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Jun 22, 2022 Read in Browser

Karuna News

"The Human Spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it." -- C.C. Scott

Hello everyone. This week’s stories highlight ingenious action and open heartedness. They help us remember that there is an ever insistent part of human nature that, regardless of how challenging times are, will not be extinguished. It comes forth with radical generosity and creativity in the most unexpected ways and reminds us what the heart unleashed can do. Wishing you a good week filled with courage, creativity and meaningful opportunities!

COMMUNITY

Minneapolis Woman Was About To Be Evicted, Neighbors Bought Her Home For Her

Minneapolis Woman Was About To Be Evicted, Neighbors Bought Her Home For Her

Scott Webb | Unsplash

With support from her neighbors, Linda Taylor recently was able to buy her home of 18 years. It's a heartwarming tale; Taylor has originally owned the home, but fell prey to a real estate deal she didn't understand and lost ownership of the home. Then, after renting the place for 15 years, her landlord instructed her to vacate the house by April 1st of this year. The landlord wanted to sell the home for $299,000, a sum Taylor couldn't afford. "I could not sleep, I could not eat. I felt really defeated," said Taylor about her predicament. She shared her struggle with a neighbor, Andrew Fahlstrom, who is a housing rights organizer, contacted neighbors to see what they could do to help Taylor. As word of the grass-roots campaign to save Taylor's home spread around the block, neighbors were eager to help -- and they did. They wrote and delivered a letter signed by about 400 neighbors to the landlord, urging him to start negotiations with Taylor for her to buy the home. Community `member`s fundraised and in just four months, the neighbors raised $275,000 for Taylor -- enough for her to buy her home and cover needed repairs. "I knew my neighbors loved me, but I didn't know how much," she said. Read Full Story.

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BUSINESS

Parisian General Store's Radical Message For Its Customers? Buy Less

Parisian General Store's Radical Message For Its Customers? Buy Less

Karolina Grabowska | Pexels

After 15 years of working in high-end fashion brands, Caroline Morrison left an international sales management role to introduce a more eco-conscious option to consumers. In December 2020, the French-American entrepreneur opened Landline, a general store in Paris featuring built-to-last housewares, toys, clothing, and cleaning supplies, all ethically produced and largely made of natural materials. She is succeeding despite the contrarian bent of her business model: selling goods that don't need replacing. The idea is encouraging consumers go back to how they used to consume, when things had value and meaning, before disposable living. Items sold in the shop can be repaired, reused, or passed down from one generation to the next. Morrison is working with her suppliers to improve their sustainability and encourages her customers to stretch and change their consumption habits for everything in their lives. Read Full Story.

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TECHNOLOGY

Wind Turbine Blades Turned Into Skis, Snowboards, And Solar Farms

Wind Turbine Blades Turned Into Skis, Snowboards, And Solar Farms

Simeon Mirkov | Pexels

Swedish power company Vattenfall -- which is committed to recycling all of its dismantled wind turbine blades by 2030 -- is lining up partnerships to turn turbine blades into skis, snowboards, and construction materials for solar farms, thus contributing to a new circular economy. Norwegian company Gjenkraft has developed a recycling technology that uses the glass and carbon fiber to create skis and snowboards. The company says the process is complicated because the blades often contain balsa wood, PVC, PET foam, and other polymers and metals. BillionPeople, a Dutch company that recycles rotor and wind turbine blades to create materials for building solar farms, has developed new duro-plastics for solar panels that can replace steel and aluminum. Both use a lot of energy to produce and are scarce due to the conflict in Ukraine. A Dutch college which trains students for airport and logistic services, aviation technology, and travel and hospitality, has also received old wind turbine blades to use in its courses. Read Full Story.

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EVERYDAY HEROES

Stranger Helped Family Escape Nazis, One Went On To Win Nobel Prize And Never Knew It

Stranger Helped Family Escape Nazis, One Went On To Win Nobel Prize And Never Knew It

Igor Mashkov | Pexels

What would you do if in the middle of the night, a stranger asked you to legally declare your financial support for an immigrant family that you would never meet and hadn't even arrived in your country yet? That was the proposition that Barnet Yudin, a Russian-American Jew, faced one night in 1938 when a stranger, who was going door-to-door, appealed to the man asking if he could help a Jewish family from Germany flee to North America. Yudin was asked to sign an affidavit of support for an entire family, saying he would financially keep them afloat if needed. He had to reveal banking information, his net worth, and monthly income, to help the Penzias family secure immigration visas, likely sparing them from Nazi concentration camps. He did this and was promised that the family would never contact him. Because of Yudin's kindness, the Penzias family made it to North America. One of the sons, Arno, became the physicist that discovered the Cosmic Microwave Background one of the strongest pieces of evidence supporting the Big Bang Theory, for which he won the Nobel Prize. Arno's son David recently came across some old family papers, including a copy of the affidavit from Yudin and all the bank papers he provided to certify it. David did some sleuthing and contacted Yudin's family; the families got together and exchanged memories. "None of these people would exist today without Barnet Yudin," said David, referring to Arno's family and emphasizing the difference that Yudin's choice made. Read Full Story.

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COMMUNITY

How Houston Moved 25,000 People From The Streets Into Homes Of Their Own

How Houston Moved 25,000 People From The Streets Into Homes Of Their Own

Luke van Zyl | Unsplash

During the last decade, Houston, the United States' fourth most populous city, has moved more than 25 thousand people experiencing homelessness directly into apartments and houses. The overwhelming majority of them have remained housed after two years. The number of people deemed homeless in the Houston region has been cut by 63% since 2011. The city has gotten this far by teaming with county agencies and persuading scores of local service providers, corporations, and nonprofits to row together in unison. Together, they have gone all in on "housing first," a practice supported by decades of research, that moves the most vulnerable people straight from the streets into apartments, not into shelters, and without first requiring them to wean themselves off drugs or complete a 12-step program or find God or a job. "Before I leave office, I want Houston to be the first big city to end chronic homelessness," said Houston mayor Sylvester Turner. Turner recently joined Harris County officials in unveiling a $100 million plan that would use a mix of federal, state, county, and city funds to cut the local homeless count in half again by 2025. Read Full Story.

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