David Bruce: Don’t Fear the Reaper — Good Deeds, Heroes

Good Deeds

• In February 2011, a single mother with four children cried after losing $2,500 (her income tax refund) following a trip to the Sierra Central Credit Union in Yuba City, California. Fortunately for her, some Good Samaritans saw $100 bills blowing in the wind and collected them, along with her wallet. Among the Good Samaritans were 27-year-old Yvette Carino and 32-year-old Sam Yath. Ms. Carino, an employee of the credit union, was driving when she saw money blowing in the wind. She stopped her car, and she telephoned the police. The Good Samaritans were able to recover $2,100, which Yuba City police returned to the single mother, whose name was not released. When a police officer knocked on her door, she opened it and exclaimed, “Oh, no, not more bad news!” She told the police officer that she had lost her wallet, and the police officer asked, “This wallet?”

• A person who posts using the name “Mitchell” wrote on Helpothers.org, “I know that my kids have always been kind-hearted and would do whatever they could for anyone else, but when I learned about a recent act of kindness my teenage son did for a friend, it has really touched my heart.” Mitchell’s son would go to school with lunch money in his pocket, but he would come home hungry. Mitchell found out that his son was sharing his lunch money with a friend who never had money for lunch. Now Mitchell makes sure that the son leaves for school with lunch money for two in his pocket. Mitchell says, “The pride I carry in my heart is knowing my sons are growing up to be such fine young men and my daughter a fine young woman. The one thing we have always taught our kids, and it has carried them through their lives, is to ‘start at the heart.’”

• Tyrone Curry, an African-American janitor and track and field coach at Evergreen High School in Washington state, has wanted a new track for a long time: “Ten years ago, I said if I win some money, I’m going to put a track here.” He did win some money in the state lottery: almost $3.4 million. He gave his school district $40,000 — which is matched with a $75,000 youth sports grant — for a brand-new track. Mr. Curry appreciates the students: “Kids do things for you. They keep you young.” The students also appreciate him. Devante Botello, a senior, says, “Tyrone goes above and beyond in the sports he coaches. It’s a deep feeling. All I can say is thanks.”

• In Hunt, Texas, a standard poodle named Leo rescued Lana Callahan’s two children, 11-year-old Sean and nine-year-old Erin, from a rattlesnake they came across while playing. Leo leapt between the two children and the 5½-foot diamondback rattlesnake that bit Leo six times in the head. Leo survived, and he was named the Ken-L Ration Dog Hero of the Year for 1984.

Heroes

• Fifth-grader Evan Siegel is a crossing guard and a hero. In Vancouver, Washington, he saved the life of a little girl by pulling her out of the path of a car moving quickly toward her. The driver was texting and not watching the street. Evan says, “I was like, you know, I can’t let her get hit, so I had to pull her in. It really didn’t matter to me at that point. I just wanted to keep her safe.” Carol Stein, patrol adviser at Salmon Creek Elementary School, gives the crossing guards a week of training in how to do their jobs. She saw the near-accident: “When I saw it, I was in a position that I couldn’t reach it in time, and thank goodness he was, and he acted exactly like I would have hoped.” She points out, “It’s a horrible crosswalk. Everyone agrees it’s not a good situation, but this is how they designed it, and so we have to deal with it.” She adds about Evan, “He’s very responsible. He is one of the more mature fifth-graders that we’ve got.” Because he is so responsible and mature, Ms. Stein handpicked him to work at that crosswalk. Evan takes his job seriously. He says, “A lot of kids think it’s just fun and games, but it’s really not when it comes to safety for these little kids and stuff.” In April 2011, Evan and six other crossing-guard heroes were awarded Lifesaving Medals given by the AAA’s nationwide School Safety Patrol program. AAA spokeswoman Jennifer Huebner-Davidson says, “Every year we have more than 600,000 patrollers nationwide in 31,000 schools who are volunteering their time before and after school to get kids to school safely.” She adds, “Occasionally, we will have a case where a patroller has saved the life of another student [or other person] while on duty.” In 1949, the AAA began awarding the Lifesaving Medal to each of these crossing-guard heroes. Evan says about his life-saving heroism, “It kind of let me feel like I was a hero, kind of, a little bit. Like Superman saving someone from the streets.”

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Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

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