There are many second chance stories in progress. Some people
have just realized that they have received a second chance. Others are
in the middle of doing something productive with them. Some have had
success and are finding ways to give back. All are inspiring and motivating in their
Giving PCs and kids a second chance
In Atlanta, Georgia there
is a need for computers from low-income families, old PCs that need
refurbishing, and hundreds of at-risk kids who need a second chance.All Walks of Life Inc, has
created the Goon Squad program, which provides information technology training
through the refurbishing of the donated old PCs.
For many youths it is offered as an alternative to
incarceration. "Our mission is to recycle the kids and to keep them out of
the social landfill," Murray Wilson from Goon Squad told Urvaksh Karkaria
for his blog in the Atlanta Bizjournal.
As a note, according to the US Census Bureau, access to the internet is
divided by poverty and non-poverty levels.As an example: only 15% of households above the poverty line do not have
access to the internet vs. 56% of households in poverty,( although other
studies show that 79% of those in poverty have no access to the internet).
Together, Zhang Enzhong and son Bicheng run the restaurant and help the less fortunate to get rid of misery.
The Manna Cafe in Malaysia
is a restaurant created by a 5-star chef, turned pastor.
It serves African food
cooked and served by those released from prisons and drug treatment centers.
Zhang Enzhong, 48, had a life changing experience when he tried to help some
strangers during a draught and was cut up so badly by another group fighting
for water, that he needed 100 stitches.At the age of 30, he decided to change his life and study theology.Now, according to MySinchew.com, he specifically hires social outcasts,
offering them an opportunity to restart their lives (in his restaurant).
Wheaton, Illinois, Second Chance Coffee Company is built on a post-prison model
According to Chicago News "The
group (of entrepreneurs who started the company) devoted two years to
formulating a business plan that would embody the Christian doctrine of 'loving
your neighbor as you love yourself.'"
Second Chance only sells
coffee the same day it is roasted.It is operating a couple of days a week right now with dedicated
workers, who want to get back into society.The group has plans to expand to different locations in the
SECOND CHANCE Michael Kiernan has returned to his commute, but as a changed man.
Sometimes the timing of a second chance happens exactly right of schedule.
Michael Keirnan, 50, experienced that
when he went into cardiac arrest on a NYC subway. He has recovered thanks to a
series of lucky coincidences of certain experienced people plus one well placed
defribrillator being there where and when he needed them most.According to the NY Times: "Having
gotten a second chance, Mr. Kiernan, a lifelong bachelor, said he is trying to
be a better partner to his longtime girlfriend and is trying to eat more
carefully, drink less, and seize each day a little more. "I'm not religious,"
he said, "but I keep thinking, 'Who put that cardiologist on the train?' Coming
home tonight, I looked around the subway car - there wasn't anybody who looked
like a cardiologist."
NY Times; by Michael Winerip; photo by Robert Wright
Pups on Parole is a program for abandoned dogs, scheduled to
be put down.
They are paired with
inmates at the Nevada Department of Corrections. The inmates socialize and
retrain the dogs so they are prepared for society and can be put up for
As for the inmates after they have been released from
prison, "We've been able to track them, and we're finding that they're not
recommitting crimes. They're not violating parole," Lori Kearse, who helps
run the program, told WLKY.