Saturday, July 05, 2014

It wasn’t all bad

When Robert Renning noticed that a nearby car had caught fire, he didn’t think twice about pulling over and approaching the burning SUV. When he got there, he saw that all of the doors had locked, trapping the driver, Michael Johannes. Renning sprang into action, wedging his fingers into the crease above the door and planting his foot for leverage. The 52-year-old managed to bend the locked door in half, shattering the glass. Johannes escaped with only minor cuts, but Renning humbly downplayed his Superman moment. “Somebody was in trouble,” he said. “You’re supposed to help each other out.”

Every weekend, Robby Eimers drives with his grandmother to a homeless shelter in downtown Detroit, where he hands out food and smiles at everyone he meets. “These are my friends,” he explains. The ambitious 12-year-old has been volunteering for four years, but he wants to do more and has reached out to community leaders in hopes of opening a shelter of his own. Soon, Robby will have an office in a newly opened shelter, where he plans to manage his charity, the Eimers Foundation. “I want to end homelessness.”

San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt doesn’t make empty promises. After watching 12-year-old cancer survivor Lyndsey Dworkin throw out the first pitch at a minor league game, Belt, who was with the farm squad rehabbing an injury, ran out of the dugout to chat with her. At the end of their conversation, Belt vowed to hit a home run in her honor. At first, Lyndsey thought he was just being nice, but soon remembered the promise when Belt blasted a first-inning dinger. Once the ball was retrieved from the parking lot, he signed it, “To Lyndsey, my good luck charm.”
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