This week, the focus is on everyday people doing things that help others in one way or another. It’s nice to report on those people who are making mega-differences in people’s lives, but sometimes it’s just as meaningful to look at the everyday folks who are doing what is within their power to make a difference. Sometime, the opportunity to be a ‘good people’ just drops in your lap, as you’ll see in the last story.
Mohan Sudabattula, a 23-year-old student, along with his team of volunteers collect medical equipment from thrift stores and donations. They clean up the gear, which ranges from slings and braces to wheelchairs and walkers, and then send it to disadvantaged medical facilities around the world.Sudabattula thought of this idea when he was in school and volunteering in the prosthetics department at a nearby hospital. Whenever a patient outgrew a prosthetic, it would simply be thrown in the garbage. While prosthetics are designed exclusively for the wearer, Mohan wondered if he could recycle other medical equipment and give it a new life.Back in 2006, he went to India with his parents, and while at an orphanage he saw children creating makeshift crutches and wheelchairs out of everyday objects. Now, over ten years later, he was able to donate several dozen wheelchairs and crutches to that very same orphanage because of the work he is doing with Project Embrace.
Since launching the nonprofit in 2016, the group has donated over 900 refurbished medical devices to low-income hospitals in the U.S. and India.
Simon Child works in the very McDonalds in Fayetteville, Florida that he was caught sleeping in. When a woman in the community saw Child asleep in a booth, she photographed him and posted the picture on Facebook, apparently hoping to mock or shame him.The post had the opposite effect the woman was hoping for, as everyone in the community rallied around the homeless worker. They learned that Child had a child of his own and was working tirelessly to support them both after the death of his mother.News spread, and soon the entire community was pitching in to help Simon. He got a free haircut from a local barbershop to help him look more professional. A local eatery lent him a car for job interviews. One member even offered to put Child and his son up in a hotel until they found a permanent residence.Members also donated food, clothes, diapers, and more to help the struggling father. They even raised $2,000 for Child to get a life start. As for the woman, Child says he harbors no ill will towards her because, without her post, the community would have never known.
Riya Hariharan (16, Palo Alto, California) is the founder Giftkids.net, a global organization that provides critically needed educational and wellness supplies for kids who are orphans around the world with the goal to motivate the kids to stay in school, be well, and change the trajectory of their future. Through her organization, Riya is helping two severely under-resourced schools, in Haiti and India.
In India, Riya supports an orphanage of children who are primarily from the historically most oppressed (Dalit) community and come from a variety of backgrounds … single mothers, parents unable to provide basic care and mostly children who are orphans. Kids need to walk a good distance to school through the somewhat harsh climates in Bidar – from cold winters to the heavy southwest monsoon. Giftkids shipped colorful sweaters to them in time for the Indian holiday of Diwali.In Haiti, the remedial school she helps is comprised of enthusiastic kids who struggle with reading and are first-generation learners. They attend this free school with the hope to be able to attend high school someday. However the kids are often absent in class because they do not have proper shoes to walk the distance to school. In 2017, Giftkids shipped new sneakers to them in time for their pre-Kanaval celebration in January.In the two years since its start, Giftkids today has helped over 100 kids in need in Haiti, India, and San Jose, California.
This last story is a really small thing, but it struck a chord with me, and I think speaks volumes about this man.
Tim Crowley and some buddies were hanging out in Tim’s backyard last weekend, and there was a fair amount of drinking going on when all of a sudden, a baby bird fell out of the sky! The bird needed help, so Tim, still with some of his wits about him, called the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah and sent them a picture of the bird.The staff at the Center told Tim to bring the baby bird on in, but there was one problem: nobody in the group was sober enough to drive! So, after some thought and debate, they called for an Uber! The first Uber driver refused, so they didn’t tell the next driver who the passenger would be, and she gladly delivered the little birdie to the Wildlife Center.The staff at the center named the little guy, fittingly, Petey Uber, and they say it is unlikely he would have survived without intervention. Tim Crowley … the man paid for an Uber to save the life of one little birdie! Doesn’t that bring a lump to your throat? How many people do you know who would have done the same?
Petey is reportedly doing fine and will be released into the wild when he is able to survive on his own. Thanks to Tim Crowley!
And that’s a wrap for today, folks! If any of you run across a ‘good people’, feel free to send me a link or story, and I will consider it for inclusion in the good people posts! Meanwhile, let’s all try to be a good people, even if only in a small way.