Giving with Walking Sticks

Giving with Walking Sticks

A 93-year-old veteran is whittling walking sticks to raise money for an Ohio food pantry.

By:  National Desk Staff /WLWT5

When the going gets tough, the tough keep going, or at least that’s what you do when you’re a 93-year-old retired Air Force Colonel—and John Hobson likes to keep busy.

“If he just got put somewhere and told him to sit down, he’d go crazy,” his son Mark Hobson, told WKEF-TV.

In 2020, Hobson occupied himself by handcrafting close to 100 walking sticks, the proceeds of which, he donated to a local Ohio charity outreach group, the Xenia Area Fish Food Pantry.

“He’s just a sweet man who gives a darn about other folks who don’t have [anything],” Mark Hobson said.

To sell his wares, Hobson set up a roadside stand in his front yard. The price was beyond reasonable: $3.00 each, or a food pantry donation.

Not surprisingly, the senior whittling-wonder was sold out in just a few days, having earned about $600.

Wanting to do more, Hobson and his family set up a GoFundMe page which has since raised $9,565 in cash for the Xenia Area Fish Food Pantry. All told, donations from the sale of the walking sticks, the GoFundMe campaign, and additional donations made in Hobson’s name total close to $16,000.

“Thank you for doing a very kind thing to make Grandpa happy and to make a difference for so many in our community,” Hobson’s granddaughter Jenny Denen wrote. “We have been so touched by your kindness and generosity.”

“We have been told by the pantry that a $1 donation generates five pounds of food. That means that we have helped the pantry be able to distribute about 40 tons of food to the Xenia community! What a massive blessing to those in need during this very difficult time.

Staying busy is certainly one factor that keeps Hobson hard at work, but his main motivation is likely more simple. He says knowing that he’s still able to help others in need in a meaningful way just makes him feel good.

Be Kind . Be Grace . Be Generous with your Time


Sharing Our Gifts

Sharing Our Gifts

If you missed this it’s worth revisiting:

Yo-Yo Ma played a surprise concert for a clinic during his post-vaccination waiting period

By Paulina Firozi / The Washington Post

In an airy, sunny gymnasium on Saturday afternoon, under basketball hoops and banners, in front of people freshly pricked and waiting for minutes to pass, Yo-Yo Ma played a little Bach.

The world-renowned cellist, who is 65, had gone to the vaccination clinic at Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield, Mass., for his second coronavirus vaccine dose, according to clinic organizers. After getting his shot, he took a seat along a padded blue wall of the gym, near others waiting out their 15-minute post-vaccination observation time, and surprised them with a performance.

Leslie Drager, the lead clinical manager for the vaccination site, said that when Ma started to play, the whole place went quiet.

“It was so weird how peaceful the whole building became, just having a little bit of music in the background,” said Drager, who is the lead public health nurse for Berkshire Public Health Alliance.

She said the vaccination site has nine stations of nurses administering doses. On Saturday, 1,102 shots were administered — all second doses. Ma arrived toward the end of the day.

Hilary Bashara, a nurse administering vaccinations at the clinic, said she administered both of Ma’s doses.

The first time, Bashara said, she noticed Ma as he took in his surroundings.

“Most people, they are busy, they’re sort of anxious and waiting — he was different,” she said. “I just watched his face, and he was looking about the room and his face generated such warmth, it felt like he was smiling under his mask. When he got up to where I was, he was like, ‘Thank you so much for being here.’ ”

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be kind . be grace . hold space for each other


Paw-Some Mission: Helping make dapper adoptions

Paw-Some Mission: Helping make dapper adoptions

Sir Darius Brown, the 14-year-old with a heart of gold is a powerhouse teen entrepreneur, speaker, philanthropist, animal advocate and founder of Beaux & Paws. He creates handmade stylish bow ties.

At the age of two, Sir Darius was diagnosed with a speech, comprehension, and fine motor skills delay. However, he never let his challenges get in his way or stop him from accomplishing his goals. At the age of eight, his fine motor skills started to improve after he began assisting his older sister with cutting fabric and learning how to use a sewing machine. During this time is when he discovered his passion for making bow ties.

In 2017, Sir Darius, was moved by the devastation of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, and wanted to do his part to help. Learning that some rescue dogs were being transferred from the devastation in Texas and Puerto Rico to the ASPCA on NYC, Sir Darius thought of a unique way to use his passion of creating bow ties to help the displaced dogs look dapper and cute to help them be more noticeable in hopes of finding their forever homes faster. During his visit at the adoption center, Sir Darius learned that hundreds of dogs are euthanized daily at some shelters due to overcrowding. When he learned of this horrific reality he was devastated. A dog lover himself, this was the beginning of Sir Darius’s mission to help save the lives of dogs and cats by donating his handmade bow ties to animal shelters across the nation.

Sir Darius has donated countless bow ties to shelters and adoption centers across the USA and the United Kingdom and have helped countless shelter pets find loving forever homes.

Be Grace . Be Kind . Hold Space for Each Other


Join the Cupid Crew

Join the Cupid Crew

Be Kind . Be Grace . Give from your Heart


‘Papa’ makes quilts to wrap people in love

‘Papa’ makes quilts to wrap people in love

‘Papa’ makes quilts to wrap people in need with love

KUTV “Pay it Forward”

For 15 years, Brent Rushton — affectionately known as “Papa” — has pieced together beautiful quilts to donate.

“I’ve given them to the Road Home shelters and the veterans,” said Rushton.

His latest batch of masterpieces is going to refugees.

“Most of them come in with no belongings, except the clothes that’s on them,” explained Rushton.

He says he’s probably made between 200 and 300 quilts over the years. That’s a lot of time spent in his shop — which was originally meant for wood working. He used to spend 12 hours a day in there, quilting away.

“I’m down to about six hours a day these days,” Rushton said.

But “Papa” doesn’t mind at all.

“I’d go nuts if I didn’t have something to do,” he said. “And it happens that this interests me.”

The 80-year-old says he doesn’t show much emotion, but he does like the way it feels when he finds out one of his quilts has made an impact on someone.

“I feel pretty good about helping somebody get a smile on their face,” he said.

Rushton has received some donated fabric, but buys most of the supplies himself. This January his local newstation, KUTV, and their ‘Pay it Forward’ project in partnership with Mountain America Credit Union donated $500 to Rushton to help him keep making the beautiful quilts and continue to spread the love.


Be Kind . Be Grace . Be Generous . Hold Space for Each Other 



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