We are five women from New Orleans, three of whom lost homes and property to Katrina. While we were exiled to Houston, we started to sell T-shirts to raise money for others who lost their homes but didn't have insurance.
When we started on Magazine Street in New Orleans, only a few people had returned to the city. Honestly, we thought we might raise $1,000 and walk away. But we sold 200 shirts in two hours. Then, our website went live, and a few retailers picked up the shirts. Before we knew it, we had raised $80,000 for a Habitat home. We all have fulfilling jobs, but nothing can compare to the feeling we got after turning over the keys to that first house to local musician and single father Michael Harris.
— Clare Durrett, 45 (and friends)
Skip the Straw
We could save millions of pounds of plastic waste if people would consider not using a straw. Straws could be optional, rather than automatically given with every drink we order. (They even come with water!) I've tried for years to get restaurants on board. It seems so silly—most people just laugh, but sometimes they actually agree to make straws optional, and I'm proud to be a part of that change.
— Tracey Welch, 59
Fight for Peace at Home
I'm part of the steering committee for the New Hampshire Department of Peace Campaign. We are working diligently, under the auspices of the National Peace Alliance, to raise awareness of a bill in front of Congress to establish a cabinet-level Department of Peace that would address issues in this country relating to domestic violence, gang violence, and bullying in the schools. They would also work with community leaders on an international level to establish a culture of peace. We believe in this bill because there should be an official counterbalance to the culture of war we've been living in.
— Deborah Enright, 54
Amherst, New Hampshire