Monday, February 29, 2016

Who does more unpaid work, men or women?

According to a recent letter by Bill and Melinda Gates, "Unless things change, girls today will spend hundreds of thousands more hours than boys doing unpaid work, simply because society assumes it's their responsibility." Here are the details.

A laundry detergent company in India just created a two-minute ad rejecting this sexist double-standard of time poverty that holds women back. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg (who is pretty busy herself) wrote, "This is one of the most powerful videos I have ever seen, showing how stereotypes hurt all of us and are passed down from generation to generation." You can see it too, by clicking on this link.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Is flying today worth all the hassle?

Recently a group of Delta passengers flying from JFK to LAX were surprised. Somewhere over the desert, the pilot came on the intercom to apologize that the movies they were watching would be temporarily turned off. Seat back screens went dark. Why the interruption?

The pilot explained that since the weather was perfect that day, he'd obtained approval to give everyone a tour of the Grand Canyon. He mentioned that, since it was a special sight, he would turn the plane a few times so folks on both sides would get perfect views. Then he narrated the scenes below, and suggested that window-seat passengers lean forward to give their neighbors a better look. Grateful passengers were reminded that sometimes, even in planes, travel can still be fun.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Top secret Rosies were more than pretty faces

In 2011, the City Council of Philadelphia, PA, officially declared Feb. 15 as ENIAC Day, and you'll be surprised when you find out why. The story begins in 1942, when men were fighting overseas in WWII and mathematicians were needed to program the world's first general purpose computer, called ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer). Six young women from Philadelphia were chosen to work on the classified government project. The 1,500 square foot ENIAC hardware featured 18,000 vacuum tubes, 70,000 resistors and 10,000 capacitors. All the ladies had to do was program and debug it.

                  Photo from International Communications Agency/Wikimedia Commons
Working double-shifts, six days a week for three years, they wrote programs using mechanical calculators, and sometimes crawled inside ENIAC to replace faulty tubes. One said her job was to "look like a girl; act like a lady, and work like a dog." When ENIAC was unveiled in 1946 as a "Giant Brain," the young women who spent years debugging it were used as attractive models to help show off the machine. They were not even invited to the celebratory dinner after the unveiling, but when their hidden heroism eventually became known, the Philadelphia City Council named a day in their honor. In 2014 they were remembered in a documentary called "Top Secret Rosies." The trailer will touch your heart. To see it, visit

Friday, February 26, 2016

Special note to "Crumbs of Comfort" readers

Since this blog began, 555 Crumbs of Comfort have been discovered, shared, and archived chronologically on the right side of this page. Over 19,000 page views have been welcomed from readers in the United States, Russia, Brazil, Portugal, Ukraine, Poland, Canada, South Africa, Germany and Spain. A heartfelt THANK YOU to readers who email heartwarming stories from local media for use as future crumbs. Let's keep appreciating crumbs of good news until we can "have our crumb cake and eat it too." With this in mind, blog author Dave Horn just wrote a book about the many times when God's presence has influenced his life. Here's the cover.

The memoir recalls his decade working for The Christian Science Monitor (back when it printed five editions daily) and memorable moments while writing for several Indiana newspapers. One of his feature stories actually inspired a reader to donate a kidney to a complete stranger! Watch for an official announcement this spring when the book becomes available from Hawthorne Publishers.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Amish man runs away from sin

A few years ago, Leroy Stolzfus, 22, got involved with "some stuff" he shouldn't have. He is Amish, and his brother suggested he start running whenever he felt tempted to sin. At first he ran two or three miles and thought, "Wow, this is hard!" but he kept training and ran his first full marathon in 2012.

                                                                          Photo by Daniel Zampogna/PENNLIVE.COM/ap
Recently, Stolzfus, who lives in Gordonville, PA, ran the 22.6 mile Harrisburg Marathon in traditional Amish clothing, including a long-sleeve button-down shirt, slacks and suspenders. He crossed the finish line after three hours, five minutes and 45 seconds. That's less than one minute short of qualifying for the Boston Marathon at his age. He does not blame his Amish attire for slowing him down. He believes long-distance running is "20 percent training and 80 percent mental." He feels running is not about breaking records. He says running has greatly improved his life, adding that "Life is a lot better for me now."

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A tribute to teachers everywhere

Gabrielyn Watson touches many lives as choir director at Morgan Park High School on the south side of Chicago. One of her former pupils, Peter Frank, went on to become a finalist in Season 10 of "American Idol," and now works in the entertainment industry in California. But not long ago, he heard that his high school choir director went through a "rough patch" with her health, so he returned to Morgan Park to encourage her, and he wasn't alone. Other graduates who once sang in Ms. Watson's choir returned with him. They hid in doorways as she entered the school corridor for what she believed would be a "televised teacher interview."

                                                                                                                       YouTube video
Watch this YouTube video to see and hear what happened when Frank stepped into the hall in front of Ms. Watson and began singing "Amazing Grace." Then another of her former choir members stepped from a doorway and sang with him. And another, and another, and another (some of whom she had not seen for years) joined the chorus. Eventually she sang with them, but not before she dropped to the floor, sobbing. When he was her student, she bought Frank a tux for a choir competition because he could not afford one. After singing, he wept as he admitted to her, "Because of you, I am everything I am today." Watson says, "It's just great to feel loved, and that what you do matters." This video shows the power of love.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A better idea than a boat?

Before Christmas last year, Marty Burbank worshipped at Eastside Christian Church in Anaheim, CA. The 51-year old attorney was planning to buy a boat, but when he heard a sermon on "giving," a better idea popped into his head. He knew very few kids at nearby Rio Vista Elementary School would go to college. Their parents never went, and could not afford it. Even so, some teachers at Rio Vista decorate their rooms with college colors and emblems, so children would at least know about higher education. Kindergarten teacher Tessa Ashton decorates her room with Indiana University emblems, and her kids, shown below, sing the IU Fight Song several times a day.

                                                                                               Courtesy photo / Marty Burbank
Her students became concerned recently when Mr. Burbank visited their room with a message for their teacher and it made her cry. He told her he will spend about $1 million to pay college tuition for all 26 boys and girls in her room -- the Class of 2032. "I'd rather not have a boat and get these kids through school," he said. As soon as he left, Ashton taught a lesson about "happy tears." The children don't fully understand the value of Burbank's gift yet, but they have a clue. Six-year-old Jessyca Resendiz said, "College is a big place where there is a fountain. It has a big cafeteria that has coffee and bread. Now she plans to go to the place with the fountain, and become a doctor.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Michigan mall hires real Santa Claus

Before Christmas last December, 6-year-old Landon Johnson went to River Town Crossings Mall in Grandville (near Grand Rapids) to give Santa his wish list. He asked for a Wii, a toy dinosaur and a remote control car. But he also wanted Santa to know he has autism.  Landon told Santa he sometimes gets in trouble in school, and it's hard for people to understand why. He told Santa he was worried that his autism would land him on the "naughty" list.

                                                                             Naomi Johnson / Facebook
Santa held Landon's hands in his and listened carefully. Then he promised, "You know I love you and the reindeer love you, and it's OK to be who you are. You're not naughty." While snapping this photo, Landon's Mom couldn't stop crying. "He told my son the same message I've been trying to get through to him for a while now," she said. "Seeing Landon's face light up in that moment was just incredible." Afterward, Landon gushed, "He was the REAL Santa!"  What do you think?

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Today's Crumb is from rural North Carolina

Saluda, North Carolina, is a historic village in the foothills of the mountains, and mountain roads get mighty slick when covered with snow or freezing rain. Not long ago, during a snow storm, you can imagine how worried LaShea Colson (shown below) felt when her car spun off the road near Saluda. Would she and her four children have to stay in the car all night? Then another car spun off the road near her. That driver, Sarah Kelleher, was driving alone. "I was just sitting there crying because I was really scared," she said later. From their disabled cars, both women could see the Saluda Truck Plaza, and walked there to ask for help. The station was scheduled to close at 10 p.m. but owner Hitesh Patel decided to convert it into a safe haven.

                                                                                                                         Courtesy Photo
He didn't just let them use the bathroom. He invited them to spend the night in the gas station lounge. He brought in cots for them to sleep on, and a gas heater to keep them warm, and even a television to keep them entertained. Why? "I saw one of those girls. She looked like my niece," so he left the station open all night. Colson called him "an angel" and her children decorated Post-it notes to thank him for his kindness.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Today's Crumb comes from Japan

If you click the link at the end of this Crumb, you'll be in the town of Shintomi in the spring, where up to 7,000 people each day visit a carpet of pink flowers called moss phlox, planted around a private residence. Its not just the incredible color and fragrance that draw visitors. It's the love that planted each flower. The garden was originally a dairy farm owned by Mr. and Mrs. Kuroki, who married in 1956 and brought up two children. After 36 years of happy marriage, Mrs. Kuroki suddenly went blind. Convinced her life was over, she remained secluded inside her house and never smiled.

                                                                                 Facebook/ Shintomi Michiyakuba
Her husband was convinced she would smile again if she had at least one visitor each day. Then he discovered a pink flower which can be enjoyed not only by sight but also by smell. For two years, he chopped down trees and created a foundation for a garden which eventually surrounded their home. Now, a decade later, the garden draws visitors from near and far, and Mr. Kuroki can be seen walking around the property with his wife, who is always smiling. To see the couple and some of their visitors, turn up your sound and click on this link.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Would you like to visit a human library?

The first Human Library opened in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2000. Actual people volunteer to serve as "books" in the library and may be "borrowed" by patrons for 30 minutes. Loans can be extended if both agree more than 30 minutes are needed. Within four days after the first Human Library opened, a policeman spoke with a graffiti writer, a politician spoke with a youth activist, and a football fan chatted with a feminist.

                                                               Courtesy of
Depending on your interests, you can visit a Human Library to "borrow" a homeless man, or a political refugee, or a police officer or a single mom or a Muslim or a former gang member or a welfare recipient or someone who was sexually abused. The list goes on and on. "It's meant to be a space to ask difficult questions and not be judged," says founder Ronni Abergel. Since they began in Denmark, the Human Libraries have spread to over 70 nations including the United States. Abergel says, "When you meet our books, no matter which one, you will say, 'We are different from each other, but there are more things we have in common than are keeping us apart." Perhaps a Human Library is needed in Washington, DC to help lawmakers cross the political aisle? For more information, visit

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Mom's best Valentine's Day ever!

Emma Schofield, 32, who lives in Newton Abbot, England, recently divorced her husband after six years of marriage. Being single again wasn't easy, especially on Valentine's Day, until her 4-year-old son Max came to her rescue. While they shopped for groceries, he told her to close her eyes and picked a Valentine's card and teddy bear in a gift bag. Then he invited her to dinner at Pizza Express, bringing his jar of pennies to pay for the meal.

                                                                                                                     Credit: SWNS
His table manners were impeccable. He ordered everything and was extremely polite. The entire staff of the restaurant saw how much he cared for his date. He wanted to create a special moment for her. When the waitress finally brought the bill to the table, she had tears in her eyes, and written across the check were the words, "This one is our treat. Love, Pizza Express."  Emma said she brought Max up to be thoughtful, but until now she never realized how thoughtful he'd become. It was her best Valentine's Day ever.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

British tram driver goes the extra mile

Mark Feurtado has driven a bus in Nottingham, England, for 12 years, and recently he went the extra mile (literally) to help a confused elderly passenger. She boarded his bus late at night and when he reached the end of the line, she was still in her seat. "I knew I had to gain her trust to get her to speak to me, so I was very polite and constantly asking questions," he told the Nottingham Post.

                                                                                                                   Nottingham Post
When the woman told him where she lived, he knew it was only half-a-mile off his usual route. He radioed the head office for permission to drop her off, and they agreed. Other passengers on the bus were very understanding. When the bus reached her house, Feurtado took her to the door and used his flashlight so she could see where to insert the key. He made sure she got inside safely and locked the door behind her. Craig Spidby, another passenger, said, "the lady was very confused, but Mark helped her beyond the call of duty to be sure she got home."

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Why do we hold others at arm's length?

Since 2011, about 4 million Syrians have been forced by war to flee to other nations, including many innocent children. We usually think of them collectively, as "4 million Syrians." But how do they see themselves? CARE recently answered this question with a short video. As you watch, you'll understand why we often hold other people at arm's length. If we looked at each other with our hearts, and actually held each other's hands, conscience and human dignity would break our hearts and force us to act. Action and heartbreak are profoundly uncomfortable. But if the price of our comfort is our humanity, let's choose humanity over comfort. Enjoy this video of how Syrian refugees see themselves.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A crumb from Vancouver, Canada

Facebook user Ehab Taha was a passenger on the Sky Train in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, recently when another passenger became aggressive. The man was shouting and cursing, and everyone else looked scared. A few minutes later, Taha took this photo.

                                                                                                             Ehab Taha / Facebook
Instead of turning away, this 70-year-old woman had reached out and held the man's hand, gripping it tightly until he calmed down. When the man arrived at his stop, he stood up and said, "Thanks, Grandma," before getting off. Later the woman told Taha, "I"m a mother, and he needed someone to touch."

Saturday, February 13, 2016

A crumb of love for Valentine's Day

Vee Nguyen, 19, is a senior at Everett High School in Lansing, Michigan. Two years ago, she met then-freshman Ben Davis as part of the school's Navigator's program, connecting special needs students with a student mentor. Ben has a condition which makes it hard for him to walk or speak. As time went by, Vee and Ben became best friends. They'd eat lunch together, and when the topic of prom came up, Vee told Ben she'd go with him "when pigs fly."

Vee's senior prom is this May, and she knew exactly who to ask. She arranged to make her "promposal" during a pep rally so the entire school could see it. First, friends wheeled a surprised Ben to the middle of the gym. Then other students brought out a large box, and when they opened it, pink balloons that looked like pigs "flew" up to the top of the gym. That's when Vee came forward and asked Ben to the prom. He said "yes" as the whole school cheered. A video of the "promposal" uploaded to Facebook has gone viral. Vee told BuzzFeed, "I want (Ben) to get that experience. People with disabilities don't get the attention they want." But Ben was the center of attention that day, and the joy on his face was undeniable.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Today's Crumb comes from Bosnia

First graders at Osman Nakas primary school in Sarajevo, Bosnia, welcomed a new classmate last fall, 6-year-old Zejd Coralic. He's deaf, and nobody in the class knew sign language, not even him. So the teacher bent the curriculum slightly and let Zejd and his classmates learn sign language together. Parents paid for a special tutor. Three months later, classmate Uma Nadarevic, 6, crossed her arms to sign his name. "Please," she put her palms together, "" Zejd grabbed his notebook and showed her the work he did at home. Uma signed, "thank you" and Zejd bowed a "you are welcome."

                                                                                                                    Photo by Amel Emric
Now Zejd can hardly wait for school each day, and his best friend, Tarik Sijaric, says "I like to learn Zejd's language so I can talk with him." Many others agree. Students teach their parents what they have learned, as sign language spreads beyond the classroom.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

"Chick-fil-A makes me so happy!"

Today's crumb comes from an alert reader in Granger, Indiana. Thank you!

Six-year-old Caiden Lane of Free Home, GA, struggles to speak because of a rare disorder. His parents, Mashanda and Michael, were told he would likely never speak or walk, but they vowed to give him every opportunity to be as normal as possible. Not long ago, they took him with his older brother and sister to a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Canton, GA, where people dressed as "Star Wars" characters were entertaining diners. Caiden was thrilled, but soon Mashanda began crying and a Chick-fil-A associate rushed to the table to ask why. She was crying for joy because Caiden had just said his first complete sentence. He said, "Chick-fil-A makes me so happy!"

                                                                                                                       Courtesy of Chick-fil-A
Since then, Caiden has become a celebrity at the restaurant. The two Chick-fil-A's in Canton donated a portion of their sales for two days, totaling $2,500, to help the family pay for Caiden's special care, and the community is helping. To meet his parents and the store manager, watch

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Cuddle puddle found at pet motel

For more than a week, an Australian shepherd cross named Maggie had been boarding at Barkers Pet Motel in Alberta, Canada, while her parents were away. Her owners got her a few weeks earlier from the Edmonton Humane Society, where she and her weaned puppies were all up for adoption. During her stay at the pet motel, two nine-week-old puppies were booked into a "room" (cage) near her. The motel owners waited until all dogs were settled and then went out for supper. During the meal, they used the live feed on their phone for a video view of the kennel and saw Maggie outside her room, pacing in front of the puppies' room. The puppies needed a mom, and Maggie needed someone to mother.
                                                                                             Barker's Pet Motel / Facebook
After returning from supper, the motel owners let Maggie into the room with the puppies, and quickly realized this met both needs. "They were all so happy to be together," said owner Sandi Aldred, who let the three stay together that night. She said when she checked the next morning, she found them still in the "cuddle puddle" shown above.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

One good deed deserves 1,000 more

Today's Crumb comes from a faithful reader in Canada, where an ill-clad teenage boy recently spent a frigid day on the streets of Montreal, begging for money as part of a social experiment to see how passersby would react. Filmed by his brother, the teen watched helplessly as people ignored him. Then a homeless man named Putulik Qumaq walked over and gave the teen the coat of his back to warm him up. Qumaq is homeless and has lived 17 years on the streets of Montreal. The video of his kind need went viral, and was eventually seen by Scott Vyse, a managing partner of a Canadian construction company called Northern Mat and Bridge.

Noticing that the unselfish homeless man was wearing a warm woolen cap with a Northern Mat and Bridge logo, Vyse decided to pay Qumaq's generosity forward. His firm is providing 1,000 warm woolen caps to people in homeless centers in Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton. Qumaq is thankful for the good that came out of his kind gesture. "I hope this message I gave will be recognized more to help others," he said.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Plumbers come to rescue in Flint

A dangerous amount of lead in the drinking water in Flint, Michigan, has received national media attention, and each resident needs a filter to get rid of lead. But there's a problem. Many homes have older or oddly shaped faucets which cannot accept a filter. New faucets cost about $100 each, and many residents can't afford the upgrade.

                                                                                                                                   Courtesy Photo
To remedy this, Plumbing Manufactures International donated hundreds of replacement faucets, and Flint plumbers with United Association Local 370 have gone door-to-door to be sure faucets are ready to accept filters. Recently, they got a helping hand from more than 300 union plumbers from across Michigan. In one day, these volunteer plumbers replaced faucets and added filters to 800 Flint homes. One plumber explained, "We did not cause this American tragedy, but we can certainly help correct the damage that has been done."

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Teacher reveals the secret of his success

Anthony Yom, 35, has taught at Lincoln High in Lincoln Heights, NY, for 11 years. When he started, he disliked the job because so many students, 80% Latino, were unmotivated and hostile. "I really hated it," he remembers. He looks so young that some students refer to him as a big brother, so he turned this into in asset. He befriended his pupils; called them at home in the evening to help with homework, and tutored free on weekends and vacations. When asked to teach calculus five years ago, he urged more Latino students to join the school's Asian intellectual elite, and many, like Carlos Navarett, enrolled in calculus. Carlos' mother cleans houses and his Dad works in a factory, but thanks to Yom's faith in his ability, he now hopes to push his B up to an A and be a teacher or work for NASA.
Like most inspiring teachers, Yom worked in obscurity until one of his students, Cedrick Argueta, was among only 12 in the entire world to earn a perfect score on the AP Calculus exam. Cedrick was invited to meet President Obama in the White House, and Yom was not surprised. This was the third year in a row that Yom's ENTIRE CLASS passed the AP Calculus exam. So what turned his students into scholars? "This may sound a little corny," said Yom, "but you really have to love them. You build this trust, and at that point, whatever you ask them to do, they'll go the extra mile. The recipe is love."

Saturday, February 6, 2016

A Senate run by women?

Remember the blizzard that shut down Washington D.C. on January 26? We heard "the government is closed," but that didn't mean all Senators got a snow day. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), is shown below completing the formalities needed to delay Senate business until her fellow lawmakers could shovel their way to the street, while Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) wielded the Senate gavel.

In this photo, Murkowski is saying, "As we convene this morning, the presiding officer is female. All of our parliamentarians are female. All of our pages are female. Something is genuinely different, and something is genuinely fabulous!" Possibly alluding to the blizzard of hostility that gridlocks the chamber on most days, she added, "Perhaps it speaks to the hardiness of women that put on your boots and your hat and get out and slog through the mess that's out there." Later, Sen. Collins tweeted, "Thanks to Lisa Murkowski for joining me this morning to open the Senate. How fitting for Maine and Alaska to be here after the blizzard!"

Friday, February 5, 2016

"We all need each other," says nurse

January's blizzard brought New York City to a standstill, but it didn't stop Chantelle Diabate. She's a nurse at the Hebrew Home in the Bronx, and she hiked two miles through snow and slush to arrive at work on time. Why? "I just felt that I knew nobody was really going to come in, so I tried to do my best to get there," she told ABC News.

                                                                                                        Photo courtesy of Chantelle Diabate
According to nursing home director David Pomeranz, Chantelle was the only nurse who reported for work that day, and ended up working a double shift. "My job is really humbling," she said, "because you realize you could be a patient. I treat my patients well because I treat them like family."

Thursday, February 4, 2016

I bet you'd have done the same thing...

Lt. Col. Robert Risdon stopped at a Taco Bell in Greenville, Alabama, recently with his friend Jason Gibson. As they ate, two brothers came in out of the rain and asked if he'd like to buy homemade sweets they were selling to raise money for their church. The Army Ranger had no cash, but noticed the boys looked wet and hungry, so he asked if they'd eaten yet. When they said "no," he treated them each to five tacos and a drink. "They ate their first taco in under a minute," said Gibson. "Everything was 'yes sir' and 'no sir.' Whoever is raising them is doing a great job."

                                                                                                                     Jason Gibson on Facebook
The boys put Risdon on the phone with their grandfather to prove he paid for their food and they did not use money they were raising for their church. The youngest brother, B.J. shown here in the foreground, is nine. He recognized Risdon's uniform and said he wants to be just like him when he grows up. He kept saluting. "My kids were running through my mind the whole time," said Risdon. "It made me want to help these boys out."

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Remember the Bookmobile?

Remember the Bookmobile, and how it cruised into all kinds of neighborhoods, bringing knowledge to folks who needed it most? Remember Meals on Wheels, bringing food to folks who can't cook for themselves? Sure, but have you ever heard of a truck called Sudsy, equipped with two clothes washers and two dryers, bringing free laundry service to the homeless? Well, here it is.

                                                                                                                       Photo by Kristian Silva
Two 21-year-olds from Brisbane, Australia, converted Sudsy in 2014 and named their free service Orange Sky Laundry. Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett hoped to improve the hygiene standards of the homeless, who cannot afford a laundromat. Since then, 270 volunteers have spread Orange Sky Laundry to 36 locations where it washes 350 loads each week. Marchei and Patchett have been recognized with the title "Young Australians of the Year." They don't just wash clothes. They also chat with the homeless. Marchesi said he recently chatted with a man named Grant while washing his clothes for the first time. "As I passed Grant's clean clothes back to him, he told me, 'Nic, I haven't been able to have a conversation with anyone for over three days.'" Orange Sky is about more than clean clothes. It's about treating others the way we'd like to be treated.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

How important are mothers to daughters?

Lena Pierce (shown below) is 96 years old. She hadn't seen her daughter for more than 80 years until last month. Why not? In 1933, when she was only 14, Lena gave birth to a baby girl in an Utica, NY, hospital. Teenage Lena named her baby Eva May. She bathed her, changed her diapers and came to love her deeply. But after six months, the State of New York declared Lena unfit to be a mother at such a young age. Eva May was taken away. She was adopted. Her name was changed to Betty Morrell, and she grew up on Long Island as an only child.

                                                                                                                    CBS Affiliate WBNG
"A lot of times I worried about her and wondered where she was," Lena remembers. "She was growing up and I was growing old." Eventually, after searching for 50 years, Eva May (now Betty) found her birth mother and they reunited last month at an airport in Binghamton, NY. They embraced and held on tight. "Hi, mom," Eva May whispered. "I'm not alone anymore," she said later. "I have a mother, and I have sisters and brothers. It's so wonderful to be together again after all this time."

Monday, February 1, 2016

Motorists pull trucker back from the brink

Matt Collins has been driving trucks for 20 years, but his career almost ended when snow blanketed the Pennsylvania Turnpike near the Breezewood exit on Friday, January 29. The pavement was icy and two cars in front of his big rig spun out of control, so he hit the brakes. His load, 37 thousand pounds of chocolate, slid off the side the the highway, taking out 30 feet of guardrail. Then it stopped, with the cab hanging dangerously over a steep hillside. A tree branch blocked the door, and he could smell leaking diesel fuel when suddenly someone outside removed the branch, opened his door and pulled him to safety.

Another trucker, Arlyn Satanek, snapped this picture of fellow motorists who saw Collins' plight and quickly formed a human chain for traction so no one else would slip into danger as he was pulled from the cab. Santanek told WTAE News, "It was like everyone knew in that moment, we have to reach him. Let's lock into this and get this guy up." Afterward, everyone headed back to their vehicles before Collins could even thank them for their "proper road etiquette."