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Junior Achievement Reconnects With Alumni for Celebration

Millions of students have benefitted from JA programs, and the organization wants to hear from them as part of the centennial celebration.

Notable JA alumni, known as "Achievers," include Mark Cuban, computer entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, ABC News anchor Juju Chang, sportscaster James Brown, and America Online co-founder Steve Case.

Research has shown that students who completed JA programs reported more confidence in their money-management skills and were more likely to finish college and start a business than peers who did not participate in JA programs.

In honor of its centennial, JA wants to reconnect with more of its alumni and encourage them to share their experiences and success stories.

A new website,, provides a forum for students who have been involved with JA to view photo and video archives, as well as share their memories of the organization and how it has impacted their lives. The site also offers opportunities to connect with fellow alumni with links to alumni groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.

JA programs, presented by corporate and community volunteers, are available for kindergarten through high school and reach more than 4.8 million students every year in 107 markets across the United States, plus 5.2 million students in 100 other countries.

The primary goal of the non-profit is to provide youth with the knowledge of the many possibilities available to them, be it going to college, learning a trade, or starting a business.

The programs help students learn the skills to make smart decisions about the future, so they can achieve economic success and financial security in a way that is suited to their interests and abilities.

As the JA website explains in its mission statement, the programs "ignite the spark in young people to experience and realize the opportunities and realities of work and life in the 21st century."

Junior Achievement USA is a member of JA Worldwide.

Visit for more information about JA programs and opportunities to get involved.


Three Lessons From the Past to Help You Understand the 2020 Election

Several aspects of the 2020 election cycle have undoubtedly been unique, with a global pandemic, protests for racial justice and extremist groups threatening violence. But from the civil rights movement to the Great Recession, Americans have previously headed to the polls through war, economic downturn and social instability. As the dust settles after this election, it's worth looking back to the past for a bit of historical context.

"In this crazy year, the best way to figure out what will happen to the country after everything settles down again is to understand our history," says Carlos Watson, Emmy-winning journalist, entrepreneur, political commentator, CEO of OZY and host of The Campaigns That Made History, a two-hour documentary that recently aired on HISTORY, covering the most surprising and shocking political contests of the past. For fans who have been following the burgeoning partnership between OZY, which seems to be the definition of media's omni-channel future, and A+E Networks, which owns networks including HISTORY and Lifetime, the documentary was a rare treat that meets the moment, allowing viewers to jump several steps ahead of the curve this election cycle.

"This isn't the first crazy election we've had -- there have been five of these whoppers just over the past 60 years," said Watson, who has become one of the preeminent new media figures helping the public make sense of this moment in history -- perhaps the next Doris Kearns Goodwin. Here are a few lessons from just three of those "whoppers" to help you contextualize the most recent election.

1. Anti-establishment candidates aren't just a 21st century problem

When Ronald Reagan, a former football player and charismatic actor, challenged President Gerald Ford in 1976, he wasn't afraid of abandoning boring political-speak. "Balancing the budget," as he quipped to Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show, "is like protecting your virtue: You have to learn how to say 'no.'" The California governor came tantalizingly close to defeating the sitting president. And while Reagan lost, Ford urged him to address the Republican National Convention anyway, assuming he would embarrass himself without a teleprompter. That was a mistake: Reagan delivered a stirring speech, putting him on the path to the presidency four years later.

2. How a contested election could play out

"Florida, Florida, Florida." NBC's Tim Russert's election night mantra in 2000 would play out over weeks as the election outcome hung in the balance, and lawyers and activists descended on Florida for a disputed recount. In the end, the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Bush v. Gore overruled the state of Florida, halting a recount and giving Bush the win more than a month after Election Day.

3. The Proud Boys of 1968

A tumultuous year marked by racial unrest and assassinations of leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and presidential front-runner Robert F. Kennedy ended up with Republican Richard Nixon topping Democrat Hubert Humphrey. But segregationist George Wallace's third-party campaign, representing Southerners who had ditched the pro-civil-rights Democratic Party, was a shock to the system and a sign of things to come. "In 1968, the equivalent of the Proud Boys wasn't just some crazy group on the edge -- they were on the ballot, got 10 million votes and won five states," says Watson.

After more great insights from history? Catch up on The Campaigns That Made History, from OZY and HISTORY, on

PVA Works To End Handicapped Parking Abuse

In a recent survey of 4,000 Americans with disabilities, 95% said that accessible parking was key to their independence, and 85% said they had trouble finding accessible parking in their communities. More than half (52%) reported having to turn back from an errand or appointment because they were unable to find an open handicapped accessible parking space. Some of the biggest problems were spots taken by people who don't really need them, but make an excuse, and the misuse or borrowing of handicapped placards.

PVA was founded by injured Veterans who returned home from World War II but found barriers to independent living that prevented them from finding jobs or using public transportation. Since then, the organization has worked to create a more accessible America. Sadly, for many with disabilities, daily struggles still exist, particularly when it comes to accessible parking.

"People with disabilities deserve better," says David Zurfluh, U.S. Air Force Veteran and PVA national president. PVA has just launched the Honor the Spot campaign to encourage all Americans to be part of the solution.

"It is about educating the public, who may not realize the impact that misusing these spaces, even for a minute, can have on people with disabilities. We want all Americans to join PVA in protecting the freedom and independence of people with disabilities, who may not be able to shop or go to an appointment if the accessible parking is blocked or misused," says Zurfluh.

Issues with handicapped parking are one of PVA members' biggest complaints, and millions of Americans with mobility disabilities are also affected.

To be part of the solution, the PVA suggests people take these steps:

  • Don't park in a handicapped spot for any reason, no matter the excuse.
  • Don't share or borrow handicap placards.
  • Post using #HonorTheSpot to encourage others.

To learn more and pledge to be part of the solution, visit


Toys For Tots and The UPS Store Build Bridges With Books

To help overcome barriers to placing more books into children's hands, the Toys for Tots Literacy Program, part of the Toys for Tots charitable foundation, has partnered with The UPS Store to deliver more than 44 million books since 2008. The UPS Store locations across the United States serve as partners for the Toys for Tots Literacy Program, and both organizations are committed to promoting literacy for all children.

"The pandemic has presented new barriers between children and the foundational life skill of literacy, hitting economically disadvantaged families the hardest," says Tim Davis, President of The UPS Store, Inc.

"The Toys for Tots Literacy Program is one impactful way we continue to support the communities we operate in, especially during challenging times. Our network of franchisees and customers are proud to help foster a love of books and learning through our continued commitment to this in-store donation program," he emphasizes.

Most people know Toys for Tots as the organization that brings holiday cheer to children in need through the gift of a new toy. Toys for Tots remains committed to its holiday toy program, but the organization is extending its outreach through the Toys for Tots Literacy Program.

The goal of the Toys for Tots Literacy Program is to provide economically disadvantaged children with direct access to resources that will enhance their reading and communication skills. The program works with various agencies to identify local schools and organizations to receive books purchased through the program's donations.

"We are incredibly thankful for all of the support this program has garnered over the years," says Lieutenant General Jim Laster, USMC (Retired), President and CEO of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.

"The UPS Store continues to make it possible to support children nationwide in their literacy journey, especially amid the pandemic and for years to come," he adds.

Visit or for more information about the Toys for Tots Literacy Program.


Toys for Tots Continues to DoGoodNow with “Christmas in July”

(NewsUSA) - Marine Toys for Tots is the Nation’s flagship children’s Christmastime charity, but the Program offers more than holiday hope. Marine Toys for Tots has expanded its reach to help families in need throughout the year, and its support has  been more valuable than ever as many families struggle with inflation and continue to experience challenging circumstances.     

Marine Toys for Tots is conducting their third annual Christmas in July event -- part of the organization’s DoGoodNow initiative to bring educational toys, books, and games to children in need -- no matter what time of year they need a helping hand. The generosity of the American public allows Marine Toys for Tots to provide these gifts to children in need across the United States, as well as refill “Santa’s bag of toys” in preparation for what will likely be another busy holiday season.     

“We didn’t want to wait until the holidays to support families in need, so with help from our distribution partners at Good360, we are delivering another one million educational toys, books, and games throughout the spring and summer,” says LtGen Jim Laster, USMC (Retired), President & CEO of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.     

“Thanks to the generosity of the American public, we’re able to provide these gifts to children whose families are struggling to make ends meet. The primary goal of our Christmas in July campaign is to restock our inventory of toys, and we could use everyone’s help in preparing for a busy holiday season,” he emphasizes.     

“Donations made through our Christmas in July campaign will make an amazing difference for an underprivileged child.”     

The support and generosity of the American public makes an extraordinary impact on the lives of children in need. Earlier this summer, Agape Distribution, a local charity in Sidney, Ohio, hosted a distribution event for the families living in the area to receive the toys and gifts provided by Marine Toys for Tots. A total of 1,600 toys were distributed to 553 children whose families have been hit extremely hard due to the downturn of the local economy.     

The DoGoodNow initiative will continue to positively impact children in need in communities that face ongoing hardships because of the current economic situation. The emotional support offered to these communities is made possible by the kindness and generosity of Marine Toys for Tots supporters whose donations make a real and genuine difference to families in need.Visit for more details or to make a donation. Be sure to follow Marine Toys for Tots on Facebook and Instagram to see how Toys for Tots is continuing to DoGoodNow and deliver a Summer of Smiles!

Toys for Tots Reaches Children in Need Year-Round

(NewsUSA) - Most people think of Marine Toys for Tots as the flagship Children’s Christmastime charity, but it is much more. The organization continues to seek more ways to support children in need throughout the year.     

“Toys for Tots distributed three million toys, games and books to COVID-19-impacted families through its DoGoodNow campaign over the past two years. Our support was desperately needed and so well received that we want to continue to do more --  at Christmastime and beyond. For the third year in a row, we’ll be partnering with our friends at Good360 and will expand upon our DoGoodNow initiative by distributing another one million toys, books and games to families with children in need,” says LtGen Jim Laster, President & CEO of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.     

He continues, “Our support doesn’t stop there. We want to be able to reach even more underprivileged children through other avenues. This summer, Marine Toys for Tots expands the DoGoodNow campaign with Summer of Smiles. One way Toys for Tots delivers summertime smiles is by providing support to children in the foster care system.”     

On June 3rd, staff members from the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation teamed with Wendy Chadwell, local Coordinator for Middle Georgia, to distribute educational gifts and bring hope to children in Georgia’s foster care system. The Foundation provided educational toys, books, games, and school supplies, and volunteers filled 476 brand-new backpacks to the brim to provide to local foster care children! The gifts were received by the local District Foster Care Coordinators who represented eleven surrounding counties and will be given directly to children in the local foster care program.     

This initiative is just one of many that allows the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to provide support to underprivileged children beyond the holiday season.     

“It is Marine Toys for Tots’ mission to bring hope and joy to more children in need every year -- even beyond the holidays,” explains LtGen Laster. “That is why we distributed educational toys, books, games,school supplies and backpacks to the local District Foster Care Coordinators in Middle Georgia. This initiative was our first step in supporting children in foster care,” LtGen Laster adds.     

“These children leave their homes with only a small plastic bag of their belongings. Marine Toys for Tots wants to give foster care children not only something tangible to take with them as they move, but also some tools and hope for a brighter tomorrow.”   

Visit for more information on how to help Toys for Tots support children year-round. Follow Marine Toys for Tots on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn to learn about the year-round impact you’re making for our Nation’s children in greatest need.

Get Outside and Celebrate National Trails Day

(NewsUSA) - This year, on June 4, millions of people across the United States will hit the trail, any trail, to celebrate the 30th annual American Hiking Society's National Trails Day.® This year's celebration focuses on encouraging novice and veteran trail lovers to come together to leave trails and the outdoor community better than they found them. Hikers, cyclists, horseback riders, paddlers, trail clubs, federal and local agencies, land trusts and businesses will partner at events across the country to forge a more inclusive trail community and advocate for, maintain and clean up trails and public lands.

American Hiking Society and the nationwide trails community invite people of all ages and abilities to connect with their friends and neighbors around the joy of being outside. Anyone can join the national movement by giving back to the trails to help ensure that everyone can enjoy the outdoors.

"There's something magical about being outdoors," says Kate Van Waes, Executive Director of American Hiking Society.

"Fresh air, birds singing, moving along a trail, or even just around the block; there's nothing quite like it," she emphasizes. "But today, those trails and green spaces are in dire need of help, and not everyone has access to or feels welcome in these places that can calm and inspire," Dr. Van Waes explains.

"National Trails Day is the perfect opportunity to get out there with the people you love, give back to the trails that bring us together and make sure no one is left out."

Not just on National Trails Day, but any day is a great time to commit to keeping the outdoors accessible and restorative for all.

Some ways you can make a difference include:

Join a local trail event, or start your own. Search the American Hiking Society website for events in your area.

Take the National Trails Day Pledge, and commit to leaving the trail and the outdoor community better than you find them. For example, take a trash bag with you on a walk or hike. Or speak up and tell your Members of Congress to support the Transit to Trails Act. You'll be entered to win prizes from National Trails Day sponsors AKHG by Duluth Trading Co., Athletic Brewing Co., REI Co-op, Osprey Packs, and more.

- Share how you'll leave the trail and the outdoor community better than you found them, and tag #NationalTrailsDay and @AmericanHiking on social media. Photos and videos tagged on Instagram will be entered into the National Trails Day® photo contest for a chance to win premium gear prize packages.

Visit for more information and to find events near you.

American Hiking Society's National Trails Day® is made possible by the generous support of corporate sponsors -- AKGH by Duluth Trading Co., Athletic Brewing Co., REI Co-Op, and Osprey Packs. federal partners include the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Federal Highway Administration, and U.S. Forest Service.

Photo credit:Verónica Miranda

Reissued: 6/15/2022 

American Legion Auxiliary Honors Military on National Poppy Day

(NewsUSA) - Memorial Day is approaching, and with it comes a simple opportunity for everyone to honor past military personnel -- wear or display a poppy. The simple red poppy flower has symbolized the ultimate military sacrifice since World War I, and National Poppy Day is gaining more attention in the United States every year.

National Poppy Day falls on the Friday before Memorial Day, which this year is May 27.

The choice of a poppy was inspired by the poem, "In Flanders Fields," written by Canadian Lt. Col. John McCrae, M.D., while serving on the front lines in World War I in Europe. Since then, the poppy has become a symbol to raise awareness and recognize the sacrifices of military personnel and their families.

The American Legion Auxiliary (ALA), a community of volunteers serving veterans, military, and their families, adopted the poppy as its memorial flower in 1921, and, in 1924, in conjunction with The American Legion, instituted the national Poppy Program. Each year, American Legion Auxiliary volunteers distribute millions of poppies, especially on veteran-related holidays.

"National Poppy Day is a time for Americans to come together and show their support for our servicemembers and veterans by wearing a red poppy -- an unforgettable and historic symbol of remembrance, sacrifice, and hope," says Kathy Daudistel, ALA national president.

"The American Legion Auxiliary is proud to make and distribute poppies each year for this solemn tradition. I invite communities across the country to join the American Legion Auxiliary to honor the fallen and support the living by wearing a red poppy on Friday, May 27."

Everyone can participate in National Poppy Day to honor the fallen and support the living. Wear a poppy or a poppy-themed item, such as a pin, T-shirt, bracelet, or even a poppy sticker, and tell people what it means. Share poppies with friends, family, and colleagues. Accept a poppy if you see American Legion Auxiliary members distributing the special flower. Poppies are never "sold," but donations are encouraged.

All donations received are used by the American Legion Auxiliary to support veterans, active-duty military personnel, and their families with medical and financial needs.

Visit for more information about National Poppy Day. Visit for more information about the American Legion Auxiliary.

BookTrib's Bites: Loss, Lies, Betrayal, SciFi Thriller, Southern Saga


All We Have to Believe In"All We Have to Believe In"
by Jeffrey Lousteau

A captivating story of love and loss, of betrayal and redemption, set against the backdrop of America in the 1920s. Edward Dooley is a disillusioned veteran of the Great War who comes home to San Francisco, struggles to fit into a fast-changing society, and falls in love with the daughter of immigrants who is as headstrong as he is idealistic.

Beneath all the glamour of the dazzling decade, however, xenophobia is taking hold, prosperity is undone by greed, and Prohibition proves morally bankrupt. Told with compassion and rich in historical detail, the themes of this story continue to resonate today. Says one reviewer, "Will pull at your heartstrings and make you nostalgic about an era long forgotten." Purchase at

A Good Lie"A Good Lie"
by Roberta Temes

Could you perpetuate a devastating lie and never reveal the truth to your daughter? Louie plans to.

Could you withhold a shocking secret from your new spouse? Suzie plans to.

Catastrophe occurs after a quiet Midwestern family receives flawed medical advice concerning psychotic postpartum depression. This psychological novel takes you from 1960s Iowa to 1980s New Jersey. You'll root for Laurie, the desperate, lonely teenager who is intrigued by a cult leader, and you'll probably root for Dot, the voice of reason and common sense, but will you root for the struggling dad, or the devious psychotherapist, or the strong woman who defies society's expectations?

Families are complicated; good people may do bad things, and bad people may do good things. Are family secrets always harmful? Purchase at

Dusted by Stars"Dusted by Stars"
by G.A. Matiasz

This far-future science fiction adventure thriller is a rollicking space opera with a touch of fantasy. Set in the universe of the author's previous books, Stacy Jones is a small-time contractor and proud citizen of socialist Mars. But she barely makes ends meet as an independent starship pilot and freight hauler. When Stacy takes a commission to transport the mythical sangrael possessed by the legendary Medea Ae?tes, she unknowingly puts her life and livelihood at risk.

Stacy teams up with Kryz, a diminutive Rarj, to battle thieves and hijackers across a galaxy swarming with aliens and riddled with danger. Together they maneuver through bar brawls and mercenaries, armed seizures and dogfights, suicide attacks and death squads to protect her precious cargo. Purchase at

Exiled South"Exiled South"
by Harriet Cannon

This book "rips the cover off traditional Southern sagas and takes you on a riveting international journey exploring the hidden trauma and deep wounds of three generations following the Civil War," says author Eleanor McCallie Cooper.

School counselor Lizbeth Gordon returns home to South Carolina after her husband's sudden death. But the quiet life doesn't last. An elderly aunt has troubling family stories: a blockade runner hunted as a traitor after the fall of Charleston, and ancestors who disappeared during Civil War Reconstruction.

We're taken across continents when Lizbeth takes a job at a school in Rio de Janeiro, where she meets a descendant of Confederate exiles, with the Gordon surname and nineteenth-century documents. Can the keys to generations-long secrets open a path to family reconciliation? Purchase at

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BookTrib's Bites: A Plethora of Intriguing Reading

The Bus to Beulah"The Bus to Beulah"
by E.C. Hanes

On her way to a new job in America, Maria Puente accidentally discovers a human- trafficking ring. Fearing exposure, the American company that manages it kidnaps Maria.

Maria's disappearance triggers a desperate search to find her before the kidnappers can permanently dispose of her. As the investigation unfolds, longtime Hogg County high sheriff Will Moser confronts Albert Waters, a powerful businessman who Will suspects knows about Maria's disappearance -- but Albert and his Mexican cartel partners prove to be brick walls.

Will calls on Elijah Kahn, a man he got to know while serving in Vietnam who now runs one of the world's largest international security firms. This taut thriller culminates in a heart-pounding chase to save Maria. Purchase at .

Blockchain Ethics: Fighting Honorable Battles"Blockchain Ethics: Fighting Honorable Battles"
by Jamil Hasan

A continuation of the Blockchain Ethics consumer guide series that author Jamil Hasan first penned in 2018. He continues to address important trends in the media plaguing the retail consumer's ability to effectively and accurately understand the benefits of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology: specifically, media disinformation and misinformation.

The author examines the more than 400 times that Bitcoin has been pronounced dead by "experts" in the mainstream media and dispels Bitcoin's demise by sharing excerpts from guests' podcast interviews while hosting them at the weekend Crypto Corner Podcast. He tackles conversations with entrepreneurs, founders and business leaders, providing readers with an ethical guide to understanding Bitcoin, free from media bias against the popular cryptocurrency. Purchase at

A Promise for His Daughter"A Promise for His Daughter"
by Danielle Thorne

His latest project has a two-year-old surprise.

Fatherhood wasn't what Bradley Ainsworth expected to find at Henny House. The run-down Victorian is his best shot at proving himself as a historic renovator, but the new owner has no interest in recreating the past. Claire Woodbury and her foster daughter, Emily, are focused on the future -- until everyone learns that Emily is Bradley's daughter. Does that future have room for him as a father…and more?

The author has written more than 25 books including, romantic adventures and historical novels. This book is part of the Love Inspired Inspirational Romance Series, in which readers fall in love with stories where faith helps guide them through life's challenges, and they discover the promise of a new beginning. Purchase at

The Prison Minyan"The Prison Minyan"
by Jonathan Stone

Welcome to Otisville, America's only Jewish prison . . . rugelach, blintzes and a quest for vengeance from the highest tier of the US government. A crew of fraudsters, tax evaders, trigamists, and forgers discuss matters of right and wrong in a Talmudic study and prayer group, led by a rabbi who's a fellow convict.

As the only prison in the federal system with a kosher deli, Otisville is the penitentiary of choice for white-collar Jewish offenders. When the regime is toughened to punish a newly arrived celebrity convict who has upset the 45th president, they find devious ways to fight back.

Stone brings the sensibility of Saul Bellow and Philip Roth to the post-truth era in a sharply comic novel that is also wise, profound and deeply moral. Purchase at

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