Canadian City Delivers On 1000 Acts of Kindness Challenge

Even the police stepped up to the challenge issued by London, Ontario to perform 1000 acts of kindness as a community this October. The Challenge, started by LUSO’s Meredith Fraser, sprang as a response to a series of hate-motivated incidents that targeted community members in London during the fall of 2009. The first annual challenge, along with last year’s, logged a kindness explosion of 106,760 separate acts, with area schools contributing a huge part of that number. Community members can register at and submit their acts of kindness. Such a great idea!


Photo of the Day

This trio of owls in a Pacific Northwest forest is the epitome of wild beauty.  Just imagine coming upon this scene while walking through the woods.

And another… it’s just really cute.

Zookeepers Stunned as Moose Rescues Drowning Marmot

Keepers at Pocatello Zoo, Idaho, were worried when they noticed Shooter, a four-year-old elk, acting strangely at his water trough. Baffled, they watched as the animal, who is so massive some keepers are afraid to even enter his enclosure, tried to dip his hooves into his drinking trough, before attempting to dunk his whole head in the water. But they were amazed as 10ft tall Shooter lifted his head from the trough, clutching a tiny marmot between his jaws.

The gentle giant placed the hapless rodent down and nudged it with his hoof, as if checking it for signs of life, before calmly watching it scamper off into the bushes. Zoo staff caught the entire rescue on camera. ‘It really was amazing,’ said Kate O’Conner, Pocatello’s education co-ordinator.

Awesome Street Art

Great examples that art can be found anywhere!

From Harm to Home

Meaningful Gifts from the IRC Gift Store (International Rescue Committee)

$35 can buy school clothes for a newly resettled refugee child including a clean shirt, pants and shoes.

$35 can buy school clothes for a newly resettled refugee child including a clean shirt, pants and shoes.

The holidays are approaching and the warmth of love and thoughtfulness is all around. The International Rescue Committee has created a one-stop shop for those looking to give. The IRC gift store is entirely dedicated to those in need around the world ( You can shop by program; including Health, Education, Emergency Relief & Refuge. Learn more about the IRC. Happy Holidays!


Quote of the Day

“I will love the rain for it cleanses my spirit. I will love the light for it shows me the way; yet I will love the darkness for it shows me the stars. I will welcome happiness for it enlarges my heart; yet I will endure sadness for it opens my soul. I will acknowledge rewards for they are my due; yet I will welcome obstacles for they are my challenge.” -Og Mandino

Iraqi War Zone Orphan Wows X Factor in Adoption Tear-jerker

Emmanuel Kelly, a victim and survivor of chemical warfare in Iraq, doesn’t know how old he is. But, thanks to his hero, an Australian woman who adopted him and his brother, he managed to overcome disability and tragedy to become a wonderful singer. This video features his heart-wrenching debut on The X Factor, when he sang John Lennon’s Imagine.

WATCH the video below…


Ode to the Crazy One: A Tribute to Apple’s Co-founder Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

There is no better tribute to Mr. Jobs than the script from a famous Apple TV commercial, created in 1997, the year he returned to the company after being forced out and then invited back to save the struggling technology company from obscurity. The new ad campaign was called, “Think Different.”

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently…They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Last month Forbes penned the Top Ten Lessons Steve Jobs Taught Us. The list is just another reminder of the legacy he created and the inspiring man he was.

1. The most enduring innovations marry art and science – Steve has always pointed out that the biggest difference between Apple and all the other computer (and post-PC) companies through history is that Apple always tried to marry art and science.  Jobs pointed out the original team working on the Mac had backgrounds in anthropology, art, history, and poetry.  That’s always been important in making Apple’s products stand out.  It’s the difference between the iPad and every other tablet computer that came before it or since.  It is the look and feel of a product.  It is its soul.  But it is such a difficult thing for computer scientists or engineers to see that importance, so any company must have a leader that sees that importance.

2. To create the future, you can’t do it through focus groups – There is a school of thought in management theory that — if you’re in the consumer-facing space building products and services — you’ve got to listen to your customer.  Steve Jobs was one of the first businessmen to say that was a waste of time.  The customers today don’t always know what they want, especially if it’s something they’ve never seen, heard, or touched before.  When it became clear that Apple would come out with a tablet, many were skeptical.  When people heard the name (iPad), it was a joke in the Twitter-sphere for a day.  But when people held one, and used it, it became a ‘must have.’  They didn’t know how they’d previously lived without one.  It became the fastest growing Apple product in its history.  Jobs (and the Apple team) trusted himself more than others.  Picasso and great artists have done that for centuries.  Jobs was the first in business.

3. Never fear failure – Jobs was fired by the successor he picked.  It was one of the most public embarrassments of the last 30 years in business.  Yet, he didn’t become a venture capitalist never to be heard from again.  He didn’t start a production company and do a lot of lunches.  He picked himself up and got back to work following his passion.  Eight years ago, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and told he only had a few weeks to live.  As Samuel Johnson said, there’s nothing like your impending death to focus the mind.  From Jobs’ 2005 Stanford commencement speech:

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.”

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

4. You can’t connect the dots forward – only backward – This is another gem from the 2005 Stanford speech.  The idea behind the concept is that, as much as we try to plan our lives ahead in advance, there’s always something that’s completely unpredictable about life.  What seems like bitter anguish and defeat in the moment — getting dumped by a girlfriend, not getting that job at McKinsey, “wasting” 4 years of your life on a start-up that didn’t pan out as you wanted — can turn out to sow the seeds of your unimaginable success years from now.  You can’t be too attached to how you think your life is supposed to work out and instead trust that all the dots will be connected in the future.  This is all part of the plan.

“Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

5. Listen to that voice in the back of your head that tells you if you’re on the right track or not – Most of us don’t hear a voice inside our heads.  We’ve simply decided that we’re going to work in finance or be a doctor because that’s what our parents told us we should do or because we wanted to make a lot of money.  When we consciously or unconsciously make that decision, we snuff out that little voice in our head.  From then on, most of us put it on automatic pilot.  We mail it in.  You have met these people.  They’re nice people.  But they’re not changing the world.  Jobs has always been a restless soul.  A man in a hurry.  A man with a plan.  His plan isn’t for everyone.  It was his plan. He wanted to build computers.  Some people have a voice that tells them to fight for democracy.  Some have one that tells them to become an expert in miniature spoons.  When Jobs first saw an example of a Graphical User Interface — a GUI — he knew this was the future of computing and that he had to create it.  That became the Macintosh.  Whatever your voice is telling you, you would be smart to listen to it.  Even if it tells you to quit your job, or move to China, or leave your partner.

6. Expect a lot from yourself and others – We have heard stories of Steve Jobs yelling or dressing down staff.  He’s a control freak, we’ve heard – a perfectionist.  The bottom line is that he is in touch with his passion and that little voice in the back of his head.  He gives a damn.  He wants the best from himself and everyone who works for him.  If they don’t give a damn, he doesn’t want them around.  And yet — he keeps attracting amazing talent around him.  Why?  Because talent gives a damn too.  There’s a saying: if you’re a “B” player, you’ll hire “C” players below you because you don’t want them to look smarter than you.  If you’re an “A” player, you’ll hire “A+” players below you, because you want the best result.

7. Don’t care about being right.  Care about succeeding – Jobs used this line in an interview after he was fired by Apple.  If you have to steal others’ great ideas to make yours better, do it.  You can’t be married to your vision of how a product is going to work out, such that you forget about current reality.  When the Apple III came out, it was hot and warped its motherboard even though Jobs had insisted it would be quiet and sleek.  If Jobs had stuck with Lisa, Apple would have never developed the Mac.

8. Find the most talented people to surround yourself with – There is a misconception that Apple is Steve Jobs.  Everyone else in the company is a faceless minion working to please the all-seeing and all-knowing Jobs.  In reality, Jobs has surrounded himself with talent: Phil Schiller, Jony Ive, Peter Oppenheimer, Tim Cook, the former head of stores Ron Johnson.  These are all super-talented people who don’t get the credit they deserve.  The fact that Apple’s stock price has been so strong since Jobs left as CEO is a credit to the strength of the team.  Jobs has hired bad managerial talent before.  John Sculley ended up firing Jobs and — according to Jobs — almost killing the company.  Give credit to Jobs for learning from this mistake and realizing that he can’t do anything without great talent around him.

9. Stay hungry, stay foolish – Again from the end of Jobs’ memorable Stanford speech:

“When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960′s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.”

“Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: ‘Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.’ It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.”

“Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”

10. Anything is possible through hard work, determination, and a sense of vision – Although he’s the greatest CEO ever and the father of the modern computer, at the end of the day, Steve Jobs is just a guy.  He’s a husband, a father, a friend — like you and me.  We can be just as special as he is — if we learn his lessons and start applying them in our lives.  When Jobs returned to Apple in the 1990s, it was was weeks away from bankruptcy.  It’s now the biggest company in the world.  Anything’s possible in life if you continue to follow the simple lessons laid out above.

May you change the world.


Companies Hiring This Month!

October is usually the month when you begin to think “Whoa- where did the year go?” It’s like people start talking about the holidays and the New Year before you even realize summer ended. But, just because 2011 is quickly winding down doesn’t mean your job search has to. In fact, the next couple of months can actually be one of the best times to look for work. By October, most companies have regained speed after the summer lull, and many will be trying to make hiring decisions before the holiday vacation season begins in late November.

“Beginning the week of Thanksgiving, many companies’ hiring processes start coming to a slow grind, due in a large part to many people using the holidays as vacation time, adding extra days off to the holiday schedule,” says Dorothy Tannahill Moran, owner of Next Chapter, New Life, a career coaching firm. “For a job seeker … this means they need to be networking, conducting informational interviews and sending applications immediately so they can be focused on by the hiring company while a full staff is still available.”Looking for a job? It’s time to kick your search into high gear. To give you a jump start, here’s a list of 15 companies that are hiring new employees this month.

1. Addison Search
Sample job titles:
Coder, customer service, escrow, credit analyst
Location: Texas, N.Y., Ill. , N.J., Mass.

2. Bethesda Lutheran Communities
Sample job titles: Registered nurse, behavior support specialist, caregiver/ direct support professional, area director
Location: Calif., Colo., Ill., Ind., Kan., Mich., Mo., N.J., Ohio, Ore., Texas, Wash., Wis.

3. Captech
Professional consulting
Sample job titles: Java developer, Java architect, SharePoint developer, and SharePoint architect
Location: Richmond, Va.; Charlotte, N.C.; Philadelphia

4. Carfax
Consumer services
Sample job titles: Marketing manager, business analyst / operations analyst, customer support specialist, field sales consultant, production support specialist, Java developer, senior web designer, project manager, national accounts manager
Location: Nationwide

5. Dollar General
Sample job titles: District managers, store managers, store manager candidates
Location: Nationwide

6. Family Home Health Services
Sample job titles: Business development manager, occupational therapist, physical therapist, nurse
Location: Fla., Mich., Ind., Mo., Ohio

7. Farmers Insurance
Sample job titles: Insurance sales agent
Location: (cities or states): Ill., Ind., Minn., N.J., Ohio, Penn., Va., Wis.

8. John Knox Village
Health care
Sample job titles: Food service, CNA, LPN, RN, EMT
Location: Mo., Kan.

9. Men’s Wearhouse
Sample job titles: Sales consultant, sales manager
Location: Nationwide

10. Modern Woodmen of America
Insurance and banking
Sample job titles: Managing partner, financial representative
Location: Nationwide

11. PricewaterhouseCoopers
Professional services
Sample job titles:
Accountant, auditor, tax accountant, consultant

12. The Prudential Insurance Company of America
Industry: Financial services
Sample job titles: Financial professional associate (entry level and experienced)
Location: Nationwide

13. Titlemax
Consumer services
Sample job titles: Store manager, district manager, bilingual customer service representative, commercial construction field estimator, customer service representative, general manager trainee, store manager trainee, regional manager
Location: Nationwide

14. TMG Health
Business process outsourcing/professional services
Sample job titles: Analyst, senior market research; supervisor, operations compliance; supervisor, workforce management, analyst II, systems, account executive
Location: Dunmore, Penn.; King of Prussia, Penn.; Dallas; Little Rock, Ark.

15. Warner Chilcott
Sample job titles: Pharmaceutical sales rep, women’s healthcare pharmaceutical rep, osteoporosis pharmaceutical sales rep
Location: Multiple states


Deaf Woman Hears Her Own Voice for the First Time (Video)

It was an emotional moment for 29-year-old Sarah Churman when she heard her own voice for the first time. Sarah was fitted with a state-of-the-art hearing implant, having spent her whole life in virtual silence.

Her husband decided to film her as nurses turned on the implant. She posted the video on YouTube and wrote underneath: “I was born deaf and 8 weeks ago I received a hearing implant. This is the video of them turning it on and me hearing myself for the first time.”

At the end of the video, when asked if she wants to hear her husband’s voice, she can only cry even more, pressing a tissue over her face as her husband is heard chuckling with happiness. Sarah will also now be able to hear her three-year-old daughter’s voice.

The implant was that of Esteem, offered by Envoy Medical. The Esteem implant is embedded in the ear and works through ear drum vibrations, unlike most hearing aids, which use microphones and speakers.




Mama Lion Saves Cub (Photos)

A lioness looks around helplessly after her cub fell down a ravine and couldn’t make it back up the cliff.

Other members of the pride attempt to rescue the cub but stop trying when they realize it is too steep.

Only the mother lion is willing to take the risk.

Just as the exhausted cub seems about to fall, his mother circles beneath him and he is snatched up in her jaws, according to the Daily Mail. She then begins the difficult journey back to the top.

Safe and sound, the lioness gives the cub a big welcome-back lick.

These dramatic frames were taken by wildlife photographer Jean-Francois Largot at Kenya’s Masai Mara game reserve in August.


2011 Top Ten ‘CNN Heroes’ Named

It’s that time of year again! CNN has announced their Top 10 CNN Heroes for 2011, recognizing everyday people who are changing the world. The network also announced that online voting for the “CNN Hero of the Year” opened Thursday, September 22nd and will run through Wednesday, December 7, 2011, at Midnight PT.

Each of the Top 10 CNN Heroes will receive a $50,000 grant and one of the honorees, as voted by fans across the globe, will be named the “CNN Hero of the Year”, receiving an additional $250,000 grant to further aid their cause. During the live broadcast, the Top 10 CNN Heroes will each have their story told by a celebrity.

The honorees for 2011, whose profiles are available to view at, are:

  • Amy Stokes (Yonkers, NY) In sub-Saharan Africa, nearly 15 million children have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS. New York resident Amy Stokes decided to bring the effect of caring adults living elsewhere into the lives of South African children. She started Infinite Family ( in 2006, using the internet to connect hundreds of teen ‘Net Buddies’ with adult mentor volunteers from around the world. Pairs meet face-to-face via the internet, and the children learn survival, language and computer skills that help prepare them for their future in a global marketplace.
  • Bruno Serato (Anaheim, CA) For two decades, Bruno Serato has been doing what he loves: feeding customers at his restaurant in Anaheim, California. But six years ago, he realized that many of the children at his local Boys and Girls Club often go to bed hungry. They are “motel kids” – children whose families stay one step ahead of homelessness by living week-to-week in cheap motels. Serato’s “Caterina’s Club” ( started serving them pasta dinners, and now he feeds nearly 200 children seven nights a week.
  • Derreck Kayongo (Atlanta, GA (birthplace: Uganda)) Millions of bars of soap left behind at hotels are simply thrown away. Since 2009, Kayongo and his Global Soap Project ( have collected 100 tons of partially used hotel soap and reprocessed it into more than 100,000 bars for communities in nine countries, including Haiti, Kenya and Uganda – for free. The Atlanta-area resident and Ugandan war refugee considers the soap he provides for poverty-stricken children as “a first line of defense” to help fight disease. The need is real: an estimated 2 million children die annually due to sanitation issues.
  • Diane Latiker (Roseland (Chicago), IL) Youth gun violence runs especially rampant on Chicago’s South Side. Instead of hiding from it, Diane Latiker opened her doors to area kids in 2003 and started a community center in her living room. Today, the mother of eight has turned the building next door into a haven for youngsters. Latiker’s “Kids Off the Block” ( program offers tutoring, mentoring, job training and other activities to keep young people off the streets, out of gangs and focused on their futures.
  • Eddie Canales (Schertz, TX) In 2001, Canales watched as his son Chris, a high school senior, made a tackle during a football game that left him paralyzed. Just over a year later, he and Chris watched from the stands as another high school player went down with a spinal cord injury. That moment pushed Eddie Canales to start “Gridiron Heroes,” ( which provides emotional and financial support to high school football athletes who’ve sustained spinal cord injuries. It’s a fraternity that includes 19 injured players in the state of Texas.
  • Elena Durón Miranda (Bariloche, Argentina) Elena Durón Miranda traveled to Argentina in 2001 to research impoverished communities. She witnessed children collecting food and other items in the Bariloche trash dump to eat and sell. She decided to stay in the country and in 2002, she founded “P.E.T.I.S.O.S.” (Prevention and Eradication of Child Labor – to get children out of the garbage dump and into school. Today P.E.T.I.S.O.S. provides free after school programs and access to education, counseling and medical care to about 200 children.
  • Patrice Millet (Port-au-Prince, Haiti) After Patrice Millet was diagnosed with cancer, he dedicated his life to helping needy kids in his native Haiti. In 2007, he sold his business and started the “FONDAPS” youth soccer program, which has provided free equipment, coaching and food to hundreds of children from the slums of Port-au-Prince. But Millet’s program mainly aims to help teach participants to become responsible citizens. Many children in the program lost relatives in the 2010 earthquake and now live in tent cities. Millet believes his work is even more important now to give “his kids” a shot at a better life.
  • Robin Lim (Ubud, Bali, Indonesia (Birthplace: Arizona)) In Indonesia, women are 300 times more likely to die in childbirth or from pregnancy-related complications than women in developed countries. After her youngest sister died from pregnancy complications, Lim became a professional midwife and dedicated her life to offering free prenatal and birthing services to low-income Indonesian women. Since 2003, Lim’s “Yayasan Bumi Sehat” (Healthy Mother Earth Clinic –  has provided medical assistance to thousands of women in Bali and Aceh, Indonesia.
  • Sal Dimicelli (Lake Geneva, WI) Raised in poverty, Sal Dimicelli vowed when he was 12 years old that he’d always help people in need, and he’s spent nearly all of his adult life making good on that promise. Through a local newspaper column, Sal invites people who’ve fallen on hard times to write him letters, describing their situation. His nonprofit, “The Time Is Now To Help,” ( assists about 500 people a year with food, rent, utilities and other necessities.
  • Taryn Davis (Buda, TX) Taryn Davis’ husband died in Iraq when she was 21. She felt alone with her pain while others moved on with their lives and encouraged her to do the same. Unable to find a community that could honor her husband’s memory and spirit in a way she could relate to, Taryn created one. Since 2007, her American Widow Project ( has connected 900 young military widows in a sisterhood that helps them honor their husbands while celebrating life.

Previous CNN Heroes have gained global recognition and earned increased support, allowing them to make an even greater difference. For example, last year’s “Hero of the Year”, Anuradha Koirala, was honored by actress Demi Moore. Moore’s organization, the DNA Foundation, later partnered with the CNN Freedom Project for a documentary on Koirala’s project “Maiti Nepal,” which details her efforts to end human trafficking. The DNA Foundation will also fund future Maiti Nepal prevention efforts. CNN’s 2009 “Hero of the Year”, Efren Peñaflorida, saw his pushcart classroom model replicated more than 50 times by different organizations and institutions across the Philippines. He can also be seen hosting his own search for heroes on the Philippine television show “Ako Mismo” (“I Myself”), which features people working in the Philippines to better the lives of others.

“Over the past five years, the CNN Heroes Initiative has profiled more than 150 heroes and honored 50 everyday men and women from around the world for their tireless efforts to improve the lives of others,” said Jim Walton, President of CNN Worldwide. “We hope to empower these selfless individuals to persevere in their humanitarian efforts to create progress, and are proud to share the stories of this year’s Top 10 Heroes.”

Those interested in learning more about the 2011 honorees and casting their vote for “Hero of the Year” can visit online or on their mobile device. For the latest updates, fans can follow CNN Heroes on Facebook and Twitter.