Tag Archives: Steve Hartman

Good News Friday (and boy do we ever need it!): A stranger pays people’s rent, just because. A basketball fan gets an amazing Make-A-Wish moment at a Duke-Carolina game And a grieving widower meets a new best friend: A 4-year-old girl

Put in 2019 One Shining Moment here.

It has been a dizzying, head-spinning, “oh my God what just happened now while I was processing what happened five minutes ago?” kind of day. The last two days, really, have been just surreal, as sports institutions we take for granted (The NBA, the NHL, the NCAA) have completely been paralyzed by Coronavirus, and shut down their seasons and cancelled March Madness, my absolute favorite sports thing each year.

And while the shock of that crushed the sports fan in me, the human being in me was sent spiraling by so many other things: our government’s complete lack of preparedness for this, how quickly this disease is spreading, the still-unbelievable cavalier attitude so many are having toward it (including our dip-shit President).

But this is Good News Friday, and we’re not going to dwell on this. If my blog has been nothing else over the past 11 years, it’s been about positivity (except when I’m talking about the Jets, of course)

So let’s get started today with an awesome gentleman named Juan Gonzalez, the host of something called “That was Epic”, a YouTube show.

Juan decided to start randomly knocking on strangers’ doors and telling them he would pay their next month’s rent.

Their reactions are, of course, priceless. The second and third stories here are my favorite, but they’re all amazing.

Just a wonderful idea/gesture by Juan, and getting to hear the stories of who he’s impacting, and how he’s come into their life at the exact right time, is so great.

**Next up today, I’m a sucker for just about any and all Make-A-Wish Foundation stories, and when it involves a kid who’s been a lifelong Duke basketball fan, well, that’s a slam dunk for tugging at my heartstrings.

Antonio Sellers is a North Carolina teenager who has grown up a huge Duke basketball fan. Antonio is battling a brain tumor, and his dream was to see a Duke-UNC game at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Well, last Saturday he did, and it was amazing. He got to meet the team before the game, and tour the shrine that is Cameron. And after the game, well, just watch how he was treated, with the Blue Devil players surrounding him on the court, and the crowd chanting his name.

Chills. Absolute chills. Antonio, tragically, doesn’t look likely to live a long life, but man, what an absolutely amazing day he had.

**And finally today, a wonderful look back to one of the best Steve Hartman CBS News stories ever.

Dan Peterson died last week, and it’s OK if you don’t know who that was. Just watch this piece, about how a 4-year-old girl named Norah brought him back to life, after the death of his beloved wife.

A simple greeting in a supermarket, of “Hi old person!” led to an amazing friendship.

So, so great.

Good News Friday: Ruby of “Ruby’s Wishes” inspires others to help, awesomely. Philando Castile’s family eliminates even more lunch debt in his honor. And Kris Bryant/adidas make a girl’s day.

And a Happy Friday to all of you out there, and especially to all you amazing mommas celebrating Mother’s Day on Sunday. Hey, without them, none of us would be here, and I happen to know a whole bunch of amazing Moms, not the least of whom is my own, and my beautiful and amazing wife, mother of my two boys. I hope moms everywhere have a great, relaxing and peaceful day Sunday.

One thing I don’t usually do on Good News Friday posts is follow-ups to previous Good News Friday posts, but this week I happened to come across two “updates” to two of my favorite GNF posts of the past, so I definitely wanted to share them.

First of all, do you remember the amazing story of Ruby Chitsey, an 11-year-old girl whose mom works in nursing homes in Arkansas? Ruby loved to go to work with her Mom, and one day she started asking the elderly residents what they’d want if they could have “three wishes.”

Then, Ruby started granting those wishes, and brought so much joy to the older folks by giving them some simple pleasures in life they were craving.

Well, needless to say, Ruby has inspired many people through that story, and this week Steve Hartman of CBS News, who brought us the original piece, provided this great update.

A woman named Rachel Harder teaches 4th grade in Hutchinson, Kan. And after showing her students Ruby’s story a few months ago, the kids were inspired. According to Rachel’s Tweet, they “decided to use their field trip money to buy supplies for our local children’s emergency shelter. Today I took some kids to Walmart to get the donations for kids in our community. They learned a lot about how to shop on a budget (and how expensive living is)!

Harder further explained that instead of a field trip “they made posters, had a fundraiser at school, and then used the money to buy whatever else the shelter needed! Everything was delivered today!”

So, so great. One ripple of kindness leads to another, then another.

**Next up, another beautiful story of a person paying it forward, in honor of someone else. You may remember the tragic shooting, by police, of Philando Castile, a Minnesota school custodian who was killed three years ago during a traffic stop (unfathomably as in most of these cases, the officer was acquitted).

One cause Castile felt strongly about was “lunch-shaming,” the awful practice I’ve written about on this site numerous times, where schools refuse to serve poor kids lunch because their parents hadn’t paid their money owed.

The Philando Castile Relief Foundation has previously erased students’ debt in schools, and now Philando’s mother, Valerie Castile, has given $8,000 to a Minnesota high school to settle school lunch debts. The donation, given on behalf of the Philando Castile Relief Foundation, alleviated the lunch debt at Robbinsdale Cooper High School in New Hope, Minn., for about 100 students.

Philando Castile frequently paid for the lunches of students who owed money or couldn’t afford them. “He understood that the children are the future leaders of this country, and it was his obligation to take care of them best he could, while they were in his company,” Valerie Castile told NPR.

Fabulous job, Mrs. Castile. That’s a wonderful legacy for your son to have: Helping children eat lunch, and preventing them from feeling the shame of poverty.


**And finally today, a story of a star athlete doing well. A hat tip to loyal blog reader Sanford for pointing me toward this.

Chicago Cubs star Kris Bryant and one of his sponsors, adidas, teamed up to make a little girl’s dreams come true. Marie will never forget this day.

Good News Friday: A restaurant in D.C. feeds the homeless and poor, every day. A beautiful Steve Hartman tribute to his Dad. And New York state passes a long-overdue law allowing abuse victims to sue their attackers

And a happy Friday, Wide World of Stuff-ers (Yeah I don’t think that’ll catch on.). Hope you are somewhere feeling loved after Valentine’s Day, or at least if you’re not feeling loved, you got some good chocolate into your body yesterday.

Lots of good news to choose from this week, but I want to start with this wonderful restaurant in Washington, D.C. called the Sakina Halal Grill. It’s owned by immigrants, and the Pakistani-themed eatery feeds homeless and poor people every day, all day, whenever a meal is requested.

Last year the restaurant gave away 16,000 free meals. SIXTEEN THOUSAND. That’s unbelievable. Watch the owner, Kazi Mannan, and his words: “I want people to not have fear in caring for others and loving others.”

A wonderful man, and a wonderful restaurant. Watch their story below.


**Next up today, a beautiful tribute by my man Steve Hartman of CBS News, to his father who recently passed away.

You might argue that someone’s death doesn’t deserve to be in a Good News column, but this tribute from a son to his father is so special, and certainly put a smile on my face.

Enjoy this three-minute video. Then, if they’re still with us, call your parents.

**Finally today, a very important law passed in New York this week, that probably got 1/10th the attention of our man-baby President’s latest Tweet. A law that has been blocked for the past decade by some GOP lawmakers in my state.

Let me tell you about the Child Victims Act; it significantly increases the statute of limitations for child sex abuse victims to prosecute their abusers. The Child Victims act changes the age at which people can legally bring their abusers to justice from age 23 to age 55 in civil cases, and to age 28 in criminal cases.

Considering the research that shows 1 in 5 females and 1 in 20 males are victims of child sex abuse, and that the median age for disclosing such abuse is 48, this bill will help many victims seek the justice they deserve.

This is long, long overdue. The idea that children who have been treated so horribly had a statute of limitations on their legal rights is ridiculous, and unconscionable.

Finally, there will be the chance for so many who suffered to get some measure of justice, and peace.


Good News Friday: Duke’s loss to Syracuse bummed me out, but it raised $175,000 for a great cause. A homeless man finds a check for $10,000, and it changes so many lives. And the app that locks your kid’s phone until they text you back.

And a Happy Friday, peeps! Hope you’re having a kick-ass day wherever you are; here in the Northeast we’re expecting a big ole’ snowstorm on Saturday night, so if nothing else, I’ll get to try out the new snow shovel I bought when we moved to suburbia a few months ago.

Want to start off Good News Friday talking about a Duke basketball game, but it’s not good news in the way I normally talk about my beloved Blue Devils.

Because this good news story comes not from me being excited about a Duke win, but what happened because of a fairly stunning Duke loss on Monday (hey, Duke was playing without two of its starters, it happens.)

A huge Syracuse fan and booster named Adam Weitsman made a promise on social media that if the Orange scored the upset Monday, he’d donate $150,000 to the Boys & Girls Club.

Well, the ‘Cuse got it done, winning 95-91, and Weitsman has agreed to pay up. This ESPN story says “Weitsman said he called officials with the Boys & Girl Club on Tuesday and made arrangements to deliver $50,000 apiece to three Boys & Girls Clubs in Owego, Binghamton and Syracuse. His buddies reminded him he’d forgotten to mention another club in Endicott, so he added another $25,000 donation for a grand total of $175,000 to charity after his favorite team’s upset of the Blue Devils.”

This guy Weitsman has quite a backstory: He’s a convicted felon who spent nearly a year in prison in 2004 for bank fraud. Since then, he has made a fortune as the owner of Upstate Shredding, a $1 billion scrap metal and recycling company. He reportedly owns a $30 million mansion on Skaneateles Lake in New York.

Good on him for making such a big donation; Boys & Girls Clubs do so much for so many kids who need a place to hang out, get a mentor, and learn about life.

**Next up today, this is a pretty remarkable story from Steve Hartman and CBS News. A homeless man named Elmer Alvarez found a $10,000 check on the street in New Haven, Conn., last year, and immediately, instead of trying to cash it, tried to track down the woman it belonged to.

Her name is Roberta Hoskie, a successful real estate broker in the state, and what she and Alvarez have done since their meeting is quite wonderful.

So much fate and luck involved in turning around someone’s life sometimes. So many people who you look down on for being homeless or poor, just need a chance. A chance like Elmer Alvarez was given.

**Finally today, my stepsister Lori pointed this out to me, and maybe it’s because she has a couple of teenagers it appealed to her. But I think this is an awesome idea even if your kids are young.

A father has made an app that locks children’s phones until they write back to their parent. Seriously, this is a thing.

The app, called ReplyASAP, makes text messages “unmissable between people that matter, since important messages shouldn’t be missed,” says its creator.

Nick Herbert created the app, which can freeze your child’s phone and even sound an alarm in silent mode. It essentially forces teenagers to stop what they are doing and reply to their worried parents.

Brilliant. Now no more Fortnite until you tell Mom when you’re coming home for dinner and who you’re with!


Good News Friday: A great surprise video of a soldier returning from home, to his son. Steve Hartman’s annual trip with “Secret Santa” has a beautiful twist this year. And an NYPD officer’s son gets an awesome surprise for his wheelchair.

And a Happy Friday to all of you holiday shoppers out there! If you’re like me you’re alternately thrilled to have family around next week when so many people are on vacation from work, and alternately worried over filling the days for the kids, who are of course also on vacation (Playdates are a beautiful thing).

First up today on Good News Friday, these “soldiers returning home to surprise family members” videos never get old, but this one had a pretty fabulous twist. It was posted on Twitter by a man named Jadin Hart, who says his nephew got the best present of all this holiday season. Watch as the boy unwraps a very very large gift, and what comes out of it surprises the hell out of him.

**Next up today, I make an annual habit, and look forward to it each year, of watching CBS Sunday Morning’s amazing Steve Hartman take his trip around a U.S. city with his friend “Secret Santa,” an anonymous millionaire who at the holidays travels around and gives struggling people $100 bills to help with their lives.

The reactions are always priceless, but this year Secret Santa recruited an “elf” to help: A homeless man in Phoenix named Moses, who surprised passersby who just stopped to talk to him.

“It’s my experience that the people with the least, give the most of what they have,” Secret Santa says in the piece. So true.

He also said “Kindness, is a bridge between all people.”

So, so great. Such a small amount of kindness goes such a long way.

**And finally today, NYPD officer Merritt Riley has a 16-year-old son who suffers from cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair. As one might expect from an officer’s son, Aidan Riley loves all things police, and recently he got an amazing surprise: His very own police cruiser outfitted to fit around his wheelchair.

It took eight months to build and a ton of cooperation from different agencies, but this week Aidan got his new ride.

So freaking cool!


Good News Friday: The “Creed 2” movie trailer has me so excited. A small town in Oregon honors its favorite son: A deliveryman. And a 99-year-old walks six miles a day to visit his sick wife

And a Happy Friday, boys and girls, children of all ages. While we wait for the white smoke to come from the Capitol, and praise God we get word that Drinkin’ Brett doesn’t get confirmed for the Supreme Court, here are three small doses of happiness for you to head into the weekend.

OK, so you may remember a few years ago I got totally, irrationally excited over the new movie “Creed,” a sort-of sequel to all the Rocky movies starring Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Creed, long-lost son of Apollo. Well, the movie was pretty fantastic, Jordan should’ve gotten an Oscar nomination for it, and even Sly Stallone showed some acting chops.

Well, for reasons I can’t quite understand (oh yeah, $$$$), they’re making a sequel, with a storyline so ridiculous it’s wonderful: Ivan Drago, murderer of Apollo Creed in Rocky IV (“If he dies, he dies”) has a son, and that son challenges Adonis Creed to a match.

Is it crazy? Of course. But watch the above trailer and tell me you don’t want to run through a wall. The movie comes out Nov. 21, and I’m super excited for it. Again, I get sucked back in!

**Next up today, blog favorite Steve Hartman of CBS News never fails to make me smile. This story in particular warmed my heart. In the Pacific Northwest town of Gresham, Ore., an autistic man named Todd Kirnan has become a local hero over the past decades. Tod is the Everyman for the town, making deliveries for all, running errands for downtown businesses, and putting smiles on the faces of so many residents.

So how can the town repay him? With an unbelievable series of gestures and events. Watch this three-minute story, and feel good today.

**Finally today, a story I missed from a few weeks ago that I wanted to share. One year shy of being 100, Luther Younger (and isn’t THAT a great name for this guy?) loves his wife, Waverlee, more than life itself. When she was diagnosed with a brain tumor several years ago, she of course had to go to a hospital near their home in Rochester, N.Y.

When Waverlee is in the hospital for treatment, Luther decides to walk three miles, each way, to go visit her. His family has offered to give him rides, as have friends, but he always says no.

I got a wife. I don’t want to wait on the bus. I want to go up there to see my wife,” he said during an interview.

former Marine and Vietnam veteran, Luther speaks lovingly about his wife, and about his devotion.

“She’s the best cup of tea I ever had,” he said of his wife. “She would come in and kiss me and say baby and feed me in the bed and this is what I need right here.”

Wonderful devotion. I hope if I live to 99, I can still walk six miles, I tell you that much.

Good News Friday: A Utah community joins together to help a neighbor in need, in a huge way. An MLB player helps a girl scolded for cheering too loud at the ballpark. And a Bangladesh doctor uses old shampoo bottles to save lives

And a Happy Friday to you all. I’m not going to get into the horror show that was the Supreme Court hearing Thursday because I don’t want to get boiling mad again, but suffice to say it’s never been more clear in this country that for one of our two major political parties, white men still reign supreme and always will, and women’s thoughts, actions and beliefs will never, ever matter much.

OK, on with the show… We start today with a beautiful tale of friendship and neighbors going above and beyond to help a friend in need.

About 10 years ago Kathy Felt of Sandy, Utah was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and is confined to a wheelchair. Kathy needs a lot of help with daily tasks, and besides her two sons helping out, she’s got a crack staff of dozens of helpers.

Her neighbors. For a decade they’ve volunteered in shifts and done amazing work to help Kathy. Watch (above) Steve Hartman investigate and realize how much good there still is in the world…

**Next up, a nice gesture from a Houston Astros player named Lance McCullers. Recently at an Astros game, 8-year-old Chloe Beaver was scolded at a game by a fellow fan for “cheering too loudly.”

Chloe suffers from Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, a disability that essentially limits her emotional capacity to that of a toddler.

McCullers heard about this and responded by telling Chloe on Twitter
“Don’t you EVER stop cheering! I would love for you to cheer us on, as LOUD as you can, during ALDS game 1 in MMP! I would be honored to leave you a ticket!”

The local news reporter who wrote about Chloe connected McCullers with the family, and Chloe will be going to a playoff game in Houston next week.

Good job, Lance. And Chloe, and everyone else at a ballgame, should cheer as loud as they damn well please.

**Finally today, an amazing discovery from a doctor in Bangladesh has helpsed save lives. Dr. Mohammod Chisti has seen scores of children die from pneumonia in his country over the years, partially because life-saving ventilators that would help patients cost upwards of $15,000.

So one day Christi noticed that bubbles in an old shampoo bottle reminded him of what a different kind of ventilator uses to treat patients, and he ended up inventing a new device using the shampoo bottles.

The results? Over two years a study showed that Christi’s invented ventilator cut infant-related pneumonia deaths in his country by 75 percent. That’s huge!

Christi’s device, which costs about $1.25, is now being tested in other countries, but what a huge breakthrough it has been for sick kids in Bangladesh.


The woman in San Diego who feeds schoolkids and homeless people gets an awesome surprise. The Dad who saved the ballet recital. And the baby who loved her Dad’s guitar playing so much

And a Happy Friday, amigos. Super-pumped up today to watch Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic tangle in the Wimbledon semis, though they’ll be hard-pressed to match the amazing Wimbledon men’s quarters on Wednesday. So much ugliness in the world again this week (“NATO? Who needs NATO?”) but there is so much good out there as well, including those amazing rescue workers who saved the entire Thai soccer team and their coach trapped in a cave. What a miraculous, amazing job done by those SEAL’s and emergency personnel.

I want to start Good News Friday this week with a different kind of hero, but one equally deserving of live: Debra Davis is an angel of a woman living in San Diego, who not only serves lunch to hungry high school kids there, but drives around after that in a beat-up old car serving food (paid for by herself) to homeless people.

Ms. Davis has been beloved for years, but finally the community got together and showed her love in a tangible way. As always, Steve Hartman of “CBS Sunday Morning” delivers the beautiful goods.

What a woman. Her reaction at the end is just priceless.

**Next up today, this went viral in the last few weeks for a very good reason: It’s fabulous. Two-year-old Bella Daniels wasn’t having a good time at her first ballet recital, screaming and crying while her little partners were dancing great. But Bella’s Dad Marc, with Bella’s baby brother in his arms, came out to rescue her and put on one hell of a performance.

Seriously, he got all the steps and moves right! So great. No dance they do at her wedding will be as good. Check out the jumps at the 2:01 mark, perfect!

True fatherhood: Making a fool of yourself on stage to save your child. Beautiful.

**And finally today, another father-daughter musical video that I loved, this one sent to me by my Dad. Check out what happens when this father begins to play Bobby Darin’s “Dream Lover” on guitar for his baby girl. Sadly, my 8-month-old has not responded the same way to my killer air guitar on “Sweet Child O’ Mine.”

Still, this baby rules. Enjoy your weekend.

Good News Friday: Two little girls show what friendship is all about. Hey, kids can legally sell lemonade in Wisconsin finally! And the Vegas Golden Knights make sure only kids get autographs

And a Happy Friday to all of you out there in the world with an Internet connection. We’re in the dog days of February, with dreary weather all over, and living in a post-truth society, apparently, where Presidents can say whatever they want and no one cares it’s a lie.

That picture above should give you a little smile, I hope; it’s an incredible shot of a sunset over Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Colorado.

And hey, we should have a really good Super Bowl on Sunday. My prediction is New England 30, Philly 27, but I sure hope I’m wrong. Not to say the city of Philadelphia has gone nuts over the big game, but check this out: The Medical Examiner’s Office in the City of Brotherly Love is auctioning off Eagles pendants found on dead people. No, seriously, they are.

First up on Good News Friday, this story is from December but I just came across it now, and thought it was too cute NOT to share. Two preschool girls in Miami named Jia Sarnicola and Zuri Copeland are best friends. They practically consider themselves sisters. And when people told the 4-year-olds they couldn’t be sisters, well, they got mad.

Watch this adorable story, and realize how stupid it is to not like someone because of the color of their skin.

**Next up, I’ve bashed the state of Wisconsin and it’s empty-headed governor, Scott Walker, a bunch on this blog, but today I gotta give it up to state legislature of America’s Dairyland. Some laws, you would think wouldn’t need to be passed, they’d just be, like, natural laws that should be so obvious you don’t need to put them in writing.

But nope, not the case here. Unbelievably, in 2018, it was against the law for children to run lemonade stands for money in Wisconsin. This is not theoretical; in recent years little Jamie and Johnny’s cool, refreshing money-makers were shut down for not having proper permits.

I cannot believe there actually needs to be a law allowing kids to have lemonade stands. What are we afraid of, that these kids are using Crystal Light as a gateway drug? That their profits on a 50-cent cup of cool drinks are being used for nefarious means???

Ridiculous that this law has to be passed. But I’m happy it is. Children of Wisconsin, go be entrepreneurs and sell, sell, sell some lemonade!**And finally today, the Las Vegas Golden Knights, a first-year team in the NHL, continue to show they get it, in many ways. Not only are they having amazing success on the ice (they’re in first place in their division) and not only are they by far the most entertaining Twitter feed (during one recent game’s intermission they commissioned a poll asking who had the best hair on 1990s sitcom “Boy Meets World), but they do things right off the ice.

Fed up with grown men harassing players for autographs, they’ve instituted a new policy: Only kids 14 and under are allowed to get autographs.

Very few things are more sad than a 58-year-old dude desperately wielding a Sharpie at a right wing. I hope other franchises do this too, because kids, God bless ’em, are the only ones who really care about getting autographs for the fun of it.



Good News Friday: A major league ballplayer donates a $10 million house to a worthy cause. The amazing story of a woman finding her birth parents, 20 years later. And Steve Hartman’s annual “Secret Santa” trip hits ravaged Texas

And a Happy pre-Christmas Friday to you all! We were at Wide World of stuff world headquarters just finished up a wonderful Hanukkah that saw the 3-year-old wonder why we can’t get presents every night, all year, and the 7-week-old watch his brother open up all presents meant for him (“He can’t open them yet so I’ll help him.”) Me? I’m thrilled with my “haul,” which included the all-time great game Mattel Classic Football 2, a tiny, incredibly archaic little gem that I spent hours and hours of my childhood playing, often in the backseat of the car on family road trips (Seriously, it’s awesome. Any man between ages 35-45 would light up now talking about it)

Anyway, hope your holiday is going great, let’s get to some excellent Good news Friday stuff this week.

First, Cole Hamels is a former star major league pitcher who, along with his wife Heidi, made an awesome gesture recently. They were trying to sell a $10 million mansion they owned in southwest Missouri, but recently they came up with a much better idea on how to use this enormous property:  They are donating the house to a charity that helps children with special needs and chronic illnesses.

It’s called Camp Barnabas, and it does amazing things for families.

“There are tons of amazing charities in southwest Missouri. Out of all of these, Barnabas really pulled on our heartstrings,” Hamels, who turns 34 later this month, said. “Seeing the faces, hearing the laughter, reading the stories of the kids they serve; there is truly nothing like it. Barnabas makes dreams come true, and we felt called to help them in a big way.”

Very, very cool gesture. The house looks amazing, too.

**Next up today, this is an amazing story from the BBC. A young girl named Kati Pohler was given up for adoption by her Chinese parents, and adopted by a couple from the U.S., who raised her in Michigan. Twenty years after being adopted, Kati went looking for her biological parents. This is her amazing story in the 5-minute video above. What a wonderful tale, beautifully told.

**There are so many holiday traditions that I love, but my current favorite one involves the amazing Steve Hartman of CBS News, a wealthy Secret Santa, and the incredible joy he spreads every year, handing out $100 bills to strangers in December.

This year, Secret Santa went to help the good people of Beaumont, Tex., whose town was destroyed by Hurricane Harvey. As always, the looks of surprise, then gratitude on the faces of those he’s helped make it all so worth it.

So much more good than bad in this world. So, so much.