Third World America Stories Archive

09/09/2010 08:36 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Andrea McCarren
Washington DC
Laid off TV journalist takes road trip around America looking for stories of resilience. Founded 'Project Bounceback'.

Kevin DeSoto
Providence, Rhode Island
After being laid off from a corporate marketing job, DeSoto used his social media skills to produce online campaigns to help people such as journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee.

Jenny Brody
Washington DC
President of the DC Volunteer Lawyers Program, a group of stay-home lawyers who do pro bono work in their spare time.

Cheryl Jacobs
Philadelphia, PA
After being laid off in 2008, Jacobs dedicated her life defending foreclosure victims through the Philadelphia Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program.

George Sotiropoulos
Gorham, Maine
Unemployed law school graduate works part-time at pizza parlor to sustain passion for doing foreclosure prevention work for free.

Eric Charles Jirgens
Grand Rapids, MI
Successful interior designer volunteers his time and skills to redecorating a small women's shelter.

Aaron Hurst
Hurst is the CEO of Taproot, a volunteer matching service, and told HuffPo about the growing demand for skilled volunteers.

Marvin Bohn
Yellow Springs, Ohio
Elderly man who lost his job running a college cafeteria. Unemployed for three years, lived without health insurance. Recently got a job with a caterer.

Gene Epstein
Philadelphia, PA
A philanthropist with a novel plan to stimulate the economy: he will donate $1,000 to a charity every time a small business hires an unemployed person, up to $250,000.

Devin Ludwig

Portland, OR
A liberal arts graduate from a lower-middle class family who has been unable to find long-term employment since he graduated in 2006.

Seth Reams
Portland, OR
A concierge who, after being laid off in 2008, organized a website, We've Got Time To Help, which solicits volunteers to help people in his community with odd projects.

Elizabeth Killingsworth
Washington, D.C.
Graduated from a top law school in 2008 with a corporate job in Boston awaiting her. Her team was retrenched in 2009. Recently she moved to Washington D.C. to look for work.

John Wands
New Jersey
Unemployed since 2009, this 50-year-old father was forced to sell his 1969 Plymouth Barracuda to supplement the unemployment checks upon which his family relies.

Dean Blackburn
Alameda, California
An IT worker who was laid off 17 months ago and is now launching an online dating site called NaviDate.

Renalta Sellitti
Washington, DC
A former MTV producer of 7 years who lost her job, then relocated to Washington, DC, where she is studying journalism at Georgetown University while interning at USA Today.

Curt MacRae
Curt is an unemployed father who, after being forced to shut down his 15-year-old business and file for bankruptcy, is struggling to find a new job. While looking for work he runs workshops that help other unemployed people jump-start their careers.

Ian Felton
Twin Cities, MN
Born and raised in Appalachia, Ian is now a software engineer who owns his own company. He decided to give back by starting a charity, Marching Mountains, which collects used instruments and donates them to public schools in this region.

Brenda Carter
Marietta, GA
After losing her job in 2007, Carter, a grandmother, began selling homemade pralines online for income.

Susan Hanson
Seattle, WA
After losing most of her business to the recession -- and being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis -- this writer began pursuing her dream job of screenwriting.

Scott Palmer
Loretto, TN
Scott struggles with bankruptcy, foreclosure, and long-term unemployment.

Greg Kaminski
Columbia City, IN
After losing his auto job, Kaminski went to college and founded a mentoring non-profit for his community, JuneStar.

Lesa Deason Crowe
Oklahoma City, OK
A mother, military wife, and small business owner who almost lost her advertising firm to the recession, but has begun to bounce back with the support of other local women.

Linda D. Wilson
An unemployed mother with an MBA who is struggling to rebuild her life in Texas, after she lost everything in New Orleans to Hurricane Katrina.

Maria Oritz

Las Vegas
After being laid off from a college undergoing budget cuts, Oritz, a bilingual PhD graduate, exhausted her unemployment benefits and was forced to withdraw from Social Security. Also received rent money from her local church.

Jim Laman
Evanston, IL
Worked at Herman Miller for 21 years until he was retrenched in 2006, and had to take a job in Evanston, IL while his family remained in Holland, MI.

For more, visit our new Third World America section.

Suggest a correction