Friday, April 30, 2010

A School Bell Rings Collaborates with Local Bands to Present The Battle of the Corporate Bands

Play Music. Be a Star. Change the World.

A School Bell Rings, a locally-based, internationally-focused non-profit organization, will host its first Battle of the Corporate Bands Live and Silent Auction, a charitable event designed to raise funds for impoverished children in San Juan Del Sur Nicaragua next month. Six bands with musicians who work for major Atlanta companies and non-profits are scheduled into the event line-up.

The event will be held at the Retreat of Dunwoody on Saturday, May 8 starting at 7 PM. Battle of the Corporate Bands is a collaboration between local bands as well as individuals who donate their time and energy to help children around the globe obtain a better education. Participating bands sell tickets to the event and compete with ticket sales, as well as their performances, to raise funds for needy kids as they attempt to “win” the Battle! Each band will perform for 30 minutes, playing five songs for the attendees.

Bands with members from some of Atlanta's finest organizations are participating and include Escape Vehicle, Midwife Crisis, The 501c3 Project, Steve Baskin Band, The Ivy Road Band, and The Verge, with members from Zaxby’s, The American Cancer Society, The 60 Second Marketer, Tribe, Oracle, Colliers International, McKinsey & Company, and CNN.

Tickets to the event are available online starting April 1 at Each ticket entitles attendees to free food, a free drink ticket, free music and access to the live and silent auction which includes items like autographed sports memorabilia, spa retreats, vacation villas, crafts, autographed guitars, oil paintings and other fabulous items.

“This event is a win-win, both for our participating bands, as well as the kids we support,” said Jamie Turner, A School Bell Rings founder and event creator. “As someone who is in a band myself, I can safely say the point is to perform for an audience, and this is a great opportunity to assemble fans and perform for a great cause.”

Turner says event volunteers are excited to partner with several local organizations and companies in the Atlanta area in hopes of reaching shared goals. These relationships will help to facilitate the advancement of growth and progress in the educational programs that A School Bell Rings has funded in years past as well as new programs they aim to fund in the future. With the proceeds from the Battle of the Corporate Bands, A School Bell Rings hopes to fund a new teacher-training program in Nicaragua. Past events have funded building of school facilities, as well as education programs in Tanzania and India. Recent ventures have included building two classrooms at the Tloma Primary School in Karatu, Tanzania and funding the development of a new school in Gujarat, India.

“To keep these kinds of programs going, we plan a high energy evening with excellent music and the live and silent auctions. We will also have information about the programs and kids we support, spirited attendees, and most importantly, a great cause,” said Shanta Dube, A School Bell Rings board member.

A School Bell Rings welcomes individuals and companies to provide tax-deductible auction items by emailing Binita Vijay at In addition, the organization and event needs more volunteers to pull off all the requirements from band management and staging to decorating, auction coordination, set-up and tear-down. Email Shanta Dube at if you are interested in volunteering. For more information about the event, visit

About A School Bell Rings

A School Bell Rings is an official 501(c)3 certified non-profit organization, devoted to improving the lives of impoverished children around the globe by providing them enhanced access to educational facilities and institutions. They accomplish this by building additional school locations and/or providing existing facilities with needed supplies and services. In addition to building schools, they also help the communities they support by establishing ongoing relationships with local craftsmen and artists. Donors who contribute to this organization participate in feedback and guidance on the charity and how it evolves. They do this by pursuing feedback through donor research, online feedback and face-to-face interaction as well as directed donations. 

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Krispy Kreme and the Law Enforcement Torch Run(R) Are Teaming Up to Raise Funds and Awareness For Special Olympics

/PRNewswire/ -- Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc. (NYSE:KKD) is once again teaming up with Georgia police officers to "raise dough" for the Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics Georgia during the first weekend in May. Officers will take to the roofs for Georgia's eighth annual "Cops on Doughnut Shops" weekend from 6 a.m. on Friday, April 30 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 2, where they will collect donations from customers as they eat, sleep and play on the rooftops of the fourteen Georgia Krispy Kreme stores. Due to the success of the event in years past, Cops on Doughnut Shops is being held at Krispy Kreme stores across the country, raising money for each state's local Special Olympics program.

Georgia's 2009 Cops on Doughnut Shops event raised a record $112,000 for the Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics Georgia; this year, the participating officers hope to increase that number to $120,000. In addition to accepting donations from Krispy Kreme customers, the officers will also make calls to local individuals and business leaders asking for pledges, and local celebrities and community leaders are being asked to lend their support up on the roofs throughout the weekend.

Following are the participating Georgia Krispy Kreme stores for Cops on Doughnut Shops 2010:

Albany - 400 N. Slappey Blvd.
Athens - 3703 Atlanta Highway
Atlanta - 295 Ponce de Leon Avenue
Buford - 3387 Buford Drive
Columbus - 6167 Veterans Parkway
Commerce - 40103 Highway 441 South
Duluth - 1550 Pleasant Hill Road
Lilburn - 4129 Highway 78
Marietta - 299 Cobb Parkway, South
Riverdale - 6689 Highway #9
Roswell - 791 Atlanta Street
Savannah - 11506 Abercorn Street
Savannah - 2749 Skidaway Road

"Cops and doughnut shops just naturally go together in people's minds," says Allison Kaczenski, Special Olympics Georgia. "We decided to have some fun with it and help a worthy cause. What better way to create awareness and raise money for the Special Olympics than to put police officers on the roofs of Krispy Kreme stores?"

Customers who donate $5 or more to the Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics will receive not only the sincere thanks of participating officers, but will also receive treats from Krispy Kreme ranging from a free doughnut to a free dozen Original Glazed doughnuts every month for a year. Corporations, organizations or individuals donating $1,000 or more will receive a free Krispy Kreme doughnut party for their employees.

The mission of the Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics is to raise funds for and awareness of the Special Olympics movement worldwide. Law enforcement officers from the 50 United States, 10 Canadian provinces and territories, and 5 countries carry the Flame of Hope in honor of the Special Olympics athletes in their area and around the world. The Law Enforcement Torch Run is the largest grass-roots fund-raiser and public awareness vehicle for Special Olympics in the world. Last year, this international program raised over $30 million to support Special Olympics programs. More than 85,000 law enforcement officers from thousands of agencies have carried the Flame of Hope and have raised more than $200 million since the Torch Run's inception in 1981.

Founded in 1937 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Krispy Kreme is a leading branded specialty retailer of premium quality doughnuts, including the Company's signature Hot Original Glazed. Krispy Kreme currently operates approximately 365 stores and 40 satellites in 45 U.S. states, Australia, Canada, Mexico, the Republic of South Korea and the United Kingdom. Krispy Kreme can be found on the World Wide Web at

For a list of all participating Krispy Kreme store locations, visit

For more information about the Law Enforcement Torch Run®, visit

Information contained in this press release, other than historical information, should be considered forward-looking. In particular, the Company has made predictions about its forecasted growth in systemwide sales for the second half of the fiscal year and the fiscal year overall, its revised development plans and estimated new store openings for the fiscal year and the potential for its new product and cost saving initiatives. Forward-looking statements are subject to various risks, uncertainties, and assumptions. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those anticipated, estimated or expected. Among the key factors that may have a direct bearing on Krispy Kreme's operating results, performance or financial condition are its dependence on franchisees to execute its store expansion strategy, supply issues, changes in consumer preferences and perceptions, the failure of new products or cost saving initiatives to contribute to financial results in the timeframe or amount currently estimated, the outcome of the pending investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the pending shareholder class action, and the pending shareholder derivative action, and numerous other factors discussed in Krispy Kreme's periodic reports, proxy statement and other information statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Habitat For Humanity and Lowe's Challenge Women in all 50 States to Help Build Affordable Housing

/PRNewswire/ -- In the days leading up to Mother's Day, construction crews of women volunteers will join Habitat for Humanity to help build more than 200 houses in all 50 states. In Houston, Texas, they will be joined by Grammy award-winning gospel recording artist and radio morning show host Yolanda Adams and, in Paterson, N.J., New York Times best-selling author Julie Edelman. These pre-Mother's Day activities are part of Habitat's third annual National Women Build Week, May 1-9, sponsored by Lowe's.

National Women Build Week challenges women to devote at least one day to eliminate poverty housing. The event is an initiative of Habitat for Humanity's Women Build program, which recruits, educates and nurtures women to build and advocate for simple, decent and affordable houses in their communities.

"What we're doing this week is a living example of one of my favorite lyrics, 'The things we do, the things we say are gentle rays of hope that touch us all each day,'" Adams said. "I'm so happy we are able to come together as strong, capable women building more than rays of hope for our communities. We are building futures with families throughout the country."

Lowe's is committing $1 million to National Women Build Week by providing $5,000 grants to 200 participating affiliates. This build is a major initiative of Lowe's five-year, $20 million pledge to Habitat. That commitment includes underwriting of Habitat's Women Build program, as well as providing construction know-how at in-store clinics and build sites, and funding for a variety of Habitat projects across the country.

"Lowe's has been the proud sponsor of Habitat's Women Build program since 2004. This innovative program encourages women from all walks of life to pick up their hammers and build homes alongside Habitat partner families," said Larry D. Stone, Lowe's president and COO and chairman of the Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation. "This year marks the third anniversary of National Women Build Week. Lowe's salutes the more than 11,000 engaged women who have volunteered on Habitat jobsites across the U.S. during National Women Build Week to help bring an end to poverty housing."

Since Habitat's Women Build program's inception in 1998, nearly 1,700 Habitat for Humanity Women Build homes have been constructed with Habitat partner families.

"As a mother I realize the need to help empower women," Edelman said. "I hope together, we can build communities where we believe we're all doing our individual best, and whatever or however we do it, our personal best is more than OK! All of us working together - moms, women, families, Habitat and Lowe's, especially leading up to our day, Mothers Day - can truly make a difference by helping women build and maintain their homes, and their sense of self and dignity."

"As we at Habitat continue our work to provide simple, decent, affordable housing, we are both honored and humbled by the incredible support Habitat's women volunteers, sponsors and partner family heads-of-household lend to National Women Build Week," said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. "We are grateful that all across the country, women are addressing housing needs facing low-income families by joining Habitat for Humanity and Lowe's during this important nationwide initiative."

For more information on Habitat for Humanity's Women Build program, and to learn about Women Build projects in communities across the U.S. and around the world, visit

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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Associates Volunteer to Help Georgia Organizations During Third Annual Community Service Day

/PRNewswire/ -- More than 300 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGA) associates and their friends and families joined forces, despite thunderstorms and inclement weather conditions, to participate in the parent company's national Community Service Day. These efforts helped dozens of organizations across the state.

"At BCBSGA we work every day to improve the health of our communities," said Monye Connolly, president of BCBSGA. "Coming together on Community Service Day allows each of us to bring that commitment to life in an everyday way. For the past three years, we have worked with community organizations to collaborate on projects and services that impact each of our communities and we are proud to continue that effort this year."

BCBSGA partnered with the Boys & Girls Club of Metropolitan Atlanta (BGCMA) to make the John Harland Boys & Girls Club cleaner, safer and more functional for its members. BGCMA works to provide young people with a safe place to learn and grow, and life-enhancing programs that develop character and offer hope and opportunity. The Club serves young people between the ages of six and 18 years, inspiring them to realize their full potential as healthy, productive and responsible citizens.

Volunteer tasks included:
- planting spring flowers in existing planter benches and butterfly garden

- refreshing large flower beds around the Club with shrubs and spring flowers

- installing landscape timbers around the Club to prevent mulch from washing away

- painting the teen clubhouse and installing new blinds

Coinciding with Points of Light & Hands On Network's National Volunteer Week, BCBSGA's associates participated in many activities, including:

-- Medshare
-- Camp Twin Lakes - Will-a-Way
-- March of Dimes Georgia Chapter - March for Babies (Columbus and
-- A.J. McClung YMCA
-- Twin Cedars Anne Elizabeth Shepherd Home
-- Food Bank of Northeast Georgia
-- Golden Harvest Food Bank
-- Rebuilding Macon
-- And many others.

In 2009, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation also granted nearly $364,000 to community organizations in Georgia. In addition, BCBSGA gifted more than $270,000 to civic and charitable organizations through its community relations support.

And through BCBSGA's associate giving campaign, which was matched at 50 percent by the parent company's foundation, BCBSGA associates pledged more than $226,002 to help non profit organizations throughout the state in 2009.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Football Great Matt Stinchcomb Will Serve as MC of 10th Annual FODAC Run, Walk 'n Roll in Atlanta

/PRNewswire/ -- Former University of Georgia and NFL Offensive Tackle Matt Stinchcomb will MC the 10th annual Run, Walk 'n Roll, benefiting Atlanta's Friends of Disabled Adults and Children, Too (FODAC). Adults and children of all ability levels are invited to compete in a 5-mile run or a 2-mile walk and roll on Saturday, May 1 at Confederate Hall inside Stone Mountain Park. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. with the runs scheduled for 8:30 and 9 a.m.

"We're excited to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Run, Walk 'n Roll," said Chris Brand, executive director of FODAC. "Each participant either pays a $20 fee or commits to a minimum of $50 in pledges to raise money for our organization. Proceeds from the event are used to provide people who are mobility impaired with wheelchairs, medical supplies and other home medical equipment they might not be able to afford otherwise. We are especially thrilled that football star Matt Stinchcomb is going to be part of the event this year, and I want to invite everyone to come out to meet him and participate in the Run, Walk 'n Roll."

The event will include a continental breakfast and other refreshments, door prizes, silent auction and raffle, and will be held rain or shine. Prizes will be given to the fastest three runners, as well as the individual and group who raise the most money. Corporate sponsors include AM-750 WSB, Stone Mountain Park, Auction Management Corporation, AMS Vans, Tucker Concrete Co., Inc., Cotton Sates Insurance and Verity Compliance, Inc. To register, visit For directions, visit

To date, FODAC has provided clients with over $60 million in medical equipment including over 20,000 wheelchairs. The organization is supported through grants and corporate and private donations.

"This is an easy and fun way for individuals, families or groups to spend a morning raising money for a worthwhile organization," said Brand. "Most of us have friends or family members who need mobility assistance at one time or another due to illness, aging or even an accident. We want to help as many people as possible improve the quality of their lives regardless of whether their mobility issues are temporary or permanent," he said.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Eagle Ranch Celebrates 25 Years of New Beginnings for Children and Families

/PRNewswire/ -- What began as the vision of a young man with a heart to help hurting children has become Georgia's largest single-campus home for children in crisis and a global model for children's homes. April marks the 25th anniversary of the opening of the first home at Eagle Ranch, which now is able to house and serve 66 children (42 boys and 24 girls).

Many North Georgians remember the compelling story of Eagle Ranch's start. Founder Eddie Staub, a newcomer from Alabama, faced a bank's deadline to raise enough money to purchase 180 acres in southern Hall County. The last dollar for the land purchase came just three days before the deadline, inspiring a CNN television report about "the miracle on Chestnut Mountain."

Twenty-five years later, the miracles at Eagle Ranch continue. The old barn that once served as Staub's makeshift office is still standing but is now surrounded by six boys' homes, four girls' homes, an on-campus school, an administration and counseling center, a chapel, athletic center and a recently completed lodge. All of it is sheltered amid a rural pasture setting that has expanded to 270 acres. The program remains firmly centered in its focus on Christian principles and teachings.

"The theme for our 25th anniversary celebration has focused on Eagle Ranch as a 'home for new beginnings,'" Staub said. "We're thankful to have had the opportunity to sow seeds for a fresh start in the lives of hundreds of children since our inception."

The famous deadline that forced Staub to make full payment on the land set the tone for a no-debt philosophy that Eagle Ranch has maintained to this day.

"No construction or development has ever taken place at the Ranch until all funds have been secured," Staub said. "This philosophy has been a hallmark of our fiscal policy that has allowed us to avoid paying interest on debt - and invest even more in the children entrusted to our care."

The Ranch's current $3.2 million budget is supported fully by private donations and funds.

"Today's economy has challenged all charitable organizations, and we are no exception," Staub noted. "But we are continually grateful for the faithful giving of so many people. The community continues to recognize the great need of children in this region and wants to support their care and healing to create stronger future generations."

Like the growth of its facilities and campus, the Eagle Ranch mission has evolved well beyond its original focus. The Ranch initially housed and counseled boys, then opened the doors to girls in 2001. In addition, an on-campus SACS-accredited school was also established in 2001 to provide extra help to Ranch children in grades 6-9.

Along with home life and education, professional counseling remains central to the Ranch's therapeutic approach. But even this key aspect of the overall program has grown from the early years. Though the child is still the primary focus, his or her entire family is now brought into counseling sessions. Family reunification in some shape or form - whether it includes one or both of the child's natural parents, grandparents, or other legal guardians - is the end goal. The programmatic innovation of Eagle Ranch is well-recognized by childcare professionals.

"Eagle Ranch is a family of sacrificial, compassionate caregivers who model what each provider of out-of-home care for children and youth should be about - family-centered practice built on a belief that every child deserves a safe and loving home where they can thrive," said Mark Washington, Assistant Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Human Services, Division of Family and Children Services. "Clearly, this is a place that has the hand of God on it."

While the Ranch looks back on its history during an anniversary celebration planned later this spring, the original vision is still moving forward. Under its Wings Initiative, Eagle Ranch is now reaching out far beyond its borders to help children across the country - and even overseas.

The Wings Initiative provides guidance and training to new or existing children's homes. Wings helps start or retool existing children's homes and has given flight to dozens of programs from Oak Ranch in Sanford, North Carolina, to My Father's House in San Salvador, El Salvador.

As part of its anniversary celebration, Eagle Ranch recently published an updated commemorative edition of "On Eagle's Wings," a history of the Ranch's founding that was written in 1995 to mark the 10th anniversary. Since then, the popular book has been reprinted numerous times along with another book, "Seasons," which includes an inspiring collection of "chicken-soup" style short stories about the Ranch children.

Additional information about the Ranch, its program and an historical scrapbook can be viewed on its website, recently updated for the 25th anniversary, at

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Friday, April 09, 2010

Recycle the Can, Donate the Tab, Refresh Communities

(BUSINESS WIRE)--How far can 10 cents a day go? Farther than you think! Sprite is giving consumers an easy and inexpensive way to give back to communities through the “Sprite Tabs for Habitat” program. During the month of April, look for specially marked Sprite or Sprite Zero™ multipacks or 12-oz single cans with a unique green tab and Habitat for Humanity logo. For each green tab consumers collect and mail in by May 30, 2010, Sprite will donate 10 cents to Habitat for Humanity, up to $500,000. It’s that easy. Enjoy your Sprite, recycle your can and send in the green tab. Visit for more information.

“In addition to providing funds, “Sprite Tabs for Habitat”

“Through the “Sprite Tabs for Habitat” program people can give back to their communities, help others, and recycle – all at the same time,” said Augusto Elias, brand director, Sprite, Coca-Cola North America. “We encourage people with busy lifestyles to see this program as an opportunity to make a difference in their community by simply mailing in the green tabs found on Sprite and Sprite Zero cans.”

Habitat for Humanity builds, repairs and rehabilitates safe, decent and affordable housing in partnership with low-income families in need. Sprite is making a minimum donation to Habitat for Humanity for $250,000 and a percentage of the total funds raised will be allocated to help retrofit homes with water conserving appliances. “In addition to providing funds, “Sprite Tabs for Habitat” will help Habitat for Humanity provide awareness of the incredible need for affordable housing that exists in the United States and around the world,” said Mark Crozet, senior vice president of Resource Development for Habitat for Humanity International. “We thank Sprite for the opportunity to participate in this program.”

Only green Sprite and Sprite Zero tabs will count toward the program and all tabs must be received by May 30, 2010, to be accepted for donation to Habitat for Humanity. To participate, place the green tabs in a regular or padded envelope. If using a non-padded envelope, please limit the number of tabs to 20 in each envelope and mail to: Sprite Tabs for Habitat, P.O. Box 51412, Knoxville, TN 37950. At the conclusion of the program, Sprite will donate all tabs to a charitable organization to be recycled.

In addition to mailing in green Sprite or Sprite Zero tabs, My Coke Rewards® members can also help Habitat for Humanity by donating their My Coke Rewards points between now and May 30, 2010. My Coke Rewards points donated will deliver additional monetary support for Habitat for Humanity. For more information about this opportunity or how to become a member of My Coke Rewards, please visit

Sprite will encourage consumers to participate in the program by placing Habitat for Humanity messaging on packaging, point of sale, and online. Additionally, Sprite is sponsoring ABC Goes Green, a micro site on that focuses on offering consumers tips, quizzes and videos on how to be more environmentally friendly. For more information, please visit

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Thursday, April 08, 2010

April’s 30 Days Can Save a Life

One COTA Mom Shares Her Family’s Journey to Transplant and the Selfness Donation that Saved Her Son’s Life

Every day in April (National Donate Life Month), people across the United States are encouraged to stop and think about saving lives. April is a chance for Americans to make a special effort to celebrate the tremendous generosity of those who have saved lives by becoming organ and tissue donors, and to encourage others to follow their example.

Why are these 30 days of April so important to raise awareness about becoming an organ and/or tissue donor?

Ø The need is growing on a daily basis.

Ø Currently there are 105,720 people on the organ waiting list in the United States.

Ø Each day, 77 children and adults get their life-saving organ transplant, but 19 others die because an organ did not become available in time.

For one Texas COTA family who beat the odds, National Donate Life Month is an important time to share their son’s transplant journey, and to acknowledge the anonymous family whose donation turned anguish into joy.

Weylin Kleinman was born on July 14, 2000, in Round Rock, Texas, several months after doctors had, while he was in utero, spotted what they thought was a cyst in his stomach. Tests done immediately after his birth showed an underdeveloped baby inside Baby Weylin’s abdominal cavity. Doctors removed it one week later and within days of the surgery discovered that Weylin’s small intestines were not functioning -- leaving the infant no way to process food. Weylin’s overworked liver also failed.

His parents, Kristi and Paul, were told Weylin’s condition, called fetus-in-fetus, was profoundly rare with only 50 to 75 cases documented worldwide in more than 200 years. Weylin was put on organ waiting lists at hospitals in New York City, NY, Pittsburgh, PA, and Omaha, NE -- all of which specialize in children’s transplants. And the family’s long and nerve-wracking waiting process began.

According to Kristi, “Once we started down the pathway of researching organ transplants, we instantly knew we were going to need help financially. Many of our friends and family members started trying to raise money for us on their own, but they were struggling to be successful.”

“While I was on a visit to the transplant unit at Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital, I met a fellow transplant family who was using the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA). They explained to me the many benefits associated with COTA, and told me how much trust they had in the organization. I fell in love with COTA on the spot and called my family and friends in Texas to discuss the concept.”

Almost immediately the Kleinman’s friends and families rallied together to work with COTA. According to Kristi, who was still far from home with a very sick baby, everyone was elated and that elation gave her a sense of encouragement and hope that her son’s life would be saved. She said, “I could not believe how fast a COTA training team could get to Texas from Indiana. The relief came to me almost as quickly, once I knew our volunteers were working with this incredible organization.”

Over the coming months, the COTA team orchestrated bake sales at major retailers, hosted Easter egg hunts at the Dell Diamond (a local AA baseball team) and managed coin collection canisters located throughout their community. In addition, family members told Kristi working with COTA allowed donors generosity to be rewarded through the tax deduction for their gift. COTA also helped to open the door to the media for this transplant family, and according to Kristi, “our adorable baby was embraced by even more members of our loving community.”

COTA provided a much-needed distraction while Kristi and Paul waited for a suitable liver and small intestine to be donated. The family’s transplant-related expenses mounted -- even during the long wait for transplant. The COTA team raised more than $75,000 -- and every penny was, or will be, used to cover his transplant-related expenses, including renting a medical transport jet when the family received ‘the call’ in Texas and had a window of only a few hours to get to Pittsburgh so Weylin could receive a second chance at life.

Weylin’s transplant surgery lasted 12 hours and came with a price tag of $1.8 million. Even more wrenching was knowing that a three-year-old girl was killed in an accident. Her family’s decision to donate her organs gave Weylin his second chance. Since receiving that selfless gift of life almost a decade ago, Kristi has become a vocal supporter of organ donation; she is a major supporter of National Donate Life Month activities.

“Another jaw-dropping aspect of COTA is the relief in not having to search for more funds once your child is blessed with donated organs,” said Kristi. “COTA tried to prepare me for how overwhelming it is when the organs come and the transplant actually occurs, but I figured after all of the waiting, this would not be the case with me. I was wrong.”

“This is truly one of the miracles you receive when working with COTA. Their professionals have seen so many families go through this traumatic event, and they know how to make sure you are ready for what you are about to endure. With COTA, I never once worried about the huge medical bills or the cross-country check ups or any of those transplant-related expenses that we will have for the rest of Weylin’s hopefully long life.”

Weylin has not experienced one bout of rejection since his small intestine and liver transplant nearly a decade ago. He plays on flag football and basketball teams. He loves his little sister and video games. He argues with his mom about homework and bedtime. He and his family travel from Texas to Pittsburgh for an annual check-up where they are able to show off the miracle performed there on June 8, 2001.

Weylin’s second chance at life was possible only because of a family from thousands of miles away who, in the face of their own personal tragedy and grief, made the decision to donate life.

The Children’s Organ Transplant Association is a national charity that provides fundraising assistance for children needing life-saving transplants. COTA’s priority is to assure that no child or young adult is denied a transplant or excluded from a transplant waiting list due to lack of funds. 100 percent of all funds raised in honor of patients are used for transplant-related expenses. For more information, visit or call 800.366.2682.
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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Macy's Teams Up With the National Park Foundation in Effort to Raise $1 Million

(BUSINESS WIRE)--This year marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, and consumers might well ask: what difference can any one of us make? Macy's (NYSE:M) announced today three ways it is making a difference: a cause marketing campaign to generate much needed support for national parks, renewed sustainability efforts to reduce Macy's impact on the environment, and giving back to local communities through volunteer efforts.

“Helping to protect the environment is an important priority for our customers and associates”

Starting on April 5, Macy's launches its Great Give Back campaign highlighting the work of the National Park Foundation, providing a matching grant to customer donations for a total fundraising goal of $1 million. This amount is added to the $5 million already donated by the retailer and its customers since 2008.

"This year, Macy's support is connecting more than 100,000 young people to their national parks," said Neil Mulholland, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation. "Macy's contributions have helped support programs including First Bloom which brings urban youth into the national parks to design and plant their own gardens; as well as our upcoming Electronic Field Trip to Bryce Canyon, which will connect classrooms around the country and world to one of our most amazing national parks."

The Great Give Back campaign runs through April 30 in all Macy's locations and on Customers are encouraged to make a point-of-sale donation in any denomination, and Macy's will make a matching grant up to $500,000.

From April 17 to 25, Macy's is an official partner of the National Park Foundation for National Park Week . Eight park locations have been selected for volunteer projects, assisting with vital programs including habitat restoration, trail maintenance, and land/river clean ups. The eight efforts around the nation are:

* Atlanta: Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area - First Bloom planting and trail work
* Cleveland: Cuyahoga Valley National Park – First Bloom planting
* Los Angeles: Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area – Trail restoration and maintenance
* Minneapolis/St. Paul: Mississippi River National Recreation Area – Park cleanup
* New York City: Gateway National Recreation Area – Ground maintenance and repairs
* San Antonio: San Antonio Missions National Historical Park – First Bloom planting
* San Francisco: Golden Gate National Recreation Area – Habitat restoration and trail work
* Washington, D.C.: National Capital Parks East/Fort Mahan – Trail maintenance

"Helping to protect the environment is an important priority for our customers and associates," said Terry J. Lundgren, Macy's chairman, president and chief executive officer. "Macy's is proud to partner with the National Park Foundation for the third year in a row. This year, we've added the new element of volunteering time in the national parks, and we're delighted to invite community volunteers to join our Macy's Partners in Time participants in the parks."

Additionally, Macy's, Inc renewed its commitment to sustainability with new corporate goals through 2013. Since 2008, Macy's has:

* Encouraged nearly 1.5 million customers to switch to online billing statements vs. paper statements;
* Decreased use of office paper by 34 percent and paper used in marketing by 23 percent;
* Increased the proportion of recycled or certified paper used in our marketing materials to 63 percent and in our shopping bags to 82 percent;
* Installed active solar power systems at 40 stores;
* Invested in energy efficiency projects and consumption reduction initiatives to reduce total energy use by 10 percent (in addition to a reduction of 9 percent in the previous five years);
* Substituted biodegradable packing materials instead of foam "peanuts" in shipping online orders;
* Pioneered efforts to reduce the number of empty trucks on the road through the “Empty Miles Service" program, matching trucks/trailers with other shippers to minimize empty loads

Macy's, Inc has set new sustainability goals for 2013, including:

* Reduce energy consumption on a kWh per square foot basis by another 8 to 10 percent;
* Host an additional 15 to 25 percent of renewable energy sources;
* Reduce the amount of paper used by at least another 10 percent;
* Increase the percentage of recycled (10 percent PCW or higher) and/or third-party certified paper in marketing materials to 70 percent of total (up from 3 percent in 2006);
* Increase the use of sustainable building materials in all major construction projects by 20 percent

"Giving back is one of Macy's core values," said Lundgren. "Through our efforts with the National Park Foundation and our commitment to sustainability, we're proof that one company can make a big difference."

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