All posts filed under: Stories

Homeless Coder Launches Ridesharing App

I caught this story late last year and I’ve forgotten about it until recently, since I’ve been thinking about building another mobile app with friends. Although we launched our app a couple of years ago, I still remember the commitment that our tiny team had to make and the challenges we had to overcome since it’s the first time. All that pales in comparison however, next to Leo Grand’s achievement. You see, Leo Grand is homeless. Yet when Patrick McConlogue gave him the choice between $100 and coding lessons, Leo chose to learn.  In less than 4 months, Leo learned how to code and successfully launched his ride-sharing app, Trees for Cars, in December. Impressive, inspiring, and all around awesome. Congrats, Leo! Read the full story on

Art Amid War

  Check out this beautiful 720-sq metre mural that Syrian artists built recently in Damascus. Using recycled materials, a team of six artists labored for six months to create this Guinness World Record-setting masterpiece in spite of all the strife that their country is experiencing. Wow. “In the difficult conditions that the country is going through, we wanted to give a smile to the people, joy to the children, and show people that the Syrian people love life, love beauty, love creativity.”  —  Moaffak Makhoul               Source: Reuters Photo Credit: Getty Images

Grandpa Dobri

Grandpa Dobri from Bulgaria

Grandpa Dobri from Bulgaria is not a typical 99-year old man. In the past couple of decades, he has been walking 15 miles from his home to the city of Sofia daily, so that he can beg for money. He doesn’t keep the money however; he donates every single penny  to the city’s churches and orphanages. In this video clip, the church officials noted that Grandpa Dobri has given an equivalent to $52,000! I’m not saying that we should give away all of our income to causes we are passionate about, but I am sharing this story because I’m very inspired and humbled by this man’s perseverance, kindness, generosity, and greatness of heart. May love and light be showered upon you every day, Grandpa Dobri! Source: Humans are Free

CupOfGood - Disarm


  Pedro Reyes is darn cool. An artist from Mexico, he transforms weapons into musical instruments. Need I say more? As reported last week: “The team acquired a variety of rifles, pistols, and shotguns seized from drug cartels by the Mexican army and used them to build the musical devices that are controlled by computers and can be pre-programmed to play music…” Read the rest of the story here. Photo Credit:

A 97-Year Old Microsoft Paint Artist

These are samples of Mr. Hal Lasko’s art pieces made pixel by pixel via Microsoft Paint. This story blows my mind in more ways than one: 1. Mr. Lasko is 97 years old. Almost 100! 2. At his age,  he is using a computer to draw. That’s pretty neat. 3. Microsoft Paint. 4. Ridiculously cool drawings. 5. He served in WWII. 6. He was a typographer in a past life. 7. He is legally blind. 8. It’s Microsoft Paint. For the full story, check out

CupOfGood - Horiuchi Tatsuo

Spreadsheet Art

  The artwork above were made via Excel spreadsheets. Who would’ve thought this was even possible? Maybe it’s just my corporate-life-trained head, but  spreadsheet art did not even cross my mind until I read about 73-year old Tatsuo Horiuchi recently. He saw other people build pretty graphs thirteen years ago, realized he can use it as a medium (since a standard graphics software was expensive) … and he turned it into these unbelievable masterpieces. What a beautiful thing. Photo Credit: Spoon & Tamago

Haircuts for Hugs

  In the past two decades, 82-year-old Anthony Cymerys sets up shop in a Connecticut park every week to give haircuts for the homeless. His fee? A hug. “It’s all about being kind to people, and it works three ways. You feel good, the person you’re doing it for feels good, and people that are watching feel good,” says Cymerys. Although he is retired now, his active role in giving back to his community started in 1980s and he has not stopped since. Everyone else who complain that they “do not have enough time” to do this or that (including myself), we only  need to look at Anthony to be reminded that there is more than enough time, not only for ourselves but also for others. For Anthony’s full story, click here. Photo Credit: AP

Katie’s 34 Acts of Kindness

Some people want a lavish party or a fancy present on their birthday. Katie decided to celebrate by doing 34 acts of kindness, while urging the recipient to pay it forward. To me, this is such a good reminder that anyone can do something kind for a stranger. It does not have to be grand, it does not have to be Christmas, you just have to want to do it. You’re an inspiration, Katie! For more ideas on simple acts of kindness that you can do today, check out Source: Urbandale Patch

Don’t Stop Believin’ Arnel

If you’re a self-proclaimed cheeseball like me, then you must have a special place in your heart for Journey and their heartfelt songs such as Don’t Stop Believin’. It makes me smile every time I hear it, and I welcome it anytime, anyplace. I will crank that radio UP! The fact that Journey found their new frontman in Philippines via YouTube — a man who was homeless at one point — is a story worth hearing. I heard the news in 2008 and it still warms my heart to this day. It’s a combination of many things I enjoy: Journey, an inspiring story about a person from a third world country, internet’s positive role in connecting people, Filipino talent, and great ballads.  It’s about time someone made a documentary on Arnel Pineda’s Cinderella story, and I am VERY excited to see it. For more movie info: Another trailer from Ellen’s show. **UPDATE 3/17: I saw the movie and I LOVED it! Tears fell =] **