Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bouncing baby boy...

Not long ago, I put up a post of some treats I made for a co-worker's baby shower. She wasn't due until September, but the little guy had other plans and announced himself on Sunday. In honor of my co-worker and her new baby boy, I've decided to make this post all about children. 

The Times-Standard in Eureka, Calif., had a story a little while back on a local woman who won the Dreyer's Slow Churned Neighborhood Salute contest. On a whim Lori Arias entered the essay contest, on why her community needed a little positivity, writing about how a local mill's closing had put her husband and about 200 others out of work. She had to go back to work to support the family, and a local day care took in her children. When she found out she won the ice cream block party, she threw the shindig at the day care center as a way to say thank you. 

Max Jones, a 12 year-old from Orlando, Fla., may be catching the next wave of journalism ahead of everyone else. Sick of all the bad news, Jones turned his closet in to an Internet good news TV studio and began writing stories and chasing down leads to broadcast online. According to Google News, his site has 5,000 hits a day, and he has a staff of unpaid interns across the country who work with him to produce stories. Jones was very active in the freeing of the two journalists from North Korea, and upon her return, received a phone call from Ling herself. 

Despite my brother and the Greek Olympic baseball team's mock war with Rick Reilly over his comments on their Greekness or lack thereof, I usually enjoy reading Reilly's column. He's not a ranter, and he can be relied on to shine a light on people who do good things away from the camera lights. In this case, he highlights a group of children who need to stay away from lights of any kind. 

Camp Sundown, a place for children with xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) in Craryville, N.Y., recently had a night under little light at Yankee Stadium. Kids with XP cannot be exposed to even fluorescent lights; exposure to UV light causes cancerous tumors. Reilly wrote a wonderful article for ESPN the Mag about all the children live with and the precautions they had to take just to be able to play with the big-leaguers at 3 a.m.

An athletically inclined TV superhero inspired another child across the Atlantic. The Sun, an English paper, tells of Harley, a four year-old quadruple amputee who lost all his arms and legs after contracting meningitis. Harley is a huge fan of Lazytown, a UK children's show, and The Sun arranged for Sportacus, aka Icelander Magnus Scheving, to fly to Manchester to spend an hour playing with the boy. Scheving was accompanied by representatives of an Icelandic firm that produces prosthetic limbs. The company has offered the family a free pair of hi-tech "sprinting feet" for Harley. 

(Photo courtesy of the Times-Standard)

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