Category: Save each other

Want To Help People in Ukraine? Donate Extra Diabetes Supplies

Want To Help People in Ukraine? Donate Extra Diabetes Supplies

People living with diabetes face unique challenges during times of crisis. Diabetics need their medicine and supplies every day. Its not an option. But you can’t hop down to the pharmacy in a war zone or if you are fleeing to safety with only what you can carry.

The American Diabetes Association is a founding member of the Diabetes Disaster Response Coalition (DDRC). With help from our partners, they’ve developed processes and tools for crisis response. DDRC is now leveraging these resources to support our international colleagues.

You Can Help with Supplies or Funds

If you have unexpired and unopened diabetes supplies including in-date and unneeded insulin, test strips, meters, and other diabetes supplies, you can donate to Insulin For Life USA and these life-saving supplies will be distributed, free of charge, to international organizations serving Ukraine and surrounding countries. For details on donation items that can be donated, please view resources below: 

Insulin For Life USA IFL USA is fully licensed by the State of Florida to both receive and distribute medications for this purpose. All donations to the organization are tax-deductible in accordance with regulations.

10 fire safety tips to help keep you and your kids alive and safe

10 fire safety tips to help keep you and your kids alive and safe

Mark R Lambert, West Virginia University

Too many people are losing their lives in fires.

Although the number of people killed in fires in the United States has been going down since the 1980s, the number is still high. In the year 2020, for example, 3,500 people were killed in fires in the U.S. The vast majority of those deaths – 2,580, to be exact, or about three out of every four – took place at home. Another 11,500 people suffered fire-related injuries at home.

I know all of this too well. Before I became director of the West Virginia University Fire Service Extension, I spent 23 years as a fire and explosion investigator for the West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office. In that position, I investigated approximately 1,000 cases in which people were killed or injured in home fires. As any fire investigator will tell you, I know that a lot of fire deaths and injuries can be avoided by following a few simple steps.

1. Get some smoke detectors

Smoke detectors reduce your chances of dying in a fire by 50%.

They can be purchased at department stores, hardware stores or online for as little as US$10. The more expensive models, which may cost closer to $100, have extra features, such as flashing lights or audio files where a parent can add a voice message telling their child to “Wake up, the fire alarm is going off!” Some can also detect carbon monoxide.

If you or your family cannot afford a smoke detector, you might be able to get one from your local fire department or your local American Red Cross for free. Most departments will also teach you how to install one.

2. Put a smoke detector on every level of your home

You should have at least one smoke detector on every level of your home. Ideally, there should be one in every bedroom, another one just outside of every bedroom, one in the laundry and furnace area and one in the attic.

Change the batteries twice a year. Do this even if you don’t hear the detector “chirp” to let you know the batteries are low. Replace the smoke detectors every 10 years.

Firefighters have been stressing the importance of smoke detectors since 1973. Even so, 41% of all U.S. home fire deaths took place on properties where there was no smoke detector, and 16% took place on properties where the smoke detector didn’t work.

In several cases, I have investigated fatal fires only to find the detector on the kitchen counter with no batteries in it.

3. Close bedroom doors

Research indicates that you are more likely to survive a fire if your bedroom door is closed.

That’s the reason why firefighters say you should install a detector outside of every bedroom, not just inside. If a fire breaks out outside your bedroom, you want to be awakened by a smoke detector, not actual smoke. Keeping your door closed gives you extra time in a smoke-free environment to escape a house fire.

4. Set up an exit plan

All members of the house should decide on an exit plan for each of their bedrooms. If you can get up and get out the normal way, through a front or back door, then take that route. Remember: If the door handle is hot, do not open the door. If flames or smoke block your path, you need to exit through your window.

Escape plans help children understand how to get out of their house in case of an emergency. Photo by LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash

Everyone should practice the plan and be familiar with it. Write the plan down and practice it when you change smoke detector batteries.

Your family should have a meeting spot outside – such as across the street, a tree or mailbox – where everyone should go once they escape.

5. Purchase a fire ladder

If you live on the second floor of a building or higher, you may need to purchase a fire ladder to safely escape through your window. These ladders can be rope or chain ladders with steps made of plastic or metal. You can purchase these at most home repair stores and online. They are already put together and ready to use.

Look for an Underwriters Laboratories (which is a global safety certification company) listed brand to purchase. Read the instructions that come with the ladder and be familiar with how to use it.

6. Exit first, then call 911

The time to call 911 is after you have exited your house. Once you are out of your house, you call tell the 911 dispatcher the exact location and any other information they may ask you for. The dispatcher may also want you to stay on the line until the fire department arrives – something you can’t do if you’re in a burning home.

7. Never re-enter a burning home

If your house is on fire, never reenter it for any reason until the firefighters say it is safe to do so.

I once investigated a case where a mother went back into the burning house to find her other children, and her toddler followed her. While the mom made it back out, the toddler did not. Your life is important. Let the firefighters handle the rescues.

8. Never leave a burning candle in a room by itself

If you light a candle and forget about it, it may cause a fire. This happens more often than most realize. In 2018, there were 7,500 candle fires in the U.S. In 16% of the candle fires, the candles were unattended or abandoned.

Be especially careful with candles during the holidays, which are the peak time for candle fires. This is because candles are often too close to holiday decorations, which can easily catch fire.

9. Don’t sleep with space heaters

One of the leading causes of fire death is home heating. “A vast majority of home heating fire deaths (81%) involved stationary or portable space heaters,” a 2021 home heating fire report states. “Over half (54%) of the home heating fire deaths were caused by having heating equipment too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattress, or bedding.”

While technology in space heaters has improved over the past 20 years, never leave a radiant space heater unattended and never fall asleep with one on. I once had to tell a 9-year-old boy, two days after Christmas, that he lost his mother, father and sister in a fire that started because of a radiant space heater. One of the children’s blankets came in contact with the heater and started the fire. When possible, you should rely on the normal heating system for the home. Use space heaters with caution.

10. Get a fire extinguisher

The ideal extinguisher for the home is the multipurpose type that can put out fires of all different types, like electrical and liquid. These extinguishers are small enough that they can be easily handled and can extinguish or stall the fire until firefighters arrive. Familiarize yourself with how it operates prior to needing it for an emergency.

[Over 115,000 readers rely on The Conversation’s newsletter to understand the world. Sign up today.]

Experts disagree on whether young children should be trained on how to operate a fire extinguisher. The National Fire Protection Association, for example, says children should just focus on getting out of the home because they may not be able to handle a fire extinguisher or know how to react if the fire still spreads. A Detroit power company, however, says children from age 6 to 13 can be trained to operate a fire extinguisher as long as they can lift it and hold it.

Just like smoke detectors, you also should check your fire extinguishers twice a year to see that they are pressurized and functional.

If practiced as a family, following these simple steps could make the difference between whether you escape a house fire or become the next statistic.

Mark R Lambert, Asst. Clinical Professor/Director West Virginia University-Fire Service Extension, West Virginia University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Putting Millions of Books in Kids Hands

Putting Millions of Books in Kids Hands

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library provides free books to children from birth to age five to inspire a love of reading. It is funded by Dolly Parton and local community partners in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Republic of Ireland. Dolly was inspired by her father’s inability to read. Dolly started her Imagination Library in 1995 for the children within her home county. Today, her Imagination Library is in five countries and mails free, high-quality books to children from birth to age five, no matter their family’s income. Over 1 million books are gifted each month to children around the world.

Photo by Ismail Salad Osman Hajji dirir on Unsplash
Add more voices to Speech Recognition

Add more voices to Speech Recognition

As one whose voice is frequently not understood by speech recognition technology, I applaud the Mozilla Common Voice project which aims to add more voices, more languages, and more pronunciations from around the globe. Its goal is to teach computers how real people speak.

Mozilla Common Voice

An article in PC Magazine quotes says Mark Surman, Executive Director at Mozilla, “Mozilla Common Voice is an ambitious, open-source initiative aimed at democratizing and diversifying voice technology. Common Voice enables people to donate their voices to a free and publicly available database that startups, researchers, and developers can then use to train voice-enabled apps, products, and services.” 

You can help by clicking here and adding your voice by reading preset sentences to increase the database of different voices.

Don’t want to speak? You can also help by validating the voice clips others have recorded.

Help preserve history with your keyboard

Help preserve history with your keyboard

Ohio MemoryOHIO MEMORY is just one historical resource that is seeking volunteers to transcribe handwritten documents. You can help transcribe untold stories of Ohioans from the past. Transcribing is simple—just type what you see! The site provides instructions. No experience or special equipment is needed. The original document is scanned and displays on the left and an entry window is available to type into on the right. You can easily zoom in on the scanned documents for a better view. The documents are divided into single pages or facing pages. You can select to transcribe a single page or as many as you like. This lets you control the amount of time and effort you want to volunteer. OHIO MEMORY users will appreciate any and all help.

Why transcribe already scanned documents? It’s much easier to find and search for these handwritten materials online when they include transcriptions. Your efforts in transcribing historical documents are a direct way to helping save and share the ordinary and extraordinary experiences of past Ohioans. Learn more at

BYU Students use Technology to Help Autistic Youth Learn to Make Eye Contact

BYU Students use Technology to Help Autistic Youth Learn to Make Eye Contact

Making eye contact is difficult for autistic children, but it is a critical developmental step. Studies indicate that learning to make eye contact is a key precursor to learning verbal skills for these children.

Easily distracted, a key challenge is how to keep the autistic child’s attention focused on the other person’s face. The students created a set of glasses along the lines of a virtual reality headset. The glasses can project a favorite image of interest to the child onto the lenses. The opacity of the glasses can be adjusted gradually to help the wearer’s eyes become visible behind the image. the goal is to help autistic children develop skills and increase their attention span.

These glasses are not yet on the market and will be considered medical devices when they are which requires FDA regulations and clinical trials. This innovative idea by the mother of an autistic child, and brought to reality by a group of passionate students using modern technology shows what impressive things can be achieved.

Photo by Anna Kolosyuk on Unsplash

Use spare home computing power to fight COVID-19

Use spare home computing power to fight COVID-19

Become a Citizen Scientist

Like the SETI at home project before it, Folding at home is a free, safe way for home computer users to provide additional computing cycles to solve difficult problems. Folding@home (FAH or F@h) is a distributed computing project run by Stanford University that spreads computations over many computers to shorten the timeframe needed to complete the task. Folding@home is one of the largest, most powerful, and most widely distributed computing networks. By adding your unused computing power, you become a citizen scientists helping scientists to solve complex problems.


The Folding at home project is helping researchers understand and fight the Coronavirus (COVID-19) by developing life-saving therapies. Download the Folding@Home software to donate your unused computational resources to the global community of scientists researching COVID-19.

sStandford folding at home
Standford University Folding at home project

Folding@home doesn’t interrupt your normal computer use

The Folding@home software runs while you do other things.

While you keep doing your everyday activities on your computer, your computer will also be working to help find cures for diseases like COVID-19, cancer, ALS, Parkinson’s, Influenza and many others.


Find the version of the software you prefer and get started. Downloading Folding@home is completely free, easy to install and safe to use.

But is it secure?

Run, by Standford University, with sponsorship from Intel, Google,NVIDIA, ATI, and many other respected companies, the FAH project is safe and easy for home users. The following is from the FAH website, “We have worked very hard to maintain the best security possible with modern computer science methodology. Our software will upload and download data only from our data server here at Stanford. Also, we only interact with FAH files on your computer (we don’t read, write, or transmit any other files, as we don’t need to do so and doing so would violate our privacy policy). The Cores are also digitally signed (see below) to make sure that you’re getting the true Stanford cores and nothing else.”

Donate Kibble With a Click

Donate Kibble With a Click


As of late March, has served over 26,913,201 nutritious meals to hungry dogs and cats and vaccinated over 227,000 shelter pets! You can help – with just a click. Answer a trivia question on the website and kibble will be donated – whether you got the answer right or not.

Kibble Plus

Become a Kibble Plus member and donate even more kibble! 

Founder Mimi Ausland and kibble sponsors: Halo, Purely for Pets, and our litter sponsor, Fresh Step, have delivered more than 27 million meals of premium pet food directly to animal shelters. Animal shelters use millions of pounds of cat litter. Donating litter to shelters enables them to spend the money saved on getting more cats adopted! Free Kibble has donated nearly 8.3 million scoops! of litter.

FreshStep:HSCO:Kitten2 copy logo
Provide A Week Of Alzheimer’s Care

Provide A Week Of Alzheimer’s Care

I’ve written before about the excellent work done by the GreaterGood organization. Lately in addition to their ongoing click-based fundraisers, they have been holding special topic fundraisers a week at a time. This week is for Aged Care Employees Day.

Provide A Week Of Alzheimer’s Care through Your contribution at Greater Good

from the GreaterGood website, “Alzheimer’s disease is tough on both patients and caregivers, and the condition continues to worsen overtime. Providing socially, mentally, and physically enriched activities is good for Alzheimer’s patients and for caregivers, but can be outside a family’s means. Click today to give an Alzheimer’s patient a full week of care.”   Read more 

Thank you veterans! Here’s a way to help homeless vets and their pets

Thank you veterans! Here’s a way to help homeless vets and their pets

The Greater Good network reports that over 1/2 million are homeless in the United States. 15% of these homeless are our Veteran’s. To many people – homeless our not – pets are our truest friends.  Unfortunately, homesless shelters rarely accomodate animals – keeping homeless veteran’s with pets out of shelters that provide safety, shelter and nurishment. is working to change this. Their program Safe Haven in Philadelphia will be the first housing in the city for homeless vets that accomodates pets. You can help simply by clicking on the link at

Or donate directly to the program. Help keep our veterans and their pets stay out of the cold.