Thursday, March 23, 2017

Man breaks up a fight, hailed a hero

Ibn Ali Miller was running errands in his hometown of Atlantic City NJ on Monday. A street crowded with teens caught his attention and he pulled his car over. Without a thought that he might be walking into a dangerous situation, the 26-year-old married father of six got out and approached the group. At the center, he found two young men involved in a fist fight.

In a video that went viral, Miller is seen urging the combatants to stop fighting, as that would bring shame on their hardworking parents. He tells them he will not leave until they make peace. They do.

Miller has been praised by individuals including NBA star LeBron James and rapper Snoop Dogg. More importantly, the teens themselves have thanked him for stopping the fight. For his quick peacemaking action, Miller was hailed a hero and honored by Atlantic City council. A Muslim, Miller is humble, insisting that he just did what was right.

Monday, March 20, 2017

This 10-year-old's kindness went viral

Last summer, 10-year-old Leah Nelson saw her dad crying. He was upset by police shootings in Dallas Texas, and took the news especially hard - Leah's mom is a Sacramento police officer.

Leah had just started to share her woven rubber band bracelets with others, calling her outreach Becuz I Care. She asked people to show a simple kindness to someone, then give that person a bracelet as a reminder to pass the kindness on. After the shooting, Leah told her parents she thought a message should be added to the bracelets. They agreed, and typed out the message, "In a world with so many issues, let's show people they are valued." The bracelets with their message were first distributed in Sacramento in July. The media got hold of the story, and it went viral. Becuz I Care became a movement.

Becuz I Care has been tagged in stories of kindness across the US. It has spread overseas to England, Brazil, the Congo, Belgium, South Africa, France and Indonesia.

All because a girl listened to her heart and chose kindness.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The photographer with a heart for kids with disabilities

A blog post changed Annapolis Maryland photographer Stephanie Smith's business forever. It seems a family was scheduled for a shoot with an area photographer. A few days before the shoot, the mother contacted the photographer to firm up details. She told him that one of her children has Down Syndrome and may need a little extra time and patience. The photographer cancelled the shoot, stating that this was not his ideal client.

Stephanie was horrified, and decided to do something. She established Lenses for Love, which provides free photo shoots for families with a child who has special needs. Word spread and requests for Stephanie's services came in from around the country. A GoFundMe site was set up to help with costs involved in travel, props, etc. Better than that, other photographers from other regions joined Stephanie in offering the free shoot.
Thanks to them, precious moments with the whole family can be captured and cherished.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Because no student should sit alone at the lunch table

Four students at a Boca Raton high school noticed that sometimes, fellow students ate lunch alone. Having been in that awkward, uncomfortable position themselves, they decided to do something about it. They banded together to form a club called We Dine Together.

During the school's lunch break, club members roam the courtyard and seek out students sitting alone. They introduce themselves and strike up a conversation. Hopefully, the connections made will help new or socially isolated students feel part of their school community. The club hopes their program becomes a model for others across the country.

A few months ago, I highlighted a similar connectional program. That one, Sit With Us, is a free smartphone app created by a California student. She too had felt the pain of sitting alone at school lunch. The purpose is the same - to reach out and create a welcoming community to every student in the school.

The empathy shown by these sensitive students is a credit to them, their families, and their school communities. Instead of complaining about a problem, they found a way to be part of the solution.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Hairstylist works over 8 hours to help a depressed woman feel like herself again

Kate Langman is a stylist at an Ulta salon. A few weeks back, she noticed a woman very interested in all the Redken products in one particular line. Langman asked if she needed help and the woman spilled her story.

It seems that she was severely depressed and often didn't even get out of bed. She had done no self-care for months, not even brushing and washing her hair. The bun on the back of her head was matted into what Langman described as one big dreadlock. Langman felt bad for the woman and her situation, so instead of selling her products, Langman urged her to make an appointment for the following day. She planned to personally help the woman regain control of her hair.

The woman did not show up for the appointment, nor did she show up for one a couple weeks later. Then one day, she just walked in again, telling Langman that she finally got herself back out of bed. Langman was determined to take care of her right then and there.
It took 8-1/2 hours, with over 4 of those hours just combing out the matted knots, but the end result is beautiful. Even more than the new look, Langman is delighted with the woman's reaction. Her cheeks gained color and her eyes sparkled as she rain her fingers through her hair for the first time in months.

Langman knows the new hairstyle gave the woman a lift. No doubt, knowing someone cared lifted her spirits too.