by Lana Rafaela
Hello and welcome to our fourth edition of Monday Good News where we try to acknowledge that world is indeed a cruel place sometimes, but there are good things worth fighting for.
This week’s theme is actual help when help is needed.
Both you and I know that there are situations where we say “darn it, I wish I could help somehow” but decide that we can’t do anything even before considering options. It’s fine, I’m not judging you. We all find our own ways to help, even if it’s not with refugees, saving restaurants or planting trees to raise awareness of air quality in India.
But that’s exactly what we’re showing you this week, so let’s start off with number one:
A Hungover Man Helps Save a Small Canadian Fish and Chip Shop
Have you ever gotten really drunk and then badly craved greasy food like it’s going to erase all of your last night’s bad life choices?
Yeah, Colin Ross (the hungover man from our title) has and he helped Whitbie’s Fish & Chips in the process.
Per Ross, he entered the shop to see the owner, John McMillan, sitting in a chair, no customers going in or out. When he started talking to the man, Ross found out that the situation was so bad that McMillan couldn’t even give himself a paycheck.
When McMillan wouldn’t take Ross’ offer of helping out with marketing, the latter man took the matters into his hands and so the revolutionary Facebook post came to be. At the time of writing (Sunday, August 28 2016) the post has over 8,000 shares!
So what happened after? “Our business has just gone right through the roof to the point where, you know, we’ve got people waiting an hour and a half to an hour and three quarters for their dinner,” McMillan told CBC News.
What started out as a man determined to get some greasy food after a night out turned into recognizing the need for help and doing what was possible. And for that, we applaud Colin Ross!
Emergency BnB: Helping Refugees and Victims of Domestic Abuse Free of Charge
Amr Arafa didn’t care about the never ending debates about refugees. He didn’t care about numerous organizations that were supposed to help people in their time of need. The only thing he cared about is seeing people who needed to be not just taken care of by being given basic supplies, but welcomed, as well.
The Egyptian who had moved to the US in 2005 and got a green card in 2015 realized how much stability he had gotten by managing to become a fully-fledged citizen and decided that he wants to help other people feel the same way, especially in the light of recent events, he explained to Washington Post.
Since then, Arafa has opened his Washington DC apartment to refugees and victims of domestic abuse and launched a site – Emergency BnB – that would help others do the same. So far, the site has been going well and Arafa is working on it tirelessly. However, he is encouraging people to follow his example and open up their homes to those who need help the most.
And as for all those who are still reluctant to offer their help on Emergency BnB, Steve Graybill, who offered a spare bedroom in his Silver Spring home, has advised – “It’s a scary thing to open your home to a stranger. It’s OK to be afraid, but we shouldn’t let those fears control us.”
So be kinder and braver than that.
India Planted 50 Million Trees in 24 Hours
Following Paris Climate Change Conference, India has pledged to increase forest cover to 235 million acres by 2030. And in order to start it off right, more than 800,000 people – from students to the elderly – gathered in Uttar Pradesh to plant 49.3 million tree saplings in 24 hours.
Since India has had a huge boom in population and industrialization, the quality of its air has been deteriorating. A recent report stated that six Indian cities found their place among top 10 polluted cities in the world, endangering the citizens’ health.
What the people of Uttar Pradesh realized is that Earth is the only planet we can currently live on and we should start taking serious care of it, especially in the light of global climate change affecting everyone – from humans to plants.
“The world has realized that serious efforts are needed to reduce carbon emissions to mitigate the effects of global climate change. Uttar Pradesh has made a beginning in this regard,” Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav told volunteers on that occasion.
The long-term survival of the planted trees still remains a concern but we sincerely hope that not only will the trees survive, but that other countries around the world will follow Uttar Pradesh’s example.
And as for you, dear readers, this is my message to you: learn from these examples, keep them close by and never forget that even a small act of kindness can change the world.
You can find out more about Lana Rafaela on her author page.