Inspiring News Stories
Excerpts of Highly Inspiring News Stories in Major Media



Below are one-paragraph excerpts of highly inspiring news stories reported in the major media. Links are provided to the original stories on their major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These inspiring news stories are listed with the stories most recently posted to the website listed first. You can explore the same list with the most inspiring stories listed first. See also a concise list providing headlines and links to a number of highly inspiring stories. May these articles inspire us to find ever more ways to love and support each other and all around us to be the very best we can be.


Note: This comprehensive list of inspiring news stories is usually updated once a week. See also a full index to revealing excerpts of key news articles on several dozen engaging topics.

Indian Man Single-Handedly Plants 1,360 Acre Forest In Assam
2012-04-03, Huffington Post
Posted: 2014-08-18 07:24:18
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/03/indian-man-jadav-molai-pa_n_1399930....

More than 30 years ago, a teenager named Jadav "Molai" Payeng began planting seeds along a barren sandbar near his birthplace in India's Assam region. It was 1979 and floods had washed a great number of snakes onto the sandbar. When Payeng -- then only 16 -- found them, they had all died. "The snakes died in the heat, without any tree cover. I sat down and wept over their lifeless forms," Payeng told the Times Of India. "It was carnage. I alerted the forest department and asked them if they could grow trees there. They said nothing would grow there. It was painful, but I did it. There was nobody to help me." Now that once-barren sandbar is a sprawling 1,360 acre forest, home to [many] varieties of trees and an astounding diversity of wildlife -- including birds, deer, apes, rhino, elephants and even tigers. The forest, aptly called the "Molai woods" after its creator's nickname, was single-handedly planted and cultivated by one man -- Payeng, who is now 47. Payeng has dedicated his life to the upkeep and growth of the forest. Accepting a life of isolation, he started living alone on the sandbar as a teenager -- spending his days tending the burgeoning plants. Today, Payeng still lives in the forest. He shares a small hut with his wife and three children and makes a living selling cow and buffalo milk. According to the Assistant Conservator of Forests, Gunin Saikia, it is perhaps the world’s biggest forest in the middle of a river. "[Locals] wanted to cut down the forest, but Payeng dared them to kill him instead. He treats the trees and animals like his own children. Seeing this, we, too, decided to pitch in," Saikia said.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




63% of Americans Actively Avoid Soda
2014-07-29, Time Magazine
Posted: 2014-08-18 07:22:51
http://time.com/3053000/63-of-americans-actively-avoid-soda/

The soda craze is going flat–at least, according to a new Gallup poll, which found that almost two-thirds of Americans actively avoid soda in their diet. While 41% percent of those polled in 2002 said that they try to steer clear of soda, that number has now jumped to 63%. Gallup’s poll shows that generally Americans are making more effort to have healthier diets. More than nine out of ten Americans try to include fruits and vegetables in their diets, and 52% said that they are trying to avoid sugars. Don’t start pouring one out for the dying soda business just yet, though. A 2012 Gallup poll also found that 48% of Americans drink at least one glass of soda a day.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




TD Bank surprises customers and scores a viral video hit
2014-07-31, CNN
Posted: 2014-08-11 13:13:51
http://money.cnn.com/2014/07/31/news/companies/td-bank-video

Why pay good money to release an advertisement when a viral video will do the trick? It worked for Canada-based TD Bank, which has a viral hit on its hands after filming customers who were surprised when an ATM spit out gifts -- very personal ones. In an effort to tell the world that the bank really knows its customers it turned one of its ATMs into what it called an "automatic thanking machine." The promotional video went viral, with more than 3.8 million views after just a week on YouTube. One woman received airline tickets to Trinidad so she can visit her only daughter, who has been diagnosed with cancer. Another mom got $2,000 to start savings plans for her two children, as well as tickets to take them to Disney Land. The recipient was ecstatic. "I've never been able to take my kids anywhere," she said. TD Bank (TD) customer Mike Jobin, a big baseball fan, got a Blue Jays hat and tee and the chance to throw out the first pitch at one of the team's games. The special ATM was located at a branch in Canada, where employees helped design the personalized gifts, the bank said in a statement. TD also gave away $20 bills to some customers at other TD locations.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Woman challenges tradition, brings change to her Kenyan village
2013-11-10, CNN
Posted: 2014-08-11 13:12:13
http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/14/world/africa/cnnheroes-ntaiya-girls-school/inde...

About 140 million girls and women worldwide have been affected by female genital mutilation, also known as female circumcision. But when [Kakenya] Ntaiya endured the painful ritual in 1993, she had a plan. She negotiated a deal with her father, threatening to run away unless he promised she could finish high school after the ceremony. Ntaiya's bold move paid off. She excelled in high school and earned a college scholarship in the United States. Her community held a fundraiser to raise money for her airfare, and in exchange, she promised to return and help the village. Over the next decade, Ntaiya would earn her degree, a job at the United Nations and eventually a doctorate in education. But she never forgot the vow she made to village elders. In 2009, she opened the first primary school for girls in her village, the Kakenya Center for Excellence. Today, Ntaiya is helping more than 150 girls receive the education and opportunities that she had to sacrifice so much to attain. The Kakenya Center for Excellence started as a traditional day school, but now the students, who range from fourth to eighth grade, live at the school. This spares the girls from having to walk miles back and forth, which puts them at risk of being sexually assaulted, a common problem in rural African communities. It also ensures the girls don't spend all their free time doing household chores. "Now, they can focus on their studies -- and on being kids," Ntaiya said. "It's the only way you can give a girl child a chance to excel." Students receive three meals a day as well as uniforms, books and tutoring.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Some Food Companies Are Quietly Dumping GMO Ingredients
2014-07-22, NPR
Posted: 2014-08-04 07:28:21
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/07/22/333725880/some-food-producers-are...

Ben & Jerry's has made a pledge to remove all GMO ingredients from its ice cream. The company has taken a vocal stand in recent years in support of states looking at legislation that would require manufacturers to disclose food that is made with genetic engineering. And Vermont recently passed a law that will require labeling starting in 2015. Ben & Jerry's co-founder Jerry Greenfield [then] launched a campaign to help fill the coffers of Vermont's crowd-sourced defense fund set up to combat lawsuits over its labeling law. Some other mainstream companies are carefully — and much more quietly — calibrating their non-GMO strategies. General Mills' original plain Cheerios are now GMO-free, but the only announcement was in a company blog post in January. Grape Nuts, another cereal aisle staple, made by Post, is also non-GMO. And Target has about 80 of its own brand items certified GMO-free. Megan Westgate runs the Non-GMO Project, which acts as an independent third-party verifier of GMO-free products, including Target's. She says her organization knows about "a lot of exciting cool things that are happening that for whatever strategic reasons get kept pretty quiet." The Non-GMO Project has certified more than 20,000 products since it launched in 2007, and Westgate says this is one of the fastest growing sectors of the natural food industry, representing $6 billion in annual sales.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




BRICS nations to create $100bn development bank
2014-07-15, BBC News
Posted: 2014-07-29 06:02:15
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-28317555

The leaders of the five BRICS countries have signed a deal to create a new $100bn development bank and emergency reserve fund. The BRICS group is made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The capital for the bank will be split equally among the five participating countries. The bank will have a headquarters in Shanghai, China and the first president for the bank will come from India. Brazil's President, Dilma Rousseff, announced the creation of the bank at a BRICS summit meeting in Fortaleza, Brazil on [July 15]. Despite their political and economic differences, the one thing these countries do agree upon is that rich countries have too much power in institutions like the World Bank and the IMF. Rousseff's comments made that feeling crystal clear - the BRICS countries, she said, have the power to introduce positive changes - ones that they think are more equal and fair. At first, the bank will start off with $50bn in initial capital. The emergency reserve fund - which was announced as a "Contingency Reserve Arrangement" - will also have $100bn, and will help developing nations avoid "short-term liquidity pressures, promote further BRICS cooperation, strengthen the global financial safety net and complement existing international arrangements". The creation of the BRICS bank will almost surely create competition for both the World Bank and other similar regional funds.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Doctors without orders
2014-06-30, The Intelligent Optimist
Posted: 2014-07-29 06:00:17
http://theoptimist.com/doctors-without-orders/

The Metropolitan Community Clinic, in Athens ... is no average health facility. The Metropolitan is a “social clinic,” where all the doctors and assistants commit themselves for a period of at least two years to provide free health care to uninsured sick people. And right now there are a lot of those in Greece. Cardiologist Giorgos Vichas is the inspired founder and director of the clinic. Two and a half years ago, when he looked around and saw what the economic crisis meant for more and more patients, he decided to start providing free health care. He rallied a number of his colleague friends, and together they started their clinic in the southern part of Athens. Vichas heads a team of some 100 doctors and 150 assistants. Many of them have a paid job apart from this work; some are jobless. The Metropolitan harbors all kinds of specialists: eye doctors, gynecologists, physical therapists, orthopedists, psychologists, cardiologists, dentists. The clinic offers diagnostics and medical treatment. On top of that, the chronically ill can come back for medication, follow-up examinations or psychological support. Since the clinic started up, some 25,000 patients have been treated. The Metropolitan accepts no financial donations. “If someone drops in offering a hundred thousand dollars,” says Vichas in his treatment room, “I write down on a piece of paper what our needs are and tell them, ‘Here you are—go and buy it wherever you want and bring it to us.’ That’s how donors get to know us and will get to know the patients we’re helping.” Most of all, the clinic needs medicine, which is also received through donations.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




When This New Zealand School Got Rid Of Playtime Rules, It Actually Got Safer
2014-01-28, Huffington Post
Posted: 2014-07-29 05:58:21
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/28/new-zealand-school-no-rules_n_468186...

One school has found that eliminating rules can actually be a good thing. After Swanson Primary School in New Zealand got rid of rules during recess as part of a study, administrators saw a decline in rates of bullying, injuries and vandalism, as well as an increase in students’ ability to concentrate during class. The [Auckland University of Technology] and Otago University study ... eliminated recess rules in an effort to discover ways to promote active play. As a result, kids were more engaged in their activities. "The kids were motivated, busy and engaged. In my experience, the time children get into trouble is when they are not busy, motivated and engaged. It's during that time they bully other kids, graffiti or wreck things around the school," school Principal Bruce McLachlan [said]. Previously, the students were not allowed to engage in playground activities like climbing trees or riding bikes, McLauchlan [said]. While he says the playground is now more chaotic looking, it is also safer. “What happens is when you let kids do anything they like is that they actually don’t go and purposefully hurt themselves,” McLauchlan said.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Why You Should Know Emanuel Swedenborg
2012-04-19, Huffington Post
Posted: 2014-07-29 05:56:53
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gary-lachman/why-you-should-know-emanu_b_142448...

The 18th century Swedish scientist, traveller, statesman, and religious philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg is one of the most fascinating and least understood figures in Western history. If people know of Swedenborg at all, it is usually because of his connection with the poet William Blake, who was a follower of Swedenborg. Or they may know of Swedenborg because of his remarkable psychic powers. Yet Blake was only one of the many thinkers, artists, and writers influenced by Swedenborg. A full list would include, among others: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Charles Baudelaire, August Strindberg, Honoré Balzac, Arnold Schoenberg and Jorge Luis Borges. And his psychic abilities extended far beyond clairvoyance, into interplanetary travel and visits to heaven and hell, where he conversed with angels and devils and other strange beings. He developed the notion of "correspondences," the idea that the things of the physical world have a direct link with the spiritual one. Through Baudelaire, Swedenborg's "correspondences" would lead to Symbolism, arguably the most important cultural movement of the 19th century. Swedenborg's accounts of heaven, hell and what he called the "spirit world" spell out in homely detail the parallels between life on earth and in these other places. These higher worlds are no abstraction, and readers of Swedenborg's Heaven and Hell and Conjugial Love ... encounter a very robust reality. Some of Swedenborg's reports on the social conditions of heaven -- where, among other things, angels engage in continuous and mutually satisfying lovemaking -- make it seem infinitely more vital than life here and now.

Note: The author of this essay, Gary Lachman, has written a book on Swedenborg, Swedenborg: an Introduction to his Life and Ideas. This webpage contains a wealth of excellent resources on this most fascinating man who inspired Carl Jung, Helen Keller, and Ralph Waldo Emerson among many others.




Organic foods are more nutritious, according to review of 343 studies
2014-07-14, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2014-07-22 10:07:48
http://www.latimes.com/science/la-sci-organic-foods-20140715-story.html

Most everyone who has ever selected their fruits and vegetables from the "organic" section while grocery shopping probably thought they were doing something good for their bodies and the environment. Yet the question of whether organic foods are in fact more nutritious than their conventionally grown counterparts remains a topic of heated scientific debate. On [July 14], the British Journal of Nutrition published research that disputed the notion that organic foods are essentially no more healthful than conventional foods. After reviewing 343 studies on the topic, researchers in Europe and the United States concluded that organic crops and organic-crop-based foods contained higher concentrations of antioxidants on average than conventionally grown foods. At the same time, the researchers found that conventional foods contained greater concentrations of residual pesticides and the toxic metal cadmium. "This shows clearly that organically grown fruits, vegetables and grains deliver tangible nutrition and food safety benefits," said study coauthor Charles Benbrook, a research professor at Washington State University's Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Note: Read more about this landmark study in this article.




Solar has won. Even if coal were free to burn, power stations couldn't compete
2014-07-07, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-07-22 10:04:45
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/07/solar-has-won-even-if-co...

Last week ... the wholesale price of electricity in Queensland fell into negative territory – in the middle of the day. For several days the price, normally around $40-$50 a megawatt hour, hovered in and around zero. Prices were deflated throughout the week, largely because of the influence of one of the newest, biggest power stations in the state – rooftop solar. “Negative pricing” moves, as they are known, are not uncommon. But they are only supposed to happen at night, when most of the population is mostly asleep, [and] demand is down That's not supposed to happen at lunchtime. Daytime prices are supposed to reflect higher demand, when people are awake, office buildings are in use, factories are in production. That's when fossil fuel generators would normally be making most of their money. The influx of rooftop solar has turned this model on its head. The impact has been so profound, and wholesale prices pushed down so low, that few coal generators in Australia made a profit last year. Hardly any are making a profit this year. State-owned generators like Stanwell are specifically blaming rooftop solar. The problem for Australian consumers [comes] in the cost of delivery of [electricity] through the transmission and distribution networks, and from retail costs and taxes. This is the cost which is driving households to take up rooftop solar, in such proportions that the level of rooftop solar is forecast ... to rise sixfold over the next decade. Households are tipped to spend up to $30bn on rooftop modules. It is not clear how centralised, fossil-fuel generation can adapt. In an energy democracy, even free coal has no value.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Tim's Place, Restaurant Run By 26-Year-Old With Down Syndrome, Serves Hugs With Lunch
2012-06-22, Huffington Post
Posted: 2014-07-22 10:03:14
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/22/tim-harris_n_1617057.html

Tim Harris was born with Down syndrome and his father, Keith, admits that acceptance didn't come easily at first. But over the years, Keith's attitude shifted. "Tim is the second of four boys, and when he was growing up, we saw the challenges that his disability presented socially,” Keith [said]. “We started to ponder when he was young about his future and made the choice that we wanted to create a life for him that was as close to typical as possible.” Thanks to his parents' faith and support, Harris has not only accomplished the typical, but he's also made the world a little bit more extraordinary. Today, Harris is the proud owner of Tim's Place, a successful -- and unique -- restaurant in Albuquerque, N.M. Other than selling regular New Mexican fare, Tim's Place has a trademark special. It's called the Tim Hug -— a "calorie-free" and "guilt-free" treat that, according to the menu description, guarantees to "improve your lease on life." "I love giving all the customers a hug because I want them to feel comfortable and connected and being around friends,” Harris told Albuquerque The Magazine. Tim's Place, which calls itself the "world's friendliest restaurant" opened its doors in 2010 and since then, Tim has given out more than 19,000 hugs. He keeps track using a Hug Counter. Only 26, Harris -- a college graduate -- is also an accomplished Special Olympian, an excellent sailor and an experienced offshore fisherman. In high school, Harris was also elected homecoming king and Student Of The Year.

Note: Don't miss the awesome three-minute video of Tim and his restaurant! Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Stressed at work? Meditating really does work - and you'll see a difference in just three days, say researchers
2014-07-04, Daily Mail (One of the UK's largest-circulation newspapers)
Posted: 2014-07-14 16:14:35
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2681138/Stressed-work-Meditati...

Meditating can have an almost instant effect on reducing stress, researchers have found. They say three consecutive days of 25 minute sessions can have a dramatic effect. Researchers studied 'mindful[ness] meditation' - a technique developed in the 1970s. Inspired by ancient Buddhist meditation, mindfulness courses were developed in the late 1970s by US doctors to combat stress. The guiding principle is to live more ‘in the moment’, spending less time going over past stresses and worrying about future problems. Techniques include moving the focus of attention around the body and observing sensations that arise – the so-called ‘body scan’. A secular practice, it is said to help people recognise and overcome negative thoughts while noticing small pleasures. 'More and more people report using meditation practices for stress reduction, but we know very little about how much you need to do for stress reduction and health benefits,' said lead author J. David Creswell. For the study, Creswell and his research team had 66 healthy individuals aged 18-30 years old participate in a three-day experiment. Some participants went through a brief mindfulness meditation training program; for 25 minutes for three consecutive days, the individuals were given breathing exercises to help them monitor their breath and pay attention to their present moment experiences. The participants who received the brief mindfulness meditation training reported reduced stress perceptions to ... speech and math tasks, indicating that the mindfulness meditation fostered psychological stress resilience.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Vitamin D May Double Chances of Surviving Breast Cancer
2014-03-07, TIME Magazine
Posted: 2014-07-14 16:13:24
http://time.com/16148/vitamin-d-may-double-chances-of-surviving-breast-cancer/

In a new study, researchers found that breast-cancer patients who had high levels of vitamin D were twice as likely to survive [as] women with low levels. They reviewed five studies that observed more than 4,440 women. “The study has implications for including vitamin D as an adjuvant to conventional breast cancer therapy,” study co-author Dr. Heather Hofflich, an associate professor of medicine at the University of California San Diego, said in a press release. The researchers recommend that vitamin D should be added to the various treatments given to women fighting breast cancer. The body naturally produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, but milk, fatty fish and other foods can also boost production. Patients could also take vitamin D supplements.

Note: This is huge news! Why isn't this exciting development getting more press coverage? Read numerous major media articles revealing potential cancer cures which have received little attention. And see an excellent article with more on the Vitamin D connection.




UNICEF: Child deaths down
2013-09-13, CBS News
Posted: 2014-07-14 16:12:00
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/unicef-child-deaths-down-but-many-still-dying-of-...

Child death rates since the 1990s have dropped drastically, but more needs to be done to prevent the deaths of children under five, a new report from international agency UNICEF finds. Since 1990, the under-five mortality rate has dropped from 90 deaths per 1,000 children to 48 deaths per 1,000 in 2012. A total of 17,000 fewer children died each day in 2012 than they did in 1990 -- about 90 million lives worldwide spared over the past two decades. Despite all these advances, the world is still shy of reaching the "Millennium Development Goal 4," a joint goal from the UN and World Health Organization to cut the under-five mortality rate by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015, UNICEF warned. In total, 216 million children have died before they turned five since 1990. Most of the under-five deaths in 2012 occurred because of preventable diseases. Pneumonia (17 percent of deaths), diarrhea (9 percent) and malaria (7 percent) were the [top] preventable killers of young children, taking the lives of 4,600 kids each day last year.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




'The League of Afghanistan': One Man's Quest To Bring Wheelchair Basketball To War-Torn Region
2012-04-28, Huffington Post
Posted: 2014-07-14 16:10:46
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/28/league-of-afghanistan-wheelchair_n_1...

Think of it sort as an updated take on "Hoop Dreams," except that its basketball-playing dreamers use wheelchairs. And they live in Afghanistan, not the Windy City. Jess Markt, originally from the Portland, Ore. area, is ... at the center of "The League of Afghanistan," a new documentary film currently in development. In 2009, Markt, whose spinal cord was injured in a car accident at the age of 19 and [who] relies on a wheelchair to get around, traveled to northwest Afghanistan to coach a wheelchair basketball team hoping to create a nationwide league. When Aaron Cooley, a Los Angeles-based producer with Joel Schumacher's production company, caught wind of Markt's experience, he saw the seeds of a great film. Today, the documentary, which aims to tell the story of Markt's efforts to bring basketball to disabled men and women [throughout Afghanistan], is in its early stages of filming. From Jess' perspective, he is the outsider American who comes into a legitimately ... hostile situation. For the local players, we're looking at how the introduction of this game can help rebuild the hope and the purpose that is in their own lives, which were shattered by their own injuries.

Note: Don't miss the inspiring video on this beautiful story. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Guiding Rage Into Power
2014-06-30, Daily Good
Posted: 2014-07-07 08:12:02
http://www.dailygood.org/story/770/guiding-rage-into-power-janis-daddona

“Us versus them” is not a paradigm that Jacques Verduin buys into. As the founder and director of the prison program Insight-Out, he believes that prison serves a purpose for people who cannot contain themselves when they act dangerously, but he has also learned that none of us is much different from the incarcerated. Thankfully Jacques has shown that the empowerment and transformation of prisoners is a big part of what prison reform looks like, and San Quentin State Prison has become a successful social experiment that is one of the best-kept secrets around. His programs, the Insight Prison Project and Insight-Out, are teaching prisoners to transform rage and pain into a positive force in the prison community as well as their own neighborhoods. In a year-long program participants make bonds with each other that transcend age [and] racial, economic, and gang differences. It takes time, but as group members get comfortable with the concept, they practice “sitting in the fire.” As Jacques explains, “By sitting with their own primary pain—the pain that initiated them into a suppression of their feelings—and their secondary pain—the pain associated with hurting others—they find strength in the midst of their overwhelming emotions. They need a support system to share their struggle of living up to these expectations. Shame runs deep in all of us. We all need a support system to help us connect with our wounded but more authentic self. Rather than fix ourselves, which assumes something is wrong with us, let’s accept and talk about our warts. By being vulnerable we take the power out of shame. That’s where authenticity lies.”

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Worker-Owned Co-ops Get $1 Million in NYC Spending
2014-06-27, Yes! Magazine
Posted: 2014-07-07 08:10:53
http://www.yesmagazine.org/commonomics/worker-owned-co-ops-get-one-million-do...

New York City’s budget for the 2015 fiscal year includes a new item that supporters of a fairer economy will want to celebrate: $1.2 million set aside for the development of worker-owned cooperative businesses. The spending is a small fraction of the $75 billion budget, which the City Council approved on June 26. But, according to a statement by U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives, it's the largest investment in the sector ever made by a city government in the United States. Cooperative businesses are both owned and operated by employees. They focus on maximizing value for all their members as well as creating fair and quality jobs. “This is a great step forward for worker cooperatives,” Melissa Hoover, executive director of the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives, said in a press release. According to Hoover the co-op funding received widespread support from city council members, which “shows that they understand cooperatives can be a viable tool for economic development that creates real opportunity." Here’s how the city’s newly adopted budget describes the program: "Funding will support the creation of 234 jobs in worker cooperative businesses by coordinating education and training resources and by providing technical, legal and financial assistance. The initiative will fund a comprehensive citywide effort to reach 920 cooperative entrepreneurs, provide for the start-up of 28 new worker cooperative small businesses and assists another 20 existing cooperatives."

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




After Finding $40,000 In Thrift-Store Couch, Roommates Return Money
2014-05-16, NPR
Posted: 2014-07-07 08:09:21
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/05/16/313118337/thrift-store-couch-y...

Many of us have stories about old couches — particularly ones we had in college, or shortly after. But not many stories are like the one three roommates in New Paltz, N.Y., can now tell. After the trio realized their beat-up couch was stuffed with more than $40,000, they decided to return the money to its rightful owner. It all started when roommates Reese Werkhoven, Cally Guasti and Lara Russo realized that the lumps in their couch's pillows were actually envelopes stuffed with money. Just two months earlier, they'd bought the couch for $20 at a Salvation Army store. "It had these bubble wrap envelopes, just like two or three of them," Werkhoven tells. They kept finding more envelopes in the couch, pulling money out of it like an upholstered ATM. As they counted the money, they talked about what they might do with it; Werkhoven says he wanted to buy his mom a new car. But then they spotted a name among the envelopes, and realized "that we had to bring the money back to whoever it belonged to ... it's their money." A phone number led them to the family that had donated the couch — and to answers about why it was full of money. It turned out that the money was socked away out of the woman's late husband's concerns that he wouldn't always be there for his wife. It represented decades of savings. "This was her life savings and she actually said something really beautiful, like 'This is my husband looking down on me and this was supposed to happen,' " Guasti [said]. After they returned the money to the woman, Guasti, Russo and Werkhoven received $1,000 as a reward.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.




Laughing Makes Your Brain Work Better, New Study Finds
2014-04-20, ABC News
Posted: 2014-07-07 08:08:01
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/laughing-makes-brain-work-study-finds/story?id=2...

Ever have trouble remembering where you just left your keys? Just laugh it off. New research suggests that humor can improve short-term memory in older adults. In a recent small study conducted at Loma Linda University in Southern California, 20 normal, healthy, older adults watched a funny video distraction-free for 20 minutes, while a control group sat calmly with no video. Afterwards, they performed memory tests and had saliva samples analyzed for stress hormones. You guessed it; those who got to laugh the 20 minutes away with the funny video scored better on short-term memory tests, researchers said. And salivary levels of the stress hormone cortisol -- a memory enemy of sorts -- were significantly decreased in the humor group. The less stress you have, researchers said, the better your memory. It works like this: humor reduces stress hormones, lowers your blood pressure, and increases your mood state, according to Dr. Lee Berk, a co-author of the study. The act of laughter -- or simply enjoying some humor -- increases endorphins, sending dopamine to the brain to provide a sense of pleasure and reward, Berk said. That, in turn, makes the immune system work better and changes brain wave activity towards what's called a "gamma frequency," amping up memory and recall.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.





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