His newspaper series on the homeless in San Francisco emphasized solutions – what really works and what doesn't. The result: constructive changes.
They'll spend $37.4 million over five years to provide microfinancing, which helps people lift themselves out of poverty by starting or expanding small businesses, sending children to school, or improving farms.
The Awesome Foundation is a loose collection of some three-dozen local groups usually made up of 10 volunteers each, who offer $100 a month toward a simple, no-strings-attached grant, or Awesome Fellowship.
The once-abundant fish have played a big role in Connecticut's development. But now they need help to reach their freshwater spawning grounds.
Christo and Lanie de Klerk have founded the Baby Moses sanctuary for abandoned babies in South Africa.
Alternative currencies keep resources and economic systems close to home and have both a trickle-down and a ripple-out effect.
Online ordering systems, like Arganica Farm Club in the mid-Atlantic, Green Bean Delivery in the Midwest, and SPUD in the Northwest, deliver fresh local produce to consumers.
New York City startup Ethikus provides vouchers for small businesses whose practices embody principles of sustainability.
In Africa, planting trees along with corn in soil that is low in nitrogen can substantially increase corn production without expensive fertilizers. In a decade, the number of small farmers using Fertilizer Tree Systems has ballooned from a few hundred to more than 250,000.
Nonprofit Mama Hope has released three videos that employ humor to create new perceptions of Africa and to show that it is full of capable people with the potential to support themselves. The aim is to create a new conversation about the continent and humanize the people who live there.
Yevgenia Chirikova found out a national forest was quietly being sold off. What she did to try to save it may change Russia forever.
Ikal Angelei is helping lead a campaign to stop construction of the Gibe III dam in Ethiopia that threatens the water supply and way of life of tens of thousands of indigenous people.
Retiring baby boomers are proving to be valuable volunteers. 'A part of paying for our spot on earth is to help those who need help,' says one.
Neighborland, a New Orleans-based start up focused on citizen participation, hopes that its unique twist on social networking will help bring neighbors back together.
The 320 Transition Town initiatives in 14 countries focus on urban agriculture, crowdfunding, and other social enterprises, using a 12-step model to organize a community toward a sustainable, resilient future.
Sean Penn's role in Haiti has evolved from heading a band of volunteers and serving as unofficial mayor of a homeless camp to becoming ambassador-at-large for President Michel Martelly, the first non-Haitian to receive the designation.
Love North Korean Children has built four community bakeries with the humble intention of providing 5,000-plus youngsters with one steamed bun per day.
Kyle Ruddick and Brandon Litman got some 19,000 people to make videos of what they saw on a single day in every country in the world. The film 'One Day on Earth' shows what they found.
All Americans are better off because biking and walking foster public health, stronger local communities and economies, less traffic congestion, safer streets, lower energy use, and a cleaner environment.