Help Find Missing Pets
There is nothing worse than losing a pet. The next time you see a sign on a telephone pole or even an ad on Facebook, take down the details and pass them along to others. The owners might not know you did it, but you'll feel good at least knowing you helped reunite a lost pet with its owner.
Traveling is always a challenge because my 7-year-old son has Asperger's syndrome. At the end of one stressful trip we had a three-hour delay at the airport. When we finally boarded we discovered that we were in the last row, next to the engine and with no window. I could see a meltdown coming on. I was on the brink of tears myself, so I desperately approached two women several rows up and offered them $20 to trade seats. They graciously refused the cash and said, "Of course we'll switch -- no problem at all." I don't think they'll ever understand how much I appreciated their kindness.
-- Tracy, Fredonia, New York
NILES, Mich. -- It was 1953 and then-Pvt. Bob Rodgers had just arrived at Fort Campbell, Ky., for basic training when he sat down to write a letter to his wife after the post's power went out.
Sixty years later, that letter finally turned up, when the U.S. Postal Service gave it back to Rodgers, who's now living in southwestern Michigan.
In the June 13, 1953, letter, the 20-year-old told his wife, Jean, about the routines of life in boot camp. "All you do is march, KP, shine boots, shine boots and shine more boots and brass and more brass," he wrote.
On March 7, New Carslisle, Ind., Postmaster Connie Tomaszewski hand-delivered the letter to Rodgers, now 79. She did so the same day it arrived at her office, she told the South Bend Tribune.
Rodgers was bemused by the return of the letter.
"I asked if they had found the remains of the horse and rider and got the letter out of the saddle bag," he said, smiling. "She just shook her head."
Tomaszewski said it's hard to even guess what might have happened to the letter over six decades.
"There are a million possibilities. ... It could have sat at Fort Campbell," she said. "The important part of it is it did get delivered."
Mary Dando, spokeswoman for the Greater Indiana District of the U.S. Postal Service, said the letter may have actually been delivered, then ended up at a flea market or antique store where a collector latched onto it.
In such cases, people sometimes put them back in the mail for reasons unknown, Dando said.
Rodgers said even if his wife didn't get the letter, it wasn't a big deal.
"She didn't miss it, and I didn't miss it, because I wrote her about every day," he said.
Jean Rodgers died of cancer eight years ago.
The letter bears a Fort Campbell postmark and the date June 15, 1953. It also features two 3-cent stamps.
Asked what her reaction would have been to the letter's final arrival had she still been alive to receive it, he said, "She'd have got a kick out of that."
Cop Shuts Down Busy Highway to Save Dog’s Life
These are the kinds of stories that restore your faith in humanity.
A La Porte, TX officer shut down traffic on a busy freeway in a successful effort to save a lost dog’s life. Cujo the rat terrier had escaped his owner on Monday, February 11 and wound up stranded on a busy highway with a bad hip that causes him to limp.
When police officer Kyle Jones saw the tiny pooch while driving in the opposite direction on the freeway, he knew the dog was in a dire situation and could end up as road kill unless he did something. So he turned his car around, turned his lights on and halted all traffic to retrieve the dog and get him out of harm’s way.
“He kind of looked at me and said, ‘Man, I’m glad you’re here.’ He let me pick him right up. Stuck him in the back seat of the patrol car,” officer Jones said of the incident.
Luckily Cujo had an identification tag on his collar, which helped an animal control officer reunite him with his worried owners Monday evening.
“He was all wet,” owner Jeremy Zapalac said. “He was soaked [from the rain]. We got him in, wrapped [and] dried him up and he just slept in his bed all day.”
It’s hard to preach positivity when you think about the state of our economy or the rising cost of gas (don’t even get me started)! We like to spend our time commending people who make a positive impact on the world. I am inspired by fifteen year-old Hannah Taylor from Canada. At age 8, she started the Ladybug Foundation to help the homeless and “connect even more hearts in caring for each other.” Today, Hannah’s Ladybug Foundation supports over 50 shelters, missions, soup kitchens and food banks across Canada. The most remarkable aspect of Hannah is her humble nature. As she told me, she hopes “to be remembered as an ordinary human being who believes in the power of caring.”
Lady’s Home Journal 2011
Surgery on Sunday
When an increasing number of his patients couldn't pay for their life-changing surgeries, Dr. Andrew Moore decided he wasn't going to just stand by or send them away without doing anything.
So he found a way to make the procedures completely free of charge.
The Lexington, Kentucky-based plastic surgeon initially started waiving his fees for some patients, but soon found that wasn't reaching far enough. He grew disheartened every time a patient told him he couldn't afford to have a melanoma removed because he had no insurance. "It was so frustrating," says Moore, 63. "How was I going to take care of them?"
"We figured out the things we needed to do to make this work," says Moore. "It makes a difference in individual lives."
In 2005 the doctor launched Surgery on Sunday, a nonprofit group of more than 400 volunteer surgeons, nurses and medical professionals who perform free gall bladder removals, orthopedic repairs and other outpatient procedures in a donated surgical facility in Lexington.
To date, Moore's group has performed about 4,500 surgeries – and has a waiting list of more than 500. The program has also spawned offshoots in Louisville and three other Lexington hospitals, with the hope to expand nationwide.
Raising funds through grants and donations to cover malpractice insurance and medical supplies, Moore's band of medical good Samaritans has changed the lives of people like Michael Weyls, who lived in pain and terror after being diagnosed with a cancerous lesion he couldn't afford to have removed.
A doctor he knew referred him to Surgery on Sunday; Moore performed three surgeries and rebuilt Weyls's nose. "It could've killed me, and Dr. Moore worked a miracle," says Weyls. "I thank God for this man."
Because Robin Hood Is Real
An anonymous blackjack player, Robin Hood 702, recently played real-life Robin Hood to 37-year-old Jeff Martinez, of Las Vegas, and his family. Martinez is battling stage IV cancer and, despite working 40 hours a week while undergoing treatment, recently lost his home. The generous gambler heard a local news report on the family's struggles and anted up for a year's worth of rent, car payments, and groceries.
Brought Little Kitty Home
This July, I had to rush to the neighbourhood drugstore to pick up some medicines for my Dad. As I parked my bicycle outside the store, I spotted a tiny little kitten; bleeding from the neck and all soaked in the rain. Without a second thought, I just lifted her up and put her in a basket to bring her home. After we cleaned up her bruises, we put a little anti-bacterial ointment to soothe it down. One could not help but notice the gratitude in her little, sparkling eyes. Motivated with the expression of gratitude; we went to sterilise a dropper with Dettol solution, washed it with warm water and then fed her with luke warm milk, drop by drop. Oh, it was a sight. She lapped it up all and fell asleep in the ball of cotton we had wrapped around her. We decided to name her 'Sparkle' and keep her with us till she chose to stay. Her bruises healed up in no time at all. A week ago she delivered 3 adorable kittens and turned into a MOM, herself. So, friends that was my little story. Try doing something similar and I'm sure you'll love it. God Bless & Love to All
Car from a Co-worker
I had been driving a 18 year-old Yukon to work ever since my 12 year-old Explorer gave up a year before. I could barely afford to put gasoline in the monster, and was constantly worried about it breaking down. One day, a co-worker who had recently come into a fairly large amount of money, walked into my office, and placed a packet of money on my desk. It was 5,000 dollars! I used the money to put a down payment on a good, dependable car. No one in my life has ever done something like that for me! She has always been a caring and thoughtful person, but never in my wildest dreams would I have thought she would have done that for me. Just goes to show that there are still people in this world who care.
Phred would be so proud!
Essex Junction Domino’s Pizza & Fire Department to Promote Fire Safety
ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt. - Domino's in Essex Junction is partnering with the Essex Fire Department.
A press release says anyone who orders pizza between 5 and 7 p.m. could have their pizza delivered by a fire truck.
"When you change your clocks for daylight saving time or plan your spring cleaning, it's a great time of year to remember to change the batteries in your smoke alarms," said Sam Jackson, general manager of Domino's Pizza in Essex Junction. "Functioning smoke alarms save lives, but many people forget to maintain the batteries. We are excited to be working with the local fire department to promote good fire safety precautions."
If firefighters find that your smoke alarms are working, your pizza is free.
If they don't work, the fire department will replace the batteries before leaving your home.
The Cervantes Family Gives Birthday Joy to Homeless Kids
When Amy Cervantes and her husband John wanted to teach their three kids about giving back to the community, they found a way to do it that ended up helping thousands.
Inspiration struck when their oldest son Alex turned 3 and the family was celebrating with a small party at the park. Cervantes, 40, looked at the stack of presents and Thomas the Tank Engine cake and thought about kids who weren't able to celebrate the day they were born.
She came up with a simple, but powerful idea – they would throw a birthday party for a homeless child in a shelter.
"After seeing our own son, it just kind of struck us on that day," Cervantes says of her eldest, now 10. "Realizing how blessed he was to be surrounded by and filled with the sense of care and love from others on the day. It just struck us, made us think about kids who don't get to experience that."
Starting with a luau-themed party for kids at a homeless shelter, Amy, John, 40, a financial adviser, and their three boys Alex, Adam, 8, and Eli, 5, have since feted more than 10,000 needy kids through their nonprofit Bright Blessings. Relying on donations and volunteers, they hold monthly birthday bashes for groups of children, with face-painting, cupcakes and gifts like footballs and board games.
"It never gets old," Cervantes says. "It's a little piece of childhood that many of them are missing because of their life circumstances and that really comes out in their laughter and smiles."
Since their first party in 2005, the Cervantes family – based in Matthews, N.C. – and a small army of regular volunteers throw parties for homeless kids throughout a four-county region in North Carolina. The program has expanded beyond just the area shelters to include the transient homeless – kids who may sleep with their families in their car, at a hotel or even under a bridge.
Bright Blessings works with the school system (and 16 other agencies) to make sure elementary school students can celebrate in their classrooms with cupcakes sent in anonymously to school. Older kids get a backpack full of presents and a bag with a blanket, pillow, and toiletries.
The Family's Far-Reaching Impact
"They have impacted countless families just here at our site alone," says Kenya Henderson, director of the YWCA's Families Together Program. "I think it's a stress reliever for our families, because while they're in the program they're trying to gain stability ... and it's hard for a mom to not acknowledge a birthday. Knowing their kids will get a gift, it meets a great need and it's a huge burden off of the parents. I just see lots of happy children, they burst through the doors, they are genuinely excited to be there."
Alexis Odugba, who lives with her mom in Charlotte's YWCA shelter, celebrated turning 14 in February with pizza and gifts of perfumes and lotions. "I got to blow out a candle, and people sang 'Happy Birthday,' " she says. "I felt very special."
Moments like that help the volunteers understand the true meaning of giving, says Cervantes.
Says Amy, "We had a 10-year-old volunteer helping a 7-year-old boy who was one of the guests of honor. We sang 'Happy Birthday' and the volunteer told the little boy to blow out the candle on his cupcake and make a wish. The boy didn't know what to do. He'd never blown out a candle on a cake before. After he did it he looked up smiling and said, 'Can I do it again?'"
And an added bonus for Cervantes is that her initial goal to teach her kids to give back has grown more than she ever anticipated.
"They all get it," she says of her three boys. "It really is a fabric of our family and they are so involved. They shop with me for the gifts and supplies and snacks and they help pick things out. We all go to the parties together."
Son Alex agrees.
"When I get there the kids light up when we're unloading gifts," he says. "When they hear the [birthday] song, they just get so excited, their faces light up. It's really nice and I feel pretty blessed. They might get a party once or twice in a four year span, but I get it every year."
It's a party that parents like Jasmine Billey, 25, a single mother of three toddlers, says has changed her family's lives. She and her kids have been living in a shelter since an injury kept her out of work as a nurses aid caused her to lose her home.
"It meant a lot because this year I wasn't able to do anything for Christmas for the kids," she says. "And when their birthdays came a month later I still couldn't do anything. Although they're one and don't know, I know, so for them to be able to celebrate it just meant a lot."
Meet the Great Dane Who Raised a Deer
For three days in June 2008, Isobel Springett heard the fawn crying.
Apparently abandoned by its mother, the deer was weak and shivering when Springett placed it on a dog bed with her Great Dane Kate.
"She tucked her head under the dog's elbow," says Springett, 54, a former animal control officer. And Kate took the deer to heart. "Her whole demeanor changed," says Springett. "I knew she was a good dog, but I didn't expect her to mother the fawn."
The deer her family named Pippin trailed Kate until returning to the wild weeks later. "But every morning she'd show up, tail wagging, looking for Kate and a bottle." The bond continued, even when Pippin didn't need mothering. When she was a teen, "Pippin and Kate started to play like two deer, leaping and running into each other."
Years on, she now visits with her own fawns. The wild offspring keep a distance, but not Pippin. "They still love to rub noses," says Springett of the deer and her dog, now 11. "There's a strong connection, but they have no idea it's a weird one."
Good Samaritan saves newborn's life along Macomb County roadway
MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. - A Macomb County man is being credited for saving the life of a newborn after he was flagged down by a hysterical father near Garfield and 22 Mile Roads in Macomb Township March 16.
21-year-old Ryan Cornelissen said he was driving down the road, on his way to the bank, when he was flagged down by a frantic driver.
On the 9-1-1 tapes Cornelissen can be heard telling the dispatcher, "A guy stopped me, I think something’s wrong with his wife. He doesn’t speak very good English. He stopped me on the side of the road."
Cornelissen said, "The mom was sitting in the front seat, she had a blanket and all I saw was the top of the baby's head."
It turns out the man and his wife were on the way to the hospital to have a baby. They didn't make it in time and the woman gave birth in their car. The new dad flagged Cornelissen down after the couple discovered the baby wasn't breathing.
Cornelissen said, "The mom was sitting in the front seat, she had a blanket and all I saw was the top of the baby's head."
The 9-1-1 dispatcher walked Cornelissen through how to give the infant CPR.
"Oh, yes! The baby is whimpering," Cornelissen said after several minutes of performing CPR. "He's breathing!"
Cornelissen said, "I remember the baby's face. I will never forget."
The baby is doing fine but will stay in the hospital for several weeks.
Cornelissen is a Macomb County Community College student who wants to become a police officer. He may be waiting for the badge, but he is already protecting and serving.
The Angelic Dog Next Door
She'd certainly touched my life in a way no animal ever had.
By Sara Whalen, Middletown, New York
My 18-month-old son, Adam, called from the front porch. "Look, Mama! Doggie." I dropped what I was doing and stuck my head out the door. Brandy, our next-door neighbor's 11-year-old Golden Retriever, was over again. "Scat!" I said, scooping up Adam and brushing the dog hair off his T-shirt and shorts.
Brandy's owner had died about a month earlier. The woman's family emptied the house, and a real estate agent stuck a For Sale sign in the front yard. But the family had overlooked the old Golden. For weeks she'd been sniffing around the neighborhood, living on scraps and handouts.
It wasn't that I disliked dogs or anything like that. I just didn't think about them much. I never had a dog growing up and never thought to get one.
Brandy loped off and I stayed out on the porch with Adam. The phone rang. I ducked inside to take the call. When I came back out, Adam was gone. I scoured the yard, front and back, then the basketball court and public pool down the block. No trace of him. My worry built to panic. I ran home and called the police, then my husband. Please, Lord, keep Adam safe until we find him.
Police combed the neighborhood. Amid the sirens and commotion of voices, I heard another sound: a dog barking. "It's coming from the woods," one of my neighbors said. We followed the barking to a wooded cliff overlooking a creek. There we found my son, flush up against the trunk of a tree just inches away from the edge of the cliff, fast asleep. Brandy had pressed herself against him. I picked Adam up and leaned down to pat Brandy. She sank down on her side, panting. She must have been holding Adam there for hours!
I thanked the police and brought a safe and sound Adam back to our house. Brandy too. She hesitated a moment on our doorstep, no doubt remembering the times I'd shooed her away. "Come on, girl," I said. "This is your home now." Brandy stepped in, and once she saw she was really welcome, she eased herself onto an old throw rug in the hallway, as if she knew that spot was now hers. She closed her eyes. Her breathing deepened. Her whiskers twitched as she slept. She'd done an incredible thing and I wondered if she knew it. She might have saved my son's life. She'd certainly touched mine in a way no animal ever had. What a shame a dog like Brandy was abandoned. Were there more out there like her?
I learned about other homeless Goldens and took them in, and found homes for many more. It's become a kind of calling for me. Those with disabilities—the old, the blind, the sick—have a special place in my heart. A place I'd never known I had until Brandy opened it.
Carpool passenger leaves money behind; driver searches for owner
What would you do if you found money in the back seat of your car? A Woodbridge woman is lucky that the driver who found her money was Reginald Day.
Day carpooled or "slugged" home from work the other day, and a passenger left behind hundreds of dollars. But rather than pocket the cash, Day and his wife, Angela, started looking for the rightful owner.
So he called ABC7 and NewsChannel 8. A viewer saw our story and contacted Gloria Smith.
"I said, 'Oh my God, that's my money.' God is taking care of his children," Smith says. "I had borrowed it for my mortgage. I was short."
Not only did the couple give her the money back. They gave her a ride back home to Woodbridge Thursday night. And say they've found a new friend.
Since 1991, Day has been able to use the HOV lanes during rush hour by "slugging" or picking up passengers at designated stops.
Tuesday, his 22-year routine took an unusual turn. Right after he dropped a woman off at the Horner Road commuter lot in Woodbridge, he made a surprising discovery in the back seat.
"We found a white envelope with some money in it," Day recalled. "It has approximately $617."
Day picked up the passenger at the corner of D and 7 streets Southwest in D.C., located near the L'Enfant Plaza Metro station, around 5 p.m. Tuesday.
"She was probably 5'2'' to 5'4'' in her early 40s, late 30s..and she was wearing a brown jacket," he explained.
He says the money belongs to her since she was his only passenger this week.
"Times are hard for everybody, and I hate to think of the fact that somebody might be missing out with their rent money or car payment money," he says.
Day says he's had people leave behind cell phones and other small items before, but this is a first.