Uplifting News and Stories Gleaned from the Web

AN AMAZING STORY…

plane Gander Airport Newfoundland Map 

Here is an amazing story from a flight attendant on Delta Flight 15, written following 9-11:

On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, we were about 5 hours out of Frankfurt, flying over the North Atlantic .

All of a sudden the curtains parted and I was told to go to the cockpit, immediately, to see the captain. As soon as I got there I noticed that the crew had that “All Business” look on their faces. The captain handed me a printed message. It was from Delta’s main office in Atlanta and simply read, “All airways over the Continental United States are closed to commercial air traffic. Land ASAP at the nearest airport. Advise your destination.”

No one said a word about what this could mean. We knew it was a serious situation and we needed to find terra firma quickly. The captain determined that the nearest airport was 400 miles behind us in Gander, New Foundland.

He requested approval for a route change from the Canadian traffic controller and approval was granted immediately — no questions asked. We found out later, of course, why there was no hesitation in approving our request.

While the flight crew prepared the airplane for landing, another message arrived from Atlanta telling us about some terrorist activity in the New York area. A few minutes later word came in about the hijackings.

We decided to LIE to the passengers while we were still in the air. We told them the plane had a simple instrument problem and that we needed to land at the nearest airport in Gander , New Foundland, to have it checked out.

We promised to give more information after landing in Gander .. There was much grumbling among the passengers, but that’s nothing new! Forty minutes later, we landed in Gander. Local time at Gander was 12:30 PM …. that’s 11:00 AM EST.

There were already about 20 other airplanes on the ground from all over the world that had taken this detour on their way to the US.

After we parked on the ramp, the captain made the following announcement: “Ladies and gentlemen, you must be wondering if all these airplanes around us have the same instrument problem as we have. The reality is that we are here for another reason.”

Then he went on to explain the little bit we knew about the situation in the US. There were loud gasps and stares of disbelief. The captain informed passengers that Ground control in Gander told us to stay put.

The Canadian Government was in charge of our situation and no one was allowed to get off the aircraft. No one on the ground was allowed to come near any of the air crafts. Only airport police would come around periodically, look us over and go on to the next airplane.

In the next hour or so more planes landed and Gander ended up with 53 airplanes from all over the world, 27 of which were US commercial jets.

Meanwhile, bits of news started to come in over the aircraft radio and for the first time we learned that airplanes were flown into the World Trade Center in New York and into the Pentagon in DC.

People were trying to use their cell phones, but were unable to connect due to a different cell system in Canada . Some did get through, but were only able to get to the Canadian operator who would tell them that the lines to the U.S. were either blocked or jammed.

Sometime in the evening the news filtered to us that the World Trade Center buildings had collapsed and that a fourth hijacking had resulted in a crash. By now the passengers were emotionally and physically exhausted, not to mention frightened, but everyone stayed amazingly calm.

We had only to look out the window at the 52 other stranded aircraft to realize that we were not the only ones in this predicament.

We had been told earlier that they would be allowing people off the planes one plane at a time. At 6 PM, Gander airport told us that our turn to deplane would be 11 am the next morning.

Passengers were not happy, but they simply resigned themselves to this news without much noise and started to prepare themselves to spend the night on the airplane.

Gander had promised us medical attention, if needed, water, and lavatory servicing.

And they were true to their word.

Fortunately we had no medical situations to worry about. We did have a young lady who was 33 weeks into her pregnancy. We took REALLY good care of her. The night passed without incident despite the uncomfortable sleeping arrangements.

About 10:30 on the morning of the 12th a convoy of school buses showed up. We got off the plane and were taken to the terminal where we went through Immigration and Customs and then had to register with the Red Cross.

After that we (the crew) were separated from the passengers and were taken in vans to a small hotel. We had no idea where our passengers were going. We learned from the Red Cross that the town of Gander has a population of 10,400 people and they had about 10,500 passengers to take care of from all the airplanes that were forced into Gander!

We were told to just relax at the hotel and we would be contacted when the US airports opened again, but not to expect that call for a while.

We found out the total scope of the terror back home only after getting to our hotel and turning on the TV, 24 hours after it all started.

Meanwhile, we had lots of time on our hands and found that the people of Gander were extremely friendly. They started calling us the “plane people.” We enjoyed their hospitality, explored the town of Gander and ended up having a pretty good time.

Two days later, we got that call and were taken back to the Gander airport. Back on the plane, we were reunited with the passengers and found out what they had been doing for the past two days.

What we found out was incredible…..

Gander and all the surrounding communities (within about a 75 Kilometer radius) had closed all high schools, meeting halls, lodges, and any other large gathering places. They converted all these facilities to mass lodging areas for all the stranded travelers.

Some had cots set up, some had mats with sleeping bags and pillows set up.

ALL the high school students were required to volunteer theirtime to take care of the “guests.”

Our 218 passengers ended up in a town called Lewisporte, about 45 kilometers from Gander where they were put up in a high school. If any women wanted to be in a women-only facility, that was arranged.

Families were kept together. All the elderly passengers were taken to private homes.

Remember that young pregnant lady? She was put up in a private home right across the street from a 24-hour Urgent Care facility.There was a dentist on call and both male and female nurses remained with the crowd for the duration.

Phone calls and e-mails to the U.S. and around the world were available to everyone once a day. During the day, passengers were offered “Excursion” trips.
Some people went on boat cruises of the lakes and harbors. Some went for hikes in the local forests.

Local bakeries stayed open to make fresh bread for the guests.

Food was prepared by all the residents and brought to the schools. People were driven to restaurants of their choice and offered wonderful meals. Everyone was given tokens for local laundry mats to wash their clothes, since luggage was still on the aircraft.

In other words, every single need was met for those stranded travelers.

Passengers were crying while telling us these stories. Finally, when they were told that U.S. airports had reopened, they were delivered to the airport right on time and without a single passenger missing or late. The local Red Cross had all the information about thewhereabouts of each and every passenger and knew
which plane they needed to be on and when all the planes were leaving. They coordinated everything beautifully.

It was absolutely incredible.

When passengers came on board, it was like they had been on a cruise. Everyone knew each other by name. They were swapping stories of their stay, impressing each other with who had the better time. Our flight back to Atlanta looked like a chartered party flight. The crew just stayed out of their way. It was mind-boggling.

Passengers had totally bonded and were calling each other by their first names, exchanging phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses.

And then a very unusual thing happened.

One of our passengers approached me and asked if he could make an announcement over the PA system. We never, ever allow that. But this time was different. I said “of course” and handed him the mike. He picked up the PA and reminded everyone about what they had just gone through in the last few days.
He reminded them of the hospitality they had received at the hands of total strangers.

He continued by saying that he would like to do something in return for the good folks of Lewisporte.

“He said he was going to set up a Trust Fund under the name of DELTA 15 (our flight number). The purpose of the trust fund is to provide college scholarships for the high school students of Lewisporte.

He asked for donations of any amount from his fellow travelers. When the paper with donations got back to us with the amounts, names, phone numbers and addresses, the total was for more than $14,000!

“The gentleman, a MD from Virginia , promised to match the donations and to start the administrative work on the scholarship. He also said that he would forward this proposal to Delta Corporate and ask them to donate as well.

As I write this account, the trust fund is at more than $1.5 million and has assisted 134 students in college education.

“I just wanted to share this story because we need good stories right now. It gives me a little bit of hope to know that some people in a faraway place were kind to some strangers who literally dropped in on them.

It reminds me how much good there is in the world.”

“In spite of all the rotten things we see going on in today’s world this story confirms that there are still a lot of good people in the world and when things get bad, they will come forward.

Passing out the pizzas

Article by By The Associated Press | Wednesday, Jul 9, 2014 | Updated 10:18 AM CDT

Source: http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/national-international/Frontier-Airlines-Pilot-Pizza-Delay-Dominos-Pizza-266363311.html#ixzz370N4JBoD
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Cheyenne Domino’s Pizza manager Andrew Ritchie told The Associated Press that he got a call about 10 p.m. Monday just as he was about to send employees home. Ritchie said the pilot told him he needed to feed 160 people — fast. Faced with potentially hungry — and grumpy — passengers, a Frontier Airlines pilot treated them to pizza when storms diverted a Denver-bound flight to Cheyenne, where the plane was stuck for a couple of hours.

“I put my hand over the phone and I said: ‘Guys, you’re coming back,’ ” Ritchie said, recalling what he told his employees.

In all, Ritchie said his crew made about 35 pizzas and delivered them to the airport, where the driver handed the food off to flight attendants. One of the passengers sent KUSA-TV a picture of flight attendants handing pizza boxes to people.

That number of pizzas is usually what his store handles in an entire hour, Ritchie said. This time, they needed to make them and deliver them in about 30 minutes, he said.

But that didn’t deter his co-workers, Ritchie said.

“Actually, they were super excited. They had a blast. It was a challenge,” he said. “It was definitely one of those ‘challenge accepted’ moments in time.”

Frontier Airlines did not immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press, but KUSA-TV said the company confirmed the episode.

The television station reports that the flight to Denver International Airport, which originated in Washington, D.C., left Cheyenne about 10:30 p.m., shortly after the pizzas arrived.

The flight was one of dozens that were delayed Monday evening because of heavy rain across Colorado.

Allen family gives PS4 to Dallas boy who donated smoke detectors to neighbors

Source: http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Family-Gives-PS4-To-Generous-9-Year-Old-Boy-255955581.html#ixzz2zXA83nQP
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After giving up his savings to help others, a 9-year-old Dallas boy finally got his PlayStation 4 Sunday, thanks to a generous brother and sister from Collin County.
Hector Montoya saved up for about a year to buy a new PS4 gaming system but decided to put the money to a different use at the last minute: giving smoke detectors to those in need.
“I was going to buy a PlayStation but I decided saving a life was more important cause one life lost is too many,” said Montoya.
His grandmother said the idea came up after Hector heard a story on the news about a mother and child dying in a fire without a smoke detector. The boy was shocked to learn some folks didn’t have the safety system in their homes.
“Really it just hurt my heart,” he said.
On Saturday, Montoya and the Grand Prairie Fire Department installed about 100 smoke detectors he had donated into the homes of folks in need. When NBC 5 first covered the story, Hector simply said he planned to start saving again and hopefully get his PS4 eventually.
Within hours of the story airing, the NBC DFW Facebook page was filled with comments from people wanting to help the cause or see the young man’s kindness paid back, including from a brother and sister in Allen who were ready to do something right away.
Ashton and Peyton Harder immediately got to work with their mother and bought a PS4 that night to personally deliver to Hector.
“To see a 9-year-old worrying about so many others, you can’t help but want to give him what he wants,” said 19-year-old Ashton. “We thought that he deserved something special.”
On Sunday, the family drove the 45-minute trip to the Montoya home in Dallas and brought Hector the system.
“I was really excited,” said Montoya. “I didn’t know that this was going to happen, really I didn’t, but I was excited when I heard.”
“Once we turned the corner and pulled up we were like, OK this is, hopefully he’s excited and wants this,” said Ashton.
Needless to say, the 9-year-old was overjoyed to meet his new friends and set up the game system right away.
The game console wasn’t the only gift the Harders brought. The duo also brought Hector an extra $150 to help buy more smoke detectors and keep his cause going.
“It made me feel really good that I was helping him out with all of this and that we gave him extra money,” said 14-year-old Peyton Harder.
Montoya said he plans to continue saving and donating money to give smoke detectors to folks who need them.

Mother of three, nearly struck by car, not so angry anymore after anonymous driver says he’s sorry

By Lisa Fernandez | Friday, Apr 4, 2014 | Updated 6:55 PM PDT

Julie Colwell was out jogging Thursday morning, as she does every morning, when she was cut off in the crosswalk by a passing car.

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“I was like, ‘You jerk! Pay attention!’” Colwell recalled. “I yelled, ‘What do you think you’re doing?’ I was fuming.”

But the 42-year-old Sunnyvale, Calif., mother of three had a sudden change of heart Friday morning.

She said she found an apology note taped to the crosswalk pole near Cherry Chase Elementary School, the exact spot where she had nearly been hit the day before.

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The note was written in red marker, and left unsigned.

“To the woman I cut off yesterday, I am incredibly sorry for doing so,” the note read. “I am wracked with guilt over the thought I could have injured you. Thank you for the wake up call to give driving my full attention. Sorry!”

Colwell said that as soon as she saw the note, she knew it was intended for her.

She said she dropped any lingering anger she had for the mystery motorist, whom she described as a man who looked like he was driving his kid to school.

“Of course I forgive you,” Colwell told NBC Bay Area, as if she were speaking to the driver. “Thanks so much for owning it. We need more of that.”

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Cop confronts pit bull, pit bull loves cop, all is right in the world

8/14/2013

When a cop responds to a “vicious dog” call and arrives to find a pit bull, things often don’t turn out well. When Baltimore officer Dan Waskeiwicz showed up to just such a situation in May of 2012, the pit bull he encountered was anything but vicious. Waskeiwicz followed the dog into an alley, where it approached him, tail between its legs. The pit bull licked his pants. The cop gave him a bottle of water. And the love affair began. He bundled the sweetie into his squad car, took him to the shelter, and then decided to take him home. He named him Bo, and now the allegedly vicious dog lives with Waskeiwicz and his two other dogs. Happily, we hope, ever after. Good cop, good dog.

Source: http://www.deathandtaxesmag.com/203596/baltimore-police-officer-got-a-call-about-a-vicious-pit-bull-and-this-is-what-happened-next/

$64,000 Raised So Far For Homeless Man Who Turned In $42,000

September 18, 2013 9:30 AM
 

This week’s feel good story of the homeless man in Boston who found a backpack containing $42,000 in cash and travelers checks and then turned it into authorities is developing into an even better tale.

An online fundraiser to collect money for that Good Samaritan, who we now know is named Glen James , had raised nearly $64,000 as of 9:20 a.m. ET Wednesday.

The Boston Homeless Man Reward Campaign was launched by Ethan Whittington of Midlothian, Va., who hasn’t met James, but felt compelled to see if other Good Samaritans would “help this man change his life.”

James was honored this week by the Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis “for his extraordinary show of character and honesty.”

According to the Boston Globe:

“James, a slight, bespectacled man in his mid-50s who says he has been homeless for five years, said the thought of keeping the money never crossed his mind.

” ‘Even if I were desperate for money, I would not have kept even a penny of the money found,’ he said Monday in a handwritten statement. ‘God has always very well looked after me.’ “

The Globe adds that “in his statement, James wrote about how he found the money and a bit about himself. He had worked at a courthouse for 13 years as a file clerk, he said, before being fired. On Monday, the courts could not immediately confirm his employment. James could have gotten another job, he said, but he suffers from an inner-ear disorder that causes prolonged vertigo spells.”

The money he found last weekend belonged to a student from China who was visiting Boston. It was returned to the student.

 
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GREAT HEART’: A homeless good Samaritan flagged police after finding a backpack full of money on Saturday.
Monday, September 16, 2013
 

A homeless good Samaritan who turned in a lost backpack stuffed with nearly $42,000 yesterday was hailed by his fellow down-and-outers as a guy with a “great heart.”

“People will probably tell him he’s nuts, but homeless people are the first to help you out,” said Bob Boisselle, who, like the nameless humanitarian, stays at the city’s Long Island Shelter on Boston Harbor. “They don’t have anything, but they’ll give you what they do have.”

On Saturday night, Boston police said, the man turned in a lost backpack he had found at South Bay Mall in Dorchester — a backpack Boston police said contained $2,400 cash and $39,500 in American Express Travelers Cheques.

The man, who police declined to identify by name, flagged down officers and told them he found the black backpack in front of T.J. Maxx.

“He’s got a great heart,” said Aaron Toye, who stays at a different shelter in the city. “He did the right thing.”

Police said in addition to the money, the backpack contained passports “and various personal papers.”

Police were contacted an hour later by a mall customer reporting he’d lost a backpack “containing a large sum of money.”

Police said the rightful owner was identified by his Republic of China passport and the property was returned to him.

The anonymous hero must have acted out of a keen sense of empathy, his fellow street-dwellers said yesterday as the story made its way around the city’s shelters and alleys.

“Homeless people,” said Boisselle, a former western Massachusetts landscape designer who has been on the streets since 2005, “know what it’s like to be down and out.”

Police were contacted an hour later by a mall customer reporting he’d lost a backpack “containing a large sum of money.”

Police said the rightful owner was identified by his Republic of China passport and the property was returned to him.

The anonymous hero must have acted out of a keen sense of empathy, his fellow street-dwellers said yesterday as the story made its way around the city’s shelters and alleys.

“Homeless people,” said Boisselle, a former western Massachusetts landscape designer who has been on the streets since 2005, “know what it’s like to be down and out.”

- See more at: http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/09/fellow_homeless_hail_pal_who_turned_in_backpack_with_42g#sthash.ZSBrKbdz.dpuf

Police were contacted an hour later by a mall customer reporting he’d lost a backpack “containing a large sum of money.”

Police said the rightful owner was identified by his Republic of China passport and the property was returned to him.

The anonymous hero must have acted out of a keen sense of empathy, his fellow street-dwellers said yesterday as the story made its way around the city’s shelters and alleys.

“Homeless people,” said Boisselle, a former western Massachusetts landscape designer who has been on the streets since 2005, “know what it’s like to be down and out.”

- See more at: http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/09/fellow_homeless_hail_pal_who_turned_in_backpack_with_42g#sthash.ZSBrKbdz.dpuf

GREAT HEART’: A homeless good Samaritan flagged police after finding a backpack full of money on Saturday.
1
Monday, September 16, 2013
 

A homeless good Samaritan who turned in a lost backpack stuffed with nearly $42,000 yesterday was hailed by his fellow down-and-outers as a guy with a “great heart.”

“People will probably tell him he’s nuts, but homeless people are the first to help you out,” said Bob Boisselle, who, like the nameless humanitarian, stays at the city’s Long Island Shelter on Boston Harbor. “They don’t have anything, but they’ll give you what they do have.”

On Saturday night, Boston police said, the man turned in a lost backpack he had found at South Bay Mall in Dorchester — a backpack Boston police said contained $2,400 cash and $39,500 in American Express Travelers Cheques.

The man, who police declined to identify by name, flagged down officers and told them he found the black backpack in front of T.J. Maxx.

“He’s got a great heart,” said Aaron Toye, who stays at a different shelter in the city. “He did the right thing.”

Police said in addition to the money, the backpack contained passports “and various personal papers.”

- See more at: http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/09/fellow_homeless_hail_pal_who_turned_in_backpack_with_42g#sthash.ZSBrKbdz.dpuf

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