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Apr 14, 2021 Read in Browser

Karuna News

"To see things in the seed, that is genius," ancient philosopher, Lao Tzu, once said. So often, we rush about our days harvesting the "fruits" of efforts. Yet, the bounty of fruits is proportional to the quality of soil, water, sun and fertile conditions for seeds to take root. Sometimes, the simple kindness of a thoughtful word, an attentive presence, or an agendaless offering can unlock a vast strand of infinite potential slumbering in our midst. This week's stories remind us how a heart of caring can give us eyes of possibility, in all the configurations of situations and people that come our way. As the stories below illuminate: something boundlessly beautiful might just bloom.

ELDERS

Long Lost Pen Pals Reunited After 70 Years

Long Lost Pen Pals Reunited After 70 Years

John Jennings | Unsplash. Audio: Listen Here.

In 1950, Fred Heard from Klamath Falls, Ore., and Jim Johnston, from Belfast, Ireland, developed a pen-pal correspondence that went on for a couple months. They ended up losing touch for almost seven decades until Covid struck its magic wand and brought them back into each other's lives. “I never forgot the name,” said Jim. After learning of the pen-pal story and locating Fred Heard online, Jim’s family encouraged him to write Fred a letter. When Fred received Jim’s handwritten letter, “a big smile” emerged on his face. Fred reciprocated and wrote Jim a letter as well. Next, Jim and Fred found themselves re-initiating their pen-pal relationship and via Zoom together with their wives. Memories of the heart do seem to have the capacity to unfold in interesting ways over the course of our lives. Read Full Story.

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BUSINESS

In Canada, Edmonton Restaurant Gives Out 32,000 Free Meals During Covid-19 Pandemic

In Canada, Edmonton Restaurant Gives Out 32,000 Free Meals During Covid-19 Pandemic

Ron Mitra | Pixabay. Audio: Listen Here.

Last April, Edmonton restaurant Dil-E Punjab, started giving away 35 free meals a day for anyone who was hungry, no questions asked. Now, the restaurant hands out about 100 meals a day, and over the last year it has provided a total of 32,000 meals. Manager Sufyan Asif said, “It’s all simple, regular food rotated. Some kind of dahl, chana masala, naan, rice. Every day we have a different menu. All of the people, they send us blessings, [they may not] have any job right now, or don’t have any food, and they have a family of four or five people.” The cost of the meals are partially covered by community donations and provincial government assistance. Read Full Story.

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EVERYDAY HEROES

One Nation Trashes 100 Million Tires A Year. This NGO Turns Them Into Playgrounds.

One Nation Trashes 100 Million Tires A Year. This NGO Turns Them Into Playgrounds.

Anthill Creations. Audio: Listen Here.

Pooja Rai is the CEO of Anthill Creations, an Indian non-profit dedicated to creating playgrounds for children out of used tires. The mission was inspired by Rai’s visit to an orphanage while she was in architecture school; she saw children playing with anything they could find, some of which was unsafe. Since 2015, Rai has been consulting with children about their wants and needs and then designing playgrounds with re-purposed tires. With 800 volunteers, she has built 275 playscapes across India. Most of Anthill’s creations are funded by donors. India was the first country in the world to require that big businesses donate a portion of their profits to charity. Anthill helps match donors with projects to promote play among children and address an environmental issue with the tires. Read Full Story.

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SPORTS

First E-Racing Team Offers Virtual Freedom For Belgian Prisoners

First E-Racing Team Offers Virtual Freedom For Belgian Prisoners

Aditya Wardhana | Unsplash. Audio: Listen Here.

Sport can be virtual freedom for Belgian prisoners who join the first-ever e-racing team made up solely of inmates. Six people in Oudenaarde Prison will join "The Breakaway" team, competing against thousands of riders in the outside world on Zwift. Team members will remain anonymous and be judged only on their performances on the bike. “Sport makes you feel happy. Makes you feel free. You stop thinking about these walls, I’m going all out,” one prisoner said. Read Full Story.

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NEWS

This City Pays Homeless People To Clean Up After Themselves -- And It's Working

This City Pays Homeless People To Clean Up After Themselves -- And It's Working

Nathan Dumlao | Unsplash

Elk Grove, Calif., has landed on an effective solution for keeping homeless encampments clean: They are paying the residents to clean up the camps. “They actually don’t like to live like this, so having that sense of community and pride keeping their area clean has really shown,” said Jennifer McCue, Elk Grove Police Department Homeless Outreach Officer. Each time residents clean up their area and bag up trash for pickup, they can receive a $20 gift card from the city. “The cost of running this program for over a year has been under $10,000, when we might have run through that in one month previously just doing the regular cleanups,” said Sarah Bontrager, Elk Grove’s Housing and Public Services manager. Read Full Story.

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