Posts tagged with "donation"

Illustration by Alex Bogdan for use of 360 Magazine

ARIANA × BIEBER – STUCK W/ U RAISES MILLIONS

STUCK WITH U” RAISES $3.5 MILLION FOR FIRST RESPONDERS CHILDREN’S FOUNDATION 

First Responders Children’s Foundation today announced that proceeds donated from the single entitled “Stuck with U” have now surpassed $3.5 million, directly impacting thousands of first responder families all across the United States. The donation will be used to fund scholarships for children of first responders as well as provide financial support to the families and children of healthcare workers, EMTs, paramedics and firefighters serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stuck With U” was released in Spring 2020, in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic and to further bolster relief efforts across the United States. It was a creative collaboration between Scooter Braun’s SB Projects, Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber, along with Republic Records and Def Jam Recordings, donating 100% of net profits from streams and sales to the First Responders Children’s Foundation. 

The specific areas of impact resulting from the donation include:

  • Awarding grants to first responders who have encountered financial hardship due to COVID-19.
  • Awarding scholarships to children whose first responder parents have died in the line of duty.
  • Providing funding for temporary housing so that first responders could self-quarantine.
  • Paying for funerals of first responders or their family members who died as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The generosity, and support that Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, and Scooter Braun have shown the men and women on the front lines of this ongoing pandemic has been a surreal and humbling experience for us,” said Jillian Crane, President of First Responders Children’s Foundation. “As an organization, we have been able to help the everyday heroes who have been on the frontlines of the pandemic, and their family’s immediate needs with the support that has only been made possible due to the collective effort of everyone involved, which we are thankful for.”  

“As the world was shutting down, we were looking for ways we could make a tangible impact as it has always been Scooter’s priority that SB Projects and our artists give back,” said Shauna Nep, Vice President of Philanthropy for SB Projects.  “We were so thrilled to partner with the First Responders Children’s Foundation who have been supporting those on the frontlines of the pandemic, as well as their families. Over a year later, we are so proud to see how much has been raised and what has been accomplished.  We thank the Foundation for their leadership and commitment to this work.” 

In addition to supporting the First Responders Children’s Foundation. “Stuck with U” won the award for “Best Music Video From Home” at the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards, and also debuted atop the Billboard Hot 100. This was Bieber’s sixth and Grande’s third U.S. number one single. 

Town & Country 8th Philanthropy Summit – Marlo Thomas × Phil Donahue

The 8th annual Town & Country Philanthropy Summit continued today with a wonderful conversation between Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue, moderated by Editor in Chief Stellene Volandes. This is the first time that Phil has interviewed Marlo since they first met on the Donahue show decades ago.

Please see below for highlights from the panel as well as a link to view the interview in its entirety:

Marlo on visiting St. Jude following her father’s death:

“After my father died, it was just a terrible shock to us. It was stunning because he hadn’t been sick, so it was very sudden. He was adored by us. We all loved him, and he was our funny, loving perfect daddy so it was very, very hard. We all decided that you know, we’d go to St. Jude and let them know that we were here if they needed us and so I went to St. Jude, a couple of months later. I drove up and there was a sixteen feet statue of St. Jude right at the entrance, and I started to cry because I’ve been there so many times with my dad. I pulled myself together because I didn’t want to cry in front of the parents, they have enough heartache of their own. I went inside and, in the lobby, there was this party going on. All of these little kids running around with party hats, balloons, confetti, ice cream, and cake. I said to the nurse, ‘Well whose birthday, is it?’ She said, ‘Oh it’s not a birthday party, it’s an off-chemo party.’ Well, I’ll tell you, I just gasped, to see these children celebrating one of their turns for the better. All of these moms and dads and grandparents standing around with tears in their eyes because they felt that if this child made it, maybe their beloved child would too. It was really a stunning moment for me. And then, just as I was standing there, this mom came over with a little girl about four years old, all dressed in pink. She had little pink ribbons jauntily tied around her little bald head and the mother said to her, ‘do you know who’s this lady’s daddy is?’ and the little girl shyly answered, ‘yes’ the mother said ‘who?’ She [little girl] proudly said, ‘St. Jude.’ I just fell in love with her. I fell in love with all of those kids in the off-chemo party. I fell in love with this place. And I realized for the first time, just what all of this hope and love and promise and the future of a second chance for children meant to my father. It really helped me to see myself as a part of it.”

Marlo on what she learned from her father: 

“Well, what I learned from dad, really is that he had a lot of sayings, and one of them was there’s two kinds of people in the world: those who stop on an accident to see if they can help or those who just drive by. He was literally the kind that would stop and help. I remember one time, we were driving by down Sunset Blvd. we saw these boys beating up on another little boy. And my father stopped the car and jumped out. He pulled the boys apart and gave them a big talking to. I was sitting in the car, terrified, I was eight years old. He got back in the car. He brought the little boy that’ve been bullied with him. We were going to drop him off at home and as my dad started the car, he said, ‘I hate a bully.’ And I think to him, cancer in children was a bully. A bully that he wanted to defeat. The thing about my dad too is that he really was a citizen of the world, that we all are citizens of the world…He saw himself as part of the neighborhood as a part of a community wherever he was, he was a part of that community. I think that was a great lesson for my sister, my brother, and I.”

Phil Donahue on his first visit to St. Jude and how that impacted him: 

“My first visit to St. Jude, I picked up a little bald-headed kid. I said, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up, big guy?’ This still makes me cry. The kid said, ‘I just don’t want to be sick anymore.’ Well, my god, I grabbed this kid. You know, for a very brief moment, I kind of felt how parents feel when they take a child to St. Jude. How scary it must be and how I didn’t want that child to see my eyes get moist. So, it’s a real learning experience at St. Jude. It changed me forever. I do wish everybody could visit the hospital. It’s a life-changing experience and when you see the parents arrive with a child. You see the real fear on their faces, terror sometimes. Then you see them leaving and they’re better. It’s like a godsent – the change they feel, and that their children feel.”

Marlo on being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and her version of the American Dream: 

“One of the things that happened in my life that was really big a great deal, because of my work with St. Jude, is that I received the Medal of Freedom from President Obama. My husband and I went, and my brother came, and the head of St. Jude came. The interesting thing about it, is when you are growing up, especially as an actress, you dream of getting an Emmy or an Oscar or a Tony, but I don’t think anybody grows up dreaming about the Medal of Freedom. It just comes as a shock when you’re told you will be receiving this at the White House. And I remember I was stunned. Remember we discussed that I wasn’t going to cry? So, I’m not going to cry, but I did because at the moment President Obama was clasping the medal around my neck, I thought of my grandparents. My grandparents were immigrants who came to this country from Lebanon to find a better way of life, to raise their family and their children. And I saw them in my mind’s eye, I could see my grandparents with all their belongings and cloth bags. And here, their granddaughter just two generations later were in the White House receiving the Medal of Freedom from the President of the United States. I mean, that is the American Dream. I’m so proud of the fact that my grandparents made a life in this country.”

Marlo on how celebrity involvement has helped the foundation: 

“That’s a very interesting thing because just as in our generation, we brought in Jennifer Aniston and Robin Williams and all of those wonderful people. My dad did that, that’s how he built the hospital. He used to say this hospital was built with laughter George Burns and the Bob Hope and all of the funny guys—Jerry Lewis and Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, all of the men and women that were on the night club circuit with my dad helped build St. Jude. In fact, Frank Sinatra did so many benefits that we actually have a whole wing that’s called the Frank Sinatra wing. Their generosity really built the hospital.”

Watch the full summit here.

The T&C Summit continues tomorrow with Stacy-Marie Ishmael speaking to Taraji P. Henson and Jamie Raskin, and Stellene Volandes in conversation with Andreas Dracopoulos. If you are interested in attending register directly here.

Rolls-Royce Makes Custom Car for Children’s Hospital

Every motor car that is meticulously handcrafted at the Home of Rolls-Royce is unique, with its own story and inspiration. But one Bespoke project has a special place in the affections of the marque’s 2,000-strong workforce – and it recently returned to the company’s Global Centre of Luxury Manufacturing Excellence, at Goodwood, for some much-needed TLC.

The Rolls-Royce SRH belongs to St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester, where it performs a vitally important role: young patients on the paediatric day surgery unit use it to drive themselves to theatre when the time comes for their operation, rather than walking or being wheeled on a trolley. This simple yet ingenious idea transforms what would otherwise be an anxious, intimidating moment into a truly memorable and enjoyable experience for children, parents and staff alike.

Since the car entered service in 2017, it has conveyed no fewer than 2,000 brave youngsters in true Rolls-Royce comfort and style. But inevitably, its singular working condition, the marque is unaware of any other Rolls-Royce being routinely driven along corridors by unlicensed children in a state of nervous excitement had exacted a toll on its beautiful Bespoke bodywork and paint. 

The car was therefore recalled to the Home of Rolls-Royce for its first 100,000m* service, lovingly carried out by specialists from the Bespoke Team and other technical and craft departments, to restore it to its original condition.

The car was built in 2017, when the hospital asked Rolls-Royce if it could repair the original theatre transport – an electric plastic Jeep – that had succumbed after suffering one too many traumatic injuries of its own. The marque respectfully declined, offering instead to create a new one, to Rolls-Royce standards.

A small team designed and constructed a Bespoke bodyshell in fibreglass reinforced with carbon-fibre, complete with the marque’s iconic Pantheon grille. The bonnet strips were ‘real’ ones cut to length; the two-tone finish was applied exactly as it would be on a full-size commission, with the wheel covers, seats and coachlines all perfectly color-matched.

The seat was hand-made from wood, with padding upholstered in medical-grade vinyl, hot‑welded to eliminate seams that could trap dirt. The team also designed a custom aluminium footwell that lifts out for cleaning.

In keeping with a Bespoke project, a number of components were individually created, including handcrafted treadplates, 3D-printed dash, wheel caps and spacers and trim pieces. As a true Rolls-Royce, it is completed with a laser-etched RR badge and its own Spirit of Ecstasy mascot.

Electric power provides the authentic noiseless Rolls-Royce driving experience; and like its road-going counterparts, its speed is limited, in this case to 4 mph. The project took around 400 hours to complete.

Following its service and repairs, the car has now returned to the Hospital to resume its humble but transformational duties.

Linda Collins, Day Surgery Unit Sister, said, “The servicing of our mini Rolls-Royce is perfect timing as we transition out of Covid restrictions and begin to restore our paediatric surgical services. Once again, our youngest patients can experience the full use of the car as part of their journey to surgery. This helps to take the emphasis away from the procedure they’re undergoing and focus on the unique experience of driving a genuine Rolls-Royce while being safely supervised through the hospital corridors. A huge thank you to Rolls-Royce Motor Cars for helping to keep our beloved little car in tip top condition.”

Book illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Toys for Tots x Good360

On April 19, 2021, Toys for Tots announced the expansion of their year-round efforts to provide hope to those less fortunate with plans for ANOTHER special gift distribution to children in need. This summer we will be providing ONE MILLION educational toys, books, and games to the children of COVID-19 impacted families. While we all hope this pandemic will be in our rearview mirrors soon, we also recognize that the emotional and educational impact it’s had on children will be long lasting. Less fortunate children likely suffered the greatest learning loss by not being able to attend in-person classroom instruction, so Toys for Tots will be providing toys and books that teach to help them overcome a growing educational gap and stimulate their young minds.

The support we provided last year, at the height of the pandemic, provided great comfort and emotional relief to struggling families. Toys for Toys is determined to send a year-round message of hope to less fortunate families and continue to DoGoodNow! We are more than a children’s Christmastime charity!

Because we recognize the importance of reminding children that there is still joy to be found in simple gifts every day, we are once again partnering with our friends at Good360, the global leader in product philanthropy and purposeful giving.  We are providing them with ONE MILLION toys, books, and games to distribute via their network of nonprofit organizations across the United States.

“Toys for Tots is more than a Christmas charity—that is why we want to DoGoodNOW and continue to expand our partnership with Good360,” said Lieutenant General Jim Laster, USMC (Retired), President and CEO of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.  “With the assistance  of Good360 and their vast network of non-profits throughout the country, Toys for Tots has the ability to extend our reach and provide support to families who are facing tremendous year-round challenges.”

“Toys and games are highly requested items among Good360’s nonprofit network, and our partnership with Toys for Tots allows us to meet this need and bring joy to children and families that are going through difficult times,” said Matt Connelly, CEO of Good360.  “The feedback we’ve received from the nonprofits receiving toys has been tremendous, and we look forward to our continued collaboration with Toys for Tots.”

Toys for Tots and Good360 have complementary strengths, and this partnership generates greater impact. Together we are more than just the sum of our parts—together we can DoGoodNOW.  The two organizations launched their collaboration in April of 2020 and since  then have distributed three million toys, games, and books together outside of the holidays.

For additional information, visit www.ToysForTots.org and/or www.Good360.org

360 Magazine, LA PRIDE 50th Anniversary

H&M × Banana Republic × UN Free Supports Global LGBTI Equality

The United Nations Foundation announced today that top global brands H&M and Banana Republic are once again partnering with UN Free & Equal for Pride Month this June to raise awareness and funds in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) equality worldwide. H&M will donate $100,000 to the global campaign this year, while Banana Republic will donate $60,000 this Pride Month.

“Pride connects directly to our core values and encapsulates our social vision to enable everyone at H&M and beyond to live the life they want, express who they are and to be the best of themselves”, says Pascal Brun, Global Sustainability Manager, H&M.

Both H&M and Banana Republic have long supported UN Free & Equal, a global campaign of the United Nations Human Rights Office that strives to advance equal rights and fair treatment for LGBTI people around the world. With this year’s contributions, H&M has now donated a total of $850,000, while Banana Republic has donated $240,000 to date through partnerships with UN Free & Equal.

“Inclusion has always been part of Banana Republic’s DNA and we are proud to partner with UN Free & Equal again this year to support their mission for LGBTI equality and human rights,” said Ana Andjelic, CBO of Banana Republic. “The past year has shown it is more important than ever to fight for equality and celebrate opportunity for all.”

Pride celebrations this year are taking place against the backdrop of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic – a global crisis that has further exposed and exacerbated inequities and underscored the urgency of protecting the rights of LGBTI people.

“Every person – no matter who they are, where they live, or whom they love – deserves to live freely and authentically with full equality,” said Elizabeth Cousens, President & CEO of the UN Foundation. “The UN Foundation is proud to support UN Free & Equal in the fight for global LGBTI equality, and is grateful to both H&M and Banana Republic for their continued partnership.”

Now in its eighth year, the UN Free & Equal campaign aims to win respect, recognition, and acceptance for the human rights of LGBTI people around the world. The campaign reaches parents, students, teachers, journalists, and policymakers, especially in countries where LGBTI communities face hostility and hardship and aims to cultivate new allies in the fight for equality. It has campaigned in more than 30 countries so far, with 12 full-scale national campaigns currently active.

“LGBTI people remain among those who are most often left behind due to exclusion, discrimination and violence, and this has been further exacerbated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Young LGBTI people in particular face disproportionate levels of family rejection, bullying online and offline, homelessness and restrictions on access to information,” said Michael van Gelderen, LGBTI lead at UN Human Rights.

In support of LGBTI youth, UN Free & Equal recently launched a campaign with the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth calling on allies to support young LGBTI people in creating a fearless future where all young people are safe, loved and empowered to thrive – regardless of who they are or whom they love. The campaign, which is made possible by the generous support of corporate and Government donors, kicked off on May 17, the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia and will run through International Youth Day on August 12.

To learn more about the UN Free & Equal campaign, visit here.

About H&M
H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB (publ) was founded in Sweden in 1947 and is quoted on Nasdaq Stockholm. H&M’s business idea is to offer fashion and quality at the best price in a sustainable way. In addition to H&M, the group includes the brands COS, Monki, Weekday, & Other Stories, H&M HOME and ARKET as well as Afound. The H&M group has 53 online markets and approximately 4,950 stores in 74 markets including franchise markets. In 2020, net sales were SEK 187 billion. The number of employees amounts to approximately 153,000. For further information, visit here.

About Banana Republic
Banana Republic is a global apparel and accessories brand committed to building a better tomorrow for people and the planet. Designed with purpose for those who share a passion for life with no boundaries, Banana Republic is redefining luxury by using the finest materials with the latest fabric innovations to create timeless, modern, and versatile clothing, eyewear, jewelry, shoes, handbags, and fragrances. Founded in 1978 in San Francisco, Banana Republic connects with customers online and in company-operated and franchise retail locations globally. For more information, please visit here.

About United Nations Foundation
The UN Foundation is an independent charitable organization created to be a strategic partner for the United Nations to address humanity’s greatest challenges, build initiatives across sectors to solve problems at scale, and drive global progress. Learn more here.

About UN Free & Equal
The UN Free & Equal campaign is an unprecedented global public information campaign aimed at promoting equal rights and fair treatment of LGBTI people. It was launched by the United Nations Human Rights Office in July 2013 and has since reached hundreds of millions of people globally through traditional and social media as well as generated a stream of widely shared materials – including powerful videos, impactful graphics and plain-language fact sheets. For more information please visit here.

Best Friends illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Songs to Save Them All

Emmylou Harris, Two Feet, SYML, Wrabel and more to perform in “Songs to Save Them All” livestream concert on May 6 to benefit Best Friends Animal Society 

Tune in at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT on YouTube, Tiltify, Twitch, and Facebook 

Numerous musicians are set to appear in “Songs to Save Them All: A Benefit Concert for Homeless Pets,” a three-hour benefit concert for Best Friends Animal Society streaming on May 6, 8 PM ET/5 PM PT.  

Recording artists expected to perform include country music legend Emmylou Harris, as well as Aunty SocialBaker Grace, Brandon Jenner, Canyon City, Chappell Roan, Davis John PattonDylan DunlapGeographerJoshua Radin, Laura Jean AndersonMunnPryor & LeeSammy RaeSYMLThe Joy FormidableTim AtlasTwo FeetVictoria AnthonyWILD, Wild Rivers, WOLF and Wrabel.  

In addition to the musical talent, celebrities including Lauren Ash, Mayim Bialik, author W. Bruce Cameron, TikTok influencer Caitlyn Cohen, Abbie Cornish, Kat Dennings, Josh Gad, Tricia Helfer, Thomas Lennon, Zosia Mamet, Natalie Morales, Kevin Nealon, Alison Pill, Dennis Quaid, Norman Reedus, Katee Sackhoff, Reid Scott, Amanda Seyfried, Brittany Snow, Katie Stevens, Cecily Strong, Holly Taylor, Ashley Williams, Bellamy Young, and others are also expected to make appearances to support the cause. 

 “Music is a universal language and brings so much joy to the world,” said Julie Castle, chief executive officer at Best Friends Animal Society. “This concert will celebrate how music and our love of animals unite us and show how we can all come together to support each other, our communities and homeless pets.” 

The free event will livestream on Tiltify, Twitch, YouTube and Facebook, as well as at Best Friends website. Viewers will have the opportunity to donate to Best Friends Animal Society via Tiltify to support making America no-kill by 2025. 

All proceeds will support Best Friends’ work across the country, including lifesaving collaboration with thousands of shelters and animal welfare groups.  There will also be a spotlight on the organization’s recent No-Kill Los Angeles initiative achievement, which reached a 90.49% save rate in the City of Los Angeles for 2020.  

“Everyone at Best Friends sends our gratitude to the musicians, singers, and songwriters who are sharing their time and talent for this awesome event,” Castle said. “We hope animal lovers everywhere will tune in, enjoy the music, and learn more about how everyone can make a different for homeless pets.”  

About Best Friends Animal Society

Best Friends Animal Society is a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters by 2025. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from an estimated 17 million per year to around 625,000. Best Friends runs lifesaving programs all across the country, as well as the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary. Working collaboratively with a network of more than 3,200 animal welfare and shelter partners, and community members nationwide, Best Friends is working to Save Them All. For more information, visit Best Friends website

Rail Explorers illustration by Heather Skovlund (original photo provided by Rail Explorers) for 360 Magazine

Dogs Ride Free on Rail Explorers

DOGS RIDE FREE ON RAIL EXPLORERS LAS VEGAS RAIL BIKES

Bring Two Cans of Purina Dog Food for The Boulder City Animal Shelter To Receive a Limited-Edition T-shirt and Dog Bandana

Rail Explorers, the year-round, all-ages, outdoor-adventure attraction featuring pedal-powered rail bikes, welcomes riders to bring their furry canine friends. Rail Explorers’ open-air experience has become a favorite go-to for family-friendly adventures, and the company recognizes dogs are an important part of many families. Guests who bring two cans of dog food to benefit the Boulder City Animal Shelter will receive a limited-edition “Dogs Ride On Rail Explorers” T-shirt and a Rail Explorers bandana for their dog. Riders may also purchase the T-shirt for $18.95 in the gift shop.

“Rail Explorers rail bikes accommodate larger dogs on the platform between the human riders’ seats, while small dogs may also ride while strapped in a carrier to their owner,” * said Heather Abel, division manager, Rail Explorers Las Vegas. “We encourage dog-loving riders to bring their pets, and we’re happy to reward those who bring dog-food donations for the local animal shelter with a special discount.”

All rides start at the Nevada State Railroad Museum and continue downhill to Railroad Pass. Each tour also includes a nostalgic ride back to the top of the hill in one of the museum’s historic trains, along with free museum entry.

Tandem Rail Explorers (up to two riders) or Quad Rail Explorers rail bikes (up to four riders) are available on each tour offered. Tandem rail bike tours start at $85 and Quad rail bike tours start at $150. Dogs do not need a ticket to ride on Rail Explorers. Groups of ten or more people receive a 10 percent discount for weekday tours.  All Nevada residents receive a 10 percent “locals” discount off the standard tour price for weekday tours. Book online today at Rail Explorers website, or by phone at (877) 833-8588.

*This experience may not be suitable for high-energy dogs. All dogs not strapped in a carrier must be on a leash. This ride may be more enjoyable for dogs under 70 pounds. More information click here.

ABOUT RAIL EXPLORERS

Located in historic Boulder City, Nevada—just minutes from the Las Vegas Strip en route to Hoover Dam—Rail Explorers offers exhilarating, guided excursions in two- or four-seat rail bikes along the same tracks used during construction of the dam.

Rail Explorers Las Vegas tours include three memorable options, including the Southwest Ramble, a four-mile downhill pedal-powered daytime ride; the Sunset Tour, a picturesque downhill ride in the evening as the sun sets behind the River Mountains; and the Evening Lantern Ride, a one-of-a-kind experience illuminated by the glow from the moon and stars. All rides start at the Nevada State Railroad Museum and continue downhill to Railroad Pass. Each tour also includes a nostalgic ride back to the top of the hill in one of the museum’s historic trains, along with free museum entry. Knowledgeable guides lead every Rail Explorers tour, ensuring guests enjoy not only the majestic desert scenery but also learn fascinating insights along the way. Rail bikes provide a truly distinctive way to explore this extraordinarily scenic and historic area. For more information, visit Rail Explorers website or follow on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Rail Explorers USA
Photo courtesy of Rail Explorers
Zoo illustration by Maria Soloman for 360 Magazine, toys for tots

TOYS FOR TOTS ANNOUNCES 2020 CAMPAIGN RESULTS 

Toys for Tots, the U.S. Marine Corps’ premiere community outreach program, delivered a record setting 20.2 million toys to 7.4 million less fortunate children in 2020.

2020 was a year unlike any other, causing economic devastation for so many. COVID-19 took hold early in the year, leaving many millions of families in dire need. While Toys for Tots is primarily known as a Christmastime charity, we did not want to wait until the holiday season to provide support. Marines are known for being the first to fight and for running toward the sound of battle. During the spring and summer of the COVID-19 crisis, Toys for Tots partnered with Good360 to provide immediate relief and assistance by distributing 2 million toys, games, and books to COVID-impacted families. These gifts provided many benefits during this extraordinary time of need. They helped to fight boredom, relieved anxiety in children, and facilitated a return to normalcy. The gifts even contributed to the educational development of our Nation’s children, especially while they’ve been out of school.

As the pandemic continued to spread–causing states and municipalities to impose significant restrictions–the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, in conjunction with Marine Forces Reserve, are looking ahead to the holiday season to making preparations for how best to collect and distribute toys to children in need.

COVID restrictions have greatly impacted our local campaign operations and significantly limited the number of volunteers permitted to help collect, sort, and distribute toys. In response, the Marines and local campaign coordinators of the Marine Toys for Tots Program rose to the occasion, and established over 800 local toy collection and distribution campaigns in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. As anticipated, the demand from families with children seeking support was much greater than the supply. But the Marines, in their typical fashion, found ways to improvise and adapt. They were very innovative about how they collected and distributed toys. They established curbside and drive-through collection and distribution methods, and enlisted support from other local social service agencies in order to accomplish the mission.

Seeing a deficit of over a million toys develop in November, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation sent out many communications soliciting for help. The American public heard our appeal and recognized the need for aid. Hundreds of thousands of individuals, as well as a record number of organizations serving as National Corporate Sponsors, answered our call. Significant donations allowed for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to augment local toy drives with over 8 million toys, valued at over $77 million.

Toys for Tots does not set a goal of children supported in a given year–rather, our goal is to support every family with children seeking our assistance. The American public has never let Toys for Tots down. With the help from so many, Toys for Tots was able to accomplish our mission distributing a record number of over 20 million toys to 7.4 million children, who otherwise would have gone without. “Unprecedented” seems to be the buzz word for most 2020 events, and there’s no better way to describe the generosity of the American public and our Corporate Sponsors – it was truly unprecedented. 

2020 Accomplishments

  • Distributed 20 million toys to 7.4 million less fortunate children from 808 local campaigns in all 50 states
  • Distributed over 2 million toys, books, and games to COVID-impacted families outside of the holiday season
  • Distributed 1.8 million books to children through the Toys for Tots Literacy Program
  • Distributed toys to 180,000 children through the Toys for Tots Native American Program
  • With support from Toys for Tots Sponsors, augmented local toy drives with over 8 million toys valued at over $77 million
  • Met all 20 standards of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance and maintained a 96:4 Program to Support Ratio

About Marine Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots, a 73-year national charitable program run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, provides happiness and hope to less fortunate children.  The toys, books, and other gifts collected and distributed by the Marines offer these children recognition, confidence, and a positive memory for a lifetime. It is such experiences that help children become responsible citizens and caring members of their community. Last year, the Marine Toys for Tots Program fulfilled the holiday hopes and dreams of over 7 million less fortunate children in over 800 communities nationwide.  Since 1947, over 272 million children have been assisted. The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is a non-for-profit organization authorized by the U.S. Marine Corps and the Department of Defense to provide fundraising and other necessary support for the annual Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.  For more information, visit www.toysfortots.org.

Georgia Comes Alive Virtual Music Festival

On Saturday, December 26th, Live For Live Music in partnership with HeadCount presented Georgia Comes Alive. The one-day virtual music festival presented performances by 50+ artists and aimed to promote voter participation in the upcoming Georgia runoff elections, taking place January 5th, 2021. Conceptualized to support local grassroots organizations like Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda and CivicGeorgia, the event garnered over one million viewers, and raised over $170,000 through 8,000 individual donations (averaging $20 per donation).

The event, powered by Nugs.net and Plus1, was the latest virtual festival from the team behind Democracy Comes Alive, Quarantine Comes Alive, and Justice Comes Alive, events which collectively raised close to $300,000 for various charitable causes and garnered nearly two million views.

As with past Comes Alive events, the lineup of performers throughout the day spanned an eclectic range of genres, presenting everything from bluegrass to singer-songwriters, neo-soul to rock n’ roll, funk, R&B, electronic, and more. Highlights included the debut of The Lame Ducks, a one-off supergroup project featuring Bob Weir (Grateful Dead), Dave Schools (Widespread Panic), Jeff Chimenti (Dead & Company), and Jay Lane (Wolf Bros, Primus); collaborative sets including Phil Lesh & Friends and R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills with BIG Something; long-running musical institutions like Blind Boys of Alabama and Preservation Hall Jazz Band; dance music sets by Diplo and Big Gigantic; and a range of hit-making artists, Grammy winners, and cult favorites from across the musical spectrum including Dave Matthews, Foo Fighters, Big Freedia, Nathaniel Rateliff, Ben Folds, The Revivalists, Chuck Leavell (The Rolling Stones), Tank and the Bangas, Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul and Mary), Musiq Soulchild, Amos Lee, Bobby Rush, Warren Haynes, Portugal. The Man, Samantha Fish, Grouplove, and Patterson Hood (Drive-By Truckers).

While live music dominated the nine-hour event, some of the day’s biggest highlights came during the many illuminating guest conversations with host Ari Fink (SiriusXM). Featured speakers included Jake Sherman (Politico, MSNBC), Helen Butler (Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda), Kevin Shanker Sinha (CivicGeorgia), MaryPat Hector (HeadCount), Andy Bernstein (HeadCount), Kam Franklin (The Suffers, HeadCount), Rachel and Jessica Jackson (HeadCount), Dayna Frank and Dave Weingarden (National Independent Venue Association), Marc Brownstein (The Disco Biscuits), and more.

Americans turned out in record numbers to vote during the 2020 elections, largely thanks to dedicated activism of grassroots organizations and the historic participation of underrepresented communities in battleground states like Georgia. Neither Georgia Senate seat garnered the 50% +1 majority vote during the general election, triggering a runoff election set to take place January 5th, 2021. While the Georgia runoffs will be decided by local voters, the results will have national implications by deciding which party controls the Senate. For more information on the specifics and implications of the Georgia Senate runoff elections, click here. Georgia residents can find information on polling places, early voting, mail-in ballots, and more here.

“Georgia Comes Alive was a work of art encapsulating the year 2020 for live music that I believe will go down as a defining moment of this period,” shares the founder of Live For Live Music and the Comes Alive event series, Kunj Shah. “The artists put so much creativity, time, and precaution into recording these segments during a pandemic whether from their own homes, by sending each part to one another remotely, carefully playing outside six feet apart with masks on, or in empty venues around the country observing safety measures like COVID testing and masking for video operators. We will hopefully never need to host an event in this manner again, but in the context of rock and roll history, Georgia Comes Alive will be remembered as the embodiment of the fortitude of live music during this unprecedented time.”

“This was an amazing end to a challenging but unforgettable year,” adds HeadCount co-founder and executive director, Andy Bernstein. “Each of the livestream performances were unique moments in history. The artistry was really apparent in each segmentߞthe musicians really put their hearts into every performance and the cause itself was at the forefront. I hope every viewer got a sense of the grassroots organizations getting the vote out in Georgia and why they are such worthy recipients of the charitable funds raised.”

Georgia Comes Alive was produced by Kunj Shah (founder, Live For Live Music), Don Strasburg(president, AEG Rocky Mountains), and Paul Peck (president, Fandiem; co-founder Okeechobee Music Festival, formerly Bonnaroo) in partnership with HeadCount, the non-partisan organization focused on voter empowerment. Committed to promoting involvement in democracy, HeadCount uses the power of music to register voters, reaching both young people and music fans where they are. Since 2004, it has registered over 600,000 voters through partnerships with touring musicians like Ariana Grande, Dead & Company, and Beyonce, to name a few, at events like Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and more.

Connect with Georgia Comes Alive

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Georgia Comes Alive Featured Performances By:

The Allman Betts Band

Allman Brothers Band (archival set)

Amos Lee

Andy Frasco and the U.N.

Ben Folds

Big Freedia

Big Gigantic

Big Head Todd

Billy Strings

Blind Boys of Alabama

Bobby Rush

Chuck Leavell

Dave Matthews

Diplo

Dragon Smoke

The Foo Fighters

Fruition

Futurebirds

G. Love

Galactic

Grace Potter

Grouplove

Horseshoes & Hand Grenades

Houndmouth

Jackie Venson

Judith Hill

The Lame Ducks ft. Bob Weir, Dave Schools, Jeff Chimenti & Jay Lane

Lawrence

Lee Fields

Los Lobos

Midnight North

Mihali

Mike Mills ft. BIG Something

Moon Taxi

Mt. Joy

Musiq Soulchild

Nathaniel Rateliff

Nicki Bluhm

Patterson Hood (Drive-By Truckers)

Phil Lesh & Friends

Peter Yarrow

Portugal. The Man

Preservation Hall Jazz Band

The Revivalists

Roosevelt Collier

Samantha Fish

Shah

The Soul Rebels

The Suffers

Tank and the Bangas

Taylor Goldsmith (DAWES)

Warren Haynes

Isaac Rochell at Thanksgiving drive as announced by 360 MAGAZINE

Isaac Rochell & Trai Turner Brought a Happy Thanksgiving

On Tuesday, Nov. 24, Los Angeles Chargers DE Isaac Rochell and his apparel company Local Human, joined by teammate and 5x Pro Bowl G Trai Turner, provided free Thanksgiving dinners to 450 families from the Santa Ana area.

The duo worked with the Santa Ana Unified School District to identify in-need families this holiday season and offered  them Thanksgiving meals – turkey, sides, and dessert – via an all-day drive-through pick-up at Robert A. Villa Fundamental Intermediate School on Tuesday. Volunteers followed all local and CDC health and safety protocols and placed groceries into the trunk of each family’s vehicle.

This event is the first of several community programs Rochell has planned between now and the end of the year. This event was made possible by Isaac Rochell, Local Human, Trai Turner, Albertson’s, and the LA Chargers.

Founded in 2020 by Los Angeles Chargers DE Isaac Rochell and Trevor Beck, Local Human is an apparel line founded on the premise of giving back. 100% of proceeds generated by Local Human are inserted back into the community through the Do Good Foundation. Additionally, every time one of their shirts is purchased, Local Human will in turn donate a shirt to a local California foster center.