Hometown Heroes — Reaching Out, From Within

Big Apple-based Graphic Systems Group teamed with Saks Fifth Avenue and charity: water for a six-store fund-raising event.

Jack Weber volunteers for Acts 4 Youth, an educational, recreational and mentoring program to help at-risk kids turn their lives around and keep them off the streets, in school and on the right track to a better life.

Personally hand-picking and interviewing the applicants, Weber makes his selections based on qualifications that include “work skills, ability to communicate, good attitude and friendliness, and an eagerness to succeed or get back into life.”

Considering the printing industry is experiencing a labor shortage, Weber says other printers could benefit from hiring ex-offenders, who are usually quite competent working with machinery. “Other skills they bring are enthusiasm and gratitude to work, willingness to follow work orders and a sense of satisfaction of giving back to employers/owners.”

Another charity that holds a very special place in Weber’s heart is Acts 4 Youth (A4Y). This program aims to reduce neighborhood violence by mentoring at-risk kids. As a dedicated advocate of A4Y, Weber donates his time and service to create unique opportunities in the lives of troubled young boys—many of whom are raised by single mothers.

With the help of people like Weber, Acts 4 Youth offers educational, recreational and mentoring activities that can turn their lives around during a crucial stage in their development—and help keep them off the streets, in school and on the right track to a better life. “And, Acts 4 Youth provides opportunities for these youths to see black male leaders, foremen and managers, and owners of businesses,” he adds.

“It is within my power to give, and my choice is to give back,” Weber maintains. “I see my print operation as an opportunity to connect with others that need another chance to succeed.”

Water—The Source of Life

While you’re chugging back that bottle of cold, spring water, consider these facts: The need for clean water now affects one in six worldwide. Currently, 1.1 billion people on the planet lack access to clean, safe drinking water. More than 4,500 children die each day from diseases caused by a lack of safe drinking water and proper sanitation. In sub-Saharan Africa, a baby’s chance of dying from diarrhea is almost 52 times greater than in the United States. Diseases like diarrhea are caused by drinking contaminated water and kill more than 2.2 million people each year—the equivalent of 20 jumbo jets crashing every day.

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