Archive for “Do Good”

‘Kindness School’ builds strong academics with compassion

 Submitted by What’s Good 206

Strong academics are a byproduct of a good school.

That’s the model for Puget Sound Community School, which operates on the premise that students learn best when they are supported in their passions. And yes, they do take classes like pre-calculus and physics.

Teaching compassion and kindness are an essential part of that education, says founder Andy Smallman, who founded the school 19 years ago with his wife Melinda Shaw.

Hear students and teachers talk about this amazing school.

 

 

Hosted by John Ecklof
What’s Good 206 is Seattle’s youth media source.

Hope and pain through a social worker’s eyes

By Martha Hopler

As I head to the home of J. I feel a sense of urgency today is the day.  Today is the day I have waited for, for some time.  I have waited for the moment she is ready to head to re-hab.  I am very aware of the choices I have made to allow her to continue to care for her children while she chooses  to use drugs and alcohol to escape the realities of her difficult life.

As the social worker I live in the ever present tension of what is right for her kids and what she wants….  She on her own has finally said, “Yes I will go.”

I am grateful, for I am aware, that soon I would not have had the choice to place the children in protective custody and that would have been a new level of pain for all involved.  In this case, mom is making that very difficult decision,  and I have assisted in placing the two younger children with a family they are very familiar with and a family that mom trusts. She will start with detox and there she can have none of her children with her.  The older son was supposed to be at the grandmother’s home.  I am here to pick up J. and take her to what is hopefully going to be the beginning of new.

As I enter the home, the first thing I am aware of is the older son, R., sitting on the steps. He is 14 years old and cannot stay in the home alone.  In my head I start thinking of my options.  I say, “You will have to come with us.  I am taking your mom to the hospital.”

In reality I am buying time to figure out next steps.  I cannot leave him in the house alone.  He says quite loudly, “NO.”  I pass him on the stairs as I go to find him mom who is calling to me.  And then he states, “You do not  give a shit about me.” I stop and ask, “Why would you say that?”  He says “Because I am a black male.”  My heart breaks and my brain says, “Oh no, you didn’t….. I know this is a truth grounded in him for his whole life ….and it is a challenge to me — Will you be like every white social worker or person in the system and pass him by? Oh what to do?”

The next actions were not planned. They did not fit the “social work hand book,” nor would I brag of such an action in the next staff meeting, for it might be viewedas a very  bad idea.  I went to the pay phone passing several men doing drug business.  If I leave R. at the house he will be in this business soon I think…..he may already be.

I call my office hoping to connect with my supervisor who can give me some “good ideas” of the next thing to do. She is not there.  I cannot take mom to rehab and leave R. in the house. I then remember that due to R. not going to school there is a bench warrant for his arrest. I call the police. Again was not thinking this was the best action but I was just working toward the goal of getting him to leave the house.  The police come. R. comes with me to the van. He has calmed down, he has stopped yelling at me. He is terrified and rightly so.  A woman and a man get out of the van. Two police officers, looking like those  you have seen on TV,  tell him that they have the van, so they can arrest him if it comes to that.

The man grabs R. and starts to throw him up against the van.  I lost it again, not my finest moment, but no one was going to hurt R., that was not why I called the police.  I forgot for a moment that not all who are in power want the best for R., and he does represent men who have been portrayed as scary and dangerous. I grab the police offer by the shirt and say. “Do not hurt him. I called you but I am the one to deal with him.” He lets go of R. and turns to listen to me. I explained what I was needing and he  talked to me and the woman went and checked if the warrant was in the system.  It was not….I said thanks for your time and help they left and R. got in my car so I could take him mom to detox.

 

Looking for compassionate solutions to gun violence

Submitted by What’s Good 206

Why should you care about gun violence?

“It has no race, no creed, no age barriers. If it hasn’t affected you yet, it will if it continues.”

Stark words from one man interviewed in this array of community voices recorded at an anti-gun violence rally at Seattle’s Martin Luther King Memorial Park.

“It needs to be talked about among your family and friends,” says a police officer.

“We have to work to get the community out to say we’ve had enough of the gun violence and to mentor young men and older men and women on how to go through the healing process of having a son been a perpetrator and wrap our arms around them and say there’s healing,” says a pastor.

Listen closely. What you are hearing are solutions.

 

What’s Good 206 is Seattle’s source for youth driven media and information.

What’s good? Volunteers in record numbers show compassion

Submitted by What’s Good ‘206’?

Some painted walls, others cleaned a preschool inside and out. Others pulled yard cleanup duty. All told, there were more than 12,000 of them — people who came out on Sept. 21, United Way of King County’s biggest ever Day of Caring and the launch of the Compassion Games.

Take a look by the numbers:
  • Total volunteers: 12,122
  • Total companies represented: 138
  • Total projects completed: 448
  • Total hours of labor: 59,737
  • Total value of work: $1.3 million

It was also the first time Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest, sponsored by Compassionate Seattle, collaborated with United Way of King County to inspire people to help, heal and inspire the community. Sept. 21 was the kickoff date for the Compassion Games, which continue through Oct. 21, and include many ways to give back and celebrate the community we live in.

Listen as your community talks about how we could all become more compassionate, and what would encourage us to volunteer more.

This video was produced by Austin Williams and Alyssa Piraino of What’s Good ‘206’?, an organization that features young people producing stories about how their peers are doing good and compassionate service in the world and helping to shape the leaders of tomorrow.


“Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” — Your Compassion Games Begin!

The Games Begin!
A kind and understanding word, a generous act, the surprise of an unexpected gift, or the warmth of a smile…you’ve shared these acts of compassion as either the giver or receiver, probably many times. And while you may be facing one or many hardships, you have a dream within you that keeps you sharing acts of kindness despite signs that would have caused others to stop long ago.

And that’s why the Compassion Games were created! The Compassion Games were created for you and everyone else to win by realizing your dream for great kindness, empathy, and compassion for yourself, others, and your world. If you let it, playing the Compassion Games can make you stronger and alter what you think can be.

So, how will you live your dream for a better world? Will you Do Good and surprise someone you know with a random act of compassion? Will you Volunteer for a United Way service project? Will you Tell A Story of compassion? Or will you Get SuperBetter and complete your quests for the Epic Win and help make a Golden Reality where no one goes hungry and no one gives up?

In the end, you know deep in your heart that no one wins if someone loses. And you know deep in your heart that everything’s gonna be alright because you’re gonna make it alright.

So this is your moment to really shine! Play the Compassion Games and Go For the Gold! Together we can make this world a better, safer, kinder, and more just place to be. Let the Compassion Games begin!