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Friday, March 31, 2017

Empowering disadvantaged girls

Lynn Kelley's heart was broken in 1995, when she saw young disadvantaged girls struggle with self-confidence in her gym class. One day while teaching jump rope, she had an idea. Those jump ropes could become lifelines to empower girls! Soon she started a performance team called the Firecrackers -- 24 girls in grades four through eight from the Warren County Kings School District near South Lebanon, OH. The community rallied behind the Firecrackers, who use light-weight beaded jump ropes during their seven-minute shows. They began performing during half-time at local high school basketball games. Since then they've performed at college basketball games, in presidential inaugural parades and on the Dave Letterman Show. In 2009, Kelly was named by USA Weekend as one of America's ten "Most Caring Coaches."


"One of our slogans during practice is the six W's," said Kelly -- 'WORK WILL WIN WHEN WISHING WON'T.'" The girls practice two hours a day, six days a week. In addition, they must take a four-hour etiquette course and learn public speaking. One of the team's core values is community service. "We do a lot of things at Christmas for disadvantaged families," Kelly said. "We try to educate the whole child and develop character more than just jump rope." But their jump rope skills are truly astonishing. To meet the Firecrackers and see them perform last year at Indiana University's legendary Assembly Hall visit http://www.kingsfirecrackers.com/  Be sure to watch "full screen" and wait for the standing ovation at the end. Their performance will take your breath away.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Lemonade for love

Six-year-old A'Layah Robinson of Sulphur, Oklahoma, was born to a drug-addicted mother. As an infant, she was bounced from one foster home to another. "It was not very fun," she says, "but I had to do it because I was a foster kid, until I got adopted." After the Robinson family adopted her, they knew she was very special. Her mom, Misty Robinson, remembers, "She had her birthday and Christmas money. She was trying to buy a Barbie jeep. When the tornado hit after her birthday, she told me she wanted to give all her money to a family who lost everything.

                                                                                                     Facebook
But that was just the beginning. She began selling Lemonade for Love, and raised hundreds of dollars to buy gifts for other foster kids. "I get tooth brushes, tooth paste and blankies and a stuffed animal and a Bible," she explains. "I put the Bible in so they can feel special and learn about Jesus." Recently she was nominated for a First Fidelity Bank Pay it 4Ward prize of $400. She received it by surprise during a school ceremony, and kept her promise to use it to help others. She and her mom went right out to buy 250 backpacks, 100 full-size blankets and 50 baby blankets for Oklahoma foster children.  (Thanks to a faithful reader in Bloomington, Indiana, for discovering this "crumb.")

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Indianapolis police reduce crime with compassion

"A lot of people out there are hungry," says an Indianapolis east district police officer. "They don't have anything. And this bridges the gap between civilians and police." He's talking about bags of groceries -- containing between 12 and 16 complete meals, which he and his fellow officers are giving to the needy.

                                                                                                            Kelly Wilkerson / Indy Star
Bags are put together with food from Gleaners Food Bank. Almost 1,000 bags will soon be in police hands. "There's a direct connection between crime and hunger," said Gleaners president John Elliott. "Hunger might be the reason for theft. Each bag contains non-perishable food items Food in the bags may help needy families for a few days, but each bag also contains a card to help people get further help if needed. "This is a good way to deter crime," said the police officer.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Every mother should see this video!

Bystanders were using their phones to film a street brawl between two teens. It happened  a few days ago at the corner of McKinley and North Indiana avenues in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Suddenly a man appeared and stopped the fight. He said everyone filming the fight was a coward. He talked the teens into shaking hands. The entire event was captured on a 4-minute video posted on Facebook. Within 48 hours, it had been viewed 26 million times, for all the right reasons. It even garnered appreciative posts from NBA star LeBron James and rapper Snoop Dog.


The peacemaker was Ibn Ali Miller, 26, of Atlantic City. He's a husband, a student and a father of five. He was on break from an afternoon class when he saw the fight. A few days later, the City Council honored him for his courage and love of kids. His former kindergarten teacher, Merle Hurst-Kyle, 65, said his deed did not surprise her. "He was like that when he was five" she remembered. "He was a peacemaker." While speaking at the City Council meeting where he was honored, Miller shed some tears. To hear his VERY heartfelt comments, especially if you're a mother, get a tissue and visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=ei6sT_KP-T0

Monday, March 27, 2017

Abused dog becomes airport customs inspector

When Murray the beagle arrived at the Northeast Georgia Animal Shelter, he was too injured for adoption, and was extremely nervous and anti-social. But as he was fostered by a member of Alcovy Pet Rescue, he became happy and energetic. and his caretaker noticed his amazing ability to sniff out food. He was always getting into her cabinets and prying open compartments.


Because he was so skillful at finding hidden food, he was entered into a training program with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop his abilities. On March 1, Murray graduated. He has been assigned by the customs department to sniff out illegal plants, food and produce within the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

New Jersey woman feeds 30,000 people

Have you ever heard of extreme couponing? That's the technique Lauren Puryear used to obtain enough food to feed 30,000 unsheltered homeless folks in New Jersey, Baltimore and Washington DC, and her effort is not finished yet. When she was little, her grandmother taught her to help and love other people. "I know she would want me to carry on her legacy," says Puryear.

                                                                                                          Courtesy of Lauren Puryear
Extreme couponing helps her help others. "After I couponed 50 jars of Ragu sauce and 100 boxes of Barilla pasta all for FREE, I knew I was going to make a difference in the world," she explains. When she turned 29, she vowed to feed 30,000 people before she turned 30, and she has already achieved that goal. Now she's expanding to assist everyday working Americans who are at or below the poverty line. She plans to educate them how to rise above poverty by using community resources and (of course) coupons.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

"Some ask me to say a prayer, and I do."

"My customers are my life," says Loraine Maurer, a mother of four from Evansville, Indiana. "They're friends, not just customers." And it's true. She has gone to ballgames with them and traveled with them. She knows their kids. "Some ask me to say a prayer, and I do," she says. During winter months, her customers offer to pick her up for work and take her home. Recently she turned 94, and was honored with a special cake for working 44 years at McDonalds restaurants. She currently works every Friday and Saturday during breakfast at the Green River location. "I get in here at 5 o'clock when they open," she says "I have to get up at three."

                                                                                                 Alex Slitz/Courier Press
Maurer has a loyal following of customers who like to have her take their order. They know that if something comes from the grill and it's not perfect, she'll send it back for them. Over the decades, she has eaten from the McDonalds menu during every shift she worked. Her favorite meal is the fish sandwich, "but now I work mornings and there isn't anything I don't like." On the extremely rare days when she misses a shift because of illness, her co-workers take food to her house. But at the end of the day, it's not food that keeps Maurer working. "The people, the clientele, that's why I stuck with it," she says.


Friday, March 24, 2017

Abused shelter dog is now a hero

When Petunia (shown below) came to the animal shelter in Delta County, Michigan, she was suffering from two broken legs, several broken ribs, and a stomach full of carpeting. Her owners were arrested and convicted of animal cruelty. Under care at the shelter, Petunia recovered health and was adopted into a loving home, where she's known as Peanut. But she never lost her sensitivity to suffering. On a recent Friday morning, Peanut seemed to go crazy, running around the house trying to get out. After being let outside, Peanut raced into the fields surrounding her new home. Peanut's dad chased after her, and found she had stopped in front of a 3-year-old naked girl who was curled up in a ditch and shivering. It was 32 degrees outside.


Peanut's dad scooped up the infant, wrapped her in his sweatshirt, and brought her back to the house before calling 911. When the ambulance arrived, the little girl could only say one thing, "doggie." She was not injured, but child protective services found the child's home and removed her and her sister after the dwelling was deemed "unsafe and unsanitary." Peanut is enjoying the good life, and is known around Delta County as a hero.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Very important Father-Daughter dance

Father-Daughter dances are always popular, but never more so than the one held recently at the Richmond, Virginia, Justice Center. Eleven inmates participated in the event with their daughters. While the fathers serve time behind bars, they worked hard to earn this rare bonding opportunity. They had to take 30 hours of parenting classes and learn skills like conflict resolution and building relationships.

                                                                                                                                        WTVR
This is the sixth annual Father-Daughter dance sponsored by the jail. Richmond Sheriff C.T. Woody says the prisoners got to see firsthand the major reason to make a change when they are released. "That path forward includes commitment," he said. At the dance, each inmate crossed an invisible "line of commitment" to be with their little girl, who was waiting on the other side. Prisoner Courtny Price has a few months left to serve, but says his next steps are already mapped out. "I'm really committed to that line," he said. "That line is a line of truth for me."

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

"I am lucky! I am lucky!"

As reported in a recent Christian Science Monitor, Nadia Hanan Madalo lived with her husband and four children in a Christian village in Iraq. The family fled their village in 2014 before it was invaded by Islamic State fighters who destroyed the town and burned her home to the ground. She and her family relocated "temporarily" to Iraq's semi-autonomous northern Kurdish region, where her children struggled in an overcrowded school for the displaced. Nadia understands the pain of waiting. Her parents spent three years going through the vetting process before they were approved for immigration to the USA. Finally, as they flew to America, her father died. He's buried in San Diego.

                                                                                                                            Gregory Bull/AP
For 48 months. Ms. Madalo waited to reunite with her mother, her siblings, and her 21-year-old son in the United States. Finally her family received refugee flight credentials!! When they boarded a plane in northern Iraq, they assumed they'd be among the last refugees allowed into the USA before the newest Trump administration travel ban went into effect. By the time they landed, a judge had put a hold on the ban. For the Madalo family, it was a miracle. "I am lucky. I am lucky" she said at a late-night reunion feast at her brother's apartment in El Cajon, California. Madalo is happy she and her family can stop fleeing. "The first thing is being safe," she said.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Immigrant receives gift of gratitude

Minasie Theophilis came to the United States from Ethiopia as a young man in 1984. For a while, he was a student at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and in 1989 he took a job at the school as a custodian. He loves the college and has worked there ever since, with a passion. Few know this better than the ice hockey team. "Beyond his faith, positive energy and daily smile, the Ice Arena is spotless," says hockey team member Christopher Johnson, adding that "the pride Minasie takes in his job is contagious."

                                                                                                                                   GoFundMe
But during all his years at Augsburg, the janitor has never had enough money to return to see his parents in Ethiopia. Recently the ice hockey team learned that his mother had passed away, and they wanted to reunite him with his family. They started a GoFundMe page, hoping to raise $3,000 by the end of the hockey season. Instead, their page raised $5,000 in nine hours! The team gave him a check the next day. Minasie's widowed father is visiting Minasie's brother in Norway, and Minasie will soon fly to Norway to be with them both. "We feel that after all the time and energy of Minasie serving us, we would like to return the favor and unite him with his family," said Johnson.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Ever wonder what true love looks like?

In early 2012, Melissa Dohme broke up with her boyfriend, Robert Lee Burton, Jr. He didn't take it well. He stabbed her 32 times in her face, neck, hands and arms. She was laying on the road outside her home hemorrhaging badly when first responders, including Cameron Hill, arrived. She was airlifted to the hospital where she flat-lined four times. She suffered a stroke and had a fractured skull, nose and jaw and facial paralysis, but with medical help, she made a remarkable recovery.


Hill stayed by her side through her surgeries and speech and physical therapy appointments. He held her hand in court as the man who attacked her was sentenced to life in prison without parole. When she was able to talk about her ordeal, Hill was in the audience. He invited her to the firehouse for dinner with the rest of the crew. In May, 2015, he proposed marriage and she accepted. But one of the wounds to her face left her with a damaged facial nerve and a lopsided smile. She was determined to get her smile back before her wedding. In 2015, Dr. Tessa Hadlock at Massachusetts Eye and Ear performed a ground-breaking, intricate eight-hour surgery. After that, it still took 18 months for her muscles to regenerate, but when she arrived in a horse-drawn carriage for her wedding in Florida, she was beaming.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

McDonalds worker jumps out drive-thru window

It happened at a McDonalds restaurant in Doral, Florida. Pedro Viloria was working at the drive-thru window. He was taking a customer's order when he noticed she was having trouble breathing. Then she fell unconscious, and her foot slipped off the brake.


As her SUV began to roll away with the woman and children inside, Pedro immediately jumped out the window and ran after the vehicle. Once he was sure her car was in no danger of rolling into traffic, he ran back inside and called for help. The woman, an off-duty police officer, was revived with a defibrillator before being taken to the hospital. Viloria is being hailed as a hero.

Friday, March 17, 2017

French TV focused on ability, not disability

A young Frenchwoman has dreamed of being a weather forecaster on television. Twenty-one-year-old Melanie Segard has Down syndrome and cannot read or write, but never gave up on her dream. To encourage her, a charity called Unapei which assists people with disabilities created a Facebook campaign for her called "Melane peut le faire." (Melanie can do it.) It garnered over 225,000 "likes" in support of her mission.


Recently Melanie was invited to help give the weather forecast on national public television channel France 2. She trained for a week, learning how to present before a green screen. Then it was her day. After letting professional make-up artists prepare her for TV lights, she went on the set and "knocked it out of the park." Her presentation was perfect. She says her goal was to show everyone that a person with disabilities can perform services that able-bodied people can do -- even on national television.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

"Love More" signs spreading across nation

An alert reader from Columbus, Indiana, shared today's crumb of comfort. It comes from Franklin, Indiana, where a young mom named Erin Davis noticed several hateful or divisive yard signs before the presidential election. She yearned to put up a sign that would encourage unity and joy. When her daughter Wren come home from kindergarten, she brought a picture she'd drawn of a rainbow and a unicorn. This inspired Erin to design a rainbow-themed image behind the words LOVE MORE. Before Halloween, she printed up 18 yard signs like the ones shown here.

                                                                                                                                        WTHR
Every morning before kindergarten, Erin reminds Wren to "help people if they need help." And since October, the family has been doing that -- raising more than $2,500 for various charities by selling about 700 LOVE MORE signs. Erin is surprised the five-month old idea took off so quickly. She has shipped her signs all over the United States for $7 each. If you'd like to order a sign for your yard, or a friend's yard, visit her Web site, https://www.lovemoresign.com/

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Anonymous men to random acts of kindness

Two men from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, have branded themselves "The Pay It Forwards." They do good deeds while concealing their identities by dressing head-to-toe in homemade costumes. "We don't want our names or faces out there," said one man. They admit they get mixed reactions when walking down the street in their outfits.

                                                                                                        Cory McGraw/Global News
"We just want people to know we're there to help, and not harm," said the other man. Most of their kind gestures cost little. Recently they spent time handing out homemade cookies and coffee, as shown above. "That was really nice," said George Gillmore after he got a free coffee and treats from the men while waiting for a ferry.  The two men hope to grow their movement. They would like to expand as much as possible, and help change someone's life. "The sky's the limit," said one man.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

We dine together!

A group of students at Boca High School in Boca Raton, Florida, are members of PROPEL (People Reaching Out to Provide Education and Leadership). Last fall, they were challenged to develop a program that would promote inclusion at their school. The students formed a club called "We Dine Together," and at lunch time each school day, they fan out across the open courtyard making friends with anyone who is eating alone.

                                                                                                                                       CBS News
One club member, Denis Estimon (shown above) immigrated from Haiti in first grade. He remembers how it felt to have no friends at lunch time. Now he invites students eating along to join the We Dine Together Club for pizza on Wednesday afternoons. Hundreds of friendships have been made, and by Thanksgiving, the club began getting national recognition. Steve Hartman, a correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning, came to the school with a photographer and spent two days filming and talking to students. To see Steve's broadcast, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdDa2outstI

Monday, March 13, 2017

"Mr. Johnny" wasn't ready to adopt, so...

Johnny Jennings of Chattanooga, Tennessee, is 86 years old. When he was only 18, he visited the Georgia Baptist Home for Children. A child ran up and begged to be adopted. "When we went to leave," he remembers, "three little boys grabbed me by the knees and said, 'Will you be my daddy?'" He wasn't ready to adopt, but he helped them in another way. Over the past 32 years, he collected 9 million pounds of waste paper and sold it to the Chattanooga Recycle Center for over $400,000. He's also collected $20,000 in pennies, or about 24 miles of copper coins.

                                                                                                                           Shay Drennan-Love
How does he get so much paper? At first he had to collect it, but now that people know about his project, they bring it to him after collecting it from churches and other organizations. Jennings has served on the board of the Children's Home for 20 years. "I'm just part of the family," he says. The home's president, Dr. Kenneth Thompson, says Johnny is "one of the most gracious individuals I have ever met." To learn more about the home, or donate, visit http://www.gbchfm.org/

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Winnipeg woman thought no one would notice

Winter weather can be brutal around Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. This month, truck driver Peter Douglas was on his way from Boissevain to Brandon when the highway became pure ice. "With all my brakes on, I still started sliding backwards," he said. Fortunately his plight was caught on a Manitoba 511 traffic camera and broadcast on TV. "My family, my bosses, and everyone on Facebook knew where I was," he remembered, but nobody could rescue him, so he slept overnight in the cab of his truck.

                                                                                                 Facebook/Manitoba Road Cameras
He woke up the next morning to a pleasant surprise. A woman riding a horse brought him a thermos of hot coffee! Eileen Eagle Bears saw him on camera and decided to help. "She had to walk her horse half-a-mile up that hill and half-a-mile down because it was so icy," said Douglas. "It blew me away." Douglas was blown even farther away when Eileen came back a second time with water and a thermos of hot stew and potatoes. Douglas was stranded 28 hours before his truck was towed away. He still has her thermoses, but plans to return them. She never thought her horseback delivery would get so much attention.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Not sure about angels? Read this.

It happened recently in Sugar City, Idaho. Stephen Parker was working on his Toyota Prius with his sons Mason, 17, and J.T, who is eight. They took the engine out, but one axle would not loosen, so Parker crawled under the jacked-up car to adjust the second axle. That's when the car fell on him. Mason had gone inside the house minutes earlier, so Parker yelled at his eight-year-old son to "Jack it up quick! Jack it up quick!" He knew there was no way J.T. could do it, since it took both him and his teenage son to jack it the first time. Parker could not move at all, and he passed out thinking, "This is it."

                                                                                                                      Eastidahonews.com
Mustering his courage, the eight-year-old, who weighs only 50 pounds, adjusted the jack and started jumping up and down on the handle. "It was scary, and I didn't think I could jack the car up," he said, "but I just kept on trying." After he'd jumped about 15 minutes, the car slowly started rising off his father. Once it was off, J.T. ran inside to call 911. Parker recalls that while unconscious, "it was like a nice, happy day. Every thing was happy and peaceful." He was taken to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center to be treated for 13 broken ribs, but no other internal damage. Two days later he was home, and asked J.T. to jack the car up again. The boy could not do it. When asked how he got super strength when his Dad was under the car, he said, "Angels." In the photo above, he is receiving the American Red Cross "East Idaho Real Hero" award. His mother, Jodi Parker said, "the whole thing was a miracle."

Friday, March 10, 2017

Co-workers learn sign language

Kamal Nasser was born in Kuwait. As a young man, he worked at a museum in Jordan, carefully handling 4,000 year old artifacts. After marrying in 2010, he moved to Columbus, Ohio, in 2013 and worked in warehouses for FedEx and Abercrombie & Fitch. He currently works in the AT&T warehouse in Hilliard. Did I forget to mention he has been deaf since birth? AT&T warehouse manager Jason McGonigle admits "I had never worked with a deaf person, so I didn't know what to expect."

                                                                                                                Eric Albrecht / Dispatch
At first, Nasser and his co-workers communicated by erasable white board, and with hand gestures, but McGonigle wanted to communicate with Nasser directly, so he enrolled in an American Sign Language class offered by the Columbus Speech & Hearing Center. Several other warehouse workers also took the course. A specialist at the Speech & Hearing Center says, "This employer has gone way over the top.  A lot of times people will learn a few signs, but this company has done more than anyone has ever done."

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Player donates $1,000 for every point and assist

Before their game on Friday, March 3, against the San Antonio Spurs, New Orleans Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday promised to donate $1,000 to New Orleans tornado relief efforts for every point and assist he recorded during the game. At least seven possible tornadoes had ripped off roofs from Baton Rouge to New Orleans. He said he wanted to do something to help.

                                                                                Brett Duke, Nola.com, The Times Picavune
Holiday almost won the game in regulation, but he missed a 17-foot jumper with 2/10ths of a second left. In overtime, he made two of three shots but missed an 11-foot jump shot with 9.9 seconds remaining. The Pelicans lost to the Spurs 101-98, but Holiday had scored 26 points and had five assists, so he donated $31,000 to tornado relief.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

"Everyone's going through something," bus driver says

It happened recently in Dayton, Ohio, where bus driver Damone Hudson was driving across the Main Street bridge that spans the Miami River when he noticed a woman standing on the other side of the guard rail. He immediately pulled his bus to the edge of the bridge; opened the door and called out to the potentially suicidal woman. "Hey, miss, why don't we come back to this side of the rail for me?" When she didn't reply, he left his bus saying, "Ma'am, you look like you're having a bad day. Can I give you a hug?" He continued reassuring her until police showed up and she stepped back from the edge. Then he resumed his route. "Everyone's going through something," he said.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

International Women's Day 2017

Wednesday, March 8, is International Women's Day. The theme this year is "Be bold for change." Many famous women will be remembered today, but our Crumb of Comfort is dedicated to the finest of them all -- wives and mothers.  To honor these unsung heroines, we offer a verse written by Edgar Guest, who, for 30 years, wrote a daily poem for the Detroit Free Press. That's more than 11,000 poems. His verses were eventually syndicated in 300 newspapers and republished in 20 books. Today's verse was dedicated to his wife Nellie. If it reminds you of your wife or mother, why not text her today and tell her.


Nellie made a cup of tea, made and poured it out for me,
And above the steaming brew smiled and asked me, "one or two?"
Saucily she tossed her head. "Make it sweet for me," I said.

Two sweet lumps of sugar fell into that small china well,
But I knew the while I drained every drop the cup contained,
More than sugar in the tea made the beverage sweet for me.

This to her I tried to say in that golden yesterday --
Life is like a cup of tea which time poureth endlessly.
Brewed by trial's constant heat, needing love to make it sweet.

Then I caught her looking up and I held my dainty cup
Out to her and bravely said, "Here is all that lies ahead,
Here is all my life to be. Will you make it sweet for me?

That was years ago, and now there is silver in her brow;
We have sorrowed, we have smiled, we've been hurt and reconciled.
But whatever had to be, she has made it sweet for me.

Monday, March 6, 2017

How senior citizen raises money for local hospice

If you're over 100 years old, you might be thinking about hospice care. If you wanted to raise money to support a hospice, how would you do it? Maybe sell cookies at the nursing home? Or knit tiny baby caps? Well, Doris Long had a different plan. She decided to support The Rowans Hospice by rapelling 328 feet down the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, England.

                                                                                                             Steve Parsons/PA Wire/AP
Known locally as "Daring Doris," Long is 101 years old, and has been rapelling for a long time -- ever since she was 85. She's done it 15 times and holds the Guinness World Record for the oldest person to abseil, which she earned when she was just 100. "I don't feel afraid and never have," she says. "I just have a placid nature." She hopes to be back to rappel again next year at 102.


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Let me hear an "Amen!"

Lamont Hammond, 37, recently became homeless. He's been homeless before, but now he has an eight year old son, and he didn't want his child sleeping on the streets of Atlanta, Georgia. Hammond is employed and also receives a disability payment, but he didn't have enough money for a hotel room that night. Not knowing what to do, he and his boy went into a Waffle House to sit and think. "I really was about to cry, but I was trying to be strong for my son," he said. The Waffle House security guard is named Amen Webster. He also was homeless once, so he knows how it feels. When he saw Hammond's anxious face, and his son shivering, he went to their table to ask what's the problem.


Hammond explained his situation, and Webster immediately asked his boss for "a few minutes away." Then he took Hammond and his son to his two-bedroom apartment, and told they they can stay as long as they need to. Hammond promised his stay would be short, since he works at Zaxby's and hopes to use his tax refund to rent his own two-bedroom apartment. Webster said he be there for the Hammonds as long as they need him.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

She says God made her do it

It happened at a Walmart in Columbia, South Carolina, recently. Ashley Jordan and her husband Michael were grocery shopping for their family of three children. They piled two weeks worth of groceries into two carts. At the check-out counter, cashier Sharnique Dasant told the couple they looked like they needed a blessing. Later Dasant admitted, "I just had like a little man on my shoulder that was like, 'Give her $100. Give her $100!'" So Dasant walked around to the machine and swiped her card.

                                                                                                                Ashley Jordan / Facebook
Ashley took this photo with Dasant and posted it on Facebook, where it has garnered more than 22,000 likes. Dasant told a local TV station that God told her to help pay for the groceries. "So I was like, I said, yeah, God told me to give you $100," she remembered. "I hope more people will open their hearts to helping people around them," Ashley said. "Everyone can learn from Sharnique!"

Friday, March 3, 2017

Parents believe God told them to adopt a teenager

Dawn and Brad Bailey of Benton, Arkansas, have two daughters in college and a third still at home. They never considered adoption, until friends saw a local news story on TV about teens in foster care who were adoption-eligible. After the show, three friends of the Bailey's texted them about the same teenager. His name was Chase.

                                                                                    Arkansas Department of Human Services
Chase had been in foster care since he was eight. He'd been placed with 11 families, and each one returned him to foster care, but he never gave up his dream of having a "real" family someday. To see what happened to him, find a tissue to wipe your eyes and watch vimeo.com/202694305 .

Thursday, March 2, 2017

He wanted to fool his teacher

Jax Rosebush of Louisville, Kentucky, turned five this month. For the past two years, his closest playmate and best friend has been a boy named Reddy. When his mom, Lydia Rosebush, told Jax he needed to get a haircut, Jax insisted he wanted to get a buzz cut, just like his friend. He truly believes that if he and Reddy have the same haircut, people could not tell them apart. He thought it would be fun to confuse his teacher with the same haircut. Here are Jax, on the left, and Reddy, on the right, at a Christmas event.

                                                                                       Lydia Rosebush / Facebook
His mom wasn't going to let Jax get a buzz cut, but says that "since this story has become a viral sensation, I likely will give in and let him cut it like he wants." Max would never have met Reddy except for the goodness of Rev. Kevin Weldon and his wife Debbie. He pastors Carlisle Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville, and they adopted Reddy and his brother Enock when they were two and four. The Weldons are white. "My sons do not look like me," he says, "but we are family all the same. We love each other with all we have." Now that Jax and Reddy have identical haircuts, they're sure nobody can tell them apart.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Seven boys who fall through ice are saved

It happened in a pond in Central Park, New York City, last month. Bennet Jones, 23, and a friend were skateboarding in the park when they noticed nine boys, ages 10-17, jumping on the ice and taking selfies. Then the ice cracked and seven of the boys fell into the frigid water. wearing heavy coats and backpacks. Jones and his friend ran to the shore and saw some ladders, but they were too short to reach the boys.
                                                                                      Courtesy of Bennett Jones
Jones immediately ran chest deep into the water. He grabbed two boys and handed them off to his friend. Then Jones used a ladder which three of the boys clung to and were pulled ashore. By the time Jones got to the last two boys, they were already unconscious. "They wouldn't have made it if I hadn't pulled them out," he said. The boys were taken to area hospitals where they are doing well. Jones, who comes from California, was a junior lifeguard and has surfed his whole life. "Being in the water is second nature to me," he admitted.