Operation Homefront

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Operation Homefront is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing emergency and financial assistance to military families and wounded warriors. They help the American military personnel and their immediate family, who have financial struggles, death, injury or mental impairment, due to their service overseas. This includes the Reserve, National Guard or veteran service who been in active duty in Iraq or Afghanistan. Sadly, around 75% of this diverse group of men and woman “live at an income level 80% below the median income for the communities in which they reside.”

Operation Homefront provides services to assist these poverty stricken families through emergency financial aid and support through counseling and recovery assistance. They send monetary payments to “mortgage lenders, auto mechanics, contractors, hospitals, doctors, dentists” and others to provide for these families. Additional support includes emergency food, home repairs, critical baby items, moving assistance, and much more.

Their mission is made possible through the generous public support of staff and volunteers.  If you too would like to become part of this team, please visit http://www.operationhomefront.net/volunteer.aspx for volunteer opportunities and here http://www.operationhomefront.net/donate.aspx for monetary donations to give back to the thousands of selfless men and woman who fought for our country and have suffered post-war injuries and hardships.

Our support doesn’t stop at our monetary donation. Every summer UPPAbaby employees participate in the local Run To Home Base held at Fenway Park, to support the Home Base Program, http://www.homebaseprogram.org/general-information.aspx. This charity provides clinical care and support to service members, veterans and their families right here in New England. To get involved on a local level, please visit the Run To Home Base website for details, http://www.runtohomebase.org/.

Here at UPPAbaby we are proud to support Operation Homefront and all their endeavors to continue to care for the troops, the families they leave behind and the wounded warriors who have fought for our country. Your donation will make a difference for our heroes!

One Family

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Just last year 3,500 Massachusetts families were homeless. One Family is a non-profit organization determined to end homelessness in Massachusetts. Through their partnership with elected officials, community leaders, businesses and higher learning institutions, they strive to break the cycle of poverty and consider everyone as “one family” facing these challenging economic times together.

The One Family Scholars Program is a college scholarship program offered to low-income single parents. This scholarship gives them the opportunity to gain a higher education through not only funding assistance, but they follow a model comprised of four building blocks for success: college success, financial success, career success and leadership success. These learning blocks secure self-sufficiency, sustainability in their field which in turn creates a stable foundation for life and their families.

At UPPAbaby we’re passionate about empowering woman and giving them the fundamentals to excel in their career and their wellbeing. Just this past winter, our Marketing Director, Melissa H., attended a benefit dinner to honor the woman of One Family. Through the support of this scholarship, woman can gain an education providing them with stability and the competence to support their family. If you would like to help this worthy cause please visit http://onefamilyinc.org/index.shtml for more information. To donate to the One Family Scholars Program, please visit http://onefamilyinc.org/index.shtml. To get in contact with One Family for other ways to contribute, please visit http://onefamilyinc.org/getinvolved/.

Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks is the nation’s largest autism advocacy organization dedicated to funding research for the causes, prevention, treatments and cures for autism. An estimated 1 out of 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls are diagnosed with autism in the US – a 10 to 17% prevalence increase in the recent years, according to government autism statistics. A shocking revelation is that there are more children affected by ASD than “diabetes, AIDS, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy or Down syndrome, combined.”

At UPPAbaby we understand the hardships that come with raising a child with autism. It is close to our heart and we hope to help in any way possible, which is why we’ve chosen Austism Speaks as our charity of the month. If you too wish to contribute to this worthy cause by donating, joining a Giving Program, participating in research, fundraising for events and more, please go to http://www.autismspeaks.org/ways-give.

To become educated on the signs of autism, learn about treatments and become aware of this rapid-spreading disorder, please visit http://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism. For educational training and support in the New England area, please visit Asperger’s Association of New England (AANE)’s website, http://www.aane.org/. To search for a Walk Now for Autism Speaks, click here.

Feeding America

A shocking 1 in 4 children and a staggering 49 million Americans do not have enough to eat.

This month, in acknowledgement of National Nutrition Month, we are proud to support and introduce you to Feeding America - a phenomenal organization dedicated to ending hunger by providing nutritious food, safe places for children to have meals, and assistance during disasters. As the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity, Feeding America and its food bank network members supply food to more than 37 million Americans each year, including 14 million children and 3 million seniors.

Despite the common misconception that America enjoys food in excess and has an unlimited amount of resources, millions are struggling right in your own neighborhood. Let’s help to spread the word this month and raise awareness about this worthy cause. To make a donation, please click here. For other ways to get involved, please click here.

Good Sports

Good Sports is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to create opportunities for youth to lead healthy active lifestyles through sports.

To accomplish this, Good Sports partners with sporting goods manufacturers to donate new sports equipment to community groups in need. The organization strongly believes that sports are a key to the healthy development of young people with both physical and social benefits.

With the current economic reality, children are being offered fewer athletic options, participation fees are being increased, and players are expected to provide their own equipment and uniforms. Couple that with a childhood obesity epidemic that is also hitting disadvantaged areas at a higher rate and we have a very real issue—an issue Good Sports is working to alleviate head on by making sure opportunities will always exist and getting the youth off the couch, off the street and in the game. Let’s work together to stop this harmful trend and help this worthy cause!

UPPAbaby is proud to sponsor Good Sports and acknowledges their commitment to a healthy and active youth lifestyle. If you too wish to contribute, please visit, http://www.goodsports.org/donate.shtml.

TODAY Show Toy Drive

For the season of giving, UPPAbaby is officially launching UPPA Gives Back. We are partnering with the TODAY Show Toy Drive for the 18th Annual Holiday Toy Drive to donate more than $200,000 in strollers to families in need. We encourage you to get into the holiday spirit and contribute to this worthy cause by going to Amazon.com/Today or by sending a check made out to the Today Show Charitable Foundation to: Sam Sagenkahn, TODAY, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112. In addition, UPPAbaby retailers are getting into the holiday spirit and joining the UPPA Gives Back cause by contributing a percentage of UPPAbaby sales during the month of December to the TODAY Show Toy Drive.

Please go in-store and help out a family in need! 

Children’s Hospital Boston

Children’s Hospital Boston is one of the largest centers for pediatric health care in the United States. The scientists at Children’s have exceeded expectations and discovered treatments and therapies for countless debilitating and perplexing diseases.

Children’s Hospital offers health care services for children from birth to 21 years. It is home to the world’s largest research enterprise in a pediatric hospital with the finest scientists and staff members from the most honorable medical institutions and academies.

UPPAbaby is proud to support the Children’s Hospital in Boston to bring to attention the thousands of children suffering from these traumatic diseases each year. We made a donation to the Children’s play area where they can escape from their stressful and hectic daily check-ups and chemotherapy sessions to simply be a kid again and play alongside the family and friends they’ve made along their hospital journey. Melissa Huggard, our very own Director of Marketing, is personally invested in the health and recovery of her cousin, Nicole, who is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatments at Children’s Hospital.

There are many ways to give to Children’s! To check out how you can contribute please visit http://giving.childrenshospital.org/netcommunity/page.aspx?pid=1361.

Travis Manion Foundation

Come join the Travis Manion Foundation as we run to honor our Heroes. The 2011 9/11 Heroes Run is bringing communities together throughout the country this September 11th. The goal is to never forget the sacrifices of all of the Heroes of September 11th – veteran, first responder, and civilian. All proceeds from this charity run go directly to support the local firefighters, police and first responders in each community where the races are held.

A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Travis Manion was an American hero who served two Marine tours in Iraq. During a patrol mission on Sunday, April 29, 2007, Travis was killed by enemy sniper fire in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq while fighting courageously to defend against an enemy ambush. With the legacy of strong character and leadership he left behind, Travis’ spirit remains in Iraq and in the hearts of all who honor freedom and service. His fellow service members continue to work diligently to establish a foundation of freedom in Iraq. In honor of Travis and as a true testament to how much he is admired, the Iraqi’s have named their new headquarters in honor of him, Combat Outpost (COP) Manion.

UPPAbaby is proud to sponsor the Travis Manion Foundation to raise awareness about the sacrifices made each day by our living and fallen American Heroes. Travis’ cousin Elizabeth Kausek works in our internal sales department. We want to thank her for her efforts and for bringing this foundation to our attention. Elizabeth is coordinating this year’s Heroes Run in the Boston Area.

To donate to the Travis Manion Foundation, please visit http://www.911heroesrun.com/Home.aspx.

To participate in a run near you, go to http://www.911heroesrun.com/2011HeroesRuns.aspx.

National Down Syndrome Society

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The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) is non-profit organization dedicated to spreading their vision that all people born with Down Syndrome should be respected and valued members of society.

The NDSS believes all people with Down Syndrome should have a chance to fulfill their life goals and become active members of their community. They assist new parents with the transition home after welcoming baby through providing relevant information and true life experiences about the many talents of children born with Down Syndrome, along with helpful facts about life span and applied research findings.

UPPAbaby is proud to sponsor the National Down Syndrome Society to raise awareness about children born with this disability. For ways to contribute to this worthy cause, please visit http://ndss.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=43&Itemid=64.

To donate to NDSS, please visit http://ndss.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=105:donate&catid=43:get-involved&Itemid=126.

Thank you Pamela S., an UPPAbaby enthusiast and advocate of the NDSS, for suggesting this exceptional charity for us to consider and for lending the VISTA to mommy blogger Kelle Hampton!

Birthday Wishes

Birthday Wishes is a charity dedicated to recognizing the importance of a child’s birthday and bringing happiness and hope to homeless children through hosting birthday parties.

Birthday Wishes was founded in November 2002 with a mission to help underprivileged children build self-esteem and normalcy in their lives. They believe that every child, despite their living situation, deserves a celebration for their birthday. Everyone can relate to this cause which has attributed to the rapid growth of Birthday Wishes thanks to the community involvement and volunteers of all ages. From toddlers to senior citizens, these people support the parties by providing party supplies, and most importantly, their time and effort to run the parties. For more ways to get involved please visit, http://www.birthdaywishes.org/Volunteer.aspx.

UPPAbaby is proud to sponsor Birthday Wishes and their efforts to make every child feel loved. For more ways to contribute, please visit http://www.birthdaywishes.org/Donate.aspx.