As the world seems to be fast tumbling toward apocalypse (global warming, World War III, economic meltdown), we see signs of hope in the most unlikely places. Take for instance local charity Miracles in Action. It was started by a middle-age American Airlines flight attendant, Penny Rambacher, who was on a layover in Quito, Ecuador, in 1999 when she came face to face with a "dumpster child" in the city's outskirts. Witnessing such extreme poverty immediately made her take action. Thus Miracles in Action was born. With only $20,000, Miracles has helped build in rural, impoverished areas of Guatemala approximately 20 schools serving about 300 to 350 students, most of indigenous Mayan descent. The organization's motto is "Help Poor People Help Themselves." The results: increased literacy rates, higher life expectancy, better hygiene, and, most important, happier and safer communities. So while $20,000 will get you a modest Honda Civic, it could also save lives.