Some weeks I focus on people who are making huge contributions to the world, the environment, education, etc. Other weeks, I like to shine the light on everyday, ordinary people like you and me, people who are giving and doing good things, but on a much smaller scale. It reminds us that we can all be ‘good people’ … we just have to remember to care about others.
William Wilkinson is a teacher at Grace Christian Academy in Powder Springs, Georgia. One of his sixth grade students, Kaden Koebcke, had received a kidney transplant from his father when he was five-years-old, but it failed and the kidney was removed within days. Thus, Kaden was on dialysis three days a week. The entire family had been tested to see if they were a match, but none were, and Kaden’s mother had been searching for a donor ever since.
Last May, miraculously, a donor match was found for Kaden, but the doctor did not reveal the name of the donor. One day shortly thereafter, Mr. Wilkinson knocked on the Koebcke’s door and asked if he could speak to them for a moment. I’ll let Kaden’s mother, Cami, tell you what happened …
“He says, ‘Well, do you guys really wanna know?’ And we said, ‘Yeah, we wanna know, we wanna thank him’. And you know, He’s like, ‘Well, it’s me.’ And I mean it just — I mean … it was unbelievable. I can’t come up with the words to describe how much we appreciate Will Wilkinson. He has given Kaden the chance of living a normal life! He is truly our hero! I want to thank his family, because they are a part of this too! The Wilkinson’s moved to the Atlanta area almost the same time as we did. We both chose the same school for our kids. Our sons are in the same class. We have been blessed to call them our friends.Will, you are such a selfless person, our true hero. The definition of selfless is concern more with the needs and wishes of others than with one’s own. That is Will. We love you, we appreciate you, and we just cannot thank you enough!”
The transplant took place on Tuesday, 14 August, was successful, and Kaden left the hospital on Saturday, August 25th. Mr. Wilkinson is only a bit sore, but otherwise doing fine and will return to work in a few weeks. William Wilkinson is but one of those people that gives of himself … a good person who did a good thing!
Charlie Poveromo was a good guy. Charlie died of a heart attack this past March, but I will let Velvet tell you what qualifies Charlie as being a ‘good people’ …
“Maybe 5+ years ago, we were suffering thru a brutal summer heat wave and Charlie saw our garbage truck pull up and the men were pale and sweating profusely. He came running into the kitchen, grabbed a bunch of plastic cups and our big jug of water and made sure everyone got as much as they wanted. That very afternoon, he ran to the store, bought several cases of bottled water and bags of ice and the next morning at 6:30 am, after working all night and only getting a few hours of sleep, he loaded them into one of our coolers and waited for the truck to roll up. I watched as he went up to the truck and explained that, from now on, the cooler would contain cold drinks for them all summer long. As word spread, we’d often see not only our sanitation engineers, but DPW employees, police officers, firemen, construction workers and the like stop by for a breather, some shade under our tree and a nice cold bottle of water. Last year, he expanded his ‘menu’ to include Gatorade and orange juice.”
But the story doesn’t end with Charlie’s death, for ever since, Velvet has done her best to keep up the tradition!
Two good people, Charlie & Velvet, doing things to help others!
James Johnston spends his days mowing lawns … for a living. He is the owner of J&J Lawn Service in Moorefield, West Virginia. On his way home after 10 hours spent mowing lawns, he passed by an elderly gentleman struggling to mow a quite large lawn with a push mower. James can tell you about it …
“I said no way was I gonna let this guy tackle this on his own. So I turned around and went back and unloaded my mower and drove across the street and ask the gentleman if I could help. His eyes lit up and I took that as a yes. I ran down, jumped on my mower and went to work. As I’m cutting the lawn I look over and see the gentleman hunched over his wife, resting his head on her shoulder. So I get it knocked out in no time. I give them a thumbs up and proceeded to load my mower up.
The wife makes her way over before I could leave. She was so thankful! Their riding mower broke down and her husband has been mowing their big lawn with a push mower. It only took 15 mins of my time. I changed their life, for a small moment. I hope someone reads this and feels like doing something good for someone tomorrow. I’m grateful to be where I’m at and I’m thankful for the people that help me get here.”
But he didn’t stop there, for the very next day he launched a GoFundMe page and made a $100 contribution to buy the man a new riding mower!
“I have started the process and I’m donating $100.00 and I’m inviting 9 other local businesses to match my donation. Any donations from anyone is a true blessing. We reached over 15,000 people with our original post and that’s amazing. $1 dollar from each of you would be amazing. Remember, we all have been down and out sometime. Just think of the relief the family can have.”
As of August 12th, $1,200 had been raised by 42 donors, and the man has his new riding mower. Hats off to James Johnston, a truly good people.
The last good person for today is 94-year-old Wally Richardson, and what he does isn’t big, doesn’t cost him any money … he gives simply of himself. He stands outside Marina Village Middle School in El Dorado Hills, California, every morning and gives a few words of encouragement and a fist bump to each incoming student. Richardson says he started spreading messages of kindness with his wife, Jenny, 10 years ago, using bookmarks. and that it has grown from there. The veteran revealed that his wife isn’t able to walk, so she cannot join him at the middle school in the morning, but he still hopes he makes a positive lasting impression on the students. “You’re different personalities, but you have to learn to give and take. What I do when I get really upset about something, I just walk away and let my anger disappear because it’s just an emotion. Anytime you have a heated emotion, walk away from it.” What sound advice he is giving these young people! A fist bump to you, Mr. Richardson, for giving of yourself to encourage these kids! Thank you! 🤜🤛
What do all of today’s good people have in common? They are giving of themselves. No money is required, only time and compassion for others (and in one case, a body part!). These people and all the others like them deserve this spot light as much as those who are doing big things. We each do what we can, and if it’s something as small as a fist bump or mowing a lawn, it’s still a pretty big thing if you ask me. Two thumbs up to all of our good people today!