Merry Friday after Christmas, kids. I’ve somehow come up with yet another loving spoonful of good vibrations inside this holiday week. And while I contemplated adding a single lump of coal to one of my entries in honor of Ebenezer Scrooge, I thought better of it.
And now our heroes . . .
Daniel van Amstel doesn’t see his parents through the lens of some tired old description of what parents are supposed to look like. He sees his parents for what they supply, and how they teach and what they mean. To him.
In November, Daniel’s fifth grade class at Deerfield Elementary in Cedar Hills, Utah was asked what they were thankful for and when the 11 year old remarked that he was thankful for his adoptive dads, his substitute teacher decided it was a good time for a homophobic rant. She proceeded to bully the kid until three girls in his class let the teacher know she had crossed a line, after which they marched out of the classroom to tell the principal. The teacher was promptly escorted from the building and later fired.
Those girls have more compassion in their size four sneakers than you’ll find in the entire West Wing. And maybe the kids table is the right place to begin anew, because Lord knows there are too many adults out there who simply don’t have a clue. (Big thank you to Frank for this story).
Katelynn Hardee says she got the idea for a fundraising bake sale after overhearing a parent of one of the students at Breeze Hill Elementary School in Vista, California talking about how she was unable to afford an after-school program for her child. Katelynn runs a lemonade stand in the summer, so she decided to expand her business venture into the late fall in order to help some kids out. In the span of three hours, she raised enough money to pay off the lunch debt for 123 students at Breeze Hill.
A businesswoman and philanthropist, Katelynn is all of five years old. And this dynamo of a kindergartner ain’t done yet. Now she’s planning out ways to pay off the outstanding lunch debts of her entire school district. From the minds of babes . . .
Brenegan McNulty is no stranger to hard work. As a single mother of a one year old boy, the Canadian born waitress works two jobs in the hopes that someday soon she will be able to afford a place of her own. So working over the holidays goes part and parcel with this dream of hers.
Her weekend shift at Yellowknife’s Nova Hotel restaurant in the Northwest Territories was starting to look like the stuff that migraines are made of, on account of the fact they were short staffed for the evening. And then a party of ten came bustling in- a birthday party, Brenegan assumed, by the way the women were passing a greeting card around the table for all to sign. And then they presented her with the card, in which they had tucked $1,100.00 in cash. Turns out, “They wanted to do something nice for someone who was working hard during the holiday season,”.
Eat your heart out, Ellen DeGeneres. 🙂
Seamus is a nine year old pit bull mix who has spent more than half of his life at the Fresno Bully Rescue- a breed specific no-kill rescue in Fresno California. This lovable dude has earned an extra soft landing in the hearts of everyone at the shelter.
“As Seamus has been aging, he hasn’t been able to handle the weather as well, we were really hoping that he would be able to finally be in a warm home this winter season — and escape the heat of the summers. Sometimes we worried that he would be with us for the duration of his life,” Says Bridgette Booth, the shelter director.
On December 21, Seamus found his forever home. Booth considers the timing of this adoption to be a “Christmas miracle,”. His new parents are just thankful Seamus chose them.
April Doster is a nurse whose profit lies in the positive difference she tucks inside the desperate hours of people’s worst case scenarios. In 2016, that worst case scenario came calling on her. Doster was the nurse on duty the day J.T. Weyant- then six years old- was admitted to Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
J.T., along with his sisters Savannah and Hailey (four and five years old at the time), had been the victims of one of the most horrific abuse cases in state annals. Their parents Josh and Brandi of Halifax, Pa were arrested and charged with multiple counts of aggravated assault, conspiracy, false imprisonment, unlawful restraint and endangering the welfare of children. They were later convicted and sentenced to thirty years in a state prison.
When the children were found by law enforcement officials inside their home, their hair was matted with feces and urine. Their core body temperatures were 94 degrees and they appeared as if they had “just walked out of a concentration camp,”
Doster was heartbroken when she learned that the children would have little to no chance of being adopted together, so she spoke with her husband Rubin about changing that. Three years have passed since the day those three children walked out of hell and into a brand new life. And now they are a family of five; April and Rubin, J.T., Savannah and Hailey. April says the kids are thriving in school and at home.
Merriam Webster considers spirit to be a preternatural dynamic; as some supernatural being or essence which provides life to physical organisms. And somewhere in Central PA, a supernatural being wears her lanyard and blue scrubs to work every day.
They call her Mom.