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Quick Courage Saves Sadie's Life

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Delivering packages in Bozeman, Montana in the cold of winter comes with plenty of challenges. Not one that you run into everyday is the sound of a screaming, crying dog. Ryan Arens was ready for anything that day tho, and when he heard the cry for help he jumped into action without hesitation. He ran towards the scream and saw the dog trapped 15 feet off of shore, with ice all around. An older man was in a row boat making little progress through the ice. Ryan stripped off his uniform and broke through the ice. He swam out to the struggling dog whose time was getting very limited. Once back to shore they were let in a neighbor's house to get warm and recover.

Ryan said, “This dog had a whole lot of life left in her, and I’m really glad i was able to act when i did. She’s a sweetheart.” Ryan’s quick reactions and compassion saved this dog's life. Life altering moments cannot always be planned for or laid out perfectly, often they are snap decision that one has to make and not everyone would act as Ryan did in that moment, for that we recognize Ryan for his courage and compassion in saving Sadie’s life. “Animals are my weakness, it was the highlight of my 14-year UPS career”.


BULLIES CAN'T STOP TRASH GIRL FROM SAVING OUR PLANET

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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.


EVEN IN HIS PASSING, HE WILL BE REMEMBERED A SELFLESS HERO

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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 its passengers and left dozens of others injured. One of those injured players was Logan Boulet. Logan was a defensemen from Lethenridge, but will certainly be remembered as much, much more: he will be remembered as a hero.

Immediately following the crash Logan was rushed to the hospital and placed on life support. The hospital quickly went to 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 six positive matches for his organs overnight. In the ultimate act of heroism Logan’s life was lost, but at least six other lives 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 six 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 week following Logan’s heroic act, however, there were over 3,000 donors in Alberta. 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 quickly forgotten. One thing for certain, however, is that Logan will forever be remembered and recognized as a hero.

HERO DIGS FOUR FEET DOWN TO SAVE A BABY'S LIFE

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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.

HOMELESS IN HIGHSCHOOL, COURAGEOUS TEEN GETS ACCEPTED TO STANFORD UNIVERSITY

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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.