Merry Monday to all and to all a … oops … I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here. A few mornings ago I awoke in a panic … I thought I had waited too late to buy the Thanksgiving turkey and now I would never get it thawed in time! I am not kidding when I say panic … my heart was racing! As the haze of sleep faded from my brain, I was able to remind myself that it was not yet even October, and the turkey could wait for another few weeks after all! Anyway … about Monday … it’s HERE … again!
I think you can all relate when I say it has been a rather distressing week in the news. This election year is getting the best of us all, and some of the news both here in the U.S. and abroad has caused me to question whether the human race actually deserves to be called ‘human’ at all! So, for today’s post I decided to go in search of people who have done, or are doing, good things for their fellow inhabitants of the planet. Believe it or not, I did not have to look far! So, sit back with your morning java and read a heart-warming story or two. Then, I challenge us all, myself included, to find a way to ‘pay it forward’ and do something kind for somebody else this week.
Adam Smith wants to “feed the world” and he’s made a darn good start at it. Smith is the founder of the Real Junk Food Project (RJFP). According to their website:
We are a global, organic network of pay as you feel cafes. We divert food destined for waste and use it to create delicious and healthy meals.
Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted.
Some 795 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. That’s about one in nine people on earth
We believe that this has to stop, and it needs to happen in our lifetime, to ensure the next generation do not suffer from our ignorance.
RJFP recently opened a supermarket called simply The Warehouse in the town of Pudsey, and they operate 125 cafes, primarily in the UK, but also in Germany, France, Israel and Australia. The project obtains perfectly edible food that would otherwise be thrown out from a variety of sources, including supermarkets, food banks and restaurants. All the food in the cafes and the supermarket are sold on the “pay as you feel” principle, the goal being not only to prevent edible food from being wasted, but also to help provide families in need with more affordable food. If they have no money, they can volunteer labour and skills instead.
I strongly urge you to read this story of how Mr. Smith came to found RJFP in The Guardian, as there is so much more to his story than I am able to put into this post. It is an amazing story of a man who is doing good things for the earth we live on and for humanity as well … every single day! Hats off to Mr. Adam Smith!
The Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA of Pasadena, California, takes care of about 12,000 animals each year, and relies heavily on donations. To this end, they have a donation box in their lobby where visitors can drop a few dollars to help with the care and feeding of the animals.
One day two weeks ago, staff noticed the donation box seemed fuller than usual … quite a bit fuller, actually. Imagine the surprise when they started counting … and found that there was $8,000 in crisp new $20 bills! An anonymous donor had given a gift to many, many animals!
“We are overjoyed by the generosity of this anonymous donation. We are incredibly grateful and extend a huge thank you to the mystery donor. Whoever you are, thank you so much for your generosity. Your donation will go towards all the animals in our care.”
These days we hear so much about school bullying, it is refreshing to find somebody who is doing exactly the opposite. Natalie Hampton, a 16-year-old from Sherman Oaks, California, is the designer of Sit With Us, an app which launched on September 9. She was inspired to create it after she ate alone her entire seventh grade year, she told LA Daily News. The situation left Hampton feeling vulnerable and made her a target for bullying. The app allows students to designate themselves as “ambassadors,” thereby inviting others to join them. Ambassadors can then post “open lunch” events, which signal to anyone seeking company that they’re invited to join the ambassadors’ table. “Sit With Us” helps students who have difficulty finding a place to sit locate a welcoming group in the lunchroom. A small thing, perhaps, but a sign of a big heart in the right place.
When 19-year-old Hannah Spooner won a Little Caesar’s contest entitling her to $500 dollars’ worth of pizza for a year, she didn’t start gobbling like many of us would. Instead, the Detroit native toured local philanthropies, searching for the perfect place to donate her prize. She settled on Covenant House Michigan, a shelter for homeless youth ages 18-24. The organization was more than happy to accept. Once news of Hannah’s donation started making rounds, the Little Caesar’s Love Kitchen threw a free pizza party at Covenant House independent of Hannah’s winnings. Yet another example of a young person who has already learned about caring, sharing … about humanity. See, folks … there is hope for the future after all!
I am no Pollyana, but I want to believe that most people are basically good. I guess that maybe we need to look harder for the good in people, but this year it has been hard. If we want to find the good in others, maybe we need to work a little harder at showing others the good in ourselves, yes?
Okay, folks … time to get moving … you don’t want to be late for work! I wish everyone who reads this column a happy and safe week. I hope I’ve given you at least a small smile this fine morning! Don’t forget to pass that smile on … smiles tend to be worth a lot more when they are shared with others!
The title language of the week, in honour of St. Patrick’s Day last March, is Irish!
In honour of Autumn, which started some 2 weeks ago ….