Tag Archives: United States

Report Proves Charitable Giving Outpaced Economic Growth in 2011


Atlas of Giving recently announced results from its 2011 report on charitable giving.  The report outlines charitable giving in the United States from 2011 and details how giving expanded at a faster rate than overall economic growth for the year.  According to the report, total giving to U.S. nonprofits rose 7.5% in 2011, an increase of $24.2 billion over the 2010 total of $322.69 billion and its forecast shows that overall giving is expected to grow 3.9% in 2012 to $360 billion, a slower rate than 2011 growth.

“2011 giving growth was fueled by strong stock market performance through July, low interest rates, an improving economy, modest inflation, and aggressive solicitation” Rob Mitchell, Atlas of Giving CEO, said.  “However, the increase was not enjoyed by all nonprofits.  Organizations that rely on many small gifts from many small donors are still greatly impacted by the effects of continuing high unemployment.”

The forecast is expected to change as events unfold during the year.  Natural and man-made disasters, economic events, and many other things affect the velocity and trajectory of charitable giving results.  The Atlas of Giving actively monitors the factors affecting giving and provides monthly updates of the forecast to account for these. Read the rest of this entry


Last Chance To Fulfill A Wish With The Sexiest Woman In The World

Last Chance To Fulfill A Wish With The Sexiest Woman In The World

Named “the sexiest woman in the world” in 2010 in a poll taken by Esquire magazine, Emmy®-nominated actress Christina Hendricks is reaching out in a final push to help raise $500,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation by November 30.

The first 10,000 participants to donate $20 before the deadline will receive a LATISSE® (bimatoprost ophthalmic solution) 0.03% free trial certificate to take to a doctor to determine if LATISSE® is right for them.

A campaign inspired by the tradition of blowing on an eyelash to make wishes come true, the LATISSE® Wishes Challenge has helped raise more than $390,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, since its launch in June, but $110,000 is still needed to meet the campaign goal and help grant a wish in every Make-A-Wish® chapter across the country.

With only 1 day left until the campaign’s close, Hendricks, most known for her role as Joan Holloway in the AMC cable television series Mad Men, in partnership with Allergan, Inc. the maker of LATISSE® (bimatoprost ophthalmic solution) 0.03%, is urging women to help by donating a minimum of $20 at www.LatisseWishesChallenge.com.

In an exclusive interview, Hendricks discusses her involvement with the Make-A-Wish Foundation through the LATISSE® Wishes Challenge and why your donation can make a difference. Read the rest of this entry

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…

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 www.littleredwagonfoundation.com.  To watch the feature-film, Little Red Wagon, movie trailer, visit www.giveandglow.com.

The Cheesecake Factory Serves Over 300 in East L.A. for Hunger Action Month


September is Feeding America’s Hunger Action Month and to kick it off, The Cheesecake Factory prepared and served lunch last week to more than 300 low-income individuals and families at the Maywood Activities Center in East Los Angeles.

Actor Wilmer Valderrama of NBC’s “Awake,” actress Ali Landry of “Hollywood Moms’ Club,” television and movie star Eliza Dushku, and Grammy Award-winning recording artist Monica, along with others, showed their support by helping The Cheesecake Factory serve lunch in support of Feeding America and the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.

“The Cheesecake Factory has been an enthusiastic partner for Feeding America,” said Vicki Escarra, President and CEO of Feeding America. “Year after year, we value their enduring financial support and inspired initiatives that help support our local food banks and reduce hunger in America.”

The Cheesecake Factory pledges to support Feeding America by donating $0.25 for every slice of its new Hershey®’s Chocolate Bar Cheesecake sold over the next year (September 1, 2011 through the end of August 2012).  The Hershey®’s Chocolate Bar Cheesecake debuted at The Cheesecake Factory’s restaurants nationwide on July 30, and features layers of chocolate cheesecake, moist chocolate cake and ganache, topped with a creamy chocolate frosting and chocolate chips.

The Cheesecake Factory has donated more than $2.1 million to Feeding America over the past three years which equates to approximately 14.7 million meals. It is estimated that proceeds from each slice of the Hershey®’s Chocolate Bar Cheesecake will be equivalent to at least 4 million meals for its network of local food banks.

“We are honored to continue our support of Feeding America,” said David Overton, Founder of The Cheesecake Factory. “We understand that hunger continues to be a serious issue for many Americans, and we are happy to provide financial support to Feeding America through the sales of our new Hershey®’s Chocolate Bar Cheesecake.”

About Feeding America

Feeding America provides low-income individuals and families with the fuel to survive and even thrive. As the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity, network members supply food to more than 37 million Americans each year, including 14 million children and 3 million seniors. Serving the entire United States, more than 200 member food banks support 61,000 agencies that address hunger in all of its forms. For more information on how you can fight hunger in your community and across the country, visit http://www.feedingamerica.org. Find them on Facebook at facebook.com/FeedingAmerica or on Twitter at twitter.com/FeedingAmerica.

Video footage and photos of the event are available at http://www.epklink.com/thecheesecakefactoryfeedingamerica.

Schools can win $5,000 for field trips


Help your school receive $5,000 to use towards field trips just by “liking” Kleenex brand at www.Facebook.com/Kleenex.

More and more, schools are facing budget cuts that result in the loss of important in-school and after school programs. Among others, music and art education are some of programs facing elimination, but there is another aspect of education that is becoming more infrequent as well – field trips.

According to the Lemelson-MIT Invention Index, hands-on activities outside the classroom, such as field trips, are one of the most effective ways to engage youth ages 12 through 17. But because of state-wide budget cuts, many schools have reduced, and in some cases, even eliminated school field trips.

This back-to-school season, Kleenex brand is committed to helping schools keep field trips as part of the curriculum by awarding 100 schools $5,000 each during the 2011-2012 school year. Awards will be given to the top 100 schools that finish with the most votes.

Now through September 14, students and their families and friends can visit www.Facebook.com/Kleenex  to vote for the school of their choice and save the field trips. Click the “Like” button to get started and you are on your way to awarding your school a year’s worth of field trips!

All accredited Kindergarten through Grade 12 Schools (public or private) are eligible.  And after you’ve nominated your school, check out Kleenex brand’s new line of on-the-go packs with Sneeze Shield.  Make it easy for kids on the go, anywhere, anytime, keep their sneezes to themselves.


The Make-A-Wish Foundation® Grants 15-Year-Old Boy’s Dream of Meeting Jessica Alba at Premiere Event


Although Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D won’t be out until August 19, Jessica Alba, Alexa Vega and other celebrities were shining on the red carpet at the world premiere Sunday in Los Angeles.

Despite the number of star-studded celebrity guests on hand, the highlight of the day was when the Make-A-Wish Foundation granted a 15-year-old boy’s dream of meeting Jessica Alba. Not only did Elijah get to meet Ms. Alba, he also had an opportunity to interview her live on the red carpet.

Through real-time HD video, families from around the globe were able to see the stars all glammed up. The platform allowed viewers to ask questions and watch them get answered by their favorite cast members.

About Make-A-Wish Foundation

The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Last year, the Foundation granted 13,580 wishes to kids across the United States. A wish come true helps children feel stronger, more energetic and more able to battle their life-threatening medical conditions. For many of them, it marks a turning point in their fight against their illnesses.  For more information, visit the Make-A-Wish Central California Chapter at  www.centralca.wish.org