Founded in 1961, World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) mission is the conservation of nature. Using the best available scientific knowledge and advancing that knowledge where we can, we work to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth and the health of ecological systems by: protecting natural areas and wild populations of plants and animals, including endangered species; promoting sustainable approaches to the use of renewable natural resources; and promoting more efficient use of resources and energy and the maximum reduction of pollution. We are committed to reversing the degradation of our planet’s natural environment and to building a future in which human needs are met in harmony with nature.

The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) is a the leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome. NDSS envisions a world in which all people with Down syndrome have the opportunity to enhance their quality of life, realize their life aspirations, and become valued members of welcoming communities. Founded in 1979, our activities include shaping and advocating for improved public policy, increased public resources and services for people with Down syndrome; working in partnership with our affiliates and other support organizations; improving educational opportunities for individuals with Down syndrome; advancing basic, clinical and applied research; and implementing a national public awareness strategy.

The Organization for Autism Research (OAR) was created in December 2001 to apply research to the challenges of autism. OAR’s defines applied research as research that directly impacts the day-to-day quality of life of learners with autism. It entails the systematic investigation of variables associated with positive outcomes in such areas as education, communication, self care, social skills, employment, behavior, and adult and community living. OAR funds pilot studies and targeted research within specific modalities and issues affecting the autism community, primarily for studies whose outcomes offer new insights into the behavioral and social development of individuals with autism with an emphasis on communications, education, and vocational challenges. OAR’s programs revolve around funding new research and disseminating evidence-based information.

United Ability provides innovative services connecting people with disabilities to their communities and empowering individuals to live full and meaningful lives. Founded in 1948 by individuals who cared about the quality of life for people with cerebral palsy, United Ability provides services and programs for infants, children and adults with disabilities and their families. We address physical and health needs, encourage their educational development and offer opportunities for true integration into the community.

The Cancer Wellness Center was founded in 1989 to help people live better while living with cancer. We help people feel more connected by becoming part of a comfortable community of people who understand, because they are going through it too. We deal with the very real emotional issues that cancer can cause by offering trained, experienced counseling and support. We nurture mind, body and spirit with programs that offer simple exercises, stress relief, healthy diets, relaxing activities, and meaningful conversations. In addition, we offer an extensive library of resources and involve discussions with other participants.

Hire Heroes USA empowers U.S. military members, veterans, and spouses to succeed in the civilian workforce. Our team of former military and business professionals effectively trains veterans in the skills of self-marketing, then supports their career search until they find good jobs with great companies. The hallmark of our program is a personal approach where each veteran receives dedicated assistance from a highly-trained staff member in order to help the veteran overcome barriers to employment. Signature services also include group workshops and connecting the job seeker with veteran-friendly companies and employment opportunities through the Hire Heroes USA Job Board.

Founded in 1989, the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition strives to create permanency in foster children’s lives by recruiting and retaining foster/adoptive families. The Coalition is one of the area’s largest recruiters of foster/adoptive homes because of our partnerships with the local media, including KSDK and 13 local newspapers. The Coalition also offers support to parents, including support groups, training, 24-hour crisis intervention, advocacy, newsletters, two resale shops, and the Little Wishes program. The Coalition consists of 38 member agencies, including the area’s most-respected public and private agencies. The Coalition’s staff is made up of foster/adoptive parents and child welfare professionals with a broad range of expertise.

Marine Toys for Tots Foundation (MTFTF) is the fund raising, funding and support organization for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. From 1991 – 2012, the Foundation supplemented local toy collections with over 102 million toys valued at $750 million. Concurrently, the Foundation provided over $10.5 million worth of promotion and support materials, which enable local Toys for Tots Coordinators to conduct more effective local campaigns. The primary goal of the Foundation is the same as that of the overall Toys for Tots program: to deliver, through a shiny new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to needy youngsters that will motivate them to grow into responsible, productive, patriotic citizens and community leaders.

Equality Now was founded in 1992 to work for the protection and promotion of the human rights of women around the world. Working with national human rights organizations and individual activists, Equality Now documents violence and discrimination against women and mobilizes international action to support their efforts to stop these human rights abuses. Through its Women’s Action Network of concerned groups and individuals around the world, Equality Now distributes information about human rights violations; takes action to protest these violations; and brings public attention to human rights violations against women.

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