From HuffPost via Yahoo! News: “A new water park in San Antonio is making sure kids with disabilities don’t miss out on the splashing fun this summer. Morgan’s Inspiration Island is an extension of Morgan’s Wonderland, a theme park built to be inclusive for all its guests, including kids with disabilities. Like Wonderland, all parts of the Inspiration Island water park are wheelchair-accessible. Guests with special needs are also admitted at no cost. … In a press release, Gordon said the team behind Inspiration Island consulted with water park professionals, doctors and experts in special education and special needs, as well as received input from local teachers, parents and caregivers. … With help from the attractions and special features, the team at Morgan’s Inspiration Island hopes to ensure all of its guests will have fun without worry. ‘Morgan’s Inspiration Island promises to give individuals with physical or cognitive special needs a place where they can splash and play without barriers,’ Gordon said.”
Read more at the Yahoo! News website.
-Photo by Reg Green-
From BBC News: “On the night of 29 September 1994, seven-year-old Nicholas Green was fatally shot during a family holiday in southern Italy. The death was a tragedy for his parents, Reg and Maggie, but their decision to donate his organs caused organ donation rates in Italy to triple in a decade – a result dubbed the ‘Nicholas effect’.”
Read the full story at the BBC News website.
From the AP, via Yahoo! News: “Former NFL tight end Todd Heap and his family are encouraging people to ‘share hugs and spread love and joy through random acts of heartfelt kindness’ on Wednesday in honor of their late daughter’s birthday. … The family created the site hugsfromholly.com, a campaign in memory of Holly, who would have turned 4 on Wednesday. ‘Holly was known to give the best hugs, and her love for everyone and everything in life was contagious,’ a statement on the site’s home page reads. ‘Let’s spread this joy as we scatter sunshine in Holly’s honor on her birthday.'”
Read the full story on the Yahoo! News website.
From the NBC Sports website: “Jorge Alves usually sharpens the Carolina Hurricanes’ skates. Lately, the team’s equipment manager has been lacing up his own. It’s been a wild past few days for Alves. The 37-year-old former Marine, ex-minor leaguer and veteran of the team’s equipment staff suddenly found himself in uniform for an NHL game — and even, for 7.6 unforgettable seconds, on the ice — as the Hurricanes’ emergency goalie while regular backup Eddie Lack was too sick to play.”
Read the full story at the NBC Sports website.
From Yahoo! News: “For many people, 2016 was a year to forget. From the continued war in Syria to terror attacks and mass shootings to celebrity deaths to a bitterly divisive presidential election, there seemed to be an endless news cycle filled with stories that ranged from terrible to heartbreaking. But amid all that darkness, there were still some moments that inspired and made us smile — spurred by a few notable names but, mostly, unknown heroes.”
(A few of these ten recaps revisit stories I’ve already shared here on the blog, but even those are worth another look.)
Read more at the Yahoo! News website.
From the Houston Chronicle website: “Lizzie Velasquez knows a thing or two about appearance-based hate, but she knows more about putting up a fight against this hate. The anti-bullying activist spoke out against memes featuring herself and real people. The 27-year-old woman, who lives with a neonatal progeroid syndrome which prevents her from accumulating body fat, bravely posted a meme featuring herself and subtext that suggests she is undesirable because of how she looks.”
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Here is the full text of Ms. Velasquez’s Instagram post:
“I’ve seen a ton of memes like this all over @facebook recently. I’m writing this post not as someone who is a victim but as someone who is using their voice. Yes, it’s very late at night as I type this but I do so as a reminder that the innocent people that are being put in these memes are probably up just as late scrolling through Facebook and feeling something that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. No matter what we look like or what size we are, at the end of the day we are all human. I ask that you keep that in mind the next time you see a viral meme of a random stranger. At the time you might find it hilarious but the human in the photo is probably feeling the exact opposite. Spread love not hurtful words via a screen.”
-Photo by Craig Gilmore-
From the Los Angeles Times website: “Two agents from U.S. Homeland Security’s ICE unit arrived at my door in September looking for a Polish lady — not a person, but a painting: Melchior Geldorp’s “Portrait of a Lady.” She had, they informed me, been looted by the Nazis from the National Museum in Warsaw. … Upon their leaving, I stood dumbfounded, holding a packet of information about the alleged provenance of our painting. After calling David at work to drop this bombshell, I began a Googling frenzy, eventually bringing me to Poland’s Division for Looted Art website. Seconds later I was gawking at an old black-and-white photo of our beloved lady, a beautiful portrait painted on oak panel in 1628. Tears welled in my eyes with the realization that, without question, if this were true we needed to do our duty and get her safely home.”
Read the full story at the Los Angeles Times website.