inspirational

Church Community Rallies Around a Young Leader

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SHARRIA AND ANDREW WESTPHAL ON THEIR WEDDING DAY.

The newest excerpt from our collaboration with Yahoo! Shine is here. This week’s featured Rally campaign is especially powerful: A young man at the beginning of his life as a husband and graduate school student has learned he has a Stage IV brain tumor, so his family is raising money to help take care of him and his wife.

This past summer was hardly a slow season for Andrew Westphal. In June the 26-year-old finished an 18-month preaching mentorship at the church his family has attended for years. He married his best friend from college at the end of July. Six weeks later he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, upending his expectations for his marriage, for graduate school, and for his development as a church leader.

You can learn more about Andrew Westphal’s story at “This Week’s Rally for Good: Seeking a Cure Through Medicine, Love, and Faith.”

1 Mom, 1 Treadmill, 100 Miles, 24 Hours

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We have another excerpt from our series on Yahoo! Shine featuring Rally.org crowdfunding campaigns that we love. This post tells the story of a marathoner who has taken to running a full 24 hours, on a treadmill, to raise money and awareness for the causes that mean the most to her. Tomorrow night in San Francisco, she’ll be running for an educational non-profit that serves students and teachers in India.

Emily Toia is a 36-year-old mom from Arizona. This week she’ll attempt to do what few of us have done before: run 100 miles in 24 hours on a treadmill in the middle of San Francisco’s busiest neighborhood. And if that weren’t enough, she’ll do it all for a charity benefitting children’s education. This won’t be the first time Emily—who goes by the nickname Emz—pulls a treadmill all-nighter for a good cause.

The person she credits for inspiring her to take on such an unconventional challenge? Her unconventional mother-in-law.

Find out what makes Emily run and how you can support her Rally at “This Week’s Rally for Good: Why This Mom is Running 100 Miles in 24 Hours.”

Ripple Effect Images: Telling the Stories of Families and Climate Change

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ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF RIPPLE EFFECT IMAGES

Kathy Swayze has loved photography since high school and has found inspiration in the work of Annie Griffiths, one of the first women to ever shoot for National Geographic. To Swayze, some of the photojournalist’s most moving images have featured women and girls across the developing world.

Kathy Swayze has loved photography since high school and has found inspiration in the work of Annie Griffiths, one of the first women to ever shoot for National Geographic. To Swayze, some of the photojournalist’s most moving images have featured women and girls across the developing world.

By coincidence, kismet, or happenstance—whatever you want to call it—Swayze and the legendary photographer found each other and have since been working together to rally for families living in regions hard hit by climate change.

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Rallying for the Best Year of a Little Boy’s Life

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PHOTO COURTESY OF MIKE LEE AND ERIN BENSON

This is an excerpt from the first in a series of posts on Yahoo! Shine featuring Rally.org crowdfunding campaigns that we find especially moving and inspirational. Today’s story follows the Rally to give Sam Lee a fun, memorable, cross-country adventure

Meet Sam Lee. He’s a lot like other two-year-old boys. He loves tall buildings, sharks, safari animals, and dinosaurs. He lives in South Carolina where he rules the living room from his cardboard fort, that is, when he’s not watching Curious George cartoons. But before his first birthday, Sam was diagnosed with Ollier disease, a rare skeletal disorder, and in late July, Sam’s parents, Mike Lee and Erin Benson, found out that he has a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, a type of large, inoperable brain tumor that affects mostly children.

Go to “This Week’s Rally for Good: How to Give a Little Boy the Best Year of His Life” to learn the rest of Sam’s story. 

Team Spirit: Athletes Fundraise to Win

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FAR RIGHT: NANCY MOORE AND CHARITY SANDERS, HEADING TO THE 2013 DEAFLYMPICS.

You’ll often see athletes taking a short break from their grueling training regimens at this time of year, going a little less intense in the weight room, on the running trail, or on the playing field.

But for the teams crowdfunding with Rally.org, competition season has already arrived. Community teams and elite national- and international-level athletes have been collecting donations to pay for equipment, uniforms, and travel to meets and matches in the U.S. and overseas. After the jump you’ll find the back stories of these champs and how you can help them reach their gold-medal goals.

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Barn-Raising and Rebuilding from the Ashes

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THE BARN ON JANUARY 25, 2013, ONE DAY AFTER THE FIRE/ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF NICHOL MCGRANE

When Tropical Storm Irene swept through the mid-Atlantic and northeastern U.S. in August 2011, it caused especially vicious damage in villages around the Catskill Mountains.

Prattsville, N.Y., bore some of the storm’s most devastating winds and rain. Close to the town’s overflowing Schoharie Creek stood Megan Fromer and Gabe Faure-Brac’s home.

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Rally in the News: Tom Serres, Change Agent

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This week USA Today has profiled Tom Serres, Rally.org CEO and co-founder, in its regular Change Agents feature. Tom talks about how he switched careers and along the way, changed how people everywhere, from politicians to PTAs to non-profits, raise money for the causes that are most important to them.

He also discusses the growing influence of the cause economy on how people choose to become fundraisers, crowdfunding with easy-to-use technology to ask for help from their personal networks and beyond, and how they become philanthropic supporters, from donating to a meaningful campaign on a whim to stretching out their giving over a lifetime.

Solar Impulse Takes Flight to Rally for Clean Technology

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STORMY SKIES AHEAD FOR THE SOLAR IMPULSE HB-SIA PROTOTYPE AIRPLANE AS IT FLIES ACROSS THE U.S.

In light of President Obama’s Tuesday speech outlining his policy proposals for combatting climate change, we wanted to tell you a little bit about one of our highest profile Rallys (at least stratospherically speaking): Solar Impulse.

Conceived in Switzerland, the solar-powered, fixed-wing aircraft has traversed much of the U.S. this spring and summer, starting in San Francisco and touching down in Phoenix, St. Louis, Dallas, and Washington, D.C., for public events and visiting hours. Solar Impulse is leading a Rally to help students attend educational showcases of the plane.

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Downsize Fitness Non-Profit Rallies for Teen Health

Before joining Downsize Fitness as president and CEO, Kishan Shah worked as an analyst at Goldman Sachs. He shares his story of how losing over 200 pounds inspired him to help transform the lives of others. A version of this post appears on the Downsize Fitness blog. 

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF KISHAN SHAH

Growing up, I remember the excitement of each June, when I envisioned the upcoming summer vacation to be that special one when I would finally change my life.

Being a 200-pound 12-year-old is not easy.  It wasn’t my body that weighed me down; it was the helplessness and frustration of my family and friends.

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Dreaming of a Peaceful Costa Rica At Cornell

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A bicycle theft and his best friend’s death helped set Alvaro Salas on his path to the United Nations Office of the Director-General. But that only gets us through the first few chapters of his impressive story.

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