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Sep 14, 2022 Read in Browser

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Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have. -- Margaret Mead

Hello everyone! When we ‘care’ about something, it sensitizes us to pay attention to what doesn’t feel right and then do something about it. Each story, this week, began with a small moment of compassion and caring that ended up taking on a life of its own. In Kenya, people cared about litter filling the beaches and created art pieces from it; in Missouri, a bagel store owner cared about people being hungry and offered a system for the community to feed strangers; and in Japan, an idea was born to bring babies in to enliven nursing home residents. Hope you enjoy these uplifting stories. Wishing you a good week ahead!

EVERYDAY HEROES

Inspired By His Experience On 9/11, Man Launches Kindness Initiative To Give Others A 'Helper's High'

Inspired By His Experience On 9/11, Man Launches Kindness Initiative To Give Others A 'Helper's High'

WCVB Channel 5 Boston | YouTube

On September 11, 2001, Kevin Tuerff was flying back to the U.S. after a vacation in Europe when all US-bound aircraft were redirected amid fears of more attacks. Tuerff's plane was diverted to Gander, Newfoundland. The rural town at that point had a population of 9,000 people. On that fateful day, over 7,000 diverted travellers arrived in Gander. Without skipping a beat, the town's residents mobilized to feed, house, and clothes the stranded flyers. "I like to tell people, if the population of your town nearly doubled in an instant, would you bring people into your home and let them take showers? Total strangers? These people really demonastrated compassion," Tuerff told PEOPLE. Eventually, Tuerff reached home seven days later. Moved by the kindness he experienced in Gander, he began a pay-it-forward initiative at his firm, giving employees money and time away from work to do a random act of goodwill in their community, to honor the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The effort gained traction. The following year, more companies participated, and two decades later, it is a global initiative, "PayItForward911," that has sprouted acts of kindness across 46 US states and six countries, as far as Tuerff knows. "We are at the point where we can't argue our way with facts and we need to get people to come back together," he told PEOPLE. "This is one person at a time, and it isn't going to solve everything, but I have seen the ripple effect in action, how people feel when they do something good for someone else, and I think we need that right now." Read Full Story.

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FUN

In A Japanese Nursing Home, Some 'Workers' Are Babies

In A Japanese Nursing Home, Some 'Workers' Are Babies

Reynardo Etenia Wongso | Unsplash

Cooing, giggling and the patter of tiny feet mix with the sound of walkers and wheelchairs at a nursing home in southern Japan. In this graying nation, one home has been recruiting an unusual class of workers to enliven its residents' days: thirty-two children. These are "baby workers," as the nursing home's head likes to call them. They are all under 4 years old who spend time with its residents, who are mostly in their 80s. Residents strike up conversations with the young helpers. The babies, accompanied by their parents or guardians, offer residents a hug. The visitors' reward? Diapers, baby formula, free baby photo shoots and coupons for a nearby cafe. "They are just so cute, and they make the whole place brighter," said Ms. Nakano, a resident of the Ichoan Nursing Home. "Young energy is different." Read Full Story.

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BUSINESS

'Come And Eat': Goldie's Bagels Offers Free Food With Community Donation System

'Come And Eat': Goldie's Bagels Offers Free Food With Community Donation System

Jane Steinbrecher

In Columbia, Missouri, US, anyone in need can stop in for a bite at Goldie's Bagels, free of charge. As part of its "Whoever Needs, Come and Eat," initiative, Goldie's has given out free meals since its opening in 2020 for those unable to pay. If a customer cannot pay, Goldie's staff charge the meal to its "neighbor account," which other customers pay off through their donations. Customer Lauren Williams recently came in to pick up bagels and noticed the poster publicizing the free meals for those in need and decided to post about it on Facebook and later Twitter. The post amassed 40,000 likes in the past week. "Throughout the pandemic, we've seen a lot of people who are struggling. I just thought it was so lovely that if someone needs a meal, they can just go in there," said Williams. Read Full Story.

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ARTS

Flip-Flop Art Helps Clean Kenya's Beaches

Flip-Flop Art Helps Clean Kenya's Beaches

Business Insider

Along the coasts and the waterways of Kenya, flip-flops can be found littering the beaches. Yet one company is taking those flip-flops and using them to make hippos, giraffes, and whales. Volunteers bring in about 1 ton of flip-flops per week in large white bags and are reimbursed. At Ocean Sole, the incoming flip-flops are washed in detergent and left to dry for a few hours. Artisans then come by to pick them up, where they are sculpted, glued, carved, and sanded into collectible artworks. All the artwork is done entirely by hand by the company's 90 employees. Some works can even take up to 3 months. Unused flip-flop scraps are ground up and upcycled into mattresses. Read Full Story.

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YOUTH

Using Wireless Technology To Improve Safety Of Glasgow Kids Biking To School

Using Wireless Technology To Improve Safety Of Glasgow Kids Biking To School

Murillo de Paula | Unsplash

In Glasgow, Scotland, the traffic is making way for the Shawlands Bike Bus, which escorts kids traveling by bike to Shawlands Primary School every Friday morning. It's a wonder how the bikers make their way through hurried, crowded morning traffic unharmed. The answer lies in a wireless remote that sends an encrypted signal from the lead rider's bike. It activates a timed traffic light cycle that holds the traffic for 45 seconds so the children can have a bit of extra time to safely cross busy intersections. The Shawlands Bike Bus started out with five families and eventually grew to 50+ cyclists, as more families are joining and more kids are enjoying the fun. The bike ride allows kids to talk to their friends on the way to school, and gives them freedom, confidence, and a chance to ride their bikes out on the streets. Of course, there are sometimes dangers on the road when impatient drivers get too close to the bikers and honk their horns. But the organizers hope the technology will prevent more of this from happening. Currently, schools in Glasgow, Edinburgh, and other parts of the UK are taking up this idea as well, because, as co-organizer Gareth Johnson says, "It's nice for parents to realize they can take up space and use the road safely, and to see their kids growing in confidence. It's an injection of joy in the morning, and people are calling it their weekly dose of community." Read Full Story.

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