Erin Brenton has believed in the possibility of transformation ever since she transformed her own life, marred by tragedy, into one of health and joy. When she was 9, she and her sister, Heather, were traveling door to door selling Camp Fire Girls of America items when the pair were struck by an underage drunk driver. The crash cost Heather her life and left Erin with severe head and leg trauma. Supported by her parents, friends, and eventually her own loving husband and kids, Erin learned to deal with the physical repercussions of that accident. To honor her sister’s memory, she decided to help others find their own health and happiness through exercise and support. To that end, she started Girls on the Go to make a place where people of all ability levels can enjoy physical activity and strive for healthier bodies.
She and her team of instructors now fill each week with a variety of original fitness classes, from women’s boxing to men’s speed and agility training. Erin also leads one-on-one personal-training sessions and the Driveway Divas fitness program, for which an instructor comes to clients’ homes for small-group training.
Jeffrey Hall will never toss a wrapper out the car window again. That’s because he knows that every piece of trash strewing the highway’s meridian attracts mice. And mice attract hungry hawks, who can’t always dodge oncoming trucks. Not everyone is so aware of the potential far-reaching implications of a single fast-food wrapper, but the Audubon Society director learned such lessons long ago, seeing first-hand the victims of those circumstances in injured hawks and falcons on just such a rescue.
Now, Jeffrey hopes to spark a similar awareness in his fellow Rhode Islanders. “When people learn about plants and animals, they appreciate them. And once they appreciate them, they want to save them,” says Mr. Hall. As no one in Rhode Island lives more than 20 minutes from an Audubon Society wildlife refuge, he's certain they can find ample opportunities to do so. In addition to conserving land for hikes and staring contest with owls, the Society boasts an Environmental Education Center, which hosts events, programs, and interactive exhibits year-round. For the Audubon Society to thrive, Jeffrey knows the organization's programs must inspire young stewards. “They’ll grow up to be the voters who want to protect this land,” he says. That's why, among the many programs guests can partake in, the society also offers birthday parties and kid-friendly classes.
Books Through Bars, Inc. provides free reading materials for prisoners across the country. Every month, it receives more than 120 letters from prisoners requesting books. The organization responds by sending donated volumes from individuals, libraries, and community organizations, making selections based on the stated preferences of the inmate. Reading the books provides a productive activity for the inmates and can help them develop politically, spiritually, and academically during their time in prison.
The Magical Moon Foundation helps children with cancer find the warrior within by knighting them into the fellowship of Rainbow Warriors on a mission to change the world in honor of their disease. Magical Moon outfits the children in knight's garb, including a tunic and headpiece, dubs them with a knightly name, and equips them with a sword for the knighting ceremony. After, they can seek out and fulfill personal quests to help improve their communities and achieve personal goals. In the past, knights have raised funds to cure their diseases, designed an art-therapy room for other children with cancer, and studied pediatric oncology to help fight illness.
In 2003, Wendy Taylor Humphrey’s house caught fire, killing her two dogs, six cats, and pet goat. Devastated, she searched for a way to overcome her loss by helping other animals. She trained as a wildlife rehabilitator and founded West Place Animal Sanctuary four years later to help provide shelter and recuperation for abandoned and injured farm animals and wildlife. Today, the sanctuary serves as a home for a variety of animals ranging from domestic ducklings and rabbits to wild turkeys and sheep. Sanctuary volunteers and part-time staff members receive abandoned and injured animals, nurse them back to health, feed them, and provide them with space to roam.
Join G-Team and donate $5 to help critically ill neighbors meet their nutritional needs with home delivered meals. If G-Team members raise $150, then Community Servings will be able to feed 30 of their clients for one day. A day of meals includes soup or salad for lunch; a full-portion dinner, such as beef stew or eggplant parmesan, with a vegetable side; yogurt, fruit, or cereal for a snack; dessert; and milk. Each additional $5 raised will provide another day's meals for one person.