Friday, May 31, 2019

Want to skip 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, May 30, 2019

You want fries with that? Or a lug wrench?

A man named Brian Hall was at a Chick-fil-A near Chattanooga, Tennessee, recently. While he was waiting in the drive-thru lane, he realized he had a flat tire. When restaurant employees saw his predicament, two of them hurried outside to his car.

Hall was amazed when they brought a hydraulic jack with them. They put on his spare tire for him and took a photo for Facebook. Oh, they also brought his food while he waited, but it got cold while they were changing his tire, so they replaced it with fresh food and tossed in two free cookies. Will he dine there again? You bet.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

When a teacher becomes a parent

Robert Hurley was born in New Port Richey, Florida, where he spent most of his childhood in a two-bedroom trailer. His mom was a drug dealer, and his dad was a drug addict. When Robert was six, his father left the family. By the time Robert was a freshman at Boca Ciega High School, he'd been living in a St. Petersburg foster home and was being asked to move away. He mentioned this to his geometry teacher, Amy Krusemark, and everything suddenly changed for the better.

"It seems pretty preposterous that someone so sweet and loving would be in a system so long," she thought. As a foster parent herself, with two empty room at home, she approached Robert and told him, "I want to help you be you." She soon became his legal guardian, and he moved in. Since then, things have worked out pretty well. Now 18, Hurley has a 4.6 GPA and was valedictorian of his graduating class. He's received FULL-RIDE scholarship offers from Yale, Stanford and Duke, and has chosen Stanford. All because his geometry teacher did more than teach. She loved.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

From janitor to nurse

Frank Baez, 29, moved to New York City from the Dominican Republic when he was 15. He barely spoke any English, but managed to find a job as a janitor at NYU's nursing school to support his family. The janitor job got him interested in medicine. So he applied for another job, as a patient transporter, wheeling people around for tests.. And the patients loved him.

He eventually left that job to get a Bachelor's degree at Hunter College. He was the first person in his family to graduate from college. But he knew he wanted to work in healthcare, so he applied to NYU, the same school where he worked as a janitor. This month he got his nursing degree.

Monday, May 27, 2019

teen risks life to help man in wheelchair

Gregory Beck was on his way to his St. Louis, Missouri, home recently when tornado sirens sounded. Beck lost both legs and is legally blind, so it would take him 15 minutes to get home from the supermarket if he stopped 10 times to rest. "Everyone kept telling me the storm was coming and you need to hurry up and get home," he said.

While other motorists honked and yelled at Beck as he tried to cross the street, 16-year-old Seth Phillips and his mother stopped their car so Seth could get out and push Beck the rest of the way home. "Just the greatest people," said Beck afterward, "and very concerned about other people, which America needs to start doing more of."

Sunday, May 26, 2019

A postman who delivered more than mail, much more.

Floyd Martin has been delivering mail to residents of Marietta, Georgia, for the past 20 years. He retired from his route this month, and probably expected a few handshakes or a cake to send him off. But instead, neighbors along his route decorated their mailboxes in his honor. They give him gifts and threw a tearful block party where they recalled his many kindnesses -- how he always picks up the newspaper and brings it to the door of elderly residents, and feeds neighborhood cats, and always has lollipops in his pocket for children. How much did the children on his route love him?  On Career Day at school, little Mae Bullington dressed up as "Mister Floyd the Postman." He said he was flattered, and it really touched his heart.

For all these years, Martin has dreamed of visiting Hawaii. A GoFundMe page was launched by one of his customers, and quickly reached $13,000. That should be more than enough, since Delta Air Lines called and offered to fly him to Hawaii for free. Why didn't he retire sooner? "I could have left them a long time ago," he explained, "but I wouldn't....because I love them."

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Graduating from high school and college the same day

Braxton Moral is 17 and lives in a tiny town in southwest Kansas. When he was younger, he totally skipped the fourth grade but still felt bored at school. So his parents enrolled him in a few classesat local universities.

When he was 11, they signed him up for classes through Harvard's extention program, so he could take classes online too. This month he graduated from both high school and Harvard University. Now he plans to go to law school. He's not the first kid-genius to graduate from Harvard early, but he's the first kid to successfully pursue a four-year-high school degree, and a Bachelor's degree from Harvard at the same time.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Readers with captive audiences

Back in 1989, librarian Elizabeth McChesney began visiting Chicago laundromats with books instead of laundry. She found kids who were not likely to attend story time at the local library but were eager to hear her read as the washers whirred. Her efforts helped inspire a nationwide initiative to bring libraries to laundromats.

Today, thanks to McChesney and a coalition of non-profits, thousands of families are benefitting from storytimes and bookshares at laundromats across America. Says Adam Echelman, executive director of Libraries Without Borders, "You're able to hold programs at a time and place that really meets people where they are."

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Mom and her son graduate together

It happened this month. Sharonda Wilson was set to graduate from Ferris State in Flint, Michigan. Her son, Stephan, 23, would be graduating from Central Michigan University on the same day. Which ceremony should Sharonda attend? She never hesitated. She's skip her own ceremony to attend her son's graduation.

A classmate of Stephen's, who works in the president's office at Central Michigan, saw on social media that Sharonda would skip her own graduation to be with her Stephan. He told Central Michigan's president, Bob Davies, about the situation just a few hours before Stephan was scheduled to graduate. Davies called the president of Ferris State and was given permission for his school to confer Sharonda's degree. After Stephan received his sheepskin, the president called Sharonda to the stage and awarded her degree. He even brought a graduation cap for her to wear, so she could turn the tassel.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Student may get an "A" for semester-long project

Ben Hofer of Austin, Texas, is in the 8th grade at St. Andrews Episcopal School. Last spring, one of his teachers announced a special assignment. Each student was asked to set up a semester-long project which would dig into community issues. Ben had heard that many parents can't afford to buy school lunches for their children. The children are still fed, but they rack up debt. So Ben  launched a "LunchCounts," a GoFundMe which would hopefully raise $3,200 to pay off the lunch debts at Blazier Elementary, Paredes Middle School and Atkins High, since they had the highest balances in the district.

But in just a few days, his GoFundMe page exceeded the initial goal. So far, it's worth $8,000 and Ben will use the funds to pay off almost half of all the lunch debt of the entire Austin Independent School District. Soon Ben will present the results of his project at school, and he hopes to continue paying off school lunch debt every year.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Helping poor kids feel safe and succeed

West Side High School in Newark, NJ, serves about 700 students, mostly low-income African-Americans. The school has struggled with chronic absenteeism, tardiness and violence. Three years ago, a neighborhood girl was shot to death. So Principal Akbar Cook started the  "Lights On" program where the school hosts Friday night parties, giving students someplace safe to go from 6 until 11 p.m. They can play basketball, shoot pool, play video games and even record music. When Cook discovered that some kids skipped school because they were bullied about wearing dirty clothes, he spent two years lobbying for a grant and was finally able to convert the football team's locker room into a free, on-campus laundromat with commercial grade machines and free soap.

Leaders like Cook say they have to compete for state money and attention with the growing number of charter schools in Newark. But that changed recently when Oprah Winfrey visited West Side. First, she ordered a pizza lunch for every student. Then she gave each student a $500 Shop Rite gift card. Finally, she donated half-a-million dollars to the "Lights On' program. Her gift will help the program operate three nights a week over the summer.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Picking up others on the bus to success

Robert F. Smith is one of only 13 people of color in the United States who are billionaires. This month he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree at the Morehouse College graduation ceremony. He told graduates that just being on "the bus to success" is not enough. You need to own it, he said. You need to drive it, and you want to pick up as many people as you can along the way.

Then he surprised everyone, including college officials, triggering the biggest cheer of the day. He announced to nearly 400 graduating seniors that his family would eliminate all student loans for the entire class of 2019.

The gift has an estimated worth of $40 million, and and is the largest single gift in the history of the college. "This is my class," said Smith, "and I know my class will pay this forward. I'm putting some fuel into your bus. I'm counting on you to load up that bus."

Sunday, May 19, 2019

A weight off his shoulders at graduation

When he was a sophomore, Michael Watson of Canton, Ohio, weighted 325 pounds. Just 16 years old, he was (and is) 6'4", and knew he needed to loose weight. So he made changes in his diet, eating healthier options like eggs and oatmeal instead of pasta and pizza. In the spirit of Robert Frost, he decided to take "the road less travelled."

During his sophomore, junior and senior years, he walked four miles to and from school each day, regardless of the weather. He lost 115 pounds, and has been recognized at McKinley High where he was nominated for the "senior spotlight."

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Ever misplace a check for half-a-million?

That's what happened earlier this month at a New York City pizza parlor named Patsy's. Karen Vinacour was there with her adult daughter enjoying pizza, and they noticed the walls were covered with pictures of famous customers. Vinacour asked her waiter, Armando Markaj, why most of the pictures were of men. He joked that maybe women don't like pizza as much. This must have annoyed Vinacour, because she didn't leave Markaj a tip -- not even a penny. But she accidentally left something else behind. A cashier's check for $424,000.

                                                                 Photo by Barry Williams for the New York Daily News
Vinacour was out looking for apartments in the area, and the cashier's check was to be her down-payment. (Yes, apartments are super expensive in the Big Apple.) Her bank told her she'd have to wait three months to even try to cancel it, and Markaj could easily have deposited it in his account. But he gave it to his boss instead, and it was returned to Vinacour. This time she offered the waiter a VERY nice tip, but he declined. She apologized for stiffing him, and in the end she got what she wanted. They took a photo together, so now a picture of her will be on the restaurant wall.

Friday, May 17, 2019

"Unadoptable" dog now a hero

Melissa Lambert of Waynesboro, Pa., really didn't want a dog. She and her husband were busy enough taking care of three children, ages three to eight. But then she met Edgar, a Treeing Walker Coonhound who turned up at the local humane society.  She adopted the 4-year-old who had spent his life on the streets and was once labeled by a shelter in West Virginia as "unadoptable."

Months later, the Lamberts are calling Edgar a hero for scaring off a man who entered their home looking for a child to abduct. It was night. Everyone was asleep when the man broke through a first-floor window on April 28. Edgar is a pretty calm dog, and was sleeping with the couple when he suddenly "went nuts." He was in a pure rage, and could not be quieted. That's when they heard footsteps on the kitchen floor downstairs. The intruder fled, and was arrested the next day. He admitted he was trolling the neighborhood looking for unsupervised children. But Edgar refused to let that happen. When the couple explained to police how the dog had "started losing his mind," they could hardly believe it

Thursday, May 16, 2019

A once-in-a-lifetime fire drill

Allison Hunt teaches at a high school in Louisville, Kentucky. Recently they had a fire drill, but it wasn't exactly a normal drill. One of the firefighters who showed up with Tom Cecil, a captain with the department and Allison's boyfriend.

He had switched shifts with another fireman so he could be there for the drill. Once all the students were outside the school and safe, he walked up to her, got down on one knee, and proposed. He caught her totally off guard, and Allison's students went nuts when she said yes.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

What does it mean to forgive?

A balanced diet, less junk food and more exercise all make us healthy. But what about forgiveness? Does the acid of bitterness eat the container that holds it, until washed away by forgiveness? Research at the Mayo Clinic concludes forgiveness actually improves physical health. Here's a summary of their findings.
Experience shows forgiveness not only relieves stress, but creates hope for the future, and opportunities to do good. For example, once a week Terri Roberts spends time with a teenage Amish girl named Rosanna King, who sits in a wheelchair; eats through a tube and cannot speak. Terry bathes her, sings to her, reads her stories. Rosanna was shot in the head by Roberts' son Charlie in what we remember as the Nickel Mines Amish School Massacre. In 2006, Charlie barricaded himself inside an Amish schoolhouse near Lancaster, PA. He dismissed the boys, tied up 10 girls and opened fire, killing five and wounding five others, including little Rosanna, before killing himself as police closed in. When they heard the news, Terri and her husband, retired policeman Chuck Roberts, assumed they'd have to move away. Chuck wiped so many tears he rubbed his skin raw.. "I'll never face my Amish friends again," he said over and over, until an Amish neighbor named Henry told him otherwise. "Roberts, we love you. We don't hold anything against you or your son," Henry said as he massaged Chuck's slumped shoulders. "We're a forgiving people." This extraordinary gesture gave Terri a glimmer of hope. She calls Henry her "angel in black."  A few days later, many Amish attended Charlie Roberts funeral, embracing his wife Marie, and his parents.
Funeral procession: The community was devastated by the shootings in 2006
Members of the Amish community embracer in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, near the scene of a mass shooting incident at an Amish schoolhouse in 2006

Yet forgiveness does not come easily, even for the Amish. Rosanna King's father, Christ King, said the Amish are like anyone else, with the same frailties and emotions. 'We hope that we have forgiven, but there actually are times that we struggle with that, and I have to ask myself, ''Have I really forgiven?''' King said.  'We have a lot of work to do to live up to what we are bragged up to be,' he continued. 'Everyone was talking about this forgiveness thing, and I felt that was putting a lot of weight on our shoulders to live up to that.'

Rosanna wasn't expected to survive after being shot in the head. She laughs, cries and responds to stimuli, and King said she is mentally alert. But she requires constant care.Terri Roberts' weekly visits with Rosanna force her to confront the damage her son caused. But Roberts also finds peace as she spends time with Rosanna and provides some relief to the teen's family, if only for a few hours. "None of us needs to live in the saddest part of our life 24/7," she said.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

She just learned it the day before

Shailyn Ryan lives near Boston, Massachusetts. She's nine years old and her parents signed her up at their local rec center for a course called Home Alone Safety. One of the things she learned was what to do if someone is choking. Then, THE NEXT DAY....

she was at lunch in school when her best friend, Keira, started choking on a hot dog. Keira could not breathe and her face turned red. So Shailyn immediately jumped up, got behind Keira, and did the Heimlich the way she just learned. She saved her best friend's life. She told police she wasn't even nervous when she saw Keira choking, because she knew exactly what to do.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Who knew Jeeps were romantic?

Austin Tatman lives in Florida. When he was a little kid, he was best friends with a girl named Natalie. They were always together until they were five. Then she moved to Connecticut, and for a decade they were out-of-touch. But in high school, she tracked him down on social media and they started talking. Then they started dating.

Both are now 24 years old, and seven years after reconnecting they just got married. They say it only took two dates to realize they really liked each other. Now they're inseparable again. Their wedding was near Daytona Beach, and in their wedding photos they recreated an old picture that was taken of them as children. In the original, they are standing in Austin's toy Jeep Wrangler Power Wheel. So they took the same photo again, but this time in a real Jeep.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Could middle-east peace begin in cyberspace?

Tech2Peace is convinced that it can. It's an independent initiative created and conducted by a young staff of students and volunteers. Their aim is to host high-tech and peace-building seminars focused on creating a lasting positive relationship between young Israelis and Palestinians.

Their mission is to equip the youth of Israeli and Palestinian society with the essential skills to ensure greater cooperation in the future. Participants may join in a seminar on Web Building, or 3D and Graphic Design, or Mobile App Development, and also an experiential workshop on conflict resolution, which helps humanize the Middle East conflict at a grassroots level. Tech2Peace says that following a seminar, participants will not only become peace-building ambassadors, but also have skills required to be employed in the world of High-Tech.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Maine is not just lobsters anymore

As reported recently in The Christian Science Monitor, almost half the children in the Portland, Maine, school district are students of color, and more than a quarter are multilingual. But their teachers are 97 percent white and speak English at home. Fewer Americans are deciding to become school teachers, and even though many immigrants are highly educated, they are rarely qualified for professional jobs. So Maine found a solution where everyone wins.

                                                                                        Noble Ingram/Christian Science Monitor
Take Francois Agwala of the Congo and Raquel Molina Fernandez, shown here. Francois was a school principal in his native land, and Raquel taught for a decade in Spain. They're part of a group of foreign-born teachers in a new Maine program designed to prepare and certify them to teach in the state. The scheme also combats "brain waste," when skills of immigrants are not transferred to their new homelands. Similar programs are already in place in Chicago, and Portland, Oregon.

Friday, May 10, 2019

From a reader in Bloomington, Indiana

Last month, vice-chancellor Sir Anthony Seldon of the University of Manchester, in England, endorsed the use of dogs as a way of reducing stress in schools and universities. "The quickest and biggest hit that we can make to improve mental health in our schools and to make them feel safe for children it to have at least one dog in every single school in England," he said.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds backed his call, saying more schools seemed to have "wellbeing dogs" and the pets can really help. Take Middlesex University, for example, where five dogs are working to help students with exam stress (including the three shown above). They're called "canine teaching assistants," and must wear staff ID cards. "You can really feel the stress levels reducing," says Fiona Suthers, head of clinical skills at the school. "It's hard to describe the impact of having a dog lying down in the corner of a class. I don't think any of us thought it would be so successful."

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Deaf dog learns sign language

Emerson is a good dog, but sadly he's deaf, so he seemed unable to find a "forever home." Now he has a wonderful life, thanks to his new owner, Nick Abbot, who is also deaf. They pair have bonded since Nick, who is from Maine, adopted Emerson as a 12-week-old puppy and taught him some sign language.

Nick learned about Emerson through a Facebook post about him. He went to see the pup, and says "He came right to me at the door and sat right away at my feet and stayed there. So you can tell he kind of picked me. I knew we'd get along and understand each other pretty good." Even though they can't hear each other, they are able to communicate. If Nick signs the letter S, Nick sits down. If he sweeps one hand sideways, Nick lies down. Over the years, who know how many signs he'll learn?

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

It's no fun eating alone

Recently Jamario Howards and his friends were sharing a meal at Brad's Diner in Oxford, Alabama, when they saw a woman named Eleanor eating alone. "Dang, I'd hate to eat alone," Howards thought, so he approached Eleanor and asked if he could sit with her. As they chatted, the elderly woman reveal she was a widower and this was the day before her 60th wedding anniversary to her late husband.

Howards immediately invited her to have dinner with him and his two friends. Eleanor now says she believes God sent her to the restaurant that night so she could be reminded of the kindness of strangers. Howards and his friends already feel like they're her "grandkids" and have all vowed to make time for their surrogate grandma -- meeting Eleanor at the restaurant for regular dinners.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Total stranger adopts 2nd grade classroom

Last year, Elisabeth Milch disclosed her annual salary online.  It was $35,621 at the time. She teaches second grade at Whispering Wind Academy in Phoenix, Arizona. It's a Title I school, which means it has low-income students and receives federal funds to meet educational goals. But Milch often dips into have own pocket to meet students' needs, paying for lunches on field trips, and much more. Her story was featured on news outlets across the country, and then the magic happened.

A New York man named Ben Adam reached out to Milch on Facebook to ask if she needed help buying school supplies for her students. She remembers, "I'm thinking, this is crazy. This is a total stranger from New York." But when school started, Milch started getting Amazon packages. "I thought it was a one-time thing," she says, but Adam sent Milch supplies well into the second semester. He sent colored paper, books, paints, paintbrushes, snacks for the kids, and more. Later he asked if he could help other teachers, and he ended up adopting five more classrooms in addition to Milch's. All the teachers agree his kindness has improved the atmosphere of their classrooms.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Six years ago, but still important today

Nogales, Arizona, firefighters rushed to the international border with Mexico at Morley Avenue after a blaze broke out at the Hotel San Enrique in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. The hotel had been a lodging for migrants waiting to cross illegally into the United States.

The building was empty at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported. About 10 firetrucks responded from the Mexican side of the fence, while Nogales Fire Chief Hector Robles dispatched the local department's $827,000 ladder truck for its maiden trip to an actual fire.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Good news from Blackburn College

Blackburn College (my alma mater) is in rural Carlinville, Illinois. It's the only college in the United States with a mandatory, student-managed work program. Each student is assigned a job on or near campus for several hours a week to reduce tuition. To stay at Blackburn, every student must participate, even if Daddy donates a library. Noted photojournalist Linda Solomon's national project, "Pictures of Hope," lets high school students compete for a "Dream Scholarship" -- a free ride at Blackburn.
Solomon gives selected students a photography lesson, a camera, and several weeks to capture their hopes and dreams in a photograph. This year's winner is Jordawn Green from Crater High School in Central Point, Oregon. A Blackburn College official says Solomon is "working with the same population we serve -- promising young people facing financial challenges that could prevent them from going to college." Winners of the scholarship, who meet other admission requirements, receive free tuition, room and board for four years.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Don't be surprised when the elves move in

When a 110-year-old cottonwood tree in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, needed to be removed for safety reasons, Sharalee Armitage Howard, a librarian, artist and bookbinder, transformed it into an amazing Little Free Library. Now, instead of providing shade, it provides good reading.

It stands in Sharalee's front yard, featuring inviting stone steps, a sloped roof, a large green door, and warm interior and exterior lighting. Since she posted photos of her library last December, the public librarian's creation has gone viral, with responses from as far away as Greece, Turkey, France and Tunisia. One man from Arkansas wrote, "Don't be surprised when the elves move in."

Friday, May 3, 2019

Too many coincidences to be a coincidence?

Tyler Smith and Heather Brown, both 17, have been friends since fourth grade. Now they're seniors at Christ's Church Academy, where April 18 was "senior skip day." They went swimming off Vilano Beach, near St. Augustine, Florida, and were caught by a rip tide almost two miles from land. They tried, but could not swim back to shore. For two hours, they struggled to hold each other up. As their skin turned pale and they shivered uncontrollably, they began to pray.

Meanwhile, Eric Wagner and a friend were forcing his boat, the Amen, through high waves en route from Delray to New Jersey. He later wrote on Facebook, "Nearly two miles out, over wind, waves and engines, we thought we heard a desperate scream and saw an arm flail over the swells. We made a u-turn while I ran to the bow with jackets and ropes. After tossing them jackets, we pulled them up onto the swim deck. Both were shivering and his lips were white. We radioed the Coast Guard and warmed the kids with blankets. The boy told me he called out for God's help, and then we showed up. When I told them our boat is named the Amen, they started to cry. The first words out of her mouth were, 'God is real!'"

"There are too many coincidences in my opinion for this to be a coincidence," said Wagner. "I truly believe it was divine intervention."

Thursday, May 2, 2019

They don't regret doing the right thing

It's been almost five years since roommates Reese Werkhoven, Cally Guasti and Lara Russo were shocked by what they found in their couch. One day after watching a movie on TV, they noticed crinkles in one of the side pillows of the use couch, which they purchased from the Salvation Army in New Paltz, New York. Tearing the pillows open, they found bubble-wrap envelopes. They opened the first one and found "an inch and a half of hundred dollar bills." They eagerly counted it, and it totalled $41,00. Reese was thinking about buying a boat.

But then they found an envelope with a woman's name on it, and their sense of entitlement vanished. With the help of Werkhoven's mother, they found the woman, called her, and returned the cash. The elderly woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, said she stashed money in that couch for years and family members who did not know had mistakenly donated it to the Salvation Army. As a reward for their honesty, she gave the roommates $1,000, proving that honesty really does pay.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Prepare to wipe away a tear

Tinney Davidson has been waving to children in her town for over ten years. The 88-year-old Canadian woman has waved to kids of Comox, British Columbia, since she and her husband moved into their home back in 2007. Since the couple's home is near the local high school, they delighted in waving to all the teens who walked past their home to school. And the teens love to wave back.

                                                                                                                          CHEK News
Even after her husband died, Davidson continued the tradition of sitting in front of her window and waving to kids. In 2016, the youngsters even repaid her kindness by giving her dozens of gifts on Valentine's Day. So....when the community learned that "Waving Granny" would soon be moving into an assisted living home, more than 400 youngsters gathered in her front yard to say goodbye. As Davidson cried tears of joy, the kids blew her kisses, gave her hugs, and waved farewell.