In moments of darkness, we find what we really need. That’s what happened when people saw the post Ash Leigh posted on a Facebook memorial page.
Last week, a police officer in Baltimore County was killed in the line of duty.
The 29-year-old officer responded to an afternoon phone call and was killed during a confrontation with the suspects.
A couple days later, Ash Leigh of Bel Air, MD, posted the slain officer’s photo on Facebook and asked people to share it. This is why…
“This is Amy. This is what needs to be shared.
Amy was a police officer in Baltimore County. Amy went to work wanting to make a difference. Amy put her uniform on everyday, never second guessed it and left her family behind. She drove her police car, listened to her radio and took every call. She saw things that no human should have to. She stood proud and loved what she did. Amy never thought that her life would end.
Amy was a human. A human that deserved to live.
She has a family, a husband, a home. She had a world outside of the Kevlar, outside of the glock, outside of the badge. She had dinner plans, weekend plans and vacation ideas. She had dreams and aspirations, AND A RIGHT TO GO HOME.
I didn’t know Amy. But I know many like her.
My husband has been a deputy for 17 years. I couldn’t tell you how many calls he’s responded to just like Amy’s last. How many times he’s approached a stranger to protect the public. How many times he’s put his life on the line. How many times our friends have done that. Honestly, I don’t even want to think about it.
But I can tell you a few other things. I can tell you what Velcro sounds like. The thump of work boots, a glock going into a holster, a badge hitting the kitchen table, what an impala sounds like coming down my court at 2am, and bullets in the dryer. (Yes, that does happen) And I can tell you the relief that some of these sounds cause. Why relief? Because I know he’s home.
We shouldn’t share the people that did this to her. We need to share her. Celebrate her. Remember her.
Amy will be laid to rest this week. I will watch my husband go through the motions. He will pull out his honor guard uniform, arrange all of his pins, make sure the ropes are perfect on his shoulder. He will shine his shoes, shine is belt, and find his hat. He will look for a new pair of white gloves, iron his dress shirt and stand tall with his brothers and sisters. Sadly, this is now the new normal for them. The final send off, the final goodbye.
As a spouse you never think about if they don’t come home. You can’t. You’ll drive yourself crazy. You live each day like it’s normal. Is it always in the back of your head? Do you have plans in case the most horrible thing happens? Yes. But you never dwell.
A few years ago we were Baltimore County. Harford County knows all too well what this is like.
I pray for her husband.
I ask that people not share the pathetic souls that did this to her. Share her, share her life and her story. Inspire people to want to be like her. We need more people like her in this world. Share stories about her fellow officers. Ask if they are okay.
We need people to want to make a difference. It’s the only chance our children have.
Rest easy Amy. You know they have it from here. Watch over them, look after them. They need you to have their six.”
College is hard. Besides the rigorous academic schedule in itself, you also have the additions of a social life, jobs, sport, family and interships to juggle to balance. Of course, other things get thrown into the mix too, health problems, or financial troubles, and it can feel like the world is falling on top of you.
Thankfully, there are some kind hearted people out there who go out of their way to lend a hand to students at their time of need.So to honour the graduating class of 2018, we decided to pick out the best stories showing random acts of kindness received by people who are in college. Unexpected kindness is happening all around the world, especially in college campuses. These stories range from simple gestures that brightened the person’s day, as well as life changing grand acts of kindness!
Continue reading and check out the very best stories below.
The first story is about someone who was considered dropping out, until a very unexpected gesture took place.
“When I was a poor freshman flying some budget airline back to college after Christmas break, the airline canceled my flight into Spokane and left me stranded overnight in Seattle. As I stood at the customer service counter fighting back tears because I didn’t have money for a hotel or cab and was thousands of miles from home, a woman noticed me and said she’d like me to come home with her family overnight and she’d get me to the airport in the morning. She had her own two kids to worry about, having just gotten off the same long flight as me, but she refused to leave me alone to spend the night in the airport. She took me to her home and had her own kids double up in one bedroom so she could put me in her daughter’s room (after she gave me all her contact info and told me to call my mom and let her know where I would be.) Now that I have kids of my own and a crazy busy life, I appreciate even more the fact that a stranger was willing to inconvenience herself to not only take me in but to get up early the next morning to drive me all the way back to the airport and make sure I made it back to college on time. I was the first person in my family to go away to college and I was considering dropping out, so this woman made more of a difference in my life than she could have imagined.” ― Heather Rauenhorst, Seattle
Words really can change your spirit…
“There was a time in my life when everything went wrong. Someone had closed my registration to college, and I would have wait another semester before the paperwork could be resubmitted. On the same day, my apartment was cleaned out. The landlord said he didn’t know I was leaving. He said a moving van parked outside and two men took everything. Everything from my baby book to clothes and college books. The bed and sheets were gone. I felt estranged from the world. I went to a bookstore for peace and quiet and was kneeling at the lowest shelf with head hanging down and crying. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a 3-year-old girl walking toward me with her mother watching at a distance. The child patted my hair, leaned over and hugged me so tight for what seemed like a minute. “Don’t be sad,” she said. “It will be all right.” My heart and spirit returned in that instant. I thanked her and her mother. “You’ve raised a beautiful girl,” I said. The mother, ever smiling, said that when her daughter came out of her womb, she wore a smile. That little girl with a big heart saved me. That was 40 years ago. I think of her when times get tough. “It will be all right.”” ― Annette Zumba, Palo Alto, California
A problem shared is a problem halved, as the old saying goes!
“It was 21 years ago. I was on a commuter flight from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh. The woman next to me and I struck up a conversation. She asked if I was returning to school. She could tell I was college student. I explained I was visiting my boyfriend and that I had taken time off school because my older brother passed away four months earlier. She asked me how he passed. I don’t know why I told her it was suicide, but I did. Probably because I was in such an immense amount of pain and grief. She said, “I’m so sorry. I lost my sister to suicide 17 years ago.” She offered me a ride to my boyfriend’s campus. She happened to be going to the neighborhood just past it. I accepted, maybe unwise for an 18-year-old girl to get in the car of a stranger. But in that 20 minute ride, I got to ask her all the questions I needed to ask someone 17 years down the line from where I was. The thing I remember the most is she told me that the pain would subside and I would be OK. I got out of the car in tears saying, “Thank you for the talk — I mean the ride.” I will never forget that act of kindness. It helped save my own life.” ― Abigail Seligsohn, Philadelphia
Something with not much of a monetary value can mean lots to broke college students.
“I was 20, and I had just been hired at my first job while I was in school and in a new city. The uniform required black dress shoes, so I was at Payless struggling to find shoes that would be comfortable enough to stand in all day but also close enough to fashionable. I’m normally too introverted to do so, but I turned to a woman shopping next to me and asked her opinion on two pairs of shoes. She could probably tell that I was stressing too much about the shoes, and I told her it was my first job here. So she picked a pair and told me that the shoes were her treat. They were only a $20 pair of shoes, but it meant a lot to a broke college kid. I think about that woman sometimes and hope that she’s doing well.” ―Lauren Blake, Chicago
An act of kindness not only brightens your day, but will also be remembered years down the line. Or 35 years in this case!
“As young married college students many years ago trying to juggle tuition, books, rent and the cost of caring for a new baby, our funds were severely limited. That meant luxuries like ice cream were few and far between, and most often funded by the tediously slow accumulation of spare change dropped into jars or fished out of couch cushions. One day we found ourselves with just enough pennies, nickels and dimes to pay for a small carton of deliciousness. Because the opportunity presented itself so rarely, selecting just the right flavor was a huge decision. As we debated the merits of one flavor over another, an older woman struck up a conversation. She said that she regularly bought several cartons at a time to share with neighborhood children, who would often stop by her home to visit and play in the yard. After picking out her selections, she left. We eventually made our own decision, and headed toward the register, where we discovered that the woman we spoke to had quietly paid for our treat. It has been 35 years, but I still remember how her kindness brightened our day and lightened our load.” ― Kathleen Tuck, Provo, Utah
We hope you enjoyed these stories, and that you have an AMAZING summer. Take a break. Hang out with family. Hang out with your pets. Chill with friends. Have fun, and build up energy ready to move onto the next steps!
Alex Vinklarek of Houston, TX, got a spray tan in preparation for an upcoming cheerleading competition, but once the 17-year-old got back to her car, she started watching videos online, which is where everything went wrong.
“After I got sprayed, I went in my car and started watching videos on Twitter and saw this really heartwarming video of a dog reuniting with its owner,” Alex told Teen Vogue. The videos caused two tears to run down her face.
Alex shared photos of her new look on Twitter. After it went viral, many others posted similar photos of their spray tan fails.
You dream as a kid to find buried treasure, and for a couple in Staten Island, that dream became a reality.
For years Matthew and Maria Emanuel thought a rusty metal box hidden behind some trees in their backyard was just part of a cable or electrical box, so they never bothered inspecting it.
Matthew and his wife only discovered the “treasure chest” when they decided to replace the trees in their yard. They called a crew to help them and that’s when the discovered it wasn’t an electrical box, but a rusting, peeling, weathered safe.
Inside the safe they found diamonds, engagement rings, gold and thousands of dollars in cash.
But they found something even more interesting: a piece of paper with an address, an address that matched their neighbor’s.
“I knocked on the door and I asked them if they were ever robbed,” Matthew told CBS News. “They said they were.”
According to the New York Police Department, a burglary was reported at their neighbors’ home the day after Christmas in 2011. The only thing taken was a safe containing about $52,000 worth of property.
The Emanuels returned the safe and its contents to its rightful owners, who were extremely grateful.
“A couple of people asked us, ‘Why did you return it?’,” Maria said. “It wasn’t even a question. It wasn’t ours.”
The two 23-year-old black men who were arrested in Starbucks while they were waiting for a friend have settled with the city of Philadelphia for $1 each…
But they made sure the city pledged something first.
Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, whose arrest went viral last month, asked the city to fund a $200,000 grant to a nonprofit for a pilot program for city public high school students who aspire to be entrepreneurs.
“I am pleased to have resolved the potential claims against the city in this productive manner,” Mayor Jim Kenney told the Associated Press.
“Rather than spending time, money, and resources to engage in a potentially adversarial process, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson approached the City and invited us to partner with them in an attempt to make something positive come of this,” Mayor Kenney said in his statement. “This agreement is the result of those conversations, and I look forward to seeing the fruits of this effort in the coming months and years.”
“We thought long and hard about it and we feel like this is the best way to see that change that we want to see,” Donte Robinson told the Associated Press. “It’s not a right-now thing that’s good for right now, but I feel like we will see the true change over time.”
Starbucks has also announced it reached a separate settlement with the two men.
After a football accident in 2010 left him paralysed from the neck down, Chris Norton was told there was only a 3 percent chance he would ever walk again – but last weekend, he walked his beautiful bride down the aisle.
Norton, 26, has been confined to a wheelchair for the past 7 years. He played football for Luther College Norse but his career ended in 2010 when he suffered a spinal chord injury while making a tackle during a game against Central College.
He was told that he had fractured his C3-C4 vertebrae and had a three percent chance of ever moving anything below his neck ever again.
“I wasn’t going to accept that,” he told PEOPLE. “I was going to be part of that three percent.”
When Norton got back to school, he wondered if he’d ever find a woman who would want to spend her life with him.
He decided to give online dating a try and that’s when he met Emily Summers. The connection was so strong that she didn’t even notice his wheelchair.
“I was waiting for that girl who made me feel alive and someone I wanted to spend the rest of my life with and then here comes Emily. I knew she was the one,” he told PEOPLE. “The accident brought me to her and that is the biggest blessing.”
Chris and Emily exchanged wedding vows on April 21, in Jupiter, Florida.
Together, the newlyweds slowly walked down the aisle — a goal they had been working towards for years.
Norton, who works full time as motivational speaker, says he wants to “give people hope and inspiration that they can overcome anything they’re going through.”
“There have been a lot of moments where we’ve struggled. But anything is possible if we don’t give up. We want to be an example that life can be remarkable. I’m so blessed and happy with where I am.”
Watch the trailer for “7 Yards: The Chris Norton Story” below.
New research has discovered that many trees move their branches up and down at night, suggesting they have a pulse.
One of the most important processes sustaining life on Earth is the transport of water from the ground and into the leaves where the photosynthesis and capture of the sun’s energy takes place.
The process has fascinated scientists for centuries and is still debated in plant physiology. Scientists generally agree that water transport is driven by light and consequently occurs in 24 hours cycles.
But it was only recently discovered that some other trees also lower their branches by up to 10 centimeters at night and then raise them back up in the morning. These branch movements are slow and subtle, and take place at night, which makes them difficult to identify with the naked eye. However, terrestrial laser scanning, a 3-dimensional surveying technique developed for precision mapping of buildings, makes it possible to measure the exact position of branches and leaves.
A team of researchers from Denmark and Hungary used this technique to conduct an experiment. They brought twenty-two individual tree and shrub species together and scanned them overnight under strictly controlled conditions. They were surprised by the results.
“We detected a previously unknown periodic movement of up to one centimeter in cycles of two to six hours. The movement has to be connected to variations in water pressure within the plants, and this effectively means that the tree is pumping. Water transport is not just a steady-state flow, as we previously assumed,” said András Zlinszky of Aarhus University.
The most striking finding was that all the studied plants displayed pulses of minute periodic movement overnight. This was particularly striking in the Magnolia tree, which completed three full cycles of up-and-down branch or leaf movement during one night.
The exact role and mechanism of this process will be studied further, but these findings definitely challenge the widespread view of trees as static, passive organisms.
Back in 1990, two fans trespassed on Keanu Reeves’ property and boldly knocked on his door.
Instead of calling the police and having them removed, he had a beer with them.
The story was recently posted on Facebook by one of the trespassers, Chris Johnston, who also posted photos as proof because “no one would of ever believed us.”
Check out the story below!
“We were in California for the ‘World Softball Tournament’ that Ned was playing in. My cousin lived there and worked for the American Cancer Society at the time. She knew where a lot of the celebrities lived because they would host events. At the time I was in love with Keanu.. well still am 🙂 and she took me to his house.”
“We climbed the wrought iron fence to his property, walked up the winding driveway to his home. Knocked on the open door, that he could not hear us knock on because he was playing guitar with his back to the door. When he turned around and saw us there, he simply asked who are you and how did you get here.
After we told him the story and asked him not to call the police. He invited us in, gave us a beer and spoke with us. I told him how I was there for my boyfriend’s softball tournament and how instead of watching him play, I was going to see him. He wrote that note for Ned and I. Best Wishes to him in the softball tournament. He was such an awesome guy! If this happened today, I am not sure the outcome would be the same. This was 1990 before how crazy everyone has got. Plus, he is who he is .. so he was totally cool with it all.
When we left, I had accidentally exposed the film in the camera, we went right to a one hour photo shop with the hopes of having the pictures saved… after an agonizing wait, there were only 3 pictures that were not all yellow from exposure… I was so grateful because no one would of ever believed us. Sometimes I still can’t believe it.”
Physicist Stephen Hawking’s final act of kindness helped provide 40 homeless people with an Easter feast in his home city of Cambridge.
On the same day as his funeral, a donation from Hawking’s family helped fund the charity FoodCycle’s Easter lunch at Wesley Methodist Church in Cambridge.
FoodCycle Cambridge tweeted that they were “so grateful to the Hawking family for their generous donation so we could give our guests an extra special Easter meal.”
“Lucy Hawking contacted me and mentioned that the family would like to make a donation so that while the funeral was taking place, people would be sitting down to a hot meal on Stephen,” said Alex Collis of FoodCycle.
“It was a really kind gesture that I think fitted well with the sympathy Prof. Hawking felt for people who were having a tough time of things.”
Collis said the generous donation would go on to provide hundreds of meals for older people, people with mental health issues, and the long-term unemployed, besides the city’s homeless.
A man in Alberta, Canada lost 326 pounds after his experience fleeing a wildfire inspired him to change.
In May of 2016, planes arrived in Fort McMurray to evacuate workers from the site.
When Tony Bussey arrived at the airport, staff shuffled him to the front of the line because of his weight. He weighed 567 pounds and needed two seats on an airplane.
“Seeing people having to wait because I was too fat to sit next to, that was it for me,” Bussey recalled.
“I kept thinking, ‘Here it is: somebody’s wife, somebody’s husband, somebody’s family member is waiting for their mom or dad or their loved ones to come home, and their loved ones have to wait longer now because I’m too fat to sit next to.’ “
That’s when he started his quest to lose weight.
“Three-hundred and twenty-six pounds gone. All naturally. No surgery, no anything. Just watching what I eat and walking,” he said.
“I basically went on a low-carb, high protein diet.”
Bussey currently weighs 241 pounds, having lost more than half his own body weight.
His next goal is to run a marathon. He wants to do it in three years, on the fifth anniversary of the fire.
“The fire, for all the destruction, and for all the hell that it caused… it saved my life,” Bussey said.
“I was 41 when I started this, almost 600 pounds. If I can do this, anyone can.”