Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Long distance ocean swimmer Adam Walker was midway through his crossing of New Zealand’s Cook Strait when he saw a great white shark approach him from below. The British athlete was raising funds for a group focused on whale and dolphin conservation.
Suddenly, a pod of dolphins swam up and surrounded him, seemingly focused on human conservation.
A crew on his assist boat recorded the event and posted it on YouTube reporting that the dolphins stayed with Adam for more than an hour, close enough for him to touch.
“Incredible,” one woman is heard exclaiming as she recorded.
A swim coach, Walker is tackling the hardest 7 oceans in the world, “the Oceans Seven” to raise money and awareness for Stop Whaling. He is set to be the first British person to complete the Oceans Seven and only four people in the world have completed it so far. With the English Channel, Gibraltar Straits, Catalina Channel, Molokai Strait, Tsugaru Strait and now the Cook Strait under his belt, Adams final swim of the seven takes place this August in the Irish Sea.
at 5:56 AM
Monday, April 28, 2014
Waitress Melissa Manier gets huge tip from philanthropist Benjamin Olewine - and then continues to pay it forward.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -
College paid for with kindness? A Harrisburg area waitress received a life-changing tip from a loyal customer with a big heart and deep pockets.
Shuffling with his walker, Benjamin Olewine III gave Melissa Manier a big hug as he got off the elevator. Manier, a nurse, began chatting with Olewine about her job. The two sounded like they were long-time pals, but they're really just strangers.
A few years ago, Manier waited tables at the Peachtree Restaurant and Lounge in Susquehanna Township. She worked for tips in order to help pay her way through college. One day, Olewine went to his favorite restaurant and had Manier as his server.
"First, when he came in, I had no idea who he was," she said.
Unaware she was serving the area's biggest philanthropist, Manier chalked up Olewine's chatter as another friendly customer.
The World War II veteran became fond of Mainer's personality and demeanor – her determination.
On a typical day, the two described a life-changing conversation.
Manier: "I was working at the front desk."
Olewine: "I asked her about how she was paying for books…"
Manier: "I said, I have student loans but, [I am] gonna have to pay them back."
Olewine: "I said, 'Oh, well just give me the bill and I'll take care of them for you.' "
Manier: "At first, I didn't exactly understand what he meant."
Olewine: "She left me know how [paying for college] was a struggle."
Manier: "I was thinking, I do have a bill sitting on my desk right now. So, I was like ... well, I'll bring it in for you if that's what he's asking for."
The 25 year-old said she was skeptical at first, but Olewine paid off her outstanding debt and continued to pay every cent of her tuition bills and book expenses.
Manier said she was in disbelief and shock and felt undeserving of such fortune.
When asked how much this meant for her and her family, Manier broke down in tears.
"While I was in school, after he'd started paying for me, my dad passed away," she said. "I just keep thinking of him right now. He'd be so shocked and just so happy for me."
Mainer studied to become a nurse and earned her BSN through HACC. Her area of interest landed her a job out of school.
"I'm so happy I got the job here, because it's a perfect fit," she said.
Manier is now working as a nurse at PinnacleHealth's General Osteopathic Hospital in no other than the Benjamin Olewine III wing. Last October, the new patient floors were named in his honor after he donated many funds over the years to the spine, bone, and joint institutes.
"The real icing on the cake is that Melissa is working in that area," Olewine said.
To go from struggling waitress to a successful nurse with a new career is very surreal, according to Manier. She said to be debt-free at her age is still hard to grasp.
"Anytime I get a bill that he helps me with, I still feel strange asking him because he really doesn't know me," she said. "It's just crazy."
Mainer said she is currently enrolled in online classes through Drexel and will soon earn her bachelor's degree. Olewine has suggested she forward her education and earn a master's degree, all while flipping the bill.
Whether its karma, fate, or just the way things work out, the fact that Manier chose a field that focuses on helping others and paying it forward is not lost on the young woman.
"I think that's the most important part of the story, is that he helped me, so I just want to help everyone else," she said.
at 6:02 AM
An employee from College HUNKS Moving and Hauling service in Florida proved that the company's motivation "to make the world a better place" is more than just a slogan.
A student from the Art Institute of Florida was performing a move for College HUNKS at an assisted living facility inside a 10-story building when the elevator got stuck.
"We were riding with a very nice elderly women," said Cesar Larios. "As soon as it got stuck the lady said she could not stand for extended periods."
So, what did Cesar do? He created a human bench for her.
"I offered to serve as a chair," the 23-year-old told his boss, who contacted the Good News Network. "She was so thankful."
For a full 30 minutes he sacrificed himself for her comfort, as shown in the photo taken by one Larios's workers.
"I thought this was a great example of old-fashioned service and helping your fellow neighbor," said Co-Founder & President of College HUNKS Nick Friedman in an email to us. "Our company mission is to Move the World both literally and emotionally, and this is an example of our brand coming to life."
HUNKS, which stands for Honest, Uniformed, Nice, Knowledgeable Students, has 52 franchise locations and is based in Tampa, Florida.
This motivated company doesn't simply employ "clean cut" college students, their training program, "HUNKS University." teaches them how to embody a leadership mindset and provide WOW service to keep the client stress-free.
Certainly Cesar Larios must have graduated Magna cum laude.
at 5:55 AM
Sunday, April 27, 2014
Saturday, April 26, 2014
Friday, April 25, 2014
(CNN) - Good people, not to mention good tippers, do exist. Christina Summitt knows that for sure now after what happened Saturday night.
The paw-print tattoo on Summitt's wrist often leads to conversations with strangers about her love of animals; she's a volunteer with a pit bull rescue group and spends lots of time finding homes for animals of all kinds.
While tending bar at the Holiday Inn in Clinton, New Jersey, Summitt got to chatting with a friendly couple before the night got busy. The man asked her if she had dogs of her own; she confided that her "baby," a Great Dane-black Labrador mix named Tucker, was at the veterinary hospital after having emergency surgery hours earlier after he swallowed a hard plastic ball. She was worried about him.
The man said something about surgery being expensive. She confided the estimate was around $2,700, but she would do whatever she had to do for the dog, whom she adopted in 2011. Summitt, 37, works three jobs -- full-time as a chef at the hotel, Saturdays as a bartender, and as a food prep worker two days a week at a deli in her town. Her husband works full-time and Summitt has three stepchildren.
The couple ordered drinks and dinner at the bar. When it was time to close out their $80 tab, the man filled out the receipt with a tip -- for $1,000.
Summitt said she started shaking and crying. She showed the bill to her sister, who tends bar with her, to make sure she was seeing three zeros after the 1.
"I went back over and said 'Sir, I cannot accept this, what is this for, why would you do this?'" she said. He told her to put it toward Tucker's medical costs.
"I just stood there in shock. I walked around and hugged this couple. They said, 'We'll be praying for Tucker.'"
Hotel manager Michelle Satanik told CNN she followed up with her comptroller and also tracked down the customer this week to verify that the gesture was legitimate. CNN has attempted to contact the generous tipper through Summitt, who kept his name anonymous for his privacy.
"Apparently this man does this quite frequently. Just a really nice guy and humanitarian," Satanik said. "I have never ever seen a $1,000 tip like that."
Summitt shared the story on Facebook and CNN iReport with a photo of the credit card slip and a picture of Tucker being held by her 16-year-old stepson before they left the dog at the hospital for surgery. A Facebook page she follows called "Why Bartenders and Servers Hate People" reposted the story on Easter Sunday with this caption: "This is a place for us to vent but every so often, especially on holidays, we have to be thankful for the amazing customers that are out there."
Summitt says she's since gotten messages of support from all over the world.
"I would also love nothing more than to publicly thank this couple in front of the world. I've never seen a random act give so many people so much hope," she wrote.
Tucker is recovering at home.
at 4:54 AM
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Bats and dolphins use echolocation to navigate, but it’s not a technique generally associated with humans. While the process used to echolocate is different for humans than it is for bats and dolphins, BBC Earth found an extraordinary man named Daniel who uses echolocation to determine how far away objects are, the objects’ size, and other useful information to help him navigate…
But Daniel isn’t the only human using echolocation to guide him through his darkened world. 8-year-old Sam is also learning to do it, guided by his father, and it’s fascinating to observe him just five months into the process…
at 6:23 AM
Three-year-old Emily James’ favorite princess is Rapunzel. Born with a full head of golden brown hair, which continued to grow and grow, Emily loved her locks as much as she loves sparkly dresses and all things girly.
But in a recent video that has gone viral, Emily shows her real princess powers of compassion and kindness. With encouragement from her parents, Emily decided to cut her hair and donate it to those in need — children who lose their hair to cancer.
Emily’s parents, Amy and Richard James, are filmmakers who live in Ontario, Canada, with their three children. When it became clear that Emily’s long hair was becoming impractical to care for, Amy James recalled her own decision in high school to donate her hair to an organization that made wigs for cancer patients.
James and her husband sat down with Emily and explained that some children are sick, and lose their hair as a result. Explaining that her haircut would have to be very short, James says they showed Emily pictures of children with cancer and talked about treatment, hair loss and the need for wigs.
Emily’s response? She was in — as long as her Rapunzel dolly could get a haircut, too.
Emily’s uncle, Matthew Collins, who co-owns a hair studio, cut Emily’s hair. In the video, Collins cuts and styles both Emily and her doll’s hair into stylish bobs, while Emily sweetly narrates the process
“I don’t want any kids to be sad that they have no hair,” she says. “What I want to do is give them my hair.”
James and her family have been “blown away” by the response that their video has received in the week since she posted it.
“We hope to instill an attitude of giving to all of our kids,” said James. “We want them to realize that everything we have is a blessing from God and it’s really important to give to others when we can.”
In the days since Emily’s haircut, James says that both she and her daughter are enjoying the ease of the shorter, simpler style. The six inches of hair Emily donated were sent to the Canadian Cancer Society, where it will be used to create a free wig for a pediatric cancer patient. James says she chose the organization for many reasons, one of which was that Emily would receive a thank-you note from the person who receives her donated hair.
“What we are most proud of as her parents is that Emily has accepted an opportunity to give what she had a lot of to others who could use it more,” said James. “Emily brings so much joy into our lives. She is spunky, rambunctious and keeps us laughing. We love that others are finding joy in her little spirit.”
at 6:07 AM