This article appeared in the September 21, 2018 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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When the helpers keep helping

Ben Stansall/AP
Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, looks on during a reception for the women involved with the cookbook "Together" at Kensington Palace in London Sept. 20. The duchess was joined by her mother, Doria Ragland, and her husband, Prince Harry, for the launch of a cookbook aimed at raising money for victims of the Grenfell fire.
Clayton Collins
Director, editorial innovation

Fred Rogers (that’s Mr. Rogers to most of us) famously used to say “look for the helpers” when news got scary. (Check out the Google Doodle today marking 51 years since his empathy-centered children’s show premiered.)

Stories of altruism floated like life rings across this week’s news.

If you sifted social media this week, then you probably saw the one about the Tennessee trucker who responded to a plea for help transporting shelter dogs from the North Carolina flood zone. He bought an old school bus and went back to continue the work.

That’s a low-profile rescuer deservedly getting noticed amid a high-profile event. What happens when the news energy ebbs?

Sometimes those at the center end up feeling forsaken. But sometimes assistance quietly keeps coming. This week a high-profile helper stepped up in Britain. A year-old tragedy there already feels distant: the Grenfell tower fire in West London that killed more than 70 people, displaced hundreds, and underscored deep social inequity.

There’s nothing unusual about celebrities backing a cause. But the Duchess of Sussex (Meghan Markle to most of us) began quietly making visits to a community kitchen near the Grenfell site way back in January. (Its name, Hubb, means “love” in Arabic.) Her fundraising book of family recipes written by – and sold to benefit – that community comes out next week. 

Now to our five stories for your Friday, including one on a nudge from Florence about rethinking an agricultural practice, and one on a nudge from high-schoolers about what true integration could look like. 

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This article appeared in the September 21, 2018 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 09/21 edition