The week's good news: November 18, 2021
Brooklyn neighborhood surprises World War II veteran with tokens of appreciation
Jack Le Vine's neighbors in South Slope, Brooklyn, made Veterans Day 2021 one that none of them will ever forget. Le Vine is a 96-year-old World War II veteran who has lived on the same block his entire life. His neighbor Elizabeth Dowling told The New York Times that "when our vets return home, they're often forgotten and ignored," and she wanted to celebrate Le Vine. She posted about Le Vine on a community bulletin board, and asked others to consider leaving him "a little token of gratitude." Their neighbors heeded the call, dropping off cards, letters, potted plants, and baked goods. Le Vine, a retired captain with the New York City Fire Department, told the Times he typically does "nothing" on Veterans Day, and seeing how many people took the time to write messages, buy presents, and make treats for him was touching. "These people must love me on this block!" he said.
Mississippi teen's wish to feed the homeless in his community has been granted
When presented with the opportunity to have one of his wishes granted, Abraham Olagbegi chose something that will benefit people in need for years to come. In 2020, the 13-year-old from Jackson, Mississippi, learned that he had a rare blood disorder, and needed a bone marrow transplant. It was successful, and when Make-a-Wish reached out to Abraham this year and said he could have a wish granted, his family thought he might ask for a PlayStation to celebrate. Instead, Abraham announced he wanted to feed the homeless. "My parents always taught us that it's a blessing to be a blessing," Abraham told CBS News. In September, Make-a-Wish set up a day for Abraham to distribute food to the homeless population in Jackson. This was only the beginning — Make-a-Wish is working with Abraham so he can have monthly giveaways through August. After that, the teen wants to strike out on his own, and plans on starting his own nonprofit to feed the homeless called Abraham's Table.
Boston hospital starts 1st human trial of nasal vaccine for Alzheimer's disease
Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston is launching the first human clinical trial of a nasal vaccine that aims to prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease. The hospital announced on Tuesday that the Phase I clinical trial will involve 16 participants between the ages of 60 and 85 who have early symptomatic Alzheimer's but otherwise are in generally good health. A team at Brigham and Women's Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases has spent the last 20 years researching the vaccine. It uses Protollin, a substance that is "designed to activate white blood cells found in the lymph nodes on the sides and back of the neck to migrate to the brain and trigger clearance of beta amyloid plaques — one of the hallmarks of [Alzheimer's disease]," the hospital said in a statement. Dr. Howard L. Weiner, co-director of the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases, called the trial launch "a remarkable milestone."
10-year-old starts recycling program to help fund clean water initiative
Josiah Colton is spreading the word about how everyone can do their part to protect the planet. The 10-year-old from New York uses social media to share eco-friendly tips on ways to conserve energy, save water, and plant gardens. He's also an entrepreneur — in 2018, Colton started a recycling program called J Go Green, and every Saturday, he collects bottles and cans from local businesses. Colton gives 10 percent of the proceeds to Charity Water, a nonprofit working to ensure that no one goes without clean water. Colton decided to start donating to the charity after he saw a video showing people drinking dirty water out of a river; he believes everyone deserves clean water and felt inspired to help. Charity Water recently honored Colton by naming him a Tiny Hero, a badge he wears proudly. "I'm helping the Earth, and I feel very good about that," Colton told Good Morning America.
At 74, Kentucky woman finally fulfills dream of getting a tattoo
When Rita Hopkins turned 70, she decided to get a tattoo. Four years later, with the assistance of a program at her senior living community called Living the Dream, she was able to make it happen. Living the Dream helps residents at the Lexington, Kentucky, facility fulfill items on their bucket lists — for some, it's going to a sporting event or traveling, but in Hopkins' case, she told organizers she wanted a tattoo. Earlier this month, she went to Tattoo Charlie's with her daughter, Meg Phillips, to get inked. Hopkins chose to get an infinity sign with three small hearts to represent her grandchildren now living in Michigan. "I don't get to see them nearly as much as we did when they lived close by," she told LEX 18. "So I'll always have this right here with me." Phillips was inspired to get her own tattoo, and Hopkins said this mother-daughter bonding time was a moment she will "always remember."