All posts in "Connecting"
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6-year-old orphan on a mission: to make people smile

By Cathryn Wellner / September 2, 2015

Jaden Hayes lost his father when he was four. Last month the Savannah, Georgia, boy lost his mother, who died in her sleep.  Jaden learned more than a six-year-old should ever know about sadness. But the youngster was still full of life and joy. When he got tired of all the sad faces around him, […]

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This angel makes thousands of sandwiches for the homeless

By Cathryn Wellner / August 31, 2015

When streets in Minneapolis’s Twin Cities fall quiet for the night, Allan Law begins his rounds. The retired teacher stops his vehicle wherever homeless people gather. From inside a van labeled “Love One Another”, he grabs socks, hats, gloves, coats, blankets and other essential supplies. Everyone who approaches receives a sandwich. The sandwiches are prepared […]

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Toddlers and oldsters play together in this care center

By Cathryn Wellner / August 26, 2015

Homes for the frail elderly can be some of the most depressing places on the planet, though residents like my Aunt Grace (Is your door open? I need to talk) brighten the lives of those consigned there. Splitting old people off from the rest of society may be convenient, but it is no better practice […]

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Rescue horse now heals female inmates

By Cathryn Wellner / August 24, 2015

When Cannwyll was rescued by the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF), he was so thin his ribs showed like an equine xylophone. The gentle horse responded to his rescuers with love. Now he is giving female inmates at the Lowell Correctional Institution in Ocala, Florida, a chance to be rescued from whatever life setbacks led them […]

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Prank It Forward gave this waitress the best tip ever

By Cathryn Wellner / August 19, 2015

Break.com is a pretty crazy site, with lots of videos poking fun at the weird and wacky. For April 2014 they launched Prank It Fwd to use their prank powers for good. The prank below made me teary, and it changed the life of a hard-working waitress and yoga teacher.

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Puppets bring a street performer and an aging activist together

By Cathryn Wellner / August 7, 2015

Ricky Syers has been performing on New York streets for years. He got tired of working as a laborer, turned to music, then began creating puppets that make even harried grownups slow down to watch. Recently, the 50-year-old performer met Doris Diether and made a marionette of the 86-year-old activist. The friendship blossomed, and now […]

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Small moments of grace

By Cathryn Wellner / July 20, 2015

Sunday was a hot, but not scorching, day in Kelowna, British Columbia. I set out on foot to do a little shopping at a nearby supermarket. Crossing the parking lot of Prospera Place, I was stopped by a family of Japanese tourists. Several of them spoke excellent English so I was able to help them […]

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Mending clothes, mending hearts in San Francisco’s Tenderloin

By Cathryn Wellner / June 29, 2015

San Francisco’s Tenderloin is the one of the city’s seediest neighbourhoods, a place where crime, drugs, prostitution and homelessness are everyday realities. It is also a place art professor Michael Swaine calls “beautiful, magical”. The beauty and magic come from the generous project Swaine began 15 years ago. On the 15th of every month he […]

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Would you hug a strange Muslim?

By Cathryn Wellner / April 15, 2015

That is what the Blind Trust Project set out to discover. If a blindfolded Muslim stranger stood on the street, arms outstretched, would you hug him? What if he had two signs explaining himself? One would read, “I am  Muslim. I am labelled as a terrorist.” The other would carry this simple message, “I trust […]

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Muslim families invite you for dinner

By Cathryn Wellner / March 13, 2015

It sounds so Canadian. Concerned about widespread misconceptions about what it means to be Muslim, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community decided to invite people to their homes and mosques. Between March 1 and 14, anyone from Newfoundland to British Columbia could sign up online to be paired with a Muslim family. The idea behind “Meet a […]

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