Watch Mama and Learn
Boy forgoes presents to save the pups
RIO RANCHO (KRQE) – A 3-year-old Rio Rancho boy didn’t ask for toys, clothes or candy for his birthday. Instead he asked for presents that went straight to an animal shelter.
Dalton Lower is your typical 3-year-old boy. His favorite cartoon show to watch features hero dogs saving the day. That’s what inspired him to become a hero too.
His mission: Turn his birthday party, in June, into a plan to save the pups.
At Dalton’s party there was cake and hats. But the presents weren’t for him. Instead he asked for lots and lots of dog food.
“I take it to the animal shelter in our new car,” Dalton said.
Dalton’s dog food was delivered to the Santa Fe Animal Shelter on Sunday. His mom, Lucia Lower, said they collected 15 bags and some canned dog food.
The shelter didn’t even know he was coming. But they would soon find out when he showed up that this little guy was ready to give.
“He actually couldn’t wait to bring in all the dog food, he wanted to carry it in all himself,” Lower said.
But, a hero needs a reward. So Dalton was given a tour to see all the dogs his donation would help.
“They were really impressed that a 3-year-old wanted to give up toys to feed hungry pups,” Lower said.
A lesson in generosity from such a little guy with a big heart.
Dalton’s family has donated to other charities before. But this was the first time he picked out who to help.
People Magazine - Heroes Among Us
Zack Francom Sells Lemonade to Buy Wheelchairs for Those Who Need Them
When life gives you lemons, you can do much more than make lemonade, says Zack Francom.
The 11-year-old Utah boy has turned several hundred quarts of the drink into Zack's Shack, a philanthropy that has changed the lives of more than 300 people in need of wheelchairs in developing countries.
Zack got the idea for a lemonade stand in the spring of 2010 when his school held a fundraiser to purchase a wheelchair for LDS Philanthropies, a Mormon church charity.
"I decided that I wanted to raise enough to buy one all by myself," says Zack.
"I thought, 'What if I couldn't walk or run or ride my bike? What would that be like?' " he says. "I wanted to help make life easier for somebody who couldn't walk or run and didn't have money for a wheelchair to help them get around."
Since then – selling lemonade at 50 cents a cup and two cookies for $1 – his Zack's Shack has become an annual event in his hometown of Provo, Utah. Hundreds of people line up in front of his house every April during spring break to help fund his charity.
"When people visit Zack's lemonade stand they see a great example of a little boy with a big heart," says Tanise Chung-Hoon, managing director for LDS Philanthropies.
"When you see the genuine fun he has in the work, you immediately realize that he feels just as happy and lucky as the wheelchair recipients," she says. "Zack is the perfect example of how philanthropy changes the giver as well as the receiver."
This past April, Zack sold 350 dozen cookies baked by his mom, Nancy Bird, and 80 quarts of lemonade, earning $5,300 – enough to buy another 37 wheelchairs (basic models now cost $143), which are shipped to Guatemala, Guam and 53 other countries, where a wheelchair can often cost more than a year's wages.
"There was one lady in Guatemala who crawled for 10 miles with her baby on her back to pick up her wheelchair," says Bird, 32, who spends several weeks helping her son bake cookies for the sale every year.
"What a dramatic change it has made in her life," she says. "Stories like this are what keep Zack going."
He also has bigger dreams. He says he'd love to see other kids start similar efforts in other states.
"Imagine if there were hundreds of Zack's Shacks," he says. "Nobody who needs a wheelchair should have to go without one just because they can't afford it."
And he'd love to take a more active role himself.
"My goal is to fly around the world someday and hand out the wheelchairs," he says.
From a Random Acts of Kindness website:
Today, as I drank coffee in a bakery, I noticed a young boy ordering a cake for his mom`s 40th birthday. He seemed to live on a small budget and by the end of his order, he wasn't able to afford the writing on top of the cake. I was so touched by this scene that I offered him to add the money for the icing writing. He first refused, but then got really happy. And I was just happy seeing his face and imaging his mom having a wonderful cake!
Mother Knew Best
He didn’t want to upset his mom, but he had to tell her he thought she’d fallen for a scam.
By Gilbert Roller, Wilmore, Kentucky
My mother wasn’t impulsive, especially regarding her finances. That’s why I was shocked when she said she’d donated most of her life savings to two missionaries who had knocked on her door in Texas.
“You did what?!” I sputtered. “When?”
“A few months back,” she said. “These nice young people needed money to build a chapel in Mexico.”
No, they hadn’t given her any documentation. No, she hadn’t heard from them since.
I didn’t want to upset her, but I had to tell her I thought she’d fallen for a scam.
“I don’t think the Lord would have moved me to help if it wasn’t for real,” she said.
At the time, I was a young professor at Asbury University in Kentucky, teaching music theory, and my wife and I weren’t on the best financial footing. We could have used that money.
For years–even after I got tenure and we raised three sons–I imagined finding the drifters who had swindled Mom, though I wasn’t sure what I’d do if I did. Only when Mom died and my sons became missionaries–real ones–did I let the matter go.
I retired in 1993. My wife and I took a cross-country trip to California, staying at campgrounds along the way.
One evening, somewhere in Missouri, I’d just set up our tent when a man wandered over from his RV.
“I see by your license plate you’re from Kentucky,” he said. “What do you do?”
“Retired now,” I said. “But I used to teach music theory.”
“Music,” the man said. “Hmm. You know anyone by the name of Roller?”
How’d he know that? “Yes, actually, my name is Roller,” I said.
The man smiled.
“Many years ago, my wife and I met a woman in Texas named Roller. She had a son in Kentucky who taught music. She gave us quite a lot of money. Viola Roller.”
My mom. My blood ran cold. Here I was, finally face-to-face with one of those so-called missionaries!
“Hang on,” the man said, ducking into his RV before I could react. He came out and handed me a photo. A simple adobe building with a cross on the roof, and a sign out in front: Roller Capilla.
“Roller Chapel,” the man said. “Named for the woman who made it possible.”
My ex father in law (John) was a uniquely good individual. He had a best friend who had a heart attack and hospitalized for a lengthy stay. In the summer lawns would grow fast in the heat. Every week John would drive over to his friends home and mow his lawn for him so he did not have to face an overgrown yard when he returned home to recuperate. Very silent kindness!
I don't know if this is a kindness story but whenever I see a person do an act of kindness whether it is for me or to another person, I make it a point to approach that person and tell them, "would you do me a favor and tell your mom and dad, what a wonderful job they did in raising their child." Sometimes a smile and an enthusiastic "I will."
Heroes Among Us
Wanda Butts Teaches Inner-City Kids in Ohio How to Swim
It never occurred to Wanda Butts that her only son, Josh, needed swimming lessons.
As a girl, she'd never spent any time in the pool, either.
"My dad saw two kids drown at a church picnic and wouldn't let us go near the water after that," says the Toledo, Ohio, court clerk. "Growing up, swimming just wasn't on our radar. And that's also how it was with my son."
Everything changed on Aug. 6, 2006 – the day Josh, 16, drowned in a rafting accident during a trip to a Michigan lake with friends.
"He didn't have a life jacket and the raft tipped over," she says quietly. "It's a phone call that no parent should have to get. If Josh had known how to swim, I wouldn't be talking about him in the past tense today."
She soon learned her son's death wasn't an anomaly. Statistics show inner-city kids, particularly African-Americans, are five times more likely to drown than other children due to a lack of money for swimming lessons, as well as a dearth of pools.
So in 2007 Butts, now 61, formed the Josh Project to give free swimming lessons and water-safety training to local kids. So far she and her daughter, Tankeeya Butts, have signed up more than 1,300 children.
St. Francis de Sales High School in Toledo donates time at the school's pool for the classes. Certified volunteers teach the classes, and children are allowed to continue in the program "for as long as it takes," says Butts.
"Black, white, whatever color they are, wherever they are from, all are welcome," she says. "Every child should be able to have fun in the water and stay safe."
For city parents who have never taken their children swimming, "the Josh Project is literally a lifesaver," says Lisa Haynes, 53, whose 17-year-old son, Orlando Joshua, recently graduated with a swimming certificate.
With her neighborhood pool closed and no money for swimming lessons, "Wanda has helped give me peace of mind," she says. "Now I don't have to worry so much when my son is near water. He's mastered everything from the butterfly to the backstroke, and we owe it all to Wanda. She's a strong person with a big heart."
Butts, who tells kids that "swimming is the only sport that can save your life," has now started free classes for adults who have never known the pleasure – or safety – of swimming.
"I'm finally going to take the leap myself and take some lessons," she says. "I know Josh would be proud."
Man sharpening lawn blades saves Army Sergeant pinned under car
RINEYVILLE, KY (WAVE) - On a quiet street in Rineyville newly retired Army Master Sgt. Joe Schroeder was enjoying his first few months of freedom after serving nearly 24 years.
“Dexter is my service dog and he is for my PTSD, TBI and mobility,” he said.
But last Thursday Dexter was inside when Schroeder was outside working on his wife's Mustang in the driveway. Schroeder says he leaned on the car and it started to roll.
“The only thing I can think of was ‘Oh my God,’ I can only imagine what's going to happen once this car runs me over because I couldn't stop it,” he said.
Schroeder became pinned, pressure from the car prevented him from yelling for help to his family inside the home.
“I was stuck underneath the vehicle with the rear axle on my back and my right hand underneath the right rear tire, so I couldn't get any movement or balance or nothing, so I was just stuck underneath the vehicle,” he said.
Meanwhile, next door Mike Riddell, who owns a lawn care business, was supposed to be out mowing but stopped off at his house to sharpen his blades.
“I didn't like how it was cutting and just as I was getting ready to throw my last blade on, I saw what was going on at Joe's house,” said Riddell.
Riddell ran over and knew he had to get the car off of Schroeder.
“I planted my feet and I just said ‘I got to do everything I can, put everything in this to get this car up, or forward, off of him,’” he said.
“He channeled his inner Superman and he picked up the rear of the vehicle and pushed it forward,” Schroeder said. “If it wasn't for him I truly don't know that I would be standing here today.”
Schroeder was able to crawl out, but just moments before the Army veteran who served three tours in Iraq feared death in his own front yard.
“Is this really the end after all this time? Going away in my own driveway, by my own car, by my own fault?” he said.
While he can laugh at the situation now he will be forever thankful to Riddell who was just glad to be in the right place at the right time.
“He's a hero. It just felt good to help a hero out,” Riddell said.
Schroeder suffered two sprained ankles, bruised ribs, road rash and bumps and bruises on his legs and back. He was released from the hospital shortly after the accident and is expected to be just fine thanks to Riddell.
From an Acts of Kindness website:
Random Parking Ticket Man
On our first Family trip to Monterey Bay we did not know the area and was having a hard time figuring out parking at the fisherman's wharf. As I was reading the instructions and parking fees at the parking meter, a man drove up to me and asked me if I was looking for parking. I said yes. He handed me his parking ticket and he said that his family was leaving the parking ticket has been paid for the whole day. This random act of kindness really touched me so I explained to my 7 year old daughter how we should always be kind to others. As we were leaving we drove by the parking meter and handed the ticket to another family so they may enjoy the wharf as we did. Thank you random ticket man. May God bless you and your family.
Heroes Among Us
Deb O'Halloran Gives Struggling New Moms and Their Babies Much-Needed Supplies
When single mom Theresa Wilson worried about getting the things she needed for her newborn girl – relief and much-needed assistance came from a stranger.
"My reaction was shock, surprise and relief that I didn't have to go out and try to scramble up enough money to pay for these things," says Wilson, 22, who received a bassinet, floor gym and starter bag of critical-care items. "Having all these things is one big issue I won't have to worry about, because I already have a lot on my plate with being a new mom and caring for the baby."
Wilson's life and the lives of hundreds of other moms and their newborns have been changed by the St. Paul-Minneapolis area Second Stork nonprofit and its founder, Deb O'Halloran – whose goal is to help provide a stress-free start for hundreds of new moms at nearly 20 hospitals in the St. Paul-Minneapolis area.
In 2009, along with a small group of like-minded philanthropists, O'Halloran launched Second Stork, initially gathering baby items such as diapers and other basic necessities in her own laundry room to deliver to new mothers in crisis in hospital labor/delivery units.
"We wanted to operate in a way that was highly efficient yet ensured that the help went to the people who needed it the most," says O'Halloran, 55, a married mother of two who was formerly a marketing executive. "We were motivated simply by our desire to help people in crisis, while respecting their dignity."
Much of Second Stork's inventory consists of surplus items supplied by various retailers. At its donated, 3,400-square-foot warehouse, volunteer groups along with O'Halloran pack bags that are then given to hospitals for distribution to grateful moms by social workers, nurses or other staff. To date, Second Stork has delivered more than 1,000 bags to Twin City-area hospitals.
"Second Stork fills a unique niche for families, particularly those that are financially strapped," says hospital social worker Rachael Stover-Haney. "We can just hand the items to them. Many of the mothers are moved to tears, but more than that, they're dumbfounded and amazed, because it restores their faith that there is goodness in the world."
The recipients, says O'Halloran, are mothers who have few, if any, other options. No one has thrown them a baby shower, so the Second Stork bag is often the only gift they'll receive.
"Some don't even know where they're going to go when they leave the hospital," she says. "By providing critical-care supplies, we're letting them know that there are people out there who really do care and understand."
For moms like Wilson, the support of O'Halloran's Second Stork has been a huge help.
"I feel grateful that people would care this much for someone they've never met," she says.
Acts of kindness from the web:
Doughnuts in the ER
I'm involved in a college campus ministry group in my town. One of our recent activities was to break up into smaller groups and use a single $20 bill to "make the nights" of at least three people. My group decided to go with the idea of buying as many doughnuts as we could and taking them to the staff in the emergency department in a local hospital. We explained what we were doing to the manager on duty at the doughnut shop; he was happy to give us a great deal on the doughnuts. When we brought the doughnuts in to the hospital, the staff was so excited, thankful and grateful for the kindness. Several of them even said that they'd been having a rough night so it meant a lot to them. Here's the thing- It just so happens that I'm a volunteer in that same emergency department. So to see their responses and hear that some had been having a rough night, I could really empathize and tell how much it meant to them. It was so great to be able to kind of see and understand both the giving and receiving sides of things, and it really made my day. Trust me, that sort of thing is appreciated so much!
Cancer survivor beats odds, runs 2,000 miles to Maine
Helene Neville hoping to run entire perimeter of United States
A four-time cancer survivor made Portland part of her iconic mission Sunday to run the entire perimeter of the United States.
Helene Neville left Scarborough Sunday morning on the final leg of her 2,000 mile run from Marathon, Florida to Portland, Maine.
Neville has already run from California to Florida and Vancouver, Canada to Tijuana, Mexico.
What is even more impressive are the health battles she has fought just to get to this point.
Neville was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma in the 1990s and T-Cell lymphoma just two years ago. She has survived three brain surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation.
Now, she hopes to inspire other cancer survivors to not give up.
"I just wanted to go out and originally inspire nurses," said Neville. "I'm a nurse, and to be better ambassadors for healthy living, to inspire health in their patients, and it's just so much bigger. I stop and talk to school children, just the general public, and I just try and get everyone to think about health and inspire the next person."
Neville has one more task to accomplish in her 10,000-mile journey. She will now run approximately 3,200 miles from East Coast to West Coast, a run that is scheduled for 2015.
REOPENING SCHOOLS AFTER A TORNADO
C.J. Huff, 41
After a massive tornado killed 160 people and ripped Joplin apart on May 22, school district superintendent C.J. Huff kept a round-the-clock vigil at the North Middle School shelter, directing school buses to serve as ambulances and comforting those who lost everything. Weeping, he lay on a cot in the dark and made a vow. "I love these kids," he remembers thinking. "We've got to reopen these schools." And in only 87 days, he did. Thanks to thousands of volunteers and creative thinking, 4,200 students moved into 260 classrooms, with a warehouse becoming a middle school and a vacant department store turning into a high school. Says Huff: "Never underestimate the ability of people to accomplish anything." joplinschools.org
Target school supplies- I just heard about this on the radio. I copied this from their press release. I'm not a student anymore but I can probably find a reason to purchase school supplies And there's almost always something I need from Target, shampoo or dishwashing liquid or greeting cards or some such thing.
When Guests Buy Select up&up School Supplies, Target Gives Up to $25 Million
For every select up&up school supply purchased, Target will give one school supply to a student in need, potentially impacting nearly two million kids this back-to-school season
MINNEAPOLIS — July 09, 2014
Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) announced today that for every select up&up school supply purchased at Target stores from July 13 through August 2, Target will donate one school supply item to a student in need. Through these purchases, Target’s goal is to donate up to $25 million in supplies and potentially impact nearly two million kids as they head back to school. up&up is a Target owned brand that offers more than 1,200 everyday essentials from across the store, including a line of colorful and stylish school supplies, at a fraction of the price of national brands.
The program was inspired by Yoobi, a Target-exclusive brand of school supplies with a “One for You, One for Me” mission, and builds on Target’s longstanding community partnership with the Kids In Need Foundation. Target will distribute the school supply donations through the Kids In Need Foundation, which operates a national network of Resource Centers that provide free school supplies for in-need students. The donations will be made to Resource Centers beginning in August and provide an optimized assortment of the school supplies students need for the year ahead.
“For millions of kids living in poverty, the right school supplies often become a luxury instead of a necessity,” said Laysha Ward, president, Community Relations, Target. “We know that giving is important to Target’s guests. This program gives them an opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of others and set kids up for success through the simple act of buying school supplies.”
Aaahh, I have been defrosted! Thank you, Bonny and Asiel!
Brrrr, I've been Frosted! Thank you, Asiel and Pomtzu!
"That's the power of kittens (and puppies too, of course): They can reduce us to quivering masses of Jell-O in about two seconds flat and make us like it. Good thing they don't have opposable thumbs or they'd surely have taken over the world by now." -- Paul Lukas
Cassie's Catster page: http://www.catster.com/cats/448678
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