This American nonprofit organization rewards people who stick their neck out for the common good. They become Giraffe Heroes and they can be young and old, near and far, rich and poor, and every skin color there is.
Why giraffes? Because they work with the motto “Stick your neck out” and because Giraffes, as you already know, make people smile and look again. They are hundreds of Giraffe Heroes in every US state and in 27 countries.
I clicked randomly on the alphabet and here are some Giraffes I discovered:
Postal worker John Eakin of Fort Wayne IN is a public health crusader. He’s endured blisters, shin-splints, rain, and aching muscles in his cross-country runs to bring attention and support to causes he believes in, including immunization of children around the world.
Andrei Terentyev, a lifeguard at a Moscow swimming pool, organized a team of volunteers who paid their own expenses to fly to Armenia and rescue people trapped in debris from an earthquake. Such volunteer efforts were unheard-of in the USSR. Terentyev and his team saved 39 Armenian lives.
Aitan Grossman just received his Giraffe Commendation—at his Bar Mitzvah. Which means Aitan is 13 years old, one of the youngest Giraffe. He took his love of music and composed a remarkable song to raise the world’s awareness about the threat of global warming to future generations. You can hear a sample of “100 Generations” here .
I think this is a fabulous idea! Not long ago my children had to prepare a school presentation on a hero of their choice. They chose Craig Kielburger founder at age 12 of "Free the Children" and now I see he is a Giraffe Hero!
You can nominate someone who you think is sticking his/her neck out to become a Giraffe Hero.There is a jury to decide if the person qualifies to be named a Giraffe, if that person did take or is taking a significant risk for the common good.
I quote : "Working for the common good means alleviating suffering, rectifying injustice or advancing goals such as peace or a healthy environment."The full list of criterias that can be found by clicking here.
There is no prize money but the new Giraffe does recieve a commendation and an exposure with his/her name written up in newspapers, magazines and books, featured on radio and television.
Well really I invite you to go to their site. It will make you feel happy and optimistic and will make you ask : what can I do for others?.... Well this is what I felt especially when I think of the daily depressing news of our world.
There are Giraffe Heroes materials for kids in kindergarten-through-high-school classes in all 50 US states and in American schools abroad. The Project is now partnering with Teachers Without Borders .
I do not know if I have any potential Giraffe Hero around me, I am sure there are some though. How about you? Do you know anyone or maybe could you be the next Giraffe Hero?
By the way how many Sophie The Giraffe can you see in the above picture? ^__^