Need in the News, Vol. V, Issue 2

At the end of every month, I summarize local, national and international “stories of need” from news sites, blogs, press releases and editorials. The following are some of February’s most need-in-the-news-worthy stories:


Syrian and Iraqi refugees arrive from Turkey to Skala Sykamias, Lesbos island, Greece. Spanish volunteers (life rescue team - with yellow-red clothes) help the refugees. (Ggia via Wikimedia Commons)
Syrian and Iraqi refugees arrive from Turkey to Skala Sykamias, Lesbos island, Greece. Spanish volunteers (life rescue team – with yellow-red clothes) help the refugees. (Ggia via Wikimedia Commons)

THE REFUGEE CRISIS — With the weather improving, European border countries are bracing for a new influx of refugees. Turkey, too, has its own refugee challenge, while French authorities in Calais recently cleared a refugee camp, called the “Jungle.”

SYRIA — The civil war in Syria has so far taken 270,000 lives and displaced half of the country’s population.

YEMEN — The people of Yemen are facing an unprecedented crisis — 21 million people are in need of aid, and famine is looming in one besieged city.


At times, what gets lost in the concern and clamor over major local, national and international events and issues, are ordinary people, communities, businesses and other groups doing extraordinary things. Here are a few I’ve heard about recently:

MARSHFIELD (Missouri)Rev. Jack Day died this month at 81 after many years of service to his community.

COLUMBUS (Ohio)Kurt Coleman and Tyson Gentry have an unbreakable bond shaped by a tragedy on Ohio State’s football practice field.

KILIS (Turkey) — A Turkish town that has taken in Syrian refugees is up for the Nobel Prize.

DENVER (Colorado) — Tammy Cunningham started Hope Jewelry in honor of her late husband, Noel, a respected restauranteur and philanthropist who took his own life, and her product line is raising funds for suicide prevention.

INDIAShantha’s decision to turn entrepreneur has helped her village out of poverty.

OAKLAND (California) — Can’t resist a mention of my new favorite NBA player, Stephen Curry, whose recent real-life performances surpass what his video game avatar can produce.


Stories worth reflection:

WAY TO GO, EINSTEIN!Albert Einstein’s calculations were, in fact, correct.

COUNTING PEOPLE WHO ARE HOMELESS — Houston, Texas, volunteers have taken to using technology to get people off the streets and into housing. And in Wyoming, concerned non-profit workers try to get a handle on rural homelessness.

BLACK HOLE POWER — Stephen Hawking says humans could use black holes as remote power stations.

TWO FAMILIES, TWO COUNTRIES, ONE FENCE — The L.A. Times featured what life is like for families separated by the U.S.-Mexico border.

BLACK LIVES MATTER?Why stories about the deaths of black men don’t often get told.

DISCOVERY AT CHURCH OF NATIVITY — Renovations to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem uncovered a mysterious, new artifact. (I’ve been there!)

MOVIES WITH A MESSAGE — Chasing Heroin, a new documentary looks at what a humane approach to recovery might look like, and the Oscar-winning movie Spotlight tells the story of the Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandals.

Marrton Dormish

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