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Magician Plans to Walk 32 Km Barefoot on Broken Glass to Raise Money for Autism

Cape Town-based magician and illusionist Russell Fox is attempting to set a new Guinness World Record by walking 32 km barefoot across broken glass. Fox, aged 43, is endeavouring to do it in under 29 hours (the current record).

Aside from earning himself a mention in the record books, Fox hopes to raise funds for the South Africa-based charity Nosh for Josh foundation for those affected with Autism, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and Muscular Dystrophy. Fox himself suffered from epilepsy‚ ADHD‚ Tourette’s and dyslexia as a child, so the foundation is close to his heart. Fox’s chief goal is to send children living with the listed disorders to India for Stem Cell Therapy Operation at the NeuroGen Brain and Spine Institute.

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Philadelphia Library Lets Job Seekers Borrow Ties for Their Interview

Just as a library responds to the reading needs of a community, a ‘tiebrary’ caters to people who are in dire need of a tie but can’t afford to buy one. Housed by the Paschalville Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, the tiebrary stocks 48 pieces of neckwear in various colors and patterns, ranging from traditional ties to bright and trendy cravats. Anyone with a library card is welcome to checkout a tie for up to three weeks at a time.

The tie-lending initiative was started mainly to help out the vast population of unemployed men, particularly in southwest Philadelphia, where the Paschalville Branch is located. The neighborhood is marked by its high rates of poverty and unemployment, and is home to several immigrants and former inmates in dire need of a job. So this local library is trying to do its bit to help the community.

“It’s an illustration of libraries really responding to the needs of their communities,” said Nate Eddy, librarian and strategy coordinator for the Free Library of Philadelphia. “People still associate libraries with quiet places to check out a book, but we’re so much more than that.”

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Making a Difference: 12-Year-Old Collects Thousands of Coats for the Homeless

12-year-old Makenna Breading-Goodrich is showing the world that you’re never too young to have social conscience. In a bid to help the homeless people in her community, she’s spent the past three winters collecting and giving away thousands of coats. She calls her initiative ‘Makenna’s Coats for a Cause’.

It all started three years ago, when Makenna watched a TV show about the hardships faced by the homeless during the cold winter months. Deeply disturbed by their plight, she soon came up with a simple solution – to go around her neighborhood, asking people to donate all the coats and jackets they could spare. All she had to do was find a way to spread the word, collect the coats, and get them to the less fortunate. Fortunately, her parents were very supportive and willing to help anyway they could.

“She said, ‘I think I can really do something to help,’” Makenna’s mother Jennifer recalled. “Any parent would look at their 9-year-old daughter with pride and tell her they’d be thrilled to help her in any way.”

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Kids Place Warm Clothes on Street Posts for the Homeless to Pick Up

A group of Canadian kids are already spreading a bit of Christmas spirit in Halifax, Nova Scotia, by wrapping warm clothing around lamp poles for the city’s homeless to pick up and use. The unusual sight of warmly dressed poles caught recently the attention of locals, who stopped to click pictures to share on social media.

Every year, Tara Atkins-Smith collects warm clothing from her community, in order to give to the less fortunate. This year, she took to Facebook to call for donations and the response was overwhelming – their front porch was overflowing with bags of clothes. Since the family was traveling to Halifax on November 15 with their daughter Jayda and seven of her friends to celebrate her 8th birthday, Tara decided it was the perfect time to teach the children valuable life lesson.

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Bride-to-Be Turns Wedding Reception into Feast for the Homeless After Groom Gets Cold Feet

When 27-year-old Quinn Duane’s finance dumped her just a week before their wedding, the young woman decided to make the best of the situation. Instead of cancelling the wedding venue and catering, she invited the city’s homeless to partake in the elaborate feast.

Quinn herself was too devastated to attend what should have been her own wedding reception, but her family stood in for her to welcome the guests at Sacramento’s Citizen Hotel. “When I found out Monday that the wedding would not be taking place, it just seemed like, of course, this would be something that we would do to give back, Quinn’s mother Kari told local media. “I feel a lot of heartache and heartbreak for her, but I will take away something good from this.”

The meal, prepared by the hotel’s four-star restaurant ‘Grange’, consisted of salad, appetizers, gnocchi, salmon, and steak. It was originally intended to feed 120 guests, after the $35,000 ceremony at the hotel. The wedding, sadly, was not meant to be, but Quinn and her family decided to go ahead with the meal, only with an entirely different guest list.

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Kind-Hearted Woman Organizes Birthday Parties for Homeless Children

Texas-based Paige Chenault loves birthdays, and believes everyone should have a chance to celebrate theirs. So she hosts beautiful parties for homeless children, giving them birthday celebrations they’ll remember for the rest of their lives. She started with a few parties in Dallas and went on to found a non profit called The Birthday Party Project, with chapters across the US.

Chenault, a former wedding planner, is perfect for the job because of her extensive experience. It all started when she read a magazine on a plane about kids’ birthday parties, when she was pregnant with her daughter. “I was just dreaming about all the great stuff that I could do for my daughter, just because I was an event planner, so I thought, ‘If anybody could throw a big bash, it was going to be me for my kid,’” she said.

And then she picked up another magazine and read about poor children in Haiti who didn’t have anything. That’s when it struck her that there are millions of children in the world who not only have shelter or food, but would never be able to enjoy the kind of celebration she had in mind. “That’s where the idea came from, and it really started stirring in me,” she said.

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Turkish Couple Spend Wedding Day Feeding 4,000 Syrian Refugees

Instead of splashing out on a fancy wedding last week, a Turkish couple chose to share their special day with 4,000 Syrian refugees instead. After exchanging vows in their hometown of Kilis, near the Syrian border, they went on to feed thousands of refugees through the Turkish charity Kimse Yok Mu (KYM).

KYM has been offering hot meals to Syrian outcasts who fled the nation’s bloody civil war and are now struggling to fulfill their basic needs. Having seen these people suffer at close quarters, it only made sense for Fethullah Üzümcüoğlu and Esra Polat to allocate a portion of their wedding budget to the charity. The thoughtful couple contributed to the cost of the food being served that day, and arrived at the venue to help serve the food themselves with their guests in tow.

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Indian Librarian Has Been Donating Every Penny Earned to Charity for 35 Years

Meet Kalyanasundaram, an Indian librarian with a heart of gold. During his 35 years of service, he donated almost all the money he earned to orphanages and children’s welfare funds. Now that he is retired, Kalyanasundaram donates his entire pension to those who need it more than he. Although he has no material possessions to his name, he considers himself one of the richest people in the world.

The 73-year-old retiree, from the southern state of Tamil Nadu, started to think about helping the poor and underprivileged at a very young age. He lost his father at the age of one, and his mother struggled to raise him all by herself. As he grew older, his shrill, high-pitched voice troubled him to such an extent that he became depressed and suicidal. But his life turned around when he met a local motivational writer, who told him, “Don’t bother about how you speak. Strive to make others speak well about you.”

Kalyanasundaram took the advice seriously, and decided to dedicate his life to the service of others. The humble man insists that the reason he started helping people was to make himself happy.

Kalyanasundaram

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Kindhearted “Sandwich Man” Spends His Nights Feeding the Homeless

While most people look forward to a quiet retirement, 70-year-old Allan Law seems unstoppable. The former teacher from Minneapolis has spent the past 15 years tirelessly delivering food and other supplies to people on the streets. He distributed a whopping 520,000 sandwiches to the homeless last year, and over 1 million since 1999, earning himself the nickname ‘Sandwich Man’.

A typical day for Allan starts with collecting sandwiches made by volunteers, and donations from various groups to his organisation ‘Minneapolis Recreation Development Inc’. He then begins his delivery rounds at 9pm, driving his van through the streets of inner city Minneapolis, handing out sandwiches. He drives on relentlessly, ending his shift only at 10am. As a backup, Allan has 17 freezers in his apartment in Edina, packed with thousands of sandwiches. “Most of these are going to be turkey, bologna and cheese,” he explained during a video news report.

Allan, himself a patient of arthritis and a cancer survivor, continues to remain committed to his work, despite his ill health. “People say, ‘You’re crazy,’ and I say, ‘No. If I was homeless, or if I had a couple of little kids that needed food or something, I would appreciate someone coming, giving a helping hand,’” he said.

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Man Collects Food Restaurants Would Throw Away, Gives It to the Homeless

24-year-old New Yorker Robert Lee is one of those rare souls who give up their high flying careers, and use their business acumen to make a difference in the world. Lee is the cofounder of ‘Rescuing Leftover Cuisine’ (RLC), an initiative that makes an effort to end urban hunger by collecting wasted food from large establishments and giving it away to the poor.

Lee said that his interest in food conservation comes from his Korean immigrant parents, who insisted on clean plates and taught him never to waste food. Subsequently, he spent his college years volunteering for New York group Two Birds, One Stone, delivering extra dining hall food to homeless shelters. It was during this time that Lee realised he could streamline the system into a scalable model.

Today, Lee and his fellow ‘rescuers’ at RLC march the streets of New York City, collecting paper bags of food from restaurants and cafés that are willing to donate what they would have otherwise thrown away. The team is able to collect anywhere between five and 120 pounds of food a day, and they promptly deliver the haul to a nearby homeless shelter.

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It’s From the Sole: Meet the New-Yorker Who Hands Out Free Shoes to the Homeless

New York resident Andre McDonnell spends all his spare time handing out free shoes to the homeless. Through his charity organisation ‘It’s From the Sole’, the generous 40-year-old has given away over 5,000 pairs of shoes in less than three years.

Andre’s idea is very simple: he collects new or gently used sneakers through donations, and then cleans them thoroughly himself. He actually spends $50 to $60 each week to wash donated shoes at a laundromat. Once the shoes are cleaned, Andre walks to the Grand Central Terminal and Union Square every day to hand them out to the homeless. Whenever he makes a donation, he takes a photograph along with the recipient and emails it to the donor. He also puts up the pictures on his Instagram page, where he has over 2,000 followers.

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The Wandering Stormtrooper – Man Walks 5,600 Miles across Australia in Iconic Star Wars Suit

For over a year, 47-year-old Scott Loxley has been walking across Australia dressed as a Stormtrooper. He started the quest on Nov 2 last year, with a goal of covering 15,000 kilometers on foot, non-stop, with no support crew. His unique journey has taken him from Melbourne to Tasmania, through the debilitating Nullarbor Plain, and up the west coast to Bourne, leading up to Darwin. He’s walked a whopping 9,000 kilometers so far, and with 6,000 more to go, he has no intentions of stopping.

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Two Australian Friends Turn Their Van into Free Laundry Service for the Homeless

Fresh, clean laundry is one of the most comforting things in life, but unfortunately not everyone has access to it. A couple of engineering students from Brisbane are trying to change that. They’ve started Orange Sky Laundry – Australia’s first mobile laundry service for the homeless.

20-year-old Lucas Patchett and his friend Nicholas Marchesi were inspired to start the service during an overseas trip. When they got back in July, they decided to stop talking about it and just do it. So they got an old van fitted out with two donated industrial washing machines and two dryers, which can wash and dry 20 kilograms of laundry in an hour.

Getting the machines to fit in the van wasn’t the easiest thing in the world, but they managed it pretty well. “The architect who helped us said: ‘they’ll probably fit’, but we found we needed to build a platform above the wheel arches – it wasn’t very scientific but we ended up banging the wheel arches out a bit and taking some panels off. We squeezed them in,” said Lucas.

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The Inspiring Story of Tony the Fridge, the Man Who Runs Full Marathons with a Fridge on His Back

Tony ‘the fridge’ Phoenix-Morrison got his name from his unique way of running marathons – with a fridge strapped to his back. Yes, a real refrigerator. Why on earth would anyone want to do that, you ask? Well, for Tony, this is a way to gain people’s attention so he can raise money for charity.

“My friends knew I was an ultra-runner, so trying to raise money by just running the Great North Run wasn’t getting me anywhere,” said the 49-year-old marketing manager from South Tyneside, in the UK. “So I thought about something different. I wanted an extreme challenge, something that would push me to my limits. In 2011, I told everyone I was running with a fridge and the world went mad for it! I ended up on the news in 17 different countries over night.”

Contrary to expectations, Tony isn’t really trying to show off his strength by running with the 42 kg Smeg Fridge. “I hate the fridge,” he insisted. “It starts off tough, then gets impossible. I don’t put it on for show. I should never have ran with the fridge because I was injured when I began. I went running with kettle bells in a rucksack and it swung everywhere, damaging my lower back.” According to Tony, there is no other way to prepare for the physically grueling marathon than by being mentally strong.

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Woman Cancels Wedding, Her Parents Decide to Hold It Anyway to Feed the Homeless

After their daughter cancelled her nuptials just 40 days before the big event, Carol and Willie Fowler decided not to let the upscale meal they had planned for her wedding go to waste, so they went ahead with it, albeit with a new list of guests. On September 15, two hundred of Atlanta’s homeless were invited to enjoy a four-course meal at one of the city’s upscale restaurants.

When the people at the Hosea Feed the Hungry charity in Atlanta got a call from someone offering to donate a lavish meal at the upmarket Villa Christina restaurant to the needy, they thought it was a prank. But Carol and Willie Fowler were dead serious. Their daughter Tamara had just cancelled her big weeding, but they weren’t about to let all the food they had ordered for the big event go to waste. “It was my husband’s idea,” Mrs. Fowler told WBUR. “We prayed about it. And when he woke up the next morning, he said, ‘We’re going to call Hosea Feed the Hungry and ask if we can donate it to the needy.” They set the whole thing up with the help Elisabeth Omilami, CEO of Hosea Feed the Hungry, and on September 15, 200 of Atlanta’s less fortunate were treated to fine dishes and drinks in an event dubbed “The First Annual Fowler Family Celebration of Love”. Talk about turning lemons into lemonade, right?

Fowler Family Celebration of Love

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