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5 days ago · by · Comments Off on Pregnant Mother of Two Hailed Hero For Saving Girls From Drowning

Pregnant Mother of Two Hailed Hero For Saving Girls From Drowning

A pregnant mother of two is being hailed a hero after saving four kids from drowning during a family outing. As fate had it, Alyssa DeWitt, 27, decided to take her kids to First Street Beach Pier at Lake Michigan despite thinking the winds may be too strong. She soon noticed a group of girls under 15 on the beach who were going into the water.

Alyssa and her two children were the only other people on the beach at the time when the young girls ran into trouble. “I happened to look up and saw one of the girls waving her arms towards me and immediately knew something was wrong,” she said. Rip currents had pulled the girls out deeper and deeper into Lake Michigan, and they couldn’t get out.

“I got up, pulled my kids out of the water and ran out onto the pier. They couldn’t even keep their heads above water at that point. I called 911 immediately but I didn’t know if they could hear me and I didn’t have time to wait and find out,” she said. Alyssa knew she had to act quickly. “I put my phone down with 911 on and laid down over the side of the pier and told them to reach for my hand” she said.

Despite being five months pregnant she began trying to pull the girls over the rocky and slippery pier. “Every time I’d get one of them halfway up, a big wave would come smashing into us and knock them back down or almost pull me over,” she said. Alyssa recalled a moment she said will stick with her forever and still makes her cry when she thinks about it. “My turning point was when one of the little girls looked at me and said, ‘I’m going to die.’ That was it for me and I was like ‘I’m not going to let you die, I’m going to get you out of this water, I promise.’”

She managed to pull all three girls out of the water and over the pier before the group set off back towards the shore to rescue a fourth girl who had managed to get closer to shore but couldn’t stand because her leg was injured. Alyssa said “I honestly do not know how I did it, it was pure adrenaline at that point. Right after I got everybody onto the beach, the ambulance and the police cars came flying into the parking lot.”

Alyssa sustained a swollen wrist but she and the baby were both fine when she went to the hospital to get checked out. The modest hero praised her six-year-old daughter for managing to keep her two-year-old brother safe during the ordeal. “Between me screaming into the phone that I needed help and me screaming to the kids what I needed them to do to get them out, I was also turning around and screaming to my son not to come because it wasn’t safe. He was very scared and repeatedly tried to run to me on the pier” she said “My daughter would pick him up and take him back to the sand and she was so calm and I’m extremely proud of her, she did a great job.”

Manistee City Police Chief Josh Glass said “Thankfully, all parties involved sustained minor injuries, but without the actions of this heroic young lady could have easily turned out differently. Especially being a father of young children, it’s extremely impressive the way this young lady called to action without hesitation and I think it’s pretty obvious what would have happened if she wasn’t there.”

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6 days ago · by · Comments Off on Waffle House Staff Rally to Get Co Worker to Graduation

Waffle House Staff Rally to Get Co Worker to Graduation

When Timothy Harrison, 18, showed up for a shift at the Waffle House he worked at on the day of his high school graduation, his co-workers were confused. When his manager Cedric Hampton asked why he was there he explained that he couldn’t get a ride across town and he hadn’t been able to secure tickets for his family to attend so he decided to come into work.

Hampton, along with several co-workers, got to work putting together everything Harrison needed to attend the event. The staff made a list of what needed to be done to get Timothy there and divided it all up. Cedric and two others headed to a clothing store to buy Timothy a sharp new outfit, while another coworker, Shantana Blevins, drove Timothy to the high school to collect his cap and gown.

Once they had gathered what they needed, everyone took turns helping Timothy get ready so he could celebrate his accomplishment. Shantana stepped up again to drive Timothy to the ceremony, waiting outside the whole time until he was finished taking pictures and celebrating with his friends. She then drove the teen home and made sure he knew he had the whole night off to enjoy the momentous occasion.

Cedric said he was happy to help Timothy because he’s a good kid — and because it was the right thing to do! “He’s a fine young man,” Cedric added. “He’s a hard worker, very polite. It’s the least we could do for him.” Harrison said “I had people want to see me succeed, so it kind of made me excited. When I put on the clothes, it was a different feeling, I don’t even know the words. A million dollars? It was the best feeling.”

Their wonderful gesture even inspired Lawson State Community College to offer Timothy a full scholarship, even covering books, and he will start taking classes in the fall. “To know that I have a path to go somewhere? That’s something new,” Harrison said. Harrison’s co workers said they are going to continue to lift Harrison up. “Now he can go to college and figure out what to do in his life, and we’re gonna help guide him,” Hampton said.

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1 week ago · by · Comments Off on Massachusetts Teen Donates Scholarship

Massachusetts Teen Donates Scholarship

A Massachusetts teen, Verda Tetteh, 17, donated her $40,000 scholarship to community college students. She was awarded the scholarship known as “The General Excellence Prize.” during her graduation ceremony in Fitchburg, Mass. Moments later, she returned it and said it should go to a student who needed it more. During her speech, the Harvard-bound teen thanked donors for the scholarship, but said she knows she’s “not the one who needs this the most.”

Ten minutes after she accepted it, she walked back to the podium and apologized for interrupting the ceremony. “I am so very grateful for this, but I also know that I am not the one who needs this the most,” Ms. Tetteh said, her voice trembling. “Knowing my mom went to community college, and how much that was helpful, I would be so very grateful if the administration would consider giving the General Excellence scholarship to someone who is going into community college.”

She received a standing ovation from the audience, but said she didn’t make this sacrifice for the accolades — it was to honor her mother and students who also choose to attend community college. Tetteh’s mom enrolled in community college at age 39, and Tetteh said she is “in awe of her,” adding, “I think that’s something that’s very difficult to do. But she knew she wanted to improve her life and improve the lives of her children.”

Tetteh applied for the scholarship at the urging of her guidance counselor who told her to go for it because she’d worked hard. Every year the award goes to one male and one female student selected by a committee of teachers, administrators and guidance counselors. She figured it would probably go to someone else. Then, during her graduation ceremony from Fitchburg High School on June 4, the assistant principal announced she was the winner.

She moved to the U.S. from Ghana when she was 8 years old and recently graduated with a 4.9 G.P.A. Harvard had agreed to pay her tuition and room and board. Her hard work has also qualified her for other scholarships that would cover college expenses. Robert Jokela, the district superintendent, said that he remains awed by Ms. Tetteh’s spontaneous announcement.

Jeremy Roche, the school principal said that at least 40 percent of the students at Fitchburg High School go to community college when they graduate. “A lot are first-generation students,” Mr. Roche said. “A lot of them are students who are the first to graduate high school in their family. There are many families here who work really hard and don’t make a lot of money.”

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1 week ago · by · Comments Off on American Humane Society Reunites Retired Military Pups With Former Handlers

American Humane Society Reunites Retired Military Pups With Former Handlers

American Humane, the country’s first and largest humane organization, has a program dedicated to protecting the dogs that serve the United States by reuniting them with their former handlers once they retire. Recently the program reunited both Army Veteran Michael Stepnovich and U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Wade Alfson with the military dogs they worked with overseas. Not only did each man get a hug from their canine partner again, Stepnovich and Ssgt. Alfson both adopted their former patrol pals since the dogs are retired from active duty.

Ssgt. Alfson reunited with Xxanthe, the Belgian Malinois, after a year apart in Honolulu, Hawaii — where Ssgt. Alfson is currently stationed — on May 5. The pair served together for 18 months, including two tours in the Middle East on classified missions, where the duo worked to find improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Now, Ssgt. Alfson is thrilled to have the opportunity to adopt Xxanthe, his best friend, and give her a comfort-filled, love-filled life.

“She’s such a caring dog. You can feel how much she cares about you,” Ssgt. Alfson said of what he adores about Xxanthe, adding that the pooch was his “morale” overseas. Xxanthe will be sharing her life with Kyra, a six-year-old Belgian Malinois that Ssgt. Alfson adopted after the dog failed out of military training because she was too startled by loud noises.

On May 21, Stepnovich reunited with Popeye, the military dog he served with for 18 months in South Korea. After 5 months apart, they were reunited in Las Vegas. “It was a lot of emotion. He looks amazing. It was a really emotional moment for me. I couldn’t stop smiling. It’s only been a few months for us, which is lucky, but it feels like it was a very long time,” Stepnovich said of the reunion. “I was just overwhelmed with joy to see him again.”

The 7-year-old German shepherd started showing signs of severe separation anxiety and was taken off duty after he and Stepnovich originally parted. The military retired Popeye early, allowing Stepnovich to adopt the dog. Stepnovich is looking forward to caring for Popeye and hopes to work with dogs in the future as a trainer or handler. “Having him back in my life is going to be absolutely amazing. I’m so excited to just show him the area and take him on my adventures because I like to get out and do stuff here in Vegas,” Stepnovich shared.

It is common for military dog handlers and their pups to get separated or reassigned, making it hard for handlers to keep track of their canine partners. But the bond between dog and handler is often unbreakable, and both humans and canines benefit from getting the chance to enjoy their friendships in everyday life. American Humane Society helps military dog handlers find their former partners and adopt them when they retire, guiding the handlers through the complicated and daunting process of transporting the pooch to their home. The organization also helps cover post-retirement medical care for the canines and travel expenses.

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2 weeks ago · by · Comments Off on Seven Year Old Boy Hailed Hero For Swimming 1 Mile To Save Father & Sister

Seven Year Old Boy Hailed Hero For Swimming 1 Mile To Save Father & Sister

A 7 year old boy is being hailed a hero for saving his father and younger sister by swimming a mile to get help over Memorial Day weekend. Chase Poust and his 4-year-old sister, Abigail, were swimming alongside their father’s anchored boat on the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Florida when Abigail was pulled away from the boat by a strong current. Chase let go of the boat to grab her but then he was stuck in the current too. Their father Steve jumped into the water to save them but little Abigail kept getting pulled further away by the current.

Steve told Chase to swim to shore as he tried to retrieve Abigail, who was being carried along with the current while wearing a floatation device. Fearing the outcome, Chase told them both he loved them and began the 1 mile swim back to land, switching between floating on his back and doggie paddling. “The current was going the opposite way of going to the boat and the shore so it was very hard to swim that way.” Chase said. Once he reached shore, Chase said he ran to the nearest home he could find and knocked on their door.

Florida Fish and Wildlife — who were helped by Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office — eventually spotted Steven and Abigail after an hour-long search. Rescue crews discovered the father and daughter had drifted a mile from where their boat was anchored. Chase’s father and sister were in the water for about two hours before they were rescued but both are doing well.

Chase and Steven were not required to wear a life vest. Only children ages 6 and under must wear one for a vessel 26 feet long or shorter. Steve knows how fortunate they are to have made it out of the situation. Steve said ‘We’re here. By the grace of God, we’re here. Little man also made it to shore and got help and that’s what saved our lives.”

Eric Prosswimmer, spokesperson for Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department explained that it was his colleagues’ quick response that helped give the story a happy ending. “We had every resource we could have possibly had coming quickly and we’re happy to say all three have been recovered, and all three are doing well. We couldn’t ask for a better outcome.”

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3 weeks ago · by · Comments Off on Jaden Smith to Expand on Initiative to Feed Homeless

Jaden Smith to Expand on Initiative to Feed Homeless

Two years ago, to commemorate his 21st birthday, actor Jaden Smith launched the I Love You Restaurant, a vegan food truck initiative to combat food insecurity for Los Angeles’ homeless. Smith’s vegan meals found their way to 8,000 of L.A. ‘s Skid Row residents. Eventually, I Love You’s efforts were expanded to serve at-risk residents in Harlem, New York City.

“Our mission is to spread love to communities experiencing food and/or housing insecurity by offering water along with fresh, high-quality, and delicious sustainable meal options,” his food website explains. When the pandemic hit Smith’s organization continued to donate vegan food but also distributed masks, clothes, hand sanitizer, and other essential items.

Smith is now pivoting his I Love You concept yet again with plans for a more permanent version of his restaurant on the table, bringing the success of his past efforts into the next phase. The “pay as you can” philosophy welcomes anyone to partake of the yet-to-be-announced location’s fare. Those who can afford the suggested menu prices will be in effect subsidizing meals for those who can’t.

The I Love You Restaurant is just one of Smith’s philanthropic projects. In 2019, through his company JUST Goods Inc., he led an initiative centered on bringing a water filtration system to Flint, Michigan. The company joined forces with Flint’s First Trinity Missionary Baptist Church to implement a system called “The Water Box” which helped reduce lead and other toxic chemicals in contaminated water.

In 2018, he also led an effort to donate water each month to the city’s schools until the water was safe to drink which led to thousands of bottles being donated to Flint schools. “I want to have something I can feel good about that I can feel like it’s changing the world. I’m not only being neutral with the world, I’m actually making the world a better place. I’ve just always wanted to be an advocate of humanity” Smith said.

Initiatives like Smith’s are instrumental in evoking change. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, there are over 500,000 people in the United States experiencing homelessness on a given night. Feeding America reported that in 2017 nearly 40 million Americans—including over 12 million youngsters—lacked access to food.

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3 weeks ago · by · Comments Off on Judge Swears Man In As Lawyer 16 Years After Giving Him 2nd Chance

Judge Swears Man In As Lawyer 16 Years After Giving Him 2nd Chance

Sixteen years ago Edward Martell was a 27-year-old high school dropout with an extensive arrest record and was facing a 20-year drug conviction. The judge presiding over his case could have thrown the book at him but instead gave Martell 3 years probation—and a challenge. Morrow told Martell the next time he stepped into the courtroom, he expected him to have made something of himself—something big.

Martell recalled “He said, ‘I challenge you to be a CEO of a Fortune 500 company instead of being out here selling drugs.” Judge Morrow said in an interview,“It was kind of in jest but he understood I believed he could be anything he wanted to be.”

Martell took the challenge to heart and turned his life around. Fast forward 16 years and Martell is standing in front of Judge Morrow again—only this time, he’s being sworn in as an attorney after passing the Michigan state bar.

Martell’s path wasn’t easy though but he was determined. Since there was a very real possibility that his prior criminal record might scuttle his future plans, as he was completing his GED, Martell’s guidance counselors discouraged him from pursuing a legal career. But he refused to give up. He obtained his associate’s degree and went on to score scholarships for both his undergraduate studies and law school. He then clerked at the District of Columbia’s Federal Public Defender’s office and eventually was hired by the Perkins Law Group as a researcher and writer.

When it came time to take the bar exam, Martell had plenty of supporters in his corner—including Judge Morrow, with whom he’d kept in touch with over the years.
With the help of his law firm mentors, Martell submitted a 1,200-plus page application detailing the steps he’d taken to turn his life around. His approval took only 15 minutes. Now, Martell still has a job with the Perkins Group, only now, he’s a practicing attorney.

Sean Perkins, a former partner at the Perkins Law Group where Martell works, knows both men personally and professionally. “They’re still human beings and Morrow treats them as such” Perkins said. Morrow basked in the happiness of the day Martell was sworn in but he does not take credit for Martell’s success. Both men share a deep faith and credit God with the way their shared story has played out. Morrow said “Most failures are because people who need help never get it. There’s no such thing in my mind as a self-made person.”

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3 weeks ago · by · Comments Off on California Couple Stuffs $1000 in Various Essential Baby Items at Target Stores in LA

California Couple Stuffs $1000 in Various Essential Baby Items at Target Stores in LA

A California couple wanted to help new parents who are especially struggling during the pandemic. The couple wanted to brighten the day of a few new parents, so they decided to hide money in essential baby items like formula containers, diaper boxes, baby bottle boxes and breast pump supplies at three LA area Target stores.

Krystal Duhaney is a registered nurse and the founder of Milky Mama. When she and her husband Patrick had their first child they realized just how expensive raising a family can be.
“We recalled how hard it was for us as new parents to afford some of the basics and we could imagine how difficult it must be during this pandemic.”

Now a soon-to-be mother of three, says they’re in a better place financially so they can afford to give back to others. So far they’ve stuffed about $1,000 in cash into various baby supplies around Los Angeles Target stores, and they’re not stopping any time soon.

“When we were new parents, the saying, ‘It takes a village,’ really rang true. our neighbors, coworkers, friends and family members showered us with meals, pitched in to help with yard work and so much more. It was so amazing to feel supported and to know that there were people out there that cared. I wanted other parents who may be feeling alone to know someone out there cares about them.”

Duhaney says it’s her hope that the parents who find her hidden gifts not only feel supported, but also pay the act of kindness forward. “I hope they help other parents that are in need,” she said. “The world needs more kindness and I’m hoping our video inspires others to spread joy and kindness wherever they go.”

Duhaney posted a video of their good deed on instagram showing them stuffing money in the items while the Target location flashed on the screen and encouraged people to tag a mama who could use the help. “We hope that the parents that purchase these items have a brighter day when they find our gifts,” she wrote alongside the Instagram video.

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4 weeks ago · by · Comments Off on GoFundMe For Detriot Boy Who Saved Siblings From Dog Attack Surpasses $30,000

GoFundMe For Detriot Boy Who Saved Siblings From Dog Attack Surpasses $30,000

A GoFundMe campaign started to help pay the medical bills for Deacon Ahsmore has raised over $30,000 so far. The 12 year old is being hailed a hero for risking his life to save his siblings from being mauled by two dogs. Deacon is recovering at home with his family after he underwent surgery to fix the tendons, ligaments and muscle severed in the attack. Deacon’s injuries means he’s faced with a long recovery that will likely include physical therapy.

Deacon was playing outside in his Detroit neighborhood with his 9 and 7 year-old sisters, 5-year-old brother, and some other kids, when the dogs got loose. He saw the menacing dogs running straight for them and instinctively jumped in front of all the other kids to make sure they could run to safety. One of the dogs bit down on the young boy’s calf so hard he was left with puncture wounds down to the bone.

Deacon’s father Peter Ashmore was finally able to get the dog to let go. He and his wife Elisabeth rushed Deacon to the hospital. Deacon was still worried about his siblings in the hospital. “When we were in the hospital, he must have asked me five, six, seven times, ‘Is (his little brother) Kingston okay? ‘Are the girls okay? How’s Mommy?'” Peter said. Deacon required surgery to repair the damage and was released the next day.

Adopted from Ethiopia when he was a baby, his mother Elisabeth said Deacon’s only concern when the dogs charged him and the other children were his siblings, especially the littlest one, his 5-year-old brother, Kingston. “He just kept saying, ‘I know Kingston wouldn’t have survived if the dogs would have attacked him.” Deacon’s teacher and parents praised the boy for his actions during the fight or flight situation.

Since his story made headlines, well-wishers from all over the country have been donating to a GoFundMe set up by the pastor of his church. The GoFundMe created by Clete Bontrager reads: “Hey Everyone,” Bontrager wrote in the GoFundMe description. “Many of you know Deacon Ashmore as a great young man! Deacon proved that Monday evening. His leg was mauled by a dog while playing outside with his siblings. Deacon stepped between the two dogs and his siblings so they could run to the house, but in doing so had his leg badly mangled. “He had surgery Tuesday morning to repair his calf. Deacon will have medical bills which may include physical therapy. Along with financial help Deacon can use your prayers for his spirits to stay up and his leg heals without complications. Thank you -“

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4 weeks ago · by · Comments Off on Teacher Who Disarmed Idaho Shooter Praised For Her Compassion

Teacher Who Disarmed Idaho Shooter Praised For Her Compassion

When a student opened fire at an Idaho middle school, teacher Krista Gneiting directed children to safety, rushed to help a wounded victim, and then disarmed the shooter, hugging and consoling the girl until police arrived. The community crediting Gneiting’s display of compassion with saving lives. Police said a sixth-grade girl brought the handgun in her backpack and shot two people inside the school and one outside. All three were wounded in their limbs and released from the hospital within a few days.

Gneiting, a math teacher at Rigby Middle School was preparing her students for their final exams on the morning of May 6 when she said she heard a gunshot from down the hall. She said she looked outside her classroom and saw the school’s janitor lying on the floor at the end of the hallway. She said she shut the door as she heard two more gunshots.

“So I just told my students, ‘We are going to leave, we’re going to run to the high school, you’re going to run hard, you’re not going to look back, and now is the time to get up and go'” Gneiting said. Gneiting said she was trying to help one of the students who had been shot when she saw the girl holding the gun. She told the wounded student to stay still and approached the sixth-grader.

“It was a little girl, and my brain couldn’t quite grasp that. I just knew when I saw that gun, I had to get the gun” Gneiting said. She asked the girl, “Are you the shooter?” and then walked closer, putting her hand on the child’s arm and sliding it down to the gun. “I just slowly pulled the gun out of her hand, and she allowed me to. She didn’t give it to me, but she didn’t fight. After I got the gun, I just pulled her into a hug because I thought, this little girl has a mom somewhere that doesn’t realize she’s having a breakdown and she’s hurting people.”

Gneiting held the girl, consoling her until police arrived. The girl has been charged in the shooting, but because juvenile court proceedings are kept sealed in Idaho, neither her name nor the nature of the charges has been released. Meanwhile, Krista Gneiting hopes people can forgive the girl and help her get the support she needs. “She is just barely starting in life and she just needs some help. Everybody makes mistakes,” she said. “I think we need to make sure we get her help and get her back into where she loves herself so that she can function in society.”

Krista’s brother in law Layne Gneiting posted on his facebook “My sister-in-law, Krista, who took the gun from the little girl who fired it, is more of a hero than I thought. The tender tale is hers to tell but I’ll say this: it’ll break your heart. Krista is a born mother. Mess with her kids she’ll rip you apart. Need a hug she’ll hold you for hours, mingling her tears with yours.
I naively believed the mother bear had raged into action. Not so. Determination pushed her to act, but tenderness and motherly love-not force-lifted the gun from the girl’s hand to hers. I’ve called Krista a hero but the word pales. She’s a guardian angel.”

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