Park Hills, Missouri may be a small town, but it is home to one big inspiring story we can all smile about. 37-year-old Marlene Brooks came home from work one day only to find that her life was about to change with the start of a new, dear friendship. Marlene’s 90-year-old neighbor’s house was so quiet; Marlene didn’t even know anyone lived there. That is until she received a heartbreaking note from that neighbor, Wanda Mills. The letter wrote:
“Dear Mrs. ? Would you consider being my friend? I’m 90 years old, live alone, and all my friends have passed away. I am so lonesome and scared. Please, I pray for someone.”
Well, her prayer was answered. Upon reading the note Marlene paid a visit to Wanda, only to leave the 90-year old blissfully surprised. Through spending time together and getting to know each other, the two have developed a special bond and friendship that has changed both their lives for the better. Wanda now lives in a nursing home nearby, and Marlene still visits with her at least four times a week, often bringing her children and husband to say hello and bring young energy to the room.
In a video interview with Marlene, even five months later she still gets choked up reading the letter, which she carries around with her everywhere she goes. Marlene has been so inspired by this friendship that she started up a group called “Pen Pals for Seniors” to help end this loneliness, and help other elderly folk spark up loving friendships just like she did.
Thank you, Marlene and Wanda for showing us your heartfelt story. You are both a beautiful illustration of how you never know what unforgettable friendships await you, simply by spending time with those who need you.
Sourced from this site.
How many of us have heard of the town Karakocan? Today, you will certainly not forget about it. We're traveling around the globe to Turkey, where a small eastern town welcomes its "most valuable customers". Who are these special customers that always have a table reserved even in the busiest hours? Those in need.
This incredible tradition of restaurants inviting the less fortunate to eat free of charge has been passed down from generation to generation. The locals say, it's their way of fulfilling their responsibility to help assist those in need. Mehmet Ozturk, the owner of one of the areas busiest restaurant for nearly 35 years, says he "Always keeps at least three tables reserved for those in need, even during rush hour when his eatery is crazy cramped."
Ozturk shares that this tradition has been around for over 70 years and at this point in time, it's the natural thing to do that they learned from their elders. From regulars who dine their daily, to visitors from all around Turkey, this small Anatolian town never leaves someone hungry. But the giving doesn't stop there.
Hasan Gulbasan, one of the owners of a popular restaurant with roots going back centuries, says the town's long history of giving isn't only about free meals. They've sent aid to Syria or to different parts of Turkey in times of need such as the Van earthquake that left thousands homeless amongst countless other generous acts.
We can all take a step back and appreciate the rarity of this story. While the Western world may have advances in other fields that separate our civilizations, perhaps they have the upper hand with their famous hospitality and generosity. We can all learn a valuable lesson from this town as they surely mimic the lifestyle we strive to achieve here at Be Robin Hood.
This amazing story is sourced from here.
We have been in constant awe of Marie Lopez since meeting her, after hearing of her amazing story and what she has given up for a small orphanage in Africa. This spotlight will certainly inspire you and may even give you the desire to give your time to helping out. Thanks Marie for Be[ing] Robin Hood.
Give Be Robin Hood a glimpse into your background. What was it that prompted you to relocate from Ireland to Johannesburg, South Africa? What about Cornerstone of Hope Orphanage drew you in?
My name is Marie Lopez, and am from Ireland where I lived with my Husband and little daughter until 2010 when my husband passed on. A year later, after battling severe depression, I relocated to South Africa for a vacation and that's when God started his work in my life. I saw children suffering, premature deaths, and poverty. I decided to start my orphanage over here [in South Africa] from part of the funds that my husband left behind, and today we are established and saving lives.
The need to save lives and alleviate pain drew me in. People neglect the poor and that's not how it's supposed to be. If everyone can help each other in times of need, the world would be a better place.
Tell us about the water pump project you have going on. What sort of impact will be made when your goal is fulfilled?
Since 2011 till date, Cornerstone Orphanage has relied on unhealthy stream water for sustenance. Recently, the kids have been ill and there is an outbreak of cholera in our vicinity, which prompted us to take the bold step of having a clean water supply system in our orphanage. We setup a link and people are responding positively. When we have enough funding, we hope to complete the construction of our water pump and get additional supplies for the children. Anyone who wishes to help can donate here.
You’ve helped many children find new and caring homes with adoptive families. Can you tell us a story of a successful adoption that was particularly memorable, and why it meant so much?
That would be the story of Ken. Our little Ken had autism and believed everyone hated him because he was slow. I kept encouraging him, but he felt devastated seeing his mates getting adopted and nothing coming his way. Eventually a good Christian family came through and they really loved him and started preparations for his adoption. It has now been 3 years, and Ken is with his new family in the UK and he couldn't be happier. Occasionally he comes to visit and is honestly really happy.
Be Robin Hood’s vision remains that anyone can be a hero to someone in need, and together we can change the world, while Cornerstone’s vision is to “Share Love, Build Hope and Change lives.” What kind of world and opportunities would you like to see for these children?
I want these children to have the life they deserve and always dreamt of. These children have potential and it's not their fault they don't have a family. Our vision is to help nurture these children to become great leaders in the future. So far, they are excelling in academics, sports and art activities. It's amazing.
If you could have your ‘dream come true’ what would it be?
If there's something I hope for endlessly, it's that these children can grow and become successful in life. I want them to one day remember that they started from our orphanage and got support from kind hearted people who helped them achieve their dreams.
Florida went through a scary time this past weekend - people were evacuated, houses were boarded up, stores were empty. But what about all the dogs that couldn't come with the owners during the evacuation?
This animal-loving couple made sure that they had plenty of supplies and were ready for Irma. Ron and Gretchen Levine, who operate A Paw Above Pet Sitting Services decided that they were going to care for all the pest that were left behind, they had no idea what they were in store from. By the time the storm hit, they had saved 46 different animals from roughly 23 families.
"Everyone has been getting along great; we do separate the smaller dogs from larger ones," Ron said. "The cats are set up in cat condos in a second bedroom and our office area. All the animals could care less about the storm...As of now we have no idea how long they will stay with us, as our clients' flights are delayed or cancelled."
It's people like Ron and Gretchen that we need to look up to now and then. They have certainly been Robin Hood in the last week and have helped out these animals tremendously.
This next Robin’s Spotlight is sure to melt your heart. So many people around the world live to inspire hope and faith in humanity, and Mohamed Bzeek is changing children’s lives one day at a time. At 62-years old Mohamed was diagnosed with cancer. He had to face surgery and doctors alone as his wife had already passed, and his son is handicapped. This sinking feeling of having no one by his side ignited a life changing idea within him. Mohamed is now a foster father to terminally ill children who have been abandoned by their parents. A heartache no child should ever have to bear; Mohamed became an angel to all of them. Rather than spend their final days alone and without a family, Mohamed gives these children a home, love, warmth, happiness, and arms to be held in.
Having gone through his own cancer experience alone, he knows exactly how these children feel. His generosity, love, and strength towards such innocent lives is simply amazing. Talking to them and holding them allows each and every child to form a bond with a loving person. Mohamed says he will foster kids as long as he is healthy and can provide good care for them. He has fostered over 80 children in 20 years. Watch the video below to get his full story and inspring words. You have an incredible heart of gold, Mohamed. Thank you for making our world a better place and for changing these children’s lives with love.
“We are human beings; we should help each other. Doesn’t matter what kind of help, financially, spiritually, medically, any help you can help, you should help because we are all human beings and we are supposed to help each other. It doesn’t matter what color, what religion, what country, no, we see as a human being. Like this we live in harmony, and we’ll be united, not divided.” – Mohamed Bzeek