These are the Difference Makers™
Ellie's Hats, based out of South Riding, VA, was inspired by Ellie a five year old diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in the spring of 2013. Her teacher utilized the power of social media to spread the word about Ellie's affinity for fun and cheery hats. Thanks to the hard work of the individuals, like Jay, who took an interest in Ellie and her hats, thousands of kids across the country have received new hats.
What started out as collecting hats for an individual child with cancer has blossomed into a cause that brings joy to thousands of kids going through cancer treatments. The hope is that by showing these brave children that others are thinking about them, it will help bring a little cheer into their day.
Another important part of this organizations vision is raising awareness of childhood cancer. In March of 2015, after 7 months of work, the Cure Childhood Cancer License Plates became available as one of the special interest plates in Virginia. Other states are working towards this same goal.
As Ellie's Hats continues to grow, work is being done to support the families as well as the locations that treat children battling cancer. In 2015, 524 packages with over 6500 hats, as well as gift cards and presents were presented to children suffering from cancer in 39 states.
To learn more about this exciting non-profit, log on to their website:
Foundation for Second Chances (FFSC) is a community based organization in Los Angeles, CA that utilizes hands-on education, mentoring, health awareness and community service to maximize the potential of youth. Second Chances' goal is to make sure that our children are given all that they need to thrive. This includes a quality education, nutritious food and exercise, a safe and nurturing environment and the chance to give back to their community.
As much as 40% of our nation's black and Latino teenagers drop out of high school. A "drop out" costs as much as $260,000 and an incarcerated youth costs society $88,000 a year. FFSC feels that if they help students develop positive life habits, they can break through limited societal stigmas. They utilize hands-on education, mentoring, health awareness and community service to maximize the potential of youth and it is working!
Each teenager who is involved with the program is 72% less likely to use drugs, 68% less likely to resort to violence, 90% have improved self-esteem, and 81% report improved relationships with parents and people of other cultures and ethnicities.
In 2015, over 500 volunteers donated their time to Foundation for Second Chances. Volunteers logged more than 2,500 hours as they helped enrich their lives and the lives of youth, families and their communities.
To learn more about this life saving organization, please log on to their website:
HARC (Health Assessment and Research for Communities) is a non-profit organization that provides timely and comprehensive health data for the Coachella Valley in Palm Desert, CA. Many people in this area live far below the federal poverty line. It is the very low income that are of paramount importance to HARC -- it is critical that this group is captured in their health survey.
Every 3 years, HARC conducts the Community Health Monitor survey to identify health trends, evaluate programs, and create new initiatives to address the health needs of the community. Organizations rely strongly on HARC data to make important decisions and steer health directives. HARC then analyzes this data to create a report called the Community Health Monitor which outlines the health trends of people living in their community.
In addition to the Community Health Monitor, HARC provides organizations with customized health products, including: program evaluations, needs assessments, and workplace wellness programs. Perhaps most importantly, HARC remains highly engaged in the community to identify ways they can improve the health and well-being of the community.
To learn more about this exciting non-profit, please log on to their website:
Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease.
The National MS Society, based out of Brentwood, TN, mobilizes people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by MS To fulfill this mission, the Society funds cutting-edge research, drives change through advocacy, facilitates professional education, collaborates with MS organizations around the world, and provides programs and services designed to help people with MS and their families move their lives forward.
Last year alone, the Society invested nearly $50 million to support more than 380 new and ongoing research projects around the world while providing program services to over one million people.
One of their fundraisers includes the Challenge Walk MS event. Volunteers are walking 3 days, 50 miles and raising a minimum of $1,500 to end MS with the National MS Society. These participants are taking part in one of numerous events in the country.
To donate to one of their events or learn more, log on to their website:
Team MARCO and Difference Makers™ may be able to help you in your effort to help others. Each week a $500 credit to use towards a promotional products order (including any set up fees and shipping) will be given free to a 501 (c) (3) organization. Difference Makers™ are welcome to apply.
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