And a Happy Friday to all of you out in Internet-land. Lots of holiday cheer being spread around these days, particularly by the 8th-grade student in a class I was subbing in last Tuesday, who helpfully asked me, “What happened to the middle of your head?”
Ah, the innocence of youth, who feel all of us are entitled to a lifetime of a full head of hair.
When I explained to her that men lose their hair sometimes when they get older, she shot back “Not my Dad!”
Great, good for him.
On with the show… lots of good stories this week to choose from on Good News Friday. Let’s start with one of those “Secret Santa” stories that always pop up in mid-December.
One I really like comes from Pennsylvania, where an anonymous person showed up at H.W. Good Elementary School in Herminie (near Pittsburgh) to settle all outstanding accounts of students who’d owed money for school lunch.
Many of the students at the school come from low-income families, and the only meals they get each day are at school.
But last week a stranger showed up at the school with a check, asked what the balances were for students whose funds were lacking, and then paid for a child with a large balance’s lunch for the rest of the month, Principal Amy Larcinese said.
The school has no idea who the stranger was, he simply said that he once went to the school.
“He just wanted to give back to the district,” Larcinese said. “It’s an amazing feeling someone would want to help as many students as they have.”
Larcinese said that her school has about 300 students from kindergarten through fourth grade and that the “Secret Santa” helped 44 of those children.
So much good in the world.
**Next up today, a great story about some Best Buy employees who made a kid’s dream come true.
At a Best Buy store in Valley Stream, N.Y., on Long Island, store employees noticed that a teenager was coming in every day just to play with the Wii U video game console in the story.
Obviously the boy wanted it but didn’t have enough money to buy it for himself. So as an early Christmas present, store employees all chipped in the $300 required and bought it for the kid.
The video of them presenting it to him has been seen more than 2 million times; he looks shocked and kind of confused at this act of generosity.
“I just saw a bit of myself in him,” store manager Rahiem Storr said, “Because when I was a kid, I used to also come to a lot of the stores. My mom, she really couldn’t afford some of the stuff herself. If we’re able to give him something, why not?”
So very cool.
**Finally today, a great story about a librarian in the Bronx who desperately wants to help underprivileged children love books.
A man named Colbert Nembhard works at the Morrisania Branch Library, where he’s been the manager for the past 25 years.
Once a week, as part of a New York City literacy program, Nembhard walks to a homeless shelter near the library and reads to the children who are tragically stuck living there.
“It’s a pleasure to come in here,” Mr. Nembhard began on that Wednesday, never removing his jacket during a presentation that was just short of a Mr. Rogers routine. He began to sing, “Good morning to you,” and followed with “Wheels on the Bus.” The children joined in with a chorus of “round and round, round and round.” Toddlers, fidgeting in their chairs or in their mothers’ arms, suddenly became fixated.
They could not wait to flip open “Dear Zoo,” by Rod Campbell, a liftaflap book, to discover an elephant, a giraffe, a lion and other animals.
“You build relationships with the children so when you see them they feel comfortable,” Nembhard said.
He’s a wonderful man trying to give the gift education to children whose childhoods have been anything but joyful. I hope he gets to do this forever.