Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2008

In Time of Financial Crisis, Passers By Give Back Lost Money

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

World Kindness Day

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

Honesty: What would you do?

Fox TV in Evansville, IN did a small test: how many people would pocket some “lost” money?

Julie Dolan:

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

Hero taxi man returns lost purse

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

Wallet lost and returned, with a twist

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!

Helen Marchment

Pickering

Monday, Oct. 22, 2007

Angel in disguise returns wallet with valuables

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.

Rebecca

Benton, Mo.

Friday, Aug. 31, 2007

Bike returned

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

Woman forgives church purse snatcher

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

Good Samaritan Rescues Collapsed Jogger, Baby

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

Honest limousine driver returns lost money to passenger

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

Airline to the rescue after baby loses bear

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.
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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

We all need a little bit of hope

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

Victim’s mum forgives drink-driver, sends Christmas cards

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.
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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

Wallet rescue prompts woman to ‘pay it forward’

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

Found money given to honest finder

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.

Monday, Jan. 8, 2007

Library book returned – 47 years overdue

Robert Nuranen handed the local librarian a book he’d checked out for a ninth-grade assignment – along with a check for 47 years’ worth of late fees.

Nuranen said his mother misplaced the copy of “Prince of Egypt” while cleaning the house. The family came across it every so often, only to set it aside again. He found it last week while looking through a box in the attic.

“I figured I’d better get it in before we waited another 10 years,” he said after turning it in Friday with the $171.32 check. “Fifty-seven years would be embarrassing.”

The book, with its last due date stamped June 2, 1960, was part of the young Nuranen’s fascination with Egypt. He went on to visit that country and 54 others, and all 50 states, he said, but he never did finish the book.

Nuranen now lives in Los Angeles, where he teaches seventh-grade social studies and language arts.

The library had long ago lost any record of the book, librarian Sue Zubiena said.

“I’m going to use it as an example,” she said. “It’s never too late to return your books.”

Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2007

Let’s meet a real-life angel

There’s a Community of Angels here that includes both the name of an organization and two high school students who run it.

They have been singled out for national recognition. The latest honor goes to Amber Rose, 17, who is a national finalist in Angel Soft’s Angels in Action awards.

Amber has received a $1,000 scholarship, which she plans to use at the University of Colorado-Boulder. She is thinking of becoming a marketing student so that after she graduates she can “go into a firm and do marketing and advertising and sales.”

For her project, Art Angels, Amber gathers art supplies, which she puts in kits and then hands over to World Vision, which takes them to foreign countries devastated by natural disasters. Other kits go to places like Boys and Girls clubs, Champa House and Children’s Hospital.

She came up with the idea for the program when she needed a boost herself. She was in a hospital, waiting to get her appendix removed 10 years ago.

“In second grade, I was a patient at Children’s Hospital,” Amber said.

“Miss Teen Colorado of 1996 came and visited me. She brought me art projects to do. It’s really scary being in the hospital. (Art) put my mind at ease. I was able to do other stuff instead of just lay in bed.”

She and her sister, Anna, formed Community Angels, the umbrella organization for their projects. Anna has two – Sight Angels, which collects and donates glasses to the Denver Rescue Mission, and Education Angels, which provides school supplies to students in the Elizabeth area.

Amber started Art Angels using her main hobby as the theme.

“I’ve always been interested in art,” she said. “That’s where the idea of using art supplies came in. I draw a lot.”

She seeks donations from corporations, and then uses the money to buy art stuff like crayons and colored pencils, paper and paints.

“Most of the time, people are really good about giving me a good price when it’s for charity,” she said. “And 100 percent of what’s donated goes to the kids.”

She was a finalist recently in the Young Americans Young Entrepreneurs Award. She donated the prize money to Art Angels.

Each Art Angel kit has 130 pieces. They have been shipped to Malaysia, Armenia, Nicaragua and Guam.

When she’s not running the project, she’s busy studying. She’s an honor student at Elizabeth High School, where she is a senior. She also sings in jazz and chamber choirs. She has a supporting role in the school’s musical, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. She’s the funding chair of Cherry Creek Diversity Conference Committee, and is a member of Operation Social Change, which educates schoolmates about different cultures.

“I don’t have any free time,” she said. “That’s the stuff I do in my free time.”

Tuesday, Sep. 5, 2006

Money left in restroom returned to family

When Denise Fulk stopped with her family at the Dresbach Travel Information Center on Thursday morning to use the restroom, she took a bank bag in with her. She didn’t want to leave nearly $1,500 in cash unattended in the family pickup.

A few minutes later, the family left on their way to South Dakota — without their vacation money. That re-mained in the women’s restroom.

But through the courtesy of two unidentified strangers, the Arpin, Wis., family got the money back later that afternoon — all $1,488.01.

The Winona County Sheriff’s Department received a call at 2 p.m. from a visitor center employee, who said she had a bank bag containing the money. She told the department that a half-hour earlier, a man and woman had walked into the center carrying a bank bag.

The man who handed over the bag said, “I found this. I never opened it,” and walked away.

A sheriff’s deputy drove to Dresbach and brought the bag back to Winona.

The Fulks reached Albert Lea about 3:30 p.m. and discovered the money was missing. Denise Fulk called an employee at the center, who initially had no idea what she was talking about.

Eventually, the center called the sheriff’s department, the sheriff’s department called Denise, and at 5:30 p.m., Chief Deputy Ron Ganrude met the family in St. Charles and delivered the money.

Whoever found the money, the Fulks, who were traveling and unavailable for comment, want to thank them.

“I don’t know if it’s a reward,” Ganrude said. “It’s probably just a big thank you. Either way, they really want to know who turned their money in.”

Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2006

Man loses lotto, offers lesson in forgiveness

A Winnipeg man woke up Sunday finding out the wish he had every Sunday was going to come true: Five out of the six Lotto 6/49 numbers he always played had finally come up.

But Christian Kazedi did not win his share of the jackpot. A friend of his did not buy Kazedi’s ticket the night before.

Kazedi, a father of five, was rushing to get to work on Saturday, so he gave his lottery numbers and $10 to Serge Kaptegaine.

“I have never played that before, I don’t know how people play this game,” Kaptegaine said Monday.

Kaptegaine, who recently arrived in Canada from the Republic of Congo, followed Kazedi’s instructions. But when he went to the convenience store at 10 p.m., it was too late for him to play.

If Kazedi had his ticket, he would have won $120,000.

“He really needs money right now,” said Kaptegaine. “He has a big family. He tries to take care of his family. Now, because of me … he went down. I let him down. So I feel very, very guilty about that.”

But Kazedi said he doesn’t feel that way.

“He’s like my little brother,” Kazedi said. “This situation is like your child burning down your house. You wouldn’t throw the child into the fire.”

The jackpot was not meant to be his, he said. Besides, he added, people place too much value on money.

Monday, Aug. 21, 2006

Woman’s purse and $1500 returned by Good Samaritan

A GOOD Samaritan made sure a woman’s holiday was not ruined when he handed her lost bag containing £800 (arounc USD $1500) to police in West Hampstead.

Davida Petters was waiting for a train at the Thameslink station on West End Lane with her brother David on July 30.

In the rush to start her trip to the Isle of Wight, carrying luggage and her pet dog, the retired legal secretary left her handbag on the platform.

As soon as they realised the pair got off the train and returned to West Hampstead but could not find the bag.

They were set to cancel their holiday but within hours police told Ms Petters, who lives in Hendon, that a passer-by had taken the bag to West Hampstead police station.

She said: “I was very relieved to say the least when I heard it had been handed in. It was such a nice thing to do and I want to say thank you. The police were also brilliant in helping out.”

Sergeant Eddie Odita, of the Kilburn Safer Neighbourhoods police team, said he would be nominating the good Samaritan for a police commendation.

He said: “It was such a good thing for someone to do. He walked all the way from the train station to the police station to hand it in.

“The station was closed on the Sunday but he made sure he spoke to someone.

Friday, Aug. 11, 2006

Friends Shave Heads for Chemotherapy Patient

Love your hair? Three young women from Savannah love a friend even more. They all took the shaved look yesterday so they can look like a friend from church who’s going through chemotherapy.

One of the girls had hair long enough to donate to Locks of Love to make it more than just an act of support.

“We chose to do this for Nancy, but at the same time, it’s not our appearance that makes us beautiful, it’s what’s inside,” said Jennilee Baird. “It’s our hearts, too. And I feel like I don’t want it to be a selfish thing. I want it to be for Nancy and I want it to be because we love her, and we want to show her that.”

The girls admitted they were a little nervous before their cuts. But they seemed happy once they were finished.

All three go to the Southside Assembly of God.

Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2006

Girl gives away bike prize

Eight-year-old Souji Geib is a good student with a tremendously generous spirit.

This is the second year in a row that Souji asked me to help find a good home for a new bike she received for having perfect attendance at Akron’s Leggett Elementary School. The school gave away nearly 40 bikes.

“I already have a bike,” Souji said. She allowed me to donate last year’s bike to a Canton girl whose bike was stolen.

This year, I invited girls to write a Why-I-Should-Win-the-Bike essay and let Souji pick the winner.

She did. And happily so.

I, on the other hand, was a bit bummed out that only two applicants responded.

The contest inspired one local gentleman to donate a boy’s bike and urge me to open the contest to boys. I did.

To our amazement, not one boy responded.

Was it too much like homework? Do parents not encourage their children to apply for something if it means extra effort? I’m baffled.

But I’m delighted to applaud Souji’s good deed and introduce the bike’s new owner as chosen by Souji.

Drumroll, please. She’s Carlisa Hayes, 8, of Columbus, who spent the summer in Akron with her grandmother.

“I thought her essay was sweet and nice and she likes school,” Souji said. “And giving her the bike would make her happy to be able to ride along with her friend who already had a bike.”

Carlisa, who like Souji will be a third-grader, was ecstatic to learn she won the purple bike with matching helmet.

In her essay, Carlisa talked about earning a merit award, being a self-manager and helping her teacher and mom.

Upon meeting, both girls seemed to bond easily, even deciding to become pen pals.

Parents Inda Blatch-Geib and Michael Geib joined Souji as she dropped off the bike. Equally proud mother Irene Jackson escorted Carlisa.

So, here’s to the wisdom of responding to essay contests, which in this case yielded a bike and a new friend. And here’s to parents who teach the importance of giving back, reading and following through.

Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2006

Kids’ efforts raise $258 for Shop With a Cop

The Fremont Police Department is thanking two children who challenged city youth to raise money for Shop With a Cop last weekend.

Two summers ago, Korri and Kole Hendrickson sold $42 worth of lemonade to help Fremont children have a better Christmas.

The 12- and 9-year-old Fremont children challenged all children in Dodge County to sell lemonade last Saturday to benefit the Shop With a Cop program. A mayoral proclamation declared the day “Whet Your Whistle Day” and requested other area children to help.

The Hendricksons alone raised more than $258 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at their lemonade stand.

“People were very generous. They sold 62 glasses of lemonade, but most people gave more than the quarter price,” said Detective Joyce Henke. “I was just absolutely stunned – it was over eight times as much as last time.”

Shop With a Cop allows officers to take children who might not otherwise get Christmas presents to Wal-Mart Supercenter to buy winter clothing and an appropriate toy of their choice with donations collected at various events throughout the year. The program is run by the Fremont Fraternal Order of Police and about $100 is spent on each child.

“We spend about $100 per child so that’s 2 1/2 kids they raised money for,” Henke said. “For two adolescents to take that on and raise that much money is incredible.”

She said officers had heard there were other lemonade stands around town benefiting Shop With a Cop, but no further money has been turned in yet. All donations should be brought to the Fremont Police Department dispatch area.

“These kids are going to grow up to be incredible citizens,” Henke said. “If they keep growing with that sense of giving back to the community, they will go far.”

Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2006

Boys become entrepreneurs to save cat

A lemonade stand that four Copley Township boys operated Monday wasn’t just to help folks beat the heat.

They were trying to save a life.

Brian Horning, 9, said his cat Ellie needs surgery for a tumor on her back.

So he and his friend Jonathan DeLapa, 12, came up with an idea to raise money for the medical costs.

A table set up with an umbrella and sign in front of 4401 Conestoga Trail attracted a lot of visitors. The sweltering temperature and detour on nearby Ridgewood Road didn’t hurt, either.

Brian, Jonathan and two friends have pulled in $150 so far, selling lemonade for 50 cents and pop and water for a buck.

Brian’s mom, Barb Horning, said she might be able to afford that surgery with the boys’ help.

The veterinarian estimated that total medical costs would be about $750, she said.

Barb Horning said she helped the boys with supplies, but the idea was completely theirs. Meanwhile, Jonathan’s mom, Terri DeLapa, acted as their public relations agent, calling the media.

Another volunteer seller, Matt Triola, 11, admitted: “It’s a boiling hot day. But, why not. I like the cat.”

And Jacob Schott, 12, chimed in that Ellie “is cute and friendly” and worth saving.

The next lemonade sale might be Thursday, Barb Horning said.

While Ellie’s caretakers rallied support for her, she basked inside where it was air conditioned.

Once healthy, she’s expected to be back to her normal routine of lurking about the neighborhood.

Friday, Jul. 14, 2006

Watches, crucifixes stolen 25 years ago from convent returned

It took a quarter-century, but his conscience finally got the best of a thief.

Several crucifixes, pocket watches and a wristwatch were stolen from Maria Convent in Newton in 1981. Just last week, the Rev. Joseph Keil at Our Lady’s Help of Christians parish received a package shipped from San Jose, Calif., containing the stolen items, and a letter.

“The note said the person who took them was sorry, that the jewelry was taken many years ago and if it could be returned to the owner, that would be great,” Keil told the MetroWest Daily News of Framingham.

The Maria Convent is not affiliated with Our Lady Help of Christians. The convent is run by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston. Sister Joanne Gallagher, a spokeswoman for the order, said it’s still unknown whether the returned items were actually stolen from the Maria Convent.

“All I know it was 25 years ago and we really don’t have any accurate information right now,” she said.

Newton police Lt. Bruce Apotheker said a person has been interviewed who remembered the convent being burglarized over Labor Day weekend in 1981, but could not remember what was stolen.

The letter, dated July 2, 2006, seemed to be written by someone close to the thief instead of the actual culprit, Keil said.

“Please help return these items to the Sisters that they were stolen from, if possible,” the anonymous letter reads in part. “The person who stole them asks for their forgiveness, as he has asked for God’s forgiveness, and is extremely sorry for the pain that their theft caused.”

Tuesday, Jul. 4, 2006

Owner reunited with missing ring

When a valuable diamond engagement ring was turned in to Guelph Police four weeks ago, it got to spend time in lockup before the owner set it free.

“It was an expensive ring,” said Sergeant Ron Lord. “It was worth well over a thousand dollars . . . . It was no surprise that the owner didn’t want to be named.

“Maybe the boyfriend didn’t even know it was missing.”

The 18-karat gold diamond solitaire ring was found by staff at the Eramosa Heights Shoppers Drug Mart. They turned the ring over to police and with the help of numbers printed inside the band, the owner was reunited with her jewelry.

While it was waiting to be claimed, the beautiful bobble was locked up in a basement room of the police station on Fountain Street.

Under the Police Services Act, items turned into police are kept for 90 days, except for bikes, which are kept for 30 days because of the space they take up.

After the 90-day waiting period, police can put unclaimed items up for auction. Those auctions are held three or four times a year and are usually dominated by bicycles. But Lord said you never know what will get turned in.

Money raised at the auctions goes to the police board to fund local police-related programs.

“We have a request almost every meeting for support from the community,” police board chair Dave Clark said about how the auction money is used.

“What we take in (from auctions) goes out to charity. We get a lot of requests for support for things like sponsoring a hole at a golf tournament.”

Friday, May. 12, 2006

$1,714 lost, found and returned

With the money 10-year-old Tyler Bunch found near a bridge on a walk home, he could have bought 21 Game Boy Advance SP portable-video game systems – which come with a price tag around $80.

But Tyler knew better and made sure the money – all $1,714.11 of it – was returned to the owner.

In return for his good deed, Tyler has one Game Boy Advance SP and the knowledge that he helped someone.

On April 15, Tyler was returning home from playing with his friend in the Sandstone Subdivision in Lamar County. As he walked along Old Highway 42 to get to Ralph Rawls Road where he lives with his family, an object near the bridge caught his eye.

It was a credit card and a checkholder along with checks. Tyler was about to leave when he saw an envelope in the area.

“I said there might be money in there,” he said.

He turned around and found an envelope containing more than $1,700.

When he finally got home, he announced his findings to the family,

“He wanted to keep it, but he knew he had to turn it in,” his mother, Jamie Bunch, said. “If it was his money, he would want the person to do the same thing.”

Linda Bunch, Tyler’s grandmother, said the family scoured the phonebook, searching for the man whose name was on the credit card. No luck.

The next step was calling the Lamar County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office contacted the bank on the credit card in an effort to track down the owner. The owner, a George County man, eventually was found.

He was a construction worker performing work at the Canebrake subdivision and had just cashed his mother’s insurance check to place the roof on her house, which was damaged from Hurricane Katrina. The man had no idea where he had lost it, Lamar County Sheriff Danny Rigel said.

“His mom has a roof on her house,” Tyler said, as he beamed about his good deed.

As a reward, the man gave Tyler $100 – but the accolades did not stop there.

The Wal-Mart SuperCenter on U.S. 98 gave Tyler a $200 gift card, which he used to buy his Gameboy Advance SP. And at the May 6 Lamar County Board of Supervisors meeting, Rigel recognized him with a certificate.

“He was admirable for what he did,” Rigel said. “Hopefully, he’ll inspire someone else to do the same thing.”

Monday, Apr. 17, 2006

Everyone’s proud of boy who found, returned wallet

Several days ago, Brandon Jordon found a wallet on the ground outside his school. Inside was $125 cash and several credit cards.

His next move was clear.

“I took it to the office,” said Brandon, 12, a sixth-grader at West Middle School.

When asked if he ever thought about keeping it, Brandon said: “No. My mom (Dulece Jordon) taught me what the right thing to do is.”

Brandon also immediately told his grandfather, who works at the school. “Grandpa called my mom to tell her,” he said.

For his choices, Brandon has been lauded by his school principal, Monica Merritt, both in person and over the school’s public address system.

“I’m so proud of him,” Merritt said. “You’d hope that this would be the norm, but it isn’t.”

Merritt said every morning on the public address system, she tells the 470 students at the middle school about “choices and respect,” and she was able to use Brandon’s honest deed as a real-life example of making the right choice. It might even be considered an act of positive peer pressure, she said.

“The kids were proud of him and talking about what he did,” Merritt said after she made the announcement.

Brandon admitted that some of his friends told him he should have kept the wallet, but that wasn’t something he’d considered.

“I was taught to do the right thing from the time I was little,” Brandon said, adding that his big sister, Bianca, an eighth-grader in the same school, agreed that keeping the wallet would have been wrong.

In addition to receiving his family’s support and encouragement, Brandon’s selfless act will not go unrewarded by the school. Brandon was treated to a special lunch. And, there is the possibility of a reward.

Merritt said the owner of the wallet, happy with its return, might offer a reward. So the school, in turn, will match whatever amount might be offered.

“Goodness exists in the middle school,” Merritt said.

Thursday, Apr. 13, 2006

12yo donates for Locks of Love

Nicole Holman wanted to make a difference.

Having watched chemo-therapy rob both her mother and grandmother of their hair during treatments, Nicole knew how she wanted to honor the breast cancer survivors in her family.

“Somewhere down the line, she wanted to grow her hair out,” Nicole’s mother, Mary says.

She wasn’t aware of her daughter’s original idea to donate her mane to Locks of Love.

But it was. The 12-year-old ended up growing out her hair for more than a year to donate to the cause.

Since a minimum donation to Locks of Love must be at least 10 inches, Nicole, an Avonworth Junior High School sixth grader, grew her light brown hair to the middle of her back. It now falls, she says, just above her shoulders.

“I thought it was a really sweet idea,” Mary says of her young daughter’s selfless act.

First learning about the organization from her aunt, Nicole began researching Locks of Love on the internet, but says she found the Web sites to be confusing.

So her mother called In Creative Company, one of Sewickley’s hair salons, and made an appointment for April 1.

Locks of Love provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children suffering from long-term medical hair loss, according to their Web site. It is a non-profit organization.

The site explains that those children who are granted donations through the organization have conditions with no known cause or cure, such as alopecia areata.

Although Nicole was inspired by her mother and grandmother’s fight with cancer, donations are usually not given to cancer patients going through chemotherapy be-cause their hair eventually grows back.

Donated hair must be a minimum length of 10 inches and cannot be bleached or chemically damaged. How-ever, it can be color-treated or permed. Donated hair must also be clean and dry.

The Web site adds that Locks of Love is in need of hair from all races of men, women and children.

It’s been almost two weeks since Nicole shed her long locks for a shorter ‘do, but even though it’s quite a change, she says she is getting used to and growing fond of her new hair style.

“I needed a change,” Nicole says.

“Everyone says it looks nice.”

In addition to the compliments, her family also is very proud of why she chose to donate.

“The whole family thought it was a nice thing to do,” Nicole says.

Thursday, Mar. 30, 2006

Cabbie of the year returned a king’s ransom in jewelry

Last August, New York City taxi driver Hossam Abdalla held a case that contained nearly a (m) million dollars’ worth of gold, diamonds and titanium.
But he soon got something he considers more valuable: the satisfaction of getting it back to the jeweler who left it in his cab.

Abdalla was named New York’s cab driver of the year at a Taxi and Limousine Commission ceremony today. “Honesty for me is everything,” says the Egyptian immigrant who’s been driving since 1999.

Most of the drivers honored today were recognized for returning lost property. One returned a camcorder and videotape documenting a child’s recovery from cancer.

Inside Good News Blog