Good People Doing Good Things — ‘Round the World

They are out there, folks.  Good people exist.  They see a need, they do whatever is in their power to help meet that need.  And they exist everywhere, as you will see in a minute.  Somedays it is easy to believe that we are nothing but a cruel and evil society whose only concerns are wealth and greed.  In truth, there is a lot of that all over the world … I don’t even try to deny it.  But, at least once in a while it is requisite for our emotional and physical well-being to step back from the ‘dog-eat-dog’ world and look for the flowers growing among the thistles.  flowers-among-thistlesThey are there … you just have to look for them, for they are often overshadowed by the thistles.  That is why, no matter how embedded I am in the political fray, no matter what else is happening in the world, I try very hard to make sure I focus on those good people at least once a week.


I’d like to introduce you to a young man named Vaughn, and his friend Tony.  Vaughn is ten-years-old and was not feeling well one day last November when his mother, Mandy, needed to stop for fuel at a local gas station in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.  I don’t know what the station attendant, Tony, said to young Vaughn, but within minutes he had him laughing and talking. z2zjh-boy-buys-gas-station-worker-bike-1

According to Vaughn’s mother’s Facebook page

“Since then we regularly visit the station and Vaughn eagerly looks out for his new friend. Tony always takes the time to talk to Vaughn about the various bikes we haul to Giba and back and listens so obligingly to him as he chatters away.

So when Tony asked us to looks out for a reasonably priced bike for him Vaughn promised to find him one.

Vaughn has been collecting all the silver money around the house for months, saving for a “holiday” for us. One night he came to me and asked if I really wanted a holiday and upon asking why he said he would rather put his savings towards helping Tony get his bike. ❤️

And so today, we cracked open the piggy bank and took all the silvers to Game where he bought his friend a bicycle.

Our children make us proud on so many occasions but today my heart and his is so full of the joy at the kind man’s face as he, rather stunned accepted his gift from this 10year old boy.”

Ten years old and he’s already learned the value of giving, of caring, of friendship.


There is a community of Sikhs living in San Antonio, Texas, that offered free meals to all government workers during the recent shutdown.  As part of the Sikh religion, one of their duties is to look after and protect the downtrodden.sikh center san antonio

“We are here to support those federal employees who are not getting their paycheck, and we really appreciate their services… and we believe our nation should appreciate and give gratitude to those men and women who are doing wonderful service for us, but are not getting paid so. They come early in the morning, four o’clock, sometimes five o’clock to start preparing.” — Balwinder Dhillon, President of the Sikh Center of San Antonio.

And while no one in their community is directly affected by the shutdown …

plates of food “We don’t worry about one community. We all belong to one race, which is the human race. We think we are all brothers and sisters and we need to support each other no matter who we are. We may have different color, different class or religion, or social and economic status, but at the end of the day, we are all brothers and sisters.”

“We all belong to one race, which is the human race.” Spot ON!!!


Pat-Smith-1.jpgMeet Pat Smith.  Pat runs a bed and breakfast in St Austell, Cornwall, UK, but that is not why she is being featured here today.  For her 2018 New Year’s resolution, Pat vowed to clean up one beach each week from Coverack, Cornwall, to Blackpool Sands, Devon.  And she has done just that.

“Doing 52 beach cleans in 2018 was my New Year’s Resolution and it’s finally done. I won’t stop as our beaches need me.”

pat-smith-2Check out this article with pictures of some of the litter Pat has picked up, as well as a listing of all 52 beaches she has cleaned in the past year.    But Pat’s good stewardship doesn’t end there!beach trashIn the summer of 2017, Pat launched an environmental group, The Final Straw Cornwall.

“I founded the Final Straw to try and raise awareness of the catastrophic damage we are doing to our oceans from our casual consumption of single use plastics. I feel I have a responsibility to my children and grandchildren to do something about it.”

plastic-stats

This organization really deserves a post of its own, but by the time I came across it last night, I already had the two previous good people, and I didn’t want to slight them.  But do take a look at the Final Straw website (link above) and see some of the really wonderful things they are doing to reduce plastic waste in our environment.  Every country needs a branch of Final Straw.  Come to think of it, every country needs a Pat Smith!


That’s all I have time for today, but be sure to drop in again next Wednesday, for there are many, many more good people out there.  Oh, by the way, remember Liam Hannon and his dad, Scott, that I wrote about last week?  I received a Facebook message from Scott Hannon a few days ago … he had seen the piece and wrote to thank me for highlighting his son!  I’m always happy when I hear from one of the good people I write about!

Good People Doing Good Things — Liam and Scott Hannon

Last night when I began working on my ‘good people’ post, I intended to write about 3 or 4 people, as I often do, and I picked one with which to begin.  But, before long I was up to nearly 700 words and still had more to say about this remarkable duo … a boy and his dad …

liam-7Today, please allow me to introduce to you 12-year-old Liam Hannon of Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Liam’s dad typically sent him to camp for a portion of each summer, but in 2017, when Liam was just ten, he informed his dad that he didn’t want to go to camp that year.  Dad said okay but insisted that Liam find something productive and positive to keep himself busy through the summer.

That first week of summer vacation, Liam and his dad found an online treasure hunt game called Brain Chase, where Liam chose three topics to focus on, one of which was ‘service’.  The game challenged Liam to find some way, some project to give back to his community.  Liam thought about the homeless people he saw every day right outside his building, and he had an idea.  The idea was to make … sandwiches!  Sandwiches to pass out to the people who needed them most.  And thus was Liam’s Lunches of Love born.liam-6In the first week, Liam loaded up a wagon and handed out 20 sandwiches with his dad’s help. He went from sandwiches to complete bag lunches, upgraded the wagon to a hand-cart, and to date has served up more than 2,000 bag lunches to homeless people in his neighborhood.  He doesn’t just make the lunches (with some help from dad), but on each and every lunch bag, he writes a handwritten message, often accompanied by an encouraging little bit of artwork.liam-3Liam hopes to someday expand his philanthropy to include animal rescue.  A story his dad tells of one incident furthers our faith in Liam’s good heart …

His father remembers Liam’s first animal rescue: a bucket of 15 baitfish. Father and son had gone fishing. Liam watched his dad jab one small fish with a fishing hook. The boy held the bucket against his chest.  “I heard him tell the fish, ‘Don’t worry. It’s OK. I’m going to talk to him,’” Scott said.  Liam persuaded his father to throw every single baitfish back into the water, including the one on the hook so he could ‘be with his friends.’ “He’s just a wise soul for his age,” Scott said.

Now, Liam obviously has a huge heart and is a ‘good people’, but I think his dad, Scott, has to get some of the credit here, too.  Scott doesn’t just talk the talk, but walks the walk, and Liam has grown up seeing the examples set by his dad.

“One time, Liam said, ‘Dad, did you just tell that lady she didn’t have to pay you?’ And I said, ‘Yes, she’s 90 and lives on her own and has no one to help. That $80 means nothing to me.’ He has learned like that, but he’s always been a very empathetic kid.”

Scott is a single parent, working at a mid-level job and lives in a rent-controlled building, so needless to say, there came a point early on in this venture where they needed help to pay for the groceries for the lunches Liam was handing out.

“That first week, we made 20 lunches. That was going to be it, but then Liam said, ‘Dad, can we do this again? I like doing this.’…So we kept doing it, and each week it grew a little bit more.”

So, they started a GoFundMe.   Over the weeks, donations poured in to help Liam’s Lunches of Love, and local grocery stores contributed meals, too. Friends and neighbors also volunteered their time to hand out bags, which freed Liam and Scott up to spend more time with each recipient and get to know them. And that experience has opened their eyes.

“Liam has learned a lot about the difference between what a real homeless person is like versus the idea he had in his head just from seeing people on the street. He realized they’re a lot different than he thought they were, and he’s grown up a little because of it.”

liam-1Liam and his Liam’s Lunches of Love have received national recognition from ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, the Boston Globe and others.  But the real honour came last month when Liam was one of five young people showcased on CNN’s “Young Wonders: A CNN Heroes Special” hosted by Anderson Cooper.  Take a look …

The five were also honoured the next night on “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute”.  As Anderson Cooper said at that event …

“The next generation reminds us of the unwavering foundation that really connects us all — incredible acts of kindness, unconditional love and the promise of a better tomorrow.”

liam-8I couldn’t have said it better myself.  Hats off and two thumbs up to Liam and his dad Scott … these are the people who remind us what humanity is really about, don’t you think?

For more about Liam, his dad and this project, be sure to check out the Liam’s Lunches of Love website.