The week's good news: March 16, 2017
It wasn't all bad!
Florida student starts club to ensure no one sits alone at lunch
Haitian immigrant Denis Estimon remembers how isolated he felt when he first immigrated to the U.S. Now a popular senior at Boca Raton Community High School, Estimon is making sure no other student ever has to sit alone at lunchtime. Estimon has started a club called "We Dine Together," whose members seek out wallflowers in the courtyard and strike up a conversation. The club has sparked hundreds of unlikely friendships since it formed last fall, and jocks and geeks now sit side by side. "It's not a good feeling, like you're by yourself," said Estimon, of his own experience. "That's something that I don't want anybody to go through."
Facebook page helps homeless man get a new start at life
For three years, Victor Hubbard waited on a corner in Clear Lake, Texas, rain or shine, hoping that his mother would pick him up. Ginger Sprouse always wondered why he was standing there, and after finally stopping to talk to him, found out he just wanted to see his mother again. Sprouse, a chef, started a Facebook page called "This Is Victor," sharing information on Hubbard and his life. Soon, donations rolled in, and hundreds gathered at a block party fundraiser in his honor. Sprouse was able to get Hubbard, 32, access to mental health help and prescriptions, and she hired him at her restaurant. Hubbard's uncle found the Facebook page and drove to visit him, and days later, he finally reunited with his mother. Now, he's living with Sprouse and her family. "She came around and she kind of saved me," Hubbard said. "She helped me. It's like grace."
11-year-old starts book club to get boys excited about reading
Sidney Keys III loves to read, and wants to get other boys his age excited about it, too. That's why the 11-year-old from St. Louis has started Books N Bros, a book club with two goals — to promote literacy among boys ages 8 to 10 and to celebrate books featuring black characters. He discussed starting a book club with his mom, Winnie Caldwell, and they decided to target 8- to 10-year-old boys because that's the age when their reading skills start to lag behind girls'. The club is open to boys of all backgrounds, has about 10 members, and is growing. "My motivation is I already love to read but it would be awesome, even better, to read with other people," Keys told St. Louis Public Radio.
Special glasses let legally blind hockey fan watch a game up close
For the first time, hockey fan Olivia Lettich, 11, was able to see in person the colors of the Calgary Flames jerseys, the blocks, and the players smashing into the boards. Lettich is legally blind, and has 20/400 vision. She watches Flames games on television, but often needs people to describe what is happening. Lettich sometimes wears special eSight glasses, made for the blind, which use high-definition camera technology to improve vision in her left eye to 20/40. Last week, eSight surprised Lettich with tickets to a game between the Flames and the New York Islanders. Lettich was able to watch the Flames warm up, meet a few players, and make a lot of memories. "It was all so amazing," she told The Washington Post.
Fast-acting restaurant employees, customers save woman's life
When a woman fell unconscious Tuesday while waiting for her order at a Doral, Florida, McDonald's drive-thru, employee Pedro Viloria jumped into action. The customer, an off-duty police officer, was driving an SUV with her two children in the backseat, and it went rolling forward when her medical issue began. Viloria told ABC 10 News he thought, "I've got to do something," and he leapt out the window. He ran after the SUV, and after it came to a stop, Viloria darted back into the McDonald's for help. There was plenty — a paramedic in the drive-thru came running to offer assistance, as did another employee who started giving the woman CPR and two fire rescue team members and a police officer eating breakfast inside the restaurant. The woman was revived with the use of an automated external defibrillator machine.