Inspired
September 9
Master Chef Latino John Pardo of Miami prepares a pasta dish in his home kitchen in Coconut Grove. (Susan Stocker/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS) ORG

'Masterchef Latino' finalist is living, cooking and inspiring his own way

"MasterChef Latino" finalist is first participant using wheelchair.
Inspired
September 6
Les Heggernes’ bath baskets are a thank-you gift to Union Gospel Mission.

Oak Park Heights man repays 80-year-old debt to group that helped him as a teenager

Les Heggernes, 94, collects towels and toiletry items for the 400 homeless people who find shelter at the Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities each night.
Inspired
September 6
Sean Connaughty, considered by many to be Lake Hiawatha’s personal caretaker, studied his painting of the lake and surrounding area, including the n

Lake Hiawatha's guardian artist uses sculptures to call attention to trash problem

In his Minneapolis neighborhood and at City Hall, Sean Connaughty has become known as the lake's outspoken caretaker.
Inspired
September 6
Blake Elliott, co-founder of Bridges MN has a new service, Rumi, which pairs people with disabilities with caregivers who live together.

New roommate matchmaker Rumi connects caregivers, people with disabilities

Blake Elliott, vice president of operations for Rumi's parent company, Bridges MN, explains why he feels the timing is right for this service.
Inspired
September 6
Ian Recchio waded into an amphibian tank at the Los Angeles Zoo, where he leads a breeding program for endangered frogs

'Rock star' frog breeder keeping alive federally endangered species

"Rock star" frog breeder keeping alive federally endangered species.
Inspired
September 6
Cook County Jail detainees Jonathan Ivory, left, and Rashad Rowry practice before their next matches in a round-robin chess tournament with prisoners

Chess-playing prisoners take on fellow inmates in worldwide online tournament

Chess-playing prisoners take on fellow inmates in online tournament.
Inspired
September 2
Members of Southwest High School’s adapted guitar program are raising funds to perform at a national convention in Florida in November.

Adapted guitar program at Southwest High turns special kids into rock stars

Southwest High School music educator Ruth LeMay teaches music through color-coded guitars.
Inspired
August 30
Ferd Schlapper is a math tutor with AmeriCorps, a national “Peace Corps” that gives boosts to kids in math and reading. He volunteers at Woodbury

Minnesota is No. 1 in AmeriCorps members: 'I love to see these kids'

AmeriCorps — sometimes called the domestic Peace Corps — is demonstrating measurable success, aided by a robust Minnesota presence.
Inspired
August 30

Girl born with half a heart overflows with love, hope

After 7 heart surgeries in 7 years, girl remains hopeful for a transplant.
August 30
Sixteen-year-old Griffin Burchard, right, worked for months to restore the Frederick Douglass Cemetery, a historic black cemetery in Alexandria, Va.,

With fellow Boy Scouts, Virginia teen restores historic black cemetery

Griffin Burchard never forgot the dilapidated Virginia cemetery named after one of the most famous African Americans of the 19th century.
Inspired
August 30
From left, Lawrence and Marva Carter, John and Vivian Ingersoll, Lydia and Alvin Foster during their 50 anniversary dinner at The Ritz-Carlton, Atlant

A 50-year commitment to one another and to justice helps seal

A commitment to one another, and to justice, seals 50-year bond.
Inspired
August 23
Mick Sterling, photographed in the Dunsmore Room at Crooner’s, often uses the stage to pitch his 30 Days Foundation, which funds urgent needs.

Minnesota rocker Mick Sterling pays bills to help people catch up financially

'Online bartender' Mick Sterling pays bills so people can catch up.
August 23
Jordana Carmel, seated, and other volunteers sort through supplies in Potomac, Md., destined for migrant families along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Women drive a truck of supplies to the U.S.-Mexico border to help migrant families 'feel human again'

The supplies go cross-country to support migrant families.
Inspired
August 23
The letter that Tene Tucker found in her mailbox, postmarked 1967.

Woman unravels mystery of letter from 1967 that arrived in her mailbox

It began as a mystery in the mailbox — a letter originally postmarked in 1967 and labeled "Return To Sender."
Inspired
August 23
Students wearing handmade costumes, which they designed in the “Art Buddies” program, paraded through the Whittier Elementary halls in Minneapolis

Twin Cities' Art Buddies bring youthful dreams to life in cardboard, cloth and duct tape

The nonprofit mentorship program matches adults from the Twin Cities creative industry with low-income students, serving about 300 children a year in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Inspired
August 21
Josh and Sheree Savage have invested in four spaces in south Minneapolis that they offer to the public for free.

Hero Plumbing owners build community by offering free use of spaces throughout Minneapolis

A local couple have made four intimate spaces available for free to all community members who need a spot to gather.
Inspired
August 16
Anthony Desnick of Cycling Without Age picked up Sister Susan Smith and Sister Rosalind Gefre for a ride from their home Carondelet Village, through S

Minn. nursing homes embrace Danish cycling idea that puts older adults on wheels

Cycling Without Age gives older adults with limited mobility a thrilling change of scene on electric bikes.
Inspired
August 16
EMT/paramedic Ivan Mazurkiewicz uses magic tricks in the back of his ambulance to soothe his youngest patients.

Twin Cities paramedic works magic — literally — when responding to emergencies involving kids

He performs magic tricks for his youngest patients as a way to calm them down and make their ride to the hospital less stressful.
Inspired
August 16
Tutapona offers emotional healing to victims of war, including Minnesotans

Tutapona offers emotional healing to victims of war, including Minnesotans

More than 50,000 victims of unspeakable trauma have begun to reclaim their lives thanks to this nonprofit's forgiveness model.
August 16

Competitive pinball is having a revival, and women want their turn

They're flipping out, but all in good fun.
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