Givers Gain Grant Provides Chess Sets, Coaching to Virginia Beach Students

Givers Gain Grant Provides Chess Sets, Coaching to Virginia Beach Students

 

Hampton Roads Chess Association in Virginia Beach, VA is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing the life benefits of chess to people of all ages and abilities. They work closely with area schools, and other local organizations, to provide chess equipment and instruction to students throughout the region. Now, Hampton Roads Chess Association is also a Givers Gain Grant recipient.

 

“We are so grateful for your support in being able to impact children who could not otherwise afford chess programming,” said Executive Director, Tina Schweiss, “These children will learn focus, impulse control, decision-making, planning and organizing, calculation, pattern recognition, time management, and so much more through chess.”

 

The bulk of the grant was used to hire chess coaches to provide instruction to students at two elementary schools, Seatack Elementary in Virginia Beach and Lindenwood Elementary in Norfolk, VA. Hampton Roads has partnered with Connect With a Wish – a Virginia non-profit that serves children in foster care – and a portion of the grant funds were used to provide the children with chess classes, clubs and tournaments to participate in as well as personal, portable chess sets. Finally, any remaining funds supplemented the Joan H. Schlich Memorial Scholarship Fund which covers individual, need-based scholarships. “We have a scholarship fund with which we strive to turn no child away for inability to pay. The fees they would normally pay for tuition, training accounts, etc. are covered by the scholarship in whole or in part,” said Schweiss.

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The Hampton Roads Chess Association has done great work introducing and promoting the game of chess to children and adults, all the while working with a network of other non-profits and chess focused organizations to maximize their impact and reach. We at the BNI Foundation are proud to support this worthwhile organization.

Business Voices Future Leaders Week

What is Business Voices Future Leaders Week?

Business Voices Future Leaders Week (BVFL) is a simple way for BNI professionals to offer young people career orientation advice within their local community. During the week of October 17 – 21, 2022, we are inviting Chapters to hold their weekly Meeting in a local school, showcasing the way BNI teams work together. After the Meeting, volunteer Members will remain in the school to talk and answer questions about their chosen professions.

 

Why did the BNI Foundation create BVFL Week?

BVFL is designed to give students a real world understanding of what businesspeople do and how they got there. As BNI Members and Directors, we have unique experiences and are proud to have so many entrepreneurs who may not have a traditional educational background. At the BNI Foundation, we believe it is important for students to see that every educational and professional experience is important. Regardless of the path to your career, it is important to show students that success is achieves in many different ways. Business Voices Future Leaders Week also provides opportunities for BNI Members to give back to their communities and gives Chapters a reinvigorating experience to remind them of the importance of their networks for growing their businesses and the communities in which they live.

 

How to get involved

If your Chapter is interested in participating in BVFL, please register in advance by using the link provided below. To make the process as smooth as possible, you must register your team in advance. Once registered, a representative from our organization will email you the event packet with all of the materials needed to have a successful and fun day!

Our Goal for BVFL Week

Our goal is to provide career orientation advice to students ages 15- 18 years old as they prepare for their future careers.

 

 

Register today!

Business Voices Future Leaders Week

The 3 Pillars of the BNI Foundation

The 3 Pillars of the BNI Foundation

 

Every solid structure needs a good foundation. The BNI Foundation’s 3 Pillars are what make our organization succeed in making the biggest impact for as many young people as we can. Our 3 pillars are Business Voices, Givers Gain Grants, and the Misner Endowment Fund, all of which are essential to fulfilling our mission. Below outlines each pillar and how they work together to make us the BNI Foundation!

 

Business Voices

Inspired by a cry from an inner-city community, Co-Founder Elisabeth Misner was moved by one parent’s televised plea for help with the dire situation in that community’s schools, and thus, Business Voices was born. Business Voices (BV) allows BNI Members, Directors, and Chapters to use their time, talent, knowledge, and experience to help children in the communities in which they live and work. Through BV, you can make an impact on your community, supporting educators and students as they grow and learn. Our Business Voices teams are our volunteer teams that provide “boots-on-the-ground” support all over the world through utilizing the network of BNI Chapters.

 

Givers Gain Grants 

Our Givers Gain Grants are grant funds given to organizations whose mission is to positively impact young people. Our Givers Gain Grants help to fund programs that help young people by providing clothing, after school programs, tutoring classroom supplies, scholarships, and much more. Grants are generally $1,000 USD and are funded by donations received from our generous supporters. They are available to support educational organizations in countries around the world. Our Grant Cycle runs twice a year, once in Spring and again in the Fall, each lasting approximately 4 weeks.

 

Misner Endowment Fund

The Misner Endowment Fund was created in 2019 to ensure financial support for the BNI Foundation for years to come. Donations to the Misner Endowment fund grow with our organization through interest earned and will support children and education by funding grants and programs. Through their generous support, Misner Fellows are helping us achieve our goal of having $1,000,000 USD in the Endowment Fund — which was the dream of Co-Founder, Elisabeth Misner.

 

 

A Magic (Johnson) Moment at the ConnexFM Conference

A Magic (Johnson) Moment at the ConnexFM Conference

 

Our chairmen, Kevin Barber and David Kauffman, along with board member Michael Walchonski, were recently given the opportunity to speak about the BNI Foundation’s impact at the ConnexFM conference in Long Beach, CA. While there, they met and spoke with Magic Johnson, world renowned basketball star and philanthropist. At the meet and greet they thought they would have a bit of private time with Magic, but he had other plans.

He was pushing past the backstage crowd and got to our chairmen and Kevin asked, “How can we help you?” He stopped and looked at them and said, “What did you say?” David responded,” We are the BNI Foundation, and our foundation has a similar mission as yours, we help children succeed, I want to know how we can help you?”. He looked and said, “That is a totally different conversation.

Give me something to write on and call me to set up a meeting.” After talking about both of our Foundations for a brief time, he gave them his number! BNI Foundation and Magic Johnson have hopes to work together on a project soon. A true testament to the Givers Gain philosophy, we are excited to see what the future holds!

New Life Beginnings: Partnership with Connex Foundation

New Life Beginnings Project: Partnership with the Connex Foundation

The BNI Foundation has been working on a partnership with the Connex Foundation over the last few months to support New Life Beginnings, a shelter for women and children in Long Beach, California and we were finally able to see the project come to life on April 24th, 2022. Along with this partnership, the BNI Foundation awarded a $25,000 Givers Gain Grant to the project, our largest Grant to date. Board Members Kevin Barber, David Kauffman, and Michael Walchonski were on-site representing the BNI Foundation during the New Life Beginnings Project making much needed updates to the building spaces, living quarters, and learning centers.

New Life Beginnings provides safe shelter to vulnerable women and their children in a stable, caring, structured environment. The organization does not take government funding because the regulations in place would only allow those seeking shelter to stay for 2 months and women would only be permitted to house 2 children with them, requiring their families to be separated and the other children to be placed in foster care.

At the BNI Foundation, we know how important it is for children to live and stay in an environment that has all of the resources they need to be successful which is why we were proud to be the premiering sponsor of the New Life Beginnings Project. With this grant, we could contribute new books, furniture, and other necessities in the shelter to make sure all of the families and children that are staying at New Life Beginnings feel welcomed and cared for.

In addition to the project, the BNI Foundation was given the opportunity to attend the ConnexFM Conference the following days. As the guests of the Connex Foundation, our Chairmen were able to speak on stage about the BNI Foundation, our goals, mission, and vision. We are thankful for the partnership with the Connex Foundation and the good work we could do together with the New Life Beginnings Project.

To watch a review of our project, check out our YouTube channel – linked here!

BNI Foundation Learning Center in Kashipur Village, Bangladesh

 

[Kashipur Village, Khulna, Bangladesh] – The BNI Foundation partnered with Speak Up for the Poor to build the BNI Foundation Learning Center in Kashipur Village in Bangladesh. Speak Up for the Poor is a nonprofit whose mission is to create a new reality for girls in poverty. They create transformative programs for impoverished girls though three channels – the Girls Education Program, homes for at-risk-girls, and as justice advocates for girls experiencing abuse.

Speak Up for the Poor was a Givers Gain Grant recipient in the Fall of 2021 and immediately put the funds to work with the construction of the BNI Foundation Learning Center completed in March of 2022.

“The BNI Foundation grant has funded the construction of a brand-new Learning Center (schoolhouse) in Kashipur village — one of the 35 villages and urban communities in which Speak Up’s Girls Education Program operates”, says Dave Palmer, Director of Development for Speak Up for the Poor. “The new Learning Center in Kashipur will facilitate the education of more than 150 girls and young women in our Girls Education Program every year.  We are so grateful to the BNI Foundation for their kind partnership with us”.

Speak Up for the Poor helps girls from impoverished backgrounds to escape child marriage and child trafficking, and to stay in school all the way through high school and college graduation, changing their future. Their life-saving programs in communities throughout Bangladesh are monumental, and the BNI Foundation is proud to partner with Speak Up to provide this grant to help in their mission to change lives.

For more information about Speak Up for the Poor, visit their website at  https://www.speakupforthepoor.org/.

 

Giver’s Gain Grant Funded to Bring Diversity to Art Schoolbooks

[Bradford, Vermont] – The Bradford Elementary School was recently awarded $1,000 of grant funding by the BNI Foundation to support their art program. This grant funded updated schoolbooks in the classroom to reflect a diversity of artists from different backgrounds who are masters in their mediums. The Bradford Elementary School is a student-centered community of learners who work together to support student growth academically, socially, and emotionally.

“I am very excited to be the recipient of the BNI Givers Gain Grant! As the art teacher at Bradford Elementary School, I am privileged to see each of my kindergarten through sixth grade students every week for art class,” said Al Morrow, Bradford Elementary Art Teacher for K-6.

“They are always excited to learn about new artists, and one of my favorite ways to introduce them to different artists is through picture books. Most of the books we have in the art room are

about thirty years old, and do not reflect the diversity of today’s art world. Because each year’s art budget is used to purchase art supplies for students, updating the books has had to wait. I am thrilled to be able to use the funds from the BNI Foundation Givers Gain Grant to finally be able to diversify and update the books in the art room! I know that the students of Bradford Elementary will be ecstatic to have access to these wonderful books”.

At Bradford Elementary School, we are seeing firsthand the urgent need to support educators in their ability to provide relevant materials for their students. We believe updating these books will have a significant impact on the students at Bradford Elementary

School as they continue their education by providing diverse, updated materials. The BNI Foundation works diligently to ensure that the grants we provide to educators will make the biggest impact on the largest number of students, and we are glad that we can assist Ms. Morrow in her endeavors to provide the highest quality education possible for her students.

 

 

BNI Global Convention 2021 Fundraising Success

BNI Foundation Fundraising Success Report: BNI Global Convention 2021

Each year, the BNI Foundation is an integral part of the BNI Global Convention which was held virtually this year on October 6-9, 2021. This year, with the help of our amazing donors, the BNI Foundation raised over $40,000 with donors from 46 countries to help support children’s education around the world. Our fundraising efforts could not be successful without the continued support of the BNI Global Events Team and the BNI Executive Team who believe in the Foundation’s mission to make the world better for children. The main sources of fundraising came from attendees adding a donation to their event registration, raffle tickets, and the silent auction.

Keynote speakers from Global Convention donated their time and talents to the BNI Foundation by way of 121 Consultations in our silent auction. Stan Phelps, Dr. Cindy McGovern, Calvin Strachan, Charlie Lawson, Dr. Jeff Barnes, Linda Clemons, Mike Murphy, Robert Skrob, and Dr. Ivan Misner all championed the silent auction with their consultations, books, wine tastings, etc. as items in the auction resulting in over $9,000 raised.

We take pride in how much the Foundation has grown over the last 3 years, despite the global challenges we all faced and will continue to face. It was a time to build relationships with our donors and members of the BNI community as we continued to help support children’s education. The growth is in the numbers. The growth is because of our generous donors. We look forward to updating you on the impact of these donations and cannot wait to see what we can accomplish together at the 2022 Global Convention.

 

Alphabetical Donor Country List

National Volunteer Week

At Home Volunteer Opportunities.

Today is the last day of National Volunteer Week. It is a time to reflect and show appreciation for all of the volunteers who provide their time and energy unselfishly to people and issues that need attention and help. It is also a time to consider how we can help. Below are some volunteer opportunities to explore during the current quarantine. Most of these volunteer activities are convenient to participate in from home and will be easy to continue even when we are no longer confined.

BOOKS

BookShare.org is dedicated to offering books to those with reading disabilities including vision impairments, dyslexia and learning disabilities. Online volunteering opportunities include scanning books into their database and editing books scanned in by others.

A great option to help in your own neighborhood is by following the lead of our volunteer of the year, Brian Bentzen. He set up a “social distancing neighborhood library” where kids can share their books. This is a great way to stay connected in your community while sheltering in place.

MENTORING

CarrerVillage.org is a platform where students, “who want to be you when they grow up,” ask questions that you, as an experienced professional in your field, answer. You will need a LinkedIn account to take part. Sharing your expertise with students is a great way to practice Givers Gain® in the spirit of the mission of the BNI Foundation.

COUNSELING

CrisisTextLine.com is a free national crisis intervention and counseling service conducted through SMS texting. Set up for individuals dealing with issues like bullying, self-harm and suicidal thoughts, it is currently being used by many having a particularly hard time with isolation during the quarantine. Volunteering involves a screening, online training and weekly four-hour shifts answering texts from people needing emotional support. If you could benefit from this service, text HOME to 741741.

CLOSE TO HOME

Those with certain health conditions and the elderly are more susceptible to the serious effects of Covid-19. This increases the risk of running errands where they will come in contact with others. If you go to the store for groceries and medicine, consider doing the shopping for your at risk neighbor to minimize their risk. Always follow the recommended social distancing guidelines and practice increased hygiene in all of your volunteering activities.

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