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Local women organizing effort to help eradicate extreme poverty

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There is no substitute for the powerof passion and energy for making a difference in the human condition, whether the cause is local or global. When people give of themselves, they inspire others to do the same.

This week, Michelle Shermer, her daughter Nicole and Laurie Flarity-White stopped by the office to tell me they're launching a local chapter in North Central Washington to encourage people to get involved in solving poverty.

I couldn't help being drawn into their excitement and fervor about helping people get educated about the issue and taking steps to do something about it. The web site says it best — the organization started by Bono of U-2 fame and supported by Bill and Melinda Gates among others is dedicated to "fighting the absurdity of extreme poverty." They're questioning why a person lives or dies depends on where they are born.

The skeptics may say that this an impossible goal and why even concern ourselves with such an effort — that there's nothing that can be done. But as the three women told me, if enough voices are raised in support of solving these issues, anything is possible, whether it's fighting AIDS, drug resistant tuberculosis.

The nonprofit organization is not looking for money. Instead, they want to empower and unleash the power of individual actions in a common cause. Poverty issues affect North Central Washington as well as communities around the world. If we can build greater awareness and bring resources to bear on the issue, progress can be made. promotes measureable goals and solutions that have a track record of success.

Nicole Shermer started a organization this year at Wenatchee Valley College. Her mother and Laurie Flarity-White have committed to launching a chapter in Wenatchee and have scheduled an organizing meeting on Saturday, Nov. 9 from 10 a.m to noon at the Wenatchee Public Library auditorium.

Thank goodness for idealists who rise above the malaise, take a personal risk, and are willing to put themselves out there for the common good. If you'd like to see my video interview with them, please log onto and click on videos.