Summer transitions into Fall; I hope this is an enjoyable time of year for you. I always face it with mixed feelings – the days are getting shorter, the air is getting cooler, and the grass seems to be wetter (something that matters when you have short dogs such as Corgis, like I do). Living in the Seattle area the warmer days of summer are something I relish, but the colder, rainier days also bring a kind of comfort and familiarity.
As will travelling, it turns out! Next week I’ll be travelling to The Netherlands to visit some relatives. (My parents are originally from there.) I’m considering having a meet-up, so if that’s where you are, and it’s at all of interest please drop me a line. Just reply to this email, or send your message to leo<at>heroicstories.org. It’ll be a last-minute kind of thing, if it happens, and I’m not sure just where, yet. I am staying in central Holland (near Soest, to be more specific).
And, yes, I’ve scoped out a Starbucks or two that might serve as a good meeting spot. 🙂
Reminder: HeroicStories is on Facebook. Visit facebook.com/HeroicStoriesOrg. While I encourage people to leave their comments with each story on the HeroicStories web site for all to see, you’ll find that comments and even occasional discussions happen on the Facebook page as well.
Either way, I always love to hear what you think of our stories.
On to this month’s items…
After a very deep trauma a woman begins her healing when a young man shovels out her car.
Lindsay says: I am so sorry that you were so affected by the bad situation you were in that you feel that you cannot live a normal life anymore, but I am so very pleased that you were reborn and that the simple act of kindness by this young man helped with your rebirth and the realisation that there are far more nice helpful people out there than nasty victimising ones. I wish you joy in your future and hope that you find many more good people to dispel the memories of those who were not.
Walking the Talk
Her second callout was on 9/11.
Paul Aram says: I am a Red Cross volunteer. This story is very typical of what we do.
Richard W. Jenkin adds: Brought real tears to my eyes — even though I think of myself as a Christian, I don’t think I could go as far as this Red Cross hero. Thanks for sharing this with us!
The Spirit of Service
When disaster strikes thousands of heroes arrive ready to lend a hand.
John Burns says: Another 9/11 story that many people are not aware of is ‘Boatlift’. On 9/11 about 500,000 people were evacuated in less than 9 hours from Lower Manhattan, many on private boats, everybody helped. There is an excellent short documentary narrated by Tom Hanks, you can google ‘Boatlift’, everyone should see it. I have nothing to gain from talking about this, I am just so very proud of this example of Americans being Americans, that day. I think sometimes we forget who we are, this film is a reminder. By the way, the 2nd largest evacuation in history was in 1940, Dunkirk, 338,000 people, and that took 9 days!
How the Children Helped
Somehow the children knew just what to do. Heroes come in all ages.
Tacie says: Such a wonderful heart warming amazing story. Children are amazing little people. I’m sitting at work a crying mess. Thank you for sharing!
Rene Castle adds: This straight-up made me cry, both for the sadness that day engendered and for all the helpers and healers who made it just a little bit easier to carry on.
Bunny says: Oh man – right in the feels. I’m a mess, too! Such a lovely story. I remember when it was first published, all those years ago. I wonder what life has been like since, for that young day-care worker.
Enrolling the Guides
A community comes together and helps a young man graduate from High School.
Michele says: I love this story on many levels, not the least of which is the village that adopted and encouraged Ray. I do volunteer acting in community theaters and have seen the sense of family that thrives there. Theater is a great learning ground for teamwork and goal achievement. You work hard for weeks and, finally!, the miracle happens and you have a product to show off! I am so pleased that the magic of Community Theater reaches out to the lost, the lonely, the disenfranchised, the “failing.” Cindy and her team of surrogate families have earned gold stars, but I’m sure the pride they have in Ray’s successes are all they need. And may Ray continue to dream and achieve, drawing on the lessons learned from his theater families.
Dan updates us: It’s probably my job to update this since I wrote it originally. We’re now separated by several thousand miles but stay in touch through the wonders of social media rather than rehearsals. Our boy has done fine these past 13 years. He did not finish college but he did join the Army reserves and thrived (so much for me thinking he would continue to have trouble with authority figures). He’s worked steadily since graduating, is happily married, and remains someone we’re proud of and happy to have in the extended family. One of the unexpected dividends from having given Ray the boost back then is that he ended up being an example to two of his younger siblings that change and success were possible, prompting them to change the directions of their own lives. For all of the reasons we liked and cared about him then, we feel the same way today.
As for the rest of us… life has gone on. Cindy has retired but is still in the area. To this day I remain grateful that she *saw* what was happening and she *acted* to make a difference. It’s a regular reminder to me that while I may only be one man, that’s all anyone is. And sometimes that’s enough.
Heather L. Palmer replies: Thank you for sharing the latest. It’s great to know that Ray is doing well, and that there was a ripple effect through to his siblings. I’m sure that many people have benefited from working with him then and now. With your sharing of this wonderful story, you have created more ripples for others. I appreciate this!
The Treasure of Contentment
A poignant childhood memory where a privileged boy learns the power of being content with small things.
John P. – Miami, OK says: When I was growing up, we traveled all over the country, rarely staying in one place for very long. My step-dad raced greyhound dogs and it seemed like it was either feast or famine. If the dogs were running good, we had plenty, but if they were off, we had very little. At a very young age, I learned to appreciate what we had and to be happy with it. We learned to be satisfied with what we had and to work for anything else that we wanted. If you want something, the best solution is to work for it and earn it, otherwise you will probably not appreciate it as you should.
Bratfink says: It wasn’t until I got ‘old’ that I realized my family was ‘poor’. We had good food–Mom was a great cook–and we always seemed to have what we needed. Family and love were the real treasures.
James Stovall adds: So true – our family lived through the “Great Depression” – we always had a roof over our heads and food on the table due to Mom & Dad working hard and managing well. – poor and just didn”t know it! God is GOOD and will always be there.
Remember to share HeroicStories with your friends – it’s only by word of mouth (or “word of mouse” as has been said) that we grow.
Leo A. Notenboom
Co-Conspirator to Make the World a Better Place