Posts Tagged Corporate Giving

Engaging your Workforce through Corporate Responsibility

corporate giving, charity, causes, CSR, Big Brothers Big Sisters

Written by Staci Simmons | Manager, Marketing Communications and Creative Services

Over the last ten years, corporate responsibility has transformed from a single act of charity, such as sponsorships, volunteerism and community involvement to complete, brand-centric philanthropy. If done well, modern corporate social responsibility practices engrain themselves into the culture of an organization impacting employees, customers, suppliers, and even communities.

Social impact has expanded into every part of the business, by function, unit, and even geography. CSR programs can no longer afford to simply be charitable — social impact needs to be ‘built into’ a company’s strategy showcased across many aspects of operations.

Transform Your Business

  • Consider B-Corp Strategies – B Corporations build their companies around social impact
  • Encourage Influencers – Offer individual incentives for executives and employees who take social responsibility personally and mentor others
  • Create a Portfolio – Outline a portfolio of outreach programs at each level of your organization
  • Think Locally – Choose local or brand-centric activities and interest that align with corporate goals and interests
  • Promote Thoughtfully – Use consideration when sharing your CSR endeavors without diluting your message

Engage Your Workforce

The more aligned your CSR activities are with the company’s culture and values, the more they will resonate with the employees. Attendees who are personally invested will leave your meeting, conference, tradeshow or event with a sense of purpose and satisfaction. For maximum impact, we recommend starting your CSR activity in advance with some friendly competition — it is a great way to raise both awareness and funds early. Be sure to recognize top achievers and high performing teams during your event and continue to support the cause in other ways throughout the year.

Select a CSR Activity

Our clients often ask us what are the most popular CSR programs? It is a hard question to answer as the options are endless and each program is unique and customized for your group based on your objectives, attendees, location, and budget. However, below are some programs that have been a hit with our clients over the years:

  • Arrange a Scavenger Hunt
  • Build a Beehive
  • Host a Game Show
  • Run a Race for a Cure
  • Create a Charity Match
  • Build a Playground for Kids
  • Host Fitness Challenges
  • Clean the Local Ecosystem
  • Adopt a Local or International School
  • Host a Clean Water Challenge
  • Provide Packages for Rescue Animals
  • Build a Home with Habitat for Humanity
  • Pack STEM Education Kits
  • Build a Wheelchair
  • Pack Food/Medicine bags for Project Open Hand
  • Paint Shoes with Soles for Souls
  • Register for Pledge It Forward
  • Build Bikes or Red Wagons for Children

Create a Culture of Giving

As part of our corporate Global Giveback, every year we select a different charity to support and theme our CSR activity. This year we are supporting the fight against hunger. At our annual company event, our employees packed more 26,000 meals for Rise Against Hunger. Each month, we designate specific food items which makes it easy for individuals to participate and we track our collective impact. Additionally, our M&IW family is supporting a local pantry through monetary donations, food and hygiene items, and volunteering our time.

Corporations with sound CSR practices have access to many benefits — intrinsic and extrinsic. This incentive drives the implementation of corporate programs at meetings and conferences and events. More so, event marketers see that initiatives are good for business and good for the connectivity of their shareholders.

For more information about best practices in selecting, designing and executing a CSR program for your next event, contact us at marketing@meetings-incentives.com.

 

 

Posted in: Company News, Conferences & Tradeshows, Data Analytics, Business Intelligence & Consulting, Event Marketing & Communications, Event Technology & Mobility Solutions, Group Air Travel Management, Incentive Travel Programs, Pharmaceutical, Medical and HCP Compliance, Program Management & Event Design, Sourcing, Negotiating & Contracting

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M&IW’s 50/50 Spotlight – Second City Servers

 

Written by Christina Wicklund | Marketing Specialist

Our featured 50/50 Spotlight of the week is the Second City Servers. This team is one of our many Chicagoland #50Years50Charities teams. The Second City Servers consists of George Martinez, Shannon Gehringer, Marisa Lavin and Elizabeth Menos. Their charity of choice is the Inspiration Corporation located on the north side of Chicago.

The Inspiration Corporation helps Chicagoans affected by homelessness and poverty reach their fullest potential for self-sufficiency. Their tagline is “Catalyst for Self-Reliance” and it shows. The Inspiration Corporation believes in giving people a hand up, not a hand out.

Inspiration Corporation is truly a catalyst for people on hard times. They offer an array of opportunities for individuals to make positive changes in their lives like job training programs, a daily sit-down meal served at the Inspiration Café and access to permanent supportive housing. Participants in the program work one-on-one with a case manager to create a customized plan that outlines goals for obtaining or maintaining stable permanent housing and building income.

And, the Inspiration Kitchen is more than a place to feed the homeless. It is an educational facility where low-income and homeless Chicagoans can receive free training for careers in the food service industry. After culinary training, many graduates go on to work at some of the city’s hottest restaurants and catering companies, giving them the opportunity to exit poverty for good.

But, did you know that the Inspiration Kitchen is also a great place to gather with friends, host meetings and events or place a catering order (with a menu rating of 4.7 stars you can’t go wrong). To make a reservation or learn more about the Inspiration Kitchen send an email to info@inspirationkitchens.org.

Recently, the Second City Servers served meals to program participants. “Donating our time is a wonderful way to help the community and do our small part in helping individuals get back on their feet,” said Marisa Lavin, the team captain. “Our team will be volunteering for another 3-hour dinner service and a 4-hour cooking shift where we will join the chef in the kitchen to assist with the meal preparation.”

To donate, volunteer or to learn more about the Inspiration Corporation please visit www.inspirationcorp.org/.

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M&IW’s 50/50 Spotlight – MiraCLE Team

Written by Christina Wicklund | Marketing Specialist

M&IW’s very own MiraCLE Team assisted in hosting a Trifecta Kentucky Derby on May 5. They combined their time and talents with their chosen 50 Years 50 Charities organization, Mission4Maureen. The MiraCLE Team is made up of the following members from our Cleveland, Ohio location, Heather Hnottavange (team captain), Denise Farrell, David Sachs, Ginenne Rothlisberger and Carly Rick.

Mission4Maureen is a nonprofit charity that provides financial assistance to brain tumor patients, burdened by the staggering cost of treatment. Through their application process, this organization verifies and reviews patient applications and awards grants based upon individual needs and available funds. They also pay bills on behalf of patients. To date, Mission4Marueen has donated more than one million dollars in 47 States!

When asked why Mission4Maureen, Heather Hnottavange responded “This Foundation is very near and dear to my heart as I have had two cousins (Brittany age 13 and Maureen age 34) who passed away from a glioblastoma brain tumor.” Heather continued to say, “Maureen’s family established the Mission4Maureen in honor of my cousin.”

While science seeks a cure, society demands its due. Mortgages, utilities and basic living expenses need to be met, and many brain cancer patients simply do not have the funding to meet everyday obligations. Mission4Maureen is committed to Maureen’s belief that “everyone can do something.” The assistance Mission4Maureen offers comes in the form of rent or mortgage payments, help with utilities or gift cards to a local supermarkets. And, they accomplish the challenge of one unsuspecting, unprepared brain cancer victim at a time. In Maureen’s name, this foundation accepts and embraces the challenge. “No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.”

The Trifecta Kentucky Derby held on Saturday, May 5 raised more than $20,000. The Trifecta Kentucky Derby was broadcast live on the big screen in a local theater. Attendees were treated to a southern menu, Mint Juleps, and Derby Sideboards. Plus, there was a silent auction. Attendees were encouraged to wear outrageous Derby hats. The MiraCLE Team also raised an additional $5,169 by soliciting donations and sponsors as well as selling Super Bowl squares. This team is like the Energizer bunny, they keep going and going and going!

To learn more about Mission4Marueen or to donate, please visit www.mission4maureen.org.

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M&IW’s 50/50 Spotlight – Chicago Can Cans

M&IW 50-50 Spotlight - Chicago Can Cans Volunteering

Written by Christina Wicklund | Marketing Project Lead

This week’s featured 50 Years 50 Charities team is the Chicago Can Cans. The team members are Sarah Evans, Alexander deHilster, Christina Chevallier and Julie Eplett.

The Chicago Can Cans selected a cause close to their hearts and home — the Greater Chicago Food Depository. “Hunger is a worldwide problem and it definitely affects our families and neighbors” said Julie Eplett the team captain. She continued to say, “we chose a charity we felt would have a positive impact on our community.”

The Greater Chicago Food Depository is Chicago’s food bank and offers relief not only to Chicago, but also the surrounding neighborhoods that struggle with hunger. They are fighting hunger one meal at a time. During the cold winter months many families are faced with the hard choice of buying food or heating their home, food pantries and programs are an essential resource during these challenging times.

To put our hunger challenge into perspective, 41.2 million Americans are often forced to skip meals, eat less, buy cheap non-nutritious food or feed their children, but not themselves. Of the 41.2 million Americans, 12.9 million are children. This means that 1 out of every 6 people in America face hunger.

The Chicago Food Depository is in partnership with more than 700 agencies and programs. This includes pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and programs focused on children, older adults and veterans. This network distributes food throughout Cook County. Last year, they distributed nearly 72 million pounds of food, 37% of which was fresh produce. Every day they distribute the equivalent of 164,000 meals. That is that is 60 million meals a year!

As part of M&IW’s Project Global Giveback which encourages employees to get involved and gives them time off to volunteer, the Chicago Can Cans shared a day of packing meals at the Greater Chicago Food Depository. They are also raising money for the 33rd Annual Hunger Walk on September 8, 2018. This is Chicago’s largest annual anti-hunger rally that raises funds and awareness to end hunger.

To learn more about the Chicago Food Depository, or to donate, please visit www.chicagofoodbank.org.

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M&IW’s 50/50 Spotlight – English Roses

M&IW's 50-50 Spotlight Charity - Chestnut Tree House

Written by Jill Pearson | Manager, Digital Marketing & Media

This week’s featured 50 Years 50 Charities team is the English Roses. The M&IW team members are Ella Darby, Paulomi Debnath, Giovanna Federico, Ana Silva Sara Bruce and Sophie Benson, the team captain. The English Roses are making a difference on a global scale and work in our UK office.

These ladies selected a charity that touched their hearts on a very personal level. Ella Darby’s daughter, Katy, was born with a rare chromosome disorder. Her little girl spent the four years of her life in and out of hospitals. During this time, Ella and her family leaned on the Chestnut Tree House for practical, social and spiritual support throughout and after their beautiful angel’s fight for life concluded.

The Chestnut Tree House gives support for the whole family including psychological and bereavement support, end of life, short break care and sibling support. They provide hospice care for young adults from 0-19 years of age with progressive life-shortening conditions. These services are offered at no expense to the families. A majority of the funding for the Chestnut Tree House comes from donations, fundraisers and the blood, sweat and tears of its volunteers. The government helps, but the amount donated is less than 7 pence in every GBP. That equates to less than 10 cents to every USD.

On January 25, 2018 the English Roses headed to the Chestnut Tree’s warehouse. The English Roses spent the day collecting and sorting through thousands of donated items. Once sorted, they helped with loading these items onto trucks. The items are then distributed to charity stores (thrift shops) located throughout the area. When asked how it was volunteering in the warehouse, Sophie Benson replied, “Whilst it was exhausting, we also had a lot of fun!” Ella Darby replied, “It is a fabulous place – we all decided to volunteer at the warehouse again, it was a great day and felt so good to be helping out!” For many charities the gift of time can be worth as much as money donated. In the case of the Chestnut Tree House this is very true.

M&IW 50-50 Spotlight Charity - Chestnut Tree House Team

M&IW 50-50 Spotlight Charity – Chestnut Tree House Team

In addition to volunteering, the team is also raising funds so that the Chestnut Tree House can continue their very important work of supporting children and their families when they need it most.  The team has set up a secure giving page to make it fun and easy to donate, just CLICK HERE. The Chestnut Tree House is a registered charity based in Sussex, UK. To learn more about them, visit their official website at http://www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk/

Once again, a big thank you and congratulations to all of our M&IW’s 50 Years 50 Charities teams! The program was launched on July 1, 2017 and runs through June 30, 2018.

 

 

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M&IW’s 50/50 Spotlight – Southern Ladies for Alzheimer’s

 

M&IW's 50-50 Spotlight Charity - Alzheimer's Association

M&IW’s 50-50 Spotlight Charity – Alzheimer’s Association

Written by Christina Wicklund | Marketing Project Lead

This week’s featured 50 Years 50 Charities is the Southern Ladies for Alzheimer’s. The M&IW team members are Neema Hurley, Kim O’Connell, Amanda Miller, Valerie Sandbach and Layne Johantgen, the team captain. True to their team’s name, these charming southern ladies live and work in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

When asked why they chose this charity, Layne Johantgen replied. “Alzheimer’s hits close to home.  Many of us have watched love ones battle this disease or currently have a family member struggling with Alzheimer’s.” Layne continued to say, “The Alzheimer’s Association works on a global, national and local level so all our team members can participate and support the cause.”

The Alzheimer’s Association was founded in 1980 by a group of family caregivers and individuals interested in research. Today, the Association reaches millions of people affected by Alzheimer’s across the globe. They are the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research.

The Southern Ladies for Alzheimer’s have been on a roll with their fundraising and volunteer efforts for the past eight months. Amanda Miller participated in the Alzheimer’s Association walk in North Carolina. The team raffled off a “Southern Hospitality” bag from the World of Coca Cola filled with traditional southern items like Daufuskie Island Vanilla Rum, peach jam, boiled peanuts, pork rinds, and Cajun fried peanuts.

They are now on their third fundraiser and auctioning off a LIVE taping of Jimmy Kimmel or James Corden (VIP Green Room access with Corden). The package includes a two-night stay at the beautiful Loews Hollywood Hotel located in Los Angeles, California. For more information, CLICK HERE. And, if you want to place a bid you will have to move quickly. Bidding for this package closes this Friday, February 23, 2018 at 5:00pm EST. Visit www.32auctions.com/SL4ALZ to place your winning bid TODAY!

Together, we can change the future of Alzheimer’s. To become a part of that change or to learn more, please visit https://www.alz.org/.

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How to Create a Give Back Movement in a Virtual Company

Big_Hearts_Little_Hands_BigBrothersBigSisters
Written by Marie Johnson, CMP | Director of Marketing & Strategy

Like many organizations who embrace corporate social responsibility, M&IW has long understood it is our responsibility to be a good corporate citizen through charitable giving and community involvement. Over the years, we have supported numerous worthy causes.

Create a Culture of Giving

As our organization grew, we saw both a challenge and an opportunity. With once a primarily local workforce, our team would support a cause very near and dear to our hearts and located in our hometown, the Racine Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society. For more than decade, our M&IW team has been racing for a cure and raising the bar on their fundraising efforts totaling more than $100,000. However, as we expanded with a global virtual workforce, it became more difficult for employees to feel personally connected and participate in our charitable giving initiatives. But, then something happened. M&IW was recognized as one of the fastest growing privately-held companies in America. Jean Johnson, CMP, our Co-CEO and Chief People Officer attended the Inc. 500 | 5000 Conference and was inspired by Adam Grant, bestselling author of Give and Take.

Jean set an ambitious goal to create a best-in-class giving program and increase our global philanthropic footprint. In 2014, she launched Project Global Give Back. Since the program’s inception, our employees have given of their hearts, time and money to many great causes in the communities that they live and work. They also supported our corporate annual charity, Make-A-Wish of Southeastern Wisconsin, and helped grant wishes for two special little girls.

Think Bigger #50Years50Charities

This year, the stakes have gotten even higher! In celebration of our 50th Anniversary, we launched the Project Global Give Back 50 Years 50 Charities campaign. “At M&IW, we are in the business of bringing people together for great outcomes and believe in the power of human energy,” said Jean Johnson. “So, this program is very fitting for our organization and aligned with our culture. We have assembled 50 teams with employees located across the globe who will impact 50 different charities throughout the year. And, most importantly, they are having fun with it – everything from their team names, volunteer activities, creative fundraising efforts, and more!” To check out the charities selected CLICK HERE to view our video.

Make it Personal

This month, we are featuring “Big Hearts, Little Hands” and the direct and lasting effect they will have on the lives of young people. They selected Big Brothers Big Sisters. For more than 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has operated under the belief that inherent in every child is the ability to success and thrive in life. “I have been a Big Sister for nine years,” said Joy Kubat, Team Captain. “I saw a need within my Little’s family for access to basic items like shampoo and paper towels. Her family often sacrificed essentials to make ends meet. Recognizing the impact we could make to families in need, we chose BBBS. I am so grateful for the efforts of my amazing coworkers: Connie Nau, CMP, Nicole Raudabaugh, CMP, Carissa Hackel, Tracy Norum, CMP, CIS, Naomi Tucker, CMP, and Mae Ibe, CMP.” Recently, the team took a little time away from work to gather every day necessities from caring homes and assemble 50 bags for the local branch. They will be participating in the upcoming Taste of the Town and partnering with the Wisconsin Chapter of Meeting Professionals International to be the selected charity for the association’s Spring Education Day in May of 2018.

We hope our story of continuing to focus on local giving whiling adopting an approach to support our international expansion inspires you to create your own ways to touch the communities where your organization resides. We are very proud of all our M&IW family and excited to share our progress in future posts. To see more from our amazing teams in action, be sure to follow #MIW50Years50Charities and #MIWGivingBack on social media. Or, interested in learning more our Project Global Give Back, supporting the cause, donating, or attending an upcoming fundraiser event, reach out to us at marketing@meetings-incentives.com.

 

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M&IW Grants Wish and Goes the Distance

Make-A-Wish Lemonade Stand

Written by Anne Zambrano | Manager, Communications and Creative Services

It is with extreme humility and gratitude that we are publishing this article knowing that we just surpassed M&IW’s Make-A-Wish goal of granting a very deserving little girl with a life threatening illness her wish to go to the Grammy’s. It is for this reason that we are beyond honored to have the opportunity to interview Connie Nau, CMP, CRP, Senior Director of Recruiting & Administration, who brought this grand initiative to M&IW for our Annual Campus Week & Client Summit.

Connie shares her story and passion for Make-A-Wish in her thoughts below…

Why Make-A-Wish?
I have seen firsthand the incredible impact a granted wish can do for a child suffering from life threatening illness. We have a family friend that actually had a Wish granted for their child a few years ago. It was an unbelievable gift. Her Wish was to attend a Milwaukee Brewers game with her family – something that a lot of us take for granted – but to them it was so special. Since sadly losing their child, the family actually takes an annual Brewers trip in her honor every year, and her joy and the happiness she found in her granted Wish lives on in a lasting memory for all of them.

Make-A-Wish is an international organization, just like M&IW. Make-A-Wish Wisconsin is based in the Milwaukee area and a very active chapter. I think everyone at M&IW, whether they are parents or not, can empathize and want to help out a family where a child is battling a life threatening illness. There are so many causes, and I think it is wonderful that this year we are focusing on Make-A-Wish.
Getting More Involved

Just this past May, I pursued the opportunity to become a Wish Granter. I had a few business associates in the Appleton area that had become Wish Granters, and after seeing a live presentation of a child that had received a Wish, as well as having personal friends that had gone through receiving a Wish, I thought that maybe this was a way that I could personally give back. It was simple to get started – I reached out to Make-A-Wish to inquire about the volunteer and Wish Granter training schedule – and I signed up. I spent a Saturday in the Milwaukee area training facility. The training was extremely thorough, and I have been impressed through the entire process. There are very specific rules and guidelines to follow, as the ultimate goal is to make this a positive experience for the child. During that training – there were actually two volunteers there that were parents of a child that had their Wish granted. They were there because it was their time to give back. I was in awe of them and their stories and felt so blessed… so grateful for all that I had at that moment.

Granting Wishes Live
In February this year, I was at a function where we raised enough money to grant THREE Wishes. I’m not sure how to explain the level of emotion in that room when they announced what that group of about 400 people had done in just a few hours. During that function a Wish Child and her mother actually came up on stage to talk about her illness, and to talk about the Wish that they received. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place – big burly men included! To hear how this Wish can bring a happy focus to a sometimes long and difficult situation was so impactful to me. I knew at that very moment that I would get involved, and I reached out to that business colleague that same week to get the information on how they got involved and to start the process.

Taking a Global Effort Local
Make-A-Wish Wisconsin was able to locate a child for M&IW’s initiative from the Racine area – which is so close to M&IW’s headquarters! So she and her family are our “neighbors” in some respect. Our Wish Child is “Sarah”, a 12-year old who is living with a life-threatening blood disorder. Sarah enjoys reading, watching TV, going to sleepovers and singing – just like any other 12-year-old girl! She also loves listening to all kind of music. Sarah wishes to go to the Grammy’s. Our company goal was to raise enough funds through our Campus Week initiative to grant her Wish! With Campus Week still one week away, we have reached our goal! We are now setting our bar even higher to see if we can raise enough funds to grant another child’s Wish!

Everyone Can Get Involved
Make-A-Wish Wisconsin is attempting to grant 365 wishes in 2016 – one a day! If you don’t have time to be a Wish Granter, you can also just volunteer for specific short term projects or events. For people at M&IW or in the meetings industry – this is an easy one. There are many gala events, golf tournaments, and wine tasting that need assistance. So you can sign up and volunteer for a single event.

Any of our clients, vendor partners and employees can get involved in the fundraising initiative to grant this Wish. You can go out to our main page at http://site.wish.org/goto/miww and Donate to the cause, and even Join the cause. If you want to have your own fundraising page, there is a button there to Join the fundraiser. When you do that, you can build your own page within our main site, and then you can share your Make-A-Wish page on your own social media pages. All funds raised from those sites will tally into our main fundraiser. It is that simple! Read more about M&IW’s team efforts: http://racinecountyeye.com/local-company-helping-grant-middle-schoolers-wish/

Final Thoughts
“It is such a great opportunity to do something very special for a child. If anyone is interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities or how to start a Make-A-Wish giving campaign at your organization, I would be happy to share my insight and get you connected to the right people!” Connie Nau, CMP, CRP

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Corporate Giving Programs are Not Just Good for Business

Global_Giveback_Image

Written by Marie Johnson, CMP | Director, Marketing & Strategic Development

Some of the world’s largest and most profitable corporations have integrated measures to promote good citizenship, corporate giving, and community involvement programs into their mission statements and business models. And, it is paying off. There is no denying that giving to your favorite charity feels good. But did you know, charitable initiatives can have a far greater and more lasting impact on your company than you may think. More than two-thirds (67%) of respondents in Nielsen’s third annual global online survey said they prefer to work for a socially responsible company. And on top of that statistic, more than half (55%) of global respondents in the same study say they are willing to pay extra for products or services from companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact.

In 2014, Meetings & Incentives Worldwide was recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in America and made the Inc. 5000 List. At the Inc. 500 | 5000 Conference, Jean Johnson, President and CEO was inspired by Adam Grant, bestselling author of Give and Take. She set an ambitious goal to create a best-in-class program that would benefit all of our employees working across the globe and started Project Global Giveback. The program provides paid time off for employees to support their charities of choice along with matching donations.

In addition to participation on an individual basis, the company also supports collective efforts throughout the year. Does your company participate in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities at your corporate events? Our experience with our clients is that attendees want to have an impact beyond the meeting or incentive program. According to Susan Cooney, founder and CEO of Givelocity, “combining efforts in charitable activities brings people together to share their voice and work jointly for a greater impact in driving change.” They want to give back to causes and communities. This year, at our annual company event, Meetings & Incentives Worldwide is supporting Make-A-Wish of Southeastern Wisconsin. We are featuring activities to engage our employees leading up to the event, a collaborative team building exercise during our meeting, and an easy way to invite family and friends to donate.

Check out our Make-A-Wish fundraising page and how we are performing on our goal to make a wish come true for a very special little girl! Interested in supporting the cause? Simply click on the link and donate today!

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