Friday Inspirations, Episode 11 :) drake generous change lawrence arts center nonprofit ripple Mar 30, 2018

This has been an amazing week in America, Generous Changers!

We are truly blown away by this $29 million gift from the blockchain tech company, Ripple. With their cryptocurrency gift, Ripple funded every single project on - a public school crowdfunding platform where teachers submit projects or classroom materials in need of funding, like this one from Mrs. McCarthy at Chaplain Watters Elementary School 24 in New Jersey. Her 6th through 8th graders are "...ravenous for books that are able to provide them with self to text connections." She's asked for $557 to buy a set of 66 novels. Anyone who loves a great book would agree with Mrs. McCarthy when she says, "We may not be able to take many trips, but these books would make for a wild adventure!"

Led by our amazing friend (and Jayhawk) Brad Garlinghouse, Ripple made the largest contribution of digital currency ever to a single charity. The gift will fund projects like Mrs. McCarthy's, submitted by over 28,200 teachers at more than 16,500 schools! That represents nearly 16% of America's public schools. CAN YOU IMAGINE?!?!

We can't stop smiling (and dancing) to Drake's video, God's Plan. Follow Drake through Miami as he makes surprise donations worth $996,631.90 - his entire video budget. He gives a $50,000 scholarship to University of Miami student, Destiny James, cash to struggling families, new cars to grateful teens, groceries to every single customer in a Miami supermarket, $50,000 (and tons of wrapped toys to the kids) at the Lotus Home Women's Shelter, $20,000 to the City of Miami Fire Department and tons more.

The day the video launched, Drake challenged his 39.7 million Instagram followers to "...just go out and do something for someone, anything, the smallest thing just to bring another human being some joy..."

We've been listening to stories from the staff of the Lawrence Arts Center. We sat down with 6 of these amazing people to learn about what keeps them coming to work every day. We fell in love with their passion - for art, for humans and for the community of Lawrence. They don't just teach painting, ceramics, dance, printmaking, theatre - they instill confidence, courage and connection in students from 2 to 82. They shared stories of how ballet helps shy middle-school boys and girls "come out of the shadows and stand taller." How adults find their tribe in a canoe-building class (and, um, build a freaking canoe!). And kids define what social justice means to them in Guerrilla Arts Camp.

With all of the amazing generosity we've seen & heard this week, we're reminded of this John F. Kennedy quote:

"One person can make a difference, and everyone should try."

Get out there and make some Generous Change.

-Jenna & Nancy