MEET SOME REAL HEROES
Guy showed up on Randy Thompson's Nebraska ranch one day, and asked him if he'd consider letting a new oil pipeline come across his land. Thompson said he'd think about it. He started researching oil pipelines and the Canadian corporation behind this one and his answer was not just "No" but "Go to hell."
His family's worked their land a long time and it's precious to them; there was no way good stewards of land and water could let those resources be endangered by the toxic stuff that would be coming through that pipeline. The oil company offered money, more money, and then threats that they'd just take the land via eminent domain. (Read the whole story)
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, wealthy families have tried to get their kids in. (more)
Aitan Grossman received his Giraffe Commendation at his Bar Mitzvah, which means Aitan was 13 years old, not the youngest Giraffe ever, but close. To know more about what this young man is doing, check out his website.
Sarah Herr is a high school cheerleader in Bettendorf, Iowa. That’s as good as it gets in teen society, right? The prettiest, the most popular girls in school are the ones out in front of the stands, leading all the cheers. But Sarah went beyond that teen highpoint—she stuck her neck out to create and train a whole new squad of cheerleaders, girls who are usually sidelined from teen activities. Have a look at the Spartan Sparkles.
George Ballis, on the right, with Cesar Chavez.
George Ballis of Tollhouse CA organized “National Land for People” to ensure that small farm owners would get their fair share of available water, too much of which was going to agribusinesses. Ballis himself runs a 40-acre farm where organic, low-water-use agriculture and edible landscapes are demonstrated. (more)
Jacob Crespo, age 7, worked all his out-of-school waking hours on changing the world. He rallied for peace, collected toys and food for the Humane Society (instead of accepting birthday presents for himself), donated his allowance money to strangers in need of help, and collected food and blankets for the needy. (more)
Sierra Leonean John Bangura saw his parents, other relatives and dozens of friends killed in the fighting in his country. Bangura says he lived for vengeance until he was inspired to work for peace and recovery instead. Through his program, Hope-Sierra Leone, Bangura is now doing community development work in his country, healing the wounds of war. (more)
Cheryl Perera, of Toronto, founded OneChild, a non-profit that focuses young people on stopping the commercial sexual exploitation of children. (more)
Stan Brock has been an adventure movie hero, a television host, a bush pilot/rancher in the Amazon, and a karate expert. But his greatest challenge is his current one— directing his nonprofit Remote Area Medical, a free service that takes doctors, nurses, dentists and veterinarians into areas of the world where there is absolutely no medical care. (more)
GIRAFFE ACTION, FAR & WIDE
We are in the process of tracking down 29 young Giraffes we chose in 1990 for a tour of the then Soviet Union, a trip sponsored by Ben & Jerry's. Now we're tracking down the "kids." Here's the group photo, with their B&J chaperones. Click on the photo to see their names and click here to read the delightful story of an epic journey that they've told us changed their lives. If you're in the photo, Contact Giraffe!
GHI Director John Graham reports that Giraffe Heroes Kenya is officially launched. "Overflow crowd, moving remarks by the 24 Giraffe Heroes honored that night, great food—and an atmosphere charged with energy and leaning into the future. You know it’s been a great event when you can’t clear the room when it’s over! People savored the mood and the vision of the night and just didn’t want to leave it. Kenya’s new Giraffe Heroes are sticking their necks out on a wide variety of issues, including the environment, anti-corruption, good governance, women’s issues, fairness in land-use, stemming tribal conflict and more.” We’ll have these new commendees stories for you soon.
Governance Now, a highly respected magazine in India, has published a call for nominations for Giraffe Heroes/India. Check out their story, and—if you're in India—keep a lookout for real heroes around you. Giraffe Hero Vijay Saluja is on the job, in Delhi, awaiting your nominations.
Giraffe Heroes Nepal (GHN) is up and running, following a ten-day visit by GHI Director John Graham to help kickstart the operation. GHN's leader is Dr. Sushil Koirala, (the man in the great hat). He was commended as a Giraffe Hero for founding Peace for Nepal in 2004 to help end his country's bloody civil war. He's gathering nominations for the first commendations to be awarded by Giraffe Heroes Nepal. (The full story)
In the UK
Dr. Musharraf Hussain O.B.E., founder of the Karimia Institute, president of the the UK's Christian-Muslim Forum and Trustee of the National Centre for Citizenship talks with Giraffe's John Graham about the launch later this year of Giraffes/UK. They're shown here in the studio of Dawn Radio, Karimia's broadcasting facility in Nottingham, England. Giraffes/UK will honor heroes there, regardless of their ethnicities or religious affiliations and will aim at narrowing the dangerous gap between Muslims and non-Muslims throughout the UK.
Giraffe Founder Ann Medlock went part way round the world to fabulous Singapore to keynote a conference at Singapore Management University. Ann's talk was about female Giraffes and the changes they've catalyzed in communities large and small. (Go to our online database and ask for stories about female Giraffes. There are hundreds of great stories.) Conference organizer Kirpal Singh invited Ann to keynote after hearing her speak at the American Creativity Association and then reading about her "near-TED experience." Ann wrote about the Singapore adventure in her monthly email to friends of Giraffe. If you're not already receiving that email, subcribe to Heads Up now. You can also read a full-page interview with Ann in the Straits Times. If you think Ann might be a good addition to an event you're planning, contact us about getting on her calendar.
Inspired by the stories in Voices of Hope, the Giraffe Heroes Project's anthology of heroes around the world, fourteen students in Oporoza, Nigeria have formed the “Giraffe Service Club International." Their purpose is to "serve humanity." That's their teacher, Job Bebenimibo, at front row left. (more)
In New Jersey
Mary Lou DiCaprio, a parent/volunteer who leads Giraffe teams at a school in Mountain Lakes NJ sent this response to a recent Giraffe e-message: "Having heard President Obama's announcement about increasing the number of math and science teachers, and taking into account my B.S. in chemistry, I believe that I'm being called to be a part of the new spirit of hope, with Giraffe as my guiding light." (more)
An inspiring film shows what's happening as the Giraffe Heroes Project works with community groups serving young people in Wicomico County, Maryland.
1 Way to Help
review Giraffe basics.
New Giraffe Heroes
More great Giraffe Heroes from around the world have gone out to our email subscribers. If you didn't get them in your In Box, sign up!
For now, here are their faces. We hope you'll click through to their stories.
A GIFT TO SCHOOLS
It’s Up To Us,
a program for
is now a free download
Click here for details.
Join the conversation
Grades K-2 Guide
A TRAINING KIT
We now offer you a tool kit you can use to train tomorrow's heroes, in class or after school. (Full info)
GIRAFFE HEROES INTERNATIONAL
Giraffe Heroes International (GHI), directed by John Graham—a veteran leader of this Project and a former US diplomat—is helping people all over the world set up Giraffe operations in their own countries. (Read the full story of what GHI is doing.)
Here's a gift for teachers,
a free Giraffe lesson
that helps kids find
real heroes in their world.
You can have help for your cause right now via our free Coach's Corner.
YOU & THE FOUNDER
From time to time, Ann Medlock, this Project's founder, does a brief but inspiring email called Heads Up. You can check out past copies here. They're so good (and so free) we bet you'll join the Heads Up circle and send them on to friends & family.
For further wit & wisdom from Ann, check out her speeches, radio commentaries and OpEds.