The news these days is often depressing at worst and frustrating at best. It’s easy to let it get us down. Never fear… The News Blender has you covered. Once a week we feature Something Good and, in return, all you have to do is tell us something good that has happened to you this week, something you are thankful for, a joke, a cute animal story, an inspiring tale of heroics, a Random Act of Kindness… SOMETHING good.
Today’s Something Good is all about open doors and open hearts.
It seems like every year as Thanksgiving approaches there is a heartwarming story about strangers welcoming a person in need into their home and to their table. Fortunately, this year is not an exception to the wholesome Thanksgiving stories trend.
Jamal Hinton will be spending his 6th year at Wanda Dench’s table. Lonnie died in April 2020 from Covid but Wanda continued the tradition without him last year, knowing that is exactly what he would want her to do. How a text that went astray ended with an unlikely friendship that would help Wanda continue Lonnie’s loving hospitality after his death is one of those mysteries of the universe.
Susana Orrego Villegas and her husband, Edward White are international students who just moved to Massachusetts from Columbia. He studies English and Susana studies medical sciences. Her impression of Boston has been that people aren’t very friendly – they don’t say “hello” when you pass them on the street.
So, when November and Thanksgiving, the all-American holiday, approached, the couple wondered exactly how they were supposed to celebrate and Susana reached out to her neighbors on NextDoor. Along with a photo of her and Edward, she wrote, “We are a super lovely couple and want to know more about American culture. I want to have our first traditional thanksgiving with an American family.”
Susana says she expected some pointers on a good restaurant to go to for Thanksgiving dinner but instead, within a few days, received more than 100 offers from all over town for the pair to have a proper Thanksgiving dinner.
The couple had to narrow down their options out of such a bounty and messaged back and forth with the folks who were so willing to open their homes to strangers. Out of all the offers, they chose Carol Lesser, a nurse practitioner who has long made a practice out of setting extra places at her table.
She told CNN, “My mom always made room at the table if somebody didn’t have a place to go, so I was raised that way.” Carol has also rented out rooms to international students for several decades and recalls the kindness of strangers when she traveled abroad when she was younger.
When she was informed that Edward and Susana would be spending the holiday with her, Carol told Susana, “Wow we won the lottery, you guys are coming to us!”
Susana and Edward have already met some of the other families that didn’t “win the lottery”, as Carol put it. “The people were super friendly. One family gave us an American heritage book and the other showed us pictures of when they visited Colombia,” Susana said.
Both Carol and Susana have been given hope about their community after such an outpouring of support and willingness to care for strangers.
It has been a rough couple years but seeing strangers become friends and help one another is something to be very thankful for today.
Now it’s your turn… Tell me something good!