Posted on 11 December 2012.
When thieves stole a sick child's Christmas decorations, the police came to the rescue. Phot by NBC News (screen capture)
The Phoenix police stepped in when the outdoor lights and Christmas decorations were stolen from the home of Linzy Smith, a 5-year-old girl with a potentially life-threatening illness.
Linzy suffers from a rare form of dwarfism. She will be spending her holiday season in the hospital so that she can undergo a potentially life-saving bone marrow transplant. Her mother, Jessica Smith, wanted Linzy to have the full holiday experience and decorated the family’s home a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving.
The house was adorned with lights, lighted reindeer, trees and a Santa with a sleigh. On Nov. 21, the decorations were stolen. Officers Jake Lewis and David Head of the Maryvale Precinct heard about the theft and did what they could to restore the little girl’s Christmas.
Lewis contacts Angels on Patrol, an organization that works with police to assist families in crisis in Phoenix and Tempe, Ariz. Together, the police and Angels on Patrol were able to help the Smith family redecorate the house. Officer Lewis even helped the family with groceries out of his own pocket. He is a father too and has another child on the way.
Smith told reporters that if Linzy survives her bone marrow transplant, she will be scheduled for a kidney transplant next. She counts every day as a blessing.
Donations for Linzy can be sent to Wells Fargo #1064675190.
Posted in Society & Entertainment
Posted on 23 December 2011.
Christmas is celebrated in many different ways in different locations. In the United States you find gigantic Christmas Trees and trees resplendent with thousands of lights. However, in Southeast Asia, an electronics store in Vietnam is celebrating the holidays in an unusual way this year. They have taken cellular phones that are no longer viable and have created a fifteen foot Christmas tree.
The store manager at Westcom Electronics located in the city of My Tho proudly said that it took ten workers around fourteen days to create the Christmas tree. The tree contains over 2500 cellular phones and the hope is that awareness for environmental responsibility will be raised. This spirit of doing well for the environment is an extension of the Christmas spirit to do good to your fellow man. In this case, fellow man becomes the planet.
The dazzling tree that glitters with thousands of lit cell phones has been up and available for view by the public for about two weeks. It has become a showcase with around a thousand visitors per day – many having photographs made while they are there.
Cell phones are ever present in Vietnam; as a matter of fact, greater than 50% of the population under thirty years of age displays electronics to mark their increasing wealth.
Westcom Electronics intends to sell at auction the cell phone tree and make a donation to charity. The store manager has added that it has become such a success that employees have begun collecting unusable phones now to try and create an even bigger tree next year. The spirit of Christmas and giving is being displayed even in the opulence of mobile electronics and wealth.
There are untold numbers of cell phones in circulation in Vietnam. Millions even but it is not possible to grasp how many are being thrown away every year. No data is being collected on such things and the impact on the environment has the potential to be enormous. This new found use for old phones indicates that giving live to discarded electronics can and will positively impact the lives of the citizens on this planet.
Isn’t that what Christmas is all about?
The store welcomes the idea of raising awareness and putting to use discarded electronics. The good that comes to the environment is equaled by the joy that people that view the tree are getting as well. The spirit of Christmas in our world is being joined by the cyber world as people are coming together to impact our planet.
Posted in Environment
Posted on 22 December 2011.
Secret Santas Continue With Generosity
This holiday season a group of individuals all around the country have been impacting thousands of people’s lives through sometimes large donations that are generally anonymous. Since early December various “secret santas” around the country have been paying off thousands of layaway payments for unsuspecting people and it seems that the more it happens the more people it inspires.
Shortly after the first instance was televised in a news story more and more people began to copy the donating idea. Thousands of people have been shocked, surprised, and incredibly grateful for the incredible donations they’ve received through the payments and analysts say that more and more people are picking up on the generosity as many of the recipients return at least part of the favor.
These acts of kindness and generosity have greatly inspired millions of people and in some ways they have definitely brought the spirit of Christmas back to life around the United States. It is amazing how much of a difference so few people have made but it is truly one of the most heartwarming stories of the holiday season and as Christmas draws closer the generosity is getting stronger and stronger. Keep an eye out for secret santas in your area and be sure to do your part while others are in need this holiday season, you never know what a little help can do for so many people that desperately need it.
Posted in Charity
Posted on 14 December 2011.
In Plainsfield Township in Michigan, an unusual event occurred recently. A woman with a cart full of toys came around to the service desk and asked if it would ok for her to donate them.
The stranger also inquired to the clerk if she could reduce the balance or if she could pay off some of the layaways for the store customers. Dannell Goddard, who was working the counter was confused by the request.
She told the lady, identified as just a woman in her 30’s that store policy required that she have an I.D. to pay her layaways. The lady smiled and told her that she didn’t have any store layaways; she would just like to help some of those that did.
The woman looked through nearly 800 tickets and selected 3. She picked ones that had toys in them. All in all she spent about 500 dollars and left a ten dollar balance on the accounts. Dannell reported that the stranger was very excited and happy to pay the money. The stranger said that she had been given much in her life and wanted to return the blessings to someone who deserved it. The lady never gave her name and left the store smiling.
One of the recipients of the strangers’ generosity was interviewed and replied that she wished she could thank the “Secret Santa”. All her layaways were for her only son that she was raising by herself. She had hoped to be able to get the toys out on her next paycheck. Then the store called and her world was turned upside down.
The customer thought it was a joke at first and went to the store to find out. When the customer arrived, she found a receipt with 10 dollars on the balance and a note that said “Happy Holiday from a friend”.
The entire layaway order had been for her 12 year old autistic son. The customer said that she had become weary of the holidays as had some other folks. In an effort to survive, she had adopted the idea that everyone was out for themselves and that life was just one trial after another.
But this Secret Santa had reminded her that there were still people out there that thought of others before themselves. The customer hopes that the person who gifted her with money also knows that her generosity also brought back faith in people as well. The customer has been inspired to one day do the same for someone else.
In that vein, 24 hours after the news report aired, another person paid off 13 more layaways at a total of about 2000.00 dollars.
Secret Santa strikes again.
Posted in Charity, Society & Entertainment
Posted on 26 November 2011.
White House Receives Official Christmas Tree-- Source: AP
Each and every year the White House and the presidential family celebrate Christmas in a variety of ways. Perhaps the most public and most anticipated part of the celebration is the arrival of the official White House Christmas tree and today is the day that it has finally arrived. Of course this is far from the end of the line as the tree will still need to be officially decorated and lit before it is publicly shown in the final form.
The Christmas tree chosen for the President’s family is a beautiful 19 foot tree that has been growing in Wisconsin for years. Nobody knew exactly what tree was being chosen but as expected the tree is in fact magnificent. Of course the first family took this as an opportunity to get some public appearance in too as dozens of people were invited to the official unveiling of the tree. Now begins the process of actually decorating the tree which will likely take a few weeks.
This special landmark also marks what many consider to be the unofficial start of the holiday season. The combination of holiday shopping, holiday decorations, and the arrival of the presidential Christmas tree is the undisputed start of the Christmas season for thousands of people which brings nothing but happiness and cheer. The holiday season is under full swing now in the United States and around the world which means Christmas joy and cheer will be spreading quickly to millions of people around the world.
Posted in Society & Entertainment
Posted on 15 November 2011.
Young Boy Saves Christmas for One Family
Bradley Thomas is just 7 years old but he is making a significant impact in the lives of one family this week with his courage and kindness. As part of a community service project he decided to help out a family he had encountered that had lost their home and everything else in a fire earlier this year. Thomas vowed to do his best to save their Christmas and that is exactly what he is doing now.
Through a variety of activities and programs Thomas has managed to raise hundreds of dollars since the beginning of October. He has been working side jobs for neighbors, passing around donation plates at church, and just doing anything he can to help and he says that he is very happy to have what he has now. Young Bradley Thomas may have only raised a few hundred dollars and enough for a few big toys for the family he is helping, but the family all agrees that it was his acts of kindness that made the biggest difference.
All the members of the family in need say they are incredibly grateful for what he has done and will graciously accept any help he offers. The fact that Thomas cared enough about a family of strangers to spend months of his time trying to save their Christmas is a truly amazing story which will likely inspire thousands of people around the world and that is why Bradley Thomas is in the news this week.
Posted in Charity