New Jersey Teens Take Matters into Their Own Hands to Help First Responders and Small

Two teenagers,16-year-old Drew and 13-year-old Heather Paglia created a GoFund to help local businesses and health care workers during the Covid-19 pandemic. The idea was to raise money to help small businesses and healthcare heroes. Since they created the crowdfunding page, the teens have raised $2,250 and they still hope to reach their goal of $20,000.

One hospital was able to purchase gift cards to give to those being released from the hospital to provide food and make sure they stay at home.

This story brings an important lesson on creative ways to support local businesses.

Picture by Cindy Paglia, retrieved from Good News Network

Story shared by Margaret Sergon, USA, based on a story originally collected by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies of Ball State University, Indiana, USA.

More info here or at msergon@my.nl.edu

Mystery Maryland mom leaves out free lunches ‘for anyone who needs it’ during coronavirus outbreak

In Severna Park, Md, outside of Baltimore, packed lunches are available for those who need them. These were prepared by a mom during the lockdown for anyone who was hungry. The food was available between 11 am and 1:30 pm.

Besides providing food to the hungry, this act spread love and connection within the community. One resident said the kind act made her embrace her community, even more, another said it lifted her spirit, and still, another said that through the act, this mom was putting goodness back into the world.

Small acts of kindness and love uplift and strengthen communities.

Picture retrieved from FoxNews.com

Story shared by Margaret Sergon, USA, based on a story originally collected by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies of Ball State University, Indiana, USA.

More info here or at msergon@my.nl.edu

Earning his wings: 16-year-old pilot delivers donated medical supplies to Bath County hospital

T.J. Kim, a 16-year-old pilot delivered medical supplies to a rural county hospital. Kim dropped off a bundle of masks, respirators, and other medical supplies to Bath county community hospital. Kim has also made deliveries to other rural hospitals in Virginia. Kim says rural hospitals are often disadvantaged because people tend to donate to bigger hospitals.

Rural hospitals in Virginia received medical supplies during the covid-19 pandemic.

The action by Kim help reduce inequities in the medical supplies by focusing on rural hospitals which, he says are often disadvantaged.

Picture retrieved from inkl – Independent

Story shared by Margaret Sergon, USA, based on a story originally collected by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies of Ball State University, Indiana, USA.

More info here or at msergon@my.nl.edu

We need something positive: Teenagers take BASKETBALL HOOP to the streets to help ease tensions

Stephania Ergemlidze and a group of some friends used the power of sport to find a common ground to ease the anger and confrontation in their home city of Philadelphia following the killing of George Floyd. The teenagers took the basketball hoop to the streets and encouraged the protesters to join them in a few shots to ease the tensions. To ensure safety, the teenagers brought sanitizers to be used to clean hands and the ball. Ergemlidze stated her aim as peacefully bringing people together and spread love through basketball.

Tensions were thought to subside as small crowds gathered to watch the game. A police officer was among those whom the teenagers encouraged to throw a few shots.

This initiative aimed to bring peace through sports.

Picture retrieved from Twitter

Story shared by Margaret Sergon, USA, based on a story originally collected by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies of Ball State University, Indiana, USA.

Take-What-You-Need’ pantry

Stacy Mason, an ICU nurse at Mary Washington Healthcare, Virginia started a pantry, first in the ICU nurses’ break room and later, created one for the entire healthcare. Those that extra donated to the pantries and those in need got food from them. Mason came up with the idea after she saw that the supplies in the grocery stores were dindling due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Those who had the capacity provided food for those that needed it.

Even those at the frontline fighting the pandemic still looked out for those who needed extra support with food.

Story shared by Margaret Sergon, USA, based on a story originally collected by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies of Ball State University, Indiana, USA.

More info here or at msergon@my.nl.edu

PHLConnectED: Connecting K-12 students to the internet

Business and civic leaders in Philadelphia worked together to ensure that over 35,000 K-12 students can learn online through PHLConnectED. The aim of the project was to provide eligible K-12 households with high-speed internet, ensure K-12 public school students have the devices they need(laptop or tablet), and offer outreach digital navigation and digital skills training for those who needed them.

Picture retrieved from phila.gov

K-12 students were able to learn remotely for the fall semester and beyond.

PHLConnectED addressed the lack of internet by providing families with wired, high-speed, reliable internet from Comcast’s Internet Essentials program or a high-speed mobile hotspot for families who are housing-insecure. Also, racial equity and poverty were addressed by provided internet for all needy households.

Story shared by Margaret Sergon, USA, based on a story originally collected by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies of Ball State University, Indiana, USA.

More info here or at msergon@my.nl.edu

Protest Sign Made by Third Grader Inspires the Nation When it Mysteriously Travels to Protests

In response to the death of George Floyd, the principal of Lake Country, Minneapolis, asked the students to join their feelings with those in the streets by making signs and sharing them with the school community. Mathias Brinda, a third-grader made a huge sign that said “If you are neutral in situations of injustice you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” This sign was hunged on the school fence, but it went missing. It later showed up at two different sites- in front of a spray-painted image of Floyd and in the possession of three children.

Picture retrieved from Good News Network

The sign inspired the nation- at least the one who took the sign from the fence, the Black man who kneeled by it in front of Floyd’s image and the three children who held it up while raising their fists- and everyone else who read the story of the sign.

Wisdom and inspiration from the lips of children.

Story shared by Margaret Sergon, USA, based on a story originally collected by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies of Ball State University, Indiana, USA.

More info here or at msergon@my.nl.edu

Share a smile with Handmade cards for hospitalized patients

We are two brothers Hurshneet and Pravneet Chadha who started the initiative of Project Smile AZ to spread smiles and hope to patients who have been fighting COVID-19 all alone in the hospitals and anyone who is in need of a smile! With hospital rules to limit visitors, patients are extremely lonely and need a cheer me up thought. That’s exactly what our smile cards do!! We have more than 4000 Smile cards and have been donating them to hospitals across the US. Our goal is to bring a smile to everyone from A to Z.

More than 4500 Handmade cards have been shared to patients in hospitals, Veteran homes and to Navajo nation. We have made 130 kits for kids with card making and art supplies and shared them to friends at the Crisis center of Arizona and ACCEL centre for children and adults with disabilities like autism, who enjoy making cards from supplies. its a win win for those making the cards and those receiving it. The positive feedback from hospital staff and patients who have received these cards has been the biggest reward.

We learnt that we can always do something with where we are and with what we have to make the world better. We were stuck at home and did not have much supplies except some paper, cardstock and markers . We started off with a 100 card and soon made it to 4000 plus. Our messages brought that many smiles to patients who were lonely in hospital. Second lesson we learnt is that together we can make a big difference. Very soon after the initiative many people started regularly donating cards to our cause which helped make a bigger impact.

Story shared by Hurshneet Chadha, USA

More info here or at projectsmileaz@gmail.com

High School Students Are Demanding Schools Teach More Black History, Include More Black Authors

Three high school students, strangers to each other and separated by miles, launch a campaign to demand that schools teach more Black history, include more Black authors in the English syllabi, and other reforms that promote racial equity. The teenagers are using social media to plan reformers, to pressure school officials, and to access inspiration from other activists.

Picture retrieved from Black Children’s Books and Authors (BCBA)

They hope the reforms will promote racial equity.

The success of these efforts will promote racial equity.

Story shared by Margaret Sergon, USA, based on a story originally collected by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies of Ball State University, Indiana, USA.

More info here or at msergon@my.nl.edu

Neighbors Harvest Crops for North Dakota Farmer Who Had Heart Attack

After a farmer in North Dakota, suffered a heart attack while harvesting his crops, between 40-50 neighbors organized to complete the harvesting while the neighbor was at the hospital. The neighbors realized that without their help, the 1,000 acres of crops would be spoiled and that would both a personal and financial loss to their neighborhood.

Picture from National Geographic

Within 7 hours, the crops were harvested and stored in bins. Importantly, the Unhjem family was comforted to know they had neighbors who prayed and cared for them when they were most in need.

This story shows the power of the community spirit.

Story shared by Margaret Sergon, USA, based on a story originally collected by the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies of Ball State University, Indiana, USA.

More info here or at msergon@my.nl.edu