(NAPSI)—There’s good news for soccer players and their parents. A new type of goal is designed to make practice and competitive play safer.
(NAPSI)—It may come as a surprise to some, but the famous face that can encourage people to donate to charity more than any other is that of the First Lady.
(NAPSI)—Some American heroes can finally get the recognition they deserve.
(StatePoint) If you’re like most people, you have probably contemplated one of life’s greatest mysteries, what happens after death?
(NAPSI)—Good news for parents who wonder whether their children are getting a quality education, and if not, whether there is anything they can do about it. The experts at the Center for Education Reform, the leading voice in education reform issues in the U.S., have some suggestions about how parents can empower themselves to get the answers and results they deserve:
(NAPSI)—Any time of year can be the right time to take a fresh look at the contribution that volunteers make to an organization.
(NAPSI)—Many are surprised to find what a full life a veteran with a disability can lead.
(NewsUSA) - President Barack Obama's second inauguration, so serendipitously held on the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., wasn't just a transcendental moment for Americans. The day resonated for thousands, but for Nigerian noblewoman, economist, and banker, The Otunba Ayora, Bola Kuforiji-Olubi, it was magic, instructive -- a beautiful experience.
(NAPSI)—For many people born elsewhere, moving to the U.S. represents an opportunity for a new life. For young men, this opportunity comes with an obligation.
(NewsUSA) - Once or twice a year, oceanographer Amy Bower of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution puts on her sea legs and leads a research expedition to track ocean currents around the globe. In addition to a glittering array of highly technical moors, buoys, sensors, trackers and the like, Bower packs a digital audio player filled with books downloaded from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), the Library of Congress.
(NAPSI)—Nearly 7.5 million U.S. students are chronically absent every school year—missing enough school to put them at severe risk of dropping out or failing to graduate—but a new public service advertising (PSA) campaign aims to reverse this trend.
(NewsUSA) - "When I finish a book I applaud," said Donna Neal of Missouri. "No one's in the room, but I applaud." Neal's enthusiastic appreciation is not just for the book itself, but also for the opportunity to read it: Neal is blind.
(NewsUSA) - Frequent moves and unexpected deployments are just a few of the stresses impacting the families of the nearly 1.5 million active-duty men and women serving in the U.S. armed forces. Along with the stress that comes with family separation, spouses of deployed troops left to manage the household alone face the added stress of tackling these daily chores with little support.
(StatePoint) The holiday season is when many express a giving spirit. Most will support charities whose work they see first-hand locally. But in mailboxes every day, there are appeals from many other local and national charities. How can donors verify their accuracy?
A recent survey by Hope Consulting shows that despite information available from state government agencies, charity watchdogs and the organization itself, only 30 percent of donors do any research before making a donation.
Experts advise potential donors to look more carefully at solicitation letters they receive and seek out third-party information sources.
“While the vast majority of charities are trustworthy, not all are what they appear to be -- from the unscrupulous, to the well-meaning but poorly-run organizations,” warns H. Art Taylor, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance, which seeks to connect donors to charities they can trust.
“If donors want to assure their money will be put to good use, they should spend a little bit of time getting to know more about the organization,” says Taylor.
The first step is to take a good, hard look at the charity solicitation you receive in the mail or encounter online.
Here are several examples of potential problems a donor may encounter in mail, online or by phone solicitations:
• Appeals that don’t clearly explain what the charity intends to do about the problem it describes.
• Envelopes or letters that mimic an invoice in order to get a recipient to open the mailing.
• Solicitations that devote more attention to gifts or prizes (for example, sweepstakes offerings, address labels or greeting cards) than the charity’s good work.
• Overly emotional fundraising letters saying little about the charity itself.
• Appeals using excessive pressure to get an immediate on-the-spot donation decision.
• Telemarketing solicitors who decline to send requested written materials about the charity’s programs and finances.
“Scrutinizing a charity appeal is crucial, but you should never make a charitable giving decision based solely on the information in a solicitation,” says Taylor.
However, it can be difficult for donors to know what to look for in a charity’s financial statement. This is where a monitoring organization can help.
The BBB Wise Giving Alliance is the only major national charity monitoring organization that reviews appeal content for accuracy and truthfulness as a routine part of its charity reporting efforts. Charities are evaluated against 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability that address charity governance, finances and solicitation practices.
A recent survey conducted by Porter Novelli’s ConsumerStyles found that nearly six in ten say that the charity solicitation mail they receive is either not very or not at all trustworthy. So if there’s any doubt, do your research.
Before donating, consider accessing a free report on the charity of your choice at www.give.org. And if your charity isn’t listed, you can ask the BBB Wise Giving Alliance to consider a review of that charity.
‘Tis the season to give back. Ensure your charitable dollars support organizations that don’t use dodgy fundraising tactics.
(NewsUSA) - The iconic rock star Gene Simmons has a huge heart -- more than 140 times wide. The KISS band member -- who stars in his own reality TV show "Gene Simmons Family Jewels," -- highlighted his relationship with ChildFund International by inviting viewers to tune in to his journey to Zambia to meet 12 of his more than140 sponsored children.
(NewsUSA) - America has a long history of volunteerism, and for 20 years one company encouraged such efforts with the Community Craftsman Award. It has given grants for projects like an afterschool wood-finishing jobs-training program and a guild program to design, build and finish beds for children with special needs.
(StatePoint) Supporting the troops is an important thing to do -- but sometimes it’s hard to figure out how.
Here are four easy ways to thank those who keep us safe every single day -- even if you don’t personally know someone serving. And with the holidays coming up, it’s the perfect time of year to do it, as many of service men and women are away from family.
Send A ‘Thank You’ Gift
This holiday season, some retailers are making it easy to give a personal “thank you” directly to the men and women serving the country. For instance, national retailer, Things Remembered, is helping people -- even those on a budget -- send unique, personalized gifts to deployed service members.
Things Remembered shoppers purchasing gifts for deployed military personnel will receive 25 percent off and free shipping on any personalized gift sent to an APO/FPO address. The promotion will run through November 20, giving plenty of opportunity to personally thank those protecting our nation in time for the holidays.
Even shoppers who don’t personally know any deployed servicemen or women can show their support. All Things Remembered stores will be featuring local deployed military members to receive gifts from their hometown neighbors.
Volunteer Your Time
Former service members stateside should also be recognized.
Show your appreciation for those who have helped protect our country by volunteering at your local Veterans Affairs hospital or nursing home this season, even if only for a few hours.
You are sure to meet some fascinating men and women and you’ll be bringing holiday cheer to those who may not have many visitors.
Giving blood through an organization like the American Red Cross can actually help troops hundreds and thousands of miles away.
Military units may depend on rush shipments of blood during times of need, and maintaining an ample supply of all blood types is crucial. Host a blood drive at your workplace or community center, encouraging others to give the gift of life this holiday season.
To find a blood drive or donation location near you, visit www.redcrossblood.org.
Encouraging others to remember our deployed troops is one of the most wide-reaching ways to support the active military during the holidays.
By reminding neighbors that our men and women overseas may need a boost of holiday cheer, you could touch hundreds of service members' lives this season. Talk to people, post on Facebook, send out Tweets or include a reminder in your holiday cards.
Although the holidays can be a difficult time for deployed service members and their families, there are countless ways you can show your gratitude and appreciation this season. Whether it’s a personalized gift, visit to a veteran, or blood donation, you can give back to those who give so much to our country.
(StatePoint) Veterans Day is coming, an annual opportunity for communities and families to honor former U.S. service members. And as these heroes age, it’s important to keep their stories and sacrifices alive by listening and learning.
Here are some great ways to commemorate veterans this holiday:
Listen to a Story
You may not think about it much, but everyone has a lesson to share and a story to offer. World War II for example, which killed and injured more people than any other war in human history, impacted an entire generation -- from soldiers on the frontlines of battle, to children at home participating in the war effort. Learn about both world history and your family’s history by talking to older relatives and friends about their experiences and trials. You may even consider tape recording the conversation so you can share the personal account with others.
If you have a story yourself, consider writing it down or retelling it at the next family gathering.
Read a War Memoir
While reading and understanding the past is possible by delving into a standard-issue textbook, there is nothing like an eyewitness account to get a true feel for a crucial time in history. Such accounts can deliver a unique perspective on a familiar story.
The tales you discover can help you better connect with history. One such book, the newly released “Terror Before Dawn: A Child At War,” by Anne Raghnild Fagerberg and William Sterling Williams, presents Fagerberg’s account of her childhood experience during World War II under Nazi rule in Norway.
Williams, Fagerberg’s son, found her notes after she died of cancer in 1998. She had completed her story shortly before she passed away. Though only a child during the war, Fagerberg did what she could to contribute to winning the war, distributing newspapers and literature of the underground resistance movement.
“The reflections of a war survivor offer lessons about courage, survival, rebuilding and freedom,” says Williams. “Her piece of history needed to be preserved.”
More information can be found at such websites as www.amazon.com by searching for “Terror Before Dawn.”
Teach Your Children
No one is too young to learn about and honor the past. While children might enjoy a holiday parade, be sure to explain the true meaning of the day so they understand the reason for all the fanfare.
Many schools choose to honor veterans by inviting them to speak at assemblies and before history classes. Find out what programs are happening at your school.
Visit www.va.gov/kids for ideas on how to talk to kids about war, history and the sacrifice of veterans.
Don’t let this Veterans Day pass by unrecognized. Take the time to honor the past.