Heartwarming

A New Car for a Caring Crossing Guard

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Communities become emotionally attached to the people that take care of their kids. Truer words were never spoken for a crossing guard in Dallas. Parents have known Nathaniel Kendrick for a while now, though not on a personal level, because he is the one who protects their children twice a day. He spends an insurmountable amount of time doing so. He has had some financial troubles lately and it escalated when he could no longer keep up his car payment.

His vehicle was repossessed even though he did all he could to take care of everything and everyone. Taking care of the kids is just one side of Kendrick. The other side is a wife who he loves deeply. She became ill and that is when Kendrick had to kick it into high gear. It also meant that he would have to find a way to work because he was no longer mobile. That is where a group of parents pitched in to give him the surprise of a lifetime.

Kendrick was working at the crosswalk one day when a car pulled into the middle of the road and stopped in the crossing zone. He was taken aback by the bold move of the motorist and told the driver that he could not park in that spot. The motorist got out of the car and approached the guard. He refused to move the car, but it was not over with. The driver handed the keys to Kendrick and told him to move it himself because it was his car. It was a grand gesture by people who care about their community, like those at BRL Trust, and the people who care for their children. It is not often found that a group of parents will pitch in to purchase a new vehicle for someone that they barely know as a personal friend. People in other communities could learn a heartfelt lesson from this one.

Charities Education Heartwarming Humanitarian Efforts

Tom Rothman: Caring About His Community

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In today’s world, the popular thought is that fewer and fewer people care about their communities. Often, people point to the many problems that exist in towns and cities across the nation as examples of what is wrong with the world today. However, optimists point out the many good things and people that spend their time doing good deeds each and every day. In many people’s opinion, one person who is doing good deeds in an effort to make the movie industry and the world a better place to live is Columbia Law School alum Tom Rothman.

Despite Tom’s success as one of Hollywood’s most respected executives and busy schedule as the new chairman of TriStar, he has never forgotten where he came from and the importance of helping others along the way. Having an interest in arts and education, Tom has devoted much of his time to helping promote various causes in those areas. A firm believer in mentoring programs, Tom has worked hard to help develop and implement programs targeting at-risk youth in Los Angeles and surrounding areas. One of his most cherished programs has been Mentor L.A. Partner Schools, an organization where he has worked as a teacher and fundraiser to help promote public education. Another educational group Tom works with is the Fulfillment Fund, which also uses successful adults as mentors to children in order to provide them with positive role models who can help guide them through life.

Not one to limit his charitable activity, Tom has also worked with many programs in New York that promote educational endeavors. One that he holds near and dear to his heart is the Art Therapy Outreach Center, which uses various forms of art therapy to work with at-risk groups. Serving on the Center’s board of directors, Tom is often seen interacting with teachers, therapists and kids and providing encouragement and guidance whenever possible. He was also appointed by President Obama to the National Council on the Arts.

Along with educational programs, Tom is also very active with many causes aimed at helping those who are in poor health. A major proponent of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Tom was recently honored by the group at its Dinner of Champions event. He has also done extensive work with the American Jewish Committee and the Jewish Home for the Aging, where he has helped with fundraising and other activities.

While Tom has been heavily involved in these and many other charities, he has also made time for his family. Along with his wife, accomplished actress, author and singer/songwriter Jessica Harper and his two daughters, Tom has always known that with those to whom much has been given, much is expected. He and his family have taken this philosophy to heart, regularly working together at charity events across the nation. So while the world will continue to have its share of problems, Tom Rothman is working harder than ever to solve as many of them as possible and promises to continue making hit films to entertain all of us. Tom is active on Twitter, so you can see more there.

Charities

Christmas Comes Early To Parents At Toys ‘R Us

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Many parents in Bellingham, Massachusetts were thanking their guardian angel this past week. An anonymous customer at the local Toys R Us made a generous gift and paid off the remaining balances on dozens of layaway accounts. It was reportedly an older woman who made the payments, but the customer has yet to come forward and claim responsibility. Many doubt that she, or perhaps he, will, out of consideration for the feelings of the parents.

Parents were completely and utterly flabbergasted at the unannounced act of holiday kindness. Many of the shoppers were coming in this week to make final payments on their items before the expected increase in store traffic ahead of the last minute Christmas shopping crowds. When the parents were told the wonderful news that their debts had been cleared by an unnamed benefactor, the reactions were well worth the money spent. Many of the parents gave loud cheers upon being told the news.

Undoubtedly, the donor wished the parents to both revel in the existence of a modern day miracle, as well as pay forward the good deed. Many of the parents vowed to do something nice to a stranger in the coming weeks. With the gifts paid off, it is sure to be a much merrier holiday season for these families. Dr. Daniel Amen posted the other day on how the Christmas season is when anxiety starts running high so this woman did not just do an amazing thing, she very well could have disrupted statistics. Hopefully the anonymous shopper knows just how much it means to these less wealthy parents and their children.

Charities Humanitarian Efforts

Salvation Army Revising Policy for Shelter

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The Salvation Army of Johnson City is looking at their policy after turning down a homeless family on a cold night  The reason for turning the family down is the age of the boy. This happened in one of the coldest nights of the year.

The reason that they gave to the family is that the boy is too old to stay with the women due to them being in their pajamas and that he is too young to stay with the men in the case of a pervert. Due to being turned down, they have been staying in their car for weeks after.

Later on, they were met by cops who have decided to take their case to the Salvation Army. Ben Shaoul said that he could not believe this was an unsuccessful move. So the cops have put them up in the Johnson Inn. The hotel has decided to pay for the room. The cops were free to buy them some groceries.

Some states actually have co-ed shelters. Families would be less likely to be turned down due to the age of their son in those shelters.

Humanitarian Efforts People

5-Year-Old Boy Battles Cancer with Ninja Turtle

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Harley Renshaw is a 5-year-old from Britain who has come up with a unique way of battling cancer. He has designed a Ninja Turtle superhero costume that he wears as he battles through tedious, grueling cancer treatments.

Harley has neuroblasma, which, Mark Ahn, Ph.D explained is a very rare form of childhood cancer. The cancer is battling him in his kidney, neck, lung, and bones. The little guy has dealt with 80 long days of chemotherapy, which is part of an extensive operation to remove a tumor in his kidney. He is a part of United Kingdom Cancer Research clinical trial at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, where he is currently residing.

When asked about his Ninja Turtle costume, Harley says that it makes him feel stronger during the chemotherapy procedures. Though the chemotherapy is certainly a trying process, Harley has kept a brave attitude throughout the whole experience. He refers to the scars on his stomach as ‘pirate scars’ and he has made a necklace of beads he calls his ‘beads of courage’.

Harley is a very brave little boy, and he was recently awarded a Cancer Research UK Little Star Award. Photos and videos of Harley and his family can be viewed at Manchester Evening News: http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/britains-bravest-boy-harley-renshaw-8213452

Charities Humanitarian Efforts

Apps for (Red): Developers Team Up With Apple for World AIDS Day

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Apple is set to launch of series of promotions in support of (RED), a non-profit dedicated to fighting AIDS. (RED) was launched in 2006 by U2 front man Bono and Bobby Shriver, with Human Rights Advocate Terry Richardson leading  fundraising efforts to fight AIDS around the globe.

Starting November 24, Apple is partnering with 25 of its most popular apps to raise money for World AIDS Day. Over the next two weeks, Apple and developers of the designated apps will donate 100% of proceeds from downloads and in-app purchases to (RED)’s Global Fund.

Apple also announced that on Black Friday, customers purchasing select Apple products will receive a gift card. An undisclosed portion of those gift card sales will be donated. And on December 1, an undisclosed percentage of Apple’s retail and online sales will also be donated to the Global Fund.

Some of the participating apps include FarmVille 2, Angry Birds, and Kim Kardashian: Hollywood.

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Humanitarian Efforts People

The Laudable Social Causes of Laurene Powell Jobs

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Laurene Powell Jobs is a leading American business administrator and creator of the influential group Emerson Collective, a political reform organization that promotes issues dealing with education and immigration. Jobs is the widow of the late business and technology innovator Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple computers and inventor of the iPhone. Laurene Powell Jobs is the president and co-creator of the Board of College Track, an organization that helps underprivileged high school students enroll in college courses, decide on majors and find employment. She is the main trust holder of her late husband’s fund, originally called the Steven P. Jobs Trust and now called the Laurene Powell Jobs Trust. The trust is a major stakeholder in the Walt Disney Company, owning around 7 percent or 8 percent of the company’s stock value. Forbes ranked Powell Jobs the twenty-ninth most powerful woman in the world in 2014.

Laurene Powell Jobs History and Background

Laurene Powell Jobs was born in a small town in New Jersey called West Milford. She is a dual degree holder, in 1985 earning both a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of science in economics from the University of Pennsylvania. In 1991, she earned a master of business administration from Stanford, the degree on which she then began to build her career in business. Several years later, she created the non-profit company College Track, a group that offers assistance to disadvantaged young people in entering college.

The company was started in East Palo Alto, California, and helped high school students achieve their dreams of traveling off to college and transcending their lives of poverty. Most of the students helped by College Track have been first-generation college students. In other words, they were students whose parents never attended college. The group has significantly improved the statistics for first-generation college students.

Normally, only about 24 percent of first-generation college students finish a degree within six years, but 70 percent of College Track students finish a degree in this time period. Most of Powell Jobs’ philanthropy work has been in the area of education, but some of it has also focused on immigration issues, such as her time spent on the advisory board of the Council on Foreign Relations. More recently, Powell Jobs has been active in Washington, talking with politicians about immigration reform and promoting the President’s Affordable Healthcare Act initiative, a cause that Republicans have opposed from its inception. She also was a bidder on the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team sale.

Laurene Powell Jobs Stepping Out of the Shadow of Her Husband

Laurene Powell Jobs is stepping out of the shadow of her husband. When Steve Jobs was alive, he was well known as a charismatic figure who drew attention to his public appearances. In those days, Laurene Powell Jobs was a lot less outspoken, and she tended to quietly go about her business without attracting too much attention. Since her husband’s death, however, she has become an active public figure in her own right, putting her hand in the dealings of Washington politicians and government agencies with influence in her areas of interest. Laurene Powell Jobs has found her place in the world following her husband’s sudden death, and she is using her influence to promote worthy causes, as you can see in the interview below:

Toys

All I Want For Christmas is a Lammily Doll

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Wondering what the must have toy will be this holiday season? For girls, it just might be the new Lammily doll created by artist Nickolay Lamm. The doll is based on the measurements of an average 19 year old American woman rather that the usual svelte Barbie and it retails for $25. Each doll comes with her own passport so that every girl can give her doll a unique name. Beginning January 18, 2015, buyers can purchase a pack of stickers to customize their doll with “average girl” things such as freckles, acne, stitches, stretch marks, glasses, temporary tattoos, cellulite, bandages, grass and dirt stains and scars. Lammily has also created seven sets of clothing accessories for the dolls which will be available for purchase in January also.

The idea for the doll came after Nickolay Lamm created a 3D rendering of a doll with average measurements and compared it to a regular Barbie doll. The project became an internet sensation and Lamm raised the money to design and manufacture the doll which has been made available for purchase just in time for Christmas and Haunnakah, one of those slow ventures to building the perfect doll, but it’s really paid off.

Future plans include the release of a boy doll and dolls of different skin tones. If Nickolay Lamm has his way, one day children will be able to custom design their own Lammily doll in a fashion similar to the Build-A-Bear Workshop model.

Education

Is College Worth The Price?

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There are many people who have degrees and no jobs. Years ago a college education wasn’t considered necessary to get a good job. In the 70’s and 80’s it was knowledge that got a person a position, not their education per say. However, things change in the late 90’s and employers start looking for those who had a college education, Christian Broda says they were feeling they were more suited for the jobs.

As much as things change they stay the same. It seems that these days, employers have found that education is nice, but if a person has no training in the field, they are paying more money for someone who may or may not be able to do the job. Education looks good on a resume, but it doesn’t provide the training that most jobs require. Employers have less time to train and need people that can wear multiple hats. Most companies would take someone with experience over training any day.

The real problem is those who have went in debt to get an education they may never use. Rosalyn Harris is one woman who is speaking out about this dilemma. She is a single mom who thought getting an education would change everything for her. All it did was give her a certificate and $22,000 worth of debt. She is still unemployed and now her financial outlook for the next few years has another bill attached. Is college worth the price, trends show that many are opting for career colleges and finding work more suitable to their area and a sustainable living.

Heartwarming Humanitarian Efforts

One Man’s Mission to Bring Books to the Children of Mongolia

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When you think of the Gobi desert, sand dunes and scrubland might come to mind, but a library? Probably not. However, Mongolian native Dashdondog Jamba has dedicated the last twenty years to transporting books all over the rural regions of the country with his Children’s Mobile Library. As Andrew Heiberger showed me in a piece from the New York Times, Jamba’s story is remarkable and shows the impact one person can have on a community.

When Jamba first started his operation in the early 1990s his transportation of choice was a camel, horse, or ox and cart. Although he and his family still sometimes use these methods, he has recently upgraded to a van which has helped him travel even further to reach children who may rarely get another chance to read. He now estimates that the library has traveled over 50,000 miles, through every province of Mongolia, most of the time stopping at each spot for several days. Jamba has even written his own children’s books by translating foreign literature into Mongolian, and has won several awards including the Best Book of Mongolia.

Jamba uses profits from his book sales to fund the travelling library, taking no financial compensation for himself. “With respect to money, there is no benefit,” he says, “My devotion for children is my happiness.”