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North Kingstown Community Rallies After Egg Thief Steals Roadside Stand

Guy Daniels from North Kingstown, Rhode Island, added 21 new all-female feathered family members in April. He and his wife decided to try his luck at raising chickens in his back yard, and it was going great after building a large chicken coop.

“We used to have some years ago and decided to do it again,” he said. 

After many months, the chickens were finally old enough to start laying. That’s when Daniels decided to set up a roadside stand to sell the eggs.

Along the road by a fence, he set up a table and refrigerator with a sign that read, “Fresh Organic Eggs.” Using the honor system, he allowed the community to pick up the eggs and leave just $3 for a dozen.

“It’s just for fun,” Daniels explained.

An Egg Thief

Almost two weeks later, Daniels discovered that someone had stolen the refrigerator, the eggs, and the money. A new sign was added to the fence that read, “Sorry, no eggs today. Someone stole fridge, eggs, & money” with a frowny face. 😕

A frustrated Daniels took to social media, reporting what happened to the page for the town. After describing what the thief took, he wrote, “Really? Did you need it so bad, you had to steal from us? I can’t afford to buy another fridge so I’ll try using a cooler. What a discouraging way to start the day.”

That’s when the community came to the rescue within minutes!

“It was the dark-heartedness that really bummed us out, but the response we got just blew us out of the water,” Daniels said.

Faith in Humanity –Restored

Hundreds of people started posting messages of support. Then, a woman named Deb Lynn decided to offer Daniels a mini-fridge to replace the one stolen.

I thought, that’s terrible, in these trying times somebody is trying to sell eggs to make a little bit of money,” said Lynn. “I had an extra mini-fridge, so I posted on there I have an extra one I had one I can drop it off at your house after work.”

Later, the kindhearted woman from nearby Exeter stopped by and delivered the fridge in person. She had never met Daniels before but wanted to help.

“When this guy needs the fridge. I’m like good karma, what goes around comes around,” she said. “I don’t need money that bad I give things away all the time; I’m a giver,” she told NBC.

 

“That was really wonderful and generous of her. We appreciate her,” said a thankful Daniels.

Soon, another person came by to donate a second refrigerator. Even better, dozens stopped by to express interest in buying eggs.

“Make you want to give, makes you want to pass it on or pay it forward,” said Daniels. “It’s wonderful to know that the town supported us that fast and that generous,” he said.

On social media, people commented on how touched they were to see their community rallying together.

“As disheartening as this was…it is uplifting to see the outpouring of support for you as well as the offers to replace your fridge. So sorry this happened to you.”

Overwhelming Support

Daniels responded after seeing hundreds of supportive comments:

“I can’t cover everyone, but thanks for all the kind words, The two replacement fridges, the offering to chip in to buy one, It is very encouraging. My day was turned around by you wonderful people. I love NK. And thank you all!!!”

Daniels said he planned to put up his egg stand again on Saturday.

North Kingstown sounds like a great community! Plus, they also know how to enjoy themselves, judging by the Halloween festivities at nearby Wickford Village. Witches and Warlocks took to the harbor on paddleboards!

(Too fun not to share!)

Paddle boarding Witches of Wickford

Posted by Grace Heart on Saturday, October 24, 2020

See the video from St. Louis’ 5 On Your Side, an NBC affiliate, below:


Featured image: Screenshots via YouTube

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Colette the Artist Pig Brings Smiles and Health Care to Her Community

At a hotel called Hotelito in Todos Santos, Baja California, an unlikely artist is flourishing. Colette, named after a French novelist, is like a pig in mud. (Or in this case, fine art.)

For the past two years, She’s been living the high life near the famous Hotel California. Now a video artist who sometimes sprouts wings, she’s also a ‘piganthropist,’ donating contributions to worthy charities.

Colette the Artist Pig and a Magical Menagerie

The Hotelito’s kindly gardener, Don Javier, rescued Colette as a piglet. Narrowly escaping the inevitable fate of becoming bacon, Colette won the piggie lottery.

Now, Colette the artist pig is enjoying a lavish pigsty with a chandelier and fine art furnishings. Amusingly, among the art is a famous 18-karat-gold toilet once shown in the Guggenheim.

Jenny Armit, the British immigrant who has called Todos Santos home for 17 years, lives near Hotelito. There, she has rescued many animals at the desert farm. Each of the menagerie of animals has a special part in Colette’s acclaimed short documentary film, accepted into the Mill Valley Film Festival. 

Among the animals are a cast of characters:

  • Terrence ‘el Violador’ the violent goat
  • Chapo the smiling, friendly sheep
  • Valentín the horse, the object of Colette’s crush

In the film, Armit hilariously translates the world, as seen from Colette the artist pig’s perspective. (And with a British accent.) The result is a welcome relief from an otherwise stressful and chaotic 2020.

Newsweek put it this way:

“If 2020 is the year when anything can and has happened, couldn’t it be the year for a suspension of disbelief that a pig can be an artist? ‘Colette the Artist’ offers a downtrodden world hope that 2020 still can hold joy and possibilities.”

A World Where a Pig Can Fly

Colette’s artistic abilities thrived in the nurturing care of the caring people surrounding the menagerie. Now a video artist, she has explored Cubism, installation, and conceptual art. Unlike most pigs, she found a haven where her unique intelligence is recognized –and fully appreciated. 

“She’s like a person with a personality. She’s very smart,” says Javier. Then he clarifies, “If there’s food involved, she’s extremely smart.”

Recommended reading: Meet Lulu – The Pot-Bellied Pig That Once ‘Played Dead’ To Save Her Dying Owner

Armit first recognized Colette’s potential, which Don Javier encouraged. Thus, he brought her paints and other mediums for self-taught experimentation. Newsweek even reports that he installed Wi-Fi so she could be exposed to works of art from all over the world.

 In the artistic oasis recognized by Mexico as “Pueblo Magico,” Armit the interior designer and the animal lovers live in idyllic harmony. Aware of the dangers of the world outside, they’ve created a refuge. There, childlike innocence, humor, and a love for all things are cherished.

Recommended Reading: Mama And Baby Pigs Rescued From Slaughter, Finally See Sun For 1st Time In Lives

It seems in Todos Santos, a pig can truly fly. Imagination runs wild, and anything is possible, even a world-renowned aesthete who happens to be a swine.

“It’s an essential childlike quality you have to tap into in order to survive all this nasty stuff going on in the world,” Armit said.

Other Animal Artists

Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that a pig could have an art appreciation, considering that we’ve seen other animals display such a predisposition? For example, for over 20 years, elephants have been producing abstract art. 

At zoos and aquariums, animals are sometimes offered enrichment programs, allowing them to create with art supplies. According to ARTNews, the list of animal artists is bigger than one might expect.

Here are some of the residents of the National Zoo in Washington which participate in art enrichment programs:

  • A banded armadillo
  • Orangutans, Gorillas, and other primates 
  • A naked mole-rat
  • Hissing cockroaches
  • A leopard gecko
  • Lions
  • Grizzlies
  • Sloth bears
  • The Elegant Crested Tinamou, a toucan
  • Tian Tian, the giant panda

Other animals create what could loosely be considered art:

  • Elaborate nests of Bowerbirds
  • Intricate spider webs
  • Awe-inspiring beehives

Of course, Colette isn’t the first artist pig. Below, see another renowned artist pig named ‘Pigcasso’ from Nat Geo WILD:

 

Colette’s Piganthropy Saves Lives

Is Colette a true artist? You decide. However, her story reminds us to appreciate and respect all living creatures. What a better world we would live in if that were more widely understood?

Plus, as she attains international renown, Colette’s piganthropy, as she prefers to call it, helps those in her community struggling during the pandemic.

On her dedicated website, she promotes the Padrino Children’s FoundationThus, her story helps provide free health care, just as Armit and Don Javier offered her once as one lucky piglet. 

See more of Colette in the film via Vimeo below and follow her adventures on Instagram.

“Colette the Artist” – EngVO EspSubs from Lisa F Jackson on Vimeo.


Featured image: Screenshot via Instagramhotelitotodossantos

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Destress Watching Adorable Animals of All Shapes and Sizes Yawn

Animals of all shapes and sizes share a universal language: the yawn.

Today, millions of people are feeling stressed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a chaotic election season. We could all use a breather, couldn’t we? Therefore, we’re offering up something sure to help! 

Today, we could all use a big yawn rather than more stress. As we all know, yawns are harmlessly contagious. Even if you cover your mouth when you yawn, others will also. So, if you’re reading this in public, please be sure you’re wearing a mask. Then, yawn away!

Scientists have found that contagious yawning is triggered automatically by primitive reflexes in the brain. It affects not only humans but other animals like chimpanzees and dogs. As any pet owner knows, your dog can catch a yawn from you and vice versa.

Almost Everything Yawns

Yawns are commonly seen in pets of all kinds, from cats to fish to birds to reptiles -including snakes! Most of the time, they seem to be doing it for the same reason we do. However, in nature, the message can be much different. For example, baboons yawn to show aggression. As in, “Check out my fangs!”

On the other hand, for penguins, a yawn is part of the courtship ritual. Surely, they aren’t bored with their partners? Sometimes, a penguin will yawn as if for the same reason we do. 

See the short below from Penguin Researcher:

Yawning: A Great Way to Chill Out

Even though so many animals yawn, the real reason remains unclear, much like dreaming. Leading yawn researchers have said:

“Yawning may have the dubious distinction of being the least understood common human behavior,” said Robert Provine from the University of Maryland.

Although the reason for yawns may be unclear, for our intents and purposes, we intuitively believe it helps us chill out. Well, that notion is also backed up by some research, after all. The larger the brain, the bigger the yawn, leading scientists to speculate that it’s meant to lower the temperature.

Whatever the real reason, yawning is a good way to let off steam and stress. Plus, it’s just cute, which is why videos and pictures of yawning critters are posted all over social media. For example, check out this yawn from a pampered pet python:

pampered pet python via Facebook
Danger Noodle yawns via Facebook/ Kristina Reidhead

So, without further ado, here are some of our favorite yawning videos. We hope they will help you relax in a world that really needs to chill out today.

Videos That Are a Real Yawn

First, we defy you to watch the video from College Humor below and not yawn. (Or at least have a laugh!) There’s also proof of contagious yawns between man and man’s best friend.

World’s Cutest Yawn?

Now for something unexpected. The Dodo calls the following example, “the world’s cutest yawn.” It’s the little water monster known as the Axolotl, and well, you have to see it for yourself. These little amphibians are now rare in the wild but are being saved by scientists. After seeing their cute little faces, you can see why. 

Is it the world’s cutest yawn? With some stiff competition from guinea pig yawns by the sheer number of views, the jury is out.

Insanely Cute Beagle Yawns

Now for a look at Oliver the Beagle, who has not one, but seven different yawns. Oliver’s family managed to catch the assortment of yawns on video, including a squeaky yawn that’s too adorable. However, the “barbaric yawp” might be the best.

Recommended reading: 

This Mommy Dachshund’s Adorable Photo Shoot With 6 Tiny Puppies Is Winning The Internet

The Universal Language of Yawns

Below, we get to see yawns from such a wide variety of animals. Have you ever wondered what a hippopotamus looks like yawning? Or how about a Koala bear? There’ also a snake caught in the act. No matter what type of animal, they don’t appear threatening whatsoever in those quiet, gentle moments.

They say the universal language is music. However, when it comes to critters, it’s definitely yawning.

See the compilation from the Dodo below:

We hope all these yawns have helped eliminate some measure of stress today. They sure helped us chill out. Remember: we’re all connected and have much the same needs. Therefore, be gentle and treat each other with some much-needed kindness out there!

Recommended Reading:

Baby Sneaks In And Steals The Show From Piano-Playing Rescue Dog


Featured image: Screenshots via YouTube

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67-Year-Old ‘Lady Ninja’ Saves Friend – Tells Intruder, ‘Not Tonight!’

An intruder made the mistake of his life when he messed with a self-described ‘Lady Ninja’ in Fontana, California. He may not have expected resistance, but wow, did he get it. Although she’s under five feet tall, 67-year-old Lorenza Marrujo has 26 years of martial arts training. (See video at the end of this article)

Marrujo stands 4-foot-11 and weighs 100 pounds. Although you might not know it by appearances, she’s a Black Belt in jujitsu. 

On Monday, Sept. 28, the intruder, reported as 59-year-old Donald Robert Prestwood broke into Marrujo’s apartment. According to police records, he is 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds. 

‘Back off, or I will hurt you.’

When he decided to enter her apartment, she was ready and willing to defend herself.

“Back off, or I will have to hurt you,” she recalls telling him, and he promptly left. 

Then, the intruder decided to break into the neighbor’s apartment downstairs. There, he found and allegedly assaulted 81-year-old Elizabeth McCray. She says he grabbed her and threw her to the floor as she screamed.

Lady Ninja Leaves Him Begging for Mercy

That’s when Marrujo jumped into action for her friend, who she calls “Mama Liz.” First, she called 911 and entered the dark apartment. Using the flashlight on her phone, she discovered Prestwood standing over McCray.

Using a cane, she was able to get the man off her friend.

“I squeezed myself between her and him,” Marrujo said. “I put mama on the side, and I jumped on him, and I was punching him and everything, and I had the cane against his throat.”

At that point, the intruder tried to get the upper hand, but Marrujo knew exactly what to do. Soon, he was begging for mercy.

‘You Have No Right to Hurt and Elderly Person!’

Marrujo described what happened next:

“He lifted up and tried to twist my hand, but at the same time, I twisted his and turned it around real fast, and he was saying, ‘You’re hurting me, you’re hurting me,'” Marrujo said. “And I said, ‘I don’t care. I don’t care what happens to you. You had no right to hurt an elderly person.'”

‘Not Tonight!’

McCray says she was shocked by her friend’s bravery and concerned about what might happen next. However, Marrujo was confident she had the situation under control.

“I didn’t expect that little lady would be that brave,” McCray said of her friend. “I said, ‘Could you be careful, he’s gonna kill us.'”

Marrujo replied, ‘Not tonight.'”

Later, McCray said she believed her friend had supernatural powers that night.

“Jesus was here and gave her power,” McCray said. “I wouldn’t think a little lady would have the power to do this.”

The Black Belt kept one knee on Prestwood’s chest and one on his neck, holding his mouth with her hand. Fortunately for him, the police arrived and took him into custody. As for McCray, she went to the hospital for treatment and went home the following day. 

Although Marrujo was certainly heroic, the Fontana police advised that people should avoid responding physically. Instead, they recommend calling 911.

Jennie Venzor, a spokesperson for the Fontana Police Department, said that while Marrujo was courageous, it’s preferable not to engage an attacker who could be armed.

“We recommend that you dial 911 for emergency assistance, which, in this case, she did that, and she also jumped in,” Venzor said. “What she told me is that her training kicked in, and it was like a muscle memory. She knew she had to help her friend out.”

‘The Master of Assassination’

After the experience, Marrujo told the Sun, “I’m the master of assassination,” when it comes to her martial arts skills. Although she managed to subdue Prestwood, she now says she might have gone farther.

“I would have done more damage to him,” she said.

From the early 80s to 2007, Marrujo trained in martial arts as she planned to become a crime scene investigator. During her training sessions, she enjoyed listening to the song “Eye of the Tiger” from the action movie, Rocky III.

“I needed it in case I had a close encounter of the bad kind,” Marrujo said. “I prefer to be called Lady Ninja.”

As for Prestwood, the Sun reports he was arrested on suspicion of elder abuse and held at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga in lieu of $150,000 bail. Later, he pleaded not guilty to the charge.

See the video from CBS Los Angeles below:


Featured image: Screenshot via YouTube

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Homeowners Catch Intruders in the Act on Doorbell Cams

Doorbell cams are advancing rapidly, and soon there will be flying drone security cams for your home. That’s right; drones are coming that can keep en eye on every corner of your home while you’re away. So, if you worry about leaving the oven on, you can send your drone to check while you’re at work. Sounds pretty cool but also a bit dystopian as flying digital eyeballs will be watching everything in sight.

Today, millions of Internet-connected Ring doorbell cams are already watching nationwide, partnering with over 400 police forces as a “new neighborhood watch.”

Although not without serious privacy concerns, the technology is protecting homeowners from would-be thieves and criminals. Not to mention, anybody or anything that appears is caught on camera, including your neighbors, both human and otherwise.

Visiting Critters Caught on Doorbell Cam

Now, videos of foxes, deer, raccoons, lizards, a moose, and even insects are appearing online. Below, a praying mantis ‘intruder’ is caught in the act.

Even more unexpected, homeowners got a visit from two very loud Sandhill Cranes!

The Neighborhood Watch Teams Up With Police

Eric Kuhn, who manages Ring’s companion app, Neighbors, told the Post:

“The mission has always been making the neighborhood safer,” said Kuhn. “We’ve had a lot of success in terms of deterring crime and solving crimes that would otherwise not be solved as quickly.”

With Ring’s mobile app, homeowners can watch from afar and respond if an intruder appears on their property. Then, through the app, they can share footage publicly and with law enforcement. Notably, the company can also provide users’ videos to law enforcement as part of the terms of service.

Certainly, these doorbell cams are making neighborhood watches more powerful than ever. As technology improves, facial recognition and flying drones will only make it even more powerful. Although some say it’ll all lead to excess societal paranoia, a lack of privacy and suspicion, the videos stopping would-be criminals in the act allay those fears.

After all, who doesn’t want to catch the bad guys in the act? So, with that said, let’s take a look at some recent doorbell cam videos!

Caught in the Act

Below, a Ring user catches the “Kayak Bag Snatcher” in the act. After the Ring operator, identified as Markus, lets him know he’s caught, the paddler gives up. It’s a pretty satisfying moment, and that guy probably will think twice next time.

In another case, a man named Tim went to lunch with his kids. While he was away, he was concerned to see two masked men approach the door of his home. However, when they saw he had a doorbell cam, they quickly turned around and left.

Next, a man named Chris catches someone sneak enough to try and steal firewood in broad daylight. The man acts casual at first but soon makes a getaway as alarms begin to ring. Now, the “Firewood Bandit” may not realize his license plate number is caught on video. 

Amazingly, Chris was 100 miles away at the time. Chris joins two other users who were able to thwart possible theft while they weren’t even close to the scene.

With doorbell cam videos like these, it’s clear that homeowners have a great deal more security and power to protect their property from afar. Perhaps, as more people use them, would-be thieves will think twice more often. Otherwise, they can expect to be caught in the act more and more.

If you think nobody is watching, well, those days are rapidly becoming a thing of the past. The neighborhood watch is going nationwide and will soon take to the air.

See more about Ring’s flying security cams coming next year from CNET below:


Featured image: Screenshot via YouTube

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Community Helps Mom Find SpaghettiOs for Autistic Daughter

Back in March, many people started stocking up their pantries as news of the pandemic panicked America. Items like toilet paper and cleaning products suddenly vanished. Also, canned goods started selling out as people wanted to make sure they had enough food on hand. 

For Crystal MacDonald, a mom of five in Attleboro, Massachusetts, finding the store shelves bare was a real problem. Her 11-year-old daughter, Ashlyn, is autistic and usually non-verbal. Due to the pandemic, Ashlyn’s routine was disrupted, and she couldn’t go to school. Upset, she started refusing to eat anything except her go-to comfort meal: SpaghettiOs with meatballs. However, the stores were sold out.

Empty store shelves via CBS Boston, YouTube
Empty store shelves via CBS Boston, YouTube

MacDonald, who stopped working to care for her kids, tried to make do with generic brands as a substitute. But Ashlyn immediately recognized the imposter and wouldn’t touch it. Only the real deal would do, and she insisted on the same canned pasta meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

“I tried all the non-brand name versions I could. I even prepared them when she couldn’t see the can, but she always knew it wasn’t SpaghettiOs and would refuse to eat them,” MacDonald said.

The caring mom explained why having the same food was so reassuring for her daughter.

“Structure is what centers her — it gives her a sense of control when everything else seems chaotic and overwhelming,” MacDonald said. “Ashlyn is most comfortable when she feels like she’s living ‘Groundhog Day’ every day. SpaghettiOs are a sensory experience for her.”

Thus began MacDonald’s “treasure hunt” for SpaghettiOs. The concerned mom traveled to as many as 20 grocery stores and food pantries a day to find the only food her daughter would eat. Unfortunately, her search was only turning up empty shelves.

For five months, she traveled far and wide to try and round up whatever she could find. As she did, store managers became familiar with her as she called back.

Then, a local paper, the Sun Chronicle, ran a story about food shortages in Attleboro. As it turned out, lots of area shoppers were buying out their favorite comfort foods, like frozen products and canned items. Delicious ice cream was particularly desirable.

After the story featuring MacDonald ran in August, the community began responding in a big way. 

Soon, the family’s SpaghettiOs shortage was abruptly over. Amazingly, her community showed an outpouring of support and noodles.

“So many people have either reached out with tips or with purchasing SpaghettiOs for us,” MacDonald told NBC 10 Boston.

Meanwhile, on Facebook, her friends and neighbors contacted her to drop off more cans for Ashlyn.

“We’ve gotten almost 200 SpaghettiOs so far, and it’s just been wonderful. It’s been such a blessing to not have to worry about finding them and feel so loved and accepted by our community,” MacDonald said.

From there, the pasta supply got an enormous boost. First, Ashlyn’s story appeared in the national media.

“It has been an incredible experience to feel so much love from our community,” MacDonald told TODAY. 

 

“As a parent of a special needs child, it can be a lonely existence and one that you imagine others to not quite understand. Especially in these times of such turmoil and hardship, it has been incredible to experience such kindness.”

The SpaghettiOs stache via CBS Boston, YouTube
The SpaghettiOs stache via CBS Boston, YouTube

Following the story, TODAY reached out to the makers of SpaghettiOs, the Campbell’s Soup Company.

Soon after that, the Campbell Soup Co. delivered 782 cans of the product that’s been around since 1965 to her front door.

Many of the people who helped could relate, having relatives or friends who also have autism.

“Our pantry is now loaded — it’s been heartwarming,” she told the Post. “A lot of people tell me, ‘I have a son with autism,’ or ‘I have a sister with autism.’ They can relate to what it’s like to try to give a child that one thing that makes them feel good.”

In an interview with CBS Boston, MacDonald reflected:

“I always remember Mr. Rogers and what his mother used to tell him is, “Look for the helpers,” said MacDonald. “To see the helpers in our community helping us –that is such an amazing gift beyond what they’ve given us; this gift of a real-life hope. I can teach that to my children.”

See the story from CBS Boston below:

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‘Brimfield Bigfoot’ Helps Community Get Through Covid-19 Isolation

Brimfield, a town in Massachusetts known for America’s oldest outdoor antique flea market, has had to cancel due to Covid-19. The global pandemic has upended life across the country, but then hope sprang from an unlikely source for Massachusetts communities: Sasquatch. 

In March, Sarah Prager, a new mom to a 7-month-old girl, started taking drives into neighboring towns to relieve stress. Both she and the baby were having trouble sleeping, but the car’s motion had a calming effect on the baby. Then, on one such drive into Brimfield, she spotted something she hadn’t given much thought to before, a statue over 6 feet tall.

“A man about three miles from my house keeps a 6-foot-tall bronze-colored statue of Sasquatch by the road at the end of his driveway. The so-called Brimfield Bigfoot had been there for years, but I hadn’t seen him much before, since I usually turn east from my home to go toward Boston on Route 20, and he hangs out in the less populated areas to the west,” wrote Prager.

Hide and Seek World Champion Helps with Social Distancing

It seems the Brimfield Bigfoot took up a new habit of wearing masks and bandanas in March. Plus, he took to holding up signs to show encouragement to everyone driving by. As the often-described World Champion in Hide and Seek, Bigfoot’s social distancing messaging is particularly on-point.

“Be the missing link. Stay home.”

 

“Avoid the Covid bug. Cover your mug.”

 

“Safe distance = six (big) feet,” and “If I can avoid people, so can you.”

Bigfoot statue
Image via Facebook

The Sasquatch also offered encouragement for other Covid-19 related tips.

“Stomp out Corona, one Bigfoot at a time.”

 

“Sasqwash your hands for at least 20 seconds.”

 

“Squatch your desire for a haircut.”

 

“The best is Yeti come.”

Flag-waving Yeti Offers Encouragement

In addition to punny signs, Bigfoot also held up flags like one to commemorate “Wakanda forever,” after the Black Panther movie. In another instance, he held the Rebel Alliance flag from Star Wars with the Facebook caption:

“Don’t rebel against masks, at the moment they’re our only hope.” 

Bigfoot with Wakanda sign
Image via Facebook

Bigfoot Disappears

Prager and others in the community came to look forward to seeing Bigfoot’s signs. During a stressful isolating time, they set just the right humorous tone, a show of solidarity and community. Then in April, the Brimfield Bigfoot disappeared. 

Todd Disotell, an anthropologist who owned the beast, posted to Facebook, asking folks to keep an eye out for Bigfoot because somebody stole him. Although the thieves might have thought it a prank, Disotell, who has made TV appearances related to Bigfoot, was serious about getting the locally-famous creature back.

Disotell offered a $200 reward and shared security video of two hooded figures making off with the statue on a Wednesday night.  See the video below:

Then, Police Chief Charles T. Kuss began his search for Sasquatch. Due to the area’s antique markets, he had seen similar thefts, including a giant chicken and a Big Boy statue.

Kuss called the Sasquatch “a fine example of the species which might look like the real thing to a city slicker.” After valuing the Bigfoot at $2,400, he noted that whoever stole him could face grand larceny charges.

“Our hope is their conscience overcomes their greed and they return it,” he said, adding that if they are caught, they’ll be charged. “And I’m sure it’s been a while since the DA has prosecuted the theft of a Sasquatch.”

With Bigfoot missing, Prager says she was surprised how much she missed him on her drives.

“The amount I missed Sasquatch surprised me, and I realized how much this creature had become my cheerleader to avoid humans like he does. It takes a lot of willpower to stay away from your friends when you desperately want to see them, and Bigfoot’s messages had made me feel like I was accountable to someone who was directly asking me to keep my distance. The signs were written by a neighbor for other neighbors: We were all in this together.”

A Joyous Reunion

Fortunately, by Friday morning, the famous Bigfoot was recovered in nearby Worcester, reported the police. A Worcester resident phoned police when they spotted the famous statue in the yard of a small multifamily house. Disotell drove to the scene to reclaim the mythic beast once more.

Hearing the news, Prager was delighted. She remembers grinning with joy at a time when smiles have often been less frequent.

“I may have substituted human contact for glimpses of a mythological creature since socially isolating, but Bigfoot has helped me feel human connection again,” she wrote.

Meanwhile, Disotell and the community were delighted that the creature was back home. As it turns out, this Bigfoot was a Christmas present from Disotell’s father.

“Literally, Amazon Prime,” Disotell said. “Free shipping.”

Bigfoot was back on the job, posing with a sign that read, “If I can escape Worcester, You can Covid-19.”

Another sign read:

“Thank you everyone and Brimfield, State & Worcester Police.”

Although Disotell remains skeptical that Bigfoot exists in the wild, the one returned to his care has brought inspiration and some measure of comfort to thousands. We hope the Brimfield Bigfoot remains on the job for many years to come.

Brimfield Bigfoot
Image via Facebook

 

 

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Chef Millie Peartree Lost Everything But Now Feeds Thousands of Kids

In late 2019, Chef Millie Peartree, 38, lost her thriving business in the Bronx, New York. Millie Peartree Fish Fry & Soul Food was featured in New York’s top 10 restaurants of 2019. Then, somebody messed with her gas lines, forcing an inspector to turn it off. The business had to shut down right before the holidays, but she was stuck with paying her lease.

Chef Peartree lived about the restaurant with her boyfriend and 13-year-old son. Traumatized and crying, she told the Times:

“I just wanted to cook fish and be here for my community.”

It would take months to get the gas working again, so Peartree had to tell her customers, “I’m sorry, my love. We’re closed, indefinitely.”

In the meantime, she tried to go back to working as a private chef in the catering world. Then, anther tragedy stuck: Covid-19. Sadly, the pandemic devastated the entire hospitality industry, and her catering ambitions were suddenly over.

“Are you serious? What now?” she asked herself, still confident she would bounce back.

From Tragedy to Feeding Thousands

Fortunately, Chef Peartree’s gifts would not go to waste. Her friend Laura Brown, the editor-in-chief of InStyle magazine, reached out with a fantastic idea. How would she feel about donating meals to the hungry on behalf of the magazine?

Chef Peartree jumped at the chance, and soon, Millie Peartree Catering had provided meals for 6,000 essential workers. Among those who received her nourishing meals were USPS workers and hospital staff.

Then, as New York slowly began reopening amid the pandemic, she had “an epiphany.” As many as one in three children in the Bronx were going hungry. Due to the pandemic, many summer programs had been forced to close. However, she knew she could help.

“I would pivot my efforts toward feeding children because I knew that some of the city’s food distribution programs had been canceled or reduced due to the pandemic. I created Full Heart Full Bellies to provide prepared meals for children in grades K through 12, from July 6 to Aug. 28, in the Bronx, which is the poorest of the five boroughs,” she wrote for TODAY.

Thus, the Bronx children were treated to warm, nourishing meals that would make anybody’s mouth water. Her skills and Full Heart Full Bellies were able to provide 1,800 nutritionally balanced meals each week!

“These kids deserve great-tasting food — a sense of comfort during such a tumultuous time,” said Peartree.

 

“The bare minimum I can do is lend my talent, lend my strength to help feed people for these eight weeks throughout the summer,” Peartree said in an interview.

Thanks to some help from big names like Audi, Amazon, Coca-Cola, Barilla, as well as local businesses and nonprofits, Full Heart Full Bellies truly lived up to its name. Also, Peartree’s GoFundMe raised over $60k of a $100K goal. Thus, everyday people helped feed the kids.

A Plan to Keep Feeding the Hungry

Although originally planned for the summer months, the work will continue through December, thanks to Amazon’s partnership. However, Peartree wants the efforts to continue well past December.

“By then, we’ll have served 14,400 meals to kids in need and an additional 2,500 to nursing homes in the Bronx. But we hope to keep going after that. The goal is to feed children and their families for an entire school year, providing 250,000 meals over ten months,” she wrote.

Today, Chef Peartree is calling on others to follow her lead.

“When we talk about social justice, we often get hung up on the hashtag instead of the actual work. You may not march, but maybe you can feed a protester. After the money is donated, what can we do in the community to change things?”

View this post on Instagram

If you can see her you can be her! Remember when you learn, teach, when you get, give 💚🍐 #ladychef #womanchef #cheflife #seeher #beablessing #blessed #bx #bronx #Repost @seeher2020 with @get_repost ・・・ "We talked to @chefmilliepearrtree about her project @fullbelliesfullhearts and how we can continue to #SeeHerFORWARD. "My company is my passion but business also is a great way to dedicate your life to helping others. We talk about how we’re all about social justice but often we get caught up with the hashtag versus the actual work. You may not march, but maybe you can feed a protester. After the money is donated, what can we can do in the community to change things?" Read all her thoughts at seeher.com/blog

A post shared by Millie Peartree 👩🏾‍🍳💚🍐 (@chefmilliepeartree) on

In an interview with News4 NewYork, an NBC affiliate, the Chef explains why she does it:

“No, it won’t end hunger, but in the meantime, between time, I’m going to use my talents to help feed these children,” she said.

For Chef Peartree, her efforts are just part of being a decent human being.

“I don’t have the most, but I don’t have the least either, and I just feel like that’s something that you should do as a human being because you never know what any of us will be in a situation where we need something.”

See more in the video from CBS NewYork below:


Featured image: Screenshots via YouTube and Instagram

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Could Halloween Be More Important Than Ever This Year?

In a world dealing with COVID-19, what will happen to holidays like Halloween? According to a recent survey by the Harris Poll on behalf of the National Confectioners Association, Halloween could be more important than ever. 

Reports Yahoo! Finance:

“The results found that 74% of ‘millennial moms’ and young parents say Halloween is more important than ever this year.”

As usual, Halloween is a time for lots of creativity, and it helps that masks are already commonplace attire. However, how is the tradition of trick-or-treating likely to fare? 

Hershey CEO Michele Buck suggests people will find workarounds. As Hershey stands to make 10% of their annual sales during 10-weeks of pre-Halloween candy sales, the company sure hopes so.

“We think that consumers will find creative and safe ways to trick-or-treat. It is an outdoor event, and it’s an event where a lot of masks are already worn,” said Buck.

Even if trick-or-treating can’t happen safely, people will find ways to enjoy those treats, if only through buying for themselves. After all, who needs an excuse to buy candy? 

Picture all those people buying Halloween candy at your favorite retail store in the past. Now, consider that about half of those people are buying candy to eat themselves, according to Hershey’s findings. In other words, skip right past the trick and get to the treat!

As Americans stock up with supplies at home, it stands to reason that they are also buying more candy. Consequently, Hershey says chocolate sales are up 9% since the pandemic started. And, who doesn’t need chocolate as we face the stresses of COVID-19? 

Virtual Trick-or-Treating

As more of us are experiencing virtual school and work, it may not be surprising that virtual trick-or-treating is also happening. On October 1, the world’s largest candy-maker, Mars Wrigley, introduces the Treat Town free app. 

The app allows families to create profiles and decorate a virtual door with monsters and other Halloween avatars. Then, you can buy virtual candy credits to be redeemed for real candy, including M&M’s, Snickers, Skittles, Twix, and other Mars products.

Now, Halloween will take place all month, not just on Saturday, the 31st. Interestingly, you can virtually visit your friends and relatives anywhere in the country rather than sticking to your usual haunts.

Like Hershey, Mars Wrigley is currently seeing a rise in sales with more purchases of family-sized candy packs to stock pantries. 

According to Mars Wrigley North America president, Anton Vincent:

“We have great beliefs in Halloween at Mars Wrigley,” Vincent said. “It’s a time period when people get excited, and I think we’re in a position to save the ritual and spirit of the holiday.”

Socially Distanced Halloween

So, does virtual Halloween sound exciting to you? If not, how do you feel about socially distanced trick-or-treating? According to Halloween mainstay, Oriental Trading, “the haunt must go on!”

 The party ideas company has introduced eleven ideas for “low contact trick-or-treating.” Ideas include setting up a “candy graveyard” on your lawn that allows you to send one kid at a time through a path where they can safely grab placed pre-wrapped candy and treats. 

Importantly, the goals are staying six feet apart with no sticky hands sharing the same treat bowl. To accomplish this, they suggest Halloween-themed grabbers or gloves or planning a neighborhood drive-through or walking parade experience.

Of course, we’re all familiar with wearing masks of late, so why not choose one with your favorite Halloween characters? In that way, we’re all ready to make Halloween 2020 memorable.

With a little extra planning, the holidays can be more important than ever and a much-needed escape. Stay safe and enjoy yourselves as much as possible. We all deserve it.

See more in the video from Oriental Trading below:

 


Featured image: Screenshot via YouTube