This Christmas, give the gift of life

Secretive girl, 17, becomes youngest stem cell donor to help friend
3 hrs ago
Victoria Rathmill of Macclesfield, England, is setting an awesome example. The 17-year-old became a member of the Anthony Nolan bone marrow registry in February after a family friend was diagnosed with leukemia, and this month she became the youngest person to donate stem cells to a nonrelative, according to the registry. Rathmill signed up without telling her mother, who was pleasantly surprised to find out how altruistic her daughter’s secret activities were. The procedure was done at the London Clinic, and though it’s too early to tell how the patient will fare, everyone is hopeful. And Rathmill would happily consider donating another time. “It’s just like giving blood,” she told the BBC. “I would do it again because it’s not that difficult. It’s just a couple of days out of your life to save somebody else’s — and I got a free trip to London.” [Source]

How great would it be if this Christmas season, everyone called their local hospital or Red Cross and made an appointment to donate blood or stem cells? If you type in your zip code in the box at the upper right corner of the screen you can search for upcoming blood drives in your area. Here’s to you Victoria, I’ve got my appointment set ❤


Random Acts of Faith

“…believe it or not, there’s a lot more good and kindness out there than you probably realize. Sometimes, people do incredible things – things that restore our faith in humanity. For example…

1. When some kids left this note to track down the owner of a forgotten skateboard that they could’ve easily stolen…”

Teen girls help save a life

Two teens may have saved their father’s life when they lifted a 3,000-pound tractor off his chest.

Jeff Smith was working on the tractor at his home in Lebanon last week when it flipped over and pinned him underneath.

He screamed for help and his two girls, 14 and 16 years old, came running. Within minutes, they lifted the tractor off of him.

Looking at Smith today, with only a cast on his wrist and some abrasions, you might not believe what happened to him.

He said he was trying to pull a stump out of the ground when his foot slipped on the clutch and the whole thing flipped over.

“The steering wheel and the steering column is what had me pinned on my chest,” he said.

His daughters quickly arrived at the scene and started digging. Then they called 911.

“I can’t dig fast enough and I’m freaking out,” said Haylee Smith, 14. “I just cannot dig fast enough.”

Deciding they couldn’t wait for emergency crews, Haylee and her older sister, Hannah Smith, each grabbed a side and started lifting.

With adrenalin pumping, they tried six or seven times and finally got some movement.

“We just kind of braced ourselves on the tire and just lifted it up,” said Hannah Smith, 16.

Jeff Smith said they lifted it up just enough for him to shimmy his way out. His arm remained pinned, however, until a neighbor rushed over with another tractor to finish the rescue operation.

“I don’t know how I lifted it, it was just so heavy,” Hannah Smith said. “And I could feel it, I could just feel all the weight. But we just did it. We both did.”

Jeff Smith said he is going to keep using the tractor, he’s just going to install a roll cage and some better pedal grips.

Copyright 2013 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

Rescuers Form Human Chain

New Zealand
A video of a human chain saving a drowning boy in New Zealand has gone viral.
On Sunday, Joshua McQuoid and two friends were playing at a Napier beach when a wave dragged McQuoid out to sea. According to the Australian, beachgoers became frantic and a German tourist tried to unsuccessfully pull him out of the water.
Soon after, several other people linked arms to form a giant human chain. Fighting against the current, the 12-person chain went into the surf to bring the boy to safety…

Winds of Change

Church Group Rallies to Change Lives : Santa Paula: The New Harvest Christian Fellowship marches to turn youths away from drugs and gangs.

Five years ago, Anthony Hayes was serving time for homicide. Now he sings in a church choir and works as a forklift operator in Salinas.

The 24-year-old credits the New Harvest Christian Fellowship for changing his life. “I was hurting,” Hayes said. “I lost my girlfriend, my son, my values.”
Hayes was one of about 350 “born-again” Christians from throughout Southern California who held a march and rally Saturday in Santa Paula to discourage youths from joining gangs and abusing drugs and alcohol.

“We’re concentrating on the youths because they’re the growing generation,” said Alexander Jaime, a 23-year-old former stockbroker who said he abused cocaine before joining the church three months ago.

Creating a scene reminiscent of an old-fashioned Southern revival, the participants belted out hearty “Hallelujahs,” clapped their hands, beat tambourines and listened to testimonials from former drug abusers and gang members.

Not all the speakers were members of the church. Charles Jordan, whose 20-year-old daughter was killed in a drive-by shooting last May in Thousand Oaks, pleaded for a moratorium on gang violence.

“We have to stop the insanity,” he said. “We need to make a commitment in Santa Paula. No more shootings!”

William Shannon, 23, said he used to belong to a gang but decided to join New Harvest when he realized he was drifting away from his family. For the past two weeks, Shannon said, he has been living in the church’s group home for men in Oxnard.

“It’s changing me,” Shannon said of the fellowship. “The wall in my heart has disappeared.”

Rally organizers said they use such events to recruit people who may be overlooked by mainstream churches.

“We’re getting people from the streets, the barrios, from prison,” said Daniel Montoyne, who served seven years in state prison for robbery and now hopes to become a pastor.

The strategy works.

“It seemed like they were speaking directly to me,” said Jaime, who joined the church after attending a similar rally. Now, he has returned to inspire people who were once like himself.

“We give them destiny,” said Montoyne.

The temptations of the street are difficult to resist, but many said they see this as just one more obstacle to overcome.

“I don’t want to go back to the streets,” Hayes said, “because there’s nothing there.”