The Pope Dines With The Homeless Rather Than Congress

Pope Francis has been in the states for a few days and already he is making a huge impact on the people. This pope is different because he takes time to kiss the face of a disabled boy or to really talk to the people. The aura that the pope is much higher than the people certainly doesn’t fit this man or his vision for the world.

Though many stories have gone viral since the pope came to town, one story has especially received a great deal of attention. He was supposed to address congress, but he chooses to skip his fancy lunch and focus on more important things. Rather, he found himself dining with the homeless. He also didn’t drive around town in the fancy limonene that was waiting for him. Instead, Pope Francis was seen in the back seat of a small Fiat hatchback. He truly is a different man and one that is worthy of the cloth. At 78 years of age, he certainly isn’t about being flashy and getting any glory for his service to the people.

During the dinner with the homeless, he was seen hugging, and embracing many of the people located there. He has such humility and he wants others to view him as living the same way that they would. He doesn’t seem to be inhibited by the glory that comes with his position. He keeps reminding everyone that he is just a man, but he is a man called to serve.

He arrived here on Tuesday of last week, and he has already met with President Obama in his VIP suite and many others. However, a fancy congressional lunch just wasn’t what this man wanted. He wanted to be among the people. Whether the public is catholic in faith or not really doesn’t matter, many are so drawn to this man and the fact that he is so down to earth and dedicated to service. It was a big disappointment to the luncheon that hoped for some of his time, but such a bigger purpose was served that day.

Feeling that they were more than the choices they had made and the disappointments in life, many of these people who were down on their luck had the shock of their life during their free meal that day. It just goes to show that sometimes the best things in life don’t cost a thing.

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The Pope Dines With The Homeless Rather Than Congress

Lending a Helping Hand in San Francisco

Homelessness is a sad but true fact for many people in the U.S. today.
In San Francisco the problem is very prevalent. Back in 2013, the number of
homeless people were around 6,500. As you can imagine, it is not easy
being without shelter.

Among the many issues that the homeless population faces is no shower access.
The options are few to clean yourself with no home to do it in. San Francisco
has about 20 working shower stalls for use.

A woman named Doniece Sandoval has seen enough and has made it her goal to help.
Formerly a marketing executive, she is no stranger to new ideas and making them
work. Now at 51, she has a service for the homeless called Lava Mae.

This new company turns decommissioned buses into rolling shower stalls.
She said that she saw a very dirty, sobbing woman one day. The woman was saying
to herself “I’ll never be clean.” This is one of the many instances that has
prompted Sandoval to help.

With the goal of providing 2000 showers a week being the result of this endeavor.
You can learn more about this project by clicking the link.

Lending a Helping Hand in San Francisco

Ice Water For The US Postal Service is How Oklahoma Pays it Forward

The heat has been unbearable for much of the nation this season. However, in the Southern state of Oklahoma, it seems that matters have been much worse. The mail system has a reputation for delivering the mail regardless of what the elements throw their way, as the old motto goes, “neither rain nor snow nor dark of night.” However, this summer the residents have got together to help those who deliver the mail to their homes. It might seem a bit strange and quite a site, but it’s an act of kindness that won’t soon be forgotten. Numerous homes are setting coolers on their home’s porch full of cold water for the postal workers.

They fill coolers with ice water and put them on their porch for the mailman. Walking miles in this heat every day can be quite dangerous. In fact, dehydration can become an issue in a matter of minutes. The postal service appreciates all that these people are doing to help during this difficult time. It’s just a little act of kindness that goes a long way for these hard working people. They have no choice but making a living in this heat. It probably takes a lot of effort to fill those coolers with ice and water and keep them on their front porches. The outside temperatures alone would cause them to melt quickly. These people have jobs, families and a life of their own. However, it’s just one awesome way that the southerners are showing their hospitality. No, they didn’t have to do this, but the women and men of the United States Postal Service are more than lucky to have such wonderful customers on their routes.

Participating in random acts of kindness has quickly become commonplace in this country. With so many depressive and evil things that go on every day, it is nice to see that some people go out of their way to help others. Isn’t it wonderful when you’re in line for fast food and the person ahead of you already paid for your order? Or, what about somebody just mowing your lawn for no reason or doing some other random act? These gestures go a long way to help others, especially to those who are in desperate need. Hats off to the residence of Oklahoma and their heroic efforts to help those that work in the postal system.

Ice Water For The US Postal Service is How Oklahoma Pays it Forward

Note of Appreciation for New Jersey Firefighters

I know many people who serve in the Armed Forces, or as police officers, firefighters, and EMTs, and I have long supported anyone involved in those fields. The hard work, dangerous situations, and long shifts to which these people are subjected can be overwhelming. It is not something I would choose, and so I appreciate those who can and do. Recently, one small act of kindness left two New Jersey firefighters feeling very appreciated.

Entering a diner for something to eat, firefighters Tim Young and Paul Hullings received a pleasant surprise. After spending 12 hours of the night putting out a north Brunswick warehouse fire, Young and Hullings relaxed with good food and conversation. Liz Woodward, a waitress who works at the Route 130 Diner in New Jersey, heard their discussion and decided to show her appreciation for their courage and strength. Instead of a bill for their meal, Woodward gave the two a note of thanks and covered their $15 expense.

While it was not an expensive meal, the thoughtfulness of her act touched the firefighters, even bringing them to tears. Young later posted the hand-written note on Facebook, displaying Woodward’s kindness. He encouraged his friends to visit the diner and help support the small business, and, of course, to tip big if they had Liz as their waitress.

Young and Hullings later found that Woodward’s father, Steve, is a quadriplegic. She has been trying to raise money for a wheelchair-accessible van so that her father can get around to appointments in an easier and safer way. In an effort to show their thanks for the kindness shown to them, Young and Hullings vowed to help Woodward as much as possible by holding a fundraiser. The firefighters hope to “pay it forward.”

I have seen and personally experienced this sort of kind act. It can certainly lift your spirits when you least expect it. If you would like to help pay it forward, check out Steve Woodward’s Go Fund Me page at http://www.gofundme.com/woodwardstrong.

The original article about this story can be found on the Sunny Skyz

Note of Appreciation for New Jersey Firefighters

Mobile Home Park Banning Food Deliveries

When there are people in need of food, there are often organizations that can help. One company bought a mobile home park in Palmetto, and when the company found out about food deliveries being made by a local church, it threatened to evict at least one of the women who lives there. 

In addition to the woman who is being threatened, there are almost 30 other residents who depend on the delivery service who have been given letters asking them to leave. The church delivers boxes to some of the residents. These boxes contain food that will last for at least a few days. There are people with children who need these boxes as well as elderly individuals. If the church is not allowed to deliver food to the residents any longer, there are people who will need to look for other ways to get the food that they need in order to simply survive in some cases. 

The reasoning behind the decision to stop the food boxes from being delivered is that the company has the restrictions in the bylaws. Just because a company isn’t happy with a church bringing food doesn’t mean that it should prevent people who are unable to go to a store to get food or who have no means to buy food from getting what they need. This is a decision being made by people who are likely not facing this kind of situation and who have probably not dealt with the situation before. If the owners of the park would think about the assistance that these food boxes are providing, then they would realize that it’s a benefit instead of something that is bad for the area. This vital service is a lifeline to those who might not have a car. The company should consider decreasing the number of deliveries so that more food can be delivered at one time if it doesn’t want to have the church in the park as often.

Mobile Home Park Banning Food Deliveries

Canada Leads the World in Reputation

Canada and the United States share one of the longest borders in the world and the longest peaceful, undefended border. With so much talk about the Middle East whenever people discuss gas prices, not many Americans realize that Canada is actually our single largest foreign supplier of oil. Canada and the United States have the biggest trading relationship on the planet, and we are their number one tourist destination. Friendship aside, national pride eventually rears its head and comparisons ensue about which country is best. In sheer economic powerhouse terms, the U.S. takes the top spot with our massive economy, but in at least one way, Canada has been ranked number one in the world above all other countries; national reputation. 

The Reputation Institute has come out with their annual list of nations around the world that are the most highly regarded in general by people of other nations and Canada has come out on top. This organization solicited opinions from nearly 50,000 people living in the world’s 55 wealthiest nations and found that Canada was the most admired nation followed by Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Australia rounding out the top five. One interesting aspect of their survey is that they also looked at where a nation’s residents ranked their own country and compared this with where the rest of the world put them. People in the United States seem to think of ourselves as the sixth best country in terms of reputation while we finished 22nd according to others around the world. 

It is not surprising that the U.S. is not close to the top on such a list. Our good name around the world has certainly taken a beating from the Snowden revelations about how much we spy on other nations, even allies, and some of our conservative hawk politicians vocal musings about who to attack or bomb next. Given what might be called our overly healthy ego in this country, the most surprising thing is that Americans in general do not consider ourselves number one on such a list. One result that is not surprising is the huge gap between perception of national reputation internally as opposed to externally in less free and more jingoistic countries. Russia leads the pack in terms of the divide between self-image and worldwide image where their residents say they are third but they are 52nd on the list according to the accumulated opinions of other nationalities.

Canada Leads the World in Reputation

Lawmakers Reconsider Denying Felons The Right To Vote

Voting is considered a fundamental right in the United States. Anyone over the age of 18 is entitled to have their voice heard at the polls. Unless they are a felon. Most Felons do not have the right to vote. That might change as states rethink the laws that deny felons a vote.

Voting laws are dealt with state by state and are not federally regulated. Because of that, the laws that deny felons a voice at the polls differ from place to place. What keeps felons from voting depends on the specific state, the crime committed and the time since the completion of their sentence. Right now the laws that are in place are denying almost 6 million men and women the right to vote. For a country that prides itself on freedom, that sure doesn’t feel very free.

With an election coming up both sides want and need all the voters they can get. Which is why both sides are fighting to change the laws. Rand Paul, the Republican Senator of Kentucky is pushing for his state to remove the barriers in place that do not allow felons to vote. There is also push on the Democratic side; in 2007 Hillary Clinton introduced a bill that would restore the right to vote for all previous felons once their time was served. 

Many people argue that a felony conviction is the result of the bad choices made by the individual. Some believe that because people made such a drastic mistake in the past that they are somehow incapable of ever learning to be a productive citizen. People often fulfill the expectations that are linked to them, this can be both good and bad. So instead of treating people who made a mistake as if they will always make mistakes; maybe it would be better to understand that a bad mistake, doesn’t necessarily make a bad human. Allowing felons throughout the US a voice once their time has been served is simply the right thing to do.

Lawmakers Reconsider Denying Felons The Right To Vote