Saturday, March 31, 2018

"I love you, Daddy"

In the three-minute video linked below, which has gone viral, a little boy named Carlton sees his daddy preparing to leave for work and wants to say he loves him.

There's really no way to explain how he does this. You'll just have to watch the video. Enjoy!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Jeremy's Easter egg

Jeremy was born mentally retarded, with a chronic illness that would prevent him from reaching adulthood. When he was 12, he was still in second grade at St. Teresa's School, seemingly unable to learn. His teacher, Doris Miller, suggested to Jeremy's parents that he be enrolled in a special school. She had 18 other children to teach, and Jeremy was a distraction. After pleas from his parents. she agreed to let Jeremy stay, and try to be more patient with him. That spring, the students were excited about Easter. She gave each student a large plastic egg and asked them to go home and fill it with something that shows new life. The next morning, 19 children dropped their eggs in a basket on Mrs. Miller's desk. She opened them one-by-one. The first one contained a flower. "Oh yes, that shows new life," she said. The next contained a plastic butterfly that looked real. "We all know how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly," she remarked approvingly. The third egg contained nothing. She was about to put it aside and reach for another when Jeremy spoke up. "Don't you want to talk about my egg?" he asked. "But Jeremy, your egg is empty," she said. He looked into her eyes and said, "Yes, but Jesus' tomb was empty too." When she could speak again, she asked him if he knew why the tomb was empty. "Oh yes!" Jeremy said. "Jesus was killed and put in there, but the Father raised him up." The recess bell rang, and all the children ran outside, but Mrs. Miller wept. Her impatience with Jeremy had melted away.

Three months later, Jeremy died. Those who paid their respects at the mortuary were surprised to see 19 plastic eggs on top of his casket -- all of them empty.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Would you believe this if you saw it?

Two Girl Scouts named Norah Wall and Ruthie Bridgman were selling cookies outside a grocery store in Seattle, Washington, recently when a random woman asked how much it would cost to buy all their inventory. They had more then 120 boxes, and she bought them all for over $600.

But she wasn't stocking up for the year. Instead she paid for all the cookies and then asked the Scouts to hand out the boxes to random people FOR FREE. Here's the best part. Customers entering the store were so impressed that they found ways to pay it forward, like helping each other have exact change. At least one shopper paid for her own groceries and the groceries for the person behind her, and the person in front of her. Free Girl Scout cookies really make people sweet.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The many benefits of puppy love

Brenden Greeley is a 43-year-old Maryland father of four. His daughter wanted a puppy more than anything else, but he was reluctant, so she launched a 3-month campaign to change his mind. By studying his habits, she knew he always sat down to read his morning newspaper, so she added a headline at the top of one page. Here it is.

Her dad was so amused that he posted this picture on Twitter, where it was shared thousands of times and even got retweeted by J.K. Rowling. Finally the family adopted a puppy named J.K, Growling, and Greeley used his media fame to promise that for every donation to the Ann Arundel SPCA or any other rescue organization, he would post another picture of J.K. Growling to Twitter. The local SPCA has received a flood of donations, and an ad agency offered Greeley's daughter a job. He wrote back to them, "As soon as we get her to remember to make her bed every morning, we'll send her your way."

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Haircuts done with love

For two years, Lisa McKenzie tried to give 10-year-old Jordie Rowlands a haircut. He's autistic, so she sat on the floor with him in the barber shop, met him there after hours, and even tried to give him a trim at his home, but no luck. He was scared and could not stay still. After she was disciplined by her boss for giving a haircut after the shop closed, she resigned and opened her own shop. Failure to cut Jordie's hair did not discourage her.

"It made me want to connect with him so I could take away his fear," she said, and then one day it happened. She starting singing "The People on the Bus" and he grew completely calm. She said she did not know he was into nursery rhymes. She was finally able to give him a full haircut. "Amazingly, he now interacts with me and I even get a hug at the end," she says. Since posting this news on Facebook, she now has 100 special needs customers and has trained four other barbers how to deal with them. At her shop, one Sunday each month is set aside for autism-friendly appointments only.

Monday, March 26, 2018

"I like you just the way you are."

A heart-warming movie about the life of Fred Rogers will soon be a a theater near you. As many remember, Rogers used his television show to teach children how to love each other and overcome emotional challenges.

"Mr. Roger's Neighborhood," was so popular that it still beloved by adults today, even though it went off the air in 2001. Award-winning documentarian Morgan Nevill is making the movie, in which Mr. Rogers will be played by Tom Hanks. PLEASE take your children and grandchildren to see this movie, which will be in select theaters on June 8. Here's a link to the trailer.  Enjoy!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Three jelly donuts and $2,000

Bill Kelly lives in The Villages, Florida. Recently he and his three-year-old granddaughter, Sophia, had a date. He took her to Dunkin' Donuts in Brownwood, where little Sophia immediately noticed an envelope on the floor. Grandpa opened it and it contained more than $2,000 in cash. That's when Sophia's conscience kicked in. She insisted they must return the money to the owner, since it was not theirs. Kelly, a retired police officer, agreed.

                                                              Michael Johnson/Daily Sun

The envelope full of money also contained the owner's credit card, so Kelly found the name in the phone book and called, but nobody answered. Then he noticed that one of his former law enforcement colleagues, now retired, lived on the same street as the credit card owner, so he called his friend and they returned the cash and credit card to the owner, Shelby Hughes, shown above. "I thought I put that envelope back in my purse," she said. Hughes is a former school teacher and truly appreciated Sophia's determination to find the envelope's owner. She said she was glad "the right people" found the envelope.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

How did students get to Washington DC?

The New England Patriots loaned its team plane to Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School students and their parents, and the parents of students who died in the February 14 shooting, so they could attend the March for our Lives rally Saturday in Washington. Parent Meredith Barry was with her daughter Isabela, a junior who hid in a closet during the shooting. Isabela's best friend, 17-year-old Helena Ramsay, was one of 17 people who died that day.

Barry said each seat was "like first class" with a gift and a message (shown below) from Patriots owner Robert Kraft. She said the flight crew provided "lots of hugs" and "lots of love" on the plane, where she described all the passengers as "like a giant family." The Patriots will use their team plane to fly the students back to Florida on Sunday.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Maud's Cafe has a grateful staff

As reported in The Christian Science Monitor, a new coffee shop has opened in Salt Lake City, Utah. Maud's Cafe is in the city's Granary District. In addition to coffee, it offers bagels, croissants, salads, sandwiches and soup. And oh yes, it is staffed by homeless youths.

                                                               By Al Hartmann/Salt Lake City Tribute/AP
These homeless young adults receive job training and work experience through internships with an hourly wage. "All I can say is I'm grateful," says Jennifer Salceda, who was kicked out of her home last December and was living in a park with her boyfriend. "There was that feeling that we were helpless and couldn't get out of it," she says, adding that "the people here are amazing and they believe in me. That changes everything. Your start to believe in yourself." She says her favorite drink to make is a latte, "because you can do art on top with the foam."

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Best friends

Today's crumb is a photo from the Epoch Times in Canada. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Nurse adopted abused children

About a year ago, Jacksonville, Florida, nurse Jess Hamm, treated a 14-month old girl named Delilah who had been severely abused. She was malnourished, had several broken bones and a skull fracture. Then Hamm found that Delilah had a twin sister named Caroline who was also being abused and was being treated for similar injuries. There was no chance that either girl would ever be discharged to her biological parents.

Both infants were very weak. Delilah could not even sit up or hold a bottle. Jess says she never really considered adoption until she met them. But that's what she did. She adopted them both. Today they're about two years old and fully recovered. Jess says they are happy, healthy, and meeting all their developmental goals.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Bus driver will miss favorite passenger

Milwaukee, Wisconsin bus driver John Reed carries hundreds of passengers every day, but only one has become his very best buddy. Each morning, 4-year-old Sebastiana Ballstrerl and her mom are waiting at a bus stop on the Green Line to go to school and work. When Sebastiana sees the bus coming, she waves at the driver and jumps up and down for joy as he honks the bus horn and waves back. As she boards, Sebastiana wishes Reed a good morning and tells him the latest news from her 4-year-old life.

She wrote him a Valentine, and he gave her one too, but soon Reed will be reassigned to another route. He knows he'll miss his favorite passenger, so he gave her a gift bag with a coloring book, a stuffed animal and a card which said, "Your happy smile and warm 'good mornings' have brightened my everyday. I want to thank you for being a great example for others to follow."

Monday, March 19, 2018

Deputies hand out food instead of tickets

As reported in The Villages Daily Sun in Florida, Sheriff deputies swarmed through a restaurant in Lake Sumter Landing recently, not to break up a mob scene but to wait on customers as part of an annual fundraiser called Tip-A-Cop. Diners can donate to the Special Olympics as part of their tip after eating. Customers packed the restaurant to be waited on my deputies, some of whom worked as bartenders.

                                                                                                        Michael Johnson / Daily Sun
According to one of the restaurant owners, "Some of the deputies who get behind the bar are pretty good at it. They're pretty good at the schmooze."  Sgt. Tom Ford fell back on the skills he learned waiting tables in high school as a server at the event. He said the evening was a way to show the public another side of law enforcement.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Filght attendant brings passenger to tears

Sharon Radcliffe was on a Delta Airlines flight from Detroit to Nashville recently when a flight attendant named Jeffrey Jones brought her to tears. When he discovered an older passenger in coach who suffered from Parkinson's disease, he immediately took her hand and escorted her to an empty seat in first class.

                                                                                                                      Sharon Radcliffe
"During the entire flight I could see him checking on her, patting her back, helping her get up, walking her (holding hands) up and down the aisle and generally mother hen-ing her," Radcliffe wrote on Facebook. Radcliffe asked if he needed help with the passenger, but he simply said, "I got this," explaining that his grandmother had Parkinson's disease. Radcliffe wrote, "As I sat in my seat, I literally had tears in my eyes."

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Perfect 23rd anniversary gift

The traditional gift for your 23rd anniversary is a silver plate, but Cesar Calle felt his wife Monica deserved more. They live in Weston, Florida, about 30 miles northwest of Miami, and for their 23rd anniversary last month he gave her one of his kidneys.

Monica has been on dialysis every night for almost three years, until Cesar found out he could donate. Of course he said yes. It's been about a month since the surgery and they're both doing great. In fact, Monica jokes that even after 23 years, they're still a perfect match.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Quebec physicians reject pay raise

More than 700 physicians, residents and medical students in Quebec, Canada, recently signed an online petition asking that a recent hike in their salary be cancelled. The move comes after the government released details of a $2 billion proposal to triple the salaries of doctors over the next ten years.

                                                                                                                             Getty Images
But the doctors didn't just reject the salary increase. They went further. They said the funds should go instead to overburdened NURSES, and patients in need of health care. "These increases are all the more shocking because our nurses, clerks and other professionals face very difficult working conditions," said the petition, "while our patients live without access to required services. The only thing that seems immune to cuts is our salaries."

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Working with folks who care

Andreas Graf, 36, is a factory worker in Germany. Over a year ago, his wife died, and his three-year-old son Julius has been fighting a potentially fatal disease. Graf used all his vacation time to stay with Julius in the hospital, but it finally ran out. Unless he went back to work, he'd lose his job.

But then his company's Human Resources manager talked to his co-workers, and they came up with a plan to save his job by donating their own overtime pay. The factory has about 650 employees. Every single one of them offered to help. Collectively, they donated 3,265 hours, or about 18 months of time. The firm is letting Graf take it all as paid time off. Now his son is doing better. The boy turned five last month and should be well enough to go to pre-school soon.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Just another day at work, until...

It was just another day at work for 18-year-old Evoni Williams. Since graduating from high school, she's been working at a Waffle House in La Marque, Texas, saving all her earnings and tips to pay for college someday. Recently she was working the busy morning shift when a partially-disabled older customer named Adrien Charpentier asked if she would cut his ham. He'd been suffering muscle weakness and could not do it. Williams was more than happy to oblige. Another customer snapped a photo of her cutting the elderly man's ham and posted it on Facebook where it was shared thousands of times.

Eventually it caught the eye of Bobby Hocking, the mayor of La Marque. "It just touched my heart," he said. "It's wonderful that the younger generation cares for the older generation." To thank Evoni, the mayor declared March 8 Evoni Williams Day, but that's not all. Officials from Texas State University awarded the humble Waffle House server a $16,000 scholarship to the school. Williams says she plans to study business and management at TSU. She already has a PhD in kindness.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Dogs love easy chairs

The Knox County Humane Society in Galesburg, Illinois, is a "no kill" facility, so some of the animals remain there for a long time before adoption. Usually dogs just lay on a blanket on the floor of their cage, but they really prefer easy chairs.

When the staff realized this, they posted a video of a few dogs lounging in easy chairs, and asked the public to donate more old chairs. Since posting the video, the shelter has received dozens of chairs to help house their animal residents. Now other shelters around the country are asking for similar donations.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Bet you would do this too

A woman in New Hampshire has done what many of us would do under the same circumstances. Recently she won the Powerball jackpot. The state lottery commission gave her lawyers a check for $264 million, the total after taxes. They said she will immediately give $150,000 to Girls, Inc. and $33,000 each to three chapters of End 68 Hours of Hunger in the state.

One of her lawyers explained, "She knows there are many charities that do good work and need money, but we want to start with these because she believes children are our future. She doesn't want any credit." The woman is seeking to remain anonymous, and has not quit her job. "This woman comes from a family of givers," said her attorney, "and this is part of how she was raised." Girls, Inc. CEO Cathy Cullity says, "I've been here 22 years and never had a day like this. I wake up in the morning now and say I don't have to worry anymore."

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Dad devotes life to ending gun violence

Last February 14, Fred Guttenberg was getting some work done at his home in Parkland, Florida, when his son called from Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School where he's in 11th grade. He told his dad there was a shooting at the school and he was running, but he couldn't find his 14-year-old sister Jaime. Fred told him to keep running. The boy eventually jumped a fence and made it to Walmart where his dad picked him up. For several hours they searched for Jaime at the Marriott where students were held, and at hospitals. Finally they learned she was a victim.

                                                                                                        photos by Fred Guttenberg Facebook
Jaime always lived to dance. She'd been dancing since she was three, and competing since she was nine. But she also loved helping those who others wouldn't. She hung out with a neighbor who had asperger syndrome. She was part of the Best Buddies program dedicated to creating friendships with people with disabilities. And even though she was petite, she was always willing to take on anyone who was bullying someone else.

Jaime's first dance competition of the year was one week after the school shooting. While other kids were performing, her family visited the cemetery. Fred says, "As a family, we go forward by getting back into our life. That's what we do. But we can't led this go away. I am dedicating the rest of my life to fighting to end gun violence. I am tired, but people are counting on me -- people with children. I just can't let this happen to another parent. I can't."  Can any of us?

Saturday, March 10, 2018

How do kids define love?

A group of children between four and eight years old were asked to define love. Here are some of their answers.  "When people love you, they say your name different. You know your name is safe in their mouth." (Johnny, age 4)  "If you want to learn how to love, you better start with someone you hate." (Sue, age 6)  "Love is when you tell a boy you like his shirt, and he wears it everyday." (Georgia, age 7)  "Love is when you go to dinner with someone and you give them most of your french fries without making them give you any." (Bruce, age 8) "Love is when mommy gives daddy the best piece of chicken." (Annie, age 5)

Now here's a sweet video shared by a reader in northern Indiana. It was made by Samaritan's Purse, and asks children the simple question, "What is love?' Samaritan's Purse is an international relief program helping meet the physical and spiritual needs of people around the world. Franklin Graham is the president of Samaritan's Purse, which reaches out to more than 100 nations. Enjoy!

"Dog tweeters" save the day

In 2014, Kelli Brown of Bowling Green, Kentucky, went to the Humane Society and adopted eight-year-old Jaxon. From day one, Jaxon only wanted one toy, a little plush alligator with big cute eyes, sold only at PetSmart. He'd never play with any other toy. In the years since, Brown has returned to PetSmart twice a year to buy Jaxon a replacement "greenie." But last January the store told her they were discontinued. Brown searched online, but found nothing. "It was like they disappeared," she said. So she put out a desperate tweet.

Dog tweeters retweeted her tweet until Kendyl Kercho saw it. She's a 21-year-old college student who works at PetSmart in Fort Worth, Texas. There were no "greenies" available on her store's racks, so she dug through a clearance bin of marked-down merchandise and found eight. She shipped free. Jaxon was thrilled and took one "greenie" from the box immediately. Brown has hidden the rest for safe keeping.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Shore leave makes a difference

The USS Little Rock left Buffalo, New York, on December 16, en route to Florida via Halifax. But a sudden cold snap froze the St. Lawrence Seaway, forcing the ship to halt at Montreal on Christmas Eve. The ice was not expected to melt until March, so the 70-member crew had nothing to do except mission training exercises. But a few found new ways to keep busy.

Nancy Dossous, who works at the Welcome Hall Mission, invited them to volunteer their help. The mission provides food for 3,000 people every week, and that's a lot of packing. The sailors want to keep a low profile while in Montreal, but a few came to help out. Dossous was not surprised, since her Dad was a U.S. Navy veteran. "Sometimes you feel like you need a small army to get this done," she said, "which is great because we have the Navy."

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Are men allowed to cry?

In case his poems didn't sell, Robert Frost had a day job. He was a farmer, but not a great one. On December 22, 1923, he realized he had no money to buy his children gifts, so he gathered some farm produce, hitched up his horse, and took a wagon load to town to sell. No one bought anything, and as he returned home penniless a sense of failure overwhelmed him. He could not tell his family the bad news, so he stopped the horse and "bawled like a baby." Eventually his horse, Eunice, jingled her bells and he pulled himself together.

He said later, "A man has as much right as a woman to a good cry now and again. The snow gave me shelter; the horse understood and gave me the time." Frost's daughter Lesley agrees his ride home from town inspired a poem which made her father famous. It appeared 95 years ago this month in The New Republic. Perhaps you remember. "Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village though; he will not see me stopping here to watch his woods fill up with snow." Lesley said it was her father's favorite poem.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

A truly white wedding

St. Cuthbert's church is at Benfieldside near Shotley Bridge in Corset, which is only 14 miles from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in County Durham, England. The church planned to host a wedding on February 28, the exact tenth anniversary of the day the bride and groom first met when they were 15 years old.. A very heavy snowfall threatened to "scupper" the couple's plans until the church went on social media appealing for help. Result? Rebecca McKenzie and Daniel Hodgson of Leadgate tied the knot as planned.

But not without some help from their wedding guests. Rev. Martin Jackson, who led the service, said, "It's been a great relief, but it's really been a terrific experience because people have turned out in droves with their shovels." Thirty guests cleared paths while another used a snow plow on his Land Rover to clear Church Bank, the street in front of the church. "At one point, Church Bank was the clearest route in Corset," said the pastor. "To see people pull together so well is brilliant."

The church was chilly because the heating didn't work, "but the congregation had a wonderful warmth," he said.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Students danced, cheered and screamed

Avery Huddleston lives in Illinois. He's only seven, but he was heartbroken when he saw the damage Hurricane Irma caused in Puerto Rico. So instead of asking gifts for himself this year, the first grader asked for school supplies to be donated to Puerto Rican schools, and his classmates agreed. The box of supplies was mailed, and they were distributed by Ameren electrical workers to boys and girls at La Escuela Rafael de Jesus elementary school in Rio Grande. Then something special happened.

The school has been without electricity since the hurricane, but as he was handing out Avery's gifts, one worker notice that a few lights did work. He investigated and was soon able to repair a transformer which turned on ALL the lights in the school. That's when students danced, cheered and screamed in delight. Ameren worker Mike Beardsley said, "If it wasn't for one kind gesture by Avery, they'd still be sitting in the dark at this school."

Monday, March 5, 2018

It happened near London, England

Believe it or not, an 88-year-old man named John Nixon recently saw a woman being robbed in the street by five guys who wanted her purse. They were in their teens or early 20s. He yelled at them to leave her alone, which got their attention, and they decided to steal his money instead.

What they didn't know was that John fought as a Commando in Korea. He also did intelligence gathering in Germany, Egypt and the Middle East. His training kicked in, and he decided to take on all five of them. For starters, he karate chopped one of them in the neck, knocking him "semi-conscious." This scared the other young men, who ran off. The woman kept her purse, and police praised John for his "extraordinary bravery." He didn't consider himself a hero. Why not? "Because fear is not in my dictionary."

More news you might have missed

We all read about school teachers who are on strike in West Virginia, seeking better wages. Many walk picket lines, but never stop caring about their kids. Many West Virginia students rely on free or reduced-price lunches to stave off hunger. "Our students rely on us for more than just education," said one striking teacher. "So we're trying to help them."

To do this, teachers are packing hundreds of lunches for their hungry students. Some diligent educators actually go door-to-door with boxes of food at the ready. Teacher Kevin Green explained, "We want to continue to show our love for our kids even when we can't be there because we're fighting for our rights." The strike has not ended yet.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

News you might have missed

Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, suffered tragedy recently after a gunman entered the school and killed 17 people. Everyone grieves in a different way, and the school hockey team honored their fallen friends by winning the state championship.

The tournament was only two weeks after the school tragedy. Players for Marjorie Stoneman Douglas had a rough start, losing their first three games in a row. They went into the semi-finals as the last seed, but pulled off an upset and made it into the finals. Then they came on strong and won the final game 7 to 4 to take the state title. Senior Matthew Horowitz said they wanted to win for everyone back home, and they dedicated their title to the 17 classmates and teachers they lost so tragically.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

School goes to the dogs

When students returned to class at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, memories of classmates lost in the recent massacre were still fresh. Empty desks were noticed, but "stress relief" was waiting for them at the door - a team of therapy dogs from the Broward County Humane Society.
The dogs participated in classes all day, providing unconditional love and comfort. Students were seen smiling as they petted the pups, and many took pictures to share online. The dogs are expected to remain at the high school indefinitely.