3 weeks ago ·
by HealthInsurance4Everyone ·
Comments Off on UK 11 Year Old Has Raised Over $700K for Hospice Care
Last year, just before the pandemic reached the UK, Max Woosey’s parents were helping to care for a neighbor, Rick Abbott, who had terminal cancer. They came to appreciate how vital it was that the local hospice in North Devon was able to help their neighbor remain in his own home, which was his final wish. Just before he died, Abbott gave Max a tent and made the 11 year old promise to go have an adventure.
As the pandemic lockdowns took hold, Max realized that fundraising for hospice care had stopped and the idea for his adventure began. Max began his sponsored camp-out at the start of the UK’s first lockdown in March 2020 because he knew that the hospice would need support as all fundraising activity essentially stopped overnight. Now known to millions as ‘The Boy in the Tent’ – Max has spent the 500th night of his charity camp-out in what has been an incredible year for him.
His determination has inspired people from across the globe to donate to his Just Giving page, which has so far raised more than $770,000 for North Devon Hospice. While Max has had to battle with everything the British weather could throw at him, leaving him wet and cold on many a night, he has also had some once-in-a-lifetime experiences. While his adventure was spurred by tragedy Max said “I didn’t realise it would last as long as it did, but I’m so happy with the money that has been raised for the hospice, and the experiences I’ve had along the way have been awesome.”
Max’s mom, Rachael Woosey, said that the last 500 days have been life-changing for the family.
“It has been a whole other world. It started off as my little 10-year-old boy camping out in the garden for a few nights and hoping to raise money for the local hospice. None of us can really believe what has happened since. There have been so many exciting opportunities for Max along the way. We’re so proud of how he has kept his feet on the ground and taken everything in his stride because the attention at times would have been a lot to cope with. I’ve said to him on numerous occasions that he doesn’t have to stay outside anymore and that he has already achieved something special, but he always says no. He wanted to carry on because he never lost sight of why he was doing this, and he always wanted to raise more money for the hospice.”
Jo Dedes, director of care at North Devon Hospice said “Max is a genuine superstar, and the difference he has made this year is just incredible. This has been a worrying time for charities. It still is because people rely on North Devon Hospice during the most difficult times, but we have had 18 months where fundraising activities have been ground to a halt. “So, to have Max step forward and raise such an incredible amount has had a real impact. It meant we could carry on caring without missing a beat, without having to cut any of the care we provide.”
5 months ago ·
by HealthInsurance4Everyone ·
Comments Off on Nation’s Largest Hunger Relief Organization Needs Volunteers
Feeding America is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, they provide meals to more than 40 million people each year. During the first months of the pandemic, roughly 4 in 10 people visiting food banks were seeking help for the first time.
Food banks have adapted to this new level of need with most food banks serving over 55% more people than before the pandemic began. With the help of donations and volunteers, the Feeding America network provided nearly 6 billion meals to throughout the US from March 2020 to January 2021. Member food banks received more than $326 million in emergency funding for their COVID response efforts.
Many people of all walks of life have helped make this all possible whether it was money or their time they donated. Tiller & Hatch co-founders Brad Paisley and Kimberly Williams Paisley pledged a donation of 1 million meals in partnership with Feeding America. The brand made stops in 15 cities to give out frozen, chef-crafted Tiller & Hatch meals to local communities nationwide.
Impossible Foods teamed up with Colin Kaepernick and Know Your Rights Camp to distribute more than 1 million meals in 2020. Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and Disney Springs Chef José Andrés teamed up with Coca-Cola to donate $1 million to José’s World Central Kitchen to distribute 100,000 meals. The initiative also helped 150 local restaurants in communities hit hardest by COVID-19 by enabling them to rehire up to 1,400 employees.
Kanye West and Chick-fil-A both sponsored the Dream Center in Los Angeles, helping them to provide 300,000 meals to people in the area, including meal delivery to high-risk seniors in the community. Tan France donated to Frontline Foods, an organization that’s still supporting local restaurants and frontline workers by delivering meals to hospitals. Frontline Foods is feeding healthcare providers and has helped local restaurants in 38 cities stay afloat.
Over a year into the pandemic, 42 million people, including 13 million children, may still be at risk of hunger. Food banks are now accustomed to the increased number of people they are serving and Feeding America’s network of food banks are on pace to distribute 6.5 billion meals in 2021. But none of this would have been possible without donations and volunteers stepping up to get food into the hands of those at risk.
The pandemic reversed the last decade’s progress towards ending hunger in the United States. Sixty-five percent of network food banks working with Feeding America are accepting and still in need of volunteers. Unfortunately, many people continue to face unemployment and families still struggle to pay bills like housing, utilities, and medical care. Many people who had never volunteered before did so for the first time during the pandemic. The generosity many have shown and determination of everyday people to create solutions to the social distancing obstacles through the pandemic has kept millions of families going and the need is still there.
7 months ago ·
by HealthInsurance4Everyone ·
Comments Off on Texas Communities Pull Together During Winter Storm Crisis
Amid the pandemic, Texans experienced devastating effects of the recent polar vortex that their state is not equipped to handle. Thousands were left without power or heat for days as temperatures dipped and their roads were left dangerous to travel on. Businesses and homeowners are dealing with the damage of burst pipes and lost wages as many areas shut down. But while many families were literally left in the dark, there are always people finding ways to help others.
Raymond Garcia of Houston, Texas, found himself without power at home and decided to use his time helping others. He visited people in his community and helped fix their burst pipes. Garcia said he was inspired by the teaching of his mother, who died recently from COVID-19. “My mom always taught me, if you help and you give to people, God will always bless you,” he said. “And you know what, I’ve been blessed.” When the power outages meant a Foodarama grocery store in Houston could no longer accept credit and debit card payments, an unidentified man began handing out $20 bills to people waiting in the line. It’s estimated that the man who did not want to be identified, handed out nearly $500 that day. Meanwhile, in San Antonio TX, another good Samaritan at the Martini Ranch bar put on a free grill complete with lobster bisque for anyone in need of a meal. “Just grilling away out front to provide some people with a free hot plate,” he said in a social media post. “Stay safe out there San Antonio.”
Chelsea Timmons was making her last food delivery of the day in Austin TX, when her car got stuck on the frozen driveway of Nina Richardson and Doug Condon after sliding on the incline and hitting a bush. Timmons had planned to return home but when she called AAA, all their tow trucks were busy responding to emergencies. Richardson and Condon, strangers to her, offered her their guest room and Timmons ended up spending five nights there. Richardson and Condon worried that even if she made it home safely, she’d still be struggling upon returning to her home that had no power.
Bonnie Valdez of San Antonio posted to Facebook to say that she had found around $620 put through the door of her store after leaving a stack of around 140 water bottles outside of her store overnight for people to take during the crisis. Another Texan, Ryan Sivley said he didn’t hesitate to help when he spotted hundreds of drivers in need on the side of the icy roads in Austin. Sivley used his four wheel drive vehicles to rescue drivers stuck on the side of roads— all without asking for anything in return. “I’ve seen wreckers turning people away because they won’t pull them out due to liability. You need to stay in your car and just freeze to death? If I was in that spot, I would beg and hope that somebody would help me. So that’s what I did.”
Another Houston hero, Jim McIngvale, better known locally as Mattress Mack- opened two of his furniture stores to be used as warming centers. He urged extreme caution for those travelling to the showrooms, and said COVID-19 protocols would be followed, including mask-wearing, and food would be provided. “Anybody who needs it—whether they’re homeless, whether they lost power, whether it’s just wanting to come in and get something to eat—anybody wants to come in, we’re here for them.” McIngvale also turned over some of his stores to be used as evacuation centers during Hurricane Harvey in 2017 so he’s no stranger to helping his community during times of need.
While power has been restored in nearly two million homes, TX remains embroiled in the aftermath of the worst winter storm to strike the Lone Star State in decades. These are just a few examples of good people in the world who, during times of crisis, seek ways to help others even if they struggling through the same crisis. Even the smallest, self-less act gives others hope in the worst times and encourages others who make not think they can make a difference or have much to offer-realize that they can.
9 months ago ·
by Health Insurance 4 Everyone ·
Comments Off on Facebook Adopt A Healthcare Worker Group Started To Thank Health Care Workers
Christine Danderand knows how hard nurses like her mother have been working during the coronavirus pandemic and wanted to do something to let them know how much their sacrifices are appreciated. Danderand, an Omaha, Nebraska, makeup artist, set up a Facebook group last month inviting people to adopt the nurses and health care workers at her mom’s hospital. She only expected her friends to see the group it has grown to more than 12,000 members in just over three weeks and hundreds of health care workers have been adopted.
To participate, nurses and other health care workers can post some information about themselves and a link to their Amazon wish lists. Adopters got busy sending box after box of holiday cheer along with heartfelt messages of thanks and encouragement. The gifts have come from grateful members of the public, doctors, who adopt entire hospital units, and even other nurses. “If you read a lot of the Amazon links, they want compression socks, or a new pair of shoes, or a coffee mug, candy,” she said. “Just little things that kind of brighten their spirits when they get home from work at the end of the day.”
She says she has been spending about four hours a day running the group and has recruited three of her friends to help. Danderand had only planned to run the group for a few weeks, but says it doesn’t feel right to stop now since it’s grown so much. She said she’s heard from a lot of people who’ve made new friends through the group. It’s not just a gifting page anymore, it’s something where they’ve got support from their peers,” she said.
One of her new volunteers is a hospice nurse and was one of the first people adopted by the group. Kris Epps-Martinez said she’s been adopting other nurses to pay it forward. “I deal with death all the time,” Epps-Martinez said. “These other nurses aren’t used to this. It’s hard on them. They deal with death, but not like this.” Epps-Martinez added “It’s simple to do and any health care worker can post and get adopted. We’ve been having them create a wish list on Amazon so that way they get what they want.”
Nurses from states all across the country are now posting and getting adopted. Danderand says it has been uplifting to see the generosity. There are currently about 200 workers waiting to get something from their wish list. Now, there’s a need for people to adopt. You can buy as much or as little as you want. Danderand said anything will mean a lot. “If I could say anything to all the nurses out there I would say thank you,'” Danderand said. Similar groups have been springing up across the country. If you want to join the movement, check your social media for local adopt-a-nurse initiatives—or start an adopt-a-frontline-worker group of your own.
9 months ago ·
by HealthInsurance4Everyone ·
Comments Off on MacKenzie Scott Donates Additional $1.7 Billion Through The Giving Pledge
MacKenzie Scott, ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has donated more than $4 billion in the past four months to hundreds of organizations and charities—in particular to food banks and emergency relief funds across the USA. Scott signed the Giving Pledge—an initiative sparked by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett a decade ago—and promised to give away her billions “until the safe is empty.”
This July, she began making good on her promise and has already donated $1.7 billion of her $60 billion fortune to 116 charities. Just 5 months later, the 50-year-old announced that she’d given even more money away. Since summer, the world’s third-wealthiest woman has donated more than $4.15 billion to 384 organizations in Puerto Rico and the States—taking her 2020 donations so far to $6 billion.
In a blog post that begins with an Emily Dickinson poem, Scott–a lauded novelist as well as a philanthropist—writes, “This pandemic has been a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling. Economic losses and health outcomes alike have been worse for women, for people of color, and for people living in poverty. Meanwhile, it has substantially increased the wealth of billionaires.”
Scott said she has been working with a team of advisors to help her accelerate her giving to organizations that need immediate support in the face of the COVID crisis. Using a “data-driven approach” to identifying organizations with strong leadership teams, and paying “special attention to those operating in communities facing high projected food insecurity, high local poverty rates, and low access to philanthropic capital,” recipients of Scott’s funding include the YMCA, Meals on Wheels, the Global Fund for Women, civil rights organization the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs, many dozens of food banks, Goodwill, and various centers of education such as Blackfoot Community College.
In the latest round of giving, Scott donated $40 million to Morgan State University, an HBCU in Baltimore. The gift is the largest single private donation in the university’s history, and roughly doubles the school’s endowment. Scott also gave $50 million to Prairie View A&M University in Texas — the school’s largest donation ever, and nearly doubling its endowment, according to the university.
According to news outlets, these donations “might be among the most ever handed out directly to charities in a single year by a living donor.” Scott is not the only billionaire who’s been giving in 2020. While Jeff Bezos has not signed the Giving Pledge, he has distributed $791 million in grant money to large environmental organizations through the Bezos Earth Fund.
9 months ago ·
by Health Insurance 4 Everyone ·
Comments Off on Chicago 7 Year Old Donates $20K To Children’s Hospital
Since the beginning of the pandemic in March, 7 year old Hayley Orlinsky has been making colorful rubber band bracelets that she sells for $3 to $5 each. Hayley’s initial goal was to raise $200 as a fundraiser to buy personal protective equipment for a children’s hospital. So far, the endeavor has generated nearly $20,000 for Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, prompting praise and purchases from Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Broadway actor Miguel Cervantes and her beloved White Sox.
It all started when she heard news stories about PPE shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic and was inspired to help. Hayley chose Lurie Children’s Hospital because she spent the early days of her life there due to a breathing problem. The money Hayley raises goes directly to Lurie through a fundraising office. Lurie hasn’t had any problems getting gear and has used the money to pay for masks, goggles, face shields, gloves and other items for medical workers and visitors, said Tracey McCusker, an associate director at the hospital’s foundation.
While many enterprising young people are raising funds for causes close to the heart, the amount Hayley has brought in is unusual. “Her fundraiser is exponentially more than our typical kid fundraiser,” said McCusker who estimates $500 to $1,000 is about average. It’s hard for the second grader to grasp how much more $20,000 is by comparison — but she figures it’s a lot. “It’s more than the tooth fairy gives,” she said. “I want to do it until coronavirus is over,” she said. “It feels like I’m helping a lot of people.”
Her mother, children’s book author Lori Orlinsky, estimates the effort has created roughly 8,000 bracelets, most of them made by Hayley. The fundraiser has been a family project: A 4-year-old sister helps organize the bands by color and both parents help mail the finished products nationwide. Family friend Alysson Bourque, who lives in Sunset, Louisiana, purchased some before joining the project, looping bracelets with her own children. “We were excited that bracelets were a symbol of hope and goodwill and brought people together in a time where people feel disconnected,” said Bourque, who also writes children’s books.
Hayley also introduced the idea at Apachi Day Camp, a summer program she’s attended for years. After Hayley’s pitch, campers of all ages were on board. “It just became a thing that everyone wanted to do,” said Beth Miller, a camp director. “It bonded the kids.”
10 months ago ·
by Health Insurance 4 Everyone ·
Comments Off on Prison Camp Survivor Donating $50 Million Children’s Hospital In New Zealand
Mark Dunajtschik, an 85 year old prison camp survivor committed $50 million dollars of his own money toward building a children’s hospital in New Zealand. Dunajtschik is one of the most successful industrialists and real estate developers in New Zealand and is known for his philanthropic works—having financed the country’s Life Flight Trust helicopter rescue service which has been credited with saving 22,000 lives. Dunajtschik’s latest major humanitarian endeavor is overseeing the construction of a new children’s hospital in Wellington.
Dunajtschik escaped Knicanin prison camp with his mother near the end of WWII and was forced to flee his homeland of Yugoslavia. Five years after the war ended, he became an apprentice toolmaker. He mastered the trade and after spending five years travelling the world, decided to make New Zealand his home. Soon after arriving he established his company Precision Grinders, running the business for 25 years. Dunajtschik was among New Zealand’s most successful property developers and investors, although he only started in the industry as a “hobby” at the age of 57 and has no staff.
Dunajtschik’s life experiences have undoubtedly contributed to the man he is today and his commitment to giving back. Housing in post-war Germany was almost nonexistent, Dunajtschick’s only option at that time was living in a housing facility for the mentally and physically disabled. Seeing the daily challenges his housemates faced made him realize how lucky he was. “Because I was given the opportunity to live in that home, which was founded by an industrialist in the 1880s, now that I am in a position that I can also do something, naturally I want to do it. Those people that are born with a healthy body and mind can look after themselves and those unfortunate to be born with, or suffering ill health, need our help” he said in an interview.
Over the summer, construction on the exterior of the hospital was completed. Dunajtschik had no desire to simply throw money at the new hospital. He takes a hands-on approach to all his projects so he plans to see it through to completion. “It’s exciting to see that in a little over a year the vision will be realized and we will have a magnificent new purpose-built facility that will help generations of sick kids to come,” said Bill Day, Chair of Wellington Hospitals Foundation.
11 months ago ·
by Health Insurance 4 Everyone ·
Comments Off on Recovered Addict Donates Kidney To Officer Who Arrested Her 8 Years Ago
Los Angeles woman, Jocelynn James-a recovered drug addict, donated one of her kidneys to save the life of Officer Terrell Potter, who had arrested her nearly a decade ago. James said Potter saved her life by arresting her and leading her to turn her life around. Potter learned that his kidney was only functioning at 5% last November. Doctors told Potter that he would face a 7 to 8 year waiting period for a kidney.
Potter said they began praying and looking all over the Southeast, little did he know the perfect match was just two miles away. “If you asked me 100 names of who may give me a kidney, her name would have not been on the list,” Potter said. “It’s just unbelievable that she was willing to do that.”
After scrolling on her phone on Facebook, James learned that Potter needed a kidney. After a series of hospital tests, James learned that they were a perfect match. On July 21, Potter received a successful kidney transplant. “All the numbers were great. It started working from the time it was put in,” Potter said. Potter now considers James like another daughter. “It’s made a great relationship and a bond between us that can go forever. There’s no doubt about that,” Potter said. “Her giving me a kidney, it extended my life.
No one knew that when their paths crossed several times between 2007 and 2012, that they would end up saving each other’s lives. Jocelynn fell into opioid addiction after being prescribed pain medication. James was arrested 16 times for theft and drug charges, landing a spot on the Franklin County’s Most Wanted List. It was a time she describes as being in a very dark place and not knowing if she would survive. “I was just living a really bad life, doing a lot of really bad things that I had no business doing and I was just a really lost person,” James said.
Terrell Potter, a former officer with Phil Campbell Police Department, said James was going through a difficult place in her life. “She was out running crazy, stealing and doing drugs and things she shouldn’t be doing,” Potter said. “I locked her up a couple of times.”
James said she reached a point where she lost all she had and finally decided she wanted help. She turned herself in to local law enforcement and was incarcerated and in rehab for a year. It was then that she was finally able to get her life straightened out, and on Nov. 5, she will celebrate eight years being sober. “I was sick of living that life, and I wanted to do something different,” James said.
James currently runs a non-profit organization called The Place of Grace, where she helps get women treatment. “I want people to realize that there is help out there for them,” James said. “It doesn’t matter what happens in your life. You can always turn it around.” She also has an active jail ministry at the Franklin County Jail in Franklin County, Alabama that she started 5 years ago.
12 months ago ·
by Health Insurance 4 Everyone ·
Comments Off on James Patterson Giving Grants to Teachers
Thousands of schoolteachers will receive $500 grants from author James Patterson to help students build reading skills, especially as schools struggle to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic. Patterson has donated $2.5 million through his Patterson Partnership program with Scholastic Book Clubs. The grant program which is administered by Patterson and by Scholastic Book Clubs, which will provide teachers 500 club points to go with the $500 from Patterson. Out of more than 100,000 applicants, 5,000 teachers will receive grants and club points.
“Whether students are learning virtually at home or in the classroom, the importance of keeping them reading cannot be underscored enough. Reading teaches kids empathy, gives them an escape when they most need it, helps them grapple with harsh realities, and perhaps most importantly, will remind them that they are not alone — even if they’re unable to see their teachers, classmates and friends in-person,” Patterson said in a statement.
Funds from the Patterson Partnership are awarded directly to individual teachers and are to be used solely for the purchase of books for classroom libraries. Winning teachers had the choice of either a direct deposit into their Scholastic Book Clubs account or a check sent via USPS. The 500 Bonus Points will also be directly deposited into winning teachers’ Book Club accounts. This is the sixth year Patterson Partnership has issued the grants through its’ partnership with Scholastic Book Club.
Patterson, one of the world’s best-selling novelists, has given more than $11 million to teachers, along with millions he has given to bookstores, libraries and literacy organizations. This is the sixth installment in the Patterson Partnership for building home and school libraries. He has been donating and campaigning for donations for several years.
Judy Newman, president of Scholastic Book Clubs, added, “Teachers are always at the front lines of educating all our children and introducing them to books and reading—no matter what else is going on in the world. As the Covid-19 crisis has shown, the hard work and dedication of America’s teachers—and what is demanded of them—cannot be overstated.”
In April 2020, Patterson helped launch a campaign to save independent booksellers, an industry that has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. The campaign called #SaveIndieBookstores, is a partnership between Patterson, actress Reese Witherspoon’s book club, the American Booksellers Association and the Book Industry Charitable Foundation. Patterson personally contributed $500,000 to that campaign and called for fellow authors and book fans to join him in making donations to the fund.
1 year ago ·
by Health Insurance 4 Everyone ·
Comments Off on Dreamweaver Foundation Donates Facebook Portals to Hundreds of Omaha Seniors
Seniors who are social distancing to stay healthy during the pandemic are now gaining much-needed companionship, thanks to the Dreamweaver Foundation which has provided ultra-loud, easy-to-use devices that connect them directly to loved ones using Facebook Portals. Most seniors who received a Portal were connected to loved ones with a clear picture and sound for the first time in months and the grateful reactions have ranged from “tears of joy” to an overwhelming sense of relief.
Founded in 2012, the eight-year-old nonprofit organization usually grants wishes to seniors with chronic or terminal illnesses, like hot-air balloon rides or race car driving. “We still wanted to serve seniors in a special way” said Cheri Mastny, Dreamweaver Foundation executive director. “Many families had been resorting to window visits or calls on smartphones which can be both expensive and difficult for seniors to operate.”
Staying connected has been difficult for everyone during the pandemic, but especially for seniors. The Dreamweaver Foundation’s donations are changing that for hundreds of seniors in the greater Omaha area. “It looks like an 8×10 picture frame,” Mastny said. “The apps come on it and they are super large, so it is very easy to touch, easy to use. It has a big speaker-subwoofer in the back, so the sound that is produced from the Facebook portal makes it easy for someone that is hard of hearing.”
With a Portal, the buttons are super large, so it’s very easy to touch and use. It has a big subwoofer speaker in the back, so the sound is much better for someone who is hard of hearing. Calls can be made seamlessly to and from smartphones and tablets. Staff and families have continued to see the positive impact on seniors that have received Portals. The portals are giving seniors back their independence and family time.
Since seniors began using them, Dreamweaver has been overwhelmed with requests for more, so they launched a fundraising campaign to purchase more of the Portals. The CONNECTING HOPE CAMPAIGN hopes to continue to spread joy to seniors. They are trying to make Portals possible for seniors and their families to create shared memories, despite the distance. Each Portal is $179 and is purchased through donations.
There are other ways to help by making lower donations which help the “Dream Team” deliver tubs full of fun to care facilities during the pandemic. Playing cards, coloring books, crayons, nail polish, building blocks, board games and more have been delivered throughout the pandemic. The organization is also asking for volunteers who can send postcards, make phone calls and letters of love to seniors.
Their mission is made possible with the help and dedication of Dreamweaver Volunteers and they are always looking for more volunteers. You can make a dream come true and enrich the life of a senior in our community simply by giving of your time. Opportunities to volunteer may include being a Greeter, Personal Shopper, Fundraiser, or Dream Maker. The Dreamweaver organization trains all volunteers to provide the best experience possible. Due to their work involving seniors and sensitive information, they require all potential volunteers to complete orientation and training as well as pass a background check.