This evening I began working on what I thought would be today’s ‘good people’ post, but the deeper I dug, the better it got, and I simply began, after about 3 hours’ effort, to realize that it was more than I could finish before the clock ran out on me. So, you will have that one to look forward to in a week or two. Meanwhile, as always, I was able to find a number of everyday heroes, people who do the right thing just because it is the right thing. These are the real people in the world, those who see someone struggling and jump in to help.
A community pitches in …
For months, Teresa Steele, pregnant with her first child, has been living with no air conditioning or heat after someone stole the copper from her property and broke her home’s HVAC unit.
“I called insurance and they wouldn’t cover it. It feels bad because this is how we live… They did it to take the copper and sell it for a few dollars. I don’t have $6,000 to get a new system.”
Steele needed to get her unit repaired in the next few weeks or she was going to lose her home owner’s insurance. She was also worried that social services would take her baby from her if she brought a newborn home to a cold house. And while she has reached out to various organizations for help, she had no luck.
Ms. Steele lives in Richmond, Virginia, where a local CBS affiliate has a segment called Problem Solvers and it was to them that Steele turned for help after all else had failed. Once they aired her story, she says her phone began ringing off the hook.
“My phone’s going crazy. People were sending me messages and saying stuff like, ‘We’re willing to help.’ And it was just bringing tears to my eyes.”
She was still crying when River City Heating owner Bobby Robinson and his crew pulled up last Thursday to fix her unit for free. Robinson said his wife saw the story and urged him to help.
“What goes around comes around, so one day I might be in need of help and hopefully there will be help for me,” Robinson said.
Her local energy company also pitched in to lighten her load by placing Steele on their “Energy Share” program which will reduce her monthly heating bill.
“You never know who’s out there listening to you. You have to have faith… and have to believe that the more you spread your love, someone will have love to spread back to you.”
Dogs is people too …
Okay, so I know this is a ‘good people’ post, but open your minds and hearts and let this canine hero in, okay? (My grammar/spelling program keeps trying to change “hero in” to ‘heroin’ … a sign of our times?)Meet Todd, a six-month-old Golden Retriever who just happened to save the life of his owner, Paula Godwin. It happened while Todd and Paula were out for a walk near their home in Arizona, and suddenly a grey-speckled rattlesnake appeared. Todd put himself between the snake and Paula and was himself bitten. Todd is on the mend, and in a humanitarian moment, the makers of Milk Bone sent him a package of treats to aid in his recovery. But that’s not all …
Milk-Bone named Todd their “Dog of the Year”. Milk-Bone says the award is designed to celebrate bravery, overcoming obstacles, strong personality and loyalty traits that make all dogs truly special. According to senior brand manager Jonathan Rodgers …
“We created this honor because we believe that dogs deserve to be honored in the same way humans are honored. We are thrilled that fans voted for Todd to win the first ever Milk-Bone Dog of the Year Honor. Todd truly embodies the qualities associated with this honor and goes above and beyond by providing comfort and happiness to all of those around him.”
Woof, Todd … just woof!
A mysterious do-gooder …
I do not know the name of this good person, but I know the name of the recipient of his generosity: Zac Oliver. Zac was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of leukemia in May. He is the only person with the condition in the UK and just one of six in the world. The treatment has recently been licensed for use in the UK, but strict medical criteria means Zac is not eligible.An anonymous donor heard about Zac’s situation and donated £100,000, or about $130,000 USD, to help with Zac’s treatment.
Zac’s family can now afford to fly him to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for its 17-week CAR T-cell therapy which will give Zac a 60-80 percent chance of survival, as opposed to less than 25 percent if he continues with chemotherapy in the UK.
Zac’s mom, Hannah, said she received a phone call out of the blue telling her “not to worry” and to “pack her bags”, reassuring her it was not a hoax. Hours later, the money appeared in their bank account.
Whoever you are, wherever you are, anonymous donor, thank you for giving Zac that extra chance to live.
A chance for dreams to come true …
24-year-old Cavin Muodzi is a Zimbabwean living and working as a waiter in South Africa. As a child, he had dreams of becoming a football player (For my U.S. friends, ‘football’ anywhere but in the U.S. is what we call ‘soccer’. Other nations do not play with de-flated ovoid balls made of pigskin.)
Muodzi says his mother didn’t support his football dreams. She wanted him to pursue an academic career. But that didn’t stop him from dreaming. Now he would like to live his dream by helping children in a similar situation.Muodzi founded Harvest Soccer Academy in 2016 and currently sponsors 43 young children, with most of the funding coming from … wait for it … the tips Muodzi earns at his job as a waiter!
One of the young students, Yibanathi Joji, 15, of Muizenberg High School, says, “My parents are happy that I am off the streets and being a good example to my young brother. I now come home early, do my homework on time, don’t smoke and am obedient to my parents.”
Who could ask for anything more?
Folks, none of these people did huge, elaborate things. Sometimes I think in today’s world, we have come to think in terms of dollar signs with at least six figures behind them, even though none of us will likely ever see that much money. But the point is that … it isn’t about money. If we’re focused on the big things, it’s altogether too easy to miss the little things, and sometimes those are the most important. It’s about caring enough to share whatever you have, be it time, knowledge, skills, expertise, or money. These are the people we should be taking pride in, not the bloated egoists who occupy the halls of government or Wall Street.