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August 28th, 2012
01:22 PM ET

Ty Pennington works to unite delegates at Republican and Democratic conventions to build home for veteran

Though all eyes are on hurricane Isaac as it nears the Gulf Coast, there's also a Republican National Convention going on and next week the Democratic National Convention will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina.

There's one man who is trying to bring both parties together in a very unique way. TV personality Ty Pennington explains to Soledad and John on "Starting Point."

As part of Craftsman House United, Pennington will lead the charge to build one half of a home during the Republican National Convention in Tampa today, and the other half of the home will be built during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte on Monday, September 3. The idea is for both sides of the political aisle to work together to build a home for a military veteran's family.

"We've had a lot of delegates that are coming out you know swinging hammers which is - which is a really cool thing," Pennington says. "I mean I think it's great that everybody wants to get involved. And so clearly, you know, I mean I don't think one side is weighing on the other. I think everyone can agree on is that someone who served our country like this could really us a deserving house. And so it's good to see that both sides of the house are coming together."

With hurricane Isaac nearing New Orleans, Pennington reflects on the rebuilding work he's done in the city after hurricane Katrina devastated the area. He says one thing he's learned is that New Orleans residents are resilient.

"To hear the stories and the businesses and the families, the people that just literally opened their arms and their hearts to help others, that's what really inspires us," Pennington says.

August 21st, 2012
12:32 PM ET

Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones on her new charity Hurdles for Hope to help kids with parents who are incarcerated

US Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones has faced a lot of difficulty this year, from being the subject of a scathing New York Times article to her disappointing fourth-place finish in the 100-meter hurdle during the 2012 Olympics. Jones however is no stranger to adversity. Growing up, her family was homeless and her father was in and out of jail.

Today on “Starting Point,” Jones discusses how her childhood experiences encouraged her to start a foundation that helps those struggling with poverty. "Hurdles for Hope" is the signature program under The Lolo Jones Foundation that seeks to aid families with incarcerated loved ones.

The Olympian also shares her thoughts on the negative media attention and how it affected her in London. Jones says she became aware of the New York Times article entitled “For Lolo Jones, Everything Is Image” two days before she was set to compete due to the amount of attention the article was receiving via on social media. “I didn’t read the whole article,” Jones says. “People on twitter were obviously telling me there was this kind of crazy piece about me. I read it afterwards and I… I don’t know. It’s my job to focus negative and positive energy and just use it as momentum down the track and I guess its his job to just write articles that would stir the pot.”

For more information on Hurdles for Hope, visit HurdlesforHope.org.


Filed under: 2012 London Olympics • Doing good
June 7th, 2012
01:45 PM ET

Mandy Moore helps launch self-esteem program highlighting 'women who should be famous'

She's best known for her singing and acting work, but Mandy Moore is deeply invested in making sure girls feel good about themselves.

Moore is partnering with Dove to launch the "Women Who Should Be Famous" program. Dove is known for working to change the definition of beauty through their ads by using real women as models, and with the new program they're using the same technique to showcase real women as positive role models for girls and teens.

Moore talks with Soledad this morning on "Starting Point" to talk about how the program will help girls improve their self-esteem, and talks about her new creative projects/


Filed under: Doing good • Self esteem
June 5th, 2012
11:35 AM ET

Donald Driver settles controversy after woman snatches Driver's cleat from young fan's hand

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver is already a Super Bowl champion on the football field. He's also a hot shot on the dance floor, winning this year's "Dancing with the Stars."

His biggest fan is 12-year old Stephen Wagner, who went to see driver play at a charity softball game in Wisconsin on Sunday. After the game, Driver took off his cleats and threw them in the stands for fans. Wagner caught one of the cleats, but then the woman next to him snatched it away.

What happened next? Driver talks with Soledad on the phone this morning and explains how he made it up to Wagner.

"I got on Twitter," Driver says. "I said if anybody knew the kid was, please give me a call back and everybody was, like, I know who the kid is."

He adds, "It kind of worked out. I saw Stephen yesterday. We had a great conversation and great time. He was happy just being at the game at first."

O'Brien explains Driver gave Wagner a pair of autographed cleats, a signed baseball bat to his #1 fan, a signed jersey, three books that he wrote and an autographed Packers cups as well.


Filed under: Doing good
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