At first glance, the village of Hogeweyk in the Dutch town of Weesp looks like an ordinary place. There are shops and residences, parks and restaurants, and even a theater. There are only 152 people living here, though, and you might notice that all of them are elderly. The younger people here are actually staff–nurses, doctors, and specialists–who work around the clock.
The village is actually a pioneering step in the future of elder and dementia care. Each of the 152 residents are eldery folks living with severe Alzheimer’s and/or dementia, and need nursing home facilities. However, instead of confining them to a depressing room in an institution-like setting, the residents Hogeweyk enjoy complete freedom as well as privacy and autonomy.
Instead of spare change, roadside panhandlers in Albuquerque, New Mexico will be getting $9 an hour, if they want a job for the day. The mayor announced the program, “There’s a Better Way,” by unveiling a van that will cruise through the city two days a week, picking up beggars who’d rather spend the day working on a variety of city beautification projects.
The idea was hatched by Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry, who saw it as a way to help, not punish, people in need.
“I was driving one day … and I see a gentleman standing there with a sign that says: ‘Will work, so we decided to take the program to the next level.”
Amy Verder recently posted this picture on Facebook of a “Blessing Bag” that she and her daughter started keeping in her car. Hopefully, this will inspire more people to do the same.
“This is what me and my daughter have started doing….We are keeping a ‘Blessing Bag’ in our car in case we find someone in need. You can make these up with items from the Dollar Tree such as gloves, thermal socks, beef sticks, crackers, candy bars, toothpaste, toothbrush, wipes, deodorant, snacks and other items that may help someone who is homeless or in a bad way. It is just a thoughtful, inspiring thing to do. This is something we are going to start doing from now on. Thank you to the ones that did this long before us, for being such a giving, loving, caring person! Random acts of kindness take very little to change the life of just one person.”
A warm-blooded man in Russia is being hailed a ‘hero’ for plunging into a frozen pond to save a drowning dog. The thick-skinned swimmer, known only as Ivan, was filmed as he dragged the canine to shore. Footage shows the shirtless 21-year-old using his arms to smash through the ice to catch the dog. The animal bobs just above the surface around ten meters away. Ivan eventually grabs the animal by its body and makes his way back to dry land.
According to the local Russian news channel m24.ru, Ivan had stopped his car near the pond to help a motorist who had broken down. But as he was talking to the driver, he heard the dog barking for help.
The pup apparently didn’t have an owner and Ivan later adopted him, naming him Rex.
This Coffee Shop In Greece Opens Its Doors Every Night to Stray Dogs So They Won’t Freeze To Death Outside
Every day, a cafe in Greece closes its doors to customers at 3am – and opens them to stray dogs.
That means the homeless canines get a chance to escape the winter cold and sleep on couches at the Hott Spott cafe in Mytilene, the main port and capital city on the island of Lesbos, reports The Independent.
The cafe’s kind gesture has not gone unnoticed, with a photo of the sleeping dogs now making the rounds on social media and warming hearts around the world.
“Here in Greece our homes are not large enough for all of us to house animals,” an Athens resident said. “That’s why we look after the street dogs. We feed them, pet them, and play with them. They are like our own pets, but they belong to everyone instead.”
Hearing about the plight of homeless people, 3-year-old Patrick McClung from Alaska, US, was so overwhelmed that — when he stopped sobbing — all he wanted to do was help people without their own homes this Christmas.
This is Tigger, a senior kitty of 21 years who was abandoned at a shelter in Baltimore.
Dog given another chance at life.
Nestled in Northeast India next to the Brahmaputra River sits Majuli Island, a giant sandbar that happens to be the largest river island on Earth, home to some 150,000 people. It is also the location of the 1,360 acre Molai Forest, one More than 30 years ago, a teenager named Jadav "Molai" Payeng began planting seeds along a barren sandbar near his birthplace in India’s Assam region.
It was 1979 and floods had washed a great number of snakes onto the sandbar. When Payeng — then only 16 — found them, they had all died.
"The snakes died in the heat, without any tree cover. I sat down and wept over their lifeless forms," Payeng told the Times Of India.
"It was carnage. I alerted the forest department and asked them if they could grow trees there. They said nothing would grow there. Instead, they asked me to try growing bamboo. It was painful, but I did it. There was nobody to help me," he told the newspaper.
Now that once-barren sandbar is a sprawling 1,360 acre forest, home to several thousands of varieties of trees and an astounding diversity of wildlife — including birds, deer, apes, rhino, elephants and even tigers.
The forest, aptly called the "Molai woods" after its creator’s nickname, was single-handedly planted and cultivated by one man — Payeng, who is now 47.
According to the Asian Age, Payeng has dedicated his life to the upkeep and growth of the forest. Accepting a life of isolation, he started living alone on the sandbar as a teenager — spending his days tending the burgeoning plants.
Today, Payeng still lives in the forest. He shares a small hut with his wife and three children and makes a living selling cow and buffalo milk. According to the Assistant Conservator of Forests, Gunin Saikia, it is perhaps the world’s biggest forest in the middle of a river.
Filmmaker William Douglas McMaster recently wrote and directed this beautiful documentary short titledForest Man from the perspective of Payeng’s friend, photographer Jitu Kalita.
A group of young Canadians are taking the initiative to help the homeless stay warm this winter by dressing up lamp posts. Tara Smith-Atkins, her eight-year-old daughter, and seven of her daughter’s friends took to the streets in Halifax with bags of winter coats, hats, and scarves