New Year, New Projects, and more

I’ll be honest. I’ve been a little quiet of late because the state of the world has been getting to me just a little. That may seem odd from the publisher of something called “HeroicStories”, but it tells you what it’s taken to get me there.

I’m attempting to address this a couple of different ways, one of which I suspect you might appreciate.

Not All News Is Bad

Not All News Is Bad ( is a new site and email subscription.

Each day I go out and look for one story with a positive bent. Just one. One that’s more-or-less current, and from a reliably accurate source, to boot. And I share a link to it.

Stories of humanity making progress, people doing good. Stories to inspire and give hope. Curated from my own personal online wanderings (so expect a little tech and the occasional Corgi), it’s an exercise I do daily for myself, and now for you.

If that all sounds a little familiar, yes, it’s quite similar to HeroicStories – that’s why you’re hearing about it here first.

HeroicStories are your stories. Stories that you won’t find elsewhere. Stories based entirely on your submissions over the last 18(!) years. (And we’re always looking for more!)

Not All News Is Bad is a curation of current stories and news items from around the web, reminding us that beneath all the negative noise we might hear these days, there’s still a lot of good stuff happening in the world every day.

You can read more about Not All News Is Bad on its about page, and if you’re so inclined you can also sign up for an email subscription.



I’m occasionally asked how people can help support HeroicStories. The answer has always been that my intent was for it to be self-supporting by virtue of website advertising.

Well … I’ll just put it this way: ads on in the last 30 days made exactly $2.38. (“Why” is hard to pin down, but ranges from the increasing use of adblockers, to misleading ads eroding trust, to my not forcing you to the web site to read each emailed story.) That’s simply not worth it, so I’ve removed ads from the site as of today. If nothing else the site will load a little faster.

HeroicStories has always really been sponsored by my “day job”, Ask Leo!. 100% of the technology and staff support that make HeroicStories happen are provided and paid for by Ask Leo!. I’m quite okay with that. HeroicStories fills what I see as an important need, and I’m happy to make that happen.

However if you want to help I now have a way: become a patron of Ask Leo!. (The Ask Leo! Patreon FAQ also includes a couple of additional alternatives.) It’s in no way required, and I’m not even really asking as much as I am throwing the option out there for those that have expressed an interest. (One important point: I did have my attorney look into turning HeroicStories into a not-for-profit enterprise back when I took it on, but that fell through. As a result it remains part of my “for-profit” business ventures, whether it contributes any money to the bottom line or not.)

If you choose to help, I thank you.

On to highlights from the most recent stories….

An Unlikely Hero

Everyone thought he was the bad boy on the block, but he saved the day when a neighborhood house caught on fire.

Cheryl says: I, too, hope that the positive response to helping others changed the way Joey normally interacted with others. Thanks for sharing this story.

Cathy Gill says: What an amazing act of heroism on his part! Considering all of the trouble he caused growing up, there was still some good in his heart. You were so blessed that he was there for you guys and that you were able to get out in time. May Joey turned a corner that night and made something of his life for his courageous act. Blessings come in many forms and we never know which one is going to be an angel in disguise.

This Better Be Good

After being stung by a bee a man wakes up with his face swollen and his breathing labored. He calls a friend…

Jane Peranteau says: “This better be good!” And it is. I think this story is now one of my favorites.

With Her Help

A huge smile from a young girl changes a son’s attitude when facing his father’s last day.

Jane Peranteau says: Great story. I hope he knows that his story serves the same purpose for some of us as the little girl did for him. Thanks!

Bunny says: Oh sheesh – I’m a mess – at the office, no less! Someone’s cutting onions around here – I swear.

I Want to Be Alive

A young woman brings inspiration through her hard work to better herself.

Tacie says: I would love to know how Megan is doing today. With her background she would make a very good role model for kids who need direction.

Leo replies: I agree. As always I don’t have the author’s original contact information, and remain at fate’s mercy to lead the author back here to give us an update.

Janice Lane says: I had a similar background to Megan and wish I knew how things turned out for her. From what we are told in the story I feel she is probably doing great because she seemed to be so strong and had such courage. I really hope to see a follow up story someday as others can see what people are capable of and just so I can be sure she is ok.

Rob says: One of the more powerful stories that I’ve read on Heroic Stories in the last 17 years or so. Kudos to the cop that intervened in her life, and mostly to her for being so incredibly strong to persist against all odds and make it out the other side intact. Very inspiring!…and I, like others, would love to know how she is doing now, though I have no doubt that she is successful and happy.

The Tree

An elderly women takes a broomstick and beats an unyielding fruit tree – to everyone’s surprise!

Gf60 says: Thank you for relating this lovely memory. It will be passed on

Neil Murray says: I’m sure Grandma Mary was all of what you say but she also had a granddaughter who related the account of the event in such a lovely way .Well done Amberly

Upgraded Expectations

A wallet, lost at an airport, is returned by a stranger… with credit cards and cash intact!

JVF says: I get behind on my email a lot these days so I was playing catch up today and just read this story. Thank you so very much Leo for posting these. This ray of bright sunshine was really needed. In today’s times, it is very easy to get discouraged about the state of the world. The political climate is such a mess and seems to be infecting everything some days. This story really lifted my spirits today. Thank You!

Kaye says: We need to do everything we can to make these good things happen, when we have the chance, so that they may still be hard to believe, but not unheard of.

The Rock

A little boy gives a cashier a small gift that continues to bring smiles when things get stressful.

Kellie says: This is one of the sweetest things I have ever read!

Cheryl says: I would say that rock was very special and meant for you, not to be returned. A gift greater than the giver could know – as the best gifts are.

Kindness in Chaos

A woman trapped at the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting finds more kindness than chaos in the people affected.

Jo Allen says: The kindness and generosity of people never fails to make me smile. Just when the only thing that seems to be an option is giving up, people show their goodness and generosity and make life worth living again.

Just Plane Helpful

A young sailer rushes to a plane just in time to miss it. What happens next will surprise you.

JOYCE JOHNSON says: After reading this story, it left a lump in my throat. How wonderful. I don’t think it would ever happen now. Thanks for sharing this story.

Kaye says: This one had me crying halfway through! We still make exceptions and special treatment like this occasionally, but it is rare, indeed.

In My Time of Need

Without health insurance a woman neglects going to the doctor, until friends and family step in to help.

Diane says: I have always tried to be the person who does what’s possible. And partly because of that, I hate to ask for help when I am in need. That lovely neighbor and those loving parents did not wait to be asked. And would not take no for an answer. Bless those souls, and that of the doctor who apparently takes what it means to heal people seriously. We all need so many more of these people in the world. So wonderful to know that you are doing better.

Kevin says: wouldn’t it be nice if one of the boys (now in their thirties) noticed this Heroic Story and wrote in/replied to tell the readers how their grandparents’, neighbor’s and mother’s examples have influenced their own lives! “Paying it forward” is indeed a “sacred honor.”

Matty’s Gifts

Little Matty didn’t live long, but enriched every life he touched.

Jane Peranteau says: What a story. I’m so glad to have read it. My niece was born with Down’s Syndrome and radiated the same “celestial” energy–she lifted my spirits when I couldn’t. Your perspective is inspirational. Thank you.

The Bear

It’s a lucky person who knows “The Bear!” He knows how to be there in a time of need.

Ian Chai (the author) says: I had forgotten that I had written this so many years ago.

Celeste says: I have been a subscriber since the beginning, and I do not recall this Heroic Story so I for one am grateful for the chance to read it (again), thank you. The tsunami was horrific and devastating & amidst The Bear’s own issues he was able to be savior to so many people. Wrong place, & right time, right place & wrong time or any variation, he was where he needed to be when he was needed to help so many that needed his help. Way to go Andrew, AKA, The Bear!

Do you have a Heroic Story to share? Check out our story submission guidelines.

In the mean time, continue share HeroicStories with your friends, (and perhaps even a few enemies couldn’t hurt 🙂 ). Visit HeroicStories on Facebook, “Like” and “Share” there as well!

Until next time,


Leo A. Notenboom
Co-Conspirator to Make the World a Better Place