Daily Archives: December 6, 2013

Good News Friday: The pastor who turned former gang members into bakers. More proof that “People are Awesome.” And a beautiful tribute to a special waitress

Rest in peace, Nelson Mandela, one of the finest humans to ever walk the Earth…

It’s been a rough week on a few fronts here at Wide World of Stuff headquarters, so maybe like me you really need this dose of Good News Friday.

First up, a man named Father Greg Boyle, a Jesuit priest in Los Angeles, has been doing amazing work for the past quarter-century. He started a company called Homeboy Industries, and it’s a bakery/restaurant that employs former gang members. It’s grown to become one of the biggest and most successful gang intervention programs in America.

Boyle does so much more than employ them; he’s like a one-man social services platoon, and he’s changing lives one at a time.

Look at the gratitude on the faces of the people in the short video above. Just wonderful.

**I think I linked to one of these compilations before; they truly are fabulous. Proof that People are Awesome, a compilation video of cool people doing cool stuff:

Remembering Margaret McWhorter

**Finally, one of the reasons I love the astonishingly gifted Steve Lopez of the L.A. Times is because he can write about anything he wants living in such a large city. But he chooses to write about the small stories as often as the big ones. Like this one.

Great waitresses at our favorite restaurants are such a staple in our lives; they know our moods, they know our families, and if you live in a place long enough, you see their life change right before your eyes.

A great waitress makes your day better, and earns so much more than you can ever adequately tip him or her.

Margaret McWhorter worked for more than 40 years as a waitress at Shakers Restaurant in South Pasadena, Calif. She passed away recently, but left quite a legacy.

My favorite quote from the story Steve Lopez beautifully wrote? “It wasn’t, ‘Let’s go have lunch at Shakers,’” said one longtime customer. “It was, ‘Let’s go have lunch with Margaret.'”

I also loved this one, from a co-worker: “Her station was always full. They’d come in here looking for her because she touched so many hearts and blessed so many people,” Naredo said. “Some lonely people would come in here and she’d comfort them. Sometimes homeless people would come in and she’d order them a hamburger and tell the chef she’d pay for it.”

I wish I’d gotten to sit at her table just once.