Plaxedes “Gogo” Dilon always walks miles for her job as a clothing saleswoman. Everyday she wakes up before dawn to travel across Zimbabwe to sell clothes.
After hearing about the storm affecting Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Mozambique — she wanted to pursue anything to help those affected.
Immediately, Dillon filled a bag with kitchen supplies and clothes (she initially intended to resell) and gave it all to a disaster relief area.
Penniless and unable to afford bus fare, she walked 10 miles to bring the supplies to Highlands Presbyterian Church in Harare. There, numerous volunteers have been assisting in relief efforts for thousands displaced.
After Dilon brought the supplies, church members took a photo of Dilon with the bag balanced on her head and posted it to social media. The church stated she was not able to afford bus fare and walked a long way.
Once the photo was posted, it caught the attention of Zimbabwean billionaire Strive Masiyiwa, who promised Dilon a home anywhere in Zimbabwe with running water and solar power, as well as $1,000 per month.
“What she did is one of the most remarkable acts of compassion I have ever seen,” wrote Masiyiwa. “When this is over, I’m going to find her, and invite her to come and see me, if possible. Then I will spend time in prayer with her. “
Masiyiwa’s company is helping those affected by the cyclone and continues to be pleased by Dilon’s generous act.
“I admire people who are moved to act in a crisis! God bless you if you are moved to act as she did,” he wrote. “It is not about how much you have.”
Other countries and relief organizations worldwide have been offering support and aid for the cyclone victims in Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Mozambique, where more than 750 were estimated to have been killed by the cyclone.
Dilon, a great-grandmother of nine and a widow of 11 years, has expressed her appreciation of her reward. When asked about her kind act, she said it is the act of being a human being that drew her to help. “Being able to feel each other’s pain and to carry each other’s burden is what makes humanity great and better than other species,” the granny told The Sunday Mail with a smile. “What you give out in the world is what you receive back.”
P. Kenneth Capron of Portland, Maine wants to make a difference no one has ever thought of. He is on a mission to find and transform a decommissioned ship into a housing community for the homeless.
Capron, the president of a nonprofit called Memory Works, has deemed this project Hope Harbor. Currently, hope is what Capron must cling to. He does not have a specific ship in mind, but he is applying for funds.
He applied for a $250,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to orchestrate the first contingent study on converting cruise ships into housing. Capron”s goal is to serve not only the homeless population, but individuals who need housing the most.
“We’re looking at four populations: the homeless population, the low-income population, the workforce population and immigrant population who all need housing. They all need job skills training. We’d offer that on board.”
Although the cruise ship would not be considered long-term housing, it could offer resources and shelter to those who need it most.
According to Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling, the city would need approximately 1,000 housing units and a cruise ship could house up to 800 people — plus 300 crew members to offer social services, counseling and support.
“I have no idea if it’s the craziest idea I’ve ever heard, or the most brilliant idea I’ve ever heard, but what I like about it is that he’s coming up with creative ways to figure out how to build housing in the city of Portland,” Strimiling told WMTW.
“There’s tons of hurdles that anyone would have to overcome to do this, but once again I need housing. So if people want to bring crazy, far-fetched ideas to me, I’m happy to hear them out,” Strimiling added.
Overall, Capron is optimistic about the idea and wants to pursue it forward.
“I’m big into things that other people haven’t tried,” he told CBS Boston.
Capron believes the housing genuinely could benefit immigrants, single parents and others in need of more affordable options.
“Portland just happens to be really the best laboratory I can imagine because we have all the pieces to do the study,” Capron said.
Capron went on to further express his optimism and belief for why his concept could work.
“They’re going to try to throw all the negatives at you up front. That’s why we’re doing a feasibility study to see if those are valid negatives or something we can work around,” he said.
On September 30 more than 120,000 partcipants worldwide took part in the annual gentlemen’s ride, adorning themselves in their most distinguished suits and ties and riding on classic and vintage motorcycles.
This was no ride for pleasure; the sole purpose of this ride was to raise money and awareness for men’s health.
Sydney-based motorcyclist Mark Hawwa and founder of Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride (DGR) says he believes DGR is an excellent way to overcome the typical-negative stereotype of men on motorcycles, while also bringing men together.
The first ride took place in 2012 and Hawwa decided to host the ride annually to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues.
Last year 56,000 owners of vintage motorcycles and scooters raised $4.85 million in 581 cities. Their goal was to raise $6 million dollars this weekend, which would then be donated to the Movemeber movement.
After a ride host from Austin, Texas committed suicide in 2015, Stephen Broholm, marketing and public relations at DGR and the rest of the team decided to donate a major percentage to men’s mental health issues as well.
Riders from Pakistan even commented on the pertinence of the ride.
“I believe it is a great way to counter the negative stereotypes sometimes associated with men riding motorcycles,” Gul Hasan said. “It’s also a great way to meet new people and openly discuss issues related to men’s health.”
Adel Khalid, a rider from Pakistan’s Lahore said there were quite a bit of stigma surrounding men’s health issues in Pakistan.
“I did not even know about prostate cancer until a few years ago when I found out that my father was diagnosed with it,” Khalid said. “I believe in this cause and much-needed awareness to avoid other people getting affected by it.”
Overall, the organization is working hard to combat and raise awareness to the public, letting individuals know that three out of four suicides are done by men. Despite the seriousness and sadness of suicide, these men are working to create a large impact. Broholm said IP clinical programs were opened and anytime there was a major breakthrough it would help everyone globally.
From the DGR’s website, “our focus is on gentlemen who have been dealt a tough hand in life.”
Herman Gordon, a 65-year-old deemed a beloved and hardworking custodian at Bristol University got surprised with a luxury vacation by 230 university students back in June.
Bristol students spoke of their appreciation and love for Gordon on their school Facebook page.
On this page, a student noted that Herman had not been able to see his Jamaican family for four years. As a result, students worked together to raise money for his trip.
University students donated to a JustGiving page and managed to raise over $2,000; enough for a one-week vacation to Jamaica for Herman and his wife Denise.
Herman broke into tears when students handed him the envelope of cash. Students posted his reaction and it circulated to many social media sites.
The couple finally got to celebrate their 23rd wedding anniversary for two nights at the Sandals Resort in Moteye Bay, enjoying a couple’s massage and a candlelight dinner before heading off to see Herman’s family.
After Herman posted photos of his luxurious treatment, he personally thanked the Bristol students: “God Bless you all. Everybody will see this and think that I’m a trillionaire.”
Denise also thanked the students. “I just wanted to say thank you to all the University of Bristol students for this gift that they have given to me and Herman.”
The students spoke of how it was an act that Herman deserved. A student said this about Herman on the school’s social media fundraising page:
“All year round, this man works hours on end to provide us with a clean working space to study. But most importantly, his undying positive energy and chit-chat has managed to turn many students’ dark days into positive ones filled with joy. Whether you’re just generally down and stressed out due to exams, Herman is always there to speak to you.”
Another student also had something else to say about Herman.
“This legend proves that happiness is not about what you own, what job you have or how much money you’ve got, but about appreciating what you currently have in life.”
A North Carolinan church gives 20,000 meals to those affected by flooding
For seven hours, 125 volunteers aged 60, 70, and 80 works under the scorching sun giving 20,000 hot meals and water to those affected by Hurricane Florence.
They work twice a day, sleeping on the floor in church classrooms and eat the same food they serve. For one instance that meant chicken patties on rolls, with sides of carrots and applesauce.
The volunteers not only hand out food and water, but are also working on rebuilding houses caused by the 2016 Hurricane Matthew.
The volunteers attempted to restore the 200 houses for the Lumberton residents, but did not reach that goal because Hurricane Florence came in and damaged the same area.
According to Duke Energy, floodwaters are supposed to continue for another week and homes will remain inaccessible. Stores do not have electricity and many store doors are shattered.
From NBC News, Carole Allen, a 54-year-old volunteer, said, “South Lumberton and West Lumberton have never recovered from Matthew, it has been a ghost town for the past two years.” Allen is a substitute teacher for Lumberton’s school district, but spends more time volunteering.
“We have so many people who couldn’t evacuate because they couldn’t afford to,” Allen said. “We don’t have family anywhere else, we don’t have money to get gas and get out of here, we can’t leave what we do have here, so the mindset is because of poverty, they can’t get out and put themselves in a better situation.”
Allen’s home had not been affected by the flooding, however; not all volunteers were fortunate. 18-year-old volunteer Bradley Abbot, a student at the University of North Carolina Pembenton had the flooding effect the house he shares with his brother and father.
“Right now we’re at my grandfather’s house,” Abbott said, as he gave out water. “Everyone just keeps working… gonna keep doing that until we find out what to do because the water isn’t even recording yet.”
This is the second time Abbot’s father had to deal with hurricane damage since Hurricane Matthew.
Despite the prediction of more flooding, volunteers will continue to hand out meals and rebuild Lumberton.
“People are hot, they’re tired, they’re sunburned,” said 20-year-old volunteer Steven Loven. “But as long as the Lord’s work’s not done, then ours isn’t either.”