Six stories that will warm your heart

There’s often so much negativity in the news. But there are also a lot of good stories of people serving others, sacrificing for others, being good to others. I like to bookmark stories that I find especially heartwarming.

Father takes six flights so that he could spend Christmas with his daughter. 

Hal Vaughn’s daughter Pierce is a flight attendant for Delta who had to work over the holidays. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Hal accompanied his daughter while she was working.

A passenger who was sitting next to Hal on one of those flights mentioned it in a Facebook post that went viral.

I had the pleasure of sitting next to Hal on my flight back home. His daughter Pierce was our flight attendant who had to work over Christmas. Hal decided he would spend the holiday with her. So, he is flying on each of her flights today and tomorrow around the country to spend time with his daughter for Christmas. What a fantastic father! Wish you both a very Merry Christmas!

Six year old girl with terminal cancer sworn in as honorary police officer 

Six year old Abigail Arias has lung cancer. Earlier this year, she fulfilled a lifelong dream and was sworn in by her local police department.

From the AJC story:

Abigail had one dream for her life, to become a police officer. She told the police chief in Freeport, Texas, that’s her goal when she grows up.

Chief Ray Garivey and the Arias’ have bonded since first meeting in December, KTRK reported.

“The chemo and radiation hasn’t worked and basically the family is now leaving it in God’s hands and praying for a miracle,” Garivey told CNN.

Homeless refugee wins New York chess championship 

I wrote about this in March.

Tanitoluwa Adewumi (nicknamed Tani) came to the United States with his family in 2017. His family is Christian and fled from Nigeria, amid persecution from Boko Haram.

They came to New York City, but have been staying in a homeless shelter.

A little over a year ago, the chess club coach at Tani’s school saw the boy’s budding skills at chess. According to USA Today, when Tanitoluwa’s parents were approached about him participating in the chess club, they felt they couldn’t afford it.

In March, the homeless the eight year old Nigerian refugee won the New York State Scholastic Chess Championship for his age group. Competing against kids from elite private schools who have private chess tutors, Tani was undefeated.

Commencement speaker pays off student debt for graduating class

Billionarie and philanthropist gave the spring commencement at Morehouse College in Atlanta. The graduating class had nearly 400 student and Smith shocked them all during his speech. “This is my class, 2019. And my family is making a grant to eliminate their student loans…I know my class will make sure they pay this forward.”

It was estimated that Smith’s gift could total roughly $40 million.

World War II veteran reunites with the woman he loved 75 years later

This year marked the 75th anniversary of the Normandy Invasion, which was the major Allied entry into western Europe during World War II. In commemoration of the 75th anniversary, several surviving veterans who were part of the Normandy invasion traveled to France. One of those veterans was K.T. Robbins, now 97 years old. When he was in Europe during the War, he met and fell in love with a young French woman named Jeannine Ganaye.

War eventually call Robbins away, and they were never able to reunite (until this summer). A French television station found Ganaye and reunited the two, who had both gone on to marry and be widowed.

Arkansas boy works for two years to buy wheelchair for friend

Brandon Qualls is in a wheelchair. He had perviously used a manual wheelchair. Earlier this year, his best friend Tanner Wilson surprised him with a motorized wheelchair. Wilson worked for two years and saved up the money to surprise his friend with the gift.

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Josh Benner has a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He has served churches in Minnesota and Illinois. He enjoys writing about faith and culture. He lives with his wife Kari in St. Louis.