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Old 08-13-2010, 02:40 PM   #1
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Feel good stories

There are many threads in this forum on divisive and not-so-positive issues like war, death, abuse, politics, religion, and cursing, beer-swilling, chute dispensing flight attendants, etc.

So I thought a thread where we could post feel-good and happy stories would be a welcome change of pace. We need to be reminded from time to time of the good that humans are capable of.

I read this story this morning that put a smile on my face.

Of course, all the negativity breeds cynicism, at least for me, so I really hope this is a genuine story rather than one that was created to generate attention.


Quote:
Homeless man borrows executive's credit card, returns it
Posted Aug 13, 2010 by ■ Laura Trowbridge

A high-powered Manhattan advertising executive, perhaps a bit tipsy, let a homeless man borrow her American Express Platinum Card when he asked her for some spare change.

Merrie Harris, 45, was at a trendy SoHo Mexican restaurant with a friend, admittedly drinking margarita, when they stepped outside for a smoke and were approached by a homeless man.

Harris told The New York Post: "He asked me if I had any money. He said he just wanted to get a Vitamin Water. I said, 'I don't [have cash] -- I only have my credit card.' "

When the guy asked if he could borrow her credit card to get the Vitamin Water and some cigarettes, Harris handed the card over to him. Harris said after she let the man take her card, "everybody said they thought that was the dumbest thing, that there's a fine line between charity and stupidity."

She volunteers with the Coalition for the Homeless and said, "I'm eternally optimistic."

She began having doubts about her charitable act after ten minutes went by, and she wondered if the homeless man was out on a big spending spree with her platinum card.

The man did return though and Harris was so happy she gave him a hug and told him, "I knew you were coming back." He replied, "'Of course. I'm an honest person." Harris said:

"People kept coming up to me saying that's the best thing that ever happened."
Quote:
A bum you can trust - honest!

By KEVIN FASICK and TODD VENEZIA
Last Updated: 7:24 AM, August 13, 2010
Posted: 2:58 AM, August 13, 2010


A Manhattan homeless man had an emotional reunion yesterday with the kindhearted ad executive who lent him her American Express Platinum Card outside a SoHo restaurant, in what became a shining act of generosity, trust and honesty.

"I didn't have to thank him. I trusted him all along," said Merrie Harris, 45, as she hugged Jay Valentine, 32, outside La Esquina on Kenmare Street.

Harris lent her card to Valentine there Monday after he asked her for change. Most people who witnessed the act of extreme generosity doubted he would ever come back. But a short time later, he returned with the card, stunning many and earning Valentine the title of Most Honest Homeless Man in the City.

"What he did was no surprise to me," Harris said yesterday. "People keep telling me, 'Why would you talk to him and trust him?' But are we only supposed to trust people we know? What would Bernie Madoff's friends be saying?"

Valentine told The Post that he was surprised to be handed the card, but he never thought to take advantage of Harris' generosity.
"I wasn't tempted at all," said the 32-year-old Brooklyn native. "She trusted me, and I didn't want to violate that trust. I would never do that."

Valentine said he has been homeless for a few years, since he lost his job at a real-estate company that had allowed him to sleep in the office. He said he now spends his nights in an Internet cafe whose staff allows him to sleep on their chairs. He said he was hungry and low on cash on Monday when he saw Harris standing with friends outside the restaurant.

"I asked her for change and told her I wasn't working," he said.
"She said she only had a card. She said, 'Can I trust you?' I said, 'I'm honest, yes.'

"I went and bought a few things and came back and gave her her credit card back, and everybody was surprised.

"I said thanks for trusting me. I guess she had a good sense of judgment. She knew I was trustworthy."

Valentine said he bought deodorant, body wash, a pack of Nat Sherman cigarettes and Vitamin Water. It all cost about $25, he said.

"She was really lucky it was me she ran into" and not someone who would have stolen the card, Valentine said. "I was really in need. I only had a couple of dollars on me."

"It sets a good example that people in need -- like I am or worse -- can and should be trusted," he said. "Everybody in the restaurant was surprised. They probably thought I would run off with the card."

kevin.fasick@nypost.com
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Old 08-14-2010, 02:10 AM   #2
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That's an awesome story . Nice to finally be proven right, that you can still trust people out there nowadays.

Excellent idea for a thread. I'll be on the lookout for positive stories to share. Maybe even draw on some from my own life. My mom had a good one the other day-I'll get the details and share that one.

Angela
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Old 08-14-2010, 12:44 PM   #3
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This is a recent, personal feel-good story.

We've been attending our local Fringe Festival shows here in Minneapolis. It's fun to talk to the people around you in the queue while waiting for tickets or waiting to enter.

"What shows have you liked?"
"Have you seen other shows by them?"
Etc.

Anyway, last Sunday night we were waiting in line for a 10 pm show, and my wife started talking to the man in front of us. He was in line alone, but we have seen him all over the different venues for this year's festival, and recognized him from previous years, too, but had never talked to him. He is a smaller, old, white hair and Santa Claus-bearded man who walks with a cane. He said he is a big Fringe fan, and so he and my wife talked about what they had seen.

Well, one show this year is called Communopoly--a play about people literally in a Monopoly game who get fed-up with Capitalism and join a Communist group. The old man said he really enjoyed it and is a huge board game fan. We wife said that we really enjoy board games too, but don't get to play often because everyone is so busy. So, he says that he has a standing board game night at his house of most Friday nights, and that we are more than welcome to come whenever.

He said he has thousands of board games and loves to play all of them with anyone who can join him. I guess his son often joins him as do random friends. He admitted he is just an old hippie and loves to just get together to have fun. He gave us his address and phone number and said to check with him after the festival was done to see what the Friday schedule was. He said he often goes out of town to Sci-Fi conventions, so that would be the only reason he wouldn't have a board game night.

So, from a sort-of random stranger, we made a new friend and will join him for a board game night sometime later this month or in September!

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Old 08-14-2010, 08:29 PM   #4
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boardgames?
you can play scrabble on FB, while wearing jockey shorts and eating Cheetos
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Old 08-15-2010, 03:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deep View Post
boardgames?
you can play scrabble on FB, while wearing jockey shorts and eating Cheetos
I like to put on my chaps and cowboy hat and go play with real people.

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Old 08-15-2010, 03:29 AM   #6
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on a serious note
I do think it is nice that you and your wife reached out and made a new friend
in these days people do not take the time to interact with others enough.
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Old 08-15-2010, 11:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kramwest1 View Post
I like to put on my chaps and cowboy hat and go play with real people.


I KNEW you had chaps!!!
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Old 08-16-2010, 04:07 AM   #8
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Love the story about making a new friend . It's funny the way you meet people sometimes. Hope you have fun with your get-together.

Still have yet to get the one story from my mom, but here's a couple other ones I thought of to share, both of which are personal:

This first one happened to my family a number of years ago. We were driving through Nebraska on one of our multiple trips out to Wyoming, where we were moving to at the time. On this trip, our car got stalled out in the middle of nowhere. Literally, we were surrounded by nothing but fields, standing by the side of the road on a warm day trying to call for help.

After a time, a lady happened to be passing by on the road. She saw us, pulled over, and offered to help us out. She then proceeded to take our family over to the nearest town, and helped us get our car there, too, so that it could go to a repair shop to get fixed. We found ourselves a hotel room we could stay in that was right near the service shop, again, pointed out with the woman's help. And the next morning our car was fixed (and if I recall, it wasn't for very much, either) and we were on our way again. The woman who helped us had to take us in the complete opposite direction she was traveling, but she did it anyway, no problem. I wish we could've managed to get contact info from her, I'd love to thank her for that.

The second story happened just earlier this year. The night my dad passed away, I was talking to a minister at the hospital. He was trying to comfort me and get me talking about some positive things, so I wound up talking to him about my love for writing. He seemed genuinely interested in the topic and gave me some good advice and supportive comments.

A few weeks later, I got a package in the mail. Inside was one of those "Chicken Soup" books, this one being for "the writer's soul", with a note that stated that the person who owned this book wanted to pass it on to me for encouragement and inspiration, and wished me luck with any writing I do in the future. The handwriting made the name at the bottom a bit difficult to read, but given my discussion with the minister, I have to think he had some hand in sending that along. It was a nice, comforting surprise and has definitely given me some much needed boost and interest, and an example of something good that came from a very difficult moment.

People like to laugh at me for keeping my faith in humanity. This is why I continue to do so.

Angela
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Old 08-16-2010, 12:46 PM   #9
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I saw the documentary Beyond Belief on the Sundance Channel, it is excellent. Don't know if it's out on DVD. She received the medal at the WH


By The Associated Press
August 4, 2010

BOSTON — As a widow of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Susan Retik was showered with love and support from family, friends and even strangers who sent food, flowers and cash.

But when she watched the news and saw war widows in Afghanistan, she knew they had no such support system.

Retik and another Massachusetts woman who had also lost her husband on Sept. 11, 2001, decided to raise money for widows in Afghanistan, the same nation where their husbands’ killers had trained as terrorists.

On Wednesday, President Barack Obama will recognize Retik and 12 others with the Presidential Citizens Medal, the second-highest honor that can be conferred on an American citizen.

Retik, 42, co-founded Beyond the 11th, a nonprofit foundation that has raised more than $600,000 over the last six years for job skills training, literacy classes, small business development and other programs to help Afghan widows.

Retik, of Needham, hopes the award will focus attention on the plight of Afghan widows from areas touched by conflict.

“After Sept. 11, I just felt the whole world supporting me and lifting me up. But these women don’t have any of that,” Retik said.

“In Afghanistan, women are already not treated like men, and when a woman is widowed, her status is knocked down a notch.”

Retik and the group’s co-founder, Patti Quigley, started by making a donation from the money they received after the Sept. 11 attacks from insurance, their husband’s firms and strangers. They also raised money by riding their bikes from New York, where their husbands were killed, to Boston, where their flights to New York began.

Retik was pregnant and had two other children when her husband’s plane slammed into the World Trade Center.

“I remember thinking, how am I going to get through this?” but immediately people helped me,” she said.

Years later, Retik remarried and had another child.

“I feel like I’m OK; I’m all good,” she said. “But these women in Afghanistan need our help and attention, so if winning this award can shine a light on them then it makes me that much prouder to receive it.”

Beth Murphy, president of Boston-based Principle Pictures, made a documentary, “Beyond Belief,” about Retik and Quigley in 2007.

“From the moment I heard about what Susan was doing, I was in complete awe of her. I just remember thinking, my God, here is a woman who has every reason to become xenophobic and yet she’s choosing to do the opposite,” Murphy said.

“She’s a real person who is acting on the international stage in a really significant way.”
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Old 08-16-2010, 01:53 PM   #10
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^Amazing. What a beautiful story.
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Old 08-17-2010, 02:28 AM   #11
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. That is a fantastic story. Yay for her. Congratulations to her on winning that award, she clearly deserves such an honor.

Angela
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Old 08-23-2010, 03:35 PM   #12
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A dog named Faith inspires others simply by being able to walk with just her two hind legs.

There are some things you have to see to believe, and Faith is one of those. She's a labrador-chow mix born without one front leg and another that was severely deformed, only to be removed when Faith was seven months old due to atrophy. What's truly amazing about Faith is that, despite having only her two hind legs, she can still walk on them, as you can see in the video below.

Faith is something of a celebrity, having appeared on Oprah a few years ago, and according to The Sun, she's actually an honorary sergeant. The US Army gave her that title because she's helped disabled veterans trying to overcome injuries they sustained in war zones, even donning a military jacket when she visits bases or hospitals. As her owner, Jude Stringfellow, was quoted, "Faith seems to inspire these young men. It's very emotional watching them respond to her. She shows what can be achieved against great odds."

Now, she's planning to go international. Stringfellow wants to bring Faith to the UK, so she can bring her own brand of inspiration to those troops wounded in Afghanistan. Before she can do so, though, quarantine rules will have to be met. For the sake of those wounded soldiers, let's hope they have the chance to see Faith "marching" their way.

YouTube - First Person: Faith the Dog Inspires With Two Legs
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:32 AM   #13
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I heard about her somewhere else once. That's a really cool story, I love that she's giving inspiration to disabled veterans. This is why I love dogs, they just know how to lift your spirit and make you feel better .

On a related note, I read a review of a book by Pen Farthing called 'One Dog at a Time' earlier tonight-he's a British Royal Marine who rescues stray animals from war zones and runs a sanctuary/shelter for them until they can find homes of their own. I'd love to check out that book.

Angela
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:36 AM   #14
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I saw a clip of Faith on Oprah years ago and it still makes me teary-eyed. Beautiful story.
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:36 PM   #15
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I love that dog and how she learned to walk like that, they said they were sick of carrying her around in the snow so she just learned to hop to get around. Where there's a dog, there's a way!
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