Support People Doing Good Work

I recently had a woman sign up for a workshop with me for the second time…a return customer! In my participant questionnaire, I ask people why they have decided to join us at a workshop. Her response was inspiring to me. She said “I just want to be reminded that there are good people in the world doing good things!” What a great thing to remember.

It’s very true that there are good people in the world doing good things and I want to introduce you to some of them. You may already know them, about them, or about what they are doing, but that’s not going to stop me from telling you again! ­čÖé

Kelly Lerner

Named one of the top ten green architects in 2005 by Natural Home and Garden Magazine, Kelly has long focused her work on healthy architecture and living. She is the coauthor of Natural Remodeling for the Not-So-Green House for which she and the coauthor were Nautilus Book Awards Finalists in 2007. Kelly has done a lot of good over the years in her design work, but perhaps nothing more inspiring than building environmentally healthy and safe homes in China and around the world. In fact, Kelly has helped to build over 600 straw bale homes in China, a deed that has not gone unrecognized. In 2005, she was awarded the World Habitat Award by the United Nations recognizing her work in China. She continues to inspire people both at home with her business One World Design Architecture, and around the world with her acts of kindness and bold support of healthy habitats. Please visit her website and consider supporting her work.

Builders Without Borders

Builders Without Borders has worked and continues to work all over the world to help people in need of healthy and safe habitat. They are a group of ecological builders who are committed to bringing their collective wisdom on affordable and environmentally responsible building materials like straw, earth and more to the people who need it most. They were established in 1999 and have built homes by means of workshops and collaborations with other organizations in Mexico, Israel, South Africa, Siberia, Mongolia, on Native American land, and now in Haiti.

As you know, Haiti was ravaged by a devastating earthquake in January of 2010. Many, many people were killed, often as the result of inadequate housing that collapsed on top of them. Builder Andy Mueller and architect Martin Hammer have set out to put the meaning of shelter back into the housing in Haiti. They are currently in Haiti building and you can support their efforts directly by making a tax deductible donation to this amazing organization by visiting their donation page here.

Pakistan Straw Bale and Appropriate Building

I have written recently about the great work PAKSBAB is doing in Pakistan. Inspired to bring earthquake safe and environmentally sound housing to the people of Pakistan after the devastating Kashmir earthquake of 2005, PAKSBAB has continued to implement safe and healthy housing for more and more people. Not only do they provide amazing straw bale homes for the people of Pakistan, giving them a safe, resilient, and healthy home to live in, but they also train the people directly to build their own homes. This skill quickly becomes the possibility of a trade, providing work for a region in need of stability on many fronts. You can donate to them by clicking here which will take you to their partner in this endeavor, Builders Without Borders. Your donation is tax deductible and is used as described on the PAKSBAB website as follows:

Your donation provides the following materials for a 576 sq. ft. house:
$50 Bamboo
$100 Fishing net
$200 Rice Straw
$500 Lumber
$2500 Complete building material package
$5000 Turnkey house, including materials, labor and overhead

Perhaps you know of someone else doing great work in the world. If there is someone you would like me to recognize, please tell me about them. Just like my friend Gretchen who is coming back to a workshop to be inspired again, I love hearing stories of inspiration and good. I struggle to watch the news these days as so much seems to be aimed at pointing out what is wrong in the world. I like to focus on what is good, no…what is great in the world. I believe that what we focus on is what we create. Let’s shine a bright light on all things great in the world! In tune with that idea, here’s a website dedicated to POSITIVE news. That’s the direction I’m talking about. Click here to check it out.

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