Some days it’s difficult to switch gears from writing about bastards to writing about good people, but I’m always glad I did, and it helps me to remember that the world isn’t populated only by the selfish, arrogant creatures I usually write about, but that there are actually more people out there doing good things for one another. This week’s batch warmed my heart and actually brought a smile to replace my semi-permanent scowl!
One good man … and a community of helpers
Henry Darby is the principal at North Charleston High School in South Carolina … and he is also a stock clerk at the local Wal-Mart, a part time job he works three days a week from 10pm to 7am., getting off work just in time to … go to work at the high school! Now, you might think that either Mr. Darby is trying to live beyond his means, or that the position of principal is underpaid and that he must supplement his income with a second job. Neither of those are true.
Henry Darby works nights at Wal-Mart to help his students! Many, if not most of his students come from low-income households and sometimes they and their families need help just to survive. Over the past few years, Darby had several interactions with students – both current and former – who had fallen on hard times, and after hearing their stories and struggles, he decided it was time to give back.
“I had two students, who were females, sleeping under the bridge and there was another situation where a former student of mine and her daughter were sleeping in their car. I decided to get another job because the kids, they really need help. I wish that those of us who are born of poverty and we had to struggle, and we made it to at least the lower middle class, that we will look back to help others.”
But Mr. Darby isn’t the only good people here, for the community, seeing what Mr. Darby was doing, stepped up to the plate also, set up a GoFundMe account with a goal of raising $20,000. To date, the account has collected some $53,000 that will be used to help the students, all in less than a week! Now that, my friends, is community spirit, and all it took was one good man to start the ball rolling. From the GoFundMe page …
“Our goal is to raise $20,000 by the end of the month, so that the Charleston community could present a check to Mr. Darby during an upcoming event he’s attending on Jan. 30, 2021.”
If you watch this short video interview with Mr. Darby, I recommend using the closed-captioning, for the voice of the interviewer is not audible, but you will love Mr. Darby!
The Tennessee River is one of the dirtiest rivers in the U.S. A river cleanup, organized by Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful (KTNRB) and Johnsonville State Historic Park, is underway this year, and one weekend this month, twenty-five volunteers managed to remove 9,208 pounds of garbage from the river in Humphreys County, Tennessee.
Altogether there are nearly 1,000 volunteers involved in the project to clean up the Tennessee River by the end of this year. Their goal is to remove as much as 100,000 pounds of trash from the river and surrounding areas.
“That’s how the change for our river will happen: through local partners and individuals who are eager about taking ownership to protect and improve their beautiful river community,” said Kathleen Gibi, KTNRB Executive Director.
Not to add a negative note to this story, but I have to ask the question … why in hell do people throw their trash along roadsides, in streams & rivers, in parks, and other places where trash is the enemy of the environment? Do these people also throw trash on the floor in their homes?
Anyway, more cleanup sessions are scheduled, and by the end of the year, the Tennessee River, thanks to hundreds of volunteers, should lose its status as one of the dirtiest rivers in the nation! Now to keep it clean …
One happy teen!
Jayden Sutton, a high school senior, made the trek on foot each day from school to his job at a restaurant and then back home. Sutton was determined to work and make enough money to eventually buy his own vehicle, as his mother was recently laid off and her car was totaled several weeks ago.
Jayden left school each day at 3:30pm., then walked 5 miles to his job at the restaurant. After his shift, which usually lasted between six to eight hours, he walked home, another 5 miles unless a coworker offered him a ride, sometimes not arriving back until almost midnight. This young man is dedicated … he’ll go far in life!
One day last December, Lavonda Wright Myers saw him walking down the road in the rain …
“The young man was relentlessly in a rush walking to work saying ‘I can’t be late’. He said, ‘ma’m could you give me a ride please?’ I told him I could take him as far as I was going.”
After dropping Sutton off, Myers said his heart and determination filled her with tears.
“He was smiling in good spirit and that’s a child worth blessing.”
So, Myers shared Sutton’s story on a GoFundMe page — which raised more than $9,000 from 186 donors.
She surprised Sutton with a new car after she managed to convince the general manager of the Nalley Honda dealership in Union City to drop the price of the vehicle to meet the budget.
Hats off to Ms. Myers and all those who donated to this most worthy cause!
Willie the Parrot
Once in a while, I like to include a piece about animals doing good things, and this week I came across one that deserves a thumbs-up. Though Willie doesn’t know the Heimlich maneuver, he knows how to identify someone in need. Willie is a Quaker parrot that was home one night while his owners were away. Willie’s owners had left the bird and their daughter with a babysitter one night when the unthinkable occurred.
While the toddler’s babysitter was in the restroom, the parrot noticed that something was wrong with the two-year-old daughter of her owner. The bird flew to the bathroom door, where the toddler’s babysitter was unaware of the situation. After cawing and calling “Mama baby”, the babysitter knew that something was wrong.
The parrot’s cries allowed the babysitter, Hannah Kuusk, to find the toddler while she was still conscious, whose face had began turning blue while choking. Hannah was able to perform the Heimlich maneuver and save the child’s life in time. The child survived thanks to both Hannah’s efforts and the quick thinking of Willie the parrot.
See folks … people without wealth, just average, everyday people like you and me, are the ones rolling up their sleeves and doing what needs to be done – for the planet, for other people, for wildlife. I want to be one of those ‘good people’, don’t you? The people highlighted in my ‘good people’ posts are worth a million Mitch McConnells and Kevin McCarthys!