Eli Rosenberg, a sixth grader at Pinetree Elementary School with high-functioning autism, gave an inspiring graduation speech to his fellow classmates, thanking them for always accepting him. During Eli’s speech, he spoke about his time at Pinetree Elementary and the struggle he underwent to work on his social skills. At the end of Eli’s speech, he encouraged his fellow classmates to make a difference in the lives of others:
“As we leave here today, I have a challenge for all of you. We are all different. Not less, just different. We all have things we’re good at, things we need to work on, and things we need help with. Whenever you see someone else who is different, instead of just judging them or being a bully, I challenge you to offer help and treat that person with the kindness you have shown me over the last six years. Remember, all of you can make a difference in someone’s life. You’ve already made a difference in mine.”
This Thoughtful Thursday, we admire Eli for his courage and thank him for teaching his classmates to accept each other for their differences. It is people like Eli that that help make this world a better and stronger place.
Talia Castellano, an honorary CoverGirl and YouTube sensation, passed away Tuesday, July 16, 2013. She was an inspirational child fighting cancer with a bubbly personality and infectious smile. Talia was diagnosed with stage-four neuroblastoma when she was just seven years old. It was at that time that she decided to start using makeup to show she was not just a child fighting cancer but she was an aspiring makeup artist. In July 2011, she began filming her makeup tutorials on YouTube.
Instantly, she gained thousands of subscribes that admired her beauty and courageous attitude as showed the world the definition of true beauty. Soon, Talia’s popularity caught the attention of Ellen DeGeneres. Ellen made one of Talia’s dreams come true by helping her become an honorary CoverGirl. Also, Talia was also given the opportunity to travel to the iHeartRadio Music Festival in 2012 to interview some of her favorite celebrities including Gwen Stefani and Demi Lovato.
During Talia’s journey to stardom, she inspired other children battling cancer. She gave them hope to stay positive. The official Twitter page of CoverGirl tweeted this after finding out about Talia’s passing:
Talia Castellano was the meaning of a true COVERGIRL. Please join me in sending love and honoring her memory. pic.twitter.com/apfwOQRw8e
The Justice League superheroes such as Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman are helping children in Brazil defeat cancer. JWT, a global ad agency, and A.C Camargo Cancer Center have teamed up to create a superhero themed children’s ward with a game room and decorations to make the children feel like they are amongst superheroes.
To make the superhero ward more complete, the chemotherapy bags are now concealed in a superhero casing which is referred to as the “Superformula.” JWT wanted to change children’s negative perception of the treatment and help them understand how much chemotherapy will help them.
Warner Bros. has also helped by creating a special series of comic books where the members of the Justice League go through a similar battle as these children with cancer may go through, but show that they will help conquer this obstacle with the “Superformula.”
These children are superheroes for being brave and standing up to the one of the most realistic villains in the world – cancer. This Thoughtful Thursday we commend these brave little superheroes for being strong and having hope during this battle.
May We Help is a nonprofit organization in Cincinnati, Ohio that recruits skilled engineers to help develop customized devices to assist people with physical or mental disabilities. These devices help individuals in need to engage and experience a better quality of life.
It all started when three men, all named Bill, were personally touched by people in their lives that were unable to perform daily tasks on their own due. They designed a plan to help people in their community with disabilities and May We Help was born. Similar to a job bank website, those in need of a device post a request, and May We Help volunteers accept requests of those in need of the device.
One touching story is of a young girl named Aly who cannot bend her arms. She needed a device that would allow her to play the instrument she loves – the cello. Jackie Aronhalt, a mechanical engineer and May We Help volunteer, accepted her request and designed a Cello Brace that helps this little musician play her cello.
This Thoughtful Thursday is dedicated to the wonderful volunteers at May We Help that spend their time assisting others through designed devices. Ray Riley, a retired engineer said this about May We Help, “There is no better feeling than to know you have played a role in improving another person’s life.” Thank you all for making a difference in the lives of others.
Alex Sheen only lives six miles from where Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight were held captive for ten years. After hearing the tragic story about these three brave woman, Alex wanted to show Amanda, Gina, and Michelle, as well as the rest of the world, that there are still good people out there and that faith in humanity should not be lost. So he made a promise and started a social movement called Because I said I would to honor these three women. He took ten days out of his life, from June 15th to 25th, to walk across Ohio (Cincinnati to Cleveland) and raise awareness about sexual violence.
Alex walked 240 miles to the house where Amanda, Gina, and Michelle were imprisoned. For the last 10,000 feet Alex asked all Clevelanders to join him in walking to the what is now known as the “house or horrors” on Seymour Avenue. While Alex knows there is nothing he can do to bring back the ten years of their lives that they lost, this was his way to show that he cared.
If you would like to help, you can make a donation to RAINN.org/neverenough, which helps survivors of sexual violence as well as these three Cleveland women. Fifty percent of each donation goes towards the Cleveland Courage fund and the other fifty percent supports RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network). This Thoughtful Thursday is dedicated to Alex and his brave act to go the distance to help those in need of support.
It was once said, “The purity of a person’s heart can be quickly measured by how they regard animals.” Animals enjoy love and affection; especially animals that are waiting to be adopted at shelters. In Hamilton, Montana, the Keystone to Discovery Enrichment program has an after school project that gives academically and behaviorally at risk children an opportunity to read to animals at the Bitter Root Humane Association once a week. The animals are receptive to having the kids read to them. The sound of the children’s voices is soothing to many of the dogs and cats in the facility.
There are plenty of activities provided through the after school program, such as various sports, but many children have chosen to stick with coming to read to the animals after they are done with their school day. The shelter is very grateful to have such a committed group of kids that want to come each week to read to the animals. Due to the popularity of this after school activity, the lead animal care attendant Charlotte is trying to extend this program through the summer months while school is out. This Thoughtful Thursday, we thank the children that spend time with these loving animals after school because everyone and every animal deserves affection and attention.