Good News in Bad Times

I must admit that I’m growing weary of the news. Radio, TV, newspapers, magazines, books and the Internet seem to be fighting for the right to tell me how miserable my life is at the moment. They also seem to enjoy telling me that it’s going to get much worse before it gets even a little better. I don’t need that.

Then it dawned on me. I’m letting “them” do that to me. I’m not required to listen or read what they say, and I certainly know how to separate reality from negativity. Therefore, if I’m interested in finding some “good news,” it’s up to me to find it.

I was actually astounded at how simple it was to find good news. Seek and ye shall find. I did just that, and here’s what I found within a single hour.

* * * * * * * *

A young lady named Jennifer Flood claimed she had had good experiences with Craigslist. So she and her two sisters posted an ad in the “volunteer” section that began: “Please help. My dad needs a kidney.” After his lone kidney was damaged, her father faced years of waiting for a donor matching his rare blood type.

His three daughters sifted through more than 100 responses and found donor Dawn Verdick of Monterey, California, who had been searching for volunteer opportunities. Dawn traveled to New York to give up her kidney. Doctors said that she and Daniel Flood were as close a match as relatives—while Flood’s three daughters were tested and found to be incompatible donors.

* * * * * * * *

Auctions of foreclosed houses seem quite commonplace today. Foreclosures are an opportunity for some and agony for those losing their homes. In Texas alone, almost 9,200 homes entered the foreclosure process in a single month.

Marilyn Mock, a small-business owner from Rockwall, Texas, had accompanied her son, who was interested in buying a house, to an auction in Dallas. She and her son took a seat among the crowd waiting for the auction to begin. She found herself sitting next to a woman who was obviously very upset and crying.

Marilyn introduced herself and tried to calm the crying woman. She quickly discovered that she was talking to Tracy Pottsboro who had lost her job and then her home when she couldn’t make the mortgage payment. She was here today to watch her home be auctioned off.

Long story short—Marilyn Mock bought the home for $30,000, insisted that Tracy move back into it and make payments to her instead of the bank.

* * * * * * * *

Dave and Lisa Barham own Mr. B’s Pancake House in Muskegon, Michigan. During increasingly touch economic conditions, the couple have communicated honestly with employees at the restaurant’s staff meetings. They’ve shared what it takes to keep a business open. Every employee knows how much a sausage link costs, what the water bill is and how much it costs to lease the building. They’ve even learned the impact of losing a napkin. The Barham’s have reached into their own pockets several times to meet the restaurant’s payroll for their 31 employees.

They’ve also obviously gained the respect and support of not only their employees but their customers as well. On a recent Sunday, 17 employees worked for free to help the Barhams save some money. One of the employees said: “This is a wonderful business. We want to see it succeed.” At the end of the day, they’d saved the boss about $700.

Here’s the irony … The employees didn’t go home empty-handed Sunday. Their customers pitched in with a generosity all their own, leaving $800 in tips for the loyal employees. What goes around comes around!

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Eleven-year-old Mikela Mercier is an athletic young lady living on the Big Island of Hawaii. She was recently shopping with her mother at the Salvation Army Family store in Kona when she paused to look at a Richard Simmons VHS exercise videotape.

When she slipped off the cardboard jacket to look more closely at the tape cassette, out popped a wad of cash.

Realizing it must have been a mistake, young Mikela made a beeline for the store manager and turned in the money. Wedged in with “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” was $1,000 in $100 bills!

Mikela immediately ran to her mother and explained what happened. She said she knew that the money rightfully belonged to the Salvation Army so the agency could help people in need. She quickly turned it over to the store manager.

As a token of its appreciation, the Salvation Army has offered the 11-year-old good Samaritan a gift certificate she can use the next time she shops at the thrift store.

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

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