Good News Wednesday (8/21/19)

Tired of the shootings, politics and negative news?  Here are few stories of good news that often gets overlooked…


A man determined to pay it forward surprised customers at a Maumelle Kroger Sunday.

The man asked the store manager if he could remain anonymous but pay for groceries of customers who may need a helping hand. So he handed store manager, Tommy Mcelmurry, his credit card and said spend $1,000 dollars.

“It’s not everyday that somebody comes in and tells you that they want to spend up to 1,000 dollars and just bless people by taking care of their groceries,” said Mcelmurry.

The kind gesture shocked just about everyone in the store.

“I was just in shock like is this really happening what is going on,” explained cashier Tiffany Pierce.

Every customer who got the surprise of free groceries was moved.

“I was like are you serious…This has never happened to me. Plus I had my daughter. I was like oh my gosh I’m so grateful,” explained mom of three, Rachael Juliet.

The anonymous shopper said a YouTube video inspired him to pay it forward. He also explained to the store manager that he was blessed and wanted to bless other people. He hoped it would get others to pay it forward.

Since Sunday, everyone said they have worked to pay it forward and learned a great lesson.

“Take this as an example step out a little bit and see what you can do to help other peoples lives,” said Pierce.

The man also said he plans to do this again sometime soon.


A Bartow County teacher’s assistant is being hailed a hero after saving a kindergartner who was choking on a piece of candy.

Channel 2’s Berndt Petersen was at Hamilton Crossing Elementary School in Cartersville, where 5-year-old Mayah DeLoera got a piece of peppermint candy lodged in her throat at school Thursday.

Mayah and her classmates were given the candy treats in Mia Gilstrap’s class. Gilstrap talked to Petersen about the terrifying moment she realized Mayah was choking.

“Her face did not look as it normally does,” Gilstrap said. “So then I tried to do what I’ve seen before, the Heimlich.”

Gilstrap admits she wasn’t quite sure how to do it, so she ran across the hall to get the school nurse.

In the meantime, teacher’s assistant Vicki Rader raced to Mayah’s side.

“I think I just basically kicked into ‘mama mode,'” Rader said. “Actually, I’ve never done that before.”

Rader said she was trained in the Heimlich Maneuver, but many years ago.

“Years ago in CPR, we were trained to do that,” Rader said. “But I never actually had to do it in the 27 years that I’ve been here.”

Rader said she performed the move once or twice on Mayah, and the candy came out.

By Friday, Mayah was back to her normal self in the classroom, working alongside other students on an art project.

“You never know,” Principal Lynn Robertson said. “She was just the angel in the right place at the right time. She took care of that little girl like she was her own little girl.”

Mayah’s mom met Rader Friday to thank her in person for saving her daughter’s life.

“That was the best thing ever,” Rader said. “Of everything that’s been said and done, that was the best, to meet her mom.”

Gilstrap said Rader’s actions Thursday were just one indication of how important she is in the classroom.

“She’s always our hero,” Gilstrap said. “Not just because of what she did for Mayah, but what she does every day.”


A man from New Jersey was at risk of losing his home and had no one in his corner to help him until his neighbors found out and came together to raise $50,000 save his house. Lamar Harris has special needs and “his life has been full of tragedy,” his neighbor, Terri Fretz, wrote on GoFundMe.
Fretz said Harris lost both his mom and grandmother as a child and lived with his father and brother until they both suddenly died when he was an adult.

Harris is alone, according to Fretz. In order to survive, he has a part-time job of cutting lawns for some of his neighbors.

“He cannot drive. He does not understand finances and has a very limited reading ability,” Fretz writes. “As a result of the death of his family members, his reading deficits and his inability to understand finances, he has fallen behind in his property taxes.”

Harris hasn’t paid property taxes since his father’s death in 2015 and Gloucester Township filed a lien for back taxes. “Lamar is in imminent danger of losing his home,” Fretz’s post reads.

With his family members gone, Harris seemingly had no one to help him. Luckily, he has a loving community and church who decided to rally behind him and raise the funds needed to stop the foreclosure of his home, Fretz said.

Fretz created a GoFundMe on July 23, with a deadline to raise the money by Aug. 5.

“We, his neighbors, have all banded together and have been watching out for Lamar since his dad died. This problem just recently came to light and is too big for just his neighbors to handle,” Fretz writes.

Their goal was to get outside help raising $50,000. Before reaching that goal, the Mayor of Gloucester Township released an update on Harris.

“The township has been in contact with state and county offices,” Mayor David Mayer said in a statement. “We are compiling information as to the status of not only the property, but most importantly, the status and care of Mr. Lamar Harris. The current foreclosure process is the result of a private lien holder that dates back to 2015. We will continue to research this matter to ensure the proper care of Mr. Harris.”

While the town was working to help Mr. Harris keep his property, about 1,007 people were donating to the GoFundMe. In just 13 days, they raised $64,804. Some donors gave up to $300.

As if the influx of donations wasn’t heartwarming enough, community members who knew Harris left touching messages on the GoFundMe page.

One woman said she and her children held a lemonade stand to raise money for Harris. “We are Lamar’s neighbors and care about him very much,” she wrote. “He helps everyone in our community willingly from his heart. He is our community watch ..everyone knows him and loves him .. he deserves to stay in his home.”

“I Love you man…if you need anything call me,” one man wrote to Harris.

Fretz updated the GoFundMe page to thank everyone who pitched in. “You are all proof that kindness can make a difference in a person’s life in a big way,” she wrote. She said Harris is very grateful and understands the kindness.

“All donations that he continues to receive will be applied to Lamar’s future and current needs,” Frtez said. The community is also working on finding an attorney to advocate for Harris in the future.

“There is still good in the world. There is still hope for us all,” she wrote.



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