December 7, 2007

Our little corner of the world, in Southwest Colorado, is relatively unpopulated. Telluride is a downright metropolis when you consider our neighbor, Ridgway, which hovers around 737 people. How is it that such a small community can have such a profound impact on the world? Ridgway, Colorado is home to the dZi Foundation. Named for the ancient Himalayan etched bead that bestows its wearer with good health and protection, the dZi Foundation is the human form of that bead.

Jim Nowak and Kim Reynolds founded the dZi Foundation over ten years ago to help at-risk girls in the Himalayan region. The focus is still in the Himalayas, but the reach of the program has grown to the areas of education, health and welfare. Nowak and Reynolds had the foresight to realize that in order for these programs to succeed, they had to be developed within, accessible and embraced by the local communities. The only way to have more than a fleeting impact was to develop a sustainable program with focus on the local cultures and traditions.

I’m inspired by something everyday, and I know many others who are as well. But how many people act on their inspirations? How many take those inspirations as an impetus to make the world a kinder place? Thanks to Nowak, Reynolds and the rest of the folks at dZi who do just that. I don’t know how many of the other 735 inhabitants of Ridgway are involved, but I’ve got a sneaking suspicion the number is pretty high.

Posted by guest blogger Brook Sutton