Marmalade-and-Machine-Guns_by-Linda-CruseIn 1996, Linda Cruse, a stressed-out single mom working in a job she hated, was driving along the highway in the middle of the night when she suffered temporary blindness. This terrifying episode led to a blinding insight: what is the point of living if living has no point? Determined to make a difference, Linda began a new life. This was the start of a scary, lonely, but always emotionally fulfilling job: teaching skills and bringing aid—and, above all, love—to war-torn refugees, the poverty-stricken, and the victims of disaster. Linda traveled from crisis to crisis wherever she was most needed, visiting 16 countries in 12 years with just one suitcase. In Thailand, after the 2004 tsunami, she developed what was to be her trademark skill: the ability to broker powerful partnerships between large businesses (wanting to offer help in poverty-stricken communities but not always knowing the best way) and local charities (NGOs). This has brought praise from spiritual, commercial, and political leaders all over the world. Linda also helped individual families to battle their feelings of hopelessness and to find new livelihoods. Her work is inspired by the idea of giving “hand-ups” rather than “handouts.” Linda has faced death on more than one occasion, including being held at gunpoint and suffering from hypothermia, but she has never given up on her mission. Her ultimate aim is to inspire others to do what they can, as well. Linda calls it “the power of one.”