Ready for a few amazing stories? These are all feel-good stories that range from the miraculous to random acts of kindness. Praise God for all of those that can receive blessings and help in their time of need...
And don't feel discouraged. Keep saying, "May my soul prosper in God!" And, it will!
Keep doing random acts of kindness as unto the Lord!
(and keep reading your Bible every day).
Billionaire Pays Off All Student Loans for Entire 2019 Class
Story shared via ABC News: Billionaire Robert F. Smith was the graduation keynote speaker at Morehouse College, but he left the students with more than words of wisdom. The philanthropist and investor announced Sunday morning that he was going to eliminate all of their student loan debt.
"My family is going to create a grant to eliminate your student loans," Smith said to the graduating seniors. "You great Morehouse men are bound only by the limits of your own conviction and creativity."
Morehouse officials say the gift was worth about $40 million. He had previously announced a $1.5 million gift to the school. "This is my class," he said, "and I know my class will pay this forward." The announcement elicited the biggest cheers of the morning. Smith, a graduate of Cornell University and Columbia Business School, received an honorary degree from Morehouse on Sunday.
Smith founded Vista Equity Partners in 2000 and has since built that firm into a billion-dollar enterprise, investing in technology and software around the world. The firm manages commitments of more than $46 billion and oversees a portfolio of more than 50 software companies globally. Smith is the largest private donor to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington.
He was also the first and only African American business leader to sign "The Giving Pledge," an initiative created by Bill and Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffett, in which wealthy individuals pledge to give more than one-half of their wealth to causes such as poverty alleviation, disaster relief and global health and education.
God bless this man for his heartfelt gift and for paying it forward. We pray for the covering for these students and that they receive wisdom to help them with their future endeavors and success.
Facing adversity or an uphill battle? God says to call on Him in the day of trouble. He will deliver you and all He asks is that we glorify Him. Don't gauge success by fancy cars or bling-bling. That's superficial and it doesn't last.
Consider how your legacy will impact others. How will you leave your mark? What can you do to help future generations? A great place to start is by asking God for wisdom. He can show you where the "least of these" are that need the most help. For it is written, "He who lends to the poor lends to the Lord."
For our students, focus on forward and never give up. Only God has the final say so don't feel discouraged or defeated. What the devil says or does DOES NOT MATTER. Just say, "Jesus, please help with ...". God will ALWAYS make the way. He supplies ALL our needs.
Unsure about your future? Pray, "Lord Jesus, come into my heart. I repent of my sins. I make you my Lord and Savior. Help me lead a better life through You. Protect me and my family and please cover us and make the way for us. Give us eternal life through You, in Jesus' name, Amen.
Florida Teens Stranded in Water Call on God, Saved By Boat Called "Amen"...
Story Shared via ABC News: JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Two Florida teens skipped school for a senior skip day at the beach, but their day of rebellious fun quickly turned into the fight for their lives. Heather Brown and Tyler Smith, both 17 years old, were swimming near Anastasia Island when the current became too strong, WAWS reported.
Image shared via AOL; other image credit ABC
"I asked him, I said 'Tyler, oh my God, we are stuck, what's the plan,'" Brown said. The teens were stranded in the water for two hours. They began to pray. "I cried out, I was like 'If you really do have a plan for us, just like come on, just bring something,'" Smith said. Then, a boat sailing to New Jersey spotted the teens two miles offshore.
Their prayers were answered in the form of a boat, a God send, named 'The Amen.' "The name of the boat is 'The Amen.' I started crying," Brown said. The teens are thanking God and the men who saved them. "There's no other reason or other explanation in the world that that wasn't God," Smith said.
Miracles do happen. God bless these teens and the boat's owner who saved them. If you need 'saving' yourself, call on Jesus. Pray, "Father God in Jesus' name, Lord, I've been stuck in this water too long. I can't make it on my own. Please help, Lord. I know you died on the cross for my sins. I confess my sins. Please wash me clean and come into my heart. I make you my Lord and Savior. Fix this situation, please. In Jesus' name, Amen."
So many feel like they're walking a tight rope, but when you call on "Jesus" you have a lifeline to hold onto. Don't give up. God is with you. It doesn't matter what the enemy says. God will ALWAYS make a way - - out of no way! Get a Bible if you don't have one and start reading Psalm and Luke. If you have a Bible, keep reading it daily for encouragement. It will get better and Jesus is coming soon.
Boy Calls 911 for McDonald's; His Response When They Showed Up? Priceless...
Sometimes when you're really hungry, it can feel like an emergency. But it still came as quite a surprise when a 911 dispatcher in Michigan received a call from a 5-year-old boy named Iziah.
Dispatcher: Kent County 911. What's your emergency?
Iziah: Can you bring me McDonald's?
Dispatcher: I'm sorry, what?
Iziah: Can you bring me McDonald's?
Dispatcher: No, I can't bring you McDonald's.
Little Iziah had a craving early Sunday morning, but his Grandma was sleeping. Iziah uses a phone that was deactivated years ago, but he somehow got it connected to the Wi-Fi. Sara Kuberski was the dispatcher who took the call.
"We get a lot of people who are letting their kids play on their cell phones and a lot of them are deactivated, and parents don't realize they can still call 911," Kuberski said. Dispatch reached out to Wyoming police officer Dan Patterson.
"I was laughing to myself...5-year-old calls in dispatch and orders McDonald's," Patterson. The officer went to the home to make sure everything was OK, but decided to make a special stop on his way.
"I figured - hey, I'm driving past McDonald's on my way there and I might as well get him something," Patterson said. When he arrived at the home no one answered so the officer knocked on the 5-year-old's window. "The first thing he said to me was 'my grandma's gonna to be so mad. Can you please go away?" Patterson said.
Izaiah's grandma was not mad. In fact, she's happy he learned an important lesson about what really makes an emergency. As for what Iziah thought about a police officer bringing him McDonald's, the 5-year-old replied, ""It was something funny."
Girl Builds Birthday Boxes for Classmates that Can't Afford to Celebrate Their Birthdays
Image Credit: ABC News
Shared via ABC News: A 9-year-old girl is working hard to ensure that none of her classmates miss a birthday celebration. Two years ago, Bella Smith, a third-grade student at Wyan-Pine Grove Elementary School in Kentucky, launched "Bella's Boxes."
Bella started the project after a fellow student told her that his family couldn't afford to have a party for him, Smith's mom, Marlana Evans, told "Good Morning America." "The school she attends is a Title 1 school, which means 80% of the population here is impoverished -- so we have students that struggle with a lot of things," said Evans, who teaches at Bella's school.
Image Credit: ABC News
Evans said that Wyan-Pine has a backpack club which sends home to students that need it. Bella fills her "birthday boxes" with cake mix, balloons, icing, sprinkles and distributes them through the school's Family Resource Center.
Bella receives all supplies through donations from community members. For her own birthday, March 26, she requests birthday box donations instead of gifts. "I'm extremely proud of her," Evans said. "She's a very good girl with a big heart."
Bella has packed 65 birthday boxes this year and is still going. "I thank God for the opportunity for letting me be able to shine my light and show that I love my neighbor," Bella told "GMA."
Police Officer Surprises Bullied Child
A 9-year-old boy was having a bad day, and an even worse birthday, until an alert Grand Rapids police officer came to the rescue. "I was finishing a call," said officer Austin Lynema, "and saw Thomas running down the sidewalk trying to catch up to his bus, crying." Austin Lynema, age 22, and only 6 months on the job, stopped to ask Thomas Daniel if he needed help. "When I pulled up next to him, he just kind of stopped and looked at me," said Lynema. "I asked him if he needed help and he just kind of shook his head."
He was nervous when Lynema first approached him. In a child's whisper, Thomas said he was upset "'cause I missed the school bus and I really want to go to school and do my work and have fun." Thomas said he was a straight-A student and had never missed a day of school.
On that late February day, Lynema discovered Thomas was worried for another reason: It was his birthday. "Thomas confided in me that he didn't think that anybody else would show up to his birthday party" said Lynema, "because he was being bullied at school." Thomas, along with his mother and brother recently immigrated to Grand Rapids from Tanzania.
Lynema and his partner decided to surprise Thomas by attending his party.
"I ring the doorbell and he comes out of his balcony and sees me and my partner," said Lynema. "He's jumping up and down, smiles and he can't believe that we actually were able to show up."
But no one else did. No friends, no presents, no cake; so Lynema and several of his colleagues went the extra mile -- surprising Thomas with a birthday party the next morning. "I was able to get permission to get Krispy Kreme Doughnuts for him -- personalized 'Happy birthday,'" Lynema said. Another gift: a bag of Grand Rapids Police swag. "We weren't going to let a nine year old not have a party," he said.
The story made the local news and has had heartwarming results. Lynema has now received cards and gifts for Thomas from as far away as California. Recently, Thomas is getting on better at school. He's been invited to a classmate's party and Lynema is attending with him. Thomas has also been inspired to become a police officer. "I really want to be a police really bad," Thomas said. Lynema, whose father is a firefighter, is driven by a strong sense of public service, but his friendship with Thomas has surprised him. "As an officer, you meet thousands of people and half the time you don't ever see these people again," Lynema said. "But I'm glad that I get to see Thomas again and again."
7-Eleven Owner Feeds Teen Shoplifter Instead of Calling 911
Story shared via ABC News: Surveillance video shows a teen trying to steal from a 7-Eleven in Ohio was caught in the act by none other than the store owner. What happened next will surprise you.
Jitendra "Jay" Singh has owned the Toledo 7-Eleven for five years, WTVG reports. He said when one of his clerks saw a teen pocketing items from their store, he decided to confront the young man before he got a chance to walk out. Singh was shocked by what the teen had to say. "He said, 'I'm stealing for myself. I'm hungry, and I'm doing it for my younger brother,'" Singh said.
Instead of calling the cops, the store owner decided to send the teen back to the aisles to pick up pizza and sandwiches - and he didn't charge him a cent. "It's not going to make any difference to me if I give him some food, because we make a lot of food. We sell a lot of food," Singh said. "If he goes to jail, then he's definitely not going to do anything good in life."
Singh said he likes to help others when he can. His customers took notice. Cedric Bishop posted about Singh's act of kindness on Facebook, and it got a lot of attention. "He has a big heart. He has a great, big heart," Bishop said. "I thought that was just beautiful because the young man could have had a record."
"I'm really proud of him. It is the true self of himself. I know him, he's very kind," said Neera, Singh's wife of nearly 30 years. "We are part of the community. We have to help the community. It is a part of our job." Jay Singh said he hopes the teen he helped will pay it forward in the future.
Father God, we pray, please bless this store owner, Mr. Singh, for his generous and kind heart. Please help this teen and his brother with food and please help so many that are homeless and afraid to seek help. Lord, we know You supply ALL our needs. Please open the supply house so churches can set up food banks and work with businesses in their communities. What the devil means for harm, we know You will work in our favor, in Jesus' name, Amen.
Keep performing acts of service and sharing your gifts with others. And, keep reading your Bible for encouragement. God will ALWAYS provide for us! Stay encouraged in the storm. Jesus is WITH us.
Kansas Woman Buys Out Payless and Donates Shoes to the Homeless
Story shared via ABC News: A Kansas woman went on a shoe shopping spree, but she wasn't looking for her own size. Shoes were on sale for a dollar a pair last week when Addy Tritt went into her local payless in Hays, Kansas. Payless is closing all its U.S. stores and has multiple liquidation sales going.
Tritt wanted to buy all the shoes and donate them to Nebraska flood victims. There were 204 pairs left in the store. Tritt negotiated for about two-and-a-half hours to get them for just $100. About three-quarters of the lot were baby shoes; there were a couple of men's shoes, and the rest were women's. The shoes were delivered to Nebraska on Monday. A local agricultural science program will distribute them to people in need.
We pray, Lord, please bless this woman's generosity and bless those that help others. Please make the way for the homeless. We know You supply ALL our needs and we trust You, Lord. We praise Your Holy name in Jesus' name, Amen.
Keep performing random acts of kindness and letting your light shine. And, keep reading your Bible for encouragement! Be confident in God.
Scripture reference: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16
NY Islanders Player Gives Hockey Stick to Young Fan Who Survived Multiple Heart Surgeries
An act of kindness from a local hockey star made the day of one young fan from Long Island. 7-year-old Jack Foley has already had three open heart surgeries. One of his wishes was a hockey stick from his favorite New York Islander. "Once I met him, I was in shock," said Jack. He was a bit nervous, but the boy from Franklin Square put on a brave face as he stood next to Islanders goalie Robin Lehner.
"I cried because these things are big milestones for me, because they are all things they said he never would be able to do," said Jack's mother Lauren Kiefer-Foley. The magic meeting came after Monday's game at Nassau Coliseum. The day before, Lauren had posted a video on social media of Jack asking the goalie for his hockey stick, part of his wish list.
The second-grader has spent more time in the hospital than most kids his age. Jack was born with half a heart, and had to have the three surgeries before he was even two years old. "I believe he has a plethora of guardian angels looking out for him, especially my brother who I lost on 9/11," said Lauren. "He was a New York City firefighter, Michael Kiefer." Lauren said her son admires Robin for also overcoming obstacles. The goalie has battled addiction and mental illness. Jack's checklist was a family project, listing things he was determined to accomplish.
Number 1: Survive three open heart surgeries. Number 2: Defy the odds and play ice hockey. And number 3 was wanting Robin's hockey stick. After Jack stated his case, Robin didn't hesitate. He tweeted "100%", it was a go. "I couldn't believe it," said Lauren. "'Jack, Jack, look at this!', and he was all smiles." And if Jack had a number 4 on his list, what would it be? "Be an Islander for a day," he said, adding that he's ready to hit the ice.
We pray God blesses Robin Lehner for his generous spirit to spend time with Jack. We also pray for all children and their families if they are going through a sickness. Father God in Jesus' name, Lord, we lift these babies up to you. We know by Jesus's stripes we are healed. Please give these children strength and hope for the future so they ALL can grow up big and strong and TOTALLY healed in Jesus' name, Amen!
God gives us victory and in the messages Father God gave us, He said to bring the sick to the altars, that we would see miracles and cancers healed. See the letters here: http://shop.pe/PxzLD.
Remember, the devil can't touch you. You're covered in the name and blood of Jesus! Stay encouraged and keep reading your Bible for strength. God is our Strong Tower and we can rest in Him!
Deputies Surprise 13-Year-Old Cancer Survivor with Bike After His was Stolen
Story shared via ABC News: A 13-year-old whose bike was stolen as he recovered from cancer now has a new set of wheels thanks to the local sheriff's office.
Daylin Campbell got the original bike as a Christmas present to lift his spirits as he battled acute myeloid leukemia in December. Due to side effects from his cancer treatment, Campbell was never strong enough to ride the bike before it was stolen.
Family friend Cori Shea posted on Facebook earlier this week that Campbell's bike had been stolen, pleading for anybody with information about the theft to come forward. Her story caught the attention of the Polk County Sheriff's Office, and several deputies chipped in to buy Campbell a new bike, helmet and lock, WFTS reported.
Sheriff Grady Judd and several other deputies surprised Campbell with his new gear at his family's home on Friday. "Daylin is now in remission and we hope this bike will help him enjoy being a kid again," the sheriff's office wrote on Facebook.
Father God, please bless these officers for their kindness and generosity. We also pray for Daylin. Please give him strength as he recovers and don't let anyone steal his new bike. Bring the person who stole it under conviction. We also pray for all those with cancer. Bring healing and hope to them, Lord. You said cancers would be healed and You would send us proof. (See the 3rd message from God http://shop.pe/PxzLD) We praise You for the victory for Daylin in Jesus name!
Keep reading your Bible for encouragement and strength. Our GOOD NEWS is Jesus!
Homeless 8-Year-Old Boy Wins Chess Championship in NY and Gets New Home
Tanitoluwa Adewumi, an 8-year old boy who is a refugee from Nigeria, recently won the New York State chess championship for his age group. While celebrating his big win, his family were able to move out of the homeless shelter and move into a new apartment. His next goal: to be the youngest grandmaster in the world!
Tani, who is now in third grade, has defeated 73 of the best chess players from kindergarten to third grade in the New York State Scholastic Championships last week. He learned to play chess at Manhattan’s P.S. 116.
Since last year, he has been honing his skills by attending free weekly three-hour practice sessions, playing on his father’s laptop, or even on the floor of the shelter they were living in. Shawn Martinez, Tani’s chess coach at school, took notice of the boy’s excellence and said he “could just tell this game was for him.”
“He smiled every time he did anything on the board or learned something new,” Martinez told NBC New York. He encouraged him to join the tournament. Tani’s family, who moved to New York City from Nigeria as refugees two years ago over fears of attacks by a terror group, initially thought they couldn’t afford fees for the tournament and chess camp admissions. But with the help of the club who waived his fees, he was able to join.
Meanwhile, chess coach Russell Makofsky, who oversees P.S. 116’s chess program, launched a GoFundMe page to help Tani’s family raise money and get out of the shelter after his win. It has so far raised over $190,000. With that, they were able to move into a new apartment in Manhattan. They also plan to establish Tanitoluwa Adewumi Foundation to give back and “share the generosity of others to those in need.”
Now with seven chess trophies under his belt and being one of the top players for his age group nationwide, Martinez believes that Tani could reach the status of grandmaster within the next two years. Tani also confidently told CBS News that he wants to “beat the world champion’s record.”
“Anything is possible. God can — he can do anything for me. He can do anything for my family,” Adewumi said.
Tanitoluwa Adewumi, age 8, skidded around the empty apartment, laughing excitedly, then leapt onto his dad’s back. “I have a home!” he said in wonderment. “I have a home!”
Thank you, Father God for blessing this young man and his family. We pray he reaches his goal with the grandmaster tournament. Help him as he inspires others to reach their goals and dreams. And, thank you that you hear the prayers of our hearts, Lord. We ask for your mercy and we know You will always make the way for us, in Jesus' name, Amen.
Remember, the battle is not yours. It's the Lord who makes the way! Stay encouraged and keep reading your Bible. It will get better!
Updated story shared via MSN and the NY Times: A week ago, the boy was homeless, studying chess moves while lying on the floor of a shelter in Manhattan. Now Tani, as he is known, has a home, a six-figure bank account, scholarship offers from three elite private schools and an invitation to meet President Bill Clinton.
“I think I am still dreaming,” said Tani’s dad, Kayode Adewumi. “I hope I don’t wake up.” I wrote in my column last weekend about Tani as a reminder of the principle that talent is universal, even if opportunity is not. A Nigerian refugee who had learned chess only a bit more than a year earlier, he had just defeated kids from elite private schools to win the New York state chess championship for his age group. He lugged a trophy nearly as big as he is back to the homeless shelter.
A GoFundMe drive raised more than $200,000 for Tani, his parents and his brother. A half-dozen readers offered housing — in a couple of cases, palatial quarters. Immigration lawyers offered pro bono assistance to the Adewumis, who are in the country legally and seeking asylum. Three film companies are vying to make movies about Tani.
The family settled on one of the more modest and practical housing offers: An anonymous donor paid a year’s rent on a two-bedroom apartment near Tani’s current school. The apartment is clean, comfortable and freshly painted, without being luxurious, and the Adewumis gaze adoringly at their new kitchen.
“I want my mom’s cooking again!” Tani mused as he explored the apartment. It was bare, but another donor had offered furniture, sheets and towels. Someone else was sending 100 chess books. Heartfelt thanks to all my readers for this generosity: I truly have the best readers. And now the story gets even better.
The Adewumis have decided that they will not spend a cent of the $200,000 GoFundMe money on themselves. They will take out a 10 percent tithe and donate it to their church, which helped them while they were homeless, and the rest will be channeled through a new Tanitoluwa Adewumi Foundation to help African immigrants who are struggling in the United States the way they were a week ago.
“Anybody who is coming from Africa who is in the position we were in, we will help them,” Mr. Adewumi said, acknowledging that details need to be worked out. I asked them how they could turn down every penny of such a huge sum. Didn’t they want a celebration dinner? New iPhones? A vacation?
“I’m a hardworking guy,” Mr. Adewumi explained. He has two jobs: He drives for Uber with a rented car and sells real estate through Brick & Mortar. Someone has now offered him a free car so that he can keep more of the money he makes driving, and Tani’s mom was just offered a job as a health care aide at a hospital.
I asked Tani if he was O.K. with seeing the $200,000 disappear. He shrugged. “I want to help other kids,” he said. “I don’t mind.” Surely, I pressed him, there was some material object he coveted. There was a long silence. “Maybe a computer,” he acknowledged.
Image Credit: NY Times
The family was tempted by the offers of full scholarships at top private schools. But Tani and his parents decided that while he might accept such a scholarship for middle school, he would be loyal and stick with the public elementary school, P.S. 116, that taught him chess and waived his fees for the chess club.
“This school showed confidence in Tanitoluwa,” his mom, Oluwatoyin Adewumi, told the P.S. 116 principal, Jane Hsu. “So we return the confidence.” And then, overcome with emotion, the mom and the principal hugged.
There’s a risk that a triumph like this leaves the impression that charity is the solution rather than a way to fill gaps: Fundamentally we need comprehensive systems in place to support needy kids. We would never build a bridge or subway with volunteers and donations, so why entrust an even more urgent cause — homeless children — to charity?
Tani thrived because everything fell into place: a good school, a dedicated chess teacher and devoted parents committed to taking their son to every chess practice. The challenge is to replicate that supportive environment for all the other Tanis out there with public services and private philanthropy alike.
One challenge I face is that readers often want to donate just to a particular individual I write about, without addressing the larger social problem. So it’s thrilling to see Tani and his parents use their good fortune to help other anonymous kids in need. In that, there’s a lesson for all of us.
“God has already blessed me,” Mr. Adewumi told me. “I want to release my blessing to others.”
Officer Responds to Autistic Boy After He Calls 911 to Report Teddy Bear Missing
Story shared via ABC News - WOODBRIDGE, New Jersey (WABC) -- A family in New Jersey is thanking a local police officer for his kindness, after he helped their son with autism find his lost teddy bear. 12-year-old Ryan Paul of Woodbridge was so upset that his teddy bear named Freddy went missing while the boy was playing in his bedroom, that he called 911 for help.
"I said Ryan, did you call 911?," said Ryan's father Robert Paul, "and he said 'yes', and I said why? And he said, 'Teddy bear rescue.'" A few minutes later, Officer Khari Manzini arrived to make sure everything was okay. "We found the teddy bear, the teddy bear was OK," Officer Manzini said, "He was in safe hands, no injuries, nothing like that."
Manzini had received special training in autism recognition and response, and says it comes in handy in situations like this. Ryan is happy that little Freddy is back where he belongs and was also excited to get some photos with a police officer.
We pray, Lord, glory to your name. Please provide all officers and those working with the public this special autism training. And, let people be patient to help when someone autistic is in need. Please bless this officer who went out of his way to make this a good experience for Ryan, in Jesus' name, Amen.
Jewish Group Reciprocates Kindness to Muslims After New Zealand Attack
Image credit: The Star
Story shared via CNN: When a gunman killed 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh last year, Muslim communities in the area raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the victims. Now the Jewish community in Pittsburgh is reciprocating the kindness after a massacre at two mosques in New Zealand.
Within hours of the Christchurch mosque attacks, people of various faiths rallied around Muslims. New Zealand is mourning after a gunman opened fire Friday at two mosques in the city of Christchurch, killing at least 50 people and injuring dozens. The nation's authorities said the terrorist attack was carried out by a man who posted a racist manifesto online. After the mass shooting, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh has set up a fund for the victims.
"Unfortunately we are all too familiar with the devastating effect a mass shooting has on a faith community," said Meryl Ainsman, chair of the board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. "We are filled with grief over this senseless act of hate. May those who were injured heal quickly and fully, and may the memories of the victims forever be a blessing."
Just like after the October shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue, different faiths and cultures have come together in grief and solidarity. Last year, the crowdfunding campaign "Muslims Unite for Pittsburgh Synagogue" raised more than $200,000 to help the shooting victims. "We stand in solidarity with the Muslim community in Christchurch, in Pittsburgh, and around the world," the Jewish Federation said.
Student Saves 2-Years to Buy Friend Electric Wheelchair
Story Shared via CNN: Two high school buds in Norman, Arkansas are reminding the world about the power of friendship and how it can change lives. The story of friends Tanner Wilson and Brandon Qualls has gained national attention and warmed hearts across social media because of Tanner's selfless act. Brandon, who uses a wheelchair to get around, has been using a hand-push model for years. The chair was becoming kind of a pain for Brandon as he had to push his way down the halls from class to class around Caddo Hills High School.
"My arms would get really tired," Brandon told News9 TV. Tanner spent two years of savings from his job -- working part-time at a local car mechanic shop -- to buy Brandon an electric wheelchair last month, his mother Colleen Carmack told CNN.
Tanner presented the new wheelchair to Brandon in front of his classmates -- which was a complete surprise for Brandon.
"They came in and my face just blew up," Brandon told News9. "I was just crying everywhere. I was like, 'Wow I can't believe he did that for me.' "It's been my dream to just have one of these," Brandon said. "And my dream came true." When you watch Brandon and Tanner fist bump as they walk down the halls of Caddo High, it's obvious how tight these friends are. But Tanner's gift clearly went above and beyond the norm. "He's just been a really good friend and I wanted to do him a favor," Tanner said. "I just felt like I needed to do it. ... Brandon, he's just always been there for me."
Carmack told CNN that her son Tanner has been uplifted by all the media attention, and smiles when he reads messages people have posted online about his good deed. "They both deserve the attention because they're both great and wonderful kids," Carmack said.
Is she surprised at her son's behavior? Not at all. "That's him. He's always been about everybody else and not himself," she said. "We let him know, you get nowhere being mean." She said Tanner has "had some bad experiences over the last year, so him being able to help somebody else has really brought him out -- being able to know that he made a difference. And I can see a difference in him -- like wanting to get out and do more.
"We're talking about college. He's had that goal, but he's talking about it more now."
Tanner and Brandon have been friends for years, Carmack said. "They talk about cars a lot and trucks and that kind of stuff. I'm really proud of both of them." Carmack said she has a wish for Brandon: a vehicle that can transport his new wheels. "His parents don't have a way to get his wheelchair home," she said. "It is stuck at school right now. Their vehicle is not wheelchair accessible."
Ginger Wray, one of Brandon's teachers, told KTHV she collaborated on the good deed by tricking out the chair with orange flames on the fenders and his last name "Qualls" emblazoned on the back. Teacher Kathy Baker told KARK.com that this sort of behavior isn't new for Tanner. "He loves to do for others," Baker said. "He is just a great young man."
Tanner simply wishes "people would care more about others, than just themselves." His selfless act will have longterm benefits. "It's awesome," Brandon told News9, adding that he's still getting used to driving his new wheels. "I may hit a few doors, but it's worth it." Tanner's gift has also created a stir among his other classmates. "Everybody keeps asking me, 'Was it worth it? Was it worth it?' "Yeah," he said. "100%."
Father God, in Jesus' name, Lord, we pray, please send a special blessing to Tanner for his selfless act. And, Lord, please make the way for those with disabilities and let anyone in a hand-push wheelchair be able to have a free electric wheelchair we pray, in Jesus' name, Amen.
Nothing is impossible with God! Keep reading your Bible for strength and encouragement - and keep doing selfless acts for others!
NJ Students Shovel Driveway for Neighbor on Dialysis...
Story Shared via ABC News: BOONTON, New Jersey (WABC) -- There were plenty of ways to spend Monday's snow day, with many kids grabbing the sled or hitting the ski slopes. But one group of New Jersey high school students woke up before the crack of dawn to help shovel out a neighbor in need, and their selfless act is spreading a message of kindness.
They helped Natalie Blair make it to her dialysis appointment, despite the several inches of snow that fell. Parsippany high school senior Patrick Lanigan pulled an up all night sleepover to make sure Natalie's driveway was cleared before 6 a.m. Monday. "We stayed up playing video games and I think we were all up 4:30 and I think we finished around 5," said Patrick.
"I looked out the front window and I'm like, the whole driveway's clear," said Natalie, who is awaiting a kidney transplant. "And then I found out from my husband there were four of them with Patrick. Oh there were five of you, seriously?"
The students made it fun but it truly was a life or death situation for Patrick's neighbor and it took all of them to clear the long driveway. "We just wanted to help out his neighbor, do something good, do a good deed,"said Parsippany high school senior Tyler Grieco.
"When I came out here at 6 a.m., the whole driveway was completely clear so I could get out," said Natalie. "And I did. I got to dialysis safely." Patrick and his brother have been seeing after their neighbors, the Blairs, for years. "He's a wonderful young man," said Natalie. "He's an example of what we have that we never talk about."
Father God, we pray for these students. Please bless them for their kind act. We also pray it inspires others to look out for senior neighbors and those in need. And, please bless Ms. Natalie with her transplant right away. We lift up all transplant patients to You, Lord. We know nothing is impossible for You. You said in our March Newsletter to come to the altar. You said miracles were occurring and sicknesses like cancers were being healed. Thank You, Lord. We know by Jesus' stripes, we are healed in Jesus' name, Amen.
Devastating Church Fire - And Not a Single Bible or Cross Burned
Story Shared via ABC News: DANIELS, West Virginia -- Firefighters in West Virginia were stunned after they found a pile of Bibles untouched by the flames that sparked inside a church. Coal City Fire Department responded to a fire at Freedom Ministries Church on Sunday morning.
On Facebook, the fire department wrote that at one point, the building was so hot that firefighters had to evacuate. Miraculously, firefighters discovered that not a single Bible or cross was burned in the church. The fire department wrote that "though odds were against us, God was not. "They are now looking into what caused the fire.
A Student Couldn't Find a Sitter. So His Professor Held His Daughter While He Took Notes...
Image: Wayne Hayer helps fasten his daughter Assata into a harness worn by his professor, Nathan Alexander. The professor offered to carry the baby during class so Hayer could take notes.
Story shared via CNN: It's not the first time it's happened. Nor will it be the last. But it's a viral moment that speaks to so many things: lack of childcare. The drive to seek an education. And compassion from others. With midterms looming, Wayne Hayer didn't want to miss his algebra class Friday at Morehouse College in Atlanta and couldn't find childcare for his five-month-old daughter. It was an important class, since they were reviewing content for the upcoming midterms. So he brought her along.
After Hayer explained his situation, Professor Nathan Alexander offered to hold little Assata and taught the rest of the class with the baby strapped to his chest. Students in the class began posting images on social media showing the professor carrying the little girl. And a viral moment was born. "My professor NATHAN ALEXANDER said 'I'll hold her so you can take good notes!'" one student said on Twitter. His post has been retweeted more than 70,000 times.
"It was this encounter that truly showed me the power and impact HBCU's can have for the black community, for this professor to understand that life happens and sometimes there are just no ways around it," another student posted on Facebook, using an acronym for historically black colleges and universities such as Morehouse. The photos even reached Morehouse College President David Thomas, who tweeted, "This is about #love and #commitment. Loving our students and being committed to removing any barrier to their pursuit of excellence"
It was the perfect storm of events that day for Hayer, 26. His wife, Firda, had errands to run, he had his class to attend and they couldn't find a babysitter in time. So Hayer threw his backpack on, strapped Assata into her carrier and the two adventured off to college. "I was nervous to go to class," Hayer, a senior majoring in kinesiology, told CNN. "Morehouse is an all-male college and seeing me with a baby strapped to me would make all eyes be on me." Hayer's first class was canceled, so he and his daughter hung out in the student lounge while he did his coursework. His next class is when the viral moment happened.
Alexander told CNN that "part of my role and goal as educator is to provide opportunities for students. We work to build a community in class." Although Alexander is the one in the photo, he said the episode really shows the hard work that Hayer puts in every day. "He works two jobs, is a full time student, is involved in leadership programs at school and is a parent," the professor said. "This photo serves as a reminder of what parents have to do every day and how important it is to have affordable childcare." On top of it all, baby Assata was the perfect student and didn't distract from the day's lesson. "She was really behaved and even started to fall asleep at the end," said Alexander. "We had a bottle ready on standby, if needed. We enjoyed having her energy in class."
Couple Buys 45 Hotel Rooms for Oregon Homeless in Snow
Shared via ABC News: MEDFORD, Oregon -- Amberly and Ryan Batten are being praised in their community after paying for 45 rooms at Americas Best Value Inn in order to get homeless people off the snowy streets. KOBI reports that Amberly felt she had to do something after she saw "some posts about some people who were homeless that were contemplating suicide because they were cold and didn't have anywhere to go" and that "hit something in [her] core."
Melissa Mayne, the founder of Compassion Highway Project, was very thankful for her generosity, saying, "[she] was so afraid to lose them all" due to the extremely cold temperatures. Many people in the community stepped in to help the Battens, along with other families, by sponsoring rooms at Americas Best Value Inn for homeless. The Inn lowered room rates to $45 in order to make it easier for people to pay for rooms.
The Joy Riders Club also donated more than 52 pizzas to feed those who were staying at the hotel. One of the many people staying in the hotel that night was 8-year-old Osiris Lewis, who was particularly excited to stay in a room because the next day was his birthday. "It's my birthday tomorrow and I'd like to not spend my birthday in a vehicle. I'd like to be in a room," Osiris said.
God bless this couple and the workers that made it possible for the homeless to be safe. We keep all homeless people uplifted in prayer especially with this brutal winter in some parts. Remember, Jesus said, "What you do to the least of these, you do to me." And, in our March Newsletter, Father God said, "Stand even if you have to do it all by yourself."
After Responding to a Call, Police Officer Played Dolls with Kids
Story Shared via CNN: This Virginia police officer's motto: To protect and serve -- and then play dolls. South Hill Police Cpl. C.B. Fleming is being praised by the community after a video emerged showing him laying on the ground playing with children. On Valentine's Day, Fleming was responding to a report of a gas leak at an apartment complex, and once the area was deemed safe, he took a moment to play with the kids before heading back out.
"I was telling him that my daughter, my niece, and some of the other children here were afraid of cops," Iesha Roper-Boswell, who recorded the video, told CNN affiliate WTVR. "So when he came and played with them, I captured that moment, not because I thought it would go viral, but it was amazing that my niece didn't break out into tears."
Officer Fleming showed off his art skills by coloring with some boys and even played dolls with the girls. "When I got into this job, I knew there was something different, other than just writing tickets and being the bad person all the time," Fleming, a 15-year veteran in the department, told WTVR. "I figured if I could be that bright spot in someone's day, then that's all that mattered."
CNN affiliate WTVR went out to the apartment complex to speak to Fleming and the neighborhood kids immediately swarmed him. "He's awesome. That's the only word you can really use to describe C.B.," said Roper-Boswell. "It's just amazing, the bond he has with the children."
Teen Makes $35,000 in 4-Days Plowing Snow, Credits God...
Shared via CNN and KIRO Radio: Seattle has been suffering through its snowiest February in 70 years, with accumulations of up to 10 inches in some places. But all that white has meant green for one young man with a snowplow, who says he made $35,000 in four days.
David Holston, 18, works as a landscaper and plowing snow in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Holston was in Seattle visiting his mother, who was recovering from surgery. "I was in the hospital when my friend Steve called me and gave me the idea of bringing my plow truck to Seattle," Holston said.
Holston received calls to clear snow-covered driveways and parking lots, and said he plowed 15 sites over four days last week. At rates of $500 to $750 an hour, he said he brought in $35,000. Holston said he plans to donate 20% to his church, buy some lawn equipment, and will save the rest to put toward his first house. Holston credits his faith for his success and said his theme Bible verse for the trip is Luke 12:31: "But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well." He said, "The Lord blessed me with the money for the sole purpose of advancing his kingdom. All of the glory goes to God!"
The phone began ringing off the hook, and Holston was soon plowing parking lots for Amazon buildings, a Walgreen’s, a motel, a car dealership, a daycare, and many other businesses. He worked 12-hour days — even 24 hours straight at one point — and still did not run out of customers, he told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson.
“I could have employed five plow trucks,” Holston said. “If I had a whole crew, I would have sent them all over to Seattle.” With the region less-equipped to handle major snow events than other areas of the country, business owners were desperate to get the Idahoan’s help clearing away the snow.
At $750 per hour, it was a lucrative gig. Over the course of four days, “the Lord blessed me with about $35,000,” Holston said. The snowplow was not, however, a one-time windfall — er, snowfall. The ambitious teen has his own business license (and insurance), plowing snow by winter and mowing lawns by summer.
“My parents taught me to work … you need to get out there and plow your field, make your living,” he said. Holston hopes to make it to $100,000 by the end of 2019. At one-third of the way there in just the second month of the year, he’s off to a great head-start — and another round of Seattle snow would get him even closer. If snow falls over the Emerald City again this year, Holston plans to come back to town.
Despite his young age, he has quite a head for business; he plans to invest the profits into his business. “This year, I’m hoping to expand my business, hire some brothers, and then go to town, bringing more customers in,” he said. “We’ll see what the Lord has in store.”
Heartwarming Airport Exchange Between Tiny Tot and Stranger
The kindness of a man toward Kevin Armentrout's toddler daughter has reminded him that we should "embrace our differences." Armentrout, an author and motivational speaker, was traveling from Las Vegas to San Diego with his wife and 16-month-old daughter when they met a man at an airport gate.
"I just put her down, let her walk and followed behind her but I was anxious about her touching people's stuff and not everyone wants a kid slamming into their knees," Armentrout told "GMA." "But as she approached him, he said, 'You want to sit next to me?'"
Armentrout said his daughter, Carter Jean, and the stranger spent the next 45 minutes together, watching cartoons on the man's tablet and eating snacks. In a Facebook post that's since been shared 65,000 times, Armentrout wrote: "Watching them in that moment, I couldn’t help but think, different genders, different races, different generations, and the best of friends. This is the world I want for her.
In a country that is continuously fed that it’s so deeply divided by beliefs, I want her life to be filled with moments like this... not liberal or conservative republican or democrat, socialist or capitalist, just HUMAN." Some comments have criticized Armentrout for pointing out the two have different racial backgrounds. He said these people are missing the point.
"It's like we can’t communicate about differences because we have been pretending they don’t exist," he said. "They do exist, and we should embrace them, whether it's race, religion or politics." Since the post has gone viral, Armentrout said he has spoken to the man in the photo who he identified as Joseph Pat Wright. "He's a man filled with love and compassion," Armentrout said.
But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 19:14.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13
Firefighter's Heart-Warming Sign Language Exchange with Young Boy
Story Shared via Yahoo News: Heartwarming footage of a firefighter communicating with a non-verbal boy in sign language has been captured by the child’s mother. Firefighters came to an apartment in New Hampshire, in the US, where the building’s alarms went off, mum Amy McCall wrote on Twitter on Thursday.
Lieutenant Mike Rheault used American Sign Language to communicate with Ms McCall’s nine-year-old son, Tegan Kerr. Tegan has cerebral palsy and cannot speak, local outlet WMUR9 reported. “The Manchester Fire Department responded to our building tonight when three floors of alarms were going off,” Mum Amy McCall tweeted on Thursday as she posted the video.
“Firefighter Mike noticed Tegan not speaking and asked if he knew sign language right before I recorded this. “Thank you Fireman Mike.” Tegan spoke with the kind-hearted firefighter at the door while his mother filmed the exchange. “My name is M-I-K-E, Mike,” Lt Rheault says as he signs.
The boy proceeds to spell his name in sign language for the firefighter. “One more, one more. Do you know the sign for fireman?” the firefighter asks the boy before teaching him the word in sign language. The happy pair then high-five before the firefighter leaves. Lt Rheault learned sign language as a child because his mother and father were deaf, US outlet Boston 25 news reported.
The video was originally posted on Twitter by Ms McCall on January 31 and was viewed over 57,000 times. Social media users were delighted by the feel good moment. “This makes my heart happy,” one social media user tweeted. “Humanity at its best,” another tweeted. “This is so heartwarming,” one Twitter user said.
God bless this firefighter and all rescue personnel that go out of their way to help others. We pray that more people will take up sign language as a way to communicate with others.
Good Samaritan Pays for 70 Homeless in Chicago to Stay in Hotel During Freezing Cold Snap
Story Shared via CNN When a fire forced dozens of homeless people to leave their tents in Chicago's South Loop neighborhood, Jackie Rachev at the local Salvation Army was ready to welcome them. Little did she know a Good Samaritan was paying to put them up in hotel rooms.
It's been brutally cold in Chicago, with temperatures of 20-25 below zero on Wednesday. The homeless encampment near the Dan Ryan Expressway was heated by 150 to 200 portable propane tanks -- many of them donated by generous citizens. Shortly after noon, one of the tanks in the tent city exploded because it was too close to a space heater, CNN affiliate WLS reported. That left city officials with no option but to close the encampment and hurry to find shelter for the people living there.
"This is extremely unsafe," said Major David Byrd, the Illinois State Police Region commander. Thankfully, no one was injured in the explosion. Rachev said she received a call from the city asking her to help provide shelter for around 70 people. But later she got another call saying it was no longer necessary -- because a Good Samaritan had offered to pay for hotel rooms.
"The Salvation Army was prepared to welcome approximately 70 individuals who were affected by the explosion, but was notified those services were not necessary as the individuals were already being taken of," Rachev told CNN. "We are thrilled that they are safe and warm." Rachev said she did not know the identity of the Good Samaritan or which hotel the homeless people were booked in. Nor was it clear Thursday how long they will be staying at the hotel.
"We know Chicagoans have very big hearts, but we ask that they do not provide propane tanks, as they are very dangerous,' she said, "During extreme cold weather, we understand that people want to help our homeless population. However, we ask that under no circumstance should you donate propane tanks which are potential fire hazards. Propane tanks can cause potential fires and explosions."
Her words echo those of the Chicago Fire Department, which in a tweet said: "During extreme cold weather, we understand that people want to help our homeless population. However, we ask that under no circumstance should you donate propane tanks which are potential fire hazards. Propane tanks can cause potential fires and explosions." CNN has reached out to the city of Chicago to get more information about the mystery Good Samaritan and will update the article accordingly.
Father God, please bless the workers who tried to ensure the safety of all homeless people. And, please bless this good Samaritan and all those go out of their way to help others.
Firefighters Shovel Snow for New Mom
Story Shared via CNN An extremely cold weather descends on much of the United States, one Iowa family had a heartwarming experience they will never forget. Scotty Abram and his expectant wife, Cassy, had just returned home from a Cedar Rapids hospital. It looked like their son, Scotty Jr., was not quite ready to make his first appearance.
Just minutes later, after calling first responders, Scotty found himself delivering the baby, Cassy's aunt Larissa Ruffin told CNN. "EMT arrived about 10 minutes later and they let dad cut the umbilical cord on the living room floor," said Ruffin.
Firefighters from the Cedar Rapids Fire Department were also on hand for the delivery Monday, the department said in a Facebook post.
And as mother and baby were being wheeled out of their house to go back to the hospital, they saw a scene they'll never forget. "After they got mom and baby in warm blankets on the stretcher and 'Dr. Dad' was ready to go, we went outside and saw the firemen finishing shoveling their long drive," said Ruffin. "I was in such awe of their selflessness! It's amazing what some will do for others without knowing anything about them. It was not their job to come and shovel."
Ruffin added that everyone was so nervous and excited that they never gave a thought to the driveway. The fire department said the two firefighters in the photo had responded to the scene in their own vehicles. "The weather is cold, but this should warm your heart!" the department said in its Facebook post. Scotty Jr. weighed in at 6 pounds and was 18 inches long. "Everyone is healthy and happy," said Ruffin. "It's the little things that touch you in a moment like that."
Woman Turns in $8,000 to Widow - Very Touching Story
Story Shared via ABC News: GLOVERSVILLE, New York (KTRK) -- What would you do if $8,000 fell from the sky? One good Samaritan made sure the rightful owner of the money got it back. A woman whose husband died in a limousine crash that killed 20 people lost the money just before a cruise they'd planned as a honeymoon.
Kim Steenburg left her home with $8,500 in an envelope to deposit in the bank. Most of it was to pay her dad's property taxes, but some of it was for the honeymoon cruise she'd planned with her late husband. Steenburg said she was so busy buckling her niece into her car seat that she left the envelope on top of the car. At the bank, her heart sank. The money was gone.
Frantically, she called her sister to go back to a stretch of Route 30A to search for the money. She said her sister found people grabbing cash along the side of the road. One of those people was Terri Brubaker. Brubaker says she was driving along the road to pick up her daughter's prescription from a local pharmacy when she saw cash flying in the air - 20s, 50s, 100s.
She stopped immediately and starting grabbing as much money as she could for about five minutes before other cars stopped to help. Across the busy intersection she saw more people collecting money. She called the Fulton County Sheriff's Office and showed up to report the loss at the same time that Steenburg did to file a police report. Steenburg got all her money except for $500 back.
Both women are widows. Brubaker lost her husband of nearly 25 years in 2011, according to his obituary. Steenburg tried to give Brubaker some money as a thank you, but she left immediately. Sheriff Richard C. Giardino told the Times Union he knew both of the women previously. He said that if it had been someone other than Brubaker who stopped, the money might not have made it back to Steenburg - which would have been one more loss upon many for her.
"It's been difficult for all the families involved and then to lose the money, if only for a few minutes, is enough to add to the heartbreak," Giardino said. Steenburg was planning to join her husband in the limo to celebrate her sister-in-law Amy Steenburg's 30th birthday that fateful day in October, but didn't go because she had a headache.
Rich and Kim Steenburg were married in June 2016 and had planned to go on the cruise for their honeymoon with Rich's younger brother Axel Steenburg and his wife Amy, who were married in June 2018. They were both killed in the Oct. 6 Schoharie limo crash alongside Rich. The crash killed 20 people - including two people in the parking lot of the Apple Barrel Country store - when the limo drove off of the road at the intersection of routes 30 and 30A and crashed into a ditch.
Kim Steenburg is on the cruise now with her sisters and their husbands and a couple of Amy's friends. She brought along Rich, Axel and Amy's ashes to scatter in the ocean. "I plan on doing something special," Steenburg said. "I don't know what it is yet. I feel like when I get there, and when I experience it, that's when I'm going to know."
Nurse Credits God with Helping Her Save Injured State Trooper
Image Credit: ABC News
Story Shared via ABC News: BEAUVUE, North Carolina -- Authorities have made three arrests in connection with the shooting of a third-generation North Carolina Highway Patrol trooper, and the heroic nurse who helped save him is speaking out. Sherice Richardson was driving on Haynes Road near Beauvue on Monday night, headed to Rocky Mount to pick up her toddler, when she came across Trooper Daniel Harrell's car moments after he had been shot.
"God put me on that road for a reason at that time," she said. "I left the house at about 5:15, and I go on some country roads. I was going around the curve, passing blue lights, and so I slowed down some more. Then I got out of the car, that's when I seen the bullet holes in the windshield. I didn't know it at the time, but when I got to the car, he just had blood coming from his face. And I was like 'Oh my God, are you OK?' And all I could hear him say was 'I'm hit, I'm hit.' I was like, we need to give him help, so I called 911."
Luckily for Trooper Harrell, Richardson is a registered nurse. "He had gauze in his car, so I instructed another bystander to put pressure on his face while I was on the phone with EMS," she said. "He was able to hold it himself, actually, and I sat there and comforted him." Richardson waited until EMS arrived.
"It was weird," she said. "You're sitting here with someone that is supposed to protect you, and he's down but you've got to do something. I'm just thankful. I had him in my prayers. I'm just grateful he made it out so fast." Harrell was released from the hospital earlier Wednesday. He was shot while conducting a traffic stop.
Wilson County Sheriff Calvin Woodard Jr. says 36-year-old John David Jones was arrested around midnight and charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injuries and assault on a law enforcement officer. Authorities also arrested 25-year-old Bryan Mullins and 40-year-old William Boswell, who are charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle.
Baby Erupts in Laughter After Hearing for the First Time
Image Credit: Fox News
Story Shared via Fox News: "We have spent the last 8 months going back and forth to Athens, Milledgeville, and Augusta to try to figure out where she was on the spectrum,” Carol Benjamin, Scarlet's mother, told Fox 5 Atlanta. “No one could get a good read on her scans.”
According to Benjamin, her daughter had contracted necrotizing enterocolitis after birth, and the medication that she needed to treat the intestinal infection caused hearing loss. In the video posted to Facebook, baby Scarlet can be seen and heard erupting in laughter at the sound of her mother and big sister’s voices after being fitted with her hearing aids.
“It’s been a long and emotional experience,” Benjamin wrote, in part, on Facebook. “She reacted to most sounds so we thought she could hear fairly well. After what I witness today, it was not as well as I thought. Hearing aids make a WORLD of difference!”Benjamin went on to thank Atlanta Hearing Associates for “one of the absolute best days of our lives.”
9-Year-Old Credited with Saving Grandmother
Image Credit: ABC News
Story Shared via ABC News: CHESTER, Pennsylvania -- A 9-year-old girl says she knew something was wrong when she arrived at her grandmother's Delaware County house before school last week. What she did with that information took courage and might have very well saved her grandmother's life. Donna Davis dropped her daughter Cayla off at her mother's house in Chester on her way to work as she usually does.
"I dropped her off and I saw her go through the gate. And I figured she'd be OK," said Donna. But Cayla found the house dark and silent. The doors were locked and there was no sign of her grandmother. "I didn't see anything. I didn't hear anything," said Cayla Davis-Clark. "I just kept hearing my mom calling and calling and calling." Donna was calling to make sure her daughter was safely inside. She wasn't. Cayla checked all the doors, but couldn't get in. That's when the 9-year-old saw a small window above the front door and hatched a plan to try to get inside her grandmother's house.
Cayla climbed onto a bench that sits on her grandmother's porch, then onto the handle of the front door, and then she made her way onto the door's paneling. Cayla then pushed in the window and jumped into the house. Amazingly, Cayla found a way for her body to get through the window feet first. She then hoisted herself down. Once inside, Cayla found her grandmother Joyce Ann Davis suffering from an aneurysm. Meanwhile, police were on their way as the child's window break-in had triggered an alarm.
Once on the scene, Cayla tossed the arriving officers the keys to the house through the same window. Police made their way inside and Joyce was rushed to the hospital. Cayla's family has no doubt her actions saved her grandmother's life. "There's no doubt in my mind that Cayla is my little angel," said Donna. "A hero. She's a 'she-ro,' 'cause girls rule. We rock." Joyce is still recovering in the hospital. Donna says it's safe to assume her mother wouldn't have even made to the hospital and had a chance had it not been for Cayla.
Community Raises $35G for Walmart Cashier Who Paid for Woman's Bill: 'Lord Told Me I Had to Help Her'
Image Credit: Fox News
Story Shared via Fox News: A teenage cashier working at a Princeton, Texas, Walmart to pay for college was rewarded by his community for an act of kindness that went viral on Facebook.
John Lopez, Jr., 19, picked up a woman's $110 grocery bill when he noticed that she didn't have enough money ahead of Christmas. “She started crying and I was like ‘OK, I got you – I got you’,” he told CBS 11. “I just felt in my heart that the Lord told me I had to help her.”Another shopper, Laci Simms, snapped a photo of John and posted it on social media.
“I just witnessed this ‘kid’ pay for a cart of merchandise for a woman in obvious distress about her inability to pay,” Simms wrote. “She was a few people ahead of us and when she had trouble paying her bill, he stepped in and told her if she’d wait, he would pay her total. Ya’ll, it was $110 dollars!”
She said Lopez is always upbeat, courteous and efficient. “He just renewed my faith in humanity and the generation we are raising! Everyone share this so the world knows what a blessing John is to our community!”
The post quickly went viral. Brandon Weddle, another customer who frequently interacted with Lopez, shared that he and his wife have talked about how kind he is and set up a GoFundMe page as a chance to give back to him.
"He touches a lot of lives on a daily basis," Weddle wrote. "I'd like to give back to him for constantly giving himself to our community. Any little bit would be much appreciated. He is also trying to save money to put himself into college. Let's come together as a community and pay John's tuition. He will do big things!"
Within hours, the Princeton community quickly surpassed the initial goal of $1,000. The fundraiser has collected more than $35,000.Walmart held a special event to honor Lopez. The city's mayor and the police department presented him with a certificate and a medallion, and the funds were transferred to his account, which he said will go toward college.
"I am so glad everyone is seeing what a blessing John is to our community!" Simms told Fox News. "This is how humans should interact. With love and kindness and without judgment."
Real Estate Broker and Man Who Returned $10,000 Check Help the Homeless
Image Credit: CBS News
Story Shared via CBS News: New Haven, Conn. — Many homeless people are haunted by drug addiction, mental illness or a criminal past. Indeed, Elmer Alvarez knows those demons all too well. But he said just because a person is without a home, it doesn't mean they're void of character. For example, the day he found a check for $10,000, he said the first thing that came to mind was, "I got to look for this person." He said it never crossed his mind to try and get it cashed.
"It never crossed my mind because I made a decision to turn my life over. I've been clean for three years," Elmer said. The money belonged to New Haven, Connecticut, real estate broker Roberta Hoskie. She recorded her meeting with the good Samaritan. "I expected to find a guy all nice, clean shaven and blue suit like you," she said. Instead she got Elmer, who cried when Roberta offered him a reward.
"It shattered the stereotypes," Roberta said. This all happened about a year ago. But the best part of the story is what has happened since. She helped him find an apartment and paid his rent for seven months until he was back on his feet. She also put him through real estate school, and together, they're now working on a little real estate project. It won't make them a dime, but it could be very rewarding.
In the next year, they plan to build a transitional house for homeless teenagers and young adults that will provide all kinds of services that Elmer said are crucial. "I know what it is to be homeless. Nobody deserves to live like that," he said. Roberta could not agree more. "Because I remember. I remember what it felt like to be in that shelter," she said.
Before she built her multi-million dollar company, Roberta was also homeless — a teenage mom who worked her way out of poverty and is now offering Elmer a chance to make his dream come true as well. Eventually, he'll serve as an adviser at the transitional house. A lost check and a found purpose.
Florida Woman Meets the 'Angel' 911 Dispatcher Who Brought Rescuers to Her Submerged Car
Image Credit: ABC News
Story Shared via ABC News: A Florida woman who had been trapped upside-down in her submerged car met the 911 dispatcher on Thursday who kept her calm in the harrowing moments just before she was rescued. Water was quickly filling the car where Amanda Antonio, 20, was stuck at 4 a.m. ET in Tampa on Tuesday but with the help of dispatcher Cheyanne Allen, the motorist was eventually pulled from danger.
"I just want to say thank you to the dispatch lady and everyone who helped me that night — the fire rescuers, the dive team, the police officers standing behind me," said a tearful Antonio. "She was the first angel that I met that night and she brought everyone else to me. I don't think I would have been able to make it." Allen said her primary goal to remain cool and focused.
"I know I had to keep calm, to keep her calm," the dispatcher said. "I had to keep it together." There was a 30-second span where Antonio remained silent and first responders hadn't yet arrived when Allen said she feared for the worst. But moments later, Allen heard the voices of deputies at the scene, signaling that Antonio was going to be OK.
Antonio was pulled to safety by Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputies Jeremy Pollack, Chris Sullivan and Ryan Cooper, who she also met again on Thursday. "When she stopped talking to me I felt my whole body just sink into my chair," Allen said. "It was a stressful situation and I'm glad it turned out the way it did."
Image Credit: ABC News
Antonio was coming home from a New Year's Eve party when she lost control of her Toyota Scion, and it flipped near Exit 7 of Interstate 4. As water began to fill the car, Antonio said she couldn't find her phone — but used her AppleWatch to ping and find it for the life-saving 911 call.
Sheriff's deputies did not administer a field sobriety test on Tuesday because Antonio showed no signs of impairment, department spokesman Daniel Alvarez said. "If she were even a little drunk, she'd be dead," said Alvarez, crediting Antonio's fast thinking for using her watch to find her phone under water. "Even sober, I wouldn't ever have thought of that."
Single Mom of 3 Gifted With New Car Thanks to Secret Santa
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Story Shared via Inside Edition: A single mom who works three jobs was surprised with a new car, thanks to a Secret Santa. Kacie Kite, who has been relying on relatives' vehicles since hers died, was surprised with the gift while at a JCPenney salon, where she works as a stylist.
Nate Eaton with East Idaho News has been helping spread holiday cheer in the area for the past few years. This year a Secret Santa is handing out $250,000 and a few cars.
Minnesota Couple, Wedding Guests Pack Meals For Starving Children
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Story Shared via Patch News: Instead of showering Minnesota newlyweds Adam Claude and Chara Juneau with rice after their New Year's Eve nuptials, the guests put on plastic hair nets and packed it in meals that will feed dozens of starving children in Sierra Leone for a year. The Twin Cities couple decided to hold their wedding at the Feed My Starving Children headquarters in Coon Rapids, where they met in 2017 while packing meals for the international Christian charity. Claude, 37, and Juneau, 35, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune they're minimalists and wanted a wedding that would reflect their shared values. It didn't make sense for them to spend a lot of money on a wedding — something Juneau is very familiar with as a wedding photographer.
They had considered a courthouse wedding until Judy Watke, the development director at Feed My Starving Children, suggested the couple get married at the place where their love blossomed. They've spent Valentine's Days together packing meals, and Claude even proposed to Juneau at Feed My Starving Children. "We wanted the day to mean something," Juneau told the Star Tribune of the wedding at Feed My Starving Children, founded in 1987 to provide nutritionally complete meals that are specifically formulated to meet the needs of malnourished children like those in Sierra Leone. The pre-packaged meals of rice, soy, dried vegetables and vitamins are sent to more than 70 countries.
"Everyone does something that's special to them or special to their family," Juneau told television station KSMP. "People have traditions and I wanted ours to be us and be unique to us and that this is something we love and something we care about. We have had a lot of date nights here. It's part of our relationship, so it just felt perfect to have it be exactly that."
Claude, who owns an IT consulting firm, said the more he and Juneau kicked around the idea of getting married at the group's Coon Rapids headquarters, the more logical Watke's off-handed suggestion became. "We thought, 'Why don't we do something different?' " Claude told the Star Tribune. "We would rather go to Feed My Starving Children and use it as an opportunity to pack meals. We'd rather raise money for kids and use this as an opportunity to serve."
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Their friends and family loved the idea. The 22,000 meals they packed will feed 60 children in Sierra Leone for a year. Nearly half of all child deaths in the West Africa nation are due to malnutrition, and nearly one-third of children under 5 are chronically malnourished.
The couple's only regret is they hadn't invited more people so more meals could have been assembled, they told KSMP. The newlyweds added a few twinkling lights and some tulle to give the room where meals are packaged a more festive appearance, but Juneau told she Star Tribune she wanted the place to "still feel like Feed My Starving Children."
"The whole thing cost very little money," Claude told Yahoo Lifestyle. "I didn't want to start our lives in debt. It was a great way to generate money — rather than spending thousands of dollars, we could raise thousands of dollars." For their honeymoon, the couple will travel to the Virgin Islands. Claude submitted the winning bid for the trip at Feed My Starving Children's annual gala and auction. The trip is for January, so they had to move their wedding ahead to make everything coincide.
The couple want to raise $1 million for starving children and have set up a page on Feed My Starving Children to accept donations. More than $115,000 had been raised Wednesday evening. A single meal costs only 22 cents, Claude said.
New Dad Gets New Car After His Bursts Into Flames in Hospital Parking Garage
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Story Shared via Inside Edition: Well, that was certainly enough excitement for one holiday season. Within 48 hours, Travis Trent became a father for the first time and watched in horror as his beloved BMW burst into flames in the parking structure of the Washington hospital where his girlfriend was recovering in the maternity ward. He had been sitting in his car with the heater running when it froze up and the blower motor "made a screeching sound," Trent told Inside Edition.com Tuesday. He turned the ignition off.
"I figured something bad was about to happen," said the 24-year-old heating and air conditioning technician. "Then smoke started to come out of the dashboard." When he opened the glove box, he said he could see orange flames. So he hightailed it up to the roof of the garage, where his smoldering car wouldn't endanger other vehicles. He popped the hood, pulled out his girlfriend's makeup kit and the baby car seat, then stood back as his 2000 BMW 528 went up in a blaze of glory.
"I probably had a minute from the time it started smoking until it burst into flames," Trent said. As it turned out, he didn't have to wait long for his thoughtfulness in moving his burning car was rewarded beyond anything he could have imagined. His brother works for a car dealership. When Nathan Craig, the owner of Sunset Auto Wholesale in Tacoma, heard about Trent's loss, he decided to donate a new vehicle to the new dad.
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It just so happened that Craig had the same BMW model on his lot. It was also the same year and the same color as Trent's ruined ride. His brother and others at the auto business staged an elaborate ruse, telling Trent to stop by and pick up some baby gifts. Reporters had been invited to hear Trent's fire story, they said. But when Trent arrived, he was handed a set of keys. He was overcome with emotion. "I'm overly grateful. I would never have thought this would happen," he said.
His daughter, born on Christmas Day, is named Kennedy and she is "healthy and happy and beautiful," said her proud father. Sometimes, when he's tooling around town in his new car, which is the twin of his old car, he thinks he dreamed the whole fire thing. "It's perfect. It's a good car. But it kind of messes with me ... because it's the same exact car," he said.
Good Samaritans Return Christmas Gifts that Fell from Back of SUV on Long Island
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Story Shared via ABC News: NORTHPORT, Long Island (WABC) --
Good Samaritans stepped in to help when a family on Long Island lost their Christmas presents from the back of their SUV.
Surveillance video shows the gifts tumbling out the back of the vehicle as it rounded a corner in Northport on Tuesday night. Police say the people in the car were apparently unaware and kept on driving. The driver of another vehicle saw what happened and pulled over. Three people got out and picked up all the gifts and took them to the Northport police station.
Officials say the good Samaritans posted on Facebook about the presents and that they were turned over to the police. The owner of the gifts got word of what happened and called police. He was reunited with the packages on Wednesday morning. The good Samaritans asked to remain anonymous, but Northport Police Chief Bill Ricca had something to say about them: "It's apparent that these were Elves, who were on their way back to the Northpole, when they stopped to spread just a little more Christmas cheer for total strangers."