A quick triple-feature this time--three girls I think will make you smile with respect and admiration. If you'd like to Comment on their stories, flip on over to our Facebook page and have your say. 
We've got more inspiring stories in the pipeline--watch your inbox in the months ahead.
As long as there are Giraffes, there's hope.
~Ann Medlock, Founder~Giraffe Heroes Project
Samantha Petersen
Imagine you're 11 years old and your body is twisting from scoliosis, causing you constant physical pain and making you look very different from other kids. You're scheduled for surgery to straighten your spine and your mom takes a "before" picture so you'll have a history of how you once looked. But instead of hiding the picture away in a drawer, you decide to put it online so people will understand what scoliosis does, and so that others who are dealing with it might be less tempted to hide themselves. 

The surgery worked--this is Samantha in her post-surgery body brace. She's delighted to be standing straight, like other kids. But instead of just moving on, Samantha has reached out again to all those other people with scoliosis, helping them understand the process, comforting them, and letting them know someone understands. 

Read her profile in our free online database of real heroes.
Rhiannon Tomtishen & Madison Vorva
OK now you're a fifth-grader working on a service learning project for Girl Scouts. You and a fellow Scout decide to do something that will help save endangered orangutans. Your research shows that these beings are losing ground that they need to survive--the forests they depend on are disappearing, replaced by palm oil plantations. Palm oil is in hundreds of manufactured foods. One of those foods is Girl Scout cookies. Now what do you do?

If you're Rhiannon Tomtishen or Madison Vorva, you challenge the actions of the Girl Scouts USA organization, no matter how much you love the Scouts and no matter how huge the organization is. Rhiannon and Madison created a case for giving up palm oil and spent years doing everything they could to get Scouting executives to listen to them. When the girls were ignored, they enlisted masses of people in their cause, got thousands of petition signatures, spoke out in media, and just wouldn't stop pushing for this change. 

Teenagers now, Madison and Rhiannon have a promise from USA Scout Headquarters that the questionable palm oil is coming out of the cookies, soon, replaced by other oils or by palm oil that doesn't come from wiping out orangutans. Well done, Scouts!

Read the story in our free online database of real heroes.
Some things you can do now
Forward this to people you know who could really use a spark in their day.

Go to www.giraffe.org and fill your day with the inspiration and information you'll find there.

Here's to a life lived with meaning...
your life.

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