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Hey guys!  At GlobalGrind, we love to share news about initiatives that help others.  Last month, RushCard – the prepaid debit card founded by GlobalGrind’s very own Russell Simmons – teamed up with Edward Norton and his website Crowdrise.com to launch the #RiseToThrive Charity Challenge.  #RiseToThrive is an online fundraiser that is helping to raise money and awareness for non-profits dedicated to building prosperous futures for people in America.

In the words of Russell, “When we rise together to help each other, our neighborhoods thrive.  It’s simple to give back and something I see as a responsibility.  And trust me, it feels great!”

Thousands of people like you have risen to the occasion and raised lots of money to support charities that are making a difference in our world.  In fact, this thriving campaign has already raised over $130,000 for charities!  Over the next week, these charities will continue to battle it out to see who can get the most donations.  The charity that wins will get a $25,000 grant from RushCard and Russell.

From organizations supporting hunger relief and budgets for education and the arts, to employment programs and health and wellness initiatives, there are some unbelievable charities raising money to help a variety of causes.

Let’s take a look at a few of the amazing organizations that have risen to the top of the challenge:

In first place so far is Students for Service, an inspiring organization that partners with non-profits in New York City to address hunger, poverty, and the environment. Over the past three years, Students for Service has engaged close to 1000 students in 45 service learning projects, all to enhance the lives of adults and academically at risk kids.  This year, Students for Service is certainly hungry to make a difference – – they are launching an amazing new program, “Teens for Food Justice,” with NY Sun Works to build and maintain urban greenhouse farms inside New York classrooms. The program will help us build a healthier city, bringing fruits and veggies to underserved communities and teaching students and teachers about sustainability.  Talk about a great cause!

In Harlem, New York City, is the current second place charity, Workshop in Business Opportunities (WIBO).  WIBO is a private non-profit organization dedicated to a cause that’s very close to Russell’s own heart – bringing the American Dream of entrepreneurship to our communities.  WIBO provides support and resources to help emerging professionals create thriving businesses that develop economic power, provide jobs and improve communities. Since its establishment in 1966, WIBO has graduated over 16,000 entrepreneurs in underserved communities and aided in the creation of nearly 32,000 jobs.  Making the American Dream a reality is what we LOVE to hear!

Another true contender and amazing organization is The Alcove Center For Grieving Children and Families, based in New Jersey. The Alcove provides an extremely vital service to our community – it helps children and their families cope with the devastating loss of a loved one.  More than just a support center, The Alcove also brings its unbelievable service to schools to provide assistance to children and their families through peer support groups. Teaching children skills to help cope with the loss of a loved one is incredibly important, and we love what The Alcove is doing!

Pretty extraordinary stuff, right?

There’s still time to raise even more money for these outstanding organizations that are doing incredible work in our neighborhoods.  Check out all the charities on http://www.crowdrise.com/risetothrive, and if you haven’t already, join the movement and help us give back today!