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8 months ago · by · Comments Off on PA Nonprofit Donates Food to Philadelphia Area

PA Nonprofit Donates Food to Philadelphia Area

Amy and Tony D’Orazio have been serving their community with their 300 acre farm by giving away nearly everything they grow. Their non-profit Carversville Farm Foundation (CFF) runs a certified organic farm raising top-quality vegetables, poultry, beef and eggs. Located in Mechanicsville, PA- the farm has given away 74, 143 pounds of meat, 431,424 pounds of vegetables and 97, 417 cartons of eggs since 2015.

The farm grows vegetables, cows, goats, sheep, pigs, chickens, turkeys and bees. The animals feed unfettered on fresh grass and forage from the fields. They are moved from field to field every day, clearing and fertilizing with their manure as they go and building healthy soil. CFF donates over ninety percent of their harvests to Philadelphia-area soup kitchens and food pantries. Their partnerships include Rolling Harvest Food Rescue, Broad Street Ministry, Bucks County Audubon Society, Cathedral Kitchen, Coalition Against Hunger, Manna and Urban Creators, among others. Together, they are dedicated to feeding low income families throughout the area.

In 2020, CFF gave more than 120,000 pounds of food, including pastured poultry and grass-fed beef and a wide variety of fresh produce to the Philadelphia area community. They’re on track to donate even more this year. They’ve committed to donating fifty thousand pounds of organic vegetables to low-income residents through the Bucks County Opportunity Council (BCOC) this year. Carversville Farm Foundation has been donating to the Bucks County Opportunity Council since 2016 and helps feed over 10,000 families each year.

Carversville Farm Foundation also offers an apprenticeship program to train future farmers with apprenticeships in Farm Management and Livestock. Volunteers are welcome every Wednesday and Saturday to harvest carrots and kale, pull weeds, and otherwise support their mission to grow top-quality food to donate to neighbors in need.

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10 months ago · by · Comments Off on New Jersey Brothers Raise $70K for Restaurant Workers

New Jersey Brothers Raise $70K for Restaurant Workers

Two New Jersey brothers, Aiden and Louis Ardine set out to walk 3,200 miles across America to raise money for restaurant workers stuck at home during COVID. The two, who are former bartenders, hoped to raise $30,000 for some charities that were helping restaurant workers waiting for restrictions to end, but ended up making $70,000—which they distributed to the COCO Fund and the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation.

Both experienced the stresses of working in a bar during the pandemic firsthand. While they had the privilege of being able to provide for themselves after being laid off, many of their friends and family did not find themselves in the same situation. They decided to give back to the industry that they loved being a part of by shining a light on an issue important to them by sharing stories of individuals they meet along the road to raise awareness and funds for restaurant workers across the country.

They have now completed their five-month walkabout which started on the Asbury Park boardwalk in New Jersey on May 1st. “It’s been an extremely difficult year and a half, and you don’t know the obstacles people have faced and the challenges they’re still dealing with,” Aiden says. “We realized that we could walk across America and sort of pursue this challenge for ourselves, learning about America and helping people in the service industry. It was super important for us.”

At every step of the journey, they were meeting the people they’re helping and hearing their stories of strength and resilience. Verizon heard about the endeavor and launched a donation drive in support of the Ardines, who passed through 11 states over the course of 162 days, 12,000 feet in various elevation changes, and about 80 degrees in temperature variation before the job was done.

“This would not have been possible without the help of a huge community of people, whether people were donating or helping us navigate our way across the United States.” Aiden Ardine said. “This was definitely an adventure founded in a very hopeful notion about America, and it confirmed our suspicion that people are inherently good and want to help their neighbors.”

Their trip, which was documented on social media, was filled with stunning scenery, long roads, and helpful strangers. From the man who passed them in the searing heat of summer in Iowa, before doubling back and giving them a cold Gatorade to a Nevada campground manager who let them stay for free. When they reached San Francisco, their supporters were waiting for them on the beach. Afterwards they flew home along with their mom who had been in San Francisco to meet them at the end of their trek.

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10 months ago · by · Comments Off on Homecoming Queen Gives Crown To Friend Who Just Lost Mom To Cancer

Homecoming Queen Gives Crown To Friend Who Just Lost Mom To Cancer

An emotional moment has gone viral of a homecoming queen giving her crown away to a classmate who lost her mother to cancer. Nyla Covington, a senior at Forrest County Agricultural High School, was voted homecoming queen by fellow students in late September. But after receiving the honor, Nyla decided to give the crown to another student, Brittany Walters, after her mother reportedly passed away from cancer that day.

Nyla is given the crown and then she gave the crown to Brittany Walters, another nominee on the homecoming court, who just hours prior had lost her mother to cancer. Photos show Brittany Walters dissolving into tears as Covington turned to her to place the crown on her friend. “The entire crowd was shocked and crying. I just felt like it was something that was put on my heart. It was really just for her, to bring up her day a little bit, and she’d rather have her mom than a crown… but the point was, I was telling her that she was her mom’s queen and I was just letting her know that she was loved by many and especially me” Covington said.

Brittany’s mother was not only a parent at the school but was also a part of the school staff, working in the office as secretary. It was an emotional day for the entire community. The community rallied to get Brittany there even though her mother died hours before because it was her mother, A.J. ‘s last wish to cheer for her daughter on the field. Brittany said her mother A.J. Walters didn’t want her to miss the special day of homecoming, despite the circumstances.

Her father, Sean Walters, also accompanied her to homecoming. He said he made a promise to his wife he would be by Brittany’s side. “A.J. made me promise her that I was going to come out here with Brittany because she didn’t want to ruin her day, her homecoming day. She said that’s something she’ll remember for the rest of her life,” Sean said.

After the story gained attention on social media, both Nyla and Brittany said they have received countless support. The school principal said he hopes Nyla’s beautiful notion on homecoming night inspires others. “We hope that Nyla’s selfless act will be a light for the rest of society,” Wheat said. “So, we’re very proud of her and her giving nature.”

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10 months ago · by · Comments Off on Dunkin Donuts Surprises Officers with Patriots-Buccaneers Tickets After Their Act of Kindness

Dunkin Donuts Surprises Officers with Patriots-Buccaneers Tickets After Their Act of Kindness

Two Massachusetts police officers who surprised a little boy with a brand new bicycle last month
received a surprise of their own from Dunkin’ in recognition of their random act of kindness. Dunkin’ gifted Officers Michael Flynn and Michael Hughes tickets to the highly-anticipated Patriots-Buccaneers game.

Last month, Taunton police officers Michael Flynn and Michael Hughes surprised six-year-old Bryan King with a new bicycle after his was stolen, twice. King told the officers it was the second time in a week his bike had been stolen, the first being a gift for his sixth birthday.
Officer Hughes said “We’re getting ready to leave and I said to Officer Flynn…I think I want to buy him a bike. He’s like, let’s split it.”

Officer Flynn contacted Dawn King the following day to say that they had additional questions and wanted to meet them at their home. The officers brought the bike and also gave Bryan King Jr. two bike locks and some helpful tips to prevent theft. “It just blew my day out of the water. I cried. It was heartfelt. It was truly heartfelt,” Bryan’s mom said.

The ordeal led Taunton Police Chief Edward J. Walsh to issue a statement, praising the officers for bringing joy to the little boy. “This is a fantastic example of community policing and I want to commend officers Flynn and Hughes for their selflessness and caring,” Chief Walsh said in the press release. “This boy had his bike stolen twice in a short period of time and that can be devastating for a child. I’m glad our officers were able to put a smile on his face and brighten his day.”

When Dunkin’ Donuts heard about the officers’ act of kindness, they surprised Officers Flynn and Hughes with tickets to Sunday’s Patriots-Buccaneers game. “It’s just crazy. I mean it’s one thing to go to a game…to think we are actually going to the game that Tom Brady is coming back to New England for,” Hughes said. “It’s astounding,” added Flynn. When given the tickets, Flynn and Hughes said they were honored to be recognized this way.

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10 months ago · by · Comments Off on Community Comes Together to Get Neighborhood Handyman’s Roof Replaced

Community Comes Together to Get Neighborhood Handyman’s Roof Replaced

For decades, James “Mac” McWhorter of Waco, TX has been working on the homes of his neighbors as a handyman so when it came time for his house to receive some TLC, they were ready to return the favor. McWhorter, a veteran, started doing odd jobs here and there, and as word spread that he did good work, he became the trusted neighborhood handyman.

Neighbor Carmen Merritt said no job was too big or too small and anything you needed, he could do. McWhorter was so busy helping others take care of their houses that his own home was falling into disrepair. Merritt noticed he needed a new roof and said knew she had to do something. “This is not OK. He has helped me with so much and I didn’t feel right just going back inside and doing nothing,” Merritt said. She reached out to neighbors on the NextDoor app about ways to assist McWhorter. “Almost immediately there were people offering to donate,” Merritt said.

Eighty-seven year old neighbor Millie Woods, an interior designer who owns MLW Real Estate Holdings took the lead on the project. Woods said she got involved because he was known to make some repairs for poor people without charging the going rate. He was just a good man and has been robbed of those skills because he has dementia. She asked one of her contractors if he would be willing to take a look at the house and volunteer one Saturday to fix it.

What she thought would be a simple roof repair turned out to be a lot more. Donations for repairs started pouring in after the initial post in early May and neighbors also raised enough money for a year of pest control. In addition, Clayton Homes is donating all the shingles and Lowe’s is furnishing the rest of the materials. Woods made sure McWhorter was able to enjoy the experience without doing any work. “The thing about Mac, twice I had to stop him from getting on a ladder to get up on that roof,” Woods said. “I said, ‘Mac, you can’t help with this job, you don’t need to do this anymore. This is something that you deserve because you’ve done this for other people for so many years and you need it and now it’s your turn.”

McWhorter said he’s grateful for the unexpected blessing. “It shows me that there are still those kinds of people that are willing to help others,” McWhorter said. Woods, who’s done a lot for military veterans in the past, said no one who served should have to live with a roof in the state of McWhorter’s. “We don’t want anyone to live that way, but our veterans that served our country need better care than that and we are blessed to have found out about him and it’s an opportunity for us to give something back,” Woods said.

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10 months ago · by · Comments Off on Parents Magazine Names America’s Kindest Family

Parents Magazine Names America’s Kindest Family

Parents magazine held a contest that began last April looking for the kindest family in America as a way to inspire “families to continue to do good and to share their stories.” The winners of the America’s Kindest Families contest are the Barrons’ family. Luke and Holly Barrón, who live in Oklahoma, lost their 8-year-old son, Keaton, to acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2018. Ever since, the couple and their children, Reid, 7, Holden, 5, and Conley, 2, have worked tirelessly to continue Keaton’s legacy by helping others through their foundation, the K Club.

Towards the end of his life, Keaton was visited by a volunteer at the hospital named Kay and the two started the K Club. The foundation, which was Keaton’s idea, primarily helps children fighting cancer and their families. It is also committed to doing random acts of kindness. While in the hospital, founding member Keaton wrote that the club’s mission is “to be kind to others, be courageous, compassionate, and caring.”

The club raised money by selling clubhouse dues for just $1 and has grown to have a significant impact on the lives of countless families. The K Club helps kids with cancer and their families by throwing several fundraisers a year, including a golf tournament and a Christmas celebration where they sell baked goods. The club also makes K Packs that allow parents to remember the children they’ve lost to a terminal illness. They include recordings of the child’s voice and artwork.

The K Club also collects diapers, wipes, and clothes for a pregnancy resource center, makes hygiene packs for those experiencing homelessness, and donates funds to build wells in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Holly and Luke have also created “K Cares” to help pay for funerals. The list of good deeds goes on and on.

“Even though he lived a life of suffering, he looked out for other people first, that was Keaton.
It’s an honor to provide a tiny bit of hope or peace in the most unimaginable time in a family’s life. We feel for every parent who may lose a child and will do anything we can to be there for them” Holly said.

Every month, the Barrons host a party at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital, where Keaton was treated. Marie Janne Lopez, who nominated the Barrons for America’s Kindest Family, recalled how Keaton would often choose a toy for his younger sibling instead of himself. “He realized his brother’s life had been turned upside down by his treatment. How many 6-year-olds do that kind of thing?” Lopez asked.

The Barróns think that the K Club is a great way for Keaton’s younger brothers to keep his spirit alive. “I think Keaton would be pleased with it all, but I don’t think he’d be like, ‘Whoa, this is unbelievable!'” Holly said. “I think he’d just say, ‘Yeah, this is what I’d planned. Good job.'”

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11 months ago · by · Comments Off on Denver Father Delivers RVs to Wildfire Victims

Denver Father Delivers RVs to Wildfire Victims

A Denver father of four has given 95 families who have lost everything in California wildfires a place to call home. Woody Faircloth started the nonprofit EmergencyRV.org which pairs folks who are willing to donate their campers to a worthy cause with those in need. Faircloth first got the idea for the charity in 2018 while watching news coverage of California’s deadly Camp Fire that incinerated 153,336 acres and destroyed hundreds of homes during Thanksgiving week.

Inspired by how blessed he felt just to have a place to spend the holiday, he asked his 9 year old daughter Luna what she thought about finding an RV and delivering it to a family so they could have a place to call home for Christmas. She was 100 percent on board so Fairchild launched a GoFundMe campaign to finance the first RV that he and Luna delivered.

Within three days, with Luna riding shotgun, Faircloth steered west from Denver in a $2,500 motorhome he found on Craigslist. They celebrated Thanksgiving on the road and delivered the vehicle the next day to a victim of the CampFire, which nearly destroyed the town of Paradise and killed 85 people.

As word of their journey spread, people started reaching out to him via social media, offering to donate their motorhomes—and from there, EmergencyRV soon took shape. Some offered to deliver the vehicles themselves, but Faircloth makes many of the drops personally. Many of the mobile home recipients are firefighters and other first responders whose tireless efforts battling the blazes did not prevent their own homes from going up in flames.

To date, Faircloth—often with Luna along for the ride—has delivered 95 motorhomes to California area wildfire victims who otherwise might wait months for emergency housing. He tries to schedule the trips on weekends but often dips into vacation time from his full-time job at telecom company Comcast. Faircloth has traversed thousands of miles over the past three years, often with Luna at his side. Last year, she joined him more often as COVID-19 precautions had her going to school remotely.

While those who are given RVs own them outright, Faircloth estimates 5% to 10% return them once they’re on their feet so they can be donated to other fire victims. The organization currently has 100 families on its waiting list. Although Faircloth said it’s challenging to balance work, family and his nonprofit, he hopes to expand the volunteer effort. He envisions staging RVs in hurricane and fire zones in the future to respond even faster during disasters. The organization continues to grow and evolve but the original sentiments behind Faircloth’s humanitarian efforts remain constant. He’s grateful for the many blessings he has—and blessed to be in a position to help others.

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11 months ago · by · Comments Off on Father on Dialysis’s GoFundMe Raises Enough For House For Autistic Daughters

Father on Dialysis’s GoFundMe Raises Enough For House For Autistic Daughters

A Georgia family is feeling the effects of kindness from strangers around the world. Michael Walker and his wife, Willa Strong, are living in and out of hotels. Each day since the pandemic hit, their focus has been on surviving and providing for their three daughters. Walker is on Dialysis battling kidney disease while raising their three girls who are all non-verbal with Autism.

The pandemic forced Walker to leave his retail job because he is at high risk for catching COVID. Strong had to stop working to homeschool the girls. Between Dialysis treatments, school supplies and the cost of living in the metro Atlanta area, the couple said their credit score took a big hit. After months of trying to get back on their feet, they had trouble finding an apartment or home that would accept them.

After more than a year feeling frustrated and trapped inside a one-bedroom hotel room, Walker took to social media for help. He broke down in an emotional testimony on TikTok sharing his family’s situation. Walker, who had been positive and hopeful through it all shared that he’d been losing hope and felt like a failure to his family. The video went viral receiving more than 300,000 views. Commenters encouraged him to start a GoFundMe and people from Georgia to as far away as Ireland have donated.

People are supporting the family all over the world from Georgia to Ireland. Some even encouraged Walker to launch a GoFundMe page. So far over $176,000 of the $250,000 goal has been raised with donations ranging from $1000 to as little as $5. The family plans to use the money raised to finance a loan for a rental home. Walker said he hopes they find a place that is safe and sufficient for his three daughters’ needs.

Walker said “For a long time, we felt alone. We felt like nobody cared. And the world proved us wrong.” Not only did they get some relief financially, Strong said the family also found community. She said this helped connect her with other families who have multiple children with special needs. Strong said, all this support is restoring the faith she once lost. “This was the push we needed in spirit to build my confidence,” she said. “All of this outpouring of love is so healing.”

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11 months ago · by · Comments Off on Bone Marrow Donation Changes Life of Donor and Recipient

Bone Marrow Donation Changes Life of Donor and Recipient

Rather than give in to depression, one man made a choice that not only changed his own life for the better—it gave a stranger he’d never met a second chance as well. Gage Tappe had recently moved to Idaho and had part-time custody of one of his kids. Looking for something to help him cope with his sadness and feel more connected, Tappe signed up as a donor with the national bone marrow registry.

Several months later, Tappe got the call that he’d been identified as a match. Tappe says since he was raised to help others in need, in any way big or small, he just needed to know where and when his marrow could be harvested for the transplant. The donation was made anonymously and the identity of the recipient didn’t matter to Tappe.

He said he just wanted to be able to have a meaningful and positive impact on someone’s life—but neither he nor the woman his bone marrow was going to could know just how life-changing his donation would turn out to be. When his recipient Tia Jensen was diagnosed with leukemia in 2018, she’d already been dealing with the effects of multiple sclerosis for two decades. She started a course of chemotherapy at the Seattle Cancer Center Alliance and added her name to the waiting list for a bone marrow donor.

After the successful transplant procedure, Jensen was stunned to learn that not only had her leukemia gone into remission, but thanks to her newly revitalized immune system, the multiple sclerosis she’d been battling for 20 years was in remission as well. Jensen was so ecstatic she wanted to thank her donor. Two years later Jensen was eventually given Tappe’s contact information and the two struck up a correspondence.

Though delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, they finally met in person. A grateful Jensen was able to tell Tappe she sees him as a true role model. Tappe said he was at an all time low when he made the decision. “I felt like my life wasn’t worth very much, so I hoped that I gave myself a chance to put some value to my own life by trying to help somebody extend theirs and continuing to stay on the list… and you have to be alive to do that. It gave me a sense of value to myself that I didn’t previously have” Tappe said.

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11 months ago · by · Comments Off on School Faculty Raise Funds To Surprise Custodian With Car

School Faculty Raise Funds To Surprise Custodian With Car

Two teachers at Unity Grove Elementary in Locust Grove, GA found out the head custodian Chris Jackson had fallen on hard times over the summer and decided to help. Megan MacDonald and Jodi Combs noticed that the reliable fixture and smiling face known as Mr. Chris had been walking to work so they set out to help find him an affordable car. They found one but it was more that the $1,500 Jackson had saved for a new car.

MacDonald and Combs secretly got to work and were able to raise enough funds for Mr. Chris within minutes thanks to the generosity of the faculty of their school. On an unsuspecting August day, Jackson, who is always willing to help, was escorted to the school parking lot to help a teacher with her car but was given the shock of a lifetime instead. The heartwarming moment was shared to the school’s Facebook page where it quickly went viral.

In the video, MacDonald and Combs are seen leading Jackson to the parking lot where they put the car keys in his hand. His grateful reaction as he realized the car was for him garnered thousands of comments and unbeknownst to MacDonald and Combs, they happened to buy his dream car, a Chevrolet Impala. “There is a God,” Chris says with his hands extended in the air.

Jackson said he didn’t let his financial situation deter him despite feeling defeated. “I’m not going to just quit and run away. I put my pride aside and just come to work, smile, be me.”
He decided to trek to work because using public transportation added an hour and 40 minutes to his morning commute. But his dedication and work ethnic had not gone unnoticed by the faculty.

Combs said there has never been a day that he came to work without a smile on his face and the kids adore him so the staff pulled together to help with his most immediate need which was transportation. Jackson said “I never would have dreamt of something like this. This is mind-blowing to me.” Since the happy moment went viral, people from all over the country have contacted him and he says it was one of the greatest moments of his life.

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