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(BPT) - Approximately 980,000 restaurants serve communities across the U.S., according to the National Restaurant Association (NRA). Many have deep roots in those communities – they know the needs of their neighbors and recognize they are an integral part of everyday life.
Restaurants understand the positive impact that community involvement can have. From partnering with local charities to supporting food banks and soup kitchens, the industry has the capacity to influence and raise awareness on issues in a meaningful way. The industry’s annual charitable activities are estimated at approximately $3 billion.
Hunger relief is a natural cause for restaurants to adopt. Roughly eight in 10 donate food as part of their charitable giving. With more than 35 million Americans living with or on the brink of hunger, the restaurant industry is in an ideal position to help those in need. In 2013, the NRA and its philanthropic foundation, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), partnered with Share Our Strength’s Dine Out for No Kid Hungry. Thousands of restaurants and millions of consumers worked together for this national fundraising event to help make sure no child in America grows up hungry.
Hunger can strike any community at any time and restaurants are often on the front lines helping to serve those in need. Following the devastating tornado in Moore, Okla., earlier this year, former students from Olathe Public Schools’ ProStart program – the NRAEF’s two-year high school program that trains students in culinary techniques to management skills – traveled from Kansas to prepare approximately 3,500 hot meals for affected families.
Additionally, restaurants are supporting their communities in unique and creative ways besides hunger relief. King Eider’s Pub in Damariscotta, Maine, knew that, due to the down economy, some of its neighbors were having to decide between buying groceries for their families and paying their heating bill. The pub established the Lincoln County Community Energy fund to help people pay their heating bills in the cold winter months. Because of its commitment to its community, King Elder’s Pub won the NRAEF’s 2012 Restaurant Neighbor Award. Sponsored by American Express, the award celebrates outstanding charitable service by restaurant operators.
In 2011, the NRAEF’s Restaurant Neighbor Award winner, Kona Kai, partnered with the Halo Network Foundation to offer a six-week training program for people in need. The program included on-the-job training in espresso-making and other foodservice and hospitality skills. Meanwhile, in Oklahoma, a McDonald’s franchisee closed a restaurant for renovations, but set aside money to pay employees to volunteer during the process. Forty employees participated in the volunteer program.
The NRAEF has found that charitable programs are more successful when employees are actively involved. Today, the industry wants to be more involved with charities, serving on boards and offering volunteer opportunities for staff. An employee-driven initiative helps boost morale, as well. Employees feel good knowing they are not only doing their job, but also are making a difference in the lives of those in need.
Giving back to the community is a way to give thanks to the patrons that support their favorite restaurants 365 days a year.
(BPT) - When lives are on the line, Navy Aviation Rescue Swimmers answer the call. These brave men and women embody the courage of America’s Navy – often going into harm’s way to complete their rescue missions in some of the most extreme environments imaginable.
As an Aviation Rescue Swimmer, you will be part of a tightly knit group, dedicated to being the top emergency response unit in the world. You’ll put the lives of others before your own – applying your intense physical and mental training to challenging real-world situations where there’s often no margin for error.
While Search and Rescue Swimmers are associated with a ship, Navy Aviation Rescue Swimmers are attached to an aircraft. This means that Aviation Rescue Swimmers jump out of a helicopter into extreme conditions to complete their task, while Search and Rescue Swimmers work from a Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat. Their starting point may differ, but their mission remains the same: save lives in a time of crisis.
Without hesitation, you must be prepared to enter the most treacherous conditions to provide recovery and relief to those in need. That could involve jumping from hundreds of feet out of helicopters into the ocean. Using your search and rescue swimming skills to ensure safety, or using evasion, resistance and escape techniques to save those in need.
Some of the many duties you may have as an Aviation Rescue Swimmer include:
* Saving pilots of downed aircraft, people aboard stranded or capsized vessels at sea, or even hikers and mountain climbers in danger on land
* Rescuing civilians during natural disasters and collaborating with other forces, such as the Coast Guard during the joint rescue missions that saved thousands of lives in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita and the tsunami in Indonesia
* Working as a Crew Chief on a helicopter, making sure the rescue swimmer and the pilots’ actions are in sync
* Delivering aid and supplies to other countries in humanitarian operations
* Providing support to Naval Special Warfare Operations
* Conducting surveillance in anti-submarine warfare and drug interdiction operations
No college degree is required to become a Navy Aviation Rescue Swimmer, but a high degree of difficulty and satisfaction come standard with nearly everything you’ll do. Training is tough and ongoing.
For more information about opportunities to serve as an Aviation Rescue Swimmer, visit www.navy.com/air-rescue.