We’ve seen enough nasty people in the past week or two to last a lifetime, so now it’s time for us to look at some GOOD people! And guess what? I didn’t have any trouble finding some!
More than just a pair of shoes
Trey Payne teaches middle school in Bellevue, Nebraska and one day earlier this year, Trey discovered that somebody in the school had stolen his favourite pair of tennis shoes … and not cheap ones, either! Days went by and Trey stopped thinking about it until one morning when he came to class and his students had a surprise for him …
Yep, you guessed it … they had pooled their money and bought him a new pair of shoes, just like his old ones! Trey almost immediately burst into tears, beyond belief that these young people, ages 13-15, had done this for him! Take a look …
Says Mr. Payne …
“It’s more than a pair of shoes, it’s about doing things to build everyone up around you. I try to show my kids this and I think the lesson has sunk in for many, in turn, reaffirming my purpose and my ideals.”
A man, a boy, and a bear
Karmalee and her 4-year-old son Quinn were shopping for Christmas lights at the Canadian Tire in North Saanich when Quinn noticed the giant teddy bear on display.
“Wow! Look at that! I need that bear!” said Quinn to his mom. But alas, Karmalee could not afford the bear and when she explained that to him, he simply said, “Okay. I understand, mom.”
How many 4-year-old kids are that gracious under these circumstances? Wow. Well, it just so happened that the store’s manager, Dave, overheard this exchange and it stayed with him throughout the rest of his workday. That evening, he started thinking about his own life. Though his son was now grown, Dave had been a single dad, raising his son from the time he was six days old.
“I raised my son from the time he was six days old. I know what I went through and people gave me help.”
The next day, Dave managed to track down Karmalee and asked if he could make a gift of the bear to young Quinn.
Says Karmalee …
“I started tearing up. Christmas is going to look a lot different this year and you just try to make it as magical as you can for your kids. And this guy did that. It’s pure magic.”
Dave’s co-workers say that’s just the way he is and has always been. Now, Dave’s response to this whole thing is something I think we should all print and put on our refrigerators to remind us of these words of wisdom …
“You don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow to any of us. If you can do something good for somebody, do it. You’d be surprised how it makes you feel.”
Words to live by my friends.
There are teachers … and then there are Teachers
The Global Teacher Prize is awarded to an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession. This year’s top 10 were selected from over 12,000 applications and nominations from over 140 countries around the world.
Ranjitsinh Disale is a teacher at the Zilla Parishad Primary School in the small village of Paritewadi, Maharashtra in India.
Disale was selected to receive this year’s Global Teacher Prize for his work to promote girls’ education and for encouraging a quick-response (QR) coded textbook revolution in India. (Note that I don’t even pretend to understand that last part!) You can read more of Disale’s contributions and why he earned this prize here , but for now I have something else that also makes him a good people.
When he was giving his acceptance speech for the award, he announced that he was giving half of the prize money to be divided among the other nine of the top 10 candidates! Each will receive over $55,000, courtesy of Ranjitsinh Disale. This is the first time in the Global Teacher Prize’s six year history that the winner has shared the prize money with other finalists. Take a look at this clip — you’re gonna LOVE this guy!
Thumbs up to Mr. Disale for his humanitarian efforts!
We could take a lesson from the lifers
Palma School is a prep school for boys located in Salinas, California. Jim Micheletti, Palma’s Director of Campus Ministry, created a program called “Exercises in Empathy” with a focus on compassion, empathy and restorative justice. The program teams men who have been given life sentences with students to discuss themes found in literature — which has led to more than a few surprises. Periodically the students travel to the Correctional Training Facility (CTF) at Soledad State Prison, bringing the two groups together to learn and develop greater understanding of one another.
Keep in mind, these are men serving life sentences … they are not in prison for selling an ounce of pot or defaulting on their alimony payments, but are there for having committed violent crimes. And yet …
When one Palma student was struggling to pay the $1,200 monthly tuition after both his parents suffered medical emergencies, the inmates already had a plan to help. Says Michelleti …
“I didn’t believe it at first. They said, ‘We value you guys coming in. We’d like to do something for your school … can you find us a student on campus who needs some money to attend Palma?’”
The “brothers in blue” raised more than $30,000 from inside the prison to create a scholarship for student Sy Green — helping him graduate this year and attend college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. One inmate donated his entire monthly paycheck of $100 to the cause, saying …
“I get paid to do what I do, so, why not pay it forward and give it to someone else for a change?”
Hmmmm … I know of a lot of people who have never been to jail or prison who could take a lesson from these inmates.
Recipient Sy Green said that knowing hundreds of men made sacrifices for his education inspires him to try his best and work hard every day. He plans to continue visiting the prison on his breaks from college.
“That’s only the right thing to do. Beyond the scholarship, the knowledge that they pour into you, that’s, that’s the best thing. They definitely take my future serious and they genuinely do care about me as a person.”
The inmates also plan to continue the scholarship program for another student in need.
And that’s a wrap for this week’s ‘good people’. Remember, my friends … we all have something we can give to help others … let’s try to remember those words of Dave from the second story … “If you can do something good for somebody, do it. You’d be surprised how it makes you feel.”