Friday, November 17, 2017

The WalMart clerk's simple kindness went viral

Last week, Spring Herbison Bowlin was on the checkout line at the Clarkson, Mississippi WalMart. The customer ahead of her was an elderly man. When the clerk rang up his order, he looked back at Bowlin and apologized, then dug in his pockets for change. Holding the handfuls of change, he counted and recounted, then got flustered. He looked back at Bowlin and apologized again. His hands shook.

The cashier took hold of his hands and reassured him. Dumping all the change on the counter, she told him, "This is not a problem, honey. We will do this together." And they did. Bowlin snapped a photo of this small kindness.

When it was her turn to checkout, she thanked the clerk for helping the elderly gentleman and being so patient with him. The clerk brushed away her praise. "'You shouldn't have to thank me, baby. What's wrong with our world is we've forgotten how to love one another.

Back home, Bowlin posted this small interaction on Facebook. The post went viral. Apparently, tens of thousands of us crave this sort of decency.  

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Homeless man returns $10,000 check before payee even knows it's missing

Roberta Hoskie of New Haven, Connecticut was surprised to get the call. A $10,000 check made out to her had been found on the street. and the finder was calling her to return it. She hadn't even realized it was missing! The CEO of a realty company, Hoskie was deeply appreciative and agreed to meet the caller to retrieve the check. 

That's when she met Elmer Alvarez. Currently homeless. Alvarez had indeed found the check lying on the street and called Hoskie to return it. The two spoke and learned a bit more about one another. It seems Hoskie too had once been homeless, living in a nearby shelter, so she understood what Alvarez was going through. 

Hoskie gave Alvarez a reward for returning the check, and posted about the event on Facebook Live. Support and offers of help for Alvarez poured in, both locally and from other parts of the country. She plans to keep in touch with Alvarez and 'teach him to fish.' 

As for Alvarez, he says he returned the check because it was the right thing to do. A man of faith, he believes "once you do right, right always comes back to you. Because God don’t like ugly.”

Friday, November 10, 2017

This guy answered an apparent internet scam from Liberia - and was surprised

We've all gotten them, emails from strangers in foreign lands asking for money. Ben Taylor from Ogden, Utah received this message on Facebook “Helo Sir, wel my name is Joel from Liberia, West Africa. Pls I beg u in name of GOD, I need some assistance from u, business or financial assistance dat will help empower me pls.” Ben assumed, as most of us would, that 'Joel' was scamming him. A photographer by trade, Ben has a YouTube channel in which he sometimes documents his efforts to string scammers along and expose their shenanigans. He decided to do the same with Joel and responded, "How can I help?"

Joel told him he was a journalist in need of financial help, so Ben asked him to take on an assignment in photojournalism work - use his phone to photograph his local sunset. If Joel would send the pictures, Ben would wire him some money. 

Ben was surprised to receive pictures, badly focused and blurry, but pictures all the same. Impressed that Joel was making an effort, Ben bought a $30 camera and sent it to Joel with instructions on some photography basics of focus and lighting. The images Joel sent back improved with practice. Some were exceptional. Ben concluded that Joel was not trying to scam him, but was indeed just trying to figure out a way to get ahead. 

Ben got an idea.

He collected some of Joel's best shots an created a photo book called "By D Grace of God," one of Joel's commonly used phrases. He launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds through sale of the book with an understanding that he and Joel would split profits 50/50. In the end, about 1000 copies of the book were sold in 40 countries, raising about $13,000. 

Ben wanted to help Joel and his community even more.  
He asked Joel what his community's needs were, and Joel had an idea - school supplies. So Ben wired his half of the proceeds to Joel, who took the funds to a local market. He literally cleared out their stock of backpacks, pencils, notebooks, etc. and had to hire a taxi to take it all back to his village.

Ben is amazed and delighted by the outcome of his interaction with Joel. "I thought I would waste his time by giving him these menial tasks of taking pictures around his village, but it turns out that he was willing to put in the work. … He was really just a guy that was down on his luck and looking for work. When you give someone a chance, sometimes they’re not who you thought they were. Sometimes they surprise you, and sometimes you end up being the answer to their prayers.”

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

When he thinks no one is looking, young man cleans up after vandals

“The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.” ― John Wooden

That quote came to mind when I read this story. 

Eimhin Keenan was out for a run in Ardee, County Louth, Ireland, early Monday morning. As he passed some storefronts, he came upon some plants which had been pulled from their pots and strewn along the sidewalk and roadway. Surveillance cameras show him jogging past the damage, then turning back and sticking the plants back in their pots.  

When store owner Thomas Kearney of Kearney Interiors viewed the surveillance footage, he saw the original vandalism occur. Then an hour further into the tape, he spotted the unnamed Good Samaritan cleaning up the debris. He posted the security footage on his store's Facebook page in hopes of identifying the young man so he could be thanked and rewarded. The video went viral.

Friends and family identified Keenan, who was shocked to receive accolades for his small kindness. "I thought nothing of it," he said. 

Store owner Kearney says, "The positive moment beat the vandals' negative moment by a country mile."

Friday, November 3, 2017

Two great kids put their own Halloween candy in empty bowls

Like lots of other kids, 11-year-old Hayden Chapelle of Idaho Falls was out trick-or-treating on Halloween accompanied by his mom. They approached a house, the Robertson's home, and found a sign: “Do a trick and take a treat! And smile – you’re on camera”. The candy bowl beside the sign was empty. 

Hayden did a little dance and started to leave, but saw other kids approaching the house. He doubled back and put some of his own Halloween candy in the bowl so they wouldn't walk away empty handed.

When the Robertsons came home from trick-or-treating with their daughter, they watched the video. To their dismay, they saw one child take lots of candy and leave the empty bowl behind. Then they saw Hayden's generous gesture and decided to share that with the world. 

The same thing happened in Chula Vista, California. A trick-or-treater placed some of his stash in an empty bowl at Kim Manalo's home, and she caught it on her home surveillance video. She too decided to share the generosity of this anonymous child instead of sharing the bad behavior of the culprit who emptied her bowl. 

Manalo told Fox News the incident restored her faith in humanity, and reassured her there is still good in the world. She adds, “It's just sad that we have to find it in children.”