Why You Should Donate To UNICEF

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The holiday season brings up thoughts of love, warmth and giving. While you’re busy giving presents to your friends and family, don’t forget to give back to those less fortunate as well. When you’re choosing a charity, it’s extremely important to make sure you’re giving to the right one. Make sure you’re supporting an organization that holds similar values to your own. One of the best organizations to donate to is the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, which supports UNICEF’s work on behalf of children all around the world.

UNICEF stops at nothing to save and protect the most vulnerable children globally. UNICEF has been around for 70 years, and 40 years ago, the organization realized it could save millions of lives by promoting low-cost, high-impact interventions. One example of such an intervention was providing ready-to-use therapeutic food for kids who were suffering from severe acute malnutrition. The intervention could even be as simple as teaching kids to wash their hands.

When you choose a charity, the work the charity is doing should be urgent and important. UNICEF’s cause fully embodies this. Whenever earthquakes, hurricanes or floods strike, UNICEF delivers aid to children and their families who are affected worldwide. The organization travels to these locations regardless of war or geography. UNICEF also immunizes millions against polio, as well as maternal and neonatal tetanus and measles.

Another important thing to investigate is whether the charity you want to donate to is truly a non-profit organization. If it is, it should have 501(c)3 certification from the IRS. If it doesn’t, your donation is unlikely to be tax deductible. The organization should also disclose its finances and its financial health. UNICEF meets all these requirements and more.

Now that you’ve decided on an organization, think about your giving budget and how you can maximize your charitable donation. If you have a lot of money to give away, you still want to make sure your gift will be put to good use. Choose a non-profit that’s efficient and spends your money wisely. Make sure most of the spending will be going to the stated mission of the organization. See if charity watchdog groups have recognized that charity. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF fits all of these criteria as well. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF also meets the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance’s Standards for Charity Accountability. Charity Navigator has continuously given the U.S. Fund for UNICEF the highest ratings for transparency, administration and accountability.

One of the best things about the U.S. Fund for UNICEF is that its program expense ratio continues to stay at 90 percent. This means that 90 cents out of each dollar spent goes directly toward helping children. Seven of those cents are spent on fundraising costs and 3 cents are spent on administration. With these numbers, the U.S. Fund is in the top tier of charities nationwide.

It is often said that the children are our future. If you want kids around the world to have access to food, clothing shelter, education and more, UNICEF is the best organization to donate to, because you know that a large portion of your donation will go directly to helping kids globally.

4 Ways To Research A Charity Before You Give

4 Ways To Research A Charity Before You Give

Giving to charity is a wonderful thing that people enjoy doing, but making sure that the money is going to go to good use, is another story. While donating to a cause that you care about is incredibly kind and generous, you always want to do some research on the charity you want to give to before sending the money, just to be safe. Because there are so many millions of charities set up these days, some of them might not actually be what they say they are.

These 4 tools will help you to confirm that the charity you wish to donate to is worthy of the cause.

CharityNavigator.org

Find top-rated charities in every field. Look for organizations that have received a four star rating for consecutive years. Charity Navigator works to guide intelligent giving. By guiding intelligent giving, it aims to advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic marketplace, in which givers and the charities they support work in tandem to overcome our nation’s and the world’s most persistent challenges.

CharityWatch.org

The official site of the American Philanthropic Institute allows anyone to search for information (good and bad) on hundreds of charities. CharityWatch does not merely repeat what a charity reports using simplistic or automated formulas. It dives deep to let you know how efficiently a charity will use your donation to fund the programs you want to support. CharityWatch also exposes nonprofit abuses and advocates for your interests as a donor.

BBB.org

The Better Business Bureau’s mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. Search the Better Business Bureau’s site to research international and domestic charities and learn which ones are accredited by the BBB.

Google.com

Search online for news and reviews of a charity. Keep in mind that on the internet anyone can say anything for any reason. Always consider the source, taking no claim (positive or negative) seriously unless backed by factual evidence.

Philanthropic Ways To Get Involved In Your Own Neighborhood

Being involved in philanthropy is a great way to give back to your community and contribute to making the world a better place. These days in our busy and overscheduled world, it can become hard to find the time to attend philanthropic events or groups. It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, and feel like we don’t have the time or energy to give back to the community in a big way. However, giving back isn’t measured by the amount of money you donate or the number of fancy events you attend. There are plenty of ways to be philanthropic right in your own neighborhood.

If you’re looking for a way to give back to your community with a group of people or by yourself, here are a few ideas to get the ball rolling.

Clean Up! You don’t have to be an official cleaning crew to get to work! Gather a few families, friends or do it by yourself! All you need is some trash bags and some gloves. Head to a place that could use a little love, and leave it better then it was when you found it. Maybe you’ll even inspire others to do the same.

Offer to help. Is your neighbor going through something that makes life stressful? New babies, moves, or the loss of a relative can really throw people for a loop. If you know someone who might need some help, show up at their house with a simple meal, or maybe mow their lawn. Small gestures can make all the difference during a stressful time, and giving back can happen even on the simplest level.

Sing a Song. You have the potential to brighten the day of an entire retirement home by walking in and signing ONE song. It’s something so simple, but so greatly appreciated by the residents. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy—folk songs and old standards are great, because everyone can sing along. Bonus points if you can bring someone who knows how to play a guitar or piano!

Keep Someone Company. Many communities have senior centers with programs linking seniors and younger people, offering companionship and company for an hour here and there. Childrens Hospitals are another great place to go and spend time with someone who could really use the company and conversation. Do a search for your local centers and hospitals and inquire how you might help.

Plant Something. Want your neighborhood to be a little greener? Make it happen! Organize a planting party and beautify your surroundings. Whether you’re building a community garden or planting some flowers in your neighbor’s yard, you are giving back to your community in a big way! Just make sure to check with your city to ensure you’re planting in the right areas, especially if you’re planting trees.

Neighborhoods are made great by the people within them, so don’t be afraid to lead the way. Your efforts will come back to you tenfold, as you enjoy the neighborhood that you’ve fostered!

19 Amazing Diamond Facts

I found this infographic to be both helpful and interesting, and I hope you enjoy it!

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People Undergoing Root Canals May Have Gained A Powerful Yet Tiny New Ally — Diamonds

People undergoing root canals may have gained a powerful yet tiny new ally — diamonds.

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More than 15 million painful-yet-necessary root canal procedures are performed in the U.S. each year to protect us from tooth infections. But complications such as infection can arise post-surgery. Teeth infections can lead to tooth loss which is something the UCLA School of Dentistry is trying to prevent! In a new study at UCLA, they have found that these post-surgery infections can be warded off by a girl’s best friend: diamonds!

Nanodiamonds, specifically, were the subject of the researchers’ study. Thousands of times smaller than a human hair, at about four to five nanometers in diameter, nanodiamonds have the shape of very tiny soccer balls and are the byproduct of diamond mining and refining. They’ve also been widely explored for use in dentistry, cancer therapy, and regenerative medicine, among other applications. Combining the nanodiamonds with current root canal therapy, scientists at UCLA fortified a material that could significantly improve the outcomes of root canal patients.

Typically during a root canal, the area inside a tooth where there are nerves and blood vessels are is removed by dentists and refilled with a polymer called “gutta percha.” The purpose of the polymer is to act as a sealant and prevent future infection. However, gutta percha isn’t always successful in ridding a tooth of infection, in part due to the material not being a complete solid.

Using a compound that consisted of nanodiamonds and the traditional gutta percha mixture, the team at UCLA conducted an experiment on human teeth. One set of teeth was tested with nanodiamond-reinforced gutta percha while another set was tested with gutta percha by itself.

The traditional gutta percha mixture left small gaps in the canal — making the tooth susceptible to harmful bacteria. However, as predicted, the nanodiamond gutta percha mixture proved much stronger than traditional methods. By eliminating space for bacteria to fill within the tooth, the nanodiamond mixture allowed for a lower chance of infections or other complications following a root canal.

“The nanodiamond-enhanced gutta percha combines many desirable properties into a single platform, including vastly improved mechanical characteristics and the ability to combat bacterial infection following a root canal,” said UCLA study author Dong-Keun Lee in a press release.

Over the next two years, the team plans to optimize the nanodiamond-reinforced gutta percha formulation, and begin clinical trials at UCLA. To read more about this study or future research at The UCLA School of Dentistry, click here.

What Makes a Good Diamond?

Mark Bronner Diamonds

Diamonds: Much More Than Just a Girl’s Best Friend

Mark Bronner DiamondsYesterday, an astonishing article was published by Tech Times about how synthetic diamonds are being used for early detection and treatment of some of the most aggressive cancers. Seems like diamonds can really be even more than a girl’s best friend, doesn’t it?

According to the article, “Physicists at the University of Sydney’s ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems have found a way to use nanoscale or synthetic “diamonds” to identify cancerous tumors before they turn life-threatening” (Pascual, Synthetic Diamonds Offer Hope for Early and Effective Treatment of Deadly Cancers). This research is groundbreaking and proves that diamonds are much more than just aesthetically pleasing.

The study developed by physicists at the University of Sydney was published recently in Nature Communications, and proved that synthetic diamonds are a more readily accessible way to detect early-stage cancers throughout MRI scans. In addition, the article noted that, “Lead researcher and physics professor David Reilly highlighted the nontoxic, nonreactive nature of nanodiamonds, making them potentially useful in drug delivery during chemotherapy,” (Pascual, Synthetic Diamonds Offer Hope for Early and Effective Treatment of Deadly Cancers).

By magnetizing the atoms inside of the diamond, they light up on an MRI scan and are then attached to cancer-targeting chemicals. After the MRI, the diamonds are placed into the body, tracked, and will light up on the scan if there is cancer present within the body. Professor Reilly explains the beauty and effectiveness of the physics behind this research, stating:

“‘We effectively turned a pharmaceutical problem into a physics problem’… citing that the team  hyperpolarized nanodiamonds or aligned atoms inside them to create an MRI-detectable signal,” (Pascual, Synthetic Diamonds Offer Hope for Early and Effective Treatment of Deadly Cancers).

Mark Bronner Diamonds

The study proved that experts at quantum physics can use their knowledge to debatably solve these real-world problems, especially in terms of targeting and detecting cancers that are otherwise difficult to find. Certain cancers, such as brain and pancreatic, are usually only detectable in later stages – but, using synthetic diamonds can offer detection much earlier, especially for those with a family history of these types of cancers.

It seems as though diamonds have opened a whole new realm of possibilities when it comes to quantum physics and cancer screening, which will help save an astounding number of lives.

 

A Different Kind of Diamond

When we talk about diamonds, we usually reference jewlery; but diamonds also symbolize importance, unique qualities, and beauty that reaches way beneath our skin and touches deep into our hearts. The Four Diamonds Fund is an example of this beauty. It is a charitable organization based out of Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital, whose ultimate goal is to conquer childhood cancer. After all, children are the diamonds of the world – nothing can shine brighter than them.

Mark Bronner Diamonds

The Four Diamonds Fund was established in 1972 after Charles and Irma Millard lost their 14-year-old son to cancer. The name of the fund, The Four Diamonds, derives from a fantasy story Christopher wrote shortly before passing away from pediatric cancer. A fund whose foundations are built on compassion and hope, and whose objectives are built from love and support. A child whose dreams can live on through charity.

The fund assists children who are being treated through Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital, and their families by providing support, research, and valuable care. There is a three-pronged approach to the way the Four Diamonds Fund is organized and functions: through medical care, financial and emotional support, and through pediatric cancer research. Any child who is being treated for pediatric cancer at Penn State Hershey is eligible to take part in this program, in which the fund’s policy covers all medical costs not paid by insurance in hopes that families never have to see a hospital bill. Each year, there are around 90 new families that receive support.

Overall, The Four Diamonds Fund shows us that diamonds live deep within, through charitable acts, smiles, and most importantly, through love. Diamonds may be seemingly rare in the world of jewelry, but in our everyday life they surround us – they are our brothers, sisters, parents, friends, the people closest to our hearts.

 

Diamonds Crystallizing From Seawater

In recent studies, scientists have discovered that diamonds crystallize from ancients saltwaters going back as far as 200 million year ago and plan on using this information to help figure out how exactly diamonds form. If found, it would be paramount for the diamond industry and might eliminate the infamous “blood diamonds” as this has been causing damages for decades.

Mark Bronner DiamondsGeochemist at Columbia University, Yaakov Weiss says, “We can look at diamonds as time capsules, as messengers from a place we have no other way of seeing.” This is an interesting way to conceptualize the expensive precious stones that have been a symbol of affluence as long as time.

Researchers hypothesize that the gems begin to crystallize from the extraordinary heat and pressure in the Earth’s mantle layer located about 90 to 100 miles below the surface. The deepest diamond found came from 430 miles below the surface. Volcanic action and eruptions bring the precious stones to the surface with some dating back as far as 2.1 billion years ago. They surface in rock formations called kimberlites. Of about 2,000 known kimberlites, only around 60 were worth mining.

It is believed that diamonds crystallize in these conditions with the aid of a fluid though it hasn’t been proven or agreed upon on what exactly that fluid is. Many agree that both poor and high quality diamonds  from this same fluid though. Weiss commented, “Personally, I am among those that think that most diamonds form in a similar way.”

In the Ekati Diamond Mine located in Canada, geochemists have been studying and analyzing fluid inclusions in the formation of diamonds in hopes to discover what the mystery fluid is that the changes their structure. The diamonds used for this process are usually flawed with impurities.  Eleven fibrous (multilevel) diamonds were used to conduct their study. What they found was that the fluid was salty and filled with sodium, chlorine, and potassium. All the characteristics of seawater.

This “seawater” could be evidence that the Earth’s oceanic crust is having a chemical reaction and creating a mixture with solid rock, allowing the diamonds to crystalize. Although more study and examination is necessary, this information could also mark a change and create a new wave in mining. This could also spark a boost in the declining market.

Giving Back: Diamonds International

Diamonds International is a nonprofit organization that supports dozens of charity causes in impoverished communities each year. Some of these causes include: funding education, construction efforts to rebuild areas destroyed by natural disasters, cancer research, providing treatment. You can find out about Diamonds International’s many locations and support a cause that you feel most connected with by visiting their website here.

Mark Bronner Diamonds

Diamonds International was first found on the Caribbean island, St. Thomas, and now holds over 125 stores across the world after just twenty years. The main goals of the organization is to sell high quality, affordable jewelry to various customers whose profits are donated to the many charity causes the organization supports. The organization’s owners and employees are unbelievable grateful for the opportunities they get to “say ‘thank you’ for allowing us to be part of your life than with a gift to make a less fortunate person’s life a happier one,” (Diamonds International Corporate Responsibility: What We Do).

Mark Bronner Diamonds

The organization gives back to communities all around the world, from the Caribbean, to Africa, Guatemala, and areas all over the United States. Diamonds International caters to various aspects of certain communities. For example, the Lend-a-Hand project that takes place annually in Aruba gets together 17 Diamonds International employees with teachers and member of the parents committee from Anglo Kleuterschool located in Madiki, Oranjestad to show the true essence of teamwork. In past years, remodeling of the school has been one of their largest projects, which included uplifting the playground, repainting classrooms, and ensuring that all areas of the school were safe and secure for students.

Diamonds International’s mission statement is “Making the world a bright place one gift at a time.” Which is exactly what they do.