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April’s Sparklers: Those Who Choose to Shine

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Every month here at Dandelion Chandelier we like to celebrate the people, groups and institutions who have spread light in the world recently, even in the midst of great darkness. Every day around the world, people choose to shine in ways large and small. These moments of grace don’t always get reported on, and unfortunately they can be quickly forgotten. To inspire us all to keep reaching out, here are some Sparklers that caught our attention in recent weeks:

Want to put some resources behind an innovative venture in philanthropy? At your next social or office event in New York City, use Eat Offbeat for catering. The company delivers authentic ethnic meals made by refugees who are now chefs.

Furniture can both look good and be good. The Joinery in Portland, maker of wood furniture with a lifetime guarantee, recycles scrap lumber and turns its wood dust into free briquettes for local BBQs. They’ve been on B-Corp’s Best for the Environment list three years in a row.

Pro golfer Matt Kutchar
hit a hole-in-one on the 16th hole at the Masters this weekend, and immediately gave the ball to a 10-year old fan in the gallery. Yay!

The next time the urge for fresh oysters hits, consider hitting Hog Island Oyster Co; the company hand-raises shellfish, utilizing sustainable “aquaculture” techniques; you’ll find them at their farm in Marshall, CA and at oyster bars in San Francisco and Napa.

Kudos to Dr. Jerry Brown and the staff at ELWA2 in Liberia, who risked their lives to help those in need during the Ebola outbreak– NPR recently showcased a family of seven (aged 4 to 41) who are celebrating their survival because of the help they received from the team in 2014.

Red Hot Glass is one of the few Venetian-style glass blowing studios in South Africa. Founder and owner Liz Lacey creates magnificent art and jewelry in a studio outside Paarl in the wine lands of the Western Cape. The glass pendants are made from recycled materials and are hand-crafted by local women, fostering their economic empowerment. We’ll be wearing ours often to showcase their hard work and creativity. We feel sure that it will radiate light.

To make the one-year anniversary of her visual album “Lemonade,” Beyoncé announced this month that she is launching the Formation Scholars awards, a scholarship program for girls. The entertainer said that the scholarships are meant “to encourage and support young women who are unafraid to think outside the box and are bold, creative, conscious and confident.” The awards are specifically geared to students studying either “creative arts,” music, literature or African-American studies. We can see your halo, Queen Bey!

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