Helpers 2022: Ordinary People (From the GGG Community) Making a Difference

Community Helpers 2022

It was the iconic Fred Rogers that told us, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

At Good Good Good, we’ve made that the foundation of our work — to know that even in times of extreme hardship, there are always people looking to do good in the world, people ready to receive the good, and most of us at the intersection of taking action. 

This past year has been another “unprecedented” year (ugh), full of overwhelming challenges and large-scale catastrophes. But what keeps us moving forward, what keeps us afloat amidst so many unknowns, is the potential to respond, problem-solve, and care for one another.

2022 ushered in violence and fear — threats to healthcare (the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade), ongoing climate change (climate disasters rocked areas across the globe), political unrest (Russia invaded Ukraine and continues to inflict unrivaled human rights violations) — and so much more.

But in these heartbreaking moments, we cling to hope. We must.

From entertainers using their platforms to help others, and protesters and activists fundraising and speaking out to change the future, to community members providing necessities to their neighbors at war, or leaders fighting to end gun violence — this issue celebrates just a tiny amount of the work at the center of it all.

What we love most about sharing and celebrating good news is that it’s messy and real; it’s full of hope, failure, triumph, and resilience. It helps us step into a new day with the unwavering belief that things do get better.

And it’s helpers like these that solidify this hope. As we step into another year navigating these unparalleled trials — and the enduring humanity that accompanies them — we look to them. 

Every year we highlight helpers in a number of categories — and this year we’ve chosen these categories:

In this post, we’re highlighting Community Helpers:

Community Helpers To Celebrate —

While it’s easy to admire and applaud helpers who are tackling the world’s biggest challenges on an enormous scale, the helpers in our own communities are also doing so much good — just without the fame and acclaim.

We collected these community submissions from our Good Good Good audience to celebrate the good being done in our own backyards. Some submissions have been edited for length and clarity.

Dayna D. (Omaha, NE) is an elementary school librarian and foster parent who goes the extra mile every single day for the children in her community. She deserves the world!

Lynette R. (Bozeman, MT) works with healthcare providers, first-responders, and other individuals in Montana to understand, prevent and treat compassion fatigue and burnout, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Rick C. (Spokane, WA) started Giving Backpacks, a nonprofit to assist those experiencing homelessness in our community. When the lockdowns started, he started fundraising to help shelters and local businesses and made a group of 34,000. 

Christian M. (Atlanta, GA) lives his life as a helper, from assisting at traffic accidents, to taking on tasks outside his job description at work, to being the most helpful father I've ever seen.

Cessilye S. (Dallas, TX) is the founder of Abide Women’s Health Services, which exists to improve birth outcomes in communities with the lowest quality of care by offering services to the community. 

Donie S. and the Shift Coffee Bar crew (Fort Myers, FL) set their lives aside to clean up the wreckage of homes due to Hurricane Ian. They helped sort through and save precious memories of others without a second thought.

Kelly L. (Omaha, NE) adopted her three sons from Ukraine after working with NGOs there for years. She is currently raising money to sponsor people seeking safety and collecting coats and shoes to send to contacts in Ukraine.

Brooke M. (Grand Lake, CO) has traveled the world studying wildlife conservation and shares her knowledge of conservation via her podcast Rewildology, all while working full-time as the director of conservation with The Wild Source.

Though not yet eligible to vote herself, Kate A. (Texas) is already working to encourage her community to vote. She creates and paints murals to encourage bipartisan/nonpartisan voter participation.

The community and staff at EarthLinks (Denver, CO) is a group of good people working everyday to make a different for their planet and their community.

Beth S. (Nashville, TN) is the founder of the Nashville Dolphins, a nonprofit that provides swim lessons and swim team to individuals with special needs at no cost to the participants. 

Mariana B. (Lake Worth, FL) is the Director at the Guatemalan Maya Center in Lake Worth, Florida. The center provides assistance to the refugee, migrant, Indigenous, and farm-working community in Palm Beach County, Florida.

Naomi H. (Pompano Beach, FL) is a longtime housing advocate and leader at a nonprofit helping to bring equity and accessibility to housing to systemically marginalized communities. 

Kristen H. (Surf City, NC) co-founded a beach clean up project, Coastal Cleanup of Topsail, which hosts weekly beach cleans. She volunteers her free-time to educate the public and help keep our community and oceans clean!

Wendy K. (Brentwood, TN) helps countless groups from refugees, the street community, non-English speakers and children. She builds fundraisers, cooks/delivers meals, and organizes group sorting parties to organize donations.

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter and Stop Asian Hate movements, Chris C. (Los Angeles, CA) is using friendship and a lifestyle of meeting people outside your everyday circle as the root solution to a more inclusive, united world.

Kelsey L. (Minneapolis, MN) is a physically disabled woman on a mission to educate people about disability rights. She empowers individuals & businesses to make better choices through coaching, courses and consulting.

Kyong A. (Dallas, TX) is a passionate and inspiring teacher of math and science who cares deeply for kids and sees the potential in her students to learn and grow regardless of where they come from or who they are. 

Ali C. (Boston, MA), only 22, has been helping advance girls’ education in The Gambia for over 10 years. She co-founded a nonprofit to provide school tuition for Gambian girls at Starfish International when she was 12.

Bill H. (Laredo, TX) started a support group organization for stroke victims several years ago and continues to provide resources and assistance for his Community. Bill is a stroke survivor, as well.

Kim K. (Knoxville, TN) is not only an amazing high school environmental science teacher, but leads an after school fellowship building her students connection to place and empowering them as change makers. 

Kelly R. (Durham, NC) feeds hundreds of hungry families and community members facing homelessness through her organization called Embrace Ministries. It’s a herculean effort done with so much love! 

Angie H. (San Diego, CA) patiently goes home to home helping countless children every day with speech and language therapy, making an impact on their lives in such a personal way, and at such an important time for them.

Want to submit a Helper you know? Make sure you’re subscribed to the Goodnewsletter — where we’ll announce future opportunities to contribute to Good Good Good stories throughout the year.

Article Details

December 21, 2022 7:01 AM
Two photos. On the left, Taylor Swift sings on stage in a navy blue, rhinestoned leotard. On the right, a birds-eye-view of the city of Liverpool

Taylor Swift made a secret donation to a Liverpool food bank during historic Eras Tour stop

Taylor Swift has once again donated to a local organization during The Eras Tour.
Scotland's River Ericht on an overcast day

To protect Scotland's endangered salmon, these anglers purchased the same river they've fished for 100 years

The Blairgowrie, Rattray and District Angling Association has purchased a four-mile stretch of their beloved River Ericht.
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