The week's good news: March 9, 2017
It wasn't all bad!
This school in India is just for grandmothers
Grandmothers in a village in India are hitting the books, going to a special school almost every day to learn how to read and write. Founder Yogendra Bangar started the school on International Women's Day in 2016, after raising money to purchase teaching materials and pink saris for the women and finding a teacher, Sheetal More, 30, who counts her mother-in-law as one of her students. "If a woman is educated, the entire house becomes educated as she brings knowledge and light to the house," Bangar told the BBC. Student Ansuya Deshmukh, 90, was married off at age 10, and as a child, her family did not have the money to buy her books or clothes. Over the past year, she has learned how to sign her name, recite the alphabet, and count to 21.
Heroic Alabama teen saves school bus full of kids after driver collapses
An Alabama teenager is being hailed as a hero after he steered a school bus packed with students out of danger. High school senior Jesse Frank was riding the bus home when he saw the driver collapse behind the wheel. The ROTC student jumped into action, steering the bus off the roadway and using his hands to pump the brakes, saving all 38 students on board. His principal, Tony Dowdy, wasn't surprised that Jesse saved the day. "If there was anybody out there who could take action, he would at the front of the list."
86-year-old man raises $400,000 over 30 years for a children's home
For the past three decades, Johnny Jennings, 86, has raised money to help the kids at Georgia Baptist Children's Home. At 18, he visited the home for the first time, and had several children run up to him, begging to be adopted. He knew he wanted to do something to assist the organization, and eventually started recycling aluminum and paper and saving his pennies, donating every cent to the facility. "84,480 is a mile of pennies," Jennings told Today. "We finished 24 miles." Over the past 30 years, Jennings has donated more than $400,000, and looks forward to the annual meeting where he presents his check for the year and gets to visit with the children.
Blind dog rescued after being lost in the woods for 7 days
Sage, a blind 12-year-old Labrador retriever, made her way into the woods near Boulder Creek, California, at the end of February, and disappeared into the cold, wet forest. After her family, the Coles, discovered she was missing, they looked everywhere for her, but the low temperatures, rainy weather, and uptick in mountain lion sightings didn't bode well for Sage. One week after Sage walked away from home, neighbor Dan Estrada and his friend Victor Lopez spotted her in a stream, "her chin just above water level," Estrada told the Santa Cruz Sentinel. "I jumped in the stream and hugged her." An EMT, Estrada knew Sage wouldn't have made it much longer, and he carried the weak dog out of the forest. The Cole family was ecstatic to see Sage again, and neighbors have been stopping by their house to spoil her with treats, including a steak.
Anonymous donor pays off meal debts for students in honor of late lunch lady
To honor a popular lunch lady, an anonymous donor in Port Clinton, Ohio, paid off the meal debts of 158 students. In February, a person contacted the school district and said they wanted to cover every lunch balance on the books — more than $500 for students from kindergarten to 12th grade — to celebrate their favorite cafeteria worker, Ruth Vogt, who died in January. Vogt retired in 1998 after working for 20 years at Port Clinton High School. Her daughter, Martha Vogt Snyder, told The Port Clinton News Herald her mother used to dig into her pockets for spare change to help kids who didn't have enough money to pay for lunch. "She was a very kind and generous soul," Snyder said. Even Vogt's family doesn't know the identity of the anonymous donor, but Snyder wants them to know the payoff shows they "really knew our mother well."