103-Year-Old Gets Sweet and Furry Birthday Surprise

By now, the relationship between humans and dogs is understood by many as no doubt profound, especially through stories like how shelter dogs learned to aid in the therapy of veterans suffering from PTSD or how a man went to great lengths to return an abandoned dog home. I suppose it’s just a case-to-case question of the level of depth or intimacy of the friendship between species.

However, someone equally sweet and equally furry can also provide a deep connection to human friends. Last April, in an inspirational birthday surprise, a 103-year-old woman named Lillian Grant was gifted with a new kitty friend.

Debbie Presland, the administrator at Ridgeview Gardens Assisted Living in St. George, Utah, where Grant lives, asked the centenarian what she’d want if she could pick anything in the world for her birthday present. “A sweet cat like Sammy,” she said, according to Presland.

Sammy was Grant’s beloved cat who passed away about a year ago. Seeing Grant so obviously still heartbroken, Presland wanted to make her wish come true. Along with her brother Joseph Harradine who was an officer at St. George Animal Shelter, they picked out a previously abandoned cat named Marley.

Right before bringing out her birthday cake, Presland told Grant they had a special surprise for her. Harradine brought out Marley and Grant started cuddling her. “The cat just took to her immediately,” Presland told TODAY.

Grant seemed to think that her present was just Marley’s visit. She initially didn’t realize that the cat was going to be hers. When Grant found out that Marley now belonged to her, the 103-year-old woman was almost in tears. Presland herself almost cried as well.

“Just to see her reaction choked me up . . . It was so sweet.”

After the birthday surprise, Grant and Marley are already inseparable. When two lonely species meet, it seems they can give each other life and be each other’s happiness, which makes me want to say… a shelter cat might as well be a woman’s best friend, eh?

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58-Year-Old Woman is a Hero in Factory Fire

We have seen a dog protect his human family from a house fire. We have seen a 77-year-old man refuse to evacuate so he could save animals from a wildfire. Today’s hero is a 58-year-old Indian woman who saved 20 people from a factory fire, which was happening beside her apartment in Delhi.

In a swift course of action, Jyoti Verma threw one end of her sari to the employees in a higher floor of the neighboring building so they could climb down to her terrace. However, one worker jumped the distance and Verma had to find another way.

Not wanting anyone else to injure themselves by jumping, Verma rushed inside to find something more useful. In the midst of her apartment, she found a small bamboo ladder. With the help of a neighbor, Verma propped up the ladder onto the roof of her terrace so that it stretched across to the factory window. Over the course of the next half hour, twenty workers were able to crawl to safety.

In the reports, before the ensuing hullabaloo, Verma was making breakfast in her apartment at 6:30 a.m. Her neighbor suddenly called her attention to the burning factory and so she rushed to her window, saw the people crying for help in the third floor of the neighboring building as their lower floors were engulfed by the factory fire, and decided to act.

According to one of the workers, the owner of the illegal factory locks the gates to the building every night in order to prevent theft. If it had not been for Verma’s heroic ingenuity, the employees may not have been able to escape.

Whoever said age is just a number has never been more correct in light of kindness and heroism.

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Generous Elderly Man Buys Toys For Toddler

Random acts of kindness can range anywhere from rescuing a drowning family to saving a swan tangled in fishing wire. Whatever the case, they are often unexpected and incredibly heartwarming. This generous elderly man decided he would pay it forward to the next generation, buying toys for a toddler at Target.

“Owen grabbed [three dinosaur toys] and we were trying to pick out which one he wanted when Owen abruptly yelled, “Hi,” at this older man walking past us,” [mom Alyssa] Hacker wrote [on Facebook]. “He turned around and said, ‘Hey sweet boy.’”

A grandfather himself, the generous elderly man handed the child a $20 bill for all three toys as the little boy continued to play with the miniature dinosaurs. His reason for doing so? It’s tear-jerking, to say the least.

“I just lost my 2-year-old grandson last week. You take this money and buy this boy all three dinosaurs.”

Tissues, anyone? Hacker initially felt that the anonymous grandpa was a little too close for comfort — clearly, his act of benevolence changed that. The video that she posted on Facebook even garnered hundreds of thousands of shares.

“There is still some good in this world,” she added.

While it’s often best to remain cautious with strangers, keep in mind that there are a bunch who mean well.

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Terminally Ill Mechanic Repairs Bikes For Kids

There are people who live not for themselves, but for others. One such person is the serial tree-planter from Bangladesh. Another is terminally ill mechanic Bob Charland, who repairs bicycles for children. Charland suffers from a degenerative brain disease.

“When I was a kid, a bike was everything. And the only video game we had was Pac-Man. Now we see kids inside, not being active, watching all this violence. If I can go into poor neighborhood[s] and get the kids outside and active, this is going to improve their life, really help their self-esteem,”

In just five months, Charland has repaired 300 bikes. He calls his project Pedal Thru Youth, inspired by his own daughter, whom he raised as a single parent. Charland has since assembled bikes for homeless shelters and local schools, touching the hearts of everyone involved.

“His efforts are very inspirational to a lot of people. You really don’t realize it — that he’s sick. He just doesn’t stop — he pushes through night after night, day after day, whether he feels good or not. He’s really uplifting and great to be around.”

The entire community has proven to be avid Charland fans, donating space for him to work. Unsurprisingly, he was also honored by the National Department of Public Works. Thanks for the inspiration, Bob!

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Bus Driver Helps Stranded Schoolgirl Get To Class

Random acts of kindness need not be grand to make an impact. A group of strangers might’ve rescued you and your dog from a hiking venture gone wrong. Perhaps a doctor delivered your baby in the middle of her own birth. Whatever the case, the common factor is gratitude. This stranded schoolgirl was overflowing with it when a bus driver went out of his way to help her get to class.

He promised the girl, who appeared to be about 11 or 12 years old, that she wouldn’t be late for class. He then arranged for a cab to pick her up outside a nearby grocery store, escorted her to the pick-up point and gave her around $6.50 of his own money so that she could cover the fare.

The unexpected deed caused a 10-minute delay in the bus schedule, but no one seemed to mind. In fact, passengers praised the everyday hero for his thoughtful gesture.

A spokesperson for First Bus told the BBC they were “delighted” with their driver, who had shown “exceptional customer awareness and consideration for this young girl, who was clearly very upset.”

The news first circulated on Facebook where, to no surprise, it has gone viral.

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Cop Buys Clothes For Remorseful Shoplifter

Some people boast unbelievable generosity and an incredible sense of compassion for others in need. While the likes of Bill Gates have donated billions to charity, others do what they can, such as this mom who provided breastmilk for struggling parents. However, it takes a special kind of patience to demonstrate kindness towards delinquents — especially law-breaking ones. This Toronto cop did just that, purchasing clothes for a pentinent shoplifter.

The would-be thief had attempted to steal a long-sleeved shirt, a tie and a pair of socks, [said officer Jeyanesan], adding such items are not common targets for shoplifters.

Jeyanesan said the teen had secured a job interview for a “service industry position,” but did not have professional-looking clothes to wear.

The 18-year-old claimed he needed to support his family financially after his father had fallen ill. Jeyanesan then decided to cover the $40 purchase and the teen was released without any charges.

“He understood the importance of what happened, that this could easily be seen as a crossroads in this young man’s life, and took the very commendable decision to assist in the way he did,”

Personally nowhere near as forgiving, I’m certainly glad that people like Jeyanesan exist!

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Shelter Dogs Gifted Comfy Armchairs

Three months in, 2018 has truly been proving itself the year of the dog. While blockbuster hit Black Panther has drained shelters of its midnight cats, dog advocates are getting downright creative. On account of Tinder and the magic of Harry Potter, more and more pups are striking gold with forever homes. Still, not every shelter tenant gets lucky. Looking to keep their waitlisted canines comfortable, the Knox County Humane Society is taking in donated armchairs.

“Our purpose is to keep the shelter pups off the cold floor,” [said] animal control officer Tanner Smith.

Naturally, kennels aren’t the most happening of places, but comfy couches tend to ease stress. Volunteers first disinfect the chairs before one of 80 pups calls dibs.

“It has made the shelter pups feel more at home,” he explained. “We have noticed a huge drop in stress here as well as quieter kennels.”

I’m all about adopting, but shopping may not be out of the picture — for armchairs anyway.

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4-Year-Old Donates Allowance To Cop With Cancer

Let’s be real — the notion that our children know nothing about the value of money is a myth. Kids across the nation have donated their savings to disaster victims and the deaf community, among other groups. Next to climb on board the donation train is Sidney Fahrenbruch. The 4-year-old pledged her entire piggy bank to help a policeman with cancer.

“It all started about two years ago when she saw an officer directing traffic. It was hot outside and she said, ‘He looks thirsty; he needs water,’ and she brought him a bottle of water,’” [said Sidney’s mother Megan.]

Sidney, an avid fan of the Longmont Police Department, donated $9 to Officer Kyle Zulauf. The army vet was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2015. A regular at the precinct delivering cookies and candies, Sidney has surely done her mother proud.

“It feels good that she’s so giving. She wanted to save the money for a toy but decided someone needed it more than her,” said Fahrenbruch.

 When Barbies and Nerf guns are all the craze at age 4, I can say with certainty that Sidney is doing pretty darn well.
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Random Act Of Kindness Saves Coffeegoer’s Life

Kind gestures are often extra special when received from a stranger. Do-gooders like Brennon Jones, a barber for the homeless, can probably vouch for that. A little always goes a long way, sometimes even saving a life. Such was the case for Glen Oliver, who inspired an anonymous suicidal coffeegoer to live by paying for his drink.

“I wondered why someone would buy coffee for a stranger for no reason. Why me? Why today? If I was a religious sort I would take this as a sign. This random act of kindness was directed at me on this day for a purpose,” [read a letter sent to a local column.]

Oliver, who had once shouldered a needy shopper’s tab, claimed paying it forward had simply become a habit. Giving out a free beverage and even picking up a bill was just an everyday routine.

“It’s exponential now, you know? Like such a small, insignificant thing to most people just turned out to be … the planets align for somebody.” [said Oliver.]

The going may get tough, but the tough often bounce back — kind gestures are always welcome!

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Brighten Up The Future For Underprivileged Kids

They say the future is millennial, with a touch of Gen Z. With teens making headlines for diagnosing eye diseases and generating clean energy via passing traffic, I wouldn’t doubt it for a second. Still, where tomorrow looks bright for some, the sun has set on others. Despite a constantly advancing society, poverty often plagues potential, and a lack of opportunities for young minds persists. All the same, there is an abundance of ways to help underprivileged kids get hold of the opportunities they deserve.

For young professionals on the go, donating in cash or kind is a perfectly safe and practical option. While necessities such as clothing and food are useful options to circulate within youth groups, most prefer monetary pledges. This is because shelters can break down a budget to its greatest efficiency as they are familiar with their tenants’ needs. Regardless, materials such as school supplies and other equipment are welcome all year-round.

Instead of dedicating your weekends to B-movies on Netflix, lend your skills to an organization of your choice. As with most volunteer programs, schedules are flexible — so why not use your downtime to bring smiles to kids who need it? In place of an academic education, you can teach dozens of juveniles the handy art of stitching, or perhaps toy-building. You never know when brightening your impromptu students’ day with a lesson in programming can set passions on fire.

If fitness gets you going, coaching a sport may be just your caliber. The goal isn’t to craft the next LeBron James or Cristiano Ronaldo, but to mold team players. Game mechanics aren’t the simplest of things, but your trainees may walk away with a brand-new life skill. And anyway, what ten-year-old isn’t a fan of running wild with a ball or racket in hand?

Be that as it may, crawling through the mud isn’t everyone’s forte. For avid literature geeks or voracious art enthusiasts, take your kids on a field trip. Museums may not be every second-grader’s cup of tea, but a planetarium or dino-exhibit may just be up their alley. On the plus side, they’ll learn a thing or two. Being able to name a prehistoric animal other than a T-Rex usually earn plus points in a classroom setting.

Taking part in a youth group often makes bonds with certain children inevitable. You may be keen on the pigtailed girl with the square glasses or buck-toothed boy who can’t quit rambling about Pokemon. Your undeniable connection with a bright-eyed mass of unrestrained energy might inspire you to sponsor a child. By all means, it’s life-changing. The possibilities? Limitless. And the best part is being able to visit and stay in touch with your surrogate sibling.

Kids are the building blocks of what lies ahead and it’s us older siblings who have the tools to guarantee it. If you’re an only child, it’s the perfect opportunity to bring someone into the picture. If you aren’t? The more the merrier.

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