’t have all that, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do. And so I want this playground to be the best it can be,” he explains.

“This is the first foray into trying to help make that happen for some people who might not have had that chance otherwise.”

The truck is getting back up and running after a hiatus caused by rising fuel and food costs and Sampath says he hopes raising awareness of what he’s trying to do will help the business succeed and hopefully -the, will give others considering trying to make a difference some motivation.

“That’s one of the measures of success. If someone hears about the truck and thinks, ‘Well, if this guy can do it, I can do something similar in my community and help where I live. . That would be great,” he said.

Her colleague, Dr. Ekua Yorke, says she is doing everything she can to spread the word and make the project a success.

“I think we all often have great ideas, we imagine ourselves helping society in some way. But at the end of the day, life is often busy or we don’t know how to galvanize people so that ‘they come together,’ she said.

“When I saw that he took the time during COVID, when most of us were struggling to keep our heads above water, to bring this project to fruition, I was inspired.”

While the nonprofit is still getting up and running, Sampath has a vision for what it will become. He hopes to expand the truck’s customer base by organizing events. More workers will be hired, trained and paid a living wage. The plan is to go beyond donations to the hospitals they park in front of to support shelters, cancer research and Indigenous health initiatives.

But beyond that, he wants people to know that the food is not only healthy but really, really good.

“We have two chefs who are nothing but rock stars. The food is legit and they put a lot of love into it,” he says.

“You will leave with a full stomach and a little inspiration.”

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Non profit living

Maison Coloniale Open House on May 21 | News, Sports, Jobs

A resident is dressed as a pineapple, the symbol of Colonial House, a freestanding residence in Parkersburg. (Photo provided)

PARKERSBURG — An open house will be held at Colonial House from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on May 21 at the 23rd Street residential complex.

Tours of the nonprofit complex will be available.

Colonial House is a 16-bed independent residence that does not accept insurance, Medicare or Medicaid. All utilities, internet and phone are included in the rent of $2,000 per month.

It is managed by a board of directors. Earl Johnson is chairman and Missi Stanley is executive director.

The facility offers short-term respite stays and residents can pay by the day or month.

All rooms are private at Colonial House and are immediately available. (Photo provided)

“Perfect for someone who lives alone, is on their own and would like to meet other people, no worries about cooking meals or maintaining their home.” Stanley said.

Men, women and couples are welcome and residents are free to come and go as they please. Many residents drive and have cars parked in the back of the colonial house.

“Our resident group has a neighborhood club called the ‘Golden Girls.’ We are always open to helping other businesses, special causes in the area,” Stanley said. “For example, we stuffed Easter eggs for the Mountwood Easter Egg Hunt, prepared admissions packs for a local college, collected items for the homeless, and worked with local schools on various projects. »

Volunteers are encouraged and residents enjoy listening to music, special singers and guest speakers, especially on history. Those interested in volunteering can call Colonial House at 304 428-6575.

“Our food is homemade and residents are invited to share a recipe they would like our kitchen to make,” Stanley said. “Meals are served with the family. Three meals a day and snacks.

Bathrooms are handicapped accessible at Colonial House on 23rd Street in Parkersburg, where an open house will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on May 21. (Photo provided)

Weekly maid services, 24-hour security and emergency call systems, an on-site beauty salon, and laundry facilities are also provided.

The rooms 15 by 15 are private and the bathrooms are accessible to people with disabilities. Rooms are available for immediate occupancy.

“We have a house cat. Sweet Pea thinks she’s a dog,” Stanley said. “Very social and gets treats from residents.”

Colonial House is on Facebook and the website is

All meals are prepared in the Colonial House kitchen where resident recipes are encouraged. (Photo provided)

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Non profit living

22 dogs rescued from ‘deplorable’ conditions

LIMA — Donations have started pouring in to the Ohio SPCA/Humane Society shelter in Lima as news spreads that 22 German Shepherd dogs were rescued by the nonprofit agency earlier this week from what was described as “deplorable” living conditions.

Jason Asoro, who runs the Humane Society shelter, said officials received a call last week referring to a “lots of animals” in an undisclosed location inside the city limits that required special attention.

“We went there and learned that the owner of the dogs had been arrested for a domestic dispute and his daughter was living on the property,” Asoro said. “The animals were in pretty bad shape…covered in mud. They have clearly been living in these conditions for some time,” he said. “They weren’t well socialized and were shaking and scared.”

The dogs, 13 puppies and nine adults, were taken to the Humane Society shelter on Elida Road, where they are currently receiving much-needed attention.

Asoro said the owners of the dogs returned the animals and no criminal charges would be brought against the owner or his daughter.

“She (the girl) has just been passed; she was in over her head and didn’t know what to do,” Asoro said. “After discussions with the prosecutor, it has been determined that it is in the interests of the dogs that charges not be filed.

“We are more interested in animals. A criminal case would take months to solve and the animals should have stayed here (at the shelter) as evidence,” Asoro said. “We don’t want the puppies growing up in the shelter. We want them adopted into good homes.

As the sudden infusion of 22 animals into the shelter threatened to create financial hardship for the SPCA, Asoro said the public came out with flying colors to offer their help.

“These are 22 dogs that will have to be sterilized, microchipped and vaccinated. Many dogs show signs of upper respiratory infections and will need medication. All of these costs will easily cost us over $8,000 in expenses.

The director of the shelter said the public had already responded “more than expected”.

Monetary donations can be made through the agency’s website at Checks can be made out to the Ohio SPCA & Humane Society and mailed to the shelter at 3606 Elida Road, Lima.

Material goods, including adult and puppy food, treats and peanut butter, can be dropped off at the shelter.

The dogs rescued by the local Humane Society are believed to have been living in cramped cages for some time.

A puppy is transported by a Humane Society employee from a residence in the city of Lima where he lived in squalid conditions.

This German Shepherd is one of 22 such animals rescued earlier this week by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the local Humane Society.

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Non profit living

Poverty fighter Larry James quits Dallas CitySquare

The child had taken great care in his writing assignment, each letter meticulously printed on the primary lined paper and the words illustrated by a drawing of his family’s house.

When I saw it, hanging inside the office door of longtime CitySquare poverty fighter Larry James, I guessed it was a sweet keepsake from one of his grandchildren. .

James suggested I take a closer look.

The writer was a South Dallas student at an elementary school a few blocks away. He had used his calligraphy exercise to express a fear that should stop us all in our tracks:

I’m scared when I’m alone at home because the filming is noisy and I risk being shot.

The fears of this vulnerable child speak to why James has spent the past 28 years trying to get North Texans to take a closer look at poverty, homelessness and pernicious inadequacies – in housing. , health care, education and wages – which contribute to both.

That’s why he wants us to move – not to waste time fussing over his retirement.

But whether he likes it or not, James and his remarkable work will be celebrated Tuesday at CitySquare’s Opportunity Center on Malcolm X Boulevard. Like the good agitator that James is, he uses what we journalists call “an information point” to offer one more challenge to our city.

The unprecedented federal pandemic funding and the voices of new leaders in Dallas give us a real chance to do more than ever to reduce and even eliminate the effects of poverty, James told me.

Among dozens of framed photographs in Larry James’ CitySquare office is this one with former President George W. Bush, left, the Dalai Lama and former First Lady Laura Bush.(Elias Valverde II / Personal photographer)

“We need to commit, especially as people who look like me, to transforming the community under the leadership of people of color,” he said.

If you’ve spent much time with James, you know him as a preacher-turned-nonprofit provider who had the courage to put his faith into action.

We met in 1994, just after he left the pulpit of the Richardson East Church of Christ to lead the fledgling Central Dallas Ministries, as CitySquare was originally known.

As his notion of authentic faith changed, he saw his calling to run a food pantry, a vocational training operation, and a medical and dental clinic.

The faith was in the answer to questions such as how he would want to be treated if he was homeless or if he was a marginalized minority mother who happened to be single.

As James expanded CitySquare’s services for those in need, he also educated policy makers and led anti-poverty efforts at the request of elected officials.

Mike Rawlings got to know James through his own work as the city’s homeless czar and, once elected mayor, saw the champion in the fight against poverty as a trusted adviser.

Rawlings told me that James had both the right motivations and a smart way of approaching problems. “He was practical, not chimerical, and it was helpful,” said the former mayor.

In April 2010, singer Jon Bon Jovi visited what was then still Central Dallas Ministries to...
In April 2010, singer Jon Bon Jovi visited what was then still Central Dallas Ministries to hear staff, including right-back Larry James, talk about his housing efforts.(Rex C. Curry)

In many ways, James is Dallas’ mother Teresa, Rawlings said. “He left his church ministry and invested himself with all his heart and soul to help the poor in Dallas and did so successfully.”

Raised in Richardson, James entered the ministry and pastored congregations throughout the Southeast before returning home to lead the church he grew up in.

For 14 years at the Richardson East Church of Christ, James led a 1,000-member, mostly white church to challenge racism and advocate for the poor and homeless, often in partnership with black pastors and congregations.

Feeling that Central Dallas Ministries was more in tune with his heart, James took the plunge with little illusion of success. He laughed as he recalled, “Then I got here and realized how stupid I really was.”

Yet he made what would become CitySquare a formidable champion of the poor, in large part, he says, thanks to the unconditional help he received from neighbors in the association.

“That was the real seminary education,” he said.

From its earliest days, CitySquare adopted the habit of calling the people it helped neighbors, not customers.

Larry James visited in March 2013 a woman who lived in an abandoned house not far...
Larry James visited in March 2013 a woman who lived in an abandoned house not far from where the CitySquare Opportunity Center was being built in South Dallas.(Brad Loper / staff photographer)

James sat with these neighbors on their porches, in homeless encampments, or in the middle of busy roads many times. He took them to the Social Security office to try to get benefits. He visited them after they got housing for the first time.

“Larry is the good neighbor, the one with the eyes to see the pain of others,” John Siburt, president and CEO of CitySquare, told me. “And when he sees it, he stops and he listens and he helps.”

“He doesn’t ask, ‘Who is my neighbor?’ but rather, ‘Who am I next to?’

Reminisce with James and he’s more likely to tell you about all the mistakes he’s made – and all the times longtime CitySquare colleague Gerald Britt had to teach him things.

James recalled that they both surveyed the damage to Cadillac Heights in East Oak Cliff and the Rhoads Terrace-Turner Courts area south of Dallas after another devastating flood caused by the inadequate levee system .

At one point, Britt stood to the side listening to James offer comfort to an elderly black man whose home was now habitable.

As James tells it, Britt replied that those comforting words to the resident were fine, but what these neighborhoods needed was for him to go to the white churches and ask, ‘How can we keep letting this go? happen in our city? ”

James said that was the start of his move. He is the one who always asks the hard questions. The one who doesn’t let people down. One that challenges the security status quo.

Britt, who left CitySquare in 2020 and is now part of the Dallas Leadership Foundation team, told me that Dallas would probably never fully appreciate that James’ efforts had changed and saved so many lives.

“He also gave those of us who worked with him the opportunity to transform lives and communities while transforming our own lives,” Britt said.

    Larry James, whose title at the time of this May 1995 photo was Director of Central Dallas...
Larry James, whose title at the time of this May 1995 photo was Director of Central Dallas Ministries, helped unload a truck full of building materials for the nonprofit.(dmn)

James, who officially left CitySquare’s payroll on December 31 but is still CEO Emeritus, admits he is still considering the retirement issue.

“When you’re 28 years old at full speed in one place with your hair on fire most of the time, it’s not easy to slow down,” the 72-year-old said. But given his diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease in January 2020, he said slowing down probably made sense.

James remains confident that he won’t give up hope that everyone in Dallas will have a fair chance to do well.

“We have the potential and the opportunity to create a community that cares for everyone,” he said as we parted ways. “It probably takes a leap of faith to believe it’s even possible, but I’m still working with it.”

Staff, family, friends and neighbors will gather at the CitySquare Opportunity Center on Tuesday afternoon to celebrate Larry James. If you would like information about the event, please email [email protected]

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Non profit living

Fairfield County’s housing shortage is an economic time bomb

The high cost of housing in Fairfield County is generally accepted as a trade-off for living close to New York City in a community known for its great schools, lots of open space, and beautiful waterfronts.

But this narrative hides the fact that Fairfield County faces a housing crisis that threatens the short- and long-term economic health of our community. In other words, our community does not have enough affordable housing to accommodate those who live and work here.

The good news is that we have the power to change, but only if we take immediate action to address a problem that has long been overlooked.

How serious is the problem?

According to a 2021 research report from Fairfield County’s Center for Housing Opportunity and Urban Institute, more than half of Fairfield County’s 114,000 renter households are overburdened or heavily overburdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their income for housing.

The same research found that these burdens disproportionately impact Black and Latino households and people with disabilities — populations that are more likely to rent.

Predictably, these burdens also fall primarily on low-income people. And in Fairfield County, the gap between rich and poor is particularly wide. In fact, Fairfield County is home to the largest income and opportunity gap of the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the United States.

This means that we have the resources to change this dynamic. And when considering the economic and social costs associated with high housing costs, we should also be motivated to try a new approach.

Decades of research and data show that when families live without the burden of high housing costs, children do better in school. People are healthier. Families are stronger. Our communities are richer. The economy is healthier. And we are more fair and equitable.

We have already begun to take important steps to address our housing crisis and put Fairfield County on the path to creating effective housing solutions to meet the needs of our most vulnerable residents and improve our economic health.

In 2019, the Fairfield County Community Foundation partnered with Housing Collective, the Regional Plan Association, and the Partnership for Strong Communities to launch Fairfield County’s Center for Housing Opportunity (FCCHO). With the support of funders like JP Morgan Chase, FCCHO works with residents, government, community organizations, nonprofits and business leaders to identify and implement equitable solutions to the challenge of Affordable Housing in Fairfield County.

Since its creation, the FCCHO has:

● inventoried all supported housing in the state and built an open-source data platform (AffordCT) to visualize this inventory and support data-driven decision-making about housing policy and practice;

● helped Fairfield County municipalities obtain funding and technical assistance to create affordable housing plans;

● created a Fairfield County Housing Needs Assessment that provides each city in the region with data to clearly identify its housing needs;

● Facilitated the Governor’s Task Force on Transit-Oriented Development in Fairfield County; and

● merged the region in awareness and connection to Unite CT, Connecticut’s rental assistance program.

Together, we are building a strong foundation for understanding our housing affordability challenges and making progress in addressing them.

We invite you to join us in this effort by taking simple, yet important steps that can help produce meaningful change.

It starts with finding out about the issues and telling others about them. The Fairfield County Talks Housing series – hosted by FCCHO – offers Fairfield County residents the opportunity to learn about housing through fact-based, community-led conversations.

There you will learn how to solve our housing crisis by creating more housing units in your community and increasing new housing development along major transportation corridors.

You will learn how minimum lot size requirements in many Fairfield County communities reduce affordability by making it more expensive to build new homes and how allowing accessory dwelling units – smaller spaces living units built on the same land as a single-family home – can expand affordable housing options.

Finally, you can speak up and let your local and national elected officials know your position on these and other issues. You can do this by submitting testimony at public hearings, contacting their offices, and attending and making your voice heard at zoning meetings.

Your voice can make a difference in ensuring that we can create a Fairfield County that is affordable for all and, therefore, more prosperous for all.

Juanita James is President and CEO of the Fairfield County Community Foundation. Rafia Zahir-Uddin is Vice President, Global Philanthropy for JPMorgan Chase & Co.

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Non profit living

Messenger: Pandemic highlights tech disparities in schools; report suggests fixes | Tony Messenger

Tiffany Nelson’s son needed a new laptop.

It was early in the pandemic and the old one, provided by St. Louis Public Schools, had been damaged. The district wanted a $320 deposit before Nelson’s son could get a new device.

Nelson is a nurse practitioner. She has lived in Saint-Louis all her life. With four school-aged children, finding several hundred dollars for technology her child needed for school was no small feat.

“The process of getting a new device was confusing and infuriating to say the least,” Nelson says. “Fortunately, after persevering, he received a new device, but other students in the district weren’t so lucky.”

At the time, Nelson was a client of Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, a nonprofit that helps people living in poverty with various legal needs. During the pandemic, helping families access technology so kids don’t fall behind in virtual learning has become an unexpected goal of some of the advocates there.

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“Initially, we heard about families who just didn’t have the technology,” says Hopey Fink, an attorney for the nonprofit’s educational justice program. “As the pandemic continued, we started hearing from families who may have initially had a device, but were later fined when they lost a device or damaged one. And so the students left without.

What Fink and his colleagues found was that various school districts had far-reaching policies on how to ensure students had access to technology. They began advocating with districts and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for policies that would remove fines and fees for those who cannot afford them.

The efforts led to the release of a white paper earlier this year that advocates using US bailout funding and other sources to eliminate fines and fees for those who have lost or damaged technology at carry ; and to develop consistent policies that ensure low-income students are not left behind in the future.

“The children who have suffered the most during the pandemic are those who were already marginalized by society,” write the authors. “Amid so many new questions and concerns, most school districts have shied away from taking the steps necessary to make access to technology truly equitable.”

Fink and his colleagues examined practices in St. Louis public schools, KIPP charter schools, Ritenour, Rockwood, Riverview Gardens, Union, University City, Webster Groves and East St. Louis school districts. What they found was a patchwork of disparate policies, but most involved costs, deposits or fines for lost or damaged equipment.

Lack of access to technology has been exacerbated for students who live in areas with poor internet service at home. Around the same time Legal Services was releasing its technology access white paper, another nonprofit, the Center for Civic Research and Innovation, was releasing its own work, the St. Louis Digital Divide. This report indicates that there are between 250,000 and 300,000 homes in the city and county of St. Louis combined that lack access to high-quality internet.

“These tech equity issues have been around for a long time, but the pandemic has certainly pushed them to the fore,” says Fink. “Districts are in different positions in part because of existing disparities in funding. But the problems we see are happening in many districts.

Fink hopes the Legal Services report will serve as a rallying cry — in some ways, as ArchCity Defenders’ white paper on municipal court abuses in St. Louis County did in 2014. This report highlighted the high costs of using municipal courts and police services. as fundraising tools for cities with limited budgets. Although schools are not looking to make money from the various costs they pass on to students and their parents to access technology, for families living in poverty the results can be just as devastating.

“There’s this reckoning that seems to take place where people understand that fines can be a barrier for the poor,” Fink says.

Students are falling behind, they have barriers to graduation, and families are spending money on education that could go to food, rent, or health care.

“Children shouldn’t be denied any aspect of their education because of a parent’s inability to pay for a new device,” Nelson says. “It is the responsibility of adults, including those at the cutting edge of their education, to set them up for success.”

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Non profit living

How one woman’s sense of helplessness sparked an initiative to hire refugees

The images, unfortunately, have been all too common for far too long: people young and old, refugees whose lives have been turned upside down by forces beyond their control, fleeing their homes for safety. Watching it unfold can make someone feel helpless. But what can one person do to make a difference?

This is the question Mona Babury asked herself in August 2021 when the Taliban took control of Afghanistan. From her home near New York, as she watched footage of Afghan refugees, the trauma was close to home: her husband, Farhad, is an Afghan refugee who moved to the United States when he was 5 . “In the 10 years that we have been married, I have never seen him so distraught and depressed watching the scenes on television. People are running for their lives, clinging to the wheels of the plane and risking their lives to evacuate. I watched and I just remember feeling so helpless,” she said.

In her work at Pfizer, where she is responsible for global diversity, equity and inclusion, a number of colleagues also have roots in Afghanistan, some are refugees. Questions raced through her head about how she could help: where could she donate? Should it accommodate a child? What could she do now to have an impact?

It was then that the idea took shape. She knew Pfizer had nearly 1,000 vacancies it was trying to fill. What if they hired refugees for some of these open roles?

In the weeks and months to come, Babury would see that with the right partners, the right team and the right intentions, anything is possible. Today his idea is an official program called the Pfizer Refugee Leadership Initiative. Its goal: to hire at least 100 refugees by the end of 2022 and mentor at least 150, 50 of whom identify as LGBTQ. By mid-April 2022, Pfizer had hired 40 people under the initiative and had expanded from the United States to Pfizer offices in Greece, Germany, Belgium and Italy, seeking to reach refugees from Ukraine and Afghanistan.

For Babury, the accent has given him and many of his colleagues a new sense of purpose and gratitude in their own lives. “There are a lot of tears and sleepless nights working on this program. It makes you appreciate everything we have – our safety, our homes, our families, our banks, our jobs, our educational institutions, our right to speak freely,” she says. “All those things that we sometimes take for granted.”

From idea to initiative

It’s one thing to come up with a good idea. It is quite another thing to submit it to the powers that be in a global organization and see it through. For Babury, just thinking about it was empowering, but was it so naïve? Was it even possible for such a large company to move fast enough to make a difference?

She shared the concept with her husband and was emboldened by his response. “He said, ‘Mona, that would be absolutely amazing,’ she recalls. Then she gave it to an Afghan colleague she mentors, senior information associate Negeena Niazi. She loved it too. So Babury mustered up the courage to email Pfizer’s executive vice president, director of people experience, Payal Sahni.

She couldn’t have found a warmer welcome, or a stronger lawyer. For Sahni, it was also personal. An Afghan refugee herself, Sahni’s family arrived in the United States when she was just 6 years old. Having worked at Pfizer for more than two decades, she knew deeply that Babury’s idea would be a way to offer hope to those in need. “This,” she thought, “will change lives.”

So Babury began looking for organizations to partner with outside of the company. She discovered The Tent Partnership for Refugees, a non-profit organization that works with businesses to hire and train refugees. It was the perfect fit, and Pfizer, alongside more than two dozen other major companies, joined the Tent Coalition for Afghan Refugees, pledging to support and create opportunity for refugees.

Shortly after, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, himself a naturalized Greek American immigrant, sent a company-wide email announcing the program as a formal initiative. When more than 300 employees volunteered to mentor refugees, Babury wept with joy as his idea became a reality. She was appointed head of Pfizer’s refugee leadership initiative and Niazi became its program manager.

Meanwhile, in August 2021, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) launched the Operation Allies Welcome program to help resettle Afghan refugees. In conjunction with Hiring Our Heroes, DHS invited Pfizer and other Tent Coalition companies to participate in job fairs and information sessions at military bases where Afghan refugees were temporarily living.

Throughout the fall and winter, Babury traveled there, with a team that included Niazi, who speaks Farsi and could act as a translator. They distributed flyers, notebooks and pens, and helped interested people register and apply for positions. They met people from all walks of life – civil servants, human rights activists, women’s rights activists, doctors, nurses, educators, actors, poets and musicians – and were brought to their knees by the escape stories of the refugees, their courage, their trauma. , and their need for jobs. Babury and the team could sense the urgency kicking in with follow-up communications. “We get emails from candidates saying, ‘I am able to work 14 hours a day. I will work weekends and holidays. I will work to make Pfizer proud,’” she said.

It wasn’t long before the team made its first hire: Mohammad Afzal Afzali, whom Babury had first met on LinkedIn and later spoken at a military base. He had been a chief of staff at a university and a translator at the US Embassy, ​​and he had had to leave Afghanistan with his family at any time. Her story and skills resonated, and Pfizer offered her a job that matched her skills. It’s been months since he went into labor, but for Baby, the memory still haunts him. “When he said, ‘Mona now, we’re colleagues,’ that was one of the proudest moments of my career,” she said.

Afzali, who now lives in Texas with her family, says her new job has changed the course of her life, allowing her to pursue her dreams. “I found the purpose of my life in serving others and making them happy; likewise, Pfizer is focused on breakthroughs that change patients’ lives,” he says. “For me, working for Pfizer means bringing hope to millions of people.”

Impact generations

In December 2021, Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, announced it would house up to 100 threatened and displaced Afghan students and scholars. When Babury heard about these efforts through her network, she contacted the school and offered, along with Sahni, to meet with these students and share information about Pfizer’s summer internship program.

During an interview with the students in February 2022, Sahni shared her personal story as a refugee. Pfizer, she told them, had given her a life-changing opportunity. Not only did she get an internship, but the company had agreed to pay some of her college fees. At the time, it was a huge financial relief for his family, and they never forgot it. “To this day, my parents say, ‘Never leave Pfizer. It’s a great place to work,” says Sahni. As she celebrated her 25th anniversary with the company, she thought back to her early days, when the Pfizer team saw something in her they hadn’t seen before. “When they started believing in me, I started believing in myself,” she says.

Today, she is honored to be able to provide internship and employment opportunities to others and to serve as a role model. She knows that not only is it the right thing to do for businesses, according to a report by the Fiscal Policy Institute and the Tent Partnership for Refugees.1the refugee population has lower employee turnover and higher retention rates than other employees – it’s also just the right thing to do as a human being.

In April 2022, Bourla and 34 other CEOs launched the Welcome.US CEO Council, pledging more than $75 million to support refugee resettlement organizations and nonprofits and to welcome Afghans and Ukrainians coming to the United States. The Council partners with Tent Partnership for Refugees, which as of April 2022 had over 220 companies, to help organizations develop hiring, mentoring and training programs; Sahni and Babury have been appointed co-chairs of the Council’s Employment and Training Pillar.

“Having an internal champion like Mona is critical to the success of a refugee hiring initiative,” says Noni Rossini, Acting Executive Director at Tent. “Someone who is truly passionate about the cause, but also understands the business benefits of bringing in this talented and diverse workforce. We are excited to continue to expand this work and inspire even more companies to follow Pfizer’s example.

When Baby thinks of new and future recruits, she thinks of everything they’ve lost. And she believes a sense of community in the workplace may be among the good things they’ve found. “I hope they know these positions are not a handout. They deserve to be here. That we see what they can contribute and that at Pfizer we welcome their diverse perspectives and experiences,” she says. “My wish for them is that they succeed in their new life. May they have peace of mind knowing they are joining a workforce where they will be seen, heard and supported. I hope they feel a sense of community here.

Work has also changed her. It showed him how a seemingly simple idea can come to life and have a domino effect on many lives, both professionally and personally. “When I look back on this program, it will always be my life’s work. I’m not sure anything else can top the impact I’m honored to have through this role,” she says. “My 8-year-old son looks at me proudly and says, ‘My mum helps people and saves lives. Nothing can make me more proud.

1 Refugees as employees: good retention, strong recruitment. Fiscal Policy Institute and Tent Partnership for Refugees. Available at Published May 2018. Accessed March 16, 2022.

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Non profit living

5 Puerto Rican Parades and Festivals in Connecticut

It’s time to shout and sing “Que bonita bandera, la bandera Puertorriqueña” sung by Plena Libre at Puerto Rican parades and festivals in Connecticut.

In the Puerto Rican Day Parade, you celebrate being boricua and create awareness and appreciation for Puerto Rican culture and history. The events highlight the contributions of the Puerto Rican community to others, according to the National Puerto Rican Day Parade Inc.

“Cultural identity and expression are important to who we are as Puerto Ricans, and being able to celebrate the richness of our culture, while sharing it with the greater New Haven community, is special,” said Joe Rodriguez, President and Board of Directors of PRU. – New Haven Puerto Rican Festival.

The CICD Puerto Rican Parade, Inc. Hartford Chapter has announced its dates for Connecticut Puerto Rican Day parades and festivals for summer 2022.

“Our parade weekend is everything. It reaffirms that Puerto Ricans are here and we will continue to educate our youth and community about our culture and traditions,” said Fairfield County, Inc. Puerto Rican Parade Chairman. , Efrain “Frankie” Colon. “It’s a big deal for the Puerto Rican community because it makes them feel like they’re in Puerto Rico even though it’s thousands of miles away. It keeps Puerto Rico present in their daily lives.”

Here are five Puerto Rican parades and festivals to go to:

Norwich Boriken Festival


Optimus Healthcare employees carry a giant Puerto Rican flag as they march in Fairfield County’s annual Puerto Rican Day Parade down Park Avenue in Bridgeport on Sunday.

See more photos on A12 (Ver mas fotos en A12).

Brian A. Pounds/Hearst Connecticut Media

Norwich’s first Boriken Festival takes place on Saturday June 11 and according to the event’s Facebook page, it’s the day to celebrate culture and heritage with food and music.

Fairfield County Puerto Rican Parade and Festival


Sujeily Rivera, center, and Aida Fernandez, right, of Bridgeport, cheer on marchers and floats during the annual Puerto Rican Day Parade on Park Avenue in Bridgeport, Connecticut on Sunday, July 14, 2019.

Sujeily Rivera, center, and Aida Fernandez, right, of Bridgeport, cheer on marchers and floats during the annual Puerto Rican Day Parade on Park Avenue in Bridgeport, Connecticut on Sunday, July 14, 2019.

Brian A. Pounds/Hearst Connecticut Media

The Fairfield County Puerto Rican Parade, Inc. will host the “29th Fairfield County Puerto Rican Parade and Festival” in Bridgeport on July 10th. The non-profit organization has promoted Puerto Rican culture, heritage and traditions in Fairfield County since 1993. The parade will descend Park Avenue and end at Seaside Park where the festival takes place. There will be food and vendors as well as free entertainment.

“We were granted permission by the city of Bridgeport last year to have our full parade and a modified festival where we held a vaccination clinic and encouraged our community to get vaccinated,” said the county’s Puerto Rican parade chairman. of Fairfield, Inc., Efrain “Frankie” Colon. “This year, we are thrilled to return to our community with our parade in full glory.”

Meriden Puerto Rican Festival


The annual Puerto Rican Day Parade down Park Avenue in Bridgeport, Connecticut on Sunday, July 8, 2018.

The annual Puerto Rican Day Parade down Park Avenue in Bridgeport, Connecticut on Sunday, July 8, 2018.

Brian A. Pounds/Hearst Connecticut Media

The annual Meriden Puerto Rican Festival is back after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19. The 55-year-old Puerto Rican festival will return to town on Sunday, August 7 at Hubbard Park

New Haven Puerto Rican Festival

New Haven

Fans enjoy the music during the Puerto Rican Day Festival Sunday in New Haven.  volpe file photo

Fans enjoy the music during the Puerto Rican Day Festival Sunday in New Haven. volpe file photo


Puerto Ricans United, Inc. (PRU) will host the sixth Puerto Rican Festival in New Haven on Saturday, August 13. The PRU was created due to a growing demand from Puerto Ricans living in the New Haven area. “If you lived, worked or visited New Haven in the 80s, 90s or early 2000s, then you remember the Areyto Festival, the Puerto Rican Party Parade and the Loiza Festival were all signs that summer was here in our city,” the band’s website said. The festival scheduled for 2021 has been canceled.

Greater Hartford Puerto Rican Day Parade and Festival del Coqui


The annual Puerto Rican Day Parade down Park Avenue in Bridgeport, Connecticut on Sunday, July 8, 2018.

The annual Puerto Rican Day Parade down Park Avenue in Bridgeport, Connecticut on Sunday, July 8, 2018.

Brian A. Pounds/Hearst Connecticut Media

After two years, the CICD Greater Hartford Puerto Rican Day Parade & Festival del Coqui will return this summer on Sunday, August 21 in Hartford. According to the event’s website, the parade has nearly 3,000 participants and is the largest parade in Hartford. Immediately after the parade, the Festival del Coquí starts with the presentation of the American and Puerto Rican “anthems”, the presentation of the flag and the presentation of the winners. People can enjoy live music, art, and food.

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Non profit living

World Changer event commemorates Lopez

Scheduled for Monday, May 9 at Manteca Park Golf Course, this is the second annual Tee-Off for Travis Memorial Golf Tournament. Named for Escalon High School 2000 graduate Travis Lopez who died in late May 2020, the event benefits the World Changer Scholarship, a fund Travis created specifically for San Jose State University students. Manteca Park Golf Course is located at 305 N. Union Road, Manteca.

Registration begins at 11 a.m. and the scramble-format golf tournament itself begins with a tee shot at 12:30 p.m.

The tournament ends between 5 and 5:30 p.m., with food and drinks at the clubhouse after the competition ends. There will be raffle prizes, silent auction items, and updates on the World Changer Scholarship Program.

Last year was the inaugural tournament and Travis’ mother-in-law, Robin Lopez of Tracy, said he exceeded all expectations.

“We thought as long as we don’t lose money,” she said of the first event, not knowing what to expect. “Our goal was $5,000 and we raised $20,000 the first year. We had 122 golfers.

After Travis passed away, his family and friends wanted to do something to keep his World Changer scholarship going, and Robin said it was several of his high school friends who suggested the golf tournament.

“He passed away after years of battling mental illness,” Robin explained. “He graduated from EHS in 2000 and would have been 40 this year. We are approaching the second anniversary (of his passing) and May is Mental Illness Awareness Month. People with mental illness, many don’t look sick, but they need help, they need guidance.

Lopez family partner nonprofits that will be represented at the tournament include McHenry House Tracy Family Shelter; NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness; and Tracy Interfaith Ministries.

“It’s a fun way to raise money for the scholarship fund,” added Robin. “It’s an 18-hole course, we have room for a few more golfers and they can register online.”

People can also go online to donate and everyone, tournament or not, is invited to attend the post-tournament gathering in the clubhouse for the party, raffle and sale. at auction.

“Last year was a huge success,” Robin said, noting that the family was overwhelmed and appreciated the support.

Robin and Ray, Travis’ father, live in Tracy and his mother, Teri Stuart, lives in Escalon. Travis was the middle of three Lopez children, with older brother Tony living in Washington state and younger sister Taylor living in Denair.

Robin previously worked with the Tracy Chamber of Commerce and said she helped organize golf tournaments in conjunction with that organization. So she was comfortable helping organize the Tee-Off for Travis event. At press time, they had 116 golfers registered for the tournament this year.

“We also have a ton of raffle prizes given away; the outpouring of support has been tremendous,” added Robin.

The first World Changer scholarship following the tournament was presented in April and was a $2,500 reward. The criteria, Robin said, include being a student in good standing at San Jose State University and coming up with an idea that “can change the world.”

This year’s recipient suggested the idea that all teachers and school counselors should take courses in mental illness, so they can better intervene with their students.

“He started the scholarship in 2013, he was so in school when he went back, he graduated with honors,” Robin said of Travis graduating from San Jose State after going to college. university, taking a break and then coming back. “He decided he wanted to create a scholarship for those who think outside the box, promote innovative social ideas, show their creativity and innovation.”

Prior to his passing, Travis himself awarded at least two World Change scholarships, Robin said, and the family wants to continue that legacy.

For more information on the tournament, sponsorship opportunities or donations to the World Changer Scholarship Fund contact [email protected]

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Non profit living

Solar-powered classrooms in remote villages, installed by Vision Solar employees

BLACKWOOD, NJ–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The GivePower Foundation and Vision Solar became partners in 2021; Through their partnership, a percentage of every Vision Solar installation is donated to GivePower to fund solar power project solutions for developing regions of the world. The GivePower Foundation organizes trek retreats for its partners to allow them to experience firsthand the impact of their giving. In May, year-to-date, we donated over $223,000.

Vision Solar participated in its first GivePower hike in Shuluwou, Colombia’s indigenous capital, a remote village in northeast Colombia. Eight Vision Solar employees and two executives participated in this life-changing ride. Mike Eden (CRO) and Faraz Khan (CFO) were the two executives who took part in the first trip to Colombia. Vision Solar has installed solar power solutions in village houses, schools and community buildings. With these new clean energy solutions, education and livelihoods can advance even further.

“We were a team of 10 people from Vision Solar who worked and lived with this community for 5 days. It was humbling to see this community flourish in the harsh conditions of a desert. Last night when they all saw the power and the light for the first time, it brought smiles to the elderly, the young and the children. They now have access to television, computers and refrigeration for food safety! – Faraz Khan, CFO

“To be able to impact lives is something I have always strived to do. Vision Solar donated and installed a solar system and batteries that will provide a community that has never seen the electricity.” – Mike Eden, CRO

“Anyone can give money to charity, but it was a unique feeling to provide the physical labor needed to create solar energy solutions in the village.” – Derek M. – Employee of Vision Solar

Being in the solar industry, it was very rewarding to see and experience the humanitarian applications of solar energy, and to bring sustainable energy to a community in need! – Macy G. – Employee of Vision Solar

“When the light came on, it was just really exciting to see that it’s really going to change their lives.” – Joey P., Regional Sales Manager, Vision Solar

For any inquiries regarding this press release, please do not hesitate to contact John Czelusniak at [email protected]

About Vision Solar:

Vision Solar is one of the fastest growing solar energy companies in the United States. Their full-service renewable energy company installs solar services for residences nationwide. Over the past three years, Vision Solar has generated over $200 million in revenue, with a significant increase in growth projected to produce over 1,500 high-quality green jobs by 2022. To learn more, visit :

About GivePower:

GivePower is a 501(k) non-profit organization that develops clean water and energy systems in communities around the world. GivePower has installed 2,650 solar power installations in villages in 17 different countries and in underdeveloped areas of the United States. To learn more, visit

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Non profit living

A passion for feeding the world’s marginalized people

John Messer’s drive to help those in need is so intense and all-consuming that a few major logistical hurdles won’t stop him for a minute.

Consider that when he left his home in Falmouth in early April to help feed Ukrainian war refugees in a Polish border town, Messer had yet to land a volunteer position with World Central Kitchen, or any other organization. help. He didn’t even know where or how he would help once he landed after his 25 hour journey.

“When the war started, I felt like I needed to go, I needed to go, I needed to go,” Messer, 70, recalled during from a talk he recently gave to the World Affairs Council of Maine at the Falmouth Memorial Library. . “I bought a one-way ticket to Warsaw and thought, well, I’ll be fine. There is something for me to do.

He was hoping to volunteer for World Central Kitchen, the nonprofit group run by Washington DC star chef Jose Andres. Yarmouth chief Christian Hayes spent two weeks on the Ukrainian border in March helping the organization, paying his own expenses, as Messer and many other volunteers have done. But the day Messer flew to Poland, the group had no room for more helpers.

Once on the ground in the town of Przemysl, Poland, the same town where Hayes had worked, Messer connected with a World Central Kitchen manager and landed a volunteer position that had just opened up in their industrial kitchen. It was his preferred mode of service, cooking from scratch, rather than handing out cooked meals from food trucks or tents.

“There was a huge need for people who understood how a professional kitchen works, people with knife skills,” Messer said. “That job was my greatest value to them.”

If you want to make a LOT of banana bread… This is the recipe used by the World Central Kitchen to feed Ukrainian refugees after the Russians attacked their country. Photo courtesy of John Messer


Originally a tax accountant, Messer worked in South Florida for 25 years as a partner in an international accounting and management consulting firm before retiring 10 years ago, determined to pursue his passions. He has spent the past 15 summers at his Down East camp, although he now lives in Maine full-time. For three consecutive years, he took six-week trips to Paris in order to graduate from the famous Parisian cooking school, Le Cordon Bleu, through its intensive program.

Messer is perhaps one of the few Le Cordon Bleu graduates to use his refined culinary skills exclusively to feed hungry people around the world, all for free. “I never made a dime working as a chef,” Messer said.

Since the 1990s, as an avid cook with no formal training, Messer has organized fundraisers across the country for the Texas-based orphan relief group Miracle Foundation, and he has visited India several times. to volunteer on foundation work projects. In the past five years alone, Messer has helped feed starving refugees in the Balkans, Greece and now Poland. A Maine resident after moving from Florida, he is also a board member of the Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition, and in June he will be cooking for an event hosted by Hope Acts, the Portland-based nonprofit group dedicated to help immigrants and asylum seekers.

“Cooking supports people’s lives, and it’s very joyful for me. If people don’t have food, everything else is secondary,” Messer said, trying to explain what motivates him to volunteer. Regarding his two weeks in Ukraine, he said he was partly moved by “rage”.

“Going to help cook was just something I could do, rather than sitting at home being pissed off,” Messer said.

Volunteers feed Ukrainian refugees as part of the nonprofit World Central Kitchen Stop Making 5,000 Sandwiches. Photo courtesy of John Messer



“He spends his days thinking about how to help the marginalized and trying to make their lives less difficult,” Messer’s husband Stephen Peck said. “That’s probably one of the things that drew me to him in the first place.”

“Everyone should be lucky enough to know a John Messer. He has (people in need) at the center of his heart with every decision he makes,” said Caroline Boudreaux, founder of Miracle Foundation, of which Messer is a board member. “People who have struggled understand struggle.”

Messer said he grew up in poverty in East Tennessee. “I was living on the fringes. I think it has something to do with my motivation. And I’m lucky to have the energy of a 20-year-old.

He certainly needed the energy for the 12-hour shifts at the World Central Kitchen, as well as commuting around town to sleep in a new room almost every night. In an email he sent to friends while in Ukraine, Messer wrote: ‘I’m so exhausted when I get to my apartment at night, I can barely get the beer to my mouth. before falling asleep. But every morning I wake up with all the energy in the world. I can’t remember such a sustained “high” in my life. I want to pinch myself. I’m here with about 100 foreigners, and suddenly everyone has become best friends, cooperating and working towards a common goal: to feed cold, traumatized displaced Ukrainians.

Messer worked in an empty warehouse that the association had transformed on the fly. “In four days, they transformed it into a state-of-the-art kitchen, with a walk-in freezer bigger than this room,” he told the dozen people gathered for his conference in a spacious meeting room. from the library.


One of Messer’s first tasks with his work crew was to core and slice a ton of apples and make 5,000 sandwiches. “No matter where you go in the world, everyone loves a sandwich,” he said.

Volunteer extraordinaire John Messer stirs the pot, the really big pot. Photo courtesy of John Messer


Messer showed photos he took of volunteers stirring stew in 8ft by 3ft paella pans with long paddles, pureeing cooked fruit for baby food with waist-high immersion blenders weeders and making a banana bread recipe that starts with 1,000 bananas and 390 eggs.

“It was such a bonding experience,” acknowledged Lucy Woodward, a professional musician living in Holland who volunteered for World Central Kitchen while Messer was there. “I am not a cook. And they put me side by side with John chopping vegetables for borscht. He had this unwavering way of chopping everything very precisely, all the same size. To see him working on something he loves, he’s very focused and composed. And everyone was like, ‘Just follow John.’ He was such a comfort and mentor to me.

Another World Central Kitchen volunteer, Rachel Vaughn, a private chef from Montana, said she also bonded with Messer outside of the kitchen. He helped her find a place in town to donate the charity funds she had raised before she flew to Poland.


“It’s hard to put into words the connection you feel with these people,” she said. “John is so warm and funny, and he brought so much humor into the kitchen. I made a very close friend in him.

Messer said he had worked in volunteer kitchens overseas where “it was horrible how dangerous the practices were”. He had seen food that would be served the next day left at room temperature overnight for lack of refrigeration.

This was not the case with World Central Kitchen. “You were a volunteer, but you were treated like an employee,” he said of the kitchen he worked in, where Marc Murphy, a New York chef and judge on the cooking competition show “Chopped”, was a chef. “You were expected to be always on time, never leave early. It was a tight ship. I had never worked in such a professional kitchen.

“We were very proud of the food. Nothing was ever mixed up,” Messer continued. “It was important to us that it looked good when people ate it. It was our way of saying, I love you.

Messer speaks about his experience volunteering with the World Central Kitchen to a crowd at the Falmouth Memorial Library. Gregory Rec / Personal Photographer



Messer also said that in other refugee camps where he cooks, the food is not always culturally sensitive. “So 33% of it gets thrown away. The food here was culturally sensitive. to please the palates of the region.

With a photo of a bowl of lemon and egg zurek on display in Falmouth Library, Messer’s eyes widened and his voice dropped in reverence as he told the audience, “The food was delicious. . The bread pudding alone was so good, it was like your bubbie’s bread pudding.

Chef Christian Hayes spent the last days of his trip to Ukraine in quarantine for a COVID infection, but said he would gladly return to help the World Central Kitchen if the opportunity arose.

“I would go back in a heartbeat, immediately,” he said. “I think about it all the time.”

Messer understands the strong attraction. He said he would return to Ukraine for more volunteer work this summer if the war continues and the need remains, although he would prefer, for the good of Ukrainians, that both conditions had changed by then. “I hope I don’t get the chance to go back,” he said.


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Non profit living

Durham non-profit welcomes affordable housing ideas

DURHAM, NC — As the housing crisis continues in the Triangle, cities are trying to come up with unique solutions to the problem.

What do you want to know

  • April is Fair Housing Month in Durham
  • Durham Mayor Elaine O’Neal has proposed the city buy houses that can become affordable housing
  • City council hasn’t announced next steps, but local nonprofits are backing the idea

In her State of the City address, Durham Mayor Elaine O’Neal shared a plan for the city to buy homes and sell them at affordable prices to help tackle the housing crisis.

“I ask my fellow council colleagues to be bold and consider purchasing a property that can become affordable housing for teachers, police officers, our firefighters, city workers and others across the city” , O’Neal said. “If private contractors can buy property, why can’t Durham City do the same and provide affordable housing for its residents?”

The city council is still working on a plan for this. We asked for more information and got no response. But nonprofits in the region are welcoming the idea.

Originally from Durham, Shantel Haskins is the founder of the non-profit organization Mend My Broken Pieces 2nd Chance Housing. It helps to secure resources for people who have difficulty finding housing.

Haskins founded the organization after having to return home to Durham from Raleigh during the pandemic due to financial issues.

“It’s important to impact change in the community that you come from, that you live in, that you’re a part of,” Haskins said.

The non-profit organization gives back to local shelters and organizes community outreach events. Haskins’ long-term goal is to get more funding so he can create a kind of village to provide affordable housing for people in need.

“Affordable housing is a basic human right,” Haskins said. “A wise woman once said that, and I believe her. And it affects everyone.”

Haskins has since been able to return to Raleigh. Her lease ends in August, but like many, she is dealing with the rising cost of living.

“My rent is going to go up 17%, and that’s pretty significant. I only had a few months notice, so I have to understand a few things,” Haskins said.

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Non profit living

ACTION accelerates the mobile market for Mahoning | News, Sports, Jobs

YOUNGSTOWN – If you can’t get some people groceries, get some people groceries.

“A lot of kids (in Youngstown) live off Beef Jerkys and candy bars at gas stations,” said Phil Bechtel, director of Access to Healthy Foods Mahoning Valley.

However, children and adults across much of the Mahoning Valley will soon be able to improve their diets and have better access to healthier food choices. That’s because of the new Mahoning Valley Mobile Market, which was the centerpiece of Tuesday afternoon’s groundbreaking ceremony at the Grove Byzantine Center on the south side.

The vehicle, which will resemble a traveling grocery store, is due to start operating twice a week on May 10 and serve many people who live in areas that lack access to healthy food. It also promises to be a major boon for those with little or no transportation to major grocery stores, Bechtel said.

The Alliance for Congregational Transformation Influencing Our Neighborhoods (ACTION), a faith-based community organizing group, and Flying High Inc., a 28-year-old nonprofit with a variety of programs aimed at improving the quality of life in the region.

For about three years, ACTION and Flying High set up pop-up markets throughout the valley that inspired the traveling grocery store, organizers said. Markets operate weekly from June to September.

Another goal is to bring the vehicle into seniors’ residences and high-rise apartment buildings, many of whose residents have limited income and transportation, Bechtel said. He added that a truck will also visit restaurants in the area as well as institutions such as prisons, schools and rehabilitation centers.

Inside the mobile market are four freezers and four refrigerators for foods such as milk, eggs, meat and poultry, as well as numerous wooden crates for fresh produce, fruits and vegetables. A variety of pantry staples will also be available.

Jeff Macara, director of Flying High, said the produce is grown primarily on an urban farm. The Mineral Ridge-based Campus of Care building will be used to store, package and distribute the items, he said.

Vicki Vicars, pastoral minister at Youngstown-based St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, said about $288,000 in donations had been made since she wrote a grant and the initial funding letter was sent on last summer.

Additionally, Mahoning County commissioners approved an additional $150,000 for 500 bonds. Eligible Mahoning County residents can apply for 12 $25 vouchers, each of which can be used monthly for one year, she said.

To be eligible, recipients must live in Mahoning County and be below 200% of federal poverty levels, Vicars said, adding that she hopes to generate the funds necessary to start such a program in Trumbull County.

In addition to vouchers, the mobile market will accept other forms of payment, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; women, infants and children; and benefits of senior products.

“It’s a humbling moment,” said Rose Carter, Executive Director of ACTION. “It underscores our mission to inspire passion for ACTION to seek solutions to overcome social injustice, racism and poverty.”

Following the event, the center hosted the 19th Annual ACTION Banquet and Awards Ceremony, where the keynote speaker was the Reverend Todd Johnson, pastor of Second Baptist Church in Warren.

Those who received the Frances Kerpsack Award for their contributions to the community were Reverend Kenneth L. Simon, pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Youngstown; Thomas D. Sauline, director of the Mahoning Valley Association of Church; Sharon Letson, Executive Director of Youngstown CityScape; and Brandon Perry of City Kids Care.

The Pathfinders Awards were presented to Councilwoman Anita Davis, D-6th Ward, and one of the first black female police officers in the Youngstown Police Department; and the Reverend Jim Ray, a longtime civil rights and community activist.

[email protected]

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Non profit living

The Art of Living Foundation co-hosts a panel on mental health

Event in Washington, DC during Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s US tour.

Washington D.C.- As the youth mental health crisis continues to grow in the United States, a panel of experts are planning to address the topic at an upcoming event in the nation’s capital. May 6, 2022 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health. humanitarian and founder of The Art of Living Foundation Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, will join Vice Admiral Vivek Murthy, MD, MBA and founder of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at the Stanford University, Dr. James R Doty during a panel discussion on mental health and proven practices for fostering excellence, happiness and well-being in young people.

“Mental health has become one of the biggest issues on the planet today,” says Gurudev. “We all have a responsibility to ensure that meditation and breathwork are accessible to everyone. Those who have found inner peace should share it with everyone.

“One of the greatest needs today is to address the crisis in youth mental health…” says Dr. Doty.

The event will also highlight research conducted by Dr. Seppälä and Yale University regarding Gurudev’s SKY Breath meditation and its application to youth mental health. Gurudev introduced SKY Breath Meditation to the world in 1981. Since then, millions of people in 156 countries have learned to access the present moment and tap into their inner happiness and freedom. In a recent Yale study, SKY showed the greatest impact on well-being, benefiting six outcomes: depression, stress, mental health, mindfulness, positive affect, and social connections.

The “Social Connection, Compassion, and Youth Mental Health” in-person event is co-hosted by the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health and the Center of Excellence in Maternal and infantile; Stanford University Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE); and the Art of Living Foundation.

For more information, interviews and other media requests, please contact David Triana at [email protected]

About the Art of Living Foundation:

Operating in 156 countries, The Art of Living Foundation (AOLF) is a nonprofit, educational and humanitarian organization founded in 1981 by world-renowned humanitarian and spiritual leader Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. All of AOLF’s programs are inspired by Gurudev’s philosophy of creating world peace through a stress-free and violence-free society. The AOLF has touched over 450 million lives through numerous educational and self-development programs and tools that facilitate the elimination of stress and promote deep and deep inner peace, happiness and well-being in individuals .

Learn more:

Media Contact
Company Name: Otter PR
Contact person: David Trina
E-mail: Send an email
Call: 2397381052
Address:100 Pine Street, Suite 110
City: Orlando
State: Florida
Country: United States

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Non profit living

This month Donate Life, register as an organ, eye and tissue donor

Cathryn Cunningham/Diary

April is National Gift of Life Month, commemorating those who have received vital organ transplants, recognizing those who continue to wait, honoring the donors and their families who made such a meaningful donation, and encouraging all new Mexicans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors.

According to New Mexico Donor Services, New Mexicans saved a record number of lives through organ donation in 2021. The state saw 93 donor heroes. More than 700 New Mexicans are currently awaiting lifesaving organ transplants. Thousands more await healing from corneal and tissue transplants. Nationally, 17 people die each day while waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant, and one person is added to the waiting list every nine minutes.

You can make an impact by becoming an organ, eye, and tissue donor by signing up for the New Mexico Donor Registry with the state’s Division of Motor Vehicles or online at and informing your next of kin of your decision.

New Mexico Donor Services is a nonprofit organization that works with families to guide them through the donation process, organize medical teams, find matches, and provide post-donation support to families.

Who can be a donor?

People of all ages and medical backgrounds should consider themselves potential organ, eye and tissue donors. Your state of health at the time of death will determine which organs and tissues can be donated.

Living donors must be in good general physical and mental health and over the age of 18. Certain medical conditions could prevent a person from being a living donor. Transplant programs perform a comprehensive patient assessment to protect the health and safety of the living donor and recipient.

Does it change my patient care?

Your life always comes first. Doctors work hard to save every patient’s life, but sometimes there is a complete and irreversible loss of brain function. The patient is declared clinically and legally dead. Only then is donation an option.

Does my religion support it?

All major religions support giving as a final act of compassion and generosity.

Is there a cost to donate?

There is no cost to the donor’s family or estate for the donation. The donor’s family pays only pre-death medical costs and costs associated with funeral arrangements.

Is wealth or fame taken into account?

No. A national system matches available donor organs with people on the waiting list based on blood type, body size, health status, distance from the donor, tissue type and time on the list. Race, income, gender, fame and social status are never considered.

Why record my decision?

The vast majority of Americans support giving as an opportunity to give life and health to others. Unfortunately, many people overlook the important step of signing up as a donor. Only three in 1,000 people die in a way that allows organ donation. Donors are often people who die suddenly and unexpectedly. Their families must then make the decision at a time of shock and grief. Registration relieves your family of this burden.

And with organ, eye and tissue donation, you can save up to eight lives and heal the lives of over 75 people. Your registration is a beacon of hope for waiting patients, and sharing it with your family lets them know about your decision.

What organs can I donate after my death?

• Kidneys (2)

• Liver

• Lungs (2)

• Heart

• Pancreas

• Intestines

What organs can I donate in my lifetime?

• Kidney

• A lung

• Part of the liver

• Part of the pancreas

• Part of the intestine

What is eye donation?

You can donate your corneas when you register as an organ, eye and tissue donor. This allows you to leave behind the gift of sight.

What fabrics can we donate?

• The middle ear

• The skin

• Heart valves

• Bone

• Veins

• Cartilages

• Tendon

• Ligaments

Doctors use them to cover burns, repair hearts, replace veins, and repair damaged connective tissue and cartilage.

Where is it going

New Mexico has two transplant centers. Presbyterian Hospital Transplant Center-Kidney and Pancreas Transplant,, (505) 841-1434 and University Hospital Transplant Services-Kidney Transplant Program, unmhealth. org/services/kidney-care/transplant-services.html, (505) 272-3100.

New Mexicans have a long and proud history of service in many ways. This service includes being a living donor and a deceased donor.


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Non profit living

“Think of Music as Nutrient:” How a Kansas City Nonprofit Helps Artists Keep Playing

The Kansas Reflector welcomes opinion pieces from writers who share our goal of expanding the conversation about how public policy affects the daily lives of people across our state. Lucie Krisman has reported on beats that include local government, business, arts and culture.

Just under 15 years ago, a group of people came together in hopes of playing music and doing good.

Kansas City musician Abigail Henderson, 31, had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. To support her, her friends did what musicians do; they gathered to play a show.

The group organized a three-day performance called apocalypse meow – a nod to Henderson’s love of cats – to raise money for his healthcare expenses. Several local groups stepped in to help, and Henderson vowed to give back to the music community for stepping up when needed.

But the idea had already germinated in Henderson’s mind. After receiving medical treatment from New Orleans Musicians Clinic while touring there with her band, she knew she wanted to bring something similar back to Kansas City. This effort would become the Midwest Music Foundationa coalition dedicated to providing career and health care Resources for Kansas City musicians. The foundation aims to elevate musicians in a in various waysfrom providing wellness resources to connecting them to concert venues.

When Henderson died in 2013, her friends promised to keep the foundation going.

“Music is a crucial part of everyone’s life,” said Rhonda Lyne, a friend of Henderson’s and the foundation’s executive director. “We just want to provide a support network for musicians, just to show them how important what they do is and kind of give them the resources they need to be able to make a viable career out of it.”

This is partly through health care subsidies. In addition to Abby’s Fund for emergency health expenses, the foundation also offers grants for preventative services, such as mammograms and dental care. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this extended to free COVID-19 tests.

The Midwest Music Foundation also hosts live music eventsincluding an annual launch show in anticipation of the foundation’s spring donation campaign.

It all comes down to Henderson’s vision. She wanted to look after the welfare of musicians so that music was a livelihood, not just a hobby.

“She was just kind of a force of nature,” Lyne said. “It’s a very unstable business, and it’s very difficult to make a living, but she was convinced that you should be able to do it.”

Cody Wyoming, a longtime Kansas City musician and friend of Henderson’s, was there for the early days of Midwest Music Foundation brainstorming. Pursuing music comes with a lot of joy and a lot of risk, he said, and Henderson understood that.

“She was kind of crusading on that front,” he said. “Not just for health care, but to make sure musicians are not overlooked in any way.”

After helping with the initial design of the foundation and watching it grow, he also experienced it later. When Wyoming had to pay hospital bills, he said, the foundation’s health resources kept him from having to sell his instruments.

“It not only literally saved lives, but also very life-saving,” he said. “I love my gear. It’s part of who I am. And I didn’t have to worry about losing anything because I was sick and because it was the only thing I had. which had real financial value.

The Midwest Music Foundation provides grants for emergency health expenses, as well as preventative services, such as mammograms and dental care. The foundation organizes live musical events to collect donations. (Amber Hulet/Midwest Music Foundation)

In a pandemic world, the management of health and work has been particularly important. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, the foundation began creating emergency grants and helping musicians take COVID-19 tests.

The absence of shows has also created financial and emotional challenges for local bands. Videographer and musician Matthew Dunehoo has experienced this.

“Artists feed off the crowd, and the crowd feeds off the artist,” he said. “It’s a mutually symbiotic and beneficial thing. So when that is taken out of society, we waste away.

After a bicycle accident in May 2020 left him with a broken wrist, Dunehoo said financial support from the Abby’s Fund grant made a huge difference. As someone who has struggled with depression and anxiety, Dunehoo also admired the foundation’s approach to mental health. This year donation campaign is dedicated to the subject.

The past two years have been particularly difficult for Kansas City’s music community, he said, and the work of the Midwest Music Foundation to uplift them shows just how important that community really is.

“I just think we have a special relationship here between the people and the musicians, and I think that’s maybe something mystical about the location of the city here in the absolute center of the country,” said- he declared. “There’s a tight network of people who care to see music thrive here, and the last two years have been so absolutely heartbreaking. Watching my bandmates struggle to try to innovate how to survive and persevere in these exceptional times has been heartbreaking, but also very inspiring.

The pandemic hit the service industry hard, making it difficult for musicians who also worked in the service industry. Sondra Freeman, MMF’s director of promotions and artist relations, said for many of these musicians, that meant having to start over.

“A lot of people complain about crowded restaurants that aren’t fast enough,” Freeman said. “It’s because all your musician friends had to reinvent themselves and find different jobs.”

But even when artists struggle, live music is just as important as it always has been. That’s part of what makes the Midwest Music Foundation important, Dunehoo said.

“You have to think of music as a nutrient,” he said. “You have to see community gatherings as nutritious and you have to have advocates. And I think the MMF is just the epitome of advocacy.

Since its inception in 2008, the foundation has meant many things to many people, just like music. Freeman said it looks different from person to person, for both performers and volunteers.

Some told him that the Midwest Music Foundation had made the music community in Kansas City less divided. Others saw it as a safety net and a way to make the saying “help each other” tangible. But for her, it’s about repaying a debt.

Growing up, Freeman said music and gigs were something she and her brother shared. During difficult passages, the music was there. Sometimes, she said, it felt like the only thing they had.

In return, she wants to make sure live music continues to thrive. With the work of the Midwest Music Foundation, it is possible.

“I honestly think it’s important in its own way for everyone individually,” she said. “But for me personally, it’s just about paying back the music and making sure it always happens. Because without it, I’m lost.

Through its opinion section, the Kansas Reflector works to amplify the voices of people who are affected by public policies or excluded from public debate. Find information, including how to submit your own review, here.

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News from the Ukraine-Russia War: Flares in the East

With a pointed warning to Ukraine’s western allies, Russia tested a new intercontinental missile on Wednesday, even as it unleashed a rain of bombs, artillery and missiles inside Ukraine in the purpose of weakening the Ukrainian defenses for a major ground offensive in the east.

The intensification of the barrage, targeting more than 1,100 targets, came as the Russian military carried out probing attacks along a 300-mile front line winding through the Donbass region in the southeast of Ukraine, which the Kremlin says will be at the center of the next phase of its war, and has continued to build and prepare a massive force there.

The new Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile “will make anyone trying to threaten our country in the heat of frenzied and aggressive rhetoric think twice,” Russian President Vladimir V. Putin said in televised remarks, a clear reference to the United States and other nations that aided Ukraine in the face of the eight-week Russian invasion.

It is not yet clear whether the missile, which the Russian Defense Ministry says could carry multiple nuclear warheads and outwit defenses anywhere in the world, actually possesses game-changing capabilities. The ministry also acknowledged that the missile was not yet ready for active deployment, and the United States said it was not surprised by the launch.

But Mr Putin’s test firings and comments fit neatly into a relentless Kremlin propaganda campaign – the only information many of his people have ever seen – portraying Russians not as aggressors but as victims of Western persecution, but still powerful and inflexible.

During a television appearance with a group of school children in the Kremlin, Mr Putin repeated his lie that Ukraine was committing genocide against Russian speakers in the Donbass, which had “forced, simply forced Russia to launch this operation military “.

Credit…Russian Ministry of Defense

Rising death and destruction in the Donbass, along with a critical shortage of basic supplies and services, has led to an exodus of staggering proportions in Ukraine, a country with an estimated pre-war population of 43. millions of inhabitants. The United Nations said the number of people who have left the country has reached 5 million, in addition to more than 7 million who have fled or been forced to leave their homes but remain in Ukraine.

Russia has rejected calls from the United Nations and others for a humanitarian ceasefire to allow civilians to evacuate safely and supplies to reach those who remain. At a meeting of the UN Security Council on Tuesday evening, Russia’s Deputy Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy said such calls were “not sincere, and in practice they only underline a aspiration to give Kyiv nationalists a break to regroup and receive more drones, more anti-tank missiles” and anti-aircraft missiles.

Credit…Alexei Furman/Getty Images

In Finland, lawmakers have begun to debate whether to join NATO – the latest example of the war backfiring on Russia’s goals. Mr Putin has sought to prevent Ukraine from joining the alliance, to eliminate the country’s military and political independence and to sow division within NATO.

Instead, Finland and Sweden are poised to abandon their long-standing non-alignment, seeking NATO protection against an aggressive Russia. NATO is increasing its military spending and is more united than it has been in years, and the Ukrainian military has fought a surprisingly tough fight against a larger but often disorganized and demoralized invading force.

The invasion of Ukraine has also left Russia financially and economically ostracized – punctuated at a meeting of the Group of 20 finance ministers on Wednesday. Several attendees, including Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen and Ukrainian Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko, abruptly left in protest when Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov began speaking.

The United States and other NATO countries have sent huge quantities of weapons to Ukraine, and increasingly these shipments include heavier, more sophisticated and longer-range weapons – artillery from large-caliber, armored vehicles, anti-aircraft missiles and spare parts for damaged aircraft – warnings from the Kremlin.

Even Germany has rolled back a long-standing ban on sending weapons to a conflict zone and increased its own military spending, but calls to go further and send tanks to Ukraine have divided the government in Berlin.

Russia has falsely insisted since the invasion began on February 24 that it was only hitting military targets, but countless smashed, burned and flattened buildings, shops, offices, homes and cars attest to the contrary. In the Donbass town of Avdiivka, near the front lines, where Russian shelling has left a number of civilians dead and injured, and pushed many of those remaining underground, airstrikes have destroyed this week a supermarket and an athletics store in the heart of the city. .

The prolonged shelling and shelling before sending large ground forces into battle reflects a change in Russian strategy from the start of the war, when it tried and failed to quickly seize major cities and other places .

A Russian ground offensive supported by air, land and sea bombardment continues to devastate the southeastern port of Mariupol, now a scene of destruction and casualties on a scale virtually unheard of in Europe since World War II. Ukrainian officials said 20,000 people had been killed there – a figure impossible to verify, with access to the world cut off and many bodies still unrecovered – and around 120,000 of the more than 430,000 pre-war inhabitants of the city remain trapped in ruins, with little access to food, water, electricity or heat.

Credit…Oleg Petrasyuk/EPA, via Shutterstock

Ukrainian officials said Wednesday morning that they had reached an agreement with Russian forces to allow children, women and the elderly to leave Mariupol safely, only to say later that the evacuation agreement had been reached. collapsed, like so many before him. “Due to the lack of control over their own army on the spot, the occupiers have not been able to secure a proper ceasefire,” said Iryna Vereshchuk, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister.

Soldiers and civilians held their ground in a maze of underground bunkers beneath the sprawling Azovstal steelworks complex in the city, defying ultimatums to surrender, as Russian fire focused on that site.

“We are probably facing our last days, if not hours,” Serhiy Volyna, a commander with the 36th Separate Marine Brigade, said in a Facebook video from the factory. “We call on and implore all world leaders to help us.”

He and other Ukrainians said Russian forces bombed a hospital in the Azovstal complex. “We are pulling people out of the rubble,” Sviatoslav Palamar, another commander inside the steel plant, told Radio Liberty.

Azovstal employees say about 4,000 people took refuge under the factory at the start of the war, mostly factory workers and their family members, but many left later. Other civilians sought refuge inside the plant, fleeing the Russian advance and, according to Ukrainian officials, fearing capture and forcible relocation to detention camps in Russia. For the soldiers, Azovstal is the last redoubt of the city.

It is not known how many people remain there. Mr Volyna said 500 of them were injured.

Credit…Alexander Ermoshenko/Reuters

Russia has amassed 76 battlegroups of battalions, each numbering up to 1,000 troops, in southeastern Ukraine, up from 65 a few days ago, the Pentagon said, and about 22 more are just a short distance away. outside Ukraine, regrouping and acquiring new equipment.

Military analysts say Donbass’ flat landscape – with fewer woods, hills and towns than the northern regions where Moscow’s forces have been badly crippled – could favor the Russians.

The very first launch of the Russian Sarmat missile was the latest example of the Kremlin waving its nuclear sabers in the face of stiff opposition from the United States and its allies. Earlier in the war, Mr. Putin ordered that Russian nuclear forces be placed on a higher state of alert, and a senior Russian official spoke of placing nuclear weapons along the borders of the Baltic states.

US officials said those earlier steps apparently had no action behind their impassioned rhetoric and required no response from the United States. They reacted the same way on Wednesday. Both the Pentagon and the White House have said Moscow properly briefed Washington ahead of the Sarmat test.

“Such tests are routine,” said John F. Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman. “It was no surprise.”

Like many ICBMs operated by Russia, the United States and other nuclear powers, the Sarmat is designed to carry multiple nuclear warheads, each aimed at a different target, delivered by “independent re-entry vehicles” that the missile releases at the above the atmosphere, as well as decoys, to evade missile defense systems.

Credit…Mikhail Klimentiev/Sputnik

Additionally, Russian officials have said these re-entry vehicles could be “hypersonic glide vehicles,” capable of maneuvering en route to their targets, making them even harder to stop. The Sarmat was among the next generation of weapons Mr Putin announced in 2018, describing them as undefendable, but Western analysts have questioned whether glide vehicles and other new technologies already exist or will soon be.

The missile, launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northwest Russia, hit a target on the Kamchatka Peninsula, 3,500 miles to the east, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

Anton Troyanovsky reported from Hamburg, Germany, and Richard Perez-Pena from New York. Reporting was provided by Michael Schwirtz of Avdiivka, Ukraine, Steven Erlanger from Brussels, Marc Santora and Cora Engelbrecht from Krakow, Poland, Ivan Nechepurenko from Tbilisi, Georgia, Johanna Lemola from Helsinki, victoria kim from Seoul, Erika Solomon from Berlin, Matthew Mpoke Bigg from London, Jesus Jiménez of New York, and Katie Rogers and Alan Rappeport of Washington.

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Volunteer Week 2022

April 17-23 is National Volunteer Week, and we’ll be featuring several members of the Tidal Basin and Adjusters International team who are doing fantastic work both in and out of the office. For them, volunteering is not a one-off affair, but a year-long commitment to those, near or far, who may need a helping hand. Whether it’s raising funds, shaving our heads in solidarity, participating in sporting challenges, or providing home-cooked meals to those in need, we hope that the acts of kindness portrayed in these stories will inspire you to show love to your community.

Sharing Jordan

When Shareen Jordan isn’t with her family or overseeing digital marketing for Tidal Basin and Adjusters International, she volunteers her time to help others in her community. “We all have something to give. Some people have time, some have money, and some smile and offer a friendly “hello,” Jordan said. “For me, I love volunteering.” For Jordan, two charities share a special place in his heart: Pets for Vets and Lasagna Love.

Once a year, Jordan and her husband participate in a fundraiser for Pets for veterinarians, a non-profit organization that connects military veterans with rescued animals. Each Memorial Day, participants take part in the Murph Challenge, a workout used by Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient Michael Murphy, honoring the men and women of the armed forces who have lost their lives in defense of the freedom of our nation. The workout consists of a one kilometer run, 300 overhead squats, 200 push-ups, 100 pull-ups and ends with another one kilometer run. Money raised benefits local Pets for Vets chapters.

Many brave soldiers return home with scars – visible and invisible – which make the transition to civilian life difficult. At the same time, millions of wonderful animals are waiting in shelters for a forever home. Pets for Vets is the bridge that brings them together.

When Jordan isn’t training for the Murph, she’s in the kitchen making lasagna.

Jordan loves to cook and frequently uses his cooking skills to help people in need. Jordan is a member of lasagna love, a non-profit, grassroots global movement to connect neighbors with neighbors through the delivery of home-cooked meals. Every month, Jordan bakes lasagna for local families in need – any type of need. “They might have a hard time. They might feel sad. They might just want a lasagna. It’s a way to spread kindness,” Jordan said.

Jordan believes that volunteering comes in many forms. “We are all in this world together, doing our best to get through each day. Some days are a breeze, others a challenge. When we give what we can, when we throw it out into the world, we make someone’s day a little bit easier. In turn, our day becomes brighter and everyone wins.

Susan Currie

When Susan Currie learned that 60% of students in a suburban Buffalo school district lived below the poverty line and more than 40% received reduced or free lunches on weekdays, she knew she had to help. Currie and a handful of church members got together and brainstormed a solution. That was 2015. The following year, the Daily Bread food truck, Buffalo’s only nonprofit food truck, hit the pavement.

“We began working with district social workers to identify families in need,” Currie said. “These families were the first to benefit from our free food deliveries.”

The Daily Bread food truck provides meals to food-insecure families in the Amherst, NY area using a “get one, give one” philosophy. Daily Bread sells meals prepared by volunteer chefs in the summer and fall and delivers meals to those in need during the colder months. When the pandemic hit in 2019, Currie and the team changed their business model to provide 100% free meals straight from the truck, thanks to donations from area restaurants and truck volunteers.

Similar to his role at Tidal Basin and Adjustors International, Currie got creative with marketing and helped with the food truck’s branding, website, social media and video production. She also scoured the roads delivering meals, helped raise funds, and once even drove the truck to an event and worked as a short-term cook!

“Being in the community and talking to the people who benefit from our free meals really shows how much of a difference we make for struggling families,” Currie said. “The outpouring of help from our community has been an eye-opening experience, especially in these trying times.”

Ride with a purpose

After months of training, the Tidal Basin team packed their bags, their bikes, and found themselves in the Sunshine State for the Pan-Florida Challenge Cancer Bike Ride. This annual event raises much needed funds for the Moffitt Cancer Center, cancer research, patient support and food for food insecure children.

“We’ve had family members, friends and co-workers battle cancer and we’ve seen firsthand its impact on our loved ones,” said Laura DeLoach, Vice President, Resource Management. “We wanted to help our local community fight cancer, and the Pan-Florida Challenge Cancer Ride was a way for us to raise funds that provide meaningful support.”

The Tidal Basin team included Laura DeLoach, Carlos Castillo, Director of Development and Senior Vice President; Bill Slater, Vice President, Public Relief and Recovery; Melissa Gordon, Senior Vice President, Executive Director; and Arthur Glickstein, associate project manager. Together they walked 386 miles for charity. “Living a purposeful life is both fulfilling and rewarding when we take the time to support and help others in need,” DeLoach said.

Riding for a good cause is nothing new for Castillo. “I like to exercise and help others at the same time,” Castillo said. For 12 years, he participated in numerous cycling events, raising funds for diabetes, multiple sclerosis, cancer research and various non-profit organizations. More recently, Castillo rode side-by-side with 200 other riders to support orphans in Ukraine.

“Helping people is something I love to do,” Castillo said. “Whether it’s giving of your time or your resources, it’s humanitarian to give back to others.”

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How Microplastics Affect Human Health

Bottles of water. Shopping bags. Computers. Medical equipement. Food containers. And so on.

Plastics. They never leave. And even if we can’t see them, they are everywhere.

“They are carried away in the atmosphere, they rain down on us. They were found in the Himalayan mountains”, explains Erica Cirino. “So right now we’re in a soup of microplastics and nanoplastics.”

But are these microplastics inside us?

“About five years ago, scientists began to wonder if there was plastic in our bodies? And indeed there is,” adds Cirino.

For the first time, microplastics have been found in living humans – their lungs and blood.

“I don’t like plastic waste ending up in the river of life at all. One thing is clear, we are exposed,” says Heather Leslie. “Do they actually cause adverse health effects? This is a question that takes many years to answer.

Today, About: Microplastics and your health.


Erica Cirino, communications manager at the Plastic Pollution Coalition. Author of Thicker Than Water: The Quest for Solutions to the Plastic Crisis. (@erica_cirino)

Heather Leslie, she established the Microplastics Laboratory at the Free University of Amsterdam. Lead author of a new study that found microplastics and nanoplastics in human blood.

Also Featured

Mary Kosuthresearcher at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

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Poll NO 500: Philanthropy is good for business

Getty Images

NEW ORLEANS – For the latest New Orleans 500 “Question of the Month” feature, the Biz New Orleans editorial team asked area business leaders what types of philanthropic organizations they support and whether their approach had changed since the pandemic.

36% of email survey respondents said they focus their philanthropic efforts on educating and training the nonprofit workforce. 30% say they spend on social welfare organizations. And 28% mainly support associations, chambers and economic development groups. A smaller group (6%) said they prioritized social clubs.

From many of the responses, it was clear that if we had included an “all of the above” option, it would have been a popular choice.

Here are some notable quotes from the survey responses:

“As a Jefferson Parish community foundation, philanthropy is our business. We are seeing that more companies are interested in engaging in parish improvement initiatives. There is increased interest in diversity and equity as well as child care/early education.” — Christine Briede, Executive Director of the Jefferson Community Foundation

“As Northshore’s community foundation, philanthropy is obviously at the heart of everything we do. Our approach remains consistent, which is to simplify and magnify philanthropy in our four-parish region. What has been remarkable throughout the pandemic is the continued generosity and strong commitment of our members and partners to ensure we are taking care of the most vulnerable among us during these unprecedented times. — Susan Bonnett Bourgeois, President and CEO of the Northshore Community Foundation

“Home Bank has an employee giving program called Home Bank Helps in addition to the bank’s sponsorship and grant programs. We focus on workforce development and housing security because it’s the best way to build generational wealth and ultimately improve our overall community. We are a community bank, so we focus on the overall financial health of the places where we live, work and play. — John Zollinger, EVP and Director of Commercial Banking at Home Bank

As a professional services firm, our business depends on a growing and thriving community. This includes not only businesses, but also the residents of this community. Non-profit organizations are essential to our community. … One of our key values ​​at P&N is to partner with our community so that our employees develop a desire to be involved in organizations for which they have a personal passion. — Philip Gunn, Managing Director, New Orleans office at Postlethwaite & Netterville

Providing educational opportunities is more valuable in the long run than providing financial assistance. Both are essential, but I have chosen to provide financial aid and scholarships to students at my alma mater and the Family Firm Institute, a professional organization that studies trends in family business succession around the world. … We pride ourselves in believing that you can’t go wrong with being kind and giving back to a community that has been so generous to our company. — Randy Waesche, President and CEO of Resource Management

“We include this statement in our Mackie One Core Values: We give unskilled and undereducated hard workers the opportunity to learn a skill and earn a respectable living wage to raise their families independently, without government assistance. —Earl Mackie, Mackie One Construction

“Susco’s primary goal is to empower people to contribute in more meaningful and fulfilling ways. Susco creates intuitive enterprise software that unlocks the potential of its users, develops its workforce holistically and contributes to organizations that enable disadvantaged people to achieve the American Dream. These organizations include Son of a Saint (they mentor fatherless boys) and Junior Achievement (they teach city kids about finance and entrepreneurship). — Neel Sus, CEO and Founder of Susco

“As a people-based organization, Complete Logistical Services adopts a company-wide divide and conquer approach by encouraging employees to participate in non-profit organizations. CLS offers all of its employees a full week of volunteer time off every year in support of our commitment to local communities. It’s a way of exemplifying our core value “Live Oak”. — Angela Verdin, President of Complete Logistics Services

“AxoSim’s philanthropic goals support organizations that focus on educating and investing in our youth in the areas of STEM, workforce development, and mentorship. Investing in our city’s youth is crucial to both its success and ours as a region.. We work with several great local organizations and continue to expand our community footprint. —Lowry Curley, CEO of AxoSim

The pandemic has underscored for us the importance of quality early childhood education. We like the model developed by Early Partners, which collaborates with parents and employers. —Gay Le Breton, Managing Director of Chaffe & Associates

“We partner with local nonprofit organizations that provide hands-on workforce training while exposing students to our industry. We provide training and exposure to furniture making while emphasizing the importance of a collaborative and positive work environment. Our ability to do these internships has diminished during the pandemic due to the security measures in place. —Jordan Rose, co-owner of GoodWood NOLA

We try to support organizations with which we can also develop pro bono relationships. Alternatively, we have a matching program where employees can direct company contributions to organizations they support. — Tim Gray, Partner at Forman Watkins & Krutz

We have provided more than $2 million to nonprofit organizations over the past 20 years, in addition to service projects directly impacted by our employees.. The pandemic has strengthened our resolve towards philanthropy and we believe it is more important than ever for businesses of all types to get involved and stay involved in improving these lives and the environments in which we live and operate. — William Lemoine, President of Building Construction at Lemoine Company

The New Orleans 500 is a curated list of influential, involved and inspiring executives in the greater New Orleans area. Each month, the Biz New Orleans editorial team sends them an email survey to help gather economic data as well as valuable information, insights and opinions.

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Family Promise is looking for volunteers to help homeless families

Jan DeLuc, 91, loves volunteering with Family Promise of Gainesville, a nonprofit that mobilizes local resources to help homeless families.

This year was DeLuc’s third year of volunteering in the Bed Race, one of Family Promise’s premier fundraising events. The event has several teams racing down a track pushing beds on wheels, which is symbolic for the many homeless families who often have to travel to find a place to sleep for the night.

“I just feel like it’s such a useful thing in the community,” DeLuc said. “Some of the churches here, we are housing families until we can find homes for them and for me that is the most important because it only takes care of children and families. Children are our future.

Volunteers like DeLuc are the driving force behind the assistance programs that Family Promise provides. But the organization is struggling to recruit new volunteers as area shelters prepare to reopen in May. This is when Family Promise will need people to bring meals to the facility, serve as evening or overnight hosts, set up the shelter, and help with fundraising drives and special events.

“We really need our volunteers back because right now we only have eight out of 13 weeks covered by volunteers to help these families,” said general manager Jayne Moraski. “We need these volunteers to help support our families during this time.”

Family Promise is looking for individual volunteers and volunteer groups of up to five people who can work together.

The organization has a schedule of where families in need will go to connect volunteers with those people. People who want to volunteer should tell Family Promise where they live in Gainesville and list the days and times they are available, Moraski said. If a volunteer lives on the east side, Family Promise can send them on a day when they are available to help families with things like carrying beds upstairs to a church.

Volunteers can provide meals or donate gently used furniture or household items, Moraski said.

The Family Promise of Gainesville, which was founded in 1998, organizes fundraisers like the Bed Race to support shelters, Moraski said. The organization works with more than 30 different religious and civic groups to provide shelter for at least four families at a time. Family Promise has helped over 3,000 families get back on their feet since its inception. Ninety-five percent of the families the group helped find housing in 2021 kept their own apartment or house without losing their home again.

“We’ve gone from one staff member, which is me, to seven now and we’ve added so many different options,” Moraski said. “Our goal is to find as many different ways as possible to help families experiencing homelessness.”

More than 700 public school children in Alachua County are homeless, Moraski said. Homeless children are nine times more likely to fall behind in school.

“Going to school while you’re homeless is a tough thing for a family to deal with,” said fundraising and events team member Linda Meling. “In terms of community impact and the fact that it’s a small program, raising awareness can be tough, which is why we have our big events like the Bed Race.”

The organization helps homeless families in particular by providing them with shelter, furniture, food, childcare vouchers and clothing. It also offers families one-time rental assistance for a month or two.

The $28,474 raised during the Bed Race in February will cover the cost of shelters and case management for shelters, coordinating meals for all families and providing furniture for everyone coming out of the shelter, Moraski said. . This year the group also held a 4x4x48 Challenge fundraiser, in which people were challenged to run around two marathons – four miles every four hours for 48 hours. He raised $3,310.

“If you’re a runner, you know that’s not something a lot of people do,” Moraski said. “So the people who participate are trying to get people to support them at least $1 per mile as they go those 48 miles.”

But the COVID-19 pandemic has created more complex issues. Families had to be housed in hotels and apartments instead of churches and interfaith organizations, which Family Promise paid for. The group also lost $34,000 in volunteer resources throughout the ordeal.

Despite funding challenges, the organization continues to run its programs, including Connect to Work, which identifies barriers preventing parents from getting to work.

“It’s simple things like, ‘I need a pair of black non-slip shoes to do this job.’ OK, $27, we got you so you could get your job,” Moraski said. “Or more complex things like a CNA (Certified Practical Nurse) license, which is about $500; we helped pay for a part of that.

There are many circumstances that can cause a family to need Family Promise and the resources it provides, Moraski said. Most of the people the organization helps are families who live in their cars with children under 18.

“Lately with COVID, it can be very simple,” Moraski said. “They’re going to lose their house because they couldn’t go to work because they had to self-quarantine. So it’s been really traumatic for families over the last two years, but that’s the kind of scenario of families that we would help.

Families may also need help if they receive seven days’ notice, if they have heavy mold in their home, or if their car is damaged. Family Promise aims to help them with their bills while they get back on their feet.

“Anyone who’s somewhere that’s not safe or where they really shouldn’t live as human habitation is the one we’re helping,” Moraski said.

The housing provided is intended to be a temporary 90-day program, Meling said.

“If they need more help, they can come back and get more case management and support,” Meling said. “Usually the homeless families we work with, it’s something that happened quickly and they don’t know what to do or where to go, but they just want their children to be safe and have a normal life.”

Melissa Keefer, a member of Meizon Mission Church, has volunteered with Family Promise for seven years. She keeps coming back because she says she knows it makes a difference in the community.

“I think it’s so fantastic to find an organization that meets people’s short-term and long-term needs,” Keefer said. “A lot of organizations help you out right away or try to help you get better in the long run, but I think Family Promise does a great job of doing both.”

Family Promise focuses a lot on families with children so that poverty and homelessness can stop being generational.

“If you’re a kid and you don’t have a safe place to live, how are you supposed to do your homework? How do you plan to get to school every day? Keefer said. “Even if you hop from apartment to apartment, you may have to change schools often. Families experiencing homelessness really end up having the cards against them.

The organization tries to get to the root of the problem that every family faces to help them overcome their difficulties and provide children with a safe space to socialize and achieve academic success.

“I think it’s a really good way to interrupt that generational pattern that can develop and make sure people can be in the right place where they can thrive like the rest of us,” Keefer said.

Family Promise is about the community helping each other and showing empathy for people’s situations.

“It’s not a helping hand, it’s a helping hand,” Moraski said. “I think if people knew that homeless people aren’t that far away from us or are at a health crisis from homelessness, I think they would be more willing to support their neighbors.”

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MOCIL members to converge at State Capitol to discuss future of disability program – Newstalk KZRG

On April 12, 2022, representatives from the 22 Missouri Centers for Independent Living (MOCIL) will converge at the Missouri State Capitol to discuss the future of the state’s Consumer Directed Services (CDS) program.

Members are advocates for people with disabilities who are served by the CDS program and depend on it for assistance to be independent in their own homes. These people have physical disabilities that can prevent them from performing everyday tasks that we all take for granted.

The twenty-two (22) centers that form MOCIL are all 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations that provide services to enable Missourians with disabilities to remain independent in their own homes.

This program covers the needs that each person needs, such as: bathing, dressing, preparing/cooking meals, cleaning, laundry, changing sheets, shopping for basic needs, skills basic nursing care, setting up and monitoring medications, etc. Without the help provided by this programme, many people with disabilities run the risk of being forced into care facilities and losing many of their freedoms.

MOCIL centers include The Independent Living Center at 2639 E. 34th St. in Joplin. is a private, non-residential, non-profit corporation dedicated to meeting the needs of and serving people with disabilities, their families and communities. It serves residents of Barry, Barton, Dade, Jasper, Newton and McDonald counties.

A MOCIL press release says Missouri is at a critical point in its budget-making process,

“As things stand, CDS program funding is not enough to pay a living wage to the personal care workers who provide these vital services that keep people with disabilities safe and healthy in their own lives. home,” the statement read.

“Governor Parson and members of the Missouri General Assembly must prioritize this program and the lives of Missourians with disabilities.”

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Contemplating the future of accessibility

The writer Dan Senor in his book Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle wrote that “it is a story not just of talent but of tenacity, of insatiable questioning of authority, of defining informality, combined with a unique attitude towards failure, teamwork, mission , risk and interdisciplinary creativity”. Last week, I was fortunate enough to be part of a select group to participate in a five-day program known as the Global Accessibility and Inclusion Summit, or GAILS for short, sponsored by Access Israel, a non-profit organization whose main mission is both to promote accessibility and inclusion throughout the State of Israel and to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities. Yet throughout the summit, what became evident was not just the structure of the event, but the fact that Israel provides such fertile ground for exploring the ever-changing scope and definitions of accessibility. .

Access Israel’s philosophy for this event was built on the premise of bringing together a diverse group of leaders across the accessibility space and developing an environment for cross-pollinating ideas, building trust and planting seeds to reinforce a greater sense of community that has the potential to grow exponentially. Over the course of five days, this diverse group of thinkers and practitioners from around the world developed a sense of collegial harmony and built relationships that challenged the traditional framework of accessibility and offered new avenues for thinking. to the potential opportunities of what can be done, not just in the State of Israel, but around the world.

Although this was the first year that Access Israel had embarked on such an endeavor, what they understood through their programming included meeting with members of the Technology Pillars team from the Israeli campuses of Microsoft and Google at a multitude of young entrepreneurs who have shared their start-up visions is recognizing the changing language of accessibility goes well beyond curbs and ramps to something even deeper, a model of innovation that will have a tectonic effect on the century to come.

The conclusion of these five days, beyond the feeling of being part of a new community, was the ability to recognize that accessibility is an umbrella term that has significant nuance and complexity. We live at an inflection point where we must commit to exploring the many affluents that will define accessibility for the future to come and identify that the lived experience of disability is inextricably linked to various elements of innovation, including design, technology and the future of work.

Access Israel understands that as an organization they are embarking on a new paradigmatic model in the disability space. They position themselves as a key mechanism for change that espouses the values ​​of innovation leadership and highlights the disability community as central to building a new formula to help discover more effective solutions linking government, universities, non-profits and businesses to look forward to. a society that embraces full inclusion as a core ethic.

Access Israel and the Global Accessibility and Inclusion Summit (GAILS) are a monumental step forward in disrupting the status quo and bringing accessibility in all its permutations to the forefront of societal thinking. Accessibility can no longer be an afterthought, but an essential element in shaping a better quality of life for all.

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AnnaMaria Bliven, founder of Military Veteran’s Non-Profit, examines the logistical steps to stopping military suicides

Facing and Flanking the Enemy: Stopping Military Suicide by Onward and Upward Founder, Dr. AnnaMaria Bliven

The battle on the home front that many military veterans face when transitioning from military to civilian life can be won in two ways; one is reactionary and the other is proactive.

— Dr. AnnaMaria Bliven

LOS ANGELES, CA, USA, April 6, 2022 / — There should be two approaches to fighting and winning the battle in war, one from the front and the other from the back. The battle on the home front that many military veterans face when transitioning from military to civilian life, to not walk into a dark place, can be won with two approaches; one is reactionary and the other is proactive. The reactionary approach has been to build community-based veterans housing projects so that homeless veterans have a place to stay while they think about the rest of their lives. This approach does not put an end to military suicides but manages to decrease the number of homeless veterans.

Onward and Upward Founder, Dr. AnnaMaria Bliven, retired Master Sergeant and former Army Advisor, has created a new program that is a proactive approach to ending military homelessness and military suicide. This program teaches military warriors what it takes to make a smooth and quick transition to civilian life. The Transition Readiness Program, at present, focuses on resume building, job search, and veteran benefits. Classes last a total of 40 hours, and this is a targeted time for the service member to begin preparing to leave the military. This curriculum has serious shortcomings, as Dr. Bliven discovered firsthand during his transition. She found new language and terminology to use when researching a civilian job and interviewing a potential civilian employer. She also discovered several other gaps in transition readiness education that hit her in the face and gut, sending her spiraling down, into depression, and into a dark place. Many military veterans and warriors who enter the dark place escape the darkness by committing suicide.

Dr. Bliven researched the issue of military suicides and found a direct relationship between military homelessness and military suicides. According to a journal article titled: “Addressing Veteran Homelessness to Prevent Veteran Suicides, written by Tsai, Trevison, Huang, and Pietrzak (2018), “Analysis of a nationally representative survey of U.S. veterans in 2015 shows that veterans with a history of homelessness attempted suicide in the previous two years at a rate >5.0 times higher than that of veterans with no history of homelessness (6.9% vs. 1.2%), and their rates of suicidal ideation for two weeks were 2.5 times higher (19.8% vs. 7.4%).”

With more than 30 military suicides per day occurring in 2022, the need for a new curriculum that teaches service members to be fully prepared to leave the military is paramount to ending military suicide. Being fully prepared with a plan, purpose, and personal mission is the way to prevent situations that lead to veteran homelessness and suicide.

The new program fills gaps in training service members to be fully prepared to leave the military. This new program is presented to the Ministry of Defense within two months. If anyone is interested in learning more about this new program, contact Dr. Bliven via LinkedIn:

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Media Unlimited Inc.
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Non-profit to upgrade Plantations at Pine Lake apartment complex

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A nonprofit is footing the bill.

They have purchased the Plantations at Pine Lake and will be opening more than half of these apartments for less.

As the cost of living rises.

“Everything is going up. With the prices of gas, food. Added to that is the unavailability of some things that you could get more easily, but now you can’t find them,” Darryl Stanley said.

Stanley, who resides in Plantations at Pine Lake, says it’s refreshing to see more affordable housing options.

Soon, the complex will lower the rent by 81 units.

“We don’t have to recreate. The developer will go into rehab, rebuild and get those units into play faster. We don’t have to start from scratch,” Tallahassee City Commissioner Dianne Williams Cox said.

The commissioner added that the whole project does not cost the city a penny.

A Jacksonville-based nonprofit, Affordable Housing Preservation Corporation, recently purchased the apartments.

While a quarter of apartments will remain at market price — the remaining 75% will accommodate people identified as needing an affordable option.

“We have a project on the northeast end, on the boardwalk. It’s happening all over the city. We’re happy because we don’t want affordable housing in certain parts of the city, we want it in all parts of town. parts of the city,” Williams told Cox.

With this housing comes more resources for people in need on the northeast side of town.

AHPC will also bring resources to the neighborhood like job fairs, nutritional support and help with eviction prevention.

“As someone who has always worked in the service industry, I welcome this because times are tough,” Stanley said. “If we can’t embrace individuals during difficult times, then what are we? Are we a community?”

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Metallica is selling a 2022 t-shirt to benefit World Central Kitchen

Metallica continues to be one of rock and metal’s most charitable bands, and their latest endeavor has allowed them to send funds to World Central Kitchen in this time of need during the war unfolding in Ukraine.

Metallica’s All Within My Hands Foundation kicks off its annual giving month earlier this year with a $500,000 donation to WCK – in addition to a recent $100,000 grant – in a bid to bring that number to one. total of $1 million over the next two months.

But that’s just the beginning because until May 31, Metallica’s online store will be offering exclusive merchandise to benefit World Central Kitchen, including a one-of-a-kind Metallica t-shirt created by Andrew Cremeans who is currently available for pre-order. The shirt, seen below, is 100% ring-spun cotton and features a classic fit with a 7/8″ double-needle topstitched collar. Pre-orders are available here.

“The work Chef José Andrés and the dedicated cooks at World Central Kitchen are doing on the front lines in a humanitarian crisis is nothing short of amazing. We are inspired, humbled and beyond proud to support their teams currently in six European countries serving the millions of Ukrainians who have been forced from their homes. WCK represents everything Metallica and our All Within My Hands foundation stand for in providing meals with dignity and hope around the world,” said Lars Ulrich of Metallica.

World Central Kitchen CEO Nate Mook comments, “World Central Kitchen is grateful for the support and confidence of Metallica and the All Within My Hands Foundation in our mission. They share our belief that a plate of food is more than just food; it’s hope and a sign that someone cares. Their support will allow us to continue to provide fresh and comforting meals to Ukrainians fleeing their homes as well as those who remain in the country.

Fans can continue to watch Metallica’s online store for more exclusives and additional merchandise, with all proceeds going to this campaign. The Local’s fundraising competition will begin May 2 and run for a month – additional AWMH auctions and raffles will include items including the guitars that James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett will play during their performance of the national anthem at Metallica Night with the San Francisco Giants on May 24.

For those who simply wish to contribute, there is a donation page through the All Within My Hands Foundation website.

World Central Kitchen has focused on helping to feed refugees since the start of the war between Russia and Ukraine on February 24. Since then, they have served more than 5 million meals to refugees in six countries as part of the #ChefsForUkraine campaign. , representing 250,000 meals distributed daily.

All new art created and generously donated by Andrew Cremeans for our exclusive Month of Giving t-shirt! Proceeds go to World Central Kitchen #ChefsForUkraine countryside. Learn more below.

14 Rock + Metal Artists Giving Back

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Hundreds and thousands of dots add up to create dazzling works of art

Make points.

Lots of dots.

Lots of dots on the rocks.

What initially looks like a mission for kindergarteners is an elaborate art form and enterprise for Renee Boyce. The Freeland resident is known for creating intricate and colorful mandalas drawn on flat rocks. Using the tiniest of fine brushes and metal dotting tools, she paints hundreds and thousands of dots in designs that she conjures up on the spot, so to speak. No patterns, no stencils, no copies.

His images are in the pattern of a mandala, circular with a radiating central starting point. The designs are complex and delicate, symmetrical but without rotation. Some look like sea urchins. Others appear as shiny beaded jewelry from a distance.

But these are just points. Thick, tactile spots of dots.

“Colors are determined by my mood every time I paint,” Boyce explains, gently covering a series of dots with another layer of blue, by far his favorite color.

Layer upon layer of acrylic paint and contrasting hues give the stone a three-dimensional effect. Resin seals the design for added shine and protection. The pattern appears and the stone seems to swirl hypnotically on itself.

“For me, it’s like an emotional process of doing a mandala,” Boyce, 35, said. “You enter the zone and everything goes away.”

Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning “circle”. In recent years, this spiritual and ritual symbol of Hinduism and Buddhism has begun to appear on clothing, in adult coloring books, and on pieces of hard earth.

Boyce is a hit on Etsy, where there is no shortage of amazing mandala stones for sale from around the world. She has thousands of followers on Instagram and Facebook, where she posts under her trade name, Freeland Art Shack.

Boyce was selling successfully at a now-closed Whidbey Island artist consignment store. Plans to sell his creations at numerous regional festivals and art exhibitions have also evaporated with the pandemic.

“For almost three consecutive years, I lived almost entirely from my art. I was making a substantial contribution to household finances,” said Boyce, who lives with her fiancé and son.

Last year, Boyce sold at the Cultus Bay Gardens Summer Arts and Crafts Market, where she had previously exhibited her art and artistry.

“People always love to see her demonstrate her work at her table,” said Cultus Bay Gardens owner Mary Fisher. “After meeting Renee, I was captivated by her presence and how she uses her painting as a meditation and calming centering practice to deal with life in general.”

Pursuing a “kind of experiment” away from previous artistic pursuits, Boyce dove into the endless arts and crafts offerings of the internet right after the birth of her first child.

She came across a global community of precision artists who call themselves “dotters” and willingly share the tricks of their sharp craft.

“I’ve always been really good at looking at something and figuring out how to do it myself,” Boyce said. “I never took an art class. I like to test by fire.

She spent a year practicing this art form. She would put the baby to bed and paint until the wee hours of the morning, trying to figure it out.

As time went on, she said, “I guess it just clicked.”

Elspeth McLean, an Australian artist and art therapist now living in British Columbia, is credited with pioneering what she calls “dotillism”. It differs from pointillism, which uses tiny dots of different colors mixed together to form an image and trick the eye.

Dot paintings have long been associated with the art of Australian Aborigines, whose paintings are said to be drawn to conceal sacred meanings and stories.

Although similar, the two art forms are very different, said Jessica Dalgleish, an Australian artist who befriended Boyce after admiring his work online. Dalgleish, whose dot art includes coasters, tiles, prints and paintings, is called JessyD Designs.

“Dot mandala art does not tell stories like Aboriginal art does,” Dalgleish wrote in an email. “Both are equally beautiful.”

Dalgleish said she was a fan of the small stone earring and pendant mandala jewelry that Boyce perfected at the start of the pandemic. They became his bestsellers.

Pat Sasson can’t get enough of it. She is a board member of Meerkerk Gardens, a non-profit 53-acre woodland garden on Whidbey’s Island that attracts thousands of rhododendron enthusiasts each year.

Sasson first fell in love with Boyce’s flat mandala stones at a craft show four years ago, then with her rock jewelry, then with the artist herself after Boyce generously donated of 10 pieces to the annual Meerkerk Gardens fundraiser.

“She makes these beautiful pendants that I give as Christmas gifts,” Sasson said. “She’s just a nice, generous young woman and she’s so talented. I just love her. And her prices are affordable.

Prices range from $22 to $200 for her mandala stones, jewelry, and small murals; large sizes range from $300 to $1,500, depending on how many hours she puts in each piece. She has also digitized and professionally printed some of her greatest works in prints, stickers and bookmarks.

Small boulders shining with their own natural beauty are also popular with Boyce’s customers. The smooth shine of the beach stones fades far too soon. They dry out, they dull, as any rock hound knows.

Boyce found a way to preserve the wet, detailed look – by turning the tidal offerings into simple jewelry. She rubs the small stones with water and vinegar, lets them dry indoors for weeks, coats them with layers of resin and hangs them from sterling silver necklace chains.

“When you resin them, it brings out that detail,” she says. These sell for $18.

A native of South Carolina, Boyce said she’s unlikely to have much success selling her new art form in the land of slick beaches and Charleston sensibilities.

She is grateful to be on Whidbey Island. Here, locals paint rocks, they hide rocks, they find rocks. The beaches are nothing but rock. Whidbey’s nickname is The Rock.

“I had no idea Whidbey Island Rocks was a thing until I moved here,” Boyce said.

Whidbey Island Rocks, one of hundreds of global bands connected to the Kindness Rocks project, has 27,500 fans on its community Facebook page.

Boyce sometimes joins in the joy of setting off and finding unexpected treasures by placing some of his glowing stones in hidden crevices, under trees, and along paths.

“Or I leave them on the playgrounds for the kids,” she said. “So sometimes I hide behind a tree and wait for someone to find one. It’s so much fun.

For more information on Renee Boyce’s art, visit these sites:

E-mail: [email protected]

North Shore Washington Magazine

This article is featured in the spring issue of Washington North Coast Magazine, a supplement to the Daily Herald. Explore Snohomish and Island counties with each quarterly magazine. Each issue costs $3.99. Subscribe to receive all four editions for $14 per year. Call 425-339-3200 or visit for more information.


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Bethel gymnasts kick off gymnastics world to raise funds for Ukraine

The gymnasts from Kratos Gymnastics in Bethel, CT are taking the initiative and starting a community of gymnasts working to raise funds for their fellow gymnasts going through the hardships of war in Ukraine!

In addition to owning and operating Kratos Gymnastics, Ashley & Mihael Anton opened a non-profit humanitarian foundation called “The Power of A Dream Foundation” during covid to help the lives/careers of young gymnasts. Mihael, a Romanian immigrant to America, knew he had to act when war hit near his birthplace.

Knowing the despair that the Ukrainian people would face, Ashley and Mihael decided it was time to change the initiative with their foundation and focus on raising funds for Ukrainian gymnasts who need help more than anyone. in the world right now.

While working with members of the Ukrainian Olympic Committee and the Ukrainian Gymnastics Federation to find ways to help, Ashley and Mihael learned of the passing of promising Olympic hopeful Katya Dyachenko and knew that they had to take immediate action.

Noting that gymnasts still living in Ukraine were using Zoom as their primary means of continuing to train because leaving home was unsafe and gymnastics gyms were being bombed, Ashley and Mihael spoke with members of the Ukrainian Olympic Committee and of the gymnastics federation and began coordinating Master Class Zoom events. to raise awareness of the world situation in Ukraine while raising both the morale and the money of the gymnasts living there!

The first upcoming event took place on Sunday, March 27 and was hosted by 2012 Olympic silver medalist Nataliya Leshchyk. The gymnasts made a tax-deductible donation of $100 to the Power of A Dream Foundation to join in person or virtually. As gymnasts around the world tuned in to train through a paid donation, 16 gymnasts aged 8-12 still living in Ukraine tuned in for free, opening their cameras to support gymnasts their age to step up the ante. moral and have an “international” training experience.

In addition to the registration fee, donations totaling $1,200 were collected for the first event, all of which were sent to Ukraine for distribution to families in need.

This weekend, Sunday, April 3, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. New York time, Kratos Gymnastics/The Power of A Dream Foundation will host a second Master Class. This time, World Championship silver medalist Irina Kovalchuk will be the host. There are 18 Ukrainian gymnasts to join us from Ukraine, as well as gymnasts who registered to participate from all over the world, again donating to participate!

Artistic and rhythmic gymnastics enthusiasts of all levels are invited to participate in the event by visiting Once registered, each gymnast will receive a personal fundraising page to help with crowdfunding! Humanitarian supporters can donate any amount by visiting the fundraising page!

Moreau Leotard USA is a corporate sponsor of the event.

Moreau was established in 1984 in France to provide the gymnastics market with variety and quality design. Since its founding 36 years ago, Moreau has strived to bring innovation to the gymnastics leotard environment. The Moreau company is the leader on the European market. In July 2018, Moreau decided to implement an ambitious new international project in the United States with CM Distribution, which is the official distributor in this area. CM Distribution and Moreau Company work together to meet the expectations of the American Gymnastics market.

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Sunflower Hill Hires Lenard-Benson as New Executive Director | News

Jen Lenard-Benson takes on the role of Sunflower Hill’s new executive director, the organization’s board announced last week.

Lenard-Benson has more than 25 years of experience in the nonprofit sector and is skilled in strategic planning, fundraising, advocacy and board development, according to nonprofit officials. nonprofit that serves adults with developmental disabilities in the Tri-Valley and beyond.

“I have deep roots in the nonprofit sector and housing for underserved populations and I am delighted to engage with residents, participants, volunteers, donors, parents, caregivers, partners and the community,” Lenard-Benson told the Weekly.

She succeeds Janet Cohen, who served as interim chief executive when former executive Edie Nehls left in October.

“We are thrilled to have Jen bring to Sunflower Hill her nonprofit development and management expertise gained over her years in the sector,” said Kathy Layman, Chair of Sunflower Hill’s Board of Directors. “His broad and growing fundraising and strategic leadership responsibilities, coupled with his ability to build relationships with key stakeholders who are passionate about the mission, will be an asset to the organization.”

Lenard-Benson moved from Northwest Indiana to the Bay Area 11 years ago and has since connected and engaged with the area, including the Tri-Valley area. She brings with her extensive knowledge of the nonprofit sectors in the United States and Canada, Sunflower Hill officials said.

Additionally, Lenard-Benson is an advocate for affordable child care for low-income families and provides women with crisis services, including support for families affected by domestic violence.

“I look forward to working with staff to implement the organization’s strategic priorities, which include the co-development of inclusive affordable housing, the creation of multidisciplinary transition and independent and interdependent living training programs, and creating clear and accessible language about who we are and what we do,” she said.

“I am honored to join such a respected and established nonprofit and look forward to continuing the vital work of the organization,” she added.

Lenard-Benson said she felt honored to join a highly respected and established nonprofit organization like Sunflower Hill.

“As CEO, I look forward to working with the Board and staff to achieve the organizational mission, vision and strategic plan, as well as overseeing operations,” she said.

Lenard-Benson graduated from Valparaiso University in Indiana with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in social work and gender studies. She is also certified in fundraising management from Indiana University.

Speaking about her work at Sunflower Hill, she said she was excited to pursue the organization’s vision.

“Work as an organizational champion to advance the organization’s mission and vision and will focus on achieving short-term goals while working toward long-term sustainability,” Lenard-Benson said. “I look forward to championing our next chapter.”

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Caring: Rotary learns of new hospice in High Country | News

AMOREM Director of Development Brittany Bonn unveils the non-profit hospice’s plans to build a 7-bed patient care unit in Boone for members of the Rotary Club of Blowing Rock at the Meadowbrook Inn, March 28.

BLOWING ROCK – With more than 1,200 High Country residents served and approximately 150 active patient cases in the area now, it makes sense that the nonprofit AMOREM Hospice and Palliative Care would add a patient care unit to Boone . That’s the message heard by the Rotary Club of Blowing Rock on Monday, March 28 at the Meadowbrook Inn in Blowing Rock.

Brittany Bonn, director of development and Kerri McFalls, vice president of community engagement were the guest speakers for Rotary’s weekly lunch meeting.


Appalachian Architecture designed the new 7-unit patient care unit for the nonprofit AMOREM hospice and palliative care at Lenoir. Here is the architectural firm’s rendering of the new facility that will be based on the eastern outskirts of Boone.

AMOREM is the result of a 2021 merger of Burke Hospice and Palliative Care with Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care. The units of the now combined organization have been in operation for nearly 40 years and the new combined organization is the only non-profit hospice provider serving Ashe, Burke, Caldwell and Watauga counties, but, according to the website of the company’s service area also includes Avery, Wilkes, Catawba, Alexander, McDowell, Rutherford, Lincoln and Cleveland counties.

“When we merged,” Bonn said, “we couldn’t think of a more apt way to describe what we do for the care of our patients and their families than AMOREM, which in Latin means ‘the act of love “.”

Almost everyone in the room raised their hands at the request of Bonn who had been touched by palliative care in the past, so the basic theme needed no introduction.

“Palliative care is the spiritual, emotional and physical support of a person living with a terminal illness and with a life expectancy of six months or less. They are facing the last year of their life. We consider our Our job is not just to treat the individual patient but also to take care of their family. Together, the patient and their family constitute our ‘unit of care’,” Bonn said.

Bonn said care is provided by a team of experts, including a nurse, a social worker, a chaplain and, if the patient wishes, a caregiver and a volunteer support person.

Kerri McFalls

Kerri McFalls is the vice president of community engagement for the nonprofit hospice, AMOREM. McFalls and Director of Organizational Development Brittany Bonn (not pictured) unveiled plans for a new 7-bed patient care unit in Boone for the Rotary Club of Blowing Rock on March 28, at the Meadowbrook Inn .

“The majority of palliative care is provided in the patient’s home,” Bonn said, “or wherever they call home. We also provide palliative care to patients living in long-term care facilities and even follow patients to hospital if they have certain needs. Our goal is to keep the patient comfortable, in the place of their choice, to support their family and help them have the best possible quality of life in their remaining days.

While AMOREM provides hospice and hospice care wherever needed, a self-contained care unit is for times when home or long-term care facility models are not working.

Bonn and McFalls showed renderings of a new 7-bed patient care unit slated for construction on Archie Carroll Road on the eastern outskirts of Boone near Old US 421 South, next to their High administration building. Country.

Noting that the other three patient care units similar to what they are building in the High Country are the William E. Stevens, Jr. facility in Kirkwood (Lenoir), the Forlines in Hudson, and the Valdese (in Valdese), Bonn said they each have their own personality.

“Lenoir’s is like a bed and breakfast,” Bonn said. “The other two are more like beautiful, modern hotels. We want them to fit the area they are in. For the new Watauga patient care unit, we are aiming for more of a mountain lodge feel. “

McFalls said he raised about $3 million in the new unit High Country’s fundraising campaign, aiming for $8 million.

“For our most recent facility, we were able to move in debt-free after we waived all construction costs up front,” Bonn said. “That’s our goal for Boone’s as well.”

Having good palliative care available in the community can relieve stress on hospital resources and save patients money on medical bills, Bonn said.

AMOREM service area

Representatives of the hospice and hospice association AMOREM told the Rotary Club of Blowing Rock on March 28 that the organization was building a new 7-bed patient care unit in Boone, completing three similar units downstairs. the mountain.

“Last year in the High Country just over 25% of hospitalized patients died in hospital,” Bonn said. “Down the mountain where we have patient care units, only 6% died in hospital. In their final days, the vast majority of patients do not need the full resources of a hospital, but that’s what they pay. . A self-contained care unit has many advantages.”

McFalls and Bonn said AMOREM had already applied for and received their certificate of need from the state for a patient care unit. This usually means that another palliative care provider will not be able to duplicate their efforts in that area.

“It’s a big deal for AMOREM to have already gone through the process of receiving their Certificate of Need,” said Alice Salthouse, a Rotarian listening to the presentation with great interest as she is CEO of High Country Community Health. , a non-profit provider organization based in Boone. “They are meeting an important need in our community and performing a vital service.”

In describing the 9,000 square foot facility designed by Appalachian Architecture, Bonn said each of the seven bedrooms will be L-shaped to provide maximum privacy for patients and visiting family members. In addition, they will each have outdoor patios on which patient beds can be rolled out.

AMOREM is perhaps North Carolina’s most experienced palliative care provider.

“We opened the first free-standing palliative care unit in the state of North Carolina in 1989,” Bonn said. “It was in Lenoir, a 6-bed unit. The Hudson patient care unit is 12 beds and the Valdese unit is 14 beds. These beds are there for patients whose needs cannot be met If they have a need for symptom control, a need for pain control, or if it’s going to be really difficult for a patient to go through the end of their life at home, that’s why we’re the.”

Bonn told the touching story of a young mother who had the goal of not dying in her house because her children would continue to live there.

“She didn’t want that to be their last memory of her in that space,” Bonn said.

AMOREM was called upon by the Appalachian Regional Health System to provide palliative care services in the High Country in 2014, Bonn said.

“So we have expanded our service area to include Ashe, Avery, and Watauga counties. We have established a workstation and have a local team to provide support to patients in this community. In November of last year we had served over 1,200 patients in our reach and so did our experience,” Bonn said. “We saw that the High Country needed a local care unit. For family members, having to go up and down the mountain to see their loved ones during their final days is an unnecessary burden if we have the same facilities here.”

McFalls added that the Boone facility will also have a community meeting room large enough to accommodate about 90 people.

“When you consider the generosity of donors and volunteers who support us,” Bonn said, “this facility is developed for the community, by the community.”

For more information on the fundraising campaign as well as planned facilities, interested parties should contact Brittany Bonn, Director of Development, AMOREM, 902 Kirkwood Street, Lenoir, 28645. Phone: (828) 754-0101. Email: [email protected]

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FoundersForge and ETSU Offer Internship Opportunities to Talented Students | Sunday stories

JOHNSON CITY — FoundersForge, a local nonprofit dedicated to disadvantaged entrepreneurs, and East Tennessee State University are partnering to provide a unique opportunity for students looking to gain valuable experience at innovative regional startups without having to compete with big companies this spring.

The ETSU Startup Internship Fair, hosted by FoundersForge, will be held Thursday, April 7 from 6-8 p.m. at the Martha Street Culp Auditorium. The event is designed to ensure local talent and local businesses grow together, providing new opportunities for innovation and regional growth.

At the ETSU Startup Internship Fair, students will have access to a wealth of paid and unpaid opportunities for the summer in marketing, software development, accounting/finance, video production, and more.

This opportunity helps startups find amazing local talent to grow their business, and maybe even find the next (or first) full-time employee for their company.

Students gain experience. Gaining practical work experience can be more valuable to employers than degrees. Working with a startup can help students pursue work that really matters, gain real-life experience, explore areas of interest, and open doors to future job opportunities.

Startups are gaining momentum. Large job fairs are often a challenge for small businesses looking to hire great talent. Competing with bigger name companies means they sometimes miss out on the best candidates. But with the ETSU Startup Internship Fair, underdog entrepreneurs can share their mission with local students to find passionate, high-potential candidates and build their capacity to do more.

Learn more about FoundersForge at

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Loving your neighbors – one medical debt paid at a time

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) – The leader of the Congregational Church of First-Plymouth wears sneakers and jeans for the 11:59 a.m. service – a laid-back, laid-back worship service.

A breeze blows through the open doors into the high-ceilinged sanctuary of the grand old church, surrounded by stately two-story houses, humble bungalows and box-like apartments in one of the most economically diverse neighborhoods of Lincoln.

Over the next 35 minutes, Senior Pastor Jim Keck will quote his mother, baptize a 3-year-old child, exalt moral courage, share a short version of the church’s long history, recite the Beatitudes, and move from the prayer of the Lord to the new initiative of the church.

“That moment when we say, ‘Forgive us our debts?’ You see here, during these months we are trying to help pay the medical debt in the center of Lincoln.

If you have five dollars in your pocket, he said. Ten. Everything you put on the plate, every penny, helps pay off our neighbours’ healthcare debts.

“I hope you have courage this week,” the pastor said. “I hope you cling to what is good.”

As the congregation enters the first sunny day of spring, a volunteer waits, shielding the collection plate from the wind to prevent his growing pile of money from flying out the door.

Even though that’s exactly where it’s destined to land.


It all started with Juan Carlos Huertas.

Keck had been surfing sermons on Facebook in the spring of 2020. Huertas lured him. Here is a man passionate about justice and community and the love of Jesus.

Here’s the guy who could help our church write its post-pandemic chapter, Keck thought.

A pastor’s son, like Keck. A church nerd, like Keck.

He invited the Methodist minister from Puerto Rico to preach in Lincoln, eventually luring him away from Louisiana, where he had served for 16 years.

“We brought him up to be a preacher and an innovator in social justice work,” Keck said.

Huertas was ready.

He and his family moved into a house four blocks from First-Plymouth last summer.

He started justNeighbors, a way to walk side by side with people in the neighborhood and show their love. They hung out at the local laundromat offering coffee and snacks, quarters for washers and dryers, help with folding and carrying laundry. They carpooled to volunteer at a medical clinic that helps sick Lincolnites without health insurance. They hope to find a way to fill the gas tanks.

But first, the two pastors floated bigger ideas. The pandemic has brought health care and inequality into the spotlight. They knew that churches across the country had redeemed large amounts of medical debt.

“But we didn’t want to do that in America as a whole,” Keck said. “We wanted to help our own neighbors in downtown Lincoln.”

Over the next few months, Huertas dug. He read as much as he could about medical debt, made phone calls and emails, learned all he could about this thorny American issue.

“I lost track of how many people I sat with,” Huertas said.

The more he learned, the more he realized, “It’s a problem with our neighbors.”

It’s easy for people to fall behind on medical bills, he said. Missing payments and ending up in collections. Your child falls ill. You get sick.

“You need the hospital and the pathologist and the respiratory therapist; people don’t understand the billing process.

Huertas learned as he went.

He learned that there are programs that already deal with medical debt here. The Lancaster County Medical Society is offering deeply discounted rates to patients overwhelmed with medical bills with the help of grants from the Community Health Endowment. Lincoln hospitals donate millions in charitable care; $42 million to Bryan Health alone in 2021.

He learned that some patients came to the Clinic with a heart run by Lincoln volunteers for care because they had debts they couldn’t pay at their own doctor’s offices.

He learned that people living in the cluster of neighborhoods in the heart of the city – near First-Plymouth – have a life expectancy nearly 10 years shorter than those living in outlying neighborhoods.

During his months of research, Huertas tracked down the three debt collection agencies responsible for collecting most of the medical debt near the church.

Only one called back.

They made a deal. The debt collector would be a silent partner, providing the church with a small balance discount and a list of indebted Lincoln central neighbors. No names. No addresses.

The church had its own rules. Beneficiaries had to be up to date with their payments and demonstrate good faith in repaying their debt.

Rule 2: The church would give without expectation. No strings attached. No acknowledgment required.

The project was launched in late February, cobbled together with money from fundraising plates and start-up funds from members who knew the rollout was coming.

A small committee sat down with $8,000 and a list.

A cancer patient unable to work who owed $1,500.

A retiree living on Social Security who owed $300.

A single parent without child support who needed $800 to pay off his debts.

Who could they help?

That night, they paid off the debt of 11 neighbors.

Stephanie Dinger is a committee member. She remembers how good it was.

“You can never move forward if you have medical bills. For me, it’s God, giving someone a hand.

A standard collection agency letter was sent to each recipient. It included a phone number and email for First-Plymouth’s justNeighbors project.

It also included the balance of each account: $0.

A few days later the phone rang in First-Plymouth. On the other end of the line was a woman who had racked up $3,000 in debt for years.

After her letter arrived, she had called the collection agency, sure they had made a mistake.

Keck recounts what she said next: “I don’t even have words to let you know how it feels. The only thing I can feel is thank you, Jesus.


Paul Rea has been a Lincoln bankruptcy attorney for nearly 30 years, long enough to know why his fellow Nebraskas are going bankrupt.

“When you look at the typical bankruptcy, the vast majority will have medical debt, and there’s a significant minority of cases where people have crippling medical debt.”

A Harvard study determined that six out of 10 bankruptcies cite medical debt as a contributing factor, said Scott Patton, director of development at RIP Medical Debt. “And that’s only for people who can afford to file. There are literally millions of people who cannot afford to file for bankruptcy and have medical debt.

Patton’s employer is a New York-based nonprofit that buys debt at pennies on the dollar and has paid off nearly $7 billion in medical debt across America since 2014.

One in five U.S. households report medical debt, Patton said. A quarter of credit card debt can be attributed to medical bills. Medical debt represents a staggering $88 billion on credit reports.

“It’s a huge problem,” he said. “It can happen to anyone who has a human body and lives in our country.”

Medical debt is a huge source of stress for those already struggling, said Lori Seibel, president of the Community Health Endowment.

“People are less likely to seek care,” she said. “They may just live with a problem or go to the emergency room because they know they will be seen there, which leads to more expensive care.”

Seibel sat down with Huertas last fall to give him some insight into the demographics around First-Plymouth and the church’s power as a neighborhood anchor.

But she was also skeptical of the grand church plan.

“My first thought was, ‘This is such a huge problem and what can one entity do? “Said Seibel.

Then she thought of attending the inauguration of a new Head Start that the endowment had helped fund, and of turning to the chairman of its board of directors: Sure, it will help 50 children; there are 800 on the waiting list.

The chairman of her board of directors replied: But Lori, it’s 50 children.

“Will they be able to resolve each person’s medical debt?” No. But for the people they do, it’s life changing.


No money blew through the doors of First-Plymouth on the first day of spring.

When church leaders emptied the collection plates from that morning’s service, they counted everything from pennies to $100 bills.

They added that to the collection plate money the first two weekends in March, as well as all checks and donations posted on its online medical debt portal. They arrived at a total: $45,000.

The committee met a second time on March 22. They looked at a new list.

A restaurant worker who owed $1,300.

A parent who owed $600.

A tenant working and living alone paying off a debt of $1,000.

A letter would soon be on its way to 35 households whose medical debt has been erased.

“There’s an energy around this thing,” Keck said. “There’s something about this initiative that’s gained a kind of traction that I’ve never seen before.”

Collectible plate offerings have doubled in the past month.

Trustees are willing to see money that might otherwise have gone into church coffers collected for this other purpose. Church members embraced the idea. A collection agent has voluntarily partnered with First-Plymouth.

“I think this is a great opportunity for the community to get the help they need,” Leah Kash-Brown, 25, said after the 11:59 a.m. service. “And a great opportunity to help the community.”

The church is just beginning.

The campaign will continue until Easter Sunday 2023. Who knows? Maybe they can wipe out Lincoln Center’s debt in the next year. Maybe they can expand their reach to new neighborhoods and help new people weighed down by the weight of medical debt, Huertas said.

“That would be great.”

The Free Flatwater Press is Nebraska’s first independent, nonprofit newsroom focused on the investigative and reporting that matters.

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Biden is on his way to Europe for a NATO summit. Here are the options the Pentagon gave him for more troops.

Chernobyl nuclear power plant seen from above on March 10 in Ukraine. (Maxar Technologies/Getty Imag

Russian forces looted and destroyed a laboratory near the abandoned Chernobyl nuclear power plant that was used to monitor radioactive waste, according to the Ukrainian government.

The site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster fell to the Russians in the first week of the Russian invasion, raising fears that safety standards inside the exclusion zone could be compromised.

According to a Ukrainian government agency, the lab was part of a European Union-funded attempt to improve radioactive waste management through on-site analysis of waste samples as well as packaging used to dispose of the waste.

The government agency also reported that samples of radionuclides – unstable atoms that can emit high levels of radiation – had been removed from the lab. He said he hoped Russia would use the samples to “harm itself, not the civilized world.”

This is the latest scare to emerge from the infamous Ukrainian site which sits near the border with Belarus.

More information about Chernobyl: Staff working there on the day he was captured in late February only recently had the chance to return home, three weeks after having to rotate with an incoming team.

Local Slavutych Mayor Yuriy Fomichev spoke to CNN after the workers were confined to the factory for 10 days, describing them as “exhausted, both mentally and emotionally, but mostly physically”.

Fomichev said more than 100 people were shift staff who should have been relieved after 12 p.m.

Earlier this month, the site was forced to be powered by emergency diesel generators for several days before being reconnected to the national power grid after damaged lines were repaired.

And on Tuesday, the Ukrainian government also warned of several fires near the factory, which it said were likely started by Russian artillery or arson.

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In Steamboat, some traveling nurses live where they work

Melissa Lahay, Sales and Marketing Manager of Casey’s Pond Senior Living, and Brad Boatright, Executive Director, show off a one-bedroom apartment similar to the accommodations where traveling employees are housed.
Suzie Romig / Steamboat Pilot and Today

Practical nurse Brenda Pittman’s commute to work at Casey’s Pond Senior Living is only a short elevator ride away.

The Louisiana mother of five adult children works as a traveling staff member on assignment at Casey’s Pond, and her temporary apartment is an unoccupied resident room inside the upscale resort.

“It’s super cool and I love it. It’s unique,” ​​said Pittman, who worked as a practical nurse for 28 years in all types of settings, from hospitals to hospices.

In nearly a year of traveling for work, this is Pittman’s first opportunity to live locally.

On a budget and in Colorado with one of his children on the autism spectrum, Pittman would commute to work by bus from a hotel in Craig. The trip took over an hour including transfer. Now Pittman isn’t worried about arriving on time for his shift with his one-minute commute.

“I can actually relax and do my job,” Pittman said.

Management at the nonprofit Casey’s Pond has used traveling staff hired by multiple third-party recruitment agencies for about three years due to nationwide nursing shortages, said Casey’s executive director Brad Boatright. Pond.

The company has offered temporary accommodation sporadically since 2020, but from October the senior community opened more apartments on-site to accommodate traveling staff. Visiting staff often cited difficulties finding affordable short-term rentals in Steamboat, said Melissa Lahay, director of sales and marketing for Casey’s Pond.

Currently, 18 traveling nurses live in vacant resident apartments, either on their own or sometimes with roommates. If staff prefer, they can also eat at community restaurants with an employee discount, Lahay said.

Another guest staff member, a licensed practical nurse who works evenings and lives in an on-site apartment, often returns from the ski resort with a snowboard under her arm, Lahay noted.

Providing on-site accommodation for up to 20 traveling nurses is another measure the local employer must now take to attract enough employees.

With similar staffing needs, UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center rents six condos as transitional housing for newly hired employees moving into the community and looking for their own homes. Condos are regularly full, said Lindsey Reznicek, communications strategist for YVMC.

“Hiring essential healthcare providers and staff at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center has proven difficult due to the lack of affordable employee housing in Steamboat Springs,” Reznicek noted. “As one of Steamboat Springs’ largest employers, we are encouraged by the ongoing discussion, as well as the ongoing efforts to bring more employee housing to the area, and are delighted to partner with others in this important priority.”

Casey’s Pond offers a variety of levels of care ranging from independent living to memory support and skilled nursing, so the approximately 100 residents require the care of some 130 staff.

“One of the biggest challenges we face at Casey’s Pond is ensuring that our employees have access to affordable housing. People can’t work in a community if they can’t afford to live a quality life there,” Boatright said. “Like other businesses, we compete to recruit employees locally and nationally, and in order to provide traveling staff with affordable, high-quality housing, we have made the decision to provide on-site housing to these team members.”

Boatright said many traveling staff come from Georgia, Florida or Texas and typically stay on a 13-week contract, although some renew their contracts for up to a year.

Traveling nurses who take advantage of the housing arrangement are on a lower pay scale than traveling staff members who are responsible for their own housing, Boatright explained.

However, the use of traveling staff and employee housing can become another recruitment tool.

Sometimes traveling staff fall in love with the Yampa Valley and become permanent employees, including a couple who were recently hired as Food Services Manager and Chef at Casey’s Pond after starting as traveling staff in December.

Casey’s Pond Senior Living Executive Director Brad Boatright and Director of Sales and Marketing Melissa Lahay show an example of a one-bedroom apartment in the complex, similar to where traveling staff are housed.
Suzie Romig / Steamboat Pilot and Today
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Peter Buffett’s NoVo Foundation donates an additional $24 million in 2020 to Mid-Hudson groups, pledges to continue ‘significant investments’

KINGSTON, NY – In 2020, a charitable foundation controlled by Peter Buffett and his wife distributed more than $24 million to Ulster County and regional nonprofits, schools, activist groups, agricultural, pantry and college programs, according to tax records.

The majority of 2020 funding went to the Hudson Valley Farm Hub and Radio Kingston.

NoVo had previously donated at least $116 million to charities, activists and governments between 2017 and 2019, tax records show.

Buffett, who lives in Lomontville, is the youngest son of multi-billionaire investor Warren Buffett. Buffet and his wife, Jennifer, control the charity NoVo Foundation.

According to 2020 tax records, the foundation has donated a total of $24.7 million to community groups, nonprofits, activist organizations and others in the Mid-Hudson Valley.

Buffet bought the former Gill Farm in Hurley in 2013.

He posted a “Letter to the Kingston Community” on June 7, 2021 on blogging site Medium, outlining the mission of the NoVo Foundation and its philosophical underpinnings. The foundation was created 15 years ago with a $1 billion stock gift from Warren Buffett, whose net worth was recently estimated by Forbes magazine at $123 billion.

In a recent email, Buffett said continued donations from NoVo would bring about substantial change and provide needed programs.

“NoVo has made and will continue to make significant infrastructure investments in Kingston…as well as a wide variety of other capital projects, such as the new clinic being built by the Institute for Family Health on Pine St. ., the restoration of the Burger Matthews House by TRANSART on Henry St., and the redevelopment of the Broadway Bubble laundromat and community center with Kingston Midtown Rising on Broadway which will open later in the spring,” Buffett wrote, referring to donations. past and others that are not included in the tax records currently available.

Infrastructure, he said, “is by far the most expensive part of our job.

“However, we know that by investing the time, energy and funding to build physical infrastructure, we are collectively creating, in partnership with the community, new resources that will serve Kingston for generations to come.” , wrote Buffett. “While these capital projects often take years to complete, we believe that meaningful change is often slow, steady work that may very well benefit people we will never meet, as today’s children become the grandparents of tomorrow. »

The bulk of donations from 2017 to 2019 — more than $50 million — went to the Hudson Valley Farm Hub, which Buffett said NoVo helped establish on the Gill Farm property.

2020 records show an additional $15,011,471 donated to Farm Hub.

“NoVo has made very significant investments in the Farm Hub to help Kingston and surrounding areas prepare for what we anticipate will be difficult times ahead,” Buffett said. “We have all seen firsthand the impact of the pandemic on supply chains and there is no doubt that similar, if not more severe, shocks will occur.

“We envision the Farm Hub as part of a localized food system that creates a more direct relationship between the demand for food and its supply,” he added. “A reliable and healthy local food system is the cornerstone of a more resilient community. This means better nutrition in our major institutions, as well as in grocery stores, home kitchens, and ultimately the growing children of our community.

NoVo also donated $5 million to Radio Kingston in 2020. This is in addition to the nearly $20 million donated between 2017 and 2019.

“In the case of Radio Kingston, we support key infrastructure that elevates voices in our community and helps residents reconnect with each other through shared interests, storytelling, civil discourse or simply great music” , said Buffett, who is a musician. . “However, its ability as an emergency communications resource is equally important. On a practical level, last month’s ice storm exposed vulnerabilities in the current system when thousands of residents lost power, heat, internet and cell service.

“Radio Kingston’s infrastructure has remained intact,” Buffett said. “Now that the initial investment has been made, the station can serve as a resource for emergency communications, as well as a central, accessible hub for up-to-date information and assistance, now and in the future.”

2020 tax records show $1,175,000 went to the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in Rhinebeck.

“Omega Institute, in a very different way, provides learning opportunities in a way that can be hard to come by,” Buffett said. “Omega’s leadership programs have benefited organizations in Kingston by providing access to innovative curricula, networking events and learning seminars in a thoughtful and supportive environment. Our support has enabled Omega to provide certain offerings at lower cost and has also helped them through a very difficult year.

Bard College, which received pledges of hundreds of millions from George Soros, has secured $70,898 in NoVo funding in 2020 and more in the past.

“Bard College, for example, provides educational opportunities for populations that are often overlooked or overlooked at all,” Buffett said. and the new “BardBac” full scholarship pathway for mature students. The Bard Prison Initiative, along with their work in high schools across the country, also stand out as outstanding programs that we believe are worth supporting.

Peter Buffett stands in front of a home purchased by NoVo which is adjacent to the Boys and Girls Club on Greenkill Avenue on March 7, 2022. The home will be converted into a community home for young adults who have left the Boys and Girls Club. The house is part of an infrastructure project. (Tania Barricklo/Daily Freeman)

Other groups or agencies receiving funding in 2020 include the Boys and Girls Club of Ulster County in Kingston, $650,000; Extension of the Cornell cooperative, $350,000; Mount Laurel Waldorf School in New Paltz, $200.00; People’s Square, $300.00; YMCA of Kingston and Ulster County, $250,000; Bardavon 1899 Opera House, operators of the Ulster Performing Arts Center, $250,000; Center for Creative Education, $288,000; Family of Woodstock, $325,000; and Kingston City Land Bank, $221,167.

Other groups or agencies receiving funding in 2020 include Mohonk Preserve, Clinton Avenue Methodist Church, Jewish Federation of Ulster County, the Good Work Institute, Farm to Table Community Inc., Citizens for Local Power and Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson, now known as For the number.

Peter Buffett stands outside the Boys and Girls Club on Greenkill Avenue in Kingston, NY, one of the organizations that received money from the NoVo Foundation, the charitable organization that Peter Buffett and his wife Jennifer operate.

Buffett said 2021 records will show more donations to 60 organizations.

“Much of this money is going to long-cherished Midtown youth institutions like the Boys and Girls Club, Center for Creative Education, Everette Hodge Community Center and YMCA, all of which have opened their doors and stepped up to provide daytime educational services. , in partnership with the school district, at the height of the pandemic,” Buffett wrote. “We have also provided support to long-standing organizations, including Family of Woodstock, People’s Place and United Way, which have met the community’s most basic and critical needs – housing, food, health and welfare services. mental health, and other emergency support.

Buffett said NoVo was able to embark on its mission during the pandemic.

“We were also able to act quickly to support new collaborative initiatives that have sprung up during the pandemic, such as the Kingston Emergency Food Collaborative, which facilitated the distribution of thousands of prepared meals and groceries in the school district of the city ​​of Kingston.

Buffett said the funding was intentionally spread out.

“We fund in different ways because we live in complex times like no other,” Buffett said. “Jennifer and I have learned that the way philanthropy often works is to address the symptoms of much bigger problems, rather than their causes.”

“All of our work is grounded in the belief that challenges and solutions come from the same place, and that local residents are the best experts in the communities they call home,” Buffett said. “We center the lived experience and leadership of historically and persistently marginalized people and help them create their own solutions for a more just and balanced world.”

Editor Ivan Lajara contributed to this report.

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Medford launches effort to remove lead from homes – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News

Medford City Council and Habitat for Humanity will work together to reduce lead contamination

Children exposed to lead-contaminated homes will benefit from a $2.2 million Medford effort to eliminate the poison.

Medford City Council on Thursday evening approved the program, which will be managed by Habitat for Humanity.

“We’re going to be able to help a lot of people,” said Denise James, the nonprofit’s executive director.

According to the Centers for Disease Control.

While children can be contaminated with lead directly from paint chips, it is more common for lead chips to contaminate surrounding soil or the ground where children play.

The program aims to remove lead from 78 homes in Medford.

Most of the funding for the program comes from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

To provide the required matching funds, the council donated $200,000 to the program, with an additional $40,000 from Jackson Care Connect.

The agreement with HUD expires on April 30, 2025.

The cleanup effort is part of the city’s 2020-2024 plan to expand and improve affordable housing.

Habitat is still preparing for the three-year program and recently hired Joe Berggren as project manager.

To qualify for the program, a home must have been built before 1978 and must have children under the age of 6 living in it.

Grandparents or other caregivers can also benefit from the program.

Priority will be given to homes where children under 6 have high blood lead levels.

Any homeowner or homeowner interested in participating in the program can call Berggren at 541-779-1983, ext. 102, or [email protected]

To qualify, a homeowner must commit to living in the home for at least three years after repairs to avoid reimbursing the costs, James said.

The household must be considered low-income according to the standards established by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

James said Berggren, which begins next week, will conduct an analysis of the properties to determine the extent of the lead contamination and what steps need to be taken to clean up the property.

In addition to lead removal, the program provides an additional $5,000 to a particular home to address other health and safety issues, such as asbestos removal or heating and cooling systems. air conditioner.

James said Habitat will work with licensed contractors for lead removal.

Habitat for Humanity helped restore other homes in the valley and built homes for residents affected by the Almeda fire.

The organization anticipates that many residents will apply to be part of the program, but if it does not receive enough applicants, it will contact owners of older homes, which are common throughout the city.

“If we don’t hear from anyone, we’ll dig deeper into the data,” James said.

Contact freelance writer Damian Mann at [email protected]

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Woman jailed for stealing from nonprofit Molokai | News, Sports, Jobs

WAILUKU — A Molokai woman is serving a six-month prison sentence for stealing tens of thousands of dollars from a nonprofit that employed her.

Eliza-Kay Vendiola, 41, was doing bookkeeping for the Molokai Community Service Council when she wrote fraudulent checks to herself and others from June 30, 2017 to December 12, 2019, court records show.

“We want to reiterate that we were truly hurt by this flight, and it was an ongoing process,” Karen Holt, the organization’s executive director, said when Vendiola was sentenced on Thursday.

Holt, who appeared with three board members by videoconference for sentencing in 2nd Circuit Court, said the theft was discovered after Vendiola wrote the last fraudulent check for over $4,000. .

“We have been very concerned about the future of our community’s ability to benefit from our organization,” Holt said. “She did a lot of damage to our organization and she also took the money that we had saved so that we could serve our community for years to come.”

While the restitution amount was still being calculated, Vendiola had agreed to pay $70,000, deputy public defender Jeffrey Wolfenbarger said.

She had pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of second-degree computer fraud and first-degree larceny. Forty-two counts of second-degree forgery were dismissed in exchange for his pleas.

The permanent resident of Molokai “chose to take money from her community and spend it on herself and her family,” said Assistant District Attorney JW Hupp.

He said she created a fundraiser for the Class of 1998 which was used for parties for her family. “And the other money was just taken and spent”, Hupp said.

“She always lives high,” he said. “It’s Molokai. She’s going on a trip. She’s having a good time, and the community lost all that money.

Wolfenbarger said there was a class reunion. “It was not a false event” he said.

He said that Vendiola had accepted responsibility for this “started a little small and snowballed” until she is “too deep”.

She had raised $1,000 and thought she could raise an additional $3,000 to $4,000 to repay the nonprofit that sponsored community projects, Wolfenbarger said.

A plea agreement between defense and prosecution recommended probation and no jail time for Vendiola.

“But a prison sentence should be imposed when there is an admission and there is harm to the community,” said 2nd Circuit Judge Peter Cahill.

“The ripple effect is not just the theft of funds, but the suspicion that any loss like this causes nonprofits,” said Cahill. “Donors become very suspicious that you don’t monitor your funds properly. If the funds come from government sources, these funders can sanction nonprofit organizations.

“The smaller the community, the greater the loss of reputation, because everyone knows what is going on. Finding that confidence is hard.

As part of his sentence, Vendiola was placed on four years probation.

Cahill said the defense could ask that Vendiola’s prison sentence be reduced or suspended if his family can pay the restitution amount or have a payment plan.

A restitution hearing is set for April 21.

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at [email protected]

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BN Indians: Young community servants show the future is in good hands

Aditi Sharma founded the Inclusive Education Coalition (IEC) when she was a senior at Normal Community High School. She is now a student at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana.

She said the history curriculum particularly caught her attention when she realized the peaceful side of the civil rights movement dominated the narrative.

“You don’t get the real truth that this movement wasn’t always just a peaceful movement,” Sharma said. “That a lot of the change that’s been brought about, has been brought about in a way that people don’t really like to hear.”

She also noticed that the health curriculum was exclusive to LGBTQ+ people and abstinence-based, and that the English class readings were mostly written by white men.

“I believe education is the first step to fostering empathy,” Sharma said. “So that’s what pushed me to create this group.”

Bloomington’s More is a senior at Normal Community High School. She also advocates for inclusion as co-chair of the NCHS Not in our School group. She also started the volunteer youth group Little Free Pantry. More said she heard about a similar pantry in Arkansas and started her own when she learned about 100 kids in McLean Country go to bed hungry every night.

“And it struck a chord with me,” More said. “I couldn’t imagine people in our town going to bed hungry. So, I ended up trying to do something about it.

More said because of her privilege, she assumed hunger was not an issue in McLean County.

“I couldn’t imagine people in our town going to bed hungry. So, I ended up trying to do something about it.”

Raji More, Normal Community High School student

“So to hear that they were concerned about that, and that it was a huge priority for them to get food for a day, was interesting to me and concerning to me,” More said.

Dhruv Rebba is also a senior at Normal Community High School. As WGLT reported in October, he won the National 4-H Council’s 2022 4-H Youth in Action Award for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) for creating several projects. that advance technological learning opportunities for children and the quality of life opportunities for citizens in crisis. This includes founding the nonprofit Universal Help, which digitized and provided textbooks, internet access and technology to schools in rural India.

Rebba also set up a robotics club at Grove Elementary School to increase STEM-based learning opportunities for young children. He told WGLT student reporter Jordan Mead that robotics can be expensive and the club is making it more accessible to younger students. “And a lot of the students I’ve taught are now on robotics teams competitively, and that’s pretty cool to see,” Rebba said.

Bloomington’s Isha Gollapudi is a sophomore at Normal Community. She is a firm believer in community service, with art as her favorite tool.

“Art is a universal language,” Gollapudi explained. “I may not be able to understand what everyone has to say, but when you see a job you understand the message behind it. And it’s extremely impactful.

Like More, Gollapudi is part of the Little Free Pantry, even ruling it for a year. Through the Bloomington-Normal Art Circle, she also participates in “Chairs 4 Change,” where community members paint chairs and other furniture to be auctioned off by Recycling Furniture for Families.

“Just having art around you really brightens people’s moods,” Gollapudi said. “So I like to paint more upbeat or happier things, especially when they go to places like charities. Because I think it’s going to brighten up the mood around everyone there.

Gollapudi is so committed to the power of art that she gave it a 10-minute run on the TED-X Normal stage last year.

“So even though I only look like I’m 14,” she said towards the end of her speech, “the journey that art has taken me and the knowledge that I acquired thanks to him, almost make me feel like I’m 743 years old. Thank you.”

Inspiration struck in sixth grade. His works were part of student selections chosen by local artist Julie Meulemans to be exhibited at her Normal gallery downtown. One piece sold for $20.

“And at the time, it was huge,” recalls Gollapudi. “I was like, ‘I can make money from this.’ Then I realized that I could help people with that too.That kind of started for me.

Sparkling plea

Aditi Sharma said the anti-immigration rhetoric during the 2016 presidential election was the initial fuel that sparked her advocacy for inclusion. But she added that her parents initially pushed for a low profile because they and she were immigrants.

“So maybe I should keep quiet, shut up, not make trouble, just do what my parents came here to do.” It was to help me get a better education and a better job,” Sharma said.

It didn’t last long.

“But I couldn’t sit while I watched all these things happen to people in my community and people in other communities,” said Sharma, who became a US citizen at 14.

Sharma made a point of thanking her parents for instilling in her the generosity and empathy towards the struggles of others that have become her core values. “Because we as immigrants moved here and we struggled a lot,” she said.

Sharma said unlike many South Asians who come to Bloomington-Normal for work, her family has no built-in class privilege. And seeing his parents struggle at first was an eye opener.

“I recognize that this is something that so many families in America go through. And so that has a lot to do with my desire to want to make this change,” Sharma said.

Dhruv Rebba said the founding of Universal Help was at least partly spurred by visiting the rural area where his father grew up in India.

“That’s when I was like, ‘OK, that’s a really big difference in living standards, and basic luxuries just aren’t available there. For example, reliable digital access for school supplies and things like that,” Rebba said.

His non-profit organization is helping to digitize these rural schools with computers, projectors, a digital curriculum, and “uninterruptible power supply to meet electricity needs. Because there are power cuts quite often in this part of India,” Rebba said.

He has also contributed to natural disaster relief in West Bengal after Cyclone Yaas of 2021, running a COVID-19 isolation center to combat the Delta Variant in India, and through grassroots projects such as recycling and composting in McLean County.

“Our mission is to improve the quality of life for people around the world in innovative ways,” said Rebba.

In addition to founding and directing the Little Free Pantry in Bloomington-Normal, Raji More is co-chair of the NCHS Not in our School Group and sits on the city’s Not in our School Steering Committee. Others said they were planning protests and vigils and fighting for inclusivity and equality.

Like Sharma, More credits her parents for being willing to serve Bloomington-Normal, teaching her to be kind to everyone and treat everyone the same.

“Part of that meant that I saw that some people weren’t able to have similar opportunities, and those opportunities included getting food. And I was like, ‘Let’s make sure they have access to food too,'” More said.

Plus was also moved to act as a witness for the division. Between people, between ideas. She touts the restorative circles she uses in Not in our School, where people can express ideas without being combative. And she strives to minimize the labeling of people.

“That’s part of why I do my projects…to really include people. Some people aren’t included and don’t have the same opportunities as me, and I strive to include people,” More said.

“Rooted in Who You Are”

Isha Gollapudi thinks his desire to serve is at least partly cultural, citing the Indian holiday Holi, a festival of colors, and Diwali – the five-day festival of lights.

“When you’re brought up with the idea that all these big parties are about giving back to others, it’s kind of ingrained in who you are,” Gollapudi said.

She said it was no different from Christmas in some ways.

“Because it’s fun to get presents, but seeing your brother’s face when he opens a present you gave him…I think it’s so much better,” Gollapudi said.

Gollapudi adds that she has equated community service with a way of life that will continue into adulthood, with climate change now on her service radar.

Dhruv Rebba said that not only would he serve until adulthood, but he was just beginning.

“Many of the projects we have started locally and in India are relatively long-term projects. So I will definitely keep doing this for a long time,” Rebba said.

Like many youngsters, Aditi Sharma is under some parental pressure to pursue a lucrative career. But she said her passion for social justice and activism comes first.

“Whatever I end up doing after my four years of undergrad, I know I’m always going to want to be part of any community, no matter where I live. This service is at the core of my being,” Sharma said.

Raji More said she loves Bloomington-Normal so much that she hopes to attend college in town, continue her community service and advocate for inclusivity. She cites Camille Taylor and Mary Aplington of Not in our Town as mentors.

“So many community members, I’m so grateful to be in their presence,” More said. “So it’s mostly the people of Bloomington-Normal that keep me wanting to be here.”


Why we did it

Bloomington-Normal has more East Indians than any other southern Illinois metropolitan community. First-generation Indian immigrants and their children shaped Bloomington-Normal in more or less significant ways, and it deserves our attention. The WGLT Newsroom aimed to measure this impact in an 8-part series of human-centered stories.

how we did it

The Bloomington-Normal Indian community is not a monolith – socio-economically, politically, culturally – and this series aims to reflect that. The WGLT newsroom interviewed over 30 people from a variety of backgrounds. We recognize that these sources do not represent all Indians in Bloomington-Normal. They represent themselves and we appreciate their willingness to share their story.


We want to know what you think of the series and what future features we should consider. You can message our newsroom at

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NC woman seeks to help Ukrainians

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — Terrifying images of war in Ukraine continue to resonate with residents of the former Soviet republic living in North Carolina.

What do you want to know

  • Tatyana Thulien’s nonprofit United Communities helps create a humanitarian project called Road of Life
  • She collects basic necessities like clothes, medicine and money
  • To learn more about donating to his humanitarian project, visit the United Communities Association website

Music has always been part of Tatyana Thulien’s life. She grew up in Kiev under the Soviet Union.

Thulien says she finds playing the piano and singing in her Charlotte home an outlet for hope.

“I’m thinking about love and peace,” Thulien said. “And I think about how every country deserves to live in peace, just like my beloved Ukraine.”

As his hometown is attacked by the Russians, Thulien thinks of his parents, originally from Russia and Ukraine. Her mother survived the siege of Leningrad during World War II as a teenager.

“That’s why the sirens ringing all over Ukraine today ring in my heart,” Thulien said. “Because my mother spent an entire year in besieged Leningrad listening to those sirens.”

In her early twenties, Thulien, then a mother of two, watched the Soviet Union crumble in the 1990s. She lost her job in an engineering department and fell into the savage post-socialist environment of private enterprise.

She eventually received a scholarship to study in the United States at the University of Georgia and the University of Missouri.

She met her husband in Missouri. The two were married in Ukraine before getting her visa and moving to Minnesota in 1997. She has been involved in the Slavic community for many years as a public figure, journalist and Russian teacher.

“Our dear lord wanted me here,” Thulien said. “He wanted me to create the family here and be able to bring my legacy here as well.”

Thulien remains in constant contact with his friends still living in Ukraine. They continue to send him heartbreaking messages and videos of empty store shelves.

“I tell them to stay strong, don’t give up, don’t lose hope and stay alive,” Thulien said.

Thulien seeks to do more for Ukrainians. His nonprofit United Communities helps create a humanitarian project called Road of Life.

She collects basic necessities like clothes, medicine and money.

” People are scared. People are suffering. They are absolutely unsure of their future and we have to help them,” Thulien said.

Thulien says she’s praying for a better future, though she still doesn’t know how the war will end.

“I really don’t know today,” Thulien said. “I hope the whole world will stop and just focus on peace.”

Thulien is a candidate for the Mecklenburg County Commission seat. She also sits on the community relations committee to help raise awareness of county programs, services and initiatives.

To learn more about donating to her humanitarian project, visit the United Communities Association website.

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Community members and non-profit groups unite in support of Ukraine – Macomb Daily

As the world has learned in recent weeks, there are strong Ukrainians and then strong Ukrainians.

Ukrainians around the world have received an overwhelming response of support and solidarity from non-Ukrainians since Russia’s February 24 invasion.

The colors of blue and yellow are flying at rallies and demonstrations throughout Metro Detroit and beyond in overwhelming support and urges for help and relief for the people of Ukraine.

The Jewish Federation of Metro Detroit has allocated approximately $1.4 million in rescue and relief funds to Jewish Ukrainians.

“The Jewish community is extremely concerned about this,” said Rabbi Asher Lopatin, director of the Jewish Community Relations Council/AJC in Bloomfield Hills. “We are totally focused and praying for Ukraine and taking this very seriously.”

According to the Jewish Federation website, there are around 200,000 members of Ukraine’s Jewish population, including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Jewish Federation funds are intended for temporary housing and emergency kits for refugees, food and medical supplies, care for the elderly and more.

Many Ukrainians in the Detroit metropolitan area have direct ties to family members and friends abroad.

Warren resident Lesia Osypova is from Ternopil in western Ukraine and her husband is from Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine near the Black Sea.

On March 1, Osypova created an Amazon registry with medical supplies needed by the Ukrainian army. Within the first two hours of posting the link on social media, 1,000 items – out of 5,000 listed – were purchased.

“I reached out to other New Jersey volunteers and a nurse gave me some ideas of the most wanted items in the military,” she said. “I’m so surprised at how many people responded.”

Thinking that the link would only reach a few friends, Osypova did not expect the overwhelming amount of purchased items. By the next day, her porch was covered with Amazon boxes and packages of donated items.

Warren resident Lesia Osypova’s Amazon Registry donations for the Ukrainian military filled her porch after a day. (Photo courtesy of Lesia Osypova)

As more and more packages arrive at her house each day, Osypova works to organize and pack the supplies to be shipped. The logistics of shipping overseas to Poland can be tricky. Flights depart from Chicago and New Jersey weekly, so trucks must be driven to airports in time to be loaded onto the plane.

Staying in touch with her family in Ukraine, Osypova will be able to find out when items are being delivered and what is needed as soon as shipments start arriving. She plans to continue accepting donations on her Amazon page and will update with more or different items as needed.

The Ukrainian American Crisis Response Committee of Michigan, a grassroots coalition of community members and organizations formed about two months ago when Russian President Vladimir Putin began mustering troops on the Ukrainian border, also collects and ships military donations to Ukraine.

“The organization was formed to respond in case the worst happened, which it has now,” said Jordan Fylonenko, communications manager for the committee.

The committee is made up of representatives from most major Ukrainian organizations, including the Ukrainian Cultural Center, Ukrainian Immaculate Conception School, St. Mary’s Orthodox Church, Ukrainian Immaculate Conception Church, and Ukrainian Selfdependence Michigan Credit Union.

Since the initial Russian attack, the crisis committee has held several Pray for Ukraine rallies and events in the Detroit metro, which some local government officials have attended.

Their current focus is collecting and shipping military supplies, surgical aid, and home defense donations, under the direction of relief coordinator Anya Nona.

In conjunction with the Ukrainian American Crisis Response Committee of Michigan, the Ukrainian Children’s Aid and Relief Effort (UCare) will host a Humanitarian Aid Campaign for Ukrainian children from 1-7 p.m. March 21-26 at St. Mary’s. , 21931 Evergreen Road, in Southfield. Volunteers will collect new or lightly used clothing, shoes, diapers, formula, baby bottles, hygiene items, toys and first aid supplies throughout the campaign.

Troy resident Vera Petrusha founded UCare in 1997 to help children living in orphanages in Ukraine. Petrusha is a parishioner and board member of St. Mary’s Cathedral, which has opened its facilities for many events and collections over the years.

UCare will accept monetary donations in addition to collecting items, which will be used to cover shipping costs, such as fuel.

Supporters at the rally for Ukraine at Hart Plaza in Detroit. (Photo courtesy of Stephanie Preweda — For MediaNews Group)

The war has also struck close to home three Ukrainian-born dance teachers at Fred Astaire Dance Studios in Bloomfield Township, who each have immediate family members in Ukraine who are in desperate need of emergency assistance. , according to studio owner Evan Mountain. In support of instructors Viktor Tkachenko, Yuliya Lukina and Mykhailo Annıenkov, Mountain is hosting a month-long fundraiser, “Waltz for Ukraine”, to raise funds that will go directly to their families to provide food, a shelter and other basic needs they may have. The studio is also offering a free waltz dance class for individuals or couples (a $115 value) for anyone who donates to help the families of their teachers.

If you would like to participate in the “Waltz for Ukraine” event and receive a free dance lesson, call 248-454-1715 to schedule. Donations can be made at

For more information on local events and donation opportunities from the organizations listed above, visit:

• The Jewish Federation:

• Ukrainian American Michigan Crisis Response Committee:

• Ukrainian Child Aid and Relief Effort:

• Lesia Osypova Amazon Registry:

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Non profit living

Morehead State Music Ambassadors Prepare for Carter Fold | Living

HILTONS — The Music Ambassadors of Morehead State are ready to bring bluegrass and early music to The Carter Family Fold.

The group includes faculty members and students from Morehead State University’s Traditional Music Program, as well as Raymond McLain, who has his own Carter Fold story.

McLain is the director of the Kentucky Center for Traditional Music at Morehead State University, located in Rowan County, Kentucky. He also sits on the board of the Carter Music Center and is the artistic director of The Carter Family Fold.

He performed at the fold and many Carter family shows over the years, starting with his family, the McLain Family Band. According to a press release from the venue, he first began performing at Carter family shows when Janette Carter began performing concerts at the former AP Carter Grocery in 1974. Saturday night he will also be joined by his sister, Ruth McLain Smith. .

Throughout his 50+ year musical career, Raymond McLain has performed across the United States, in 62 foreign countries and has also toured as the Music Ambassador for the US State Department.

The Carter Family Memorial Music Center is a non-profit organization that offers old-school country and folk music weekly at Hiltons. The venue also pays homage to the legendary Carter family (AP Carter, Sara Carter and Maybelle Carter), whose first recordings in 1927 are credited with giving birth to the commercial country music industry.

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Carter Family Fold shows are on Saturday nights. Doors open at 6 p.m. and music begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults; $2 for children 6-11 and children 6 and under are free.

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Non profit living

Onward and Upward, the acclaimed military veteran nonprofit, has huge goals for 2022

Classes in session on January 8, 2018. Cabin workspaces

Group of new customers – the photo was taken with their permission

Suicides of active duty personnel and veterans are reaching new heights. This is an alarmingly growing statistic that Onward and Upward want to prevent this from increasing further.

– forward and upward

LOS ANGELES, CA, USA, March 9, 2022 / — What has a relatively unknown Wisconsin-based nonprofit been up to for the past 90 days? Onward and Upward, an acclaimed military veterans society, sought to understand why the rate of military suicides has risen from 22 to now more than 30 a day in the United States. According to a Washington Post article written by Peter Marks, dated January 1, 2022, suicides of active duty personnel and veterans are reaching new heights. This is an alarmingly growing statistic that Onward and Upward want to keep from increasing further.

Who is this non-profit organization? It is a veteran-owned and operated community-based online job center (“the Center”) designed to facilitate the employment of home-insecure and unemployed individuals seeking employment. an online or on-site job. Inside this facility is a laptop classroom on one side of the building and on the other side of the building is an area of ​​cubicle computer workstations. For people at the Center who want to work online as remote employees, this arrangement is fine. They have a workplace for their part-time or full-time online employer with mentorship, healthy food and drink, and a six-month program after which they graduate and take their computer home with them and continue to work for their online employer.

For people who are employed to work on-site, the Center mentors them and, if necessary, coordinates transportation to get them to their place of work safely and on time. In either online or on-site employment, the Center offers a six-month program that includes housing and soft skills training designed to provide what is needed to obtain, retain and progress in their employment. During the six months, the client works for their employer, saves up to three months in rent, utilities, and groceries, and attends all professional development training sessions covering topics such as interpersonal communication company, reliability/reliability, conflicts and negotiation, time management. , stress management, money/budget management and networking.

What’s really great about having the Center is to see all the people who once lived in tents, on sidewalks, benches and alleys now employed and safely housed, straighten up and staying up. It is also nice to witness the reunion of mothers with their daughters, brothers with brothers and couples who were once separated and can now be together thanks to a job and a safe place to live.

Onward and Upward helped 17 people in the first year of operation in 2017 (7 of whom were military veterans) to be employed and housed to never be homeless again. In 2018 there were 12 people (7 of which were military veterans) and the third year, 2019, there were 38 people (12 of which were military veterans) who once lived in tents and are now housed and employed and currently all living in their homes. them, working for their employers (online and/or onsite) to never be homeless again. “Our organization within the Center also teaches our clients and community members how to get, keep and grow in any job,” says Onward and Upward. “We enjoy witnessing the personal and professional growth of everyone we have the privilege of meeting and assisting with employment and advancement in employment. Our organization truly enjoys being the conduit and catalyst for new beginnings. for people who are homeless and unemployed, especially military veterans.”

That’s why, over the past 90 days, Onward and Upward is so thrilled to have been introduced to five other veteran service organizations who are equally passionate about ensuring people have the services they need to get back on their feet. foot and stay on their feet. sustainably. After meeting, they formed a coalition of veterans.

Onward and Upward continues, “Collectively and individually, we aim to make a difference in people’s lives, especially for our military brothers and sisters. The other five organizations are Project Diehard, Veterans Warriors One-Stop-Shop (VWOSS), Faith Hope Love for Veterans, Hope Advanced, and Veterans Ranch. Transitional Housing for Veterans and to provide a place for other nonprofit veterans to provide their services is with Project Diehard, more than 5,000 resources and sources for managing military transition issues and advocacy for veterans. VWOSS veterans, women’s issues are resolved and small home villages are established with Faith Hope Love for Veterans, credit issues, background issues and tax liens are resolved with Hope Advanced, and Veterans’ Ranch Veterans works with veterans and their families through horses (horse therapy) with a mission to get these great Americans to put down their heavy coats of burden and walk away as new and improved versions of themselves.

Collectively, the Five Veterans Service Organizations and Onward and Upward is a coalition of veterans whose mission is to prevent 22 military suicides from occurring a day. Onward and Upward have hosted a special day on 02/22/2022 titled “2-22 to Save 22” to bring attention to this crisis and announce that by working together, we can stop military suicide.

The event took place onsite at the Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, and via online conferencing platform, Whova. The introduction of a “home front forward operating base” was made on 02/22/2022. With the promise of introducing a possible solution to the military suicide crisis, over 200 LinkedIn sign-ups for the 2-22 to Save 22 hybrid event took place, and over 300 connections were made after the event for continue the conversation and start planning this event. concept to become a reality.

Working interdependently with each of the five Veteran Coalition organizations, Onward and Upward is confident that more and more military veterans will avoid going to a dark place and instead have a life worth living.

“We believe that if our brothers and sisters in arms have a life worth living, they will want to live it! We invite individuals and organizations who want to support us in the mission to stop military suicide to visit our website. in our collective and individual missions, we seek people to help us as volunteers, sponsors and/or donors of time, talent and/or treasure. We know that stopping military suicide ‘takes a village’ and we appreciate anyone who would support us in this fight to stop military suicide,” Onward and Upward conclude.

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Media Unlimited Inc.
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Non profit living


Buy From a Black Woman is a non-profit organization founded in 2016 by Nikki Porcher that connects more than 600 black women-owned businesses across United States and provides a supportive community with the goal of helping their businesses thrive. Throughout 2021, H&M sponsored events such as the Buy From A Black Woman Inspire Tour and the BFABW Holiday Market which ran from November to December 2021 at the Times Square location of H&M. These events, which saw products from more than 50 black women-owned businesses sold in H&M stores across the country, exposed new customers to these Buy From a Black Woman member businesses.

“Over the past year, working with H&M, we have been able to shine a light on what it means when you believe in and support the communities that support you. The Black Woman Inspire Tour, The Business Accelerator, The Black Woman Holiday Market, these events have helped open the doors wider and we were able to show the world that black women are here,” said Nikki Porcher, Founder of Buy From a Black Woman. “I am thrilled to continue this partnership through 2022 and show why we believe black women are living examples of what is possible, not only when you believe in yourself, but also when you have the support of others. “a community that believes in you. When you support a black woman business owner, you support an entire community. H&M believes in supporting black women.”

Throughout 2022, H&M United States will continue to support Buy From a Black Woman through a variety of activities and support aimed at continued growth and success for business owners, beginning with a donation of $250,000. Starting this summer, H&M United States will once again sponsor the organization’s Buy From a Black Woman Inspire tour, building on H&M the United States brick-and-mortar channels and locations to highlight black women-owned businesses across the country. On the way to fall, H&M United States will continue to focus on sustainability in business by sponsoring the nonprofit’s Black Woman Business Accelerator program. This 10-week business training course includes a structured, expert-led online program to assist Black women business owners in the different ways they can grow, while providing an opportunity to access finance. Internally, H&M United States will sponsor both eligible colleagues who wish to join the Buy From a Black Woman directory and online network and will spotlight the nonprofit’s various ventures throughout the year.

“We are thrilled to enter the second year of our partnership with Buy From a Black Woman. Our relationship with Nikki Porcher and Buy From a Black Woman vendors have allowed us to witness the growth of these businesses in ways we could not have imagined. This partnership exemplifies the impact we want to have in empowering and building capacity in the communities where we live and work,” said Donna DozierGordonInclusion and Diversity Manager at H&M United States.

“After the success and impact we saw in our first year of partnership, we knew we had to continue and expand our support for Nikki Porcher and Buy from a Black Woman for 2022. Through our continued work together, we can further amplify their mission to uplift Black women, their businesses, and their communities,” said carlos duartePresident, H&M Americas.

To watch the trailer for “The Living Example” and see images from the announcement, click here.

For more information on Buying From A Black Woman, please contact:

Nikki PorcherFounder
E-mail: [email protected]
Customers can also donate here.
Support and learn about businesses owned and operated by black women here.

For more information about H&M, please contact:
H&M press relations
E-mail: [email protected]
*We hope you enjoyed reading the latest from H&M, but if not, just email [email protected] and request to be removed from our media list.

H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (publ) was founded in Sweden in 1947 and is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm. The business idea of ​​H&M is to offer fashion and quality at the best price in a sustainable way. Besides H&M, the group includes the brands COS, Monki, Weekday, & Other Stories, H&M HOME and ARKET as well as Afound. H&M Group has 54 online marketplaces and approximately 4,800 stores in 75 markets, including franchise markets. In 2021, net sales were 199 billion Swedish crowns. The number of employees amounts to approximately 155,000. For more information, visit


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Non profit living

San Antonio Ukrainians ask for help during meeting with Rep. Joaquin Castro

SAN ANTONIO — Ukrainians living in San Antonio hope to make their voices heard in Washington, DC A total of six women who represent local Ukrainian nonprofit San Antonio met directly with Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio) on Friday.

They wanted to share their worries and frustrations about the war in their native country. They are looking for answers to help their loved ones back home.

“I keep in touch with my friends who are in hiding. They are scared and live in constant fear,” said Viktoriya Lundblade.

Lundblade said his hometown of Kharkiv was leveled by Russian shelling. It is one of many areas under constant Russian assault.

“You see a beautiful city, people dancing. Right now this city is bombed, destroyed,” Lundblade said.

Castro moderated the roundtable and wanted to reassure these women that their calls are being heard.

“I wanted to let them know that I’m listening and Congress is listening,” Castro said. “I know they speak in a very desperate voice because many of them still have family members there.”

A d

These women are calling for tougher sanctions against Russia.

“The United States is stepping up its military support, also imposing very tough sanctions on (President) Putin and Russia,” Castro said.

Castro said he was also working with Missouri Representative Ann Wagner (R-MO) to impose social and cultural sanctions in Russia, as well as a way to help refugees.

“I’m going to take this conversation and talk to other lawmakers in Washington. There has been talk of a humanitarian corridor so people fleeing the country have a safe route, so they don’t risk being hit by Russian fire,” Castro said.

These women just hope that they can one day return to the Ukraine they once called home.

“Please stop this war. I want to go back to my hometown, which is already bombed, and I want to see my people,” Lundblade said.

Copyright 2022 by KSAT – All rights reserved.

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There are 600 Holocaust survivors in Queens, nonprofit to get big money to help them

A non-profit group with a strong presence in Queens is set to receive millions of dollars to allocate to Holocaust survivors (Picture: Selfhelp website)

March 3, 2022 By Michael Dorgan

A nonprofit group with a strong presence in Queens is set to receive millions of dollars to allocate to Holocaust survivors.

Selfhelp, a Manhattan-based nonprofit that provides a range of services to seniors, will receive nearly $31 million through the German government to help the organization care for elderly New York-area residents who survived the horrors of the Holocaust.

A portion of those funds will be used to support Selfhelp’s Holocaust Survivor program in Queens, which it operates from an office at 70-20 Austin St. in Forest Hills.

The program offers home care, financial management services, community support and social programs. There are about 600 Holocaust survivors living in the borough, according to Aubrey Jacobs, the program’s executive director.

Of the approximately 600 Holocaust survivors living in Queens, 125 of them live in Forest Hills, Jacobs said.

The $30.7 million comes from a global nonprofit organization called Claims Conference, which is working with the German government to secure the funds.

The Claims Conference has secured reparations for Holocaust survivors living around the world since the early 1950s. The organization makes annual payments to hundreds of nonprofit organizations, including Selfhelp.

The payments, which come every year, are the primary source of funding for Selfhelp’s Holocaust Survivor program, Jacobs said.

Jacobs said funding is vitally important to helping Holocaust survivors live out their final years comfortably. Many Holocaust survivors are frail and in their 80s to 90s, she said.

“The support we receive from the Claims Conference is critically important as it enables us to…provide the services, support and care our clients deserve to help them live with dignity and independence,” said Jacobs.

Funding received by the Claims Conference last year, Jacobs said, was also used to cover the cost of medical care, food, utilities and other emergency needs that Holocaust survivors had. need during the pandemic.

Additionally, Selfhelp social workers provided virtual programs, phone calls and home visits to help address the increased isolation of survivors during the lockdowns.

Jacobs said it’s difficult to gauge how much of the funds received this year will go to support Holocaust survivors living in Queens, given that Selfhelp runs other Holocaust survivor programs in the area. from New York.

Selfhelp’s programs for Holocaust survivors support about 5,500 Jews outside of Queens, she said.

Since 1952, the German government has paid more than $90 billion in compensation to victims who were persecuted by the Nazis, mostly through negotiations with the Claims Conference.

This year, Claims Conference is receiving $720 million from the German government, which it will distribute to more than 300 nonprofit and social service organizations around the world.

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Myron Tarkanian Obituary (2022) – Pasadena, CA

May 13, 1940 – February 12, 2022 Myron George Tarkanian was born May 13, 1940 in Euclid Ohio to Armenian immigrants George and Rose Tarkanian, survivors of the Armenian Genocide. Myron was the third of three children, 10 years younger than his brother Jerry and 13 years younger than his sister Alice. George and Rose operated a small grocery store 7 blocks from Lake Erie during the middle of the Depression and the start of World War II. George, a generous and caring man, died of tuberculosis in 1940, six months after Myron was born. Rose remarried Vahan Derderian, whom Myron considered her father. Together, they all embarked on a cross-country road trip, intending to move to Fresno, California, but stopped in Pasadena to visit friends and relatives. Rose fell in love with the San Gabriel Mountains, often saying that Pasadena “reminds her of the old country”. With the exception of a few years early in his coaching career, Myron has never left the San Gabriel Valley. Pasadena was his home for the duration of his childhood and his workhouse for most of his life. A graduate of Longfellow Elementary, Wilson Middle School, and Pasadena High School, Myron grew up as a budding athlete and developed many lifelong friends, including his best friend, Harvey Hyde, whom he met in 3rd grade. Myron adored his mother Rose. She died in 1964. Vahan died in 1966. Myron’s brother Jerry, a Hall of Fame basketball coach and legendary sports personality, died on February 11, 2015. Myron’s sister Alice, known for his extraordinary loyalty to his older and younger brothers, died. on September 19, 2015. Myron attended the University of Redlands, where he earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree, and developed many close friendships that lasted a lifetime. He played football, earned a degree in education, and graduated as a teacher. Most importantly, Myron met the love of his life, Anna Fagerlin, who became his wife of 59 years. After graduating from the UofR, they got married. Together they had 4 children, Bill, the eldest, and Rose, Jane and Kendra. Myron was hired as head football coach at Moreno Valley High School right out of college, creating winning teams at the newly created school, and was named head football coach at Mt. San Jacinto College , launching their football program. In 1967, he left to become an assistant football coach at the University of Hawaii, where he and his family lived for a year. In 1968, Myron returned to Pasadena to become co-head football coach at Pasadena City College, along with his childhood friend, Harvey Hyde. Together they built a Junior College football dynasty that lasted nearly three decades, although Myron quit football to focus on his family, health and business 8 years later. He has the distinction of being the head coach of the last undefeated team (10-0-1) and the CCP National Championship in 1974. He continued to teach physical education and coach other sports ( men’s and women’s tennis and men’s and women’s football) for five years. decades, retiring in 2004 as the most winning coach in CPC track and field history, including conference titles in men’s tennis in 1992 and 1998, and men’s soccer in 1999, 2000 and 2001 He was inducted into the CCP Sports Hall of Fame in 2018, joining his famous brother, Jerry Tarkanian. During his five decades at the PCC, Myron developed many friendships with colleagues, players and students that have stood the test of time. Family was Myron’s highest priority and greatest source of pride. Her four children are all college graduates with graduate degrees. His daughters, Rose, Jane and Kendra, became accomplished educators like their father. Bill became a lawyer and is currently the director of a non-profit behavioral health organization, LA CADA. Myron and Anna were present for their 4 children at all their games, recitals and school activities. Rose, Jane and Kendra collectively had 8 grandchildren, and the children and grandchildren were the pride of Myron and Anna’s life. Summers included family reunions and long vacations. Anna Tarkanian, like her husband, was also a career educator. They lived in the same house in Arcadia, California for 50 years. They were the epitome of a happy, loving marriage and successful parenting. Myron was diagnosed with heart disease in his mid-thirties and survived a battle with cancer in his early sixties. In response, he hiked several miles a day, ran marathons, and became a vegetarian. He always saw himself as living on borrowed time, and in the last years of his life, Myron expressed a sense of deep gratitude for being husband, father, brother, uncle, grandfather, the coach and friend adored and respected by all who knew him. . He is survived by his beloved wife Anna, his children Bill, Rose, Jane and Kendra; sons-in-law, Clark Longhurst, Randy Wilson and Dave McGrath; and grandchildren, Randirose Wilson, Annalee Longhurst, Chris Wilson, Myron Longhurst, Kennan Wilson, Charlotte McGrath, Tark McGrath and Georgia Longhurst. A memorial service and celebration of life will be held Saturday, March 5 at 2:30 p.m. at the south end of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. At the request of the family, a donation in lieu of flowers to LA CADA’s Myron Tarkanian Legacy Fund is appreciated. Go to

Published by Pasadena Star-News on March 2, 2022.

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Non profit living

Nonprofit group home makes sacrifices to address staffing shortages: ‘I’ve never seen staffing difficulties like this’ – WCCO

MENDOTA HEIGHTS, MN (WCCO) – As group homes across the state struggle to find staff, some have been forced to close, leaving families to scramble. The facilities accommodate people with physical and developmental challenges.

To try to keep their homes open, a non-profit organization has made some changes. John Lauritsen shows us how these changes help.

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“In 35 years, I have never seen staffing difficulties like this,” said Rod Carlson of Living Well Disabilities Services.

For group homes across the state, the fight for staff has gotten so bad that there has been talk of bringing in the National Guard to help.

RELATED: Families scramble after group homes close due to lack of workers

“And certainly at some point the National Guard was suggested, the National Guard was early in COVID to help some nursing homes,” Carlson said.

It never came to this for Living Well in Mendota Heights. But sacrifices have been made to keep their nearly 40 homes in operation.

“We compete with restaurants and Costcos around the world. And all these other organizations that also need employees,” Carlson said.

To recruit more workers, Living Well raised their wages from $14.75 per hour to $16 per hour, for direct care workers. A modest increase that made a big difference.

Certified practical nurses also saw their wages increase to $17 an hour, which many group homes were unable to match. But that meant going into a budget shortfall to bring in nurses like Sunday Yengi.

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“I love it. I love working here,” Yengi said.

While the pay rise is attractive, Yengi said group homes need to recruit people who are passionate about helping others. She works in honor of her mentally handicapped brother who lives in South Sudan.

“When I work here with people who have mental disabilities, I feel like I’m helping my only brother,” Yengi said.

As part of its COVID plan, Living Well also lobbied for vaccination requirements before they were imposed.

“These are just rapid tests that we receive and are provided by the state,” said Annelies Stevens, director of health and welfare services.

They say it has made staff more comfortable working around residents with compromised immune systems.

“That’s what we were able to focus on and sustain, which I’m really happy with,” Stevens said.

Living Well said the changes have helped them hire more staff, but they are still missing a few nurses.

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As the nonprofit celebrates its 50th anniversary next week, it will lobby on Capitol Hill for higher wages for group home workers.

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Non profit living

Lexington Nonprofit Sends Funds to Ukraine: How You Can Help

LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – Non-profit organization, Christian Mission Ebenezer (CME) joins the fight overseas by helping to send resources to their home country.

CME opened in 1999, and two years ago they opened their bookstore on Old Harrodsburg Rd where they buy books wholesale and give 100% of donations to missionaries around the world.

“That’s why we have this bookstore – we raise money by selling books,” said Alex Chubaruk, owner of CME. “The profits we take and give to different parts of the country.”

In Ukraine, CME is connected to about 30 mission stations, including their own family members, and their active search for monetary donations, so that locations can be supplied with funds to purchase mattresses, blankets, pillows, food baskets, etc.

“So we raised funds on our website and so on to give them funds to be able to buy blankets, food, firewood, food boxes for people in need,” said Chubaruk. “In addition, we are raising funds for people trying to escape, for people fleeing to western Ukraine and Poland.”

Chubaruk’s uncle is in eastern Ukraine and is a bishop in a church that opened as a refuge for refugees. Chubaruk spoke with his uncle earlier on Saturday.

“And so he’s like, ‘I’m not leaving my herd, I’m going to be there with him, stay with them, and so he’s trying to be that leader, and to be that support for the people who live in that area. Chubaruk said, “I asked them what you all need, and they asked us to pray that God might send redemption to the nation.”

When news of the war broke, the Chubaruks immediately took to their website and Instagram page to raise awareness.

Larisa Chubaruk, Alex’s wife, said: “The first thing we did was change everything on the homepage, set up the form, make sure people have a place to donate .”

Chubaruk said she tries to gather facts, not only for their website, but also for her children.

“So it was mostly about trying to figure out what was happening, why it was happening, we didn’t tell our kids about it on the first day,” Chubaruk said. “Mostly because we didn’t want to get emotional talking about it.”

They also wanted to be aware not to break the news to their children in a way that would make them resentful of the Russians.

“Because we know there are good people everywhere, and it’s not just Russians, we don’t try to categorize them and we don’t want them to have anything against Russians when someone mentions their name,” Churbaruk said.

Instead, they want to spread a message of love.

She said: “The one thing I think everyone can take away, Ukrainians, Americans, Russians, cherish what you have when it’s good.”

To connect with them on Instagram, click here:

To donate to the Ukraine crisis through Christian Mission Ebenezer, click on the following link: Christian Mission EBENEZER – Christian Mission EBENEZER – Until now, the Lord has helped us. (

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Non profit living

Elizabeth Hartman’s story continues in the lives of others | Bakersfield life

Elizabeth Hartman struggled with health issues for years. She died in Bakersfield in 2016, just a week before her 52nd birthday.

But the story of this beloved wife and mother did not end there. More than 300 people showed up for his funeral. She was covered in memories of his generosity and kindness. His latest generosity was to save and improve the lives of many people through the donation of his organs and tissues.

“They told me at the time that Liz had helped at least eight people,” her husband, Brian Hartman, told a KGET reporter. “I know someone had their kidneys, someone had their corneas, they couldn’t use their lungs because of scoliosis, but I think they used the heart and a bunch of other stuff. .”

But Elizabeth’s story didn’t end there either.

The Lake Isabella woman was featured in January on “Courage to Hope,” the 2022 Donate Life Rose parade float.

The float included four walkers, who were living donors, as well as organ and tissue recipients; 15 runners, who were organ and tissue recipients, as well as living donors; and 35 “florographs”, or floral portraits representing organ, eye and tissue donors.

Elizabeth was nominated to appear on the float by JJ’s Legacy, a Bakersfield nonprofit created in memory of 27-year-old Jeffrey “JJ” Johns, who suffered severe brain damage in a 2009 car accident.

“He loved life. And he had the most beautiful smile. He loved smiling. He loved people,” JJ’s mother, Lori Malkin, told The Californian.

Recognizing the extent of his son’s injuries, Malkin agreed to donate JJ’s organs.

“He saved five lives, which is a miracle,” Malkin recalled. One person received a liver and a kidney, and another received Jeff’s pancreas. His donated tissues have improved the lives of 50 people and he has also donated his corneas.

“These people who were blind can now see sunrises and sunsets,” she said.

To promote local organ donation, Malkin created JJ’s Legacy. The year JJ died, the young man from Bakersfield was featured in the Rose Parade in a floragraph prepared by his family and included on the Donate Life float.

Recalling how moving and empowering the Rose Parade experience was for her and JJ’s family, Malkin pledged to honor a family of local donors in the same way each year.

Elizabeth’s family encourages others in Kern County to register as organ donors and provide life to those in need. Register as a donor with the DMV when you apply for or renew a California driver’s license or ID card. Simply check the box marked “YES!” on the application form. You can also go to

Using a black-and-white photo as a guide, Elizabeth’s family got together and worked for nearly eight hours on her floral portrait, before the iconic New Year’s Eve parade began rolling down Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena. . Brian admits the experience was very emotional.

Elizabeth’s Rose Parade fluorograph, decorated with natural seeds, flowers, cream of wheat, chocolate and coconut, will be on display April 30 at the JJ Legacy fundraising gala. Go to

In 2021, OneLegacy worked with 591 organ donors and facilitated 1,688 organ transplants in a seven-county region that includes Kern. OneLegacy is one of 57 nonprofit organ procurement organizations nationwide. Each is assigned a federally designated region to serve. In just Kern, OneLegacy had 31 donors and 85 transplanted organs last year.

Many people pre-declare their intentions on state and national registries to donate their organs when they die. But where such a guideline does not exist, OneLegacy works with families to understand how the donation of an organ or tissue by their loved ones can save and improve lives.

Tom Mone, CEO of OneLegacy, said: “Fifty to 60% of families say yes to organ, eye and tissue donation because they understand that more lives can be saved and they have the hope of know that their loved ones live in others through donation and transplantation”.

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Non profit living

“It’s a sanctuary”: the magic of quiet, economical and anti-allergic “passive” houses | Living ethically and green

Jhe first night Stephanie Silva spent in her new Brooklyn apartment was exceptionally quiet. It was the same the next morning and the next day. The 32-year-old New Yorker had forgotten the last time she managed to mute the city of 8.2 million.

“It’s like a sanctuary,” Silva says, but as soon as she opens the windows facing the street, bustling outside noise fills her living room. Once she closed the windows, the difference was immediately noticeable. “Since moving here, my anxiety has gone away,” Silva says, referring to the affordable 10-story apartment in Ocean Hill, part of Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. But what sets this 67-unit building apart from the rest of the city’s housing is its “passive” element.

A passive building is designed to consume a minimum of energy. To be efficient in heating and cooling, the space is sealed with airtight insulation – like a vacuum bottle – so that it can retain heat during the winter while keeping it out during the summer. . Homes, schools, offices, and other buildings built to Passive House standards typically use thicker, higher-performance windows, such as triple-glazed models, which have three layers of glass. Another key step is to use the energy recovery process in the building’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. Known as the ERV, the ventilator, by means of two fans, acts as the lungs of the building, drawing in clean, fresh, filtered air and expelling stale air.

Resident Manager Rich Morris opens a window in the Harry T Nance Apartments laundry room. The windows meet passive house standards.

In New York and other cities, passive design is becoming a popular option for new apartment buildings and homes, and it’s easy to see why: people love living there.

“I didn’t suffer an allergy attack like I usually would,” said Silva, who suffers from dust and seasons allergies. “The building clears the air and I can sleep through the night.”

Continuous air exchange, coupled with super-insulated construction, means no more smell of what the downstairs neighbors are cooking, no more traffic noise in the living room, and no more click-clack from old radiators. Each room in Silva’s three-bedroom apartment has its own heating and cooling unit, allowing his family to heat one room at a time instead of the entire house. “My daughter hates the heat, while I like my bedroom to be nice and warm,” Silva says. “I love that each room has its own separate temperature.”

Solar panels are embedded in the roofs of many passive buildings, including two in the Bronx developed by Bronx Pro Group, which specializes in affordable housing.

“When you walk into a passive house, the average person probably doesn’t notice a difference,” said Justin Stein, senior vice president of the Bronx Pro Group.

“Other than being quieter, it looks like any other apartment,” Stein said.

Large blue-gray ventilation systems are installed on a roof, with the city skyline in the background.
Energy-efficient heating, cooling and ventilation systems benefit residents’ well-being, but also their wallets, say passive building advocates.

The invisible health effects of cleaner air will help tenants in the long run, but the benefit of lower electric bills will be felt immediately. The annual energy demand of passive houses is estimated to be more than 70% lower than that of traditionally insulated buildings with the same parameters. Silva, who lives with her three-year-old son and her fiancé, paid her first utility bill in December, which came to $57. In his old two-bedroom apartment, charges averaged $135 a month: $60 for gas and $75 for electricity.

“I’m not that grumpy,” Silva says as she reflects on the impact lower housing costs have had on her personality. “I was living paycheck to paycheck in my last apartment and now I can buy something nice because I can afford it. Before, all the money I had left had to be used for expenses for the following month.

It took eight months from the day Silva applied for the city’s affordable housing lottery to the day she was able to move into her new home developed by RiseBoro, a Brooklyn-based nonprofit. In 2014, RiseBoro developed New York State’s first-ever affordable multi-family apartment building certified to Passive House standards. Today there are more than 30 affordable apartment buildings in New York City built to passive standards, including this first RiseBoro project in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

A trio of images shows a blue vertical pipe, a close-up image of an air vent grille, and a copper-colored air vent cap.
Passive building air ventilation systems are designed to efficiently supply fresh air while exhausting stale air.

“When you move from an older affordable home to a more efficient one, there’s a huge shift in attitude,” said Satpal Kaur, an architect who has been designing efficient buildings for more than 15 years. Kaur helped deliver the Bushwick Building while in the office of Chris Benedict, one of the leading architects in the field of sustainable design. From keeping your feet cold while working from home, to sitting by a window and not feeling the cold peeking through the glass, to reducing noise pollution and energy costs – for Kaur, the benefits of living in an affordable Passive House are conveniences that every person deserves.

“If we made it standard practice, comfort would be for everyone,” Kaur says.

Dozens of affordable passive developments are currently under construction in the five boroughs. Building a passive house usually costs about 5-10% more than a conventional house. The construction of a multi-family passive building can be approximately 3% more than a comparable non-passive building. Renovating an older building to passive standards is one of the most effective ways to reduce heat concentration and emissions from the existing housing stock.

These renovations and new construction projects can contribute to the city’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from buildings by 40% by 2030. Energy-efficient design decisions – such as moving away from gas for electricity – will also help reduce residents’ bills, Kaur said. When developers adopt passive design standards, “not only are you changing the life of the building,” Kaur said, “you’re changing the lives of the people in it.”

Close-up image of a white multi-story building facade with angular rectangular panels around its windows.
Knickerbocker Commons in Bushwick, Brooklyn is the first all-affordable-unit apartment building to be built and certified to Passive House standards in New York State. The building’s facade optimizes light and shade, contributing to energy costs that are only 20% of the average size of a New York building.

In New York, as in many places across the country, summer temperatures are highest in densely built-up areas. Adequate and efficient cooling is a priority.

New York City buildings are good at providing – and retaining – heat to keep residents warm during the winter. The challenge for homeowners is how to keep residents cool when temperatures rise and buildings heat up, says Ryan Cassidy, director of sustainability and construction at RiseBoro. He thinks that like tenants’ current right to heat, in the next 5 to 10 years New York City will likely develop a cooling policy for buildings.

Currently, the city’s building stock is responsible for 71% of New York’s greenhouse carbon emissions. The recent decision to ban gas heaters, cookers and water heaters in all new buildings may push traditional developers to follow Passive House standards.

Aramis Rosa, a slender dark-haired, bespectacled man in light gray jeans and a long-sleeved black t-shirt, sits for a portrait in his renovated attic, with three narrow windows behind him.
Aramis Rosa poses for a portrait in the attic master bedroom. An air circulation tube is visible on the wall below the windows. Photographed January 8. 2022, Staten Island, NY.

Aramis Rosa is one of the owners who does just that. In March 2020, he purchased a five-bedroom, two-story home in Staten Island with an attic and basement. An electrician, he was fixing sockets at Kaur when they started talking about architecture and how Kaur designs buildings.

“I remember he said, ‘Hey, would you mind sending me the cut sheets?'” Kaur recalled. She emailed the information and a few months later, when he returned to fix her doorbell: “He told me he had done everything, and I was completely blown away.”

Rosa applied what Kaur taught her to remodel her new family home. The boiler, the first to leave, was replaced by an ERV. Then he installed energy efficient windows, separate units in each room and solar panels on the roof, who was eligible for state tax refunds.

When it comes to insulation, working with spray foam was a turning point for Rosa. “That has got to be the best thing I’ve done, to go with spray foam insulation,” Rosa said. “Because of the amount of heat it is able to retain, now in winter, you can feel the difference as soon as you walk into the house.”

A triptych image shows Aramis Rose's two-story house, a detailed close-up of the white foam insulation sprayed into the walls, and a close-up image of Rosa's hands.
Left: Aramis Rosa used passive design elements to renovate his family’s new home. In the middle: spray foam insulation in the walls of the house reduces heating and cooling costs. Right: Rosa did most of the renovations herself.

A chemical compound that expands in seconds when applied, spray foam leaves virtually no air gaps, unlike traditional fiberglass insulation. Rosa is the fifth owner of the 1938 house and the first to do such a spectacular renovation on his own.

“I feel like when you hire someone, they’re there to do the job and then go home. They might not consider the person living there long-term,” Rosa said. “Even though it took us a little longer to be home, the fact that I’m doing it for my family means I’m not skipping any corners because I’ll be the one living here.”

In a city known for its sensory overload — whether it’s the roar of new construction, the funk of curbside trash, or the howls of the century-old subway system — being able to tune out can be a luxury. But the promise of passive architecture is that it doesn’t have to be – it can be as easy as coming home.

Non profit living

Italian town raises funds to pay pensioners’ rising energy bills

FLORENCE, Italy (AP) — Florence is famous for its contributions to Italian art, architecture and cuisine. But these days, local leaders in the city considered the birthplace of the Renaissance are preoccupied with more mundane matters: paying the bills.

Amid soaring energy costs across Europe, officials at Palazzo Vecchio – the building that serves as both city hall and museum in Florence – have teamed up with a nonprofit local charity to help fixed-income retirees retain their power through an “Adopt-a-Bill” fundraising campaign.

“Florence is a city where you live well, and for this reason too, people live very long,” said Mayor Dario Nardella.

However, a significant number of retirees in Florence live on less than 9,000 euros ($10,205) a year and cannot afford to make ends meet with an expected 55% increase in home electricity costs and a 42% rise in residential gas bills, he mentioned.

The widower Luigi Boni, 96, confirms this. He says that by the end of February he will have emptied his bank account and spent his monthly pension check of less than 600 euros ($680) before covering the charges.

“Either I eat or I pay the rent,” Boni said as he sat on his sofa, a daily newspaper in his hand.

To help him and others of Florence’s approximately 30,000 residents over the age of 65 who live alone, the city administration launched the fundraising campaign with the non-profit Montedomini Foundation, which runs projects aimed at helping the city’s retirees.

The campaign raised 33,000 euros (over $37,000) in its first days. Private citizens, including Florentines living abroad, made more than 200 donations, according to city social councilor Sara Funaro.

“Our goal is to raise funds to ensure that every elderly person who comes to us for help can receive help to cover the increase in bills due to the increase (in energy costs),” Funaro said.

Soaring energy prices are pushing up utility bills – and driving inflation to a record high – from Poland to the UK. In response, governments across Europe are rushing to provide aid to residents and businesses as utility companies pass the costs on to consumers.

In Turkey, where economic pressure is extreme and has fueled protests, Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir are among opposition-run municipalities with similar Pass a Bill initiatives. The Istanbul municipal website says nearly 49 million Turkish liras (around $3.6 million) have been donated since 2020, covering 320,000 utility bills.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s government has passed measures valued at more than 8 billion euros ($9 billion) to help mitigate the impact of soaring energy prices for businesses and individuals.

The latest government decree, published on Friday, also had a forward-looking component: it aimed to accelerate Italy’s transition to more renewable energy sources, particularly solar power, to make the country less dependent on imported supplies. .

Italy currently imports 90% of its gas, much of it from Russia, and Draghi insisted that any European Union sanctions aimed at punishing Russia for recognizing two separatist-held areas in the east of Ukraine must exempt the energy sector.

The association of Italian mayors has said the government’s response has so far been insufficient to help cities cope with hundreds of millions of euros in additional energy costs, forcing them to choose between balancing budgets or cutting costs. services.

Florence, Rome and other cities kept their civic monuments and local government buildings dark on February 10 to draw attention to the situation.

Florence’s Adopt-a-Bill campaign has popular support. As well as being a top tourist destination, the capital of the Italian region of Tuscany has a long history of success in providing social services to poor and vulnerable residents.

“It’s a great initiative because you can help people who can’t come to pay a bill that has shamelessly reached unsustainable costs,” said Luca Menoni, owner of a butcher shop in the food market. covered with Sant’Ambrogio in Florence.

“I’m paying a (electricity) bill myself that’s double what I used to pay,” Menoni said.

Boni may be getting help with her energy bills to get her through the winter and avoid a planned move to a retirement home. But he’s still on a tight budget that doesn’t allow for a lot of luxury.

“Steaks? Me at? Let’s not even talk about it. I eat (cheap) packaged food,” he said. After the death of his wife, he said: “I became an expert in economical cooking.


Nicole Winfield in Rome and Zeynep Bilginsoy in Istanbul contributed to this report.

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Non profit living

Prosecutor says racism drove men to hunt and kill Ahmaud Arbery: live updates

Credit…Nicole Craine for The New York Times

Three white men were convicted in November of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, after suspecting him of carrying out a series of break-ins in their South Georgia neighborhood. The men were sentenced to life in prison in January and now face federal hate crime charges.

Here’s what we know about the circumstances of Mr. Arbery’s death.

Ahmaud Arbery, a former high school football player, lived with his mother outside of the small town of Brunswick, Georgia. He had spent some time in college but seemed to be on a drift in his twenties, testing various careers, working on his rapping skills and living with his mother. He also suffered from a mental illness that caused him auditory hallucinations.

On Sunday, February 23, 2020, shortly before 1 p.m., Mr. Arbery was running in a suburban neighborhood called Satilla Shores, when a man standing in his front yard saw him pass, according to a police report. The man, Gregory McMichael, said he thought Mr Arbery looked like a man suspected of several burglaries in the area and called Travis McMichael, his son.

According to the police report, the men grabbed a .357 Magnum handgun and a shotgun, got into a pickup truck and chased Mr. Arbery, trying unsuccessfully to cut him. A third man, William Bryan, also joined the chase in a second truck, according to the report and other documents.

In a recording of a 911 call, which appears to have been made moments before the chase began, a neighbor told a dispatcher that a black man was inside a house under construction on the block of the McMichaels.

During the chase, the McMichaels shouted, “Stop, stop, we want to talk to you,” according to Gregory McMichael’s account in the police report. They then pulled up to Mr. Arbery and Travis McMichael got out of the truck with the shotgun.

Gregory McMichael “said the unidentified man began violently attacking Travis and the two men then began fighting over the shotgun, at which point Travis fired a shot, then a second later , there was a second shot,” the report said.

Mr. Arbery was unarmed.

Shortly after the shooting, Brunswick Circuit Court Attorney Jackie Johnson recused herself because Gregory McMichael had worked in her office.

The case was sent to George E. Barnhill, the district attorney for Waycross, Georgia, who later recused himself after Mr Arbery’s mother argued he had a conflict because her son was working also for the District Attorney of Brunswick.

But before dropping the case, Mr Barnhill wrote a letter to the Glynn County Police Department. In the letter, he argued there was not sufficient probable cause to arrest Mr Arbery’s pursuers.

Mr. Barnhill noted that the McMichaels were legally carrying their firearms under Georgia’s open carry law. He said they were within their rights to pursue what he called “a burglary suspect” and cited a state law that says, “A private person may arrest a violator if the offense is committed in his presence or to his immediate knowledge”. This so-called Citizens’ Arrest Act was largely dismantled in response to the Arbery case.

Mr Barnhill also argued that if Mr Arbery attacked Travis McMichael, Mr McMichael was “authorized to use deadly force to protect himself” under Georgia law.

Anger over the murder and the lack of consequences for the McMichaels grew when a graphic video surfaced showing the shooting on a suburban road.

The cellphone video, shot by Mr Bryan, is about half a minute long. It shows Mr. Arbery running along a shaded two-lane residential road when he comes across a white truck, with Travis McMichael standing next to the open driver’s side door with a shotgun. Gregory McMichael is in the bed of the pickup with a handgun.

Mr. Arbery runs around the truck and briefly disappears from view. Muffled screams can be heard before Mr. Arbery emerges, fighting with Travis McMichael outside the truck as three shotgun blasts ring out.

Mr. Arbery tries to run but staggers and falls to the sidewalk after a few steps.

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Non profit living

The next affordable city is already too expensive

Mr. Silbar, the real estate agent, has sold it twice in the past three years. The first time, in November 2019, he represented a buyer who offered $168,000 and got it with no drama. This year it came back on the market and Mr. Silbar listed it for $250,000. Fourteen bids and a bidding war later, it closed at $300,000.

When Mr. Silbar got into the business, he said, his clients were “nurses and teachers,” and now they are business managers, engineers and other professionals. “What you can afford in Spokane has completely changed,” he said.

The typical Spokane-area home is worth $411,000, according to Zillow. That’s still significantly cheaper than markets like the San Francisco Bay Area ($1.4 million), Los Angeles ($878,000), Seattle ($734,000), and Portland ($550,000). But it’s dizzying (and infuriating) for longtime residents.

Five years ago, just over half of Spokane-area homes sold for less than $200,000 and about 70% of its working population could afford to buy a home, according to a recent report commissioned by the Spokane Association of Realtors. Today, less than 5% of homes – a few dozen a month – sell for less than $200,000, and less than 15% of the area’s working population can afford a home. A recent survey by Redfin, the real estate brokerage firm, showed that homebuyers moving to Spokane in 2021 had a 23% higher budget than residents.

One of Mr. Silbar’s clients, Lindsey Simler, a 38-year-old nurse who grew up in Spokane, wants to buy a house for around $300,000 but keeps losing because she doesn’t have enough money to compete. Spokane isn’t so competitive that it’s flooded with all-cash offers, like some higher-priced markets are. But prices have risen so quickly that many homes are being priced below their selling price, forcing buyers to pay higher down payments to cover the difference.

A dozen failed deals later, Ms Simler has decided to sit out the market for a while as the constant loss is so demoralizing. If the prices don’t calm down, she says, she’s considering becoming a travel nurse. With the healthcare workforce so depleted by Covid-19, traveling nursing pays much better and will hopefully save more for a down payment.

“I’m not at the point where I want to give up living in Spokane because I have family here and it feels like home,” she said. “But traveling nursing will be my next step if I haven’t been able to find a home.”

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Hometown Alaska: Teens talk coping with COVID

Young people trying to stay connected during the Covid pandemic. Wikimedia Commons image by SGerbic,

In this week’s Hometown Alaska, teenagers in Anchorage describe how they suffered, endured and even grew while living under the Covid pandemic. We’ll hear from teens from Alaska Teen Media Institute (ATMI), Covenant House, and MHATS, which stands for Mental Health Advocacy Through Storytelling, a nonprofit organization founded and run by students in Anchorage.

ATMI students have started creating a series called “Podcast in Place, Youth Stories from Quarantine” recorded at home due to COVID constraints. Topics include individual student reactions to school closures and uncertainty, interviews with Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Anne Zink, and a multi-generational family interview (grandparents, their daughter and their grandchildren) on immunization information and engagement management.

Two Covenant House students talk about the emotional impact of isolation and job loss due to restaurant closures during the pandemic.

The MHATS teens describe their commitment to better mental health education for young people in school, and their own ups and downs throughout the pandemic.

Either way, these students were changed by the experience of living through Covid. They also represent an age group, according to the CDC, that has the lowest rate of vaccination and booster compliance.

This program has been pre-recorded for scheduling purposes, so hosts will not take your calls during the program. However, we still want to hear from you. Please call our 24/7 registered line (550-8480) and tell us about your own experience. Have you hesitated to get vaccinated or to be vaccinated? What helped you overcome this hesitation?

This program is part of Alaska Public Media’s “Talk to Your Neighbor” project, providing trusted voices and accurate information to listeners about Covid vaccination. APM has partnered with 20 community groups to help overcome vaccine hesitancy.

HOSTS: Kathleen McCoy and ATMI’s Daisy Carter


  • Caelan Vossa.k.a PeanutAlliance House
  • Grace MargesonAlliance House
  • Abby LauferMHATS
  • Marshall ivyMHATS
  • Tara SkidmoreMHATS
  • daisy carterATMI and Alaska Public Media, co-host and guest



  • Today’s program has been pre-recorded so hosts cannot take live calls. However, we still want to hear from you. Dial 550-8480 and leave a recorded message, 24/7.
  • Send E-mail to [email protected] before, during or after the live broadcast.
  • post your comment or question below (comments can be read on-air).
  • The pre-recorded show air: Monday February 21, 2022 at 10 a.m.
  • RE-AIR: Monday February 21, 2022 at 8 p.m.
  • PODCAST: Available on this page after the program.
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Non profit living

‘Worthy to take up space’: Jennifer Lee ’23 founds nonprofit to support disabled Asian Americans

In June 2020, after months of doctor’s appointments and medical tests, Jennifer Lee ’23 was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Although she had many typical symptoms of the disease, Lee said her doctors were initially hesitant to consider Crohn’s disease because of its rarity in Asian Americans.

“From the beginning of my journey with a chronic illness,” said Lee, “I began to see how my Asian American identity influenced not only the way I perceived my illness and my body, but also the way which even medical professionals perceived the disability and diagnostic processes. ”

After his diagnosis, Lee sought out communities like the Crohn’s and Colitis Young Adults Network and the National Council of College Leaders of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. But even in groups with other young adults with disabilities, Lee felt her Asian American identity set her apart from her peers.

“I soon discovered that I didn’t see people who looked like me, and so for a very long time I thought that I was the only person who felt that way, that I had no one else to talk to. of the specificity of the cultural stigmas around disability, what it was like to be of two marginalized identities — to be both Asian American and disabled,” she said.

Although Lee may have felt lonely, she is one of more than 1.3 million Americans who identify as both Asian American and disabled. After meeting others who shared his identity during the American Association of Persons with Disabilities (AAPD) internship program in the summer of 2021, Lee decided to form a group dedicated to this intersection.

In July 2021, along with a coalition of Asian Americans with disabilities and non-disabled allies from across the country, Lee founded the Asian Americans with Disabilities Initiative (AADI), a nonprofit organization run by and for people like her who identify as both Asian American and disabled. Lee is now Executive Director of AADI and manages a leadership team of approximately 20-25 people at any one time.

“AADI’s overriding mission is to amplify the voices of Asian Americans with disabilities and provide the next generation of Asian Americans with disabilities with the tools, resources, and infrastructure necessary to thrive in a world which hasn’t always welcomed them,” Lee said.

In its short existence, AADI has already made great strides toward fulfilling its mission to increase the visibility of the disabled and Asian American community and provide resources on how to live in a world that is not not built to accommodate either group.

AADI started with what Lee calls a “three-pronged vision.” She hoped to publish a resource guide for Asian Americans with disabilities, host speaker panels and events with people involved in Asian American and disability advocacy, and build a community of peers. disabled and Asian Americans.

On all three fronts, AADI has made tangible progress.

On January 10, after months of preparation, AADI launched its Resource Guide, an 80-page document described on AADI’s website as a guide “to combat ableism within the Asian American community. disability through first-person accounts, extensive peer-reviewed research, and AADI event summaries.

The AADI Research Committee has compiled collections of academic research, alliance lessons, and profiles of Asian American and disabled activists for inclusion in the guide. AADI received support from the TigerWell Initiative and Service Focus in developing the guide.

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“We had recognized that in the academic field there is very little research that has been done on the intersection of disability and Asian American identity, and the reason it is so important is that this type of research directly informs and feeds into what policy looks like,” Lee said of the importance of the academic research section.

The audience for the research guide, and AADI as a whole, encompasses a wide range of stakeholders, according to Megan Liang, program manager at San Diego State University and AADI’s director of external relations. As an Asian American amputee, Liang got involved with AADI after seeing them highlighted on social media.

“Whether you are an Asian American with a disability, an ally, a social worker, or only identify as disabled or identify only as an Asian American, you can take away a fresh perspective on how this community is dealing with things and issues that they might face,” Liang said. “And even though it’s a small impact of change, I’m just glad we’re able to do that.”

AADI has held two speaker events so far. The first panel of speakers took place on August 13, 2021, featuring Lydia XZ Brown, Miso Kwak and Mia Ives-Rublee, three Asian American activists with disabilities. The event was virtual and included American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters and captioning services. More than 50 people attended the event, according to Lee.

“That panel kind of served as a starting point,” Lee said. “[The panelists talked] about the intersection of these two identities themselves, the difficulties our speakers might have encountered while navigating through space, as well as any advice they had for other younger Asian Americans and disabled watching.

Most recently, on January 29, AADI hosted another virtual panel focusing on the intersection of art, disability, and being Asian American. Comedian Steve Lee, poet Topaz Winters ’23 and dancer Marisa Hamamoto spoke at the event.

“I was on the panel with several other Asian American and disabled artists, so we talked a lot about how our Asian American identities fit into our disability rights work, as well as ‘to our artistic work,” Winters said.

“The three streams of my identity – being an artist, being disabled, and being Asian – aren’t really streams that intersect very often in my advocacy work or in my artistic work,” they added. “It was really special for me to be among a group of people who understood very well what it was and the unique challenges, but also the unique joys of existing in these three beautiful spaces, and simply expanding the definitions of what these spaces can be.”

The ultimate goal of forming a community of disabled Asian American peers has been achieved, so far, in a largely virtual setting. Most people involved with AADI have never met in person.

“It’s just about showcasing the community, and for me, part of what AADI does is show that Asian Americans with disabilities and our experiences deserve to take up space,” Lee said.

“I knew the second I found AADI, I had found a specific kind of community that I wouldn’t have been able to find if I hadn’t looked for it otherwise,” Liang said. “I hope we can do more community events in the future, because I understand how empowering it is to be among people who have shared life experiences.”

In the coming months, AADI plans to continue its outreach efforts and spread its mission of accessibility and inclusion for the Asian American and disabled community.

Jiyoun Roh ’24 is AADI’s Director of Outreach and is responsible for managing the organization’s social media. Roh’s brother has cerebral palsy and she became interested in disability justice after noticing how her disability had led to a lack of inclusion in the Asian American community.

“We want accessibility to be more than just a disability community,” Roh said. “We want it in other AAPI organizations.”

“We get a lot of collaborations with many other organizations and together with them, we want to build our own community because a community is made better by the people in it,” she continued.

Lee hopes the conversations started during the COVID-19 pandemic about racial justice and chronic disease will continue in the future.

“I think in this era of the COVID-19 pandemic, we face an extraordinary opportunity to redefine how we understand the experience of people with disabilities and how we understand the Asian American experience,” Lee said.

She looks forward to expanding the advocacy work AADI has done in the six months since its inception.

“The more we work in the disability, Asian American, and nonprofit space, the more our team realizes that there are many definitions of success in terms of what our mission can accomplish,” Lee said.

Naomi Hess is an emeritus editor who focuses on university politics and alumni affairs. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @NaomiHess17.

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Covid updates: Supreme Court rejects teachers’ proposal to block New York City’s vaccination mandate

Credit…Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters

A new study on underreported coronavirus variants is a reminder that early detection and frequent genomic sequencing are among the most effective arrows in the quiver of public health officials.

But that is precisely what is not happening in many countries, putting their own populations – as well as the rest of the world – at risk.

Researchers in the United States and Nigeria examined a variant of interest, Eta, which circulated in Nigeria in early 2021, as well as a regionally rare Delta sublineage that was different from the Delta variant that circulated around the world.

Eta might have warranted the “variant of concern” designation if its growth potential had been recognized earlier, the researchers from the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University and the University of Ibadan in Nigeria wrote. Their research was published this month in Nature Communications.

“We were just lucky that this variant didn’t spread globally,” said Dr Oyewale Tomori, a virologist who heads a Nigerian government committee on Covid-19.

Judd Hultquist, co-author of the report and associate director of Northwestern’s Center for Pathogen Genomics and Microbial Evolution, said variant tracking was “incredibly uneven” across the world.

“Less than 1% of footage is from the African continent and less than 3% is from South America,” he said in an interview.

On Thursday, the World Health Organization’s Africa director, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, urged wider use of genomic sequencing technology in Africa to help speed up the detection of new variants. The technology is only available in a few middle-income countries in the region, such as South Africa and Botswana.

Researchers around the world use GISAID, the global online repository of coronavirus sequences, to share new genomes and search for mutations in its hundreds of thousands of viral genetic sequences.

Nigeria, with a population of 220 million, is the seventh most populous country in the world and the largest majority black country. It is also one of the least vaccinated: less than 3% of its population is fully inoculated, according to the Our World in Data project at the University of Oxford.

The World Health Organization has labeled Eta a variant of concern, which means it was worth studying but not as dangerous as a variant of concern. But after Eta moved the Alpha variant to Nigeria and the surrounding region early last year, researchers found it went largely unnoticed while Alpha remained at the center of much of the world. .

“Eta had all the hallmarks of a variant of concern and was able to outmatch the Alpha variant in the region before Delta arrived,” Dr Hultquist said.

And after the rise and fall of Eta, a rare Delta sub-lineage (AY.36) appeared in the region that was different from the Delta variant that circulated most of the world.

The study underscores the critical need for improved surveillance and tracking of coronavirus infections to ensure early detection of new variants in Nigeria and the West African region, said Dr Moses Adewumi of the ‘University of Ibadan, one of the collaborators.

Even now, the researchers said, there are just over 1,400 Nigerian coronavirus sequences available in public repositories. The United States, by comparison, sequences tens of thousands of specimens each week.

The variants that have been examined by researchers are no longer a threat. But at the time, the Alpha and Eta variants produced the highest spike in new infections; and the rare Delta lineage caused the second spike, according to Northwestern’s Dr. Ramon Lorenzo-Redondo, one of the study’s authors. The spikes resulted in the highest death rates of the pandemic, he said.

Africa is not fully utilizing available laboratory resources, Dr Tomori said. He said mainland labs had sequenced 70,000 viral genomes by the end of 2021.

“Sequencing is inadequate in Africa because many African governments have not appreciated the usefulness of such facilities to provide data for better epidemic control,” he said. “Furthermore, there is a lack of collaboration among African scholars, some of whom prefer to work with their former ‘colonial’ colleagues.”

One lesson is clear: it’s never too early to try to say what the impact of a variation might be. Researchers are already keeping a close eye on a new Omicron sub-variant, BA.2.

Alex Sigal, a virologist at the Africa Health Research Institute in Durban, South Africa, who helped identify Beta and Omicron variants, said: “The most important message here is that we don’t see everything, and that some of these places may not have Covid-19 control.

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Nonprofit Riverside helps those who were homeless or incarcerated regain their independence – Press Enterprise

Starting Over Inc. provides transition and reintegration services to people who have come into contact with the criminal justice system. The organization provides housing, employment, family reunification, recovery and mental health services.

Start Over housing services are available for those in need, including clients who are homeless, recently released from prison, or struggling with substance abuse. The organization has eight halfway houses in Los Angeles and Riverside counties. Transition houses provide sober living and harm reduction options. David’s House, located in Eastvale, is available for single women with children.

“We tap into the potential of people who may not have had the opportunity to succeed or give back,” said co-founder and executive director Vonya Quarles. “We offer people opportunities to give themselves, to learn and to grow.”

The organization believes that everyone is of equal value and helps clients who need help dealing with the immediate effects and root causes of homelessness. Case management specialists who have direct experience on the journey provide referrals and support to those in need. This includes immediate basic needs, obtaining health benefits, essential documents, employment, advocacy and family reunification.

By investing in prevention and addressing trauma, Starting Over believes the community will not need to invest in eliminating re-entry into the criminal justice system. Clients of the organization’s programs have gone on to form their own organizations, become advocates, work in health, and are present in the lives of their children.

Bobbie Butts, Associate Director of Family Reunification of Starting Over Inc, speaks at the Family Reunification, Equity and Empowerment (FREE) program rally in the state capitol to transform protective services in childhood. (Courtesy of Start Over, Inc.)

Community organizing and civic engagement are also a big part of Starting Over’s work. The organization has worked to elevate the voices of leaders affected by the system and build the pipeline of leaders who organize and build grassroots in the community. The organization’s Family Reunification, Equity and Empowerment (FREE) program supports families who are dealing with dependent child courts and the child welfare system. The program offers legal support, strategies for advocating for family reunification, and free resources.

On January 18, 2022, FREE held a rally in Sacramento at the State Capitol to Transform Child Protective Services. Working with CPS and other partners, Start Over helped pass SB 354 and is working to publicize the revisions it puts in place. The bill relaxes restrictions on placing children with relatives. There are 60,000 children languishing in foster care because parents are deemed ineligible for placement, Quarles said.

“I’ve met many parents who weren’t able to have the kids because of old, unrelated convictions,” Quarles said. “SB 354 opens the door to an individualized assessment to make a decision. Data shows that children placed with family members are much better off.

Recently, Starting Over received a grant from the IE Black Equity Fund through the Inland Empire Community Foundation. Start Over has grown from an all-volunteer organization to 21 staff members and welcomes contributions to support its work.

Currently, the organization relies on the help of 40 volunteers and is always looking for more. Those interested in volunteering can contact Ashley Williams, internship program manager and housing program manager for the organization.

Start Over tries to match volunteers with work that builds on their strengths. Opportunities include policy and advocacy work, writing grant applications and working with housing guests. There is also a need for fresh grocery donations for the bi-monthly Starting Over food drives. Donations of gently used clothing and accessories are also welcome and provided free of charge to accommodation hosts and the community.

“Opportunity is what we offer,” Quarles said. “Yes, we help provide direct services, but more broadly, we give people the time and space to reset and rethink their future.”

More information: or 951-898-0862

Inland Empire Community Foundation strives to strengthen the Southern California interior through philanthropy.

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Recognizing Local Charities for Nonprofit Appreciation Week | bloginfo(‘name’); ?>

February 10, 2022 0 comments

By Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

A small group of Dufferin County organizations will recognize the work of local nonprofits next week as part of a campaign for the first-ever Nonprofit Appreciation Week (February 14-February 20) .

In December 2021, the province passed Bill 9 to create Nonprofit Appreciation Week, a motion that received unanimous support from all parties. Beginning February 14 and continuing through February 20, the week is focused on recognizing those in the nonprofit sector whose work changes the lives of individuals, families, and communities.

Michele Fisher, executive director of the Dufferin Community Foundation, said the week of appreciation had been “a long time coming.”

“Most of the other helping professions are recognized for their impact. During the pandemic, for example, healthcare workers have been rightly praised for their efforts. But frontline workers in the nonprofit sector — many of whom were also deemed essential — have flown under the radar. That’s why we like to call them ‘invisible champions’,” Fisher said. “Nonprofit Appreciation Week is an opportunity for us as a community to say ‘Thank You.’ It makes visible all they do to help some of our most vulnerable and to strengthen our communities. I hope this will allow our nonprofit professionals to feel truly recognized for all that they do. »

In Dufferin County alone, there are over 150 non-profit organizations working within the community, ranging from social services, environmental/conservation organizations, arts and culture, recreation, health, mental health, community development, housing and homelessness, food security and much more. .

The Citizen spoke with some of the local nonprofits in Dufferin County ahead of Nonprofit Appreciation Week.

Alzheimer Society of Dufferin County

For people with dementia, a consistent routine can help them thrive. As a non-profit organization focused on support, programming and education, the Alzheimer Society of Dufferin County has taken on the challenge of maintaining this routine for more than two years.

“Over the past two years we have seen a significant drop in the availability of things like day programs, community support, personal support worker support. Basically anything that would allow a person with dementia and their family to maintain a consistent routine,” said Lindsay Gregory, Outreach and Education Coordinator. “Without this structure, we are seeing an increase in complex cases, an increase in behaviors and the burnout of caregivers.

To help address the lack of structure for clients brought about by the pandemic, the Alzheimer Society of Dufferin County has begun offering online training and education sessions as well as social programs, activities and social sessions. exercises.

One program, which Gregory points to as a proud moment in the face of the pandemic, is their Bring Back Box program.

The Bring Back Box program is a Montessori approach to dementia care where clients receive personalized activity kits based on their hobbies, interests, and memories that provide meaningful stimulation and engagement.

“We see a lot of people with dementia who are bored,” Gregory said. “It’s a really nice way to connect with people in an otherwise virtual world.”

The Alzheimer Society of Dufferin County has approximately 400 people on their active caseload and while their caseload has not increased since the pandemic, they have seen more admissions seeking access to education and support .

“We talk more often with people who are now at home with loved ones and who may be noticing this cognitive decline that they wouldn’t otherwise notice,” Gregory said.

Coming out of the pandemic, Gregory said after seeing how people have connected with them, the Alzheimer Society of Dufferin County will likely continue to use their virtual opportunities in a “hybrid model.”

Community Living Dufferin for over 60 years has been providing support to adults in Dufferin County who have developmental disabilities and when COVID-19 hit, rather than accepting a hiatus from all programs, Community Living Dufferin staff shows creativity.

“It could have been very easy for us to say ‘sorry, the building is closed and the programs are over, we’re just going to get by,’ but our staff didn’t,” Karen Murphy-Fitz explained, executive assistant. . “We changed our programs from those we operated in the main building to programs we offered in each of our homes.”

One of the ways they transformed, Murphy-Fitz added, was by distributing craft boxes in their homes, which contained games, science projects and art supplies.

“Residents had something different to fill their days,” Murphy-Fitz said.

Operating 14 homes that provide housing for more than 60 adults supported by the nonprofit, Community Living Dufferin was challenged early on by isolation as family visits were cut short.

Community Living Dufferin applied for and became the recipient of a number of grants allowing them to purchase smart TVs, iPads and Google Home units so they can continue to connect with families.

“It was huge for helping the people we support stay connected with their families, giving them the opportunity to see each other face to face,” Murphy-Fitz said.

Although Community Living Dufferin has learned, like many organizations, to balance the setbacks caused by the pandemic, it is the emotional impacts that continue to be felt.

While speaking with the Citizen, Murphy-Fitz held back tears as she spoke about their adaptation as hallways and rooms remain empty.

“It’s been hard not seeing people, and it’s going to be nice to have everyone together again.”

As the saying goes, the show must go on.

As a relatively young organization that began with seasonal programming, Streams Community Hub faced the challenge of bringing the arts, a naturally collaborative and in-person discipline, into the virtual space.

“We really spent several months, like anyone working in a space that deals with a lot of in-person programming, trying to figure out what to do,” explained Juli-Anne James, co-founder of Streams Hub. “It’s hard to put on a play without a stage.”

Although not fully equipped with the technology and staff to deliver virtual programs, Juli-Anne and Andrew James have found a way to bring the arts into children’s homes – through a stand-up competition.

The Word of Mouth Monologue competition launched in March 2021 and saw local young people aged 8-17 submit online performances of various monologues and compete in a live final.

“The monologue competition was a really great opportunity that we did after it turned out to be really awesome,” Andrew said. “It made us realize it’s a good outlet and now we need to keep doing it even when things get back to ‘normal’. We recognized the importance of helping young people have another way to express themselves .

Although restricted for a year to offering arts programs to young people, the James duo note that internal work was underway to deepen their roots in the community.

“We were able to see some of the needs in our community and see how we could better meet those needs,” Andrew said.

Streams Community Hub is preparing to open its first permanent location, tentatively scheduled for early March.

“We know the importance of connection, of being together in a space and that we can never escape that need or that want,” Andrew said. “Our show must go on, to move forward creating a bigger space not only for young people, but for the artist who also needs a place to express themselves in their art, while earning a living and teaching the next generation.”

Organizations that have worked to develop local activities in recognition of Nonprofit Appreciation Week include the Dufferin Community Foundation, United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin, Headwaters Communities in Action, DC MOVES, the Chamber of commerce of Dufferin and Dufferin County.

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Non profit living

Vancouver awards contract for 2nd Safe Stay Community to Living Hope Church

Vancouver City Council voted unanimously on Monday to contract with Living Hope Church to operate the city’s second Safe Stay community.

Brian Norris, associate pastor of Living Hope, said the organization has built relationships with the homeless population which will be an asset to the church while running the Safe Stay Community.

“They know where we come from; we know where they are (and) what their struggles are,” he said. “We want to see the best in people and we want them to see the best in themselves.”

The additional initiative from city staff came shortly after setting up its first site at 11400 NE 51st Circle, which operated for more than a month. Residents of the cul-de-sac in Vancouver’s North Image neighborhood have achieved many goals, said Jamie Spinelli, Vancouver Homeless Intervention Coordinator.

Three residents got jobs while others decided to seek treatment. A person has found his family; several residents have obtained their driver’s license; and some received essential medical care.

Outsiders Inn, a Vancouver-based nonprofit, operates the city’s first Safe Stay community. Adam Kravitz, executive director of Outsiders Inn, said community residents have already achieved milestones after more than a month of operation.

“Most of the time, success comes from people stabilizing,” he said.

Outsiders Inn is working on some issues, such as maintaining a continuous flow of essential supplies, including paper products, garbage bags and cooking utensils, Kravitz said. Some challenges require patience as the pieces fall into place, such as waiting for WiFi to be installed, he added. The organization’s staff shares their acquired knowledge and other general advice with Living Hope Church to ease their transition.

“We’re working very closely with them (to) help them get off the ground as smooth and easy as possible,” Kravitz said.

Spinelli said the added location will operate around the clock, connect residents to outside resources and provide peer support, just like the first site.

Living Hope Church operated a relief site early in the COVID-19 pandemic and operates the county’s only walk-in severe weather shelter. Volunteers also provide meals, a food and clothing bank, mobile sanitation facilities and other outreach services on a weekly basis.

Mayor Pro Tem Ty Stober said the community may question the role of a religious organization in running a municipal program and stressed that the church will abide by the Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity Act. employment opportunities, which is described in the contract.

The city will pay Living Hope Church $552,212 per year to operate the site. Location and shelter options have not been determined.

Vancouver’s first Safe Stay community was included in its 2021-2022 budget, and additional communities will be funded with the first supplementary budget in 2022. The proposed second site and additional support sites may be funded through the Fund for the affordable housing, a sales tax on affordable housing. , and community development grants.

In the same motion, council members approved an updated administrative plan for the Affordable Housing Fund. The proposed changes allocate funds to meet changing community needs, such as the growing demand for temporary shelters during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Affordable Housing Fund initially allocated $300,000 per year for temporary shelters. The proposed update increased the amount to $1.66 million per year, which would support Safe Stay Community operations and the creation of additional sites.

The increase comes as the $3.96 million allocation for housing production and preservation has been reduced to $2.6 million, said Samantha Whitley, community development manager. City staff found that their goals had been met and that more investment was needed to help people in need find shelter.

“We’re nimble in responding (and) to the needs of our community, and this is a great way to do that,” Councilor Bart Hansen said.

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Why is the demolition of a Marcel Breuer house important?

LAWRENCE, NY – “Are people going to care about a tiny house?” asked Elizabeth Waytkus, who had been alerted a few weeks ago to the possibility of a once-famous house by architect Marcel Breuer being demolished. She is the executive director of Docomomo US, a nonprofit organization that promotes the preservation of modern structures.

People cared, it turns out. She received an outpouring of dismay and grief upon learning that the 1945 Bertram and Phyllis Geller home in Lawrence, on the southwest edge of Nassau County, had been torn down without warning on January 26 by current owners, Shimon and Judy Eckstein, who Waytkus said had assured him just three weeks earlier that they had admired him and had no plans to take him down.

It was a beautiful composition of three single-storey, cedar-framed wings, which zigzagged among the trees and shrubs of a spacious site, each wing topped by a low-pitched roof which gave the house an undulating silhouette. . The house had been significantly, but not irreversibly, altered, according to images on a real estate website.

His question, however, raises a larger point. The Geller house was rapturously covered by the press in its early days because it appealed to an America obsessed with a better life after enduring the sacrifices of World War II and the gloom of the Great Depression. It was “one of the most famous houses of the time,” said Barry Bergdoll, an expert on Breuer, who teaches architectural history at Columbia University and was the chief curator of architecture at the Museum of Modern Art. However, he had fallen into a kind of obscurity, well known especially to aficionados.

Preserving single-family homes is difficult and expensive, Waytkus explains, primarily because they are private. Docomomo’s modest resources are primarily focused on preserving commercial, cultural, and civic buildings as they are generally accessible to the public. In large-lot suburbs like Lawrence, the loss of a single home is less shocking because it isn’t seen as part of a whole, as a row of Manhattan mansions or towering brownstones might be. .

Suburbs often resist local preservation ordinances, especially those aimed at mid-century modern or later buildings. The taste for modernism is not universal, and suburban officials often shy away from enacting historic ordinances that compel property owners to become unwitting stewards of an important cultural resource.

“There aren’t a lot of tools to help preserve these houses,” Waytkus explained. The best activists can do, she says, is promote the value of post-war architecture to the community, as well as vendors. Then try to find buyers willing to keep them.

The Geller House received a lot of attention during its construction because it confidently embodied the new values ​​of the suburbs: technological progress and an informal and discreet way of life around children, with easy access to games. and relaxation in the open air. It’s the emblem of an era that has completely disappeared: when post-war suburbs, at their best, were places of possibility, innovation and new ideas. The architecture of single-family homes expresses these aspirations and embodies this emerging way of life.

The Geller House has been described as binuclear, a rather significant way of emphasizing the primacy of childrearing which inspired the design. The visitor entered a closed covered passage which separated the wings reserved for family activities from a bedroom wing. Two of the children’s bedrooms faced a playroom that ran the full width of this wing, which opened directly onto a lawn for outdoor recreation.

On the other side of the breezeway, the kitchen, dining room and living areas came together in a relaxed way – emblematic of the greater informality sought by families. The owners didn’t treat the house like a showpiece. Joe Geller, one of the Gellers’ four boys, told Caroline Rob Zaleski, author of “Long Island Modernism: 1930-1980,” that his mother “didn’t bother us as young kids running inside out, and from room to room”. with all our


The upward-sloping roofs in both wings lent a generosity to the modest dimensions of the rooms, as did the vast floor-to-ceiling glazed walls that projected sunlight onto the flagstone floors and opened onto the greenery outside. outside.

Marcel Breuer, born in 1902, left Hungary to study in Vienna, then entered the Bauhaus school in Dessau, Germany, where he would later lead the furniture workshop. He designed two famous chairs, the Cesca and the Wassily, both framed in chromed tubular steel and succinctly capturing the Bauhaus synthesis of abstract geometries and industrial techniques.

With the rise of the Nazis, Breuer, who was Jewish, moved several times, finally settling in Cambridge, Mass., in 1937, where he practiced and taught with Bauhaus colleague Walter Gropius at Harvard. Gregarious and charming, “Lajko” befriended many clients, including the Gellers, who hired him to design another house in Lawrence, in 1967. (That’s why the original Geller house is now known to curators as Geller I.) The house has been extended but remains largely as it was built.

In a series of houses with Gropius, Breuer would soften the sharp cubic forms, white plaster or metallic surfaces, and dramatic overhangs of his Bauhaus work. Geller was conceived as Breuer separated from Gropius and moved to New York.

In this house, Breuer merged his stylistic tendencies more completely with American building techniques. Conventional wood construction was clad in vertical cedar sheathing that gave a flat, sleek feel. Inside, he used thin panels of varnished plywood and contrasted them with expanses of saturated paint colors in the fashion of modern artists. Jackson Pollock made one of his first drip paintings – sold a long time ago – for the home.

Breuer anchored this light architecture to the earth with a living room wall and a massive fieldstone fireplace. Stone walls projected into the landscape to delimit play and relaxation areas. You could say the old-fashioned brickwork is reminiscent of the traditions Americans cling to – or the stone is simply a sultry counterpoint to the sleek planes of the rest of the design.

Many of the ideas Breuer had honed at Geller would appear in a house he had designed that was built in the garden of MoMA in 1949, spreading his ideas to an international audience. “The Geller and MoMA houses were meant to be replicable,” Bergdoll said, “a house that a local contractor could build.”

While many other architects, including émigrés like Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Richard Neutra, as well as the architects of the California Case Study Houses, brought new ideas to the rapidly expanding suburbs at this time, certain aspects of Breuer’s—and, by extension, Geller’s—MoMA design appeared nationwide, massaged to suit local conditions by talented so-called regionalists, in the Carolinas and Texas, California, and the North -western Pacific. A clean break from the past, homes celebrated the modesty and thrift people took away from the Depression.

I would argue that Geller House is more important today than it was when it was built, precisely because the qualities that made the era unique have largely disappeared. As the government endorsed suburban highways, towns emptied out, some returning later, largely by luring people to underappreciated neighborhoods, held together by those who didn’t leave, with stunning architecture but neglected. Ideas and optimism have started to come from the cities again.

The suburbs are now struggling to control traffic. Some have become impoverished. Thrift and modesty now seem antiquated. Land in desirable locations has become unaffordable and demolitions epidemic – in what were once middle-class suburbs as well as enclaves of innovative homes commissioned by adventurous clients – as the home as an investment vehicle triumph of the house as shelter. (In Lawrence, homes that appear to be three to four times larger than the longstanding mix of modest ranch homes and substantial summer “cottages” of the early 1900s rise along the coastal salt marshes and fairways of golf courses.) Zaleski, the author, estimates that more than two-thirds of the homes she showed in her 2012 book have been demolished or drastically altered.

As working from home frees people from commuting, the indoor-outdoor orientation and innate flexibility of House Geller and its ilk seem ideal, a reprieve for people glued to screens in dark rooms all day. Unfortunately, the lessons these houses teach are being lost as they become fewer and fewer.

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Non profit living

Letter to the Editor: Residents Avoid Using Manning Avenue Bridge Due to Possible Collapse

Dear Mr. Merchant, Mr. Mixon, Ms. Dennis and Members of Sumter City Council and Sumter County Council:

The decrepit and deteriorating condition of the Manning Avenue Bridge in Sumter, South Carolina presents a significant disadvantage to many voters who reside in South Sumter, South Carolina and want to vote by mail early and in person. The primary site for conducting this type of voting is the Sumter County Voter Registration and Elections Office, located at 141 N. Main St., Sumter, SC.

A number of residents of South Sumter, South Carolina avoid crossing the Manning Avenue Bridge due to the hazardous conditions that exist there and the risk of danger and loss of life that can occur at this site in the event of an accident. collapse of said bridge.

Residents of South Sumter, South Carolina are predominantly African American and have low to moderate incomes. These people suffer disproportionately from diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, chronic lung disease, prostate cancer, high maternal morbidity and mortality, and the coronavirus pandemic.

Residents of South Sumter, South Carolina are, in effect, economically and racially separated from the more affluent and economically secure segments of the City of Sumter and Sumter County, South Carolina, by the presence of the railroad system CSX which divides these entities demographically into two. and by the presence of a faulty, decaying and deteriorating Manning Avenue Bridge which, due to its unsafe condition, forces residents of South Sumter to use detour routes around this bridge for safety reasons and for fear of an imminent bridge collapse and the resulting devastation. results.

In fact, inequality powerfully depresses the vote of low-income people.

Even without the impact of the global pandemic, economic deprivation is a case of double jeopardy when it comes to voting: if you’re poor, you’re more likely to have poor health – and if you’re unhealthy , you are less likely to vote.

The Family Unit Inc. is continually consulted by low-to-moderate income residents of South Sumter, South Carolina on issues regarding their health, homelessness, substandard living conditions and their right to vote .

Voting rights are often the last item on the agenda for low-to-moderate income residents of South Sumter, South Carolina, due to their focus on survival and basic sustenance. However, surprisingly and incredibly, despite their countless hardships in daily life, the right to vote is sought and revered by some of the poorest people The Family Unit Inc. has come into contact with and advocates for.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibits any obstruction or restriction, caused by a state government, that adversely affects a voter’s right to have unrestricted and easy access to the ballot box.

The Sumter Urban Area Transportation Study (SUATS), which is a metropolitan planning organization ( consisting of Members of the City of Sumter Government, Sumter County Government, South Carolina Department of Transportation, Sumter County Legislative Delegation, City of Sumter Planning Commission, and County Development Board of Sumter, made the decision as a group to place the replacement for the Manning Avenue Bridge. following the implementation of other “connectivity” projects that have been undertaken over the past decade in Sumter County, South Carolina.

The Family Unit Inc. argues that the decision to delay the replacement of the Manning Avenue Bridge while ignoring and ignoring the unsafe, dilapidated and deteriorated condition of this structure impedes and violates the voting rights of South Sumter residents, South Carolina, many of whom are members of our 501(c)(3), nonprofit charitable organization, and are beneficiaries of services provided by our organization that relate to the health, housing, and education of voters, voter registration and promoting voter engagement in the electoral process.

The Family Unit, Inc. recommends that the South Carolina Department of Transportation perform a full and thorough assessment and inspection of the Manning Avenue Bridge as soon as possible and, simultaneously, close access to this decaying bridge and deteriorating, setting up alternative routes for motorists and pedestrians who would normally cross this bridge. It is recommended that SCDOT configure alternate detour routes for motorists as well as pedestrians traveling over the Manning Avenue Bridge.

Further, The Family Unit, Inc. recommends that the South Carolina Department of Transportation and SUATS communicate with the CSX Railroad Corporation regarding the relationship between the Manning Avenue Bridge and the CSX rail system which is an integral part of the city of Sumter and the county of Sumter. , Caroline from the south.

Importantly, the CSX Railroad Corporation has already begun to improve transportation in the City of Sumter and Sumter County, South Carolina, by extensively replacing the old, deteriorated railroad tracks and surrounding equipment with new materials. and safe, secure and durable equipment.

A joint effort between SUATS and the CSX Railroad Corporation would benefit residents of the City of Sumter and Sumter County, South Carolina, especially low to moderate income people who live, own and operate businesses and love in South Sumter, South Carolina.

In addition to this, proactive actions in reference to the replacement of the Manning Avenue Bridge will help protect and preserve the voting rights of low-to-moderate income residents of South Sumter, South Carolina, by helping to ensure these voters unlimited and unhindered access. access to the Sumter County Voter and Election Registration Office, located at 141 North Main Street, Sumter, SC…the site where the majority of in-person mail-in voting takes place.

A significant number of low to moderate income residents who live in South Sumter, SC live within one (1) mile of the Sumter County Registration and Elections Office and use the Manning Avenue Bridge to reach this destination.

A collapse or failure of the Manning Avenue Bridge would result in these aforementioned voters incurring significant charges to access the Sumter County Voter Registration and Elections Office, the location where they routinely voted using by-pass voting. correspondence in person.

Immediate strategic planning by the South Carolina Department of Transportation for the implementation of alternate routes around the Manning Avenue Bridge would indicate that voters would prepare and inform voters of the altered route to the registration office and Sumter County Elections where they could cast their Mail-In Votes in person.

The Family Unit, Inc. routinely and regularly engages with low to moderate income individuals who are registered voters in the State of South Carolina and who are potential voters. It is common for many of these voters to be carried by me, representing my non-profit charity. Preparing to vote is fundamental and essential to participation in the electoral process. Having advance notice of transportation routes before the election overall helps get voters to and from the Sumter County Voter and Elections Registration Office and to and from the various polling places.


The Family Unit Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization


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US evacuated 10 civilians in raid, Pentagon says




Islamic State leader kills himself with bomb in US raid in Syria

President Biden says the Islamic State leader died in a raid by US special operations forces. All US troops returned safely from the operation, he said.

Knowing that this terrorist had chosen to surround himself with families, including children, we made the choice to pursue a special forces raid at a much greater risk than for our own people, rather than targeting him with a air strike. We made this choice to minimize civilian casualties. This operation is a testament to the reach and ability of the United States to eliminate terrorist threats no matter where they try to hide anywhere in the world.

President Biden says the Islamic State leader died in a raid by US special operations forces. All US troops returned safely from the operation, he said.CreditCredit…Yahya Nemah/EPA, via Shutterstock

President Biden said on Thursday that the Islamic State leader died in a raid by US special operations commandos in a risky pre-dawn attack in northwestern Syria. Rescue workers said women and children were among at least 13 people killed in the raid.

In brief remarks at the White House, Biden said the choice to use special forces to target ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi was made to minimize civilian casualties , despite the greater risk to US troops.

Speaking in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Mr Biden was understated when he described the story of the Islamic State leader, saying he ordered a series of atrocities, including against the Yazidi people. “Thanks to the bravery of our troops, this horrible terrorist leader is no more,” he said.

Mr Biden said Mr al-Qurayshi died when he detonated a bomb, killing himself and members of his family.

Mr Biden said the raid served as a warning to terror groups.

“This operation is a testament to America’s reach and ability to eliminate terrorist threats no matter where they try to hide anywhere in the world,” he said.

Ahead of his White House remarks, Mr Biden said in a statement: “All Americans returned safely from the operation.”

John F. Kirby, the Pentagon’s chief spokesman, addressed victims associated with the raid at a press conference Thursday afternoon. “To the extent that there is loss of innocent life, it is caused by Abdullah and his lieutenants,” he said, using a nickname for Mr al-Quaryshi. He said US forces were able to evacuate 10 civilians from the building, including several children.

Asked about the timing of the raid, which officials said had gone months into the planning, Mr Kirby said several factors played a role: intelligence levels, certainty about the location of the leader of the ‘EI, weather and operational conditions (it was a nearly moonless night, ideal for night operations).

“A lot of factors had to line up to be perfect,” Kirby said. “It was the best window to execute the mission.”

The helicopter assault was carried out by about two dozen American commandos, supported by helicopter gunships, armed Reaper drones and attack aircraft. The operation resembled the October 2019 raid in which Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the former Islamic State leader, died when he detonated a suicide vest as US forces raided a hiding place not far from where Thursday’s operation took place.

The operation came days after the end of the biggest US fight against the Islamic State since the end of the jihadists’ so-called caliphate three years ago. US forces backed a Kurdish-led militia in northeast Syria as it fought for more than a week to drive Islamic State fighters out of a prison they had occupied in the city of Hasaka.

Little is known about Mr. al-Qurayshi, who succeeded Mr. al-Baghdadi, or the top command structure of ISIS. But analysts said the death of the Islamic State leader was a blow to the terror group.

US helicopters ferried the commandos into position after midnight, surrounding a house in Atmeh, a town near the border with Turkey in the rebel-held province of Idlib, according to eyewitnesses, social media and the Observatory Syrian Human Rights, a Britain-based conflict monitor.

A tense standoff ensued, with loudspeakers blaring warnings in Arabic for everyone in the house to turn themselves in, neighbors said. Then an explosion shook the building. After that, some of the occupants of the house had not come out and a major battle broke out, with heavy machine gun fire and, apparently, missile strikes.

During the operation, one of the American helicopters suffered a mechanical problem, was forced to land and was later destroyed by American attack aircraft. After about three hours, the American commandos and their remaining helicopters took off, witnesses said.

Given the fluid nature of early reports of a complex raid like Thursday’s operation, the Army’s initial version may be incomplete. Accounts of other events have sometimes turned out to be contradictory or sometimes completely wrong.

The report was provided by Falih HassanMuhammad Najdat Hij Kadour, Asmaa al-Omar, Hwaida Saad and Evan Hill. Jean Ismay

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Alice Cooper doesn’t think politics and rock ‘n’ roll go together

Alice Cooper doesn’t ask for much, but when it comes to politics, he wants to be left alone. The legendary shock rocker doesn’t think politics and rock ‘n’ roll go hand in hand – more specifically, that they “don’t belong in the same bed together”.

Though he’s spoken about his dismay for political topics in the past, the topic came up in a new interview with Tampa Bay’s Creative Loafing, where the icon was asked about his relationship with outspoken Ted Nugent at the light of all the political and social unrest that has occurred in recent years.

“Ted and I grew up together in Detroit, and he’s always been the mouth that roared. When he gets into it, no one can stick with him. I sort of consider him his own entity. I never talk of politics…I hate politics,” Cooper said.

“I don’t think rock and roll and politics are in the same bed, but a lot of people think they are – because we have a voice and we should use our voice. But again, rock and roll should be anti-politics, I think. When my parents started talking about politics, I was turning on the [Rolling] Stones as hard as possible. I don’t want to hear politics, and I still feel that.”

Cooper ultimately wants his music and live performances to be a “vacation from CNN.” And while he’s not trying to insult anyone who uses his platform to share his own opinions, he said he would never take the stage and tell his fans who to vote for in an election.

“If I did something like ‘Elected,’ which we always would do in elections, and I brought Trump and Hillary in to fight, and they’d both be wiped out! That’s what who was funny about it. If you’re into political theater, you better be able to take a joke.”

Although the rocker is not into politics, he is still a humanitarian. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, he set aside money for his team so they wouldn’t struggle financially during the tour stoppage. In early 2021, he wrote a song just for Harry Nilsson’s son, Zak, who was battling terminal colon cancer. Last December, a photo went viral of the musician serving food to children at some sort of food bank event – and these are just examples of his selflessness that has happened over the past two years .

The “School’s Out” singer is currently embarking on a winter tour of North America, which will wrap up Feb. 14 after the 2022 Monsters of Rock cruise. He’ll be heading back in March, though, with Buckcherry. See all dates here.

14 Rock + Metal Artists Giving Back

These artists do so much to give back to a wide variety of communities and causes.

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