Tag Archive | good deeds

Good Samaritan Helps Girl, 7, Reunite with Stolen Dog


By REBECCA HARSHBARGER and KEVIN SHEEHAN

Mia Bendrat with Marleyphoto credit: Robert Miller

Mia Bendrat with Marley
photo credit: Robert Miller

A 7-year-old girl got the best present ever yesterday — she was reunited with her best friend, who’d been dognapped by a cold-hearted thief the day before.

“I couldn’t sleep last night without Marley smiling,” Mia Bendrat said of her little pal, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel stolen from in front of a Washington Heights grocery.

Her relieved mom, Angie Estrada, said, “It’s a Christmas miracle. Oh, yes!”

The hero of the holiday story is good Samaritan Tena Cohen, who was headed to the Greenmarket in Union Square at about 1:30 p.m. Monday when she heard a man yelling, “Dog for sale!”

“It looked nervous and sad, and was kind of an older dog,” Cohen said. “I figured it was stolen.’’

She offered to buy the pooch.

“I said I had $100. He said the guy who owns it wants more” and pointed to a man, Cohen recalled.

The supposed “owner’’ was “very stoned, on drugs,” said Cohen, who teaches Spanish at Brooklyn Tech HS. “He said he paid $3,200 for the dog, and had it for years.”

SAVIOR: Tena Cohen (above) paid $220 out of her own pocket to reunite Mia Bendrat with Marley. photo credit: Robert Miller

SAVIOR: Tena Cohen (above) paid $220 out of her own pocket to reunite Mia Bendrat with Marley.
photo credit: Robert Miller

Cohen then walked into a nearby Staples and made three debit-card purchases totaling $220.

Then she returned them for cash and went back to negotiate.

“I said, ‘Look, this is all the money I have,’ ” Cohen said. “He gave me the dog. I gave him the money.”

She took Marley to a vet and also called cops. Both men were gone by the time police arrived. But last night they picked up 29-year-old Brad Bacon, of Washington Heights, and charged him with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.

The vet checked out the dog for free and held him overnight. Cohen called a group called Cavalier Rescue USA.

Its president, Carolyn Stigler, remembered the story about Marley in yesterday’s Post.

Stigler contacted the vet, who called the Post reporter. She arranged for the dog to be taken to Mia’s family, to see if it was Marley. It was.

“This was my daughter’s Christmas wish,” said Estrada.

Until then, the family had been devastated.

“It was so sad,” Estrada added. “She sat in Marley’s nook and refused to dress up the tree.”

The happy ending came just in time.

“I can’t believe a grinch would steal our Marley,” Estrada said. “But the grinch didn’t win.’’

Mia chimed in, “I’m not going to let Marley go now, no matter what!”

source: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/christmas_presence_nY7U8iTpeKUGlUDSk62z1K

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Mall Santa stuns shy 3-year-old deaf boy


SantaBy / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

For 3-year-old Cameron Sylvester, Santa is not only real, but is also someone who understands him perfectly.

On a recent trip to Bass Pro Shops in Foxboro, Mass. with his family, the boy, who is legally deaf thanks to a condition called auditory neuropathy, had misgivings about sitting on Santa’s lap.

While his sister ran to get in line to have her picture taken with Santa and tell him what she’d like for Christmas, Cameron, who wears a hearing aid in both ears, stayed back with his parents.

Even as he attended to the other children, the mall Santa spotted Cameron and took note of how he was communicating with his mother.

“The mother was signing a little bit, so I used the opportunity to sign to him,” the observant Santa told WCVB news. “And I just asked him ‘are you a good boy?’”

Cameron spirits were immediately lifted by the exchange, and his parents were moved by the gesture.

“I wanted to cry,” his mother said. “A lot of people don’t know sign language, and there’s Santa, and he knew what Cameron needed to see.”

The professional Santa sees some 18,000 kids each Christmas, WCVB reported, making his attentiveness with Cameron that much more special.

“It’s touching, because it’s nice to know that there are people still left in the world that care.” Cameron’s father.

For the Foxboro Kris Kringle, however, the gift was mutual.

“It’s wonderful,” the Santa said. “I live for moments like those.”

source: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/santa-surprises-deaf-boy-sign-language-article-1.1226924?localLinksEnabled=false#commentpostform

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MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Middle School Wrestler Lets Boy With Cerebral Palsy Win Match


By Mike Krumboltz, Yahoo! News | The Lookout

Justin Kievit, a middle-school wrestler from Tennessee, showed off his sportsmanship when he matched up against Jared Stevens, who has cerebral palsy.

The match, which was taped and posted to Facebook by Kievit’s father and to YouTube by Stevens’ dad, begins with Stevens being gently laid down on the wrestling mat by a coach. Once the match begins, Kievit maneuvers around Stevens in a low crouch. Kievit then gets down on the mat and slides underneath Stevens so Stevens can pin him. The crowd went wild for Stevens’ win and Kievit’s heart.

According to Kievit’s father, the act wasn’t planned. The proud dad remarked to Franklin Home Page: “The first time he met Jared was when he shook hands with him before the match. So it really was spontaneous. They just picked this kid. If you watch the video, he just did an amazing job. There’s not many adults comfortable putting hands on a disabled kid, much less another 13-year-old.”

This was Jared’s first wresting match. “I think a lot of people are scared to put kids like me on the mat, but they don’t need to be,” Jared told his local paper. Jared’s father explained that while his son has roughly the physical capacity of a six-month-old, he is close to his age level intellectually.

“Jared just likes to do stuff like everybody else,” his father told the Franklin Home Page. “There’s a limit to what he can do, but something like wrestling, he can do that as much as he can do. He just enjoys being out there participating. He doesn’t mind trying anything.”

source: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/middle-school-wrestler-lets-boy-cerebral-palsy-win-222254658.html

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NYPD Cop Buys Homeless Man Boots


Newsday  |  By 

NYboots
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

source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/29/larry-deprimo-nypd-cop-gives-homeless-boots_n_2209178.html

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.

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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.

source: http://abcnews.go.com/Business/charities-introduce-giving-tuesday-combat-consumer-holiday-shopping/story?id=17778557#.ULTiGuTLTyI

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.

source: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/11/12/chicago-man-who-helped-with-post-sandy-cleanup-in-nj-wins-100000-lottery-prize/

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.”

source: http://news.yahoo.com/5-doctor-practices-medicine-bygone-era-180340207–finance.html