Innovators Create “The Shoe That Grows” For Children Living In Poverty

Sources: Upworthy – By | Because International |All Things Michael

Administrator’s Note: When I saw this story, I couldn’t help but to be touched by it and want to do all that I could to help this project keep going. While the following article doesn’t mention Michael, it embodies the spirit of giving and love that he had for the world’s children. When a child is given hope and a future, that child has endless possibilities.  ~ All Things Michael

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It’s not every day that you run into an invention so genius it makes you say, “Why the heck didn’t I think of that?” Well meet the shoe that’s set to help millions of barefoot children worldwide by growing with them.

Shoes are hard to come by for too many children living in developing countries.

When most people think of children in poverty, hunger is usually the first thing that comes to mind. But for many children in the developing world, even the most basic clothing items can be hard to come by. While working in Nairobi, Kenya, inventor Kenton Lee was struck by how many young children were barefoot, their feet covered in scrapes and sores. But sores aren’t the only consequences of going barefoot.

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And while some kids go without shoes, others wear shoes that are too small.

Lee saw them wearing makeshift foot coverings from scraps of cardboard. But what struck him was how many kids had repurposed old shoes that were too small by cutting them open to fit as their feet grew.

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And while these repurposed shoes are no doubt creative, they’re only marginally better than going barefoot. But seeing how these shoes had been transformed to fit growing feet highlighted yet another obvious but unavoidable problem. When kids grow out of their donated shoes, they’re just going to need another pair. This is when the lightbulb went off for Lee. What if there was a shoe that could adjust and expand for growing feet? Enter “The Shoe That Grows.”

Lee invented a shoe that can be adjusted up to five times and lasts for five years.

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After a successful crowdfunding campaign in 2011, Lee and his team at Because International were able to produce 2,000 shoes and provide them free of cost to kids in need in Nairobi. In April 2015, Because International started another campaign to raise funds for the next round of production, in hopes of getting 5,000 more shoes out to kids around the world. Take a look at the video below to learn more about this amazing company’s journey and how you can help.

Because International is in the final stretch of their crowdfunding campaign to produce 5,000 of these incredible growing shoes for children in need. You can donate to their cause at www.crowdrise.com/TheShoe.

Website: The Shoe That Grows

 

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InStyle’s Resident Puppy, Michael Jackson The Pom, Showcases His Spring Wardrobe

Sources: InStyle.UK – By Nick Spensley | All Things Michael

It’s not just the InStyle team that rock their latest outfits in the photo booth. Meet Michael ‘MJ’ Jackson: the five-month-old Pomeranian puppy whose adorable face and stylish outfits has earned him the title of InStyle’s Resident Pup. Who knew so much cuteness could exist in the world?

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Country weekend chic

MJ loves a weekend in the country. Long afternoon walks, naps by the fire and a good old-fashioned picnic. For these jaunts MJ likes to make sure he is in suitable country attire. This Barbour-inspired coat channels his inner ‘Lord of the Manor’.

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Anyone for cricket?

Varsity jackets and sweaters have been coming back in a big way this season and this little number is the perfect choice for preppy chic. Summer whites never go out of fashion.

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See more doggie fashions here

 

Follow MJ on Instagram @MJthepom for more puppy outfit inspiration

Going to a doggy shower and not sure what gift to bring? MJ has a few ideas for you here

See team InStyle’s daily outfits from the photo booth here.

 

Oh, Baby! Mom Dances To ‘Thriller’ To Induce Labor

Source: HLN | All Things Michael

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At 40-weeks pregnant, we’re sure this Florida mom will do just about anything to make her baby come out.

Bonnie Northsea posted this awesome video of her dancing to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” — and she really knows how to dance!

“So, someone told me “Thriller” would induce labor, here we go,” Northsea tells the camera at the beginning of the video.

Watch this mom bust a move!

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Local Residents With Famous Celebrities Names Find It Confusing And Amusing

Sources: The Anniston Star – By Donna Barton | All Things Michael

Local residents who share names with the rich and famous include (back, left to right) Mike Tyson, Howard Johnson and Michael Jackson and (front) Barbara Walters and Nancy Grace.

Local residents who share names with the rich and famous include (back, left to right) Mike Tyson, Howard Johnson and Michael Jackson and (front) Barbara Walters and Nancy Grace.

When Iron Mike Tyson first hit the national scene, local resident Mike Tyson, a vice president with BB&T Bank, began receiving prank calls in the middle of the night. “It was mainly drunk people,” he said. “They wanted to challenge me to a fight.”

The calls ended when Tyson got an unlisted number.

But years later, when boxer Tyson took a chunk out of Evander Holyfield’s ear, banker Tyson thought he’d never hear the end of it. “Everyone constantly asked me if I was going to bite their ears,” he said. “It got old, but I had to remind myself that none of them knew they were the 20th person to ask me that day.”

Tyson did think it was funny, however, when his banking co-workers left chocolate ears scattered around his office one Halloween season.

“Are you THE Howard Johnson?” is often the reply when retired Jacksonville State University geography professor Howard Johnson introduces himself to someone. “I tell them, ‘Yes, it’s me, former third baseman for the Mets’” (who is also named Howard Johnson).

Johnson and his wife, Michal, are frequent travelers who have stayed at Howard Johnson hotels on many occasions. Checking in at the front desk never fails to raise eyebrows. “I tell them I’ve come to look in on things,” Johnson said. “When we stay at other hotels, I tell them I’m looking at a possible takeover.”

Nancy Grace is another area resident with the same name as someone famous. “When I am introduced to people, they always have a stunned look,” Grace said. “And they usually always feel compelled to tell me whether or not they like the CNN Nancy Grace.”

When CNN Nancy Grace was on “Dancing With The Stars,” her dancing partner happened to be in Anniston, attending a Knox Concert Series program. “I was near him at the reception after the concert and said, ‘Hi, I’m Nancy Grace.’ He looked rather funny, but didn’t comment. I don’t think he believed me.”

Jon Stewart, the worship production director at Golden Springs Baptist Church, also has people do a doubletake when he introduces himself. “Then they usually tell me how much more entertaining Stephen Colbert is,” he said. Sharing such a famous name, Stewart can’t resist occasionally using Jon Stewart’s “Daily Show” publicity photo as his Facebook profile picture.

It was 30 years ago that “Saturday Night Live’s” Gilda Radner launched her famous impersonation of journalist Barbara Walters. As a result, local resident Barbara Walters endured being called “Baba Wawa” for longer than she cares to remember.

Walters, a retired community-relations director, recalls being introduced to newcomers at a museum function. “As one of the ladies was driving away, she looked at me and shouted, ‘Goodbye Martha Stewart!’” Walters laughed. “She remembered I had a famous name, she just got the wrong famous name.”

Michael Jackson remembers that day in 2009 when his phone rang off the hook. “I received a lot of tearful phone calls from people who had heard Michael Jackson died,” he said. “From friends, family — and even my own parents!”

Jackson, who teaches English and reading at Talladega College, recalled a time when he went on a job interview in downtown Cleveland. He and another man arrived in the office at the same time and were greeted by a woman with a clipboard, who was suddenly confused and sent for a co-worker.

The co-worker looked at the clipboard, then looked at the two men and asked, “Michael Jackson and Kevin Costner?” The entire group exchanged looks and then burst out laughing.

“He and I were up for the same job,” Jackson said. “I got the offer, so it appears Michael Jackson had more clout than Kevin Costner.”

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Giving: Mom Looks For Stable Home And Life For Her Kids

Source: News-Press | All Things Michael

Administrator’s Note: This story is being shared in the spirit of giving, which is what Michael Jackson was all about.  It touched my heart to do something and I hope it will inspire you to help someone, however you can.

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For the Hodges family in Lehigh Acres, Christmas is going to be pretty thin pickings.

“It is pretty slim over here,” says mom Cathy Hodges, 36. The North Fort Myers native heads to dollar stores and looks at online garage sales for bargains.

“I try to watch that,” she said. “That way I can get things for them better than the dollar stores.”

Providing for her children and ensuing their safety and well-being are of the utmost importance to Hodges.

The Lehigh Acres resident moved with her two children, Michael Jackson, 11, and Testa Greer, 7, this year from a much-worse location to their current more sedate, less-traveled and more family-friendly spot.

“Oh yeah,” she says with enthusiasm. “This is much better than where we were. The kids can actually play in the yard here. The other place, not.”

She would like her situation to be better, and she admits that things have improved since a year ago.

“But, it is still hard,” she says.

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For the past two years, Hodges has had a full-time job working as an office administrator for the Joan of Arc Corp., a group home for the developmentally disabled in Lehigh.

She also has her home health aide certificate and sometimes assists with patient care. But she has no health care, sick or vacation time benefits and aspires to obtain those as soon as she can.

“So when the kids have vacation I can take off and enjoy them,” she explains.

She also works a second job as an office worker to earn a few extra dollars.

Still, she says, the paychecks don’t go far after rent, car insurance, gas and utilities. “It all adds up,” she said.

Almost everything the children have and get is via yard and garage sales, she said, with her mother of Cape Coral also helping out. Grandma will sometimes get the kids and go to garage sales with them for gifts, she said.

“Both the kids know the situation,” Hodges said. In fact, they seem to relish the things they do have and are close.

“They build Lego cities, the two of them,” Hodges said.

Do they like to play together? Shy Testa only nods but gregarious Michael said they play together “most of the time,” adding: “She doesn’t like my Xbox.”

One of the only “extras” they have are pets, a dog and two cats that the children love.

Michael, an active but undersized 11-year-old, is fiercely proud of his mom.

“She stands up for us, and she works hard,” he said.

Hodges is concerned for him, since he is small for his age. He has been picked on in school, and she has seen his grades slip.

“Michael has not been doing very good in school,” Hodges said. “I told him he has to treat it like a job.”

Asked why, Michael responds “Being bullied.”

The issue has a connection with Hodges. She left high school at the start of her junior year due to being bullied. “I just left,” she said. She got her GED when Michael was 2, and he walked up on stage with her to collect her degree.

Eventually, she said, she’d like to home-school Michael.

Her most enduring want is to have a stable, permanent life for the kids.

“I would like to own our own home,” she said — anyplace where they could be safe and grow up in a normal life.

Michael and Testa go to the Lehigh Acres Boys & Girls Club after school most days.

“They get to go on the computer there,” Hodges said, since they do not have an Internet connection at the home. “We don’t have Wi-Fi here,” added Michael.

“I have a back bill with Comcast for the Internet,” Hodges said. “I’m looking to pay that off.”

While Hodges admits she has made a few relationship mistakes, she seems satisfied that Michael and Testa’s fathers are involved in the children’s lives. Michael sees his father regularly, and she shares custody of Testa with the 7-year-old’s father.

While she would like more for her children.

“I know my kids aren’t going to be the greedy kids you see in the store who have to have the newest things,” she said. “They know they may not get the newest version. But they are happy with that.”

Wish list

Michael, 11: Nerf ammunition, remote control car or helicopter, laptop computer, Legos of any type.

Testa, 7: 3DS, a new tablet, stuffed animals, makeup, clothing, hair accessories.

To help contact Shannon Lane, Boys & Girls Clubs of Lee County, 7275 Concourse Dr., Suite 200, Fort Myers, 322-2349.

 

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Celebrities Begin Crotch Grab Campaign For Testicular Cancer Awareness

Sources: International Business Times – By Vittorio Hernandez | Edited By  – All Things Michael

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With his patented crotch grab pose, music icon Michael Jackson would have been the perfect endorser of a new viral trend to promote a testicular cancer awareness campaign if he were still alive. Using the hashtag #FeelingNuts, the campaign has tapped celebrities to have a photo of themselves grabbing their private parts and then challenging others to do the same in the tradition of the highly successful Ice Bucket Challenge that raised over $100 million.

It started when TV host Rick Edwards tweeted his crotch grab photo and his challenge to Ricky Gervais, a British comedian, to follow his hands. That was in late August. By mid-September, 5 Seconds of Summer, a boy band in Australia had done it, and the latest to join the trend is Wolverine actor Hugh Jackman.

Jackman, America’s Next Top Model former judge Nigel Barker and two other male friends of the actor agree and had their crotch shot taken, with the Australian actor tweeting, “I accept the #feelingnuts raising awareness for testicular cancer.”

He then nominated another actor, Neil Patrick Harris, who in turn nominated Star Trek’s William Shatner.

Besides the nuts grab challenge, the campaign also dares men to give their testicles a name.

There are between 7,500 and 8,000 testicular cancer diagnoses annually in the US, while in Britain the figure is lower at 2,000. When the cancer has not spread outside the testicle, 5-year survival rate is 99 per cent. Among the most prominent survivor is cyclist Lance Armstrong.

Other groups had made interesting testicular awareness campaigns such as this one.

 

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How Michael Jackson Got Me VIP Tickets To The “Sabotage” Premiere (Excerpt)

Source: Movieplot – By Ken Anderson

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A normal Los Angles event except for one big difference; the perfectly improbable, highly unlikely, positively surreal fact that I was in attendance. Improbable for the reason that I am not in show business (I teach dance); unlikely owing to the fact that, although a film fan, I have NEVER seen a single Arnold Schwarzenegger movie; surreal because, as guests of one of the film’s stars’, UK actress Olivia Williams,my partner and I attended as members of her “entourage” and were afforded VIP seats to the movie premiere and admission to the after-party. What kick!

Sabotage, as reads the official synopsis, stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as head of an elite DEA task force that takes on the world’s deadliest drug cartels. When the team successfully executes a high-stakes raid on a cartel safe house, they think their work is done – until, one-by-one, the team members mysteriously start to be eliminated. As the body count rises, everyone is a suspect. The premiere was held at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live (yes, that’s the complex’s unwieldy name), where many, if not all, of its theaters were taken over for the celebrity-attended red carpet event on one side, and a promotional advance screening on the other.

The red carpet was lined with one of those sponsor promo walls against which stars get to pose while simultaneously advertising Budweiser, and oversize Sabotage posters which afforded the screaming fans barricaded across the street a picket-fence glimpse of their favorite stars as they walked the press gauntlet. For those of us in attendance hoping to be spared the wall of puzzled stares, angry PR reps, and inevitable choruses of “Who’s that?” sure to greet any attempt to personally partake of the red carpet experience, there was a red carpet-adjacent walkway lined with smiling ushers … in all, a far cheerier alternative to the bank of voracious-looking paparazzi.

As for the experience of my first Hollywood premiere, I have to say that it was every bit as fun and glamorous as I always thought it would be.

Oh, and as for the title of this post, it might be called misleading, but it isn’t false. Michael Jackson, or, more accurately, his music, was indeed instrumental in getting me into the Sabotage premiere. For it about six years ago when Olivia Williams and her husband, actor Rhashan Stone, first took my old-school funk dance class (see if you can spot Williams in the clip) – a class that just happened on that day to be devoted entirely to Michael Jackson. both being huge Jackson fans, they soon after became class regulars, then friends, ultimately resulting in my being graciously invited to dress uncomfortably and attend my first movie premiere in style. Thank you Olivia Williams, and thank you Michael Jackson.

Sabotage opens at theaters March 28, 2014.

Read the full story here: http://moviepilot.com/posts/2014/03/21/how-michael-jackson-got-me-vip-tickets-to-the-sabotage-premiere-1283559?lt_source=external,manual

Michael Is The Top Baby Name In New Jersey; Jackson Is the Top Baby Name Nationally For 2013!

Source: Daily Record

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Michael remains king in New Jersey, but Sophia is so 2012, at least in Morris County.

As the inevitable end-of-the-year-list season begins, Michael remains atop the tally of names for newborn males in New Jersey in 2013, as it has been since at least 1980, according to the Social Security Administration’s online records that only go back that far.

For the Jersey girls, Isabella vaulted ahead of Sophia, the 2011-12 winner, to become the most popular female moniker for 2013. Isabella also was the top name in 2010 and No. 2 in 2011-12.

Morris County girls, though, bucked the state trend in 2013 as Emma became the most popular name, with Olivia, Ava and Mia following close behind.

Jackson, by comparison, is the No. 1 name nationally for boys in 2013, according to a report by salon.com (SSA has yet to report on names for 2013). Sophia is the top girl’s name in the U.S. for the fourth consecutive year, according to the same report. Michael was 14th nationally in 2013.

“The names are different every year, and they cycle,” said Donna Paplawski, who manages the Maternity Center at Morristown Medical Center. “People mix names, too, sometimes, and we are always interested to see what they come up with over the years.”

Other parents pull newborn names from their family history, while others point to friends or inspirational heroes.

Then there’s Matthew and Tania Kallish of Jefferson, who welcomed their second son, Michael, into the world on Thursday at St. Clare’s Hospital in Denville.

Matthew and Tania Kallish with their second son, Michael, who was born Thursday at St. Clare's Hospital in Denville. The couple let son Shaun pick Michael's name. / Photo courtesy of St. Clare's Health System

Matthew and Tania Kallish with their second son, Michael, who was born Thursday at St. Clare’s Hospital in Denville. The couple let son Shaun pick Michael’s name. / Photo courtesy of St. Clare’s Health System

Michael — allegedly — was named after a Power Ranger.

According to Matthew Kallish, he and his wife agreed to let their first son, Shaun, come up with the name “so long as he picked a name we could all live with.”

“He chose Michael, and we all agreed,” Kallish said. “He didn’t say where he got it, but we’re pretty sure it was a character he liked from the Power Rangers. But if you ask him, he’ll deny it.”

In a nod to tradition, the Kallishes gave Michael the middle name “Paul” in honor of Tania’s late uncle and godfather.

As for Shaun, “We just picked it after looking through some baby books.” But they went back to the family tree for his middle name, Israel, to honor Matthew’s late grandfather.

Read more here: http://www.dailyrecord.com/article/20131208/NJNEWS/312080020/

Here’s some sweet baby pics to brighten your day! Who can stay sad looking at these little angels! CP ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥