Not to be confused with Good News Friday I, II, III or IV.
Negative news is tiring, so let’s get into the good stuff…
David and Patrick Nelson & their new family in Haiti. Courtesy of New York Jets
Professional Athlete Helps Children in Haiti.
NFL player David Nelson had a radical change in his life. Says Nelson “there was a huge emptiness in my heart, because I was living out of selfishness. I was living out of vanity: money, fame, I wanted all the cars, I wanted all the clothes, it all changed when I went to Haiti.”
In 2012 Nelson was in Haiti helping in the aftermath of the disastrous earthquake. One day he noticed a small, malnourished boy entangled in rebar. After freeing the young boy, Nelson offered him food, sweets, games, etc., and the child said no to each. He then asked the boy “well what is it that you want?” … the child looked up and simply said “hold me”.
Nelson said he cried and it changed his view on life: “it opened my eyes to a different perspective, a new understanding that the greatest human need is Love“.
He decided to try to help. He and his brother started a non-profit foundation I’m ME and rented a house in Port Au Prince, Haiti. A short time later they became aware of a number of malnourished children in desperate need of urgent help. The brothers decided to take in these nine children desperately needing assistance in order to care for them.
They continue to run the foundation, and are fundraising with the goal to obtain 8 acres of land to build 8 homes with 6-8 children in each home. They also have education programs with hundreds of students enlisted, various other community outreach programs, and are even working with another company to build a $3 million sports complex which would be the first of it’s kind in Haiti.
If you would like to see video of their story, and an interview with the Nelson brothers, it can be found here. It’s very nice and refreshing to see somebody using their influence and wealth to affect positive change in the world.
From L to R: Naomi Martinez, Lillian Skinner, and Anahi Alvarez
Girls Help Bullied Friend Become Homecoming Queen.
17 year old Lillian Skinner may not be the most popular girl at her Texas High School, but she’s the homecoming queen now thanks to Anahi Alvarez and Naomi Martinez, two of her friends.
Unfortunately, bullying still exists in this world. Some unnamed classmates of Lilly attempted to prank and embarrass her by nominating for homecoming court. This motivated Anahi and Naomi, Lilly’s friends, to make a pact – if either of them won the title of homecoming queen, they would place the crown on Lilly’s head.
Well it happened, Anahi won the crown and title of homecoming queen. As planned, she immediately put the crown on Lilly’s head in front of the entire school. While this may not seem like a big deal to you or I, by watching the video, you can clearly see how much it meant to young Lilly.
Afterwards Anahi, the original winner said simply: “We need people like Lilly. We need people in this world like Lilly”.
Lilly was overwhelmed remembering the moment, stating: “I was like wow… really? […] like it’s a dream or something”.
Some people have had a negative reaction to this video, stating that it doesn’t deserve a news story, or that this should be normal behavior and not something to be commended. In an ideal world I could understand the merit of these arguments, but our world isn’t perfect, and bullying / prejudice exists, so I applaud this story.
Personally, I would prefer that news was full of these small positive stories, rather than the negative storylines that they usually thirst for.
So I say thank you to Anahi, Naomi and Lilly for sharing this brief, wonderful moment with all of us. And I’d venture to guess that 50 years from now, Lilly will still be telling this story with a big smile on her face…. so how small of a gesture was it really? Also, a special thanks to my friend Dan Guim for letting bringing this story to my attention.
US Attorney General Eric Holder announcing decline in prison population.
US Prison Population Declines for First Time in 30+ Years.
For the first time since 1980, the United States federal prison population has declined! Just let that sink in for a moment…. for the first time in over 30 years, we have finally had a decrease in the number of inmates, not an increase.
While the decline isn’t astonishingly large – a decrease of 4,800 inmates to lower the total overall prison population to 215,000 – the fact that the United States has stopped increasing the number of inmates is something to celebrate. Especially since both the political left and right agree that this is a good thing – they actually agree on something!
Eric Holder, outgoing US Attorney General, has called the decrease “historic” and hopes to decrease the population by another 10,000 inmates by 2016. To put that in perspective, a 10,000 inmate decrease would be enough to leave 6 maximum security prisons empty.
I, for one, am an ardent believer that our prisons should be used to house violent and aggressive criminals, not their non-violent counterparts. I believe that in most cases non-violent offenders should receive help / counseling / support / mentoring to assist them in finding a better path, as an alternative to incarceration. Prison is not the answer. Read this almost unbelievable statistic:
The US, with 5 percent of the global population, now houses 25 percent of the world’s inmates, the majority of whom are incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenses. – CS Monitor
I hope in the future we can look back and say that the late 90s / early 2000s was a historically bad time for over-incarceration and that in both the USA and worldwide, we’ve moved on from that trend. This is a start.
Approx. 2,000 bags of food were spontaneously donated in Glasgow, Scotland.
Thousands of Impromptu Food Donations Help Those in Need.
Scotland recently held a referendum to vote for independence. The “No” vote won, with just over half of the population, meaning that Scotland will remain a part of the United Kingdom. With the country divided on the issue, there has been some unrest since the votes were tallied, as it was such an important issue.
Recently Andrew Carnegie was in Glasgow’s George Square delivering a speech about peace, reconciliation, poverty and unity when something special happened. See, Carnegie runs the Glasgow’s Needy project with his son, and their mission is to collect and deliver food across Glasgow to those needing help.
As he spoke in the plaza, people spontaneously started leaving bags of food to help. It started with a few people and quickly snowballed.
Bag after bag of donated food was left there in the Square. By the time it was all said and done, there were approximate 2,000 bags of food. Talk about unity. Mr. Carnegie said that the donations filled 8 cars and 11 vans!
“We’ve had people coming here from Perth, Aberdeen and across Scotland who had heard about this. They came here to drop off food and that’s just overwhelming. Something great happened here and I’m overjoyed.” – Andrew Carnegie
I’m overjoyed too, what an amazing story. I love when people help each other. Thanks to those who donated for giving us all hope, and thanks to Mr. Andrew Carnegie for donating the past 12 years to helping those who are less fortunate.
Have a great day and let me know if you have any good stories for future Good News Fridays. I hope you enjoyed these stories, what’s your reaction? Let’s keep spreading positivity and good news, thank you!