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Sep 19, 2023 Read in Browser

Karuna News

“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” --Margaret Mead

Hello everyone! Caring for others gives us a sense of purpose, fulfillment and it has a positive impact in our world. Whether it is one family, a concerned group, or a country, our world is all the better when people engage with their hearts and commit to positive change. This week, our stories highlight a Texas family that chose to protect the ecosystem by selling their land to the state for further conservation rather than to develop it for profit (a difference of 100 million dollars!); a group of turtle hunters became turtle protectors, saving over 800 sea turtles; and Poland gives free laptops to all 4th graders in the country to support education. May we remember when we care, we truly can change the world. Wishing you well!

ENVIRONMENT

Texas Family Forgoes $100M To Protect A Crucial Ecosystem

Texas Family Forgoes $100M To Protect A Crucial Ecosystem

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Three decades ago, Ronnie and Terry Urbanczyk fell in love with the 245-acre Honey Creek Ranch in the wooded grasslands of western Comal County, Texas, and moved their family of five away from the bustle of San Antonio. Over the next 30 years, they grew the ranch to 750 acres. They had planned to build a large subdivision on their land that could have earned them $125 million, but in June, they accepted an offer from the state of Texas to buy 515 acres of the ranch for $25 million. "We've had a lot of fantastic memories out there and now the people in Texas are gonna get to really enjoy it for the next thousand years," says Ronnie."This acquisition is a wonderful example of what we can achieve through public-private partnerships and conservation-minded landowners who want to help preserve the last, best places in Texas for future generations," says David Yoskowitz of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Read Full Story.

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EVERYDAY HEROES

She's From Ukraine. He Was A Refugee. They Became Dedicated To Helping People Flee War -- And Saved 11

She's From Ukraine. He Was A Refugee. They Became Dedicated To Helping People Flee War -- And Saved 11

CBS News

Imagine escaping a war-torn nation and landing in a completely foreign environment where both the culture and language are unfamiliar. This is the reality that Orhan Veli, once a refugee himself, and his Ukrainian-born wife, Anastasiya Veli, are quite intimate with. Now, living comfortably in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, thanks to their thriving Saladworks business, the couple is on a mission to provide a new beginning for Ukrainian refugees. Driven by personal experiences and a deep understanding of the refugee journey, they've already saved eleven lives, including Anastasiya's niece and a single mother. They went far beyond providing a safe haven, helping the refugees integrate into American society by securing jobs, starting bank accounts, and even obtaining driver's licenses. Orhan says, "Having walked in those shoes, it made perfect sense to want to give somebody else those opportunities too." We say, it's an awe-inspiring ripple effect of kindness flourishing in the face of adversity. Read Full Story.

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YOUTH

A 17-Year-Old Scientist Creates Award-Winning Tool For Detecting Kawasaki Disease In Young Kids After Her Sister's Misdiagnosis

A 17-Year-Old Scientist Creates Award-Winning Tool For Detecting Kawasaki Disease In Young Kids After Her Sister's Misdiagnosis

Meet the remarkable Ellen Xu, a 17-year-old inventor from San Diego, who has made a significant stride towards early detection of Kawasaki disease in young kids. Inspired by her sister Kate's battle with the disease, her award-winning innovation is an algorithm that utilizes smartphone photos for diagnosing the disease. "What if we could help aid in the diagnosis of Kawasaki disease through differentiating it from its look-alike diseases?" pondered Xu. She taught her "convolutional neural network," a deep learning-based algorithm mimicking our eye functions, to differentiate this disease from its lookalikes. The invention won her third place and a prize of $150,000 at the prestigious Regeneron Science Talent Search. Embarking on her journey at Stanford University post-graduation, Xu hopes that her algorithm can change lives and curb medical misdiagnoses. Read Full Story.

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SCHOOLS

Poland Begins Giving Free Laptops To All Fourth Graders

Poland Begins Giving Free Laptops To All Fourth Graders

Ministerstwo Cyfryzacji

The Polish government has distributed the first 4,000 of almost 400,000 laptops it is providing to all pupils starting the fourth grade. The laptops, produced by Lenovo, HP, Dell, Asus and Acer, are covered by a 36-month warranty. Teachers will receive vouchers to buy laptops from government-approved vendors. The government also will provide high speed internet connections to 100,000 classrooms. "The free laptops program is an element of pro-family policy, because public services, including education, are a very important area of ‚Äč‚Äčlife," said deputy family and social policy minister Barbara Socha. Parents can agree with the school that the laptop will stay with the student for five years or agree that the laptop remains school property loaned to the student. Read Full Story.

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ENVIRONMENT

Meet The Mexican Family Who Gave Up Fishing To Monitor & Rescue Sea Turtles

Meet The Mexican Family Who Gave Up Fishing To Monitor & Rescue Sea Turtles

David Reynolds | Unsplash

From a former fisherman who was in the cruel business of turtle hunting for festivals, to becoming the captain of a conservation boat and starting a turtle preservation family, Cosme Becerra's journey is one that inspires admiration and respect. The 'Kino Bay Turtle Group', sustained largely by the Becerra family, has saved and collected data on over 800 sea turtles. Fast-forwarding to today, they juggle sustainable fishing with conservation efforts, educating younger generations about the importance of turtles and our role in saving them. As Cosme said, "Now we are trying to flip the coin over and -- with our work -- thank these species". Their drive has also led them to groom the next generation, training a team of Indigenous youth to establish their own turtle group. As fishers and caretakers, they serve as a beacon of hope for the turtles and the marine ecology at large. Read Full Story.

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