Kicking off our “Best of 2015” series, we’ll be looking this week at the top news stories and most talked-about issues of 2015. We highlight those issues that you can actually impact by giving uniquely of your gifts and skills.

1. ISIS

ISIS Fighters

2013 (Freedom House [CC / Flickr])

Beginning with the Charlie Hebdo bombing in January (claimed by Yemen-based Al Qaeda, which ISIS subsequently pushed out of power) and running through the war in Syria and the Iraqi escalation of violence, ISIS became one of the most significant issues facing the world in 2015. ISIS has gained tremendous power this year spreading their influence beyond their direct area of control by the use of social media and high production recruiting videos. Tapping into an individual’s hopelessness and lack of connection in society, ISIS targets the lonely and disenfranchised to fill its ranks. We can stop this. Through gifts of love, service, and dedication to hopeless communities, we can stop the recruiting process before it happens. Want some ideas of what the heck to do to change this? Empower some girls (literally the best thing you can do to change the world) by making them a kit through Days for Girls, or make some blankets for refugees settling in the United States – cut off that recruiting before it starts.

2. Ukraine

Barricade with the protesters at Hrushevskogo street on January 25, 2014 in Kiev, Ukraine

Barricade with the protesters at Hrushevskogo street on January 25, 2014 in Kiev, Ukraine. (Sasha Maksymenko [CC / Flickr])

The civil war continues in the Ukraine, with January 20th marking an end to the cease fire. This crisis has seen missile strikes to commercial airlines, 8,050 total deaths and 2,500 civilian deaths. We, the worldwide community, can do something to alleviate suffering and assist in this humanitarian crisis. Check out our International Causes to see what you can do to spread hope and love to these people.

3. Baltimore Riots

Riot Police Horses

Riot Police Horses

Beginning with the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody, Baltimore took to the streets in April and May to protest the continuing disease of the police versus neighborhood mentality. With 350 businesses damaged, 20 police officers injured, and 250 people arrested, the Baltimore riots opened us up to the fact that race relation discussions are not over, and that we all bear the brunt of responsibility in building our communitites. Want an awesome way to help? Make a school kit or an emergency clean-up bucket for IOCC.

4. Ebola Officially Ends, Now Comes the Rebuilding

Ebola Rebuilding, Orphans
In May the WHO officially announced that Liberia was Ebola free, leaving many news agencies to drop the story and move on to the next crisis. Yet the story has just begun with ebola – in Sierra Leone alone there are 12,000 children orphaned by ebola. Additionally, the ebola-ravaged countries face issues of lost health care workers, lost educators, and an overwhelming loss of hope and trust in the wake of the darkness. What news agencies are discussing this now, this current crisis that, if addressed, can stop a future ISIS from rising? What can we do, as a nation of individuals, to band together and provide love for the destitute? Check it out, people – Sponsor an orphaned special needs child through Brittany’s Hope to be an amazing force for good.

5. Syrian Refugee Crisis

Syrian Refugee Camp

Jordan/Syrian Refugee Camp (Enes Reyhan, [CC / Flickr])

Exploding onto the news scene with the ship sinking in April, the Syrian Refugee Crisis has become the single biggest news story of 2015. With the pictures of desperation and hope, and the staggering numbers of those involved – to date 4.18M refugees – we have seen an amazing grassroots campaign to help those displaced by the fighting. Check out our page to see what you can do to help.

2015 has seen a wide range of issues that will continue to change the landscape of how we, as individuals, view our contributions to the world. By building community and banding together, we can use the power of the few to make the impact of the mighty. How will you be ending your year?

We’d love to hear your ideas and comments on how we can connect people to the issues that matter the most to them. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin to share ideas and connections. Together we can make a difference.

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Categories: Featured ArticlesNews

Mamas Aina

Carmen & Kristin

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