The Daily Saint

"By saints I meant people who behaved decently in a strikingly indecent society. Perhaps some of you are or will become saints for her child to meet." --Kurt Vonnegut

Christian Ponder

When the Robbins family bumped into Minnesota Vikings QB Christian Ponder and his wife, Samantha, while out shopping, they had been trying to distract themselves after the family’s mom, Maggie, was recently killed in a car accident.

After learning of their grief, reported WCCO, Ponder treated the family’s two girls to a shopping spree.

"When we walked into the store, the manager came out and he mentioned that they wanted to buy my daughters some clothes that day," father Justin Robbins told WCCO, who learned Ponder was behind the shopping spree only after pressing the manager for details. Robbins said he had limited his daughters to one outfit apiece, despite their desire to buy the whole store.

"We really, really want to thank the Ponders and what a great man. Samantha is a great person and Christian is a great man," Justin added to the station. "It was a great day, it really helped us out. We really appreciate the Ponders for doing that for us."

(Photo via Twitter)

These Parents

"Dear Toys R Us manager,

Recently, a family shopped at your store for a Star Wars toy for a boy relative’s birthday. They found an appropriate gift, and then headed home. They have a nine-month-old baby girl — the force is strong with this one. After arriving home, they were shocked and embarrassed to find their baby daughter had gone to the dark side and with skills worthy of a Jedi Master, the baby had managed to smuggle home an unpurchased item: a Darth Vader stuffed toy. We don’t know which is more concerning: that she took the toy or that she chose a Darth Vader toy over the more friendly Wookie or Yoda on the same shelf!

We are most embarrassed and concerned this child was so easily swayed the dark side, but in an attempt to clear her name and our collective conscious, and to right this wrong and bring balance again to the universe, we are enclosing $10 for payment of the object of her desire. The little Jedi has searched her feelings and she is very sorry for her actions.”

Beijing Subway Decision-makers

The Beijing subway system now allows passengers to pay for their tickets with plastic bottles, thus helping the environment and the pocket of every traveler.

Yvonne and Nabiha

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Nabiha Islam worked at a Dairy Queen in Markham, Ontario, under owner Yvonne Lavasidis, while working through med school. Though she retired bout three or four years ago, Islam didn’t forget to thank her years later.

"Dear Yvonne,

Well, I’m a doctor now! It’s taken me a long time, I know, to come back around to Dairy Queen, but I have thought about you and your kindness often. You are an incredible boss and an even better human being. Thank you for supporting and encouraging me, for BBQing halal chicken for me, and allowing me to study for my MCATs in the back when no customers were around. Much love, Nabiha”

These Volunteers

"Reader wanted for 34-year-old blind man living in Nunhead SE15. Since I became unable to read at all about 15 years ago, there has been a huge empty space in my life. I got much pleasure out of reading and would love to find someone to read for me, either once or twice a week in my home in Nunhead. Any possible payments can be discussed on the first meeting. I look forward to any response. Kind regards, Andrew Bailey."

Andrew Bailey of London suffers from a degenerative condition known as Friedreich’s ataxia, which caused him to go blind about 15 years ago. A few weeks ago, he asked his caregiver to put this note in the window of a local bookshop. His request went viral after a stranger spotted the note, took a photo of it and posted it on Twitter. Since then, more than 40 people have come forward, offering to read to Bailey.

Rebecca Hartline

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A note from my wonderful dad, who met Rebecca last month in Indiana:

“Allow me to introduce Ms. Rebecca Hartline, night manager at the Hometown Lodges in Hammond, Ind. The Hometown provides lodging for commercial driving (tractor-trailer) students attending the rigorous course of instruction at CR England Corporation (i.e. Truck School), which provides interstate trucking services throughout the United States. Often, many of the young students put together every last dollar so that they can attend the course.

Rebecca here is a Daily Saint because she knows each student by name, along with the many challenges they face. One morning, a young driver was stuffing complimentary donuts and snacks into his backpack. He noticed Rebecca looking his way and got a little nervous, but she just said across the room, “You’re all set, hon. Just take what you need. We have plenty where that came from.” Rebecca quietly turned to me and said, “He’s used up his last dollar, so he should take whatever he needs.”

Thanks for filling me in, Pops, on this lovely little story about Rebecca, the Daily Saint of Hammond, Indiana.

This Little Girl

This little girl gave away free rainbows from her rainbow shop to strangers passing by.

This Man

"This homeless man found a bunch of my wife’s stolen property strewn all over downtown Tulsa. He took the the time to gather it all up in the rain and call us for retrieval. I just want to recognize him for being an awesome human being."

These Co-Workers

"My father is an airline pilot. He took a couple weeks off while my mom was going through chemo for breast cancer. Today was his first day back. This was his tug at the plane."

(Photo via Pinterest)

Doniece Sandoval

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Doniece Sandoval of San Francisco is a former marketing exec., but in 2013, she quit her job and started Lava Mae, a project that aims to turn decommissioned city buses into shower stations for the city’s homeless population.

“One day I passed a woman in the street and she was very dirty and basically crying, and I heard her say that she would never be clean. There’s obviously a lot of layers to that but I was wondering what her opportunities were to actually get clean,” Sandoval told ABC News.

San Francisco, unofficially dubbed one of the homeless capitals of the U.S., counts nearly 6,500 homeless people in 2013, according to recent city numbers, with 4,300 people living on the street.

She also said the gentrification of her San Francisco neighborhood had pushed people, including her neighbor, onto the street.

“His name was Mr. Earl and he was a Vietnam vet – a lovely man. At the time I would walk my daughter and he’d stop and chat with us. About two years ago he was evicted and ended up on the street. The last time we saw him was about six months ago. He was just in really bad shape,” she said. “We just realized that this shouldn’t be happening. These are human beings.”

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has joined in on the cause, donating one bus for the cause and potentially three more for future projects. Sandoval expects that by 2015, Lava Mae will be able to provide 2,000 showers a week.

(Photo via Twitter)

This Kid

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Philosophy of a first-grader: “The world is pretty and everyone should be quiet and enjoy it.”

Officer Ben Hall

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Michigan Police Officer Ben Hall was on patrol when he pulled over a driver who had a small child in the car without a proper car seat. The drive, a young mom named Lexi DeLorenzo, explained that she knew her daughter should be in a proper seat, but her family had fallen on hard times and she couldn’t afford one. Rather than give DeLorenzo a ticket, Hall drove with her to a nearby Walmart and  bought a car seat for the family with his own money.

(Photo via Emmett Township Department of Public Safety/Facebook)

These Firefighters

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When an 81-year-old woman fell in front of her home in Santa Barbara, Calif., on Sept. 20, firefighter Captain Kevin Bryant and his crew responded to the call. The firefighters took the woman to the hospital where they found out that she’d broken her arm, according to KEYT.

While she was undergoing surgery, Bryant and fellow firefighter Tyler Smith decided to  clear the tangles of shrubs in her  yard and near the front door.

"We felt at that time, that if the walkway had not been so narrow she might not have fallen," Bryant told KEYT. "We just felt we could help this woman avoid a future fall, and do a little customer service."

(Photo via KEYT)

Chris Carroll

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Raleigh Callaway, 49, of Greensboro, Georgia, had been battling stage five kidney failure and was in need of a transplant. In an attempt to find a donor, Callaway, a police officer, posed for a photo with his wife and their daughters holding a sign, reading, “Our daddy needs a kidney!”

The picture, which was posted to Facebook, went viral, and spurred hundreds of people to offer to help, including Chris Carroll, a health care consultant from McKinney, Texas, who ended up being a match, the Atlantic Journal-Constitution reported.

The two underwent the transplant operations late last month, according to the Atlantic Journal-Constitution. The operations were successful, and both men have been released from the hospital, WSBTV reported.

"When I saw Raleigh’s story, saw pictures of the girls and everything, and it hit me," Carroll told WSBTV. "That’s what kind of surprised me a little bit, there was never a doubt. I mean, it’s like if my own dad needed a kidney — that’s how strongly I felt.”

(Photos via Brandy Angel Photography)

Alaa

Alaa is an ambulance driver in Syria, where he tends to the human victims of the country’s civil war. On his off-hours, though, he cares for more than 150 abandoned cats, Reuters reported.

After residents fled Aleppo because of the shelling from Bashar al-Assad’s regime, many cats were left to roam the streets. 

That’s when Alaa stepped in. He has spent the last two months spending about $4 each day to feed the cats in Aleppo’s Masaken Hanano neighborhood. He uses money from his savings to keep the felines well-fed with raw meat scraps he buys daily.