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9 months ago · by · 0 comments

Hospital Staff Transforms Gym Into Homecoming For Teen

A Huron High School senior, who was unable to attend her much-anticipated homecoming due to a recent brain surgery, received a heartwarming surprise when the hospital staff brought the homecoming festivities to her. The hospital staff ensured that Megan Krafty had the chance to experience those cherished moments she had been looking forward to, including sharing a dance with her boyfriend Tommy on the hospital’s dance floor.

The heartwarming event came after Megan’s recent brain surgery, during which doctors successfully removed 70% of a glioma tumor the size of a golf ball. Krafty’s brain cancer was diagnosed in May after a post-seizure MRI revealed the golf ball-sized tumor. Her mother said they had to leave 30% of the tumor because it is connected to her nervous system. As a result of the surgery, Krafty has experienced some paralysis on her left side. It was when she arrived at the Cleveland Clinic for rehab depressed about missing out on homecoming that the staff decided to make a plan.

The community rallied around Megan during her recovery. The caring staff even decorated the gym with a Christmas theme in honor of Megan’s love for the holiday. Krafty was overcome with emotion when she arrived at the gym, which had been transformed into a winter wonderland.
In a touching display of unity and encouragement, the Huron Police and Fire Department, the high school’s football and volleyball teams, neighbors, friends, Megan’s entire family, and the Huron High School marching band lined the streets, cheering for her as she made her way back home.

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9 months ago · by · 0 comments

West Virginia Campus Raises Funds for their “Starbucks Mom”

A Starbucks supervisor is getting ready to buy a new car, thanks to her coworkers and an entire college campus. Karen Collinsworth, 65, has been living near the Marshall University campus in Huntington, West Virginia, for decades, and working for a Starbucks location near the campus for many of those years as well.

Collinsworth’s coworkers knew she frequently had issues with her 2004 Kia that she didn’t like to talk about. But when she told them someone had stolen the catalytic converter on top of the already existing issues, her co workers wanted to help. Collingsworth’s reputation for kindness prompted a campus to come to her aid when her car was running on its last legs.

Co-workers Jaiden Horn and Cassie Gray, both sophomores at Marshall, said everyone loves working with Collinsworth. After personal items were stolen when her car was broken just days after the catalytic converter was stolen, the two, along with several other baristas, talked about possibly setting up a GoFundMe after one of them saw an anonymous post from someone wishing they could donate money to help Collinsworth.

Gray says “We all just kind of talked about it and we floated around the idea of starting a fundraiser for her. After work when I got back to my dorm, I decided to just make it because I figured even if we couldn’t raise that much money, any amount would help her. It was just kind of like a spur of the moment thing.”

The GoFundMe “We Love You Karen” was started with the original goal of $10,000 to “help her buy a working car and ensure she wouldn’t have to worry about monthly bills.” To date, the fundraiser has raised over $40,000 for Collinsworth. Horn says her co-workers all shared the fundraiser on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Yik Yak, and that goal was met in the first 24 hours.

There are big donations, the highest being a $5,000 donation from Marshall University president Brad Smith, but most of the more than 1,200 donations were just $5. A thankful Collinsworth said “All the $5 donations meant more to me than $1,000 or $3,000 ones. It was just precious coming from these college kids that can’t afford a cup of coffee. Just goes to show you their kindness. I know those kids love me and that’s what makes my life worthwhile,” says Karen Collinsworth, who considers herself a “Starbucks mom” to her 19-year-old co-workers.

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9 months ago · by · 0 comments

Simons Foundation Donates $500 Million to Stony Brook University

Hedge fund billionaire Jim Simons made one of the largest gifts in the history of higher education, donating $500 million to Stony Brook, the Long Island institution where he once taught math. The donation was made through the Simons Foundation, a philanthropic organization run by Simons and his wife, Marilyn. It’s the seventh-largest donation directly to an American university ever and the second-largest gift ever received by a public college.

Jim Simons chaired the math department at Stony Brook before making billions thanks to the Renaissance Technologies hedge fund he founded, while Marilyn Simons is an alumna of the college. The donation will go directly to Stony Brook’s endowment fund, supporting functions such as financial aid and professor salaries. Jim and Marilyn Simons are worth $28.1 billion, and are among the top 25 American philanthropists.

The Simons Foundation’s mission is to advance the frontiers of research in mathematics and the basic sciences. Since its founding in 1994 by Jim and Marilyn Simons, the foundation has been a champion of basic science through grant funding, support for research and public engagement. We believe in asking big questions and providing sustained support to researchers working to unravel the mysteries of the universe.

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9 months ago · by · 0 comments

Climate Action Pathways for Schools

Climate Action Pathways for Schools, or CAPS, a nonprofit that aims to help high school students become more environmentally aware while simultaneously lowering their school’s carbon footprint and earning wages. CAPS is part of a growing trend to prepare young people for green jobs of the future before they graduate high school.

Like similar programs in Missouri, Illinois, Maine, Mississippi and New York City, CAPS is using the career-technical education, or CTE, model. CAPS started in part because a local solar engineer, Bill Kelly, wanted to share his expertise with students in the school district’s career-technical education program.

Kirk Anne Taylor, who has a deep background in education and nonprofit management, joined last year as executive director with a vision to expand the model beyond just solar power. CAPS students are trained for school-year and summer internships that teach them about the environment and how to lower the carbon footprint in school buildings and the larger community.

CAPS participants give presentations, educating fellow students about climate change and green jobs. They also work with farmers to get local food in the cafeterias but their most specialized and skilled task is completing detailed energy audits of each building in the district and continuously monitoring performance. CAPS programs across the country are small but the curriculum helps students address big problems and seek out opportunities to correct them.

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9 months ago · by · 0 comments

Michigan Woman is Hailed As A Hero For Saving Autistic Boy From Drowning

A Michigan woman is being hailed a hero after she rescued a 4-year-old autistic boy who jumped into a lake. Jessica Bauer and the boy’s Grandma saw him fall in and Bauer immediately ran into the water to save him. A ring camera that captured the amazing rescue went viral. The boy is doing fine and his grateful mother says Jessica is an angel from above.

In the video, the little boy is seen running in the backyard and then straight into the water where he struggles before disappearing underneath the surface of the water. Bauer and the boy’s grandmother come into the frame and Bauer, who has a three-year-old of her own, immediately tosses her phone over her shoulder and plunges into the water to pull him out.

Bauer posted a video of herself fully soaked as she removes water logged shoes saying she thinks she just saved a little boy’s life. She admits she was overcome with emotion after the rescue as the gravity of the situation set in. Bauer said was at home when she heard her neighbor screaming, “He’s in the water!” Jessica ran outside where she saw a four-year-old boy in the lake. Bauer said the sight of the little boy drowning was frightening but her instincts kicked in and she just jumped in to save him, despite not knowing how to swim.

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9 months ago · by · 0 comments

Beyonce Donates $100K In Scholarships

During her visit to Detroit, Michigan, Beyonce blessed 10 students from the Detroit School for Digital Technology with scholarships through her BeyGood Foundation, a nonprofit organization.
She donated $100,000 in scholarship funds as part of her Renaissance Scholars Program. In a statement, the foundation said the contribution is to support the Detroit school for its education style while trying to elevate its students to better opportunities.

BeyGood said “To continue Mrs. Carter’s history of support for student education, we introduce the RENAISSANCE Scholars. Education has always been a focus pillar for Mrs. Carter. After announcing her highly anticipated RENAISSANCE World Tour, she committed $1M to support education through the RENAISSANCE Scholars program to impact 10 Colleges/ Universities worldwide, where 100 students will receive $10,000 scholarships.”

Along with DSDT, BeyGood donated to Prairie View A&M University in Texas, Jackson State University in Mississippi, Alabama State University, Grambling State University in Louisiana, Institut Français de la Mode in France, and there is also a plan to donate to a college in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

Through her foundation, Beyonce is also by offering $10K grants to small businesses and entrepreneurs needing funding due to economic inequalities. BeyGood and the National Minority Supplier Development Council are partners in supporting entrepreneurs and small business owners. 100 Black entrepreneurs will be selected to attend the Black Parade Route luncheons; 1,000 small businesses will be provided with grant opportunities and business sustainability support services, and $100,000 in grants provided per city for small business relief.

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9 months ago · by · 0 comments

Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne Johnson Create The People’s Fund of Maui

In the aftermath of the Maui wildfires, Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson have created a special welfare fund that will provide those directly injured or whose property was damaged by the fires with $1,200 per month out of their own pockets. Together they created The People’s Fund of Maui, which armed with $10 million in aid money donated by the two celebrities, will ensure those in need are reached directly.

Maui residents and community leaders were consulted by Winfrey and Johnson who hoped to ensure that neither time nor money was wasted in getting aid directly to those who need it. Winfrey said “The main thing I’ve been hearing is their concern about how to move forward under the immense financial burden. The community has come together in so many wonderful ways, and my intention is to support those impacted as they determine what rebuilding looks like for them.”

Multiple GoFundMe efforts across the country and other private charities and non-profits managed to raise tens of millions of dollars for the victims of the Upcounty and Lahaina fires. Around 2,200 structures have been damaged or destroyed with losses at almost $6 Billion.

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9 months ago · by · 0 comments

Tunnel to Towers Foundation 5K

Tunnel to Towers Foundation, a Staten Island, New York, nonprofit provides mortgage-free homes to Gold Star families and families of fallen first responders with young children. It also builds specially adapted smart homes for catastrophically injured veterans and first responders.

The foundation was established in December 2001 in honor of Stephen Siller, a New York City firefighter who died during 9/11, is committed to eradicating veteran homelessness and ensuring Americans never forget the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The charitable organization raises funds through many efforts including the Tunnel to Towers Pittsburgh 5K run and walk. In it’s third year, the 5K will begin at 8 a.m. Sep. 9 at Canon-McMillan Stadium, 1 N. Jefferson Ave., Canonsburg.

About 500 local participants collectively raised $106,000 in 2022. The fundraiser is one of more than 80 events in the foundation’s National Run, Walk and Climb Series, all planned by volunteers. This year’s event will include displays and interactions with the FBI, state police, Navy and local first responders, and entertainment for the second year.

Kim Sheehan, a 53-year-old mother of three from Washington County knows first hand how important the fundraising is after her husband, Tim, died at 50 from a heart attack in February 2021 while on duty as California Borough’s police chief. She got back on her feet with the help of a monetary gift from the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

Grateful to the charitable organization for its assistance, Sheehan and her children are participating in the 5K. The Sheehans began participating in 2021 with a small team of family, friends and firefighters. The team has been growing ever since in hopes to help ease the financial burden for other families of fallen heroes.

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10 months ago · by · 0 comments

Off Duty Officer Rescues Swimmer While Hiking

A group of swimmers at Fundy National Park in New Brunswick are grateful a group of hikers came upon them and helped rescue their friend. The group of hikers included an off-duty police officer, Bruce Lake. Lake was exploring the Laverty Falls area with his wife and friends when one of Lake’s friends said that a woman out in the water appeared to be exhausted and might need some help.

The group watched the woman disappear under the foam of the waterfall after making a short-lived attempt to return to shore. Lake said “She was stuck between these two little waterfalls. She immediately went underneath and then came back up again right near the rock and then grabbed the rock and held on. So she was obviously a little scared.”

After the woman disappeared a second time, but wasn’t remerging, Lake made his move, jumping into the water and swimming to the rock to help. Reaching the rock, the water was deeper than he expected, and the rescue plan devolved to essentially waving his arms and legs about to see if he could touch her. When his hand brushed her arm, he grabbed her and began swimming her back to her friends.

“I pushed her toward the shore. Her friend got her arm and then I lost touch with her… I was getting sucked back into the exact same spot and only for her to turn around, and she reached her arm and I actually grabbed her arm and we got pulled out together” Lake said. While Lake says he just did what anyone would do, Lake’s wife Bernadette says it’s exactly the sort of man he is to risk his life for a complete stranger.

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10 months ago · by · 0 comments

Custom Homes Built for Veterans

Across the country, soldiers who have lost limbs from the wars in the Middle East are receiving mortgage-free homes as a small measure of gratitude and honor for their sacrifices. The Gary Sinise Foundation has provided 80 mortgage-free homes to veterans who have lost physical capacity in some form or another. While the process isn’t fast, it’s certainly very rewarding to see maimed veterans receive custom built homes. The homes are built to be fully accessible to each soldier’s disability.

In DeForest, Wisconsin, a medically-retired former Sergeant Tory Honda was recently given the keys to a new mortgage-free home. In March, Sergeant Honda and his family learned that a coalition made up of Operation Finally Home, Tim O’Brien Homes, and the Structural Building Components Association had secured a new home for their family in the Bear Tree Farms area of DeForest. Honda said “It means so much to me. Perspective? I can’t even put that into words. I’m just grateful, and I hope I deserve every bit of it. I feel like I don’t, but I really hope I do. I hope I can live up to the standards that everybody looks forward to.”

For another soldier, retired Army Sergeant Shane Parsons, the gesture was even more grand.
Wheelchair-bound after losing both legs and suffering a traumatic brain injury, the Gary Sinise Foundation built a smart, 100% accessible home for the man, his wife Jennifer, and their two sons Owen and Emmett. His wife Jennifer said “In the living situations we’ve had, he could only really live through 70 to 80% of the house, it was about as much as he could access. Even though he’s already a wonderful dad, it’s going to allow him to be more hands-on, and be able to participate more where before he wasn’t able to.”

Building custom homes for injured veterans is just one of the many programs of the Gary Sinise Foundation. Sinise had supported America’s service members since the 80’s, supporting local Vietnam veterans groups in the Chicago area. After his portrayal of Lt. Dan Taylor in the landmark film Forrest Gump formed an enduring connection with servicemen and women throughout the military community, Sinise forged a tireless journey of giving back by founding the nonprofit 29 years ago.

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