Brian D’Apice is making a different one wheel at a time. An American army veteran, he’s decided to bike across the country to raise money for three charities. So far he’s traveled over 8200 miles and has passed through 26 states. As he explains on his website, he’s riding Around the Continental United States, not through it. He’s been on the road since May 4th, 2015.
He has had 10 flat tires and has eaten more than 33 pounds of peanut butter. He’s raised $34,000 for charity and he plans to continue until he gets all the way across the country.
Along the way, in the eight months that he has traveled so far, D’Apice has been speaking at schools and businesses to talk about the importance of education. As he said, “Most of the time it doesn’t seem to me like I’ve covered all those miles. But every time I give a talk, every time I see that blue line grow, it’s just like, wow.”
He’s in Louisiana now and the charities he’s focusing on include Pencils of Promise, National Military Family Association and Connecting Families.
Find out more about Brian and follow his inspirational ride!
The US is ranked second overall in the 2015 World Giving Index. 95.4% of American households donated to charities with an average contribution of $2,974. Of course not all states give evenly, and WalletHub recently examined the different practices within the 50 states.
Which was the most giving state? Utah. Maryland and Idaho came in second and third. Rhode Island was the least giving state, with Louisiana and California following close behind. To come up with these numbers, WalletHub looked at eight factors and gave a value from 1-100 for each factor.
WalletHub found that the red states were more generous than the blue states. They also found that many of the state with the richest areas in the country held back on giving. These included New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and California.
Chris Kyle would have been proud. His wife, Taya Kyle, defeated the reigning NRA champion Bruce Piatt at the “American Sniper Shootout” charity event that was named for him. Together, they raised $500,000 for her deceased husband’s charity and she ended the competition with a perfect score.
For the competition, the shooters used rifles which were developed with input from Kyle’s husband. This includes the “RapidLok Target Acqusition’ technology that tracks targets while the trigger is being pulled. Kyle used the computer-equipped M600 and M800 rifles to achieve her perfect 100% of her shots.
The company that makes the rifles was so sure that Kyle would defeat Piatt (who competed with the M4A1, M110 and M2010) that they offered to pay him $1 million if he won the contest!
As Taya said about the equipment, “Our first responders and military members regularly face situations most of us cannot imagine. They need every advantage for precision and efficiency to protect and serve while minimizing collateral damage and risk to themselves. [The technology] would have saved lives of friends we have lost and will save life and/or limb of those who put it all on the line for the 99% of us they choose to give their life for.”
The Volunteer Lawyers for Justice recently had a banquet on October 20, 2015. The event took place at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and was chaired by Susan E. McGahan. The master of ceremonies was Francis J. Giantomasi and the dinner sponsors included McCarter & English, David Bershad, Merck, AT&T, Connell Foley, Orin Kramer, Lowenstein Sandler and others.
The Volunteer Lawyers for Justice was created in 2001 to provide direct legal representation to residents of Essex County, New Jersey. The program started with only one staff person and 30 volunteer attorneys. Today, they have more than 1500 attorneys and paralegals volunteering their time for VLJ’s seven distinct legal projects.
A number of people received honors during the evening. The VLJ’s 2015 Pro Bono Award was given to Prudential and was accepted by Ann Kappler, the Deputy General Counsel and Head of External Affairs. The VLJ’s 2015 Champion of Justice Award was given to David Bershad. The Douglas S. Eakeley Award Recipient was Dennis J. Drasco, and the Dickinson R. Debevoise Award Recipient was Lum, Drasco & Positan, LLC.
The event raised $277,000
Taylor Swift is known to be incredibly generous with her money, and her most recent actions prove this, once again, to be true. Swift committed to giving the proceeds from her hit single “Welcome to New York” to NY public schools when she first released it in October of 2014.
She is putting the money into the already existing program called SING, which enables high school kids to put on annual musical productions in a competition between schools. Her $50,000 donation will allow ten more schools to join in the program in 2016, bringing the number of schools to 20.
As city Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said, “This is a wonderful program for developing passions in the arts and for building school and community spirit. The SING students are going to gain skills … that they can use in college and throughout their lives.”
Christians from throughout America are donating money to terror victims in the latest spurt of unrest that has impacted Israeli citizens. The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ) announced that 4,000 NIS (approximately $1,000) will be given “to every individual or family injured in the recent wave of terrorist attacks against Israelis.”
Head of the IFCJ Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein explained the severity of the current situation. He said: “The ongoing wave of terrorism leads to many causalities whose normal life paths have been abruptly interrupted. The victims and their families are faced with a new reality and difficult rehabilitation. Victims also face significant financial costs and we wish to support them as part of our commitment to the security of Israeli citizens during times of emergency.”
Eckstein added that the only way these funds were raised was due to the generous “help of Israel’s Christian allies.” Rabbi Eckstein is thankful to the “thousands of Christian supporters who ware always there to help the citizens of Israel during difficult times, reminding us that we are not alone.”
According to figures released by the Israeli Defense Forces on November 24, since October 1, 2015, 21 people have been killed and 189 wounded (20 of them seriously). This has been engineered by Arab attacks in the form of: 74 stabbings, 10 shootings and 12 car rammings.
It’s always a great thing when you can teach children from a young age about charity and giving back. And that’s just what happened at the 12th annual American Girl Fashion Show that took place at Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Oneida County, New York recently. The event featured a doll salon where you could get your American Girl doll polished and looking pretty. It had a photo booth, a raffle and other activities.
All money raised at the event helped to fund programs and services offered by Upstate Cerebral Palsy.
As Kathy Hartnett, Upstate Cerebral Palsy Community Development Vice President said, “It really is about accepting children with special needs and that no matter how young you are, a lot of young girls are here with us today, you can still do something to help someone else.”
Taya Kyle, widow of former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, has certainly gotten a lot of press in the last few years. She co-authored “American Sniper” with her late husband and then wrote “American Wife: A Memoir of Love, Service, Faith, and Renewal” after he was murdered in 2013. This past week, more than 1100 people gathered to raise money for Home Front Cares, a Colorado Springs military charity that has given cash assistance to nearly 400 military families in 2015 alone.
As she said at the event, “I’m preaching to the choir tonight.” When discussing her marriage she said, “God sent me the nicest person I ever met, in the form of a sniper.”
Describing Home Front, she said, “It’s those little acts of kindness that are a beacon of light. There are a lot of patriotic people out there who care.”
This was their 11th annual fundraiser for Home Front Cares, founded in Colorado Springs in 2003 by two Vietnam Veterans. Charity executive director April Speake said, “We’ve already brought in so much,” Speake said. “I think it is going to be a record-breaking night.”
We all know that there are people in need around the world – but doing something about it is an entirely different thing. The Lunchbox Fund is one example of an organization started for just this reason. Created in 2005 by Topaz Page-Green, the fund identifies schools or forms partnerships with locally based NGOs or community organizations to evaluate schools. They then set up a situation where the food is being distributed with a community partner that buys and delivers the food and a project manager that reports to the fund.
While feeding children, the fund is actively employing locals. They recruit local Gogos (grandmothers) and Mothers to prepare the food and they pay them for their work. As explained on their Wikipedia page, “Thus the Program becomes a ‘for the community by the community’ solution rather than an imposed, one-size fits all, imposed intervention. Quarterly on-site inspections by Lunchbox Fund personnel further ensure the local partners are fulfilling their brief accurately.”
Their most recent addition was in August 2013, when they introduced the Feedie idea. This is the first ever philanthropy app thought up by Topaz Page-Green and the way that it works is that existing foodies post their latest and greatest meal. Every time that a Feedie posts, the restaurant donates $.25 to the Lunchbox Fund, which is the estimated cost of a meal for a child. This is the first time that someone has thought to utilize the sub-culture of foodies to create good and to help feed people.
You may never have heard of Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), but it’s time that you have. It’s a painful and often fatal rare genetic disease that affects 1 out of every 20,000 births in the US. People born with EB are often called “Butterfly Children” because of their extremely fragile skin.
Next month, the 17th annual debra of America Benefit will take place from 6:30pm to 9:30pm on Monday, November 16th at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City. The evening will include a performance by former American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer Julie Kent. It will also include a cocktail and hors d’oeuvre reception, a silent auction and a DJ set by platinum-selling singer Kate Nash.
All proceeds from the event will support people living with EB. Learn more and get involved.