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This nonprofit honors compassionate risk-takers, people who are largely unknown, people who have the courage to stick their necks out for the common good, in the US and around the world.

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Recent Facebook Highlights

VIETNAM VET GETS PROSTHETICS TO SOVIET VETS Paul Beals of La Conner, WA, is a Vietnam veteran. He is amazed to say that now one of his best friends in the world is a former Soviet colonel. Beals met the colonel on a train moving between Moscow and Leningrad. The colonel was going to the grave of his son, who had been killed in Afghanistan. Beals talked the night away with his former enemy. When they reached Leningrad they were friends; Beals went with the colonel to the cemetery. He then risked his financial livelihood and invested endless hours of his time to get good prosthetics to Soviet vets who lost limbs during their war in Afghanistan. #StickYourNeckOut #GiraffeHeroes #veterans #Afghanistan

PROTECTING FAMILIES FROM POLLUTION #GiraffeHeroes #StickYourNeckOut When she was a young homemaker and mom, Bellingham WA resident Barbara Brenner lived near an incinerator that was burning medical wastes. The smoke was making her family and others sick, and Brenner tried every formal channel to bring authorities’ attention to the danger. When none of them responded to her, she went to the state capitol and sat on the steps of the legislature for 10 weeks, holding a sign that read, “An illegal incinerator is making our family sick.” Staying there day after day, talking to legislators and staffers, her two sons at her side, Brenner finally got some attention, including an appointment with the governor. Brenner spent several years and $12,000 of her own money fighting the company that owned the incinerator, getting them 21 citations, thousands of dollars in fines, and important safety changes in their procedures. The organization she founded, Safe Waste Management Now, then went to work on an initiative to ban the importation of medical waste into the county. Elected to serve on county council, Brenner carried on the fight from her position as a government official, one who listens to citizens, unlike the authorites who didn’t act when she was telling them about the illnesses the toxic incinerator was causing. Update: Decades later, Brenner is still on the Council, and is a Champion of so many good causes, we urge you to click to her official website to see them all: http://wa-whatcomcounty.civicplus.com/1973/Barbara-Brenner Like this Giraffe? LIKE this whole Page! Giraffes should have 100 thousand Likes. And do your Friends a favor—Share this story with them.

AN 11 YEAR-OLD'S CAMPAIGN AGAINST DRUGS When Ellen Bigger’s Girl Scout leader was murdered by a drug addict, Ellen launched a campaign she named “This is a Drug-free Home.” She endured criticism and taunting from her classmates, drained her babysitting savings, and took “awful weeding jobs” to pay for the costs of her campaign. #StickYourNeckOut #GiraffeHeroes #youth #drugs #activism

AN OCTOGENARIAN FOOL FOR PEACE #GiraffeHeroes #StickYourNeckOut Carlos Van Leer calls himself a Fool for Peace. He’s the official church jester of St. Stephen and the Incarnation Episcopal Church in Washington, DC, the first—and perhaps the only—official church jester in the US (or maybe in the whole world). The church just gave that title to the role Van Leer has played for the past 20 years—using “foolishness” to say things people find difficult to hear when they’re spoken seriously. At age 82 Van Leer wants other elders to know there’s room for them out there on the cutting edge of social activism. At protests and demonstrations, he appears in a traditional two-belled jester’s cap, toting an undersized accordion. With a fine voice and quick wit he delivers satirical songs of his own devising. As Van Leer says, “If you can make a point and do it with laughter, there is much less resistance. Laughter is able to jump through and across boundaries.” Van Leer is, however, serious about his commitment to the issues and the police are serious about arresting him at demonstrations. He’s been arrested six times, each time serenading the police as he heads off to jail. He also speaks his piece as part of the Sunday service at his church. And for years he practiced “answering machine activism” by programming his machine with original songs about current issues. So many calls came in (an estimated 382,000) that he wore out two machines. In 1987 he was seen and heard singing “Gorbachev and Reagan Should Be Friends,” on Soviet, American and International TV networks. Van Leer is proud to be the only “musical activist” listed in the Yale alumni yearbook. He’s also pleased to shatter the stereotype of what being over 80 is about. UPDATE: Van Leer continued to be a regular fixture at demonstrations, arriving most often by bicycle with an accordion strapped to his back. He died in January, 1993. Like this Giraffe? Like this whole Page. We want Giraffes to have 100 thousand Likes. And do your Friends a favor--Share this story!

EDISCA

edisca.org.br

Uma organização não governamental sem fins lucrativos que promove desde 1991 o desenvolvimento de crianças, adolescentes e jovens através de uma educação com centralidade na Arte.

*****As we celebrate the heroic feats of the #Olympics2016 athletes in Rio, we also celebrate the #GiraffeHeroes from �#Brazil who stick their necks out for the common good. Thank you for celebrating with us!***** DORA ANDRADE teaches poor kids in Fortaleza, Brazil to dance—with their bodies and with their hearts and minds. She sold her jewelry and used the cash to create EDISCA (School for Dance and Social Integration for Children and Adolescents), where she not only teaches dance and self respect, but provides access to meals, medical exams, dental care and computer training. EDISCA’s kids get such great care that wealthy families have tried to get their kids in. Follow Andrade's work: http://www.edisca.org.br/br/. #StickYourNeckOut #GiraffeHeroes

WHEN A CHILD GOES MISSING #GiraffeHeroes #StickYourNeckOut Carol Watson knew what if felt like to have a child abducted; her son was missing when she joined a group of parents who were trying to deal with the disappearances of sons and daughters. There was little information and almost no support for her and the other parents in the group, so Watson began working with a state social worker to set up a system that would truly support the families and help them get their kids back. The pioneering program that came out of Watson’s drive to help these families is now called Missing Children Minnesota and it has helped thousands of frantic parents find their children. In the beginning it was all volunteer time; over the years the work has been funded, but Watson often works 70-hour weeks for half-time pay. She’s also been threatened by angry abductors who want her off their cases. MCM locates missing children, advocates for their families, lobbies for better laws against kidnapping, and provides programs throughout Minnesot,a and in other midwestern states. Watson and her team teach personal safety at schools, daycare centers, summer camps, and churches. Families can get assistance and counseling at any time of the day or night, a far cry from the lack of support Watson experienced when her son was missing. And yes, she did get her boy back, as have so many other parents she’s helped over the years. Learn more about her work at her website. Keep up with this work at: http://missingchildrenmn.com/about-mcm/. Like this Giraffe? Thanks and please LIKE the whole Page now. We want Giraffes to have 100 thousand Likes.

*****As the heroic athletic feats of the #Olympics2016 come to a close, we also celebrate Brazilian #GiraffeHeroes who stick their necks out for the common good. Thank you for celebrating with us!***** GILBERTO MACUXI of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, has been beaten, shot, and stabbed, and his family has been abducted, all because of his fight to protect the 14 vanishing tribes of Brazil's Roraima state. Founder of the Association of Indigenous People of Roraima, Macuxi travels on foot from tribe to tribe and by plane to national and international meetings where he speaks for the tribes’ rights to the land where they have lived for centuries. Read more on our database: http://giraffeheroes.org/storybank-of-real-heroes?sobi2Task=sobi2Details&catid=0&sobi2Id=1186. #StickYourNeckOut #GiraffeHeroes

More Giraffe Heroes

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This is Sister Megan Rice, a nun for most of her 80+ years and a peace activist since the 1980s. She had been arrested more than three dozen times and had done time twice when she and two other peace activists performed what was called the most serious security breach in the history of US...

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Andy Hall, a Brit, works for Finnwatch, a world-wide nonprofit that spots human abuses around the world and works to stop them. When Hall called out Thailand's National Fruit Company for the way it treats its workers, he asked to work...

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This is Catherine Hamlin MD, who left her home in Australia in 1959 to provide gynecological care to poor women in Ethiopia. At 90, she's still doing that, focusing on one of the most distressing medical/social issues imaginable: obstetric fistulas.

This is an injury that women can...

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This is Hanna Hopko. She braved snipers' bullets in Kiev during a citizens' uprising that brought down a corrupt government there. Now she's leading a rapidly growing citizens' movement that's doing more than rising up and demanding...

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Imagine you're 11 years old and your body is twisting from scoliosis, causing you constant physical pain and making you look very different from other kids. You're scheduled for surgery to straighten your spine and your mom takes a "before" picture so you'll have a history of how you once...

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Bob Bajek, a reporter on a small-town newspaper in Illinois, came up with a Big Story: the town's recreational lake, where residents fished, swam, and boated, was highly toxic--a now defunct military base had dumped Agent Orange in the water....

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There were no protections for whistle-blowers in South Africa when businesswoman Wendy Addison reported her own corporate bosses for breaking the law. She was fired, got death threats, and was blacklisted, even in England, where she took her...

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This is veteran environmental activist, Xiuhtezcatl Roske-Martinez. He's 12. And he's been working to save his beloved Colorado for half of his life. It started when he saw that the forest near his home was changing. Trees were dying, plants...

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Allan Adam is Chief of the Athabasca Chipewyan nation, whose lands lie within Alberta, Canada. These First Nation people have formal treaty rights that protect their lands from being taken or used by outsiders, but that treaty has been...

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Sangduen Chailert, known as "Lek," puts in 18-hour days caring for sick and injured elephants in a protected reserve she co-founded, the Elephant Nature Park in northern Thailand.

The dwindling elephant population is a world-wide...

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Nobis Est - It's Up To Us

Meet people who stick their necks out for the common good, all of them commended by the Giraffe Heroes Project, the nonprofit that's "EnCouraging today's heroes - training tomorrow's." Check out http://www.giraffe.org for more stories, and for a way to honor your own hero.

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