Enter email address here to subscribe to this blog

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Until Tuesday. Thanks for understanding.


Have you tipped a baggage handler lately?

Gus Davis, shown below, is a baggage handler at New York City's LaGuardia airpot. One day recently, he noticed passenger Heather Nashelle, a jewelry maker from Bend, Oregon. Heather had been in the Big Apple for a trade show, and was returning to Bend with 375 pounds of baggage -- mostly products from the show. As soon as she arrived in Bend, she was scheduled to take her son to Oregon Health and Science University for an operation. Gus helped her at the curb, moved her heavy bags to check-in, and said goodbye. Her plane was boarding when Heather's card got declined for the baggage fee. In tears, she knew she would miss her flight and her son's surgery.


What happened next may surprise you. Gus noticed her distress at the ticket counter. He stepped forward immediately; paid her $150 fee without a word, and started rushing her through the busy airport. After he asked TSA to get her through security quickly, the two exchanged contact information and said goodbye. Heather was overcome with gratitude! After returning home, she paid Gus double the original amount of the baggage fee, and started a fundraiser for him on her company website. In four days, the site raised $3,000 to compensate Gus for his kindness.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Passengers are awed by woman's kindness

Rachel Groner and her husband were flying back to the United States after chaperoning a trip to Israel recently. The flight was supposed to take eight hours, but there was a three hour delay taking off. After an hour in the sky, most passengers were exhausted. That's when a young boy with autism had a meltdown. "His cries were heard throughout the plane and you could feel the tension among the other passengers," Rachel remembers. She had only one thought. "I gotta help this kid."


She walked up to the boy and offered her hand. When he took it, she led him to the back of the plane; took off his shoes so he'd be more comfortable, and quietly sat and played with him for several hours. The boy's mother barely spoke English, but kept saying, "Thank you, thank you, thank you." Rachel's compassion came naturally. She and her husband work for a Jewish organization in North Carolina for children with disabilities. "While most passengers watched in awe, little did they know that for Rachel this is her life," said her husband. "If we just offer our hand in love and acceptance, miracles will follow."

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

"They were insanely thankful"

When Caleb White was six, he saw his first homeless person in Detroit, Michigan. It touched him so deeply he began assembling care packages and giving them to homeless people. Now 15, White has started the Caleb White Project, in cooperation with the Detroit Rescue Mission. All the board members of his Project are younger than 18. This summer, they teamed up with the Rescue Mission and Lowe's Heroes program to renovate a duplex from top to bottom for two homeless families.


White said many volunteers, including 300 Lowe's employees, "were down there every day" and "worked around the clock" in August to prepare the homes for their new owners. On August 26, both families were given keys. "When we went in and actually got to take them through the houses, they were shocked," says Caleb. "They were beyond happy. They kind of melted down." He feels the small, special touches meant the most. "We got their address engraved on a little plaque, and it really symbolized that they have somewhere to go and call their own. They were insanely thankful."

Monday, September 25, 2017

Feline late-night hustler gives to charity

The office staff at GuRuStu advertising agency in Tulsa, Oklahoma, noticed mice in the office a few years ago. So they purchased a cat to catch the mice, and named him CASHnip. What the unusual name? Because he has a secret talent. Beside being a mouser, he's a hustler. At the start of one work week, for example, they found CASHnip surrounded by dollar bills.


After investigating, they discovered that passers-by had been trying to play with CASHnip through the glass office door. In order to excite him into action, someone slipped a dollar under the crack in the door and CASHnip grabbed it and would not give it back. Office employees have decided to put their mascot's talent to good use. All the money he hustles now goes to the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless. So far, CASHnip has raised over $100 for the shelter.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

"A wonderful guy" from Kokomo, Indiana

Ricky Cardwell, 63, has worked at the Kokomo Burger King since he was 33. In three decades, he's only missed on day of work -- the day his mother passed away. Customers and staff know Ricky (sometimes nicknamed "Minnesota") for his hard work, dedication and positive personality. But he does more than flip burgers.


He likes to attend Kokomo High School sporting events -- ALL of them. He can't decide which sport he likes best. He leads cheers from the stands, and keeps score books at basketball games -- going back years. Once he rewarded a special team with a special gift. Burger King manager Myra Allen remembers, "When the Lady Kats won state, he took his last dollars and bought them all flowers. He doesn't have a lot of money, but he spent his very last dollar to buy them flowers." Cardwell doesn't know why folks fuss over him. "I just love working with people," he says. "It's what makes me want to come here every day. The people that work here are just great people."

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Boy saves five lives in two days

Steffan Williams is eight years old. He lives in New Quay, Ceredigion, Wales, where he loves to paddle along the coastal waters. Last August, he was in his kayak when he spotted three people in distress. An elderly woman and two teens were crouching on a rock, trapped out at sea by the rising tide.

  
Steffan paddled to shore; retrieved a dingy, and towed it to the folks who were stranded. After they got in, he towed them back to safety. They were so grateful they gave him a $10 tip. Two days later, he saw two young men standing on a rock at sea, trapped by the tide. Their cell phones had run out of battery power, so they waved, hoping to get his attention. This time, Steffan alerted the Coast Guard who sent a rescue boat for the the boys. When he grows up, Steffan wants to be in the Coast Guard. (This crumb was contributed by a faithful reader of this blog.) 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Assam and the chocolate factory

Assam Hadhad and his family owned a chocolate factory in Damascus, Syria, and distributed chocolates to Lebanon, Jordan and Yemen until their factory was destroyed by bombs. The family fled to Lebanon until they were offered an opportunity to live in a small town in Nova Scotia, Canada. Refugees in Canada are encouraged to take a full year to adjust to their new life, before looking for work. But Assam could not wait a year to make chocolate again.


His new factory is in vacant space rented from a Sobey's grocery store, in exchange for their selling his chocolate. He has 20 employees so far, and hopes to expand and sell Peace By Chocolate across Canada. The townspeople have not only supported the immigrant family but have been inspired by them. The motto of the firm is, "One peace won't hurt."  (Today's crumb was provided by a reader of this blog.)

Thursday, September 21, 2017

How summer camp teaches life lessons

In 1965 I was counselor for the 15-year-old senior boys at Camp Elektor in Pennsylvania. On the first weekend of the summer, during the first council fire ceremony, my boys acted like brats, spoiling the experience for younger children. So when the "juniors" were excused early, I said my senior boys would leave with them. After we got back to our tent, I told them this could be a good summer, or it could be the worst summer of their lives, and I'd make sure it was, unless they agreed from this moment on to be real "senior campers" -- true role models for younger boys and girls. After letting them think a moment in silence, I asked for a show of hands. Who would promise to be a real senior all summer? They felt ashamed, and all six hands went up.

                                                                                                                           Camp Bow-Isle
For the next eight weeks, my guys were a solid team of good examples. They made camp special for the younger kids. And how did our summer go? On the last day of camp, one of my seniors asked me if we could take a walk down the road alone. I said "sure" and off we went. Not far from camp, he told me he felt really sad. When I asked why, he said, "I'm pretty sure that no matter how long I live, I'll never have more fun than I had this summer." He really meant it! So I gave him a hug and promised, "Yes you will. Next summer will be even better, because of how you grew up this summer." I was right. His next summer as a CIT was fantastic, and today, as an attorney in New York, he's still a role model for those who need one.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

As we watch Ken Burns' "Vietnam" on TV

He was just a small church parson when the war broke out, but he had a man's religion, and he had a strong man's mind, and he heard the call to duty, and he quit his church and went, and he made a vow to follow everywhere the boys were sent. He put aside his broadcloth and he put the khaki on. He said he was a soldier and was going to live like one. He wasn't there a fortnight ere he saw the soldiers' needs, and he said, "I'm done with preaching. Now is the time for deeds!"


In the front line trench he labored, and he knew the feel of mud, and he didn't run from danger and he wasn't scared of blood. He wrote letters for the wounded and he cheered them with his jokes, and he never made a visit without passing 'round the smokes. Then one day a bullet got him as he kneeled beside a lad who was "going west" right speedy, and they both seemed mighty glad, 'cause he held the boy's hand tighter and he smiled and whispered low, "Now you needn't fear the journey. Over there with you I'll go." And they both passed on together. Arm and arm I think they went. He had kept his vow to follow everywhere the boys were sent.   (Edgar Guest, abridged)

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Stansilav Petrov saved the world

This year, 77-year-old Stansilav Petrov passed away. His obituary should have said he saved the world. It happened in September, 1983. The cold war was warming up with the election of Ronald Reagan. The Soviet Union had just shot town South Korean Jetliner 007 when it wandered into Soviet air space. One passenger was a member of the U. S. House of Representatives. Tensions were high and Petrov was manning radar in Moscow on September 26 when it showed America had launched five ICBM missiles toward his homeland. It recommended retaliation. From the first alarm, he had 15 minutes to decide whether or not to report the attack, and 30 minutes to decide whether or not to counter-attack.


After thinking a moment, Petrov decided that if America was going to attack the Soviet Union it would launch more than five missiles. So he reported the alarm as a dud. Then he had 20 minutes two wait and see if he was right or wrong. He was right. He later learned the radar reading was generated by sunbeams reflecting off clouds. He kept his secret until the fall of the Soviet Union. Even his wife never knew, but let's hope that late at night, in their modest Moscow apartment, he kissed him on the cheek, for all of us.  (This crumb was contributed by a reader in Indiana.)

Monday, September 18, 2017

It's high school football season again

In November, 2008, an unforgettable football game took place between Grapevine Faith High School in Grapevine, TX, and Gainesville State School, a maximum security detention center for juvenile delinquents. Gainesville never played a home game, and no fans attended their away games, since none could get out of detention. Usually, the only people in the Gainesville stands were 12 uniformed guards with handcuffs in their back pockets. Faith had the latest football equipment and hundreds of involved parents. The parents of many Gainesville delinquents had disowned them. The Gainesville Tornadoes wore 7-year-old shoulder pads and outdated helmets. So Faith High School coach Kris Hogan reached out to his community. He asked half his fans to cheer for the Tornadoes, distributing 400 lists of their names, so the rival players could be cheered individually. He asked half his cheerleaders to root for the Tornadoes. It was a strange experience for the Gainesville players. "I thought maybe they were confused," a Gainesville lineman said afterward. "They started yelling DEEfense when their team had the ball. I wondered why they were cheering for us."


That night the Tornadoes played the best game of their lives, scoring two touchdowns. After the game, when both teams gathered mid-field to pray, a Gainesville player named Isaiah asked to lead. Everyone was surprised. What would he say? "Lord, I don't know how this happened, so I don't know how to say thank you, but I never knew there were so many people in the world that care about us."As the Tornadoes walked back to their bus, each player was given a bag for the ride home. It contained a burger, some fries, soda, candy, a Bible and an encouraging note from a Faith player. Before they left, the Gainesville coach found Coach Hogan and told him, "You'll never know what your people did for these kids tonight. You'll never, ever know!" Since 2008, Faith has played Gainesville each year in a game called the One Heart Bowl. Fans always split between the two teams. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was so moved when he heard about the games that he invited Coach Hogan and his wife to be his guests at Super Bowl XLIII.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

He finally made her smile

We only know him as police deputy Froelich. During hurricane Irma, he was stationed at a shelter in Florida to watch dozens of families seeking refuge from the storm. But one of the evacuees caught his attention. She was a frightened-looking elderly woman sitting alone in a corner.


Deputy Froelich went over to her and asked if there was anything he could do to cheer her up.  All she said in reply was, "a dance." So Froelich took her hand and danced with her as he sang "Beyond the Sea" by Bobby Darin. After dancing with him a few minutes, the frightened woman began to smile and was herself again.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The ultimate sleep-over ever

During hurricane Irma, SOS Children's Village in Florida became flooded. This forced 70 foster kids and their house parents to flee to a gym, where they lived for a week without showers. Finally foster care representatives called Marc Bell, the former executive of Penthouse magazine. He lives in a $30 million dollar mansion in Boca Raton, and he and his wife Jennifer took in all 70 foster children immediately.


It turned out to be the ultimate sleep-over -- a time the children will remember for the rest of their lives. You really have to see it to believe it. Just click on www.youtube.com/watch?v=h83NcA_LXZw

Friday, September 15, 2017

And a little child shall lead them

Ella Russell is a kindergarten student in Maryville, Tennessee. Each year she donates part of her birthday monty to a worthy cause. This year she decided to buy fresh drinking water for people impacted by Hurricane Harvey. It happened because she saw coverage of the storm on TV, and asked, "Mommy, what can we do?"

                                                                                                                          Jennifer Perkins
Ella put ten dollars toward the purchase of water. Then her Mom, Jennifer Perkins, posted her campaign on social media inviting others to chip in and help. That ten dollars turned into about $280, enough to buy146 cases of water for hurricane victims. It was taken to a local church for shipment to Houston. Now the family hopes Ella's generosity will inspire others.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Toby is a problem solver

Today's crumb summarizes an article by Brittani Howell of Bloomington, Indiana. It appeared in the Herald-Times. Toby Thomassen was finishing sixth grade last spring at University Elementary School when his teacher asked the class to complete a "capstsone" project -- identify a real-world issue and think if ways to solve it. Toby didn't just write a report. He took the assignment literally. He realized children in foster care seldom have laptops, so he began buying old laptops from Indiana University Surplus for $10-$15 each, the market for scrap. He took them home, tore them apart, swapped out damaged parts, loaded them with free software, and delivered them to Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), who give them to kids in need.

                                                                                                Alex McIntyre /Herald-Times
This is not hard for Toby. He built his own 3-D printer in fourth grade, and his own computer in fifth grade. He has restored 10 laptops since he started earlier this year, and he's not finished yet.  Now a seventh grader at Jackson Creek Middle School, he hopes to expand his project by finding a corporate sponsor and maybe starting a club to teach other kids how to build computers. He hopes more laptops will find their way into the hands of foster kids, and not go the landfill.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A nun with a chainsaw?

Sister Margaret Ann is principal of Archbishop Coleman F. Carroll High School, in southwest Miami, Florida. The school's Facebook page says, "We are so blessed to have her and the Carmelite Sisters at our school. We are proud of the example they set for our students and other members of our community every day." So what did she do to merit such praise?

                                                                                Miami-Dade Police Department
The road near her school was blocked by a fallen tree after hurricane Irma. "We couldn't get through," she said. Then she remembered there were chainsaws in a closet at her school. "They needed to be used," she added, so she grabbed one and was cutting up the fallen tree when Miami-Dade police spotted her. An officer took a video of her working, and posted it online. The police wrote, "Thank you, Sister, and all our neighbors who are working together to get through this." In reply, Sister Margaret Ann said she was trying to live up to something her school teaches its students: "Do what you can to help."

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Yale honors "first lady of software"

This month, Yale University dedicated Grace Hopper College. It used to be called Calhoun College after an early American vice-President who regarded slavery as "a positive good." Before his death Calhoun essentially criticized the Declaration of Independence and it's claim that all men are created equal.  Use of his name has been controversial at Yale for years. But nobody objects to naming the college in honor of Grace Hopper.


Know as the "first lady of software," she earned her Masters and PhD at Yale in the 1930s. Later, she co-invented the Common Business Oriented Language (COBOL), the first universal computer language used by business and government. She was a math professor, and was active the Navy over 40 years, retiring as a Real Admiral. Many applauded the name change. Said one freshman, "I think this name is a step toward inclusion and equality."


Monday, September 11, 2017

You might want to reach for a tissue

Back in 2015, the Kleenex brand created a "Messages of Care" campaign including videos that might make you reach for a tissue. One event was filmed in Franklin, Tennessee, about 14 miles from Nashville. Franklin is where Miley Cyrus grew up, and is also home to Roxie Patton, long-time custodian at Johnson Elementary School.


Johnson Elementary, named after black physician Dr. Charles Johnson, opened in 1958 as an African American school. It was fully integrated in 1971. According to the school Web site, it's "not only a school, but a family," and custodian Patton is an important part of that family. How important? Watch this video to find out, and you might need a tissue.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1ezVvB697E

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Irma inspires selfless giving

Today's crumb comes from a faithful reader in Redlands, California.  Two Venezuelan natives, Anny Sanchez and Faith D'aubeterre, were evacuated from Miami and were driving slowly north on Interstate 75 in bottleneck traffic when they came to the town of Valdosta, Georgia.  That's where they saw a hand-written sign that said "Free Food," so they pulled over. They were like many evacuees who had no food in their cars or extra money to buy gasoline. That's why Chad Harrison and a group of Valdosta volunteers put on their halos. "We just felt like it was our duty as Americans to come out and cook," he said.


Harrison and his volunteers gathered outside a gas station near an I-75 exit, fired up their grill and loaded it with hot dogs. "We probably fed over 2,000 people on the Interstate today," said Harrison. About 15-20 families have been helped with gas supplies, water, drinks, and just letting their dogs get outside for a few minutes." Anny and Faith were extremely grateful. They told Harrison, "thank you so much for helping us."

Saturday, September 9, 2017

In Hurricane Irma, so many halos

As Hurricane Irma makes landfall, Floridians across the state will bravely assist each other.  The halos of these unselfish helpers are like "lights along the shore" in the story below. Let's be thankful for each one! 

Dwight L. Moody (1837-1899) was one of the most famous evangelists of the 19th century. In his sermons, he often recalled a passenger ship on Lake Erie approaching Cleveland harbor on a dark and storm-tossed night. A pilot was aboard to guide the ship safely into the harbor.

Seeing only the light from one lighthouse, the ship's captain asked the pilot, "Are you sure this is Cleveland?" "Quite sure," replied the pilot. "Where are the lower lights, the ones in homes along the shore?" the captain asked. "They've gone out, sir," the pilot said. "Either we find the channel without them, or we perish."

In the darkness, with no lights along the shore, the ship missed the channel and crashed on the rocks. Many lives were lost.

Moody concluded by saying, "The Master will take care of the Great Lighthouse, but it is up to us to keep the lower lights burning."


Philip Bliss, one of the greatest hymn-writers of all time, was directing music at Moody's service when he heard this true story. Immediately afterward, he wrote the words and music for a hymn called "Let the Lower Lights Be Burning."  Published in 1871, it was sung in churches from coast to coast. It's not in many modern hymnals, so here are the words.

Brightly beams our Father's mercy from His lighthouse evermore,
But to us he gives the keeping of the lights along the shore.

Let the lower lights be burning! Send a gleam across the wave.
Some poor fainting, struggling seaman you may rescue, you may save.

Dark the night of sin has settled. Loud the angry billows roar.
Eager eyes are are watching, longing, for the lights along the shore.

Let the lower lights be burning! Send a gleam across the wave.
Some poor fainting, struggling seaman you may rescue, you may save.

Trim your feeble lamp, my brother, some poor sailor tempest tossed
Trying now to make the harbor in the darkness may be lost.

Let the lower lights be burning! Send a gleam across the wave.
Some poor fainting, struggling seaman you may rescue, you may save.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Forty reasons NOT to attend church this Sunday

A pastor, apparently disgusted with the excuses parishioners offered as to why they didn’t attend worship services, included “Reasons Why I Never Wash” in the Sunday bulletin:
  • I was forced to as a child.
  • People who wash are hypocrites - they think they are cleaner than everybody else.
  • There are so many different kinds of soap; I can’t decide which one is best.
  • I used to wash, but I got bored and stopped.
  • I wash only on special occasions, like Christmas and Easter.
  • None of my friends wash.
  • I’ll start washing when I get older and dirtier.
  • I can’t spare the time.
  • The bathroom is never warm enough in the winter or cool enough in the summer.
  • People who make soap are only after your money.
  • I don’t like the songs people sing in the bathroom.
  • I can clean myself perfectly well whenever I pass a sink, so I don’t need a bathtub.
  • I know how to stay clean without washing.
  • The last time I washed, someone was rude to me.
  • What I do doesn’t affect anybody but me.
  • I know someone who washes every day and still smells bad.
  • I don’t believe in soap. I sat beside a whole case of it for an hour once, and nothing happened.
  • Washing was invented by people who knew nothing about science.
  • If people saw me without my makeup, they would laugh at me.
  • I’m so dirty now that if I washed, the drain would clog.
  • Cats, dogs, and chickens never wash, and they are happy all the time.
  • Prehistoric humans were happy all the time until the first soap salesman made them feel guilty.
  • If I start washing again, my friends will think I am trying to conform to middle-class standards.
  • Washing is for women and children.
  • Washing is for people much dirtier than I am.
  • I will wash when I find the bathroom that is exactly right for me.
  • I only believe in things I can see, and I can’t see bacteria.
  • Children need to see that it is OK to be different.
  • Children need a few bad examples.
  • Washing may have been OK in my grandfather’s day, but it’s not practical in today’s world. 
  • I watch other people washing on TV.
  • There are lots of clean people who never wash.
  • We’ve just moved here six years ago and I haven’t had a chance.
  • I bought a bad bar of soap once, so I swore I would never wash again!
  • I feel as close to washing on the golf course as I do in the bathroom.
  • I never wash when I have company.
  • Washday is the only day I have to sleep in.
  • My wife washes enough for the whole family.
  • I know people who wash but don’t act very clean.
  • Washing is the opiate of the masses.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Spontaneous flash mob in subway station

It happened in a place filled with history. The subway in Boston, Massachusetts, known for many years as the MTA, was the first one ever built in the United States. It's first anchor station, Park Street, was beneath the Boston Common at the corner of Park and Tremont streets. It was placed there to relieve street level trolly congestion. It opened on September 1, 1897, just a few months after the first Boston Marathon. Since then, it has been expanded as a transfer point for the Red and Green Lines. The Red Line uses rapid transit subway cars, but the Green Line still uses trolly cars, since some Green Line tracks run above ground outside the city.


Park Street serves over 19,000 passengers each week-day, and musicians often perform on the platform for contributions.  But something happened this month for the very first time. An unknown man, shown above, began playing and singing "Sweet Caroline" during rush hour. Passengers were crowded along both sides of the track, waiting for trains. When they heard him sing, they ALL joined in spontaneously! If you'd like to see this event, visit the link shown below, and please excuse any ads you must endure. Just scroll down and click "play video" You won't be sorry, especially if you've ever ridden the MTA through the Park Street station during rush hour. https://offthemonstersports.com/2017/09/boston-subway-singer-gets-entire-station-to-sing-along-to-sweet-caroline/

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Ace reporter from Protection, Kansas

Bonnie Brown is a columnist for the Protection Press, where "Bonnie's Blog" is printed each week. In Protection, population 500, all news is local, and since 2009, she's walked around town each day gathering information for her blog. She used to drive a car, but quit driving when she was 98 years old. She's now 102. Here she is playing bingo, and (of course) gathering news.

                                                                                                     Beccy Tnner/Wichita Eagle
In the eight years she's been writing, Bonnie has only missed one deadline because of illness. She says, "Gee, I'm a little old slow lady, and getting slower every day, Oh well, such is the way we age." For decades she was a local waitress, so she knows everyone in town, and everyone knows her. Her column combines tales, musings and happenings. "We visit, we yackadoodle," she says of her reporting style. "I look for things I know people might be interested in."  And she's not the only person her age in Protection. Her friend Maxine Herd is also 102. Maybe it's something in the water?


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

He sings because he's happy

Today's crumb is recommended by a faithful reader in North Carolina. It concerns a man named Martin Hurkens of Schinveld, Holland. As a lad, he began singing in churches. At 13, he received a scholarship to a music school, where he studied piano and singing until funding problems forced him to drop out. So Martin turned from a career in music to Plan B -- working in a bakery. For 35 years, he sang while he baked. Then he lost his in 2010.


To provide for his family, Martin sang on the streets for donations from passers-by. That same year he entered the TV show "Holland Has Talent," and won! Since then, he's sung in many cities, but success never went to his head. He does not need donations anymore, but he still puts his hat on the street now and then and sings because he's happy. To join a crowd that gathered to hear him sing, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=COayNmm2bf0

Monday, September 4, 2017

The legacy of Gander

Today as we approach the anniversary of 9-11, let's remember the legacy of Gander. Many of us know where we were when we heard about the tragedy of 9-11, but some may have forgotten that all U.S. airspace was closed for several days after the attacks. This meant passengers flying home to the States were all diverted to Canada. It was a challenge for big city Canadian airports, but for the airport in Gander, Newfoundland, it provoked a miracle of kindness.

Gander was a town of 10,000 residents with two police officers. Its airport usually received eight domestic flights daily. On September 11, 2001, 39 airliners carrying 6,579 passengers rapidly landed, one-after-another. Most passengers didn't know why they were diverted until after they landed. All had to spend that first night trying to sleep on their plane as 9-11 news trickled in. Little did they know it would be four days until American airspace reopened, but outside the airport, the people of Gander were opening their hearts.
As one flight attendant recalls, "Gander and surrounding communities had closed all high schools and meeting halls, converting them into mass lodging areas. Some had cots or mats and sleeping bags with pillows all set up, and high school students were required to care for their 'guests.' A convoy of school busses showed up at the side of our plane and passengers were taken to the terminal for processing. Our 218 passengers stayed at a high school in Lewisport. Families were kept together, while the elderly were taken to private homes. Food was prepared by local residents and brought to the schools. Bakeries stayed open late, making fresh bread for 'the plane people.' Every need was met for these unfortunate travelers. When they came back onboard,  passengers cried while telling of the kindness they received. Everyone knew everyone else by name and exchanged phone numbers and email addresses."

But the passengers on this flight did not forget the people of Gander, as you'll see if you watch the heartwarming 5-minute video linked here.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJskIhGbDq4

Sunday, September 3, 2017

How much is possible for a 10-year-old boy?

"Every time I think about it, I cry," says Ashley Moreau. "I don't think Jayden understands what he's done and how big it is." Ashley and her 10-year-old son Jayden live in Sulphur, Louisiana. She was pregnant and was at home when her water broke last month -- one month prematurely. She called Jayden and asked him to run next door and get his grandmother, but grandma had just undergone back surgery and was too weak to walk. She called 911 when Jayden ran back to help his mom.


"You're going to have to deliver your brother and do it fast," she told him. "Tell me what I need to do and I'll do it," he promised. He helped his mother through the birthing process, but when the delivery was over, he realized the baby was not breathing, so he ran to the kitchen and grabbed the nasal aspirator he'd seen his mother use on his little sister. By the time paramedics arrived, Jayden had used the device and restored his brother's breathing. The baby recovered at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Bobo is back!

Today's crumb comes from a reader in Indiana. It began one night in the winter of 2007, when someone in the Dallas area tossed a 4-week-old dachshund puppy into a freezing pond. A passer-by saw the incident and rescued the puppy, which was immediately adopted by Donna Rosen and named Bobo. Bobo became the constant companion of Donna and her son Braxton. Now fast-forward to 2016 when Bobo vanished from the Rosen's fenced yard.


For the next 13 months, Donna searched for Bobo online. Then someone told her to extend her search beyond Texas. On August 2, as she scrolled through an Oregon Found Pets Facebook page, one picture stood out. She knew it was Bobo. He had been found running by railroad tracks and was living with Kara Schendel and her boyfriend in Hubbard, Oregon. Bobo had been in good health when he went missing. This dog was partially blind and deaf, so could it be the real Bobo? Nobody was sure until Donna made a Facetime call to Schendel, and when she called Bobo's name, he started looking around for her. On August 11, Donna left Braxton with relatives and flew to Oregon to reunite with the dog they loved. Then she surprised her unsuspecting son. "We got him back!" Braxton said.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Police watch out for their own

Back in 2011, a police officer with the Houston, Texas, police department was killed in the line of duty. His name was Kevin Will, Sr.  Three months later, Kevin Jr. was born, so the son never got to know his dad. But there are other people who care about him.


A few weeks ago, his mom, Alisha, went online to ask if any cop wanted to walk Kevin, Jr. to his first day of Kindergarten.The response was more than she expected. Almost 100 policemen from all over Texas showed up at the Will home. A bunch were on horseback, so Kevin got to ride a horse part way to Kindergarten, as a police helicopter flew overhead. His mom said this is just another reminder that the police have always got Kevin's back.