helping others

Bus Driver Realizes Something Is Wrong When Woman Sitting Alone At Station At 1 AM Refuses To Get On

By | Food for thought, helping others, stories, uplifting news

Being a bus driver can be a thankless job. People expect them to work at all hours of the night when driving their route can be dangerous. And they also have to deal with unruly people.

Woman refused to get on the bus

The story revolved around Ottawa OC Transpo bus driver Dan Stoddard who was driving his regular Wednesday night shift. At around 1 a.m., Stoddard stopped the bus for a woman sitting at a bus station, but she refused to get on.

She waved me off, but I hesitated to leave as it was 1 a.m. and it seemed unlikely she was just there hanging out.

Dan Stoddard to HuffPost Canada

Driver whisked the victim away

Stoddard kept the bus stopped as he talked to the woman to make sure she was okay. Eventually, she asked him to call the police as she had just been assaulted and had run away.

In response, the quick-thinking driver asked her to get on the bus and he would handle the rest.

When she was on the bus, Stoddard asked the other passengers to move to the back as he comforted her until police arrived.

Thanked for a ‘thankless job’

A photo of the driver talking to the victim at the front of the bus was posted on Facebook by passenger Brendan Fowlie, and it went viral. The story resonated with people everywhere as it showed humanity in an unexpected profession.

“[Bus drivers] have a pretty thankless job, and people very rarely give them the credit they deserve,” Fowlie told HuffPost Canada.

Fowlie went on to explain that he decided to share the story because “I thought something positive would be nice.”

As for Stoddard, he said he was simply doing his job, like any other public service employee is trained to do.

“All of these organizations deal with this type of thing on a daily basis,” he said.

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Keep your eyes and ears open

This bus driver could have just kept driving his route. He’s on the clock and it’s not his job to insist people get on the bus if they decline.

But he knew something wasn’t right. He followed his gut and it turned out the woman was in need of help after being assaulted.

This story is a reminder not just of the value in bus drivers, but also for all of us to keep our eyes and ears open to help the victims inevitably around us.

More uplifting stories:

follow your intuition

If you feel something isn’t right, trust your instinct. It could save someone’s life.

Woman Flies to Nigeria To Confront Man Who Conned Her Out of $10k – And Changes His Life

By | Food for thought, forgiveness, friendship, helping others, stories, uplifting news

Maria Grette was a 62-year-old divorcee when she met Johnny (not his real name).

Her friends had told her to go onto dating sites to meet someone, but she didn’t respond to requests until she got one from Johnny, who said he was a Dane raised in South Carolina that worked as a civil engineer in England.

“I was caught up by the atmosphere and by something in his words,” said the art teacher, painter and art therapist to BBC News in 2016.

“He had a way and a sweetness I had never known in a man before. And he was innocent in a way that puzzled me.”

Maria Grette

Scammed out of over $10,000

They chatted online and over the phone before Johnny promised to visit her in Sweden. But first, he had to stop over in Nigeria so his son could do a job interview.

“I wanted to meet him because I liked him,” Grette said.

But while Johnny was in Lagos, Grotte got a frantic call. He said his son was mugged and shot in the head and he needed to pay €1,000 ($1,140) to the hospital to proceed with treatment. Since there were no bank branches he could withdraw money from, he asked Grette to transfer the money via Western Union.

“I will never forget how I rushed to the Western Union office, trembling while I did the transfer,” she told BBC News. “All I could think of was to get the two persons in Nigeria out of danger.”

Johnny then asked for more money due to complications with surgery, and Grette sent a total of £8,000 ($10,740), according to The Mirror.

He confessed to the crime

Finally, Grette thought something was wrong and stopped responding to Johnny’s messages.

A few weeks later, Johnny called and confessed that he was not who she thought he was.

“I said I already knew that. I asked him to tell me his true identity and he did,” she told BBC News.

He revealed that he was a scammer and that he felt he’d wronged “a lovely woman.”

“He said he had never met anyone like me before, that he had been fighting his feelings for me for a long time,” Grette explained. “He said his scamming mates had warned him about falling in love with a ‘client’, that he had ignored them because he trusted me and did not want to lose contact with me.”

Instead of being furious, Grette found herself attracted to the man.

“The attraction I started feeling was to the person who was revealing himself to me… It was still him, but with a new name and different age and circumstances,” she said.

“I wanted to meet him. I could not live with this relationship unless it was adjusted to reality in all senses.”

Maria Grette

A new passion for helping others

So Grette flew to Nigeria to meet her scammer, and it was emotional right from the start.

“When I saw him at the airport in Abuja, tears fell over his face, and I knew I had known him all my life,” she said in the report.

The romantic feelings between the two evolved into a friendship, but Grette became passionate about ensuring that others do not get so desperate as to become scammers in the future.

She arranged for African artists to visit Europe for art exhibitions, workshops, conferences, and competitions. She also helped them find international grants and other funding.

“Johnny has given me more than he took.Without him, I would not have met Africa.”

Maria Grette

Instead of demanding her money back, Grette actually sent her former scammer more money to complete his degree and he ended up getting a job in the American oil sector.

“He is very dear to me,” she said. “He has asked me so many times to forgive him and I told him that the most important thing is to forgive himself.”

The power of forgiveness

Grette had every right to feel furious. She was scammed out of $10,000 and not only that, “Johnny” betrayed her emotions.

But Grette transformed those negative feelings into something positive, choosing to help the Nigerian man and at the same time developed a new passion for helping artists in Africa. The lesson here is that if we can muster the courage to forgive, then new doors can open up.

More uplifting stories:

Lead With Compassion

“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” – John Holmes

Perceptive Mail Carrier Trusts Instinct And Stops To Check On Resident – Ends Up Saving A Life

By | Food for thought, friendship, helping others, stories, uplifting news

When US Postal Service worker Lisa Sweeney was delivering on the same route she’d covered for 13 years, she noticed mail piling up in front of Marie Boyer’s door. Immediately, she knew something was wrong.

A living nightmare

Marie Boyer lay on the ground in her Staten Island home, helpless and dehydrated for four days. As she swung in and out of consciousness, the 87-year-old desperately tried to get up, but couldn’t. Her only hope was to call for help.

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USPS worker followed her gut

“There were no windows open and I kept calling out, telling someone to call 911, but nobody could hear me,” Boyer told CBS New York in a 2017 story. “I remember thinking to myself, I didn’t wanna die that way.”

Luckily, Lisa Sweeney was passing by Boyer’s house when something in her gut told her to check on the person living there.

“I decided I should call 911. I mean, I didn’t know, but my heart told me she was inside,” Sweeney told CBS New York.

Sweeney anxiously watched as authorities busted open Boyer’s door.

“They came out and told me she was alive. I started crying,” Sweeney said.

They became good friends

Boyer went on to recover and move into a retirement home — but she didn’t stop seeing Sweeney. The two would meet twice weekly to catch up and even to celebrate events like Boyer’s birthday.

“I enjoy every minute talking to her, hearing stories, she’s just a blessing to me,” Lisa Sweeney told CBS.

“If it hadn’t been for her, I wouldn’t be here talking to you.”

Marie Boyer

When asked if she had something to say to Sweeney for doing this, Boyer said she wanted “to thank her for being in my life.”

How can we help?

This isn’t the first time a postal worker has gone out of their way to help an elderly member of their community — and it won’t be the last.

But postal worker or not, we all have a role to play in making our communities safer. If we’re not calling the police when someone is in danger, maybe we’re chatting with an elderly neighbor to make them feel less lonely. Maybe we’re offering to help someone lift a heavy box up the stairs. Or maybe we’re simply saying an enthusiastic “hello!” to brighten someone’s day.

Whatever it is, we all should be looking up and around at others to see how we might be able to help.

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Be The Hero In Someone’s Life

Wether it’s saving someone’s life or giving up your plane seat, kindness makes a lasting impact.

Gay Man’s Gut Feeling Saves Woman From Potentially Sketchy Date

By | dating, Food for thought, helping others, stories, strangers doing good, toxic relationships, uplifting news

Strangers looking out for strangers.

A guardian angel

Earlier this month, Twitter user @Hadia__S was out on a coffee date when a gay man sitting behind her passed her a note.

In a now-viral post, the woman shared a photo of the note, which was given to her while her date was in the bathroom.

“I had coffee with a guy yesterday. When he went to the bathroom, the gay guy sitting behind me passed me this note,” she wrote.

“Too many red flags. Run. Be safe girl.”

She saw red flags, too

The woman went on that the date was indeed filled with red flags. One bad sign was “not seeing eye to eye” on the situation when rapper Da Baby expressed homophobic views to a live audience. Another was the date’s admiration for Kevin Samuels, who has been called a “pseudo-love guru” who “exploits the vulnerability of Black women.”

“Ok, I’ll share more..while trying to remain as vague as possible. But we did not see eye to eye on the Da Baby situation and he’s a Kevin Samuels fan. I had to look him up and was immediately taken aback lmao,” she wrote.

“I recognized the red flags, but I wasn’t in danger, so I stayed, because of course I had to debate him. I’m sure my guardian angel was exhausted and was like “BITCH, LEAVE!””

Thankful that someone was watching her back

The Twitter user added that despite seeing the red flags herself, she appreciated the note from the stranger and it gave her a good laugh.

She also addressed questions in the comments asking whether there’d be a second date — the answer was no.

“There were a few other GLARING red flags that I won’t mention, but don’t worry, I would have recognized them with or without the note. But the note was greatly appreciated and added some laughs to my night. There won’t be a second date,” she wrote.

Listen to gay men

In the comments, user @endlessblissx pointed out how gay men are always looking out for women.

“Did you listen? cause if anyone knows men better, it’s GAY MEN.”

Others shared that men who date men are excellent authorities on the subject and should be listened to.

“I’m just saying if a man who dates men, tells me to run tuh I’m hitting the JETS,” wrote @misseverywhereg

“Men who date men know men.. you might wanna listen girl, ijs,” wrote @thatdamnbrook

Look out for each other

When we’re meeting someone for the first time, especially on a date, it can be tough to glean who they truly are. Sometimes, we miss telltale signs that show the person might not be as great as they seem.

Figuring these red flags out early on can save us a lot of anguish down the line, but it’s not always easy to recognize them. That’s why if we see red flags anywhere, whether it’s a stranger or a friend, it’s a kind thing to gently let them know. We all have to look out for each other in this complex world.

More uplifting news:

Alert Streamer Pretends To Be Woman’s Friend To Save Her From Creep Following Her

By | everyday heroes, Food for thought, helping others, stories, uplifting news

A Twitch streamer who broadcasts daily life on the streets of Tokyo ended up being an unsuspecting hero when a woman used him to get away from a man who was following her.

Caught on candid camera

English-born Twitch streamer robcdee was raised in Australia, but he’s called Toyko home since 2013. During that time, he’s attracted 120,000 followers to his Twitch account where he livestreams life on the streets of Tokyo.

As you can imagine, much of his videos are uneventful — people walking by, random chats with strangers, etc. But one night during a livestream he found himself to be an unlikely hero.

She was in danger

In the video posted in 2020, robcdee comes across a woman being followed by a man in a green puff jacket. Looking over at robcdee, the woman says “He’s my friend” and squirms away from the man. Some Redditors believed she was mouthing “Help me” at robcdee, according to Daily Dot.

Clearly getting the message, robcdee puts his arm around the woman and proceeded to stand between her and the stranger.

After a brief chat about where he’s from in English (robcdee says on his account that his Japanese is 4/10), the streamer manages to fend off the man.

When he was gone, robcdee asked the woman: “Are you in danger?”

“Yes, great danger,” she responded.

Make the streets safer

While walking around and talking to strangers — let alone putting your arm around them — sounds like a different universe now with the pandemic, this heroic act prevented a situation that could’ve turned very bad.

We all need to look out for each other. It is sadly still incredibly dangerous to be a woman and walk around in most places in the world, especially at night, so whenever someone can lend a helping hand, they should.

More uplifting stories:

Relationship Goals: Bill and Melinda Gates Show Us the Algorithm of Love

By | commitment, Food for thought, helping others, Inspiring Stories, long-term relationships, love, marriage, relationship goals

Welcome to #RelationshipGoals, where we’re giving the stage to the power couples we admire. From admirable long-term relationships to inspirational newlyweds, these are the couples we love and hope to take cues from in our own relationships.


He was already an icon of the tech and business world, leading one of the most famous and successful companies of all times. Bill Gates might have revolutionized the world’s relationship with IT, but when he first asked Melinda French out on a date, she was less than impressed.

She had recently graduated Duke University and joined Microsoft as a product manager. He was the CEO who just asked her out to dinner – a dinner that was supposed to take place two weeks later. Melinda turned him down, later telling Fortune: “That’s not spontaneous for me.” Then 23, she told him to call closer to a date. But Gates surprised her later that day, calling her in the evening to ask for a date again.

All the times they inspired us with their love


Although Melinda had qualms about dating her boss – especially a boss who was already a global figure – she and Bill started quietly dating outside work, keeping strict professional boundaries. With a BA in computer science and an MBA, both from Duke University, the Dallas native had her eyes on professional achievement. Her mom, a homemaker who regretted not attending college advised against the relationship.

But seven years later the couple was still going strong and wed in a million-dollar ceremony in Hawaii. To keep the event private, Bill threw frugality to the wind and not only bought out the entire hotel, but also booked all helicopters on the island of Maui to make sure no paparazzi could intrude. It worked to perfection – to this day few details are known about the power couple’s wedding.

It may have been all about Microsoft those days, but the Gates’s are nowadays better known for the life-altering work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the couples sole focus in the past years. Focused on tackling head-on all the issues governments and other NGOs ignore, the 18-year-old charity is known as the largest private foundation in the U.S., with over $50 billion in assets.

But the seeds for the foundation’s work and the foundation itself were sown during those early years of dating. When traveling, the couple would often be confronted with the levels of extreme poverty many countries faced. The easily curable or preventable diseases that were still claiming lives. Children stuck in endless cycles of poverty due to a lack of access to education.

Meanwhile Microsoft continued to grow and so did the Gates family, welcoming two daughters and a son. Committed to the happiness of their family and the emotional intelligence of their children, the couple decided to leave the children a large enough inheritance so that they could pursue any career, but not large enough to not have to work. After all, the Bill Gates may be the second-richest man on Earth with a $95 billion wealth and the family may live in $124 million compound, but Bill Gates still does the dishes every evening.

Why Melinda and Bill Gates are a true power couple


It first started as the William H. Gates Foundation, but most of us have come to know it as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and it’s undeniable proof of the Gates’ power couple status. Melinda joined the foundation when she returned from parental leave and Bill started a multi-year transition process from Microsoft to the charity. Although not a couple to be splashed all over tabloids and paparazzi websites, going from home life to living and working together, especially in equal positions of power came with some growing pains.

People often ignored Melinda in the boardroom and would turn to Bill for final decisions. Bill himself had to readjust from being the top dog at Microsoft to a dynamic of shared power. They both have been vocal about what that transition entailed – but neither complained. To them life and circumstances changing, meant that their relationship and dynamic evolved too. There was no other option, because there was no one more important than the other.

So they both put the necessary work in. “We’ve had to change to really be coequals. It’s not something that immediately happens overnight, but we’re both committed to it,” Melinda told Business Insider in 2015. And Bill certainly wasn’t going to give up. “Everything I’ve ever done, I’ve always had a partner,” he told the same source.

Their biggest relationship takeaway

Melinda and Bill Gates

For the Gates’s it’s all about synchronicity. A common goal. They share the same set of fundamental values and boost that with being open-minded and trusting each other. “We agree on the big issues. Our occasional disagreements these days are over tactics. Because I’ve been a public figure longer, and because I’m a man, some people assume I am making the big decisions. That’s never been the case,” Bill wrote in the couple’s annual open letter.

Whether it’s about synching schedules, reestablishing professional power dynamics, raising their family or deciding on charitable projects and investments, Bill and Melinda make sure their looking in the same direction, while complimenting each other. Just like the two sculpted birds they got from Bill’s parents for their wedding – the birds that still sit in front of their house, sitting next to each other, staring out to the horizon.

“Some people see Melinda as the heart of our foundation, the emotional core. But just as she knows I’m more emotional than people realize, I know she’s more analytical than people realize. When I get really enthusiastic about something, I count on her to make sure I’m being realistic,” the Microsoft genius wrote in the same letter. Adding: “We are partners in both senses that people use the word these days: at home and at work.”

Other inspiring love stories: 

Reconnect with your dreams and jumpstart your personal transformation with Goalcast’s new inspirational ebook, Explore Your Potential: Start the Journey to Your Dream Life.

Transformation doesn’t just happen. It takes a plan and a support system. This how-to guide is full of the top wisdom, tips, exercises, and success stories to inspire an old dream or create a new one.

Check out a teaser of what’s inside.

Hero of the Week: 15-Pound Beagle’s Loyalty Saves Young Girl from Kidnapper, Teaches Us a Universal Lesson in Bravery

By | children, Food for thought, helping others, Hero of the week, Inspiring Stories, safety

It was supposed to be an uneventful day in Pasadena, Texas. Ray, a cute-as-a-button beagle mix was out for his walk, enjoying his time out-and-about. It was supposed to be just like a million other trips around the block for the tiny pupper. Walking him was one his many human buds, an 11-year-old girl, part of his extended human family. Ray, as always, was enjoying himself.


But things took a dark turn for the beagle. And even darker, and more dangerous, for his walker. For her own protection, authorities have not released her name, but Ray’s sixth-grade walker came close to a nightmare. In fact, the 11-year-old’s life has already changed, faced with the darkest sides of humanity.

Because this regular walk in the neighborhood turned out to be anything but ordinary. As the 11-year-old’s sister Bianca Hernandez told media outlets, the young girl noticed a man “looking at her strangely.” That in itself was disconcerting enough, but the suspect then followed through with his dark looks.

The man actually got out of his car and grabbed her. The young girl resisted to the best of her efforts, but this was an adult man preying on a child. She was loosing the battle. But Ray was not going to stand by and let someone hurt his friend. He may weigh only 15 pounds, but the 2-year-old pup bravely jumped in with all he had, and bit the attacker.

Sister-of-young-girl-almost kidnapped
Source: YouTube/TODAY’S TMJ4
The young girl’s uncle and her sister, Bianca Hernandez

As the victims’s sister Bianca told local outlets, the pup quickly realized something was not right. “The dog was like, ‘Uh-uh, this is not a regular person greeting her’, so yeah, he went for a bite in the leg, and that was the only way for her to free herself,” Bianca Hernandez disclosed.

And Ray’s quick reaction and loyalty allowed the young girl to free herself from the attacker’s grip and run home, miraculously unhurt. Ray too, got away unhurt. When the young girl’s family realized what had happened, they quickly took action. Uncle Alan Aguilar chased after the suspect on foot, but the attacker got back in his car and got away.

For now. As it turns out, the terrifying incident took place within the Willow Oaks Townhomes, a housing complex equipped with surveillance cameras. And the eye in the sky got a clear picture of both the suspect’s face and license plate, giving police a major advantage in investigating the case.

RELATED: Police Officer Adopts Newborn Baby of Homeless Woman Battling Drug Addiction

Meanwhile, the young survivor is home safely with her family, and Ray, the 15-pound protector, is being hailed as a hero online for rescuing her from kidnapping.  At home, Ray is probably enjoying more belly rubs and puppy treats than he knows what to do with — as any brave pup should.

While authorities continue to investigate the harrowing incident, information remains scarce. One thing remains certain: Ray’s loyalty was crucial to the young girl’s escape, and we can only hope he chomped down on the attacker with all his 15-pound might.

For more Hero of the Week:

Reconnect with your dreams and jumpstart your personal transformation with Goalcast’s new inspirational ebook, Explore Your Potential: Start the Journey to Your Dream Life.

Transformation doesn’t just happen. It takes a plan and a support system. This how-to guide is full of the top wisdom, tips, exercises, and success stories to inspire an old dream or create a new one.

Check out a teaser of what’s inside.

Hero of the Week: World Pays Tribute to Diver Who Gave His Life to Rescue Kids Trapped in Cave

By | dedication, Food for thought, helping others, Hero of the week, Inspiring Stories, sacrifice, selflessness


As the world celebrates the successful rescue of the junior Thai soccer team trapped in a cave, people are also paying tribute to the heroic diver who lost his life during the rescue mission.

Photo Credit: Valeepoan Kunan/Instagram

Posting on Instagram, Samarn Kunan’s widow Valeepoan Kunan wrote “I miss you. I love you like you are my very heart… from now on when I wake up… who will I kiss?” Her post gathered comment after comment as people from all around the world payed their condolences and praised his selfless act.

Touching tributes and support from across the world

“My sincerest condolences on your loss. He died a hero in every language,” wrote one commenter. Another said: “No one can imagine your pain. I pray in time you will find peace. What an outstanding man he was, You guys will meet again. I hope God wraps his arms tightly around you and gives you comfort.”

While Valeepoan’s loss is unquestionably enormous, the widow of the former elite Navy Seal diver was quick to absolve the 12 boys and their coach of any blame or guilt.

Some have called their decision to enter the cave during monsoon season reckless, but Valeepoan sent a message to the boys through the media, saying: “Please don’t blame yourselves,” Reuters reported.

Petty officer Samarn Kunan would have probably agreed. After all, the 38-year-old had retired from the Thai Navy SEALs in 2006 and was working at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok. But as it became increasingly obvious that rescuing the soccer team would prove a harrowing challenge, Saman joined rescue effort on site on July 1.

Giving his life for the cause

18 divers, Thai and international, worked tirelessly to figure out how to best help the trapped children. As the danger of further flooding increased, Saman worked day after day to do his part.

But the Tham Luang cave complex is a treacherous one, especially flooded, with minimal visibility, and certain sections so tight that going through with oxygen tanks was impossible. Rescuers did not speak of it publicly, but all knew that fatalities were almost unavoidable. And on July 6, Tham Luang claimed its first and thankfully only life.

On a mission to place oxygen tanks within the cave, Samarn lost consciousness due to lack of oxygen. His diving partner tried to wake him up. He tried to revive him. But in the end, it was impossible. He emerged with Samarn’s body just two days before the first children were brought out. His death was a heavy blow to the rescue team, bringing home the stakes of the mission.

“Samarn Kuran is the real hero,” head of the rescue mission Narongsak Osottanakorn told reporters. “On the day he passed, the entire team was sad, but we used this sorrow. We saw that he gave his life for this cause.”

And indeed, all pushed on, working tirelessly. On the 17th day of the operation, the last of the boys and their coach were successfully brought out of the cave and are now recovering in hospital with minimal injuries.

Without Samarn’s enormous contribution, the rescue very well might have not happened. A Thai artist has already pledged to create a statue in of Samarn to be placed in the province where the cave is located, and King Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand pledged a full royally-sponsored funeral for the fallen hero.


Reconnect with your dreams and jumpstart your personal transformation with Goalcast’s new inspirational ebook, Explore Your Potential: Start the Journey to Your Dream Life.

Transformation doesn’t just happen. It takes a plan and a support system. This how-to guide is full of the top wisdom, tips, exercises, and success stories to inspire an old dream or create a new one.

Check out a teaser of what’s inside.

Hero of the Week: World Pays Tribute to Diver Who Gave His Life to Rescue Kids Trapped in Cave

Nicki Minaj Hands Out 37 Scholarships, Moves Fans to Tears For Her Commitment to Changing Lives

By | Education, Food for thought, helping others, Inspiring Stories, Nicki Minaj

Known for her flawless rap flow, eccentric persona and fierce feminism, Nicki Minaj is also a dedicated champion for education.

Photo Credit: Paras Griffin/VMN18 / Getty Images

Those who’ve watched her stint on American idol might remember her many encouragements to would-be singers to stay in school and finish their education before pursuing a musical career. But it’s not just words and encouragement from the Chun-Li singer – it’s also hard cash, delivered directly to students struggling to fund their education.

In fact, the 35-year-old handed out 37 scholarships last week to fans, paying either tuition costs or student loans, Billboard reported. The financial aid was made available through Minaj’s Student of the Game scholarship fund, set up last year after an impromptu education fund giveaway on social media. Inspired by a fan reaching out online to ask for help to stay in school, Minaj took to social media in May last year, telling fans to show her good college records in exchange for help to pay for tuition or study books.

That impromptu giveaway inspired Minaj to set up the Student of the Game scholarship fund as a response to the college students’ growing struggle with debt and growing college costs. Announcing her newest round of scholarship giveaways and the 37 lucky recipients.

Minaj was flooded with messages of appreciation both from recipients and the Twitterverse alike, some calling her an “angel” for her work, other outright crying.

The lucky winners were of course awed and immensely grateful, expressing their love and disbelief at her generosity online. Some saw God’s hand in Minaj’s work, while others saw more proof of the rapper’s loyalty to her fans: “This is just another way Nicki Minaj has shaped my life for the better,” said Twitter user MINAJ-4LYFE. @NickiWatermelon will now be able to take all of their APs thanks to Minaj, @TM_BaisleyBlvd will be able to continue working towards a nursing degree, and @Jerihmi will finish college with the last semester paid by Minaj, their favorite artist.

Reconnect with your dreams and jumpstart your personal transformation with Goalcast’s new inspirational ebook, Explore Your Potential: Start the Journey to Your Dream Life.

Transformation doesn’t just happen. It takes a plan and a support system. This how-to guide is full of the top wisdom, tips, exercises, and success stories to inspire an old dream or create a new one.

Check out a teaser of what’s inside.

Nicki Minaj Hands Out 37 Scholarships, Moves Fans to Tears For Her Commitment to Changing Lives

Lady Gaga’s Mom Shared Important Tips for Overcoming Mental Health Issues and Asking for Help

By | Celebrities, emotional health, Food for thought, helping others, Inspiring Stories, lady gaga, mental health


When it comes to mental health awareness and breaking the stigma surrounding mental illness, we’ve made major strides over the past few years. But it’s still difficult to talk about the topic openly.

Whether mental illness affects you, a loved one or a casual acquaintance, starting a discussion about mental health can be difficult, scary, and may very well put you in a vulnerable position.

But Cynthia Germanotta, Lady Gaga‘s mother, shared a few crucial tips with Mashable to help you start these difficult conversations, which are necessary for kickstarting the process of recovery.

Photo Credit: John Lamparski / Contributor/Getty Images

Germanotta is the co-founder of the Born This Way Foundation, an organization that provides mental health resources, empowers youth and works to create a kinder and more accepting society.

1. Talk about it

For many families, mental health is still a taboo subject, especially when there is a significant generational gap.

After all, no other generation has been so open and so adamant about the need for emotional and mental wellness. If the people around you – whether they are your friends or family – avoid the subject, Cynthia Germanotta advises to bring it up yourself. Maybe those around you don’t realize the importance or need to discuss the subject or feel just as much – if not more – awkwardness and unease.

Starting small, like mentioning an article or one of the many celebrities opening up about the issue, can become a major catalyst in making mental health discussions and emotional wellness check-ins a part of regular family life or friend hangouts. This way, if the time ever comes that a loved one is struggling, there will be a safe environment and already established method of communication to help them through it.

2. Ask for help

Realizing that you need professional help to get through a rough patch is already a major breakthrough. However, asking for the actual help you need is often the most difficult part of your journey, especially in environment that hasn’t approached the subject.

According to Germanotta, whether we are afraid of being judged as weak, dramatic or disappointing, until we take that leap, we can never know how someone will actually react. Those fears may very well be based on internalized shame, guilt, or a direct product of the illness, rather than how our loved ones will react.


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3. Research

If you suspect someone around you is struggling, it’s crucial to approach the subject in a compassionate and non-confrontational way that lets your loved one know you are there to help.

Being able to recognize when someone is struggling emotionally can literally save lives — think of it like CPR. There is a bounty of online resources that can help you educate yourself on recognizing signs and symptoms.

Germanotta recommends as a trustworthy resource to provide help and even trainings like the Mental Health First Aid course.

4. Keep talking about it

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Even if the first or first few people you approach with your mental health needs dismiss you, don’t give up – keep asking for help.

If your friends and immediate family fail to recognize your needs, ask a neighbor, a teacher, coach, faith leader, doctor, cousin – anybody. Someone will help.

According to Germanotta, if people around you fail to address your need for help, reach out to one of the many online, phone or text services available free of charge, like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, The Bully Project, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and many more. Check out this comprehensive list of hotlines and resources.


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Lady Gaga’s Mom Shared Important Tips for Overcoming Mental Health Issues and Asking for Help