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6 days ago · by · Comments Off on Good Samaritans Recognized for Saving Florida Woman Having Medical Emergency In Her Car

Good Samaritans Recognized for Saving Florida Woman Having Medical Emergency In Her Car

A video of Good Samaritans in Florida rushing to help a driver experiencing a medical emergency in her car went viral. The rescue happened on May 5th and the video shows several people springing into action after witnessing a gray car slowly roll into an intersection with its driver, Laurie Rabyor, unconscious at the steering wheel.

A press conference was held where Florida’s Boynton Beach Police Department recognized Jannette Rivera, Juan Chavez Jr., Michael Edelstein, David Formica, DaVida Peele, Marko Bartolone, Muriel Vaughns and Robin Fox for their quick thinking and courage. The press conference was the culmination of tracking down those who had helped. Each person was awarded a Royal Caribbean cruise and a $2,000 gift card, plus flowers.

Jannette Rivera, a co-worker of Rabyor’s had seen Rabyor slumped over her steering wheel, jumped into the street and began waving her arms to attract the attention of other motorists.
Several individuals, including Edelstein, leaped into action to find a way to stop the car, put it into park and then push it into a nearby 7-Eleven parking lot. A nurse there helped Rabyor until the fire department arrived.

Marko Bartolone said “I saw a lady chasing a car through an intersection in South Florida … and I thought, ‘Wow, she’s really mad at that other lady!. I figured out what was happening and thought, ‘I really can’t stop a car.’ But then I see Chavez … and I thought, well, with a couple of people, we could probably stop the car. I feel like I just did what anyone would do.” Michael Edelstein said “I’m stunned to be standing here. I was in the right place at the right time. … I was the fool that jumped in front of the car and then tried to punch the window out.”

Rabynor says she doesn’t remember any of it. “They all just came together to help a little old lady and I appreciate it so, so much. … It is so wonderful to see something nice today instead of all this crap that’s going on in the world and even in our community. … It’s so nice to see something nice” she said.

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1 week ago · by · Comments Off on Planned Bronx Housing Complex Will Have Biodigester Turning Food Waste Into Fertilizer

Planned Bronx Housing Complex Will Have Biodigester Turning Food Waste Into Fertilizer

A new community housing development in the Bronx will feature an on-site biodigester that can turn 1,100 pounds of food scraps into 220 pounds of high-quality fertilizer every single day. A biodigester is basically a big stomach filled with bacteria that breaks down food scraps and wasted food into their component parts. Producing fertilizer right there in the city reduces the need for it to be trucked in from afar.

The Peninsula, organized by Gilbane Development Company, was selected to transform the former Spofford Juvenile Detention Center in the Bronx’s Hunts Point community into a 5-acre campus featuring 100% affordable housing, good jobs, and recreational space. The complex
will feature 740 units of affordable housing, 50,000 square-foot light industrial space and equal sized green space, and 15,000 feet of commercial space, all of which will send their food scraps into the digester.

Built by Harp Renewables, the biodigester will be the first ever in a New York residential building. Each year, nearly 4 million tons of New York’s organic waste end up in landfills. Digesters have the potential to turn one of building owners’ biggest problems into a payday and have the potential to become a standard part of all apartment units as the amount of food waste in America reaches 30% of the total mass of all trash collection.

Another problem these aerobic or bio-digesters could potentially help is pollution and greenhouse gas emissions since fertilizer is a big emitter of all three of the most-targeted GHGs. Food scraps emit more greenhouse gasses in the U.S. than airplanes but biodigesters are clean eaters. They don’t emit carbon dioxide or methane, and their output replaces synthetic fertilizers. Bio-digesters by design keep the CO2 and methane in the fertilizer produced, rather than it entering the atmosphere.

Fertilizer, like quarry dust and ammonia is often imported from countries who specialize in its production, such as Norway, but also Russia and Ukraine, whose conflict has recently highlighted the fragility of the supply chain with sharp price increases. This importation means thousands of tons of CO2 gets emitted during transportation.

The U.S. has over 2,200 biodigesters in all 50 states; 250 digesters on farms, 1,269 water resource recovery facilities are using biodigesters and 66 stand-alone systems. More than half of those used on farms and in industrial facilities are an energy resource for producing electricity or usable heat for operations at the facility. Biodigesters are slowly making their way into residential and industrial spaces around the country because they combat several issues. Digesters can last for decades if used correctly, paying off their initial investment and generating long-lasting returns.

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3 weeks ago · by · Comments Off on 12 Year Old Boy Raises $325,000 for Children of Ukraine

12 Year Old Boy Raises $325,000 for Children of Ukraine

A 12 year old British boy’s woodworking project went viral so he seized the opportunity to raise money for the children of Ukraine through Save the Children.  Richard Clarkie knows of his son Gabriel’s love for woodwork and decided to post a tweet to encourage others to order his son’s creations.  The proud father posted a link to his son’s hobby of carving wooden bowls and posting them for sale on Instagram.

Richard’s tweet read “Lovely twitter people – I don’t know how many of you are also #instagram users but I’m looking for a wee favor. I’ve a 12yr old who loves woodwork. He spends hours on his lathe making bowls and creating chopping boards which he sells to save up for a mountain bike. So I was wondering if any of you fancied giving him a boost and following him on instagram at clarkie_woodwork it would make his day. Thanks in advance and feel free to retweet!”

Neither of them expected much from the tweet, and they certainly didn’t expect Clarkie’s Instagram account to grow from a modest 6 followers to 227,000 in just 48 hours.  Gabriel, who lives in Cumbria in northern England, quickly received 20,000 orders. But rather than fulfilling so many orders, he decided to make just a single bowl.  To symbolize the Ukrainian Flag, the wooden bowl was etched with blue and yellow rings.

Clarkie Woodwork——announced Gabrial would make one single bowl, Gabriel’s Bowl For Ukraine, to be given out in a lottery to anyone who makes a donation to Save The Children Ukraine.  His instagram page went viral again and with a little help from celebrity retweets by the likes of J.K Rowling, Nick Offerman and Stephen Fry. The $6,260 donation quickly grew to $325,000 with nearly 15,000 people donating.  

The lucky winner was Renuka Chapman who said “When Gabriel rang me to let me know I’d won the bowl, I was completely overwhelmed— I’ve never won a single thing before!  This bowl will be one of my most treasured possessions. It represents hope, compassion, and kindness… It will have pride of place in my home.”  Richard Clarkie said “I never imagined that my tweet would turn into this amazing thing… Somehow, it’s resulted in people donating over $325,000 to help children in Ukraine, it’s just incredible!” 

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3 months ago · by · Comments Off on NFL Prospect Goes Viral For Act of Kindness Caught On Video By Passerby

NFL Prospect Goes Viral For Act of Kindness Caught On Video By Passerby

A college football player and NFL prospect’s touching act of kindness to a homeless pregnant woman has gone viral. Malik Willis, 22, a senior at Liberty University and a quarterback for the Liberty Flames, was in Indianapolis, Indiana for the 2022 NFL scouting combine when his deed was caught on video by a passerby.

Willis had just left a Nike event where the sportswear brand gifted him a suitcase full of new clothes when he saw a homeless woman and her son sitting on the sidewalk. He stopped and gave her some new shirts — completely unaware that an admirer was capturing the moment on camera from across the street.

The video was shared on Twitter by user Ryan Lacey, who recorded it while Willis’ kind act was already in progress. Willis was spotted on the sidewalk of Indianapolis talking to a person who was sitting on a milk crate and asking passers by for money. The Liberty QB opened his suitcase to hand over clothes to help. The video quickly went viral, and in just a day, it had been viewed over 3.1 million times on Twitter and shared with many commenters praising him for being a good person even when no one is looking.

Willis quickly became the darling of the 2022 NFL scouting combine and was asked about the act later that day on an NFL Network broadcast. ‘I walked past her on the way to the Nike suite and I chopped it up with them and I walked out with a suitcase and whatnot and I felt bad because I saw her son. It was a pregnant lady and she was homeless. And I was just like, “Shoot, I don’t have money, but I can give you a couple of shirts. I just felt like I had to do that. I mean, I’m at a position right now where I’m not worried about much of anything except getting better. So, if I can help her out in any way, I felt like I had to” Willis said.

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3 months ago · by · Comments Off on Former College Roommate Donates Liver To Friend

Former College Roommate Donates Liver To Friend

A former college roommate is donating liver to his friend he hadn’t seen in 21 years. Steven Robinson, 57, was on a family road trip to Detroit when he realized his old friend, Richard Koonce, lived in Ohio. Robinson called Koonce as they were passing through. Koonce, 62, invited Robinson and his family over for an unplanned visit. When the family arrived, Robinson was taken back by Koonce’s considerable weight loss.

Koonce has been battling a rare liver disease called primary sclerosing cholangitis, or PSC, since 2019. PSC is a potentially life-threatening, incurable, and rare, yet chronic liver disease that the American Liver Foundation says causes scarring in a person’s bile ducts, leading to infections, tumors, and severe liver failure.

Koonce had tried various treatment options with little success, and was seeking a living donor for a liver transplant. Since the liver is the only organ in the human body that can grow cells and regenerate itself, donors can give part of their liver to people who need them and regrow their own. Robinson did not hesitate, offering to donate a piece of his liver to save his friend. Robinson was a match with the same blood type.

The chance encounter between the pair of former HBCU college roommates last summer set the stage for the life-saving operation that was performed on Valentine’s Day at a Cleveland hospital. Robinson will be in recovery for six to eight weeks and Koonce’s recovery will take about six months. Robinson said “I think it was a spiritual thing, I always had love for the brother and I could see something was wrong. I could see it in his eyes.”

The unlikely story highlights the dire need for more Black organ donors in the United States, where Black people make up the largest share of minorities in need of organ transplants, according to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health report. Nearly 84% of organs received from Black people in 2020 were from donors who had died, according to study, but only about 16% of Black organ donations that year came from living donors.

Prior to his college roommate’s decision, Koonce had only shared news of his condition with a small group of friends. “I couldn’t ask any of them to do this,” he said. “But if it’s something you want to do, I can give you the information. That was my position. “I am so truly grateful for the gift of life that God has offered through my friend, Steve Robinson, who decided almost within the very minute that he learned of my disease to step up and do whatever he could to help me,” Koonce said.

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5 months ago · by · Comments Off on Tik Toker Raises $20,000 for Christmas Gifts

Tik Toker Raises $20,000 for Christmas Gifts

Thanks to the kindness and determination of one woman, Christmas came early at Happy Valley Elementary School in Johnson City, Tn. Mariah Walker moved to Tennessee three months ago and jumped headfirst into helping the community. Walker, who moved from California, had asked her Tik Tok followers last year to help sponsor foster kids for Christmas. “We came from California and last year, we helped some kids in foster care, like 10 of them at a local foster agency,” said Walker. “When I came here, I knew I wanted to do the same thing.”

She was already working with The Rise Up program when a chance conversation with their Amazon driver, Donnie, led her to Happy Valley Elementary. Walker’s husband told Donnie they were looking for more children to sponsor. Donnie suggested there was some need at Happy Valley Elementary, where his wife Becky works as a secretary. She once again turned to her 144,000 Tik Tok followers for help and raised $20,000 for Christmas gifts.

“I put videos out on TikTok and all my followers just bought gifts for all the kids or donated money,” said Walker. “They donated like $20,000.” Local businesses also pitched in. Walker said she got 400 gift cards from Owl’s Nest, and they donated another 50 for free and that Open Doors gave her a discount on the gift card. Walker raised enough not only to give each Happy Valley Elementary schooler a toy, book or coloring book, and candy. She also gave each and every Happy Valley Middle and High schooler a gift card. Almost 700 gift cards in total. Walker incorporated the help of a local youth group to wrap the hundreds of presents before the big day.

The gifts weren’t Walker’s only gift to the school. According to Greer, Walker and her followers bought $2,000 in books for the Happy Valley Elementary School library during their book fair earlier this fall. Happy Valley Elementary School Principal Mandy Greer said they managed to keep this a secret from the students. Greer said they are thankful for not only the gifts, but the outpouring of love from Walker, her followers, and the local community.

Before Walker “went viral,” last year she had around 8,000 followers, accrued through content meant to uplift and connect those in relatable situations. Walker said she enjoys watching and creating content related to parenting because it provides opportunities for human connection as well as escape from chaotic reality. Walker said when she asked for help sponsoring foster kids last year she realized the community building potential of Tik Tok.

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6 months ago · by · Comments Off on GoFundMe for Kevin Strickland Raises Over $1.6 Million

GoFundMe for Kevin Strickland Raises Over $1.6 Million

A GoFundMe set up for Kevin Strickland, the Missouri man freed after serving 43 years in prison for a triple murder he did not commit, has raised over $1.6 million dollars. Missouri law states that only DNA evidence can lead to someone wrongfully imprisoned receiving $50 per day of post-conviction confinement but Kevin Strickland was not freed through DNA evidence so a GoFundMe was launched.

Strickland was sent to prison in 1979 but has maintained his innocence for four decades stating he was home watching television at the time. No physical evidence ever linked him to the crime scene and Cynthia Douglas, the sole witness to the crime, said detectives pressured her to pick Strickland out of a lineup. Two suspects, Kim Adkins and Vincent Bell, were later arrested. Bell was a childhood friend of Strickland’s, and lived at a house nearby. Police found a fingerprint belonging to Strickland on Bell’s car; Strickland says this was because he had driven the car before, but the last time he had seen Adkins and Bell was at 5 or 6 p.m. on the night of the murders. Both Adkins and Bell confessed to the murders and said Strickland was not involved.

Cynthia Douglas attempted several times to recant her testimony before her death in 2015. In 2009, she emailed the Midwest Innocence Project, saying, “I am seeking info on how to help someone that was wrongfully accused. I was the only eyewitness and things were not clear back then, but now I know more and would like to help this person if I can.” Douglas said police told her, “Just pick Strickland out of the lineup and we’ll be done, it will all go away, you can go on and you don’t have to worry about these guys no more.”

The Kansas City Star did an investigation into Strickland’s case in September 2020 which prompted prosecutors to review the case. Former prosecutors in Strickland’s case then said they thought he was innocent as well, along with federal prosecutors for the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri, the Mayor of Kansas City Quinton Lucas and more than a dozen state lawmakers.

On November 23, 2021, Judge James Welsh overturned Strickland’s conviction “since it was not based on physical evidence but on eye-witness testimony, who later recanted her account”. Strickland was released on the same day and exonerated after more than 42 years in prison, making his case the longest confirmed wrongful-conviction case in Missouri’s history.

Strickland, now 62 and confined to a wheelchair, said the first thing he did when released was visit his mother’s grave, who passed away in August 2021. Strickland said he plans to find a place to live where he can be alone, have some pets and make arrangements to try to unite his family who he says are spread out in Florida, California and Michigan. “I’d like to spend my final days trying to get everybody together and have a big family get-together where we all get together and see who’s who.”

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6 months ago · by · Comments Off on “Thanksgiving Grandma” Wanda and Jamal Celebrate Thanksgiving for Sixth Year

“Thanksgiving Grandma” Wanda and Jamal Celebrate Thanksgiving for Sixth Year

Thursday marked the sixth Thanksgiving for Jamal Hinton and Wanda Dench – the pair who met after a Thanksgiving Day invite was accidentally sent to the wrong number over text message. The two first met in 2016 when Dench, from Mesa, Az., sent a text inviting Hinton over for dinner. It was meant for her grandson, who had changed his phone number. Instead, Hinton, who was 17 at the time, got the message while sitting in class at Desert Vista High School.

Hinton replied” You’re not my grandma,” with a laughing emoji. He then sent back a selfie so Dench knew he was not her grandson and asked if he could stop by for dinner anyway. Dench welcomed him with open arms. “Of course you can. That’s what grandmas do … feed everyone” Dench texted. The former strangers have been sharing the holiday ever since with Hinton documenting the holiday each year on his social media.

Hinton had told his social media followers last week that the two would be celebrating the day together again. “We are all set for year 6!” he wrote, alongside a picture of a text message from Dench inviting him, his girlfriend Mikaela and his family over. He also included a photo of himself, Dench, Mikaela and Dench’s late husband Lonnie, who died in April 2020 after a battle with Covid-19.

Last year, Hinton posted a video on YouTube documenting the 2020 dinner he and Mikaela shared with Dench – months after Dench’s husband Lonnie died. “I want to say thank you to all of the people that sent their blessings and their condolences and their well wishes for me,” Dench said in the video. It’s still going to take a lot of time…but when I get visits from these guys, it really perks me up,” she said.

Since their story went viral in 2016 Dench gets recognized as “Thanksgiving Grandma.” The two have celebrated more than just Thanksgiving together; Christmas, birthdays, and exciting new opportunities have come their way. They also shared their losses together. Wanda credits social media for helping her through the loss of her husband as well. “I get so many people giving condolences, and they’re so genuine and so uplifting,” she said.

Dench said it’s been an amazing journey. “I would have missed out on a wonderful relationship,” Dench said, when asked what would have happened if she hadn’t invited Hinton over years ago. “I’ve changed my view so much on the younger generation, and now that I’ve reflected back on all these years, I didn’t change their life; they changed mine.”
Hinton said Dench is an amazing person and he is blessed to have met her.

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9 months ago · by · Comments Off on North Carolina Man Opens Home to Foster Kids During Pandemic

North Carolina Man Opens Home to Foster Kids During Pandemic

A North Carolina dad, Peter Mutabazi understands what it means to be given a second chance.
Born in Uganda to an abusive father, Mutabazi ran away at 10 years old until a Good Samaritan took him in. Mutabazi says his difficult childhood gave him empathy and he wanted to help those that have been forgotten. Since 2017, he has fostered more than a dozen children.

After attending college in the U.K. he moved to the United States to work for World Vision, a nonprofit that helps children. Mutabazi knew he wanted to create a safe home for children, something he didn’t have when he was a child, so he began serving as a foster parent. Soon after, he fostered his now adopted son, Anthony, who was placed with him in 2018 after being abandoned by his adoptive parents at age 11.

Upon placement, Anthony asked whether he could call Mutabazi dad. “I just wanted somewhere that I could feel safe and secure and I knew that I could stay there without worrying about moving somewhere else” Anthony said. More than anything, Mutabazi wanted to make Anthony his son. “Anthony would always ask me, ‘Hey Dad, when will I be officially adopted? And of course, with foster care you never know when” Mutabazi said.

On Nov. 12, 2019, Anthony’s adoption was made official. As the coronavirus began to spread rapidly around the world, Mutabazi knew he needed to help. He said “Most homes have been closed, so I knew there were not many places to go.” In March 2020, the father-son duo welcomed another foster child, Kai, into their home. “With foster care, they are overloaded with kids and I could not imagine a kid wanting a safe place to be loved in the midst of this. … I could not say no. I had to find a way to give him a safe place, a safe home” Mutabazi said.

Mutabazi said helping children is his calling and has since welcomed two more children into his home, for a total of four kids at the Mutabazi house. My goal is to lift up those who have been forgotten and to say you’re special, you matter,” he said. Mutabazi said he knows how it feels to be a child who is facing abandonment and fear. He said the man who took him in years ago had been a complete stranger who became a mentor and changed his life.

Peter said he knew that teens had lower adoption rates than younger children, and they often wait longer to be adopted, if ever, putting them at much greater risk for a troubled future—so he became a licensed foster dad and hosted 12 different placements over the years. While many people focus on what can go wrong, Peter focuses on the benefits and rewards of giving a teen a chance, just like the chance he was given. “Most of all, I can give them the love and attention they deserve. To let them know they belong. I couldn’t ignore my history or the opportunities that had been given to me by strangers…and I know just how many kids out there have no one. I know what it feels like to have no dreams, no hope.”

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9 months ago · by · Comments Off on UK 11 Year Old Has Raised Over $700K for Hospice Care

UK 11 Year Old Has Raised Over $700K for Hospice Care

Last year, just before the pandemic reached the UK, Max Woosey’s parents were helping to care for a neighbor, Rick Abbott, who had terminal cancer. They came to appreciate how vital it was that the local hospice in North Devon was able to help their neighbor remain in his own home, which was his final wish. Just before he died, Abbott gave Max a tent and made the 11 year old promise to go have an adventure.

As the pandemic lockdowns took hold, Max realized that fundraising for hospice care had stopped and the idea for his adventure began. Max began his sponsored camp-out at the start of the UK’s first lockdown in March 2020 because he knew that the hospice would need support as all fundraising activity essentially stopped overnight. Now known to millions as ‘The Boy in the Tent’ – Max has spent the 500th night of his charity camp-out in what has been an incredible year for him.

His determination has inspired people from across the globe to donate to his Just Giving page, which has so far raised more than $770,000 for North Devon Hospice. While Max has had to battle with everything the British weather could throw at him, leaving him wet and cold on many a night, he has also had some once-in-a-lifetime experiences. While his adventure was spurred by tragedy Max said “I didn’t realise it would last as long as it did, but I’m so happy with the money that has been raised for the hospice, and the experiences I’ve had along the way have been awesome.”

Max’s mom, Rachael Woosey, said that the last 500 days have been life-changing for the family.
“It has been a whole other world. It started off as my little 10-year-old boy camping out in the garden for a few nights and hoping to raise money for the local hospice. None of us can really believe what has happened since. There have been so many exciting opportunities for Max along the way. We’re so proud of how he has kept his feet on the ground and taken everything in his stride because the attention at times would have been a lot to cope with. I’ve said to him on numerous occasions that he doesn’t have to stay outside anymore and that he has already achieved something special, but he always says no. He wanted to carry on because he never lost sight of why he was doing this, and he always wanted to raise more money for the hospice.”

Jo Dedes, director of care at North Devon Hospice said “Max is a genuine superstar, and the difference he has made this year is just incredible. This has been a worrying time for charities. It still is because people rely on North Devon Hospice during the most difficult times, but we have had 18 months where fundraising activities have been ground to a halt. “So, to have Max step forward and raise such an incredible amount has had a real impact. It meant we could carry on caring without missing a beat, without having to cut any of the care we provide.”

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