A Vancouver schoolhouse had been slated for demolition after being a neighborhood fixture since 1912. But a chance conversation ensued that not only saved the building, but also moved it to a new location where it could once again have a purpose. Glyn Lewis, who works with an organization called Renewal Home Development that was pushing for the schoolhouse to be repurposed, just happened to be chatting with an official from the Squamish nation in charge of capital projects.
The official, Bob Sokol, said the nation was in serious need of new infrastructure for community services and education. Lewis asked Sokol if he was interested in saving, relocating, and repurchasing this little yellow schoolhouse from Henry Hudson Elementary? Both men were excited about the idea and together, with the Vancouver School Board, they hatched a plan.
The little yellow schoolhouse was originally a trade school for kids, where they could learn skills like metalworking and carpentry. Lewis said “We confirmed that it’s in good condition. It’s 110 years old, but it’s got beautiful, first-growth beams in it, and a lot of the systems were upgraded in the last 15 years. It would have been a shame to demolish it.”
They had the building lifted from its plot in Kitsilano and floated it using a barge—in its entirety—to the North Shore where it will head to the Capilano Reserve. Once the building relocation is complete, the Nation will repurpose it to teach children their indigenous language. Lewis said “I’m relieved. I’m excited. We’re proving with this little yellow schoolhouse there are more responsible, sustainable pathways to removing a building. We shouldn’t just bulldoze everything because it’s the easy thing to do.”
Video of a rescue during the California wildfires circulated social media channels worldwide and captured the hearts of millions. The video shows an officer in Arvin, California trying to rescued a frightened dog that was chained up and hiding between a fence next to a burning mobile home. As the heat intensified, Officer Adam Calderon vaulted over a fence and worked amid blazing heat to save a chained dog from a raging fire.
After learning that the dog was chained in the yard, Calderon jumped a rickety 6-foot fence, found him cowering just beyond the flames, and got to work trying desperately to free him, eventually using hedge clippers. As Calderon’s body cam footage shows, the process took time and all the while, the officer comforted the scared dog with kind words as the flames threatened to overtake both of them.
Calderon said “My back was already on fire. Whenever I was able to shelter the dog, my back was burning, and at one point I thought I was going to have to give up. I just hope it motivates people to do the right thing at the right time. And I hope any officer can put an animal ahead of his life like we put people ahead of our own lives.” Once the dog was freed, Officer Calderon rushed the dog away from the heat and sat on a curb comforting him while they recovered from the heat. Calderon is receiving a Compassionate Action Award from PETA after saving the dog.
A postal worker in Scotland saved a vulnerable senior from being scammed out of $3000. When the elderly woman came into the Paisley Post Office, manager Najma Mohammad noticed she was visibly shaken. Thankfully, the manager who was familiar with the customer, asked if everything was ok.
The customer hesitated but told her what was in the package, three thousand dollars that she’d withdrawn from her bank. The scammers had contacted her and claimed to be from her bank, saying there was “unusual activity on her account”. They told her she should withdraw all her savings and send it to an address so they could “deposit it into a new account”.
The post office detailed the incident on their Facebook page, saying: “As the customer was known to us, we thought that it was out of character and asked what was in the package.”
Ms. Mohammad immediately told her it was likely to be a scam—and she should contact her bank to verify the information. All the while, the scammers kept calling her back. This time however, “Najma answered and they hung up.”
The bank confirmed that no such call of this type had or ever would be made regarding withdrawal of money. The post office stressed that it’s important to let our elderly loved ones know about the variety of scams that are being perpetrated, so they don’t fall prey. “Could we please stress the importance of letting elderly loved ones know about this on a regular basis as sadly, falling prey to scammers is becoming more common.”
A first-grade teacher in the Bronx started a non-profit Barbershop Books, after seeing one of his students looking bored while waiting at a local Barbershop. Alvin Irby said it was five years ago that he thought to himself while sitting in the chair at a Barbershop, that it was a perfect opportunity to practice reading.
The non-profit has since delivered 50,000 free books to more than 200 barber shops in predominantly black neighborhoods in 24 states. Irby’s non-profit installs child-friendly reading spacex in the barbershops and fills the spaces with free books around the country. Irby teaches the barbers in all the shops how to help encourage kids to read, such as by asking if they like to read, or what they think about one of the books in the shop.
Irby says the barbers’ interactions are key to encouraging reading. “We are putting books in a male-centered space, less than 2% of teachers are Black males and many Black boys are raised by single moms. Black boys don’t see Black men reading” he said. Irby says the idea is not just about enriching a child’s mind but improving their proficiency in school, where he says is pretty much the only place kids see reading happening.
The St. Louis Police Department has partnered with the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, and St. Louis public schools in order to promote positive relationships within the community. The St. Louis CHESS Cops – or “Cops Helping Enhance Student Skills” – are a team of nine police officers who have been certified chess instructors.
The group then teaches classes for inner-city youth, which serve to educate them on critical thinking skills, planning, and logic. The program comes at a time when relationships between Missouri law enforcement and inner-city communities are strained. When the CHESS cops held their first kick-off event at Gateway Middle School- the results were magical.
Lieutenant Perri Johnson of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said “Our officers are so excited to be a part of this program. It is critical for law enforcement to establish positive relationships with members of the St. Louis community early on, and this program helps us do just that.”
“Saint Louis CHESS Cops is a program that truly exhibits the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis’s positive involvement in the community and current affairs,” said Tony Rich, CCSCSL Executive Director. “It is a prime example of how chess can teach fundamental lessons, build constructive relationships, and ultimately make a difference in the lives of young people.”
A Philadelphia man was recognized for his efforts to improve lives in the community he once sold drugs in. Tyrique Glasgow started Tyrique’s community center on Taney Street in South Philadelphia and devotes his time to supporting the children of his neighborhood. He runs the community center out of a building he used to use for drug-dealing, and now gives children a safe place to enjoy summer camps, after school activities, or just play and get away from the violence and despair.
Glasgow went down a tragic road through a life of drug-dealing, crime, prison, and accumulating 11 gunshot wounds before he made the choice to focus on helping the kids in his community avoid the violent path he went down. “I got tired of my community following me in a negative direction and I wanted them to follow me in a positive direction. The kids really gave me a purpose” he said.
He coaches a flag football team, a girl’s dance squad, and runs the Young Chances Foundation to create safe programming for urban youths and low income families to grow and thrive. His approach of activities and community roundtable engagements with police officers has had a radical effect on the well-being of his neighborhood, with shooting rates dramatically falling within the 17th police district, even while increasing elsewhere in the city.
Glasgow doesn’t stop at youth however, he also helps connect people with addiction therapy, rental assistance, GED classes, and mental health counseling. He also recently renovated a vacant lot from an eyesore and known drug stash into a community vegetable garden. Glasgow said “It helps reduce poverty, stress, trauma, and when your quality of life is up, the crime goes down. I try to bring people to the table to take them off the menu. They accept me because I don’t point the finger at them. I look at them and see me. I’m one of them.”
A Missouri widow continues a cherished tradition with her late husband of over 30 years through a modest flower store. Cierlita McGee, 78, runs a flower stand named “Just Because” in a Springfield parking lot, seeking to brighten the day of those who pass by, all in memory of her late husband, George.
McGee started her flower stand on July 1 to honor George who she said pampered her with presents throughout their 31-year marriage. George died on March 4, 2022, at the age of 71. “Every time he came home from work, he’d say, ‘Honey, I have a surprise for you.'” “It could be a rose stem, a bar of chocolate, or a $1 scratch ticket,” McGee explained. “I’d jump up and down.” He continuously told me, ‘It’s just because,’ so I named my company Just Because…”
The 78-year-old widow is originally from the Philippines where she worked as a high school and college teacher before relocating to the United States to further her education. She has a bachelor’s degree in business and has spent her life committed to helping others. Cierlita has taught English as a second language to newly arrived refugees assisting disabled adults in their homes.
Cierlita and George met in Hawaii in the 1980s while she was working as a residential counselor with three challenged persons at the time. After George relocated to Chicago, Cierlita went to Springfield Missouri to pursue her master’s degree in special education at Missouri State University. When she arrived, she called George, who relocated to Springfield, where they spent 31 years together. Cierlita decided to open the flower stand to honor him by brightening people’s days the way he brightened hers for years “Just Because”.
On the first night of her two-show run in Denver, Taylor Swift made a generous donation to the Food Bank of the Rockies, which offers over a million meals per week in Colorado. The nonprofit said the donation paid for 75,000 meals. Swift has been donating to food banks across the United States while on her Eras Tour.
Food Bank Rockies tweeted “Amazing news! We’ve received a super generous donation from the amazing @taylorswift13 and her incredible team! This fantastic gift means we can purchase enough food to provide 75,000 nutritious meals! Thank you for supporting food banks across the country, including ours!”
The Food Bank of the Rockies says it’s seeing 40 to 60% more people attending its mobile pantries currently when compared to the same time last year. The nonprofit says it’s distributing enough food daily for over 180,000 meals. Aditi Desai, chief marketing officer at Food Bank of the Rockies said “We are seeing more need now than we ever have before. This is hitting Food Bank of the Rockies’ budget hard. To meet the needs of our neighbors experiencing hunger, we are spending triple what we were pre-COVID on food purchasing every month. We’ve been able to meet the increased demand thanks to the generosity of individuals like Taylor Swift. Her gift will help fuel our work across the Rockies and allow us to distribute more food to our communities. I was shocked and then thrilled by the news! We are grateful for her inspired support in answering the challenge of hunger.”
The gift comes at a time when more people and families are struggling with rising costs of living. Feeding America projects that 1 in 11 people are currently experiencing hunger in the region. Between inflation and the end of many COVID-era relief measures like the SNAP emergency benefit allotment, there is a huge increase in need.
NBA legend Shaquille O’Neil decided to give a swarm of kids the memory of a lifetime at a Honolulu resort. Although the water was less than waist height for the 7.1-foot-tall man pretended he was drowning and allowed the kids to “save” him. Shaq flopped over on his side, floating listlessly as the group of kids huddled around him to join the rescue.
The kids all pitched in, and 7 of them were needed to turn the giant over onto his back before swimming him to safety. At that point, he stood up and thanked them for saving him. Another vacationer, Daniel Chavez, filmed the amusing scene. Chavez said he felt conflicted about filming the famous LA Lakers center-turned-sports analyst while on vacation.
Chavez said “Part of me was like, hmm, should I film this?” Or, no. 2, should I just enjoy the moments? No. 3, I’m like, he’s relaxing, he’s on vacation, why am I gonna bother this guy’s privacy? But the journalist in me said, ‘No. No, this guy’s being real right now, he’s being such a cool guy. I’m sure people would love to see this side of him.’”
Later in the lobby, Daniel was able to meet Shaq in person, who was “so humble” and even agreed to have a photo with the TikToker. Chavez’s tiktok post has been shared millions of times, once again showing the NBA legend’s fun loving side that endears him to fans.
Video of a young farmer driving his motorbike with a leopard hog-tied over the rear wheel was initially thought to be footage of the man caught in the act of leopard poaching in India. It’s since been revealed that the man was actually saving the leopard’s life.
The man, Venugopal aka Muttu, from the Hassan District of the Indian state of Karnataka, found the juvenile leopard lying unconscious in the corner of his field. After observing the leopard for some time, Mr. Muttu concluded it was not well, so he summoned up the courage to intervene. He realized it was too exhausted to move, so he brought it back to the village on his motorbike.
Seeing their neighbor with the cat, the villagers immediately called the forest service who got to Muttu, learned of the situation, and sped the leopard off to veterinary care. Officials said the leopard is around 9 months old and appears to have wandered into the area looking for food when it became severely dehydrated.
The leopard is being treated for dehydration and would not have survived without human intervention. When asked about the way Muttu tied the leopard to his bike, Ashish Reddy, an official from the Hassan DCF, said the state was not intending to press charges as the leopard is in stable condition and there was no criminal intent behind Muttu’s actions.