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As we look back on 2012 we see much grief, tragedy and uncertainty. The past few months have brought about great heartache around the world, from Hurricane Sandy to the most recent tragedy in Connecticut, where so many young innocent lives were stolen. All of which make us fear what the next year will bring.
However, we cannot forget that these tragedies resulted in many inspiring and life changing moments in our country as well. Thousands of people dedicated countless hours helping those in need after Hurricane Sandy. A New York City police officer gave a homeless man a pair of boots on the street. Catholic Match stated it best, “for every act of violence and for every example of hatred, we find instances of unconditional love for one another.”
In 2012, there were many moments that restored our faith in humanity according to an amazing article by BuzzFeed. Here are our top 10 of these miraculous moments:
10. The police officers that made a blind boy’s dream of becoming an officer himself come true
13-year old Gage Hancock-Stevens, who became blind before the age of 3 due to an optic glioma brain tumor, caught his first bad guy during a staged burglary in September. According to HeraldNet, Gage was sworn in as an honorary officer with the Bellevue Police Department as part of a Make-A-Wish Foundation wish to be an honorary police officer. Gage worked with officers Dave Rivera and Yong Lee, where he joined in virtual shooting practice, met police dogs, and learned crime investigation tips. He even got to catch a ride on a King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter in Renton. It was one weekend this little boy, full of life and love, will never forget.
9. The police officer who bought shoes for a barefoot homeless man
A snapshot taken by an Arizona tourist on a cold November night showed Officer Lawrence DePrimo knelt down next to an older, barefoot homeless man, as he helped him put on a new pair of boots. The New York Times reported that the officer, normally assigned to the Sixth Precinct in the West Village, recalled the evening as being freezing, and he could see the blisters on the man’s feet. After talking to the man, he found out his shoe size was a 12, and proceeded to the Sketchers store nearby to buy him a pair of heavy boots. Onlookers were shocked, especially the store’s manager, as most New Yorkers just pass by the homeless, especially in that neighborhood. This proves good people, and good law enforcement officials, do exist.
8. The parents who tattooed insulin pumps on their bellies so their diabetic son wouldn't feel "different"
Two parents got belly tattoos of insulin pumps to support their son with Type 1 diabetes, after he told them that he felt different because of wearing an insulin pump.
7. The Libyan child who does not believe in hate
The powerful moment captured in this image reveals a child holding up a sign in the middle of a protest that reads, “Sorry People of America this not the behavior of our ESLAM and Profit.”
6. The famous rugby player who visited his biggest fan in the hospital
Famous Irish rugby player, Brian O’Driscoll, visits his biggest fan, a young girl, in the hospital carrying the Heineken cup.
5. The people that helped out any way that they could during Hurricane Sandy
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, thousands from far and wide did what they could to help those in need. People left notes, money, power cords and their doors open for their powerless and homeless neighbors. In one neighborhood, a brave man even risked his life to save a dog caught in the storm. Hospital employees at Bellevue in New York City made a human chain passing containers of fuel up 13 flights of stairs to the backup generator. Many people revealed their good hearts during this time, which gives us great faith in people for future years to come.
4. Doctor who offered free medical care after Hurricane Sandy
On November 1st, Dr. Dave Ores, whose office is located in the East Village in New York City, put a sign outside of his office letting New Yorkers know that he was offering free medical care through 6 P.M. According to Gothamist, Ores’ bio states that he provides medical care for the uninsured in the NYC area, and runs the Fresh Start tattoo removal program and the Restaurant Health Care Cooperative.
3. The Texas A&M students blocked Westboro Baptist Church protesters with a human wall
Texas A&M alum Lt. Col. Roy Tisdale, who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, died on June 28 during a safety briefing at Fort Bragg, N.C. According to the Huffington Post, in the days after the soldier's death, word spread that Westboro Baptist Church members were planning to protest Tisdale's funeral. This church was described as a "homophobic and anti-Semitic hate group" by the Anti-Defamation League, who regularly stages protests around the country. In response to their efforts, students wore maroon and formed a line, linking arms to create a human barricade at the church’s entrance, during a peaceful protest and silent vigil.
2. The terminally ill man who loves receiving mail... and got more than he ever expected
Scott Widak, a man who suffers from Down Syndrome and liver disease, loves receiving mail. His nephew posted his P.O. Box on Reddit, and the site users were so touched by his story, that they sent hundreds of letters, packages and gifts to Scott’s home.
1. The parents who made their son's wheelchair into the best Halloween costume ever
A little boy named Carter, who has spina bifida, is confined to a wheelchair. For Halloween, his father built an ice cream truck with a back window filled with ice cream cones. On the side of the truck he painted “Buster’s Ice Cream.” And, Carter dressed up in a white ice cream man uniform. According to the Huffington Post, a photo of Carter’s costume and a video of him driving the truck were posted on Facebook, and it all went viral. Because of this ‘dad of the year,’ The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation and Pinterest have posted other great costume ideas including wheelchairs.
Now, we move forward as we hope for safety and a fresh start in 2013!
Images Courtesy of Pintrest