Proof Positivity: Haiti Moves On

In January 2010 Port-au-Prince, Haiti  was rocked with a 7.0 sized earthquake.   Thousands were feared dead.  Enough of that I’m not hear to tell you about what was depressing and happened in the past.  I am here to tell you what is happening now in Haiti.

Honeywell breaks ground in Jacmel, Haiti for a new school.

Honeywell which invents and manufactures breakthrough technologies that address tough challenges linked to global megatrends such as personal, commercial and homeland security; safety in the air and on the ground; and energy efficiency for factories, refineries, homes, buildings, cars and trucks, has invested it’s time in to Jacmel, Haiti.

Jacmel, Haiti is expected to have a brand new school as of January 2011.

“Six months ago, Honeywell committed to contributing $1 million in aid to the region, including a 100 percent match of employee donations, to fund rebuilding projects in Haiti and we are on target with that promise,” said Tom Buckmaster, President of Honeywell Hometown Solutions, Honeywell’s Corporate Citizenship initiative.  “With the dedicated assistance of Mayor Edwin Zenny along with Operation USA, we’re confident that today’s ground breaking will help support education and overall community resources.  Honeywell has also made business jets available to relief agency Operation USA for airlift support to deliver medical supplies and transport medical staff.  We are dedicated to helping Haiti rebuild.”

This project will help to ensure the school can withstand a future earthquake and it will be made with sustainable building materials. Some of the special features of the school include  new computer lab,  a sustainable community garden, and regulation-sized athletic field.

A partnership between Honeywell and Operation USA has not only helped to bring this school to fruition, but also helped to create a scholarship fund  to help support expenses the students may incur during the school year, including mandatory school uniforms, books and supplies.


Proof Positivity: Kids Who Care

Kohl’s has announced the  recipients for their Kohl’s Kids Who Care  Scholarship Program which award $10,000 and recognizes outstanding volunteerism.  The winners are between the ages of nine to eighteen.  Kohl’s has also promised a donation of $1,000 per winner to the charity of their choice.

“Through incredible acts such as creating a thriving literacy program at a homeless shelter, harvesting and selling honey to benefit cancer research and leading a local movement to promote teen health, our 2010 winners exemplify the true meaning of volunteerism and demonstrate that regardless of age, people are capable of remarkable and inspiring accomplishments,” said Julie Gardner, Kohl’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. “For the past 10 years, Kohl’s has been proud to recognize and support the education of extraordinary kids and hope their selfless acts will inspire more young people to make a positive difference in the lives of others.”

This year’s winners were selected from more than 27,000 youth nominees nationwide for volunteer efforts reaching far above and beyond what is normally expected of children. These remarkable efforts include raising funds to provide education to underprivileged kids, starting organizations to raise awareness and money for childhood diseases and providing toys, books and supplies to local families in need.

National scholarship recipients include:

  • Selchia Cain, 17, Kansas City, Mo. – Selchia started a local movement called “Health Hype: Super Size Your Minds…Not Your Bodies” to combat the rising problem of teen obesity in her area.
  • Charles Dewey, 18, Corona, Calif. – Charles founded a literacy program at the Circle of Hope Family Shelter for the homeless, growing a weekly three person volunteer effort to a four times per week 22-volunteer initiative.
  • Eileen Garrido, 11, Downey, Calif. – Born with a serious heart condition, Eileen founded the Beating Hearts Foundation and raised more than $930,000 in seven months for hospitals that treat children with cardiovascular diseases.
  • Carolyn (Carly) Houlahan, 15, Devon, Pa. – Carly co-founded Hives for Lives, a sustainable honey business that has donated more than $160,000 to cancer hospitals and research centers across the country.

  • Pearce Quesenberry, 12, Wilmington, Del. – Diagnosed with a rare brain cancer, Pearce started the Pearce Q. Foundation, which has directly helped more than 1,200 children and family members impacted by childhood cancer.
  • Ben Sater, 18, Plano, Texas – Ben founded KidSwing, an annual children’s golf tournament for kids, by kids, that has raised more than $800,000 for community-supported Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.
  • Pooja Shah, 17, Fremont, Calif. – Pooja founded Just Start, Inc., a nonprofit supporting after-school programs for 600 low-income second and third graders at more than 40 elementary schools in California.
  • Ashlee Smith, 11, Reno, Nev. – Ashlee founded Ashlee’s Toy Closet, and collected and donated more than 100,000 toys to kids in her community affected by natural disasters, personal tragedy and illness.
  • Elizabeth (Lily) Toomey, 9, West Hartford, Conn. – Born with a congenital heart defect, Lily raised awareness of and funding for heart health by speaking at American Heart Association events, raising $100,000 for the cause.
  • Jonathon White, 11, Stuarts Draft, Va. – Jonathon worked to collect, fold and pack approximately $500,000 worth of toys, clothes, school supplies, books and hygiene items for distribution to local families in need.

Congratulations to all of these children.

Proof Positivity: Heart Healthy World Healthy

Not only is General Mills heart healthy they are stepping into the green era to become world healthy as well.  In

Methuen, Massachusetts the company has added solar panels to the facility that makes yogurt.  Solar energy is expected to supply nearly 80 percent of the warehouse’s summertime power needs, and 40 percent of its needs the rest of the year.

“The enthusiasm of the work force and the partnership with state and local government led the way for us to install the solar panels,” said Jon Russett, energy manager in General Mills’ Supply Chain operations. “General Mills is committed to continuously improving its environmental performance.”

What solar power will do at General Mills’ Methuen:

  • The panels provide a year-round average of 55 percent of the annual electricity consumed by the warehouse building.
  • The panels generate enough electricity (110.7 kilowatts) to power approximately 12 average Massachusetts homes every year
  • Solar power will offset more than 112,000 lbs of carbon dioxide annually – this is the equivalent of taking 10 cars off the road.

I can see world healthy as part of the new mantra for General Mills.  General Mills’ San Adrian, Spain, facility now receives all of its electricity and one third of its overall energy from renewable energy sources such as wind power. The company is also constructing a biomass burner at its oat-milling facility in Fridley, Minnesota  that will burn leftover oat hulls from the milling process to produce about 90 percent of the steam needed to heat the plant and make oat flour.

“As we continue to work on sustainability across our supply chain, we remain confident that the groundwork we’ve laid will continue to show even more progress in the future,” said Russet.

Proof Positivity: Loud and Proud

Disability and Power Pride shout to the masses with one voice to change the perception of those with disabilities.  Founded in  2009 as a natural outgrowth of two first-of-their kind events that heralded a rising political force. The January 2009 Power & Pride Inaugural Ball attracted nearly a thousand guests from across the country.

To mark the 20th anniversary of the historic Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Disability Power & Pride will host a Gala celebration on July 26, 2010 at the National Press Club (529 14th St., NW), 7 to 11 p.m. – following a White House ceremony commemorating the ADA’s enactment. Disability community leaders, champions, advocates and supporters in government, business, the arts, service organizations, academia and the grassroots will join together to celebrate the past and reinvigorate a movement to change the future. This Gala is the capstone event for the anniversary day.

Disability and Power Pride mobilizes all Americans with disabilities, their families, friends and allies, to speak with your hands or mouth with one powerful voice.

Former Congressman and current chair of Disability and Power Pride, Tony Coelho states,  “The words in our name — Disability Power & Pride — distill decades of dreams and struggles, progress and challenges, and reflect the life work of countless leaders, legislators, advocates, and individuals of all ages, abilities and political affiliations. Difficult work lies ahead to deliver on the ADA’s promise, but to succeed we must come together, celebrate who we are, and build our political power.”

Proof Positivity: Proof Positivity

Ripple Of  Hope


At the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights on November 18  Bono and Wyclef Jean were presented  with the organization’s 2009 Ripple of Hope Award.  The award recognizes the bold leadership demonstrated by the two honorees on humanitarian issues.

“As champions of justice, Bono and Wyclef have brought the national spotlight to human rights violations, empowered local activists, and transformed the lives of millions of people living in poverty from Port-Au-Prince to Darfur,” said Kerry Kennedy, founder of the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights. “Their efforts evoke the spirit of my father and we are honored to recognize them.”

Jenni Williams, founder of Women of Zimbabwe Arise and 2009 RFK Human Rights Award winner, introduced Bono who was then presented the award by Ethel Kennedy.  Bono, the lead singer of U2 and co-founder of the advocacy organization ONE and (Product) RED, was recognized for his efforts in the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa.

“Though we’re not usually that partial to Royals, growing up in Ireland in the 70s, the Kennedy family felt like an Irish royal family. Bobby Kennedy was a super-hero, an Irish scrapper who didn’t see any contradiction between hard-headed pragmatism and an idealism that challenged all of us to change the world. That’s why the Ripple of Hope award means so much. RFK was the blue print for our activism in the ONE campaign,” Bono said. “The image of Bobby that will forever be in my mind is of a man with his sleeves rolled up, hard at work and showing a hint of muscle. His life is an enduring challenge to all of us to do more, get beyond ourselves and send out our own ripples of hope to the world.”

Loune Viaud, who received the RFK Human Rights Award in 2002 for her work in Haiti, introduced her fellow countryman, Wyclef Jean.  Jean was recognized for his work to strengthen and inspire change in Haiti through his Yele Haiti organization.

“It is an honor to receive this award for so many reasons,” said Jean, who was also the evening’s musical performer.  “The Kennedy Family and Robert F. Kennedy have represented and fought for the rights of people around the world, and have paid the ultimate sacrifice for it.  I am humbled by their work, and use it as an example in the work I continue to do in Haiti, the United States, Africa and around the globe.  I look forward to working closely with Kerry Kennedy and the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights in Haiti as a part of our Yele Center.”

The evening was emceed by actor Peter Gallagher and included monologues based on the play “Speak Truth to Power” performed by Matthew Modine, Matt McCoy, Joey Pantoliano and Gloria Reuben.  There was also a special tribute to Senator Edward Kennedy, who served as a member of the RFK Board of Directors from 1968 until his passing this year.


PR Newswire

Proof Positivity: Proof Positivity

The Gift of Literacy


Imagine not being able to read.  About 1/4 of the adult population – that’s about 44million – possess level 1 literacy skills (the lowest so far).   I believe that learning to read can happen at any time but it’s more benificial to start at a young age.   “Researchers found that children from both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking, low-income families, had better language comprehension and cognitive development if their mothers began reading to them at an early age.
Many studies have demonstrated the benefits of parents reading to preschoolers in terms of improved language development.”

Starting Nov. 14, and ending Dec. 24 Borders® and Waldenbooks® stores nationwide are conducting a company-wide, community-based holiday book drive that’s expected to benefit hundreds of thousands of needy children across the nation.  The drive is for kids who may not have a book to call their own.  Customers can also choose to donate Borders’ own “Beckett the Bear,” a cuddly plush panda bear knowing that the books and the bears will go to a local non-profit organization, carefully chosen by each store.

Borders collected and delivered more than 600,000 books donated by generous customers during its August company-wide book drive. Recipient organizations included Reach Out and Read Michigan, Boys Town, the Ronald McDonald House and numerous other organizations.

“As avid readers we take for granted the access we have to books in our everyday lives, but the fact is many children don’t have books of their own,” said Mike Edwards, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer for Borders Group.  “We know that through our book drives, we are helping foster literacy, which is vitally important to families and to communities.”

Proof Positivity: Going Green

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

According to a recent survey conducted by Plastics Make it Possible(SM) , an initiative sponsored by the plastics industries of the American Chemistry Council, nearly 70 percent of households make an effort to recycle at home. Of those homes that make recycling a priority, more than two out of three rely on the women of the house to serve as the “recycling enforcers.” One out of four families shares the responsibility while only 10 percent put their kids in charge of recycling duty.

So just where do the plastic bottles you throw in the recycling bin and the plastic bags you take back to the grocery store end up? Though recycled plastics might be out-of-mind as soon as they are placed in a recycling bin, they are far from out-of-sight. Most people use “second life” plastics in their homes or cars everyday – and many of us may even be wearing them! According to the survey, eighty-two percent of Americans know that recycled plastic water bottles can be used to make a variety of items such as lumber for homes and decks, car bumpers, life jackets, sails for boats, rope and even fashionable t-shirts.

To encourage consumers to recycle more, Plastics Make it Possible(SM) provides the following tips for reusing and recycling everyday plastics.

1. Find out which plastics are accepted for recycling in your community
and where they can be taken.  Though recycling options vary, most
community curbside programs collect plastic bottles and many grocery
and retail chains now offer bins to collect used plastic bags and wraps
for recycling.  An increasing number of communities are also collecting
rigid containers like yogurt and butter tubs.
2. Know what to recycle with your bottles.  A “bottle” is any container
with a neck or opening that’s smaller than its base and includes milk
jugs; beverage containers; bottles from salad dressing, oil and other
condiments; food jars for items like peanut butter and mayonnaise; and
bottles from shampoo, toiletries, laundry detergent and household
3. Know what to recycle with your bags at grocery stores.  When you
recycle your bags, include all plastic bags from grocery, retail and
dry cleaning stores, plastic bags that cover newspapers, and product
wraps from paper towels, napkins, bathroom tissue and diapers.
4. Clean and empty.  Before tossing them in the recycle bin, make sure
bottles are appropriately rinsed and that caps are removed.
5. Bring bottles back to the bin.  When bottles are emptied away from
home, store them in a backpack or briefcase, or simply leave them in
the car until arriving home to place in a recycle bin.
6. Store bags in a bag. Storing plastic bags and wraps in a plastic bag
offers neat, convenient storage. Simply knot the handles when you’re
ready to drop them off at your local grocer or retailer.
7. Reuse those bags! From trash can liners to pet pick-up, plastic bags
can be used dozens of ways.
8. Pitch in beyond the kitchen. While many recyclable bottles and bags
come from the kitchen, don’t forget to check the bathrooms and laundry
room for shampoo and detergent bottles and reuse your plastic bags as
trash can liners throughout the house.
9. When in doubt, leave it out. Be careful not to contaminate your
recyclables with garbage or items that aren’t recycled in your area.

10. Bridge the second generation gap.  It’s important to remember that
recycled plastics go on to become second generation products like
carpet, fleece jackets and new bottles and bags.

I recycle when I can and here is my own personal list for recycling plastic:

1.  Make a purse with your grocery store bags.  Recycle Cindy
offers tons of great ideas.

2. Use those huge ice cream buckets to store things like cookie cutters or home made play dough.

3. Turn peanut butter jars into a piggy bank.

4.  Wash out your resealable sandwich  bags and reuse them.

5. Use your 2 liter pop bottle to carry water to drink on a hot day.

6. Use the lids from your pop bottles to create a game of checkers.