Man Donates 30 Gallons of Blood

Man Donates 30 Gallons of Blood

Feb 14

“It’s a need I can help fill.” It’s a simple sentiment, but a very powerful one, and it seems to have seen William Chesser through his entire life. It took him to Korea as a volunteer soldier in the 1950s. When he came home, he went to school and became a probation officer, serving the needs of those at the lowest point of their lives. Since 1960, he has continued to serve by donating blood. Now 85, Chesser has donated blood regularly for nearly 60 years. On February 6th, 2018, he donated the last part of his 30th gallon. 30 gallons of blood is the equivalent of 245 pints. The body of the average adult male holds about 12 pints. Chesser has donated 20 times his own complete volume, enough to serve the transfusion needs of as many as a hundred other patients. And he doesn’t intend to stop. “They can put a man on the moon, but they can’t perfect human blood,” he said about the endless need of the medical industry. The Red Cross’s official estimate is that someone in the U.S. needs a blood transfusion every two seconds, and every drop has to come out of a donor’s veins. The average transfusion is three pints, and donors can give one pint every eight weeks. We won’t do all of the math, but at least it’s easy to see that for every patient in need of blood, three people must give. And he’s right. Patients with low blood volume can be supplemented with saline (salt water) or other blood replacements, but nothing does the job of the real thing. There is no fabricating platelets, for instance (the cells in blood that cause clotting and allow us to stop bleeding). Every two months, Chesser drives himself to the LifeSouth Community Blood Center in Dothan, Alabama from his home a few miles north in Ariton. He also volunteers his time with a local food bank and the Dothan Kiwanis Club. “It’s a need I can help fill.” Words to live...

Unknown Millionaire Passes Away, Leaves $37 Million to Charity

Unknown Millionaire Passes Away, Leaves $37 Million to Charity

Feb 05

Few friends of Raymond Suckling knew that he was a millionaire before his death. The retired mechanical engineer lived modestly in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, drove a used car, and liked re-reading dime-store novels from the 1960s. Suckling was a veteran of WWII, and though he rarely let his friends pay for dinner on nights on the town, almost no one knew that he had inherited a moderate fortune from his father, the late CEO and Vice President of Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company. “Others in his situation might have chosen a more extravagant lifestyle,” said Buddy Hallet, the son of Betty Hallet, who was a longtime companion of Suckling’s. “He was a good man.” Suckling passed away in 2014 at the age of 93. It was announced on Wednesday, January 24th, 2018, that his will had left $37.1 million to the Pittsburgh Foundation for charitable causes in the Sewickley area. It’s the second-largest gift ever given to the foundation, succeeded only by Charles Kaufman’s $50 million bequest in 2010. Kaufman and Suckling both retired from local chemical and materials company Koppers Co. Suckling’s gift, which was finalized in December after some time stuck in probate difficulties, has been added to the Raymond C. and Martha S. Suckling Fund, established by him in ’93 in honor of his parents. He had previously contributed a little over half a million to the fund. The new gift will be spread out for years to come at $1.5 million a year, split between the local library, the hospital, and the Pittsburgh Foundation’s 100 Percent Pittsburgh initiative, which allocates funds to local nonprofits for people in need. “This is an extraordinary bequest from a truly extraordinary man,” said Maxwell King, the president and chief executive of the Pittsburgh Foundation. Carolyn Toth, executive director of the Sewickley Library, called Suckling “Our own Andrew...

Kaepernick Inspires Other Celebs to Give to Charity

Kaepernick Inspires Other Celebs to Give to Charity

Jan 29

In September of 2016, football player and activist Colin Kaepernick pledged to donate $1 million of his personal salary to charities and organizations that give aid to underserved and oppressed communities. In just over a year, he’s just a few signatures away from achieving that goal. Kaepernick himself has already donated $900,000 to 31 organizations. On January 17th, 2018, he invited other celebrities to join him as he announced his final $100,000 in donations. He encouraged them to match his donations, $10,000 at a time. Serena Williams, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Jesse Williams, T.I., and Snoop Dogg were among those who joined him in his #10for10 initiative. Snoop Dogg in particular seemed to jump at the chance, more than doubling the suggested $10,000 to instead donate $25,000 to his chosen charity, Dallas-based Mothers Against Police Brutality. Kaepernick’s contribution brings the total to $35,000. Mothers Against Police Brutality has been active since 2013, founded by Collette Flanagan. Flanagan’s son, Clinton Allen, was killed in an altercation with police earlier that year. The isolation that she felt in the aftermath inspired her to connect with other mothers similarly affected, to join forces to create a political presence. Snoop Dogg stated in an Instagram post that he is “so inspired” by the work that Mothers Against Police Brutality has done. The rapper has spoken up against police violence in the past. “It’s no secret that Uncle Snoop Dogg has transcended into global mega-stardom and even though he’s busier than ever, our brother still finds time to give back to the community in so many ways,” gushed Kaepernick on his Facebook page. “Like a true OG, Uncle Snoop didn’t even flinch when I reached out to him about being part of my #MillionDollarPledge.” MAPB will use the donation to continue uniting the families left devastated by police violence, giving them a platform and a voice until their losses are given the address they...

Bezos Family Donates $33 Mil to Dreamers Org

Bezos Family Donates $33 Mil to Dreamers Org

Jan 24

On January 10th, 2018, a federal judge blocked the Trump administration’s attempt to end the DACA program. DACA, also known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is an Obama-era protection program for immigrants under the age of 10 brought without documentation into the country. Colloquially, these immigrants are referred to as Dreamers. According to TheDream.us, only about one third of these youths graduate from high school, with fewer than 10 percent going on to enroll in college. There, they have almost no access to financial aid of any sort and must pay either out-of-state or international tuition, which can triple normal college costs. TheDream is a college access and success program targeted at these youths, operating via scholarships and partnerships with colleges. On Friday, January 12th, Jeff and Mackenzie Bezos awarded TheDream the largest donation in the organization’s three-year history: a $33 million dollar scholarship grant. This grant alone will create over a thousand full-ride scholarships for undocumented graduates, giving them chances that could have been miles out of reach. “My dad came to the U.S. when he was 16 as part of Operation Pedro Pan,” said Amazon magnate Jeff Bezos. “He landed in this country alone and unable to speak English. With a lot of grit and determination—and the help of some remarkable organizations in Delaware—my dad became an outstanding citizen, and he continues to give back to the country that he feels blessed him in so many ways. MacKenzie and I are honored to be able to help today’s Dreamers by funding these scholarships.” Bezos’s father, Mike Bezos, was one of the founding donors to TheDream alongside giants like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Only three years old, TheDream can’t yet report a graduation rate. But so far, 94% of their recipients return to college for a second year, more than twenty percent higher than the national...

Wells Fargo Renews Ongoing Support of Habitat for Humanity

Wells Fargo Renews Ongoing Support of Habitat for Humanity

Jan 08

Wells Fargo is number 25 in a ranked list of the United States’ largest corporations. Their corporate social responsibility efforts extend from long before their notoriety, and include three priorities: economic contributions to disadvantaged communities, environmental husbandry, and progressive inclusion. Their recent and ongoing donations to Habitat for Humanity serves all three goals. Habitat for Humanity, founded in 1976 in Georgia and today a worldwide Christian nonprofit, is a well-established force towards making sure people have a place to live. “Through shelter, we empower” is their motto. Wells Fargo has donated over $40 million to Habitat for Humanity since the beginning of their relationship in 2010. Wells Fargo employees are also encouraged to volunteer on Habitat building projects, having contributed more than 355,000 hours in that same time, or the equivalent of six consecutive years of man-hours. On December 20th, 2017, Wells Fargo gifted an additional $18 million to the nonprofit to strengthen their U.S. operations, specifically in the realm of disaster aid. Habitat has learned much in the wake of the hurricanes in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, and has expanded its needs. “We have seen the positive impact made in local communities through our work with Habitat for Humanity and this donation will help to further advance our commitment to economic empowerment through affordable home-ownership,” said Jon Campbell, head of Community Relations and Corporate Responsibility at Wells Fargo. “The funding will also enable Wells Fargo to exceed our goal of building and improving 1,000 homes between 2016 and 2020.” “This generous donation from Wells Fargo will enable us to partner with more families in need of a decent place to call home,” said Habitat for Humanity International CEO Jonathan Reckford. “These much-needed funds also will allow us to make critical improvements to our operations, and help us better address the growing need for affordable housing throughout the...