Sunday, February 28, 2021
Dropout donates to college he could not afford
Saturday, February 27, 2021
A crumb from New Jersey to Texas
Friday, February 26, 2021
Man's best friend branches out
Thursday, February 25, 2021
A college sport we all can play
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
"The most unpromising boy of the whole lot"
New York City, in the 1800's, had thousands of orphaned children called "street urchins?" They begged for food to survive. A few lived at the Children's Aid Society Orphanage, but founder Charles Brace felt kids need families, not orphanages, so he organized the orphan trains. Between 1854 and 1929, about 120,000 abandoned children were given a set of new clothes and sent on trains to rural towns in the south and midwest for adoption by farm families. Upon arrival at each town, they were lined up for inspection. If an adult wanted a child and the child agreed, the deal was done. Most farmers preferred boys who could be raised as farmhands. Girls were last to be chosen, since many farm wives felt threatened by them. Most families picked well-groomed, polite children, but not Judge John Green. He picked John Brady. Perhaps he remembered the Bible verse where God reminds the prophet Samuel, "...I do not judge as people judge. They look at the outward appearance, but I look at the heart." (I Sam. 16:7) John Brady was an Irish Catholic boy who had lived on the streets of NY to avoid his father's drunken beatings. When he turned 11, he declared himself an orphan and boarded an orphan train bound for Indiana. After it arrived in Noblesville, he and fellow-orphans were fed at the Ferguson Hotel and put on display for possible adoption."It was the most motley crowd of youngsters I ever did see," said Judge Green, who lived in the nearby town of Tipton. "I decided to take John home with me because I felt he was the homeliest, toughest and most unpromising boy in the whole lot. I wanted to see what could be done with such a specimen of humanity." What was done? John grew into a fine young man, respected by everyone. After high school, he was appointed master of the Mud Creek Public School in Sharpesville. Eventually he continued his education, graduating from Yale University in 1874. He moved to Alaska, where in 1878 he founded a college to train Eskimos. He then served three terms as Governor of Alaska, all because Judge Green picked him instead of a "more promising" orphan.
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
KFC serves chicken and love
Jason Schweitzer first met Emilia when he was 5-years-old and his mom would stop at Kentucky Fried Chicken in Toronto, Canada, for a weekly meal. There was an almost instant rapport between the little boy and the sweet-natured worker who took a shine to him. He remembers, "She would always hook me up with some French fries. She was always very kind and very funny." Recently, Schweitzer grew concerned for Emilia's well-being during the pandemic, so he came up with a plan to honor the woman who'd been serving her own brand of KFC customer service to the community for almost fifty years.
Monday, February 22, 2021
She still hasn't stopped singing
At the end of the Great War (WWI), Amy Hawkins was 7-years-old and loved to sing and dance. When she was a teenager she decided to be an entertainer, until her mom said it was not a respectable occupation for a young lady. Today, the supercentenarian chanteuse lives in Monmouth, South Wales, surrounded by her four generation family, including granddaughter Hannah Freeman, and Freeman's 14-year-old son Sacha. Even thought she no longer does it professionally, Hawkins has never stopped singing.
Sunday, February 21, 2021
A warm crumb from icy Texas
Chelsea Timmons delivers groceries to customers in Austin, Texas. She was making her final delivery last Sunday, Valentine's Day, before the storm hit. But road conditions worsened quickly, and when she got to her customer's home, she drove down their sloping driveway but could not get back up to the road. Her customers, Nina Richardson and Doug Condon, offered to let her wait inside until a tow truck came, but after several hours AAA called to say her location was "inaccessible due to current conditions."
Saturday, February 20, 2021
From an alert reader in Bloomington, Indiana
Ryan Sivley of Austin, Texas, drives a 2010 Chevrolet Silverado four-wheel-drive pickup truck which he lovingly calls "The Beast." He also has heavy-duty hooks, chains and recovery tow straps which can pull more than 40,000 pounds.
On Valentine's Day, Sivley, 40, the arctic blast was approaching Texas. Driving home from a store where he bought supplies, he noticed the road was covered with ice. "It was like a sea of cars," he said. "Some people were stuck in snowbanks and ditches. He went from one rescue to three to five as the storm got worse by the minute. "After 434 cars, I stopped counting," he said. And he never asked to be paid for rescuing stranded drivers. "I had all my gear, so I thought 'let me just help.'"
Friday, February 19, 2021
A lesson learned from snow
The snow in which I sank up to my knees, when yesterday I tried to walk upon it, has undergone since then a cold night's freeze, and I can walk upon it now with ease.
Thursday, February 18, 2021
Folks who live near Laurel, Maryland, love crabs
Two Laurel, Maryland twin sisters have started a first-of-its-kind business in the region -- a crab delivery service. Rae and La Middleton both have culinary degrees, but lost their jobs in March due to the pandemic. One day the twins were at brunch when they craved crabs. "We wanted crabs delivered, but realized no one in the area delivers," they said.
So they took matters into their own hands and started the R and L Crab Company. "We went home that day and started making fliers, and we were shocked to get our first order that day," La said. "We deliver everything ourselves, we cook everything ourselves, and when we have 20 orders, we split them among the two of us." The twins says they never reheat. Every delivery in cooked-to-order and delivered to area customers within 30 minutes
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
When man is a dog's best friend
Last month, Erina O'Shea Goetelen and her husband took their Golden Retriever and their German Shepherd for outdoor exercise in Ireland's Wicklow Mountains. Both dogs were startled by a deer and ran away. The German Shepherd fond his way back, but the Golden Retriever, named Neesha, never returned. The family made a thorough search for her, but after a week, they began to give up hope.
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
"Oh, Mr. Price, you must be rich."
It happened in December, 2018. Icy roads in Montevallo, Alabama, meant the elementary school would open two hours late. Bus driver Wayne Price knew about 75% of his kids were in the National School Lunch Program, which provides breakfast and lunch each day for children of low-income families. If school was delayed, they'd all miss breakfast and feel hungry until lunch. He loved his fifty kids too much to let that happen.
Monday, February 15, 2021
Employee wins car, and then....
Haley Bridges, 17, had only worked at the Chick-fil-A in Grand Chute, Wisconsin, for five months, but her co-workers had already become her "second family." She entered the Christmas raffle for Chick-fil-A employees. The prize was a new car, and she won! She knew exactly what she'd do next.
Sunday, February 14, 2021
"He will forever be my hero."
Mercedes Boggs was on her way to work in Kentucky last month when her car hit a patch of ice, flipped on its side and slid down an embankment, coming to rest in a frigid creek. After regaining consciousness, with cold water rushing in through the smashed windshield, she realized she was trapped. She later wrote on her Facebook page, "Today I saw my life flash before my eyes. I didn't think about the championships I was part of winning, or the degrees, but about what I was leaving behind. A family that means the world to me. Friends that I've spent the last 25 years with. Life is precious and I'm so thankful my heart is still beating, and for the breath still in my lungs."
Saturday, February 13, 2021
It was not only lost, but also forgotten
Paul Grisham enlisted in the Navy in 1948. He was assigned to Antarctica as part of "Operation Deep Freeze" which supported civilian scientists. So he shipped out to the frozen continent and at some point during his 13-month tour he lost his wallet, something he later forgot about.
It contained his Navy ID card, drivers license, a pocket reference card telling what to do in case of atomic, biological and chemical attacks, a beer ration punch card, a tax withholding statement and receipts for money orders sent to his wife. There was no cash, since there was nothing to buy in Antarctica. The wallet was found behind a locker in 2014 during demolition of a building at McMurdo Station on Antarctica's Ross Island. But returning it to it's owner took emails, letters and Facebook messages from a group of amateur sleuths. "There was a long series of people involved who tracked me down," Grisham admitted gratefully.
Friday, February 12, 2021
Remember Bernie's gloves?
Then you must remember Jen Ellis, the Vermont teacher whose cute and comfy mittens got heaps of attention when he wore them to the inauguration. Good news! Mitten madness isn't over! Ellis has partnered with a company called Vermont Teddy Bear to sell "Bernie Mittens." A portion of the profits will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Vermont.
Thursday, February 11, 2021
An example of pandemic kindness
A pair of family friends from Westerly, Rhode Island, jumped into their snow gear and shoveled out the cars of hospital workers in the midst of a recent winter storm. Abbey Meeker, 29, and her best friend's 10-year-old son, Christian Stone, love giving back in small ways whenever they can. But when the storm hit, Stone (who Meeker says is "wise beyond his years") decided to give back by helping those working around the clock to help the community recover from the pandemic.
They bundled up and headed to Westerly Hospital where they shoveled out more than 50 cars. When the staff came out and saw the duo wiping away car after car, they were beyond grateful and asked to pay them for their services. But Meeker says it was never about money. She told them, "Your storm is inside. This is our storm to handle."
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
"I decided to be that person"
Deputy Josh Fiorelli of the Osceola County Sheriff's Office in Kissimmee, Florida, was passing by when he noticed a dog that had been hit by a car. The dog was alive, but hurt enough that she could not move. Josh called for help and then sat down beside the dog and started petting her.
Tuesday, February 9, 2021
An offer she couldn't refuse
Chicago restauranteur Robert Magiet was driving town one January morning when he spotted a shivering tamale vendor braving frigid temperatures. Her name was Yolanda, and her Tamale Cart was near Humboldt Park. On the spur of the moment, he decided to make her an offer she couldn't refuse.
Monday, February 8, 2021
In Salisbury, people enjoy getting vaccinated
The 800-year-old cathedral in Salisbury, England, has become a mass vaccination center. David Halls is the cathedral's music director, so he did what he does best. He sat down on the bench and began to play the historic organ.
He offers a bit of Bach, Handel, and even some Rogers & Hammerstein, to the public as they shuffle through the nave to get their shots. "At times of crisis, people come together and want to listen to music," he says. "So I don't think it's any surprise the effect soothing music has on people who probably are feeling quite stressed for various reasons." (As reported in The Christian Science Monitor)
Saturday, February 6, 2021
A new use for potato chip bags
Environmental activist Eradajere Oleita of Detroit, Michigan, is creating much-needed warmth for the homeless using potato chip bags. It's brilliantly simple. By cutting, attaching and ironing used chip bags, and then lining them with plastic, she creates sleeping bags that are durable, waterproof, and EXTREMELY lightweight.
Friday, February 5, 2021
Champ gives back to community
When Dustin Poirier the 32-year-old former Interim UFC Lightweight Champion, wanted to give back to his hometown of Lafayette, Louisiana, he and his wife Jolie looked into their closet for inspiration. They began auctioning off the shorts, jackets and wraps that Poirier used in dozens of storied fights, selling they through a new nonprofit called "The Good Fight," which is dedicated to helping underserved communities in their local Acadiana region. The first auctioned kit was from the Poirier vs Eddy Alvarez fight, and proceeds provided 3,000 meals for their local Second Harvest Food Bank.
Thursday, February 4, 2021
It's Girl Scout cookie time again
Girl Scout Troop 6000 may look like most other troops, but it's not. All 22 young members of the troop live at the Sleep Inn, a 10-story homeless shelter in Queens, New York City. Troop 6000 is the first troop designed specifically for girls living in the New York City Shelter System.
The troop has become an invaluable part of raising the shelter girls. Since it began, it has served girls from kindergarten to high school. "Every girl in the five boroughs of New York City deserves a chance to reach her full potential; to have her eyes opened to the possibilities for college and careers, to make loving and supportive friends and learn from caring female mentors, and chart her own course and achieve her goals," say a Girl Scout representative. "That's what Troop 6000 is all about."
Wednesday, February 3, 2021
A book club with a mission
The Fabulous Ladies Book Club liked to meet at a restaurant in Ruidoso, New Mexico, but all that changed when the pandemic hit. Like most book clubs, the Fabulous Ladies now meet online. But in recent weeks, they found a good reason to actually see each other in person. They are helping to vaccinate their town. It all started December 28, when book club member Keri Rath, one of the few OB/GYNs in this mountain town of about 8,000, heard that the state had free vaccine doses but needed help putting them into people's arms.
The club started on January 3, and by January 23 they had administered more than 2,400 vaccine doses, about 30% of their town. One registrations began rolling in, the club members got themselves vaccinated and trained and then got busy running their pop-up clinic. The Fabulous Ladies volunteered as many as 50 hours a week. They are exhausted but exhilarated.
Tuesday, February 2, 2021
Boutique owner thinks outside the box
When COVID-19 hit, Virginia Sharp knew she had to keep paying her bills as the owner of a small boutique, so she decided to think outside the box. Given mandated shelter-in-place orders, she transformed her sales efforts from the brick-and-mortar location in Macon, Georgia, to social media which reaches the masses.