The Internet Age Transforms Charitable Giving: Ice Buckets Challenge Our Strategies

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Of course, everyone likes to see their favorite celebrity doused in ice cold water.

Little wonder then that the phenomenon of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has rapidly made itself known in virtually every household, even reaching global proportions. One is hard-pressed at this point to find a realm of pop culture that it has not touched.

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The One Question Every Homeless Child Wants to Hear

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When a child first walks through the doors at the Pennsylvania Covenant House’s Crisis Center in Philadelphia, he likely hasn’t eaten, bathed or slept in days. He’s met with the promise of a warm bed and a simple question: “Would you like something to eat?” The child breathes a sigh of relief. He has found sanctuary.

There are a record 1.6 million homeless children in the United States, a number that has increased sharply every year since the economic crash in 2007, and a quarter of all homeless Americans. (40% if you include the 18-21 year olds that Covenant House also serves).

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Texas is Killing Prisons Almost as Fast as it’s Killing People

Criminal Justice Reform in the Lone Star State

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Texas isn’t known for being the most progressive place in the U.S., to put it mildly. The tea party stronghold has some of the country’s strictest abortion laws, loosest gun control laws, and least LGBTQ-friendly laws. The bleeding red state has the highest percentage of uninsured people in the country. And yes, almost half of all executions take place in Texas. Oh yeah, and Ted Cruz.

But over the past seven years, the Lone Star State has emerged as an unlikely leader in the movement to reform one of America’s most deeply flawed institutions: the criminal justice system.

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Philadelphians Gather to Stop Suicide

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On the night of June 28, 2014, those whose lives have been affected by suicide will join together at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. They will then walk through Old City Philadelphia, Rittenhouse Square, University City in West Philadelphia, and finally emerge into the sunlight at the Art Museum once again. They will remember the loved ones they have lost, while building hope for the ones who need it…

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You Can Fight AIDS Just By Going Out to Dinner

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There are rare times when a major struggle finds a highly accessible and workable program to advance it. This week, the Philadelphia and Delaware Valley area will see for itself that the struggle against HIV/AIDS has found such a program.

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How Do We Heal the American Family?

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It’s no secret that the nuclear family model that once defined America’s familial landscape—reaching its peak in the ’50s and ’60s—no longer resembles the typical American family. Since 1960, the share of these traditional families—married couples with children—among all households has been cut in half, from 44% to 19%.

Over the decades, our once-narrow vision of what it means to be a family has evolved to reflect the changing times—and now in 2014, as our households are looking more complex and diverse than ever, our definition of a family is fluid and all-inclusive. Who’s to say what the average home looks like these days?

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Will Obamacare Fix LGBTQ Healthcare?

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President Obama’s uncomfortably hilarious appearance on “Between Two Ferns” with Zach Galifianakis last month was a refreshingly clever policy-marketing move coming from the White House, at once entertaining and ingenious.

Even more ridiculous than the skit itself? The possibility that Funny Or Die has become our most prevalent source of clear, accurate information about the Affordable Care Act in 2014. (It at least beats out cable news.)

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Is Art Education Dead?… Not Yet

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In June of 2013, Philadelphia’s School Reform Commission approved massive cuts in funding in what critics referred to as “The Doomsday Budget.” In addition to severe cutbacks to necessities such as materials, faculty, and athletics, the prophetically dubbed budget plan entailed the wholesale elimination of arts and music programs in the majority of the city’s public schools…

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Where Are Our Labor Rights?

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In the year 2007, I was in France. At that time, a general strike broke out in which I became involved. It lasted two and a half months, during which the university facilities were blockaded and converted into a student strike headquarters, and many private establishments were shut down and public services stopped, including trains and metros. What these people were reacting to was …

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These Guys Went To Jail And Learned How To Feed A Community

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Last week, thousands of people filed into the Philadelphia Convention Center for the city’s annual flower show—the largest and oldest in the country. The event, hosted by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, gives us all a chance to marvel at the spectacular beauty created when man plants a garden.

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) has planted roots in this city, though, that extend far beyond the weeklong visual splendor of the Flower Show—down into the cracks in society, and into the lives of the people who fall through them.

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