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Kissed By A Pit is a Charity Challenge with a Hint of Slobber

kissed by a bit challenge
Look at that face! Who could say no to that? Image: via Facebook.

Pit bulls have a bad rap. Often perceived as mean and aggressive, these dogs continue to be feared and misunderstood by the American public. Pit bulls are the most bred dog in the United States, but are often confined to shelters because people are only familiar with the breed’s enduring bad reputation. Even more alarmingly, according to Esquire, 1.2 million dogs are euthanized in shelters annually, and experts estimate that nearly 1 million of those dogs are pit bulls.

Organizations such as 400 Paws, Safe Humane Chicago, and other animal advocacy programs know that pit bulls are intelligent, loyal, and gentle creatures, and are working hard to raise awareness about their real traits. Recently, Dog Park Publishing, a company that makes products that celebrate pit bulls, encouraged dog lovers to partake in the “Kissed By A Pit Challenge.”

The Kissed By A Pit Challenge is an initiative to raise awareness about pit bulls, debunk misconceptions about the breed, and partake in a massive social media conversation about animal rights and advocacy. Just like the #IceBucketChallenge, participants are encouraged to shoot a video or snap a photo of themselves being kissed by a pit bull, share it on social media, and donate $5 to their local animal shelter. The Kissed By a Pit Challenge not only raises funds for understaffed animal shelters, it shows love for pit bulls, while helping to change their image.

Dog Park Publishing co-founders Alisa Weberman and Jonathan Korzen recently told The Huffington Post, “We are thrilled with the response we have already received,” of the number of challenge participants. “It means we are showing pit bulls in a positive light and raising money for rescues and shelters across the world.”

Various celebrities took part in the Kissed By A Pit Challenge including Kevin Bacon, Adam Rose, Sophia Bush, Kelli Giddish, Tom Hardy, and many others. Their participation lent even more visibility to the cause, and helped to spread further awareness about this lovable breed.

Learn more about the Kissed By A Pit Challenge by visiting

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Global Citizen Festival Fights Poverty with Star Power

Global Citizen Festival

Last weekend, the Global Citizen Festival took over New York City’s Central Park for the third year in a row, wowing audiences with its star-studded lineup. The annual concert had many stars performing like No Doubt, Jay-Z and Beyoncé. The festival, drawing in an even larger audiences in its third year, brought 60,000 people to the Great Lawn.

Around six hours long, the show held speeches from charitable-foundation executives and videos from those suffering poverty. The festival is organized by the Global Poverty Project, which has a goal to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030. All the performers donated their services.

Through a unique form of social activism, tickets could be earned by sending tweets, signing petitions, sending Facebook messages, along with several other methods. The concert also aired live for the first time on MSNBC. The Global Citizen Festival was designed to get people talking about important social issues like poverty, using social media, entertainment, and other contemporary outreach to do so.

Global Citizen Festival Obama

One of the speakers was the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon who declared, “Our world needs more solar power and wind power, but I believe in an even stronger source of energy: People power!” Among the celebrities in attendance last night, attendees included the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi; the Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg; and Jim Yong Kim, the President of the World Bank.

“Change only takes place when and where there is action,” said Jay-Z in a statement. “I’m joining the 2014 Global Citizen Festival because I believe through actions, whether it be by raising awareness, getting involved or educating ourselves, the goal to end extreme poverty by 2030 is possible.”

The festival coincided with the United Nations’ General Assembly meetings in order to amplify its message to global leaders. The World Bank estimates that 1.2 billion people still live in poverty.

Learn more about the annual Global Citizen Festival and the Global Poverty Project by visiting


How to Give Back in Everyday Ways

Giving Benefits
IMG: via Shutterstock

One of the best things about giving back to your community is that doing good can be implemented in everyday ways. Rather than feeling like you need to book a trip to a foreign country to take part in humanitarian efforts or give your entire life savings to a charitable organization, there are many ways you can give back in realistic ways.

The first place to look is in your own bloodline. Rather than turning all your attention to finding a soup kitchen or nursing home in need of volunteers, look at those in your immediate circle and family to find those in need. Do you have a cousin or niece who doesn’t have money to get to school? Or how about an aunt who needs to be driven to the grocery store once a week? Remember, your family and circle of friends are just as deserving of your compassionate efforts to do good as anyone else.

Rather than just helping every once in awhile, find a way to give back regularly. When you donate your time and efforts consistently, especially with children, they can follow your example and you will inadvertently start a chain reaction. Your influence goes above and beyond just those you are in immediate contact with. Spread the influence, and “pay it forward” with regular good deeds and volunteer efforts.

Another easy way to give back with just a small change can be to rethink your birthday. Usually during the year, all our calendars begin to explode with all the things we have to do, and it seems like we will never have enough hours. This is when volunteering gets placed on the back burner. Instead, use a day like your birthday to give eight hours of service. This is one day that you can consistently dedicate to volunteer work each year.

How do you give back to your community in everyday ways?

News Organizations

Depaul UK Auctions off Spot in iPhone 6 Line for Charity

Depaul UK iphone 6 auction

Representatives from a British charity recently had an ingenious plan to raise money for their organization: find something that everyone wants. With the launch of the iPhone 6, thousands of people camped out overnight and waited in line for hours to get their hands on the new phone. Depaul Uk, a charity that helps the homeless, auctioned off its fifth place spot in the line outside the London Apple flagship store.

The spot was listed on Ebay and bidding closed at 6am the morning of the launch, giving the winner time to rush down and claim their place in line. The auction described itself as “one spot near the front of the queue outside the Apple Store on Regent Street, London.” The person who won was also required to wear a Depaul UK shirt before heading into the store. The night before, the auction had already received close to 60 bids.

Volunteers for the organization stood in line for over 48 hours at the Apple Store in Oxford Circus, London. Adam Taranissi made the winning bid of $734 for the prime spot in line. Proceeds from the auction will go towards helping homeless youth in the city.

Depaul UK homeless charity

The stunt was actually devised by Publicis London for the charity. Not only did the auction create buzz for Depaul UK, it also garnered the attention of a much younger demographic of donors than the charity typically works with. Currently, the largest donor base for homeless charities in the UK is the over-65 crowd. More high-tech millennials became aware of the organization and its services because of the iPhone 6 line spot auction, which is a win for Depaul UK regardless of funds raised.

Depaul UK is “a values led organization,” explains its website. Its mission is to “offer homeless and disadvantaged people the opportunity to fulfill their potential and move towards and independent and positive future.” Learn more about the organization by visiting

Images: via Facebook.



Adrian Peterson’s All Day Foundation Takes Down Its Website

Adrian Peterson jersey uniform football All Day Foundation

Professional football player Adrian Peterson’s charitable foundation, the All Day Foundation, has removed all content from it’s website. There is one message left on the website that reads:

The Adrian Peterson All Day Foundation website is temporarily offline to allow its charity partners to continue focusing on their outstanding community efforts rather than responding to the numerous media inquiries. The Foundation will continue to support the various philanthropic causes that Adrian and his family care so deeply about.

Earlier this week, the foundation removed a longer message that included the fact that many of the All Day Foundation’s charitable partners were being harassed by the media and judged by the general public. It seems as though removing the website temporarily was a way to protect affiliate charities, and to disassociate the foundation from the media scandal that has recently engulfed Peterson.

This news comes after it was announced that Peterson is facing a felony charge for child abuse after spanking his 4-year-old son with a wooden board to the point of bleeding. The Minnesota Vikings running back is in the middle of a firestorm where even sponsors are starting to distance themselves from him and his team.

Because the Vikings initially decided to allow him to continue playing while the legal proceedings unfolded in Texas, the Radisson hotel chain has suspended their relationship with the team. Additionally, the Special Olympics Minnesota, Castrol Motor Oil and Mylan Inc. have severed ties with Peterson. Nike, perhaps the largest sportswear retailer in the world, instructed stores in the Twin Cities to suspend all sales of merchandise with Peterson’s name on it.

“It is an awful situation,” said Gov. Mark Dayton, who spearheaded an effort to secure $477 million in public funding for a stadium that is being built downtown. “Yes, Mr. Peterson is entitled to due process and should be ‘innocent until proven guilty.’ However, he is a public figure; and his actions, as described, are a public embarrassment to the Vikings organization and the State of Minnesota. Whipping a child to the extent of visible wounds, as has been alleged, should not be tolerated in our state. Therefore, I believe the team should suspend Mr. Peterson, until the accusations of child abuse have been resolved by the criminal justice system.”

Although many agree with the statement given by Governor Dayton, it is disappointing that Peterson’s foundation should suffer as a consequence. Established in 2008 to raise awareness and funds for programs that inspire hope in the lives of at-risk children and young women, the All Day Foundation has undoubtedly done a lot of good over the last 6 years. No news has been released in regards to the future status of the foundation.

Images via Instagram.

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Annual Charity Day Event Raises $12 Million on 9/11

Charity Day

Earlier this month, Cantor Fitzgerald & Co., in partnership with BGC Partners, Inc., raised $12 million for charities around the world during its annual Charity Day on September 11. Every year since the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11, BGC Partners and Cantor Fitzgerald commemorate the loss of over 700 employees in the tragedy by distributing 100% of their combined global revenues to dozens of charities around the world.

Cantor Fitzgerald was headquartered on floors 101 and 105 of One World Trade Center on 9/11. A devastating two-thirds of the company’s New York workforce was wiped out in the 9/11 attacks, so for them, the anniversary of this tragic day hits especially close to home.

“Every year on Charity Day we support many worthwhile charities around the world, turning a tragic anniversary into a positive and uplifting day,” said Howard Lutnick, Chairman and CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald and BGC Partners. According to the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund, which is a beneficiary of annual Charity Day donations, the annual charity event has raised approximately $113 million globally since its inception.

Charity Day celebrities
Many celebrities came to support Charity Day. / Image: via Instagram.

Charity Day continues to attract celebrities and primary philanthropists each year, in addition to company clients. Says Shawn P. Matthews, Chief Executive Officer of Cantor Fitzgerald & Co., “We are very grateful to our clients for their ongoing support of Charity Day. I’d like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to all of our celebrity guests who graciously donated their time today, and to our clients and employees who helped to make Charity Day such an overwhelming success.”

Celebrities in attendance included “Jake Gyllenhaal, Ben Stiller, Michelle Williams, Ed Burns, Steve Buscemi, Michael J. Fox, Idina Menzel, Gina Gershon, Chazz Palminteri, AnnaSophia Robb, John Slattery, Patrick Wilson, Annalynne McCord and Zosia Mamet, to name just a few,” according to a Charity Day press release. Leading athletes, models, journalists, and politicians were also in attendance.

For more information about the annual event, read this press release from the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund.

News Organizations

Founder of ShelterBox Charged with Fraud

ShelterBox provides aid to those affected by disasters.

ShelterBox, a humanitarian organization that offers emergency shelter and supplies to victims of crisis, has recently been plagued with a bit of controversy. Tom Henderson, the founder of British-based ShelterBox, appeared before the City of London Magistrates’ Court last week after being charged with three counts of fraud and abuse of position. Henderson, who founded the Cornwall-based charity in 2000, left ShelterBox in July 2012.

Henderson is charged with several counts, each of them involving fraud. One count is fraud by abuse of position, in which he is alleged to have conspired with his son John Henderson. Another count alleges that he conspired with his son and Darren Gervis. The third count charges that Henderson misused an official ShelterBox credit card. In addition to these counts, John Henderson and Darren Gervis are also being charged with joint offenses. Gervis has also been charged with the theft of property, possession of a shotgun without a firearms certificate and possession of a firearm.

ShelterBoxTom Henderson is a former Royal navy diver and was arrested last June, less than a year after he left the charity. His fraud charges span five years, from 2007 to 2012. He is also facing allegations of attempting to steal 1,000 tens from the non-profit organization. Henderson was appointed OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in 2010 for his work and the charity, but these charges are making it clear that perhaps those honors weren’t so deserved, after all.

ShelterBox is an international disaster relief charity that delivers emergency shelter and vital aid to people affected by disaster worldwide. Before this controversial news broke about Henderson broke, the organization had a reputation for being incredibly influential and a key resource for victims of natural disasters and humanitarian crises globally. “Since ShelterBox was founded,” its website explains, “we have responded to over 230 disasters in almost 90 different countries and provided emergency aid for well over one million people.”

Clearly, ShelterBox has a longstanding history of doing good. Hopefully Henderson’s trial and sentencing will not detract too heavily from the work this organization has done.

Images via Facebook.

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Ashya King: Charity to Pay for Medical Care, Parents Released

Last weekend, parents Brett and Naghmeh King were arrested in Spain for removing their five-year-old son from a hospital without the consent of doctors. The Kings’ son Ashya is a brain cancer patient. After the arrest, the Kings were detained while Ashya was kept in isolation at a hospital and an extradition request was processed.

Ashya’s parents took him from a hospital in Britain, after claiming that Southampton General Hospital threatened to take away their right to decide what their son’s care should be. “My son’s worth everything, worth me going to prison, because they were going to kill him in England or turn him into a vegetable,” Brett King told Sky News.

Ashya is now being treated at the Malaga hospital, where he has been reunited with his parents. Although the boy has now been made a ward of court, it’s likely that the family will be allowed to have Ashya’s brain tumor treated at a Prague clinic with a technique that is not available in Britain.

Ashya King kids n cancer

“If there is a dispute between the parents and the medical authorities… the court will make the decision, probably at the hearing on Monday,” the Judicial Office said. “If the parties are in agreement, the court will endorse that agreement, and the judge indicated in court that he will be available at all times to give his approval if an agreement is reached before Monday so that treatment can be started without further delay.”

The Kings were en route to Spain to try and sell their vacation home in order to afford medical treatments when they were arrested. But now, it looks like that won’t need to happen after all; Kids ‘n’ Cancer, a British charity has announced that it plans to give the family the funds needed for Ashya’s treatment plan.

According to its website, Kids ‘n’ Cancer is “a charity designed to help children in the UK receive life saving treatment for their cancers and tumors,” explaining that the organization is “determined to assist families caught up in this sad situation of not meeting the criteria” of financial support. Despite the negative press the Kings have received, they appear to be loving parents, and their son’s future will be brighter with the help of organizations such as Kids ‘n’ Cancer.