EVERYDAY HERO STORIES
Where did your values come from?

We've all had people in our lives who have made a positive impact on us. A parent or grandparent, a sibling who was there for us, or maybe even just a guy who shines shoes for a living? Whoever they are, tell us their story so they can inspire us even more.

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REACHING OUT
LEARNING A VALUABLE LESSON From my seat in the van, the rows of tomato plants looked like neatly laid pick-up-sticks. It was harvest time near Quincy, Florida, picking season for hundreds of migrant workers. With a team of youth, I was ready to spend a week renovating an old church and community center. Yet after that week of labor, my...
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GRATITUDE
MY LITTLE DETERMINATION I was seventeen, pregnant and scared there was no help that was going to come from the father. And I still had to graduate high school. My mother and father had lost all hope in me in graduating or even being a mother. That year I found my strength through my child. After 15 hours of labor she was here and I...
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TEACHING BY EXAMPLE
TURN THE CORNER When I was twenty, I won a statewide pageant. Along with the scholarship came the opportunity to be a guest in other pageants and parades, and also to compete for the national title. I felt so happy and blessed each time I read another news clipping about my reign. I was so proud of the gown I'd designed and I...
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HELPING OTHERS
ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT In 1969 I was a young girl working in the big city. I was from a small town in Ontario and had just moved to Toronto about five weeks earlier. It was one week before Christmas and I was going home on the streetcar, the last one of the evening. I remember looking at my paycheque and asking myself how it was...
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OVERCOMING
DIALYSIS DOES NOT HAVE TO BE THE END Twenty years ago I was treated with an antibiotic that damaged my kidneys. Within a couple of years of the antibiotics it was necessary for me to have dialysis treatments. After a couple of years my husband and I were trained to do the hemodialysis treatments and were able to perform them every other night at...
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COURAGE
FDNY HERO Al F. was born in Guayaquil, Equidor in 1951. He emigrated to New York in 1960, he started in the 3rd grade and spoke no English. He was appointed to the New York City Fire Department in 1977 and assigned to Engine 1 in midtown Manhattan. He transferred to Ladder 24 and then Rescue 1 both in Manhattan. In 1986...
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INTEGRITY
HELPING ANOTHER IN NEED My parents always raised me to have strong values and hold firm to my convictions in life, and this was never more exemplified than when a situation arose when it would be easy for most people to ignore it. A gentleman at my father's work began to come into work smelling continually of body odor and personal...
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FRIENDSHIP
NEW KID ON THE WARD I was a scared 10-year-old girl in the hospital having reconstructive surgery. This was back when you checked into the hospital the day before your procedure. I was shy but met some of the kids in the ward. I was pleased and surprised when they walked me to the elevator as I was being wheeled down for...
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COMMON GROUND
THANKFULNESS As a World War II veteran, I served as a dental assistant in hospital that went to Japan a week or so after the bomb was dropped. After visiting a family and having dinner with them and not understanding much of the conversation, I was impressed with their hospitality and friendliness because I was (in reality) a...
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LEARNING
WHAT I LEARNED FROM CARL My mind seems always to return to the day that I met Carl. The city bus, with its mechanical hiss and its slightly dizzying engine-exhaust fumes, stopped at the corner of 31st and Centennial Drive to pick up the daily commuters, a group in which I was included. Boarding the bus, I looked, seemingly in vain, for a...
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AMBITION
I CAN'T I was the quintessential "I can't" child - the poster child for the advancement of the word "can't." Whatever my mother told or asked me to do was immediately followed by my whining, "I caaaaan't." Consequently, very few tasks or goals that I set out to accomplish were ever completed. One evening, my mother...
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HELPING OTHERS
MANY THANKS! A few years ago I was walking to pick my son up from school. We unfortunately lived too close for a bus pick-up but also too far from the school for my 1st grader to walk home alone. It had become a ritual for my young daughter, infant son and I to walk the 6 blocks every afternoon. On one of those afternoons...
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COURAGE
EIGHT BIRDS, TWO MOUNTAINS, AND ONE BIG CHEVY MALIBU "I am convinced my life belongs to the whole community; and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I got hold of for a moment, and I want to...
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COMPASSION
I CAN'T FORGET AND I WON'T IGNORE Every day is a learning process. Seven months ago I spent three days learning about a problem that has no clear, definite solution. The problem still waits; I have not solved it — yet. I say "yet" because of what those three days taught me. The apparent insolubility of a problem is not a comfortable excuse to...
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RIGHT CHOICES
FAITH My sister had failed out of school and was making very unwise decisions with her life. She chose to spend her time with people who were lost as she was. They all chose to ignore their responsibilities and supported one another in a life which involved drinking and partying. Sadly, they were all losing time. They...
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