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Little Rock Offers Homeless a Job Cleaning the City

Shannon Jackson

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Many people have realized that homelessness is a serious problem across the entire country. For years, lawmakers have been struggling to find a way to deal with this issue. Now, Arkansas might have found a way to do exactly that. In April of this year, Little Rock decided to launch a pilot program that would help the homeless go back to work while also cleaning up the city. The program is called Bridge to Work and the individuals who participated in the program earn $9.25 per hour. This is more than $2 more than the current federal minimum wage. It turned out that the program was so successful, in multiple ways, the program was then extended for another year. Now, it will run through September of 2020.

The program is run by a local religious organization called Canvas Community Church. The program employs eight people every day for pick up trash. In addition to this, they also perform cleaning tasks and clear weeds. During the time that they participate in the program, the employees are paid (as above) and are also fed a meal. Overall, the reviews of this program have been overwhelmingly positive. The program has received an extensive amount of news coverage and the local population is extremely excited about how the program is going.

In addition to a solid paycheck, the program also provides homeless individuals with access to a variety of other services. Some of these include mental health counseling, regular medical care, job interviews, and even temporary housing. The goal of this program is to help homeless individuals build on this first step and become self-sufficient, contributing members of society. The program recognizes that there are a lot of barriers that might prevent someone who is homeless from getting out of the endless cycle. Without a doubt, there are a lot of steps that need to be completed; however, this program believes that these individuals deserve assistance. That is why it has been established to both better the city of Little Rock while helping individuals who are homeless improve their lives. 

In September of 2019, close to 400 people had joined the work crews, working hard to pick up trash, remove weeds, and clean the city. In total, the group worked close to 2,000 hours at more than 130 locations around the city. In total, in the first six months alone, the group collected more than 2,000 bags of trash. This is an impressive haul for a relatively small crew; however, the group knows they are working for something more than just a paycheck. They are working hard to improve their current living situation. Many of the individuals interviewed have stated exactly this. They know that they have had a rough life for a long time; however, they want to be models for everyone else around the country who is struggling with homelessness. With access to the right people and the right assistance, they can get their lives back on track.

Many of the individuals who are participating in this program also have kids that they want to help. They want to set an example for the future generation that with hard work, anything is possible. Many of the local citizens are impressed with how hard these individuals are working. Unfortunately, there is a stigma surrounding homelessness that can be difficult to shake. This program is the first step in showing that individuals who are homeless can still be productive members of society. In a way, this program shows that they only need to be given an opportunity.

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Routine Traffic Stop Turns into Heartwarming Occasion Thanks to Officer’s Kind Gesture

Shannon Jackson

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Getting pulled over can be a stressful situation. You may not know right away why you were asked to stop, but you probably have a good hunch that it’s not for a good reason.

More often than not, that premonition we have about being pulled over turns out to be accurate and we have to be involved in a less than ideal situation. It’s why many of us dread stopping to talk to an officer so much.

Andrella Jackson may now have different thoughts about being asked to stop by an officer though.

Not too long ago, Jackson was spotted by Milwaukee police officer Kevin Zimmerman and was asked to pull over. Officer Zimmerman requested that Jackson stop because she had the wrong registration for her car.

As he approached the vehicle though, something else caught the eye of Officer Zimmerman. To be more specific, he saw that there were three kids in the backseat of Jackson’s car and two of them were still very small, WTMJ-TV reported. He also noticed that the two small children in question were not in car seats.

Officer Zimmerman then asked Jackson why the small kids were not placed in car seats and she said that she did not have the money to pay for those essential pieces of safety equipment at that time. Jackson mentioned that with winter on the way, she was saving up to buy her children new coats and boots.

A shortage of money is the same reason why Jackson had failed to get her vehicle registered properly.

Per the American Automobile Association (AAA), there are laws in every state dictating that children should be in car seats or restraints.

It would have been easy for Officer Zimmerman to issue Jackson tickets for her violations, but he opted to handle things a different way. Instead of adding to her problems, he went about solving one of them.

Officer Zimmerman soon made his way to a nearby Walmart, and after learning how much the kids weighed from Jackson, he went ahead and purchased two car seats using money out of his own pocket. He even stuck around to install the car seats himself.

By the way, the police officer did more than just give Jackson and her kids new car seats. According to this report from CNN, Officer Zimmerman also made a stop at the police department to pick up a few things – children’s books and stickers – that he also gifted to Jackson’s kids.

The police officer explained why he went the extra mile to help out Jackson. Officer Zimmerman shared that he has kids of his own. He hinted at how frightening the thought is of his own kids moving around in a vehicle with no car seats and how they can be placed in grave danger if an accident occurs.

Officer Zimmerman also said that he was always taught to “do the right thing even if no one is looking.” In this case, both Jackson and the Milwaukee Police Department wanted to make sure that Officer Zimmerman would receive the recognition he deserved even if he wasn’t looking for that.

The generous act touched Jackson, prompting her to shower Officer Zimmerman with numerous “thank yous.” Her kids got in on the chorus of generosity as well.

Jackson called Officer Zimmerman “awesome” and that she is appreciative of the kindness he showed. She added that with the car seats now purchased and installed, she will be able to allocate a bigger budget that will then be used to buy those new coats and boots that her kids need.

What could have turned into an even more trying situation for Jackson and her kids became a shining example of humanity at its best and that is thanks to the generosity exhibited by Officer Zimmerman.

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On The Way To The Last Chemotherapy Treatment, Man Wins $200,000

Shannon Jackson

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Most people understand that life is full of its ups and downs. There are times of happiness and there are times of sadness. Sometimes, life throws all of these feelings at someone at the same time. Perhaps nobody knows this better than a retired transportation worker from the state of North Carolina. This gentleman had been diagnosed with colon cancer. He had faithfully gone to all of his doctors’ appointments and was on his way to his last chemotherapy treatment. After this, his cancer would be followed closely to ensure it was totally eradicated; however, along the way, he stopped by a local convenience store. There, he paid one dollar for a scratch-off and realize he had won five dollars. Then, he decided to purchase two more tickets in an effort to double-down on his five-dollar winnings. As he scratched the second ticket, he could see a bunch of trailing zeros appear. He didn’t believe it at first; however, the ticket was reading $200,000. The gentleman thought that there was no way he had won that kind of money. The store clerk did verify his winnings. He was instructed to proceed to the headquarters of the lottery system to claim his winnings.

The gentleman says that this only served to make a great day even better. He was already excited. After all, he had been being treated for cancer for a while and was excited that he was finally nearly done with his course of treatment. At the same time, winning this kind of money only made his day even better. He decided that his must have been his lucky day. He completed his cancer treatment and then proceeded to the headquarters of the local lottery system to verify and claim his winnings. Of course, he isn’t going to take home every penny of that $200,000.

The gentleman stated that after the state and federal taxes on the winnings, he will still take home more than $140,000. Not a bad payday for an individual who just spent a couple bucks on some scratch-off tickets. He says that he is going to use the money to cover his medical expenses and add to his savings account in case of other emergencies. He does concede that he has good insurance that is going to cover most of the expenses related to his cancer treatment. At the same time, no insurance is perfect. He still has a deductible to pay and many policies have coinsurance as well. For someone who has spent his life working for the local Department of Transportation, these costs can be difficult to bear. The lottery winnings are certainly going to help him out. He is happy to have experienced such fantastic luck on a big day.

According to information from the lottery for North Carolina Education, this system has raised more than $700 million for the local system. Life has a strange way of helping people and this gentleman is the perfect example. He concedes that, had he not been diagnosed with cancer, he probably wouldn’t have purchased that lottery ticket. Even though he has been struggling with colon cancer, he decided to take a chance. In a sense, this might have been life rewarding him for sticking it out during a difficult time. He says that this is a chance to learn a valuable life lesson. Even when times appear dark, it is important to remain optimistic. People never know when their luck is going to turn around. For this gentleman, this is exactly what happened. 

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4 Ways Your Dog Can Help You Be Healthier

Kevin Wells

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Whether you’re a dog owner or volunteering your time to take care of orphaned dogs, hanging out with these four-legged friends can do a lot for your health and your well-being. Here are five ways your dog can help you be healthier.

1. Keep you fit and active. When you have a dog, you are encouraged to put on some sneakers and hit the pavement on a daily basis. Dogs need to go outside to complete their business, and it’s also a chance for them to experience the world around them. For humans, you will be receiving regular exercise. Health experts recommend that adults get anywhere between 2 and 3 hours of moderate exercise per week. Taking your dog on regular excursions can help fulfill that.

2. Weekend hikes. Dogs evolved from wild animals into the domesticated friends that we have today. You can take your dog on long hikes that will keep you and your pup happy, help you burn extra calories, as well as improve your heart health.

3. Sharing food. While your dog’s diet should mainly consist of the appropriate dog food, there is some human food that you can share. You can make some of your pet’s favorite food at home using healthy ingredients that include meats, whole grains, and certain nut butters. Buy some for yourself and you have something in hand to prepare a meal for you and your dog.

4. Mental health matters too. Most pet owners are clear about the immediate joys that come with sharing their everyday lives with a dog companion. However, you might be unaware of the mental health benefits that can also accompany the pleasure of having a furry friend. Pets, especially dogs, have evolved to become acutely attuned to our behaviors and emotions. Dogs may not be able to understand the words you are saying, but they can interpret your tone of voice, gestures, and body language. Dogs can help reduce anxiety, stress, and ease loneliness. As mentioned, dogs help us exercise, stay playful, and interact with the outdoors during long walks and excursions. Caring for a dog can help children grow up to be more mindful of the responsibilities and feeling more secure about themselves.

Studies have shown that dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression, will experience lower blood pressure, and playing with your dog can elevate levels of dopamine and serotonin.

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Here’s How Bucket Filling Can Help Children Grow Into Kinder Human Beings

Kelly Taylor

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Teaching Our Children to Bucket Fill Their Way to Being Kinder Human Beings

It is surprising considering how long parents have been doing it that people keep coming up with new ways to raise our children. There even used to be far different ideas of what was expected of children; there were times when children should be seen but not heard, times when children might be expected to take on adult responsibilities from a very early age, and times when parents assumed children didn’t have their own personalities at all until they were older.

Nowadays, though, most people can agree that we have succeeded in raising our children well if we have raised them to be kind. In these days of violence and fear, we can see the effects of bullying in news headlines. But how can you raise a kinder child? Without a good example from your own family, you may not even know what success looks like until you achieve it. Bucket filling is a practical way parents can teach their children to consider the feelings and well-being of other people in their lives so they can treat people more kindly.

What Is Bucket Filling?

As a concept, Dr. Donald O. Clifton first used the “Dipper and Bucket” story in the 1960s. Dr. Clifton was a psychologist and the founder of The Clifton Strength School in Lincoln, Nebraska. In the 1990s, early childhood educator Carol McCloud learned about the concept and adapted it for young children. She wrote a book called Have you filled a bucket today? which encourages children to be mindful of the needs of others so they can fill their buckets.

You can choose to be either a bucket filler or a bucket dipper. Everyone has their own bucket, which is a reservoir that can be filled with positive things or emptied by negative interactions. If you are a bucket filler, you find ways to provide support and validation for those around you. 

Understanding Bucket Filling

Bucket Filling is a simple and practical enough concept that even small children can understand the concept. Teachers explain the metaphor that all of us have a bucket, and our feelings of sadness, happiness, contentment, and even anger are dependent on what is in our bucket. 

The great thing is that we can all help fill each others’ buckets. Teachers and parents can teach empathy and how to achieve personal emotional well-being by using the concept of bucket filling. At any time during every interaction, we can choose to be positive and fill someone’s bucket or negative and dip from their emotional well-being.

Personal Responsibility

By teaching us how we coexist, bucket filling shows children that they are personally responsible for how their actions and words affect others. They can also understand that there may be ways to fill their own buckets, such as by finding friends who give them emotional support and love. 

There are resources teachers and parents can use to provide concrete examples of how to fill each others’ buckets. Someone with an empty bucket may feel inclined to empty the buckets of others, but we can learn instead to fill everyone’s buckets so we can all enjoy the sense of emotional well-being and having a full bucket.

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These Children Banded Together To Help Find A Missing Woman

Kevin Wells

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When Glenneta Belford could not be found one day, there was an immediate sense of panic in the community. This California woman is 97 years old. She suffers from dementia and struggles to communicate verbally. The local police department knew that they would need to act quickly if they were going to save her. Stories like these can be truly terrifying.

Take a moment to imagine how you would feel if your family member was lost without the ability to help themselves. You would probably be absolutely terrified, right? When the police officers asked the local community for assistance, they never could have expected what would end up happening next. This is an amazing story that shows the depths of these childrens’ thoughtfulness.

These kids were more than happy to help out. Logan Hultman is just ten years old but when he heard about the missing woman on a local helicopter announcement, he knew that he had to pitch in. He rounded up his buddies as quickly as he could and did whatever he could to help out. They grabbed their bikes and took to the streets right away. These are the stories that truly touch the heart, don’t they?

While some older folks might view the younger generation as being spoiled or entitled, there are still lots of great kids out there. Logan would stop at nothing to find Glenneta before it was too late. The search was arduous, for sure. Can you believe that poor Logan fell off his bike? The young man was not about to let a few minor wounds stop his search, though.

He bandaged himself up and carried on with his day. This is a level of perseverance that we wish more people had, to be quite honest. Logan went back home to refuel. Once he had gotten some dinner in his belly, he and his pals were right back to the task at hand. Their level of determination is stronger than most adults. We cannot believe how invested this young man became in this woman’s fate.

Children are far more kind and caring than they often get credit for. They were not going to give up until the woman was found safe and sound. It is a good thing that they were so willing to continue searching. At long last, they finally came across Glennetta. She was not in very good shape at the time and was in need of assistance.

Logan says that the woman was trying to shoo them away. When they first found her, she was talking to herself. The kids were not about to be deterred. An older child in the group knew exactly what to do in this scenario. She picked up the phone and contacted 911 right away. It did not take long before the local police officers arrived on the scene.

Thanks to the help of these super sleuths, this story had a happy ending. We are sure that Glennetta was also appreciative for their help, even if she was unable to show it. These kids were not looking for any sort of kudos, though. They simply wanted to help out and do what was right. We commend them for their level of unselfishness.

If you would like to learn more about this fateful search, please take a moment to check out the video below. In a world that always seems to be chock full of bad news, we are glad to come across a story that is this heartwarming. That’s why we urge each and every one of you to share away! Your friends and loved ones are definitely going to want to see this one. 

video: https://bit.ly/33oQifP 

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