Archive | November 2012

NYPD Cop Buys Homeless Man Boots

Newsday  |  By 

You have to like what NYPD Officer Larry DePrimo did for a barefoot man in Manhattan one frigid night this month. In fact, more than 260,000 Facebook users have “liked” DePrimo’s actions, a number that’s growing every day.

After a tourist from Arizona snapped a photo of DePrimo, of Holbrook, giving the man socks and boots to ward off the cold, the image became an instant hit on the NYPD’s Facebook page.

As of late Wednesday, the photo had been shared 47,716 times, boosting subscribers to the department’s 5-month-old page by 7,000, to 95,000, officials said.

“I had two pairs of wool winter socks and combat boots, and I was cold,” DePrimo, 25, said Wednesday, recalling the night of Nov. 14, when he encountered an unidentified, shoeless man on the sidewalk on Seventh Avenue near 44th Street.

DePrimo offered to get him socks and shoes.

“I never had a pair of shoes,” the man replied, according to DePrimo, who’s assigned to the Sixth Precinct and has been on the force nearly three years.

The officer walked to a Skechers store on 42nd Street and shelled out $75 for insulated winter boots and thermal socks. He returned to the man, knelt down and put the footwear on him.

“He smiled from ear to ear,” DePrimo said. “It was like you gave him a million dollars.”

The officer asked the man if he wanted a cup of coffee, but he graciously declined and went on his way.

“I didn’t think anything of it,” DePrimo said of his generosity.

But during dinner that night, he got a text message from a friend. The photo had gone viral.

“I was absolutely shocked,” he said. ___

(c)2012 Newsday


I have received many responses to many of the posts on this blog, thus far. However, may I request that you please reply in the comment section of the blog – as opposed to on Twitter, Facebook, emails, etc. – so that all responses will be together. Your comment may be helpful to others who come across something that they can relate to. You can comment anonymously.

Thank you and many blessings.


Giving Tuesday

Charities Fight Consumerism with Giving Tuesday

By Susanna Kim (@skimm) 

Nov. 26, 2012

photo credit: Noah Sheldon

There’s Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and now charities are starting what they hope will become a national day for giving that will join the holiday lexicon: Giving Tuesday.

As of Monday morning,#GivingTuesday had 2,106 partners listed on the movement’s website, including corporations, nonprofits, schools and religious groups.

The idea for the campaign sprung from Henry Timms, deputy executive director of the Jewish community center 92nd Street Y, and Kathy Calvin, CEO of the United Nations Foundation. Timms began thinking about the concept during the holidays last year, and the idea gained momentum this past spring.

“When 92Y’s Henry Timms called he explained the opportunity this way, ‘We have a day for giving thanks, two days for getting deals. Why shouldn’t there be a day for giving back?'” Calvin said.

She said the UN Foundation loved the idea.

“There are so many creative ways that people can volunteer and donate in today’s world of social media,” Calvin said. “A national day of giving back around the holiday shopping season just makes sense. It helps people everywhere make the most of their philanthropic side.”

The organizers, including public relations firm Fenton Communications, are asking partners who have the capability of collecting data to report how much they raise on Tuesday, how many people volunteered at an event, or other relevant information. They hope to report those figures Wednesday.

But will Giving Tuesday catch on, especially in light of the expected increase in retail holiday sales?

Devin Hermanson, senior marketing director of relief organization World Vision, said he hopes so.

According to a phone survey by Harris Interactive and World Vision, 83 percent of Americans say they would prefer to receive a meaningful gift that would help someone else instead of a traditional gift like clothing or electronics.

However, the percentage of people willing to give a charitable gift as a present has fallen.

Last year, 51 percent of U.S. adults said they would be “more likely” to give a charitable gift as a holiday present. This year, that percentage dropped to 45 percent.

“Holiday shopping is treated like an Olympic event,” Hermanson said. He hopes the same attention will be paid to Giving Tuesday.

Here are some ways organizations are participating in Giving Tuesday and ways you can give:

Union Settlement Association

The Union Settlement Association is a service organization serving East Harlem in New York City. Since 1895, the organization has provided meals, childcare and a myriad of services to the community.

“We’re just thrilled to be involved and have this kind of national effort in community service and giving back,” said Sara Stuart, director of development and communication of the Union Settlement Association. “That’s what we do in East Harlem.”

Stuart said it’s especially important to talk about giving back after the destruction from superstorm Sandy.

Stuart said people are encouraged to not just give money, but their time. The association is promoting community service by encouraging people to make public pledges. A group of volunteers are distributing 300 buttons around New York City that have the words, “I’m Giving…”

World Vision

Relief organization World Vision is promoting giving to Sandy victims as part of Giving Tuesday.

In addition to the organization’s giving catalog, this year, people can donate “gifts” on behalf of loved ones for “Disaster Response in the USA” and money will go to recovery efforts on the East Coast, such as flood clean-up kits, blankets and hygiene kits.

Devin Hermanson, World Vision’s senior marketing director, said he hopes Giving Tuesday fights what the nonprofit industry calls donor or compassion fatigue.

“Sometimes people feel overwhelmed and they don’t see their dollars at work. We need to do our part to show people the benefit of their donation dollars,” he said.

Shoe website Sole Society is donating shoes to Soles4Souls, which donates shoes to people living in over 125 countries, for every pair purchased as part of Cyber Week.

Macy’s “Believe” campaign’s Santa letters are one way for people to give back. Bring stamped letters to Santa to their local Macy’s, and for each letter received, Macy’s will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish Foundation, up to $1 million.

Macy’s has donated nearly $5 million to Make-A-Wish over the first four years of its “Believe” campaign, helping make wishes come true for children with life-threatening medical conditions.

For every dollar donated for a measles vaccine from Nov. 1 to 27 to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, an anonymous donor will match each dollar up to a maximum of $15,000 to help save lives of 600 children a day who would otherwise die from measles.

For just $5.72, UNICEF can provide enough doses of the vaccine to protect 20 children.

For the last 65 years, the mission of Heifer International, based in Little Rock, Ark., has been to work with communities to end hunger and poverty. Donors can purchase a Heifer International gift on behalf of a loved one this holiday season, including $20 for a flock of chicks for a family or $275 for a girl’s education by paying for her school fees and supplies. Heifer International works in 42 countries, including China, Nepal, Brazil, Rwanda, Armenia and the U.S.

Kind Snacks

Health-food maker Kind Snacks is offering a $5 discount on its Snack and Give Back cubes. Celebrity makeup artist and guru Bobby Brown, newsmaker Arianna Huffington and rocker Grace Potter have stamped their names on three cubes. The cubes come with their favorite Kind bars and will benefit the Broome Street Academy, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and the Alzheimer’s Association Committee, charities important to the three women, respectively.

The codes for the discount are: KINDBOBBI, KINDARIANNA and KINDGRACE. They expire on Dec. 31 at midnight EST.

Kind Snacks guarantees a donation of $10,000 to each partner’s charity.


I have received many responses to many of the posts on this blog, thus far. However, may I request that you please reply in the comment section of the blog  – as opposed to on Twitter, Facebook, emails, etc. – so that all responses will be together. Your comment may be helpful to others who come across something that they can relate to. You can comment anonymously.

Thank you and many blessings.

Why You Should Be Thankful

Today is Thanksgiving, and many people will gather with family and/or friends, to enjoy good company and good food.

Some, unfortunately, by no choice of their own, will be alone and hungry, today. If you are one of the fortunate, please pray for them.

If you are one of those who are going through a tough time right now, remember EVERYONE goes through tough times at some point in their life. Be strong and don’t give up.  The tough times don’t last forever. Be thankful for the other blessings that you have had, have now, and will have in the future.

Regardless of how your day is spent, we ALL have so much to be thankful for. If you are reading this, be thankful that you made it to another day. Some who went to sleep last night, did not wake up this morning.

I think the song below conveys the message of being thankful the best. Please read the lyrics….

I have received many responses to many of the posts on this blog, thus far. However, may I request that you please reply in the comment section of the blog  – as opposed to on Twitter, Facebook, emails, etc. – so that all responses will be together. Your comment may be helpful to others who come across something that they can relate to. You can comment anonymously.

Thank you, many blessings and HAPPY THANKSGIVING! 


Somedays we forget
To look around us
Somedays we can’t see
The joy that surrounds us
So caught up inside ourselves
We take when we should give. So for tonight we pray for
What we know can be.
And on this day we hope for
What we still can’t see.
It’s up to us to be the change
And even though we all can still do more
There’s so much to be thankful for.Look beyond ourselves
There’s so much sorrow
It’s way too late to say
I’ll cry tomorrow
Each of us must find our truth
It’s so long overdueSo for tonight we pray for
What we know can be
And every day we hope for
What we still can’t see
It’s up to us to be the change
And even though we all can still do more
There’s so much to be thankful for.Even with our differences
There is a place we’re all connected
Each of us can find each other’s lightSo for tonight we pray for
What we know can be
And on this day we hope for
What we still can’t see
It’s up to us to be the change
And even though this world needs so much moreThere’s so much to be thankful for

Want Results? Put in the Work

Every time I hear a ‘road traveled ‘story by someone who has accomplished success in their life, whether it be financial, professional and/or personal, they always state “It wasn’t easy”.  They tell tales of the struggles and sacrifices they made along the way to reach their goal. They have had to put in many hours, months, and sometime years to reach their ultimate goal – financial security, dream job, happy marriage, etc.

Then, there are others who put in little to no effort and wait for success to come to them. For some reason, they may feel entitled,  “I deserve this! [Therefore, it should happen, right now]” It doesn’t work that way. They may look for short-cuts or deceitful ways to get what they desire. Nothing worth having comes easy and nothing comes to those who wait.  If it comes too fast without the work, it most likely will be gone just as fast.  There is no great satisfaction in gaining something, with the knowledge that it wasn’t due to your effort. One way or another,  there will be a price to pay, for anything received which was undeserved.


A self-assured individual gains satisfaction in their own accomplishments and can proudly proclaim, “It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears…but, I DID IT!”


I have received many responses to many of the posts on this blog, thus far. However, may I request that you please reply in the comment section of the blog  – as opposed to on Twitter, Facebook, emails, etc. – so that all responses will be together. Your comment may be helpful to others who come across something that they can relate to. You can comment anonymously.

Thank you and many blessings.

Suburban Chicago Man, Who Helped With Post-Sandy Cleanup In NJ, Wins $100,000 Lottery Prize

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — While most people are frustrated by the problems created by Superstorm Sandy, one volunteer had an unexpected windfall.

He hit the lottery jackpot because he came to serve in the storm.

John Turner is now back home in the southern Chicago suburb of Chicago Heights, but he’ll never forget what he saw on the East Coast.

“We saw houses moved down the streets, vehicles turned over,” Turner told CBS 2′s Kristine Johnson.

The 38-year-old Turner runs a water removal business called National Catastrophe Solutions of Chicago. He and his staff cleaned up homes flooded by Superstorm Sandy, including some for free for homeowners who had lost everything.

“Some people didn’t have insurance coverage. Some people never would have expected this. It’s one of those 100 years deals,” Turner said.

It was last Sunday after a hard day of cleanup that Turner bought a New Jersey lottery scratch-off ticket. With a flick of the wrist, he became $100,000 richer.

Turner said he was in utter shock.

“Like this is not happening. Like this is not real,” Turner said.

“He couldn’t believe it. He wanted a lot of confirmation from us and just called a lot of family and told everybody the good news,” Joshua Rivera, one of Turner’s employees, said.

In a statement, the state’s lottery director said: “We are very grateful that John has given his time and skills to help the people dealing with the challenges brought on by Sandy and that New Jersey is giving a memorable thank you back to him.”

The jackpot, after taxes, comes to about $70,000, which Turner hopes to invest in his business, give to his church and donate to a family that is in need.

“He deserves it. He’s a good-hearted man. I couldn’t think of anybody better to win it than John,” Rivera said.

Turner, who was born in New Jersey, said his thoughts are still with those struggling after Sandy.

“It’s a saddening situation. It’s really, really sad. So we hope they get back to normal as quickly as possible,” Turner said.

Turner said he will be back to the Tri-State Area next week to once again help in the recovery effort.


The ‘$5 Doctor’ Practices Medicine from Bygone Era

In this Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 photo,m Dr. Russell Dohner, right, talks with patient Joe Logsdon about his high cholesterol in Rushville, Ill. Patients line up early outside his office just off the town square, waiting quietly for the doctor to arrive, as he has done for nearly 60 years. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

By MARTHA IRVINE | Associated Press

RUSHVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Patients line up early outside his office just off the town square, waiting quietly for the doctor to arrive, as he has done for nearly 60 years.

Dr. Russell Dohner is, after all, a man of routine, a steady force to be counted on in uncertain times.

Wearing the fedora that has become his trademark, he walks in just before 10 a.m., after rising early to make rounds at the local hospital. There are no appointments. He takes his patients in the order they sign in — first come, first-served. His office has no fax machines or computers. Medical records are kept on hand-written index cards, stuffed into row upon row of filing cabinets.

The only thing that has changed, really — other than the quickness of the doctor’s step or the color of his thinning hair — is his fee. When Dohner started practicing medicine in Rushville in 1955, he charged the going rate around town for an office visit: $2.

Now it is $5.

This in an era when the cost of healthcare has steadily risen, when those who don’t have medical insurance often forgo seeing a doctor. But not Dohner’s patients. He doesn’t even accept medical insurance — says it’s not worth the bother.

“I always just wanted to be a doctor to help people with their medical problems and that’s all it’s for .,” the 87-year-old family physician says. “It was never intended to make a lot of money.”

Being a doctor, helping and providing a service — that has been his goal since he was a boy.

One of seven children, Dohner grew up on a farm just north of Rushville, outside the little town of Vermont, Ill. His father had hoped he’d take up farming, too. But young Dohner had other ideas, inspired by the town doctor who’d treated him when he had seizures as a child.

“I remember waking up and seeing the doctor there and thinking, ‘THAT is what I want to do,'” he says.

After serving in the Army in World War II, Dohner went to Western Illinois University, paying for his education with funds provided by the G.I. bill. In the early 1950s, he attended Northwestern University’s medical school. He had his sights set on becoming a cardiologist and thought about staying in the big city. But when a doctor in Rushville asked him to put off his heart specialist studies to practice medicine back at home, he agreed to do so, at least for a little while.

Then that doctor left town.

“So I couldn’t very well leave,” Dohner says. “That’s just the way it worked out.”

It was a sacrifice, yes. His young wife didn’t want to stay in such a small town, he says, and so their marriage ended. He never remarried and instead dedicated his life to his work, only leaving this small central Illinois town for medical conferences over the years, never taking a true vacation.

Even when the medical profession changed around him, he was always on call, ready to drop everything for a patient.

Carolyn Ambrosius, now 69, recalls how her mother went to an obstetrician in Springfield when she was pregnant at age 41, a rarity back then. The doctor there told her that either she’d survive or the baby would, but not both of them — a prognosis her mother refused to accept.

So she went back to Rushville.

“God’s going to take care of us — and Dr. Dohner,” Ambrosius remembers her mother saying.

And the doctor did, coming to their home each day to check on her during the pregnancy, and often staying to eat meals with the family after he’d completed his exams.

“I’m not sure if he remembers,” Ambrosius now says. (By now, the story is vaguely familiar to Dohner. He’s delivered a lot of babies in Rushville — “nearly the whole town,” by some estimates.)

But her mother did survive. “And my baby brother is now 52,” Ambrosius says, standing outside Dohner’s office on a crisp fall day after coming in for a check-up.

Stories like that are common around this town, a quaint place with cobblestone streets around the main square and majestic old mansions, some of which have seen better days. It’s the sort of place where patients give their doctor a gift or bring baked goods to say thank you. The walls of Dohner’s office hold items such as a homemade clock adorned with shiny beads, embroidery, cards, photos and paintings, including one of the doctor fishing, once a favorite pastime.

These days, though, it takes all his energy just to rise before 7 a.m. to head to the hospital, then to his office and back to the hospital, where the “Doctors’ Dictating Lounge,” named for his father, is set up with a desk and a cot for the occasional nap.

On Thursdays, Dohner closes his office at noon, but even then, he heads to the local nursing home to visit residents. On Sundays, he sees patients before church and stops by the hospital afterward.

He’s there, indeed, like clockwork. But as much as townspeople have grown to count on him, they also worry, as he’s become increasingly frail.

“He’s going to be dearly missed, not just in town but the three- or four-county area around the town, you know, because people come from all over just to him,” says Robert Utter, a 37-year-old emergency medical technician who’s been a patient since he was a small boy.

The doctor’s staff is aging, too. One of his nurses, Rose Busby, is 86. His secretary, Edith Moore, who grew up living next door to the Dohner farm, is 85.

“You been here before?” Moore asks many patients who step up to the office window to sign in throughout the day.

Though she may not remember everyone, she’s not surprised when they answer, “Yes.”

“Everybody in the world has been here before,” she says, somehow managing to find each patient’s index card in the filing cabinets that run down the hallway. “They’re full,” she says.

Moore is the one who collects the $5 fee when the patients leave — though a few times a day, Dohner tells her “never mind” and tries to quietly let a few go with no charge. Patients sometimes protest.

“Next time, I’ll pay $20!” one insists. But it’s clear that this patient and others are grateful, and often relieved.

Few doctors today could practice medicine the way Dohner does.

“I don’t hardly make enough to pay my nurses,” he concedes with a chuckle.

Most of his income comes from the farm that his family still owns and that is now run by a nephew. So, although he never became a farmer, the farming life made it possible for this country doctor to maintain his practice, his way.

And he intends to keep it going as long as he possibly can.

“As long as I can make it up here, I’ll help if I can,” says Dohner, who has no plan to retire. Medical colleagues keep a watchful, caring eye on him.

He notes that his mother lived into her mid-90s. “I guess I don’t know anything else to do,” he says.

During a visit to Culbertson Memorial Hospital, he stops to see Virginia Redshaw Wheelhouse, a 97-year-old patient. Her eyes open when she hears his voice. The doctor holds her hand and pats her shoulder.

Afterward, stammering but determined to get the words out, she says, “I pray he lives to be 99,” as her daughter-in-law, Cathy Redshaw, nods.

“There’s no words to describe what he does for people and the effect he has on people,” says Cindy Kunkel, a registered nurse at the hospital, where Dohner spends many evenings on “second rounds,” as she calls them.

She recalls working the night shift and seeing him pull into the hospital drive, often with a patient in his car.

“He may have his slippers on, but he would have his hat and his suit on,” Kunkel says, smiling. “And he would bring a patient in that needed to be put to bed and taken care of.”

Stephanie LeMaster, who grew up in Rushville, remembers interviewing Dohner for a school report when she was in fourth grade. Before then, she’d planned on being a nurse, like her mom and grandmother before her. But that interview changed everything, she says.

Dohner became a role model — and now she is a first-year medical student at Southern Illinois University.

“They tell me I should be the next Dr. Dohner, but I’m not sure I can live up to him,” LeMaster says. “He’s the only one like him.”


Bride’s Shattered Wedding Saved by Surprise Donation

Niki Stephan, 28, and Brian Smith, 28, of Portland, Ore., were prepared to say “For better or for worse” to one another, but the ballroom for their wedding wasn’t.

After they had already paid $4,000 to reserve the Arista Ballroom for the ceremony, the building suddenly closed because of fire code violations, and Stephan said its management would not refund her money.

“It’s been kind of hard, because a month after I got that email from the Arista, my department at work was reorganized and I lost my job,” Stephan told “It’s definitely been very trying, and initially I was, for some reason, bitter with everybody. But I realized that’s not the right way to approach this. Obviously I had to come up with a solution. So Brian and I had to spend the money we had saved for a small honeymoon on a wedding.”

But little did she know that behind the scenes was a group of very generous wedding vendors, working furiously to pick up the missing pieces.  They were determined that Niki and Brian would have their fairy tale wedding.

Stephan is not the only bride whose wedding plans had been shattered on short notice by the Arista’s closing. So when Shannon Long, the wedding event manager for the Heathman Lodge in Vancouver, Wash., saw the story on ABC affiliate KATU, she decided she had to do something to help. Long immediately contacted Kristina Kuntz, a wedding aficionado who owns Niella’s Special Events.

“She gave me a call and said, ‘Look what happened. Do you think we could do something?’” Kuntz said. “So I told her to give me a couple of hours and let’s see what we can do. I reached out to a few of my vendors. They’re great people. They really care about people. All of a sudden the response was just amazing.”

Right away, Kuntz had about five emails from vendors all asking what they could do to do help. And from there, the response kept growing.

“I started getting more and more emails. People were contacting me saying, ‘I saw you need a videographer. We want to be involved,’” said Kuntz.

It took Kuntz about three weeks to line up all the vendors. She even worked with Long to arrange for the couple to keep their original wedding date, March 17. The celebration will now be held at Heathman Lodge.

“We actually got what her date was, and kept her same colors. I got the stuff in her colors so it would match. We kept the same menu and food she was going to do at the place that closed down. But we’re doing it a bigger scale,” Kuntz said.

After all the details had been set, Kuntz and Long arranged to surprise the bride, who also works part-time as a wedding officiant.

“She said, ‘Could you meet Kristina and some of the other wedding vendors to plan the wedding expo for next February?’ So I was in business mode. I had my laptop and everything,” Stephan said. “So we were just chatting and Kristina said she had to go to the restroom. And a couple minutes later I felt this tap on my shoulder and I turn around it’s Shelly, who had done the story the first time. I just remember being blinded by a lot of light.”

The affiliate, KATU, was there to record the bride’s surprise on camera as Kuntz presented her with a check for $20,000 to cover her wedding expenses. “Everything’s going to be put together for you. You just need to show up,” Kuntz told Stephan.

“The best part about it was they got all these vendors — a florist, an Italian soda bar, a dessert buffet, and a lot of those were things we really wanted to have, but because of what had had happened, we knew we wouldn’t have the extra money to do them,” Stephan said. “So it was really awesome to get all those extra things I was only ever dreaming of.”

Kuntz read her the full list of everyone who donated their services.

“It’s a really weird feeling because I’ve never really been given anything. I’ve worked really hard for everything I have. To be given something, and something so large, how to you repay them for this?” Stephan said. “I still am piecing together the concept of these people helping us out. It’s very surreal. I don’t think a thank you or a hug will ever be enough.”

Kuntz was as touched as the bride. She started crying as she told her the good news.

“I’m in the industry to make people’s dreams come true, so to do this was just wonderful,” Kuntz said.

The couple is currently trying to take their previous vendor to court, and is so grateful that this opportunity has allowed them to now focus on saving money for their dream honeymoon to Italy.

“It’s definitely helped us feel like we can finally breathe. Even while trying to bring them to justice,” Stephan said. “I just want them to do the right thing. And that’s what I’m hoping they’ll eventually do. But at least I have something more positive to focus on right now.”


I have received many responses to many of the posts on this blog, thus far. However, may I request that you please reply in the comment section of the blog  – as opposed to on Twitter, Facebook, emails, etc. – so that all responses will be together. Your comment may be helpful to others who come across something that they can relate to. You can comment anonymously.

Thank you and many blessings.