We’re wrapping up another week in Care2 Causes and we’ve got some stories that inspire, some that inform, and some that will break your heart.
Let’s begin with a few bits of uplifting news from this week.
First up, Steve Williams shares the inspiring story of Georgia teen Derrick Martin, who persevered through adversity and is now using his experiences as a springboard to help others. Derrick was kicked out of home by his parents because of the media attention he received over wanting to take his boyfriend to prom. In his time of need LGBT organization GLAAD came to his rescue. Now, Derrick has created Project LifeVest, a new organization to help abandoned and at-risk LGBT youth. Go, Derrick!
The non-profit La Nouvelle Vie Haiti is working with communities in Haiti, with a mission to provide trauma relief and empowerment, life skills training, and community-driven development through food security and waste-management projects. And it all starts with yoga, meditation, and the ‘breath’. Suzi Parrasch highlights how this organization is breathing new life into Haiti’s reconstruction efforts.
Did you know that stem cells from cord blood can be used to treat life-threatening illnesses? There is a new federal program that gives expectant mothers the information they need to save lives by donating cord blood. It is a non-invasive procedure, with no discomfort to mother or baby, and it doesn’t cost the donors a single cent. The miracle of birth can also save lives!
Sometimes it’s a good news/bad news story.
One very resourceful chocolate Lab, left alone in a car on a 90-degree day, managed to save himself by honking the horn until his guardian came to let him out. Things turned out okay for him, but most animals aren’t so lucky. Heather Moore offers a timely reminder: Let’s not let dogs send out SOS’s.
And sometimes it’s just plain bad news.
Environment & Wildlife
Sharon Seltzer reports that poaching in South Africa has become an organized crime backed by rich foreign syndicates. It is at an all-time high and is reaching a crisis level for many kinds of animals like endangered rhinos. Sadly, on July 14, poachers killed the last female rhinoceros in a protected reserve for her valuable horn.
The EPA recently announced that biotech giant Monsanto agreed to pay a mere $2.5 million fine for violations related to the misbranding, sale and distribution of cotton seed products containing genetically engineered pesticides in areas of the US where they were prohibited. Beth Buczynski writes, “It’s merely a slap on the wrist for this multi-billion dollar international corporation.” What do you think? Check out the poll at the end of the post.
Deja Vu: A pipeline explosion in China last week killed one firefighter and has left a mess that endangers wildlife and water quality. Sound familiar? Nancy Roberts says “it looks like we have a systemic failure…”
Natashia Greenhouse reports that HIV rates of poor U.S. areas rival those of developing nations. In fact, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 2.1 percent of heterosexuals in high-poverty communities are HIV-positive, double the national average.
And then there’s the politics of it all.
Peaco Todd writes that Minnesota Representative and Tea Party darling Michele Bachmann is hoist on her own petard — again — by defending BP and forming an official Tea Party Caucus in the House of Representatives, to the surprise and consternation of GOP leadership. Then again, maybe it’s better to be crazy than smart…
Now that financial reform has been signed into law, just who will the President chose to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau? The smart and obvious choice would be Elizabeth Warren. Jessica Pieklo makes the case for Elizabeth Warren.
Kristina Chew writes that 27 states have adopted national standards for education and a dozen or so more are poised to follow soon. Included are common standards for English and math classes from kindergarten through high school. The question is, should we should have national standards for education in a country with the diversity and size of the US, or might such national standards be setting the stage for further federal regulations — supervision — over what happens in each of the 50 states?
If you’ve come across any of Crystal Renn’s latest work you might be surprised to learn that she is actually a “plus-size” model. In fact, when photographers and designers meet her they are surprised by how small she is and often use photo retouching techniques to enhance her curves and make her appear bigger than she actually is. Ximena Ramirez writes about the extreme photo retouching of a “plus-size” model.
These are but a few of the hot stories on Care2 Causes this week, so take a look around and see what strikes your fancy. If you don’t already subscribe, please sign up for the free Care2 Causes daily email newsletter. You can customize it to the topic areas that interest you most and you’ll never miss a story again. (You’ll find the “stay informed” email registry in the left-hand column of most pages.)
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As always, reader participation in polls and in the comment section is welcome and encouraged.
Read more: animal welfare, civil rights, cord blood, crystal renn, derrick martin, education, elizaebeth warren, glaad, health, hiv, la nouvelle vie haiti, michele bachmann, monsanto, politics, project lifevest, tea party, wildlife
photo credit: Peaco Todd
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