I usually focus on every day, average individuals in these ‘Good People’ posts, but on occasion I like to highlight companies, businesses, and organizations that are going above and beyond to make people’s lives a little bit better in one way or another.
In Dubuque, Iowa, there is a school, Alternative Learning Center, that has found a unique way to encourage students to help others. In lieu of running laps for their physical education credits, students can volunteer to help disabled and senior citizens.
The learning center is specifically geared towards junior and senior high students who are at risk of dropping out of traditional schools. Teacher Tim Hitzler is the man behind the program, and he has directly overseen it. The students volunteer to do yardwork or other chores for those who struggle to do these things themselves. According to Mr. Hitzler …
“The students and I and other students come out and help them. Could be raking leaves, pulling weeds, cutting grass, cleaning gutters, just depends on what they need. The students aren’t typically too excited at the beginning, but once they get involved and start doing the yard work, they become more motivated. What they really like is … helping people. They really like giving back to people and meeting the person.”
Turns out this is not Tim Hitzler’s first journey into altruism. He is also the founder of a non-profit, Key City Creative Center, in Dubuque, that lends space, tools and studios to people to work on a variety of projects. Veterans are given free membership, others pay a small fee. As Tim says …
“The tools and the space are very valuable. But the collaboration and the knowledge you get from other people here are where the real value is.”
Take a look …
Thumbs up to Tim Hitzler and the Alternative Learning Center for helping people, and especially for teaching young people the value of being good people, of helping others.
Back in March, I wrote in another ‘good people’ post about a large supermarket chain in the UK, Sainsbury’s, and gave them kudos for being a company that took care of their people. Well, this week Sainsbury’s is back on my radar for another extraordinary move, this time taking care of the environment.The company has already implemented measures that are leading to a reduction of 8,101 tonnes (that’s 17,859,626 pounds) of non-recyclable plastic and “virgin plastic” every year. But now, in addition, they have committed to cutting a further 1,284 tonnes (2,830,732 pounds) of plastic from their supply chain over the course of the next year, including plastic cutlery, bags, lids, and trays.
Plastic cutlery will be removed from all their over 1,400 stores as well as plastic trays for asparagus and sweetcorn; plastic cream pot lids; plastic tomato and carrot trays; and plastic sleeves from herb pots.The company has also committed to replacing their black plastic trays; plastic fruit and vegetable film; PVC and polystyrene trays; and plastic egg trays with recyclable alternatives.
According to Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe …
“We are absolutely committed to reducing unnecessary plastic packaging in Sainsbury’s stores. Our customers expect us to be leading the way on major issues like this, so I am determined to remove and replace plastic packaging where we can and offer alternatives to plastic where packaging is still required to protect a product.”
Yo! Kroger, Giant, Safeway, Food Lion … are you guys listening??? Thumbs up, once again, to Sainsbury’s!
Meet Mike Than Tun Win, a businessman and entrepreneur in Myanmar. Mike is the founder of Flymya.com, a successful travel agency, and is CEO of BOD Tech Co., Myanmar’s first fully tech-based vehicle financing company. Sounds just like many a rich capitalist, eh? But what sets Mike apart is his big heart and the fact that he is using some of his success to help others.
Mike Than Tun Win created a non-profit organization called LessWalk which is buying up the bikes and making them suitable for students, then donating them to underprivileged children across the country who walk miles to school.
“It’s a common sight to see lines and lines of students walking long distances from home to school in rural villages. Some students can walk up to one hour from home to school and the families can hardly afford a simple form of transport like bicycle or motorcycle… a school bus is almost unheard of to the students in rural villages.”
Than was able to purchase the bikes at $40 per bike, costing a total of $400,000. Half of the money for the project has been funded through donations to LessWalk. Than himself provided the rest.
“I’m only halfway through the journey. The remaining 50 percent is making sure we have an impact.”
And, while this final story doesn’t exactly qualify as ‘good people doing good things’, it is heartwarming, and isn’t that, after all, what the good people posts are all about?
Harold Nelson started fishing when he was eight-years-old. He later joined the military and served in the third infantry during World War II under General George S. Patton. Throughout the war, he made six amphibious invasions and was shot four times.
Ten years ago, when he was a spry 94-years-old, he was on a bus on his way to a casino near his Colorado home when a young lady, Jeanne Gold, happened to sit down next to him. Jeanne was a spring chicken, only 84 years of age at the time! The two hit it off, and it was a matter of days ‘til Harold introduced Jeanne to his one true love: fishing. Well, she took to it like a fish to water, and the two became boyfriend & girlfriend. Today, the couple are still boyfriend/girlfriend, Harold is 104 and going strong, and they still fish together most every day! Though a gust of wind may knock him over, as it has in the past according to his recollection, Nelson has no plans to hang up his fishing pole anytime soon.
“When I’m pushing up daisies, I’m going to quit fishing.”
Just goes to show, you just never know when or where love will strike, and … you’re never too old to fall in love. Maybe I’ll go buy me some hip-waders and take a bus ride!