Tag Archive | helping others

A Helping Hand for a Competitor


Meghan stated, “I think if everybody can help somebody, even if we’re just picking somebody up…I think everybody should just do that for somebody; it’s a nice gesture to do…”

I absolutely love adding posts to the ‘Positive News and Events’ page. Most of the stories deal with awesome people doing something special for others. The following is another story which warms the heart and highlights a remarkable young lady. Meghan Vogel is not only a positive role model for her peers,  her sincere act of kindness should be a lesson to everyone. We should all come to the aid of those in need, whenever the opportunity presents itself.

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By Doug Binder | ESPNHS

Meghan Vogel doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about.

Vogel, a junior runner for West Liberty-Salem High School (West Liberty, Ohio), won the 1,600-meter title Saturday at the Division III girls state meet at Jesse Owens Stadium in Columbus. But it’s what she did in her next race that was most remarkable. With about 20 meters to go in the 3,200, Arden McMath, a sophomore from Arlington High School, collapsed in front of Vogel. Rather than run by her, Vogel helped McMath to her feet and carried her across the finish line, making sure to keep McMath ahead of her.

“Any girl on the track would have done the same for me,” Vogel said Monday.

But Vogel’s gesture resonated with the thousands of spectators who witnessed it, as well as with the thousands more who have read about the story or seen video of the race’s finish.

By the time Vogel arrived home Saturday night, word of her sportsmanship was spreading. She had 30 new friend requests on Facebook within a few hours. Ohio media pounced on the story and lauded Vogel’s selfless act.

Monday was supposed to be a “pajamas day” at the Vogel home in West Liberty, a day to relax after last week’s conclusion of the school year and the busy weekend at the state championships. Instead. it was spent reliving the race.

“The phone’s been ringing a lot,” said Ann Vogel, Meghan’s mother and coach.

It wasn’t Meghan’s first act of sportmanship on the track.

A week earlier, at the state qualifying meet, West Liberty-Salem was running fifth in the 4×800 relay when Vogel took the baton for the anchor leg. She summoned a big effort and passed two other runners, clinching a berth in the state championships for her team.

Vogel was so wiped out after crossing the finish line that she collapsed, and her excited teammates rushed to her side to help her back to her feet. But then Vogel saw one of the girls she had passed, a freshman who also had fallen.

Vogel went to the other runner and offered a hand up and a few words of encouragement.

“She was in fourth (one spot from qualifying for state) and felt awful,” Vogel said.

At the state championships, Vogel had a difficult 1,600/3,200 double. She won the 1,600 in a personal-best 4 minutes, 58.31 seconds, stepped onto the podium for photos and medals, talked to the local media, and went to visit with her family.

That left her with about an hour to get ready for the 3,200, in which she was seeded seventh.

Three laps into the eight-lap race, Vogel was falling off the pace. Her mother watched from the backstretch and could tell that her daughter didn’t have the energy to contend for another title.

“By that time it was a matter of just finishing (the race),” Ann Vogel said. “I kind of joked with her about being in last place because she’s never been last. And every lap she looked at me and smiled.”

Vogel rounded the final turn for home and could see that the only other runner who hadn’t finished yet was faltering. And then McMath, a runner Vogel had never met before, fell to the track.

Vogel never had a moment of doubt about what to do next.

“I remember moving to her position,” she said. “(McMath) was doing the best she could to keep her body upright. There was a lot of shake in her legs, which is totally understandable.”

The crowd cheered when Vogel stopped and the roar grew louder as she and McMath moved closer to the finish line. Vogel purposely steered McMath across the finish line ahead of her.

“We’re a little bit of a minority being distance runners,” Vogel said. “I think we all have an instant connection.”

A race that had become pointless in the grand scheme of the day for Vogel quickly took on a new meaning.

“I think fate may have put me (in last place) for a reason,” Vogel said.

Ann Vogel was across the track and couldn’t see her daughter when she stopped. But a coaching friend told Ann Vogel, “Ann, look up at the screen.”

She turned to the video board and saw her daughter supporting another runner on her shoulder.

“I ran around (the perimeter of the track) as fast as I could,” Ann Vogel said. “It wasn’t easy to get around with all of the people standing there but I was hearing the crowd and I could see tears running down people’s faces.”

McMath was quickly scooped up by medical staff. By rule, a runner in track or cross country is automatically disqualified for aiding another runner, but meet officials chose to leave McMath and Vogel in the results rather than take action.

McMath was given 14th place in 12:29.90, and Vogel 15th in 12:30.24.

A half-hour after the race was over, Vogel grabbed her mother’s shoulder and said she felt dizzy and a little nauseated. Ann Vogel found a trainer and together they moved Meghan to a tent.

Vogel sat down with a cup of Gatorade on a cot that was positioned next to McMath, who was lying down and still recovering from dehydration and heat exhaustion.

“She was still pretty sick at that point,” Meghan Vogel said of McMath. “Her coach turned to me and said, ‘Thank you.’ ”

The two girls will meet again, formally this time, Tuesday morning for an interview with the TV show “Fox And Friends.”

The response to her simple gesture has taken Vogel by surprise.

“It’s been crazy. I can’t understand why everyone wants to talk to me, but I guess I’m getting used to it now,” she said. “It’s strange to have people telling me that this was such a powerful act of kindness and using words like ‘humanity.’ It’s weird. When I hear words like that I think of Harriet Tubman and saving people’s lives. I don’t consider myself a hero. I just did what I knew was right and what I was supposed to do.”

source: http://espn.go.com/high-school/track-and-xc/story/_/id/8010251/high-school-runner-carries-fallen-opponent-finish-line

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.

Meghan helps Arden across the finish line

Interview with Meghan and Arden

Meghan’s first race [which she won]

If you were given one million dollars, what would you do with it?


After the responses to my question on Twitter and Facebook last night – regarding granting wishes – I decided to ask this question – If you were given one million dollars, tax-free, what would you do with it? Many would say that one million dollars really wouldn’t go that far; however, it would go a lot farther than what you most likely have in your possession, at the moment, right?

Given that I have thought about this question, from time to time, over the years, ever since I was a child, I already know my answer; off the top, no question, exactly half would go to charity. I wouldn’t give a bulk sum to an organization; I would search for those in need, and, give it out on an individual basis, so that I could actually see the money at work. With the remainder, I would give cash to those who have been sincere, trustworthy and true friends; of course my son, grandsons and play brother are included. I’d pay off their bills, and take everyone on a group vacation to an exotic locale for a week-long party. I would love to surprise everyone anonymously – but, those closest to me would probably catch on, sooner or later. The strangers would never know where their gift came from.

If I had any money left, I would use it to take trips around the country and world to go to see all types of live entertainment – concerts of my favorite artists, every show on Broadway, etc….no day is promised and you can’t take it with you….so, yeah, most of it would be gone. 🙂

BTW, just in case one million dollars doesn’t fall into your lap – remember you don’t need money to surprise someone with something special; helping someone with a dream or goal can do wonders to make someone happy, uplift their spirits and give them a kick-start to accomplishing something even bigger….however, if you did receive one million dollars, what would you do with 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.

This is my FAVORITE Ellen surprise/giveaway. I would love to be able to do this for someone.

Lisa gets the keys!

Bon Jovi Bringing Soul to Those in Need


Jon Bon Jovi opens Soul Kitchen, a ‘pay-what-you-can’ restaurant in New Jersey, through his  Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation.

For more information: http://www.jbjsoulkitchen.org/

In Brooklyn Store, Everything Is Always 100% Off


April Gariepy, 30, wheeled her bike beneath the white tent on Saturday afternoon looking for a wire basket she could attach to her handlebars. A moment later, Sharika Barrow, 17, approached, gazed at the shelves of books, clothing and other items displayed beneath the tent, then wondered aloud what sort of place she was visiting.

“It’s a free store,” Ms. Gariepy replied, having made that determination herself just a few moments earlier.

After browsing, the two emerged from beneath the tent without selecting anything but both said they would probably return.

“I just came from the Brooklyn Flea,” Ms. Gariepy, said. “This is kind of like the same thing, but everything at the flea is higher priced.”

For six weeks, a group of people have been engaged in an unusual project in Bedford-Stuyvesant that they are calling the Brooklyn Free Store, where everything is available for the taking and nothing is for sale.

The name of the store is painted on a purple banner hanging from a chain link fence fronting a bare dirt lot on Walworth Street, near De Kalb Avenue. Behind the fence a blue plastic tarp is stretched over a white tent, covering an array of items stacked atop sheets of weathered plywood.

A handwritten sign reads “Take what you want. Share what you think others may enjoy (not limited to material items).”

There were cans of green beans and a pair of used brown wingtips beneath the tarp on Saturday, along with a used toaster oven, a flashlight and a galvanized metal bucket.

There were books by such disparate writers as Plato (“The Republic”) and Tina Brown (“The Diana Chronicles,” which details the life and times of the former Princess of Wales).

And there were dozens of items of clothing, including a brown fur coat and matching hat.

Organizers of the store said it was intended to demonstrate the feasibility of recycling and to offer an alternative to mainstream capitalism. It has no owners or customers, only participants, say the people who started it. Because everything there is free, the store has no official hours and it is never locked.

“New York is world renowned for having the best garbage,” said Myles Emery, 34, an organizer of the store. “There could be free stores everywhere.”

Most of the items in the store are donated and a few of them are gleaned from a wealth of serviceable objects that are discarded on the streets each day. The number and nature of the items beneath the tarp vary, organizers said, adding that people have dropped off a digital camera, an electric stove and a TiVo with a recording capacity of 40 hours.

Some of those who started the Free Store in early July had also played a role in operating an earlier incarnation, which was run out of a storefront in Williamsburg from 1999 until 2005. Both stores drew inspiration from the original Diggers, a group of agrarian utopians in 17th-century England, as well as from another group that adopted the same name more than 40 years ago and opened storefronts in San Francisco and in New York where items were dropped off and picked up without any money changing hands.

About two dozen people stopped by the Walworth Street store over the course of four hours on Saturday. Some merely looked. Krissa Henderson, 25, from Bushwick, took some gardening books. Gregory Coleman, 54, from Bedford-Stuyvesant, left with wool socks.

Others arrived to drop things off. Caryn Prescott, 41, donated some clothes and cosmetics, and Eddie Ballard, 34, from Crown Heights, who came across the store by chance, contributed a recyclable tote bag he happened to have with him, mainly out of a sense of admiration for the project.

“There is something about the communal aspect of this place that appeals to me,” Mr. Ballard said. “I felt like I wanted to give something just to be a part of it.”

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/16/nyregion/16free.html?_r=2&nl=nyregion&emc=ura3

(I originally saw this article mentioned on www.diddyblog.com )

Making the World a Better Place, One Book at a Time


When 10-year-old Maria of Minneapolis asked her mom why all kids don’t read as much as Maria does, her mom explained that not all children have access to books. Maria was astounded. She simply couldn’t believe that there are children in this world who have never owned a book, held a book or even been read to. So, Maria has set out to change this by making the world a better place, one book at a time.

Maria has an ambitious goal: to distribute one million books to kids in need.

It has been one year since Maria, then age 9, announced that she wants to collect and distribute one million books to needy kids by the time she’s 18. And she’s well on her way.

As of June 2010, Maria has collected and distributed more than 300,000 books to kids throughout the world. She is busy holding book drives, sorting books, counting books and orchestrating the delivery and shipping of the books to get then into the hands of children who need them. She loves distributing the books directly to the kids themselves at farmers markets, day cares and other events for children.

Thousands of people have been touched by Maria’s zest for reading and her understanding of the important role books play in kids’ lives. Maria is a wonderful angel who will continue to touch many lives.

Learn more about Maria’s efforts and Read Indeed, the literacy organization she helped found.

source: http://oprahsangelnetwork.org/stories/843-making-the-world-a-better-place-one-book-at-a-time