I’ve seen a lot of videos and heartwarming articles over the holidays but for some reason, this clip from Skype is the one that brought tears to my eyes — even after viewing it a second time! As I have written about before, I LOVE the internet mainly because of its sheer power for connecting people. Whether it’s keeping in touch with a parent or a best friend who lives thousands of miles away, or with a friend who is just like you and whom you have a meaningful bond with though you’ve never met in person … through this technology, we are able to express love, show support, and share happiness. And that, is more than enough reason to celebrate. Happy New Year!
Pedro Reyes is darn cool. An artist from Mexico, he transforms weapons into musical instruments. Need I say more? As thisiscolossal.com 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: thisiscolossal.com
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
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 randomactsofkindness.org Source: Urbandale Patch
Tomorrow, I’m going to my very first hockey game, courtesy of our landlord who gave us extra tickets for free. I’m so excited and grateful! While thinking of the Thank You note we’re going to send him, it reminded me of this funny Thank You note written by a kid named Flint to a local weatherman. It mentioned doughnuts, unicorns, castles, lightsabers, cyborgs, and more. It’s pretty darn epic. Check it out … Photo Credit: npr.org, Google Images
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: http://www.everymansjourney.com/ Another trailer from Ellen’s show. **UPDATE 3/17: I saw the movie and I LOVED it! Tears fell =] **
A little boy melted my heart today, and his name is Evan. Why? I just found out that this 10-year-old from Philadelphia saves his allowance and donates them yearly to City Kitties, a non-profit rescue center for cats. How cute is that?! To top it off, his earnest letter is just too precious to not share … “Dear City Kitties, My name is Evan. I am 7 years old. And guess what? … I LOVE cats! They are my favorite animals and I got my cat at City Kitties as well! THANK YOU for letting me get my new cat! Thank you, City Kitties. Sincerely, Evan P.S. I get an allowance every week and I chose to make a donation to you. I love that you help cats find homes. I saved this money to help you help cats.” Evan, you inspire me. <3 Photo Credit: WallpaperStock.com Source: CityKitties.org
I first heard about real “Secret Santas” happening at a K-mart in Michigan last year, and I am so happy to learn that it has inspired others to do the same. Most recently, a $10,000 check was given by an anonymous donor to help payoff layaways in Walmart, and other similar stories have been reported across the nation this season. It excites me because that’s what the season is about: Giving, sharing, and spreading smiles wherever and whenever possible. At the end of the day, it’s not just about the money; it’s the invaluable and irreplaceable feeling that anyone is blessed with when he or she realizes that someone cares. There are times when I wish for this positive energy to be available all-year round; and I don’t think Christmas will be any less special if this was the case. For my part, I truly hope that I can keep up the message of joy, kindness, care, and love with everyone I meet in the coming years. Being appreciative and happy feels good. Making someone …
If you received an all-expense-paid trip to Disneyland, would you give it away? This includes airfare, mind you! Well, this wonderful boy did. In fact, inspired by the red paper clip experiment, Brendan used Facebook and his toy soldier to trade up for credits and gift certificates, where he eventually accumulated enough for a Disney Trip giveaway. The fun part: On Memorial Day, he randomly selected the name of a fallen soldier’s daughter and surprised her family with this lovely present in their Massachusetts home! So many factors blow me away here: There are 800 Million active users on Facebook, how many are giving away prizes out of the kindness of their hearts? He did not just donate his own money, he found a creative way to put a prize package together with the help of a community and social media. He honored not only one soldier, but he also reminded the world of the sacrifice that our soldiers and their families go through when they are on duty He is 9 years old. Watch …
I’m not advocating digital piracy or bootlegging movies, but “Big Hy” is a pirate worth noting. Why? This World War II veteran copies brand new Hollywood movies and sends them to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The cool part is, he doesn’t do it for profit — in fact, he uses his own dime to send hundreds and thousands of movies overseas! A quote from the NY Times article: As for his brazen violation of domestic copyright laws, Mr. Strachman nodded guiltily but pointed to his walls, which are strewed with seven huge American flags, dozens of appreciative letters, and snapshots of soldiers holding up their beloved DVDs. “Every time I got back an emotional e-mail or letter, I sent them another box,” he said, adding that he had never accepted any money for the movies or been told by any authorities to stop. Photo Credit: NY Times.