Happy New Year!
May 2017 be a bountiful, wonderful, prosperous year for you.
This seems like an opportune time to address two questions I get asked all the time.
Where are the new stories?
I occasionally get complaints about the age of some of the stories we run.
It’s no secret that HeroicStories is today primarily driven by our archive of over 850 stories originally published between 1999 and 2012. That means they’re mostly between 5 and almost 18 years old.
First, the stories are timeless. Whether they happened yesterday or a decade ago the message remains, and remains clear. To quote the mission “… people are good, […] individuals and individual action matter, […] regularly showing examples of people being good to each other will inspire similar actions in others.” That mission is also 18 years old, and has stood the test of time well.
Second, the stories are, of course, new to new subscribers. In fact I’ve also heard from some long-time subscribers that, having forgotten the original, appreciated reading it again. As you know, like any internet publication, we rely on getting new subscribers regularly, so you can help by spreading the word.
Finally, HeroicStories relies on submissions for its new stories. This last month saw two new stories published, both submitted by HeroicStories readers. If you have a story to tell, you can help by reviewing the story submission guidelines and – if appropriate – submitting your own, new, original story.
What happened after?
Particularly when a story is several years old, we’re all often left wondering how things turned out, and just generally how the protagonist is doing today.
I often have the same question.
Unfortunately, while we were lucky to have a complete record of all 850 stories, one thing we don’t have is the original submission, or contact information for the original authors. What that means is I have no way to proactively reach out and make contact to find out how things are going now.
We’ve been very fortunate in that the authors of a few of the stories we’ve re-run in the past couple of years remain HeroicStories subscribers, and they’ve often updated us with a comment on their original story. That’s deeply appreciated when it happens, but it’s unfortunately rare.
I know some readers have attempted to research a bit of “where are they now?”, but this has also had spotty success, as well as the potential for error.
All I can really say is that if you are, or know, the author of a story republished here on HeroicStories, we’d all love to hear an update.
What happens next?
As I’ve said in the past couple of publisher’s notes, we need HeroicStories now more than ever it seems. Old and new, updated or not, we’ll keep on publishing.
And as always, you can help, by spreading the word, updating us if you can with a comment on the story, and submitting your own story if you have one.
You don’t have to be an adult to do the right thing. A six year old child is a hero through her birthday party.
Mary says: “What an awesome 6 year old Lisa was! I can only imagine what a remarkable young lady she has grown up to be. Thank you so much for sharing.”
Sherry says: “Ah, to have the faith of a child. What a delightful child, bet there was no doubt in her mind that people would respond and they would be able to provide food for the hungry. Stories like this renew our faith and thank you so much for printing them.”
Marian Pierre-Louis says: “Since this was originally a story from 2000 and it’s now 2017 I would love to know what Lisa is doing now. An update would be inspirational.”
bandit, Albuquerque says: “A child with her heart in the right place. […] I was just reading a request that many food pantries prefer cash, because they can buy canned food at 1/6th the price the public can, so the same amount of money can go much further. also, they often have a problem storing the canned food, sorting into appropriate piles. I suggest first contacting your intended food pantry and find out what they really need. http://www.npr.org/2011/11/22/142661882/a-case-for-cash-donations-instead-of-cans http://www.mnn.com/money/sustainable-business-practices/blogs/cash-is-better-than-cans-at-food-banks”
A man in South Korea takes in a weary traveler, even though he has nothing to gain.
Michael Shatto says: “Everywhere you go, or don’t go, People are good and Good People Do Good.”
After Katrina people reach out and feed each other.
Bunny says: “Love the good folks of New Orleans!”
With a troupe of carolers Santa follows a hunch and saves a woman’s life.
Sidney Lichter says: “If you are still in the “business”–or anyone else doing this good deed–, I’d like to make a couple of suggestions. If there are any rehab facilities in your area, contact them about performing for their patients. The same goes for military or veterans hospitals. I speak from experience: in 2010 I was a patient at a rehab facility–after a very serious accident. I’m also a military retiree who has spent time, at this holiday season, in a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital. Even though I’m not a Christian, the joy you bring is very much appreciated.”
Cappy Cross says: “Reading this one left me bawling, but at least they were tears of joy! We never know when sometimes the very simplest of acts may save a life, or help pull someone out of the depths of sorrow or depression. Blessings to all!”
A rough-n-tumble husband shows his softer side in caring for others during the Holidays.
Cathy Gill says: “He may be rough around the edges, but he is quite the man. His going to nursing school was the best thing that ever happened to him because it let him be the man he wanted to be and to be there for you and your daughter as well as his coworkers. How fantastic that he took the Christmas meal to his coworkers with his daughter. That is one special guy and you hang on to him because he is the one for you. His heart is in the right place as in the way he shows his love to you and your daughter and his coworkers as well. Blessings to your and your family. Have a Merry Christmas!”
Craig Chatterton says: “I had a similar friend like Robert. “Rough around the edges” is an apt description. A former Marine, my friend was often politically incorrect and very blunt but if you got to know him he was a loyal friend. People often said the same thing about him that Diane heard about Robert but one thing everyone always agreed upon; the two people my friend loved most in this world were his wife and his daughter. I’ll bet Robert is the same way.”
Celeste says: “How wonderful that with your love and support, your husband was finally able to do what he wanted to do! A total win-win-win, as I’m sure you all are happier with out the ever impending threats of lay offs, he is doing what he wants and I’m sure it shows, and the patients & co-workers are also beneficiaries! At 16, with out a support system or role model he did as he was told, now he can get the chance to be the father he wished he had.”
Mom’s pink ornaments keep creating memories even after she passes away.
Byron Thorson (story author) says: “I still get very depressed around this time of year, but seeing this again lifted my spirits considerably. Thank you, Heroic Stories, for the rerun,”
Heather says: “I got a little…ok A LOT…choked up when I read this. My mom passed 4 years ago, and she used to keep the tree up all year because she believed every day was Christmas. She also was a very generous soul who would’ve loved what your father did. Thank you for sharing this.”
Carolyn McClintock says: “This brought back so many memories. My mother had a silver tree too. After years of my dad and brother going out and bringing back some scraggily spruce tree, from the woods, she finally had enough. We were stunned. It took some getting used to but it was beautiful.”
After a lifetime of terrible Christmases a friend shows what the season really can mean.
Tacie says: “There are two types of family in this world. The family you are born into which you can do nothing about. And there is the family you collect as you walk this world. In my opinion the second one says a lot more about your character then the first. It sounds like Terry is a very good person.”
Darla C says: “This story brought me to tears. It is just like me growing up. I have long ago not had contact with my mother as she has decided I am not worth the words. I am so glad to see this young person become entwined in a friend/family to build a memorial Christmas to last a lifetime. Family does not always mean related.”
Allen Rabert says: ” Terry, Thank you for the reminder that many souls around the world are alone at Christmas. In my childhood family we always welcomed the stranger, the outcast, or the person that needed a home on this special day. One should never be alone, but if you find yourself alone reach out to another in need. Too many times we forget that Christmas is not about materialism, but about the redemption of humanity through “Grace”. This year I am faced with much tragedy, financial instability, uncertainty, and a family that is hundreds of miles away, but I will be content knowing that I am loved and thought of by many. I plan on reaching out to a friend in greater need than I. Also, I will watch “It’s A Wonderful Life” and the Twilight Zone episode “The Night Of The Meek”where Art Carney plays a beaten down department store Santa Claus who rediscovers the Christmas spirit. That is all I need for Christmas. May all reading this have a most blessed Christmas!”
Terry (story author) says: “I sincerely thank everyone for their wonderful comments and wish each and everyone a very Merry Christmas”
Once again, all the best for a wonderful 2017 from myself and all of us working behind the scenes at HeroicStories.
Leo A. Notenboom
Co-Conspirator to Make the World a Better Place