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Young Entrepreneur

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YEC Members Give Back to Fight Hunger, Disease and More

YEC members do a lot to help others, from building high-impact organizations with a social focus (read more about that here), to working social-impact strategies into their product-based businesses (more on that, here). Further, many of our members give to charity, or start their own charitable organizations.

Today, we're highlighting a few members who range the spectrum, from founding non-profits to setting fundraising records.

1. Brittany Hodak: Per Diems Against Poverty

Hodak and Barker

YEC member Brittany Hodak, co-founder of entertainment marketing company ZinePack, co-founded Per Diems Against Poverty with her cousin Jennifer Barker. The charity reallocates donated per diems from both individuals and corporations to those struggling against food insecurity. Shortly after its incorporation this past May, Per Diems Against Poverty partnered with Feeding America, a non-profit that serves 46.4 million Americans and leads the fight against hunger in communities nationwide.

After flying to Los Angeles to appear on Shark Tank with ZinePak co-founder Kim Kaupe, Hodak was inspired to start Per Diems Against poverty when she realized just how much food she could purchase with her per diem from the show. After recognizing that per diems -- funds given to cover expenses while traveling -- are constant across many professions in the U.S., she wanted to find away to reallocate that money to those in need. Since per diems are often union mandated, and frequently given to those who may not need them, she hoped to offer a way for others to give back too.

By keeping a low overhead, Per Diems Against Poverty donates 100 percent of the per diem funds they receive to Feeding America.

"Due to their vast resources, Feeding America can distribute nutritionally-balanced meals for as little as ten cents. The average per diem in the United States is $58.50 -- that's enough to distribute almost 600 meals to Americans in need!" Says Hodak.

You can learn more about their mission, or how to get involved, at PerDiems.org.


2. Phil Laboon: Help set a fundraising record for Cystic Fibrosis

Phil Laboon Cystic Fibrosis

This summer, YEC member Phil Laboon, founder of Eyeflow Internet Marketing, helped set a fundraising record for Cystic Fibrosis. As part of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation fundraiser -- where 50 of Pittsburgh's movers and shakers raised money to help those living with the illness -- he teamed up with the owner of Nakama resturant to raise money in the South Side of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. On August 2nd, they threw the South Side 17th Street Spectacular, a massive block party featuring food trucks, live music and a silent auction. Together, they raised $31,865.

"The owner of Nakama, who has a family member affected by CF, and I teamed up to raise money in the South Side. It just seemed like a great cause that needed attention, and I was happy to help," said Laboon in this article.

You can read more about the summer fundraising challenge and the outcomes in the Pittsburg Post-Gazette here.


If you're a YEC member and want to share news about an awesome charity you've started -- or another exciting accomplishment -- let us know, here.