Tag Archives: Society

New Non-Profit Institution LINKS Foundation: Leading Innovation & Knowledge For Society

TORINO, Italy, 15-Feb-2017 — /EPR NON PROFIT NEWS/ — LINKS Foundation is a non-profit Institution operating at a national and international level carrying out applied research in the sectors of engineering and architecture, thus focusing both on information and telecommunication technologies and on territorial and environmental sciences.

The mission of LINKS is to activate the potential of technology to a transformation of the future of people and businesses, and it will became:

•  lighthouse for the territory in the field of technology transfer: it will lead cities and businesses through the digital evolution aimed at dealing with the new challenges of the society;
•  bridge between knowledge, expertise and society: it will activate the interaction between universities and their departments dedicated to scientific research, public and private companies operating in the area, public administration and civil society;
•  workshop where multiplying the opportunities of development for businesses and citizens: it will enhance the technological skills for the territory also through the attraction of talents and expertises and it will create a system enabling successful synergies.

The founding values of LINKS are the PEOPLE, which make up the fundamental backbone, together with the COURAGE to accept the new challenges of the SOCIETY.

The objective of the Foundation is therefore to strengthen partnerships with actors ranging from universities to the Investment Funds, from public bodies to companies. LINKS also aims to promote, lead and step up, the processes of innovation and research projects impacting on our society, merging the fundamental research typical of universities and the transversal and multidisciplinary internal competences to create both socio and economical added value on the territory. This includes the desire to attract talent and expertise from around the world, creating a focal point for applied research and for the development of scientific expertise.

“Rootedness, ambition and entrepreneurial energy are our keywords, the spirit that is moving us to create something new, something that does not exist yet. We understand what companies need to innovate and we are here to help them do their journey to an innovation of product and process that will allow them to compete globally”.

These are the first words of Andrea Alunni, Chairman of the Foundation, which underline a clear philosophy: to be competitive you need to innovate, and innovation should be an ongoing process that is not only of product implementation, new or significantly improved, but – even – the study of new approaches, new production methods or usability for end users.

SOURCE: EuropaWire

Charity Fishing Tourney: A REEL Success

Puerto Vallarta was the destination for anglers and golfers who participated in this year’s BJ’s Restaurants Hook the Cure Tournament powered by IOTEC. The nearly sold-out tournament took place on November 6th and 7th and reeled in a whopping $345,000 NET for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

The IGFA-qualifier brought two dozen boats and 40 teams. The competition started on Friday morning as anglers met early at the docks and eagerly awaited the strike of six marking the start of the catch and release competition coordinated by Kim and Ed Moore of Marina-based Charter Dreams.

Weekend festivities included a pre-tournament Mexican fiesta and fireworks show at Villa Premiere Hotel and Spa; Friday night concert by RCA Recording Artist Chris Young who celebrated his #1 song on the country charts; golf at Vista Vallarta’s challenging Nicklaus course; a lively dockside weigh-in party with food and beverage provided by Andale Restaurant and an awards gala and auction, sponsored by American Airlines and hosted by Los Angeles radio personality Shawn Parr. For those that just wanted to relax, Villa Premiere’s world-class spa was just a few steps away. Puerto Vallarta rental agency, PVRPV, provided volunteers for the festivities.

As excited spectators and sponsors filled the Marina, most boats made it in by five in anticipation of the results. The team of Tom Paige and Jon Louis were rewarded with a 2010 IGFA Offshore World Championship entry in Cabo San Lucas as OVERALL CHAMPIONS with five dorado and seven released sailfish. Lucille Zabel and Lydia Francis captured the coveted MOST RELEASED BILLFISH award while Craig Porpoat and David Bales garnered the BIGGEST DORADO AWARD and Anchorage’s Kris Kile took home the CHAIRMAN’S AWARD. Awards were donated by Gray’s Taxidermy of Puerto Vallarta.

According to Bob Huston and Jeff Jennison, 2009 event chairmen, $1.3 million NET was generated for cystic fibrosis patient care, research and education since the tournaments inception just four years ago. Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease affecting approximately 40,000 people in the United States and Mexico. A defect in the CF gene causes the body to produce abnormally thick, sticky mucus that leads to chronic, life-threatening lung infections and impairs digestion. When the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation was established in 1955, few children lived to even attend elementary school. Today because of research and care supported by the CF Foundation with money raised through donations from families, corporations and foundations the median predicted age for people with CF is nearly 37 years.

In addition to BJ’s Restaurants and IOTEC, significant financial support was provided by Norm Wilson and Sons, O’Connell Family Foundation, Toshiba, Watson Land Company, Ron and Ann Hallagan, Toshiba, Millie and Severson, William Close Family and Lee & Associates.

Plans are underway for the Fifth Annual Hook the Cure slated for early-November 2010. Information about the ultimate fishing, golf and spa adventure benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is available by contacting Gary Green, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Director of Corporate Development, at (714) 494-4623 in the US or 322 150-7214 in Puerto Vallarta. A new Hook the Cure website will be unveiled shortly at www.hookthecure.com and will feature an interactive photo gallery thanks to Nuevo Vallarta resident and award-winning photographer Jay Ailworth.

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First Nations Development Institute Releases Research Report On 7871 Organizations

First Nations Development Institute recently completed a research project on 7871 charitable organizations, their institutional structures, and best practices for their management. This research resulted in a report titled Charitable and Sovereign: Understanding Tribal 7871 Organizations.

In 1982, Congress passed the Indian Tribal Governmental Tax Status Act, codified as Section 7871 of the Internal Revenue Code, treating tribal governments as state governments for a variety of specified tax purposes. One of these purposes was to allow tribal governments and their programs to receive tax-deductible donations. Many tribes have used the 7871 tax code to develop tribal charitable and philanthropic organizations. These organizations include educational scholarship programs, economic development organizations, and grant making foundations.

First Nations’ research revealed that while there are a large number of these so called “7871 organizations” that provide social service, economic development, educational, and other charitable programming, only a small number of them are actively raising external funds. Most such programs are funded by tribal governments or federal funding streams. However, as tribes look to diversify both their programs and funding streams, an increasing number of tribal programs are using Section 7871 to facilitate fundraising as charitable organizations. Use of the Section 7871 designation to create philanthropic and charitable entities is increasingly popular as tribes seek ways to protect their sovereignty while still promoting philanthropic activities.

The report had the following additional key findings:

1. There is great programmatic and organizational diversity among 7871 organizations.
2. There are significant barriers to fundraising for 7871 organizations.
3. The myth of “rich gaming tribes” persists as a barrier to fundraising for 7871 organizations.
4. Federal legislation is inconsistent in its treatment of 7871 organizations and their eligibility for federal grant programs.
5. There are a large number of tribes that have spun off 501(c)(3) organizations to remove barriers to fundraising.
6. There is a need to establish best practices to reassure prospective donors to 7871 organizations.

“We hope this report will raise awareness about the important role that 7871 organizations play in providing services to tribal members,” stated Michael E. Roberts, President of First Nations Development Institute. “There is still a lot of confusion about what these organizations are and what they do. We hope this report will clarify many issues.” One goal of the report is to educate program officers at foundations so they are more comfortable working with 7871 organizations. “We hope to educate members of mainstream philanthropy on this topic,” stated Sarah Vermillion, Vice President for First Nations Development Institute.

First Nations’ research included a national survey and case studies and interviews with five active or former 7871 organizations. This research was funded by the Cultures of Giving Fund, established at the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors with major support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

To download a free copy of this report, visit our website at www.firstnations.org and follow the links from the home page.

For more than 28 years, using a three-pronged strategy of Educating Grassroots Practitioners, Advocating for Systemic Change, Capitalizing Indian Communities, First Nations Development Institute has been working to restore Native American control and culturally-compatible stewardship of the assets they own – be they land, human potential, cultural heritage, or natural resources – and to establish new assets for ensuring the long-term vitality of Native communities. First Nations serves rural and reservation-based Native American communities throughout the United States.

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The Great Homecoming and Bill Partridge Retirement Celebration will be held November 13th at the Azleway Boys’ Ranch Training Center

A Great Homecoming and Retirement Celebration is scheduled for November 13, 2009 at the Azleway Boys’ Ranch Training Center, 158992 County Road 26, Tyler Texas. Founder and CEO of Azleway, Inc., Billy M. Partridge, will be retiring after 30 years of service and dedication to the needy children of East Texas. Bill started Azleway with only seven children. Today, Azleway serves more than 1,000 abandoned and abused children a year from over ninety Texas counties.

Everyone is welcome to share in the love that this great man has brought to Azleway. Former children of Azleway, current and former employees, current and past board members, donors, sponsors, friends, family and acquaintances are all invited for an evening of refreshments, appetizers and memories. Presentations will be held at 6:00 p.m.

Donations are currently being accepted to build the Bill and Dana Partridge Boys’ Cottage at Azleway Boys’ Ranch. $160,000 is needed to complete the cottage that will house ten boys in need of the love, care and attention that they so dearly need in their lives.

About Azleway
The mission of Azleway is to provide a home, school and treatment opportunities with intervention and prevention strategies to children and their families from a faith based perspective in order to increase their abilities to succeed in life.

For more information about Azleway or to donate to the Bill and Dana Partridge Boys’ Cottage Fund contact Aleta Lewis at (903) 566-8444 ext. 212 or see our website at www.azleway.org.

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First Nations Receives $800,000 Grant

First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) announced today that it has been awarded a two-year, $800,000 grant f r o m a new program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Strengthening Communities Fund (SCF), created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. First Nations will also provide an additional $200,000 in funding to the project bringing the total budget to $1 million (80% Federal funds and 20% nongovernmental sources) over two years.

The objective of the grant is to enable nonprofit organizations to contribute to the economic recovery and help Federal, State, local, and Indian/Native American Tribal governments ensure that the information and services described in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) reach disadvantaged and hard-to-serve populations. The grant to First Nations is f r o m the Nonprofit Capacity Building program which made one-time awards up to $1 million to experienced lead organizations to provide nonprofit organizations — or project partners — with capacity building training, technical assistance, and competitive financial assistance. A minimum of 55% of the Federal funds awarded must be provided to project partners through a competitive (subgrant) process.

Specifically, through this grant project, First Nations will work to build the capacity of nonprofit organizations, whether secular or faith based, to address the broad economic recovery issues present in their (Native American) communities. With SCF funding, First Nations Development Institute will provide nonprofit capacity building services to targeted rural and reservation-based Native American communities in the United States. Project participants will be selected f r o m 22 targeted Native American communities located in Arizona, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Utah that have excessive poverty and low income statistics according to the U.S. Census.

Services will include providing comprehensive organizational effectiveness assessment for each of the organizations or groups selected; culturally appropriate training in organizational development; program development; collaboration/community engagement; leadership development; evaluation of effectiveness and development of individualized, tailored and culturally appropriate technical assistance plans. Recipients will be formally organized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, tribal§7871 organizations or community organizations which have not achieved this status. Recipients will be Native American-controlled and will serve the targeted rural or reservation-based Native American communities. Native American groups that are faith-based will be eligible to participate in this SCF-funded project, as long as the programs or services that will improve in capacity as a result of this project will not include inherently religious activities. Additionally, First Nations will provide $440,000 in grants to rural and reservation-based Native American nonprofit organizations and community groups for the purpose of capacity building in the areas listed above.

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Every Day 5,760 More Children Become Orphans

The statistics are startling: it’s estimated that there are 143 million orphans worldwide. Even though many children are adopted, many more grow up as orphans and age out of the system by age sixteen – with no family to belong to and no place to call home.

In a perfect world, there would be no orphans and no need for adoptions. Families would stay intact, and children would be raised by loving parents and/or grandparents, but this is not the reality for all too many orphans.

Won’t you join with me in caring for the urgent needs of poverty-stricken orphans throughout the United States? Together we can make a difference for precious children who are alone in the world.

Invest in a better world for orphaned children …

We are seeking generous partners to provide resources that will give these children a future filled with hope. In addition to financial donations, please consider other ways that you can help. Orphanages can use a variety of material resources – cars, property, computers, medical supplies, clothing, furniture, bedding, toys, etc. Your contribution will bless disadvantaged orphans as well as impact future generations.

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Cincinnati Home Stagers And Realtor Donate Time And Money To Provide Living Hope Transitional Homes

Living Hope Transitional Homes, www.lhth.org is a private, nondenominational, nonprofit organization that helps homeless women ages 18-30 with children ages 10 and under. It provides loving encouragement, secure housing and spiritual renewal that gives women a living hope that never fades as they learn skills that allow them to become stable and independent through their Life Skills Program.

Two local ASP (Accredited Staging Professional) home stagers, local real estate agent and consignment shop owner made a dream come true for Living Home Transitional Homes by designing, funding and providing labor to give Living Hope a new jungle themed playroom.

Design execution, labor and funding
Staging To Sell – Home Staging – Rita Basquette, ASP
www.Staging-to-sell.com 513-608-5066

Elite Staged Properties – Home Staging – Becky Ballentine, ASP
513-315-0164

Labor and Funding
Jim Basquette Real Estate Group of Huff Realty
Jim Basquette, Realtor
www.JimSellsHomes.com 513-703-6523

Funding
2nd Chance Consignment – consignment shop – Sue Hater
Glenway Crossing
www.Shop2ndChance.com 513-451-1451

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Governor Rick Perry to be Honored at Dallas Downtown Pregnancy Center “Light of Life” Event

Join the Downtown Pregnancy Center for its annual “Light of Life” fundraising dinner and gala. Keynote speaker, Texas Governor Rick Perry, will be honored for his leadership in the pro-life cause as the Downtown Pregnancy Center celebrates 252 babies saved last year.

Who:
• Rick Perry, Governor of the State of Texas
• Carolyn Cline, Executive Director, Downtown Pregnancy Center
• DPC Clients sharing personal stories

When:
Saturday, September 26, 2009
VIP Reception with Governor Perry – 5:30 – 6:15 pm
Dinner & Gala – 6:30 – 9:00 pm

Where: The Fairmont Hotel – 1717 N. Akard Street – Dallas TX 75201

Downtown Pregnancy Center (DPC) is Empowering Women Through Knowledge. Founded in 1994 to serve women and their partners who found themselves in an unplanned pregnancy, all services provided are confidential, and offered without cost to clients. The DPC provides pregnancy testing, sonograms, options counseling, and STD screening and treatment in addition to sexual health, prenatal and parenting education. Clients are invited to join the EARN WHILE YOU LEARN program where they can earn vouchers to purchase needed maternity and baby items while participating in educational programs. The compassionate care given by the dedicated staff and volunteers of the DPC provides a safe place for women to make an informed decision during a difficult and challenging time in her life. Please visit: www.downtownpc.org.

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Hobbs Foundation of Tampa Bay Offers $10,000 Grants to Local Organizations Serving Underprivileged Children

The Hobbs Foundation announced they are accepting requests for $10,000 grants for charitable organizations throughout the state of Florida. The foundation, established in 2003, offers financial support to organizations that provide exceptional care and services to underprivileged children. Since 2003, the Hobbs Foundation has strived to improve the lives of children in Florida by providing the means necessary for children to overcome challenges and create opportunities for healthy growth and development.

hobbsfoundation

“On behalf of the Hobbs family and the Hobbs Foundation, it is with great pleasure that we offer support to organizations that are dedicated to educating, mentoring, and nurturing deserving children that allows them to reach for a brighter future”, said Hobbs Foundation Grant Administrator, Amanda Long. “With these organizations’ help, we can offer opportunities to disadvantaged youth in our community that would otherwise not be possible.”

The Hobbs Foundation is a non-profit, grant-making foundation whose mission is to form partnerships with charitable organizations whose work directly benefits underserved children allowing them to expand their outreach to children in need. The foundation is accepting grant requests through the end of August to qualified non-profit organizations. For more information or to apply for funding, visit the foundation’s website at www.hobbsfoundation.com.

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Kids’ Meals is Stomping Out Hunger in Houston

“Texas ranks 3rd in the nation for food insecurity, meaning one in five adults and one in four children in our state are hungry,” says Texas Department of Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples. “That is simply unacceptable.”

kidsmealshouston

A plummeting economy and spiraling unemployment have left hundreds of Houston families struggling with the bare essentials. Kids’ Meals is stepping into the gap, delivering nutritious meals to kids in an attempt to stomp out hunger in Houston.

Kids’ Meals is a 501(c)3 non-profit, community based Meals on Wheels program for pre-school aged children that live in poverty. The program was first launched in Houston in 1984.

Today Kids’ Meals provides lunches to over 1,200 pre-school aged children living in poverty who otherwise might never see a nutritious meal. The program runs Monday through Friday all year long, helping to close the gap between families’ income and the needs of their growing kids. But it’s not enough.

“The need for Kids’ Meals is ever-growing due to the increase of food and gas prices as well as the slowing economy,” says Kids’ Meals spokesperson Bonnie Leach. “Layoffs and downsizing have more families finding themselves in need of food. We hope to be the first city to have no hungry children.”

“Kids’ Meals has hundreds of children on their waiting list ready to be fed,” adds Leach. “[We] need your support through donations, volunteer time and spreading the word.”

For less than $1.50 a day a nutritious lunch will be delivered to a hungry child, free of charge to each family.

“”Kids’ Meals needs your support through donations, volunteering your time and spreading the word by helping us fulfill our mission of ending hunger among Houston area children,” states Leach.

For more information on Kids’ Meals visit them on the web at www.KidsMealsHouston.org.

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A New £6 Million Charity Funding Initiative Was Announced On The 27th Of May, With The Aim Of Stimulating Giving In The Economic Downturn

theBigGive.org.uk will create a £3m matched fund over the summer to attract a further £3m from charity supporters this December.

theBigGive.org.uk has raised £2.4m through online matched funding in the last 6 months, and the new £6m challenge will create the largest ever online matched fund.

The Reed Foundation are sponsoring the matched fund, pledging an initial £1 million to be spread across competing charities. Trustees and major donors from those charities will provide the remaining £2m for the fund.

Last year, a similar matched funding challenge raised £2 million for charity in an astonishing 45 minutes. This year’s fund will be released over several days, allowing donors more chance to double donations to their charity.

Charities already involved in the 2009 challenge include the National Trust, WWF and the Royal Opera House. Charities have until 27th June to apply by logging in to their account on theBigGive.org.uk. The Reed Foundation will select around 250 charities to participate in this year’s challenge.

Alec Reed CBE, Chairman of the Reed Foundation, said: “It is a tough time for charities. This challenge gives professional fundraisers a tool to approach their trustees and supporters for a further donation.”

Jon Brooks, Managing Director of theBigGive.org.uk, said: “The Big Give introduces high-level donors to exciting new charity projects. Our highest single donation so far is £175k to a small charity that the donor found on theBigGive.org.uk. We hope to inspire many more philanthropists to give intelligently.”

A trustee of a small charity, discussing matched funding on theBigGive.org.uk, said: “The overall impact is tremendous – it has galvanised existing supporters, brought in more, and helped us improve our own marketing and fundraising techniques. We are delighted!”

More information on the scheme can be found at: http://www.thebiggive.org.uk/millionmatch/

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First Nations Launches Native Asset Building Partnership Project

First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) released the names of the advisory committee members for its new Native Asset-Building Partnership. Members include Anita Fineday, Chief Judge of the White Earth Tribal Nation; Tadd Johnson, Special Counsel for Government Affairs for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe; Susan White, Director of the Oneida Trust Department; former Senior Vice President and board member of First Nations, Sherry Salway Black; Elsie Meeks, Director of the USDA Rural Development Office; attorney Margaret Schaff, partner at Schaff & Clark-Deschene; Tracy Fischer, Interim President of the First Nations Oweesta Cooperation; and Michael E. Roberts, President of First Nations Development Institute.

The goal of the Native Asset-Building Partnership Project is to strengthen tribal and Native institutions in Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota through tribal nation-to-nation peer learning and model development that will lead to improved control and management of assets for the benefit of Native communities and individuals. Advisory committee member Susan White said, “Peer mentoring will provide ideas and processes on how Indians as the true stakeholders can gain greater control over their own assets. Applying mentoring objectives will elevate a tribe’s ability to be more self-determined and therefore gain greater control over their own assets.”

First Nations’ goal is to partner tribes around specified assets and allow them to share best practices for asset stewardship and management. “Through this project we will be able to continue to ask questions from our brothers and sisters at other tribal nations and create long-term enduring benefit to Indian Country,” notes advisory committee member Anita Fineday who is Chief Judge of the White Earth Tribal Nation located in White Earth, Minnesota.

Sherry Salway Black said “assets are incredibly important for individuals, families, communities, and nations – including tribal nations. The ownership, control, management and development of current assets and creation and acquisition of new assets taken together are wealth and assure a better future.”

The Native Asset-Building Project advisory committee is composed of national and regional leaders familiar with asset-building in Native American communities. “First Nations is grateful to have the participation of such well respected national and regional leaders in Indian Country,” said Michael E. Roberts. The project advisory committee will assist in engaging tribes and Native organizations in the targeted states to determine asset-building needs and regionally-relevant models and assist in the planning and hosting of an asset-building conference that will take place in Minneapolis, Minnesota this fall.

The Native American Asset Building Project is a two-year project funded by the Otto Bremer Foundation, based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. For more information about First Nations’ Native Asset Building Project, contact Raymond Foxworth, Research Officer for First Nations at 303-774-7836 or rfoxworth@firstnations.org.

About First Nations Development Institute
Founded in 1980, First Nations Development Institute is a national Native American-led nonprofit organization. Through a three-pronged strategy of Educating Grassroots Practitioners, Advocating for Systemic Change, and Capitalizing Indian Communities, First Nations Development Institute is working to restore Native control and culturally-compatible stewardship of the assets they own – be they land, human potential, cultural heritage, or natural resources – and to establish new assets for ensuring the long-term vitality of Native communities. To learn more about First Nations, visit: www.firstnations.org.

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Refund Anticipation Loans Cost EITC Filers In Native Communities Over $9,100,000 In 2005

Tax day has come and gone, and this year many people opted to get their tax refund a quick but expensive way: they took out a Refund Anticipation Loan. A Refund Anticipation Loan (or RAL) is a one to two week loan made by banks on behalf of filers, facilitated by tax preparers, and secured by a taxpayer’s expected tax refund. RALs are marketed as a way to “get your money quickly” and result in the users paying substantial fees to access their tax refund usually only five to ten days faster than for tax returns filed electronically. The average expense of the one to two week loan can be the equivalent of 50 to 500 percent APR, depending on the total fee and loan term. According to a report just released by First Nations Development Institute and the Center for Responsible Lending, Refund Anticipation Loans drained over $9,100,000 from Native American communities in 2005.

First Nations Development Institute and the Center for Responsible Lending’s report Borrowed Time: Use of Refund Anticipation Loans Among EITC Filers in Native American Communities documents the use of these costly loan programs on reservations and in other Native American communities. Researchers looked at the use of Refund Anticipation Loans in ten states with high Native American populations, and found that residents in counties with a large Native American population (such as counties with reservations in their boundaries) were more likely to take out Refund Anticipation Loans than residents of other counties. This is true despite the remote rural location of many of these counties, where there are few tax preparation businesses. In South Dakota, residents of counties with a high Native American population are five times as likely to take out a Refund Anticipation Loan. In North Dakota, residents of counties with a high Native American population are 11 times as likely to take out a Refund Anticipation Loan.

Most striking is the fact that the use of RALs is quite high among tax filers receiving the Earned Income Tax Credit in Native communities. The Earned Income Tax Credit was originally designed to supplement the earnings of low-to-moderate income families, and in 2009 a family of four could qualify for up to $4,824 in tax credits. Borrowed Time: Use of Refund Anticipation Loans Among EITC Filers in Native American Communities documents that in some Native communities, over seven out of every ten EITC filers received a RAL. In one county in South Dakota, nine out of every ten EITC filers received a RAL. In South Dakota, 8% of every EITC credit in Native communities was spent on taking out a RAL. This means that eight cents of every $1.00 of EITC credit in Native communities was diverted from its original target, working families, and instead went into the pockets of paid tax preparers.

Because Refund Anticipation Loans have a significant cost for Native communities, Borrowed Time: Use of Refund Anticipation Loans Among EITC Filers in Native American Communities provides recommendations for reducing their use. The first recommendation is to increase and support Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites in and near Native communities to allow filers to access free tax preparation services. In many cases, EITC filers and other filers may simply not be aware that they can access their tax refund without using a RAL. The authors of the report also recommend establishing an interest rate cap for RALs, and conducting public education campaigns in Native communities to encourage people to avoid paying high fees for RALs.

This landmark report is the result of a research study conducted under a grant funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. For more information about this publication, contact Sarah Dewees, Director of Research for First Nations Development Institute, at 540-907-6247 / sdewees@firstnations.org; or visit First Nations Development Institute’s website at www.firstnations.org to download a free copy of the paper.

Through a three-pronged strategy of Educating Grassroots Practitioners, Advocating Systemic Change, and Capitalizing Indian Communities, First Nations is working to restore Native control and culturally-compatible stewardship of the assets they own – be they land, human potential, cultural heritage, or natural resources – and to establish new assets for ensuring the long-term vitality of Native communities.

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Century Models And Talent Agency Has Recently Conducted A Charity Fashion Show To Benefit The Cancer Society

Century Models and Talent Agency has recently conducted a Charity Fashion Show to benefit the Cancer Society, IN COLLABORATION with a local designer, Jonathan Price. They made sure all the name brand models they represent should be on the ramp for a probable cause.

Century Models and Talent Agency always believes in giving something to the community in some way or the other. Last year they had there models clean cars on King Street, and all the money collected was given to the United Way. Century Models and Talent Talent Agency would like to convey to there competitors to start helping out in some form or the other. We wish them luck and thank the models for there time and hard work.

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Tracesmart Sponsors Adoption Agency

In line with Tracesmart’s corporate social responsibility charter, the company has aligned itself with leading adoption agency and charity, AAA-Norcap. The synergy that exists between the two organisations made the charity an obvious recipient for Tracesmart’s sponsorship and support. AAA-Norcap is a specialist adoption support agency, offering those involved in adoption cases tracing assistance to find relatives and an intermediary service; it also holds the longest established UK adoption contact register.

The charity, based in Oxfordshire, was established more than 25 years ago to provide a nationwide service, supporting and guiding adults whose lives have been touched by adoption. Tracesmart supplies online people search and address search facilities – which are driven by the electoral roll and various other datasets – but is not registered to provide an intermediary service in adoption cases. However the company is occasionally approached by individuals with the need for an adoption related search, and when such tracing enquiries occur they are referred to AAA-Norcap.

Locating people lost through adoption is not a simple clear-cut procedure; it needs to be approached very carefully as the outcome of the search could have far-reaching consequences for both the searcher and the searched; good reason for Tracesmart to call on the experience of AAA-Norcap when such an enquiry arises. As part of the sponsorship program, Tracesmart will feature AAA-Norcap case studies on its website in the ‘Success Stories’ section, which is the home of a campaign to highlight the effectiveness of the Tracesmart’s online people search and address search facilites. Stories provided by the charity can be remarkable and very moving.

About Tracesmart
Owen Roberts, Tracesmart’s Communications Manager, commented, “We are very pleased and proud to be able to sponsor AAA-Norcap, who provide an invaluable service to people affected by adoption. The ongoing sponsorship will further strengthen the relationship between our two organisations, and has provided the added benefit of AAA-Norcap being able to assist a few of Tracesmart’s customers too. Both organisations really do complement each other.”

  • Owen Roberts has worked in the creative, advertising and communications industries for over 25 years and is the voice of Tracesmart. Heading up the communications team, he raises the public awareness of the company through various media driven PR campaigns.
  • Tracesmart Ltd. – Since the launch of its website in 2004, Tracesmart Limited has established itself as one of the UK’s leading providers of online people tracing tools. The online tracing facility (www.tracesmart.co.uk) combines state of the art search technology with an extensive collection of consumer data, offering one of the most powerful and successful systems to trace people in the country.

Jumeirah Emirates Towers Takes Charity To New Heights

The Big Apple at Jumeirah Emirates Towers has announced it will organise the sixth annual Vertical Marathon in association with Médecins Sans Frontières and the Red Crescent Society.

All 1334 stairs of the iconic Jumeirah Emirates Towers will spring into action on May 29th as participants take part in this novel charity marathon. The event is being organised by The Big Apple gym in the Boulevard at Jumeirah Emirates Towers to benefit Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) with the support of the Red Crescent Society.

Enthusiastic runners will epitomise the term ‘early risers’; kicking off at 8.00 am they will ascend the 52 floors and 265 metres of the Office Tower of Jumeirah Emirates Towers which stands at 350 metres tall. Whilst raising their heartbeats and spirits they will also be raising resources and awareness for charity.

Upon completion participants can relax and enjoy a buffet created by the award-winning chefs of Jumeirah Emirates Towers, in appreciation of their charitable athleticism

For the safety and comfort of all participants, the marathon will commence at 30 second intervals for individuals and one minute for group entries. Men, women and children of all fitness levels are encouraged to enter what promises to be a fun and energetic community event to support good health and good will.

In years gone by, the event has raised a cumulative total of AED 531,408.20 for the Nobel Prize winning humanitarian organisation MSF which provides emergency medical care around the world.

Yannis Anagnostakis, General Manager of Jumeirah Emirates Towers, commented: “It is the sixth time that Jumeirah Emirates Towers are supporting this charitable event together with MSF and we are delighted to be a part of this humanitarian cause. For The Big Apple, ensuring the health and wellbeing of our members is paramount all year round, the Vertical Marathon provides the perfect opportunity for individuals to take on a personal initiative that will benefit their personal health, and support that of the worldwide community in what is a fun and inspiring event”.

Kourtnie Schaefer, Events and Partnership Coordinator, MSF shared the enthusiasm:”We are honoured that the community has been charitable and enthusiastic in their support of what is now the Vertical Marathon 2009 with Jumeirah Emirates Towers. The significance of this event is that it is not only fun and exciting to participate in; it also serves as a platform in which we can raise funds and awareness about the medical assistance MSF offers to populations. Once again we thank the support of those who have come out in the past, and look forward to seeing familiar and new faces at the 2009 Vertical Marathon”.

About the Jumeirah Group:
Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts are regarded as among the most luxurious and innovative in the world and have won numerous international travel and tourism awards. The Dubai-based luxury international hotel management group encompasses the world renowned Burj Al Arab, the world’s most luxurious hotel and recognised as the symbol of Dubai, the multi-award winning Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Madinat Jumeirah and Jumeirah Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa in Dubai, the Jumeirah Carlton Tower and Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel in London and the Jumeirah Essex House in New York.

The Jumeirah Group portfolio also includes Jumeirah Living, Talise, The Taste Department, Wild Wadi water park, The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management and Jumeirah Retail.

Building on this success, Jumeirah Group became a member of Dubai Holding in 2004, a collection of leading Dubai based businesses and projects, initiating a new phase of growth and development for the group.

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Upcoming Forum To Highlight Parkinson’s Advocacy

The Parkinson’s Action Network (PAN) will host its annual Research & Public Policy Forum on March 15-17 in Washington, D.C. It’s a chance for one of PAN’s state coordinators to continue an advocacy she bolstered with her wildly successful book.

Kay Mixson Jenkins is the south Georgia state coordinator for PAN and the founder of Parkinson’s in the Park. She is also a published author whose book, Who Is Pee Dee? Explaining Parkinson’s Disease to a Child, was recently purchased for overseas distribution. 

The book follows a boy named Colt and his toy panda bear, Pee Dee, as they seek to understand the chronic illness and its effects on Colt’s mother. The book has drawn praise from Parkinson’s advocates and patients alike.

“I’ve heard from people all over the country who have told me that prior to reading the book, their children never asked them about their Parkinson’s,” says Ms. Jenkins. “I had one gentleman call me from Illinois to tell me that his godson had bought him a stuffed bear to comfort him during a hospital visit.”

Ms. Jenkins says the forum is a good way for Parkinson’s patients to lobby their representatives, a battle she says sometimes feels hopeless. 

“We’ve struggled for years to convince our legislators to dedicate more money to research,” says Ms. Jenkins, “They’ve watched us just deteriorate each year and you can’t move them.”

Ms. Jenkins will not be attending the PAN forum in Washington, D.C. because her husband is battling cancer. It will be the first time she has missed the event since 2002. Ms. Jenkins was diagnosed with PD at the age of thirty-four and has been an advocate for research and patient support since then. Her book, which was published by the pharmaceutical company UCB, has gained a following among families touched by the disease.

Who Is Pee Dee? includes resources for Parkinson’s patients and valuable lessons for their children, including:

• An easy-to-understand explanation of the disease 
• Examples of how loved ones might be affected by the disease 
• Encouragement and reinforcement that the children have done nothing wrong 
• Fun ways in which children can help their loved ones feel better

“There will be five advocates from Georgia going to the forum,” says Ms. Jenkins.“We’re going to keep trying to change the legislators’ minds.” 

Kay Mixson Jenkins is the Georgia state co-coordinator for the Parkinson’s Action Network, leads the Effingham County Parkinson’s support group and was selected as a Parkinson’s patient advocate for UCB, Inc. 

For more information, contact the author directly via kmj@ParkinsonsInThePark.org.

(Who Is Pee Dee? Explaining Parkinson’s Disease to a Child by Kay Mixson Jenkins; illustrated by Richard Morgan; ISBN: 978-0-9819129-0-5; $12.95; 33 pages; 8” x 8”; hardcover; UCB, Inc.)

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Bringing The Sierra To The State Capital: Sierra Nevada Leaders Honored With Vision 2020 Award In Sacramento

Some of the greatest things happen under conditions of adversity and at Sierra Business Council we’re committed to approaches that create opportunity from those exact circumstances. Community members, organizations, and businesses are still doing great work, doubling their efforts, and calling for change despite the economic downturn and the uncertainty we face.

Each year, the regional sustainability non-profit, Sierra Business Council, hosts an event to recognize and encourage leadership in the Sierra, honoring community members as their work continues to achieve excellence in projects and approaches that foster community vitality, environmental quality, economic prosperity, and social fairness.

Throughout the Sierra, we recognize the growing need to bridge the divide between rural and urban communities in California. Bringing our Vision 2020 celebration to Sacramento does just that. Steve Frisch, SBC President

As a way to highlight the issue, this year’s theme for the Vision 2020 Awards is a Sierra Getaway Party. This free event is open to anyone who wants to “escape to the Sierra” for the evening.

Sierra Business Council’s 2008 Vision 2020 Awards Celebration features presentations from Vision 2020 Award winners and appetizers and dessert sourced from the Sierra with the help of the Placer Gold Slow Food chapter.

This year’s winners include the partnership between Executive Chef Mark Estee of Moody’s Bistro & Lounge, Baxter’s Bistro and Lounge, and Founder of Burger Me in Truckee, CA and Gary Romano from Sierra Valley Farms. This duo has demonstrated support for sustainable food in the Sierra Valley, Lake Tahoe and Placer County areas. Gary and Mark’s relationship demonstrates commitment to local farmers and sustainable agriculture.

John Wentworth of Mammoth Lakes is being honored for his accomplishments with Mammoth Lakes Trails and Public Access (MLTPA). MLTPA has worked diligently to bring much-deserved focus and attention to the future of the Mammoth community and its critical relationship with environmental resources. MLTPA has engaged with Town government, federal agencies, other nonprofits, the public, and private businesses to work collaboratively toward its mission.

Paul Hardy, Executive Director of Feather River Land Trust, has been awarded for his achievement in building one of the most effective and enduring land trusts in California. Paul has demonstrated a remarkable commitment to partnership and collaboration and has imparted a strong ethic of conservation among many leaders.

Phil Carville, President and CEO of Carville Sierra Inc., a family owned and operated development company, is being awarded for his outstanding work on the Loma Rica Ranch project in the City of Grass Valley. Phil has become one of the region’s most determined spokesmen for New Urbanism, Traditional Neighborhood Design, and Smart Growth within the Sierra Nevada.

SBC’s 2008 Vision 2020 Awards Celebration takes place on Thursday, March 19, 2009 from 6:00-10:00pm and is hosted at The Grand Ballroom in Sacramento, CA located at 629 J Street. Please visit www.sbcouncil.org for more information.

RSVP requested at www.sbcouncil.org/celebratesierra

Sierra Business Council is hosting a press conference for its annual Vision 2020 Awards starting promptly at 5:30pm at The Grand Ballroom the evening of the 19th. Press packet can be found online at www.sbcouncil.org Tuesday the 17th.

About Sierra Business Council
The Sierra Business Council serves the entire Sierra Nevada region. As a nonprofit association of more than 750 businesses, agencies, and individual members, Sierra Business Council is committed to promoting a new perspective on regional wealth while emphasizing collaboration in planning and policy making.

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npower Staff Offer Stoneferry Primary A Helping Hand

Eight volunteers from npower’s Hull offices on Clough Road were given the opportunity to offer a helping hand to Stoneferry Primary School this week. The staff took time out of their working day to help tackle a gardening project with the head teacher in order to improve the school environment for the pupils and teachers to enjoy.

On arrival at the school, donned in npower t-shirts, the volunteers were first introduced to the whole school in morning assembly. It was here that they had the opportunity to explain to the children where they had come from, their purpose for visiting the school and the aims of the task. After this, the npower staff fully immersed themselves in the project, stopping only for lunch with the children.

The volunteers sowed plants, laid bark chippings, installed a bird feeder and cut back overgrown shrubbery. At the end of the afternoon an area of the playground had been rejuvenated into a bright, vibrant place for children to play in and hopefully attract some wildlife to the area.

Head Teacher Jo Harrison was delighted with the team’s efforts, commenting: “Our school is surrounded by industry and the initiative provided a great opportunity for a local company close to Stoneferry Primary school to become involved in community work. We are very grateful to npower and the staff who all volunteered – giving their time and money in making a big difference to our school environment.”

Leading the npower volunteering team, Lisa Thompson added: “The team had a fantastic day undertaking their volunteering task and worked really hard in getting the playground more accessible for the children. The challenge was to bring more greenery to the area with various plants and a bird box to attract wildlife. The playground is now a safer environment and we feel this project was a great chance to make a positive contribution to the local school children.”

npower encourages its personnel to take on volunteering tasks to benefit local communities and the day was run in conjunction with CSV (Community Service Volunteers), who deliver the employee volunteer programme for RWE npower.

About npower
npower is one of Britain’s largest electricity suppliers and supplies gas, electricity and related services to 6.6 million customers across the UK. RWE npower has been awarded the prestigious CommunityMark from Business in the Community (BITC).

npower is the only utility business, amongst 21 other companies in the UK, to receive this accolade. The CommunityMark is a new BITC standard which has been created to recognise companies that are good investors in local communities and who have brought about real and positive changes.

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Tracesmart Sponsors Adoption Agency

In line with Tracesmart’s corporate social responsibility charter, the company has aligned itself with leading adoption agency and charity, AAA-Norcap. The synergy that exists between the two organisations made the charity an obvious recipient for Tracesmart’s sponsorship and support. AAA-Norcap is a specialist adoption support agency, offering those involved in adoption cases tracing assistance to find relatives and an intermediary service; it also holds the longest established UK adoption contact register.

The charity, based in Oxfordshire, was established more than 25 years ago to provide a nationwide people search service, supporting and guiding adults whose lives have been touched by adoption. Tracesmart supplies people and address search facilities – which are driven by the electoral roll and various other datasets – but is not registered to provide an intermediary service in adoption cases. However the company is occasionally approached by individuals with the need for an adoption related search, and when such tracing enquiries occur they are referred to AAA-Norcap.

Locating people lost through adoption is not a simple clear-cut procedure; it needs to be approached very carefully as the outcome of the search could have far-reaching consequences for both the searcher and the searched; good reason for Tracesmart to call on the experience of AAA-Norcap when such an enquiry arises. As part of the sponsorship program, Tracesmart will feature AAA-Norcap case studies on its website in the ‘Success Stories’ section, which is the home of a campaign to highlight the effectiveness of the Tracesmart online people search facility. Stories provided by the charity can be remarkable and very moving.

Owen Roberts, Tracesmart’s Communications Manager, commented, “We are very pleased and proud to be able to sponsor AAA-Norcap, who provide an invaluable service to people affected by adoption. The ongoing sponsorship will further strengthen the relationship between our two organisations, and has provided the added benefit of AAA-Norcap being able to assist a few of Tracesmart’s customers too. Both organisations really do complement each other.”

  • Owen Roberts has worked in the creative, advertising and communications industries for over 25 years and is the voice of Tracesmart. Heading up the communications team, he raises the public awareness of the company through various media driven PR campaigns.
  • Tracesmart Ltd. – Since the launch of its website in 2004, Tracesmart Limited has established itself as one of the UK’s leading providers of online people tracing tools. The online tracing facility (www.tracesmart.co.uk) combines state of the art search technology with an extensive collection of consumer data, offering one of the most powerful and successful systems to trace people in the country.