Category Archives: Thoughtful Thursday

Thoughtful Thursdays is a monthly feature on the Step2 blog that honors people in the news that take time out of their lives to help others.

Thoughtful Thursday: Appreciation Day

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Would you like an appreciation day dedicated to someone special in your life? The football team at Williams School in Bridgewater, Massachusetts decided to do just that by devoting a day to one of their beloved classmates. In an effort to stop their water boy Danny Keefe from being bullied, the fifth grade football team created a day called Danny Appreciation Day.

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Six-year-old Danny has overcome many hardships during his lifetime. Danny struggles with a speech condition that was caused due to a brain hemorrhage at birth. Yet, he does not let his speech impediment bother him; he is a bright and cheery young man that is adored by his peers. By choice, Danny wears a suit and tie to school every day. The football team thought it would be a good idea on Danny Appreciation Day to also wear a suit and tie and stand by his side to show that Danny is just like everyone else.

This Thoughtful Thursday, we honor Danny and the Badgers football team for taking a stand against bullying and promoting acceptance for children of all abilities.

Thoughtful Thursday: Season of Giving

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‘Tis the season to be jolly, but it is also a season of giving according to Jordyn Self, a 10-year-old girl who decided to auction off her American Girl Doll to raise money for U.S. troops. Jordyn asked for a limited edition American Girl Doll named Saige for Christmas. After accidently discovering the present she had asked for in her mom’s secret hiding spot, she decided she wanted to give the gift to those in need.

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Jordyn and her little sister

Jordyn was inspired by her school’s character building group that was helping in the initiative Adopt-A-Platoon, which sends care packages to troops. The donations were very low, so Jordyn and her mom devised a plan to organize a drawing of the American Girl Doll to raise money for service members overseas. They set up a Facebook page called “Saige for Soliders” to get more buzz around this charity and so far, they have raised more than $1560!

Thank you to Jordyn and her mom for giving to those that protect us each and every day.

 

Thoughtful Thursday: Little Singer

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The Star-Spangled Banner is a tough song to sing. One extraordinary three-year-old girl melted our hearts as she sang this traditional American song on YouTube for the world to see. Grace Anna Rodgers was born with Conradi Hunermann Syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects her motor skills and sight. She is unable to walk and has multiple cataracts.

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Photo by: People.com

This adorable little girl began singing when she was just a year-and-a-half old. Grace was inspired to sing by her mom, who sings all the time around the house. Her mom even helped her through her surgeries singing by her bedside at the hospital.

Grace’s family has received an out pour of well wishes for their daughter after this video of her singing the Star-Spangled Banner went viral.  This Thoughtful Thursday, we honor Grace, who has inspired many lives by the power of her tiny but beautiful voice.

 

 

Thoughtful Thursday: Kool-Aid

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Eight-year-old Jaxon Evans is what some may call a savvy business man. He has collected $1600 from his Kool-Aid stand, but he doesn’t plan on keeping a single cent. In fact, Jaxon’s goal is to raise a total of $2500 before Black Friday to buy presents for homeless children.

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You may be wondering how this budding philanthropist was able to raise so much money. For starters, he came up with the slogan “It’s cool to aid kids.” Then he created fliers to give out at school and his mom alerted friends and family through Facebook of the great cause for which he was raising money. The local news even covered the story about his thoughtful gesture!

Not only will Jaxon be donating toys to the Bakersfield Homeless Center in California, but he will also be adding nonperishable food and baby products to the list of items these kids need.

This Thoughtful Thursday, we thank Jaxon for his generosity and compassion.

Thoughtful Thursday: Teamwork

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13-year-old Keith Orr was never the most popular kid in his grade, but ever since his teammates designed a play for him to score a touchdown,he’s been the MVP.

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Keith has a learning disability and struggles with boundaries; however, he embraces all of his peers with love and care.  In order to help him learn about teamwork, his parents signed him up to join the football team – who knew he would make such an impact in the lives of his fellow teammates.

The coaches and fans knew nothing of the generous act of kindness that was going to occur during the football game on October 5th. The first of the two plays got the team as close to the goal line as possible without scoring. Then, during the next play, Keith was handed the ball and a rush of players ran with him across the goal line.

Keith described scoring his first touchdown as “awesome.” This Thoughtful Thursday is dedicated to the Olivet Eagles for showcasing teamwork.

Thoughtful Thursday: Inventing to Save Lives

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“If you believe it, you can achieve it,” said American author Napoleon Hill. From a young age, 11-year-old Peyton Robertson believed he could invent something spectacular that would help save lives.  It is apparent that Petyton’s invention of sandless sandbags could indeed save lives and homes in case of a flood.

When Peyton was four years old, his family experienced the havoc of Hurricane Wilma. This experience got him thinking about how he could save lives and homes from destruction. It then hit him – create sandless sandbags. “Instead of filling it with sand, I filled it with just the right amount of [chemicals and salt],” he said during his interview with ABC News “What’s amazing is that when you pick these bags up and they’re not wet, they only weigh a pound or two.” Experts have confirmed that Peyton has invented something extraordinary since regular sandbags are hard to maneuver during floods due to their weight, especially when wet.

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Peyton’s idea was submitted to the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge. Peyton was declared the winner for his idea that could revolutionize the way we protect ourselves when a flood occurs.

This Thoughtful Thursday, we congratulate Peyton on his scientific discovery and his desire to save lives!