Usually, Mother’s Day is one of the hottest days of the year for flower vendors.
However, one young man was not doing the sales he expected until he met a kind stranger who would turn his day around.
Why an Unlucky Flower Seller’s Mother’s Day Went Viral on Instagram
Instagram influencer @akramadinas, who boasts more than 150k followers, recently posted a video that went viral. In the video, he asks a street vendor named Manuel, who had been selling flowers, if he had made many sales that day.
The vendor replied that he hadn’t had the most successful of days. This was surprising, since the video was taken around Mother’s Day, when flower sales tend to be at their highest. Feeling for the vendor, the Instagram star offered to purchase the rest of the inventory. The original price was over $800, but the instagram star, who goes by AK, gave the man $1000.
How an Instagram-Famous Flower Seller Paid It Forward on Mother’s Day
Instead of taking the flowers home, AK decided to use them to sprinkle a bit of joy around town. Even though AK had given Manuel the money and instructed him to take the day to spend time with his family, Manuel decided to join him.
Together the two handed out bouquets of flowers to women all over town, wishing them a happy Mother’s Day. Everyone who received a bouquet of flowers was touched and both AK and Manuel felt they had spent the day exactly as they wanted to – helping others and spreading good fortune.
The Instagram Influencer’s Good Deed That Uplifted an Entire Community
AK could have gone about his day without engaging with any street vendors, but instead he was motivated to help Manuel. We should all strive to be a little bit more like AK, who found an opportunity to do a good thing for one person.
His small act alone allowed both AK and Manuel to take it a step further and brighten to day of countless local women by giving then flowers as well. What a feel good team!
One man has become the principal at the very school he once cleaned as a janitor, proving that hard work and dedication can get you where you want to go.
Mike Huss says he feels “blessed” to have had his expansive career and to start a new chapter at Ione Elementary School in Ione, California, a small town outside of Sacramento. This new chapter consists of him leading the school as the principal, but his first chapter started as the janitor.
Why a California Elementary School Fell Loves Its Janitor
Not only did Huss keep the campus clean, but he also made a point to connect with the students.
“A lot of teachers here at Ione Elementary kept saying, ‘You’re wasting your time. Look at these kids. They are attracted to you … and they want to be around you and they learn from you. You need to go back and became a teacher,’” Huss said.
But becoming a teacher was never Huss’s plan.
He took the job as a janitor so he could support his wife Karen as she pursued her dream of going to college. For Huss, higher education wasn’t something he was interested in.
However, after he and Karen had their first child, he had a new motivation to become a teacher.
“When my son was about 3, I said, ‘You know what? I want to show my son that you can keep growing in life,’” Huss said. “I know he was young but between the encouragement from the teachers on campus and the motivation to do something to show my son nothing’s impossible, I went back to school in the late ’90s to get my teaching credential based on those inspirations.”
That’s when Huss began to balance his full-time job, his role as a father, and school. Huss would work from 2-11 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, all while he attended Sacramento State during the day. This juggling act lasted four years.
“I was working 40 hours a week, coaching my niece’s softball team. I was going to school Tuesday and Thursday all day,” Huss said.
Less than a week after his graduation, Huss was hired as a teacher at Ione Elementary.
“I was literally the school janitor on a Monday. I worked a double shift. I worked from 6 a.m. till about 10 p.m. that night, getting the school ready. The very next day, Tuesday, I was in my first teachers’ meeting. Thursday of that same week, I had my first class,” he said.
How the Beloved Janitor of a School Became Its New Principal
It has only been a few weeks since Huss took over, but he has a lot of support.
“I really think that I can do this job … because I have the support of everyone,” he said. “I have to try my best every day for them. And at the end of the year, I’ve told many people if the worst thing I say is, ‘I tried my best and failed,’ I’ll try my best again next year and hopefully be even better. And I try to keep that perspective.”
The Amador Country Unified School District, his staff, and his students have helped him in his new role.
“They give me hugs and say, ‘You’re doing a great job,’ and it’s really cute to see a first grader tell you that. ‘You don’t even know what I’m doing. But thank you very much for saying it.’ But they see me out and interacting so I think to them, that’s all that matters,” Huss said.
Huss has referred to his work as “a very rewarding career” and wants others to learn the importance of schools and teachers from his story.
“What I want people to understand is that there are really good teachers out there doing really amazing jobs,” he said. “It’s just about growing a world, making it a better place.”
What Mike Huss’ Janitor-to-Principal Story Teaches Us About Effort
Huss put in the work and time, and with a community behind him, he went from being the school janitor to being its principal. His story shows what’s possible when you put your heart into achieving your goals and when you surround yourself with people who encourage you along the way.
The loss of Queen Elizabeth II at 96-years-old marked the end of Britain’s longest-serving monarch, ending an historic 70-year reign.
With the sad news, the UK began 10 days of national mourning, beginning with thousands of grieving British and international mourners flooding the Queen’s famed residence, Buckingham Palace.
Among the throng of faithful, both at the palace and across the world, were celebrities like Elton John, who said of the Queen on his instagram page, “She was an inspiring presence to be around, and led the country through some of our greatest and darkest moments with grace, decency and a genuine caring warmth.
“Queen Elizabeth has been a huge part of my life from childhood to this day,” he continued, “And I will miss her dearly.’ Dame Helen Mirren, echoed Sir Elton’s sentiment, writing, “I’m mourning along with the rest of my country, the passing of a great Queen. I’m proud to call myself of the Elizabethan age. If there was a definition of nobility, Elizabeth Windsor embodied it.”
Yet, as the world mourned, something magical happened that couldn’t have better symbolized the queen’s reign, or the memories many people around the world were sharing about her.
The Effect of Two Rainbows at Buckingham Palace After the Queen’s Death
With the world at a low after the flag was lowered over Windsor Castle, something amazing happened to lift everyone’s spirits: a double rainbow suddenly appeared over Buckingham Palace, piercing the dark London sky.
It immediately went viral. To some, it inspired her once again meeting her soulmate.
“Prince Philip is waiting for his beloved 💔🌈🌈,” referring to the Queen’s husband of more than 70 years who passed away last year.
Yet for most, it was a glowing goodbye saluting the success of a beloved Queen. “A fitting bridge for her majesty,” posted one mourner; “A remarkable picture of her majesty’s life,” wrote another.
Why a Double Rainbow Represents Queen Elizabeth’s Legacy So Beautifully
In many ways, that rainbow perfectly exemplifies, visually, what made Queen Elizabeth so special.
Ever vivacious in her way and colorful in many others, the Queen broke gender roles with particular flare. During the second world war, she would serve as a mechanic and then a driver in the women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service, easily becoming the most active and visible among her family. Years later, in 2013, she helped pass the “Crown Act,” which promoted gender equality.
She’s also been a picture of strength and poise. Through three of her children divorcing, her home burning down, losing her daughter-in-law, and multiple attempts on her own life, she has remained a rock for a nation, and indeed a symbol for many to look up to when they need a colorful splash of color in an otherwise ominous sky.
But above all, her motivation always about serving her people.
I declare bfore you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service
– Queen Elizabeth II
And doesn’t that say it all? Through all the glitz and glamour, all you really leave is the mark you make on others. And through her life, Queen Elizabeth showed us all how to be successful: Keep your head high, have courage and live to serve others.
With a life like that, nothing can keep you from shining through even the darkest clouds.
16-year-old Andrew Kirby, who was adopted from the foster care system as a baby, has faced many difficulties in his short life. He was born addicted to drugs because of a mother who used during pregnancy; Andrew also suffers from neurofibromatosis, a genetic condition that causes tumors to form in the brain, spinal cord and nerves. This condition has caused Andrew to have many major surgeries. Despite his physical hardships, he has always had a good attitude.
At school, Andrew has always been a loner. He never had much of a social life and always ate lunch alone. His worried mother would text Andrew and ask him if he had found somebody to eat with.
He always answered that he was eating alone but encouraged his mother not to worry, telling her, “Mom, it’s ok. I get on my phone, so I don’t notice.” Andrew’s mother, Kay Kirby, was heartbroken imagining her son eating alone, surrounded by groups of his peers laughing and socializing.
“He’s more of a loner. He’s a good kid, but he’s just different. It doesn’t make him odd or bad. He’s very loyal and everybody that meets him, loves him,” Kay said.
How High School Students Proved the Importance of Including Others
On the first day of school, Kay picked up Andrew as usual. This year, the pickup was different. Andrew excitedly told his mother that the student council kids had invited him and a few other students, who also eat alone, to sit with them. Since then, Andrew’s social life has picked up. He’s been sitting with the same group every day at lunch, and even attended a movie night with them. The new social connections have drastically lifted his mood, much to his parent’s excitement.
“We’re just blown away. High school is hard. We’ve all been there. They didn’t care about what their peers thought and they still invited these [kids] to sit with them at lunch. I applaud them for doing that,” Andrew’s dad, Tyler Kirby said.
Kay Kirby wrote a public message of gratitude to the kids who went out of their way to encourage Andrew, and the post has been shared more than 14,000 times. It even reached United States Senator Tim Scott, who thanked the kids for their kindness and empathy in a video he published.
We can all relate to feeling lonely and having a hard time making friends at school. We were all like Andrew once, and we should all strive to be generous and kind like the kids who invited Andrew to join them.
Teachers do so much for their students: They teach valuable lessons, explain hard concepts, and inspire their students on a daily basis. In underprivileged communities, teachers often help in additional ways, like reaching into their own wallets so their students can have a cafeteria meal or school supplies.
Kimber Bermudez taught at Carlos Fuentes Elementary, a school on the northwest side of Chicago, where most of her students came from predominantly low-income families.
Her job was a big part of her life and something she often discussed with others. That’s how it became the topic of conversation between Bermudez and the passenger beside her on a flight to Florida.
“I have been known as a talker since I was a child,” she told NBC 5.
The Miracle That Took Place On A Southwest Airlines Flight
On Southwest flight 1050, Bermudez told her neighbor about her work at the charter school in Avondale neighborhood.
“He said, ‘What do you do?’ I said, ‘I am a teacher’ and he asked where,” Bermudez said. “He said, ‘What is your greatest struggle?’ And I started talking about our school and the amazing educators here.”
Bermudez told the man next to her about the struggles the children dealt with, such as not having enough money to buy school supplies. In those situations, the teachers at her school used their own money to help their students pay.
“We talked about the world and how no child should ever do without,” she said. “In 2018, kids should never be hungry or in need of anything.”
It just so happened that Bermudez’s neighbor worked for a company that donated items to schools-in-need. He asked her for her information so that he could organize a donation to her school.
“I was not intending for him to say that, and then gave him my school email,” she said. “Then something amazing happened.”
Why Passengers On A Flight Gave A Teacher $530
The man behind Bermudez tapped her on the shoulder and interrupted her conversation. He apologized for eavesdropping, then handed a wad of cash to Bermudez. While she struggled to understand exactly what was happening, the man said one last thing.
“I heard your story; do something amazing,” the man told her.
Bermudez only found out later that he had given her $500.
She promised to use the money to buy her students books, but that wasn’t the only cash coming her way. As the plane landed, the man sitting across from Bermudez gave her $20 and the man in front of her handed her another $10.
“I started crying on the plane,” she said. “I told all four men that I would do something amazing for the kids. I was not telling my story to solicit money, and never intended to walk out of that flight with anything other than my carry on.”
Bermudez knew that $530 could do a lot for the children in her classroom. “With more resources I will get to do more and the kids will get to do more,” she said. “I am just baffled and blown away by all of this.”
How Strangers Proved The Importance Of Helping A Person In Need
She posted about the incident on her Facebook account, which garnered hundreds of views, with the hope that others would see the kindness in the world and decide to also give back to those in need.
“I do however hope that posting this continues the chain reaction of people helping those in need, and especially the children in need,” she wrote. “It doesn’t have to be a school in Chicago, and any bit helps!”
Though she doesn’t know the names of any of the passengers who gave her money, she hoped that the Facebook post would help her find these strangers so she could properly thank them.
“My heart is in complete shock and awe right now,” she wrote. “When the world seems crazy there are always good people. I would do anything for my students, and want to thank these strangers. I don’t know the name of the man who gave me the $500 or the other generous strangers, but they deserve to be recognized.”
Bermudez explained to others how she helps children around her, which then inspired them to help, too. One act of kindness led to more, creating a chain reaction of compassion. So perform an act of kindness whenever you can because it will impact the world tenfold.
Just when it seemed that nothing could spoil a day of family fun at a Six Flags amusement park, disaster ruined the ride.
A day of games and cotton candy was winding down when 47-year-old Matthew Howard Sr. and his family were startled by the sounds of frantic screams.
How A Brave Father Acted Swiftly To Save A Falling Girl
Per CBS News, when he looked up, Howard saw a 14-year-old girl dangling about 25 feet off the ground from a gondola ride. Her little brother was in the pod next to her, crying that he couldn’t hold onto her much longer.
Being orphaned at a young age is an extremely difficult reality to deal with. Our parents are the ones we turn to for safety, security, and love. Without them, childhood is a rougher experience than most of us can imagine.
However, the experience can connect people, even over thousands of miles. When one Seattle man saw the story of a fellow orphan on TV, he decided to take matters into his own hands and changed three lives forever.
The Heartbreaking Request One Man Made On A Talent Show
Greg Rosas, a Seattle man originally from the Philippines, was watching the Filipino talent show Wowowee when he saw a familiar story that broke his heart. One of the contestants, a young man called Barry Bogert Jr., was telling the audience how his mother had passed away when he was only five years old.
Before that, he explained, his American Navy father had left the country without ever meeting his son. Barry had a message for his father, letting him know that he still wanted to meet him despite being left as an orphan for the past two decades.
I don’t know if you don’t care about us but I want you to know that I want to see you.
Barry Bogert Jr.
Why One Seattle Man Wanted To Change A Stranger’s Life
Greg Rosas, who had been orphaned himself as a young child, was touched by the fellow orphan’s sad story. He decided to do what he could to find the young man’s father. After searching high and low, Rosas actually found the man. His name was Barry Bogert Sr. and he was living with his family in New Jersey.
After verifying a few details and submitting a paternity test, the result was clear — Barry Bogert Sr. was in fact the long-lost father of Barry Bogert Jr.! Greg Rosas contacted the young Filipino and flew him out to Seattle, then accompanied him to New Jersey to meet his father.
The picture [Greg Rosas] sent me looks exactly like me.
Barry Bogert Sr.
How A Father And Son Reunited After 28 Years
Once they landed in New Jersey, Bogert Jr. and Bogert Sr. finally met after a decades-long separation. Upon seeing one another, the two men broke down in tears. Bogert Jr. also met his father’s other family, who were emotional and excited to be getting a new family member.
The whole meeting was captured on video, and Greg Rosas felt overwhelmed with emotion about what he was to do for a fellow orphan. He went one step further and offered to sponsor Bogert Jr., offering him a job at the restaurant he owned. Bogert Jr. accepted with enthusiasm, and plans to bring over his fiancée and children as soon as he is able to.
Greg Rosas is a good samaritan who was able to reunite a broken family over 28 years and 6,000 miles. He went above and beyond, but we can all take a page from Rosas’ book. If we all empathized with the stories of those around us and did whatever is in our power to help, the world would be a better place.
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lead with empathy
“Anyone who has experienced a certain amount of loss in their life has empathy for those who have experienced loss.” – Anderson Cooper
Sometimes policies can seem a little nonsensical, especially when it comes to children and basic kindness. Take this story about a nine-year-old in Uniontown, Ohio, for example, whose school lunch was snatched away from him because of a $9 balance on his account.
Why A 9-year-old’s Lunch Was Taken Away From Him
Jefferson Sharpnack came home to his family in September 2019 upset that his ninth birthday didn’t exactly go as planned after a terrible lunch experience.
“I got my cheesy breadsticks and put in my number,” Jefferson explained to an ABC news affiliate. “And when I was going to check out, the lunch lady didn’t say anything, took away my cheesy breadsticks and sauce, put them over there, and took out bread on cheese from the fridge and put it on my tray.”
Why? As it turned out there was a $9 debt on the kid’s account. And while some employees would have looked the other way, added to the debt, or even counted the items as spillage at the end of the day so this kid could enjoy his lunch, the staff stuck to the policies in place.
According to CNN, Green Local Schools confirmed the incident took place and that Jefferson was given the alternative lunch provided to kids in such situations. That lunch is a cheese sandwich, a side item, and milk.
What wasn’t explained was the lack of communication: Jefferson and his siblings were under the temporary custody of their grandmother, Diane Bailey, who put them in the free and reduced lunch program. At the time, she was told she could just write a check for any balance until the new paperwork went through.
You’re going to throw it away and not feed the child? That doesn’t make sense to me.
“In my mind, he didn’t owe anything. I owed the money, the parents, the school district,” Bailey told the ABC outlet. “And my other question is, if they take the food off of your tray, they have to throw it away. You would take the food off a tray and you can’t reserve it?” she continued.
How One Incident At A School Inspired District-Wide Changes
Bailey was understandably upset, so she made several complaints and took to social media, where people shared the story. Finally, Green Local Schools took notice. The feedback was enough for Superintendent Jeff Miller to change the policy and ensure all students get their standard lunch from now on.
“We are committed to providing our students with a positive, safe learning environment and experience in every aspect of the school day. All students enrolled in Pre-K through twelfth grades will receive the standard lunch for the day at their respective buildings regardless of their account balance,” he said in a statement.
“[We] will continue to work with families to ensure they have access to all available resources to assist with purchasing school meals,” Miller said.
“We are sensitive to the financial hardship families incur and challenges presented due to the cost of school breakfast and lunches. Our staff, in coordination with Family Support Specialists, will continue to work with families to ensure they have access to all available resources to assist with purchasing school meals.”
The solution seemed more than reasonable to Bailey, who revealed to the Fox affiliate she appreciated the district’s prompt and “perfect solution.”
As for her grandson’s birthday? That was salvaged by a dinner at his favorite restaurant and cupcakes.
How One Grandmother Proved The Importance Of Speaking Up
Sure, some feel as though the school officials in this situation could have handled things differently. But at the end of the day, the situation brought light to a difficult policy and inspired lasting change.
However, food insecurity is an ongoing issue that affects all communities and possibly even those you know. With inflation and people still trying to catch up post-pandemic, it can be difficult for families to access nutritious and filling food on a regular basis.
That’s why it’s so important to give back when you can. Whether you organize a food drive, donate money to your local food bank, or raise awareness through a GoFundMe on your birthday, it’s more necessary now than ever to help make sure everyone has enough.
Jefferson’s story may not be unique, but here’s hoping it inspires more of us to give back and raise awareness so kids and their families can have full tummies, too.
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be the change
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama
Good friends are priceless, but if George Clooney had to put a price on them, he’d say well worth one million dollars. He knew he wanted to reward his friends for their kindness and support.
Clooney once gave fourteen of his closest friends a million bucks in cash to thank them for always having his back. Among these recipients was Rande Gerber, Clooney’s Casamigos business partner, who told MSNBC about the gift back in 2017. Later to GQ, Clooney confirmed it himself.
“I thought, you know, without them I don’t have any of this. And we’re all really close, and I just thought basically if I get hit by a bus, they’re all in the will. So why the f*** am I waiting to get hit by a bus?” he said.
Then, when his film Gravity with Sandra Bullock became a hit, he had earned millions of dollars just for that one movie. Though Clooney couldn’t actually give his friends the world, he could give them something else instead.
George Clooney’s Ocean’s Eleven Inspired Plan to Surprise His Friends
So, he devised a fun way to present his gifts to his friends.
Inspired by Ocean’s Eleven, Clooney came up with a plan for how he can gift each of his friends one million dollars. In a van with “Florist” painted on the side, Clooney stopped by a warehouse in Los Angeles that was known to have giant pallets of money. That’s where he picked up $14 million in cash.
Next, Clooney stuffed fourteen Tumi suitcases with a million dollars each and invited his friends over for dinner. When they were all gathered together, Clooney began to get serious.
“I just held up a map and I just pointed to all the places I got to go in the world and all the things I’ve gotten to see because of them,” he said.
Gerber remembers Clooney’s speech fondly. “George begins to say, ‘Listen, I want you guys to know how much you’ve meant to me and how much you mean to me in my life,” Gerber said. “‘I came to LA, I slept on your couch. I’m so fortunate in my life to have all of you and I couldn’t be where I am today without all of you. So, it was really important to me that while we’re still all here together that I give back. So I want you all to open your suitcases.’”
How George Clooney Proved the Importance of Appreciating Good Friends
Clooney’s friends, who he refers to as “the Guys,” all opened the suitcases and were shocked by what they saw.
“One was working at a bar in Texas at the airport, trying just to support his family,” Gerber said. “Rides a bicycle to work every day. I mean, these are guys that took care of George and now he’s giving it all back.”
Apparently, not everyone originally wanted to keep the money.
Gerber tried to return the money; he was a successful businessman and didn’t think he needed it. However, Clooney would not take it back.
“I’m just going to make one announcement,” Clooney said when Gerber refused the cash. “If Rande doesn’t take the million dollars, nobody gets their money.” So Gerber took his cut and donated it to charity.
Not everyone has millions of dollars to hand out to friends, but we do all have something. Whether it’s our time, our patience, a listening ear, or — in Clooney’s case — fourteen suitcases brimming with money, we can all give back to those who have supported us.
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appreciate your friends
Never forget the people who supported you when you were struggling.
Fending for yourself as a child can be daunting. We are often shy to ask strangers for help when in need — and for good reason! Adults who seem to act like they are helping can sometimes be dangerous, and it is hard for a child to differentiate between a friend and a foe.
Why 2 Hungry Children Had to Limit the Amount of Food They Ordered
When their mother called home to tell them she had been in a minor accident and was not going to make it home in time to put dinner on the table, two young children were forced to go find food at a local restaurant. The brother and sister duo headed out with what little money they had to make sure their bellies were full for the night.
Once they had arrived at the restaurant, the two children had to keep their family’s financial situation top of mind as they ordered only two plates of duck rice, one big and one small, and told the waiter in advance that they would wrap up any leftovers that were not eaten. To their surprise, the two got more than they had bargained for.
How an Eavesdropping Stranger Stepped in to Help the Children
A man was eating alone near the two children and overheard the care with which they ordered. He quickly realized that their financial situation must be stressful and decided to not only pay for the dinner they had ordered, but add a few extra dishes to the total so that they had enough to bring home and eat for a few days.
The waiter, who was also worried about the children, loved the man’s plan. He added vegetables and soup to the order, hoping that these would help the children get a bit more nutrition over the coming days.
[I wanted the children to] eat more nutritious food and have their fill.
When the children found out that someone had paid their bill, they were excited and told their mother about what had happened. She was very grateful, and rushed to the restaurant to try and catch the stranger before he left, but she was too late. Nevertheless, she wanted to express her gratitude, so she wrote about the whole story on Facebook and included a thank you message to the man.
“Thank you! I hope you can see this. Thank you for the care,” their grateful mother wrote.
The Reason One Stranger Wanted to Help the 2 Hungry Children
The Facebook post went viral, getting thousands of likes and shares and inspiring the community. Not only that, thanks to social media, the mystery man was identified as 29-year-old celebrity chef Luo Shirong. He related to the children because he had been poor in his youth and knew how much poverty can lead to struggle.
I was poor when I was young. When I saw the young brother and sister eating without their parents, I remembered when I was little. I dared not to eat because I had no money!
Seeing them eat without worrying about money was very satisfying and heartwarming, and he was glad that he was able to help a family that reminded him so much of his own. Luo Shirong’s actions are a good reminder to us all that whenever we can, lending a helping hand can make a big difference to a small few, but can inspire many more!
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make someone’s day better
“Making one person smile can change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but their world.” – John Spence