Today’s Good News

In Blog, Home Page, NewPodcasts, Outreach by Josh

Every day we share stories of hope – joy – Love!

“..you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.” Philippians 4:8 (The Message)

Enjoy some GOOD NEWS each day with LifeSongs. And if you know of some good news, share it here!  Thank you for sharing hope each day with listener-supported, uplifting LifeSongs!

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Not only does Grace work hard as an asset specialist for UPS in Michigan, she’s an inventor and world changer for premature babies! In college as a part of a material science project, Grace created the Warmilu. It’s a special blanket that requires no electricity to provide and maintain heat.

Around the world neonatal hypothermia is still a great risk to premature and underweight babies. The Warmilu has been embedded in over 19 countries at this point and tens of thousands of babies have been saved because of Grace’s invention.

She also credits her work with UPS to show her how to run a small business and get her product to the parts of the world where it is needed most. Perhaps sweeter still is the name Warmilu, which is a shortened version of “Warm, I love you.” A message every mother and child could use.

 

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

A Delta flight attendant is going viral for being a kind and gentle person.

It was a bumpy flight from Charlotte Douglas International into JFK in New York. For one passenger the turbulence was terrifying. Flight Attendant Floyd Dean-Shannon saw the woman clenching her seat and turning green, so he calmly sat down in the aisle and held her hand to reassure her.

Other passengers watched the kindness unfold and shared the story on social media. Others have begun sharing stories of kindness they’ve also received from flight attendants who went the extra mile for them.

 

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Last April, 19-year-old Seren Jones got very sick and lost both of her kidneys. She spent every night hooked up to a dialysis machine until a kidney donor was found. Since her dad Arfon wasn’t a match for his daughter, he went ahead and put his information into the national kidney donation registration in hopes to be a help to another family.

Soon Arfon got the call that there was someone in need and he was a match. The 70-year-old joyfully went under the knife to pass along the blessing his family had received with his daughter. While he wasn’t informed about who received his kidney, the hospital did tell him that it was a successful transplant and that their health is improving every day!

Monday, January 30, 2023

Quiana “Q” Rowe knows that single moms often go without to ensure their kids have what they need. Rowe, herself a single mother of five, oversees eight Walmart stores in New Orleans, and one day at work came up with an idea: What if she could connect with other single moms and brighten their day with a special present?

Q knows that these moms are so used to putting their kids first they never think about themselves. She went on her Facebook page and invited friends to nominate single moms for some special gifts. Soon, Rowe was purchasing presents for women in Louisiana, Kansas, and Texas, which they picked up from their local Walmarts.

“Being able to do this is not something I would have thought of 15 years ago,” Rowe said. “Being able to gift the mothers, it’s tears from me and tears of gratitude from them.”

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Friday, January 27, 2023

There are many wonderful ways to keep your muscles and bones healthy along the journey and for one 101-year-old lady in England, the secret to staying young is to cut a rug!

Dinkie Flowers is one of the oldest women in the United Kingdom but is more mobile than many who are decades younger. Her secret? Dancing! She began her dancing career at just 3 years old and each week can still be found teaching future generations the art of dance at Dinkie Flowers Stage School.

“I just love dancing, I always have and I always will. I’d advise anyone—and everyone—to start dancing to keep your body and mind young.”

 

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Gary McKee spent 2022 pounding the pavement. He ran 26.2 miles every single day to raise $1 million for charity!

A father of three, Gary McKee lives in Cumbria, England. He turned his 26 mile commute to work a daily run. Sure, he showed up to the office very sweaty and too tired to accomplish much else, but he did manage to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support and West Cumbria Hospice at Home. When 2022 came to an end, Gary had raised £1 million ($1.2 million) from supporters.

On his final run, a crowd cheered him on, and fireworks went off when he was finished. “It was raining, but everybody was out clapping and shouting,” he said. “It was fantastic seeing everybody there. It’s something I’ll always remember.”

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Warren Marion of Cumberland, MD is an 82 year old Navy Veteran working full time at Walmart to make ends meet. And he serves with a smile. Rory McCarty wanted to do something special for this beacon of light at his local Walmart, so he got on social media and started to fundraise.

The goal was to raise enough cash for Warren to fully retire and spend more time in Florida with his grandkids. Rory said he just got the ball rolling and the Lord took over. Over 5000 donors put together nearly $120,000 so Mr. Marion could start living that retired life!

The veteran says, “All I can tell you is the good Lord has blessed me…”

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

An Arkansas Mexican restaurant extended some kindness to a homeless person and the act of Love has gone viral. A person came off the streets to the front counter at El Sur Street Food Co. in Little Rock. He asked the guy behind the counter if they had any food they could spare.

Without hesitation the employee offered to buy the guy a meal – walked him through the menu and made recommendations and prepared a table for his guest. He didn’t cheap out either. It wasn’t the value menu options he bought for the guy – but a full spread of delicious food. More importantly the homeless man was shown compassion and treated like the valuable human being that he is.

Sitting at a table nearby was a patron of El Sur named Ronda Chung. She watched the whole thing unfold and shared the story on Facebook – which took off with the caption “Amazing food, amazing folks. This is the Arkansas I want.”

Monday, January 23, 2023

For about a decade, Mr. Childress, who has now moved into Heaven, kept his generosity a secret. Hody lived in Geraldine, AL – a small, poor town. One day while at his local pharmacy he found the owner/manager and slipped them $100, saying “This is for anyone who can’t afford their medicine.”

Hody began donating $100 each month to help pay for other folks’ medicine. It was a secret between him, the owner of the pharmacy and Jesus. This started in 2012. Just recently as Hody Childress’ health began to deteriorate, he asked his daughter Tania to deliver $100 to the drug store. She had no idea why – but soon found out he had given thousands over the last decade to care for his community!

At Hody’s funeral the family shared the story and the community has responded by taking up the mantle and partnering to continue helping cover the cost of medicine for their little town.

 

Friday, January 20, 2023

The Phoenix Fire Department motto is “our family helping your family” and recently they did some big time helping one of their own families. Abel Parra works in administration for the PFD. Abel uses a wheelchair ever since an accident many years ago damaged his spinal cord. And for the past few years, his daily commute using public transportation in the hot Phoenix sun took a couple hours each way.

His co-workers decided enough was enough for their friend and began fundraising and researching how to get the Parra family a wheelchair accessible van. It took some time to get the money and secure the specially modified van – but just a couple of weeks ago the keys were handed to Abel. Now his daily commute is in style – and just 30 minutes instead of hours!

 

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Jeanette Stevens was an avid cyclist, but after an accident took her eyesight at just 34 years old, she grieved the loss of her favorite pastime.

But before long she was connected to a charity called Charlotte’s Tandems.  The specialty biking non-profit builds, teaches and connects folks to tandem cycle together. Soon Jeanette and her riding partner were feeling the wind whip the sides of their helmets, exploring the bike paths of England together.

Tandem bikes can be expensive and rare – but when Jeanette’s one year loaner came due, Charlotte’s Tandems and a local bike shop got her a rebuilt tandem bike for just £50!

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

A driver for DoorDash was so astounded by a generous tip on Christmas Eve that they took a moment to write a Thank You letter and left it on the door of the customer.

Vivica tipped the DoorDash driver $100 on a $60 dinner order. It was Christmas Eve and she was grateful for the service. But Vivica had no idea just what a blessing she was. The driver wrote about losing their job months earlier. They took a few DoorDash orders on Christmas Eve just to pay for a tank of gas in the family car. The generous tip that Vivica gave left the driver in tears of joy all the way home.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

The owner of Modell Sporting Goods went undercover in his store and met one of his associates named Angel. Angel is rey of sunshine – a bundle of joy – in spite of difficult circumstances.

Angel is a mother of three – a hard worker – but her family was homeless and living in a shelter. Still she came into work each day with a smile for every customer. Angel was assigned to show a new employee the ropes – but that trainee was actually the owner of the store. She so impressed him and touched his heart that he set out to radically change Angel’s life.

Shortly after shadowing Angel, her boss met with her and promoted her to assistant manager, gave her a $14,000 annual raise AND THEN gave her a check for $250,000 to buy a home for her family!

Monday, January 16, 2023

The best way to prevent History from repeating itself is to learn from History. Knowing is half the battle! Have you seen the commercials recently for the Civil Rights Trail in Montgomery, AL?

The capital of Alabama was a hot seat for the Civil Rights movement in the 60s. There are many historical sites and museums to experience – from Dr. King’s church to the site of Rosa Park’s arrest.

Perhaps in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, it’s time to plan a little day trip to learn the lessons of the past and find hope for the future! There are many sites in many cities, including New Orleans that are a part of the Civil Rights Trail. Learn more at civilrightstrail.com.

Friday, January 13, 2023

Back in early December, the Parrett family flew from their home in Fargo, ND to visit grandparents and family in Texas. They had a marvelous time – and even befriended a stray dog they named Country. The pup had wandered on the family property and bonded immediately with the two young Parrett kids.

But they couldn’t take Country home with them. As you can imagine, it was devastating to the kids who cried all the way to the airport.

Flash forward a few weeks to Christmas morning, when Grandpa Mike arrived in Fargo, ND – having driven over 1,200 miles from Texas to Fargo to deliver his grandchildren the ultimate Christmas present – the newly adopted Country.

 

Thursday, January 12, 2023

It was 2 PM on a Friday in Buffalo, NY when the snow started coming down too fast to see through. Since they had power and food at McDonalds, they started pulling customers and stranded motorists inside to stay warm. They tweeted that they had hot coffee, working heat and that they’d put the Bills game on the TV.

Soon the local police department started dropping off stranded motorists at the fast food joint. More than 50 folks ended up spending time surviving the Christmas blizzard at that Buffalo McDonalds throughout the weekend. There was hot coffee and hot chocolate and plenty of food for everyone.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

A little boy named Jude found a keyboard in the basement and his father was blown away by his son’s natural talent. Jude has autism and turns out – he’s a musical prodigy!

Jude’s story was shared on the local news in Denver and a professional piano tuner named Bill Magnusson happened to see the uplifting piece. He connected with the family through the news station and donated a grand piano to the family saying “This kid is Mozart level!”

 

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

A blizzard blew through upstate New York and a bus carrying 10 tourists outside of Buffalo got stuck in the snow. The folks from Korea were traveling from DC to Niagara Falls when the weather hemmed them in.

Two of the men decided to knock on a nearby door and ask to borrow snow shovels so they could dig the bus out and try to make their way through white-out conditions, but they knocked on the Alexander Campagna’s door and he wasn’t about to let these visitors from another land get trapped in a Polar Vortex!

Alexander and his wife made up couches, sleeping bags, air mattresses and their spare bedroom for all ten Korean tourists. It became an incredible holiday celebration, sharing food and stories and making new friends.

Monday, January 9, 2023

Callie Blue got a text at 4:50 AM Christmas morning from her boss – she was needed at Gus’s Diner. So Callie put on her Rudolph sweater and her smile and was at Gus’s in less than an hour.

A short time later she got her very own Christmas blessing!

Her second guest of the morning was Michael Johnson. Callie says he was kind, ordered breakfast and headed out – after leaving Callie a $1000 tip! Michael is the President and CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County and went to Gus’s Diner in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin on Christmas morning specifically to bless someone.

Friday, January 6, 2023

Norwegian Cruise Line hosted a Teacher Appreciation contest where deserving educators got nominated for going above and beyond – and 100 teachers from across North America were awarded with a free cruise for two, featuring an exclusive concert by Kelly Clarkson while sailing to Mexico.

Plus the top three Grand Prize winners scored tens of thousands of dollars for their schools. Whether you won a cruise or not – thank you to all of the amazing teachers daily giving their best for our students and communities.

CLICK HERE to sign up local schools to be the LifeSongs Prayer School of the day!

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Congratulations to great-grandma and graduate Joyce DeFauw, who just earned a bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University more than 70 years after she first enrolled!

Joyce was months away from earning a degree in home economics when she fell in love with a man from her church. She decided to pause her studies to start a family with him. Today, she’s got dozens of grandkids and great-grandkids.

In 2019, she mentioned to them that she came close to completing her degree, and her ever-supportive family encouraged her to follow through. And so she did! This time, though, she opted to study from her retirement home.

She took one online class per semester — her first time using a computer! — which kept her busy during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, when the virus kept her family from visiting. And now, three years after she picked her studies back up, she received her degree in general studies. Why’d she go through all the studying and cramming of college again? Well, why not?

“It’s nice to finish something you started,” Joyce says — whether it’s a lengthy book, an art project or even a long-paused college education.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Joseph Cook took up metal detecting to occupy his idle hands at Hammock Beach in St. Augustine, FL. No one was more surprised than he was to stumble across a massive diamond ring!

Through the power of social media, the owner was found and the ring returned. In fact, that has sort of become Joseph’s hobby – returning lost and found jewelry that he digs up with his metal detector. He even wears a necklace that has nearly two dozen found rings on it, just in case he runs into someone who lost their ring while hitting the beach.

 

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A post shared by Joseph Cook (@joedigger2021)

 

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

To serve and protect; that’s the motto for the police force. And it is perhaps harder than ever to accomplish that mission. But officer Clarence Carr of the Kenner PD is giving his best. And that has many folks calling him a hero, though he shrugs off the label. Officer Carr says he’s just doing his job. But his job has put him in some incredibly dangerous situations.

Thanksgiving weekend Clarence got a call that a car had crashed into the water along I-10 near Loyola. He thought it must have been a mistake because there isn’t a lake or canal there but when Officer Carr arrived he saw just how dire the situation was. A construction pit from the ongoing airport exit work had filled with rainwater and mud. A car had spun out into the hole and was sinking fast, with three adults and a small child trapped inside.

The driver managed to get out, but Officer Carr slogged into the quicksand and rescued the other three passengers. Then firefighters had to pull Clarence out from the mud. A few months earlier this brave Kenner Police officer had rescued a man out of a canal on West Metairie Rd. So if you meet Officer Carr, buy him a coffee and thank him for being the hero we need.

 

Monday, January 2, 2023

Adam was working his shift at Home Depot when he found an envelope with $700 cash inside. Being an upstanding young man, Adam immediately took the money to his manager.

Home Depot manager Alissa turned to social media to see if they could track down the person missing the cash. Very quickly the right person was found and the money was returned. Which was good, because it turns out the envelope was full of money for Christmas presents!

Friday, December 23, 2022

It seems like prices just keep rising. Groceries seem to cost more every week!
But what if you didn’t have to worry about the cost of groceries for an entire month? During the month of December, when you have so many other expenses?

A digital marketing company in the Netherlands, gave their employees – all 100 of them – free groceries for an entire month as a Christmas gift. The owner of the company said that he trusts his employees not to take advantage of his gift, so there is no limit on how much they buy.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Cities in Canada are allowing citizens to pay their parking fines with TOYS. With the “Toys for Tickets” campaign, people can donate toys, in lieu of money, to pay for any parking ticket this holiday season.

In fact, they’d prefer you to donate a toy instead of paying in cash! The toys are delivered to a local toy drive and distributed to children over the holidays.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Back in 2009, Patricia Gallagher was an empty nester and she was lonely. So she and her mother decided to go to nursing homes to read Twas the Night Before Christmas to the residents. They brought along some of her kids stuffed animals for the seniors to hold while they read. But when it was time to gather up those stuffed animals and take them to the next nursing home, none of the residents wanted to give up their teddy bears!

On that day, Patricia saw the power of a simple Christmas gift. So she put an ad on Craigslist asking for gently used stuffed animals. Thanks to churches and local schools and many others donating, in her first two years of collecting, she received more than 11,000 donations! And she takes all of those donated stuffed animals to senior living facilities and homes for retired nuns and veterans.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

For the last 10 years an anonymous donor has played Santa Claus by giving a big Christmas gift to Children’s Hospital to take a shopping spree at Learning Express Toys of Metairie – the toy store also matches a portion of the gift to make the gifts go even further.

Hospital staff fill bags with Christmas toys for kids in the hospital. Most of the toys are selected with specific developmental skills and rehabilitation uses in mind. The healthcare professionals say having toys to play with helps settle nerves and actually improves recovery times for kids in the hospital! But just putting a smile on the face of those children and their parents is more than enough.

 

Monday, December 19, 2022

Twelve years ago a stranger paid for Krista and Jeff’s three young sons’ haircuts. It was just a random act of kindness. The family was so overjoyed by the kind act that they wanted to immediately pay it forward.

Krista took her boys to Walmart, purchased three gift cards and had her sons randomly pick strangers in the store to bless. The practice in generosity became an annual tradition for the family to spend December 1-25 doing random acts of kindness in their community.

 

Friday, December 16, 2022

Bryan started his 30th birthday outreach by writing a long list of all the things he is grateful for in life. He was so overwhelmed by thankfulness for the many ways others had supported him throughout his life – all of his blessings – that he was inspired to try and be a blessing to others.

And Bryan’s 30 Acts of Kindness by 30 are pretty huge. He made dessert for 400 firefighters, put together 150 supply kits for middle schools in Oakland, arranged for $12,000 worth of supplies from various sponsors to flow into local schools and most recently packaged 118 care boxes for animal shelter workers, which he hand delivered!

I can’t wait to see what he does next on Instagram @30actsby30! You don’t need a major milestone birthday to do good in your community. Maybe start by monthly supporting LifeSongs

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Since its founding a quarter century ago, the Highway Angels Program has recognized over 1300 truck drivers for the kindness, courage and courtesy shown while on the job. Recently the award went to Tony Doughty – who was a real action hero!

Tony was driving his truck on I-40 near Albuquerque, NM when he witnessed a horrifying accident going the other direction. A red car slammed into a Jeep, both going 70 miles per hour. The Jeep flipped over and the car slammed into a cement barrier.

Tony carefully pulled his semi-truck over, called 9-1-1 and grabbed his EMT bag. Not only is Tony a truck driver, he’s been a volunteer firefighter for 12 years. A cop who happened to be passing by saw that Tony was trained and they worked together to secure the two injured drivers.

The pair were able to keep both injured parties stable and patched up for the ambulance who whisked them away to the hospital. Because of his training, Tony says he’s always ready to lend a helping hand – an opportunity he’s had countless times while logging in over 2 million miles of safe driving of his rig.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Christmas came a little early for five music and child-related nonprofits in New Orleans, courtesy of none other than Lauren Daigle.

During her two Christmas concerts at the Saenger Theatre last weekend, she announced that her foundation, The Price Fund, had donated $100,000 apiece to the Ellis Marsalis Center, the Roots of Music, the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, KidSmart and Young Audiences of Louisiana.

Lauren says, “I’m truly moved and inspired by the passion and commitment that I’ve seen from every single person involved with all of these organizations, not to mention the tireless and seemingly endless work done by their volunteers. The thousands whose lives they touch each and every day, not only provides light and hope for so many in need, it sets an example for all of us to follow and shows us what we do mean to each other.”

 

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A post shared by Lauren Daigle (@lauren_daigle)

 

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Adam Armstrong grew up in a neighborhood where Christmas was just another day of survival. Parents struggled to keep food on the table, so presents were just something on TV. Fifteen years after moving away, Adam has done well for himself and wanted to play Santa Claus for his old hood.

He showed up to the Harris Gardens Apartments with a moving truck loaded up with $12,000 worth of toys for all the families living on the edge of poverty. Kids lined up to get brand new bikes and toys galore! Making it a very merry Christmas.

Monday, December 12, 2022

Leisa Duckwall works in food services for Nansemond Parkway Elementary School. And Mrs. Leisa happens to be deaf. A fourth grade teacher, Kari, noticed the kids in her class would just point to the food they wanted and wave hello to Mrs. Leisa, but they didn’t know any sign language. Since Kari grew up with deaf family and knows ASL, she decided to teach her students some of the basics.

But word (or signs ?) spread and everyone at the school wanted to learn how to better communicate with Mrs. Leisa! The school started daily ASL lessons during Disability Awareness Month in October – but everyone loved it so much it has become a daily feature for all classes in the school all year long now.

The children love being able to better communicate with Mrs. Leisa – like learning any new language, it has opened up everyone’s world!

Friday, December 9, 2022

Romello Early (who goes by “Mello”) is one awesome 7th grader. He might be shorter than his classmates but he’s got a bright smile that he’ll share with anyone. When Mello’s best friend Melvin was getting picked on for having worn out tennis shoes, Mello had an idea.

He had been saving his allowance and chores money for a while, so he asked his mom to take him shopping – and got his bestie a brand new pair or Nike’s. He didn’t make a big deal out of it – he just wanted his friend to feel loved.

Mello had dealt with bullying at his old school and wasn’t going to let his best friend Melvin feel that hurt any longer. Shout out to all the Middle Schoolers out there looking out for one another and being true friends.

Thursday, December 8, 2022

The Good Dog Foundation in Hudson, New York trains about 300 dogs a year – every kind of pup – to become therapy dogs. With special training, dogs can go to public spaces like offices, hospitals, elderly care facilities and schools – bringing their comforting presence to cold corners of the modern world.

The Good Dog Foundation estimates that 300 trained dogs can impact over 100,000 a year! Martha Gold, a teacher in Manhattan, took her dog Oliver through training and has spent the last 4 years bringing peace to her classroom. The kids love to read to Oliver – and have much more confidence because of him!

One student said, “When I read to Oliver, he’s somebody that actually listens to me.”

Emily Kaye got her husky Laska volunteer certified and brings cheer to her local nursing home each week. Residents say that Laska is as important as the medicine they take.

 

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Nina Archuleta is a single mom to a 10-month old baby. She’s working full-time and a recovering addict. It’s a full life that has been especially difficult without reliable transportation. That is until God’s Garage stepped in.

Nina was gifted a 2012 Toyota RAV4 from the non-profit called God’s Garage – who specialize in getting wheels to people in need. When Nina saw her new car with a big red bow on it she couldn’t stop crying in gratitude.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

A Georgia woman glided into the gas station on fumes and was on the verge of tears as her card was declined. Officer Harrison of the McDonough Police Department happened to be close by filling up his cruiser and noticed her frustration. She started getting her things together to try and walk the rest of the way to work in the rain, hoping to come back for her car later.

Officer Harrison stepped in and paid for her to have a full tank of gas. It wasn’t a special promotion by the police department – just a neighbor being a neighbor. But what a great example of serving and protecting!

Monday, December 5, 2022

Devan Bonagura is one of those guys at Walmart with a display table trying to convince you to switch your cellular service. But he’s also a rising star on TikTok as he shares life inside a Big Box store. He posted a video of an older Walmart Employee named Nola who was just catching her breath in the break room.

Nola shared with Devan how she wants to retire but her mortgage is what is keeping her at work. With the caption, “Life shouldn’t be this hard…” Devan and over 13,000 TikTok followers set out to change Nola’s life.

The video was shared MILLIONS of times and in less than a week over $170,000 was raised on GoFundMe so that Nola could turn in her two weeks notice and embrace the retired life with her family.

@dbon973_ :/ I feel bad. #fyp #blowthisup #sad #walmart ♬ Jocelyn Flores – XXXTENTACION

 

Friday, December 2, 2022

Michael McGuire might be the University of Kentucky basketball team’s most dedicated fan! At least, he is an incredibly dedicated Dad. Michael is a Kentucky coal miner – and he had a choice when his shift ended last weekend: Drive 45 minutes to the Wildcats’ charity scrimmage game and arrive on time, or drive back home and clean up but miss half the game.

The decision was easy, though – McGuire wanted to be there when his young son Easton went wild for the home team at his first-ever basketball tourney.

So McGuire arrived straight from work, still coated in black dust in his work clothes. Michael and his son Easton had a great time together – and the soot covered coal miner caught the attention of the Wildcats coach. Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari invited the family to attend a home game at the school’s stadium (VIP treatment included).

 

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A post shared by John Calipari (@ukcoachcalipari)

 

Thursday, December 1, 2022

There are countless untold stories of heroism coming out of Ukraine and Eastern Europe defending against the Russian invasion. One hero is Roman Dobryak. This Ukrainian soldier lost one of his legs in an attack this past May.

Maybe not all in one piece, but Roman’s family and friends were relieved to have him back after his medical discharge. And it wasn’t long before Roman proposed to his girlfriend – now fiance – Julia. Getting down on one knee took a little help but Julia was quick to swoop in for a kiss and that ring.

The video was super sweet and has been shared many times to encourage other Ukrainian soldiers still on the frontlines – there is a life worth fighting for!

 

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A post shared by Roman Dobryak (@dobryakproduction)

*That’s a lot of road flares right? Like maybe too many?

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Ashley Garner lives near Fort Myers, FL. A few days before Hurricane Ian arrived, she lost her wedding ring. She searched for it relentlessly but didn’t have any luck. After the storm, she had all but given up on recovering the precious ring.

Following the storm, Ashley and her husband were cleaning the yard. About 10 minutes into cleaning, her husband was cleaning up the brush and the trees right next to the garage door and low and behold – the ring!

Ashley says she just sat on the curb, and I prayed to God and thanked him for providing and giving us a sign that there’s hope for the community.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Someone walked up to an officer and handed him a white envelope. Inside was a stack of 8 $1 bills. The donation came from the homeless community of Richmond.  The homeless residents of Richmond were grieving the loss of a friend on the force and wanted to give what they could to her family.

The Police Lieutenant said, “This gift was in a wrinkled dirty well-used envelope. They handed the envelope to the information officer and on the envelope was written these four words: people from the street. There have been many valuable gifts given. However, none, and I mean none, are more valuable than the gift of 8 $1 bills in a dirty white envelope.”

As this story broke, the community came together and filled a local firehouse with donations of clothes, food and blankets for the homeless community who gave what little they had.

Monday, November 28, 2022

When you experience incredible kindness – you want to pay it forward right? Sarah Pulley spent four months practically living inside the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit with her premature daughter Amelia. It was a stressful, scary time – made survivable by kind hospital staff and Ronald McDonald House.

The hospital wanted to expand their offerings in caring for parents as they wait and pray for their children in the NICU. Sarah knew this was her chance to give back. She owns a hair salon called Three Seventeen Hair Design. Sarah donated a chair from her salon, doing shampoo, blow-outs and scalp massages every month.

Sarah also shares her story of hope and encourages the new moms who get a moment of peace in a hydro massage chair while getting pampered and treated like a queen.

Friday, November 25, 2022:

Gretchen Caiazzo was out to eat with her 14-year-old grandson Cole in Chandler, Arizona. When it came time to pay the bill, their server informed them that it had been paid for already. The waiter then handed them a note from the couple who paid for their meal.

Then note read: “We enjoyed watching your special date. It got us talking about how much we miss those times with our own grandmothers. This time is so precious. Love that you’re living memories together. Enjoy each other. God bless – Vernon and Christine.”

A photo of note got posted on social media with the caption: “Random acts of kindness amaze me!!! I’m so grateful there is still beauty and kindness in this world especially when it seems so far to find some days!”

Thursday, November 24, 2022:

Elizabeth Groff received an Operation Christmas Child years ago in Ukraine. Now she’s helping to pack the 200 millionth gift on a tour across the United States.

Elizabeth wants people to know that God is using these gifts to demonstrate His love to children who are in desperate need. “There are so many children out there just like me who have never heard of Jesus or experienced His everlasting love,” she said. “I know the impact a single shoebox can make. It absolutely changed my life. There’s no greater reward than being able to serve through this ministry.”

Wednesday, November 23, 2022:

Several gifts in Manar’s Operation Christmas Child shoebox have become decades-long reminders of God’s love.

Mana was born to Christian parents in a Middle Eastern country who’s majority are not followers of Jesus. His name means “beacon,” and he is certainly shining the light of Jesus to others. When he was 13, he received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift that seemed to radiate with God’s love. He says, “I thought there would be only one item in the box but was astonished to see that it was full of gifts. The toy store came to me!” The first thing he saw in the box was a stuffed animal—a bear wearing a red sweater. There also was a football, an Etch A Sketch, crayons, a monkey-shaped keychain, and a note from the sender that said, “Jesus loves you and I’m praying for you.”

Mana says, “I felt the love of Jesus through the shoebox. It taught me how God is great, that God thought about me and sent me that gift.” That thought stuck with him. Wanting other children to experience the joy that he had through this gift, at age 18, Manar decided to make his own version of shoebox gifts for his neighbors’ four children. He is now an Operation Christmas Child project leader at his church, encouraging others to pack shoebox gifts, too. He says, “The light of God’s love that I felt at age 13 when I received a shoebox gift continues decades later each time I look at one of the items from my box.”

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Why are there cars and trucks parked all along the road leading to a classic rough-hewn timber barn in Wadsworth, Ohio? For Christmas Magic. Inside the beautiful classic barn there are tables set up – strands of lights wrapped around the beams for ambience – and a stack of red and green Operation Christmas Child boxes ready to be packed!

Matt and Kristel Stone run the Styx and Stones Farm – and host 40 shoeboxing events a year, with over 1,000 friends and family members pitching in. This year they put together 5,000 gifts for children and families around the world.

For two hours nearly every Saturday the community turns out to assemble cardboard boxes, write notes to boys and girls around the world and pack those shoeboxes with Christmas presents. Then the group prays over the gifts that will also carry the Gospel to those who haven’t yet heard about Jesus!

It’s probably too far to drive to Wadsworth, Ohio to pack up a gift – but you can still put an online order together here.

Monday, November 21, 2022

If you have a nine year old – or remember what it was like being nine – you know that kids around that age can become OBSESSED. It could be the sport they are playing or a YouTuber’s channel – but thankfully, for Ava Smith’s parents, she is obsessed with Operation Christmas Child.

Ava learned about Operation Christmas Child through her Christian school, when her class packed shoebox gifts for other young children around the world. She was so excited to tell her little brother Jack all about it – and her parents Justin and Danielle. Pretty soon the whole family was volunteering with Operation Christmas Child!

It became a year-long passion for Ava. She held a yard sale in the Spring and began designing and selling custom t-shirts, all so her family could fill even more shoebox gifts this Fall.

In each box, well over 100 gifts, Ava includes a note saying, “Hi, I’m Ava and this is my brother Jack. We hope you like your gift and know that Jesus loves you!”

Friday, November 18, 2022

The room was noisy with boxes opening and packages being unwrapped – it was a room full of excited, grateful children getting their first Operation Christmas Child gifts. But there weren’t many cheers or loud whoops of joy – because it was a classroom full of deaf students.

These boys and girls of the Himba people in Namibia – all deaf – were smiling ear to ear as they read books about Jesus and played with their new toys. Most of these children come from farming families and live in mud huts in isolated villages. Their time in school was sporadic before Klaudia started the class for deaf students. The only other option was to travel 10 hours away to the capital city to receive any specialized education for the deaf.

Ms. Klaudia was called by God to serve these children. She is not deaf – doesn’t have deaf parents or any deaf friends – but God put this marginalized group of special needs kids on her heart – so she learned sign language, got a teaching degree and set out to change her world. Operation Christmas Child has helped equip her to impact many lives.

 

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Yuri Lopez had a hard start to this life. She was separated from her family at the age of 2 in Honduras, and spent years hopping between 14 different orphanages in Central America. When she was six years old, Yuri got her very first Christmas present from Operation Christmas Child. And at six years old, she experienced her first taste of Hope.

“Everything in my shoebox was special,” Yuri said. “But the most important thing was the picture and note from the little girl who sent that shoebox to me. Her note said, ‘Jesus loves you and I love you too.’ At that moment it made a big impact on me, and it continued to for many years.”

Now an adult who loves and serves Jesus, Yuri has packed hundreds of shoebox gifts herself, including a special letter in each with the hope that some child around the world will experience the same Hope she did as a child.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Ken Postema is a craftsman. He lives on 10 wooded acres in Western Michigan, in a house he built himself with the poplar wood growing on his land. He’s been tending the land and forest for over 50 years.

One of his skills is making little toy wooden cars in his workshop. The custom toys started out as a project to do with his elderly dad, making gifts for their community, but once he connected with Operation Christmas Child he started mass producing the toys – he built 20,000 of them this year!

Ken’s grandkids call his workshop “Papa’s Christmas Car Show” as they help share Christmas and Jesus through Operation Christmas Child.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

The Baka people are from Central Africa – mostly Gabon and Cameroon. They live on the fringes of society, with little access to the modern world and certainly no access to the Gospel. God put the Baka people on the heart of Aristide, a volunteer coordinator for Operation Christmas Child in Gabon. In 2020 Aristide began leading others in prayer for the Baka and asking God for direction on how to reach them with His Good News.

The very next year an outreach was launched and over 350 Baka came to the very first Operation Christian Child event! They were able to share Jesus in the Baka’s native language of Fang. The village was so amazed by Jesus and hungry for the truth that the newly converted Chief founded a dedicated church space at the center of the village.

Now the Gabon outreach to the Baka is growing to reach seven more nearby villages!

 

Monday, November 14, 2022

Operation Christmas Child is a partnership of millions of people working to spread the Gospel. There’s folks like us who put together gifts and drop them off. Then there is an army of volunteers that organize the gifts, packaging them for global travel.

And then – there are the Operation Christmas Child missionaries that are on delivery duty – and they go to extreme lengths to get the Gospel and these Christmas presents into the hands of families and children in the hardest to reach corners of the globe!

Gifts are delivered by canoe in Fiji – fighting monsoons in the Philippines – via private sailboats in the depths of the Pacific Ocean – four-wheel drive trucks barreling through Madagascar – a caravan of camels in the desert of Namibia – Farm trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, horse and even by foot!

Both the prophet Isaiah and the Apostle Paul say in God’s Word, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

It’s National Collection Week – so get those gifts in today!

Friday, November 11, 2022

Christians around the world face persecution for expressing faith in Jesus Christ – who has called us to love, perhaps especially, our enemies. A small group of Christians live in a village in Central Asia, where they are treated like filth.

When one woman’s mother died the community denied her a burial site and threatened to stone her to death for being a Christian. Still she forgives and loves. The Christian woman reached out to Operation Christmas Child on behalf of the children in her community – and volunteers traveled 10 hours off road to bring 1000 gifts to people who were very much opposed to Jesus.

They were not, however, opposed to getting presents – and welcomed the visitors with surprising warmth. Seeds of hope have been planted because folks like you and me have sent those shoebox gifts! Want to volunteer for National Collection Week? Email Lauren Bernard!

Thursday, November 10, 2022

A boat loaded with Christmas presents docked at the forgotten island of Vridi Ako. It’s a small, lonely place off of the Ivory Coast – accessible only by boat. Vridi Ako is a place of poverty and desperation; a den for pirates and criminals.

A church on the mainland has tried three times to plant a new church on Vridi Ako – with no success. But the believers never quit trying to reach their neighbors. It was through Operation Christmas Child that they were able to share their faith – and Christmas – with the residents of the troubled little island. 150 children received their first Christmas gifts ever!

And a year later, a small congregation has formed as Jesus has transformed lives!

 

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

A volunteer with Operation Christmas Child, who we’ll call Yusif to protect his identity, felt God prompting him to slow down when he spotted two young shepherds tending their flock by the side of a rural highway.

The boys were just 5 and 7, yet they sat proudly on their donkeys, managing the family’s flock. Yusif cautiously approached the boys and told them God wanted them to have these gifts – giving them each a green and red Operation Christmas Child present, along with a copy of a booklet called The Greatest Gift.

No one had ever given these young shepherds a gift before. Their life had been hard work from the start. We pray with Yusif that the seed of the Gospel will grow in their lives. And Yusif also prays for reminders to slow down on the highway so he doesn’t miss an opportunity to show God’s love in China.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Romario grew up unaware of Jesus in a small village deep in the jungles of South America. But Romario says, “I always had a hungry heart, looking for something special. I knew there was something missing in my life.”

As a teenager, Romario met Jesus in a church near the capital of Suriname. He also got really sick – near death – before a miraculous healing through prayer. As a young man, he shares the Gospel with his village by explaining life without Christ is like being sick to the point of death.

Romario and his pastor share the Gospel of a healed heart and soul through Jesus Christ, by bringing Operation Christmas Child gifts to villages throughout the jungle. People groups who have never before heard about Jesus are being saved because you are building shoebox gifts!

 

Monday, November 7, 2022

Simply by living in the developed world – we are blessed. We don’t know poverty the way many around the world do. Edouard grew up in the West African nation of Senegal, where his family experienced real poverty.

One meal a day. Candles for light. A bare floor for a bed. The family home was scrap pieces of tarp tied to scrap wood. And yet Eduoard says his family was happy, because they were all together. His father, a pastor, would pray over the family each morning, “God You are good, and I’m giving you the day.”

At the age of 14 Eduoard was given a shoebox gift from Operation Christmas Child. Inside he found a pack of two toothbrushes – which he was excited to share with his sister – their very first toothbrushes. Also inside was a green Yo-Yo. No one in their community had ever seen such a toy – and it was passed around to everyone to try and figure out the skill.

Years later Eduoard was in the United States training as a track and field athlete. His church recruited him to help move some boxes – but when he saw the red and green OCC boxes he broke down in joyful tears, exclaiming, “I received one of those!”

Friday, November 4, 2022

Seven missionaries set sail on a 57-foot boat through rough weather, finally making anchor in the lagoon of an island in a hard to reach part of the Marshall Islands. This cluster of islands is home to about 11,000 people – situated deep in the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and Indonesia.

Why take such a risky journey? To share Jesus through Operation Christmas Child! Once the ship made anchor off the island of Mejatto, smaller boats came by to help ferry the gifts and missionaries to shore. There, children opened nearly 100 shoeboxes filled with toys and supplies. 87 of those children also prayed to welcome Jesus as King of their hearts!

The next day, the crew of the Cloud 9 made harbor at The Forgotten Island of Ebadon. This tiny South Pacific island is home to only 74 people – and over half of them began their journey with Jesus that day. By packing a shoebox gift you can impact the farthest reaches of the world!

Thursday, November 3, 2022

In the West African country of Benin, on a lake near the largest city of Cotonou, is a village built on stilts. Ganvie is a community of fishermen. Adults and kids alike have their own boats to get around their town.

During Christmas time, a long dugout canoe filled with red and green shoeboxes makes its way to the dock. It is quickly unloaded and someone puts music on the community building’s sound system. Soon families swarm the area with kids joyfully unwrapping Operation Christmas Child presents while singing along to the radio.

Dozens of families heard about Jesus. And while children were excited for the toys, the parents were grateful for the blankets given to every family for the cold nights. The Gospel is alive and thriving in Benin thanks to every person who helps put together an Operation Christmas Child gift!

 

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

One day, on a long walk in Latvia with her foster mother to get food assistance, a stranger presented a 10 year old Elizabeth with a shoebox filled with Christmas presents – and that gift changed her entire world.

Elizabeth and her two siblings were removed from her parents’ home when she was only 7. They were abusing drugs and alcohol and neglecting their children. After a short time in an orphanage, the girls went to a foster home with five other foster children. They experienced poverty and ridicule. Elizabeth, being the oldest of the foster kids, stayed busy cooking, cleaning and shouldering responsibility for the makeshift family.

When Elizabeth returned home with unexpected Christmas presents, she witnessed pure joy on her siblings’ faces – and she got her very first toy. A little purple mouse stuffed animal that was just hers. Included with the gifts was a little pamphlet about Jesus. Elizabeth began to pray to Jesus and then she and her sisters were adopted by a family in the United States.

Their new family was very loving – and took the girls to church, where she discovered more shoebox gifts just like she had received years before. Now she and her sisters and her new family pack Operation Christmas Child gifts every year with the hope that other sisters will hear about Jesus and experience the joy of their very own Christmas present.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

The Himba people were scared. Endless drought, deep poverty and failed ancestral worship had left them without hope. The Himba live a nomadic life, without running water or electricity. They have no written language and live in temporary mud huts. The Himba live deep inside Namibia – four hours off the beaten path.

But where the world largely forgot these people, God did not forget. God sent his Son Jesus for them. And he sent Pastor Rizera Hipakua to tell them about Jesus and invite them into His Kingdom.

It was Operation Christmas Child that enabled Pastor Rizera and his church to open communications with the Himba. By handing out Christmas gifts and medical care, conversations quickly turned to the reason for all of the generosity. And the gift of hearing about Jesus trumped all of the other presents.

Multiple Himba communities have been introduced to Jesus through these outreaches and many have had their lives forever changed by the Spirit of the Living God. We’re inviting you to make a difference with Operation Christmas Child today!

Monday, October 31, 2022

The loss of a child is a pain no one should ever have to experience. And it impacts many more than mom and dad. 8 year-old Greyson still misses his baby brother, who passed away in 2017. He carries a framed picture of his brother Wyatt with him to school every day.

Greyson wanted to honor his brother by taking care of other little kids entering kindergarten. He went to his parents with the idea of doing a fundraiser for school supplies in Wyatt’s memory. With some hard work and a loving heart, Greyson raised $350, went shopping for the supplies and delivered them himself to Estes Elementary School.

 

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