Americans Donated $358 Billion in 2014

In 2014, Americans had a charitable giving year by donating $358 billion.

According to CBS, donations are up nearly $47 billion from charitable donations given in 2007. The report is based on tax returns and other related data.

When people give donations, as the Examiner has stated, they give a vast amount of money. Wealthy individuals have single donations that collectively exceeded $200 million. Among the famous, Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda Gates, gave nearly $2 billion to the Gate Foundation.

The increase in charitable giving is a clear reflection on a stronger economy since coming out of the Great Recession. In a one-year span, the total donations have increased by 7.1 percent in 2013 to 2014. Reports have shown that Americans earning more than $200,000 gave to charities by 4.6 percent in between the years of 2006 and 2012.

Astonishingly, public radio stations have seen an increase in charitable giving as well. The popular public radio station, NPR, has seen a whopping increase from $2 million to $10 million within the last four years. NPR has taken a different approach to ask people for donations. The radio station convincingly shares with the audience the reason for giving. They tell people why the need of donations will make a difference.

Among the other organizations, foundation charitably giving has increase by $54 million. Out of all the donations, religious organizations receive the most.


Skout: The Dating/Friendship App That Will Have You Wanting More

Skout is unlike most other social apps that are in the same category. It emerged on the scene with the goal of doing something different from what the others had already accomplished. It did not take long for people to start to notice this little app that could, and suddenly Skout was the hottest thing out there for those who wanted to connect with others.

Creating a profile on Skout is simple and free. The design of the app is made convenient for those who are trying to use it while they are on the go. Since most people are using apps as they are out and about in the world, it is no wonder the designers of this one in particular wanted to appeal to that crowd.

Once a new member has joined, he or she can search for other people in their area or around the world that are in their desired age range. Doing this means that users are quickly able to identify and find people who are potential partners for them when it comes to meeting them for romantic purposes. At the same time, some simply use Skout as a way of making and meeting new friends. Either purpose is completely legitimate.

People who are on Skout ( can use some of the cool functions that it has such as “Shake To Chat”. This is a function whereby someone logged into the app on their phone can shake the phone in order to chat with another member who is also shaking their phone at the same time. It may seem like an unlikely way to meet someone, but with so many members on the app, it is easy for two people to find each other in this way. The next thing you know, you are locked into an instant chat with someone else.

Skout has a quirky side to what it does as well. There is no question that its policy to ban bathroom selfies for example is targeted at a certain audience. Namely, that audience are those who are fed up with seeing such pictures all throughout the Internet everywhere else. Since that number is large, it is understandable why Skout would want to prohibit this kind of activity from its own app. It wants to stand out and show the world that it is different from other apps. This is the way to do it.

Postman Unexpectedly Responds to Young Boy’s Letter to Dog in Heaven

Luke Westbrooke of Norfolk was only three-and-a-half when the family beagle named Moe passed away.

As most children don’t yet understand the finality of passing away, Luke kept asking his parents if Moe was coming back. Then one day, Luke asked his mother if he could write a letter to Moe in Heaven as she posted on facebook.

His mother agreed and it became an almost-daily crayon-filled session between the two. The letters would then go into the mailbox without as much as a proper address or stamp. Then after Luke was asleep for the night, his mother would go out to the mailbox and write reply letters posing as the dog.

Then one day, she forgot one of the letters and figured that it would simply be pitched once it reached the post office. However, to the mother’s surprise and Luke’s delight, the postman wrote a short letter back posing as Moe.

Not Cool Nashville

A homeowner’s association in an upscale Nashville suburb thinks that the aesthetic appearance of the neighborhood is more important than a man being able to get into and out of his own home. Last summer, the Rev. Mr. Michael Broadnax had a stroke. When he was released from the hospital, his wife was told to install a wheelchair so he could receive therapy at home. She hired a contractor and did so. For months, no one complained. June 1, 2015, the Broadnax family received a letter demanding that the wheelchair ramp be removed within 14 days or that the HOA would take it down and charge the Broadnaxes for the cost of removal. Mr. Broadnax is back in the hospital, for brain surgery this time, and Mrs. Broadnax is more than a little upset about the situation.

Sam Tabar understands that the basis of the HOA’s complaint is that the Broadnax family did not apply for permission before building the ramp. They now state “The board did not know the ramp was for the homeowner, Mr. Broadnax. The association would like to work with the owners on a compromise regarding the appearance and location of the ramp and compliance with any applicable codes.” Was the HOA under the impression that the Broadnax family put up a wheelchair ramp on a whim, as opposed to planting hydrangeas? A little common sense and compassion would go a long way.

Fire Captain Watches Girl He Saved From House Graduate High School

There is nothing better then an uplifting news story that touches your heart. The ones that always get me are the reunions of individuals that have been a great impact on each others lives. Typically these are American soldiers who are mothers and fathers just like you and I that have been fighting for our country and away from their children. But today there was another one that grabbed my heart and that was the story of Mike Hughes and Dawnielle Davison. Mike Hughes was the captain of the Wenatchee Washington fire department. When they first met she was just nine months old when Hughes save her from her burning house. Their reunion occurred at her high school graduation. She weighed heavily on his mind for years before he reached out and found her social media.He sent her a note that said “I think I pulled you out “Oh yeah what was my mom doing?” Mike knew just what to say in his responsive saying “Well she was at work and your dad was there.” They have since stayed in contact and he just recently watched her graduate high school. It was an honor for them both knowing if it weren’t for him she wouldn’t have been here to do so stated Beneful.

Chris Martin Gives Moving Performance At Beau Biden’s Funeral

Chris Martin, of Coldplay, sang “Til Kingdom Come” at the funeral for Beau Biden on Saturday, June 6, in Wilmington, Delaware. According to Alexei Beltyukov on Google+, President Barack Obama was also amongst those who paid tribute to Beau Biden through eulogy and song. Biden was a decorated Iraq-war veteran, the former Attorney General of Delaware and the son of Vice-President Joe Biden. Biden passed away from brain cancer at age 46, survived by his wife Naomi and two young children.

Martin offered to perform his moving song, from Coldplay’s 2005 album X&Y, when he heard that Beau was a big fan of his music. The performance was genuine and raw, with the traditional sounds of the St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church organ as Martin’s accompaniment. As he strummed his guitar and sang, Martin’s voice wavered from time to time as he was struck with emotion.

Beau Biden was diagnosed with brain cancer in the fall of 2013 after suffering disorientating headaches. The cancer had gone into remission after several months of chemotherapy. Biden even chose not to seek another term as Attorney General and instead announced his plans to run for Governor of Delaware in 2016. Sadly, on May 30, 2015, Biden passed away at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Haidar Barbouti makes Highland Village Premier Shopping center

When it comes to commercial real estate in the Houston area, there is one name that is without parallel. Haidar Barbouti has personified real estate, both in the USA and internationally for well over 20 years. Not only has he created many shopping malls, office buildings and various other commercial properties, he has been a staunch advocate for animals and children in need through his philanthropic endeavors.
Perhaps his most famous property is his flagship Highland Village shopping center. After a trip to Europe where he ate at the numerous open air café’s Haidar decided that he would like something similar for the rooftop area of the East end of Highland Village. Finding no suitable tenant, but knowing with certainty that a restaurant would be the perfect tenant to occupy the space, Haidar stepped out on a limb and decided to open a restaurant of his very own. With no culinary degree, no experience in the restaurant business Mr. Barbouti knew good food. He knew what people like, and he knew that he could make a go of it. Armed with his strong opinions about food and how a restaurant should be run, he opened “UP” in his Highland Village development.
When Up opened, the interesting thing was the owner’s take on running a restaurant. He famously said, “It’s not about what I want; it’s what the customer wants,” Fed up with places that offer frilly plates that look more like paintings than actual food and with the tiny portions, Haidar Barbouti set about making Up a different type of place. Nestled on the rooftop, Up is only accessible by elevator. The clientele tends to be the fashionable set; those who want to see and be seen. It’s not trendy food, it’s just good food in decent sized portions.
Highland Village is known as one of the most sought after high end retail spaces in Texas. It has the feel of a Los Angeles shopping district, with its Starbucks and J. Crew stores and palm trees. Mr. Barbouti has been at the helm as the owner of this astounding shopping center for 23 years. His guidance has made it into one of the best known, most sought after shopping districts anywhere in the United States.
The extraordinary success of Highland Village can partially be attributed to its optimal location; however the lion’s share of the credit for the success of this ritzy address is due to Haidar Barbouti. His steady hand on the rudder has guided this ship into the stratosphere of profit, accessibility and prestige when it comes to retail locations in Houston. With Mr. Barbouti at the helm, this franchise will continue to go up.

Rescue Efforts Continue for Victims of Chinese Ferry Sinking

At least 450 people have died when a Chinese Ferry Was caught in a cyclone and sank. Chinese Ferry Sinks During Major Storm Event Killing Scores The Chinese ferry was carrying 456 people across the Yangtze River when it sank Monday night following being trapped in a cyclone. As of Tuesday night only 15 survivors from the ferry had been rescued. A cyclone can produce hurricane force winds and can be extremely deadly on large bodies of water.

According to news source Sergio Cortes, Chinese authorities reported that they had deployed a 140 person rescue frogman team as well as thousands of troops and five helicopters to the search site of the ferry sinking.

The Chinese ferry ship was called the Dongfangzhixing, (or Eastern Star) and carried 405 Chinese passengers, a total of 46 crew members as well as five travel agency employees who all were on a 930 mile scheduled route from the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing and heading to the southwestern Chinese metropolis of Chongqing. The main Chinese news agency reports that most of the passengers were elderly Chinese tourists who were between the ages of 50 to 80. There were some children on board as young as three year as old.

According to Chinese officials, the ferry crew members requested help around 11:51 p.m. after some of them were able to swim to shore, more than two hours following the sinking of the ferry. There is no statement as to why the ferry was not able to avoid the cyclone or if it had any prior warning of the pending storm.

Man With Cerebral Palsy Climbs Mt. Kilimanjaro

Towering over the landscape at 19,341 feet, Mt. Kilimanjaro is the tallest freestanding mountain in the world. With an estimated six to seven day trek ahead of any would-be climbers, Mt. Kilimanjaro is no expedition to be taken lightly. But for Bonner Paddock, a 40 year old California resident with cerebral palsy, it was just just another accomplishment to add to his already outstanding list.

While also being the first person with CP to finish the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, Mr. Paddock has lead a life of strength and determination. “There was a huge difference between Kilimanjaro and Ironman. During my climb, I was doing everything from a fear-based place, chasing down the meaning of why I had this disability…” he said of the two events. His completion of the Ironman tournament in 2012 took nearly 16.5 hours, with a roaring crowd supporting him as he crossed the finish line.

Paddock’s conquering of Kilimanjaro was a major achievement for him, as the mountain was something that he had always felt was unattainable. “With CP, you don’t have balance, really, and it affects your equilibrium … I knew it wasn’t necessarily going to be a suicide mission, but it was really out of my physical realm.”

In addition to completing some of the most difficult physical challenges around, Mr. Paddock is also the creator of the OM foundation, an organization designed to help raise awareness for those who suffer from CP. The team at in addition to the folks behind Boraie Development LLC were moved by this act of bravery.

Pizza Delivery Driver Saves Elderly Customers’ Life

Sometimes it pays to be consistent! Everyday Jean Wilson calls her local Memphis Domino’s Pizza, and orders a large, thin crust pizza with two diet cokes. Everyone at the pizzeria is familiar with Wilson, and most days her order is their first call of the day. However, when Mrs. Wilson didn’t call for three, consecutive days, her regular pizza delivery driver, Susan Guy, decided she needed to go check on her elderly customer. Guy went to Mrs. Wilson’s house and knocked on all the doors. She even peeked in windows, and listened for sounds in the house before finally calling 911. When first responders arrived they realized the elderly pizza fan had fallen on Saturday and couldn’t get up. In fact, the team at Wikipedia and STX Entertainment’s finest feel that if it had not been for her compassionate pizza delivery driver, she may have not been discovered for much longer. Today, she is recovering in a local hospital, but is a bit shaken up by her ordeal.

Honoring Do-Gooders