What do you do when a second grader tells you he doesn’t know his birthday? Or when that same little boy says he doesn’t even know what a birthday is? Julia Warren was only 16-years-old when she had this heartbreaking conversation as a volunteer at a Title I elementary school in Richmond, Virginia. After she explained to the student, a little boy named Charles, what a birthday was, all he could muster for an answer was, “I think I was born when it was cold.”
Dr. Gary Parker first volunteered aboard a Mercy Ships hospital ship thinking it would be a three-month journey. However, three months turned into 31 years, and Gary and his wife Susan, who he met on board, have devoted their lives to help those living without access to safe, timely and affordable surgical care.
In a game where one wrong move can risk your path to victory, Orrin “Checkmate” Hudson encourages young adults and children to not focus on the chess pieces they have lost, but rather on what’s left on the board – and to never give up. Preaching the power of thinking strategically and making better life decisions, Orrin, a 55-year-old from Stone Mountain, Georgia, teaches his students the game of chess through what he calls the six magic words: “Take time to think things through.” These words have connected Orrin with more than 55,000 children in 30 states nationwide and internationally, including trips to the Philippines, India and Canada.
When confronted with big societal problems, like hunger, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Aside from sending a donation to a local nonprofit, or volunteering at a local soup kitchen – we often feel that, as just one person, we can’t possibly do enough to make a difference. But when Claire Bloom, a retired Navy lieutenant commander, was confronted with the issue of childhood hunger in her own community of Rochester, New Hampshire, she knew she had to take action.