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Jan 27, 2021 Read in Browser

Karuna News

Innovation is exhilarating, and in times of adversity, such a process takes on much deeper dimensions. When a sense of shared humanity melds with ingenuity, the constellations of compassion that pour forth unearth new grounds of possibility. This week, from a NYC penthouse to the streets of Detroit, from mass vaccinations to health insurance options and beyond, we are humbled by the power of caring to generate innovations that were never impossible, but simply required a lens of empathy and collective solidarity to surface into our line of sight.

COMMUNITY

Residents Of NYC Building Gift Penthouse To Rent To Housecleaner Who Worked There For 20 Years

Residents Of NYC Building Gift Penthouse To Rent To Housecleaner Who Worked There For 20 Years

Pixabay. Audio: Listen Here.

In a New York City apartment complex, Rosa was a stable presence as the friendly, kind-hearted woman who cleaned the building for 20 years. Due to the pandemic, she was furloughed but kept showing up to work. Unable to pay her rent, she lost her apartment and moved in with her sister. The building residents had grown so fond of her over the years that they decided to collectively chip in to pay two years' worth of the building's penthouse rent for her to live there. Realtors brought her to the empty apartment, which Rosa thought she was being asked to clean before a showing. After showing her the place, they unveiled the surprise and apartment keys and, as Rosa's eyes widened in disbelief, they added, "We've really appreciated everything you've done ... and we just wanted to say thank you." Read Full Story.

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EVERYDAY HEROES

How A Detroit Environmentalist Turns Chip Bags Into Sleeping Bags For The Homeless

How A Detroit Environmentalist Turns Chip Bags Into Sleeping Bags For The Homeless

Eradajere Oleita. Audio: Listen Here.

Before you throw out that empty bag of chips you just finished, maybe reconsider. That bag could possibly be used to make sleeping bags for people who are experiencing homelessness. Eradajere Oleita, a Detroit-based environmental artist, collects used chip bags and transforms them into sleeping bags. The idea came to 25-year-old, Nigerian-born Oleita a few months ago, when she came across a Facebook video of a woman in England showing viewers how to iron chip bags together to make sleeping bags. The project combines her love of sustainability and community. Read Full Story.

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NEWS

Jordan Becomes First Country In The World To Vaccinate Refugees

Jordan Becomes First Country In The World To Vaccinate Refugees

AFP. Audio: Listen Here.

When Jordan's vaccination program rolled out on Wednesday, January 13, it also became the first nation in the world to give the Covid-19 vaccine to refugees. "The country has included refugees in every aspect of the public health response to the pandemic, including the national vaccination campaign, proving how it should be done if we are to keep everyone safe," stated Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Jordan intends to vaccinate at 20-25 percent of its population with the coronavirus vaccine, and refugees and asylum seekers can receive it free of charge. The country hosts 744,795 refugees, over 650,000 of them from Syria. Read Full Story.

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YOUTH

This 12-year-old's Bold Mission? To Get Laptops To Students In Need.

This 12-year-old's Bold Mission? To Get Laptops To Students In Need.

Ann Hermes | CS Monitor. Audio: Listen Here.

Daisy Hampton, 12 years old, is a girl with a mission; when she sees problems, she jumps in to solve them. Daisy formed an organization called “Including You” whose initial focus was providing friendship and mentorship for children with disabilities. Then, shortly into the pandemic, Daisy became aware of how many kids lacked access to laptop computers and hot spots that would allow them to engage in remote learning. Daisy got busy, and she and her mom Jennifer have now distributed 150-175 laptops. She works on Including You every day, delivering laptops, communicating with those seeking devices, writing thank you notes to donors and posting on social media to raise funds. Daisy said, “I’ve learned how these little issues I notice can make big differences in people’s lives. I think that, if you have the right motivation, the right inspiration, you can do it -- at any age.” Read Full Story.

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RESOURCES

U.S. Health Insurance Companies Add Food To Coverage Menu

U.S. Health Insurance Companies Add Food To Coverage Menu

Dan Gold | Unsplash. Audio: Listen Here.

When the coronavirus pandemic first hit the United States, one health insurance company called up its customers with a question: Do you have enough to eat? "We’ve seen time and again the lack of good and nutritional food causes members to get readmitted [to hospitals]," Oscar Health executive Ananth Lalithakumar explained. As the pandemic sends millions of Americans to food banks or neighborhood pantries, insurers and bill payers have been setting up programs to help their members buy healthy food, treating food as a form of medicine that can help reduce blood sugar and blood pressure and avoid expensive stays in the hospital. "People are finally getting comfortable with the idea that everybody saves money when you prevent certain things from happening or somebody’s condition from worsening,” said Andrew Shea, a senior vice president with the online insurance broker eHealth. In 2019, a study of Massachusetts residents with similar medical conditions found that those who received meals tailored to their condition had fewer hospital admissions and generated less healthcare spending than those who did not. The Medicare Advantage specialist Humana started giving some customers with low incomes debit cards ranging from $25 to $50 to help them purchase healthy food. Later this month, the insurer will also begin testing meal deliveries. Read Full Story.

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