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Archive for the ‘The Non-Profit Spotlight’ Category

Layla Kaiksow, Project Manager

Beyond Aid: Layla Kaiksow Pushing Economic Growth for Palestine

Layla Kaiksow, 25, has a vision for Palestine, and it does not involve humanitarian aid. Instead, she is focused on its economic growth. In 2004 she started work as the Project Manager for the Palestine Fair Trade Association. This organization’s purpose was to bring the delicious and famous olive oil of Palestine to nations around the world by connecting local farmers with international markets. This project eventually expanded to olive oil soap, hand-made baskets, and other crafts. Layla is currently in charge of fundraising and public relations for the SOS Children’s Village-Bethlehem. One of the largest milestones in this project was the building of a playground for the children at SOS. Although Layla continues to lend support to all the projects she has created, she is always finding new ways to help. Currently she has a vision to support the growth of small to medium businesses in Palestine, with an emphasis on job creation and youth employment. Learn more about Layla and her dedication to the economic growth in Palestine as we feature her in this week’s Non-Profit Spotlight.

Article published on Oct 8th, 2007 | No Comments | Trackback | Categories »
Vickie Sides, Coordinator/Director

Ending Violence Against Women: Hotline Coordinator Vickie Sides

Violence against women is an unfortunate reality in most parts of the world, but Vickie Sides is doing all she can to eliminate it. She has served as Coordinator of the Chicago Rape Crisis Hotline, a program of the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, since it first began. The hotline operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing crisis intervention over the phone and offering information and referrals to survivors of sexual assault. For the past 10 years, Vickie, 38, has grown the program from one staff person (herself) to seven. But not only does she seek to help survivors, but she also seeks to challenge the conditions that make violence against women a reality . Through her work at the YWCA, she is active in promoting equity and eliminating oppression, in keeping with her belief that rape exists because patriarchy exists. To learn more about Vickie and the Chicago Rape Crisis Hotline, check out this week’s Nonprofit Spotlight.

Article published on Oct 5th, 2007 | No Comments | Trackback | Categories »
David Ho
Senior Community Organizer

Chinatown Community Organizer David Ho

San Francisco is well known for having high housing costs. So what do you do if you’re one of the city’s lowest-income residents? If you’re in Chinatown, the person to see just might be David Ho, 29. David discovered a passion for social justice advocacy in college, and since then he has made a career for himself as a professional activist, helping some of Chinatown’s most vulnerable residents. As a Senior Community Organizer at San Francisco’s Chinatown Community Development Center, David counsels low-income people in the area on housing issues. He also provides eviction-prevention defense work and advocacy on behalf of vulnerable members of the community. For 30 years, the Chinatown Community Development Center has dedicated itself to bringing improvements to housing, transportation, and open spaces, as well as providing affordable housing and tenant services. To learn more about the organization and David’s advocacy work, check out this week’s Nonprofit Spotlight.

Article published on Oct 4th, 2007 | No Comments | Trackback | Categories »
Liliana Vazquez
Communications & Tech Coordinator

Interplast, the Medical Global Visionary

Providing reconstructive surgery for children with clefts, disabling burns and hand injuries as well as medical education partnerships with local doctors in 16 countries, Interplast is a vital global non-profit working for the betterment of underserved children and underfinanced medical professionals. In operation since 1969, this California-based agency has helped thousands of afflicted children with little to no access to care so that they may maintain normal functioning lives as would be impossible without surgery. Liliana Vazquez, 25, Communications and Technology Coordinator, tells us that in training host-country medical colleagues, Interplast leaves behind a legacy where thousands more children will be able to receive the same advantages as those undergoing surgery by American doctors. Read on and discover more about Interplast’s history, future plans, and how you can help these world visionaries achieve their long term goals in this week’s Non-Profit Spotlight

Article published on Oct 3rd, 2007 | No Comments | Trackback | Categories »
Kristeen Singh, South Asian Outreach & Recruitment Coordnator

A Matchmaker Who Save Lives: Kristeen Singh

Kristeen Singh helps people of South Asian ethnicity get matched with other people of South Asian ethnicity, but it’s for something far more important than romance – it’s to save lives. Kristeen, 29, of Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches recruits members of the South Asian community to be potential bone marrow donors. Each year, many people diagnosed with blood-related diseases require a bone marrow transplant. About 30 percent can find a donor in their own families. The other 70 percent, however, must find a donor outside their family. They are most likely to match with someone of their own race or ethnicity, which is why patients of South Asian heritage are counting on more members of their ethnic community to get registered. Kristeen schedules bone marrow drives at everywhere from temples to bars in her effort to get more people of South Asian ethnicity to provide the simple cheek swab that enters them in the registry. To learn more about how Kristeen is helping save lives, check out this week’s Nonprofit Spotlight.

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Article published on Oct 2nd, 2007 | 3 Comments | Trackback | Categories »
Zeina Zaatari, Program Officer

Super Hero Donors: The Global Fund for Women

Did you know that women represent 70% of those living in absolute poverty? That 1 in 3 women will be raped, beaten or violated in the course of their lifetime? Or that maternal mortality is the leading cause of death for women of reproductive age? These are just a few of the unfortunate facts that surround the current state of International human rights concerning women. This week we put the spotlight on the Global Fund for Women, an organization aimed at funding and supporting important ideas, people and non-profit organizations dedicated to the betterment of womankind. To date, the Global Fund for Women has awarded over $58 million to 3,45 women’s organizations in 166 countries. You can only imagine how much this seed money has been able to alleviate injustices facing women. Read on as Zeina Zaatari, 34, Program Officer, shares with us info about the organization, important future goals and the people they are looking to connect with as we feature the Global Fund for Women in this week’s Non-Profit Spotlight.

Article published on Oct 1st, 2007 | No Comments | Trackback | Categories »
Laurie Scott, Executive Director

Serving South Africa, the Ithemba Foundation

Based in Washington D.C. with philanthropic efforts in South Africa, the Ithemba Foundation exists for the sole purpose to nourish children in body, spirit, and mind. Laurie Scott, age 34 and Executive Director, founded this non-profit in 2002 and, since then, has expanded the agency to include four primary avenues of support: a computer training program, leadership camps, school meals, and karate classes. The Ithemba Foundation has fed more than 400 children and strives to do more through helping donors realize that physically nourishing an impoverished child only addresses one aspect of larger social issues. Laurie is grateful for an all-volunteer Board of Directors and says that without their tireless efforts Ithemba could not have garnered all of its successes to date. For more information on the Ithemba Foundation and how to help shape the lives of thousands of South Africa’s under-served children, read on to learn more in this week’s Non-Profit Spotlight .

Article published on Sep 20th, 2007 | No Comments | Trackback | Categories »
Amy Lin, Program Director

Proudly Advocating for Taiwan: Amy Lin

Amy Lin firmly believes in the Taiwanese people’s right to self-determination and right to be free. So strong are her convictions that she works as Program Director of the Formosa Foundation, a nonprofit organization that is committed to strengthening ties between Taiwan and the United States and protecting both their vital interests. The Formosa Foundation takes the position that the United States should recognize and support Taiwan – in keeping with a shared democratic and human rights value system – rather than continue its One China Policy, which the organization believes increases the strategic threat of China against Taiwan. Amy advances this position through educational and advocacy efforts that include conferences, newsletters, media relations, and other forms of publicity. Most notably, she created the organization’s flagship Ambassador Program, which sends young leaders to Washington, DC, to meet with members of Congress and promote enhanced relations between the United States and Taiwan. To learn more about the Formosa Foundation and Amy Lin, check out this week’s Nonprofit Spotlight.

Article published on Sep 20th, 2007 | No Comments | Trackback | Categories »
Oscar Echandi, Community Liason

Bridging Community and Congress, Chicano Latino Affairs Council

Who doesn’t want to be heard? Whether in the work place, home, school, or in the political arena, having your thoughts and opinions vocalized is a truly validating experience. The Chicano Latino Affairs Council (CLAC) of the State of Minnesota is that key element giving voice those who are often dismissed, or feel dismissed, from mainstream society. As the vital intermediary bridging community life to congressional life, the office has been in operation since 1978 and divides its efforts among five priority areas: education, economic development, immigration, health, and housing. Community Liason, Oscar Echandi Chittenden, age 29, is one of the team’s key members who fills his days meeting with constituents and bringing their wants and needs to the government table. He relishes in the emotionally rewarding experience that both sides offer and feels that this job is helping him achieve his true purpose in life. Given that no day is like the day before it, Oscar believes that the element of surprise keeps him in perpetual motion and brings him to closer to true fulfillment. For more information on the Chicano Latino Affairs Council and Oscar’s career highlights, read on in this week’s Non-Profit Spotlight.

Article published on Sep 19th, 2007 | 2 Comments | Trackback | Categories »
Nipun Mehta,
Founder of CharityFocus

Serial Do-Gooder Entrepreneur Nipun Mehta of CharityFocus

Eight years ago, Nipun Mehta and a few of his friends went to a homeless shelter to help it build a Web site. That small act of generosity has today blossomed into CharityFocus, a nonprofit organization that is run by a decentralized network of thousands of volunteers. The organization’s volunteers do everything from providing Web services to small nonprofit organizations, to sending inspirational messages to people’s inboxes, to spreading the love with random acts of kindness. The organization doesn’t engage in any fundraising or charge anything for its services. Rather, it strives to model a gift economy, in which goods and services are given freely, rather than traded as they are in a market economy. Nipun, 31, is motivated by Mahatma Gandhi’s words, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” He and the other volunteers at CharityFocus follow that message each day through small acts filled with big love. To feel that love, check out this week’s Nonprofit Spotlight.

Article published on Sep 18th, 2007 | No Comments | Trackback | Categories »
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