New ‘Angels Among Us’ Project Aims to Recognize People Who Give

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Philanthropist John Shimer says he hopes to inspire others by shining a light on Human Angels.

Washington-based philanthropist John Shimer’s new Angels Among Us project seeks to recognize the human angels among us who give selflessly of themselves by telling their stories through videos aired on TV.

He has already presented his Angel on Earth award to five human angels in the United States and Canada, and he’s calling on communities, non-profits and individuals to nominate more via the Angels Among Us website.

“If you want people to be their best, or just better than they are, you need to shine a light on what that looks like. People tend to become what they see,” says Shimer, a director of the charitable corporation Fortune Family Foundation and author of “Turn Right at the Dancing Cow,” (http://www.dancingcowbook.com), the story of his first human angel, Maggie Josiah of Seattle, who launched a vocational school in the bush of Uganda.

Shimer’s non-profit Angels Among Us project has built momentum in recent months. He has been reaching out to communities across North America in search of stories about local residents who selflessly give of themselves for others.

Among the human angels recognized thus far are:

  •     Cindy Jones of Mesa, Ariz.: After five years of parenting at a Mesa residential community for abused and at-risk children, Sunshine Acres Children’s Home, Jones went on to form The Two Hearts Horsemanship Program, which helps children address and resolve the pain they’ve experienced by working with horses.. With no budget, she found rescued horses, donations for tack, and recruited and trained volunteers and mentors.
  •     Laurie Anderson from Edmonton, Alberta: For more than 11 years, Anderson has been a mentor and big sister at the Edmonton Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters. She also serves as a mentor to students enrolled in a mentoring class at the University of Alberta.
  •     Reed Reichert from San Diego, Calif.: Reichert founded a volunteer group, Waves of Appreciation, that provides bags of snack foods to service members flying in and out of San Diego. Because airport food is expensive and few airlines provide free meals in flight, the bags ensure the servicemen and women don’t travel hungry.

“I’m excited about this project,” Shimer says. “We’re all capable of doing terrible things, but we’re also capable of doing wonderful things. Imagine what might happen if we see more examples of the good in the media than the bad.”

About John Shimer

John Shimer is a director of Fortune Family Foundation, a charitable corporation that provides assistance to non-profits focused on fostering self-sufficiency. For 33 years, Shimer was a consultant for hospitals, human welfare agencies, and similar organizations. He is the author of “Turn Right at the Dancing Cow,” the story of a “human angel” from Seattle and the vocational school she established in Uganda. He’s the founder of the new Angels Among Us Project, (http://www.angelsamongusproject.org), which seeks to spotlight the best and most inspiring of human behaviors.

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