Heroes Of The Week!


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. πŸ™‚

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.


62 thoughts on “Heroes Of The Week!

  1. B,

    You’ve come up with a heaping tablespoon of good vibrations and no coal necessary, thank you very much!

    Oh. Em. Gee. Are you friggen kidding me? Utah, eh? Well… thankfully those little girls were well brought up to show that ignoramus of a teacher how to properly treat people. I am so glad she got fired and the girls had the gumption to go and get the principal. Brava, young ladies!

    Katelynn! Five years old! Holy frijole! What are these children being fed to be such savvy and otherworldly souls? My goodness… what a beautiful thing.

    You made me cry with Brenegan’s story. I can just imagine her bracing herself for a bunch of partyers. What a beautiful thing they did. Ellen DeGeneres is the type to have them all over on her show for a little sumthin’ extra, whatchu talkin’ about?

    My former neighbours adopt dogs who are nearing their end of life. They know there will be heartbreak but until then, there is heartfull. Yay for Seamus!

    Whenever I hear of stories of abuse like this, I get beside myself. How anyone – a couple no less – can do this to their own children is just unfathomable. April Doster and her husband Rubin, are Angels on earth, I tell you. Nay, you are right, preternatural dynamic is such a great term for what is going on in Central PA.

    What a wonderful post, B. Truly. And of course, the music is perfect, too.


    Liked by 4 people

    • Q,

      I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t at least contemplate some coal in the stocking, yanno?

      So beyond their years in terms of wisdom. The kind of wisdom our elected officials on the right are going backwards on as we speak. The kids are our best chance of making sense of this thing called humankind.

      The little lady was bound and determined to raise that money. She stayed at it until she had covered the outstanding lunch debt. After which she told mom she was aiming higher next time. Wow!

      I used the Ellen reference because Brenegan referenced her when she was interviewed. She said it was something you would expect on the Ellen show. Hence . . why I used a smile. And come on Q, I love Ellen. I’m really not a fucking bigot, yanno? πŸ˜‰

      Good for them, all of them! And YAY for Seamus and his new fam!

      That story is so bad, I couldn’t bring myself to detail some of the horrific things those children were subjected to. But let’s just say, I don’t wish ill on anyone . . but those two scumbag human beings, well . . .

      Amen and prayers of thanks to the Dosters, truly.

      Thank you lovely. And Aimee IS the Mann!


      Liked by 1 person

      • Of course you wouldn’t be you without a li’l contemplation!

        Incredibly beyond their years. My goodness what the elected officials could learn from them…

        Boy oh boy – to have that type of determination for something so unselfish at that age is a miracle in itself.

        I know you’re not a bigot, you brat – since you didn’t provide links to your stories and I was (ashamedly) too lazy to google them, I had no idea she had referenced Ellen!

        Yes. I dunno that I could purposely adopt an old or ill dog just to give it a loving end of life so kudos to all those who do!

        Thank you for not providing more details – there were more than enough and we can fill in the blanks. Those two scumbags don’t deserve the title of human being.

        Truly. Now they are the epitome of human being.

        She is! Love it!

        Liked by 1 person

        • This be the truth.

          They won’t. Learn from them. Of course. Because they’re so ‘smart’ they’re stupid. Ignorance in its worst iteration.

          It really is. The girl has a future alright.

          Tsk, tsk, tsk. And yes, make it be known that Marco is most definitely NOT a bigot. No matter what anybody says, LOL.

          Big kudos to all those dog mamas and papas out there who do so.

          They really don’t. May they serve their time in hell before serving their time in hell. That’s my take.

          To the Dosters, angels among us.

          Love it!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. All heartwarming tales, Pilgrim. I love that perp walk for the teacher. Good on the girls. The dog and kids all found angels for sure. Great stories. Paying off lunch debt is just the beginning from that child. More good things to come from her for sure. The ten ladies made a big smile. happy New Year, Marc.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This list was a killer, and like a gust of fresh air to know there are souls out there who still step up. My favorite line…the stuff that migraines are made of.
    Imagine adopting 3 abused kids that are now thriving in every way because all ya need is love.
    And as for Mr. Pitt, no relation to Brad, I am so happy for him. You hit every note there, Mr. Imma.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You like? Coo.

      There are plenty of souls out there who DO step up on the regular. I’m replying to one . . . as we speak! πŸ™‚

      Waiting tables is migraine city. Ugh.

      You’re gonna get that song piping through me noggin now. But that’s okay . . I’ll take it.

      No relation to Brad, at all. Seamus is a leading man, and now he gets his starring role.

      Thank you Miss Thin Girl. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

          • It’s the opposite of the Trumpism we’re drowning in. Peggy Noonan’s oped in the WSJ today really depressed me. She said, Americans don’t care, ever since Bill Clinton, about a moral leader anymore. Like…WTF? We need more lists like this past one to remind us it’s just not so, at least completely.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I know. I bickered with a friend who’s blaming Trump for everything in his life, including a big weight gain. HOLD iT! she said. You need to reel yourself in there, Kemosabe, because, we can blame him for many things, but not your pants getting tighter. Those 6 slices of cheesecake you must take responsibility for. HOWEVER…IT’S ALL OBVIOUSLY MAKING PEOPLE WHO ALREADY POSSESS LOOSE SCREWS…A LITTLE LOOSER.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Yeah, I blame him for being a bully. For provoking so many others to harness their inner bullies in some warped attempt to make America “great”. Which is bullshit, by the way.

            I don’t talk Trump with anyone who voted for him. I can’t, because it devolves into an argument quickaly. The last time I engaged, it didn’t go well. I asked how he could think America was so great back in the day when we had segregation, people beating the hell out of gay people and men treating women like objects. I was called a hater of our country for it. To which I might have fired back with a few expletives.

            Liked by 1 person

          • PULL THIS REPLY. You can use it again. I too hold my own council when it has to do with him. I like the word warped, it puts the whole thing in a nutshell, so to speak. This is what I know: this too shall pass. Remember the animus towards George Bush, the younger? Now, he and Laura the Librarian…yeah she was one in her singlehood…are steppin’ out with Ellen. THIS TOO SHALL PASS.

            Liked by 1 person

          • W was not this. Yes at the time we all thought so. But this, what we have in office now . . this is different from anything I ever remember.

            Imma agree with your sentiment that this too shall pass. And hopefully, Washington learns something from it?

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Another one knocked out of the park , Marc!

    Love those generous party ladies – wanna bet most of them were waitresses one time or another?

    The abused kids story is – they don’t make a hell bad enough for those parents. Sorry, it’s just unforgivable.

    In this country, there should be no such phrase as β€œschool lunch debt.” You can’t feed minds without feeding bodies first. Every public school education should include free breakfast and lunch as a top line item. Shame on us for not doing this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love those ladies. And absolutely!

      I just can’t. I read a few articles on this woman, April Doster, thanks to my sister telling me about the adoptions. My sister works at Hershey and has met her. Amazing person.

      Eilene, I am sending you a virtual hug on your last point.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think those Utah kids are rock stars. I have a Mormon brother that lives just over the hill from cedar hills. The overall PC of the area is superficial at best. Here again we see religious beliefs and obedience supplant ethical living.
    Good stories today. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Heroes indeed – and that 1,100 check was awesome – better than giving someone a bunch of “stuff” Because the single mom knows how she needs to spend the money – eh?
    And sweet that the nurse adopted the children to keep them together – so sweet …

    Liked by 1 person

  7. In our world of a Bully in Chief, love the stories of goodness. Glad you thought the Utah story was worthy of making it into the post. Amazing how kids get in more than adults.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bully in Chief is a good one. How about Commander in Thief?

      The Utah story was proof of why kids need to be listened to. They look at the essence of a person rather than all the other stuff most adults find more important.

      Liked by 1 person

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