The year Patti Kirk Gross left Nebraska, where she’d grown up and attended college, she had just suffered through 30 straight days with subzero temperatures. “I said, ‘I don’t care where I’m going, but I’m going,’” she says with a laugh. She ended up in Las Vegas. The decision would change her life.
Newly retired, Wilma Melville decided to spend time training her new German shepherd puppy, Topa, “to do something special,” she says. “I chose disaster search.” The endeavor would eventually lead Melville to found the National Search Dog Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to pairing dogs with first responders in highly trained teams. But, just as in a rescue attempt, obstacles lined her path.
Chef Bruno Serato distributes close to 1,500 bowls a day to feed children at some two dozen locations throughout Orange County, California. His program – named Caterina’s Club, after his mom, who passed away last year – recently handed over a steaming plate of pasta to its 1 millionth kid.
Since acquiring empty buildings and vacant lots in Detroit’s North End at an auction – some 30 properties altogether – Tyson Gersh has counted on an ever-growing troop of 8,000 volunteers to turn ruins into a thriving farm that distributes the fruits of its labor for free.