A Single Mother Of Twelve: A Story Of Family And Community

In response to my story in the Star Tribune about fatherless youth in Minneapolis, a reader sent me her own story of growing up in a single-parent home. Teresa was one of nine kids who her mom cared for in the 1950s and 60s.  Combined from two letters Teresa wrote to me, please enjoy her touching story of…
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How You Can Help Lives In The Inner-city, Too

“While reading I kept thinking ‘I wish there were more ways to support and to help these organizations who are trying to make a difference.’” -Dianne My article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune last Sunday drew a lot of attention to the great work being done by area nonprofits helping inner-city residents make a better…
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Packaging Meals For Hungry People Around The World

On Monday I documented (and helped) students from my school as they volunteered a shift packaging meals for the organization Feed My Starving Children. The nonprofit uses donations to send small, nutrient-rich meal packets to places in the world short on food. Deserving of a longer story, I’ll just offer a few interesting points right now.…
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On Charity…and Two Worthy Of Your Attention

The more I stay involved with organizations that exist to serve others, the more I realize the wisdom we’ve all heard throughout our lives about the benefits of doing so. I have a dear friend who, every week, serves at a church soup kitchen to feed the homeless. I know many men who offer their…
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Connections And Coincidence: Tomorrow I’m Taking Computers Back To The Third World

In the 90s, a Minnesotan family by the name of Jacobson was in central Tanzania on a mission trip through their Lutheran Church. While there in the empty, hilly, rocky farmland of East Africa, their adolescent son befriended a local boy by the name of Evaristo. The boys stayed friends through their teenage years–whether together or apart.…
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Goodbye, East African Village School

As a boy in northern Minnesota, we’d drive down to “the cities” on special occasions. On the way, we’d often stop halfway at a city called Brainerd. Back then, you had to drive through the city because there was no bypass. Mom-n-pop shops through downtown Brainerd were the roadside attractions, and a McDonald’s or gas…
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A School Without Computers

As you may have read earlier this month, I was asked to help a school in Tanzania, Africa raise money for computers. I met the founder of the school, Evaristo Sanga, about a year ago and spoke with him about how I could help out. The short, stocky Tanzanian man said, “We need computers.” We agreed…
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A Neighborhood Boy With No Parents Around

Last night I was walking home when a faint voice got my attention. I looked toward the houses on my left and saw a boy looking at me sitting on the steps of a house. “What’s that?” I asked back. “You know what time it is?” he asked. “8:30”, I responded to the young man…
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Charity And The Little League World Series

A Little League team from Uganda is the first ever from Africa to reach the final tournament at Williamsport, Pennsylvania. For these boys, it’s a whole new world: the crowds in the stands, the national media, the luxury of their lodgings. Along with their countryfolk behind them, the team from Uganda had the continent of Africa…
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Front And Center

China, like anywhere, is a land of economic disparity. Recently, I had an interesting illustration of this. It got me thinking of why such “unfairness” exists. It starts with the bus stops in Zhuhai. They are busy places where people carry change. Soooooooo, looks like we got ourselves a hotspot for folks looking for some…
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