Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Spotlight on American Indian College Fund

The American Indian College Fund (AICF) provides scholarships and other support for American Indian students and tribal colleges. Tribal colleges, the vast majority of which are located on or near reservations, provide opportunity and access to post-secondary education. Offering accredited degrees while keeping Indian culture and tradition at the heart of their curricula, tribal colleges are changing the face of Indian education, one graduate at a time.
The typical AICF student is anything but typical – at least when compared to the populations of most undergraduate colleges or universities. In fact, ninety-one percent of Fund scholarship recipients are "non-traditional" students— they have dependents, are older than 24, work full-time—or a combination of these characteristics.
Shirley Holds the Enemy is a case in point. Raised by her grandparents on the Crow Indian Reservation, Shirley married young and had three children. She struggled in an abusive relationship involving alcohol. The deaths of her grandparents were difficult events for her.
When she turned 30, Shirley says she realized she had to be strong because she has no one else to depend upon. “I am a strong woman who is responsible and has gained independence for myself and for my children…now that my oldest daughter is 14 years old, I believe that I should become a positive role model for her in pursuing my education,” Shirley says.
Shirley is attending Little Big Horn College, where she is studying pre-nursing, and plans to transfer to Salish Kootenai College to earn her bachelor’s degree. Shirley has proven that anything is possible at any stage of life if you are committed to yourself, your family, and your dreams.
The Fund disburses approximately 5,000 scholarships annually for American Indian students seeking to better their lives through continued education. As part of its support of the tribal colleges, the Fund also provides support for other needs at the schools ranging from capital support to cultural preservation activities. There are now more than 30 tribal colleges located in 13 states and serving more than 250 American Indian Nations from every geographic region in the United States.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Better Business Bureau recognizes TisBest Philanthropy

TisBest Philanthropy has been granted Accredited Charity status by the Better Business Bureau. To receive this status, TisBest had to meet the BBB’s 20 Standards of Charity Accountability. Frankly, it was a surprisingly rigorous process. But that’s good news for those of you who are concerned about where your charitable dollars are going . . . and hopefully that’s everybody who ever makes a charitable donation. Not every non-profit organization that applies for this recognition receives it. It requires strict adherence to a set of standards that take considerable effort to meet. But to get the BBB’s “stamp of approval” . . . well, it’s worth it. And if it means greater peace of mind for the many people who give and receive TisBest Charity Gift Cards, we’re thrilled.
Jon Siegel
Executive Director

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Spotlight on National Hospice Foundation

“The National Hospice Foundation envisions a world where everyone facing serious illness, death, and grief will experience the best that humankind can offer.” For 17 years, NHF has been offering support to those facing serious illness and death.
The National Hospice Foundation seeks to increase the quality of hospice care as well as educate Americans on the benefits of hospice. NHF has helped many people come to realize that hospice is not a scary thing.
Tammy Frye learned about hospice when her grandmother needed the kind of care that hospice provides. Tammy wrote, “This is now what hospice means to me:
“My life has been changed by this experience,” Tammy said, “and I am going to look for ways to volunteer time to help those other special people feel love before they go.” The NHF helped Tammy gain this understanding and gave her grandmother the comfort that she needed and deserved.
Hospice is defined as, “Care to people in the final phase of a terminal illness and focus on comfort and quality of life, rather than cure. The goal of hospice care is to enable patients to be comfortable and free of pain, so that they live each day as fully as possible.” The importance of hospice is well stated by Kraemer Sims Becker when she explains why she made a donation to NHF. Kraemer says, “The hospice component was very important because the end point is so much larger than anyone can deal with by themselves. Hospice provides comfort and support to families during a critical, emotional time.”
The National Hospice Foundation has made a significant difference in the world of hospice. I think Tammy Frye says it best when she states, “Thank you so much for this wonderful organization (NHF) - I will never, ever be scared of the word hospice again.”
TisBest is very excited to be supporting this great cause through its charity gift card program.

- Breanna Edwards