Lifting people’s spirits
Cameron Brown and Brett Westcott, sophomores at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., were tired of seeing so many recession-weary people down in the dumps. So they decided to cheer them up. They now stand outside the chemistry building on Wednesday afternoons, holding a sign labeled “Free Compliments” and addressing passersby with such greetings as, “Love your school spirit” and “I like your hustle.” Many campus residents are suspicious—some even think it’s a psychology experiment—but most are delighted. “They are doing a great job of lifting people’s spirits,” said copy center worker Kendra Crace.

Dispensing blessings and cash
Every Sunday since 1985, the Rev. Maurice Chase has dispensed blessings, rosaries, and small sums of money along Los Angeles’ Skid Row. For his 90th birthday this week, he celebrated by giving away $15,000 in cash. “This is the Lord’s work,” he said. “I come out here to tell them that God loves them and I love them, that someone is concerned about them.” Chase’s funds come from many of the wealthy people he worked with as an administrator at Loyola Marymount University, among them comedian Bob Newhart and Frank Sinatra’s widow, Barbara. “He’s got a heart,” said 56-year-old Annette Matthys, who is homeless. “I never saw anyone like him.”

Nope, all golfers do not do this
Unni Haskell, 62, had never picked up a golf club until she took two months of lessons earlier this year. Then, last week, she went to the Cypress Links course in St. Petersburg, Fla., teed up the ball at the 100-yard par-three first hole, and swung her purple 12-degree driver. The shot sailed about 75 yards, avoiding the left bunker, bounced onto the green—and rolled into the cup. Haskell had scored a hole-in-one on the first regular shot of her life. “I didn’t know it was that big of a deal,” she said. “I thought all golfers do this.”