Devastating hurricanes that have taken lives and left untold numbers without power, food and water. A catastrophic earthquake in Mexico that left hundreds dead and thousands more homeless. Deadly fires leapfrogging across regions in California that included populated neighborhood streets, destroying everything in its path. These are just some of the stories of human toll in 2017.

However, to characterize 2017 exclusively from this perspective would be a mistake. There are true rays of hope that shine but are often not given light amongst the more dramatic news of our day.  We would do well to turn our eyes to the inspiring stories of individuals across the globe whose selfless and fearless actions lit a path to bring hope and inspiration in the midst of darkness.

Take, for instance, the courageous and selfless actions of celebrated chef, José Andrés, who upon learning that the island of Puerto Rico was experiencing power outages and food and water shortages mobilized an army of chefs ranging from local to world-renowned, as he scaled World Central Kitchen (WCK) he founded, to deliver millions of meals to date, in settings and regions others feared to go. In 2017, WCK delivered 3.1 million meals to the people of Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria, provided 35,000 meals to Californians impacted by this Fall’s fires and over 100,000 meals to the people of Houston in the wake of Hurricane Harvey while also supporting the first responders and National Guard personnel in the field.

Day by day, across the nation and across the world, it is the fearless and selfless acts of citizens taking action that can inspire hope and allow us to confidently look to the New Year with optimism.

Read the full article about giving hope through philanthropy by Jean Case at The Case Foundation.