Being there at the exact moment when needed

Being there at the exact moment when needed

Jogger with dog offers comfort to grieving child during father’s funeral

By:  Steve Hartman/ CBS News

Fort Smith, Arkansas — Raelynn Nast, a 6-year-old has always been a daddy’s girl, according to her mother, Lacey. “She was very proud of her dad. She always wanted to introduce her dad to everybody,” Lacey said.

Raelynn’s father, Davey, died recently of colon cancer. He was just 41 years old. Raelynn was devastated. “It was a cry that was pure heartbreak,” Lacey said.

Enter Emily Beineman, who happened to be jogging with her dog, Blue, the day of Davey’s visitation. She was running past the funeral home when she heard a tiny voice call out from the chapel steps…. (you need to watch the video below).

be kind . be grace . hold space for others


Community Loaves  (recipe included!)

Community Loaves (recipe included!)

Seattle home bakers donate over 1,300 loaves of bread to local food bank

Community Loaves has been on a mission to donate home-baked bread to a local food bank.

By:  By Kerry Breen and Adam Kaufman/

More people are cooking at home than ever during the pandemic, and in Seattle, more than 500 home bakers are taking an extra step to give back to their community.

Led by college administrator and avid baker Katherine Kehrli, Community Loaves has been on a mission to donate home-baked bread to a local food bank.

Kehrli, who uses her home as a staging area for the ambitious project, told TODAY’s Dylan Dreyer that the effort has grown from a small initial donation to the delivery of over 1,300 loaves of bread.

“Bread’s been around for a long time,” Kehrli said. “It’s four simple ingredients: flour, water, salt, yeast. But it’s been around for thousands of years, and each time someone discovers it for the first time, it’s like magic.”

Kehrli and other members of the group have developed a simple formula for honey oat loaf bread, which uses locally sourced flour. Each batch of the recipe makes four loaves of bread; volunteers are encouraged to donate three loaves and keep one, in what Kehrli calls an effort to “thank them for their time while (also) paying it forward.”

The loaves are donated by the carful to Hopelink, an area food bank that has reported surging demand during the pandemic.

“When I think of my childhood, my baba, my grandma used to make the best homemade bread,” Matthew Campbell, the associate director of food programs at Hopelink, told Dylan. “That reminds me of this. You can see smiles through masks. You still can. You can see the eyes go up. (With) 600, 700 loaves of bread now, that’s 600, 700 smiles.”

Sarah Gannholm, a home baker involved in the effort, said that in addition to helping out her community, the project has given her a new opportunity to bond with her father.

“I haven’t been able to see my dad for several months, so I got this idea that I would get my dad to buy a KitchenAid (mixer) and buy some bread pans,” Gannholm told Dylan. “He’s not a baker. He’s never made anything but chocolate chip cookies in his oven, or a turkey. It just seemed like a natural thing for us to get on Zoom and do this together, and all of a sudden he’s giving back to (the) community in a way that he’s never done in his life.”

Kehrli, who also didn’t start baking until late in her life, said that the project gave her a moment of connection with her grandmother Ruth before she passed away in August at the age of 105.

“When I visited her this summer, this project was going, and she wasn’t eating very much, but she would eat bread,” said Kehrli. “She loved the bread, and she told me that if the project had existed when she was baking bread that she would have loved to participate.”

In November, the Community Loaves group worked to adapt their bread recipe to make thousands of dinner rolls for Thanksgiving. For the winter holidays, they donated nearly 4,000 pecan finger cookies, using Kehrli’s grandmother’s recipe.

“(This project) has restored my faith in the collective good that we can actually do,” Kehrli said. “And it restores my faith that we can be more self-determined even in the face of the pandemic.”


…  and OF COURSE we need to include their famous recipe and info for making Community Loaves’ ‘Honey/Molasses & Oats Pan Loaves’. 

For the written recipe see instructions on video page under ‘show more’ HERE.


be kind . be grace .  share your talents



Sacrifice for the sake of kindness

Sacrifice for the sake of kindness

Homeless man’s $1 donation lifts spirits as Oregon Historical Society deals with riot damage

By FOX 12 Staff 

PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – In the midst of chaos downtown, a homeless man provided a sincere gesture of kindness.

A protest became a riot overnight in Portland, as demonstrators pulled down statues of Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln in response to Monday’s federal holiday of Columbus Day. Monday is also Indigenous Peoples Day in Oregon.

As the riot continued, the crowd smashed widows at the Oregon Historical Society. They also stole a handmade quilt – which was later found outside soaked by the rain – and threw flares into the building.

The Afro-American Heritage Bicentennial Commemorative Quilt was sewn by 15 Black women from Portland in the 1970s. It will now be off public display to be evaluated by the OHS collections team.

Kerry Tymchuk, executive director of the Oregon Historical Society, was dismayed by the destruction, noting that rioters are mistaken if they believe OHS doesn’t honor Oregon’s Native Americans.

Tymchuk said they have seen new memberships and donations made online overnight, but “none have affected me as much as a gift from our neighbor, Oscar.”

Tymchuk shared a special note he received Monday morning. It was handwritten on a napkin and included a $1 bill.

The note was from a homeless man named Oscar, who said he saw the damage and wanted to help with some of his bottle-collecting money, because the Oregon Historical Society once gave him a free tour before the pandemic, “so this is a thank you!”

Be Kind.  Be Grace.  Be PEACE.

United for Ice Cream and Community

United for Ice Cream and Community

Struggling ice cream shop that employs people with special needs gets surprise grant.

By Kerry Breen / Today

Howdy Homemade in Dallas, Texas is known for its original, delicious flavors, but also its public service mission.

A beloved ice cream shop that has been struggling to survive the pandemic earned a sweet surprise live on TODAY Friday morning — a $50,000 grant.

Howdy Homemade, located in Dallas, Texas, is known for its original, delicious flavors, but also its public service mission. All of its employees are individuals with special needs.

Founder Tom Landis said that he was inspired to open the store after meeting one person who thoroughly impressed him.

“It was a real busy night at one of my other restaurants when I met Coleman (Jones), and he just immediately jumped in and helped serve food and was super friendly,” Landis explained on TODAY. “I called his mom up the next day and said, ‘Hey, you know, I want to hire this guy.’ He has so much potential, written all over him, and leadership.”

Now, Jones is the face of the sweet store.

“I was blessed that I ultimately get the opportunity to not only be employed for Tom, but to also be an asset where you’re going to blossom,” Jones said.

“If I’m behind the counter and someone comes in, they have a visual look of disappointment on their face,” Landis said. “They want to see Coleman, they want to see my crew. They’re doing what they do, and frankly, they do it better than me.”

When the pandemic hit, like so many other businesses, Howdy Homemade was severely affected, closing temporarily to ensure the safety of its employees. Even after reopening, customer traffic was slow and catering orders were limited, leading to the risk of permanent closure.

“I think it got to the point honestly where it took absolutely a very clear message of me realizing ‘You know what? I can’t do it. I can’t do it, and it’s time to throw in the towel,'” Landis said. “And I honestly think that’s when God said ‘You can’t do it? Yep, no, you can’t. But you know what? I’m going to surround you with a village of people, people from all over Dallas.'”

The community rallied around Landis, Jones, and Howdy Homemade. A friend of Landis’ organized a GoFundMe campaign that raised over $100,000 for the shop and brought it more attention than ever.

When talking about the sweet success on TODAY with Hoda and Jenna, a virtual wall of fans cheered on Jones and Landis. The virtual wall included one special guest: CNBC’s “The Profit” host Marcus Lemonis, who Howdy Homemade with a $50,000 grant.

“I spend my whole career, my whole life, really helping businesses get to the next level and it’s clear to me that you guys are prepared to get to that next level,” he said. “I would like to give you a $50,000 grant specifically used to hire more people to grow what you’re trying to do in the Dallas community.”

“I think all of us through this entire pandemic are blown away by the leadership you’re showing and the role models the two of you are to the rest of us,” Lemonis continued.

Jones and Landis were thrilled by the gift. They were already using the GoFundMe funds to expand the business: Landis invested in an ice cream truck to get in on the food-truck craze and was planning to create more jobs at the shop. The new grant will allow them to grow even further.

“It’s humbling,” said Landis, who called Lemonis’ grant “unbelievable.”

“We’ve had multiple times where you just stop and tear up because it’s no longer our restaurant. It’s truly the City of Dallas’ restaurant,” he said. “People are not supporting Howdy Homemade because of Tom Landis. They’re supporting it because of Coleman and the others, and I think as more businesses start to realize that, the world will change.”

Be Kind.  Be Grace.  Be PEACE.

Rescue Pilot

Rescue Pilot

Restaurateur uses pandemic downtime to fly at-risk dogs and cats to safety

By Jen Reeder / Today

Eduard Seitan has flown more than 40 rescue missions as a volunteer for the nonprofit Pilots N Paws.

Chicago restaurateur Eduard Seitan was living the American dream when the coronavirus pandemic struck.

In 1992, Seitan immigrated to the United States from Romania when he was 19 years old — and didn’t speak a word of English. He worked construction for a few months before landing a job as a food runner at the Italian restaurant Club Lucky since he spoke Italian.

Over the next few years, he learned English while being promoted to server and eventually head server. In 1997, one of the bartenders asked if he wanted to help open a restaurant, and he became a partner in One Off Hospitality Group, which opened the Michelin-starred restaurant Blackbird and eventually 10 other Chicago hot spots, including Avec, The Publican and Big Star.

Then in March, the coronavirus pandemic forced restaurants to close for dine-in services. Seitan and his partners stopped drawing salaries but still had to furlough more than 700 employees. Two of their restaurants, including Blackbird, permanently closed.

The One Off Hospitality partners hosted seminars and worked hard to help their employees receive unemployment, but the layoffs were “devastating.”

“It was so hard for us to actually tell someone who’s been with us for 20-plus years, ‘Sorry, I don’t know when we’re going to reopen,’” he told TODAY. “The uncertainty was terrible.”

The restaurant industry has taken a hit not just in Chicago but across the country. According to a survey released by the National Restaurant Association last month, more than 100,000 restaurants have closed on a permanent or long-term basis during the pandemic.

Seitan, 48, dreads the winter months, when it will be too cold for diners to eat outside — a trend he’s begun noticing with cooler fall weather — and the possibility of another shutdown as COVID-19 cases spike. His restaurants are already struggling to cover mortgage payments while operating at 40% capacity and offering takeout.

Luckily, Seitan found an unusual way to cope with these challenges. He owns an old airplane — “Most cars on the road cost a lot more than my plane,” he quipped — and two years ago, he started volunteering for the nonprofit Pilots N Paws.

“Flying is my really happy place,” he said. “Since the pandemic started, because of the extra time I had on my hands, I have been flying a lot more than usual. But now, I only fly with a purpose for Pilots N Paws.”

Pilots N Paws is a nonprofit network of volunteer pilots who fly dogs and cats at risk of being euthanized to no-kill rescue organizations and foster families across the United States. Seitan has personally flown over 40 pets to safety for the group.


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