Category Archives: People Are Good

Brothers in the Band

Love them and love their mama!

From NBC News

Autistic Brothers Excel in Southern University Marching Band

The Southern University Marching Band, known throughout the land as the “Human Jukebox”, is a 230 member powerhouse.

There have been siblings in the band before, but none quite like Josiah and Micah Frank.

Music has been the key that opened the world to these young men.

Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

I first read about this the other day. A very sad story.

What an amazing young man with a huge heart…

From NBC News

Georgia Trooper Helps Siblings After Parents Killed in Halloween Crash

When a fatal car wreck on Halloween night claimed the lives of a young Georgia couple, state Trooper Nathan Bradley responded to the accident and was tasked with delivering the devastating news to their family.

Bradley and two other officials knocked desperately at the front door of Donald and Crystal Howard’s home in Newborn. When the door finally cracked open, four young children answered. They were dressed in their Halloween costumes.

Bradley learned that no other adult was home, and that the nearest relative of the couple was a grandmother — seven hours away in Florida — who couldn’t get there until the following morning.

The 25-year-old trooper told NBC affiliate WXIA that he was faced with a delicate situation: Keeping the truth from the siblings until their grandmother arrived. On top of that, it was Halloween, and the children — ages 6 to 13 — were in a festive mood.

They said their parents had gone out to buy face paint and Halloween candy, and they were due any minute.

151105-nathan-bradley-georgia-1117a_1cccd231f0dc9047d2e553e5fabf30d7.nbcnews-ux-320-320“The first thing I said was, ‘Hey, let’s go get something to eat,'” Bradley recalled. “They said, ‘My parents will be here soon.’ I said, ‘Your grandma wants you to hang out with me ’til she gets here.”

Through the night, as Bradley waited on their grandmother, he became more than just the children’s temporary caretaker — he became their friend.

He distracted them by talking about one of their favorite shows, “Law & Order: SVU,” buying them Happy Meals from McDonald’s and then taking them to the patrol post to watch Disney movies.

“The eldest son (the 13-year-old), who sat to my right would carry on in conversations that were beyond his age,” Bradley wrote in an online post. “We discussed topics such as the observable universe and his father’s service with the military. He explained to me that his father served in the United States Army for eight years, completing two tours; one to Afghanistan and the other in Iraq.”

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News of the orphaned children had spread, and people began arriving to the station bearing buckets of candy and small toys. Once it got late, the kids were taken to a bedroom in the station to sleep until their grandmother arrived.

Bradley said he was stunned when one of the little girls told him he “turned an F-minus day into an A-plus night.”

“I can’t begin to explain how hard it was to hear that, considering the night would be memorable but for reasons that were yet to be disclosed to them,” Bradley wrote.

When grandmother Stephanie Oliver arrived by dawn, Bradley explained what happened to her son and her daughter-in-law, who had been together for more than 15 years. Their 2015 Dodge Journey went too fast on a curve, and the SUV wound up careening into a ditch and hitting a tree, police said.

They decided not to wake the children up right away so that the tragedy wouldn’t be associated with Halloween. The next morning, Oliver took the children, and Bradley said he heard the 13-year-old say, “Hopefully, mom and dad will be home by now.”

As a final gesture, Bradley said, he wrote down his number and told the boy to call him if he ever needed anything. The boy later did.

“I was glad he felt comfortable reaching out to me,” Bradley wrote. “He told me that it is going to cost his grandparents $7,000 dollars to transport his parents to Florida and the remaining funeral costs.”

The trooper helped start a GoFundMe page for the children with hopes of raising the $7,000. By Thursday afternoon, it had raised that and more — with the more than $200,000 going toward a trust fund for their higher education.

The children’s grandmother told WXIA that she was touched by the way Bradley bonded with the siblings — and he managed to be a bright spot on what could have been a dark day.

“He took care of my kids when they needed them,” Oliver said. “He was there for them, all the way.”

I’m a Mom

A woman approaches Michael Buble during a concert and asks him to let her son sing with him.

Buble wonders, “Are you asking me or are you telling me?”

Mom’s reply, “I’m a mom.” *

And the rest is a surprise…

Thanks to Sandy for posting this on Facebook.

*Mothers: How many times in your lives have you used the same justification for bending the world’s forces to help your kids? If you’re like me, a lot. 🙂

Parkinson Beat Goes On

Here’s a fun story + video about a local group of Parkinson’s patients trying to win a Doritos’ Super Bowl Ad contest.

From KTVB

BOISE — A group of Parkinson’s patients in Boise is hoping to raise awareness about the debilitating disease by creating a commercial for Doritos chips.

It’s part of a nationwide competition called “Crash the Super Bowl.” The winning ad will air during the big game.

On Friday, Wide Eye Productions visited St. Luke’s Elks Rehab Hospital to shoot the 30-second commercial with some Parkinson’s patients.

“This is a Parkinson’s therapy group that actually uses rhythm therapy to help them delay their disease,” said Director Bill Krumm.

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Richard Herdegen was diagnosed with Parkinson’s five years ago.

“It’s more than just a tremor,” he told us.

Doctors say the disease develops gradually and can also cause stiffness and slowed movement.

Herdegen came up with the idea for the commercial based on challenges he’s faced. He wanted to include his friends, hence the therapy class setting.

Krumm, who works for Wide Eye Productions in Boise, says production of the commercial was funded by St. Luke’s.

Story boards outline the premise of the ad. They show a Parkinson’s patient struggling to open a bag of Doritos chips. He can’t get it to open because his hands shake so badly so he tries a knife, a samurai sword and eventually a chainsaw.

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“In the course of the commercial, one man’s frustrations turn into a success and that inspires the rest of the group,” added Krumm.

While a Parkinson’s diagnosis isn’t funny, Herdegen says it was important to make the ad light-hearted and fun.

“I think it’s easier if you can poke fun at yourself a little bit,” said Herdegen.

He hopes the message will resonate with others and help raise awareness for Parkinson’s disease, which has no cure.

Herdegen says although it’s a long shot, he already knows what he’d do with the $1 million grand prize.

“All of the funds that we get will be donated to a Parkinson’s nonprofit,” he said. The goal is to fund Parkinson’s research.

He told us seeing the commercial and its message about Parkinson’s played during the Super Bowl wouldn’t be half bad either.

“We think it’s going to be good enough to be a contender,” added Krumm.

Contest submissions will be accepted through November 15. From a pool of up to 50 semifinalists, three finalists will be named. People will eventually be able to vote for their favorite commercial.

Believe!

A little belief goes a long, long way…

What happens when young girls who believe in themselves play with a Barbie doll?

Imagine the Possibilities! Barbie

What happens when a young boy who loves soccer moves from Spain to Northern Ireland and happens to connect with two coaches who believe everyone should have a chance to play?

Google Translate: Alberto’s Story

PS Thanks to Melissa for sharing these with me!

A Good Deed at a Hard Time

From KCRA

After a California couple called off their wedding, the bride-to-be’s family decided to turn the $35,000 extravagant event into a feast for the homeless.

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The bride’s mother, Kari Duane, said Sunday that rather than cancel the reception, they invited Sacramento’s homeless for a once in a lifetime meal Saturday at the Citizen Hotel, one of the city’s finest venues.

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Duane said her 27-year-old daughter called her Monday to tell her she and her fiance had decided not go through with the wedding. Soon after, the family decided to share the nonrefundable event with the less fortunate.

“Even though my husband and I were feeling very sad for our daughter, it was heartwarming to see so many people be there and enjoy a meal,” Duane said.

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She said they had already paid for a reception that would have hosted 120 guests. About 90 homeless single people, grandparents and whole families with newborns showed up and enjoyed a meal that included appetizers, salad, gnocchi, salmon, and even tri-tip. Some even dressed up for the occasion.

Erika Craycraft arrived with her husband and five children.

“To lose out on something so important to yourself and then give it to someone else is really giving, really kind,” Craycraft told KCRA-TV.

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Part of the wedding price tag includes a nonrefundable honeymoon, so on Sunday mother and daughter set off for Belize.

“I hope that when she looks back at this, she knows she was doing something good with a bad situation,” Duane said.

Cinderfella Jones

I watched and/or listened to the entire Pittsburgh Steelers vs Arizona Cardinals game today.

It was an exciting game. And it was capped off by a good Cinderella–make that Cinderfella–story!

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Pittsburgh was playing with their veteran back-up quarterback Michael Vick because their franchise quarter back Ben Roethlisberger was injured a few weeks ago.

When Michael Vick was injured during the game, the Steelers’ third string quarterback Landry Jones got his first playing time in a regular season NFL game since he was drafted by the Steelers in the fourth round of the 2013 draft.

Jones’ Wikipedia entry had already been updated within a couple of hours:

On October 18, 2015, during the Steelers’ game against the Arizona Cardinals, Jones would play his first NFL game, replacing an injured Michael Vick in the third quarter with the Steelers down 10-6. He finished the game with 168 passing yards and 2 touchdowns as he led the Steelers to a 25-13 comeback win.

It’s insane to think that a quarterback playing in his first NFL game would complete 8 of 12 passes for 168 yards.

And I think it’s even crazier to find an NFL player who wears flannel in a post-game press conference and starts by saying, “Oh my goodness…”!

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He grew up in a small town of just over 10,000 in southeastern New Mexico, and he was named after legendary Dallas Cowboys’ coach Tom Landry.

I love a good Cinderfella story, and Landry Jones sure has one.

The Grandma in the Window

A heartwarming story about a woman who has been waving to school kids for five years…

From King5 News in Seattle:

A warmth radiates from school bus No. 7 on Carol Mitzelfeld’s chilly morning route in Arlington. She knows all 90 of her students by name. There is a comfort and familiarity here that radiates well beyond the steamy windows of her bus — all the way to a woman known as “the grandma in the window.”

She is a 93-year-old lady who has been waving to the kids on the bus from her dining room window every school day for five years. The kids feel like she’s a part of the family and always wave back.

“Carol was telling us that a lot of times she doesn’t remember her daughter’s name, but she always remembers to wave to the kids on the bus,” said 7th grader Axtin Bandewerfhorst. “That made me feel really special.”

But one day a few weeks ago, the window was empty. And the next day. And the next, as well.

Mitzelfeld found out grandma had suffered a stroke.

“It was kind of heartbreaking because she was always there,” said Bandewerfhorst.

It turns out, grandma’s name is Louise Edlen. She has 30 grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren, and she’s been married to her husband Dave for 53 years. Dave Edlen has spent the past three weeks holding his wife’s hand at a rehabilitation center while she recovers.

“She’s a very special lady,” he said.

When Mitzelfeld found out about Lousie Edlen’s stroke, she brought Edlen a bouquet of flowers.

The next day, a sign appeared in the dining room window that simply read, “Thank You.”

“That made me really smile,” said 10th grader Cheyanne Holt. “It shows how much we mean to her.”

To show how much grandma means to them, the kids made their own sign for Louise. It’s a large photograph showing all of the students waving from inside the bus.

“This is from the kids,” Mitzelfeld told her. “They miss you and want you to get better.”

The stroke has partially paralyzed Louise Edlen’s throat, making it very difficult for her to speak, but the children inspire her.

“I miss them, too,” she strained. “I’m trying to get better.”

“It means everything in the world to her,” said her husband Dave Edlen. “It gives her something to look forward to every day.”

If all goes as planned, Louise Edlen will return home on Tuesday and promises to be back in her window, waving, by the time the children head home from school.