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We all face adversity in life, and it's often said that the way one deals with these challenges is what truly defines a person. Colin Kaepernick is a good example of this: the pro quarterback has been sidelined now for three seasons, after controversy surrounding his decision to "take a knee" during the national anthem to protest police violence. But Kaepernick isn't letting the NFL slow him down–far from it.

Along with his Know Your Rights Camp Foundation, this past Sunday, Kap spent his 32nd birthday helping to feed the homeless in Oakland, CA. He and his group handed out backpacks filled with snacks, along with personal items like socks and soap. And this isn't the first time the foo...

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When Annabelle Gurwitch decided to open her house to a homeless couple as part of her work with Safe Place for Youth, she didn't know what to expect. The author had been intrigued when she initially heard about their Host Home Program, which focuses on providing short-term “interventions” for young homeless adults. Wanting to "walk the walk" of her principles, she took the plunge--and the reality of opening her living space to strangers was both enervating and eye-opening.

In the end, Gurwitch's experience was an overwhelmingly positive one. And the Host Home model has shown great promise, both for curbing youth homelessness and changing public attitudes about the problem. And ...

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When Mohan Sudabattula was volunteering in the prosthetic department of a Utah hospital, he noticed that medical rehab equipment like crutches and wheelchairs tended to have a short life: that is, it was typically used by one person, then thrown away.

This experience became the impetus behind Project Embrace, Sudabattula's nonprofit organization. Today, the 23-year-old student and his team of volunteers scour the shelves of thrift stores and other sources, and receive personal donations from the community. They refurbish the gear, then send it to medical facilities around the world where it can be used again.

To hear more about this remarkable young world-changer, read the feature article.

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Just before her seventh birthday, Jenny Shaw was diagnosed with kidney cancer. The doctors told her and her stricken parents that the tumor had metastasized to Jenny's liver, and would require chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.

Such a bleak diagnosis might be expected to devastate a child so young, but Jenny's reaction was very different. The first thing she wanted to do, remarkably, was help other kids in the same situation. Jenny's simple idea was to provide the comforts of home to those enduring long-term hospital stays. It might just be a blanket or a favorite toy, but these small items that we take for granted can make all the difference to a kid forced to stay away from home.

Jenny cre...

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How does one go from a successful modeling career to working as a social entrepreneur learning high-end mobile development–all the while attending medical school?

Ask Shanay Thompson. After a successful stint in the modeling industry, motivated to help others, Thompson decided to become a doctor. When she got into Stanford University, she began mentoring at-risk teens, getting a taste for volunteerism. She then launched Every Kid Fed, a nonprofit which operates year-round pantries in schools in Oakland, California.

Today Thompson's group is feeding hundreds of students who would otherwise go hungry–and she's not finished. To hear the rest of her galvanizing tale, read the Forbes st...

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Unemployment continues to be a vexing problem in the United States, and this week we're happy to learn of an impressive organization that is helping to reverse that trend. Downtown Streets Team (DST) has created a work experience program for people experiencing homelessness, and so far they've helped 755 people in the Bay Area find jobs, while transitioning 100 people out of homelessness. For the whole story, see the City of San Rafael's blog here.

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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, atte...

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