Good People Doing Good Things … Overflowing Love

Some weeks putting together the good people post is a challenge, but this week … I have so many good people they are overflowing the bucket!  So, let’s jump right in …


A young man gives back …

Ashis Dhakal immigrated to the U.S., Salt Lake City, Utah, to be exact, at the age of 18 after spending years in a refugee camp in Nepal.  His first experiences were trying, being bullied at school because of both his ethnicity and his Hinduism, but Ashis dealt with it and still wanted to ‘give back’ to the community that was now his.

“I got bullied in school … they called me a terrorist and stuff like that. I practice Hinduism, and in Hinduism, service is very, very important, because, you know, we’re taught to give, and even if you don’t have anything, we try to give as much as we can.”

A few years ago, while working at a local KFC, he met a man who was homeless. While cleaning tables, Dhakal and the man connected, and the man shared his story about how he became homeless.  And all at once, an idea was born.

“One of the necessities he needed was clothes, and so that’s where I got the idea.”

Ashis Collects Clothes hosted its first clothing drive in 2019. Dhakal collected everything, including socks, hats, jackets, coats and shoes.

“With that project, I was able to bring so many people together and change so many lives. My biggest ‘why’ in my life is that as a young child, going through poverty, I was in the same shoes as they were in right now. I have a house. I have a computer now. I have a phone. But think about it. Those kids are still suffering. What I can do is better others so that, you know, they can give back to their community.”

For Dhakal, Ashis Collects Clothes is just a start: In the future, he wants to own a multimillion-dollar business that focuses on giving its money away to help others.  There is more to Ashis’ story and I encourage you to check out his Facebook page (link above) and his story as reported on MSN.


New parents … again!

I’d like to introduce you to Pam and Gary Willis.

Pam and Gary recently became new parents … to a family of seven children, ranging in age from four to fifteen.  Pam and Gary had already raised one family and were what is known as ‘empty nesters’, with their five children grown and gone from the nest, when one day Pam read an article about seven siblings from San Diego who had lost both their parents in a car crash. They needed a home, but even if they found one, they would likely be separated.  Says Pam …

“In that instant, their sweet smiling faces jumped off of the screen and into my heart. That evening I asked my husband if he’d seen the post. ‘Yes’, he said. ‘We should adopt them’. My heart stopped. ‘We should’, I said. We knew deep inside that this mission was being placed before us. If not us, then who?

They had been in foster care for a year since their parents had been killed in the car accident that they all had miraculously survived.

Who would keep them all together? Who would have the space for them? Who would have the time, and the love, and the patience for their trauma? The answer was clear… we would. Why else did we have a six bedroom house that was about to have it’s last child’s bedroom vacated? Why else would our nest that had raised our first five babies be empty just in time? It was only to make room for our new babies. They were ours from the minute we saw their faces on the news story.”

It took time and patience to go through the process, jump through the hoops, and maneuver through the mounds of red tape, but last June Pam and Gary brought the children home.

“We have never looked back since the day we met them and never doubted what we’re doing is the right thing to do. I have noticed how incredibly happy they are and that makes me so happy too, because that’s all we ask for. The oldest of the seven, Adelino, said to me recently, ‘Thank you for giving us this life,’ and there is no other feeling like that.”

Two thumbs up to these two caring, wonderful people for their courage and their love to these 7 young children.


Joshua Morris is a Delaware State Trooper … one with a huge heart!  Periodically, Trooper Morris drops by the local basketball court where the kids hang out and shoots a few baskets with them.  Recently, one of the kids on the court, 9-year-old Ra’kir Allen, shot a video of Morris and the kids having a bit of fun and the video went viral, as they say.

In the video, young Allen can be heard cheering for Trooper Morris …

“Oh that’s Curry, that’s Curry, that’s Curry!” yells Allen, comparing the officer to NBA Golden State Warrior Stephen Curry.

And it was that enthusiasm, coupled with the comparison to Curry, that inspired Trooper Morris to do what he did.  After speaking with Ra’kir’s mother, he went out and bought Ra’kir a pair of Curry sneakers (trainers for my Brit friends).  You have to see the video to feel the love, the joy, the excitement …

But that wasn’t all … he included a $50 bill in the left shoe.  Now, before joining the force, Trooper Morris earned his Master’s degree in Education, so … he understand kids and says he believes that police should never be strangers in the communities they serve.

“When he laces up those sneakers, he has somebody who believes in him. He has somebody who loves him. He has somebody that will be kind to him.”

THIS, my friends, is what police officers around the country should be doing.  They could earn so much trust and respect if only they gave some, showed they care.  My hat is off to Trooper Joshua Morris!


I had more, but I will save the rest for next week, for it’s late and I’m very tired.  I hope you enjoyed this week’s good people … I certainly did.

Good People Doing Good Things — Wesley Hamilton

Sorry this post is late … I was so exhausted last night that I thought I had put it on the schedule for 3:00 a.m., but turns out it was still in draft!


Wesley Hamilton was only 24 years old when two bullets paralyzed him from the waist down.  On January 14, 2012, Hamilton got caught up in an altercation with a stranger outside an apartment complex. The man shot Hamilton twice in his abdomen.  When the bullets pierced his body, he thought he was going to die.

“I laid on that ground taking my last breaths, having regrets about life, because it wasn’t until that moment that I realized I had never lived.”

Hamilton survived, suffering a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the waist down. At 24, he became “a single father in a wheelchair,” he said — adjusting to a new life faced with new challenges.

“I felt hopeless and useless.  It defeated me.”

A year later, Hamilton was diagnosed with a pressure ulcer on his tailbone from the extended hours of sitting. He underwent six surgeries and spent the next two years confined to bed rest.

In the years following his injury, Hamilton said he became dangerously overweight, depressed and suicidal.

It was his daughter, Navaeh, who ultimately became his lifeline.

“I was determined to be a better person and a better father. My love for her is greater than she’ll ever know. And that love inspired me to … take control of my life.”

w-hamilton-daughterHe enrolled in community college and took a nutrition course. He started a healthy eating regimen and took up weightlifting. He lost 100 pounds within a year.

For Hamilton, it was only the beginning. He became an award-winning adaptive athlete and eventually a certified adaptive CrossFit instructor. Through his journey, Hamilton realized he wanted to help other people with disabilities regain their livelihood.

Since 2017, his non-profit, Disabled But Not Really, has empowered dozens of people through adaptive physical training and nutrition coaching — helping them take their health back into their own hands and rise above their limitations.

w-hamilton-2Hamilton developed an eight-week fitness program, and before the pandemic hit, participants would meet for one-hour group sessions twice a week as well as nutrition seminars.

When group classes were suspended because of Covid-19, Hamilton said he was committed to continuing to serve and support his program participants through private training sessions.

“People deserve to know they are more than their circumstances. My purpose is to inspire. And it’s to show people what happiness really looks like despite the adversity that you have to face.”

Mr. Hamilton was recently interviewed by CNN’s Laura Klairmont … what follows is a portion of that interview:

CNN: How has your organization pivoted programming in response to the pandemic and what are your future plans?

Wesley Hamilton: Just like so many other organizations, we had to change our whole way that we create an impact. (We) also want to make sure that everybody is safe during these uncertain times.

We understood the lack of access to fitness centers. So, I made my garage into a gym. I host a 12-week program that is personal training two days a week, as well as nutritional information seminars that we provide to help those athletes become a better version of themselves and have an overall better quality of life.

I believe our work is very important right now during Covid, because we are targeting a community of people that are at high-risk of so many things that our organization provides information and education for — fitness and nutrition.

With all of these changes happening, we want to continually be innovative. We want to go out to the community. We’re launching a mobile trailer gym. It’s our way of really making sure that everybody gets the same access. And our end goal is our own fitness center for people with disabilities.

CNN: What are some of the everyday obstacles that people with disabilities face?

Hamilton: One thing that’s not talked about a lot is why people with disabilities aren’t really seen in society. The disabled community is very isolated because of the lack of accessibility we have to face in any facility or business — grocery stores to gyms, stairs to elevators, car issues. The world is … just not really built for accessibility.

It breaks you. It brings you down on a level that you don’t feel accepted in a world that is supposed to accept everybody. More people will feel comfortable at home than trying to go out into a world that makes you very, very uncomfortable. (And) you have to deal with the way people look at you, and that’s debilitating in itself.

Most of the time I didn’t want to get out until I realized that I had to to raise awareness for what was needing to be changed. Ninety percent of my day, I face obstacles. Facilities should be mindful enough to make sure that they have a universal design that speaks to everybody. Systems that are in place actually need to be rewritten. No one should feel alienated. It’s the reason why I felt the need to create my organization. Innovation has to start somewhere. And certain facilities just need to see you there. Once you start to create that and bring people around that are different, we start to think of ideas to make everyone be accepted in one place.

CNN: You’re not only helping those you work with get physically fit. How do you support them on a deeper level?

Hamilton: My main goal is to teach people how to take control of their life — take full accountability and embrace your reality despite the circumstances that you face. When we go through our program, it’s only the beginning. I want to be there through your whole journey because I want to see you successful. Even though our training looks just like normal gym strength and conditioning, it’s really reshaping the things that you can do in life.

We make sure that we are attacking the mindset as well as tackling the physical aspect of the person we’re helping. Allowing them to be vulnerable, to talk about their challenges, allows us to help them, and it gives them peace and makes their day more successful.

I’m bringing people of all sorts together to be empowered by one another. It’s a community of people that are different, but together we are the same. I believe that people everywhere that are differently abled should experience that.

Mr. Hamilton is living proof that being confined to a wheelchair doesn’t have to mean the end of life, but in fact can be a new beginning.  How many people has he helped to find out who they are, to learn to live a full life despite their disabilities?  Perhaps we’ll never know, but more than a few I’d be willing to bet.  This is truly a case of turning adversity into strength … and helping others do the same.

Good People Doing Good Things — Communities

I hope you will forgive me, but this week’s ‘good people’ post is a re-post from September 2017.  It was, I think, well worth re-visiting, and frankly between the latest mass shootings and being very worried about a dear friend, I just cannot seem to focus well enough to write a new ‘good people’ post tonight.  I think you’ll find these good people make up for my laziness this week … at least I hope so!


It’s been a rough couple of weeks … 2 hurricanes slammed the continental U.S., another even stronger one devastated the archipelago of Puerto Rico.  Four major earthquakes have hit Mexico so far this month. Political upheaval and controversy reigned, not only here in the U.S. but around the globe.  We all need to look to something positive, look at those people who thumb their noses at trouble and just roll up their sleeves and get down to the business of helping others.  Today’s ‘good people’ are those who take the meaning of the word ‘community’ seriously, who believe that we are all in this together and we need to set aside differences to help one another.


hatley.pngJulius Hatley is 95-years-young, a World War II veteran, and lives alone in Ft. Worth, Texas.  At the beginning of summer, back in June, Mr. Hatley’s central air-conditioning as well as a smaller window unit both went caput, so Mr. Hatley took to sitting out on his porch most of the time, for inside the house was unbearable.  Finally, one day Mr. Hatley knew he had to do something … summer was only beginning and he was already miserable.  But what to do?  So, the only thing he could think of was to call 911, which is what he did.

“This wasn’t a regular 911 call,” according to Fort Worth Police Officer William Margolis. “It was what you’d label ‘low priority’ because we’re not AC techs.” I have to wonder if many police departments would have just written it off as a ‘no-priority’ call?  But not these guys.  Officer Margolis and his partner, Christopher Weir, after responding to a few higher priority calls that morning, went to check on Mr. Hatley. They found that he had no working air-conditioner, and at 8:30 a.m., the temperature inside his house was already 85° (F), 29.4° (C).

Now these guys were under no obligation, but out of the goodness of their hearts, they went to Home Depot to buy Mr. Hatley a window unit to replace his broken one.  And, just as these things so often do, their effort gained momentum when they explained to the staff at Home Depot what they were doing.  Staff and management pooled their available cash and contributed $150 toward the air conditioner!

Later that day, Officer Weir returned to Hatley’s home with another Ft. Worth Officer, Steven Rebrovich, and they installed the unit.  Mr. Hatley was appreciative and excited beyond words, but the story doesn’t stop there.  Once the story hit the news, the community came together in the spirit of … community!  An air conditioning company replaced his central air free of charge, and others took care of replacing his windows and re-painting his house!  Other members of the community check on Mr. Hatley and deliver groceries every week!  This, friends, is what being a community is about.  This is what being a human is all about.  Let us all give two thumbs up to Officers Weir and Margolis, certainly, but to ALL those who have come to help Mr. Hatley!  And a thumbs up to Mr. Hatley himself for his service to our nation all those years ago.


In the small eastern Turkish town of Karakocan, nobody goes hungry.  The Merkez Restaurant is just one of many in town that feeds people who need a meal, free of charge.  Mehmet Ozturk, 55, the owner of Merkez, says he always keeps at least three tables reserved for the needy, even during rush hour when his restaurant is packed.

OzturkOzturk says at least 15 people come to his restaurant every day to receive a free meal. According to residents, around 100 people eat for free each day across the whole town.  The tradition to feed the needy for free first started in the 1940s at the Merkez Restaurant, one of the first eateries in town, when the former owners started offering free meals to those in need every day. The practice was quickly picked up by other restaurants in the area. Ozturk says: “The tradition has always been here, even 70 years ago. For us it was a natural thing to do, something we learned from our elders.”

There are about five large restaurants in the quaint but surprisingly vibrant town centre, and each one honours the philanthropic tradition. Individuals receiving free food tend to be regulars, familiar faces who visit the restaurant to have at least two meals a day. Ozturk says that a large margin of the regular diners suffer from disabilities, such as mental illness, such as regular Galip who says, “The Merkez is my favourite place in town, because the food is great.“

GalipThe generosity goes beyond feeding those in need, as restaurants also offer feasts for free for the whole town on Islamic holidays including Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha and throughout the holy month of Ramadan.  Again, we see what community is really about.  Hats off to the restauranteurs of Karakocan, Turkey for taking care of the less fortunate!


GothenburgAnd then there’s Gothenburg, Sweden.  Gothenburg is the 2nd largest city in Sweden, with about 600,000 residents.  The city is one of the most segregated in Europe and is dependent on the fossil industry, and yet it was voted the world’s “most sociable city.” How can that be, you ask?  Through a series of community initiatives that promote sharing and collaboration, the city is turning things around.

Just a few of these initiatives are ,,,

Collaborative Economy Gothenburg, a non-profit promoting the collaborative economy in the city through projects and events like Global Sharing Week.

Bike Kitchen, an open do-it-yourself workshop where people can repair their bikes with access to tools, space, and assistance from others. They also hold workshops where people can learn to repair bikes.

The nonprofit ridesharing movement Skjutsgruppen, where private individuals can bridge both physical distances and distances between each other as human beings by sharing vehicles.

Gothenburg-2These are just three of the twelve initiatives this community has created to overcome the obstacles the city, like any other city, faces, and I strongly urge you to take a look at the entire list … there are some terrific ideas there!  It just goes to show that when people pull together, when they put aside meaningless differences, they can do marvelous things!


Mexico first experienced an earthquake of 8.1 on September 8th, and another of 7.1 on September 19th.   The one in Oaxaca on the 8th was the strongest in living memory and the death toll quickly rose.  Rescuers were on the scene quickly, and one seven-year-old named Frida is responsible for helping find people amid the rubble.  Oh, did I happen to mention that Frida is a Labrador retriever employed by the Mexican Navy?

Frida-1.jpgWhen the second quake hit Mexico City just over a week later, Frida was once again on the job. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto formally recognised the labrador’s determination and bravery on Twitter on Friday morning …

“This is Frida. She belongs to SEMAR and has helped save 52 lives in various natural disasters at national and international levels.”

Yes, I know … the title of this post is Good People Doing Good Things … but this dog gave her all, and I think she deserves a bit of recognition also. And now, Frida has been immortalized as a piñata!

Frida-4


I hope you enjoyed today’s good people (and dog).  Isn’t it great to read about people pulling together, putting aside differences in the true spirit of ‘community’?  I think every city could take a lesson from Gothenburg, don’t you?  Until next Wednesday, my friends, lets all try to do something good for somebody this week.  Love and hugs!

Good People Doing Good Things — Feeding People

All three of this week’s ‘good people’ have earned thumbs-up for doing something to help feed people.  Let’s take a look …


Meet Doramise Moreau, a woman with a heart of gold.  Doramise is a widow, 60 years of age, who works part-time as a janitor at a technical school in Miami, Florida.  She usually walks to work or takes the bus because she does not own a car.  Doramise doesn’t have much in the way of money, but she still gives more to her community than most people.  What does she do?  She cooks.  Correction … she cooks over a thousand meals every week to feed the hungry in her community.

doramise-moreauEvery Thursday and Friday, Moreau borrows her church’s truck to buy groceries. Notre Dame d’Haiti Catholic Church pays for the food, relying on donations. Moreau then prepares the meals singlehandedly, while church volunteers serve or deliver them to people in need.  Says Ms. Moreau …

“Americans, Spanish, Haitian, they come here.  Even when I’m closing, they say, ‘Please, can I have some,’ and I give it to them, because if they go home and have nothing it hurts my feelings.”

Don’t you just want to hug this woman?  Despite her limited salary, she also feeds people back home in her little village north of Port-au-Prince in Haiti. She sends food pallets monthly to her sisters and brother, nieces, nephews and neighbors.

Now, I said at the beginning that Doramise doesn’t own a car, but that’s not quite true, for last week Ms. Moreau was surprised with a new Toyota Corolla by community leaders!  Take a look …


In Baltimore, Maryland, there is a restaurant named Ekiben, owned by Steve Chu and friends Ephrem Abebe and Nikhil Yesupriya.  The restaurant is known in the Fells Point neighborhood for its Taiwanese-influenced cuisine in a fast casual environment.  Recently Steve Chu got his opportunity to be a ‘good people’.

A customer of Ekiben reached out to the restaurant after he learned that his mother-in-law’s health had taken a turn for the worse.

He explained …

“My mother-in-law lives in Vermont and would visit my wife and her sister throughout the years. Whenever she was in town, Ekiben’s tempura broccoli was something she always needed to have. She always joked that when she’s on her death bed that if there’s anything in the world, she wants tempura broccoli from Ekiben.”

Turns out his mother-in-law is, in fact, on her death bed now, dying of stage 4 lung cancer, so …

“The drive to Vermont is 6 hours and tempura broccoli obviously will not taste the same after the long ride. I reached out to Ekiben’s owners to see if there was a way for us to either get the recipe or some of the ingredients to bring up and cook it for her.

The response I received is still overwhelming.

Steve Chu replied, ‘Thanks for reaching out. Ephrem and I are more than willing to meet you guys in Vermont and make the food fresh so it will be just like what she remembered.’

I’m still in disbelief that they would go to such lengths.”

EkibenSteve and Ephrem did as promised, and refused to accept any money for their gas, lodging, or the food they provided.


Rhonda Lee of Jackson Country, West Virginia, has made a big difference during this pandemic by starting a food pantry in her own basement.

Ms. Lee began in the early days of the pandemic taking money out of her own pay checks to create a food pantry for those in need …

“Some weeks it was 200, some weeks 100.”

rhonda-leeWhen Lee was laid off in June, she continued the pantry going with the money she had saved.  How many people do you know who would do that?  Lee says she has strived to find ways to give back to the community after others helped her when she lost everything in a flash flood in 1995.

“I know what it’s like to get up one day and everything’s gone. They helped me, and I’m in a position, I’m gonna help others.”

Lee says she helps anyone, no matter the circumstances. She even goes the extra mile and drops the boxes of food off herself.

“We don’t tell people ‘no’. We just say ‘how can we help?’, ‘what do you need?'”


There are a few essentials to keep people alive, and no, an i-phone isn’t one of them.  Food, water, shelter … that’s about it.  Today’s good people all went the extra mile, giving of their time and money to make sure people had the first of those essentials and they all deserve a big …

thumbs

Good People Doing Good Things — A Few Good Men

Today, I have two good people stories for you.  Some days it’s so easy to be dragged down by the ongoing, never-ending news cycle that we forget some people are doing things to help others, whether human or critter or the environment.  The people in these stories will serve as a reminder that … not everyone is a self-serving greedy #$%&*#.


Nandu & Rajappan

This is the story of two good men.

A passion for photography has always possessed this young engineer from Kerala, India. Now he knows there was a purpose, after a photo he took while walking around his village ended up changing a man’s life and getting a shout-out from India’s prime minister.

Nandu-KS-with-Rjappan-submitted-by-Nandu

Carrying around a rented camera searching for stories, Nandu Ks found nothing particularly interesting until one day he came to a bridge.

“I was always keen to capture images which had a story to tell, images which had life.  I noticed a man rowing a boat and collecting something from the river.”

The old man was N. S. Rajappan, and he’s been plucking plastic bottles from the river for years to earn a meager living. Paralyzed since the age of five when he was struck with polio, his daily routine has kept the waterways of Vembanad Lake clear of plastic—all from the seat of his small boat.

Without crutches, the 69-year-old would drag his legs a short way down the riverbank to the Meenachil River, after which he was free to wander the waters in search of bottles.

Rjappan-vertical-submitted-by-Nandu-KS-ProMedia

From the bridge that day, Nandu witnessed people throwing bottles into the river, while underneath a smiling Rajappan scooped them up.

Filling his boat with plastic only earns him about Rs 12 (17 cents), but it’s enough for a meal—and it’s satisfying to know he is helping the environment.

“Somebody should remove the waste from the water… I am doing what is possible for me.”

Rjappan-by-Nandu-KS-who-submitted-it

Nandu uploaded his story and photos to his Pro Media Facebook page, and people began retweeting it, including the UN Environment Program chief Erik Solheim, who suggested, “Let’s make this guy famous.”

The Indian Prime Minister, himself, Narendra Modi, then commended Rajappan’s efforts during his monthly radio address …

“I have seen news from Kerala which reminds us of our responsibilities. Imagine how highly he thinks! We must also take inspiration from him and contribute towards cleanliness as far as possible.”

Afterward, the story went completely viral, and inspired Indians to send gifts to the elder worker.

He’s been rewarded with a new motorboat, courtesy of a local businessman, and plans are in the works to build him a little home to replace the riverside shack that had been severely damaged in a storm.  Best of all, a Bangalore-based company making wheelchairs has given him a heavy-duty motorized wheelchair.  Said Nandu …

“With support coming in from thousands of people, both financially and morally, I could see his life changing. I always wondered what it felt like to follow your passion, but never knew its true feeling till the day I met Rajappan chettan (chettan=brother).”

Rjappan-w-brother-submitted-by-Nandu-KS-ProMedia

And all of it happened because of one photograph.

“I went to him and showed him the photo I clicked. He smiled at me—and then I knew what it meant to be a photographer.”

The two have become good friends, and Nandu’s family invited him to dinner to show him the TV news segment featuring his good works.

“It takes a photographer to be at that moment and make that picture happen for the world to know the story.”

In this short video clip, only Indian is spoken, so you won’t likely understand the words, but you’ll feel the love.  Sometimes words aren’t even necessary.


Pilot Pete

Tucked into a suburban Chicago train station may appear to be an unassuming coffee shop. But what’s going on behind the scenes is much more than just your average cup of Joe.

For the seventh year in a row the shop’s owner Pilot Pete, a.k.a. Peter Thomas, has been the driving force behind ‘Coffee With a Purpose’, an annual community initiative that collects and distributes coats and other necessities to help the local homeless population brave the harsh Midwest winters.

Pete-1Thomas says the idea came to him when he was trying to find a way to give back to the community as well as get others involved. He admits he was initially unprepared for the positive avalanche of responses. In the weeks prior to Christmas in the drive’s first year, he and other volunteers took in 3,000 coats.

This year, for drive number seven, Thomas and crew helmed the Coffee With a Purpose command center from the back of a 26-foot moving truck. The humanitarian caravan made a total of six stops throughout greater Chicago. Pilot Pete’s brewed up 40 gallons of coffee for the occasion. The hot java was supplemented by donations from three other Elmhurst businesses eager to do their part. Baked goods came courtesy of Rough Edges Confectionery; the truck and a driver were provided Good Move Movers, and custom truck signage was the handiwork of Angel Fancy Design Studio.

Pete-2

At each stop, Thomas invited people up to “shop” for whatever they needed—free of charge. In addition to coats, there was a wide selection of blankets, socks, hats, gloves, scarves, and personal hygiene items to choose from, all collected, sorted, and hung by gung-ho community volunteers.

Thomas notes that with the added impact of COVID, there were more people in need than ever this time around.

“When we made this effort, all the shelters were on lockdown. No one was allowed in or out, that is, once you’re out, you can’t get back in, so there are more and more homeless people… This is a good year to be extra giving.”

But what Thomas and the community members who work alongside him are trying to achieve goes beyond merely handing out warm clothing and coffee. Forging a human connection with people who are so often invisible in society is an integral factor in their giving equation.

Thomas says making donations one-on-one makes it feel more genuine.

“You never know where someone has been or what someone’s been through before meeting them. With the homeless, we treat everyone the same or equal.”

According to Thomas’s proud mom, Joni Morgan, her son’s inclusive attitude is just who he is.

“Ever since he was a little he always would find the outsiders and pull them in to make them feel welcome.”

Thomas sees coffee as the perfect metaphor to inspire positive action.

“I love working with coffee as a tool of motivation to fuel and ignite people to soar beyond their expectations and to soar beyond society’s expectations. I’m fueling them and caffeinating them to do something better… something that will make them feel good about themselves so we can all grow together as one coffee family and fly beyond greatness.”

As of this writing, with plans for a new Elmhurst Metra station in the works, the future of Pilot Pete’s Coffee & Treats is a bit up in the air. Not surprisingly, the community he’s been rallying for years is now rallying behind him.

“Pilot Pete’s is more than a coffee shop. Peter Thomas gives back to our community in so many ways—from the annual coat drive for the homeless, school fundraisers, motivational quotes tucked into every cup sleeve, and more—his is the shining face every commuter needs to see. His ‘coffee with a purpose’ mentality is part of what makes Elmhurst a beautiful place,” reads the Change.org petition to keep Pete’s in place.

Since a tall, sweet, hot cup of coffee—laced with a heavy dollop of the milk of human kindness—is the kind of brew that belongs on everybody’s menu, here’s hoping Thomas will be able to continue serving up his special brand of hospitality for years to come.

Good People Doing Good Things — Giving Back

Today’s ‘good people’ are two men who started with almost nothing, but through hard work and determination made a good life for themselves and their families, and now they are sharing the rewards with others.  I think you’ll find them both worthy … I did.


Calvin Tyler is a success story in more ways than one!  In 1961, Tyler enrolled as a student of business administration at Morgan State College (now Morgan State University) in Baltimore. When his funds dried up in 1963, a year shy of graduation, he left school and took a job as a UPS driver.

Tyler’s lack of a college diploma might have been considered a setback by some, but it didn’t deter this driver with a true drive from steadily rising in the ranks. By the time he retired in 1998, Tyler was Senior Vice President of U.S. Operations and was seated on the UPS board of directors.  That in itself is a success story, but there’s more.

Tyler’s hard work and grit paid off, but he knew that in the business world, his story was the exception rather than the rule. So, in 2002, he and his wife established the Calvin and Tina Tyler Endowed Scholarship Fund at the historically Black university he once attended.  By granting full-tuition scholarships to select Baltimore students in need, they hoped to elevate them to a place where they’d be able to gain a first foothold on the corporate ladder. How far they climbed would be up to them.

Calvin-TylerIn 2016, the Tylers raised the bar, endowing the fund with $5 million. Earlier this year, they broke their own record, pledging $20 million in scholarship endowments. Tyler says he and his wife were compelled by the impact the COVID-19 crisis has had on students already struggling to do what they could to help close the financial gap.

“This is why we are increasing our commitment. We want to have more full-tuition scholarships offered to young people so that they can graduate from college and enter the next stage of their life debt-free.”

Calvin Tyler might not have a college diploma to hang on his wall, but he’s earned an advanced degree in paying it forward many times over—and that’s one course of study all of us can learn from.


Mark Dunajtschik escaped Knicanin prison camp near the end of WWII and was forced to flee his homeland of Yugoslavia. Five years after the war ended, he became an apprentice toolmaker.  The trade he mastered then may have shaped his career, but it was the life lessons he learned that ultimately forged the character of the man he’d someday become.

With housing in post-war Germany almost nonexistent, Dunajtschick’s only option at that time was living in a housing facility for the mentally and physically disabled. Seeing the daily challenges his housemates faced, he realized how just lucky he was.

“Because I was given the opportunity to live in that home, which was founded by an industrialist in the 1880s, now that I am in a position that I can also do something, naturally I want to do it.”

At the age of 85, as one of the most successful industrialists and real estate developers in New Zealand, Dunajtschik is indeed uniquely poised to deliver on his desire to give back.  Already known for his philanthropic works—having financed the country’s Life Flight Trust helicopter rescue service—Dunajtschik’s latest major humanitarian endeavor is overseeing the construction of a new children’s hospital in Wellington.

Mark-Dunajtschik-supplied-Mark-Dunajtschik

In 2017, he committed $50 million dollars of his own money toward building it.

“After a conversation between my business partner and my life partner we decided, why not build it? Those people that are born with a healthy body and mind can look after themselves and those unfortunate to be born with, or suffering ill health, need our help.”

Dunajtschik had no desire to simply throw money at the new hospital. He takes a hands-on approach to all his projects.

“By utilizing my expertise as a developer we would be able to produce more real estate than if we were to just write out a cheque and leave the bureaucrats to build it. 

Over the summer, construction passed a major milestone. As Dunajtschik looked on, the industrial support cranes were cleared from the site, signaling the exterior was complete.  The hospital is expected to open within a year.

Good People Doing Good Things — Texans

Last week Texas, like many other places across the United States, was hit with a massive snowstorm. The difference between Texas and the Midwest in this case is that the Midwest is used to these storms, is prepared with equipment for clearing streets, etc., and … the Midwest relies on a large power grid that covers half the nation.  Texas, however, has its own power grid, and isn’t prepared for such a severe snowstorm, so at one point, tens of millions of people were without power in the freezing cold. Add to that frozen water pipes, so millions were without water, and food shortages, and icy roads that most Texans have never had to contend with, and it was a recipe for disaster.  But there is one thing you can count on in a disaster … there will be those who go out of their way to be the ‘better angels’ that are needed.  Today, I have a few such stories and I think you’ll find there are some really good people down there in the Lone Star State.


They opened their home to a stranger

Chelsea Timmons delivers groceries on weekends to make extra money, and she was making her last delivery of the weekend the Sunday the storm hit, February 14th.  As she slowly made her way up to a client’s long, sloped driveway in Austin, things suddenly took a bad turn: Her car began to slide uncontrollably toward the client’s house.  Luckily, she did not hit the house, but instead she crashed into the homeowners’ flower beds, then took out a small tree before her Toyota RAV4 came to a rest.

The homeowner, Doug Condon, came out and tried to help Timmons, sprinkling birdseed around her tires for traction, but to no avail.  Condon and his wife, Nina Richardson, told Timmons to come inside and get warm while she called AAA and several towing companies.  After making calls for several hours, Timmons said she finally realized that help wasn’t coming. Nobody could come out because the roads were terrible and accidents were piling up all over, and her home was three hours away, in Houston.

timmonsAt this point, Condon, 58, and Richardson, 62, realized they could send her back out into the storm, or they could invite her to stay. They invited her to stay.  Long story short, Chelsea stayed with Condon and his wife for five days before she was finally able to get her vehicle out of the ice & snow!  For five days, snowed in, they got to know each other and became almost as family.  After goodbye hugs all around, the three vowed to stay in touch …

“We’re definitely going to stay in touch. How could we not? I know their address.”


Speaking of better angels …

Ryan Sivley deserves a hero’s medal, for he is absolutely a hero to some 500 Texans.  When the storm hit on Sunday, Sivley headed to the corner store to stock up on supplies.  On his way, he saw several cars stuck in snowbanks and ditches on the side of the road.  Well, Ryan just happens to drive a 2010 4-wheel drive Chevrolet Silverado, equipped with equipment such as chains, hooks, and recovery tow straps.  Now, Ryan doesn’t work for a towing company, but he does like to go off-roading with his buddies on weekends, hence the equipment.

sively-truckRyan’s adventure began that Sunday when he stopped to help ‘a few people’ …

“I had all my gear, so I thought, ‘let me just help.’ As fast as I was clearing cars out, people were pulling in and getting stuck.  I went from helping one person, to three people, to five people. At 434 cars, I stopped counting. So many people are still stranded.”

Sivley secured each vehicle to his truck, then pulled it past dangerous terrain, until the driver could safely take the wheel. In some cases, such as a young woman stranded 3 miles from her parents’ house, Sivley even towed the person all the way to their destination!

sivley-icySivley’s rescue efforts extended beyond towing cars. When he saw how treacherous the roads were, he began driving health-care workers to and from work and single-handedly relocating people who didn’t have electricity or running water.  He hasn’t charged a dime for any of what he’s done, though in one day he went through three tanks of diesel fuel for his truck.  He estimates that for 5-6 days that week, he was out from 4:00 a.m. until midnight rescuing people.  Damn, but I do so want to shake this man’s hand … if there is such a thing as a hero, Ryan Sivley is one!


C’mon in out of the cold

Jim McIngvale is known for his showmanship.  Jim owns a chain of furniture stores in Texas known as Gallery Furniture, and he’s been known for some showy television ads, such as one where he is actually wearing a mattress!   But when the power grid failed in Texas, leaving millions freezing in their homes, some with medical conditions that required equipment that depends on electricity, Jim became a hero.

He opened the doors of his furniture stores to anyone in need of warmth and shelter.  Anyone is welcome to use the beds and sofas in his showrooms, take in a movie or basketball game on his big screen televisions and sit down to a hot meal, said McIngvale, 70.

“Obviously, there’s a lot of angst among the community coming in here. They’re shellshocked. They’ve been home for days in the cold with no electricity, no heat, no water, no plumbing.”

McIngvale-2While the store has power supplied by a generator filled with 15,000 gallons of diesel fuel, only one faucet is working because of frozen pipes, said McIngvale.  He brought in portable toilets and rigged a special flush system in the restrooms with extra water.

McIngvale has also paid food vendors to bring in tacos, enchiladas, hamburgers, hot dogs and breakfast burritos.

“To whom much has been given, much is expected. We’ve benefited from public support over the years, so it’s our obligation to open our doors and let people come in to get a respite from the storm. It’s the right thing to do.”

McIngvaleThis isn’t the first time McIngvale has done this.  He opened his Gallery Furniture stores to people who fled Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and Tropical Storm Imelda in 2019.  Jim McIngvale is another whose hand I would like to shake … he is a good people for sure!


These are just a few of the good people who have opened doors and hearts to the people of Texas – I had bookmarked at least 5 other stories of people being the ‘better angels’ in this time of crisis.  As of five days ago, at least 58 people had died as a result of the storm and related power outages, icy highways, lack of water, etc., and it is said that the full death toll may take months to determine.  I suspect that the three people highlighted here saved a lot of lives last week.  Thumbs up to them, as well as others who were too busy helping people to escape to Cancún (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

Good People Doing Good Things — Random Acts of Kindness Day … And More!

Do you know what today is?  It’s February 17th!  And do you know what February 17th is?  It’s National Random Acts of Kindness Day!  Now, we should all be kind to everyone we encounter every day, but National Random Acts of Kindness Day is intended to make us more aware of the little things we can do to help someone out, or maybe just bring a smile to their face.  In this, the era of the pandemic, many more people are struggling than ever before, financially, emotionally, and in other ways.

National-Random-Acts-of-Kindness-DayIn the U.S., Random Acts of Kindness day is celebrated on this day, but in other countries, such as New Zealand, the date is different, but the meaning is still the same. The goal, according to the National Kindness website, is to help make kindness the norm by spreading it in the simplest ways.  So, what are some simple ways we can do a random act of kindness?  You tell me.  My favourite is usually to help someone I see struggling, perhaps to reach an item on a high grocery shelf, or a person in a wheelchair trying to get their groceries onto the conveyor belt, then out to their vehicle.  Or, paying it ahead at the drive through line is always a good one, one that tends to spread.

kindness-1As I always tell you guys at the end of each week’s Jolly Monday post, share those smiles.  Sometimes, just a kind smile can bring joy to someone who’s a bit down.  Thank someone … the mail carrier or trash man.  Help a neighbor carry their parcels in.  Or, if you’re feeling really energetic, get out that shovel and shovel a neighbor’s driveway and sidewalk!  It’ll help them, and you’ll get some much-needed exercise, too!

Anyway, let’s all try to do one random act of kindness today …

kindness-2


I usually get some flak when I highlight professional athletes or other celebrities who are making a difference, being good people, but when I think it’s deserved, I will shine a light on them. Not all of them are selfish jerks. This week, I have several that I think deserving of kudos.


I’m sure you all remember last May, when a Black man, George Floyd, was brutally murdered by a white police officer – an event that triggered many of the Black Lives Matter protests during the summer.  The most important thing Mr. Floyd left behind was his 7-year-old daughter, Gianna.  The Floyd family, like so many of us, lived payday to payday, and without his income, times were harder than ever.  Enter a bunch of good people …

Kyrie-IrvingNBA professional basketball star Kyrie Irving learned what the family needed most and stepped up to provide it. Kyrie Irving, the point guard for the Brooklyn Nets, bought them a house.  Irving, who felt he was just doing the right thing, tried to downplay his generosity.

“I just want to keep continuing to fulfill our purpose in serving a lot of the underserved communities. Those don’t necessarily get the same attention. So just trying to do my part with service, that’s all.”

Irving is not the only celebrity to reach out to Gianna and her family. Lil Wayne’s manager bought them a Mercedes-Benz. Barbra Streisand gave them stock in Disney.

In addition, Kanye West (whom I cannot stand personally, but I give credit where credit is due) donated $2 million to help Gianna and the families of Ahmaud Arbery, the 25-year-old victim of a racially motivated murder in Georgia, and 26-year-old Breonna Taylor, who was killed during a botched drug raid by police who showed up at the wrong apartment.

And ordinary citizens are reaching out, as well.  A GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $2.3 million, providing a fund when she’s ready to attend college—if she doesn’t want to take advantage of a full scholarship already offered by Texas Southern University.


Then there’s Stephen Curry, considered by some to be the greatest shooter in NBA history and treated as basketball royalty.  But there’s another side to this man.  Last summer, as the COVID-19 pandemic stalled the economy leaving many out of work, he and his wife Ayesha launched Eat. Learn. Play., a foundation that helps families struggling to put food on the table, through donations to the Alameda County Community Food Bank and the Oakland, California school system.

“We know the world is changing before our eyes in terms of dealing with the spread of coronavirus and we just found out that the Oakland Unified School District is closing the doors for the foreseeable future, so we want to intercede on behalf of the kids that rely on the daily services and try to help any way we can.”

stephen-currySince then, the initiative has expanded exponentially. After joining forces with the world-renowned, Chef José Andrés, founder of the nonprofit disaster-relief group World Central Kitchen, Stephen and Ayesha’s foundation has gone from serving 4,000 meals a week to 300,000.

In total, more than 15 million meals—and counting—have found their way to those in need.

But more than just serving up meals, Eat. Learn. Play. is also giving the local economy a much-needed financial shot in the arm—about $20 million that has “led to the rehiring of more than 900 Oakland restaurant workers.”

“It’s all about impact. The things my wife and I try to do, separately and together, are to raise awareness, to find impactful partnerships, to be human and understand the urgency of the moment.”


My thanks to all the good people who are doing what they can to help people, and let’s see if we can do just a little something today to bring a smile to someone’s face, okay?

Black History — Dr. Dan

This morning’s ‘good people’ post and related comments helped determine my path for this afternoon’s post.  Yes, there is a historic and crucial impeachment trial taking place this week, but I’m sure I will have ample opportunity to opine about that later.  For this afternoon, though, I want to highlight another ‘good people’ from the annals of Black History.  I wrote this post in February 2018, but since then I have many new readers, so to most of you, it will likely be new.  I hope you enjoy reading about a truly great humanitarian, Dr. Dan.


As I mentioned in a post last week, I want to take some time this month to highlight the accomplishments of some of our African-American brothers and sisters in honour of Black History Month.  We all know about Martin Luther King, Harriet Tubman, Bessie Coleman, Frederick Douglass, Malcolm X and many others who are routinely highlighted during Black History Month, so I wanted to take an opportunity to seek out some who we may not have heard of before.  Today, I am focusing on one remarkable man …

Daniel Hale WilliamsDaniel Hale Williams III, was born in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania in 1856, five years before the start of the Civil War. His father, Daniel Hale Williams II, was a barber, having inherited a barbershop, but more importantly, he also worked with the Equal Rights League, a black civil rights organization.

When Daniel was only ten years old, his father died, and young Daniel was sent to live with family friends in Baltimore, Maryland.  Early on, Daniel became a shoemaker’s apprentice, but he didn’t really like making shoes, and ultimately decided to return to his family, who had since moved to Illinois.

Once in Illinois, Daniel thought to follow in his father’s footsteps and took up barbering, but he didn’t really like that either.  He wanted something more, and part of what he wanted was knowledge, so he sought to pursue an education.  As such, he became an apprentice to a surgeon, Dr. Henry Palmer, and at the same time attended Chicago Medical College.

Having finally found his calling, Williams set up a practice on Chicago’s South side after graduating from medical school, and he also returned to Chicago Medical College to teach anatomy.  He was known as “Doctor Dan” by his patients.

Due to the discrimination of the day, African-American citizens were still barred from being admitted to hospitals and black doctors were refused staff positions. Firmly believing this needed to change, in May 1891, Williams opened Provident Hospital and Training School for Nurses, the nation’s first hospital with a nursing and intern program that had a racially integrated staff. The facility, where Williams worked as a surgeon, was publicly championed by famed abolitionist and writer Frederick Douglass.

On July 9th, 1893, an oppressively hot day, James Cornish had worked a long day and was too wound up to go straight home. James thought to stop at his favourite bar to unwind a bit, but, as will happen when the heat gets to people, a fight soon broke out, and Mr. Cornish had the bad luck to become embroiled in the brawl, causing him to end up with a knife in his heart!

Turns out it was Cornish’s lucky day, for he was taken to Provident Hospital and placed in the care of none other than our Dr. Dan.   At first Cornish seemed to recover, but the next day he rapidly lost ground. Williams, despite having little medical equipment and no idea what was going on inside of Cornish’s chest, decided to be the first in the world to crack open a human chest and try to fix a human heart.

Williams found a tiny tear in the pericardium, the sac that surrounds the heart, and with just a few small stitches, was able to save the life of Mr. James Cornish!  This with no X-rays, no antibiotics, no reliable anesthesia. Cornish spent fifty-one days in the hospital, but he lived. A surgery that had been inconceivable at the beginning of July was, by the end of September, a recognized medical possibility.

The following year, 1894, Williams moved to Washington, D.C., where he was appointed the chief surgeon of the Freedmen’s Hospital, which provided care for formerly enslaved African Americans. The facility had fallen into neglect and had a high mortality rate. Williams worked diligently on revitalization, improving surgical procedures, increasing specialization, launching ambulance services and continuing to provide opportunities for black medical professionals, among other feats. In 1895, he co-founded the National Medical Association, a professional organization for black medical practitioners, as an alternative to the American Medical Association, which didn’t allow African-American membership.

Williams left Freedmen’s Hospital in 1898. He married Alice Johnson, and the newlyweds moved to Chicago, where Williams returned to his work at Provident. Soon after the turn of the century, he worked at Cook County Hospital and later at St. Luke’s, a large medical institution with ample resources.

Beginning in 1899, Williams also made annual trips to Nashville, Tennessee, where he was a voluntary visiting clinical professor at Meharry Medical College for more than two decades. He became a charter member of the American College of Surgeons in 1913.

Sadly, Daniel Hale Williams III experienced a debilitating stroke in 1926 and died five years later, on August 4, 1931, in Idlewild, Michigan.

I know of very few, if any, in the field of medicine whose contributions rival Daniel Williams’.  This is a man whose hand I wish I could shake, a man I wish I could know, a man I am honoured to highlight during Black History Month 2018.

I so enjoyed the research and writing of this post.  A special thanks to John Fioravanti for reminding me to step away from Trumpopia for a minute and focus on somebody who is truly deserving of my time and attention.

Good People Doing Good Things — Daisy Bates

I’m going to do something a little bit different today.  My usual Wednesday ‘good people’ posts feature people who are doing good things for others, or for the planet, in recent days or weeks.  Today, though, I’m going to highlight a single good person who has been dead for 22 years now, but who, in her day, would certainly have made my ‘good people’ list.

February is Black History Month in the U.S., and while I typically would have done a few pieces by now on people from the past who have made positive contributions to our world, I’ve been so wrapped up in impeachment and other political issues that I’ve been remiss.  So today, I am combining Black History with Good People!

Daisy-Bates-1Her name was Daisy Bates, born in 1914.  When Daisy was three years old, her mother was raped and murdered by three local white men, and her body thrown into a millpond.  Soon after, her father abandoned her and she was left to be cared for by her mother’s close friends.  Her mother’s murderers, though known to law enforcement, were never prosecuted, and thus began Daisy’s rage toward white people.  That rage might have consumed Daisy, but on his deathbed, her adoptive father had some wise words that helped then-teenager Daisy turn her rage into activism …

“Hate can destroy you, Daisy. Don’t hate white people just because they’re white. If you hate, make it count for something. Hate the humiliations we are living under in the South. Hate the discrimination that eats away at the South. Hate the discrimination that eats away at the soul of every black man and woman. Hate the insults hurled at us by white scum—and then try to do something about it, or your hate won’t spell a thing.”

Daisy Bates took his words to heart and would spend the rest of her life ‘doing something about it’.

In 1942, Daisy married L.C. Bates and the couple moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, where they started the Arkansas State Press, a weekly statewide newspaper.  The paper became an avid voice for civil rights even before a nationally recognized movement had emerged.  Daisy became president of the Arkansas State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP), as well as continuing her work on the newspaper.

A year after it started, the State Press published a story covering the killing of a Black man by a white police officer. This local case gave details about how a Black soldier on leave from Camp Robinson, Sergeant Thomas P. Foster, was shot by a local white police officer.  Sound familiar?  Some things never change.

Daisy-LC-BatesAlthough Black Americans praised this groundbreaking newspaper, many white readers were outraged by it and some even boycotted it.  In August of 1957, a stone was thrown into their home that read, “Stone this time. Dynamite next.” More than once, members of the Ku Klux Klan demanded that the Bates “go back to Africa” and burned crosses in their yard.  But none of that stopped Daisy Bates.

In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Brown v Board of Education that segregated schools were illegal, however the State of Arkansas refused to acknowledge the ruling and Black students continued to be kept out of schools.  Daisy and L.C. used their newspaper to find a reasonable solution to the situation, editorializing …

“We feel that the proper approach would be for the leaders among the Negro race—not clabber mouths, Uncle Toms, or grinning appeasers to get together and counsel with the school heads.”

And later, when Governor Orval Faubus and his supporters were refusing even token desegregation of Central High School …

“It is the belief of this paper that since the Negro’s loyalty to America has forced him to shed blood on foreign battle fields against enemies, to safeguard constitutional rights, he is in no mood to sacrifice these rights for peace and harmony at home.”

In 1957, Governor Faubus, still refusing to allow Black children to attend all-white schools, brought in the Arkansas National Guard to prevent a group of nine Black students, later to become famous as the Little Rock Nine, from entering Little Rock High School.  In response to this defiance as well as to protests already taking place, President Eisenhower sent in federal troops to allow their entrance. On September 25, 1957, the nine students were escorted by Army soldiers and Daisy Bates into Central High amid angry protests. The next month, Bates and others were arrested on trumped up charges, but were soon after released on bail.

Bates regularly drove the students to and from school, hosted them in her home after school and worked tirelessly to ensure they were protected from violent crowds. One of her most successful protection strategies was to get local ministers to escort the students to school, daring the white Christians protesting and hurling threats to attack men of the cloth. Bates’ plan worked, but she started to receive threats herself. Rocks were thrown into her home, crosses were burned on her property, and bullet shells were sent to her in the mail. White advertisers boycotted her newspaper and eventually she and L.C. had to shut it down.

Daisy-Bates-2

Daisy Bates with the Little Rock Nine

Bates received support from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who assured her, “World opinion is with you. The moral conscience of millions of white Americans is with you.” Bates was also elected to the executive committee of King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).  Bates was also the only woman who spoke at the 1963 March on Washington during the official program, pledging that women would fight just as hard and long as the men until all Black people were free and had the vote.

Bates later served in the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson and worked on anti-poverty programs. In 1968 she moved to the rural black community of Mitchellville, Arkansas and worked there to improve the lives of her neighbors by establishing a self-help program which was responsible for new sewer systems, paved streets, a water system, and community center.

The city of Little Rock eventually honored Bates by opening Daisy Bates Elementary School and by making the third Monday in February George Washington’s Birthday and Daisy Gatson Bates Day an official state holiday.

Daisy Bates died at the age of 84 on November 4, 1999 in Little Rock, Arkansas, after suffering numerous strokes. Her body was chosen to lie in state in the Arkansas State Capitol building, on the second floor, making her the first woman and the first Black person to do so. Governor Orval Faubus, who had opposed integration during the Little Rock Crisis and throughout his political career, had an office on this floor.  Her house became a National Historic Landmark in 2002 and in April 2019, the Arkansas governor signed into law a bill that designates Daisy Bates and Johnny Cash as the two representatives of the State of Arkansas in the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall Collection.

This woman didn’t just do a single good thing, or a few good things, but she dedicated her life to doing good things.  If Daisy Bates wasn’t a ‘good people’, then I don’t know who is.