WAYS TO DO GREAT THINGS :
IMPACT CENTER

The world is full of opportunities for good people to do great things. This page, which I update whenever possible, has two resources: one is a list of more than forty nation-wide organizations that you can volunteer with to do important work in your community. The other, is a set of stories about people doing good things in their communities. You’ll find these stories if you scroll down.

VOLUNTEER

One of the biggest challenges in trying to do great things is finding a place to start. Here is a list of organizations that continue to impact the lives of so many around us through the volunteers that work with them. You can access this resource below.

'DON'T WANT BRUCE TO DIE': THIS BOY LOVES HIS POKÉMON CARDS. BUT HE SOLD THEM TO SAVE HIS DOG'S LIFE, AND DONATIONS ARE POURING IN.

USA Today (along with many other sources) has the story of Bryson Kliemann, an 8 year old boy in Southwestern Virginia who sold his prized Pokémon card collection in order to raise the money his family needed to save the life of his beloved puppy. The dog became sick with the Parvo virus. The treatment would have cost at least $655, money his family didn’t have. Bryson therefore decided to sell his Pokémon cards in order to raise the money even though his collection had taken years to build up and was his “His Pokémon cards are his most prized possession,” according to his mother in USA Today. He set up a table in the front yard to sell the cards and raised $400 that way. After postings on social media about Bryson’s effort to save Bruce, his story went viral. As of June 10, a GoFundMe set up to support the fundraiser had raised $19,500 according to USA Today and donations of cards and dog care supplies had poured in. The inflow of support has been sufficient to allow Bryson’s family to help other people with the cost of care for their dogs. Bryson told USA Today that: “"It makes me feel happy that everybody came together,”” and his mother told them: ““I hope this story helps people realize that there's still good left in this world,”” .... ““I'm amazed by the uproar of support for a little boy and his dog in small-town Lebanon, Virginia. Who would've thought?””

ELABORATE PHONE TREE LINKS LAOTIAN IMMIGRANTS TO COVID INFO, ONE ANOTHER

The Los Angeles Times has the story of a network of phone trees used by the Laotian community, mostly in Northern California, which have held that community together for many years. These phone trees are used to spread information about many things—including opportunities to get vaccinated against Covid19 as well as other needs ranging from help in organizing events and finding bilingual volunteers to assist with paperwork etc that people in the community may have. These are run by volunteers and are an essential way for people in the Laotian community (many of whom came to the United States at the end of the Vietnam War), to stay connected with each other and the world around them. People who need something can reach out to community leaders who will then reach out via the phone tree to help find that resource whether it be food, a translator, or other needed resource. The article says that Mr. Torm Nompraseurt , one of the leaders of the organization “tells phone tree members that “there is always assistance.””

HOW LATINA COMMUNITY LEADERS RALLIED TOGETHER AFTER AUSTIN’S DISASTROUS STORM

Vogue has the story of the Workers Defense Project, a community organization in Austin, TX, run largely by Latina community organizers. It came together as a response to the freezing weather that hit the city in February 2021. Weather that would kill more than a hundred across Texas and leave thousands displaced. Leaders in the community quickly realized that a lot of people needed help with everything from food and water to check-ins because of loss of access to electricity for heating and cooking. The Vogue piece says that from virtually nothing, the organization quickly grew too the point at which thousands of meals a day were being delivered to more than thirty apartment complexes across Austin. As a caption of a sign in the WDP headquarters says in part: “” if you teach me how to organize, regardless of the challenge, I can unite with my community to create our own

solution.””

ALABAMA TEEN HEADED TO THE AIR FORCE DONATES HAIR TO KIDS BATTLING CANCER

Fox News has the story of Kieran Moise, A seventeen-year-old from Huntsville, Alabama who expects to attend the Air Force Academy this fall. Fox reports he cut his hair for the first time in six years, donating the harvested hair from his nineteen-inch afro to kids suffering from cancer. Fox says he was motivated to do this by losing a friend to cancer during middle school. Fox reported as of Sunday May 30, 2021, his St. Jude Fundraising page, "Kieran’s Curls for Cancer," had raised nearly $20,000, exceeding his goal of a thousand dollars per inch of his hair. Kieran is quoted as saying that he “"really hopes this inspires others to do something great on your own."”

MASSACHUSETTS STORE OWNERS RESCUE WOMAN’S $1M LOTTERY TICKET FROM TRASH

The Guardian in Massachusetts tells the story of Abhin Shah, the son of the owners of a Lucky Stop store,   in Southwick, MA, who chose greatness by retrieving and returning a $1 million winning lottery ticket to the regular shopper who   bought it and didn’t thoroughly check to see if it was a winner. The Guardian draws from an earlier story in the Washington Post in which Shah says The ticket spent ten days behind the counter until he went through the trash and found it. The papers say he tells them “We had mixed emotions, we didn’t sleep for two nights, but …My inner soul told me: ‘That’s not right. You know who that person is. You should give that ticket back to them.’ And that’s exactly what I did.” Lea Rose Fiega, the woman who purchased the ticket originally is quoted as saying: ““He came to my office and said ‘my mom and dad would like to see you,”’… “I said ‘I’m working,’ and he said ‘no you have to come over.’ So, I went over there and that’s when they told me. I was in total disbelief. I cried, I hugged them.””

MAINE 12-YEAR-OLD RECOGNIZED NATIONALLY FOR YEARS OF VOLUNTEER WORK

Maine’s WMTW TV has the story of  twelve-year-old Miranda Torrey,  who has won many awards for her volunteer work. Volunteerism she began at age 6 according to WMTW which tells us she is very interested in anti-bullying activities. Their article says HER MOST IMPACTFUL ACHIEVEMENT, is the ongoing anti-bullying “kids speak movement” which is hosted on a Facebook page that she hopes allows kids to understand they’re not alone. Miranda is quoted as saying that she volunteers because: ““I do it for the smiles I can see on people's faces because I like helping people. Just makes me feel good to know something I’m doing in the world is actually making a difference.””

MARYLAND TEEN INSPIRED TO ADVOCATE FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES AFTER FIRE DRILL

NBC4 Washington has the story of Catherine Contreras a Maryland high-school student who was inspired to advocate for people with disabilities after seeing the challenges some of her fellow students faced during a fire drill. Over the past year and a half, NBC4 Washington reports “She has testified at Montgomery County Council and school board meetings, pleading with them to address safety and accessibility issues.” Ms. Contreras is quoted as saying: ““When I saw it firsthand, it was really eye opening and it made me really realize that this is a big issue and that this is not OK,”, They report she has been inspired to take this issue on for the long term. ““I hope to make a career out of this,” … “I hope to keep fighting for this for the rest of my life until this gets fixed...””

HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR DONATES COLLEGE SAVINGS AFTER LANDING PRESTIGIOUS SCHOLARSHIP

CNN has the story of Joshua Nelson, a recent graduate of St. Charles West High School, in St. Charles, MO. Joshua, who, among other things, is a student leader, member of the National Honor Society, an athlete and volunteer for the local Boys and Girls Club, donated his college savings to a fund he started to help other students achieve their college dreams after winning a prestigious scholarship from Southeast Missouri State University. CNN reports that Joshua says he hopes the $1,000 he donated to begin The Joshua Nelson Leaders in Action Scholarship will be matched by local businesses so the money can hopefully support many other students in the future. They quote him as telling a local non-profit community outreach organization: "I feel like it's important to be involved in your community and leaving a legacy.”

LOUISIANA CAR DEALER HELPS HOMELESS MAN – AND INSPIRES MILLIONS TO DO THE SAME

Fox News has the story of Alcide Dominique, a Louisiana car dealership owner who helped a homeless man and, per their article, has inspired millions to do the same. After Mr. dominique and one of his employees found Jamie, a local homeless person on the porch of their dealership, they videoed themselves helping Jamie by buying some supplies and putting him up in a local motel for a night. The video went viral on TikTok and, per Fox, received more than ten million views as of the time of publication of the article. Donations ranging from bibles to money flowed in and the article quotes Mr. Dominique as saying their goal is to keep Jamie off the streets permanently, hopefully by helping him find a job of some sort, some form of transportation and rent-reduced housing. Fox News quotes him as saying that he is motivated to help Jamie because: “"You have to ask yourself what's important in life. [Is it] getting off work at five o'clock and going home to watch TV, or is it me getting off work at five o'clock to go check on somebody and see if they’re, OK?””

VALUE OF VOLUNTEER TIME

The median value of an hour of volunteer time was $28.54 according to a piece in the Non-Profit times. Their data comes from a report from the Independent Sector, an advocacy organization that claims to be “the only national membership organization that brings together a diverse community of changemakers at nonprofits, foundations, and corporate giving programs working to strengthen civil society and ensure all people in the United States thrive.” And the Do Good Institute of the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy https://dogood.umd.edu/ [note, there are some screen reader issues with the slides on the DGI home page] which claims that: “We believe that all students, regardless of their background, field of study or interests, are capable of creating effective change, making a powerful impact, and innovating creative solutions to our world’s most pressing challenges,” on their “about” page. According to the non-profit times’ report on their data, the hourly value of volunteered time varies from $13.74 in Puerto Rico to $48.67 in the District of Columbia.

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THIS BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING SURVIVOR IS ON A MISSION TO GIVE FELLOW AMPUTEES THE PROSTHETIC LEGS INSURANCE WON'T COVER

CNN has the story of Heather Abbott,  a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. Unfortunately, she was severely injured, and after seeking advice from many, she decided it would be best for her to have her left leg amputated below the knee. Insurance would only pay for a basic prosthesis but Ms. Abbott wanted to return to her full and active life.  CNN says: “With the help of donations and organizations that assisted the victims of the bombing, Abbott was gifted a lifelike prosthetic leg that allowed her to wear high heels again and other prostheses that allowed her to run and paddleboard.” Ms. Abbott learned other amputees are often far less fortunate and so started the Heather Abbott Foundation which has raised more than $1 million and helped more than fifty people get access to the same level of care she was able to receive. She told CNN that she has learned: “"There are many more good people in this world than there are bad. Two people who did this to me yet so many more wanted to help, and that was amazing to me.””

A DOG GROOMER'S CALL TO THE NEBRASKA HUMANE SOCIETY HELPED SAVE PET OWNER'S LIFE

CNN tells the story of an unnamed Omaha, NE pet groomer who called local animal control officer Kisha Witherspoon,  to report that a dog they had in for grooming hadn’t been picked up by its normally highly responsible owner. CNN says Witherspoon was concerned enough to speak to an investigator in her unit who could not access the pet owner’s home. Investigator Ms. Misty Binau then called the local police who managed to get into the owner’s home and found him in distress. According to the twitter feed the article is largely based on, the owner and his dog are receiving appropriate attention and the Nebraska humane society is quoted as saying: “"We are proud of Officer Witherspoon for her intuition, and to Officer Binau and Dispatcher Bieranowski for their swift follow-up," NHS said in the thread. "Way to go the extra mile!””

HOW SEWING MASKS FOR THE VULNERABLE STITCHED TOGETHER AN EMPOWERING FACEBOOK COMMUNITY

The Los Angeles Times tells the story of Kristina Wong, a performance artist in the entertainment industry when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. They report that like many, after going through shock at the change in her life the pandemic represented, Wong took action to help those less fortunate than she is in her area. This included following a pattern she found on line to sew a mask. This small act became the beginning of a group she called the Auntie Sewing Squad, which had, as of early April 2021, gotten more than 800 people involved in sewing more than 300,000 masks which, at first, went to front line care workers. Over time, the article says the organization shifted its focus to helping people in underserved communities. One of the “aunties” who got involved and recruited her 83-year-old mother into an effort that has produced at least 2,500 masks for the group, told the LA Times: ““It gives her something to do, a purpose,”.”

SHE PUBLISHES BOOKLETS IN SEVEN LANGUAGES TO HELP ASIAN AMERICANS AND OTHERS FACE HATE CRIMES

CNN has the story of Esther Lim, who, they report, has created a pamphlet, available in English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese and Spanish as of late March, 2021 on  "How to Report a Hate Crime." She was inspired to develop the pamphlet after the waves of anti-Asian violence that began in early 2020. CNN quotes her as saying: "I wanted to make sure my parents, and the rest of the Asian community, knew how to make a report or what to do if they're attacked.”

NYC 12-YEAR-OLD DONATES 200 LAPTOPS TO STUDENTS THROUGH GOFUNDME

Fox News tells the story of NYC area 12-year-old Daisy Hampton, whose concern for her fellow students predates the covid-19 pandemic. When it struck, Fox says she realized many of her peers did not have access to laptops on which they could work from home when learning went virtual. Since that realization, she had raised $15,000 through a number of sources including a GoFundMe page called "#KidsNeedConnection" as of late March, 2021, and donated 200 laptops to students who needed them. They quote her as saying: "Seeing that joy of being able to attend remote learning again and join calls and see their friends and teachers ... seeing how happy they are not only makes me realize how grateful I am and how fortunate I am to have access to devices to school, but it also makes me very joyful to see how these kids are able to attend school again when they've been months without a computer and missing out on so much,".”

TEENS AND OTHER VOLUNTEERS HELP SENIORS FIND SCARCE COVID SHOTS

Scientific American tells the stories of three representative groups of people  who have been helping people get appointments for the Covid-19 vaccines around the country. Whether teens in Kentucky, teachers in Maryland or a group of 200 in California, people have been volunteering to help others get appointments on websites that Scientific American reports are often confusing, with widely different parameters and priorities for setting up appointments. As Manish Goregaokar, who lives in Berkeley, CA, told Scientific American in describing the site Scientific American says he and 200 other volunteers built in California to help people find appointments: ““You don’t need to have contacts with the government or tons of money; you can just help with skills that a lot of people have and come together to make something better.””

THIS HOUSTON FURNITURE STORE OWNER OPENED HIS DOORS TO PEOPLE SEEKING WARMTH IN THE WINTER STORM

CNN has a version of the widely-covered story of Jim (Mattress Mack) McIngvale, a Houston area furniture store owner who opened the doors of his store to people who needed shelter during the deep freeze that hit Houston in February 2021. CNN (and many other sources) say hundreds got hot meals, sleep, and had a warm place to stay due to McIngvale’s action. CNN says this was not the first time he’d turned his store into a shelter, doing so because: “"We believe that we all have responsibility for the wellbeing of the community and when times get tough we try to open our doors and let Houstonians come in and regroup,"”

THE PANDEMIC MADE CANCER TREATMENT EVEN HARDER. THESE SURVIVORS ARE HELPING

The Los Angeles Times has the story of a project at UCLA Health in which people who have been diagnosed with, and been successfully treated for, cancer (at least to this point) send letters to those  who are newly diagnosed with it. According to the article, the letters talk not only about the process of going through care for the cancer but also the feelings that go along with the diagnosis and treatment process. One letter writer, who the times quotes in the article says: ““I would gladly help anyone who is going through what I went through,” ... “And at this point, I know what not to say.””

HIS BIKE WAS STOLEN IN VIRGINIA. HIS RESPONSE WAS TO COLLECT BIKES TO FIX AND GIVE AWAY TO PEOPLE IN NEED.

The story of Robbie Pruitt an assistant rector  for a church in Leesburg, VA. Mr. Pruitt offered to repair bikes for  people in need on a closed local Facebook group. By the end of 2020, the article reports he had repaired 140 bikes after starting his efforts in September.  According to the Washington Post piece and other articles on the ‘net, Mr. Pruitt has focused his efforts on behalf of people who couldn’t afford to repair bikes they owned or who needed bicycles and couldn’t afford to buy them. His efforts began when his own bike was stolen and he soon learned how hard bicycles were to get due to people buying them during the pandemic. Not only has he repaired bikes for people in need but he’s also taught local kids how to repair their bikes—some of which Mr. Pruitt was in the process of fixing for them when he helped them learn how to maintain their rides. In discussing his motivation for his efforts. The Post quotes Mr. Pruitt as saying: ““I’ll sleep better at night just because I did this.””

TEACHER IS BUILDING THOUSANDS OF DESKS AFTER SEEING KIDS DON'T HAVE WORK SPACES AT HOME

Good Morning America tells the story of Nate Evans, a teacher from Ankeny Iowa who, along with 50 other  volunteers, has built 600 desks for his students and other young people needing study spaces at home as a result of distance learning. According to GMA, Evans started Woodworking with a Purpose once he saw many of his students were working from their beds or kitchen tables when they logged in for their distance learning classes. Per the GMA story, the desks cost $20-$25 to build and Evans and the others in his organization hope to build 2020 of them by the end of the school year. AS to his motivation for this project, GMA quotes Mr. Evans as saying: “""I became a teacher to help kids. That was it. It wasn't for the summer breaks," … "I volunteer wherever I can. I want to see them learn and grow ... learn and grow in my classroom ... I want to see them learn and grow at home too.”

LOST WALLET IN MARIN COUNTY SETS OFF CHAIN OF GOOD DEEDS

The San Jose Mercury News has the story of Sean Currey, a homeless man who found the wallet of Ms. Evelyn topper in a trash bin. The Mercury News and other outlets report Mr. Currey returned Ms. Topper’s Wallet untouched.  After hearing the story of the wallet, Ms. Topper’s granddaughter Mikayla decided to do some fundraising to help Mr. Currey at her 12th birthday party which was set in a drive-up format to accommodate health safety during the pandemic.  According to the article, the energy Mikayla started, and many people working with her family and Mr. Currey have carried forward, has the potential to be something great for a lot of people. The Mercury News says that the nearly $50,000 that has been raised as of Jan 18, 2021 will hopefully be put toward building a community of tiny houses in which homeless people like Mr. Currey can live and on which they can work. They quote him as saying: “We want to give people who are coming out of jail, who want to get integrated back into the system, a sense of purpose, belonging, and to be able to earn a decent living while giving back,…” the Mercury News further quotes Mrs. Topper as saying: “We want to help people help themselves,” … “If we can get to that point it would be amazing. … Maybe we’ll partner with local agency. I don’t see myself starting a nonprofit, but who knows.”

THIS KINDERGARTNER SPENT ALMOST 2 WEEKS MAKING 200 NEW YEAR'S CARDS FOR SENIORS. THEN SHE BROKE HER PIGGY BANK TO BUY THEM A GIFT

CNN Tells the story of five-year-old Aryana Chopra who learned of 200 senior citizens in a care facility in Vestal, NY who couldn’t see the people they care about because of Covid-19. According to CNN, her father is a doctor and on the front lines of the pandemic. The article says Aryana wanted to do something good for the nursing home residents and so: “"I got an idea of making cards for the people in the nursing home who cannot go out and meet their friends and family because of the coronavirus,”” they quote her as saying.

HE SPENT HIS STIMULUS MONEY ON 30,000 MASKS FOR THE HOMELESS AND OTHERS IN NEED

CNN Has six stories of people who used their stimulus payments  to do good things for those in need in their communities. From a gentleman on a fixed income who has used his payments to buy 30,000 masks for the homeless to a small businesswoman whose business is sharply down at this time but who has created a pantry for pets of people who are struggling financially and more, all of these people are using their stimulus payments to make a difference for others.

HOW A UTAH SPORTS REPORTER ACCIDENTALLY RAISED $55,000 TO HELP PEOPLE DURING THE HOLIDAYS

The Washington Post has the story of Utah Jazz reporter Andy Larson who found $165 in a forgotten piggy bank. Instead of using it for himself he tweeted out the thought that he’d like to use the money to help families in need during the holidays. He got many requests but, much to his surprise, he was also given nearly $55,000 by 992 donors who were either his Twitter followers or people whom they contacted. According to the Post, drawing on an article he wrote in the Salt Lake Tribune, among other things, Larson’s Exclamation Point Aid Brigade  donated to families that needed help for the holidays; gave to others that needed help with rent; helped people needing money for car repairs, electricity, heat, or water bills; assisted households in need of groceries; and made small amounts available to dozens of families with staggering medical debt. Most of his brigade’s giving with respect to medical debt went to a national nonprofit that reduces medical debt for the neediest families in each state. According to the two papers, organizations like the one Larson donated to, buy bundles of debt from collection agencies at a cheap price and then simply forgive the debt. Larson says: ““For every $10,000 donated, they can forgive $1 million in debt,” … “I was told that the $10,000 we donated will end up paying off debt for 400 to 500 Utahns. So that’s a huge gift.” Larson closes his piece in the Salt Lake Tribune by saying: “Most of all, I want to give a big thanks to all who donated. You guys made a special thing happen and changed the lives of many Utahns. This is a special place to live, and you all showed why.”

RESCUE ANIMALS ARE TIME'S 2020 PET OF THE YEAR

Rescue animals are Time’s 2020 pet of the year as a result of the flood of animal adoptions that has occurred, in part, due to the pandemic. As a rescue cat owner, myself (two feline sisters adopted from a no-kill shelter in 2016), I agree with the sentiments of ASPCA President and CEO Matt Bershadker who Time quotes as saying: “This unprecedented compassionate response from communities across the country to support their local shelters reflects widespread appreciation of the invaluable role pets play in our lives.” Or, as Time quotes a long-standing pet owner as saying: “It wasn’t even something I thought about. I just did it. Because I knew. I saw the little faces and I knew one of them had to be mine.”

THE TYPEFACE THAT HELPS DYSLEXICS READ [BBC]

Christian Boer is dyslexic, and wrote a font that helps him read. This BBC story describes the font and others that can help. Christian’s font has been downloaded 300K times, impacting his life and others’, too. An option some dyslexics I know have used is text-to-speech software built-in to many computers. Both Apple, and Microsoft, have free accessibility tools that can help people with many kinds of reading challenges including the blindness with which I deal every day. Like me, you may need more than these free tools can offer but they’re a start.

Diabetes nightmare: A hypoglycemic attack on air [BBC]

Alex Ritson, a presenter for the BBC world service had a hypoglycemic attack, before going on air. His team realized what was happening, got him sugar and helped him normalize his levels. Alex’ openness about his condition, how he manages it, and what people can do to help diabetics they know if they are having a low-glucose episode make him an impactor.

Colorado police start 'cuddle club' for colleague's baby [BBC]

When Alex Winch was born, his parents were told he may not survive. The couple were airlifted 300 miles away, to Aurora, Colorado, where the local police department formed a rota to take care of him. 

Why I am running the New York City Marathon as a guide for a disabled runner [Fox News]

Michael Levin is an entrepreneur who has been profiled on Shark Tank. According to a piece published on Fox News, he still finds time to impact the lives of people with disabilities by running the NYC Marathon with them. His business activities give him wealth and fame. His community service makes him an impactor!

Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes 'cut herself daily' [BBC]

Olympic gold medalist Dame Kelly Holmes was severely depressed engaged in self harm only a year before she won gold twice in Athens in 2004. She speaks of her depression and self harm in this BBC interview.

For three brothers, ‘Texas pride’ means buying a 5-ton truck on Craigslist and helping fellow Texans [PBS]

PBS News Hour reports that when Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, three brothers from San Antonio decided to buy a $13,000 5-ton truck on Craigslist and drive to the city to help with rescues.

$30,000 reception donated to homeless after US wedding cancelled [BBC]

Sarah Cummins decided to invites guests from neighboring homeless shelters when her wedding in Carmel, Indiana was canceled.

Nicki Minaj says she'll pay college tuition fees for fans [BBC]

Nicki Minaj decided to help fans who had reached out to her on Twitter, for their school tuition if they could prove their need for aid.

Alert Uber driver saves girl from alleged sex traffickers [Fox News]

Keith Avila saved a 16-year-old girl from two alleged sex traffickers, Fox News says. He hugely impacted her life.

Indianapolis Colts black cheerleader hugs boy who used slur [BBC]

Leanna E, an African American cheerleader for the Indianapolis Colts, chose to forgive a white student after he posted a racial slur in a Snapchat photo that went viral.

US teacher 'really proud' to save pupil's life [BBC]

Beth Bautista donated a kidney to a girl who would later become a student of hers at the kindergarten she had been teaching at.

100 Women 2016: Designing clothes for people with Down's syndrome [BBC]

Isobella Sprinmuhl was initially rejected and discriminated against. Now, she's a famous designer at the age of 19 and designs clothes for people with Down's Syndrome.

Student asks mom to pack 2 school lunches so friend can eat [Fox News]

Josette Duran, a high school volleyball coach in New Mexico, would pack an extra lunch for her son's friend who'd eat a fruit cup for lunch everyday. When the team she coached raised $400 to pay her back, she used the money to pay all the delinquent lunch accounts of students at her school. She, her son, and the volleyball team she coaches are all impactors.

Lonnie Johnson: The father of the Super Soaker [BBC]

African American Lonnie Johnson made the Super Soaker! This BBC story shows his race doesn’t stop his inventing, fun, or overall impact!

Meet the founder who briefly forced Silicon Valley to confront its race problem [LinkedIn]

Road-tripping 91-year-old hopes her travels inspire end-of-life conversations [Fox News]

After experiencing the loss of her husband, brother and being diagnosed with uterine cancer, Norma Bauerschmidt decided to hit the road with her nomadic son and daughter-in-law.

Third-graders shave heads to support classmate battling rare cancer [Denver Fox31]

65 educators and kids shave their heads, in support of nine-year old Marlee Park's battle a rare form of cancer

Inspired by husband, NC woman designs adaptive clothing for disabled; strikes deal with major retailers [Fox News]

When Maura Horton's husband was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, she went on to founding a company that sold adaptive clothing that would make it easier for people to dress themselves and maintain a sense of dignity.

How Lily Cole swapped modeling to launch a social enterprise [BBC]

Shandra Woworuntu: My life as a sex-trafficking victim [BBC]

Sex trafficking is a serious problem worldwide. Shandra Woworuntu was trafficked to the US more than 15 years ago. She suffered for months, escaped and is now a leader in the effort to stop this terrible crime. She is having an impact on her world. You can, too.

India cancer survivor brings joy to destitute children [BBC]

After surviving colon cancer, Mark Rego to spend some of his time to raise money for destitute children.

A doctor in India decides to waive his fees for the birth of a girl child [BBC]

After facing several families who were disappointed with the birth of a girl, Dr. Ganesh Rakh decided to waive his fees.

 

The story of Carie Broecker of Pacific Grove, CA, who co-founded Peace of Mind Dog Rescue [CNN]

CNN has the story of Carie Broecker of Pacific Grove, CA, who co-founded Peace of Mind Dog Rescue which finds homes for dogs that senior citizens can’t take care of anymore or, if they can still do most things but can’t walk their dogs due to their deteriorating health, they provide assistance via volunteer dog walkers. CNN quotes Ms. Broecker as saying: “We've seen it over and over again that dogs can adjust after losing their person and become part of a new family. You'd love for them to be  together forever, but when that's not possible, we're really glad we're here to
be a safety net.” For those who only need assistance in caring for their animal, she says their philosophy is: “We can preserve that human-animal bond and make this person's life better and brighter through our services ... it's about
honoring the elderly.” They have fostering programs as well. Click on the link below to learn more about Peace of Mind Dog Rescue which CNN reports has helped 2,000 senior citizens and found homes for nearly 3,000 dogs.

Buzzfeed has 19 stories of Strangers Helping People Being Followed

Popular Science has word on how to keep even the fluffiest cats cool this summer

Whether its lots of water, encouraging them to slide ice cubes around the house or clipping away the winter coat, there are several ideas in this story to help keep cats cool in the summer heat.

The Charlotte Observer offers tips on How to protect pets during house fires

The Charlotte Observer offers tips on how to protect pets during house fires which, the article says, lead to around 40,000 U.S. pet deaths each year, mostly due to smoke inhalation. They further report 500,000 pets are affected by house fires overall. Things to do that can reduce these problems include making sure any open flames are not accessible to your animals, ensuring appliances like stoves aren’t places they access easily where possible, having escape routes planned and leashes etc near them. There are more suggestions in the article.

Today has Ten tips to protect pets and keep them calm during Fourth of July fireworks

They offer six tips like wearing them out pre-event and a “thunder vest” which apparently helps keep them calm for dogs and four for cats like giving them safe places in which to hide and having a low level of background noise to reduce the suddenness of those loud fireworks.

ESPN has the story of English tennis professional Jodie Burrage who stopped her
Wimbledon tennis match to aid a ball boy who was having medical problems.

Per the article, she first gave him a sports drink and then some concentrated sugar gel before a bystander offered some candy. "I just reacted how I think anyone would. He was not in a good spot,” ESPN quotes Burrage as saying. "I just tried to help him out as much as possible." As someone whose father had serious diabetic trouble and who was assisted by the owner of a bookshop where we were when I was young, this story definitely makes me feel she did something great by stopping her work and doing something to help. Thumbs up to Ms. Burrage for doing the right thing in late June and also to Mr. Noyes for his help all those years ago.

WTOP News has the story of Sarah Bagheri, a senior who created MoCo Scientists for Kids, an online webinar series through which young people can learn about a variety of areas in science, technology, engineering and math.

Bagheri and her brother created the series because they felt students were missing out on important lessons during the Covid-19 pandemic. They have interviewed specialists in areas such as health care, veterinary medicine, marine biology, artificial intelligence and more according to WTOP. They quote Bagheri as saying: “I’ve definitely learned a  lot … It just like really impacts me when I listen to them,”  The schedule for the program is available on the  MoCo Scientists for Kids website and Bagheri also post podcasts of it online.

Popular Science has five things you can do to reduce your child’s drowning risk.

Whether its dressing your kids in bright bathing suits, designating a responsible lifeguard or ensuring kids have life jackets on for example, taking these five actions when your kids are enjoying the water can sharply add to the likelihood they will live to adulthood and go on to do great things.

NPR has the story of Robert Brantley, a professional shooter, who was going to the gun range one afternoon when he saw a kitten by the side of the road needing rescue.

In a video on his Instagram page chronicling what happened next, he says he stopped by the side of the road, picked the kitten up, and promptly was rushed by a dozen more. His Instagram continued to tell the story of his difficulties in getting the kittens into his car and the care he gave them in his home. NPR says that due to his work, he sometimes faces negative feedback from people so the reaction to his series of videos was a surprise: “It's mind-blowing, to be honest with you, that so many people reach out and there's a lot of people in the world wanting to do good,"[…] "I work in the gun industry, and ... some people have took that negatively. And a lot of people, which I'm very thankful of, has said, like, "Wow ... I'm surprised you're not such a violent person" or "You still have compassion and stuff." […] “That's kind of my thing is just I want people to know that no matter where you're at and how much bad you see in the world, there's still a lot of people — not talking about me — doing good things and not doing it for recognition." 

CNN has the story of Lucy Fink who, is a TikTok “star” has, among other things, walked her followers through her journey as a new mother.

Fink, who shared “pump with me” videos with her followers on TikTok has, according to CNN, inspired many. Fink, who began donating her excess milk to the New York Milk Bank before the baby formula shortage in the United States in the Spring of 2022, told CNN: “It's important to recognize that the milk sitting in your freezer is better served going to a child that's in need right now, especially those really young babies in the NICU that are compromised
because of their size and age.”

AccuWeather tells the story of Summer Piper, a volunteer from the San Diego, CA, Humane Society who was part of an effort to assist animals threatened by the Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon fire in New Mexico in April and May of 2022.

AccuWeather reports Mrs. Piper and her husband have been volunteers for the San Diego Humane Society for five years. This story focuses on a kitten who was rescued by firefighters and brought to Mrs. Piper with bleeding from the nose and mouth. Per the story, the kitten had a serious upper respiratory infection. Ultimately things worked out well for him as she reported in comments on a twitter video that AccuWeather cites: “We got him on some meds, and he is doing great now," she says in a video posted on Twitter. "He is playing in his crate, and we have a little ball in there, and he gets very excited about that.” AccuWeather quotes Mrs. Piper as saying she and her husband volunteer in fire situations because: “So we're out here in other communities and doing our part to help animals and then to also help their owners that they that we're taking care of their furry family members," […]" It gives them a little bit of peace of mind while they're evacuated in dealing with other things. They're under a lot of stress as well.”

CNN has the story of Akaki Lekiachvili, a physician at the US Centers for Disease Control who started building a replica Star Wars X-wing fighter in his Atlanta, GA, garage in order to teach his kids about science back in 2016.

Per the article, The X-wing replica is about 2/3 as big as the original. Its wings and cockpit window can be manipulated by remote control. Its thrusters open and close, and light up. It can taxi at up to 4MPH. There are two cameras inside the cockpit and a targeting system like the one Luke Skywalker used to destroy the Death Star. There is an inflatable R2d2 for easy removal and although not capable of actual weapons fire it can simulate the sounds at least. CNN says all of this cost the Polish-born doctor some $50-$100,000 to build. They further report Dr. Lekiachvili repurposed his project to help raise money for refugees. He told CNN: “I do believe that if we continue pushing, we are going to come up with a right strategy to make an impact," … "It's a huge, huge tragedy. Lots of people are suffering and it's a really good opportunity to help." They report Dr. Lekiachvili as saying of his fundraising efforts and plan to sell the entire fighter to further assist Ukrainian refugees.

Dr. Lekiachvili found a way to repurpose one idea with which he was doing great things to another tasking. As you read further down this page, you’ll find many other people using their skills to do great things for and with others. Please contact me with similar stories that I will consider including here as time goes forward.

According to CNN, Lisa Gautier and her partner Patrice set up Matter of Trust, a
San Francisco based charity that collects human hair clippings and turns them
into absorbent mats and booms that can collect up to around five times its
weight in oil spilled either on land or at sea, and which replace the plastic
based products most usually used to clean up spills.

Matter of trust receives hair clippings donated by their contributors which are mostly salons, pet groomers and individuals now in seventeen countries. CNN quotes Ms. Gautier as saying: “Our project is to divert this from landfill," […]. "It makes much more sense to use a renewable natural resource to clean up oil spills than it does to drill more oil to use to clean up."

Struggling to Find Purpose in Your Life? Wellbeing Magazine offers 3 Ways That Can Help.

The editorial team suggests that to do this you should firstly figure out what is important to you. In doing this you may be encouraged to figure out: What are your skills; What are the past experiences that gave you a skill that can be used for a cause; and What and why do you care about your community? They then suggest taking courses [and getting other experience] that can help you skill up in ways to make a difference. Finally, they suggest volunteering as a way to make a difference in areas you care about. Read the article for much more context on ways to find purpose in your life and hopefully do great things with it.

Men’s Journal offers: “Earth Day Volunteering: 6 Ways to Get Involved This Year.”

Drawing from a variety of sources including Earth Day 2022, the article suggests things like joining cleanups, planting trees, restoring wildlife habitats, and brushing up on your ecological knowledge for those who are concerned about the health of our planet. Check the article for links to a wide variety of sources to opportunities like National Cleanup Day that can point you to opportunities to do something great if environmental welfare is important to you.

The BBC has the story of 12-year-old Gabriel Clark's raffle of a bowl he created that is etched with a blue and yellow ring in the colors of the Ukrainian flag that he created for Ukrainian refugee relief.

As of April 26, 2022, they report he had raised 255,000 pounds for the purpose. The raffle winner was announced on Sunday 17 April with the fundraising page left open for a further six days. His father, who made a plea for people to follow his son's Instagram account, which shows off Gabriel’s various creations, was surprised by the level of engagement. Per an earlier BBC report, Gabriel’s Instagram went from 6 followers to more than 225,000 in
less than a month.

In their piece on Gabriel’s efforts from April 26, the BBC quotes his father as saying: “I never imagined that my tweet would turn into this amazing thing. Somehow, it's resulted in people donating [over] £250,000 to help children in Ukraine.” The BBC quotes Gabriel in both articles as saying: “I really hope that everyone's generosity can help children affected by the war in Ukraine, by providing them with food, water, shelter, and safe places to learn and play.”

CNN has a piece on the community fridge movement which finds ways to make safe to eat food freely available to those who need it.

They highlight Latisha Springer of Atlanta and Eric Von Haynes of Chicago, both of whom are working to expand networks of free fridges in their cities with the help of local groceries, restaurants, and individual donors/volunteers. CNN quotes Ms. Springer who created the free99 fridge movement and the network that supports it in Atlanta in 2020: “It was a difficult summer. It was really negative and overwhelming, and I was tired of thinking about how messed up everything was. I wanted to do something.“

An earlier article from the Washington Post had a story about the movement. A gentleman who benefitted from the
fridges during the worst of the pandemic was Mr. Darrell Brokenborough of Philadelphia. The Post quotes him saying: “I always recommend the fridge to my friends with kids. There’s always something healthy here." The Post further
quotes Mr. Brokenborough as saying the food is a ““blessing.”

CNN has the story of Zane Buzby whose Survivor Mitzvah Project is helping survivors of the 1940s Holocaust who are caught in the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

They tell how her 350 volunteer translators and interpreters are helping these elderly people feel connected in a situation that is like that which they survived during the Second World War. Ms. Buzby whose organization is happy to take on further help at this fraught time told CNN: "We have to make sure that these survivors are not left alone during this devastating time. ... It's so important that they know they haven't been forgotten.”

KSDK TV has the story of a school full of elementary students who have filled the halls with sun flowers as a sign of support for Irina McAllister, their Ukrainian-born art teacher.

The idea, originally developed by a cafeteria lady who is unnamed in the article, led to hundreds of students bringing hundreds of sunflowers into Pevely Elementary’s hallways as a sign of support for Ms. McAllister. One of the students is quoted as saying: "We are trying to show her, we love and support her.” KSDK quotes Ms. McAllister: "By the time I was leaving school Monday [Feb 28], it was a shower of sunflowers, it was sun shower of love and support. I think every single sunflower represents love and support and I have hope. That make me feel stronger and more positive."

CBS New York has the story of the Afya Foundation of Yonkers New York, a critical response foundation that is sending needed medical supplies to Ukraine.

Per the CBS NY story, dozens of people spent Monday Feb 28, 2022, packing supplies for shipment to Ukraine, which they hoped would be sufficient to fill 20 cargo pallets on a cargo airplane. Tony Feite, one of the volunteers was quoted as saying: "This is a volunteer experience that I'll never forget." Per the article, the foundation President, Ms. Danielle Butin is quoted as saying: “We collect the medically unused, uncontaminated supplies from hospitals throughout the greater New York area," and in this case, pack and send them to Ukraine.

CNBC has the story of Favour Nerrise a Stanford graduate student in Electrical Engineering who is working to help graduate 10,000 Black Engineers by 2025.

Nerrise is the president of the National Society of Black Engineers , an advocacy organization for black people in engineering a field where, as things stand, only 5% of engineers are black and so badly underrepresented in the field relative to our population. She is determined to raise the graduation rate from 6,000 per year to 10,000 per year by 2025. Among many other things her organization is doing to encourage young people from underrepresented populations to enter the field is outreach to elementary age students, something the organization hasn’t done before. She told CNBC that even NBSE’s currently enhanced outreach may not be enough: “And we might even need to go all the way down to like, kindergarten, […] because we found that if the kids weren’t exposed early, Black and brown students typically were at a disadvantage of catching up in mathematics and science.” Some of her organization’s efforts seem to be working. She told CNBC that “From March 23-March 27, NSBE will host its 48th annual convention in Anaheim, California. A virtual option is available also, but Nerrise said in-person attendance is going to be high and feel like “taking over the city. It’s like thousands of Black engineers everywhere, all of the hotels are booked full."

CBS News Has the story of Kansas city Chiefs fans who were inspired by Mr. Brett Fitzgerald to donate to Oishei Children’s Hospital in Buffalo.

As of Jan 28, more than $312,800 had rolled in from 15,000 donors. Many of them in $13 amounts to acknowledge the 13 seconds it took the Chiefs to race down the field and tie buffalo in order to force overtime. The idea originally came from members of the so-called Bills Mafia which have joined together to donate to the preferred charities of lead players for teams the Bills have beaten either late in the season or during the playoffs. The CBS article says the Bills Mafia had donated $40K+ to a visual impairment charity after what they believed was a blown call and in 2020, $400K was raised for Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson's charity after a Buffalo playoff victory. The CBS piece says that in thanks to the fans wherever they came from, the hospital said on twitter: “This team works hard caring for the kids in WNY & your donations help ensure they have all the tools needed to be
ready to help." 

The Los Angeles Times reported in mid-January of 2022 that the US is suffering from a blood shortage due, in part, to people staying home during the pandemic.

This article has information on how you can donate during any windows the pandemic may offer us for such things.

Yale Today has the story of Dr. Claudia Fernandes, a faculty member who recognized the need for safe meal delivery for staff working in the Yale New Haven health system.

Though the program has gone through fluctuations in its activities as the pandemic has waxed and waned, as of Jan 6, 2022, it is actively delivering meals to healthcare workers, many of whom are suffering from cases and so needing to self-isolate. As it does this, it is also supporting restaurants in the New Haven area through takeout purchases. Yale today says one resident who received a meal from the program which has raised more than $40K for its efforts told Dr.
Fernandes: “Thank you to the Meals4Healers and the wonderful community members for providing me with love-filled meals as I was recovering. My heart is full from the kindness and the generosity you have shown. As I recover and prepare to go back to work, knowing that I am supported by the community, will keep me going.” There are many such efforts nation-wide but if you wish to donate to this program you can find the Meals4Healers website here.

CBS New York has the story of the Afya Foundation of Yonkers New York, a critical response foundation that is sending needed medical supplies to Ukraine.

Per the CBS NY story, dozens of people spent Monday Feb 28, 2022, packing supplies for shipment to Ukraine, which they hoped would be sufficient to fill 20 cargo pallets on a cargo airplane. Tony Feite, one of the volunteers was quoted as saying: "This is a volunteer experience that I'll never forget." Per the article, the foundation President, Ms. Danielle Butin is quoted as saying: “We collect the medically unused, uncontaminated supplies from hospitals throughout the greater New York area," and in this case, pack and send them to Ukraine.

People has the story of Angela Rafuse, who started My Grandfather’s Cat.

People says, “The nonprofit helps seniors moving into assisted living and terminally ill people find new homes for their beloved pets, so the animals don't end up in shelters anymore.” Angela was inspired to do this after struggling to find resources that could help her get Mackenzie, her grandfather’s cat, adopted as she had struggled to bond with the animal. Angela told People: "We can empower seniors to decide who adopts their animals," which, for this cat person with two disabilities, one of which might force an adoption if all went really badly, sounds like a great plan.

Inc. has the story of Sydney Raley, a 15-year-old McDonalds employee who noticed a drive through customer who had just purchased some chicken nuggets was choking on one of them.

Raley, who the Inc. article says is on the autism spectrum, jumped through the drive through window and, supported by other bystanders, performed the Heimlich maneuver which, among other life saving techniques, she had learned
several years earlier during a babysitting training course. Inc. says the experience has given Raley confidence that she can be a full contributor to society despite her challenges which had led to some doubt on this score. Inc, quoting CNN, quotes her father as saying: "She has a gift because she's autistic," he said. "She can remember anything, do anything."

In a story covered by many sources, Vancouver is Awesome tells the story of Nadia Popovici, a Seattle area premedical student who saw a suspicious mole on the neck of a Vancouver Canucks staffer.

Many who might not have said something when they saw something suspicious, she found a way to communicate her concerns to Brian Hamilton, who was the Canucks’ assistant equipment manager that night. Vancouver is Awesome quotes Hamilton as saying that "Without her intervention, it's very possible the stage 2 melanoma might easily have become metastatic which would have been very bad for him." They quote him as saying: “She extended my life,” […] “Words out of the doctor’s mouth were if I ignored that for four to five years, I wouldn’t be here.” The story which received coverage from many sources including The Washington Post, also got to late night TV where entertainer Seth Meyers said: ““If we had more people like Nadia, we’d have more people.”

The Dad has the story of Turquoise LeJeune Parker, a North Carolina teacher
who, as all too many educators are doing right now, has found herself morally driven
to raise funds for her students to have food while away from school—something
they say she has done for several years.

As of Dec 23, 2021, the publication date on the story, Parker had raised $106,000 for her students and those of 11 other Durham, NC schools to have food over the winter break, a total of 5,200 bags of groceries. The Dad quotes her as saying: “‘I need them to know that I love them, to remind them that love is an action word. I will tell them all day, but I will also show them all day.”

WFLA TV has the story of Patrick Rhodes who prefers to be known as Patrick the Giver.

According to their Dec 9 piece, he achieved his goal of delivering 2021 meals to frontline healthcare workers in 2021, all during his lunch breaks. They quote him as saying: “It feels amazing to have an idea and to see it come together,” […] “Just the support of my community has been amazing.” In an earlier piece from September of 2021 they quote him as saying: “I’m just trying to make a change in someone’s life.” According to the WFLA piece from September of 2021 he is also working to help teachers get access to the things they need for their students. WFLA quotes Jennifer White, one of the teachers Patrick has helped as saying: ““He’s made an impact on teachers in the community and Tampa Bay is lucky to have someone like him,”“ To help Rhodes’ with his mission, click here.

The Los Angeles times has the story of Tsega Habte, an Eritrean emigrant and Los Angeles pharmacist who, the times reports, has helped at least 3,000 get vaccinated against Covid 19.

The times says most of the people she has helped find the clinics are people who are hard to reach either because English isn’t their primary language, they have little access to technology, or they have a distrust in the healthcare system. She has done this in many ways, but one has been by being open to being contacted, even including her personal cell phone number on the pamphlets about the vaccination clinics that have been distributed across East Los Angeles. To do the organizing and outreach she has accomplished, “Mama Tsega” told the times that: “”You need to do it because you want to do it,” […] “If you want to do it because you have a hidden agenda—because you have some way to benefit or whatever—then it might be very difficult. For me, it's my nature.”

The New Haven Register has the story of Faith Tremblay, a Madison, CT teen who benefitted from the Yale New Haven Hospital Toy Closet when she was a patient there.

Per the Register, she is now one of its largest donors. Her toy drive, which began the Christmas after she was a patient at Yale New Haven for Kawasaki Disease, yielded 87 toys. By 2019 she and her rapidly growing list of community donors had collected 2,300 toys for the hospital’s toy closet. This article details preparation for the 2021 effort which was expected to last two days and involve 57 local businesses and school districts. Faith’s mother told The Register: “I think the biggest thing of all — her favorite part always — is making the kids in the hospital happy because she can relate.”

CNN has the story of Dr. Patricia Gordon, a Los Angeles Area radiation oncologist who has built a charity that raises money to treat women in the developing world for cervical cancer, a disease that kills 350,000 a year and that, per the article, is largely preventable if treated early.

CNN and Dr. Gordon say there are inexpensive ways to check for cervical cancer which she became determined to try to bring to remote areas of the world after seeing how many women were dying of the disease on a medical volunteerism trip. In speaking of her successes, she told CNN: “What was so incredibly rewarding for me is that within a day, we can literally save 20, 30 lives depending on the number of women we screen & I knew that I wanted to do this and see if I could make a go of it.” Toward the end of the article which says her foundation has scanned
150,000 women and treated 8,600, she told CNN: That there are 8,000 women who are alive and well and able to provide for their families is honestly the most rewarding thing that I could have ever imagined in my life. Her
foundation can be found at: CureCervicalCancer.

The New York Post reminds us that volunteering is often good for your health,
boosts your resume and often feels good too

As a college search consultant, I strongly encourage all of the applicants I work with to engage in some form of service. Colleges, employers and others look for volunteering on resumes because it shows concern for others. It often helps people build skills as well.

Forbes has the story of Mary Zhu, a student in Computer Science at Stanford when the pandemic hit.

Forbes says Mary quickly saw tens of thousands of nonprofits would have to shut down without help to make their services work under the pandemic’s circumstances. Simultaneously, millions of college students were sent home,
internships cancelled, leading to lost opportunities to gain professional experience. Uniting her technical skills and strong desire to support vulnerable communities, she founded tech nonprofit Develop for Good which
helps bring people with technical skills and those needing them together. Ms. Zhu told Shannon Farley at Forbes: “We do this through a volunteer engagement platform that pairs underrepresented computer science and
design students with nonprofits to build custom technical product solutions. Students get the project experience they need to launch their careers, and nonprofits receive low-cost, accessible technical product solutions. Students get the project experience they need to launch their careers, and nonprofits receive low-cost, accessible technical support that drives their digital transformation. It’s a win-win.”

CNN has the story of Dale and Julie Marks and their neighbors of Des Moines
Iowa.

Per the article, everyone puts up a lot of lights for the holidays. Unfortunately, in 2021, Mr. Marks caught Covid and, while battling that, also suffered two strokes and a heart attack, managing the recovery from which made it impossible for him to decorate their house himself this year. Hearing about the Marks’ challenges in decorating their house for the neighborhood celebration, CNN says Bob Coffey, a local contractor, brought four employees over and they decorated the house (under Dale’s direction) for free. In 2020, the Marks used the opportunity of the neighborhood decorations and all of the people who came by to see them to raise $7,500 for the food bank of Iowa as well as collecting 1,500 pounds of food. CNN tells how Mr. Coffey and Mr. Marks interacted at the end of the decorating session: “He thanked me, he cried a little bit, I got teary," Coffey said. "You could tell how much he appreciated it, and that's what makes it worth it."

CNN has the story of David King, a 12-year-old boy scout who was on a hike with his mother when they came across a couple whose dog was injured on the trail
and unable to walk out.

Even worse, they were without water, and it was soon to get dark. The couple didn’t know how to help their 100 pound friend but, per CNN, David took a few minutes, thought about it, and realized he’d learned how to build a stretcher in one of his first aid courses. Soon they had collected a big tree branch that had fallen recently and added some shirts to build a workable device. David told CNN: "It took us a couple of tries because the dog didn't really want to go on." The experience convinced David that everyone should have what the boy scouts call the “ten essentials”: a pocketknife, a first aid kit, extra clothing, rain gear, a flashlight, extra food, extra water, fire starting essentials, sunscreen, and a map of the area (preferably with a compass) when they go on hikes. David told CNN: "To help someone using my Boy Scout skills makes me feel accomplished because it shows I've learned something, and it wasn't all in one ear and out the other."

The Times Union has the story of Dorothy Horstkotte, a Schenectady, NY volunteer and retired nurse who collected 505 jackets for the city mission in a part of the US where winter wear is absolutely essential.

The Times Union piece speaks of Mrs. Horstkotte's strategy for recruiting donations which includes speaking to
businesses you regularly interact with and encouraging people you know to donate if they can. Speaking of the city mission itself, she told the Times Union: “I’ve seen people lost, in pain, who turned their lives around at City Mission."

Ars Technica offers a way for you and your family to get involved in finding
planets we didn’t know about before.

The Next-Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) project has vast amounts of data needing sifting by humans after computers have a go with it. If you’re interested in helping out the project's page has lots of options available per the article.

Per CNN, Michele Neff Hernandez turned her grief after losing her husband to a tragic accident in 2005 into a network that has reached more than 4 million
people.

She created Soaring Spirits, a non-profit that connects widows and widowers, allowing them to heal in a community that understands what it means to lose a partner. One of the programs of Soaring Spirits, is Camp Widow which now includes 70 chapters across the US. There are programs for pen pals and for people who lost a partner due to Covid-19 and couldn’t grieve in the normal way due to disease restrictions. There are also programs specifically for the LGBTQ community. She told CNN: "We accept you right where you are. We also believe in a future for you. And if you can't believe in a future for yourself, that's OK. I'll believe in it for you until you can believe in it for yourself. And I'm going to keep believing it for you no matter how long it takes you to get there. If this organization meets a need for you, you can get involved via the Soaring Spirits website.

People has the story of Angela Rafuse, who started My Grandfather’s Cat.

People says, “The nonprofit helps seniors moving into assisted living and terminally ill people find new homes for their beloved pets, so the animals don't end up in shelters anymore.” Angela was inspired to do this after struggling to find resources that could help her get Mackenzie, her grandfather’s cat, adopted as she had struggled to bond with the animal. Angela told People: "We can empower seniors to decide who adopts their animals," which, for this cat person with two disabilities, one of which might force an adoption if all went really badly, sounds like a great plan.

In May of 2021 CNN told the story of New York City’s Hector Guadalupe who
overcame being incarcerated to become the lead for A Second U Foundation, which helps other people who have spent time in jail to become fitness coaches and, thereby, overcome the significant challenges recent inmates face in successfully earning incomes (and remaining out of jail) after their release.

According to CNN, Guadalupe’s program which includes training in the science of fitness, technology, and some financial assistance has helped 200 people get jobs in the fitness industry. In so doing their recidivism rate is only one percent rather than the nearly 50% most former federal inmates face. They quote Mr. Guadalupe as saying: “…. We need communities to get together and create opportunities that guide people on the path to real financial security. And that's why we are A Second U. We want to give you your second chance at life. You can check out A Second U Foundation's website here.

CNN has the story of Linda Doughty of Harpswell Maine who founded and leads Marine Mammals of Maine, a charity that, among other things, helps animals injured by human activity along Maine’s seashore.

Since its founding in 2011, Ms. Doughty’s organization has responded to, assisted, and provided medical care for more than 3,000 marine animals according to CNN. Most of the animals Marine Mammals of Maine works with are seals which, when injured can require lengthy rehabilitation. Per the article, seal pups are often abandoned by their mothers if people interact with the young ones too closely and Ms. Doughty’s organization does what it can to help the pups grow up and have a chance at adulthood. It also does a great deal of scientific work on understanding how animals died and has a strong educational mission as well. CNN quotes Ms. Doughty as saying: “Any seal that we rescue, the ultimate goal is for that animal to be released back into the wild.” She further told them: " feel this intense responsibility to help these animals," Doughty said. "And really, this is what I was put on this Earth to do." You can check out the Marine Mammals of Maine website to learn more.