Archive for Youth

Films tell stories of compassion at Seattle event

 Submitted by What’s Good 206

If you let a community tell its own stories, what do you hear?

During Seattle’s Compassion Games, independent filmmakers brought us stories of a neighborhood coming together around a community garden, a community formed around an all-night diner, and a community of dancers that became family for a Seattle newcomer.

 

These and about a dozen other films were shown during an event called, “A Story Runs Through It, ” which was hosted by Seattle International Film Festival during Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest.

Scott Macklin, event organizer and filmmaker,  said the easy availability of technology has returned the power of story-telling to the community.

“I can make a life-changing, world-altering film with just this,” he said, holding up a smart phone.

“But the fundamental key then is still story. As a filmmaker, how do we suspend our own story so we can listen to and enter into (another’s story),  and in that… create the possibility of cross cultural understanding (that becomes) a way to  nurture, build and create significant change and social justice?”

Video produced by What’s Good 206,  Seattle’s source for youth driven media and information.

Help plant a garden of compassion at Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club

By Jon Ramer

 

The Rainier Vista Boys and Girls Club needs you.

Dedicated school chef Patrice Freeman shops the sales to feed her hungry troupe, but she has a dream, to feed her boys and girls with fresh fruit and vegetables from a bountiful school garden. She has the space, and she’s looking for donations of soil and the materials to create eight to 10 large planters for the garden and fill them with rich planting soil for the 2013 spring and summer.

The club is budget challenged. On the day of our visit, we dropped off a ream of copy paper because the club had run out. But it serves a great need. And now it needs our help.

 

‘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.

Smarter & more compassionate schools? Yes we can!


Submitted by What’s Good 206

Build more compassionate schools by combining students of different ages in the classroom, and fully integrating schools, says a 17-year-old high school senior who has written a book advocating overhaul of the educational system.

In this video produced by What’s Good 206, Nikhil Goyal also advises educators to start treating students respectfully and invite them into the conversation about their education.

Directed by
AUSTIN WILLIAMS
Hosted by
STARLA SAMPACO
Edited by
ALYSSA PIRAINO

Operation Compassion: How to radically change the story

Submitted by What’s Good 206

It was a chance encounter with a homeless man that that led University of Washington student Daniel Nguyen to start Operation Compassion last year.
It began when an apparently homeless man, a regular Daniel had seen for weeks, boarded his bus and asked him for spare change.
Like many of us, Daniel’s first response was, “I don’t have any.”
But it didn’t end there, and what Daniel Nguyen found out about Reggie, the man on the bus, blew away his preconceived notions of community and launched him on a life-changing crusade.
Warning: this story might do the same for you.

The spotlight is on Daniel Nguyen, a UW sophomore who started operation compassion.
Hosted by Kumar Nessenbaum
Directed by Austin Williams
Edited by Austin Williams & Alyssa Piraino
Camera operator: Austin Williams & Alyssa Piraino

For more information on What’s Good 206, see the website www.whatsgood206.org
Daniel’s blog can be found here.

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.


“I Wasn’t Arrested That Day, I Was Really Rescued!”

Here is a story of compassion that is so needed at this time as we support our police force to think differently about how they relate to their fellow citizens.  Imagine if it was your job to arrest people. How would you relate to the people you’re arresting? What does it mean to treat those who are being arrested with compassion?

A few weeks ago I was witness to an uncanny event that helped shed light on these questions. While attending a meeting focused on the Safe Communities program, I met Pastor Ray Rogers from Rose Prayer Christian Ministries and Harry Bailey, a senior policy adviser to the Mayor of Seattle.

At some point in the meeting, Pastor Rogers realized that Harry, who was sitting across from him, was the man he’d wanted to see for over 20 years. It turns out that, as a youth, Ray Rogers sold narcotics to Harry Bailey, then working as an undercover cop. Harry, fulfilling his duty as an officer, arrested Ray.

But instead of an arrest that might have left Ray as a young man shamed or angry, something profoundly different happened between the two men that day. As Ray explains it, Harry Bailey treated Ray with dignity and said six words that left such a lasting impression on him, that it helped turn his whole life around. Watch the video to hear the whole story and find out what those six words were. Find out why Ray says today with such conviction that “there’s a reason why everything happens in our life.”

Pastor Ray Rogers tells his story publicly at a rally organized by Standing in the Gap Seattle last Saturday with Harry Bailey in attendance.  Watch the short video of Pastor Ray sharing his story and challenging us to get off the “couch of do nothing” and to come out and make a difference.  When I called Harry to get his permission to share this video he told me that he was hopeful that other police officers would see the video and see the difference that they can make in a young person’s life.

Leave your comments below and tell us what you think about Ray’s story. What can you do to “get off the couch” as Ray suggests? Tell us what compassionate action you’re committed to do today to make a difference in someone’s life.

Do you have a story of compassion to share? We want others to know about the goodness and kindness that exists here in our community. Click here to learn how you can submit your story to the Compassion Games.