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Old 10-06-2010, 10:50 AM   #16
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(CNN) -- Some may call it chance, but Victor Perez believes a higher power was involved Tuesday when he chased after a vehicle suspected of carrying an abducted young girl in Fresno, California.

A construction carpenter by trade until work slowed down, Perez has been recently cutting wine grapes, earning minimum wage.

Early Tuesday, there was a light rain, making that task unlikely.

Perez, 29, tuned in to television news coverage of the abduction, paying attention to the description and video of the suspect's pickup truck.

At about 6:45 a.m., Perez was outside his house talking with his cousin about the abduction when they saw a vehicle matching that description: an older-model, reddish-brown Chevrolet with a white stripe on the side.

"I thought, that could be the truck," Perez, a father of two boys, told CNN Tuesday night.

That's when he sprang into action. He jumped into his 1988 white Ford pickup and followed the vehicle.

Perez tried to cut off the vehicle several times to question the driver. One time, the driver told him, "I don't have no time [to talk]. My battery is dying."

The second time Perez pulled up to the Chevy, he saw the little girl, her head popping up from below view, and knew something was wrong.

"I kept telling him, 'That's not your little girl,'" said Perez. "We argued. We exchanged words."

Perez -- who admitted he did wonder at some point whether the motorist had a gun -- pulled up to the truck a third, and then a fourth time, when he blocked the pickup truck.

Immediately after the truck stopped, the girl was out. Perez said he believes the driver pushed her out.

"I was beyond scared," he said.

Perez got out of his vehicle and stayed with the girl. She was wearing a Winnie the Pooh sweater, he said.

The chase had taken him about a mile from his house and into another neighborhood. He yelled for residents to get the girl a blanket.

The Chevy drove off. By then, Perez had a partial license plate number, which he gave to dispatchers, Police Chief Jerry Dyer said.

About 40 minutes later, police caught up with the truck, now parked, and arrested Gregorio Gonzalez, 24, of Fresno. Charges against him will include kidnapping, false imprisonment and sexual assault, Dyer said. The suspect was not armed.

Police, officials and the parents of the girl praised Perez and other good Samaritans and citizens who aided the search and took action to find the girl.

"This is a remarkable accomplishment for an entire community," Mayor Ashley Swearengin said.

Perez said the incident was beginning to sink in Tuesday night. "I probably saved a little girl's life."

The question arises: What would have happened if Perez had gone to work this day?

He quoted a relative who said divine providence might have stepped in.

"God works in mysterious ways," Perez said.
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:34 PM   #17
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I don't think they want thanks or their identity revealed, that's why they did it that way. Anyway, great story.

AP Thu Oct 21, 9:39 am ET

NEW YORK – An anonymous benefactor in New York City stuffed $10,000 in cash into a 9/11 donation box at the World Trade Center.

Joe Daniels, president of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, tells the New York Post that officials found 99 $100 bills and five 20s in the box on Tuesday night.

The box hangs on a wall at the 9/11 memorial preview site.

Memorial officials believe the money was slipped into the box sometime between 5 p.m. — when the box was last checked — and 7 p.m., when the preview site closed.

Officials believe the donation was made by a single person. They say the bills were crisp and unfolded, appearing to have been recently withdrawn from the bank.

Daniels said officials would love to know the donor's name so they could say thank you.
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:55 PM   #18
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I always love hearing stories like this about anonymous goodwill gestures. Very cool, indeed .

Angela
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Old 11-05-2010, 10:46 AM   #19
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^ Not anonymous, but still very cool.

Lotto winners get generous - The Globe and Mail
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:30 PM   #20
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See, if I ever won a grand lottery like that, that's exactly the sort of thing I'd want to do, too. My family's talked about that all the time. Nice to see others think the same way .

Angela
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:53 PM   #21
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YouTube - CNN: Double lung transplant can't stop Opera singer
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:17 AM   #22
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I saw this last night and I thought it was beautiful

NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams: News and videos from the evening broadcast- msnbc.com

It's the first two videos about music and veterans

http://guitars4vets.org/
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Old 11-23-2010, 05:06 PM   #23
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Leo DiCaprio donates $1 million to Wildlife Funds
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Old 12-08-2010, 06:50 PM   #24
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The Salvation Army red kettles are coming up golden in Indiana.

The charity says anonymous donors have left gold coins in kettles in Mishawaka and Kokomo this Christmas season.

The South Bend Tribune reports that someone dropped a 1-ounce U.S. gold coin worth $1,400 in a kettle outside a Sam's Club in Mishawaka. The coin was wrapped in a $100 bill and a small note thanking the organization for "doing God's work."

The Kokomo Tribune reports that another donor dropped a South African Krugerrand worth more than $1,400 in a kettle at Markland Mall in Kokomo.

The Salvation Army also has received four gold coins in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs.

Despite the gold coin donations, officials in South Bend and Kokomo say donations are running behind expectations.



Last week, Msnbc.com covered the struggle of Wayne Pittman, an unemployed carpenter whose unemployment benefits were on the verge of running out.

Like millions of other "99ers" across the country, Pittman was nearing the 99-week limit of unemployment benefits, with no job prospects.

According to MSNBC.com:

Christmas is out of the question for Wayne Pittman, 46, of Lawrenceville, Ga., and his wife and 9-year-old son. The carpenter was working up to 80 hours a week at the beginning of the decade, but saw that gradually drop to 15 hours before it dried up completely. His last $297 check will go to necessities, not presents.

Just six days later, things are looking up for Pittman's family -- and other unemployed Americans.

After reading Pittman's story, Florida lawyer Dan Dannheisser stepped up to make sure Pittman's son wouldn't go without Christmas presents. He's giving legos, "Star Wars" videos and sports memorabilia to the young boy.

According to a follow-up story on Msnbc.com, Dannheisser said:

"I can't fix the unemployment situation in this country and the unfortunate situation he and Jacqueline were in, but I thought I could certainly fix a 9-year-old boy having Christmas."
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:39 AM   #25
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By David Filipov and L. Finch
Globe Staff And Correspondent / December 15, 2010


Maybe it was the holiday spirit. Maybe it was because it was the right thing to do.

Or maybe it was a little bit of both that inspired Brian Christopher to perform a simple act of kindness.

The 49-year-old Navy veteran was walking near City Hall Monday when something on the ground caught his eye. It looked like a comic book. Christopher, an amateur artist, picked it up.

It was a wallet with $172 in it. But no credit cards, license, or any other identification.

What would you do? While you are thinking about that, consider this: Christopher is homeless. He has no income. He has three children, ages 14, 12, and 10, in Maryland. He really, really could have used the cash.

Instead, he brought the wallet to the closest police station, where an officer found a receipt inside with a name and telephone number. The police officer used that to track down the owner, who picked up the wallet. All the money was there.

Yesterday, Christopher admitted he had struggled with the temptation to keep the cash.

“I counted the money and said, ‘Wow, I could probably get three nice presents with this,’ ’’ he said at the Frog Pond in Boston Common, where he had gone to skate. “But maybe it was some student’s Christmas gift money. I just kept thinking of the meaning of Christmas.’’

It turns out the owner, Meghan Schultz of Cambridge, really needed the money, too. The bike messenger put the wallet in her back pocket. It slipped out as she was making the rounds.

“I had pretty much written it off,’’ said Schultz, 22. “For me that’s a pile of cash.’’

To her surprise, she got a call from Officer Richard Osberg of District One. When she came in to claim her wallet, she also got Christopher’s phone number.

“I wanted to see if I could take him out to lunch,’’ she said. “It’s not like I have a ton of spending money but I can afford this.’’

Christopher served in the Navy in the 1980s in a noncombat position before receiving an honorable discharge. He worked for a while as a bartender at Cheeseburger in Paradise in California, Md. Christopher, a native of Quincy, returned to Massachusetts this month. But his parents did not have room to take him into their Braintree home. And because his mother spends her time looking after his father, a veteran who is disabled after a stroke 10 years ago, they could not help out their son. (His wife lives with their children in Maryland.)

Last week, after failing to find a job or a place to live, Christopher checked into the New England Center for Homeless Veterans on Court Street.

He was outside the building when he saw the wallet. “I was facing a conundrum, a real moral dilemma,’’ Christopher said.

Christopher called a friend in Las Vegas and asked her advice. He called his case manager at the shelter, Reneé MacLean. They both suggested that he turn the wallet in to police.

“Doing the right thing when no one is looking shows something wonderful about his character,’’ MacLean said. “It’s definitely nice, especially around Christmas.’’

Osberg, the police officer, said that people occasionally turn in property that they find on the street, and not only the ones who can afford to.

“It’s always good when people make the right decision when they come across anything of value,’’ Osberg said. “Just because someone’s homeless doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a moral compass.’’
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Old 12-15-2010, 04:41 PM   #26
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When she came in to claim her wallet, she also got Christopher’s phone number.

“I wanted to see if I could take him out to lunch,’’ she said. “It’s not like I have a ton of spending money but I can afford this.’’
I loved this part-kindness being paid back .

That's a really heartwarming story. I hate the fact that this man is homeless, though-it'd be great to do something to help fix that.

Angela
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Old 12-15-2010, 06:32 PM   #27
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Secret Santa spreads joy, disbelief in Kansas City

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Secret Santa II hit the streets Tuesday in a long-standing Kansas City tradition of handing out $100 bills — sometimes several at a time — to unsuspecting strangers in thrift stores, food pantries and shelters.

Some people gasped in surprise. Some wanted to know if the $100 bill the tall man in the red cap offered was fake. Others wept.

[Related: Inexpensive Secret Santa gifts for co-workers]

Secret Santa II has seen a lot of reactions since taking over where his mentor, Kansas City's original Secret Santa, Larry Stewart, left off when he died in 2007 at age 58. Like Stewart, who gave away more than $1 million to strangers each December in mostly $100 bills, this Secret Santa prefers to stay anonymous.

A fake white beard taped to his face, Secret Santa II handed out about $10,000 in total Tuesday. Recipients included a police officer with terminal cancer, a homeless man pushing a rickety old shopping cart, an 81-year-old woman who had recently told her 27 grandchildren she wouldn't be able to afford any Christmas gifts, and Bernadette Turner, a 32-year-old unemployed mother of two.

"It's hard to come by," Turner said looking in disbelief at the $200 Secret Santa had given her.

Then one of Santa's "elves" — another tall man in a red cap — sidled up to next to Turner, asked a few questions, and handed her an additional $100. Turner, whose children are 3 and 8, was overcome.

"I can only afford one gift for each child. But now ...." she said, wiping tears from her cheeks and reaching out for a hug.

[Related: Cheap stocking stuffers for kids]

"Do you believe in Santa Claus?" Capt. Ray Wynn of the Kansas City, Mo., Fire Department, asked from a few feet away. Wynn had followed Stewart on many "sleigh rides" around the country and now follows this Secret Santa, providing stories, memories and amusing sound effects.

"I do now," Turner said. "I do now."

Secret Santa II took over from Stewart about the time the recession hit and the economy went into a tailspin. Like Stewart, this Secret Santa doesn't talk about his own finances, where those $100 bills come from and if — like for so many people now — they've been harder to come by.

Come December, he just fills his pockets with money, dons his red cap and heads out looking for people to make really happy.

He will likely hand out about $40,000 this December. He says he'll go "till the money runs out."

"The recession, unemployment. This is the time you don't want to stop. You don't want to back off," he said.

He walked up to Peggy Potter, 59, of Kansas City, Kan., who was looking at some framed prints at a thrift store. He made some small talk, put his arm around her and within minutes she was crying. Her son died about a year and a half ago. Her husband died in July and her daughter died soon after that.

[Related: 12 geek stocking stuffers for less than $10]

"I'm just ... today's been a rough day for me, just thinking about my loved ones," she said. "I've been having a hard time paying for all the funerals."

Santa gave her $200, listened more, hugged her, and told her the poster she was holding had special meaning. It was a photo of two hands, one large, one small. Words printed at the bottom could have been written by Secret Santa, the original or the current one.

It said: "Kindness in giving creates love."
Secret Santa spreads joy, disbelief in Kansas City - Yahoo! News
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Old 12-15-2010, 07:19 PM   #28
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Good lord, I feel awful for Peggy Potter . That poor woman... She most definitely deserved that act of kindness, no question.

This really has to be one of the best thread ideas ever. These stories are amazing.

Angela
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Old 12-17-2010, 09:11 AM   #29
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CANOE -- CNEWS - Good News: Twins become new parents on the same day

MONTREAL — Twins are rumoured to have a spooky connection that science can’t fully explain.

But these Quebec twins went a step further — they both became new parents on in the same hospital on the same day.

Daniel Couture’s wife was pregnant at the same time as his twin sister, Michelle Couture.

“I don’t know why but I dreamed Wednesday morning she would give birth,” he said in an interview Thursday.

“I just felt it. I called her at home and told her she would give birth that day.”

But his own wife soon went into labour herself, and Michelle joined Daniel at the Montreal-area hospital to wait. Then, just before Daniel’s wife gave birth, the heavily pregnant Michelle began to feel the early signs of labour as she paced the hospital corridors.


“My brother told me not to worry, there were plenty of doctors around,” she said.

Daniel’s wife gave birth to a baby girl, Rebecca, just after nine Wednesday morning. Michelle, whose due date was actually Christmas Eve, gave birth to a baby boy, Simon, 10 hours later.

“It’s a cute story,” Michelle admitted.

“Our doctor is very impressed. But I don’t think there’s anything mysterious about it. It’s really just chance.”

But recalling his strange dream, Daniel thinks it was more than just a coincidence.

“I’ve never had a connection like that with my twin sister before,” he said. “But this time, I must admit, there was definitely something going on.”

Officials at the Anna-Laberge Hospital confirmed nothing of the kind had ever happened in its 22 year history.
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Old 12-20-2010, 11:04 AM   #30
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That's a really heartwarming story. I hate the fact that this man is homeless, though-it'd be great to do something to help fix that.
He's been getting monetary donations at the shelter-and the company that designs the wallets wants him to design one (he's an artist). The girl took him out to lunch and he actually wanted to pay, but she did.
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