I love this part of my job--telling you about the newly commended Giraffe Heroes. Let's get right to it--here are the first four Giraffes of 2013, in alphabetical order. Five more will be coming to you very soon.
~Ann Medlock, Founder~Giraffe Heroes Project
Ron Finley is a fashion designer who lives in a part of Los Angeles described as a "food desert" for want of access to fresh produce. Finley eyed the barren traffic median in front of his house and what he saw was 10 by 150 feet of potential vegetable garden. He started digging, planting and harvesting. But what the city saw was illegal use of public property, never mind the public value of all the fresh produce Finley was giving away. When he was fined and ordered to undo his work, Finley called the press. Good sense prevailed and Finley's now got people doing "dig-ins" all over the city, even in other traffic medians. Let the good food grow!
Kit Foshee is the reason you know about "pink slime," the ammonia-filled gunk that some me
at processors have been adding to ground meats. Foshee had a six-figure job as a quality control inspector at a meat processing company that was telling its customers that the ammoniated slime made their ground meat safer to eat. Foshee's research, and that of a lot of other scientists, said that was far from true. When he called his company on it, he was told to sit down and shut up. He didn't. The company canned him, his wife left and he's been sued for supposedly defaming the company. A mess. But his take on it is: "I thought it was the right thing to do and that the public had a right to know."
Paul Holton has served in Iraq again and again. First as a U.S. Army interrogator in the 1990s, then his Utah National Guard unit was deployed to Iraq in 2003. Now he goes back time after time, on his own, as a bearer of gifts--school supplies, toys, clothes, whatever he learns that Iraqi families need. It all started with this one soldier giving a ragged, weeping little girl a stuffed monkey. She was joyful and Holton was hooked. Today his Operation Give moves needed supplies to families far and wide, "to bring hope and solutions to the deprived and disconnected people of the world, in many cases where the U.S. military operates."
When Muriel Johnston retired from her job as an office manager, she applied for a Peace Corps posting. Other retirees apply, but Johnston was 84 at the time. She was accepted into the Corps and headed off to Morocco, working for two years as a health and hygiene educator in a remote and primitive rural village. Known there as "the toothbrush lady," she also taught English, and created a school library. One of her astonished sons said, "Her early life gave little hint of her more adventurous old age." Five of her six children approved when she told them she was heading to her overseas post; the youngest one asked why she couldn't just be normal. Johnston smiled and headed for the plane.
Watch your In Box. We'll be back soon.
We'll be sending you the faces and stories of five more newly commended Giraffes. AND you'll get an invitation, separately, to get involved in one of the most unusual things the Project has ever done--so far. We're launching a Kickstarter campaign to finance creation of a spectacular book for little kids--Two Tall Tales, stories of how the giraffe got its long neck (by being brave and caring, of course). You can get in on the action--we'll tell you how, as soon as the campaign goes live. Watch that In Box!