Austin Award

Beth Misner Awarded for Her Philanthropic Work with Children

This weekend, at the 7th Annual Austin Originals Benefit Concert, BNI Foundation founder Beth Misner was awarded the Community Activist Phyllis Richards Austin Icon for Children Award. The award, which is presented each year by the Austin Child Guidance Center, recognizes Mrs. Misner’s contributions to, and engagement with, the community, which have resulted in positive changes for Austin’s children.

Beth Misner, along with her husband, Ivan Misner, founded the BNI Foundation 20 years ago to support students, schools and educational organizations around the world. The BNI Foundation congratulates Mrs. Misner on this prestigious award given in recognition of her volunteerism and philanthropic spirit.

Opened in 1951, the Austin Child Guidance Center works to improve the mental health of children and their families by providing early intervention, diagnosis and treatment. In the decades since it’s establishment, The  Austin Child Guidance Center has provided treatment to more than 140,000 children and families.

BNI Manhattan Teams Up With Operation Backpack

BNI Manhattan Teams Up With Operation Backpack

In New York city, there are more than 16,000 homeless children who start each school year with no school supplies. Operation Backpack, organized by Volunteers of America, is dedicated to providing brand new backpacks with age-appropriate school supplies for children in grades 1-12. Last year Operation Backpack provided 18,000 backpacks full of school supplies to homeless children in New York.

Several BNI Manhattan members volunteered this month on to help stuff backpacks. Additionally, the BNI Manhattan 62 chapter has committed to providing 24 supply stuffed backpacks themselves. “Many of us in BNI have children and know how much it means when our kids go back to school each year with brand new supplies and a new backpack. I’m so happy that we as a BNI franchise and community of business professionals are able to support this effort, both financially and through volunteering.” said Jennifer S. Wilkov, BNI Manhattan’s Philanthropy Coordinator.

Volunteers of America is a nonprofit organization of nearly 16,000 paid, professional employees and 60,000 volunteers dedicated to helping those in need including veterans, at-risk youth, the frail elderly, men and women returning from prison, homeless individuals and families, people with disabilities, and those recovering from addictions. Learn more at voa.org.

GTS at Ashley Park Elementary

Global Support Team Takes Ashley Park Elementary Under It’s Wing

The BNI Foundation Global Support Team had a great year with it’s sponsored school, Ashley Park Elementary! This year the team made a concerted effort to really make a difference for the students and teachers. Below are highlights of the results of the team’s hard work, time and funds invested toward Ashley Park Elementary.

  • In September the team collected school supplies and BNI HQ donated book bags for the preschool classes
  • In December they collected PJ’s for the Preschoolers
  • In February they collected belts for the students
  • In March they collected Navy colored polo shirts for the students’ uniforms
  • In April they collected Khaki pants for the uniforms
  • BNI HQ sponsored a field trip for the 5th grade class to Laser Tag as well as a stop at BNI HQ for free ice pops from “King of Pops’ and a tour of the offices and a talk with CEO Graham Weihmiller
  • In May they held a teacher appreciation for the amazing teachers that work in very difficult situations day in and day out.  The team collected money and had a Coffee truck available at the school in the teacher parking lot to offer all of the staff free specialty coffees.  There were also donuts, bagels and other yummy treats in their teacher lounge.  The staff was blown away and so appreciative of this gesture.

Congratulations to the Global Support Team for a great year sponsoring a deserving school. Keep up the good work. Check out the video below and the gallery at this link.

Austin Child Guidance Center

BNI Foundation Founder Recognized for Contribution to Children

The BNI Foundation’s very own Beth Misner has been selected as a finalist for the 7th Annual Community Activist Phyllis Richards Austin Icon for Children Award. The award is presented each year by the Austin Child Guidance Center to recognize outstanding contributions to positive change for children by exemplifying excellence through community engagement. The award winner will be announced at the 7th Annual Austin Originals Benefit Concert on August 18th. This award is given every year to two individuals in the categories of Community Activist and Community Professional for demonstrating excellence in improving outcomes for children. Beth is a finalist in the Community Activist category, for individuals dedicated to positive outcomes for children through volunteerism and/or philanthropy, along with three other nominees.

Established in 1951, the Austin Child Guidance Center works to improve the mental health of children and their families by providing early intervention, diagnosis and treatment. The Center has a multidisciplinary team of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, family therapists and professional counselors that provide individual, family and group psychiatric and psychological services, parental education, as well as training for current and future mental health professionals. The  Austin Child Guidance Center has provided treatment to over 140,000 children and families in its more than 65 years in operation.

Congratulations to Mrs. Misner and all of the finalists for this prestigious recognition of their work with children.

Business Voices Gives Peck Elementary a Big Step Forward

PeckElementary2The dream for Business Voices began with a vision for five BNI chapters to adopt five local schools, each one doing what their members could to improve the students’ experience. The most recent story to date is that of Peck Elementary in Greensboro, NC.

Carla McCoy, the school’s education coordinator, helped to connect the school with BNI. From there the relationship began much like the schools before it − members of BNI met with the principal to discuss the five biggest challenges the school was facing. In this case, Peck Elementary’s principal polled both teachers and students for consensus to ensure everyone’s concerns were addressed.

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Helping Schools One “T” at a Time with Business Voices

get_involvedOver the years, the BNI Foundation has done amazing things to support children’s educational organizations – schools, community projects and other educational organizations. Since starting our charitable focus over 17 years ago, the BNI Foundation has contributed over $3 million to non-profit, charitable organizations like Junior Achievement (Young Enterprise), Boys and Girls Clubs, Claremont Educational Foundation, Flat Rock Elementary, Super Stars Literacy, Tareto Maa – Kenya, Little Rock Orphanage and School – Kenya, and Building Blocks – India, among many, many others.

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Givers Gain Grants Update

With the launch of the BNI Foundation’s Business Voices movement in August, 2014, more excitement, energy and support has been building within BNI than ever before for the great work we have been doing over the past 18 years in children’s education. As a result of the enthusiastic reaction, we plan to begin supporting Business Voices with our Givers Gain Grants program.

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Help Us Feed Inner City Kids!

Feed the Need UgandaAfter returning from an impactful trip to Zimbabwe, former BNI Select Business Source Chapter member Steve Sargent introduced his chapter to an opportunity they never expected. Steve used his presentation time, not to present on his business, but to present an opportunity for the chapter to literally save lives by giving two hours of volunteer time. Sargent found that in keeping with BNI’s Givers Gain® philosophy, chapter members were eager to help.

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Business Voices Collaboration with Smothers Academy

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Damon speaks to the BNI members in New Orleans

Written by: Beth Misner

Damon Smothers with the students of John D Martyn Alternative School.

Damon Smothers with the students of John D Martyn Alternative School.

Ivan and I (Beth Misner) hosted the BNI regional Member Extravaganza winners at a breakfast on Saturday morning during our New Orleans trip in October 2014. We invited Damon Smothers, the school psychologist who had coordinated the school visits from the previous day which I have written about earlier on this blog site, to our BNI breakfast. We asked him to share with our guests the vision he has had for some time of the Smothers Academy, a public school for boys with a prep school focus. Here is a summary of what he told us:

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