Archive | July, 2015

Recognizing The Nature Conservancy

28 Jul

2179054732_fb1e5297d2_zThis summer, Popcorn Palace is recognizing amazing charities and fundraising efforts that are making an impact in their communities. This week, we are looking at The Nature Conservancy, an organization that emphasizes pragmatic scientific solutions to answer urgent bio-diverse issues!

The Nature Conservancy started as a small group of scientist with an interest in finding a way to use their ecological research to create positive environmental impact. Forming the Ecologist Union in 1946, they resolved to use their research and work with politicians and businesses to preserve threatened natural areas. The group later changed its name to The Nature Conservancy and grew to become the leader in nature preservation around the world.

Nature conservancy would not be possible without the heroic help of kind donors and passionate volunteers. One such hero was 13-year-old Dylan Bimka-Wintrob from Upstate New York who used his bar mitzvah to raise money to save the rare and elusive spirit bear in British Columbia, Canada. For his bar mitzvah, Dylan organized a presentation to talk about the endangered spirit bear and raised $867 dollars. This donation, along with many others, helped secure 19 million acres to be placed under strict land-use agreements to protect more than five million acres of the Great Bear Rainforest from commercial logging or extractive uses.

The Nature Conservancy’s work ranges from protecting the grasslands of North Australia to the marine parks across the Caribbean. They also guide preservation efforts through the use of intensive scientific research, partnering with indigenous communities, and non-confrontational solutions. They understood the key to land conservation was in using pragmatic science to bring a balance between extracting resources for human use and avoiding disruption within the natural landscape. The overall goal is to ensure the long term survival of all biodiversity on Earth by seeking solutions that will meet the needs of people as well as wildlife and ecosystems.

Effective conservation is achieved through the help of the people who live on those lands. Through The Nature Conservancy, indigenous peoples are positioned as conservation leaders to target urgent threats through securing land tenure and access, supporting indigenous rights and improving governance. For example, in Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest, four First Nation’s communities collaborated with The Nature Conservancy to create the Supporting Emerging Aboriginal Stewards (SEAS) Community Initiative, a program that empowers young leaders to be stewards of their land.

Not only does The Nature Conservancy connect with the indigenous peoples, but they also help businesses, governments, and local organizations meet their resource conservation goals. The Nature Conservancy’s Amazon Program helped partner the Brazilian Government with indigenous peoples of the Amazon to create the country’s first ever National Policy on Territorial and Environmental Management of Indigenous Lands (PNGATI).

The Nature Conservancy works with youth to explore learning and volunteer opportunities. Nature.org has an interactive map that allows families and youth groups around the United States plan trips to state natural areas and wildlife sanctuaries. The Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future (LEAF) program was founded in 1995 as an initiative to offer urban youth both career development and a hands-on environmental stewardship experience. Students take part in ecological research, restoration projects, and natural resource management. Since then, the LEAF program has activities in 28 states as well as a legacy of over 1,000 interns.

Next week, we’ll recognize another organization whose work is an inspiration for people to do good for their community. If you have any questions on how to find or start a fundraiser for an organization in need near you, please contact us below!

Recognizing The ASPCA

24 Jul

6461531797_fd5b913bdb_zThis summer, Popcorn Palace will recognize the work of amazing fundraisers and their charities. This week, we are looking at the ASPCA, an organization that stands against animal cruelty and builds support for pets and pet parents!

The Animal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has grown into one of the largest animal welfare organizations in the world with more than a million supporters across the country. Acting on the principle of defending the rights of at-risk animals, they’ve become a fore-front of animal rescue and health services in North America. Their mission is made possible through the involvement of pet parents and animal lovers. One such hero is Annika Glover, who at eleven-years old selflessly chose to help animals in need while battling Medulloblastoma.

Annika Glover suffered from Medulloblastoma, a rare and fast-growing brain tumor that jeopardized her health. She received comfort from the Make-A-Wish foundation with a wish, and despite her medical struggle, Annika used her one wish to donate $7,000 to the Pets Are Worth Saving (P.A.W.S.) animal rescue group in Florence, Alabama. Because of her courage and love for animals, the ASPCA presented Annika with the ASPCA Tommy P. Monahan Kid of the Year. The ASPCA is also happy to report that Annika’s cancer is in remission!

Annika’s love stands as a testament to the compassion that pet parents and friends have for animals.  The ASCPA provides pet parents and friends with an extensive network of knowledge and resources for to help maintain the health of their pets. The organization connects pet parents to low-cost spay or neuter programs around the country, as well as an animal hospital equipped with emergency services in New York City.

In instances of animal cruelty, the ASPCA are first responders. The ASPCA Animal Forensic Services Team works with local law enforcement and other agencies to collect and analyze evidence to give conviction against puppy millers, animal hoarders, and animal fighters. The largest dog fighting raid in U.S. history was run by the ASPCA in 2009, spanning 8 states, 100 arrests, and the seizure of 500 dogs in one day.

Factory farming of animals has been an ongoing battle for the ASPCA, whose practices are cruel and the harm permanent. To curb factory farming and other acts of cruelty, the ASPCA Field Investigation and Response Team assist local law enforcement and shelters with the rescue and medical treatment for those in need. Once the animals are saved and cared for, they are put up for adoption to a loving home.

The ASPCA team relies on the hard work of their volunteers and the kindness of their donors to help them continue their mission in servicing animals. The ASPCA has many programs that allow animal supporters to get involved in raising money to aid animals in need. Such programs include – donating your birthday, starting a memorial campaign, and creating a wedding page. These programs allow your community to get involved in the fundraising process for animals in need.

Next week, we will be highlighting another charity and the great work that they do for the community. If you have any questions on how to find or start a fundraiser for a charity near you, please contact us below!

Series: Honoring Those Who Make a Difference

15 Jul

Popcorn Palace is happy to announce that we are launching a weekly showcase series highlighting organizations that have made a difference! The showcase will be a 5-part series, presenting the remarkable work of non-profit organizations, what they are doing for their communities and the heroes who make it all possible.

Next week, we will showcase the work of the ASPCA – a nationwide organization dedicated to the rescue and treatment of animals and the support of pet parents. The ASPCA works with shelters to provide medical attention and assistance to animals in need. They are also active in pet training and pet care advice for pet parents.

Non-profit organizations empower the people of their communities to do great things for others. One such person is Annika Glover, a courageous eleven-year-old girl who despite suffering from Medulloblastoma sought the help of the Make-A-Wish foundation to gift $7,000 for animal rescue in Florence, Alabama. Annika’s love for animals is an inspiration to the ASPCA and animal lovers who hear her story. In 2014, Annika was awarded the Tommy P. Monahan Kid of the Year Award to honor her bravery.

This weekly series will feature a variety of non-profit organizations and will explore the impact that these charities have on the lives of those in need, as well as fun youth-led projects organized by the groups to help kids and teens get more involved in their communities. Getting youth involved in a project is a great way to teach compassion for others and the power of teamwork. It teaches youth about the needs of their community and the power they posses to make a difference.

Stay tuned for next week’s showcasing of the ASPCA and Annika Glover! We’ll have a new post about another exciting organization and their heroes, along with ways to get involved. See you all next week!

Celebrate Your Independence! With Fireworks Popcorn

2 Jul

On the Fourth of July, Americans celebrate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence with a day of festivities – often centered around fireworks and food!

Popcorn is the perfect snack for your outdoor activities – so why not sweeten up your parades, games, barbecues, and picnics with a delicious and nutritious treat?

This recipe for Fireworks Popcorn isn’t just a great snack for celebrating Independence Day, it also come with a little kick – a surprise popping sensation guaranteed to tickle your tastebuds!

Use Popcorn Palace’s gourmet popcorn as the base for this sweet treat, and you’ll experience an explosion of happiness which will last long after the fireworks have ended – and keep the kids talking about your 4th of July celebration for years to come!

HOW TO MAKE FIREWORKS POPCORN

You’ll need just a few ingredients to get started!

To prepare, line a large baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Follow the directions on the package to heat your white chocolate, stirring frequently to make sure it melts evenly, and does not burn. While the chocolate is heating, pour the popcorn into a large mixing bowl, leaving plenty of room for stirring.

Once the chocolate has melted to a smooth consistency, pour it over the popcorn, using a rubber spatula to toss until the popcorn is evenly coated. Toss in one pack of PopRocks, and stir again. Then, spread your coated popcorn in an even layer on the pre-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle it with your remaining PopRocks, and then place the sheet in the freezer for 2-3 minutes (this will help your chocolate harden faster).

Remove from the freezer, and break into bite-sized chunks. Eat immediately, or store in an airtight container until it’s time for your fireworks! (Please note – PopRocks will have the most popping power when this popcorn is fresh – so prepare it as close to the fun as possible!)

If you want to kick the fun up another notch, let the kids create their own popcorn bags, and decorate with fun red-white-and-blue designs, or 4th of July motifs.

No time for homemade treats? Simply order your gourmet tin from Popcorn Palace, and add some popcorn pizzazz with these DIY printable popcorn cones or these cute 4th of July-themed labels.

For more healthy snacking ideas for your 4th of July celebration, or to check out tips and tricks designed to make your summer fundraiser a hit, visit the rest of the Popcorn Palace blog!