Prairie dog habitat restoration is more important than you would guess. Prairie dogs influence more than 120 other species, and American Prairie Reserve works hard to restore their habitat with the hope of being able to reintroduce endangered species into the ecosystem. After mowing, volunteers install nesting boxes and dust more than 25,000 prairie dog burrows with insecticide to prevent the spreading of disease. American Prairie Reserve is building the largest nature reserve in the continental US, with the goal of preserving, restoring, and protecting the vital prairie ecosystem and all of its inhabitants—including the prairie dogs. We are proud to share this beautiful moment and the amazing work being done by APR.
In this video (produced by Michael Lines with Abiyoyo Productions), it's clear just how far the impact of attending Baylor School can stretch. Chris Wright ’03, whose family had a longstanding history with Baylor, developed a strong work ethic, critical thinking skills, and a greater understanding of diversity in the world while attending Baylor. Inspired by these new insights, Chris went on to Yale University for his undergraduate degree, The University of Chicago for business school, and now has chosen to give back to his community by returning to Chattanooga as a consultant helping business owners grow and sell their companies. He credits Baylor for some of his greatest memories, friendships, a better understanding of resiliency, and a passion for being innovative and entrepreneurial. This is just one of an infinite number of beautiful moments created every day for Baylor students and alumni alike.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Symphony orchestras and opera companies engage with communities in ways that are meaningful and unexpected. On June 10, 2018, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association hosted a “Concert for Peace,” a collaboration between the extraordinary congregation of St. Sabina Church led by the charismatic Father Michael Pfleger and the CSOA’s Negaunee Music Institute. The concert featured a selection of new songs created with members of “Purpose Over Pain,” a support group at St. Sabina for families affected by gun violence. Working with composer Josh Fink and artists from the Irene Taylor Trust in the United Kingdom, families wrote songs celebrating and memorializing their loved ones that were then performed by musicians from the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, CSO, Yo-Yo Ma, and vocal soloists Sarah Ponder and Takesha Mishé Kizart at the event. CSO Sir Georg Solti Conducting Apprentice Erina Yashima conducted the ensemble.
Evans Scholars Foundation
The Evans Scholarship is a life-changing opportunity that leads hardworking young men and women from caddie, to college, to career. Lessons they learn on the golf course are reinforced through community living on their college campuses, and the support of the Scholarship empowers them to achieve academically, socially, and in extracurricular endeavors. Like many other Evans Scholars, Josh Word has leveraged his Scholarship to reach new heights at Marquette University, where he walked on to the Track and Field team as a freshman and now holds two school records. Josh’s success on the track is supported by his Track & Field teammates as well as his Evans Scholars House family. With 985 Scholars from 26 states and Canada at 18 universities, the Evans Scholars Foundation inspires beautiful moments across the country, year after year.
This beautiful moment highlights Jordan, 8, who has Giant Axonal Neuropathy (GAN), a highly rare illness that is also called the childhood form of ALS. While there is no cure or treatment—yet—for GAN, Jordan is participating in a clinical trial at National Institutes of Health to help find a revolutionary treatment. Jordan’s mom, Mayra, was determined to educate herself about her son’s disease and treatment options when, at age 4, he became only the 30th patient worldwide to be diagnosed with GAN. This led her to a clinical trial at NIH and to The Children’s Inn, where the family has spent more than 70 nights so far. Since becoming the 9th patient in the GAN gene-therapy trial, the family has found new hope that their son’s disease can be stopped from progressing. The Children’s Inn, located on the NIH campus, provides free lodging and support to more than 1,700 seriously ill children like Jordan every year who seek hope and help in a clinical trial at NIH.
Glacier National Park Conservancy
On the evening of August 31, 2017, the Sprague Fire burned the dormitory building at the historic Sperry Chalet Complex in Glacier National Park. Understanding how integral the “Sperry Experience” is to the park’s identity, the Sperry Action Fund was established by the Glacier Conservancy to cover the cost of both immediate known needs and possible future needs specifically related to work at the chalet. Construction started in the summer of 2018 and will continue into 2019, but thanks to the hard work of the Conservancy and its partners, the “Sperry Experience” is still alive and well despite the odds. Most notably, the Sperry Dining Room recently reopened, serving what some say is “the very best lemonade stand in the whole world.” We are so proud to work with the Glacier National Park Conservancy and continue to be inspired by this and all the other beautiful moments it helps create.
L'Arche Tahoma Hope
L'Arche Tahoma Hope is a community of friends working together to help make known the gifts of people with developmental disabilities. Through sharing all the obstacles, triumphs, and beautiful moments of daily life, all members of its community grow into more caring and understanding people.
La Rabida Children's Hospital
This beautiful moment came to us from La Rabida Children’s Hospital in Chicago. Meet Gerry Jr. and Kiara. A tragic house fire left these two young children with severe burns. After undergoing a series of surgeries, they were referred to La Rabida Children’s Hospital. Both kids received world-class medical treatment and therapies to aid them on their journey to recovery. La Rabida offers comprehensive care, education, and support to help each family face their unique obstacles, and its mission fosters so many more beautiful moments like Gerry Jr. and Kiara’s stories.
Mountain Humane has recently started a Pets for Life Program in the rural communities surrounding Blaine County, Idaho. The Pets for Life Program is focused on building relationships and providing much-needed resources to those who don’t have access to them. When the Program first met Glenda, she had more animals than she could keep up with. Because of Pets for Life, Mountain Humane was able to help. They brought her animals in for spay/neuter surgeries, helped trap and neuter the community cats around her house, and helped build fences so the dogs could enjoy outside time without having to live on chains. By meeting people where they are, fostering a culture of compassion, and providing resources where they are needed, Mountain Humane is embracing a new perspective on animal welfare and what it means to be an animal shelter.
Henry Hall (1896–1979) was an engineer, world traveler, teacher, aquarist, inventor and philanthropist. An African American, he served as a mentor to Baltimore’s black engineers when there were few opportunities for them in the profession. His community involvement and belief in learning helped shape the Aquarium and its relationship to the city and its students. Hall traveled around the world, observing and collecting aquatic animals. He devoted his entire Mosher Street basement to the care of rare freshwater tropical fish, an alligator, an electric eel and a shark. In 1977, he donated his animals to the future National Aquarium, which opened in 1981. To carry on the late Hall’s dream, the Aquarium established the Henry Hall Endowment Fund in August 1982 to provide free educational opportunities for students who attend Baltimore City Public Schools. Since then, more than $1 million in awards have been provided to these students through Henry Hall Summer Camps. Every summer, more than 200 Baltimore City students are given the opportunity to explore the aquatic natural world through hands-on experiences, making memories that will last a lifetime. This video follows one fund recipient and his group as they explore the seas around Baltimore and shows the extent to which he has been inspired to change the world through the program.
National Parks Conservation Association
Almost a decade after being honorably discharged from the military, U.S. Marine Jose Rodriguez found navigating civilian life difficult. Understanding that he needed a new purpose, a stated mission, Rodriguez applied for The Mission Continues’ Fellowship Program, where veterans are set up to work with a nonprofit organization of their choice for six months and receive a stipend. Rodriguez tapped into his love of nature and being outdoors. He chose to work with the National Parks Conservation Association to reconstruct elevated wooden platforms in Everglades National Park that school groups use to camp off the wet ground. Having recently completed his six months with the National Parks Conservation Association through The Mission Continues, Rodriguez returned to NPCA on another service project rebuilding comfort stations for campers at Dry Tortugas National Park. Raising two daughters, Rodriguez is finding his way and is now a student at Miami Dade College. He also volunteers for a veterans group called Swamp Apes to catch invasive Burmese pythons that wreak havoc on Florida’s ecosystems “to find that thrill that we had in the military,” he said.
Ounce of Prevention Fund
Hilary is a doula for a home visiting program launched by the Ounce of Prevention Fund, an organization that advocates for and provides the highest-quality care and education for children from birth to age five. Hilary’s doula work is integrated as part of a young parent’s long-term involvement in a comprehensive home visiting program that can continue until the child reaches pre-K or kindergarten. Through this program, Hilary works primarily with first-time, teen parents to help them build strong parent-child bonds right from the beginning during pregnancy. Doulas provide weekly home visits to encourage prenatal care, offer ongoing support at the hospital during labor and delivery, and provide postpartum home visits for six to eight weeks. As they work together, mothers and doulas, like Hilary, forge incredible bonds that ultimately help young families establish the strongest start possible. We are proud to partner with the Ounce and so happy to share a beautiful moment like this one.
Pacific Northwest Ballet
Pacific Northwest Ballet offers a Student Scholarship Program for students who want to pursue their passion for ballet. This program is incredibly influential and meaningful to the recipients who, as illustrated in this video, find community, develop their talents, and get to engage with professional ballet dancers that they aspire to be one day. The gift of studying dance and ballet is empowering to PNB’s students, and we are so proud of its initiative to create beautiful moments for aspiring young dancers.