Dear --FNAME--,

The new commendations are in the mail, honoring the brave, caring people you'll meet here.

It's the best part of this job – telling newly found heroes that they're Capital-G Giraffes, and sending you their stories.

Enjoy. Bask in the light that their actions cast in the darkness that sometimes seems overwhelming.

Send that light on to anyone you know who could use a spark of hope and a dose of inspiration. That might be everybody you know!

As long as there are Giraffes, there's hope—Ann Medlock, Founder

These are "teasers," quick looks at the new Giraffes.
For each full story, click on the name (in blue)
and you'll be transported instantly to our free online database
There, you'll also find a link to each Giraffe's website, if there is one.
It's a way you can keep track of them in the future,
and support their work if you choose to.

Benji Becker, a student at the U of Washington, has been an active political conservative since he bugged his parents to put out McCain For President yard signs. Since then, he's argued politics with many a liberal teacher and spoken about free speech issues at national conventions of conservatives. Then he started speaking out for the environment, urging conservatives to join him in being an ardent conservationist. Former friends and allies dropped away. He's taking flak from both left and right, but he's undaunted, talking environment to Republican National Committee members, to White House staffers, and pushing his student group, the American Conservation Coalition, on dozens of campuses. Becker is determined to get his fellow young conservatives on the right side of saving the earth.
Melissa Bime was fitting into Cameroon's idea of a proper job for a young woman – being a nurse. But the teen-aged nurse-in-training could see that patients were dying for lack of a speedy, well-managed system for blood donations. So she created one. Now in her 20s, Bime has overcome cultural superstitions about blood and about the proper roles for young women to create Infiuss, a service that's greatly increased blood donations and decreased the time it takes to get the right blood to the right hospital – from a week to about an hour. Now she's looking at up-leveling the entire national health care system.

When he was a young priest Gregory Boyle was assigned to a tough part of Los Angeles and soon realized that more was needed there than Sunday services. Gang warfare was rampant and he was holding far too many funeral services for boys and young men. Hope was in desperately short supply and Boyle set out to change that, starting with a bakery that grew into Homeboy Industries, now the largest and most successful gang rehab program in the world. He's overcome opposition from the police who thought he was aiding and abetting the gangs, constant struggles to raise enough money to keep the operation going, and for the last decade, his own leukemia.

Louis de Cordier is Giraffe Hero 001 of Giraffe Heroes Europe, the new operation based in Basel, Switzerland. When he was a young, successful artist in his native Belgium, de Cordier redirected his life to take on huge challenges of the past, the present and the future, in Spain, in Egypt and in the world. In the Egyptian desert he's gone into an area where archeologists have been killed to prove that a labyrinth full of ancient texts and art exists under the sand and to arrange for its excavation. In Spain, he's training sustainable farmers, including beekeepers, and he's creating an underground repository for all the knowledge humanity has acquired since the burning of the library of Alexandria. 

Dave and Elizabeth Cutlip are co-founders of Redemption Tattoos, a free service of the tattoo parlor they own near Baltimore, Maryland. It all started when a reformed skinhead asked Dave, an accomplished skin artist, to remove a Nazi tattoo that no longer represented the man's view of life. The Cutlips referred him to a laser surgeon but later, Elizabeth had an idea. Dave couldn't remove such a tattoo but he could create an art design that could change it to something beautiful. Such designs usually cost a fortune, but the Cutlips offered the service – free – to people who have sincerely turned away from lives of hate. Their online offer evoked thousands of requests; Dave is doing as many as he can, as quickly as he can.

Seattle high school student Janet Margolin founded Zero Hour, a round-the-clock effort to protect Earth's environment. She went into action soon after the US withdrew from the Paris climate agreement and has organized marches, voter-registrations, town hall speak-outs, and lobbying efforts in her own country and also in Europe, Asia and Australia. In her home state, Washington, she's part of a law suit that accuses the state government of not doing enough to protect the air that she and her fellow Washingtonians are breathing.

When New Mexican Akilah Sanders-Reed was a college student in Minnesota, she organized a group of young people to mount a legal challenge to a Canadian corporation that was proposing a pipeline for tar sands that would cut through hundreds of miles of Minnesota wetlands and wilderness. She and her Youth Climate Intervenors did research, developed arguments, recruited witnesses, and practiced cross-examining. Their work was so impeccable, a government commission and a judge agreed that the young people should be given "standing" in the matter, the right to present their case formally against the pipeline. It was a first for environmental groups in the US.

Emil Rustige, Giraffe Hero 002 of Giraffe Heroes Europe, was all of 7 when he decided that grownups' concern about kids spending too much time online was not as big a problem as adults themselves being constantly on their phones. Emil organized a demonstration in Hamburg, Germany, rallying kids to make signs ("Play with me – not your phone!"). They then took to the streets in protest of their parents' preoccupation with those tiny screens. You can watch a video of the march that went viral across the world because a 7-year-old thought something should be done.

We hope these Giraffe Heroes made your day.
These rare emails give you the new Giraffes. 
To meet more real heroes, do LIKE Giraffe Heroes on Facebook,
where we post Giraffe stories every day
from the vast storybank we've created over the decades.
That storybank is on our website,
along with all the other freebies we've created over the years,
all yours for the taking. 
You'll like it all. We promise. ​​​​​​​
PO Box 759 Langley, WA 98260
Phone: 360-221-7989  |  Fax: 360-221-7817