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Sep 1, 2021 Read in Browser

Karuna News

What does it mean to be free? In this week’s Karuna News, we travel to Germany and celebrate refugee women’s success in learning how to ride bicycles, an exercise that had been dangerous in their home countries and many had been forbidden to do growing up. In New York, we are moved by a wealthy couple’s decision to pay off their employees’ student loans, freeing 83 individuals from the burden of debt. These stories share a common theme of personal freedom and how it emerges across a large spectrum of compassionate acts towards oneself or towards others.

ARTS

Melbourne ICU Nurse Tracks Down The Wiggles To Save COVID-19 Patient

Melbourne ICU Nurse Tracks Down The Wiggles To Save COVID-19 Patient

Sharon McCutcheon | Unsplash

An intensive care nurse at the Royal Melbourne Hospital has gone above the call of duty, personally tracking down Australian children's music group, The Wiggles, to help save his patient suffering from COVID-19. Sarah Kelly, who has Down syndrome, is on track to getting out of the hospital after watching the how-to message from her favorite musical group. When the 22-year-old was admitted to the Royal Melbourne Hospital struggling to breathe with COVID-19 last month, she refused to have oxygen tubes put in. With her condition rapidly deteriorating, nurse Steven Moylan - who has a brother with an intellectual disability – had an idea. He saw she watched The Wiggles non-stop on her iPad and wondered if he could get The Wiggles to wear the nasal prongs, whether Sarah would follow suit. He persevered to find the Wiggles and they got right on the task of recording a video for Sarah. The gambit worked; after seeing The Wiggles wearing nasal prongs, Sarah allowed prongs to be put on her. Read Full Story.

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EVERYDAY HEROES

She Was Low On Cash, So She Sewed Her Son A Birthday Gift. When She Posted It Online, People Flooded The Boy With Gifts.

She Was Low On Cash, So She Sewed Her Son A Birthday Gift. When She Posted It Online, People Flooded The Boy With Gifts.

Jason Leung | Unsplash

Tiffany Holloway's son Jonas is obsessed with everything ocean-related, so she wasn't surprised when he asked for a plush Manta Ray for his 5th birthday. Holloway couldn't afford to buy a plush manta ray, so she got right to work sewing one. Made from Jonas' old baby blanket and with buttons from one of her blouses for eyes, this manta ray was hand-made with love. Proud of her handiwork, Holloway posted a picture of it on Reddit and was overwhelmed with the responses. Thus far she has received 150 plush manta rays for Jonas; generous strangers also donated tickets to a nearby aquarium and zoo for fun birthday experiences. People donated $1,500 to help Holloway pay her tuition and someone started a GoFundMe page to help the family get caught up on their bills. "It's not about presents and money. It's about kindness and humanity. The people who saw my post are a lot like me – they're not well-off. But they came forward to lift us up and make a dream true. We'll carry that happy feeling with us," said Holloway. Read Full Story.

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BUSINESS

New York Business Owners Pay Off Student Debt For 83 Employees

New York Business Owners Pay Off Student Debt For 83 Employees

Ed Mitzen, the owner of a successful marketing firm, and his wife Lisa gifted $30,000 to each of their employees with student loans, giving away a total of $4 million to over 130 employees. Ed, reflecting on his own struggles with college loans, explains that his employees deserve to be rewarded for their hard work. "I don't want people thinking I'm asking them to work hard so I can go buy a boat," he says. Read Full Story.

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INSPIRATION

Australian Farmer Draws Heart With Sheep In Tribute To His Aunt

Australian Farmer Draws Heart With Sheep In Tribute To His Aunt

khoinguyenfoto | Pixabay

Ben Jackson was 248 miles away in New South Wales when he heard that his Aunt Debby lost her two-year battle with cancer in Queensland. Due to travel restrictions, Jackson was unable to attend the funeral to say goodbye. So instead he used carefully placed grains to the flock of sheep on his pasture in the shape of a heart and captured the scene with an aerial drone. "I felt hopeless, helpless -- I didn't really know what to do. But because I was doing a bit of feeding already," Jackson said, "I just decided to do a massive heart on the ground, which in all earnest pales in comparison to hers." Jackson sent the video to his relatives, where they played the Simon and Garfunkel classic "Bridge Over Troubled Water," one of his aunt's all-time favorite songs, over the video. Jackson's sheep tribute went viral, bringing smiles to many. "She would be proud as punch to see so many people smiling and enjoying the heart I've made for her. It's just love. Love's sensational." Read Full Story.

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COMMUNITY

'A Beautiful Feeling': Refugee Women In Germany Learn To Ride Bikes

'A Beautiful Feeling': Refugee Women In Germany Learn To Ride Bikes

Zhivko Dimitrov | Pixabay

Freedom comes in many forms, and for some refugees in Germany, it takes the form of a bicycle. Across 15 locations in Berlin and Brandenburg, Bikeygees' volunteers help women learn not only how to ride bicycles, but also to fix them. Beyond a sense of self-sufficiency, for some women who grew up in cultures where they were culturally prohibited to ride bicycles, it also represents a sense of equality and empowerment. Annette Krüger, Bikeygees' founder, recalls one student in her 60s who continued to practice through a bitter German winter saying, "This is a dream for me. I have been waiting my whole life to do this." Bikeygees is proof that it is possible to plant the seeds of change in a woman's life in as little as two hours. Every Bikeygee graduate rides off with a bike kit made up of a bike, helmet, bike lock and bike tools. Read Full Story.

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