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06.04.2014

Alumnus and Bulldog 100 Honoree works to lead Georgians out of poverty

Georgia has the third highest poverty rate in the nation, and about 20 percent of Georgians live in hunger-threatened households. On any given night, about 28,000 people are homeless in Georgia, half of whom are children. These startling statistics have motivated John R. Moeller Jr. (BBA '93) to mobilize communities and serve others in poverty-related ministries throughout his career.

Moeller is currently the president and CEO of Action Ministries, Inc., a nonprofit focused on leading people out of poverty in Georgia. Action Ministries was recognized as No. 45 on the 2014 Bulldog 100 list. 

“Once you know the struggles and challenges that families in Georgia face every day, it’s impossible to turn away,” Moeller said. “As a native of this great state, I’m consistently moved by the fighting spirits of the people we serve. They make me want to work harder to ensure their success.”

With a $6 million operating budget and locations in Athens, Augusta, Gainesville, Rome and Atlanta, Action Ministries also operates a women’s residential addiction recovery program, Breakthru House, in Decatur and regional hunger relief and housing initiatives throughout the state.

Action Ministries Athens provides hunger relief, education and housing specifically to those in need in the Athens community. Our Daily Bread community kitchen has served its guests with meals and transformational services since 1989.

Under Moeller’s leadership, Action Ministries launched the regional initiative Smart Lunch, Smart Kid in 2012 to provide summer lunches to children who receive free and reduced-price meals during the school year. The program has grown exponentially each year, and the nonprofit expects to deliver more than 200,000 lunches to children in their own neighborhoods in the summer of 2014.

UGA alumni who reside in North Georgia are invited to get involved individually or as part of a corporate challenge in a sandwich-making day or other Action Ministries hunger-fighting efforts in their own communities.

To learn more about Action Ministries and the work they do in Georgia or to volunteer for a sandwich-making event, please visit www.actionministries.net or email Executive Director Mark Hellman at mhellman@actionministries.net.

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03.30.2015

Registration now open for 2015 UGA Day Tour

The University of Georgia is once again hitting the road to bring the Bulldog spirit to alumni, friends and fans around the Southeast.

From April to July, UGA coaches and administrators will travel to seven cities, sharing their insights into UGA’s upcoming athletic seasons and the latest news from campus. Attendees will also learn more about local UGA Alumni Association chapters and how to become involved.

Each stop on the UGA Day Tour will bring delight to UGA fans of all ages – you won’t want to miss out on the action.

Please click on the city nearest to you for more information and registration. 

The first 300 registrants in each city will have an opportunity to have a photo made with Coaches Mark Richt and Mark Fox. 

If you are interested in serving as a sponsor for UGA Day, please click here for more information.

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03.27.2015

Alumnae Work to Save our Hearing

Athens, a town where music flourishes, is packed with venues and sold-out shows. However, two of Athens’ biggest music-goers, alumnae Katie Carmody (BSED ’08) and Caroline DeCelles (BSED ’08, MED ’10), realized that most people were unaware of the long-term, damaging effects concerts can have on hearing.

Inspired by their undergraduate studies in music business and communication sciences and disorders and by their passion for music, the two graduates started We’re hEAR for You, a non-profit organization that raises awareness for hearing conservation. We’re hEAR for You supplies free earbuds in music venues all over Athens as well as communities across the nation.

Earbuds provided by We're hEAR for You

In an interview with the Red & Black, Carmody and DeCelles shared their passion for hearing protection.

“We’re trying to break the stigma of hearing protection. People think that hearing protection will decrease the quality of a show, but it actually filters out damaging frequencies. We’re hEAR for You focuses on education. Once people understand the science on why they need to protect their hearing, they are so much more likely to use hearing protection,” said Carmody.

We’re hEAR for You has established chapters in Atlanta, Nashville, Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins, but the group’s largest chapter is in the Classic City.

Locally, the organization’s major effort is to supply music venues, bars and other music related operations in the Athens area, such as Nuci's Space, with free ear buds and hearing protection resources. The public takes full advantage of the earbuds which have to be restocked quite frequently.

DeCelles and Carmody are in collaboration with the UGA Huge Hodges School of Music and strongly encourage students to get involved in advocating hearing protection. The organization takes part in the annual International Hearing Awareness Day on campus as well.

As the organization continues to grow, they work with musicians nationwide to promote hearing conservation. Currently, We’re hEAR for You has 25 bands that carry their earbuds on tour. Carmody operates as a liaison with these artists and makes sure the bands stay stocked. The organization even coordinates with music festivals to provide the earbuds to fellow music lovers.


 

Alumnae Katie Carmody (BSED ’08) and Caroline DeCelles (BSED ’08, MED ’10) at AthenFest 2014

 

Visit We’re hEAR for You at their website to partner with them or learn more about their cause.

This was originally published in the Red and Black

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03.25.2015

3rd Annual TEDxUGA is Friday, March 27

UGA is hosting its 3rd Annual TEDxUGA event in Tate Grand Hall on Friday, March 27 from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. What is TEDx? TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxUGA, where x = independently organized TED event. At the TEDxUGA event, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized. Several UGA alumni will present at this year's TEDxUGA event:

  • Lemuel LaRoche (BSW '02, MSW '03)
  • Michelle Blue (BBA '13)
  • Julie Rushmore (PHD '13, DVM '17)
  • Chris Dixon (ABJ '89, MMC '95)
  • Lisa Taylor (JD '01)

Won't be in Athens or missed out on tickets for the event? TEDxUGA will be livestreamed begining at 2:00 p.m. on Friday. This will be a great opportunity for alumni and friends to participate and engage from across the country. You can also interact with the event on Twitter.

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