hungry with a click of the mouse
programmer John Breen established a web site that supports the United Nations
World Food Program. Sponsors make a donation to the food program in return
for advertising links. Visitors may click once a day. Bookmark the site:
Kielburger didn't just listen to the stories of child slave labor and
complain about how awful it was. He didn't wait for someone with more
experience and training to 'fix the problem.' He stuck his neck out to
take on a challenge. . . ."*
you ever hear the complaint that "our children don't have any heroes
anymore?" Have you thought about doing something about it? The Giraffe
Project is a program that finds people in a community who "stick their
necks out for the common good," commends them publicity for their efforts,
and uses them as examples of real heroes in that community's K-12 classrooms.
Their goal is to "guide the kids into lives of courage, caring and
involvement in their communities.")
* John Graham. It's UP to Us. Langley, WA: The
Giraffe Project, 1999:4.
Global Ideas Bank is a web site devoted to solving the problem of how
creative people with good ideas can share with one another. The site compiles
over 2000 ideas from different 2472 schemes from different sources and
publications in lists by category. Typical categories are Social Innovations,
Children and Education, Relationships, Housing,Work & Unemployment, Crime
& the Law, Health & Therapy, Environment and Ecology, Communication, Politics,
Death and Dying, and Promoting Social Inventions.
Read some sample ideas.
can one person do to support alternative fuels? How about touring the U.S.
in a biodiesel-powered Winnebago fueled by recycled vegetable oil from fast
food restaurants? The Veggie Van can go up to 65 miles per hour and gets
25 miles per gallon of oil.
you wanted to convince an already existing agency to charge more for their
product and give you the proceeds, would you approach the organization that
inspired the term "going postal"? That's what Dr. Ernie Bodai
of Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Sacramento, California, did. After treating
more than 2,000 women, Bodai became inspired to sell a 32-cent stamp for
40 cents, with the 8-cent difference going to cancer research.
No U.S. stamp had
ever had its net proceeds above the cost of postage earmarked for a cause,
and Bodai initially faced great resistance. This came not only from the
Postal Service, but even from breast cancer research groups who feared
they would lose existing research money.
As John Joss reported, the stamp "never would have happened without
Bodai's persistence." Ultimately as a result of Bodai's efforts,
250,000 letters were sent to Congress, who approved the stamp in 1997.
It first appeared in July 1998.
Within two months,
33 million were sold.
(Some of this information came from John
Joss, "Stamping Out Breast Cancer," Front Lines, Modern Maturity,
you ever had that feeling that if you could just get through this one
thing--buy a new battery for the truck, pay the dental bill, heat the
house in January--you would be okay? Sure, you'd love to win the lottery,
but you could survive with just a small loan or grant. Modest
Needs is designed to help you. It's the idea of one man who wanted to
help people who live paycheck to paycheck. Now it has grown though donations
of the very people it seeks to help.
your books when you have read them. Register them with BookCrossing, then
write the BookCrossing number inside the cover (or paste in a BookCrossing
label). Then take your books on a little trip and "free them"
into the universe. Leave them in a coffee shop, at a library book sale,
in the dentist's office. Someone else will find the book, read it, then
go to BookCrossing.com and leave a message about that book. It's a great
way to keep good books circulating.
bad news for the fish, but the goal of Fishing Has No Boundaries is to
open up the great outdoors for people with disabilities through the world
of fishing. Bobby Cammack, founded the group in 1986 after he encountered
a problem getting in and out of a boat with a broken leg. The first event
was held in 1988 near Hayward, Wisconsin with 80 people attending from
seven states. From this first initial event it has now grown into a national
organization with 13 chapters in eight states, helping thousands of disabled
individuals participate fully in this recreational activity. Check out
the web page for the latest events.
What if young
people in at-risk neighborhoods had cameras to document their world?
Level Youth Media
speculate about probabilities of success. The truth is, the probabilities
change once you commit."--Jim
The Creative Spirit
Chicago's Street-Level Youth Media web page:
Everything we are
today started from a simple idea. What if young people in our west side
neighborhood had video cameras to document the world as they saw it? What
stories would they tell? What could they teach us?
Teens from the local
high school took the idea and ran with it. That first summer they made
forty videos about everything from gangs, to their families, to the gradual
gentrification of their neighborhood. They threw a giant community block
party and installed their videos on seventy monitors up and down the street.
This first Street-Level Block Party drew national attention and inspired
an entire community to celebrate the talents and dreams of their youngest
With the success
of this first effort, a new idea arose. What if there was a place in the
neighborhood where Street-Level students could teach other kids how to
make videos? What if there was a safe place to come in off the street
and actually do something about the problems? That place was the first
Street-Level storefront. Located across the street from Wells High School
and on a corner where four gang lines converge, the storefront became
known throughout the city as "that video place run by kids." In fact,
the first pilot program, Neutral Ground, demonstrated how media can transform
far would you go
to raise $500,000 to fight leukemia?
you take it all off but your pearls? Would you do it if you were a doting
grandmother, an active church member, and
you'd never see 50 again?
Ladies of Rylstone, England
Alternative Women's Institute Calendar
(Use Back key to return.)
at Arlington High in Indianapolis have a new way of policing teen events:
dads. About two dozen fathers of kids in the school wear identifying tee
shirts in school colors labeled "Security Dad." They come to
the games, dances, and other teen events. If there's trouble, the dads
are there to stop it.
Whenever kids start
to become unruly, the dads approach them. They seldom have to do more
because this is not just a guard, it's "Kisha's dad." Said one
dad, "With an officer they think, 'Hey, I must be in trouble.' With
us, they smile and say, 'Hey, what's up?' And we love it."
A home for
retired circus elephants
and furry thespians
want to talk about BIG PROBLEMS?
Think movie stars with fur and claws and really big teeth.
of performing animals was the problem Pat Derby identified more than 25
years ago when she worked as an animal trainer on the sets of many popular
television shows (Flipper, Daktari, Gunsmoke, Lassie) and Disney
films, as well as working with the famed Lincoln-Mercury cougars, Chauncey
and Christopher. She was shocked to discover what she describes as "a
profession rampant with cruelty, ignorance and lack of concern about the
how can an individual solve a problem as big as that?
about the PAWS solution.
WRITERS DIARY: How
a Group of Teens Used the Power of the Pen to Wage a War Against Intolerance
school teacher Erin Gruwell faced a room of "unteachable, at-risk"
students. She led them to study the diary of Zlata's Diary: A Child's
Life in Sarajevo and Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
and then to write their their own diary entries. Her efforts to reach
them resulted in a book written by the students, followed by book tours,
TV appearances, and a change in students' beliefs about themselves. And
they raised the funds to bring Zlata for a visit to the U.S. For more,
read the book. Here's an excerpt.
old adage says that if you give a person a fish, she will eat for a day;
if you teach her to fish, she will eat for a lifetim. This the the philosophy
that motivates Heifer International. It began in the 1930s during a Spanish
civil war. As Heifer International
reports: "Dan West, a Midwestern farmer. . . , ladled out cups of
milk to hungry children on both sides of the conflict. It struck him that
what these families needed was "not a cup, but a cow." He asked his friends
back home to donate heifers, a young cow that has not borne a calf."
Built into the program is the expectation that the recipient family will
give one of their gift animalÍs female calves to another needy family.
The program is highly respected.
a digital camera,
a nation full of animal shelters
students from MIT and the Tufts University School of Veterinary Science
traveled across 15 states in a 40-foot RV, showing animal shelters across
the U.S. how to use a web-based software program. The three traveled to
more than 40 shelters in an 11,000-mile trip.
student volunteers take digital images of shelter animals and post these
on the Web site with information about the animals.
Online Pet Adoption Center (Use Back key to return.)
you ever thought of starting a holiday? If you think it is impossible,
read up on Kwanzaa.
Kwanzaa is a festive,
non-religious celebration, founded in 1966 by Dr. Maulana "Ron"
Karenga, currently a professor at California State University, Long Beach.
Beginning December 26, Kwanzaa is a time for African Americans to celebrate
their heritage. It lasts for seven days. Each day focuses on one of seven
principles: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility,
cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.
Dr. Karenga modeled
Kwanzaa after historical African fruit festivals in ancient Egypt. In
this and other African celebrations, he found shared characteristics:
gathering of the people; reverence for the Creator and creation; commemoration
of the past, especially ancestors; re-commitment to our highest ethical
and cultural values; and celebration of life's goodness.
with special toys for
you stop giving and offering something to the rest of the world,
it's time to turn out the lights"
disabled child cannot automatically play with the same toys as children
without disabilities. In the 1960s in Sweden, some parents of disabled
children were finding it hard to find toys their children could use. They
began to share toys, passing them around when their own children outgrew
They developed the
idea of forming a source much like a library, where kids could check out
toys rather than books, then bring them back on their due date. Out of
that idea grew an international organization called Lekotek
("play library"). Not every U.S. state has branches yet,
but the organization seeks volunteers to expand its sources. They loan
toys, software, and computer games, sponsor parent groups, and engage
in activities in schools to help foster understanding about disabilities.
Link to Lekotek.
as simple as a way to cook food without using firewood can change a nation.
In emerging nations, people can spend much of the day searching for firewood.
A creation that is, at base, aluminum foil and glass, can change that.
grown for you at your local middle school
restaurateur Alice Waters of Chez Panisse in Berkeley not only works with
her own elegant dinner house, but also with King Middle School where kids
grow their own vegetables through a project called the Edible Schoolyard
Project. The school has 780 students and a half acre farm plot where once
there was asphalt on the school property.
interview with Online Chef, Waters, who received an "Excellence
in Education" Award from the U.S. Dept. of Education in the1998-99 school
year for her work with this project, said:
a half acre plot on the school property and showing the children how to
take care of the land. The garden will supply the school lunch program
and the students will do all the harvesting, cooking, and serving of the
food. We've remodeled the cafeteria kitchen which hasn't been used in
17 years and, eventually, we will be building a new lunchroom and kitchen.
We want to make this a model project to show the students where their
food comes from, to respect both the food and the land that produced it,
and, hopefully, to use this as the model for all institutional food service."
She may get her wish.
The Edible Schooyard web page reports : "In 1999-2000, the Berkeley
Unified School District, inspired by the success of the Edible Schoolyard,
adopts a policy of incorporating organic produce to the greatest extent
possible in their meals programs."
Reported on CBS
Rise Above Your
Keen, author of Learning to Fly, turned his fascination with the
circus trapeze into a program called Upward Bound for troubled kids and
abused women. He explained what he thought they could gain from "learning
to fly" in an
interview with Scott London.
Many of the abused
women in the program were afraid of loneliness and of not being able to
take care of themselves, so they stayed in abusive relationships. Trapeze
helped them to discover that being alone and independent is less frightening
than an abusive relationship. They also learned something about trust.
One woman said to me, "I don't trust men. I think they're after me all
the time. But having people on the safety lines, helping me on the board,
and catching me has made me reevaluate my attitude."
typically talk about getting high: "I never knew there was another way
of getting high except by drugs." They talk about how much better trapeze
is because they don't get hung over and feel ashamed. They also increase
their self-esteem by doing things they didn't think they could do.
about Aunt Eileen, now that she's in a Boston nursing home and you're
working in St. Louis? The Nursing Home Visitor Exchange is a solution.
You go to the site and request that a volunteer drop in on your aunt.
The volunteer will send you an amyl after the visit letting you know how
Eileen is doing.
Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness,
genealogical volunteers provide information available in their area to
those who live far away. This program was started by two researchers who
saw the need for such a service. The site grew very rapidly from just
a statewide service to an international one. The volunteers of this movement
have agreed at least once per month to do a research task in their local
area as an act of kindness.
Youth in Focus
photography as "a gimmick to get to the kids," (according to Walter
Bodle, co-founder), Youth in Focus reaches kids by letting them photograph
their own world.
During the program,
students are given 35-mm cameras, rolls of film, access to a darkroom,
and assignments every week. Each one also has a photography mentor who
is a professional or serious amateur photographer. Students are asked
to produce two exhibition-quality prints by the end of the term. The program
encourages students to document their own neighborhoods and families.
Their images are then displayed in area galleries, coffee shops and community
Bodle says that what the program really aims to do is "send a message
to these young people that they matter, that they can be successful and
that there's a safe place to do it."
based on an article by Mieke H. Bomann at the American News Service.)
the old crime-fighting method of arresting criminals seemed unable to
stop the flood of crime across the nation, police officials turned to
a different approach--collaboration with the community to both prevent
and punish crime. The approach was initially advanced by Herman Goldstein
in the late 1970s. His strong advocacy and the work other influential
criminal justice academics and practitioners changed the face of policing
in the United States and Canada, and now, even other countries. For more
detail go to the home site of the Community Policing Consortium.
matters, every individual has a role to play, every individual makes a
& Shoots is a youth organization developed by Dr. Jane Goodall. In local
groups, Roots & Shoots members plan and implement projects based on their
group's unique interests, resources and community concerns. Roots & Shoots
projects address one or more of the following three themes:
Roots and Shoots started on Jane Goodall's front porch.
- Care and concern
for the environment
- Care and concern
- Care and concern
for the human community.