2014 Presidential Medal of Freedom

11/23/2014

Presidential Medal of Freedom

The Medal of Freedom is the Nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

Awarded for “a meritorious act or service which has aided the United States in the prosecution of a war against an enemy or enemies and for which an award of another United States medal or decoration is considered inappropriate”

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Executive Order signed by President John F. Kennedy establishing the Presidential Medal of Freedom, as well as the first ceremony bestowing the honor on an inaugural class of 31 recipients. Since that time, more than 500 exceptional individuals from all corners of society have been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

President Obama said, “The Presidential Medal of Freedom goes to men and women who have dedicated their own lives to enriching ours. This year’s honorees have been blessed with extraordinary talent, but what sets them apart is their gift for sharing that talent with the world. It will be my honor to present them with a token of our nation’s gratitude.”

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On November 24 2014 the following individuals will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom:

Alvin Ailey (posthumous)
Isabel Allende
Tom Brokaw
James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner (posthumous)
Mildred Dresselhaus
John Dingell
Ethel Kennedy
Suzan Harjo
Abner Mikva
Patsy Takemoto Mink
Edward Roybal (posthumous)
Charles Sifford
Robert Solow
Stephen Sondheim
Meryl Streep
Marlo Thomas
Stevie Wonder

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Thank The Troops & Operation Santa

11/11/2014

Thank the Troops

Thank an American Hero

This Veterans Day, we hope you’ll take a moment to join First Lady Michelle Obama and thank an American hero. Sending that message is easy. You can send a note on JoiningForces.gov by clicking on the “Share Your Message” tab. Either way, your card will be delivered to service members and veterans throughout the holiday season. To get you started, we’ve pasted the First Lady’s card,send your own on JoiningForces.gov

 

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For a seventh year, American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes are partnering to hold the American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program to ensure all Americans have an opportunity to send a touch of home this holiday season to members of our U.S. military, veterans and their families, many of whom will be far away from home this holiday season.

The process is very simple and takes no time at all – All you need is a pen and piece of paper to share your appreciation for the sacrifices members of the U.S. Armed Forces make to protect our freedoms The Holiday Mail for Heroes mail box is open and ready to receive for your cards. Please send all mail to:

Card Guidelines:
Every card received will be screened for hazardous materials by Pitney Bowes and then reviewed by Red Cross volunteers working around the country.

Please observe the following guidelines to ensure a quick reviewing process:

* All cards being sent in for 2013 Holiday Mail For Heroes program should be postmarked no later than Friday, December 5, 2014.

* Ensure that all cards are signed.

* Use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member.” Cards addressed to specific individuals can not be delivered through this program.

* Only cards are being accepted. Do not send or include letters.

* Do not include email or home addresses on the cards, as the program is not meant to foster pen pal relationships.

* Do not include inserts of any kind, including photos, as these items will be removed during the reviewing process.

* Participants are encouraged to mail as many cards as they are comfortable sending. If you are mailing a large quantity, please bundle the cards and place them in large mailing envelopes or use a flat rate box from the post office. Each card does not need its own envelope, as cards will be removed from all envelopes before distribution.

* Please refrain from sending holiday cards with glitter. Many of these cards will be delivered to military and veterans medical facilities and the glitter could interfere with a patient’s recovery.

* If you are mailing a large quantity of cards, please bundle them and place them in large mailing envelopes or flat rate postal shipping boxes. Each card does not need its own envelope, as envelopes will be removed from all cards before distribution.

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Holiday Mail For Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

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As close as we can tell, the Postal Service began receiving letters to Santa Claus more than 100 years ago. However, it was in 1912 that Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock authorized local postmasters to allow postal employees and citizens to respond to the letters in the program that became known as Operation Santa.

In 1940, mail volume for Santa increased so much the Postal Service invited charitable organizations and corporations to participate to provide written responses to the letters and small gifts to the children who wrote them.

Over the past 69 years, the program has taken on a life of its own. Postal facilities in cities around the country today allow charitable organizations, major corporations, local businesses and individuals to adopt letters to Santa to make children’s holiday dreams come true from coast to coast.

Individuals and organizations interested in adopting a letter should go to a participating office and complete a participation form.

Operation Santa Claus Post Office Locations

Operation Santa Letter – Indivdual Participation Form

Operation Santa Letter – Organization Participant Form

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My Brother’s Keeper

02/25/2014
President Obama signs the "My Brother's Keeper" presidential memorandum 2/27/14

President Obama signs the “My Brother’s Keeper” presidential memorandum 2/27/14

My Brother’s Keeper

The “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative will bring government agencies, foundations and companies together to test a range of strategies to support young men to keep them in school and out of the criminal justice system.

My Brother’s Keeper strives to make sure that every young man of color who is willing to work hard and lift himself up has an opportunity to get ahead and reach his full potential.

Participants will include youth groups like the Chicago-based group called “Becoming a Man“, Michael Rubinger, chief executive of the Local Initiatives Support Corp.; scholars such as Robert Putnam, a Harvard University professor; business leaders such as Thomas Donohue, the chief executive of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; and Earvin “Magic” Johnson, the former basketball star and businessman; cabinet officials Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., Education Secretary Arne DuncanLabor Secretary Thomas Perez , General Colin Powell, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Adam Silver, Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Congressman Ruben Hinojosa, and  many more leaders from key national and regional philanthropic foundations and major businesses, all of whom understand what is at stake with this effort.  When we let this many boys and young men fall behind – we are crippling our ability to reach our full potential as a nation.

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February 27 – President Obama launches  “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2014

01/19/2014

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a United States federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr.  King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.

The national Martin Luther King Day of Service was started by former Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Harris Wofford and Atlanta Congressman John Lewis, who co-authored the King Holiday and Service Act. The federal legislation challenges Americans to transform the King Holiday into a day of citizen action volunteer service in honor of Dr. King. The federal legislation was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on August 23, 1994. Since 1996, the annual Greater Philadelphia King Day of Service.  has been the largest event in the nation honoring Dr. King. In honor of MLK, volunteers across the country donate their time to make a difference on this day.

Explore the mlkday.gov site to learn more about MLK Day and how you can participate. Below area few links to get you started.



Feeding America 2013

12/19/2013

Feeding America (aka Second Harvest) is the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity. Their mission is to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger.

Each year, the Feeding America network provides food to more than 37 million low-income people facing hunger in the United States, including 14 million children and nearly 3 million seniors.

Their network of more than 200 food banks serves all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, securing and distributing more than 2.5 billion pounds of food and grocery products annually. Those member food banks support approximately 61,000 local charitable agencies and 70,000 programs, which provide food directly to individuals and families in need.

Learn more about your local Feeding America network member food bank: http://feedingamerica.org/foodbank-results.aspx

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HUNGER IN AMERICA

Impact of Hunger

Hunger Studies

GET INVOLVED

Volunteer

Advocate

Corporate Opportunities

Spread the Word

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Community Renewal: Supporting a Local Food Bank

Feeding America’s Hungry: The Facts

One hundred percent of food banks responding to a Feeding America survey reported increases in demand for emergency food assistance over the last year.  Demand for emergency food assistance increased at a rate ranging from 28.6% – 37.7% footnote 1.

Many people are turning to food banks for the first time because of the economic climate. 99.4% of food banks and distribution agencies reported seeing more first time users in the last year. 74% reported seeing more newly unemployed persons. 48% of food banks and distribution agencies reported seeing a greater number of children in their food lines.

Seventy-two percent of food banks do not feel as though they are able to adequately meet the needs of their communities without adjusting the amount of food distributed.

Across the Feeding America network of over 63,000 agencies, 66 percent of pantries, 41 percent of kitchen programs, and 11 percent of shelter programs have no paid staff, relying entirely on volunteers. footnote 2

Commit yourself and a team of your friends and neighbors to help feed America’s hungry.  This tool kit will give you the basics to volunteer at a food bank, start of food drive, recruit a team, organize your group, and make an impact.

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Some Feeding America (Second Harvest) locations also partner with an organiztion that supplies food for pets. Contact your location to inquire.
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Sorry but ProPresObama thread comments &
WH daily schedule not available 12/1/13 – 1/5/14
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2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom

11/18/2013

Presidential Medal of Freedom

The Medal of Freedom is the Nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

Awarded for “a meritorious act or service which has aided the United States in the prosecution of a war against an enemy or enemies and for which an award of another United States medal or decoration is considered inappropriate”

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Executive Order signed by President John F. Kennedy establishing the Presidential Medal of Freedom, as well as the first ceremony bestowing the honor on an inaugural class of 31 recipients. Since that time, more than 500 exceptional individuals from all corners of society have been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

President Obama said, “The Presidential Medal of Freedom goes to men and women who have dedicated their own lives to enriching ours. This year’s honorees have been blessed with extraordinary talent, but what sets them apart is their gift for sharing that talent with the world. It will be my honor to present them with a token of our nation’s gratitude.”

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On November 20, 2013 the following individuals will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom:

Ernie Banks
Ben Bradlee
William Jefferson Clinton
Daniel Inouye
Daniel Kahneman
Richard Lugar
Loretta Lynn
Mario Molina
Sally Ride
Bayard Rustin
Arturo Sandoval
Dean Smith
Gloria Steinem
Cordy Tindell “C.T.” Vivian
Patricia Wald
Oprah Winfrey

For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/08/08/president-obama-names-presidential-medal-freedom-recipients

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Volunteer for the USO

10/24/2013

The United Service Organizations Inc. (USO Show) is a nonprofit organization that provides programs, services and live entertainment to United States troops and their families. Since 1941, it has worked in partnership with the Department of Defense (DOD), relying heavily on private contributions and on funds, goods, and services from various corporate and individual donors. Although congressionally chartered, it is not a government agency. The USO operates 160 centers worldwide.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USO

USO FLOTUS & SLOTUS

During World War II, the USO became the G.I.‘s “home away from home” and began a tradition of entertaining the troops that continues today.

Throughout our country’s history, Americans have felt profound appreciation and gratitude for the dedication and sacrifice of our troops and their families. The USO provides a tangible way for all of us to say thank you, as it has for 70 years.

Thanks to your generosity, the USO fulfills its mission of lifting the spirits of America’s troops and their families. Through the USO, you touch their lives through an extensive range of programs at more than 160 locations in 27 states and 14 countries, and at hundreds of entertainment events each year. Thousands of USO volunteers do everything possible to provide a home away from home for our troops and to keep them connected to the families they left behind.

The USO makes sure your help goes to those who need it the most: troops serving in combat, their families, our wounded warriors and their families, and families of the fallen.

As a nonprofit, non-political organization, the USO is now, and always will be, about our troops. Wherever and whenever they go, the USO will be there, until every one comes home.

BECOME A VOLUNTEER

There are countless ways volunteers support the USO, but they all share an abiding dedication to our troops and their families. Whether it’s helping out at a special event, cheering troops at homecoming, manning a front desk or providing a listening ear, our volunteers are the reason troops know they can count on the USO.

Interested in becoming a USO volunteer? Read over our Volunteer FAQs, to get the answers commonly-asked questions, or simply visit usovolunteer.org to submit a volunteer interest form.

For those who aren’t able to volunteer their time, remember there are many other ways to get involved and support the USO. Please click here to learn more about other options, including making a monetary contribution, sending an eGift, using our easy fundraising toolkits, joining Team USO, and more.

Learn more: http://www.uso.org/ways-to-volunteer.aspx

October 25th at 1:45 PM ET
First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr Jill Biden greet the USO Volunteer of the Year, The Spirit of the USO Award honoree, and 6 USO service honorees and their families.

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