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Inspiring News Stories
Excerpts of Highly Inspiring News Stories in Major Media



Below are one-paragraph excerpts of highly inspiring news stories reported in the major media. Links are provided to the original stories on their major media websites. If any link fails to function, click here. These inspiring news stories are listed with the stories most recently posted to the website listed first. For the same list with the most inspiring stories listed first, click here. For a concise list providing headlines and links to a number of highly inspiring articles and stories, click here. May these articles inspire us to find ever more ways to love and support each other and all around us to be the very best we can be.


Note: This comprehensive list of inspiring news stories is usually updated once a week. For an index to revealing excerpts of news stories on several dozen engaging topics, click here.

The mind business
2012-08-24, Financial Times
Posted: 2014-03-25 10:11:28
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/d9cb7940-ebea-11e1-985a-00144feab49a.html

For seven years now, a growing number of General Mills workers have been practising meditation, yoga and so-called “mindfulness” in the workplace. And what began as a side project by one executive has transformed the culture of a Fortune 200 multinational. “It’s about training our minds to be more focused, to see with clarity, to have spaciousness for creativity and to feel connected,” says Janice Marturano, General Mills’ deputy general counsel, who founded the programme. “That compassion to ourselves, to everyone around us – our colleagues, customers – that’s what the training of mindfulness is really about.” The General Mills initiative is at the vanguard of a movement that is quietly reshaping certain corners of the corporate world. With meditation, yoga and “mindfulness”, the foundational tenets of Buddhism, Hinduism and other pan-Asian philosophies have infiltrated the upper echelons of some of the biggest companies on earth. William George, a current Goldman Sachs board member and a former chief executive of the healthcare giant Medtronic, ... is one of the main advocates for bringing meditation into corporate life. “The main business case for meditation is that if you’re fully present on the job, you will be more effective as a leader, you will make better decisions and you will work better with other people,” he [says]. Though the combination of mysticism and capitalism may seem incongruous, this interplay has found fertile ground at some of the best-known companies in the US and Europe. It is happening at Target, Google and First Direct, among others. Today, in organisations large and small, eastern wisdom is changing western business.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Louisiana's longest-serving death row prisoner walks free after 30 years
2014-03-11, CNN
Posted: 2014-03-17 08:09:59
http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/11/us/louisiana-glenn-ford-freed

There are many ways to measure 30 years, but for Glenn Ford, the yardstick is simple. "My sons -- when I left -- was babies. Now they grown men with babies," he said, speaking as a free man for the first time in nearly three decades. Ford, Louisiana's longest-serving death row prisoner, walked free [on March 11] after spending nearly 30 years behind bars for a murder he did not commit. According to the Capital Post Conviction Project of Louisiana, a judge ordered that Ford be freed ... after prosecutors petitioned the court to release him. New information corroborated what Ford had said all along: that he was not present at nor involved in the November 5, 1983, slaying of Isadore Rozeman, the project said. "We are very pleased to see Glenn Ford finally exonerated, and we are particularly grateful that the prosecution and the court moved ahead so decisively to set Mr. Ford free," said Gary Clements and Aaron Novod, Ford's attorneys. They have argued his trial was compromised by the unconstitutional suppression of evidence and by inexperienced counsel. Ford had been on death row since 1984, making him one of the longest-serving death row prisoners in the United States. "After 30 years, Louisiana's longest-serving death row prisoner will get his freedom soon," Amnesty International USA senior campaigner Thenjiwe Tameika McHarris said in a statement shortly before his release. "Glenn Ford is living proof of just how flawed our justice system truly is. We are moved that Mr. Ford, an African-American man convicted by an all-white jury, will be able to leave death row a survivor."

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Vermont Votes for Public Banking
2014-03-09, The Nation Magazine
Posted: 2014-03-17 08:08:52
http://www.thenation.com/blog/178759/vermont-votes-public-banking#

This year, [Vermonters for a New Economy] urged citizens to petition to place the public-banking question on the agendas of town meetings across the state—distributing information outlining a proposal to turn the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) into a state bank. Last week, at least twenty Vermont town meetings took up the issue and voted “yes.” In many cases, the votes were overwhelming. Vermont is not the only state where public banking proposals are in play. But the town meeting endorsements are likely to provide a boost for a legislative proposal to provide the VEDA with the powers of a bank. The bill would create a “10 Percent for Vermont” program that would “deposit 10 percent of Vermont’s unrestricted revenues in the VEDA bank and allow VEDA to leverage this money, in the same way that private banks do now, to fund…unfunded capital needs.” The legislation would also develop programs, often in conjunction with community banks, “to create loans which would help create economic opportunities for Vermonters.” Among the most outspoken advocates for the public-banking initiative is Vermont State Senator Anthony Pollina, a veteran Vermont Progressive Party activist and former gubernatorial candidate, who argues that it “doesn’t make any sense for us to be sending Vermont’s hard-earned tax dollars to some bank on Wall Street which couldn’t care less about Vermont or Vermonters when we could keep that money here in the state of Vermont where we would have control over it and therefore more of it would be invested here in the state.”

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Mich. middle school football team conspires for touching touchdown
2013-10-26, CBS News
Posted: 2014-03-17 08:07:12
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/mich-middle-school-football-team-conspires-for-to...

Between classes, they schemed and conspired. For weeks, the football players at Olivet Middle School in Olivet, Mich., secretly planned their remarkable play. "Everyone was in on it," says Nick Jungel. "But the coaches didn't know anything about it," Parker Smith says. "We were, like, going behind their back." We've never heard of a team coming up with a plan to not score. "It's just like to make someone's day, make someone's week, just make them happy," Justice Miller says. The play -- which was two plays, actually -- happened at a home game earlier this month. The first part of their plan was to try to get as close to the goal line as possible without scoring, even if it meant taking a dive on the one-yard-line, which it did. The crowd was not happy. "But us kids knew, hey, we got this, this is our time, this is Keith's time," Parker, the quarterback, says. Keith Orr is the little kid in the brown jacket. He's learning disabled, struggles with boundaries -- but in the sweetest possible way. Because of his special nature, it's no surprise that Keith embraces his fellow football players. What is surprising is how they have embraced him. "We thought it would be cool to do something for him," Parker says. "Because we really wanted to prove that he was part of our team and he meant a lot to us," adds Nick. "Nothing can really explain getting a touchdown when you've never had one before," says Justice. Which brings us to part two of their play. If you didn't see Keith, it's because they were so protective of him, but he was in the middle of the rush. When they crossed the goal line, Keith says it was "awesome."

Note: Don't miss the beautiful video of this touching story at the link above. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




U.S. stores say no to genetically engineered salmon
2014-03-03, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2014-03-10 15:26:37
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-gmo-salmon-20140303,0,873900....

The nation’s two largest conventional grocery chains, Kroger and Safeway, have announced that they will not sell genetically engineered salmon. They join several other chains, including Target, Whole Foods ... and Trader Joe’s. The Food and Drug Administration has not yet decided whether to approve the salmon, with DNA retooled so that the fish grow twice as fast as conventional salmon. The FDA’s final decision on the fish has been expected for a long time, and there is speculation that the agency has been holding off mainly because it knows that the public is inclined to look suspiciously on the new product. Consumer groups have taken matters into their own hands by appealing to food markets not to carry the fish, and they’re obviously having some notable successes. The other markets should fall in line; they don’t need these salmon in their fish departments in order to succeed, and, in fact, they stand a good chance of turning off consumers who worry about making over the DNA of an animal that, for all the fish farms, is essentially a wild creature.

Note: For more on the risks from GMO foods, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




5-Year-Olds Can Learn Calculus
2014-03-05, The Atlantic Magazine
Posted: 2014-03-10 15:25:06
http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/03/5-year-olds-can-learn-ca...

The familiar, hierarchical sequence of math instruction ... actually “has nothing to do with how people think, how children grow and learn, or how mathematics is built,” says pioneering math educator and curriculum designer Maria Droujkova. She echoes a number of voices from around the world that want to revolutionize the way math is taught, bringing it more in line with these principles. The current sequence is merely an entrenched historical accident that strips much of the fun out of what she describes as the “playful universe” of mathematics, with its more than 60 top-level disciplines, and its manifestations in everything from weaving to building, nature, music and art. “Calculations kids are forced to do are often so developmentally inappropriate, the experience amounts to torture,” she says. They also miss the essential point—that mathematics is fundamentally about patterns and structures, rather than “little manipulations of numbers,” as she puts it. It’s akin to budding filmmakers learning first about costumes, lighting and other technical aspects, rather than about crafting meaningful stories. Droujkova ... advocates a more holistic approach she calls “natural math,” which she teaches to children as young as toddlers, and their parents. This approach, covered in the book she co-authored with Yelena McManaman, Moebius Noodles: Adventurous math for the playground crowd, hinges on harnessing students’ powerful and surprisingly productive instincts for playful exploration to guide them on a personal journey through the subject.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Tiny houses helping with homeless problem in U.S.
2014-02-26, CBS News/Associated Press
Posted: 2014-03-10 15:23:38
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/tiny-houses-helping-with-homeless-problem-in-us

While tiny houses have been attractive for those wanting to downsize or simplify their lives for financial or environmental reasons, there's another population benefiting from the small-dwelling movement: the homeless. There's a growing effort across the nation from advocates and religious groups to build these compact buildings because they are cheaper than a traditional large-scale shelter, help the recipients socially because they are built in communal settings and are environmentally friendly due to their size. "You're out of the elements, you've got your own bed, you've got your own place to call your own," said Harold "Hap" Morgan, who is without a permanent home in Madison. He's in line for a 99-square-foot house built through the nonprofit Occupy Madison Build, or OM Build, run by former organizers with the Occupy movement. The group hopes to create a cluster of tiny houses like those in Olympia, Wash., and Eugene and Portland, Ore. Many have been built with donated materials and volunteer labor, sometimes from the people who will live in them. Most require residents to behave appropriately, avoid drugs and alcohol and help maintain the properties. The tiny house effort in Eugene, Ore., sprung up after the city shut down an Occupy encampment that turned into a tent city for the homeless. Andrew Heben and others worked with the city, which provided them with land for the project. "It's an American success story. ... Now we see in different cities people coming up with citizen driven solutions," Heben said. Ministries in Texas and New York also are developing communities with clusters of small houses.

Note: For lots more on the tiny house movement, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Tiny Houses for the Homeless: An Affordable Solution Catches On
2014-02-20, Yes! Magazine
Posted: 2014-03-10 15:22:24
http://www.yesmagazine.org/new-economy/tiny-house-villages-for-the-homeless-a...

On a Saturday in September, more than 125 volunteers showed up with tools in hand and built six new 16-by-20-foot houses for a group of formerly homeless men. It was the beginning of Second Wind Cottages, a tiny-house village for the chronically homeless in the town of Newfield, N.Y., outside of Ithaca. On January 29, the village officially opened, and its first residents settled in. Each house had cost about $10,000 to build, a fraction of what it would have cost to house the men in a new apartment building. The project is part of a national movement of tiny-house villages, an alternative approach to housing the homeless that's beginning to catch the interest of national advocates and government housing officials alike. For many years, it has been tough to find a way to house the homeless. More than 3.5 million people experience homelessness in the United States each year, according to the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. But Second Wind is truly affordable, built by volunteers on seven acres of land donated by Carmen Guidi, the main coordinator of the project. The retail cost of the materials to build the first six houses was somewhere between $10,000 and $12,000 per house, says Guidi. But many of the building materials were donated, and all of the labor was done in a massive volunteer effort. "We've raised nearly $100,000 in 100 days," he says, and the number of volunteers has been "in the hundreds, maybe even thousands now." The village will ultimately include a common house, garden beds, a chicken coop, and 18 single-unit cottages.

Note: For lots more on the tiny house movement, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Bikers Against Child Abuse: International Organization Comprised Of Bikers Supports And Protects Victims Of Child Abuse
2012-07-19, Huffington Post
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:30:20
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/19/bikers-against-child-abuse_n_1681351...

When children who have been the victims of abuse hear the approaching roar of a group called the Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA), they know they've got back-up. BACA, an international non-profit that uses a biker's tough image to make child abuse victims feel more secure, has a motto that says it all: 'No child deserves to live in fear.' BACA members are usually asked to intervene by local law enforcement officials or even by a parent. According to the group's mission statement, members will do everything from attending a child's court hearings to actually staying with a victim if he/she is afraid. “Our mission is to empower these children, allow them not to be afraid of the world, to stand up to the abuser and say you can’t do that me. I’ve got friends, I got backup; if you try to do that to me, you’re going to have go through us,” the Missouri chapter public relations officer, Mopar (the members use ride names for security purposes) told Columbia Magazine. Bikers Against Child Abuse was founded in 1995 by a Native American child psychologist whose ride name is Chief, when he came across a young boy who had been subjected to extreme abuse and was too afraid to leave his house. He called the boy to reach out to him, but the only thing that seemed to interest the child was Chief's bike. Soon, some 20 bikers went to the boy's neighborhood and were able to draw him out of his house for the first time in weeks. Chief's thesis was that a child who has been abused by an adult can benefit psychologically from the presence of even more intimidating adults that they know are on their side.

Note: For a short video on this highly unusual group, click here. For more on sexual abuse scandals, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Discipline With Dignity: Oakland Classrooms Try Healing Instead of Punishment
2014-02-19, Yes! Magazine
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:28:02
http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/education-uprising/where-dignity-is-part-of...

Tommy, an agitated 14-year-old high school student in Oakland, Calif., was in the hallway cursing out his teacher at the top of his lungs. A few minutes earlier, in the classroom, he’d called her a “b___” after she twice told him to lift his head from the desk. Eric Butler, the school coordinator for Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY) heard the ruckus and rushed to the scene. They walked together to the restorative justice room. Slowly, the boy began to open up and share what was weighing on him. His mom, who had been successfully doing drug rehabilitation, had relapsed. She’d been out for three days. The 14-year-old was going home every night to a motherless household and two younger siblings. He had been holding it together as best he could, even getting his brother and sister breakfast and getting them off to school. He had his head down on the desk in class that day because he was exhausted from sleepless nights and worry. Eric ... facilitated a restorative justice circle with [Tommy's mom], Tommy, the teacher, and the principal. Punitive justice asks only what rule of law was broken, who did it, and how they should be punished. It responds to the original harm with more harm. Restorative justice asks who was harmed, what are the needs and obligations of all affected, and how does everyone affected figure out how to heal the harm. Tommy ... told his story. On the day of the incident, he had not slept, and he was hungry and scared. He felt the teacher was nagging him. He’d lost it. Tommy apologized.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




5 Mindfulness Steps That Guarantee Increased Success And Vitality
2014-02-12, Forbes
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:24:31
http://www.forbes.com/sites/kathycaprino/2014/02/12/5-mindfulness-steps-that-...

Dr. Ellen Langer, a renowned mindfulness expert, experimental social psychologist and psychology professor at Harvard University, [is] the author of the groundbreaking book Mindfulness. Dr. Langer is considered the “mother of mindfulness” and has been researching mindfulness for more than 35 years, producing an important body of work on the impact of mindfulness on expanding success, health and vitality. Dr. Langer is convinced that virtually all of our suffering — professional, personal, interpersonal, societal — is the direct or indirect result of our mindlessness. In fact her studies suggest to her that most of us are mindless most of the time. Her research has found that increasing mindfulness results in increases in health, competence and happiness. More specifically, when people become more mindful, they become more charismatic, more innovative, less judgmental. Memory and attention improve, relationships expand, and mindfulness even leaves its imprint on the products we produce. By increasing mindfulness she’s found that stress decreases, pain diminishes, symptoms of arthritis, ALS and the common cold decrease, among other findings. Most astounding is that when seniors were encouraged to be mindful, they actually lived longer. How can we become more mindful in our lives, and create more success and vitality in the process? Dr. Langer suggests we take these 5 critical steps: Seek out, create, and notice new things. Realize how behavior can be understood differently in different contexts. Reframe mistakes into successes. Be aware that stress — indeed, all emotion — is a result of our views about events. Be authentic.

Note: For more on major health issues, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Meet the College Student Who's Turning Campus Leftovers Into Meals for Thousands of Hungry Neighbors
2014-02-07, People Magazine
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:22:53
http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20783867,00.html

How much food could be rescued if college dining halls saved their leftovers? Turns out more than 200,000 pounds in three years – according to the Food Recovery Network, which has mobilized college students across the nation to feed hungry people in the most commonsense way possible. At the University of Maryland’s 251 North dining hall, ... the dining hall staff began placing stainless-steel trays filled with unused food on an island countertop near the end of a spacious industrial kitchen. One by one, steaming trays were stacked on top of the other as several college students snapped on latex gloves and discussed their game plan. Their objective was simple, really: to intercept the food before it’s thrown away and deliver it to hungry people in need. The ever-expanding Food Recovery Network ... was founded on Maryland’s campus in September 2011 by Ben Simon, the nonprofit’s executive director. Food is thrown out at 75 percent of college campuses across the United States. That’s roughly 22 million meals per year, trashed. Overall, Americans waste 36 million tons of food annually. But since the founding of the Food Recovery Network at the University of Maryland ... in January 2012, the organization has expanded to 49 campuses nationwide.

Note: For an inspiring, four-minute video on this, click here. For the Food Recovery Network website, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Disabled veteran overcomes all odds to walk again
2012-05-12, CBS News
Posted: 2014-03-04 07:18:01
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/disabled-veteran-overcomes-all-odds-to-walk-again

Arthur Boorman was a disabled veteran of the Gulf War for 15 years, and was told by his doctors that he would never be able to walk on his own, ever again. He stumbled upon an article about Diamond Dallas Page doing Yoga and decided to give it a try -- he couldn't do traditional, higher impact exercise, so he tried DDP YOGA and sent an email to Dallas telling him his story. Dallas was so moved by his story, he began emailing and speaking on the phone with Arthur throughout his journey - he encouraged Arthur to keep going and to believe that anything was possible. Even though doctors told him walking would never happen, Arthur was persistent. He fell many times, but kept going. Arthur was getting stronger rapidly, and he was losing weight at an incredible rate! Because of DDP's specialized workout, he gained tremendous balance and flexibility -- which gave him hope that maybe someday, he'd be able to walk again. His story is proof, that we cannot place limits on what we are capable of doing, because we often do not know our own potential. Neither Arthur, nor Dallas knew what he would go on to accomplish, but this video speaks for itself. In less than a year, Arthur completely transformed his life. If only he had known what he was capable of, 15 years earlier.

Note: For an awesome, five-minute video on this inspiring transformation, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Amory Lovins: energy visionary sees renewables revolution in full swing
2014-02-17, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-02-24 11:34:09
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/feb/17/amory-lovins-renewable-energy

Amory Lovins last year harvested from his small garden more than 30 pounds of bananas, along with guava, mango, papaya, loquat, passion and other exotic fruit. Nothing remarkable in that, except that the energy analyst and chief scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) does not live in the tropics but in an unheated house 6,500 feet up a mountain near Aspen, Colorado, where the temperature falls to -44C and where last week more than two feet of snow fell in less than 24 hours. The fruit is grown in a greenhouse that is part of the sprawling, experimental, super-insulated house at Old Snowmass, built 30 years ago for $500,000 (£300,000) and an inspiration for a generation of energy thinkers, designers and sustainable builders. Visited by 100,000 people, it was the archetype for the European Passivhaus movement. "Heating systems are so 20th century," he says. "We have found you actually save money by not putting in a heating system. It's cheaper. The monitoring system uses more energy than the lights." Lovins has always maintained that energy conservation not only pays for itself, but that energy-saving technology can lead to higher quality of life at lower cost. He has advised many of the world's largest companies and dozens of countries how to reduce bills with renewables but has also challenged the giant car, aviation and construction industries to rethink the way they operate. Renewables have scaled up incredibly fast, he says. "Worldwide it is faster than mobile phones. More Kenyans now get first electricity now from solar than the grid. China got more generation from wind in 2012 than from nuclear and it added more generation from non-hydro renewable energy than fossil and nuclear combined. It is now the world leader in seven of the 10 renewable energies and wants to be top in all 10.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Homeless Hungarian man hits lottery jackpot with his last few coins
2014-02-16, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-02-24 11:30:10
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/16/homeless-hungarian-lottery-win-l...

Unemployed, in debt and facing another year living on the streets in Hungary, László Andraschek spent his last remaining coins on a lottery ticket. Now the formerly homeless man has a choice of accommodation around the world after becoming one of Hungary's biggest lottery winners, with a prize of about £1.7m. Andraschek, whose 630m Hungarian forint win last September went unnoticed until he made a significant donation to a hostel for the homeless this month, said buying the ticket was a chance decision at a railway station on his way to Budapest for a workshop for recovering alcoholics. [He] now plans to use his winnings to establish a foundation for addicts and women abused by their husbands. He and his wife, Anikó, said they will invest their money cautiously and avoid the ruinous spending splurges of many a lottery winner. "I have become rich but I have not become a different person. I could buy a large-screen TV because I can afford it, but I won't buy three because I can afford it." Having struggled with alcoholism, Andraschek finally quit five years ago and says he "now has no need to return". The news of Andraschek's dramatic upturn in fortunes came as human rights activists organised a wave of protests worldwide against a new Hungarian law that bans sleeping rough, in a country that has 30,000 homeless people.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




The Power of Touch
2013-03-11, Psychology Today
Posted: 2014-02-24 11:28:34
http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201302/the-power-touch

Probing our ability to communicate nonverbally is hardly a new psychological tack; researchers have long documented the complex emotions and desires that our posture, motions, and expressions reveal. Yet until recently, the idea that people can impart and interpret emotional content via another nonverbal modality—touch—seemed iffy, even to researchers, such as DePauw University psychologist Matthew Hertenstein, who study it. In 2009, he demonstrated that we have an innate ability to decode emotions via touch alone. In a series of studies, Hertenstein had volunteers attempt to communicate a list of emotions to a blindfolded stranger solely through touch. The results suggest that for all our caution about touching, we come equipped with an ability to send and receive emotional signals solely by doing so. Participants communicated eight distinct emotions—anger, fear, disgust, love, gratitude, sympathy, happiness, and sadness—with accuracy rates as high as 78 percent. "I was surprised," Hertenstein admits. "I thought the accuracy would be at chance level," about 25 percent. "Everywhere we've studied this, people seem able to do it," he says. Indeed, we appear to be wired to interpret the touch of our fellow humans. If touch is a language, it seems we instinctively know how to use it. But apparently it's a skill we take for granted. When asked about it, the subjects in Hertenstein's studies consistently underestimated their ability to communicate via touch—even while their actions suggested that touch may in fact be more versatile than voice, facial expression, and other modalities for expressing emotion. His research shows that touch can communicate multiple positive emotions: joy, love, gratitude, and sympathy.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Young boy comes to the aid of cash-strapped family
2013-01-16, Fox News (Atlanta affiliate)
Posted: 2014-02-24 11:26:54
http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/story/20605651/young-boy-raises-60k-for-charities

Aidan Hornaday may only be 12, but he's got his sights set on big things. The Woodstock boy is trying to rally kids all over the country to make a difference. The youngster has created Aidan Cares. He wants to prove to kids and grownups that everybody has something they can use to help other people. He found his something when he picked up his big brother's harmonica four years ago. The next night, waiting for his mom at C & S Seafood Oyster Bar in Vinings, Aidan took off his cap and started playing. "[I] was blowing harmonica, one note, then looking at it, then blowing another. And then, out of nowhere, I got $80. And I thought, 'Wow, 80 bucks for taking my hat off,'" said Hornaday. A 7-year-old philanthropist was born. "That night I came home and I said, 'You know what, I'm going to donate this $80 to African orphans to help fight intestinal parasites,'" said Hornaday. Soon people were asking him to play at their events and inviting him to speak to them. And the more he played, the more donations rolled in. In four years, he's raised more than $60,000.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




The Mindful Revolution
2014-02-03, Time Magazine
Posted: 2014-02-16 15:57:17
http://content.time.com/time/subscriber/article/0,33009,2163560,00.html

We're in the midst of a popular obsession with mindfulness as the secret to health and happiness. And a growing body of evidence suggests it has clear benefits. A curriculum called Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) was developed in 1979 by Jon Kabat-Zinn, an MIT-educated scientist. The techniques ... are intended to help practitioners quiet a busy mind, becoming more aware of the present moment and less caught up in what happened earlier or what's to come. Many cognitive therapists commend it to patients as a way to help cope with anxiety and depression. Its strength lies in its universality. It is gaining acceptance with ... Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, FORTUNE 500 titans, Pentagon chiefs and more. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs said his meditation practice was directly responsible for his ability to concentrate and ignore distractions. Though meditation is considered an essential means to achieving mindfulness, the ultimate goal is simply to give your attention fully to what you're doing. One can work mindfully, parent mindfully and learn mindfully. Think of your attention as a muscle. As with any muscle, it makes sense to exercise it ... and like any muscle, it will strengthen from that exercise. There are hundreds of mindfulness and meditation apps available from iTunes. Scientists have been able to prove that meditation and rigorous mindfulness training can lower cortisol levels and blood pressure, increase immune response and possibly even affect gene expression. Scientific study is also showing that meditation can have an impact on the structure of the brain itself.

Note: If the above link to the full article fails, click here. For another great article on mindfulness, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Peanut allergy treatment 'a success'
2014-01-29, BBC News
Posted: 2014-02-16 15:54:37
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25917272

Doctors say a potential treatment for peanut allergy has transformed the lives of children taking part in a large clinical trial. The 85 children had to eat peanut protein every day - initially in small doses, but ramped up during the study. The findings, published in the Lancet, suggest 84% of allergic children could eat the equivalent of five peanuts a day after six months. Peanuts are the most common cause of fatal allergic reactions to food. There is no treatment so the only option for patients is to avoid them completely, leading to a lifetime of checking every food label before a meal. The trial, at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, tried to train the children's immune systems to tolerate peanut protein. Every day they were given a peanut protein powder - starting off on a dose equivalent to one 70th of a peanut. The theory was that patients started at the extremely low dose, well below the threshold for an allergic response. Once a fortnight the dose was increased while the children were in hospital, in case there was any reaction, and then they continued taking the higher dose at home. The majority of patients learned to tolerate the peanut. Lena Barden, 11, from Histon in Cambridgeshire, said: "It meant a trip to the hospital every two weeks. A year later I could eat five whole peanuts with no reaction at all." One of the researchers, Dr Andrew Clark, told the BBC: "It really transformed their lives dramatically; this really comes across during the trial. Experts have warned that the therapy is not yet ready for widespread use.

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S.F. General foundation honors man who fled life of crime
2014-02-14, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2014-02-16 15:49:25
http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/S-F-General-foundation-honors-man-who-f...

Five gunshot wounds. A stabbing that left a long gash down his left arm. An estranged family, no home, no high school diploma and a rap sheet for theft, carrying a gun and using drugs. That's what Joe Drake Jr., now 24, was coping with when he arrived in an ambulance at San Francisco General Hospital almost six years ago after being caught in a gun and knife battle in Bayview-Hunters Point. After three surgeries and a month in the hospital, doctors repaired his body. A team of hospital social workers, however, had a much harder time repairing his spirit. But now, Drake sports an easy smile, is studying social welfare and theater at City College of San Francisco, has made amends with his family, holds down two jobs, and volunteers at San Francisco General telling teenage survivors of violent crime to avoid the tumultuous journey he took. On Thursday, Drake will be honored by the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation at its annual Heroes and Hearts award luncheon. Asked how it feels to win the award, the outgoing Drake turned shy and looked down at his lap. "It's amazing," he said after a long pause. "I want to be an asset. Hopefully, people can see I'm very capable." Asked to recount what he tells youths caught up in the juvenile justice system or who arrive at the hospital as victims of violence, Drake was much more animated. "Feed yourself what you need and not what you want," he said. "Don't be afraid of discipline, or somebody will discipline you. And pray - that's a big thing."

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