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PHILANTHROPY

Articles

John Kay: Now That I Know, I Care

Hard-edged rock star reveals softer side as a compassionate environmental, wildlife, and human rights advocate. A Time of Renegades and Rebels My, how time flies —believe it or not, 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the iconic film, Easy Rider, starring Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Jack Nicholson.  Facing a budget crunch, Dennis Hopper, who also directed the film, decided to use the music of Bob Dylan, The Band, Steppenwolf, and Jimi Hendrix on the soundtrack rather than hiring their own musicians to create a score. Easy Rider became one of the most influential films of the sixties, and the music most associated with it launched to stardom one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most legendary bands. I recently had the privilege of speaking with John Kay, lead singer of Steppenwolf, and one of the voices of our generation.  Preparing for our conversation, I did my homework learning that John was born in East Prussia, now part of Russia, and along with his daring and caring mother, fled their homeland and made their way to West Germany when he was 5-years old, and

Operation Smile: The Second Generation of Hope

Continuing the journey set by their parents, the Magee siblings are working to expand compassion worldwide. All the siblings of the Magee family have not only carried on their parents’ legacy of compassion which you can read about in our article Operation Smile, but each has risen to excellence in their own respective careers and causes. Growing up, they accompanied their parents, William and Kathy Magee, on medical missions in foreign lands and pitched in to help where they could. The training they received while on these missions and the example set by their parents, shaped their own future goals in life. Since their youth, they’ve recognized the impact and joy of selfless dedication in restoring health and dignity to the people who need it most. They can see it in the smiles of those they have helped. What have the Magee siblings been up to? Here is a snapshot of each of their contributions to the betterment of mankind … William Magee, III, MD, DDS – Leading Plastic and Craniofacial Surgeon The oldest sibling, William “Billy” Magee, III, first

LESLIE’S WEEK: Nonprofit Gifts Vacations Away from Cancer

LESLIE’S WEEK is about Memories. Memories are 4ever! Stage 4 Breast Cancer women spend the majority of their Stage 4 lives in cancer therapies, clinical trials, and hospitals. Their families are in Financial Toxicity from the demands of cancer treatments. “Normalcy” is no longer recognizable in their lives. Receiving a diagnosis of Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer changes everything – holiday plans with family, career path, attending kid’s and grandkid’s events, retirement with your spouse. Plans you were looking forward to taking on suddenly have a new perspective. Shock aside, your life has careened into a journey you never thought you would take. Visits to hospitals and oncologists, enduring cancer treatments and procedures such as chemo and radiation, seeking support and strength, feeling ill and tired —all become the new norm. One in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. In 2019, an estimated 268,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the U.S. This year, an estimated 41,760 women will die from breast cancer in the U.S. On average, every 2 minutes a

Alexander McLean: Compassionate World-Changer

His organization is empowering a community of changemakers within Africa’s prison system. Stooping in a dark, dank prison cell, a young man strokes the hand of a dying prisoner. The prisoner is handcuffed to a soiled cot reeking of vomit and urine. The young man doesn’t even notice. He sees only with his heart; something not many people would accuse barristers of having. But this young legal mind, Alexander McLean has a heart large enough to embrace the suffering prisoners of an entire continent. The Happy Accident McLean should never have been born. He’s a child of accidental birth, at least to his parents; a Jamaican father and English mother. But when God wants to answer the prayers of the forgotten, He creates their solution in His own way. That solution was a little boy called Alex. Born in the southern suburbs of London, England, McLean endured the fitful reactions of 1970s society to mixed race children. Nevertheless, he grew up in a loving home surrounded by loving relatives, including a beloved gran. The Caring Soul The signs of McLean’s

Amanda Hayhurst: Selfless Angel

Caya and Courtney Knight posted the flyer time and again across the greater Atlanta area. For five long years, their 50-year-old single mom, Vonchelle, had been hooking up nightly to a dialysis machine to replicate the critical blood cleansing and balancing work of her failed kidneys. She feared her time was running out. The grim statistics say that once a person starts on dialysis they have an average of seven years of life remaining. Unless they are blessed to find a kidney donor. The disappointment of spending eight years on the donor wait list was wearing on Knight and her family. But she never lost her hope or optimism. Besides her family, her saving grace was her career as an analyst at Northside Hospital’s Bone Marrow Transplant Department, where she participated on a team that regularly saved the lives of others, including many children. A mission of love can certainly keep one’s spirits high. When at home, she would raise her daughter’s spirits by repeating her affirmation, “This is my year, Lord, this is my time for a miracle. I

Chad Pregracke: Rescuing Our Rivers

One of the most powerful forces of nature, the river, has been revered the world over since ancient times, says ‘HelpSaveNature.com.’ These massive freshwater bodies have been called ‘the sources of life,’ and some of the most advanced civilizations of the world have originated and flourished on the banks of major rivers. Apart from being sources of sustenance, rivers have also been major hubs of economies. Their ease of transportation has facilitated mass mobility and trade and led to incalculable wealth accumulation. Clearly, this has been the case with America’s second longest river with the second largest drainage basin, the prodigious Mississippi River. The Noble Mississippi “The Mississippi River carries the mud of thirty states and two provinces 2,000 miles south to the delta and deposits 500 million tons of it there every year. The business of the Mississippi, which it will accomplish in time, is to methodically transport all of Illinois to the Gulf of Mexico.” – Charles Kuralt               From the time of Native Americans to the present, the “business” of the river has

ALEXANDRA JONES – ARCHAELOGIST

This real-life Indiana Jones not only reveals ancient artifacts but helps young people discover their cultural heritage. Next time you’re asked to name a charismatic archaeologist with the last name of Jones, Dr. Indiana Jones shouldn’t be the only one who comes to mind. Just like the fictional character, the pursuit to preserve history has pit Dr. Alexandra Jones in her fair share of adventures. The only difference — her stories are real. Jones has searched for ancient artifacts at a site that explorers once believed was a city made of gold. She’s researched the cliffside mega-homes of civilizations rumored to be run by lavish female elites. She’s dug deep to find insight into the lives of slaves at a private 17th century mansion with Civil War ties. Dr. Jones’ adventures are larger than life, and her passion for archaeology has helped her reach enormous success. Today, she is an adjunct professor of anthropology at the University of Baltimore and founder of Archaeology in the Community (AITC), a non-profit organization dedicated to introducing students to the wonders of archaeology through

Luke Mickelson: Beds For Kids

Sweet dreams for needy children is his mission. If angels truly roam the Earth, this hero would surely be one of them. Idaho native, Luke Mickelson, a high school quarterback and a church-going family man, had a successful white-collar career and coached his kids’ sports teams during his free time. But what really makes him a star is his big heart for humanity. Sleep in Heavenly Peace Mickelson is the founder of Sleep in Heavenly Peace, also known as SHP, a non-profit organization dedicated to building bunk beds for needy children across the country. He realized that every town has the same problem as his own with kids sleeping on the floor, often without a pillow. It was a need no one was filling, so he made it his mission and formed Sleep in Heavenly Peace. He was surprised with the outpouring of volunteers dedicating time and materials, each being true to the organization’s motto ”No kid sleeps on the floor in our town.” It Started with One Bed It all started when Mickelson was asked by his church in

Ned Norton: A True American Hero

How one man looked beyond the physical limitations of others and brought them quality of life, liberty, and happiness. True heroes are few and far between. But thanks to his selfless humility and patience, Ned Norton has a very special calling with very impressive results. He isn’t hard to find being either at his gym teaching wheelchair-bound people independence through upper body workouts, helping wounded combat veterans overcome fitness obstacles at a low-income housing project in Albany, NY, or sending fitness equipment overseas to help victims of war and landmines. Norton is on a mission to make the world a better place one person at a time, one workout at a time. As a former elite trainer for professional athletes, he used his physical therapy knowledge to create Warriors on Wheels, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping disabled people not only improve their range of motion, but also their quality of life. With many clients paying only $25 per month, he’s not in the Warriors on Wheels business for the money. “I just love to see people smile,” he said.