Tag: philanthropy

Idris Elba Joins Cast Of “Star Trek Beyond” and Charity Initiative Omaze.com (VIDEO)

In the video above, Idris Elba joins “Star Trek” cast members Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, and John Cho telling viewers to support the cast’s charity initiative at omaze.com for a chance to win a walk-on role in the next movie by entering with a donation of 10$ that will go to support one of nine global philanthropic organizations.

(Photo courtesy omaze.com)
(Photo courtesy omaze.com)

Elba pops up toward the end of the video and adds a little fun flavor with some unexpected dance moves.

There still isn’t any specific information about his role in the film, but it’s Idris Elba, so it should be good. Star Trek Beyond is set for release on July 8, 2016.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

 

 

Usher Partners with Yoobi to Offer Back-To-School Collection at Target, Donates to Classrooms in Need for Each Product Sold

HOLLYWOOD, CA - JULY 09:  Musician Usher attends Yoobi X Usher VIP Launch Event at Siren Studios on July 9, 2015 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Yoobi)
HOLLYWOOD, CA – JULY 09: Musician Usher attends Yoobi X Usher VIP Launch Event at Siren Studios on July 9, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Yoobi)

According to Billboard.com, Usher was in Hollywood on Thursday evening to celebrate the launch of the Grammy Award-winning singer’s collaboration with year-old Los Angeles-based school supplies company Yoobi, co-founded by CEO Ido Leffler.

480162630“Mixing street smarts with school smarts” is the slogan for Yoobi X Usher, a new back-to-school collection being sold at Target exclusively and on Yoobi.com. Curated by Usher and designed by artist Jonni Cheatwood, the collection features folders, pencil cases, composition books and binders splattered with vibrant slashes of pink, yellow-green, black and gray. For every product purchased, one product will be donated to a classroom in need. “So it’s philanthropic in addition to culturally just being cool,” says Usher.

When asked why he partnered with Yoobi, Usher said, “Preparing future leaders through my New Look Foundation has always been about having the proper tools to succeed in life. If they don’t have the tools, young men and women from underserved communities can’t even begin to understand the idea of having a new or different perspective. So that’s where this collaboration came together: giving young people the tools and supplying them with hope.”

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

Wells Fargo Donates $250,000 to the Urban League for Save Our Sons Training Program

Urban League Save Our Sons
Urban League Save Our Sons

ST. LOUIS — The Urban League announced a $250,000 grant from Wells Fargo & Co., parent company of St. Louis-based Wells Fargo Advisors, to support the Save Our Sons workforce training program for African Americans and other men aged 21 and over residing in Ferguson and surrounding North St. Louis County communities.

“We are very grateful to Wells Fargo for joining the Urban League in partnership to help young African American men and others find viable jobs in the St. Louis area,” said Michael P. McMillan, President and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Inc.

The Urban League’s Save Our Sons initiative is a workforce and job training program that will serve up to 500 men in St. Louis County over the next two years.

“Wells Fargo is committed to the communities in which our customers and team members live and work,” said Mary T. Mack, President of Wells Fargo Advisors. “By providing resources and support to the Urban League and the ‘Save our Sons’ program, we can help the North County community begin to create long-term economic growth and quality of life for the families who live there.”

Save Our Sons is an extension of the Urban League’s Workforce Investment Act program (WIA), a federally funded initiative that has reached 6,000 St. Louis high school students. Training sessions will include everything from public speaking and team-building to emergency financial preparation and health care and will be held across North St. Louis County.

To enroll in Save Our Sons, please contact Herta Shikapwashya, Urban League Vice President, at (314) 679-3500.

The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis is a social service and advocacy organization that works to fulfill its mission of Empowering Communities and Changing Lives. Programs are offered in the areas of Economic Empowerment, Meeting Families Basic Needs, Educational Quality and Equality and Civic Engagement and Social Justice.

Source: Business Wire

article via gbmnews.com

Celebrities Support The “Powered By Breakfast NYC” and “No Kid Hungry” Campaign – You Can Too!

Government Assistance Programs Aid Underprivileged Communities In New York State

All children in America deserve a good breakfast. It’s hard to argue with that idea, right? Well, 1 in 5 children in New York City alone struggles with hunger. Thankfully, according to act.mtv.com, the No Kid Hungry campaign is pulling in some big-name supporters for “Powered by Breakfast NYC.”

Watch how NYC children are affected by this issue:

The “Powered by Breakfast NYC” campaign hopes to pressure Mayor de Blasio to make breakfast part of the school day for all New York Public School students, which would essentially allow an additional 825,000 kids in the city to start the day with a healthy, nutritious meal.

Some Hollywood celebrities got involved: Jeff BridgesAmanda SeyfriedDax ShepardKristen Bell, and Sarah Hyland all sent tweets to the mayor to ask him to support the “Powered by Breakfast NYC” campaign, and Bridges starred in a PSA to support the cause.

Although free breakfast is available in NYC right now, less than 25 percent of kids are actually eating the meal because it’s served in the cafeteria before the bell rings – when so many children are in transit to school.

And it’s not just their stomachs that will be affected by eating breakfast. Children who eat breakfast reportedly score “17.5% higher on math tests, attend 1.5 more days of school each year and are 20% more likely to graduate high school.”

So what changes can be made to make sure kids are getting the most important meal of the day? If breakfast is served when students get to class, as it is in the pilot program mentioned in the video above, it could service all students present. Schools could also look into getting a “grab-n-go” type of breakfast, which will allow students to grab the food from the cafeteria and eat it on the way to and in class, right after the bell rings.

You can learn more about the campaign here. To sign the petition to support the campaign, click here.  To donate or learn about other ways raise funds for NYC or your own local schools, click here.

article by Claire Biggs (additions by Lori Lakin Hutcherson)

More Than $100,000 Raised for Shanesha Taylor, Homeless Mom Accused of Leaving Kids in Car During Job Interview

shanesha taylorMore than $100,000 has been pledged to help Shanesha Taylor, 35, a single mother from Arizona who was arrested last month after allegedly leaving her 2-year-old and 6-month-old sons alone in a hot car while she went on a job interview because she was unable to find a babysitter.

Taylor was charged with two counts of child abuse. She has pleaded not guilty and was released on bail posted by a stranger, her lawyer told TODAY.com Wednesday. Her two boys are now in state care.  Her tearful mug shot has brought attention to issues facing the nation’s poor and unemployed, especially single mothers.

Amanda Bishop, a New Jersey woman who does not know Taylor, felt compelled to help. She launched an online fundraising campaign in support of Taylor, with pledges now totaling more than $106,000.  “There are some of us that feel that Shanesha was in an unfortunate situation that sadly an economy like ours is putting many single mothers in a position to make terrible mistakes like this,” the fundraising site says.

Bishop, 24, told MSNBC’s Tamron Hall that she launched the fundraising campaign after viewing Taylor’s Facebook page and finding nothing but posts and pictures featuring Taylor’s kids. “That convinced me she wasn’t a bad mom, she just made a terrible mistake,” Bishop said.  

Though there has been some criticism of the effort, Bishop said that it’s easy for people who have never struggled to judge Taylor harshly. Bishop said she herself was raised by a struggling mother.  “Nobody’s saying she’s right for her choice,” Bishop said. “It’s just a matter of what is more wrong here: The fact that she did this or the fact that there are so many people out there put in a position to make this decision or to make risks like this?”

Others agreed, including single mothers who left comments on the fundraising site saying they understood Taylor’s dilemma.

“I understand the struggle, I’ve been there before too. It’s VERY HARD being a single parent and having NO ONE to turn to for support,” wrote Dawn F. Edwards, who donated $25.

“Dear Shanesha, please accept this donation as a sign that you are not alone in this fight,” wrote Lauren Dunne, who donated $5. “Unfortunately, you had no options at this moment in your life… you are indeed a good mother that was only fighting for a better future for your children.” Continue reading “More Than $100,000 Raised for Shanesha Taylor, Homeless Mom Accused of Leaving Kids in Car During Job Interview”

Pharrell & Ellen Surprise Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences Students with $50K

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Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences (DAAS) students have a lot to be happy about today. In addition to dazzling web viewers with their now-viral rendition of Pharrell’s hit single, the kids got a huge gift from Ellen Degeneres today: $50,000!

According to DAAS CEO Maurice G. Morton, 80 percent of the schools’ students live at or below the poverty line, and 98 percent of them qualify for free or reduced lunch. While many schools have shuttered their arts programs, DAAS uses music and art to ensure their students stay engaged and motivated to learn.

Like many inner-city schools, DAAS is strapped for cash. The school has been attempting to raise money to help the choir get to Disneyworld for a performance, but Ellen intervened, giving DAAS a $50,000 check courtesy of Shutterfly.

After hearing the news, DAAS students were, well, extremely happy. They even performed their too-cute version of the song, bringing Pharrell Williams to tears.  To see video of this story, click here.

article by Britni Danielle via clutchmagonline.com

Wal-Mart Donates $1.75 Million to Boost African-American Achievement

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A Wal-Mart truck sits outside a Wal-Mart store on Feb. 20, 2014, in San Lorenzo, Calif. (JUSTIN SULLIVAN/GETTY IMAGES)

According to a press release, a $500,000 grant from Wal-Mart will go to the United Negro College Fund to help sixteen HBCUs gain financial stability to ensure their continued mission of providing black students with higher education. Grants of $1 million and $250,000 to the National Urban League and the NAACP respectively will help individuals secure and build successful careers through training and placement assistance and help businesses create more job opportunities. Wal-Mart is providing $1.75 million in grants through its foundation to three of the nation’s biggest civil rights organizations: the NAACP, National Urban League and United Negro College Fund.

“With today’s economic climate there is a growing need to empower individuals in communities nationwide with access to opportunities that will help them live better. Part of this work will come from helping businesses understand and unlock the powerful results that a more diverse workforce has to offer,” said Wal-Mart Senior Director of Corporate Affairs Tony Waller in the release. “By helping one individual at a time build a successful career, we are growing a more competitive work environment. A competitive environment ignites innovation, which helps build stronger communities and, ultimately, a stronger America.”

“Since 2006 we have been able to increasingly grow our workforce training program through ongoing support from the Walmart Foundation and subsequently have exceeded expectations of the number of individuals we’ve been able to serve,” Marc H. Morial, president and CEO of the NUL, said in the press release. “This new grant will help us further strengthen our workforce development programs and continue helping African Americans and other communities of color across the United States secure economic independence and empowerment.”

article by Breanna Edwards via theroot.com

 

ATL Principal Jason Stamper Saves Student From Dog Attack

Jason Stamper atlanta principal dog attack

Jason Stamper (pictured), the principal of technology at the New Schools at Carver in southeast Atlanta, told WSB-TV 2 that it’s his job to protect students and that’s what he did when he saved one of his students from a dog attack.  After hearing from other students that someone was being attacked by dogs on campus, Stamper sprung to action.

At first he jumped into his car and used it in his first attempt to scare off the dogs.  “Didn’t work and actually I had some tennis rackets in my car and I actually was able to get them off with some tennis rackets,” he explained.  His daring actions saved 16-year-old Carver student, Azarius Lowe. But Stamper did not want to take all of the credit, saying that cops and other school staff helped too. The dogs are still on the lose. Animal control has set up traps to catch them, but they caught a dog not connected to the attack.

The boy’s father, Arthur Steverson, was thankful that Stamper helped his boy and treated him as his own son. He said he wasn’t afraid for himself when he fought off the dogs, but was afraid for Azarius after seeing his injuries. The boy is recovering from the attack and will be OK.

article via newsone.com

Girls From Displaced Families Get Introduction to College and Engineering at Cal State Long Beach

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Courtney Shumate, 10, of Compton, is spending a week living at Cal State Long Beach, learning about college life and engineering. Twenty-nine girls participated in the program August 8, 2013, in Long Beach. During this workshop, the participants built prosthetic arms. (Francine Orr, Los Angeles Times / August 7, 2013)

Submerged underwater, a robot built out of PVC pipes snaked back and forth near some foam “sea sponges.”  Next to the small wading pool, 11-year-old Nailah Lewis intently worked a set of controls on top of a wired plastic box. Her electrical engineering experiment had entered its final testing phase.  The task: Design a tool to pick up objects underwater.  Around the pool, a group of young girls leaned over the edge, dangling their hands in the water and shouting encouragement. Nailah’s 8-year-old sister, Ayailah, called out: “Come on, Ni Ni!”

Watching proudly nearby with a camera in hand was Nailah’s mother, Dana Lewis, 39, who is determined to see her both young daughters go to college.  She found a positive motivating force in a new Cal State Long Beach program.  The program, “Engineering Girls — It Takes a Village,” is unusual in its focus on recruiting young girls, ages 9 to 15, from displaced families.  Over the last four months, school officials worked with the Century Villages at Cabrillo, a transitional housing community, to recruit girls and bring them to the university in August for one week of engineering workshops.

Officials said that the program, which began Aug. 5 and ended Sunday, was specifically designed for girls because the engineering field is dominated by men. But coordinators also aimed to expose an underrepresented community with limited opportunities in science, math and engineering.  It came along with a full taste of college life, with the girls sleeping in the dorms and eating three all-you-can-eat meals a day.

Of the 29 girls who participated, 25 came from homeless families. All were African American, and most lived in single-parent homes.  Three were being raised by their grandparents.  “A lot of these girls are underprivileged, so an experience like this not only changes and impacts their lives, but re-creates their future,” said Lewis, who was one of several women who accompanied their daughters and participated in the program. Lewis moved into the Villages with her mother and two daughters when it opened five years ago.

Continue reading “Girls From Displaced Families Get Introduction to College and Engineering at Cal State Long Beach”

Kanye West Launches “Got Bars” Music Program for At-Risk Chicago Youth

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Rapper and Chicago native, Kanye West, has plans to give back to troubled youth in his hometown this summer with the upcoming launch of the “Got Bars” music writing and production program.  In August, West’s nonprofit organization, Donda’s House — founded in honor of his late mother Dr. Donda West — and the ARK of St. Sabina community center, will kickoff the 10-week course open to youth ages 15 to 24. The “Got Bars” program aims to educate participants on how to write and record their own music and in turn help them to develop problem-solving skills. The program will also teach youth about the benefits of eating well, working out and other life skills.

West credits his mother’s passion to teaching as the inspiration behind the program. “My mom spent her life as an educator and I am happy Donda’s House can pick up the torch and honor her life’s mission,” West said in a statement early last week.  The Chi-town rapper has chosen Che “Rhymefest” Smith, co-founder and assistant director of Donda’s House to spearhead the program, along with his wife Donnie Smith. Rhymefest will oversee the music and production aspects of the 10-week course, while his wife Donnie, an English teacher, will serve as executive director.

“I am so happy to launch “Got Bars” to honor Kanye West’s mother’s memory and to fulfill one of my Alder manic campaign goals,” said Rhymefest in a statement. “Got Bars” will change our youth musically, get them healthy and keep them busy in a creative, peaceful environment.”  Donda’s House will eventually release an EP featuring songs from the program’s participants. Applications for “Got Bars?” will be accepted until Friday, August 2. For more information on the program, visit the Donda’s House website.

article by Hayat Mohamed via newsone.com