Category: Creativity

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Nebraskan Woman Is Weaving Hundreds Of Mats From Plastic Bags For The Homeless



True Activist

True Activist Exposing the truth one lie at a time

No act of kindness is ever too small, especially when some people haven’t witnessed much kindness in their lives at all.

Plastic is a burden to the environment, and homelessness is a crisis in need of remedy. Can both be lessened, however, with a bit of creative philanthropy?

If you were to ask volunteers with the Faith Westwood United Methodist Church in Nebraska, the answer would likely be ‘yes’. 

KMVT News reports that every week, dozens of women, and a few men, gather inside the Nebraskan church for an intriguing purpose. The volunteers collect, sort, de-wrinkle and smooth out thousands of plastic grocery bags – a common item most, unfortunately, throw away – to weave into woven mats for the homeless.

By using a method tested again and again by one of the group’s volunteers, Marilynn Jones, thousands of plastic bags are repurposed into mats homeless individuals can sleep on in less than satisfactory conditions.

So often, the homeless shelters in the metro are filled to capacity and people are forced to sleep on the floor. The plastic mats at least provide some comfort to those who need it most.

More than 1,000 plastic bags are required to make one mat. The group has so far made hundreds, but Jones is by far considered the “plastic bag weaving” pro.

Credit: KMTV News

Credit: KMTV News

She told KMTV News that she learned how to quilt 70 years ago and hasn’t stopped practicing the craft since. The first afghan she ever made, with the help of her grandmother, hangs in her home.

Regarding the plastic mats, “They tell me I’ve done 248. I don’t keep track,” she said. Jones presently makes two per week.

Jones began experimenting with the plastic bags two years ago shortly after losing her husband.

“I do this mainly…I lost my husband 2 years ago, and that’s when I started. I needed something to do with my hands and it worked out real well for me,” she shared.

Like many compassionate individuals, she’ll tell you no act of kindness is ever too small, especially when some people haven’t witnessed much kindness in their lives at all.

“I think the fact that I’m making something worthwhile, where I know where it goes and people that use it need it — I don’t like to just crochet for an afghan or something – that doesn’t help me – I just need to do something for someone else,” she said.

Not only is the practice helping to fill a void in heart, it’s blessing hundreds of others at the same time.

Comment your thoughts below and share this positive news!

Healthy Living

Symphony Hires Professional Dog Musicians

Symphony Hires Professional Dog Musicians

Wanted: Canine Professional Musicians

Qualifications: Must be able to bark on cue with impeccable timing and be quiet when not working

Compensation: Your choice of your favorite treat paid with every bark delivered on time

Attire: Must be willing to work naked

Optional Clothing: Necklace

Bonus: Ability to bow on cue at end of performance

The Pittsburgh Symphony has gone to the dogs, literally. Resident conductor Fawzi Haimor recently auditioned ten dogs for a rare performance of Leopold Mozart’s Hunting Horn Symphony. You can watch the entertaining auditions in the video below.

Read More Here

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Published on Jan 3, 2014

“I have cerebral palsy. I shake all the time,” Maysoon Zayid announces at the beginning of this exhilarating, hilarious talk. (Really, it’s hilarious.) “I’m like Shakira meets Muhammad Ali.” With grace and wit, the Arab-American comedian takes us on a whistle-stop tour of her adventures as an actress, stand-up comic, philanthropist and advocate for the disabled.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and much more.
Find closed captions and translated subtitles in many languages at

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Jan. 31, 2014 at 6:57 PM ET

This post was first published on Glennon Doyle Melton’s blog, Momasteryon Jan. 30. In less than a day it was shared more than 1 million times. We wanted to share it with you.

A few weeks ago, I went into Chase’s class for tutoring.

I’d emailed Chase’s teacher one evening and said, “Chase keeps telling me that this stuff you’re sending home is math – but I’m not sure I believe him. Help, please.” She emailed right back and said, “No problem! I can tutor Chase after school anytime.” And I said, “No, not him. Me. He gets it. Help me.” And that’s how I ended up standing at a chalkboard in an empty fifth grade classroom staring at rows of shapes that Chase’s teacher kept referring to as “numbers.”

Author Glennon Doyle Melton with her family; her conversation with her son's teacher sparked this post.

Little Moon Photography
Author Glennon Doyle Melton with her family; her conversation with her son’s teacher sparked this post.

I stood a little shakily at the chalkboard while Chase’s teacher sat behind me, perched on her desk, using a soothing voice to try to help me understand the “new way we teach long division.” Luckily for me, I didn’t have to unlearn much because I never really understood the “old way we taught long division.” It took me a solid hour to complete one problem, but l could tell that Chase’s teacher liked me anyway. She used to work with NASA, so obviously we have a whole lot in common.

Afterwards, we sat for a few minutes and talked about teaching children and what a sacred trust and responsibility it is. We agreed that subjects like math and reading are the least important things that are learned in a classroom. We talked about shaping little hearts to become contributors to a larger community – and we discussed our mutual dream that those communities might be made up of individuals who are Kind and Brave above all.

And then she told me this.

Every Friday afternoon Chase’s teacher asks her students to take out a piece of paper and write down the names of four children with whom they’d like to sit the following week. The children know that these requests may or may not be honored. She also asks the students to nominate one student whom they believe has been an exceptional classroom citizen that week. All ballots are privately submitted to her.

And every single Friday afternoon, after the students go home, Chase’s teacher takes out those slips of paper, places them in front of her and studies them. She looks for patterns.

Who is not getting requested by anyone else?

Who doesn’t even know who to request?

Who never gets noticed enough to be nominated?

Who had a million friends last week and none this week?

You see, Chase’s teacher is not looking for a new seating chart or “exceptional citizens.” Chase’s teacher is looking for lonely children. She’s looking for children who are struggling to connect with other children. She’s identifying the little ones who are falling through the cracks of the class’s social life. She is discovering whose gifts are going unnoticed by their peers. And she’s pinning down — right away — who’s being bullied and who is doing the bullying.

Read More Here

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Published on Dec 15, 2013


As governments and corporations around the world move to make their actions and products ever more opaque, a counter-movement is rallying around the opposite of flag of openness and transparency. Borrowing its metaphor from the programming creed of “open source,” this movement is moving beyond the world of bits and bytes to find innovative, collaborative and open solutions to a whole host of problems confronting our everyday lives. Find out more about the open source solution in this week’s GRTV Backgrounder.

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Published on Nov 17, 2012

If you liked the teaser, will you consider a small pledge of $1 to help make this project a reality? For more info, please visit: | If we all join together for small amounts, big things are possible…



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Still of Devon Melton - Fox 2 Now,

A 12-year-old boy from Ferguson, Mo., has blown us away with his courage and sacrifice.

Devon Melton’s mother, Christina Craig, was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and his parents are struggling with the financial burden of her illness.

I overheard her talking on the phone,” Devon told KTVI. “I just asked her are you ok, because her tears were running down her face. She said she was failing me as a parent because she’s always sick, and I had to help.”

That’s when Melton decided to step in.

He got the idea of holding a garage sale, but he didn’t have much of his own to give away. So he began reaching out to potential donors on Craiglist’s ‘Free’ section with a moving email that soon went viral.

He wrote:

Hi this is Devon. I am the one that messaged you on Craigslist. My mom is amazing she and my dad take care of my two brothers, me and my sister. She has breast cancer and I heard her crying one day after she had her surgery. I thought she was hurt so I went to her door. I heard her say I’m losing everything because I am sick. We are about to lose our home, electric, gas and dad lost his job..I went to my preacher and asked how can I help. He said to do a garage sale. I went to every house on my road getting donations for the garage sale..

My mom deserves the best and I want to help her because she helps everyone. Even with her sick she still works at the food pantry at our church. She says people have to eat and God blessed us to be part of a ministry that can feed people. I just wish it was mom’s turn to be blessed with a timeout like she says she needs. I hope we can get things together and I can really help my mom.

The post inspired a slew of donations from Craigslisters. KTVI reports that he’s received over 200 emails from people wanting to help and has recently had to expand the sale to a bigger location.

He’s raised $120 so far, and plans to continue holding the sale until all the donations are sold.

“I can give up a couple of my things and.. put the hard work in,” he told KDSK. “She takes care of me, so I thought I should take care of her for once.”

Watch Video Here

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Money is certainly useful, and getting it should matter to you, but merely having money is no measure of your dignity or your value as a producer. Actively improving the world, however – producing – is a proper measure of dignity. So, how were the beauty and dignity of work ruined?


By Paul Rosenberg,

Freeman's Perspective

At one time I lived very close to the Field Museum of Chicago; I had a membership and spent a good deal of time there. One evening, about ten minutes before closing, I noticed that workmen had begun preparing the first floor for an evening event. I had a panoramic view from where I stood at the second floor balcony, and what I saw has stuck with me ever since.

What I saw was a lone man setting up tables and chairs – simple work, the kind that any teenager could do. But what I watched this man do was every bit as beautiful as dance. He moved with integrity, with precision, and with intent. He carefully spaced the tables in a precise geometry, he moved every chair with efficiency. This was more than just work; it was also art. This man knew that he was doing his job well, and, perhaps most importantly, he enjoyed doing it well.

I was transfixed by it all, and I stood there until the guards asked me to leave. And even then, I moved very slowly until I lost sight of him.

There is real beauty in doing a job well, even a simple job. It is our great loss that this form of beauty is never mentioned in public these days – double-sad, because at one time, such beauty was acknowledged.

This brings us to an obvious question: What happened? How did we lose the beauty and dignity of work? I’ll answer that in a moment, but first I want to explain what I mean by “the productive class.”

What Is The Productive Class?

The productive class includes all those people who are engaged in improving life upon Earth: The people who build and repair our cars, our houses, and our computers. The people who provide us with air conditioning, electricity, plumbing, and food. The people who make, clean, and repair our clothing. The people who treat our sicknesses and wounds.

If you can drive around town and point out places where you repaired things, or delivered things, or fed people, or made human life better in any of a thousand ways, you are a producer.

If you survive and persist at the expense of others, on the other hand, you are not a producer.

But if you are a producer, there is an inherent dignity in what you do. You are actively making the world better. You are directly creating benefit for yourself and for other human beings. What you do every day is morally virtuous and worthy of respect. And you should never let anyone tell you otherwise.

And, it’s worth pointing out: Money is not a measure of your worth. In a perfect world, that might be true, but this isn’t a perfect world. In our time, morality and money don’t always travel together.

Money is certainly useful, and getting it should matter to you, but merely having money is no measure of your dignity or your value as a producer. Actively improving the world, however – producing – is a proper measure of dignity.

What Happened?

So, how were the beauty and dignity of work ruined?

The short answer: They were killed by hierarchy and status. I’ll explain briefly:

Humans have been carefully taught to accept, respect, and respond to hierarchy for thousands of years. As a result, we respond emotionally to images of kings, ‘great leaders,’ and so on. But it was the industrial era that finally did in the respect for work. After all, this was a time when millions of people accepted deathly boring jobs simply for better pay. The meaning of their work became a paycheck and nothing more.

And in the industrial setting, there was one clear marker of status: the position of ordering other people around.

The bosses got status and the workers got checks, and both lost meaning and satisfaction from their work. The assumption that was planted in us over the industrial era was this:

Only people who order others around matter. Everyone else should feel shame in their presence.

This, of course, played perfectly into the hands of politicians. This can be seen in the plague of “great leaders” and world wars that erupted at the height of the industrial era, in the first half of the 20th century.

In any event, status is gorilla-level garbage; what matters is what you are, not which position you hold within some kind of hierarchy. By believing in hierarchy and status, we lost the satisfaction of work.

What, Really, Is Work?

It’s important to look at things directly; to focus and see them for what they really are, not just by what other people say about them.

This is what I see when I focus on work itself:

Productive work is the insertion of creativity into the world. It is the birthing of benefit into the world. People who do this should be deeply satisfied by what they do.

Compared to productive work, status is merely ornamental puffery, a shiny coat with the word “Important” emblazoned upon it, and worn by a sad little man.

If you are a member of the productive class, you should re-arrange your mind and stop responding to the demands of hierarchy and status. Instead, pay attention to things that really improve human life in the world.

Creating things, improving things, or making it possible for other people to create… these are noble, beautiful, and important things. We should gain a deep and enduring satisfaction from doing them.

And, indeed, when we put our minds and efforts to it, that’s exactly what we will gain.


[Editor’s Note: Paul Rosenberg is the outside-the-Matrix author of, a site dedicated to economic freedom, personal independence and privacy. He is also the author of The Great Calendar, a report that breaks down our complex world into an easy-to-understand model. Click here to get your free copy.]

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Meals Per Hour

HENRYandREL Supermarche

Published on Jun 19, 2013


The challenge: How can a non-profit implement Toyota’s legendary production system (TPS) to increase the number of meals distributed to people who are still affected by Superstorm Sandy? Watch this movie – and help us do even more.
thank you, and always be KAIZEN.
henry & rel

p.s. watch HD and loud ;)

for more information visit:
and to donate visit:

directed by Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman –
produced by Melody Roscher –
music by Rob Simonsen –
cinematography by Aaron Wesner­aaron_wesner
edited by Duncan Skiles –
animation by Van Neistat

written by Jeff Gonick –
field producer Tony Borden –
sound mixers Theodore Robinson – & Matthew Betlej
art director Karly Grawin –
additional photography Arianna LaPenne – & Casey Neistat
colorst Sam Daley –
Technicolor NY producer Steve Rapanaro
sound editor Corey Choy –
sound re-recording mixer Robin Shore –
Graphics and title design Adrian Letechipia –
after effects artist Robin Comisar
assistant editors Bill Kemmler, Stefan Moore, John Mattia
production assistants Amy Crowdis, Ben Smith, Moni Vaughan, Paul Dadowski, Daniel Wright

Young Lawyers Lower the Bar to Sharing Economy


Published on Apr 14, 2012

Peak Moment 210: “Sharing really is going to save the world!” declares Janelle Orsi, author of The Sharing Solution, noting that it’s fun, doesn’t require special skills — and we can start now. She and Jennifer Kassan co-founded the Sustainable Economies Law Center to help people formalize collaborative structures like producer cooperatives, cohousing developments and tool lending libraries. They’re working to reduce the hurdles to investing in locally-owned and locally-controlled enterprises. No wonder law students are excited to intern with them! [ and]

Read More Here


Calgary cohousing community celebrates 10 years

2nd cohousing project to break ground in Calgary this weekend

Posted: May 8, 2013 12:57 PM MT

Last Updated: May 9, 2013 10:36 AM

 As one cohousing project celebrates 10 years, another is in the works, reports Devin Heroux.New cohousing project1:51

Alberta’s first cohousing community is preparing to celebrate its 10th anniversary this weekend.

Prairie Sky Cohousing Cooperative — home to more than 40 people — sits on a large lot in Winston Heights where a single family home once stood.

A spontaneous gathering of Prairie Sky cohousing residents.


A spontaneous gathering of Prairie Sky cohousing residents. (Prairie Sky website)

There are now 18 units spread among three buildings that are fully equipped townhouses or apartments.

Residents also share common spaces, including a 3,200-square-foot common house with a kitchen, dining room and lounge where community members gather for shared meals, recreation and other events.


Read Full Article Here


Cohousing Tempts Italians During Real Estate Crisis



With the Italian real estate market in free fall, increasing numbers of people are tumbling through the gaps. Too rich to claim social housing and too poor to afford a traditional house, some are turning to a new approach—cohousing.

“The concept of cohousing originated in northern Europe in the ’60s,” says Nadia Simionato, spokeswoman for the Italian network “Then it spread to other countries and reached Italy in 2006.”

The basic idea is to combine in a condominium the autonomy of a private house with the benefits that come from sharing space and resources such as a garden, gymnasium, laundry, gardens, and children’s day care. The whole project is collectively designed and chosen by those who will live in those spaces.

“There’s a ‘gray zone’ of the Italian population who cannot afford a traditional house but that is too rich to access the rankings for the social housing,” says Simionato. “Through the cohousing we think we can solve this critical point.”

But Simionato complains the state is behind the times. “Public administration seems to struggle to understand that cohousing is a successful model. Worldwide there are over a thousand examples of cohousing, from a few family members to dozens. In Italy we have developed three projects, already in place, and we are working with two others, connecting prospective buyers and designers.”



Read Full Article Here




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