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Tips For Traveling to Music Festivals on a Budget

(NewsUSA) - Summer is peak season for music festivals and concerts, and fans are road tripping from coast to coast to experience their favorite artists live. But costs can add up quick.  

Country breakout sensation Mackenzie Carpenter and Chicago-based pop-punk group Action/Adventure share five tips for fans traveling to summer festivals on a budget:

  1. Make a Budget: Before heading out for your music adventure, it helps to make a budget prioritizing what matters most – every dollar counts! To help save on costs, Carpenter and Action/Adventure opt for the My6 Music Package, which offers artists and their crews 10% off stays and access to 50 discounts on music-related services from video streaming and sound equipment, gas, snacks and more, available through Oct. 31. Fans can also receive 6% off stays through the free My6 program, plus hundreds of additional discounts.
  2. Identify Affordable Lodging: After a music-filled day, it’s important to have a clean, comfortable and affordable place to rest and recover. Carpenter chooses economy lodging brands Motel 6 and Studio 6 as her go-to lodging options, as they have 1,400 locations across the U.S. and Canada.
  3. Bring Your Own Snacks: Food and drinks are expensive inside concert grounds, so packing your own can help save your wallet. Carpenter chooses to bring a reusable water bottle to reduce costs on one-time use water bottles inside the festival, and Action/Adventure members suggest bringing a cooler to keep food cold. Check out the festival's policies on outside food and drinks to ensure compliance!
  4. Seek Out Ticket Promotions: Keep an eye out for discounted tickets through official channels or reputable ticket resale platforms. Taking advantage of these promotions can allow for more to be spent inside the venue, and Action/Adventure even suggests looking into volunteer opportunities that provide access to the concert.
  5. Use Public Transportation or Carpool: When available, Action/Adventure opts for public transportation to get to and from the venue, as it's usually cheaper than driving. If driving is necessary, consider carpooling or using rideshare services with friends to split costs.

For additional information on the My6 Music program and how to become a free My6 Member, visit to start saving today!

Scuba's Therapeutic Potential

(NewsUSA) - When scuba diving instructor Jim Elliott first started teaching individuals with physical disabilities in 1997, he intuitively realized that diving also had therapeutic benefits for individuals with autism, down syndrome and other cognitive and learning impairments.

Twenty-six years later, team members of Diveheart, the non-profit founded by Elliott in 2001, were invited to address physicians from the Mayo Clinic on the subject of adaptive scuba and scuba therapy. At a conference in Cozumel, Mexico, Elliott and Diveheart Executive Director Tinamarie Hernandez spoke to physicians from a range of medical specialties including hyperbaric medicine, neurology, and sports medicine. The Mayo group was so impressed with the Diveheart presentation that they invited Elliott and Hernandez to return for a 2024 conference.  

Even better, physicians from the Mayo Clinic proposed a collaboration between their researchers and the Diveheart team on scuba therapy research using enriched air and one hundred percent oxygen at safe depths while measuring the benefits different gas mixtures and hyperbaric pressure.

In the Mayo presentation, the Diveheart team also suggested measuring the benefits of various medication levels in tandem with different levels of oxygen underwater in a zero-gravity environment.

“If we know what a certain medication does at the surface or one atmosphere of pressure, researchers can begin looking into what the same medication will do under the influence of increased pressure and various percentages of oxygen enriched air,” Elliott explains.

Looking ahead, Diveheart hopes to facilitate similar research projects at a unique deep warm water therapy pool and aquatic facility that they seek to build in the greater Chicago area. Diveheart has secured two patents on pool’s design.

Diveheart aims to leverage decades of scuba therapy research with the practical adaptive scuba experiences it has helped develop since 2001 and partner with university medical centers to create a facility that will draw researchers, scientists, therapists, physicians, and others from around the world. Visit for more information and to follow their progress.

She Shares Her Utility Savings Secret In A Video

(NewsUSA) - The local power company in Boise, Idaho, offered a monthly billing credit for residential customers who allowed them to remotely control their central air conditioning (A/C) system on a few weekdays when summer demand for energy exceeded the utility’s capacity.

The opportunity created a difficult decision for homeowner Amanda Reed since she would like to reduce the amount of energy the home used for air conditioning, but during the summer months the home had hot spots that made it uncomfortable without keeping the AC system on high during the hottest periods of the day.

Her home faces the Boise River and is subject to many days of direct sun exposure as well as reflection of sunlight off the water. The area experiences the full range of seasons with temperatures from 24 degrees to 95 degrees and more.

PhotoAfter visiting the website for the non-profit International Window Film Association (, she decided to investigate having window film installed to upgrade the existing windows.  

Using the local dealer locator on the website, Amanda arranged for an installer  to come to her home and provide an assessment. Based on that visit, it was decided to have solar control window film installed to help solve the issues, while also keeping the home's large dual-pane windows that were original to the home.

"The power company often asks us if we can turn up our thermostats in the summer so we're not using so much. I can already tell we'll have an easier time reducing our power and just being friendly with the environment," said homeowner Amanda Reed.

The nonprofit International Window Film Association (IWFA) is making available a short video of the installation of window film on this beautiful home located along the Boise River Greenbelt.

"Cooling systems often work harder during the hottest period of the day when peak electric rates are charged, and when utilities may be unable to meet the demand,” said Darrell Smith, executive director of the IWFA. "Window films are proven to provide a more comfortable environment and reduce energy use," he added.

The IWFA conservatively estimates professionally installed window film may cut a dwelling’s annual energy use by 5-10 percent and prevent 60-80 percent of solar heat gain through glass from entering the home, depending on your local climatic conditions and your home’s current physical specifications. To learn more visit

10 Pool Opening Tips for Swim Season 2023

(David Van Brunt) - With Memorial Day and the official start of summer upon us, it's time to get pools prepped for the swim season. However, as eager as you are to jump in, opening a pool is more complicated than simply removing the cover and topping off the water level.

The steps to get your pool ready for swim season range in complexity depending on your location. If you live in a cold winter climate and fully or partially winterize your pool, the pool opening process can take up to two days. So be patient and plan accordingly.

Following the right procedures is important to keeping the water safe, protecting swimmers, and preventing damage to the pool and equipment. Always carefully read and follow product label instructions, which include details for correct handling, storage, dosing, and application. Remember to never mix chemicals and allow ample time between different chemical applications.

Here are the 10 steps to follow when opening your pool in the spring:

  1. Eliminate excess water with a submersible cover pump then remove pool cover. Chances are that a fair amount of water and debris have built up on the cover over the winter, which makes it difficult to remove. We recommend using a submersible cover pump to drain the water off the cover before removing it. It’s best to use two people to remove the cover because it’s heavy and can spill debris into the pool.
  2. Store pool cover. After removing the cover, lay it flat and brush off any remaining water or debris. Let it dry. Before folding it, sprinkle it with Leslie’s Alkalinity Up or talcum powder to prevent mold and mildew. Fold the cover loosely, but carefully, to avoid rips. Store it in a cool, dry place, like a basement, garage, or storage shed to keep the cover in good condition for years to come.
  3. Remove winterizing plugs and replace drain plugs. If you use winterizing plugs to protect pool plumbing during the coldest months, now is the time to remove them from the pool inlets and outlets. If you used antifreeze to winterize the suction plumbing, discharge this to waste or backwash the filter to remove it. You can also use a wet-dry vacuum to remove antifreeze. If the water level is below the skimmer, add water to raise the level to normal (around halfway up the opening of the skimmer). Inspect and reinstall the drain plugs in your pump, filter, heater, etc.
  4. Prepare pool equipment. Reconnect the equipment you disconnected before the winter season, including the pool filter, pump, heater, automatic pool cleaner, in-line chlorinators, and any other devices. Then reattach any ladders, handrails, or other accessories. Lubricate O-rings, gaskets, and hardware with a silicone lubricant to keep them watertight. Once the pump is primed, set it to run continuously until startup is complete. Inspect the equipment for cracks or leaks and replace or repair, if necessary.
  5. Remove and prevent metal stains. Metals like copper and iron can build up over the winter and cause staining. One dose of Leslie’s NoMetal neutralizes the metals and prevents further staining of the walls and floor. It also prevents water discoloration caused by high metal content. If you notice any staining, you can treat the stain and remove any metals in the pool water with a CuLator No-Drain Metal Stain Kit.
  6. Test pool water. It’s important to test your water chemistry before adding any chemicals to know what’s needed and in what amounts. This can be done with a home test kit or by bringing a pool water sample into a store that tests pool water, such as Leslie’s, which offers a free AccuBlue 10-point water test and customized treatment plan in just 60 seconds.
  1. Balance water, start with Total Alkalinity. Once you’ve tested the water, it’s time to add balancing chemicals to adjust the chemistry. Always follow product label instructions. Keep your pump running at high speed until the chemical is fully integrated into the water, which can take four hours or longer. If your pool water is cloudy, running your pool pump continuously for 24–48 hours will help to clear it up. Don’t worry, your pool pump is designed to run 24/7 if needed.

Never mix chemicals or add more than one at a time. When balancing the water, always begin with Total Alkalinity, since it has a direct impact on pH levels. To raise your Alkalinity, add Leslie's Alkalinity Up or Soda Ash. To lower the Alkalinity if it is high, add Leslie’s Dry Acid or Muriatic Acid. Note that these adjustments will raise or lower the pH, as well as the Alkalinity.

Once Total Alkalinity has returned to a range of 80–120 ppm, adjust the other chemistry levels. Test the pH level again since it likely changed after the Total Alkalinity adjustment. The recommended water balance ranges are as follows:

  • Total Alkalinity: 80–120 ppm
  • pH: 7.4–7.8
  • Free Available Chlorine: 1–4 ppm
  • Calcium Hardness: 200–400 ppm
  • Cyanuric Acid: 30–100 ppm
  1. Brush and vacuum the pool. Thoroughly brush and vacuum the pool surfaces before shocking the pool water. This removes algae and bacteria from the walls and floor and lets the chlorine work most efficiently. Start brushing at the shallow end and move to the deep end. If possible, vacuum the debris directly to waste (if applicable) as this reduces strain on the pool filter. If you do this, replace any water that is lost. If you are not able to vacuum to waste, cleaning your pool filter after vacuuming up any dirt or algae is essential to a successful pool opening. 
  2. Shock the pool. This is the final step for removing germs, algae spores, and other microorganisms. Shocking your pool is simply a term for raising the chlorine level, sometimes as high as 20–30 ppm. It is an important step if there is algae present in your pool; when present, algae quickly uses up chlorine in the water. Shocking your pool will ensure that your algae treatment is successful. Add the recommended dose of your chlorine product for your pool size to raise the chlorine level to 20-30 ppm. Run the pump for 24 hours, then test the Free Available Chlorine level to ensure it is in the 1–4 ppm range. If the level is at zero, repeat the shock process until your pool water can hold chlorine. Once you shock a pool, you must wait until the chlorine level drops below 4 ppm before swimming again. There are new products available today that reduce the wait time.  For example, this chlorine-free oxidizing shock has a wait time of just 15 minutes, and is ideal for routine oxidation in pools with optimal Free Available Chlorine levels.
  3. Treat the water with algaecide, clarifier, and phosphate remover. After shocking the pool, run the circulation system overnight, then add algaecide the next day. Follow product directions on the algaecide product you are using. A dose of clarifier will clear up any haze, and weekly use of a phosphate remover will help prevent algae from starting. Depending on the condition of your pool, you may also need to backwash or clean your pool filter again. To help with making maintenance easy all season long, try Leslie's Perfect Weekly or PoolRx+ to help prevent algae in your pool.

Important Note: It’s crucial to use pool chemicals, specifically sanitizers and algaecides, that have been tested and approved by the U.S. EPA, which is the federal agency that protects people and the environment from significant health risks, sponsors and conducts research, as well as develops and enforces environmental regulations. See this blog post for simple instructions on reading pool product labels for the proper EPA details.

Follow these 10 steps and your pool will be ready for the swim season kickoff. For pool owners in warmer regions who do not close their pool, you’ll execute an abbreviated version of these steps with a focus on steps 4–10, as needed. Then, inflate the pool toys and haul out the lounge chairs. Remember, following a regular pool maintenance program will help you avoid any expensive equipment or water balancing issues and let you get the most enjoyment out of your pool this summer. 

David Van Brunt is the owner of Swimming Pool Learning and a pool service professional with over 30 years of experience. He created the No. 1 swimming pool channel on YouTube and hosts the “Pool Guy Podcast” and is also a Leslie’s Pool Pro Partner.

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Revs Up

(NewsUSA) - With the onset of spring and summer weather, peak motorcycle riding season is underway across the United States. May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) is promoting the “Expect Us, See Us,” slogan to alert motorists to the increased presence of motorcycles.

Motorcycle-related traffic fatalities, along with all other types of traffic fatalities, increased dramatically from 2020 to 2021, according to the most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“The NHTSA data may be from 2021, but distraction, speeding, and driving or riding while under the influence continue to be problems today,” says Rob Gladden, vice president of training operations for MSF.

“However, these are all things we can change,” Gladden adds. “May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and we want to call attention to how smart, attentive driving and riding behaviors can save lives.”

The MSF offers the following safety tips for drivers and for motorcyclists to help reduce accidents and fatalities and to keep everyone safe on the road.

Tips for car and truck drivers:

-Look out for motorcyclists.  Car and truck blind spot detectors aren’t perfect. During the spring and summer months, expect that you will share the road with motorcycles and scooters. Use your eyes and mirrors.

-Stay focused. Put down the phone while driving, and don’t be distracted by passengers, pets, or other in-vehicle activity.

-Use turn signals. Many drivers fail to signal when changing lanes. Signaling alerts motorcyclists as well as other drivers.

-Give space. Don’t get too close to riders; they need room to maneuver and adjust to road conditions.

-Don’t litter. Tossing anything out of a vehicle endangers motorcyclists riding nearby.

Tips for motorcycle and scooter riders:

-Be seen. Wear bright riding gear and a light-colored helmet. Always have your headlight on, day and night, and flash your brake light when slowing and before stopping if possible.

-Assume others don’t see you. Stay hyper-aware and notice details in your surroundings. Use the Search-Evaluate-Execute (SEE) strategy to respond to assess hazards.

-Dress the part. Wear proper riding gear from head to toe—it can save your life. Full-face helmets provide the best protection, and jackets, pants, gloves, and boots that are made for riding will generally be made of abrasion-resistant material and provide additional comfort and protection.

-Follow the rules. Riding respectfully — and legally — creates a safer environment for everyone.

-Check your bike. Before every ride, do a pre-ride check to look over tires and wheels, check fluids, cables, chassis, lights, electronics, and stands. Use the T-CLOCS inspection checklist to help you.

Share these safety tips with others using the hashtags #SeeMotorcycles and #ExpectUsSeeUs.

Safety booklets, tips, and other reference guides are available at the Motorcycle Safety Foundation website,


Extraordinary Nurse Educators Leading in Extraordinary Times

(NewsUSA) - Nurse educators are in a unique position to make an impact by inspiring nurses in education and by promoting public health through work in schools, businesses, hospitals, and community agencies.

The need for qualified nurses is ongoing, as is the need for nurse educators to prepare them, according to the National League for Nursing.

Many nurses choose to become nurse educators to support the work of nurses who provide everything from routine primary care to lifesaving emergency services to end-of-life comfort.

Encouraging more nurses to consider pursuing careers in nurse education is the best way to ensure a consistent flow of qualified nurses into the healthcare system, and the National League for Nursing provides resources to help them get started. Many nursing education programs are now available through online platforms, which expand the options for nurses who want to pursue careers as nurse educators.

Nurses can earn their master’s degree in nursing or nursing education entirely online, which helps prevent loss of income from taking time off to attend classes and reduces the need for student loans or traveling to classes at a distant location. Nurses can then become Certified Nurse Educators, the badge of expertise in this advanced specialty area of practice.

Prospective nurse educators have two choices of advanced degrees: the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or the Ph.D. in nursing.

Although one may consider the Ph.D. the primary pathway to becoming a nurse educator, the DNP is also a viable option for some prospective nurse educators because of its focus on clinical practice rather than academic research. We need both pathways in nursing education.  

Other reasons nurses choose to become nurse educators include the intellectual stimulation of knowing the latest research in the field, greater autonomy and flexible schedules, and the sense of purpose and generativity that comes with mentoring and advancing the next generation of nurses.

In addition, this year’s NLN Education Summit in September near Washington, DC, celebrates the National League for Nursing’s 130 years as the voice of nursing education. This event will focus on the extraordinary leadership of nurse educators and explores innovations in learning, practice, policy and research “that celebrate the whole person and value new perspectives.” The Summit also offers opportunities to discuss the challenging issues of mental health and health inequity as they relate to nurses, nurse educators, and the health care system.

For more information, visit

3 Tips for Small and Mid-sized Businesses to Take Advantage of Rebounding Supply Chain

(NewsUSA) - Operating from the epicenter of commerce, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) form the core of the global economy—and while fears of recession continue to loom, many of these enterprises remain optimistic. In fact, 57% of SMBs expect revenue to grow and 58% plan to expand their workforce in the next 12 months according to recent WSJ/Vistage Small Business CEO Confidence Index reporting. However, despite this rise in confidence and rebounding economic circumstances, some businesses continue to remain operationally paralyzed into a state of “do no harm” rather than focusing on new avenues for growth. This is particularly true for SMBs hesitant to make changes within global imports and exports given the turmoil supply chains experienced in recent years.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Department of Commerce, SMBs accounted for $413 billion of the known U.S. export value and $651 billion of the known U.S. import value. Unfortunately, these SMBs are too often relegated to a secondary priority amidst larger, well-established entities that enjoy high-touch services by multinational shipping companies.

The reality is shipping and logistics are the lifeblood of international trade, but it is fraught with challenges ranging from price fluctuations, language barriers, customs, regulations, and more that even the most seasoned and sophisticated stewards of global shipping within companies find complex, confusing, and cumbersome. Fortunately, resources like digital-first freight forwarders are forging a new frontier for SMBs by changing the landscape and democratizing international shipping.

“With expanding markets, tightening margins, and many supply chain restrictions and regulations, freight forwarding can make or break a dynamic enterprise in today’s world,” said Carmit Glik, CEO and Co-founding Member of Ship4wd, a leading global digital freight forwarding solution for SMBs. “No matter how large or small, every single international shipment deserves an advocate, and a user-friendly platform can help SMBs take all the guesswork out of door-to-door, and port-to-port journeys.”

As recent supply chain challenges rebound to favor businesses once again, Glik shares three ways companies can leverage freight forwarding to reenact growth mode strategies that have otherwise been paused by many enterprises out of an abundance of caution.

Protect Operational Cash Flow through the Right Partnership in Shipping & Logistics Processes

Recent reports indicate only 26% of Main Street businesses have access to enough funding to stay open for more than 60 days in the event of a cash flow shortfall, and 17% have no access to funding at all, according to a “Main Street Health Q1 2023” study from PYMNTS and Enigma. Given these cash flow risks, it’s critical for small and medium-sized businesses to employ tactics to protect their financial position, especially as they work to capitalize on the current global trade environment. This is where a strategic freight forwarding partnership can help by assessing various factors to strengthen a business’ financial position such as flexible payment structure, inventory financing, guaranteed shipping allocation, and much more.

Consider What International Shipping Options Are Right for Your Business

While air freight is frequently considered faster and more reliable than ocean freight, it typically transports smaller volumes and high-cost goods, coming with exponentially higher costs. For larger shipments, ocean freight may be the most financially responsible avenue. Recognizing this, there are two primary ways businesses can ship across international waters—LCL (Less-than-Container Load) and FCL (Full-Container-Load). LCL shipping can be a more affordable option for SMBs shipping lower volumes, but getting the cargo from point A to point B may take longer due to additional handling and documentation, as well as increased loading and unloading times, since there are multiple shippers and touchpoints involved in a shared shipment. Inversely, FCL is an efficient and cost-effective option for businesses with enough cargo to fill an entire container. However, while more merchandise can be shipped with FCL for less, this cost benefit must be weighed against how fast product sell-through is, as shipping savings have to be balanced against warehousing and storage costs. Similar to deciding between LCL and FCL, SMBs also should examine whether they need door-to-door or port-to-port shipping support based on different business needs. For example, experienced shippers may only need help securing goods from a port of origin to a point of destination, while those newer to international shipping may benefit from ensuring merchandise is picked up at the door of a manufacturer and delivered directly to a SMB’s door.

Diversify Your Supply Chains

According to the New York Federal Reserve, The Global Supply Chain Pressure Index (GSCPI) continues to drop month-over-month, establishing favorable market conditions for companies seeking to take advantage of decreased global freight and container rates, lessened port congestion, and shortened shipment delivery times. However, there is a key lesson learned by the world’s largest corporations that small and medium-sized businesses should model against. That lesson is reliance on single supply streams limit business resiliency. Exemplifying this risk are issues like the factory shutdowns and labor challenges China has continued experiencing, sending shockwaves through the supply chain for companies relying on inventory manufactured there. One tactic for SMBs to consider is investing in the diversification of their supply chain by securing additional or alternate suppliers that can serve as secondary sources for goods, providing more redundancy to minimize risk and increase flexibility and agility.

Recognizing global shipping and logistics misunderstandings continue to persist, and a resurgence of international issues could impact the supply chain at any point, shifting away from a “business as usual mentality” will mandate exploring new approaches. Making changes within global import and exports with the help of a reliable freight forwarder may just be the path to resilience SMBs need today. After all, as Glik puts it, while shipping and logistics may not be an SMB’s core business, it is core to their business. 

Four Reasons Why Creating Accessible Generosity Programs is Essential for Communities and Brands

(NewsUSA) - Many of us have every intention of making a positive and lasting impact on our community, but it can be overwhelming knowing how to get started or where the biggest need is. And busy days filled with professional and personal commitments can make giving back feel even more out of reach. Fortunately, many corporate leaders have an opportunity to help fill this gap – and it’s important that they do. 

Businesses are realizing the importance society places on giving back and have begun to elevate their commitments to develop initiatives that bolster community impact among their customer bases. And as people strive to find fulfillment in their lives and pursue ways to give back in meaningful ways, providing volunteer and generosity programs has become crucial in the corporate world.

Demonstrating the power of providing generosity programs, Thrivent, a Fortune 500 financial services organization, recently celebrated reaching the milestones of 1 million client-led volunteer teams and $1 billion raised for communities nationwide through its Thrivent Action Teams program. This program is helping reimagine the future of generosity and volunteering in partnership with Thrivent’s clients by harnessing the power of digital tools and community action. Through this effort, Thrivent has helped clients make a difference by placing resources and seed money directly in their hands so they can create the impact they want to see in their community. Since its debut in 2014, 9.6 million volunteers have given 93 million hours of their time to lead and support a generosity team—directly benefiting the causes and programs most important to them and their local communities.

“Companies that want to thrive both now and in the future, should recognize that their clients and stakeholders are eager to make a difference and want businesses to reflect these same values,” said Carolyn Sakstrup, chief growth and generosity officer at Thrivent. “For more than 120 years, Thrivent has instilled a deep sense of purpose throughout our organization so our clients and employees can pursue their passions and lead lives of meaning and gratitude. We believe in the idea of serving a higher purpose and we’re proud of our long legacy of mobilizing people to come together and take care of their community.”

Here are four reasons why companies should create accessible and affordable pathways for people to give back and help them engage in their communities.

  1. Addresses the Needs of the Community

Accessible philanthropic and volunteer initiatives provide new opportunities for community members to partake, regardless of their financial position. This means that people can proactively participate in a program, such as a fundraiser or food drive, and make a difference without facing a financial burden.

  1. Enhances Brand Purpose and Reputation

By making philanthropy programs available to their customers, companies demonstrate their commitment to the overall community’s well-being. This, in turn, attracts new customers who are more likely to support a brand that aligns with their values and enhances the company's reputation as a purposeful brand. These activities help to build relationships with the community and strengthen corporate reputation.

  1. Boosts Customer Engagement

People are increasingly looking to give their business to companies that reflect their values. By offering hands-on community engagement programs, people are more likely to feel a sense of purpose and pride when they collaborate with a company that is making a positive impact. This can lead to increased loyalty and engagement. The key is to ensure that these programs are turnkey for them to be effective as an ongoing, repeatable effort.

  1. Leads to Innovation and Creativity

When companies engage with their customers and community, they gain a deeper understanding of the needs and challenges faced by those they serve. This understanding can lead to the development of new and innovative products and services that address these needs, which can ultimately lead to business growth and bigger impactful.

In today’s socially conscious world, community engagement has become an important tool for businesses to demonstrate their commitment to making a difference. As brand purpose takes on even greater importance, it’s critical to build trust and credibility with customers and stakeholders. As Thrivent’s recent milestone demonstrated, when companies engage with and invest in the community in meaningful ways, they help humanity thrive.

Learn more at

Marine Toys for Tots is a Year-Round Force for Good

(NewsUSA) - Marine Toys for Tots, which is traditionally known as a Christmastime charity, has evolved into a year-round force for good. The year-round assistance and emotional relief that the organization provides extends beyond the holiday season, because needs aren’t seasonal, and neither is Toys for Tots.

The Program’s year-round distributions reassure families, who face adversity and exceptional circumstances throughout the year, that Marine Toys for Tots is committed to delivering messages of hope, restoring and building self-esteem, and inspiring youngsters to grow into responsible, productive, patriotic citizens. The Program takes great pride in spreading hope around our Nation and being a force for good in order to promote a brighter tomorrow, especially during uncertain times.

In East Palestine, Ohio, children and families have recently faced devastating hardships due to the train derailment that left the river and air contaminated with toxic chemicals. East Palestine Social Concern, a local organization that assists families with rent and utilities, provided support to the impacted families, while Toys for Tots delivered emotional relief through the gift of toys and books to over 400 children in the local area. 

“This is so exciting because the kids really have been overlooked through this whole process. They haven’t had a voice, their fears and anxiety a lot of times are portrayed through what their parents are feeling, and they’re not really getting heard,” said a local volunteer. “And so, it was awesome that [Toys for Tots was] willing to give these [toys] away now and not make ‘em wait for Christmas. This is just fantastic. I love seeing the kids excited and the families.”

During their seventy-fifth anniversary last year, Marine Toys for Tots distributed more 24 million toys to nearly ten million less fortunate children, provided more than 6.3 million books to children in need through their Literacy Program and supported over 220,000 Native American children living on remote Reservations through their Native American Program. The Program also established their newest initiative to support children living in foster care and provided toys, books, games, and school supplies to over 447,000 children living in the Foster Care system.

Looking ahead to 2023, Marine Toys for Tots will continue to be the force for good that will provide significant comfort and relief to families who face hardships throughout the year. This spring and summer, Toys for Tots has committed to providing 100 truckloads of toys to communities throughout the U.S. and one million books to Title I funded schools. These existing programs and initiatives will bring emotional relief and reassurance in times of tremendous loss to children across the Nation – Toys for Tots is committed to making their days ahead a little brighter.

Visit to support the year-round Programs and be part of the force for good!

Ready to Volunteer…Now What? Here's How You Can Give Back

(NewsUSA) - Volunteering is a great way to help others and give back to our communities—and it’s good for our mental and physical health. People who volunteer for as little as two hours a week may experience improved mental, emotional and physical health—benefits that many older volunteers are gaining because, on average, they volunteer almost twice as much as people in other age groups.

Because volunteers can often set their own hours, volunteering doesn't have to mean a big-time commitment. So, decide what you're interested in—and spend time doing something that is meaningful to you! Whether you participate in a volunteer transportation program, make calls to someone who may be lonely, read to children at a local school or participate in a community day of service, you can decide what you want to do! The possibilities for volunteering are endless!

There’s no better time than now to explore the volunteer opportunities available in your community. Chances are, you’ll be in good company as you reconnect with old friends or make new ones.

Area Agencies on Aging, Title VI Native American Aging Programs and other organizations provide a variety of services for older adults and can connect older adults to volunteer opportunities. Do you want to volunteer but don’t know where to start? Through its website,, and national Call Center at 1-(800)-677-1116, the Eldercare Locator can inform and connect older adults to local or virtual volunteer opportunities.

Did you know?

An Eldercare Locator publication, Ready to Volunteer…Now What? A Guide on Giving Back for Older Adults, that can help older adults learn about the benefits of volunteering and how to find a volunteer opportunity. Consider reading this publication to help ensure that you learn how to get connected to in-person and virtual volunteer opportunities.

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