Google-backed drones drop library books so kids in Virginia can do their summer reading

Kelly Passek, a librarian at Montgomery County School District in VA, came up with the idea of having drones deliver library books to encourage more kids to read from the safety of their homes. Passek could receive the book orders from the children, find the books from different libraries, package them, and deliver them to the Wing facility for the drones to deliver them.

Picture retrieved from washingtonpost.com

Wing library book delivery was/is available to nearly 600 students within Christiansburg, VA, which makes it possible for the students to get free reading materials.

This innovation kept alive the interest to read by making available the reading materials during the lockdown. It was also hoped that the innovation of drone-delivered books would instill the desire to read in more kids.

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

Avivo opens Avivo Village the nation’s first indoor tiny home community for individuals experiencing homelessness

Avivo Village, an indoor community of 100 secure, private dwellings or “tiny houses” created to provide shelter to individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness, opened in Minneapolis’ North Loop Neighborhood on March 8, 2021. Avivo Village was created as a COVID-era means to shelter individuals in a socially distant, dignified way. Residents will have access to Avivo’s unique combination of recovery services, mental health services, and career education and employment services.

In December, a preliminary opening of Avivo Village provided indoor housing for 16 initial residents — many of whom have since found housing while working with Avivo’s housing case managers. As of April 16, nearly 70 residents were housed in Avivo Village’s tiny home community.

Picture retrieved from Freethink

One major inequity in Minnesota’s homeless community is a disproportionate number of Native Americans experiencing homelessness compared to Minnesota’s population as a whole (11% in 2019 of surveyed homeless via hmismn.org compared to 1.4% of MN population via Census.gov in 2019). Avivo Village was created in partnership with the city of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, and the state of Minnesota – but also with a strong partnership between Avivo and the White Earth Nation and the Red Lake Nation, to ensure a welcoming community.

Story submitted by Aaron Shaffer, United States of America

More info here or at aaron.shaffer@avivomn.org

Chicago Couple Cancelled Their Wedding But Used $5,000 Catering Deposit To Feed People in need

Emily Bugg and Billy Lewis of Chicago had to cancel their big wedding because of COVID-19, but their cancellation uplifted the needy. This happened after the couple asked if the caterer could convert their wedding food into donated thanksgiving dinners for those in need. Consequently, 200 thanksgiving meals were served to Threshold clients, who are individuals with mental health and substance use challenges.

Thresholds’ clients had a thanksgiving meal. The CEO of Threshold said the donation was truly needed because their clients were not likely to have a thanksgiving meal in 2020 due to financial constraints brought upon by the pandemic. The donated food uplifted the clients’ spirits, warmed the givers’ hearts and enhanced the community spirit.

There are creative ways of giving, even and especially during challenging times.

Illustration: Elena Scotti/The Guardian

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

Moving Company Helps Victims of Domestic Violence Leave Abusive Homes at no cost

College Hunks is a hauling company that in 2020 began free haulings services to people fleeing domestic abuse situations. Since the recent launch of this program, College Hunks has completed 100 moves for those fleeing unsafe conditions in both U.S. and Canada. The company saw this need as a priority because they said the lockdown mandated by the COVID-19 pandemic exposed individuals to increased abuse. The procedure of how to apply for this service is outlined on College & Hunks website.

There were 100 individuals moved from an abusive situation to safety and no cost to them. Humans have endless creative ideas for meeting their myriad challenges- new and old.

Picture 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

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