The Economist's globe-spanning scope, comprehensive analysis, and crushing, unflinching grasp on world economics make it required reading for people, people persons, and people-shaped cacti looking to stay up-to-date on world news, politics, and business. In addition to the weekly publications—including the magazine's 20+ Special Reports and its Technology Quarterly—subscribers to The Economist also receive special benefits, such as The World in 2012, a special annual volume that predicts trends for the coming year. Subscribers also get unrestricted access to the online site, with a fully searchable archive dating back to the Neolithic Internet era (1997), as well as free access to The Economist in audio, which includes the option to listen to digital recordings of all print articles or to download them as a weekly podcast. For updates on the go or “on the sitting down on a park bench enjoying the scenery,” access The Economist on an iPhone or iPad—every photo, article, and chart is delivered to subscribers' devices by Thursday at 4 p.m. EST.
In addition to maintaining 20 gardening plots—as well as a plot specifically set aside for growing free organic produce for those in need—Cooks Community Garden plans to host classes in the coming year to encourage individuals to begin gardening as a way of lowering food costs and removing obstacles to accessing fresh, seasonal produce. Anticipated classes will cover topics ranging from gardening basics to grilling vegetables and keeping backyard chickens.
Angie Acosta, founder of Queen City DanceOut, has a simple motto for her students: "If you're moving, you're doing it right." This encouraging, low-pressure attitude attracts people of all ages to her dance-inspired fitness classes, which meet at 18 public locations. Angie and her instructors aim to make exercise feel like a celebration and a refreshing break rather than a dreaded routine. To this end, their classes incorporate intuitive dance moves and invigorating music. DanceOut, the signature course, blends genres as diverse as swing, hip-hop, and reggae into a workout, relying on repetition and basic choreography to keep everyone grooving. Other highlights of the curriculum include the Latin rhythms of Zumba; the Dance Impact class, which fuses dance and kickboxing; and JamStrong, a mixture of core-conditioning, dance, and fun.
Community is a central aspect of every DanceOut class. As pupils practice their twirls, they can follow both the teacher and the Jam Crew—a team of regulars who help make the steps easy to follow and can assist fellow dancers. In addition to group workouts, instructors host skill workshops such as Booty Bootcamp, where attendees learn rump-shaking techniques and how to turn any chair into a rocking chair. They also put on performances and lead private classes for special events and parties.
Care Ring was originally founded in 1955 to help prevent heart disease and manage work-site wellness. Over time, it adapted to serve the holistic needs of the community by providing preventative health services to local families. Today, the low-cost clinic treats more than 7,000 uninsured and under-insured Mecklenburg County residents, with care including regular physicals, chronic-disease management, lab work, and sick visits. Partnering with the Mecklenburg County Medical Society and Charlotte Dental Society, 1,500 volunteer dentists and physicians provide these free and low-cost services for individuals who do not qualify for Medicaid. The organization also conducts a nurse home-visiting program that assists first-time mothers and their children. Care Ring’s programs help reduce the number of costly, unnecessary emergency-room visits, and aims to prevent patients’ health conditions from worsening when they cannot afford to seek medical care.
Founded in 1913 by a team of 15 prominent physicians and business leaders in New York, the American Cancer Society (ACS) aimed to raise awareness about cancer and find ways to treat it. During that time the society created the iconic Sword of Hope—a caduceus entwined with serpents—and started a movement that would transform cancer from a death sentence into a survivable disease.
Today, the American Cancer Society funds research, raises awareness, and sponsors support programs through 12 chartered divisions and more than 900 local offices across the country. In the past several decades, ACS has funded significant research leading to a cure for cancer, and supported more than 46 researchers who have gone on to win the Nobel Prize. ACS’s programs include the Reach to Recover program, which matches survivors with someone suffering from cancer to help share experience and create hope, and the Road to Recovery program, which provides free rides to and from treatments.