Heroes Of The Week!

 

Why It's Difficult To Find Full Video Of King's Historic Speech : The Two-Way : NPR

Welcome to our first heroes episode of the new year, kids. This patch of grass is still under construction with new this’s and that’s ready to make themselves known throughout the coming year. But the one thing that won’t change is the love that is shown to this here intersection of Friday and the weekend. So it be that I’ve got a little help coming from my friends, as per. Muchas gracias to them, and to you.

As for the above image, not for nothing but, that’s what a big crowd and a real leader look like. In case there was any confusion (much) about such things over the last four years. And while those clueless cretins might’ve stolen a sacred national spot with their despicable act last week? Well, my friend Martin is taking it back.

Now to the lineup . . .

What Giuliani's past tells us about how he may represent Trump - ABC NewsFirst up are the retrograde republicans (no capital letters for capitol seditionists), who perpetrated a terror attack on our nation’s capital on January 6th. From the aiders and abettors in suits- Trump, Giuliani, et al.-  to the mentally deficient warriors who looted a federal building and committed mayhem and murder. The irony is that these mask-less mutts made it that much easier for authorities to finger them by flouting the public safety standards. They should reconsider a civil war, seeing as how strategy isn’t their strong suit.

And now for a double kiss of good feeling brought to you by Dale over at A Dalectable Life.

Jon Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen at Rutgers battles student food insecurity | Food ManagementWe flip the script from the clueless to the community minded with news that the ageless rocker Jon Bon Jovi and his wife Dorothea just opened their third community restaurant on the campus of Rutgers University. JBJ Soul Kitchen serves up meals free of charge to those patrons who can’t afford it. For those who can, they’re asked for a $20 donation to cover the cost of their meal.

“Hunger doesn’t look like what your mind’s eye might imagine,” Dorothea says. “It’s the people at your church. It’s the kids that go to school with your kids. And I think that was eye-opening for a lot of the community here that said, ‘Oh, there’s no homeless people here.’”

This garden to table eatery has served up more than 100,000 meals so far and they say they’ll keep the hits coming as long as there is a need. Rock on, good man. Rock on.

Theresa Kachindamoto is a Real-Life Black Queen, A True Leader - Hollywood InsiderTheresa Kachindamoto is the kind of leader you don’t hear much about. And it’s because she’s making a profoundly impactful difference on the lives of the young women of Malawi. In a country with one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, Kachindamoto is fighting back. To date, she has annulled more than 3,000 marriages.

In her district of Dedza, where she serves as a senior chief, girls as young as twelve years of age were once forced into marriage by parents who considered it a traditional rite of passage. In 2017, she was an integral part of an amendment which raised the minimum age of marriage from 15 to 18. She also teamed up with UN Women to get these young women an education, which she says is their right. These groundbreaking accomplishments have not come easy. When you combine an entrenched mindset with generational poverty, success is both relative and fleeting. But she forges ahead, one young woman at a time.

It’s the kind of story that doesn’t get told nearly enough because let’s face it, human interest stories are considered more filler than headline. But it makes you wonder what could be more important than an interest in humans?

Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kyrie Irving Big 3 destined to failA shout out to my pal Big Papi for breaking the news to me of James Harden’s beard now residing in Brooklyn. “The Beard” forced his way out of Houston by quitting on the Houston Rockets, and he comes East with the reputation of being a prolific scorer who considers defense optional. He’ll saddle up with Kyrie Irving- when Kyrie decides to return from his hiatus- and Kevin Durant, and not much else since Brooklyn emptied the cupboard to acquire him. Team TMZ in the media hornets nest of NYC? I cannot wait.

Wendy's manager shares the love one drive-thru customer at a time | Whidbey News-TimesImma conclude the day’s programming with a real keeper of a young lady who hails from Oak Harbor, Washington by the name of April DiDonna. Young April works as the fast food manager at a local Wendy’s and she’s serving up way more than hamburgers and fries. Last fall as the world was busy holding on for dear life, she decided to deliver a sentiment that Jackie DeShannon insisted there was much too little of. She told a drive-thru customer that she loved him.

“To know that the little three words could mean so much to so many people, it’s overwhelming my heart with so much more love . . .  I truly believe that if we just love each other, the world would be better.”

In October, she started keeping count of every customer who returned serve with an “I love you” of their own. She’s at over 2,700 and yes, she still counting. Because why not say it? And mean it? And count them? Every single one of the beautiful them?

The mother of three brings this powerful affirmation from a dark place in 2019 when her husband passed away. It turned her life upside down and left her feeling lost and hopeless. As with so many people who find themselves struggling through darkness, she was able to find the light by shining it not on herself, but on the people around her. Paying it forward comes with cosmic receipts and she collected one recently when an elderly customer admitted to DiDonna that she never thought she would hear those words again after losing her husband and then her brother. Of course, such an admission was greeted with a request to drive forward and park so she could receive a hug as well, at no extra charge.

Young April insists the universe is changing and that the stars are aligning for better days ahead, for all of us. And while the cynic in me might wonder aloud as to why anyone would think such a fool thing as this, the realist in me knows better than to argue. Because it’s not crazy or hopeless to believe that things might actually get better.

It’s love, actually.

 

The Great Divide

Biden and several ex-presidents condemn U.S. Capitol riots - CGTN

I guess the worst thing about a day full of worse case scenarios is that I saw it coming.

Yesterday was supposed to be the first Heroes episode of the new year. But for an early January day that became further proof that the ides of 2020 aren’t going to be that easy to shake. More to the truth, it’s the echoes of 2016 that promise to transcend a calendar year. And as much as we would like to think that Wednesday was an isolated incident, we know better because we’ve already seen some of the worst.

So it goes with the Make America Great Again Brigade, whose purpose is to transport us back to a simpler time. Back when the -isms were an integral part of society’s fabric. They want us to believe it’s not like that but their actions say otherwise. And yeah, you can start with all those confederate flags that were being waved and draped all over our nation’s Capitol building the other day. Unless you believe it was just a matter of imbedded marketing for the History Channel.

This great divide in our country didn’t happen overnight. It’s been festering for decades on end, but it was in need of a highly reactive charge to light the fire. They got their wish when Trump began speaking the language of a time and place that resonated with people who felt disenfranchised. And their feckless leader was only too happy to feed that beast.

It began with “Build the Wall”; ripped from the pages of a cold war logic whose tenets were built on quicksand and atrophy. This misbegotten campaign promise foretold the tyrannical game plan of a man who made it his business to retrofit patriotism into hateful propaganda. If nothing else, Trump has proved expert in the branding of -isms, and he used the office to do his bidding.

This President was never intent on being granted last rites, not while he still had a pulpit to bully from. And so he affixed his decisive loss to Joe Biden in November with yet another cartoonish conspiracy: Stop the Steal. It was classic Trump, boorish and divisive and entirely without merit. His Nixonian tactics might have been comical, if not for the tens of millions of apologists who behaved like moths to his flame.

Now we’ll get a flood of apologies from his former comrades who are experiencing buyer’s remorse a little too late. Their words ring hollow, more a matter of political survival than genuine concern for the safety and well being of its citizenry. And therein lies the meticulously insidious rub to our fledgling union. On the one side we have cretins like Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, whose mission, it seems, is to bastardize the Constitution. And on the other hand we’ll have a bloodthirsty media positioning themselves for Trump’s Waterloo with pulpy narratives, many of which will read more like fetish than fact.

The residue of the last four years did not conclude on Wednesday, it only made its reckoning tangible. We are facing a divide whose meanest days are ahead of us. But don’t take my word for it. Look at the lack of police presence as a mob of white people stormed a federal building and you can draw your own conclusions. It’s simply further proof that Trump fans travel well; from the Great Smoky Mountains to the halls of Congress to the world of finance, the military and law enforcement. The asymmetrical value of this mad circus must not be taken lightly.

Trump gained traction by convincing the haves they were the have nots. He took certain truths about the media and the liberal left and he transformed them into caricatures who posed a national security threat. But in the end, he was always the biggest threat.

On Wednesday, he proved it.

 

Heroes Of The Week! (24 Days Of Christmas Edition)

Super Santa Claus - Imgur

As the last Heroes episode of 2020, Imma dish up twenty four heroes and zeroes of the week as well as the year that was. This little intersection of Friday and the weekend has become a pretty cool place to be thanks to you, the readers. Because while I supply the stories, it’s you who gift the heartbeat with your participation. So as we bid adieu to a trying year, I wanted to take a moment to say a heartfelt thank you. Because without you, this Friday spot would be just another post.

For the final lineup of the year, I’ve gone red for the zeros and green for our heroes. So let’s get to ’em . . .


. . . To Ron Jacobsen, a 75 year old Vietnam veteran from Ronald, Washington for providing volunteerism with keeps. He’s logged more than 900 hours mentoring students at Cle Elum-Roslyn Elementary and was recently named a spokesman for the VFW’s #StillServing- which highlights the many contributions of our nation’s veterans.
. . .San Antonio Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan played the most important defense of his life last month when he chased an intruder from his Los Angeles-area home. The perpetrator- who shall remain nameless because I say so- was arrested and charged with felony burglary. Thanks to DeMar, his neighbors can rest easy this holiday season.
. . . The Los Angeles Clippers won last offseason, after which they provided an epic collapse in the playoffs, with plenty of excuses to go around. After which they committed an obscene amount of money to Paul George, who has made a career of coming up short when it matters most.
. . . To first responders in Australia and California. The ones who lived there and the ones who traveled from across the map to get there and help, round the clock, any way they could.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg - HISTORY
. . . Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a trailblazer for gender equality who brought grace, dignity and a brilliant mind to her role as Supreme Court Justice. Her loss is a resounding one, but also a clarion call to others that her life’s work must be continued by this generation and the generations to come.
. . . To the thousands of volunteers who agreed to take the experimental vaccines, in spite of the risks, in order to ensure the safety and well being of millions.
. . . Rudy Giuliani has gone from “America’s Mayor” to the Penguin, acting as the shill for a President whose final act has proven to be every bit as graceless as the last four years.
. . . Army Ranger Patrick Payne signed up after September 11th because he wanted to make a difference. And he’s been doing just that ever since. He was recently awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for rescuing seventy five hostages during a firefight in Hawija, Iraq in 2015. He is what these Fridays are here for.
. . . Big time props to Tyler Perry, who was honored with the “People’s Champion of 2020” award last month at the E! People’s Choice Awards. Perry has shown up on our Friday edition a time or two, thanks to his philanthropic work. Here’s to a champion worth rooting for.
. . . And to soon to be former President Trump. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
. . . And a big thank you to the lovely Dale for the next three feel good stories, starting with Edmonton Oilers defenseman Ethan Bear, who wore a special jersey (check it out here) in honor of his indigenous heritage. It’s a lesson for our sports teams on this side of the border.

Henry Zavriyev Friendship Circletoys
. . . When Montreal businessman Henry Zavriyev came across a stash of toys in the basement of a building he was interested in buying, real estate took a backseat to his Christmas spirit. So he laid down a cool thirty G’s and then donated the toys to Friendship Circle; a non-profit that provides support to children with special needs. And somewhere, Santa is taking notes.
. . . And we’re sending out birthday wishes to Major Wooten, whose family threw him one heck of a party earlier this month. The WWII Army veteran was diagnosed with the coronavirus in November. And won. Just in time to celebrate his 104th birthday. We salute you, good sir.
. . . Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was convicted of rape in February in what would prove to be a watershed moment for the #MeToo movement. May he never see the light of day again.
. . . The American Voters. They spoke in record numbers with more than 161 million people turning out to cast their ballots, which adds up to 66 percent of eligible voters. It was a resounding display of what democracy is all about.

70-Year-Old Veteran Battling Cancer Hailed as an 'Angel' After He Charged into Burning Home to Save Neighbors
. . . Marshall Helm is a seventy year old Air Force veteran who worked on B-29’s and fought in Vietnam. Now he’s fighting a very different battle, this one with cancer. And yet, the Salem Illinois resident did not hesitate when he spotted a neighbor’s house going up in flames. He ran in and woke up the couple, who’ve taken to calling Helm their “angel”. Clarence Odbody would be proud. (A shout out to Cincy over at “Beaches” for this get). 
. . . To all the scientists who have been working tirelessly in their quest to develop a coronavirus vaccine.
. . . To the mask-less marauders among us who make the already difficult jobs of retail, service and health workers that much harder. They come up with myriad excuses- from defending their ‘rights’ to having a ‘medical condition’- but this dog and pony ate my homework show is not only lame, it’s dangerous.
. . . Another big thank you to Frank “Beaches” Angle for supplying the story about a Secret Santa who will be doling out $100,000 dollars this holiday season to essential workers. In these trying times, it’s heartening to know there are plenty of peeps who understand what the season of giving is all about.
. . . MLB Umpire Brian O’Nora- along with thirteen other men in Youngstown, Ohio- was arrested last weekend and charged with soliciting and possessing criminal tools. The arrests were part of a human trafficking sting by law enforcement officials and is further evidence of this frightening shadow world.
. . . To all the essential workers out there who have been getting it done in the middle of a raging storm. Their dedication and commitment serve as an inspiration, now and always.
. . . And here’s a two for one Hero/Zero for you . . . To Alex Trebek, whose legacy goes far beyond the set of a game show thanks to a lifetime of philanthropic pursuits. And to be replaced, even on an interim basis by former Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings? Nope. The dude has shown himself to be a champion creep, and unworthy of the seat Trebek once occupied.

Heroic Nurses Stay Behind To Rescue 19 Babies As Hurricane Laura Hit Hospital | Goalcast
. . . When Hurricane Laura bore down on Lake Charles, Louisiana back in September, there were 19 residents who could not abide by the official order for a mandatory evacuation: The nineteen babies in the neonatal intensive unit at Lake Charles Hospital. So a team of twenty hospital workers stayed with them. If ever there was a microcosm of 2020, this just might be it.

Welp, I hope you enjoyed the last installment of Heroes for the year. May your Christmas be merry and bright and may the new year bring us to the end of what has proven to be a long, dark tunnel.

Here’s to the light.

Heroes Of The Week

The only superhero movies still coming out in 2020

With another round of shut downs set to take place across the country, my compound in Montana is looking more enticing every day. I’ll need to come up with a name for our cult, so if y’all have any ideas, please send them my way. In the meanwhile, Imma dish up another episode of the better and the worse that tucked itself into the news cycle.

So let’s get to it . . .

A Florida man just paid off the past dues for 114 families at risk of having their utilities shut off - CNN

Michael Esmond is the owner and operator of Gulf Breeze Pools and Spas in Pensacola, Florida, and while business has been good, he knows how fortunate he is. This meanest of seasons has not been nearly so kind to many of his friends and neighbors. So Esmond took his good fortune and he paid the past due utility bills- totaling more than $7,600- for 114 families who were about to be disconnected.

The 74 year old experienced his share of trying times in the past, and so he felt it was only right to give what he could in order to help others see their way through.

“I have been down on my luck like people are today, where I had trouble paying bills and raising three daughters,” he said. “The gas company shut the gas off and we didn’t have any heat . . . People can’t afford to pay their bills and put food on the table, so I hope doing my part and paying some bills for these folks takes a little bit of stress off of them around Christmas time,” he said.

In dark times, it’s people like Desmond who shine brightest of all.

Kyrie Irving and Nets Fined $25K! 2020-21 NBA Season - YouTube

Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving says he will make himself available to the press when he damn well feels like it and not a moment before. Seeing as how this is the same dude who insisted the world was flat and LeBron James is simply an okay player, I think he’s doing everyone a great service by not sharing his scary genius. Seriously, if you’re giving a penny for Irving’s thoughts, you’ve drastically overpaid.

Dairy Queen customer in Minnesota sparks 2-day 'pay it forward' chain - ABC13 Houston

If you’re a fan of Fargo, like me (and Joe Pesci), then Brainerd, Minnesota already holds a special place. The city the Coen Brothers once described as “Siberia, with family restaurants,” is back in the news again . . for all the right reasons. It seems the peeps of this county seat have taken the idea of paying it forward to new heights.

What began as a simple act of kindness has warmed the heart of this small town to such a degree, that Jack Frost took a weekend trip to Miami Beach until things cooled down again. I’ll let Dairy Queen manager Tina Jensen provide the what for this what?

So (a customer) pulled up and I said ‘just to let you know the gentleman in front of you paid for your order. If you like, I can pay it forward and you can pay for the order behind you and we can keep this going.’ She’s like ‘really, why would he do that?’ I said ‘we just have it every once in a while where someone will take care of the person behind them and today is your lucky day.’

The customer was duly inspired to pay for the order behind her. And then so forth became so on. And on, and on . . . until the pay it forward chain was finally broken three days, nine hundred vehicles and ten thousand dollars in sales later. Jensen says it’s not the first time her DQ has gotten all caught up in such a beautiful chain as this, and it’s not likely to be the last.

Which means Jack Frost best be taking a week in Aruba the next time.

Coach O recaps National Signing Day for LSU Tigers

It feels like I just got done ranting about the low down dirty shame of a college football program LSU has proven to be when this week happened. And with it, a hot new pile of forgettable to sink the former darlings of the sport.

The university announced it was imposing a one year bowl ban on its football team due to violations which included former Tiger Odell Beckham Jr handing out cash on the sidelines after his Alma mater beat Clemson for the national title in January. The other charges include school boosters doing the same as OBJ, albeit not quite so prominently.

Did LSU suddenly find religion? Not hardly. See, when a football factory like LSU penalizes itself, this means the violations we know about are a cupcake sale compared with the shit we do not know. But seeing as how none of the violations pertain to the multiple rapes committed by members of the football team, any right minded individual should be outraged. Too bad the school, and the NCAA for that matter, don’t much care for the safety and well being of women.

And to add further injurious insult to this bread and circuses program, with the team’s record currently at 3-5, they would have been lucky to score an invite to the Marshmallow Fluff Bowl. And any revenue they might lose because of the ban? Some booster not under investigation is sure to write that check.

And the beat goes on.

Elementary School Teacher Donates Kidney To Her School's Custodian | FaithPot

I’m not going to lie. The Christmas spirit that’s supposed to be running through my veins right about now, well . . it hasn’t shown up just yet. And I know I ain’t alone in this respect, not by a longshot. Which means that Erin Durga is right on time in this, the season of giving, with a story that would take Santa’s breath away.

Things were looking bleak for Patrick Mertens inside a year that has already proven unforgiving for so many. But the sixty four year old custodian at Kimball Elementary School in Minnesota was facing a much different health crisis. Mertens was in need of a kidney, and he was running out of time.

The teachers at Kimball had pitched in with fundraisers to help pay for his dialysis treatments, but mortality was busy rapping knuckle at his door until Erin Durga- a third-grade teacher at Kimball- made certain that 2020 wasn’t going to claim someone else. Once tests confirmed that she was a match, she drove to Mertens home to deliver the news that she would be his donor.

“I felt in my heart, from the very beginning, that this was my thing,” Durga said. “Once I decided that, yes, I’m going to donate to Pat, I felt really good about it, and I was at peace with it throughout the entire thing.”

The operation was a success and both Mertens and Durga were able to return to work in August. He calls her his angel, for being the messenger who delivered him the best gift, like . . ever.

Turns out maybe I don’t need the Christmas spirit after all. Maybe the human spirit will do just fine.

 

Heroes Of The Week!

Captain Kirk's chair | Krista Lynn Campbell

Welp kids, only forty six more shopping days until the inauguration and less than a month to go before we turn the page on 2020. As far as Christmas, it’s been moved to March 17th of next year in an effort to err on the side of caution. Okay, I made that last part up. But yanno . . it can be argued (by yours truly) that St. Patrick’s Day is Christmas for spring time. And maybe I’ve lost that argument every single year but for the life of me, I can’t remember!

Enough of the shenanigans (pun intended), let’s get to our heroes . . .

Padres Outfielder Tommy Pham Sues San Diego Strip Club | San Diego, CA Patch

The Naked Truth:

You would think after hitting .211 last season that Tommy Pham of the San Diego Padres would be camping out in the batting cages for a get back season in ’21. Nope. Instead the outfielder decided to get his licks in at a strip club. There’s an old saying that nothing good happens after 1 am. When you add a strip club to the mix, you might as well make reservations at the ER, just in case. So when Pham suffered “catastrophic injuries” when he was stabbed in the back during an altercation at Pacers, well . . who knew? Now Pham is suing the nightclub for negligence. Maybe the Padres should countersue Pham for not having a clue.

Mom buys groceries for families in need in her community after spur of the moment decision - ABC News

Soul Food:

Brandy Bisson nails the landing when it comes to paying it forward. The Concord, New Hampshire mother of three wanted to do something for a community that had done so much for her and her family. After throwing her seven year old son Thomas a birthday parade, with gifts included, Brandy felt it was only right to return the favor. So she laid out six hundred dollars to pay the grocery tabs for eight strangers. And last week, she bought Thanksgiving dinner for two families in Manchester.

“With the pandemic and everything and all the election stuff, I just wanted to bring smiles to people’s faces,” Bisson said.

She’s bringing back the social to the distance between us, one meal at a time.

Salem Nurse Put On Leave For Anti-Mask COVID TikTok

You Can’t Mask Stupid:

Ashley Grames is an oncology nurse from Salem, Oregon and she wants the world to know that she doesn’t much care for the COVID-19 Rules when she’s not donning scrubs. No . . really. She took to TikTok with a video in which she lip-synched “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” in a rambling boast party. No. Really.

“When my co-workers find out I still travel, don’t wear a mask when I’m out and let my kids have play dates,” the nurse wrote in a caption accompanying the video, which has since been deleted.

More than a quarter of a million peeps tuned in, after which the hospital’s Facebook page was flooded with complaints. Thanks to the heads up, Grames has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into the matter. And once they reach the slam dunk conclusion that Grames’ behavior is both arrogant and downright dangerous in a state that has endured a spike in coronavirus cases recently, this ninny of a nurse won’t simply be maskless. She’s probably going to be jobless too.

Hunks With Hearts:

The business plan for a moving company like College Hunks would seem just a tad bit limited, seeing as how they mostly appeal to one half of the population. But these guys aren’t just a bunch of pretty faces, not when their priorities are this . . . . wait for it . . . buff and polished.

They’re stepping up for victims of domestic abuse and have already completed 100 free moves for those who are looking to remove themselves from an unsafe situation. This service has become all the more important as victims of abuse might feel trapped due to another series of lockdowns that have gone into effect across the United States and Canada.

“As a purpose driven, socially-conscious organization we’re always looking for ways to positively impact our communities—in this case, particularly for those who feel powerless in unhealthy home situations.” Says co-founder Nick Friedman.

The company has also provided trucks to help in the transport of COVID-19 supplies and medical equipment, as well as relocating beds and goods to hospitals in need and delivering water to healthcare workers. And oh yeah, they also donate two meals for every completed job to the organization Feeding Children Everywhere. To date, they’ve delivered over one million meals.

That’s what I call a move in the right direction.

Mark Dunajtschik's lifetime achievements have been honoured. Photo / supplied

The Big Give:

Last up today is Mark Dunajtschik. This former prison camp survivor who was forced to flee his homeland of Yugoslavia at the end of WWII knows full well how destructive hatred can be. Which is why he has dedicated his life to building compassionate pursuits.

The eighty five year old real estate developer from New Zealand is a living definition of what “labor of love” is supposed to look like. Because while he’s one of the wealthiest industrialists in the country, his influence really shines through when you start talking about his many philanthropic ventures, which include financing the country’s Life Flight Trust helicopter rescue service.

In 2017, he gave $50 million to the construction of a new children’s hospital in Wellington. This wasn’t simply a donation, but a hands on effort.

“By utilizing my expertise as a developer we would be able to produce more real estate than if we were to just write out a cheque and leave the bureaucrats to build it,” he says.

With the exterior of the building having been completed this summer, the project is on schedule for a 2021 opening. And it was all made possible by a man who knows the evils of this world first hand and has committed a lifetime to fostering that special something we need most of all.

Hope.

Heroes Of The Week! (The Dynamic Duo Edition)

reddit: the front page of the internet | Batman illustration, Robin comics, Batman robin

For this week’s episode, I’ve invited Frank “Beach Walks” Angle to ride shotgun with me as we deliver up a roster of righteousness. We’re still trying to figure out who’s Batman and who’s Robin (I’m Batman), but in the meantime, let’s just say we have a sweet supply of feel good coming at ya. And of course, seeing as how Cincy is sooooo glass half full (must be all those refreshing walks of his), Imma be peach positive in all my entries. This duo rocks!

Now to our heroes . . .

My Project: Goldie Hawn and The Hawn Foundation - NBC News

Goldie Hawn is proving once again that beauty is so much more than skin deep.

For the last sixteen years, Hawn’s MINDUP Program has been helping students deal with anxiety, stress, anger and depression. Schools that have instituted her mindfulness program have seen a dramatic improvement in the mental health of their students and the numbers ain’t lying: 86% percent of users say the program has helped them achieve more positive outcomes while 83% say it has led to an improvement in their social skills.

And now Hawn has introduced a way for these children to cope with the isolation and uncertainty that has come with a global pandemic. She’s partnered up with Insight Timer- a meditation app- to offer five minute exercises called “brain breaks” that help the kids maintain focus while alleviating their stress levels.

“During this time of uncertainty, children are affected negatively emotionally and are facing symptoms of stress and anxiety,” says Hawn, the 74-year-old founder of MindUP. “Our program helps address these issues by creating mental fitness and emotional stability.”

For one thing, the girl is making seventy four the new Wow! But more important to her, and to the world around her, is the positive difference she is making every day. In a world of superficial, there do in fact exist superheroes.

Remember back in the early days of this pandemic when people were singing in their windows and baking breads and learning to sew again for the very first time? Well, Scott McKenzie and Jeremy Uhrich- both of whom hail from Huntingdon, Pa.- baked cookies from scratch. This coping mechanism led to a bake-off when Ulrich read McKenzie’s post on Facebook.

The two men invited local front line workers to be the judges as a thank you for all their hard work and dedication.

Well, the event was such a success that the two decided to start up a Facebook page called “Cookies for Caregivers”. The group currently has 299 members the group and has delivered more than 15,000 cookies and cakes to hospital staff, grocery stores and fire departments. Uhrich’s father even got to baking creating his own group in Hershey, Pa.

“There aren’t enough people to thank,” McKenzie said. “Kindness doesn’t have an expiration date.”

So the next time someone pulls out the old standard about how the cookie crumbles? Remind that as to why this isn’t necessarily a bad thing after all.

A New Jersey restaurant with a coronavirus scare stayed open because of the generosity of a neighboring barbershop - CNN

Not everyone likes to play by the rules of this pandemic, so it’s important to note that places such as the Würstbar eatery in Jersey City, New Jersey abide. Even when faced with the daunting prospect of having to close its doors for good, these guys still did the right thing when one of their workers was exposed to the virus recently. They shut down, together. The health and safety of their staff was more important to these owners than money. Imagine that? Giving a damn about people more than your bottom line.

But no good deed goes unnoticed and so when the workers at Virile Barber Shop got word of the restaurant’s plight, they decided to step in and keep the lights on.

“The weather is too nice out to let our neighbors at Würstbar stay closed!” Virile Barber Shop owner Andre Fersa posted. “I’ve taken over the bar and am selling PRETZELS, beer, wine and cider for outdoor seating only. Come on by and support this great staff.”

No whining about medical conditions or how their rights had been violated. Just human beings making the very best of a bad situation in these trying times.

That’s how you define humanity.

And now Imma kick it over to Cincy, who is going to send y’all into the weekend with a selection of stories that will fill your tank with inspiration. Take it away Frank.

Thanks, Marco for the opportunity to co-anchor this edition of Heroes. I’m starting with a young kid in Gaithersburg, Maryland – Cavanaugh Bell – a second grader that gives humanity hope. He started Operation Magic because he thinks big. So big, I wonder what is next. So big, he makes me feel small.

Last week you featured a Cincinnati story about a man adopting not one, but five kids. This week we are crossing the Ohio River to the Kentucky side. Campbell County is where we find Tricia Verst, a high school freshman with a rare chromosomal disorder. She wanted to run cross country. Unsure how to motivate Tricia, coach Toni McKee got an idea, and that’s when senior Sydney McKinney stepped up. Well, here’s the story.

Image property of WXIX television Cincinnati, Ohio

This one is my no-brainer for the week. This story is about 140.6 miles: swimming 2.4 miles, biking riding 112 miles, and running 26.2 miles … yes, one after another. I have volunteered to dance with those with Down Syndrome. One of the reasons it is so rewarding is that many DS people are so positive and appreciative. This story is about Chris Nikic of Maitland, Florida, but a tip of the cap to Dan Grieb, who was with Chris the entire 140.6 miles.

Yes, to my surprise, I’m leading you out with Britney Spears – well – no really – but a cover of one of her songs.

 

Heroes Of The Week!

All due respect to the voters but I think my guy got screwed. Lemme ‘splain.

Imma have to awaken the echoes of 1960 by laying most of the blame on Chicago for having perpetrated this somebody done somebody wrong song. Because I’m sorry, but when a true blue Yankee gets jobbed by a South Sider for the American League MVP? It’s an inside job, brought to bear by Chicago scribes who have to endure another long winter watching the Bears emolliate while the Bulls get eliminated from postseason play after the season opener. Congratulations to the White Sox Jose Abreu . . but my guy, DJ LeMahieu from Bronx strong was the most valuable player in 2020.

What? You thought I was talking about something else?

And now to our heroes . . .

Jeopardy! Host Alex Trebek Death Mourned By Fans, Contestants – Deadline

A sad farewell to Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, who passed away last Sunday at the age of eighty. I refuse to say he lost his battle with pancreatic cancer because that’s just not true. He fought and he battled and he continued to do his thing through all the treatments and all those long days when his body was telling him to quit. He never did. And while many of us know him best for his masterful stewardship of the classic game show, his life was about so much more than this.

He was a philanthropist and activist whose footprints speak of compassion, dedication and hope. His donations to the University of Ottawa totaled more than 7.5 million dollars; the monies of which help to fund programs in diversity while also allowing the school to bring in speakers from all over the world. This past March, he donated $100,000 to Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission- a homeless shelter in Los Angeles.

When the question is posed, whose life’s work left a positive impact on so many? The answer is, who is Alex Trebek.

Arkansas Police Chief Resigns After Calling for Democrats to Be Executed - The New York Times

Marshall Police Chief Lang Holland out of Arkansas is a real keeper. As in, you can keep him . . please.

Holland makes it just under the wire as a leading candidate for the Asshat of 2020 award (and really, we got quite a list going on). It seems that Lang ain’t down with the election results and he voiced his hateful opinion about it recently. He called for the “death to all Marxist Democrats!” whilst saying the likes of Hilary, Obama and Pelosi should be drawn and quartered. For our Republic . . of course.

Holland was fired from his post, but it’s only a matter of time before he’s got a viral podcast going.

NBA's Trae Young Buys Lunch for Atlanta Election Workers, 'Thanks for All You Do'

The Atlanta Hawks young point guard Trae Young has game, on and off the court. On Election Day, Young bought lunch for all the poll workers at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. His home court served as a polling place and the kid wanted to make sure the folks putting in the long hours in the name of democracy were taken care of. Thanks to his great good work in establishing the voting rights advocacy group More Than A Vote along with LeBron James and Phoenix Mercury point guard Skylar Diggins-Smith, more than 10,000 poll workers were recruited for the 2020 election.

Young is putting the A plus in the ATL. Go Hawks!

Haylee Whiting, 10, and her mom, Samantha Whiting, have raised nearly $50,000 to give their...

10 year old Haylee Whiting is lucky to be alive. And the harrowing story she will tell her kids one day will begin with the name of Kevin Cozzi.

The Whiting family was busy enjoying their last vacation day in Monterey, California as Haylee swam along the shoreline. Her mother says she had just finished telling her daughter to come in closer when a riptide swallowed her up and began taking her the wrong way. And in those horrible slow motion moments, a family’s joy turned to panic. And that’s where Cozzi made sure the day wouldn’t end in tragedy. He and his fiancé were strolling along the beach when they heard Samantha Whiting’s cries for help.

A competitive swimmer since the age of three, Cozzi jumped into the water and pulled Haylee close to shore until a lifeguard could get to her and bring her the rest of the way in.

Family raises nearly $50,000 for good Samaritan who saved daughter from rip tide

As it turns out, Kevin and his fiancée had postponed their wedding due to (you guessed it) the pandemic. And so mother and daughter knew what they had to do. They got to stepping on Facebook and then they set up a GoFundMe page for the couple raising almost $50,000 to cover the cost of both a wedding reception and honeymoon.

A new wedding date was set for the fall of 2021, and a grateful family has already marked their calendar.

This Gay Foster Dad Adopted 5 Siblings To Keep Them Together

“Home isn’t where you’re from, it’s where you find light when all grows dark.”

-Pierce Brown

As we unwrap our brains over this month’s events, it’s easy to forget how life is expert at stealing away the most important things. More important than brands, reputations, ratings or elections. Those are minute details in the grand scheme of this place we call home. Robert Carter knows this firsthand. He’s one of nine children who was separated from his family and placed in a foster home when he was twelve years old.

“I didn’t eat for a week,” Carter says. “I didn’t know where my family was. I didn’t know if I would ever see them again. It was traumatizing.”

He didn’t have the traditional family life, with a mother and father and Sunday dinners and pancake breakfasts. When he was ten years old, he was stealing food for his siblings because he says “that was the only way we’d eat,”. So his being placed in a foster home was simply the next chapter in a life that was collapsing all around him.

Last December, Carter became a foster parent to three boys. Soon after, he reunited them with their two sisters. “Everybody was just crying and hugging and not wanting to let go,” Carter recalled. “In that moment, I knew I had to adopt all five.”

In the early going, he says the kids would huddle together at night for fear they would be ripped away from each other again. But in time, they got used to sleeping in their own beds. And yes, they came to understand Sunday dinners and pancake breakfasts. Five kids . . . really, six if you include the twenty nine year old who gets to experience these things for the first time as well.

On October 30th, a family was born in an Ohio courthouse. It was built on the hard wrought experiences of a man who never forgot where he came from and five shining little lights that remind him of a time when the future was not so bright. So needless to say, there was a ton of whooping and hollering going on when this party of five was declared his, for good and forever. And a courtroom became the center of their universe, their one great big hug of everything.

And Robert Carter, he’s taken to this whole Dad thing like a pro because as all that love was going on, he needed to find himself a quiet spot so he could think about how it all came together. From there to here. He made way for the courthouse bathroom, each step delivering him from that scared twelve year old boy to this big hearted man who got busy making a house a home.

He closed the door behind him, and in the quiet, he cried.

 

 

Heroes Of The Week!

How To Make A Vesper Martini Fit For James Bond | Londonist

My first order of business this week is to let y’all know I will be away from my WP desk for the next week and change. In the meantime, Imma have a couple posts scheduled. So I had an idea- which I realize is akin to Esther Greenwood being stuck in a phone booth, but suffer me this Bell Jar moment, por favor. You don’t have to leave a comment unless you really, really want to. You can like, you can post a music video telling me how much you miss me, or you can just read it. Whatever YOU wish to do with it, that’s beauty to my senses. And thank you, for any and all of it. Always.

And now the roster . . .

Mookie Betts Dodgers Contract Extension Value Taxes – Sportico.com

He hits for average, he hits for power . . he steals bases . . he makes gold glove plays on the regular. And he wins, much. The dude became the first player to walk and steal two bases in the same inning of a World Series game since Babe Ruth did it, ninety nine years ago. But the magnificence of Mookie is landing here today for what he did for America, yes America! By stealing a base in the World Series, Mookie done won America a free taco on October 28th. And okay, it’s not really a taco since it’s being served up by Taco Bell, but hey . . free still counts! So I just have one question. Is it too late to get Mookie on the ballot?

Jeffrey Toobin suspended from New Yorker, on leave from CNN, after he exposed himself on Zoom call - CNN

It was reported this week that Jeffrey Toobin has been suspended from his gigs on CNN and the New Yorker after he was caught masturbating during a Zoom meeting with staffers. And it seems that Father Superior, the guy who rails on about the peccadilloes of politicians, has a pantry full of them in his own right. And it’s people like Toobin who make it so easy to point to the other side of the aisle and proclaim how full of shit they are. But this goes far beyond politics. This is about a guy who’s gotten away with a closet full of shit for too long a time. In an age where the bad guys are getting found out right and left, Toobin seemingly wore Teflon, until he took matters into his own hand.

El Arroyo in Austin, Texas has taken to panning the pandemic. And really, good for them . . and us. And I wonder if they take requests? Imma call ’em.

bucket-of-balls-tease-material-fd-frame-7580-1.jpg

So thank goodness for Frank “Beach Walks” Angle for bringing the heater in the very best of ways with this next story. It’s proof that every new ending is just a beginning to something else, and it reads as if Kinsella and Capra and Chapin got together on Cloud Nine and came up with the script.

Brian and Carter Robinson were keeping to the father and son tradition of hitting some baseballs at the cages when Dad came across a bucket of baseballs with a note attached, which read as follows.

“Hope someone can use some of these baseballs. I pitched them to my son and grandson for countless rounds.”

The writer’s name is Randy Long, and the sentiment was a bittersweet one. Long was thinking his life had gone Chapin on him, what with his brood having moved to different parts of the map with clans of their own now. So his donation of the baseballs was meant to pass the torch to a young family that was still busy writing their days of Kinsella. But that’s where Capra came in to steal the show.

Because the Robinsons got hold of Randy Long and then one thing led to another and young Carter was asking him if he might want to take in one of his little league games. And that’s when this grandfather learned that young Carter had lost both his grandfathers at a very young age and if you ain’t tearing up by now, okay, you asked for it.

The two of them ended up having a catch together. The end of one chapter in their lives giving way to the one they never saw coming.

And Cloud Nine, damn. Those guys still have it.

And now for a musical interlude, because I can’t get me enough Rush. And this isolation play on Geddy Lee’s tug of the maddening strings gets me high whilst completely sober. What’s not to love?

Seriously . . I listened to that on a loop whilst on my stationary bike, one day after being laid up in bed for ten hours. Music as medicine . . . .

Six California firefighters lost their homes while battling the flames. Days later, a CNN Hero provided RVs for them to shelter them - CNN

The fires ravaging Northern California have added yet another layer of “What next?” to this bitter cake of a year. So it’s good to know there are people like Woody Faircloth who get busy every day thinking up new and better recipes for their fellow humans.

Faircloth is a 2019 CNN Hero recipient, and here’s why he got noticed in the first place. Because when he heard about a group of volunteer firefighters who lost their homes recently- and continued battling the fires anyway- he got to fixing up a recipe for them inside theses worst of times. He did so in the form of delivering RV’s to the displaced heroes through his non-profit RV4CampfireFamily.

With all that got lost in the fire, Faircloth and his family are making sure hope remains.

This 5-year-old wrote a book to help kids battle the stress of the coronavirus pandemic

This has been the year of living dangerously, replete with prospects that frighten even the bravest souls among us. And so you have to imagine what it’s done to the little minds whose bravery isn’t talked about enough if you ask me.

Take Wade Williams as an example. He’s five years old and currently attending pre-school and he’s not crazy about the state of this great big world. So he decided he wanted to create a nightlight for other kids who are going through the same thing and he wrote a book.

“It all started by him saying ‘Dad I really want to help. I really want to help people,” said Williams’ father Joshua Williams.

And just like that, Wade was punching the keys and sharing his mighty so that it may shine a light on anyone who feels as if the darkness is too much. And Seneca the younger would be shimmying in his stoic sandals at the brighter than expected profits of a human race that births souls such as Wade Williams. Because it shows us that compassion is not a paradise lost, unless we make it so. And sometimes from the mouths of babes comes our truest reality.

 

Heroes Of The Week!

Disney theme-park fans request 'Black Panther' attractions - Insider

As we venture into the fourth quarter of this meanest of years, I’ve got a few stories that speak to the not so random acts of kindness that offer us some much needed light inside the storm. And okay, so I tucked a minus into things. But rest assured, it was strictly for contrast. Because I’ve come to know and respect the science of these weekly episodes.

It’s not about unmasking the truth, it’s about respecting it.

McDonald's worker pays for family's meal when mom forgets wallet; mom raises over $35K for him in return

I’m a fool for cool when it comes to names, and so Wyatt Jones was rocking it with yours truly even before I read about his good deed gone viral in Waynesville, Ohio. Jones is a McDonald’s crew member who puts the above and beyond in his customer service. Just ask Brittany Reed, a mother of three who rolled up to the drive-thru window where Jones was working sans her wallet. The frazzled mama explained to Jones that she would have to cancel her order, but Jones was having none of it. He grabbed his own wallet and paid for the order himself.

Reed returned later on to repay Jones, who didn’t want to take her money . . of course. Because to him, the positive difference he was making in somebody’s day was payment enough. And sometimes that is that, and sometimes, well . . sometimes that good deed gets noticed in a big way. Reed shared her story on Facebook, after which she started a GoFundMe page for Jones, which has raised more than $27,000 to date.

“I never dreamed my post would go viral from our little village community page. I was truly just trying to reach his parent and let our community know what a kind hearted young man we had working at our local McDonalds,” Reed says. “I can’t believe people have donated this much money to Wyatt.”

As far as this story is concerned, I’m loving it.

My Hero Quote Of The Week! 

“It’s a struggle. It’s a battle. And I just don’t represent me. I represent all those folks that are afflicted [with cancer], all those people that fight, all those people that have fought.”

-Washington Football Team Head Coach Ron Rivera, who is still coaching while also taking treatments for squamous-cell cancer. (Props to Peter King for this).

Local Sports Talk Host Off-Air After Comments about Kamala Harris, Missouri State

I’ve had about enough of the peeps who have sworn off sports because it’s become “too political”, and Nate Lucas is my rebuttal argument as to why that complaint is full of it. Lucas was a sports radio host in Missouri, whose specialty was retreading sports narratives while mixing in his politics. In September, Lucas took his tired act and went scorched earth when he referred to VP candidate Kamala Harris with an “offensive, sexist slur” according to the station. Turns out, Lucas was plenty fine getting political when he felt like doing so, but I can only assume he’ll stop watching the games now that he’s unemployed . . because sports is too political. Funny how that works.

Greek Athlete Carries Disabled Woman Up Mount Olympus–Fulfilling her Lifelong Dream

Marios Giannakou is used to taking the long way home, with great success. The long distance runner has navigated all the valleys and mountains set out before him- from a 168 mile journey across Al Marmoum Desert to a first place finish in a cross-country race in Antartica. And oh yeah, he’s also climbed to the peak of Mount Olympus. Fifty times.

This guy is winning the day the moment he wakes up in the morning, and it’s not because of the medals or the acclaim he’s earned. It’s because he understands that winning is giving, and giving is life.

So when he heard about Eleftheria Tosiou’s dream of experiencing the summit of Mount Olympus, he got to stepping. After meeting with Tosiou, who has never let her disability define her, the pair was hooked up with a specially modified backpack and a support team. And then they climbed, together, chasing down a dream that has no finish line.

“There is nothing more real than the dream,” said Giannakou.

My Hero YouTube Video Of The Week! 

As far as this special moment between a thespian and his brand new friend goes, there are a few different videos out there. I chose the one whose spoken language I do not understand because I understand the language that counts just fine.

(Note to our Canadian friends, the title of this video is “Stray dog tries to help an actor in a play” (56 seconds running time)

We live in times of great anguish, full of carnival barkers in suits whose currency often times relies on division to keep them electable. And maybe it just seems that way too much of the time and maybe I have a lot to learn, but maybe I’m okay with being rescued time and again by the stories that prove how wrongs can be righted if we just open our minds.

And so the picture above . . I mean, right? The nerve of these two ladies, to somehow forge an alliance from two sides of a fence that would seem impossible to scale.

Cedar Park, Texas is where Marne Litton and Tasha Hancock call home. The two became fast friends when Tasha moved there six years ago and their political leanings did nothing to change that. Because these two came to understand each other not as political lawn signs, but as human beings. Litton is raising a special needs child and she says Hancock has always been there to brighten the most trying of days.

“We want to spread a message of kindness and love during these challenging times,” Litton said. “Tasha and I may not see eye to eye politically, but that doesn’t mean we can’t show love and respect for one another.”

These two made me go digging for a quote that came to mind when I found the capture of them all dressed up with someplace to go, attached to a story that told me I still have much to learn.

We are strong not in spite of our differences, but because of them.

It comes from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who was speaking of his native Canada, but Imma borrow it, humbly and gratefully. Because it frames that capture. Perfectly. Because it speaks to the idea that opinions will keep the cash register chiming, but humanity will keep the lights on.

If I were to break down the story of us into a mathematical equation, rancor equals subtraction while unity stands for addition. And that’s where you’ll find that peaceable solutions are happening . . like, all the time. And sure, they might be harder to find but it’s only because they’re not breaking news-worthy. They exist inside the quiet, because all the best stuff in the world?

Lives there.

Heroes Of The Week!

Superman Becomes a Star/Superheroes Take Over the World

There are officially ninety one days remaining in 2020, not like I’m counting the minutes . . . yet. And I guess the best thing you can say about this year of living dangerously is that Charles Manson isn’t around to say I told you so. 

Not that it’s all bad, really. In fact, there’s a lot of it that’s really been kind of great. And maybe you won’t find it on your cable news networks, or on the front pages of your local newspapers. But no matter, because the good stuff still counts. And apologies ahead of time for the mugshot below, but I think this imbecile resembles the facial composite of our otherwise forgettable year. But no worries, because there’s plenty of pushback to that ugly. 

So let’s get rolling . . .

Man gets 1 year in jail for holding large parties against COVID-19 rules -  ABC News

Shawn Marshall Myers of Hughsville, Maryland was sentenced to a year behind bars for throwing several large parties- in violation of the state’s emergency order. But really, could we add another year? For that hair? . . . .

Alex Smith - Wikipedia

The team formerly known as Redskins ain’t possessing much in the way of positive shout outs. But for their backup quarterback Alex Smith. The former first rounder pick has worked himself all the way back from a devastating leg injury suffered during a game almost two years ago. He underwent 17 surgeries after the injury resulted in a flesh eating disease which threatened his life. Fast forward to now, and he’s made it all the way back. The selfish part of me wishes he would retire rather than risk anything further, but the dude’s heart and soul is the kind of stuff future players should be inspired by. 

Joe Montana and wife rescue grandchild from attempted kidnapping

And speaking of kick ass QB’s, Joe Montana was the epitome of a big game gunslinger in his day; winning four Super Bowls in four tries. But as a grandfather, Joe Cool outdid all of his on field exploits recently when he saved his nine month old grandchild from a would be kidnapper. The incident happened at his Malibu home, where Joe and his wife thwarted the attempt and had the intruder arrested. I’m betting he’d score that as the biggest win of his life. 

Next up, I’ve got a couple of stories that are belated in the telling by yours truly, but no less beautiful in the deeds that were done. 

Justin Gavin is being called a hero after pulling a mom and three children from a burning car.

First up we have 18 year Justin Gavin, who didn’t even have time to put on his cape after he spotted an SUV that had caught fire. He gave chase and finally was able to catch up with the vehicle once it had come to a stop, after which he helped remove a mother and her three children (1, 4 and 9 years old), who had been trapped inside. The Waterbury Police Department honored Gavin with a “Challenge Coin” 

“I hope that when you have that coin it just reminds you of this day and you can reflect back on all the good that came out of this for you and that family that you saved,” said Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo.

There are four people who get to wake up this morning thanks to the actions of this kid. Four stories that keep getting written and one big reason to believe that superheroes are real. 

Hero boxer DeAndre Ware saves fight promoter's life | Atlanta Daily World

DeAndre Ware’s boxing career is currently in a downward slope after his loss to Steven Nelson by TKO in a super middleweight bout early last month. But it was Ware’s actions before the fight even took place that speak to the true value of the man. When Pete Susens- a coordinator for Top Rank Boxing- collapsed during weigh-ins, Ware performed chest compressions that ended up saving his life. You see, Ware also happens to be a firefighter in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio. So while boxing is a passion, his everyday existence is playing out in a ring where the stakes are much higher. And he’s winning. Big time. 

And now Imma dish up a double dose from the Cincinnati Kid over at the blog formerly (and still) known as aFrankAngle. This first story, well . . some of you already know it so I’ll just include the video above. It’s good stuff, so if you haven’t checked it out, please do. 

Derlin Newey, a pizza delivery driver in Utah, hugs the Valdez family after being surprised with a tip of a lifetime.

The second part of Frank’s double shot of good feeling tonic . . . wait for it . . . delivers. The Valdez family are bringing the ‘social’ to social media with a gift they recently presented to a very special person in their lives. Eighty nine year old Derlin Newey is their pizza delivery man- they ask for him every time they place an order. They started recording his deliveries for their TikTok channel @vendingheads because they love the guy so much. 

“It’s insane. Everybody loves him,” said Carlos Valdez. They love the smiles he brings to their faces every time he throws down his signature phrase “Hello, are you looking for some pizza?”

Eighty nine years old and working thirty hours a week because he can’t make ends meet on social security alone. And so the family that’s come to love him decided to ask for donations from their more than 53,000 TikTok followers. They were able to raise $12,000 for Newey. After which they presented him with a great big check, with lots of hugs attached to it.  

“He needed this. I’m just glad we could help him,” said Valdez. “We just need to treat people with kindness and respect the way he does. He stole our hearts.”

It can be so easy to let the cynics win the days, especially these days. But you really don’t have to look very hard to find out just how wrong they are about us humans. Because we’re not doomed. We’re not defeated. We’re not hopeless creatures in a slow march to the end of the sidewalk. We’re more than that, so much more than that. And when the world gives us precious little? 

We give it everything we have.