Saturday, November 30, 2019

How two sisters celebrate Thanksgiving

Back in 2017, Lisa Fischer of Charlotte, North Carolina, wanted her children to understand Thanksgiving, so she suggested they prepare a a box of food for a family in need. But daughter Alex felt it wasn't enough, and she suggested 10 boxes. Mom explained that the family would need financial help to donate ten boxes, so Alex and her sister Caroline (now 9 and 6) opened a lemonade stand with baked goods. Then the family set up a GoFundMe page and raised enough to buy 100 boxes of food.

                                                                                                                Photos by Lisa Fischer
It went so well that the sisters decided to make it a tradition. Last year they raised enough money to give away 130 boxes of food and 50 turkeys. This year they surpassed their expectations and raised $4,640. It was enough to provide the Charlotte Rescue Mission with 200 Thanksgiving food boxes and 613 turkeys. "We were hoping to recruit some help from neighbors to pack boxes this year, rent a truck and deliver the food by November 23," said their mom.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Have you ever ridden in a banana?

This fall, Steve Braithwaite, 59, left Michigan for Victoria, Texas, in his banana car. He hadn't gone 15 miles on US 223 before a state trooper named Bill Strouse pulled him over. Braithwaite and Strouse had a conversation, and Braithwaite shared some banana car stories.

Strouse never planned to give Braithwaite a ticket. He really just wanted to admire the car, but he carefully checked the banana's headlights, brake lights and indicators, and when he returned Braithwaite's driver's license, he'd wrapped it in a $20 bill as a gift, and wished Braithwaite safe travels.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Another police "incident" worth noting

Miami-Dade police officer Jose DeLeon was on a call at the Miami Greyhound Bus Station near the airport when he saw a man and his wife and their four children (including a baby) looking distressed. The man told Officer DeLeon he came to Florida from Michigan to work as a cook, but the job fell through and his family had been kicked out of their south-Florida relatives home. They had no money, food or shelter, or tickets to return to Michigan.

So Officer DeLeon rallied his fellow officers for help. They all chipped in with personal funds and gave their donations to the mother. She cried, and the father started to cry, but then the officers got the family to the Chapman Project Homeless Center for the rest of the weekend. The people at Chapman secured plane tickets to get the family back to Michigan on Monday.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

A Thanksgiving Day memory

Here's what Patricia Parson is most thankful for today. She writes, "In October, 1965, as a college freshman, I went to a 'computer dance' held by the university I attended. To participate, I completed some information about my likes, hobbies, travels and studies, and the computer generated compatible partners to meet at the dance. My first few matches did not show, but a handsome young man walked straight up to me and said, 'Hi, I'm in your English class.'
I'd never noticed him sitting on the other side of the class, but this Thanksgiving we are celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary, and our five children are coming home to celebrate with us. I look back and think what would have happened if my lover had never mustered the courage to walk up and say, 'Hi, I'm in your English class.' I am eternally thankful for that computer dance and his words. It was the beginning of finding out where I belonged."

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Another future voter takes action

Jessie Stephenson goes to the John Stainer School in Blockley, Southeast London. She's only seven (7) years old, and her passion for art means she goes through a lot of Crayola felt-tip colored pens. Recently, she learned that Crayola has a recycling scheme for these pens in the United States, but not yet in Great Britain. So she started a petition asking Crayola UK to give its British customers a recycling scheme too.

"I really love using Crayola pens," she says, "but I don't want to use them now that I know the impact on the environment. I care about the environment because we live here, and if we wreck it, we don't get a second chance. So who would sign her petition? Mom and Dad? Maybe Grandma and Uncle Pete? So far, she's collected almost 70,000 signatures, and counting.

Monday, November 25, 2019

One more future voter, making a difference

A young recycling phenom named Ryan Hickman, from Los Angeles, California, visited Capitol Hill last month to give a significant push to a society-wide standardized labeling system designed to end recycling confusion and contamination.

The Greta Thunberg of recycling, Ryan established his own recycling company when he was just three (3) years old. Since then, his firm has properly diverted over a half million cans and bottles. An international advocate who has appeared on the Ellen Show and many news outlets, Ryan is a spokesperson this year for the standardized label initiative, to help solve the most costly and serious issue for the industry.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Boss helps employee retire early

Albert Brigas was planning to retire next year, because that's when his mortgage would finally be paid off. But his boss made his dream come true a little quicker. Brigas is a Vietnam veteran. He started work at Renown Auto Restoration in San Antonio, Texas, in 2006. His boss, Rudy Quinones, says Brigas has tremendous dedication, even coming to work when he's sick.

Quinones knew all about Brigas' plan to retire, so he called him into his office one day last month. He asked Brigas how much he still owed on his mortgage, and then took him to the bank to make a final $5,000 payment. Brigas is retired now, and looks forward to spending more time with his grandchildren.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Imagine a foster grandchild

Lamont Thomas lives in Buffalo, New York, where he's been fostering children for almost 20 years. Up until now, he's welcomed more than thirty boys and girls into his home, but on October 17, he may have finally set a record, when he legally adopted Zendaya, 5, Jamel, 4, Nakia, 3, Major, 2, and Michaela, 1, all at once.

These siblings had been separated for more than a year and a half and had lived in four different homes in four different cities...before Thomas swooped in two years ago and took them in as foster children. He adopted them because he wants them to grow up as a family, and here's the best part. He first learned of the siblings plight because their father was one of many Thomas had fostered years ago.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

What would Mister Rogers do?

That's a question many ask today when faced with challenges or frustration. We may never know the full answer, but if we asked him why a blog like Crumbs of Comfort has survived and grown  for all these years, here's what he'd say.

"Whenever people come together to help either another person or another creature, something has HAPPENED, and everyone wants to know about it—because we all long to know that there’s a graciousness at the heart of creation.” Fred Rogers

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

A whole new meaning for "customer service"

Due to a scheduling mix-up. just one employee, named Ben, was left alone to run an entire Waffle House in Birmingham, Alabama, one night recently. About 30 hungry customers wanted food at midnight, including Ethan Crispo, 24. Since only Ben was available to take orders, cook food, bus tables and manage the cash register, Crispo never expected to get served. Until something special happened.

Ben was on the brink of panic when a male customer the counter spoke to him. After a brief conversation, Ben handed him an apron and he got to work washing dishes. A few minutes later, a woman in high heels and a sequined dress strode briskly behind the counter to brew more coffee. Then she took a few orders before bussing tables.Then a third customer in a red shirt marched over to help. According to Crispo, the term "customer service" took on a whole new meaning that night. He called it "humanity at its finest.

Monday, November 18, 2019

A beautiful day in the neighborhood

In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, November 13 is not just World Kindness Day. It's also Cardigan Day. One of the most beloved fans of the cardigan sweater was Fred Rogers. Mister Rogers' Neighborhood helped generations of children feel loved and loving, while wearing a cardigan sweater.

Caitlin Pechin is a nurse at UPMC Magee-Women's Hospital. She decided to honor both days by dressing all the baby patients in hand-knitted Mister Rogers sweaters and booties. She made all the tiny garments, and after the babies were dressed, the staff invited the television star's widow, Joanne Rogers, to the hospital for  surprise. She was married to Mister Rogers for 51 years, and was delighted by the gesture.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Why hasn't anyone else thought of this?

A charity in Australia named Beddown decided to help homeless people get a good night's sleep. Their aim is to take common places which are not used at night and make them into homeless shelters. The charity asked one of the largest car park operators in Brisbane for help, and they agreed to launch a two-week trial program.

The garage was a safe and secure place for the homeless to get a good night's sleep. The charity also provided other services, including doctors, nurses, hairdressers, and dentists. It provided new clothing and a place to shower. Here are some of the initial statistics after the first two-week trial.  77% of homeless were male. 23% were female. All guests said they felt safe during their stay. Due to overcapacity, 9 people were turned away in one night. The youngest person who tried to access Beddown was just 15 years old.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Saving the blue-footed booby

As reported in The Christian Science Monitor, Will Gladstone is a high school freshman from Arlington, Massachusetts. Back in his 5th grade science class, he learned about a distinctive bird called the blue-footed booby that lives in the Galapagos Islands. He learned that its population has dropped by 1/3 since 1960. Even though he's never been to the Galapagos, or seen a blue-footed booby, he wanted to help preserve the species. But how could he do it?

                                                                                   Riley Robinson/Christian Science Monitor
After a few days, he had a plan. He'd sell blue socks the same color as the birds' feet, to raise money. In March, 2016, he launched an online site called The Blue Feet Foundation, and so far he's sold abouat 10,000 pairs of blue socks to bird-lovers in 46 nations. After costs, he has raised about $90,000 which he donates to the Galapagos Conservancy and the Charles Darwin Foundation. Will's younger brother Matthew helped with sock selling after lots of orders were received.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Dog approves new reclining chair

Aleecia Dahl's granddad is inseparable from his best friend, Coco the dog. So when Grandpa Dahl and his wife (who is also a best friend) moved into a new home recently, the senior doggy daddy refused to buy a new recliner until Coco approved. The footrest had to be wide enough for him and Coco to sit side-by-side.

Aleecia says "he brought Coco into several stores to try out the chair until he found the perfect one. Coco was always greeted with a smile. Since Aleecia published photos of the dynamic duo trying out chairs, they they have been seen thousands of times.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Book lovers "working on the chain gang"

The public library in Norman, Oklahoma, recent moved from it's old building to a brand new facility about a quarter mile away. When moving day arrived, the library posted the event on Facebook, hoping that a few folks would come and help move the books. To their delight, more than 650 kids, adults and seniors showed up to help.

Together, they formed a human chain between the two buildings and moved all the children's books one-by-one down the line. The entire process took about 45 minutes. Said one participant, "It's my hometown library, and we wanted to be part of history." The library managed to capture the magic of the event by attaching a GoPro camera to a copy of "Chicken Little" as it was passed down the line, and the resulting video is very endearing.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Dads join daughters' ballet class

A Philadelphia dance studio is once again offering fathers and father figures a unique way to bond with their little daughters, while stepping outside their comfort zones. D'chappe Dance Arts, a studio near East Falls, hosts a special, two-hour "daddy and me" class that combines ballet with yoga.

Video showing local fathers and daughters dancing together as part of the "BOGA" class quickly circulated online, gaining attention from celebrities including Kristen Bell and Jennifer Garner, who posted on Instagram, "Dads are the best." "There are some amazing papas out there," added Bell. Studio owner Erin Lee said of the sudden attention, "I can't believe it. This is what I care about. Good dads are being highlighted."

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Bus terminal welcomes homeless (dogs)

Employees of Barreirinha bus terminal in Curitiba, Brazil, have opened the terminal's door to homeless dogs. They even gave the dogs special beds to protect them from the winter cold. Three dogs had been spotted in the station, named Pitoco, Zoinho and Max.

These dogs were given more than a home for the winter. Employees made some DIY beds from tires lined with blankets to keep them warm on cold nights. Their goodwill was noticed by politician Fabiane Rosa, and she shared some photos on Facebook. They quickly went viral.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Practicing to fly in an airliner

Flying on a plane for the first time can be daunting, or frightening, to children with special needs. Nashville International Airport in Nashville, Tennessee, hosted a "Mock Flight" event recently to help such children feel comfortable on a plane.

According to a news release, the event gave families the opportunity to have children with autism or developmental disabilities experience a "realistic flight journey" to practice certain touchpoints, like the security checkpoint and boarding procedures. More than 120 guests registered to take the "Mock Flight."

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Lesson learned after 80 years of marriage

Charlotte and John Henderson are the oldest living couple in the entire world. At 105 and 106 respectively, these lovebirds have lived most of their lives at each other's side.

The couple first met in 1934 at the University of Texas. They tied the knot during the Great Depression and spent a whopping $7 on their honeymoon. (That's not a misprint. "Seven" dollars.) They are about to celebrate 80 years of marriage, and they are not keeping the key to their longevity a secret. It's simple really. According to John, "You just have to live life in moderation, and be cordial to your spouse."

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Where to find advice for the lovelorn

The Juliet Club is a nonprofit organization that responds to letters sent to Juliet Capulet, the tragic figure in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, which takes place in Verona, Italy. Addressed simply to "Juliet, Verona" thousands of letters arrive from all around the world, lamenting romantic woes and heartaches. Club volunteers do their best to offer up valuable advice in return.

The club hosts a multitude of writers who have had a variety of unique relationship experiences, so they can respond to every different form of inquiry. One volunteer explains she often takes several days to respond to some of the letters, because she wants to send the most thoughtful answers possible.

Friday, November 8, 2019

High school football players "take a knee"

A pair of high school football players on opposing teams in Sherman, Texas, dropped on their knees in prayer after a recent game. They prayed for the recovery of one player's mother, who is seriously ill. Sherman High School senior Gage Smith and West Mesquite player Ty Jordan know each other well. Smith was aware of Jordan's mother's condition, and asked Jordan to pray with him after the game.

"When you're playing the game, you're playing to win and the other team is the enemy," Smith said. "But afterwards you still have respect for the other opponent. I just had a moment with him, praying over him, his mom, and his family."

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Much better than an apple!

Today's crumb was contributed by a reader in southern Indiana. Parker Williams is only nine years old. He's in third grade at Gorrie Elementary School in Tampa, Florida. He believes in the slogan, "pay it forward," so here's what he did with his birthday cash.

After receiving $15 of birthday money, he decided to give it to someone special, and it didn't take long to decide on his teacher, Mary Hall Chambers. Why? "Well, I think she's a really kind teacher and she spends time on everybody." So when Parker arrived in class recently, he handed Chambers they money with a note that told why he was giving it to her. His note said, "Dear Mrs. Chambers, I don't think that teachers get paid enough for what they do, so will you accept this gift?"

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Ever get in trouble for doodling in class?

We should always support our kids and their natural talents. If we nurture these talents, great things may happen. That's what 9-year-old Joe Whale's parents thought, as they encouraged their son to keep drawing, even though he got in trouble in school for doodling during class.

They sent Joe to an after-school art class, and his artistic abilities were quickly noticed by those around him. In fact, Joe was invited to decorate the dining room of the 'Number 4' restaurant in Shrewsbury, England. Now Joe is known as The Doodle Boy and has his own Website as well as social media pages showing off his art.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Owner is "overwhelmingly grateful"

Since Jennifer Kimes began working at the Plato's Closet resell store in Valparaiso, Indiana, two years ago, she's found plenty of things tucked into the pockets of people's old clothing, but this was the most valuable thing she ever found.

"I mean, sometimes you find gum, or an old shopping list, but you don't find $75,000," she said. Immediately after finding the wad of $20 and $100 bills, Kimes informed her manager so they could both contact the man who had sold them the clothing. He had reportedly forgotten he'd hidden the emergency in the jacket pocket, so he was overwhelmingly grateful for its return.

Monday, November 4, 2019

A town where kindness is a "no-brainer"

Not long ago, 8-year-old Daniel Hunt watched as flames engulfed his family home. All his toys were burned up. But a week later, a still-devastated Daniel was surprised by his third-grade classmates with the results of a toy drive.

The class had worked in secret to resupply his toy collection. Daniel was completely overjoyed, and his homeroom teacher, Casey MacKintosh, says that in their small town the gesture was a no-brainer. "We live in a small community in Tennessee," she explained. "Word of the fire travelled quickly, and by Monday morning everyone just wanted to help."

Little girl could be a future park-ranger.

Park rangers are praising an anonymous little girl for being an excellent role model for park preservation, after she returned a heart-shaped stone she had taken during a visit. According to a post from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Facebook page, rangers received a tiny package without any return address form a youngster who identified herself only as Karina.

"Dear Park Ranger," she wrote, "Deep Creek was awesome! I loved it so much I wanted to have a souvenir to come home with me, so I took a rock. I'm sorry, and I want to return it. Also, here's a donation!" Not only did she return the stone, but she also included a drawing of the park, as a bonus.