Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2008
At the end of November New York saw a bank robbery. One that went wrong the good way.
Walking up to a teller a man demanded money. She gave him a little over $1000. As he was leaving the bank the teller yelled “Stop him! He just robbed the bank!”
Technicians repairing the bank’s ATM chased the guy and caught him on 38th street.
As they shoved him on the hood of a car the money scattered all about.
When police officers arrived at the scene, pedestrians walked up to them and bank employees present, handing over bills they had picked up.
“Even in the bad economy, all $1,082 that had been scattered before the police arrived was recovered in full.”
— Paul J. Browne, chief police spokesman
Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008
November searching his world kindness they. Every day we as citizens celebrate what we should be doing every day of the year.
It’s a day that challenges us to do more than what we do a days.
Terry Wells remembers second grade class which showed that most children won’t be kind to each other.
“A few years ago, we were doing a lesson that required crayons. One student from across the room needed to borrow a yellow crayon and soon that question was heard by a student sitting beside my desk. This particular child was usually the one asking to borrow things for class, but it happened that this day the student had a new box of crayons. When he heard the need, he immediately offered his yellow crayon.
There are many times I’ve noticed when a student holds the door open for a teacher or has helped the student who has just dropped his box of supplies. So often in elementary school, it is all about the ‘yellow crayon,’ the simple stuff.”
— Terri Wells, Glasgow Alumni Association
but that kind of students go beyond the normal recollection of kindness as well. Their actions bring compassion to an entire community.
Such is the case for example with Brenda Taylor who did work for Locks of Love, the American Heart Association and other charities.
“She does these things because she has a warm heart,” Heralds said. “All of the activities Brenna has been involved in were needs observed by her. Many of the things she did took extra effort and initiative to begin and were not adult inspired.”
— Delanna Heralds, teacher
and naturally it’s not just children who can perform acts of kindness or pay it forward. Helping each other out definitely something for adults as well.
Tuesday, May. 13, 2008
Fox TV in Evansville, IN did a small test: how many people would pocket some “lost” money?
Prices across the board are on the rise, from food to fuel, so what would you do to have a little extra cash in your pocket? Would you take money at the expense of someone else?
“Without honesty the world would be in a lot worse shape than it is now.”
David Scott of Evansville returned the money I purposefully dropped out of my purse. He, like dozens of others on Main Street, felt honesty was the answer.
“I want the person to do like I would do them if I drop something I would want them to tell me.”
What happens, though, when items are dropped and no ones around to claim them.
We found two lost and founds in Evansville, that officials say stay pretty busy.
“We get items every week, wallets, glasses, personal items.”
Officer Shawn Smith says they try to return items to their owners if possible, but when things of minimal value, like pocket knives and lighters, aren’t claimed they eventually throw them out.
When it comes to turning in money, both lost and founds have had some luck.
“There was a wallet turned in that had 800 dollars in it.”
“We did have an envelope turned in with 500 dollars in it.”
All the money was returned to rightful owners, like the money I dropped was continuously returned to me.
“It’s amazing the honesty of people because the person was just an average person.”
After hours of testing, we didn’t find one resident who pocketed the few bills… It seems that these folks are getting ahead the honest way
Monday, Dec. 3, 2007
A Christmas superstar’ is shining in Chorley.
Taxi driver Mohammed Essa has been dubbed a hero after returning a woman’s lost purse – containing £500 in cash and credit cards.
Mohammed, aged 40, who operates Classic Cars, found the purse in the road as he was pulling up to his rank on High Street, Chorley.
Then he got his teeth into the mystery – tracing the owner from an Euxton dental practice card he found in the purse.
The 46-year-old woman, from Adlington, who asked not to be identified, described her knight of the road as a real superstar this week.
“The relief was absolutely enormous,” she said.
“I had £500 in my purse – my whole life was in my purse. I couldn’t believe it. I cried when I got the call from the dentists.”
She added: “I didn’t think there were that many honest people left in this world anymore. What a superstar.”
Mohammed said: “If I had lost something like that I would have felt the same way. I would hope somebody would hand it back.
“She was gobsmacked, there were tears in her eyes. Just looking at her face made me chuffed about it.
“She gave me £50 to thank me. I tried to turn it down, but she insisted because of the honesty.”
Mohammed said he thought the purse was a mobile phone or iPod cover when he first spotted it lying in the road last Wednesday.
“She’d got in a taxi before and must have just dropped it,” he said.
The woman said: “I was going to go out and do some Christmas shopping with the money. It is a huge, huge relief. It would have put me in a lot of financial hardship.
“I hope he gets some business out of it, with people asking for him because he’s a very trustworthy guy.”
She praised the police, too, saying: “I thought my purse had been stolen and they trawled through all the CCTV which I was very appreciative of.”
Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2007
On Aug. 28 I had the misfortune of losing my wallet. Within two hours and after contacting credit card companies it became evident that my card had been fraudulently used. Thus began the long process of cancelling not only my credit cards but also government cards, health card, birth certificate, etc. It was indeed quite a surprise to find on Aug. 30, my wallet had been left between my front doors.
Although I had been victimized by someone, they left a note of apology and monies to cover the cash and their misuse of my credit cards. This was indeed a nice albeit unusual gesture and I very much appreciated receiving my wallet with all my personal cards and photos back.
Judging by the apology letter left it seems the person responsible for the crime was influenced by a friend to use the cards. Her fiancee, however, when finding out what she had done, advised her to try and make things right. Fortunately, for her and for me, she took the advice of her fiancee.
I hope she was sincere when she said she had learned her lesson, because being young she has a long life ahead of her and certainly doesn’t need any black marks against her.
Finally to her fiancee. It is nice to know that there are honest people in the world.
Hats off to you!
Monday, Oct. 22, 2007
This is the story of an angel in disguise.
I was participating in the Spoon River Drive. I stopped to purchase some shutters at a garage sale in Hanna City. While I was loading the truck, my billfold fell out of my pocket. It contained my engagement ring, wedding band, cash and my cherished mother’s ring.
Of everything that was lost, my mother’s ring meant the most to me. It was given to me by my three children, and shortly after they gave it to me my oldest son passed away.
Thank God for Mary Englebrecht. She found my billfold, and she tracked me down all the way to Benton, Mo. She called me on Monday and by Thursday I had everything back.
Mary has reaffirmed my faith in people and that God does answer prayers. There are good, trustworthy people walking among us. They are angels in disguise and they come in every shape and form. When you see them, you don’t know they are an angel but when they touch your life you are very blessed. Mary Englebrecht is my angel. God bless you, Mary.
Friday, Aug. 31, 2007
A Kitimat family is happy to report their stolen bicycle has been returned.
And they credit the efforts of the RCMP and the Sentinel for getting it back.
“I am very grateful,” said Tuija Berndt, who’s 15-year-old son Nick had his $4,500 bike stolen on July 4.
Nick’s bike – specially designed for freeride style, which is downhill and jumps – was delivered to the Berndt’s home on the evening of Tuesday, August 21.
Tuija said she and the young male returning it agreed to keep him anonymous.
“He handed over the bike, we gave him the reward, thanked him and that was that,” Tuija said.
“As far as we’re concerned he just found it somewhere.”
She added that without the help of the Sentinel she does not think the bike would have been returned.
“The person returning the bike said he saw it in the newspaper,” she pointed out. “I’m certain that’s the only reason it was returned.”
The story on the theft ran in the August 15 edition.
Tuija also thanked local police and Constable Bryan Notheisz in particular for pursuing the case.
Nick, who is currently away in Smithers, has been notified, Tuija said.
“He is ecstatic,” she laughed.
When he does return he will have a few minor repairs to make as the bike is a bit banged up, she added.
But once that is done Nick can take it for a joy ride down a steep hill or two.
Tuesday, May. 22, 2007
Her family thinks she’s crazy, yet Rosemary Corales forgives the man who stole her purse from her side while she sat praying in church.
Corales, 83, first thought the man at St. Philip Neri Catholic Church in Metairie, on the morning of May 10 was a construction worker: He wore a baseball cap and carried a roll of plastic sheeting. She paid him no mind, concentrating in a pew on her rosary, as he made his way around the sanctuary. Then she heard a little noise, looked down and noticed her purse was missing.
“I yelled, and he ran real fast out the front door,” she said Friday.
Others in the sanctuary also called after him, but he got away. He apparently tried later to use her credit cards at several businesses, but Corales had canceled the cards and notified her bank.
Corales is praying for the thief, even though she said her family questions her judgment. She said she learned patience and forgiveness in her former job as a student aide at Alfred T. Bonnabel High School in Kenner. Besides, she said, the thief was probably hungry.
“Well, the pope forgave the man who shot him. Why can’t I forgive the man who robbed me?”
Wednesday, May. 16, 2007
It was an emotional reunion inside Barnes Jewish Hospital Tuesday. It was the chance for a good samaritan to see the woman he saved. It’s actually a second meeting for Melissa O’Connor and Don Cooper. That, in itself, is amazing considering what happened the first time they met.
Don says, “How great she’s doing now is, to me, a miracle.”
Melissa O’Connor is recovering. Until last week, the 28-year old appeared to be healthy and jogged every day. But her most recent run might have been fatal, if someone hadn’t stopped to help.
It happened early Friday in Edwardsville. Melissa went for a jog on a bike trail, pushing her six-month old in his stroller. But something was wrong. An irregular heartbeat threw Melissa into cardiac arrest. She collapsed on the path, tipping the stroller on its side. That’s when Don drove by.
He says, “As I got halfway down the trail, I could hear a baby crying.”
He ran to them, righted the stroller and checked the infant, who was fine. Then Don turned to Melissa. He says, “When I got to her I realized she was unconscious. I checked her, she had no pulse, was not breathing.” He began CPR and called for help. Police and paramedics were able to restart her heart. But Melissa wasn’t out of the woods yet. Her husband, Dennis O’Connor, says, “She was unconscious for two days. I’d say the most painful two days of my life. Then on Mother’s Day… Mother’s Day she woke up.”
And so Tuesday, Don came to see the family he saved. It’s a family intact, thanks to his actions. Dennis says, “He saved my wife, he saved me, and he saved my sons. I owe him the world. I cannot say in words how much to thank him.”
Doctors still don’t know what caused Melissa’s heart problem or whether it will reoccur. But they say she appears to be making a steady recovery now.
Friday, Apr. 6, 2007
The long road ahead reflects the path of life for this ‘good’ and honest limousine driver and a bread winner in a family of four, Prateep Sripolnok, who has been in the industry to serve tourists and visitors to the island for over 10 years.
He said: “ I usually give the money I earn to my wife as she will then divide it for the household commodities and monthly expenditure. Some goes to savings and some I give to my old parents.”
His wife: “I give him moral support. When he comes back late and exhausted and sometimes with problems at work, I try to comfort him saying we have the mission of building up good family with a prosperous future for the kids.”
Prateep said he tries his best each day which is usually a routine. He admits that he has to work hard and keep some savings for his children’s future education.
When free from work, Prateep spends his time with his family like any other ordinary person. Apart from that he also spends some tiny spare time farming some fighting cocks. His family breeds baby fighting cocks for sale as well.
One day in December last year, the chances opened for this middle aged man to get over 100,000 baht which is a lot of money for a typical Thai family. That day one of his foreign passengers left his belongings with over 100,000 baht in his car. Being honest to himself and to his career, plus sustainable tourism for the island he said he then reported his find to the police and later returned the cash to the owner. After that the Phuket Provincial Authority awarded him with the prize ‘The good deed person in Phuket’. Prateep and his family take pride in the title that he honestly earned.
His son: “My dad is great. He is smart and honest. We’re proud of him. I will follow his path even tough I want to be a policeman when I grow up.”
Prateep is another good example for the definition of self sufficiency economy and a figure of good morals, especially on Phuket Island where the majority of people rely on tourism riches.
Friday, Mar. 23, 2007
A BABY girl has been reunited with her favourite teddy, five sleepless nights after they were separated on a plane journey.
Airline Flybe received an email from three-month old Gracie Tourgout, written by her father John, saying how upset she was at losing Pierre le Bear when flying from Leeds to Exeter.
Gracie, from Weymouth, said in her email: “He helps me get to sleep at night and was given to me by my godparents, who I am seeing next week!
“Please, please, please would you ask your friends at Exeter airport if they have found Pierre le Bear and could send him back to me.”
The Flybe staff were stirred by Gracie’s emotional plea and launched a full-scale search at Exeter airport.
Ground handling staff, cabin crew and other staff were all put on the look-out for Pierre, even head office was notified.
Eddie Evans, Flybe station manager at Exeter, said: “When we heard about Gracie’s story, it really tugged at our heartstrings and we felt compelled to help reunite her with Pierre le Bear.
“We knew that there was a high possibility that the teddy could still be on board the aircraft, winging its way back to Leeds, so we made sure to alert all cabin crew and ground staff to ensure that they kept their eyes peeled for Gracie’s bear.
“I personally checked everywhere that I could think of but it was actually a kind-hearted member of the public who eventually tracked down Pierre and handed him in to the Flybe ticketing desk, five days after he first went missing. It was great to be able to tell John and Charlotte Tourgout that we had found the bear and Gracie seemed particularly pleased to be reunited with her bedtime friend!”
Mr Tourgout added: “Gracie is all smiles now that she’s got her favourite bear back and we are pleased as well because it means she will hopefully start sleeping properly again. We would like to thank everyone at Flybe for making such a special effort in finding the bear for her.”
Friday, Mar. 16, 2007
There’s a quaint prayer that asks the Good Lord to give us strength to make changes, and also accept things we cannot change.
No mention of hope, but it’s pretty much inferred.
A wise man I know told me the other day that we should all strive to take more out of life than it takes out of us. Truer words have never been spoken.
“We should not let our fears hold us back from pursuing our hopes,” John F. Kennedy once said.
Previously, Dale Carnegie said: “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”
Human beings are a funny lot. Not the Robin Williams funny, but odd, strange and peculiar. We are quite brilliant at times, capable of much good. But we are also prone to physical and emotional setbacks, which affect our ability to change the world. We suffer, inwardly and outwardly, from time to time. As tough as we think we are, we hurt, more often than we should.
God has bestowed upon us many wonderful qualities. But immortality and super strength were not among his blessings. We wouldn’t know how to handle such things anyway and make a total mess of such powers.
In the absence of perfection, we warm-blooded bipeds call upon rather unscientific methods to deal with modern life. We rely on our instinct; follow our hearts; muster up faith and always have hope.
For many, hope is all they have.
When I look in the mirror on a daily basis and come to the conclusion that I’m somehow hard done by, I think of families in Third World nations, huddled under leaky roofs, or children begging in crowded market squares for their survival. I admire those, young and old, who venture off to far-away lands and build wells, schools and help locals learn to farm.
If I were younger and had the means, I’d pack up the whole family and travel to help the needy and provide “hope.”
You see hope can be as powerful as green tea, vitamins or antibiotics.
Hope comes from many sources. It can come from within, typically summoned during times of need or emotional turmoil. If we look for it, we usually find it, but we may have to dust it off and plump it up a bit.
Hope comes from our loved ones.
When I hear my kids laughing uncontrollably, I crack a smile. It’s contagious, you know. When I look into their eyes and hear them talk about the future, I beam, not so much with pride (for I really didn’t do anything) but with anticipation and yes, hope.
In my own little way, I have tried to make the world a better place. But my efforts will hopefully pale in comparison to the yet-to-be-witnessed achievements of my younglings. Poised for greatness, all. And I’m not saying that because I’m their dad, but because I truly believe they will take the world by the hands and lead us to a tiny bit of salvation. Why do I say this?
The current movers and shakers are still stuck in the mud when it comes to coming up with real solutions to global warming and our ozone layer, world hunger, world peace, the world’s food supply, etc. Heck, in most cases, we can’t even come to an agreement. We are at the height of our technological prowess and can gather the world’s brightest minds to cure what ails us. And yet, we don’t.
We spend a great deal of time and effort on making automobiles and plasma TVs, improving special effects in movies and coming up with more creative reality TV shows. Like that’s what the world needs. Perhaps TV producers, selfhelp gurus and motivational speakers should all travel to Africa or Asia and roll up their sleeves and help the natives with a good, old fashioned work ethic.
That would provide some hope.
Hope, faith and prayer alone won’t solve our problems.
But those very human qualities will go a long way to altering the fabric of our lives.
Armed with such intangibles, we peculiar humans often rise to the challenges before us. We emotional creatures have proven to be loving to a fault. And we average working stiffs have shown great courage and compassion to our friends and neighbours.
While we don’t readily recognize hope or point it out to others, it’s always there, just under the skin. It’s the fuel in our tanks, the immeasurable substance that boosts our immune systems and gives us that extra spring in our step (or is that spinach?).
The beauty of hope is it’s easily shared with others. We can actually give it to someone else, through our thoughts, prayers and of course, actions. Once more of us begin to realize the power of this commodity, it will burn like a fuse and spread uncontrollably.
Imagine, throngs of citizens, gathering in town squares, or stopping for a moment while at work in theirs office towers, pausing and reflecting on reassuring optimism.
Hope, it’s in us to give.
Thursday, Mar. 1, 2007
The mother of a road crash victim killed by a drink driver sent the man who cost her daughter her life a Christmas card in prison.
Sylvia France’s daughter Sharon Hewer, 38, of Hobart Close, Worthing, died when Luke Quinell’s van ploughed into the Mazda she was sitting in.
The Mazda had been in a minor accident with a Honda moments before being hit by Quinell’s VW Transporter and was stationary across the two lanes of the A27 outside the Coach and Horses at Salvington, near Worthing on December 22, 2005.
Quinell, of Grafton Street, Portsmouth, was more than twice over the limit and on his way back from a Christmas party and failed to spot the vehicle.
Ms Hewer and her friends, driver Clive Hancock, 37, from Billingshurst, and Ivor Bingham, 39, from Sherbourne, Dorset, were killed instantly.
Quinell pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving and was jailed for six years and banned from the roads for ten years.
Earlier this month the Court of Appeal reduced the jail term to five years and cut his driving ban in half, to five years.
But Mrs France said she feels no anger or bitterness towards 24-year-old Quinell.
She said: “From what I know Luke Quinell is a good man. I’ve never met him but people who have tell me he is utterly full of remorse.
“He didn’t get behind the wheel of his van knowing he was going to take three lives.
“He has to live with that decision for the rest of his life so it really does not matter how long his prison sentence is.
“I wrote him this Christmas and sent him a card to tell him he wasn’t 100 per cent at fault and we felt no animosity towards him.
“I also told him how Sharon’s four children are doing because, as a parent himself, I thought he might be worried about them.
“He wrote back to tell me how grateful he was to have received my letter and to say how relieved he was to hear about her children as he had been worrying about them a lot.
“He even said that on the anniversary of the accident he had gone to the prison chapel and lit three candles for the lives he had taken.”
Clive Hancock’s mother, Eva Turner, 69, of Cleve Way, Billingshurst, has also forgiven Mr Quinell.
She said: “Mr Quinell did not arm himself with a knife or a gun and go out with the sole intention of killing people.”
Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2007
On Jan. 26, at about 5 p.m. at Cody’s Roadhouse Grill in Bradenton, a very nice lady turned my wallet over to the waitstaff. I had left it in the restroom. I didn’t get to meet her and thank her, so I’d like to do that now. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Now I have 10 good deeds to do to pay it forward. Thank you again. – Susan Bondy, Bradenton
• I would like to thank Daniel Ponton, president of Healthy Home of Sarasota located in Bradenton, for the service and cleaning of my TriStar Vacuum Cleaning System. He also refused to charge me for the needed replacement parts. Getting service like that is so very rare these days and I truly appreciate it. I have been a TriStar owner since 1989 and I honestly can’t imagine trying to keep my home clean without it. – Barbara Hill, Bradenton
• Recently a co-worker needed an emergency extraction of a wisdom tooth before leaving on an unexpected trip to Germany. As always, I recommended Scott Maloney. Unfortunately, his schedule was full for the day and he referred my co-worker to another dentist in Bradenton who said a dental surgeon would be required and that no one would be available for two days. We went to the Palmetto Dental Center, arriving at about 4:30 p.m. and personally explained the circumstances. Dr. Maloney and his staff stayed past their regular office hours to extract the tooth.
I will continue to refer friends to Dr. Maloney, not only as a very competent dentist but also as a compassionate person. – Gloria Lester, Palmetto
Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2007
The Hawaii Police Department has returned $3,500 to a visitor who found the cash in a Kona parking lot last summer. The 73-year-old Australian woman reported the found cash to police on July 29, 2006, the same day she found it.
Police initiated a found property case but no one claimed the money or reported losing the cash. Under police policy, the finder is entitled to keep the money if it goes unclaimed for 45 days and police find no evidence that is it connected to a crime.
The Australian woman made arrangements for the Police Department to send a check for $3,500 to a friend of hers who lives on the Big Island. The friend will then get the money to the Australian woman.
“It was a pleasure to reward this honest individual,” said Lieutenant Randal Ishii.
Both women asked police not to release their names to the public.