For someone who doesn't have significant challenges to manage, it's hard to truly understand the difference between our lives. Here's an example of what I, and many people who are either chronically ill or disabled, need to do to make a comparatively "easy" day trip to the city happen.
The SDGs will only be successful if all people and groups are fully engaged and have a voice in the way the SDGs are implemented. If we count exclusively on government policy, private and public investment to make things happen, we probably will not have enough resources to reach everybody.
Even the most frazzled travelers are calmed once they realize a knowledgeable person is helping them find their destination. I love helping people in need. As it turns out, I'm also very good at it.
There is growing recognition that we need to find ways to harness the drive and commitment of young people, and leverage their unique skills.
Organizations that help nonprofits understand where they can use more expertise and capacity, and then connecting them with that help, offer one key step towards solving the complex problems we face as a society.
MovingWorlds matches volunteers to projects overseas that can benefit from their skills and experience, for both people lucky enough to work for one these employers, and also for people that want to do this on their own time.
Over the years, I lost myself in being a mom and a wife, and I just couldn't seem to lose weight. Being overweight and finding myself on daily blood pressure medication wasn't enough to get off my butt to get serious about weight loss. Pageantry became my carrot on a stick.
For me, one of the most important days of my life was when I held my first newborn daughter in my arms. I was just so happy. I could not even begin to imagine what it would be like watching her traded for a handful of garden tools.
Fresh out of high school, I crammed my little Honda with my earthly possessions, swallowed my fear, and pointed that fine piece of Japanese engineering northward. My destination? Cleveland, Ohio. The reason? A year of service with AmeriCorps.
I decided to take a few minutes from my busy day and ponder the thought. Having traveled to 85 countries, I consider myself blessed to have seen more than my fair share of the world.
When I tell people that I teach yoga to incarcerated women, I often see a look pass over their faces. To me, there is no greater need than women who are locked into cages, demoralized, deprived of sunlight, nutrition, and physical comforts.
Imagine a world where every young person felt a deep sense of ownership and empowerment over social, political, environmental and economic issues from gender equality to poverty.
There are a lot of experiences I can recall after my sixth year volunteering with Travelers Aid, but one of the most memorable is the infamous Virginia earthquake of August 23, 2011. Since we're approaching its fourth anniversary, I thought it would be enlightening to touch on the experiences I had that day.
Some authors, in addition to perfecting the art of the written word also practice the art of charity. Their efforts both on the page and off seek to illuminate and improve this world we call home.
So, for those of you just entering college, take this experience for all its worth. Be joyful for those "This is how I could spend the rest of my life" moments when you find yourself a new hobby or passion. And, equally as important, be grateful for those "I don't think this is right for me" moments because realizing what's wrong for you is as needed as realizing what's right.
Jef has not only stayed true to his roots musically, but also as a man of faith, starting Love Trade, a grassroots effort on the part of him and his wife to provide the homeless population with a small package of essentials, a grocery store card and hygienic products.