Whirlpool’s “Care Counts” Program Increases School Attendance

by Brian Watkins

A surprising number of children across the US come to school each day without ready access to clean clothes. One school in particular in Fairfield, California noticed striking attendance problems that seemed to be due to this. Whirlpool introduced its “Care Counts” program in that area, to great effect.

Whirlpool donated seventeen pairs of washer and dryers to school districts in St. Louis and Fairfield, which allowed those schools to invite kids to bring their clothes in to wash. What kind of difference did that make?

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BNI Italy Launches Business Voices and Prepares for September 30

BNI Italy just launched Business Voices in June, spreading BNI’s movement of community giving to yet another area of the globe.

In a talk I had with Dario Castagna and Monica Passini about how things were developing, they explained that various chapters were getting involved. They were very clear that there would be close supervision at first to ensure all of Business Voices’ principles are being presented well. “It’s very important,” Dario said, “that the community receive the right message about what BNI is trying to accomplish.”

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The Boys and Girls Club of Vacaville Feeds over 300 Students

by Brian Bentzen

The Boys and Girls club in Vacaville serves over 300 students, ages 6 to 18yrs. Years ago, they were awarded a BNI Foundation Givers Gain Grant due to a nomination by Susan Schwartz, BNI Director Consultant BNI CA San Francisco North Bay. They purchased Tower Gardens to teach the students about gardening and nutrition.  They are growing tomatoes, pumpkin, basil, Swiss chard, kale, onions, cucumbers, cilantro and peppers.

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Schools Helping Schools and the Kindness Club

Recently in the Triad area of NC a private school adopted an elementary school in something of a two part assist. By adopt, we mean that the private school’s students took it upon themselves to help solve some challenges the elementary school was having, volunteering their time and resources.

The one big bullet point to mention on that is that they were able to secure 900 books for the elementary school’s summer reading program, which is a huge benefit for those students to have such a variety to draw inspiration from.

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The Triad’s 2016 Golf Tournament Fundraiser

Last year’s golf tournament was a success, raising thousands of dollars for the Boys and Girls Club. The folks involved in the Business Voices movement are preparing for the second annual golf tournament on September 30, which is a Friday. That gives the team the summer to put things in order for a fantastic day for the community.

This year’s golf tournament will be at the Maple Chase Country Club, and will feature raffles, swag bags full of goodies, and of course various golfing packages for visitors and their friends.

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Tragedy Reinforces The Spirit of Giving

Donations of supplies for schools in need is always a plus for staff and students. But sometimes being without certain things we take for granted is more than a distracting inconvenience.

A recent tragedy at one of the schools Business Voices has been involved with reinforces the movement’s mission. Last month at Peck Elementary a student passed away from complications during an asthma attack.

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What Is Business Voices?

This is a question that comes up a lot. For a lot of folks the difference between the BNI Foundation and Business Voices isn’t clear — are they two separate organizations working together?

Business Voices is a movement BNI has created to help kids have the resources they need to grow up and be successful. Every school has some challenge they’re looking to overcome. Sometimes it’s budgetary as it pertains to supplies, other times it’s grades or parent involvement. The idea behind the BNI Foundation’s Business Voices initiative is to help schools identify these challenges, then leverage the community to solve them.

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Grooming Our Future Entrepreneurs With Financial Literacy

Our increasingly digital culture seems to lend itself to entrepreneurship more than any other time. That opens a lot of doors for the youth of today, but being successful in any kind of business is about more than negotiations and trademarking good ideas. Financial literacy is a fundamental skill that is central to the success of any entrepreneurial endeavor, and is one that too often gets passed over.

Junior Achievement (JA) Worldwide is an organization with the mission to change that. Powered by over 450,000 volunteers and mentors, JA Worldwide reaches over 10 million young people each year. By inspiring our youth with goals and tools they need to succeed early on, their chances of succeeding increase dramatically as they reach the age where they’re ready to put those ideas into the world.

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Volunteer Day at Sammy’s House (Non-Profit)

What’s new in Austin with Business Voices?

The team pulled together in Texas again to revitalize a learning environment called Sammy’s House, a non-profit that works with kids who are developmentally delayed or medically sensitive. It’s an important role of support for kids that want to learn and benefit from doing so in a non-traditional classroom environment. As a non-profit everyone involved does what they can, but funding can be a challenge.

Sammy’s House had a wish list that included supplies, cleaning, and organizing. In particular, the laundry room.

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Austin Area Receives $1.4M Donation From 3M

This story began with a visit from Melinda McKenna, a long time BNI member who heard about Business Voices movement
in a Leadership Training seminar. It piqued her interest, and at the following meeting she shared an idea of creating a supply closet for teachers in the Austin school district (AISD).

AISD currently has a warehouse to store various teaching supplies that are transported to schools weekly — something that made the next step easier.

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