On Saturday, September 17 local nonprofit, The Soldiers Project, received the high honor of being named Charity of the Year at the CLASSY Awards ceremony in downtown San Diego.
The Soldiers Project is a group of licensed mental health professionals who offer free psychological treatment to military service members (active duty, National Guard, Reserves and veterans) who have served or who expect to serve in the conflicts in Iraq or Afghanistan.
The CLASSY Awards is the largest philanthropic awards ceremony in the country, recognizing the most outstanding philanthropic achievements by charities, businesses and individuals nationwide. The 3rd annual event was hosted by actress and philanthropist Jamie-Lynn Sigler and attracted nearly 1,600 people, including nonprofit and technology leaders and numerous CLASSY Awards supporters.
After going through several rounds of judging and voting, winners were chosen from 2,000 nominations and their stories inspired more than 250,000 people to cast their vote.
This year, CLASSY Awards winners and nominees impacted the lives of more than 200,000,000 people worldwide. Their efforts spanned 71 countries and were monumental! This year’s CLASSY Awards participants successfully donated 15 million pounds of food, gave 4,108 service dogs to people in need, 1 million meals to orphans in Haiti, helped 18,274,522 students through various education initiatives, provided 68,000 flights to help transport sick children, planted and saved 46,013 trees, converted 63 tons of garbage into construction materials, and served 7,813,200 meals to the hungry.
Here is a list of the 12 CLASSY Award winners that earned a piece of $150,000 for their national philanthropic achievements:
Charity of the Year: The Soldiers Project from Los Angeles, California
Small Charity of the Year: Long Way Home, Inc. from Dallas, Texas
Best New Charity: Marley’s Mission from Scranton, Pennsylvania
Philanthropic Business of the Year: Panera Bread from Saint Louis, Missouri
Philanthropic Small Business of the Year: Nika Water from San Diego, California
Most Creative Fundraiser by a Charity: Alex’s Lemonade Stand from Wynnewood, Pennsylvania
Most Successful Fundraiser by an Individual or Group: Blanchard Memorial School’s 6th Grade Class from Boxborough, Massachusetts
Most Effective Awareness Campaign by a Charity: Invisible Children from San Diego, California
Most Influential College Student or College Organization: Northwestern University Dance Marathon from Evanston, Illinois
Most Innovative Use of Social Media by a Charity: I’m Too Young for This! Cancer Foundation from Manhattan, New York
Volunteer of the Year: Troy Yocum from Louisville, Kentucky
Young Nonprofit Leader of the Year: Faith Huckel/Restore NYC from Manhattan, New York
StayClassy is a fast-growing San Diego-based startup that develops an online fundraising product used by thousands of Nonprofit organizations around the world. The company was founded in 2006 by a couple of friends who were looking to fundraise for charity, but didn’t know how to get started. They envisioned a platform that made it easy for Nonprofits to turn their supporters into fundraisers; and so, they set off to build one. After years of testing their concept with dozens of Nonprofits, their initial idea has evolved into what is now an industry-leading online fundraising solution for Charities, Foundations, Churches, Schools, Clubs and more. Recently, the founders were selected by Bloomberg Businessweek as one of the top 5 most promising social entrepreneurs in America. The company is also the host of the Classy Awards, the largest philanthropic awards show in the Country.
For more information on the CLASSY Awards and the Winners, visit www.classyawards.org