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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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Global Impact
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Global Impact
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Aline Sara is changing the conversation around what it means to be a refugee by talking — literally. Through her startup, NaTakallam (Arabic for "we talk"), Aline pairs refugees with people from other countries who want to learn their language. The "conversation partners" chat over Whatsapp or Skype to improve their Arabic or Spanish. But Aline says that people gain more than just language skills: it is foreign language...

Catalysts
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Transitional employment
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This nonprofit is not only polishing the streets of Chicago, but providing a "clean slate" for its interns. Those with a criminal background, dealing with addiction recovery, or domestic violence, are welcome to take part in job training and counseling.

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Catalysts
The Lost Art of Apprenticeship
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Power of the Pack
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Dispatches
Mental Training Can Heal Traumatic Brain Injuries (and Reduce Depression)
how to heal the brain
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Millions of people are dealing with traumatic head injuries; brain scans show that cognitive training could actually repair damaged neural connections.

Crossing the Divide
Americans Are Divided. These People Are Doing Something About It.
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The Hidden Side of "Slum" Life
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On The Cusp
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Breakthrough could mean the end of test animals, violent crime nearly cut in half, and drones that pollinate flowers.
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