The Upbeat Everyday Acts
  • Hands make the symbol of a heart (Thinkstock)Hands make the symbol of a heart (Thinkstock)

    A 106-year-old woman and a 73-year-old man have found love in a nursing home, Australia's reports.

    Neither Marjorie Hemmerde nor her special fella Gavin Crawford expected to fall for anyone.

    "We just sort of melted into each other," Hemmerde told "We get along like old friends, the age gap doesn't seem to matter."

    Crawford said, "Marjorie is very outgoing and has good outlook in life." He also told that she is "always very cheerful and appreciative and we laugh together all the time."

    "I think we both have learned that life is far too short not to enjoy it," he continued.

    Neither lovebird has ever married before, which raises the question of whether Hemmerde and Crawford might consider tying the knot. It would surely be the wedding of the year, but—alas—it appears it isn't going to happen.

    "I'm too irresponsible," Hemmerde told "I quite like living in sin."

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  • For many who return from war, the battle does not end. And for many service connected disabled veterans, transitioning back home is difficult, partly because their houses were not built to accommodate their physical or mental needs.

    Learning firsthand how great the need is, friends and Iraq War veterans Dale Beatty and John Gallina formed Purple Heart Homes, a nonprofit organization. Driven by the belief that no veteran should be left behind, Purple Heart Homes, with help from local communities, committed itself to ensuring quality-of-life solutions for disabled American veterans from all eras.

    In 2004, Beatty and Gallina nearly died together when their Humvee was blown up by an IED in Iraq. Beatty lost both his legs, and Gallina suffered severe head and back injuries. Beatty in particular found that his home was not suited for his disability. “Before I had a house that was accessible, I crawled around on the floor, or my knuckles scraped on the door every time as the wheelchair was

    Read More »from Purple Heart Homes: Building Respect and Community One House at a Time
  • Jacket worn by World War II pilot Robert Arand (Jennifer Hlad © 2013 Stars and Stripes)Jacket worn by World War II pilot Robert Arand (Jennifer Hlad © 2013 Stars and Stripes)

    The military newspaper Stars and Stripes reports that Pentagon employee and military history enthusiast John Dodds was browsing the racks at a Washington Goodwill when his daughter called him over. Her find: an authentic WWII leather bomber jacket.

    From Stars and Stripes:

    The leather was a little stiff, but the jacket was still in good shape. On the back was a bearded, red-headed man with a winged helmet, along with the words 'Red Raiders' and '22nd Bomb Group.' The label inside had the model and order number. The lieutenant bars were in place on the shoulders.
    The jacket even had a leather name tag sewed on the front: Robert G. Arand.

    Dodds bought the jacket for $17 and then made some calls. A day later, he had 90-year-old veteran Robert Arand on the phone. Dodds told Stars and Stripes that once he spoke with Arand, he knew he wanted to return it to the veteran instead of keeping it for himself.

    Arand told the paper that the jacket was most likely given away by his wife, who he

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  • Boy with terminal illness helps feed the hungry

    NaSeaph Williams enters his surprise party (Cindy Schultz/Times Union)NaSeaph Williams enters his surprise party (Cindy Schultz/Times Union)

    A 10-year-old boy battling a terminal illness in Colonie, N.Y., has used his upcoming birthday to help feed the hungry. reports that NaSeaph Williams suffers from Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome. The rare genetic condition has weakened his muscles, heart and lungs. It has also left him unable to walk and prone to seizures. NaSeaph's mother told the paper that her son has never let his condition affect his generosity.

    Laurel McAdoo, founder of Myles of Smyles, and Erin Musto, founder of Maddie's Mark, recently discovered the same thing. The duo, who the paper says both lost children to cancer in 2012, met NaSeaph at an event, learned of his amazing birthday wish, and quickly organized an early birthday party where, in accordance with NaSeaph's request, guests brought canned foods to donate to the needy.

    McAdoo, whose Myles of Smyles provides support for families living in the Northeast who face serious health challenges, told the paper:

    NaSeaph said he wanted to

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  • Dog helps alert owner to house fire

    File photo of Cocker Spaniel (Thinkstock)File photo of Cocker Spaniel (Thinkstock)

    Oz the dog helped save his owner's life when a fire broke out in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.

    WNEP reports that Randy Merlo was fast asleep in his home when Oz sensed something was wrong. Merlo told WNEP that the 12-year-old cocker spaniel woke him up on purpose.

    "He was nudging me or whatever, what I can remember, he was nudging me, and I smelled smoke and we left. Saved my life, he probably did, most likely he did,” Merlo told WNEP. "He's a good dog."

    Merlo and Oz escaped the blaze, but the house–a duplex–suffered extensive fire, smoke, and water damage. The fire reportedly originated in the basement of the vacant side of the building.

    Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire. "We determined the origin in the basement of the home. We’re saying incendiary, suspicious but still under investigation," Police Chief Brian Hollenbush told WNEP.

    Cocker spaniels are known for their loyalty. PetWave, a site that focuses on the well-being of pets, writes that they are

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