Learning about other's kindnesses often encourages us to improve our own attempts to perform good deeds. How can we possibly compare these acts, however, with those of individuals who exhibited almost superhuman dedication to saving lives? Many of us have read about such righteous people who put their own lives in danger to protect the lives of innocents in peril. Though we may not be able to match those feats ourselves, we will have done our part if we take steps to honor these individuals by remembering their accomplishments.
One project that aims to do just that is the Lowell Milken Center. The Center, founded by Jewish businessmanLowell Milken, facilitates an award program to identify and honor heroes -- people whose actions significantly impacted on the lives of others, on their community and on the world. One of the first people to be so honored isIrena Sendler, a Polish woman who succeeded in smuggling thousands of babies and children out of the Warsaw ghetto during World War II. Sendler then placed the children in safe homes where they could survive the war. Not only did Irena ensure the children's safety but she safeguarded their heritage by preserving their real names, as well as the homes into which they had been placed, in a glass jar which she buried in her yard.