February 17, 2016

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Florida-based Pelican Water Systems responds to the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, with the donation of 25 drinking water systems, complete with replacement filters, to the Whaley Children’s Center.

Flint, Michigan, has been in the news following the detection of dangerously high levels of lead in city drinking water. First reported in January of 2015, ongoing testing has detected levels as high as 397 parts per billion in some homes. While the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notes that there is no level at which lead in the water is safe, they generally only get involved when lead levels reach 15 parts per billion or greater. Pelican Water Systems CEO, Iain Whyte, said in a recent on-air Cumulus Flint radio interview, “We’ve continued to monitor the situation to try and work with people locally and see if we can educate them as to the best ways to remove lead and other impurities in the water.”

City officials urged residents to stop consuming city water in October of 2015 after high levels of lead were found in children’s blood samples. Residents were also advised not to use unfiltered water for cooking or bathing, ultimately prompting state officials to issue a “state of emergency” in December of 2015. President Barack Obama would one month later declare a state of emergency.

The consumption of lead through water can have serious and long-term health implications including damage to the nervous system, stunted growth in children, and the development of some learning and behavior disabilities.

In that same interview, Whyte said, “The NSF-certified countertop drinking systems are small, compact and tested to eliminate 99.4% of lead.” Obviously, the filters do need to be checked regularly, but the systems have been tested to be very effective in removing lead from the water supply. Offering up to a year of purified drinking water through the use of additional filters, Pelican Water Systems provides some of best longevity for water filters on the market today.

The increased lifespan of Pelican Water Systems’ filters ensure that residents of Flint, Michigan, who have been impacted by the water crisis have access to safe, purified water over the span of several months.

About Whaley Children’s Center
Whaley Children’s Center is dedication to providing child trauma survivors with the necessary tools to reach their full potential. Through the leadership of a dedicated staff and the work of tireless volunteers, the Whaley family facilities have provided care, and treatment to hundreds of abused, neglected, and at risk children and families throughout Michigan for nearly a century. Based in Flint, Whaley Children’s Center is dedicated to treating their patients with fairness, dignity, and respect. More than just a treatment center, Whaley works to be leaders in the community as well. When paired together, a dedication to service and topnotch treatment provide hope to children and families who have survived trauma.

About Pelican Water Systems
PelicanWater.com is the official, factory-direct retail website for Pelican Water Systems, providing professional knowledge and leading technologies in whole house water filtration, countertop water filtration systems, UV bacteria disinfection systems, as well as salt-free water softening and conditioning systems. Pelican Water products use cutting-edge technology and enable customers to go green by eliminating wasteful and harmful salt brine discharge that is polluting our valuable fresh water resources.

For over a decade, Pelican Water has stayed true to their mission statement: being a company that helps families enjoy cleaner, safer, better-tasting water in their homes in an environmentally-friendly way. Pelican Water has been and continues to be the global market leader in salt-free water softening system. For more information about Pelican Water Systems, visit PelicanWater.com.

February 15, 2016

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Wyndham Worldwide’s (NYSE: WYN) sustainably accomplishments and performance results have resulted in another achievement. RobecoSAM, the world’s leading investment asset management firm focused exclusively on Sustainability Investing, has recognized the Company as an industry leader, earning it the Gold Class Distinction, and is included in the Sustainability Yearbook for the third time in as many years.

The Sustainability Yearbook is the world’s most comprehensive publication on corporate sustainability and lists the world’s most sustainable companies in each industry based on their score in RobecoSAM’s annual Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA). They evaluate a company’s economic, environmental and social factors ranging from supply chain management to labor and human rights practices as well as environmental management.

“With hotels, vacation rentals, timeshare resorts, and corporate offices across over 100 countries, we have the widest range of operations in the hospitality industry, and we are mindful of our footprint and the impact we have on communities,” said Stephen P. Holmes, chairman and chief executive officer, Wyndham Worldwide. “Our teams work every day to maximize our social benefits and minimize the environmental impact of doing business. Through innovation and the focus on achieving meaningful change, we continue to set higher expectations for ourselves in delivering great experiences for our customers and strong results for our shareholders, in ways that are responsible to the communities and world around us.”

The Company recently announced it achieved its carbon goal of reducing carbon emissions by 20% by 2020, six years ahead of schedule, and immediately set another goal to reduce carbon and water usage by 25% by 2025. Last year, Wyndham Worldwide was also once again named to the Dow Jones North America and World Sustainability Indices for the third consecutive year and the Index Leader for the hospitality sector for both the North American and World indices.

Since it started in 2004, the Sustainability Yearbook has provided thought-provoking snapshots of the main trends, challenges and opportunities that bridge the gap between corporate social responsibility and sustainability investing. Together with S&P Dow Jones Indices, RobecoSAM publishes the globally recognized Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI), which have become a global corporate social responsibility benchmark and the key reference point in responsible investments.

“The RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment survey is a key tool for identifying companies that are equipped to identify and respond to emerging opportunities and risks resulting from global environmental and social trends, and is the backbone of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. This elite distinction is a great achievement,” said Faith Taylor, senior vice president, corporate social responsibility, Wyndham Worldwide. “Our success is a reflection of our focus on implementing corporate responsibility initiatives so that we can make a meaningful difference. We are committed to reducing our environmental footprint, improving the lives of people we touch and developing innovative solutions to achieve – and exceed – our goals.”

About Wyndham Worldwide

One of the world’s largest hospitality companies, Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN) provides a wide range of hospitality services and products through its global portfolio of world-renowned brands.  The world’s largest hotel company based on the number of properties, Wyndham Hotel Group is home to many of the world’s best-known hotel brands, with approximately 7,760 franchised hotels and approximately 672,000 hotel rooms worldwide. Wyndham Exchange & Rentals is the worldwide leader in vacation exchange and the world’s largest professional manager of vacation rentals, providing more than 5 million leisure-bound families annually with access to over 110,000 vacation properties in over 100 countries through its prominent exchange and vacation rental brands. The industry and timeshare ownership market leader, Wyndham Vacation Ownership develops, markets, and sells vacation ownership interests and provides consumer financing to owners through its network of over 210 vacation ownership resorts serving approximately 900,000 owners throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific. Based in Parsippany, NJ, Wyndham Worldwide employs over 34,000 associates globally.

For more information, please visit www.wyndhamworldwide.com.

February 11, 2016
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Microsoft’s Employee Giving Program raised a record-breaking $125 million for nonprofits and schools around the world in 2015, including the company match of employee contributions. Our employees increased their support through time, money and talent by $8 million, marking the greatest year-over-year increase in our program’s history.

These results show how, more than ever, Microsoft employees live our mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. We believe Microsoft Philanthropies rounds out our ability to reach our mission, as well as to reach everyone. In the case of our Employee Giving Program, that means supporting more than 18,000 nonprofits that do invaluable work every day to strengthen communities and better our world. What better time than today to say “thank you” to those nonprofits, and to the many people who work for them. In 2015, these people and organizations improved lives around the world by addressing a wide range of issues, providing shelter for those fleeing wildfires that ravaged portions of the United States, for example, and helping those seeking safety from war-torn regions around the world. They provided mentorships and skills training for at-risk youth, expanded the number of acres of protected forestland, ran nonpartisan civic engagement campaigns and much more.

We celebrate the work of our nonprofit and education partners at the same time as we share our Employee Giving results, because they have inspired Microsoft employees to do more and give more. In fact, this year the participation rate for our Employee Giving Program hit an all-time high of 71 percent. Today we celebrate with our employees as well. We believe that they donate more time, talent and money because our program enables them to help address the causes they care about most. And their giving supported a very broad spectrum of local and global causes, among them humanitarian relief, health, human services and housing, education, arts and culture, agriculture, nutrition and the environment.

Our employees’ volunteer work makes me especially proud. In addition to dedicating a portion of each paycheck to a favorite charity, many employees integrate volunteering into their daily lives.  Each volunteer works out what works best for them at various stages in their lives. Some volunteer a few hours a month, as they can, while others are able to dedicate near second shifts as nonprofit volunteers. In total, employees contributed more than 570,000 volunteer hours in 2015.

In addition, our employees’ impact in Washington State – home to Microsoft’s corporate headquarters and more than 42,000 employees – was especially strong this year. Microsoft employees contributed $62 million to more than 4,000 nonprofits that help weave the fabric of our local communities. I’d like to tell you about a few of our volunteers:

  • Vanessa Payne, a technical advisor for Bing, and Heidi Fader, a program manager for the Storefronts Web team, volunteered a total of 340 hours in 2015, raising money for the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research at Seattle Children’s. Inspired by a friend’s heroic battle with cancer, Vanessa and Heidi, who are childhood friends, dedicated themselves to the cause in 2013 and have raised more than $104,000 for cancer research so far.
  • Nykeesha Davis, a Microsoft human resources associate, volunteered 112 hours in 2015. She led a team of employee volunteers at YWCA of King County, developing six new computer-literacy programs for those served by YWCA’s career development centers. Nykeesha also serves on the board of Communities in Schools of Seattle, which coordinates high school dropout prevention programs. She notes that “the fact that these organizations get money for the time I’m already giving allows me to have a much larger impact financially than I would be able to do otherwise.”
  • James Spotanski, a program manager for Excel, logged more than 300 volunteer hours across nine nonprofits in Washington State, including Habitat for HumanityNorthwest HarvestHopelink and the United Way of King County. James says Microsoft’s policy of paying nonprofits $25 for each hour an employee volunteers is a tremendous encouragement. “I love my job,” James says, “and I think it’s great that Microsoft emphasizes this kind of community involvement so much.”

As we celebrate the important work of nonprofit organizations and the generosity of our employees, we recognize the need to further empower the nonprofit community. To fulfill our company mission, we, ourselves, need to do more. That’s why we recently announced our expanded commitment to corporate philanthropy with a broader ambition and a new organization, Microsoft Philanthropies. As a first step in the work of Microsoft Philanthropies, we recently committed to donate $1 billion in Microsoft cloud services over the next three years to nonprofits and university researchers, to ensure these organizations have the technology to advance the public good.

As we look forward, our communities and world continue to face many challenges. I know our employees are thinking of how they can help empower nonprofits through their donations of money, time and talent in the year ahead. We’re already working on new ways to grow Microsoft’s culture of giving and investing in strategic partnerships to help deliver the benefits of technology to everyone. We look forward to sharing more about our plans in the months to come.

February 9, 2016

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Every year, over 3.2 million young students are subjected to bullying either in person or through Social Media. The very sad fact is that these young children are taking their lives only because they are taunted regarding their sexual preferences, weight, color, religion, class or creed.

EveryGirlClub has a very big problem with this and they want to stop the hurting – permanently.

“This is an honest testimonial, not a plug for our business. It is so sad to read almost every day that a child took their own life because of constant peer harassment. It is something that is very close to my heart and I felt I had to make an effort to help, in some way, to stop teen bullying,” said EveryGirlClub co-founder A’Leigh Rey. “These kids should feel free to be how they we born.”

EveryGirlClub has created a “Married to the Cause Ring” to benefit, 100% of net profits, to the STOMP Out Bullying campaign primarily. Charity wristbands have been historically popular to raise awareness to one’s cause, but EveryGirlClub decided to change things up.

“I think the rings are cool. The wristbands are great but a little ‘been there, done that’ we wanted to do something a bit different,” said Rey.

EveryGirlClub is an online subscription box company that provides monthly products for girls going through that tough transition of puberty, delivering discreet supplies of feminine hygiene/sanitary kits, disposable razors, acne kits and body odor solutions.

“Our cause rings come in a pack of three – small, medium and large, so people can share with their friends, to spread the word. Teen bullying needs to stop, and if there is anything we can do to help, we will. We need to stomp out bullying!” said Rey.

Please visit http://www.stompoutbullying.org and http://www.dosomething.org to support our mission. Thank you.

EveryGirlClub, LLC. offers one time and recurring monthly subscription orders of personal feminine sanitary and hygiene products. We ship worldwide. For more information please visit our website at: http://www.everygirlclub.comor email us at: everygirlclub@gmail.com

February 5, 2016

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(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Starting a business has enough challenges in itself, but being female and starting a business in the U.S. has its own set of challenges. Female entrepreneurs do not have the same access to funding, connections, or business instruction as do male entrepreneurs. Eighty-five percent of venture capital funded start-ups are led exclusively by men. Even in the beauty industry, where most customers are women, female founders are still underrepresented. SEPHORA, the leading beauty retailer, is taking action. It has launched the SEPHORA Accelerate program to build a community of innovative female founders in all areas of the beauty industry. The Accelerate initiative embraces a more collaborative and supportive structure, creating an approach that will be a catalyst for growth, infusing social impact into each new brand’s work.

SEPHORA Accelerate is an initiative that operates under SEPHORA STANDS, the company’s broad philanthropic arm, which works to inspire confidence among women in business. It has a pioneering mission to build long-term social impact programs for women by cultivating the next generation of beauty businesses. The qualifying candidates are invited to apply for one of up to ten coveted spots in the year-long program, with applications reviewed in partnership with OpenIDEO, the social innovation platform of IDEO, the award-winning global design firm.

Each ‘Fellow’ must meet specific criteria, including being a founder or co-founder of their business, being committed to building social impact into the company’s DNA and to fit within two broad categories: leading a company that creates a cosmetic product, or a company that creates technology or provides services related to beauty or that could be relevant to the beauty industry. Once selected, the Fellows participate in a boot-camp at SEPHORA’s Headquarters in San Francisco which is designed to teach the necessary skills to run and build their businesses.

These Fellows also gain access to an exclusive mentorship program comprised of Sephora’s network of beauty industry leaders and become eligible for possible funding through SEPHORA. The SEPHORA Accelerate ambition is to support more than 50 women-led beauty businesses by 2020. The inaugural SEPHORA Accelerate cohort will be announced this March.

SEPHORA will also introduce Classes for Confidence in April 2016, a series of specialised in-store complimentary classes. They are developed to help inspire confidence in women facing major life transitions by offering a supportive environment where participants can learn and have fun. These Classes will also help SEPHORA store employees to make a difference in their local communities. The program is currently being piloted in six U.S. states. It aims to inspire confidence in 100,000 women by 2020 through these special classes; it has already benefitted local women re-entering the workforce, including those in transitional housing and shelter projects.

These new programs demonstrate how SEPHORA is uniquely positioned to support and inspire women, and is doing so.

Photo Credit: SEPHORA

 

January 29, 2016
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As the holidays come to a close and students are returning to school, teachers across the country will have a special announcement for more than 37,200 students.  Their classroom project has been funded!

Thanks to the generosity of hundreds of AT&T employees during the company’s holiday giving campaign; more than $200,000 was donated through employee’s gifts and the company’s match to fund projects on DonorsChoose.org. Through DonorsChoose.org, teachers post classroom projects that they need help funding. Once that project is funded, the resources are shipped directly to the school. AT&T’s support of DonorsChoose.org is part of the company’s signature philanthropic initiative, AT&T Aspire, which drives innovation in education to help students succeed in school and beyond.

Through this funding, students will be able to participate in classroom projects such as:

  • Learning the scientific process and collaboration by building and testing simple machines using LEGOs with a lab partner in Chicago.
  • Building a model home powered by the sun and wind with state-of-the-art data wireless sensors and a built-in graphing analysis application in Brown Deer, Wisconsin.
  • Partnering with a local artist who airbrushes and sells fishing tackle, to teach students the trade with their new airbrushes and glass fusion kiln in Kalkaska, Michigan.
  • Creating book clubs where dance students will be able to learn more about their craft by reading Michaela DePrince’s “Talking Flight” in Jersey City, New Jersey.

I am so proud of my fellow employees for supporting students and teachers this holiday season. I cannot wait to see what they accomplish during their second semester!

 

January 27, 2016

www.iGive.com

American Pet Nutrition

Makers of Vita Bone® dog treats and Supreme Source™ grain-free pet food will help nonprofit continue serving people in need through animal visits

OGDEN, Utah, Jan. 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — American Pet Nutrition (APN), the family-owned pet food company known for such trusted brands as Vita Bone® Biscuits and Chewy Sticks and Supreme Source™ premium grain-free dog and cat foods, and the nonprofit Pet Partners (www.PetPartners.org) are teaming up to help people through animal-assisted interactions. APN supports Pet Partners – the nation’s largest nonprofit to promote animal-assisted therapy, education and other activities – as a new corporate sponsor.

With APN’s help, Pet Partners will continue to bring the healing power of pets to people in need – from patients, the elderly, veterans and other deserving groups. Pet Partners provides animal-assisted interactions with dogs and 8 other species. With the highest-caliber curriculum in the industry, Pet Partners evaluates handlers and their animals for visiting programs in hospitals, nursing homes, veterans’ centers, hospice facilities, Alzheimer’s facilities, courtrooms, schools and other settings.  Last year, Pet Partners teams made more than 1 million visits in all 50 states to people in need.

“All of us at American Pet Nutrition have dedicated our careers to the health and happiness of pets everywhere, because we know what joy they can bring,” said Bill Behnken, president and chief executive officer of American Nutrition, Inc. “That’s why we’re pleased to be part of the great work that Pet Partners is doing. Their therapy teams make a positive impact in people’s lives every day.”

Behnken and the APN family share Pet Partners’ belief that the relationship between human and animal is a meaningful connection that enhances the lives of both people and pets.

“We are excited to have the support of APN and look forward to the company’s assistance with our efforts to educate, demonstrate and advocate animal-assisted therapy,” said Traci Pryor, senior director, national strategic partnerships at Pet Partners.

A family-owned American company, APN is committed to providing the highest quality and safest pet food and treats on the market. Founded in 1972 by Bill’s father, Jack Behnken, the pet food maker still adheres to the philosophy Jack exhibited when he asked the question: “If our pets are family members, shouldn’t we apply the same attention to quality and safety to pet food, that we apply to our own?” Bill expects the same level of quality implied by the answer to that question from more than 40 years ago to every product that goes out the door today.

“We still develop our own recipes based on the highest-quality ingredients. And by following the strictest safety and quality standards, we continue to earn the trust of consumers across the country,” said Bill.

About Pet Partners

Pet Partners is the national leader in demonstrating and promoting animal-assisted therapy, activities and education. Nearly forty years since the organization’s inception, the science that proves these benefits has become indisputable. Today, Pet Partners is the nation’s largest and most prestigious nonprofit registering handlers of multiple species as volunteer teams providing animal-assisted interventions. For more information, visit www.petpartners.org. To Support Petpartners through iGive visit: https://www.iGive.com/PetPartners

About American Nutrition

The late Jack Behnken founded American Nutrition in 1972 under the mantra, “Do it better!” This philosophy still guides the company’s commitment to delivering the safest, highest-quality pet foods on the market. Today, the family-owned company is also known as American Pet Nutrition and exceeds FDA, AAFCO and USDA industry-wide pet food standards. American Pet Nutrition’s trusted brands include Vita Bone® Biscuits and Chewy Sticks, Beggar Dog™ Biscuits and Supreme Source™ grain-free dog and cat foods. For more information, visit www.americanpetnutrition.com.

American Nutrition Products are available at Petsmart

January 26, 2016

 

 

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LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, January 21, 2016 /3BL Media/ – HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) today unveiled new PCs and software solutions designed for education that help support meaningful outcomes for students, teacher and communities. The new solutions and programs include:

HP Education Edition notebooks
HP School Pack Software 2.0
HP Sprout Pro by HP
HP and Microsoft’s Reinvent the Classroom Program

HP photo“At HP, we believe that every student should be given the opportunity to be an inventive individual rather than a standardized product of a system,” said Gus Schmedlen, vice president, Education, Printing and Personal Systems, HP Inc. “HP is on a mission to enable teachers and students with tools that ‘un-standardize’ learning — making education a more unique experience for students that is more flexible, collaborative and dynamic.”

HP Education Edition Notebooks: Built for Schools. Designed for Learning
HP Education Edition Notebooks are built tough to withstand the rigors of daily academic use and designed for learning with Windows 10 and innovative tools to enhance instruction, engagement and active educational use.

HP Education Edition Notebooks features include:
Battery life designed for the classroom
Premium wireless for cloud-based LMS, assessments and online curricula1
Rugged construction to survive the classroom
Tools for active, educational use to enable teaching and learning out of the box

The HP ProBook 11 G2 Education Edition notebook is constructed using industrial co-molded rubber to protect against the rigors of the classroom and has up to 18 hours of battery life2 — this notebook is built to last. The powerful and versatile HP ProBook 11 EE is powered by Windows 10 and offers up to Intel® Core™ performance with an optional touchscreen, empowering breakthrough experiences miles beyond netbooks.

The HP Pro 310 x360 Convertible PC Education Edition with Windows 103 is blended learning ready with a rotational hinge allowing for four modes to suit any learning style: stand, tent, notebook and tablet. The Pro 310 x360 features an Intel® Celeron® or Pentium®processor4, and solid state storage up to 256 GB5.

HP School Pack 2.0 is an out-of-the box solution of digital tools and content exclusively for Windows devices designed for collaborative, standards-aligned, and personalized learning. School Pack 2.0 includes a host of instructional, management and supplemental tools. It is anchored by HP Classroom Manager Student Edition6 that allows teachers to manage classroom PCs and communicate seamlessly with students. Other software in HP School Pack 2.0 include: HP Adaptive Learning created by Fishtree, HP Prime Graphing Calculator App, Classlink Single Sign On, Codecademy for Learning How to Program, Corinth Classroom, Curriculum Matrix, the Oxford® Advanced Learners Dictionary, and PASCO® SPARKVue™7.

New to HP School Pack is HP Touchpoint Manager for Education8, a cloud-based app that simplifies IT management for schools with minimal IT resources to easily manage and secure data, devices and users. With HP Touchpoint Manager, school IT administrators can quickly troubleshoot issues in real-time and use point-and-click security policies across different devices, brands and operating systems.

All HP Education Edition tablets and notebooks include or offer premium 2×2 AC WLAN9, HP School Pack 2.0 and one year of HP Touchpoint Manager for Education.

Sprout Pro by HP: Designed for Education and Business 
Today, HP is also announcing Sprout Pro by HP designed for education and businesses. Sprout Pro features Windows 10 Professional, Intel® Core™ i7 processor with DDR4 memory, customizable software image, trusted platform module and a three-year limited warranty.

By leveraging Sprout’s blend of tactile, visual and audio engagement, educators are offered powerful means of differentiating instruction and personalizing learning in a way no other computer can support. Sprout transforms the classroom into an immersive educational experience that revolutionizes the way teachers and students learn, create, collaborate and share.

Sprout helps:
Accelerate engagement and inspire learning at every level with an immersive and intuitive computing experience.
Maximize classroom IT budgets and close the technology gap by consolidating classroom equipment like document cameras, interactive surfaces and school PCs.
Enable advanced, multi-screen collaboration, 1-to-1 or 1-to-many.
Changes the classroom desk space into a true digital and physical workspace.

For more information on Sprout in the classroom: http://bit.ly/LearningWithSprout.

HP and Microsoft Reinvent the Classroom
HP and Microsoft also unveiled a joint program called Reinvent the Classroom, a worldwide effort to inspire instructional innovation and next-generation learning experiences, powered by Windows 10 and HP solutions. Reinvent the Classroom will place state-of-the-art Learning Studios in more than 60 school locations across the world to support advanced blended learning, international collaboration and the maker movement in education. With tools like Microsoft Office 365, Skype and HP Adaptive Learning, these schools will shape the future of learning.

“With Microsoft, we are delivering exciting new devices and solutions that help schools and students rethink the possibilities around learning, creating a vision for the Classroom of the Future,” said Alex Cho, vice president of Commercial PCs, Personal Systems, HP Inc. “This vision is manifested through HP and Microsoft’s Reinvent the Classroom program, showcasing how innovation can create more immersive learning environments.”

HP Life e-Learning 2.0
HP also launched HP LIFE e-Learning 2.0, a new social knowledge sharing version of the free, online HP learning initiative for entrepreneurs used by more than 580,000 learners in over 200 countries and territories. HP LIFE 2.0 is now powered by EdCast, a global social knowledge network built to enhance peer to peer collaboration and online learning. As a result, HP LIFE users have access to new and extensive learning opportunities from across the EdCast network, including new topics and access to additional quality content from global thought-leaders. Learners and educators may sign up and learn more at www.life-global.org.

About HP Inc.
HP Inc. creates technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere. Through our portfolio of printers, PCs, mobile devices, solutions, and services, we engineer experiences that amaze. More information about HP Inc. is available at http://www.hp.com.

January 22, 2016

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KANSAS CITY, MO., January 21, 2016, /3BL Media/ – Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Foundation, Inc. and Children International are changing what it means to prepare young people in disadvantaged areas for careers in the tourism industry.

With almost 73 million youth worldwide looking for work, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO)1, Children International’s Into Employment® program continues to make progress against these challenges by offering disadvantaged youth the chance to tap into their potential and connect their talents with the needs of the local marketplace.

In addition to a grant from the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Foundation, Inc., experienced management staff members from Starwood hotels teach young people the skills needed to excel in the hotel trade, including culinary arts, waiting tables and housekeeping. Additionally, the program equips youth with life skills – such as effective communication, conflict resolution and teamwork – to help them transition into their jobs and outline a career path. The training program was designed as a pilot in Ecuador and Guatemala, and has far-reaching possibilities to help youth around the globe.

“This program is a win-win for everyone involved,” said Children International’s Director of Workforce Development, Tom Owens. “The youth get the training they need to be successful; the hotels in these countries are able to hire talented, capable youth; the local economy grows; and the community enjoys more stability.”

Rocio Hammershaimb from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. added, “At Starwood, we have a long history of cultivating great talent. Many of our hotel management mentors once started their careers in entry-level positions and progressed through the organization. They serve as both role models and inspiration to the young professionals entering the program.”

Just last month, a graduation ceremony took place at a Sheraton hotel in Ecuador to celebrate 50 youth who completed the program. Guests from Ecuador’s Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Tourism and several other hotels attended the event and were impressed with the program and the graduates themselves.

Frank, a recent Into Employment graduate, said, “It has been a wonderful experience…the greatest experience of my life.”

Watch a video about the program

Learn more about Children International’s Into Employment program.

About Children International
Children International is a top-rated humanitarian organization focused on ending poverty by helping children and youth. We take a holistic approach to our programs and work through local professional staff at each of our 80+ community centers worldwide. Our goal is that each child graduates from our program healthy, educated, employable and empowered to break the cycle of poverty.

For more information about Children International, visit Children.org. Follow Children International on Facebook and Twitter.

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Foundation, Inc. & Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
The Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Foundation is a registered 501c3 that focuses on workplace readiness, community vitality, and human rights to ensure vibrant communities. Since launching in 2011, the Foundation has put more than US$3 million into the communities where Starwood Hotels operate, focusing on workplace readiness, community vitality, and human rights. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 1,270 properties in some 100 countries and over 180,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences under the renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Tribute Portfolio™, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, Element®, along with an expanded partnership with Design Hotels. The Company also boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG®). Visit www.starwoodhotels.com for more information and stay connected @starwoodbuzz on Twitter and Instagram and facebook.com/Starwood.

January 21, 2016

As part of an incredible partnership, The Rite Aid Foundation KidCents Program is honoring 274 students who have been named recipients of Folds of Honor educational scholarships with in-store celebrations. Through the KidCents round-up program, The Rite Aid Foundation is pleased to provide this incredibly important support to the children of families who have already given so much to the communities we serve. Folds of Honor is a highly acclaimed nonprofit organization that provides educational scholarships to children of fallen or disabled veterans. With financial support including The Rite Aid Foundation’s $1.3 million donation, Folds of Honor is able to provide healing, hope and opportunity for the dreams of children to be realized.

KidCents partners with hundreds of nonprofit child-focused organizations that are committed to helping improve the health and well-being of children. By participating in KidCents, wellness+ with Plenti members can round up every purchase at Rite Aid to the nearest dollar and designate their change to their charity of choice, giving kids a chance for better lives and brighter futures. Folds of Honor is one of the hundreds of nonprofits benefiting from the Rite Aid Foundation’s KidCents round-up program.

Learn more about Folds of Honor

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