By: Priya Migneault
For all of you lovely readers out there I wanted to let you know that this will be my last 'Weekly Dose of Hope' at least until the new year.
Scotland has become the first ever country to create legislation that will ensure everyone who menstruates free access to menstrual products. The new bill states that period products must be available at schools, colleges, and universities and that the government will have a responsibility to make these products available to anyone who needs them.
Monica Lennon, who has been fighting for this for almost half a decade, says "But the point I made is that during a pandemic, periods don't stop. Poverty is increasing. This is needed more than ever,".
In even developed nations some people who menstruate, particularly girls, are having to skip school because they don't have access to pads or tampons and are having to go to the food bank just to receive these necessary items.
The world's first ever recycling plant that is able to dispose of asbestos safely has been approved and is up in running in England. Asbestos use to be used as building instillation but has been since been proved to cause deadly lung diseases when inhaled.
The asbestos is heated in a special kiln that separates the cement and chrysotile asbestos, which is no more harmful than cement when it's separated. The kiln has passed all environmental regulations and will be on the market in 2021.
At age 14, Canadian gymnast Taylor Lindsay-Noel, had an accident and became paralyzed, but that didn't stop her from dreaming and executing different goals, “I was getting to re-write my narrative—divorcing an identity—only, a lot earlier. I grew up really fast, and earlier. Most people learn by the time they are adults that things can change suddenly. I found out early,” Taylor explains.
In college Taylor ran a talkshow called 'Tea time with Tay' which talked about everything tea. This passion led to her starting her own company 'Cup of Te'.
For each starter kit sold from them, they donate $1 to aid mental health causes and initiatives in their community. “This was especially important to me because growing up, tea was a source of comfort and a catalyst for great conversations,” says Taylor, “And if there were ever a conversation that needed to be continued, it would be one that strives to break down the stigmas that are wrongfully perpetuated on those with mental illness.”
'Cup of Te' is on Oprah's Holiday favourites list this year.
By: Priya Migneault
A couple of months ago Sandra Creamer was admitted to New Zealand's Supreme Court, at the age of 65, by her son Joshua. Creamer didn't have an easy upbringing and after leaving her husband, she became a single mother of four. She didn't have the time or money to attend post secondary school, until her children started high school. When her eldest son, Joshua, told Creamer that he wanted to study law after graduation which inspired her to return to school and start her law degree.
Creamer enrolled into the Institute of Koorie Education at Deakin University and someone said to her: “Do you really think you can do a law degree? It’s hard.” She responded by saying: “Being a single mother and raising four children by myself is hard, and if I can do that, I know I can do a law degree.”
By the time she started, her son Joshua had already started out, and eight years later he was the one who admitted Creamer to the Supreme Court.
For American Thanksgiving the video conferencing app, zoom, will be removing their 40 minute limit on calls. This is an international initiative so everyone will have access to unlimited calls throughout the day. Zoom has decided to do this because they are aware that Thanksgiving will look different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and they are wanting everyone to stay together and connected this holiday.
The UK has a officially announced that a ban on selling gas and diesel fuelled vehicles has been set for 2030. This announcement comes from Prime Minister Boris Johnson as part of their green industrial revolution, in which approximately $21 billion CAN would be spent on other green projects.
The ban is being put in place five years ahead of discussed deadlines, with hybrid cars expecting to be off the market by 2035 as well.
Although this year has been very different than expected, the UK is determined to build back greener. Johnson said in a statement. “The recovery of our planet and of our economies can and must go hand-in-hand.”
By: Priya Migneault
Over the past 25 years the world has made a tremendous amount of progress towards providing education to women and girls. Currently about 89% of girls are being educated, which is a 16% increase since 1995.
According to a recent UNSECO report 180 million more girls have enrolled in primary and secondary schooling compared to a generation ago. There are now also three times more women enrolled in university.
This is partially because of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which came out in 1995, and is a commitment by 189 countries to advance the rights of girls and women locally and globally.
Recently, Canadian Actor Ryan Reynolds donated 300 Canadian Goose Parkas, along with other winter gear such as boots, gloves, and toques, to an elementary school in the Arctic Bay.
In September Inuk singer-songwriter Becky Han put out a tweet asking people to donate one or two parkas to her childhood school, which had students without proper winter gear. The tweet was retweeted numerous times and it eventually caught the eye of Reynolds, who was immediately ready to help. He reached out to Canadian Goose to get the order placed and organized.
The schools principal, Gregg Durrant, says that the students were ecstatic about their new gear as they all recieved enough for the coming winter months. In the Arctic Bay the coldest temperature recorded was -38.8 C, on February 9th, 2020.
Foster dad, Robert Carter, recently adopted five siblings so that they wouldn't be separated. The kids names are Marionna, Makayla, Robert, Giovanni, and Kiontae. They were all living in three different foster homes when he decided to adopt them.
Carter was in the Ohio foster system for years and recalls how hard it was to constantly be separated from his younger siblings. He says he didn't want that for these kids.
Before the adoption Carter was fostering the three boys and decided to get all the siblings together with their foster parents to reconnect and he realized how distressed they were being away from each other. He then knew he had to adopt them all.
Carter says he knows it's going to be hard as a single father, but he is ready for it. He is currently focusing on building trust with the kids, and having faith that the love will build over time.
By: Priya Migneault
H&M have released the news that they will be the first to have an in-store clothing recycling machine.
The machine can both shred and knit used clothing by cleaning and pressing the clothes into longer fibres, which are then converted into yarn for new garments. It requires no additional water or dyes to work and instead relies on the colours already in the clothing. The machine was invented by the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA).
H&M stated, “To fight climate change, we need to change fashion,” which they believe this machine will help do.
As the US election was underway many Americans were out at the the polling stations, which had lines that went for blocks and could last hours. Luckily, 'Pizza to the Polls' was there to help by handing out pizza, burgers, doughnuts, cookies, and other snacks to voters in line, free of charge.
The non-profit organization delivered over 3,200 pizzas to polling stations across the country and had 262 food trucks out and about during the election. 'Pizza to the Polls' runs off people's donations and this year they made an astounding $1.45 million from donors.
In the Mesa, Arizona Children's Hospital there is a new 'Wall of Hope' which features past NICU patients in a very contrasting photos. The wall compares the photos of the children at the time they were in the NICU, hooked up to monitors and weighing very little, to now, smiling and healthy.
It was built to encourage hope within the parents and staff for their tiny patients.
By: Priya Migneault
The Los Angeles 101 freeway is going to be having quite the makeover soon, as the state is building the world's largest wildlife crossing. LA has a large population of mountain lions that have been isolated due to the the layout of highways, because of this they are now having issues breeding and strengthening their genetic code.
With the help of 2,700 mostly private donors, Save LA Cougars and the National Wildlife Federation have raised $15 million to construct the overpass, which will be 165 feet. Ground break on the project is suspected to be in 2021.
In what may be the world's most notable calendar, Australia's firefighters have once again taken off their shirts for charity. Their calendar for 2021 features the firefighters and their adorable animal companions.
The proceeds from the calendar are going to Safe Haven Animal Rescue, All Breeds Canine Rescue, and other conservation organizations in the area. The firefighters chose to donate to animal based charities this year, in part, because of the massive Australian wildfires that destroyed mass amounts of habitat and killed over one billion animals earlier this year.
“As you hang your 2021 calendars on your wall and turn to January 2021, it’s a great reminder that next year is going to be a fresh start for everyone," says calendar director, David Rogers.
Is is estimated that one in every seven cars sold next year in the EU will be electric.
This year electric car sales have tripled, compared to 2019, and they are expected to increase into the next year. This is partially because the EU has been laying out multiple strict regulations on CO2 emissions and their citizens seem to be taking them on without hesitation.
The EU is putting more standards into effect next year for the automotive industry, suggesting a greater push towards renewable and green energy. Their are a few companies currently meeting the standards now, that would not have to change much in order to meet the 2021 increase. However, there are a few companies such as, Renault, Nissan, the Toyota-Mazda pool, and Ford that are still working to meet the current standards.
By: Priya Migneault
In the UK inventor, Barry Thompson, has developed onshore wind turbines that generate energy from passing traffic. The turbines measure in at about 6.5" feet and are attached to street lights near high traffic areas.
The energy generated from the turbines will be used to power the lights and with time hopefully power much more. Thompson's company, Alpha 311, says that a turbine could potentially generate 6mw per day which is enough to power a small village.
Last week, UK leader Boris Johnson promised that the green industrial revolution would power every home in the UK by 2030 with offshore wind. Thompson's invention could help the country achieve this goal with his onshore turbine design. Alpha 311 is currently working with UK authorities to install more trial turbines throughout the country.
7-year-old, Cavanaugh Bell, has decided to launch his own nonprofit called Cool & Dope (“considering others’ obstacles in life and dish out positive energy”) after being bullied in school.
Over the COVID-19 pandemic Bell began creating care packages for his elderly neighbours with his own allowance. When he began being bullied at the beginning of this school year his positive attitude shone through even brighter. He realized that many of those who live on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation didn't have basic necessities, so he decided to start a gofundme page and Amazon Wishlist for those in the community.
The response was overwhelming with donations pouring in at every turn. Bell and his mom, Llacey Simmons, were able to fill 53-foot semi-truck—twice with all the donations which they sent off to be distributed by First Families Now. The donations included food, clothing, diapers, cleaning supplies, and shoes.
Bell and his mom will be sending out another round of donations this winter that will include coats and blankets.
14-year-old, Anika Chebrolu, has won this years '3M Young Scientist Challenge' with her scientific breakthrough that could pave the way to developing a cure for COVID-19. She has discovered a molecule that can selectively bond to a spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 and inhibit the virus from entering cells.
After getting a rather nasty case of the flu last year Chebrolu was trying to find a cure for influenza, but once the COVID-19 pandemic happened she knew she had to shift her focus. She screened millions of small molecules until she found one that could inhibit the spike protein.
Her research not only helps the world in the race to a vaccine and treatment for COVID-19, but it has also won her $25,000 and a destination vacation. Chebrolu says that this is only the beginning of her work on COVID-19.
By: Priya Migneault
Recently The New Leaf Project, based out of Vancouver, gave 50 people experiencing homelessness $7,500 to see how they would spend it. Many people have a predisposed notion that the money that is given to people living on the streets goes straight to alcohol and drugs, but this study shows a very different result. Those who received the money were able to move into housing two months faster than those without and their spending on substances went down 39%. After a full year of the participants spending their money many still had $1,000 in savings and 69% could still feed themselves.
On average those in the study were 42 years old and had been living on the streets for an average of six months. In the study 1 in 3 of the participants had a child and 1 in 4 was employed. The results from the project found that it was more affordable for the government to give those experiencing homelessness a sum of cash than to continue to allow them to live on the streets. Between a reduction in emergency services and beds required at shelters the government could save $600 per British Colombian, if they gave each homeless individual $7,500 according to New Leaf.
14 year old, Jordan Reeves, has invented her own prosthetic arm that shoots glitter. Jordan's left arm stopped developing past her elbow when she was born, but that hasn't stopped her from becoming an amazing inventor and inspiration to others. When she was 10 years old Jordan attended a STEM workshop to encourage others with disabilities to think creatively about their conditions. It was at this point she got access to a 3D printer and designed the first arm for 'Project Unicorn'.
'Project Unicorn' is a prosthetic cone shaped arm that shoots glitter out of the tip. With her invention Jordan went on to show it at TEDx stage, Shark Tank, and the Rachel Ray Show. She was also featured on a new LEGO documentary and episode one of 'Marvel's Superhero Project'. She believes that her journey, inventions, and recently published book will help encourage others to view their disabilities as gifts rather than obstacles.
4 year old, Pippa Jackson from England, recently had a bad dream that children wouldn't have gifts to open on Christmas morning. When she woke up she was determined to help as many kids as possible, so with the help of her mom she made the goal to donate 200 presents this holiday season to kids in need. Pippa has received a large amount of donations to help her reach her goal and is selling homemade decorations to raise money for the gifts.
The gifts include scarfs, hats, kites, and pencil crayons. Her mom has said they will be donating them to women's shelters and orphanages in the area.
By: Priya Migneault
A new village has opened in France for older individuals with Alzheimer's, so that they are able to continue living independently in a safe community and to see if a sense of freedom can effect how the disease spreads through the brain. The village has a grocery store, hair salon, nursing facilities, music room, library, and cafeteria.
Many individuals who suffer from Alzheimer's struggle giving up their independence for a nursing home and would rather remain on their own even though it isn't safe. However, the new inhabitants of this village are absolutely loving it, they feel safe, connected, cared after, and free.
Although the village is expense to run, costing 6.7 million euros to run each year, the citizens only pay 24,000 euros each annually, the rest of the money comes from the French government. The government believes that the cost is worth it to see the scientific data and outcome living independently in a community can have on Alzheimer's patients. The village is the first of its kind in France with similar facilities exist in Canada and the Netherlands.
Scientists have created a 'super enzyme' that eats plastic in hours, not weeks. This new enzyme can further triple the speed that plastic polymers are undone which provides an opportunity to eliminate the fight against plastic pollution.
The development and discovery of plastic eating enzymes has picked up in the last decade, starting in 2016 when Japanese scientists discovered a bug that disconnected the polymers of polyethylene terapthalate (PET). The new 'super enzyme' was developed by McGeehan by combining PETase and MHETase into a single enzyme.
Greek athlete, Marios Giannakou, recently summited Mount Olympus with his disabled friend, Eleftheria Tosiou, strapped to his back helping her reach a life long goal.
Marios is a long distance runner has never been one to turn away from a challenge; he has trekked 270 km across the Al Marmoum Desert and participated in a 145 km cross-country race across Antarctica. So, it was no surprise when his friend asked him to help her summit the mountain that he was up for the challenge. They summited Mount Olympus's highest peak, Mount Mytikas, which has an elevation of 9,570 ft.
He says, “For me, all international races, the medals and the distinctions so far, mean little compared to that goal.”
I hope you all have a wonderful thanksgiving weekend!
By: Priya Migneault
Jessica Schreiber, is the founder of Fabscrap, a company that is dedicated to reducing the amount of clothing thrown into landfills and recycling facilities.
Jessica started Fabscrap after working in NYC's bureau of recycling and sustainability, where she realized that many fashion brands were just throwing away usable clothing into the landfill. She quit her job and began her company, which picks up unsellable clothing from businesses and repurposes them into sellable materials like cotton, polyester, and nylon that are then sold online and in their store front. Any pieces of clothing that are unusable to them are given to other companies and made into furniture stuffing or moving blankets.
Globally, the textile and fashion industry accounts for 10% of our annual CO2 emissions. Through Fabscrap 600,000 pounds of fabric have been saved from NYC's landfill and each pound represents 2.06 pounds of Carbon.
In July of this year, 45-year-old father, Tim Gjoraas was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer and only given a few months to live. In light of this Tim turned to his friend, Doug Rinken, for help painting his families home blue because it is his wife's favourite colour. He was hoping that next summer Doug would do this for him, even though he knew he most likely would not be around to help out.
Doug reached out to co-workers and friends of his and Tim's for help. The response was amazing, a variety of retired teachers, like Tim and Doug, showed up to help paint the families home over the weekend so that Tim would be able to see it through. They all had an amazing time painting the home and got the chance to reminisce on old memories with their friend.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic Wesley Hamnett was planning of biking 1,250 miles from Russia to his home in Lancashire to raise money for charities close to his heart. Of course this was not possible once borders began closing, so he decided to bike 200 miles from Scotland to England on his 8-year-old daughter's bike.
The bike ride was extremely difficult because there was no hand brakes on this 12-inch wheeled bike and he had to replace the wheels many times along the trip. Wesley has made $12,947 so far and is donating the funds to Macmillan Cancer Support, Christie Charitable Fund, British Heart Foundation and Wythenshawe Hospitals MFT Charity in honour of his father who passed away last year due to cancer.
By: Priya Migneault
As I am sure you noticed the 'Weekly Does of Hope' series as been becoming bit more of a monthly volume. I am hoping to get back into posting this type of article weekly starting in October.
18-year-old, Justin Gavin, is being hailed as a hero in Connecticut for saving a mom and three children from a burning car.
Justin was walking to the store when he noticed a car was on fire, he immediately chased it down and pulled the mother out of the drivers seat. He also managed to get the kids, ages 9, 4, and 1, out of the back before the entire car was engulfed in flames. "I was scared 'cause I didn't know whether the car was gonna blow up at that instant," Gavin told CNN.
He has received the 'challenge coin' from the police department, one of the city's highest honours for his courage.
When Gloria Scott's lights shut off in her home, she decided to take a chunk out of her budget to hire John Kinney, an electrician to come fix it. Like many seniors Gloria has a very small income and has been unable to make repairs to her home, when John saw the state of her place he put up a Facebook page asking other trades people to come help repair the place free of charge.
The response was incredible! Gloria now has new electrical and plumbing systems, new windows, and extensive repairs to her crumbling walls, ceiling, and porch. The community also came together to help landscapes and plant the yard.
When Giselle Aviles farther's Mexican food truck was struggling due to COVID she put out a plead to twitter asking others to swing by for some food. Her father, Elias, had only made $6 from one of his 12-hour-shifts and was fearing for his business.
The tweet was retweeted over 2,000 times over the course of the evening and the next day there was a massive line up of people waiting for food by the time the truck opened at 8 am. She said there must have been hundreds of people who stopped by to get food and that the lines of people don't seem to be slowing down.