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3 weeks ago · by · Comments Off on Solar Panel Worker Rescues Missing Autistic Girl in Plymouth MA

Solar Panel Worker Rescues Missing Autistic Girl in Plymouth MA

A Hanover man is being called a guardian angel for rescuing a missing five-year-old girl with autism who had wandered from her home in Plymouth, MA. Jake Manna, 20, was at work installing solar panels at a home when he learned the neighborhood girl was missing. Manna didn’t know the area but decided to join the search.

A spokesperson for the police department said Manna and one of the girl’s neighbors decided to search an area other searchers hadn’t headed and walked down a rural trail that ended at a stream. There, he noticed a diaper and t-Shirt in the stream. Manna panicked and said his heart dropped when he saw the clothing. He ran down the stream to a marsh area where he spotted the girl waist deep in the water.

He called out to her but she continued wading outward so waded out and put her over his shoulder, carrying her to safety. Officer Vinnie Roth, who responded to the original call, called Jake “a guardian angel” for the young girl. “Jake is not from Plymouth and doesn’t know the area. If he didn’t pick that path and see the missing clothing, we hate to think about what the outcome would have been” Roth said.

Plymouth Police Department said in a Facebook post “If he didn’t pick that path and see the missing clothing, we hate to think about what the outcome would have been.” Manna later met with Plymouth police officers Chief Dana Flynn and Captain LeBretton to receive a certificate and Command Coin for his heroic deed who described him as he’s the nicest, most unassuming young man that one could meet.

The mother of the young girl said it was the worst moment of her life and she’s very grateful for Manna and others involved in her rescue. Manna was humble about his actions, crediting the many people who helped bring the girl home safe. “I wouldn’t call myself a hero. It was just the right time, right place. And I think anyone else would’ve done the same,” Manna said. “It’s good the community came together and everyone helped.”

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4 weeks ago · by · Comments Off on Kentucky Woman Pays It Forward After Lottery Win

Kentucky Woman Pays It Forward After Lottery Win

A Kentucky woman decided to pay it forward after a lottery win by handing out gift cards to strangers. Earlier this month, Crystal Dunn of Louisville won $146,000 playing the Bank Buster Jackpot Instant Play game online after wagering just $20. A few seconds later, she got a message on her computer screen saying that she had won the progressive jackpot which starts at $100,000 and increases with each ticket purchase.

Dunn said she didn’t believe she had actually won until she received an email from the lottery officials confirming the win. “I saw that and didn’t believe it at first. It’s a pretty exciting feeling. I never thought I would win something like this, but this goes to show it can happen.” Dunn decided to pay it forward after receiving her winnings, which amounted to $103,909.73 after taxes.

After depositing the check in the bank, lottery officials said she immediately made a stop at a local Meijer grocery store where she purchased $2,000 in gift cards. She then walked around the store giving the gift cards to random strangers. Dunn said “A few were taken back, thinking I was wanting something in return. I got an unexpected gift and I believe in paying it forward and wanted to pass it along.”

Dunn told lottery officials she wanted to pay it forward and she also plans to use the remainder of winnings on things she was already working toward, such as buying a car and paying off bills. “I’ve worked hard for everything I’ve had. This is a pretty amazing gift,” she said.

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1 month ago · by · Comments Off on Texas Bartender Given $4K Tip From Stranger

Texas Bartender Given $4K Tip From Stranger

A Texas bartender got a shock on a typical Tuesday night shift at Chances Dance Hall in Cleburne, Texas. Chelsea Lantrip, a single mom, received a $4000 tip. Lantrip said that two girls she had not seen at the bar before came in among the crowd of regulars. One of the women ordered a round of drinks for everyone at the dance hall. Bell said that their bill came to $179.50.

When it came time to pay the tab, the woman tipped Lantrip $1000. When Lantrip started to cry, the woman said ‘No, that’s not good enough,’ and raised it to $2,000,” Bell recalled. By the time that Bell ultimately picked up the receipt, the woman had increased the tip to $4,000. “I didn’t believe it until it went through the credit card machine, I still didn’t believe it until it hit the bank,” Bell said.

The owner of Chances Dance Hall said the tip was crucial because Lantrip is a single mom living paycheck to paycheck, tip to tip, without money to spare. “Her son will be heading off to Texas A&M University in the fall and while he has a scholarship and a grant to attend the college, it’s not quite enough to cover the full cost of tuition,” Senese said.

Lantrip said she’s going to take her family to dinner, pay some bills and help her son. Senese said all she knew about the two was that the woman who gave the tip received an inheritance recently and felt compelled to “tithe it to a stranger.” She expressed how grateful she was to the good Samaritan who shared her good fortune with her during what would have been a regular Tuesday shift. “I believe in guardian angels, I believe in people coming into your life at the right time that you need them. And she was definitely one of them” Lantrip said.

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1 month ago · by · Comments Off on Tech Fairy Has Given Hundreds of Refurbished Devices Away

Tech Fairy Has Given Hundreds of Refurbished Devices Away

Craig Clark of Tara, Fl is known as the Tech Fairy. Clark uses his skills to give new life to old computers. He puts out a call on the Nextdoor website for laptops and desktop computers in need of repair. Once he’s done fixing them, Clark gives the computers away to people who need them, with the goal of “hopefully improving their lives.”

His days as the Tech Fairy began five years ago when he came across an employee at a 7-Eleven. Clark complimented her on how she dealt with a complaining customer. During their conversation, Clark learned the employee had dropped out of college because someone had stolen her laptop when she was taking online classes. The two met at a McDonald’s when the employee wasn’t working, and Clark gave her a refurbished laptop for free. She went on to get her associate’s degree in business.

Clark has distributed more than 430 repaired computers since. He has given devices to a Vietnam veteran who wasn’t able to afford a desktop computer, a Wawa employee who has two sons and needed a laptop, and a McDonald’s employee who had to study online by using her phone. Clark, 74, fixes about 6 devices per month and most of the people he’s helped he’s met by happenstance while out running errands.

“I’ve got the skill; I’ve got the time; I’ve got the resources. So who wouldn’t do it?” he said. “For me to spend my time productively to the benefit of others is my reward. I have to be doing something, and this filled a huge need in my personal psyche,” Clark said. “It keeps me busy, keeps me challenged. This is a 50-50 reward because I help others, but I’m also keeping my brain alert and keeping up to date with current technology. If I didn’t do this, I don’t know what I would do.”

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1 month ago · by · Comments Off on New York Public Library Giving Away 500,000 Books

New York Public Library Giving Away 500,000 Books

The New York Public Library launched a Summer at the Library initiative that includes a slew of free programs to entice readers. A full list of free programs and offerings—ranging from baby lapsit programs to arts and crafts for teens—can be found at their website. The library, which serves the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island-is highlighting the centerpiece of the program, a large scale book giveaway.

They are giving away 500,000 books for free to kids, teens and families at all of its branch locations. The initiative is an effort to help folks build their at-home libraries and “strengthen the city’s ecosystem of learning,” according to an official press release. Some libraries will even offer Spanish, Chinese and large print titles to keep.

The program started June 9th and anyone 18 and under can go to one of the branches with their library card or sign up for one and select a free book. The Summer at the Library project offers a list of over 100 summer reading recommendations from expert librarians. It also offers programs like storytimes and podcasting workshops; outdoor pop-ups that include library card sign-up events and others involving the NYPL’s famous bookmobiles; and a number of other initiatives targeted directly to adults.

Educators agree that reading over the summer is critical to helping kids maintain learning while school is out and also for fostering social-emotional development. Eighty-three-percent of educators say reading helps students understand people that are different from them, 81% say reading helps students develop empathy, and 81% say reading helps students see themselves in characters and stories.

Multiple studies have shown that owning books is a big boost to children’s literacy. Chidlren growing up in a home with at least 80 books are associated with higher literacy levels. Teens who grew up with a library of books at home “become as literate, numerate and technologically apt in adulthood as university graduates who grew up with only a few books.” A child who owns just one book of their own is six times more likely to read above grade level and three times as likely to enjoy reading.

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2 months ago · by · Comments Off on Long Island Teen Hailed Hero For Saving Woman from Patchogue Bay

Long Island Teen Hailed Hero For Saving Woman from Patchogue Bay

A Long Island teen is being hailed a hero for diving in to save a woman who accidentally drove into Patchogue Bay. Mia Samolinski, 18, stepped on the accelerator instead of the brake when pulling her Subaru Outback out of a parking spot along the docks of Long Island’s Patchogue Bay. Anthony Zhongor, 17, immediately dove into the water as her car sank.

Zhongor said “She went pretty deep in there and was banging on the door, banging on the window, trying to break the window, of course, and that kind of got me nervous, scared for her, so I just went into the water.” The door wouldn’t open from the outside either. Zhongor realized that the weight of his body tilted the nose of the car down, bringing the back of the car above water level so he kept his weight on the car, allowing Samolinski to escape through the back.

Together they swam to shore. “She just came up to me and said, ‘Oh my God, thank you’ and was crying,” Zhongor said. “It doesn’t matter who it was, they were suffering. I couldn’t watch anybody suffer in front of me.” Mia managed to make it out unscathed but was shaken up by the experience and is thankful was there at that moment.

Mia’s father Charles Samolinski visited the dock where it happened to reunite with and thank 17-year-old Anthony Zhongor for saving his daughter’s life. “The reason I’m here is because he’s really the hero of the day” Mia said. The Samolinskis expressed their their gratitude for Zhongor’s bravery. “He jumped out of his car and jumped in, and because of that, my daughter is alive and not really harmed,” said Mia’s father Charles. “It’s a miracle.”

The pair who went to the same high school live less than a mile away but never crossed paths until that night. Zhongor is set to graduate this year and will be heading off to South Carolina for Marines boot camp. Staff Sgt. Christian Erazo with the U.S. Marine Corps said “It shows that our training and mentorship has gone to the right place and I’m happy he acted because it could’ve ended somewhere very differently.”

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2 months ago · by · Comments Off on Minneapolis Community Rallies Around Elderly Neighbor Being Evicted

Minneapolis Community Rallies Around Elderly Neighbor Being Evicted

A Minneapolis community rallied around a 70 year old woman, known as the “Bright Star” in her neighborhood, when she was facing eviction after her landlord of 19 years decided to sell the property she lives in. Linda Taylor, a beloved neighbor in her community has been known for her heart of gold and her green thumbs for nearly two decades. When she was beside herself after being given two months to vacate, her neighbors stepped in.

Linda had previously owned the house she lived in but sold it when she fell prey to a real estate deal she didn’t understand. She has rented the home for about 15 years and when her landlord notified her the house would be sold, Linda knew she couldn’t afford the $299,000 selling price. After she told one neighbor in her tight knit community, word of her predicament spread fast and the greater part of Powderhorn rallied around her.

She decided to share her struggle with Andrew Fahlstrom, 41, who lives across the street and works professionally as a housing rights organizer. Since he moved to the neighborhood six years ago with his partner, he and Taylor have built a strong rapport. He contacted neighbors to see what they could do to help Taylor.

Given his line of work, Fahlstrom knows Taylor’s story isn’t unique, particularly as the local housing market has skyrocketed in recent years. “So many people are losing housing right now,” he said. “If we actually believe housing is a right, then we need to act like it, because the next stop is homelessness” Fahlstrom said.

After months of demonstrations, the 70-year-old was given the option to buy her home before the end of June. There was no one-size-fits-all approach to the fundraising efforts as the community worked together.. They held an art show, bake sale, there were countless small donations and other community-fund drives to come up with the funds needed along with some pro-bono work by a real-estate agent. The raised the money a full month ahead of the June 30th deadline.

Linda said “Yesterday I went and did the closing for the house, it makes me feel so good, everything that I have given, it’s coming back to me and I want to continue to give. I love this neighborhood.” Taylor said this marks the start of a new chapter and another opportunity to stick around and give back. “When we are sticking together, we are going to be successful in our neighborhood. We’re going to take care of each other.”

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2 months ago · by · Comments Off on California Woman Returns $36,000 Found In Couch From Craigslist

California Woman Returns $36,000 Found In Couch From Craigslist

A California woman got the shock of her life after bringing home a set of sofas and a chair that she found on Craigslist for free. Vicki Umodu of Colton, California said she just moved in and was excited to get the first pieces of furniture in her new home. A lump in the cushion of a chair she initially thought might be a heating pad but said it felt like a bunch of paper.

When she unzipped the cover, she pulled out envelopes stuffed with thousands of dollars in cash. It turned out to be more than $36,000 stashed inside the cushion. “I was just telling my son, come, come, come! I was screaming, this is money! I need to call the guy” she said. When Umodu called she learned that a family member had recently died and the family was selling furniture as they were clearing out the house. .

The man’s family said they believe it was hidden away by the deceased as part of a saving strategy. Vicki said it never once occurred to her to keep the money. “God has been kind to me and my children,” Umodu said. “They are all alive and well, I have three beautiful grandchildren, so what can I ever ask of God?”

Umodu said she was not expecting a dime from them but the owners were so grateful for her honesty that they gave Umodu $2,200 to buy a new refrigerator for herself. They also said they later found money hidden in other places in the house and are now checking all the furniture they were planning to sell-all thanks to Umodu’s honesty.

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2 months ago · by · Comments Off on Pakistan Visitor Shown Love From Birmingham Invites City to His Wedding

Pakistan Visitor Shown Love From Birmingham Invites City to His Wedding

Shahzeb Anwer left his home in Pakistan for surgery in the U.S. and says he found more than medical help in Birmingham, Alabama. The 31-year-old found his ‘home away from home’ in the southern city, and now considers it—and all its 211,000 residents—part of his family. He was so enamored by how welcoming people were he invited the entire city to his wedding.

Anwer, who suffered from kidney stones every year or two, needed a surgery that he found could be done effectively and affordable at UAB Hospital in Birmingham. He decided to do his homework on the city he had never heard of before. He posted on a small Reddit group for the Magic City asking things like what to wear and the best way to get around. He was taken back by the southern hospitality he received.

He said “People responded in a way that I wouldn’t even expect from my own people in Pakistan, it was very unexpected.” People in the group made recommendations, helped to facilitate his trip/stay by making sure he had rides to places and were cheering him on. One Birminghamer, Andrew Harris would drive him around, take him out to dinner, and ensure he got to try as many foods from other countries as possible.

He said Anwer always tried to pay him, but that he never accepted because it was like he was making a great friend out of the South Asian visitor. After the surgery was a complete success, Anwer was set to return to Pakistan. After returning to Pakistan, Anwer felt that since Harris and the rest of Birmingham had become such a positive part of his life, he wanted to invite them to his upcoming wedding.

He posted in the same Reddit group that all the members to the thread were invited, and they could bring anyone from the city. Days after his wedding he posted an update- “Hello home city and its people. I hope you’re all fine. Just a glimpse of one of my days though marriage is a multi day celebration here.” Once again he saw the southern hospitality as the group rained well-wishes on him and his fiancee.

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2 months ago · by · Comments Off on British Woman Opens Hotel to Ukraine Refugees

British Woman Opens Hotel to Ukraine Refugees

Nitsa Michael, owner of the Seaward Hotel in Weston-super-Mare, England has stopped taking guests at the the height of their busy season. Instead, she has taken in 22 Ukrainians seeking refuge from the war. Her family fled from Cyprus to Britain following a Turkish invasion in 1974, and she wanted to do something to help people in the same ‘horror situation’, fleeing from Russian aggression in Ukraine this year.

The 84 year old widow and great-grandmother of five said she felt for them and wanted to help in a big way. At her mother’s request, her daughter Michelle Michael, who is in charge of running the hotel, registered their family’s hotel on the Homes For Ukraine webpage. Before they knew it, they were welcoming their first refugee.

The hotel has room for 70 refugees and their door is still open. Michelle said “The 22 arrivals share meals and time together, and basically they heal together. Mum always has and still does listen to the news every day and it was really bothering her. She was feeling quite sad about it all, and that’s when she came up with the idea of opening the hotel to refugees. Seeing all the people staying here and how happy they are now, it’s all due to her.”

Decades earlier, Nitsa worked as a seamstress in London and her husband Axentis was a chef before they eventually moved to the South West where they took over the Seaward Hotel. They made it their family home where they raised their four children. Nitsa said seeing the refugees fleeing reminded her of the anxiety back in ‘74 when Turkey invaded. “We had no way of knowing if my father’s family were dead or alive because there was no connectivity. Everyone fled their homes with nothing to their names.”

Michelle said Nitsa visits the hotel once a week and makes sure to meet every guest and listen to their stories. She loves to see the children around in the hotel as it reminds her of raising her own four children there. She said it really has brought the hotel back to life.

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