Mary French is a on a crusade to improve literacy around the world. Partnering with organizations like Rotary International for help, Mary French has collected and distributed 25 million dictionaries, mostly to third graders in every state in the U.S. and in other countries around the world.
“The problem is that children do not have access to dictionaries with more than 32,000 words in school. In order to be functionally literate a person must know more than 5,000 words to be able to read instructions or hear them and understand them to complete a task,” Mary explains, adding, “A dictionary is a reliable resource that makes a person self-reliant and able to think independently.”
Mary is making remarkable progress with the Dictionary Project. She notes, “To solve the problem of illiteracy we partner with people who want to put dictionaries into the hands of students where they live by giving them their own personal dictionary. Since the project began we have donated over 25,000,000 dictionaries to people in all fifty states and around the world.”
Mary has a remarkable vision of the future she’d like to create. “We would like to have more people involved to ensure that everyone will be able to enjoy the benefits of owning a dictionary so that they will be able to use the English language effectively. To solve the problem of illiteracy in every community children need to be encouraged to spend more time reading and less time watching television. By learning new words people are able to form associations with other people and create more connections to enrich their lives and make this country a better place to live for all.”
On Thursday, September 10, 2015 at 3:00 Eastern, Mary will join me for a live discussion about her inspiring work. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about the Dictionary Project:
The Dictionary Project is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization that raises money to provide dictionaries to everyone to ensure that they will be able to enjoy the benefits of owning a dictionary.
Mary has a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in English from Charleston Southern University. She has been the Director of the Dictionary Project since 1995 when the organization began, founded by Mary and her late husband Arno French. She has written and published ‘The Best Dictionary for Students’, ‘A Student’s Dictionary & Gazetteer’, ‘A Student’s Dictionary & Gazetteer, Canadian Edition and ‘A Student’s Dictionary & Gazetteer, Caribbean Edition’, and with the help of Siddarth and Karan Rai, ‘A Student’s Dictionary & Animal Gazetteer’. Mary and Arno were terrible spellers. The dictionaries were a reliable and accurate aid to help them spell words correctly and expand their frame of reference. The Dictionary Project was created to provide that opportunity to all of the children in South Carolina; a state that ranked 47th in the nation in education. Improving education is a difficult challenge. South Carolina is now 42nd in the nation in education in part because of the Dictionary Project.
Your Mark on the World sponsor Gate Global Impact is trying to change the way impact investing is done, giving ready access to deals and investment opportunities to more people than ever before.
Joseph Latona, Managing Director for GGI, says, “GGI is working to centralize the fragmented Impact investing sector. Many people have heard about Impact investing, but then do not know where to find these investments or even a place to find information on what an impact company or fund looks like.”
“GGI mission is to provide a centralized regulatory compliant market place that allows investors to source Impact investments and providing Companies the ability to connect with like minded investors to raise capital,” Joseph concludes.
On Thursday, September 10, 2015 at 1:00 Eastern, Joseph will join me for a live discussion about the progress GGI is making toward is goal of fundamentally disrupting the impact investing space. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about Constellation Fin Tech:
CFT is a disruptive Financial services company that applies its core technology infrastructure to facilitate private and unregistered securities transactions in a regulatory compliant manor. Two main subsidiaries are GATE Global Impact, and ShareNett. GGI is our impact investing solution, allowing Investors to source both primary and secondary investments that in addition to the possibility of a financial rate of return they also provide a social or environmental rate of return. GGI provides companies and for profit social organizations a utility to raise capital and connect with cause focused investors. ShareNett is our Family office and High Net Worth invitation only platform. Built by a family office (Raptor our majority owner) for family offices that allows members the ability to connect and co-invest in member originated deal flow.
Mr. Latona has spent the past 15 years in the financial services industry with a background in trading Fixed income, derivative securities and architecting technology systems. Mr. Latona is a Managing Partner and oversees the day to day operations of Constellation Fin Tech LLC, that operates the subsidiaries Gate Global Impact Inc, ShareNett LLC and Vision Quest Securities ( Member FINRA, SIPC) In 2010 Mr. Latona and his partner Vincent Molinari Co-founded Gate Global Impact Inc, (GGI) leveraging there collective industry experience and personal passions to bring visibility to the emerging socially responsibly and environmental investing sector.
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
Two cases of polio were reported in Ukraine this week, according to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, known commonly as the GPEI, weekly surveillance report. Both cases were a result of circulating vaccine derived polio virus. At the same time, the partnership of global organizations fighting to eradicate polio from the planet this year reported no new cases of the wild polio virus were identified anywhere in the world in the past week, despite the fact that it is now the high season for polio–a reason for cautious optimism.
The outbreak in Ukraine arose from vaccinations in country, World Health Organization spokesman Oliver Rosenbauer explained by email, “This strain arose in Ukraine, due to significant vaccination coverage gaps in the country. As many as 50% of children are under- or unimmunized, so there are many susceptible children, and this increases the risk of polio re-emerging or being re-introduced. This further underscores the danger of polio until it is eradicated completely. The best thing countries can do to protect themselves is to maintain high vaccination coverage.”
Europe has been polio free for five years, according to the BBC. Rosenbauer notes, however, that there is relatively little threat of contagion to nearby bordering countries, including Romania, “Countries bordering south-western Ukraine have relatively high vaccination coverage and good disease surveillance. But as mentioned, the possibility cannot be ruled out. The much greater threat is for further spread of this outbreak within Ukraine. Fifty percent of children are underimmunized, this gives the virus a lot of susceptible children to find and the chance to spread further. That’s the real danger at the moment, and that is why it is critical that an urgent outbreak response is implemented as rapidly as possible.”
One of the reasons that this outbreak doesn’t represent a major threat to public health because the circulating vaccine derived polio virus is typically less virulent, Rosenbauer said, “It’s true that this strain is comparatively ‘weaker’ than wild poliovirus. Ie it tends not to spread as easily, it tends not to cause as many cases. Nevertheless, we know that it is strong enough to cause paralysis, and two children are now paralysed by this strain. But in theory it should be easier to stop than a wild poliovirus outbreak.”
Ultimately, however, the threat is dependent on the response, Rosenbauer added, noting that “it all depends on how rapidly and urgently an outbreak response will now be implemented. A full and rapid outbreak response will stop this strain in a matter of a few months. But if the outbreak response is delayed or not fully implemented, then the virus will be allowed to continue to circulate and to continue to cause cases. So all depends on the quality and timeliness of the response. We’ve been very encouraged by the urgent measures the government of Ukraine has been putting in place this week, since finding out about the outbreak. Within 12 hours of receiving news of the outbreak, for example, the Minister of Health went on national TV and announced that the country was affected by a dangerous polio outbreak and of the need to implement urgent outbreak response. This commitment needs to now translate into a high-quality outbreak response.”
The outbreak is also a reminder for Americans opting out of immunizations that until polio is completely eradicated from the globe. Rosenbauer explains, “Diseases such as polio are only a plane-ride away. Polio can easily come back, and it is a virus that is extremely efficient at finding susceptible children. In the mid 1990s, poliovirus travelled all the way from India to find a community in the Netherlands, who had refused vaccinations. More than 70 children were paralysed for life. This is a dangerous disease, it is a painful disease, it causes lifelong paralysis. And there is no reason why any child should be affected by this disease any more. Safe and effective vaccines can easily prevent it.”
Notwithstanding the outbreak in Ukraine, there is reason for optimism in the global fight against polio. In the mid-80s, there were on the order of 350,000 to 400,000 cases per year. In 2014, according to the GPEI, there were 359 cases of polio caused by the wild polio virus, representing a 99.9 percent reduction in the number of cases. On average last year there were about 7 cases per week. So far in 2015, the number of cases is just 37, a pace of barely more than one per week. In Pakistan, the country with the greatest number of cases this year, there have been no confirmed cases since June 30. The most recent case in Afghanistan, where only eight cases have been reported all year, was on August 1, more than a month before yesterday’s data was published.
It is certainly premature to suggest that the August 1 case is the last case of polio from the wild virus, it is clear that the wild polio virus is on the ropes. There is good reason to hope that 2015 will feature the last case of wild polio in history. It will take some years of subsequent vigilance to be certain that the disease is truly eradicated, but 2015 could be a historic year.
Rosenbauer adds, “The job is not nearly finished, that is for sure. And if Ukraine shows us anything, it’s how unforgiving polio is to any area with significant vaccination coverage gaps. So efforts must be redoubled everywhere.”
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative is led by Rotary International and includes the US Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
Damian Miller wants to transform emerging market economies from fossil-fuel dependent to self-reliant on clean solar energy.
Miller isn’t just a dreamer; he’s making it happen. As the founder and CEO of Orb Energy he’s quickly scaling up his business in India and recently launched in Kenya. He is also a recent recipient of the SAP Social Entrepreneur Fellowship in collaboration with Acumen.
He explains Orb’s mission as follows:
Our company’s mission is to make solar energy affordable, accessible, and hassle-free to millions of customers looking for a better energy alternative. To do this, we first design and manufacture our own products for superior quality and cost. Then to deliver and install them to our customers in the right way, we have set up our own branch network – which is totally unique in the the solar market in India. This network is key to gaining customer trust, and effectively providing after-sales service. Finally we team up with banks for financing, but we are now looking at ways of bring this critical activity in-house to make it more streamlined.
Miller is also looking for help, he notes, “We are looking for investors, who believe in and share our mission for emerging market economies. Emerging markets are where the bulk of future greenhouse gas emissions will come from, and where there is an enormous opportunity – based on the prevailing solar resource and still emerging infrastructure – for solar to gain an early foothold. We hope that others will join us, so that we can strengthen and accelerate our activities.”
On Thursday, September 3, 2015 at noon Eastern, Miller will join me live from India for a live discussion here about his work. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about Orb Energy:
Orb Energy is a leading provider of solar energy solutions in India. We sell, install, and service solar systems for electricity and hot water, and we are vertically integrated with our own R&D and manufacturing plant in India. We have 140 branches in 8 states of India, of which about 50% are franchised. We have also recently entered Kenya with a new subsidiary there.
More about the SAP Social Entrepreneur Fellowship in collaboration with Acumen:
Acumen and SAP, global business software leader, have collaborated to create the SAP Social Entrepreneur Fellowship to accelerate the growth of social enterprises serving the poor in East Africa and India. Leveraging Acumen’s 14 years of investing in early-stage social enterprises and SAP’s global business and innovation expertise, this unique collaboration will bring together emerging and established CEOs committed to building sustainable, socially driven businesses, creating a more inclusive global economy, and expanding opportunities for the poor to lead lives of dignity and possibility.
Damian Miller is the CEO of Orb Energy, and a leading expert on solar energy in emerging markets. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge (Trinity College), where he was based at the Judge Business School. His dissertation addressed the role of entrepreneurs in the diffusion of solar photovoltaic technology when solar markets were still in their infancy. After finishing his Ph.D. in 1998, he put his research findings into practice, joining Shell Solar and becoming its Director of Rural Operations. Here he established solar subsidiaries in India, Sri Lanka, Philippines, and Indonesia. He also implemented a large-scale solar project in China, and managed joint ventures in Morocco and South Africa. During this time he worked closely with multilateral and bilateral development agencies and emerging market governments to help grow local solar markets, overseeing the connection of more than 125,000 solar homes. At the end of 2006, he set-up Orb Energy in India with his co-founder NP Ramesh. In 8 years, Orb has become one of India’s leading providers of solar energy solutions, selling, installing, and servicing solar systems across multiple states in India, with ambitious plans for further expansion. He has lived, worked and traveled extensively throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa, and currently resides in Bangalore, India.
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
Tim Stay, one of Utah’s leading tech entrepreneurs and executives, recently launched a new venture with successful entrepreneur Joseph Grenny. They’ve chosen several ex-convicts to run the new business, The Other Side Academy.
This may not be such an odd choice. You see, the new venture, modeled closely on Delancey Street Foundation, is a nonprofit that will work to really rehabilitate convicts.
Stay explained to me recently that our prisons “provide criminals with a masters degree in criminology” rather than rehabilitating them.”
He elaborates, “The problem is that there is a portion of the criminal population that doesn’t get better by doing time. Many of them are repeat offenders, spending their lives in and out of jail and prison. They usually have substance abuse problems and many times find themselves unable to secure or keep a job and eventually wind up on the streets, being involved in criminal activity, and going back to jail. And this cycle continues at great expense to taxpayers. These people are living lives of increasingly destructive behaviors to themselves, to their families, and to society.”
He says that TOSA, as everyone involved in The Other Side Academy quickly abbreviates, will “provide a two-year live-in educational program for ex-convicts, drug abusers, homeless and others that have hit rock bottom that teaches our participants how to live successful, productive lives free from crime and substance abuse.”
Dave Durocher, TOSA’s managing director, explains further, “Our mission is to address the issues of drug addiction and criminality and improve the dismal record of the rehabilitative community when it comes to addressing the issues of relapse and recitivism. We belive that a long term “theraputic community” approach is what works best. While there are mixed and often conflicting statistics in this regard we know from first hand experience that it can work.”
Durocher and his colleagues Alan Fahringer and Lola Zagey, know first hand, “We know this because [we] have over 25 combined years residing in arguably the most succesful theraputic community in the world, Delancey Street, which is the model we are replicating with a few twists that we believe can make The Other Side Academy even more succesful.”
Having already raised $750,000, Stay has a wish list for the next several months. “In the next 3 months, we are moving into our new facility in Salt Lake City and we will be launching several of our businesses so we can become self-reliant.”
“We need financial contributions to cover the start-up costs of the facility and of the new businesses. We need in-kind contributions of cars, trucks, construction tools, warehouse space, and housing supplies such as beds and dressers. We need volunteer help with things such as business plans, web design, marketing, graphics. We need champions to help spread the message through social media and with their friends,” he concludes.
On Thursday, September 3, 2015 at 4:00 Eastern, Durocher, Fahringer and Zagey will join me here for a live discussion about TOSA and their plans to create a program that will truly change lives. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about The Other Side Academy:
We provide on-the-job vocational training, education, and basic life skills along with long-term residential housing to former drug/alcohol abusers, homeless and others who have hit rock bottom. Our organization is run by graduates of the program and we are a mutual self-help organization. That means that healing occurs when we can have “Each One Teach One” and that when A helps B, A gets better. We run our own businesses so we can be self-reliant and not dependent on Government money and so we can offer the program at no cost to those that join us. Participants obtain a minimum of high school equivalency and gain the job and life skills needed to return to various communities as decent, law abiding individuals.
Managing Director Dave Durocher was arrested for the first time at the age of 13 years old. By the time he was 38, he had been to prison four times for a total of 15 years. When he was given the option to go to Delancey, he was facing 29 years in prison. Dave pleaded guilty of his crimes and went to Delancey in Los Angeles. Dave was at Delancey Street for 8 years and became the Managing Director of their 250 person Los Angeles facility for 5 of those years. Dave is articulate, humble, tenacious, interpersonally skilled, a good manager and a good public speaker. He was able to double revenues in their Training School businesses while he was there and when he left, he had tripled their earnings from when he had took over the facility. Dave has helped countless others regain their dignity, their families and their lives before he moved on to enjoy his own success as the person he had become. Now Dave is embarking on the next chapter of his new life; to help create a place, much like the one he credits with saving his life, only better. A place people can come to learn about integrity, honesty, hard work and self-respect. All the things that protect those inclined from falling prey to their addictions so as not to become the kind of person Dave was, but rather the kind of person he is today.
Alan began using marijuana and other drugs in his early teens. He spent his adult life as a “functioning addict” until he was introduced to methamphetamine. That began a thirteen year downward spiral of multiple arrests, lost marriages, lost careers and eventually homelessness. Alan’s troubles culminated in his being arrested three times in a span of eleven months for manufacturing meth. Facing many years in prison, Alan says he was rescued from himself by an empathetic Judge who allowed him to go to Delancey Street instead of prison. That most fortunate occurrence, as he calls it, saved his life, he says. He stayed two years as required by his plea bargain and another four years voluntarily to help others experience the redemption and renewal he had found. While at Delancey Street Alan worked in Corporate Development, Finance. Retail Sales and eventually found his niche in Community Relations. Alan was responsible for advocating Delancey Street as a sentencing alternative to the Judicial and Legal communities. He was a natural. He is articulate, persuasive and living proof that the process can work. Alan has done speaking engagements throughout New Mexico and southern California enthusiastically advocating for just the type of therapeutic community that he will now help foster in Salt Lake City at The Other Side Academy. “I’m so blessed. I get to help build a place just like the one that saved my life. What could possibly be more gratifying than that?”
Lola has always dreamed of making a difference in the world. Her progress was stopped dead in its tracks twenty years ago when she developed an all-consuming addiction to heroin. This new path took Lola down to a place where all drug dependent people go… to rehabs, jails, and prisons. She was stuck in hopeless desperation and after being arrested one more time, she knew she had to try something different. Lola had heard about Delancy Street Foundation and wondered if the judge would give her a chance to try this program. The judges quickly agreed to two years in Delancy Street or do five years in prison. He gave Lola a stern warning. He said he would offer this deal to her but he recommended she do the prison time. He has seen addicts like Lola before and at this point, he believed she would fail the program and end up in prison anyway. Lola had a different idea. With gratitude for this opportunity, Lola excelled at Delancy Street. She worked her way up to the finance department where she learned skills in accounting, auditing, and bookkeeping with an emphasis in rehabilitation management. Lola’s two year sentence in Delancy Street turned into a five year life changing stay. Once graduated, Lola quickly found work in the medical field as well as property management and the sky was the limit. The only thing missing was her desire to help other addicts still suffering. Enter The Other Side Academy. Now Lola can live her dream of making a difference in the world.
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
It used to be that everyone who saw Jason Hewlett perform asked, “Why isn’t this guy famous?” As his reputation grows, folks simply observe that he may be the funniest person ever to take a stage.
It turns out, however, that the answer to the initial question provides an important insight into who Hewlett really is. Years ago, he was performing in Las Vegas and was offered his own show. The deal was huge for young Hewlett as he’d be headlining in Vegas while his peers were still in college.
When it came time to sign contracts, he says, he found the terms unacceptable. In order to appeal to an adult audience he was to be required to use language and perform material that he personal found objectionable and had never wanted to perform.
Fame and fortune seemed to evaporate before his eyes.
Since then, he’s become one of the most sought after corporate entertainers in the business because his fall-off-your-chair funny material is absolutely safe for work. Check out his YouTube page.
In recent years, Hewlett has sought to incorporate more of a message into his material, working to become as sought after for keynote speaking as entertaining. His message is perfect for mission driven entrepreneurs.
“When we are willing to commit to something, to see it through, there is no greater joy,” he says. “What are you committed to?”
Always humble, Hewlett often reminds his audience, “You have talents I don’t have, and I have talents you don’t want!”
On Thursday, September 3, 2015 at 3:00 Eastern, Hewlett will join me for a live discussion about his career and his insights for social entrepreneurs. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about Jason Hewlett The Entertainer:
Jason Hewlett Entertainment’s mission is to provide world-class, family-friendly, G-larious entertainment, inspiration, and joy for major corporate events, youth education and religious forums, and public shows. In partnering with clients on their most important events, JHE provides recommendations of the best of the best in speakers, entertainers, masters of ceremonies, and many more.
Jason Hewlett The Entertainer has appeared at over 2,000 events and venues in the last decade as one of the country’s premiere corporate event Headliners. In 2014 he was awarded the Certified Speaking Professional by the National Speakers Association, as well as acting as Master of Ceremonies for the largest corporate events in the world. Jason has performed in every major casino in Las Vegas, appeared on the nationally televised Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon, and received the “Best of State Entertainment Award” in his home state of Utah multiple times. He began his career with the Las Vegas “Legends in Concert”. His shows, speeches, and presentations are a combination of comedy, music, parody, and over-the-top hilarious impressions, stories, and lessons on commitment, embracing what makes us unique, and spreading JOY, received with standing ovations from audiences worldwide.
This post was originally produced for Forbes.
“ It is a little known fact that cooking is the fourth biggest killer in the world ,” explains Judith Joan Walker, Director and COO of African Clean Energy.
“It’s this huge invisible elephant in the room because, in the western world, we are so used to being able to waltz into the kitchen and whip up a healthy meal. In fact, cooking indoors kills more people than Aids, Malaria and TB combined; over 4.3 million people,” she continues.
Last month, I had the opportunity to meet Walker, along with a dozen other social entrepreneurs, at Santa Clara University, as I reported here.
Walker seems to take this personally, “This fact is sickening enough without considering that the majority of these people are women and children, and that their health is not the only cost. A third of the world cooks in a way that it is slowly killing them and the fact that its very expensive to do so is mind-boggling. For me that’s the real problem, and I haven’t even gotten into the environmental cost.”
So, Walker got after it, creating a radical new cookstove, “We have started manufacturing and distributing a multifunctional cookstove, that doubles as an energy source.”
Anyone in the international development world has been hearing about cookstoves for years now, but many stoves have failed to deliver on their intended results once deployed in the field. For instance, in Sheryl WuDunnand Nicholas Kristoff’s book, A Path Appears, they note that some studies have shown that reducing indoor smoke by 80 percent doesn’t yield an 80% improvement in health. Apparently, even a little smoke is enough to create the health problems stoves are intended to prevent.
Walker’s African Clean Energy stove burns a variety of fuels, including wood and charcoal, but with no emissions. The stove also features a small solar panel that can be placed out a nearby window or on the roof, powering a small fan in the stove as well as a USB device charger and an LED light.
“The price isn’t even a problem when you include micro-financing as an option, especially as the vast majority of our customers are able to save so significantly on their fuel costs due to the significant reduction in fuel consumption of such an efficient stove,” she notes.
“Our main mission now is to scale up our sales teams in a replicable way in order to ensure the success of our future markets,” she adds. “Sharing our story and helping us access a network of new potential partners is really the best way to help, and of course we appreciate advice and stories from those that have experience in these markets.”
While ACE , as Walker calls her African Clean Energy in conversation, is operating as a for-profit business, the company has a genuine social purpose in mind. “We have also started a small project within our home market, in Lesotho, where we try to donate as many stoves as we can to orphaned children and their elderly carers. This is such a huge problem there that we could not turn a blind eye to their need and so far we have been able to donate to almost 200 families! I am very proud that we are able to help those most in need and if anyone wants to help they are able to donate through our website.”
On Thursday, September 3, 2015 at 1:00 Eastern, Walker will join me for a live discussion about her efforts. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
More about African Clean Energy:
African Clean Energy manufactures and distributes the ACE 1 Solar Biomass Cookstove, a cookstove that has the power to save millions of lives, halt deforestation and help people break the cycle of poverty. All of this can be achieved with one multifunctional and aspirational tool, paid for through microfinancing; allowing all those who need it most to easily afford it. ACE is a family company manufacturing in Lesotho, a LDC, and is an equal opportunities hirer with a 50% gender split.
Judith Joan is no stranger to travel and had lived in an extensive list of major cities before joining ACE full time in Amsterdam in 2014. Her background in film and television gives her a unique perspective on working in teams, and her multi-cultural childhood gives her the distinct advantage of understanding cultural differences and how to best achieve success in a foreign environment. Recently, she has taken the lead on strategy and operations, aiming to prove the ACE distribution and impact models in Lesotho and South Africa in order to secure funding for an East African roll out.
Over three years ago, I launched the work of the Your Mark on the World Center with the publication of my book, Your Mark on the World. In the book, I profiled some wonderful people doing amazing things to make the world a better place.
One of the most fascinating people I profiled was Rabbi Benny Zippel of Chabad Lubavitch of Utah, who had launched a program to provide spiritual help and support to at risk youth spending time in residential schools, including some who were there as an alternative to incarceration.
Three years later, I’m eager to catch up with Rabbi Zippel and his Project HEART.
“Thousands of precious young souls find themselves in Utah for 9-18 months at a time in a variety of residential treatment centers, to help them be able to better cope with their challenges in life. As one can understand, the challenges facing these young men and women are not limited to them themselves but can have a lasting impact on their families and loved ones as well,” he explains.
“As the Executive Director of Project HEART, my work focuses on providing a support system for these young people, based on the principles of Judaism and spirituality, helping each and every one of them discover how they truly are a gem, and all that is necessary is for them to uncover the beauty that exits within them,” he adds.
Operating and funding the program is a big challenge. Yesterday, Project HEART raised over $200,000 in 24 hours via Charidy in a one-day crowdfunding campaign. The success was driven in part by matches from Gail Miller, Scott Anderson and a group of other supporters so that every dollar donated became four.
Rabbi Zippel explains, “Project HEART is a non-profit organization that functions only through the generosity of the local community. We are hoping that by raising awareness of the help that our students need, people will get involved and do their part to help us change these lives.”
On Thursday, September 3, 2015 at 2:00 Eastern, Rabbi Zippel will join me here for a live conversation about the work of Project HEART.
More about Project HEART:
Project HEART was founded in July of 1992, as one of the branches of Chabad Lubavitch of Utah, the local branch of the world’s largest Jewish outreach organization. Project HEART focuses on providing love and unconditional support for young men and women who find themselves here in Utah in Residential Treatment Centers, as well as support for their families.
Rabbi Zippel’s bio:
- Born in Milan Italy, May 5, 1966
- July 1984 Oxford Institutes, Milan Italy: Advanced Degree Modern Languages
- June 1988: Rabbinical College of America, Morristown New Jersey: Bachelor Of Religious Studies
- September 1989: Central Yeshiva Tomchei Tmimim Lubavitch, Brooklyn, New York: Rabbinical Ordination,
- Married Sharonne Schochet, February 13, 1990
- Moved to Salt Lake City, Utah in July 1992 to establish Chabad Lubavitch Of Utah (Utah branch of world’s largest Jewish Outreach Organization, Chabad Lubavitch)
- December 1992: Founded Project H.E.A.R.T. (Hebrew Education for At Risk Teens) – a weekly outreach endeavor to hundreds of Jewish teens throughout Utah with acute behavioral and life threatening issues.
- February 2002: official Salt Lake Olympic Chaplain Jewish chaplain for XIX Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, UT
- August 2006: Gave Invocation at Luncheon at Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah, hosted by US Senator Orrin G. Hatch welcoming US President George W. Bush.
- December 2007: Attended White House Chanukah Party in Washington D.C., as guest of US President George W. And First Lady Laura Bush.
- May 2009: Accompanied Governor Jon M. Huntsman on his 1st visit to Israel
- May 2012: Gave keynote address at National day of Prayer event at Utah Valley University
- June 2014: Received Bronze Minuteman Award by the Utah National Guard at Utah National Guard Fifty-Third Annual Dinner at Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City in recognition for work with Project H.E.A.R.T. (Hebrew Education for At Risk Teens) throughout the State of Utah
- Father of 6 children (4 boys, 2 girls)
- Speaks: Italian, English, French, German, Hebrew, Yiddish, and Portuguese.