Peace Fund Radio #91

Peace Fund Operations Officer Beverly Shihara joins Adrian Paul in the LA Talk Radio studios today — first with an update on the easy ways to keep kids safe from the Enterovirus D68 outbreak currently affecting more than 1,000 children across 10 Midwestern states, and then for a deeper discussion about the global epidemic of HIV/AIDS among children. Learn the facts, the causes, the relationship between HIV/AIDS and poverty, and how organizations such as AIDS United and Mustard Seed Communities are leading the global battles for HIV/AIDS education and eradication.

And in our Hero of the Week segment, I remember how early AIDS victim Ryan White lives on through the Ryan White CARE Act and highlight several Three Dot Dash Global Teen Leaders whose efforts over the years have brought awareness and assistance to HIV/AIDS hotspots around the globe: Peggy Otengo, Sebastian Roberts, Consolée Nyiragirinka, and Bilaal Rajan. We also share a special video from Disney highlighting one of our previous Heroes, Judy Adams from Dimes for Down Syndrome.

As always, I can’t believe I get to do this. You can download it here or hear it in our archive here.

Peace Fund Radio #90

Would you believe that 40 percent of fourth graders in the United States fail to achieve basic levels of reading proficiency? Or that 775 million adults and 122 million children around the world are unable to read? With International Literacy Day happening next week, Peace Fund founder Adrian Paul and our co-host and producer Ethan Dettenmaier examine the vital need for early language and literacy development, break down the factors keeping 67 million children ages 5-9 from attending schools around the globe, and expose the direct connection of illiteracy to poverty on today’s show.

And as it is with any challenge, heroes rise to turn the tide. One such champion for children is one of our previous Heroes of the Week, 19-year-old Adele Taylor, who founded Adele’s Literacy Library in 2008 when she was only 13. Adele joined us by phone today to explain how she distributes thousands upon thousands of books to children around the world and to speak about her various programs and projects, including the construction of the Greystone Learning Center in Kenya and the 4,000 books it provides to the kids there via revolutionary solar-powered kiosks.

It was an honor for me to be able to speak to the vibrant and eloquent Adele after all the times I’ve mentioned A.L.L. on the show. She was a fantastic interview, and I hope we can have her on again soon.

We also talked briefly about how Pen Africa, Alyssa’s Bedtime Stories, Spread the Words, First Book, and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library contribute to children’s literacy. And we remembered Kervens, one of the Haitian orphans cared for by our friends at Mercy & Sharing, who passed away this week at age 15. As tragic as the death of a young person is, Mercy & Sharing gave him 13 years of warm meals and medical care that he’d otherwise never have received, and his laughter brought joy and inspiration to the other children they care for at their village. Our deepest condolences go out to his friends, to his family, and to the entire M&S team.

Today’s topic also allowed me to reminisce a bit about all the times my mom would read me that “Millions of years ago, dinosaurs ruled the world” book when I was little. I dedicate my involvement with this show entirely to her, and I still can’t believe I get to do this. Thank you again, Adrian and Ethan, for allowing me to tag along every week!

You can download it here or hear it in our archive here.

Peace Fund Radio #89

If laughter is truly the best medicine, Jill-Michele Meleán is a genuine Surgeon General. Her hilarious body of stand-up and improvisational work has taken her from club stages to television screens (including MADtv and RENO 911!), and today she joins Adrian Paul and Ethan Dettenmaier in the LA Talk Radio studio to discuss her involvement with various charities and causes including Neglected Tropical Diseases and Step Up Women’s Network.

Jilly shares her experiences with a loved one suffering from today’s focus topic, Tourette Syndrome, speaks candidly about the healing power of laughter in her own life, and talks about the ways in which social media are making comedy more powerful and personal than ever before. She’s as insightful and as funny as she’s gorgeous and sweet, and I really enjoyed “meeting” her.

(As always, I’m calling in from Indiana while Adrian and Ethan are hanging out with all of the lovely and talented women in the studio.)

And then Adrian hands it over to me for the Hero of the Week segment, and I still can’t believe I get to share these kids’ stories every week. This one was really unique. In 2011, 11-year-olds Katrine Kirsebom and Corinne Hindes began rescuing stacks upon stacks of coats, boots, gloves, and hats from “lost and found” bins at ski lodges to distribute more than 5,000 items and counting of cold weather clothing to the homeless via their Warm Winters project, which you can also find on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re an individual or a ski lodge who’d like to join their expanding network, you’ll find all the information you’ll need to get involved at those links.

Download today’s episode directly right here or hear it in our archive here!