Astros outfielder George Springer has managed to take his own struggles and do something amazing with his fame. He is the spokesperson for Camp SAY which works with children who have speech impediments. He raises money for them and encourages those who are challenged to have confidence. Most recently, he hosted a bowling event at Lucky Strike on Monday July 20, 2015.
As he said, “It is completely all right to be who you are and who you want to be. You can’t let anything stop you from being that person.”
And he’s certainly a great example of being who you want to be. He was drafted in the first round by the Astros in 2011, joined the major leagues last season and is also focused on being a community leader.
As he said, “I’m glad to help. I understand exactly what they are experiencing. I have been there before and experienced everything. The ups and downs. The highs and the lows. It is kind of surreal to be able to go out and help some kids while basing everything off my firsthand experience.”
His speech has gotten better over the years and he attributes some of this to the help of family and friends. The Astros have also been incredibly supportive. At a recent bowling party for Camp SAY, the Astros owner Jim Crane and manager AJ Hinch were in attendance.
As president of business operations, Reid Ryan, who was also there said,
“I applaud George for basically tackling this early in his career and saying I want to help kids and show people that there are kids just like me. The kids at camp are very lucky but more importantly, I think the city of Houston is lucky to have guy like George Springer on our team.”
With the 4th of July just behind us, it’s a great time to think about those who might be in need. And this is particularly true if it’s soldiers – people who have defended our country in time of need. Here, at http://www.business2community.com, they list 8 military charities that need assistance. Here is an overview of four of them:
The Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund: This fund offers financial aid and quality of life solutions for marines and sailors. It also supports members of the Army, Air Force and Coast Guard who served in support of Marines, and their families.
National Military Family Association: As the website explains, “National Military Family Association is the only national organization that for more than 40 years has represented officer and enlisted families of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Public Health Service. The organization helps those seeking resources for: themselves and combat-weary service members returning home from war with fragile mental health, for optimistic-but-anxious children separated from parents during deployments, for spouses forging ahead with educations to build better lives for their families or to prepare for the unthinkable, for widows seeking information about benefits available to them as they cope with their losses, and for proud parents of single service members.”
The Navy SEAL Foundation: Their mission is to provide educational and motivational support and to promote health and welfare programs for the Naval Special Warfare Community.
Operation Homefront: They provide emergency assistance and morale to the troops and the families they leave behind. It also supports the soldiers when they return home.
Allowing everyone – regardless of financial status – to be treated equally before the law has long been in issue, even in the free world, such as America. Historically, it was from the late 1800s until the beginning of the twentieth century that the US legal profession started showing a true sense of commitment to the idea of free legal assistance for the poor, via legal aid. Beginning in 1964, the government put this idea in practice providing federal funding for civil legal assistance to these individuals. Each state however, remains different with a variety of provisions in place, which are not the same everywhere.
We take New Jersey as our example here. David Bershad is the Principal of the Volunteer Lawyers for Justice. He is also on the 2015 Board of Trustees. The VLJNJ seeks to: “improve the lives of economically-disadvantaged adults, children, and families in New Jersey by empowering them with tools, advice and pro bono representation with the goal of securing fair and equal treatment within the legal system.” It was in 2011 that David Bershad became a member of the VLJ Board of Trustees.
Then there is the Officers of the Courts Corporation, also based in New Jersey. The goal of this body is to “provide veterans with legal representation.” What this means in practice is that it seeks to fight for healthcare and disability benefits in particular, also offering counsel on re-employment, family law and other issues specific to wounded veterans.
The LSNJ is another body working for similar ideals. This body “coordinates the statewide legal services system, which provides free legal assistance to low-income New Jerseyans for their civil legal problems. Through its work, LSNJ strives to secure substantive and procedural justice for those living in poverty.
There is still much to be done for America to get to the point of everyone being treated equally before the courts. But as one can see from the New Jersey case discussed above – and people such as David Bershad who are trying to navigate the system for the less financially stable members of society – that it has come a long way since the 1800s.
Not every woman automatically receives an education. Thankfully many individuals, communities and businesses are working to end this discrimination and misfortune.
One example is the Silverfern Group through its Constant Giveback program. As a successful investment banking firm, their mission statement describes their desire to contribute to the community. This program was established to promote women’s rights. With a focus on education, a portion of the firm’s profits are given toward “support[ing] the work of institutions in the areas of women’s rights and grass-roots education and in providing needs-based scholarships for women business leaders…”
The Silverfern Group believes it is important that their giving is a “constant give back” (hence the name of its initiative). Each year this charity is dedicated to a different cause. The idea is that one organization can receive stable income for a year to respond to its financial needs. Regarding the long-term idea of the project, “Silverfern is hopeful that Constant Giveback will become the industry standard for socially responsible investing, not only for the private equity and real estate industries, but for all asset managers.”
While Beau Biden’s demise is tragic, it’s heartwarming to see that money put towards his campaign is going to a good use. The money remaining in his political accounts will fund the new Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children. The charity has, so far, collected more than $250,000 in donations in its first week. As of December 31, Biden’s political committees, which included Beau PAC and Biden for Delaware, reported approximately $660,000.
Biden, the eldest son of Vice President Joe Biden, died on May 30 after a battle with brain cancer.
Taya Kyle was the wife, and now widow, of Chris Kyle. He was the Navy SEAL known for the memoir “American Sniper.” Now, she is on a book tour, “American Wife,” and is working with her new foundation, the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation.
Her goal with the foundation is to provide breaks for military couples, veterans and first-responders such as the police and the fire fighters.
In her book, Kyle talks about her own marriage and how it almost fell apart a number of times. As Kyle told the U-T Talks audience,
“Nobody wants to tell their spouse: ‘You have the most fulfilling, purposeful existence in a job that you’ve dreamed of — and I’m out. It does feel unpatriotic.”
The Kyle foundation has joined with several others with links to the Navy SEAL community.
Kyle described the foundation as: “I know for a fact, when you give them a weekend away, even in their own hometown, where they can stay in their sweatpants or whatever, and they can do whatever they want with no stress, no bills, and not at home where there are things to do … that gives them a longevity that you can’t get any other way.”
Last month, around Chris Kyle’s birthday, the foundation gave $55,000 to many charities that work on behalf of veterans and the New York Fire Department.
At the end of last month, the Versailles Foundation Inc. hosted its annual Benefit Dinner. The event took place at the Regency & Cotillion rooms of The Pierre and, as in years past, was privy to the attendance of a member of the Royal family. This year it was Their Royal Highnesses The Hereditary Prince & Princess Bernhard of Baden. Given that Barbara de Portago is President of the Foundation, she ensures one of the Royals is always in attendance at these dinners.
Other guests who came out in support of the Versailles Foundation included: Hicham Aboutaam of Phoenix Ancient Art, Stuart and Holly Holden, designer of Holly Holden & Company Ltd., and others who have a keen interest in the world of art, design and antiquities. For those who came unaccompanied, such as Joan Granlund, the first wife of Bill Koch, Academy Cadets are on hand to escort them. Indeed, at this event there were a hundred Valley Forget Military Academy Cadets who also provided the musical entertainment.
Cadets who attended the benefit dinner announced the processional entrance of Foundation VIPs including: Director, Mrs. Gillian Spreckels-Fuller, International Committee Member, Mrs. John Dorrance III, and Committee Member Mrs. Heide Hüttl Canellopoulos, the latter of whom has been a supporter of Save Venice Inc., an organization dedicated to the preservation of Venice’s artistic heritage.
If you haven’t heard about Chideo yet – you will. Chideo – the combination of the words charity and video – has enlisted more than 100 VIP participants so far. This includes people from YouTube, sports figures, Academy Award winners and others. Patricia Arquette even gave Chideo a shout-out at the Oscars.
So, what is Chideo? It’s part of Todd Wagner’s plan to build a charity network. As he said,
“If you can have a Military Channel and a History Channel, I don’t see any reason there can’t be a ‘Cause Network.'”
He also explained, “More than anything, (Chideo) is me saying, ‘I’m just going to build this thing. I’m going to build what I believe will help these organizations and they just need to plug into it.'”
At the moment, online donations are only a tiny fraction of the money that is raised by charitable causes. Wagner contends that online giving only amounts to 8% of total charitable contributions.
As Wagner said about the endeavor, “We haven’t even started. We’re still in preseason as to where I think this can go.”
Most of Chideo’s video content is free to the public. 80% of the revenue will go to the charity and donations above the asking price will go completely to the charity..
The cost of hosting a charity event can actually reduce what the charity gets by as much as 40%. By teaming with Chideo, the charity gets more money and a greater reach than if they are just in a single ballroom, as Harry Freedman of the Stategic Fundraising Initiatives in Philadelphia explains.
In recent news, Operation Smile China launched today with a ceremony at Nayong County People’s Hospital in China’s Guizou Province. They provide services to children for whom reconstructive surgery isn’t a financial option. The surgeries involve fixing cleft palates and other operations that help children to be able to smile. In attendance was Miss Luo Zilin, former Miss Universe China. Other senior executives were there as well from the Charity and from the local government.
As Luo Zilin said, “Operation Smile China Fund provides free surgery for children born with cleft palates. Through the dedicated work of professional medical teams, these operations can make a world of difference to someone’s life. It is an amazing charity and I am proud to be involved to raise awareness for the cause.”
Certainly, the new location and the opportunity to help children are both cause for celebration.
It’s nice to see stars putting their hearts where their money is. Mack, Jack & McConaughey (MJ&M) is a joint fundraising effort of Academy Award winning actor Matthew McConaughey, ACM Award-winning recording artist Jack Ingram and ESPN analyst and coaching legend Mack Brown. Together, they have created a two day fun-filled event that includes music, golf and fashion.
The event recently took place on April 16-17 in Austin with a charity gala at Moody Theater. The event included a silent auction and music from a number of musicians, including Toby Keith.