Johnson & Johnson Announces U.S. “Champions of Care” Program Finalists

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NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. -- Johnson & Johnson, the Official Healthcare Sponsor of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, announced the six finalists for the US Champions of Care program, which was created to shine a spotlight on people who go above and beyond to do extraordinary things in caring for others.

Developed by Johnson & Johnson in support of its 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ sponsorship, the Champions of Care program invited individuals across the country to celebrate the most caring people in their lives and share their inspirational stories. From these stories, six finalists were selected and are profiled at www.careinspirescare.com. The public will select the grand prize winner who will attend the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ final match in Rio de Janeiro on July 13.

The Champions of Care program is a key element of the Johnson & Johnson CARE INSPIRES CARE™ campaign, based on the belief that one act of care can inspire another and, ultimately, create a more caring world. As part of its CARE INSPIRES CARE™ campaign, Johnson & Johnson is also inviting people to share their caring stories on the CARE INSPIRES CARE™ Facebook page. Every like and share on the CARE INSPIRES CARE™ Facebook page will be tracked via the "Caremeter" on the page, and people can participate in the conversation using #JNJ and #inspirecare. Johnson & Johnson has partnered with global NGO, Save the Children, as part of the program, and reaching key milestones will be celebrated throughout the months leading up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™.

“Through Champions of Care, Johnson & Johnson is celebrating those who selflessly care for others each and every day, and the six finalists are true examples of those who make a real difference in their communities,” said Holly Means, Vice President, Corporate Equity Strategy and Sponsorships, Johnson & Johnson. “Caring is at the core of Johnson & Johnson, and we are proud to celebrate those who care and inspire others to care through acts both big and small through our sponsorship of the 2014 FIFA World Cup BrazilTM.”

The need for the program was reinforced by findings from a nationwide survey conducted by Johnson & Johnson to better understand Americans’ sentiments on caring. The survey indicated that more than half (52%) of Americans believe that our nation has become less caring over the past five years. Further, the research found that nine out of ten Americans believe that caring should be encouraged more in our society and that everyone can find an extra five minutes a day to show they care, and inspire others through their actions.

Karla Martinez, co-host of Univision’s Despierta America, serves as ambassador for the Champions of Care program in the US and is helping to spread awareness of the impact that simple acts of care can have on the lives of others and society as a whole.

“Selecting six finalists from all of the incredible stories was not an easy task, and no matter who wins, each of the finalists is truly a ‘Champion of Care,’ said Ms. Martinez. “I am proud
to be part of this program and work with Johnson & Johnson to help show how one individual can make a difference in making the world a better place, and can inspire others to do the same.”

The six Champions of Care U.S. finalists are:

Dr. Elissa Brown, Westchester, NY - A clinical psychologist, Elissa works tirelessly on the prevention and treatment of childhood trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). After seeing the need for free access to therapy in her community, she in 2011 established the Child HELP Partnership, a program that provides free therapy services to underserved children in the New York City area dealing with trauma or grief.

Corinne Cannon, Washington, D.C. - A challenging night with her sleepless four-month old led Corinne to explore the connection between not having enough diapers for a baby and maternal depression. At the time, the closest diaper bank to her Washington, D.C. home was in Pennsylvania. This motivated her to help struggling families by establishing the DC Diaper Bank in 2009, which to date has distributed over 900,000 diapers to families in need.

Amalia Gonzalez, Chicago, IL - At 24 years old, Amalia has dedicated her life to caring for her sister with cerebral palsy. This commitment not only involves being a full-time caregiver, but also volunteering in her community to make her sister proud. While attending college and now as she pursues her professional career, Amalia has remained committed to her sister’s care, and also devotes countless hours to make a lasting impact in her community.

Maria Jaramillo, South Houston, TX - A teacher for 11 years in the underprivileged Hispanic community where she grew up, Maria wanted to create real change by helping her students overcome their insecurities and develop the confidence, skillset and ambition needed to continue their studies in college. With Maria’s guidance and dedication, hundreds of her students have gone on to earn college degrees and follow their career dreams.

Erik Tobiason, Barnard, VT - Erik combines his professional skills as a contractor and dedication to caring for others to build homes and schools for those worst affected by natural disasters. Erik also encourages volunteerism amongst high school students and has taken over 200 young people with him on his projects, as he believes their work at a young age will be the force that helps in future disasters.

Marty White, Elmsford, NY - A teacher for 25 years, Marty is dedicated to instilling values in his students that resonate beyond the classroom. From the very beginning of his career, Marty has taught his students the importance of volunteerism and giving back to the local area. His work has impacted thousands and has inspired more than two generations to dedicate time to care for others in their community.

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