Emma gives free e-mail to 25 nonprofits for holidays

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E-mail marketing services firm Emma is giving away 25 free accounts to charitable groups around the world as part of its annual Emma 25 initiative.

Now in its third year, Emma 25 is a program in which Emma and its customers team up to give marketing and communication help to charities.

"The goal is simple: to help these organizations spread the word about the great work they're doing in their communities," said Suzanne Norman, director of community relations at Emma, Nashville, TN. "They'll be able to organize and expand their lists of donors, members and volunteers, create HTML e-mail campaigns and track how those folks responded."

Each year, Emma's customers nominate their favorite charities, and the Emma staff selects 25 to award with a free year of Emma's services account and custom-designed brand stationery.

This year's winners include charities that combat illness including cancer fund Gilda's Club of Delaware Valley, PA, headquartered in Warminster, PA; the Miller Harris Foundation, Nashville, TN, which sponsors a day camp for children with asthma; RSN Hope/Renal Support Network, Glendale, CA, that helps people with kidney disease; Mothers' Milk Bank in Austin, TX, which gives human milk for premature and sick infants; as well as One by One, Seattle, which works to prevent devastating childbearing injuries to women.

Some family charities that won free accounts include the student outreach focused Kindred Spirits, Nashville, TN; Children's Trust Foundation, Seattle, which works to strengthen families and prevent child abuse and neglect; and Community Food Matters, Nelson, British Columbia, which feeds needy families in B.C.'s West Kootenay region.

Nonprofits dedicated to the handicapped that will now be able to raise money and awareness through e-mail include The Learning Experience School, Miami, and Project HOPE Foundation Inc., Greenville, SC. Both give educational support to people with autism, Downs syndrome, and related disorders.

Charities working to provide housing to the homeless include the Hope Has a Face Foundation, Biloxi, MS, a nonprofit focused on helping Katrina victims rebuild, and Habitat for Humanity of Morgan County, AL, headquartered in Decatur, AL, which provides housing to low-income and at-risk families.

Education-focused charities that benefited with free Emma accounts include: Youth Arts New York, NY, which works to bring experiential arts education into New York public schools; Literacy North Halton in Halton Hills, Ontario, which holds literacy programs for adults who cannot read; Kansas City Young Audiences in Kansas City, MO, which facilitate arts classes and programs to more than 200,000 children; and Dedication to Special Education, Marin County, CA, which works to support schools serving children with special needs.

The selection process included many more charities in similar fields.

"We received plenty of nominations from the entire Emma community, each as deserving as the 25 we picked," Ms. Norman said. "The 25 charities we selected this year focus on serving the community they're in and helping the underprivileged."

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