Good news for people who want to do good: Day 272


News you actually want to know, and what you can do to make a difference.

Welcome to your daily roundup of good news about good people, how you can help make a difference — and a picture of President Obama to lift your spirits a little more.

Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly call on all of us to show the #CourageToFight

Former Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords — who survived a mass shooting at an event with her constituents in 2011 — and her husband, former astronaut and Navy captain Mark Kelly, have made the fight for gun safety the cause of their lives. And they are calling on everyone to join them.

"America is facing a serious, but totally preventable, epidemic from gun violence," Kelly states in a video for their new advocacy organization, Giffords.

Alongside President Barack Obama, retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, and Georgia Democratic Rep. John Lewis, Giffords and Kelly remind us that respect for the Second Amendment and common sense gun safety laws are in no way mutually exclusive.

And as Giffords says, "The nation is counting on you" to stand up to the gun lobby in defense of a safer country.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran, sets the record straight on Obama's compassion for families of fallen soldiers

Illinois Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth — who lost both of her legs fighting for our nation in the Iraq War — made it very clear that President Barack Obama's concern and care for our soldiers, and for the families of fallen troops, was and remains indisputable.

DUCKWORTH: The president casually says all sorts of things that are not true. I was there in 2009 when President Obama visited section 60 at Arlington National Cemetery and personally embraced the families of our fallen heroes there at Arlington. He was back multiple times. He called, he met with — he certainly remained in contact through multiple channels with families of the fallen. You know, there's only one person here who has a record of using Gold Star families as political ploys, and that's Donald Trump.

ACTION ALERT: Get informed about the state of women's health around the globe

Memorial fund for Philando Castile has cleared a year's worth of student lunch debt in St. Paul, MN

In 2016, in the St. Paul, Minnesota, suburb of Falcon Heights, Philando Castile was killed by a police officer while sitting in his car and attempting to show the officer his requested identification. It was a horrific and senseless tragedy — but a memorial fund set up in his name has now done some real good for the community.

In St. Paul, hundreds of children whose families do not qualify for free school lunches had started the school year already in debt. Castile had worked as a nutrition supervisor at a local elementary school, and had at times paid off students' lunch debts with his own money. After his death, a local community college professor set up the Philando Feeds the Children Fund to honor his good deeds and his life, and to help kids out in the process.

And help out they did:

The online fundraiser to honor Philando Castile by paying off student lunch debts is so successful that it will be able to cover the debts of the entire St. Paul School District — not just one elementary school. "Philando Feeds the Children" on had more than $65,000 in the fund Thursday evening. When Metropolitan State University psychology Prof. Pamela Fergus started the effort, she set a goal of $5,000.

And Fergus has no plans to stop the generosity. "Kids gotta eat every semester," she says, so "the fund is gonna be around a LONG time :)."

Doug Jones, Alabama Democratic candidate for Senate, is ready to "get it done"

Alabama may be a very red state, but Democrat Doug Jones isn't letting that stop him from fighting for what's right. In the race to fill Jeff Sessions' Senate seat, Jones knows what really matters to the people of his state, and the country.

And the voters seem to agree, considering Jones and his Republican opponent, Roy Moore, are tied in the latest poll from Fox News.

ACTION ALERT: Show up TODAY to say #NoMuslimBanEver

In his third bite at this poisonous apple, Trump's odious Muslim ban was temporarily blocked by a judge, who pointedly reminded Trump that he does not have "unbridled discretion to do as he pleases."

But we need to make this permanent. Find an event near you to join this nationwide protest for justice. And if you're in the D.C. area, you can make your voice heard right across the street from the White House. Head to Lafayette Park at 11:30 am to tell Trump: #NoMuslimBanEver

Steve Eberhardt

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