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Johnson selects two more charities for Helmet of Hope

BRISTOL, Tenn. (Aug. 20, 2010) – Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina (Charlotte, N.C.) and the YWCA of San Diego County (San Diego, Calif.) are two of 13 charities which will be featured on the Jimmie Johnson Foundation Samsung Helmet of Hope at Auto Club Speedway in October.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina’s Kids Café program and the YWCA of San Diego County’s Becky’s House will each receive a $10,000 grant.

The Charlotte Observer’s Jim Utter nominated Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina and their Kids Café program. The Kids Café program partners with agencies that serve children at risk of hunger and provides nutritious meals and snacks at those sites.

“In Mecklenburg County (N.C.) alone, as many as one in every six children is at risk for going to bed hungry every night,” explained Utter. “One can hardly do well in school or at play on an empty stomach.”

Greg Flores of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. nominated the YWCA of San Diego County’s Becky’s House.  Becky’s House is the first long-term transitional housing community in the City of San Diego for victims of domestic violence and their children.

“Achieving goals takes teamwork, dedication and sacrifice; characteristics that Hendrick Motorsports, Jimmie Johnson and the YWCA of San Diego County share,” Flores said. “Because children who witness domestic violence are more likely to become abusers or victims of abuse as adults, it is important to me that the YWCA’s Children’s Health, Hope and Healing Program continues to provide services that break the cycle of violence and prevent abusive behaviors from being passed down from generation to generation.”

“Every year over 200 children who, with their mothers, are fleeing domestic violence find safety at the YWCA’s Becky’s House,” added Flores. “There, children receive the supportive services needed to succeed in school and begin the journey to achieve their dreams.”

Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina is one of eight Charlotte, N.C.-based charities that have received a spot on the Samsung Helmet of Hope since its inception in 2008. The others are Classroom Central, Loaves & Fishes, National MS Society Mid-Atlantic Chapter, Hendrick Marrow Program, Lowe’s Toolbox for Education, Care Ring and Birthday Blessings.
In its third year, the Samsung Helmet of Hope program is a partnership of the Jimmie Johnson Foundation, Samsung and Lowe’s.  Fans and media members across the country have the opportunity to nominate their children’s charity of choice to be featured on Johnson’s helmet for a select race.  New this year, selected charities will also receive a grant of $10,000.  This partnership is part of the Samsung Hope for Children program, a corporate giving program that aligns athletes and retail partners to help children learn, live and thrive. 
Johnson will draw one winner from a list of media submissions and one from a list of fan submissions each race weekend through the Atlanta event in September.  Current selected charities include: Beads of Courage (Tucson, Ariz.), Hunter’s Hope Foundation (Orchard Park, N.Y.), Foundation for Faces of Children (Brookline, Mass.), The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation (Santa Barbara, Calif.), The Racingawareness.com Foundation (Grand Rapids, Mich.), Care Ring (Charlotte, N.C.), Birthday Blessings (Charlotte, N.C.) and Cookies for Cancer (Califon, N.J.). They join the Feeding America® Kids Café program, which was nominated by Samsung to kick-off this year’s campaign program.  The Kids Café program works to address the growing epidemic facing children’s hunger. 
Fans and media members may nominate their charity by visiting www.helmetofhope.org. The nomination process will close on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010 at 5 p.m. ET.

For more information about the most recently selected charities, visit www.secondharvestcharlotte.org and www.ywcasandiego.org.

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