Every morning, as I set out on my commute to our office in Washington, D.C., I look forward to reengaging with a world that’s been busy while I’ve been sleeping. I’ll tune into Morning Edition, grab a newspaper for my subway ride or scan Twitter on my phone.
If you have a similar ritual each morning, then maybe you’re also feeling an emotion I’ve been experiencing lately: dread.
It’s a dread that arises from the feeling that whatever I’m going to hear this morning is going to be an even worse version of what I heard yesterday. From Ebola to the Islamic State to Ferguson, the major stories in the news this summer have been relentlessly disheartening.
However, once I get to work, I read news about heroic people making a difference in West Africa, Iraq and communities here in the United States. These stories are the antidote to dread.
There’s the staff of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa, who are supporting Ebola education and prevention efforts in dozens of cities and town across Liberia, the nation hardest hit in history’s worst outbreak of the disease. They’re even active in the quarantined slum of West Point, where raids on Ebola clinics have disrupted aid efforts.
International women’s rights organization MADRE is building women’s shelters in Iraq with the help of its local partner OWFI. Which is admirable and worthy work on its own, but they are now building inside Islamic State-controlled territory. With Islamic State extremists regularly targeting women for kidnapping, rape and other violence, their efforts are astoundingly brave.
Here in the United States, the last month has shown that our country has a long way to go when it comes to the problem of racism and injustice. Hidden Villa has been part of the solution since 1945, when it founded the first multi-racial overnight summer camp in the nation. At Hidden Villa, campers come from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds to play games, sleep under the stars, and engage in activities that instill the values of social justice and non-violent community-building. Plus, goats!
I'm honored to share these stories with you and I want you know that your support of projects like these on GlobalGiving creates new heroes and new hope all the time. Something to remember the next time you turn on the news.
Will Frechette and the team at GlobalGiving