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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
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Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: December 2015

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USTAR Spin-Out Receives Phase I Grant from the Grand Challenge Tuberculosis Control Program

Salt Lake City — Nanosynth, a USTAR supported University of Utah spin-out, in conjunction with its partner MGM Institute of Health Sciences (Mumbai) have been awarded a Phase I grant from the Grand Challenges Tuberculosis Control Program (GC-TBC). GC-TBC is an initiative that addresses the global health challenge of TB control by encouraging development and advancement of technology. The award will enhance Nanosynth’s clinical trial in Mumbai and will make the company eligible for larger grant opportunities to support the development and commercialization of its technology.

There are two major challenges with TB: an inability to adequately screen the large amount of patients who have been exposed to or have symptoms of TB, and the inability to track and focus on limited resources of testing and treating the highest risk patients.

Of the 8.6 million new active TB cases that occur every year, roughly three million are missed by healthcare systems due to the lack of an accurate and fast screening test that is deployable outside centralized health care facilities, the cost of current testing options, and the inability to track the screening efforts that do take place. Because a TB patient can transmit the disease to 10 or more family members or friends in a year, post-diagnosis tracking and follow-up is a significant challenge in controlling and eliminating the disease.

“Current screening methods for TB primarily rely on general symptoms the patient may have, such as a cough or a fever,” said Jason Young, CEO of Nanosynth. “While these are symptoms of TB, they can also be caused by a wide range of diseases. As a result, of the patients that are tested, up to 80 percent do not have active TB, stretching the limited resources that are available for TB testing.”


Nanosynth’s TB detection device is decentralizing screening efforts out of clinics, allowing rural and low resource populations access to TB diagnostics and ultimately care. Nanosynth’s test requires only a patient’s breath and can be taken into the community or villages where the patients live, instead of requiring them to travel to a clinic or laboratory. The nanotube-based sensor detects the biomarkers that are only created by the bacteria that cause TB.

“By detecting these biomarkers in the patient’s breath, Nanosynth will identify those patients at the highest risk off having active TB,” said Young. “If the biomarkers are not present in the breath, the patients can be ruled out and not undergo expensive confirmatory testing. This will help to save limited resources by focusing testing on the ones most likely to have the disease.”

The company is preparing to launch its initial clinical trial at the Mahatma Gandhi Mission Institute of Health Sciences in Mumbai in early 2016.

“Based on the results of this first trial, we will work with our clinical partners around the world, including in India, Brazil, Uganda and Peru, on a multi-centered trial to validate the clinical utility of the screening platform,” said Young. “We are continuing to develop the data mapping and analytics platform to provide health-care related organizations and government agencies with the information they need to better understand the behavior of TB in their populations.”

Miami Children’s Health Foundation Releases 2016 Calendar Photographed By Raúl “El Gordo” De Molina

The 2016 calendar features patients and staff of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, and 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit the cause

MIAMI, FL, Dec. 30, 2015 – Miami Children’s Health Foundation (MCH Foundation), the fundraising arm for Miami Children’s Health System, has released a 2016 calendar featuring patients and staff at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital that highlights various areas and departments. The calendar was photographed by Raúl “El Gordo” De Molina (@RauldeMolina), a multiple Emmy Award-winning co-host of Univision Networks’ top rated entertainment news show, El Gordo y La Flaca, with Lili Estefan.

“When the Foundation approached me with the opportunity to photograph these children, I was thrilled,” said Raúl De Molina, co-host of El Gordo y La Flaca. “I got to dust off my camera and take some amazing shots for a great cause. I couldn’t be more proud of the end result, and more importantly, the organization benefitting from the calendar.”

Raúl De Molina officially became a Celebrity Ambassador for Miami Children’s Health Foundation in 2014 to support Together for the Children, The Campaign For Miami Children’s, a $150 million endeavor led by the foundation to benefit Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.

“It was an honor to have Raúl de Molina photograph our incredible patients and dedicated staff, and we are excited to release this calendar that will benefit the children and families at Nicklaus Children’s,” said Lucy Morillo, president and CEO, Miami Children’s Health Foundation.

Raul also covers all major events for Univision, including the World Cup, New Year’s Eve in Times Square and the Latin Grammys. Raúl graduated from the Art Institute of Fort-Lauderdale before beginning his career as a photographer. His work has appeared in many publications including TIME, Newsweek, Life, and Paris Match. In the 90’s, he appeared on the Joan Rivers Show several times to discuss his photographs, and he was so charismatic and engaging that Telemundo offered him his own show. Since then, he has been a hugely influential TV personality in the Spanish-speaking market and was named one of the most influential Hispanics in the U.S. by People en Español.

The calendar is available for an $8 donation by accessing:

About Miami Children’s Health Foundation

Miami Children’s Health Foundation (MCH Foundation) is a not-for profit 501(c)(3) organization established to support the creation of a world-class pediatric hospital so no child needs to leave South Florida for superior medical care. “Funding World-Class Care” and following the principle that all children deserve state-of-the-art pediatric care, MCH Foundation, now a part of the Miami Children’s Health System, has helped the 289-bed Nicklaus Children’s Hospital become a leader in pediatric healthcare with more than 650 attending physicians and over 130 pediatric sub-specialists. Currently, MCH Foundation is dedicating all its resources to Together For The Children, The Campaign For Miami Children’s, which aims to raise $150 million by 2017 and help fund priorities such as the expansion of the Emergency Department, construction of a new Advanced Pediatric Care Pavilion, enhancements to its three centers of excellence, and expanding global/telehealth endeavors. Other campaign priorities include research, pediatric outreach and special programs.

About Nicklaus Children’s Hospital

Founded in 1950 by Variety Clubs International, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital – part of Miami Children’s Health System – is South Florida’s only licensed specialty hospital exclusively for children, with more than 650 attending physicians and over 130 pediatric sub-specialists. The 289-bed hospital is renowned for excellence in all aspects of pediatric medicine with several specialty programs ranked among the best in the nation in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015-16, by U.S. News & World Report. The hospital is also home to the largest pediatric teaching program in the southeastern United States and has been designated an American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet facility, the nursing profession’s most prestigious institutional honor. For more information, please visit

TEDx Speaker Yasser Bahjatt’s big idea to propel Science Forward with Sci-Fi Books

TEDx Speaker Yasser Bahjatt “big idea worth spreading” is that if we encourage Science Fiction writers in Saudi Arabia, it can help propel science and humanity forward. He is now proactively sharing this message and his Sci-Fi trilogy books (that sold over 200,000 copies in Saudi Arabia) with the world to encourage positive relations. Born and raised in East Lansing, Michigan, Yasser was the first to translate TED talks to Arabic and is a TEDx organizer.

In sync with the “Star Wars The Force Awakens” movie release (December 18, 2015), Yasser’s UAE publishing company (Yatakhayaloon) gifted digital English versions of their Arabian Sci-Fi bestsellers for ten days on Amazon (Dec 12-22). Yasser currently lives in Jeddah, and calls himself a “Jedi”. To show his passion for Sci-Fi and the movie, Yasser even changed his main Amazon and Twitter photos into an image of himself as a Jedi.

“If you want to advance science, you have to advance Sci-Fi culture,” explains Yasser Bahjatt in his TED@Doha Talk. Yasser believes most technology has been foreseen at least 20 years in advance by Sci-Fi. In his talk, Yasser points out “Aladdin”, “Arabian Nights”, “Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves” and Douglas Fairbanks “The Thiefs of Bagdad” have been adding to the world’s imagination for decades.

As a computer engineer and the ambassador of Singularity University to Saudi Arabia, Yasser announced his League for Arabian SciFiers during his TED@Doha talk, and has given several TEDx talks, including in Santa Monica, California. To find out more about Yasser and his Yatakhayaloon Sci-Fi Books, below is his bestseller trilogy on Amazon:

Book 1 “HWJN” is a fictional novel about a Jinni (spiritual energy being), who falls in love with a human female.

Book 2 “Somewhere” is about a guy who wakes up not knowing who he is or where he was, and a gorgeous female helps him adapt.

Book 3 “Yaqteenya: The Old World” is a fictional novel about an alternate history where a young man from Yaqteenya tries to stop his nation’s first war in 300 years.

With “Star Wars The Force Awakens” now on track to become the biggest film of “all time” and surpass “Avatar”, it is clear that Sci-Fi can have a positive impact on the world. Not only are fans dreaming big about future technology and science, Disney currently has a “Force for Change” charitable impact campaign. Thank you Yasser for sharing this big idea, and may the force be with you!

About Yatakhayaloon Publisher (translated: They are Imagining) – UAE based publisher was founded by Yasser Bahjatt and Ibraheem Abbas in an effort to help establish an Arabian Sci-Fi culture that would help the younger generation of Arabs to expand their horizons and imagination in hopes that it leads to growth in scientific development.

Darren Walker and the Ford Foundation Set Out to Conquer Inequality

In “What Money Can Buy” (p.38), Larissa MacFarquhar profiles Darren Walker, the president of the Ford Foundation. The institution, which was established by Henry Ford’s son Edsel in Michigan in 1936, was at first “a small, local foundation funding mostly small, local things,” MacFarquhar writes. Today, the foundation has an endowment of twelve billion dollars, and more than five hundred million dollars a year at its disposal. “Ford’s grant-makers are employed ‘for the general purpose of advancing human welfare,’ so their work requires determining what human welfare consists of and how best to advance it,” MacFarquhar writes. The work is not simple. The grant-makers, though idealistic and ardently self-critical, possess a “rare and heady blend of power and freedom: they are beholden to no one, neither consumers nor shareholders nor clients nor donors nor voters,” MacFarquhar writes. Walker, who is fifty-six, is the foundation’s tenth president. “Among the reasons that Walker was ideal for the role was that his life was an example of just the sort of social transformation that Ford’s programs were intended to produce,” MacFarquhar writes, detailing his humble beginnings in rural Texas, his dedication to his education, and his eventual rise to lead the Rockefeller Foundation’s national urban program. “All his life, he felt that the world was rooting for him,” MacFarquhar writes. “This was the key to everything.” When Walker took over at Ford, “he was determined to remember that even though he had half a billion dollars a year at his disposal, and his grantees were compelled to beg him for some, and he could say no to any one of them and that would be the end of it, still, it was those grantees and their work that gave his work meaning,” MacFarquhar writes.  Please see this link:

FreedomWorks Foundation Drives More Than 9,000 Comments Against IRS Giving Rule

Regulation Could Be Used to Target Americans Who Contribute to Non-Profits

Washington, DC – FreedomWorks Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has driven more than 9,000 comments against a rule proposed by the Internal Revenue Service that could reduce gift-giving. Comments sent via the FreedomWorks Foundation’s Regulatory Action Center represent nearly 25 percent of the approximately 38,000 comments the IRS received.

The powerful, scandal-plagued tax agency is proposing that non-profit organizations collect Social Security numbers when reporting gifts. This rule could have a harmful effect on giving and represents another step by the IRS to expand its power.

“Just a few years ago, the IRS used its vast power to target conservatives who were merely seeking to be a part of the discussion on issues facing the country,” said FreedomWorks Foundation CEO Adam Brandon. “Bureaucrats even proposed a rule to legitimize their harassment of conservatives. The backlash from the public caused the IRS to withdraw the proposal.”

“This latest proposed rule aimed at non-profits is extremely concerning not only to the conservative grassroots but to every American who believes in contributing to charities and non-profits,” Brandon continued. “The information the IRS is asking for would provide bureaucrats, the Lois Lerners of this corrupt agency, with a treasure trove of information that could be used to target those who contribute to non-profits that promote a message they disagree with.”

“Our community sees the threat of what the IRS is proposing. Although the rule would be ‘voluntary’ in the beginning, it could become mandatory. These unelected bureaucrats are willing to stop at nothing to expand their power even if that means likely deterring Americans from giving to non-profits and charities that work on issues close to their beliefs,” he added.

FreedomWorks Foundation seeks to engage and educate Americans across all demographics on the principles of smaller government, lower taxes, free markets, personal liberty, and the rule of law. For more information, please visit

WholeStory Hammocks Include You in the Story

Rochester, NY – December 29, 2015 – WholeStory Hammocks’ introduces Family Hammocks, a necessity for any sized family. With a wooden spreader bar across each end, the hammock easily fits up to three people with no scrunching together, and can hold 400lbs. The spreader bar also allows for easy roll up and transportation in and out of the home. Double hand woven from 100% cotton that is soft on the skin yet weather resistant and durable for outdoor use, these beautifully designed hammocks are available online and can ship to anywhere in the country.

The Family Hammock is perfect for any sized family.

The Family Hammock is perfect for any sized family.

Each hammock takes three artisans 12 hours to hand make. The combination of 80 years’ worth of talent, skill and passion can be seen in every individual hammock.

WholeStory Hammocks is a social enterprise with a mission to alleviate extreme poverty for those living in third world countries, while providing customers with world class, relaxation products from around the world. They provide employment to artisans who create the products they sell, then, when a predetermined amount of a product is sold, WholeStory funds the construction of a home in an impoverished area within the country the products are made. They create economic development in ever Nicaraguan artisans they employ with fair wages. They create sustainable aid for every 100 products sold, and a home is built for a Nicaraguan family in need. To date they have provided 80+ artisans with jobs and have funded four homes to be built for four different Nicaraguan families. For additional information visit (

Unlocking Answers To Terrorism And Extremism In The World’s Most Enlightening Region

Birmingham, AL, December 28, 2015 – During this season intended to celebrate harmony and joy, the world is faced with increasing violence and fear. Dr. N.S. Xavier, psychiatrist, author and producer, turns to his birthplace for hope and inspiration in finding personal fulfillment and promoting global peace. His recent documentary, The World’s Most Enlightening Region, premiered at the 2015 conference of the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Salt Lake City.

World conflict and extremism are often connected with religion and culture; this documentary is about a great and enlightening exception. A region in Kerala, India, Xavier’s childhood home, has a history of ongoing harmony of Hinduism, Christianity and Judaism from the first century A.D. and Islam from the 7th century. In this small corner of the world, each of these religions also has shown peaceful resolution of more or less extremist tendencies within itself. The lessons from this unique example can promote peace and happiness at various levels from individual to global, Xavier explains.

“The inner parrot of social programming often deviates greatly from the inner voice of conscience,” he continues. “The secret of harmony is living by one’s conscience. Religious extremism is frequently the result of following the inner parrot which contradicts conscience. The clinical, social and historical examples I give promote insights to help people reach harmony and happiness at individual to global levels.”

The documentary explores in depth the ideas Xavier began to develop in his 2007 book, Fulfilling Heart and Soul. “There is a difference between the real conscience and the socially programmed judging part, the superego,” he says. “This distinction is crucial; it’s possible to fulfill human need with the guidance of conscience, but the superego or inner parrot can wreak havoc in the process if its influence is overlooked.”

It received endorsements from Nobel Laureate President Oscar Arias, Dr. Deepak Chopra, Fr. Richard Rohr, Prof. K.L.S. Rao, Dr. Arthur Freeman, Bishop John Shelby Spong and many other prominent people. The book was later published with some additional materials under the title Fulfillment Using Real Conscience.

N. S. Xavier was born in 1945 in Kerala, India. He grew up in the Syro-Malabar Catholic community of Kerala which traces its Christian origin to conversion by Jesus’ disciple St. Thomas. After medical education in India, he received psychiatric training at the University of Virginia before moving to Birmingham, Alabama in 1979, where he has spent more than thirty years in private practice.

Xavier published his first book, The Two Faces of Religion, about the healthy and unhealthy sides of religions in the U.S. in 1987. Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel called it “challenging and provocative.” The Holy Region, his second book,was published in India in 2003.

Xavier has given presentations in various national and international forums including the Parliament of Worlds’ Religions in Australia in 2009. He has lectured at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) on addictions, spirituality and medicine and the role of conscience in promoting peace. He was on a forum with Tushar Gandhi, the Mahatma’s great grandson, at UAB discussing the Gandhian Path to Global Progress.

For more information, please visit:

Fulfillment Using Real Conscience
Available at
ISBN-13: 978-1438967288

Mayor Martin J. Walsh And The Mugar Foundation To Present Boston Family Fireworks Celebration

Annual fireworks show produced by Boston 4 Productions

Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the Mugar Foundation and Boston 4 Productions will welcome the New Year with an annual family fireworks display on Boston Common at 7:00 PM on Thursday, December 31, 2015.

Boston 4 Productions, the organization that produces the annual July 4th celebration on the Esplanade – also produces the Boston Family Fireworks on New Year’s Eve now in its 17th year.

This 12-minute fireworks display takes place in the intimate setting of the Boston Common Ballfield (at the corner of Boylston and Charles Streets) where people of all ages can enjoy the show.

Boston 4 Productions Executive Producer David G. Mugar said, “The Mugar Foundation is proud to present this annual tradition. Our New Year’s Eve fireworks display has been bringing people and their families to the Boston Common for 17 years and has become a special celebration, one that we take great pride in bringing to the City of Boston.”

“I encourage families from across Boston and the entire region to join us at this year’s New Year’s Eve fireworks, and I thank David Mugar for the many years he has committed to bringing entertainment to our city,” said Mayor Walsh.

The Family Fireworks ring in the New Year at 7:00 PM in Boston, which is midnight Greenwich Mean Time in London, England. This is also known as Universal Time, which is technically when the world welcomes 2016. The idea was one Mugar came up with in 2000 to ring in the new millennium and was first year Boston 4 Productions’ produced the annual fireworks display. Although the display was set to be a one-time only event, due to its great popularity the Boston Family Fireworks has now become a New Year’s Eve favorite.

Boston 4 Productions has once again hired Atlas PyroVision Productions of Jaffrey, NH who this year will be designing a colorful fireworks display that will include more than 5,000 effects with shells that will break as high as 400-feet over Boston Common.

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