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The Crayon Initiative began when father Bryan Ware wondered what happened to the old crayons his kid used at restaurants. It turns out that not only are they not recyclable, they’re toxic to the environment - and typically wind up in landfills after they are thrown away. He had an idea: what if they were melted down and used to make new crayons for kids in need? He decided to do just that, and now hundreds of volunteers are helping The Crayon Initiative to upcycle them by the thousands in to new ones he sends to sick children in hospitals. They’ve even created a new design that’s easier for kids to hold. It’s an inspiring tale of how a simple, clever idea - plus dedication, hard work, and a community of volunteers - can make a real difference.

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Clean Decisions
Hope After Prison
Hope After Prison
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Clean Decisions
Hope After Prison
This former inmate is cleaning up his city and helping other ex-cons turn their lives around.
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When Will Aliva got out of prison, he’d paid his debt to society - but that didn’t help him pay his bills. Like many ex-cons, he struggled to find companies that would take a chance on hiring him. Too often, this roadblock results in ex-cons winding up back behind bars as they turn to old illegal activities to make ends meet. He decided to tackle the problem head on and founded a landscaping company, Clean Decisions, that...

Thinking Differently
How to Change the World
How to Change the World
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Thinking Differently
How to Change the World
Olivia Leland, founder and CEO of Co-Impact, on how we should approach solving the world’s most complex problems.
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Do you want to change the world? Olivia Leland, founder and CEO of Co-Impact, shares 3 lessons learned from organizations, philanthropists, and social change leaders that move the world forward. When we think about changing the world, we make a few mistakes over and over again. We think it’s a matter of voting, or giving to charity, or starting a business - but historically, many of the world’s biggest changes have come...

Catalysts
How This Non-Profit Weaves a Family of Support for Struggling Teens in Baltimore
How This Non-Profit Weaves a Family of Support for Struggling Teens in Baltimore
Catalysts
How This Non-Profit Weaves a Family of Support for Struggling Teens in Baltimore
“Everyone - no matter their age, race, or background - needs a network of supportive relationships to help them...

“Everyone - no matter their age, race, or background - needs a network of supportive relationships to help them thrive.”

#fixingjustice - Harm Reduction
Should Violence be Treated As a Disease?
violence as a disease
#fixingjustice - Harm Reduction
Should Violence be Treated As a Disease?
Epidemiologist Dr. Gary Slutkin of Cure Violence says we need to treat violence as a disease and a public health...
By Amanda Winkler

Epidemiologist Dr. Gary Slutkin of Cure Violence says we need to treat violence as a disease and a public health crisis and employ the same types of strategies we use in medicine to treat violence.

Coffin-Building Club Helps Seniors Face Death and Enjoy Life
Coffin-Building Club Helps Seniors Face Death and Enjoy Life
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Coffin-Building Club Helps Seniors Face Death and Enjoy Life
These seniors are tackling the stigma around death by decorating their own coffins.
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Most people are afraid to even talk about death, but New Zealand’s Kiwi Coffin Club is facing it head on. Founded by Katie Williams, a former midwife and hospice nurse, members build and then decorate their own customized coffins as a way of celebrating their lives and highlighting their unique personalities. "Death's pretty natural, you know," says Williams. "It shouldn't be a frightening sort of situation. It's part of...

Dispatches
Unlike Smoking, Vaping Won't Mess With Your Microbiome
Unlike Smoking, Vaping Won't Mess With Your Microbiome
Dispatches
Unlike Smoking, Vaping Won't Mess With Your Microbiome
Smoking kills off good bacteria and upsets the balance of power your gut.

Smoking kills off good bacteria and upsets the balance of power your gut.

Wrong
Did Rats Start the Drug War?
Did Rats Start the Drug War?
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Wrong
Did Rats Start the Drug War?
Much of our shared understanding about drugs and addiction came from a series of studies done in the 1950s and 60s...
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Much of our shared understanding about drugs and addiction came from a series of studies done in the 1950s and 60s on lab rats. But a skeptical researcher has designed his own study that involves, well... essentially an amusement park for rats, and the surprising results may show that everything we think we know about addiction is all… wrong.

Pop Revolution
Skatepunks of Myanmar
Skatepunks of Myanmar
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Pop Revolution
Skatepunks of Myanmar
Is the booming skating scene in Myanmar a sign of a more hopeful future for the once isolated country?
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After years of repression, smartphones and social media are giving Myanmar a taste of the outside world. And young people are eager to catch up on what they missed. We join a group of skaters who are reimagining life in the once isolated society and shaping its future in the process.

Culture
This Week in Ideas: Beer That Delivers Itself, Chatbots From Beyond, and How to...
This Week in Ideas: Beer That Delivers Itself, Chatbots From Beyond, and How to Set a Very Strange World Record
Culture
This Week in Ideas: Beer That Delivers Itself, Chatbots From Beyond, and How to...
Uber's self-driving beer truck, how a chatbot can help the grieving process, and more of our favorite stories from...
By Mike Riggs

Uber's self-driving beer truck, how a chatbot can help the grieving process, and more of our favorite stories from the week.