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Anonymous Philanthropist Hides $50,000 Worth of $100 Bills Around Oregon City, Changes People’s Lives

For the last three years, a mystery philanthropist has been hiding $100 bills in and around the city of Salem, Oregon. A total of $50,500 worth of bills has been reported so far, but the true donated sum could be much larger.

The first hidden $100 bills were found at stores and events in Salem in May 2013, and new ones have been surfacing regularly ever since. As soon as local news network started covering the phenomenon, a number of people came out to claim responsibility for the generous act, so to make sure no one tried to steal his thunder again, the anonymous benefactor started signing the bills. A couple of people claiming to be his friends came forward to act as liaisons and confirm his signature, but they never revealed his identity, and always made sure to emphasize that this wasn’t about him, but about helping people in need and inspiring others to do the same.

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Canadian Buddhist Monks Buy 600 Pounds of Lobsters from Restaurants, Release Them into the Ocean

A group of Buddhist monks from the Great Enlightenment Buddhist Institute Society, on Prince Edward Island, recently bought around 600 pounds of live lobsters from various restaurants and released them into the ocean.

600 pounds of lucky lobsters were spared the boiling cooking pot last Saturday when Buddhist monks in Little Sands bought as many of them as they could find around Prince Edward island with the purpose of setting them free. Enlightened Dan, of the Great Enlightenment Buddhist Institute Society, said the purpose of this unique mission was not to challenge people’s dietary options, but merely to send a message of compassion. “We respect everyone’s dietary choice, so we’re not doing this to convert everybody to be vegetarians or vegans,” he said. This whole purpose for us is to cultivate this compassion toward others. It doesn’t have to be lobsters, it can be worms, flies, any animals, drive slower so we don’t run over little critters on the street.”

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Five-Year-Old Girl Guides Blind Father to Work Every Day

A heartwarming 3-minute video showing a young girl guiding her blind father to work on a coconut plantation in the Philippines recently went viral on Facebook and changed the lives of its protagonists.

The video shows five-year-old Jenny, walking barefoot as she guides her blind father, Pepe “Dodong” Nelson, around a coconut farm, using a small wooden stick. She can be seen helping him avoid other people as they make their way through the coconut trees and guiding him to his lunch of crackers and water. With her help, Nelson manages to climb around 60 trees every day, for a pay of around 300 pesos ($6), barely enough to put food on their table.

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Custodian Graduates from College He Has Cleaned for the Last 8 Years

54-year-old Michael Vaudreuil is used to picking up things at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts. He has been working as custodian there for the last eight years, vacuuming the carpets, cleaning the floors, wiping the blackboards and picking up the trash. But last month, Vaudreuil picked up something he’ll actually want to hang on to – a degree in mechanical engineering.

In 2008, Vaudreuil, a self-employed plastering contractor, with two decades of successful entrepreneurship under his belt, felt his world crashing down on him. As recession hit, less phone calls were coming in, but he tried not to panic. Soon, clients stopped calling completely and he had no choice but to file for bankruptcy. Soon, his home was foreclosed, his car repossessed and without his income to support his wife’s vending machine business, that eventually went under as well. He and his family moved into a tiny apartment and Michael started looking for jobs with construction companies, but no one was hiring.

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Compassionate Chinese Couple Have Been Taking Care of a Homeless Person for Over Three Decades

While some of us find it difficult to host guests for a few weeks, this Chinese couple have generously shared their home with a mentally ill homeless person for the past 35 years.

When Xue Shunlu and his wife Li Huannv first found Xue Zhen on the streets of Fenglingdu, in China’s Shanxi Province, the poor man was in a terrible state – he was unable to talk or defend himself from bullies on the street. So the couple rescued him and took him to their house in a neighbouring village in Yuncheng city.

Although they lived in a small house and barely earned enough to support themselves, the kind couple didn’t hesitate to share everything they had with a total stranger. They told him to treat the house as his own and spent their free time teaching him to cook, clean, and take care of himself. They even allowed him to share Xue Shunlu’s family name.

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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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