Wednesday, December 30, 2020
Jason Boyer, 41, and his wife Sandi wanted to help some needy family at Christmas this year and were anonymously matched with a little boy being cared for by his grandmother. The boy, whose grandfather had just passed away, sent a letter to Santa, and at the top of his wish list was a hoverboard.
Jason and Sandi's son Hudson had also asked Santa for a hoverboard, but when he found out about the need, he wrote to Santa again and asked if his Christmas gift could be given to the other boy instead. The Boyer family did one better. They made sure both boys got a hoverboard from Santa this year.
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
A special friendship between a three-year-old and a mail carrier has continued through the pandemic, as they keep up their daily dancing. Ava, of Portland, Oregon, looks forward every day to seeing the mailman. "She gets so excited. It's amazing," says postal carrier Ian Simon.
Monday, December 28, 2020
It happened in Ottawa, Kansas. The Franklin County Sheriff's Office says it all started when they began receiving service calls about a woman walking along a highway. Deputies responded several times and give the 24-year-old woman a ride to work.
Eventually they learned that she had been walking six miles to work and six miles back home to provide for her two young children. A small group of deputies got together and in a few days, with help from the community, they gathered funds to purchase a van for the woman. The sheriff's office also donated two new car seats, $200, a gift card to a grocery store, and the first year of car insurance is paid.
Sunday, December 27, 2020
Christmas came early to the town of Canton, Mississippi, when a generous and very secret Santa picked up the tab for more than 300 layaway tickets at the local Walmart. A donor who wishes to remain anonymous approached store management and made an offer they could not refuse.
Saturday, December 26, 2020
Mike and Judy Sullivan have been married 50 years. They live in southern California, and for the past seven years, the Vietnam vet and his wife have spent nearly every day in their wood shop making handmade toys to give away. Last year they spent $19,000 on supplies, and they build toys between eight and ten hours each day. Mike buys the lumber, drill bits and saws, and makes the patterns. Judy is quality control and decorator.
The Sullivans give away many of the toys outside their home in the Coachella Valley. "We try to enforce social distancing and masking," says Mike. They will give away 1,400 free toys this Christmas, including to the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission and a church food pantry. They've mailed free toys as far as Indiana, and they even pay for the shipping, although they admit that's getting tough. "As long as I can afford it, I can send them where I can," says Mike.
Friday, December 25, 2020
Rewind to 1939. The Great Depression was fading, and a manager at Montgomery Ward in Chicago wanted the store to create a children's book for the holidays. He tapped Robert L. May, an advertising writer, to create it, and he came back with a story about an underdog red-nosed reindeer who was at the right place at the right time. "Can't you come up with anything better?" his boss asked, but May believed in the story and got a friend from the art department to draw some sketches. Together they convinced the boss, but months into the project, May's wife died. His boss offered to transfer the reindeer project to someone else, but May refused. "I needed Rudolph now more than ever," he later wrote.
Wednesday, December 23, 2020
UPS driver Anthony Gaskins wept when members of the Hallsley neighborhood in Richmond, Virginia, banded together to thank him for delivering over 180 parcels during the pandemic crisis. To show how much they appreciate him, hundreds of neighbors lined the road where Gaskins drives, with signs and banners thanking him for all he does.
Tuesday, December 22, 2020
In a true humanitarian gesture, Mike Esmond, 74, of Gulf Stream, Florida, paid off $7,000 worth of outstanding utility bills for 114 of his neighbors who were facing cut-off deadlines. And it's not the first time he's done this.
Monday, December 21, 2020
A man in Idaho who wishes to remain anonymous is giving $500,000 this year to people on his "nice" list. One was Diana Boldman, a 65-year-old grandmother. She and her husband deliver 150 newspapers to subscribers in Idaho Falls in early morning hours, using a van with 240,000 miles on it. Then Diana goes to her full-time job at McDonalds. She hopes to save up money while providing for both her and her husband, who is on disability.
Secret Santa enlisted East Idaho News anchorman Nate Eaton to give Diana her present. He went to McDonalds, where Diana was making fries, and let her know Secret Santa had given her a car "that she can drive home today." She was also given $5,000 in gas cards, and a check for $1,000. All she could say was "Oh my!"
Sunday, December 20, 2020
In May, 2018, Iesha Champs graduated from Texas Southern University's Thurgood Marshall School of Law. She was 33 years old, but as a child, she'd been homeless, her mom was addicted to drugs, and her dad was deceased. While living with friends, she gave birth to the first of five children. That's when her pastor encouraged her to earn a GED. After that, she earned a Bachelor's degree from the University of Houston-Downtown. Law school was next.
Saturday, December 19, 2020
Pat and Tony Walsh of County Kerry, Ireland, own a business called Walsh Color Print. They employ nearly 120 people, but because the work requires specialized skills, a good part of their workforce comes from other countries. Since housing options are limited and costly in the area, many employees can't afford to save for a home while paying high rent. So, in 2017, the couple obtained permission to build not-for-profit homes on land the firm already owns. The sit can accommodate 70 units, 20 of which are earmarked for company workers.
Friday, December 18, 2020
Thursday, December 17, 2020
At least 750 deserving kids and families will have a special surprise under the tree this year, or maybe next to the tree. For the 16th year, Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines Technical Operations team bought and assembled hundreds of bicycles to donate to Marine Toys for Tots. Employees raised over $40,000 to buy the bikes and donated more than 1,300 toys to give much-needed holiday cheer to metro Atlanta, Georgia, kids.
"While the pandemic prohibited the normal gathering of employees for the presentation of the bikes, the spirit of giving still shone through as the bikes were delivered to the Marines and onto trucks to be provided to Atlanta children," said a Delta official. And parents won't even have to deal with assembling the bike late at night on Christmas Eve!
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
Inmates at California's Soledad State Prison, may have made some poor choices in the past, but now they want to be part of something good. When they heard that Sy Green's parents have suffered medical emergencies, and he might not have the funds to graduate from his private school, they raised more than $30,000 from inside prison to create a scholarship for him.
Monday, December 14, 2020
As the pandemic resurged across Russia this fall, people who were self-isolating at home had to wait days before a visiting doctor would arrive to check on them. Doctors were making 20-25 house calls per day, and were almost falling off their feet. In Irkutsk, all that changed in October, when a group of volunteers began driving doctors to home visits.
Sunday, December 13, 2020
Rawlin Lee Tate, Jr., an 18-year-old from Stockbridge, Georgia, has made history as the first black male valedictorian in his high school. More than that, he secured $1.3 million in college scholarships. Tate had a 4.7 GPA, was top in his class for seven years, was honored as a Georgia Scholar, and took 21 AP courses and never got a grade lower than 98.
Saturday, December 12, 2020
In Logansport, Indiana, a man whose cash-filled wallet was accidentally discarded got it back recently. Robert Nolte's wallet ended up in the trash after he asked a friend to discard a pair of his pants that were covered with paint. Nolte later realized his wallet had been in the discarded pants.
Friday, December 11, 2020
At a drive-thru in Brainerd, Minnesota, over 100 miles north of Minneapolis, people stepped up in a small way to show each other that they care. Tina Jensen, store manager of one of the two Dairy Queens in town, said a man came by the drive-thru window recently and asked if he could pay for his meal and for the car behind him.
Jensen told her cashier this tends to happen once in a while, but at most it lasts for 15 or 20 cars and then fizzles out. This time, the chain continued for TWO AND A HALF DAYS with over 900 cars participating. According to Jensen, drivers in these cars paid about $10,000 for meals ordered by the car behind them.
Thursday, December 10, 2020
First Baptist Church in Spartanburg, South Carolina, plans to transform land on the city's Northside into transitional housing for single, homeless women. "They, in our opinion, are the most easily victimized of the population on the street," said Steve Wise, minister of the church.
The goal is to build 20 tiny homes. The church says each woman in the program would get her own. City Councilwoman Erica Brown represents the Northside. She says, "It's kind of important for us to think outside the box. I think this project will give us an idea and a sense of how successful it can possibly be, and hopefully we'll see more projects like this around our community."
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
Tilly Christmas and Kieran White met at school when they both were 12 years old. They are now 20 and got married this month at the Roman Baths in Bath, England. Mrs. White-Christmas said, "I wanted to keep the name going. It just so happens the man I am marrying has the perfect surname to go with it."
Mrs. White-Christmas, who is a business student, said it took the couple time to realize how perfectly their surnames came together. "We first realized at our secondary school prom, when our friend uploaded pictures to social media using #White-Christmas. The couple live in Bridport. Their service was performed with 15 guests, just before the current British four-week lockdown. During these weeks, weddings are not allowed apart from exceptional circumstances.
Monday, December 7, 2020
Millions of people across America have fallen in love with the homeless people who shop at Tower Gas and Mini Mart in Fresno, California. It all began when the two mart managers decided to record a frequent customer named Phil. He's been down on his luck for eight years, and they hoped to help him, so they recorded Phil and other homeless customers, highlighting their talents and their struggles. The Mini Mart quickly gained more than 2 million TikTok followers and more than 32 millions views.
Sunday, December 6, 2020
The National Football League and Lowe's are teaming up to deliver more than 13,000 Christmas trees to underprivileged homes and facilities, including childcare and youth centers, first-responder stations and non-profit housing organizations.
Saturday, December 5, 2020
In March, 2018, Lt. Brian Zach of the Kingston, Arizona, Police Department had no idea his future daughter would meet him at the next residence check he responded to. He was then a patrol sergeant, and found a toddler named Kaila who needed help. She was the victim of abuse, and her caretakers faced criminal charges. She had to be treated for her injuries, but before that, according to Zach, "We colored, we snacked....she held my hand and she was just this cute little thing."
Friday, December 4, 2020
An organization called ROOF ABOVE just bought an 88-unit hotel at the intersection of Clanton Road and I-77 in Charlotte, North Carolina. They will transform it into permanent housing for many in the city's homeless community.
Thursday, December 3, 2020
Drive into LaGrange, and you'll see a sign welcoming you to The Kindness Capital of Kentucky. Local leaders designated the city The Kindness Capital last year after two residents, Rylyn, 9, and Raegan, 12, started making colorful signs that say "Be Kind." The Richins sisters planned to start with 40 signs, but word got out, and so far they've decorated about 3,000 signs on the picnic table in their backyard.
Wednesday, December 2, 2020
If Brenda Van Sickle would have been able to care for a baby at 16 years old, she would have gladly -- but she was determined to get him the best care, so gave him up for adoption. Last month, after 45 years, she got a phone call and was able to meet the man who benefitted from that unselfish decision.
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
It's the season of giving, and a group of businessmen from Atlanta, Georgia, kicked it off right. Jason Lobdell, Brad Giles and some other benefactors walked into a Kroger in Decatur and paid more than $40,000 in groceries for thrilled customers. "As Black entrepreneurs, we got to give back to our communities," Giles said.