Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A helping hand...

A lot of people have turned to volunteering lately. Some have said it's because people got so involved in the election that when it ended they didn't know what to do with all their newfound free time. Others have attributed it to President Obama's call for service. And some people, myself included, have started because, perhaps selfishly, it makes them feel good. For some, helping others is a part of their job. Some people get recognized and some work behind the scenes. But everyone ends up making a difference, whether for a large group or one individual. Quite frankly, I definitely think that falls into the category of good news.

In the Baltimore Sun, a story I found yesterday tells of a NICU reunion party for all the families of children who survived because of their care in intensive care. That is such a precarious time and situation, and there are a fair amount of babies who don't make it. It must be such a soul-wrenching job; to be able to celebrate with those you've helped become healthy little children must be amazing.

In the US, Christianity has extended its tenet of charity towards those less fortunate to farmers in Central America as reported on Fox News. This past Sunday was Palm Sunday, the start of Holy Week which culminates in Easter. Palm Sunday is celebrated by handing out palms to parishioners to symbolize the fronds laid down before Jesus as he entered Jerusalem. This year, more churches than ever have ordered fair-trade palms, paying farmers a fair price to pick them in environmentally safe ways.. The orders for these eco-friendly palms have increased something like 400%, which is something else in this economy. 

Changing species for a second, humans in Vermont (some would say, only in Vermont) took to the streets recently to help another creature migration - salamanders. The little amphibians were making their yearly migration to mate and once again they got an assist from local scientists and environmentally conscious citizens who wanted to make sure the tiny guys didn't end up as roadkill. 

When I read the following story, the Eudora Welty short story title "The Life You Save May Be Your Own" popped into my head. A lot of people criticize social networking as a disconnect to true human contact. In the case of a suicidal teenager, Facebook (and a "friend" across the Atlantic) saved his life. (tech.blorge.com)

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