Reading the news in today’s world can really put a damper on things. Though newspapers make valiant attempts to break rays of sunshine through the ever-darkening clouds (e.g. recent photos featuring The World’s Smallest Puppy), environmental disasters, violent uprisings, and a downward spiraling economy make for an altogether depressing read. Were the Mayans right? Are we on the road to apocalyptic destruction?
Then I look again at the picture of the world’s smallest puppy and defiantly shake my head. Because all of this aside, today’s world has set the stage for social change. Geared with never before seen access to social technology and a globalized economy, people–young, old, rich, poor–are stepping up to help those in need.
A good sign of this trend is the fact that the phrases “global philanthropy” and “social entrepreneurship” are no longer confined to the nonprofit sector; these buzz words now pop up in publications like The New Yorker, Forbes, and the Wall Street Journal. Take LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman’s recent $1 million loan to Kiva, which led to widespread individual donations to impoverished business owners in 50 countries (totalling $875,000). Or Jeff Skoll, former president of Ebay, donating an estimated $1.2 billion to charity. Countless other celebrities and business leaders have joined in “celebrity philanthropy” together, making an unprecedented number of charitable donations worldwide.
A growing number of non-famous young millennials are gearing up to save the world, too. Last year’s World of Children Youth Honorees–Neha Gupta, Luke Lancaster, and Tatiana Grossman–have already made an unbelievable impact. Since 2005, Neha’s Empower Orphans has helped over 15,000 orphaned and underprivileged children in India; Luke’s Youth Training programs have reached 3,000 international youth; and Spread the Words, Tatiana’s African literacy project, has benefited 99 villages and primary schools with newly established libraries.
Signifying this growing philanthropic force, we received the largest number of nominations in our organization’s history this year – over 800 nominations for men and women working for the rights of children in over 100 countries globally. It’s going to be a tough choice, but we are excited to once again lend a helping hand to a new generation of World of Children Honorees!
As a final thought for combating bad news doldrums, think about how many amazing people, like our past Honorees, are working toward a better future by improving the lives of the children who shape it. We are incredibly happy to be a part of this exciting time in history, and wholeheartedly believe that the future looks brighter just over the horizon!