Report finds millions of children never vaccinated, UNICEF calls for action to reach them

NEW YORK, 20 June 2012 – “The Independent Monitoring Board on progress with global polio eradication reports the significant finding that 2.7 million children in six countries have never been reached with a single polio vaccine. This is a clarion call to accelerate all efforts to reach these unreached children,” said Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF.

“Not only have these millions of children never had a polio vaccine but many of these ‘never’ children have not been reached by the life-saving benefits of routine immunization. The report calls on all of us to help find and vaccinate these children, make every encounter with these children count, and make history by wiping out this crippling disease.

“As many of these ‘never’ children live in volatile areas of conflict such as eastern DR Congo, northern Nigeria, the Northwest region of Pakistan, humanitarian space must always be protected and preserved so that the heroes of the polio campaigns – the volunteers, the vaccinators and the social mobilizers – can have full access to children. This is especially the case in a global campaign like the fight against polio.

“The polio campaign is dangerously under-funded. But we are on the verge of victory. Not only can we make history by succeeding in eradicating polio but we will be condemned by history if we fail.

“UNICEF is committed, with partners, to implementing the recommendations outlined in the report such as using polio vaccination campaigns for integrated public health campaigns around good sanitation and nutrition, scaling up use of social mobilization activities so communities take ownership of the health campaigns and finding innovative ways of reaching missed children.”

For further information, please contact:
Sarah Crowe, Spokesperson for the Executive Director,
Mobile: + 1 646 209 1590,
scrowe@unicef.org

Peter Smerdon, UNICEF New York,
Tel: + 1 212 303 7984, Mobile: + 1 917 213 5188,
psmerdon@unicef.org

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Car Donation Spotlight: 1990 Buick Reatta

Written By: Sam Andrews

The 1988-1991 Buick Reatta was the company’s first attempt at an exclusive compact 2-door sports car since the 1940s.

car donation buick

The Reatta will be remembered alongside similar vehicles offered around the same time by General Motors like the Cadillac Allante (which shared a modified platform with the Reatta) and Chrysler’s Maserati TC. They all had one goal: to capture a piece of the market segment that normally didn’t buy American cars, people who appreciated European flavored design and/or engineering but were willing to pay a substantial price for it in an otherwise thoroughly American car.

Buick car donation

Also similar to those other automaker’s efforts was the Reatta’s unusual manufacturing process. The Reatta was actually hand-assembled by workers at special stations. When the station had completed their part, the vehicle was moved by robots to the next station, where another part was hand-completed, then moved to the next station and so on and so forth. This intricate, detailed-oriented process was unheard of for the world’s largest automaker in their ninth decade of mass producing automobiles.

inside of buick car donation

The results of such labor are moderately impressive. The Reatta’s styling was certainly fresh and new, at least when compared to the rest of Buick’s lineup at the time. It features a smooth, simple body that tapers to a slightly snubbed nose, pop-up headlights, blackened a-pillars, a single-unit taillight strip, and a large curved rear window, which must have been great for visibility.

Inside, the interior featured bolstered leather seats, driver-oriented dashboard and a very interesting all-digital touch-screen instrument cluster and center console, complete with a digital speedometer. All major functions were controlled from the touch-screen. I’ve never seen one of these before and can’t confirm if it was an industry first, but the boldness of placing such an interface in company that normally sells to older and mature customers used to simplistic technology is as quizzical as it is inspiring. The touch screen was only available from 1988-1989 before it was dropped in 1990.

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The Reatta was one of several attempts by various automakers in the late 1980s to replicate the feel of classic ‘60s British convertibles like Triumph and MG but with modern technology and driving mannerisms. Examples include the Lotus M100 Elan and the ’89-‘94 Mercury Capri. Probably the best example was immensely popular and successful Mazda Miata, which debuted in February 1989. Some would consider the Reatta the least of those attempts, but I think it’s notable for being the first. The Reatta actually predated the Miata by a year, so one must give credit to Buick’s intuition. They even have similar sounding names. But the Reatta debuted as a coupe only, a misstep in a market that was ripe for small convertibles, as the Miata would prove. By the time they added a convertible in 1990, the Miata, which only came as a convertible, had already taken off and the Reatta was just a year away from discontinuation.

Could the Reatta have been the hit the Miata was? Perhaps. The Reatta was nice looking and mostly well designed. The arrival of the convertible made it even more alluring. But there were more negatives than positive. The hi-tech touch-screen was in conflict with the small, sporty, back-to-basics nature that most people conjure when they think of small coupes, not to mention alienating to older buyers. The engine was Buick’s basic 6-cylinder with a max of 170 horsepower and was not, like other Buicks of the era, turbocharged. The only transmission ever available in a Reatta was an automatic, a big turn off to young people and enthusiasts looking for something fun to drive. Lastly, the charming but antiquated hand-made assembly made manufacturing costly and time consuming.

Buick planned to sell around 20,000 each year. But by 1991, only 21,751 examples had been produced over about 4 years.

Right now the Reatta stands a good chance of becoming a future classic collector car. The good intentions of the original product, combined with the classic convertible body style and relatively low production figures make the vehicles candidates for restoration or show pieces. Will they become extremely valuable? Probably not. But as time goes on, and more and more are taken off the road and parted out, the Reatta stands a better chance than other cars from the era at garnering some interest, and maybe even increasing value after it bottoms out.

Our ’90 Reatta coupe was generously donated to WBUR and is painted red and features a light grey leather interior, sunroof, alloy wheels and only 64,408 miles on the odometer.

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How can you make sure your dollars are used effectively to support worthwhile causes?

Just as you would spend time chosing among personal investment options, it pays to put some effort into selecting among charities.

“Most people aren’t good about researching charities,” said Chuck McLean, a vice president at GuideStar, an information service that tracks non-profits. “But when you give to a charity that’s not effective or efficient, it directs money away from groups that can do the most good.”

With that in mind, here are some suggestions for investigating non-profits:

Look for substance.

With so many good causes to support, everyone can find something of interest. Let the inspiring stories get you interested, but then check for signs that a non-profit group is achieving results. Good charities are transparent, which means that they explain what they do and provide meaningful measures of their achievements.

But it can take some sleuthing. “Unlike businesses that can point to the bottom line, non-profits often produce things that are less tangible,” said Penelope Cagney of the Cagney Co., a Phoenix consulting firm. At a minimum, you should be able to get a good feel for a group by scanning its website and reading its annual report, she said.

Check the numbers.

Go beyond the website and annual report, and especially the promotional brochures and mailers. For more detailed financial information, look at a group’s Form 990, a report that larger non-profits must file with the Internal Revenue Service (even though they don’t pay taxes). These are typically available on request and might be posted on the group’s website.

Analyzing the numbers can be difficult. Sandra Miniutti, chief financial officer at the Charity Navigator website, offers some tips. As a general rule, she suggests favoring groups that earmark at least 75percent of their spending to program services, rather than administration or fund-raising.

She also suggests being wary of groups that pay high salaries to top leaders. While this, too, can be hard to evaluate, “It’s unreasonable to see (CEO) salaries over $1million or even $500,000,” she said.

As a caveat, it’s important to compare similar types of groups. Food banks, for example, tend to pay lower executive salaries and funnel much more spending into program services than, say, medical-research entities or museums.

Evaluate the people.

Leadership is a key component of non-profit groups, as with other types of entities, and this, too, is difficult to evaluate. Steve Seleznow, president and CEO of the Arizona Community Foundation, said favorable signs include top executives who have stayed on the job several years and have managed to expand or grow their groups over time — not just in financial measures but in the number of clients served, success in tackling problems or whatever the measurement.

He also suggests evaluating the board of directors, looking for individuals who are prominent and respected in the community.

Kick the tires.

A big part of the research effort, especially with smaller charities, involves making sure a group is legitimate. Drop by the office to see how it operates on a daily basis. Consider volunteering for the group, which also can be a way to help if you’re short on cash to donate. You often can uncover red flags through quick Internet searches. Independent research groups such as Charity Navigator offer ratings on thousands of larger non-profits.

“We have close knowledge of most non-profits across the state,” Seleznow said. It’s a good sign when foundations throw some support behind various charities.

Also, make sure your group has filed necessary paperwork with the IRS. If it hasn’t, the tax deductibility of your donation could be in jeopardy. The IRS provides a donation-eligibility list. Go to “search for charities” under the “charities and non-profits” section at irs.gov.

For more information read the full article at USAToday.com

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Hybrid Vehicle Donations

2012 should be the year we all pledge to be greener. One of the ways a lot of our donors do this is by driving a hybrid vehicle. As newer, innovative green cars come on the market, many consumers are left wondering what to do with their old hybrid? Instead of selling or trading your vehicle in, consider donating it to charity and get a tax deduction!

When your vehicle reaches the end of it’s useable lifespan, we’re able to turn your hybrid vehicle donations into amazing profits for our nonprofit partners. With green cars on the rise, our savvy hybrid donors are helping out the planet and saving money on costly gas. Donating your old hybrid when you’re ready for a new one is the best way to give back, be green and get a generous tax deduction, all at the same time.

Check out some recent car donations:

Hybrid Car Donation to Car Talk

2003 Honda Civic Hybrid from Boston, MA

car donation to car talk

 

Hybrid Truck Donation to Habitat for Humanity

2005 Ford Escape Hybrid from New Haven, CT

connecticut car donation

 

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