I love to read stories of how people triumph in the face of tragedy. When her sister died because of complications from pregnancy, Robin Lim decided to become a midwife so that she could offer solutions for expectant mothers in Indonesia. She’s been honored as a CNN hero.
Jeff Parness is the founder of New York Says Thank You, this week’s CNN Hero. Every year on September 11, a group of volunteers mobilizes to aid those who have been impacted by disaster, in tribute to all of the volunteers from across the nation who assisted at the scene of ground zero. As the years pass, more and more volunteers who have been helped assist with the current crisis.
This week, CNN profiled the work of Diane Latiker. Diane Latiker is a mother and grandmother who was concerned about the toll that violence was taking on the children in her community. Her mother noticed the natural ease that she had with adolescents and suggested that Latiker get involved in work to help youth. The result was Kids off the Block (KOB), a safe zone for community youth that started in her home and now has moved over to the building next door. KOB offers mentoring, homework assistance and a place where kids can escape the pressures and issues that plague their neighborhood. The film below shows a memorial that Latiker set up in front of the community center to represent the young people in the community lost to gun violence since 2007. Although she has over 200 stones in the memorial, 150 stones have yet to be installed.
Have you ever heard about someone doing something so great that you had to pass it on? Yesterday, I learned the story of Bruno Serato, who is the owner of the Anaheim White House Restaurant in Anaheim, CA and one of CNN’s Heroes. He serves gourmet meals during the day, but in the evening, he serves young kids at the local Girls and Boys Club who live in motels with their families. While his mother was visiting the states from Italy, she witnessed the living conditions of the young people and the fact that they did not have a proper meal to eat and she told her son that he must feed those children. So he does, even in the face of losses he has suffered due to the dismal effects of the recession in Orange County. He feeds the children fresh, handmade pasta and sauces, not leftovers, and he says that while he shoulders the expense of providing these meals, he would not sleep at night if the kids didn’t eat. The next time I’m in Southern California, I hope I can get a table at that restaurant.