Guess what I found? I found good people!
Generosity times 100 …
Alec Sprague lives in Jacksonville, Florida. A few days ago, he went to his local Costco store to buy a generator, and I imagine his jaw dropped when he saw a man buying not one, not two, but 100 generators! At $450 each, that is no small feat! About $45,000 by my reckoning … one could buy a brand new car for that and still have money left over!
Now, I don’t think Alec got the man’s name, but he did speak to him and found that the man was buying not only 100 generators, but also a large stash of food to send to the Bahamas for those who, in the wake of Hurricane Dorian last week, are left without electricity or supplies, many without homes. Add to that $45,000 tab another $4,285.70 for a variety of non-perishable food such as peas, beans, coffee, salt, pepper and other essentials. What a kind and generous act! This, folks, is humanitarianism at its finest!
One good deed leads to … six!
You all know how dominoes work, right? You knock the first one over and all the rest fall one-by-one. Well, this story reminds me of dominoes, for one person’s good deed led to another and another and pretty soon, what started as one good deed ended up saving six lives and bringing twelve people together in a bond that … well, see for yourself. This story, by the way, came to me courtesy of Scott Lawlor, aka sklawlor … thank you, Scott!
It happened last year at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. Brendan Flaherty was born with Denys-Drash Syndrome resulting in unhealthy kidneys, and before he was even 2, he needed a kidney transplant. At 15 months old, he received a kidney donation from his father. But for the past six years, Flaherty, now 21, has been on dialysis—hooked up to a machine for some six hours a night, and now he desperately needed a second kidney transplant to save his life.
Brendan’s best friend, Philip Cameli, graciously offered to donate one of his own kidneys to Flaherty. However, the process wouldn’t be that simple, and unfortunately, Cameli and Flaherty did not have a compatible tissue match. According to Flaherty …
“Any time you hear that it’s always disappointing, but I’ve heard so many of those. We kind of just expected it.”
That’s when—out of the blue—a brave, compassionate woman named Kimberly Cooper stepped up. One day Cooper simply walked into Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and announced she wanted to donate a kidney. She didn’t have a family member or friend to donate to, but she was determined to help someone who needed a kidney. Turned out that she was a match for Brendan, and he received Cooper’s kidney on February 18th 2018.
Now, Brendan’s friend Philip Cameli was all prepared to donate his kidney, and the fact that Brendan couldn’t use it was not going to deter this young man. Through Northwestern’s swap program, a match was found for Cameli’s kidney, and he donated his to Clotilde Ruiz. Clotilde’s daughter, Daisy, had hoped to donate a kidney to her mum, but since she wasn’t a match, she instead donated her kidney to another person on Northwestern’s list, Scott Rial! You see what I mean about the domino thing?
The momentum kept up the pace and three other donors also successfully donated kidneys to three recipients. And all this happened within one short week, back in February 2018. Later that month, the donors and patients finally met each other, culminating in an extraordinary string of organ transplants that Northwestern Memorial Hospital is calling “The Twelve Person Kidney Exchange.”Though most of these people were strangers, they forged a fast and unique bond. I have always said that the most important thing we can give to others is to give of ourselves, but when I said it, I was thinking of our time. This … this is truly an example of ‘giving of yourself’, don’t you think?
No act too small …
On a somewhat smaller scale, but pure goodness nonetheless, we have Kim Colvin. Kim’s two sons had grown and left home to start their own families, careers, etc., and Kim led a busy life with job, friends, hobbies and such. Rarely did she cook just for herself, but rather lived on sandwiches, frozen dinners, or take out.
But one day, Kim had a craving for a home-cooked meal … I think we can all relate to that. So, she got to work in the kitchen. She made roast beef with a veggie medley. She made macaroni and cheese, she made green beans, she grilled corn, and then she made corn muffins. Remember, Kim lives alone!
After Colvin had her dinner, she went to pack up the leftovers.
Staring at all the food she made, she knew she wouldn’t finish it before it all went bad. She might have it for dinner the next day and the next, but then what? She didn’t want to end up throwing it all away … and then, she had an idea. There is a park near her house, and she has seen people under the gazebo, begging for change or needing a place to stay.
She started to make a plate of food, and then another, and she soon found she had enough leftovers to make 11 plates. It was already getting late, so she rushed over the park—it couldn’t have taken much more than 15 minutes, she remembered. It was just supposed to be a quick errand to run before it got dark.
She got to the park and immediately saw a man sitting on the steps. She offered him a plate, and he took it. She kept walking around the park toward the gazebo, and as she turned the corner she saw a woman on her knees praying, with three children beside her. She did not know it at the time, but the woman had just lost everything—she had no money, had nowhere to go, and she didn’t know how she would provide for her three children that night.
Colvin gave the lady the rest of the food she had prepared, and determined to cook something again the next night to bring back.
“This could be me, this could be us. How many of these people was once us? Like they were once able and now they’re not. Just consider it when you’re done with your meal—if it fixes one plate, two plates…”
Again … not a huge thing, but … I bet to the woman and her three children it was.
And one other small act of kindness by a young person …
Stephanie Rogers said she was driving her daughter, Skyler Smith, after school last Wednesday, when they spotted a very small girl, a first-grader as it turned out, walking along the road on her way home from school on a busy street with no sidewalks. Young Skyler said to her mum …
“Stop the car. I’m going to walk with her.”
And that is just what she did. Turned out, there was a mix-up at the school, and they were to have put her on the bus, but somehow the wires got crossed and the child was released to walk home. I give two thumbs up to Skyler for caring so much. The best time to start being a good people, I think, is when you’re a little people, and by the time you’re a big people, it’s just a habit.
Remember, folks … there are good people out there … lots of them! We can all find ways to be good people … small, simple things might mean a lot to someone in need.