We could all use a little good news to brighten our day. Here are a few stories that are positive and uplifting that you might not see on your local news.
Homeless man given shoes by jogger in NYC now has job offer
In an act of kindness that went viral, a jogger gave a homeless man the shoes off his feet last week.
That homeless man expressed his gratitude in an exclusive interview, and promised that if anyone had a job, he would work hard and prove his worth.
Now, in another Eyewitness News exclusive, it turns out someone was listening.
In the viral video, 30-year-old Joe Arroyo was seen sitting on a street in Lower Manhattan. A woman stopped in a taxi at a red light looked over, saw something spectacular and started recording.
A stranger who was jogging stopped and noticed Joe had holes in his sneakers. The man was so moved, he took off his socks and shoes and gave them to Joe.
Arroyo said he was ready to turn his life around and was willing to work.
Andrew Zurica, a successful entrepreneur, saw our story and wanted to help. On Thursday the two men met for the first time and Zurica offered Arroyo a job.
Andrew connected with Joe on many levels. Both have lived hard lives and had run-ins with the law.
When Andrew was just 13-years-old, after his father was locked up, he began hustling on the streets. In the 1990’s Zurica went to prison for four years after being arrested for international drug trafficking.
When he got out, he was determined to turn his life around and started from scratch. He started his own company, Hard Times Sundaes. He began with a food truck and the first year pulled in only $40,000. Now he owns three more eateries and is looking to expand.
Last year he made $2.9 million. Andrew is dedicated to giving back and told Joe he would be happy to have him work in one of his restaurants. Arroyo was floored by yet another kind gesture.
“I was in a hole,” he said. “I didn’t want anyone to pick me up out of the hole. I needed someone to throw me a ladder and I’d climb out myself. This is a ladder”.
“The one thing that makes me happy is to be in a position to give back and help people in some way,” said Andrew.
Man becomes legend for extreme acts of kindness toward strangers
Jon Potter was filling up his car at a Pittsburgh gas station when a woman approached and asked for a ride to a battered-women’s shelter. He said no.
She walked away, and he quickly felt a wave of regret. He got out of his car to look for her, but she was gone. Feeling terrible, he vowed to be kinder next time a stranger needed help.
A few weeks later, in the spring of 2015, he saw his opportunity when someone on a Pittsburgh Reddit group needed a hand installing a television antenna. Potter, who is handy, did it for no charge and felt great about it. Then someone on the same Reddit group asked for a cat sitter, and he jumped at the chance.
“It snowballed from there,” said Potter, 29. “I decided that for the next year, if anyone asks me for help, as long as it’s legal and as long as it won’t harm anyone else, I’d do it. It sounds ridiculous, but I did it.”
Soon, he was committing near-daily acts of kindness in the Pittsburgh community: helping someone repair vinyl siding, moving furniture, fixing a leaky roof, changing a grandmother’s tire on the side of the road. All for free. He even raised $700 for a teen in his community who was injured while stopping a hate crime.
His one year of goodness was so fulfilling that he has turned it into a four-year stretch of saying “yes” to random requests from strangers, gaining Potter fame in Pittsburgh for his hundreds — perhaps thousands — of kind acts, winning him awards, and making him the subject of local media attention.
“There is this Reddit lore of him,” said his friend Johann Guldenschuh, who met Potter when Potter agreed to help Guldenschuh and his wife move to the Pittsburgh area in 2017. “There are all these legends of these cool things he’s done, and they’re true.”
Before Potter’s do-gooder lifestyle began four years ago, he was a paragliding flight instructor, and most of his work hours fell on weekends. He was generally free on weekdays and had what he described as a bare-bones lifestyle. Instead of trying to earn more money during the week, he made the decision to dedicate himself to helping others.
It has had a profound effect on Potter, who says he has struggled with depression and anxiety since he was 8 years old. Last year, he was diagnosed with high-functioning autism and said the realization was a “huge puzzle piece” in his life. He said that pushing himself to interact with people by helping them has given him new appreciation for others.
“I trust a lot more now than I did in the past,” he said. “I trust people’s intentions more.”
Two years ago, he formalized what he does by creating the website Pittsburgh Good Deeds, where people can ask for help and also volunteer their services. Potter now works as a handyman, and when he quotes his clients a price, he tells them to pay what they can. He said enough people pay the full price to keep him afloat.
“I get what I need,” he said. “I’m not very religious, but at this point I definitely believe there’s an order to my life and there’s an order to the universe, and I believe the order is good.”
Jonas Brothers surprise fan at hospital after she had to miss concert for chemotherapy treatment
Teenager Lily Jordan was supposed to be rocking out at a Jonas Brothers concert this past weekend, but instead she had to undergo chemotherapy treatment. So, the famous family stopped by her hospital room to pay her a very special surprise visit before the show.
Late last week 16-year-old Jordan posted a screenshot of an Instagram story, letting her followers know that she couldn’t make the Jonas Brothers’ Hershey, Pennsylvania, concert on Saturday due to chemotherapy.
“I was supposed to be at your Hershey concert tomorrow but instead I’m across the street doing chemo,” Lily wrote on Instagram. “If y’all wanted to pop in I’ll give you my room number.”
She also asked her followers to tag the band or put her post in their stories in hopes of getting their attention. And her post did just that.
The hashtag she used, #LilySeesTheJonasBrothersChallenge2019, went viral — even Pennsylvania Representative Scott Perry shared her post.
“Our good friend Lily is fighting for her life in Hershey tonight and so badly wanted to see the Jonas Brothers tomorrow night at Hersheypark, but can’t because of her urgent treatment,” he wrote on Facebook Friday. “If there is anyway for them to visit her, we are lifting up her hopes and our prayers for help.”
The Jonas Brothers saw the posts and couldn’t help but stop in to visit Jordan at Penn State Children’s Hospital before their concert.
The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center posted a sweet video of the famous trio walking into the teen’s room. “We saw your messages, we had to come over,” said Joe, to the smiling Jordan. “It went everywhere, my entire feed was filled,” added Kevin.
Even Nick’s wife, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, tagged along for the visit and met Jordan. After chatting for a bit, Nick asked Jordan if she had a favorite song they could dedicate to her during their concert that night. While Jordan was a bit flustered, she said their 2007 hit “S.O.S” was her pick — to which Kevin answered, “Done.”
The brothers also signed autographs and snapped pictures with the teen.
Jordan later posted photos from the visit on Instagram. “Wow. The power of social media you guys,” she wrote in the caption. “YOU did this. YOU made my crappy chemo session into something incredibly special and unforgettable. Thank you thank you thank you @jonasbrothers for taking time out of your day to come pay me a visit. Literally made my life.”
The Jonas Brothers are in the midst of their “Happiness Begins” tour for their recently released comeback album of the same name.