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Good News of the Week: September 2 – 6, 2019

Published on September 6, 2019 10:15 AM EST
good news of the week

Happy September everyone! I always love the start to a new month because it’s an opportunity for a fresh start. A time to re-evaluate your personal goals and set new ones as well. This week I’m highlighting positive news stories centered around both celebrities and everyday people. My favorite story among this week’s collection is about an Oregon woman who works to repurpose old school busses for families in need. I like this story because it’s such a great idea and shows how walking a mile in someone else’s shoes can completely change your worldview and life’s purpose.


good news of the week

While researching for a book she was writing, freelance journalist Julie Askins decided to live among homeless people for two years. She moved from Portland to Denver meeting dozens of people and families with unique stories, and unique paths to homelessness. Askins became fascinated with those who despite working full or part-time jobs, remain without a place to call home.

After meeting a family of seven who fell upon hard times and was living in an old school bus with no kitchen or bathroom, Askins came up with the idea to start a non-profit to convert retired school busses into useable and fully functional living spaces for families considered to be part of this ‘working homeless’ population.

Since launching her non-profit Vehicles for Change, nearly two years ago she’s helped one family of four get off the streets and into a retired school bus. Askins says these 240 square foot busses make the perfect homes because they can be converted relatively quickly and are mobile, allowing parents to re-locate easily for work.

An anonymous donor from Michigan has funded the non-profit for the next five years, giving $25,000 per year. Askins says that will allow for the purchase and construction of one bus per year. Her goal is to eventually be able to convert five busses per year and donate them to five families who apply for the program.


Gary Maurice Lucas, better known in the rap community as ‘Joyner Lucas’ is behind the latest social media hashtag challenge. The rapper took to Instagram Tuesday night to post a heartfelt account of a recent experience at a grocery store leading him to pay for a woman’s groceries. In the post Lucas describes a woman in line with her son, who upon receiving the total for her food, realized she didn’t have enough money and was going to put some of the groceries back. At that point Lucas stepped in and paid for her items.

This act of kindness inspired the #HelpingSingleMothersChallenge. In the post, Joyner said he’s giving away $500 each day in September to help mothers pay for food. He asked his 1.7 million followers to leave the names of deserving moms in the comments section beneath the post, and he would get in touch with them to make good on his promise.

Additionally, Joyner invited his celebrity friends to ‘do the same’ using the hashtag: #HelpingSingleMothersChallenge.


Many people across the country have been anxiously watching the weather for nearly a week as Hurricaine Dorian barrels towards the U.S. So far, the storm has caused widespread devastation in the Bahamas and has prompted many evacuations along us coastal cities.

Grammy award winning singer and Barbados native Rihanna took to twitter to express sympathy to those affected by this hurricane, and pledge support through her Clara Lionel Foundation. Additionally, rapper and humanitarian Ludacris announced the proceeds from his annual Labor Day weekend charity event ‘Luda Day Weekend’ will go to benefit the Bahamas and help with their recovery efforts.

From rappers to reality stars, several celebrities are backing their sympathy for those impacted by this storm with support. Real Housewives of New York star Bethany Frankel posted to Instagram on Labor Day announcing members of her charity B Strong would be flying into the Bahamas to offer disaster relief aid. She explained they would be helping with supplies, medical support and assisting with evacuations. Frankel referenced doing similar work in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in 2017.


Almost every parent of a toddler rejoices upon getting to a restaurant and realizing they provide crayons and paper for your child to color on. A simple activity like coloring can help keep your kids busy, and help avoid meltdowns while waiting for the food to arrive. But what happens to those crayons that often get used once and then discarded as soon as the appetizers arrive? Often times, they’re thrown away without a second thought.

Non-Profit organization Crayon Collection was founded to stop the waste. The organization’s goal is to  salvage leftover crayons that are still in good condition and provide them to classrooms in under-served school districts. In a recent interview, Founder Sheila Morovati says she started the foundation after taking her toddler to a restaurant and noticing she wasn’t the only parent to leave perfectly good crayons behind after the meal.

“I noticed all the tables around me were doing the same thing, and kept thinking: there are budget cuts in education, teacher spending has skyrocketed, [and] there’s no art education left,” Morovati tells Mental Floss. “So I just decided to ask some restaurants to start collecting the crayons kids leave behind.”

The Crayon Collection recently celebrated a special milestone, to date the organization has led to the donation of more than 13 million crayons. The organization started about 10 years ago and has since spread to all 50 states and nine countries.


Big box stores like Sam’s Club and Costco are known for having large quantities of almost anything you could need. Earlier this week a man walked into a Costco store in Florida and walked out with 100 brand new generators to send to hurricane affected areas.

The man, who wishes to remain anonymous spent nearly $50,000 at the store. The total comes from buying the generators for $450 each, plus large supplies of peas, beans, coffee and other items to help with disaster relief. The man says all of it is going to those in need on the hard-hit islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco.

The donor tells CNN he does not want any praise or glory for this good deed, knowing he’s helping others is all the gratification he needs.

“It’s important that we help each other out. It’s better than just sitting there,” he said. “You see a need and you fill it.”

This act of kindness was made public by a man who was also at the store buying a generator at the same time. The other shopper was in shock and personally thanked the generous donor for his kindness.

A Jacksonville farmer tells CNN getting the supplies and generators to the affected areas will be tricky. Trucks will drive the supplies to Stuart, Florida, about 250 miles south. The farmer said he has a storage facility set up there so the items could then be transported to the Bahamas by boat. 

good news of the week
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