Choreographed Hope, Brought to You by HopeMob

"If Mother Teresa built a platform with the tech base of Groupon, Foursquare and Netflix, with the heart of CNN Heroes, it would look like HopeMob." Intriguing, right? According to Caitlin Crosby, writing for the Huffington Post, HopeMob is an innovative way to reach out to specific people in need, and one that promises to be more satisfying than writing a check to big charity, never knowing exactly what your money is being used for. With HopeMob, individuals can vote on which people to help and pledge as much or as little as they like to the selected cause.

The causes are usually small-scale stories. To me, this is exactly what makes HopeMob so compelling. When I think about big, abstract issues like hunger or deforestation, my mind starts to blank out. But a 13-year-old boy with one tattered pair of shoes who needs help getting more suitable footwear—that I can understand. A mother of four whose car has died. A little girl in Haiti who needs to get to the U.S. for life-saving surgery.

HopeMob may not be as hilarious as, say, a 20,000-person flash mob dancing to the Black Eyed Peas, but it provides that same feeling of "That is the coolest thing ever!"—that sense of being a part of something special. Learn more about HopeMob and how to get involved here at

The Life-Lifter: Cancer Sucks. Laughing Helps.

You know how sometimes you just don't know what to say? It's bad enough on an awkward blind date or nerve-wracking job interview, but what about when you really need to say just exactly the right thing and somehow...really...can't? To wit, my friend's toddler was recently diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Whenever I am around them I find myself avoiding the subject with cheery ferocity, or else saying things like "Wow, that sucks." Or, equally idiotic: "How are things going? What can I do?" I mean, it does suck. And I do wish there were something I could do. But really what they want is for their kid to not have cancer, and although I am quite powerful in many, largely imaginary ways, I can't seem to do anything about that.

Then I happened upon the site Jokes 4 Miles, and it occurred to me that perhaps there is a tiny thing I can do, a small way I can offer a touch of light into the terrible darkness of this illness. Here goes...Knock, knock. That's right, according to the guy in this video, (aka Miles' dad, aka the father of a boy battling brain cancer), telling a joke—or singing a song or sharing a trick—is something we are all able to do to help out.

While most of us can't imagine what this family is going through, or what we could say or do to help, everyone can record a joke. It just might help Miles to smile on a down day, and it definitely reminds all of us how to deal with adversity—with humor, song and puppy tricks.

Visit Jokes4Miles for more information, and to see some of the jokes people have sent in already.

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