Happy Friday, all! It’s the mid-January doldrums that I always feel this time of year, when we’ve already had lots of winter, we’ve got lots more winter ahead, and I’m just ready for some warm temperatures, damnit.
But no one wants to hear me complain, life is still great, and sure, we’ve got an impeachment trial going on in the Senate right now that is only being taken seriously by one of the two parties, but hey, there’s lots of good news out there to celebrate.
So let’s get busy talking about goodness, shall we?
OK, first up, I absolutely loved this piece from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Ben Fredrickson, an e-migo of mine (“e-migo” is the wonderful term coined by Joe Posnanski for someone you’ve never met in real life but you talk to online and in emails) on Pierre Desir.
Desir is an NFL defensive back for the Indianapolis Colts, but once upon a time he came to America with his Haitian refugee parents, and settled in St. Louis.
He remembers fondly getting his first pair of new shoes, and how that made him feel. So in addition to many other charitable acts he’s done in the St. Louis area, Desir came back to St. Louis last week to introduce Samaritan’s Feet, a program he’s become an ambassador for after discovering it with the Colts.
The nonprofit started by Nigerian immigrant Manny Ohonme has, since its founding in 2003, given away more than 7 million pairs of shoes in 108 countries. Add 576 Northview Elementary School students to the list, thanks to funding from Desir.
But here’s the super-cool part: Desir showed up at the school and washed the feet of many of the kids who were getting new shoes.
“Our district is considered 100 percent free and reduced lunch,” said Patricia Guyton, the school’s principal. “To give them shoes? My goodness. We have some students come to school with shoes that are too big or too small. This will be something they always remember.”
A wonderful gesture, and a great display of humanity. None of us are too good to wash another person’s feet.
**Next up today, I thought this was a fabulous little story.
A British photographer named Nicole Louise Perkins wanted to help raise awareness of kids with Down’s Syndrome, with a photography campaign called “Down with Disney.”
She took pictures of children with Down’s dressed up as their favorite Disney characters, and it’s just adorable.
I chose this kid (above) because of the wonderful expression on his face, but really, all of these pics are beautiful.
“Everyone is beautiful no matter whom they were born as,” is Perkins’ slogan, and I can’t disagree with that at all.
**Finally today, a most unusual Holocaust love story, that took 72 years to reach its conclusion.
At Auschwitz in 1943, a prisoner named David Wisnia met a fellow inmate named Helen Spitzer, nicknamed Zippi, and liked her immediately.
They began seeing each other secretly, became lovers, and well, I really don’t want to spoil the story about their romance, the dangers, and what she did for him.
Just read this incredible story from Keren Blankfield of the New York Times; it had been sitting open on my computer for weeks before I finally got around to reading it, and I’m so glad I did.
Love may not conquer all, but damn it’s pretty freaking powerful.