Saturday, July 12, 2014

It wasn’t all bad

Francom at his stand
Zack Francom is an unlikely entrepreneur. The 11-year-old from Provo, Utah, launched his charitable lemonade stand when he was just 6 years old. Now in its fourth year, “Zack’s Shack” charges just 50 cents a cup during its once-yearly fundraising sale, but even at those prices, sales have raised enough money to buy 332 wheelchairs for people in developing countries. Francom, who started the lemonade stand after his elementary school held a fundraiser challenging students to raise wheelchair money for those in need, said his dream “is to fly around the world someday and hand out the wheelchairs.”

Brad Croft of San Antonio saves dogs from death row by training them as K9s. In doing so, the enterprising trainer also saves police departments the thousands of dollars they’d otherwise spend importing European purebreds. “These dogs will work every bit as hard,” says Croft. “All they need is a chance to prove themselves.” Croft’s group, Universal K9, trains dogs in drug and explosives detection before delivering them to local police departments free of charge. “Right now, we’re on track to save almost 100 dogs this year.”

The families of the slain Israeli and Palestinian teens whose murders sparked the recent surge of violence in the Middle East are drawing comfort from an unlikely source: each other. Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat took to Facebook this week, describing “an emotional and special telephone conversation” between the families of two of the murdered teens—one Israeli, the other Palestinian. In a separate visit, a group of Palestinians met with the family of another Israeli victim. “Things will only get better when we learn to cope with each other’s pain,” one of the Palestinians said. “Our task is to give strength to the family.”
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