Your week in good deeds, warm fuzzies, random acts of kindness, very cool scientific advances, and lots of other happy stuff! Take a break from the ugliness of the news and the web, and get a dose of happy!
If you would like to help assist those displaced or otherwise affected by Hurricane Harvey, or if you need the help for yourself and/or your family, there are several options available. Here are some of them:
- For disaster services that are specifically for the disabled community, click here.
- To donate to the Coalition for the Homeless, who are organizing emergency shelters, click here.
- To help with diaper donations, which are often overlooked by many agencies, as it isn’t a high priority, contact the Texas Diaper Bank, here. (Be sure to specify that your donation is for Hurricane Harvey victims.)
- The SPCA of Houston will be taking in a huge number of displaced pets, as well. To donate, click here.
- HuffPost created a much more comprehensive list, which you can access here.
Monday, August 21st
- In Athens, Greece, tens of thousands of refugees, knowing they’re safe, now face boredom: waiting to have their paperwork processed so they can be relocated elsewhere throughout Europe. But now, thanks to the Echo Refugee Library, in a minivan, there are books available in six different languages to help pass the time, and learn something while they wait.
- Emmanuel Mudiay, point guard for the Denver Nuggets, has done tons of charity work in his former home, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but his most recent stint of good works in Albany, New York, with the Gifted Athletes Skills Academy. He worked with a group of young basketball players also interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) to perfect their athletic skills while using their STEM knowledge to create performance analytics.
Tuesday, August 22nd
- When a young Houston Texans fan had waited for four hours to get his drawing of defensive end JJ Watt signed, and realized he’d have to go home, because the players were finished signing, he was understandably disappointed. Then, offensive tackle, Kendall Lamm, took notice of the fan’s art work, and was so impressed, he had to get Watt’s attention. Watt came over, signed the amazing drawing, along with a few other Texans. Way to make this kid’s day, guys!
- 50 years after taking a physics class together, the students got together this week in Bethesda, Maryland, to watch the solar eclipse. But the sun isn’t the only bright one in this story: of the 32 students from this class, there are 16 PhD’s, 7 in physics, as well as 5 lawyers, 3 doctors, a judge, and a 5-time “Jeopardy!” champion! Man, whatever Colin Steele was teaching this class obviously worked!
- At the Little League World Series, there are many international players, and of course, a few language barriers. But these young men and their families have discovered that using their smartphones, and Google Translate, made things a lot easier. They simply speak into their phones, and the app helps them communicate with one another. Now, those are really smart phones!
Wednesday, August 23rd
- This Sacramento kidney transplant recipient celebrated 15 years since her life-saving surgery! For more information on how you can help save lives by being a living donor, check out The Big Give.
- Every Tuesday, in Baltimore, nonprofit organization Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development host Turnaround Tuesdays, offering hands-on coaching to those needing help finding employment, particularly those who may have a harder time due to having a criminal background. Turnaround Tuesdays have been happening for three years, and they have helped place 358 people in jobs! This is certainly a reason to celebrate!
Thursday, August 24th
- When we think of prison, we often don’t think of cockatoos, wombats, and kangaroos. But at the John Morony Correctional Complex, outside Sydney, Australia, they definitely do! Animals that have been hurt, attacked by predators, or even seized in drug busts, can be brought to the facility’s wildlife center, where the inmates help rehabilitate them, often helping to rehabilitate themselves in the process.
- 6-year-old Branson Lee, of Calhoun, Louisiana, saved his 2-year-old twin cousins after they had fallen into the family pool, and had been submerged for a few minutes. Branson pulled them out of the water, and performed chest compressions, after having seen his mother perform CPR previously, helping to save the twins’ lives!
- Friends Carl Werner, 92, and Abby Deutsch, 91, were separated after Carl enlisted to fight in World War II. On August 17th, these two friends finally reunited after 76 years! A reunion for the ages!
- What has become a rite of passage for young black women heading off to college, Trunk Parties, has changed from female family and friends providing much needed items like linens, school supplies, etcetera, to also now include life lessons and advice, to help these young women get their lives off to a great start. These parties came about as a support system for students who were facing a world, academic and otherwise, that often didn’t want them there. For the past seven years, The Chicago Housing Authority has been organizing mass Trunk Parties, where students are given personalized recognition, gifts, supplies, advice, and so much more: a community supporting them as they embark on their journey!
- Two sets of quadruplets from Connecticut will be attending college this year, with one set, the Ciacciarella’s, heading to Quinnipiac University, and the other, the Wades, to Yale! Congratulations, or should we say, quadratulations!
- Today, a once barren field in Costa Rica is thriving, due to a project study by Princeton researchers, started back in the 1990’s. How did they create such a difference in the fertility of the land? Oranges. For more detailed information on this brilliant research, click here.
- Dawnetta Heintz of Nebraska wanted to give her wedding dress to someone who could use it, instead of stuffing it into a closet, after her July 2016 wedding. She posted it for free in a Facebook group, and after receiving an overwhelming response, decided to give the dress away with one request: pay it forward. Her dress is now scheduled to be worn by 12 different brides!