Good People Doing Good Things — Everyday People

I didn’t have to look far before finding some good people this week …

We’ve all heard of the huge bushfires that are engulfing Australia and the loss of wildlife.  Last I heard, it was estimated that some one billion animals had died.  Owen Colley, a 6-year-old from Hingham, Massachusetts, was upset to learn about the Australian bushfires two weeks ago, his mom Caitlin Colley said. He asked if any animals had been hurt in the fire and his mom said yes.

Quiet, he left the room and drew a picture of a kangaroo, a koala and a dingo in the rain. The picture represented his wish for Australia, a wish for rain and wildfire relief, his mom said.

“It was really the first time Owen had made a wish for something other than Lego or something other than himself. We asked him if he wanted to help and … together we came up with this. We could make some clay koalas and give them in response to donations from friends and family.”

Owen-Colley Owen started making little gray koalas out of clay and his parents set up a way for people to donate to Wildlife Rescue South Coast, a wildlife rescue group in New South Wales. The Colley family is sending one of Owen’s koalas to each person who donates $50 or more. So far, he’s made about 55 clay koalas.clay-koalasAs of last Thursday, Owen has raised more than $100,000 for the rescue group in just a few weeks, his mom said. It started with $1,000 in donations via Venmo in an Instagram post, which was their fundraising goal. It got so big that the family launched a GoFundMe campaign.

A little thing by a little guy with a big heart.

Rayden Jones is a pizza delivery driver for Happy’s Pizza in Port Huron, Michigan.  One day last week, he was delivering some pizzas to a local school, and when he returned to his car … it was gone!  His means of earning a living … gone!

Turns out, a woman with a mental condition had stolen Rayden’s car and gone for a joy ride.  Shortly, a man named Kevin Lindke was driving home from work when he saw a swerving car take the wrong ramp onto a freeway. Lindke dialed 911 as he followed the car and described the situation to police dispatchers.

The woman who stole the automobile eventually smashed into another vehicle before abandoning the totally-wrecked car on the side of the road. She took off running with Lindke in hot pursuit.  After catching up to her, Lindke convinced her to stay and wait for police.

The next morning, in a follow up call with the police, Kevin learned who the car belonged to.  As it happened, Kevin was preparing to sell his minivan … but instead, he gave it to Rayden!  Take a look …

Again … a small thing to Kevin maybe, but a huge thing for Rayden.

Jessica Benzakein entered the foster care program when she was twelve years old and remained in the system until she turned 18 and was no longer eligible.

Benzakein spent many holidays as a young woman wishing for a family—so when she finally had a house of her own in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, she decided to open her heart and home to foster kids and siblings who were enduring the same struggles she had as a child.  About five years ago, she took in six boys — siblings Will, 17, Carter, 14, Sidney, 13, and Buddy, 8, and brothers Kendrich, 6, and T.J., 4. Jessica-kidsThe boys instantly became close with Benzakein’s biological children, Eli, 14, and Brenna, 9, whom she shares with her ex-husband, and they became one big (really big) happy family.

But, with the uncertainties of the foster care system, and Will nearing the age where he would be taken off the foster care rolls, Jessica decided to make certain the children would never be separated, would always have a ‘forever home’, and on Friday, January 3rd, she completed the adoption of all six boys! Jessica-kids-2

“Everybody tells me how lucky these kids are and what a good thing I did. But … I’m going to cry … they grounded me. I went through my 20s thinking I didn’t really need a family. But I did.”

Okay, folks, I had another ‘good people’, but I am short on time tonight, as I’m running behind on the next stage of mine and Jeff’s project, which I need to send him later today.  There’s always next Wednesday!  Meanwhile, remember to be one of those good people, okay?

Good People Doing Good Things — Eva & Linda

Today is Wednesday, and you know what that means!  Time to look around at some of the good people in this world who are doing good things to help other.  I have only two today … not that I couldn’t find more, for I could … but I got a bit carried away with these two and ran out of time and space.  But, I think you’ll love these two women!

Eva Gordon of Seattle, Washington, lived to be 105 years old!  Sadly, Eva died last June, but … many will have reason to remember her for much longer.  Let me tell you just a little bit about Ms. Gordon.

She was born and raised in Eugene, Oregon, and though she very much wished to attend college, it was the height of the Great Depression, and the money simply wasn’t there. Eventually she moved to Seattle where she took a job as a trading assistant at an investment firm.  She was a frugal woman, salting away whatever she could, saving for a rainy day.  Early in her career, she began investing in a small way, buying partial shares in oil companies and other industries; when Nordstrom went public, Ms. Gordon was one of the earliest investors. She also invested in Seattle utility companies.

In 1964, when she was in her 50s, she married Ed Gordon, a Navy pilot-turned-stockbroker.  They had no children, but were always close to Ms. Gordon’s godson, John Jacobs, a financial adviser for Morgan Stanley in Seattle.  In her early years in Seattle, Eva had shared a room with Jacob’s mother and the two became close friends.Eva-Ed-GordonEd Gordon died in 2008, and Eva continued just as she always had with her frugal ways.  And so it was that when Eva died last June, nobody realized the wealth she had amassed.  So much, in fact, that she left $10 million to be split among multiple technical and community colleges in King and Pierce Counties in Washington.  According to Jacobs, who represents her estate …

“A lot of people didn’t know the wealth she had. If there was a coupon for two-for-one at Applebee’s, she was all about that. She liked seeing students working, earning and doing things. Her goal was to provide an opportunity for those folks who could ill-afford it, whether vocational training or an academic skill.”

Jacobs informed the schools that while there are no stipulations in Gordon’s will and testament for how the money should be used, she expressed her preference for the money to help the disadvantaged students of her adopted home state.

Each of 17 colleges will receive approximately $550,000.  This isn’t the case of some wealthy philanthropist sharing some of his wealth … this is a woman who lived frugally, clipped coupons, and saved her money so that when she died she could help others have the education she was denied.

Thanks to Scott Lawlor for sending me this story!

Linda Herring is a spring chicken at age 75, as compared to Eva Gordon, but Linda gets to share this week’s ‘good people’ spotlight because in her 75 years, she has been a foster parent to … wait for it … more than 600 children!

Herring and her husband Bob began taking in foster children some 50 years ago …

“My best friend was doing foster care for teenage girls and I thought, ‘Well, that would be nice to do the same,’ but I wanted little kids. So, I talked to the Department of Human Services and agreed to take kids with medical needs.”

As a foster mom, Herring ran a home daycare for local families and worked as a night custodian in a nearby high school. If that wasn’t enough, she also volunteered as a first responder for nearly 50 years.

Herring was known by everyone in Johnson County, Iowa, for never turning away a child, no matter their age, gender, or special needs, and would regularly travel to pick up foster children who needed a home.

Linda and Bob adopted three of their foster children, adding to their five biological children.  Two of Herring’s adopted foster children have severe medical and special needs. One of them, Dani, is fully dependent on others for care. While Dani wasn’t expected to live long after her birth, she is now 29 years old.

Herring passed on what she likes to call her “foster care trait.” Four of her biological children have fostered children, and three of them followed their parents’ footsteps and adopted kids of their own. Three of her grandchildren fostered children as well.  This is the great thing about good people … they inspire others to become good people too!Linda-Herring-2.jpegAccording to her son, Anthony …

“She also worked hard to keep families together. Keeping siblings together. Helping biological parents make the changes needed to be able to keep their children. She always makes sure a new child in her home was given a professional photograph that was placed on the wall in the living room. That seems like a small thing, but it helps them feel like they’re at home.”

When it comes to Herring’s inspiration to foster children, she had one explanation: love.

“I would just love my foster kids just like they were my own, probably more than I should. I cried when the kids would leave my home, no matter how long they had been there. It was so hard for me to say goodbye to them. I always questioned, ‘Why do I keep doing this?’ because it was never easy to say goodbye to a child. But I kept doing it because I had so much love to give to these children in need.”

Last October Herring chose to stop fostering children due to health concerns.  After announcing her decision to stop, Herring was honored by the Johnson County (Iowa) Board of Supervisors, with a resolution of appreciation.

“The Department of Human Services would call Linda in the middle of the night to take a child, and she would meet anywhere to get a child. Linda mostly fostered young children with special medical needs and kept bins of clothes in her garage, stacked to the ceiling, labeled by size and gender. No one had to worry about a child going without clothes at Linda’s, even if they arrived with nothing but what they’re wearing.”

Linda-HerringWhile Herring’s time as a foster parent is over, she enjoys the photos and cards she receives from the children she fostered after they’ve been adopted. Her favorite part is when her foster children come back to visit after they’ve grown up.

I raised three children and I can tell you that alone exhausted me … I am in awe of this woman who gave of herself so selflessly and tirelessly.  Two thumbs up to Linda Herring!  👍👍

A bit of a bonus today … after I finished this post, I was trying to catch up on friends’ blogs, and came across two who had posted something about good people, so I am including a link to JoAnna’s and Bee’s posts!  Thank you both for adding to the good news of the day!

I hope the tales of Eva and Linda have brightened your day just a bit, helped you remember that there are a lot of people out there giving so much, whether money or time or just love.  And remember, folks, let’s all try to do our part to be a good people, ‘k?

Good People Doing Good Things — Mama Rosie

I am doing something that I have never done before, never intended to do .. I am redux-ing a good people post!  I offer my apologies, but this evening, when I normally would have been working on my good people post, I was instead following updates about the attacks on Iraqi military compounds housing U.S. soldiers, and then came the news of the Boeing passenger airline that crashed near Tehran, Iran, killing all 180 on board. 

As you might imagine, my thoughts were elsewhere, and I was not able to focus on ‘good people’, but still, I know how much you guys count on this feature, and I didn’t want to let you down, especially right now when we all need a reason to hope that there is humanity in this world.  So, I am re-posting the good people that to this day remains my favourite from almost exactly two years ago — January 10th 2018.  Hopefully if you saw it then, you have forgotten about it, or at least don’t mind meeting Mama Rosie again.  Again, my apologies, but sometimes I just can’t …

You probably don’t remember, but back in mid-October, I mentioned that I had started a piece about ‘Mama Rosie’, who was definitely a good candidate for this feature, but that she had done so many wonderful things that I couldn’t finish the piece in time for that week’s post.  At the time, I thought I would feature her the following week, but who-knows-what came along and distracted me, and I never did return to finish that one.  Mana Rosie is back on my radar this week, however, because apparently I am not the only one who thinks she is worthy of notice.  Mama Rosie, aka Rosalia Mashale, was one of CNN’s Top Ten Heroes of the Year for 2017!  So without further ado, please allow me to introduce … Mama Rosie!!!!

Mama RosieIn 1989, Mama Rosie was a schoolteacher who had recently retired and moved from the Eastern Cape to the township of Khayelitsha, in Westerna Cape Town, South Africa.  Khayelitsha is a poor and overcrowded township of approximately 15 square miles, and a population density of more than 26,000 people per square mile.  The unemployment rate is 54.1% and Khayelitsha is afflicted by the largest HIV/Aids epidemic in the world. Many days Mama Rosie noticed children scavenging for food in a nearby dumpster, and one day she invited them in …

“I called them in, and we sang rhymes, and I gave them bread and something to drink. And that was the birth of the daycare center.”

Mama Rosie enlisted the aid of other women in the community and by the end of the first week, 36 children were being cared for.

Mama Rosie had run the free daycare center for over a decade, and was thinking of retiring when one morning she opened her door to find a child who had been abandoned on her doorstep.

“He was between the age of two and three. He was naked and full of sores. He didn’t even know his name.”

She did what anybody would do, and took the boy to the police, who, knowing her reputation of caring for children, told her that she should care for him!  And that was the beginning of the orphanage!  Before long police and social workers were bringing orphaned and abandoned children to Mama Rosie, and hospitals were calling her to pick up babies whose mothers had died in childbirth. She never turned a single one away.  By the end of the first year, she was caring for 67 children in her own home!

“I didn’t have the heart to turn anyone away. Young girls and boys and babies were in every part of my house.”

Baphymelele.jpgIn 2001, she established Baphumelele which means “we have progressed”, and boy have they ever … progressed …

“We have a medical clinic for children and another facility for adults. We care for those who have HIV/AIDS and other chronic diseases, such as cancer, tuberculosis, diabetes, and (we) operate a hospice for children.”

Please take a minute to watch this short video … I promise that you will fall in love with Mama Rosie!

Baphumelele has developed into a thriving community project over the years. In addition to the Children’s Home and Educare Centre, Baphumelele has expanded to include the Adult Respite Care Centre, Child Respite Centre,  Hospice in the Home, Child Headed Households, Fountain of Hope, and Rosie’s Bakery/Sewing Project.

Baphumelele takes care of more than 5,000 orphaned, abandoned or sick children in desperate need of loving homes. Some have lost their parents to Aids, while others are themselves HIV-positive.

When the children in Mama Rosie’s care grow up, she helps them find jobs, or else gives them work in the bakery.

Mama RosaBut Mama Rosie’s efforts don’t begin and end with only the children!  She founded a women’s group, Sakhulwazi Women’s Organisation where women come together to learn skills such as sewing, beading and growing food … skills that will help them earn a living in the community.

At the CNN 2017 Hero of the Year awards ceremony last month, Mama Rosie gave a speech, where she said …

“They always say it takes a village to raise a child. Please join us to raise more orphans.”

I give two thumbs up to Mama Rosie for all her tireless efforts on behalf of the people of Khayelitsha!


Sadly, Mama Rosie did not win the CNN Hero of Year award, but one of my previous ‘good people’ did!  Amy Wright of Wilmington, North Carolina was named Hero of the Year. 

Good People Doing Good Things … 1st Two Of 2020!

A clean slate … a fresh start … what better way to start the new year, the new decade, than by looking for some good people?  Oh wait … I think I see one now!

Meet Michael Esmond, of Gulf Breeze, Florida …Michael-Esmond-2.jpgMichael is a 73-year-old veteran, owner of Gulf Breeze Pools & Spas, a pool installation company.  But, Michael wasn’t always so lucky.  When Michael opened his utility bill in early December, saw the due date of December 26th, with the standard notice that “supplies may be cut if not paid by then”, suddenly memories flooded back.  Michael was remembering a winter in the 1980s when he couldn’t pay his bill, the gas was cut off, and the family had no heat.  Says Michael …

“Back in the ’80s I actually lived that. I experienced a time where I had trouble paying bills. And we actually had the gas disconnected. It happened to be one of the coldest winters in history. We had ice and icicles hanging out the window inside the house. I didn’t want anyone else to go through that same thing. … I wanted to do something that I knew would really make a difference for people around Christmas time.”

So, what did Michael do?  Well, he contacted Joanne Oliver, the billing supervisor for the Gulf Breeze utility company, and asked her to help him figure out who was likely to have their utilities turned off for non-payment.  And then, you can probably guess what Michael Esmond did next …

He paid the past due utility bills for 36 families in Gulf Breeze, spending a total of $4,558!  Okay, so it’s not billions, but Michael doesn’t have billions … he doesn’t even have millions.  But what he does have is a huge heart and enough money to help others stay warm this winter.

Instead of receiving a disconnect notice, those 36 families received a Christmas card with a note that read:

“It is our honor and privilege to inform you that your past due utility bill has been paid by Gulf Breeze Pools & Spas. You can rest easier this holiday season knowing you have one less bill to pay. On behalf of Gulf Breeze Pools & Spas we here at the City of Gulf Breeze would like to wish you and your family a happy holiday season.”

Michael-Esmond.jpgJoanne Oliver was overwhelmed by Michael’s generosity …

“It made me cry. It made me cry. For someone like him, a veteran to come in and do some grand gesture. It was heartfelt for me.  I’ve been in the customer service industry for a little over 20 years. Never have I seen this type of generosity come from anyone.”

And, as we have seen numerous times before, one good deed led to others who have been calling the utility company to see how they could help.  My hat is off to Mr. Michael Esmond for being one of Filosofa’s first good people of 2020!  doffing-hat

The next good person is … well, I really cannot tell you his name, for he wishes to remain anonymous, but I can tell you that he is a good person.  We can only refer to him as ‘Secret Santa’, and he apparently lives somewhere in eastern Idaho.  Let me show you just a few of the things he has done for the people in the region this Christmas season …

  • Abby Toone lost her husband, 37-year-old Jon, in September after he was stung by three wasps. Jon, who was in the U.S. Army Reserve, collapsed and died in his wife’s arms. Now, their family is coping with the loss. The mom of four has been struggling to make ends meet as she awaits the settlement from her husband’s life insurance policy. The East Idaho Secret Santa heard of Abby’s struggles and sent her a check for $10,000 to help her until the insurance settlement comes through.

  • Nikkie Schwemmer supports three children on her own in a house that needs multiple repairs and is without a car to get to work since hers died and couldn’t be resurrected. She had been borrowing her parents’ vehicle because she couldn’t afford to buy another. Secret Santa had a brand-new blueberry-colored Subaru delivered to her.

  • It’s not been an easy year for the Weber family. The number of children in their Idaho home roughly doubled after tragedy hit them not once, but twice. Dan and Lana Weber have five children of their own. Late last year Lana’s brother, Darin Hammond, took his own life. In April, his widow, Emilia, ended her life, orphaning their four children — Symphony, Gavin, Halle and Eva. The Webers, without a second thought, took in their nieces and nephew. Now they are looking after nine children in their Madison County home. Secret Santa sent them a check for $10,000.

  • When he was 14, Brad Crow was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer called osteosarcoma. Since then, to fight the disease, Brad has undergone radiation, chemotherapy and had the bone in one leg removed and replaced with cadaver bone. Now married and the father of 2, he and his wife Erica decided to build their own home.  But disaster struck, and Brad fractured his leg while building. The injury eventually progressed and he needed to have surgery to replace the bone. Even though he was recovering well, he developed a staph infection and began fighting for his life soon after. Brad had that leg amputated this spring and a hip replaced shortly after, and is now facing another hip replacement.  Long story short, Brad has not been able to work for more than a year now, and Erica’s pay from her school bus driving job just isn’t enough to cover everything.  Secret Santa surprised them with health insurance coverage for a year, and a check for $50,000 to go toward building their home.

And the stories go on and on and on.  For the past five years, starting in 2015, this anonymous Secret Santa has enlisted to help find people and families living in eastern Idaho who are in need. Secret Santa is a real person who wants to remain anonymous and wants to help as many people as he can.  In October of each year, the media outlet puts out the call for people to send nominations for people they know of who are in need of financial help.  The Secret Santa then chooses those he deems most in need and does what needs to be done to help them.  Sometimes it’s something as simple as paying for a veteran’s meal, other times it might be a car or a sizeable check.  In total, Secret Santa spends $500,000 … yes, a half-million dollars … each year helping people in eastern Idaho.

Wow … just wow.  Check out some more of the stories of the people Secret Santa has helped this year

Well, folks, that’s only two good people to start out the year, but I think both Michael Esmond and the Secret Santa are most deserving of being the stars of Filosofa’s first Good People Doing Good Things of 2020, don’t you?  Until next week, then, remember … let’s all try to find a way to be one of those good people.  We cannot all give away thousands of dollars, but maybe we can help carry someone’s groceries into their house, or take somebody somewhere, buy someone a meal … there are at least a million ways to be a good people.

Good People Doing Good Things — Little Things Mean A Lot

Last week, I wrote about a couple who bought an old ship and turned it into a hospital ship, serving the poor far and wide.  A noble effort, for sure, but also one that few of us could match.  This week, I write about a few people … just average people like you and me … doing little things on a daily basis that mean so much to others.

Ed Higinbotham is a self-taught craftsman who took up woodworking as a hobby. Initially, he says he just wanted something to keep his hands busy, but toymaking soon turned into a passion.  Ed is 93 years old and lives in Georges Township, Pennsylvania, where he has a workshop in his home.  Every day, he spends eight hours in that workshop making toys.  And what, you might ask, does he do with all those toys?

higinbotham-1higinbotham-2higinbotham-3He donates them to homeless shelters and Head Start programs in the area.  He fashions cars, trucks, and horse-drawn tractors out of wood, taking great care to include the small details, like the ladder on a fire truck or the bridle on the horse’s head. When asked if he was Santa Claus incarnate, he replied, “It’s just something that I enjoy doing and now I make somebody else happy, and if that’s Santa Claus then I’m Santa Claus.”

Nancy Banta makes things too, though not wooden toys.  Nancy lives in Rumson, New Jersey and she crochets blankets to donate to sick children in hospitals. Nancy-BantaThis year alone, Nancy has made 49 blankets, and in the 20 years she’s been doing this, she estimates she has made and donated more than 1,000 blankets!

And then there’s Adam Armstrong, from Penn Laird, Virginia.  Adam has done well enough for himself, selling real estate, but he didn’t always have it easy.  As a child, growing up in nearby Harrisonburg, Adam’s family was poor.  A few weeks ago, Adam decided to return to Harrisonburg … with a 26-foot rental truck filled with toys!

He went to four different apartment complexes in low income neighborhoods and distributed some 1.300 toys that he had bought to give out. Armstrong-1He gave away bikes, balls and remote-control cars among other items to residents of Harris Gardens Apartments — a low-income, Section 8 complex in Harrisonburg where he once lived.  And then he went on to three others to do the same.Armstrong-2

“You see these kids and you hand them a baby doll, or a Nerf gun, a bicycle, two little boys throwing a football and you can’t put a price on the feeling that gives you. I consider myself very blessed.”

Simple things, yes, but gifts from the heart.  And now I want to tell you about a program that is doing good things in malls around the nation.  The program is called Santa Cares and it is run by two non-profits, Autism Speaks and Cherry Hill Programs.  I have known several children with autism, and one with Asperger’s Syndrome … they do not do well in crowds or where there is a lot of noise and activity.  You can only imagine the trauma of trying to make a trip to the mall to see Santa amid all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.Santa-Cares-2Santa Cares works in conjunction with malls all over the nation to schedule Santa Cares Days, days in which the mall opens early for parents to bring their autistic children to see Santa in a much quieter, calmer atmosphere.  The lights are dimmed and the music either off or the volume lowered.  The Santas at these events are specially trained in how to interact with special-needs children. Santa will lay on the floor or stand behind his chair to make sure each child is comfortable.Santa-Cares.pngThe program, which has been in existence since 2015, will be held in 582 shopping centers in the U.S. and Canada.  Again, it’s a small thing, but for those kids who might not otherwise ever get to see Santa except on television, it may well be the memory of a lifetime.

I end with a not-so-small thing.  You all know by now that I am not a fan of big business and capitalism, but every now and then, I come across a company that is doing something positive.  St. John Properties based in Baltimore, Maryland, is one company that has earned a shout-out today.

The company recently achieved its goal of developing 20 million square feet space in eight states, according to a company press release. Founder and chairman, Edward St. John, wanted to share the milestone with his employees.  At the annual holiday party, each employee was handed a red envelope.St-John-1Imagine their surprise when they opened their envelopes to find bonuses of $50,000 and more, depending on years of service!  Some are getting six-figure bonuses upwards of $250,000, and the total of the distribution was $10 million.  Said Mr. St. John …

“To celebrate the achievement of our goal, we wanted to reward our employees in a big way that would make a significant impact on their lives. I am thankful for every one of our employees, for their hard work and dedication. I couldn’t think of a better way to show it.”

What a great man.  Can you imagine if every CEO was as caring and understood that without their employees, they are nothing?

Well, friends, that’s a wrap for today.  I hope this helps restore a bit of faith in humanity, for we surely aren’t seeing it in the news these days.  Remember, there are lots of good people out there … they just mostly fly under the radar and are overshadowed by the attention-seekers.  Next Wednesday is Christmas, and Filosofa will be taking a day off, so Good People will return the following Wednesday, New Year’s Day.

Good People Doing Good Things — Don Stephens, Et Al …

I’d like to introduce you to Don Stephens, founder of Mercy Ships.


Back in 1978, Don and his wife Deyon purchased an ocean liner, the Victoria, for scrap value of $1 million.  It took them four years to convert the retired ocean liner into the hospital ship MV Anastasis. Anastasis sailing at seaThe 9-deck, 522-foot ship was equipped with three operating rooms, a dental clinic, an x-ray machine, a laboratory and 40 patient beds.  Since then, they have outfitted three other ships for the same purpose, with a fourth in the making.  And what, you may be wondering, is that purpose? 

The purpose is to provide humanitarian aid like free health care, community development projects, community health education, mental health programs, agriculture projects, and palliative care for terminally ill patients.  Mercy Ships has operated in more than 57 developing nations and 18 developed nations around the world, with a current focus on the countries of Africa.Deyon-DonBut just what inspired Don and Deyon to dedicate their entire lives to this project?  Don says one major motivator was the work of the international hospital ship SS Hope. Stephens’ research showed that 95 of the 100 largest cities in the world were port cities. Therefore, a hospital ship could deliver healthcare very efficiently to large numbers of people. The birth of Stephens’ disabled son, John Paul, also inspired him to move forward with his vision of a floating hospital. And finally, a visit with Mother Teresa in Calcutta, India, further deepened his commitment to serving the world’s neediest people.

Now, Don and Deyon are certainly good people, having invested their money and time … their lives, really … into this venture.  But, with the limitations of both time and space, there are many other good people in this story.  As Don noted in a July interview when asked how he came to found Mercy Ships …

“The real story of Mercy Ships is the thousands of volunteers and supporters who are now a part of this journey. These are the ones at the ‘coal face’ of bringing hope and healing …”

I chose just a couple of those volunteers at random to highlight here.

Emmanuel-EssahEmmanuel Essah left his native home in Benin, Africa, and flew all the way to Texas to become a Biomedical Technician—and finished top of his class. Then he joined the Africa Mercy. Today, Emmanuel is a long-term crew member, supporting the hospital and helping with repairs and calibration of the hospital equipment.

Dr-Sherif-EmilAfter growing up in a family of doctors, Sherif Emil thought he would like to try something different and carve his own path. He completed an undergraduate engineering degree before coming to the realization that he really did want to pursue medicine. “I like the personal aspect, I like the interaction and I like the human aspect of it.” That change in career path would lead him to specializing in pediatric surgical medicine in the United States and Canada and eventually would bring him to Mercy Ships. Dr. Sherif began preparations to visit the ship as a volunteer surgeon. Recently those plans came to fruition and he was able to experience the joy of serving in the operating theatre aboard the Africa Mercy.

heather-morehouse.jpgSeeing the before and after pictures and the ability of Mercy Ships to meet a basic need touched Heather Morehouse. “I was heartbroken to see what people live with. They don’t have access to help themselves and there is such despair that comes with that.” Heather decided that she needed to be a part of the organization for seven weeks during its 2013-2014 field service in the Republic of Congo. She quickly realized that seven weeks wasn’t long enough. “My time in the Congo changed me; it changed what I wanted in life. I rented out my house, quit my job and came back.”

These are just a few of the people who are dedicating their lives to the betterment of humankind.  But, let’s take a look at some of the good work that Mercy Ships has done and is doing.

Aicha was three months old when her parents started noticing there was something wrong with her vision. She wasn’t moving or looking around the same way her two older siblings had at her age. By the time she was starting to crawl, it was obvious that she could hardly see what was around her. Aicha-beforeFatmata and her husband, Mohamed, were nervous to trust strangers with their daughter’s eyesight, but they decided to bring Aicha to a Mercy Ships eye screening.Aisha-lightWhen they met with the screening team, it was unsure whether there was hope for Aicha’s eyesight. Having her cataracts from such a young age could mean that her vision had stopped developing — making her permanently blind. But, as they shone a flashlight in the baby’s eyes, all tension broke. A toothy grin spread across Aicha’s face; she grabbed the flashlight closer, her eyes not leaving its beam.

According to Ophthalmic Clinical Technician Larina Brink …

“I knew that the surgery would turn out well because of her being able to follow the light as I moved it around. My heart was filled with joy to be able to offer her a surgery that would open the world up to her.”

The surgery was, indeed, successful, and one week after her surgery, Fatmata and Aicha returned to selling fruit. Now that Aicha can see, she tries to grab hold of every colorful item around her: the orange handed to her; the red cap of a water bottle; her mother’s dangling earrings. There’s joy and excitement in the air, and Aicha’s no longer the recipient of strangers’ jokes. Instead, she’s a little miracle.Aisha-after

Sekouba-before It was an ordinary morning when then 10-year-old Sekouba first noticed a tiny bump in his mouth. He showed it to his mother, M’mahawa, who thought it would simply go away on its own. But it didn’t. What began as a button-sized growth inside Sekouba’s mouth, grew as big as a tennis ball. It was a dangerous tumor. Breathing soon became difficult, threatening his life.

SekoubaSekouba loved school, but he dropped out. The shame was too much. Even his brothers were embarrassed to be seen with him. No one saw Sekouba for himself anymore. All they saw was the growing tumor that had filled his cheek. Sekouba’s family couldn’t afford the surgical costs needed at a regional hospital. So, a neighbor told them about Mercy Ships.

After being admitted onboard the Africa Mercy, Sekouba received surgery to remove the maxillary mass, followed by several weeks of appointments to closely follow his recovery process. Surgery was a success. The first thing Sekouba said he wanted to do after returning home was to get back in the classroom to continue his studies. Then he shared that he had his eye on a girl who he never stops talking about. “Now, I’m going to be able to marry her one day,” he beamed.Sekouba-after.png

There are many, many more success stories here, and I could have made this post at least 5 times as long as it already is and still not have finished.  But, as I am out of both time and space, I encourage you to visit Mercy Ships website, for there is a plethora of heartwarming stories and information. I wish I could share them all.  Meanwhile, I would like to give a huge shout-out to Don and Deyon Stephens for having the vision and the motivation to start this wonderful project, and to all the volunteers who give so much to helping people.  Earlier this year, Mercy Ships celebrated performing it’s 100,000th free surgery.  Thumbs up!!!  I leave you with a short video clip of one young patient’s story.

Good People Doing Good Things — Two Of ‘Em

Time got away from me this evening, for I was busy wrapping a few Christmas gifts to get ready to mail tomorrow, doing laundry, rolling smokes, and next thing I knew, it was 10:30 and I hadn’t begun my ‘good people’ post yet!  Luckily, it never takes me long to find good people and within a few minutes I had two.

Four years ago, Jean Manning was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She and her ten-year-old son, Jake, were living in Florida at the time, but as Jean’s cancer became more aggressive, she was advised she could get better medical care in Massachusetts.  So, Jean and Jake packed up and moved north, leaving friends and family behind.  I should mention that Jake has Down’s Syndrome.Jake-Jean-ManningJake hit the jackpot at his new school, CASE Collaborative School, when he was assigned to teacher Kerry Bremer.  He often jumped around the room pretending to be Batman. He was full of energy, she said.

“And then the next minute he would be the sweetest little guy, who was looking you directly in the eyes and telling you he loved you. You can’t help but love him.”

Ms. Bremer fell in love with Jake almost immediately, and she and Ms. Manning began to bond over their common love of young Jake.

 “We would take Jake to appointments together and celebrate holidays together. Jean called him ‘our son.’”

Bremer-Manning-famsThe two families began spending time together on weekends and holidays.  Jake fit right in with the Bremer kids, Kristen, 17, Jonathan, 15, and Kaitlyn, 12 at the time, and Dave Bremer, who Jake calls “Dave the Dad”.  Kerry could see that Jean’s cancer was progressing, and eventually it metastasized into her brain.  Kerry Bremer knew that while Jean had supportive family members, none were able to take Jake in the event of Ms. Manning’s death.  After much soul searching and talking with husband Dave, Kerry says she finally broached the subject with Jean one day …

“I called her and I said, ‘I could really be overstepping the boundaries here, but I just want to let you know that if you need a backup plan for Jake, my family and I are willing to offer guardianship.’ And she said, ‘I am going to sleep better tonight than I have in a long time.'”

Jake-Kerry-JeanOn November 13th, Jean put Jake on the school bus and went for her chemo treatment.  She returned home that afternoon, lay down to take a nap, and never woke up. Bremer-kids-Jake.pngJake’s home is now with the Bremer family, and adoption proceedings are in process.  Jake misses his mom, but … he seems to be adapting well, with the help of this wonderful family who took him into their loving arms from the very beginning.

Grab your tissues and watch …

Adrianna Edwards lives 7 miles from her job at a Denny’s restaurant in Galveston, Texas.  Until last Tuesday, it took Adrianna just over 2 hours to get to work, and another 2 hours to get home at the end of her shift.  Traffic or road construction?  No, Adrianna walked to work and back home.  Why?  Because she had no car and …

“I have bills to pay. I’ve got to eat. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”

Adrianna was actually saving as much of her salary and tips as possible in order to buy a car, and then she was hoping to enroll in college.  So, what happened?

Last Tuesday, two days before Thanksgiving, Adrianna served a local couple and they struck up a conversation.  They hit it off, and Adrianna even gave the woman a bit of extra ice cream as she told them of her daily commute.  The couple finished their meal, left the restaurant, went to Classic Galveston Auto Group on Broadway Street and purchased a 2011 Nissan Sentra.  Before the end of Adrianna’s shift, the couple, who ask to remain unnamed, returned to Denny’s and handed Adrianna the keys to the car!

Said the woman …

“She teared up, which made me happy that she was so moved by that.  I gave her a note that said, ‘I know it’s Thanksgiving, but I said, ‘Merry Christmas,’ and that, hopefully, someday she’ll just pay it forward.”

Adrianna-car.jpgAnd that’s just what Adrianna plans to do someday …

“I still feel like I’m dreaming. Every two hours, I come look out my window and see if there’s still a car there. When I see somebody in need, I’ll probably be more likely to help them out and to do everything that I can to help them out.”

And thus concludes your weekly dose of good people.  Remember, dear friends … it’s up to all of us to give the world a bit of hope, up to all of us to be good people.

Good People Doing Good Things — A Helping Hand/Paw

Earlier this evening, my girls were watching the movie Elf … you know, the one with Ed Asner as the real Santa Clause, Bob Newhart as Papa Elf, and Will Ferrell in the title role.  I glanced up to catch a minute of it every so often … I’ve only seen it a few dozen times, after all.  When I glanced up toward the end, I was struck by a woman saying that Santa’s sleigh couldn’t fly for there wasn’t enough ‘Christmas spirit’ here on earth.  And then, as I began working on my ‘good people’ post, I found myself thinking about that.  I think these people I am writing about tonight have what I would define as ‘Yearlong spirit’.

Grandma goes postal!

Meet Laura Landerman-Garber, a grandmother and full-time clinical psychologist living in Hollis, New Hampshire.  Laura has a ‘spare time’ project.  It started on Thanksgiving Day, sixteen years ago, when Laura told her family that nobody was getting a bite to eat until they had each written cards to military members. She called it the “ticket to turkey.” With the threat of turkey on the line, of course, they all pitched in.

Through the years, the project gained momentum, with other families pitching in to help.  Five years ago, her daughter’s friend was deployed in the Navy to the USS Theodore Roosevelt. Landerman-Garber pledged she would send cards to all the soldiers on what she then called a “boat.”  Her project really expanded when she found that the USS Theodore Roosevelt was actually an aircraft carrier with more than 5,000 crew members!

Ms. Landerman-Garber has a ‘can-do’ attitude, and she wasn’t about to break this promise!  So, she began to call it a “challenge” and enlisted the help of churches, synagogues, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and even politicians! cards-1The project kept growing … and growing … and this year, Ms. Landerman-Garber will be sending out over 100,000 cards to military personnel in all branches of the service!  Heck, it taxes me to mail one or two cards!  Presidential candidates Mark Sanford, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders have even contributed handwritten messages on cards!

“The thought of someone being away at a time when in our culture, in American culture particularly, the holidays are all about gathering together… for me, I wanted to be able to reach out and just maybe give a little bit of a bridge so that person who is far away feels a little tiny bit closer to home. I just love the idea that whether you’re a presidential candidate — and those people have a lot of experience in our country — or you’re a 3-year-old preschooler that you can send holiday cheer to someone that’s away from home and let them know you appreciate what they’re doing.”

It may be a small thing she does, but I bet that if you asked a service member stationed far from home, he or she would tell you that to them, it’s a pretty big thing.

Cleaning up after everyone else …

Afroz-ShahAfroz Shah is a lawyer in Mumbai.  In 2015, he moved to a community in Mumbai called Versova Beach. He had played there as a child and was upset to see how much it had changed. The sand was no longer visible because it was covered by a layer of garbage more than five feet thick — most of it plastic waste.

“The whole beach was like a carpet of plastic. It repulsed me.”

Mr. Shah is not, however, one of those people who shakes his head and soon forgets about it.  In October 2015, Shah began picking up trash from the beach every Sunday morning. At first, it was just him and a neighbor, and then he began recruiting others to join in. Word spread and with help from social media, more volunteers got involved.versova-beach-plastic.jpgThe unsightly mess Shah had stumbled upon is part of a global environmental crisis. More than 8 million tons of plastic ends up in the world’s oceans each year — the equivalent of a garbage truck dumped every minute. It’s predicted that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish!

Mr. Shah has dedicated every weekend for the past 209 weeks to cleaning up the beach.  He inspired as many as 200,000 volunteers to pitch in, and it took three years, but by October 2018, Versova Beach was once again beautiful!Versova-Beach-before-afterIt has been called the world’s biggest beach cleanup.  But, Mr. Shah didn’t stop there.  He turned his sights elsewhere and began spending every weekend cleaning another beach as well as a stretch of the Mithi River and other regions of India.

Mr. Shah has my appreciation, and I definitely think he is one heck of a ‘good people’!  And folks … we gotta do better on this plastic thing, alright?

A good guy named Guy …Guy-BryantHis name is Guy Bryant, but they call him … Mister B.  Who is Mr. B?  Well, he’s a good people, of course!  Mr. Bryant has worked for 32 years as a community coordinator at New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services. His job focuses on a specific age group:  18-21 year old kids that have ‘aged out’ of foster care, yet are in no way prepared to face the world on their own.

“It’s a big population. There’s definitely a need for the services because what happens is when a youth gets 18 years old, a lot of times they feel like, ‘I can do this.’ Most of the kids, they can’t admit who they are. Their identity is lost somewhere between the home they’ve lived in and the other 10 foster homes they might have lived in.”

In 2007, one of the young men in Bryant’s caseload asked him a question: “Will you be my father? Will you take me?” After some thought, Bryant decided to take the chance.  It worked out well.  It worked out so well, in fact, that Bryant also decided to foster the young man’s friend, as well as the friend’s brother!  But wait …

Before Bryant knew it, he had nine young men in his home and rented the floor above his apartment to have additional space.  Bryant initially had some trepidation about being a foster parent, especially as a single dad.

“Some of my fears were this: People say, ‘Why is this man doing this?’ People always think you have ulterior motives, not understanding who I am.”

Bryant does more than just provide these young people with a roof over their heads … he gives of himself.  He gives the most important thing any adult can give to a young person … he spends time with them.  He talks to them, does things with them, he plans fishing expeditions a few times a year and sometimes cooks meals with the young men, developing bonds over time.

“The difficult thing about building trust is their past interactions with adults. If I can get you to engage in conversation with me about how you’re feeling and what’s going on, then that right there, my job is done. They constantly need to be reinforced that ‘I am here. I am going to do what I say.’ My kids will tell you whatever I say, I’m going to do for you. I always do it because I don’t want you to look at me like one of those adults who let you down.”

To date, Mr. Bryant has taken in more than 50 young men, and he says he isn’t finished yet …

“The Mr. Bryant approach is I love you regardless. You could become a brain surgeon or you could be a bathroom cleaner — it doesn’t matter. Once you come into my home and you’ve been with me and you’ve been here, you’re my kid for life. That’s my approach. You’ll always have a bed to come to, a shower to take — you’ll always be able to come home. This is home.”

MrB-and-kidsMrB-cooking-lessonsFolks … I love all of my ‘good people’, but this one brought a lump to my throat.  What an awesome man, don’t you think?

And last, but not least …

Who says good people have to be humans?

The Pet and Wildlife Rescue in Chatham Kent, Ontario, found a dog curled up on the side of the road.  When they investigated further, they found the dog was taking care of … four tiny baby kittens!dog-kittens-1


Wait!  Didn’t they say ‘four’?  I’m counting five … or is it six???

The shelter plans to keep them together until they can locate owners or find them homes.

That’s all I’ve got time for tonight, my friends, but remember … let’s all try to be ‘good people’. You don’t have to take in 50 foster kids, or spend three years cleaning a beach … there are opportunities all around you.  Just do something nice for somebody, and you’ll see how great it feels to be a ‘good people’!

Good People Doing Good Things — Richard Miles

Today I would like to introduce you to Richard Miles of Dallas, Texas. Richard-MilesWhen he was a teenager, he was arrested and convicted of murder … a murder he did not commit.  On August 25th, 1995, at 20 years of age, Richard was sentenced to 60 years in prison.

The facts of the matter:  Deandre Shay Williams and Robert Ray Johnson were shot through the open sun roof of a parked a car at a Texaco station near Bachman, Texas, on May 16, 1994. Johnson, the driver survived but Williams, sitting in the passenger seat died.  An eye-witness claimed that Richard Miles was the killer.

More than a decade later, an organization called Centurion began investigating Richard’s case.  Centurion, much like the Innocence Project, works to investigate cases of people who have been wrongfully convicted in order to attain an exoneration.

In Richard’s case, it turned out that the Dallas Police Department had failed to disclose two police reports containing possible exculpatory information, and the eye-witness came forth and recanted his testimony, saying that the prosecutor in the case had instructed him to lie.

And so it was that on October 12th, 2009, Richard Miles was released from prison and three years later was fully exonerated.  Now, you’re wondering what makes Miles a good person, deserving of an entire post, aren’t you?  Wait for it.

For two years, Miles struggled to get back on his feet. Ultimately, he found a job, a home, and today is married with a child.  But that struggle was the impetus for what Miles went on to do.

“I was overwhelmed. I was 34 years old in age, but I was 19 from society standpoints. I had not dealt with the world, and I was literally scared. I didn’t know about taxes and employment. The world was totally different.”

A lot of people would be angry and bitter at having lost 15 years of their life in such a manner, then having such a hard time re-entering society. But Richard took a negative and turned it into a positive.  He decided to help people coming out of prison to navigate their return to society.  He founded a non-profit called Miles of Freedom that helps people transition and stay out of prison.

“I saw firsthand these points of despair for people coming home from prison. Yes, they committed a crime, but a lot of them wanted to do better, and they were just not in a space to do better.”

Miles received compensation from the state upon his exoneration in 2012, and he used a large portion of that to start Miles of Freedom.  Operating in South Dallas, the nonprofit assists individuals returning home from prison by helping them obtain identification, enroll in college, and secure housing. The group also provides computer and career training, financial literacy programs and job placement.

The Miles of Freedom Lawn Care Service provides temporary employment for men and women in the program. Miles also offers a shuttle service that takes family members to see their loved ones who are incarcerated.

The stated mission of Miles of Freedom is …

To equip, empower, and employ individuals returning home from prison and provide support and assistance for families and communities impacted by Incarceration.

Simple enough but imagine what a big thing that is to someone just leaving prison with no idea how to get back on his or her feet.  This year, Richard Miles is one of the Top 10 CNN Heroes of 2019.  Below is snippet from an interview between Miles and CNN’s Allie Torgan …

CNN: In addition to the support and job training programs, what else do you offer?

Miles: We take a deep dive into financial literacy, which is taught by Frost Bank. We also have a nine-lesson curriculum that deals with the soft skills, diversity and change in the workplace, sexual harassment—and all this stuff gets our participants ready for employment, which is very key. Because they’re coming from an institution that did not provide these skill sets to maintain employment.

We also have a youth program. We have high schools across the street where we go in and talk about going to prison, challenges, making the right choices. We host different community events, back to school events, where we’re able to talk with kids and family members about incarceration, staying out of incarceration and needs for education.

Richard-Miles-2Good people come from all walks of life, and their good deeds may be as small as rescuing a puppy, or as big as paying off student loan debt for an entire graduating class.  Some choose to help the environment, others help the poor or the disabled, others take on caring for a community or knitting sweaters for the elderly.  Mr. Miles has taken on helping a set of people who most others wouldn’t bother with, most would write them off as a loss.  Who knows what good some of the people Mr. Miles is helping might go on to do with their own lives because of the help they received when they most needed it?  I give two thumbs up to Mr. Richard Miles!  👍👍

Good People Doing Good Things — Young People Around The World!

Today is World Kindness Day, so it’s rather a good day for this post, don’t you think?  Good people come in all sizes, shapes & colours, and there is no age requirement for being a good person.  Every now and then, I like to focus this feature on young people who are doing good things, for it gives us reason to hope for a brighter future.  And believe me, there are plenty of them out there!

Take, for example, Nicholas Lowinger.  Now, Nicholas had a good example to follow, for his mother worked in various homeless shelters across the state of Rhode Island.  When Nicholas was only five years old, his mother took him to visit in one of the shelters, and he quickly realized that the children in the shelter were living in circumstances that were very different from his own.  While Nicholas had a brand-new pair of light-up sneakers, he saw children in the shelter who had no shoes.nick-lowinger

“I saw other kids my age who looked just like me. The only difference was, they were wearing old, tattered shoes that were falling apart. Some didn’t have a pair of shoes to call their own. I’ve been very fortunate to grow up in a family that is able to provide me with whatever I need. A lot of kids here in the U.S. don’t have the same opportunities.”

Fast forward to 2010, when Nicholas was 12 years old and met a homeless brother and sister duo at school who took turns going to school because they only had one pair of shoes between them.  Nicholas gave the boy a pair of his own basketball sneakers, but it gave him an idea.

“I didn’t want to make one donation and stop there. I wanted it to be something I could do for the rest of my life.”

With the help of his parents, he then started the Gotta Have Sole Foundation.   Since 2010, the organization has donated new footwear to more than 100,000 homeless children in 35 states.  Take a look at this short clip to see Nicholas tell a bit of his story.

Two thumbs up to this young man whose social conscience began at a very early age!  👍👍

Or how about sisters Melati and Isabel Wijsen … Six years ago, these two sisters, then ages 12 and 10, decided they were going to do something about the plastic problem on their island of Bali.  The girls were inspired by the country of Rwanda’s ban of polyethylene bags in 2008 and decided to try to get their native Bali to do the same.

Bali is part of the island nation of Indonesia, which is the world’s second biggest polluter when it comes to marine plastic, trailing only China.

The two sisters got the idea for Bye Bye Plastic Bags in 2013 after a lesson at school about influential world leaders — change-makers — including Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi.

“My sister and I went home that day thinking, ‘Well, what can we do as kids living on the island of Bali?’ You see, we didn’t want to wait until we were older to start making a difference. It wasn’t even a question, really. It was more like, what can we do, as kids, right now.”

The answer was right in their own backyard …Bali-beach

“It got to the point where on weekends when we would go to our childhood beach, if we went swimming there, a plastic bag would wrap around your arm. And you say just, enough is enough.”

They went online and discovered that over 40 countries had already banned or taxed plastic bags.

“We thought, ‘Well, if they can do it, c’mon, Bali! C’mon, Indonesia! We can do it, too!’ So, without a business plan or a strategy or a budget, like my mom will tell you, we went forward with a pure passion and intention to make our island home plastic bag free.”

They got some friends together, went online to start a petition and got 6,000 signatures in less than a day! They spread awareness through school and community workshops. They organized massive beach cleanup campaigns, all the while drawing international attention and that of local politicians too.

“I think one of the biggest tools that pushed us forward was our decision to go on a food strike.”

The sisters put the word out about their plan on social media. Local media picked it up, and that prompted the governor at the time, I Made Pastika, to do what any savvy politician would do when faced with two teenage girls threatening a hunger strike. He invited them to come see him.

“Within 24 hours, we had a phone call and then the next day we were picked up from school and escorted to the office of the governor.”

Pastika signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the sisters to work toward eliminating plastic on the island — and later pledged to rid Bali of plastic bags by 2018. That didn’t happen, but the sisters kept engaging government at every level — local, municipal and national — to keep up the pressure. Melati Wijsen says she learned a lot about dealing with politicians in the process.Melati-IsabelBut … in December 2018, the new governor of Bali announced a law banning single-use plastic in 2019, thanks in part to the sisters’ efforts and those of like-minded NGOs.  Last year, the girls founded their own NGO (non-governmental organization), Bye Bye Plastic Bags.

“We’re actually now in 28 locations around the world, and it’s all led by young people. We’ve created a starter kit and a handbook that guides them through this process of how to start a movement.”

Bali-beach-2These young women are pretty awesome, don’t you think?  Perhaps we need them to come over here?  Another two thumbs up!  👍👍

And then there’s Kelvin Doe from Sierra Leone, the “world’s youngest self-taught engineer”.  Kelvin got his start when he began looking for ways to fix local problems with technology as an 11-year-old, just five years after the country’s volatile civil war ended.Kelvin-DoeKelvin Doe grew up in Freetown, Sierra Leone. At the age of 11, he started collecting scrap material on the way home from school. He discovered that with a little bit of tinkering he could make working parts from things that others had thrown out. Feeling inspired he’d go to bed at 7pm only to wake up in the middle of the night and tinker while the rest of his family slept.

He went on to build a community radio station out of recycled parts that he powered with a generator also made out of reused material. David Sengeh, a PhD student at the MIT media lab and Kelvin’s mentor, said: “In Sierra Leone, other young people suddenly feel they can be like Kelvin.”

In 2016, at the age of 19, Kelvin became an honorary board member of Emergency USA (a global non-profit that provides free medical care for those affected by war and poverty) and founding the Kelvin Doe Foundation, a non-profit organization that is committed to empowering young people in Africa to design innovative solutions to tackle some of the most critical issues in their communities.

Take a look at this video from when he was only fifteen …

Wow, huh?  I’m in awe of this young man!  Another two thumbs-up!  👍👍

Okay, folks, I’ve run out of thumbs now, so that wraps this week’s “good people” post up, but hopefully you found something to love and to inspire you about these young people!  Until next week … remember, if you can’t find a good people, then just go ahead and be one!