Archive for the ‘Charity’ Category

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (May 23-29, 2011)

Monday, May 30th, 2011


Dress Giveaway Helps Poor Kids Achieve Prom.” By Karen Grigsby Bates. Weekend Edition Saturday/National Public Radio. May 21, 2011. The high-school prom is a costly American rite of passage. Most kids consider it a must, but prom is out of reach for many students from poor families. Recently, the Assistance League of Los Angeles held its annual prom dress giveaway, a reward to girls from poor or homeless families for their high academic achievement despite the odds. It’s not the apex of their lives; it’s a payoff for their hard work and a gentle encouragement to stick to their goals. NPR’s Karen Grigsby Bates attended the giveaway. It’s the season for the prom, a ritual that seems to get more expensive each year. NPR’s Karen Grigsby Bates recently visited a group of young ladies in Southern California who were getting ready for their Cinderella moment courtesy of some real-life fairy godmothers. Most weeks, this dressing room at the Assistance League of Southern California is filled with low-income, elementary school-aged children. They come to be fitted with free clothes and shoes, courtesy of a local nonprofit. But for one special day each year, it’s all about prom. And, says Goodman, while the dresses may look like mere special event clothes, they’re really much more than that. They’re rewards for girls who have excelled, despite extraordinary challenges.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (May 9-15, 2011)

Monday, May 16th, 2011


Jessica Seinfeld’s charity turns 10; Baby Buggy distributes donations of cribs, clothing and more to needy families.” By Adrianne Pasquarelli. Crain’s New York Business. May 8, 2011. It’s busy, busy, busy for Jerry and Jessica Seinfeld. While the famed TV star is launching a new website of comedy clips, his wife is considering a third cookbook, following the success of Deceptively Delicious and Doubly Delicious. Meanwhile, she’s updating her own website: a how-to food guide called Do It Delicious. But that’s not all that’s on their plate. This month marks the 10th anniversary of Ms. Seinfeld’s nonprofit, Baby Buggy—which distributes donations of baby gear such as cribs, clothing and diapers to those in need. By the end of June, she expects to reach 5 million donated items.
“I started Baby Buggy as a weekend-long drive,” she said modestly. “I had no expectation of what we could accomplish.” The organization has since expanded to include donations for older siblings, Baby Buggy drop-off sites in Los Angeles and collaborations with brands selling at Target. Ms. Seinfeld, whose children are ages 10, 8 and 5, is still very much involved with the day-to-day operations of the company, though Baby Buggy has expanded to five full-timers. “I have always in my heart wanted to work in nonprofits,” she said. “I’m passionate about this.”

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (March 14-20, 2011)

Monday, March 21st, 2011


A homeless man serves the homeless; Ray Polk is a one-man social agency, offering food, clothes, counseling and a makeshift chapel to his fellow denizens of the streets. And he’s created a memorial to those who have died.” By Diana Marcum. Los Angeles Times. March 13, 2011. In the shadow of an abandoned overpass, less than a quarter mile from the larger tent cities that flank the south side of Fresno, Ray Polk has carved out a one-man social agency: a homeless man helping the homeless. That fresh-white counter over there (a donated cabinet with a coat of paint) is where he distributes food to a few dozen homeless people. A church group picks up donations from Trader Joe’s and brings them to him every week. Polk displays bread and produce in a repurposed Otis Spunkmeyer case on top of the counter. Along the dead-end road he calls home he has staked Bible verses on poster board — a picket fence of misspelled Scripture. He has a locked shack full of clothes in case someone needs something to keep them warm. There’s a chapel fashioned of blue tarp. The name of the place, Homeless Ministries, is spelled out marquee style, but instead of in neon it’s with white cups placed in the holes of a chain link fence.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (February 14-20, 2011)

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011


Portland woman who gave away $100 a day keeps giving, inspiring others.” By Nikole Hannah-Jones. Oregonian. February 14, 2011. Portland woman wonders if giving away $100 a day can change lives, and changes her own As she prepared to hand out her final C-note in last October’s project, Ginsberg’s heart felt heavy. “I was depressed that day,” she said. “I had been working myself up into this low place and was just thinking, ‘What am I going to do? I don’t want to stop.’” So she didn’t. Giving without strings just felt too good. Ginsberg decided to pass out 100 additional $100 bills to lucky strangers over the coming year. And as she did during her “Month of Hundreds,”she’s writing on her blog,, about the people she meets and the moments they share. And giving, it turns out, can be catching. Hundreds of people have followed Ginsberg’s effort to give away some of the money left to by her mother — a Holocaust survivor whose experience made it difficult for her to share — as a journey of personal healing. But Sherwood middle school teacher Mollie Dickson, inspired by Ginsberg’s kindness, launched a giving project of her own.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (October 18-24, 2010)

Monday, October 25th, 2010


Portland woman wonders if giving away $100 a day can change lives, and changes her own.” By Nikole Hannah-Jones. Oregonian. October 23, 2010. Jill Ginsberg offers a $100 bill to Angelah Shakier on a MAX train last week. Ginsberg is giving $100 to a stranger every day in October as a means of honoring her mother. “Every person has a story, every family has its struggles,” Ginsberg says. “I realized that thing about who’s worthy, who’s neediest, I’ve kind of let that go.”

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (September 27-October 3, 2010)

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010


Charity helps government employees through hard times.” By Joe Davidson. Washington Post. September 27, 2010. Many people have been too busy worrying about paying the rent to notice the recession is officially over. Among them are a growing number of Uncle Sam’s crew, who find themselves in desperate need of financial help, despite claims by critics that federal employees are overpaid. Increasingly, that help comes from the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund (FEEA). One indication of just how tough this recession is on federal workers is the sharp rise in money lent by FEEA. This charity, which serves only federal workers, has more than tripled the no-interest loans it provides to clients since fiscal 2007. Then, the figure was $144,900. It jumped to $387,600 in fiscal 2010, which ended in April. Based on the first five months of this fiscal year, FEEA expects to lend about $524,000 by the time fiscal 2011 ends. During that 2007-10 period, the number of people receiving loans surged from 207 to 604. There will be more than 840 loan recipients by the end of fiscal 2011 if FEEA projections hold up. “It has jumped up dramatically, and it is staying up,” said Steve Bauer, FEEA’s executive director. The average recipient supports a family on $30,000, or less, a year.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (April 19-25, 2010)

Monday, April 26th, 2010


Mayor Donates Kidney To Facebook Friend.” All Things Considered/National Public Radio. April 22, 2010. April Capone Almon is the mayor of East Haven, Connecticut. She donated her left kidney to Carlos Sanchez — after reading his request on Facebook. Melissa Block talks to Sanchez and Almon about the match-up.


Monday, April 5th, 2010


Farmer donate 65,000 eggs to food band.” Indianapolis Star. Indianapolis Star/Associated Press. March 29, 2010. A Bloomington food bank has received a donation of about 65,000 eggs as part of a national push to assist people struggling with poverty. Some of Indiana’s egg farmers donated 5,400 cartons containing 64,800 Grade A, extra-large eggs earlier this month to the Hoosier Hills Food Bank. Since then, more than half of the eggs have been snapped up by families in need.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (March 22-28, 2010)

Friday, April 2nd, 2010


From Deep in the Closet to a Needy Girl’s Prom.” By Jim Dwyer. New York Times. March 26, 2010. Trapped in closets all over New York, and probably the world, are ghosts from thousands of prom nights, Sweet 16 parties, weddings. A decade ago, as a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Ms. Kerrigan and a classmate, Rashia Bell, came up with a scheme to get those ghosts dancing again. Since then, they have collected and given away about 20,000 barely used formal dresses, plus some brand-new ones, to girls who might not have been able to afford their own. On April 17 they hope to distribute 2,000 in a pop-up boutique at Brooklyn Borough Hall.

A City United by Tragedy, Divided by Its Kindness.” By Bob Davis. Wall Street Journal. March 27, 2010. On the morning of April 3, 2009, Jiverly Wong walked into an immigrant aid center in Binghamton, NY and opened fire with two Beretta handguns. He killed 13 people and wounded four before ending the rampage with a bullet to his head. Dozens cowered in the basement and closets for hours before they were escorted out of the building by police. The killing spree both united and tore apart residents of this blue-collar city ringed by pine forests. Churches, charities and local shops raised about $300,000 for the victims. A quieter but messy drama then unfolded: how to divide the money among survivors and family of the dead, all of whom had different needs and expectations?

High-rise climb for Lung Association fundraiser.” By Jaxon Van Derbeken. San Francisco Chronicle. March 28, 2010. Christopher Mora-Posey could only watch last year as fellow San Francisco firefighters scaled the 1,197 steps to the top of the former Bank of America building on California Street to help raise money and awareness about lung disease and asthma. He was among 50 San Francisco firefighters and 1,150 other well-conditioned souls who clambered up 52 stories through the heart of the former Bank of America building.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (December 21-27, 2009)

Monday, December 28th, 2009


Toys for Tots short on donations by thousands.” By Kristi E. Swartz. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. December 22, 2009. With only three days before Christmas, the Marines’ annual “Toys for Tots” program is only halfway to its goal, and down over 30 percent from a year ago. Gunnery Sgt. Edward Barrett told the AJC Tuesday that so far, they’ve counted 436,350 toys for metro Atlanta children to open at Christmas this year. The Corps had a goal of 900,000 for the 11-county metro Atlanta area. Barrett’s hoping the drop doesn’t mean that some children who have been promised toys won’t get any, but already other Marine Corps at the warehouse in Marietta have had to make calls to local organizations to say orders have been cut in half. lets people “pay it forward” on the Web.” No by-line. Oregonian. December 22, 2009. Della Rae, 41, started in 2008 as a way for donors to find the perfect place for their unneeded household items. The beneficiaries are nonprofit organizations in Oregon and southwest Washington — and the people they serve. “It’s absolutely about ‘Here is a need, and here is how you can meet that need,’” Rae said. And in these difficult economic times when giving cash may not be an option for people, donating useful items might be.

The Gift of Giving.” On Point. National Public Radio. December 23, 2009. It’s the season of giving — and that’s lasted for a reason. First, there’s need. Second, giving makes us feel better. Live better. This hour, On Point: in the season of giving, the power of the gift.

Champaign husband, wife are ultra-frugal so they can help charities; They aren’t giving Christmas gift to one another, but they hope to give away $50,000.” By Sara Olkon. Chicago Tribune. December 23, 2009. Suja Thomas, who wears socks with holes, isn’t giving her husband anything for Christmas. Likewise, when Scott Bahr proposed to Thomas in spring 2008, he offered her a red plastic heart in place of an engagement ring. The Champaign couple’s intense frugality is by design. Their idea is to save as much as possible in order to give more money to others in need. This Christmas, the pair raised the stakes. Thomas and Bahr have pledged to give up to $50,000 of their own money to five charities by matching donations from others. As of Tuesday afternoon, they had raised close to $20,000 — short of their $50,000 goal. Still, it means that five charities will split a minimum of $40,000.