Two little girls, two women, a former warrior--all Americans--a Zimbabwean crusader and a British centenarian, the new Giraffes are an amazing array of heroes. Here they are, with thanks to ace volunteer Ruth Brinton for her research, for organizing the volunteer jury and for even baking a cake to fuel the jurors' deliberations.
~Ann Medlock, Founder~Giraffe Heroes Project
The New Giraffe Heroes 

Isabelle and Katherine Adams are working in the playtime of others their ages--Isabelle is 9, Katherine is 6 (making her the youngest Giraffe ever). They're making and selling origami to pay for clean water wells around the world. These two tiny people have raised over $100,000 for that vital cause. They're now working on a kit for other kids who want to follow their lead. Read all about them at www.paperforwater.org.   

Former Navy Seal Eric Greitens used his combat pay and invested almost every waking hour in establishing The Mission Continues, a nonprofit that matches US veterans still eager to serve, with communities that can use their devotion and skills. Greitens speaks out nation-wide, reminding all Americans that these vets have something to give. Details are at The Mission Continue's website.

rai Maguwu is telling the world that the miners in the diamond fields of Zimbabwe are being abused. He's also demanding loudly that the profits from the mines be used to benefit the people of that nation rather than disappearing into unseen hands. He's been imprisoned and he's watched constantly, but his Centre for Natural Resource Governance goes on monitoring the mines and sounding alarms. The Centre's website will be online in March. Search for it in your browser so you can keep up with Maguwu's work.

Nancy Rivard gave up a fast-track management job at an
airline to sign on as a flight attendant so she could see first-hand what the needs are of people around the world. From her first "mission" of hand-delivering soaps to Bosnian refugees, she's grown an organization, Airline Ambassadors, whose thousands of volunteers have brought stricken people over $50 million worth of aid. Current focus: training airline staff to recognize trafficking on their flights--and intervene.

Mara Leigh Taylor's life is about America's many thousands of prisoners, about seeing that they get a restart on lives that have gone so badly. Volunteer Taylor goes into prisons to coach inmates in wise decision-making, giving them a new sense of themselves and the lives they can lead when they rejoin society. Taylor's inspired hundreds of others to volunteer, following her lead. Her website is www.gettingoutbygoingin.org.

And now the oldest Giraffe commendee ever, Nicholas Winton. In 1939, the then young Brit identified Jewish kids in Czechoslovakia who were in danger of going to death camps. He forged documents, raised money, recruited British families to take the kids in, and got 669 of them on boats to England. Winton never said a word, not even to his wife, who decades later discovered his notebooks about the rescue. Below, you can see him on his much honored 100th birthday. He's now 103. And he's Sir Nicholas, honored by his nation, his queen and the hundreds of people who now know who to thank that they're alive.

Here's what we want you to do now...

Forward this to all the people you know who could use a spark of light in these dark winter days.

Go to www.giraffe.org and explore the Find a Hero online database. Most of the stories include urls that link you to the heroes' causes. Many of those causes have opportunities for volunteers. Most of them have Donate buttons. Find heroes and causes you like. Volunteer. Donate.

Go to the Giraffe Facebook page, hit the Like button under the banner and check back regularly to read stories and post comments. Share Giraffe with your own Facebook Friends--we want to grow that online community of Giraffe Hero Appreciators.
If you need more information before you donate to Giraffe so we can keep doing this work, check out the answers to all your questions about Giraffe. If you're a commended Giraffe yourself--ignore this paragraph!--We don't ask Giraffes to distract resources to the Project from their own causes.

Heads Up will be back next time we have something worth your attention to send you. Not till then. We don't believe in adding to the noise in your life.

(If you're reading this as a forward from a friend, click the button below to get your own copy when we do send out the next signal.)