Match_Donations
Eastern Europe has become overwhelmed with migrants, waiting to board trains to Germany and other European countries.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been working with the EU diligently to create protocols and ease overstretched countries like Greece and Italy by spreading out new arrivals.

Most refugees are headed to Germany, where the country has made it clear they are accepting refugees giving them opportunities to build their lives. Other countries, such as Hungary, have completely shut their doors to fleeing refugees and have threatened to jail illegal refugees caught trying to cross into the nation.

Google, one of the most influential companies in the world has created a campaign to match donations for refugees in crisis. The campaign is called “onetoday”. Google hopes the campaign will inspire greater giving amongst humanity.Google has offered to match donations up to $5.5 million in user donations with tax deductions for U.S. citizens.

The funds will be split evenly between four organizations that Google feels have strong track records of successfully providing aid and have been on the front line since day one. These organizations include Doctors Without Borders (DWB), International Rescue Committee, Save the Children, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Refugees and fleeing migrants are in desperate need of medicine, clothing and food. The four organizations are working in unison to address the different needs. DWB is providing refugees with everything from psychological care and is committed to set up hospitals in refugee camps as well as helping women give birth safely.

In addition, International Rescue Committee is providing relief to refugees reaching the shores of Greece as well as Afghanistan and Syria. They also help resettle thousands of refugees every year in the United States.

Save the Children is another organization that has been working on providing shelter kits and sustainable foods. UNHCR has been working particularly with the Syrian refugees to provide life-saving assistance such as protection, shelter food, and receptions centers where refugees can be registered.

The response and outpouring has been overwhelming but more support, aid and love is needed in a hurry to deal with the migrant crisis.

Adnan Khalid

Sources: The Guardian 1, The Guardian 2, The Guardian 3, End Gadget, Google
Photo: arageek

Google to Raise Millions for Refugee Aid
With the refugee crisis in Syria showing no signs of slowing down, any help provided to those in need could potentially save lives. With this in mind, Google has taken the initiative to offer refugee aid by matching donations up to millions of dollars.

The tech giant has pledged to match up to approximately $5.5 million in donations to various human rights organizations. The four organizations the money will go toward will be Doctors Without Borders, Save the Children, the International Rescue Committee and the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

Google has already built itself a sizable reputation as a charitable company. Google has previously donated over $1 million to various relief efforts. Google is hoping that this latest effort will snowball and lead to around $11 million in donations overall.

“These nonprofits are helping deliver essential assistance, including shelter, food and water and medical care, and looking after the security and rights of people in need,” Google said in a recent statement.

Adding a more personal touch to the push, this announcement was accompanied by a blog post from Google employee Rita Masoud, who fled from Kabul to Europe when she was a child.

“Our journey involved many dark train and bus rides, as well as hunger, thirst, cold and fear,” Masoud wrote. “Fortunately we received asylum in The Netherlands where I grew up in a safe environment and was able to find my way in life. I was lucky. But as the refugee and migrant crisis in Europe has grown, many people like my family are desperate for help.”

The campaign can be located here at Refugee Relief.

Alexander Jones

Sources: CNBC, Engadget, USA Today
Photo: Google Images

Corporate Matching
What is corporate matching? When a company recognizes the charitable actions of their employees and decides to match that same altruistic nature through financial means. The following companies practice corporate matching (and are in no particular order).

1. General Electric

Today, the GE Foundation matches over 35 million dollars annually to nonprofit and educational institutions.

2. Google

Matching up to over $12,000 in donations per employee each year, Google has been highlighted as a company that not only matches charitable giving, but also matches funds employees personally raise for charities.

3. CarMax

Matching to nearly every nonprofit organization, CarMax’s 1:1 match policy on all donations applies to not only all employees, but all of the employees’ dependents until the age of 26.

4. Soros Fund Management

This company has the highest matching gift ratio (3:1 match for employees and 2:1 match for partners) of any corporation, creating a high incentive for Soros families to give.

5. Boeing

Boeing matches both employee and retiree donations. In addition, they provide a $100 grant to a nonprofit every time an employee participates in a charitable event (run/walk/bike type events).

6. BP

This company offers every type of employee giving with their generous giving programs. BP allows for the public to track all of its charitable spending in addition to the standard 1:1 matching.

7. Gap Corporation

Including many of the Gap subsidiaries, Gap employees can request matches made to majority of nonprofit based organizations. They also offer the most comprehensive and user-friendly online match system. Gifts made within the company can range from $1,000 to $10,000.

8. Microsoft

Through employee giving within the company, more that $1 billion was donated to charitable organizations within the match program.

9. Johnson & Johnson

All company employees, including retirees, are eligible to request up to $10,000 in donation matching. They also have a 2:1 matching ratio for current employees, and a 1:1 rate for all retirees.

10. Bank of America

With a 1:1 matching for all family members, including those of part-time employees, Bank of America has a $5,000 matching cap and has a longer period of acceptance for those matches than other companies.

– Alysha Biemolt

Sources: Double the Donation 1, Double the Donation 2, Double the Donation 3,

remote areas
Google has partnered with the French space agency, the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales, to provide rural and remote areas of the world with Internet access. The partnership aims to reach higher ground with the Project Loon initiative.

Project Loon is a Google research and development project with the mission of providing Internet access to rural and remote areas. The project uses high altitude balloons to create an aerial wireless network that project Wi-Fi signals.

The balloons are solar powered and each is coordinated to make movements in a complex formation to provide continuous service. Google’s new approach on these balloons involves using technology with powerful satellites. Powerful satellites will provide more responsive Internet for the balloons to harness and spread.

They rise more than 60,000 feet above the Earth’s surface, placing them far beyond the reach of airplanes and atmospheric storm systems.

Satellite Internet is already becoming faster and more inexpensive at a steady rate. About 1.5 billion people get home Internet through a satellite connection, though only 0.2 percent of people in developed countries are connected through satellite.

Google wants to launch 100,000 balloons into the stratosphere to offer free Internet access in remote and rural locations around the world, and retrieve them when they lose air and fall to the ground.

To date, there are 75 Google balloons airborne, hovering somewhere near the far reaches of the Southern Hemisphere. These balloons automatically regulate their altitudes according to the algorithms to catch wind drafts and keep them on path.

A majority of the world still lacks Internet access, even after the 1.8 billion people that joined the Internet in 2014. An astounding 4.4 billion people still have never been online.

Internet access can benefit those in developing countries, especially those in India, where the population has more mobile phones than sanitary toilets. In India, over 1 billion people are still offline.

Moreover, China’s massive population of 1.3 people may be iPhone-obsessed, but more than half of its population still remains disconnected.

The Internet can be a useful tool for farmers, as access to the Internet allows farmers to be updated on constant climate changes, and projected problems in the seasons that may affect crop growth. Moreover, Internet access can also be a useful education tool used in schools for learning, and it can improve literacy rates.

Google’s balloons may sound expensive, but research actually indicates that these balloons are cheaper than setting up and maintaining cell towers, and the balloons are also more effective to bring access to remote areas.

Although Google’s project has faced criticism and doubts along the process among Project Loon, Google notes that the next big step is testing how the balloons handle thousands of pounds of pressure.

Google’s engineers have spent weeks trying to isolate any problems they had in the past with the balloons that are already hovering over vast remote areas. Google has the potential to deliver its promise of Internet access across the world and to regions that have been without it with precise research and design.

Sandy Phan

Sources: Google, NPR
Photo: Digital Trends