How to Serve the Foundry Ministries

Foundry Ministries pic
Foundry Ministries

Ramon Arias, of Birmingham, Alabama, serves as the president of the Bravo Corporation, a pizza franchise that employs more than 800 people and won the 2009 Franchise of the Year award in Alabama. Ramon Arias also contributes to the Birmingham community by supporting a number of charities and nonprofits, including the Foundry Ministries.

With multiple locations throughout Alabama, the Foundry Ministries is committed to helping addicts and former convicts discover purpose through the guidance of Christ. The organization sees hope in those that many consider hopeless and believe that every person can achieve his or her potential and live a meaningful life.

Like all charitable organizations, the Foundry Ministries relies on volunteers and contributors to keep its vision alive. There are many ways for people to get involved:

1. Lend a hand at the thrift store recovery program.
2. Organize a food drive.
3. Help with lawn care maintenance at ministry locations.
4. Mentor recovery program participants.
5. Pack and serve produce bags for the mobile produce pantry.

The Foundry Ministries also accepts donations of any amount.


Feeding America’s Child Hunger Programs

BackPack Program pic
BackPack Program

Birmingham, Alabama resident Ramon Arias has served as president of the 800-employee pizza franchise Bravo Corporation since 2002. When he isn’t working, Ramon Arias actively supports Feeding America’s efforts throughout Birmingham and the entire state of Alabama.

A national non-profit organization, Feeding America has a myriad of programming specifically aimed at lowering hunger rates for certain groups of people. One of its most prevalent areas of work is its effort to end child hunger. The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that 13.1 million children in the United States are without consistent access to nutritious food. Two Feeding America programs designed to combat that number are the BackPack Program and Kids Cafe.

Launched more than 15 years ago, the BackPack Program provides healthy snacks and meals to children on the weekend, supplementing the work done through the National School Lunch/Breakfast Program. More than 160 food banks nationwide collect and distribute food to as many as 450,000 children each week.

The Kids Cafe program, launched in 1993, provides free snacks and meals to children with low-income backgrounds at various after-school centers such as YMCAs, Boys and Girls Clubs, and public schools. The program also includes nutrition education and various social and recreational activities.

NASL and USL Under Provisional Division II Status

American Soccer League (NASL) Image:
American Soccer League (NASL)



Ramon Arias is president of Bravo Corporation in Birmingham, Alabama. The successful pizza franchise employs more than 800 people and was voted Franchise of the Year in Alabama in 2009. When he is not overseeing operations, Ramon Arias enjoys watching soccer, a hobby that grew out of his family’s involvement with the game.

On January 6, 2017, the United States Soccer (USS) Board of Directors granted the North American Soccer League (NASL) and the United Soccer League (USL) provisional Division II status for the 2017 season. Qualifying for Division II status allows the teams to play for a spot in the Division I lineup, more commonly known as Major League Soccer. Division I requires greater commitment and year-long practices.

Although the NASL and USL met some of the requirements, they are both still under provisional status until they meet additional criteria designated by the USS board. During this period, an internal committee of the USS will work with the NASL and USL to help them achieve full Division II status.

United States Soccer President Sunil Gulati said this process allows for the larger goal of providing a sustainable future for soccer in the United States. He also added that the league looks forward to another productive year for professional soccer in this country.

The USL and NASL extended their gratitude through USL CEO Alec Papadakis and North Carolina FC owner Steve Malik. Both leagues are open to the process and excited to begin playing in the spring.

The Foundry’s Re-Entry Program

The Foundry pic
The Foundry

The president of Bravo Corporation in Birmingham, Alabama, Ramon Arias leads a successful pizza franchise with over 800 employees. Ramon Arias also gives back to the community by working with the job readiness and job re-entry programs of The Foundry Ministries in Bessemer, Alabama.

The Foundry began in 1971 with the aim of bringing back hope and restoring the lives of ex-inmates, the destitute, and addicts through Christ-centered ministries. One of the organization’s initiatives is its prison re-entry program. Every year, thousands of men are released from Alabama prisons. With little support, appropriate life skills, or relevant education, some former inmates resort to committing crimes again in order to survive.

The re-entry program is made up of two phases lasting six months. Ex-inmates live at The Foundry, where they are provided basic essentials such as shelter, food, and clothing and are assisted in acquiring legal documents such as a driver’s license. They take part in voluntary counseling, prayer, adult education, and financial management programs.

In the first phase, the men serve on-site in an “employment readiness” area to help get adjusted to the mainstream workforce. The next phase involves acquiring full-time or part-time employment out in the real world. With a salaried job, the participants pay a reasonable stipend for food and lodging while completing the final portion of the program. This entails living in transitional housing, receiving continued support and accountability, and eventually finding a permanent home.

Three Things You Don’t Know About the 1959 Film Ben-Hur



Ramon Arias, Birmingham, Alabama business owner, is responsible for a thriving restaurant franchise under the Bravo Corporation. When he is not tending to his many restaurants, Ramon Arias enjoys watching historical films in his Birmingham, Alabama home. His favorite movie is the classic Ben-Hur.

The 1959 film Ben-Hur, starring Charleston Heston, was a highly popular film in its day, and widely considered to be a great classic in modern times. The story of the movie’s making is popular in Hollywood, but fans may not know the following unusual facts from the great film’s creation.

1. Director William Wyler did not want to take on the project at first, as he considered the script to be weak. He reconsidered partially because he wanted to one-up Hollywood nemesis Cecil B. DeMille, who had just finished the Ten Commandments, and partially because MGM offered him a record-breaking salary.

2. In the film, Jesus was portrayed by opera singer Claude Heater. Mr. Heater’s face was not shown, and he was not credited for his role, out of religious reverence.

3. The set for the iconic chariot race was the largest set in history at the time. It was a historically accurate duplicate of a real Roman stadium, which required 40,000 tons of white sand and covered 18 acres.

Distinguishing between Virgin and Extra Virgin Olive Oils

Olive Oils pic
Olive Oils

A respected Birmingham, Alabama, entrepreneur, Ramon Arias leads Bravo Corporation. He oversees a restaurant franchise operation with an extensive footprint throughout the Birmingham metropolitan area. Ramon Arias has a longstanding interest in food and the way it is sourced from areas spanning the globe. With products labeled “extra virgin” recognized as of the highest quality, olive oil is one of the most distinctive products of the Mediterranean.

To receive the “virgin” label, olive oil must be made through simple pressing, without any of the modern industrial processes used. In particular, the use of high temperatures and solvents in the manufacturing process is not allowed. These are common in the production of refined cooking oil from ingredients such as soybeans and sunflowers.

The difference between “virgin” and “extra virgin” primarily has to do with taste. The latter is higher in natural minerals and vitamins and lower in oleic acid, which helps preserve more of its true olive taste. Lacking sensory flaws, the extra virgin product should have a color in the golden-green range and feature a finish on the palate that is slightly peppery.

2016’s Ben-Hur Remake a Financial Failure



Ramon Arias serves as president of Bravo Corporation, a pizza franchise in Birmingham, Alabama, with over 800 employees. Outside of his professional life, one of Ramon Arias’ favorite movies is the 1959 classic, Ben-Hur.

Unfortunately for fans of the 1959 film, widely regarded as a masterpiece, the 2016 remake is on schedule to be the season’s biggest financial disappointment. Directed by Timur Bekmambetov, 2016’s Ben-Hur was projected to be a success before its debut in mid-August. The movie had a massive $100 million budget, and that doesn’t even include marketing costs. As of early September 2016, Ben-Hur only grossed a meager $54.1 million, about half of its original budget. All in all, projected losses are predicted to hit $120 million, officially making Ben-Hur the least successful release of the 2016 blockbuster season.

Ben-Hur was originally a novel, written in 1880 by Lew Wallace, a general in the Civil War. The book was the first fictional work to receive a blessing from the pope, Leo XIII. Ultimately, the novel has seen five major adaptations including a TV miniseries, a Broadway show, a 1907 silent film, the 1959 classic, and the new 2016 version.

So, if your only exposure to Ben-Hur is the financial flop that came out this year, take a step back in history and watch the 1959 version starring Charlton Heston. If the financial success speaks to the quality of the films, the classic is certainly the better of the two.