Introducing the 2019 ‘Anything Is Possible’ List

WordPress.com’s inaugural New Year’s list celebrates the people and organizations who are using the web to make the world a better place.

A coffee co-op owned by its farmers, a sewing community empowering people of all body shapes and sizes, and a 12-year-old journalist are among those named in WordPress.com’s first-ever “Anything Is Possible” List for 2019, celebrating 14 extraordinary people and organizations who are using the web to make the world a better place.

This year’s inaugural list includes nonprofits, artists who are using their work to raise awareness, and bloggers who created community when they saw a critical gap.

Here are 14 inspiring sites for 2019, where Anything Is Possible:

NappStar

Congolese-American sisters Melissa and Annette Roche started NappStar, an innovative hair salon specializing in loc hairstyles, after growing up watching their mother work on people’s hair in their community in Maryland. They now operate a thriving business in New York City.

It Gets Better Project

The It Gets Better Project was launched in 2010 to help LGBTQ+ youth feel supported and connected in the face of bullying and intolerance; over the years, the organization has collected a massive archive of over 60,000 stories all sharing the same theme of empowerment.

Orange Street News

Hilde Lysiak started Orange Street News, her small town’s only newspaper, at the age of 9. She’s been serving her community nonstop since then, reporting on everything from snow days to the local drug crisis.

The Sewcialists

The Sewcialists is an online global community that brings together sewing and knitting fans committed to celebrating their craft, making it accessible to people of all body shapes and sizes, and focusing on sustainability and empowerment.

Beer&Body Craft Beer Girls

In an often male-dominated industry and cultural niche, Kate Christensen decided women who enjoy craft beer need to have a safe community space in which to connect, educate one another, and discuss responsible consumption, health, and wellness.

Stephanie Land

A blog-to-book success story — Stephanie was a single mother facing homelessness when she started blogging about her experiences living with poverty and working as a house cleaner. After going viral a couple of years ago, she now has a new memoir, MAID, coming out in January.

The Spelling Champ

High-school senior Cole Shafer-Ray finished third at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in 2015; after coming so close to winning, he decided to channel his talent and energy into empowering others to excel at competitive spelling bees, starting a successful consulting business.

Pachamama Coffee

Based in Sacramento, Pachamama Coffee has a powerful story of social entrepreneurship: it’s a grower-owned cooperative through which coffee farmers from Ethiopia, Nicaragua, Mexico, Guatemala, and Peru sell their fair-trade beans across farmers’ markets, co-ops, and retailers around the U.S.

Rebrand Cities

Founder Hajj Flemings identified a major obstacle for small businesses in American communities, including many owned by people of color: they are still on the analog side of the digital divide. Rebrand Cities works to bridge that gap by bringing small businesses online and opening up new opportunities for small business owners across the country.

Kelsey Montague

Kelsey Montague

Street artist Kelsey Montague explores the interaction between public art and the human experience, having created street murals in cities including Cape Town, Galway, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Manchester, and New York City. She will be painting a new mural in collaboration with WordPress.com in January, to be featured in Los Angeles.

Maeband

Maeband founder Holly Kjar and kids.
Maeband founder Holly Kjar and two of her kids.

While pregnant with her fourth child, Holly Kjar was frustrated by the lack of affordable maternity wear. So she teamed up with her mother to create a brand new belly band, and launched a new online business on WordPress.com that allows women to keep wearing their favorite clothes during pregnancy and empowers them to stay active while saving money.

Faces of Auschwitz

Faces of Auschwitz founder Marina Amaral
Faces of Auschwitz project lead Marina Amaral

Faced with growing ignorance about the Holocaust among younger people, master photo colorist Marina Amaral decided to bring victims’ stories and humanity to life by colorizing photos from the Auschwitz Museum archives. They can now be explored on the website of the organization she leads, Faces of Auschwitz.

Corvid Research

Seattle-based wildlife scientist Kaeli Swift launched a WordPress.com blog as a grad student to share the knowledge she’s collected through her research on urban crows. Her site has become a thriving online community for others who share her passion for these fascinating birds — and an entry point into the study of nature for people all over the world.

To read all of the Anything Is Possible stories, go to wordpress.com/do-anything.



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32 Comments

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  1. ksbeth

    wonderful choices, all –

    Liked by 15 people

  2. rescuedogdexter

    Its great to see so many people trying to make their own difference to the world. These people should be celebrated and their voices heard.

    Liked by 16 people

  3. Ellen Count

    Impressive! Thanks for recognizing these blogs.
    For another take on Anything is Possible (from a tech-less blogger looking for motivation | inspiration) what about some examples of WP5 early adapters’ blogs (not by pro developers)?

    Liked by 17 people

  4. Holly Fister

    What a great list! I’m looking forward to reading about all of these inspiring people!

    Liked by 19 people

  5. janechua61

    Awesome! An inspiring people with great ideas that contribute to the communities.

    Liked by 10 people

  6. Mackie Masim

    Wow! These are awesome people.

    Liked by 6 people

  7. jen_bookworm

    Thanks for sharing. This is great. Very positive post.

    Liked by 12 people

  8. searching4satiety

    I love this!! Selfless resolutions.

    Liked by 11 people

  9. leonoramurray1476

    Awesome positivity! I love it

    Liked by 7 people

  10. encounters

    It is a good choice of a variety of blogs, it would have been nice to read about a blog which may be struggling to make the mark on the blogosphere yet is not giving up.
    I am sure it may encourage many who may be on the verge of contemplating giving up thinking they can never make it as far as writing is concerned.
    My congratulations to all the blogs that have been featured on this new feature of Word Press.

    Liked by 15 people

  11. bcolibri

    This is superb! I love the variety and originality of stories shared. My guess is that many people can relate to those stories and be inspired.

    Liked by 8 people

  12. jabrush1213

    All great choices! Congratulations to them!

    Liked by 11 people

  13. turning20web

    Inspiring!! I m glad I m part of the WordPress community..
    Which gives lots of opportunities..
    I m always thankful to WordPress for everything.

    Liked by 8 people

  14. Melody.com.ng

    It’s good that everyone is following their own plans, this’s 2019, do what you believe it’s good for you

    Liked by 9 people

  15. snarmadhaa

    This is amazing, guys! Love all these inspiring stories. Love that WordPress is the backbone for so many great projects around the world. Wish you all a happy new year.

    Liked by 11 people

  16. -Eugenia

    People that make a difference – so important especially in today’s world.

    Liked by 8 people

  17. eejoseph

    Congrats to the successful and the perseverers. Thank you for posting all these bits of good news and POSSIBLE stuff .

    Liked by 7 people

  18. thowardwriter

    Thanks for sharing this list and for giving the spotlight to these deserving people. I was having a down day and reading it was a great pick-me-up because I remembered that great people are doing great things to shine their light in the world.

    Liked by 7 people

  19. Walk the Goats

    Well-curated list. Thank you.

    Liked by 8 people

  20. Mrs.Showtime

    I wish I knew about Maeband last year! Trying to stuff myself in my old clothes and buying new ones became annoying.

    Liked by 10 people

  21. baca bagus

    This is great. Thank you.

    Liked by 6 people

  22. Anthony

    I think the inclusion of a site for female brewers was great. Just today I was reading an article about how Mill Street brewery is successfully run by a female brewer–or maybe just the making of the beer–I still haven’t woken up enough.
    Great list of sites.

    Liked by 5 people

  23. Robert Matthew Goldstein

    Our blogs are powerful tools for promoting a more informed and civil World. Thank you for illustrating this.

    Liked by 8 people

  24. mneraforhumanrights

    People like this challenge us to not give up on what we really want because there is always hope for the hopeless and “Anything is possible” .

    Liked by 9 people

  25. deepanilamani

    Wonderful news. Congratulations and all the best for working towards making the world a better place! 🙂

    Liked by 8 people

  26. zamokuhlesimphiwe

    There is nothing better than seeing change, and knowing that you played a role in having that change. I’m just a young Lady who also wishes to change something into a good thing and be proud like you guys are, well done

    Liked by 8 people

  27. bisernaskoljkaa

    This is really nice 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  28. bisernaskoljkaa

    This is a very positive post.

    Liked by 4 people

  29. itslawson

    Thank you so much for sharing!! Incredible 😊

    Liked by 5 people

  30. Stallion

    Thanks for sharing. This is a positive outlook.

    Liked by 7 people

  31. scoutlinsky

    This is commendable. Well done, WordPress.

    Liked by 5 people

  32. Oh Snap!

    Wow!! I am in total awe. Great highlights!

    Liked by 6 people

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