Good News Break | April

“April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.”

– William Shakespeare(Sonnet XCVIII)

 

Days To Remember

April 1st: April Fool’s Day – The first day in April is spent playing practical jokes on each other.

April 3rd: Good Friday and Passover – Good Friday is a Christian holiday honoring the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Passover also begins on this day. It is a Jewish holiday for remembering their liberation by God from slavery in Egypt.

April 5th: Easter – Easter Sunday is a festival commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

April 15th: Tax Day – It is the day that individual tax returns are due to the federal government.

April 22nd: Earth Day – It was first celebrated in 1970 and is  now honored in over 192 countries. It demonstrates support for environmental protection.


99-Year-Old Woman Sews Her 1,000th Dress For Little Girls In Africa

Good News Break | AprilIn a region of four counties in northwest Illinois and southeastern Iowa, called Quad Cities, you’ll find a woman, Lillian Weber, who spends her time helping children across the world by making dresses. Lillian is turning 100 years old in May. For such a milestone birthday, the true milestone to Lillian is reaching her personal goal of making her 1000th dress by her 100th birthday.

Lillian has been sewing hundreds of dresses stitch-by-stitch for the past three and a half years. She is making the simple dresses with her touches for the group, “Little Dresses for Africa.”

The founder of the group, Rachel O’Neill, made a special promise to Lillian saying she would hand deliver her dresses and bring back pictures of the little girls wearing them. “She’s very selfless,” said Lillian’s daughter. “She just wants to help these little girls.”

Seamstresses in 31 countries donate to the Michigan-based nonprofit, who give them to schools, orphanages, and churches. Since Lillian has begun her dress making, O’Neill, said that she has brought a lot of attention the organization, which in turn helps build schools and dig wells for drinking water.

On March 12th she reached her self-set goal of making 1000 dresses well before her set deadline in May. This goal being reached you could probably guess what she did next. “And as soon as I get this one done, I’ll probably go to the next one,” she said.

Read more here: http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/99-year-old-woman-sews-her-1000th-dress/


FedEx Driver Detours To Save Trapped Homeowner From Flames

Good News Break | AprilJohn Bryant, a FedEx driver from Arlington, Texas, started his usual route on March 5th delivering packages. While driving on the highway he noticed smoke coming from a nearby neighborhood and John decided to take a detour.

“The smoke didn’t look normal to me,” he said. “I pulled off the highway and headed over to see if everything was okay.”

As he turned down the street Bryant saw a house on fire and neighbors screaming that the homeowner was still inside. Since the fire department was yet to be on the scene, Bryant, a volunteer firefighter and former EMT in Kuwait, decided to help out.

After parking his truck John ran around to the back of the house to assess the situation. At that point the homeowner had managed to escape her house, but was still trapped in her canopy-covered backyard and the exit gate was already engulfed in flames.

“I went to the other side and started tearing down the fence with my hands,” Bryant said. “A couple of her neighbors helped me get it low enough so I could jump over and get the woman out.”

Although, sad that she lost her cat and two dogs in the fire, the homeowner thanked John for coming to her rescue. Bryant stayed on the scene until the fire department arrived and the fire calmed down. After returning to his truck, he made sure the call his supervision to tell him he was going to be a little late and if he needed proof to check the local news.

Read more here: http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/fedex-driver-detours-to-save-trapped-homeowner-from-flames/


When A Cheerleader With Down Syndrome Was Bullied, Three Players Walked Off The Court

Good News Break | AprilAbout a year ago at Lincoln Middle School in Kenosha, Wisconsin, three basketball players walked off the court to defend one of their cheerleaders who was being bullied from the stands. This act of support for their classmate was particularly heart warming because Desiree Andrews has Down syndrome. The three players left the court to confront a bully who was making fun of Desiree. They became best of friends and now are ready to leave middle school. “They have really stepped up, almost like they are big brothers to her,” coach David Tolefree said. “It’s good to see.”

The administration has named the gym, D’s House, to honor this student and cheerleader who inspired an entire student body and also to honor the character that the three players displayed.

A tradition that started at that point has been an introduction of Desiree as a member of the team. One of the eighth-graders said he and his teammates are glad to support Desiree and to promote kindness at the school. “It’s really a good message,” he said.

Desiree who was a fan of the television show Glee was inspired to become a cheerleader because of a character in glee who was mentally challenged and still became a cheerleader. She said, “If she can be a cheerleader, I can be a cheerleader.”

This should serve as an inspiration to everyone to stand up and defend a fellow human who is being bullied. Only by acting in a positive manner to stop bullying can we all be assured that it will not happen to anyone.

Read more here: http://www.kenoshanews.com/news/ds_house_481683594.html


RECIPES

Annie’s Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips

Good News Break | AprilIngredients:

  • 2 kiwis, peeled and diced
  • Golden Delicious apples peeled, cored and diced
  • raspberries
  • strawberries
  • white sugar
  • brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fruit preserves, any flavor
  • 10 (10 inch) flour tortillas
  • butter flavored cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, Golden Delicious apples, raspberries, strawberries, white sugar, brown sugar and fruit preserves. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  • Coat one side of each flour tortilla with butter flavored cooking spray. Cut into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle wedges with desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Spray again with cooking spray.
  • Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture.

Photo and recipe found at: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Annies-Fruit-Salsa-and-Cinnamon-Chips/Detail.aspx?evt19=1&referringHubId=84


Szechwan Shrimp

Good News Break | AprilIngredients:

  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup sliced green onions
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 ounces cooked shrimp, tails removed

Directions:

  • In a bowl, stir together water, ketchup, soy sauce, cornstarch, honey, crushed red pepper, and ground ginger. Set aside.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in green onions and garlic; cook 30 seconds. Stir in shrimp, and toss to coat with oil. Stir in sauce. Cook and stir until sauce is bubbly and thickened.

Photo and recipe found at: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Szechwan-Shrimp/Detail.aspx?evt19=1&referringHubId=84


A Note From The Author

Good News Break | AprilThe Latin meaning of the word April is “to open.” In the calendar this probably refers to the opening of flowers and blossoms as spring is in full swing. In a personal sense it is a time to open our minds to new ideas and our hearts to new friends and possibilities. It is easy to maintain a closed circle of friends and a narrow comfort range in our life. This month I am going to try to open my life to new and different people and experiences. Everyone needs to consider expanding the horizons of their life. The wonderful change in weather can make for a fun spontaneous day trip with your new friends and will also allow you to be outdoors.

My new experiences for this month will include a trip to the Academy of Country Music Awards, where I have the opportunity to volunteer. I will also start a new part time job in April, which will give me the chance to meet new people. I hope to go exploring more around Nashville and Tennessee and to be outdoors with my new camera, making me see a place and the world in a different way. Life is about challenging yourself with new changes and giving yourself the opportunity to grow and learn.

“To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions”

– Benjamin Franklin