Non profit living

Non profit living

Atlanta Nonprofit Silence the Shame to Host Suicide Awareness Summit

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) – A local nonprofit is gearing up to host a summit to raise awareness about mental health and suicide prevention.

Silence the Shame Inc. is hosting its 2nd Annual My Life is a Gift Suicide Awareness Summit on September 14th. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

According to officials, the summit will include a fireside chat with rapper, singer and songwriter, Monaleo, to celebrate her recovery from suicide and mental illness. Silence the Shame leaders will also host roundtables with young adults, family members and behavioral health specialists to address current risk factors associated with suicide and mental crises and offer healthy support strategies. This segment will feature Tamu Lewis of the Lee Thompson Young Foundation.

Shanti Das, legendary music executive and Atlanta native, founded Silence the Shame and hopes the summit and future events will help raise not only awareness for suicide prevention and suicide support, but help others ask for help. help when needed. Das has contributed to the careers of several Atlanta musicians, including rap legends OutKast, TLC and Toni Braxton.

“We are so excited to bring this important conversation to the Atlanta community and share it nationally,” said Shanti Das, founder of Silence the Shame organization. “Silence the Shame works to eliminate the stigma associated with suicide and normalize conversations about mental health. Join us for this immersive summit to learn from the experts about suicide prevention supports for youth and young adults. »

Das told CBS46 News that she wishes she could have a positive impact on the greater Atlanta community by letting those who are struggling know that they are not alone and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Das says she is dedicated to helping eliminate mental health stigma, reduce health disparities, and improve suicide rates among vulnerable populations.

RELATED: A personal look at suicide and the latest prevention efforts in Georgia

According to the latest data from the CDC, suicide is the third leading cause of death among Georgians between the ages of 10 and 34.

In July, HB 1013 came into effect.

“They’ve been demoralized for a while, working in a system that’s the latest death in the country,” he said. “They see an opportunity for change and hope, and I think that will change the system itself,” Chris Johnson, director of communications for the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network, told CBS46 News.

To register for in-person or virtual participation, click here.

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Non profit living

Connecticut NIMBYs on Train Noise – Another Perspective

A few weeks ago I wrote a column about the NIMBYs…the “not in my backyard” crowd that moves to a house near train tracks, airport or highway and then complains about the noise .

I received a very thoughtful response from a reader that I’d like to share, in edited form, to give us all a different perspective on this issue of housing versus transportation:

“I write this as someone who lives 500ft from the Waterbury (train) branch, who regularly gets blasted by the train whistle. The situation is not as simple as someone moved next to the train and then complained about it. Sometimes people decide to live somewhere based on what they can afford.

I moved from Queens, NY to Connecticut in 1988 and spent the next 11 years renting rooms from private individuals because that was all I could afford at the time. Some houses were on quiet streets. One was 500 feet from the Merritt Parkway, which was a steady woosh, but bearable, as it was almost like white noise.

The worst situation on the freeway was when I lived in Fairfield, 250 feet from I-95. This house is near the approach to the rest area, and the truckers downshift with the resulting engine roar. The rent for a room in the house was $250 a month in 1993, but as low as it was I couldn’t stand the noise anymore and eight months later moved to a house in Stratford which was 1,000 feet from Route 8, a bit noisy due to concrete pavement at the time, but much quieter than living near I-95.

I bought my condo (in Milford) in 1999 because it was what I could afford at the time, and I still live here because moving to a larger unit (hopefully somewhere quieter ) is out of my price range. When I bought it I was vaguely aware that the train tracks were nearby, but that was not a factor in my purchase.

My living room faces the train and I can see it passing in the winter when the leaves have fallen from the trees. My room is shielded from direct view of the train as it faces a different direction and another building adjoining mine is between my room and the train, but the noise is still very loud.

Prior to recent schedule changes, the last train ran at 1:30 a.m. and the first in the morning ran at 4:30 a.m. With the new trains on the schedule, these times are now at 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. My complex receives two whistles because we are between two level crossings.

While one could argue that people knew the train (or highway) was there when we bought (or leased), I can also argue that the railroad needs to recognize that a neighborhood has grown up around him and should do his best to be a good neighbor.

Sincerely, Tom, Milford

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Non profit living

Haiti should raise living wage for garment workers: Solidarity Center

Garment workers in Haiti would have to be paid four times their current wage just to keep pace with the cost of living, according to a new study from the Solidarity Center. The study determined that, based on the current minimum wage ($781 per month), workers spend nearly one-third (31.39%) of their take-home pay on transportation to and from work and a modest lunch to support their work.

The Solidarity Center, a non-profit organization, released a report titled “The High Cost of Low Wages in Haiti: A Living Wage Estimate for Garment Workers in Port-au-Prince.” The report builds on two previous Living Wage studies that the Solidarity Center published in 2014 and 2019 and an unpublished 2011 Living Wage report which demonstrates that the daily minimum wage for garment workers is well lower than the estimated cost of living, including in 2019, when inflation was 18.7 percent. The latest data for May 2022 shows Haiti’s inflation rate at 27.8%.

Haitian garment workers would have to be paid four times their current wage just to keep pace with the cost of living, according to a study by the Solidarity Center. The study determined that based on the current minimum wage ($781 per month), workers spend approximately 31.39% of their take-home pay on transportation to and from work and lunch to support their work.

The Solidarity Center estimated the basic cost of living for a garment worker in Port-au-Prince at 90,928.51 gourdes (about $791.08) per month. The report found that based on the standard 48-hour workweek, workers need to earn at least 2,989.43 gourdes (about $26.01 a day) to support themselves and their families. The cost of living in Haiti is more than four times the minimum wage. The cost of living in the Caribbean country has risen 44.04% since the Solidarity Center last assessed in 2019. The minimum wage has risen 63.1% since the Solidarity Center last assessed in 2019 due to advocacy union using living wage studies. Based on the current minimum wage, workers spend almost a third (31.39%) of their take home pay on transportation to and from work and a modest lunch to support their work.

The report recommends that the Haitian government ensure that workers earn a living wage. The political establishment should raise the minimum wage to a living wage (estimated at 2,989.43 gourdes per day) and allow workers to choose their representatives and have a voice in the tripartite Higher Wage Council (CSS). The regular functioning of the CSS as prescribed by Haitian law must be ensured. Workers’ rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining must be fully respected, so that workers are empowered to negotiate wage increases and better working conditions with employers.

“Employers must respect labor law and fundamental labor rights, in particular freedom of association and collective bargaining. Apparel brands sourcing from Haiti should require employers to respect freedom of association and collective bargaining, commercially penalize employers who violate these rights and commercially reward employers who sign collective agreements with independent unions,” the report states.

The Haitian government should ensure that employers properly compensate workers in accordance with the law, including the correct payment of OFATMA (Office of Insurance Against Workers’ Compensation, Sickness and Maternity) and pension contributions . Clothing brands should closely monitor compliance with legally required contributions to national health and pension funds and commercially penalize employers who do not guarantee full contributions to these funds.

The Haitian government should improve OFATMA services and the quality of care to minimize the cost of private health care for garment workers.

Employers or the government should subsidize work-related expenses, including transportation and lunch. Clothing brands should increase the prices they pay to suppliers to share the cost of subsidies.

Clothing brands sourcing from Haiti should pledge not to reduce orders but rather to increase what they pay for the products if the government raises the minimum wage to a living wage. Employers should standardize and set reasonable production quotas that allow workers to earn a premium above minimum wage when they reach established quotas. These supplements should not require workers to work overtime or work at a pace that is detrimental to their health and safety.

In addition to a living wage contributing to the dignity of work and the well-being of individuals, families and communities, it also has the potential to create a positive multiplier effect, leading to a reduction in poverty and dependency. help ; weakening of the push factors that contribute to unsafe migration; and stronger participation in the formal economy and democratic processes.

Fibre2Fashion News Office (NB)

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Non profit living

Finding jobs for women, a primary goal of the non-profit Capital District WERC

“We’ve served over 10,000 women to date, and we’re still growing,” said Miller Guthier, who joined the organization as training coordinator in 1996 and is currently its director. executive. “What we do changes the lives of women and their families.

WERC helps women from all walks of life and in all situations with one thing in common: the need to find a job. This could be after a loss of financial support due to separation or divorce, or a spouse’s loss of employment after a layoff, disability or death. Women in these situations, says Miller Guthier, often lack the confidence or knowledge of how to market themselves to potential employers and navigate the application process.

“We never know who is going to walk through our door, so we try to have any type of opportunity available to meet not only their level of experience, but also their goals for what will make them happy and successful in a job. “, she said. .

WERC provides hundreds of free services, including resume reviews, cover letter writing, job search assistance, interview preparation and more. Some women leave and find a job after a visit to WERC, while others use the services for months before landing a job. Many stay in touch with the organization for ongoing mentorship and support. Although WERC is not a staffing agency, Miller Guthier says it provides employers with access to motivated, work-ready candidates with valuable skills and work experience.

The average age of the women served is between 35 and 55, and many seek part-time or full-time employment in a wide variety of sectors: private companies, New York State government, organizations non-profit or places with a completely remote or hybrid network. work model to reconcile family life and new work.

“Even if someone may have the skills or the education, that doesn’t mean they know how to find a job in today’s market,” said Miller Guthier, noting that 40% of women using WERC services have went to college. “We can teach them how to use new tools like Indeed or LinkedIn that didn’t exist when they last looked for a job.”

As a not-for-profit organization, the community support WERC receives allows its programming to evolve. Miller Guthier shared some new developments, including a grant that will help purchase new computers for local training centers, the establishment of a mentorship program starting this fall, and four community-wide public events. planned for 2023.

“We had a wife who ran a restaurant with her husband, but didn’t believe she had marketable skills,” Miller Guthier said. “On speaking with her, we discovered that she was responsible for all order and supplier management, staff training and customer service – all extremely important functions and roles. we brought this to light, she got a job and was promoted to supervisor within three months.

In-person training is beginning to resume at the organization’s two locations in Albany and Troy, and the addition of virtual programming has helped expand the organization’s ability to serve as many women as possible. WERC is also connected to 12 New York State Displaced Housewives programs, which provide similar resources to women across the state.

“During the pandemic, it became even more apparent that our women needed a place to find support and realize that they weren’t alone in their job search,” she said. . “Social media and distance learning have really changed things.”

Miller Guthier says her team is continuing its outreach efforts with the goal of creating new partnerships with local employers and other resources so women can easily access everything they need, and not duplicate efforts between local agencies.

“I’m proud to make this an agency and a community organization,” said Miller Guthier. “We have kept our doors open during times of difficulty, and the community has shown us that they are on board; we need to be there to help women and be there as long as the need remains.

The 2nd Annual Merrill Links to Leadership Charity Golf Tournament

  • What: Beginner’s Gold Tournament and Clinic to Benefit WERC
  • When: Monday September 12
  • Where: Albany Country Club, 300 Wormer Road, Voorheesville
  • How much: $185. Proceeds go to WERC

Getting to Know WERC

  • What: WERC Zoom, a session for volunteers, community partners and employers interested in getting involved Capital District WERC
  • When: 1-2 p.m. September 15

WERC Constellation Building Event: Shining Brighter Together

  • When: 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., October 18
  • Where: Hilton Garden Hostel, Troy
  • Tickets: $65

More information:

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Non profit living

California decides to ban new oil wells within 3,200 feet of homes

Oil wells and pump jacks near housing developments in the town of Signal Hill, Los Angeles County, California.

Citizen of the Planet | Education Pictures | Universal Image Group | Getty Images

California lawmakers sent a bill to the governor on Wednesday that would impose a statewide buffer zone to separate homes, schools, hospitals and other populated areas from new oil and gas wells.

Senate Bill 1137 would prohibit the California Geologic Energy Management Division from approving a new oil well within 3,200 feet of residential neighborhoods, but would not prohibit existing wells in those areas.

The legislation is part of a larger climate package that Governor Gavin Newsom has endorsed in recent weeks. The decision comes after similar efforts to ban fracking and establish a buffer zone failed in a state committee vote last year.

California is the seventh-largest oil-producing state in the United States, but has no regulations on the distance between active oil wells and populated areas. More than 2 million people live within 700 yards of an operational oil and gas well and another 5 million, or 14% of California’s population, live within 1 mile, according to an analysis by the association at non-profit FracTracker Alliance.

Research shows that residents who live near drilling sites are at higher risk for premature births, asthma, respiratory disease and cancer. Oil drilling has disproportionately harmed black and Latino residents in major oil fields such as Los Angeles County and Kern County.

“The passage of this monumental bill is a tribute to the tireless frontline communities who have fought for their lives against fossil fuel polluters for years,” said Hollin Kretzmann, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity of the Climate Law Institute, in a press release.

“California still has work to do on climate and environmental justice, but these protections are a big step toward a healthier, safer and more sustainable future,” Kretzmann said.

Other oil-producing states like Colorado, Pennsylvania and Texas have already implemented various forms of buffer zones between communities and oil wells. California’s new restrictions will likely take a few years to take effect.

The buffer zone bill was part of a larger series of climate measures approved by the California legislature this week.

State lawmakers approved legislation to establish a goal of 90 percent clean electricity by 2035 and achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. Lawmakers also approved measures aimed at expediting carbon capture and storage permits and voted to expand operations at Diablo Canyon, the state’s last remaining operating nuclear power plant.

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Japanese business pioneer, philanthropist Inamori dies at 90

TOKYO (AP) — Kazuo Inamori, founder of Japanese ceramics and electronics maker Kyocera who also became a philanthropist singing the virtues of fairness and hard work, has died. He was 90 years old.

Inamori, who also founded major telecommunications company KDDI Corp., died Aug. 24 of natural causes at his home in Kyoto, Kyocera announced Tuesday.

Inamori established Kyocera as an insulator manufacturing company in 1959, with an investment of 3 million yen ($22,000) of his acquaintances.

As he struggled to build his business, Inamori came up with his management philosophy which emphasized people, doing the right thing and what he called “corporate character”, the Japanese equivalent old-fashioned way of professionalism and ethical standards.

His pioneering thoughts for the modernization of Japan were based on the idea that workers and companies should be motivated by pure intentions, not by greed, and ultimately by the desire to serve society.

His ideas covered principles on fair competition, the fair pursuit of profit and the need for managerial transparency, as well as living a virtuous life as an individual, for which he listed six principles: diligence, humility, reflection, gratitude, benevolence and detachment. .

“Superiors who seem to agree with their subordinates on every point may seem like loving bosses, but they actually spoil and ruin their employees,” he once wrote.

“True love demands that we seek rigorously to discern what is truly best for others.”

In the 1980s, Inamori established a school called Seiwajyuku to teach his management philosophy at more than 100 locations, about half of them overseas, which claims to have taught about 15,000 business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide .

Inamori also oversaw the recovery from bankruptcy of Japan’s main carrier Japan Airlines, or JAL, in 2010 as a board member.

In 1984, Inamori established his non-profit organization called the Inamori Foundation, which annually awards the Kyoto Prize to recognize humanitarian contributions around the world.

Inamori noted that all living beings, including flowers and animals, simply want to survive, and human beings are no different. To do well, you have to love the work you do, he said repeatedly, so you end up working harder than anyone else.

A private funeral was held with his family. Inamori is survived by his wife Asako and three daughters. An official farewell service may be held later, but details are undecided, Kyocera said.


Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter

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Non profit living

Massey Hill Fun Day 2022 kicks off at the Leisure Center

Dozens of Massey Hill residents gathered for food, faith and festivities at the Massey Hill Leisure Center on Saturday for Massey Hill’s first day of fun.

The free event, sponsored by Fayetteville’s New Hope Gospel Ministries and The Life Center, ran from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and featured two live DJs.

Volunteers handed out free food and drink, including hamburgers and hot dogs fresh off the grill. The event also hosted a variety of games and activities for attendees of all ages, including a Mickey Mouse-themed bouncy house and face painting.

Representatives from the Fayetteville Police Department offered ice cream and community safety information, while members of the Fayetteville Fire Department encouraged residents to take photos with a fire truck and helmet. firefighter.

“We’ve been in the community for a while doing outreach,” said Apostle Georgia Walker of New Hope Gospel Ministries. “The Lord just put it on my heart to do this.”

Life Center members at Massey Hill Fun Day on Saturday.

Walker and her husband, Pastor Jesse Walker, worked with Life Center pastors Sharrean McCrimmon and Reggie McCrimmon to establish Massey Hill Fun Day, which they plan to make an annual event.

“Our vision is to be in the community and bring God’s love out of God’s house into the streets,” Walker said.

Georgia Walker also highlighted the involvement of Fathers Forever, an organization that began 14 years ago with the goal of helping incarcerated fathers better connect with their children.

The Raleigh-based nonprofit aims to do this through parenting classes offered in jails and prisons, anger management classes, and transitional housing. The housing is open to fathers upon release and accommodates up to 38 participants for 90 days, according to Dr. Glen Warren, CEO of Fathers Forever.

Volunteers and participants highlighted the community spirit of the day.

Hit and run:6 hospitalized after hit-and-run on Stoney Point and Gillis Hill roads

“We’re meant to be part of the community and to give back,” said Sharon Journigan, chair of the Fayetteville Cumberland County Council of Ministers, who sponsored a booth at the event. “We are better together.”

Life Center member Sanura Smith said the opportunity to give back was what excited her most about the Massey Hill Fun Day, noting that her family brought school supplies to donate to the community. .

“There are a lot of resources that people don’t know about,” she said. “You have to have these things to raise awareness.”

For the younger members of the community present, the games and food offered were the highlight of the day.

“I liked the ice cream,” said eight-year-old Aiden Lee, who was at Massey Hill Fun Day with his younger sister and grandmother.

Aiden’s sister, Arianna Lee, 6, agreed with her brother on good food, munching on a packet of Sour Patch Kids as she spoke. “The bouncy house was my favorite,” she said.

Crowd members cheered as Sharrean McCrimmon quoted a proclamation from Mayor Mitch Colvin commemorating Massey Hill’s first day of fun and stating the event will be held every fourth Saturday in August.

“This fun-filled day will allow residents to embrace the diversity that is present among every neighbor and business in Massey Hill’s footprint,” McCrimmon read in the proclamation.

Public safety reporter Lexi Solomon can be reached at [email protected]

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Non profit living

On Fairfield, CT exclusivity suffers

I grew up in Fairfield. It was idyllic – right by the beach, where our next door neighbour’s house recently sold for just under a million dollars and was demolished to make way for a McMansion of 2, 8 million – one of the houses generally referred to as “monstrosities” by longtime residents.

Dad paid $28,000 for a tiny two-story house in 1965. I walked to school, rode my bike, climbed trees, and every fourth of July we sat in our garden and watched the fireworks. Neighborhood children strolled in a cheerful pack back and forth through connected backyards. We were working class or petty bourgeoisie. We all near the beach. Small capes, ranches, multi-level homes with unassuming families.

When I visit Fairfield now, it’s unrecognizable. It’s heartbreaking. The air of exclusivity is stifling. I angrily read the opinion pieces denouncing the development of the 1030g case. people like my family made Fairfield, the place where others wanted to live. Middle-income teachers, firefighters, small-town grocers, retailers – these are the people who built the Mayberry-that-was. And the NIMBYs who live there and want to exclude *us* think they can do better? The idea that money somehow makes a better class of humans mystifies me. More than that, I recognize it as a spiritual lie.

And the “affordability” of these rental units that are on offer is by no means affordable to a teacher or a customer service representative, but that is a topic for another day.

I am a real estate agent. The number of good, well-educated, hard-working people desperately looking for an affordable apartment or house is depressing. I have a series of people online who are willing and ready to buy or rent, but who are stuck in substandard housing because they can’t afford decent housing. A decent place to live. A place with decent schools and a safe neighborhood. That shouldn’t be too much to ask of anyone.

I grew up in Fairfield. I went to a very good university and I have a degree in political science. I’m an artist, a writer and I’m good at languages. I am a walking dictionary. Although my fortunes have recently improved, for most of my life (I’m 61), I couldn’t hope to afford to live in Fairfield. I am the person that the NIMBYs would like to exclude from their little paradise: a paradise that I helped create.

Fairfield must be a good citizen. Exclusivity is a horrible collective concept that belies the values ​​professed by the city. If “Hate” really “Has No Home Here”, if “Black Lives Matter” (but not in my backyard), then join in the talk. Otherwise, just put a different sign on the town green: “Wealthy Whites Only”.

Alycia Keating is an estate agent in Derby.

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Non-profit organization helps death row inmates share their stories

RICHMOND, Va. — For author Terry Robinson, discovering that his favorite form of expression was writing was a discovery he made later in life.

The then 30-year-old was jailed and sentenced to death in North Carolina for a murder he says he did not commit.

“Being innocent on death row is deeply depressing and brings little peace of mind. It’s my fight to keep the hope I deserve when the guilt isn’t mine,” Robinson said. . . , guilt or innocence does not matter, in a nation like ours, where both are subject to the death penalty.”

After nearly 20 years on death row, Robinson had the opportunity to share her story with the world through the non-profit organization Walk in These Shoes.

“All people deserve life, you know. Everyone deserves to have their story told,” Robinson said.

The group gives inmates a chance to share their experiences in the hope that their personal stories and unique perspective will serve as therapy for both reader and author.

“Where there is rehabilitation there is insight, you know, there is education in these stories. So hopefully people can start reading my stories and forgiving, you know, being understanding,” Robinson said.

Robinson says he has always been passionate about learning and is grateful for Walk in These Shoes’ work in prison reform.

“I’ve always been interested in trying to excel and trying to grow in things, and writing was just one of them,” he explained. “The reality is that a lot of people in prison are uneducated. Men come to prison, and we learn to perpetuate our bad behaviors, where it gets even worse so that we go back almost permanently to prison.

Stories like Robinson’s inspired Henrico resident Kimberly Carter to launch the nonprofit and continue its mission.

“In 2015, I had seen the story on the news about Michael Mitchell. And he was basically, what they call, lost to death in a Hampton Roads jail,” Carter said. “Writing was my outlet and a way I helped stay sane during tough times. It didn’t start out that way, but eventually it turned into writers in prison sharing their stories.

Carter said she learned so much from a group that many often write off and hopes Walk in These Shoes will continue to restore faith in inmates and in the society they thought they had abandoned.

“It restored my sense of faith in society,” Robinson said. “I have to be as authentic as possible in my writing. I write for myself because I realized that might very well be the last thing the world remembers about me.”

Find more stories like Robinson’s and ways to help the group on their website.

WTVR’s Joi Fultz first reported this story.

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Presbyterian Villages of Michigan and April Housing Announce Agreement in Another Step to Preserve Affordable Housing

SOUTHFIELD, Mich.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Presbyterian Villages of Michigan (“PVM”), a leading faith-based nonprofit dedicated to serving seniors, and April Housing, a portfolio company of Blackstone (NYSE: BX), announced today today a successful resolution of the April Housing litigation inherited from the former sponsor of the property. Under the agreement, PVM will become the sole owner of two Michigan apartment communities that serve low-income senior residents, including The Village of Oakland Woods I (150 units in Pontiac) and Woodbridge Estates (100 units in Detroit).

To support the crucial work of PVM, April Housing is donating $350,000 to the Presbyterian Villages of Michigan Foundation to help fund the future redevelopment of the Oakland Woods I community.

“PVM appreciates the constructive approach taken by Blackstone and April Housing over the past few months to reach a resolution to this legacy dispute,” said Roger L. Myers, President and CEO of PVM. “We look forward to the potential for future partnerships with April Housing in pursuit of our shared goal of developing and preserving affordable housing. The nationwide investment and large-scale preservation commitment made by Blackstone and April Housing is a significant positive development in the area of ​​affordable housing. »

Alice Carr, CEO of April Housing, said, “We are delighted to have reached an agreement with PVM that supports our shared mission to preserve affordable housing and resolves this dispute. April is a new company in the industry and we are unwavering in our commitment to this mission, including supporting the important role that non-profit groups such as PVM play. By getting to know the PVM team, we have come to admire their dedication, reputation, and leadership in providing quality housing, services, and programs across Michigan and look forward to working together in the future.

About the Presbyterian Villages of Michigan (PVM)

PVM is a nonprofit, faith-based aging services network that was founded in 1945. It serves more than 7,500 seniors of all financial means and in diverse settings in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. Its mission is “Guided by our Christian heritage, we serve all older people by creating new opportunities for quality life”, with a vision of “We will continue to transform the lives and services of older people, improving the communities that we serve “. For more information, visit

About April Housing

April Housing, a portfolio company of Blackstone Real Estate, is a leading provider of solutions and capital for the preservation and creation of high-quality, affordable housing in the United States. Focused on best-in-class management services, April Housing prioritizes improving communities and supporting residents while expanding the available supply of affordable housing. Further information is available at

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RunningBrooke changes name to Move2Learn

Brooke Sydnor Curran (Photo: Tisara Photography)

ALEXANDRIA, VA — If your child attends public schools in Alexandria City, you’ve probably heard of RunningBrooke. Today (August 16), the non-profit organization announced that it has changed its name to Move2Learn. The name change, the organization said in a press release, “captures the essence of our work.”

This work promotes movement and physical activity in the classroom so students can learn better.

“We want to transform traditional sedentary classrooms and schools into ones that allow children to move with purpose throughout the school day,” Move2Learn founder Brooke Sydnor Curran said in a video about the change. name. “It also helps children understand a mind-body connection, so they can feel and learn best.”

(In recognition of her work, Curran was named the Living Legend of Alexandria in 2019.)

Move2Learm provides students and educators with tools that promote movement and prepare the brain for learning. It teaches about the mind-body connection and how crucial movement is for all aspects of well-being – social, emotional and academic.

The name change signals a new direction for the organization. It strives to broaden its reach, especially with at-risk students who need more help, so that learning opportunities are equal for all.

This objective will be achieved in three ways:

1) Identify needs and create new programs around them.

2) Identify more opportunities to fulfill the association’s mission.

3) Identify new community partnerships to increase awareness of the importance of movement in learning.

Additionally, Move2Learn is working on a project to translate its resources and website into Spanish, Amharic and Arabic.

All work done by Move2Learn is free for students and teachers. And it will continue, thanks to generous donations from Alexandria residents and businesses.

Move2Learn has raised $1 million since its inception.

Experience the Around the World Cultural Festival at Oronoco Bay Park

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A 14-year-old girl starts a nonprofit to help people recycle

Eliana Wyche created the Save The Planet association two years ago with the help of her parents.

SAN ANTONIO — Most 14-year-olds spend their day riding bikes, playing video games, but not Eliana Wyche. She’s the president of her own nonprofit, the Save The Planet Association, and she just led a recycling event held at the Encino Park Community Center.

But his passion for saving lives started years ago.

“When I was seven, I started Save the Animal for fun because I was really into endangered animals at the time,” she said.

But over the next five years, her dreams grew and she took her passion to a whole new level.

“I created the Save the Planet association because I wondered why save animals when you could help the environment in which they live? Wyche said.

“We know it’s her passion and what do parents do? They fuel their children’s passion,” said Eliana’s parents, Gregory and Michelle, who are the organization’s interim board of directors. “She told us what she wanted, started organizing and giving us ideas for events, and we would just guide her to execute this great event.”

Wyche’s goal is to collect and find ways to recycle less common items such as batteries, ink cartridges, light bulbs and computer parts. Things that people normally throw away.

“They don’t know where to go or they don’t make the time or they don’t have the time,” she said.

“She can’t do it on a global scale right now, but she’s doing simple things, small things like taking recyclables that our community can’t recycle in a household trash can,” her parents added.

But in a sense, she’s doing it on a global scale, after getting help starting the organization from a friend in Russia.

“She did a lot of research for me on nonprofits,” Wyche said. “And she was always there for me. And it was just amazing to have her there to support me.”

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Hartford Public Library and nonprofit team Vision to Learn will provide kids with free exams and glasses

The Hartford Public Library and the nonprofit organization Vision to Learn are offering free eye exams and glasses to city kids just in time for the start of the school year.

Exams are due to begin Monday 8-15 at the Dwight Library and continue through August 24 at other branches and the Main Street Library. Appointments are required and can be made by calling 860-695-6300.

According to Vision to Learn, about 40,000 children in the state’s worst-performing school districts lack the glasses needed to see a whiteboard, read a book, or participate in class. Across the country, around 2 million students lack the glasses they need, stifling their ability to learn and contributing to the cycle of poverty, according to the organization.

Founded in 2012 by the Beutner Family Foundation, the organization claims to have provided around 340,000 children with eye exams and around 270,000 with glasses. According to Vision to Learn, about 90% of children helped lived in poverty and about 85% were children of color.

The Hartford Library and Vision to Learn launched their partnership in June and provided free exams and eyeglasses to 30 children at two branches, library spokesman Russell Blair said Friday.

Syeita Rhey-Fisher said her daughter, Nyeima Fisher, 9, had glasses but the Vision to Learn exam showed she needed a new prescription to help her see more clearly. Examinations also showed that Nyeima’s two siblings, NyAsia, 7, and Devon, 5, who had never worn glasses before, were both farsighted. So they both got new glasses for back to school, Rhey-Fisher said.

She’s an elementary ELA coach in the city school district, Rhey-Fisher said, but the vision coverage in her health insurance isn’t the best. She paid $200 for the original Nyeima glasses, Rhey-Fisher said. She said she was grateful for the program.

The free exams are open to children aged 5 to 18. No insurance is necessary. Children who need glasses receive a free pair two to four weeks later, Blair said.

The August schedule is as follows: Monday at the Dwight Library, 7 New Park Ave. ; Tuesday at Barbour Library, 261 Barbour Street; Wednesday at the Albany Library, 1250 Albany Ave.; Aug. 22 at Camp Field Library, 30 Campfield Ave.; Aug. 23 at Park Street Library @ the Lyric, 603 Park St.; and August 24 at the Downtown Library, 500 Main St.

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Christopher Doughterty: Understanding the hidden life of trees – and hospitals

This commentary is from Christopher J. Dougherty, President and CEO of Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.

Arguably, our big brains make human beings the most intelligent species on Earth. Yet it is only now that we are coming to a full scientific and perhaps even spiritual appreciation of the deep and interconnected relationship we have with the natural world.

As Peter Wohlleben’s 2015 book “The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries of a Secret World” teaches us, trees are actually smart! And not only do they play an invaluable role in keeping our planet healthy, but they have sophisticated survival strategies and coping mechanisms that are easily overlooked or taken for granted by the untrained eye.

I would argue that just as trees are essential to life and the future of the planet, community hospitals like Brattleboro Memorial Hospital have a similar role in the areas they serve. As such, we must nurture, support and guide these vital community assets or we put ourselves in jeopardy.

As Wohlleben explains, trees are the lungs of our planet. They remove carbon dioxide from the air, replace it with vital oxygen and thus ensure the continuity of the essential cycle of water and CO2 on Earth.

At Brattleboro Memorial, we do the same for our community. As a major employer and not-for-profit healthcare provider, we exist to promote and improve community health and provide essential lifeblood both as an economic driver and as a steward and promoter of quality of life. .

Fittingly, the Brattleboro Memorial Hospital logo design is based on a tree. And just like many living trees, Brattleboro Memorial has deep roots. These roots play a crucial role in keeping our community healthy, stable, and resistant to forces that would otherwise seek to erode our foundations.

I look to Brattleboro Memorial’s role in Southern Vermont’s battle against the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as a shining example of the importance of having deep, healthy roots. If we failed to maintain and nurture these roots, our community members would suffer, illness and injury would prevail, access to care would deteriorate, and jobs would be lost.

Wohlleben argues (and research supports) that trees are able to learn and adapt to both danger and injury. He also asserts that trees are social beings able to recognize their own relatives, share food and communicate with each other.

Likewise, Brattleboro Memorial is a social organization that is constantly learning, changing, adapting and evolving. As we emerge from the pandemic, for example, Brattleboro Memorial is poised to transform into a forward-thinking, values-driven healthcare system that prioritizes wellness and overall health. of the people we serve.

As a result of the pandemic and related challenges such as inflation and labor shortages, it’s fair to say that Brattleboro Memorial, like most hospitals across the country, has been hurt. Our current financial outlook is threatened; yet, like our beloved trees, we cope and adapt by devising new survival strategies.

To protect against further injury, Brattleboro Memorial has presented the Green Mountain Care Board with a proposed fiscal year 2023 budget that we believe is reasonable and responsible. This is because it is focused on stabilizing the Brattleboro Memorial and the long term continuity of our mission.

Part of the difficulty in understanding trees is that trees live in different time periods than we do. Most live decades or centuries longer than the average human being, which makes us think they are somehow permanent and immune to threats. Hospitals can suffer from the same misconception, and that’s why we need to take thoughtful steps to ensure they remain viable for our communities today and for future generations.

I’ll end with a final concept from Wohlleben’s book, which is that trees help each other. As such, they depend on their ecosystem, and their ecosystem depends on them. Brattleboro Memorial’s sole purpose is to serve this wonderful community. This community is extremely dependent on the hospital; and the hospital, in turn, is extremely dependent on this community.

Soon I will be meeting with the Green Mountain Care Board to review Brattleboro Memorial’s proposed budget and hopefully gain approval so we can stabilize our hospital. Just as we need the life-giving gifts of the beautiful trees around us, this community needs the Brattleboro Memorial to continue to serve as a treasured center of hope, health and healing.

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Tags: Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, budget proposal, Christopher Dougherty, Green Mountain Care Board, The Hidden Life of Trees


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Sky’s The Limit raises black philanthropists in honor of Black Philanthropy Month in August


As an organization focused on uplifting and supporting entrepreneurs, Sky’s the Limit recognizes the many talents and gifts that black nonprofit entrepreneurs bring to the table and invites everyone to join their free platform. (“Sky’s the Limit”), the digital community transforming the playing field for entrepreneurial success, supports black nonprofit entrepreneurs who work for causes they are passionate about — and live to help others.

When it comes to unrestricted income and assets, there are huge disparities between charities run by whites and those run by blacks. This disparity is called the “donation gap” and is a product of the significant wealth and societal oppression of black people throughout history. For example, the average revenues of young black-led nonprofits are 24% lower and unrestricted net assets 76% lower than those of new white-led nonprofits.

The theme for this year’s Black Philanthropy Month is inspired by a quote from Martin Luther King Jr.: Develop new strategies that will advance fairness in fundraising and take concrete action to make a difference in ‘fierce urgency of the moment’.

At Sky’s the Limit, we totally agree. Philanthropy is rooted in structural racism, investing deeply in white-led nonprofits while severely limiting large investments in organizations run by Black, Indigenous, and people of color. These practices keep community solutions at bay, even as COVID-19 has exacerbated racial disparities in health and economic prosperity.

By working together with other black philanthropists, we can bring about meaningful change for underfunded black communities across the country. Having black philanthropists financially support black-led nonprofits is the ultimate way to bring to life the principle that solutions are often held by those closest to the impact of the problem. Recent movements of social injustice and racial recognition have opened the collective spirit of the nation to right the wrongs of the past and finally make room for equality and inclusion. Now is the time for black philanthropists to step up their support for black-owned nonprofits.

As an organization focused on uplifting and supporting entrepreneurs, Sky’s the Limit recognizes the many talents and gifts that black nonprofit entrepreneurs bring to the table and invites everyone to join their free platform to connect with a community of like-minded entrepreneurs and receive mentorship, coaching, and links to business resources and funding. Shout out two of our own nonprofit entrepreneurs – Joshua Funches, founder of the National Youth Bike Council, which promotes and champions cycling, bike safety and youth leadership, and Bikira Radcliffe, founder of United Colors of Cancer, which connects the health divide for the black and brown cancer community. Well done!

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Jury in Alex Jones trial awards Sandy Hook parents $45 million more

AUSTIN, Texas — A Texas jury on Friday ordered conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to pay the parents of a child killed at the Sandy Hook school in 2012 by drawing $45.2 million in punitive damages for spreading the lie that they helped organize the massacre.

The jury announced its decision a day after awarding the parents more than $4 million in compensatory damages and after testifying on Friday that Mr. Jones and Free Speech Systems, the parent company of his disinformation outlet, Infowars, were worth $135 million for $270 million.

Mr Jones was found guilty last year of defaming the families of the victims while spreading false theories that the shooting was part of a government plot to confiscate Americans’ guns and that the families of the victims had been complicit in this scheme.

This week’s trial was the first of three to determine how much Mr Jones owes families for the suffering he caused, and the amount of the award is sure to be disputed. Jurors deliberated for about four hours before delivering Friday’s verdict.

Compensatory damages are based on proven harm, loss or injury and are often calculated based on the fair market value of damaged property, lost wages and expenses, according to Cornell Law School. Punitive damages are intended to punish particularly injurious behavior and tend to be awarded at the discretion of the court, and are sometimes many multiples of a compensatory award.

The case decided this week was brought by Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin, whose 6-year-old son Jesse Lewis died in the attack in Newtown, Connecticut. It was the first to stem from several lawsuits filed by the victims’ parents in 2018.

“This is an important day for truth, for justice, and I couldn’t be happier,” Ms Lewis said in the courtroom after the verdict.

Before jurors began deliberating on punitive damages, Wesley Todd Ball, a lawyer for the family, told the jury that he had “the ability to send a message to everyone in this country and can – be this world to hear”.

“We’re asking you to send a very, very simple message, which is: stop Alex Jones,” he said. “Stop the monetization of misinformation and lies. Please.”

Mr. Ball had asked the jury for punitive damages of about $146 million, in addition to the $4 million in compensatory damages awarded on Thursday.

Credit…Pool photo by Briana Sanchez

How much Mr Jones will actually have to pay in punitive damages will certainly be the subject of legal action. Texas law caps punitive damages at twice compensatory damages plus $750,000.

But Mark Bankston, a lawyer for Mr Heslin and Ms Lewis, told reporters on Thursday the matter would likely end up in the Texas Supreme Court, and legal experts said there were disagreements over the constitutionality of the ceiling.

Mr. Jones’ attorney, F. Andino Reynal, said the punitive award would eventually be reduced to $1.5 million.

Mr Jones believes ‘the First Amendment is under siege and he is eager to continue the fight,’ Mr Reynal said after the verdict.

After the jury award, judge Maya Guerra Gamble also paved the way for another step that could prove problematic for Mr Jones.

Lawyers for the family had revealed during the trial that Mr Jones’ team had apparently inadvertently sent them a huge cache of data from Mr Jones’ mobile phone, and on Friday Judge Gamble said that she would not stand in the way of lawyers for Mr. Heslin and Ms. Lewis relaying the messages to law enforcement and the House Jan. 6 Committee.

The committee subpoenaed Mr. Jones to appear in its investigation into his role in planning the pro-Trump rally in Washington on January 6, 2021, which preceded the attack on the Capitol.

In the Sandy Hook defamation cases, a trial for damages in another lawsuit is set to begin next month in Connecticut, but could be delayed due to a bankruptcy filing last week by Free Speech Systems. Lawyers for the families criticized the move as another attempt by Mr Jones to protect his wealth and escape judgment.

The Texas case allowed plaintiffs to present testimony about Mr. Jones’ wealth and the operations of his businesses, which in addition to airing his shows make money selling merchandise.

Bernard Pettingill Jr., a forensic economist and former professor of economics at the Florida Institute of Technology, testified Friday as a witness for Mr. Heslin and Ms. Lewis that Mr. Jones “is a very successful man.”

Infowars averaged $53.2 million in annual revenue between September 2015 and December 2018, Pettingill said. Since then, there’s been a “nice healthy increase” in the company’s revenue, including sales of survival products and supplements, and it brought in nearly $65 million last year, it said. -he declares.

At one point, Mr. Jones was paying himself an average of $6 million a year, Mr. Pettingill said.

In its bankruptcy filing, Free Speech Systems reported $14.3 million in assets as of May 31, with $1.9 million in net income and nearly $11 million in product sales. Free Speech Systems also had nearly $79.2 million in debt, 68% of it in the form of a note to PQPR Holdings, an entity that appoints Mr. Jones as a director.

Last year, after Mr Jones was found liable by default in the Sandy Hook cases, he began pumping $11,000 a day into the PQPR, Mr Pettingill said.

The ‘gigantic’ loan from PQPR, a shell company with no employees, is actually Mr Jones ‘using this note as a clawback to pay himself off’, Mr Pettingill said, although Mr Jones’ lawyer insisted that PQPR is a real business. . Another note will mature when Mr Jones turns 74 (he is now 48).

Mr Pettingill said he managed to track nine private companies associated with Jones, but had to piece together information in part because Mr Jones’ team resisted discovery orders.

“We can’t really put our finger on what he does for a living, how he actually makes his money,” he said.

“His organization chart is an inverted T, which means everything goes to Alex Jones. Alex Jones made all the big decisions, and I think Alex Jones knows where the money is,” Mr Pettingill said. “He can say he’s broke, he has no money, but we know that’s not right.”

Mr Reynal, Mr Jones’ lawyer, said in his closing statement on Friday that ‘we got no evidence of what Alex Jones actually has today, we got nothing of what FSS has today, what money they have, what assets they have to pay.

Mr. Jones and associates such as Genesis Communications Network, which helped syndicate his show for decades, claimed to be aware of the financial troubles, using the libel cases as an opportunity to implore fans to donate.

Mr Jones complained that his earnings had plummeted after he was banned from major social media platforms in 2018. Mr Bankston pushed back to court on Wednesday: ‘Well after your platform your numbers keep going up improve,” he said.

After Friday’s verdict, Ms Lewis stressed the importance of having had the opportunity during the trial to confront Mr Jones directly in the courtroom earlier in the week.

“I have to look him in the eye and I have to tell him the impact his actions have had on me and my family and not just us – all the other families in Sandy Hook, all the people who live in Sandy Hook, then the ripple effect that that has had around the world,” she said. “It was a cathartic moment for me.”

It was also significant, she said, that Mr Jones saw a video, shown in court, of Jesse alive, running through a field. “I think he was punished,” she said of Mr Jones. “I think he’s been held accountable, and I hope he really takes that to heart because at the end of the day, love is a choice, and what he says – lies, hate – it’s also a choice.”

Elizabeth Williamson reported from Austin, Tiffany Hsu of San Francisco and Michael Levenson from New York.

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UP Detroit! hosts the 16th annual Neighborhoods Day event

Providing food, clothing and assistance to those in need has been a cornerstone of Pastor Absalom Hamilton’s ministry since he founded his church, Kingdom Living Ministries, in 2006.

Hamilton and his church members will continue their tradition of community outreach on Saturday at the 16th Annual ARISE Detroit! Neighborhood Day.

ARISE Detroit’s mission! is to unite groups across the community and encourage volunteerism to build a better Detroit. Neighborhoods Day brings together churches, schools, and nonprofits to organize events ranging from blight relief to distributing school supplies.

This year, Neighborhoods Day will host more than 100 events, including art festivals, concerts, vaccination campaigns and book giveaways.

“There really aren’t many cities doing what we do, especially on such a large scale with so many organizations and participants,” said ARISE Detroit’s Executive Director! Luther Keith. “We’re giving people hope and uniting communities across Detroit by doing something like Neighborhoods Day.”

Hamilton and members of Kingdom Living Ministries, located on Detroit’s northeast side, plan to distribute clothing and provide a lunch of grilled hot dogs, chips and soft drinks to those in need. Worshipers also plan to clean up the area around the church in the Gratiot and Pelkey ​​area near McNichols.

“Neighborhoods Day is an opportunity to realize what we read in the scriptures and do all we can to help those in need,” Hamilton said. “Whether it’s handing out school supplies or scheduling a doctor’s appointment, Neighborhoods Day is another day our ministry can help members of our community.”

Kingdom Living Ministries has participated in Neighborhoods Day since its inception in 2006. This year they are joined by Greater Harvest Ministries, which is hosting an event with children’s activities and a cleanup of Detroit’s West Side and East Outer Drive Block Association, which plans to plant and water flowers along the East Outer Drive median between Van Dyke and Sherwood streets on the east side.

“On this day, Detroit residents of different ethnicities and different economic backgrounds can all come together and resolve to do whatever they can to make Detroit a better city,” Keith said.

To attend or volunteer for a Neighborhoods Day event, go to

Donovan Fobbs is a Detroit Free Press summer apprentice.

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Nancy Pelosi arrives in Taiwan, drawing condemnation of China: live updates

Protesters for and against President Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan gathered outside the Grand Hyatt Hotel, where she is staying during her visit on Tuesday night.

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Media and crowds gathered at Taipei airport on Tuesday to witness the arrival of President Nancy Pelosi, the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Taiwan in 25 years.

Huang Chao-yuan, a 53-year-old business owner, staked out the area near Songshan Airport to watch Ms Pelosi’s plane land, calling the speaker’s visit a “historic moment”.

“I am very excited about her visit today, because it is an example that the United States does not need to discuss with the CCP, that she can come here if she wishes, and whoever invites Taiwan can come here,” Huang said, using the acronym for the Communist Party of China. “This incident demonstrates Taiwan’s independence.”

Henry Chang, 32, a videographer who was at the airport to watch Ms Pelosi land, marveled at the novelty of seeing the arrival of such a high-profile US lawmaker.

“It was like catching a rare Pokemon,” he said.

He said he was not worried the visit could lead to a military conflict. “I feel like a war just can’t happen – everyone will go on with their lives,” he said.

A video provided by a Tibetan activist, Tashi Tsering, showed people gathering outside the Grand Hyatt Taipei on Tuesday night, where Ms Pelosi was due to spend the night. A number of them held up banners that read: “Taiwan public welcomes US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi,” “Taiwan helps,” and “Taiwan ≠ China.” .

Outside the hotel, several dozen people supporting unification with China protested Ms. Pelosi’s visit: some demanded that she “leave Taiwan”, and others held up banners denouncing her.

“I feel bittersweet seeing Pelosi landing,” said a man in the crowd, Sam Lin, the owner of a recycling business. “It’s sad to see tensions rising across the strait, but I’m also glad to see that our reunification with China is becoming more achievable.”

Mr. Lin, 50, added, “I don’t want to see a war, but the current cross-Strait relations have reached another stage.”

Credit…Amy Chang Chien/The New York Times

In contrast to the protest, in the capital’s central business district, Taipei 101 – once the world’s tallest building and a major landmark in the city’s skyline – was lit up with messages welcoming Ms Pelosi.

In Taiwan, many are used to threats from China, which claims the island as its own territory. A standoff between Washington and Beijing over the speaker’s trip received moderate attention ahead of Tuesday. Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen remained silent in the days leading up to Ms Pelosi’s arrival, although political advisers close to her said they welcomed visits from US officials.

To show how many Taiwanese have grown tired of China’s threats, Alexander Huang, a senior China-friendly Kuomintang official, said he welcomed Ms Pelosi’s visit and that she had a “rich” agenda. before her on the island.

During her visit, Ms Pelosi is due to visit the Taiwan Legislative Assembly and meet Speaker Tsai Ing-wen, according to a Taiwanese lawmaker and local official. She is also to attend a banquet at the Taipei Guest House and visit the National Museum of Human Rights.

Huang said the low-key approach to the visit reflected planning designed to avoid escalating an already tense situation with China.

“They didn’t make any statement to the outside world, trying not to upset the other side, and did their best to keep the situation in the Taiwan Strait from getting too tense,” he said. declared.

He said he was most worried about mainland China’s military response – particularly what China might do after Ms Pelosi leaves. He said it was possible that China would take steps to further isolate Taiwan internationally. In recent years, China has attracted several nations that recognize Taiwan as a country and cut it off from major international agencies like the World Health Organization.

On Tuesday, the Taiwanese military said it would strengthen its combat readiness in anticipation of a possible response from China.

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The daily cartoon and the live briefing: Saturday July 30, 2022

Time: Quite sunny. Slight chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs in the lower 90s. Winds south around 5 mph, becoming southeast gusting to 20 mph in the afternoon. Chance of rain 20 percent. Saturday evening: Mainly clear. Lows in the lower 70s. Southeast winds 5 to 10 mph.

Today’s Editor’s Look:

Flagler Beach Saturday Farmer’s Market is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at Wickline Park, 315 South 7th Street, featuring prepared meals, fruits, vegetables, artisan goods and local arts from more than 30 local merchants. The marketplace is hosted by Flagler Strong, a non-profit organization.

Grace Community Pantry, 245 Education Way, Bunnell, drive-thru open today 10am-1pm. The pantry is organized by Pastor Charles Silano and Grace Community Food Pantry, a disaster relief agency in Flagler County. Feeding Northeast Florida helps local children and families, seniors, and active and retired military personnel who struggle to put food on the table. Working with local grocery stores, manufacturers and farms, we take high-quality food that would normally go to waste and turn it into meals for those in need. The Flagler County School District provides space for much of the pantry storage and operations. Call 386-586-2653 to help, volunteer or donate.

Puppapalooza at James Holland Park in Palm Coast, 18 Florida Park Drive, 6-8 p.m. “Grab your sociable pup and meet us at the dog park for a festival just for your four-legged friends. We will have special treats, toys, dog play areas and tons of fun! Dogs must be kept on a leash outside the dog park. We will have a visit from the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office Canine Team, K9s for Warriors, the Flagler Humane Society and local dog-focused businesses! Also featuring Flagler Beach’s Hang8 (who held the first annual Flagler Beach dog surf contest in May.)

“Constellation”, at the City Repertory Theater, directed by Beau Wade, at 7:30 p.m. July 28-30 and 3 p.m. July 31. Performances will take place in the CRT Black Box Theater at City Marketplace, 160 Cypress Point Parkway, Suite B207, Palm Coast. Tickets are $20 adults and $15 students, available at, by calling 386-585-9415, or onsite just before showtime. The play is a 2012 comedy-drama by British playwright Nick Payne about the romantic ups and downs of a beekeeper and a theoretical physicist. The pair in “Constellations” take a trip down the rabbit hole of the multiverse, that bizarre theory that posits that there are an infinite number of parallel universes that exist simultaneously, and can be quite similar or drastically different from the one you and I live. Preview: “City Repertory Theater Hopscotches Through Love’s Multiverse with ‘Constellations’.”

Notebook: What to think today of Henry Ford’s birthday (1863)? What about Henry Ford, period: an anti-Semite, a Nazi sympathizer, a pioneer of the police state in the workplace, an ultra-nationalist who ruined the melting pot of Israel Zangwill by building a veritable melting pot giant for ceremonies at Ford Factories, where he would parade his immigrant workers on one side as immigrants and on the other as uniform Americans. The Ford, in short, who wanted more Americans to square dance in response to jazz in the 1920s, because black people made him sick. But he was also Henry Ford, paying his workers better than most (at least $5 a day, he announced in 2014: in inflation-adjusted dollars, that’s $148 in today’s money, still a paltry sum when you think about it – $38,000 apiece isn’t exactly a down payment on Downton Abbey, but imagine what that says about the country’s poverty at the time). He rolled this nation into its car culture (a mixed blessing). He invented the assembly line model that Bill Levitt would adapt to suburban homes (another very mixed blessing) and that the McDonald brothers adapted to food (an absolute disaster, but damn it how weird the Big Mac can sometimes reach this place). He was Big Brother before Orwell and Amazon before Bezos. He was, in short, the American par excellence: a melting pot of paradoxes as inexcusable as they were, or at least as he made them indispensable. He reminds me of that other Henry, that of Kissinger, that mass murderer with the still fiery aura of a Jedi, who was as anti-Arab as Ford was anti-Semitic. Not an inventor, that one. Just a Talleyrand of the last days with the ambition to better remember, as if the genocides in Cambodia and Timur and the massacres in Chile had never taken place, as if ensuring Arab-Israeli enmity as the most simple for America was just a strategy (his favorite word). Another underrated American paradox. I’m not at all sure that a world without either of these men, or paradoxes like theirs, would have been a lesser place. We might not have been the Americans emerging from Ford’s melting pot, but chances are we would have been better Americans if pot presumption hadn’t turned us into chopped chuck no tastier than heads. of meat from McDonald’s Doordashing through Levittown.

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And riots targeting brothels were becoming more common in the 1790s as moral reformers teamed up with local residents seeking to “clean up” specific corners of the city. These rioters were almost always men; the brothels they raided were almost always those run by women. Over the years, Mother Carey had made a living for herself by building a business that played a small part in a vast sexual system. In a culture that idealized the sexual innocence of some women, denigrated the availability of others, and granted widespread impunity to men, prostitution was big business. The narrative of the madam as a pimp dramatizes and personifies the culture’s obsession with separating respectable and ruined women, the fetish and anxiety caused by the idea of ​​virtue in jeopardy and, more broadly, the shame of relationships. illicit sex and double lives. As the face of the ugliest aspects of a patriarchal sexual system rooted in double standards and double lives, the madam had its appeal: her image deepened the chasm between respectable women and ruined women and protected men from all harm. responsibility. But the same system that kept women like Mother Carey in business also denigrated and blamed them – and made them vulnerable.

-Of The Sewing Girl’s Tale: A Story of Crime and Consequence in Revolutionary Americaby John Wood Sweet (2022).

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Thomas J. Blocker Society Living Legends Gala will honor Drs. David Satcher and Louis Sullivan

On Friday, July 29, beginning at 6:00 p.m. with a VIP reception and gala at 7:30 p.m., the Intercontinental Buckhead Atlanta (3315 Peachtree Road, NE, Atlanta), will be the site of a night of elegance and celebration as guests and supporters come together to honor two powerhouses in health care, Dr. David Satcher and Dr. Louis Sullivan. This celebration, which precedes the 2022 National Medical Association (NMA) Annual Convention in Atlanta, will honor these men for their outstanding contributions to medicine, medical education and improving diversity in health care. health. This Black-Tie Tribute Celebrating African American Achievement is one of the most anticipated affairs of the NMA convention weekend and is a successful event supporting scholarship and programming for the Thomas J. Blocker Society Foundation. Dean Thomas J. Blocker was a member of the Morehouse Office of Health Professions for over thirty years, and during that time teamed up with Dr JK Haynes and Dr Joyce Nottingham to increase the number of Morehouse men pursuing a career in health care and science. . Dean Blocker was instrumental in positioning Morehouse College as the premier producer of African-American men accepted into medical, dental, and health schools.

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Over the years, the laureates, Drs. Satcher and Sullivan worked for change that would redefine the landscape of health care in the country. As Surgeon General of the United States and Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Satcher has the distinction of being the second person in history to simultaneously hold both positions, Surgeon General, 1991-2002 and Assistant Secretary 1998 – 2001. In 2002 Dr. Satcher served as Director of the National Center for Primary Care at Morehouse School of Medicine and in 2004 was appointed Acting President of Morehouse School of Medicine. Dr. Satcher has published reports on many topics, including tobacco and health, mental health, race and ethnicity, suicide prevention, and has made it a priority to try to eliminate disparities racial and ethnic backgrounds in the country’s health care system. Dr. Satcher is the recipient of eighteen honorary degrees and numerous distinguished honors

Dr. Lous Sullivan is a political leader, minority health advocate, author, physician, and educator. A 1954 graduate of Morehouse College with a BS in Biology, Dr. Sullivan enjoyed a distinguished career at Boston University Medical Center where he founded the Boston University Hematology Service in 1967. In 1975, Dr. Sullivan returned to Morehouse to serve as post of dean. and Director of the Medical Education Program at Morehouse College. The program later became Morehouse College School of Medicine in 1978.

Living Legends Gala

In 1989, Dr. Sullivan left Morehouse to accept an appointment from President George HW Bush as Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. He then returned to Morehouse in 1993 to serve as president and became president emeritus in 2002. In 2003, he was named chairman of the advisory committee for the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Dr. Sullivan has received more than seventy honorary degrees, including an honorary doctorate in medicine from the University of Pretoria in South Africa. He is the author of The Morehouse Mystique: Become a doctor at the nation’s newest African-American medical school with MaryBeth Gasman. His autobiography, Innovate: My life in medicine, with David Chanoff, won the NAACP Image Award for Literature in 2015.

Foundation of the Thomas J. Blocker Society

The Thomas J. Blocker Society Foundation is the 501(c)3 nonprofit financial and fundraising arm of the Thomas J. Blocker Society. Not-for-profit status allows TJB to achieve its goals of helping the next generation of healthcare professionals through several fundraising efforts, including its fundraising campaign. Thomas J. Blocker Society is an incorporated collaboration of the Morehouse College National Alumni Association. The mission of the Thomas J. Block Society is to develop an alumni base and coordinate alumni efforts to support Morehouse’s production of excellent physicians, dentists, researchers, pharmacists, and paramedics.

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North Portland tenant sues nonprofit housing, alleging drafty building had rodents and camping in hallways

On Friday, an elderly tenant living in an affordable housing building in North Portland sued the landlord over alleged poor conditions inside and outside the building, including overflowing garbage cans that attracted rodents and pests, inadequate waterproofing that allowed in the rain and heat, and criminal activity and squatting in the hallways by non-residents who entered.

Reach Community Development Corporation owns McCuller Crossing, where plaintiff Delores Taylor lives, as well as 35 other affordable housing buildings in the Portland metro area, making it the city’s largest affordable housing developer.

The lawsuit filed today by local law firm Olsen Daines calls for a jury trial. Over the past year, he alleges that “McCuller Crossing apartment premises had a significant lack of functional and effective door locks which led to criminal activity including harassment, ‘camping’ in common areas by non-tenants and incidents of non-tenants littering and looting common areas.

Lauren Schmidt, spokeswoman for Reach CDC, said Friday that “we haven’t seen what’s been filed and we’ll have to look into it.”

This is the second lawsuit filed against Reach CDC this spring by disgruntled tenants of low-income buildings.

A group of tenants at the Allen Fremont Plaza in northeast Portland filed a series of lawsuits in June that echo many of the allegations listed in today’s lawsuit, filed in County Circuit Court of Multnomah.

The five lawsuits filed in June allege egregious conditions inside the building, including insect and pest infestations, wanton criminal activity in the hallways by non-residents due to lack of security and the insufficient availability of bathrooms which forced residents to defecate and urinate on themselves. (Reach said in a statement at the time that it had fixed the issues and addressed residents’ concerns.)

Gary Bailey, 68, is one of the plaintiffs who lives in the Allen Fremont building, where he has lived for five years. He says inadequate restrooms at the facility caused him to defecate twice in the parking lot and once on himself. He says a lift that was unusable for a while forced residents with disabilities to crawl up the stairs. Bailey adds that “you can see the drug activity happening inside and outside the building.”

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Non profit living

Gannett almost doubles the number of Middle TN groups in the grant program

Gannett nearly doubled the number of Middle Tennessee organizations participating in the latest edition of A Community Thrives, a national grantmaking program.

A Community Thrives is a crowdfunding and grantmaking program in which groups compete to raise $3,000 or $6,000, depending on their operating budget, to qualify as a grant recipient by the 12th august.

Groups keep the funds they raise, and top fundraisers are eligible for a total of $200,000 in additional grants.

Gannett, the parent company of The Tennessean and USA Today, established this program in 2017 through the Gannett Foundation.

The Gannett Foundation selected 24 area organizations and nonprofits to participate in its 2022 program, while 13 local groups participated in 2021.

Here’s a look at some of the 2022 organizations.

Nashville Civic Design Center

The Nashville Civic Design Center is a nonprofit organization that strives to create sustainable, livable growth.

“Our job is to elevate the voice of the community,” said design director Eric Hoke, “To take up hot topics when it comes to the built environment, and then show people what can be out there.”

The group offers a Design Your Neighborhood program for 7th and 8th graders. Another project called Tactical Urbanism Organizers is beautifying the streets of Nashville.

The nonprofit organization helps governments and communities collaborate on projects such as West Bank development, Hoke said.

“A lot of what we heard from community members was, ‘How can we better connect to the river? How do we use one of our greatest natural assets? “”, Did he declare. “We are excited to see movement, and also cautious and hopeful for the future.”


Transformations by Nashville Angels provides ongoing support to youth and families involved in foster care through donations, connections, and mentorship.

The Oasis Center offers crisis intervention, youth leadership, community engagement, and college and career education programs for youth and their families.

API Middle Tennessee advocates racial justice for Asian and Pacific Islanders by “building an API community, elevating API voices, and unpacking API identities.”

Small World Yoga seeks to “empower those we serve to grow and live more fulfilling lives through yoga.”

Book ’em provides books for children and enlists volunteers to increase literacy, in hopes they can ignite a child’s passion for reading. The group said it distributed more than 190,000 books in 2021, according to its website.

Moves and Grooves aims to improve the academic success of children through the creative arts. Another objective: to create a 12,000 square foot Arts Centre.


Gallatin Cares is a Christian non-profit organization that operates a thrift store, offers a food pantry, and runs a charitable shelter protection fund.

Sumner County Recovery Court uses a multifaceted approach to help people with drug and alcohol addictions recover and become “responsible citizens.”


431 Ministries is a Christian group that helps “neglected and underserved women” in the region find safety and stability.

Maury Chaplain Ministries advocates for the rights of inmates, acts as a liaison between different parts of the community, and provides pastoral care to inmates, their families, and corrections officials.

Legacy Life Care Programs provide educational training, refer participants to counseling, and provide home care.

Georgia English, left, and Jen Starsinic founded the local nonprofit Girls Write Nashville three years ago.  This year, they received a $50,000 grant from A Community Thrives, a USA TODAY Network program that is part of the Gannett Foundation.

More local groups and nonprofits

Freedom Reigns Ranch is a non-profit Christian organization located in Thompson’s Station. The organization offers free “horse-assisted mentorships” to youth dealing with trauma.

The Cheatham County School District in Ashland City covers 13 schools, where it hopes to turn students into “lifelong learners”.

The Building Lives Foundation in Franklin helps veterans in need with affordable housing, furniture, career counseling and employment assistance.

Habitat for Humanity branches – Montgomery, Williamson and Maury counties – have joined the program. Habitat for Humanity aims to “build affordable homes, stronger communities, and life-changing opportunities.”

Shred the Stress in Clarksville works to relieve veterans’ anxiety and trauma through the use of electric vehicles such as scooters, OneWheels and skateboards.

The Mt. Pleasant/Maury Local History Museum collects, preserves and exhibits the history of the former phosphate mining community.

The Oak Ridge Free Medical Clinic operates three clinics and provides free medical care to low-income and uninsured people.

The Montaven Arts and Culture Center in Hendersonville collects and exhibits local and regional artwork.

Arts Inside, located in Tracy City, provides healing to inmates and their families through art.

Other nonprofits participating in the program include Covenant Cupboard in Madison, Investing Into The Future in La Vergne, and Stepping Stones of Robertson County in Springfield.

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Non profit living

Nonprofit Music Gives Children an Outlet to Pursue the Arts with Passion and Practice | Chicago News

An Emmy-winning local jazz singer is committed to ensuring students have the opportunity to pursue pathways in the performing arts, regardless of medium.

Today, 11 years after its inception, an annual summer program still provides musical exposure for all ages, with an opportunity for students to put what they have learned to the test at two public concerts.

Arts correspondent Angel Idowu takes us to the West Loop for “Timeless Gifts: A Musical Revue.”

“It’s a remembrance, a reimagining, a tribute to some of the great iconic pieces of musical theatre, film and television featuring African Americans,” said Joan Collaso, founder of Timeless Gifts. “You will see excerpts from “Sarafina! », « Porgy and Bess », « The Wiz », « Dream Girls », « What’s Love Got To Do With It », a Motown medley… »

Made up of students aged 3 to 24, Timeless Gifts is an association created by Collaso.

“It’s just that outlet,” Collaso says. “Being able to express yourself differently. Being able to be who you really are at some point in your life is very important.

Although the seven-week summer program offers singing and performance lessons, it also emphasizes the importance of working behind the scenes, refining the idea that the performing arts can be practiced at both with passion and in a practical way.

“As you get older, it’s less about fame, and more about earning a living and being realistic about where life is taking us,” says Collaso. “And yes, some people will be stars, but many will make a lot of money.”

Timeless Gifts participants rehearse musical numbers for upcoming performances.  (WTTW <a class=News)” height=”1026″ src=”” title=”Timeless Gifts participants rehearse musical numbers for upcoming performances. (WTTW News)” width=”1824″/>Timeless Gifts participants rehearse musical numbers for upcoming performances. (WTTW News)

This commitment to the practicality of the performing arts also extends to the relationships created. Eight-year-old Christian Williams has been with the program for five years and has found a mentor in his percussion teacher, Tony Carpenter.

“He might be the best drumming teacher I’ve ever had,” says Christian.

“As children learn the different parts of instruments correctly, they put them together to create a rhythm,” says percussion teacher Tony Carpenter. “I lean on Christian because he will demonstrate for the other students.”

It is thanks to this understanding of rhythm by learning percussion that Christian was able to apply it in his first solo for musical experience. It wasn’t until Christian joined the program that he realized he even wanted to sing. Collaso says this is just one of many success stories Timeless Gifts has offered.

“Our young people, all they want to do is play music, dance, play the piano and that’s important and they can be successful,” Collaso said. “But those who are on the fence, it’s important that they know there’s a place for them here too.”

You can catch “Timeless Gifts: A Musical Revue” Tuesday nights at 7:30 p.m. at the Epiphany Center for the Arts, 201 S. Ashland Ave.

If you can’t make this show, they’ll have their late summer showcase on August 7th at the DuSable Museum, 740 E.56e Square.

Follow Angel Idowu on Twitter: @angelidowu3

Angel Idowu is the JCS fund of the artistic correspondent of the DuPage Foundation.

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Non profit living

UH study finds Cleveland patients with greatest heart risk factors live in formerly demarcated neighborhoods: The Wake Up for Friday, July 15, 2022

Subscribe to Alarm Clock, cleveland.comThe free morning newsletter from , delivered to your inbox weekdays at 5:30 a.m.

The sun continues today, with highs in the 80s. The weekend will bring a few chances of much needed rain. Although Saturday will be sunny and warm, with highs in the mid-80s, there is a chance of showers and thunderstorms in the evening and overnight. Sunday is even more likely, with mostly cloudy skies and highs in the mid-80s. Read More

MLB: Guardians 4, Detroit Tigers 0

redlining: University Hospitals has found that living in a neighborhood that has long been affected by discriminatory lending practices known as redlining increases your risk of cardiovascular disease. Gretchen Cuda Kroen and Zachary Smith report on a study that found patients with the most heart risk factors and the worst health outcomes lived in the same designated geographic areas with the lowest loan scores several decades earlier.

Ohio Critic: Ohio’s abortion ban that led a 10-year-old rape victim to get the procedure in Indiana and the state’s past refusal to recognize same-sex marriages were in the spotlight Thursday during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on whether to reject Roe v Wade would affect other personal freedoms. Sabrina Eaton reports that in response, U.S. Representative Jim Jordan read out a list of 50 pregnancy crisis centers and churches vandalized in the past 10 weeks, describing it as a coordinated “domestic terror effort” that Democrats should pick up on. focus instead of “their radical pro-abortion program.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has publicly questioned the existence of a 10-year-old rape victim who left the state to have an abortion. After her rapist confessed, Yost said he stood by “everything he said.” We talk about how the statement from Ohio’s top prosecutor could make the victim feel on Today in Ohio,’s daily half-hour news podcast.

US Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, left, pictured with US Sen. Chris Murphy D-Conn., in June 2021. (Efrem Lukatsky, Associated Press file photo)ASSOCIATED PRESS

Portman debate: U.S. Senator Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio, will take a brief respite from the partisan battle in Congress on August 1 to engage in an Oxford-style debate with a fellow Democrat in hopes of ‘restoring a spirit of compromise and consensus for the good of the American people.Sabrina Eaton reports that he will debate from US Senator Chris Murphy from Connecticut to George Washington, with CBS News Congressional Correspondent Nikole Killion as moderator.

electoral maps: Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced Thursday that he has instructed the 88 county election commissions to implement new boundaries for the Ohio State Board of Education that Gov. Mike DeWine created in January — which civil rights groups and teachers’ unions have criticized as gerrymandered, reports Laura Hancock.

Prison standards: Cuyahoga County Jail fails to meet state standards for inmate care every year, but the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections has overlooked some of the shortcomings as the county promises to build a new establishment. Kaitlin Durbin reports that the only proposed way to address four lingering issues, largely related to the size of inmate cells and lack of natural light, is to use “new or additional facility space,” the author wrote. ex-sheriff in ‘action plan’ reports.

The police raise: The union representing most Cleveland police officers said Thursday that the city has agreed to give police officers a 2% raise each for the next two years as part of a tentative agreement for negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement . Olivia Mitchell reported that union members and city council should sign the tentative agreement.

basher jones: Cleveland City Hall has received multiple FBI subpoenas seeking information on former Councilman Basheer Jones, according to two city officials. Mayor Justin Bibb’s administration did not deliver the subpoenas when and The Plain Dealer requested the public records Thursday, Adam Ferrise reports.

Call for recycling: An East Cleveland business owner whose buildup of hazardous materials filled the air and ground with toxins and sparked a week-long fire in 2017, leading to what the Ohio attorney general has called the state’s largest civil penalty in an environmental case, asked the Ohio Supreme Court to reconsider his sentence, reports John Tucker.

ARPA: A Cuyahoga County Board committee agreed Thursday to move forward with a dozen COVID-19 stimulus projects worth $5.3 million. Lucas Daprile reports that the projects, which still require full council approval, include funds for the zoo, building playgrounds and renovating community centers.

airport control: Seven years ago, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport was hit with the biggest fine in FAA history for a series of outages involving snow and ice removal. This year, reports Susan Glaser, the airport received its second straight report with no changes required or recommended.

UH cuts: Citing labor issues, teaching hospitals are dramatically reducing medical services available at UH Bedford and UH Richmond Medical Centers, reports Julie Washington. Hospital, surgical and emergency services will be transferred to UH Ahuja, Geauga, Lake West, TriPoint, Beachwood, Geneva and Conneaut Medical Centers, UH said.

Hospitalizations: The number of COVID-19 patients in Ohio hospitals topped 1,000 on Thursday for the first time since March 1, hitting 1,008 in the Ohio Hospital Association’s daily survey. That’s a 39% increase from July 1’s 724 patients and more than triple the spring low of 296 patients, reports Julie Washington.

steel fabrication: Majestic Steel develops its activity by buying a manufacturer of metal constructions in the South and a transport company on the West coast. Sean McDonnell reports that the Pepper Pike-based steel distributor and processor has purchased Quicken Steel LLC, a steel building manufacturer based in Claxton, Georgia, and Mercury Transport, a trucking company headquartered in Pittsburgh, Georgia. California.

Edwin’s Daycare: Edwins Leadership and Restaurant Institute acquires a two-story commercial building in Shaker Heights for use as a nonprofit daycare center. Marc Bona reports that plans are for the 2,882-square-foot site to become the Edwins Family Center this fall, after renovations, permits and licenses.

San Juan Island, Washington

Aboard the Samish, part of the Washington State Ferry System, en route to San Juan Island.Susan Glaser,

whale watching: The San Juan Islands, an archipelago of more than 170 islands northwest of Seattle, are considered among the best places in the United States for whale watching. Susan Glaser’s experience last month confirmed this.

FRONT: The FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art has announced the recipients of a new three-year Career Development Fellowship for artists of color in northeast Ohio, a program designed specifically to address racial inequalities, reports Steven Litt.

Blazing Paddles: Blazing Paddles Paddlefest will give everyone the opportunity to enjoy the Cuyahoga River on July 22nd and 23rd. Annie Nickoloff reports that approximately 600 paddlers from 14 states will take off and recover from Merwin’s Wharf.

Things to do: Lots of summer fun awaits in northeast Ohio this weekend. Annie Nickoloff has 20 art exhibits, block parties, theater performances and other events to go.

Two men hospitalized after falling from a bar stool in Berea Read more

Man and woman charged with trafficking women from Warrensville Heights motel Read More

Woodmere’s new chief would be Cuyahoga County’s first female fire chief

Orange council approves purchase of police body cameras Read more

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Non profit living

Nonprofit Pleasant Grove Opens New Mental Health Facility – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

On Tuesday afternoon, Dallas nonprofit Community Does It officially opened its doors at a new mental health facility in the heart of Pleasant Grove.

The space, El Buckner Bazaar, which was once a hall, has been designed and decorated to transform into a chic yet warm environment, not only visually appealing, but also meant to serve a greater good.

“We wanted to make sure it really reflected the people who work and live here and who will be using this space,” said Ashley Sharp, executive director of Dwell with Dignity.

Amazon donated $50,000 to Dwell with Dignity, a Dallas nonprofit dedicated to beautifying spaces through design for families in need.

The new Pleasant Grove facility is where the majority of the population is Latino, a detail Sharp and his team kept in mind when decorating.

“Our amazing designer was able to browse and find art that really spoke to the population we serve, so there’s a lot of beautiful Hispanic art that comes deep into their culture and heritage,” said Sharp.

At the unveiling of the new space, it was hard to find a dry eye as community members, volunteers and Community Does It leaders marveled at the final product.

“I have to cry because I’m so excited for the community,” said Community Does It co-founder and volunteer Monica Ruiz.

When it comes to mental health services in predominantly Hispanic communities, resources are limited, but Ruiz said she’s excited because the new facility will help close that gap.

“There’s a lot of depression, and we need help, everyone needs help. I come to some classes that they do for the community, and they help a lot,” Ruiz said.

They offer advice, education and support to young people and families in need of mental health care.

“When you look at some of the statistics about the lack of access to affordable mental health care, especially in the Hispanic community, there’s some stark data there, and when you talk to origins like Community Does It, who are really pushing the boundaries with innovation and creating new ways to reach their community, it’s kind of a no-brainer to say, “Look, this is such a great cause it’s going to have such a positive impact on the local community and no one else is really doing it right now,’ so how can we make a real difference?” said Daniel Martin, spokesperson for Amazon.

He said the donation was a way to give back to the local community to celebrate Amazon’s annual Prime Day, which kicked off Tuesday, July 12.

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How a pioneering nonprofit is helping young Chicagoans explore their city

Before she started working with My Block, My Hood, My City, Ashanti Marshall says that although she lived in Chicago, she and many teenagers like her hadn’t really seen much of the city. Marshall, who is currently a sophomore at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, started working with the Chicago-based nonprofit four years ago and now knows the 77 neighborhoods much better. from the city.including his own, North Lawndale.

My Block, My Hood, My City aims to provide educational programs and field trips to disadvantaged youth communities in Chicago (which, by the way, was just named the second best city in the world according to readers of Time Out ). It was founded in 2013 by Jahmal Cole after spending time volunteering at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center.

According to Ernesto Gonzalez, the association’s marketing director, while working in Cook County, Cole heard young people talk about their blocks and neighborhoods, but never about the city as a whole. From there, Cole started an after-school program and the organization grew from there. We are one of the fastest growing nonprofits in town, González said.

It is a very local work, but with a strong objective

For the past five years, My Block has organized youth-led community marches in neighborhoods like Marshall’s hometown of North Lawndale. She is one of many young people who lead community walks in their own Chicago neighborhoods, giving historical context and sharing what makes their blocks special.

“I really like sharing my neighborhood with other people because that’s not what people might think,” Marshall says. “Every neighborhood has its ups and downs, but it’s up to someone to be the change they want to see in their community.”

One of the main purposes of community walks is to show another side of neighborhoods that may be perceived as unsafe or unwelcoming. But the participants are not the only ones to see their perception modified by the experience. My Block also introduces community residents to outdoor opportunities they may not be aware of.

“Some people may think selling drugs is the only way to make money,” Marshall says. “My Block introduces you to people who are lawyers, doctors, entrepreneurs and people who can connect you with other people. The opportunities I have been given at My Block have made me the person I am now.”

Photography: Big Joe /

One of Marshall’s favorite aspects of working at My Block is that it opens his eyes and the other participants to different future opportunities that they may not have known were available to them.

“For other students, they haven’t had the opportunity to experience outside of their blocks and outside of their hoods,” Marshall says. “I feel like there’s so much more to Chicago that people don’t know. There’s so much more to Chicago than we realize or other people realize.”

And walking tours aren’t all My Block offers. The organization also offers benefits such as trips to Michigan’s Mackinac Island and visits to the Superbowl.

Some of the nonprofit’s work came to a halt when the Covid-19 pandemic hit in early 2020. Describing the period as “devastating”, Marshall says she felt her time with the organization had been “cut short”. But although My Block cannot meet for in-person activities and events, it has always remained extremely active.

There’s so much more to Chicago than we or other people realize

“The pandemic hit and we were already working with the elderly and the most vulnerable,” Gonzalez says. “We just made the transition. Instead of registering them with services for the elderly, we were delivering PPE and food to them because they couldn’t leave their homes. It was an easy pivot for us.”

Gonzalez says one of the reasons My Block is so effective is because its job is so simple.and local. When there is a snowstorm, they mobilize community members to shovel the driveways. During heat waves, they deliver water to seniors. They even hang up the lights during the holiday season.

“It’s very local work, but with a strong purpose,” Gonzalez said. “A lot of times Chicago has the worst reputation, and I think people watching think nobody’s doing anything. We’re doing a lot. It’s not just us, it’s other nonprofits, schools, churches – everyone comes together to support our communities and our youth.

Discover our complete ranking of the 53 best cities in the world for 2022.

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Non profit living

How a Danbury nonprofit plans to ‘save’ 1million pounds of food this year for households in need

DANBURY — The young group of seven volunteers from the Church of Latter-day Saints arrive at the Triangle Street warehouse in Danbury each week in two groups.

First, the boys help sort and place on the shelves two truckloads of donated food dropped off that morning, then the girls come in to pack the over 100 boxes of food to make sure they are ready to be picked up the next day. .

Organized by the nonprofit Community Food Rescue of Danbury, the effort is just one part of a larger logistics system helping more than a dozen pantries and local food organizations to s supplying, transporting and distributing food to thousands of households in Danbury who rely on their support.

Hired as the nonprofit’s director in 2018, Linda Hutchings said she started working with a single driver picking up and delivering ‘food on her last legs’ – how she described the expired food items from local donors – “so it immediately goes to a pantry serving that day.

Sourcing this food that would otherwise be thrown away based on its best before date requires Hutchings to build relationships with local store managers to help keep an eye, or “a lead”, on when the food might be approaching. of their expiry date.

In 2021, Community Food Rescue facilitated the rescue of 862,000 pounds of food that would otherwise have been thrown away, but instead helped feed thousands of households each week.

For 2022, Hutchings, a resident of Ridgefield, said the goal was to increase the figure to 1 million pounds of food saved from trash.

“I would love to do more,” she said.

Delivery request

Part of the Western Connecticut Community Action Agency with financial support from the Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation, Community Food Rescue today operates its own warehouse and employs Hutchings and three drivers who work five days a week on three shifts using two vehicles to collect and distribute hundreds of thousands of pounds of food was donated to local food banks and other organizations serving thousands of Danbury households.

Prior to managing food supply and supply for the Connecticut Food Bank, Hutchings worked at Pepperidge Farms as an account manager for the company’s Stop & Shop supermarkets. In this role, she interacted with a network of store managers and honed her acumen in the use of spreadsheets and a host of other data management tools that became invaluable in her post-work endeavors. -career.

“I tried to retire,” she laughed. “I tried to retire when I left the CT Food Bank, but I got sucked in because Danbury is like the far-right son-in-law of the state.”

In the years she spent volunteering at her town church, Hutchings said she noticed that the dozen or so volunteer agencies serving food to local households in Danbury lacked significant transport “capacity”, meaning they didn’t have enough staff or vehicles to get food.

For example, she said the Salvation Army branch relies on the organization to deliver food stored in its warehouse. This is the case of the Victory Christian Center, which has a van but not enough staff.

“So that’s where I came in,” added Hutchings. “It became necessary to bring a vehicle here to deliver food.”

Today, drawing inspiration from his days at Pepperidge Farms and the CT Food Bank, Hutchings tracks the value of food purchased using spreadsheets. Distributed in neat rows of data, she can then easily provide it to a donor grocery store for accounting purposes or to use as evidence of the organization’s impact when applying for state and federal grants and other sources of funding. funding.

“The demand got so big that once I got the truck it was like, OK, we only have same-day food, so I started outsourcing the supply and I opened a warehouse,” recalls Hutchings.

“Now I can handle more agencies and get more food into my building,” she added.

One week in warehouse

Either directly or through its partner agencies and organizations, Hutchings estimates that Community Food Rescue’s support to “thousands of [Danbury] households each year who eat scavenged food and are so grateful,” with the Danbury warehouse serving as a hub for the effort.

Opened in September 2021, the 2,700 square foot space with an eight-pallet freezer that stores all the meat for the Daily Bread Food Pantry – Danbury’s largest pantry – allows Community Food Rescue additional flexibility to establish more relationships with additional agencies and food donors.

Hutchings said the trucks are dispatched five days a week starting early in the morning and driving around various food donors picking up items while making delivery stops throughout the day. On Monday, she said drivers were picking up an average of about 4,000 pounds of food that would go to Victory Christian Center, Daily Bread, Salvation Army and other pantries.

On Wednesdays, groups of volunteers also prepare packages for the nonprofit’s “Community Choice” offerings to be prepared for Thursday, when around 120 cars typically turn up to choose from the food items stored. Other stops throughout the week include collecting donated containers from the Danbury Fair mall’s Chick-fil-A restaurant (“buying paper boxes would kill me financially,” Hutchings noted) and a delivery stop at the Jericho Partnership.

The activity ends on Friday when the warehouse is deep cleaned.

A food effort for the future

President Joe Biden’s administration announced this year that for the first time in more than 50 years, the White House would host a national conference on hunger, nutrition and health.

Scheduled for September, a White House press release says one of the goals of the event is to “accelerate progress to end hunger” and “improve nutrition” as part of the goal. of the administration to alleviate hunger and increase healthy activity in the country by 2030 “so fewer Americans suffer from diet-related illnesses…”

Nationally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or USDA, estimates that one in 10 U.S. households is food insecure, defined by the agency as households that at some point in the l year, were “not sure if they had, or could not acquire, enough food to meet their needs”. the needs of all their members because they did not have enough money or other resources to feed themselves.

Rates are higher than the national average for all households with children, especially those headed by a single parent, as well as low-income and black and Hispanic households, according to federal data.

In Connecticut, 428,800 people, or one in eight people, face hunger, including 109,480 children, according to estimates by advocacy group Feeding America.

In April and May 2021, a Connecticut Foodshare survey revealed disparities in food security before and after the COVID-19 crisis. Before COVID, 40% of people of color and 24% of white residents were food insecure, compared to 43% of people of color and 26% of white respondents who were food insecure a year later, according to the report.

Hutchings said she and other members of the Danbury Food Collaborative, a partnership of food pantries and meal providers coming together across the city to meet the needs of food-insecure citizens, would organize a bid before the White House forum and welcomed the potential for additional federal support.

In addition to the food rescued, Hutchings said Community Food Rescue uses state grants and donations to purchase and source food, primarily from the CT Food Bank, all part of a budget of annual operation of about $150,000, most of which goes to paying wages for herself and the drivers.

Rising costs from inflation and food donors who are further and further away from Danbury have strained the organization in recent months, Hutchings said, adding: “I constantly assess and use my own car.”

“The biggest issue facing all organizations is transportation,” she reiterated.

Recently, Community Food Rescue set up food box deliveries to elderly residents living in four seniors’ apartment buildings in Danbury and is looking for partners who provide meals to students during the summer to see if they could help with delivery.

To continue to grow, Hutchings said the nonprofit could use another van with a refrigerator so it can travel further to food sources; and they could use other things like more shelving and a forklift for the warehouse. More volunteers would be nice too.

Another objective still concerns transport but is more visionary.

It would take a retired beer delivery truck, with cooled storage bays all along the outside of the vehicle, to be put back into service as a mobile pantry used to reach residents of Danbury who cannot already accessing local pantries during the week, Hutchings explained.

“The working poor who work at places like Walmart make $15 a night and are out at 5 a.m. [a.m.]…they don’t have the ability to access a pantry because they don’t have a Saturday,” she said.

And it wouldn’t take a lot of volunteers to operate, she added. “…I just open the berries and distribute the food.”

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Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy Coalition to Host External Drug Development Meeting

FALLS CHURCH, Va., July 5, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — About September 23, 2022 at 10 a.m. EDT, a coalition of nonprofit organizations specializing in limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD), will lead an external meeting on patient-oriented drug development (EL-PFDD). This online event is open to the public with mandatory registration. The meeting will be summarized in a Patient’s Voice report which, along with recorded footage of the meeting, will be available to the public.

This EL-PFDD will focus on six LGMD subtypes: LGMD2A/R1, LGMD2C/R5, LGMD2D/R3, LGMD2E/R4, LGMD2F/R6, and LGMD2I/R9. The purpose of this meeting is to provide the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), clinicians, medical product developers, and academic researchers with an opportunity to hear the perspectives of people with LGMD. on health effects, daily impacts, treatment goals and decision factors. considered when researching or selecting a treatment. This meeting is being conducted in conjunction with the FDA’s EL-PFDD initiative, a commitment under the fifth authorization of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA V) to more systematically gather patient perspectives on their conditions and therapies available to treat their conditions.

The meeting agenda will include speakers and panelists who live with LGMD2A/R1, LGMD2C/R5, LGMD2D/R3, LGMD2E/R4, LGMD2F/R6 and LGMD2I/R9, as well as caregivers of people living with these six subtypes. Morning sessions will focus on the symptoms that matter most to them and how they impact daily life. The afternoon session will include discussions on experiences with current treatments and attitudes towards future treatments, including tolerance for potential risks.

For the first time, representatives from the Coalition to Cure Calpain 3, CureLGMD2I, the Kurt+Peter Foundation, the LGMD2D Foundation, the McColl-Lockwood Laboratory for Muscular Dystrophy Research and the Speak Foundation have come together to organize this event. Collectively known as the LGMD Coalition, these nonprofit organizations encourage members of the global patient community to raise their voices. People living with the LGMD subtypes listed above, as well as their caregivers, are invited to participate in the meeting by participating in a live survey and by calling and writing with comments. Academic researchers, clinicians, regulators and industry representatives are encouraged to watch the meeting and incorporate patient/caregiver perspectives when developing and reviewing new therapies to better meet the needs and expectations of our community. Pre-registration is available at

The LGMD Coalition is grateful for the support of our sponsors, AskBio, Edgewise Therapeutics, ML BioSolutions, Sarepta Therapeutics and Vita Therapeutics. We also thank our advocacy partners, the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the LGMD Awareness Foundation.

About LG®

LGMD is a term used for a group of rare neuromuscular diseases that are inherited and cause muscle weakness and wasting. The muscles most affected are those closest to the body (proximal), especially the muscles of the shoulders, arms, pelvic region and thighs. More than 30 subtypes of LGMD exist. Together, LGMDs have an estimated prevalence of about 2 in 100,000 people. There is currently no cure for any subtype of LGMD.

About the LG® Coalition

The LGMD Coalition is a group of six 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations — Coalition to Cure Calpain 3, CureLGMD2I, Kurt+Peter Foundation, LGMD2D Foundation, McColl-Lockwood Laboratory for Muscular Dystrophy Research, and Speak Foundation – who are collaborating to host an LGMD EL-PFDD focused on LGMD2A/R1, LGMD2C/R5, LGMD2D/R3, LGMD2E/R4, LGMD2F/R6, and LGMD2I/R9 subtypes. Learn more at

Media Contact:
Jennifer Levy
[email protected]

SOURCE The LG® Coalition

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Non profit living

Marine Corps veteran starts nonprofit to help fellow veterans

ROSEVILLE, Calif. (KOVR) — As the nation celebrates Independence Day, a California veteran wants to remind Americans of the men and women who fight for our freedom.

Marine Corps veteran Brandon Murphy draws attention to the crises veterans face once they return to civilian life, including high rates of suicide and homelessness.

“We’re fed up with the number 22,” he said. “We are tired of hearing that this is the number of veterans who commit suicide every day. We are tired of our brothers and sisters coming back in pieces. I mean, it’s intimidating.

That’s why he goes even further in his new business.

Murphy just started an insurance agency in Roseville with two friends, one of whom is also a veteran.

A portion of their profits will help launch the Pacific Patriot Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps veterans in need.

“So we’re going to have a whole team dedicated to outreach to these people,” Murphy said. “Call, see exactly the resources they need and provide them.”

According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, 13% of the homeless population are veterans.

About 40,000 veterans are on the streets every night, which is actually a huge improvement over the past decade.

Murphy said their work will expand outside of the United States.

His wife also does missionary work in Haiti, where she helps maintain and expand Haitian orphanages.

Although the Pacific Patriot Foundation focuses on veterans, it will have benefits beyond the border.

“Whether at home or abroad, we have that call to serve and we’re going to make sure we do that,” Murphy said.

A portion of Murphy’s profits this week will be donated directly to Sacramento-area veterans.

Copyright 2022 KOVR via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.

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After 3 murders in less than 24 hours, The Willows tightens security

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – The Willows apartment complex in East New Orleans has tightened security measures after residents told us they were terrified of living there.

Last week, three murders took place at the complex in less than 24 hours. Both shootings took place at the Lawrence Road complex. The first occurred around 11 p.m. Tuesday and left two people dead. The second happened around 1 p.m. Wednesday and left another dead.

Off-duty police guard the front of The Willows at night, monitoring who comes and goes. It’s a small step forward for people who say they live in fear.

Although there are signs of progress, some say it is not enough.

Workers have fixed the problems in Cierra Dobard’s house that we first highlighted last month and there is no longer a hole in Caroline Bailey’s bedroom.

“The fact that it took FOX 8, that it took Helena Moreno, that it took all of this just to fix my wall and just to get resolution around this whole complex is totally ridiculous,” Dobard commented. .

While these two residents have seen some improvements, others who live at The Willows say they are still surrounded by dirt.

Melvia Hodges first moved into the resort in March. She says that just a few days after living there, the ceiling buckled and water crashed into the kitchen. Hodges immediately moved out. But his things remained. Hodges says that after three months, the unit has still not been touched by management.


Nearly a dozen code enforcement violations at The Willows

CEO pledges to clean The Willows apartments

Residents complain about unsafe living conditions at The Willows

A spokesperson for The Willows said Hodges’ former unit is expected to be worked on by a construction crew.

In early June, Hodges says she left her hotel room to return to The Willows. She says management put her in a new unit, but even in that unit the ceiling was leaking.

“When I told them, ‘hey, the ceiling is leaking in the same place you fixed it,’ she told me to put a pot there,” Hodges explains.

She also says there are plumbing issues clogging the tub and sinks which she reported to management.

The owner of this resort, Global Ministries Foundation, is a Tennessee-based nonprofit religious organization. CEO Dr. Richard Hamlet, an ordained minister, previously told us that repairs are underway here, though labor shortages and setbacks from Hurricane Ida have complicated efforts.

For the people who live here they say they still feel hopeless and just want a better quality of life.

“I’m still a little anxious because I really don’t believe they’re going to leave if you hadn’t all been called, it wouldn’t have been done,” Bailey says.

“Everyone should have the right to live comfortably and that’s just ridiculous,” adds Hodges.

Next week, the owner of The Willows is due to appear before a code enforcement hearing over violations found during the agency’s surprise visit. These violations include electrical system hazards and problems with plumbing fixtures and heating systems.

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Copyright 2022 WVUE. All rights reserved.

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Column: Artist, 95, sells his paintings to help pay the assisted living bill

It’s a sad situation when a 95-year-old woman is forced to turn to painting and selling her artwork to avoid being fired from an assisted living facility.

Patricia Barnett, who turns 96 in October, has accumulated a lifetime of civic service.

She’s delivered Meals on Wheels, supported a shelter for abused women, donated her talents as a graphic artist to nonprofit causes. Over the years, the Cornell University graduate has campaigned for social rights, clean water and other environmental issues.

Specifically, her resume shows a history of fighting for housing for the needy, both as the former president of a New York agency set up solely to fund affordable housing and as head of the League of Women. Voters from her state, through which she also campaigned for fair rents and social housing.

Now the 49-year-old San Diego resident finds herself in desperate need of those services she has spent years trying to obtain for others.

Barnett’s civil service legacy was carried on in San Diego by his son, Scott Barnett, a familiar face in the local community.

He was a member of the Del Mar City Council at 21, led the San Diego County Taxpayers Association when it created its Golden Fleece and Watchdog awards to expose government boondoggles and try to control spending.

He founded a research service called Taxpayers Advocate and served four years on the San Diego Unified School District Board.

Scott’s mother lived with him in his old age. But four falls in 2016, failing health and increasing frailty have made assisted living and ongoing care a necessity. Now she lacks money.

Barnett spent his life being frugal and conservative with his finances, running a small graphic design business, saving for retirement, and paying long-term health insurance premiums. But she couldn’t predict the stock market crash of 2008, nor did she plan to live to be 90.

In desperation, Scott, along with his brother, David, and sister, Catherine Anderson, set up a GoFundMe campaign in late April to help their mother with food, rent and basic bills. To date, he has generated just over $3,000.

Barnett explained in his GoFundMe appeal, “The economic crash of 2008 wiped out half of my savings and forced me to sell my house. Now the rest of my savings and my long-term care insurance policy are gone. exhausted.

Her long-term health insurance coverage ended in April, leaving her mostly dependent on her monthly Social Security check of about $2,300 to pay for some medical bills and a monthly assisted living bill from around $5,700.

“After a life of self-sufficiency, I ask for your help to stay on assisted living,” she wrote.

Barnett’s kids originally added information about her community service career to her GoFundMe bio, but she forced them to delete it: ‘She didn’t want us to brag about her,’ says Scott .

Its touching appeal surely represents the parenting story of many of today’s baby boomers and Gen-Xers. These are seniors who have worked and saved throughout their lives, but have been overwhelmed by cost-of-living inflation and the rising cost of goods as a result of the pandemic.

Social Security benefits have not kept pace, making it difficult to make ends meet in expensive states like California.

The lack of affordable assisted living facilities puts economic pressure on their children and grandchildren who are already burdened with their own financial obligations. Or as Scott puts it, “It’s a ticking time bomb for us baby boomers.” I just turned 60.”

Barnett, who took classes at the Toledo Museum of Fine Arts as a teenager, had put away her brushes after suffering a stroke in 2004. But she dusted them off in 2019 and, despite inoperable cataracts in one eye , now turns out a colorful paint every 8 to 10 days.

She has completed approximately 150 artworks since entering assisted living 3½ years ago.

Scott posted an album of “Grandma Pat” paintings on Facebook. Many are whimsical and bold landscapes bursting with colorful flowers and patterns.

Her family connected her to a website that sells her art for wall decor, t-shirts, mugs, beach towels and other items. But the returns to the artist are low.

David Barnett worked with his Brookdale Senior Living facility, which waived some late fees and offered a small rent reduction or placement in a slightly cheaper room or a more budget-friendly sister property. But the cost of rent always exceeds his income.

“If residents cannot meet their residency contract payment requirements, we try to help them find a workable solution,” said Heather Hunter, communications manager for Brookdale in Tennessee. She said help can include referrals to other providers and information about other types of assistance.

“A Medi-Cal funded facility (for low-income residents) is currently the only option for her,” says Scott, whose mother was approved for Medi-Cal. “We started calling as soon as it was clear that she would run out of money (in April). The number of beds available is far below what is needed, so there are long waiting lists.

Sunita Upchurch, the county’s long-term care ombudsman, says there are cheaper options that may not be on a family’s radar. In addition to four- or six-bed home care facilities, seniors may be placed in senior residences and senior apartments where they are visited by home care nurses and linked to meal delivery home. They may also be enrolled and transported to adult daycare programs.

“By 2030, Californians age 60 and older will make up a quarter of the population,” says Blanca Castro, long-term care ombudsman at the California Department of Aging. “Seniors who rely solely on Social Security for their income receive an average of $1,200 per month, which must be used to pay for all basic needs.”

The department helped draft a state master plan for aging 2030 with the primary goal of reducing rental costs and investing in affordable housing. But that’s years away.

Scott calls his family’s GoFundMe campaign a Hail Mary attempt to hopefully fill the void. Eventually, he says, his mother will have a roof over her head but surely not with the luxury of space to paint in her room.

“It’s been stressful,” says Barnett, who doesn’t sleep well. “I wake up and worry about where I’m going to live.”

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Alamosa News | ASD teachers will receive an 8% increase for the 2022-2023 fiscal year

ALAMOSE – For the first time in about 20 years, teachers employed by the Alamosa School District (ASD) will receive a substantial raise — not the 1% to 2% cost-of-living adjustment, but an 8% raise at all levels which actually brings wages closer together. in line with the cost of living in Alamosa.

Support and paraprofessional staff will also receive the same increase.

The agreement included a new insurance benefits package that requires no co-payments for those who are insured.

What’s more, in a major victory to encourage retired teachers to return to the classroom, there was also an agreement allowing teachers to return to work even if they are retired – without it affecting their retirement and allowing them to return to the same level of compensation they received when they left.

The increase will now bring ASD salaries more in line — and more competitive — with other major districts outside of the San Luis Valley.

Beginning in the 2022-2023 school year, a first-grade teacher with a bachelor’s degree will earn an annual salary of $40,358, not including insurance paid for the employee as well as vacation and sick days. This represents an increase from a base salary of $37,274 for this fiscal year.

The deal was reached in late May following negotiations between six people representing the ASD administration – the superintendent, assistant superintendent, two managers, two board members and the business manager, who advised but did not did not negotiate.

Seven union members of the Alamosa Education Association (AEA) negotiated on behalf of teachers, including the two AEA co-chairs and five teachers.

But there were many more people in the room (literally and virtually) than the thirteen negotiators present. AEA wanted the negotiation process to be public and transparent, and thanks to ASD making it available on Zoom, more than 90 teachers attended the sessions, online or in person.

“We had four negotiation sessions,” explains Luis Murillo, Deputy Superintendent of ASD. “The fourth session lasted ten hours.”

In a meeting with ASD Superintendent Dr. Jones, Assistant Superintendent Luis Murillo and AEA Co-Chairs Kathy West and Myra Manzanares to discuss the deal, it was clear around the table that this was not a zero-sum negotiation with winners and losers. There was a general consensus that the end result was an agreement that everyone seemed happy with.

“We have teachers who work two or three jobs just to be successful,” Manzanares said. “And we did our homework. We came to the negotiations with a lot of information in hand and we made a very good presentation to the administration, including where the resources were in the district budget for the increase.

But it would appear that the increase was about more than just numbers on a ledger or money in a bank account, significant as that is clearly.

As Manzanares said, “With this deal, we feel valued and heard.”

After several decades without significant salary increases, capped by several very difficult and, at times, conflicting years, this was an important statement.

“This agreement is directly aligned with our strategic plan,” Murillo said, “and meets one of our strategic goals to improve recruitment and retention.”

From the administrators’ perspective, the negotiated agreement was a crucial part of a larger process that involved five listening sessions with teachers, parents, students and community members. The listening sessions were facilitated in conjunction with the Colorado Education Initiative, a nonprofit group that specializes in “accelerating the improvement of educational innovation in Colorado school districts.”

“We want school to be a happy place, a place where people enjoy working and learning,” Murillo said. The ASD/IEC listening sessions and discussions have led to concrete steps to start making this a reality.

“Teachers said they wanted more access to mental health services, so we implemented it,” Murillo said. “They also said they were happiest learning new things, new approaches, other than the PDFs that we sometimes have to hand out for training, as required by state law.”

This ‘something else’ has evolved into a professional development program that includes a long list of seminars, workshops and sometimes learning sessions with fellow teachers who are particularly skilled in areas where they can train other teachers.

“It’s all part of a bigger picture,” Murillo said. But a big part of that big picture starts with the difference that will be made in teachers’ lives with the implementation of a raise.

It is anything but a finished process and more like a first step. The deal has been in place for a year, when it will likely be renegotiated.

New decisions are also under discussion, including a transition to a four-day school week, advocated by more than 80% of parents and teachers.

But that decision will only come after significant work and thought, starting with the creation of a committee of individuals who will examine the proposal from all angles. “We don’t want to rush it,” Dr. Jones said. “We don’t want to be rushed and then look back and see where we made mistakes like other districts have. We want to consider all the implications and make sure we include them in our transition.

But it’s clearly a solid idea on the horizon because, just weeks after letting people know they were accepting applications to be on the committee, more than seventeen people showed interest.

“It’s only part of the future, Murillo said. “And it’s only just begun.

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Non profit living

‘A new way of life’: how two refugees adapt to the state of Western Australia

As an ethnic Hazara woman, who continues to face discrimination in Afghanistan, Karini said she faces challenges at every turn. After growing up in poverty in Ghazni province, Karini, 26, was about to complete her degree in economics from Kabul University when the Taliban took over.

“I had dreams in Afghanistan,” says Karini (photo above). “But those dreams are shattered, and now I have to build a new dream here.”

After a journey of several months – through Germany, Washington, DC and New Mexico – Karini landed in Washington State, where she has lived for eight months. When she arrived she was wearing only four sets of clothes, two books and the scars on her legs where the razor wire surrounding Kabul airport had dug into her skin.

In May 2022, the United States granted Afghan refugees Temporary Protected Status for 18 months – the same designation given to Ukrainians in March. This elevated status prevents refugees from being sent back to their home countries amid an ongoing crisis. As of February 2022, more than 74,000 Afghan nationals have been admitted to the United States since Kabul fell to the Taliban.

In Washington state, lawmakers have earmarked more than $19 million in 2023 for contracts with nonprofits to provide relocation services. Between September and February, the Port of Seattle and its partners alone welcomed more than 3,000 refugees from Afghanistan.

Karini is just one of many refugees that these resettlement efforts have helped. Upon arriving in Tacoma, Karini was in contact with the Refugee Women’s Alliance, a nonprofit organization that helps immigrants in the Puget Sound area with employment, housing and mental health.

“Number 1 is housing,” says Mahnaz Eshetu, Executive Director of ReWA. “People want a roof over their heads. And to stay – to have stable housing – they need a job.

For small nonprofits, says Eshetu, it can be difficult to manage both fundraising and growth, but providing asylum seekers with housing and employment depends on an organization’s ability to to collect funds. These days, she says she works with a strong job market and there have been plenty of opportunities to connect refugees with employers.

Historically, Washington in general and Puget Sound in particular have accepted refugee populations, Eshetu says. The state ranked second nationally for the number of refugees admitted in 2020. Over the past 10 years, the state has also been the most popular destination for Ukrainian refugees, according to Bureau data. of Population, Refugees and Migration of the US Department of State. From October 2021 to May 2022, 263 Ukrainians have resettled in Washington – a number that is expected to increase if Ukrainians are granted humanitarian parole status and allowed to enter the country without visas.

In October, Governor Jay Inslee addressed newcomers from Afghanistan at Sea-Tac International Airport, saying he was “looking forward to seeing these new Washingtonians flourish.”

Currently, ReWA pays for Karini’s one-bedroom apartment in King County, but she works a packing job and funds her own English lessons. She says she hopes to be independent soon.

While housing and employment are keys to independence, Eshetu says initial care for asylum seekers must also consider their mental well-being. ReWA has several mental health counselors on staff to help refugees, and they strive to provide services in accessible languages.

“When people leave their country, it’s usually for fear of being executed or going to war — they’re traumatized,” Eshetu says of the refugees.

Karini says she didn’t leave her room for several days after arriving in Washington. Along with the frustrations of leaving her old life behind, she says she was deeply worried about her family, who still live in Afghanistan under the Taliban.

But she says it was her desire to help her family that convinced Karini to take a more active role in her life. Today, she provides money to her family back home and she hopes they will one day be able to join her in the United States.

“I said to myself, ‘If I sit alone in my house like this, what will happen to my family?’ “says Karini. “I can’t help them like that. That’s enough – I have to start and move on.

Today, Karini works with the Hazara Community of Washington, a non-profit organization working with Afghan refugees. She volunteers her time to help other women like her overcome personal mental health issues and sometimes domestic violence.

As for new immigrants from Afghanistan and Ukraine, Eshetu says resettlement agencies have been fortunate that many are highly educated. Eshetu says Afghan refugees, including Karini, worked with American troops and therefore adapted more quickly to life in the United States.

But this latest wave of refugees in the Puget Sound region is exceptional in that regard – many more refugees have to tackle the language barrier head-on.

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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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Non profit living

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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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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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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Non profit living

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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Non profit living

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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Non profit living

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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Non profit living

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.

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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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Non profit living

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:

Aurora Of Rose
Media Unlimited Inc.
+1 951-870-0099
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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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Non profit living

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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Non profit living

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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Non profit living

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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Non profit living

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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Non profit living

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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