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6 days ago · by · Comments Off on New Hampshire Pup Leads Police To Crash Scene

New Hampshire Pup Leads Police To Crash Scene

A New Hampshire pup is a real life hero after leading help to the crash site of her owner on a snowy stretch of I-89. On Jan. 3, 2022, highway drivers spotted a young Shiloh shepherd — thought at first to be a German shepherd — running loose on Veterans Memorial Bridge on I-89 near the New Hampshire-Vermont border. New Hampshire State Police responded to reports of a wandering dog on the highway at around 10 p.m.

Trooper Sandberg and other officers of the Lebanon Police Department made attempts to corral her and get close, but she kept running away. Tinsley, a 1-year-old Shiloh Shepherd, eventually led them to a damaged section of guardrail. Police saw a badly damaged overturned F350 pickup truck with two injured occupants nearby who had been ejected from the vehicle.

The officers called for medical assistance and found the two injured men to be suffering from hypothermia. It was then that they learned that the shepherd pup belonged to one of the injured occupants of the truck, Cameron Landry. Tinsley stood by her owner as officers assisted him and the passenger.

Public relations and community outreach officer Amber Lagace said the dog never tried to run away from the officers on scene but instead led them further up the road and over the bridge.
Laundry suffered minor injuries and was later released from the hospital. The other passenger, identified as Justin Connors, suffered more serious injuries and is still in the hospital. He has undergone two surgeries but is expected to recover. Unfortunately, Connors’ dog, a bulldog, was also riding in the truck with the two men and Tinsley. Sadly, the bulldog was struck on the interstate after the crash; its body was discovered the next morning.

Lt. Dan Baldassarre, commander of Troop D of the New Hampshire State Police said the incident is a real-life Lassie story. Baldassarre said. “It’s really quite remarkable. This dog definitely saved their lives. I don’t think they would have survived the night given the temperatures.” The New Hampshire State Police posted a long message on Facebook about the incident which included pictures from the scene of Tinsley and the totaled Ford F350 truck after the rollover crash. Laundry said after the crash, “She’s my little guardian angel. It’s a miracle how she has that kind of intelligence to do what she did.” For all her bravery, Tinsley was rewarded with a lot of back scratches and goodies including a venison dinner.

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7 days ago · by · Comments Off on Texas Family’s Light Display Raises Money for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Texas Family’s Light Display Raises Money for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A Texas family’s Christmas light display raised just over $80,000 for the Make-A-Wish foundation. Jordan Maywald has been in charge of his family’s Christmas decorations since he was nine. Jordan said the display started very small, just a few things in their front yard but over the years he expanded across much of our property and now it covers about 3.5 acres.

For the past seven years, the Maywalds have used their famous light display to raise money for Make-A-Wish Central and South Texas. The Maywald Christmas Light Display won on ABC’s The Great Christmas Light Fight in 2019. The family won $50,000 and expanded the display to include a snowman made out of truck tires, vintage-glass carolers, a specially-built lighthouse and a whole lot of decorations.

“At the time I was the youngest champion in the show’s history, and currently still am,” Jordan said. Each year, Jordan, now 23, has added more to the light display that has turned their Austin property into a holiday destination. This year, the bigger than ever display had over 200,000 Christmas lights and welcomed more than 15,000 visitors- raising more than $80,000 to fund 10 wishes. To date, the display has raised nearly $200,000 and granted 27 wishes.

Each time a wish is granted, Jordan adds a glass reindeer to the mix, all hovering above a Christmas light-filled “Wish Lake.” He prefers to build most of the displays himself and spends the months leading up to Christmas scouring the country for old décor via Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. The highlight of this past year’s spectacle was a 17-foot-tall fiberglass Santa Claus.

Jordan, a student at Texas A&M University said there was no doubt that Christmas is his favorite holiday. “Helping these children is what Christmas is all about for us. We will continue to put up our display yearly to help grant life changing wishes!” he added. The Maywald Christmas Light Display begins in November and lasts through New Year’s Eve. The entrance is free for the public to walk through the display with donations appreciated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. This year, the family’s goal was to raise $40,000.

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2 weeks ago · by · Comments Off on Schmidt Baking Company Hands Out Bread to Drivers Stranded Over 24 Hours In Gridlock

Schmidt Baking Company Hands Out Bread to Drivers Stranded Over 24 Hours In Gridlock

The CEO of Schmidt Baking Company came to the rescue for drivers struck in the I95 backup. Thousands of drivers were gridlocked on a 50-mile stretch of road running through Virginia for over 24 hours after a winter storm dropped around a foot of snow on Virginia and other eastern states. The CEO ordered one of his drivers also stuck to pass bread and rolls out to the stranded cars.

A Maryland couple, Casey Holihan and John Noe, had not moved for more than 20 hours in the southbound lane of I-95 thanks to a combination of jack-knifed tractor trailers, heavy snowfall and four inches of ice that hindered rescue vehicles from clearing the road. Like many others, they had spent the night in their car in temperatures that had dipped into the 20s. After not having eaten in over 30 hours, they noticed the bread truck from Schmidt Baking Company stuck just ahead of them.

Not thinking it would work, they called the company’s customer service line and left a message asking if it was possible for the driver to open the truck and give some loaves of bread to them and others. Holihan received a phone call 20 minutes later from the owner of Baltimore-based H&S Bakery, which owns Schmidt Baking Company. Chuck Paterakis told her he was instructing the truck’s driver, Ron Hill, to open up the back and pass out some food.

The couple said they helped pass out about 300 packages of rolls and loaves of bread to people in surrounding vehicles over the course of an hour. Holihan said “We just kept giving it out until we couldn’t walk anymore because it was so freezing. It felt incredible just hearing people say thank you and hearing people just so relieved to finally have food in their car, food in their system and in their kids’ system. It was a really incredible feeling.”

Chuck Paterakis said “It was an easy decision. I’m so pleased that the people who were hungry, that hadn’t eaten for the past 24 hours, had a chance, even if it was bread, had the chance to fill their stomachs up. It was very gratifying to me. It was something I will always remember. I’m very humbled and grateful that we could help.”

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3 weeks 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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3 weeks ago · by · Comments Off on App Promotes Small Business Shopping

App Promotes Small Business Shopping

The city of Akron, Ohio, launched a program designed to help support the local businesses. The program rewards shoppers for shopping locally through a city-sponsored app called Akronite, from which shoppers receive reward points for every purchase they make. James Hardy, Akron’s deputy mayor of integrated development, says that the app is “encouraging citizens to spend money locally while putting cash back into their pockets.”

The reward points are called “blimps” after the Goodyear Blimp, which is based in Akron. Blimps can be redeemed at any of the participating stores for discounted or even free services. At the end of the month, the city reimburses the businesses for these redeemed values. The more you shop, the more rewards you earn.

Michael Mazur, vice president of business development at Colu, the entity responsible for building the app used to run Akronite, says that constantly rewarding people for doing something they were going to do anyway makes them want to come back for more. He also says that collecting rewards becomes a conversation point among social circles, and that “it becomes a game, a friendly competition.”

While shoppers enjoy the savings, the main goal is to support local business owners by creating loyalty and giving them a new way of attracting new customers. Business owners get to announce events and promotions in the app as well. Since the launch of the app, businesses are reporting that regular customers are visiting more frequently and spending more money.

In addition to this, the app is designed to accommodate advertising space for nonprofits so that their stories can reach their target audiences. There are plans to add ways to reward front-line workers, disabled merchants, and other underprivileged communities who need the support. The success of the app in Akron inspired the Colu team to expand the initiative to include other cities such as Youngstown, Oh, Boston, MA and several regions in California.

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4 weeks ago · by · Comments Off on Tunnel to Towers Foundation Continues to Honor Fallen Heroes

Tunnel to Towers Foundation Continues to Honor Fallen Heroes

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation aims to honor first responders who made the ultimate sacrifice and laid down their lives in the line of duty for their communities. Since it was founded in 2001, the foundation has developed programs to honor fallen heroes. This year they delivered 135 mortgage-free homes across the country. The Foundation will have paid off or dedicated 65 mortgage-free homes between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve as part of this year’s Season of Hope-bringing the total to 200.

Based in Staten Island, Tunnel to Towers was founded in December 2001 by Frank Siller to honor his younger brother Stephen, who died trying to save others on 9/11 even after he had already gone home from his shift as a firefighter in Brooklyn. On December 7th, the 80th commemoration of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, they announced the latest round of heroes they are honoring.

Department of Justice Marshals Service Senior Inspector Jared Keyworth – U.S. Army Veteran – Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Vice Commander Montana Search and Rescue Tyler Weir – Master Sergeant Montana Air National Guard – Great Falls, Montana

Police Corporal James Chapman – U.S. Marine Corps Veteran – Johnston, South Carolina

Virginia State Police Trooper II Chad Dermyer – U.S. Marine Corps Veteran – Richmond, Virginia

Sergeant Joseph Deccio – U.S. Army National Guard E5 – Yakima, Washington

The five mortgage pay-offs are part of the Tunnel to Towers’ Season of Hope, which celebrates the holiday season by delivering mortgage-free homes or mortgage payoffs to families of fallen first responders, Gold Star families, and catastrophically injured veterans around the country.

Chairman and CEO of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation Frank Siller said “These selfless heroes answered the call to serve their country and their community. I call them superheroes, brave men and women who stepped up to keep us safe at home and abroad. I am honored to support the families who have sacrificed so much for the freedoms and safety we all enjoy.”

Through donations and fundraising, they have also helped families of fallen heroes like Chris Hixon and Aaron Feis, the two coaches who lost their lives confronting the gunmen at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Long after names stop being mentioned in the news, the foundation continues to help the families of fallen heroes nationwide. A few of the families they’ve helped include DeKalb County Sheriff Andy Clark, killed in a crash on June 3, 2020; Toledo Ohio Police Officer Anthony Dia, 26, killed in the line of duty on July 4, 2020; Lieutenant Bradford “Brad” Clark, killed in a crash on October 11, 2018 and Raleigh Fire Department Brent Upton, who lost his life in the line of duty on March 17, 2021.

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1 month ago · by · Comments Off on Zimbabwe Youth Creates Free Coding Classes to Help Others Get Similar Scholarships

Zimbabwe Youth Creates Free Coding Classes to Help Others Get Similar Scholarships

A young man from Zimbabwe is replicating his experience for talented students in his home country—launching their academic journeys into schools like Northwestern and Stanford. Like many young Zimbabweans, Eric Khumalo didn’t have a lot of options, even for a curious mind like his. He found a breakthrough moment, however, in a U.S.-sponsored school near his home town of Bulawayo.

A fascination with coding grew and because of his background in teaching-so did the desire to share the knowledge. He started Emzini WeCode, an education program that has grown from teaching locals in Zimbabwe classrooms at the American embassy to hosting online classes for more than 1,000 students. “I graduated high school in 2018, and within the government there was a shortage of STEM teachers, so I applied for a year and a half. I taught at three high schools and got accepted into UC Berkeley on a scholarship from the Mastercard Foundation” Khumalo said.

Khumalo said he started out studying chemistry but it was the chance encounter with the fabled “good professor” that launched his computer science journey. “I was just like asking questions, and then he told me just about his journey, about how when he was a kid he learned to code; he would make games, and for me I just admired the wonderful things he could accomplish with just code,” says Khumalo. “I found it interesting—this power to create, and this power to solve problems, or if you have a solution—scaling it is possible with computer science.”

Despite the popularity of his classes, he has kept them free, or as cheap as possible, covering only the costs of buying the data necessary to stream in the teachers from local and U.S. universities. “Usually, like two U.S. dollars a month,” says Khumalo. “The group that I usually target most is people who I know are facing challenges in the community.” His focus is broad in scope, avoiding a strict focus on any particular coding language, and opting instead to inspire students to see computer science and coding as a way to solve problems, in whichever career they focus on.

Khumalo feels a sense of pride that keeps him motivated when he sees the students taking his course moving on to other schools and other careers. “If one of my students can get into Stanford, then ten of my students should get into Stanford,” he said smiling. He wants to expand the opportunities he gave to them to more people, and he’s currently designing a computer science curriculum for high schools.

“The main problem I wanted to tackle was job creation,” explains Khumalo, whose January classes are now open for enrolment online for 1,000 students. “I have a vision that local universities here, have young people skilled with world-class knowledge getting hired to solve some of the problems that we have here.”

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1 month ago · by · Comments Off on Bronx Father Helping Feed the Homeless

Bronx Father Helping Feed the Homeless

Marty Rogers, from Bronx, NY, has been feeding the homeless for 44 years. And in those four decades, the dad from Bronx, New York, has organized a Thanksgiving dinner for those in need through his church, Immaculate Conception. Every year, his three kids help him serve up the holiday meal. He said even though they’re all grown now, he can count on them to return to the Bronx and help him each Thanksgiving.

Marty was inspired to do even more a few years ago. Marty came up with what are now called “Hope Walks.” A few times a year, Marty and volunteers from the church and school would get together to make sandwiches and then walk around their South Bronx neighborhood and ask people if they’d like some food. Marty and his group try to make each person feel comfortable, and they also ask each person their name.

When the pandemic hit and many things shut down, Marty decided to ramp up his efforts. “No one was out. Everyone was quarantining. But, who is out, is more and more people who are homeless,” he said. “Now, it’s staring us really in the face. And we had the conversation and we started going out once a week with our supplies, and then we said, ‘This has to be more.’ And we went three times a week.”

Each week, they pack up bags with homemade sandwiches, snacks and water. The supplies are bought with donations from the community, including donations from businesses. Volunteers for the walks include kids from Immaculate Conception. Each volunteer grabs a bag filled with sandwiches, cookies, water, and gloves, and walks the neighborhood to look for people who might be in need. The students witness people on the street looking out for their friends, at times leading the walkers to another person “who could use” a sandwich or a bottle of water that the group was giving out.

“Our neighborhood has a lot of people who are homeless. Some of the people are seniors, some of the people might have addiction issues. We don’t ask, it’s none of our business, it’s non judgemental.” Each person they encounter is gracious for the food and the prayer. Marty has gotten to know many people in the neighborhood and is happy it’s making an impact. Rogers said he hopes other parishes, schools and church organizations replicate what the Hope Walk is doing so more people can be helped.

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1 month ago · by · Comments Off on Retired Marine Giving Christmas Back to Kids Devastated By Kentucky Tornadoes

Retired Marine Giving Christmas Back to Kids Devastated By Kentucky Tornadoes

Retired U.S. Marine, Shawn Triplett, started a GoFundMe after witnessing a devastating interaction with a mom and her child after they were displaced by the tornadoes. Triplett works as a volunteer at a local elementary school and was recently helping out at a church shelter when he saw the mother and her young child after the storms. The sadness of the moment lingered with him.

Triplett said “I saw a child, no older than 6 years old, crying in his mother’s arms. She was crying too, but you could tell she was doing her best to look strong,” he recalls. “The boy told his mom, ‘I’ve lost my Christmas.’ It was at that moment that I broke down and had to walk outside. It gut-punched me and hurt, I felt actual pain at that moment. I tried to sleep that night but I couldn’t. The pain in that kid’s voice broke me in half. I had to do something about it.”

After taking the night to think about how he could help he decided to ask friends and family to donate money so he could buy toys for the children who were impacted. He said “I was going to give them back their Christmas. That was my mission,” he explains. “There was so much support in the community for water, generators and food, but nobody was thinking about the kids. At least, not in the way it should be, so close to Christmas.”

“The reality is that most of these families were already living in low-income housing. Most had probably never had a ‘great’ Christmas. Most of the kids’ families were already on a strapped budget,” he adds. “Now their house is gone, the parents’ jobs are gone, their parent or parents might be gone, school friends… It just made me focus on the task that much more.”
Triplett launched a GoFundMe page to help purchase holiday gifts for the children, which quickly spread on Reddit, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Since launching the page, he has raised over $92,000. Triplett partnered with the local Walmart, which has agreed to provide a 25% discount on all purchases for the endeavor.

Triplett said the support has been unreal. “It started as just family and friends helping, to now donations coming in from all over the globe. Our original goal was to support 30 kids, but because of the GoFundMe, we’re able to reach hundreds of kids — and that’s my biggest joy, being able to give these kids so much,” he adds. “The support has been humbling and overwhelmingly incredible.”

While the toys are fully covered by the donors, Triplett says he’s been footing the bill for wrapping paper — and plans on personally delivering them in a Santa costume closer to Christmas. “This isn’t a ‘me’ project by any means,” he notes. “This has been the result of thousands of people spreading the word and making it happen. To all those who have helped with your donations, your time, even just by sharing the cause, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart,” he adds. “Everything you have done for this cause has meant the world to me. Children need to be children, they don’t need to be reminded of trauma every day.”

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2 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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