When Mandy Harvey stepped out onto the America’s Got Talent stage, she was poised, calm and confident. The judges had no idea that she would be that night’s most inspiring audition.
When she was 18 years old, Harvey lost all of her hearing due to a connective tissue disorder that deteriorated her hearing nerves. At the time she was a major in Vocal Music Education at Colorado State University, but after she lost her hearing, she left the program.
After some intense soul-searching, she realized that her true life’s passion could never be denied. Despite her profound hearing loss, Mandy found creative ways to reconnect to music.
Music had been a part of her since the young age of four years old. Leaving it permanently was impossible, even when faced with a seemingly impossible obstacle. But Mandy told judges that she couldn’t deny it any longer:
“After I lost my hearing I gave up, but I want to do more with my life than just give up,” she said, “[I] figured out how to get back into singing with muscle memory, using visual turners and trusting my pitch.”
Harvey sang her own song, “Try,” about continuing to pursue her dreams no matter what struggles life would throw her way.
Her soulful voice and powerful message moved the audience to tears and inspired Simon Cowell to press the coveted Golden Buzzer. Harvey might not have heard the screaming crowd as they cheered wildly for her, but there’s no doubt she could feel every incredible vibration.
Can’t wait to see her in the NBC talent competition’s upcoming live rounds!
Two New Jersey firefighters, Tim Young and Paul Hullings, had just finished a 12-hour shift fighting a fire. They worked tirelessly all night until the final flame had been extinguished.
Completely exhausted, they decided to grab an early morning breakfast and a couple strong cups of coffee at the local diner. Their waitress, Liz Woodward, overheard them as they spoke of the long night.
She knew that these heroes were tired and wanted to do something to acknowledge them for the oftentimes thankless work they do. So, instead of a bill, she handed them a note and wished them a good day.
Tim and Paul were surprised by her selfless kindness and, overwhelmed with gratitude, thanked their ‘guardian angel’ waitress Liz. On Facebook, Tim shared a photo of the event and encouraged his friends to make a trip out to the restaurant. If anyone should have the good fortune of being served by Liz, he encouraged them to leave her a ‘big tip’!
But the story doesn’t end there…
Heroes Step Up
When the grateful firefighters later learned about Liz’s family situation they soon realized that their breakfast hero was in need of some rescuing of her own.
Liz’s father, Steve, had been paralyzed about five years earlier and was living as a quadriplegic at home.
On her waitress’ salary, she couldn’t afford a wheelchair accessible vehicle to transport her father, so she quietly set up a donation page asking for whatever people could donate to their cause.
When Tim found out, he urged his Facebook friends to donate to Liz’s campaign: “Turns out, the young lady who gave us a free meal is really the one that could use the help…”
Unbelievably, within a matter of days, Liz had raised over $70,000 – way more than her goal of $17,000. The stunned waitress and her family couldn’t believe what these two firemen had done for them – all because she bought them breakfast!
“All I did was pay for their breakfast. I didn’t expect anything more than a smile,” says the waitress. “It goes to show that you just have to be kind to each other and that even the smallest gesture can change a life.”
It just goes to show that kindness truly does pay off – often in ways that we never could have imagined!
We can be each other’s angels, all it takes is one small gesture.
It can seem like every day there’s a new video making the rounds on the internet showing a police officer doing something shocking and unacceptable, but there’s two sides to every story.
Every day police officers put themselves in danger to protect us, and their bravery doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves.
Which is why it’s so nice to see this video of a San Antonio, Texas police officer going viral for all the right reasons.
A loud backyard party attracted some noise complaints from a neighbor, but Leslie Sapp says when police showed up “instead of shutting it down or interrupting, the officer asked to play his song.”
As Sapp says, “the video speaks for itself.”
The unidentified officer cut a rug at the party, showing these teens a thing or two about dance with his blazing hot salsa moves.
The even was hosted by a local organization called Next Generation Dance Crew, which helps kids stay out of trouble and express themselves through dance, so it seems this cop couldn’t bring himself to stop the party.
Sapp, whose daughter learned a few moves from the officer, says he helped break stereotypes about police officers.
“He didn’t have to take his time to do that,” she told KSAT, “and could have just [gone] in and shut it down.”
From head to toe, Keenan Watkins is the very definition of a “tough customer.”
He’s 6’2″, with a huge fiery beard, tattoos and a shirt that says “Punisher” on the name tag. So when he visited a Goodwill last week carrying a baby doll in his arms, he raised a lot of eyebrows.
The store’s greeter Sadie Collins asked for the story behind his unusual shopping buddy, and when he told her she just had to share it online.
His touching story was shared on the Love What Matters Facebook page, and after reading it people are calling Watkins “father of the year.”
It turns out this tough guy is the father of 2 young kids, his 9-year-old son Ash and his 10-year-old daughter Aayla. While Watkins was making dinner last week, Aayla asked him to carry her baby doll, named Davey, around with him for a whole day.
Not realizing how embarrassing it would look to carry the doll around, Watkins agreed. That’s when his daughter doubled down, telling him that Davey would need some new clothes and socks too.
“I should probably mention that at some point during dinner,” said Watkins, “she had interjected the fact that Davey will need to be strapped in, everywhere we go. Because, you know… safety.”
Click the next page to see how Davey and Watkins spent the day!
After Collins shared her photo of Watkins and Davey at the store, it went viral online and Watkins shared more photos of their day together.
“I’m just a Daddy that wants his kids to truly understand that I love them,” he wrote in his post.
“I want them to be happy, and would gladly take on a potentially embarrassing situation, in order to keep my promise to them. Father of the year? Hardly. Father? You bet.”
Despite how humble he is, people can’t get enough of these silly photos of Davey and Watkins spending time together.
They really made a day of it, visiting the Goodwill and Walmart. Davey even got a sticker from the cashier, and a big container of cheese balls to pig out on.
After Watkins explained Davey to the people he ran into, everyone seemed to think it was a great idea. Except one little girl.
“She just [couldn’t] wrap her mind around why this big dummy has a perfectly good doll that she could be playing with!” he said.
One thing is clear: Ash and Aayla are lucky to have a dad as sweet as Watkins!
Sometimes the best present you can give someone is to remind them of what they already have. Francois Vermeir, an 85-year-old retiree from Belgium, was living alone after his wife of 63-years passed away. To make things worse, Vermeir’s beloved dog also died just 3-months before his wife. His daughter and grandchildren knew he was feeling lonely, so they decided on the perfect gift for him.
With the help of Vermeir’s daughter and her husband, his granddaughter Lisa picked out an adorable dog to keep him company.
The Yorkshire Terrier, named Snoopy, must have been a good choice, because as soon as Vermeir sees it he bursts into happy tears.
While his reaction to the puppy is heartwarming, it’s clear from this video that Vermeir’s loving family is the real gift.
Since his grandson Davy Vanhaesendonck uploaded this video in 2014, more than 7 million people have watched his priceless reaction.
“I can’t believe it,” he says as he takes the adorable dog into his arms, “is this for me?”
It’s nice to know that Vermeir won’t be all alone in his house anymore. Although he tells Lindanieuws that Snoopy can be a real troublemaker.
“I’m glad I have a new dog, but also such lovely children, grandchildren and a great-grandchild,” he said.
“Without them I might not have been here through the grief.”
On first glance, celebrities seem so much more interesting than other people. Their flawless faces create a splash all over popular magazines, they always have insightful thoughts to share during interviews, and their lives appear to be as splendid as their perfectly-manicured fingernails.
But how did they become so famous? Are celebrities really that different from everyone else, underneath all the makeup and fashionable clothing?
Actors such as Will Smith, Jim Carrey, and Denzel Washington have one thing in common. All three shared the same rule of life, and they claim it’s how they became famous.
Just hear what they have to say about it. Jim Carrey had next to nothing right before his big break. What’s his secret? Read on and watch 7 celebrities explain their success – and show how you can achieve your dreams too!
Not only is Denzel Washington talented, but he also has an incredible outlook on life. He says “you attract what you fear, feel, and think.” In order to achieve your dreams, you must “attract” them.
The singer/songwriter broke into the spotlight for her unique take on music as an art form. Lady Gaga revealed that she feels “very insecure” but she uses positive affirmations to remind herself of her goals. “We’re all born superstars, you just have to pull it out of yourself,” she said.
Professional boxer Conor McGregor may seem physically strong, but his real strength lies in his viewpoint. “Visualize clearly, precisely, and frequently and it will manifest itself into reality,” he said.
In an interview with Oprah, actor Jim Carrey revealed what his life was like before stardom. He wrote himself a check for $10 million and challenged himself to cash it one day.
Continue to the next page to watch the video!
The Law of Attraction states that thoughts become things. In other words, your thoughts have a major impact on who you become and what you do with your life. If you spend time dwelling on negative thoughts about yourself and others, you’re not likely to grow into a happy person.
On the other hand, if you think often about the things you want, you’re more likely to achieve them. Talent can be developed by hard work, but only if you have the mindset of a winner.
As crazy as it sounds, Will Smith “just decided” he wanted to become a famous actor. He advises others: “Decide what will be, who you will be, and how you are going to do it.”
Dr. Wayne Dyer
Your thoughts can destroy your dreams, according to Dr. Wayne Dyer. In a motivational speech, he says: “As you think, so shall you become.”
“Like attracts like,” says talk show host Steve Harvey. “If you can see it in your mind, you can hold it in your hand.”
All seven of these celebrities used a positive outlook to help them achieve their dreams. Watch the full video here:
Julius Hatley’s 911 call was a little unusual: the 95-year old World War 2 veteran hadn’t been robbed or threatened, in fact everything about his house was in perfect condition – except for his air conditioning. During the night both Hatley’s central air and his window unit stopped working. Fort Worth, Texas is no place to go without air conditioning in June, and the heat actually woke Hatley up.
The officers who responded to Hatley’s call admitted it was “low priority,” and they did other more important calls first.
But even thought they admit they’re “not A/C repair people,” they couldn’t stop themselves from helping Hatley.
Officer Christopher Weir and his partner William Margolis headed straight for the nearest Home Depot to find Hatley a new machine. While they were gone, Hatley stayed cool by sitting on his porch – and even doing a little work in his garden.
“His smile is infectious, and he’s a World War 2 vet and he shouldn’t have to be with no A/C,” Weir told ABC News. “Once in a while, we see people where we can do something that makes them feel better and it makes us feel better too.”
But the two officers weren’t the only ones happy to help this veteran in his time of need.
Click the next page to see how the community helped Hatley!
The officers couldn’t even make it out of the Home Depot before other friendly Fort Worth citizens offered to help them. The cops asked store employees to recommend the best machine, and explained who they were shopping for. Some of the workers offered to chip in to pay for Hatley’s machine, and the store’s manager refused to let them leave without taking a $150 discount on the A/C unit.
Weir and Margolis set the unit up in Hatley’s home themselves, and while his central air was still broken, they knew he would be safe from the 90 degree heat.
But there was one more happy twist to this story.
A local A/C repairman, Matt Ketchum, saw Hatley’s story on the local news. Ketchum has a brother in law enforcement and some of his employees are veterans, so it struck a chord with him right away. He repaired the central air, and covered the cost of his time and materials himself.
Other community members are planning to replace Hatley’s windows, repaint his house and even cover the cost of his weekly groceries.
Charles Evans was shining shoes when he first laid eyes on his future wife Louise, but the connection was instant. “When you looked at her it was like an electric shock,” he remembers, “I guess it’s love.”
From that day on, Charles would go to the cafe across the street where Louise worked every day just to see her. They quickly became high school sweethearts, and married at 18. The couple spent 60 blissful years together, before Louise passed away in 2001.
Now 82 years old, Evans is keeping his wife’s memory alive in a very special way. Instead of building a scrapbook or photo album of their time together, he’s built an entire museum in a small building in his backyard.
He calls the project Louise and LaLa Land (LaLa is his childhood nickname), and he’s filled every corner of the tiny room with memories of their time together. The museum has gotten a lot of attention since it was featured on Ellen Degeneres’s daytime talk show, but admission is still free and it’s open year-round.
Click to the next page to take a tour of the museum!
The biggest attraction by far at Evans’s museum is the shoeshine stand he was using when he first saw Louise. He also has the collection of records they used to dance to and home videos that play on a wall-mounted TV.
But what most guests notice are the photos, enough to cover every surface inside the building. Evans loved to take pictures, and his favorite one of all – a snapshot of his last dance with Louise – sits in a place of honor by the door, where he sees it every time he leaves.
Evans also has a special garden called the “Umbrella Grove,” which is full of pinwheels and parasols. All of these attractions have made Louise and LaLa Land famous. It has been featured in music videos, and Evans made an appearance on the Ellen show last year.
You might think surrounding yourself with memories of your lost love would be painful, but Evans loves the chance to reflect on his time with Louise. “Now, I can see even more of the beauty in our life,” he explains. “I can reflect and say, ‘Wow, we lived.’”
If you find yourself in Starkville, Mississippi, you can see the museum yourself. Just be prepared to share a dance with Evans.
Share this heartwarming story with someone you know!
When a nurse from Georgia went to Target to do some shopping, she was not expecting that she would be put to work! She was shopping through the aisles of the popular box store when another customer needed her help, and she didn’t hesitate to step in.
Mother-to-be, Tanya St. Preux, was on a routine trip to Target when she went into labor. While having her baby in a Target store wasn’t her first choice, she was lucky that Caris Lockwood was in the next aisle.
Lockwoock was shopping with her sister and mother when St. Preux went into labor. She immediately jumped into action, sending her sister inside for sterile gloves and towels.
Lockwood is a labor and delivery nurse and was able to successfully help St. Preux deliver her child right in the entrance of the store. St. Preux gave birth to a boy who weighed 7 lb 10 oz.
“Caris was God-sent and amazing. She was sweet and caring and exceeded everyone’s expectations. She went way over far and beyond,” Lockwood said.
Lockwood’s coworker, Natalie Craford, was happy to commend their fellow nurse, saying that “If anyone is going to deliver a baby in a parking lot, she’s the one to do it!”
“We feel so blessed to have been part of this,” Lockwood’s mother, Lisa Bozeman, said of the incident. “We have visited the family at the hospital and their home, and plan to have a lifetime of friendship with them. We love that they are calling us family!”
Congratulations to the new mom! So glad Lockwood was able to be there when you needed her!
Maybe you’ve seen her viral photo, but you don’t know the whole story.
This image of a woman slumped in the front seat of her car, overdosed on heroin and still holding the syringe as her son sits in the back seat, spread around the internet like wildfire last year. But while you may remember the story you’ve probably forgotten the name of the woman in the photo: Erika Hurt.
After the photo was taken, Hurt woke up in an ambulance. Medics told her that she had almost died from an overdose, and that they had used a shot of the drug Narcan to keep her alive. She was also charged with neglect of a dependent, and when police showed her the now infamous photo she thought it was “terrible.”
“They exposed me and my addiction to the whole world,” she told NBC News. But as painful as hitting rock bottom was, that picture was also the beginning of Hurt’s long and difficult journey to sobriety. “I do think it was a good thing,” she says now, “because I’m able to look back and see that’s who I was, and that was the place it led to.”
And a year after the photo was taken, Hurt and her son’s lives have changed completely…
After her overdose, Hurt was given a two year suspended jail sentence, and was required to go to rehab.
She also had to sign over custody of her son Parker to her mother. It was embarrassing and painful, but Hurt overcame her addiction and graduated from her treatment program. She moved in with her mother (Hurt is still under house arrest) and even found a job at a nearby factory.
Hurt doesn’t excuse her behavior, but now it’s clear to see how she ended up in that car in the parking lot of a Dollar General. An infection she caught as a teenager was treated with painkillers, and Hurt soon became addicted. She moved on to heroin, and eventually took the nearly-fatal shot, which was mixed with morphine.
But a year later, Hurt is drug free and rebuilding her life with her son, hoping she can get back custody of him soon. She appreciates what the photo did for her, and even sent a thank-you note to Town Marshall Matt Tallent, who uploaded the photo to the internet and made her story national news.
“For this girl to have her life ripped up and then come back and be sober after everything that’s happened to her, that’s a story of success,” Tallent said.
Share this story if you believe everyone deserves a second chance!
Shirley Batchelder is a 94-year-old woman who is very happy with the life she has lived. She was married for 57 years to a man who was “as handsome as can be,” she loves her three kids and all of her grand kids, but there is one thing that she has always wanted to express to the world.
At times the world can be an overwhelmingly negative place. There are so many terrible things happening all of the time, that people are often on edge. Batchelder knows this, and she has always wanted to do something about it.
Batchelder had always wanted to make her own television commercial that would only take up five seconds of time and have three words in it. She simply wanted to tell people to “love one another” and have it played on TV.
When the local television station heard this, they knew they could help out…
The Nashville television station WSMV found out what Batchelder’s plan was for her five second slot and they decided that this message needed to go out for free. They told her that her kind and wonderful message would be sent out around the world, spreading her joy to as many countries as possible.
Batchelder said, “I heard from Hong Kong, Canada, England, lots of places in England. I heard from so many people. If we could love one another, the world would be a better place.”
It’s managed to bring a lot of joy into people’s lives. “So many people have said, ‘It changed me, made me think of things in a different way,’” Batchelder said, happy that her sentiment has had such a strong effect on people.
She said that a soldier got in touch with her because it changed his outlook on life. “He had just about given up on people, thinking that they hated each other,” Batchelder said, but the video showed him “that there was love in the world.”
Shirley Batchelder’s joyful attitude won’t stop there. She plans on writing a book. “It’s called, ‘Sometimes, You Just Have to Smile.’ It’s a humorous book,” she shared. Other than that she plans on continuing to spread joy where ever she goes.
Help spread the joy, share this post with your friends so everyone can remember to “love one another”.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) estimates that about 6.5 million companion animals are surrendered to shelters every year in the U.S.
Of the animals that are surrendered 3.2 million of them are cats and, tragically, 860,000 of them are euthanized each year.
Although these numbers are heartbreaking, the good news is that 1.6 million cats are adopted from shelters every year and this number is steadily increasing.
This sweet baby was abandoned at a very young age. Thankfully, his human mama was willing to take care of his needs. In this adorable video, this hungry little boy devours a syringe of milk from his new mama’s hand.
Hooman Mommy Feeding An Abandoned Itty Bitty! Turn Your Volume Up To Hear Sweet Noms☻
Witnessing a car crash is a fairly traumatic ordeal, but witnessing a plane crash is on a whole other level. But how would you handle a situation where both were happening at once? John Meffert, not only witnessed it, but experienced it first hand.
Meffert was driving on the Interstate when he noticed that an airplane was flying suspiciously low. The small Cessna was losing altitude rapidly, but what Meffert didn’t know what the pilot had no control of the aircraft. At the time, the pilot was radioing the airport tower, “297 mayday! We got mayday! I lost my right engine!”
When he looked up again, Meffert realized that the plane was not correcting its trajectory. “My second glimpse is, ‘I think this plane’s going to hit me,’” Meffert said. “And my third glimpse it is across the front of me, hitting me. All I see is maybe like a white flash.”
The plane crashed into the pavement, skidding over the hood of Meffert’s car, and burst into flames. While he was shocked, he wasn’t injured. And because he was actually a captain of the Avalon Fire Department, he knew how to handle an emergency. “I felt like I needed to go see if everyone was okay.”
While most other people would turn and run, Meffert stepped up and knew that he had to help…
He started rushing towards the burning aircraft, and when he saw figured inside moving he knew he had to hurry. “I saw the passenger,” he said. “Her head pops up on the passenger side just enough that I’m like, ‘there’s somebody alive.’ So I ran even faster and then I came from the tail section of the plane toward the passenger front.”
He was able to help pull the woman out of the plane and get her to safety but there was another man in the plane. “His butt was on the passenger seat and his legs were on the pilot side,” Meffert said. “I just came underneath his arms and said, ‘I am going to get you out of the plane.’ And I lifted him up and out.”
Meffert was able to drag both passengers out of the burning airplane and to safety. “Both of them were pretty bloody,” Meffert said. “I was really amazed that there weren’t, like, more injuries to them.”
The pilot, Frank Pisano, had six broken bones in his back. His wife, Janan, had broken bones in her back as well. Frank Pisano is relieved that Meffert was able to save both of their lives. “He saved my life and my wife’s life because I know she would have stayed trying to help me,” Frank said. “John was a hero. He went into a burning plane to save us,”
Meffert knows that everyone is lucky to be alive. The whole situation could have ended a lot differently if there were just a few changes. “I play all the ‘what ifs’ — going slower, going faster — it could have been a different turnout,” Meffert said. “We just had a lot of angels. So I feel very blessed that I was safe and able to render care to them.”
Think back to when you were a kid: what was the one Christmas present you wanted the most? I’m not talking about “oh yeah it’d be cool if I got one of those” kind of want, I’m talking about “Christmas is RUINED if that fat jerk in the red suit doesn’t leave this for me under the tree!” kind of want.
Maybe it was a doll that you’d been eyeing in the window of a store for months? Or maybe it was a set of sports equipment for your budding career as an All-Star? Whatever it was, chances are you wanted it more than anything in the world, and the moment it showed up under your tree made you happy on a level you’ve never been able to replicate in your adult life.
However, if you could give that present up so that somebody else could get what they wanted on Christmas, would you? It’s a pretty tough question for even some adults to answer (and let’s get real, some people are going to say “of course I would” but would never actually do it), and even harder to present to a kid.
However, 9-year-old Mikah Frye of Ashland, Ohio put almost all of us to shame when he decided to give up his Christmas wish of a brand new Xbox One so he could help out the homeless people of his town…
Mikah was walking with his grandmother through the town when they noticed several homeless people walking around.
His grandmother, Terry Brant, recalled the conversation: “He said, ‘Grandma it’s so cold outside, what does the homeless people do?’ And I said, I don’t really know and he said ‘well, they’re cold’ and I said, ‘what do you want to give them, a blanket?”
It turns out that’s exactly what Mikah wanted to give them, and he was willing to give something pretty big up to do it. When his grandmother asked if he wanted to give up one of his gifts to buy someone a blanket, Mikah said “If the XBox is $300, and the blankets are $10 then I can buy 30 blankets.”
Mikah knows a thing or two about hardship even at his young age. His parents hit some financial problems a few years ago and ended up losing their home. They all ended up staying in an emergency shelter until they could get back on their feet, and it’s this same shelter program that Mikah was able to buy 60 blankets for.
When asked how he feels about his decision, Mikah said, “Feels really good, a lot of people said ‘you did good’ and it just feels really good.” Not only that, but each blanket includes a note from Mikah, ending in “They gave me a blanket, but I had to leave it. That’s why I want you to have your own blanket. Today, I live in my own house, and someday you will too. Your friend Mikah.”
A school bus driver received a touching surprise from his students as he underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments for his cancer.
On Dec. 6, the South Portland High School marching band and a fleet of 20 school buses appeared outside Jamie Creamer’s hospital window and serenaded him with well-wishes.
Jamie, 46, who has been battling neck cancer for the past four months, was teary-eyed by his students and fellow bus drivers’s act of kindness, thePortland Press Herald reports.
“I felt like crap until they came,” Jamie said. “Now I feel awesome. I feel so blessed.”
Jamie had been a dedicated bus driver for the past 12 years, sometimes putting in up to 30 hours of overtime. He said he’s built strong relationships with his students over the years, mimicking the one of an uncle.
The feelings are not one-sided, as the students have said they return his fondness.
“It was really important to give back to the man who has gotten us through so many band seasons,” senior tuba player, Josh Hyssong said. “I’m really glad we were able to make this gesture of support for him and to wish him well.”
The surprise performance featured a banner what said “Get Well Jamie!!!” covered in all the students’s signatures.
Jamie’s wife, Tammy Creamer, had arranged the surprise musical number in an effort to keep her husband’s spirits up.
“This has been such a long road,” Tammy said. “I’m hoping he gets the inspiration to continue his journey to recovery. I want him to see all the love he puts out for the kids coming back to him.”
Tammy said the prognosis is good, but the treatment does take a toll on Jamie’s energy levels and mental health.
Jamie said he hopes to start regaining his appetite and enjoying all his favorite meals again. He also said he’d like to start running 10 miles a day again.
But Jamie’s ultimate goal? To return to driving his bus.
Just in time for Christmas, a viral video from a California high school is reminding us all about the true reason for the season.
Shawn Hawkins, a 15-year-old student from Antioch High School, was heartbroken after a gift from his late grandmother went missing while he was in gym class. The student’s bag was too big for his gym locker, so he left it sitting on the ground outside of his class.
That’s when a thief took what mattered most to Hawkins. He ignored the boy’s cell phone, his ear buds, and even video games in his backpack, but took a Nintendo 3DS XL game system.
The game system was a gift from the teen’s late grandmother, but also had a special significance to Hawkins, who dreams of becoming a video game designer when he grows up.
Hawkins left a message on the school’s whiteboard, asking for the system to be returned “no questions asked,” but there was no luck. But one of his fellow students noticed how badly Hawkins missed the system, and planned a touching surprise.
Now, a video of their incredible gift is going viral.
Shawna Cantiliano, a 16-year-old student at Antioch, saw the heartbreaking message Hawkins left on the whiteboard.
“He asked for it back and said, who ever took it, he wouldn’t tell anyone,” she remembers. But after his request was ignored, Cantiliano took matters into her own hands.
I have a lot of pride sharing this video I received from my sister today. My sister is a student at Antioch High and a fellow student had his Nintendo 3DS stolen from him and wrote a message on a white board for all to see just begging for it to be given back to him stating t meant a lot and was from a grandparent. My sister and her friends saw this, shared his message to all their friends through social media, and still no DS was given back. So my sister and her friends came up with he idea of all pitching in money to get the student a NEW Nintendo 3DS. Look at the emotion on the kids face! These are kids doing kind things for another and I am so proud my sister was a huge part of it. Feel free to share so all can see the good that still exists! *** To use this video in a commercial or in broadcasts please email [email protected]***
“I had the idea to raise donations and just get him a new one since no one had come forward to bring it back.” At first, she collected just over a dozen small donations, mostly between $5 and $10, but when Cantiliano explained the idea to her history teacher, she took the plan to the next level.
“She said to raise [whatever] donations I can and she’d just pay the difference.”
After the teacher bought Hawkins a new game system, the students presented him with it just in time for the holidays. And, of course, they captured the sweet moment on video.
Sheriff’s Deputy Swallwell was going about his business when he got word that a homeless man was panhandling on the freeway off-ramp. He went out to go give him a citation, but when he spoke the man he had a change of heart.
Michael Myers was greeted by the officer and said that he told him, “you can’t be on this freeway anymore and I’m going to write you a ticket.” But as they started to speak, Deputy Swallwell realized that a ticket wasn’t going to help anything.
“I started to get to know more about him and I realized he didn’t need a citation, he needed someone to help him,” Swalwell said. Myers was unlike other panhandlers he had met. He had no criminal record, no substance abuse issues and he had tried several times to get off the streets.
“He told me, ‘no you don’t understand. I’ve done it before. I get turned away. I’ve applied for benefits before, but I don’t have ID so I can’t get any assistance.’” Swalwell explained. It was at this point that he decided he was going to do more than just let him off with a warning, he was going to do everything he could to help him get his life back on track…
The first step that Deputy Swallwell took was help Myers get an ID. To do that, he needed to obtain his birth certificate which he had never seen. They were able to obtain it, but it provided its own shocking realizations.
“I thought I was born Michael Myers, but according to my birth certificate, my name is Gordon Myers,” Myers revealed.
In order to obtain an ID, he had to prove he was a resident in California, but this was impossible given the fact that he was homeless. Together the sheriff’s department and a local church were able to provide enough documentation for Myers that after four trips to the DMV over a month and a half, he was finally able to get an ID.
Deputy Swallwell said, “if it’s something as simple as helping them just to get them back on their feet by getting them an ID so they can get some state or government, federal benefits, then it’s the least we can be doing as law enforcement officers.”
Myers is happy to have gotten help from the officer, and admitted that it was incredibly unexpected. “We both realized at the same time that there is a real person there and not just the stereotype we saw when we first met each other” Myers said.
After dealing with this situation and realizing that it was so difficult for homeless people to obtain an ID, the Sheriff’s Department has started to work with local lawmakers and the DMV to try to make it easier. That way more people like Myers will get a second chance, and will be able to get a job and an apartment.