Two posts have tried to give inspiration on what you can do for others. The following post, focus on what people actually have done. Hope this will make you smile:)
|Photo: Damon Carson, Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post
Damon Carson is a self-described tightwad. The tattered desk chair in his Denver office was pulled from a Dumpster—a decade ago. He drives a used ’99 Chevy Silverado and wears thrift-store clothes. For several years, Carson ran a garbage company in the ritzy Colorado ski towns of Vail and Breckenridge, which regularly brought him to a local landfill. There he often saw brand-new windows and cabinets amid the rubble, and sometimes rescued these items from the pile. “It was heartbreaking to see perfectly good things about to be buried,” he says.
In 2010, eight years after Carson sold his trash company, an artist friend in the billboard industry mentioned that the massive ads, removed from their boards, made great drop cloths for painting. The wheels in Carson’s head began to turn. He found a few billboards for sale, and put out feelers to friends in the agriculture and construction industries to see if they had any use for them. Thanks to his intervention, the billboards were reborn as tarps to cover hay and building materials. “We quickly ran out,” says Carson, who was so encouraged that he started reaching out to more industries—from bowling pin manufacturers to poultry farmers—to inquire about purchasing hard-to-recycle items.
Soon he’d founded Repurposed Materials, a company that turns would-be trash into valuable commodities. Torn-down billboards become pond liners, projection screens, even makeshift Slip ‘N Slides. Synthetic turf from football fields is refashioned into cushioning for egg-laying chickens. And when one customer intuited that street-sweepers’ brushes, stood on end, could be back scratchers for livestock, Carson sold two to the Bronx Zoo for its rhinoceros pen. “We’re helping industries pool their knowledge,” he says. “And our customers spend far less than they would buying similar products new.”
Carson now spends his days devouring trade magazines and visiting businesses to examine what they’re throwing away. “This is my second foray into the waste stream of America,” he says with a laugh. “Round one, I was burying things in the landfill. Round two, I’m trying to keep them out.”
It’s a clever concept, and one that’s proving to be effective: check out the page of past campaigns and the amounts they’ve helped to raise. What an appealing way to do your good deed today, am I right?
After the birth of my first daughter, my best friend surprised me one evening by offering to do the midnight watch. She handled all the diaper changes and feedings, allowing me and my husband to get a full night’s rest.
I enjoy raking leaves, but last year I did not have the time or the energy to do it, and my neighbors knew how frustrated I was. One night I came home from work to find that they had raked all the leaves in my yard.
The Dalles, Oregon
When I was in college, my nine-year-old brother gave me a $5 bill for emergencies.
Recently, Don Hill was on driving home through the North Georgia Mountains above the small former gold rush town of Dahlonega, Georgia when on a grassy island in the middle of a hectic and dangerous intersection he saw a German Shepherd pacing back and forth. Obviously frightened to death, the dog was emaciated and holding up an injured hind leg.
“My heart was pounding in my chest,” Don said. “I was so scared it was going to run out in to the very heavy traffic before I could do anything and I was going to see it die right there in front of me.”
Don crossed two four lane highways to reach the dog and then slowly, over the course of 20 minutes of Don calmly coaxing the dog while crouched down on the ground, the dog summoned the courage to sniff Don. Just at the moment when Don was about to slip a leash around his neck, someone sounded their horn and the dog flew into traffic. Without hesitation, Don dove across the lanes too and grabbed the dog and carried it back to safety on the shoulder. A state trooper who witnessed the incident said, “said, “Mr. Hill, that was either the dumbest or the bravest thing I have ever seen.”
Don credits his guardian angel for leading him to the dog that day and for keeping them both safe during that dangerous rescue.