Tag Archive | giving

Man Offers His House to Homeless Family for a Year

Tony TolbertBy Lee Cowan

(CBS News) For most parents, when a child leaves the nest it’s usually for good. But at age 51, Tony Tolbert has come home again. And it’s for all the right reasons — or so says his mom.

“He is so giving, and he’s always been that way,” said Marie Tolbert.

Tony grew up in a home that always seemed to have a spare bed — thanks to his father – Jimmy Tolbert.

An entertainment lawyer in Los Angeles, Tolbert’s dad extended a hand to almost anyone down on their luck. In fact, Tolbert can’t remember a time there wasn’t someone extra living in their house — and that gave the Harvard-educated attorney an idea.

He decided to take his dad’s generosity one step further.

He announced he was moving back home, because he was giving up his own fully furnished L.A. home, rent free, for a full year  — to a family he’d never even met.

“You don’t have to be Bill Gates or Warren Buffet or Oprah,” Tolbert said. “We can do it wherever we are, with whatever we have, and for me, I have a home that I can make available.”

But to whom? Tolbert sought out a shelter for homeless women and children called Alexandria House. It was there he found Felicia Dukes.

Needless to say, she couldn’t believe the offer when she heard it.

“They had a young man that wanted to donate their house to you for a year,” Dukes recounted. “And I’m looking at her, like, what? Like — Are you serious?”

Dukes had been sharing a single room at the shelter with three of her children. But it was for kids only and her older son couldn’t join them. So not only was the family homeless and broke, but separated.

Until the boxes arrived at Duke’s new home — Tolbert’s old one. And shortly after the boxes, her son showed up too.

“My heart just fills up and stuff, um….I’m just really happy,” Dukes said tearfully.

And those weren’t the only tears of joy.

Tolbert also became emotional when he talked about the life lessons he learned from his father, who is now suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.

“Kindness creates kindness. Generosity creates generosity. Love creates love,” he said. “And I think if we can share some of that and have more stories about people doing nice things for other people, and fewer stories about people doing horrible things to other people, that’s a better world.”

Not a bad thought to begin the new year.

source: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505263_162-57561565/man-offers-his-house-to-homeless-family-for-a-year/

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.



Aaron’s Last Wish

[photo from aaron.org on Facebook]

Man’s dying wish for $500 tip inspires charity

By Dylan Lovan, Associated Press

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — As Seth Collins finished his penne pasta at a Lexington restaurant, he called over the waitress to fulfill his brother’s dying wish.

He explained to her that his 30-year-old brother Aaron recently passed away, but that he’d left instructions in his will to leave a $500 tip for a server.

Then Seth Collins handed the waitress a stack of $20 bills.

The waitress, Chelsea Powell, took the money reluctantly and then smiled and said: “Are you kidding me?” She laughed nervously and had to cover her mouth from the excitement before giving Collins a hug.

The big tip at Bella Notte restaurant was the second $500 gratuity Seth Collins has left since Aaron Collins died on July 7. And the tips will keep coming, thanks to more than $47,000 in donations from people inspired by Aaron Collins’ dying act of charity.

The family didn’t even know he’d written a will when they found the document on his computer.

It had instructions on what to do with his motorcycle, his artwork and to “leave an awesome tip (and I don’t mean 25%. I mean $500 on a … pizza).”

“It was the last thing in his will, that we do this, and it kind of took me by surprise to see that, and for that reason it kind of left a mark on me,” Seth Collins said shortly after leaving giving the $500 tip to Powell earlier this month.

Aaron Collins’ death was unexpected. His brother said the family is still awaiting a final determination on the cause, but a preliminary coroner’s report said strangulation contributed to the death.

Collins set up a website after his brother’s death to collect money for the big tip.

He raised enough from family and friends for the first tip, and then Collins posted a video of the giveaway on YouTube. The video showing Collins telling a waitress at an Italian restaurant his brother’s story and handing over the cash, instantly went viral. Since it was posted in mid-July, 2 million people have watched.

Donors from around the world, many anonymous, have flooded the site.

“When I was daydreaming I thought (if we could collect) $1,500, we’ll do it three times, that would just be unbelievable to do it three times, never thought I’d get to,” Collins said. And then after he posted the first video, “suddenly I’m thinking, ‘Oh we’re going to get to do it 20 times, 40 times.'”

Powell, who received the second big tip from Collins, works three jobs and is studying at the University of Kentucky to be a teacher.

The money will help the 21-year-old student with her bills, she said.

“I haven’t even thought about it yet, I just know I’m behind on a lot of stuff,” Powell said.

Seth Collins said the family has raised nearly enough money to do once-a-week tips for two years. So far he has given three big tips, and said he plans to travel outside Lexington for the next dinner. He has been thinking of other possibilities, like leaving big tips for coffee or pizza delivery.

Copyright © 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

source: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i4_ANXnhCb-nIu6imnU91PkGEz7Q?docId=cddde6930c764f86b73b3c62b1d4dccb

If you would like to donate, please visit http://aaroncollins.org/

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.




It’s Better to Give…

Kentucky man buys everything at Kmart Inventory, then donates it all to charity

May 18, 2012

Rankin Paynter sifts through some of the items he purchased at K-Mart

A Kentucky businessman showed a heart of gold by buying the entire inventory of a closing K-Mart and donating it to charity.

After turning aside calls from flea markets looking to buy the inventory valued at around $200,000, Rankin Paynter, the owner of a Winchester firm that buys up surplus goods, decided to donate the merchandise to a local charity.

“I told my wife, I can make $30,000 or $40,000 on this deal but let’s give it to charity,” Paynter told ABC News. This story first appeared on Lex18.com.

During a visit to the store, the good Samaritan was checking out the display cases and a safe for his jewelry buying business when he learned the store would sell all of the merchandise on the last day of business. One requirement: You had to be a power buyer.

Paynter, who is a power buyer, had to fill out an application with the company to purchase the goods, which had everything from winter clothes to over-the-counter medicine. According to Paynter, the day before closing the store called to offer him the whole lot. But there was one rule.

“They said you can buy it all but you must sign a contract and take everything left in the store,” Paynter told ABC News.

And, he did.

On Sunday, May 6, the businessmen stood in line for six and half hours to purchase the inventory that had to be rung up at four different registers the evening the store closed. It took the 77-year-old two trucks, two vans and six workers to move all the items from the store to storage. However, Payntner had no clue then what he planned on doing with all the inventory.

During a discussion with his banker, Paynter learned about a charity in the area that could use the goods he purchased. And, after viewing some of their financial records, the Winchester businessman decided to go with Clark County Community Services, which serves low- and middle-income residents in the area.

The inventory was an early Christmas gift for the organization, which plans on boxing up the winter goods to be distributed later on this year.

“This will be the first time we will have enough coats and gloves for everybody,” said Judy Crowe, the director of the non-profit organization. The organization’s Christmas program “Operation Happiness” is one of the largest in the area serving 1,500 families in one day.

“For a local businessman to buy from a local store that was selling through liquidation and give to a local charity –it’s shifted to 3rd world country or recycled—to have access and discretion with no strings attached was very generous,” said Judy Crowe, the director of the non-profit Clark County Community Services .

It’s a decision that makes Paynter proud. “It makes me feel good [to give to charity],” said Paynter. I come from real poor background. I’m talking really poor,” he said. “I was able to pull myself out and make a lot of money,” Paynter continued.

One thing the Paynter did not expect was for the good deed to get so much attention. He says this is not his first brush with charitable giving but usually his name is kept out of the papers. But, since “it’s gone as big as it is, [hopefully] people are going to realize now that needy families are out there and people need help,” said Paynter. “Things are bad out there.”

Thanks to Paynter’s donation, the Clark County Community Services, which also works with God’s Pantry to feed the needy, may be able to clothe every in-need family in Winchester and Clark County.

Paynter, who gave the organization $1,000 for movers and also footed two months of rent to store the inventory for the non-profit, says he was told by the organization, “there’s going to be enough money for everything. We may have enough money for two to three years.”

The feeling of helping cannot be described but he says it’s a good feeling.

“We’ve all been put on this earth to help each other through. If I can help people through, I’m happy,” said Paynter.

source: http://abcnews.go.com/Business/kentucky-man-buys-kmart-donates-charity/story?id=16370908


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.

Your Light Shines Through

I decided to post a 2nd ‘Thought for Thursday’ after receiving something special today. I cannot thank everyone enough. Your thoughtfulness and kindness will not be forgotten. Much love to you ALL…again.



Atlanta Nurse Donates Kidney to Hospital Patient

By ALICIA TEJADA | Good Morning America 

Atlanta Nurse Donates Kidney to Hospital Patient (ABC News)

Allison Batson has given a whole new meaning to “the gift of life.” Going above and beyond her duties as a nurse helping to save patients’ lives, she donated her kidney to one last week.

The recipient is Clay Taber, whose kidneys failed nearly two years ago. The Auburn University graduate was being treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta in the summer of 2010 when he met the 48-year-old transplantation nurse.

Taber, 23, had just graduated from Auburn in Alabama and moved back with his family in Columbus, Ga., when he became ill.

“I kept having night sweats and then that developed into fevers and chills,” Taber said. “Then I felt a lot of fatigue and completely lost my appetite.”

Taber had already lost more than 20 pounds, his mother frantically doing everything possible to get his appetite back to normal. They decided to go to a physician for help. The doctors immediately ran blood tests.

Taber’s mother, Sandra Taber, received a call from their doctor Aug. 27, 2010, saying her son needed to be rushed to the hospital immediately because he’d gone into complete kidney failure.

Taber was admitted into Doctors Hospital in Columbus, where after five days of testing he was diagnosed with Goodpasture’s Syndrome, a rare disease that affects about 1 in a million people per year.

Researchers don’t have a full understanding of how the disease surfaces, but it is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system creates an antibody that attacks the lungs and kidneys.

Taber began dialysis for his kidneys as well as plasmapheresis, a treatment for Goodpasture’s Syndrome where a patient’s blood is filtered in order to separate the red and white blood cells from the plasma and then returned to the body.

“I was just trying to start my life, start my career, even wanted to propose to my girlfriend soon and then I had to deal with all this. It was frustrating,” Taber said.

He was transferred to Emory University Hospital, which specializes in kidney and autoimmune diseases.

That’s when nurse Batson found out that a young man with renal failure was being transferred to her hospital.

“It hit close to home because I have kids between the ages of 16 and 27. I thought it wasn’t fair,” Batson said, adding that her father died of liver disease in 1995.

Dubbed the “cheerleader of floor 7G at Emory University Hospital,” Batson went into Taber’s room and said, “I heard there’s a good-looking young man in here.”

Batson and Taber’s family grew close in the next month. She offered sympathy and a shoulder to cry on for Taber’s mother, and went on frequent coffee breaks with her.

She even became a friend to Taber and exchanged ideas on how to propose to his future fiancee. “The funny thing is she was rarely the nurse assigned to me,” Taber said. “She would come in on her own every day after her shift.”

Taber was discharged but continued his dialysis treatment in Columbus. He and his family returned to Emory once a month for checkups and would always make it a point to see Batson.

It wasn’t until a year later, in August of 2011, that doctors found Taber fit for a transplant. He would then try to join the 90,000 people living in the United States waiting for a kidney.

Batson said it takes more than a year to get on a deceased donor list because of the Goodpasture’s Syndrome Taber had been diagnosed with.

“The donor networks want to be sure that a patient is well in remission after a diagnosis like that in order to make sure that the transplant isn’t in vain,” Batson said.

He got on a list six months ago, she said.

Dr. Michael Millis, director of the University of Chicago’s Transplant Center, said the length of testing and the wait to get on a list depends on the disease.

“Tests can be done in a relatively short time but if treatment needs to be done before receiving an organ transplant, that treatment may take a while and, in this case, doctors felt it may take a year or so in order for his body to accept a kidney,” Millis said.

Taber’s mother began undergoing testing to see whether she’d be a match. At that point, Batson approached Sandra Taber, 54, with an unexpected offer.

“I discussed it with my husband, I’m the same O-positive blood type, our children are grown and healthy, I’m healthy, so why not?” Batson said. “It breaks my heart he just wanted to start his life. I’ve seen my children start their lives and he deserves that.”

Batson told Sandra Taber that if for any reason she or anyone else in their circle was not able to donate a kidney that she would be willing to.

“My mother came and told me what Allison said and I just broke down crying,” Taber said. “I told her that she didn’t have to do that but that just her offering that is incredible.”

After several tests, doctors determined that Taber’s mother was not able to be a donor. Unfortunately, the lining of her kidneys were too thin for transplantation so it was determined surgery would not be safe. Once again, Batson approached the mother in grief and reminded her that her offer to be a donor still stands.

After several weeks of testing, doctors determined they were a match and Batson was healthy enough to undergo surgery. “I was so excited and I wasn’t afraid at all,” Batson said. “I trust our program and our surgeons and I’ve seen amazing outcomes.”

Taber and Batson underwent transplant surgery last week. They have been discharged from the hospital and say they are well and on the road to a full recovery.

About 37 percent of kidney transplants performed nationwide are made possible by living donors, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing . Most living donors are family members of the recipient but a growing number do not have a family relationship.

Dr. Millis said he has experienced heath care providers donating an organ to a patient at his institution as well.

“We’ve had a transplant financial coordinator donate and others in our organization,” Millis said. “It really demonstrates all the good of society and certainly of health care providers to give this terrific gift.”

Dr. Jeffrey Punch, chief of the Section of Transplantation Surgery at the University of Michigan, said such donations are uncommon but that there are good outcomes when people are not blood relatives.

“Finding a match is much less important than it used to be,” Punch said. “The most important thing is finding a person healthy enough to be allowed to donate that is willing.”

Taber said Batson has now become his third mom. “I have my mom, my fiancée’s mom, and I have her,” he said. “She’s adopted me as a son and she’ll get a special dance at my wedding this summer. I told her she gets to pick the song.”

Batson said her goal is to promote donation in hopes of helping the 112,624 people still waiting for organ transplants.

“It’s not just about signing it on your driver’s license,” she said. “A kidney donation, for example, is just a few weeks from your life that you’re transferring into more years for another person’s life.”

source: http://gma.yahoo.com/atlanta-nurse-donates-kidney-hospital-patient-163203818–abc-news.html



‘Thoughts for Thursday’ are my random thoughts, which I started sharing on Twitter and Facebook for at least a year. I posted them in hopes that they would reach at least one person and either put a smile on their face – if they’re having a tough time, give them something to think about – as far as changing a situation they’re in, or just put them in a positive frame of mind.

Since this is the first Monday of the new year, I’ve decided to start adding them to my blog, as well. I think this weeks ‘Thought for Thursday’ is a great message on how we should live our lives on a daily basis. 🙂

I will be posting on this blog on a weekly basis; so, if you’re interested in the messages, please subscribe to my blog and you will receive them every week. If anything you read makes you ‘think’, please feel free to comment (on the blog), or share with others.

Blessings to all and have the best year ever!

One More Surprise for Sheri!

First of all, I must say how much of a big fan of Ellen Degeneres I am – and have been for many, many years; not only of her humor, but because of her spirit and genuine kindness.

I was watching her show a few months ago when Ellen first surprised this mom of five boys. Hearing her story practically brought me to tears. The initial surprise was such a heartwarming moment, after all that she has been through. On today’s show Ellen brought her back for one more surprise….make that two. 🙂