Henry Darby, principal at North Charleston High School in South Carolina, is considered his community's guardian angel. He remembers, "A couple of years ago I had two students who were sleeping under a bridge. There was another former student who slept in her car with her daughter. Another student needed funds for water and light bills.
Sunday, January 31, 2021
Saturday, January 30, 2021
Senator Bernie Sanders' mittens were one of the highlights of Inauguration Day. His hunkered-down image was captured by photographer Brendan Smialowski. Apart from some much needed humor, Sanders' sartorial tour-de-force injected much needed cash into some charities, thanks to the Senator himself.
Friday, January 29, 2021
As the presidential transfer of power was underway, another transfer was happening nearby. Kavi Sadar, 4, made cookies for the National Guard soldiers who were maintaining security at the inauguration. Kavi said he told the soldiers, "Thank you for protecting our neighborhood." After Kavi slid his plate of cookies under the wire fence, the guardsmen repaid him with an American flag patch.
The boy's mother, Janet Sadar, said it was all Kavi's idea. They live close to the capital and she said, "It's a very weird time to live in this area. I think that day that the riot happened was a little bit scary because his school is one of those preschools in the neighborhood. It's a strange time to live here, but it's very exciting for a 4-year-old to have a bunch of soldiers around. He doesn't entirely understand, but it's very exciting for him."
Thursday, January 28, 2021
When George Floyd was killed last May by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, footage of the homicide sparked Black Lives Matter protests across America. He left a legacy of activism, but he also left behind a 7-year-old daughter named Gianna. Now the world is looking after her. For example, Kyrie Irving, point guard for the Brooklyn Nets, bought the Floyd family a house.
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Staff at a Miami juice bar just got the surprise of their lives when a frequent customer left a $2,021 tip for the new year. Her tab was $71.84, but the gratuity she left equated to a 2,814% tip.
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Nico Lavallee is four years old and has a favorite stuffed animal -- a small reindeer named Rudolph. At least he HAD the toy until recently. While the family was on a walk, his younger brother, two-year-old Santiago, tossed Rudolph over the railing above the frozen waters of Ottawa, Canada's Rideau Canal, to see if it could fly. It couldn't, so the family returned to the site more than once to visit the plush toy which landed on the ice near a frozen marker sign. There was no way they could retrieve it, so Nico's older brother, six-year-old Sebastian, urged his mom to use social media to reach out to neighbors. "I didn't think anyone would care," she said, but she took to Twitter anyway.
Monday, January 25, 2021
The City of Memphis, Tenn., announced a new partnership intended not only to reduce crime, but to give those who had a history of crime a second chance. Mayor Strickland said the city is partnering with Kroger to provide job opportunities for graduates of the city's Manhood University and Women Offering Women's Support.
The mayor said this partnership gives women and men in the community a second chance. "If somebody who has a criminal background finds a job and turns that job into a career, there's very little chance they'll go back to a life of crime," he said. Kroger said right now there's no limit to how many people they're hoping to help with this new partnership.
Sunday, January 24, 2021
Matthew Resendez was working behind the register at a Burger King in San Antonio, Texas, recently when a homeless man standing line line asked if there was anything on the menu he could buy for fifty cents. It was all the money he had. Matthew asked him what he would order if he could, and the man said anything would help his hunger pains.
So Matthew ordered him a hearty meal and then used his own debit card to pay for it. He handed him the receipt and told him to relax and take a seat. A woman in the restaurant saw this sweet exchange and was deeply moved. When she came to order her meal, she left Matthew a $100 tip to reward him for the good deed he'd done.
Saturday, January 23, 2021
When Cemal Senturk went to a hospital in northeastern Turkey on January 14 to receive treatment for Covid-19, his dog Boncuk managed to escape from home every single day and wait at the hospital entrance. Staff informed the family about the dog, but every time they retrieved her, she'd find a way out again. (Senturk lived nearby, but his family still does not know how the dog did it.)
It's not everyday you see someone teaching band class from a Humvee. But that's what Sgt. Jacob Kohut did when called to protect the nation's Capitol ahead of the presidential inauguration. Beside being a member of the D.C. Army National Guard, he's also a teacher at Canterbury Woods Elementary School in Fairfax County, Virginia.
He made time to teach his students during shift breaks while on duty. He admits teaching music virtually is difficult, but he'd do anything to be there for his students. "I'm a soldier for the constitution, and a soldier for music education," he says.
Thursday, January 21, 2021
Jill Stretton and Cathie Alexander have been pen pals for seven decades while living half-a-world apart. Their letter-writing relationship began in 1950 when 12-year-old Jill, from Australia, was given Cathie's address by a friend who had recently visited Scotland. I those days, it could take up to six weeks for a long-distance airmail letter to arrive, but the pair quickly became best friends.
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
It was five days before Christmas when Somerset, Massachusetts, police officer Matt Lima responded to a report of shoplifting from a nearby Stop & Shop supermarket. He learned that two women with two young children had not scanned all their groceries at the self-checkout kiosk before leaving the store. Lime took the suspects aside and learned they had fallen on hard times. The tried to steal additional groceries to give the children a Christmas dinner.
Monday, January 18, 2021
Five-year-old Aryana Chopra rang in the new year in the most positive way possible. She designed and handmade 200 cards to send to every resident at a senior living home in Vestal, New York. Her dad is a doctor in the front lines in the pandemic, so she knows how serious it is.
Sunday, January 17, 2021
Evelyn Topper probably dropped her wallet when she and her granddaughter, Mikayla Gounard, were leaving a coffee shop in San Rafael, California, recently. She didn't realize it was missing until she got home. With her credit, debit and medical cards gone, she was upset. But she wasn't upset long. The next day Sean Curry found her wallet in a dumpster behind the coffee shop. Except for cash, it was completely intact. Even though he's been homeless for five years, he made arrangements to return Topper's wallet.
Saturday, January 16, 2021
Fred Paul and Florence Harvey first met 68 years ago in the bayside town of Wandsworth, Canada. They were high school sweethearts, taking walks after church and kissing between classes. Every night of their two years together, Fred would flicker his porch light before going to be so Florence could see it from her side of the bay It was his way of saying he loved her. But eventually the teens went their separate ways. They grew up and got married and had families. Florence's husband passed away in 2017, and Fred lost his wife in 2019. Florence looked up Fred and gave him a call to offer her condolences.
Friday, January 15, 2021
Police and city officials in Newark say their de-escalation training program is working, with not one officer firing his or her weapon while on duty in 2020. The New Jersey police force faced huge challenges this year, with officers being exposed to COVID-19 on the job, and protestors marching against police brutality in the summer.
Thursday, January 14, 2021
Carolyn Palisch recently saved her neighbors from their burning house in Avondale, Arizona. This picture shows her surrounded by smoke, banging frantically on their door and yelling until homeowner Nicole Salgado answered the door.
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Chuck Feeney was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, to a blue-collar Irish-American family during the Great Depression. After he served in the Korean War, he made a fortune as founder of Duty Free Shoppers, the world's largest duty-free retail chain. In 1988, he was hailed by Forbes Magazine as the 24th richest American alive.
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
Last summer, residents in the leafy Berlin suburb of Zehlendorf noticed that a thief was stealing their flip flops and sport shoes from their gardens and yards at night. One resident raised the issue on the neighborhood watch website, and other locals complained that their flip flops were missing too.
Monday, January 11, 2021
When the going gets tough, the tough keep going, or at least that's what 93-year-old retired Air Force Colonel John Hobson does. In 2020, he busied himself by handcrafting and selling nearly 100 walking sticks, and donating proceeds to a local Ohio charity group, the Xenia Area Fish Food Pantry.
Sunday, January 10, 2021
Mack Richardson II served seven years in prison for several DWI arrests, but he never lost his love of cooking. The 63-year-old Navy veteran was released from prison in April. Afterwards he stayed in a veteran's homeless shelter for six months. Then he started going to Workforce Solutions Alamo school and got a job cooking. He's saved enough to rent his own apartment.
Saturday, January 9, 2021
Chef Jose Andres owns a restaurant called Jaleo in Washington, D.C. In the past, he's fed pandemic heroes and first responders during natural disasters. This week he helped feed National Guard members and law enforcement responding to Wednesday's deadly riot at the Capitol.
Friday, January 8, 2021
Ramu Dosapati is a corporate HR executive. In 2020 heavy flooding and a COVID lockdown left many migrant workers in the Hyderabad region of India stranded without means of support. Dosapati lives there, and spent about $60,000 of his own savings to establish a Rice ATM, doling out rice and other necessities 24-7. He cashed in his retirement fund, but that's not all.
Thursday, January 7, 2021
Brothers Ayaan and Mickey Naqvi, who live in Shelton, Connecticut, were decorating their family Christmas tree in 2019 when a favorite ornament fell and broke. It made the wonder if there might be a better way to hang ornaments, so they'd be truly secure. From their curiosity, the Ornamental Anchor was born, using a loop and toggle system. They presented a prototype as a school project and the response was so favorable that they decided to turn their invention into a money-maker.
Wednesday, January 6, 2021
Joe Hylton has driven big rigs for two years. One recent evening, he was driving a Perdue Farms truck down Delaware's Route 1 when he came across a bad accident. Both cars were totaled, so he pulled over and parked. Then he walked into the middle of the dark highway to direct traffic away from the wreck, but one of the drivers of a wrecked car started to scream that he could not find his daughter.
As a father-of-three, Hylton went into "dad" mode and began searching through the marshy area along the road, using his flashlight. He finally came across a small gray bundle. At first he was afraid to look, knowing the type of injuries a two-year-old could have sustained after being ejected from the car. But to his astonishment, the little girl reached up to him without a single scratch. The tearful dad thanked Hylton, who got back in his truck and went his way.
Tuesday, January 5, 2021
Nelson Mendonca was incarcerated in British Columbia, Canada. He'd been in and out of prison for 20 years while struggle with addiction. But one day he found something behind bars that would change his life for the better -- a knitting tool called a loom hook.
Monday, January 4, 2021
Melody Ormond and her grandmother, 74-year-old Pat Ormand, just graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on the same day. "I always knew I would graduate from college," said Melody, "but I never knew my nana was also going to be there." Pat Ormond started her college career 42 years ago, but eventually moved, took up work as an accountant, and raised a family. Now she has a shiny new bachelor's degree in anthropology.
Sunday, January 3, 2021
Keith Walker has been homeless since he was 13 years old. The one constant in this 53-year-old's life is his dog Bravo. To keep him safe, Walker arranged to have Bravo spend nights at the Underdogs animal shelter. On December 18, Walker arrived to take Bravo for a walk and found the shelter engulfed in flames.
Firefighters at the scene had called animal control to take charge of rescuing the home's furry residents, but with the fire raging, Walker refused to wait. "I was nervous as hell, I'm not going to lie," he said, "but my dog is my best friend, and I knew I had to save all the other dogs." Scared as he might have been, Walker pulled every one of the animals -- six dogs and ten cats -- to safety.
Saturday, January 2, 2021
After working as a preschool teacher in Charlotte, North Carolina, for twenty years, Joe Camp was laid off in September amid the pandemic. A month later, his father passed away. He said he was in a dark place, but on a recent morning he went to the store as he usually does and bought two scratch-off lottery tickets. He remembers, "I didn't win on the first one, so I tried the second and scratched it off, and I fell to my knees at the gas pump.
Friday, January 1, 2021
Nancy Letham, 92, usually receives only four cards around the holidays, since many of her friends have gotten older and died. Last October, Nancy's granddaughter, Leo Sheppard, posted an appeal online, hoping her grandma might receive 40 cards from neighbors in Fife, Scotland, where the family lives.