The week's good news: March 24, 2022
Baltimore Museum of Art to debut exhibit curated entirely by its security guards
Ricardo Castro went from guarding art exhibits to curating one. At the Baltimore Museum of Art, security guards like Castro "spend more time with the art than anyone," trustee Amy Elias told The Washington Post, and that's why she and chief curator Asma Naeem came up with the idea to have the security team curate their own exhibit. "We wanted to see things from their perspective," Naeem said. Last year, 17 of the museum's guards learned how to put together an exhibition. They chose up to three pieces from the collection that resonated with them, and worked with the librarian to research the items and write their descriptions. Castro selected three objects created by unidentified Indigenous artists, because he wanted to see more works of art on display from early cultures. The exhibit, titled "Guarding the Art," will run March 27 to July 10. "I'm excited to see everyone's reaction to what I picked for the show," Castro told the Post. "And I'm really looking forward to a proud moment when I see my co-workers shine."
Inspiring social media post motivates North Carolina man to donate kidney to a stranger
In Chris Perez, Steve Sanders found a kidney donor — and a friend. Sanders has a rare genetic disease that caused his kidneys to slowly start failing. Friends and relatives were tested to see if they could donate a kidney to Sanders, but no one was a match. Last July, Perez, director of volunteer services at Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, learned about Sanders' story through a social media post. "I didn't know him but thought, let's give this a try — I would want someone to do this for me," Perez said. He ended up being a match for Sanders, and when they spoke on the phone for the first time, "we hit it off right away," Sanders said. Soon, they were regularly spending time together and with their families. Their surgeries were in January, and both recovered well. Sanders said it "means everything to me" that a stranger donated his kidney to him, and "shows Chris' commitment to being a father and allowing me the same chance."
2 newly-identified species of glass frogs named in Ecuador
Two newly identified species of glass frogs have been identified in Ecuador, and while they look exactly alike, scientists discovered there is much more than meets the eye. The see-through frogs were found living 13 miles apart, just outside Quito. One of the species, Hyalinobatrachium mashpi, lives in the Mashpi and Tayra Reserves, while the second, Hyalinobatrachium nouns, resides in a valley in the Toisan Range. There are 156 known species of glass frogs in Central America, the Caribbean, and South America. Evolutionary biologist Juan Manuel Guayasamin said researchers have sequenced genes for most of them, and after taking DNA samples of the two glass frogs found near Quito, scientists learned that they "diverge genetically by nearly 5 percent, a large gap for such otherwise similar amphibians," National Geographic writes. "When you have populations separated by a geographic barrier, you start having an accumulation of mutations in each group, and in time, they become genetically different," Guayasamin said. The tropical Andes is home to more than 1,000 amphibian species, and it's believed there are many more types of glass frogs waiting to be discovered.
Customers line up to show support for Ukrainian-owned bakery in D.C.
Two sisters have found a way to help their homeland of Ukraine, all the way from Washington, D.C. Vira and Anastasiia Derun own D Light Cafe & Bakery in the Adams Morgan neighborhood. Their parents and grandmother live near Kyiv, and the sisters are accepting donations at their bakery to directly assist families in Ukraine. Customers have been standing in long lines so they can make purchases and donations, and in the first week, the bakery raised $7,000. Her mother "thanks everyone," Vira told ABC News. "She's like, 'Please say how appreciative we are with that and see how much you're heroes that you're helping us.'" Many of the customers donating have been supporters of the D Light Cafe & Bakery since it first opened, but some, like American University student Reagan Bauer, are new fans. "As college kids, we don't have that much money to donate," Bauer said. "Just coming to Ukrainian-owned businesses is a great way for us to support the cause."
Volunteers bring the gift of glam to hospital patients
Jackelyn Kastanis turns hospital rooms into beauty salons and spas, giving patients the chance to feel glamorous whenever they want. Kastanis got the idea to launch her nonprofit Simply from the Heart after her friend Brooke was diagnosed with cancer. To boost Brooke's spirits and give her a sense of normalcy, Kastanis brought makeup and hair extensions to the hospital, and the pair spent hours playing with eyeshadow and lipstick. After Brooke's death in 2011, Kastanis was motivated to launch Simply from the Heart. There are now chapters across the United States, with volunteers — called "glam girls" — filling "glam boxes" with 30 different beauty products. The glam girls distribute the boxes to hospital patients and give them hand massages, paint their nails, and apply makeup. Since 2014, more than 5,000 patients have received glam boxes. "It gives them the distraction that they need," Kastanis told CBS News, and she wants patients who receive glam boxes to have "an experience that felt like Christmas morning, or a birthday, or something just so magical."