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USA TODAY and RACHAEL RAY Show Launch Kindness Challenge

posted 17 Jan 2011, 05:18 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 17 Jan 2011, 05:19 ]

Five participants from will have six weeks to reach their philanthropic goals

MCLEAN, Va., Jan. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- USA TODAY and the RACHAEL RAY show announce the launch today of the Kindness Challenge. Five young volunteers from youth action organization will have six weeks to reach their philanthropic goals of making a difference for their chosen cause.

The challenge kicks off today in print in USA TODAY and on television on the RACHAEL RAY show. Additional coverage can be found online at The participants will be profiled this week and then work towards their goals for the next six weeks, documenting and tracking their progress for the public along the way with flip-cams and blog contributions.

Voting by the public will begin on February 28th at and a winner will be announced on March 14th in USA TODAY and on the RACHAEL RAY show.

"In a time when the world could use a little more kindness, we are thrilled to launch the Kindness Challenge in collaboration with the RACHAEL RAY show and These kids are inspiring, and through their efforts, will hopefully inspire Americans, no matter what age, to take on their own kindness challenge this year," said Christie GartonKindness editor and blogger for USA TODAY.

"I am so excited about the USA TODAY Kindness Challenge! Whether you live in a big city or a small town, it's important to find a way to give back that is meaningful to you. I hope that by sharing stories through the Kindness Challenge, people will be motivated to give back and get involved in their own community. It's always so inspiring to see kids step up to the plate and help out others in their own special way," said Rachael Ray.

The Kindness Challenge participants are:

  • Kylie Kuhns for Kelsey's Dream. After her sister passed away from cancer, Kuhns was inspired to help other children battling the disease. She started Kelsey's Dream, which donates Chemo Ducks to children's hospitals across the country.
  • Lizzie Marie Likness for Tasty Tidbits:  Educating Today for a Healthier Tomorrow. In efforts to combat obesity in her community, Likness opened a culinary business baking and selling all-natural goodies at her local farmer's market, and created a website to teach people how to cook healthy food.
  • Adin Lykken for Woofin' & Hoofin'. Lykken began the Woofin' & Hoofin' 5K race and Doggie Dash, consisting of a one mile jog for pet owners and their dogs to raise awareness for animal cruelty.
  • Allison Nguyen for Iced Capades Cakery. Nguyen donates cupcakes on a monthly basis to local homeless shelters to host birthday parties for whom they are otherwise
  • Jason Shah for Shah started, a free online tutoring system designed to help underprivileged youth prepare for the SAT. The organization has helped more than 30,000 students increase their SAT scores, by an average of 200 points.

The five participants are alumni of, one of the largest organizations in the U.S. that helps young people rock causes they care about. A driving force in creating a culture of volunteerism, is on track to activate two million young people in 2011.

RACHAEL RAY, the 2008 and 2009 Emmy® Award-winning Outstanding Talk Show, is distributed and produced by CBS Television Distribution in association with Harpo Productions, Scripps Networks and Watch Entertainment.  Janet Annino is executive producer. Joseph Freed and Shane Farley are co-executive producers. CBS Television Distribution is a unit of CBS Corp.

USA TODAY is a multi-platform news and information media company. Founded in 1982, USA TODAY's mission is to serve as a forum for better understanding and unity to help make the USA truly one nation. Today, through its newspaper, website and mobile platforms, USA TODAY connects readers and engages the national conversation. USA TODAY, the nation's number one newspaper in print circulation with an average of more than 1.8 million daily, and, an award-winning newspaper website  launched in 1995, reach a combined 5.9 million readers daily. USA TODAY is a leader in mobile applications with more than seven million downloads on mobile devices.  The USA TODAY brand also includes USA TODAY Education and USA TODAY Sports Weekly. USA TODAY is owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI).