Good News This Week: November 25, 2023 - Dogs, Turkeys, & Tiny Homes

A photo collage of Sai Shettar standing in front of a pile of laptops, the entrance of Casa Alitas, an aerial view of a house porch, a man preparing uncooked turkeys, and a flatlay image of the Goodnewspaper

Every day the Good Good Good team collects the best good news in the world and shares it with our community. Here are the highlights for this week!

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The Best Positive News We’re Celebrating This Week —

A high school senior is empowering other immigrant youth by founding nonprofits to bridge educational gaps, offer free tutoring sessions, and teach coding

Sai Shettar, a 17-year-old senior at Spring-Ford Area High School in Royersford, Pennsylvania, is making a significant impact in his community as the founder of several nonprofits aimed at addressing educational and technological gaps.

Sai runs the Philadelphia chapter of World Computer Exchange (WCE), a Boston-based nonprofit that refurbishes donated laptops, desktops, iPads, and other devices and equips them with educational software before sending them to those in need globally.

His goal is to bridge the educational gap experienced by some children. Sai has also launched Immigrants4Immigrants, an initiative to help newly immigrated youth catch up in school through free tutoring sessions.

Sai's passion for helping others and his commitment to using technology for positive change have earned him recognition and support from his community. He dreams of creating a business that leverages technology to close educational gaps and improve lives.

Why is this good news? Sai’s story highlights the positive impact that a dedicated and compassionate young person can have on their community. He has taken initiative to address issues related to education, technology, and immigrant youth, making a meaningful difference in the lives of those he helps. Sai's story serves as an inspiring example of how young people can contribute to the betterment of society.

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A doctor and her former patient are working together to provide care at an immigration shelter

Retired pediatrician Kathryn Bowen volunteers at Casa Alitas, a shelter in Tucson, Arizona, for migrant families released by ICE or Border Patrol.

The shelter provides temporary accommodations, meals, and basic necessities for asylum seekers as they transition to their next destinations. The shelter operates in collaboration with faith communities, government agencies, and NGOs.

Bowen, who is part of the medical clinic managed by Southeast Arizona Health Education Center, offers care for various conditions, providing medications, wound dressing, and referrals for complex issues. Many guests, coming from countries like Venezuela and Guatemala, appreciate the chance to share their experiences.

In a full circle moment, Bowen realized she would be working with Amy Pacheco — the program’s migrant coordinator — who was a patient at the clinic Bowen spent 25 years serving as pediatrician.

Why is this good news? Bowen highlights the importance of individuals nationwide considering how they can contribute their unique skills to support migrant communities during adjustment periods. Her story encourages people to consider using their skills to support migrant and refugee communities to promote a sense of community engagement and empathy.

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A former tech executive created a tiny home village in Canada that provides affordable, permanent housing

Marcel LeBrun, a millionaire and former tech industry executive, has established the 12Neighbours tiny home village in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, just north of the Maine border.

The village comprises 78 homes that rent for as low as $200 a month to individuals who have experienced chronic homelessness. Residents, ranging from 18 to 71 years old, have access to amenities such as a laundry room, medical services, and career training.

The community focuses on providing affordable, permanent housing and developmental assistance to help residents overcome barriers and lead independent lives. The initiative has a waiting list of 700 people, showcasing its high demand and success. Residents are also employed in the village's carpentry program or print shop to support their financial progress.

The tiny homes, built on a 55-acre property, are fully furnished, eco-friendly, and equipped with solar panels. The village emphasizes community development, offering a range of services such as addiction counseling, mental health support, and employment opportunities. Additionally, a 12,000-square-foot social enterprise center is under construction to further support the community's growth and integration.

Why is this good news? The 12Neighbours tiny home village provides affordable housing solutions for individuals who have experienced chronic homelessness. With rents as low as $200 a month, it addresses a critical need for accessible and stable housing. And the initiative goes beyond just providing housing — it also focuses on community development. Residents have access to amenities such as medical services, career training, and addiction counseling, fostering a supportive environment for individuals to rebuild their lives.

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A charity group distributed more than 3,000 halal turkeys to families in need in Chicago

Zakat Chicago, a charitable committee affiliated with the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, launched a turkey distribution drive to bring Thanksgiving joy to hundreds of suburban families. The group has distributed more than 3,600 halal turkeys, ensuring that families can partake in holiday celebrations with dignity.

The drive, which spans across Chicago and its suburbs, involves collaboration with 29 partners and 30 distribution centers. The turkeys — which adhere to halal standards — weigh between 16 and 20 pounds, offering a substantial meal for 10 to 14 people.

Zakat Chicago, founded in 1997, has a longstanding commitment to supporting local communities. Beyond the turkey drive, the organization engages in various initiatives, including aiding in refugee resettlement, funding healthcare clinics, providing emergency shelter and temporary rental assistance, and running weekend school programs and youth camps.

The success of this year's turkey drive has prompted plans for it to become an annual event, responding to the overwhelming demand from the community.

Why is this good news? The effort to provide halal turkeys to families in need reflects a sense of community and compassion. And the collaboration with various partners — including food pantries and organizations of different faiths — showcases inclusivity and community collaboration, highlighting the ability to bring people of diverse backgrounds together for a common cause.

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A TikTok lawyer launched a digital coat drive and raised $10k in a day

Lawyer and TikTok content creator Alex Clavering — also known as Lolo — initiated a digital coat drive on TikTok, encouraging his 800,000 followers to purchase winter coats for homeless New Yorkers through an Amazon wish list.

The initiative, which will distribute the coats through a project called Connie's Closet, aims to provide essential winter clothing for those living on the streets, particularly young individuals facing challenges in shelters.

In just ten hours, Lolo raised almost $10,000 through the purchase of over 175 jackets, and he expanded the options to include gloves and other items suggested by commenters, showcasing the power of social media for positive community impact.

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A shelter is offering ‘priceless’ adoptions today for Black Friday

The Humane Society for Hamilton County in Fishers, Indiana is promoting pet adoptions on Black Friday through their heartwarming initiative "Fill Your Heart, Not Your Cart."

The event encourages potential adopters to welcome a furry friend into their homes, offering the opportunity to adopt a spayed/neutered, microchipped, and vaccinated pet for a donation amount of their choosing. With approximately 600 animals currently under their care, the shelter hopes this initiative will not only find loving homes for pets but also create much-needed space for other dogs in need.

Lily Pesavento, the community engagement manager for the shelter, emphasized that by adopting a dog on Black Friday, individuals are not only gaining a new family member but also making room for another dog whose life depends on the availability of open space.

While the adoption itself does not come with a specified cost, adopters are encouraged to make a donation to support the shelter's ongoing efforts in serving and caring for the animals within the community.

Why is this good news? This unique approach to Black Friday shopping offers a meaningful and compassionate alternative to traditional Black Friday shopping, fostering a sense of community and altruism and allowing individuals to contribute to a worthy cause while gaining a lifelong companion.

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More good news of the week —

Fans of "RuPaul's Drag Race" are rallying against bills criminalizing drag performances by sharing personal stories on Reddit highlighting the positive impact of drag on their lives. Fans are also promoting the Drag Defense Fund, a fundraiser by the ACLU and World of Wonder, the production company behind "Drag Race."

Scientists at the University of Tokyo have developed an eco-friendly plastic that’s partially biodegradable, self-healing, and nutritionally beneficial for marine life. The material biodegrades safely in marine environments, with 25% of it breaking down in seawater within 30 days and serving as a food source for marine life.

The FDA has granted approval for the world's first chikungunya vaccine, as the mosquito-borne disease is deemed an "emerging global health threat." The vaccine is approved for individuals aged 18 and above who are at high risk of contracting the disease, and its approval is expected to accelerate its global distribution.

Surgeons at NYU Langone Health have performed the world's first whole eye transplant and part of a face transplant, and so far, the transplanted eye socket and lid are showing promising results. This groundbreaking procedure brings scientists closer to understanding eye transplants and addressing blindness.

Scientists and volunteers in Guam are using drones to sow seeds over barren landscapes to aid in reforestation efforts. The project aims to restore areas devastated by wildfires, poor development practices, and invasive species.

Following a landmark high court ruling, South Africa is poised to become the first African country to implement shared parental leave. The decision grants both parents the right to take time off after the birth or adoption of a child, allowing them to choose how to divide a four-month parental leave period.

A surge in startups, collectively known as "firetech," is addressing the escalating threat of wildfires exacerbated by climate change. Firetech initiatives involve drones for aerial ignition, satellite-based sensors, AI-driven vegetation management, and innovations in recovery, resiliency, and adaptation.

In collaboration with the Environmental Defense Fund, Nest and Etsy have created two climate guides for artisan business owners to address disaster preparedness and recovery. The guides aim to help artisans navigate federal relief programs, prepare for climate-related challenges, and protect home-based businesses in the artisan and maker community by providing accessible information.

On the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, two plant species unique to California's Channel Islands were declared fully recovered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The delisting is attributed to collaborative efforts by conservation partners, resulting in the plants no longer requiring Endangered Species Act protections.

A 7-year-old in Colorado raised money to purchase turkeys for people experiencing homelessness this Thanksgiving. Last year, her initiative filled a whole truck with turkeys, which were donated to homeless shelters in the Denver area.

Jennie-O set a new Guinness World Record for the largest donation of turkeys in 24 hours. The company collaborated with NBC’s ‘Today Show’ weather and feature anchor Al Roker to set the record as it donated turkeys to local partners of Feeding America.

A woman in DC went from feeding her family from a pantry to running one — and she’s helping ensure 30,000 individuals have food on the table for Thanksgiving. The nonprofit she runs partners with local organizations to make sure families never have to go hungry.

Deforestation in the Amazon has decreased by 22.3% in the 12 months through July, according to government data, marking the lowest levels in five years. The reduction, totaling 9,000 square kilometers, is attributed to the president’s efforts to address the environmental destruction that occurred during his predecessor’s tenure.

A survey revealed that pets positively impact remote workers' mental health in terms of work-life balance, work-related stress, and healthy habits. Approximately 91% of survey respondents said that caring for pets improved their overall remote working experience, while 90% stated that working with pets reduced their work-related stress.

A Bill Gates-backed startup has launched a new carbon removal process that anticipates removing 5,000 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere by the end of 2023. The approach aims to prevent the released carbon dioxide associated with plant decomposition through a process called "carbon casting.”

Article Details

November 25, 2023 5:00 AM
A photo collage of a fisherman, vegetables, a Feel Good Fridge from Whirlpool, a chart about blood types, and solar panels

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