Happy Sunday, dear friends! I hope you’re having an enjoyable weekend, doing exactly what brings your heart joy! Today, we celebrate the birthday of our oldest daughter, with cake and presents and lots of love I feel so blessed to be the mother of two amazing young souls, and their spirit always gives me hope for a bright future.
I’m also happy to be sharing Feel Good News with you all today. When I start looking for positive news, it’s as if a flood gate opens and more and more amazing news simply flows in. Some of the stories are small, and some are large, but they all add up to a wave of good feeling that encircles the world.
So, without further ado, please get as comfy as you can, and let’s get down to some Feel Good News!
It’s always great when Dads can help their children. This one created a bionic pancreas for his son!
Ed Damiano’s son, David, has had type 1 diabetes, since he was 11 months old. He’s a lucky kid though, because his dad is an associate professor of biomedical engineering at Boston University, and he has focused his work on developing a bionic pancreas to help his son monitor his blood sugar. The device is really a complex computer app, that takes data from a monitor placed on David’s abdomen and directs two pumps, one for insulin and another for glucagon, a hormone that also effects blood sugar. This pin-point monitoring and release of hormones makes blood sugar management, and hormone delivery much simpler for patients. The device is in its second round of testing, and Damiano hopes to get FDA approval before his son goes off to college. Taking the complexity out of the management of diabetes will help people live fuller lives.
To keep kids out of gangs, this pilot gets them to soar!
Robyn Petgrave learned how to fly, and then taught others to do so as well. He started his own aeronautics company, but he didn’t feel fulfilled, so he gave it all up to start Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum in Compton, California. The program takes local kids off the streets, where they’re in danger of gang violence, and teaches them how to fly. Participants must maintain good grades, and be mentors to other children in the program. One of the girls in the program says the program taught her that there is no impossible, only you standing in the way of your possibilities!
Sneaky helping hands save food and feed the hungry with little money needed.
Thirty years ago, a neighbor threw out her turkey after Thanksgiving, with meat left on the carcass. That simple act got Carolyn North thinking of all the good food thrown away in the San Francisco Bay area, and a few weeks later with the help of some like-minded people she began Daily Bread. Carolyn believes we’re all one organism, and so the act of sharing food with those who are in need is not seen as charity but something that is good for us all. She also believes that everybody’s got time to do one small thing, and so volunteers simply pick up food in their local areas and deliver it to free food pantries in a process that takes less than an hour a week. Volunteers say the simple act of giving and the gratitude in receiving creates a beautiful energy exchange that keeps them doing the work for years on end. The program has no need for fundraising or much administration, as the concept is pretty simple, take excess food that would be treated as garbage and deliver it to those in need. Simply beautiful!
When a beloved local needed help, the whole town chipped in.
This story is from my neck of the woods, and it makes me feel so proud of my Paumanok neighbors in Levitttown, New York! Avi Gandhi and his wife Bharati moved from India ten years ago, and took over running the Center Lane Stationery store, working long hours, seven days a week, but always serving his customers with much love. The economy and his wife’s recent illness had set Avi back financially, and he was thinking that he may have to close his store. Friends and loyal customers had another idea, and they planned a surprise “Cash Mob” to bring in more business to the store, and show Avi just how much he means to them. They also set up a crowd funding program on Fundly, created a short documentary, and are offering assistance to anyone who wishes to do a similar program for other small business owners who work tirelessly for their families and communities. Avi was overwhelmed by all the love and gratitude from the community he has served for so many years, which he calls his true home. Helping others who are in need, and showing them how much they mean to us is the basis for building loving communities where all feel supported!
Acts of kindness are contagious too.
October 25th was Make A Difference Day, which was founded in 1992, and focuses on volunteer service to help make the lives of others better. Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News wrote an essay in support of volunteerism for USA Weekend, and stated that consistent volunteering is the only thing missing from his life. He loved his time spent as a volunteer firefighter, and looks to find time again where he and his wife can feel that lovely endorphin-filled rush of physically giving of themselves, instead of just supporting charities with money. Doing for others and being in service is something we can all do that requires no financial investment at all, only the desire to help and the donation of some personal time. I agree that acts of kindness are contagious and the more you do them, the more you want to do them. What is also wonderful is the return on investment of the gratitude from those you help, which is out of this world!
New group helps get older folks together.
Elder isolation, especially for men, is a growing issue in the UK, which projects a 65% increase in senior men living alone in the next 15 years. A new group called Contact the Elderly now hosts monthly tea’s for seniors living alone, and the project has a transformative effect on the lives of many. Volunteers drive seniors to and from the parties, where they can have a nice cup of tea and converse with others, who are from their generation and have the same issues that they do, such as loneliness or dealing with the loss of a spouse. At first the people are strangers, but eventually become friends, and develop a strong social network outside of the monthly teas. Simply getting seniors out of the house and into good company starts the ball rolling in a positive and life affirming direction, and I think it is a wonderful idea that should be expanded internationally.
Young veterinarians offer free help for homeless dog owners.
Fourth year students at the University of Glasgow Veterinary School saw a serious need for care and support of the many dogs owned by area homeless people, so they recently opened The Trusty Paws Clinic to help fill the need. They run weekly drop-in clinics for free veterinary care, and also hand out food and bedding for the dogs and their owners. They also offer a warm and friendly environment where people can come in, and have a sandwich, a hot drink and feel cared for. As their dogs may be the only being who loves them unconditionally, homeless people may forgo care for themselves in order to care for their animals. This program gives them an opportunity for expert care to support their dogs, and obtain some much needed support from caring people as well. I think this program would be a blessed addition to any veterinary college, as the needs are great, and it would also instill the quality of service in the new doctors as they begin their careers.
Kitten delivery is only a phone call away on National Cat Day!
Wednesday was National Cat Day and in honor of feline friends, Uber, a car service company, teamed up with the ASPCA, to deliver kitten cuddles right to customers doors for $30 a pop. Customers called up the company and ordered the kittens, which were brought over for a 15 minute visit. People could also simply donate to the cause, or send kitty cuddles to their friends. What a sweet way to support a great cause, and I am sure many of the kittens were able to find good homes in the process. After all, who can cuddle a kitty and not want to take it home?
That’s the Feel Good News for today! Have day filled with joy and wonder. I hope to see you back here tomorrow for more news!
Be Well. Be Joy. Be Love!