Thursday, January 6, 2011

“Jeans for Life” Finds New Homes for those Old Pair of Denims…

Sometimes the simplest ways to give to those people in need are the most effective because they help to meet specific needs.  Take for example your old pair of denim jeans sitting in your closet; everyone has jeans and most of us have a few pair that needs a new home.  By simply donating a pair of jeans you can reach people around the world.
The “Jeans for Life” program, which is a collection drive inspired by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) and Out of the Closet Thrift Stores, seeks old pair of jeans – whether they’re blue, red, faded or acid-washed!  According to AHF, it is “a fun, easy way for everyone to donate toward the care of people living with HIV/AIDS.”
The WE Movement agrees!
With the federal, state and local governments cutting back on spending for their safety-net programs – including many programs specifically designed to help people living with HIV/AIDS – many AIDS Service Organizations need to find alternative revenue sources to help them fulfill their mission.  By donating your denim to the Jeans for Life program, you’re indirectly helping people living with HIV/AIDS gain access to vital supports and services.
Jeans for Life is collecting their denim donations in their “jeans-inspired” bins and will completely administer the care of them.  They collect the jeans…upkeep the bins…and remove them at your request. In other words, you can start a jean collection drive with doing very little work – but it is something that can produce a big pay-off in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Businesses hosting one of the bins clearly play an important part in making their collection drive successful, maybe that’s why they’re willing to advertise your business address on their website and customers will be excited to know that you care about people living with HIV/AIDS.  The proceeds from donated jeans go to support various HIV/AIDS-related programs administered by AHF.
Drop off locations are already available in both California and Florida with support from HBO, Eleven, Motherlode, Corporate Pointe, Sunset Media Tower, Northridge Business Center and America’s Funniest Home Videos.  Donations are also being accepted by individuals wishing to mail their old jeans.
So why let those old jeans collect dust…or worse, why throw them away in the trash when they could be put to better use.  Just because they’re old or torn, doesn’t mean someone else couldn’t wear them – and in the process, help fund prevention, treatment and care for people with HIV/AIDS.
Go to to learn more.
We have joined, will you?  Learn more at

Thursday, December 30, 2010

WE Movement Looks Toward 2011…

The WE Movement is thankful for the tremendous support that it has received over the last seven months!  Without the support from people like you, it is hard to imagine how we could have touched the lives of so many people in need.   With a renewed sense of spirit and firm commitment to continue helping people, 2011 looks promising.
With many economists still bearish about the prospect for significant economic growth, coupled with the changing political environment pointing toward increased austerity, only together can we help those most in need…and those most vulnerable…from falling through the cracks.  The WE Movement’s flagship HELP4U online platform provides an excellent opportunity to reshape how products and services are linked to the people seeking them – especially during these challenging economic times.
So, how can you help?  Here are just a few simple things that you can do:
  • Tell your colleagues and friends about the WE Movement and ask them to join; there is no cost to join but the benefits are invaluable.
  • Encourage area nonprofits in your community to create profiles on our HELP4U platform, so that people seeking products and services can learn more about them.
  • Become a WE Champion in your community by volunteering your energy, expertise and time where it is needed the most.
  • Alert the WE Movement when events are planned to allow us to help promote them.
  • And never give up hope that together, we can surly make a meaningful difference in the lives of people who have lost hope, or are in need of a little help.
The foundation of the WE Movement’s success is built on shared values; it is our shared values, after all, that allow us to look beyond that what divides us and focus on the things that unite us.  One of the most basic tenants of the WE Movement is people helping people.  Over the last three months, we have used our weekly blog to highlight many of these worthwhile initiatives.
With so many vulnerable populations needing help – such as the homeless, people with disabilities, domestic violence victims, Veterans returning from Iraq & Afghanistan and communities recovering from natural disasters, just to name a few – we have our work cut out for us!  But by coordinating resources and harnessing the power of the World Wide Web with tools like HELP4U communities stand to increase the likelihood that these vulnerable populations are served.
So as the WE Movement looks toward 2011, reflect on how best you can help your community…and we will be right there waiting to help you.
We have joined, will you?  Learn more at

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

WE Movement Seeks Champions…

Hulk Hogan was the Champion of the World Wrestling Federation.  Andre Agassi was the Champion of Wimbledon.  Kelly Clarkson was the Champion of American Idol.  But what about everyday Champions that make a meaningful difference in the lives of their friends and neighbors?  It is their kindred spirit that offers hope to so many people. That is why the WE Movement is seeking WE Champions!
WE Champions are those enthusiastic individuals who are well—established in their communities and willing to volunteer their time to coordinate community resources. With the help of WE Partners, they give presentations to inform the community about the WE Movement, and they also actively recruit and enroll Providers—those with goods, products and services they wish to donate gratis. They also identify and enroll WE Recipients, those individuals, organizations and associations most in need of the donated items.

At its official launch press conference in Sacramento, California earlier this year, WE Founder Tom Loker “pinned” Oakland, CA WE Champion Marsha Martin for her service.  Marsha has demonstrated her commitment to her community.

Photo: WE founder, Tom Loker, "pins" Oakland WE Champion, Marsha Martin

But WE is still seeking well-connected community activists to become WE Champions—civic-minded volunteers whose purpose is to educate, inform and enlist the support of his or her respective community in the WE Movement.
At a time when the government cannot accommodate everyone’s needs due to the tough economy, the WE Movement’s vital service in coordinating community resources needs WE Champions to facilitate the match process generated through HELP4U – a web-based system that solves the problem of matching and connecting individuals who are in need of assistance as well as those re-entering the community from state correctional facilities with available program and resources that are available with a state/county/city. WE Champions are “always looking for a match!”  Can you or someone you know step up?
WE is immediately looking for Champions in Sacramento, Orange County, and Los Angeles. To volunteer, contact WE Movement coordinator Jordanna Perez for more information (510-587-2643;

Champions come in numerous styles!  It could be someone starting a toy drive in preparation for the upcoming Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza holidays, or offering tutoring for people with English as a second language (EAS), or even delivering warm blankets to the homeless during the cold winter months.  No effort is too small, or insignificant.  So, volunteer your time as a "
WE Champion" today!
We have joined, will you?  Learn more at

Friday, December 10, 2010

HELP4U provides linkages to those in need…

It seems like increasingly we hear about more people needing a little help, especially with the downturn in the economy as more people are struggling to make ends meet.  Yet at the same time, Americans are unyielding in their commitment to help those who are less fortunate by donating their money, time, expertise or noncash items.  While government programs exist to provide a ‘safety net’ often times it is the community nonprofit organizations that link people in need to the necessary supports and services.
Each week the WE Movement highlights an important initiative or program designed to help people.  The flagship outreach effort, however, is the HELP4U web-based system that solves the problem of matching and connecting individuals who are in need of assistance as well as those re-entering the community from state correctional facilities with available programs and resources that are available.
Whether it is providing assistance after a natural disaster, linking people to appropriate medical care, donating a warm coat or ensuring that the homeless have a warm meal, every little bit of help goes a long way in making each and every community a better place.  HELP4U was launched because many programs have been cut or eliminated, but there remains a very real need in communities across the United States.  By harnessing the power of the Internet and the World Wide Web, HELP4U is available 24-hours a day and seven days a week and is accessible to help people with needs assessment, identifying resources and providing appropriate linkage to care and support.
What started as a pilot project in Oakland, California has now spread to Sacramento, CA and Los Angeles, CA, and efforts are underway to broaden the outreach efforts nationwide.  HELP4U is designed to link participants, facilitators, providers and sponsors.   Each play an important role in linking providers – individuals or companies with goods, products or services they wish to offer gratis to recipients – those in need and most fragile among us.  Government agencies, nonprofit organizations and advocacy groups are encouraged to visit HELP4U at and enter their information, thereby making it available for people who are looking for help.
If you’re curious as to who should help, then the answer is simple.
  • AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs) trying to link people living with HIV/AIDS are invited to help.
  • Homeless shelters offering food and shelter for people living without homes are invited to help. 
  • Pantries making available food and warm meals for families in need are invited to help.
  • Tutoring programs providing English classes for EAS migrants are invited to help.
  • Transitional programs giving assistance to post-incarcerated inmates are invited to help.
  • And you are invited to help…
In reality, HELP4U is perfect for just about any type of program.
The benefits of using the HELP4U platform are numerous, but the rewards are priceless.  They are priceless because by helping just a single individual or family in need of help is what it is all about!  HELP4U is not just about linking individuals or companies offering supports and services, but it is also about providing seamless coordination of services and programs of departments within a state, county or city.  The environmentally-friendly system leverages technology to greatly reduce paper usage, provides the creation of new jobs for intake workers who will facilitate care services and offers the ability to track key metrics for quantifying the number of participants assisted by the services made available, just to name a few.
Over time the success of the HELP4U platform will be contingent on the community “buy-in” as more and more agency and providers create their profiles, thus providing a more complete assessment of products, resources and supports being made available to the people in need using it.
We have joined, will you?  Learn more at

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

WE commemorates s Worlds AIDS Day by asking Americans to help people living with HIV/AIDS

December 1st marks World AIDS Day, when people from all around the world commemorate the fight against HIV/AIDS by honoring the more than 25 million people who have died, as well as reaffirming the promise to help the 33+ million people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs).   Twenty-three years after the first World AIDS Day was celebrated in 1987, we’re reminded of the struggles that continually face PLWHAs abroad, and here at home in the United States.
The red ribbon has come to symbolize hope in the fight against the deadly disease, as well as remember the lives lost since HIV/AIDS first started its devastating impact.  The red ribbon – which can be seen on celebrities wearing lapel pins to churches hanging ribbons from their steeples, and postage stamps to designer t-shirts – embodies the spirit that drives people to help others living with HIV/AIDS, or even those who have dedicated their lives to fighting the epidemic.
In issuing his Presidential Proclamation, President Obama said, “Today, we are experiencing a domestic HIV epidemic that demands our attention and leadership.  My Administration has invigorated our response to HIV by releasing the first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States.  Its vision is an America in which new HIV infections are rare, and when they do occur, all persons    regardless of age, gender, race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or socio-economic circumstance    will have unfettered access to high quality, life extending care.”
WE encourages everyone supporting our movement to learn more about how you can help PLWHAs in your local community!  Whether it’s donating clothes to an HIV/AIDS-sponsored thrift store, delivering meals, driving patients to/from medical appointments or even making a tax-deductible donation to a local AIDS Service Organization, anything – everything – that you do really does help!
Non-cash donations, such as furniture, clothes, appliances and art prints and frames, can be made to thrift stores such as Out of the Closet, Shop Housing Works, Lifelong Thrift Store or Philadelphia AIDS Thrift, just to name a few.  Or maybe you would be willing to volunteer at a local AIDS Service Organization, such as Broward House in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Shanti in San Francisco, California, Regional AIDS Interfaith Network in Charlotte, North Carolina or AIDS Services of Dallas in Dallas, Texas.
WE sees philanthropic initiatives all across the United States designed to provide assistance to PLWHAs who need it – including pharmaceutical companies participating in the Heinz-Welvista program.  As previously blogged, Welvista is a “unique public-private partnership of non-governmental healthcare intervention.”  With over 4,000 PLWHAs waiting to access their life-saving medications via the AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (a federal-state program designed to provide medications for people who are uninsured or under-insured) domestically, it is an initiative WE strongly supports!
With racial and ethnic minorities being disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS, there exists opportunities to establish partnerships and leverage relationships to help address ongoing trends, as well as raise awareness with younger generations as is being done by the Flowers Heritage Foundation.  Since PLWHAs are living longer, and healthier – with evidence showing that more PLWHAs are now over the age of 50 – it also poses new challenges to link this aging population to the unique supports and services that they need.
The WE Movement has committed itself to continue to help PLWHAs in the United States!  We have joined, will you?  Learn more at

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

WE is Thankful on Thanksgiving for all of YOU

With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us, it is important to reflect on the many people and accomplishments that make the WE Movement so rich with compassion, excitement and thoughtfulness.  Our heartfelt thanks go out to each and every one of you, because without you and your support, WE could not have started a movement designed to help people in need across the United States.
What started out as hopeful initiative in Oakland, California has truly turned into a “movement” as the WE Movement launched similar initiatives in the cities of Sacramento and Los Angeles.  Given the use of Ramsell’s “HELP4U” online “Search & Match” software program to assist the less fortunate, our movement let it be known that WE was in search of “champions” to coordinate community logistics.
Photo: WE founder, Tom Loker, "pins" Oakland WE Champion, Marsha Martin
But none of this could be made possible with our WE Champions!  WE Champions are those enthusiastic individuals who are well—established in their communities and willing to volunteer their time to coordinate community resources. With the help of WE Partners, they give presentations to inform the community about the WE Movement, and they also actively recruit and enroll Providers—those with goods, products and services they wish to donate gratis. They also identify and enroll WE Recipients, those individuals, organizations and associations most in need of the donated items.
Whether it was Buena Vista Foods and Foothill Unity Center connecting through WE, or Veronica Carrillo and Karen Gallinger enjoying results of our WE Match, positive connections are being made through our movement all the time.  Most times, connections made are offering hope and inspiration as individuals and companies wishing to donate goods, products or services are provided gratis to people needing a little help.
Since 1863, it has been an annual tradition to celebrate Thanksgiving Day on the fourth Thursday in November.[1]  But for WE every day is one in which we “give thanks” for the many great volunteers, champions, providers, partners, sponsors and supporters like YOU for helping us make a meaningful difference in the lives of so many people.
The WE Movement wishes all of you a Happy Thanksgiving!  We have joined, will you?  Learn more at

[1] Wikipedia, “Thanksgiving,” Observances around the world, 2010.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Operation Turkey™ Gives Thanks

WE is thankful for the many people who have joined our movement, which has two main objectives: To coordinate community resources across the nation onto one unified platform and to engage the community in giving back both as individuals and corporations to those who need it most.  As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, WE wanted to call your attention to Operation Turkey™.
Each Thanksgiving, Operation Turkey™ effectively organizes local teams of volunteers - families, friends, and businesses - to cook, prepare, pack, and deliver thousands of hot meals and provide other necessities to many people in need.[1] 
The Austin, Texas-based nonprofit organization helps homeless residents and families in need who live in and around the Austin area by delivering food and other donations.  Austin’s Operation Turkey™ demonstrates how positive outcomes can be achieved when one community bands together to offer hope.  It is managed by the Austin Community Foundation.
Richard M. Bagdonas with Operation Turkey™ summarized, “Whether it’s providing food for homeless families, or simply helping families struggling to make ends meet, Operation Turkey shows them that their community cares about them.  With Thanksgiving being most widely recognized as the ‘holiday of giving’ our program embodies the spirit of people who ‘have’ lending to people who ‘have not’ and in this case, it is hot meals and other necessities.”
Volunteers prepare meals for Austin's homeless community.
Volunteers are asked to donate food, bake food, sort donations, package the food in to-go containers, and deliver dinners and donations.  Operation Turkey™ is also supported by the generous donations from various corporate sponsors in the Austin area – including Winstead Attorneys, Greenling Organic Delivery , RetroChannel, 97Degrees West, SpeedMenu, Lancaster | Helling , Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill, Tornado Pressure Wash and the Travis County Sheriff's office.
What better cause to support during a holiday that is best characterized by “giving thanks.”  With so many people in need – especially during these tough economic times – it is important for everyone one of us to take a step back and reflect on our lives, and where appropriate, help our neighbors who are less fortunate.  Can you imagine what it would be like not to enjoy a nice warm, cooked meal on Thanksgiving?
Last year, Operation Turkey™ fed over 4,000 residents of Austin.  How about helping feed even more in 2010? 100% of your donation will be used to buy food…and they are able to feed 50 people with just a $100 donation.
WE invites you to learn more about Operation Turkey™ online at  
The WE Movement and its HELP4U platform support this worthwhile campaign.  We have joined, will you?  Learn more at

[1] Operation Turkey,, 2010.