About once a week, Shira Josephson grabs one of her favorite books, snuggles up to her stuffed animals, and records herself reading out loud so children who are too sick to leave their hospital beds can enjoy hearing stories.
The videos are part of her series Shira's Story Corner, posted to her YouTube page. The 8-year-old came up with the idea to read to seriously ill kids via YouTube after going through training to become a junior ambassador at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. While at the hospital, she learned there is a special area for kids who are too sick to leave their rooms. It bothered her to think that they couldn't even visit the hospital's reading area, and she thought it would make them feel better if she recorded videos for them to watch. "It's been exciting to watch her come up with all these ideas and to help her make them come to life," her mother, Brooke Josephson, told People.
Josephson reads classics like Corduroy, Paddington Bear, and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, and also takes requests. When she's not reading, Josephson is raising money for Children's Hospital Los Angeles and writing her own books, and she has a message for the kids she hopes she's helping: "I will do everything I can to make the videos special for you, so you don't feel alone." Catherine Garcia
Chandler Self was mere yards from the Dallas Marathon finish line when disaster struck. The 32-year-old doctor had been leading the pack for the final 8 miles of the 26.2-mile race when her legs started to buckle from exhaustion. Luckily, Ariana Luterman, a 17-year-old high school athlete who was anchoring her team's relay, was there to lend a hand. Luterman helped Self to her feet several times and gently pushed the winner across the finish line: a display of sportsmanship that has since gone viral. "The only thing I could think of to do was to pick her up," Luterman told DallasNews.com, "so I picked her up." Christina Colizza
Had the fuel light not gone on in his car, Dr. Javier Soto would never have stopped at a Speedway gas station in Merritt Island, Florida, on Saturday, and had he never stopped at the gas station, he wouldn't be able to tell people about the baby he delivered there in the back of a pickup truck.
While filling up, Soto, an OB/GYN, was approached by a man who saw he was wearing blue hospital scrubs and asked if he was in the medical field, Soto told People. The man said his fiancée was in labor in the back of his truck, and when Soto ran over, he realized he knew the woman — she was one of his former patients, who switched doctors because of her insurance. The baby's head was already visible, so Soto jumped into action, asking the man to run inside the station to ask for gloves and scissors and the friend who was driving the truck for his shoelaces.
After just one push, a baby boy was born, and after drying him off, Soto wrapped the shoelace around the umbilical cord and cut it. An ambulance arrived to take the new family of three to the hospital, and Soto followed behind. Both the mother and baby "are doing great," Soto said, and after checking them out he delivered another baby — this time in the hospital, not a parking lot. Catherine Garcia
When he grows up, Caleb Green wants to be an astronaut and a Ninja Turtle, but for now, he's content spending his time reading, reading, reading.
The 4-year-old from Chicago set a huge goal for himself last Saturday — to read 100 books in one day. His father, Sylus Green, told ABC7 Chicago that at first he tried to talk his son down to a lower, more manageable number, but Caleb was adamant: He wanted to read 100 books. His parents got out all of Caleb's books, and borrowed others from friends in order to reach 100. Caleb started to read out loud, and his parents decided to stream his readathon on Facebook Live, reaching people as far away as Florida; every time he finished reading 10 books, Caleb would celebrate by doing a dance.
Caleb said he loves books and wants to "read some more like my sister." His dad said Caleb has inspired him to dream big, but probably not as big as his son. "I want to be a basketball player," Caleb said. "When I am 22 I want to be an astronaut and when I'm 23 I want to be a Ninja Turtle." Catherine Garcia
Every year, the pile of toys Nolan Adams, 11, brings to Sanford Children's Hospital in South Dakota grows.
While driving with his family to visit his grandmother four years ago, Adams heard a radio ad for the hospital. He asked his parents, Trisha and Jason, how many toys the kids there received during the holidays, and when they told him "not really as much as you," he got an idea. The family stopped and bought two presents — a toy truck and a stuffed animal — and dropped them off at the hospital, the beginning of a new family tradition.
Through his Nolan's Project, Adams raises money to buy gifts for the patients, delivering them in December. After his first small donation, Adams came back with 50 gifts, and the next year, 75 gifts. This year, he made his biggest donation yet, for 176 kids. "I want them to forget about what's gonna happen next and I just want them to forget about all that and live a normal happy life," Adams told KSFY. Last week, Adams presented some of the gifts to two patients who will be in the hospital through the holidays and one of their siblings, and his family said they'll support him doing this indefinitely. "It's really heartwarming and it makes me feel good about myself, and me and my grandma say, 'It's better to give than receive,'" Adams said. Catherine Garcia
Barry Farmer wanted to find a way to pay back his grandmother for raising him, and in doing so, changed the lives of three children.
At 21, the Alexandria, Virginia, man became a foster father, and now, nearly a decade later, he's a single dad to three sons. "If you would have told me 10 years ago that this would happen, I wouldn't believe you," Farmer told WTVR. "I wished to be a father, but it wasn't going to be this soon." Farmer was raised by his grandmother in kinship care, and nine years ago, wanted to pay the kindness she showed him forward, and became a foster father to Jaxon, 7. Right off the bat, Jaxon started calling him "Dad," and after a year, it was official — Farmer adopted him, an "unforgettable" moment.
He wanted to give Jaxon a sibling, so in 2013, Farmer adopted Xavier, and in 2016, Jeremiah, who needed respite care, joined the family. "There's no reason to be afraid of our foster children who are waiting to be adopted," Farmer said. "All they need is some security, some love, some attention, stability." Like babies, older children also have several firsts, from the first day of school to the first time riding a bike. "Fatherhood has brought me lots of joy," Farmer said. "I can't imagine my sons not being with me." He said the family does get some stares — he's black, and his sons are white — but "skin does not separate us," Farmer told WTVR. "It does not define our family." Catherine Garcia
A homeless man is being hailed as a hero after saving two small children from a Las Vegas fire. Anival Angulo was walking down a quiet backstreet when he saw smoke rising from an apartment building and heard children screaming for help. Angulo, 36, rushed toward the fire, jumped over a locked gate, and used his strength to pry a dead bolt–locked security door open. A 3-year-old girl rushed out and wrapped her arms around Angulo. After ensuring her safety, Angulo doubled back to pull her baby brother away from the burning apartment. "I just knew I had to get them out," Angulo said. Christina Colizza
UPDATE: TOC: 11:33AM. 2616 E Mesquite Ave fire in 1 unit of 1-sto 4-plea, fire OUT, 2 children 10mos, 3 yrs taken to Hosp for smoke inhalation- will be okay, cooking fire - accidental, $50K dmg @SNVredcross 3A/1C PIO1 pic.twitter.com/UOs0GdHUGL
— Las Vegas FireRescue (@LasVegasFD) December 1, 2017
Troy Rogers was "completely taken by surprise" when his students gave him an adorable gift just in time for the holidays: An 8-week-old golden retriever puppy.
Rogers, who teaches history at Clements High School in Athens, Alabama, had shared with his students that his blind 11-year-old dog, Chip, had disappeared from his house. Knowing how much he loved Chip, the senior class raised $700 to buy Rogers and his wife a puppy. "Coach Rogers doesn't have children so his dog was like his child," student Haleigh Moss told ABC News. "He treats us like we're his own children and he does so much for us. We just wanted to do something great for him in return."
Last month, a colleague asked Rogers if he'd come look at something in her classroom, and he was stunned to open the door and see his students, wife, and the new puppy waiting for him inside. He asked the students if they would give the puppy her name, and they chose Clementine, in honor of the school mascot. Rogers, who plans on making a donation of $700 to the senior class fund, told ABC News he's proud of his students. "I think a lot of people don't give teenagers the credit they deserve for the good hearts and kindness they have," he said. "I'm never surprised by how good they are." Catherine Garcia