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The Uncommon Life

The Uncommon Life

Giving Back with the IRC:
Meet the Ngalamulume Brothers

November 20, 2017

*Editor’s note: Here at UncommonGoods, we’re counting down to Giving Tuesday—an annual day of giving back observed on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving—by sharing stories from our Better to Give partners. Up this week: the IRC, short for the International Rescue Committee. Through our Better to Give program, which allows you to choose a non-profit partner at checkout to receive a $1 donation at no additional cost to you, we’ve donated over $92,000 to the IRC since beginning our partnership in 2016. Today, we’re proud to share a story from the IRC about Patrick and George Ngalamulume, two African refugees now living in Boise, Idaho.

Patrick Muteba, 21, left, and George Ngalamulume, 18, right; photos by Jonathan McBride/IRC

Written By Kulsoom Rizvi, Digital Content Officer, International Rescue Committee

Patrick and George grew up in the inner cities of Zambia, where they witnessed and experienced all kinds of hardships and ugliness: sleeping on cold cement floors, lacking enough food to eat, hearing cries of rape outside their doors. They would walk for miles, sometimes without shoes, to fetch water from the nearest well.

But what the Ngalamulume brothers craved most was a proper education. They were taught basic literacy and math at a local school—local meaning several miles from their house—but they knew there was no future for them in Zambia. Their parents had fled the nearby Democratic Republic of Congo; as sons of refugees they would find it nearly impossible to go to college in Zambia.

And yet, today, Patrick and George have become the first people in their family to attend college. The brothers have big ambitions to continue their educations at medical and law programs. They want to make a difference, to give back, to make a better world.

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The Uncommon Life

Sharing Survivors’ Stories with RAINN

November 13, 2017

*Editor’s note: Here at UncommonGoods, we’re counting down to Giving Tuesday—an annual day of giving back observed on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving—by sharing stories from our Better to Give partners. Up this week: RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. Through our Better to Give program, which allows you to choose a non-profit partner at checkout to receive a $1 donation at no additional cost to you, we’ve donated over $350,000 to RAINN since beginning our partnership in 2010. Today, we’re proud to share a story from Samentha Moore, a participant in RAINN’s survivor series.

“It’s a beautiful thing, to be a survivor of something so heinous.”

“I felt like a broken record. It was embarrassing for me. I told people after the first and the second…but after the third [rape] I felt like a freak show,” said Samentha Moore. Samentha’s experience with multiple incidents of sexual assault by a stranger left her feeling self-conscious and blaming herself.

“Even for the longest time after my second rape, I hated leather jackets because he had a black leather jacket on, so that was something that triggered.”

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The Uncommon Life

37 Enchantingly Uncommon Facts about Unicorns

November 7, 2017

Ever wondered what a Unicorn’s horn is called? Are unicorns real, or is the mighty beast just a myth? How do you catch a unicorn? We rounded up 37 enchanting facts about everyone’s favorite elusive horned horse to make it easy to find everything you’ve ever wanted to know about unicorns in one magical article.

1
The gleaming, magical horn that’s captured our hearts is officially called an alicorn.

2
Alicorn isn’t just the name for a unicorn’s horn. It’s also the name for a horse with wings and one horn.

 

3
While Nessie may still be the Highlands’ most notable mythical creature, the Unicorn is the national animal of Scotland.

 

4
Scots celebrate the majestic equine on National Unicorn Day each April 9.

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The Uncommon Life

Counting Down to Giving Tuesday
with America’s Iconic Cats
(and American Forests)

November 6, 2017

*Editor’s note: Here at UncommonGoods, we’re counting down to Giving Tuesday—an annual day of giving back observed on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving—by sharing stories from our Better to Give partners. First up: American Forests, the country’s oldest conservation organization and our longest-standing not-for-profit partner, with whom we’ve recently teamed up on an initiative dubbed Wildlands for Wildlife, which aims to protect the Endangered Species Act. Through our Better to Give program, which allows you to choose a non-profit partner at checkout to receive a $1 donation at no additional cost to you, we’ve donated over $385,000 to American Forests since 2010. Today, we’re proud to share their story on ocelot recovery through forest restoration.

Biologists from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) stumbled upon an ocelot den site, where they observed a three-week-old male kitten. Credit: USFWS

Written by Eric Sprague, American Forests Director of Forest Conservation Programs

Just before Christmas last December, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) posted cat photos on their website. While everyone loves cat photos, they aren’t exactly noteworthy in their own right. Except these were not your typical cat photos.

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The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet Julia Shaffie

October 12, 2017

Julia Shaffie, UncommonGoods Receptionist and HR Assistant

My hometown…

West Bank Demerara, Guyana, South America. A nature-lover’s paradise.

I’m inspired by…

Someone who exhibits unconditional love and never-ending mercy.

When I was a kid my favorite television program was…

Do not ask me to choose: National Geographic Explorer, Power Rangers, Highlander, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena: Warrior Princess.

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