Four true stories of benevolence and altruism from the pages of current news.
(USA)—Have you found yourself disillusioned lately with the downward slope it seems society has taken of late?
Here are a few articles that just may lighten your day and bring a little joy to your heart, as we highlight the caring and unselfishness of a few ordinary people as they personify Jesus' directive to "love your neighbor."
First is the ABC report about Wyatt Erber (8) who entered a scavenger hunt sponsored by a local bank.
The grand prize was already designated by Wyatt, who had learned a week earlier that his 2-year-old neighbor, Cara, had been diagnosed with leukemia. (Photo: Wyatt and Cara/Courtesy Trisha Kielty)
"He was really aware of what cancer is," his mother Noelle told ABC News. "When he found out Cara had cancer, his heart sank."
But, when Wyatt heard the contest's grand prize was $1,000, he jumped into action.
"Wyatt immediately said, 'Let's do it, and if I win the $1,000, I want to give it to Cara'. The idea of being able to give a thousand dollars wowed him," Noelle explained.
Wyatt won, and followed through with his benevolent plan, which grew when a local charity heard about it and matched his gift for Cara.
Then there is 8-year-old Abbie Jacobson who, last month, found a small purse containing $4,200, some Cambodian money, heirloom gold jewelry and a debit card.
With her parents' help, she reached out to the local police department and bank and found the rightful owner of the lost purse. (Photo: John Patriquin / courtesy Portland Press Herald)
While interviewing Abbie, the news reporter asked her what she would do with $4,000 if she had it. Abbie told him she'd buy Justin Bieber tickets.
The CEO of the Bank of Maine, who'd read the article regarding the girl's honesty was so moved, the bank rewarded her with 5 tickets to see the pop star.
Another moving account of great bounteousness is that of Howard Cooper, who—at 83—was retiring from the Michigan car dealership he'd founded, and wanted to give a meaningful gift to his loyal employees.
He doled out surprise checks; $1,000 for each year they had worked for him. For some it was over two decades; for one worker it had been 46 years.
"I wanted to thank my employees and that was a way I could do it," Cooper said. "I hope it makes a difference in their lives like they have made in mine."
And finally there is Bob Blackley of North Carolina, who decided to "give back" for his 57th birthday last week.
He took his $285 in birthday cash and handed it out in five dollar bills to strangers as they stopped at a busy intersection in Winston-Salem. (Photo: WXII-TV)
His sign read: "I have a job. I have a home. Could you use an extra $5?"
When his money was gone after a few hours, Blackley's wife, Carol, joined him with an envelope of money to match what he'd already given; so the $5 gifts to motorists continued.
"I hope people pay it forward," remarked Carol Blackley. "This is what it's all about."
Bob plans to do the same thing next year, on his 58th birthday.