Heroes Of The Week! (2020 Edition)

Image result for wonder woman with glasses

With a new year comes a new meme. We are already three days into a new decade, so trash that crash diet, ditch the money pit matchmaking sites and make sustainable resolutions that actually pay you back instead. A top five list from yours truly? Sure why not . . .

My 2020 . . . Umm . . . Resolutions

-Swear smarter
-No Speedos
-Sign any petitions involving the dissolution of the Hallmark Channel
-No kale
-No Chick-fil-A

That’s how you resolution, kids. And now your heroes . . .

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputies who made Christmas possible for a little boy and his mother when they learned the two have been going through some hard times. The deputies showed up with lights flashing. They gifted mother and son a Christmas tree, shoes, clothes, toys and some gift cards. They were delivered straight from the North Pole, of course. Straight from the heart? Absolutely.

US Army veteran Jamie Willis has been raising cane since 2016 when he started Canes For Veterans Central TexasThe dude served eight years before becoming permanently disabled and unable to work. The cane Veterans Affairs gave him wasn’t doing the job, so he reached out to the Florida organization Free Canes For VeteransThe founder- Oscar Morris- told Willis they had run out of canes, but he taught him how to make his own. An idea was born.

“I do this so I don’t sit home all day feeling sorry for myself,” Willis says. “This is all out of kindness. I do everything out of pocket and from donations.”

Willis recycles donated Christmas trees, and so far he’s delivered more than two hundred canes to veterans around the world. Home Depot donated more than four hundred trees to his effort, with another hundred coming from the community at large. It really is the gift that keeps on giving.

Needless to say, incarceration isn’t exactly a resume builder. So what to do if you’re a former felon who wants a job and a normal life but can’t find it? Greg Boylea Jesuit priest out of Los Angeles, set out to provide an answer to that question. In 1988, with the help of his parish as well as community members, Boyle started Jobs For A Future. The hope was to provide a bridge to a better life for young people who had gotten caught up in the gang culture that dominated the landscape.

Thirty years later, Homeboy Industries is a global force; hailed as the most successful gang rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world. It provides help for more than ten thousand men and women looking to pick up the pieces and start anew. Jacques Deval once wrote of how man’s love of birds led him to build cages. Whereas God’s love of birds led to the invention of trees. (Thank you to Frank for this story).

The restaurant biz is crazy enough without being left to run the place yourself. Especially if your gig is at Waffle House . . at some time past midnight . . with a restaurant full of hungry patrons looking to get their waffle on. Which is what happened recently to a kid we’ll call Ben- because that’s his name.

Thanks to a scheduling gaffe, Ben was left to run the place all by his lonesome. Now, I don’t know about you but if you ask me to make a waffle, Imma be preoccupied with doing that and only that. Which doesn’t include waiting tables, making coffee or running register. So the kid was in a panic, and can you blame him?

And then a customer grabbed an apron and began helping with orders. And then another customer began making coffee and waiting tables. And before you know it, the place was fully staffed. A crisis was averted and Ben was gifted a moment he’ll not soon forget. The moral of the story is that when your patience is wearing thin, make waffles. (Thank you to the lovely Q for this story).

Pixie Adams believes in healthy competition; the kind to which you bust it every day in a race to win the day. But ‘healthy’ means mindful . . as per the context of real life issues that transcend bottom lines. Adams runs the Moonlight Coffee Cafe in Oak Grove Portland, and when she learned the plight of one of her competitors, she went to work. For them.

Dave McAdams runs The Local Coffee Company with his wife Tina. At least until he was diagnosed with cancer for the third time. It’s inoperable and it’s terminal and now he will be put into hospice to live out the remainder of his days. So Pixie donned an apron and kept the place going while Tina tends to her husband, because she didn’t want her to lose the business.

“It’s supposed to be friendship over business, community over competition,” Pixie Adams says. “I am here supporting them, trying to generate attention for their business to help make sure that after Dave is gone, they still have the ability to keep the coffee place open.”

For some people, winning doesn’t preclude humanity. It welcomes it.

67 thoughts on “Heroes Of The Week! (2020 Edition)

  1. Looky here…I’m the first Immaette to put in her 2 cents.

    Loved the first one up at bat. The Palm Beach story, starring the Deputies, a great name for a rock band. I wish this behavior would catch on like a healthy flu.

    Cane and Able…love him too, love that Home Depot got inspired. My friend Camille is here who just snarked…it’s a big tax deduction for them. Who gives a fuck Camille. It’s the thought that counts, and think of all those vets who will benefit. Yeah, yeah, she said.

    We salute Pixie Adams who seems to have the altruistic streak that all Adams had as in John, Abigail and John Quincy. Bet there’s some bloodline there flowing in Pixie’s DNA.

    Loved your Better Angels as usual, and I’m really glad you’ll no longer be glimpsed in a Speedo.!
    🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. B,

    Love the Diana meme… And your resolutions are perfection and obtainable, to boot.

    What a lovely Christmas from those deputies. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

    I almost sent you that cane story, but figured you’d have the 9-1-1 on it already. Isn’t that a fantastic story? This is the epitome of reduce, reuse, recycle…

    Way to go Greg Boyle. Jobs for a Future to become Homeboy Industries is exactly what is needed to break those cycles – generations of people brought up in crime-filled worlds. Breaking out is not easy. Starting over when you weren’t able to break out but still want to change your life is not easy either. I love that this has been going on for thirty years.

    That waffle story just warmed my heart. I had to share it with you!

    Wow! Wow! Wow to Pixie Adams. Holy Generosity! That story just takes the cake or rather, coffee cake. What a beautiful thing to do. Pixie has the right name because she is definitely in the good fairy business.

    Always a fantabulous list, B. Well done to start off the year on the right foot.

    Q

    Liked by 1 person

    • Q,

      I was talking to someone about resolutions and it really pissed me off, this idea that a new year changes the person. It is ass backwards.

      The deputies got this one right. And there’s a boy and his mother who are very thankful for that.

      He uses an entire Christmas tree for one cane, so yes, this IS what recycling was meant to serve. Better purposes. For all.

      I had never heard of this organization until Frank sent me the story. But it has spearheaded so many chapters in its thirty years. It morphed from job placement to a bakery to an industry. Amazing.

      The Waffle House comes through again. Who knew they would become a staple of Heroes? Gracias for the get.

      I always have a story that makes me go, whoa. And the idea that this woman knew exactly what needed to be done . .and did it. Selfless. Whoa.

      Welp, as Shakespeare once opined. It’s a start.

      B

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know what you mean, B. You wanna make a change? Why are you waiting for the new year? Make it when you realise you need to. Besides, it’s pretty much a guarantee that if you choose New Year’s Day, you are wont to fail.

        Such a beautiful thing.

        I would be curious to watch how he goes about making these canes.

        I love when a good deed goes noticed to such an extent that it expands and grows. Truly wonderful.

        I know, right? It is the second Waffle House story in your Heroes! Always a pleasure to help out a friend…

        This was definitely a “whoa” story. Completely selfless and perfect proof that you don’t need to crush another to build yourself up. I bet you her business will keep on keeping on.

        It is a wonderful start.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Depending on the new year to make things better is like blaming the holidays because they’re not. It’s a crutch, and its not very wise to use crutches unless you really need them.

          It takes him the better part of a day to make a single cane. It’s fascinating, the way a woodworker is able to whittle away at a blueprint they carry in their mind.

          Yeah, this one was necessary. After the 92 riots in LA, Boyle felt the need to really kick things into gear and create opportunities where none existed.

          Waffle House Rules, which could be a movie title. Or a book title. Both.

          Yes, the benefits of doing good will show up, the same way she does.

          For shizz.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Truth undisputed by moi.

            I am in awe of those who can create from raw materials such as this.

            Well Boyle done more than good. So many want to make a change are faced with such resistance that they end up caving in and returning to the life that accepts them – crime. So anything that gives them a second chance is a beautiful thing.

            It could!

            It does. Especially when the giving is done with a full heart and no expectation of a return.

            🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • In the end, it’s all we got.

            It’s quite something, watching the process.

            It’s one of those things where you can definitely understand the pull, at least I can. Because it’s what they know, and sometimes all they know. Change doesn’t work for some because change doesn’t FEEL like change to them. So I applaud Boyle for providing a chance to those who can somehow make it to the other side.

            Really.

            Pixie was and is just doing what she does. That’s a special kind of special.

            🙂

            Like

  3. Great resolutions (I’m here to sign that Hallmark petition with you…just say the word and bless you double for taking the no Speedo pledge). Your heroes of the week brought a huge smile to my face and a hug to my heart. I absolutely love hearing about folks like this and it gives me hope we’re not totally devoid of compassion in this land. Bravo, Marc!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Have to support the Kale and speedo swear off. I look forward to the new breed of swearing. Great post today. All good stories. I was particularly attracted to the Waffle House story. 1. The kid actually tried to make it a go rather than simply closing up. 2. The patrons had a heart. 3. I used to work breakfast at a resort. 4. Believe the manager should be horsewhipped.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Did you just admit to wearing Speedos up until now? Cause if you have been, we’re going to need to stage an intervention to make sure that resolution sticks.

    As for the Hallmark Channel … due to changes in my work situation, I’ve been home quite a bit this week, while my wife is also home during the winter break for the school she works at. There’s been way too much of that shit on my TV this week.

    That last one, about the coffee shop, is a tear-jerker. If only we could all look at our community in the same way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark,

      There was one time WAY back when I was married. It was a gag gift from the then wife . . and I put it in a drawer and it never came out of that drawer. I think she was trying to tell me something, as I was quite hefty at the time.

      What pisses me off is that they made Turner Classic Movies a pay channel in my area. It was my favorite channel, but nope . . they let me have all the Hallmark I want. WTF.

      Pixie Adams isn’t an angel, even though she behaves exactly like one. She’s just a person who gets it. We need more Pixies.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great heroes. The holiday season offers so many great stories. Glad you enjoyed Homeboys Industries. Saw a funny one yesterday of a retiree who volunteers at a cat shelter – and spends much of his time sleeping with the cats. What a hoot! Outstanding resolutions. Mine was going to be “No sarcasm” but I’m still don’t know enough about it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes it does, Frank. The canes story was interesting in that, like what Boyle did in LA, it spurred others to start up their own businesses.

      As far as Homeboy is concerned, I think their success is more important than ever, seeing as how we live inside a time when punishment reigns supreme.

      I watched an episode of “Kids Behind Bars” on A&E and one story in particular really hit me. This kid who used to belong to the Bloods, shot a man when he was 17. His life was changed forever. Now he talks to kids and tells them about his experience. His life has such value to others, so long as we choose not to adopt the “throw away the key” mentality. Not every horrible crime is created equally. We must be willing to look for the redemptive possibilities.

      I love that. I would definitely be in there sleeping with the cats.

      My investigation into sarcasm went completely cold. Oh well . . maybe we can being the search anew in 2020.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I bet Ben made some good money that night too! And cheers to everyone who pulled tougher – so inspiring –

    And also the coffee business owner helping the other / hope we see more of this and what a cool story!
    Sad when cancer comes back a third time and is the final.
    We just lost an old church friend from Colorado to cancer – we had not seen her or talked to her in 20 years – hubs connected briefly via FB – but she passed right before the holidays- she was in her 70s so that makes a bit easier for some of us to handle (as opposed to when kids or young adults get taken out but it) but never easy.
    Thanks for this heroes post

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re probably right about Ben. And yes, it’s so cool how everyone just stepped in and got it done.

      Pixie Adams is a rock star. Allowing for the McAdams’ to spend their remaining time together . . just wow.

      Cancer is still winning too many days, if you ask me.

      Thank YOU, Prior.

      Liked by 1 person

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