Friday, September 27, 2019

Feel Good Friday - Jump!

Did you see the PBS Newshour story on Jump! this week? Well I did and that's why I want to tell you more about them in today's Feel Good Friday!

The work of Jump! is best summarized by the mission statement on their website, "Jump! is a nonprofit organization that helps seniors achieve what's left on their bucket list, and highlights those special seniors who continue to live extraordinary and inspirational lives." I think of it as Make-a-Wish for seniors.

Founded by Webb Weiman five years ago, Jump! provides the funds and logistics for seniors to cross items off their bucket list, whether that's sky diving, driving a race car or learning to play an instrument. Jump! also makes short videos of the seniors' activities which they can share with their friends and families and which Jump! uses to inspire other seniors to fulfill their bucket list wishes.

If you want to take your Feel Good Friday to the next level you can watch some of the Jumpisodes here. Seniors fly biplanes, drive semi trucks and 90 year old Mary rides a purple Harley! Keep the inspiration going by watching videos of the "super seniors". These are people who spend their time playing baseball, playing drums and making blankets for hospitalized children.

If you, or someone you know, is ready to fulfill a bucket list wish, you can fill out an application here. If you'd like to help make a senior's dreams come true you can make a donation to Jump! and support their work by liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @myjumporg. What's on your bucket list?

Friday, September 20, 2019

Feel Good Friday - Fridays for Future Global Climate Strike

The Feel Good Friday blog has always been a friend of the environment which is why we're focusing today's post on Fridays For Future and the Global Climate Strike.

If you've been following the news you know that today people in 150 countries will join student activists in a climate strike to demand an end to the age of fossil fuels. You can read about activities and find a local march here.

These marches are organized by the student-led movement, Fridays For Future, which began "in August 2018, after 15 year old Greta Thunberg sat in front of the Swedish parliament every schoolday for three weeks, to protest against the lack of action on the climate crisis." Her actions went viral on social media and she decided to continue striking every Friday until the Swedish policies meet the standards in the Paris agreement.

Students across the world were inspired by Greta's actions. They used the hashtags #FridaysForFuture and #Climatestrike to spread her call to action and now they are walking out of school to bring attention to the issue of climate change. If you need more inspiration, you can watch this interview of Greta Thunberg on the Daily Show. She takes passion and commitment to the next level.

When you're ready to organize your own strike, you can find all the resources you need here. If you want to join a strike today, you can use this map to find one near you. Be sure to tag all your social media with #FridaysForFuture and #Climatestrike and stay current with future events by liking the Fridays For Future Facebook page and following them on Twitter @Fridays4future.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Feel Good Friday - Jane Goodall Institue

I recently saw a photo of climate activist Greta Thunberg with primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall and it made me realize, although I have written 347 Feel Good Friday blogs to date, not one has been about the Jane Goodall Institute! At least not until today.

Founded in 1977, the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) website gives a great summary of their work: "We are a global community conservation organization that advances the vision and work of Dr. Jane Goodall. By protecting chimpanzees and inspiring people to conserve the natural world we all share, we improve the lives of people, animals and the environment. Everything is connected - everyone can make a difference."

Not surprisingly, the main focus of JGI is protecting chimpanzees and their habitats. Field research continues in Gombe, where Dr. Goodall first started her work in 1960. JGI also uses science and technology to help local communities identify their needs and develop conservation action plans which they can implement.

Specific projects include efforts you might not expect such as: rehabilitating and releasing 18 mandrills since 2008, scholarships for over 300 girls in Tanzania to complete their educations, and helping people construct beehives and learn how to produce and harvest honey to sell. There are many more projects which you can learn about at this link.

Another major program of JGI is Roots and Shoots, founded in 1991 by Dr. Goodall and a group of Tanzanian students. It's a youth service program with a mission "to foster respect and compassion for all living things, to promote understanding of all cultures and beliefs and to inspire each individual to take action to make the world a better place for people, other animals and the environment." Hundreds of thousands of young people in 120 countries are working to solve the problems they've identified in their communities.

What impact is all this work having? There are over 3 million acres of habitat covered under conservation action plans, 290 chimpanzees and gorillas are receiving care in the sanctuary, and over 5,000 Roots and Shoots programs are in place creating positive change right now.

YOU can also create positive change! Donate some money, encourage a young person (under 16) to start a project with Roots and Shoots, become a chimp guardian or shop for merch.

Stay in the loop by liking the Facebook pages of JGI and Roots and Shoots and following both organizations on Twitter @JaneGoodallInst and @RootsandShoots. "Everyone can make a difference."

Friday, September 6, 2019

Feel Good Friday - World Central Kitchen

If you've been paying attention to news of Hurricane Dorian and associated relief efforts, you may already be familiar with today's Feel Good Friday organization, World Central Kitchen.

Founded in 2010 by celebrity chef Jose Andres, the motto of  World Central Kitchen (WCK) is,"wherever there is a fight so that hungry people may eat, we will be there."

WCK has been in the news a lot recently because one of the services they provide is disaster relief. Responding to the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas, WCK is making sandwiches while waiting for access to Abaco and Grand Bahama islands. Their website explains how their relief efforts work. "By partnering with organizations on the ground and activating a network of food trucks and emergency kitchens, WCK provides freshly made, nutritious meals to survivors of disasters quickly and effectively. Last year they responded to 13 disasters around the world.

Once immediate disaster response needs have been met, WCK provides several long-term programs. Food for thought has built over 140 improved cook stoves and cooking equipment for schools and community kitchens. Sink to Stove has provided over 500 school chefs with food safety and sanitation training. Ecole des Chefs is a 5-month culinary arts program that prepares aspiring chefs to work in commercial kitchens. The 40+ graduates have all been placed in internships and 60% of them have been placed in jobs when their internships ended.

Finally, there is Plow to Plate, a program aimed to "increase food security in Puerto Rico by providing funding, training and networking opportunities to smallholder farmers and businesses that support local agriculture." This program has awarded $910,000 to 55 grantees and works with over 500 volunteers on partner farms.

If you like what you see you can support the work of WCK by volunteering, dining and dashing (if you live in DC) or making a traditional donation. As always, stay in the social media loop by liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @WCKitchen.