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Community Events Calendar

For the Week of April 20-26, 2014

If you provide a public service, or have a special community- or business-related event that you'd like to have posted on this page, please e-mail Gordon Brown, Public Service Director, with your announcement. Nonprofits only, please! To ensure timely posting, please allow at least three weeks in advance of the event date (or registration deadline, if applicable). Thanks!  ~ G.B.

San Diego County

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Join the Lupus Foundation of America, Sunday, April 27th at De Anza Cove in Mission Bay Park, for the Walk to End Lupus Now™ event in San Diego, which is part of America's largest lupus walk program. The walk raises awareness and money for lupus research and education for those who feel the brutal impact of lupus in your community. On-site registration opens at 8:30 a.m., with opening remarks at 9:45 and the 5K Walk beginning at 10. Every step you take, and every dollar you raise, supports the Lupus Foundation of America's mission to solve the mystery of lupus, one of the world's cruelest, most unpredictable and devastating diseases. Help us solve the cruel mystery. Sign up today by visiting this webpage.

Click here for North County Senior Dance Schedule

North County Senior Dance has plenty of dance action on tap well after the Easter bunny has skipped town! But first, mark your calendars for a special Friday Spring Fling on April 18th from 2 to 4 at the Encinitas Senior Center, featuring music by The Sundance Band! On Tuesday, April 22nd, swing to the stylings of The Harmonaires, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Escondido Center. On Thursday the 24th, swing southward to the spacious wooden floor of the Balboa Park Club for a dance with an Earth Day theme; The Billy Harper Band will provide the music between noon and 3:30. And on Friday the 25th, The Sandy Devito Quartet makes its monthly appearance at the Poway Senior Center; enjoy line dancing from noon to one, and swing and ballroom from 1 to 3. These great events are open to dancers of all ages, and admission is still just three to five dollars. Find out more by calling North County Senior Dance at 760-720-2011. (For detailed scheduling information, senior center addresses, etc., click on the calendar icon to view the schedule in PDF format. If you use an older web browser, you might need to have Adobe Reader® or similar PDF software installed. Download Adobe Reader® here; or upgrade to a newer browser if possible.)

Precious ~ Click here to visit RCHS's Pet of the Week page

This week Rancho Coastal Humane Society's Pet of the Week is Precious, a two-year-old, spayed-female, domestic longhaired cat. A dainty kitty at just six pounds fully grown, with piercing yellow eyes to complement her glorious gray fur, Precious will most likely want to jump in your lap, where she can get comfortable and take a nap. If you get up from your chair, Precious will follow you around, to see whether she can help with whatever you're doing! This is a cat who, with the proper care and attention, will work out well in just about any home—why not yours? For more information about Precious, or any of the delightful animals available for adoption into loving homes, call 760-753-6413, or visit online.

Rancho Coastal Humane Society's Thrift Shop has a huge selection of clothing, appliances, books, and artwork. It's a great place to shop and also a great place to donate unwanted gifts, items that you've replaced, or things that you've just grown tired of. And 100 percent of the proceeds support Rancho Coastal's programs for people and animals. Your painting, printer, or prom dress—even that ugly new Christmas sweater you'd like to part with!—can help to find a family for a pet, or provide humane education for a child. And now, save 50 percent on previously reduced merchandise every Sunday—that's half off everything but apparel. Then on Mondays save 50 percent on previously reduced clothing. Thrift Shop hours are 10 to 5:30 on weekdays, and 10 to 5 on weekends. Rancho Coastal Humane Society's Thrift Shop is located at 120 Aberdeen Drive in Cardiff, just two miles from the shelter at 389 Requeza Street in Encinitas. For more information, call 760-753-6413, or visit online.

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Spinoff Goes Hollywood, San Diego's premier live and silent auction event, will be held Thursday, May 8th at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine, located at 3777 La Jolla Village Drive. Guests can enjoy dinner and entertainment, while bidding on luxury items, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and lavish getaways. The cocktail reception and silent auction begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by the dinner and live auction. Jane Carroll will be honored at the event to recognize her 15 years of service on the Spinoff event committee. Proceeds from the 23rd annual event will benefit patient support services at Scripps Cancer Center, caring for more cancer patients than any other provider in San Diego County. Tickets are $200 per person. For tickets, and to learn more about the 23rd Annual Spinoff Goes Hollywood, visit this webpage, or call 858-678-6349.

Keb' Mo' ~ Click here for more information about this event

Three-time Grammy Award-winning blues artist Keb' Mo' will headline Scripps Concert for Cancer, Scripps Health's fourth annual concert to celebrate cancer survivorship, on Monday, May 19th at 7 p.m. at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay, located at 2241 Shelter Island Drive in Point Loma. Hailed by NPR as "the modern ambassador of the blues," Keb' Mo' will play songs from his first new album in three years, BLUESAmericana. Opening the concert will be local country-Americana artist Nancarrow. The concert will be an early kickoff to National Cancer Survivors Day events, which are held in hundreds of communities nationwide in June. The events are designed to celebrate the nearly 14 million people in the United States who have survived cancer, as well as to inspire the recently diagnosed, offer support to family and loved ones, and recognize those who have provided support along the way. General-admission tickets are $55; tickets for rows two through six are $75, and front-row seats are $100. Purchase tickets online by visiting this webpage. For more concert information, call 1-800-SCRIPPS (1-800-727-4777).

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Do you know what you have in common with pharaohs and headhunters? Beer! The San Diego Museum of Man announces its latest special exhibit, BEERology! Learn fascinating stories and see phenomenal artifacts that reveal the deep historical links between beer and culture. Compare Sumerian and Egyptian brewing methods to those of today, see the solid-gold beer cup of an Inca king, and find out the dangerous details of "spit" beer. In conjunction with this exhibit are several special beer tastings; the final one, titled Hopfest at the Museum, takes place on Thursday, June 19th from 6 to 8 p.m.! The San Diego Museum of Man is located at 1350 El Prado in Balboa Park. For more information, or to reserve tickets for the Hopfest at the Museum beer-tasting, call 619-239-2001, or visit this webpage.

Click here to register, and for sponsorship information

The Community Pet Food Bank at your Rancho Coastal Humane Society provides food and other supplies for nearly 150 pets each month, keeping families and their animals together. Find out how you can make a donation or get the pet supplies you need. Visit Rancho Coastal Humane Society at 389 Requeza Street in Encinitas, call 760-753-6413, or visit online.

San Diego Home Loan Counseling and Education Center is a 501(c) nonprofit, HUD Certified organization that provides free counseling services to persons who've fallen behind in their mortgage payments, and are possibly facing foreclosure. Established for over 34 years, San Diego Home Loan Counseling can help you free of charge, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Spanish-speaking counselors are also available. The Center is located at 3180 University Avenue, Suite 300 in San Diego's North Park. For information and appointments, call toll-free, 1-877-734-5232, or visit online.

Click here to visit the CONNECT website

CONNECT is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating and sustaining the growth of innovative technology and life science businesses in San Diego. Since 1985, CONNECT has assisted in the formation and development of over 2,000 companies, and is widely regarded as the world's most successful regional program linking inventors and entrepreneurs with the resources they need for success. More than 25 countries and regions have adopted the CONNECT model, including the United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Australia, and China. For more information, please call 858-964-1300— or visit online.

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Help rebuild the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oceanside, one brick at a time! The BGCO is currently renovating its outdated, 40-year-old main Townsite facility to transform it into a state-of-the-art learning center and make it ADA-compliant. You can purchase a brick with the name of your company, family, or memorial statement, and it will become a permanent fixture in the front patio of the new Townsite Club. And just imagine your name eternally on the walls of the new Boys & Girls Club of Oceanside. Your purchase of a room or equipment dedication will directly impact the 1,400 North County youth BGCO serves per day in our community, by providing them with fun and safe environments during the critical hours of 3 and 6 p.m., when at-risk youth have the greatest chance of getting into trouble. For details, call 760-433-8920, or e-mail bgco@bgcoceanside.org—or visit this page.

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Are you looking for ways to get involved in local and national suicide prevention efforts? Don't miss the next Volunteer Meeting hosted by the San Diego Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). This informative session provides an overview of the vital work of AFSP San Diego, and what you can do to ensure that suicide prevention is a priority in our community. If you have a passion for saving lives, AFSP San Diego has a volunteer opportunity for you. Volunteer meetings are held on the second Wednesday of every month from 6 to 7 p.m. at The Center, located at 3909 Centre Street in Hillcrest, San Diego 92103. For further information, or if you can't attend a particular meeting, please contact Jessica Vanderstad at 760-459-9959, or email jvanderstad@afsp.org.

Enjoy walking or riding your bicycle? Are you 18 or older? Then why not volunteer for the Lakeside River Park Conservancy's River Park Patrol, and get more out of your outdoor activity? Walk or ride to different locations in the River Park, and chart activity such as graffiti, trespassing, and other signs of illegal activity. Call the Sheriff’s Department if needed. Park Patrollers also help educate users—and trespassers—about the park project, wildlife, and habitat, and assist River Park staff at special events to provide traffic control, parking, education and outreach. Park Patrollers always work in groups of two or more during daylight hours every day of the week. You pick your time and day and commit to making a weekly patrol, for a total of at least six hours a month. Ongoing training is provided. To volunteer, please e-mail Seth Connolly at sethriverpark@gmail.com, or call 619-443-4770. For more information about the Conservancy, as well as additional volunteer opportunities, please visit online.

Click here for more information about FACE

The FACE Foundation—the Foundation for Animal Care and Education—is a San Diego-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The first of its kind in San Diego County, FACE provides funding to families in need, whose pets require life-saving surgeries and procedures. FACE is entirely reliant upon donations to continue its mission of enhancing and preserving animals' lives. For more information, or to donate, please visit online, or call 858-450-FACE (858-450-3223).

Click here for more information about PCI

PCI is a San Diego-based health and humanitarian organization operating over 100 programs in 16 countries. PCI is dedicated to saving lives and building healthy communities around the globe, annually reaching over five million people in Asia, Africa and the Americas. Funded by federal grants and private support, PCI has over a $35 million budget and nearly 600 employees worldwide. For more information, and to donate, call 858-279-9690, or visit online.

San Diego EcoNetwork is a regional environmental networking organization run entirely by volunteers, utilizing a "self-posting" system of listing events on the web calendar. For more than a decade, the network has steadily grown to incorporate a directory of regional nonprofit organizations, and a job-listing service. With the dawn of social networking, San Diego EcoNetwork has expanded to include a Facebook page, an e-mail notification list with over 400 current subscribers, and a Yahoo open discussion forum. Find out more by visiting online.

Click here for more information about San Diego Canyonlands

San Diego County has more threatened and endangered species than any other county in the contiguous United States. Many of these species exist in our riparian areas, such as our creeks and canyons. The mission of San Diego Canyonlands is to promote, protect and restore the natural habitats in San Diego County canyons and creeks, by fostering education and ongoing community involvement in stewardship and advocacy, and by collaborating with other organizations. Many of its success stories have come from grassroots activism conducted by canyon "Friends Groups" throughout San Diego County. Their website contains monthly events listed on the right side of the main page. For more information, call 619-358-9367, or visit online.

Experience the wonders of wetlands through free guided docent-led tours at San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve. These walks provide insight into the history of the reserve, as well as the many plants and animals that reside within it. Participants gain an appreciation for the reserve's incredible diversity, and learn about the importance of preserving this endangered ecosystem. Free tours are offered every Saturday at the San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center (2710 Manchester Ave. in Cardiff-by-the-Sea) from 10 to 11:30 a.m., and every second Saturday monthly from the Rios Avenue trailhead in Solana Beach from 9 to 11 a.m. For more information, visit this webpage, or call 760-436-3944, ext. 701.

Click here to visit Charter School of San Diego online

The Charter School of San Diego is currently enrolling new students in grades 7 through 12. This is a tuition-free public school with 20 convenient school sites located throughout San Diego County. If your children can benefit from a rigorous education that's personalized to meet their specific needs, call 858-678-2020, or visit online. Charter School of San Diego is there for you, and daring to make a difference.

The County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency has launched a campaign to inform the public about a recent rise in three sexually transmitted diseases: syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. Many believe that these diseases have been wiped out through advances in medicine, but in fact, cases of syphilis have increased nearly 200 percent in the last five years. The County urges the public to get tested for all STDs, and to take proper precautions during sexual activity. For further information, visit online.

Click here to visit Pit Bull Rescue San Diego online

Pit Bull Rescue San Diego is a volunteer-run, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization devoted to rescuing, rehabilitating and re-homing pit bulls in San Diego area shelters, as well as educating the public about responsible pet ownership, and advocating against the inhumane and unethical activities of dogfighting, backyard breeding, and housing discrimination by breed. Pit Bull Rescue San Diego also maintains a directory of apartments, condo complexes, and property-management companies that are pit-bull-friendly. Find out more by calling 760-231-1909, or by visiting online.

Do you like to meet and greet the public? Learn about California's Superior Court by staffing the information desks at various court locations. Volunteer training is provided. Call 619-450-7443, or consult the Volunteer Opportunities Section of the Court's web page.

Click here to visit NAMI online

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is a nonprofit organization providing education, support services and advocacy to improve the lives of everyone affected by mental illness. NAMI offers two programs called Family To Family and Peer to Peer. Each is a set of courses designed to provide guidance for persons with mental illness or brain disorders, as well as their families. These courses are provided free of charge, and some courses are available in Spanish. Call the NAMI San Diego Helpline at 619-543-1434, or 800-523-5933 to enroll—or visit NAMI San Diego online and click "Services" for more information.

Click here to visit Challenge Center online

Challenge Center is a nonprofit organization devoted to transforming dramatically the quality of life of persons with severe mobility disorders through exceptional physical therapy, and specialized fitness and wellness programs, in an environment of hope and possibilities. Challenge Center is located at 5540 Lake Park Way in La Mesa. For more information about Challenge Center, or to donate, call 619-667-8644, or visit online.

Click here to visit Mama's Kitchen online

Mama's Kitchen brings daily sustenance and hope to more than 1,500 people in San Diego County who are living with AIDS, cancer, or other critical illnesses. Won't you make a contribution of $35 or more to help? A donation of just $50 provides three meals a day for six days. Mail your donation to Mama's Kitchen, 1875 Second Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101. For more information, call 619-233-6262, or visit online.

Click here to visit SANDAG 511 online

Flat tire? Engine trouble? Battery dead? Phone 5-1-1 first. By dialing 5-1-1 from your cell phone in San Diego County, you can now access tow services while remaining safely inside your vehicle. Simply dial 5-1-1 from your cell phone, and say "Roadside Assistance" when prompted. Each call is directed to the Call Box Answer Center, which will help you to receive roadside assistance. In non-emergencies in San Diego County, when roadside assistance is needed, phone 5-1-1 first from your cell phone. For more information, visit online.

Click here to visit the RCD website

The Resource Conservation District of Greater San Diego County annually donates nearly 1,000 warm-weather vegetable and herb plants to teachers and their school gardens across San Diego County. During this year's event, which took place March 14, 2013, 145 schools, preschools, and youth programs participated, and flats of ten to twelve plants were distributed to Casita Center in Vista, San Diego County Office of Education in San Diego, and Olivewood Gardens in National City. To find out more about the RCD's plant giveaway program, training courses, and additional support for San Diego school gardens, visit online, or call 619-562-0096.

Click here to visit the TECC website

The Escondido Creek Conservancy (TECC) is a nonprofit, public benefit corporation, incorporated in 1991, dedicated to the preservation, restoration and protection of the natural open space within the Escondido Creek watershed. TECC believes the natural lands within the watershed are an irreplaceable natural asset with great community value, and supports educational programs and compatible outdoor recreation within the watershed. TECC has formed alliances with landowners, government agencies, and education and community groups to increase awareness of the invaluable resources intrinsic to the Escondido Creek watershed. TECC's Board of Directors is comprised of committed local volunteers with expertise in business, science, land use planning, education, recreation, and restoration of natural landscapes. For more information please visit online, or call 760-471-9354.

Orange County and the Inland Empire

Click here for more information about Inland Valley Health Plan Click here for more information

United Way of the Desert will hold its 24th Annual VIP Gala: Build a Pathway out of Poverty, Friday, May 16th at the newly opened Ritz Carlton in Rancho Mirage. The event is hosted by Richard Kite, Honorary Chair. The Gala begins with cocktails at 5:30 p.m. on the terrace 650 feet above the Valley floor. The festivities continue with a chef-prepared dinner at 6:30, and a Best of the Valley gift raffle followed by a lively Fund a Pathway live auction. After-dinner entertainment will be provided by The Hot Purple Energy All-Star Ensemble. All proceeds benefit the United Way of the Desert and the Pathways out of Poverty Community Impact Fund. Tickets are $250 per person, and $2500 for a Table of 10 Bronze Sponsor. The final day to reserve is Friday, May 9th. To purchase tickets, and for additional information on sponsorships, call 760-323-2731. To find out more about United Way of the Desert, visit online.

Click here to access the PATHS website

The PATHS program (Personalized Approach to Housing Stability) is a 100-percent FREE one-on-one coaching program that helps San Bernardino, Riverside and Imperial County residents develop a personalized plan to meet their housing and financial goals. Customized plan options include assistance with legal matters, loan modifications, credit repair, budgeting, financial education classes, and more. PATHS is founded by the Inland Fair Housing and Mediation Board, and funded by a grant from the Office of the Attorney General of California, from the National Mortgage Fraud Settlement, to assist California consumers. For more information, please visit online.

Click here to access the LifeStream website

LifeStream—the official Blood Bank of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties—has issued an urgent plea to persons with B-negative and O-negative blood types to give the gift of life and donate blood as soon as possible. These blood types are urgently needed to treat surgery patients, trauma victims, and patients with life-threatening illnesses. Please schedule your life-saving donation today. Individuals must be at least at 15 years of age to donate blood. (Those 15 and 16 years of age must provide LifeStream with written parental consent. Parental consent forms are available at any donor center, mobile blood unit, or online.) All prospective donors should be free of infections or illness, weigh at least 110 pounds and not be at risk for AIDS or hepatitis. Donors will also receive a free mini-physical as part of the donation process. Donating blood takes about an hour, yet gives someone a lifetime. For more information, call 1-800-879-4484, or visit LifeStream online.

Click here to visit Arrowhead Medical Center online

Arrowhead Regional Medical Center is conducting a research study to test a new medicine that may help traumatic brain injury. Patients who get to the hospital quickly, with moderate to severe head injury, between the ages of 16 and 75 can be included. Our previous experience suggests that this medicine can reduce injury to the brain if given quickly. Because head injury is a life threatening condition requiring immediate treatment, some subjects will be enrolled without consent until a family member can be located. Every attempt will be made to locate family to review the study. Before the study starts, we will hold meetings with the community to review the study, get your feedback and answer questions. For more information or to decline participation in this study, please visit this webpage.

Click here to visit Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services online

Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services has been providing exceptional mental health and substance abuse treatment services throughout Los Angeles County for over 60 years. Their programs serve over 57,000 children, families, adults and seniors at nine sites each year, from Pacoima to Venice to South Los Angeles to the Downtown area, and many points in between. Services include crisis intervention and stabilization, counseling, residential treatment, case management, youth-at-risk and family reinforcement programs, delinquency prevention programs, substance abuse treatment and prevention, and extensive community outreach. Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services also operates the only free, accredited, 24-hour, seven-days-a-week, suicide prevention crisis line from Orange County to Santa Barbara, at 1-877-7CRISIS. That's 1-877-727-4747. For more information, visit online.

West End Animal Shelter offers low-cost pet immunizations every Tuesday evening from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.; and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Cost of immunization ranges from $8 to $12 depending on vaccine; cash only, please. West End Animal Shelter is located at 1010 East Mission Blvd. in Ontario. For more information, call 909-947-3517, or visit online.

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The Freeway Service Patrol for the San Bernardino Valley has hit the road, helping stranded motorists every Monday through Friday during peak commute hours. Watch for the roving team of tow trucks from Montclair to San Bernardino on the I-10 and from Ontario to Rancho Cucamonga on the I-15. This is a free service, including tows to a CHP-approved location. Call 909-884-8276 for more information.

Wildhaven Ranch is a nonprofit organization in the San Bernardino Mountains that is dedicated to providing a protective environment where sick, injured, and other disaffected wild animals can be nurtured, rehabilitated, and released back into the wild. For animals who cannot be adequately rehabilitated, Wildhaven provides a sanctuary where they can live safe, fulfilling lives. Learn about these and other aspects of the program, including a Learning Center for community members and children, by visiting online.

Click here to learn more about Basically BOOKS

Basically BOOKS is a nonprofit bookstore run by the Friends of the Diamond Bar Library. They are open five days a week and need volunteers to staff the store. All proceeds from the store benefit the Diamond Bar Library. The store is located at the Country Hills Towne Centre on Cold Spring Lane. Call 909-594-9954 for details on how you can get involved and help out.

Forte is a nonprofit foreign-exchange program which provides international high-school students the opportunity to study for one year in an American school. Forte is currently looking for people to work in its organization, and also seeks prospective host families in San Diego, Orange County and the Inland Empire. If your family is interested in hosting a foreign-exchange student, or you'd like to inquire about employment, call 1-202-833-4185; or visit online.

Click here to visit 211 San Bernardino online

When you have nowhere to turn, just dial 2-1-1. Connect with Health and Social Services in San Bernardino County through United Way. Call 2-1-1 for help any time, 24/7/365. Visit online for more information.

Other Announcements

Click here to visit the NFIB website

Are you aware that nearly half of everybody who works, works for a small business? Small business is the heart of our economy. When you shop small, you're helping your friends and neighbors. You're supporting the people who support our schools and sports teams and charities. That's why we're asking you to keep our communities strong and support small, locally-owned businesses in the Inland Empire, Orange County, and San Diego. A message from this station and the National Federation of Independent Business.

Click here to visit the SIPC website

Nearly 40 years ago, the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) was created by Congress to help protect individual investors in the unlikely event of brokerage firm failure. Today, the SIPC is looking to investors just like you to help the SIPC modernize the way it does business. SIPC wants your input to make sure that it does even better in the next 40 years. Just visit online; find your topic, or create a new one. Do it soon, and help shape the future of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation.

The California Tax Education Council asks: Is your tax preparer legal? State law mandates that only attorneys, Enrolled Agents, CPAs, or CTEC Registered Tax Preparers can prepare your tax returns for a fee. Not sure which one your preparer is? You had better find out! Otherwise, you could pay the consequences. Protect yourself, and do your research; you have a right to ask your preparers for their credentials. For more information, call 877-850-CTEC, or visit online.

Click here to visit the NCUA website

The National Credit Union Administration, or NCUA, is the federal agency that insures the vast majority of credit unions in the United States. NCUA insurance for credit unions is equivalent to FDIC coverage for banks, and federally insured credit union members are now protected up to at least $250,000. NCUA insurance is backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government. Not one penny of insured savings has ever been lost by a member of a federally insured credit union. For more information, go online to the NCUA Insurance Coverage Tool Kit to verify that your credit union is insured, and for details about your insurance coverage.

Click here to visit the BusinessUSA website

Business owners: Get the information you need to better manage your business! Keep on top of all the government rules and regulations that affect you. BusinessUSA is a one-stop shop for free business information from all levels of government—federal, state, and local. Whether starting out or branching out, BusinessUSA can help make sure you're getting it right. Visit BusinessUSA, the official business link to the U.S. Government. A public service message from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Click here to visit the NFCC website

Is your family overextended with credit spending? Have you been rolling over your auto loans until you owe more than your new vehicle is worth? Are you caught in the squeeze of a non-fixed mortgage? If one or more of these conditions obtains, you may be on the brink of a major debt crisis. That's why the National Foundation for Credit Counseling is nonprofit, independently accredited, and community-governed: so they have a real stake in helping you. To find an NFCC agency near you, call 800-388-2227, or visit online.

Click here to visit the READY.gov website

Protect your business with an emergency preparedness plan. Visit ready.gov for free checklists, templates, and other tools to help you develop an affordable plan that fits your business. It's free from the Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, and the Ad Council.

Click here to visit the FHCE website

Did you know that a family of four can make up to $66,000 a year and still be eligible for government health insurance for their children? It's true. Several million Californians are eligible for government health insurance, but have not signed up. The Foundation for Health Coverage Education is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization charged with educating people on how to find no-cost or low-cost, government-funded health insurance. The Foundation offers an Uninsured Help Line with live counselors speaking multiple languages, 24 hours a day, seven days a week—and they're standing by to assist you. Call the Help Line at 1-800-234-1317, and find out how health-care reform might give you access to health coverage today. For more information about the Foundation, visit online, or call 310-556-9612.

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You need car insurance to drive responsibly—and legally. California's Low Cost Automobile Insurance is a state-sponsored program established by the Legislature in 1999 to provide income-eligible, good drivers with liability insurance protection at affordable rates as a way to meet California’s mandatory auto insurance law. Each policy provides liability coverage for the primary driver and eligible secondary drivers, and annual premiums are $347 or less. The policies are all issued by California-licensed insurance companies. Stop worrying and start driving. Visit online to get started—or call 866-602-8861.

Factoring Explained is a free financial resource created by Kristin Nichols, who earned a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago in 1987 and joined the Finance Department at California State University, Northridge in 2002. This guide was made to educate people on the sometimes complex process of financing receivables. In the guide you will see a breakdown of each aspect of factoring, including who uses it, the process of selling an invoice, reasons for factoring receivables, and the mathematics behind factoring. Find out more by visiting this webpage.

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California is the number-one fresh citrus-producing state in the nation, and California homeowners have more citrus trees in their yards than in any other state. Now the state's citrus trees are being threatened. The Asian citrus psyllid is spreading throughout California and it can carry a tree disease called Huanglongbing (HLB), which is a death sentence for California citrus. HLB has already been found in the state, and there is no cure. When a tree is infected, it will die. But, with all of us working together we can save our backyard citrus trees and the state's $2 billion citrus industry. The California Department of Food and Agriculture, the Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Program, the United States Department of Agriculture and others are enlisting the help of homeowners across the state to battle the Asian citrus psyllid and HLB. Homeowners are being asked to inspect their trees for signs of the Asian citrus psyllid and HLB, and report suspicious pests and signs of HLB immediately to the California Department of Food and Agriculture hotline: 800-491-1899. For more information on the threat from the Asian citrus psyllid and HLB, visit online.

Click here for more information, and to donate

Manatees are wonderful. Their gentle, playful ways are fascinating to watch. Yet these harmless marine mammals face growing threats to their survival. Sadly, 2013 was the deadliest year ever for Florida's endangered manatees. In all, more than 770 manatees have died from January through October, making it the largest annual manatee die-off in Florida since record-keeping began. Many manatees are injured or killed from boat strikes or other human activities. And their habitat is being lost. Manatees need your help. Please call Save the Manatee Club at 1-800-432-JOIN—or visit online at SaveTheManatee.org.

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Hearing loss is a growing health issue among young adults and older Americans, with the condition today affecting more than 48 million people nationwide. The time to preserve your hearing is now. That means limiting exposure to loud noises; using ear protection when attending sports events or music concerts; and following the "60/60" rule, which means limiting the use of ear bud headphones to 60 minutes at a time and at 60 percent of the device's maximum volume. Talk to a hearing health care provider, or your physician, and schedule a hearing test. It's also important to discuss hearing loss with your family and seek treatment. Common signs include turning up the volume on the TV or radio to the level that others find too loud, having trouble hearing people on the phone, or difficulty with following conversations in noisy environments. Hearing loss can affect your ability to stay connected to friends and family, contributing to social isolation, lower earnings, depression, dementia, and higher risk of falls. For more information about hearing loss, as well as ways to improve your health as you age, please visit Hearing Loss Association of America.

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A safe and stable home is a basic human need, but the reality is that for millions of Americans, a reasonable place to live is still financially out of reach. Public housing provides homes and services for approximately 2.2 million people in the U.S. However, there are at least half a million people across the U.S. waiting for public housing to become available. ReThink is a new initiative challenging the sometimes negative perceptions Americans have about public housing, by sharing stories of success made possible through public housing. Public housing provides a foundation from which residents gain a stable and supportive community for themselves and their families, opportunities for education and career training, and ultimately, the opportunity for financial self-sufficiency to succeed outside of public housing. Millions of Americans are able to work towards a brighter future with the support of public housing, but many more, including families, veterans, the elderly and disabled, are on waiting lists. Visit ReThinkHousing.org to watch short-form documentaries featuring inspiring success stories of residents of public housing.

Click here to take the Campaign Challenge

The issue of excess weight can often be difficult to talk about with healthcare providers, loved ones, friends or others. But confronting it is vital, as more than 93 million Americans are affected by excess weight or obesity. The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) has launched the Your Weight Matters Campaign, to encourage a dialogue between individuals and their healthcare providers about their health and weight. The Campaign also helps educate individuals about the significant impact of excess weight on one's health, such as an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, some cancers, and more. Take the Campaign Challenge, and receive the free Your Weight Matters Toolkit. This toolkit is designed specifically to help individuals prepare for that first weight-focused appointment with their healthcare provider. From information on nutrition and exercise to sample questions for their healthcare provider, the Campaign Toolkit is an excellent free resource that individuals can utilize throughout their weight-loss journey. Visit this webpage for more information.

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The Marine Corps Heritage Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation with a mission to secure the necessary funding for construction of the National Museum of the Marine Corps and Heritage Center, located in Triangle, Virginia. The time has come to complete the museum, by constructing two galleries that will tell the stories of Marines from 1975 to the present. This construction will provide a revered gathering place for Marines and their families, and educate the public of the Corps' contributions to our country and world. Please support our mission, and help our grateful nation honor those who served in Beirut, Grenada, Panama, the Persian Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan. For more information, visit online.

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Do you smoke, or have a loved one who smokes? Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, in collaboration with the University of Washington and 2Morrow Mobile, is enrolling people in a new iPhone study for quitting smoking. The study is free, and it's available to those with an iPhone. If you are interested in quitting smoking, visit this website. You'll receive tools for dealing with the urges to smoke, as well as $25 upon completion of a two-month follow-up survey. African-American and Hispanic smokers are especially encouraged to sign up. To find out more, please visit this website.

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Lupus is one of the cruelest, most mysterious diseases on earth. Lupus strikes without warning, can ravage any part of the body, and has no known cause and no known cure. Its health effects range from a skin rash to a heart attack. Lupus is an unpredictable and misunderstood disease that's difficult to diagnose, hard to live with, and a challenge to treat. It can be disabling, and even fatal. Help us solve this cruel mystery. We're the Lupus Foundation of America, the only national force devoted to solving the mystery of lupus. We lead the fight to improve the quality of life for all people affected by this devastating disease. To learn more about lupus, and how we can help those who suffer from its brutal impact, visit online, or call the Lupus Foundation of America at 1-800-558-0121.

Click here to visit Alex's Lemonade Stand online

Did you know that a 4-year-old could change the world? Alexandra "Alex" Scott (1996-2004) was a cancer patient who decided to help find a cure for children's cancer by hosting a front yard lemonade stand. She raised over $1 million, and her mission continues today. Since Alex held that first stand, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3) charity, has evolved into a national fundraising movement, with thousands of volunteers across the country carrying on her legacy of hope. To date the Foundation has raised more than $50 million toward fulfilling Alex's dream of finding a cure, funding over 200 research projects nationally. Do you want to make a difference in the lives of children affected by childhood cancer? Do you want to do something fun with your friends and family next summer? You can do both by holding an Alex's Lemonade Stand in your community. For information and to get started today, visit online.

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The Army Historical Foundation was established in 1983 as a member-based, publicly supported 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of the American Soldier. The motto of the Foundation—Preserve the Heritage...Educate the Future—summarizes its mission. The Foundation seeks to educate future Americans to fully appreciate the sacrifices that generations of American Soldiers have made to safeguard the freedoms of this nation. The Foundation is not a governmental agency. It depends on funds from memberships, donations, and grants for support. Today, the Foundation is actively engaged in supporting the National Museum of the United States Army by carrying out a major $200 million Capital Campaign. AHF funding also helps to refurbish historical Army buildings, acquire and conserve Army historical art and artifacts, support Army history educational programs, research, and publication of historical materials on the American soldier, and provide support and counsel to private and governmental organizations committed to the same goals as the Foundation. The Museum's Capital Campaign is calling upon individuals, businesses, corporations, foundations, governments, and veterans and military service organizations to provide the support and funding necessary to make the National Museum a reality. There are a variety of opportunities to support the Campaign. To find out how you and/or your organization can help, please visit this webpage.

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For more than six decades, Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) has been dedicated to helping those who have served our country. Founded in 1946, Paralyzed Veterans of America is chartered by the U.S. Congress and is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, with a Federal Tax ID number of 13-1946868. Paralyzed Veterans works to positively change lives and build brighter futures for our nation's veterans with disabilities and their families, through its broad range of services and expertise. Whether it's fighting for quality health care and decent benefits for all who served, providing opportunities to get back into life through adaptive sports, helping veterans with disabilities get good jobs and careers, advancing a barrier-free America, educating clinicians about spinal cord injury/dysfunction, or investing in a cure for paralysis, Paralyzed Veterans leads the way in empowering people with disabilities with everything they need to live full and productive lives. For more information, please visit PVA.org.

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Today, nearly half of our nation's fighting forces are members of the Guard and Reserve. When they are called to active duty, they leave behind a family, a community, and a job. Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense agency, honors and protects the bond between service members and their civilian employers. Whether serving our country, or supporting those who do, we all serve. To learn more about ESGR, call 1-800-336-4590, or visit online.

OnlineSchools.org is a general information website with many resources useful to prospective students interested in advancing their education. Among the many subjects covered on this site are the offline and online educational paths one can follow to obtain a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree in public health or a related field. Visit the home page to access information on your area of study.

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Research shows that kids today spend an average of 10 hours a day with media and technology—that's more time than they spend with their parents or in school. And 60 percent of parents say they're "extremely or very concerned" about the impact of media and technology on their children. Despite the high level of these concerns and needs, parents are unsure where to find help or information. That is why the mission at Common Sense Media is to help families and kids learn how to get the best out of media and technology. Common Sense Media is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to raising a generation of young people who are smart, safe, and ethical consumers/creators of media and technology. CSM does this by rating and reviewing thousands of books, movies, TV shows, music, apps, games, and websites for age appropriateness and quality, so parents can make fully informed decisions for their families. They also provide parents with advice on teaching kids to use media and technology in responsible, healthy ways. CSM works with more than 36,000 schools to teach kids digital literacy and citizenship. For more information, please visit online.

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Did you know that the 2004 "Two Rivers" study in Los Angeles found that over 1.6 billion pieces of plastic foam head out to the ocean over a three-day period? Polystyrene foam litters beaches, rivers, and streams, and is not biodegradable. Surfrider Foundation is fighting to change that. Its Rise Above Plastics campaign advocates for bans on items such as expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam foodware, and this campaign has made it all the way to the State Legislature. Get involved and ask decision makers to pass Senate Bill 568, which would phase out foam foodware from restaurants statewide by 2016. Visit Surfrider.org today to learn more about why we need SB 568.

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Did you know that there are medical grants available for families struggling with child health-related expenses? The UnitedHealthcare Children's Foundation is now accepting applications for its 2013 grant program. Grants of up to $5,000 are available to help families who need financial assistance to pay for their child's health care services, treatments or equipment not covered, or not fully covered, by their commercial health insurance plan. They include medical services and equipment such as physical and occupational therapy, prescriptions, wheelchairs, orthotics, eyeglasses and hearing aids. To be eligible for grants, children must be 16 years of age or younger. Families must meet economic guidelines, reside in the United States and have a commercial health insurance plan. For further eligibility guidelines, or to apply, please visit online.

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Nearly 1.2 million Americans are living with HIV, and about one in five don't know they have the virus. Moreover, about 56,000 Americans become infected with HIV each year. While proper treatment for people with HIV has become much more available and effective, only 25 percent of Americans with HIV are receiving treatment. People between the ages of 13 and 30 are now most at risk of becoming infected with HIV, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). With regular testing, early detection and increasingly effective treatments, people can manage HIV and live long, productive lives. That's why UnitedHealthcare has partnered with the nonprofit Act against AIDS, launched by the Centers for Disease Control, encouraging people to get tested for AIDS and receive educational materials. Visit this website for information about local sites where you and your loved ones can be tested, and for more information.

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Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions affecting older adults. One in three people older than 60, and half of those older than 85, have hearing loss. But it's not just a matter of old age. In the United States, three out of every 1,000 children are born deaf or hard-of-hearing. Nearly a fifth of all American teens have hearing loss. And 60 percent of our veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan experience hearing loss. Hearing Health Foundation (HHF), through its Hearing Restoration Project, seeks to develop a biological cure for severe hearing loss due to noise exposure, age, chemical toxins, medications, trauma or genetic disorders, without surgery or implants, within the next 10 years. Please visit online to learn more about how HHF can help restore hearing.

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Sleep apnea is an involuntary cessation of breathing that occurs while the patient is asleep. Those with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times during the night and often for a minute or longer. In most cases the sleeper is unaware of these breath stoppages because they don't trigger a full awakening. Left untreated, sleep apnea can have serious and life-shortening consequences: high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, automobile accidents caused by falling asleep at the wheel, diabetes, depression, and other ailments. Sleep apnea affects more than 18 million Americans; risk factors include being male, overweight, and over the age of 40, but sleep apnea can strike anyone at any age, even children. The American Sleep Apnea Association, founded in 1990, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes awareness of sleep apnea, works for continuing improvements in treatments for this serious disease, and advocates for the interests of sleep apnea patients. Please visit online to find out everything you need to know about sleep apnea's warning signs, diagnosis, and treatment options.

Click here to visit the National Runaway Safeline website

National Runaway Safeline, established in 1971, serves as the federally-designated national communication system for homeless and runaway youth. NRS, with the support of more than 150 volunteers, handles an average of 100,000 calls annually—more than 3 million calls since the organization's inception. Through hotline and online services, NRS provides crisis intervention, referrals to local resources, and education and prevention services to youth, families and community members throughout the country 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Over 14,000 youth have been reunited with their families through the NRS Home Free Program done in collaboration with Greyhound Lines, Inc. National Runaway Safeline's crisis hotline is 1-800-RUNAWAY. For more information, visit www.1800RUNAWAY.org.

DON'T DO THIS! Click here to visit the California Office of Traffic Safety online

Did you know that, according to a study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, texting while driving increases the risk of a crash 23-fold? That drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves? That using a cell phone while driving, whether it's hand-held or hands-free, delays a driver's reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent? That driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity that you need to drive by 37 percent? There are all kinds of things that can distract you from driving—eating and drinking, talking to passengers, adjusting the radio—but using a cell phone, or text-messaging, while driving are by far the worst distractions of all. In 2010 alone, more than 3,000 people were killed in distracted-driving crashes. Be a responsible driver. Hand-held talking or texting while driving is dangerous and against the law. It's Not Worth It! This message brought to you by the California Office of Traffic Safety.

Click here to visit Americorps NCCC online

AmeriCorps NCCC is a full time, residential, national service program in which 1,200 young adults serve nationwide each year. During their 10-month term, Corps Members—all 18 to 24 years old—work on teams of eight to twelve on projects that address critical needs related to natural and other disasters, infrastructure improvement, environmental stewardship and conservation, energy conservation, and urban and rural development. Members work on a series of different projects, typically lasting six to eight weeks each, to mentor students, construct and rehabilitate low-income housing, respond to natural disasters, clean up streams, help communities develop community plans, and address countless other local needs. The Pacific Region in Sacramento is one of five regional hubs in the United States and serves eight states in the southwest part of the country. The other campuses are located in Perry Point, Maryland; Iowa; Vicksburg, Mississippi; and Denver, Colorado. In exchange for their service, Corps Members receive $5,550 to help pay for college, or to pay back existing student loans. Other benefits include a small living stipend, room and board, leadership development, increased self-confidence, and the knowledge that, through active citizenship, people can indeed make a difference. AmeriCorps NCCC is administrated by the Corporation for National and Community Service. The Corporation improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. For more information about AmeriCorps NCCC, visit online.

Click here to visit Population Connection online

As you read this page during the next 60 seconds, 156 people will be added to the world's population. Many will face a life of poverty, hunger, and poor health. At some point, Planet Earth may no longer be able to sustain our world's population. But overpopulation is not just a numbers game; it's also about a better quality of life that includes access to basic health care, food, clean water, and a sustainable balance between people and our natural resources. If you think overpopulation is such a big problem that you can't make a difference...think again. Population Connection is the national grass-roots organization maintaining that through education, individuals can make a difference. Take the time to invest in a better, safer, less crowded world. Even small choices can make an impact. To learn more, visit online.

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We all feel pressure...but there's a pressure that's good...and that's the pressure in your tires. Check your tire pressure at least once a month. Keeping your tires properly inflated not only reduces the chance of blowouts; it also improves your gas mileage and lengthens tire life, saving you money. Check your tire pressure right away. The longer your tires stay on your car, the longer they stay out of landfills...and that keeps the pressure off all of us. A message from the California Integrated Waste Management Board.

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Every year, thousands of people die and many more are hospitalized from diseases that could have been prevented by vaccination. In these tough economic times, more families must choose between health care and other critical needs. Fortunately, there is a federal government program to provide vaccines for children at no cost or low cost to uninsured families and others who qualify. More information is available at the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO).

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Each year, more than a million people successfully quit tobacco. Resolve to be one of the million this year. Or encourage a military family member or friend to quit. Get help at ucanquit2.org. A message from the U.S. Department of Defense.

Click here to visit the American Lung Association online

Every day our gas-guzzling cars, buses, and trucks spew tons of pollutants into the air we breathe... and it's making us sick. The American Lung Association encourages everyone to help protect the air we all breathe by taking steps to improve air quality and supporting all efforts to reduce air pollution. Visit online for details on how you can help—or call 800-LUNG-USA.

Click here to visit California Conservation Corps online

California Conservation Corps crews from throughout the state were dispatched to California's devastating wildfires in recent years. The CCC is looking for more young men and women to help out. It's a chance to do something for your state, and perhaps find a career. The Corps also offers a chance to work outdoors; protect the environment; and advance your education. If you're between 18 and 25, call the CCC at 1-800-952-JOBS; or visit online.

Click here to visit NYAP online

Right now, thousands of kids in California need something to believe in. The National Youth Advocate Program is looking for people to help them strengthen families, by becoming a foster parent. The NYAP has provided cost-effective, community-based services and support to children, youth and families since 1978. Discover the benefits and rewards of becoming a foster parent, and help give our youth something to believe in. Visit NYAP online, or call 1-877-NYAP-CAN today.

Click here to visit KnowHow2GO online

The American Council on Education, the Lumina Foundation for Education, and the Ad Council have launched KnowHow2GO, a national campaign devoted to educating students in grades 8 through 10 about the steps they need to take to prepare for college. KnowHow2GO focuses primarily on students in low-income families, and those who are the first in their families to pursue higher education. For more information, call 209-549-2441—or visit online.