88-year-old Genevieve Purinton thought she had no family left in the world until she reunited with her biological daughter on December 3.
Purinton resides in a retirement home in North Tampa. Her eight siblings died recently and had no other children after she gave birth at 18 in 1949 and was told the child had died.
Unbeknownst to Purinton, the child was born in Gary, Indiana, given up for adoption and raised in Southern California. It remains unclear as to why doctor’s misinformed Purinton about her daughter’s death.
“I asked to see the baby and they said she died, that’s all I remember,” Purinton told NBC.
Moultroup ended up adopted, but it took an unfortunate turn at the start. At five years, Moultroup’s adoptive father married an abusive step-mother.
For most of her youth, Moultroup hoped her biological mother would come to her rescue. “It’s been a lifetime of wanting this. I remember being five years old, wishing I could find my mother,” Moultroup, who now resides in Vermont, told Daily Mail.
“She would fantasize about her mother rescuing her since she was five years old. It’s truly her life-long dream,” Moultroup’s daughter Bonnie Chase, 50, added.
Moultroup was finally granted her life-long wish, when her daughter gave her an Ancestry DNA kit last Christmas.
“It was just a cool Christmas present and it has completely changed our lives,” Chase said.
The kit led Moultroup to call her cousin. “I said, “Here’s my mother’s given name,” Moultroup told WTNT. “She said, “That’s my aunt and she’s still alive.”
The mother and daughter reunited at the nursing facility earlier this week and cried joyous tears.
“We’re criers. We just cry a lot. There were a lot of tears and there’s been a lot of tears the entire time since then. It’s been really amazing,” Moultroup said.
“We’re thrilled that Ancestry was able to play a part in helping to connect Genevieve Purinton with her daughter after 69 years. We wish her and her family the best, and that this is the only beginning of an enduring relationship,” Jasmin Jimenez, a spokeswoman for Ancestry DNA told NBC.
A Syrian Refugee spent more than eight months living in the transit zone of a Malaysian airport.
37-year-old Hassan Al Kontar is one of many Syrians who fled the country after war in Syria broke out in 2011.
Previously Kontar worked as an insurance marketing manager in the United Arabs Empire from 2006 to 2012.
He left is home in Syria for UAE in 2006 in order to avoid being called into mandatory military service. The Syrian government later refused to renew his passport after war broke out.
“I’m not a killing machine and I don’t want any part in destroying Syria,” he told the BBC.
After his passport expired, Kontar’s work permit also became invalid.
After staying in the UAE, he was arrested and told to leave the country. He flew to Malaysia, one of the few countries where Syrians have a chance of obtaining a visa.
There he was granted a three month tourist visa and immediately began working to save up sums to fly to Ecuador, however; when he showed up for his flight to Ecuador in February, he was turned away at the gate for reasons that remain unclear.
Kontar flew to Cambodia instead, with the attempt to avoid deportation to Syria, but he arrived only to be sent back to the Kuala Lumpur International airport in Malaysia.
He arrived back in Malaysia, but could not enter the country because he outstayed his visa. At that point, Kontar had no other options than to live in the “arrivals” section until a country accepted him.
Kontar spent the next several months documenting his life over video and posting them to Twitter. Some videos consisted of himself tending to his potted plants, talking about his favorite books and films, crocheting stuffed animals, and him using the moving walkways as a treadmill.
He had no access to the outside world and longed for fresh air. Despite the grimness that came with living at the airport, he still was able to eat leftover chicken and rice dinners given by compassionate airline staff and able to shower in the public washrooms.
Among his fan base was a woman named Laurie Cooper from Whistler, British Columbia who came across Kantar’s videos and felt a strong inclination to help the man.
“It all seemed impossible: I’m just a woman who lives in a little log cabin and he was living in an airport,” Cooper told The Guardian.
Cooper, a volunteer for Canada Caring Society partnered with British Columbia Muslim Association to petition for Canada’s immigration minister to admit Kontar as a refugee.
Cooper and the two organizations managed to raise over $20,000 for his sponsorship and found him a full-time job at the city hotel.
Cooper and these Canadian organizations gathered their resources, but among the rallying came a roadblock. Malaysian authorities arrested Kantar for staying in a restricted area without a boarding pass and held him in a detention center and threatened him with deportation.
Panic reigned over Cooper, those working for the organizations, and Kontar.
Cooper and the other Canadians urged Canadian officials to speed up the resettlement process, fearing he would be deported back to Syria.
Miraculously, Kontar was released. He sent a text to Cooper saying he was on his way.
Before Kontar got on the plane to Vancover, he posted a video to Twitter during a layover in Tawian this past Monday. “I could not do it without the help of my family — my Canadian friends and family and my lawyer. Thank you all. I love you all,” he said.
Upon arrival Kontar hugged Cooper while trying to hold back his tears. “I just feel so grateful that things worked out and that he’s here and that he’s safe,” Cooper told reporters at the airport.
“I never doubted for a moment that we would get him here,” she added.
Kontar is now staying at Cooper’s house, enjoying his bed and warm clothes donated by community members. Overall, Cooper is thankful for his safety and glad the process came to an end.
“It was a unique and very difficult situation. We are really grateful to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and citizenship and to the Canadian officals who worked so hard to resolve Hassan’s predicament,” she said in a public statement.
“We are proud that Canada was willing to step up and help Hassan when so many countries around the world are closing their doors to refugees.”
A little boy’s heart became glad after he mailed a birthday card to his dad in heaven; astonished to have gotten a response.
7-year-old Jade Hyndman from West Lothian, Scotland mailed this card as a way to say happy birthday to his father who died four years ago.
Instead of writing an address on the front envelope, Jase simply wrote:
“Mr. Postman, can you take this to heaven for my dad’s birthday. Thanks.”
Assistant delivery office manager Sean Milligan from the UK’s Royal Mail Service could have ignored the response or disposed of the request, but decided to write a kind response, assuring the boy the card was in great care.
“Dear Jase,” read the letter. “While we’ve been delivering your post, we’ve become aware of some concerns.
“So I just wanted to take this opportunity to contact you about how we succeeded in the delivery of your letter, to your dad in heaven. This was a difficult challenge avoiding stars and other galactic objects on route to heaven.”
Concluding with: “I will continue to do all I can to ensure delivery to heaven safely.”
Jase and his mother, Teri Copland, were overjoyed by the compassionate gesture.
“I actually cannot state how emotional he is knowing his dad got his card,” Copland wrote in her Facebook post. “You didn’t have to make the effort to do this, you could have just ignored it, but the fact that you made the effort for a little boy you’ve never met is such a lovely thing to do for Royal Mail.”
“It honestly means the world to him,” the post continued. “Please share this so all the staff at Royal Mail know just how grateful we are.”
Over the course of two days, this post has been shared over 220,000 times. People around the world are also praising Royal Mail’s careful “delivery” of the letter to heaven.
Copland concluded her praise to Royal mail writing, “Royal Mail, you’ve just restored my faith in humanity and thank you… Merry Christmas.”
There wasn’t a dry eye in sight when a company founder gave his employees the surprise of a lifetime this week.
Mark Baiada, the chairman and founder of Bayada Home Health Care, a $1.4 billion private housing company in Philadelphia, announced his grand surprise over a holiday luncheon at the Belleve Hotel in Philadelphia earlier this week.
“I’m taking $20 million, dividing it up and giving it to everybody,” Baiada tearfully told the crowd. I wanted to show some gratitude to everybody for all the hard work you’ve done taking care of our clients.”
The money was given to the staff of 32,000 who received varying sums based on their length of employment. Long-time staffers were given tens of thousands of dollars and new hires received $50. Even retirees who left the company after 2010 received sums, Baiada reported to Yahoo Lifestyle.
“Those are everyday people who work hard in a low-margin service business — I’m honored to work with them,” Baiada told Yahoo Lifestyle. “I don’t go to patient’s homes much, but my employees are there everyday.”
Baiada founded the company in 1975 and in 2016 announced plans to convert his business into a nonprofit, which will open in January. “Nonprofits last longer and I don’t really need the money, so we’re going to turn it over to a newly created nonprofit that’s all mission-driven,” Baiada told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “We’re putting mission over money.”
Some employees already have plans for their munificence.
Nicole Green, a pediatric nurse who works with clients such as those with cerebral palsy and premature babies only worked at Bayada for three years and will use her funds toward her daughter’s college tuition.
“Everyone was in awe — we thought we were just having a holiday lunch,” Green, 48, told Yahoo Lifestyle. “Mark totally surprised us. He didn’t have to do this. I’ve only worked at Bayada a short time, but I’m a lifelong employee now.”
Baiada continued to cry tears of joy that afternoon and expressed his opinion on gratitude. “I just want to say thank you to them all,” Baiada told CBS Philly. “Thanksgiving is a season of gratitude. You look around your life and say, ‘I’m so fortunate.”
A single mom just won the largest lottery prize in her home state and announced she will be sharing the fortune with those who need it most.
Last month, 51-year-old Lerynne West was celebrating the purchase of her first home. After she moved into the house in Nedfield, Iowa, she and her sister stopped at a convenience store for pizza and coffee. While she was there, she picked up a Powerball ticket.
“I got my lottery tickets and we went back out to her trunk,” West told Cnbc. “I kind of just set those down at the foot in my purse — or so I thought — and didn’t think of them again until Sunday morning.”
West played lotto regularly but the most she has ever received was $150. After she checked her Powerball ticket numbers, she realized she won the $343.9 million jackpot — the largest lottery prize ever won in Iowa.
West chose to use the money to make an impact. She set up the Callum foundation, a charitable organization which will offer grants to initiatives that will alleviate poverty and hunger and improve education, animal welfare and veteran affairs.
She grew up in a working class family in Earlham, Iowa a small town of 1,450. Her father was a Vietnam veteran and a welder and her mother was a stay-at-home mom.
When she was 14, she worked on farms to “earn money to buy school clothes and help with the family. At 17, I left high school. At 19, I earned my GED. Soon after that, I started my family. I have three awesome, beautiful daughters.”
Aside from the Callum Foundation, which was named after her late premature grandson, she will give money to friends and family and set aside money for her grandchildren’s college tuition.
“I realize this is a life-changing moment,” West said as she claimed her prize at the Iowa lottery headquarters. “I’m excited to share my winnings with family and friends… I also plan to give to the causes and organizations important to my family through our newly-established Callum Foundation.”
“I want you to know that as I stand here today and I know the responsibility that I have to do good with this money,” she said, fighting back tears. “My life changed forever.”
As Brendan Kelly danced to upbeat music at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, he heard a familiar sound: pop-pop-pop-pop. Kelly remembered hearing the same noise–the distinctive rattle of gunfire–at a country music concert in Las Vegas last year, and immediately took action.
“As soon as I identified where the target was, or where the threat was, I grabbed at least two people around me and yanked them as hard as I could to the nearest exit,” Kelly told KABC news, a CNN affiliate. Kelly and several other patrons escaped through a rear exit and fled to safety.
At that point, Kelly called his relatives to inform them he had lived through a second shooting. The Marine Corp veteran attributed his survival to divine providence. “Only thing I can attribute it to is God, his protective hand over me that night on October 1 (last year in Las Vegas) and last night,” he said.
Kelly’s phone call was interrupted by continued gunfire from the bar. As patrons streamed out of the building, Kelly rushed to administer first aid to the wounded. He removed his belt to slow the bleeding from a friend’s arm. “I wanted to help as best I could,” Kelly explained. “If we could be the first level of first responders before they got there, then you do all you can do instead of standing around not doing much.”
In his conversation with KABC reporters, Kelly struggled to come to grips with the Borderline shooting, which occurred just a block from his house. “It’s too close to home,” he said. Borderline had served as a “safe space” for Kelly and other survivors of the Las Vegas massacre–but that very place fell victim to the violence Kelly and his friends sought to escape.
Kelly’s conclusion? Only God could provide ultimate safety from danger.