For most of my life I avoided the news in all forms: Newsweek, television news (if it can even be called news anymore) and the papers. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to know what was going on in the world, it was that the news was always soooo horrible. Headlines always dealt with mass murderers, rapists or some form of mutilation – every single day. It was just too much to bear. When the grizzly was no longer raising eyebrows, the reporters moved to gross exaggeration – living in Southern California, there has been, no joke, a “Firewatch 20XX” or “Firestorm 20XX” every year since 1993. While I don’t want to downplay the severity of the fires, as some one who lived in Southern California very near several of them, it was never the apocalyptic event reported by the news.
So for a Tuesday Treat, I though I relay some “nice news” – stories (not featured on the front page) of people doing good things for others. Stories that make you feel that maybe we aren’t a complete loss and that there really is more good than bad in the world.
- Last Sunday, at Alki Beach in Seattle, police officers plunged into the icy Puget Sound to raise money for Special Olympics. There are six “Polar Plunges” scheduled throughout Washington (two are already completed) and one in Iraq. See Seattle Times.
- In Salem, Oregon, inmates at the Oregon State Penitentiary learned of the death of a 2-year old girl (hit by a truck in a parking lot) and started collecting donations for her funeral expenses. The inmates raised $670 amongst themselves, even though they have extremely limited funds. See Seattle Times.
- ART Restaurant in Seattle donated 10% of all sales on January 23 and 24th to Haiti relief efforts.
- Coastal Kitchen donated 25% of all sales on January 22 to Mercy Corps to support its work in Haiti.
- John Travolta flew a 707 full of doctors and relief supplies to Haiti.
- In 2008, a nine-year-old boy started “Hats for Hunger.” Andrew and his helpers knit hats and sell them for charity. In 2008/2009, Andrew donated his profits of $1,500 to Heifer International. From late 2009 to the present he has turned his focus locally and donated $500 to the Vermont Foodbank. The profit from the sale of one hat provides about 40 lbs of food to the Vermont Foodbank.
Your day feels a little brighter already, doesn’t it?
These stories are out there, generally buried in the local section or the 25th headline down online. But they’re there. And even at the worst of times, even amongst “Firestorm”, “Floodwatch” and “THE IMMINENT END OF THE WORLD,” they remind us how thoughtful, compassionate and caring we can all be to each other. Now that’s news I want to read.