Michele Allen’s life changed when she adopted a 13-pound shelter dog named Monkey, who only had a few more months to live. Robin’s Spotlight is moving to Southampton, New Jersey to share this story. Michele and her husband, Jeff, knew what they were getting into adopting a terminally-ill dog. Despite that, however, they loved and cared for him as much as they would have with any other dog. Although Monkey’s death was really hard on them, they were inspired to go above and beyond in his honor. Now, the couple are the proud owners of Monkey House, a six-acre farm where they care for other terminally-ill dogs. Since 2015, this non-profit has been a loving home for dogs to spend their final days.
Allen has changed most people’s perspectives who think a dog hospice would be a sad place. For her and all these dogs it really is “the happiest place on earth.” Caring for 25 dogs at a time; Michele, Jeff, and their 50 volunteers certainly keep busy. Based on their medical needs, each dog gets home-cooked meals and also receives herbs and natural supplements, acupuncture and chiropractic care. "It's extremely important to me that we not fail them in their final moments," she said. "I want them to have a very gentle passing, and I want them feeling as loved and supported as they can be."
Michele said in an interview they’ll do whatever they have to do to accommodate the dogs. She’s found that nutrition has tremendously helped as a first step. Many dog’s issues have been toned down in the first week with this nutritional change. The organization has a veterinarian and even rehabilitation specialist who help as well. Allen’s words on how this experience has changed her life is absolutely heartwarming.
“Every life matters, and their lives matter tremendously. In the shelter world, statistically, every dog here could be put to sleep right now. That's just a horrible injustice to these companion animals who have brought us joy, have brought us love and have licked our tears. They shouldn't leave like that.” Now, when she hears joyful noises or sees a dog walk that didn’t before, that’s what keeps her going, that’s what is so incredible. Your story and work brings smiles to all of us, Michele! You’re changing lives everyday- what an amazing way to Be Robin Hood.
We have probably all heard about tiny houses by now...while many people living in them are looking to live a simpler lifestyle, it was an absolute live saver for one woman. Robin’s Spotlight is moving out to Los Angeles, where 60-year-old homeless woman, Smokie has been sleeping in the dirt a few doors down from a man named Elvis Summers. The two had struck up a friendship after Smokie would ask Elvis for recyclables many mornings. When Elvis heard about a man who made tiny houses out of discarded material, he decided to put off a few of his own bills, and went out to buy materials to make Smokie a tiny house of her own. For the first time in ten years, Smokie was able to put up a “Home Sweet Home” sign on her door.
Elvis was inspired to start up a project to fund more shelters after he saw how grateful Smokie was to have a home again. For the next few houses, “Mythpla” (My Tiny House Project LA) plans to get lighter and more affordable materials without sacrificing the strength of the house. Elvis found a supply company that has promised to work out a deal on future building materials to help support his cause.
“I’d like to offer purpose to these people in need and hire them to build the houses with me. I’ve even set an appointment with LA’s Mayor Eric Garcetti to try and get his help,” said Elvis. “The city owns or controls many properties which are just sitting collecting dust and could be used, even temporarily, to help save lives,” says Elvis. Your story and efforts to change lives are absolutely inspiring, Elvis! Thank you for helping your community and making our world a better place!
Have a story that we should check out? Let us know!
This wonderful story and photo brought to you by Good News Network.
We can all remember the days of having our own lemonade stands, but one young boy decided to kick his up a notch and change hundreds of lives with his! Robin’s Spotlight today is all about 11-year-old Zack Francom from Utah, who raises money at his lemonade stand to buy wheelchairs for people who need them. In 2010, Zack’s school held a fundraiser to purchase wheelchairs for a church charity, Zack was inspired to raise enough money to buy one all on his own. It was simple for him, he wanted to help make life easier for someone who couldn’t run or walk, and couldn’t afford to buy a wheelchair for themselves. Since then, ‘Zack’s Shack” has become one of his hometown’s favorite annual events. Hundreds of people line up to help support his charity every spring break in April.
Over 300 people have gotten wheelchairs in developing countries thanks to Zack’s big heart and desire to help others. This past April he earned enough money to buy another 37 wheelchairs that were sent to Guatemala, Guam, and 53 other countries. “There was one lady in Guatemala who crawled for 10 miles with her baby on her back to pick up her wheelchair” – Nancy Bird (Zack’s mom). Nancy says stories like this one are what keep Zack going.
He dreams that other kids will follow his example and do the same where they live. “Imagine if there were hundreds of Zack’s Shacks,” he says. “Nobody who needs a wheelchair should have to go without one just because they can’t afford it.” Thank you for changing so many lives around the world, Zack! You’re going to do great things in life, keep up the amazing work!
Source from here!
Orlando's Lauren Cooper has been inspired to change the world ever since she was a little girl. Now, more than ever, she continues to show the drive and passion to reach that goal! Thanks so much for Be[ing] Robin Hood!
What moments inspired you to realize changing the world is a passion of yours as well as make it part of your work?
I think your passion is always with you, perhaps not one or two moments but it does take all the right ingredients and circumstances to really see it and act on it. Growing up, my grandfather was an international peace diplomat. When he traveled to the U.S, he would always share his speeches with me, or I’d sneak a peek at his writings. Somehow, I think he got through to me, so I knew that one person really could make a difference because he embodied that for a lifetime. My mother’s also very empathetic, she’ll tear up listening to a sad story on the news, or smile at everyone in the grocery store. As a kid, she told me, “you never know what someone is going through, so a smile can really make their day.” I think if you want to change the world, something has to really motivate you from within. When you give people hope, you give them a purpose, but you have to provide solutions if you want the world to be better when you leave it one day.
How would you say the Social Entrepreneurship program at Rollins College affected your interest to become a global leader?
I was a Communications graduate and a Sustainable Development minor, but it all ultimately tied back to social entrepreneurship’s values. I want to be a vehicle that supports change, and storytelling is what’s memorable. People want to connect, engage, and grow with other people. I took the inaugural course “Leading Change” and I slowly realized patterns unfolding for me. Dr. Michelle Stecker always spoke to the entire class like she felt we were competent, untapped diamonds in the rough. That class opened my eyes to a whole world where people built their lives and careers around transforming the lives of other people. I was hooked. It was awesome seeing the college back the program up, send students to the Clinton Global Initiative, and become Ashoka certified. After attending a Net impact meeting on campus and researching, I realized there were hundreds of thousands of kids my age with dreams as big as mine in Net Impact worldwide. I knew I found my place, somewhere where it was fun and adventurous to make something good happen.
Can you tell us about one or two of the projects you’re working on and what you plan to accomplish with the given outcome?
Right now, I’m the Communications Manager for the Florida Student Power Network, a higher ed coalition across the state that connects students to organizations with civic and social justice missions. We encourage every student to follow their passion, but we recognize that one person’s passion is never isolated. Food deserts, farmworkers’ rights, climate justice, racial equality, the wage gap: it’s all part of this ongoing movement millennials are embracing. It’s really exciting to watch people further their passion or simply find it for the first time. That’s timeless. I’m also thinking about pursuing a venture that makes graduations cheaper and more sustainable with a social focus. I’m always eager to help social enterprises and startups though, particularly on the communications, PR, and marketing fronts.
How has traveling played a role in your life so far? Do you plan on incorporating travel with work in the future?
Wow, right in the feels with that one. Well, my long-term goal is to be a digital nomad, or someone that performs most of their work digitally, so that I can travel the majority of the time. However, I also see how much room there is for me to give back in my own communities in Florida and Orlando, so we’ll see. Traveling is something I was blessed to do even before I could speak, and I don’t take that for granted. In college, I studied abroad briefly in Costa Rica and Vietnam and both experiences affect me every single day. I also traveled to events all over the country, to places like Seattle, Savannah, and Asheville. Everywhere I went, there was always a chance to get out of your comfort zone and I love that feeling. There’s something about opening your heart and mind to saying “yes.” When you go on a vacation or take a trip, you enter the mindset that “this is what I make of it,” and we have to hold onto that perspective in our everyday lives.
What advice would you give to millennials as far as making their dreams come true, and making a significant impact on our world?
It takes a leader to say “no.” I used to think if I cared about something, I had to tie myself up in it. The fact is that you can’t say “yes” to everything without compromising what you can contribute. When you lean towards something over and over again, you’ll realize where you’re meant to go and dedicate your energy.
With that said, don’t draw yourself a path either. Life is unpredictable, and you might miss out on your goals if you’re too stubborn to make a shift for the better. Impromptu internship? Sure. Changing your major? Do it. Remind yourself that nobody is going to read your story more than you will, and let that affect how you write it.
Lastly, you don’t have to make a significant impact on the whole world. I admire that desire, but there’s nothing wrong with changing the immediate world around you. Vote in your local elections, volunteer for a local nonprofit, or pay it forward at Starbucks, because every big change always starts with one small one. Small does not mean insignificant -- just look at the sun compared to the universe.