Heroic neighbor saves Kansas City family from fire
A Kansas City family is safe after a very heroic deed by their neighbor.
Thursday night, Joe Cassidy noticed a fire had sparked in the basement of his neighbor's house near 75th and State Line. He also noticed several lights were turned on near the top floor of the home.
The Sollars family was inside, but upstairs, and hadn't noticed the fire.
Cassidy banged on their door, then dashed up two flights of stairs to rescue 6-year-old Tess from the family’s finished attic. Seconds later, he says smoke filled the entire house.
Jonathan Sollars said by the time he ran downstairs to see how bad the damage was, his lungs were filled with black smoke.
He tried to rush back upstairs to find his children, but was having trouble breathing.
However, Cassidy had already sprung into action. He guided one son out to the door, consulted with the oldest daughter to find out how many people were inside and scooped up the youngest daughter and carried her safely into the front yard.
"You don't think about your life or anything like that. You just think, I've got to get them out," Cassidy said. "Anybody would have done it. I just noticed it first."
Before Thursday’s fire, the Sollars family and Cassidy hardly knew one another. Now they’re becoming close friends.
"God bless him," Jonathan Sollars said. "I'll always be indebted to him."
There were five family members in the house during the fire, and the Sollars credit Cassidy for making sure everyone got out safe.
Leave the Best Parking Spot
When you are going to a grocery or other store, don't take the best spot. Leave it for someone who needs it more than you do. A little extra walking is good for you too!
Dog Rescues Newborn Baby Left in Thailand Trash Dump
Pui knew something wasn't right.
When the dog spotted a white plastic bag lying in a trash dump in Thailand's Tha Rua district, he took it in his mouth, brought it to the patio of his home and barked as loud as he could.
His owner's 12-year-old niece came to see what the fuss was about, and discovered a newborn baby girl – still alive – inside of the bag, reports The Bangkok Post.
Pui's owner, Gumnerd Thongmak, and his niece, Sudarat, rushed the infant to Tha Rua Hospital, where doctors determined the baby was premature, weighing just 4 lbs. The infant has since been transferred to another hospital, and area officials are looking for her mother.
Meanwhile, Pui's good deed hasn't gone unnoticed. On Monday, he received a leather collar and a medal from the Tha Rua district Red Cross chapter as a sign of gratitude, and The Miracle of Life Foundation gave Gumnerd a $300 reward. But the heroics should come as no surprise to those who know Pui, a neighborhood watchdog of sorts: The district chief told The Bangkok Post that the pooch is regularly seen sniffing around the community.
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Military hero matched with Fidelco guide dog
BLOOMFIELD, CT (WFSB) - Blinded military hero and paralympic medalist, Brad Snyder of Maryland, is the new owner of a Fidelco guide dog.
A year and a half ago, an explosive device took the 29 year-old's sight in Afghanistan. Although the transition has been difficult, the match of a Fidelco guide dog will help aid the change.
Lt. Snyder is looking forward to establishing a bond with the right dog.
"I think humans adapt to dogs as much as dogs adapt to humans," said Lt. Snyder. "You really establish a very unique relationship with the guide dog."
At Fidelco's headquarters in Bloomfield, Snyder met and worked with several potential guide dogs to find the best match to take home.
The right match is important in this relationship.
"They will spend literally three weeks locked at the hip learning how to work together as a partnership team," said Eliot Russman, Fidelco Guide Dog Foundations CEO.
This partnership will help Lt. Snyder be the person he was before the accident.
"I was very autonomous, very independent," said Lt. Snyder. "I really want to get back to that as much as possible and a guide dog is an amazing way to do that."
This is really little, but it made my day. I am an 18 year old and lately I have been hearing more and more stories on the news about "how awful today's teenagers are." Its always sad to hear what people say about the category of humans that you fit into.
I went to pick up some supplies for school one afternoon and I simply held the door open for a frail-looking elderly woman. To my delight she was extremely grateful and said things like "thank you so much!", and "you teenagers are so sweet these days." She quickly put a big smile on my face and I told some friends at school. They thought it was really neat.
Isn't it wonderful how sometimes, the littlest things can touch you in the perfect way? It's just a thought, but to me an act of kindness is a gift to you, as well as the person you give it to.
A Marine Experiences Kindness
Kimberly R. Haagenson posted this touching story about her son, who joined the Marines in October 2010:
Zeb, 22, is back home now, attending college and "slowly domesticating himself," in the words of his mother. Part of that process is, obviously, the need for a washer and dryer. Jeb found a beautiful, front-loading washer/dryer set on E-bay, and was very excited to get it for an amazing $200. He was very excited, thrilled to have the set, and even pleased that the guy who sold it to him was such a nice person.
But then it got even better.
When Zeb arrived home, he has an e-mail from the seller: "Your Paypal has been refunded your $200. Thank you for serving our Country!"
What a perfect example of Kindness!
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. - A local high school will be sending every graduating senior to college next year. The senior class at Marywood Palm Valley School is sending all 24 students of the 2013 graduating class to a four-year university this fall.
Students will be attending colleges across the United States from USC to Vassar College in New York. Every student we talked to is ready excited for the next step of their life.
"Going out into a bigger environment, to where it's really just you and you are really able to explore who you are," said Ivan Kovalenko who will attend USC in the fall.
"Every face will be new. Every person will have a different personality or background that I'm not used to. The diversity will be a lot greater," said Daniel Stewart who will continue his education at UC Berkeley.
The 24 students were offered 3.5 million dollars in scholarship money combined.
From John: Flowers for Mom
When I was a young boy about 8 years old, my younger sisters and I got the idea to buy something for my mother for Mother's day. Money was hard to come by. We went around to the neighbors and asked for pop bottles. Back then, soda pop was sold in bottles, and they were washed and refilled. There was a deposit on the bottles of $.02. per bottle We were able to get three cartons, just 18 bottles, making a refund of $.36. I also had three cents saved.
So with a grand total of $.39 we walked uptown (about a mile) to where we knew a florist was located. When we went inside, someone asked what we wanted. We told them we wanted to buy flowers for Mothers Day. I reached into my pocket and pulled out our whole stash of cash, asking if that would be enough.
Another gentleman, who I am sure was the owner, came over, looked us over, and said "just a minute". He went in back and came out with a geranium plant with gold foil wrapping around the pot. He took my three dimes, a nickle, and four pennies, and said, "Thank you very much." I had no idea that the cost was about four times as much. And we went proudly home carrying a flower plant for Mom.
Important Life Lessons
During my second month of nursing school, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read the last one: "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?" Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper leaving the last question blank. Before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade. "Absolutely," said the professor. "In your careers you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say 'hello.'" I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.
A Final Offering to a Furry Friend
An unforgettable true story of a grieving dog's gift to her buddy in heaven.
By Theresa Olive
Several years ago, our family rented a house that had a basement apartment under ours. The young couple who lived below us were quiet and unobtrusive. Their dog, however, was not.
Cody was a typical black lab; a big, tail thumping extrovert. He loved to greet us by planting his huge paws on our chest. Our dog Tasha, an English Setter mix, was a kindred spirit. Because she shared the yard with Cody, they soon became fast friends.
We often saw a blur of black and white fur as they raced neck and neck toward some hapless bird that had just landed in their territory. The only time I saw any conflict between the two dogs was when we fed Tasha. Cody would bound up, expecting to share in Tasha’s bounty. However, Tasha would bare her teeth and growl menacingly.
Cody would change his strategy, dropping to his belly and inching slowly toward Tasha’s dish. But this ingratiating behavior did not impress Tasha. The closer Cody got, the more Tasha snarled and snapped. Finally, Cody would slink away with his tail between his legs—until next mealtime, that is. Then Cody, ever the optimist, would replay the scene, with the same disappointing conclusion.
One day my husband Jeff came home visibly upset. He had just found Cody lying by the side of the road, killed by a speeding truck. Tasha sniffed at Cody’s glossy black fur and whined. Over the next few weeks, Tasha was listless, her tail drooping. She obviously missed her old friend.
At the same time, Tasha’s food dish disappeared. We replaced it with another, only to have that one vanish as well. There followed a steady succession of bowls, aluminum plates, even an old coffee can. They all disappeared. Finally, the mystery was solved when our neighbor knocked on our door, her arms loaded with the missing dishes, some still half-full of dog food.
"Are these yours?" she asked. When Jeff and I nodded, she explained, "I saw Tasha headed toward the road, so I shooed her back. Then I noticed all these dishes in a pile."
Puzzled, I asked, "Where were they?"
"Well, you know," she answered thoughtfully, "it was right by the place where Cody died. Isn’t that odd? Surely Tasha couldn’t..." Her voice trailed off in confusion.
Jeff and I exchanged glances. Could Tasha have been enticing her old friend back by offering him the one thing she withheld from him when he was alive? Even today, retelling the story gives me goose bumps. It raises questions about animals’ intelligence and emotions.
It also reminds me not to wait to show love to those around me. I need to share whatever blessings I’ve received with others—before it’s too late.
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Kendall Plank knew her 12-year-old friend JB Glennon was nervous about getting a bone marrow transplant at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston.
She also knew her friend was a huge University of Texas fan.
One day when he stepped away from his room, she and her mom, Susan, decked it out with University of Texas memorabilia – quilts, blankets, games, towels and more.
"When JB saw his room he said, 'This is so awesome! Thank you very much!' and gave me a big hug," recalls Kendall, now 17, of Houston.
"He told me that it meant the world to him that somebody actually cared enough about him to do this," she says.
Inspired by JB's jubilant reaction, Kendall told her mother, "We gotta do this for all these kids that are here."
Nearly six years later, the Dec My Room http://decmyroom.org/ program, which largely relies on volunteers and donations, has taken over hundreds of children's hospital rooms across the country with themes ranging from Hello Kitty to Hollywood.
"It's just taken off," says Susan Plank.
On a recent afternoon, Joshua Lopez, 11, of Downey, Calif., is at Inpatient Acute Rehabilitation Unit at Children's Hospital Los Angeles when an entourage of volunteers descends with handpainted signs, balloons, and Los Angeles Lakers memorabilia (including a signed size 17 basketball shoe from Pau Gasol, his favorite player) to decorate the room of the ailing fan.
One member of the entourage is Dec My Room Director Jenny Hull whose daughter, Josie, 11, spent most of her young life in hospital rooms after undergoing a grueling 23-hour separation surgery on Aug. 5, 2002.
Jenny says Josie helped pick out the decorations.
"I love decorating the rooms and helping the children," says Josie.
A few minutes later, doctors and nurses yell "Surprise!" as Joshua enters the room.
"This made me really happy," says Joshua, who is struggling with juvenile dermatomyositis.
Next door is Brieanna Smith, 14, of Los Angeles, who is also being treated for juvenile dermatomyositis.
Her room was recently made-over with chinese lanterns, Hello Kitty balloons and blankets. She also received DVDs of the Twilight movie.
"I was really surprised when they did this to my room," says Smith. "It's made my room more homey."
Her mother, Alicia Cole, agrees. "She was so excited that day when they made over her room," says Cole, 45. "She said, 'Mom – look at my room! Look at my room!' "
She said when her daughter first found out she might be at the hospital for four months, she was depressed. But the makeover made a big difference in her state of mind.
"This lifts the kids' spirits," Cole says.