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Whole Class of First Graders Learn Sign Language to Communicate with Deaf Classmate

A school in Sarajevo is making headlines for not only accepting a deaf student, but also teaching his entire class sign language to allow them to better communicate with him.

The heartwarming story began in September last year when Mirzana Coralic requested the primary school in her neighborhood to enroll her six-year-old son, Zejd, who has a hearing disability. The teacher, Sanela Ljumanovic, accepted almost immediately, but on the first day of school, she noticed Zejd sitting all by himself, unable to communicate with any of his school mates.

Sanela, determined to find a solution, tried developing a few tricks and signs of her own. But a parent of another child came up with an even better idea – getting the whole class to learn sign language along with Zejd. So they got sign language teacher Anisa Setkic-Sendic on board, and three months later, Zejd was happily able to communicate to all his classmates about regular things like homework and games.

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Retired Doctor Sells Her Properties to Take Care of Stray Cats and Dogs

Weng Xiaoping, formerly a renowned doctor in China, is spending her retirement caring for stray animals. In what may seem like an unthinkable act to most people, Weng sold two of her properties for 1.8 million yuan (almost $300,000) immediately after she retired and decided to use all that money to fund her new mission in life.

With the money in hand, Xiaopang moved to the mountainous village of Taipingqiao, near Huzhou city, to build a sanctuary for unwanted dogs and cats. In the past eight years, she has adopted and cared for hundreds of animals. She has also hired two assistants, using her pension of 7,000 yuan per month to pay them.

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Istanbul Mosque Opens Its Doors to Stray Cats on Cold Winter Days

A mosque in Istanbul is creating social media buzz with its cat-friendly attitude. Stray cats looking for warmth and shelter on cold winter nights are always welcome at Aziz Mahmud Hüdayi Mosque in the city’s historical Üsküdar district.

Photographs of Mustafa Efe, the mosque’s imam (leader), playing with the feline visitors have gone viral online. According to news reports, he started allowing stray cats inside the place of worship last year, to help them escape the cold weather. The imam is apparently well-known for his good humor, diligence, and kindness towards animals.

Efe posted a few pictures and videos of the cats on his own Facebook page and one clip actually shows a mother cat carrying her babies in her mouth, one-by-one, into the mosque. “Our mosque’s Friday guests,” the imam wrote. “A surprise awaiting us at the sermon today. The kitty has found the heart of compassion and mercy.”

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Making a Difference: 12-Year-Old Collects Thousands of Coats for the Homeless

12-year-old Makenna Breading-Goodrich is showing the world that you’re never too young to have social conscience. In a bid to help the homeless people in her community, she’s spent the past three winters collecting and giving away thousands of coats. She calls her initiative ‘Makenna’s Coats for a Cause’.

It all started three years ago, when Makenna watched a TV show about the hardships faced by the homeless during the cold winter months. Deeply disturbed by their plight, she soon came up with a simple solution – to go around her neighborhood, asking people to donate all the coats and jackets they could spare. All she had to do was find a way to spread the word, collect the coats, and get them to the less fortunate. Fortunately, her parents were very supportive and willing to help anyway they could.

“She said, ‘I think I can really do something to help,’” Makenna’s mother Jennifer recalled. “Any parent would look at their 9-year-old daughter with pride and tell her they’d be thrilled to help her in any way.”

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Abandoned Greyhound Acts as Guide and Protector for His Blind Sister

A couple of animal shelter workers in the municipality of Navalcamero, near Madrid, Spain, recently came across the most heartwarming sight – a five-month old greyhound helping his blind sister cross the road. The two dogs were apparently moving very slowly through traffic, with the female resting her head on the male’s back. When the two women approached the dogs to help them out, they were visibly nervous, but the male greyhound stuck with his sister instead of running away to safety.

The women quickly realised that the female greyhound was visually impaired because she had thin white films over both eyes. They eventually took the canine pair to the shelter where they work and ran a few health tests, confirming that she was indeed blind. Further tests revealed that the female became blind as a result of a virus, and that her condition might be treatable. It seems that the two pups have been abandoned and have stuck with each other since then, with the male acting as his sister’s guide, never leaving her side and protecting her from danger. Caregivers at the ‘El Refugio’ dog shelter have named the female ‘Blinder’, and her brother ‘Pisper’.

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Outfitter Donates High-End Suits to Men in Need to Help Them Get Back on Their Feet

Recognising the importance of first impressions, a Baltimore-based charity is hooking up men in need with “gently worn” suits, just so they can have a fighting chance at a better life.

‘Sharp Dressed Man’ was started in 2012 by local businessman Christopher Schafer and his son Seth, the owners of custom clothing store Christopher Schafer Clothier. They make high end-suits for a living – usually priced at $1,200 and up – and many of their customers always bring back old suits to be donated. When one client gave them $10,000 worth of used custom suits a few years ago, they began thinking of ways to make a difference.

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Woman Dedicates Her Life to Rescuing Abandoned Kittens

Ever since she left university, Hannah Shaw has dedicated her life and career to rescuing kittens. The 28-year-old now calls herself a “neonatal kitten warrior” who specialises in fostering abandoned newborn cats that would otherwise end up dead at shelters in Washington D.C. In the past eight years, she’s saved at least ‘a few hundred kittens’ from this terrible fate.

Shaw revealed that her passion for animals began at the age of 12, when she decided to quit eating meat. Since then, she’s been involved in several campaigns to protect various species – right from farm animals to big cats in sanctuaries. She started working with kittens, specifically, about eight years ago after she happened to rescue a “teeny tiny kitten” from a tree. She nestled the kitty in her shirt, took her home, named her Coco, and raised her on her own.

The incident compelled Shaw to look more closely at the plight of kittens in her neighborhood. “After rescuing Coco, I started seeing more kittens outside,” she said. “I also started getting calls from people saying they’d found a kitten and were asking me for help. It became a very fast, cumulative thing where I began learning more about kittens while also honing my kitten eyes, so like anytime I was outside and there was a kitten within a thousand feet of me, I’d hone in on her.”

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Kind-Hearted Woman Organizes Birthday Parties for Homeless Children

Texas-based Paige Chenault loves birthdays, and believes everyone should have a chance to celebrate theirs. So she hosts beautiful parties for homeless children, giving them birthday celebrations they’ll remember for the rest of their lives. She started with a few parties in Dallas and went on to found a non profit called The Birthday Party Project, with chapters across the US.

Chenault, a former wedding planner, is perfect for the job because of her extensive experience. It all started when she read a magazine on a plane about kids’ birthday parties, when she was pregnant with her daughter. “I was just dreaming about all the great stuff that I could do for my daughter, just because I was an event planner, so I thought, ‘If anybody could throw a big bash, it was going to be me for my kid,’” she said.

And then she picked up another magazine and read about poor children in Haiti who didn’t have anything. That’s when it struck her that there are millions of children in the world who not only have shelter or food, but would never be able to enjoy the kind of celebration she had in mind. “That’s where the idea came from, and it really started stirring in me,” she said.

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Awesome 80-Year-Old Man Builds Dog Train to Take Rescued Pooches on Fun Rides

Ever since he retired 15 years ago, Eugene Bostick has spent a huge chunk of his time caring for animals. Among the many awesome things he does perhaps the most interesting is playing train conductor for a bunch of rescued stray dogs. He actually built a custom train for the canines, consisting of a tractor pulling a row of plastic barrels with the tops cut off.

The 80-year-old from Fort Worth, Texas, says he never planned on spending so much time with dogs, but it sort of just happened. “We live down on a dead-end street, where me and my brother have a horse barn,” he told online magazine The Dodo. “People sometimes come by and dump dogs out here, leaving them to starve. So we started feeding them, letting them in, taking them to the vet, to get them spayed and neutered. We made a place for them to live.”

But Bostick has done more than just give the strays a place to live. He’s actually made their lives fun, by constructing a unique train to take them on little trips. “I started out with my tractor,” he explained. “I had a little trailer and I put four or five dogs in there and took them riding. Then more dogs started to show up and I thought ‘Uh-oh! That’s not enough room.’”

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Armless Farmer Cares for 91-Year-Old Mother Using His Mouth and Feet

Despite losing both his arms in an accident when he was very young, Chinese farmer Chen Xingyin has not allowed his disability to stop him from working hard or living a normal life. The 48-year-old from Chongqing city accomplishes most tasks using his mouth and feet, and even manages to care for his 91-year-old mother.

Chen’s heartwarming story recently caught the attention of Chinese netizens, and he has been making headlines since then. “I have good feet even though I don’t have hands,” he told Chinese media. He vehemently opposed the idea of begging for money at the city’s railway station, even though beggars manage to earn a lot more than he does. Instead, Chen says he prefers to work for a living, and he uses the income to take care of his elderly mother. 

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Barber Gives Free Haircuts to Kids Who Read to Him

Courtney Homes, a barber at Dubuque’s Spark Family Hair Salon, recently came up with unique way of charging children for haircuts – he asked for stories instead of money! He’s passionate about supporting kids reading, so he had his little clients read out loud to him as he worked on their hair.

“The kids would come in, and I would say, “Go to the table and get a book you might like, and if you can’t read it, I’ll help you understand and we can read it together,” Holmes told reporters. “To be honest, I was amazed, the line started with four kids, and next thing I knew it was like 20 kids, all waiting for a haircut and eager to read.”

Homes conducted the unique initiative during the second annual Back to School Bash at the city’s Comiskey Park. Lots of kids showed up to get free haircuts and read to Homes in return.

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Animal-Loving Homeless Man Dedicates His Life to Helping Stray Dogs

In spite of being homeless himself, a California man named Steve has made it his mission to take care of stray dogs. He has adopted 50 canines in the past 14 years, tended to their daily needs and sometimes even finding new homes for them. Steve has never abandoned any of the dogs in his care, not even when he had to move to another state.

This year, Steve decided that he’d had enough of California. He believed that a change of scene might help him get back on his feet, so he started to think of moving to Indiana to meet an old friend who had offered him help. He had a distance of 2,000 miles to cover, with nothing but a bike, but he couldn’t think of leaving his beloved dogs behind. So he put the 11 dogs currently in his care in a shopping cart and attached it to the back of his bike. He only had $6 in his pocket at the time.

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Chinese Man Builds ‘World’s Longest Seesaw’ to Play with Son Living 730 Miles Away

30-year-old Liu Haibin is being hailed as the world’s coolest dad after he built an innovative seesaw that allows him to play with his toddler son who lives with his mother over 700 miles away.

While Chinese media is referring to Liu’s invention as the ‘world’s longest seesaw’, in reality, it consists of two identical seesaws equipped with motion sensors. One is placed in Tengzhou City, where Liu’s wife and eight-month-old son live. The other is with Liu, who lives in Xiamen City, 730 miles away. Through wireless internet signals and remote synchronization sensor data, the seesaws are perfectly synchronized. HD monitors on both seesaws enable father and son to see and interact with each other as they play.

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Teen Dies of Leukemia, His 7 Friends Look After His Lonely Mother for 11 Years

This heartwarming tale from Hefei, in East China, proves that true friendship has the power to transcend death. For the past 11 years, Sheng Ru-zhi, a lonely mother who lost her son to leukemia, has been looked after by seven of his friends!

It all started in 2001, when Zhang Kai, a teenager, was diagnosed with the deadly disease. Seven of his closest friends from school constantly visited Zhang at his home, taking care of both mother and son. When Zhang passed away in 2004, the devastated Sheng thought she’d have to spend the rest of her life in solitude. But the seven friends had other plans. They continued to visit her as usual, caring for her as Zhang would have.

Sheng still remembers the moment she realised she wasn’t going to spend her life alone after all. “I was alone at the time,” she recalled. “They came into my house and filled it with life again.”

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Stray Dog Who Followed Extreme Sports Team During Grueling Amazon Race Melts Internet Hearts

When a team of Swedish athletes trekking through the Ecuadorian rainforest last year sat down for a meal of canned meat, they were joined by the most unusual dinner guest – a scruffy old stray dog. They felt sorry for the poor creature and gave him some of their food, but little did they expect that the small gesture of kindness would earn them a friend for life. From that moment on the dog never left their side, following them through the rough terrain for the entire duration of the trek!

The group of four trekkers happened to be navigating the final two stages of the 430-mile Adventure Racing World Championship, during the time that the dog – whom they later named Arthur – befriended them. “I had just opened a food pack when I saw a scruffy miserable dog in the corner of my eye,” said team member Mikaels Lindord. “I thought he was hungry and gave him a meatball. Then I thought no more of it.”

But the act certainly made an impression on Arthur, who refused to leave his new master’s side. Despite his ill health, he kept up with the team through every gruelling task. He swam alongside them while they kayaked down rivers, dragged himself up treacherous hills as they hiked, and even managed to pull himself through knee-deep mud during treks.

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