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High School Club Overwhelm Blind Classmate With A Braille Yearbook

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The end of a school year is always exciting and full of anticipation, especially for seniors. But the seniors at Conifer High School, Colorado, are no ordinary students. They are a family.

The high school is set in the close-knit Conifer community at the foothills in Colorado. The students know each other, so do their parents, most of whom attended the same school.

Being a senior year, they needed one final yearbook to keep the treasured memories of their time at school.

High School Club Overwhelm Blind Classmate With A Braille Yearbook

One of the seniors at Conifer High School is Randy J Sampson. He is one of the students that enjoyed his time at the school. But one thing set him apart; he is visually impaired. That means he may not enjoy the seniors’ yearbook as much as he’d want to.

Randy Sampson’s Freshman Year Request

Several years ago, at the end of his freshmen year, Randy had requested his teacher to make a braille yearbook. While the teacher, Laurel Ainsworth, deemed the idea brilliant, she was unsure of how to execute it since publishing yearbooks is no mean task.

High School Club Overwhelm Blind Classmate With A Braille Yearbook

However, now that it was Randy’s senior year at the school, Laurel, who is the yearbook’s editor in chief, decided to actualize his dream. But she knew she couldn’t do it alone. So she sought the help of the vision committee and the yearbook club. This team of selfless humans spent close to 1500 hours, creating a fantastic yearbook for Sampson.

Sampson’s Special Senior Yearbook Unveiling

The book was unique. It was black covered and filled with colorful photos. Though some parts were in braille, the rest of it wasn’t translated into braille.

High School Club Overwhelm Blind Classmate With A Braille Yearbook

So this team made an audio and visual file to fill in the rest of the information. But all this had to be kept a secret from Sampson!

This team planned a special assembly just before graduation. It was at this assembly that Laurel Ainsworth revealed her surprise to RJ Sampson, a senior braille yearbook!

Sampson was overwhelmed as he received his gift. He did not think that his teacher remembered his request from his freshman year, leave alone actualizing it.

High School Club Overwhelm Blind Classmate With A Braille Yearbook

The assembly was abuzz with joy and excitement as Sampson leafed through his brand new braille yearbook.

“There is no words to describe how thankful I am,” said Sampson, who was still shocked and grateful that his teacher managed to grant his request. “I can’t wait to read it!” said a beaming Sampson. This was his first yearbook.

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Soldier returns home early and surprises his children during a photo shoot

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Many families have been forced to stay apart because of the ongoing pandemic. But for one family in Florida, it meant they would see their father and husband earlier than initially anticipated.

Simon McKenzie, a Lieutenant Colonel in the army, was sent on a mission to Qatar at the end of February. He was scheduled to stay in Qatar until September, but the mission ended early due to the ongoing pandemic.

Knowing that her husband was coming back, Kristin McKenzie decided to surprise her kids. She arranged a surprise photo shoot with friend photographer Hannah Sanchez at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa on Father’s day.

As the photographer was taking photos of Kristin and her three children, Simon got out of the vehicle parked right behind them.

The photographer captured the special moment when the family realized who was sneaking up on them.

Kristin disclosed that Simon was unable to complete all the requirements of his mission because of the ongoing pandemic, so he was sent back home.

“Having him come home two months early,” Kristin told WKRN. “Was such a gift to all our hearts.”

It is fantastic to see Simon returning home early and surprise his children even though they had spent time apart.

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Ohio man who was told by a doctor he wouldn’t live past age 11 is now turning 62

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Ohio man is defying the odds after doctors told his mother he wouldn’t live past 11 years.

Joey Wittkugle was born with Down Syndrome 62 years ago. Back then, very few people understood Down syndrome or children born with developmental disabilities.

“Sixty-two years ago, nobody knew about them,” Joey’s mom, Bobbi, told WBTW. “They kept them in the house.”

Ohio man who was told by a doctor he wouldn't live past age 11 is now turning 62

When Joey was born, a doctor walked into the room and told Bobbi that Joey would never walk or talk, and he won’t live past age 11.

“You have to put him away. He will never talk; he will never walk.”

He will never know who you are, He will live to the age of 11, and that would be the end of it,” the doctor told Bobbi.

Ohio man who was told by a doctor he wouldn't live past age 11 is now turning 62

Thanks to Bobbi’s priest, who gave her hope and made her realize that Joey was a blessing from God.

“You were gifted by God,” the priest said. “You were chosen by God to have this child. You can’t turn your back on him.”

Six decades later, Joey has proved to his critics that he was not a mistake. He will be turning 62 on June 29.

Birthday

To honor Joey, his family has arranged a birthday party for him.

Happy birthday Joey, and may you live long enough to prove those naysayers wrong.

Please SHARE if you wish Joey a happy birthday.

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A man who mows lawns for the elderly and disabled is now also delivering free meals

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A man in Alabama who mows lawns for the elderly in all the 50 states is currently providing free meals.

Rodney Smith Jr. started following his mission to help people when he was 15-year-old. He was going about his day when he came across a senior citizen who was struggling to mow his lawn.

After helping the gentleman, he was motivated to help as many people as possible to mow their lawns. His primary focus was the disabled, single moms, the elderly, and veterans.

A man who mows lawns for the elderly and disabled is now also delivering free meals

Rodney Smith Jr.

Rodney later founded an organization Raising Men Lawn Care service, whose primary mission was to inspire kids to make a difference by doing the same.

Through the organization, Rodney has inspired over 700 kids in all the 50 states to join his cause, and mow 50 lawns in their community.

He would later send them different colored T-shirts for every ten lawns they mow. After mowing 50 lawns, they would receive their lawnmower, leaf blower, and weed eater.

A man who mows lawns for the elderly and disabled is now also delivering free meals

Rodney Smith Jr.

Because of the ongoing pandemic, Rodney Will be staying at home until it’s safe to travel again. While at home, he, together with other locals, has continued delivering free meals and supplies to the elderly, single moms, veterans, and people with disabilities.

Thanks to the people who are making donations, Rodney can now mow people’s lawns and drop supplies to the people who need it most.

Rodney told Al: “People have been donating money for hand sanitizer, fresh fruit, water, toilet paper, and other items for those who can’t get outside of their house.”

The lawnmower operator used social media to find people to help across the country.

A man who mows lawns for the elderly and disabled is now also delivering free meals

Rodney Smith Jr.

God sent me

With all the excellent work he has done, he remains modest. “I’m just a man on a mission from God,” Rodney told Fox17 News.

We hope that the current pandemic will end so Rodney can go back to doing what he loves most.

“I’m just mowing and doing what I love to do best: helping others,” he said.

Rodney inspires the young generation to step up and make a difference in their community. Thank you for your service!

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