Every Wednesday morning I go in search of good people, people who are helping others or working to preserve wildlife, the environment, or something humanitarian. I never have trouble finding those good people, and this week was no exception … in fact, I already had a few tucked away from last week! Sometimes the good people I find are doing huge things, helping hundreds or even thousands. But at the end of the day, it’s the little things, I think, that mean the most. And so today I present you with some people who are giving of themselves in small ways, yet with huge hearts!
Herman Gordon is a much-loved custodian at the University of Bristol (that would be England, not Tennessee). The students say he is always happy and upbeat …Herman and his wife are originally from Jamaica and have not been able to afford a trip home to visit family for years. The students love this man so much that they set up a JustGiving page (the UK equivalent of our GoFundMe, I believe) to secretly collect money to send Herman and his wife on a trip to Jamaica. It didn’t take them long to collect £1,500 ($1,980 USD) and last month they gave the money to Herman along with a note that read …
“You have brightened many of our days and we want you to know that we love and appreciate you.”
Now if that doesn’t restore your faith in people …
Clara Daly is 15 years of age, Tim Cook is 64. These two found themselves on an Alaska Airlines flight headed from east coast to west last month, neither knowing the other, but by the end of the flight, they had formed a friendship … without any spoken worlds. Mr. Cook is deaf and blind, and was unable to communicate with the flight attendants, for none of them knew sign language. The attendants asked if anyone onboard knew American Sign Language. Clara, who had taken sign language classes for a year, pressed the call button.
First, the attendants told Clara to ask Mr. Cook if he was okay and if he needed anything. But even once that was done, she stayed and ‘chatted’ with him. She told him where she went to school and about her grandmother in Boston. He told her about his childhood and about his sister, who also lives in Boston.
A woman sitting in the same row as Mr. Cook snapped a couple of pictures of the two as they chatted and laughed, and you can see the genuine kindness radiating from Clara’s face, I think. A small thing, but I am certain it meant the world to Mr. Cook. And as for Clara? She has obviously had some good role models in her life!
Debra Davis is going to make you smile, laugh and maybe shed a little tear. She lives in San Diego, California, where she has been serving meals to the kids at Hoover High School for the past 26 years. But that isn’t all Debra Davis does … for after she finishes her work at the school each day, she takes food that she cooked and drives around San Diego feeding homeless people! I cannot do justice to this woman, for I cannot bring her to life for you with my words. Please, if you do nothing else, take 2 minutes to watch this video … I promise it will brighten your day!
Doesn’t she just make you want to reach out and give her the biggest hug ever? People like Debra are what life is all about, folks … she is ‘real people’.
Connor Jayne is a ten-year-old boy who has been diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety, ADHD, chronic headache disorder, and he also suffers from nocturnal seizures. Because of his condition, Connor has a service/emotional support dog named Copper.If Connor has a seizure during the night, Copper wakes his mother by barking and then leads her to Connor. Other times, he is Connor’s emotional support. When he senses that Connor is about to have an anxiety attack, he presses his body against Connor, helping him to stay calm and ride out his attacks with a friend close by.
Recently Copper, who is four-years-old, seemed to be limping for no discernable reason, so the family took him to the vet. The vet suspects Copper may have Wobbler’s Disease, a disease that affects the spinal cord and makes it difficult for animals to walk. The pup will need tests, treatments and possibly a MRI and surgery to treat the issue. But all of that costs money that the family does not have.
Young Connor loves his dog … he needs his dog … and he was not about to give up without trying. So, what does a ten-year-old kid have that he could sell to raise a bit of cash? TOYS!!! Connor cleaned out his entire toy room to host a garage sale and help pay for the treatment. He even sold lemonade and treats to make a few extra bucks. “He said the dog was more important than any toys,” said his mom.
Additionally, the family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with the vet bills, but nothing can top the sacrifice that Connor made for his beloved furry brother!
Tammy Waddell was a paraprofessional and an elementary school teacher for thirty years. Sadly, Ms. Waddell died last month at age fifty-eight, after a battle with cancer. But her contribution to the children of Forsyth County, Georgia did not stop with her death.
According to Dr. Brad Johnson, “My cousin’s final request at her funeral was Backpacks full of supplies for needy students instead of flowers. A teacher to the end.”About 100 teachers showed up to be honorary pallbearers, and according to the funeral home director …
“That day we received roughly about 130 backpacks filled with school supplies — anything a student would need for at least half of the school year — and they continue to come in.”
But wait … there’s even more. When Tes Resources, a non-profit organization that helps teachers around the world, heard of Ms. Waddell’s last wish, they decided to honor Waddell with a donation of thousands of school supplies for Forsyth County students. Even in death, this caring teacher who always called her students “my kids”, is helping kids.
And last, but not least, is a really, really small thing, but one that warmed my heart. Six-year-old Brandon Bailey’s family had ordered a new refrigerator, and for two weeks, Brandon eagerly awaited the arrival of the fridge. No, he wasn’t particularly interested in the number of cubic feet in the freezer, nor the frost free feature … he was waiting for that big, beautiful cardboard box to play in! He had big plans to make the most awesome box fort ever! Imagine, then, his disappointment when the refrigerator arrived … sans box.
Alejandro Porter was one of the men who delivered the refrigerator and he couldn’t help noticing Brandon’s expression. You know what Mr. Porter did? He went back to Lowe’s and found a perfect box for Brandon and delivered it a short time later, for as he told young Brandon …
“Every little boy needs an awesome box fort.”
A small act of kindness, yes, but this little act tells so much about Alejandro Porter, don’t you think?
And now, folks, that’s all I have for today. It is easy to get down and lose faith in humanity these days … I know, for I go through it myself. I hope these stories have given you a bit of a lift, something to bring a smile to your faces. Remember these people, for they are samples of the hope for the human race.