2012 R Baby Hero: Avis Richards

avis-hero-rbaby

R Baby Board Member for 5 years
 

When thinking of this year’s R Baby Hero Award, during our 5th birthday, there was no question of who it would go to since this person has worked tirelessly by our side for the past five years. Avis Richards, CEO of Birds Nest Foundation, has been a vital part of the R Baby team since our inception and her devotion has never waived. Year after year she continues to be there for us in many capacities.

It all started in 2006 right after Rebecca passed away. I remember the Richards being at our home consoling us and also committing to us to help in any way if we wanted to improve the healthcare system that failed our daughter. The first year of R Baby’s birth was the first year I was dealing with my daughter’s death. So, you can imagine how emotional it was but at the same time how driven Andrew and I were to make sure that this didn’t happen to any other family. Well, Avis was right there every day not only helping us start a new not-for-profit organization but being so passionate about our cause and also being there as a friend along the way. That is the biggest thing about not for profits — they are personal — they are emotional – and Avis Richards understands this. She is sensitive, caring while also being driven to make change.

Our first event at the Mandarin Oriental was an incredible success. Avis was a large part of that given her constant advice and “can do” attitude. She took on many projects including our first video production as well as auction items with a hands on approach. Given how philanthropic Avis is, she was able to advise on many elements of the night to help make it as successful as possible. She was literally willing to help with anything and taught me from the beginning how to never spend the charity’s money unless absolutely necessary as more can go to saving babies’ lives. This may seem obvious, but most charities only give 60-70% (CHARITYNAVIGATOR.ORG) directly to the cause where R Baby gives over 90%. Avis makes sure her bargaining skills are R Baby’s gain! Her values on frugality, authenticity and a hands on approach were and are invaluable to us and R Baby.

After our first event, Avis continued to support us year after year through her wonderful video productions, her talented team of photographers at every event we have and her extremely valuable board and marketing input. When we did our Run/Walk in Central Park, Avis even led a family photo booth to make the experience even that much more special of a day. She is always there when we need her. She never hesitates. Her commitment to R Baby and other charities should be recognized and appreciated as she continues to inspire me and others to be passionate, giving and selfless — as she is.

Andrew and I are forever grateful for Avis’ contributions, devotion and friendship. Thank you for all that you do and most importantly, all that you are.

Sincerely, 
— Phyllis and Andrew Rabinowitz

Birds Nest Foundation Wins Bronze Stevie Award for Food Bank of New York City Public Service Announcement

For Immediate Release
Media Contact
Caitlin Davis
 
Birds Nest Foundation Wins Bronze Stevie Award for Food Bank of New York City Public Service Announcement
 
New York, NY – November 13, 2013 – Avis Richards’ 501(c)(3) non-profit, Birds Nest Foundation, took home the Bronze Stevie Award for producing ‘The Color of Hunger’ Food Bank for New York City Public Service Announcement (PSA) at the 10th annual awards dinner on Friday, November 8th. The PSA shines a light on hunger with the message, “Hunger is here. Thankfully so are you. Donate. Advocate. Volunteer.”
 
Founded by Avis Richards, the Birds Nest Foundation produces high-quality documentaries, short videos and PSA’s for charitable organizations. Productions have touched upon important topics such as education, health, women’s issues, the environment, anti-violence, and more.
 
“We are very proud to receive this industry accolade and of all the work we do on behalf of our clients and partners,” said Richards. “Hunger in our country is a real problem and not always easy to see. We are honored to be able to partner with New York City Food Bank and spread the word.”
 
Food Bank For New York City warehouses and distributes free food for over 1.5 million hungry New Yorkers each year. As one of the country’s largest food banks, their mission is to end hunger in New York City by organizing food, information and support for community survival and dignity.
 

 
The Stevie Awards for Women in Business are the world’s top honors for female entrepreneurs, executives, employees and the organizations they run. All individuals and organizations worldwide are eligible to submit nominations – public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small. Nicknamed the Stevies for the Greek word for “crowned,” the awards were presented to winners during a sold-out event at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. The 2013 awards received more than 1,2000 nominations from 18 nations and territories. Details about the Stevie Awards for Women in Business and the list of Stevie Award winners are available at http://www.StevieAwards.com/Women.
 
About Birds Nest Foundation
Avis Richards is the Founder and CEO of Birds Nest Foundation™, a 501(c)3 non-profit creative group that produces high-quality documentaries, short videos and public service announcements (PSAs) for charitable organizations.  To date, Richards has granted PSA’s, short films and documentaries for dozens of Non-Profits including ones helmed by Goldie Hawn, Michael Bolton, Andre Agassi, and John Legendto name a few. Her productions have touched upon important topics such as Education, Health, Women’s Issues, the Environment, Anti-Violence, and more. Avis was recently nominated for several New York Emmy® Awards for her weekly TV series produced through Birds Nest, Lunch NYC. In Avis’ upcoming documentary “Balance”, we discover how to regain our balance and live longer, healthier lives by managing hormonal distress that affect our bodies, moods and abilities.
 
Birds Nest Foundation recently launched an incredible new venture, the “Ground Up Campaign”, which is planting academic gardens in schools across the country. The goal is to help kids understand and appreciate healthy foods, vegetables, proper nutrition, and teach healthy eating habits from a young age. The initiative was inspired by a documentary film Avis directed and produced, Lunch, which addresses unhealthy lunch programs in schools. Lunchinspired Avis to create a weekly TV series in New York, called Dylan’s Lunchbox, a lifestyle program helping New Yorkers with sustainable healthy living in the city starring her son, teen food critic Dylan Richards – for which she was nominated for Three New York Emmy Awards this yearAvis is currently in production on Lunch: The Solutions, a sequel to Lunch which focuses on healthy solutions for school lunches in America.http://www.birdsnestfoundation.org/
 

Amanda Russell TV Hits YouTube

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Amanda Russell TV Hits YouTube


ORIGINAL ARTICLE
BY EMMA SLOLEY
 

Avis Richards and Amanda Russell develop a web series for healthy Hamptonites
 

Fitness, philanthropy, and fabulous food—that’s the tantalizing recipe for a new four-part online series about the Hamptons hosted by Avis Richards and Amanda Russell, called What’s Hot and Healthy in the Hamptons This Summer. Hailing from very different worlds—Richards is a New York mother of two whose Birds Nest Foundation provides high-quality media for non-profits, while Russell is a former professional runner turned fitness expert with her own fast-growing YouTube channel called Amanda Russell TV. These passionate health crusaders are on a mission to change the world, one enlightening episode at a time.
 

Their first meeting was not so much serendipitous as inevitable. With a host of mutual friends, the two women finally tracked each other down last summer at a party in Southampton. “Avis was hosting a gala. I went in, she was surrounded by people, and I just said, ‘Excuse me! Do you mind if I meet you?’” Russell says with a laugh. They have recently joined forces on “Dylan’s Lunchbox,” a spin-off of Richards’ Emmy Award–nominated series on nutrition, Lunch NYC. Dylan, a wise-beyond-his-years teenage restaurant critic and Richards’ son, will exercise with the telegenic Russell each episode this fall.
 

Combining their talents, they decided to develop a web series. “We both saw the power of online content,” says Richards. “More and more people are watching content online, so we both felt it is important to highlight our work with this medium.”
 

Setting a show in the Hamptons seemed the perfect fit. “It’s an area that is so magical to so many people, so legendary, and yet kind of unknown,” says Russell. “There’s that element of mystique.”
 

Adds Richards, “I thought, if we can do something out in the Hamptons and make it fun, then maybe we can engage more people to be involved.”
 

The four-episode series—which starts airing this weekend on Maker Studios’ website and Amanda Russell TV—will follow a travel show-style format, with glamorous hosts Richards and Russell introducing viewers to Hamptons living. Each will include a workout component, hand-picked, under-the-radar healthy food stops like farm stands and locavore-friendly restaurants, and an element of philanthropy. The fitness portion will include riding bikes out to places like Montauk Point Lighthouse. They also will visit local charities that work with Richards’ Birds Nest Foundation.
 

“In the Hamptons, I get up early in the morning, take a great class down near the beach, go to the farmer’s markets, and buy fresh fruits and vegetables,” says Richards. “Most people who are here all summer, that’s their routine. It’s really a healthy lifestyle.”
 

Read more at http://hamptons-magazine.com/personalities/articles/avis-richards-and-amanda-russells-new-online-series#mmFXDQpUzJZG0Tjr.99 

Avis Richards Tackles Hormones in BALANCE

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Avis Richards Tackles Hormones in BALANCE

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Interview with Avis Richards Artivist Awardee

Interview with Avis Richards Artivist Awardee

 

Artivist Film Festival – Interview with Avis Richards

Artivist Film Festival – Interview with Avis Richards

 

Birds Nest Foundation to Donate Academic Gardens to 100 New York City Public Schools

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Birds Nest Foundation to Donate Academic Gardens to 100 New York City Public Schools

‘Ground Up Campaign’ to Educate City Students About Nutrition and the Environment While Promoting Healthy Lifestyles

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

NEW YORK, May 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Birds Nest Foundation (Birds Nest), a 501(c)3 organization founded to provide services to other non-profit organizations, today announced it has donated edible, academic gardens to 100 public schools throughout the New York City boroughs. Birds Nest Founder and CEO Avis Richards, in partnership with The United States of Food‘s “Ground Up Campaign,” is kicking off the initiative today with an academic garden planting event at P.S. 86 Kingsbridge Heights in the Bronx at 9:30 a.m.
 

“We are very excited to provide an opportunity for students to learn about and participate in the process of growing food naturally to teach healthy eating habits,” says Richards. “The ‘Ground Up Campaign’ is an important initiative in promoting healthy lifestyles – in and outside of the home – starting at a young age to instill these values for a lifetime.”
 

The United States of Food Founding Partner Shane Emmett states: “It’s tough to comprehend nutrition until you grow your own food. One garden at time can make a difference, but Avis’ vision to provide 100 academic gardens to public schools has the power to create a movement.”
 

Through Birds Nest Foundation and the “Ground Up Campaign,” 100 New York City schools throughout all five boroughs will receive an academic garden developed by The United States of Food, which is waist-high and includes a unique mixture of organic gardening soil and accompanying nutrients. The gardens will be planted in classrooms throughout 2011, and will grow to bear vegetables for students to enjoy during the school year, while learning about the process of food from seed to table.
 

New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is a supporter of teaching children about healthy eating and where our food comes from as she believes it is just as valuable as teaching them how to read and write.  “Thanks to groups like Avis Richards ‘ Birds Nest Foundation, we are educating more and more New York City children everyday about the importance of nutritious eating and how and where to grow their own healthy food,” said Quinn.  “Through our FoodWorks New York initiative, the Council has been working to use our food system to create jobs, promote public health, and protect the environment.  We look forward to continued partnership on community gardens efforts, and on all of our efforts to help New Yorkers eat healthier.”
 

Stephen Ritz , an educator in the Bronx at Discovery High School, a participating school in the Ground Up Campaign states: “locally grown food should be an essential and integral part of NYC’s citywide initiative as Discovery HS / Green Bronx Machine and Birds Nest stand ready and able to export our green thumb throughout the city to positively impact the current and future generations.”
 

This Campaign is just one of several initiatives Richards has launched through Birds Nest to promote nutrition and health. Richards is the producer of a documentary called LUNCH which examines the causes and consequences of “growing up in a junk-food culture.” In October 2010, this documentary was turned into a public TV series, LunchNYC broadcast by NYC Media and supported by the NYC Mayor’s office to further investigate healthy food options and initiatives throughout the city.
 

For more information about Birds Nest Foundation, please visit www.birdsnestfoundation.org.
 

SOURCE Birds Nest Foundation

 

 

H/U/M CSR Cooperative makes it to the top 5 of the Mashable Awards

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H/U/M CSR Cooperative makes it to the top 5 of the Mashable Awards

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

The Mashable Awards celebrate major innovations and achievements in the digital and social media landscape by companies, people and projects via an open, multilingual, international, community-nominated voting platform. Millions of votes will be cast in 25 categories.

In the top 5 spot for “Most Creative Social Good Campaign” this year is a truly global business initiative known as the H/U/M CSR Cooperative.
 

The H/U/M CSR Cooperative mission is to create a powerful group of like-minded companies, individuals and organizations as a socially responsible web of trusted associations and alliances who share complementary skills and core beliefs whose purpose is to better the world we all share.
 

Although the term “CSR” – for Corporate Social Responsibility – started in the early 1970s, it is a term that is beginning to gain wider traction and broader, inherent meaning. Highly debated and criticized as a way to distract from the fundamental economic role of business, CSR is proving to achieve the opposite. The purpose of CSR is to help organizations achieve both their business missions and social missions.
 

Donnetta Campbell, the leader of the CSR Cooperative, has been in the communications business for more than 20 years and has always felt strongly that business should have a social purpose.
 

“I’ve built strong wonderful like-minded networks of colleagues over the years. As I’m starting this journey to launch a new generation agency, HUMMedia and the CSR Cooperative make total sense”, says Campbell.
 

The concept of the CSR Co-op grew so rapidly that a bigger platform was urgently needed. The CSR Co-op will be fueled by the “revolutionary” digital toolbox from engageSimply. It is a proprietary platform to merge the power of social media, direct response, community and content into a scalable communications system. This platform, along with HUMNews global contacts and HUMMedia communications strategies, will provide the CSR Co-op with the technology platform to reach millions of people quickly and efficiently with information and education vital to the CSR Co-op organization.
 

HUM (Human Unlimited Media) is the parent company of HUMMedia and the CSR Co-op and from the beginning was a natural fit for this initiative. H/U/M is striving to be the next essential supply organization on the international information and communications scene by catering to the emerging global mobile generation and by nurturing realization of future prosperity, security and meaning directly tied to the total well-being of the entire world. The HUM founders include Joy DiBenedetto who was previously the head of CNN global booking to the NGO CARE press officer along with Michael Bociurkiw, the former global spokesperson and worldwide liaison for UNICEF.
 

“Information, connection and community engagement matters more than ever for us to work and live in this `whole’ world. HUMNEWS is that source which will help us to understand this perspective and is a perfect content partner for HUMMedia, the CSR Co-op and our clients,” says Campbell.
 

The Birds Nest Foundation led by Avis Richards is another organization involved with the CSR Co-op. The Birds Nest is the centerpiece to the CSR Co-op because it is a wonderful established “messaging” foundation that can help any type of cause. The CSR Co-op decided to make the Birds Nest Foundation the portal that they could message existing and incubate new foundations. The network is loaded with many other good nonprofits and all are welcome.
 

Industry visionaries have quickly involved themselves in the CSR Cooperative, including Natalie Petouhoff (formerly of Forrester Research) Chief Strategist for Weber Shandwick Global Public Relations; Kristen Anderson from the Concept Farm; Meg Columbia Walsh of Fair Trade Digital; Robyn Streisand of The Mixx; Leslie Singer of HSDominion; Susan Older of Displaced Journalists, and Elaine M. Rogers, a partner and co-chair of the Entertainment and New Media Department of Meister Seelig & Fein, LLP.
 

In order for the H/U/M CSR Cooperative to win the top spot for the “Most Creative Social Good Campaign” at the 4th Annual Mashable Awards votes need to be cast on the Mashable site. You can cast a vote everyday up until the deadline of December 15, 2010.
 

The Mashable Awards Gala will kick off the 2011 International CES convention week on January 6, 2011 at Cirque du Soleil’s Zumanity stage in Las Vegas.
 

As told to Jess Guberman
 

 

Corporate Social Responsibility – The Movement Starts Now

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Corporate Social Responsibility – The Movement Starts Now

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Although the term “CSR” – for Corporate Social Responsibility – started in the early 1970s, it is a term that is beginning to gain wider traction and broader, inherent meaning. Highly debated and criticized as a way to distract from the fundamental economic role of business, CSR is proving to achieve the opposite. The purpose of CSR is to help organizations achieve both their business missions and social missions.
 

When like-minded, highly well-intentioned and powerful people mobilize, the results can be fierce and for the sake of CSR, this movement will never be the same. And we can thank Donnetta Campbell for that.
 

Campbell has been in the communications business for more than 20 years and has always felt strongly that business should have a social purpose. With the launch of HUMMedia partnering with the engageSimply digital toolbox, Campbell harmoniously started the CSR Cooperative.The concept of the CSR Co-op grew so rapidly that a bigger platform was urgently needed. The CSR Co-op will be fueled by the “revolutionary” digital toolbox from engageSimply. It is a proprietary platform to merge the power of social media, direct response, community and content into a scalable communications system. This platform, along with HUMNews global contacts and HUMMedia communications strategies, will provide the CSR Co-op with the technology platform to reach millions of people quickly and efficiently with information and education vital to the CSR Co-op organization.
 

“I’ve built strong wonderful like-minded networks of colleagues over the years. As I’m starting this journey to launch a new generation agency, HUMMedia makes total sense”, says Campbell. On Aug. 4, a Huffington Post article described HUMMedia as “an innovative, digital Media Agency led by Joy DiBenedetto and Donnetta Campbell that translates `word of net’ onto a truly global stage.”
 

Industry visionaries quickly involved themselves including Natalie Petouhoff (formerly of Forrester Research) Chief Strategist for Weber Shandwick Global Public Relations; Kristen Anderson from the Concept Farm; Meg Columbia Walsh of Fair Trade Digital; Robyn Streisand of The Mixx; Leslie Singer of HSDominion; Susan Older of Displaced Journalists, and Elaine M. Rogers, a partner and co-chair of the Entertainment and New Media Department of Meister Seelig & Fein, LLP.
 

HUM (Human Unlimited Media) is the parent company of HUMMedia and the CSR Co-op and from the beginning was a natural fit for this initiative. H/U/M is striving to be the next essential supply organization on the international information and communications scene by catering to the emerging global mobile generation and by nurturing realization of future prosperity, security and meaning directly tied to the total well-being of the entire world. The HUM founders include Joy DiBenedetto who was previously the head of CNN global booking to the NGO CARE press officer along with Michael Bociurkiw, the former global spokesperson and worldwide liaison for UNICEF.
 

“Information, connection and community engagement matters more than ever for us to work and live in this `whole’ world. HUMNEWS is that source which will help us to understand this perspective and is a perfect content partner for HUMMedia and our clients,” says Campbell. HUMNews is the fast growing global news and information provider focused on emerging countries.
 

The HUM CSR Co-op goal is to create a powerful group of like-minded companies, individuals and organizations as a socially responsible web of trusted associations and alliances that share complementary skills and core beliefs, which do good for the world.
 

Leaders from entertainment, education, digital technology, messaging, social media, journalism and business have come together to make this possible. Together we can propel the CSR message forward through business and events that raise awareness and education under the roof of one solid foundation.
 

Working as quickly as we can and using every possible partner through our deeply related networks, we deliver a powerful brand “many-to-many” communications engine, leveraging a worldwide coalition of journalistic, strategic, academic, corporate and NGO partners, with brand-building influencers in and on our proprietary and social media distribution platforms. This enables our members to reach the borderless, like-minded ‘net community gathered around an idea, a philosophy, and a brand – beyond borders. Media leads to awareness, which leads to informational understanding, which leads to change.
 

“Our CSR Co-op leadership has deep roots in CARE and UNICEF along with dozens of other organizations and relationships with notable change makers in the worlds of business and philanthropy,” says Campbell.
 

The Birds Nest Foundation led by Avis Richards is another organization involved with the CSR Co-op. The Birds Nest is the centerpiece to the CSR Co-op because it is a wonderful established “messaging” foundation that can help any type of cause. The CSR Co-op decided to make the Birds Nest Foundation the portal that they could message existing and incubate new foundations. The network is loaded with many other good nonprofits and all are welcome.
 

Watch for monthly events in New York City at iconic locations, such as The Pierre Hotel and BRGuest Restaurants, to be announced shortly which will blend networking, education and fund raising with the sole purpose of caring about more than just profits. These events will be coordinated with the help of Campbell, Sabrina Chapman and Dina White.

 

Non-Profits Using New Social Media Tools to Advocate

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Non-Profits Using New Social Media Tools to Advocate
 

Birds Nest Foundation grants advocacy videos to charities.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE

 

Birds Nest Foundation (http://www.birdsnestfoundation.org/) , a creative non-profit which produces television shows, documentaries, PSA’s and short films for charities pro bono, recently hosted an inspiring charity-based Pinterest and Facebook competition where charities large and small competed for a chance to win a professionally produced 60 second Public Service 

Over twenty charities took part in the The Birds Nest Foundation’s (www.birdsnestfoundation.org) Pin It to Win It Pinterest Contest. This successful contest gave charities an opportunity to have a voice and the prize, an advocacy video (PSA), could be to use to promote the winning charity on YouTube, at galas, fundraisers, their website and more.
 

The video will be professionally produced, directed, shot, and edited by the expert team at Birds Nest Foundation, the creators of PSAs and videos for charities helmed by Goldie Hawn, John Legend, Michael Bolton, Andre Agassi, and Fran Drescher, Autism Speaks, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, among many others.
 

Submissions took place on Pinterest where entrants pinned the best photos that best communicated what their charity stood for. Four finalists were chosen by Birds Nest Foundation including Stomp Out Bullying, Jumpstart, Much Love Animal Rescue, and the winner Barth Syndrome Foundation. Birds Nest Foundation posted about each charity on its Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/BirdsNestFoundation) and the charity with the most “likes” under their post would be named the winner.
 

With 1,060 likes, Barth Syndrome Foundation (www.barthsyndrome.org), a community of families, physicians, scientists, donors and volunteers around the world whose mission is to save lives through education, advances in treatment, and finding a cure for Barth syndrome – a sometimes fatal, oftentimes debilitating genetic disease, received an incredible amount of social media support and won.
 

Avis Richards, the founder and CEO of the Birds Nest Foundation said, “The Barth Syndrome Foundation’s work in focusing resources on a little known, underdiagnosed disease is a perfect example of a non-profit that badly needs a voice in promoting their cause. We, at Birds Nest Foundation are thrilled to provide that voice and excited to begin production. We’re also very thankful to all the charities that didn’t win, and we believe that just participating in the contest helped our finalists spread awareness. I’m very optimistic by this new era of social media. It’s allowing charities like the Barth Syndrome Foundation to reach other victim’s families, find new sources of promotion, and forge cross-sector partnerships with organizations like Birds Nest Foundation.”
 

Shelley Bowen, one of the founders of the Barth Syndrome Foundation, was overwhelmed and beyond words about winning the contest, and said “It was so ingenious and we are so thankful we won this incredible gift to be given a voice for such a rare disease.”
 

Birds Nest Foundation/Productions is a 501(c)3 non-profit creative group that travels the world to provide media content for non-profits, charities and NGOs. Birds Nest works with charitable organizations to produce high-quality documentaries, short videos and public service announcements (PSAs) that clearly communicate its message and promote activism and awareness.