By Nanci Dixon
In the midst of an abundance of bad news – rising COVID numbers, unemployment, evictions, homelessness and hunger – some good news stories still bubble to the surface.
We find ourselves mostly posting bad, sad or frustrating news in our Sunday newsletter. It’s not our fault, of course, but we want to make sure you come here and smile too. That’s why we’re bringing you this “Good News” column.
“If disabled people were truly heard, an explosion of knowledge of the human body and psyche would take place.”―Susan Wendell
Matthew Walzer, a 16-year-old with Cerebral Palsy, wrote a letter to Nike in 2012 asking for their help in designing a basketball shoe that he could put on by himself. His dream was to go to college without having to worry about someone tying his shoes.
His letter read in part, “I’ve worn Nike basketball shoes all my life. I can only wear this type of shoe because I need ankle support to walk. I am able to completely dress myself, but my parents still have to tie my shoes. I find this extremely frustrating and at times embarrassing.”
Nike worked with Matthew as they would any athlete and introduced a new design with a zipper that Mathew could use by himself.
Nine years later, Nike just introduced a shoe that doesn’t rely on using hands at all in their GO FlyEase line. It relies on a bi-stable hinge that enables the shoe to be secure in both fully open and closed states. It uses pop and snap technology to be hands-free taking off or on.
Currently, the new shoes are only available for select Nike members (coming soon to the public!), but I know both my dad and I could definitely use a pair. I’m guessing he would like the all-black ones though.
Buying up tamales for the homeless
Chicago is known for its frigid temperatures and unforgiving winds, particularly this cold and snowy winter. Chicago restaurateur Robert Magiet spotted a sidewalk tamale vendor in the bitter January cold and bought out her entire day’s supply, almost 10 dozen tamales, along with a generous tip so she could go home and warm up. He then distributed the tamales to some of the homeless population in Chicago.
Magiet then posted on Facebook and asked for suggestions of other tamale vendors that would be outside in the frigid weather. He found three more locations and was able to help the vendors, whose income has been severely cut short due to the pandemic and the weather.
Magiet is no stranger to helping, though. He has opened a Love Fridge community food pantry outside his TaKorea Cocina restaurant. He has teamed up with other restaurant owners to provide more than 1,300 turkey dinners at Thanksgiving, provide a food truck and food to deliver breakfasts and lunches to the homeless, and get pizzas to kids suffering from food insecurity.
“Life was meant for good friends and great adventures.”
We have all heard of the famous and wealthy that give a car to someone that needs it. But rarely do we hear of this kind of generosity for a co-worker in need. When 17-year-old Haley Bridges won a car at her Chick-fil-A company Christmas party raffle, she knew that her co-worker Hokule’a (“Hoku”) Taniguchi, 19, needed it more than her. Hokule’a is from Hawaii and had been biking to work in the cold, snowy Wisconsin winter.
Hoku’s co-workers are used to helping each other and consider themselves second family. They decided ahead of the raffle drawing that if any one of them won, they would give Hoku the car. When Haley won the car, she indeed gave it to Hoku.
What do you call a deer with no eyes? No eye-deer!
Dominic Brown, a 4-year-old in Virginia, was playing outside and came back with a new friend. His mom, Stephanie, heard his footsteps on the porch and was astonished when she opened the door to see her son and a baby fawn.
Dominic told his mom that he had told the fawn that he had cereal inside. His mom let them both eat some cereal and told Dominic that he had to take the fawn back to the tree line because “his mother would be looking for him.”
When you’re the best of friends…
Sometimes you just need to be close to the one you love.
“What do you mean we’re getting a dog?”
We have smiled at dogs, cats, and even goats – but these are our first videos of a ferret and a weasel…
“Pop goes the weasel…”
We all have days like this…
This reminds me of how I felt having to go back home on a Sunday after a weekend camping.
“O beautiful banner all splendid with stars, That in the breeze is flying, Proud emblem of the free! My heart and hand salute you, Dear flag of liberty.” —“O Beautiful Banner” by Homer H. Harbour and Birdsall Otis Edey
We end this week with a video of a veteran doing more than delivering packages. The video is a bit long (about 3 1/2 min.) but will warm your heart, maybe bring a tear to your eyes, and make you even more proud of all our veterans. (Please watch it to the end. That’s what’ll get to you.)
Stay safe and warm. Until next week…
Read last week’s Good News post here.