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BULLIES CAN'T STOP TRASH GIRL FROM SAVING OUR PLANET

NADIA

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.


YOUNG LADY SPENDS HER BIRTHDAY HELPING THE HOMELESS, AND WOULDN'T HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY

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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.

74-YEAR-OLD MAN HITS THE STREETS TO SAVE HIS WIFE

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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.

A BLACKSMITH CHANGES A LIFE IN A SINGLE MOMENT


In a 19th century blacksmith shop, Rob Lyon was working away at his forge when a little boy ran up, grabbed his leg and asked to be his friend. Without a second thought Mr. Lyon told the little boy that it would be his honor. He had no idea who the little boy was, or the impact this would have on him. The boy was Will Mitcham, a hyperactive and friendly child who has been diagnosed with autism. His mother was often over-protective, and worried that people did not always understand her son and were not very sensitive towards him. She feared that he would not be accepted. That all changed with Mr. Lyon's act of kindness and compassion.

After agreeing to befriend the young boy, Rob asked Ms. Mitcham if he could stay and help him finish his work. The blacksmith spent the rest of the day patiently teaching and showing Will the tricks of his trade. It was another day at work for Mr. Lyon, with nice company, but for Will and his mom it left them a new perspective on life. “His kindness to my son made me realize that I didn’t need to be as protective of my son as I had been – that by trying to shield him from potential hurt, I was actually robbing him of precious opportunities ... to meet and interact with some incredible people.”

Not only did it impact his mom in this way, it also had a huge impact on Will himself, who has made it a part of his everyday life to pay it forward. “He taught me to give kids who have special needs a lot more patience and to teach them the best you can,” said Will. “He also taught me that everyone is worth the same, no matter who they are or what they can do. He made me feel happy, because he became my friend and taught me a lot about how to make people feel important and to be kind. He also taught me respect, patience and kindness, and let me help out in the forge, which was something that I always wanted to do and still want to do.”

Will was able to go back to that the Old Sturbridge Village blacksmith shop and thank his friend for his actions some years ago. Rob was very humbled by the story and felt honored to have been able to have the impact he has had on Will’s life. Although many kids have made their rounds in the Old Sturbridge Village blacksmith shop, none will hold onto the memory the way will has, “After meeting the blacksmith, I felt like somebody finally saw me for who I was, and I still feel like I matter because of him. People with autism should not be made fun of, but they should be given patience and shown kindness. I wish that more people were like the blacksmith.” We recognize both Mr. Lyon for his incredible act of compassion, as well as Will, for his ability to use it as a constant reminder to pay it forward and give back.

WOMAN IS THERE FOR A STRANGER WHEN SHE NEEDED HER MOST


It is important to remember that it does not take a grand or laborious act to touch someone's life, make a difference, and be recognized. However, often it is the little things that people shy away from. They are not always planned or convenient and requires one to divert from the path or schedule they have for the day. They also don’t always get the attention that more extravagant gestures do although they can be just as important and impactful. Stephanie Uhlenberg however, did not let these things get in her way from touching the life of someone in need.

Amongst the havoc of a mall on Black Friday, Stephanie saw a stranger, Angel Mott, sitting on the shelves of a store crying, sobbing in fact. Rather than walking past in wonder or conjuring up possible explanations for Angel actions, Stephanie stopped, sat down next to Angel and embraced her. Angel had just received the news that her mother, only 57 years of age, had passed away. Perhaps the saddest, most difficult time in one's life would have had to be experienced alone had it not been for Stephanie. “I didn't want to be alone at that time, and I wasn’t “ Mott said. She was comforted by the warm embrace of a stranger that stopped to help one in need. Stephanie did not stop to get her name in the paper or because it was convenient, she merely did what she would hope someone would do for her or her daughter in a time of need. We recognize you Stephanie Uhlenberg for recognizing one in need and living in the moment.