Archive for the ‘MKTG 4 Good’ Category

Team Achemwali

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buildOn1By: Patty Hubbard (President, West Coast)

In early 2010, MKTG INC formed a partnership with buildOn on the West Coast. Our objectives were twofold: to give back to our community, and to mentor high school students who study in challenging urban areas. The buildOn organization provided us with both of these opportunities and more. Since 2010, we have completed several community service projects alongside Bay Area high school students. Along the way, we learned about these students’ extraordinary efforts to lift up not only their own communities but also build new schools in some of the poorest countries on the planet. Many kids involved in buildOn raise funds through volunteer workdays, earning the opportunity travel to countries like Haiti, Malawi, Mali, Nicaragua and Nepal and build schools there. This is where my journey began.

On March 8, 11 of my female friends, many of us working moms, took our own buildOn trek, traveling to Malawi to build a school. We called our group Team Achemwali (which means “sisters” in the native Malawian language of Chichewa) and we departed having raised $44,000 towards the cause. The Chinthola village found out about their school, and our visit, only about two weeks prior to our arrival. The money raised was enough to build a two-room school as well as fund a three-year adult literacy program. When they heard our group’s name, they were thrilled.

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When we arrived after two days of traveling, the village of Chinthola gave us a warm Malawian welcome, running alongside our bus dancing and singing. As soon as we stepped off the bus, we quickly joined in the festivities. At times the only way to communicate was with sign language, laughter and an open heart. For many of the villagers, this was the first time they had seen a light-skinned person.

Our experience included living with local families. Each day would start at 5am with a short walk to the bath hut with two buckets of water (one cold, one hot) and a cup. The day would end with a family dinner of okra or nsima (a local cornmeal staple) and pumpkin leaves. We ate on a bamboo mat covering the mud floor with a single candle or headlamp illuminating our meal. At night we slept in sleeping bags under mosquito nets.

During our conversations with the 15-plus village chiefs, four teachers and a small group of women, we learned about our different lives and cultures but also our similarities. The richness of family and community support in Chinthola meant that our common thread is love and a desire for healthy, happy children who have the opportunity to get a good education and grow up in a safe world.

For me, the time in Chinthola is one of gratitude, respect and humility.

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April 9th, 2013 at 4:17 pm

MKTG INC Helps Get America Moving

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letsmove_tylercurtis_032Photo Credit: Tyler Curtis

The rate of childhood obesity has tripled over the past three decades and we’ve reached a point in America where 1 in 3 children are obese. Ignored, the problem will result in 1 in 3 children suffering from diabetes at some point in their life. Recess has moved from a daily highlight into a distant memory.

Fortunately for the future of our children, leaders from America’s public and private sectors have taken notice and are taking action. The First Lady, Michelle Obama, has rallied a number of organizations including Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) and Nike, to create a groundbreaking program, Let’s Move! Active Schools. The program provides schools across the country with the resources to offer a healthy environment for kids to be active. On February 28, the First Lady returned to Chicago to launch the campaign.

Utilizing every inch of McCormick Place, America’s 2nd largest convention center, the WH, in cooperation with the Mayor’s office, put the invite out. And the Chicago Public School district accepted in record numbers. Almost 6,000 students and 700 chaperones showed up for the monumental event, not to mention the 150+ media members. Students arrived early, spending their time learning a choreographed workout-dance  and created a mural for Mrs. Obama with drawings of their favorite activities and pledges on how they would stay healthy. All of this happened while they awaited appearances from a variety of Special guests. Little did they know, this was just the beginning. They weren’t just going to see a show. They were going to be in the show.

While the kids danced and drew – unbeknownst to the press – on the other side of the air wall the First Lady and Nike CEO, Mark Parker, addressed the media. Olympic Sprinter Allyson Felix served as emcee as Mrs. Obama, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Rahm Emmanuel spoke on the issue at hand. With the touch of the button, the curtain behind them disappeared letting loose a stream of kids. They poured in front of the stage, engulfed the media and cameras, and created a backdrop that will not soon be forgotten.

The first scream was Bieber-Fever-esque as a bevvy of athletes flooded the stage to demonstrate how, and why, its so important to stay active. Bo Jackson began, followed by the likes of Dominique Dawes, Colin Kaepernick, Bob Harper (The Biggest Loser), Serena Williams, Gabby Douglas, Paul Rodriguez, Ashton Eaton and Sarah Reinertsen. Then, Mrs. Obama came dancing onto the stage and the reaction from the kids was one of unbelievable excitement. After a passionate message of encouragement and inspiration, everyone got moving and the dancing ensued. At the conclusion the kids were surprised with a performance by Jordin Sparks as the finale.

There were smiles all around. Some if the success was immediate. Part of the success will come five years from now when 50,000 schools nationwide have recess again thanks to LMAS. But true success will be a healthy outlook for this generation, a future unimaginable without this unique partnership.

Written by: Pete Cohen

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It’s Your Serve!

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TopSpinPhoto Credit: OzTech Media, LLC

We knew we were in for a big event when we found out that TopSpin 2012 was sold out three weeks in advance. Held again at 82 Mercer, this year’s event was the largest to date. Over 150 players competed in the either the open tournament, corporate challenge or celebrity division.

This year’s center court was the main attraction, surrounded by bleachers, moving lights, projections and an elevated umpire chair where table tennis pro Wally Green held court! Center Court saw New York Knicks great Allan Houston knock off former Chicago Bulls guard Ron Harper to win the Celebrity Tournament, Cecilia Chen win the Team Up Challenge and Williams Forrest take home the Corporate Challenge title. Center Court also hosted professional demonstrations and an impromptu match between Jerry Stackhouse of the Brooklyn Nets and 30 Rock star (and ping pong enthusiast) Judah Friedlander.

No matter where you looked, athletes, executives and leaders in business and education were playing ping pong, networking and most importantly lending their time to raise money and awareness for this year’s three chosen charities: Change for Kids, Horizons – Brooklyn Friends School and Fayetteville-Manlius, A Better Chance.

Take the time to visit www.topspincharity.com to learn more about the cause and see how you can lend support throughout the year.

Written by: Santo D’Asaro

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