Video Contest Winner “Day with the Misner’s”

Earlier this year, Josh Perry of FusionForge Consultants won the video contest meant to highlight the impact adults can have on children. Each submission was a video “testimonial” in which the contestant described an adult who significantly influenced their life. Josh’s winning video was about a volunteer named Ray who brought knowledge, passion and excitement to a Junior Achievement economics course he taught at Josh’s high school.

First prize was a day with Ivan and Beth Misner in Austin, TX. Josh and his wife Kay Perry had the opportunity to spend the day with the Misners at their home.

The day started with breakfast at Trace Restaurant in downtown Austin.

Next was a trip to the Farmer’s Market, also in downtown Austin. There they purchased food from the Misner Plan for lunch.

That was followed by a long boat ride on Lake Austin.

The rest of the afternoon was spent floating and hanging out at the Misner’s pool where they had lunch.

The day ended with a wine tasting and dinner at Cru Restaurant in downtown Austin.

Congratulations to Josh Perry and his wife Kay. It looks like a great time was had by all.

BNI Sacramento School Supply Drive

In August, just before the beginning of the school year, members of the BNI Riverside Executives chapter in Sacramento, California invited Principal Greg Barge of Earl Legette Elementary School to their chapter meeting. They had a surprise. Chapter members had collected over $1000 worth of school supplies to donate to the school. The supplies, as well as thirty new backpacks, went to the students of teacher Rory McClure’s fourth grade class.

Business Voices has had a successful back to school season. Supply drives like the one put together by BNI Riverside Executives, are a great way to support our local students and schools. Remember, due to budget constraints, school districts often cannot provide teachers and students with everything they need, placing the financial burden on students’ parents and the teachers themselves. Back to school time may be the most obvious time for supply drives, but supplies are needed in the fall, after the winter break and throughout the school year.

Peck Elementary School Supply Drop-off

BNI Gate City teamed up with Volvo Financial Services to provide much needed school supplies for the students of Peck Elementary school in Winston Salem, NC. Volvo Financial Services has been a big supporter of the Business Voices initiative for years. In addition to supply drives like this, Volvo Financial Services donates $5,000 to the school every year. Those funds have gone to improve technology in Peck Elementary’s classrooms.

And now there is another surprise! Volvo Financial Services has committed to having all of the Peck Elementary third graders visit their facility on a field trip where Volvo leaders will speak to the kids and take them on a tour. While there, the students will have the opportunity to explore a  large Volvo truck.

Congratulations to BNI Gate City for their successful partnership with the folks at Volvo Financial Services. By working  together and sharing their time, talents and treasure, they have had a positive impact on the students of a local school.

Fill My Ride at BNI SWFL

Fill My Ride at BNI SWFL

The next successful Business Voices® Fill My Ride event took place on August 4th. Members from BNI BizNet of the South West Florida region gathered supplies for students at Six Mile Charter Academy in Fort Myers. Enough school supplies for more than 50 children were delivered to the school in the back of a large pick-up truck. Upon arrival, BIzNet members were enthusiastically met by faculty members as well as the school’s wildcat mascot.

“There were enough supplies donated to help out 50+ students whose families were not able to fulfill the extensive supply list for the new school year,” said BNI BizNet member Matthew Colla. The school’s Dean of Students was able to disburse the supplies to the specific families most in need of them.

Congratulations to all who participated in this much needed program, and thank you for sharing your story with everyone.

Kronos Anniversary

BNI Kronos Givers Gain Anniversary Celebration

BNI Kronos in Ahmedabad, India celebrated their first anniversary – and 120M Rupees (1.8M USD) in closed business – by organizing a Business Voices event. Twenty-five of Kronos’ 32 members spent the day with mentally challenged, low income youth. BNI Kronos members organized gaming stalls for the kids and members to interact, and they provided lunch for the day. The members and children spent the day playing, dancing and dining together.

Aside from giving of their time, Kronos members donated a total of 200,000 Rupees (over 3,000 USD) including a much-needed washing machine, music system, health and hygiene kits and three months’ worth of groceries. Additionally, Kronos members adopted 12 of the youths and will provide additional necessities to them in the coming year.

Watch the video (below) and view the photos of this successful and inspiring event. Congratulations to the members of BNI Kronos for their efforts.

Boys Haven – Givers Gain® Grant Recipient

Boys’ Haven is a general residential operation in Beaumont, Texas that serves boys ages 5 to 17 and provides a port for stormy times in the boys’ lives. Many of these boys come from single parent homes and are in need of a more structured environment. Some are referred by Juvenile Probation Departments and the Department of Family and Protective Services. The program is based on the principles of discipline and hard work, a program where natural consequences occur and privileges are earned. Boys Haven has been in operation for more than 70 years.

 

 

The organization will use the $1000 Givers Gain® Grant to enroll its residents in the Equine Therapy Summer Program provided by Stable Spirit. The therapy is designed for those who have suffered some form of abuse or neglect in their lives. The boys learn about themselves and others by participating in activities with horses and discussing thoughts, beliefs, behaviors and patterns. The BNI Foundation is proud to support Boy’s Haven and the fine work they do.

Video Contest

Video Contest Winners Announced

To highlight the incredible impact adults can have on the lives of children, we asked our supporters to submit video “testimonials” describing an adult who significantly influenced their life. We received many inspiring one minute videos sharing stories of mentors, coaches, teachers and other leaders who inspired and even changed the trajectory of lives between kindergarten and high school graduation.

The first place winning video is above. Josh Perry of FusionForge Consultants describes a volunteer named Ray who brought knowledge, passion and excitement to a Junior Achievement economics course he taught at Josh’s high school. “As a result of the time spent with Ray, I went on to donate time back to my local high school,” says Josh, “For four years as a volunteer with a local youth ministry active in the school and for another two years as a substitute teacher.”  Josh’s prize for winning the contest is a day with BNI Foundation co-founders,  Ivan and Beth Misner, in Austin, TX.

Second place went to Lonnie Young of Young & Company. In the video (view HERE) Lonnie remembers the man who turned him on to math, which led to him becoming an accountant. Lonnie’s Prize was a $75 Amazon gift card.

Our third place winner (view HERE) was Robyn Smith. Robin recounts how her mailman inspired her entrepreneurial spirit and drive. Robin recieved a $50 Amazon gift card as a prize for sharing her story.

Congratulations to our winners, and  thank you to all of the entrants for participating. Their videos illustrate how even small gestures and actions by adults can make a big difference in  children’s lives.

Back to School Supply Drive

The ABC’s of Back to School Giving

This summer’s Business Voices® Back to School Supply Drive is in full swing. Now is the time to review our toolkit for supply drive project ideas and how-to’s. The toolkit is a great source of information you will need to plan and execute a successful drive to bring much needed support to local schools. There are a number of different approaches you can use and details for each one are in the Business Voices® toolkit.

The Back to School Supply Drive is an easy way to impact students’ learning experiences. You can make school a better place for students and teachers just by providing school supplies.  Our June blog post illustrated how most teachers must pay out of their own pockets for necessary supplies that are not provided by the schools. This is an important time of year for teachers to collect the supplies they will need throughout the school year. Help the children in your community to feel empowered by having the items they need to focus and learn.

The toolkit should have all of the information you need, but if you have any questions about projects or starting a Business Voices® team, contact us at info@bnifoundation.org.

Givers Gain® Grants Awarded

Givers Gain® Grants Awarded

The BNI Foundation awards the Givers Gain® Grants to schools and educational organizations twice a year in May and December. Ten awards of $1000 each are typically awarded. The grants are used to enhance classroom learning with the goal of benefiting as many classrooms, teachers and students as possible. Here are the winners for May.

Boys Haven of America, Inc. – Beaumont, Texas – Project Funded: Equine Therapy Summer Program

The grant funds will be used to provide Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine-Assisted Learning sessions for residents of Boys’ Haven who have all experienced some form of abuse or neglect in their lives. The boys learn about themselves and others by participating in activities with horses and discussing thoughts, beliefs, behaviors and patterns.

Project 16:49 – Janesville, Wisconsin – Project Funded: Building Self-Sufficiency in At-Risk Youth

This grant will be used to purchase ARISE evidence-based life skills curriculum for teens. The curriculum helps students with a number of topics including anger management, domestic violence and sexual abuse, self-esteem, time management, career networking, finances, health and hygiene, school drop-out prevention, nutrition and exercise, and safety.

Humble I.S.D. Education Foundation – Humble, Texas – Project Funded: From MOSAIC Masterpieces to Beyond

The grant money will be used to purchase two cash registers, a bar code label maker and supporting materials. Our program supports students age 18 to 22 with special education as they transition from school life to adult life. The registers will be used at our MOSAIC store and at shows and events where the students sell items and crafts they make themselves.

Clara J. Peck Elementary – Greensboro, North Carolina – Project Funded: Resource Center

We are establishing a resource room where students and their families can study, get help from teachers, work on assignments and receive help from volunteers and school workers. The grant funds will go toward computers, printers, furniture, reference books and supplies for the resource center.

Congratulations to all of the Givers Gain® Grant recipients. We wish you success in your endeavors.

Jeff Stay elected Chairman of BNI Foundation Board of Directors

Miami, FL – The BNI Foundation announced that Jeff Stay will serve as the organization’s new board chair. The Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation, is composed of a vast network of companies that pair donors with member-referred charities. With the support of its global and local communities, BNI has been providing educational resources to children for more than 18 years.

Since its creation in 1998, the Foundation has stayed true to its Givers Gain® mantra. This philosophy holds the belief that a positive impact can be made to the international business climate through providing quality education to kids around the globe. With the help of the Business Voices initiative, BNI collects donations to build schools and awards mini-grants to hundreds of teachers in the 72 countries where BNI operates.

“Jeff Stay has played an integral role in the growth and success of the BNI Foundation,” said Beth Misner, co-founder and board secretary of 18-year-old foundation. “We’re excited about the energy and leadership he will bring to our growing organization.”

Jeff Stay is Executive Director and Founding Member of BNI Miami-Dade. Under Stay’s leadership, BNI-Miami Dade received the honor of being named the # 1 region in the United States based on its record growth, performance and member participation. Furthermore, Stay carries experience from serving as a past board member for both the Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation and Family Resource Center of South Florida.

A great local example of the good South Florida BNI members have done for the community is the Fill My Ride campaign where four local teachers were invited to a local Office Max for a shopping spree to help them defray the cost of supplies for their classrooms. BNI Miami Dade along with Stay and Misner paid for all their shopping, which amounted to approximately $2000 in supplies.

And at a recent Tuesday Network Nights event, local BNI members were invited to FILL OUR RIDE and they did. Stay’s large Toyota Sequoia was filled to the brim. It took 5 teenage boys 5 trips to get everything out of the car. Our best guess puts the donation of school supplies from members at about $3000. Additional monies were also raised to purchase gift cards and scientific equipment for local classrooms. In total, $6,500 in contributions and school supplies were raised.

“We couldn’t be happier with the generosity and hard work of our BNI members,” said Stay. “Helping kids get good educations continues to be the top priority of the BNI Foundation.”

Stay received his Master’s Degree in Law Firm Management from George Washington University. With nearly 20 years of professional experience, he has proven himself to be successful entrepreneur and engaged member of the South Florida community. The BNI Foundation is very excited to have Jeff Stay as our Founding Board Chair.

Jeff Stay Board of Directors

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