Posted by: charityinfo | March 22, 2012

Unwanted Apes Have Found A Home

The Center for Great Apes is a sanctuary covering over 100 acres of tropical wooded habitat with orange groves surrounding.  It’s located in Wauchula, southern central Florida. It was initially only 15 acres but has now grown to its present size.  Although the nonprofit organization was founded in 1993, it took another four years to look for the ideal site that was also affordable.

Patti Ragan spent several months doing volunteer work helping in the rehabilitation of wild orangutans in the Borneo jungle in 1984. Due to her experience, a bird park in Miami asked her to care for a four-week old orangutan which she in the end had to take in because the animal had nowhere else to go. She decided to put up a sanctuary for orangutans.

As it happened she was then asked to care for an infant chimpanzee which she found out would be sold as a tourist attraction at Universal Studio, Orlando. Now the desire was to put up a sanctuary not only for orangutans but for chimpanzees, too, she didn’t want the young chimp to be sold for entertainment.

With her kind heart and along with others who made the sanctuary possible, there are now more than 40 apes living in bliss at the sanctuary.  The place is a permanent sanctuary for chimpanzees and orangutans who are no longer wanted as pets, retired from the entertainment industry or from research.  They now live in a place they can call home.

Posted by: charityinfo | March 19, 2012

One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure

The title aptly describes the work of Mathew 25: Ministries (M25M) a charitable organization engaged in humanitarian aid and disaster relief. It acquires items that corporations, hospitals and individuals no long have use for and gives these items to people who desperately need them.  It shows there is still things that can be given if we just look hard enough and find a way how.

Rev. Wendell Mettey who is the founder and president of M25M took a trip to Nicaragua with a group of doctors and nurses in 1990. The destruction and poverty he saw inspired him to look for a way to help the people there and in other parts of the world. This was the beginning of the charitable organization.

The approach he took was unique; instead of asking for fresh or new products he looked for a way to recover products that U.S. corporations not longer found useful. He was able to develop a system for doing this and M25M has been able to distribute relief goods amounting to 10 million pounds each year.  Around 90 million pounds of aid has been delivered by M25M all over the U.S. and to over 35 countries around the world since its founding.

M25M acquires clothing, medicinal supplies, non-perishable food, personal care products, educational materials, and other essential things needed for daily survival. It gets these items from corporations, hospitals, and individuals in the U.S.  The organization has a processing center in Cincinnati that then ship the products to other parts of the U.S. and around the world.  It is involved in humanitarian aid and disaster relief like in its participation in the relief effort and rebuilding in earthquake devastated Haiti in 2010 and the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011.

M25M is a very efficient organization with 99% of what it receives from donations going directly to the intended recipients.  The organization continues to work in order to fulfill Mathews 25: 31-40; giving food, water, clothing, and care for the needy.

Posted by: charityinfo | March 15, 2012

The Accidental Hero

Big Cat Rescue had its beginning in 1992, when Carole Baskin, the founder, and her then husband Don went to buy bobcat kittens in the mistaken notion that they would make good pets. What they ended up in was a “fur farm” where most of the buying and selling of cats was for the purpose of raising and eventually selling the furs.  They were appalled by what they saw and in act that would forever change the course of their lives; they bought all the 56 kittens sold there so the kittens would not wind up someday as fur coats.

This began years of buying, raising, breeding and selling of big cats with the belief that they would be preserving the species and selling them to those who would be good pet owners.  Then they came to the realization that what they were doing was not right. These cats belonged in the wild and were never meant to be pets and in most cases pet owners could not handle them when they reached maturity and just abandoned them.

Aside from having to rescue, care and feed for the cats, Carole had her own personal tragedy to endure. Her husband was beginning to exhibit mental disorder and one week before a scheduled medical checkup he just disappeared never to return.  Carole’s advocacy not to raise big cats as pets or for fur made her enemies of those in the trade.  Her husband’s disappearance turned her to media fodder and also a suspect.  She manages to endure it all including the financial strain she and her family have gone through.

Big Cat Rescue is now an educational sanctuary in Florida. The accidental big cat hero and her organization continue their calling of helping these animals.

Posted by: charityinfo | March 12, 2012

Helping Themselves

Some of us unfortunately wind up having diseases that makes life more difficult and painful to live through.  There are those who have refused to be brought down by their affliction and have take action to help themselves and others live life to the fullest.

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a disease that essentially hits the spine and is a form of arthritis. There is inflammation of the spinal joints that can cause extreme, regular pain and discomfort.  The most severe case of this disease (although not applicable to all) is new bone formation on the spine causing the spine to fuse and which sometimes creates a forward –stooping posture.

There is no known cure for this disease. There are treatments to reduce symptoms and manage the pain. There are new medications that have the potential to slow or halt the advancement of AS for some individuals. The exact cause of AS is not known. Genetics does play a central role.  The environment can also have an effect.

AS can start occur to people between the ages of 17-45 but can affect even children and those much older. It’s more common in men than women.

The Spondylitis Association of America (SAA) was founded in 1983 by people affected by ankylosing spondylitis.  Before this organization was formed there wasn’t much information about this disease which can affect young people. There was no support group or educational material available about it.

Instead of lamenting about the lack of information and awareness of the disease, a group of people afflicted by it decided to help themselves and others. One of the co-founders is Jane Bruckel who is a registered nurse.  She became the first President of the Board of Directors and the first Executive Director and retired on April 2006. She led SAA for 23 years with her house being the first meeting place.

SAA has accomplished a lot in bringing awareness as well as trying to find a cure for the disease. It has held national symposiums, has created support groups, raised money for research, and initiated the extensive survey of SA patients nationwide among other accomplishments. The organization helped the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA) get signed into law.

Now there is more awareness and ongoing research about this disease due to SAA. The organization is about people who set about to help themselves.

Posted by: charityinfo | March 9, 2012

Steven Pinkert and CyberKnife

For the last decade, Steven Pinkert has served as Managing Partner of Pinkert and Marsh, PA (formerly the Pinkert Law Firm, PA). In this capacity, he works with a diverse range of clients in the areas of real estate law, civil litigation, immigration law, China market entry, and intellectual property rights. He also supports the efforts of the CyberKnife Coalition, Inc. (CKC) an independent advocacy organization (pending nonprofit recognition).

Formed in 2003 and formally incorporated in 2005, CKC has the central mission of promoting access to the CyberKnife robotic radiosurgery system through adequate insurance reimbursement. The frameless suite of CyberKnife equipment provides a non-invasive alternative for patients requiring the removal of benign and malignant tumors, including cancerous growths.

The CyberKnife Coalition is an independent group representing the full spectrum of CyberKnife-related sites. The organization seeks resolutions to issues regarding administrative protocols, strategic reimbursement planning, competitive advantages, and clinical efficacy.

In the last nine years, CKC has helped to achieve a number of milestones with regards to CyberKnife treatment and coverage. In March 2009, Palmetto GBA reversed a negative coverage determination, accepting stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for prostate cancer treatment. This was followed by similar agreements by Highmark Medicare Services and First Coast Service Options in October 2009. In October 2011, CKC announced its support of the creation of the Registry for Prostate Cancer Radiosurgery (RPCR), which stands as the leading worldwide SBRT prostate cancer database. Trailblazer Health Enterprises agreed in January 2012 to cover SBRT prostate cancer treatments for patients enrolled in RPCR and similar clinical studies.

Steven Pinkert’s support of CyberKnife Coalition, Inc. extends from his position as Chairman of Signum U.S. Health Care, which is working in partnership with state-owned hospitals in China to develop state-of-the-art radiotherapy centers.

Posted by: charityinfo | March 8, 2012

Architects Getting Into The Act

Human conflict can bring out the worst in people. Human beings can commit horrifying acts against fellow human beings. Ironically it can also bring out the best in others who want to help. This is what happened to Cameroon Sinclair and Kate Stohr who founded Architecture for Humanity on April 6. 1999.

The Kosovo conflict caused much human suffering. So many buildings and homes were destroyed, too. Those who fled the horror had no place to live when they came back. Thus shelter was needed.

Yet building shelter is not merely putting a roof over one’s head. It also involves proper designing to make the most out of the project. From making the right design to fit the weather, to taking into consideration the available resources in the particular area, these must all be factored in. This is where architects can play a major role.

The foundation began by hosting design competitions to get the best ideas for the Kosovo project. This was an inclusive approach since the local communities were also taken into the picture to get their inputs in the reconstruction efforts.

The foundation has continued to use the approach of open competition to come up with the right designs. An examples of a project completed is a basketball court in Kenya which includes an integrated rainwater collection system. It also had done housing projects in Mississippi in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It has completed many projects around the world. The foundation partners with other entities to get the work done.

Planning and designing is important as not to waste precious resources in completing shelter projects. It’s good to know that thousands of architects have gotten into the act of help others in dire need.


Posted by: charityinfo | March 5, 2012

Failure Is An Acceptable Risk

Some individuals after reaching the pinnacle of their careers still continue to pursue their goals. It is truly more than a job for them and more of a call. This can be said of Jimmy Carter.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has used his considerable world stature to improve human conditions through The Carter Center.  This foundation in partnership with Emory University was established in 1982, the year after his presidency ended.  The center’s motto is “Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope”.

It initially focused on conflict resolution and peace initiatives, but over the years has added new programs.  The foundation has witnessed over 60 elections in over 25 countries.  In various capacities it has helped peace resolution initiatives in Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and other countries.  It is active in human rights issues.

Aside from its peace efforts it is also active in the area of health. The center is working on eradicating 6 diseases deemed preventable, namely Guinea worm, river blindness, trachoma, schistosomiasis, lymphatic filariasis, and malaria.  Mental health is also one area it is working on.

As a sign of their continuing success in fighting Guinea worm, the foundation recently received $40 million. The funding came from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which contributed $23.3 million, President Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates who donated $10 million dollars, and $6.7 million dollars came from the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation.  Last year the United Kingdom committed $31 million do help eradicate the disease by 2015.

The Carter Center began its eradication program of Guinea worm in 1986 when there were 3.5 million reported cases.  Early results revealed that in 2011 there were only 1,060 cases reported worldwide. These are extremely encouraging results.  Hopefully the Center will be successful in meeting the 2015 deadline for eliminating the disease.

Through his foundation, Jimmy Carter has continued his work trying to make the world a better place to live. He has tried as realistically as he can to resolve difficult issues and as stated in part of the foundation’s 5 principles, failure is an acceptable risk in trying to resolve problems.

Posted by: charityinfo | March 1, 2012

Giving Back Hope And Dignity

We humans come in all shapes and sizes. We all have our differences; we all have our own degree of determination and perseverance. For one reason or another there are those in our society who just can’t quite make it. They fell off the horse and have given up the fight. It happens everywhere even in the capital of the most powerful country in the world- the United States.

In Washington D.C. there are those who are homeless and need good warm food to eat. Everyone deserves a second chance, or a third, or as many chances possible while we’re still living in this planet. One organization in D.C. has been doing that for the past 40 years.  It’s called SOME (So Others Might Eat).

It was started by Father Horace McKenna, S.J. in 1970. This was an interfaith group whose purpose was to help feed the city’s poor residence. Over the years the organization saw that the needs and the means of helping these people had to go beyond just feeding them. Other programs were added.

Today SOME gives food and clothing to the city’s poor and homeless; treats sick, homeless people with its medical, dental, and mental health programs; and trains people for jobs and provides shelter for homeless families and single adults.

There are many success stories of those who once lived desperate lives and are now independent and productive members of society. SOME has given hope and dignity to so many persons over the years.

Posted by: charityinfo | February 27, 2012

To Make A Difference

How many of us think we have made a difference in this world? Are we just another struggling individual trying to make ends meet? Working hard so we can stand on our own two feet without being a burden to others is to some degree making a difference already. Others have gone beyond that and made positive differences to lives of strangers who badly needed help.

There were many in the world that saw the pain and suffering of Cambodians during the Khmer Rouge regime. The beautiful country of Cambodia became known as the killing fields. One man by the name of Ron Post from Portland, Oregon saw the television reports of what was happening in Cambodia in 1976. He asked God for help so that he could be of assistance to these people.

Less than month later he set out with 27 medical volunteers to the Thailand border to help the refugees who had fled the horror in their country. What was incredible was that Post, although a businessman had no medical background at all. This did not stop him from going. He wanted to make a difference.

It may have been a spur of the moment act then but it was the beginning of the Northwest Medical Teams which later became known as Medical Teams International. This charity’s ultimate goal “is to serve the people stricken by disaster, conflict and poverty all over the world with the most effective programs possible”. Although a proudly Christian-based charitable organization, religious belief is not one of their criteria for helping those in need. They cater to everyone.

The organization has seven areas that it focuses its work on. These are: Community Health, Dental Program, Disaster Response, Emergency Medical Care, HIV and AIDS Care and Prevention, Medical Services and Training, and Medical Supply Program.

With more than 97% of its resources going to the seven areas of focus, this is a highly rated and efficient charity organization. Since its establishment, over $1.5 billion of much needed medical supplies have been delivered all over the world.  Last year 2.1 million people were helped by this organization. Since 1979 it has been able to send 2,100 teams to where they were most needed all over the world.

Ron Post and the countless volunteers and workers of Medical Teams International have made a difference.

Posted by: charityinfo | February 25, 2012

Bettering His Community Through Philanthropy

Amarillo, Texas, native Joe Batson is well known throughout his local community as a prominent businessman and committed philanthropist. With a long resume of professional accomplishments culminating in his current work as President of the Coldwater Cattle Company, Mr. Batson has always focused a great deal of energy on his charitable pursuits. An alumnus of The University of Texas at Austin, he currently maintains a seat on the institution’s College of Fine Arts Advisory Council. Mr. Batson also co-founded the Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation and made a $1 million contribution to the organization in 2004. The foundation funds the staging of TEXAS, the Lone Star State’s official musical theater production, at the Pioneer Amphitheatre in Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Thanks to Mr. Batson’s continued involvement, the Foundation has been able to produce a TEXAS spin-off show and fund Texas Express, an outreach program for young adults. Adding yet another notch in his philanthropic belt, Joe Batson took time out of his busy schedule to oversee a major fundraising initiative on behalf of the Diocese of Austin.

In addition to his charitable support of arts and culture, Joe Batson serves as a Research Council Member for the Scripps Research Institute, a global non-profit entity dedicated to advancing the study and application of biomedical science. Mr. Batson is a longtime backer of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) as well, and works to further the association’s mission via his post as its Amarillo, Texas, Chairman of the Board. Also concerned with animal welfare, Joe Batson collaborates with the Humane Society of North Texas (HSNT) to put an end to cruelty toward animals. In partnership with HSNT and the Potter County Sheriff’s Department, Mr. Batson established a committee of local residents to investigate instances of animal abuse.

Older Posts »