Ann M.In the last Heads Up I gave you the first four of our latest commendees in alphabetic order; below you'll find L to R, as fine a group of heroes as will ever turn up on your screen.

I was going to ask you to go to our website if you know someone who ought to have a Giraffe commendation. Never mind. The site's been attacked again and had to be taken down for serious repairs. Webmaster Karyn Watkins is working around the clock and hopes to re-launch soon. I wonder if the cyber-vandals who do this absurd stuff have any idea how much distress they cause and how much we want them to knock it off.

Meanwhile, you can pass this ezine on to everyone you know who could use some enCouragement. And who doesn't? Hit that Forward button! 
~Ann Medlock, Founder~Giraffe Heroes Project
New Giraffe Heroes 
In Beijing and around the world...

John LiuThirty years ago American film-maker John Dennis Liu went to Beijing to open a news bureau for CBS. He's stayed on, living in a house his father built before emigrating to the US. But Liu is rarely home. Most of the time he's on the road, from North Korea to Mali to Ecuador, making and showing environmental films about the state of the planet. Constantly on the edge, filming in often dangerous situations, often running out of funds, Liu is unstoppable in his devotion to showing us all what needs to be done to restore and protect our habitat. See his latest footage and travels at his Environmental Education Media Project.

On to North Carolina...
Retired coach Duke Oxford and his wife Toni Oxford could be tending to Duke's new work of selling artificial turf or maybe even taking some time to just enjoy themselves. Instead, they've created "Mel's Diner" (the name taken from the old TV series, "Alice.") This diner's now a mobile unit, staffed by lots of volunteers, and providing casseroles, sandwiches, fruit and desserts to the city of Charlotte's neediest. But mostly it's Duke and Toni, working round the clock, paying bills from their own modest resources, enlisting kids to elders in being their hungry neighbors' keepers. Keep up with them, if you can, at the Mel's Diner website

Now, we're in Seattle ~ and Uganda
Seattle college student Dylan Patterson headed to Uganda as a volunteer, hoping to
Dylan Patterson & passing giraffe
Dylan & passing wildlife
help somehow. He met Enoch Magala in
Enoch Magala
Enoch Magala
Kampala and the young American's course was set. Magala and a field team of young Ugandans at the Mpolyabigere Foundation are educating, testing and providing care in a countryside beset by AIDS. And also by malaria, poverty, bad roads and sanitation, and by trigger-happy private armies. Magala and all the field workers, including Patterson, brave those dangers to serve rural Ugandan families in their struggle against AIDS. Patterson did indeed get malaria, as have other Mpolyabigere team members. One lost a brother, killed by militiamen. But nothing has stopped these brave young college grads; they're all heading back into the villages of Uganda, being of service to those who need them. 
Nassuuna, Wanders, Kawarach
Field team members Rita Nassuuna, Ronnie Wandera & Rose Kawarach.
Not shown: Mary Kyabanabwe and Bashir Wadeya
(About that "passing wildlife"...Dylan has encountered a giraffe before; his dad, Dan Patterson, was commended as a human Giraffe 20 years ago. Dan's story will be online as soon as our website is repaired and relaunched.) 

And in India...

When he finished college, Bunker Roy was positioned to live a life Bunker Royof ease and privilege in urban Indian society. To his family's dismay, he chose instead to go live in an impoverished village "for a while." He's never left. Amazed and impressed by the skills and character of the often illiterate villagers, Roy saw them as invaluable teachers. He founded the Barefoot College to bring together such knowledgable people to share what they know with others. None of the Barefoot College faculty members have degrees of any kind; Roy calls them "barefoot professionals." And the Giraffe Heroes Project has honored them as well as Roy for sticking their necks out to teach others about solar energy, clean water, handicrafts, wasteland restoration and health care. Go to the Barefoot College website and you'll be amazed by what they're accomplishing. 

And speaking of accomplishments...

Irving Fradkin

Longtime  Giraffe Irving Fradkin is celebrating a half century of helping kids with no dough pay for college or trade school. Thanks to his Dollars for Scholars, thousands of kids have gotten educations, because one really determined guy just wouldn't believe that it couldn't be done ~ and then invested 50 years in making it happen.

Please send these great people on to everyone you know who would appreciate their amazing stories. Shouldn't that be everyone you know? ~ AM 
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