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.
I sure could use some good news couldn’t you? Here are a few that will make you feel good about the world again…
After Spending Life in Cage, Rescue Dog is Adopted By Senior Care Home the Day Before She Was to Be Euthanized
This rescue pup has been given a whole new leash on life after she was adopted as an official “house dog” at a senior living home—just in the nick of time.
6-year-old Journey had lived in a cage in rural Virginia for most of her life. After her owner died, she was sent to an overcrowded shelter where she was scheduled for euthanasia the very next day.
Thankfully, Amy Creel of the Knine Rescue crew in Ashton, Maryland heard about the pup’s plight and jumped into action.
She and the animal welfare team arranged for Journey to be transported from the Virginia shelter to the neighboring state of Maryland. Several community volunteers helped out by taking turns driving the rescue dog for different legs of the journey until she finally arrived in Ashton.
Coincidentally, the rescue group was actually hosting an adoption event at Sunrise Senior Living Center the day after Journey arrived.
Not only was Journey the featured guest at the adoption event, she made quite an impression on everyone there. Throughout the day, she said hello to strangers, rolled over for belly rubs, and charmed all the seniors at the facility.
The elderly residents ended up being so taken with Journey that the senior center staffers adopted the pup as a “house dog” for the facility.
Journey now spends her days comforting residents, joining them for walks, welcoming visitors, and bringing joy to everyone at the senior center.
“To think that this dog who never had anyone care for her, now has a community of folks looking after her is nothing short of amazing,” Creel told Southern Living. “We are so happy for her.”
Customer service rep more than 800 miles away saves man having stroke on phone call
A Michigan man has a customer service representative to thank for potentially saving his life.
MLive reported Dan Magennis was at his Walker, Michigan, home when he called Comcast about an issue with his cable. He put his phone on speaker and had a pad and pen out to take notes.
Hundreds of miles away, Kimberley Williams answered the phone in Jackson, Mississippi.
“He said his name really clear, Daniel, and then he just got quiet,” Williams, 32, told The Clarion-Ledger.
Magennis, 65, told MLive he tried to speak, but couldn’t. His wife was away, and he was at the house alone without any neighbors nearby, according to The Clarion-Ledger.
“I started to panic,” he said. “I would try to say something, and I just couldn’t. I couldn’t move. Within 20-30 seconds, I started to think maybe it was a stroke, but I wasn’t able to tell the representative that.”
“He was talking to me but I could not understand him,” Williams said. “Then, his words got slurred.”
Williams said the way he sounded reminded her of when she, at age 14, saw her grandmother have a stroke. She stayed on the line with Magennis and contacted her supervisor, Jennifer Clark. After making some calls to police departments in the Grand Rapids area, Williams got in contact with the Grand Rapids Fire Department.
Officials were able to get Magennis and take him to the hospital, where he underwent an hourlong surgery to unclog a blocked artery, The Clarion-Ledger reported. Today reported Dr. Justin Singer, a neurosurgeon at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital, treated Magennis, who has since been released from the hospital and is recovering.
“He has almost no discernible signs of having a stroke (now), and that’s what we want to see,” Singer told WZZM.
“Kim is absolutely a hero,” Singer told Today. “You can envision working in a busy call center and knowing that people get interrupted during their phone calls. It would be so easy for her to dismiss it.”
“Each day, our Customer Experience Associates in Jackson, Mississippi, and across the nation go above and beyond the call of duty to take care of our customers,” Alex Horwitz, a vice president of public relations for Comcast, said in a statement to People. “In this case, Ms. Kimberly Williams took the extra steps to help save a customer’s life. We are incredibly proud of her quick thinking and dedication.”
Oklahoma deputy notices new mom out of gas on road, pays for her fuel
A deputy went beyond his call of duty after noticing a new mom and her infant out of gas on a road in northeastern Oklahoma.
On August 14, Wagoner County K-9 Deputy D. Watkins was patrolling near U.S. Highway 69 and East 690 Road when he found a disabled vehicle.
Watkins stopped to check on the driver and discovered it was a new mom with her baby who had run out of gas.
Watkins told the mom to wait and that he would be back shortly.
During that time, he drove to a gas station and purchased enough fuel for her vehicle to make it to a nearby station.
Then, he followed her to the gas station to make sure she and her child made it safely.
When they arrived at the gas station, Watkins told the mom to park by the pumps and wait.
He went inside and paid for $10 in fuel for the mom to make it back home, the sheriff’s office says.
Wagoner County Sheriff Chris Elliott says Watkins went “above and beyond” to help a mother out and is proud of his kind act.
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.”
NEW JERSEY MAN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS NEARLY LOSES HOME UNTIL NEIGHBORS RAISE $50,000 TO SAVE IT
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.
Need some good news? Here are a few things that happened this week that will make you smile:
IOWA CARPENTER SAVED $3 MILLION TO PUT 33 STRANGERS THROUGH COLLEGE
An Iowa carpenter is responsible for sending dozens of people to college. People he never had a chance to meet.
Dale Schroeder lived simply for his entire life. He grew up poor, never married or had kids, and worked as a carpenter at the same company for 67 years. He owned just two pair of jeans and drove a rusty old Chevrolet truck.
Shortly before his death in 2005, Schroeder told his attorney, Steve Nielsen, that he wanted to use his savings to help poor students in Iowa go to college.
GRACE LUTHERAN CHURCH MEMBERS GROWING FAITH WITH GARDEN IN MURFREESBORO, TENNESSEE
Grace Lutheran Church members growing faith with garden in Murfreesboro
This summer, Grace Lutheran Church members in Murfreesboro have a unique way of growing their faith.
They’ve planted Katie’s Garden and give away the bounty for free to anyone in need. There are peppers, tomatoes, squash, watermelon and a variety of other fruits and vegetables.
“Part of it is to be of benefit to our community, get to know our neighbors, get to be a benefit to our neighbors. … We can get to know our neighbors and be friendly and invite them to church and help them in any way we can,” said the Rev. Al Thoe, assistant pastor at Grace Lutheran Church, 811 E. Clark Blvd.
Good news in the news is hard to find. I decided to look for good news this past week and post some that I have found. It wasn’t an easy task. With so much attention on shootings, politics and crimes, it was hard to find positive stories. I have found these three stories this week to share with you:
EXPERIMENT WITH “LOST” WALLETS REVEALS THAT PEOPLE ARE SURPRISINGLY HONEST
They say honesty is the best policy — and now there’s scientific evidence to prove it.
An unconventional study that offered volunteers the chance to pocket nearly $100 found that the more people stood to gain by hiding the truth, the more likely they were to come clean.
MINUTES BEFORE GOING INTO WORK, NURSING HOME STAFFER DIVES INTO RIVER TO SAVE DRIVER FROM SINKING CAR.
Just minutes before a Maryland man was preparing to go into his workplace, he dove into a river and saved an injured driver.
Fifty-two-year-old Andrew Lunn was just about to begin his shift at the Anchorage Nursing and Rehabilitation Center when he saw a nearby driver accidentally reverse their car into the Wicomico River – and without hesitation – Lunn leaped into action.