Several basketball players were part of a life-changing event that touched the hearts of thousands, and maybe even millions! It happened when the players were on the court, battling against the other team, and one of the players noticed something happening in the stands. It was something that would make anyone angry and possibly full of rage. The player handled it as anyone should, and what they did during that basketball game was nothing short of heroic, kind, and of the purest heart that anyone could ever imagine. Even better was when his teammates followed as their unspoken leader did the most amazing thing that was way more important than any basketball game could ever be.
It happened in Wisconsin during a school basketball team and it involved a cheerleader who has down syndrome. Her name is Desiree Andrews and she was well loved by her teammates, classmates, and just about everyone. Except, there were a few people in the stands heckling her during the game and that’s when one of the players noticed it. They likely tried to ignore it, but it seemed like it kept going on. That’s when three of the players walked right over to the bullies and let them have it! Of course, they were classy and didn’t punch the hecklers in the face, but that would have probably been acceptable too. However, they sent a stern message to the bullies not to mess with their friend, teammate, and classmate any longer.
The message worked and that spiraled into a whirlwind of events that no one predicted happening.
“Desiree is a cheerleader at Lincoln Middle School in Kenosha, Wis. She has Down syndrome — and as some hecklers learned last year, she has the full support of her school’s basketball team and her community.
After realizing members of the crowd were making fun of Desiree during a game, three players went into the crowd during a timeout with a simple message: “Don’t mess with her.”
“We were mad; we didn’t like that,” Miles Rodriguez, one of the players who stood up for Desiree, tells the Kenosha News. “We asked our sports director to talk to the people and tell them not to make fun of her.”
At that game, Desiree’s father, Cliff Andrews, was also angry — and he tells the News that that was the only thing that seemed to be bothering his daughter.
“She saw that I was upset,” Andrews told the newspaper Thursday. “She threw her hands around me and made me look at her face and said, ‘Papa, it’s OK. I still love them even if they don’t like me.’ ”
Sparked by the players’ actions, the school eventually named its gym for Desiree, calling it “D’s House.” She is introduced at home games, along with the team.
“It’s amazing,” Desiree tells the News.
The basketball players involved are now up for a citizenship award and other recognition from the city of Kenosha, reports TV station TMJ 4.
The story of the eighth-grader’s spirit and players’ gumption attracted wide attention this week, after the school held a celebration for Desiree.
The Kenosha News says its video about the story was watched an average of 10,000 times an hour. FOX News and ABC News called Desiree’s dad; so did Today and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Her story spread to news sites in Europe and beyond.
Andrews says his daughter has enjoyed the attention — and that, in fact, she expected it.
“Desiree has always been under the assumption … that she’s famous,” Andrews said. “So now her dream is coming true and she’s just on cloud nine. As her father, it is quite a feeling.”
Andrews also says Desiree was inspired to try out for the cheerleaders’ squad by watching an episode of the TV show Glee.
“They have a character with Down syndrome who is a cheerleader,” he says. “And she said, ‘If she can be a cheerleader, I can be a cheerleader.’ ”
One moment the girl is just another cheerleader, and the next moment she has a facility renamed in her honor. Those boys are amazing and they sure acted like a hero that day. Their parents must be proud that their sons would stick up for a girl who was getting treated poorly. That must mean they had a good influence from their mother and father.
Good parents who raise their kids right will always have a shining moment like this.
Do you remember a time when you saw a young boy or girl stand up against the bullies? Write your answer below!
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Hero Teacher Hid 19 Kids During Florida School Massacre…Here’s How They Thanked Her
Every teacher that shows up day after day and teaches our children whether they want to learn or not is a hero in some way.
Every teacher that shows up day after day and teaches our children whether they want to learn or not is a hero in some way. They play an invaluable role in the lives of their students, to the point that many famous people point to a particular teacher and credit them with their successes. That credit might be because of extra time taken to understand their students’ learning type, or maybe just direction toward their lifelong profession.
In the case of 19 students who’s South Florida high school was the home of a mass shooting on Wednesday, they will be able to point to Melissa Falkowski and quite literally thank her for every single accomplishment in life. This teacher kept her cool, directed her kids to the safest place she could find, and waited for the authorities. Love What Matters tells the story of Melissa’s students and how grateful they are to have her as their teacher:
“Language arts teacher Melissa Falkowski is being hailed a hero this morning for hiding 19 students in a closet during the Florida school massacre at Marjory Stonemason Douglas High School in Parkland on Feb 14. Several of the students are now emotionally speaking out to thank their teacher for keeping them safe and calm during the tragedy.
‘Melissa Falkowski is an amazing educator who deserves praise for what she did. I had multiple panic attacks while locked in the closet with 19 other people for numerous hours,’ Emma Dowd told Love What Matters. ‘She reiterated many times that I would be safe and she won’t let anything happen to me. I spend a lot of time with Falkowski as she advises the newspaper, which I’m one editor-in-chief of. She constantly checked up on me and kept me calm even when there were nearly 160 of us in the library after all the classes got searched. I’m eternally grateful for strong and caring educators like her. She not only cared for me but also the 160 kids in the classroom with us along with her other faculty.'”
The stories of those students could have been very different if they’d been on the path of the rampaging, gun toting 19-year-old that took so many lives. But because of Melissa’s presence of mind, every one of the students in her care made it out in one piece. Several of those students took to social media to tell the world how grateful they are for their teacher:
“Being one of those 19 kids for numerous hours was beyond surreal. Melissa Falkowski, the teacher, was one of the few that kept me calm and safe. I’m beyond thankful for educators like her.”
Being one of those 19 kids for numerous hours was beyond surreal. Melissa Falkowski, the teacher, was one of the few that kept me calm and safe. I'm beyond thankful for educators like her. https://t.co/yzXQf9fNzt
— Emma Dowd (@emmaedowd) February 15, 2018
“this was my teacher. i was in that closet. having to feel that fear and see all those people think they’re going to die is something no person should experience.”
this was my teacher. i was in that closet. having to feel that fear and see all those people think they’re going to die is something no person should experience. https://t.co/4ysyB6HHHO
— Delaney Tarr (@delaneytarr) February 15, 2018
“Her name is Melissa Falkowski”
Her name is Melissa Falkowski https://t.co/rRUJHT6PWs
— Dorota (@bettercallrahl) February 15, 2018
The very next morning, Melissa was interviewed on The Today Show by Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb about her experiences. As you can tell from that interview, she was visibly shaken by the experience, but that didn’t keep her from reminding people that their training is what got them through:
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) February 15, 2018
Nobody knows how they will respond to an emergency situation. The fight or flight instinct is wired just a little differently in almost everybody. The best we can do is learn what to do, practice the important stuff, and pray that we’re never in a situation where we are the only thing standing between dozens of children and a madman with a gun. Thankfully for these kids and their families, the person who was standing between them and their former classmate was level headed and even-tempered. She has made an impact on these kids that they’ll never forget.
Tear-jerking Moment Homeless Boy Bursts into Tears of joy When He is Surprised With His Very First Bed
So many things that we take for granted would be considered a luxury by others. In fact, we live in a time when most of us live in what would be considered almost royal conditions. Most of us don’t worry about food or clothes, and if we ever have, it was only for a short period of time. We are aware of starving children in need, but we consider it to be a problem for a faraway land. After all, this is America, the land of plenty, nobody really needs anything here, right?
Unfortunately, they do. The USDA estimates that about 41.2 million food insecure in America and More than 500,000 people homeless in the United States. That’s more than half a million women and children that literally have no place to call their own. Of course, there are those who are in that condition because of terrible life choices, but for a large portion of them, life has been kicking them in the teeth repeatedly, and they’re just trying to keep their own heads above water, by any means necessary.
One such mother was Dionna and her son Daeyers from Detroit Michigan. Daily Mail told their story, and how little Daeyers got his biggest Christmas wish granted this year:
“A formerly homeless eight-year-old boy and his mother were finally granted Michigan state housing so all he wanted for Christmas was his own bed, and tear-jerking video caught the moment he was granted his wish. Daeyrs and his mother Dionna, from Detroit, spent most of the boy’s life living in homeless shelters after the trainee nurse lost her job, and subsequently their home.
Once they moved into the state housing they only had a blowup mattress and a couple of chairs. Daeyrs was sleeping in blankets on the floor.
A social worker handling the family’s case reached out to Humble Design, which fully furnished the entire home, and surprised the boy, who calls himself ‘the man of the house,’ at the end of the video, with a fully furnished room.
The surprised boy bursts into tears of relief in his mother’s arms as he is shown his room, complete with a bed, chairs, cushions, toys and an art set he’s also longed for.
The emotional video, shot on December 20, shows the pair first stepping into their now furnished abode, looking in awe at the decor and bringing to light their sheer gratitude for the basics that people often take for granted.
As Daeyrs takes his hands away from his eyes as he is shown his beautifully decorated room, the boy smiles before bursting into tears as he sees his first ever bed, which is surrounded by an accompaniment of chairs, cushions, toys and an art set he’s also longed for.
The founder of the charitable organization, Humble Design’s Treger Strasberg, who oversaw Daeyrs’ dream renovation, said: ‘They moved into this house but didn’t have any furniture and were sleeping on the floor.’
‘We were referred to Daeyrs and his mother by a social worker, and our first order of business was to ask them exactly what they would like in their house to make it feel like a home.
‘Seeing how much having a bed and his own room meant to Daeyrs, it really made me realise what’s important in life and grateful for everything I have.
‘He was so excited to have his own room, but also so overwhelmed by what having this really means for him after all he’s been through – to have a place to stay and just be a normal kid with no worries.”
Hopefully, most of us will never know what it’s like to just want a bed that we can call our own, but we must not let us forget those who do feel that. If you have been blessed enough to grow up in a stable home with plenty to eat and a safe place to sleep, say your prayers of thanks and then go donate to those who don’t have it quite so easy.
Sometimes a hand up is all a family needs to change their future, and that’s what Daeyrs and his family got this Christmas, and it’s a gift they won’t soon forget.
Doctors Tell Randy Travis’ Wife To Pull The Plug, Then She Started Praying
Time and again we’re instructed in scripture to pray for those who need physical and spiritual healing, but in modern day America, even Christians often head straight to the doctor for every ailment.
Oh doctors are important, and are definitely used to heal. But doctors are not God, and do not know the number of days each of us will live.
Jeremiah 30:17a encourages us:
For I will restore health to you
And heal you of your wounds,’ says the LORD.
Every now and then we hear a story of someone who, despite knowing the wonders of modern medicine, ultimately understands our lives and health are in the Lord’s hands.
Mary Travis, wife of country singer, Randy Travis, is one such person.
Randy Travis is an old school country singer who burst on the U.S. Billboard Country Singles Charts in 1985, and is well-known his third number one hit, “Forever and Ever Amen.” Travis bucked the trend of slick country pop, defying the odds and becoming a popular regular on country music radio. He also veered into country music’s cousin, gospel and his song, “Three Wooden Crosses” was a Hot Country Songs No. 1.
But in July 2013 Randy Travis suffered a serious virus attack of the heart and was listed in critical condition. Mary recounts:
There were so many functions of the body that were devastated by the Viral Cardiomyopathy that took his heart down to five percent. The memory was affected. The vision was affected, as well as his mobility and his appetite.
Three days later Travis suffered a massive stroke and underwent surgery to relieve pressure on the brain. His then-fiancée Mary Davis stood by her man and as he was in and out of the hospital, and in and out of a coma or semi-coma. Mary was told her intended’s chance of survival was slim, his chance of recovery less than that.
But Mary refused to give up on Randy and put her trust in God — the doctors told her to “pull the plug,” the Great Physician inspired her to pray without ceasing.
Randy’s wife was a living picture of James 5:16:
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man [or woman] avails much.
Now, years later, wife Mary talks about what sustained her and the answers to prayer witnessed daily:
I never did give up. I prayed “God, just give him to me one more day. I don’t care how you give him back to me. Just give him back to me.” With Randy’s faith, I don’t think he ever felt like he couldn’t make some kind of recuperation. I can only imagine the thoughts, the prayers, the conversations, he must have had while lying there with God.
I don’t believe he ever felt like he couldn’t make some sort of a comeback. He’s so strong in his mindset. There was never another option. We weren’t ever ready – and we’re still not ready to give up. The doctors’ reports were very bleak, and they wanted us to pull the plug.
They said that he needed a heart transplant, and all of these other things. It’s hard to believe that any one human being could live through it, but if there’s anybody who can, Randy Travis can. He’s tough as a boot, and as sweet as an angel.
Those fervent prayers have availed much. Randy appeared at the Hall of Fame ceremony and the CMA Awards in 2016, and even sang Amazing Grace, stunning the audience in Nashville and fans watching around the country.
Mary Travis is a mighty intercessor for her beloved husband, Randy, and with the whole family rallying around him, every day yields more miracles.
Last year Randy actually helped produce “Where I’m Comin’ From,” an album from newcomer Shane Owens. And currently Travis is working with Ken Abraham on a book about his life and career, with emphasis on life.
Mary Travis shines as a beacon in a culture that too often mocks faith and refuses to champion life. But for Mary, prayer has sustained her and healed her husband. She and Randy have lived through “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health” and remain a testament to the power of prayer!
What an inspiration and picture of faith and marriage!
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