Heroes

They're called 'pollinators,' but they're not bees. They're people. And they're heroes.

"With challenge comes opportunity." That pretty much sums up the way we should look at climate change, doesn't it? If we focus on making changes instead of just talking about the problem — which can make it feel so overwhelming that it's easy to shut down and ignore it — we'll see good things happen. Here are nine great independent stories from around the globe that will give you hope. I'd never heard of a single one of these. Finally, a feel-good video about climate change!

They're called 'pollinators,' but they're not bees. They're people. And they're heroes.
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Unilever and the United Nations

Here's an overview of the stories in the video (and where you can find them). But don't rely on my short summaries. These are really cool in-depth stories about people and the interesting, good things they're doing.

India, 1:21


A social business called Pollinate Energy is bringing solar energy to some of the 390 million people in India who have no access to electricity. The solar lanterns are a pretty neat looking solution to a big problem.

Ghana, 3:32

Green entrepreneurship in Ghana is being led by women. The bamboo bikes initiative is building cleaner transportation — and careers for women. (Bamboo bikes!)

Australia, 5:26

1 Million Women is an organization that inspires women to save energy, cut pollution, and reduce waste. 'Cause little actions in our daily lives have real outcomes. I love their honesty about the privilege they have in life and what they can do with it.

Bangladesh, 7:54

ActionAid International works from the ground up to help locals solve problems caused by climate change. The women in a village found a way to protect rice farming and carried out the necessary actions. I'll just mention how positive I think it is that women are banding together to come up with — and execute — solutions to problems that could otherwise be devastating.

Kenya, 9:43

Women living in the arid northern part of Kenya are working with the BOMA Project to adapt to climate change by earning an income from small businesses they're starting. The savings allows them to make it through droughts. In two years, they can double their earnings.

Ghana, 11:47

The Recycle Not A Waste Initiative employs disadvantaged people in poor urban communities to turn recyclable waste into eco-friendly goods. The beads made from cassette tapes are incredible.

Mexico, 14:09

The Mexican government partnered with international development banks. They encourage builders to design homes that decrease carbon footprints.

Philippines, 16:30

The Sustainable Energy Finance Program teaches banks about clean energy and encourages them to lend to sustainable energy projects.

China, 18:20

The country has a national climate fund that supports efforts to deal with climate change.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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One of the questions many Americans had when Trump became president was how he would handle LGBTQ rights. Public opinion on same-sex marriage has shifted dramatically in the past decade and the Trump administration hasn't publicly signaled a desire to change that. Trump even added an openly gay man to his cabinet, creating somewhat of an appearance of being LGBTQ-friendly.

However, his record with transgender rights betrays that appearance. Transgender people have become a favorite target of conservative politics, and actions taken by Trump himself have been considered discriminatory by LGBTQ advocates.

These actions were highlighted by a mother of a transgender child at Biden's town hall event. Mieke Haeck introduced herself to the former vice president as "a proud mom of two girls, ages 8 and 10," before adding, "My youngest daughter is transgender."

"The Trump administration has attacked the rights of transgender people, banning them from military service, weakening non-discrimination protections and even removing the word 'transgender' from some government websites," she said, then asked, "How will you as president reverse this dangerous and discriminatory agenda and ensure that the right and lives of LGBTQ people are protected under U.S. law?"

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended education in every way imaginable. While it's great that modern technology allows us to attend classes through Zoom or Google Meets, it's just not the same as in-person interaction.

It's also tough to recreate the camaraderie that can develop in a classroom.

The impenetrable distance that exists between teachers and students in the COVID-19 era was bridged recently when a group of students came together to tell their professor how much he really means to them.

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via KrustyKhajiit / YouTube

Thomas F. Wilson played one of the most recognizable villains in film history, Biff Tannen, in the "Back to the Future" series. So, understandably, he gets recognized wherever he goes for the iconic role.

The attention must be nice, but it has to get exhausting answering the same questions day in and day out about the films. So Wilson created a card that he carries with him to hand out to people that answers all the questions he gets asked on a daily basis.

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