A Diamond in the Making.

Photo by Eleni Trapp on Unsplash

To download these free stories, please enter the newspaper publication you represent with your email address.
We will email you when we add new stories each month. Thanks!

Note: We are committed to keeping your e-mail address confidential. We do not sell, rent, or lease our contact data or lists to third parties.
Please see our privacy policy for details.

Please enter your organization and email above before downloading these articles.

Download PDF Word .doc Download Photo .jpg

Pass It On®

A Diamond in the Making.
How an everyday superhero saved the day by taking time to go through the garbage to find a stranger’s wedding ring.

By The Foundation for a Better Life

Danielle Hatherley Carroll is an artist. She shares her talent with others, taking groups on field trips around various locations in New York City, setting up easels and enjoying the company of a variety of people as she captures the beauty of the city.

Art can often be about discovery and connection. And real life can often be about loss. When Danielle returned home one night, at first she didn’t realize that somewhere along the day’s painting journey, she had lost her wedding ring.

Then, at 3:30 in the morning, she sat up in bed, panicked at the feel of her empty left ring finger. She tried not to wake her husband but was caught heading out the door. When Danielle admitted what had happened, her husband got out of bed, and the two of them went out to search dumpsters.

The last place she remembered the ring on her finger was in Battery Park, when she was washing up. By the time they got there, all the garbage cans had already been emptied. Desperate, Danielle wrote a note and put it on the windshield of a nearby garbage truck, hoping against all odds that someone might be of help. “Help,” the note read. “I believe my wedding ring might be in this truck.” It was all she could do.

Parks and Recreation employee Gary Gaddist discovered the note in the early morning. He gave Danielle a call, and she explained the whole story.

“I had to go to Randall’s Island, and when I got there I showed the guys the note,” Gary recalls. They told him, “If you want to look for a needle in a haystack, go ahead.”

Now, this is New York City, and tons of garbage is moved every day, in multiple directions. Gary only knew that somewhere in the hub, among hundreds of piled-up bags, he was looking for a clear plastic garbage bag stuffed with a day’s worth of artist’s rags. He was up to the task.

At 8:00 that morning, Gary called Danielle with the good news. She burst into tears and took a cab to meet Gary. When asked why he would take the extra time to help out a stranger, Gary simply said, “It’s a love thing. I could tell she and her husband love each other. I’m glad I could help.”

Lend a Hand... PassItOn.com®

Copyright ©2022 The Foundation for a Better Life. All rights reserved. Available under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License (international): https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Pass It On®

The Foundation for a Better Life, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, gives your newspaper permission to publish these stories in print and electronic media (excluding audio and video), provided the stories are published in their entirety, without modification and including the copyright notice. For any modification, permission must first be obtained from the Foundation by emailing media-relations@passiton.com. Thank you.

  email

Your Comments
Here are some other inspiring newspaper articles you might like.
A Most Unlikely Friendship.

A Most Unlikely Friendship.
How the war in Ukraine brought two families together from opposite sides.

For the Cost of a Box of Cereal.

For the Cost of a Box of Cereal.
How just noticing makes all the difference in the world.

Living Alone doesn’t Mean you Have to be Lonely.

Living Alone doesn’t Mean you Have to be Lonely.
How a community in Maine supports those who want to be left alone.

Photographs that Changed the World.

Photographs that Changed the World.
How the searing photographs of Walker Evans’ America during the Depression created a national change in attitude toward the poor.

Born to Make a Difference.

Born to Make a Difference.
Kids who are changing their world.

A Hero for Accessibility.

A Hero for Accessibility.
How an 8-year-old girl captured the attention of the nation and motivated Congress.

Beatrice Shilling

Beatrice Shilling
The motorcycle daredevil who became a mechanical engineer and saved the lives of countless pilots in WWll.

Finding Our Way.

Finding Our Way.
Using the natural elements around her, Kala Baybayan Tanaka navigates the ocean in a canoe for up to three weeks using nothing but observations of the natural elements around her.

How to Honor Your Mother.

How to Honor Your Mother.
Warrick Dunn played in the NFL for 12 seasons. His most impressive stat: He’s built 200 homes for single mothers. And he’s not done.

Billy Mills

Billy Mills
The story behind America’s first and only 10,000-meter Olympic champion.

How Far Would you go for a Friend?

How Far Would you go for a Friend?
The story of Dindim, the penguin who travels 5,000 miles every year to visit with its rescuer.

Cross Safely.

Cross Safely.
How one man made sure his retirement years were spent helping kids move safely through life.

Ramping Up to Help those in Need.

Ramping Up to Help those in Need.
How a community came together in a time of tragedy.

An Impossible Journey.

An Impossible Journey.
How John Wesley Powell navigated the Colorado River and Grand Canyon in wooden boats.

Are You Smarter Than a Seventh-Grade Business Owner?

Are You Smarter Than a Seventh-Grade Business Owner?
How Kidpreneur Alejandro Buxton is making money for college and helping others.

A Custom of Respect.

A Custom of Respect.
How the Japanese soccer team brings sportsmanship to the game.

Turning Tough News Into Hope.

Turning Tough News Into Hope.
How 11-year-old Jordan Phillips raised $120,000 to help fund cancer treatment.

You’re Never Too Old to Make a Difference.

You’re Never Too Old to Make a Difference.
British WWll veteran Captain Tom Moore raised over $45 million for charity at age 100.

Something Healthy for All of Us

Something Healthy for All of Us
How 17-year-old Barron Prize Winners Annie and Shirley Zhu provide fresh food for 1,400 people a year.

Never, Ever Give Up.

Never, Ever Give Up.
The incredible story of the 12-year-old cancer patient who brings joy to half a million children fighting cancer.

Our Local Heroes in Scrubs.

Our Local Heroes in Scrubs.
How health care workers saved the day.

Beyond the Moon with an Eye on Mars.

Beyond the Moon with an Eye on Mars.
The story of a young woman who dreamed of pushing the boundaries and now designs launch systems for NASA.

Let the Music Move You.

Let the Music Move You.
Bob Geldof has spent a lifetime seeking harmony in the world.

Don’t Let a Bad Day Trick You Into Believing You Have a Bad Life.

Don’t Let a Bad Day Trick You Into Believing You Have a Bad Life.
Allie Newman not only survived cancer but also helps hospitals better meet the needs of teenage cancer patients.

Taking Care.

Taking Care.
How one woman turned a life of neglect into a lifetime of taking care of people.

Recognizing the Need.

Recognizing the Need.
How a neighbor took a disaffected young man under his wing and taught him how to be a man

Everybody Can Be a Hero.

Everybody Can Be a Hero.
How window cleaners brightened the day at a children’s hospital.

Let the Kids Give it a Try

Let the Kids Give it a Try
How 17-year-old Dasia Taylor developed sutures that detect infection.

Bringing the Moon to your Living Room.

Bringing the Moon to your Living Room.
How 14-year-old Philo Farnsworth tinkered his way to the technology that broadcast the moon landing.

Education is for Everyone.

Education is for Everyone.
Reading and writing are the basics of an education. See why a 90-year-old Kenyan great-grandmother went back to primary school.

Give Peace a Chance.

Give Peace a Chance.
How a Mexican-American Marine negotiated peace speaking Japanese during WWll.

If You Love Dogs, You’ll Love this Story.

If You Love Dogs, You’ll Love this Story.
A German shepherd slept at his owner’s gravesite.

The Little Things that Make the Biggest Difference.

The Little Things that Make the Biggest Difference.
How one man created a forest the size of Central Park by planting one tree a day.

No Strings Attached.

No Strings Attached.
How a 7-year-old girl brings joy to neighbors with her violin.

Including Everybody Means Everybody.

Including Everybody Means Everybody.
How Inclusion Films is making movies using crew with developmental disabilities.

More Than Just Dancing

More Than Just Dancing
How inclusion helps overcome mental illness.

Road Trip Across America.

Road Trip Across America.
A discovery of what unites us.

Finding a New Family at the Mountain Man Rendezvous.

Finding a New Family at the Mountain Man Rendezvous.
How a Vietnam vet pulled himself out of drug addiction by going back in the past.

Listening to the Music Inside.

Listening to the Music Inside.
The long journey of Maria Tallchief from the Osage Nation in Oklahoma to prima ballerina in New York City.

Reach for the Stars…

Reach for the Stars…
No Matter How Long it Takes.

Fix it Yourself.

Fix it Yourself.
How one couple moved hundreds of miles from home to run a center for pregnant teenage girls.

The Least Likely to Help.

The Least Likely to Help.
How a bedridden attorney still fights for the rights of others.

Taking Responsibility.

Taking Responsibility.
How one high school student supported her family during the pandemic.

The Curse of Texting and Driving.

The Curse of Texting and Driving.
How one father turned personal tragedy into triumph for thousands of teenagers by creating the Honor Connor Scholarship Fund.

Being a Mother…

Being a Mother…
The roundabout journey to a dream fulfilled.

For Soccer Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, Every Day is Mother’s Day.

For Soccer Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, Every Day is Mother’s Day.
Fortune and fame have allowed the soccer great to take care of his mother after all she has done for him.

Playtime is for Everybody.

Playtime is for Everybody.
A dad sells off his business and builds a theme park for disabled kids.

To Stay or Run?

To Stay or Run?
The courageous story of a collegiate wrestler who fought a grizzly bear to save a friend. With thanks to the Cowboy State Daily.

Everybody Gets on Base.

Everybody Gets on Base.
Measuring the victories of life, one single at a time.

Laughter is the Best Teacher.

Laughter is the Best Teacher.
How humor and history go together in this classroom.

Going Deep to Deliver Kindness.

Going Deep to Deliver Kindness.
Free-dive record holder Enzo Maiorca rescues a trapped dolphin, then watches as it gives birth.

The Brotherhood in Sports Goes Beyond the Field.

The Brotherhood in Sports Goes Beyond the Field.
How a men’s rugby team supported one of their own.

Stay Curious.

Stay Curious.
The remarkable underwater life of Jacques Cousteau.

Bigger than Life.

Bigger than Life.
How Premier League superstar Sadio Mané is changing the world beyond soccer.

The World Awaits You.

The World Awaits You.
The story of the first woman to circumnavigate the world.

When the World Says You Can’t, Listen to the Inner Voice that Says You Can.

When the World Says You Can’t, Listen to the Inner Voice that Says You Can.
The legacy of Susan La Flesche, the first Native American to earn a medical degree.

A Lesson We Should Never Forget.

A Lesson We Should Never Forget.
The incredible story of American POWs smuggling rations to Russian prisoners at Stalag-B.

Never Give Up.

Never Give Up.
Lessons learned from Preston Tucker, creator of one of the most innovative cars in American history.

Teamwork that Saves Lives.

Teamwork that Saves Lives.
How a high school baseball team lifted a car off one of their classmates pinned underneath.

No Matter Who You Are, You Can Always Help.

No Matter Who You Are, You Can Always Help.
The day Muhammad Ali rushed to save a stranger who was about to take his own life.

The Art of Pitching.

The Art of Pitching.
A little confidence at the right time goes a long way.

Courage in a New World.

Courage in a New World.
The story of Stagecoach Mary, the first Black woman to deliver mail in the Wild West.

Taking Care of the Most Vulnerable.

Taking Care of the Most Vulnerable.
Pam Tully dedicates 6 months a year to rescuing baby flying foxes alongside the volunteers who help her.

Sometimes the Wrong Direction is the Right Way.

Sometimes the Wrong Direction is the Right Way.
How a wrong number, a wrong text and a mix-up led to long-lasting friendships.

The Legacy of Dorothy Vaughan.

The Legacy of Dorothy Vaughan.
The Hidden Figure who Helped Put a man on the Moon.

The Science of Happiness.

The Science of Happiness.
How a high school senior made sure an entire elementary school got Halloween.

It’s Not Your Lifespan, it’s Your Wingspan.

It’s Not Your Lifespan, it’s Your Wingspan.
How one girl’s 16 years of life impacts thousands.

The Future Belongs to Kids.

The Future Belongs to Kids.
So far, things look pretty bright.

Going the Distance.

Going the Distance.
Why top collegiate and professional athlete Dillon Shije will never stop running for his people.

The Last Person you Think of Should Probably be the First.

The Last Person you Think of Should Probably be the First.
How a group of high school boys practiced the art of inclusion.

Overcoming Our Own Worst Mistakes.

Overcoming Our Own Worst Mistakes.
Kaelin Clay made an unpardonable error in football. And he owned it.

The History of Us.

The History of Us.
How a football coach develops young men by teaching them their own history.

Using the Write Words

Using the Write Words
How an African American Woman Wrote her Way to Freedom.