Monday, December 29, 2008

PRESS RELEASE: Monday, Dec. 29---Salvation Army Christmas Miracle


Overwhelming Massachusetts Generosity a Bright Spot in Plummeting Economy

BOSTON – (December 29, 2008) – Salvation Army officials are calling it a Christmas Miracle. In the midst of a tough economic recession, mounting job losses and the soaring cost of food, Massachusetts citizens have opened their hearts and wallets to those most in need. The Salvation Army's Red Kettles, which began a full week earlier this year due to the economic crisis, have raised significantly more than they did last year on a week-to-week comparison. The goal of raising $3.5 million is in sight. The Army also reports seeing similar generosity reflected in donors' response to the Christmas direct mail appeal.

"The economic crisis has hit so many people hard, and to see this outpouring of generosity by local residents, businesses and other community organizations in this time of great need is truly a miracle," said Major William Bode, Divisional Commander of The Salvation Army's Massachusetts Division. "Requests for help this year have risen dramatically. The Salvation Army's mission is to aid all those in need, and with thanks for the overwhelming support in Massachusetts, we are firmly committed to turn no one away."

The Kettles are a critical source of funding for The Salvation Army's services and programs throughout the year, including soup kitchens, food pantries and other vital programs for families, youth and the elderly. Money raised from last year's kettles played a direct role in The Salvation Army's ability to serve more than one million meals to hundreds of thousands of residents across the state.

"We would like to thank our bell ringing volunteers and the millions of people throughout Massachusetts who generously donated to our red kettles," said Major Raphael Jackson, General Secretary of The Salvation Army in Massachusetts. "In these tough times we must be proactive, and The Salvation Army is more determined than ever to reach all those in need – not just this holiday season, but throughout the New Year."

Already this winter season, The Salvation Army has seen requests for assistance spike – especially at local food pantries. Officials worry that once the moratorium on home foreclosures ends at the start of the New Year, and job loss continues to rise, need will become even more dramatic in January, February and March.

"Our biggest fear is that the generous spirit of giving which has helped sustain so many families through the Christmas season will be unable to keep up with the demand for help in 2009," said Major Bode. "People who never imagined they would need assistance continue to come forward seeking help from The Salvation Army. Our sincere hope is that the miraculous response we've seen at our kettles this year will carry over in spirit into the next."

In fiscal year 2008, The Salvation Army provided food, clothing or utility assistance to more than 320,000 people across Massachusetts.

For more information on Massachusetts Salvation Army services, please visit or contact the State Divisional Headquarters at (617) 542-5420 X 410.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

PRESS RELEASE: Wednesday, Dec. 17---Lottery Gifts Aren't for Kids

The Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling and the Massachusetts State Lottery Say Lottery Gifts Aren't for Kids

This Holiday Season, Send a Responsible Message to Minors

Boston – It's the season for gift giving for Bay Staters of all ages. But the Massachusetts State Lottery and Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling are urging parents and other adults to refrain from giving Lottery products as holiday gifts to minors.

Research suggests that 70 to 80 percent of adolescents report having gambled for money in the past year, according to the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High Risk Behaviors at McGill University. Approximately 30 percent report gambling on a weekly basis. Problem gamblers, meanwhile, report beginning gambling during childhood - as early as ages 9 to 10 - according to McGill's International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High Risk Behaviors.

The choice to gamble responsibly is an adult choice. Lottery instant games and other popular lottery products are not appropriate gifts for minors. The Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling and the Massachusetts State Lottery are working together this holiday season to increase public awareness of this issue.

"Lottery products, like any other form of legal gambling, are for adults ages 18 or older," said Kathleen M. Scanlan, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling. "This holiday season, if you do choose to offer a lottery product as a gift, it's important to keep the recipient's age in mind."

Massachusetts Lottery Director Mark Cavanagh said the Lottery's more than 7,000 sales agents are well trained in the Lottery's policies prohibiting sales of all Lottery products to minors. Such sound judgment should be used by all adults, according to Cavanagh.

"Lottery season tickets and instant games are increasingly popular gift items at this time of year," Cavanagh said. "But we urge parents and other adults to find more suitable gifts for children and teenagers."

About the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling

The Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling is a private, non-profit health agency dedicated to reducing the social, financial and emotional costs of problem gambling. The Council provides prevention, information, education, advocacy, and referral services for problem gamblers, their loved ones, and the greater community.

About the Massachusetts State Lottery

The Massachusetts State Lottery was created in 1971 to raise revenues for the Commonwealth's 351 cities and towns. Since 2003, the Lottery has raised more than $5.6 billion for police officers, firefighters and teachers and other essential public services.

Ashley Hause
O'Neill and Associates
Thirty-One New Chardon Street
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: (617)646-1000 | Fax: (617)646-1290

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

PRESS RELEASE: Wednesday, Dec. 8---New Site Offers Homeowners a Clearinghouse of Green Remodeling Information

Dec. 8, 2008, Des Plaines, Ill. – The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), announces the launch of a new website dedicated to green remodeling, is designed to be a clearinghouse of information on green remodeling for both homeowners and trades people. Since the development of fits education programs, NARI has collected a library of information on green remodeling. The need to share this information with homeowners became apparent through the many inquires about green remodeling that have come into NARI Headquarters.

Amassing all of the green remodeling knowledge we've collected over the past several years and making it available to everyone online was an enormous endeavor," said NARI President Renée Rewiski.

What is Green Remodeling?

It's an all-encompassing approach that emphasizes making a home healthy, comfortable, and efficient. Included are issues like indoor air quality, energy conservation, resource conservation, reduced material waste, and the use of products that are better for the environment (and for people).

Why go green in a remodel?

It's easier on the earth, it lowers costs, and it provides a healthier home in which to live. According to the Sustainable Building Industry Council (SBIC), housing alone consumes 20% of America's energy. Homeowners who choose to remodel green can lower their energy consumption by 30-50%. It's widely agreed that forests produce 40% of Earth's oxygen, and that building supplies use 25% of its forests. Remodeling green by incorporating recycled materials or sustainable species will help homeowners to tread more lightly on Earth's natural resources.

Green remodeling has increased in popularity as homeowners consider health issues, skyrocketing energy costs and Earth's natural resources. More than 15 million Americans are estimated to have asthma, including one-in-13 school-age children, and more than 28 million Americans suffer from hay fever and other allergies, all of which are aggravated by poor indoor air quality.

Overall green remodeling proves to be very beneficial for homeowners. It:

• Reduces operating costs in the home by increasing efficiency

• Conserves natural resources

• Increases the value of the home

• Improves indoor air quality and in turn, overall health

• Reduces waste

• Reduces emissions costs

• Increases productivity of occupants

• Improves quality of life details many ways to implement green into the home including:

• Non-toxic paints and sealants

• Programmable thermostats

• Energy efficient appliances

• Natural flooring

• Local building materials

• Natural fiber rugs and fabrics

• Recycled material roof shingles and tiles

• Energy efficient lighting

• Insulated hot water pipes

• Tankless water heaters

• Quality insulation

• Native plants for landscaping

NARI is a professional association whose members voluntarily subscribe to a strict code of ethics. Consumers may wish to search for remodelers certified as a Green Certified Professional (GCP) or to find a qualified remodeling professional who is a member of NARI.

Consumers can also call the NARI National hotline at 800-611-NARI and request a free copy of NARI's brochure, "How to Select a Remodeling Professional."

The new Web site was designed and built by in Park Ridge, Illinois. The selected vendor was chosen for its vast expertise and experience with association Web sites, as well as commercial sites demonstrating heavy consumer traffic.

CONTACT: Nikki Golden or Jessica Tobacman
(847) 298-9200

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

PRESS RELEASE: Tuesday, Dec. 2---Give without Giving This Holiday Season

Give without Giving This Holiday Season

In economic downturn consumers turn to Yahoo-powered search engine and online shopping mall to both save money and generate funds for their favorite nonprofits.

ASPCA has earned more than $22,000!

Los Angeles, CA, December, 2008 – With the economy slipping, charities across the nation are bracing themselves for declining contributions this holiday season.

While individuals still want to support their favorite cause, they may not have the time or the money to do so. There is a solution. More than 70,000 nonprofits have partnered with a new Yahoo-powered search engine called, and online shopping mall to enable their supporters to generate donations just by doing something they do everyday – search the Internet or shop online. What makes the system so compelling is that it doesn't cost the users a thing. It's a form of philanthropy that works for everyone in this tough economy!

Consumers are helping their favorite causes by shopping at where they can choose from more than 800 well known retailers including Target, Apple, Macy's, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, Petco and others. The shopping experience and the prices are exactly the same as going to the retailer directly, but by going through GoodShop, up to 37% of the purchase price is donated to the user's favorite cause. In addition, GoodShop provides the user with coupons and deals for the stores so not only are they helping a cause, but they're saving money while doing so!

Similarly, with the GoodSearch search engine, approximately one penny is donated to the users' favorite charity with every search. You use it exactly as you would any other search engine (it's powered by Yahoo so you get quality search results) and the pennies add up quickly – just 500 people searching four times a day will earn around $7300 in a year! It doesn't cost the users a thing!

GoodSearch and GoodShop have quickly spread via word-of-mouth, the blogger community, and a number of celebrities and their foundations including Jessica Biel, Montel Williams, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, Jeff Bridges, and others. This is helping to generate significant funds for the participating nonprofits. For example:

* Supporters of the ASPCA are shopping on GoodShop and searching on GoodSearch, to date raising more than $22,000 to help animals in need!

* The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has earned nearly $10,500!

* An order placed at Adobe Software earned Capri Elementary School in California $191!

Internet users have found GoodSearch and GoodShop to be a compelling idea. Lisa Codron, a teacher in Los Angeles, uses GoodSearch and GoodShop in support of Best Friends Animal Society, which runs the nation's largest sanctuary for abused animals. "It's amazing. I buy so much online and because of GoodShop I get dozens of discounts as well as the opportunity to support my favorite charity. There's really no reason not to GoodShop!"

"The response to this idea has truly been overwhelming," said Ken Ramberg, Co-Founder of GoodSearch and former President of MonsterTRAK, the largest online career site for college students (now a division of "More than 100 new nonprofits and schools register daily and GoodSearch and GoodShop are helping to make a difference in communities across the country. Because of the economy, nonprofits really need our help this year more than ever."