Those of us who grew up watching the TLC reality show Little People, Big World were in for a heart-warming thrill with the news of Zach Roloff’s wedding this past weekend.
Zach (25) and his bride, Tori Patton (24), wed at his parent’s farm in Hillsboro, Oregon on Saturday, July 25th. The couple had been engaged for more than a year; the countdown began last May after Zach proposed to Tori in an open field.
According to People Magazine, the wedding was nature-inspired and took place by a gazebo in front of a specially planted field of wheat. The bride wore an ivory dress with a chiffon-like skirt and a lacy, detailed bodice. Zach was quick to tell People magazine that the 200 guests made him feel a little nervous: “Neither of us are spotlight kind of people.” However, he also said the two of them are “looking forward to setting their lives in motion.”
Zach, who was born with dwarfism to two parents with dwarfism, has had unique issues to cope with in his lifetime. But despite adversity, and with support from Little People, Big World’s fan base and his supportive family, he has thrived and is now embarking on his own journey with his beautiful new wife.
What if the marginalized homeless could join the workforce to produce a popular product for an ever-growing market? That was exactly the vision of a few forward-thinking Brits who started “We Walk The Line,” an enterprise whose goal is to teach young and disadvantaged individuals a useful trade: namely, that of a coffee shop owner and barista.
The company works through an apprenticeship-based business model. The end goal of the coffee-centered apprenticeship is to leave young, disadvantaged people with marketable skills and the means with which to set up their own mini coffee shop kiosks–little red stands attached to bicycles.
“We help with the buying of stock, with ongoing marketing and support, paperwork, licensing and that sort of thing,” said We Walk The Line’s co-founder Kieron Tilley. “In return you run your coffee concession as a self-employed person, supported by the social enterprise.”
The founders of We Walk The Line, Matt Corbett and Tilley, hope to encourage the dispossessed to gain independence and skills to support themselves in practical ways. At the moment, the company is focusing on barista and coffee training, but the founders say that in the next couple years the company could be moving toward anything from florist training to bike repair.
Childhood sweethearts Jeanette and Alexander Toczko were married in June 1940, and seventy-five years later, they died within hours of each other, holding hands.
The Huffington Post tells their story with a video in which the couple’s children, Aimee and Richard, tearfully explain how this was the end their parents always wanted.
Aimee Toczko-Cushman said, “Their hearts beat as one for as long as I can remember.” After Alexander suffered a hip injury, his health worsened. The children comforted their parents by helping to fulfill a lifelong wish: “They wanted to go in their own beds, holding hands, in each other’s arms.”
Hospice provided a bed to place near his wife’s, and to celebrate the upcoming 75th anniversary, Aimee Toczko decorated the room with balloons and flowers. She says her mother was “thrilled” to have reached the milestone of seventy-five years.
The family departed from the hospital, and a half-hour later, Alexander’s breathing began to change. “Even the hospice nurse said it was the most incredible thing to see the two of them taking those last breaths together.” Aimee recalls.
About twenty-four hours later, Alexander died, and Jeanette followed him soon after. When Aimee told Jeanette that Alexander was gone, Jeanette took him in her arms and said, “I love you, wait for me I’ll be there soon.”
When an oncoming car hit Laura Palmeter one year ago on her way to work, firefighters had to labor for an hour to cut her from her totaled car. At OHSU, doctors fought to keep her alive despite multiple fractures and muscle fiber necrosis. But Laura wasn’t the only one fighting for life: inside her, a little baby was fighting too.
Doctors said Laura’s growing baby girl had a 10% chance of surviving after the crash. They encouraged her to abort, but Laura and her husband Chris refused.
“They chose their words very carefully and never said abortion,” said Laura. “They stated her odds of living, challenges she would face and then listed off how it would be better for me.”
Though the couple was well informed of the risks the baby faced, including possible x-ray-induced cancer, they soldiered on, determined to save their child. Laura even avoided pain medication in order to protect her daughter. After two months, the hard work paid off.
On December 1st, 2014, Aria Palmeter entered the world in mint-perfect condition. While the family still has much to do to regain stability, they are grateful for the support of the community and their family. Laura is facing several more surgeries, but she finds strength in her new daughter: “Hearing the doctor speak shattered my heart in ways I never thought possible. My baby was going to live! She had to! I would not have survived if she did not.”
To support the Palmeter family, visit their Gofundme page here.
Nhu grew up in a shanty town in Cambodia. Like other little girls and boys, she attended a Vietnamese school, and was supported by her grandmother. A school teacher told her about God, and she accepted Jesus as her savior.
But Nhu was only fourteen when her life took a horrific turn for the worse. Nhu’s grandmother sold her to a local man for three nights. Later, she was sold again to the same man.
Remember Nhu’s founder Carl Ralston first heard young Nhu’s striking story in 2003, at a conference put on by the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Cambodia. He was struck by Nhu’s story, and felt led to find her and make a difference in the horrible world of child sex trafficking.
Carl says, “When I heard Nhu’s story of being sold into the sex trade, God impressed upon my heart, ‘Remember Nhu!’ I immediately broke down, overwhelmed by the thought of this young girl being raped up to 15 times per day. That day Jesus wrecked my life in a great way!”
After taking six trips to Cambodia looking for Nhu, Carl finally met her in 2006, and he and his wife adopted her. Nhu helped to open the first Remember Nhu home for children who are at risk of being sold into the sex trade. Now there are 37 of these “Homes of Refuge” all over the world.
The children in these homes are identified as kids who are at risk of entering sex trafficking and are sponsored year-round. In these homes, children are protected and learn vocational skills. Remember Nhu seeks to stop sex trafficking before it starts.
Nhu and a young friend share a hug
As Carl Ralston states on the Remember Nhu website: “We believe the innocence of childhood is an inalienable right. Once lost, it can never be restored. Our children come to us before they are exposed to the horrors of the sex trade and mature into the happy, healthy young adults they were intended to be.”
To learn more about Remember Nhu you can visit their website here.