Yesterday, I was literally in a fit of rage, even my fingertips were spitting and sputtering, as the man-who-would-be-king did his best to send me to my ash bottle in a fit of apoplexy. And then … I remembered that today is Wednesday and that I needed to start work on my weekly ‘good people’ post. At first, I thought “No way!!!” … but then I remembered the words of several of my friends and fellow bloggers who, just last week, told me that this feature may be among the most important things I do – reminding us all that there are, indeed, good people out there who care about others. And so, I picked myself up, dusted my knees, took a deep breath, and went in search of. And today, I find my inspiration to be better, to do better, comes from young people, as it so often does …
Remember when you were ten years old? Nah, me neither. But I do know this much … at age ten, I likely did not know what an architect was. Ten-year-old Jordan Jennings, of Huntsville, Alabama, has two passions and architecture is one of them. The other one is helping people. And Jordan has combined his two passions into something that will blow your mind!
Jordan designs emergency shelter and mobile furniture for homeless people. He has designed a four-season tent that can fit inside a backpack and be used as emergency shelter when an individual does not have a home or space in a shelter. In addition to creating the four-season tent, Jordan has designed light weight modular furniture that can be used in emergency housing and shelters. Jordan designs with one goal in mind: to make architecture designs that serve those with the greatest need. Remember, this kid is only ten!!!
Jordan’s work recognizes that homeless individuals cannot always access supplies. Often there are not enough beds in shelters, so his four-season tent fulfills a great need for easily portable shelter. When an individual does have a bed in a shelter, many shelters have limited resources and can only provide just a bed to sleep in, not any other furniture that may make a space feel more like a home. This lack of furniture leaves children that live in shelters without a space to do homework or play. Jordan’s modular furniture provides an alternative solution.
Jordan’s inventions have been such a success that Jordan is teaching others how to make modular furniture to be donated to shelters and group homes. Jordan has led building workshops for other kids and for adults that are interested in design. What an amazing and selfless young man, yes?
This ‘good people’ is actually an adult, but the story is about a young person, and it warmed my heart so I just had to include it. Her name is Lindsey Preston, she lives in Moulton, Alabama, and she has Down Syndrome. This year, Lindsey attended her prom, a Special Needs Prom, and by her side was her date … Don Jones, a defensive lineman for the San Francisco 49ers! The pictures are worth more than anything I can write …
“Anything I can do to make some kids smile, I would be more than willing to do. I think the most fun was all of the guys, I showed the guys about 5 or 6 new dance moves.”
“I had a great time with my beautiful prom date Lindsey at the Lawrence County LCDC prom,” Jones wrote on Instagram. “It was really an honor being around so many loving faces. I’ll remember this for the rest of my life.”
That, folks, is class.
Girl Scout troop #6000 in New York City is special. It is comprised of about 300 children living in homeless shelters. The troop is new, an idea developed to help these girls learn, try new things, and have fun, but also to give them a sense of community. Although the troop was formed in 2016, this was their first year for selling cookies, and they initially set a goal of 6,000 boxes of cookies, to match their troop number.
Guess how many boxes of cookies they sold? No, I’m not telling you … guess!32,500 boxes!!! They were given special permission to set up shop at Kellogg’s NYC Café in Union Square, where some customers waited in line as long as an hour. Many customers dropped in an extra donation, and at the end of the six-day event the troop had raised more than $15,000 to help pay for trips and activities.
Joey Gouthiere is 12-years-old now, but he was only seven when he began his work to inspire his community, Shreveport, Louisiana, to treat our planet better. Joey started Geaux Green, pronounced “Go Green” five years ago.
“Whenever I would see litter on the ground, I felt like I needed to make a change and help the Earth. It made me feel like I needed to make a difference and encourage people to stop littering, pick up litter and recycle.”
Since founding Geaux Green, Joey has educated numerous individuals, ranging from students to the Louisiana House of Representatives.While he’s a naturally soft-spoken individual, Joey uses his passion for improving his community to captivate audiences. Joey has been featured on the news and has presented to large crowds including the Caddo Parish School Board, past and current Shreveport City Council members, Louisiana State representatives and senators, and community groups, such as the Rotary Club of Shreveport, Lions Club, and others.In addition to educational presentations, Joey’s actions have had tangible outcomes. Joey has recruited hundreds of volunteers to join him in cleanup events, including event opportunities geared towards having families volunteer together. After speaking to city and state leaders, Joey was invited to meet the Governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, to witness the signing of House Bill 111, Litter Education, into law. Joey is now working with the school system and his neighboring city to implement recycling programs.
Joey has won the Prudential Spirit of Community Award and the Youth Leadership Award at the Keep Louisiana Beautiful Conference — both well-deserved.
I wish he could go give a talk to the U.S. Congress in Washington!!!
Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about these ‘good people’ … we all need to remember that, though our country is going through a dark period at the moment, there are many, many good people out there making a difference … and starting at an early age, too!!! These kids, friends, are our future … treat them well.