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Helaina Hovitz
Helaina Hovitz is a native New Yorker and a journalist who has always had the unreasonable notion that she can help change the world. She is currently Editor in Chief of Affect Magazine and has written for The New York Observer, The New York Times, Salon, Newsday, Teen Vogue, and many others. While she covers a wide variety of human interest topics, she is most passionate about charities, nonprofits, and volunteers, and telling the stories of the impact they have.

Entries by Helaina Hovitz

What To Expect When You're Fos'Pecting: Finding Love as a Foster Dog Mom

(0) Comments | Posted February 8, 2016 | 4:58 PM

Adopting a dog is an incredibly rewarding experience--adopting one temporarily, falling in love, then letting them go forever is a whole lot harder.

Sarah Brasky, founder of Foster Dogs NYC, says that while taking in a foster pup this Valentine's Day is a surefire way to bring...

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Adopt Don't Shop: An Exclusive Interview With Rescue Dogs Little Miss Lexi and Pumpkin

(4) Comments | Posted December 1, 2014 | 3:39 PM

Little Miss Lexi and her sister, Pumpkin, are spokes-pups for Posh Pets Rescue in NYC, and they want you to consider adopting special needs and senior rescue dogs before hitting the pet shop.

Do you feel that dogs like you are often unfairly passed over for more...

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Why Beyoncé Wants You to Buy This Backpack (and We Do, Too)

(0) Comments | Posted October 28, 2014 | 6:47 PM

When Scot Tatelman and his wife, Jacqueline, welcomed their first group of inner-city kids to Camp POWER, they noticed that children were hopping off of the bus and dragging their belongings behind them in trash bags. Jacqueline, who comes from a fashion background, knew this just wouldn't do--and her hubby...

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The Social PetWork: Platform Helps Boost Adoptions

(0) Comments | Posted August 7, 2014 | 2:06 PM

Let's face it: we love digging up videos of puppies doing adorable things online.

Now, thanks to, we can put this guilty pleasure to good use by spending time with shelter animals and sharing their photos and videos with the world.

The site, which has been up...

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86-Year-Old Granted Wish for Party Cruise

(1) Comments | Posted July 10, 2014 | 3:43 PM

Most days, 86-year-old Clara Parish sits at home and watches TV. Because of a leg injury -- and her low income -- she isn't able to do much.

This Friday night, however, she's going on a party cruise.

"Miss Clara has a heart of gold," said her nominator...

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Denied Service Dog, Veteran Finds Life-Changing Companion at Local Shelter

(29) Comments | Posted May 23, 2014 | 1:10 PM

Nate Hamilton, a three-tour navy veteran living in Sneads Ferry, North Carolina, felt he and Otis, an American Bulldog he found in a shelter, had a lot in common. Otis was underweight from roaming the streets, had a broken tooth, and several scars. Nate had some scars, too, after an...

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Two Homeless Women Finally Get to Celebrate Mother's Day

(0) Comments | Posted May 8, 2014 | 3:52 PM

For Pepper Hale, Sunday's been a long timing coming.

After a difficult childhood, battles with drug use and years spent in and out of jail, Pepper is looking forward to the first Mother's Day where she'll actually be able to celebrate being a mother.

"There's nothing worse than...

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Why These Children Are Reading to Homeless Cats

(26) Comments | Posted May 6, 2014 | 1:17 PM

Yep, it's fur real.

Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, 30 elementary school kids crawl right into the "Cat Colony" of The Animal Rescue League of Berks County, Pennsylvania, crack open a book, and snuggle up to the strays.

The cats, who have been rescued from the streets, are...

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A Green Solution to Overseas Hunger

(1) Comments | Posted April 22, 2014 | 12:29 PM

Thanks to one man's vision and another man's mission, an environmentally friendly stove is offering hope around the globe in some unexpected ways.

It all started when a 65-year-old retired carpenter named Fred Colgan met Damon Ogle, an engineer with a new "green" stove design.


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Rescue Dogs Bring Joy to Homebound Elderly

(0) Comments | Posted April 11, 2014 | 4:34 PM

OK guys, be warned: this is one of the most heartwarming stories you'll read on National Pet Day.

This story starts with an organization called Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey, which was created to assist homebound and disabled elderly with vital tasks in an attempt to help them stay...

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All Aboard the Smile Train: Organization Brightens One Million Young Lives

(0) Comments | Posted April 7, 2014 | 9:27 PM

We've all seen the ads on the subway depicting children with cleft lips. Yes, they're hard to look at, but what's even harder to digest is the truth about what life looks like for these kids.

What people may not realize is that they aren't just suffering...

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Autism Awareness Must Extend Beyond High School

(0) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 3:32 PM

Over the past 10 years, an amazing amount of awareness has been raised for children with autism -- but, once those high school doors close, parents find themselves in a bind. The amount of programs and funding available to young adults drops dramatically once they age out of the system,...

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Hollywood Stylist Gives Survivors New Hope

(0) Comments | Posted March 13, 2014 | 12:23 PM

There's no debating that when it comes to finding a job, appearance matters. In fact, studies have shown that well-groomed, "better-dressed" candidates have a significant leg up on their competition.

But being buried in medical bills -- and coming from modest means -- makes it hard to shop for new...

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Pencils of Promise Founder Reminds Us to Focus on the Children, Not Just the Statistics

(1) Comments | Posted March 7, 2014 | 5:41 PM

When we think of one impoverished child, the camera of our minds pan back further, and further, and further. There are so, so many, we think. What can we possibly do? It all feels too big, and too sad, and so often, we ignore it and try to focus on...

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