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Ever Wonder What Happens to Leftover Crayons?

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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Missing Words
A Language Goes Extinct Every Two Weeks. Here’s a Plan to Save Them.
A Language Goes Extinct Every Two Weeks. Here’s a Plan to Save Them.
Missing Words
A Language Goes Extinct Every Two Weeks. Here’s a Plan to Save Them.
Volunteers worldwide are documenting the world's rarest, nearly dead languages in a project called Wikitongues.
By Teresa Carey

Volunteers worldwide are documenting the world's rarest, nearly dead languages in a project called Wikitongues. Over a thousand volunteers (and counting) from around the world make videos of people speaking their native language — introducing themselves, providing an oral history, or just talking about their culture — then upload it to an online database. The archive is available on the web as a free language encyclopedia. Soon they will also be available at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

Catalysts
A Home Helping Teen Moms Break the Cycle of Generational Poverty
A Home Helping Teen Moms Break the Cycle of Generational Poverty
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Catalysts
A Home Helping Teen Moms Break the Cycle of Generational Poverty
Hope House in Denver is changing lives for generations to come.
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Teen pregnancy is highly linked to poverty and lower educational outcomes. Only about 50% of teen mothers receive a high school diploma by age 22, compared with 90% of women without a teen birth. This is a vulnerable population who often have nowhere to turn. Early and effective intervention can give mothers the tools to continue their education and become self-sufficient, giving them a path to self-sufficiency changes lives for…

An App to Help Prevent Suicide
An App to Help Prevent Suicide
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An App to Help Prevent Suicide
Meet the teens who built the notOK App: a "panic button" for people who need help.
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After her struggle with disease lead to a suicide attempt, she came up with an idea for an app to help desperate people reach out. Her brother helped write notOK, an app that works like a panic button to help people having suicidal thoughts quickly reach out to trusted contacts for support. When the user hits the button, it both sends the contacts a message asking them to get in…

Helping Prisoners Overcome Trauma with Dance
Helping Prisoners Overcome Trauma with Dance
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Helping Prisoners Overcome Trauma with Dance
Women in prison are regaining a sense of freedom — through dance.
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Dance to Be Free is a program helping female prisoners overcome trauma with dance. While the inmates at the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Corrections are physically incarcerated, the freedom that comes through dance helps them open up, enjoy themselves, and regain self-confidence. Founder Lucy Wallace began teaching dance in prison in order to help inmates, who often had unaddressed PTSD from physical or emotional trauma, regain ownership over their…

The Dad Changing How We Investigate Police Shootings
The Dad Changing How We Investigate Police Shootings
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The Dad Changing How We Investigate Police Shootings
After his son was killed by police, Michael Bell fought for over a decade to change how we investigate police shootings.
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For over a decade, ever since police killed his son, Michael Bell has been trying to get an independent investigation into the shooting — and he's fighting to make sure that every family is entitled to one, whenever police use lethal force. In November 2004, his son, Michael Bell, Jr., was pulled over in front of his home in Kenosha, Wisconsin, for an alleged traffic violation. Although a dashcam video…

Sponsored
Rebuilding Coal Country
Rebuilding Coal Country
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Sponsored
Rebuilding Coal Country
Meet the nonprofit bringing jobs back to coal country.
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Coalfield Development is a nonprofit on a mission to unlock the resources and potential of coal country. Partnering with local entrepreneurs, they've helped launch six new businesses and trained hundreds of workers across Appalachia. They provide education and training for unemployed workers, from college courses to trade skills, and partner with businesses to help them succeed on the job. The coal jobs might not be coming back, but they believe…

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.
By Dan Bier

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

Crossing The Divide
LGBT Rights: The Power of a Single Conversation
LGBT Rights: The Power of a Single Conversation
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Crossing The Divide
LGBT Rights: The Power of a Single Conversation
Why a gay rights activist started a movement to talk to thousands who voted against gay marriage.
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After Californians voted against gay marriage in 2008, Dave Fleischer, head of the Leadership LAB at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, knew he had to do something different to reach people. Dave and his team embarked on an ambitious task to talk to as many people who who disagreed with them as they could. They used a technique called “deep canvassing” where activists connect with people using personal stories to…

Teaser of The Hidden Side of “Slum” Life
Teaser of The Hidden Side of “Slum” Life
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One of the most significant transformations in humankind is underway but largely going untold.
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One of the most significant transformations in humankind is underway but largely going untold. Fueled by advances in technology and innovation, global poverty has been slashed in half over the last decade with predictions that it will be eradicated over the next. From makeshift cities to smart phones to water purification to the blockchain, join us as we travel the world to see firsthand how entrepreneurship is lifting people up…