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Teacher Asks Her Low Income Students to Submit Christmas Wishes - What She Reads Breaks Her Heart
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Teacher Asks Her Low Income Students to Submit Christmas Wishes - What She Reads Breaks Her Heart

Ah, Christmas. For some of us, it really is the most wonderful time of year! But for so many others it can be a cruel reminder of what little they have and how there's not enough to go around.Whether we like it or not, Christmas is a holiday with two sides. On one end of the spectrum there's chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose, and multiple trips to Home Sense for overpriced festive decor. On the other end of the spectrum? Well Christmas "cheer" looks a little different.For thousands of Las Vegas High School Students, waking up on Christmas morning would look really different — and no, it isn't wasn't because they'd have to trade snowmen for sandmen!She Read Their Christmas Wishlist — And the Wishes Are HeartbreakingEvery year, Cheri Guy, an English teacher at Desert Pines High School, gladly participates in a school wide program called "Wishmas." "Wishmas" is exactly what it sounds like. A Christmas Wish List every student is welcome to add one item to. The only requirement? That the student share why that particular gift is important to them.“We have a lot of kids who are in the foster system, we have a lot of kids who are living in poverty. These kids are facing enormous stress outside of the classroom," she said.When Ms. Guy — one of the teacher's in charge of the Wishmas initiative — looked at the list for the first time, her students' simple wishes broke her heart. Their reason for why they wanted these gifts, brought her to tears. "One of the kids asked for a grocery store gift card."What's even more devastating? This anonymous student wasn't the only teen looking to secure his next meal. One student asked for a Wing Stop gift card because "it will give me free food for the day." Similarly, another student asked for a bag of Taki chips "so I wouldn't get hungry." One kid asked for peanut M&Ms. Another student wrote they wished for a pair of black slippers "so my feet won't get cold." One Student Just Wanted a Physics Textbook — He Dreamed Of Becoming an Astrophysicist“A few of the seniors are asking for a yearbook because they can’t afford it. One kid asked for help paying for their cap and gown for graduation,” Cheri Guy shared. “We have a student who asked for a textbook called Lectures on Physics because he wants to be an astrophysicist.” As they say, the list goes on and on — and with 3,000 students at Desert Pines High School? The list really goes on.Certain students dreamed bigger than others — and it's beautiful. Ms. Guy shared one teenager was shooting for the stars! Even though he knew it was unlikely, he wished for a guitar because he loved playing but couldn't afford his own. However, one kid dreamed bigger than all the rest. And his wish changed everything.When Ms. Guy read one student's wish, she couldn't take it anymore. "I wish for all the wishes to come true." First she broke down in tears. Then, she picked herself up and took action. She was going to give it her all, to make this wish come true.To pull it all off, she'd need a Santa-size miracle. So she did the only thing she could think of — she shared her story on the internet. To her utter shock, this is what happened.She Took to TikTok to Ask For Help — The Response Was Overwhelming All it took was one TikTok clip and the anonymous heroes of the internet did the rest. Yes, good people exist and they're closer than you think...sometimes it just takes a speech with heart and the click of a button! After feeling completely helpless to meet this impossible challenge on her own, Ms. Guy took to TikTok (@attagirlguy) to share a 3 minute video of exactly what she was up against."I work in a school of over 3,000 kids. There's no way I could do it all, right?"In her emotional video, Ms. Guy's passion is undeniable. This is a woman who has devoted her life to these children and after reading out just a handful of the thousands of simple Christmas wishes, she asked for others to join her in helping make them come true!"Maybe spread this around. Maybe we could do something to try and make these things happen. Because there's no way even all the teachers if we picked one student we couldn't cover everything. There's so many students and they don't want a lot."The Donations Came Pouring In — She Received More Help Than She Ever Could Have ImaginedThey may not have been elves in workshops, but hundreds of strangers showed up in the most unimaginable way possible. Within a matter of days, Ms. Guy had more gifts than she could carry — literally. Amazon deliveries and handmade care packages were mailed in from all over the world! On one particular day Ms. Guy took six trips to the post office filling her car with all the gifts students were being sent.How One Teacher Is Making a DifferenceMs. Guy is no stranger to the struggles that come with being a modern day educator. There's of course, the the abysmal pay; teachers starting salary is around $48,000 and it's a hot topic in the USA. There is the total lack of resources; hundreds of teachers across the country have spoken out about how they are in constant need of supplies. One teacher even went viral for enlisting the help of her sorority sisters to buy glue sticks for her kids!Ms. Guy in particular is fighting an uphill battle. She teaches in a specific program called "Jaguar Academy: within Desert Pines High School." The students in Jaguar Academy are considered at risk youth who aren't meeting academic or social expectations.As always, for these neglected kids and students from low income homes, the poverty cycle (and the danger that comes with it) is almost impossible to get out of. Guy says some of her kids are "on probation for one tiny mistake."But the random acts of kindness from strangers has the power to change that narrative. “One of the most incredible things about Wishmas is these kids are realizing that they are loved — and not just by the staff at school, but by strangers around the country (who) care about them and believe in them,” Guy says. There’s a sign hanging in Guy’s classroom that says “One Person Can Change a World.”“It used to say, ‘One person can change the world,’ but I changed it to ‘a world,’ because it’s not about changing the whole world. That’s what overwhelms us,” she says. “But if you can just think about, ‘What can I do for one person?’ That’s changing a world — and if we could all do that? Just imagine what our society would turn into.”One Person Can Change a WorldSometimes it's easy to forget that "privilege" comes in many forms. Sure, privilege can look like Kim Kardashian flying around the world in private jets...but it can also look like having a roof over our head, a loving parent, and not stressing about where our next meal is coming from.Reading the Christmas "wishes" of over 950 students at Desert Pines High School — it's clear they don't have these simple luxuries. We could all use a reminder that it's better to give than to get and the best gift we can give ourselves is to give generously. There's still a few items left on Ms. Guy's Amazon Wishlist! If this story inspired you, and you want to do your part, check out the link or see if there are any local initiatives that need your help this holiday season!Donations are accepted until Dec. 15th, 2023.More from Goalcast:Teacher in Poor District Needs School Supplies — So Her Sorority Sisters Help in Epic WayElderly Man Heartbroken Every Christmas After the Passing of His Wife — Then, He Receives Something Shocking in the MailRich Actor Finds Little Boy in Dumpster and Invites Him Over to Her House for Christmas – He Ends Up Completely Changing Her Life

Airport Security Forces Crying Man to Throw Away a Package - Its Contents Take 2 Strangers by Surprise
Uplifting News

Airport Security Forces Crying Man to Throw Away a Package - Its Contents Take 2 Strangers by Surprise

*Featured image contains photo by Beyzanur K.Of all of the five love languages, gift giving is the most misunderstood. While some gifts are certainly given with only materialism in mind, many are priceless items filled with sentimental value, and they cannot be replaced. One such gift was given in the case of a Florida couple, who without the help of two strangers would have had to part from a gift that was dear to their hearts. Incident at the AirportMichael Moore was at the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport when he was stopped by TSA and was forced to throw away the package he had been carrying. Devastated, he threw it into the garbage, even shedding a few tears. Luckily, Amarri Hernandez and her boyfriend witnessed the incident and decided to grab the package and try to reunite it with the man. Once they actually opened the package to see what was inside, their resolve hardened.Amarri saw that inside the package was a snow globe with photos of an elderly couple and a young girl. The gift was engraved with, “We love you Katie, Nana and Papa 1/25/16.” Amarri realized that the gift must hold significant meaning for the couple, who she now knew as Nana and Papa, and posted to Facebook asking her network to share her story and help connect her with the couple. Like many of us, she was motivated to do the right thing. Fortunately, her pleas worked and she was able to find the couple in the snow globe -- Bill and Linda Modry! The company that made the custom gift was able to track down the contact information of the people who had ordered the item.Symbol of LoveOnce Amarri returned the snow globe to Linda and Bill, she learned just how special it really was. As it turned out, the person mentioned in the snow globe, Katie, had been adopted on January 25, and the couple wanted to give her the gift on that same day to remind her that they would always love her. They had given the gift to their son -- Michael, who had been visiting them -- to give to Katie.She’s just amazing, people are basically really good, and she’s just exceptional.Linda Modry about Amarii HernandezIt is easy to see items as just items, but sometimes things have a deeper meaning than what meets the eye. Amarri thought she was simply returning a gift to a couple, but really she was returning a powerful reminder of the lasting love of family -- and that is priceless!More from Goalcast:Mom Sleeps on Airport Bathroom Floor With Her Kids – Stranger Hears Her Cries and Makes an Instant Decision78-Year-Old Doctor Proposes to High School Crush After 60 Years Apart in an Airport – Proving the Power of True LoveBeauty Queen Was Left at an Airport When She Was a Baby – 40 Years Later, She Learns Her Mom Never Meant to Abandon Her

Dwayne Johnson Learns Struggling UFC Fighter Sleeps in the Gym - Then, Tells Him a Lie That Brings Him to His Knees
Uplifting News

Dwayne Johnson Learns Struggling UFC Fighter Sleeps in the Gym - Then, Tells Him a Lie That Brings Him to His Knees

Up-and-coming UFC fighter Themba Gorimbo was in Zimbabwe when he heard the news that Dwayne Johnson wanted to interview him. He was so excited. Little did he know that the interview was just a guise for the gift that Johnson really wanted to give him.Gorimbo is a young, talented fighter. After he lost his first fight in Africa, he knew he had to come to Miami to train. He begged and pleaded with the powers that be until he was granted a place to call “home”: a couch in the corner of a gym where he could crash at night after a long day of training.Far from his home and family, Gorimbo is nonetheless determined to achieve his dreams. A piece of paper, titled “My Reason” is taped to the wall across from the couch where he sleeps at night. It reads, in part, “I fight for my kids’ smiles; I fight for hope and change; I fight for those who believe in me; I fight for my village.”Always Thinking of OthersPhoto by Anna ShvetsGorimbo was fighting for his village the day he received a text that Dwayne Johnson wanted to meet him. “I did not sleep that night, if I have to be honest,” said Gorimbo with a huge grin.He was in his village in Zimbabwe and had just finished drilling the borehole that would provide his community with clean water. He had scrimped and saved every penny he had earned in Miami to make the lives of his friends and family back home just a little bit better. After winning his second fight, he even sold his equipment to make that happen. With just $7 left in his account, he posted his story on social media. Despite the insecurity of it all, he was ready to keep going, ready to go back to Miami and keep working hard so that he could one day bring his family over and achieve his dreams.Dwayne Johnson saw Gorimbo’s story and it hit home. He, too, had once been a young fighter with just $7 left in his back account. He reached out to Gorimbo via Twitter: “Got your back, brother. I’ll help. You got this. I’ll be in touch.”Encouragement Just When He Needed It MostThe upcoming interview with Dwayne Johnson made the goodbyes in Zimbabwe a little more bearable. Back at the gym, he sat down for an initial interview as Johnson snuck in a side door, walking up behind Gorimbo and surprising him in mid sentence. The young fighter jumped up and gave Johnson a big hug. He was emotional just meeting Johnson in person.Gorimbo didn’t know what to expect, but with Johnson there right in front of him, he must have felt a heady mixture of excitement and relief. The two swapped stories, and Gorimbo showed Johnson the corner of the gym where he slept at night. He told Johnson about his dream to be a UFC champion and how he was working hard every single day.Johnson eventually told Gorimbo that he had a flight to catch — but before he did, he wanted to introduce Gorimbo to a friend who lived in Miami, a friend with connections who could help him navigate the fighting world of Miami. Thankful for any help he could get, Gorimbo followed Johnson to a large, beautiful house on the water.UFC Fighter Is in for a Big SurpriseOf course, there was no friend. But Gorimbo didn’t know this yet. He followed Johnson through the immaculate house as Johnson convincingly called out for his “friend.” Finally, Johnson pulled out his cell phone and told Gorimbo to check out the framed photos on the desk.As Johnson pretended to make a phone call, Gorimbo’s mouth fell open in surprise: these were photos of him and his family! He turned to Johnson for an explanation. Johnson grinned and handed Gorimbo a set of keys. “Welcome home,” he said.The gift brought Gorimbo to his knees. Johnson told the young UFC fighter that now he didn’t have to worry about anything except winning fights and getting his family over to Miami.“It’s crazy what can happen when you are able to tell your story, who you can touch, who you can inspire,” gushed Gorimbo. He says that Johnson’s help has inspired him even more to become a champion.“I will work hard, trust me,” Gorimbo reassured Johnson. “I will become a champion. Trust me. You can shake my hand on it. I will become a champion.”How Dwayne Johnson Inspired a Man With His GenerosityJohnson counts it as “a privilege and a pleasure to finally meet” Gorimbo. He himself is inspired by the young UFC fighter, his work ethic and how he gives everything he has to others.“Now there’s no more couch sleeping,” he told Gorimbo. “This is your house. Now you can bring your kids here. Bring your family.” Johnson even filled the closet with workout gear and the kitchen with food.Gorimbo was so touched by Johnson’s generosity that he made a gesture of his own. He told the celebrity that all the money he had been saving to buy a house, he was now going to use it to drill another well in his village: “I’m going to build it because we need another one.”“I really appreciate you,” Gorimbo added. Johnson nodded, and on the back porch of Gorimbo’s new house, he gave a toast.“Cheers to always taking care of people.”More from Goalcast:15-Year-Old Dwayne Johnson Saved His Mom From Taking Her Own Life – And It’s A Moment He Will Never Forget12-Year-Old Reaches Hotel to Have Lunch – Is Shocked to Find Out Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Has Taken on a “New Job”Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson Turns Down People’s Choice Award – What He Does Next Is Unexpected

Man Is Forced to Sell His Car to Pay For Wifes Treatment  Is in Disbelief When He Finds Out What His Family Has Planned for Him
Motivation

Man Is Forced to Sell His Car to Pay For Wifes Treatment Is in Disbelief When He Finds Out What His Family Has Planned for Him

Having nice things can make you feel good, but at the end of the day, what truly matters is that we have people we love and care about in our lives. Still, when someone is asked to sacrifice something in order to be with their loved ones in good health, it can be hard. That was the situation one man was put in two decades ago when his wife was diagnosed with cancer.A Hard GoodbyeYouTube/ABC NewsYears ago, Wesley Ryan learned his wife, Laura, had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The medical bills were piling up, and he knew in order to continue making ends meet, he would have to sell his beloved car: a 1993 Ford Mustang GT.Wesley loved that car and even nicknamed it Christine, based on the 1958 Plymouth Fury from Stephen King’s book, Christine. However, Laura meant more to him, and Wesley wanted her to continue getting the care she needed. So he handed over the keys.“I know how much it broke him in half seeing that car drive away from him,” his son, Jake, wrote on Facebook back in 2018, as per Today. “A day I’ll never forget.”Kids Work to Make It RightJake and his sister, Jeni, knew they wanted to help their dad reunite with the car he’d loved so much when they were younger. So they started an online search and surprisingly, they were able to track down the old car online. It had been 17 years, but the VIN matched.The siblings had saved up enough money over the years, knowing they would one day get their dad back his car. So when they found it, they, along with Jeni’s boyfriend Julian Valdez, put their money together and purchased it.They surprised their dad in the parking lot of a Kohl’s near where they lived in San Antonio, Texas. Laura, cancer-free for 13 years at the time, joined them for the big reveal.“Coming home surprising my pops was a feeling and moment I’ll never forget,” Jake wrote. “To see his face and emotion made it all worth it.”A Priceless ReactionWesley was moved to tears and couldn’t find the words as he approached his beloved vehicle. Jake posted a video online with a rendition of Zac Brown’s “My Old Man” playing in the background.“A day I’ll never forget. Well ... She’s back home, pops, and here to stay this time. Looking forward to building this car with you this time instead of being in a booster seat looking out the window,” the son wrote.The video was so touching that Ford even found out about it. And, when the car company learned that “Christine” had experienced some wear and tear over the years, it decided to step in. It gave the car a new engine, transmission, paint job, interior, and even a few extra modern features. Then, Ford had the family come out to Michigan, where Wesley was presented with the finished product.“It's still her, but she's got a new heart,” Wesley told NBC4 San Antonio. “I don't know, I'm at a loss for words. It's beautiful.”Remembering What Matters MostThis story is so beautiful because it shows the sacrifice one man made for his family and how his family stepped up to repay him in the sweetest way possible. The day Wesley said farewell to his car, he had made peace with the fact that he would probably never see it again. So long as he had his family, he was good.It’s a nice reminder that at the end of the day, material things are great and all, but they aren’t what truly matter. Family — even a chosen family — is what will bring you joy, comfort, and memories as the years carry on.Still, this story is also a sweet reminder that sometimes it’s nice to do something for someone when they least expect it. Wesley and Laura obviously raised their children to be thoughtful and generous, and in the end, they wanted to show their dad how much his sacrifice meant to them.While we can’t always lavish the people we love and care about with expensive gifts, we can tell them and show them how much they mean to us. Pick up the phone, send that text, or write a card to let them know you’re thinking about them.After all, no one ever regrets showing up for those who matter to us while we still can.More from Goalcast:Boy Has to Take Care of Little Sister After Mom Abandons Them – Years Later, Kelly Clarkson Has a Big Surprise in StoreWoman’s Dad Passed Away in an Accident – 13 Years Later, She Discovers a Surprising List Written by Him at Her HouseRecently Widowed Woman Struggles to Provide for Her Young Son – Then, a Stranger Gifts Her a Brand New Car

13-Year-Old Sells Her Prized Possession to Make Ends Meet - Years Later, a Surprise Shows Up at Her Daughters Wedding
Uplifting News

13-Year-Old Sells Her Prized Possession to Make Ends Meet - Years Later, a Surprise Shows Up at Her Daughters Wedding

Losing both of your parents during a horrific natural disaster is heartbreaking. Having to sell your parents’ prized possession after their death to keep food on the table? Unimaginably painful.This was the reality for Tracie Aurandt, who was born Tracie Selder. She lost her parents suddenly when she was only 13 years old -- they perished in a flood that also claimed the lives of 76 others. Why One Woman Had to Sell Her Parents’ BelongingsPhoto by Julia VolkOnly a few of their parents’ belongings survived the devastating flood. One was their prized possession -- a shiny black and green 1931 Model-A Ford pickup truck. In 1977 when the Selders died, the truck was already an amazing vintage vehicle. Without working parents to support them or put food on the table, the Selder siblings knew that they would have to sell the truck to make ends meet. Even though it represented so many happy memories with their parents, it was what they had to do. "That truck represented home to me. It was a piece of my life — a piece of all our lives — that I never thought I'd ever see again." Tracie’s daughter Marla and her now-husband are both car fanatics, so when they were planning their wedding, they told Marla’s parents that they wanted a vintage car at the wedding. Tracie was hit with a bolt of inspiration. The vintage truck she sold so many years ago would be 91 years old now, but she had no doubt that the car collector who had purchased it had kept it in mint condition. She asked her siblings to help her track it down and was stunned when her older brother admitted that he knew exactly who had the car and where it was. When Tracie tracked down the truck’s owner and asked him if she could borrow the vintage vehicle for her daughter’s special day, the owner was delighted to participate -- he even drove it there himself!How a Pickup Truck Brought Back Fond Memories As soon as Tracie laid eyes on the truck, she burst into tears. Memories of happier times as a family came rushing back, and the spirit of her long-lost parents filled her heart.So, after Marla and her husband exchanged their vows, Tracie pulled her daughter aside and told her that she had a surprise. At first, Marla thought her mother had brought her 150-pound Newfoundland retriever. Then, she saw the truck. She had never met her grandparents, but she had always heard about the black and green truck, and how much it meant to them. She knew how much the Selder siblings had sacrificed when they had had to sell it. Seeing it there, as her ride on her wedding day, made her break down. "I didn't get to have the presence of my grandparents in my life growing up, but I certainly did on my wedding day. It was magical."Despite everything Tracie and her siblings had to give up after their parents died, they made sure the memory of their parents lived on in them. As the family continues to grow, they hold their ancestors dear in their heart. Sometimes, they even catch a glimpse of their spirit in the rearview mirror -- of a shiny green and black pickup truck.More from Goalcast:Bride Bows Head During Wedding Ceremony – The Voice She Hears Next Leaves Everyone in TearsDaughter Stages a Fake Wedding So Her Dying Dad Can Have The “First Dance”

Students Learn Their Teacher Walks 5 Miles to School Each Day - So They Come Up With This Incredible Gift
Uplifting News

Students Learn Their Teacher Walks 5 Miles to School Each Day - So They Come Up With This Incredible Gift

Kids spend a lot of time at school. So it’s unsurprising that so many of us have fond memories of those good, kind teachers who went above and beyond their job descriptions to ensure we had a good experience during those formative years. Sometimes, like in the case of this story, some of those teachers even did so despite hard things going on at home.An Exemplary TeacherFacebookAt the Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Laguna, Philippines, a science teacher named Cesar Punzalan is a class favorite. Every year the 50-year-old teacher watches his students grow as he teaches them scientific concepts, never missing a day of work.One day, his students learned why he is so dedicated. One of his kids at home was sick, and all of the money he made from the job went directly to his family. RELATED: Teacher Finds Out Her Student Is Forced to Live in a Tent for Months – When She Learns Why, She Jumps Into ActionFurthermore, in order to get to work every day, Mr. Punzalan had to walk five miles each way. It was no wonder he had ratty, torn shoes that he continued to wear.His Grade 12 students noticed the footwear, of course. But once they realized why he didn’t invest in new shoes, they decided to take action and pool their resources for new ones.A Big SurpriseOne day when Mr. Punzalan entered his classroom, he noticed a red-and-brown shoebox tied up with a ribbon on his desk. In a video taken by one of the students that was then posted by a parent on Facebook, the teacher became visibly emotional when he realized what his students had done for him.“You didn’t have to do this. Why did you spend your money? In my profession as a teacher, we don’t expect anything in return,” Mr. Punzalan told the class in the video.“You have helped us a lot since we were in Grade 9. That’s just our way of helping you a little bit. That’s nothing compared to what you have done for us and taught us,” one student replied.A Meaningful GiftIn an interview with Coconuts Manila, a student named Mary Ann Claire Garcia revealed the kids just wanted to help the teacher because he left an impression on them.“We gave him those shoes because we noticed he would always wear this pair that had holes and was falling apart,” Garcia said, as per Yahoo. “So our class president Lei Francis Marasigan thought we should all chip in and buy him a new pair.”RELATED: Teacher Thinks His Students Are Looking “Scruffy” at Their Graduation – Gives Them All Free Haircuts in SchoolShe revealed the students believe that Mr. Punzalan doesn’t receive a high salary, and they think he’s just really careful with how he spends his money so that he can provide for his family.“He didn’t really want to accept the shoes,” she continued. “He said he was not asking for anything in return [for working as a teacher]. He just wanted to share his knowledge. He cried a lot after I turned off the camera.”Small Acts Make a Big DifferenceSince the video was posted, it’s gone viral worldwide, and for good reason: there’s something really touching about watching a good person get a leg up. But the fact that teens were responsible for executing such a kind act makes it even better.It’s a good reminder that kind acts can come from anyone and anywhere — no matter how old or young you are. They also don’t have to be grand, expensive gestures to be meaningful. Just look at how much one pair of shoes moved this teacher.If you notice someone is having a hard time or is going above and beyond to do something good for the community, why not recognize them with a small gift, a card, or even just a big thank you? Not only will they appreciate being seen, but you’ll feel good knowing you helped to make someone’s day.