Chicago, Illinois (PressExposure) December 08, 2011 -- For the fourth consecutive year, Allstate Insurance Company is paying tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by encouraging individuals to volunteer in their communities on MLK Day 2012 (Jan. 16) through its Give Back Day program (allstate.com/givebackday). Former NFL quarterback and co-founder of the HollyRod Foundation Rodney Peete is helping launch the program along with four outstanding community heroes who are recognized as leading volunteers in their communities. Peete and the four Heroes will be guiding Give Back Day activities in their home cities with Allstate.
The four exemplary individuals who have been named as 2012 Allstate Give Back Day Heroes are:
Joyce Calvin, Chicago
John Darjean, Dallas
Alexandria Phillips, Atlanta
"The Allstate Give Back Day Heroes are remarkable individuals who selflessly give back, keeping Dr. King's legacy alive through their passionate commitment to service," said Vicky Dinges, vice president of public social responsibility for Allstate. "Their volunteer efforts reflect the values and causes important to Allstate and communities across America. We hope their stories inspire others to put their good hands to work in their own communities every day and on Jan. 16, in honor of Dr. King."
On behalf of the Give Back Day Heroes, Allstate is making a donation of $2,500 to a charity of each hero's choice. These remarkable individuals help create positive, sustainable change in their communities by volunteering to address important causes like domestic violence, economic empowerment and mentoring at-risk youth. Heroes will attend The King Center's "Salute to Greatness" Awards in Atlanta on Jan.14, 2012, for a celebration of individuals and organizations that exemplify excellence in leadership.
In addition, Peete will be attending a special Allstate Give Back Day volunteer event in Atlanta on MLK Day 2012. "It is an honor for me to be associated with this committed and selfless group of heroes. I have always believed in getting involved in causes that you are passionate about, and it's great to see these individuals mirroring the spirit of Dr. King by giving back," said Peete, who spent 16 years in the NFL as a quarterback. Peete and wife Holly's HollyRod Foundation, which helps those living with autism and Parkinson's disease, is currently developing plans to open their first "HollyRod4kids Compassionate Care Center for Autism" in Los Angeles, a central location where families in the autism community can go for support, guidance, treatment and hope.
Individuals interested in participating in Allstate Give Back Day 2012 can visit allstate.com/GiveBackDay to find local volunteer opportunities via VolunteerMatch, an online search engine promoting volunteerism and civic engagement by matching volunteers with charitable organizations and non-profits. Visitors to the website can view profiles of the four Allstate Give Back Day Heroes and learn about their community involvement through a series of video interviews. In 2011, more than 1,500 Allstate employees, agency owners and community members volunteered in dozens of cities across the country on Give Back Day.
Allstate's 2012 Give Back Day Heroes
Joyce Calvin, Chicago - A survivor of domestic violence, Joyce Calvin founded Women of Valor Ministry (WOVM), a non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging, empowering and equipping women and girls to develop their full potential. Since its inception, WOVM has reached more than 10,000 women through skills development, domestic violence workshops, health and wellness conferences, one-on-one interaction and retreats. Calvin also serves as a project coordinator for the All Faiths Against Domestic Violence Project at the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women's Networks. In 2011, she published her first book, Sister to Sister Support for the Abused Woman: Beauty for Ashes. Calvin currently serves as president of the Women in Ministry and Business Alliance (WIMBA) and executive director of WOVM.
Robert Cradle, Baltimore - In 2001, Robert Cradle was running a successful barbershop when he realized that he wanted his career to make more of an impact. He decided to put his skills to use and started Rob's Barbershop Community Foundation (R.B.C.F), which provides grooming services for the homeless and children in need throughout Baltimore. Over the past ten years, the projects sponsored by R.B.C.F. have provided over 16,000 services to 6,000 homeless and/or individuals in need. The foundation currently has shops operating at transitional shelters and drug treatment programs. Baltimore's community members who otherwise could not afford these types of services are now able to attend job interviews or school with a neat and clean appearance, not to mention a heightened sense of self-confidence. In 2010, Cradle was granted the NAACP Humanitarian Award for his extensive work in the Baltimore community.
John Darjean, Dallas - John Darjean has served as a mentor and coach for the past ten years, teaching inner-city youth the fundamentals of baseball in an effort to keep them off the streets and out of trouble. Darjean grew up in a rough neighborhood and struggled in school but baseball was the one thing that helped keep him out of trouble. After four years playing minor league baseball for the New York Yankees, Darjean started Majors 2 Minors, a baseball league for inner-city kids. He also co-founded the Dallas Baseball Alliance, a program leveraging the fundamentals of baseball to teach kids discipline and life skills. A lifelong volunteer with the Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation, having endured sickle cell traits since birth, Darjean also volunteers with the Dallas Police Athletic League and the American Cancer Society.
Alexandria Phillips, Atlanta - Never-ending compassion for humankind was instilled in Alexandria Phillips at a very early age. Phillips was five years old when she moved with her mother from their hometown near Kansas City, Mo., to the Dominican Republic for a year-long stay in a poverty stricken village. In 2011, she served as Haiti Team intern at the Clinton Foundation and worked for the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting. She was also recently named an Opportunity Nation Scholar. Phillips, 21, is currently a senior at Spelman College in Atlanta where she is majoring in International Studies and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta, the Student United Way, Actively Changing Tomorrow through Service (ACTS) and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. After graduation, Phillips hopes to work for a non-profit.