Saturday, January 15, 2011

Stories with Impact

The Huffington Post organizes its online news into a convenient format of topics like World/Green/Tech/Health...

'Impact' involves stories about outreach and help in the community. It also features the 'Greatest Person of the Day' series.

For example, recent recipients include:

- Nadia Raymond has gone three times as a nurse to Haiti to help with disaster response efforts. "I think it just makes you more aware of yourself and how you look at your family with new eyes, you look at what you have with new eyes."

- Sasha Kramer is a doctor who is also in Haiti helping them to find clean sanitation alternatives. She has developed SOIL, "Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods," with a mission to transform waste into resources in order to empower Haitian communities.

- Andrew Slack is founder of the Harry Potter Alliance who believes in the power of storytelling as a way to help alleviate the ills of the world. He was inspired by author J.K. Rowling in a 2008 commencement speech at Harvard--"We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better."Rowling wanted her fans to funnel the inspiration of creativity into a pathway for better thinking about how to change this world.

- Joe Selvaggio responded to the needs he saw in his Minnesota community and started MicroGrants in 2006, the same year that Mohammed Yunus won the Nobel Prize for pioneering a system of micro loans to those in need with his Grameen Bank. "Assigned to a parish in an inner city in Minnesota, he could not ignore his desire to help the poor become more affluent, and so left priesthood to pursue his passion. After a few years working to sell mutual funds, he realized that there were enough people willing to give their money to the less-fortunate that he could focus solely on administrating the exchange between givers and receivers."

The 'greatest person of the day' series encourages one to think about people in our own communities who provide social assistance often in quiet, inconspicuous ways.