Since its founding in 1967, the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation (CCFA) has sought the cure for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. The National Institutes of Health commended the CCFA for its work "uniting the research community and strengthening IBD research." The CCFA established the precedent for research in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) by forming its own scientific journal and educational symposiums and funding cutting-edge studies at major medical institutions. It has helped discover chromosomal regions with IBD-related genes and NOD2, the first gene for Crohn’s disease.
In addition to medical research, the CCFA runs a wide range of educational programs and support services to improve the quality of life for people affected by IBD. With awareness campaigns, webcasts, and periodicals, such as Take Charge and Under the Microscope, the organization reaches out to more than one million patients and caregivers. Nationwide chapters further this work by conducting more than 300 support groups for patients and summer camps for children every year.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the cha-cha. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba.
SOS Children's Villages - Florida nurtures youth in foster care through a neighborhood built exclusively for them. The street's 12 houses buzz with the activity of the 75 resident boys and girls, who were removed from their homes due to abandonment, abuse, and neglect. They spend their childhood with foster families selected by a caseworker and have access to an array of social and mental-health services. Most children stay at the Village for about two years until they are found a permanent adoptive home or reunited with their biological families. The Village places a high priority on maintaining family connections among siblings, generally placing them in the same house.
SOS Children’s Villages sustains a connection with all its youth after they turn 18 through the After Care program, which helps them transition into adulthood and self-sufficiency. SOS boasts incredible success with this program: 83% of its alumni have graduated high school—33% higher than the national average for foster children—and 47% have gone on to pursue higher education.
• For $25, you get a one-month All Y adult membership plus one 30-minute fitness assessment, one 60-minute personal-training session, and three guest passes (a $169 value). • For $39, you get a one-month All Y family membership; one 30-minute fitness assessment and one 60-minute personal-training session per adult (up to two adults); and three guest passes (up to a $291 value).
With its award-winning book, My Body Is Special and Belongs to Me!, KidSafe Foundation uses easy-to-understand material to cultivate a discussion about sexual abuse and personal safety between adults and children. The book is designed as a resource for school guidance counselors and is worded to help students of any age understand the sensitive concepts. Topics include the distinction between appropriate and inappropriate touching, what to do when presented with a hazardous situation, and how to ask for help. A special section dedicated to caregivers and faculty helps broaden adults' knowledge of identifying and discussing abuse. The program has reached 20,000 children and more than 5,000 adults through its Southern Florida initiatives, and aims to expand distribution to more elementary schools within the Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach areas.
Since 1965, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County have upheld their mission of helping kids 6 to 18 years old build self-esteem and learn important life skills. They continue to provide places for youths to escape life's pressures, which can range from school stress and pent-up energy to more serious issues such as gangs and lack of attention at home. The friendly and dedicated staffers orient their programs toward education, recreational, and healthy living. Kids can join career exploration programs, enjoy nutritious snacks and suppers through the KISS Program. All the while, they’ll learn how to be caring, responsible citizens equipped to make a difference in their communities.