The week's good news: February 8, 2018
It wasn't all bad!
Decades after his first donation, veteran gives 30th gallon of blood
William Chesser knows his strengths. "I can't sing or dance, but I can give blood," the Korean War veteran and retired probation and parole officer told the Dothan Eagle. The Ariton, Alabama, resident donated his first pint of blood during a military blood drive in Japan back in the 1950s. Since then, the 85-year-old has made an effort to donate blood when possible, and regularly drives to the LifeSouth Community Blood Centers office in Dothan to give. On Tuesday, he hit a milestone, donating his 30th gallon of blood. "It's a need I can help fill," he said. The American Red Cross says that less than 10 percent of Americans eligible to donate blood do so, and there's always a demand: It's estimated that every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.
Teen delivers solar lamps to hundreds of hurricane-hit Puerto Ricans
The lights are back on in many Puerto Rican homes, thanks to one high school student. Salvador Gómez Colón, 15, sprang into action after Hurricane Maria smashed into the island last fall, launching a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for portable solar lamps. While his hometown of San Juan has regained sporadic power, many residents in hard-hit rural areas still have no light. So Colon began spending his weekends distributing the lamps to the island's small villages, using the more than $125,000 he raised online. In four months, he has helped brighten more than 840 homes. "This experience has taught me to be grateful for what I have," Salvador told CNN.
102-year-old celebrates birthday by setting world record for zip-lining
When you go skydiving for your 100th birthday, it's hard to go back to just having some cake and ice cream. Glenn Quillin of Carlsbad, California, turned 102 in January, and on Saturday celebrated by setting the Guinness World Record for oldest person to ride a zip line. Joined by family, friends, and staff members of the retirement community where he lives, Quillin set off on three zip lines, going up to 50 mph as he zoomed over canyons. "I am always amazed at my dad," his daughter, Roxane Smith, told The San Diego Union-Tribune. "He's just a fantastic guy who always does things that are fun, exciting, and different." Quillin said he's always been a thrill seeker, and once raced cars and motorcycles. He's already looking ahead to his 103rd birthday, when he wants to set a new record: world's oldest skydiver.
More than 90,000 valentines have been sent to Cincinnati Children's Hospital this year
There are about 500 patients at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, and they're being showered with Valentine's Day messages from around the world. The hospital has a program where Valentine's Day messages can be sent digitally, then staff print them out and deliver them to patients. This system lowers the risk of spreading infections in the hospital while still letting kids celebrate. Manager of Annual Giving Liz Smith told WLWT that the program has grown steadily over the years, with 10,000 valentines received in 2017 and a whopping 90,000 so far this year. The cards help cheer patients up, and serve as reminders people are thinking about them. After one delivery, a mom came up to Smith and said receiving cards "just made her child's day," Smith said. "He was having a rough day, and the card just completely turned that around."
High school senior saves coworker's life with skills he learned as a volunteer firefighter
He's only been certified as a volunteer firefighter for one month, but Daniel Dowty has already made his firehouse proud. The 18-year-old high school senior from Wisconsin also works at a Shopko, and during one recent shift, heard a crash and saw that a coworker had collapsed. The colleague didn't have a pulse, and after calling 911, Dowty started administering CPR. "When you look at the survival rates of people who are pulseless, non-breathing, early CPR is the key to reviving those people," Grafton Fire Department Chief Bill Rice told Inside Edition. "In this case, Daniel was able to provide early CPR, and that's why he made a difference." His coworker made a full recovery. After he graduates from high school, Dowty says he wants to become a full-time firefighter while studying at the University of Wisconsin.