Some people truly go above and beyond when it comes to making the world a better place, not just to improve their own life, but to uplift others around them. Every local community is filled with people who play an indispensable role in keeping society equal and helping those in need, and oftentimes those everyday heroes don’t get all the recognition they deserve.
In the article below, we compiled a list of 7 such remarkable individuals, whose good deeds did not go unnoticed and even made headlines. In a time when the news cycle is filled with worrisome and negative stories, these heartwarming acts of kindness are just what you need to be reminded of the good of humanity. Each story has a video and text explaining more about it.
On February 6, 2021, 80-year-old Frank Rothwell Completed a 3,000-mile voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK. Frank set on this challenging journey in honor of his brother-in-law Roger, who was diagnosed with the condition, and sadly passed away while he was away.
Along the way, Frank had to contend with rough seas, a broken oar, hours of isolation, and the devastating news of his brother-in-law’s death, yet against all odds, he managed to push forward and make it to the finish line. Thanks to his courage and determination, Frank raised $1.5 for dementia research, more funds than any previous contestant. “Exhausting as it was, it was all totally worth it, as I hope the money we raised will make a huge difference to so many lives," he said in a statement to the BBC.
Earlier this year the life of a New Jersey resident named Brian Myers was saved by his German Shepherd Sadie, a rescue. The 59-year-old collapsed in his home after suffering a stroke. Sadie wasted no time and sprung into action - she lied down next to Myers and licked his face to keep him alert. He then grabbed onto her collar as she dragged him towards the telephone, allowing him to call 911. “I don’t know how she knew to do it,” Brian said when interviewed about the incident. Currently, Brain is recuperating at home, with Sadie by his side.
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An intuitive 7-year-old boy from Texas, Michael Martinez, saved his entire family from poisoning. Just before midnight, on February 4th, 2021, Michael, who uses a wheelchair due to his cerebral palsy, heard a loud beeping sound coming from downstairs. Determined to alert his parents, Michael was forced to slowly slide along the floor until he reached their bedroom.
At first, the Martinez family assumed it was just a fire detector that needed replacement batteries. However, the source turned out to be a carbon monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas formed by the incomplete combustion of certain fuels. When people are exposed to CO gas, it binds to the oxygen-carrying pigment of red blood cells, thereby reducing the bloodstream’s ability to transport oxygen around the body. Exposure could kill within mere hours.
At the time of the alarm, there were six other family members sleeping in the house besides Michael: his parents, aunt, and three cousins. Without the boy’s timely intervention, the entire family would have died in their sleep. Michael’s mother, Angie, rightfully believes he is a hero.
For years, the small village of Bardo, found in the state of Jigawa in Nigeria, hasn’t had any means of emergency transportation. The nearest hospital is over 18 miles away, which has endangered the lives of many of the village residents, particularly pregnant women. In the space of only two years, 18 women in Bardo died due to complications in childbirth. After seeing so many of her friends losing their unborn children, Halima Adamu decided something had to be done.
She set aside funds from a government allowance scheme to buy the village its own emergency car. Soon other women joined her fund-raising campaign. The vehicle was dubbed Haihuwa Lafiya, meaning Safe Motherhood. The initiative of Halima and the women of Bardo helped raise awareness of this issue, which exists in other remote areas of Nigeria too, and prompted the government to launch a review into the transport crisis. Moreover, Jigawa’s leaders have since put in place a private fleet of cars to transport pregnant women to and from the hospital.
Every year, hundreds of Dophins run around on the shores of Cape Cod. On August 25, 2020, alone, for example, 45 beached dolphins were reported. When a member of the public reports a stranded dolphin, the IFAW’s Marine Mammal Rescue team is usually the first to arrive on the scene. The charity has saved thousands of dolphins since its founding in 2000.
Saving a stranded dolphin is a race against time - Stress, sunburn, and dehydration often lead the poor animals to muscle failure and death. In the past, most dolphins that ended up on the beach were beyond saving. Now, thanks to advances in tech and treatment, such as ultrasound equipment, intravenous drips, and various testing facilities, the survival rate sored from 15% to 80%.
Texas-based Jim McIngvale, also known as Mattress Mack, is well known for his charitable deeds. When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas back in 2017, McIngvale used his furniture shop to give shelter to the hurricane’s victims and dispatched delivery trucks to rescue residents who were stranded in the flood-water, before giving them food, water, and a place to sleep. He opened his doors once again during Tropical Storm Imelda later that year.
In 2021, an intense blizzard from the North Pole, unofficially referred to as Winter Storm Uri, swept over Texas, a state unaccustomed to severe winter conditions. The record snowfall and low temperature took down power lines and crippled hundreds of generators, leaving millions of residents without heating, electricity, or water. Mattress Mack responded to the catastrophe with his usual kindness and generosity, opening all of his stores across the Houston area and ordering truckloads of food supplies. He also purchased 10,000 gallons of diesel to power his stores' backup generators in order to keep the lights on. “What we can’t afford is to cause these people to lose hope, we got to give them hope,” said the Texas philanthropist when asked about his selfless deeds.
As a child, Afroz Shah used to spend hours playing on Versova Beach in northern Mumbai. As the years went on, he felt saddened and frustrated to see his beloved childhood beach turning into a dumping ground for refuse. A thick layer of bags, bottles, and other plastic waste covered the shoreline almost completely. In October 2015, Afroz and his 84-year-old neighbor Harbansh Mathur began cleaning up the beach themselves, one piece of trash at a time. For eight weeks the pair stuck to their project on their own, until one day two men approached them and asked to join the beach clean-up. In the weeks and months to follow, more and more environmentalists joined the cause as the word spread. It is estimated that Shah inspired 200,000 people to clean beaches in India and around the world.
Now, after more than 200 weeks of painstaking work, Versova Beach is completely litter-free. Shah's cleanup operation is responsible for the removal of over 20 million kilograms of waste. Thanks to those involved, wildlife has now returned to the area, including nests of baby turtles. In 2016, the UN Environment Program handed Shah the prestigious Champions of the Earth award.
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