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Friday, March 16, 2012

Celebrities Give Back: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie Donate to Joplin Recovery

Written by Marketing Intern Caroline Howell

 On May 22 an extremely devastating tornado hit Joplin, Missouri, causing the highest death toll since 1947. The tornado left 151 dead, 990 injured and many missing. The tornado was declared the seventh deadliest in U.S. history. In light of the tragedy, Brad and Angelina decided to donate $500,000 to the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.

 “With the devastating loss of thirty percent of the city, the Joplin community faces great challenges ahead.  Having spent much of my childhood there, I know these people to be hardworking, humble and especially resilient,” Brad Pitt, a Missouri native, told the Foundation.
 With the large donation, the foundation now has over $1 million to help support the areas harmed by the tornado. Jolie and Pitt hope that their contribution can help the Joplin residents to keep their heads up and continue making progress.

 Donations to the Joplin Recovery Fund can be made at www.cfozarks.org/donate/

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Celebrities Give Back: William and Kate Support Disadvantaged Children

Written by Marketing Intern Caroline Howell

The 10th annual ARK Gala was hosted in London with a very exclusive guest list. Dinner guests included Prince William with his new bride, Elizabeth Hurley, Tom Ford and numerous European royalties. Kings of Leon even took stage to perform after Prince William gave a speech.

ARK, Absolute Return of Kids, was founded in 2002 to help improve the life chances of children. According to the charity’s website, “ARK projects focus on health in sub-Saharan Africa, education in the UK, US and India and child protection in Eastern Europe.” Hundreds of thousands of children have already benefited from the program.

Each year ARK hosts a Gala to help raise money for disadvantaged children. This year the Gala had over 1,000 guests and raised almost $28 million.

 Shop to help support disadvantaged children at Uptown Liz.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Musicians Give Back: Artists Host Concerts That Donate to Charity

Written by Marketing Intern Caroline Howell

Many musical artists have partnered up with Tickets-for-Charity to help give back to those in need. Some of the big names include Tim McGraw, Rasal Flatts, Taylor Swift and Glee. They are committed to reaching the final goal of raising five million dollars to help support MusiCares.

According to Grammy.org, “MusiCares provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need. MusiCares' services and resources cover a wide range of financial, medical and personal emergencies, and each case is treated with integrity and confidentiality. MusiCares also focuses the resources and attention of the music industry on human service issues that directly impact the health and welfare of the music community.”

 In celebration of MusiCares 20th anniversary, guests will be able to purchase some of the best seats in the house, even if the concert is sold out. To make a donation to MusiCares visit https://beapartoftheheart.com/.

 To purchase tickets in your city go to http://www.ticketsforcharity.com/MusiCares20/.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Celebrity For a Cause: Kari Whitman Works to Rescue Animals

Written by Marketing Intern Caroline Howell

Kari Whitman, best known for her modeling and acting, is dedicated to saving dogs while supporting the environment. After the passing of her beloved dog, she felt motivated to do something to save other animals. Whitman started an organization in the Los Angeles area known as Ace of Hearts.

Ace of Hearts is a dog rescue foundation that saves dogs the day they are going to be euthanized. They work with various shelters and place the dogs in loving homes. Whitman is also working on an eco-friendly line of dog beds, leashes, and collars, called Greener Pup.

Many celebrities are working to get involved by supporting Greener Pup and Ace of Hearts. Jessica Alba, and Rob Knepper are both fans of using Greener Pup beds for their furry friends. TMZ’s Harvey Levin even recorded a song that donates 50% of all proceeds to Ace of Hearts.

 To read more about Ace of Hearts or to donate visit http://acesangels.org/.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Oakley for a Cause: Special Edition Sunglasses Support Young Survival Coalition

Written by Marketing Intern Katy Rowan

I probably see a pair of Oakley sunglasses at least once a day.  Whether I’m at work, shopping in the city, or out to dinner with the family, someone is almost always sporting the popular optics.  And I’d never put much thought into why someone may want Oakleys…until today, that is.

It’s no secret Oakleys are famous for their defining style and fashion, but maybe less well known is that Oakley makes sure to use its esteemed label to give back.  Special edition sunglasses created by the company have benefitted causes such as Livestrong in the past and are now supporting the Young Survival Coalition, or YSC.

YSC is an organization committed to helping women who face the bold task of enduring breast cancer at a young age.  They provide women with camaraderie and resources in an effort to empower and support.  The founders each battled breast cancer before reaching their mid-thirties and realized the need for a unique program like this one; thus, YSC was born.

Several sponsors and partners, like Oakley, support the YSC and allow the organization to fulfill its mission of never leaving a woman to experience breast cancer alone.  Oakley is a premier partner of YSC and currently has the women’s special edition sunglasses for sale. $20 of each purchase will help the YSC encourage all of those young women out there to have the strength to fight and the willpower to survive breast cancer.

That being said, the next time I see someone around town wearing their Oakleys, I’ll think twice about the decision they made.  Oakley isn’t just a label; it’s a company that cares less about the bottom line and more about helping those in need.

To purchase your own Oakleys, please visit http://tinyurl.com/3l2jwmb today. 

To find out more about the Young Survival Coalition, please check out their website at http://www.youngsurvival.org/.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Youth For a Cause: 13-Year-Old Raises Thousands for Cerebral Palsy

Written by Marketing Intern Caroline Howell

Matthew Stephenson of Houston, Texas may seem like your average videogame-playing teenage boy but he is indeed much more. Matthew is affected with cerebral palsy, a condition that causes physical disability in human development, especially body movement.

He has created a charity called Matthew’s Challenge to help send thirty children to Camp Smiles, a getaway where disabled children get to participate in fun activities that help build their skills and allow them to gain independence.

Matthew’s Challenge hopes to raise $30,000 to donate cabins to Camp Smiles so that thirty more children are able to enjoy the week-long camp. Matthew has previously raised $3,000 to help students with disabilities graduate from high school. He is hoping that his challenge will allow more kids living with cerebral palsy and similar disabilities, to gain self confidence and participate in activities that they couldn’t previously enjoy.

To learn more visit about Matthew’s Challenge or to donate visit http://eastersealshouston.org/Donations/matthews-challenge.html.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Community for a Cause: Smiles Charity Fundraises to Build Veteran Homes

Written by Marking Intern Katy Rowan

Thirty miles north of Dallas, an orthodontist by the name of Jennifer Buchanan works incredibly hard to make her mark on this world.  In addition to giving her McKinney, Texas patients the perfect smile, Dr. Buchanan partners with the North Collin County Habitat for Humanity to build houses for those in need.

Dr. Buchanan founded the Smiles Charity in 2008 with the hopes of changing the world one home, one family at a time, and it has had much success since then.  Private donations and various sponsorships for the charity’s main event, the Smiles Charity Concert and Family Festival, have afforded Dr. Buchanan and Habitat for Humanity the ability to put three families in new homes in just three short years.

Each year, a celebrity has headlined the annual concert and drawn large crowds out in support of Dr. Buchanan’s mission.  Entertainers Gavin DeGraw, Little Big Town, and Chris Cagle have been featured in years past, and Uncle Kracker took the stage most recently, on this past Memorial Day weekend. 

The 2011 Smiles Charity Concert went off without a hitch with the largest community turnout since its beginning.  This year’s goal was to recognize two locally fallen heroes and also to put three severely wounded veterans in homes, thanks to help from Operation Finally Home.

As a resident of McKinney myself, I can say I’m truly honored to live in the same city as Dr. Buchanan.  Whether it’s through her orthodontic work or charitable compassion, she continues to make an impact on the community.  I have no doubt she will reach her dream of expanding Smiles Charity to several cities nationwide.

Though she’s worked hard to give families the gift of a home and to raise large sums of money, the ultimate gift she’s bestowed on our community is one with no cost at all – an enduring smile willing to help. 

After all, what’s more powerful than a smile?  Absolutely nothing.

2007 Uptown Liz