Man Donates 30 Gallons of Blood

Man Donates 30 Gallons of Blood

Feb 14

“It’s a need I can help fill.” It’s a simple sentiment, but a very powerful one, and it seems to have seen William Chesser through his entire life. It took him to Korea as a volunteer soldier in the 1950s. When he came home, he went to school and became a probation officer, serving the needs of those at the lowest point of their lives. Since 1960, he has continued to serve by donating blood. Now 85, Chesser has donated blood regularly for nearly 60 years. On February 6th, 2018, he donated the last part of his 30th gallon. 30 gallons of blood is the equivalent of 245 pints. The body of the average adult male holds about 12 pints. Chesser has donated 20 times his own complete volume, enough to serve the transfusion needs of as many as a hundred other patients. And he doesn’t intend to stop. “They can put a man on the moon, but they can’t perfect human blood,” he said about the endless need of the medical industry. The Red Cross’s official estimate is that someone in the U.S. needs a blood transfusion every two seconds, and every drop has to come out of a donor’s veins. The average transfusion is three pints, and donors can give one pint every eight weeks. We won’t do all of the math, but at least it’s easy to see that for every patient in need of blood, three people must give. And he’s right. Patients with low blood volume can be supplemented with saline (salt water) or other blood replacements, but nothing does the job of the real thing. There is no fabricating platelets, for instance (the cells in blood that cause clotting and allow us to stop bleeding). Every two months, Chesser drives himself to the LifeSouth Community Blood Center in Dothan, Alabama from his home a few miles north in Ariton. He also volunteers his time with a local food bank and the Dothan Kiwanis Club. “It’s a need I can help fill.” Words to live...

Unknown Millionaire Passes Away, Leaves $37 Million to Charity

Unknown Millionaire Passes Away, Leaves $37 Million to Charity

Feb 05

Few friends of Raymond Suckling knew that he was a millionaire before his death. The retired mechanical engineer lived modestly in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, drove a used car, and liked re-reading dime-store novels from the 1960s. Suckling was a veteran of WWII, and though he rarely let his friends pay for dinner on nights on the town, almost no one knew that he had inherited a moderate fortune from his father, the late CEO and Vice President of Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company. “Others in his situation might have chosen a more extravagant lifestyle,” said Buddy Hallet, the son of Betty Hallet, who was a longtime companion of Suckling’s. “He was a good man.” Suckling passed away in 2014 at the age of 93. It was announced on Wednesday, January 24th, 2018, that his will had left $37.1 million to the Pittsburgh Foundation for charitable causes in the Sewickley area. It’s the second-largest gift ever given to the foundation, succeeded only by Charles Kaufman’s $50 million bequest in 2010. Kaufman and Suckling both retired from local chemical and materials company Koppers Co. Suckling’s gift, which was finalized in December after some time stuck in probate difficulties, has been added to the Raymond C. and Martha S. Suckling Fund, established by him in ’93 in honor of his parents. He had previously contributed a little over half a million to the fund. The new gift will be spread out for years to come at $1.5 million a year, split between the local library, the hospital, and the Pittsburgh Foundation’s 100 Percent Pittsburgh initiative, which allocates funds to local nonprofits for people in need. “This is an extraordinary bequest from a truly extraordinary man,” said Maxwell King, the president and chief executive of the Pittsburgh Foundation. Carolyn Toth, executive director of the Sewickley Library, called Suckling “Our own Andrew...

Kaepernick Inspires Other Celebs to Give to Charity

Kaepernick Inspires Other Celebs to Give to Charity

Jan 29

In September of 2016, football player and activist Colin Kaepernick pledged to donate $1 million of his personal salary to charities and organizations that give aid to underserved and oppressed communities. In just over a year, he’s just a few signatures away from achieving that goal. Kaepernick himself has already donated $900,000 to 31 organizations. On January 17th, 2018, he invited other celebrities to join him as he announced his final $100,000 in donations. He encouraged them to match his donations, $10,000 at a time. Serena Williams, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Jesse Williams, T.I., and Snoop Dogg were among those who joined him in his #10for10 initiative. Snoop Dogg in particular seemed to jump at the chance, more than doubling the suggested $10,000 to instead donate $25,000 to his chosen charity, Dallas-based Mothers Against Police Brutality. Kaepernick’s contribution brings the total to $35,000. Mothers Against Police Brutality has been active since 2013, founded by Collette Flanagan. Flanagan’s son, Clinton Allen, was killed in an altercation with police earlier that year. The isolation that she felt in the aftermath inspired her to connect with other mothers similarly affected, to join forces to create a political presence. Snoop Dogg stated in an Instagram post that he is “so inspired” by the work that Mothers Against Police Brutality has done. The rapper has spoken up against police violence in the past. “It’s no secret that Uncle Snoop Dogg has transcended into global mega-stardom and even though he’s busier than ever, our brother still finds time to give back to the community in so many ways,” gushed Kaepernick on his Facebook page. “Like a true OG, Uncle Snoop didn’t even flinch when I reached out to him about being part of my #MillionDollarPledge.” MAPB will use the donation to continue uniting the families left devastated by police violence, giving them a platform and a voice until their losses are given the address they...

Bezos Family Donates $33 Mil to Dreamers Org

Bezos Family Donates $33 Mil to Dreamers Org

Jan 24

On January 10th, 2018, a federal judge blocked the Trump administration’s attempt to end the DACA program. DACA, also known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is an Obama-era protection program for immigrants under the age of 10 brought without documentation into the country. Colloquially, these immigrants are referred to as Dreamers. According to TheDream.us, only about one third of these youths graduate from high school, with fewer than 10 percent going on to enroll in college. There, they have almost no access to financial aid of any sort and must pay either out-of-state or international tuition, which can triple normal college costs. TheDream is a college access and success program targeted at these youths, operating via scholarships and partnerships with colleges. On Friday, January 12th, Jeff and Mackenzie Bezos awarded TheDream the largest donation in the organization’s three-year history: a $33 million dollar scholarship grant. This grant alone will create over a thousand full-ride scholarships for undocumented graduates, giving them chances that could have been miles out of reach. “My dad came to the U.S. when he was 16 as part of Operation Pedro Pan,” said Amazon magnate Jeff Bezos. “He landed in this country alone and unable to speak English. With a lot of grit and determination—and the help of some remarkable organizations in Delaware—my dad became an outstanding citizen, and he continues to give back to the country that he feels blessed him in so many ways. MacKenzie and I are honored to be able to help today’s Dreamers by funding these scholarships.” Bezos’s father, Mike Bezos, was one of the founding donors to TheDream alongside giants like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Only three years old, TheDream can’t yet report a graduation rate. But so far, 94% of their recipients return to college for a second year, more than twenty percent higher than the national...

Wells Fargo Renews Ongoing Support of Habitat for Humanity

Wells Fargo Renews Ongoing Support of Habitat for Humanity

Jan 08

Wells Fargo is number 25 in a ranked list of the United States’ largest corporations. Their corporate social responsibility efforts extend from long before their notoriety, and include three priorities: economic contributions to disadvantaged communities, environmental husbandry, and progressive inclusion. Their recent and ongoing donations to Habitat for Humanity serves all three goals. Habitat for Humanity, founded in 1976 in Georgia and today a worldwide Christian nonprofit, is a well-established force towards making sure people have a place to live. “Through shelter, we empower” is their motto. Wells Fargo has donated over $40 million to Habitat for Humanity since the beginning of their relationship in 2010. Wells Fargo employees are also encouraged to volunteer on Habitat building projects, having contributed more than 355,000 hours in that same time, or the equivalent of six consecutive years of man-hours. On December 20th, 2017, Wells Fargo gifted an additional $18 million to the nonprofit to strengthen their U.S. operations, specifically in the realm of disaster aid. Habitat has learned much in the wake of the hurricanes in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, and has expanded its needs. “We have seen the positive impact made in local communities through our work with Habitat for Humanity and this donation will help to further advance our commitment to economic empowerment through affordable home-ownership,” said Jon Campbell, head of Community Relations and Corporate Responsibility at Wells Fargo. “The funding will also enable Wells Fargo to exceed our goal of building and improving 1,000 homes between 2016 and 2020.” “This generous donation from Wells Fargo will enable us to partner with more families in need of a decent place to call home,” said Habitat for Humanity International CEO Jonathan Reckford. “These much-needed funds also will allow us to make critical improvements to our operations, and help us better address the growing need for affordable housing throughout the...

Texas Rangers Pitcher Cole Hamels Donates Mansion to Charity

Texas Rangers Pitcher Cole Hamels Donates Mansion to Charity

Jan 04

Camp Barnabas is an organization with a mission to provide camp and sporting experiences to people with many kinds of disabilities. They offer week-long camps, with scholarships available to those who can’t afford them. As a Christian ministry, they operate from a standpoint of affirming that every person, regardless of ability, is whole and worthy of their place in the world. “Utilizing the camp venue, our organization provides ministry and social experiences that increase spiritual knowledge, social learning, and human dignity,” reads the landing page of their website. They have served more than 75,000 campers in the past 24 years. Thanks to an incredibly generous donation from Texas Rangers pitcher Cole Hamels, Camp Barnabas will be able to massively increase the services they have to offer. Hamels and his wife have donated their brand new (in fact, as yet unfinished) mansion property at Table Rock Lake, near one of Barnabas’s two extant properties. The mansion, which Hamels first decided to sell in August (asking price: $10 million), includes 100 acres of land and a third of a mile of lake shoreline. It boasts 10 bedrooms, 19 bathrooms, two kitchens, and an elevator—meaning little renovation will need done to make it accessible for Camp Barnabas’s needs. The Hamels put their property on the market after Hamels decided that he would be staying full-time in Texas. Even though construction began in 2012, the castle-like mansion has never been inhabited. But he decided at some point that he would rather donate it. “There are tons of amazing charities in southwest Missouri,” said Hamels in a press conference, his wife at his side. “Out of all of these, Barnabas really pulled on our heartstrings. Seeing the faces, hearing the laughter, reading the stories of the kids they serve; there is truly nothing like it. Barnabas makes dreams come true, and we felt called to help them in a big way.” *Photo courtesy of Keith Allison via Flickr Creative...

Student Who Barely Graduated Donates $50 Million to Alma Mater

Student Who Barely Graduated Donates $50 Million to Alma Mater

Dec 19

Austin McChord graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2009, a major in bioinformatics who took a few extra years to pin down his last few credits. By his own admission, he wasn’t a solid student. “I never did homework when I was at the university,” McChord said in an interview with CNN. “Frankly, I never did any homework in high school either. I was not exactly the most stellar student.” It took him six years, after all, to complete his four-year degree. But McChord’s ability to succeed wasn’t constrained by his grades, or his educational motivation. This year, he sold Datto, his data security startup to investment firm Vista Equity Partners for $1.5 billion, rocketing him into the one-percent. A few years ago, during his meteoric industry rise, Bill Destler, the president at the time of Rochester Institute approached McChord to open an office in Rochester. The reach out was part of a 2013 economic development initiative pushed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. He opened that office, and also decided that if he were ever to sell his company, he would donate 10% of the proceeds, up to $50 million, to his alma matter. He never expected to reach that cap. Without it, the school’s share of the sale would be $225 million. But $50 million will fund new fellowships, a new facility, and an entrepreneurship programs at RIT. Some will also be set aside to attract talent in the fields of cybersecurity and A.I. Eight years is a short time to go from squeaking by at a university to donating tens of millions of dollars, but McChord’s grasp far exceeds others’ expectations of him. He admits that one of the reasons he turned to startups was to prove wrong an RIT academic adviser who dismissed his ideas for companies as “terrible.” It goes to show that with enough motivation and belief in one’s self, anything is...

Jaguars Coach Gives Massive Bologna Donation to Soup Kitchen

Jaguars Coach Gives Massive Bologna Donation to Soup Kitchen

Dec 13

Try to imagine 100 logs of bologna. That’s 350 pounds of the sandwich meat characterized by its smooth, undifferentiated texture, heavy salting, and unidentifiable blend of seasonings (hint: myrtle berries, of all things). It’s a food we tend to associate with childhood lunches, but it’s a good source of calories and protein, with less fat than many kinds of sausage. On Wednesday, December 6th, Doug Marrone, coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, received a gift of 100 logs of the sandwich meat from a beef industry representative. Marrone had mentioned in a recent interview that he likes it, so it wasn’t out of the blue, but the quantity was. That’s more than his own weight in sausage meat. So he decided to pass on the gift; he donated 95 of the 100 logs to Feeding Northeast Florida, a local pantry charity. Protein is one of the least-donated categories at most soup kitchens (canned vegetables account for most donations). Many people associate soup kitchens with donation drives, which specifically ask for non-perishables because that makes it easy for volunteers to collect and transport donations. But soup kitchens and pantries always need perishables as well—meats, milk, and fresh produce being vital. “This should be enough to feed about 300 people,” said Frank Castillo about Marrone’s donation. Castille is the current CEO of Feeding Northeast Florida, which serves eight counties around Dallas. The gift originally came from Eric Mittenthal, the current president of the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. It came in the form of a solid pallet of Boar’s Head brand beef bologna. By Thursday morning, it was available to nonprofits from the shelves of groceries at FNF. If you would like to join coach Marrone in supporting Feeding Northeast Florida, they accept donations via their webpage. If you live in the Dallas, FL area, please also consider...