Driving home from work one evening in the pouring rain, my headlights illuminated two eyes on the side of the road. I stopping to investigate, finding a very wet, bedraggled-looking cat looking up at me, meowing pitifully. A car must have hit it and it now lay in the gutter, unable to move. I checked for a collar and ID but there was none. I flattened a cardboard box from the boot and slid the cat onto it, covering it in a rug.
At the nearest veterinary clinic, the vet gently examined it. "He's about eight months old and has a broken front and hind leg, but I would need X-rays to know the extent of the damage," he told me. "As he's not your cat, I don't know if you want to go ahead with this. It could be rather expensive."
I knew it would cost me hundreds of dollars, but the alternative was the cat being put to sleep. The following morning the vet rang to say the X-rays confirmed a broken front leg and two badly splintered breaks in the hind leg. "I'll put a metal pin in his back leg to keep it immobilized until it's healed," he told me. "He'll have slightly shorter hind legs but it won't affect his movements at all."
I contacted the RSPCA to no avail, so all day I looked forward to picking up my little friend. Carrying the cat, the vet smiled, "He's a happy little fellow - he hasn't stopped purring since he woke up. The staff are quite taken with him!" I hardly recognized him. His previously matted, dirty fur was now a beautiful silver grey, with a dark charcoal mask around his eyes and nose, like a bandit. His front leg was in a cast and the hind leg was taped, with the pin protruding at each end. He lay there looking at me, purring loudly.
I thanked the doctor and went out to the receptionist to pay the bill. "I think you've given me the wrong account," I said. "This is only $85. He's had X-rays and an operation on his legs." "No, that's right," she replied. "The vet has only charged you for the drugs and medication. There's a message on the bottom." Written underneath the total were the words "SPECIAL RATE FOR ADOPTIONS." I was speechless at his kind and generous gesture. It was obvious he would be embarrassed if I made a fuss, so I paid the account and underneath his message I wrote "WITH GRATEFUL THANKS, BANDIT AND MUM."
Jackie ~ I'm so pleased to hear that these stories cheered you up.
Originally Posted by jackie
Feel free to share any happy, positive stories you run across.
I was very down when I started this thread. 2012 has been the worst year of my life.
Scouring the news/internet for positive stories has helped immensely.
Growing food to give away
When Katie Stagliano was in third grade, she planted a cabbage in her garden. After a lot of hard work, it grew into an impressive 40 pounds. She decided to donate it to a soup kitchen. The cabbage was big enough for the meals of 275 people. Katie was amazed at how many people she could help with just that one cabbage. It inspired her.
At only 11 years old, she got the idea to start her own nonprofit organization called Katie's Krops. Katie's Krops grows food and gives it away to soup kitchens.
The organization has 6 gardens, where they grow thousands of pounds of lettuce, tomatoes and other vegetables, all of which they donate to people in need.
Everyday, Katie tends to the plants, managing to take care of them while also playing tennis, swimming and maintaining the highest GPA in her class. Luckily, she has a lot of help - her idea has really brought her community together. The seeds for the plants are donated by the organization Bonnie Plants and the organization Fields to Families has sent a professional gardener, Lisa, to help care for the plants. Katie's family, classmates and local volunteers also help by working in the gardens.
Katie encourages everyone to help in any way that they can. She reminds people that even the smallest effort can make a big difference. Katie's Krops is also accepting applications from other kids aged 9-16 who want to start their own charity garden. The winner will be awarded a grant to help fund their new garden. You can read more about Katie and her organization at the http://www.katieskrops.com/ website.
“Two, cute little dogs ran across the street near where I live and almost got run over. I stopped to see if I could help them find their owners. Both dogs had no collars on and no name tags and I knew if had left them there they might be run over. So I contacted my dad to help transport them to my sisters place for the evening whilst we called vets and the RSPCA to help find the owner. The following day the owner was so happy to find them and the dogs were ecstatic. I wonder how many other drivers saw the dogs who had travelled some distance and had driven straight by. It is awesome the difference we can all make if we take the time to care. Who can you pay it forward to with a random act of kindness today?” posted on the Pay it forward Day website by Blake, Sydney
I just received this email from my sister this morning. I knew I had to share it here. She is a member, although not very active, and she doesn't know I'm posting this. ;) This seriously brought tears to my eyes. :D
The neighbor who lives kitty corner from us across the street came over today to ask me if I could come over and feed her cats and fish while they are gone to Arizona..I said sure...she said she would pay me and I said no. Went over to her house so she could show me everything and ended up staying there for over 3 hours!! She is a talker! Anyway I mentioned not having a tree and that made it feel like it wasn't Christmas, they don't have a tree because they wont be here. But anyway I digress, she had come over a couple weeks ago and asked me if I wanted the turkey/ham with all the fixins that her husbands company gives them each year because they wont be here to eat it. I said sure...and I told her again today that them giving that to us was more than payment for taking care of the cats and that is all we needed. She said well don't be surprised if you find a little something extra in with the turkey and stuff, which they are giving to us Friday and they are leaving Friday and coming back on the 31st. She also gave me 2 shirts that don't fit her husband to give to Les.
Well I came home and around 6 there is a knock at the door which woke me up..I go and open it just a crack and see a Christmas tree !! I open the door and her husband peeks his head around the tree and says Merry Christmas!! I said OMG are you serious!! and I hear her chuckling from behind the tree..I think it is about 6 or 7 feet tall. I look at her and say please tell me you didn't spend a lot of money on this tree and she looks sheepishly and says ..only 10 dollars...I was basically speechless and so was Les..he was like wow. I am still like WOW!! So we have a tree and it is all decorated ..:)
I posted the link to Katie's Crops on my FB page.
And Taz - that story about your sister and the neighbours - wow! I wish you and her a Merry Christmas!:love:
It brought tears to my eyes too.
Originally Posted by Taz_Zoee
Katie's Krops has been getting a lot of recognition. Recently, I saw an article about it on People.com.
Originally Posted by Catty1
Recycling hotel soap to save lives
That bar of soap you used once or twice during your last hotel stay might now be helping poor children fight disease.
Derreck Kayongo and his Atlanta-based Global Soap Project collect used hotel soap from across the United States. Instead of ending up in landfills, the soaps are cleaned and reprocessed for shipment to impoverished nations such as Haiti, Uganda, Kenya and Swaziland.
"I was shocked just to know how much (soap) at the end of the day was thrown away," Kayongo said. Each year, hundreds of millions of soap bars are discarded in North America alone. "Are we really throwing away that much soap at the expense of other people who don't have anything? It just doesn't sound right."
Kayongo, a Uganda native, thought of the idea in the early 1990s, when he first arrived to the U.S. and stayed at a hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He noticed that his bathroom was replenished with new soap bars every day, even though they were only slightly used.
"I tried to return the new soap to the concierge since I thought they were charging me for it," Kayongo said. "When I was told it was just hotel policy to provide new soap every day, I couldn't believe it."
Kayongo called his father -- a former soap maker in Uganda -- and shared the experience.
"My dad said people in America can afford to throw it away. But I just started to think, 'What if we took some of this soap and recycled it, made brand new soap from it and then sent it home to people who couldn't afford soap?' "
For Kayongo, collecting soap is "a first line of defense" mission to combat child-mortality around the world.
Each year, more than 2 million children die from diarrheal illness -- the approximate population of San Antonio, Texas. According to the World Health Organization, these deaths occur almost exclusively among toddlers living in low-income countries.
"The issue is not the availability of soap. The issue is cost," Kayongo said. "Make $1 a day, and soap costs 25 cents. I'm not a good mathematician, but I'm telling you I'm not going to spend that 25 cents on a bar of soap. I'm going to buy sugar. I'm going to buy medicine. I'm going to do all the things I think are keeping me alive.
"When you fall sick because you didn't wash up your hands, it's more expensive to go to the hospital to get treated. And that's where the problem begins and people end up dying."
Kayongo, 41, is familiar with the stress that poverty and displacement can create. Almost 30 years ago, he fled Uganda with his parents because of the mass torture and killings by former Ugandan military dictator Idi Amin, he said.
Witnessing the devastation of his homeland shaped Kayongo's mission and still haunts him today.
"It's a long-term grieving process that sort of never ends," he said. "As a child coming from school, passing dead bodies for 10 solid years -- 'It's not cool,' as my son would put it. It's not good. A lot of my friends were orphaned, and I was lucky."
Kayongo and his parents fled to Kenya, where he would visit friends and family in refugee camps and struggle to survive -- sometimes without basic necessities.
"We lost everything," Kayongo said. "We didn't live in the camps, but we sacrificed a lot. The people worse off lived in the camps. Soap was so hard to come by, even completely nonexistent sometimes. People were getting so sick simply because they couldn't wash their hands."
Kayongo transitioned from the tough life of a refugee to become a college graduate, a U.S. citizen and a field coordinator for CARE International, a private humanitarian aid organization. But he has not forgotten his roots -- or the fact that many refugees in Africa continue to lack access to basic sanitation.
"As a new immigrant and a new citizen to this country, I feel very blessed to be here," he said. "But it's important, as Africans living in the Diaspora, that we don't forget what we can do to help people back at home. It's not good enough for us to complain about what other people aren't doing for us. It's important that we all band together, think of an idea and pursue it."
With the support of his wife, local friends and Atlanta-based hotels, Kayongo began his Global Soap Project in 2009.
So far, 300 hotels nationwide have joined the collection effort, generating 100 tons of soap. Some participating hotels even donate high-end soaps such as Bvlgari, which retails up to $27 for a single bar.
Volunteers across the U.S. collect the hotel soaps and ship them to the group's warehouse in Atlanta. On Saturdays, Atlanta volunteers assemble there to clean, reprocess and package the bars.
"We do not mix the soaps because they come with different pH systems, different characters, smells and colors," Kayongo said. "We sanitize them first, then heat them at very high temperatures, chill them and cut them into final bars. It's a very simple process, but a lot of work."
A batch of soap bars is only released for shipment once one of its samples has been tested for pathogens and deemed safe by a third-party laboratory. The Global Soap Project then works with partner organizations to ship and distribute the soap directly to people who need it -- for free.
To date, the Global Soap Project has provided more than 100,000 bars of soap for communities in nine countries.
Kenya Relief is one organization that has benefited. Last summer, Kayongo personally delivered 5,000 bars of soap to Kenya Relief's Brittney's Home of Grace orphanage.
"When we were distributing the soap, I could sense that there was a lot of excitement, joy, a lot of happiness," said Kayongo, whose work was recently recognized by the Atlanta City Council, which declared May 15 as Global Soap Project Day in Atlanta.
"It's a reminder again of that sense of decency. They have (someone) who knows about their situation, and is willing to come and visit them ... to come and say, 'We are sorry ... We're here to help.' "
Want to get involved? Check out the Global Soap Project website at www.globalsoap.org and see how to help.
Because Getting Rescued Rocks
After a huge snowstorm I was trying to drive down an unplowed street and got totally stuck. I had no idea what to do. But a neighbor (whom I didn't know) and a utility worker who happened to drive by saved me: They shoveled my car out and pushed me back into the clearer part of the street. Once I got going I couldn't even stop to properly thank them, but I was so grateful.
-Karen Tong, Baltimore
What I really like is what the president is going to do with the money!
Ohio shoplifter comes clean 30 years later with $1,000 apology
<cite class="byline vcard">http://l2.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/k9...hot_162557.jpg
By Nadine Kalinauskas | Good News – <abbr title="2012-12-19T16:46:36Z">Wed, 19 Dec, 2012</abbr></cite>
A few weeks ago, Kmart president Ron Boire received a letter from an anonymous 68-year-old Cincinatti-area man apologizing for shoplifting from a Sharonville, Ohio, Kmart 30 years ago.
He wrote that he picked up clothes that were on layaway, told the woman at the counter that he'd pay for the items at the front of the store, and then took the clothes home without paying for them.
"I walked out the door without paying for my clothes," the man wrote, underlining each word of the sentence. "I don't know what came over me 'God's truth.' I have never stolen before in my life."
The man added that he had recently rededicated his life to God and wanted to make things right.
"God brought back to my mind what I had done by stealing from your store," the man wrote. "I truly want to say I am deeply sorry and ask Kmart CEOs to forgive me."
The man admitted to stealing clothing worth between $140 and $270.
Read the letter (PDF) here.
With the letter was a money order for $1,000.
"Please accept this money order in repayment," the man wrote. "Your acceptance would be most appreciated. I am now God's child."
Boire graciously accepted the payment — and plans to pay it forward.
"Taking a cue from the good intentions of this customer and the 'layaway angels' popping up around the country, Kmart has decided to pay it forward and plans to use the money to pay off some customer layaways at the Hunt Road store sometime next week," FOX19 reports.
Checkout lane kindness
My budget was tight, so tight that I was counting pennies just to eat. At the grocery store I counted and added and checked my math three times to be sure I had enough on my card to buy the next few days' meals. At checkout, I swiped my card. Rejected. Swiped it again. Rejected. I had no cash, so with a helpless apology to the checker, I left. There was a bench right outside the store's door, and I collapsed on it. After a couple minutes, a woman approached me. She asked if I was gonna be okay. I managed to smile and said yeah. And then she took me back into the store and handed me my bags. She'd paid for them, helped out a stranger in distress. I walked home in a fog of shock, relief, and gratitude. I was and am humbled and grateful to that stranger. And I always try to pay it forward 'cause you never know how a tiny (to you) action could affect someone.
On the Road
I was traveling through Delaware on my way to some appointments. I happened to see an elderly gentleman walking around his car, which had the hood up in the universal sign of car trouble. I am not sure how old he was, but he was walking very slowly and his car was located in a dangerous position by the highway. Not far down the road, I saw a place where I could turn around, which I did. I pulled up beside his car, making sure that my car was not in traffic's way. I approached the man and asked him if anyone was helping him. He said no, and asked me if I had a cell phone with me. I said that I did, and he handed me his emergency auto assistance card. I called the number and explained to the person what was happening. I requested assistance be sent for this man, and it was ordered. Knowing help was on its way, I told the gentleman to sit in his car and wait for the truck to arrive. He was grateful for my help, and I went on to my appointments feeling better for helping someone in need.
We live on a court of 7 houses. The women that live in the house directly across the court from us have been so kind to our elderly neighbor. They have been raking her leaves the past few weekends after storms make a mess of them. They get out there and do it so darn early, we don't even have a chance. :p
One morning after a horrible storm they were raking all the leaves away that had gathered in the court so the drains wouldn't get clogged up.
I think I'm going to have to make them some goodies. :D
Take a Shelter Dog for a Walk
I recently saw a poster where a local animal shelter started a program where a volunteer can take a shelter dog for a walk. I thought what a great idea for so many reasons. It can help with adoptions as some volunteers may bond with a dog and adopt them. It is also a way for those who are not able to take care of a pet full time to help out with the shelters!