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  • Writer's pictureSteve Pemberton

The Human Lighthouse Report Volume 4

Many of us have at least one individual that completely changed the course of our lives through acts of kindness. Carmen Ortiz-McGhee was one of those people for me. I met her on a train and we discussed how both of us had been abandoned by our parents growing up. Carmen is different and, instead of holding resentment toward her parent, she had actually reconnected with him and took time to understand why he did what he did. She didn’t even realize it, but she changed my life at that moment.

People like this are what I call “human lighthouses”. They provide light and hope in uncertain times, with their help we can make it on the right path. You’re probably wondering, who are some other lighthouses? What do they do that makes them so impactful? On a weekly basis, we cover some of these stories of real people making a big impact on their communities to help us find our more common story. Sean Rogers

Sean Rogers saw a problem in his community and decided he wouldn’t wait for someone else to fix it. When his kids weren’t making it to school due to lack of transportation in the Columbus Ohio School District. His solution - drive the kids to school in a limo.

"Everybody always wants to say let's help the community let's stop this violence that type of stuff but I feel like a big step of stopping the violence is getting kids to school instead of letting them skip school and go out and get into trouble," Rogers said.

Many stories came about after this small act of community kindness. One little girl even said she hadn’t been to school in a week because of the bus situation. The Columbus school board has since addressed these issues and is pushing for a way to get more consistent school bus drivers.

Just one small act can be enough to get the attention of others and make an impact of countless lives.

Aiden and Louis Ardine

During the pandemic, many restaurant workers were stuck at home and unable to make a stable income. Since then, it has been difficult to recover from that financial hardship. Two of the people affected by this issue were brothers, Aiden and Louis Ardine. With their extra time, they decided to WALK across America in order to raise money.

Expecting to raise $30,000, they ended up raising $70,000 on their journey from New Jersey to San Francisco and distributed the funds to organizations like COCO Fund and the Restaurant Workers Community Foundation. “This was definitely an adventure founded in a very hopeful notion about America, and it confirmed our suspicion that people are inherently good and want to help their neighbors.”

Rex Hohlbein

Rex Holhbein, a high-end home designer, decided to step away from the luxury lifestyle of homes and work towards building tiny homes that can help the homeless community in Seattle. “I was having meetings in my office, designing homes worth millions of dollars, while people just outside were struggling, with nothing to their names,” Hohlbein said.

He started letting people use his office bathroom, his conference room became a place where people could grab hot tea and snacks. Eventually, he started a nonprofit called Facing Homelessness in 2014. On the nonprofits Facebook page, he puts out stories of people who need funding for things like parking tickets of supplies to start a small business. One couple was particularly moved my his help. Rex would regularly stop by to give them money for gas and take them out for a coffee and ask about what they wanted for the future. This was inspiring to them, and, in an article by Crosscut, they remarked “He wasn’t afraid to shake our dirty hands”.

Rex went out of his way to help those in need. He didn’t make them feel less worthy of love, but treated them as equals.

Do you have a Lighthouse you want to thank?

Human Lighthouses are often humble, steady, and seek no reward. That is why they should be honored that much more. If you have a Lighthouse you want to thank, go to and fill in their information. A thank you certificate with a special message of recognition will be sent to them that includes their name, your name, and is signed by The Lighthouse Effect author Steve Pemberton.

Lighthouse Effect Thought of The Week

Anyone and everyone is capable of making a change in people’s lives whether that’s through small things like random acts of kindness, or even something bigger like starting a book drive, helping the planet, or liberating those in need. The Lighthouse Effect is the idea that any of us - immersed in the hustle and bustle of our lives, wrestling with our own ambitions and imperfections - can pause, and change the arc of the life of another-and find one for ourselves.

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