American Girl has been busy auctioning off three exclusive holiday collector dolls. Their gowns and accessories took couturiers over 300 hours to design and hand embellish, with 5,000 Swarovsky crystals and crystal beads being added to the dolls.
Monday, November 30, 2020
For children of first responders
Sunday, November 29, 2020
A new meaning for "comfort food"
A woman from New Hampshire has taken the concept of "comfort food" to a new level. After a generous community turn-out that included gifts and a drive-by parade turned her son's 7th birthday into a day he'll never forget, his mom, Brandy Bisson, decided to pay it forward.
Saturday, November 28, 2020
A generous crumb from Home Depot
With more people staying home this year, many are doing home improvements and DYI projects, Home Depot's earnings for the third quarter rose 23 percent from the same period in 2019. Recently the company announced that it will invest a billion dollars of that profit into its employees.
Friday, November 27, 2020
Animals are safer now in Utah
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources built a special bridge in 2018 over Interstate 80 to reduce traffic accidents caused by animals trying to cross the highway. This month, the agency released a video of the bridge being used by moose, porcupines, deer and even bears, as they cross the busy road.
"It's working!" officials posted on Facebook. "Thanks to the Utah Department of Transportation and Utah State University for monitoring the Parley's Canyon wildlife overpass this year. As you can see, it's helped wildlife safely migrate over busy Interstate 80." The overpass is filled with rocks, boulders and logs, giving a welcome alternative to six lanes of traffic.
Thursday, November 26, 2020
"You reap what you sow"
When a couple from Irmo, South Carolina, (who wish to remain anonymous) sold the dream house they'd lived in for 32 years, they thought they tied up all loose ends. Repairs were made, paperwork was in order, and they'd removed their belongings. A few days after the sale was finalized, new owners James and Clarrisa Munford discovered a literal treasure.
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Dads who never baked start cookie competition
Last April, two dads who live in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, decided to have a bake-off, mostly out of boredom. Scott McKenzie, 58, baked the first bunch of chocolate chip cookies. "I made an absolute mess of the kitchen," he admitted, "but the cookies were actually pretty good." He posted a photo of his cookies on Facebook, when Jeremy Uhrich, 42, a fellow Huntingdon dad and longtime friend, challenged him to a cookie competition.
Tuesday, November 24, 2020
Schools teaching in a new light
The Batesville School District in Arkansas switched to solar power in 2017, after discovering they were spending $600,000 a year on electricity and running a $250,000 budget deficit. Superintendent Michael Hester, who knew faculty pay was low, causing quick turnover, took out a bond to buy 1,400 PV solar panels.
Monday, November 23, 2020
Necessity inspired teen's invention
When Ayla Hutchinson of Taranaki, New Zealand, was 13, she saw her mother cut her finger with a hatchet while splitting kindling. Ayla became determined to find a safer way to cut firewood. She took up this challenge as a science fair project, and invented the Kindling Cracker, a cast iron tool that allows people to split kindling quickly and safely.
Sunday, November 22, 2020
A Thanksgiving crumb from Zoom
Thanksgiving is likely to look different this year, with stores stocking up on small turkeys to meet a new demand. But Zoom, as a thank-you to its customers, will lift its 40-minute time limit on free meetings -- from midnight ET on November 11 until 6 a.m. ET on November 27. Normally paid yearly packages of Zoom cost between $150 and $200. If a host selects the free option, a meeting must end in 40 minutes.
Saturday, November 21, 2020
A crumb from Lowe's in Springfield, Missouri
Jaxon Maples is bright and curious. He also has autism. From an early age, he's been drawn to the sound of mechanical objects. So when he discovered the appliance section during a family visit to the local Lowe's store, it felt like wonderland. His mom, Shauna Rippee, says Jaxon's love for the hardware store has been a godsend. "We are so thankful that we know how to calm him down. We just get in the car and go to Lowe's.
Friday, November 20, 2020
Another miracle on 34th street?
When a worker helping to set up Rockefeller Center's 2020 Christmas tree discovered a tiny bird in the giant branches, he called his wife. "The owl's not flying away," he said. "We need to get some help." His wife called Ravensbeard Wildlife Center to ask if they took owls for rehabilitation. They did, and when a staff member met the husband and peeked into the box, it wasn't a baby bird. It was a tiny male saw-whet owl, which grows to be only 8.3 inches tall.
Thursday, November 19, 2020
Family enjoys an unexpected vacation
Sam Smith is the single father of 6-year-old Lysander and 3-year-old Zenduel. Since lockdown began in England, they've been confined to their one-bedroom apartment on the 15th floor of a high-rise in east London, England. Sam and the kids have sometimes have been stuck inside for 23 hours a day. They spoke on the BBC Breakfast Show about how hard it's been.
Ken and Sheila Sims heard the program, and invited the Smiths to spend a week at their cottage by the England seaside. Of course Sam said yes. "I can't find the words," he said at the beach during his family's Devon vacation. Motioning at the sky and water, he said, "It's beautiful!"
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Boy finds unique way to help storm victims
When a huge derecho hit Iowa in August with winds up to 140 miles per hour, a 12-year-old boy found a unique way to help storm victims. Tommy Rhomberg's home was not damaged, but he said that "driving around town, there were people with half their house destroyed, and I wanted to raise some money so we could help them." That's when he got a novel idea.
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
Child rescued from rip tide by stranger
The Whiting family was enjoying their final day of vacation on a beach in Monterey, California, when 10-year-old Haylee Whiting got caught in a rip tide. Her mom, Samantha Whiting, heard Haylee's cry for help and sprinted into the water, but soon the waves were swallowing them both. Fortuantely, a beachgoer named Kevin Cozzi heard their screams. He swam out and helped them both to safety. Haylee was unhurt, and the Whitings headed home the following day, but they could not forget the heroic stranger, and wanted to thank him again, but never got his last name.
Monday, November 16, 2020
New brigade commander at Annapolis
A Black woman will lead 4,400 of her peers at the U.S. Naval Academy this year, for the first time in the academy's 175 year history. Midshipman 1st Class Sydney Barber of Lake Forest, Illinois, will hold the highest leadership position among her fellow midshipmen.
Sunday, November 15, 2020
Kindness will open doors that education won't
Tyra Patterson's passion and therapy is art. During the 23 years she spent as a prison inmate, art was her only escape. She was in prison for a crime she did not commit, and was released on Christmas Day, 2017. She had been helped by the Ohio Justice and Policy Center, and one week after her release, they hired her as a paralegal.
Saturday, November 14, 2020
Friday, November 13, 2020
Canadian teen makes online learning easier
Last March, Sophia Joffe's high school in Toronto, Canada, switched to total remote learning. She was in the 11th grade, and found virtual learning challenging. She searched the Internet for supplemental online learning resources, but found few. So she created eLearn.fyi.
Thursday, November 12, 2020
When he's not protecting, he's serving
Dave Jones and his girlfriend, who is from Umbria, Italy, were hiking in the California mountains two years ago when they ran out of food and needed to resupply. They were near the town of Independence and hoped they could hitch a ride to Bishop, 42 miles away. As they walked to the edge of town, their hearts sank as a police cruiser pulled up. They've never forgotten what happened next.
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Community appreciates and honors veteran
Command Sgt. Major Henry Armstrong turned 96 this month. His friends in Cincinnati, Ohio, honored him with a parade. Neighbors and first responders drove by his house to wish him a happy birthday. He said it meant a lot to him.
Armstrong served in the U.S. Army for 41 years, from 1943 to 1984. He served in Europe during WWII and his greatest memory is helping to liberate Gunskirchen Lager, a concentration camp in Austria. In the past few years, he's met three of the men he helped to liberate. Later, he served in the Korean War and Vietnam War before retiring.
Monday, November 9, 2020
Jessica Hyatt, a chess champion from Brooklyn, New York, was just awarded a $40,000 college scholarship, and intends to be the first black woman chess master in the world. The 15-year-old is currently in the group of top 10 black women chess players in the nation, and spends five to seven hours each day playing the game.
Sunday, November 8, 2020
Dunkin dropped Donuts from its name, but...
Even though the name was changed in 2019, when a store manager is named Sugar Good, you can expect a sweet story. Good manages a Dunkin in Oklahoma City, and she got enamored with a regular who ordered coffee with a sausage-egg-and-cheese sandwich in the mornings. "I could never forget his smile," she said. "When he smiles, his eyes sparkle." His name was John Thompson, and when he finally worked up the nerve to order a date, she gave him her phone number.
Saturday, November 7, 2020
A crumb found on Facebook
Waiting in line to pay for groceries while maintaining a 6 ft. distance, I saw the man shown here cut in line. He didn't appear to notice what he'd done. The person he skipped didn't say anything. When it was time for the man to pay, he reached in his back pocked and realized he'd forgotten his wallet. He looked a bit disappointed and embarrassed.
Friday, November 6, 2020
What does it mean to be a neighbor?
Washington County, Wisconsin, is a Republican stronghold. There were only two Biden signs displayed, and one belonged to Tim Chase. Within a few days it was stolen. But a few days later, Tim received an unexpected gift from his Republican neighbor, Josh Schoemann. Josh lives a few doors down from Tim and had a Trump sign on his lawn.
Thursday, November 5, 2020
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
"That's how my parents raised me"
High school runner Ben Boardley didn't realize his sportsmanship could have resulted in disqualification, but it wouldn't have mattered. In a recent Indiana state cross-country run at Terre Haute, the Penn High School runner saw Brebeuf Jesuit's Faizan Khan fall as both approached the finish. Boardley stopped to help, pulling on Khan's left arm to riase him to his feet before both continued running.
Tuesday, November 3, 2020
Pandemic provides more time for reading
New York City's Strand Bookstore is known worldwide for its "18 miles of books." A Greenwich Village fixture since 1927, it's the only remaining one of 48 bookstores that once ran the length of 4th Avenue's famous Book Row. The pandemic has reduced foot-traffic, and proprietor Nancy Wyden, granddaughter of the store's original owner, feared she might have to close the Strand for good, so she reached out to her customer base and pleaded for help.
The Strand's loyal clientele responded with an avalanche of 25,000 orders over a single weekend. The orders crashed the store's website and brought in about $200,000 in sales. (One enthusiastic Bronx patron ordered 197 books!) The store is not out of danger yet, but it's feeling much better.
Monday, November 2, 2020
A crumb for voters everywhere
Actually, it's more than a crumb. It's blueberry cookie. The lines have been long, and the process frustrating, but most of you voted! If you voted in Brooklyn, New York, you may have seen Marvel good guy Paul Rudd.
Sunday, November 1, 2020
Hard to believe, but true
Like hundreds of others, 9-year-old Reese Osterberg and her family were devastated to loose their home last month in California's Fresno County Creek Fire. A huge baseball fan, Reese had been collection baseball cards since she was six, and had amassed a 100 card collection she was proud of. It was destroyed in the fire. When the Fresno County fire crew heard about her loss, they spread the word on Facebook. Could anyone help this little girl by donating some of their own cards?