Monday, August 31, 2009

Fourth Annual Whirlpool(R) Building Blocks Program Kicks Off Community Build in Atlanta With Habitat for Humanity

/PRNewswire/ -- As the sun rises over the Atlanta skyline today, 250 volunteers are picking up hammers, shovels and ladders to help eight Habitat for Humanity partner families achieve their dreams of homeownership. Over the next five days, Whirlpool brand, Habitat for Humanity International, Atlanta Habitat for Humanity, Southern Crescent Habitat for Humanity and volunteers from across the country are joining together for the fourth annual Whirlpool Building Blocks program.

Affordable housing is one of the most crucial needs in this country - in fact, one in three American families spends more than 30 percent of their income on housing, and one in seven spends more than 50 percent.* The Whirlpool Building Blocks initiative is a signature program created by the appliance brand to help raise awareness of the need for more affordable housing.

"Four years ago, the Whirlpool Building Blocks program set out to support Habitat's efforts to help eliminate substandard housing, and today we're continuing that mission in Atlanta," said Wes Pringle, vice president of brand business teams, Whirlpool Corporation. "Proper shelter is a basic need. In five days, we'll help make that necessity, as well as the dream of homeownership, a reality for eight Habitat partner families."

This year's build takes place in The Avery neighborhood, a brand-new housing development in the Clayton County area of south metro Atlanta. Atlanta is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country, yet suffers from a deficit of 85,000 affordable homes, according to a 2007 Georgia Tech study. The 2009 build features enhanced green elements as well as energy-efficient construction techniques and materials to reduce the footprint of the build and help the families maintain low utility bills.

"The eight homes built during the Whirlpool Building Blocks program will be a tremendous boost to The Avery neighborhood and help address the great need for affordable housing throughout our metro area," said Larrie Del Martin, executive director, Atlanta Habitat for Humanity. "In addition, all of the houses are built green with quality, energy-efficient construction techniques that ultimately save homeowners money."

Each year, the Whirlpool Building Blocks program recognizes an outstanding Habitat for Humanity affiliate in the United States by organizing a weeklong neighborhood blitz build in the affiliate's community. The program kicked off in Nashville in 2006, moved to Phoenix in 2007 and continued to Dallas in 2008.

"The 2009 program is unique as it showcases collaboration between Atlanta Habitat for Humanity and Southern Crescent Habitat for Humanity affiliates," said Brenda Rayburn, executive director, Southern Crescent Habitat for Humanity. "With the help of 250 volunteers, this partnership is building more than homes - it is changing lives and demonstrating the powerful impact Whirlpool can have in communities across the nation."

Whirlpool Corporation is one of Habitat for Humanity's largest corporate partners, donating a range and ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerator to every new Habitat home built in North America, totaling more than 100,000 appliances to date. Every year, thousands of Whirlpool employees volunteer their time to Habitat builds around the world. Whirlpool Corporation plans to support every new Habitat home built globally by 2011, through product donations, cash or volunteerism.

*According to Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies

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Goodwill Celebrates Its First Decade of Online Auctioneering

/PRNewswire/ --, the nation's first and only nonprofit Internet auction site, is celebrating its 10 years in existence and proving that Goodwill Industries(R) is not only a leader in job placement, but also innovative social enterprise through its use of technology. The charitable auction site, ranked one of the TopTenREVIEWS' Top 10 online auction sites and's "50 Best Websites of 2009," has created a window into cyberspace, bringing a whole new world of shoppers and donors in contact with Goodwill(R) and its mission of providing job training programs, employment placement services and community programs throughout North America.

Since its launch on August 31, 1999, the site has posted its fifth millionth item, helping to cull $75 million in funds for job training programs for people who have disabilities, those who lack education or job experience and others having a hard time finding a job. The operation of has opened up new jobs and training opportunities for people who have come to Goodwill looking for skill-building opportunities, including basic computer knowledge and customer service, photo skills, goods processing, and stocking and fulfillment systems.

"The auction items all come from one source with an internationally respected brand name -- Goodwill Industries. Security procedures make the site a safe place to bid and buy -- it's like buying something from someone you know," said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International(R). "The revenues, as with Goodwill stores, benefit Goodwill Industries, and because 84 percent of it goes directly into job training and other support services for families, shoppers feel good about their purchases."

There is no fee to sign up or bid on items. All items are collected from the 166 independent Goodwill agencies across North America. More than 30,000 items are for sale at any given item to bidders who visit the site, including music, jewelry, handbags and other apparel, electronics, toys, hardware, furniture, antiques, books, rare paintings, collectibles, and other desirable items. A search function allows site visitors to sort items by seller and browse local available inventory through mobile technology. Some of the more unique items sold include a 1927 Martin 5 K soprano ukulele, a Mercedes and a Bose subwoofer.

"With more than a million page views per day, is an Internet auction site that successfully coexists and functions with the big-name online auctioneers by its 165 categories and subcategories," said Gibbons.

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fayette: Annual Chicken-Q Sept. 19

The 6th Annual Chicken-Q, co-sponsored by the Methodist Men of the Peachtree City United Methodist Church and the Kiwanis Club of Peachtree City, will feature one-half chicken, baked beans and coleslaw for $7.75. The take-out only meal can be picked up (drive-in, drive out) between 10:30 AM and 1:30 PM at the church campus on the corner of Peachtree Parkway and Windgate Road. The primary beneficiary of the proceeds is the area Scouting Program. Tickets are available from Kiwanis members, Methodist Men or during the event.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Celebrity Link to Type 1 Diabetes Further Connects the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Georgia Chapter and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Georgia

/PRNewswire/ -- For Laura Putnam and her children, this past Saturday night will be one to remember for a very long time. Thanks to the efforts of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGA), a family from Columbus, GA had a brush with fame - an in-person meet-and-greet with the Jonas Brothers in Atlanta.

Putnam, a BCBSGA employee with two of her three children (Tommy, 11 and Lauren, 14) diagnosed and living with type 1 diabetes, was chosen as the on-site JDRF Ambassador family for BCBSGA's efforts supporting the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes at Centennial Olympic Park on Oct. 17. When JDRF heard about the family's love for the Jonas Brothers, they went to work, securing them four tickets and a special chance to meet their idol, Nick Jonas, who is an active spokesperson for JDRF as he too is diagnosed and living with type 1 diabetes.

"The JDRF organization and BCBSGA have been there for us during our family's most difficult moments," said Laura Putnam. "Being able to attend the Jonas Brothers concert and meet them in person was an extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime gift for my children. Nick Jonas is so open about his diabetes and is such a role model for my kids - he encourages all children to be dedicated to their health, openly pursue their dreams and never let anything slow them down."

"JDRF is immensely appreciative of BCBSGA's continued participation," said Clanci Jordan, Executive Director. "This is corporate citizenship at its finest. BCBSGA's commitment enables us to accelerate research to find a cure for diabetes. Insulin is not a cure, merely life support for the estimated 3 million Americans suffering from type 1 diabetes and its complications. Research is the only answer."

More than 7,000 walkers representing local corporations, families, schools and other organizations are expected to participate in JDRF's Walk to Cure Diabetes in Atlanta, where there will be live music, Moon Bounces, and a variety of food and entertainment. On-site registration begins at 8 a.m. and the entire walk is approximately three miles long. The fundraising goal of the Walk is to realize more than $2 million for research to find a cure for diabetes and its complications. Local JDRF Walk Sponsors include: BCBSGA, Cisco, AT&T, Melvin S. Roos & Co., InterContinental Hotels Group and Delta Airlines.

"At BCBSGA, we choose to align with organizations that support our core health initiatives and have a track record for delivering on their promises, which ultimately result in a measurable affect on the community - JDRF does this and so much more," said Monye Connolly, President, BCBSGA. "It is our mission to have a direct impact on the well-being of the customers we serve and the overall health of our communities."

The Columbus walk on Oct. 3 will be host to approximately 1,000 walkers and is expected to raise $120,000. This year two new walks have been added in Georgia: a North Metro Atlanta Walk in the Johns Creek area will take place Oct. 4 and is anticipated to have 3,000 walkers raising $350,000; and in Augusta a new site will be host to the walk on Nov. 7.

In addition to wide-spread corporate support, entire families from kids to grandparents take part in the fundraising efforts of the Walk to Cure Diabetes - many are affected, but even those who are not among the 14 million Americans with a personal connection to type 1 diabetes participate. Currently, there are approximately 500,000 Georgians living with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

The celebrity connection doesn't stop with Nick Jonas, actor Kevin Kline is the National Chair of JDRF's Walk to Cure Diabetes. Mr. Kline has been a celebrity JDRF advocate for the past four years.

"Those of us who are blessed with good health must do all we can to help support the research community in their search for a cure for juvenile diabetes," said Kevin Kline. "The daily regimen of finger pricks and injections of insulin, combined with the constant dread of complications, are burdens that no child should have to endure."

JDRF Walks are held in more than 200 cities worldwide. Nearly 500,000 people nationally walked last year and raised $94 million to cure diabetes.

JDRF's Walk to Cure Diabetes National Corporate Partners include: Advance Auto Parts, Albertsons, Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., Discover Financial Services, Ford Motor Company, Fresh Market, Lifescan, Marshalls, Old Orchard, UBS, Turner and Walgreens. Unite to Cure Diabetes partners are: Delta Air Lines, and Medtronic MiniMed.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Top 10 Reasons to Help Hosea Feed the Hungry & Homeless in 2009 Despite Economic Crisis

/PRNewswire/ -- Despite the economy, many people may find that helping someone in greater need than themselves is a rewarding way to contribute positively to the community. Because of today's dire economic environment, Hosea Feed the Hungry & Homeless (HFTH) is seeing a staggering 35 percent drop in financial donations amid a 45 percent increase in calls for assistance and needs help to continue providing critical human services in Metro Atlanta and around the world.

Over the last 40 years, HFTH has grown to become the largest food bank in the Southeast region directly serving individuals and families year-round and during its famous holiday dinners at Thanksgiving, Christmas, Martin Luther King's Birthday and Easter. But the Atlanta-based nonprofit also offers critical human services that helps sustain the working poor with other basic needs.

"There is so much to be done before the holidays, and we're beginning our campaign now to get at least 400 people who live in the Atlanta area and across the nation to join us for our 40th anniversary year," said Elisabeth Omilami, HFTH's executive director. "We want people to think of us early so we can stop hunger now and help the working poor with their basic needs to survive."

By giving money, material donations, or volunteering at HFTH, people can help:

-- Feed over 160,000 people annually
-- Prevent homelessness for hundreds of working poor families annually
-- Provide temporary housing or utility restoration for families
-- Meet the basic needs of working poor families each week
-- Deliver more than 25,000 meals to senior citizens
-- Deliver food, vitamins, candles, batteries, blankets and clothes to
the homeless
-- Provide personal budgeting, financial management and job placement
-- Serve more than 4,000 meals at Sunday services
-- Provide 3,000 children with new school book bags, clothes, and shoes
-- Distribute food, medical supplies and educational funding to the needy
in Haiti, Philippines and Uganda

"Between Jan. 1 and Aug. 1, 2008, we helped 1,610 individuals with the human services we provide; during the same period this year, more than 3,080 individuals benefited from our services," added Omilami. "Everyone can make a difference in helping those in need, no matter how large or small a contribution."

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Friday, August 21, 2009

The Avenue Peachtree City Collects Over $1,100 for CARE

The Avenue Marketing Manager Kim Tanalgo-Minshew (first row far left) and The Avenue Peachtree City Merchant Relations Coordinator Lisa Hernandez (first row far right) present the donation check to CARE Coordinator Karen Spangler (center front row) and school counselors (back row L-R) Leslie Fear, Inman Elementary, and Oriska Griggs, Spring Hill Elementary.

Generous moviegoers donated over $1,100 to benefit the Fayette County Public School System’s CARE (Children at Risk in Education) program.

Thanks to The Avenue Peachtree City, the CARE program will be able to offer more After School Program (ASP) scholarships to families who need a safe place for their children to stay after the school day ends but are struggling to make ends meet. The scholarships pay for a portion of the ASP tuition for a limited number of weeks. Parents have to pay the other portion of the tuition in order to receive the scholarship.

The Avenue Peachtree City raised the donations through the Movies in the Park event on August 6 that featured “Night at the Museum 2.” Although the event was free, The Avenue Peachtree City allowed patrons to make monetary donations to benefit the school system’s CARE program.
“We are very grateful to The Avenue for their continued support of our CARE program. This donation will make a positive difference in the lives of our students and their families. Many parents who have been able to afford after school care in the past are now having difficulties providing for their families. The scholarships are a way we can take one worry off their plate about where their children are going to be after the school day ends,” says CARE Coordinator Karen Spangler.

The Avenue Peachtree City has other events planned for this year during which the shopping center will collect donations for CARE. Visit for more information. In addition to ASP scholarships, CARE also provides other assistance to working families in need such as tutoring scholarships, school supplies and other programs or services to help meet the educational needs of children.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Celebrates $50 Million of Goodwill

/PRNewswire/ -- The Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta today kicks off Pediatric Cancer and Sickle Cell Awareness Month by announcing that its primary benefactor, Aflac, has surpassed $50 million in donations to the fight against pediatric cancer and blood disorders. September is Pediatric Cancer and Sickle Cell Awareness Month, and cancer is the leading cause of death by disease for children under 15 in America.

Contributions to the Aflac Cancer Center help the center treat more than 350 new cancer patients every year. The hospital also performs more than 50 bone marrow transplants each year, making it the leading BMT program in the country. In 2008, the Aflac Cancer Center treated a total of 6,504 patients.

"We could not do the innovative research nor provide the quality of care that patients need without the generous support of good-hearted people who are committed to eradicating childhood cancer and blood disorders," Dr. William G. Woods, director of the Aflac Cancer Center and Professor with the Emory University School of Medicine. "Aflac's support enables us to recruit the most brilliant and dedicated researchers who are developing life-saving treatments for children at the Aflac Cancer Center and across the nation."

With 1,635 active cases, the facility maintains the largest pediatric sickle cell disease program in America, curing more children of sickle cell disease than anywhere in the nation. Sickle cell is an extraordinarily painful disease that attacks internal organs through the blood stream. Sickle Cell Disease is often referred to as an orphan disease. An orphan disease is one that has not been "adopted" by the pharmaceutical industry because it provides little financial incentive for the private sector to make and market new medications to treat or prevent it. Even so, Dr. Peter Lane and researchers at the Aflac Cancer Center make it one of its primary research initiatives.

In addition to corporate donations, approximately 16,000 of Aflac's independent sales agents donate an average of $325,000 every month to the Aflac Cancer Center directly from their commission checks. Other contributions come from Aflac staff headquartered in Columbus Georgia, New York, and Nebraska. Aflac also sells plush Aflac Ducks online with all proceeds going to fight pediatric cancer. Since 2001, sales of the Aflac Holiday Duck alone have provided more than $2.3 million to the cause.

"Our support for this cause has never been about Aflac; it is about the children whose lives are being saved or improved every day by the dedicated people at the Aflac Cancer Center," Aflac chairman and CEO Dan Amos said. "We are proud to help any way we can, but the children and their doctors and nurses are the true heroes."

Throughout the month of September, Aflac and the Aflac Cancer Center will be conducting a major, integrated campaign, including special events, online donating opportunities on Facebook, a text to donate program, and cancer & blood disorder awareness events involving NASCAR superstar Carl Edwards, driver of the number 99 Aflac Ford Fusion.

Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

The Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta is a national leader among childhood cancer, hematology, and blood and marrow transplant programs, serving infants to young adults. Recognized as one of the top childhood cancer centers in the country by U.S.News & World Report, the Aflac Cancer Center treats more than 350 new cancer patients each year and follows more than 2,500 patients with sickle cell disease, hemophilia and other blood disorders. Visit or call 404-785-1112 or 888-785-1112 for more information.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

American Humane Association Launches Innovative 'Therapy Animals Supporting Kids (TASK)(TM)' Program

The American Humane Association today officially launched an innovative new program that encourages and guides child welfare professionals on how to incorporate therapy animals into sessions with children who have been abused or neglected or who have witnessed violence. When children have suffered trauma, it is often difficult for them to speak of their experiences. Incorporating a therapy animal into the process can help a child open up and promote the healing process.

The new program is called "Therapy Animals Supporting Kids (TASK)(TM)." It was created by Allie Phillips, J.D., vice president of American Humane's Public Policy Office and a former prosecuting attorney, and Diana McQuarrie, director of animal-assisted interventions for American Humane and a certified therapy-animal handler. They worked in cooperation with Delta Society(R) and top child protection professionals to produce the program. TASK was unveiled at the 21st Annual Crimes Against Children Conference in Dallas, which is considered the largest child abuse conference in the United States.

"As a former prosecutor, I understand the importance of helping children feel comfortable when disclosing and testifying about abuse or trauma," said co-author Phillips. "Therapy animals provide that comfort and security. The TASK manual was written to help professionals understand this important dynamic that can help a child through the daunting court process."

American Humane has long acknowledged the power of the human-animal bond, and currently trains and provides registered therapy animals to help people in need, especially children who have been abused or neglected or have witnessed trauma to others. To further support and advance this work, American Humane developed the new TASK national initiative.

It is widely accepted that therapy animals can help individuals who have suffered physical or emotional trauma, but TASK takes this concept one step further. The TASK Program provides guidance to child welfare professionals, attorneys and prosecutors, child protection workers, social workers, police officers, and any other professionals who work with children who have been maltreated and could benefit from involvement with therapy animals.

The centerpiece of the new program is the new TASK Program Manual, a publication that merges two important areas of expertise: first, the practical issues involved with setting up an animal-assisted therapy program and safely working with therapy animals; and second, the legal implications of effectively incorporating therapy animals into work with children, which often entails a difficult court process. The manual identifies six situations for incorporating therapy animals into work helping traumatized children, and thoroughly details the benefits, drawbacks and potential legal ramifications involved with each type of situation. These situations are:

-- Greeting children (at a children's advocacy center or other agency
-- Forensic interview or evaluation
-- Medical examination
-- Individual or group therapy
-- Court preparation
-- Courtroom testimony

The manual features children's advocacy centers and prosecutors' offices that currently incorporate therapy animals to assist children.

More about the program and a downloadable copy of the TASK Manual are available online at .

The TASK Manual was peer-reviewed by nationally recognized leaders in child protection and animal-assisted therapy, as well as agencies that have effectively incorporated therapy animals into programs to benefit child victims and witnesses.

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Christian City Looking for Loving, Christian Foster Parents

Foster Parent Orientation September 10th, 5:30pm-7:30pm; The Children's Village at Christian City, Administration Building, 7501 Red Oak Road, Union City, GA. Please contact Program Director Noelle Porter at 770-964-3309. RSVP by Monday, September 7th. For more on The Children's Village:

Park Springs Members and Staff Present Check for $5,574 to Alzheimer’s Association

Money raised to be used in metro Atlanta

Park Springs Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), the Southeast’s premier CCRC, presented a check in the amount $5,574 to the Alzheimer’s Association, Georgia Chapter on Thursday, August 6 at its community in Stone Mountain, Ga.

“More than 200,000 people in the state of Georgia are affected by Alzheimer’s disease,” said Rhita Pfleger, director of development for the Alzheimer Association’s Atlanta region. ”The Members and staff at Park Springs have again stepped up to help find a cure. The Alzheimer’s Association is so appreciate of the continued efforts by Park Springs on our behalf. Every 70 seconds someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s – Park Springs has helped to champion those touched. The monies they raised will be used in the metro Atlanta area to continue programs and services to enhance care and support of individuals, families and caregivers,” she added.

Leisure Services at Park Springs and its Members held an assortment of events beginning in May to raise the funds. Events included bake sales, breakfast buffets, music concerts and movie screenings. Park Springs CCRC has been a supporter of the Alzheimer’s Association since its inception five years ago.

The Alzheimer's Association, Georgia Chapter was formed in July 2002 when the Greater Georgia, Central Georgia and Augusta chapters of the Alzheimer's Association merged into a single entity dedicated to serving the entire state. Prior to this merger, the Atlanta Area Chapter had been serving the metro area since 1982. The goals of the Georgia Chapter remain consistent with those of the national office: advancing research, enhancing care and support, raising public awareness and building capacity.

Coming together as one statewide chapter has allowed the Alzheimer's Association, Georgia Chapter to reach more people more effectively and more efficiently. There are seven regional offices, along with the state office in Atlanta. It is estimated that 199,457 Georgians have Alzheimer's and nearly 500,000 others are affected through their roles as caregivers. In fiscal year 2007, the Georgia Chapter was able to serve over 124,000 individuals through programs and services. The Associations mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research and promotion of brain health, and to enhance care and support for all individuals, their families and caregivers. For more information or to volunteer, visit
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Recycling keeps line away from turtles and fish

Plastic fishing line may be useful for catching fish, but left in the water it can be deadly to turtles and other sea life. To encourage fishermen to recycle broken fishing line, 4-H’ers along Georgia’s coastline have installed used fishing line recycling collection bins.

Volunteers in action

Along with volunteers from the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and Clean Coast of Savannah, 4-H’ers set up 60 monofilament line recycling stations at piers and boat ramps in Camden, Glynn, McIntosh and Liberty counties.

Georgia 4-H began participating in the program in March 2008 when Camden County Cooperative Extension agent Amber Defore was searching the Internet for new programs to offer. She discovered that Florida 4-H’ers were collecting and recycling fishing line. A few more clicks, and she found information on a similar program at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island.

“Doug Haymans of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources was listed as the contact and that’s how it all started for me,” she said. “Then I found out about the program in Glynn County was the brainchild of Liz Brown of the UGA Marine Extension Service.”

Defore and Glynn County 4-H agent Robi Gray were recruited into the project by Brown and the other coastal county 4-H programs soon followed suit.

Harmful to sea life

“Fishing line in the water can entangle sea animals’ wings and flippers,” Defore said. “It can also keep them from moving away from predators and swimming to the surface to get oxygen.”
The animals most often affected are sea turtles, dolphins, manatees, fish, sharks, stingrays, shorebirds and even humans.

Gray said 4-H’ers in her county didn’t fully understand the magnitude of the project until they installed their first collection station.

“We installed a receptacle off the old Sidney Lanier Bridge, which many people now use as a fishing pier,” she said. “The kids looked around at the marsh and saw a lot of fishing line tangled in the bushes. It really hit home to them how important it is to have a way to collect and remove it from the area.”

Educating the public

Public awareness has made the program “spread like wildfire,” Defore said.

At events such as the fishing derby on Jekyll Island and the Department of Natural Resource beach week on St. Simons Island, 4-H’ers educated the public on the hazards of leftover fishing line to wildlife and sea life said.

“They ask the people to shape their hand like a beak, and then they put rubber bands around the beak,” Gray said. “This shows them how a bird feels when fishing line wraps around its beak and prevents it from eating. Hands-on activities like this really hit home for the kids.”

In Camden County, 92 percent of the containers are being used, Defore said.
“They have collected as little as one strand of line and as much as 40 pieces in individual stations,” she said. “The site on the St. Simons Island pier is always overloaded.”

The collection stations are most often elbow-shaped and made of PVC pipe. The production and distribution of these containers was made possible by a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grant and the Georgia's Sport Fish Restoration Program, funded in part from fishing license fees.

“The kids seem to like checking the collection sites,” Defore said. “It gives them a sense of responsibility.”

Converted into fish habitats

Once collected, the fishing line is sent to Berkley Conservation Institute to be recycled. It is then sent to Pure Fishing where it is turned into tackle boxes, fishing habitats and new fishing line.
Plastic panels made from the recycled fishing line are given to the 4-H’ers, who transform them into boxes that serve as fish habitats.

“The panels are connected like a puzzle, roped off and sunk in fresh water ponds where they become fish habitats,” Gray said. “This effort makes a complete circle from catching fish to collecting the fishing line to creating something that makes an environment for fish to breed in.”

By Sharon Dowdy
University of Georgia

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Aetna Grant to Fund Anti-Obesity Education Project

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Atlanta’s Center for Puppetry Arts today unveiled “Little Noodle,” a brand-new puppet created to teach children and their families the importance of health eating and exercise. “Little Noodle,” funded by a $50,000 grant from Aetna (NYSE: AET) and the Aetna Foundation, will be featured in a puppet show, Adventures of Little Noodle, which made its debut at the center today.

The grant is part of Aetna’s continued efforts to target childhood obesity and diabetes in Atlanta, particularly within the African-American community.

“On behalf of all Georgians, I want to thank Aetna and the Center for Puppetry Arts for working together to improve the physical health of our state’s most precious resource – our children,” Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue said. “This show will encourage children to make healthy eating choices and keep an active lifestyle, which will allow them to be better prepared for school and for a lifetime of healthy living.”

“We’re very excited about the creation of ‘Little Noodle,’ and by all the great work done by the Center for Puppetry Arts to help us attack childhood obesity and diabetes in the Atlanta community,” said Cynthia Follmer, president of Aetna’s Georgia market. “Aetna has worked with the Center on a number of wonderful cultural and educational programs over the past several years. They use puppets to reach and inspire children in ways that few other can. We’re thrilled that they’ve agreed to employ those talents to deliver a critically important health message.”

In 2008 Aetna and the Aetna Foundation awarded community grants and sponsorships in Georgia totaling $725,000, with a particular focus on diabetes and related conditions. In the first six months of 2009, they awarded grants totaling more than $350,000 for similar programs. Aetna provides health benefits to more than 600,000 people in Georgia.

Tackling an issue like childhood obesity is no easy task, even for a seasoned puppetry veteran like Jon Ludwig, the Center’s artistic director. “This is a critical issue; we’re dealing with people’s lives,” said Ludwig.

To create Adventures of Little Noodle, Ludwig teamed up with a group of experts to make sure that the Center was promoting the most accurate theories on how to prevent childhood obesity. “Our job is to be a bridge and reinforce the message of the experts by demystifying the problem in an engaging and theatrical setting that kids will remember,” Ludwig said. “This show is really fun nutrition for the soul.”

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Jeffrey Fashion Cares Atlanta Announces 2009 Live Auction Items

Featuring an Array of Unparalleled Auction Items Including a Napa Valley Wine Experience and New York Fashion Week Getaway with Tickets to the Jason Wu Runway Show for his Spring 2010 Collection

Jeffrey Fashion Cares, benefiting the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Greater Atlanta Affiliate and the Atlanta AIDS Partnership Fund (AAPF), has announced the live auction items for its 2009 event on Monday, August 31st at 55 Allen Plaza in Downtown Atlanta. Patrons will have the opportunity to bid on a variety of items and unparalleled opportunities during the fashionable fête, including a unique Napa Valley wine experience for four and a New York Fashion Week getaway that includes coveted tickets for the Jason Wu runway show for his Spring 2010 Collection. The event also includes a silent auction, which will feature items from Jeffrey Atlanta. Silent auction items will be on display at Jeffrey Atlanta in Phipps Plaza through Sunday, August 30.

In addition to giving attendees the option to make installment payments on their tickets or patronships, bidders online and at Fashion Cares can also choose to make payments on this year’s live auction items in a discreet, confidential way. Fashion Cares is accepting bids now on both the silent and live auction items that will be carried over to the night of the event. There is also an option to “Buy It Now” for ‘must-have’ items bidders can’t live without. For up-to-date information on all auction items, visit and then, email to place a bid or secure items prior to the event.

“We are very fortunate to have so many generous organizations behind our efforts to present an array of unforgettable live auction items at this year’s event in order to help us meet our goals in raising money and awareness for our beneficiaries. We also understand the current economic climate has taken a toll on everyone; and feel it is more important than ever to present viable payment options to our attendees,” say Event Chairs Sacha Taylor and Lila Hertz.
Live auction items to be auctioned off at event include:

Napa Valley Wine Experience--May 6 - 9, 2010

A unique Napa Valley wine experience for two couples, along with time in San Francisco is complete with luxury accommodations, “behind the scenes” winery and vineyard activities, as well as your very own private wine guide.
- Four Delta first-class, round-trip, unrestricted airline tickets from any location in the US.
- Accommodations for four at the winery, Cardinale, for three nights. Cardinale is a wine inspired by the mountain terroir of its Napa Valley estate and select vineyards along the Mayacamas and Vaca Ranges. Cardinale's densely planted, low yielding vines endure the challenging elements that produce exceptional grapes. The wine is nurtured and animated through careful mountain viticulture and innovative artisan methods. It is a very special place with beautiful views and wonderful hand crafted wines produced from Jess Jackson’s finest Napa Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards. It is also the sometime California retreat of the thoroughbred racehorse Curlin.
Michael Venezia, Corporate Director of Education of United Distributors Inc., wine connoisseur and gourmand, will be your personal aide de camp during you stay in Napa Valley.
- Private, VIP tours and tastings at Cardinale, Silver Oak and Opus One.
- Also, included is a one-night stay at the W San Francisco for two couples--In the heart of the SoMa district, the city is in reach. Neighbors with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, W San Francisco faces the beautiful Yerba Buena gardens and is blocks away from Union Square's shops, the Financial District & the Waterfront. Panoramic views of the Bay Bridge and the city skyline fill each of guest room.

Compliments of: Delta, W San Francisco & United Distributors

New York Fashionista Fantasy TripGrab your best girlfriend and jet off to New York Fashion Week—September 2009--as you rub elbows with world's most fashionable set. You may even catch a glimpse of Anna Wintour!
- Two Delta first-class, round-trip, unrestricted airline tickets from any location in the US.
- Two Nights, Three Days at The St. Regis New York--In the heart of Manhattan, a refined atmosphere and gracious service rank The St. Regis New York among the top hotels. In 2008, it received the Mobil Travel Guide Five-Star Award and AAA Five Diamond Award for the 15th consecutive year.
- Two tickets for the Jason Wu Runway Show for his Spring 2010 Collection.
- Two $500 gift certificates for a shopping spree at Jeffrey.
A $200 gift certificate at any of Chef Laurent Tourondel’s BLT restaurant concepts.
- Two $100 Bliss Certificates for spa treatments--The new Bliss 57, which is walking distance from The St. Regis, features an over-the-top treatment menu that includes their famous facials, mesmerizing massages, and mind-boggling body treatments. Their latest spa location caters to our indigenously uptown clientele (celebrities, supermodels, moms) by offering the same unique vibe, along with some aaah-inspiring improvements.
Lastly, celebrate your trip to NY with a $250 gift certificate to the Four Seasons NY’s newest addition, The Garden, an expansive wine & champagne bar serves small plates such as charcuterie & artisanal cheeses

Compliments of: Delta, Bliss, Jeffrey Kalinsky, BLT, Jeffrey, Four Seasons NY, Dan Normandin & Fashion Cares

Tiffany & Co. Earrings
How about an early Holiday Gift? Have an Anniversary coming up? A Birthday?
A Pair of 18kt Yellow Gold and Platinum Paloma Picasso Rubellite and Diamond earrings. 186 Diamonds totaling 4.11 Carats & 2 Oval Rubellites totaling 11.55 carats—Retails for $26,675

Compliments of: Tiffany & Co.

Elton John's Oscar Party
Walk the red carpet and be immersed in paparazzi flash bulbs, enjoying every bit of the glitz and glamour during this celebrity filled event.
- Two Delta first-class, round-trip, unrestricted airline tickets from any location in the US
- Invitation for two to private cocktails & dinner during the 81st Academy Awards--Sunday, March 7, 2010
- Admittance for two to a private Elton John Performance.
- Admittance for two to the Post-Oscar Elton John Party.
- Two Nights at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA--Ideally situated at the crossroads of Beverly Hills and Los Angeles, the SLS Hotel is a landmark of sleek sophistication, just steps from The Beverly Center, the sparkling storefronts of Rodeo Drive, and favorite celebrity haunts.

Compliments of: Delta, ING, Elton John AIDS Foundation & Jeffrey Fashion Cares

Barcelona Bliss
-Where Miro meets the Mediterranean, medieval quarters showcase modernista masterpieces and Catalan cuisine complement caliente clubs, the W Barcelona is an avant-garde icon rising above a stunning waterfront in Spain’s most dynamic and stylish city.
- Six nights, Seven Days at the newly-built, W Barcelona (Opens October 2009).
- Two Massages from Bliss Spa.
- Two welcome drinks in the rooftop bar, Eclipse, with VIP access during your stay.
- Daily use of a poolside, VIP Cabana and a W beach picnic basket.
- Two W Beach Towels designed by Spanish glam illustrator, Jordi Labanda.

Compliments of: W Barcelona

The “Uptown” Atlanta Ultimate ExperiencePlace all aside and head to the posh St. Regis Atlanta for a complete getaway for two couples & wine experience of a life time!
- A night’s stay in the Empire Suite, which has two bedrooms (valued at $6,000 a night)--The 2,800 square-foot Empire Suite surrounds guests with every possible luxury and the potential for many more through the services of a bespoke St. Regis Butler. With a full kitchen and elegant dining area, a piano and a fireplace, the suite is a natural venue for intimate gatherings.
- A dinner party for four in the Empire Suite to include a private wine tasting with The St. Regis Wine Director & 3rd Best Sommelier in the World, Herve Pennequin.
- A private tour of the “back of the house” during your stay.
- Spa treatments of your choice at Remede Spa.
- A 16”X8” watercolor painting of your choice from French Artist Georges Nasri, whose art adorns the walls at the St. Regis Atlanta.

Compliments of: St. Regis Hotel, Remede Spa & Huff Harrington Fine Art, LTD.

The “Downtown” Atlanta Ultimate ExperienceIn Atlanta’s exciting Downtown, the W is a lush hideaway infused with natural elements and sensual style, where revitalization and rejuvenation beckon amid major corporations, specialty shopping, upscale living and everything cool about Hotlanta.
- A weekend night’s stay in a WOW Suite.
- Two Spa treatments of your choice at Bliss (Pick from either: Blissage75 or Dew Diligence Facial).
- Two cool cocktails from either Drink Shop, Wet Bar or Living Room.
- A private tour of the “back of the house,” including the W Residences.
- Dinner for six at nearby French American Brasserie where you will start the evening with a glass of champagne & canapés on the Rooftop Terrace. Then, Chef Stephen Sharp will prepare a savory four-course dinner for six, in their intimate wine cellar. Expect an innovative French inspired menu with wine pairings, created just for you and tailored to your palate.
- Helicopter Tour of Downtown and Buckhead, taking off from the W’s Rooftop Helipad (25-Minute Tour).

Compliments of: W Atlanta Downtown, Air Atlanta, French American Brasserie

Jeffrey Fashion Cares 2009, which includes a Pre-Show Cocktail Reception, Couture Fashion Show and Silent & Live Auctions, will kick-off Monday, August 31 at 7 p.m. at 55 Allen Plaza in Downtown Atlanta -- with fashion superstar, Jason Wu, as this year’s special guest. Immediately following the show, a VIP After-Party hosted by the W Atlanta Downtown Hotel & Residences will feature a musical performance by another special guest--Fred Schneider of the B-52’s. Jeffrey Fashion Cares, now in its 17th year, will once again benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure Greater Atlanta Affiliate and the Atlanta AIDS Partnership Fund (AAPF). Last year’s sold-out event raised an unprecedented $800,000 with 95 cents on the dollar being donated to its beneficiaries.

2009 Presenting Sponsors to date include, Atlanta Magazine, Delta, Dennis Dean Catering, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, ING, Jeffrey, Nordstrom, Tiffany & Co., W Atlanta Downtown Hotel & Residences and We Rent Atlanta.

For more information and to purchase tickets to Jeffrey Fashion Cares 2009 event, including patron and corporate sponsorship opportunities, please visit or call (404) 745-0293.
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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ga Coalition to End Homelessness: News from the Hill

HUD Makes Additional Funds Available to Public Housing Authorities

Facing Shortfalls Last week, HUD announced that additional funds have been made available to PHAs participating in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program. The additional funds are available to PHAs that are experiencing funding shortfalls that limit them from serving families already housed through the program. Currently, HUD plans to award $41 million to minimize the impact on families and prevent the termination of housing vouchers. Please note that PHAs are urged to contact HUD no later than August 14 if they believe they will have to terminate standing vouchers due to insufficient funds in fiscal year 2009. HUD is determining the degree of the budget shortfall through email from PHAs, so it is imperative that agencies that suspect they will experience a budget shortfall in FY09 contact HUD immediately.

More Information

SELHA Introduced in Senate

On July 28, the Services for Ending Long-Term Homelessness Act (SELHA) was re-introduced in the Senate. The legislation, S. 1523, was introduced by Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Jack Reed (D-RI) and is co-sponsored by Senator Mark Begich (D-AK). SELHA would create a new program within the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at HHS to fund an array of services in permanent supportive housing, with a focus on helping people move toward recovery and self-sufficiency. Under the legislation, households experiencing long-term homelessness could receive services that would continue once they are housed. S. 1523 was referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

Congress in Recess

Both the House and Senate are now in their August recess and are expected to return after Labor Day. At that point, the Senate will continue work on fiscal year 2010 appropriations bills, and both chambers will work on a number of other housing- and homelessness-related bills.

HRE Posts CoC Registration Training Modules

Last week, HUD posted training modules for the 2009 Continuum of Care (CoC) Registration on the Homelessness Resource Exchange (HRE). The training materials are designed to assist with the completion of the new electronic CoC application submission process. HUD has posted web-based training modules reviewing both CoC registration and an overview of e-snaps. Training modules for completion of Exhibit 1 and Exhibit 2 in e-snaps will be available on HRE later this month.
More Information

The Technical Assistance Collaborative & the Consortium for Citizens With Disabilities Release Resource on HPRP for People with a Disability

Late last month, the Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC) and the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) Housing Task Force released a new issue of Opening Doors, their joint housing publication for the disability community. Issue 32 provides people in the disability community with information on how to serve homeless and at-risk people with disabilities using Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP) funds. Specifically, the publication provides information on HPRP target populations, grantees and timelines; how public housing authorities can play a role in HPRP activities; how HPRP funds can be used to prevent and end homelessness; and how HPRP can be used to assist extremely low income people with disabilities.

Issue 32 of Opening Doors

National Law Center On Homelessness and Poverty & the National Coalition For The Homeless Release Report on Local Anti-Homelessness Laws

Last month, the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty (NLCHP) and the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) released "Homes Not Handcuffs," a report that tracks the criminalization of homelessness across the United States. The report details specific city measures that disproportionally target homeless people, including laws criminalizing sleeping or eating in public spaces.

More Information and Download Report

National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty Releases DV Q&A Document

Recently, the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty (NLCHP) released a Questions and Answer (Q&A) document for advocates. The Q&A focuses on domestic violence shelters and federal civil rights statutes. Specifically, the Q&A covers the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Housing Act, Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The resource provides details about how these civil rights laws impact domestic violence shelters and their services.

Download Q&A Document

Information contained in this release is provided by live RSS news feed from the National Alliance To End Homelessness, Washington D.C.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Saint Joseph’s Mercy Care Services to Host a Free Health Fair for the Homeless

Health Care for the Homeless Day is August 12, and Saint Joseph’s Mercy Care Services is celebrating with a health fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Gateway Center, located at 275 Pryor Street in Atlanta. Mercy Care will offer a variety of free health screenings including adult blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol, HIV counseling and testing services, and more via its Mobile Medical Unit.

The event is sponsored by the National Association of Community Health Centers and the National Health Care for the Homeless Council and is held in conjunction with the National Health Center Week (August 9 through 15). The theme for Health Care for the Homeless Day is “Your Health Care Home.” It is celebrated as an opportunity to fight for medically underserved individuals and also recognizes the importance of health care centers’ more than 40-year history of providing primary and preventive medical care to those in need.

For more information about the Health Fair, please contact Saint Joseph’s Mercy Care Services at (678) 843-8600.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Atlanta Hawks Foundation Announces 2009 Charitable Grant Recipients

$40,000 awarded to Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy, Girls On The Run, North Metro Miracle League and the Ryan Cameron Foundation

The Atlanta Hawks Foundation has announced the Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy, Girls On The Run, the North Metro Miracle League and the Ryan Cameron Foundation as the recipients of its 2009 charitable grants. Each organization was awarded $10,000 from the Hawks Foundation.

“During these tough economic times, we recognize that many non-profits are being asked to provide services to more people and to do so with fewer resources,” said Tracy White, Atlanta Hawks Sr. Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “As a result, the Hawks Foundation is particularly pleased to be able to award grants this year, and it is our hope that these funds will allow our partners to serve even more communities and individuals.”

The Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy provides books for preschool children in all 159 counties in Georgia. Children who register for this program receive a book at their homes every month through the U.S. mail until their fifth birthday. Additional literacy support materials are also provided.

Girls On The Run educates and prepares young girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living by empowering third-eighth graders to have a stronger sense of identity and positive self image. Groups of 16 girls meet twice a week at Atlanta area schools, parks and community centers where they discuss social issues and participate in physical fitness activities. The curriculum covers three topics – Self awareness and self care, selecting healthy relationships, and empowerment and community service – and culminates in a non-competitive 5K race for group members.

The North Metro Miracle League provides adapted sports programs and inclusive social activities for children with disabilities in the Atlanta area. The Hawks Foundation’s grant will help fund the organization’s Summer Fitness Day Camp, which features seven weeks of physical therapy facilitated by special education/adapted PE teachers and teen volunteers.

The Ryan Cameron Foundation seeks to create healthy transitions from childhood into adulthood for Atlanta area youth by offering resources and programs designed to empower, inspire and encourage positive growth. The Hawks Foundation and Ryan Cameron Foundation are teaming-up to create the SALUTE Program, which will focus on helping kids understand working together to achieve a goal as well as overcoming barriers and obstacles. The program also includes the Fourth Annual Youth Golf Clinic and Youth Health Fair.

The Hawks Foundation makes grants to non-profit, tax-exempt organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Visit the community section of for more information.

Atlanta Hawks 2009-10 season tickets start as low at $10 per game and are on sale now and can be purchased by visiting or calling 1-866-715-1500. New this year, fans also have the option of purchasing the exciting 13-game Playoff Plan, which includes the home opener and 12 additional games versus 2009 playoff teams – including the Lakers, Cavaliers, and Celtics. Groups of 20 or more can guarantee their ticket purchases before the public on-sale date by placing a deposit through the Hawks ticket sales department at 1-866-715-1500 or Individual regular season game tickets will go on sale at a later date. The Hawks, a member of the National Basketball Association since 1949, play in the Southeast Division, along with the Charlotte Bobcats, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards.
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Thrashers Foundation Awards $50,000 in Grants to Local Charity Organizations

The Atlanta Thrashers Foundation has awarded $50,000 in grants to six local charity groups in recognition of and to help benefit their work in the Atlanta community, it was announced today. The organizations receiving grant money include the Agape Community Center, Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities, Children’s Restoration Network, C.H.O.I.C.E.S, CURE Childhood Cancer and Yes Atlanta!

“Since the team’s inception, the Thrashers have been committed to serving an important role in the Atlanta community by supporting several causes and charities through our foundation,” said Executive Vice President and General Manager Don Waddell. “We are proud of the impact that our organization has been able to make and look forward to continuing those efforts, especially when charities and non-profits are most in need.”

The Agape Community Center will receive $10,000 to help fund the GoGirlGo! program, which is designed to help get girls active and educate them on healthy habits that lead to healthy lifestyles. The center helps neighborhoods build communities by offering programs and facilitating community organizing for residents of the Bolton Community, located in northwest Atlanta.

Atlanta Ronald McDonald House, which creates, finds and supports programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children, will also receive $10,000 from the Thrashers Foundation. The money will help fund the charity’s Adopt-A-Family Program and will benefit two different houses that are operated by the group.

The Thrashers Foundation will provide the Children’s Restoration Network with a $5,000 grant to help with the group’s Project One-on-One, an academic mentoring program focused on children in shelters and group homes who, because of their circumstances, have fallen behind their grade level in school.

C.H.O.I.C.E.S., the Center for Helping Obesity in Children End Successfully, will be receiving a $10,000 grant for their Children’s Nutrition Education and Physical Activity Expos, with special attention to “in-school” health education and fitness awareness. The mission of C.H.O.I.C.E.S. is to provide a parent and child resource center for the clinically diagnosed and at-risk children of obesity.

CURE Childhood Cancer, a group that is dedicated to conquering childhood cancer through research and education, will also receive a $10,000 award for their Open Arms Program. The program delivers hot and healthy meals to all patients, families and front-line caregivers at the AFLAC Cancer Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Egleston and Scottish Rite campuses.

Finally, the Thrashers Foundation will award $5,000 to Yes Atlanta! for their Coaching for Success program, a comprehensive educational planning and support program designed for youth struggling in school or lacking motivation to achieve their potential. Yes Atlanta! works to redirect “at risk” youth in metro Atlanta through academic and personal development programs and empower them to be self-sustaining and contributing members of their communities.
The Atlanta Thrashers Foundation is dedicated to supporting Georgia-based organizations committed to improving the lives of children. The Foundation will work with children’s charities and programs that focus on the areas of health, wellness, education and youth hockey development.

Since its inception in 1999, the Thrashers Foundation has granted $4 million in overall donations and charitable contributions to more than 2,000 charities throughout Georgia. For more information, please visit: Atlanta Thrashers Foundation
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Thursday, August 06, 2009

2010 Marshall Memorial Fellowship Now Accepting Applications

The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and the Civic League for Regional Atlanta, in partnership with the German Marshall Fund of the United States, are now accepting nominations for the 2010 Marshall Memorial Fellowship selection process.

The Marshall Memorial Fellowship offers emerging leaders, ages 28-40, the opportunity to explore societies, institutions and people on the other side of the Atlantic. Now in its 27th year, the Marshall Memorial Fellowship hosts individuals from the political, public, corporate, media and nonprofit sectors for a three to four week travel experience designed to strengthen the transatlantic relationship. More information on the German Marshall Fund and the Marshall Memorial Fellowship may be obtained at

Since 2000, over 40 Atlanta leaders have participated in this program.We encourage you to recommend outstanding individuals by using the nomination form here. Candidates must be nominated for the program by a recognized leader in the community and are required to submit a written application and undergo an interview by a panel of regional civic leaders and former Marshall Fellows. Click here for additional information about the selection process.

We are sure that you know of persons who would benefit from this opportunity. Please feel free to also share this information with others who may know of appropriate candidates. Nomination forms must be emailed to by August 14, 2009. Once received, each eligible candidate will receive an application form, which must be returned by August 31, 2009.
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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

BD and Direct Relief International Team Up to Provide Free Diabetes Insulin Injection Products to Americans Impacted by the Economic Downturn

/PRNewswire/ -- BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) and Direct Relief International announced today the launch of a new nationwide program to help people with insulin-dependent diagnosed diabetes who have been affected by the current economic crisis to manage the disease. BD has pledged to donate 5 million insulin syringes and pen needles through Direct Relief to more than 1,000 community health center and free clinic partners nationwide.

"To avoid the debilitating and costly complications of diabetes, patients must effectively manage their conditions," said Linda Tharby, President, BD Medical - Diabetes Care. "Insulin injections often play a vital role in this daily effort, and BD believes that patients who have fallen on tough times should not forego this critical part of their treatment regimen. Direct Relief is a natural partner for BD to help ensure that these patients have access to insulin injection products."

The rise in unemployment has caused many people to lose their health insurance and thus their means to pay for insulin injection products. Direct Relief will work with the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) and the National Association of Free Clinics (NAFC) to assist those who are struggling from the current economic crisis.

"Unfortunately, financial hardship may force many people in communities across America to sacrifice their own health to feed their families or keep roofs over their heads," said Direct Relief International President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Tighe. "Direct Relief and BD are combining forces to address these impossible choices for many people with diabetes, by providing a safety net during these difficult times."

In the United States, approximately 18 million people -- more than five percent of the population -- have diagnosed diabetes.(1) Since the economic crisis began in December 2007, more than 7.2 million Americans have lost their jobs, and 400,000 of these are estimated to have diabetes.(1,2) Many now lack health insurance and access to affordable medical care, and could be at risk for a number of serious, sometimes life-threatening complications if they fail to manage their diabetes effectively.(3)

Direct Relief and BD have worked together since 1996, helping people in developing countries and disaster-ravaged areas worldwide by supplying and delivering medical supplies to communities in greatest need.

Products will be available at participating clinics beginning August 10, 2009, subject to availability. For additional information, please visit or call 866-242-3275.

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