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Budding entrepreneur Paul Crowell has chosen what might be the least likely of causes: his mission is to feed the dogs of San Francisco's homeless community. What started as one small act of kindness–feeding a hungry dog in his Mission neighborhood–soon became an obsession for him. And this month, crowdfunding site GoFundMe gave Crowell's organization a huge boost.

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It’s symptomatic of our times: medical coverage in America is so variable that around 11% of Americans have no medical coverage at all, and about a third struggle to pay for basic dental care. Of course, you can’t go to the emergency room to get your teeth fixed, so dental problems among the poor are typically neglected until they become chronic and intolerably painful.

This can lead to desperate measures. In an interview with the Nation, Caleb described how he decided to forego professional care for his dental troubles, and paid the price: using a pair of pliers, he once crushed a tooth he was attempting to remove. This left him with a stump jutting from his jaw, a painful ordeal to say the least. Each year, countless people ...

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As the Founder of the Billions Rising Foundation, I want to take a moment here to honor my dear friend Jack Wilson who passed away back in 2011. Jack and I met back in the 1980s when we were both producing social-change documentaries to increase public awareness of issues and inequalities. We lost touch, but years later I discovered that his compassion for humanity had continued and that he had founded PPMK Jogia. an successful, grassroots non-profit for empowering women in the poorest regions of Indonesia.

Here’s how the PPMK website describes their origins:

“The idea for PPMK (Empowering Women to Fight Poverty) began informally in 2002 when PPMK’s founder, Jack Wilson, attended an inspiring workshop conducted by Amanda ...

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