Sick of all the bad news this week? Done with politics, militias and dying celebrities? Let’s check out some of the most inspiring and awesome stories from the last week and get your faith in humanity back on track.
Pictured: Amed Castro-Chavez shakes the hand of Austin Roberts’ grandfather
Austin Roberts was a highschool wrestling superstar in Spencer, Iowa. He was 14-0 shortly before Christmas when tragedy struck during a championship match and Roberts died.
The next mat over was rival wrestler Amed Castro-Chavez. He’d wrestled Roberts in the past and lost to him. When his team returned to Robert’s school, Castro-Chavez was meant to wrestle Roberts again. There was no one else in their weight class and Castro-Chavez should have won by forfeit, according to the rules.
Instead of losing, in front of the assembled crowd including the mother and grandfather of Austin Roberts, Castro-Chavez conceded the match to his fallen opponent, forfeiting to give the win to Roberts’ school. He then told Roberts’ family he wished he could wrestle the boy again, because he was so good.
Ever heard of Zulily? They’re a Seattle-based store that sells clothes and toys and who knows what else, but you’re going to want to shop there to find out. Why? Because when Kelly Blue Kinkel wanted to return an unworn jacket to the company shortly before Christmas, she called up their customer service to ask what to do. The customer service agent told her he’d refund her money right away, then surprised her by saying not to worry about sending the coat back – she should give it to someone who needs it or donate it to charity.
Now clearly there’s no way Zulily does this for every return, or even a lot of returns, but to do it at all, ever, completely out of the blue, is awesome. A company that cares enough about the people in the world instead of its own bottom line is an amazing thing. Give them your business, they deserve it.
Up in the north of Canada, First Air has partnered with the Iqaluit Humane Society to help out dogs in need! The airline will fly dogs from Iqaluit when their shelter gets overfull to another shelter in Quebec so that no dogs will have to be put down due to lack of resources.
In a two year deal, the airline can fly two to four kennels per week into Quebec. The shelter typically takes in 25 dogs per month but could never afford shipping costs on their own so this deal is extremely helpful.
As an added bonus, since the story hit the news, the shelter has been bombarded with requests for adoptions and donations. So far they’ve raised over $10,000!
Tiny Pederson is the owner of the Desert Historic Theater in Burns, Oregon. There isn’t another cinema in over 100 miles and this Friday they’re getting the Force Awakens. Tickets are free, along with tickets to see the original 6 films as well, because Pederson feels the cinema is a place the community needs.
Even though he’s not a huge film buff, Pederson runs the theater and even raised money for a new $100,000 digital projector because he felt the town needed a safe place for kids and families to spend some time and have some fun.
The theater doesn’t get a ton of business, Pederson says 30 people is a good night, and he barely breaks even running the cinema, but it’s worth it so that local kids, some who will drive for miles and miles to get there, have a place they can meet and relax. It’s not often you meet a guy who cares enough about his community to risk financial ruin so his town can benefit. Hats off to Mr. Pederson.
60 year old Marian Pinkowicz had spent his whole life working to support his family in a rural Polish village. He’d never had a vacation, had never stayed in a hotel and had never even seen a beach in real life. But he did love to watch the travel network and imagine all the exotic locations he’d like to see in person one day.
To pay her father back for all the sacrifices he’d made over the years for his family, Pinkwociz’s 32 year old daughter secretly arranged the trip of a lifetime for her father – to Bali, Singapore, Lombok and the Gili islands. It would be the second time he had ever set foot on a plane in his life.
For the first time ever, Marian experienced sun bathing, swimming in the ocean, Asian cuisine, exotic cocktails, boating and spa treatment. No doubt it was an experience to remember.