Good People Doing Good Things … This ‘N That

I hope you’re in the mood for a few ‘good people’ this morning, for it just so happens that I’ve found a few!  Most of what I write for this blog is on the dark side, but we need balance in our diets … our emotional diets as well as our nutritional diets.  Good people serve to remind us that there is hope for a brighter tomorrow.


A win-win

In March, when restaurants in most every state in the U.S. closed down due to the coronavirus pandemic, farmers immediately lost their restaurant contracts and many ended up having to plow their crops under, taking a huge loss for the year.  On the other side of the coin were people who had lost their jobs due to the shutdown and were unable to earn the money to buy food.  But in the State of Washington, there was George Ahearn …

When George Ahearn heard that farmers in Washington state were giving away onions and potatoes they suddenly couldn’t sell, his instinct for goodwill kicked in and George went to work.  Thinking of the food banks in Seattle that were overwhelmed, George asked on Facebook to borrow someone’s truck or trailer for the day, to haul around 2,000 pounds of restaurant-grade onions and potatoes. The response to his altruistic post was dramatic, and soon 4 trucks and 2 trailers had hauled 9.3 tons of crops grown in the east to feed hungry people in the west.

On that first inaugural run, Ahearn learned that food banks originally couldn’t accept a semi-truck load of ‘loose’ potatoes.  Enter Zsofia Pasztor, a farmer and fellow nonprofiteur who began donating crates and boxes for transporting the crops.  As these things tend to do, the movement grew and became a nonprofit organization called EastWest Food Rescue. Ahearn-1One person who donated a truck on that first day, Nancy Balin, is now one of the program’s directors, as is Zsofia Pasztor.  Says Balin …

“The whole thing was extremely organic and took on a life of its own almost immediately.”

Thus far, EastWest Food Rescue has saved over 2.4 million pounds of food from fields and brought it to those who really needed it, while also amassing enough donations to help compensate farmers for their loss.  The goal is to rescue 10 million pounds of food, for which Ahearn is trying to raise $250,000. Ahearn says one of the most important priorities is to get refrigeration capacity for fruit and other produce, as well as for milk and eggs.  Ahearn had originally planned to shut down the operation after they reached 70 tons, so he could spend more time with his family, but that was long ago, and he accepts that in this moment he “can’t stop.”Ahearn-2What a good man … and so many others … yes?


Kind hearts start young

Bike Planet of Memphis donated a bike to celebrate the grand opening of Covington Parks and Recreation Bike Park.  A young boy named Chase was the winner of the bike.  Only one thing, though … Chase already has a bike.

His neighbor and friend Daniel, however, didn’t have a bike, so … you can guess what’s coming, right?  Yep … Chase gave the brand-new bike to Daniel! chase-danielMethinks he’s been taught well!  Good job, Chase!

And then there’s 11-year-old Cartier Carey, a young entrepreneur.  Cartier has a lemonade/snack stand, like so many kids his age, but his is just a little bit different.  You see, rather than trying to earn money for that new toy or a puppy, Cartier is raising money for single moms to buy such things as diapers and other essentials.  So far, he has raised close to $5,000 through the stand and donations and all proceeds go directly to the single moms.

cartier-carey

“I wanted to help mothers who were struggling.”

And this isn’t Cartier’s first foray into altruism.  Earlier this year, Cartier created care packages called “Carti packs,” filled with deodorant, soap and tissues to give to the homeless population.cartier-carey-2He founded his own non-profit organization called Kids 4 Change 757 about a year ago. Cartier says he was motivated to create the movement so he “could help the community and make the community better.”

Chase and Cartier are our reason to hope for a brighter future, my friends!


Welcome to Ontario …

Maurice Ellis, his wife Caroline Leslie-Ellis, and their daughter, Amara, immigrated to Ontario, Canada from Jamaica to create a better life for their family.  Maurice works two jobs to support his family and put his wife through college. Caroline has earned top marks in the hospitality and tourism management program at Fanshawe College, but the expenses are tough for the family to manage.

Shortly after they moved to Ontario, in an effort to become a part of their new community, Maurice joined Dad Club London, a club for fathers and pending fathers, where they can network with other like-minded dads, give and receive help, and become more involved in their community.  One day, Dad Club London founder and president, Jeremy McCall, posted a Black Lives Matter message on the group’s Facebook page that started a conversation, and Maurice admitted that he was the target of a number of racial slurs at his second workplace.

McCall didn’t just commiserate or offer words of sympathy … he leapt into action to show the Ellis family that those who directed racial comments at Maurice were not representative of their community.  He organized a secret fundraiser to show Ellis and his family how much the community supported them.

Contributions came in from the local police union, 70 families, and numerous businesses. The group was able to raise nearly $7,000, and McCall arranged a get-together last month to surprise the family.

First, their daughter Amara was given a gift—the biggest LEGO set the club could find, and then Maurice was given a prepaid Mastercard to help with family living expenses. Finally, smiles turned to disbelief when Caroline unfolded the check for her college tuition.  Said McCall to the gathered ensemble …

“What happened to you doesn’t represent this community. We don’t stand for that. When you said, ‘I guess that’s the way the world is,’ it broke our hearts because it can’t be that way, and we won’t let it … We, together, stand as a community against racism.”

maurice-caroline-ellisNeedless to say, there was no shortage of tears all around.  What good people, yes?


good-people

35 thoughts on “Good People Doing Good Things … This ‘N That

  1. Pingback: Good People Doing Good Things … This ‘N That – Karen O'Brien Country Music

  2. I always look for your Good People Doing Good Things – even if I’ve missed a day on the computer. I’m thankful I did today, so I could read about Ontario folks (I’m not far from London and Amherstburg). In these terrible times, it’s necessary to be reminded of the wonderful people there are! Thanks again, Jill!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You brought a smile to my face with your words, my friend! I always try to put extra effort into the good people posts, for these days they are more important than ever to remind us that there are such people out there. It does my heart good to know they are appreciated! Thank YOU!

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  3. A fine group of Good People! The story of the Good People in Ontario, Canada prompted me to share a story of my own. Tomorrow, July 30th, is the third “Share A Hug Day” that was started in 2018 by a grieving husband and father. This came about from the July 30, 2017 tragedy that forever changed the life of Mike Bundritt of Amhertsburg in Ontario, Canada. Mike’s family was returning from a summer camping trip in their GMC Sierra pickup truck that was towing a 16-foot RV. They were hit by a tractor trailer through the inattention of the driver. Mike Bundritt’s wife, Lacie, and 14 year old son, Kyle, died at the scene. Mike was seriously injured and their younger son, 12 year old Evan, was also injured. On the first anniversary Mike wanted to turn a negative into a positive. Mike said that they had always been a close family of huggers. Evan and he had been surrounded by the attention of family and friends during the past year and Mike realized that you never know what someone is going through on any particular day. He said that “Hugs are a great way to show compassion towards somebody.” So share a hug or two with those you can while you can. Thank-you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • You hit the nail on the head … if only we would look around us. Good people are everywhere … well, most everywhere … might not be any in that big white house on Pennsylvania Avenue, but elsewhere there are! 😉

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  4. Too often, we formulate in our minds an image of the character behind some of the commentators on blogs such as this and begin to believe that this projected creation of ours is real. But, like offering this reminder of Good People Doing Good Things in this post, perhaps this is an opportunity to remind people to be wary of assuming our projected beliefs are always accurate.

    As part of the charitable community of Board members and Directors here where the Dad Club is a recent and wonderful addition, I am very aware of the depth and scope of many social issues we face together in this area and know just how much the ‘Establishment’, the many people who constitute the ‘system’, offer their time, money, concern, and advocacy addressing these in the most effective ways they can… not to profit but to help.

    Part of this method includes staying mostly quiet, working mostly behind the scenes and in the background, talking to and with people best positioned to offer real help today, soliciting funds, raising awareness, and not advertising the significant coordinated efforts needed to make a very real, significant, lasting, positive, and enriching difference in the lives of our neighbours… people literally of all ethnicity, religion, race, gender, sex, language, and culture.
    What matters is not tallied equity by accounting diverse results but advancing equality of opportunity, advancing equality of treatment for those in need based on real life obstacles, based on real world circumstances, of being able to offer a hand up in whatever area of need is the greatest when tragedy and disadvantage knocks people down… offered to real people not as if they were a representative of some disadvantaged group but as a real person in real need and receiving real help… hopefully in a timely manner and without fanfare. That’s because the quiet dignity of the recipient if of greater concern than seeking accolades for doing good work.

    That’s why I say over and over again, equality is not an event but a process because I know people who have been helped along the way are almost always first in line, the most enthusiastic, and are highly motivated to give back, to help others – real people – when the tables are reversed. That’s real charity.

    This is how charity works, how community ties are strengthened one person at a time, how real people in real life make a real difference in the lives of others. All this talk of ‘systemic’ racism as if today is a continuation of very real discriminatory practices and laws two hundred years ago long dropped from law and practice is a complete crock. I know, for example, one of the main contributors and organizers for fund raising to the Ellis family was straight out of the police department. I know the person who advocated the most strongly… because I know this person received similar help decades earlier not based on race but need. This is what ‘systemic’ change looks like in action. Problem… meet Solution. And it often is life changing. What a privilege to be able to be a part of that.

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  5. Another set of great, generous, and forward-thinking people. Love the East West Food Rescue. Groups like this should be around every year, all year. There is no end to the amount of food destroyed by farmers and dairymen both in Canada and America. That “salvaged” food could cut deep into the poverty in our two countries. Yet governments insist on handing out subsidies ONLY IF these excesses (according to economic prognosticators) are totally and thoroughly destroyed. Giving away free food would kill our economies. Once again, money over lives. Everywhere, money is more important than stopping hunger. We are not humans, we are not even responsible people. We do not help, we hinder.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree that the need for such groups is year-round and won’t disappear when/if the coronavirus is ever defeated. Hopefully those who have jumped in to help now will realize that, and stick around even after the fact. Profit over people seems to be a recurring theme in most governments these days, and THAT is where the problem has its roots. We need to take money out of politics.

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