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Karuna News

"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible." --H.H Dalai Lama

Hello everyone! This week, we learn about a New York woman, who, after passing away, eliminated medical debts through a generous legacy and changed many lives. A migrant, having finally crossed the border in Arizona after many days on foot, gave up his dreams for a better life and stayed with a 9-year-old boy until help arrived, after which he was sent back over the border. And a high-tech shirt lets deaf and hard of hearing people ‘hear’ music. All around us, in our everyday, ordinary lives, people are doing generous and kind acts that are contributing to the well-being of others. May this light bring us joy and peace this week! Wishing you well!

EVERYDAY HEROES

A Migrant Crossed The Border And Found A Scared, 9-year-old Arizona Boy Alone In The Desert. The Encounter Changed Them Both

A Migrant Crossed The Border And Found A Scared, 9-year-old Arizona Boy Alone In The Desert. The Encounter Changed Them Both

Brandon Davis | Unsplash

Sixteen years ago, on Thanksgiving Day, Manuel Cordova, a migrant from Mexico, made a fateful choice: upon encountering a 9-year-old boy alone in the Arizona desert, he gave up on the dream that had taken him across the border into the US. He chose helping this child over trying to stay in the US. The boy, Chris Buchleitner, and his mother had been on a camping trip. She lost control of their van and was seriously injured in the rollover accident; she was still breathing but was trapped in the van. Buchleitner and Cordova were able to communicate and when Cordova understood the situation, he chose to stay with the boy and try to get help for his mother. He lit a fire and waited for help to come; Chris' mother died during the night. When authorities came, Cordova was arrested and returned to Mexico. After returning to Mexico, Cordova was briefly flown back to the US to be recognized for his selfless choice and lauded as a hero. His life in Mexico took a different trajectory as a result of the encounter: he got off drugs, got closer to his family, and started working to pay child support. Buchleitner grew up with his aunt's family in Pennsylvania. He is now a nurse working with cardiac patients. The boy who survived is now helping to save the lives of others. Read Full Story.

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TECHNOLOGY

High Tech Shirt Lets Deaf And Hard Of Hearing People Feel The Music

High Tech Shirt Lets Deaf And Hard Of Hearing People Feel The Music

Cute Circuit

A pilot program at the Lyric Opera of Chicago is trying on a new approach for deaf and hard-of-hearing people to experience opera: the SoundShirt, a jacketlike garment that lets them feel the music. "This was an opportunity to have a physical relationship with the music being performed, and that gets to the very heart of opera," said Lyric general director Anthony Freud. Lyric's SoundShirt project was launched in partnership with the city of Chicago's Mayor's Office for People With Disabilities, but the shirt was designed by CuteCircuit, a London-based wearable technology design firm whose other primary product is a HugShirt, which transmits virtual hugs between distant friends. The Lyric has 10 SoundShirts, with plans to ramp up to 15. Read Full Story.

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EVERYDAY HEROES

His Mobile Medical Clinic Serves Remote Villages In Ghana

His Mobile Medical Clinic Serves Remote Villages In Ghana

OKB Hope Foundation

Growing up in a small village in southern Ghana, seeing family and neighbors struggle to access basic health care, Osei Boateng decided he would make it his life's mission to bring health care to remote communities in Ghana. He started OKB Hope Foundation, and in 2021, converted a van into a mobile doctor's office which travels several times a week to remote communities to provide free routine medical care. The Hope Health Van has served more than 4,000 Ghanaians across more than 45 rural communities, while 20 volunteers trained as local health advocates have helped more than 1,000 people. Last year, he and his organization launched an initiative to integrate mental health into their care and destigmatize getting help. Boateng, a CNN Hero, thinks his model can be used across Sub-Saharan Africa. Read Full Story.

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EVERYDAY HEROES

NY Woman Clears Millions Of Dollars Of Other People's Medical Debt -- After Dying Of Cancer

NY Woman Clears Millions Of Dollars Of Other People's Medical Debt -- After Dying Of Cancer

Alexander Grey | Unsplash

When Casey McIntyre was planning her own memorial service, she decided she didn't want it to be all doom and gloom. The 38-year-old New Yorker had stage four ovarian cancer. And as her condition worsened, she knew she'd soon be leaving behind her husband and 18-month-old daughter. But, she also decided to leave behind a legacy – one that would change the lives of Americans saddled with hospital bills they couldn't afford to pay. "Casey is a very joyous person and we wanted there to be an element of joy to the ceremony. And we had this idea for, you know: What if we raise money to relieve debt?" McIntyre died on November 12. Two days later, her husband posted a statement on her social media accounts asking people to donate to RIP Medical Debt, a US charity that buys up health-care debt and destroys it. As of the publication date of the story, her online fundraiser had collected more than $800,000. The charity says that is enough to wipe out $80 million in medical debt across the US. Read Full Story.

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ENVIRONMENT

How Refugees Are Helping Amsterdam Become One Of The First Circular Cities

How Refugees Are Helping Amsterdam Become One Of The First Circular Cities

Oliver Balch

The United Repair Center is the latest venture in Amsterdam's efforts to become one of the world's first fully circular cities. Set up last September with support from the city government and outdoor clothing brand Patagonia, the center employs around 20 full-time workers to repair ripped or broken clothing that would otherwise be dumped in the bin. Run as a for-profit social enterprise, the center's goals are as much social as they are circular. Everyone on the company's books is an economic migrant or refugee – or, as the initiative's Brazilian co-founder, Thami Schweichler, prefers to say, a "newcomer." Some employees come with prior tailoring experience and on-the-job training is provided for those who don't. Currently, the center is repairing about 25,000 items per year, which would otherwise be thrown away. Plans are in the works to open a second facility in the UK city of Leeds. Read Full Story.

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