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:
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.
INDIA — Shantha’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.