I heard about this on the radio and it gave me a smile!
'Turkey Fairy' leaves warm clothes
LYNDHURST, Ohio (CNN/WJW) - A good Samaritan in Ohio is getting a head start on the season of giving.
Someone has been leaving blankets, hats and gloves at a bus stop outside of Cleveland, Ohio. The anonymous donors also leaves a quick note signed "The Turkey Fairy."
Workers at the nearby Family Urgent Care Center discovered the anonymous donation.
"They just want people to recognize what they are doing to help other people and not focus on the person themselves. So I think that's really good. And it's kind of fun to figure out who may be doing it!" said Katie Trolio.
"There are so many negative stories on the news right now and around the world. And it makes me feel good to know that there are people who put it all aside and care about other people," said Nancy Greff.
Workers at the urgent care center believe "The Turkey Fairy" comes overnight. The donations are usually at the bus stop before the center opens at six in the morning.
just had to post these, this had me in tears, so moving so many of these enjoy.
Wounded soldier works to help military families have a merry Christmas
Rich and Tonya Watson are looking for a few good gifts. The couple's non-profit enterprise, Christmas for Heroes, is collecting Christmas presents for wounded soldiers and their families attached to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (in Anchorage, Alaska). The holidays can be particularly difficult for injured military personnel, the Watsons say -- and they speak from experience. Rich, a 1993 graduate of Service High School in Anchorage, was seriously wounded in Iraq in 2007." A grenade launcher blew up behind me in a crossfire," he said. He suffered traumatic brain injuries and was sent back to Fort Lewis, Wash., the home base of his outfit, the 2nd Infantry Division, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team. Tonya, who had been working as a substitute teacher and nurse's assistant, quit work to take care of him. "Most of his appointments were at the Seattle Veterans Administration Hospital because the military hospital on base was overloaded with other wounded," she said. The cost of driving him back and forth to Seattle three or four times a week, the loss of her paycheck and the end of the additional pay he received while in a combat zone combined to create what Tonya described as "a financial disaster. "It looked like the Watsons and their three children would miss out on Christmas. "We didn't have anything," Rich said. "We didn't have a tree. We were thinking of skipping a car payment to buy a few presents. "Then a Seattle law firm stepped in to help. "To this day we still don't know the name of the firm," said Tonya. "But they gave us the Christmas we would have been missing if not for them. "Other groups helped the Watsons buy food and pay bills. "After that, we wanted to find a way to show our gratitude and pay it forward," she said. The couple formed their own nonprofit organization, the OIF/OEF Aid Group, of which Christmas for Heroes is a spin-off. The initials stand for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Last year they set up donation centers around town to collect donations for two families of wounded soldiers with the Warriors Transition Battalion at JBER, one couple with five children and a single mom. "Christmas often gets overlooked when a soldier is wounded," said Tonya. "It's just the reality. Dad or Mom are hurt and there are a lot of needs that go unmet in order to take care of them. "The 2011 drive went well enough that this year they upped the ante. "We've adopted 22 families and have been told that the number could grow due to the high number of inured soldiers who just returned from Afghanistan," Tonya said. The Watsons have posted a "wish list" of items on their website, christmas4heroes.org.Families on the list are designated by number to protect their privacy. They range from households with several children (ages are given) to couples, single parents, and single male and female soldiers. Family 8 has three girls who all want "princess stuff" -- and one boy, age 5, more interested in "The Avengers" characters. Family 16 is a husband and wife both looking for fishing gear. Family 15 is a single male who would like books and an electronic book reader. The husband in Family 6 is hoping for service dog training. The 22 families represent less than a quarter of the Wounded Warrior Battalion at JBER, Air Force and Army personnel who have been wounded but remain on duty or in the National Guard. All presents will be given to the recipients at a holiday party on Dec. 12.The couple met online while he was on deployment in 2003. When he returned to the states, he offered to fly her to Seattle. He met her at the airport and proposed on the spot, Tonya said. "And we've been together ever since. "But it hasn't been easy. They originally moved to her hometown, Gun Barrel City, Texas, so that they could call on her parents in the case of an emergency while, they hoped, Richard's condition improved. Instead, it got worse. Mini-strokes, degenerative brain disease, sleep problems, early onset Parkinson's Disease and inexplicable maladies piled up. Two years ago he received a terminal diagnosis. "The doctor told me I had four years to go before I became a complete vegetable," he said. They decided to move to his home town, Anchorage. "I wanted to be here in Alaska and let my kids experience it," Rich said. Meanwhile, he's pushing himself to stay active and keep his mind in shape. He just completed a course in grant writing at Alaska Pacific University. "We want to keep this going, even when we're not in town any more," he said. That will be soon. Shortly after the party for this year's families, the Watsons will move back to Seattle where Tonya is due to receive a kidney transplant. "Medical reasons are forcing us to leave again," she said, "for my benefit this time. "If all goes well, Rich expects to be back in Alaska next summer, looking into building a house on land the family owns on the Kenai Peninsula among other things. He's also looking into ways to take the charity national. "I've always been a volunteer," he said. "I volunteered for service and paid a heavy price. I was deployed twice in Iraq and once in Kosovo and got hurt each time. But others paid the ultimate price. "His old unit is in Afghanistan right now and has taken serious casualties, he said. "I owe it to them."
Wish List and other information online at: christmas4heroes.org
Because Friends Know Just What to Do
Two years ago my husband spent the week before Christmas in the hospital with a serious gallbladder condition. He almost died. I was a wreck, worrying about his health and our medical bills. I couldn't do any of the normal Christmas stuff with my kids, including shopping. My 8-year-old son, Reese, was particularly distraught: He had been determined to get me a pair of sparkly earrings. When my friend April heard how upset he was, she took Reese to Target to pick out a few gifts. She even helped him pay for them and wrap them. April gave my son some normalcy -- and even joy -- in an otherwise-awful time for our family. It may not have been a big deal to her, but it was huge for us.
-Adrienne Penrod, Orem, Utah
Bury some coins under the sand or loose dirt at the bottom of slides and under swings in playgrounds. Children get sooo excited to find them!
Bobcat told me a story of when he was a young father working 2 jobs and barely making ends meet with 3 little ones at home. He would take the kids to the park in the Spring as the snow was beginning to melt. He and the kids would "dig for treasure" and find lots of coins by the swings. All the money that fell out of kids pockets during the winter came in handy making it to the next paycheck.
If you watch the NBC News you might know Lester Holt. He's from Chicago. He used to be an anchor on channel 2 (CBS) before he moved to the national news. His son Stefan Holt is a news anchor on channel 5, which is NBC in Chicago. They co-hosted the noon news on Friday on channel 5, and they were terrific! Channel 5 showed cute pictures of little Stefan with his dad at the anchor's desk. Their voices sound a lot alike but they don't have exactly the same mannerisms. It was fun to watch them together.
Father and son duo Lester Holt and Stefan Holt made history Friday on NBC 5, when they teamed up for a special post-Thanksgiving newscast … together!
“I’m a little nervous to be honest,” longtime newsman Lester Holt said earlier this week. “I have to be on my A-Game. He’s pretty good. I’ve been watching him.”
Stefan Holt, 25, joined NBC 5 as a morning show anchor in 2011, and he’s been building his family in Chicago ever since. Stefan was married to his college sweetheart, Morgan, in July, and the newlyweds invited Lester and wife Carol to fly in from New York City and spend Thanksgiving in Chicago.
"It's the first time we're doing Thanksgiving dinner," Stefan said of he and wife Morgan. "We're going to give it a try."
While Lester and Stefan were deciding on the menu -- turkey, cornbread, mom's cranberry chutney -- Lester had an idea.
“I asked him: You’re not working on Thanksgiving are you?” Lester said. “He said, ‘Actually I am. I said, if you guys are short, if Daniella Guzman wants the day off, I can fill in.’”
Lester said he was joking, but Stefan suggested that maybe his dad could help out on the noon show the day after.
“He's the hardest working man in television and he was looking for an excuse to work,” Stefan said.
Lester Holt, of course, made his own anchor mark here in Chicago when he owned the desk at WBBM-TV for 14 years. In 2000, Lester joined MSNBC and in 2003 he began hosting the Weekend Today Show. He also anchors the Weekend Nightly News for NBC, as well as leading the news magazine program Dateline.
Somehow, Lester knew that Stefan would someday follow in his footsteps.
“I have a picture of Stefan sitting at the desk at WBBM from right around the time I started as an anchor there,” he said in his familiar baritone. “Stefan was up there, with his arms crossed, ready to go. At 2 ˝ years old he already had the look.”
Lester has been following with great interest how Stefan’s career in Chicago developed. He uses a device called Slingbox that allows him to record Stefan’s morning show broadcasts and watch them on his computer or smart phone at 30 Rock.
“I’m actually very proud,” he said.
The Friday midday broadcast marked the first time the tandem has anchored together on the same set. The whole station was buzzing.
“We are excited to pair Lester and Stefan together!” said Vice President of News and Station Manager Frank Whittaker. “Lester spent many years here in Chicago, and is well-known to Chicago viewers. It’s a real treat to bring him back to co-anchor with Stefan.“
Lester, always a good sport, did have one request from NBC. Considering he worked on his day off.
"I’m asking for that one vacation day back," he said.
Recently a young man came into my home to do some fix-up work. He noticed, I think, my collection of nun dolls and asked me if I was Catholic. I told him he was correct and we had a beautiful conversation. He is a part-time preacher who wants to go to divinity school. He asked me questions about my faith and some of our practices including the use of the rosary. I explained as best I could and we shared our commonalities of faith. When he left I gave him a rosary for a remembrance. Well, a couple of months later he came again to do more work. This time he had a gift for me. He had MADE me a rosary. I was just overwhelmed by his kindness and goodness. What a blessing this will be for me for the rest of my life. All because we took time to talk with one another.
Little Red Wagon Foundation
While many young people were enjoying the final weeks of summer vacation, Zachary Bonner was working his hardest. According to the St. Petersburg Times, Zach started walking from Valrico, Florida, his hometown, on Christmas, 2009, and stepped over the Los Angeles city line nine months later in September, racking up a total of 2,478 miles and raising close to $120,000 for kids in need. Along the way, Zach attended school online, thanks to his mother, Laurie Bonner, and brother and sister, who alternated walking and driving alongside him. Among Zach’s sponsors: AOL, McDonald’s, and the Office Depot Foundation.
Despite his age, Zach has a long history of helping others. When Hurricane Charley hit town in 2004, Zach, then six, pulled a wagon through his neighborhood collecting food for storm victims. Since then, he has raised some $400,000 for his tax-exempt Little Red Wagon Foundation, which gives money to projects aiding homeless and troubled children. In 2007, Zach began walking to support a children’s charity in Tampa, Florida, finishing his journey 23 days later, 280 miles away in Tallahassee. Then in the summer of 2009, he trekked about 670 miles from Atlanta to Washington, D.C., in just two months. “What really keeps me going [is] these kids,” Zach has said. “They don’t get to say, ‘I’m tired of being homeless.’ So why should I get to quit?”
Here's some local good news...
Dance to benefit Red Cross' hurricane Sandy relief efforts
By Annemarie Mannion, Chicago Tribune reporter
They may be more accustomed to mixing it up on the sports fields and courts, but for one night, at least, students from 15 west suburban schools will let their rivalries rest, and mix it up on the dance floor to benefit hurricane Sandy relief efforts.
Addison Trail High School is working with BOOM Entertainment, a company that specializes in event production, to host a mega dance to raise funds to go to the American Red Cross.
The school's 200-member student council has invited students from 14 other schools in the West Suburban Athletic Conference and from its two feeder middle schools to the Dec. 1 event.
"As soon as the hurricane hit we knew we wanted to do something," said Sheri D'Ambrose, a physical education teacher and student council sponsor.
The council tossed around ideas, including the standard candy sale, but those didn't seem good enough, she said.
"With all the sweets that float around the school it's kind of annoying for a PE. teacher to think about doing that. And when kids sell something, parents end up buying it," said D'Ambrose. "I knew we could do something better."
Deciding upon a dance, the school reached out to BOOM Entertainment which had recently put on its homecoming dance. The company agreed to donate its services.
"We're bringing our full-on production - sound, lighting, DJs - over $20,000 (in services)," said Zach Moss, vice president of marketing and new media.
He said his business wants to have an impact on the schools it serves.
With BOOM on board, the idea expanded from a single-school event to one that would involve students from throughout the area. Student council member Chandlyr Kulpa, a senior, said she's looking forward to the event that she hopes will bring in a good attendance and a good sum -- $30,000 is the goal – in a matter of a few hours..
"Some people thought it wouldn't be a good idea because the dance would be a happy event when the hurricane was tragic," she said. "But it's the easiest way to raise money."
She said she is sure students will be able to put their school rivalries aside to help people still hurting from the hurricane.
"People (affected by Sandy) are still having a lot of issues out there," Kulpa said. "Any little bit will help."
The cost per ticket is $10. Middle school students are invited to attend from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday; high school students will dance from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday at Addison Trail High School, 213 N. Lombard Rd.
The West Suburban Athletic Conference also includes Downers Grove North and South, Glenbard West, Hinsdale Central and South, Lyons Township. Leyden, Morton, Oak Park and River Forest, Proviso East and West, Willowbrook and York high schools.
NYPD officer photographed giving boots to barefoot homeless man melts icy hearts online
A photo of a New York City police officer kneeling down to give a barefoot homeless man in Times Square a pair of boots on a cold November night is melting even the iciest New Yorkers' hearts online.
On Nov. 14, NYPD officer Lawrence DePrimo, who was on counterterrorism duty in Times Square, saw the older homeless man without shoes sitting on 42nd Street. DePrimo, 25, left and then returned with a pair of $100 boots he bought at a nearby Skechers store.
"It was freezing out, and you could see the blisters on the man's feet," DePrimo, a three-year veteran of the department who lives with his parents on Long Island, told the New York Times. "I had two pairs of socks, and I was still cold."
The random act of kindness was captured by Jennifer Foster, a tourist from Florence, Ariz., who was visiting the city. Foster, communications director for the Pinal County Sheriff's Office in Arizona, emailed the photo to the NYPD with a note commending DePrimo.
"The officer said, 'I have these size 12 boots for you, they are all-weather. Let's put them on and take care of you,'" Foster wrote. "The officer squatted down on the ground and proceeded to put socks and the new boots on this man.
"I have been in law enforcement for 17 years," she continued. "I was never so impressed in my life. ... It is important, I think, for all of us to remember the real reason we are in this line of work. The reminder this officer gave to our profession in his presentation of human kindness has not been lost."
Foster's photo was posted on the NYPD's Facebook page on Tuesday, where it received more than 320,000 "likes," 77,000 "shares" and 20,000 comments—most of them praising DePrimo, who seems to have restored Facebook's faith in humanity.
"This is one hell of a police officer," Desiree Wright-Borden wrote.
"Wow," Jack Horton wrote. "It's nice to know there are still good people out there."
"Angels truly do walk on earth!!!" Charlene Hoffman-Pestell wrote.
Some commenters, though, were skeptical, saying the photo could have been staged.
"Clever stunt!" Louis Zehmke wrote. "The hobo is 'parked' at the entrance of a shoe shop."
But Foster claims DePrimo had no idea he was being photographed: "The officer expected NOTHING in return and did not know I was watching."
Stephanie Klinzing, the mayor of Elk River, Minnesota, challenged the people in her town to perform 1,000 acts of kindness in a month. Elk River's 24,000 residents answered the call, with good deeds like giving out cookies, paying for other people's groceries, and babysitting for free. After a month the people of Elk River had surpassed their goal with 1,400 good deeds -- and they don't plan to stop anytime soon.
There's a great story going around here about one of New York's Finest. It got pretty cold here over the last few days. While on foot patrol, a police officer saw a homeless man barefoot without socks or shoes. The officer asked the man about where his foot wear was but he replied he didn't have any. The officer went into the shoe store at the site and with his own money bought the homeless man some warm socks and a pair of waterproof boots. As he was helping the man to put them on, a tourist from Arizona saw the officer giving the man the boots and socks then took a picture. The tourist and police officer were interviewed on this morning's news. Both said when the man was given the items, his face lit up like a Christmas tree and looked as if he was just given $1 million. The police officer only wanted to do the right thing by helping someone in need, not the publicity that came as a result of it.
Thank you for your extraordinary act of kindness, Officer! You have shown the NYPD at its best and we can all learn from your random act of kindness.
A plane crashed in Chicago this morning on 29th and King Drive ... oh, wait -- it's only a television shoot ... but it looked pretty realistic! (Why, oh, why would they decide to shoot it during a Friday morning rush hour? King Drive is a busy north-south route.
Miles of Smiles
I was at my job as a massage therapist in Knoxville when my best friend called from Denver to tell me that her husband had been killed in a car accident. She begged me to fly out immediately to be with her. My next client, a salesperson who flies constantly on business, overheard me comforting my friend and saying I'd try to get a flight to Denver the next day. While I went off to wash my hands, she called the VIP number at American Airlines, arranged a flight for me, and paid for it with frequent-flier miles. I protested, but she said she'd never be able to use all her miles and that my friend needed me. I still marvel at her amazing generosity.
-- Sue Painter, Knoxville, Tennessee
Cooking for free for the kids
Bruno Serato moved from Italy to USA in 1980 as a poor immigrant who didn't speak a word of English. He began his career working as a dishwasher. Working hard, he dreamed of owning his own restaurant. He achieved his dream with hard work and dedication. He now serves Italian food in his own restaurant called the White House in Anaheim. Celebrities and politicians have eaten at his restaurant. But his favorite customers are the ones that he feeds for free - the so-called "motel children" of Orange County. They are the children whose parents are too poor to afford them decent, regular meals.
The story began on April 18th, 2005. Bruno's mother came to visit him from Italy. As part of her tour of California, they visited the Boys & Girls Club charity in Anaheim. There, they saw a little boy eating potato chips. The director told them that those chips were all he had for dinner - his family was too poor to afford him a full meal. His mother then came up with the idea that started it all - to give the children who need it food from Bruno's restaurant. Bruno, inspired by her idea, then decided to start his own charity that offers free meals to children in need. He called it Caterina's Club, after his mother.
Every night, the White House makes a meal of fresh pasta and sauce and sends it to the kids at the Boys & Girls Club in a van. Bruno has given away hundreds of thousands of meals so far. Some nights his restaurant struggled, having more children to feed than paying customers. But Bruno kept going and says he will never stop giving to the children, as it is his passion in life.