Charities Humanitarian Efforts

Apps for (Red): Developers Team Up With Apple for World AIDS Day

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Apple is set to launch of series of promotions in support of (RED), a non-profit dedicated to fighting AIDS. (RED) was launched in 2006 by U2 front man Bono and Bobby Shriver, with Human Rights Advocate Terry Richardson leading  fundraising efforts to fight AIDS around the globe.

Starting November 24, Apple is partnering with 25 of its most popular apps to raise money for World AIDS Day. Over the next two weeks, Apple and developers of the designated apps will donate 100% of proceeds from downloads and in-app purchases to (RED)’s Global Fund.

Apple also announced that on Black Friday, customers purchasing select Apple products will receive a gift card. An undisclosed portion of those gift card sales will be donated. And on December 1, an undisclosed percentage of Apple’s retail and online sales will also be donated to the Global Fund.

Some of the participating apps include FarmVille 2, Angry Birds, and Kim Kardashian: Hollywood.

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Humanitarian Efforts People

The Laudable Social Causes of Laurene Powell Jobs

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Laurene Powell Jobs is a leading American business administrator and creator of the influential group Emerson Collective, a political reform organization that promotes issues dealing with education and immigration. Jobs is the widow of the late business and technology innovator Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple computers and inventor of the iPhone. Laurene Powell Jobs is the president and co-creator of the Board of College Track, an organization that helps underprivileged high school students enroll in college courses, decide on majors and find employment. She is the main trust holder of her late husband’s fund, originally called the Steven P. Jobs Trust and now called the Laurene Powell Jobs Trust. The trust is a major stakeholder in the Walt Disney Company, owning around 7 percent or 8 percent of the company’s stock value. Forbes ranked Powell Jobs the twenty-ninth most powerful woman in the world in 2014.

Laurene Powell Jobs History and Background

Laurene Powell Jobs was born in a small town in New Jersey called West Milford. She is a dual degree holder, in 1985 earning both a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of science in economics from the University of Pennsylvania. In 1991, she earned a master of business administration from Stanford, the degree on which she then began to build her career in business. Several years later, she created the non-profit company College Track, a group that offers assistance to disadvantaged young people in entering college.

The company was started in East Palo Alto, California, and helped high school students achieve their dreams of traveling off to college and transcending their lives of poverty. Most of the students helped by College Track have been first-generation college students. In other words, they were students whose parents never attended college. The group has significantly improved the statistics for first-generation college students.

Normally, only about 24 percent of first-generation college students finish a degree within six years, but 70 percent of College Track students finish a degree in this time period. Most of Powell Jobs’ philanthropy work has been in the area of education, but some of it has also focused on immigration issues, such as her time spent on the advisory board of the Council on Foreign Relations. More recently, Powell Jobs has been active in Washington, talking with politicians about immigration reform and promoting the President’s Affordable Healthcare Act initiative, a cause that Republicans have opposed from its inception. She also was a bidder on the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team sale.

Laurene Powell Jobs Stepping Out of the Shadow of Her Husband

Laurene Powell Jobs is stepping out of the shadow of her husband. When Steve Jobs was alive, he was well known as a charismatic figure who drew attention to his public appearances. In those days, Laurene Powell Jobs was a lot less outspoken, and she tended to quietly go about her business without attracting too much attention. Since her husband’s death, however, she has become an active public figure in her own right, putting her hand in the dealings of Washington politicians and government agencies with influence in her areas of interest. Laurene Powell Jobs has found her place in the world following her husband’s sudden death, and she is using her influence to promote worthy causes, as you can see in the interview below:

Toys

All I Want For Christmas is a Lammily Doll

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Wondering what the must have toy will be this holiday season? For girls, it just might be the new Lammily doll created by artist Nickolay Lamm. The doll is based on the measurements of an average 19 year old American woman rather that the usual svelte Barbie and it retails for $25. Each doll comes with her own passport so that every girl can give her doll a unique name. Beginning January 18, 2015, buyers can purchase a pack of stickers to customize their doll with “average girl” things such as freckles, acne, stitches, stretch marks, glasses, temporary tattoos, cellulite, bandages, grass and dirt stains and scars. Lammily has also created seven sets of clothing accessories for the dolls which will be available for purchase in January also.

The idea for the doll came after Nickolay Lamm created a 3D rendering of a doll with average measurements and compared it to a regular Barbie doll. The project became an internet sensation and Lamm raised the money to design and manufacture the doll which has been made available for purchase just in time for Christmas and Haunnakah, one of those slow ventures to building the perfect doll, but it’s really paid off.

Future plans include the release of a boy doll and dolls of different skin tones. If Nickolay Lamm has his way, one day children will be able to custom design their own Lammily doll in a fashion similar to the Build-A-Bear Workshop model.

Education

Is College Worth The Price?

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There are many people who have degrees and no jobs. Years ago a college education wasn’t considered necessary to get a good job. In the 70’s and 80’s it was knowledge that got a person a position, not their education per say. However, things change in the late 90’s and employers start looking for those who had a college education, Christian Broda says they were feeling they were more suited for the jobs.

As much as things change they stay the same. It seems that these days, employers have found that education is nice, but if a person has no training in the field, they are paying more money for someone who may or may not be able to do the job. Education looks good on a resume, but it doesn’t provide the training that most jobs require. Employers have less time to train and need people that can wear multiple hats. Most companies would take someone with experience over training any day.

The real problem is those who have went in debt to get an education they may never use. Rosalyn Harris is one woman who is speaking out about this dilemma. She is a single mom who thought getting an education would change everything for her. All it did was give her a certificate and $22,000 worth of debt. She is still unemployed and now her financial outlook for the next few years has another bill attached. Is college worth the price, trends show that many are opting for career colleges and finding work more suitable to their area and a sustainable living.

Heartwarming Humanitarian Efforts

One Man’s Mission to Bring Books to the Children of Mongolia

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When you think of the Gobi desert, sand dunes and scrubland might come to mind, but a library? Probably not. However, Mongolian native Dashdondog Jamba has dedicated the last twenty years to transporting books all over the rural regions of the country with his Children’s Mobile Library. As Andrew Heiberger showed me in a piece from the New York Times, Jamba’s story is remarkable and shows the impact one person can have on a community.

When Jamba first started his operation in the early 1990s his transportation of choice was a camel, horse, or ox and cart. Although he and his family still sometimes use these methods, he has recently upgraded to a van which has helped him travel even further to reach children who may rarely get another chance to read. He now estimates that the library has traveled over 50,000 miles, through every province of Mongolia, most of the time stopping at each spot for several days. Jamba has even written his own children’s books by translating foreign literature into Mongolian, and has won several awards including the Best Book of Mongolia.

Jamba uses profits from his book sales to fund the travelling library, taking no financial compensation for himself. “With respect to money, there is no benefit,” he says, “My devotion for children is my happiness.”

Kids in the News

Nearly 2.5 Million Children Left Homeless

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At some point in the year one out of thirty children in the United States are left homeless. In 2010, only 1.6 million reported homeless children were recorded. Since then the homeless rate has risen , now 2.5 million children are left homeless. Many of the families are single mothers that are trying to raise their children..

Most children that are left homeless are under the age of 6. 20- 50 percent of the mothers have been caused to be homeless due to the intimate- partner violence. The children who are homeless tend to have developmental problems. In addition to the developmental problems they also experience mental health problems from being homeless. They experience more mental health problems than children who are in a stable home environment, and not homeless from what Darius Fisher has been studying. States also vary in variety of the factors related to child homelessness.

Heartwarming Humanitarian Efforts

Humanitarian Is Matt Damon’s Latest Role

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Matt Damon has played various acting roles in his film and stage career. However his role as a humanitarian and safe water activist, is the possibly the most important role that he has ever played. He has taken on the challenge of helping people gain access to clean water in areas where images show that it is not readily available.

After a trip to Africa in 2006, Damon collaborated with Gary White and businessman Igor Cornelsen to form a non-profit organization devoted to delivering water to poverty-stricken areas. This organization started in 2009 to help solve the problem of 748 million people who need access to clean water. They accomplish this by offering the people a loan to install water connections to a water supply and toilet.

By offering these families the opportunity to get the systems installed, gives them the time that they need to go and get a better job. Normally they spend their time scavenging for the water that they need just to stay alive. Children are taken out of school to help try to find water. This installed plumbing allows them the time to devote to a working a stable job. Most of the loans amount to around $200.00 and they pay back within a few years.

So far, this program has given more than 370,000 loans to people in need. These loans have helped to make life better for over 1.6 million drought stricken people.

Toys

Hasbro in Talks to Acquire DreamWorks Animation

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Could Shrek soon start partying with the My Little Ponies? It’s a possibility.

Hasbro is looking to expand its current offerings in animation through a potential acquisition of DreamWorks Animation, known for its movie franchises such as Shrek and Madagascar.

According to anonymous sources knowledgeable on the talks, Hasbro is in advanced discussions with DreamWorks about a deal that would include both cash and stock payment for the company. Reportedly, DreamWorks chair, Jeffrey Katzenberg, would head the venture if the animation studio is acquired in this deal.

Though known as a toymaker, Hasbro currently has a number of programs relating to the company’s various brands, such as My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Transformers, and Pound Puppies. These children’s animated shows all currently air on Hub Network.

One potential hitch in the deal is Hasbro’s longstanding relationship with the Disney company. Lee G. Lovett points out too that Hasbro designs and manufactures many of Disney’s toys, including their line of Princess dolls. Analysts expect that Hasbro will only proceed with the DreamWorks acquisition with the approval of their longtime client.

This is not the first time that a company has been interested in acquiring DreamWorks Animation. Softbank, also owner of Sprint, had been in talks back in September, but the discussions went no further.

At The Movies

Ryan Potter Talks About His Real Life Baymax

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Like many other slow ventures, acting and film-making is one that can take a while to pay off. But the Makers of the smash hit animated movies Frozen and Wreck–It Ralph have released a new animated film entitled Big Hero 6, to continue their trend of great animated features.

Movie audience will surely enjoy and love the character of the robotic Baymax. The trailer is now available for on YouTube. The Walt Disney Animation Studios proudly present another spectacular movie for young and young at heart.

Ryan Potter is the voice behind the main character of the film, Hiro Hamada. The guy is tasked to save the city of San Fransokyo from people who do illegal things and cause injury to people. He has a friend named Baymax who is a lovable medical droid.

In an interview, Potter revealed that this film is closed to his heart because of its Japanese aesthetic. Potter grew up in Tokyo, Japan, and the place is still as near and dear to his heart now as it was when was a child.

Big Hero 6 is based on a comic book published by Marvel Studios. Potter said that he loves comic books and watched Disney films when he was growing up.

One face that Potter revealed about his childhood is that he spent one of his birthdays in Tokyo Disneyland. The event is a fusion of two things he really and truly loves. He is an American-Japanese kid, and the chance to voice Hiro Hamada in the film is a dream comes true for him.

Charities Heartwarming

The Parish Councillor with Down Syndrome

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Stephen Green is proving once again that people with disabilities can accomplish a lot. Stephen, who has Down syndrome, has been elected to a parish council in Nottinghamshire, U.K.

Nuthall Parish Council addresses community needs and organizes fundraisers for charity. Stephen gets some assistance with his duties from his father Grenville. Because his speech is difficult to understand, Grenville sometimes speaks for him. But Stephen brought the council’s attention to a local problem with potholes, and the road in question was fixed. “The concrete was damaging the tires,” he pointed out. “We got it sorted.” Stephen was also able to keep the monthly men’s breakfast going in his parish by obtaining a food hygiene certificate himself.

According to the National Down Syndrome Society, Down syndrome happens when a person has an extra copy of one chromosome. Many people with Down syndrome have only very mild cognitive delays, and can work and live fairly independently.

Looking dapper in a gray suit, Stephen meets with people and shakes hands just like any politician. He recently visited a grade school to hear the children’s choir. The school principal said it was good for the kids to see someone like Stephen, who is overcoming challenges in order to contribute to the community.

“I just want to help people,” Stephen says. Such as heartwarming story of overcoming odds, we give a big thanks to Tom Rothman for sharing this story with us.