Good People Doing Good Things — Little Things Mean A Lot

Sometimes all it takes to be a ‘good people’ is a little bit of kindness …

A reward for his hard work

Recently, Laura-Nicole Anderson needed some electrical work done at her home, so she called on Seyton’s Electrical, based in Hull, England.  Turns out the work was fairly extensive, and the electricians spent several hours a week for six weeks working in Anderson’s home.  Her young son, Theo, was “obsessed” with the workers and didn’t miss any opportunity to help them or be around them.  According to Anderson, he …

“… hounded them with questions, kindness and constant offers of help!! He made them refreshments, forced cookies upon them and insisted they gave him more jobs to do. Every question he asked they answered with such kindness, really making time for him despite being really busy.”

Now, some might be annoyed by the constant presence of a small child asking questions and causing interruptions, but these employees of Seyton’s Electrical had greater patience and, when the work was done, they showed their appreciation for all of Theo’s ‘help’ with a note and a payslip!

In truth, I don’t know as I would have had as much patience, but isn’t it wonderful that they did?

Theo loved spending some of his wages on buying an Easter egg for his brother! So sweet!! #actofkindness #thorntonsbunny #kindness #sharinghispennies #love #passingiton Seytons Electrical

The heart of a stranger

In Colorado, a young man named Fallon has an excellent knowledge and a love for music.  Fallon was born with Williams Syndrome, a genetic disease that is characterized by mild to moderate intellectual disability or learning problems, unique personality characteristics, distinctive facial features, and heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) problems.

Several years ago, Fallon discovered a certain guitar in J.B. Hart Music Co., about an hour from his home in Montrose.  Every few weeks, Fallon would travel to the store just to play that guitar he called the “Pantera guitar”, meaning the Dean Dimebag Darrell ML Guitar.  This went on for a couple of years, and an employee of J.B. Hart said, “We were shocked he knew some Dimebag riffs.”

Eight months ago, while he was in the store playing it, a customer took notice of Fallon. It moved the customer so much that he returned to the store later, purchased the guitar, and asked the music shop to give it to Fallon anonymously the next time he came in.  According to Hart Music’s Facebook page …

This is Fallon. Over the last couple of years, he would visit the store from Montrose. His request each time was to play the “Pantera” guitar, meaning the Dean Dimebag Darrell ML Guitar. We were shocked he knew some Dimebag riffs. Fallon is impacted by Williams Syndrome and has an excellent knowledge and a love for music. His dream was to own this guitar.
Eight months ago, when he was in the store playing it, another customer took notice of Fallon. It moved this customer so much he returned to the store later, purchased the guitar, and asked us to give the guitar to Fallon anonymously the next time we saw him.
However, we didn’t see Fallon until today. We tried finding him to no avail. Today, his family came in the store, and we learned they had moved to Texas and returned this week for a visit. It was a wonderful experience to gift Fallon his dream guitar as a gift from a kind stranger. His mom burst into tears, and Fallon beamed with excitement. It was a special moment. There are still good people in this world.

Now, this isn’t just some $50 guitar … I checked it out, and it sells for anywhere from $900 to $1,400 and up, so this was quite a gift!  Thumbs up to that anonymous customer for bringing that huge smile to young Fallon!

She kept her promise!

Marrion Forrest, 86 years old, was in her local convenience store a few days ago to pick up a few things.  As she was checking out, Walter the cashier suggested she buy a lottery ticket, for it was up to a cool half a million dollars and … well, who couldn’t use a half-mil?  Marrion followed his suggestion and left the store after telling Walter that if she did end up winning, she would “take care” of him by sharing her earnings.

Well, long story short, Marrion did win, although not the half-mil but only $300.  Still, that’s not a bad return on the dollar she spent on the ticket.  But the best part of this story is that Marrion kept her promise to Walter.  The next day, she returned to the store with balloons and an envelope that read, “Walter won!” and contained $150!  Marrion’s granddaughter Heidi Forrest, tagged along to capture the moment …

Meet Pirate Kitty

This story isn’t necessarily about a ‘good people’, but I found it heartwarming and funny, so I’m sharing it anyway.

A three-year-old ginger cat dubbed “Pirate Kitty” has brought joy to a Brisbane neighborhood by gifting homeowners stolen toys.

Last March, Kay McCall and her husband were moving into their Ferny Hills home when a cat popped over the fence for a pat and quickly became a daily visitor. One day the McCalls noticed a few toys in the backyard. Then another, and another.

“Most days the presents kept coming, and some days there was just one, and some days there was quite a few, and some days there were none.”

For months, the McCalls enjoyed waking up each morning to discover what the cat had brought them. After accumulating an entire table full of gifts, Kay posted photos of the cat’s haul to a local community Facebook group.

As it turned out, the McCalls were not the only home visited by the Pirate Kitty. Dozens of residents commented that he had brought them toys, too.

“Everyone fell in love with him on the spot, and he sort of became … a community icon. There was actually a sense that he was the community’s pirate cat.”

Eventually, she managed to track down the cat’s owners and established it had a loving home. However, just before Christmas, the Pirate Kitty’s owners decided they could no longer keep their pet safely, and asked Kay to help find him a new home. Ingrid Moyle, a resident who had been following the Pirate Kitty’s adventures, said her family “had a lot of geriatrics pass in the last few months, so we had a kitty-sized hole in our hearts”.

She happily adopted the Pirate Kitty.

Good People Doing Good Things — Stuck In The Snow!

When a sudden snowstorm hit Virginia, Washington D.C., and other surrounding areas on January 4th, the roads and interstate highways quickly became a mess, stranding some drivers for as long as 24 hours in their cars on icy, snow-covered roadways. Today’s good people emerged from that situation.

Life-saving bread

Casey Holihan Noe and her husband John, along with many other motorists, had been stranded on I-95 for over 20 hours and noticed that a Schmidt Baking truck was also stuck out on the road with them.  Said Casey …

“After almost 21 hours of being stuck on 95 South, sleeping here over night, not having access to food or water, and all of the nearest towns being out of power we were tired, frustrated, and hungry. Many of the people stuck out here had small children, were elderly, had pets in the car, and hadn’t eaten in almost a whole day.”

So, they decided to call Schmidt Baking Company in Baltimore in the hope that maybe it would be willing to offer whatever products were on the truck.

“We reached out to Schmidt Baking Company and begged them to open their truck that was stuck out here with us. We didn’t think it would actually work, but less then 20 minutes later we got an incredible surprise.”

Chuck Paterakis, one of the owners of H&S Bakery, which operates Schmidt Baking Company, called the couple directly.

“We received a personal call from the owner of the company Chuck who contacted the driver. This driver Ron Hill opened the back of the truck and with the help of some people close by passed out bread to more than 50 cars who were all incredibly thankful.”

About 300 packages of bread were handed out that day. Some families had children who had not eaten for hours on end.

“Some people said this was a saving grace for them. This was one of the kindest moments I have ever witnessed. Thank you Schmidt.”

An Uber dude with a big heart

An Uber driver who was stranded on I-95 in Virginia is being praised for his kindness and determination to get a young passenger home safe.

DaVante Williams was stuck on I-95 near Washington, D.C. for nearly 6 hours with an “overwhelmed” teenage passenger who was trying to get home to Williamsburg, Virginia — about 150 miles away. The teenage girl was originally going to take a train, but it was canceled due to a derailment, so she turned to Uber. Williams said she was “very, very emotional” after first having attempted to get home on a canceled train ride, only to become stranded on the highway.  According to Mr. Williams …

“She would call her mother or call her father here and there to communicate what was going on. She was overwhelmed, and I totally understood because all she wanted to do was get home.”

He also spoke to her parents to let them know he would take care of their daughter. Williams finally found a way to exit the interstate around 7:30 a.m. the next morning. Exhausted from sitting in traffic all night and still a long way from home, Williams booked a hotel room for the young rider to get some sleep and make alternative travel plans. He even offered to drive her the rest of the way home once the roads were clear, at no charge. Ultimately, a family friend was able to pick her up and drive her safely home.

An Uber representative later called Williams, thanking him and asking for a receipt of the hotel room to reimburse him.

Not all heroes are humans!

Grga Brkic was with two other hikers and his eight-month-old Alaskan Malamute, North, in the Velebit mountains in Croatia when he fell 150 meters down a slope and was unable to move. The other two hikers could not reach him and called for help. North didn’t leave his side.

North curled up on top of Brkic and kept him warm for the entire time it took for the high-altitude rescue mission which lasted 13 hours. 27 first responders eventually reached Brkic where he was stranded, nearly 1,800 meters above sea level.  Says Brkic …

“The minutes and seconds before they arrived were so slow. This little dog is a real miracle.”

Good People Doing Good Things – Michael and Camille Geraldi (Redux)

Frustration with other things seems to have rendered me incapable of focusing tonight, and I was about ready to give up on a ‘good people’ post, but then I thought perhaps a re-blog of a previous post would be better than a blank slate or another of my rants (pity my girls and the kitties who have had to listen to me grouse and rant all evening!)  This one hails back to June 2017, so while a few of you many have seen it then, most of you haven’t.  The Geraldi’s are a couple who definitely deserved a redux! 

28 June 2017

I actually planned and started today’s post to be three short stories about ‘good people doing good things’ for disabled people.  But once I got to the story of Michael and Camille Geraldi, I realized that I did not want to consign their story to a short, 200-300 word snippet, as theirs is a story deserving of so much more.  So, please allow me to introduce you to two beautiful people …

Geraldis-3Michael Geraldi was a pediatrician and his wife Camille a nurse.  What, you ask, is so special about the Geraldis?  During the course of their 40-year marriage, these two wonderful people adopted 88 children with special needs. It started in 1973 when Michael would often find Camille, late at night and well past the end of her shift, in the nursery, rocking the special babies, the ones that families and medical science had already given up on.  Camille had already adopted three of these infants, and when Michael proposed to her, she replied that she wanted to dedicate her life to providing a home for these special children.  Michael replied, “I want to follow your dream.”

child-1The Geraldi family includes kids with intellectual disabilities, spina bifida and Down syndrome. Some have autism or extreme facial deformities. “One child was born with only a brain stem,” Camille said. “We took care of him. He lived to be 25 years old and never had a bedsore.”

The couple established the Possible Dream Foundation in 1986, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.  Through the years, 32 of the children they adopted have died.   “The children I took in were expected to die,” Camille, now 68, told CNN. “But so many of them have lived.” 

child-2To the extent possible, the Geraldis created a normal, loving home environment for the children, complete with assigned chores.  More than 40 children, many of whom are now adults, consider the Geraldis their parents, with countless others staying for extended periods of respite care, hospice, therapeutic rehabilitation and sometimes specialty day care. The oldest, Darlene, is now 32. She lives in a Florida group home. The youngest, Isabella, is 8. Born to a cocaine addict, the girl was deaf and blind as an infant. Today, she is performing a year above her grade level in school.

child-3In addition to the difficulties of caring for so many special-needs children, they have suffered other difficulties as well.  In 1992, Hurricane Andrew flattened their home. The kids were okay, but the family had to relocate to some cabins Mike, co-owned along with several other doctors in Murphy, North Carolina. Then in 2011, while the family was away on a camping trip, lightning struck their homestead. The fire destroyed everything: the house, vehicles, their sense of security. It was after the fire that they relocated from Florida to Ellijay, Georgia.

Geraldis-bookIn 1996, Camille wrote and published a book, Camille’s Children: 31 Miracles and Counting, about their experiences to that point, and providing information about resources for parents of children with disabilities.

The Geraldis have been featured on CNN, in People Magazine, Larry King Live, USA Today, Ladies Home Journal and The Miami Herald.  In addition, they have been featured not once, but twice on 60 Minutes. Here is a clip of the most recent, in 2014

A 1999 article in The Ambassadors  featuring the Geraldis says “the family expenditure is at the astronomical figure of $264,000 annually. The family expenditures in a single month is more than $22,000 including $1,800 electricity and $1,200 for diapers. The Geraldis consume 18 gallons of milk, and 12 large pizzas weekely. Each frozen food order includes 12 packages of brocolli, 36 beef patties, 20 bags of meatballs, and 35 package [sic] of hotdogs!!”  I won’t even ask how many rolls of toilet tissue they need in a week!!!

geraldis-2In the same article is a quote by Camille Geraldi that warms my heart:

“I always keep a new baby with me every moment for the first six months to make sure we bond. Having a second child does not divide and diminish a mother’s love, the way a mathematician divides and reduces his numbers. Love is not a pound of meat that can be weighed or a truckload of bricks that can be counted. Love is not finite and measurable or bound by logical rule. Love is illogical and irrational. It is bottomless. There is plenty to go around whether there are two children or thirty-one.”

geraldis-michaelSadly, Michael Geraldi died of cancer on 08 March 2016.  Until shortly before his death, Michael continued to practice medicine full time, providing pro bono medical services for any mentally, physically or developmentally challenged child who needed it. The couple had never taken a real vacation, and were planning to do some traveling in 2015 when Michael was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer caused by asbestos.

These two people are the epitome of humanity, of compassion, of caring for their fellow humans.  Please take a moment to visit the Possible Dream Foundation website where you can learn more about Michael and Camille, as well as see pictures and bios of some of the children they adopted. These two people truly lived their lives for others. Two thumbs up to these courageous and caring people!

When I first started this weekly feature, Good People Doing Good Things, I despaired that it would be difficult to find the kind of people I was looking for every week.  I did not just want to feature rich people who gave away a portion of their wealth as a tax write-off annually, nor did I want to feature people whose good works might have underlying motives.  I wanted people who did good things, whether large or small, simply out of the goodness of their heart, out of a sense of humanity.  I need not have worried about finding these people … every week I find more than I have the time and space to write about, and that, my friends, gives me hope that despite it all, the human race will persevere in the face of adversity.  Until next week …

Good People Doing Good Things — Our Future!

Today’s good people are all young people who have found their way into this week’s post by helping others – some in small ways, others in life-saving ways.

Little Things Mean a Lot

18-year-old Sebbie Hall from Lichfield, England, said he just likes to make people smile.  Sebbie started his giving mission when he realized some people lacked the technology to contact friends during the first pandemic lockdown. The selfless teen wanted to donate his iPad to a friend, but his mom Ashley Hall suggested he should help others to buy what they need instead.

It was then that Sebbie, who has physical and learning difficulties, decided to raise money to prevent disabled or vulnerable children from feeling lonely. He has since raised tens of thousands—and counting—by carrying out over 2,000 acts of kindness towards random strangers.

His generosity, which has been hailed by the British Prime Minister, includes handing out flowers, teddies, and even lotto tickets in the street. Sebbie has also set up an arts hub and a foundation to support disabled or vulnerable children. The constant giver has won numerous awards for his initiative and attended a royal carol service at Westminster Abbey in London earlier this month—after an invitation from the Duchess of Cambridge.

Sebbie’s mom Ashley said …

“I’m immensely proud of him. I couldn’t be more proud. The impact of his kindness has been incredible. It’s like this lovely ripple effect going out from him. It’s fabulous. The money’s very important and he’s been able to create real change.”

Teens Caring and Learning

Five-year-old Ryder Killam has had to battle rain, wind, and snow for about 15 minutes every day, using only a patio umbrella as protection as he awaits his school bus each morning.  But after hearing about his problem, a group of local teens, students in Bradford, Rhode Island, got to work and built him his own bus shelter for the bottom of his driveway during their construction lessons.

Ryder was born with spina bifida myelomeningocele and has never been able to walk. He started using a wheelchair when he was two years old and began attending inclusionary preschool Dunn’s Corner Elementary in June 2019. Every day, Ryder had to be pushed 75 feet to the end of the road to wait for his school bus by his parents Tim and Nikea.

In September this year, just when Ryder started kindergarten, Tim decided to put up a patio umbrella at the end of his driveway to provide some shelter from the elements. He said, “The problem is with the wind and fall weather here in New England it really didn’t accomplish much unless it was just a rainy day with no wind, otherwise he still would get wet and not stay warm.”

They decided to reach out to their community to see if anyone had anything that would work to protect Ryder from the elements. Tim, who runs a marine electronics company, said, “I placed a post on Facebook looking to see if one of my friends or one of their connections might have an old bus hut.”

Tim sent Dan McKena, who had been teaching construction technology at Westerly High School for 27 years, an email asking if he’d be interested in this kind of project.

“He responded with an ‘absolutely’ and then he worked with his students to design and build the hut.”

Three of Mr Mckena’s classes worked hard on the project for numerous weeks, learning new skills through YouTube as they created the structure, motivated by the cause and knowing that soon snow would be falling. About $300 worth of wood was donated by Home Depot for the project, but the rest of the materials were purchased by the Kilmans for $600, who were kept updated with photos throughout.

The hut was built 5×8 feet so that it could fit both Ryder and one of his parents or a nurse comfortably, and was finally delivered to the home six weeks later on November 2nd.

Says Tim …

“We were shocked, it was much bigger than we expected and allows such great access for Ryder and an adult to be with him comfortably. Ryder’s first reaction was ‘Holy Cow!’, he loved it and wants to hang out it in all the time.”

Right Place at the Right Time – TWICE in one day!

Davyon Johnson is just your average 11-year-old kid, one who happened to save the lives of two people in separate situations in a single day a couple of weeks ago.  No biggie, right?  Riiiiiiight … how many 11-year-old kids do you know who know when, and more importantly how, to do the Heimlich maneuver?  Well, young Davyon did know, and he may very well have saved the life of a fellow classmate who was trying to fill his water bottle and trying to loosen the cap with his mouth when the cap slipped into his throat.

That in itself was exemplary and would have earned Davyon a place in this week’s ‘good people’ post, but wait … there’s more!

Later that day after school, Davyon saw a house on fire and ran to help a woman with a walker get out of the home.

“I thought ‘oh, she’s not moving fast enough.’ So I ran across the street and helped her to her truck.”

Representatives of Muskogee Police Department, Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office and Muskogee Public Schools honoured the young hero Tuesday night at the Muskogee Board of Education meeting.

Davyon was named an honorary member of the police and sheriff’s departments. It is an honour that is well-deserved in my book!

I have a couple more ‘good people’, but for this week I wanted to focus on these awesome young people, for they, and others like them, are truly the future of the world!

Good People Doing Good Things — Helpers

As I sat down to write this post, I sighed deeply, not really feeling in the right spirit for a ‘good people’ post.  But, knowing how much you all enjoy the good people posts, I carried on and within a few minutes of reading about good people, my dark mood began to lift.  Funny how good people can do that, isn’t it?

Jimmy Finch lives in Clarksville, Tennessee, about 90 miles from Mayfield, Kentucky, where a devastating tornado hit last Friday night.  Mayfield reportedly suffered the worst damage throughout the five states that were impacted by tornadoes that night.

On Sunday morning, Jimmy Finch loaded food and a smoker onto his small trailer and headed out to feed the people of Mayfield.  As Jimmy tells it …

“I know they don’t have electricity. No restaurants. No running water. I just figured I would do what I could do. So I showed up with some food and some water.  I just came down here trying to feed the people. Everybody’s talking about they’re sending up prayers and, you know, their well wishes and everything. You know, folks can’t eat no prayer. You gotta put something in their stomach. Give them something to hold on to.”

Continue reading

Good People Doing Good Things — Youth

If there is hope for a brighter tomorrow, a world where people care about people more than they care about money, a kinder, gentler world, that hope lies in today’s youth.  Today’s post highlights just a few of those kinder, gentler young people doing what they can for others.

Summer Linn is 8 years old and lives in Pearland, Texas.  This year Summer is baking cupcakes … LOTS of cupcakes!  Why?  Because she wanted to do something special for foster children, kids with no real home to call their own, kids who are often bounced from pillar-to-post multiple times in a year.  Summer was afraid that Santa Claus might not be able to find these children, so she’s baking cupcakes, selling them, and using the proceeds to buy Christmas gifts for foster children.

“He’s [Santa] very busy.  They get moved a lot. They’re special no matter what anyone says or does. Seriously. They deserve a good Christmas. They need a good home.”

Thus far Summer has baked over 2,000 cupcakes, selling at $5 per box.

I’m not a big sports fan … these days the level of competitiveness is a distinct turn-off for me.  But a couple of weeks ago, a team of young soccer players in Buenos Aires rose above the all-out competitiveness and reached out for a member of the opposing team with love in their hearts.

Luca Güerci’s mother had died just a few days before the big game and he was so very sad, but nonetheless he showed up and played the best game he could.  Beneath his jersey, Luca wore a shirt that read: “Thanks for everything, Mom. Kisses to you in heaven. I love you.”

But what happened after the game will bring a tear to your eye.  Every single player on the opposing team ran to Luca and engulfed him in a huge group hug!

These are only two of many such stories – stories about young people setting an example we can all learn from!

Good People Doing Good Things — In The Wake Of A Storm

On Sunday, exactly sixteen years after the infamous Hurricane Katrina swept up through the Gulf of Mexico along almost the same path, Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana.  At least seven are dead and more than one million without electricity.  Sounds like a perfect place for a few good people to step in, doesn’t it?

Back in February when an unexpected snowstorm hit Texas I wrote about Jim McIngvale, owner of Gallery Furniture in Houston, Texas, who opened the doors of his showroom to anyone in need of warmth and shelter.  McIngvale’s generosity and kindness dates back 16 years to the time of Hurricane Katrina when he opened his doors to those in need of shelter.  And today, in the wake of Hurricane Ida, McIngvale, age 70, is once again heeding the call of those in need.

But this time, McIngvale is sending dozens of trucks loaded to the brim with the most essential things.  Says McIngvale …

“Our hearts go out for the residents of Louisiana, especially in New Orleans residents are getting hit by this terrible hurricane.  So on Monday at Gallery Furniture from eight to five in the afternoon, we’re gonna have a giant drive. Looking for people to bring non-perishable foods, diapers, all the normal things for hurricanes and we’re gonna get about 30 trucks and take them to Louisiana to help the people out and be doing that as long as the need’s there. And we’re also having Louisiana residents that evacuated to Houston sleep here free.”

And as Hurricane Ida swept through New Orleans causing massive evacuations, the nursing staff at the NICU at Ochsner Health Hospital in New Orleans volunteered to stay through the night with the babies who desperately needed them.  Says Nurse Paula Jean Simon …

“I am so proud. My team pulls together, doesn’t matter what’s happening, they’re going to make sure the babies are taken care of.”

And lastly, wherever there is a disaster, you won’t likely have to look far to find Chef José Andrés and his World Central Kitchen staff setting up shop and providing food and more to the people in need.  This week is no exception … Andrés came to New Orleans straight from Haiti where they have been providing food and assistance to the people displaced by first by an earthquake that killed over 2,000, followed by Hurricane Grace.

Andrés tweeted on August 29th

Hello friends of @WCKitchen! I’m on the ground in New Orleans with @natemook & WCK’s Relief team…Winds are getting bad as Hurricane #Ida makes landfall…We have 3 kitchens ready with supplies already for 100,000+ meals! Now we will shelter until Ida passes…

My apologies for both the lateness and the brevity of this good people post, but I hope to get back up to speed soon!

Good People Doing Good Things — Humanitarians

I have just a few good ‘people’ today, not because I couldn’t find more, but because I ran out of energy … again.  But, I think you’ll enjoy these … gives us hope that humanity does still exist.

One heck of a tip!

The staff at Wahoo Seafood Grill in Gainesville, Florida, got a rather pleasant surprise last Tuesday.  A party of three came in, had what must have been a pretty nice meal, for the tab came to over $144 after a $63 discount!  But the kicker was the gratuity or tip.  Take a look at the receipt …

After the group finished their meal, the man asked the entire restaurant staff to come to the dining area.  He thanked all 10 of them for showing up and working hard. Then something incredible happened. He told them he was giving them $1,000 each!

Said the restaurant’s owner, Sean Shepherd …

“I’m not usually an emotional guy, but this really got me. I’m blown away. We’re ALL blown away by his generosity.  Watching these guys get their check was almost as good as Christmas morning.  The last year and a half hasn’t been easy on this industry. We’re hurting and we’re exhausted, but this incredible act of kindness has restored our faith in humanity. Our whole staff would like to thank this generous customer from the bottom of our hearts. We are all going to pay it forward in our own ways. Even the smallest acts of kindness can have a giant ripple effect.”

A double good people

Polish Olympian Maria Andrejczyk earned the silver medal in the javelin throw at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (held in July/August 2021). On August 11, she announced the auctioning of her prized medal to help save a young boy’s life.

She chose to raise funds for Miłoszek Małysa, an 8-month-old boy who needs to travel from Poland to Stanford University in California to have life-saving heart surgery. She does not know Małysa, but wrote that she knew his cause was the right choice after reading online pleas for help from his parents.

Andrejczyk wrote that Małysa needed 1.5 million Polish zlotys — about $385,000 — to cover the costs of his transportation and treatment.

“The true value of a medal always remains in the heart. A medal is only an object, but it can be of great value to others. This silver can save lives, instead of collecting dust in a closet. That is why I decided to auction it to help sick children.”

But the story gets even better.

Zabka, a Polish convenience store chain, made the winning bid.  Zabka confirmed the good news on Facebook. The store also gracefully declined to accept her silver medal.

“We were moved by the beautiful and extremely noble gesture of our Olympian. We also decided that the silver medal from Tokyo will stay with Ms. Maria.”

Tissues anyone?

Good people don’t have to be people, y’know

An unnamed 83-year-old Cornwall woman is alive today … thanks to her best friend, Piran.  She was out walking one day last week and slipped down into a deep ravine.  It was several hours before her neighbors noticed her absence and began searching for her.

They might still be searching today but for the woman’s friend, Piran, who, knowing where she was but unable to affect a rescue, waited patiently for the searchers to come close enough to hear his cries.  Oh … did I mention that Piran is a cat?

Ultimately the searchers came upon Piran, just as he’d known they would, and immediately called for professional help to rescue the woman lying in a stream at the bottom of the ravine.

Said her neighbor, Tamir Longmuir …

“The cat is very attached to her, and he was going back and forth in the gateway and meowing, so I decided to go and search the maize field.”

Piran gets a thumbs up 👍 for his dedication and efforts on behalf of his housemate!

That’s all I’ve got for today, folks, but remember … you, too, can be a good people.  Just offer a helping hand when you see somebody struggling … little things mean a lot.

Good People Doing Good Things — A Kit and Kaboodle!

Humble and heartfelt apologies, but I am falling back on a good people post from 2018 tonight, but it is a good one that many of you haven’t seen before.  Next week I’ll do better … I promise!

It’s that time again, time for a look at some of the good people who are out there doing good things for our world.  I think you will enjoy today’s selections … and here … you’re going to need theseKleenex tissues.png

Trenton Lewis is only 21-years-old, but this young man has one of the strongest work ethics I have ever seen.  Trenton is the father of an adorable 14-month-old daughter, Karmen, who serves as a powerful motivator.


Karmen Lewis

“My pride is strong. Whatever she needs, I’m the person who is supposed to provide it for her.”

Seven months ago, Trenton was offered a job at the local UPS center, 11 miles from his home.  Only one small problem … Trenton did not own a car, nor have access to one.  But do you think that stopped this young man?  Nope … he took that job, and has never missed a shift nor been late a single time for his 4:00 a.m. shift.  How?  He leaves at midnight to walk the 11 miles, that’s how!  For seven months, braving rain, wind and traffic, he has walked to work and never said a word to anyone, never once complained.

In my book, Trenton himself is a ‘good people’, but there’s more!  One of his co-workers, Patricia “Mama Pat” Bryant, found out that Trenton was walking to work every day.  She and her husband have both worked at the UPS center for nearly 40 years, and they are good people.

“For a young person to decide in their mind ‘if I don’t have a ride, if I can’t get a ride then I’ll walk.’ If a guy can do that, we can pitch in to help.”

The Bryants quietly spread the word, and every single employee they asked chipped in until soon they had collected enough money, $2,000, to buy Trenton a car!  Not a new car, mind you, but a 2006 Saturn Ion in good condition that will get him to work and back home to his baby girl. Kenneth Bryant said when he told the car’s seller what he was doing, he even dropped the price of the car.

They surprised Trenton a few days ago when they asked him to come to a union meeting out in the parking lot, and then after a few brief words by Bryant, they handed the keys to Trenton … his first car!  Trenton, needless to say, was overwhelmed and profoundly grateful!

“I wanted to be with my daughter, to be able to support her. I wanted to be a father. I’m never going to forget this ever.”

Trenton LewisA whole lot of good people came together to help another good person … how much better can it get?


John Lee Cronin has Down’s Syndrome.  John Lee Cronin loves socks. John Lee Cronin is 21 years old and owns his own business … selling socks!

John CroninWhen John graduated from high school, he had already decided he wanted to start a business with his dad, and he loved socks, so what better venture than selling socks?  Not just socks, mind you … not plain ol’ white crew socks or black dress socks, but fun socks, funky socks!  In December 2016, John and his dad, launched an on line store named John’s Crazy Socks.

A visit to their website says it all!  Here are a few samples …

From top left:  Abraham Lincoln socks, Banana Split Troll socks, Banned Book socks, Donald Trump Hair socks, Lobster socks, Pizza and Beer socks, and Sunflower socks.

Now, typically on Wednesday’s ‘good people’ post, I shine a light on people who are feeding the homeless, helping people rebuild after a disaster, adopting or helping children survive and thrive, and it is true that John is doing none of these things.  But I happen to think that he still earned a spot in this post, for what he is doing is motivating and inspiring.  He is showing other disabled people that they can do anything they set their minds to.  And he is, I think, an inspiration to the rest of us as well, for I found myself in awe of this young man’s stamina and determination.

socks logoIn under two years, John’s Crazy Socks has topped $2 million in sales revenue.  It’s easy to see why … they have some awesome socks.  My girls love funky and fuzzy socks, and I know where I will be shopping come birthday and holiday season!

From the website …

John’s Crazy Socks is a father-son venture inspired by John Lee Cronin, a young man with Down syndrome, and his love of colorful and fun socks, or what he calls his “crazy socks.” Our is a business built on love. We’re on a mission to spread happiness through socks.

We have built our business on four pillars:

  • Socks: We offer over 1,200 socks so that you can find the perfect socks for you or to give as a gift. Our customers love our socks.

  • Fast and Personal Shipping: We ship same day so most customers get their orders within two days and we make it personal. Every package contains a thank you note from John and candy. Free shipping in the US at $40.

  • Giving Back: We donate 5 percent of our earnings to the Special Olympics and we’ve created a series of Awareness and Charity socks and donate money form each pair of socks to causes like Down syndrome and Autism awareness, the Special Olympics and breast cancer research.

  • Proving What’s Possible: We’re a business started by a man with Down syndrome. We hire people with disabilities. We do all we can for our customers. We believe that doing the right thing is the best business.

John Cronin 2All the more reason these are good people helping in their community, through donations and through hiring people with disabilities.  Please, if you have a few minutes, take time to check out their website and read their story   and check out the really crazy but cool socks! Heck, maybe you’ll even want to buy a pair or two!

seperatorLarry “Smiley” Kleiman served two tours of duty in Vietnam as a younger man. Today he spends his time doing all manners of good things, from being a volunteer firefighter and EMT, to helping out at the local K-9 unit.  Larry Kleiman is one of the good people in this story, but there is also another.  You see, Larry, nicknamed ‘Smiley’, hasn’t smiled in years, for he has no teeth.  A calcium deficiency that started while he was in Vietnam cost him his teeth over the course of the years.  Recently, though, Larry decided to go to Dr. Michael Tischler, founder of Teeth Tomorrow, for a consultation, just to see if perhaps he could get his smile back, but he left discouraged.

Smiley.png“I wasn’t really going to do it because it was a lot of money and on a fixed income, a retirement, there was no way feasible of me doing it.”

But he was surprised a few days later when he received a call from Dr. Tischler asking him to come back in to the office.  Dr. Tischler had been so moved by Larry’s story and what he had given – was still giving – to the world, that he decided to give Larry a full set of dental implants, valued at $60,000, for free!


Dr. Michael Tischler

“He smiled, he had no teeth. His name was Smiley, he was a fireman. He worked with dogs in Vietnam. And everything about him was just the kind of person that you want to help. They’re giving up their lives for our freedom. And to have a gentleman like this that had two tours in Vietnam, which was a horrible war… We felt good helping him.”

And there, folks, is the second ‘good person’ in this piece.  Larry has his new implants and is smiling once again, and Dr. Tischler is, in my book, a hero.

seperatorAnd that is a wrap for this week’s Good People Doing Good Things!  Isn’t it wonderful to realize that these people are only a small sampling of all the good people out there … people going quietly about the business of trying to help each other in whatever way they can, whether it be financial,  practical, or just giving a bit of time to someone who is lonely.  I am inspired and motivated to find a way to do something for somebody this week … how about you?

Good People Doing Good Things — Super Kids!

Just two ‘good people’ today, but they are small fry with huge hearts!

Let’s start today’s good people with a small, very cool young person. His name is Rowyn Montgomery, he is all of seven years old, and lives in Tiverton, Rhode Island.  Young Rowyn … this kid is gonna knock your socks off … he’s smart, he’s compassionate, he’s got more sense than a great number of adults I know.  And he’s even got his own YouTube channel, “Rollin’ with Rowyn“.

Rowyn first came up with the idea of making inspirational videos after being bullied himself.  Says Rowyn …

“When I make videos, it makes me feel happy that other people can watch them and feel happy. If they’re getting picked on or if they’re shy or something, they can watch the videos.”

Take a look at this one …

Rowyn’s mother, Michelle, helps him post videos to his YouTube channel …

“He’s so funny. He’s an old soul. You can talk to him about such deep things.”

Just watching his videos, I have no trouble believing that!  This kid is going places, and he’s going to do it with kindness and by helping others.  Check out just one more short one …

I laughed at the part where he threw his hands up and said, “God knows how many grades there’s gonna be …”

Rowyn will start second grade this fall, and hopes to follow in his mom’s footsteps when he grows up. She currently works in the behavioral health field as a case manager and helps people with mental illness.

Orion Jean is just ten years old, lives in Fort Worth, Texas, and last year, when he was a fifth-grader, he was the winner of the National Kindness Speech Contest.  Orion wrote, practiced, and gave this 90-second speech all within 24 hours, for that was all the notice he had.  Take a look at his 90-second speech …

Orion received over 2,800 votes in the contest, and the prize was $500 … a lot of money for a then-nine-year-old kid!  But, Orion didn’t buy himself a new bicycle or anything else with his prize money.  Instead, he put his money where his mouth was, for Orion didn’t just write and speak about kindness, he IS a kind young man who wanted to do something for others.

He decided to start by donating toys to sick kids at Children’s Medical Center Dallas. “These kids are my age, and they’re just kids like me,” he recalls thinking before he launched a drive for five hundred toys in August 2020. Jean’s parents had helped him set up social media pages, and he filmed videos about the toy drive for them to post on his behalf. Donations began streaming in, and he collected and donated 619 toys to the hospital in only a month.

An avid reader, Jean says he saw a statistic stating that two out of three kids living in poverty have no books of their own. He decided to collect 500,000 books for disadvantaged children. So far, he has gathered some 120,000 books and hopes to have the rest by the end of August.

“Kindness is a virtue we can all possess. If we are willing to. So why not start today. Because right now, it’s what we need more than ever.”

Ain’t it the truth!

Orion Jean has done even more, and you can read more about him and learn how you can help, in an article from last month in Texas Monthly.

These two young men are inspiring to all, I think.  If these guys are our future, then perhaps there is hope for humanity after all!