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  • WELCOME

This nonprofit honors Giraffe Heroes—compassionate risk-takers 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.

When we tell their stories over social and traditional media, others are moved to stick their necks out too, helping solve significant public problems important to them. Our books, blogs, curricula, speeches and trainings help them succeed.

As long as there are Giraffe Heroes , there's hope. Telling the series of heroes may be the oldest strategy in the world for motivating people into brave, compassionate action—and it works.

We offer you here—

You believe in real heroes, right?

So keep us going! Click on the Donate button below.

If you want to know more, see About Us.

The Giraffe Heroes Project is an Accredited Charity of the Better Business Bureau. The Project meets all 20 of the BBB's strict Standards for Charity Accountability.

Guidestar is another solid gold reference.

Giraffe Heroes Recently on Facebook

SAVING MARINES' LIVES & YOUR TAX DOLLARS #StickYourNeckOut #GiraffeHeroes From 2003 to early 2008 more than 60 percent of U.S. troop deaths in Iraq were caused by homemade roadside bombs. Field commanders urgently requested tougher vehicles. Franz Gayl heard them loud and clear. He pressed within the Pentagon to get the vehicles replaced. He got nowhere going through the proper channels, so Gayl blew the whistle. It wasn’t an easy thing for him to do. He had enlisted in the Marines the day after his 17th birthday. After retiring as a major, he was hired as a science advisor to the Marines at the Pentagon. Gayl saw himself as Marine Corps to the core. Gayl conducted an MRAP study, identifying a number of specific ways the Marines weren’t responding to urgent requests from commanders in Iraq to provide blast-resistant vehicles. Then Gayl went public with his unclassified study, testifying before Congress and appearing on PBS’s NewsHour. Before his whistle-blowing, Gayl had a sterling job record; immediately after, he was ranked in the bottom 3 percent in job performance and was pressured to resign. But the MRAPs were indeed being shipped to the troops. Shortly before Gayl left the Pentagon, the Secretary of Defense said publicly that sending MRAPs to Iraq saved “thousands of lives. Franz Gayl looked back at the ordeal and said, “I am as committed as ever to return to the Marine Corps to work hard in support of all Marines.”

FROM GLITZ TO A PROUD LEGACY #GiraffeHeroes #StickYourNeckOut In the 1980’s, orthopedist Michael Berkeley was on the high road to wealth and prestige. His Aspen, Colorado practice involved treating skiing injuries of the rich and famous–movie stars and world-class competitive skiers. But today, Berkeley brings "first-world technology into third-world contexts," searching the US for medical supplies and equipment which he then brings to Mexico, where his patients have never seen a ski. They are subsistence farmers and their families, mostly Tarahumara Indians who suffer from high infant mortality, contaminated water, poor diet, and a history of little or no health care. Now their medical treatment comes from Mexico Medical Missions, a non-profit organization that Berkeley founded, manages, and helps fund. Working with volunteers, including three Amish families, he's built a 10,000-square-foot hospital to meet the medical needs of the Tarahumara. Berkeley works much harder than he did in his Aspen days and there is no income for his efforts, but now his satisfaction level is high. He looks forward to new challenges, including training indigenous medics to work in rural outposts and expanding the hospital's services to include dentistry and a food bank. "This hospital is going to outlive me,” says Michael Berkeley MD, “but before I go, I'd like to see it fully equipped and bustling. This is a place where Tarahumaras, or Indians of any tribe, can come with confidence, knowing they'll be cared for no matter what their problem." Keep track of this work at http://www.mexicomedical.org/ Like this Giraffe? LIKE this Page!

GIVING STUDENT STAND-IN GRANDPARENTS #GiraffeHeroes #StickYourNeckOut Mabel Barth met with skepticism when she began talking about a simple idea to reduce the loneliness and alienation of college students, loneliness she had witnessed on her own return to college in her middle years. In Barth's vision, a grandparent stand-in sat at a small table in a busy student lounge, sharing fruit, peanuts or cookies, and listening to a student—not advising, not counseling—just listening. Her own education was delayed--when she was 8, her father died and her dream of a college education was put on hold for many years, but she finally graduated Phi Beta Kappa from West Virginia University when she was in her 50s and had seen students' need for someone to talk to. Since 1979, when Barth set up the first Listening Post at Auraria Higher Education Center in Denver, she has put her life into the creation and expansion of the program. For 12 years the main office of the Listening Post was in Barth’s apartment, where she kept in touch with Post managers. She used her own limited personal funds to pay the bills, including those for all the student snacks the grandparent stand-ins dispersed. Now more than 4,000 students a week talk to 400 trained "grandparents" at Listening Posts on 85 campuses across the US and Canada. Barth still puts in a 60-hour week doing administrative duties, volunteer trainings, and her own shift at a Listening Post. When asked why she works so hard, she said, "You cannot pour the perfume of happiness on others without spilling some on yourself." UPDATE: Mabel Barth died in 2012. She was 103 years old. Like this Giraffe? LIKE this Page.

BUILDING PEACE IN SIERRA LEONE #GiraffeHeroes #StickYourNeckOut “John, your country is on fire; your people are dying. You must do something about it!” John Bangura had been angry for a long time. During the civil war in Sierra Leone, he witnessed the massacre of his parents, seven other relatives, and most of his town. He watched violence destroy the country, leaving its surviving people impoverished, traumatized, and often maimed. Living as a refugee in Denmark while the war raged on at home, Bangura’s mind had been fixed on one thing: vengeance against those who were causing so much suffering. Bangura heard the call to save his country while attending a reconciliation conference in Tanzania. Quickly, he phoned a relative back in Sierra Leone and asked him to pass on a challenge to those he trusted: “Are you willing to work for your country without being paid? To go on a journey of healing, risk your life and not point a figure of blame at anyone?” Ten people responded, and HOPE-SIERRA LEONE (H-SL) was born. Initially, H-SL worked with rebels to help clear the way for UN Peacekeeping efforts. But when the war ended, the Peacekeepers left. Bangura established H-SL offices in four cities in Sierra Leone, and developed programs in agriculture, peace and reconciliation, and clean, fair and violence-free elections. Bangura knows that individual healing is an essential key to his country’s future. H-SL’s agricultural programs, for example, cultivate peace as well as rice, by bringing previous enemies to farm together, so they can cooperate and reconcile while working to feed their families and country. More than 500 ex-combatants have joined such projects. Bangura does it all in regular trips to Sierra Leone from Copenhagen, where he continues to drive a bus to support his wife and children. “Whether talking with ex-combatants or a Government Minister, my ‘weapon’ has always been to share my own experience of how my life was transformed…” says John Bangura. “I then invite them to join me in the vision I have for my country.” Like these stories? LIKE our page! And share with friends who could use some enCouragement.

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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