The week's good news: August 25, 2022
Massachusetts man surprises senior community residents with brand new shoes
Residents of the 2Life senior community in Brighton, Massachusetts, have a new pep in their step, thanks to James Humphries. The 25-year-old is a front desk ambassador, and last year, noticed that many of the seniors wore worn-out shoes that in some cases were several sizes too big. Humphries worried they might trip and fall, and was especially concerned about a resident who is partially blind and only speaks Haitian Creole. It took him months to earn the man's trust, and once he learned his shoe size, Humphries brought him a pair of blue suede New Balance sneakers he had at home that were the perfect fit. When a colleague heard what he did, she gave Humphries the number of a contact she had at New Balance. The person no longer worked at the company, but "the people there were so gracious and there was a domino effect of references until I landed in the right hands," Humphries told The Week. "They generously offered to donate 20 pairs of shoes, and with the help of the resident service coordinators at 2Life, we were able to fulfill the order with residents we felt needed them most." Being able to help others is "the most rewarding and gratifying act of life," Humphries said. "We have all been in a place where we need someone to reach their hand out and say, 'I got you.' I want to be that person for others whenever possible."
Flight operated by all-Black women crew honors Bessie Coleman
In celebration of aviation trailblazer Bessie Coleman, a recent American Airlines flight from Dallas-Fort Worth to Phoenix was staffed entirely by Black women, from the pilots to the cargo team. In the aviation industry, less than 1 percent of pilots are Black women, and that's why Captain Beth Powell said she was "beyond thrilled to be part of the crew where we are inspiring young girls, young girls of color, to see the various roles that these women play in every aspect to make this flight possible." In 1921, Coleman became the first Black woman to earn her pilot's license, after she learned French and traveled to Paris to attend the Caudron Brothers School of Aviation. She went on to fly in air shows, dazzling crowds with her dangerous tricks. Coleman died in a plane crash in 1926 at age 34, before she was able to fulfill her dream of opening a flight school for Black pilots. Her great-niece, Gigi Coleman, was a passenger on the American Airlines flight, and said she was "grateful" to have the opportunity to "highlight my great-aunt's accomplishments in the field of aviation."
Uber driver praised as a hero after rescuing people from burning building
Fritz Sam deserves all the stars for a recent ride through New York City, when the Uber driver stopped to rescue two people from a burning building and then got his passenger to the airport in time to make her flight. Last Wednesday, Sam was headed to LaGuardia Airport with Jemimah Wei when he saw flames and smoke coming out of a brownstone in Brooklyn's Bed-Stuy neighborhood. Sam asked Wei if he could stop to help, and they learned from a resident that at least one person was still inside the building. "I just knew something had to be done at that moment," Sam told Today. He raced inside the brownstone, where he met a man who said he needed to grab something from another floor and a woman who didn't want to leave. Sam convinced the woman to go and ushered her outside, then went back into the building to find the man. Once they were both out, firefighters were on the scene, and Sam and Wei felt the situation was stable and they could go. Wei tweeted about what happened, and Uber's CEO surprised him with a call. "I try to keep things in a way where it's like, you know, you did a good thing," Sam told Today. "You'd be surprised what little things we do that can be impactful. Because trust me, those little things are going to make a big difference for somebody."
North Carolina cat café celebrates its 1,000th adoption
The Mac Tabby Cat Café in Charlotte, North Carolina, is the purrfect spot to grab some coffee and possibly pick up a new furry friend. The café first opened in December 2017, and doubles as a foster home for rescued cats. All of the felines are up for adoption, and visitors can spend up to an hour playing with and petting the cats. If it's love at first meow, the adoption process can begin. On Tuesday, the café celebrated its 1,000th adoption, with Leo Wyatt, a 5-month-old black and white kitten, going home with his new family. "It takes a lot of caring humans to get each cat from where it starts to its forever home," owner Lori Konawalik told the Charlotte Observer. "We are a small part of the greater good and are thankful to be able to spread goodness into the world in the very best way, one cat a time. One thousand ... and counting."
Ohio woman's spontaneous Goodwill karaoke performance goes viral
Dee Garvin was on the hunt for a new karaoke machine, and she found what she was looking for — as well as internet fame — at the Goodwill store in Hamilton, Ohio. Garvin, a music lover, likes to visit nursing homes and sing with the residents, and told WLWT she needed a replacement karaoke machine because she "wore two of them out." During a recent visit to the Goodwill, the employee who took the karaoke machine off the shelf for Garvin asked her if she would sing a song. Garvin agreed, and her rendition of "He's Got the Whole World In His Hands" could soon be heard across the store. Customer John Schuerfranz was impressed not just by Garvin's singing, but also by how much fun she was having. "I thought, 'This is wonderful,'" he told WLWT. "I mean, what a spirit." He posted the video online, and it soon went viral, which stunned Garvin. "When I was a girl, I was a very shy, backward girl, and it's hard to believe even for me," she said.