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Charities that help people in adirect, personal and accountable way - and receive mainly private funding -are encouraged to apply for the 2004 Samaritan Award. The competition,sponsored by the Acton Institute's Center for Effective Compassion ,recognizes America's leading charities and gives them greater visibilitywith prospective donors.

Deadline for the 2004 Samaritan Award program is September 1, 2004. Charities usingthe online form will be eligible for a special prize of $500. Forms may alsobe requested by calling (866) 638-1742. Or, the application request may befaxed on letterhead to the Acton Institute at (616) 454-9454.

The 2004 Samaritan Award grand prize is $10,000. In addition, ninerunners-up will receive a package of management consulting services valuedat more than $1,000. Nonprofits, 501(c)(3)s, grassroots organizations, andchurch programs are all invited to apply.

Samaritan Award winners will be announced at the Toward Effective CompassionConference, hosted by Acton's Center for Effective Compassion, inWashington, D.C., on Dec. 2. The conference, featuring leading speakers fromthe philanthropy world, will be held at the Kellogg Conference Center atGallaudet University. Confirmed speakers include Robert Woodson, ExecutiveDirector of the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise; Dr. AmySherman, Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute and director of its Faith inCommunities Initiative; Stanley Carlson-Theis, director of the CivitasProgram in Faith in Public Affairs at the Center for Public Justice; and PatFagan, the William H.G. FitzGerald Research Fellow in Family and CulturalIssues at The Heritage Foundation.

About the Acton Institute

With its commitment to pursue a society that is free and virtuous, the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty is a leading voice in the national environmental and social policy debate. The Acton Institute is uniquely positioned to comment on the sound economic and moral foundations necessary to sustain humane environmental and social policies.

The Acton Institute is a nonprofit, ecumenical think tank located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Institute works internationally to "promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles."

Interviews with Institute staff may be arranged by contacting John Couretas at (616) 454-3080 or at