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

This Dad

"My dad turned 50. Instead of gifts, he asked everyone to bring toys for kids in need. This is him giving a toy car to a child battling AIDS." 

(Photo via Pinterest)

This Bus Driver

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By Marcel Walker

On a recent Friday I almost missed a bus I needed to catch to an important meeting. I was on the opposite side of the street and waved at the bus driver as he drove through the intersection.

I fully expected him to shrug and continue on, since no one else was waiting.

Instead, he pulled over and waited for me to cross the street. That may not sound like a big deal, but the lights were against me and no drivers would slow down so I could board the bus. A couple of cars even honked at the bus as he waited, but he stayed there until I could finally get to it.

It had been an incredibly stressful morning, and I couldn’t afford to miss my meeting, so this driver really hooked me up when he didn’t have to.

Local bus drivers have a thankless job. They are often dealing with an ungrateful public, they literally have people’s lives in their hands every day, they have to get us all to our destinations on time and they are, for whatever reason, not expected to be human and make occasional mistakes.

As someone who doesn’t drive, my existence often revolves around the people who drive the buses. I’ve had negative experiences with drivers, too, but I’ve had far and away more positive experiences with them. I wish I had this particular driver’s name, but at the very least I want to send some goodwill his way.

(Story via Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Anonymous asked: There was a day at my school where I took sticky notes and wrote "Smile. You're beautiful" on all of them and put them on the locker of every girl in my grade, and there's roughly 50 of us. It probably took 15 minutes, tops - let's spread the beauty of making people smile. :)

Well, that’s just perfect:) Keep spreading the good stuff and being a Daily Saint! xx

These Window Washers

Window washers at Chicago’s Lurie Children’s Hospital this week continued with a popular tradition to help put a smile on the faces of sick children.

The Chicago Tribune reported that the handymen dressed as Captain America, Spider-Man and Batman on Tuesday in the hopes of surprising and cheering up the youngsters sick in the hospital. Nurses call the new tradition, which started last year, “Superhero Day.”

While it’s hard to say which hospital started the trend a few years back, many children’s hospitals have taken to asking their window washers if they wouldn’t mind sporting tights, capes and masks for a day to surprise patients.

Lurie neuro-oncologist Dr. Stewart Goldman told the Tribune he feels the “Superhero Day” event and the positive feelings it inspires can help the hospital’s young patients heal.

“There is power in laughter and joy and excitement,” Goldman said.

Peggy Cooper Cafritz

On Wednesday evening, Peggy Cooper Cafritz was watching D.C.’s WUSA9’s news, when they were discussing a boy named Zach Wood, who is a high school senior lives in one of D.C.’s poorest neighborhoods. He recently got accepted into several ivy league summer programs, but he didn’t have the $10,000 that he needed to attend. He had turned to the crowdfunding page gofundme.org to try and raise money to go. As of the news program, Zach had raised about half the money he needed.

After seeing the segment, Cafritz called the station and said she wanted to foot the rest of the bill. Cafritz told reporters that she was touched by the story and was frustrated that it was simply money, not drive or ambition, that would hinder Zach from taking advantage of the opportunity.  

Cafritz told Wood that the only condition is that she wants Zach to keep in touch long after the summer program ends.

Besides being a renowned art patron in D.C., Cafritz has been involved in education in the District of Columbia for decades, including having held a a term as the president of the D.C. Board of Education. She also co-founded the Duke Ellington School for the Arts in Northwest D.C.

(Photo/Story via WUSA9)

This Dad

This dad designed a special pair of shoes so that he can fit his own feet inside and hook them together with his daughter’s feet. His daughter is paralyzed, and he wanted to give her the sensation of walking.

(Photo via Twitter)

These Somali Refugees

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Young Somali refugees living in the world’s largest refugee camp in Kenya recently sent letters of encouragement to Syrian refugee children who also had to flee their homes.

Care International, the aid agency that provides many basic services at the camp, organized the pen-pal exchange and delivered the handwritten letters to Syrian children at the Refugee Assistance Centre in Amman, Jordan.

The letters, often included with hopeful drawings, offer messages of solidarity, encouragement to continue learning and advice to their “dear brothers and sisters.” 

"Don’t be hopeless. We are with you, and if there is war in your country, tolerance is necessary,"  Zahra Dahir Ali wrote.

"We will get peace,” Zakariye Mohamed wrote.

The Syrian refugee children received each of their letters with a photo of the writer. The letters were well received by the young Syrians, Care International reported, and they are now writing responses to be delivered back to the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya.

Read the entire story and view the beautiful photos here.

(Photo/Story via BBC)

Carlos Arredondo

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Carlos Arredondo became the poster child for heroism during last year’s Boston Marathon bombings when he was photographed rushing Jeff Bauman to safety.

Arredondo was no stranger to tragedy. In 2004, he received word that his son was killed in a firefight in Iraq. Another one of his sons committed suicide at age 24. He is now a peace activist who travels the country to talk about his experiences, and Arredondo was attending the marathon to cheer on a runner who was honoring his son when the bomb exploded right in front of where he sat. Arredondo immediately ran toward the blast, helping National Guard troops, police and firefighters break down metal barriers to get to those who were injured. He ran to Haner, who was laying nearly lifeless, legless and in shock.

Arredondo is the man pictured in the cowboy hat — one of the many daily saints who helped save many lives last year on Marathon Monday.

"I just concentrated on that young man and tied him up, his legs, and talked to him," Arredondo said in an eyewitness report posted on YouTube.

The Heroes of Boston

One year ago today, I watched as people who had just run 26 miles keep running to the hospital to donate blood, as marathon spectators became heroes in saving hundreds of lives, as local residents opened their homes to strangers to help them rest and find their friends and family, as firemen brought groceries to people who were asked to stay in their homes, as police and FBI worked tirelessly over several days to find the two thugs that tried to terrorize Boston.

Undeniably, the event became more known for the acts of love and kindness that spread throughout that city than the acts of hate. 

One year ago, I was given countless reasons to pursue a rudimentary concept and try to make it into a daily routine. It’s still a work in progress, but there is no stopping now. Once you open your eyes up to all the Daily Saints throughout the world, it’s difficult to deny their existence. Thanks, Daily Saint readers, for supporting this endeavor and helping me spread the message, “See the good.”

Grace Chon

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You guys, I just can’t handle the cuteness. Any mom who is this awesome and dresses up her ridiculously cute child and rescue dog like so, and can cause so much joy from something so simple, is a Daily Saint in my book.

Check out her website (and more pics of the cuteness overload of Zoey and Jasper in hats) here.

(a Grace Chon photo)

Ron Perlman

Actor Ron Perlman once underwent four-hour “Hellboy” makeup to visit a 6-year-old leukemia patient who dreamt of meeting the superhero.

These City Officials

Local city officials in the Netherlands created this ecoduct bridge so that wildlife can cross the highway safely.

The People Behind Songs of Love

There is an organization called “Songs of Love,” created by five middle-aged musicians who volunteer to write songs for very sick children in Des Moines, Iowa.

The musicians, who once played together as a college band, say the songs serve as medicine for the children but also for the aging men who create the songs. The songs, written to make the kids feel “important”, incorporate special characteristics they have revealed about their favorite hobbies, people or places.

Megan Ford, who receives treatment every Friday for leukemia, jumped at the chance to have a song made especially for her.

"Megan, Megan, there’s no mistakin’/The kitchen smells good when you’ve been bakin’./No one in Iowa is more adored/Than the one and only Megan Ford," the song goes.

"I’ve had that chorus stuck in my head all day," Megan told the Des Moines Register. "It’s cool, fun and upbeat."

(Photo via Des Moines Register)