3 Good-News Stories to Brighten Up Your Profile and Your Day
India planted 50 million trees in one day, beating the world record
While scrolling through my Facebook feed, all I seem to see are hateful comments about fake news, various social injustices, or our country’s crumbling economy. I read posts from friends and family members who exist on both ends of the political spectrum, all of whom seem to disagree on just about everything. The underlying theme of current media posts: a general sense of pessimism. But we all have a choice, to either pay attention to the good happening in the world, or to give our attention to the negative. So without further ado, here are three feel-good stories to change up the rhetoric of your Facebook or online portfolio, and some ideas to get involved in helping your local community.
Reforesting 12% of a country as large and as socially complex as India seems like an impossible challenge, but this good news story only gets better. On July 11th of last year, 800,000 people from the Uttar Pradesh planted approximately 49.3 million trees in 24 hours. The volunteers planted 80 different species, all sourced locally from nearby nurseries.
What you can do: If you are interested in opportunities to educate, plant trees, and rebuild your local environment, you can visit here.
The MWRD distributes free trees every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon at the following water reclamation plants near you:
Egan (550 S. Meacham Rd., Schaumburg)
Hanover Park (1220 Sycamore Ave., Hanover Park)
Homeless Man Donates Money to Ensure His Friends’ Safety
A homeless man recently donated $10,000 to the Shelter House’s Street Outreach Services (SOS) program in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The donation, which came from the homeless man’s residential school settlement, was initially refused by the developmental officer at SOS, Alexandra Calderon. She says that, “…he has a personal relationship with a lot of his friends who live at the shelter or who live at our managed alcohol program so he wanted to make sure that there was someone that they could call when they needed help.” After some back and forth, the donation was accepted. While the program lost its funding, people like our anonymous hero can help communities without government intervention.
What you can do: If planting trees isn’t your cup of tea, donate to your local food drive. You can donate at Tribalance, at your religious institution, or at your local township. Good foods to bring are juice drinks, low-sodium canned vegetables, or canned tuna or chicken.
Director of I Grow Chicago Helps her Englewood Community by Offering Free Yoga Classes
Tameka Lawson is a mother of three and the executive director of I Grow Chicago, a nonprofit based in Chicago’s south side Englewood neighborhood. Lawson uses yoga as a technique for centering, for both herself and for her students. She hopes her young pupils will be able to learn motivational speaking, mentoring and job skills, and art therapy with yoga as a gateway to these skills. Lawson believes that yoga can be a preventative practice for her community, “If we can prevent one 8-year-old from growing up to become a person who could potentially pick up a gun, we’ve succeeded,” she said. “If we can intervene for a 14-year-old who has made bad choices from making another bad choice, we’ve succeeded. If a 28-year-old who says he wants to stop selling drugs and just needs the opportunity, we’ve succeeded. We don’t have the answers, but we’re trying to come up with creative solutions.”
What you can do: Share information about free yoga classes at Tri and spread the word to people who need the practice. If you are a teacher or experienced yogi, take time to volunteer your skills by offering free classes or workshops at your local community center. Use yoga as a way to improve your community at no cost to others, and reap the rewards of a job done from the heart.
To create a kinder world, we have to build kinder communities. This remains true whether we are talking about our service to others, or our online personas. Support a more affirming online community, or put your phone down and get to action! Whatever you choose, take the internet a lot less seriously, and share some good news stories from your own life.
By Andrew Barat
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