And Now for Something Different: Good News

Most of us don’t expect to find articles in the Huffington Post with which we can agree. But HuffPo does print “Good News” articles in every issue that have nothing to do with politics or the social scene. These first two articles are from the Huffington Post, and the third one is from an online publication called “Happy News.”

Batkid Takes San Francisco by Storm

It seems that a five year old child, Miles Scott, has leukemia. Make-a-Wish Foundation decided to make his dream come true while the leukemia was in remission. Mike loved Batman and wanted to have a Batman suit and do good deeds like the caped crusader. He was met at San Francisco’s Union Square by two black Lamborghinis with Batman decals and escorted through the city by the police. He was scheduled to meet and defeat some of Batman’s enemies, The Riddler, and the Penguin. Little Mike rescued maidens in distress and the San Francisco Giant’s mascot that had been kidnapped.

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batkidThe mayor gave him the key to the city, and the San Francisco Chronicle produced a special “Gotham City Chronicle” edition of the newspaper in honor of Miles. About 1,000 copies of the newspaper were distributed free.

All in all, five year old Miles Scott, who was enduring something that no child should ever have to endure, had a wonderful experience on Friday, November 15. Thanks go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the city of San Francisco, the San Francisco Chronicle and all those that made one small boy live a charmed life for even one day of his life.

Sportsmanship Isn’t Dead After All

With so many stories coming out of the sports world, especially the professional sports world that make it difficult for parents to instill old-fashioned sportsmanship into their youngsters, this story makes it abundantly clear that sportsmanship is alive somewhere.

A soccer goalie had just caught the ball and prevented a goal against his team when he realized that one of his shoe laces was untied. Holding the ball while trying to retie his shoe was proving impossible. A player from the opposing team approached him, kneeled down, and tied the shoe lace for him. According to the report, the crowd went nuts cheering and applauding. The two players shook hands and the game resumed, but not for long.

Because he had held the ball so long, the goalie’s team was assessed a penalty kick by the opposing team. The person chosen to kick the free kick was the player who had just done the shoe-tying-good-deed. At that point the score was tied 2-2. He deliberately kicked the ball to the sideline, making it obvious by his action that he thought the penalty was unfair. Again, according to reports both the crowd and the sportscaster went wild.

Fittingly the game ended in a 4-4 tie. My mother would have liked this story.

Cans & Bottles Provide 19 Surgeries for Operation Smile

George Ouellette, retired salesman, works six or seven hours each day collecting cans and bottles from the roadsides and garbage cans. He then sells his collection and gives the money to Operation Smile. Operation Smile is an organization that provides surgical correction for people–usually children–who are unfortunate enough to have cleft lips or cleft pallets.

Operation-Smile-helping1So far Mr. Ouellette has collected more than 100,000 cans and raised a total of $4,440 that has provided 19 surgeries for people so afflicted. Even though he lives in Chelmsford, Mass. where the winters can be brutal, he collects year around.

At first when he began his collecting, people in town who didn’t know him thought he was some kind of vagrant and shied away from him, but now he is greeted by those same people, and many of them save their cans for him.

He began this mission when he saw a television show in 2005 and learned that the surgery can cost as little as $250. His son says that this chore has given his dad a new purpose in life. His daughter Sue is quoted as saying, “My dad was a hard-working salesman for many years. However, he felt like he had not done enough to give back to the world, even after raising and educating four children. He’s not only an amazing father and volunteer; he’s an inspiration to anyone.”

Want to know what you can do for the world besides be grumpy and complaining? Collect and sell cans and bottles and give the proceeds to some worthy cause.


The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

About the author

Harry Livermore

Harry Livermore spent a lifetime teaching English in high schools and junior colleges in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Georgia. He now writes for and is editor of the Valdosta Magazine. Harry and his wife Janice live in Valdosta, GA. They are members of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Valdosta. Harry has two sons, six grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren who live in Georgia, Oklahoma, and Texas.

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