uplifting news

Black Woman’s Family Thinks She’s “Crazy” to Quit Her Full Time Job – Proves Everyone Wrong by Achieving Her Dream

By | Food for thought, inspiring, stories, uplifting news

From a young age, Zandile Ndhlovu knew she belonged in the water. She was irresistibly drawn to the ocean: the sand, the sun and the pounding waves. Even now, she describes it as “an incredible world filled with wonder.” It hasn’t lost that feeling of discovery and adventure for Ndhlovu, and it probably never will.  

Ndhlovu didn’t just want to glance at the coastline from afar. She wanted to be out in the ocean. Swimming was good — but so was being out in a boat. And scuba diving was even better. It opened a new world for Ndhlovu. It was freeing — until people started using it to trap and label her. What was she doing out in the water? Black South Africans taunted her.

The Sea Belongs to Everyone

woman with blue hair sitting on a boat

“Why do you do white people things?” They would ask her with disgust and disbelief. Indeed, Ndhlovu found she was the only Black person out there. Her own family couldn’t understand what was so attractive about the whole thing. For them, the sea was where white people went to do white people things. Ndhlovu disagreed. The sea belonged to everyone. 

It called to her so strongly that she decided to give up her full-time job to become a diving instructor. She traded in her “normal”, quiet life for a wetsuit and told her family that she was going to work toward a freediving certification. Her family was shocked. 

“My grandmother thought I was crazy,” Ndhlovu remembers, “my whole family did!” But she laughs as she says it. She decided to follow her heart anyway, even if that meant that she’d be treading in unknown waters. When Ndhlovu started her training, there was not a single Black freediving instructor in the whole country.

Stay Out of the Water

That didn’t phase Ndhlovu. She’d become the first. Still, she struggled against perceptions and a history that told her Zulu people to stay out of the water.

“In South Africa, from when you’re young, you’re told endless stories about why you shouldn’t be in the sea,” said Ndhlovu. “Whether it’s stories about how our ancestors live at the bottom of the ocean, or there being a big snake down there, these narratives live in our bodies as Black people.”  

As she worked toward certification, though, Ndhlovu realized there was more to the story — a lot more. It wasn’t simply oral tradition and culture that had kept Black people out of South African waters for so long. It was also politics and racism.

During apartheid, Black people had been forcibly removed from their homes, many of which were along the waterfront. They were forced inland or pushed to the most dangerous beaches, unsuitable for swimming or launching boats.

When public swimming pools were built, the admission price was too steep for most Black families. “My mother just never had the money,” Ndhlovu remembers. “Proximity doesn’t equate to access.” Getting out on the ocean required the investment of even more time and money.

Rewriting the Narrative

As she dug deeper and deeper, Ndhlovu started to realize that there was likely even an inherited “historical trauma of the transatlantic slave trade” that kept her people off the shores. Rather than dissuade her, this information made Ndhlovu even more convinced that she had to break the cycle and follow her dream. 

Becoming South Africa’s first Black freediving instructor was the first step. But Ndhlovu wanted to do more to encourage more Zulu people to embrace the ocean. And so the Black Mermaid, as she is called, launched the Black Mermaid Foundation. One of the foundation’s first activities was to bring a group of children from Soweto to the ocean. Ndhlovu noted that, at first, the kids were all terrified of the water.

“It’s a wild terror,” she said. “I feel there’s a healing that needs to happen.”

RELATED: Black Man Shopping for His Kids Is Followed by Security at Walmart – Uses the Incident as a Teachable Moment

And so Ndhlovu chips away at that terror and shows Black children that the ocean is not a white thing. “That’s why I enjoy teaching: to see the fear leave their eyes and the wonder fill their bodies, and this relationship with the ocean being built.”

Besides access and familiarity with the ocean, Ndhlovu teaches the children how to care for the precious resource. They learn about plastics pollution and use some of their time at the beach to clean it up. By taking care of the ocean and the beach, the children feel a sense of ownership and pride.

“I’m allowing them to believe that this ocean belongs to them too,” says Ndhlovu. It’s not a white people thing — it’s an all people thing. Another step in the right direction for South Africa.

Struggling Young Man Thought He Could Get Away With Stealing Cash From an Office at Night — But What His Victim Does Next Totally Shocks Him

By | Food for thought, uplifting news

Desperate times call for desperate measures and for 22-year-old Rashawn times were desperate. He and his father were struggling to meet their most basic needs and rapidly running out of options.

Rashawn had to do something and fast. So, in an act of sheer desperation, he turned to crime.

A Desperate Man Makes a Wrong Decision

Rashawn decided to target the offices of All You Can, a non-profit organization founded by Harrisburg, PA city councilman Ralph Rodriguez. The organization, established in 2019, provides basic needs and emergency resources to at-risk families.

Rashawn was hoping to walk away with some much-needed cash.

What he wasn’t banking on was getting caught in the act.

The night of Rashawn’s b&e attempt, Ralph just so happened to be working late. He confronted Rashawn trying to break into a window and the would-be burglar took off running. All he left in his wake was a grainy image of a man, dressed in a hat, glasses, a mask, and gloves, on a doorbell camera.

It wasn’t enough to make a positive identification. It seemed, for all intents and purposes, to be case closed.

That is until a crisis of conscience changed everything.

Rashawn, unable to live with what he had done, reached out to Ralph on Facebook, confessing his guilt. He was prepared for the consequences, telling Ralph, “I have to be willing to face the consequences and that is what I’m ready to do.”

The ball was in Ralph’s court. He could call the police or he could call Rashawn. He chose Rashawn.

It was a phone call that would change Rashawn’s life.

Fighting Crime with Forgiveness

Ralph Rodriguez/

In speaking with Rashawn, Ralph realized that the young man was not a criminal, but rather someone who was desperate and in need of help.

“I actually took the time to hear his story, see the environment in which he lives in,” Ralph told CBS News. “And I get it. Poverty has a way of pushing you to do things that you would have never imagined you were even capable of doing.”

Ralph decided that the last thing Rashawn needed was a prison cell. What he needed was someone to give him a second chance. Instead of pressing charges, Ralph provided financial assistance, sending Rashawn money for food, clothes, and living expenses.

“Making sure he’s financially good and has some clothes on his back,” Ralph said. “Because what he doesn’t need anymore is any more disappointments. I’m pretty sure people have told him things in his life and dropped the ball 10 out of 10 times. It’s just not what I’m prepared to do.” 

But he didn’t stop there. He took it one step further.

A Desperate Man Finds Hope


Ralph also gave him part-time work, painting the very place he just tried to burglarize. Additionally, he helped him enroll in job training, further setting him up for success.

Rashawn’s life of crime was stopped before it even had a chance to start, all thanks to the compassion and kindness of his would-be victim. And he has no intention of wasting his second chance.

“I thought there would be no one willing to help me, but you never know, you just have to ask. I wasn’t willing to ask,” Rashawn told CBS News.

Desperation can drive people to do things they wouldn’t normally do, and in some cases, those actions can have unexpected consequences.

In the case of Rashawn, a desperate act of breaking and entering turned into a life-changing moment of kindness and support. Ralph could have easily lashed out in anger but he chose forgiveness and empathy instead.

He recognized that so often in life, we never know what someone is going through. Luckily for Rashawn, he did what so many of us wouldn’t — he took the time to find out. And in doing so, he made a dramatic difference in the young man’s life.

‘Everyone Is Welcome’: Man Gives Away Free Motel Rooms to People With Nowhere to Stay

By | Food for thought, homelessness, inspiring, kindness, social media, stories, uplifting news, work ethic

Don’t you just love it when a social media influencer uses their fame for good? That’s exactly what TikTok star Brian Arya has been doing!

“To turn your head away from people who are out in the street is the opposite of what we should be doing,” said Brian Arya, whose TikTok videos have led to an outpouring of donations for those in need, to PEOPLE Magazine.

The New Jersey Motel That Welcomes Everyone

exterior of a New Jersey motel

While Arya has high hopes for a career in showbiz, he helps pay his bills by running a New Jersey motel that was purchased by his dad decades ago. Arya’s dad, George, 83, immigrated to the US from India and been teaching his son the ins and outs of running a motel since he was a child. George has always been firm on “letting people off the hook” if they had trouble paying.

“What we’re doing here, and what we’ve always done at the Lincoln Tunnel Motel, is help people,” says Arya about the modest motel on a gritty stretch of North Bergen, New Jersey, where he grew up. The nondescript motel is just ten minutes from the famous Lincoln Tunnel that connects Weehawken, New Jersey to Midtown Manhattan in New York City.

RELATED: Stranger Take Homeless 20-Year-Old to Target for New Clothes – Then He Reveals Another Big Surprise

It was in 2019 that Arya discovered TikTok, starting an account about life at the @ltmotel and the daily drama and laughs he experiences.

Since the dawn of the COVID-19 pandemic, Arya, known on social media as “Brian the Motel Guy,” told his then near 500,000 followers (now close to a million) that the economy motel was being made available to anyone who needed room to quarantine or simply stay because they had nowhere to go.

“When the pandemic hit, people were losing their homes, and local shelters were filling up quickly and turning people away,” Arya told the New York Post. Arya, 34, grew up in a neighboring motel that his father also owns. “And I wanted to help get people off of the streets, so I opened the doors of the Lincoln Tunnel Motel to anyone in the area.”

Arya’s #FreeRoomForU hashtag has since gone viral on TikTok, with his videos reaching a whopping 31 million likes!

The Lincoln Tunnel Motel has now offered shelter to more than 100 disenfranchised people who needed a helping hand, serving the mandate of aiding the under-resourced rather than turning a profit.

“Sometimes they come just to kind of get away from really bad situations,” said Arya, whose dad has since gifted Arya partial ownership of the motel. “Maybe a domestic situation and kind of hiding from that person. And those you can kind of spot.”

“I’m empathetic to people who really are honest with me, telling me their situation,” said Arya. “I try to help them out the best I can.”

The married father of four has shared his own struggles to keep his bills paid but continues to keep his focus on those more deeply in need.

“To turn your head away from unhoused people or people who are out in the street is the opposite of what we should be doing,” he said.

Arya’s TikTok followers wholeheartedly agreed and have been sending donations of non-perishable food, clothing, essential toiletries, and even cash to help Arya with the costs of helping his guests. He has also started an Amazon wishlist for his guests.

How One Motel Owner Proved the Importance of Kindness

smiling man wearing a cap

The simplest items can make the greatest difference to those with very little.

“Do you know how valuable a clear toiletry bag is to someone out on the street that needs something to put their IDs and their documents in?” Arya explained to PEOPLE. “It’s just so useful for important papers you don’t want to get caught in the rain. We give those out like crazy.”

He also gives away donated soaps, wipes, and other toiletries.

RELATED: Kind Woman Spontaneously Strikes up Conversation With a Homeless Man — She Ends up Giving Him a Job and Makes a Lifelong Friend

“I also make a little bag for them, a little (toiletry) gift bag because we now have a surplus of these items,” he said.

“This motel will always be the affordable place where local people who need shelter can stay and get support and respect from me and my employees,” he said

“I want the Lincoln Tunnel Motel to be a beacon of hope for this community and for my followers all over the world,” Arya told the New York Post. “And if the best thing I can do to spread that beam of hope is give a room to someone in need, then I’m happy to do so.”

Arya chooses kindness each and every day. And kindness always wins.

Struggling Waiter Doesn’t Know How He Will Pay for College – Then a Famous Customer’s Tip Leaves Him Speechless

By | Celebrities, compassion, Food for thought, inspiring, jason derulo, kindness, restaraunt, stories, uplifting news

Anyone who has ever worked in the service industry knows that you live and die by your tips. This is why it’s so important for customers to reward good service.

While it’s customary to tip up to 20% of the bill, one restaurant-goer decided to show his appreciation to his server with a chart-topping 650% tip — to the tune of a staggering $5,000.

One “Exceptionally Lucky” Shift for a Nebraska Waiter

Singer-songwriter Jason Derulo is known for his smash hits and dynamic performances, but recently he’s made headlines for an incredibly generous act of kindness.

During a recent trip to Omaha, Nebraska, Derulo and his family dined at Charleston’s Restaurant, known for being “casual” and “upbeat.”

The party of 18, accompanied by security, racked up a bill of $795.99. Generally, this would warrant about a $160 tip. However, Derulo, impressed by the “really awesome” service tipped the unsuspecting waiter nearly 30 times that amount.

The waiter, Jordan Schaffer, was floored. Overwhelmed by the unexpected generosity, he took to social media to share the news.

In a TikTok video that has gone viral with over 300K views and 48K likes, Jordan thanks the musician and reveals that his generous act of kindness just paid for his semester of college.

Jason Derulo’s $5,000 Tip Goes Viral on TikTok

The clip opens with a shot of Derulo, presumably signing off on the bill, and a voiceover saying: “Jason Derulo tipped me $5,000 at Charlestons Restaurant in Omaha.”

The camera pans to Jordan as he tells Derulo, “Wow, my heart’s beating really fast.” Derulo responds, “You guys are really awesome, man.”

It then cuts to Jordan, giving a heartfelt shout-out to the pop star.

“Hey Jason, thank you. You just paid for a semester at my college.”

Jordan Schaffer

He continues, “I can’t say thank you enough so, you know, I hope your family has a wonderful time in Omaha and I hope you see us again.”

It ends with a close-up shot of the receipt and Jordan just shaking his head in disbelief.

Derulo showed up in the comments to respond, writing: “You seem like a great person. Thank you for taking such great care of our fam. Keep spreading the love bro.”

He also re-shared Jordan’s TikTok to his own social media accounts, captioning it: “Blessed to be a blessing.”

Jason Derulo’s Tip Couldn’t Have Come at a Better Time

Jordan ended up splitting the tip with his coworker, but he made certain to put his half to good use.

According to an interview with Fox & Friends, Jordan had just been hit with a $50 late fee for his college tuition a week earlier. He was scrambling to come up with the money and didn’t know how he was going to swing it. And then in walked Jason Derulo. Thanks to Derulo’s tip, Jordan was able to pay off the entire semester.

Not only did Jordan take home thousands of dollars that day, but he also came away from the experience with a valuable lesson. “I just learned that it doesn’t matter who you’re serving… if you give them the right kind of service, it might end up touching them in a way that you weren’t expecting,” he said.

And, to top it all off, he has a “crazy story” that he plans on telling for the rest of his life.

Pregnant Woman Delivers Baby in Chipotle Parking Lot – And the Restaurant’s Response Wasn’t What She Expected

By | baby shower, chipotle, family, Food for thought, inspiring, pregnant, stories, uplifting news

When it comes to giving birth, most women like to have some sort of plan. Like, for instance, what type of birth they want, or whether they want to give birth in a hospital or at home.

But as doctors are prone to tell you when you’re expecting, plans are made to be broken. And no one knows this better than Colorado mom, Adrianna Alvarez.

How One Pregnant Woman Ended Up Giving Birth in a Chipotle Parking Lot

Adrianna Alvarez and her husband Saul Flores planned on having their fourth child in a hospital. Apparently, Baby Flores didn’t get the memo.

The couple was headed to the hospital when Adrianna’s water broke and her contractions started coming fast and furious.

“We were actually driving down this road to get to the hospital and we were getting really close to the street and I told him [Saul] ‘we’re not going to make it, I feel like the baby is coming,’” Adrianna told KDVR.

Saul immediately called 9-1-1.

When the dispatcher, Angie Schell, found out that Adrianna’s contractions were less than a minute apart, she knew the baby wasn’t just coming, he was almost here.

RELATED: Frantic Grandmom Calls Firefighters to Help Her Pregnant Daughter – 22 Years Later, They Meet the Baby They Delivered

There was no way the couple was going to make it to the hospital in time. Angie instructed Saul to pull over.

“We ended up in front of Chipotle. It was really weird,” Adrianna said.

As it happens, the couple and Chipotle have a history together. The parents first met while they were both working there.

And now, in a surprising twist of fate, they were about to meet their son for the first time there too.

With the help of Angie coaching the couple over the phone, Adrianna ended up delivering their son, Jaden Flores, in the back of her car in the Chipotle restaurant parking lot. Giving a whole new meaning to the term “burrito baby.”

How Chipotle Responded to the Surprise Birth

To celebrate the surprise delivery, Chipotle decided to throw the couple a baby shower at the restaurant where he was born. The theme? “Burrito Baby,” of course.

“When we heard about baby Jaden, who was born in our parking lot, and the amazing teamwork between the family and the dispatcher, we were so excited for the opportunity to do something special for them,” said Quinn Kelsey, public relations and communications manager for Chipotle.

In addition to decorations, balloons, and a letterboard that read, “Congrats on your Little Burrito,” the restaurant also put its own unique spin on the food, setting up a dessert table filled with cupcakes and cake, each one adorned with a burrito cake topper.

They even went so far as gifting an adorable tortilla swaddle blanket to “wrap” the guest of honor, Jaden, in.

Chipotle Introduces Parents to the 9-1-1 Dispatcher Who Helped Deliver Their Baby

While the baby shower itself was incredible, Adrianna and Saul were most excited about the chance to meet their 9-1-1 angel, Angie. An opportunity Angie was thrilled about too.

After all, Jaden’s birth was a first for her too. In her 18 years of working as a dispatcher, it was the first time she got to help with the delivery.

“We do a lot of childbirths but we rarely get to the actual birth part,” Angie said. “This one was the first one in 18 years that I actually got to dispatch and help with the baby being born.”

She continued, “I’ve been the last voice that many people have spoken to, so it’s really nice to be able to be there for their first breath, too.”

And she’s got one heck of a birth story to share, along with Jaden’s parents.

Delivering a baby in a Chipotle parking lot obviously wasn’t a part of Adrianna’s and Saul’s birth plans. But sometimes, the most unexpected moments bring the greatest blessings.

21-Year-Old Single Dad Wakes Up at Midnight to Walk to Work Every Day – So His Co-workers Arrange a Special Surprise

By | career, family, Food for thought, hard work, inspiring, Motivation, stories, success, uplifting news

There’s something noble about working in silence. Many people struggle with maintaining hard work over long periods of time and complain the whole way through. But not Trenton Lewis.

Why One Young Dad Wakes Up at Midnight

man holding a bag walking on the street
Photo by Rahul Shah

Trenton Lewis is a 21-year-old single father from Little Rock, Arkansas. He values hard work and has a 14-month-old daughter, Karmen, to take care of. Trenton works in the shadows, literally. 

Every day for roughly half a year Trenton used to wake up around midnight, kiss Karmen goodbye and go to work. Trenton’s shifts at UPS began at 4 a.m.

Without a car, he would walk 17 km in the middle of the night to get there on time. “I don’t want to miss work at all,” Trenton said. “I had figured I had wanted to be with my daughter to get to support her because I want to be a father.”

RELATED: Pizza Hut Deliveryman Has Worked the Same Job for 31 Years – So His Customers Tip Him With a Brand New Car

Trenton was never late for work. He did what he needed to do and never complained. He even managed to keep the details of his walk a secret. As an Arkansas native, he takes pride in not making excuses. “I made it to work and everyone was late,” Trenton mentioned, “I’m doing this for my daughter.”

Eventually one of his co-workers, Kenneth Bryant, found out about Trentons daily travels. He was shocked to see the standard Trenton holds himself to. “If somebody got that much determination, I’d be willing to help them,” Kenneth told reporters, “Here’s a young man who wants to work and will do whatever it takes to be successful.”

Inspired by his story, Kenneth began asking around the office if people would be interested in secretly getting Trenton a new vehicle. Many of their co-workers agreed, even people who had never met Trenton.

How a Single Dad Proved Hard Work Is Always Rewarded

Kenneth went to a local car dealership and explained to the salesperson his co-workers’ story. Impressed, the salesperson told Kenneth they’d be willing to get the 21-year-old a good deal. 

Shortly after, Kenneth and the UPS employees had gathered enough money to get Trenton a car. They brought him to the office parking lot for what they said was a “union meeting.” There, Kenneth held a short speech, and surprised Trenton with the keys to a 2006 Saturn Ion. 

RELATED: Teen Is Photographed Walking at 4 AM to Reach His Graduation – So a Stranger Gifts Him a Brand New Car

Trenton was surprised and grateful for people like Kenneth. For a guy that shows little emotion, he was seen smiling from cheek to cheek. “I had no idea, I guess they’re very good secret holders. This was my first car, I have awesome co-workers,” Trenton said.

For his first ride, Trenton stopped by his home, picked up his daughter and went to get a bite to eat. The first of many meals out in the new ride.

Its great to see a young man doing all he can for his family. He knows that the best way to support his daughter is to put his nose down and work hard. “I knew days were going to get better if I kept coming to work,” he said, “And that’s just what I did.” Because of his unrelenting determination, Kenneth was awarded something that will make his days a little easier.

White Woman Refuses to Listen to Dad After He Forbid Her From Marrying a Black Man – 60 Years Later, They’re Still Together

By | Food for thought, inspiring, stories, uplifting news

When Leon Watson and Rosina Rodriquez met in 1949, they knew they had a connection that went beyond their physical appearances.

Unfortunately, the rest of the world didn’t see it that way. But the pair stuck together despite it all, becoming one of the oldest couples in the U.S.

How an Instant Attraction Blossomed Between Two People

a Black man with a white woman
Facebook/Leon Watson

Watson and Rodriquez went on their first date in 1949; they were nervous about walking into the movie theatre together.

He was a Black man from Mississippi who had joined the United States Marine Corps and served as a scoutmaster. She grew up in Mexico and had fair skin. When people saw them together, it made them uncomfortable.

So on that date, Rodriquez went in first and took her seat at the cinema before he followed and sat beside her. As their relationship progressed, they could feel people looking at and judging them, but that didn’t break their bond — it just made them more selective about where they hung out.

RELATED: Dad Of Interracial Family Admits To Confronting His Own Racial Bias – Learns Powerful Lesson

Typically, that meant spending their time with mutual friends who, like them, worked to raise awareness about social issues. The groups would talk about rights and equality, but they would also throw epic dance parties where the couple really bonded.

Eventually, according to a profile in the New York Times, it was inevitable, and Watson got down on one knee to propose. Naturally, she said yes.

How One Couple Had to Fight for Their Love

three men and two women
Facebook/Leon Watson

When Rodriquez’s father heard his daughter planned to marry, he traveled from New Mexico to speak with her in person. He wanted her to know it wasn’t a good decision and that her life would be hard. She wasn’t having any of it.

According to the Times, she had interracial friends who had married and were living their best lives. So she wasn’t about to change her mind about the man she loved.

In 1950 the pair tied their knot in Oakland, California. Interracial marriages had been legalized in the state several years earlier, in 1943. Still, that didn’t stop people from making judgments about the couple.

RELATED: 42 Years Ago, Interracial Couple Was Forced To Break Up – Today, They Found Their Way Back To Each Other

When they moved into their first home together, they noticed many white families started leaving the neighborhood. It made Rodriquez uncomfortable to tell her work that she had married a Black man; she was scared they would judge her or find a way to fire her.

“I didn’t want to be rejected,” she said.  

As it turned out, she didn’t need to worry. One day she could no longer hide the truth when their roof needed to be fixed, so she asked her boss for help. He came over, and she kept her job. Her colleagues never even brought it up.

How One Interracial Couple Stayed Together Despite Struggles

Watson and Rodriquez had three children together, José, Jorge, and Lucia. They never discussed racial differences with their kids, and although they had some moments, the trio rarely faced discrimination at their school because the kids there were from all kinds of different backgrounds.

The children were proud of their heritage, and when José was old enough to drive, he even commissioned a special license plate: “1BLACKMEX.”

RELATED: Jennifer Lopez Reveals What She’s Learned After Three Failed Marriages – And How She’s Protecting Her Fourth

In April 2020, Watson and Rodriquez were one of the oldest interracial couples in America. Then, in April of that year, Watson passed away. He left behind his wife, his children, nine grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

How One Interracial Couple Proved That Love Conquers All

elderly man and elderly woman wearing green
Facebook/Leon Watson

It’s hard to imagine a couple going through so much these days, yet discrimination, racism, and prejudice are everywhere.

That’s why we need stories like these that remind us how love is love, and if you find your person in life, that’s a lucky thing indeed. It can be challenging and unfair, but focusing on that love and tuning out the hate is the best approach for a happy and fulfilled life.

Watson and Rodriquez knew that, so they focused on the positive and tried to move past the hardships — as hard as some of them were.

Their story gives us hope, but it also reminds us why it’s so important to try and unlearn any of our own harmful behaviors and to stop judging others for how they choose to live their lives.

Paralympic Medalist Blake Leeper Praises 2-Year-Old Boy for Learning to Walk With a Prosthetic Leg

By | Food for thought, stories, uplifting news

An incredibly powerful moment between a toddler and Paralympic medalist is so sweet it’s making people’s hearts melt. Blake Leeper was present to cheer on a 2-year-old’s first steps with a prosthetic leg, ensuring he wouldn’t be alone in the process.

Leeper visited Scott Sabolich Prosthetics and Research in Oklahoma City in December 2020 to be fitted for his own prosthetics. While there, he found out that 2-year-old KJ Dyer was down the hall and getting ready to walk for the first time in his new prosthesis.

“I’m going; I’m going. You going to catch me? Leeper said in a Dec. 9, 2020, clip shared on the official Instagram for the Scott Sabolic Prosthetics and Research center.

“Come on!” Leeper continued as KJ confidently strolled towards him.

Leeper’s Continued Words of Encouragement for KJ

Blake Leeper Praises 2-Year-Old Boy With a Prosthetic Leg Learning to Walk

On Dec.21, 2020, Leeper took to his Instagram to share a video of him encouraging KJ to walk.

“I got my legs on now! I am ready! I’m ready for you!” Leeper joyously said before telling KJ he was doing “awesome” and “great.”

“Look … mine look like yours!” Leeper added, showing KJ their similarities.

RELATED: Disabled Mom Leaves the Mall With Her Daughter – Finds a Cruel Note Shaming Her for Parking in a Handicap Spot

Additionally, Leeper noted that kids like KJ are the motivation for him to keep on going.

“This right here is my motivation. I promise to keep grinding and fighting so young KJ will have every opportunity to compete at the highest level!!” he wrote in the post’s caption.

Social Media’s Positive Reception to the Heartwarming Acts of Kindness

Seeing the videos on the athlete’s and health center’s Instagram have prompted people to share their well wishes and praise for the adorable and inspirational gestures.

“You deserve a Nobel prize! You are awesome! Thank you for supporting young ones in their challenges!!” one person wrote.

Another added: “You deserve a Nobel prize! You are awesome! Thank you for supporting young ones in their challenges!!”

RELATED: Honourable Teammates Fight To Keep Permanently Disabled Player On Payroll For 20 Years

A third wrote: “Just seeing this clip today, hats off to you guy for being an inspiration to others. You are what being an Athlete should be all about, using your position for the greater good.”

Someone else who championed Leeper as a “national treasure” and “hero” added: “You are a hero and a national treasure! Every kid just wants to know there is someone like him. So amazing you took the time to make a difference in this kid’s life.”

Kj’s Triumphant Recovery Journey


In a conversation with ABC News, KJ’s mother, Chelsea Dyer, said Leeper’s motivation helped the energetic toddler become determined to continue getting up and walking.

“He’s doing great, and he only has to have the walker the first day. Ever since we’ve been home, he’s been a very determined boy,” she told the outlet. 

A couple of weeks after the videos were filmed and shared online, KJ went back home and got used to walking with his new leg. Chelsea also told ABC’s “World News Tonight” that meeting Leeper was wonderful.

“It was just an amazing experience for us as parents and for getting to see somebody to inspire him, and actually, it helps encourage him at home,” she said.

This moment is a sign that anything is possible as long as you put your mind to it. Once that happens, the sky is the limit!


Waiter Pauses During Shift To Feed Disabled Customer, Allowing Her Husband To Enjoy His Meal Too

Daughter Shares Heartwrenching TikTok of Dad in Empty Restaurant Waiting for Customers — Then the Miraculous Happens

By | Food for thought, stories, uplifting news

It’s a TikTok video that has captured the hearts of more than a million people. In a mere 7 seconds, it takes viewers on a poignant journey of loss, longing, and waiting. A journey that Vuong Le knows only too well.

Business used to be booming for Le’s Santa Rosa restaurant, aptly named Lee’s Noodle House.

But then the pandemic hit. Like so many other small business owners, Le and his wife, Ha Tran, were forced to close their doors to indoor dining. Without adequate outdoor seating, they had to rely on take-out orders to get by.

Once the Covid restrictions finally lifted, Le was hopeful that things would go back to normal. They didn’t. For the past few months, the family has been struggling to keep their restaurant afloat, anxiously waiting for customers to return.

Their waiting may finally be over.

A Daughter Films a Heartbreaking TikTok of Her Father in His Empty Restaurant


Le’s daughter, 21-year-old Jennifer, is a master’s degree student at Long Beach State. She was home for a few days helping her parents at the restaurant when she decided to take a quick TikTok video and post it to the platform. She had no idea of the impact it would have.

In the video, Jennifer pans the camera around the empty restaurant before zooming in on her father. Dressed in a red jacket, he’s leaning across the counter, twiddling his fingers, staring sadly at a door that refuses to open. Just waiting.

Set to the haunting lyrics, “I don’t care how long it takes…” Jennifer captions it with: “it makes me so sad to see my parents just wait for customers to walk through the door to eat at their Vietnamese restaurant.”

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She also adds a plea for help in the description, writing: “tiktok do your thing & help support my parents Vietnamese restaurant:( my parents haven’t been having that many customers & been feeling stressed dealing with financial issues. if you want to check it out, they make delicious vietnamese food:) 1010 Hopper Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95403”

The video captures her father in a moment of raw vulnerability and it’s absolutely gut-wrenching. Even more so because her dad had no idea that she was filming it.

The Family-Run Restaurant At Stake

The restaurant is the Le family’s livelihood. Opened in 2003, it truly is a family business. Le cooks and serves, his wife is the head chef, and all 4 of their children have worked in it in one capacity or another.

It is open 6 days a week and on their one day off, Le and Ha Tran spend it cleaning, grocery shopping, and prepping for the week ahead.

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They have spent two decades putting their blood, sweat, and tears into their restaurant, and now, they were in real fear of losing it. Bills were piling up and they were under a significant amount of financial strain.

Knowing this and hoping to drum up some business, Jennifer posted the video on TikTok the next morning.

“First I posted it just to help my parents because when I was there helping them, it was really empty and quiet and we were just sitting around the majority of the time,” she told Press Democrat. “I thought ‘I’ll give TikTok a chance.’ I know a lot of kids used TikTok.”

How One TikTok Video Changed Everything


It turns out, A LOT of people use TikTok.

Within hours of posting it, the clip blew up, garnering nearly 1M views. Commenters came out in droves, from all over the world, showing their support and love for the hardworking family. The best part? It worked.

Since Jennifer shared the moving clip of her dad, Lee’s Noodle House is booming, a trend the Les hope continues for a long time to come.

As for how Le feels about what his daughter did? “She surprised me a lot … I didn’t know she did that,” he said. “But it’s a fact,” he continued. “How come at nighttime nobody dines in? It’s so stressful. We usually close at 9, now we close at 7:30 because you can’t afford to pay PG&E gas and electric and all that and you cannot wait for customers.”

Thanks to the power of social media, now they don’t have to. And the family is incredibly grateful. They posted a notice on their Instagram account thanking everyone who has supported them. “We are deeply grateful for the love everyone has shown us and we cannot thank you enough,” they wrote.

The Les struggle is not unique. Thousands of small business owners are still grappling with the devastating impact of the pandemic. Jennifer’s TikTok of her dad is a poignant reminder of just how important it is for us to continuously step up in support of local businesses in our communities.


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She Thought Her Son Was Dead but He Never Stopped Searching — Man and His Mother Reunited After 44 Years Apart

By | Food for thought, stories, uplifting news

There is no stronger bond than a mother-son relationship. One Jordanian man spent his entire adult life in search of the woman most near and dear to his heart.

Just a couple weeks after Wissam Mohamed was born, he fell very sick and was admitted to the hospital. His parents marriage was on the brink of collapse when his father told a lie that would shape the rest of Wissam’s life.

In fear that his mother would take Wissam back to Egypt with her, Wissam’s father explained that their newborn had passed away in the hospital. Heartbroken, Wissam’s mother, Reda Mahmoud, divorced the man and returned to her hometown of Cairo. 

Wissam Decides to Search for His Mother

Reda proceeded to live the rest of her life thinking that she had lost her son. She spent years grieving young Wissam’s death, all while he was growing up with his father in Jordan.

Years later, when Wissam grew into adulthood, he began searching for his mother. He didn’t know whether she was alive or dead. The only resources he had for the search were her name and a general idea of where she used to live in Cairo.

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He travelled to Egypt multiple times in hopes to find her but never did. “She used to live in a place in Cairo that was destroyed by an earthquake in 1992,” he said, “I only knew for sure that she was alive about four years ago, when the lawyers told me they couldn’t find a death certificate for her,”. Even with this new information, he still had no idea where she could be.

Recently, Wissam’s aunt in Jordan found some old pictures of Reda, she posted them online and they made their way to an Egyptian Facebook group called “Missing Children”. The group was founded in 2015 and had grown to roughly 2 million followers, along with 7,000 volunteers helping reunite Egyptian families. 

A Facebook Group Reunites Them


Wissam’s story along with old photos of his mom were posted to the group with a caption reading: “Your son is alive and looking for you.”

Only 24 hours later, on December 7, Wissam’s mother was contacted through the page. He flew to Cairo the next day and met her at the airport. “You thought I was dead?” Wissam asked as he embraced his mother for the first time. “They told me so.” Reda responded. 

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What Wissam said next shows how important it was to him to have found his mother. “I am sorry, I have been looking for you for 20 years.” He spent his entire adult life in hopes of reconnecting with someone he had no information on. Nonetheless, Wissam told reporters, “For the past 20 years, I’ve always believed that I will find her.”

With the wide reach of the “Missing Children” Facebook group. This family was reunited again. This is just another happy ending for the group, as they have reunited 3,000 people so far.

Wissam and Reda both went through many years of grief and hardship. It is beautiful to see a mother and son be reconnected and still have time to build their relationship.


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