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March 23, 2012 / charityprofiles

How Snoop Dogg Raised Funds for Charity

Snoop Dogg is known as a rapper, actor and cultural trendsetter. Now, he wanted to be also known as a philanthropist.

Snoop Dogg has been in partnership with charitybuzz.com, a charity auction site. He is auctioning the opportunity to join him in his recording studio in California. The winning bidder will have the chance to ride Snoop’s car Bigg Slice and watch Snoop Dogg record his latest song.

The proceeds will go to Urban Farming, a charity organization that works for abundance of food. They encourage people to plant in unused land and spaces. They aim to increase diversity and awareness for health and wellness. Urban Farming hopes to be an inspiration for the youth, adults and seniors to create sustainable systems that aim to alleviate the conditions of difficult communities around the world.

Urban Framing, in return, will donate 10% of the proceeds to the Snoop Youth Football League.

March 21, 2012 / charityprofiles

The Truth About “The Truth”

Brandon “The Truth” Vera was born to a Filipino father and an Italian-American mother. He grew up in Norfolk, Virginia, his hometown. He was an excellent wrestler while studying at Lake Taylor High School. His athletic excellence earned him a four-year athletic scholarship to Old Dominion University.

Two and a half years into his studies at the University, Vera realized that college was not for him. He enlisted for the US Air Force. There, he joined the wrestling team. He trained at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. An accident in 1999 cut short his military wrestling career when he was operated for a shred ligament in the right elbow. Unable to move his right arm, Vera was discharged from the USAF.

Vera is a superstar in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He made his octagon debut on October 3, 2005. His most convincing win was when he stopped former heavyweight champion Frank Mir in just 69 seconds.

Mixed martial arts has taught Vera hard work and discipline. He wanted to share the valuable lessons he learned from the sport so he created a non-profit program called Kids for Truth.

Kids for Truth is an after-school program where kids are being rewarded with an opportunity to be a part of activity-based life skills and team building programs designed to enhance the participants’ self confidence and self esteem. Kids will also have the chance to participate in community service projects.

Participants in Vera’s Kids for Truth are handpicked by their teachers. The minimum criteria to qualify for the program are as follows:

  • Achieve and maintain a grade Point average of at least 2.5
  • Letter from the parents signifying request and approval to have their child join the program
  • Letter from the teacher or community leader endorsing the participant
  • Involve in community service at least 8 hours per month

For three times a week, Kids for Truth meet at Alliance Gym after school. Healthy snacks are served after each participant completes his homework and training sessions.

March 16, 2012 / charityprofiles

Steve Gregory and his SG Squad

Steve Gregory is a professional American football player. He plays with the San Diego Chargers and is now on his sixth year of playing professional football.

After Gregory finished high school at Curtis in Staten Island, New York, he attended Syracuse University where he took up dual majors in Finance and Marketing. He was signed by the Chargers as an un-drafted free agent in 2006. He started his football career as part of the Chargers’ practice squad. But he was quickly moved to active roster in his first year with the team.

In 2008, Gregory partnered with Athletes for Education and created his mentorship program which he named “SG Squad.” Having retired New York City police officers as parents, Gregory wanted children to take positive paths in both education and athletics. His parents’ guidance drives him to mentor today’s youth, hoping that he and his SG Squad can make a positive impact in the lives of many.

SG Squad promotes a balance between health, fitness and education. Gregory wanted children to know that his own success in his personal life and career were the outcome of a balance of these three components.

March 14, 2012 / charityprofiles

Scarlett Johansson: Kind-Hearted Beauty

Scarlett Johansson has wowed many audiences in her performances in films such as ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ and ‘Lost in Translation.’ Very few people knew that behind her glamorous looks and profile is a heart for the poor and less fortunate.

Since 2004, Johansson was an Oxfam Ambassador. She did not attend the Oscars in 2007 when she was a part of an Oxfam project that visited India and Sri Lanka. This 10-day trip gave Johansson the chance to visit a school in Uttar Pradesh which is being funded by Oxfam. She was part of a few healthcare projects and a project against domestic violence to Indian women. Her trip to Sri Lanka gave her the idea of how her charity involvements have helped reconstruct homes hit by the 2004 tsunami in that place.

When the US was hit by Hurricane Katrina, Johansson helped the victims by handing out food to homeless victims at the Made Love Café in St. Bernard Parish in New Orleans. The relief was made through the efforts of USA Harvest.

Johansson’s visit to Rwanda in September 2008 was to help increase people’s awareness against AIDS in African nations. For four days, she attended AIDS clinics alongside the volunteers of (RED), a charity organization. The chance of having worked with (RED) was very important for Johansson who treated the activity as having an “enormous impact on the lives of people in countries like Rwanda.”

Johansson also supported Soles4Souls by donating 2,000 pairs of new shoes. When asked why she supports the charity event, she said, “If you can’t dig deep in your pocket, then dig in your closet! Americans can make a huge difference with Soles4Souls by donating shoes. Soles4Souls gives away a pair of shoes every 13 seconds in over 120 countries, with over 55 percent donated to fellow Americans.”

Scarlett is more than just a pretty face with exceptional acting skills but a kind-hearted person that can be a role model for everyone to follow.

March 9, 2012 / charityprofiles

Eli Broad: Supporting Innovative Leadership in Urban Schools

Eli Broad is the American billionaire who founded the real estate development company Kaufman & Broad (KB Home) and the financial company SunAmerica. As a popular art collector, he lends his art collections to museums and galleries for public viewing through the Broad Art Foundation.

Broad and is wife Edythe created the Broad Art Foundation to support and improve public education in urban communities. In its first five years of operation, the Foundation has given over $500 million to support innovative leadership in urban schools. Broad gave another $100 million to establish the Broad Institute of MIT for biomedical research. Harvard and Whitehead also became recipients of grants from the Foundation for the same purpose.

At one time, Broad partnered with the Los Angeles mayor to renovate and revive his beloved city of Los Angeles. He committed his time and money to beautify specific areas in the city. He also helped fund the building of the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

March 8, 2012 / charityprofiles

Why Steven Pinkert Supports the CyberKnife Coalition, Inc.

An advanced cancer treatment, the CyberKnife System targets tumors with highly focused radiation beams from multiple angles utilizing a compact linear accelerator. The robotic radiosurgery delivers sufficient cumulative doses of radiation to kill or control the tumor while minimizing the exposure to healthy tissue. The CyberKnife Coalition, Inc. (CKC) formed in May 2003. The organization, recently gaining its nonprofit recognition, is comprised of facilities offering this life-saving technology. CKC strives to protect patients’ access to the CyberKnife System and to ensure adequate reimbursement.

Steven Pinkert, Managing Partner of Pinkert & Marsh, P.A., in Miami and co-owner and Associate Director of the CyberKnife Center of Palm Beach, serves as Vice President and a board member of CKC. He represents companies and individuals in the purchase of large-scale radiosurgery equipment, particularly the CyberKnife System. CKC acts as an independent clearinghouse for information and expertise on common issues facing providers, such as administrative protocols, payer issues, strategic reimbursement planning, clinical efficacy, and competitive advantages. Steven Pinkert and his CKC colleagues gather data which demonstrates the therapeutic and economic benefits of CyberKnife and they also educate the public, Medicare contractors, commercial payers, evaluation bodies, and other concerned parties.

CKC created Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System codes for hospital outpatient departments and physician fee schedules. The organization’s members have also testified before the California Technology Assessment Forum on stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). In 2009, due to the organization’s actions, Highmark Medicare Services, Inc., began to cover SBRT for prostate cancer. Furthermore, First Coast Service Options, Inc., agreed to cover SBRT on a case-by-case basis for prostate cancer patients. In 2011, CKC became a member of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Registry of Patient Registries Committee and announced the establishment of the Registry for Prostate Cancer Radiosurgery, the world’s largest SBRT prostate database.

March 7, 2012 / charityprofiles

Jon Bon Jovi’s Soul Foundation: One Soul at a Time

The great rock star Jon Bon Jovi created the Soul Foundation to fight social issues that force individuals and families into desperate economic situations. The funding and creation of programs support community efforts to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness.

Soul Foundation’s major focus is in establishing programs that will provide food and affordable housing while supporting social services and job training programs.

The first charitable work of the Soul Foundation was through the efforts of the Philadelphia Soul Arena Football Team and its owners (which includes Jon Bon Jovi). The Foundation commits to develop role models on the individual, corporate and community levels by developing, promoting and assisting sustainable solutions to rebuild self-pride in a person and his community – one SOUL at a time.

Bon Jovi and co-owner of the Philadelphia Soul Arena Football League (AFL) franchise Craig Spencer wanted to represent a new model for franchise ownership. They started by recruiting players who would not only be great in the football field but winners off the field. Practically everyone in the Philadelphia Soul – from SOUL players, to SOULMATES (team dancers), to SOUL MAN (the team’s mascot), to franchise management, and to office staff – represented the team’s mission to help the community by being role models.

SOUL representatives regularly make public appearances in charitable events, summer camps and community gatherings. They visit local Pennsylvania and New Jersey schools to stress the importance of education and the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Local hospitals are also visited by SOUL representatives regularly to lift the spirits of ill children.

Before the Philadelphia Soul played its first home game in January 2004, the team has already raised more than $200,000 in charitable funds. For a time, they played ‘Robin Hood’ in Philadelphia. They donated beds to the local Covenant House. They built a customized state-of-the-art playground for the century-old orphanage Northern Home for Children. Being the Entertainment Ambassador for Samsung’s Four Seasons of Hope Charities, Bon Jovi was able to channel funds for other charities like C.A.D.E. (Corporate Alliance For Drug Education,) The Philadelphia Children’s Alliance, Northern Home For Children, Philabundance, Covenant House, Inn Dwelling, Project H.O.M.E., 2nd Floor Youth Helpline and the Delaware Valley Adoption Center.

During games, Soul fans are encouraged to bring donations. Examples include teddy bears for abused children, new socks for the Covenant House, spare change for Kids with Cancer, and many others.

On August 1, 2009, Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation changed its name to Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation.