Tag Archives: #WATWB

Man Brings Hope To Poor Communities Of Chicago

Jahmal Cole started his organization ‘My Block My Hood My City’ to uplift some of the neighborhoods and youth in Chicago. The organization volunteers have worked on various community improvement projects like clearing trash, mowing overgrown lots, trimming trees, and shoveling snow on a block where elderly people live. Cole wants to expose disadvantaged young people to the world outside their neighborhoods as well. He started an ‘explorations’ program of  “twice-a-week trips that take teenagers to different parts of the city, sometimes to learn about a business or profession, sometimes to visit an ethnic neighborhood and sample the food” (Christian Science Montior). The kids know they can rely on Jahmal Cole to care about them.

You can read the full article ‘Block by block, a community activist builds a better Chicago’by Richard Mertens, here.  And here is ‘My Block My Hood My City’ website.


We Are The World Blogfest, #WATWB, is a monthly blogfest that “seeks to promote positive news. There are many an oasis of love and light out there, stories that show compassion and the resilience of the human spirit. Sharing these stories increases our awareness of hope in our increasingly dark world. ” To learn more about #WATWB and sign up to participate.

The cohosts for this month are:  Shilpa Garg, Inderpreet Uppal, Peter Nena, Lizbeth Hartz and Eric Lahti.

Featured image of ‘South Side of Chicago’  photo of 1973 from US National Archives on Flickr.com

 

Let’s End Ageism

In America there is a big elephant in the room that no one wants to acknowledge. All the talk of booming economy and reduced unemployment that completely leaves out a large segment of our society who have not fallen through the cracks but down a humongous sinkhole.

ProPublica did a report in December 2018 focusing on a big elephant: ” If You’re Over 50, Chances Are the Decision to Leave a Job Won’t be Yours.”

ProPublica and The Urban Institute analyzed date from the Health and Retirement Study that followed ” a nationally representative sample of about 20,000 people from the time they turn 50 through the rest of their lives.”  Their findings were “that between the time older workers enter the study and when they leave paid employment, 56 percent are laid off at least once or leave jobs under such financially damaging circumstances that it’s likely they were pushed out rather than choosing to go voluntarily ….only one in 10 of these workers ever again earns as much as they did before their employment setbacks.”

Here is another story about someone feeling the effects of the above reality and how the ‘gig economy’ is not such a wonderful panacea for us all, “Surviving on $3 a Day and Hope, the seven lessons I’ve learned living in poverty.”

Age discrimination is the parent of this elephant and I don’t think it helps to get new skills or a new hairstyle without efforts to change attitudes of employers and society toward older people. I do think policymakers need to take a realistic look at this and what policies might help like lowering the Medicare enrollment age so employers would not use the excuse that older workers will cost them more with their health problems, (which is an ageist stereotype), and people who are unable to find secure employment would not lose their health coverage.  While I was looking for programs offering solutions, I came across an article from American Society on Aging, “Ageism in Action! Ageism Inaction!” 

In it the author mentioned an organization, Boomers Leading Change, that states, “We mobilize, connect and empower Adults 50+ to utilize your skills, passion and energy to create positive, lasting social change.”  This organization based in Denver, Colorado, recruits people 50+ to utilize their skills to help their community.

“Our volunteers receive highly valuable education and training and then are connected with service opportunities in one of our programs – The Volunteer Program, our AmeriCorps Encore Program or our Boomers Advocacy Academy. In addition, our Connect for Health Coverage Guides help individuals and families learn about health insurance that fits their needs then find coverage through Colorado’s insurance marketplace.” (Boomers Leading Change)

The AmeriCorps Encore Program is probably the only paid position, and probably low paying, but I like their approach to volunteering for older adults, not just stuffing envelopes. Boomers Leading Change wants to “change the world’s view about aging.” We need more organizations dedicated to this.


We Are The World Blogfest, #WATWB, is a monthly series dedicated to shining some light into our world.

 

Image of Solidarity March for Immigrants and Refugees by Fibonacci Blue on Flickr.

Away From Home

My great-grandmother saw 4 sons leave their home for faraway lands never to return. The family would say no one knows what became of them. Well, I know some of what became of them. My grandfather and his brother emigrated to the US and settled in California. The two oldest sons emigrated to Australia. I have been able to piece together the outline of the lives of my grandfather and his brother. The brothers who emigrated to Australia may exist in a collection of government records, but so far I am unable to find them. The oldest went first then sent money for his younger brother to come by ship with a younger sister.  In the New South Wales, Australia, Assisted Immigrant  passenger list of the ship it says that Thomas was 28 years old, his mother Rachel in Tipperary, and he was going to his older brother Pat in Sydney. The New South Wales, Australia, Immigration Deposit Journal states that Patrick paid toward the passage of Thomas, 25 years old,a laborer, and Catherine, 23 years old, a domestic servant. Their prior address listed in the journal as c/o my great-grandfather in Tipperary, Ireland. I hope I can find what happened to them but I may never know.

The story of immigrants is repeated over and over. People traveling away from home looking for a better life. They leave behind part of themselves and families sometimes wondering what became of them. Immigration is a major topic in the United States once again. There must be better solutions for assisting immigrants and working to improve conditions in their home countries so they are not forced to flee.

I found an article by Marisa Peñaloza of NPR ‘A Guatemalan Village Tells The Story Of  Immigration To The US’ which describes a family’s situation and what motivated a man to try to get to the US.  There are many organizations in this country and international that are working to help immigrants. I just picked one, KIND, but I leave it up to you to decide which organizations to support. KIND works to provide legal representation for children appearing in court alone, children who have entered the US alone.

Another perspective in this article, ‘The Case for Getting Rid of Borders–Completely.’


Featured image Image of Solidarity March for Immigrants and Refugees by Fibonacci Blue on Flickr. We Are The World blogfest, #WATWB cohosts for this month are: Eric Lahti , Inderpreet Uppal, Shilpa Garg, Peter Nena, Damyanti Biswas.

We are the World Blogfest for Positivity on Social Media

 

Images Of Kindness

A father a son, Jesse and David Fryburg, M.D., started an organization called ‘Envision Kindness’ to capture images of kindness that can have a positive effect on us all.  It seems like we could all use some positive news and images to counteract all the very negative news we have been exposed to. People who worked with this program found that creating photos about kindness did inspire them to carry on doing good for others. You can read about it here.

Viewing images of kindness may help us all heal.

 


We Are The World blog #WATWB, is a monthly blog hop to share positive news. This month’s hosts are: Eric Lahti, Inderpreet Uppal, Shilpa Garg, Mary Gieseand  Roshan Radhakrishnan

The idea is to spread #positivity and #light to counterbalance the #negativity and #darkness in #socialmedia

An Underground Railroad For Women Coming Out of Prison

The path of ex-prison inmates can often be a dark one. It is difficult to reintegrate into society and find people willing to give you a second chance. This month’s story is from the LA Times by Gale Holland about a woman, Susan Burton, who had been in prison 6 times in 20 years and is now dedicating herself to preventing other women from following the same path with her organization “A NewWay of Life Re-entry Project.” Her group has “thrown a lifeline to about 1,000 other women to interrupt the incarceration cycle that held her for 20 years; the project operates homes to help women leaving prison get back on their feet.”

You can read more about this remarkable woman and the work she is doing here: Turning prison past into a life’s calling


This story is part of the monthly We Are The World Blogfest #WATWB. This month’s edition is hosted by  Shilpa Garg, Simon Falk, Mary J Giese, Dan Antion,  Damyanti Biswas.

Sign up for We Are the World Blogfest!

 

Pink Perfection Camellia by Trish Hartmann

People Making A Difference

The title of this month’s blog for We Are The World Blogfest is from the Christian Science Monitor’s online section on people who are working to make the world a better place. I go to this site often to find stories for my monthly posts. This month I am sharing a story about a non-profit organization in San Francisco called Miracle Messages. It was founded by Kevin Adler who was inspired to create his non-profit to help homeless people make contact with family members because of his late Uncle Mark who had been homeless for 30 years. The story “He helps homeless people reconnect with loved ones through video messages,”  by Bailey Bischoff describes how he has been able to reunite 100 individuals with friends and family and helped some of them to secure stable housing. It is very touching to read some of their stories like Mr. Spires who had lost touch with his daughter when his wife moved away and had not seen her since she was 3 years old. Miracle Messages was able to locate the daughter and reunite them online.

Kevin Adler wants to eliminate the stigma surrounding homeless people.

“A big part of our work is reframing people who are homeless as someone’s somebody”…( Kevin Adler Christian Science Monitor)

He has a goal of reuniting 1 million people by 2023 and has a hotline set up, 800-MISS-YOU.

Miracle Messages.org for more information on this organization.


We Are The World Blogfest, #WATWB, “seeks to promote positive news. There are many an oasis of love and light out there, stories that show compassion and the resilience of the human spirit. Sharing these stories increases our awareness of hope in our increasingly dark world.”

Cohosts for this month’s #WATWB: Shilpa Garg, Inderpreet Kaur Uppal, Peter Nena, Andrea Michaels, Damyanti Biswas.

Click on the We Are The World Blogfest link if you would like to participate.

We Are the World Blogfest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured image Pink Perfection Camellia by Trish Hartmann on Flickr.

 

What’s The Matter With Happy Endings

I like happy endings to stories. I like to have things come out right in the end. You might think I am pretty naive. That is not real life you say. It is more important and worthwhile, even great writing, to tell it like it is. I can read the newspaper if I want stories about all the bad in the world. It is satisfying to have things work out positively. It gives us hope about life and the possibility of good in the world.

Once a month I participate in the We Are The World Blogfest sharing positive stories about people making a positive impact in the world. Seems like you have to search through the news nowadays to find these stories. One source I have is Gratefulness.org. and their monthly Gratefulness News. In it, I found a post about community health workers in Kenya who bring healthcare access to impoverished and remote areas, “Meet the ‘backpack midwife’ bringing healthcare for all.” Phillips Africa is the company that developed the backpack and is  “working with local government, Philips is developing a number of community life centres to support community health workers and midwives equipped with these hi-tech backpacks.”

This story reminds me of the Frontier Nursing Service (FNS) of the 1930s, founded by Mary Breckinridge a public health nurse and midwife, in the state of Kentucky in the United States. Nurse midwives brought obstetric care to women in Appalachia by horseback, their supplies in saddlebags.

“The nurse-midwife carried all of these materials in her saddlebags because she was usually far from both her outpost center and the small FNS hospital; she had to be prepared for whatever she found. With the help of the equipment in those saddlebags, FNS nurse-midwives lost astoundingly few mothers. FNS was a great success by any measure….Kentucky, the birthplace of American nurse-midwifery, now houses Frontier Nursing University, which has provided graduate education to nurse-midwives (and more recently, nurse practitioners) since 1939. This university combines distance education and clinical work in the student’s own community to educate a significant percentage of American nurse-midwives.”-Midwives on Horseback: Saddlebags and Science

Check out the complete story by Dr. Laura Ettinger from the Smithsonian “Stories from the National Museum of American History.”

History of Frontier Nursing University with some great photos.

 

Mary_Breckinridge via wikimedia.org

Mary Breckinridge


Featured image ‘Crepuscular rays in Golden Gate Park’ by Brocken Inaglory via Wikimedia.org

We Are The World Blogfest  #WATWB cohosts for this month are:  Shilpa Garg, Dan Antion, Simon Falk, Michelle Wallace , Mary Giese

We Are the World Blogfest