All posts filed under: Inspiration

Public Fridge for the Homeless

How many times have you left a restaurant with a to-go box, only to toss it in the trash a few days later? In Kochi, India, you can share your leftovers with the homeless population by leaving it in an outdoor fridge! Minu Pauline, restaurant owner of Pappadavada, came up with this solution to help the less fortunate folks in her city: She covers the cost of the fridge and electricity while she, along with the community, do their part to donate excess food that they are going to throw out anyway. I just love this. When I first arrived in the United States, one of the first things I noticed were the large portions, so there is always an abundance of wasted food. I know some companies are already donating their unsold goods to food banks, but, as Minu shows, you don’t have to be a giant corporation to make a difference in people’s lives. What an inspiration!   Source: BetterIndia.com

A Sign of Hope

This is one of my favorite videos from last year. It shows a whole town in Turkey learning sign language so they can surprise Muharrem, their deaf neighbor. Seeing his face light up when he slowly realized that he was able to communicate with everyone that morning, makes me smile so much. Though this video was created as part of a company’s promotion, it does not take away from the fact that the neighborhood took the time to participate and learn for this event. To me, this is also a sign of hope: Hope for raised awareness of the barriers many people have to overcome in order to live “normally.” Hope for more technology that can bring us closer as a human race. And finally, hope for people to realize the tremendous impact that a simple kind gesture can bring to a person’s life.  

They Have Books!

Just a quick update: Last summer, I mentioned helping out some teachers via DonorsChoose.org to buy books for their students. I continued this support throughout the winter and just the other day, I received a wonderful update from a teacher with some photos of the kids enjoying the books we helped donate. I’m so excited to see the positive impact that my choice for that day has made. It’s only a few bucks on my side, but seeing the girls’ and boys’ enthusiasm over their new books, along with the teacher’s Thank You note encourages me to continue to make choices similar to these every chance I get. She even mentioned that we’ve helped create “a habit of reading.” I’m BEYOND thrilled!!! From the note: We are loving our books! Students have been raving to their friends and parents about the plethora of good books they’ve been enjoying day after day. Students are improving on their phonemic awareness, vocabulary and comprehension one book at a time. Students are enjoying their new books during silent reading, read alouds, and buddy reading. Many of them are …

A Reminder from Butterflies

She liked being reminded of butterflies. She remembered being six or seven and crying over the fates of the butterflies in her yard after learning that they lived for only a few days. Her mother had comforted her and told her not to be sad for the butterflies, that just because their lives were short didn’t mean they were tragic. Watching them flying in the warm sun among the daisies in their garden, her mother had said to her, see, they have a beautiful life. Alice liked remembering that. – Lisa Genova, Still Alice Whenever I see butterflies, they always remind me of change. Metamorphosis. The transformation and the inspiration behind the seeming end. The staggering beauty of possibilities! I have forgotten that they only live for a little while, until I stumbled upon the quote above. Yes, life comes to an end for all of us eventually … but this thought should never take away from the simple joys of living, the quiet yet profound impact of each moment, and the significance of a life lived well.

Christopher Ategeka: From Orphan to Entrepreneur

“Life got really good,” Ategeka laughed. “They bought me a bicycle and gave me three meals a day, which is a luxury, by the way.” Talk about perspective. It’s a bit of a challenge to summarize Christopher Ategeka’s amazing life story in a few words, but I honestly feel that I have to share this with everyone I know right now. Christopher is an orphan in Uganda who lost his mother and father to AIDS at the age of seven. With his love of learning burning in him, he attempted to go to school through a charity and was denied due to lack of funds. When he was 12 however, an American couple, Michael and Martha Helm, offered to sponsor him through a church-based NGO and orphanage Y.E.S. Uganda. His drive and discipline impressed the couple, who continued to offer him the chance to live with them in California so he can continue his education. But the story does not end there. Christopher then proceeded to graduate with a masters degree in UC Berkeley and has since founded a non-profit organization, Rides for Lives. His group’s …