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Mar 5, 2014
Ann Thompson

Shun consumption mentality – Albert Ocran


Business News of Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Source: Graphic Online

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Motivational speaker and Chief Executive Officer of Legacy and Legacy, Mr Albert Ocran, has advised Ghanaians and the youth in particular to shun what he described as the consumption mentality and rather cultivate a habit of saving towards rainy days.

That, he said, will help provide a stream of financial resources to many people through which they can use to invest and/start businesses by themselves.

Mr Ocran, who is also the CEO of Combert Impressions, a printing house based in Accra, gave the advice at the National Convocation of the Springboard Road Show held at the Accra International Conference Center (AICC) on March 1.

The event, which brought together hundreds of young participants from all over the country, was the Greater Accra Regional version of the regional Springboard Road Show, which runs from February 1 to March 15.

The event is an annual initiative of Legacy and Legacy and supported by dozens of corporate institutions.

It serves as a platform on which young people are inspired through series of motivational speeches to make real their dreams.

This year’s road show was under the theme ‘repositioning.’

The Accra event was graced by Pastor Mensah Otabil, the General Overseer of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) with Mr Ace Ankomah, a Managing Partner at Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa Ankomah, a law firm based in Accra, and Mr Albert Osei, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Koko King as speakers.

Speaking on entrepreneurship, Mr Ocran, said many business ideas were aborted by lack of funds, a challenge he said could be solved if people embraced a saving culture.

“High income is not a guarantee for financial stability. It is the ability to save and invest that is the solution. If you are earning Ghc1,000 a month but fail to invest and someone earns Ghc100 but invests part of his/income, at the end of the day, the one who bests will be better off than the one who earns high,” he said, and thus called people to resist the temptation to spend all their earnings without investing.

Mr Ankomah and the CEO of Koko King advised participants not to let challenges in live hold them down but work towards realising their dreams.

In addition to the motivational speeches, which were climaxed by the one from Pastor Otabil, there were breakup sessions where corporate institutions in the financial services sector advised participants on how to, among other things, make career choices, save towards starting their own businesses as well as make investment decisions.

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Dec 31, 2013
Ann Thompson

Real ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ says he will give film royalties to victims

wolf of wall street belfort

Jordan Belfort (left) is portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Wolf of Wall Street.”


The real “Wolf of Wall Street” says he’s trying to give back, but he’s got a long way to go.

Jordan Belfort, the convicted stock scammer portrayed in a new movie by Leonardo DiCaprio, says he plans to give 100% of the proceeds from the film and the book on which it’s based to victims of his fraud.

Belfort was sentenced to four years in prison in 2003 and ordered to pay over $110 million in restitution to his victims — unsuspecting investors to whom Belfort and his associates in a “boiler room” scam sold worthless stocks. In all, investors lost roughly $250 million before the operation was shut down in 1996.

Belfort served 22 months of his sentence before being released. A judge ordered that he make payments to victims equal to 50% of his monthly income following his release.

As of October, Belfort had contributed only about $11.6 million to the victim fund, according to federal prosecutors. The government moved to hold him in default on his obligations to victims earlier this year, saying the payments he had been making were “insufficient,” but that request was later withdrawn pending talks between the two sides.

Related: The real ‘Wolf of Wall Street’

In a post on his Facebook page Sunday, Belfort said he planned to boost this total by passing on the entirety of his royalties from the book and movie.

“I am not making a single dime on any of this,” Belfort wrote. “This should amount to countless millions of dollars and hopefully be more than enough to pay back anyone who is still out there.”

Party with the real 'Wolf of Wall Street'  

Belfort currently earns a living doing sales training and motivational speeches about his rise and fall. He claims to earn as much as $50,000 a day, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

“My income comes from [my] new life, which is far better than my old one,” Belfort wrote on his Facebook (FB, Fortune 500) page. “I will admit the Quaaludes were kind of fun, at least in the beginning,” he added.

Belfort did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday, nor did federal prosecutors.

“The Wolf of Wall Street” opened on Christmas and made $34.3 million during its first five days in theaters, after costing more than $100 million to make. The film has garnered Golden Globe nominations for Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy, and Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy. To top of page

Sep 25, 2013
Ann Thompson

10 Motivational Kanye West Quotes (From His Zane Lowe Interview)

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Posted September 24, 2013

Kanye West is one hell of a motivational speaker. He’s got a way with words—some of us like to call them Yeezyisms. And unless you caught him on a really bad day, an interview with him is destined to be epic. His latest with BBC’s Zane Lowe is one for the books. In it, Yeezy refers to his rants as “motivational speeches.” Since his voice is meant to inspire a generation, we compiled 10 inspiring quotes from the hour-long sitdown. Grab ‘em and copy and paste to your Facebook.

“When someone comes up and says something like, ‘I am a god,’ somebody says, ‘Who does he think he is?’ I just told you who I thought I was! A god!”

“I always feel like I can do anything. That’s the main thing people are controlled by: thoughts and perceptions of yourself… If you’re taught you can’t do anything, you won’t do anything.”

“If you’re a Kanye West fan, you’re not a fan of me. You’re a fan of yourself.”

“It’s about whatever I want to make it about. It’s my world.”

“To be a visionary, all you have to do is make decisions based off of your eyes instead of your ears and your memory.”

“I don’t expect to be understood at all.”

“Us as a people, we can’t do it on our own. We have to understand that we’re not each other’s enemy. We have to stop discriminating against each other due to class and due to race and due to location or financial position.”

“At this point, I’m a slave to my passion. I’m a slave to my mission.”

“You can’t ever tell me what dream to have and what not to have, or the level of importance.”

“It is still not a black person at the end of that runway! I’m gon’ sit here on this runway until I’m at the end of it.”


Quantcast

Aug 17, 2013
Betty Stone

My Turn: ‘Undefeated’ a tear jerker – Portales News

If you’re a Netflix junky or even if you can find it somewhere in a store or on the web, I highly recommend watching the documentary called “Undefeated.”

I know most of you are probably thinking, “Ooh, a documentary, I don’t know about that.” Documentaries are often hit and miss with me because, let’s face it, some of them are just flat boring.

However, this one was not. My boyfriend happened to accidentally stumble upon it on Netflix one night and gave it a shot. I was feeling skeptical but gave it a shot with him anyway.

The film is an inspirational story about a volunteer high school football coach, who inspires some “rough around the edges” teens to better themselves and make something of their lives despite their rough upbringing and circumstances.

It’s a tear jerker but a very moving story. It’s inspiring on the same level as “Remember the Titans,” only rather than being based on a true story, this is the true story. Check it out.

If you like inspirational teen stories or motivational stories, you’ll enjoy it. Plus, it’s always nice to see people positively impacting others with no benefit to themselves.

Alisa Boswell loves movies and literature and writes for the Portales News-Tribune. Contact her at aboswell@pntonline.com or 356-4481 or on Facebook at Cmi staff-Alisa Boswell.

May 23, 2013
Betty Stone

Simone Eli – WALA

Simone Eli joined the FOX10 team in May 2013 as a sports anchor/reporter.

Simone is from Genoa, Ohio. She attended Bowling Green State University and is finishing her Master’s of Education in Human Movement, Sports and Leisure Studies. She also has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism.

Simone worked as a TV Play-by-Play, Color Analyst and Reporter for Buckeye Cable Sports Network covering a variety of sports. Prior to that, Simone served as the Sports Director at BG24 in Bowling Green, Ohio.

At BGSU, Simone played on the Women’s Division 1 basketball team. During her career she played on teams that won 3 Mid-American Conference Championships in 2010, 2011 and 2012. She and her teammates played in two NCAA Tournaments and made two WNIT Tournament appearances. During one of those WNIT appearances her team advanced to the Sweet-16.

Simone lives in Mobile and is excited to cover a wide range of sports that cater to many viewers. She will be covering Alabama, Auburn and USA football, but she’ll also be looking for inspirational and motivational stories about other sports that will accommodate those people who are not just diehard football fans.

In her free time, Simone enjoys being active, running, and lifting weights. She likes to attempt to play golf and occasionally try to cook. She often Face Time’s her four younger siblings who reside in Ohio.

Simone’s favorite teams include: the Pittsburgh Steelers, Notre Dame Football, and any college basketball.

If you have a story idea, feel free to contact Simone via email at: Simone.Eli@fox10tv.com . Follow Simone on Twitter and Facebook .

May 13, 2013
Jane Underwood

Deliver us from Evil

A new book with Mother Theresa’s letters details how, after a lifetime spent nursing the sick, the brutally pained, the hurt and suffering, the downtrodden and the dying in the slums of Calcutta, the old lady had begun to doubt that God even exists –– Jesus Himself uttered these words (filled with doubt) while dying on that cross “Father Father Why have you forsaken me?� it’s quite understandable, given the suffering I see in the world… it gets me thinking the exact same way at times.

Making matters worse are the annoying multi-millionaire pastors who have changed the entire meaning of the Bible – these Pastors fill stadiums though they are nothing more than motivational speakers telling people what they want to hear – they skip the Chapter that says “It is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom Of Heavenâ€�, in the hands of these snake-oil salesmen, the Bible is not about taking care of the needy, it is a self-enrichment tool, the self –enrichment gospel. A friend calls it “Pastor-Worshipâ€�, not “God-Worshipâ€�, and judging by one pastors local show which I attended a year or two back, the man even sees himself as a rock star and makes sure that the lighting, the band and the build-up by his obedient wife has all the glitz one can expect from such functions.

That same  pastor is often quoted on Facebook has several mansions, a private jet, a Public Relations Team, several Marketing Teams split into different areas: some for Social Media, some for pushing his book sales, some for pushing his dvd sales, a Team of Technicians and an Online Support Team for taking incoming prayers, an Events Management Company, the list is endless – and what does this pastor do in the meantime? he has a separate account to view all his Facebook “likesâ€� and Twitter Retweets.

He tells his flock of adoring worshipers, that God will answer all their prayers, fulfill all their desires for worldly material riches, give them happy relations! WTH people?!   Let’s get this straight once and for all: you can pray to God for strength to handle your difficult days, you can pray to God for comfort when suffering, you can pray to God for wisdom to make the correct decisions in business, you can pray to God for patience to handle the rocky roads that come with all relationships – and Then, you must work damn hard on your relationships, on your business and self improvement – You can’t simply laze around expecting God to do it for you, nor will all that pastors books and dvd’s do it for you.

Yes, I do believe that things fall into place with God’s mercy if you believe, but you do not have to enrich a middle man to get that relationship with God going.The least I say the better about those dressed to the nines on Sundays on their way to chapel while poking up their noses at the unemployed begging not for hand outs, but for a job and/or a simple meal before the sun goes down, Personally I find much more enlightenment and beauty in the below hymn: In the MORNING of my life I shall look to the sunrise. At a moment in my life when the world is new. And the blessing I shall ask is that God will grant me, To be brave and strong and true, And to fill the world with love my whole life through.

And to fill the world with love And to fill the world with love And to fill the world with love my whole life through   In the NOONTIME of my life I shall look to the sunshine, At a moment in my life when the sky is blue. And the blessing I shall ask shall remain unchanging. To be brave and strong and true, And to fill the world with love my whole life through   In the EVENING of my life I shall look to the sunset, At a moment in my life when the night is due. And the question I shall ask only I can answer. Was I brave and strong and true? Did I fill the world with love my whole life through? Artist: Petula Clark, Album: Goodbye Mr. Chips, “Fill The World With Love” Okay that rant is now well and truly out of the way, what shall I blog today….. Since there was nothing much to watch on tv, I sat down most reluctantly to watch the Margaret Thatcher Biography, “The Iron Ladyâ€�, to say I was simply blown away with the sheer quality of the acting and storytelling would be an understatement – the movie is dripping with thought-provoking dialogue and issues that are as relevant today as they were back then. If you want to catch a glimpse of the difficulties faced by Presidents, Prime Ministers and others in top leadership positions, this is the story to watch.

All too often us regular folk forget that a leader of a county (or any leader of a big organization) has hundreds of different issues to attend to, mostly all at the same time, it then becomes a miracle for one to cling onto firmly held beliefs and principles, and by God! Does Margaret hold onto her beliefs with all her might – not once does she waver, succumb or allow the many interest groups to sway her away from what she believed in, even when many, even those within her own party start to buckle under the pressure of governing, even when her principles are as elitist and as arrogant and as conservative as any can get, she stands resolute and unmoved.

Margaret passed away a short while back and the hate poured in: a song “The Witch is Dead� shot to number 1 in the UK on the date of release, our own ANC (yes, the same ones who quickly abandoned their own principles once in government and now court celebrity like a school nerd chasing after the prom Queen), called Margaret Thatcher an odious woman because she supported apartheid.

More odious in my opinion are people who allow criminals to keep us under lockdown in our own homes and shady pastors misleading their flock with lies, they could learn much by watching Meryl Streep as “The Iron Ladyâ€�. This quote by her seems to have been aimed at the ANC “Watch your thoughts, for they will become actions, watch your actions, for they’ll become your habits ,watch your habits for they will forge your character. Watch your character, for it will make your destinyâ€�.   Lastly,, another quote from Margaret worth sharing, why can’t we just all follow this simple ideal? “Where there is discord, may we bring harmony.

Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope�. (Statement on the doorstep of No 10 after her election as PM, May 1979)


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Mar 26, 2013
Jane Underwood

Communication Week! Monday, Comics That Care. LIVE COMEDY!

Communication degrees were recently ranked as the #4 “in-demand degrees to start in 2013” according to an article in Yahoo’s education section.  What better way to bring attention to the discipline than a whole week of activities culminating with some laughs?  Communication Week 2013 is Tuesday, March 19th – Monday, March 25th. The events are open to everyone, and it is shaping up to be an exciting one.    Two brand new events were added on Thursday and Friday!   

We look forward to seeing you all at some of the events listed below:

Tuesday, Comm Student Research Presentations 12:30 – 2 P,    CE 406. The best and brightest students will have a chance to present their work at Comm Student Research Presentations. 

Wednesday, Comm Choose Your Class  12 – 2 P, CA 2nd floor lobby. Students will have a chance to learn about various classes offered at Comm Choose Your Class, where faculty members will be on hand discussing some of the courses they teach. 

Thursday, Community Engagement Showcase  4:30 – 5:45, CE 406. Thursday’s highlight will be Community Engagement Showcase where you can learn from these engaged students more about some of the wonderful work they are doing in the community. 

Friday, TEDxIUPUI. 9a – 2P   IT auditorium. Friday, TEDxIUPUI “Raising the Next Generation”, will feature inspirational and motivational speakers from all over the state.  This promises to be a “can’t miss” for everyone. Purchase tickets at www.iupui.edu/~tedx. E-mail for further information: tedx@iupui.edu. ON Facebook at facebook.com/TEDxIUPUI.

Saturday, Student, Alumni and Career Networking Conference. Fairbanks Hall, 340 W. 10th Street. The format for Saturday’s Student, Alumni and Career Networking Conference will allow employers who are hiring to be a part of the festivities as well.  If you are interested in attending the lunch, please RSVP to Mike Polites mpolites@iupui.edu by March 15th.

Monday, Comics That Care. 7:30P  CE Theater.  LIVE COMEDY. Finally, we’ll round out Communication Week 2013 with some laughs at Comics That Care VII: A Cavalcade of Comedians. Live Comedy to benefit the Salvation Army. Tickets at JAGTAG office: $8 Advance/ $10 at Door.

Feb 27, 2013
Frank Davis

ConferenceIQ Chooses Gamification From Bunchball to Encourage Reviews by …

REDWOOD CITY, CA and CHICAGO, IL–(Marketwire – Feb 27, 2013) – How many times have you attended a conference and found yourself bored silly, constantly checking your email, Twitter feed, Google+ page or Facebook page, wishing you hadn’t spent a few grand to attend a conference that sounded good on paper, but didn’t deliver the experience you were hoping for once you got on site? Or have you attended a conference that was so good you wished more of your colleagues had attended?

From ConferenceIQ LLC (CIQ), a global directory of business events and speakers and the leader for independent user-based ratings for business events and speakers, comes the solution: impartial event and speaker ratings from real conference attendees.

By leveraging Bunchball, the pioneer and market leader in gamification, ConferenceIQ attendees, speakers and event organizers can all be rewarded for a variety of interactions with the conferenceiq.com website. Similar to TripAdvisor, attendees can accumulate points when they engage in certain actions, such as completing profiles; posting, commenting on, liking or sharing reviews; and clicking on event profiles. As point tallies mount, members earn trophies such as “The Collaborator” or the “Einstein Club” and they are rewarded further for sharing numerous reviews or comments on Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

Within the gamified ConferenceIQ experience, users can quickly build their online reputation by attaining up to eight different “IQ” levels, from “Prodigy” to “Presidential Scholar.” Plans are being made for users to be able to redeem these points for event discounts.

Conference and event speakers can also amass points and status levels for expertise based on the number of events in which they present and receive reviews within a given year including status such as “Conference Maven” and “Golden Microphone.”

Conference organizers can receive the “Event Pro” badge when they organize 5+ events in at least 5 different subject areas. Attendees, speakers and organizers can also earn the “Jet Setter” badge when they attend conferences in 3+ countries in a given year.

ConferenceIQ is powering its site using Bunchball’s acclaimed Nitro platform. With Nitro, ConferenceIQ seamlessly incorporates motivation techniques and game mechanics into its site to motivate attendees, speakers and event organizers to share their insights and opinions both on the conferenceiq.com site and on their favorite social media platforms. Bunchball’s Nitro uses motivational techniques — like goal-setting, real-time feedback, competition, virtual rewards, and leveling up — to keep people sharing, collaborating and participating.

“An online community like ConferenceIQ becomes increasingly valuable as more people share their opinions and experiences, and gamification offers a powerful way to motivate users to contribute frequently,” said Caroline Japic, senior vice president of marketing, Bunchball. “Because we all wish to be recognized for our expertise and opinions, the prospect of creating a positive reputation within a community offers an ideal opportunity for a well-designed gamification experience to encourage and reward users for their ongoing participation. We’re excited to see this dynamic take shape with ConferenceIQ.”

The more reviews are posted, the greater impact to the business attendee, speaker and conference organizer. The more reviews an event has, the more confident users are in the average ratings assigned to that event. It’s a trifecta win for business attendees, speakers and the event industry.

About Bunchball:
Bunchball is the market leader and visionary in gamification. Bunchball enables organizations to improve business performance throughout their ecosystem by creating highly active and loyal customers, employees, and partners. Bunchball’s comprehensive suite of innovative cloud-based solutions empowers companies to engage and motivate, leading to improved employee productivity, customer loyalty, audience engagement and ROI. Bunchball’s world-class customers include Adobe, HP, Cisco, Warner Bros., Comcast, LiveOps, VMware and Hasbro. Based in Silicon Valley, Bunchball’s investors include Granite Ventures, Triangle Peak Partners, Northport Investments, and Correlation Ventures. For more information, visit www.bunchball.com, our blog at www.gamification.com, or follow @bunchball.

About Conference IQ
Conference IQ LLC (CIQ) is a global directory of business events and speakers and the leader for independent user-based ratings for business events and speakers. CIQ was founded by business event pros David B. Wheeler and Lise Puckorius who felt there was a need for an online destination to get unbiased information about conferences, events and speakers and a tool for speakers and event organizers to promote their events. Visit www.conferenceiq.com, or follow @conferenceiq.

Jan 19, 2013
Frank Davis

Bunchball Extends Power of Gamification to Salesforce Service Cloud

REDWOOD CITY, CA–(Marketwire – Jan 16, 2013) –

Core News Facts:

  • Bunchball, the pioneer and market leader in gamification, today announced it is extending the power of motivational techniques to the Salesforce Service Cloud, a leading customer service solution used by more than 32,000 organizations worldwide.
  • Bunchball is bringing gamification to service, support and help desk environments via a new release of Nitro for Salesforce, a purpose-built application of Bunchball’s acclaimed Nitro platform. While earlier releases of Nitro for Salesforce focused on gamifying Sales Cloud, the new release extends Bunchball’s acclaimed game mechanics to both sales and service organizations. As a result, Nitro for Salesforce is the only fully integrated gamification solution available to drive sales and service desk performance right from within Salesforce.
  • Nitro for Salesforce uses motivational techniques — like goal-setting, real-time feedback, competition, virtual rewards, and leveling up — to engage and motivate service agents to know more, collaborate more, work faster and work smarter.
    • Using Nitro for Salesforce, organizations can focus service teams on priorities and goals with targeted missions and challenges. For instance, using real-time feedback that rewards incremental improvement, managers can incent agents to reach key productivity milestones (such as completing 30 calls in an hour or reducing average call times by 10 percent), recognize them for improving service quality (such as achieving high marks in post-incident surveys), or acknowledge them for increasing their knowledge (by completing training courses).
    • And because Nitro for Salesforce also integrates with Salesforce Chatter (and by extension Chatter Communities for Service) service managers can create missions and rewards that motivate agents to respond quickly to complaints or queries that flow from social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
  • With a single click on the Service Cloud console, agents can view their current point tallies, learn how many more points they need to reach the next level, and view the rewards they’re working to earn. All game mechanics and status displays minimize automatically so time-pressed agents can stay focused on the tasks at hand.
    • Bunchball’s latest solution also helps transform service tasks from an often solitary pursuit into a competitive team-based experience. Via custom leaderboards, managers can provide meaningful rankings including how each agent stacks up against colleagues by way of points, completed challenges and levels. Or they can incorporate metrics specific to Service Cloud, such as incidents closed, comments made to case records, or first-call resolution. With Nitro for Salesforce, managers can also publicly display leaderboards on dedicated monitors or TVs so team members can see where they stand compared to their colleagues.
  • Nitro for Salesforce is part of Bunchball’s growing line of Integrated Nitro Solutions that enables companies to apply game mechanics to common online interfaces right out of the box. It comes with everything organizations need to motivate communities: pre-built user interfaces, pre-configured point economies, a complete set of missions and an optimized administration console.
  •  The latest version of Nitro for Salesforce is available today via Salesforce.com’s AppExchange Social Enterprise Showcase or directly from Bunchball.

Quotes:

Attributable to Joe Fisher, Vice President, Products, Bunchball
“Service, support and call center work can be highly repetitive and monotonous, which can lead to problems in productivity, absenteeism and turnover — problems that directly impact the quality of service a company delivers to its customers. By adding the motivational power of gamification to Service Cloud, the latest release of Bunchball’s Nitro for Salesforce offers an easy and effective way for service organizations to engage and focus agents who daily face high volumes of calls and ever-increasing productivity goals. With Nitro for Salesforce, Service Cloud customers can drive desirable behaviors that help cut costs, keep agents engaged and improve customer service.”

ABOUT BUNCHBALL:
Bunchball is the market leader and visionary in gamification. Powering the Engaged Enterprise, Bunchball enables organizations to improve business performance throughout their ecosystem by creating highly active and loyal customers, employees, and partners. Bunchball’s comprehensive suite of innovative cloud-based solutions empowers companies to engage and motivate, leading to improved employee productivity, customer loyalty and ROI. Bunchball’s world-class customers include Adobe, HP, Cisco, Warner Bros., Comcast, LiveOps, VMware and Hasbro. Based in Silicon Valley, Bunchball’s investors include Granite Ventures, Triangle Peak Partners, Northport Investments, and Correlation Ventures. For more information, visit www.bunchball.com, our blog at www.gamification.com, or follow @bunchball.

Dec 19, 2012
Betty Stone

Red Cross seeks volunteers, blood donations

PORTER COUNTY | In a season filled with giving, there’s a multitude of ways you can give back to your community through your American Red Cross.

“The gift you give today will be there for the patient needing blood, the family needing shelter, or the child who needs a hug and a blanket,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO for the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “Your gifts of time, blood or money can help save the day down the street, across the country and around the world.”

As a humanitarian organization led by volunteers, the Red Cross provides relief to victims of disaster and to help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. As part of that mission, the Red Cross also provides about half of the nation’s blood supply through voluntary blood donations.

Volunteers are always needed, Red Cross officials say, to work in areas related to disaster relief and health and safety and to provide emergency communications to military members and their families. Volunteers also coordinate and sponsor blood drives or roll up their sleeves and give blood or platelets.

People can help by sharing motivational stories about their experiences with the Red Cross — either through the organization’s website or by joining the conversation on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

“You’re needed in whatever ways you chose to give,” Whitman said. “Not a day goes by that we don’t hear from the people, families and communities who benefit from your kindness.”

To donate, call (800) RED-CROSS.

Donate through Dec. 31 and be entered into a regionwide weekly drawing for a $250 gasoline gift card.

Area blood drives include:

• 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. today in the gym at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 638 N. Calumet Road, Chesterton. This is a Pint Size Heroes blood drive.

• 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday in the kitchen and Social Hall at St. Peter Lutheran Church, 6540 Central Ave., Portage.

• 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Fellowship Hall at the United Methodist Church, 202 W. Church St., Hebron.

• 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday in the Fellowship Hall at the First United Methodist Church of Portage, 2637 McCool Road, Portage.

• 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Jan. 4 in the leasing office at Williamsburg on the Lake Apartments, 2810 Winchester Drive, Valparaiso. Call (219) 462-6149 to schedule an appointment.

• Noon to 6 p.m. Dec. 19 in the hall at the American Legion, 5675 Mulberry Ave., Portage.

• 9:30 a.m. to noon Dec. 20 at Porter Starke Services, 3176 Lancer St., Portage.

• 2 to 4:30 p.m. Dec. 20 at Porter Starke Services, 701 Wall St., Valparaiso.

• 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Dec. 21 at the Portage YMCA, 3100 Willowcreek Road. Email egonzalez@comhs.org to schedule blood donation appointment.

• 2 to 6 p.m. Dec. 27 in the cafeteria at Immanuel Lutheran School,  1700 N. Monticello Drive, Valparaiso. This blood drive is sponsored by Immanuel Lutheran Church.

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