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Internet Ensures Disabled Vet Never Has To Worry About Putting Food On The Table Again

Disabled Vet Gets Life-Changing Thank You!

Earlier this month, a struggling Gulf War veteran with disabilities had to decide whether to give up his home or feed his family. Now, thanks to the Internet, this former serviceman won’t ever have to make that impossible choice.

But the happy ending for this story actually started with the kindness of another vet who had fallen on hard times.

Last month, Las Vegas magician Rob Anderson pulled off one of his greatest tricks.
He made piles of money pour out from homeless veteran Alan McKracken’s cardboard sign. Anderson then inspired the Internet to donate money too and eventually collected more than $40,000.
But McKracken only accepted the money he needed and asked that the rest be given to another veteran in need.

That’s when Anderson visited Gulf War veteran Johnny Hicks who said he was recently fired from his government job after taking time off to get surgery for a disability he incurred while serving.
Since then, money has been tight for the family of six, especially after they recently lost much of their furniture and clothes to a mold issue.

I want to be able to do good things for people,” said Hicks who served in the Navy for 20 years. “I’m just struggling right now.”

The family subsists on $1,200 a month from his military retirement, which isn’t enough to cover their food and rent costs.

But with help from complete strangers, Anderson had enough funds to pay those bills, and a little leftover for some extra frills.

"You deserve it -- for your service to the country, for allowing me to live the life I want to live,” Anderson told the shocked veteran. “You provided that for me and a lot of other people.”
Watch the video above to see this deserving and grateful veteran get a boost so he can get back on his feet.

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What's Happening at This Department Store is Saving Lives. Just Wait 'Til You Hear How -- WHOA!

When IKEA heard what a hard time shelters were having getting dogs adopted they decided to do something kind of crazy to help. This is truly a beautiful idea, and I REALLY hope it works!

Homeless Shelter Is Transformed Into 5-Star Restaurant, Hot Food And Warm Hearts All Around

Normally prankster Greg Benson of Mediocre Films is out getting the best of unsuspecting victims of his silly antics, but this day he did something different with his pranking power.
Watch him join forces with Break.com's "Prank it Fwd" campaign to turn the Ascencia homeless shelter in Glendale, Calif., into a five-star restaurant. The "Prank it Fwd" campaign aims to perform positive pranks for a change, and when you see the surprised faces of the 50 homeless people who got to experience the "Ascencia" restaurant, you'll be convinced that goal was achieved.
Benson, along with his team, turned a room in the shelter into a beautiful restaurant where participants got to enjoy a classy dining experience. Patrons were surprised to find live classical music, a custom-made menu and waiters in black tie serving filet mignon and desserts.
To top it all off, the video ends with a donation of $5,000 made out to the shelter. We'd take a second helping of this kind of feel-good prank any day.

This Man With A Van Has A 'Wild Obsession' With Helping Homeless People

Armed with a van and fueled by passion, Aaron Reddin is on a mission to help homeless individuals in need.
After conquering his own drug addiction, Reddin began to run a long-term drug and alcohol program and a homeless shelter. Through this experience, he developed a "wild obsession" with helping the homeless.
"I was dissatisfied with the number of folks that were sleeping outside, and the fact that everyone expected them to somehow come to us to help," Reddin says in the video above. "I said, you know what, let's raise a thousand bucks and buy a crappy old van."
With his van, Reddin began a nonprofit called The One, Inc. The organization aims to help any "one" person on the streets. Whether it be through providing shoes, blankets, food, supplies or just lending a helping hand, the organization works to make contributions big or small.
A large part of their mission includes mobility. "We primarily serve these needs by going to the people in need, wherever they may be," the website states. "We visit current homeless camps, search for new camps, comb alleyways, check under bridges and seek out the needy deep in the woods."
The One, Inc. has grown, and the organization now has four buses in four cities. To learn more about The One, Inc., or to donate, click here.

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This Guy Was Shocked At The Amount Of Food His College Cafeteria Threw Away. So He Did Something.

This guy saw a huge amount of senseless waste and wasn't very fond of it. So he found a way to use it and help a whole lot of people. It's a simple concept, and yet nobody was doing it. What a difference people can make.

Want to get involved and help keep perfectly good food out of the trash? You can make it happen on your campus. Visit Food Recovery Network's Start a Chapter page for more info.

Pizza restaurant owner wants people to get a free meal on him

He was once homeless in Detroit. But now a man in Des Moines, Iowa is using his newly opened pizzeria to give back to those who are struggling.

Read More Here:  http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2014/02/18/restaurant-owner-uses-pizza-to-pay-it-forward/?intcmp=HPBucket

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'Full circle': Man finds stranger who saved him from suicide 6 years ago

Jonny Benjamin with Good Samaritan Neil Laybourn, who convinced him not to commit suicide.
Courtesy Rethink Mental Illness
Jonny Benjamin with Good Samaritan Neil Laybourn, who convinced him not to commit suicide.
It was a Good Samaritan encounter that changed a young man’s life forever.
Six years ago, on a bitterly cold January morning, Jonny Benjamin was coaxed away from a ledge on London’s Waterloo Bridge by a total stranger walking to work.
Benjamin was 20 years old and had just been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder — a debilitating combination of schizophrenia and depression. He had dropped out of university, held little hope of being able to hold down a job or one day have a family, and decided life was not worth living.  
Then a stranger’s voice pulled him out of the darkness.
“You can get through this. You can overcome anything,” Benjamin recalls the man saying, as he calmly spoke to him for 25 minutes, inviting him to join him for a chat over coffee instead.
The chance interaction altered everything for Benjamin who was ultimately pulled to safety and spent years battling his way back to health.
But there was one thing preventing him from achieving full closure on the bleakest moment in his life — lingering questions about the identity of the man who rescued him.
So, on Jan. 14, exactly six years after that near-fateful day, Benjamin launched an online campaign to try to find the man who'd helped him, taking to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter with his story in the hopes that it would jog some memories. "He was the first person to give me hope, and his words actually prompted my recovery," he says in the YouTube plea. "Now I need your help to find him. I've called him Mike, although I'm not too sure if that's his real name."


The search, which used the hashtag #findmike, was soon trending in the U.K., Canada and South Africa, and was retweeted thousands of times, including by singer Boy George, British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and actor Stephen Fry.
Benjamin, now a mental health campaigner and ambassador for charity Rethink Mental Illness, said he has only recently felt confident enough to speak openly about his suicide attempt, and hoped to raise awareness through his story — but held out little hope of actually finding the mystery man.
But his search ended on Jan. 28, when Benjamin finally came face-to-face with his savior: Neil Laybourn, a mild-mannered personal fitness trainer from Surrey (just outside London), who had also spent years wondering what came of the man he coaxed from the edge.
Though he initiated the search, Benjamin says he was initially "petrified" to meet Laybourn: “I wasn’t sure what memories were going to be triggered from that, or if I was going to recognize him,” he told TODAY.com. But the fear quickly faded.
“Do you remember me?” Laybourn, 31, asks in a video of the pair's reunion, posted to YouTube, in which the pair is seen greeting each other with a long bear hug.
"It's all coming back," Benjamin says, moved to tears.

Laybourn was first alerted to the #findmike mission by his fiancé who saw a post on Facebook.
“Neil said the big shock first of all was to find out I was still alive, and that I was looking for him,” Benjamin said. “And it’s been a massive shock how big the campaign has got.”
Benjamin says it was Laybourn’s calm, collected demeanor that first lured him out of his state of distress on that day in 2008. He also noticed that Laybourn was a young man, much like himself, on his way to work — which filled him with hope.
“I was in my own world and he managed to burst the bubble that I was in and get through to me,” he added.
During their reunion in a south London pub, the pair went over the chain of events and Laybourn recounted details Benjamin had not been able to recall. He said at one point Benjamin had agreed to get coffee and started to climb back over the railing. Then he noticed the police pulling up and, fearful of being sent back to hospital, had a change of heart.
Laybourn had to reach out and grab Benjamin as he attempted to jump. “Up to that point, I remembered him stopping me with his words but actually, he physically stopped me,” Benjamin said. “It’s even more reason to thank him.”
When the police did finally arrive and get ahold of Benjamin, Laybourn was not been allowed near him and had no way of following up.
“He said it was amazing for him to see me smiling and back on my feet again, and how far I’d come,” Benjamin said. "He’s so humble about it. He says: 'I’m not a hero, I’m just an ordinary guy'. He’s taking it all in his stride and said: ‘I’m just proud of you Jonny.”
The pair plans to spend time getting to know each other in the coming weeks and months. Laybourn, who is getting married in August, also offered to help Benjamin get into shape.
“Everyone needs a friend like Neil,” said Benjamin. "He’s just the nicest guy. Very sensitive but very lovely and caring and kind, and just a great laugh.
"I always thought of that time as being very negative, I thought of that place as being the worst in my life,” Benjamin added. “I feel that I can look at it a very different way now. I’ve overcome that. I’ve come full circle and am able to close that chapter.”

Rethink Mental Illness | Facebook Page

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