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Everyday Heroes

Groom kissing bride's forehead and groom coming out of a river.
Uplifting News

Groom Takes Off During Wedding Photoshoot – Leaving the Bride Shocked

It was supposed to be a day of celebration and love for Brittany and Clayton Cook. On September 22, in a picturesque park in Ontario, Canada, the newlyweds were capturing memories with their wedding photographer, Darren Hatt. But their idyllic photoshoot took a sudden and dramatic turn when Clayton noticed a young boy in danger nearby. Little did they know, this moment would turn Clayton into a hero.

Left image: a couple sit side by side, on a couch. Right Image: They sit in the same position 68 years later.
Uplifting News

Why a Husband Laughed In Wife's Face After Her Post-Chemo Makeover

Just when we think we've got it all under control, life has a way of ripping the rug right out from under us. It may be as simple as our car breaking down at the worst possible time (it's always when we have somewhere we really need to be). It could be a little more frustrating like getting slapped with surprise bills that'll make us dip into our savings. But there's one kind of disaster that's the hardest to come back from.

man holding a red gift box and a woman watching a man open a gift
Uplifting News

Husband Opens Small Package From His Wife - What’s Inside Brings Him to Tears

This scene looks happy, even festive. The lights are bright, and a little girl's toys are strewn across the floor.But something's off.

woman with blond hair and glasses and a Facebook page with close-ups on notification icons
Uplifting News

Smart Banker Saves Poor Elderly Woman From Evil Romance Scam by Her ‘Online Boyfriend’

Elderly Woman Was Going To Sell Her Home For Her Mystery "Boyfriend"Marlena Karbowski, is the Liverpool banker who found herself sucked into a modern-day love story—with a dark twist. It all began when a sweet elderly woman entered the Westpac branch, Karbowski worked at. But despite appearances, Karbowski couldn't help but notice there was something suspicious about this woman. When the client (who remained anonymous) approached Karbowski's desk, she revealed her shocking intentions for showing up that day and it instantly raised a red flag for Karbowski. This elderly client had suddenly decided she wanted to sell her home and cancel her Westpac home insurance. Even though Karbowski didn't know what exactly was going on, one thing was absolutely clear. The elderly woman–who had been a loyal Westpac client for years and did not have a diverse history of investing—was acting out of character. The only question was what—or who—was making her act so irrationally?When Karbowski probed further, she received a vague answer from her client about "helping her son". But this surface-level explanation didn't satisfy Karbowski. Her instincts kicked in so she delved deeper. Finally, during a private conversation with her client, the dark truth hidden beneath the surface was revealed.Her Gut Instinct Knew There Was More To This Story Westpac Banking"I asked her to send me photos of the guy and I put them into a Google reverse image search. There were so many different pictures of this guy, one was of a model somewhere in America, so then we knew it was a scam,” recounted Karbowski.After a brief investigation, Karbowski discovered that the elderly woman's true mission. She was seeking funds to secure her "boyfriend's" release from imprisonment overseas. The only way she knew how to get the money was to sell her home. Karbowski calmly asked to see photos of her alleged online beau. It didn't take the tech-savvy Karbowski much time to discover a disturbing patternHer "Guardian Angel" Rescued Her In The Nick of TimeA reverse google search heartbreakingly revealed, this mysterious "boyfriend" was not who he said he was. Many of the photos the woman had received from her purported beau were found online, stolen from other people's accounts with different names. When Karbowski realized her client had already negotiated the sale of her home, she felt sick to her stomach. Due to the immediate nature of the matter, Karbowski made it her number one priority to save this elderly woman from homelessness. Fortunately, the settlement of the property was still one week away so her elderly client still had time to cancel the sale of her house. But she wasn't finished with her just yet.Hand-in-hand Karbowski walked her client over to the Liverpool Police Station. She encouraged her to report the crime, ensuring that the necessary steps were taken to protect her client from further harm.The Simple Question That Made Her Realize The Truth: "When Was The Last Time He Took You Out For Coffee? Jacob Lund Photography / Creative Commons"The Simple Question That Made Her Realize The Truth: 'When Was The Last Time He Took You Out For Coffee?'"As Marlena Karbowski spoke to the elderly woman, a single question made the whole puzzle come into focus. With a gentle, unassuming voice, Karbowski asked, “When was the last time he took you out for coffee?” The silence that followed was more revealing than any words could be. The elderly woman’s eyes flickered with the painful realization that she had never actually met her "boyfriend" in person. In that moment, it all became clear to both of them. "“We cried together. We care and when we see those red flags, we act.” - Marlena KarbowskiKarbowski knew this was the turning point. It wasn’t just about money or property; it was about unraveling the emotional manipulation and lies that had ensnared her client. The air in the room grew heavier as they sat together, acknowledging the gravity of the situation. Karbowski offered a comforting presence as the elderly woman processed the truth, tears welling in her eyes. This simple question was the key to unlocking a story of betrayal that had been expertly woven by the scammer. Karbowski's instincts had paid off, and she was ready to guide her client through the difficult steps that would follow.Do You Think A Loved One Is Involved In A Romance Scam? Here Are A Few Simple Tips:Trust Your Instincts: Sometimes, our gut feelings speak louder than words. If something feels off, don't ignore it.Ask Probing Questions: Delve deeper into their story with gentle inquiries that encourage honesty and reflection.Verify Information: Empower them to verify the identity of their online partner through simple checks and searches.Seek Support: Let them know they're not alone. Connect them with resources and support networks that offer guidance and assistance.Report Suspicious Activity: If you suspect foul play, don't hesitate to reach out to the authorities or financial institutions for help. Together, we can protect our loved ones from the pitfalls of online deception.

Widow Learns About Her Late Husbands Huge Debt - Then She Gets a Message From a Stranger
Everyday Heroes

Widow Learns About Her Late Husbands Huge Debt - Then She Gets a Message From a Stranger

In April 2020, Meng Rui's husband, a fisherman, tragically drowned at sea. He left behind two children, aged 8 and 7 months...and a huge boatload of debt.Meng wasn't just devasted by his death, she was terrified. A stay-at-home mom with no income, the sudden loss of her husband left her not only grieving but also struggling to make ends meet for her family.To make matters worse, the compensation she received from his employer (the equivalent of $150,000) was completely used up, paying down the debt he had accrued years before to treat his father's serious illness. The family was left destitute...until a stranger contacted Meng on WeChat.Money From Mysterious Stranger Starts Arriving Every MonthTo put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads, Meng, 29, found a job in a supermarket earning a paltry $280 a month. While something, it wasn't enough to cover all of their expenses.Meng was drowning under the weight of financial insecurity.But then, one day out of the blue, Meng received a message from a stranger on WeChat. The person, who refused to reveal their true identity, had heard about her family's plight from a social worker and wanted to help.Shortly afterward, Meng received a money transfer of $200. Then again the next month and the next...And every month for the past four years. Extra cash arrives for important festivals and holidays, like the Lunar New Year. The money, which nearly doubles her monthly income, has been life-changing. Anonymous Benefactor RevealedFor four years, Meng's mysterious benefactor remained anonymous. However, with the help of the Chinese media, the single mom of two finally uncovered her fairy godmother — or in this case, godfather.He lived 20 hours away, in Zhoushan, China.Last month, Meng, along with her mother-in-law and her four-year-old daughter, hopped aboard a coach and a train to make the long trek to thank Yu Xiaolong in person."To thank this benefactor face-to-face has been a wish in my heart for a few years," Meng said.Her wish finally came true. Meng and her entourage met Yu in person at his company, a marine technology enterprise business."Thank you so much. Without your help, we could not live. Your monthly donation gives us hope." Meng Rui to Yu XiaolongIn addition to their heartfelt gratitude, the family also came bearing gifts, a silk appreciation banner and a bag of peanuts. "We do not have precious things to give you. These peanuts were planted by us. We hope you like them," Meng told Yu.Despite his significant impact on the Meng family, Yu remains humble telling them that his generosity is "not a big deal." It also isn't stopping any time soon. He plans to continue funding the family until the kids are 18 years old. Paying It ForwardYu's monthly donations don't just positively impact the family financially, they also have a profound side effect, one that can't be measured in dollars and cents.They instill a sense of hope and security for their future. And that? Is priceless.Meng hopes to pay his kindness forward someday and is teaching her kids to follow in their benefactor's footsteps."I will regard Mr. Yu as a family member. I will educate my kids to remember his kindness and make their own contribution to society in the future," she said.Yu heard about a stranger in need and decided to do something about it. And his recurring act of kindness is the difference between making it and not for one young family. Not all of us can afford to keep another family afloat financially, but we can all commit to spreading a different kind of wealth — kindness.More from Goalcast:Widowed Veteran Comes Up With an Incredible Idea to Combat His Depression – And He’s Doing It for FreeFirefighter Tragically Kills Pastor’s Pregnant Wife – Instead of Getting Revenge, the Widower Befriends HimRich Widower Shocks Relatives by Leaving $276,000 to Hotel Bellboy After His Death – Has a Heartwarming Reason Why

Great Grandmas Car Was Stolen - So, She Chased Down the Thief and Busted a Car Theft Ring
Everyday Heroes

Great Grandmas Car Was Stolen - So, She Chased Down the Thief and Busted a Car Theft Ring

*Featured image contains photo by Kindel MediaA thief in Portland, Oregon tried to steal a 1999 white Cadillac... Unfortunately for him, he picked the wrong car.When 79-year-old great-grandmother, Noble Jean Napoleon caught the thief in the act, she wasn't having it. Undaunted, not only did she thwart her own vehicle's theft but her actions helped authorities bust a car theft ring. And if there's any lesson to be learned from this, it's "Don't mess with Grandma."Great-Grandma Stops a Car ThiefWhen Napoleon picked up her great-grandkids from school the last thing she expected to see was her Cadillac drive-by on the back of a tow truck.Having left the car parked outside her apartment earlier that afternoon while she borrowed her son's SUV, she was just pulling out of a gas station when the tow truck rumbled past.Knowing something was drastically wrong, she immediately sprang into action. Telling her great-grandkids to "fasten their seatbelts tight," Granny took off in hot pursuit."I was trailing him," she told the Oregonian. "I was right on his butt."The tow truck driver and alleged car thief, Joseph Allen Beard, 52, had no idea what was coming. (Hell hath no fury like a great-grandma whose Caddy is being stolen).Napoleon pulled up beside the truck, rolled down her window, and yelled, "You take my damn car back where you got it from!"Instead of stopping, Beard sped off. Undaunted, Napoleon charged."Let's GO!"Noble Jean NapoleonAt one point in her chase, she enlisted the help of a few men parked on the side of the road, asking them to follow her.Eventually, she caught up to the thief and her self-appointed deputies helped box him in. When the men got out of their cars and approached the truck driver, she yelled at them not to "beat him up.""I need him to take my car back home," she told them.Operation MistleTOWWhen Napoleon confronted Beard, he tried to convince her that the Cadillac was his friend's car. When that didn't work, he offered to unhitch the vehicle and leave it. But Napoleon wasn't done with him yet."You're taking it back where it came from," she told him. She then proceeded to follow him all the way home."I trailed him all the way back," she said. "I wasn't playin'." Napoleon contacted the police shortly afterward, giving them Beard's license plate number. It was exactly what they needed to finally bust "Operation MistleTow" wide open.Apparently, this wasn't an isolated event. For the past few months, the District Attorney’s Office’s Auto Theft Task Force had been waiting for the break they needed to stop an illegal tow truck operation stealing cars and selling them for scrap metal.That's where our unlikely vigilante comes in. According to the DA's Office, a representative of Maters Auto Recycling sold about 80 vehicles to Rivergate Scrap Metal, at least 22 of which were stolen. The representative is alleged to be Beard.Thanks to Napoleon, Beard was arrested and the operation shut down.Now, he's facing multiple charges, including Trafficking in Stolen Vehicles, Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle, Possession of a Stolen Vehicle, Theft, Criminal Mischief, Forgery, and Identity Theft. He's pleaded "Not Guilty."Don't Mess With GrandmaWhile the police cautioned Napoleon not to take matters into her own hands in the future and to "be careful," the sassy septuagenarian says Beard is the one who should have been careful."If I had my slugger in here, he'd have been careful 'cause I would have slugged him all over everything, yes," she said.Despite her age (or maybe because of it), Napoleon is clearly a force to be reckoned with. And she proves that when it comes to courage and fighting injustice, we all have the power to stand up. No matter our age or circumstances.More from Goalcast:Thief Steals Truck and Unbelievably Returns It a Few Days Later – Leaves Behind a Gift and a NoteSingle Mom of 5 Texts the Thief Who Stole Her Car to Return It – And She Actually Succeeded!Man Finds Out a Thief Has Broken Into and Stolen From His Restaurant – His Unexpected Reaction Goes Viral

Restaurant Owner Drives 6 Hours Across State Lines - All to Fulfill Dying Womans Final Request
Everyday Heroes

Restaurant Owner Drives 6 Hours Across State Lines - All to Fulfill Dying Womans Final Request

Like many restaurants, Mama Kwan's Grill and Tiki Bar in Outer Banks, North Carolina, is used to getting calls for take-out.However, when owner Kevin Cherry received a long-distance call from Mary Simmons in late February, it wasn't for your typical to-go order.Simmons was desperately trying to make her best friend's dying wish come true — one final meal from her family's favorite vacation restaurant.The problem? Her friend, Heather Bowers, lived six hours away in West Virginia. Knowing it was a long shot, Simmons hoped the food could be shipped.Cherry did one better. He delivered. Literally.Mother of Two Young Children Is Diagnosed With Stage 4 CancerThree and a half years ago, registered nurse Heather Bowers received the news no one wants to hear — she had cancer. Diagnosed with Stage 4, she spent the remaining years of her life valiantly battling the disease.“Right out of the gate it was Stage 4,” Simmons said. “What she went through in three-and-a-half-years would’ve brought down the strongest man.”The cancer, combined with the aggressive chemotherapy treatment, took its toll. In late February, Bowers, 47, was in hospice, preparing to say her final goodbye.Bowers had one last wish on her deathbed: a pork plate from Outer Banks restaurant Mama Kwan's.Simmons knew it was nearly impossible. She made the call anyway. A Restaurant Owner Delivers Just in TimeWhen Cherry heard about Bowers' dying wish, he didn't think twice. He dropped everything to make it happen.Shortly after reaching out to the restaurant, Simmons received a call back. The meal was packed up and on its way.“She calls me back about 5 o'clock. She says, 'Kevin already has it packed up. He’s in the car and he’s on his way there,'” Simmons recalled being told. “He’s on his way.”Nearly six hours later, Cherry showed up at Bowers' door. Despite being emotionally wrought over his mission, he was determined to deliver the meal with a smile.“About halfway up, I had to turn the radio off and had to talk to myself, saying, ‘You can’t walk in here like this,'” Cherry shared. “You’ve got to walk in with a little bit of sunshine from the Outer Banks.”He made it just in time, delivering what ended up being Bowers' last meal. Less than 24 hours later, she passed away.When he heard the news, Cherry honored Bowers by putting the words "Heather, Rest in Peace" on Mama Kwan's restaurant sign. A Final GiftIn a Facebook post, Simmons shared a heartfelt tribute to Cherry, writing:"Kevin at Mama Kwans is one of the most genuine people in the world. He still has never met me in person and traveled over five hours to bring my best friend’s favorite meal to her, after one simple phone call."She went on to say:"He literally delivered it to her house the same day I called to see if they could possibly ship food. This ended up being her last night on Earth as she passed away from cancer the next evening- less than 24 hours after he was able to meet her, her husband, and her two young children."Simply put- he made one of her last wishes come true."Mary Simmons via FacebookAccording to her post, Cherry didn't want any recognition for what he had done. As he told WFLA News, "anyone in his position would’ve done the same thing."Simmons hopes that sharing her story will inspire others.“I just think maybe, if people see that kind of kindness, it’ll start spreading,” Simmons said. “That’s the hope. He made her smile — one of the final smiles of her life.”Our society has an uneasy relationship with death. It carries a heavy emotional price tag. But it is also an honor to be a part of someone's dying process. Cherry didn't have to drop everything and travel six hours. After all, it's a long way to go and a lot of effort for a complete stranger. But by being there for Bowers and delivering her last request, Cherry didn't just give her a favorite meal; he gave an incredible final gift of compassion and humanity to a woman about to say her hardest goodbye. There is no greater gift than that. More from Goalcast:Woman’s First Job Was to Scrub Toilets at McDonald’s – Now, She Owns 12 Restaurants“Homeless” Man Insists on Paying for an Expensive Lunch at Restaurant – So the Server Tells Him a LieMan Leaves Restaurant Without Tipping Server – Days Later, They Receive a Surprising Letter

Veteran Knew WWII Was Ending 2 Days Before Rest of the World - And He Has the Secret Note to Prove It
Everyday Heroes

Veteran Knew WWII Was Ending 2 Days Before Rest of the World - And He Has the Secret Note to Prove It

On Tuesday, May 8, 1945, the news echoed around the world; the Germans had surrendered to the Allies. World War II in Europe was finally over. Forty-eight hours earlier, Sergeant Bernard Morgan was sitting at his desk when a coded message arrived on his Typex machine. It would change the course of history. Eighty years later, he still has it. Who is Bernard Morgan?The day Morgan turned 18, he joined the Royal Air Force (RAF). Two years later, he stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. The youngest sergeant in the RAF, he joined approximately 156,000 other heroes in, what was at the time, the largest naval, air, and land invasion in history. He was later awarded the Legion D’Honneur, the highest French order of merit for military and civil achievements for his part in the liberation of France."I tell the truth, I was frightened to death," he shared in an interview with BBC News. The first time he'd ever seen a dead person, Morgan witnessed horrors that day that have haunted him for the rest of his life.D-Day was a huge turning point in the war. It was the beginning of the end. But it wasn't until nearly a year later, in May 1945, that Morgan would find himself at the center of another historic moment.The Message That Ended the WarIn May 1945, Morgan was working as a codebreaker in the German town of Schneverdingen, located 200 miles outside of the Reich Chancellery, where Adolf Hitler committed suicide on April 30 in his secret Führerbunker.As a code and cipher operative, his job was to translate secret orders. On May 4, Morgan decoded a message from headquarters to the commanders, ordering a cease-fire on the second army front the following morning. It was the prelude to the end. "All hostilities on second army front ceases at 0800 hours tomorrow May the 5th. Work will continue as usual until orders are issued to the contrary."On May 7 at 9:15 am, Morgan decoded a second message and became the first Allied service member to learn the news the world had waited a long, devastating six years to hear. The Third Reich had surrendered. The note read: ”The German War is now over. At Rheims last night the instrument of surrender was signed which in effect is a surrender of all personnel of the German forces - all equipment and shipping and all machinery in Germany."Nothing will be destroyed anywhere. The surrender is effective sometime tomorrow. This news will not be communicated to anyone outside the service nor to members of the press.”Sworn to secrecy, he and the members of his codebreaking unit celebrated with a huge bonfire into the wee hours of the morning."It was a surprise. We couldn't tell anybody until we got the final message to say the war in Germany was now over."Bernard Morgan30 hours later, on May 8th at 3 pm, Winston Churchill announced it to the world.The Secret He Kept For 50 YearsWhen Morgan first became a codebreaker, he had to sign a secrecy document, promising not to divulge any information, including the messages he decoded or his role as an operative. It was a secret he kept for 50 years, including from his own parents.In 1994, the secrecy document became null. Morgan was finally free to share what he had been hiding for years."It wasn't until 1994 that I could tell anybody what I did in the war," he said. Morgan, now 100 years old, kept a lot of memorabilia from the war. Things like his diaries, a manual entitled, "A Soldier's Guide to the French," and the original copy of the message announcing the end of the war two days before it happened. Despite intense interest from various museums, Morgan has vowed to pass the historic note down to his family when he dies.“The Imperial War Museum in London and in Manchester both wanted the original copy - they weren't interested in a photocopy - but I'm keeping it for my family," he said.Lest We ForgetWhile Morgan may not want to give up this particular piece of history, many items of his extensive collection have been featured in museums. And he is more than willing to share his story. He wants younger generations to know about the men and women who sacrificed their lives for peace and freedom.“I am always keen for the younger generation to know exactly what went on during the war and to appreciate the sacrifice that our lads made so that we can enjoy the freedoms we have today,” he said.He plans to return to Normandy in June for the 80th anniversary of D-Day to honor his fallen comrades. Fragments of history, like this note, aren't just important artifacts. They are living memorials to remind us never to forget the lessons of the past and to forge a better future. More from Goalcast:Widowed Veteran Comes Up With an Incredible Idea to Combat His Depression – And He’s Doing It for Free100-Year-Old Veteran Wasn’t Interested in 96-Year-Old When They First Met – Now They’re Getting MarriedUnemployed Veteran Gets a Call From His Roommate – Then, He Finds Out 2 Girls Showed up on His Doorstep

Man Has Spent 72 Years in an Iron Lung - Teaches Us How to Live a Full Life
Everyday Heroes

Man Has Spent 72 Years in an Iron Lung - Teaches Us How to Live a Full Life

For most of us, the idea of spending even ONE day confined to an iron lung seems unimaginable. Yet Paul Alexander spent a literal lifetime — seventy-two years — before his recent death on March 11.But instead of letting it imprison him, he used it as an opportunity to thrive. And his inspiring life is a masterclass in the power of never giving up. The Worst Polio Outbreak in U.S. HistoryIt was the summer of 1952 and the height of the polio pandemic. Public swimming pools and playgrounds were closed. So were bowling alleys, bars, churches, and movie theatres. Cities doused their streets with DDT insecticide; all in a desperate attempt to stop the disease from spreading. Nothing worked. By the end of the year, nearly 59,000 children were infected with the virus and thousands were left paralyzed, including six-year-old Paul Alexander."I remember it was really hot and raining, something that is sort of rare for Dallas in August," Paul recalled, "and my brother and I had been outside playing, running around and getting wet when the rain started.""Our mother called for us to come in for dinner, and I remember her taking one look at me -- hot and wet and feverish -- and she cried out, 'Oh my God!' She ripped my clothes off and threw me onto her and my dad's bed and called the doctor."Six days after first being diagnosed, Paul ended up in the hospital, struggling to breathe.It would be 18 months before he went home, paralyzed from the neck down and sentenced to life in an iron lung.Not Allowing Circumstances to Control His LifeDespite the extreme limitations imposed by his condition, Paul refused to succumb to despair. With his parents as his biggest cheerleaders and advocates, Paul dove headfirst into embracing life."They just loved me," he said of his parents. "They said, 'You can do anything.' And I believed it."Paul AlexanderHis parents stayed with him in shifts and his mom lobbied the school district to be able to home-school her son — something that until that point had been largely unheard of. They also hired a physical therapist, Mrs. Sullivan, who taught Paul to "frog-breathe," a technique that allowed him to breathe on his own for short periods.It opened up a whole new world for Paul and freed him from his shackles, allowing him to exchange his iron lung for a wheelchair for a few hours at a time. At the age of 21, Paul graduated with honors from high school. But he still wasn't done. He applied to the Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Despite being repeatedly rejected by the university administration for being "too crippled," Paul refused to give up. After fighting for two years, he finally wore them down. He got his Bachelor's degree in economics (while living in the dorms) and then went on to earn a law degree from the University of Texas, passing the bar in 1986. For more than three decades he worked as a lawyer, eventually opening up his own practice, concentrating on criminal and family law and bankruptcy cases.Living Life to the FullestIn 2020, Paul published his memoir, Three Minutes for a Dog: My Life in an Iron Lung. It took him five years to complete and he wrote every single word himself, using a pen attached to a stick held in his mouth.In 2022, Paul broke the world record for spending the longest amount of time living in an iron lung. And at the beginning of this year, Paul made his debut on social media, creating a series of videos entitled, "Conversations with Paul," in which he responded to comments and questions about his life, his polio, and living in an iron lung. In one TikTok viewed over 4.3 million times, Paul shared his secret to staying positive amid life's ups and downs. "There's great purpose in being positive. I've seen so many people suffer in my life and I learned not to let that bring me down but to try to contribute something good for that person." In addition to graduating from university, practicing law, becoming a sought-after speaker, writing a memoir, and inspiring millions on social media, Paul also managed to find time for other not-so-little things. "Over the course of his life, he has been on planes and to strip clubs, seen the ocean, prayed in church, fallen in love, lived alone, and staged a sit-in for disability rights," wrote the Guardian in 2020.“I wanted to accomplish the things I was told I couldn’t accomplish and to achieve the dreams I dreamed."Paul AlexanderOn Setting Your Mind to Accomplish Your GoalsWith sheer grit and determination and an incredible attitude of positivity despite devastating circumstances, Paul accomplished more in his life imprisoned than most of us will free. And he is beyond inspiring. Because if a man confined to an iron tube for the majority of his life can achieve great things, that means we can too. In a 2021 interview, Paul summed it up best: “My story is an example of why your past or even your disability does not have to define your future." “No matter where you’re from or what your past is, or the challenges you could be facing, you can truly do anything. You just have to set your mind to it and work hard.”More from Goalcast:Prisoner Who Earns Only 13 Cents/ Hour Donates His Entire Wage – This Completely Changes His LifeWoman Finds a Note Left by a Stranger on a Train – And It May Have Saved Her LifeWoman Rearranges Her Life to Take Care of Her Husband – After He Passes Away, She Finds His Secret Hidden Letters

Prisoner Who Earns Only 13 Cents/ Hour Donates His Entire Wage - This Completely Changes His Life
Everyday Heroes

Prisoner Who Earns Only 13 Cents/ Hour Donates His Entire Wage - This Completely Changes His Life

Forty years ago, a man simply known as Hamza, was tried, convicted, and imprisoned for accidentally firing a gun and killing his uncle. He was only 16 years old.After spending a literal lifetime in jail, it isn't a stretch to assume that he's become hardened to the plights of others.And yet, after hearing about the ongoing conflict in Gaza, Hamza desperately wanted to do something to help the civilians affected. Despite earning a meager 13 cents/hour for prison janitorial duties, he didn't let the paltry sum stop him from donating everything he could to relief efforts.And now? He's getting the ultimate payback for his compassionate gesture. One Good Turn Deserves Another"Confused and heartbroken" by the news coming out of the Middle East, Hamza turned to his friend, filmmaker Justin Mashouf, for help.Unable to donate his paycheck on his own, he sent it to Mashouf to pass on. All $17.74 of it. (The total sum payment of 136.5 HOURS of work).Mashouf, touched by Hamza's act of kindness, shared the paycheck along with his timesheet on X (formerly Twitter).The social media post went viral, triggering an unexpected outpouring of love and support. Internet denizens flocked to the comments, wanting to know how they could donate to Hamza.It prompted Mashouf to launch a GoFundMe campaign, just in time for Hamza's long-awaited prison release. After four decades behind bars, the now 56-year-old has finally been granted parole. "He has lived with the pain of losing his family member due to his own mistake every day for decades," Mashouf wrote on the page. "While in prison, he has become a devout Muslim and has been pleading for parole for decades... Hamza has finally been granted parole and is set to walk free NEXT MONTH!"He also explained that the funds raised would give Hamza a "fresh start.""Your contributions will empower him to transition back into society with dignity and security after years of isolation," he wrote. "With your help, Hamza will access essential resources, secure housing and transportation, and navigate the challenges of his new freedom."Within two days, the fund was sitting at a whopping $102,172."He gave people hope by showing how selfless he is, and then they gave him hope through their kindness."Justin Mashouf via the Washington PostPaying It ForwardAlmost as quickly as it started, the campaign ended. In an incredible twist, Hamza chose to forego fortune and redirect the support he received towards those in desperate need."He said whatever has already been donated is sufficient for him," Mashouf shared. "And that he didn't want to distract people from those who were suffering more than him."In an update on the GoFundMe, Hamza thanked everyone for their generosity and kindness. He then asked people to consider donating to victims of war and poverty in Palestine, Yemen, and Africa."Look upon and consider the suffering children, mothers and fathers of Palestine, Yemen, and Africa living under inhuman[e] conditions, being bombed every hour of the day, without water, shelter, medication and food … who are ordinary people and citizens just like all of you living their lives having not a thing to do with the politicians, but are suffering [in]humanely, please give to them,” he wrote.On a personal note, he also revealed that he is looking forward to life on the other side of the prison gates. "I look forward to the promise of life, happiness, struggles and dreams, to soar and spread my wings, to be a man, a human being once again now that I know the preciousness and the incalculable value of Life."The Impact Even the Smallest Gestures of Kindness Can HaveHamza's donation to the people of Gaza wasn't huge. In fact, it was pretty inconsequential as far as monetary contributions go. But its impact was significant. By giving what he could, he inspired thousands to rally behind him. And that $17.74? Turned into more than $100,000.An unlikely hero, Hamza is proof that empathy, compassion, and goodness can thrive in any circumstance — even in those, like the confines of a prison cell, where it seems impossible. More from Goalcast:After Spending More Than 20 Years in Prison, Ex-convict Turned Franchise Owner Is Paying It ForwardGuard Refuses to Back Down Even After Prison Forbids Her From Taking Care of Inmate’s Baby – Her Kindness Gets Her FiredShe Was Born in Prison and Then Raised by a Single Dad – Years Later, She’s Going to Harvard on a Full Scholarship