Monthly Archives: September 2011

Gaming and Giving for Good (G3) Xbox LIVE charity event, Saturday, Oct. 1


Xbox 360 announced the upcoming Gaming and Giving for Good (G3) Xbox LIVE charity event taking place Saturday, Oct. 1, to benefit Extra Life, a Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals fundraiser. The charity is an organization that supports 170 children’s hospitals across North America. G3 will harness the power of millions of members on Xbox LIVE, the online entertainment network for Xbox 360, encouraging participants to raise money donated from family and friends for every hour spent gaming online. As part of the event, all participants will register at and receive a free Xbox LIVE Gold Membership for the weekend to play their favorite games. Xbox LIVE Gold allows users to play games online with friends and family and receive exclusive discounts on Xbox LIVE content. More…


Author raises awareness and helps fight human trafficking via sales of her new novel


Gathering the Indigo Maidens, a novel written for women, about women, to help women, sheds light on the little discussed, forbidden topic of human trafficking.

In an unrelenting tale of three historical Latina figures, Gathering the Indigo Maidens, takes the reader on a journey that befalls the indigo gathering maiden in Quito, Ecuador in 1699, to the failed printing dynasty of Maria de Rivera Calderon y Benavides in Mexico City in 1754, to the indigo ink protest sign  in 1889 that sentenced Modesta Avila of San Juan Capistrano to San Quentin prison, all while incorporating the modern day life and emotions of an esteemed art collector from Laguna Beach, Calif.

“My novel intertwines the mysterious history of a 17th century Spanish Colonial painting, the lives of three nearly forgotten historical women, and the grim, sadistic, modern-day world of human-trafficking for sexual exploitation,” says author Connie Spenuzza (pen name “Cecilia Velástegui”).  read more…

Can nonprofits raise money using social media?


There have been many ongoing  discussions about the use of social media and nonprofits.  Nonprofit groups are increasingly using social media to reach supporters and raise money, however what is the real payoff?  Well for those that do it correctly, the payoff is huge!

Social media managers, a job title that didn’t exist a few years ago, are using tools like Facebook and Twitter to bolster awareness about their charities and raise large sums of money in a short amount of time, even in today’s economy.

Here is an interesting read posted on 10/31/2010 in the Chronicle of Philanthropy that discusses how social media is effectively being used among some national organizations.



12 groups earn a piece of $150,000 for national philanthropic achievements

12 groups earn a piece of $150,000 for national philanthropic achievements

On Saturday, September 17 StayClassy announced the winners of the 3rd Annual CLASSY Awards in downtown San Diego.  Twelve groups (nonprofits, businesses and individuals) were honored.

The CLASSY Awards is the largest philanthropic awards ceremony in the country, recognizing the most outstanding philanthropic achievements by charities, businesses and individuals nationwide.  The event was hosted by actress and philanthropist Jamie-Lynn Sigler and attracted nearly 1,600 people, including nonprofit and technology leaders and numerous CLASSY Awards supporters.

After going through several rounds of judging and voting, winners were chosen from 2,000 nominations and their stories inspired more than 250,000 people to cast their vote.

This year, CLASSY Awards winners and nominees impacted the lives of more than 200,000,000 people worldwide. Their efforts spanned 71 countries and were monumental!  This year’s CLASSY Awards participants successfully donated 15 million pounds of food, gave 4,108 service dogs to people in need, 1 million meals to orphans in Haiti, helped 18,274,522 students through various education initiatives, provided 68,000 flights to help transport sick children, planted and saved 46,013 trees, converted 63 tons of garbage into construction materials, and served 7,813,200 meals to the hungry.

Here is a list of the 12 CLASSY Award winners that earned a piece of $150,000 for their national philanthropic achievements:
Charity of the Year: The Soldiers Project from Los Angeles, California
Small Charity of the Year: Long Way Home, Inc. from Dallas, Texas
Best New Charity: Marley’s Mission from Scranton, Pennsylvania
Philanthropic Business of the Year: Panera Bread from Saint Louis, Missouri
Philanthropic Small Business of the Year: Nika Water from San Diego, California
Most Creative Fundraiser by a Charity: Alex’s Lemonade Stand from Wynnewood, Pennsylvania
Most Successful Fundraiser by an Individual or Group: Blanchard Memorial School’s 6th Grade Class from Boxborough, Massachusetts
Most Effective Awareness Campaign by a Charity: Invisible Children from San Diego, California
Most Influential College Student or College Organization: Northwestern University Dance Marathon from Evanston, Illinois
Most Innovative Use of Social Media by a Charity: I’m Too Young for This! Cancer Foundation from Manhattan, New York
Volunteer of the Year: Troy Yocum from Louisville, Kentucky
Young Nonprofit Leader of the Year: Faith Huckel/Restore NYC from Manhattan, New York

About StayClassy
StayClassy is a fast-growing San Diego-based startup that develops an online fundraising product used by thousands of Nonprofit organizations around the world. The company was founded in 2006 by a couple of friends who were looking to fundraise for charity, but didn’t know how to get started. They envisioned a platform that made it easy for Nonprofits to turn their supporters into fundraisers; and so, they set off to build one. After years of testing their concept with dozens of Nonprofits, their initial idea has evolved into what is now an industry-leading online fundraising solution for Charities, Foundations, Churches, Schools, Clubs and more. Recently, the founders were selected by Bloomberg Businessweek as one of the top 5 most promising social entrepreneurs in America. The company is also the host of the Classy Awards, the largest philanthropic awards show in the Country.

For more information on the CLASSY Awards and the Winners, visit

1.3 Million homeless children in America; One kid out to make a difference


While most kids his age spent the summer relaxing and socializing, twelve-year-old philanthropist Zach Bonner traveled close to 2,500 miles by foot from the east coast of Florida to Los Angeles, seeking to raise awareness and funds for homeless children across America.  After six months on the road, he arrived at the Santa Monica Pier on Tuesday, September 14, at 3:15 p.m where he celebrated his achievement with family, friends and supporters.

A month after Bonner completed his coast-to-coast “March Across America” walk, Little Red Wagon, a feature-film based on his young life and work, will make its world premiere at the 2011 Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis.

The film has been chosen as an Official Selection of the annual festival and will make its debut on opening weekend, Saturday, October 15 at 2:45 p.m. (AMC Castleton Square), followed by three additional screenings: Sunday, October 16 at 6:00 p.m. (AMC Showplace 17), Monday, October, 17 at 1:30 p.m. (AMC Castleton Square) and Friday, October 21 at 1:30 p.m. (AMC Showplace 17).

A Michael Guillen Production, presented by Philanthropy Project, Little Red Wagon is directed by David Anspaugh (Rudy, Hoosiers) from an original screenplay by Patrick Sheane Duncan (Mr. Holland’s Opus).  The film stars Anna Gunn, Chandler Canterbury, Daveigh Chase , Frances O’Connor and Dylan Matzke.  Executive producers are Steve Golin and Barbara Kelly.  Producers are Michael Guillen and David Kanter.

Little Red Wagon is based on the life of Zach Bonner, a Florida boy who, in 2004 at the age of seven, used his toy wagon to collect water, food and clothing for families made homeless by Hurricane Charley.  A year later, he established the Little Red Wagon Foundation to assist homeless, distressed and underprivileged youth and to encourage other kids to make a difference in their own neighborhoods.

A recipient of the U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award, profiled by media from “Good Morning America” to The New York Times, Zach has undertaken several ambitious walks to raise awareness and funds: a three-part, 1,125-mile-long “My House to the White House” trek from his hometown of Tampa, FL to Washington, DC, and more recently a nearly 2,500-mile walk “March Across America” from Jacksonville, FL to Santa Monica, CA.

For more information about the Little Red Wagon Foundation visit  To watch the feature-film, Little Red Wagon, movie trailer, visit

Actor and National Domestic Violence Spokesperson to be featured at local fundraising event

Actor and National Domestic Violence Spokesperson to be featured at local fundraising event

Human Options will present its annual fall fundraising luncheon on Tuesday, October 18 at the Balboa Bay Club featuring Victor Rivas Rivers – actor and New York Times best-selling author of A Private Family Matter.

As the spokesperson for the National Network to End Domestic Violence and a Verizon Wireless Community Champion, Rivas Rivers uses his own harrowing story of surviving a home where abuse took place on the level of torture, to raise awareness about what he considers the greatest, yet most curable disease.

This year’s theme “Domestic Violence is Everyone’s Issue,” will highlight Victor’s remarkable story of survival and hope and shed light on an already taboo subject that is even less talked about from a male perspective.

All proceeds from the event will support Human Options’ mission to help battered women, their families and the entire community break the cycle of domestic violence.

Co-chairs Jennifer and Louis Bojorquez, Julie Demlow Sofferman and Jeff Sofferman welcome the support of attendees and underwriters at this important event that sustains life-saving and life-changing domestic violence programs throughout Orange County.

Individual tickets are $150 and underwriting opportunities are available.  The Balboa Bay Club is located at 1221 West Coast Highway in Newport Beach. Contact MaryKate Gerevas at 949.737.5242, ext. 318 for tickets or further information.

About Human Options:

For 30 years Human Options has been working to stop the cycle of domestic violence. The organization’s vision is a community in which every woman and every child is safe in their own home every single day. Last year the organization provided services and prevention programs to over 20,000 individuals. Independent research studies have proven the effectiveness of Human Options’ intensive programs in freeing families from domestic violence. The organization provides a full continuum of services to stop the violence – from prevention and early intervention programs to emergency shelter and long-term transitional housing and follow up support.

For further information about Human Options or the Fall Luncheon call 949.737.5242 or visit