INO Cares - WV Flood Relief

This past week has been crazy! The news has been dominated by Brexit, the house sit-in, and the ever entertaining presidential campaign. There was also tremendous tragedy in West Virginia as devastating floods took lives and destroyed homes. A few members of our staff live in this wild and wonderful state. Although they are safe, many of their state's residents are suffering great losses.

We have donated to the flood relief efforts as part of our INO Cares campaign. We hope that our contribution will be used to provide both material and emotional comfort for the flood victims.

If you have it in your hearts to contribute to the West Virginia Flood Relief, there are many ways to do so. Below you will find a few organizations that are trying to make a difference for this broken community.

Red Cross
United Methodist Foundation of WV (Memo: Flood)

I hope you'll keep following along as we try to make the world just a little bit better with random acts of kindness.

Best,
Lindsay Bittinger
INO.com, Inc.

Miriam's Kitchen - INO Cares November 2015

Every month this year, we've asked an employee to nominate a cause for our INO Cares campaign. So far this year we've helped St. Judes, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Anne Arundel Medical Center, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Maryland Therapeutic Riding, Bike Like A Girl and more really amazing organizations.

This month was a little different as all of us wanted to go back and serve at Miriam's Kitchen. We dug out our aprons and hats and jumped into the kitchen in Washington, D.C., serving a delicious meal to over 160 men and women of the chronically homeless community.

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Last year after we finished our dinner shift, staff members immediately asked, "when can we do this again?" So of course this was our staff pick for INO Cares this year!

There is something so satisfying about giving both money and manpower to an organization that is doing amazing things in our area.

Once again this year we had a great time working side-by-side with our fellow colleagues and sharing a little love with random strangers. The staff at Miriam's is phenomenal and their passion for service is simply contagious. The smiles of the guests are heartwarming and we hope the food nourished their bodies as much as the evening nourished our souls.

There are over 7,000 homeless individuals in Washington, D.C., 1,764 of which are chronically homeless. Miriam's Kitchen is committed to ending homelessness in D.C. by establishing meaningful relationships with chronically homeless individuals, connecting them with permanent supportive housing, and ensuring they have the necessary support to remain in housing.

Miriam's Kitchen serves breakfast and dinner to 200-300 people each day, 365 days a year. They also provide mental health services, medical services, legal services, therapeutic resources, clothing and toiletries and housing assistance. To learn more about Miriam's Kitchen or how you can help, please visit www.miriamskitchen.org.

Best,
Lindsay Bittinger
The INO Cares Team

CF Cycle For Life - INO Cares September 2015

Yes, I know it's not September, but there were two great events that we wanted to participate in and they both fell in October.

CF Cycle For Life 2015On Sunday, October 11th, INO.com employees broke out their spandex and jumped on their bikes to participate in the Cystic Fibrosis Cycle For Life. The ride started and finished in Herrington Harbour in North Beach, Maryland. The event raised over $40K for Cystic Fibrosis research.

Cystic Fibrosis is a life-threatening genetic disorder that causes persistent lung infections and progressively limits the ability to breathe. Approximately 30K people are living with CF in the United States. The mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is to cure cystic fibrosis and to provide all people with the disease the opportunity to lead full, productive lives by funding research and drug development, promoting individualized treatment and ensuring access to high-quality, specialized care.

It was a chilly morning, but our riders did their 40 miles and then enjoyed the after-party put on by the CF Foundation. This was INO.com's second year riding in the CF Cycle For Life and we were happy to raise money and awareness for CF once again!

We really want to hear from you! What organizations or events should be included in our 2016 INO Cares calendar? We'd love to hear what organizations are important to you.

Best,
Lindsay Bittinger
INO.com, Inc.

AAMC NICU - INO Cares August 2015

This month, our Director of External Advertising, Kenny Shay, picked our INO Cares recipient. Kenny thought long and hard about who in our community needed our help. He found himself torn between a few causes, but decided that he wanted to share some love with the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Maryland.

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When Kenny’s first daughter, Kendall, was born in February of 2014, she spent some time in the NICU at AAMC. In what is a confusing and stressful time for the whole family, the staff, especially the NICU nurses, provided genuine care and comfort. He was so touched by the amazing treatment that he and his daughter received that he wanted INO to show our support for the nurses, the NICU babies, and their families.

For The Nurses
Long shifts and late hours makes coffee a necessity. We purchased Starbucks gifts cards to pay for those all important coffee runs for the NICU staff.

For The Babies
We went on a shopping spree to provide the NICU with newborn outfits for their little patients. We purchased the girls and boys some seasonal and everyday outfits and made sure to send some Soothie pacifiers for some sweet comfort.

For The Parents
AAMC's NICU has an amazing Journey Bead program. This program provides bracelets to the mothers of these bitty babies. As their child hits NICU milestones, the mothers are given beads for their bracelets to mark these significant moments. When their bracelet is finished, their babies are ready to go home. INO.com was happy to provide a donation to help fund this program.

Kenny knows how difficult this time is for the parents and also realizes how emotional and physically exhausting a NICU job must be.

Thank you to the staff at AAMC NICU. It takes so much strength and love to provide relief for vulnerable babies and parents during such a critical time. We appreciate what you do for the families in our community! We hope that our gift basket helped brighten your day and helped to provide some goodies for the parents and babies in your NICU. You all truly do something so wonderful.

If there are any causes that are important to you, please tell us about them! We’d love to pick organizations nominated by our blog visitors for next year’s INO Cares campaign.

Best,
Lindsay Bittinger
INO.com, Inc.

Bike Like A Girl - INO Cares June 2015

INO.com President, Adam Hewison, is a giant fan of cycling! You may have already noticed this, as many of our INO Cares campaigns revolve around the sport of cycling.

Adam busted through my office door one day with great enthusiasm and excitement. He told me all about Bike Like A Girl, an 8-woman team participating in Race Across America (RAAM), who are raising money and awareness by empowering girls and women through cycling. Adam wanted to jump right in and become a Continental Cruiser Sponsor for this team of powerful women, many of whom are from our very own neighborhood. If they succeed, this Bike Like A Girl team will be only the second women-only team in history to complete the race!

We are proud to sponsor them for our June INO Cares campaign.

The race will begin on June 20th, 2015 in Oceanside, CA. The team hopes to finish the race in Annapolis, Maryland, 7 days later on June 27th. INO.com employees and other cycling enthusiasts will cheer on these women as they cycle down Main St. to the Annapolis Harbor.

As one of their premium sponsors, we will follow these women as they cycle across our great nation and attempt to set a new transcontinental record. We will share maps, videos, pictures and more.

If you would like to contribute to Bike Like A Girl, please visit their website. All donations are fully tax deductible through a 501(c)(3). Contributions will be used to support programs through World Bicycle Relief, Women’s Cycling Association and Bicycle Advocates for Annapolis & Anne Arundel County.

We hope you'll enjoy the updates on the RAAM and the Bike Like A Girl Team as they write their own piece of history.

Best,
Lindsay Bittinger
INO.com, Inc.