Allstate Donates Books to Schools Hit by Hurricane Harvey

Allstate Donates Books to Schools Hit by Hurricane Harvey

Jul 05

Before Hurricane Harvey, it had been 12 years since a major hurricane made landfall in the United States, the last of which being Katrina and Wilma in 2005. Within a four-day span, Hurricane Harvey pounded eastern Texas with as much as 40 inches of rain, which caused major flooding before it dissipated on September 2, 2017. Thousands of homes and businesses and dozens of schools were destroyed by the elements. Nearly a year later, some of those schools are being rebuilt. In the Houston Independent School District (HISD), which is the largest school district in Texas, four elementary schools were hit the hardest: Braeburn, Hilliard, Mitchell, and Scarborough. They lost everything, including their entire library collections. The Allstate Foundation, the philanthropic branch of the insurance giant by the same name, announced commitments immediately after Harvey to help Houston rebuild its schools. On July 3, 2018, the foundation donated $400,000 to help replenish those school libraries, as part of their “Rebuilding Our Readers” campaign. Friday, July 6, Allstate leaders will bring the donation in-person to the new building of Scarborough Elementary School, which was relocated. “We’re committed to helping Texas communities recover from this disaster, which is why we’re honored to be a part of this effort to replenish Houston ISD libraries with new books to replace those lost during Harvey,” said Larry Sedillo during a tour of the school. Sedillo is the Field Senior Vice President of Allstate in Texas. Since the hurricane, companies across the nation have donated over $72 million to relief efforts for Houston and other areas in need of restoration. Estimates for the total economic losses amount to between $81 and $125 billion, the higher of which puts Harvey on par with Katrina. In response to the outstanding nature of the damage, the name Harvey has been retired from the list of names for rotating...

Philadelphia Eagles Star Nick Foles Donates Proceeds From New Book

Philadelphia Eagles Star Nick Foles Donates Proceeds From New Book

Jun 30

The past two years have seen a great deal of charitable efforts from Philadelphia Eagles players. Chris Long donated his entire 2017 game payout to help hurricane victims. Quarterback Carson Wentz organized a charity game to address hunger in Philadelphia. And now Nick Foles, member of the Eagles’ offensive line that won Superbowl LII, is donating the entire proceeds of his book. Foles’s book, “Believe it: My Journey of Success,” was released on June 26, 2018. A few days later, Amazon was ranking it as #25 in all book sales, and #1 in sports books and sports biographies. On a rapid-fire book tour throughout the east coast, Foles is expected to sign over 15,000 copies of his book for fans. “I really enjoyed the process, you’re reliving every detail and I wanted to be honest. I wanted this book to be special. Some day Lily is going to read it,” said Foles about the writing process, which he shared with co-author Joshua Cooley. Lily is Foles’s daughter, age one. Foles and his wife Tori will donate the entire proceeds of the book sales to an organization seeking treatments and a cure for postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), a condition causing dangerously low blood pressure when a person rises from a prone position. Tori is a POTS patient, and the book includes a chapter on their struggle with the disorder. In a media meeting before one of his book signings, Foles spoke about what he wanted people to take away from reading his book, which is that they are not alone with their struggles or failures, and all are an opportunity to grow. “I hope I am always open to growing,” he said. Foles is returning to the Philly Eagles for the 2018 season, and is tentatively committed to them for 2019 as well. Early reviews praise the book for its frank spirituality and Christian...

David Spade Donates $100k to Mental Health Organization After Kate’s Suicide

David Spade Donates $100k to Mental Health Organization After Kate’s Suicide

Jun 14

On Tuesday, June 5th, fashion designer Kate Spade took her life in her home in New York. The comments on news articles of her death are filled with people reminiscing about how her fashion touched their lives, including this tweet from Chelsea Clinton: “My grandmother gave me my first Kate Spade bag when I was in college. I still have it. Holding Kate’s family, friends, and loved ones in my heart.” Those loved ones left behind include her husband, Andy Spade, their adult daughter, Frances, and her brother-in-law, actor David Spade. Kate and David were close, on good and friendly terms. “She was so sharp and quick on her feet,” David Spade said about her the day after her death, posting a family photo on his Instagram. “She could make me laugh so hard. I still can’t believe it. It’s a rough world out there people, try to hang on.” He took a week off of his stand-up performances, then returned to work on Wednesday, June 13th. He did not use the opportunity to announce what he’s done in memorial of his sister-in-law; he quietly donated $100,000 to help others laboring with mental illness. His donation will support the National Alliance on Mental Illness. “More people suffer with mental health issues than we may realize, but no one should ever feel ashamed to reach out for support,” Spade told People Magazine when they discovered the donation. He went on to recommend seeking “help or guidance” from the National Suicide Prevention Hotline or nami.org. In the United States, an estimated 45,000 people a year commit suicide, and there are more than a million attempts. Despite a reputation of being something teenagers do, the highest suicide rates are among adults over 50. With his donation, David Spade hopes that more resources will become available to all of those who are...

Comic Book Collector Makes Historic Donation to Library of Congress

Comic Book Collector Makes Historic Donation to Library of Congress

May 31

Comic books are an oft-underrated part of literary history, with fingers in every direction from novels to television and movies. And of course, the comics themselves. Stephen Geppi has built his career on publishing and distributing comic books, beginning with a small chain of comic shops in Baltimore in the 1970s. In 1982, he founded Diamond Comic Distributors. By ’96, after the acquisition of major competitor Capital City, he had a near-monopoly on comic book distribution in the U.S. and was a major force abroad. Over time, Geppi amassed a substantial collection of comic and pop-culture history. He opened a private museum in his home town of Baltimore to trace the history of American pop-culture from the days of newspaper comics on forward. He also opened a series of galleries, the Diamond International Galleries, to show comics and collectibles as having a place in the fine art world. Much of the collections shown in those galleries comes from Geppi’s private collections. This year, he will close his museum. And it’s from that collection comes his recent gift to the United States. Announced Wednesday, May 30th, Geppi will be donating more than 3,000 items from his collection to the Library of Congress, their largest-ever donation of comic books and related articles. The donation, which is estimated to have a value in the millions, includes items from 80 years of American comics, including storyboards from the early Mickey Mouse short “Plane Crazy,” Beatles memorabilia, and newspaper strips from the very first American serial comics. The Library of Congress has the world’s largest collection of comic books, with approximately 140,000 issues from 13,000 titles, according to Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress. “When Steve asked about making this gift, I was just thrilled, because it supports something here that is a touchstone for many people who might not otherwise think the Library of Congress is a library for them,” said...

Dolly Parton Gives $1 Mil to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital

Dolly Parton Gives $1 Mil to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital

May 21

“Twenty-six years ago is when Hannah was diagnosed with leukemia and for five years we didn’t know if we’d be keeping her or not,” said Dolly Parton on Thursday, May 17th, in an auditorium at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. “But Hannah now stands here as our chemo hero. She shows that miracles do happen with good care, great doctors, and great nurses.” The legendary country singer was referring to Hannah Dennison, her niece. For Hannah’s 30th birthday, she and her aunt visited the hospital that saved her life as a child. In front of an audience of doctors, nurses, patients and families, Parton donated $1 million to the hospital. “They took such good care of her and just looking at the little faces of the kids going through this and the parents who suffer so much as well; it’s just touching and moving,” said Parton. “If you’re in a position where you can do something, you should do something.” That is Parton’s general philosophy in life. The country singer has been a big name in American philanthropy for her entire career. Her charitable foundation, Dollywood, provides free books to more than three quarters of a million children and hundreds of libraries, supports hospitals and wildlife conservation, and backs charity drives to help the victims of natural disasters. Parton decided she would make this donation to mark a landmark in her niece’s life a year ago, when she visited Vanderbilt to release her children’s album, I Believe in You. The album was targeted at children who face heavy challenges in life, such as illness and bullying… children like Hannah. As a demonstration of gratitude for the donation, Vanderbilt dedicated their rooftop butterfly garden to Hannah Dennison.. “Now that we have Hannah’s butterfly garden, we may come up and do little shows now and then and bring some joy to the kids,” said Parton, raising her...

New Gates Foundation Initiative Will Address Poverty

New Gates Foundation Initiative Will Address Poverty

May 07

In his endless quest to donate his money almost as fast as he makes it, Bill Gates has announced another philanthropic project. This time, he is taking on systemic poverty. On Thursday, May 3rd, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced that between now and 2022, they intend to spend $158 million on a variety of initiatives, from data collection and research to funding activism and lobbying. The foundation’s work will be guided by the U.S. Partnership on Mobility from Poverty, which is housed within the liberal-leaning think tank the Urban Institute. The organization has spent the past two years crafting plans to address systemic inequality in actionable ways. Their solutions involve both businesses and governments. The money from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (to date, the largest private charity organization in the world) will help turn ideas and plans into practicable projects. “Poverty is like education, where there’s not enough philanthropic resources to take on responsibility, but if you can show how to have a lot more impact, then the policies will benefit from that,” Bill Gates told the Associated Press earlier this year. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, whose original goals were to improve the quality of education in the U.S. and the world, has expanded its focus to help underserved students outside the classroom as well. This will surely result in a more impactful outcome, given that poverty and education are closely related. It is, after all, hard to do homework if the lights are shut off. But poverty also goes beyond basic survival necessities. In today’s technological age, having access to a computer with internet access is an absolute must. Over the course of the next few months, it will be exciting to see the difference that this donation will make in the lives of...