Shining example: The shoeshine stand that delivers clean water

Leon McLaughlin’s story might make a script for a feel-good kids’ movie.

The plot goes like this: A humble shoeshine man operates from a stand in an important city building. As he shines the shoes of top city officials and business people, he shares his passion for bringing clean water to children around the world.

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    A child's open letter: "I was lost, but now am found"

    Bukra Sala, a 14-year-old girl living in an area of poverty in Albania, shares her young life's story -- one of struggles, pain, and loss that turned to hope and renewed purpose with World Vision's help.

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    Dear friend,

    My name is Bukra, which, in my language, Albanian, means “beautiful.” I am 14 years old. I live in a poverty-stricken suburb of Albania’s capital city, Tirana.

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      PHOTO BLOG: Fashion beyond the red carpet

      Oscar buzz often has less to do with film awards than with the pageantry of the event -- especially what the stars wear on the red carpet.

      In honor of the Academy Awards this past weekend, World Vision celebrates our stars -- children -- and their cultural pageantry and expressive styles of dress.

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        PHOTO BLOG: Over the river and through the woods

        I have worked with World Vision for nearly three years -- yet I am still amazed by the things I see and the stories I hear. I am equally inspired by the drive and determination of people living in poverty to overcome their circumstances and build a better world for their children, their communities, our country, and the world.

        Recently, I experienced firsthand the struggles children in remote communities face just to get to school, and I wanted to share this experience with you.

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          Experiments in empathy -- a new year's resolution

          My 4-year-old twins love to play “pretend house” -- especially if I play along as their baby.

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            The best 11 articles of 2011

            With 2012 arriving this weekend, there is much to reflect on from the past 365 days -- lessons learned, feats accomplished, and regrets, if any. And, of course, there are those daunting new year resolutions about getting fit, giving more, and making commitments to everything from the gym to church to relationships.

            When you think of it like that, the week of the new year can be somewhat emotionally overwhelming. Goal-setting a year in advance is a difficult and cumbersome process on it's own.

            So why not hang out in 2011 just a wee bit longer? The year is not over yet!

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              11 memorable photos from 2011

              Thousands of photos are taken each year in nearly 100 countries worldwide where World Vision programs help reach the most vulnerable. These 11 photos reflect the stories, the struggles and the events that have changed people's lives forever this year -- from earthquakes to famine, from hardship to triumph, from despair to hope.

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                Goats, scones, and life-changing gifts

                On day 11 of the 2011 True Spirit of Christmas Trip, our team introduced you to Joyce, who's life has been changed thanks to the gift of goats from the World Vision Gift Catalog. The goats provide Joyce with milk and a means for extra income that she sometimes uses to purchase ingredients to make scones from her own recipe.

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                  Merry Christmas from around the world [PHOTO BLOG]

                  What do Christmas celebrations look like in other parts of the world? In some places, World Vision throws big Christmas parties where disadvantaged children can enjoy the festivities and even receive presents. In other places, children participate in traditional celebrations that might look quite different than our American Christmas.

                  Wherever you live, Merry Christmas to you and yours. We pray the holidays bring your family the love and joy of Christ.

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                    It is better to give than receive

                    When USA Today asked me about my favorite Christmas gifts given and received, I couldn’t help but reflect on the gifts I have received through World Vision. As a donor to World Vision U.S.

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