The week's good news: May 14, 2020
It wasn't all bad!
Sportswriter raises $57,000 for charity by auctioning off signed baseball cards
Chris Cotillo's love of baseball is benefiting more than 35 nonprofits across the United States. Cotillo writes about the Boston Red Sox for MassLive.com, and growing up, he used to go to card shows and games to have his favorite baseball players sign their cards and pictures. He has a substantial Twitter following, and on Easter, Cotillo decided to auction off a Mike Trout card for charity. It went for $1,310, which Cotillo donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank in Southern California. Since then, Cotillo has sold more than 350 items, raising over $57,000 for dozens of organizations. While looking through his collection and deciding what to auction off, "a lot of cool memories" have been coming back, Cotillo told The Associated Press, but the items are still "better in the hands of people that are going to appreciate them."
Teacher invites former student without stable housing to quarantine with her
By quarantining together, teacher Kaytie Kamphoff and her former student, Jania Kloeppel, have formed an even stronger bond. Kamphoff is a special education teacher at Patrick Henry High School in Minneapolis. She was Kloeppel's case manager for four years, and after Kloeppel graduated in 2019, the two kept in touch. That's how Kamphoff learned that Kloeppel didn't have stable housing, and immediately invited Kloeppel to quarantine at her home during the coronavirus crisis. "I feel like she knows me through and through and I know her equally well, so it's actually been very peaceful," Kamphoff told the Star Tribune. Kloeppel has made herself at home, cooking breakfast for the pair every morning and helping take care of Kamphoff's dog, Layla. Together, they go on walks in the evening and hold dance parties at night, and are "living our best life," Kloeppel said.
Rare bee thought to be extinct rediscovered in Florida
A Florida bee so rare that scientists didn't know if it still even existed was found this spring by a Florida Museum of Natural History researcher. The blue calamintha bee was only ever recorded in four places in central Florida's Lake Wales Ridge region. The bee was last observed in 2016, and Chase Kimmel, a postdoctoral researcher, and his adviser, Jaret Daniels, set out to determine the bee's current population status, where it nests, and its feeding habits. Kimmel was able to record the bee in multiple locations, some up to 50 miles apart, and will now work on determining its range. His discoveries could help get the bee protected under the Endangered Species Act. "We're trying to fill in a lot of gaps that were not previously known," Kimmel said. "It shows how little we know about the insect community and how there's a lot of neat discoveries that can still occur."
Teen volunteer delivers goodie bags to nursing home residents
When she was volunteering at a nursing home in the Philadelphia area, 15-year-old Hita Gupta set up events for residents, from bingo to trivia. Now, she's still helping seniors stay active with special goodie bags. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, visitors are no longer allowed at most nursing homes, and Gupta worried this would result in residents feeling "loneliness, boredom, and anxiety." She came up with the idea for goodie bags to help "stimulate their minds and keep them occupied," Gupta told CNN. Each bag has an adult coloring book, colored pencils, a puzzle book, and a note from Gupta's 9-year-old brother, Davit. So far, Gupta has dropped off goodie bags at 18 facilities. "We need to let nursing home residents know that they are not being forgotten and that they are not alone," she said. "As a community, we need to work together to make seniors feel loved and valued."
Card originally sent 33 years ago finally arrives, thanks to a post office's deep cleaning
A message from a woman in California to her older brother in Iowa was finally delivered — more than 30 years after it was sent. In December 1987, Anne Lovell mailed her brother Paul Willis a postcard featuring a photo of her by a waterfall. Somewhere between San Francisco and Willis' home in Thornton, the postcard went missing. Lovell never asked him if the card arrived, and Willis didn't realize it was MIA until last week, when it finally landed in his mailbox. The postcard was sent for a second time on April 29 in Des Moines, and when Willis called his post office for more information, he was told many locations are doing deep cleans because of the coronavirus, and that's likely why it was found and dropped back into the mail. Willis told CNN he and Lovell "were both really excited about it. It was one of those sort of fun things that happened."