Saturday, June 30, 2018

A Carrying Friendship #WATWB

We Are The World Blogfest (#WATWB) focuses on the human interest media stories that shine light in the darkness of the internet in an effort to spread love, peace, and compassion. This is the 15th installment, hosted this month by Shilpa Garg, Simon Falk, Mary J. Giese, Dan Antion, and Damyanti Biswas. Check out their websites for more inspiring stories, or peruse the websites of other participants in #WATWB found here (scroll down the page to the list).

During a quick visit to Facebook a couple weeks ago, I stumbled onto a story in my newsfeed that made my jaw drop. It is an extraordinary story of friendship that also includes fun and adventure for all involved.

(Photo from We Carry Kevan Facebook page)
Kevan Chandler has Spinal Muscular Dystrophy which means that he is confined to a wheelchair. He had a dream to travel to Europe with his friends. This dream included doing non-wheelchair-accessible things. He and his friends devised a backpack for them to use to carry Kevan on their backs so he could go wherever they went. Four friends took turns carrying him while two other friends filmed the trip. To watch a video of their trip, click here.

Kevan and his friends (Photo courtesy Kevan Chandler)

What amazing friends! Their trip to Europe was a huge success, and now they've planned a trip to China together with Kevan. Part of the success of their European trip could be attributed to Kevan Chandler's openness to doing the impossible, but what truly amazed me was his friends and their willingness to do what they could to make the trip possible.

I love this story and wanted to share it with the world. It's definitely a story I will not forget.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Living the Golden Rule: Kindness and Caring in One Town #WATWB

We are the World Blogfest began over a year ago to spread light, love, and peace on the internet that was (and still is) dominated by darkness and all sorts of aggression. A group of bloggers got together to start this blogfest in an effort to counter that darkness and shine a light of love on humanity's goodness. We often forget the good stuff when inundated with screaming headlines.

The village of North Riverside, Illinois, doesn't forget the good stuff. In fact, they have made it a village goal to live the Golden Rule everyday with each other. I saw this story on The Good News Network and was amazed:
"Neighbors, strangers and village staff are more than fun and nice: They are genuinely caring, compassionate and concerned about those around them, 24/7. From sharing garden vegetables; shoveling snow; mowing lawns; driving to doctor appointments; donating unused items; paying utility bills; kids writing cards to the elderly; giving struggling, depressed residents a reason to smile; and hosting youth scholarships where no one is turned away – no place in the country comes close."
North Riverside Neighborhood Services Committee (Photo credit: Tina Valentino)

 Reader's Digest runs a contest for the "Top 10 Nicest Places in America" and North Riverside was nominated.

This village's Neighborhood Services Committee works to organize help for residents who need it, and residents also act on their own to help their neighbors. The village even has a manual for how to help each other. To read more about North Riverside, check out the story on the Reader's Digest site. I especially love the stories about how the kids in the village get involved. It's never too early to teach kids about kindness, compassion, and treating others as we want to be treated ourselves.

May all communities, no matter how small or how large, take heart and learn by this shining example.

For more #WATWB stories, please visit this month's co-hosts' websites for their contributions. Those co-hosts are: Shilpa Garg, Inderpreet Kaur Uppal, Peter Nena, Andrea Michaels, and Damyanti Biswas.You can also find more #WATWB stories here. Scroll down the page for the list of participating blogs.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Ever Experienced Screaming Kids on a Flight? #WATWB

It's the thirteenth installment of the We are the World Blogfest (#WATWB) this weekend! This blogfest was founded by an international group of bloggers to bring peace and positive stories of humanity to social media -- to shine light into the internet darkness.

The cohosts for the APRIL 2018 WATWB are: Shilpa Garg, Dan Antion, Simon Falk, Michelle Wallace , Mary Giese. Go visit them please and thank them for their hard work behind the scenes. If you want to know more about this blogfest and find a list of participating blogs, check here.

I ride public transportation all the time because I don't own a car. Occasionally, an unruly child or baby will be on the bus with a parent who is desperately trying to calm the child or distract him or her. So I was particularly taken with the story of Jessica Rudeen's first time flying with her toddler and baby. What parent hasn't had a bad day with a child? What parent wouldn't love to meet a guy like Todd in this story who happened to be in the seat next to Jessica and her kids?

After Jessica boarded the plane, her hungry 4-month-old son began to scream. Her toddler began a tantrum to get off the plane. Todd offered to hold the baby while Jessica settled her toddler daughter, and then distracted her daughter giving Jessica time to feed her son. By the time the plane took off, the kids were quiet, thanks to Todd's kindness.

But the story doesn't end there. Todd turned into a true angel for Jessica.
Read what he did here. The photos below are a clue!

Photos by Jessica Rudeen

Saturday, March 31, 2018

A Simple Act of Kindness Leads to Big Surprise #WATWB

It's been a year -- a YEAR -- since We are the World Blogfest began and this is the twelfth installment of the blogfest! If you're seeing this for the first time, We are the World Blogfest began a year ago to spread light and positive energy through the internet darkness, and to share stories of human kindness, love, and peace. We are an international blogfest, and we have a Facebook page where we also post stories.

A few weeks ago, a story on a local TV station caught my eye, and I've been excited to share it here ever since. It's about a young woman's act of kindness, her decision to take the time to help a customer in an unusual way.

In La Marque, Texas, 18-year-old Evoni Williams works in a Waffle House and saves her tips to one day go to college. One Saturday morning, Adrien came into the Waffle House and sat in Evoni's section. The 78-year-old Adrien's hands were not limber enough to cut up the meat he'd ordered. What happened next was captured in a photo by a nearby customer. And guess where that photo ended up?

The photo and the story of Evoni's kindness went viral starting on Facebook. I love finding examples of kindness going viral! Read here how that ended up affecting Evoni's life in a surprising way. Kindness generating even more kindness....

Thank you to our fabulous blogfest hosts for this month: Belinda Witzenhausen, Sylvia McGrath, Sylvia Stein, Shilpa Garg, and Eric Lahti. Check out their blogs for more interesting, and positive, reading! You can also find more stories at the #WATWB Facebook page.  For more information about this blogfest, see here. Until next out for random acts of kindness in your life, or perpetrate some of your own.

Photo courtesy: Disney Inc.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

C. C. Yager's Thriller "Perceval's Secret" is FREE through April 7!

Are you looking for a thrilling read? Do you like to read suspenseful novels that take you into a different world of experience as well as a different country? If so, check out C. C. Yager’s thriller novel Perceval’s Secret. It’s available at AmazonB& and for FREE until April 7, 2018.

Synopsis: In June 2048, American Evan Quinn conducts the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in Vienna, Austria as Americans and Chinese conduct talks in that city about their economic relationship to prevent a global economic meltdown. Evan defects to be free of American oppression and brings a "Day of the Jackal" kind of secret with him that could demolish the talks and ignite a global war. Viennese Police Inspector Klaus Leiner, convinced Evan is an American spy, especially after CIA operative Bernie Brown takes an interest in him, organizes a surveillance operation to collect evidence for his arrest. Evan must stay ahead of the police and CIA while establishing his new life and music career. He believes he’s left America behind but has he? Whom can he trust? Finally, he realizes that his secrets could make him his own worst enemy or provide his best chance for survival.

Pricing update: As of March 25, the only Amazon site offering Perceval's Secret for free is Amazon US. 
Sampling of Reviews at Amazon:

“A dense psychological suspense thriller full of surprises.”

A chilling story of the world’s near future, with an emphasis not on the amazing technology, but on the personal relationships people have with technology, politics, and each other.”  

This book is a well-crafted spy mystery/cold war drama with interesting details about classical music, conducting, and levels within people. It also works in post traumatic stress from a non-military vantage point. The ending leaves this open for additional books and I hope to see a new one.”

Nothing Stops the Books Giveaway: Want to win a Kindle Oasis?

In addition, if you’re a member of (or want to become a member), there’s a big promotion going on from March 23-29 sponsored by LitRing. You can enter a drawing to win one of two Kindles Oasis by clicking on C. C. Yager’s name on the giveaway page here. Her BookBub author page will come up and just click to follow her there. Voila! You are now entered to win a Kindle Oasis!

After entering the drawing, hop over to Amazon or B& or and get your FREE copy of Perceval’s Secret to read!