Humanities Council adapts to budget cuts

By Todd Cohen

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Greensboro-based North Carolina Humanities Council could lose 10 percent to 50 percent of its funding under separate proposals under consideration in the U.S. House to reduce funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Those cuts, which would result from a bill by the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee and from the budget from the Obama Administration, respectively, would compound financial stress on the statewide Council in the wake of a decision this year by state lawmakers to eliminate its funding, totaling roughly $50,000, effective July 1.

Formed in 1972 and one of 56 state humanities councils, the Council operates as an independent agency with an annual budget of roughly $1 million.

It receives about $800,000 a year from the National Endowment for the Humanities, generating the remainder through private support.

In the fiscal year that ended Oct. 30, 2012, it awarded $156,000 in grants to 175 nonprofits throughout the state and provided a range of educational programs throughout the state..

It provided free professional education development, for example, to teachers from 33 local education nonprofits and school districts through seminars in Chapel Hill, Cullowhee and Wilson.

It presented “Road Scholar” speakers in 56 counties to 7,000 individuals, and provided 131 scholars for “Let’s Talk About It” programs at public libraries throughout the state.

It presented a traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution in the rural communities of Burgaw, Cullowhee, Wentworth and Wilson.

It granted up to $2,000 each in a handful of communities to encourage the use of digital technology to investigate local history, particularly in the areas of immigration, migration from within the U.S., adoption, and displacement of some population groups by others.

And it hosts reading and discussion groups, led by scholars, for health care professionals at Randolph Hospital in Asheboro, Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville, and New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington.

The council also sponsors the Linda Flowers Literary Award and the John Tyler Caldwell Award for the Humanities.

And in 2015 it will partner with the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street program that will focus on sports in communities and will visit five or six communities throughout the state.

“We actually add a lot of economic dollars to rural areas and underserved communities and to existing communities that otherwise would not be having these kinds of programs,” says Paula Watkins, who joined the Council in July as executive director after serving as assistant director and South Carolina Book Festival director at The Humanities Council SC.

The Council’s programs “help citizens of our state grow in knowledge, skills, and understanding, not only of themselves but of each other,” she says. “These programs and the Humanities Council foster communities that become innovative, competitive and strong.”

With incentives, UNC fundraising chief’s pay could rival chancellor’s

By Todd Cohen

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Thanks to a deal proposed by Chancellor Carol Folt and approved this summer by the board of trustees, annual pay for David Routh, the incoming fundraising chief at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, could total $494,000, or only $26,000 less than Folt’s own salary.

The annual salary for Routh, who was named Thursday and begins his job October 14 as vice chancellor for development, will total $395,000.

And if he meets goals Folt sets, Routh also could get incentive pay totaling up to 25 percent of his base pay, or nearly $99,000, bringing his annual pay to nearly $494,000.

Folt’s annual salary is $520,000, compared to $432,600 for her predecessor, Holden Thorp, UNC says.

The stakes are high for both Folt and Routh: A comprehensive fundraising campaign at UNC-CH that at one time was expected to total $3 billion has been on hold for years.

Plans to launch the campaign initially were delayed by the collapse of the economy five years ago.

They were delayed again in the spring of 2012 by the board of trustees, which reportedly rejected plans for the campaign submitted by Thorp and Matt Kupec, the former vice chancellor for advancement, saying the plans needed more work.

This summer, during the search for the new vice chancellor, the UNC-CH board of trustees approved a proposal by Folt to provide the incentive pay.

That move prompted speculation that Folt, former interim president at Dartmouth who became UNC chancellor on July 1, was courting a candidate who already was paid $500,000 or more, or wanted to be paid that amount.

Routh, a 1982 graduate of UNC-CH, has been serving as managing director for U.S. Trust/Bank of America Private Wealth Management in Raleigh and is a former director of gift planning at the university.

Thorp resigned in September 2012 in the face of a scandal involving Kupec, who had resigned days earlier after 21 years as the school’s fundraising chief.

Kupec’s annual salary totaled $349,800, UNC says.

The annual salary for Julia Sprunt Grumbles, a former corporate vice president at Turner Broadcasting who served for a year as interim vice chancellor for advancement before stepping down in early September, was $295,000.

Thorp named Grumbles to the post after he resigned but before he stepped down in June. He now is provost at Washington University in St. Louis.

Nonprofit news roundup, 09.27.13

YMCA of the Triangle kicks off annual campaign

YMCA of the Triangle has set a goal of $5.25 million for its annual “We Build People” campaign to raise funds for children, teens, families and adults who need the Y the most.

Chaired by Dr. Victor Dzau, chancellor for health affairs at Duke University, and president and CEO of the Duke University Medical Center, and his wife, Ruth, the campaign will raise money that provides scholarships and financial assistance for all Y programs, including Y Learning, the YMCA’s standardized tutorial program; summer day camps; after-school programs; youth sports; and adult fitness programs.

Key to the campaign, which kicked off on September 17, will be include over 1,400 volunteers.

Triangle United Way launches initiatives targeting poverty

United Way of the Greater Triangle is developing two collaborative initiatives to fight poverty, and has launched a campaign to create a $1.5 million through major gifts to speed its investment collaborative initiatives over the next three years.

To meet its overall goal of creating household stability through programs that support workforce development, affordable housing and budget management, United Way initially is kicking off an initiative to help youth aging out of the foster system become independent by age 24, and to streamline access to services and develop data partners needed to reduce homelessness.

Over 207,000 people live in poverty in the Triangle, and 2,000 people in the region are homeless every night, United Way says.

The campaign to create a Financial Stability Fund to support its new strategies has secured commitments from Bank of America, PNC Bank, Trent Ragland Jr., The Redwoods Group, and Wells Fargo.

High Point University gets $5 million gift

An alumnus of High Point University has established a new scholarship fund valued over time at $5 million.

The funds will support students studying business and communication and be open to all eligible entering freshmen.

The anonymous donor, an entrepreneur and community leader, is a life member of the University’s board of trustees and lives in the Piedmont Triad.

SAFEchild gets $150,000 from WakeMed Foundation

WakeMed Foundation in Raleigh will provide the SAFEchild Advocacy Center with a matching grant of $50,000 a year for three years to help expand the comprehensive medical evaluations for children who have been physically or sexually abused.

Film festival raised $20,000 for Levine Children’s Hospital

Joedance Film Festival, a two-day August event that raises money for rare pediatric cancers research for Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, raised $20,000 at the event August 2-3, up from $2,800 a year ago. Both nights were sell-outs.

Healthy Start Foundation receives $10,000

The North Carolina Healthy Start Foundation received a $10,000 grant from the Rite Aid Foundation to fund provide Graco portable cribs and crib sheets to 300 low-income families, along with one-on-one education on infant safe sleep practices.

The project is a collaboration between the North Carolina Healthy Start Foundation and Wake County’s programs on pregnancy care management and care coordination for children.

Carolina Thread Trail names director

Karl J. Froelich, a veteran of the chemical and energy storage industries who most recently worked as a consultant specializing in new business development and product commercialization for small businesses in the technology and energy sectors, has been named director for the Carolina Thread Trail, known as The Thread.

Froelich, who begins work on October 28, will report to Tom Okel, executive director for Catawba Lands Conservancy in Charlotte. He will succeed Ann Hayes Browning, who resigned in July 2013 to pursue other personal interests and was The Thread’s project director for seven years.

Froelich worked for 20 years through 1998 for Hoechst Celanese Corporation, most recently as director of new business ventures, global corporate research. He also served as project manager for The Trust for Public Land.

The Thread is a 15-county, two-state initiative to help create and develop a regional network of trails, blueways and conservation corridors that would link over 2.3 million citizens.

Crumpler joins North Carolina Community Foundation

Katie B. Crumpler, former program officer for the N.C. Center for Afterschool Programs, has joined the North Carolina Community Foundation as a regional associate for the Northern Piedmont. This region, including Franklin, Granville, Johnston, Person, Vance and Wake counties, is one of eight the Foundation serves throughout the state.

Benevolence Farm hosting dinner, dance

Benevolence Farm will host the inaugural Second Chance Dine and Dance on October 10 at the Haw River Ballroom, 1711 Saxapahaw Bethlehem Church Rd. in Saxapahaw.

Launched in 2007, Benevolence Farm will provide transitional housing, employment, and support for up to 12 formerly incarcerated women on a working farm in Alamance County.

25th Walk of Hope set for October 13

The Foundation of Hope in Raleigh will hold its 25th Walk of Hope on October 13.

Founded by Thad and Alice Eure, founders of the Angus Barn, Foundation of Hope has helped raise over $3.7 million for research and treatment of mental illness. Local research grants have leveraged over $100 million in federal grants, most of it through the Department of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Last year, Walk for Hope attracted 3,500 participants and generated over $600,000 .

Planned Parenthood in Greensboro to honor founders

Planned Parenthood Health Systems will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Health Center in Greensboro by honoring Linda Carlisle, Ron Johnson and Kay Stern, all founding members of its Greensboro board, and Gail Hoffman-Hornsby, its founding executive director at its annual event, Health Heroes.

The recognition dinner is scheduled for October 17 at the Sheraton Hotel/Four Seasons and will include a keynote speech by Melissa Harris-Perry, host of the “Melissa Harris-Perry Show” on MSNBC.

Discovery Place named three board members

Discovery Place in Charlotte named three new members to its board of trustees, including Nelson Cosgrove, director of engineering at Joe Gibbs Racing; Joan Higginbotham, director of community relations at Lowe’s Companies; and Chris Harris, vice president and general manager at Electrolux Dish Care & Fabric Care – North America.

ArtsGreensboro accepting applications for artist grants

ArtsGreensboro will applications until November 15 at 5 p.m. for the 2013-14 Regional Artists Grant program. ArtsGreensboro coordinates the program on behalf of a consortium of five counties, including Alamance, Caswell, Guilford, Randolph and Rockingham. Funding is provided by the North Carolina Arts Council and matched locally by participating Arts Councils.

Heart Association honors volunteer

The American Heart Association in the Triad has recognized Greensboro resident Eleanor Schaffner-Mosh as the 2012-13 Triad Volunteer of the Year.

Schaffner-Mosh has been involved with the American Heart Association in the Triad for three years, serving as the chair for the first year of the Go Red For Women campaign in Guilford County in 2012, and currently serving as community chair for Guilford Go Red For Women.

Golf event to benefit Cancer Services

Allegacy Federal Credit Union will host its 14th annual “Don’t Wait” Benefit Golf Tournament on October 10 at Bermuda Run Country Club in Davie County. Proceeds will benefit Cancer Services.

The tournament has raised over $631,000 that directly support breast and ovarian cancer survivors, and women in the community who want to learn prevention and early detection techniques.

Cancer Services serves residents in Forsyth, Davie, Stokes, and Yadkin counties, with all services — including financial assistance, medical supplies, special programs and advocacy — offered at no charge.

Pro bono legal work recognized

Council for Children’s Rights, Legal Aid of North Carolina, and Legal Services of Southern Piedmont — the Charlotte area’s largest recipients of pro bono services —  recognized pro bono lawyers and advocates at the second annual Pro Bono Awards on September 17 at the Foundation for the Carolinas.

In the past year, roughly 570 attorneys and advocates gave contributed over 8,200 pro bono hours to the three agencies, serving roughly 800 local children, families and individuals in need and donating an equivalent of nearly $2 million in legal services.

Awards and winners included:

* Distinguished Pro Bono Service Award – Pender R. McElroy of James, McElroy & Diehl.

* Outstanding Firm Service Award – McGuireWoods; Moore & Van Allen; Hunton & Williams.

* Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award – Henry “Chip” Howes of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton; Thomas E. McNeill; and Michael L. Martinez of Grier, Furr & Crisp.

* Outstanding Volunteer Service Award – Deborah E. Hampton, executive assistant to the legal department at Bank of America.

Wells Fargo gives $50,000 to Campbell University

Wells Fargo Private Bank has donated $50,000 to Campbell University to expand a fund it established last year that provides scholarships for students in the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business’ Trust & Wealth Management Program. The bank established the Wells Fargo Trust Scholarship in September 2012 with a $25,000 gift to aid trust majors at Campbell, with first preference for female or minority students, or both.

MoonRunners Saloon gives items to Give2The Troops

MoonRunners Saloon in Raleigh collected over 1,500 items to be donated to Give2The Troops.

TIMCO to support group serving disabled veterans

TIMCO Aviation Services in Greensboro is launching an effort to support Purple Heart Homes, which works to provide new housing and support for disabled veterans. TIMCO says the new relationship will be ongoing and will include financial and company-wide volunteer support for projects at Purple Heart Homes.

UNC-CH names David Routh vice chancellor for development

By Todd Cohen

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — David Routh, managing director for U.S. Trust/Bank of America Private Wealth Management in Raleigh and former director of gift planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has been named UNC’s vice chancellor for development.

The hiring of Routh, who begins work October 14, concludes a turbulent year for fundraising at the UNC triggered by a scandal involving his predecessor, Matt Kupec, that led to the resignations of Kupec and of Holden Thorp as chancellor.

After he resigned but before he stepped down in June, Thorp named Julia Sprunt Grumbles, a former corporate vice president at Turner Broadcasting, as interim vice chancellor for development. Grumbles stepped down earlier this month.

And in January, Elizabeth Dunn retired as senior associate vice chancellor for university advancement at UNC-CH. That position still is vacant.

Carol Folt, former interim president of Dartmouth who became UNC’s chancellor on July 1, announced Routh’s appointment today in an email message to the UNC community.

With a new chancellor and vice chancellor, UNC is expected to move ahead with planning for a long-delayed comprehensive campaign that at one time was expected to total $3 billion.

Routh, a UNC-CH graduate, also will be chief executive of the UNC-Chapel Hill Foundation Inc., a nonprofit that receives gifts on behalf of the University, its schools and units.

He has spent the last 17 years serving individuals, families and their charitable interests, including colleges and universities, private foundations and charitable trusts.

At UNC, Routh was director of gift planning in central development from 2006 to 2009 during the school’s last major fundraising campaign, which raised a record-high $2.38 billion over eight years.

He is vice chair of the Board of Visitors for the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and chair of its Capital Campaign Planning Committee.

A native of Greensboro, Routh is a 1982 UNC-CH graduate, with bachelor’s degrees in economics and religious studies.

Talking about charity seen as key to kids’ giving

The best way to get children to give to charity is for parents to talk to their kids about giving, rather than just setting an example for their children and making donations themselves, a new study says.

Children whose parents talk to them about giving are 20 percent more likely to give to charity than children whose parents do not discuss giving with them, says Women Give 2013, a study from the Lilly School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.

Talking to children about charity is an effective strategy both for girls and boys, and across race, age and income groups, the study says.

“Parents giving to charity is not enough to teach children to be charitable,” the study says. “Focused, intentional  teaching by talking to children about charity is what works.”

Nearly nine of 10 children ages eight to 19 give to charity, with girls and boys equally likely to donate money, although girls are more likely than boys to volunteer, says the study, which is based on interviews and follows the same 903 children in 2002-03 and in 2007-09.

Nearly nine in 10 children across all income levels had parents who talked to them at least once during those two time periods about charitable giving, with girls and boys equally likely to have had those conversations.

About eight in 10 children had parents who gave to charity at least once during the two periods, with boys and girls equally likely to have parents who gave to charity.

And nine in 10 children gave to charity at least once during the two periods.

Family income does not affect children’s giving to charity, says the study, which controlled for other factors known to affect charitable giving.

“Talking to children about charity significant affects children’s giving behavior,” says the study, which was produced through a partnership of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Lilly School of Philanthropy, and the United Nations Foundation.

“Children living in households who have a parent who talks to them about charity have a greater likelihood of donating to charity, compared to children whose parents do not talk to them about giving to charity,” it says.

The effect of talking is significant even after controlling for other factors that affect giving, including whether the household donated to charity, the study says.

Volunteering is a common practice among children, with 49 percent of girls, 39 percent of boys and 44 percent of all children volunteering in one year.

Todd Cohen

Former NBC correspondent on mission to fight Huntington’s disease

By Todd Cohen

[Note: This was written for NCPressRelease.com on behalf of HD Reach.]

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In his 26 years as a correspondent for NBC News covering wars, disasters, atrocities and other human suffering, Charles Sabine often put himself in harm’s way, at times staring his own death in the face.

But the fear he sometimes felt on the job paled in comparison to the fear he experienced in 2004, when he was tested for and found to have Huntington’s disease, or HD, a relatively rare inherited brain disease.

Sometimes described as “the world’s cruellest disease,” HD causes the progressive loss of control of movement, thought and emotion, and typically results in death 15 to 25 years after onset of motor signs of the disease.

“What makes HD crueller than any other disease is that not just does it affect every aspect of a personality, rendering the victim unrecognizable to their family, but its unique genetic nature means that those family members are watching this often in the knowledge that they are going to suffer the same fate,” says Sabine, whose father died of the disease, and whose brother already is showing its physical symptoms.

Now 53 and the father of two young children, the British native and resident has made it his mission in life to connect physicians, scientists, patients, families, politicians and anyone else who is affected by or cares about HD, and in the process build a global community dedicated to finding better treatment and care of HD patients.

Because anyone who carries the disease form of the HD gene is certain to get the disease, differentiating it from all other diseases, HD is the focus of pioneering work that will have enormous impact for many diseases on issues ranging from research and treatment to care and patients rights.

HD is “a disease of the future,” he says.

“It can be researched as no other disease because you can study people before they get symptoms,” he says. “And it is a vanguard for so many constitutional issues of the future that are being faced now by HD sufferers, such as who should know you have the disease, who should have information and be privy to it, whether government, or life insurers or employers.”

Sabine will be a featured speaker during the 7th Annual Huntington Study Group Clinical Research Symposium and Workshops in Charlotte. The symposium, workshops, and educational and training programs will be held November 7-9 at the Omni Hotel.

Patients, families, caregivers, researchers and medical professionals are invited to attend.

The international gathering is jointly sponsored by Charlotte AHEC and the Huntington Study Group, or HSG, an international network of clinical researchers who study and care for patients and families with HD.

Reports on the latest clinical research on HD, now conducted at over 105 credentialed research sites in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and South America, will be featured.

Workshops include networking for regional doctors and health care providers continuing education for medical professionals, and training programs for service providers, caregivers and local practitioners.

Sessions will examine the issues of local social and medical care that affect the caregivers who treat HD patients and families, including the work of groups such as HD Reach, a North Carolina-based nonprofit that has pioneered efforts to make sure patients and families throughout the state, particularly in rural areas, have access to HD care and resources.

While HD affects only about 30,000 people in the U.S., an estimate first cited 20 years ago, initial findings from new research in Canada and England show the disease is twice as prevalent as previously thought, Sabine says.

For years, he says, HD carried a “stigma and shame, and people have hidden it away,” he says.

His own uncle died of HD in 1992 in a care home for people with the disease, says Sabine, who did not even know of his uncle’s existence until after his death.

And because HD is age-related, he says, the number of people with the disease is surging with the graying of the population.

What’s more, he says, “huge swaths of the population have the disease but just don’t know about it, or have been misdiagnosed, or have had it hidden away.”

Now, however, a worldwide grassroots HD community has emerged in the wake of a “perfect storm” of factors, he says.

Since the HD gene was discovered in 1983, and a test for HD was developed in 1993, that community has grown through greater awareness about the disease, through the emergence of the Internet and social networking that have made it easier for people with HD to connect with one another and find information about the disease, and through the support of prominent people such as the family of folk singer Woody Guthrie, who had HD and died in 1967.

That global community is indispensable for making progress in every aspect of HD, particularly in clinical research, Sabine says.

“The more that families can get involved, the quicker we will have significant treatment of the disease,” he says. “Without them, research cannot move forward.”

And the pipeline of research offers a “crucial glimmer of light to families suffering from the disease,” he says. “It’s looking increasingly promising in the next few years that there could be successful clinical trials at slowing the progression of the disease.”

The possibility of developing a treatment to slow progression of the disease “is extraordinarily empowering,” Sabine says. “Without it, it would be impossible for people to deal with the disease.”

While HD affects far fewer people than HIV/AIDS, the global HD community should model itself on the HIV/AIDS community, which over 30 years developed “immense support, financially and politically, because of the number of people affected,” Sabine says.

“That kind of success only comes from having a collaboration that involves both the people who are working in research on the disease, and the people affected by it,” he says.

“I don’t think governments, the pharmaceutical industry and even universities are necessarily going to do what is right” for people affected by HD and those who live with them, he says. “We have to understand that it is the HD community that can best act for the interests of people suffering from the disease.”

While he is “pre-symptomatic” and not yet showing outward symptoms of the disease, Sabine says, he is “probably just too late to benefit from the real advantages” of progress in treatment and care of HD that he expects to emerge over the next 10 to 15 years.

But he also says progress “can happen only by people like me being involved now in the whole process of discovery.”

The most frightening aspect of the disease, he says, is having witnessed its progression in his father and now his brother.

“I know what my family’s next generation are going to have to deal with, and that’s a terrible thing for anyone to have to deal with,” he says.

So participation by HD patients and families in research is critical to easing their fear of the disease.

“I know that what I am doing now in terms of every aspect of the work I do, from having my body monitored very carefully, to the work I do as an advocate,” he says, “is making this disease less frightening for future generations.”

Easter Seals UCP mulls strategy to offset Food Lion loss

By Todd Cohen

RALEIGH, N.C. — Since 1991, Easter Seals UCP has raised over $36 million through Shop & Care, a cause marketing program it created and operated in partnership with Food Lion.

This year, the effort generated $3.8 million for Easter Seals affiliates in 10 states, including over $2 million for Easter Seals UCP.

That total represents 40 percent of the $5 million the nonprofit generates each year through private contributions to support its $86 million annual budget.

But after this year’s campaign, which was held in February in Food Lion stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states, Easter Seals UCP learned Food Lion was dropping out of the partnership as part of a new corporate giving strategy.

“Easter Seals is a wonderful organization with many contributions to the community,” says Christy Phillips-Brown, director of external communications and community relations for Salisbury-based Food Lion.

Food Lion in recent months has begun to focus on a new community strategy “that is consistent with our business,” she says, and that also will “enable us to build a solution for our primary area of focus, which is food insecurity and hunger relief.”

While Food Lion will permit individual stores to participate in the Shop & Care campaign in 2014, Easter Seals UCP is working to relaunch its cause marketing strategy to try to offset the loss of its single biggest source of philanthropic support.

Easter Seals UCP, which has headquarters in Raleigh, employs 3,000 people and delivers over 3.3 million hours of support to over 20,000 individuals and their families managing disabilities and mental health challenges throughout North Carolina and most of Virginia.

The nonprofit generates most of its funds through contracts and services, largely through Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements.

Before Food Lion moved to end the partnership, Easter Seals UCP already had been working for over a year to reengineer its business model to develop strategic partnerships that focus on better connecting the clients and communities it serves to the most helpful solutions to their needs, says Jeff Smith, chief communications officer at Easter Seals UCP.

People living with disabilities and mental health challenges represent a big part the population and face a broad range of needs such as access to affordable housing, health care and jobs.

One in every four people has a mental illness that can be diagnosed, for example, and nearly 70 percent of youth in trouble suffer from a mental health disorder.

And nearly 80 percent of adults with disabilities are unemployed, with one in every four individuals with disabilities living in poverty.

To help address those needs, Easter Seals UCP is looking for possible partnerships with nonprofits and corporations that focus on those issues, says Smith, who has overseen the Shop & Care program.

“Collaboration and innovative thinking are the only way we can move the ball forward, particularly for people with disabilities,” he says.

Easter Seals, which created the Shop & Care program, is considering partnerships that would franchise or lease it to other businesses or community partners, tying the Shop & Care brand to causes such as poverty or affordable housing, rather than to individual organizations, Smith says.

Food Lion has “made a tremendous impact on what we’ve done over the years,” he says.

And he says he hopes shoppers at individual Food Lion stories that opt to run Shop & Care campaigns in 2014 will continue to support the effort.

Meanwhile, he says, Easter Seals UCP is looking for new strategies to build on its Shop & Care cause marketing program that will allow retailers, their customers and vendors, and possibly other nonprofits, to work together to address critical community issues.

“We want to continue to connect with other retailers and community partners,” he says, “in creative ways that would provide solutions to people with disabilities.”