Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Terminally ill teen's bucket list inspires millions

About a year ago, 17-year-old Becca Schofield was given two years to live. Last month, she shared her bucket list on her Facebook page. Topping the list - encouraging others to be kind. The hashtag #BeccaToldMeTo was born.

Using that hashtag, millions of people around the world have shared their acts of kindness, large and small. From buying a cup of coffee for a stranger to organizing a food drive, folks are joining in and spreading goodness through their corner of the world.
In recognition of Becca's impact, Rotary International recently awarded her the Paul Harris Fellow.

Another item on Becca's bucket list is to meet Ellen Degeners. Who knows? With all the good vibe surrounding this young lady, that may just happen.  

Monday, January 16, 2017

Kind-hearted boy donates his AFV prize to charities

Eleven-year-old Luke Finlan didn't know his mom sent a video of him crying during his fourth grade graduation to America's Funniest Videos. So he was extra surprised when he learned the video had reached the finals. 

Before the Albany New York region family flew to LA for the show's taping, Luke told his mom that he wanted to share his prize money with people who needed it more than him. He especially wanted to help veterans and people who are hungry. His mom contacted two local organizations, Soldiers Heart and Equinox. The folks at Equinox worked with Luke's mom to organize a fund-raiser as part of the 'viewing party' for Luke's AFV episode. That would multiply Luke's donation, funds Equinox could use for their Thanksgiving dinner.

The family sat in the audience as the videos rolled. Luke's video won first prize, $10,000. Now those two charities have benefited from Luke's generous heart.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Homeless man offers his coat and blanket and gets a chance at a new life

Charlotte Ellis and her boyfriend Taylor Waldon, both 22, were out for drinks one night last week in Covent Garden, London. They missed the last train home to Essex, and the next one wasn't due for four hours. They had to tough it out in the freezing night. 

Charlotte heard someone behind her say, "You can borrow my coat and my duvet if you like." The voice belonged to a homeless man known only as Joey. Charlotte accepted his offer and wrapped herself in the duvet. While sitting with Joey and talking with him, Charlotte was struck by both his sincerity and the horror of staying out in the cold overnight. She offered to bring Joey to the home she shares with her mother where he could get a shower and shave and a good hot meal. At first, he refused. Eventually, Taylor convinced him that Charlotte wasn't leaving without him. He went. 

Charlotte's mother was understandably taken aback by the late arrival of her daughter and a homeless man. But they talked and she agreed - Joey could stay with them. After providing him with the basics for hygiene, a warm place to sleep, and some good solid food, Charlotte's friends got into the act. They offered him a haircut, clothes, and a cell phone. He accepted. 

Five days later, Joey had a job offer. 

Joey's life has changed because of his generosity toward people who obviously had more than him. Chances are, the lives of Charlotte and her loved ones have changed too. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The true measure of character

Columnist Ann Landers, novelist Paul Eldridge, entrepreneur Malcolm Forbes and several others are credited with versions of this quote:
"You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who can do nothing for them or to them."
 If that's true, then Paul and Shaeleane are both people of high character. In the course of performing their job, they each found a way to show empathy and kindness for someone who can give them nothing in return.

Paul Edden is a Lance Corporal of the Coldstream Guard outside Windsor Castle. During the routine guard change, he noticed something. A small boy in full Coldstream uniform stood near the guardroom, saluting the guardsmen as they marched by. After leading his men past the boy and into the guardroom, Edden stepped back out and posed for pictures with 4-year-old Marshall Scott. He later invited Marshall and his family on a tour of Windsor Castle. A dream come true for Marshall on his birthday.

Shaeleane, no last name found, is a cashier at WinCo in Temecula, California. She must have noticed the contagious smile of 14-year-old Andy who was shopping with his mom, Jeannie Robinson. Andy has cerebral palsy, and loves to push the cart and help at the checkout. Shaeleane let Andy step behind the counter and helped him scan some items while his mom videoed the experience. Andy was thrilled, and Jeannie later reported that he didn't stop smiling all day.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

This 7-year-old works at McDonald's

Trenton Gardner of Bicknell Indiana is not your average 7-year-old. When he saw the Toys for Tots bins before Christmas, he asked his mother what they were for. She explained that not all families have the money for Christmas toys, and that made Trenton upset and sad. He decided to do something about it. He asked his grandfather to take him to McDonald's so he could get a job.

Trenton's parents are proud of his kind heart and his concern for others, but the manager of McDonald's was obviously reluctant to have a 7-year-old employee. When he was told he was too young for a job, Trenton burst into tears. He kept at it, asking repeatedly to meet with the manager and asking for a job. His persistence paid off.

Trenton is now an honorary employee, wiping tables for $1. The money he earns when added to the donations of toys by McDonald's has given many kids in that Indiana town a wonderful holiday season.