Good People Doing Good Things — Small, Yet Big!

It’s time for our weekly dose of good people, and I don’t know about you guys, but after this past week, I definitely feel the need to see people helping people instead of the usual, “I got mine, I’ll take yours too” attitude.  I’m focusing on small things today … and some small people with huge hearts.  These kids may be small in stature, but they are big on the things that matter most.  Gronda, get your tissues. box of tissues

Seven years old and already an environmental activist!

Benjamin Ball of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, is only 7-years-old, but is more environmentally savvy than most of us.  Not long ago, Benjamin and his family were visiting in New England and they stopped in at the L.L.Bean flagship store in Freeport, Maine.  When they decided to get a drink at the store’s café, Benjamin was not pleased to be given a plastic straw, and he asked if they had any paper straws.  (Ellen — this reminds me of your Benjamin!)

LLBeanThey didn’t, and so when Benjamin returned home, he wrote a letter to the president and CEO of L.L.Bean, Steve Smith.

“I’m writing to you because I’m a friend of the Sea Turtles and I want to protect them. Marine animals get killed by plastic in the Ocean. The Sea Turtles are important to the ecosystem and me. I know that L.L. Bean cares about the Earth too. If it is possible, could you use paper straws instead of plastic straws, please?”

Sea turtleWow … what a polite little activist!  Well, his efforts paid off, for within 24 hours, Benjamin received a response from Smith, who assured Benjamin he’d look into the issue.  Says Smith …

“It made me smile. It was a really articulate, well-reasoned, polite, yet passionate and emotional note about saving a species that no one is speaking for. It hit me in a really emotional way.”

And Smith has lived up to his response. L.L. Bean has announced that its retail affiliates and employee cafeterias would be making the switch to 100% corn biodegradable straws.

“This letter hits at the absolutely perfect time with a fantastic idea.”

Benjamin even got to meet Mr. Smith when Smith visited his alma mater, Dickinson College, located in Ben’s hometown.  Take a look …

Hats off to young Benjamin for looking after the environment and especially the sea turtles, but kudos to Mr. Smith and L.L.Bean for listening to a little boy and for being willing to make changes for a good cause.  This is what cooperation looks like, and it is people like Benjamin and Steve who will save our planet, if it is to be saved.Benjamin-Steve

Not homeless anymore!

Anthony Johnson, of Sussex, England, was homeless, living in a tent with no job, no money.  But even so, Anthony wasn’t lazy … he really wanted to earn his own way, but life hadn’t been kind to him and he found himself in this situation.  Anthony posted a note at a local bus stop …

“I will do a trial for free to show how I work. I don’t take drugs or drink. I will also do dog walking/minding, window cleaning, shopping, gardening, car valeting/washing, housework, cooking. Anything to earn a living and make life seem worth living.”


Just so happened that a young lady named Charlotte Howard noticed Anthony’s note as she was waiting for a bus and sprang into action.  First, she photographed the note, and Mr. Johnson’s tent near the bus station, and then she posted the pictures on social media.  Next, she set up a GoFundMe account  that received more than $3,200 (£2,466) in just over 10 days.

Ms. Howard had planned to use the money to buy Anthony a small RV, or caravan as they are called on that side of the pond, but since a local charity was inspired to donate a caravan to Johnson, the money will now be used to provide him with supplies, food, and additional resources to make up for his last nine years of living on the streets.

But the best is yet to come.  A local landscaper, Nelson Smith, contacted Anthony and asked if he would be interested in starting a home repair business with him, so Anthony is now employed, has a place to call ‘home’, and has a job too!  All thanks to a young lady 16 years of age, who decided to step up to the plate and help another human being.  Lots of thumbs-up to go around here, to Nelson Smith, to all the people who donated goods or cash, and most especially to Charlotte Howard!  See, folks, this is what it’s all about … people helping people.


Anthony Johnson (left) and Nelson Smith.  Anthony’s new home is inset.

And he can’t even drive!

William Rabillo is not yet old enough to drive, but he did manage to buy a car … for his mom.  I’ll let William’s mom, Krystal, tell you about it …

“I have no words right now that can express how I am feeling at this moment. I’m in complete shock … The last couple weeks have literally been hell filled with so many tears, anger, confusion and heart ache. Today I got the shock of my life..

As some of you may know my son William, who is a lawn mowing, yard cleaning , money making machine. Well my son had a job today that he had to go do and so I allowed him to go assuming it was like any other time. Well this time was different. Very different.

William came home and said, ‘Mom I bought you a car.’

I of course laughed and told him ‘ya right!’

He said, ‘No mom I’m so serious I bought you a car. Come on we have to go.’

I’m at this point confused and sceptical and I said, ‘Go where?’

He said, ‘With this lady.’

And much to my surprise I go in my front yard and OMG there is a women standing there and as William said she was giving us a ride. William jumps in the car so I’m like ok?? This is some kind of joke right. No one speaks really….

So….. As I’m still thinking at this point still a joke. We pull up to this house and William says, ‘Mom that’s your car….’

I completely lost it.

I started balling my eyes out. I am speechless my 13 year old son bought me a car. He did some work for this women and that was his payment that he worked out with her. And here I thought it was a joke… Nope I was handed the keys and paperwork to the car and I’m freaking out but so in shock like OMG this is happening right now. So we got into the car it started right up and off we went.

I am so proud of my son. He is such a good kid. He may have his days but OMG what 13 year old kid do you know that buys his mom a car… William I love you son and thank you. You have such a big heart and I love you…”

William says he first got the idea from a couple of YouTube videos …

“I saw on YouTube where people get their mom a car and then surprise her with it. I wanted to do that.”

So, William started searching ads on Facebook and came across a woman selling a  ’99 Chevy Metro for only $300.


“It was really cheap so I asked her if I could trade it or earn it, and at first she said no. After she thought about it, then she said yes.”

William actually gave the woman his Xbox video game console, and will be doing some chores for her, which is nothing new, for William already does yard chores for neighbors nearly every day.  This is a kid who decides he wants to do something and there’s no stopping him.  I predict he will go far in this world.

So, we’ve just seen three remarkable young people that show us how it’s done, this humanity thing!  They are an inspiration, and if there is hope for the future of the human race, these kids are the ones that will help make it happen.

49 thoughts on “Good People Doing Good Things — Small, Yet Big!

  1. Thanks for sharing!.. a bright spot in a dreary world… 🙂

    “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

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  2. LOVE these stories! Tears in my eyes, tears of joy! I heard the car story on the radio and it choked me up when I heard i the first time too! Thanks so much for sharing.!! Have a wonderful, happy day!! There is hope for this world!

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    • I’m so glad you liked the stories, though sorry to have made you cry! I find myself in tears nearly every Tuesday night when I am writing these ‘good people’ posts. But happy tears, for these people remind us what it means to be human.


  3. Jill, thanks for sharing these stories. Hats off to Benjamin, Charlotte and William. Focusing on Benjamin, it shows what civil discourse looks like – a polite and purposeful letter, written with care got attention and action. Those in government, especially in that white building, could learn a great deal from this. Keith

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    • I agree … most adults, myself included, could take a lesson from Benjamin! When I come across these kids doing so much good, I have to think their parents must be pretty special people, too.


          • I’m doing ok. Feeling down about the nonsense swirling around Trudeau in Ottawa with the election set for November. Happy to see the snow and ice gone – even though we’re back to freezing temperatures today. Anne and I are proctoring Insurance degree exams this month. I heard that some in the media are thinking that the anonymous author of the NYT op-ed last year was the outgoing head of Homeland Security. Apparently, the writing style of her resignation echoed that of the op-ed piece.

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            • Yes, I can certainly understand that. I am saddened about the Trudeau controversy also, for I still greatly admire and respect him. I was just reading tonight that Hugh out in Wisconsin is being hit by the “snow bomb” … I imagine he feels like spring will never come! I’m happy to see buds on the trees and dandelions in the back yard! Yes, I saw that a former FBI expert said he saw similarities between Nielsen’s letter of resignation and last October’s OpEd … who knows? My hat’s off to whomever wrote it. I don’t feel compassion toward Nielsen, though, for she was quite a cruel b—- … just not quite as cruel as Trump. Sigh. No end in sight to the madness.

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    • I agree … your very first word is a big one, though only two letters. IF there is hope. Some days I begin to wonder. But these young people certainly remind us that there are good people out there.

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