Holiday Giving

22nd December 2014        Holiday Giving         No comments yet

The Conover + Gould team will be donating to eleven nonprofits in the spirit of giving back during the holiday season. During the month of December, each team member will be blogging about his or her chosen nonprofit. For her gift, Jillian chose UUUM’s Renewal House.

Renewal House is a small domestic violence shelter in the Boston area, but the services they offer go beyond just a safe place to sleep. Through its programs and services, Renewal House builds a supportive community for victims.

Renewal House is a shelter based on the principles of restorative justice, the understanding that everyone involved experiences hurt when domestic violence occurs and a focus on forgiveness. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, domestic violence between partners affects nearly 12 million women and men in the United States each year. This number includes incidents between same sex couples, and grows larger when we count the number of children affected. As one of the few shelters in this area that has the ability to host families, Renewal House allows adults affected by domestic violence to secure safe housing for themselves and their children.

Recognizing the signs of abuse and deciding to leave an abusive relationship comes with many struggles including loss of financial and emotional support. For those living in the shelter, a supportive community emerges through group therapy and support forums, art therapy, and community outings with former residents, advocates, and volunteers. In addition, advocates at the shelter work with residents to find safe housing, secure necessary services such as healthcare, and assist with job searches. Other resources include English as a Second Language, computer skills and citizenship classes. In the larger community, Renewal House works to end domestic violence by offering conflict resolution classes and general education on the warning signs of abuse.

As a former volunteer at Renewal House, I’ve witnessed first-hand the dedication of advocates and volunteers and the impact they make. To help support their most recent development, a partnership with a transition house for victims of domestic violence, I’ve chosen Renewal House for my holiday donation.

To make a donation to benefit Renewal House, please click here and designate your donation to "Renewal House."

22nd December 2014        Holiday Giving     ,     No comments yet

The Conover + Gould team will be donating to eleven nonprofits in the spirit of giving back during the holiday season. During the month of December, each team member will be blogging about his or her chosen nonprofit. For his gift, Erik chose Food Allergy Research & Education. Food Allergy Research & Education (FAimgresRE) is dedicated to finding a cure for food allergies and keeping those with allergies safe and included. Growing up, I loved eating peanut butter. I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich pretty much every day and Reese’s were my favorite candy. One day, I started to feel a sore throat after finishing my sandwich.When I noticed that this was happening more and more,  my parents took me for an allergy test. Sure enough, I had developed an allergy to peanut butter. While my allergies have yet to strengthen to the point where I am at risk for a severe reaction to peanuts, many are not so lucky. 15 million Americans have food allergies, and many are at risk for serious life-threatening reactions. 1 in 13 children in America are affected. And it’s not just peanuts, since most foods are capable of causing a reaction. However, 90% of food-related allergic reactions come from peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, wheat, soy, fish and shellfish. The danger is complicated by the fact that many food companies manufacture their foods on the same machinery as common food allergens, so people who are at-risk struggle to safely eat foods that we take for granted. For almost two decades, FARE has been the world’s largest private funding source for food allergy research. They help fund research to discover new cures and develop treatments. They also provide families with information such as newsletters, workshops and conferences so they can help people manage living with these allergens. To donate to this cause, please click here.

11th December 2014        Holiday Giving         No comments yet

The Conover + Gould team will be donating to eleven nonprofits in the spirit of giving back during the holiday season. During the month of December, each team member will be blogging about his or her chosen nonprofit. For her gift, Sophie chose Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network.

imgresSince Glinda first taught Dorothy that a click of her heels and a little repetition were all that she needed to return to Kansas, the phrase “there’s no place like home” has remained poignant in the American consciousness. But what if you didn’t have a home to return to? The numbers of homeless in America have continued to rise. In the Washington D.C. metro area alone there are roughly 7,000 people who do not have a reliable place to sleep at night. Yet, walking home alone at night and seeing bus stop after bus stop filled with sleeping bags and huddled bodies has had more of an impact on me than any number could. This led me to become interested in working to end homelessness in the capital area.

I discovered Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network (A-SPAN) and was impressed by their programs. Their street outreach service includes volunteers going into parks, underpasses and other abandoned areas to meet with the homeless and deliver clothing, blankets, meals and personal hygiene supplies. Outreach workers also encourage them to visit the Opportunity Place where they have access to a range of services. A-SPAN also sets up an Emergency Winter Shelter where single adults can go during the winter months to spend the night and avoid freezing temperatures. When the Winter Shelter is not available, they help people find shelters and access to medical and employment services.

Having a stable home and a reliable place to sleep at night is a fundamental human need, and it is my hope that through donations and volunteers we can increase the number of shelters and the network of healthcare and employment opportunities for the homeless.

To donate to A-SPAN, please click here.

10th December 2014        Holiday Giving     , ,     No comments yet

The Conover + Gould team will be donating to eleven nonprofits in the spirit of giving back during the holiday season. During the month of December, each team member will be blogging about his or her chosen nonprofit. For his gift, Jon chose Heifer International.

Heifer InternationalFor 70 years, Heifer International’s mission has been to end world hunger and poverty. In more than 125 countries, Heifer partners with communities to bring sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas stricken by poverty. Families are provided with training and the resources, whether seeds or livestock to help secure a stable food supply and a reliable income. Agriculture products such as milks, eggs and honey are then traded or sold in the market.

Heifer’s core model is Passing the Gift. When families have successfully established their projects or completed training, and have become self-sufficient, they pass along their knowledge or become donors themselves. In the case of livestock, a family passes on the first female offspring to another family, who subsequently will share the fruits of their labor with others.

Heifer believes in providing its partners with the resources, tools and knowledge to become self-sufficient over the long-term. The nonprofit educates its partners to use best practices that benefit the health and welfare of livestock, improve the environment, and foster the equal participation of both women and men in building a better world.

I have chosen Heifer International in order to support their mission of lifting families out of poverty and fighting to end world hunger. Click here to donate to Heifer International.

 

9th December 2014        Holiday Giving     ,     No comments yet

The Conover + Gould team will be donating to eleven nonprofits in the spirit of giving back during the holiday season. During the month of December, each team member will be blogging about his or her chosen nonprofit. For her gift, Lindsay chose DC Greens.

DC GreensWhen I moved to D.C. three years ago, I was surprised to learn the city has some of the highest inequality rates in the country.  Many longtime D.C. families are struggling with rising housing costs, stagnant wages, a higher cost of living, and increasingly, food insecurity. Studies suggest one in eight district residents can’t find affordable, healthy food in their neighborhoods.

While there are no easy solutions to these problems, many local organizations are tackling the multidimensional causes of poverty in cooperative, creative ways. One of these groups is DC Greens, a local non-profit founded in 2009 that works to improve food justice in the city.

With garden training programs for teachers and students, D.C Greens instills values of sustainability while making healthy foodways more accessible to residents. The School Garden Markets program, for instance, helps students at six schools build their own community gardens, where they grow and sell their own vegetables for profit. Last year, students made a collective $4,200 that they will reinvest in their gardens.

D.C. Greens also reaches out to marginalized communities. Partnering with a local health clinic, the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program provided grants to 25 families so they could buy fresh fruit and vegetables. At their Farmer’s Market, DC Greens also matches federal aid benefits such as SNAP and WIC to ensure all families have access to healthy diets.

At the intersection of education, sustainability and poverty reduction, DC Greens is doing some amazing work to improve the lives of families across the District. I can’t think of a better organization that deserves this recognition, and I wish it all the success as it continues to grow!

To donate to this cause, please click here.

4th December 2014        Holiday Giving     ,     No comments yet

The Conover + Gould team will be donating to eleven nonprofits in the spirit of giving back during the holiday season. During the month of December, each team member will be blogging about his or her chosen nonprofit. For her gift, Carly chose the National Communication Association.

NCAThis year, I would like to highlight the National Communication Association (NCA). NCA is a nonprofit dedicated to supporting communication arts and sciences for both communication scholars and practitioners. This helps advance communication education and research.

The need for research is at the core of any organization running issue campaigns to raise awareness, persuade and drive action to solving problems – from the holiday campaigns raising money for the hungry or unwell, to the year-round campaigns that helps keep important health, environmental or other issues in front of people.

Research helps inform decisions, and in areas where there is minimal experience or knowledge, research can provide practitioners needed information to help create strategic and thoughtful campaigns that connect with people, and ultimately help solve or reduce problems.

This year celebrates the 100-year anniversary of NCA. The communication industry has exploded in the ways we reach, speak, tweet, post, and visually communicate information to each other. But from scientists to presidents to those of us sitting at our desks writing emails, we all communicate, and the need to do it well does not go away.

To donate to this organization, click here.

3rd December 2014        Holiday Giving     1 comment

The Conover + Gould team will be donating to eleven nonprofits in the spirit of giving back during the holiday season. During the month of December, each team member will be blogging about his or her chosen nonprofit. For her gift, Rebecca chose Yoga Activist.

I chose Yoga Activist, a nonprofit organization based in DC that seeks to promote yoga outreach around the country. Many studies have indicated that yoga has wonderful health benefits, from reducing blood pressure and facilitating weight loss to combatting anxiety. Practicing regularly can be empowering, and doing so with others builds community.

Yet, yoga classes often do not serve diverse populations. The cost and location of yoga classes sometimes means that many cannot take advantage of the benefits that yoga offers. Yoga Activist was founded as a way to combat this inequality by helping to make yoga – and its benefits – accessible to more people, with special emphasis on underserved communities.

Yoga Activist offers by-donation teacher trainings to individuals who are interested in volunteering to teach in these communities. They curate diverse online educational resources for volunteer teachers that help them learn more about the specific needs their students may have. For example, those struggling with posttraumatic stress disorder may have different sensitivities than the homeless. Very young students in schools will have different mobility and attention spans than those in elderly housing facilities. Yoga Activist seeks to serve all of these communities and more. They also act as a liaison for social service organizations looking to introduce yoga into their programs.

I have the privilege of working for Yoga Activist’s sister organization, Yoga District. This separate but linked collective of studios shares many of Yoga Activist’s goals. They strive to meet people where they are, by opening neighborhood studios and offering affordable yoga with sliding scale payment options for those in need. Belonging to this community has been rewarding for me. I hope that this gift will make this experience possible for others.

To donate to this organization, you can click here.

2nd December 2014        Holiday Giving     No comments yet

December 2nd, #GivingTuesday, is a global day to celebrate giving back. At Conover + Gould, we have so much to be thankful for, and we try to reflect on that often. But we love the idea of having a day dedicated to giving back to those who have less. This holiday season, the Conover + Gould team will be making donations to eleven nonprofits that we admire, and we will each blog about our chosen organization. Minna and Heather are making donations to the American University of Nigeria Foundation (AUNF).

AUNF supports the work of the American University of Nigeria (AUN) and furthers education of disadvantaged children in northeastern Nigeria by raising funds to provide them full scholarships. Our donation will go towards AUNF’s #EducateOurGirls campaign which provides scholarship funds for the 21 Chibok girls at AUN.

The world was outraged and vented some of its anger and frustration through #BringBackOurGirls after close to 300 girls were kidnapped from their boarding school in Chibok by Boko Haram last spring. 58 girls jumped from trucks, ran for their lives and escaped their captors, and 21 of those brave young women are now studying at AUN. They were admitted this fall to specialized remedial education programs on full scholarships so that they can adjust both academically and personally and successfully complete the exams that they were taking when they were kidnapped.

We have both been touched by these girls and their stories. The amount of courage, determination and strength they have displayed is just incredible. We know we have been incredibly fortunate in our lives and have taken our educations for granted in so many ways. We are inspired and humbled by the 21 girls from Chibok. Girls like these will change the world.

If you would like to donate to this cause, we recommend doing so today on #GivingTuesday when the Foundation’s online donation transaction fees will be waived. Click here to donate.