Last week, we reported on a new "miracle machine" in the Kickstarter realm that purported to turn water into wine. Only it turns that Jesus' first miracle still eludes the bounds of modern science, because the guys behind the machine have admitted the whole thing was a publicity stunt by the MSL Group for Wine to Water, a nonprofit that brings clean water to people who don't have any. The group even left a True Detective-esque clue in the name: The logo for Miracle Machine is "M/M." The logo for Wine to Water is "W/W." Flip them around and—well, you get it. Either way, Wine to Water is certainly hard at work on a much more important cause than turning actual water into actual wine, so the joke's on us ... Discuss


Instead of giving away cheap T-shirts or promotional clothing items at Austin’s convention center during the massive SXSW festival, the tech company Medallia is collecting it from attendees. The Silicon Valley-based customer management company has partnered with Austin’s Foundation for the Homeless to collect the marketing apparel given away by other companies (know as SWAG—“stuff we all get”) to donate to the local homeless community. Michael Scott would approve ... Discuss


Billionaire businessman and philanthropist Bill Gates thinks a lot about how he and his wife Melinda can use their wealth to help solve problems affecting much of the world. But in his most recent annual open letter, Gates’ wants to dispel three commonly held myths the he believes “block progress for the poor.” Gates believes that too often, people think that because of the state of current conditions “poor countries are doomed to stay poor,” that the spending of “foreign aid is a waste”, and “saving lives leads to overpopulation.” If you have a few minutes today, the graphic-heavy letter, which is loaded with stats about current anti-poverty efforts and ways you can get involved, is a fascinating read.

The belief that the world can’t solve extreme poverty and disease isn’t just mistaken. It is harmful. That’s why in this year’s letter we take apart some of the myths that slow down the work. The next time you hear these myths, we hope you will do the same.

This year was big for foreign aid, relief and development. Here's what we learned. Read More
There’s more to poverty than not having any money. Read More

Carol and Willie Fowler had spent a lot of time planning their daughter’s wedding, but after it was unexpectedly canceled at the last minute, the couple decided to turn the sad situation into an opportunity to help others. The family teamed with a local homeless-aid group called Hosea Feed the Hungry in Atlanta, and organized the first annual “Fowler Family Celebration of Love.” They hosted 200 members of Atlanta’s homeless community for a massive dinner party at the reception hall that was going to be used for the wedding, and fed them the four-course meal originally planned for the post-ceremony celebration. The Fowlers said, “Events are canceled, and sometimes for unknown reasons. Do not allow that opportunity to go to waste. Call up your favorite charity. Give them an opportunity to use that for people that will not have an opportunity, perhaps in life” … Discuss