Category Archives: People Are Good

Will Tape for Play

Meridian, Idaho

This morning was spent taping six courts for outdoor pickleball play.

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Over 40 of us showed up in the early morning hours to tape pickleball lines on tennis courts at a local middle school.

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I was surprised that so many came because it was Sunday and I assumed that many would go to church. Just shows that people are good and will help others…

Perhaps, like me, pickleball is their church. 🙂

After sweeping, blowing, measuring, taping, and stomping the tape, it was finally time to play.

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And a good time was had by all…

Come From Away

Meridian, Idaho

Thanks to my sister Joanne for alerting me to this story!

There’s a play that has been touring around the U.S. that sounds very interesting and is a testament to how people are so good.

Read about the play.

comefromawayCome From Away tells the true story of when seven thousand people landed on the doorstep of Gander, Newfoundland, because planes were diverted immediately after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Thirty eight planes from around the world landed there and nearly doubled the population from about 10,000 to nearly 17,000.

The people of Gander “put the kettle on.” While the world witnessed the worst acts of humankind, the stranded passengers in Gander had their faith in humanity restored by the spirited people who comforted those who had come from away.

There have been books written about all that happened in Gander, including The Day the World Came to Town. (Which I just ordered! 🙂 )

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The play is a musical written by Irene Sankoff and her husband, David Hein. They interviewed thousands of people all over the world over the course of a year before they wrote the play.

While the idea of writing a play about giving others sandwiches and a place to stay might not seem like a good idea, the authors drill down to the stories behind the story.

For example, the chairman of Hugo Boss, a German luxury fashion and style house, went to Walmart to buy underwear.

And Oz Fudge, the town constable, searched all over Gander for a flight-crew member so that he could give her a hug as a favor to her sister, a fellow law enforcement officer who managed to reach him by phone.

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If the play comes here, I will definitely see it.

In the meantime, I can’t wait to start reading the book, loving every minute of affirming that People are Good!

What Would You Do with What’s in the Briefcase?

Meridian, Idaho

Last night we watched the premiere episode of CBS’s The Briefcase.

Two hard working lower-middle class American families are given a briefcase containing $101,000 and are told they can keep all the money or give all or some of it to another family in need. What neither family knows is that the other family is going through the same decision about giving money to them!

Actually they only need to decide about $100,000 because they are told that they have to spend $1000 right away.  🙂

Spending $1000 right away wouldn’t be hard.

Deciding to GIVE total strangers all, part, or none of $100,000 that someone just GAVE you would be very hard!

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The Bergin and the Bronson families surprised us with their decisions.

Joe Bergin, 49, and his wife, Kim, 43, and their three teenage daughters from Matthews, North Carolina, were facing financial struggles. Joe had a heart attack over ten years ago, was laid off his salesman job soon after that, and had to put his ice-cream truck business on hold due to medical issues from a car crash. They have no health insurance.
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 The Bronson family were also facing financial struggles. Dave, 32, is an Iraq war hero who lost his leg in combat. He has had over 30 surgeries to date and will likely need more. He is unable to work at this time. His wife, Cara, 30, works full time as a nurse and was a month away from delivering their second child at the time the couple faced their decision about the money.
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Can you imagine if someone showed up on your doorstep with a briefcase full of one hundred dollar bills?
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I’m not going to spoil the outcome for you in case you decide to watch the show yourself.

I will say that the dialogues between the couples and  between Rich and I were fascinating. There was some (what I thought was) gender role reversal. And both couples surprised their spouses many times throughout the 72 hour decision-making process.

According to People magazine:

The families have stayed in contact since the taping and say they’ve even become friends: “We talk to them a couple times a week,” says Kim, who adds that she and Joe planed a big viewing party for the series premiere.

“I would do the show again in a heartbeat,” Cara says. “We don’t regret our decision at all.”

I’m not sure I’m going to watch any more episodes, but I am glad I watched this first one.

Pay it Forward

Meridian, Idaho

I was station surfing in my car a few days ago while driving home from pickleball and happened upon this story:

ELDERLY CANCER PATIENT CALLS 911 BECAUSE HE HAS NO FOOD

When 81-year-old Clarence Blackmon returned home Tuesday after spending months in the hospital for cancer treatments and rehab, his refrigerator was empty.

He had nothing to eat and no way to get to the store. Hungry and desperate, he called 911. He asked the operator if someone could go to the store for him and buy some groceries.

He told the operator whatever she could do would help.

“I can’t do anything. I can’t go anywhere. I can’t get out of my damn chair,” Blackmon said in his 911 call.

Operator Marilyn Hinson took the call and told Blackmon they would take him some groceries.

“He was hungry,” Hinson said. “I’ve been hungry. A lot of people can’t say that, but I can, and I can’t stand for anyone to be hungry.”

Blackmon told Hinson that all he wanted was a head of cabbage, some cans of beans and beets, some popcorn, tomato juice, and soft drinks.

With her supervisor’s permission, Hinson went to the grocery store and bought groceries. Then, with the help of Fayetteville police officers, she delivered the food in person to Blackmon.

She made Blackmon a ham sandwich, which he called a feast. She also made him a couple more sandwiches for later on.

Blackmon called it a blessing.

“It was like a little miracle ringing in my ear,” Blackmon said. “I thought, ‘Jesus, you answered those prayers!'”

After Blackmon’s story aired, calls and donations came in by the hundreds…

ABC11 Together and people across the country are helping a starving veteran in Fayetteville who was in need of food.

Clarence BlackmonThe day after his story aired, Blackmon’s phone hasn’t stopped ringing with people offering food and help.

“‘What do you want me to bring,'” recalled Blackmon. “I even ordered roasted chicken. She said ‘fine, that’s fine.'”

That joy was a far cry from his desperate 911 call for help 24 hours earlier.

“We had numerous calls, emails, folks calling us directly, calling the call center, calling 911 saying, ‘How can we help Mr. Blackmon,'” said Fayetteville Officer Antoine Kincade.

Many asked how Blackmon could wind up in this situation. ABC11 asked DSS officials that same question. The director said they only became aware of Blackmon’s plight when we told them. The private rehab center that discharged Blackmon failed to notify DSS officials that he was going home.

A DSS social worker spent several hours with Blackmon Wednesday. They are now taking care of his needs. As for the donations, Blackmon asked that they go to the Salvation Army to help others.

“I want everyone that goes hungry, or lives under a bridge, at least they can go to the Salvation Army. They can get some good food,” said Blackmon.

Blackmon said he is truly blessed by all the help.

Now that’s a perfect example of paying it forward!

Kudos to Stephen Colbert

Meridian, Idaho

Today’s bit of Good News about Good People is about Stephen Colbert–a television host, actor, and author who hosted Comedy Central‘s The Colbert Report–a satirical news show from 2005 to 2014.

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He will soon succeed David Letterman as the host of CBS‘s Late Show. 

Colbert, a South Carolina native, recently donated $800,000 to fund more than 800 South Carolina’s teachers’ requests for over 1,000 special projects.

Now that’s what is called Good Work!

PS: Happy Birthday to Stephen Colbert today!

From the Washington Post

For nearly a decade, Stephen Colbert sat at a desk to dish out his own brand of “truthiness.” Now, he’s using the money raised from auctioning that desk to help fulfill every grant request made by South Carolina public school teachers on the crowd-funding site DonorsChoose.org.

The donation of $800,000 will fund nearly 1,000 projects in more than 375 schools. More than 800 teachers from the state have projects on the site.

“Enjoy the learnin’, South Carolina!” Colbert said Thursday to teachers and students assembled at Alexander Elementary School in Greenville, S.C. His remarks — made from New York via a live video feed — were captured by the Greenville News.

The contribution includes the proceeds from “The Colbert Report” set’s auction and matching funds from Share Fair Nation and ScanSource, according to a news release.

Colbert noted that he was a product of South Carolina public schools. “I’m sure there’s a monument,” he joked.

Maybe not, but state schools superintendent Molly Spearman said Thursday: “We are so proud that you’re from South Carolina. That’s something we’re trying to teach all our students: to always remember where you come from and to always give back to your community.”

Among the schools that will be helped by the donation is Alexander Elementary, a Title I school where the entire student body qualifies for free or reduced lunches. Funding requests for that school include $545 for basic school supplies and $504 for a trampoline and treadmill that the school’s special education teacher will use for sensory therapy.

An Angel Named Wilfred

Meridian, Idaho

I stopped at the bank yesterday and while I was there an elderly man walked up to me and said, “Here is a penny from heaven that an angel’s sent to you,” as he handed me a shiny new penny.

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I then watched him do and say the same thing to one other person in the long line.

Turns out his name is Wilfred. I didn’t get a picture of him but my guess is that he’s between 80 and 90 years old. He looks a little like this…

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Very distinguished and dapper.

Wilfred was greeted by name by the bank teller. As she cashed his check, she told him she was going on vacation for two weeks. If he came to the bank while she was gone, another teller would have to help him with his withdrawal.

His transaction required two parts: getting cash and using a bit of that cash to purchase pennies. He bought six dollars worth of pennies. All wrapped and shiny brand new!

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I watched Wilfred walk away with a smile on my face as I went up to the teller to complete my transaction.

I had been having a hard time because it’s my first Mother’s Day without my mother.

And I’m firmly convinced that the penny Wilfred gave me was a gift from Mom…

And that gift, through Wilfred, helped me find a peace that has been missing…

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Pennies From Heaven
Today I found a penny,
 Just laying on the ground. 
But it’s not just a penny,
This little coin I’ve found.
Found pennies come from heaven.
That’s what my Grandpa told me.
He said Angels toss them down.
Oh, how I loved that story.
He said when an Angel misses you,
They toss a penny down,
Sometimes just to cheer you up,
To make a smile out of your frown.
So don’t pass by that penny
When you’re feeling blue;
It may be a Penny from Heaven
That an Angel’s tossed to you.
Pass this on to the people who you care
about and who you feel that are angels to you.
An angel is now watching over you. 

A Good Orderly

Meridian, Idaho

Last night, I watched a lovely story on NBC Evening News: Tutu Tuesdays.

One morning last summer, Tony Smith slipped a multicolor tutu over his scrubs in the pre-op ward of a South Florida hospital to grant the wish of a young patient heading to surgery.

If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s worth a look…

PS Because we’re not traveling for a while, I plan to post something showing how People Are Good at least once a week. Hope y’all enjoy…

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