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It is overwhelming to think about the amount of plastic we produce and how much of that plastic is dumped in the oceans when were done with it. Some people are aware of it and will recycle at their house or use a reusable water bottle but very few go above and beyond. And fewer still go to the lengths that Nadia Smith does to protect our planet. The 12 year old took matters into her own hands and started picking up litter, piece by piece. She started with the two mile stretch between her house and school, picking up trash and putting it in her bike basket, after just two months she had collected over two recycling bins full of bottles. However, in this crazy world we live in, Nadia had to overcome adversity to continue doing good for our planet. Bullies at her school found out of her efforts and began teasing her and calling her “Trash Girl”. Nobody likes being called names, and in most situations people will avoid bullies at any cost. For Nadia, that would have mean halting her efforts to save the planet. Thankfully for us, Nadia is too strong and too drivent to let bullies get in the way of her and what she believes. Nadia instead, owned the nickname and turned it into an image to be proud of.

This image began drawing traction and soon she started a platform for everyone to come together, sharing their ideas on how they are helping rid their communities of trash. A Facebook page was started in her honor, ‘Team Trash Girl’, which has already made huge strides in getting individuals involved in their communities to give back in whatever way they can. Thank you Nadia for your efforts, you are an inspiration to so many.



An 18 year old from Sunderland noticed an increase in her communities awareness of mental health and wanted to do her part to help. She began thinking of what she could do and how she could make an impact and came up with a lasting one. Paige Hunter climbed to the top of the Wearmouth Bridge and began hanging inspirational signs all along the railing. Her hope was that one of them would find its way to someone who may be a little down or lost. She wanted them to know there was hope, and they were not alone. One of the notes read, “Even though things are difficult, your life matters; you're a shining light in a dark world, so just hold on”. Paige went on to hang over 40 unique and inspiring notes all along the bridge. These notes have been enough to at least save the lives of 8 people, and will continue to make an impact on those who need it most.

The Northumbria police captain was extremely impressed by the maturity and understanding of the magnitude of the situation that Paige showed. She wanted to award her for her creative efforts and honored her with a commendation certification from the service. It is amazing to see such innovative ideas coming from young people with so much opportunity to continue doing good for others.


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This month started with a tragic story coming out of Canada, when the Humboldt Junior Hockey team bus was involved in an accident that killed 15 of the passengers and left dozens others injured. One of those injured players was Logan Boulet, he was a defensemen from Lethenridge but will certainly be remembered as much more, he will be remembered as a hero.

Immediately following the crash Logan was rushed to the hospital and placed on life support. While there the hospital was quickly at work trying to find positive matches for his organs. In a statement released by his family, they stated that Logan made it a point to sign his donor card as soon as he turned 21. Logan’s selflessness payed off as the hospital was able to find 6 positive matches for his organs overnight. In the ultimate act of heroism Logan’s life was lost but at least six others were saved and as his dad said even in his passing, “he will be a selfless hero.” Not only did Logan directly save the lives of 6 individuals, he inspired a community to save the lives of countless others. In an average week about 425 people sign up to be organ donors in Alberta, the weekend following Logans heroic act..over 3,000. His actions have sent a ripple effect that will continue to touch and save the lives of others.

An event as severe as this is truly a nightmare and something that will not be moved on from quickly. One thing that is for sure is, that Logan will forever be remembered and recognized as a hero.


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Our nation has so much access to information and technology and resources, all we could ever want is right at our fingertips. The problem is, we do not always take advantage of it the way we should. Also, far to often a good idea is presented or created, but it is never seen through, the idea is like our attention span, short lived and bouncing from one thing to another. When one is able to overcome what now seems like social norms, incredible things can happen. At 16 years old, Kevin Barber listened to TED talk and like so many, immediately became inspired. It was a talk about a program in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that employed the homeless to help clean up the streets. "It just looked really simple, and the statistics were staggering," Kevin thought. That thought developed into an idea, and then Kevin followed through.

With the help of his Mother, Kevin developed his idea into a program that they felt would work, and then reached out to the city government to start a trial run for this homeless program. It’s called “Wheels of Change”. Participants are picked up from the local homeless shelters in a van and then hit the streets, cleaning up San Diego one piece of trash at a time. San Diego has the fourth largest homeless population in America, and with the incredibly positive response the program has received from the community, the waiting list to be able to participate grows every day. Bob McElroy who works with the homeless through the non-profit Alpha Project says the impact the program has had on them is clear by just looking at the faces of the individuals associated. “It is so medicinal for our folks who have always been marginalized and irrelevant.”

Kevin is already looking to expand the program, adding more vans, to help as many homeless as they can. Just because an idea seems too good to be true, doesn’t mean it can’t become a reality. All it takes is the right person acting as the driving force, And Kevin Barber is that right person.


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Jordyn Burch embodies everything we are trying to highlight in this world and embodies someone who truly deserves to be recognized. By doing things with the sole purpose of helping those in need and bringing a community closer together rather than further separating it, one can create a contagious energy that trickles down into those impacted by one's generosity and continues to spread. These are the stories that need to be shared.

A story of a young lady who wanted nothing more for her birthday than to give back to the homeless and unsheltered in her community. She wasn’t exactly sure what shape that would take but ever since she saw the conditions in which so many people in her community lived she knew she had to do something. Almost as if it was fate, she heard about Central Louisiana Homeless Coalition's Freeze to the Finish 5k happening two days after her birthday and knew that was what she wanted to do to celebrate. Jordyn could barely contain her excitement and began raising money. Going through her community doing her part to bring everyone together. By race day, two days after her birthday, she had raised over $3,000 to help the homeless in her community. The Coalition was so grateful for the money she had raised they presented her with a certificate to commemorate her efforts, and some cupcakes too to help celebrate her big day.  Jordyn Burch is eight years old, eight years and this special young lady chose to spend her birthday and the weeks leading up to it giving back to individuals in her community who truly were in need. “When I was 6, me and my family went to New Orleans and I saw lots of homeless people and it broke my heart..”

Jodryn has taught us all that it does not matter your age, or size, or resources, everyone can do things to help others and bring their communities closer together. These are the stories that should be shared with our children, these are the people that should be going ‘viral’. Jordyn Burch you inspire us all to be better people, we are so happy to share your story.



In a time of terror and distress it is easy to understand someone choosing to worry about themselves and their family’s safety rather than immediately think of others, and that is often the course of action for some people. But there are still the select few that put themselves in harms way for the sole purpose of helping others, often complete strangers. Berkeley Johnson is one of those select few.

During the recent mudslides that have torn through southern California, Mr. Johnson and his wife found themselves scampering up the roof to avoid the heavy flow of boulders and mud, filling their home nearly eight feet up the staircase. After just seeing their home completely devastated in the blink of an eye, Berkeley did what we would all hope we would do, but few ever would, he looked to help others. After hearing cries from what sounded like a baby from down the street, Mr. Johnson jumped down from the safety of his roof, traversed the boulders and debris that just devastated their neighborhood and found himself digging in the mud, searching for the faint cry. After digging four feet down he was able to pull the baby to safety. He was able to clear the mud from his mouth and get it to the hospital. They didn’t know where the baby came from and there was nobody else around, but the right person was there.

It would have been so easy to assume the baby was just scared or that someone else would be there to help, but Berkeley Johnson did not assume, or think of himself, a selfless act to save a life certainly deserves some recognition.



It’s amazing to see the lengths people will go through to help the ones they love, and Wayne Winters is a great example. The 74 year-old from Farr West, Utah found himself in a desperate state to help save his wife, who was diagnosed with stage 5 kidney failures. Typically, this is something you would wait for through the hospital but Mr. Winters had other ideas, “I didn’t know what to do. I felt like i needed to do something.”

Like a scene out of a movie, Wayne strapped on a sandwich board sign that read, “Need Kidney 4 Wife” and his phone number. With his sign and slacks Wayne walked along busy roads for miles, day after day in search of the kidney to save his best friend. After weeks, Wayne received the call he had been waiting for. His wife is now recovering from transplant surgery. Winters told the local tv station, “I will have my wife back the way she was, normal, helping people, loving people; she likes to serve other people.” It certainly seems that her kindness has rubbed off on Wayne, as he now says he will keep walking and finding donors, making it his ‘life mission’ to help those in need.


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Deming Animal Guardians (DAGs) has been addressing the needs of unwanted or abused pets, as well as the care and well being of pets in low-income households, for the past 25 years. Their impact has been felt throughout Luna County, New Mexico, and has even inspired others to chip in. However, one individual, Mike Reitz, has done far more than just chip in.

Mike and his wife Lisa both have a passion for animals, and always want to do more for them. They have been working with animals for some time at their Sunshine Grooming business, but have since expanded their efforts to helping animals in need. They want to give every animal born in their area a fighting chance. To do this, they have began developing their property into a facility to house and rehome unwanted, abused and abandoned pets. Mike has worked endlessly setting up the no-kill shelter and taking in animals all over Deming and Luna Counties. Mike and Lisa have placed over 1,000 pets into loving and caring homes, and the number is still growing. Mike has not stopped driving this forward, as he continues to build more shelters and make room for more animals needing help.

The community has noticed Mike’s efforts, and supports him however they can. Mike says, “There are just too many people to mention, but we greatly appreciate the support. We have no running costs and it’s been strictly volunteer.” Mike knows how important any and all support and donations are. To ensure they are getting the most out of the contributions of others, he oversees and provides the energy for all advancements. Along with finding new homes for animals in need, the Reitz’s work closely with DAGs to offer support to low-income families, so that they help create a better life for the animals that are already part of a loving household. Together they have distributed over 14,000 lbs of emergency food to animal owners in need, and this has only been possible through the donations they have received.

Mike, we recognize your endless compassion and hard work towards providing better lives for the animals of your community, as well as inspiring others to give back and donate the way they have!


These days, job interviews are not the easiest thing to come by. They are especially difficult when you've been out of prison for only seven days, but Aaron Tucker came out of jail with a new perspective on life, and he was not going to let his past put limitations on his future.

Three weeks after being sentenced, he received a call that his son was born. “I heard my son crying in the background, and right then and there I was like, 'I'm changing my life’.” When he was released, he knew that if he worked hard things would start working in his favor, and he would be able to provide for his son.

Just a week after his release, Aaron started realizing the benefits of this new outlook on life as he put on a dress shirt he received from a halfway home and got on the bus for a job interview. Somewhere along the route, however, the bus driver came to a sudden stop as a car in front of them hit a tree and flipped. Aaron jolted up and asked the driver if he was going to stop to help the driver. "No, but if you get out I'm going to leave,” the driver replied. Without hesitation, Aaron jumped off the bus and sprinted over to the man, whose car was now lying upside down. When he got there the man had already lost a lot of blood from his head, and his bleeding showed no signs of slowing. Aaron pulled the man from the car, as it was now starting to catch fire, and took off his dress shirt to control the man's bleeding. "You're going to be all right," Aaron kept reminding the man as they lay together in the middle of the street. "Your family wants to see you. Keep your eyes open." He continued to lie next to the man, encouraging him and controlling the bleeding until first responders showed up. When they did arrive, Aaron stayed near, grasping the man's arm as they gave him oxygen. “I just wanted to make sure he was alright, and that's what I did,” Aaron said.

Unfortunately, Aaron missed his job interview, but, in his mind, he knew that jobs come and go, but “a life is one time thing." In the end, however, he was rewarded for doing the right thing, as the local community noticed his heroic actions and set up a gofundme page for Aaron and his son. A local businessman gave him a tailored suit to wear to future job interview, and Aaron has since received lots of job offers.

When Aaron was in jail he knew he was going to be the best role model he could be for his son when his sentence was done. He started by getting his GED and becoming a tutor for other inmates while serving, and certainly continued to be a role model by putting his life on hold to help save a stranger's life. We recognize you, Aaron, for your selfless act.


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Adversity finds people in different ways and at different times. It seems everyone endures some kinds of hardships in their lives but how one handles these tough times varies drastically. Some people give up, some people lean on others for support, some accept it and move on, and others use it at motivation to far surpass any expectations. Unfortunately, the latter is not always the most common approach. To rise up from our lowest lows takes bravery and courage. It takes drive and a self-belief that life will get better.

 Megan Faircloth was homeless, 17, and finishing her junior year of high school. This is not exactly the recipe for success. Megan could have easily dropped out of school, got the first job she could find in order to have a bed to sleep in, and nobody would have blamed her. However, Megan was bound for bigger and better things, and was not going to let adversity or a hardship distract her from the future she envisioned.

 When Megan and her mom first found themselves without a place to live, Megan picked up a book for guidance. That book was Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive”. it gave her hope that there were other people who had triumphed over adversity, and she too could overcome this hardship.

Taking this philosophy to heart, Megan stayed in school. Not only did she stay in school, but she challenged herself everyday. She took a course load full of advanced placement classes and excelled at all of them, despite having less than ideal conditions for completing the course requirements. She would have to do her homework outside in parks or in their car, “which was difficult, if the homework required internet or something."

Megan says of her lowest point, “When we were outside and it started raining and it was windy outside and I was trying to pin down my homework with all of my books and stuff like that and it started raining on my homework and I was like, 'This can either be the end or this is the beginning of me fighting on and deciding to go through all of this and try my best. I just tried to keep my spirit up."

She did exactly that. During her senior year Megan got a letter from Stanford University congratulating her on her acceptance into one of the top universities in the world. She was also valedictorian of her high school. Despite the lows and troubled times during her high school career, Megan never wavered on her dream of finding success. Her mom said she never lost her sense of humor or encouragement for others. She didn’t blame anyone for the hand she had been dealt, and didn’t expect or rely on anyone but herself to make the best of it. To show this kind of drive and positivity shows maturity and courage beyond her years, and for that, we recognize you Megan.