Happy Sunday, dear friends. As many of you know, I am a student of biology, and you can’t take the love of experimenting out of the student. This week, I decided to do a little experiment with Facebook.
Some folks adore Facebook for its ability to connect with family and friends. Some love it for the cute Meme’s, also known as photographs with sayings written on them, for those who aren’t in the know. Others can’t stand Facebook because it can tend to draw the drama into their lives.
I adore Facebook. Part of the reason is because I chose to interact with it only in a positive way. The other reason is because I decided to make my work life joy-filled, and much of my work relates to social media. If I am going to interact with any platform, it must bring me joy.
That was my decision. This week though, I decided to ask Facebook to literally bring me the good news. I did not search online for any news, as I usually do, but simply wanted to see if the good news would come to me.
Every single day, my newsfeed delivered me some good news. There was more than enough by the second day to totally fill one edition, so this represents the top picks from Facebook sharings that appeared on my newsfeed alone.
I hope you enjoy, and you may want to choose to see if my experiment plays out in your world as well. It’s amazing what this social media tool can deliver, and even more amazing when we choose to intend for it to deliver good news!
Bangladesh cuts its hunger rate in half!
According to a recent United Nations report, there are 216 Million fewer hungry people in our world than there were in the 1990’s, and 100 Million less than just 3 years ago!
This is amazing news, as hunger is one of the most critical, and most easily shifted issues facing our world. Bangladesh was once considered one of the most impoverished countries in the world, but they have recently turned it around by focusing on small farming mechanization, the empowerment of women and education for girls.
The country is now self-sufficient when it comes to the agricultural production of their rice staple crop, and this gives hope to other developing nations to also achieve the same status through focused sustainable platforms at the local level. Knowing that so many more people are being provided with the food they need to survive and thrive is certainly a wonderful thing.
A school for homeless children helps them shine.
This is a story of grass-roots support for a dream. When the PLACE, a progressive school for at-risk teens and homeless kids, in San Diego, CA, was in jeopardy of losing its home due to the building of a new baseball stadium, a group of inspired business people gathered at the Rotary Club, to figure out a way to find a new location.
They not only found a new location, they helped create an entirely different type of school for transient students in the city. The school was renamed the Monarch School and through its non-profit arm, they raised over $1.4 Million to subsidize the monies they get from the state.
The school not only offers education and extended before and after-hours care. They provide kids with clothes, a place to shower, a nap area, healthy meals and funds for parents who need help with documentation and transportation. The staff realized that kids couldn’t focus on learning without feeling a level of personal comfort, and so they focused on addressing these outside stressors that most kids will never experience.
The results are astounding, and the school’s space was soon overflowing with students, who went from earning D’s and F’s to B’s and C’s. The local Rotary club again came to their aid. The group raised another $15 Million and found a much larger facility for the school, expanding the services provided to include health care. They were also a catalyst to get local business and sports teams, such as the San Diego Chargers to donate equipment to this important fixture for the transient community.
Looking beyond what is and evaluating what is needed for a marginalized community is the key to creating projects that will work. This is a stellar example of thinking outside the box, and enlisting local businesses and non-profits to address a community need in the most loving and empowering fashion.
A young boy uses his allowance to design clothes for homeless kids.
This story broke my heart wide open. Xavier Elliott is a young boy who lives in Phoenix, AZ. His dad served in Iraq and suffered from PTSD, which led the family on a long odyssey through homelessness. They are finally getting back on their feet, and one would think that a young boy would then focus on being a kid.
Not so for Xavier. After watching his mother, who volunteers to run a support program called Arizona Veteran Families, using a sewing machine to make clothes, he asked her if he could use his allowance to buy fabric to make clothes for other homeless kids. His mom taught him how to use the machine and he began to work on his project to give to kids who have less than he does.
Using social media, the family has collected donations of fabric and money to expand their project of kindness, to a community that they once belonged to and hope to support. Xavier is another example of the generous hearts embodying now, which certainly gives me hope for the future.
Elvis is building more Tiny Homes for the homeless.
We shared a story a while ago about a man named Elvis, who decided to build a portable tiny home for a homeless woman in his neighborhood. While she was overwhelmed by his kindness, so was the world, who supported his crowdfunding campaign that he set up to allay the cost of building materials for the project to the tune of $80,000.
This weekend, Elvis has decided to continue his streak of kindness by hosting a tiny house building marathon in the Los Angeles, CA area. He requested volunteers to come out and help with the process and learn about building tiny homes. What a kind and giving person, and a shining light showing the way to a world that works for everyone!
A local police officer pays it forward at a young girl’s lemonade stand.
Gabrielle Garcar, is 9 years old. She wanted an IPad to do her school work on and play a few video games. Her mom was not able to afford it, and so Gabrielle decided to take matters into her own hands.
She set up a lemonade stand in her Ohio neighborhood so that she could raise the money herself. Local Sheriff’s Deputy Zak Ropos stopped by for a glass of lemonade and got to talking with the girl, who explained the reason for her stand.
Zak really wanted to help her, and knew that the money from the stand would not be enough to fund her purchase, and so he thought to donate a used one he had at home. When he realized that the used one would not work, he went out and purchased a new one, with the permission of Gabrielle’s mom. He delivered it to the happy girl, because he wanted to join in with the other Lake County officers who regularly pay it forward in the community.
After this act of kindness went viral on Facebook, deputy Ropos said that he was just following the wonderful example of the other officers in his department, who are all so caring and would give the shirt off their back for the people.
Donations come in from around the globe to save a local greasy spoon.
Annie’s Clark Brunch is a fixture in Worcester, MA, which is a working class town, and home to many colleges and universities. The diner sits on the corner of Clark University, and many students over the years have considered it a second home, where they can get a comforting meal on a student’s pocketbook.
The Clark Brunch has been around for years, and due to the low prices maintained by Annie Jenkins, who has owned the restaurant since 1991, there was never enough money to update the kitchen to health codes.
Recently Annie received notice that the upgrades would have to be made, or the city would close the restaurant down. The cost of the upgrades was over $50,000 and Annie’s heart sank. She knew she didn’t have the money to complete the renovations and she thought she would have to close the restaurant.
Locals came to the rescue when they heard about her plight. They reached out to university alumni and created a crowdfunding page for Clark Brunch. Clark University also came to the rescue, offering a no-interest loan to Jenkin’s as the university owns the building. Annie is overwhelmed, as donations have come in from all over the world to support what she loves most, and renovations will begin this summer for completion before the fall term.
This story is a wonderful example of how social media can be used to help with what can seem like an insurmountable problem. The first step is always letting people know when you need help, and then allowing them to create solutions that were unheard of even 5 years ago.
It is also amazing to see the love pouring forth for Annie and the restaurant. She might never have known how important the place she created was to others, unless this difficult situation had not made her ask for help.
That’s the good news for today. Have a lovely day. See you all next Sunday as we explore more good news together.
Be Well. Be Joy. Be Love!