Good News

Some of the positive stories coming our way

Santonocito and Arena (far right)

A fruitful enterprise
Business  Back in 2011, Adriana Santonocito was a design student in Milan, working on her dissertation, when she began to wonder whether a fabric could be made from citrus by-products that would otherwise be thrown away.

Santonocito comes from Sicily, a place famous for its oranges, so the idea was of particular interest to her. What if the rinds of the hundreds of thousands of tons of oranges used for juice—normally just a waste product—could somehow be used to make clothes?

She set about finding the answer in the laboratory, and discovered that the cellulose in orange rinds could be turned into yarn, which could then be dyed and blended with other textiles.

In 2014 she founded her own company, Orange Fiber, together with her colleague and fellow Sicilian Enrica Arena, and they’ve now begun selling their silk-like material to clothes-makers. Rosario Faraci, a business professor at the University of Catania, says the company is a shining example of how “creativity and entrepreneurial spirit” is creating new jobs and businesses in Sicily.

Star footballer’s charity move
Sport  Professional footballers are known for their often huge wages, but not so much for their charitable endeavors. But Manchester United’s Spanish player, Juan Mata, is hoping to change all that.

He has committed to donating 1 per cent of his salary to a collective fund called Common Goal, a group of 120 charities in 80 countries run by Streetfootballworld. “Football generates a lot of money, but there has to be a social responsibility that goes with that,” says Mata.

Mata hopes other players and administrators will join in. The first to get on board was Mats Hummels, the Bayern Munich defender, who says, “As soon as I heard of Common Goal, I knew this was a chance for football to improve our world, and I wanted to be part of it.”

Bringing books to refugees
Society  A minivan carrying a library of more than a thousand books now tours Athens thanks to a new initiative that aims to alleviate the boredom and creeping despair of refugees waiting to be relocated elsewhere in Europe. The goal is to “make culture accessible to all”, according to Esther ten Zijthoff, the Dutch-American coordinator of the project. The most popular books are dictionaries and the novels of Agatha Christie.

Photo: hotspot media/harvey hook
Matthew Goodman and, inset, Lottie Woods-John.

Soldier sells medals to help sick child
Heroes Former Soldier Matthew Goodman, who served with the British army in the 2003 Iraq War, was moved to take action when he read about a small child’s struggle with cancer. Despite never having met Lottie Woods-John, the ex-Royal Marine put his three service medals up for sale to help fund her treatment.

“I couldn’t imagine seeing my own baby daughter suffering like that,” he says. “My medals were sitting in the drawer, and I thought they could be used for something worthwhile.” The proceeds will go towards the £200,000 needed to send Lottie to the US to be given a new vaccine. “When Matt contacted me, I was speechless,” says Lottie’s mother, Charlotte. “He risked his life for those medals and that he’s not even met Lottie, but wants to help, is mind-blowing.”

Sources: Business, BBC News, 23.8.17. Sport, The Guardian, 17.8.17. Society, Good News Network, 21.8.17. Heroes, The Sun, 21.8.17

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest