The Late George Michael Secretly Donated Millions To Charity

(PCM) 2016 obviously couldn’t leave quietly without tragically taking the life of yet another iconic celebrity. We were shocked and deeply saddened to hear about the death of musician George Michael on Christmas Day. While, Michael’s immediate cause of death has not yet been revealed, hundreds of tributes and stories have been pouring in from both his colleagues and fans across the globe.

It has now been revealed that Michael donated millions to various charities and individuals over the years, however he always asked to remain anonymous. Michael felt that giving to charity should not be a publicity stunt and his wish to keep his charitable endeavors a secret was kept until now.

The Guardian has published an article revealing just how much money Michael has donated throughout his career. Band Aid alone raised over 9 million for Ethiopian famine relief and Michael made the decision to donate all of his royalties from Wham!’s “Last Christmas” single to the same relief fund as well.

The Guardian also noted that money he received from his duet with Sir Elton John on the single “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” was donated to both the children’s charity Rainbow House and the London AID’s hospice Lighthouse.

It was also mentioned that Michael once donated $15,000 for a woman’s desperately needed IVF treatment and another $25,000 to help a medical student pay off her outstanding debuts. That is just a few occurrences where Michael was known to give back. He also took the time to volunteer at a local area homeless shelter and once performed a private concert for the nurses who took care of his ailing mother when she was hospitalized.

It has been beautiful to watch these stories continue to pour out and certainly inspiring for those looking to give back a bit during the holiday season. Rest in peace George Michael and thanks for being so wonderful!

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Couple Mistakenly Receive Hundreds Of Letter To Santa And Reply To Each And Every One

(PCM) What began as an mailing accident six years ago has turned into a yearly tradition for Jim Glaub and his husband Dylan Parker. For some reason the couple mistakenly received hundreds of letters in the mail that were meant to be delivered to Santa Claus, but somehow ended up at their apartment on 22nd Street in New York City. For the past six years the letters have continued to be delivered every November and December and Glaub and Parker make sure that they take the time and effort to respond to each and every one.

The couple told US Weekly that the letters mostly come from low-income children who have simple requests such as food or clothing. Some even just ask for a better place to sleep. It is truly heartbreaking to learn what some of these children are enduring and yet they have still kept the belief in both Christmas and Santa Claus despite their living situations.

The volume of letters coming has reached a overwhelming numbers, so Glaub and Parker have reached out via Facebook and asked for volunteers around the world to help out with reading and responding to the letters. People can even send gifts if they wish. The Facebook group is called “Miracle on 22nd Street” and boasts well over 4,000 members. Glaub and Parker have since moved overseas to London, however they still plan to keep their 22nd Street address and will continue to answer the letters and keep the Christmas spirit alive for these children.

Parker said “It requires that we put ourselves second momentarily to help someone unknown to us and without the usual gratification of seeing the outcome or receiving thanks. The act of giving has to be enough.”

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‘Ladies Man Game Slayer’ Chris Conners Wants His Obituary To Be A Hoot

(PCM) Sadly 67 year old Chris Conners of Quincy, Massachusetts lost his battle with both ALS and stage 4 pancreatic cancer and while you may not have known him in life, he wanted to be sure he was well-remembered after his passing.

Conners made sure that his family respected his wishes of having one of the most hilarious obituary’s we have ever read. His wife claims that his instructions were to make it “funny” and his daughter adds that all the stories told within the several paragraph long obituary are all true and that there are “so many more”.

Before his passing the family got together with a few glasses of champagne and had an obituary writing party and this is the result:

Irishman Dies from Stubbornness, Whiskey

Chris Connors died at age 67 after trying to box his bikini-clad hospice nurse just moments earlier. Ladies man, game slayer, and outlaw Connors told his last inappropriate joke on December 9th, 2016, that which cannot be printed here. Anyone else fighting ALS and stage 4 pancreatic cancer would have gone quietly into the night, but Connors was stark naked drinking Veuve in a house full of friends and family as Al Green played from the speakers. The way he died is just like he lived: he wrote his own rules, he fought authority and he paved his own way. And if you said he couldn’t do it, he would make sure he could.

Most people thought he was crazy for swimming in the ocean in January; for being a skinny Irish Golden Gloves boxer from Quincy, Massachusetts; for dressing up as a priest and then proceeding to get into a fight at a Jewish deli. Many gawked at his start of a career on Wall Street without a financial background – but instead with an intelligent, impish smile, love for the spoken word, irreverent sense of humor, and stunning blue eyes that could make anyone fall in love with him. As much as people knew hanging out with him would end in a night in jail or a killer screwdriver hangover, he was the type of man that people would drive 16 hours at the drop of a dime to come see. He lived 1000 years in the 67 calendar years we had with him because he attacked life; he grabbed it by the lapels, kissed it, and swung it back onto the dance floor.

At the age of 26 he planned to circumnavigate the world – instead, he ended up spending 40 hours on a life raft off the coast of Panama. In 1974, he founded the Quincy Rugby Club. In his thirties, he sustained a knife wound after saving a woman from being mugged in New York City. He didn’t slow down: at age 64, he climbed to the base camp of Mount Everest. Throughout his life, he was an accomplished hunter and birth control device tester (with some failures, notably Caitlin Connors, 33; Chris Connors, 11; and Liam Connors, 8). He was a rare combination of someone who had a love of life and a firm understanding of what was important – the simplicity of living a life with those you love. Although he threw some of the most memorable parties during the greater half of a century, he would trade it all for a night in front of the fire with his family in Maine.

His acute awareness of the importance of a life lived with the ones you love over any material possession was only handicapped by his territorial attachment to the remote control of his Sonos music. Chris enjoyed cross dressing, a well-made fire, and mashed potatoes with lots of butter. His regrets were few, but include eating a rotisserie hot dog from an unmemorable convenience store in the summer of 1986. Of all the people he touched, both willing and unwilling, his most proud achievement in life was marrying his wife Emily Ayer Connors who supported him in all his glory during his heyday, and lovingly supported him physically during their last days together.

Absolut vodka and Simply Orange companies are devastated by the loss of Connors. A “Celebration of Life” will be held during Happy Hour (4 pm) at York Harbor Inn on Monday, December 19th. In lieu of flowers, please pay open bar tab or donate to Connors’ water safety fund at www.thechrisconnorsfund.com

Conners obituary has quickly gone viral and donations to his charity, The Chris Conners Fund, have already surpassed $10,000!

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My Child’s Meltdown Belongs in Your Classroom

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The following essay popped up in my Facebook feed this morning.  I originally wrote it in 2013 after we had to pull my son out of a creative arts summer camp.  He was easily frustrated, cried a lot, had to take lots of cool-down breaks — all things that are normal for a child with autism (which we didn’t know he had, at the time) and an emotional disorder.  I’d put two weeks of my summer aside so I could be there as his coach, but it still didn’t work out. The art teacher treated him (and me) like he had a contagious disease, and the administration (my employer, and friend, at the time) threw up her hands, because what can you do, you know? We have to think of the other children.

I cringed when I saw it again this morning — not because of what I said in it, but because this is a problem – a prejudice – that we’ve been battling all his life. In 2011 it was summer camp at the local Lutheran church — nice people, not equipped to handle him.  In 2012 it was the sports camp sponsored by the City of Newark.  Before his diagnosis, it was the school system that dumped him in an “intervention” room (closet) for most of the school day, or suspended him.  Last year it was the new gifted teacher that didn’t want him in her class, even though his test scores are through the roof and rote remedial learning bores him (literally) to tears.  Why should the other gifted children have to listen to my son cry, right, or witness him being removed by a para, or do their work like good boys and girls while my son audits the class because he’s too stressed that day? That’s not fair, is it? We have to think of the other children.

But you know what? No.  No, your child doesn’t need to be sheltered from my child.

My Child’s Meltdown Belongs in Your Classroom

(Summer 2013)  I’m trying to be professional and understanding about things that have happened this week, but as a parent, my heart is a little broken.

When asked to consider the place of children with emotional and behavioral disorders in an educational setting, the first concern of most people seems to be for the benefit of the other children, and the teachers, and the harmony of the group. Which makes sense, right? When you first think about it.

But I ask you to consider this. A generation ago, even less, these same arguments, based on misunderstanding at best, prejudice at worst, kept children with developmental delays and other handicaps from attending school. It was only with activism on the part of parents and child advocates that this attitude was challenged, and changed, resulting in laws that protect the right of ALL children to an inclusive education, in the least restrictive setting, with all possible and reasonable accommodation.

These days, we don’t much dispute the right of a child with physical challenges to take part in the same activities as healthy children. When it comes to children with emotional and behavioral disorders, however, there is still a pervasive prejudice. There is a perception that such children are bad, that their behavior is willful – they are punished, rather than worked with, and they are marginalized.

The truth is, such a child has as much control over his condition as a child with epilepsy, or with Tourettes, or with Autism, or Cerebral Palsy, or with any other host of impairments can control theirs. That is to say, given an opportunity, and a conducive environment, and appropriate supports, they can succeed as well as any child.

The questions I am asked, as a parent of a child with an emotional and behavioral disorder… Why should other children have to suffer when such a child acts out in the classroom?

– Because these people exist together in the world.
– Because discomfort over differences is healed by familiarity, compassion, and understanding.
– Because segregating “normal” children from “abnormal” children when it is not strictly necessary will not prepare either one for living in an inclusive world. It can only further misconceptions and prejudice. It can only distance the special needs child from a sense of belonging and success.

Why should teachers have to interrupt their class to deal with a child who acts out in the classroom?

– Because every child is different. Some have learning disabilities and need help understanding their assignments. Some children have physical challenges and need help maneuvering their world. Some children have language barriers, cultural barriers, problems at home, problems of self-esteem, problems keeping their breakfast down, problems sitting still, problems paying attention, problems with you.
-If you are a teacher, presumably you are so for a reason. Please don’t shy away from something because you don’t understand it.

With the rate at which children in our society are being diagnosed with behavioral and psychiatric disorders, and in the wake of national tragedies that have dragged the state of mental health care into the limelight, I believe this is something that needs to be said. This is a conversation we need to be having. This is a situation that needs to be challenged.

At the very least, it’s something I need to get off my chest.

 

This article has been re-posted with permission.  It originally appeared on the author’s blog at www.shannonconnorwinward.com

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Italian Police Prepare A Pasta Meal For Elderly Couple Disheartened About The State Of The World

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(PCM) Get ready to grab your box of Kleenex because here is yet another heartwarming story that is sure to turn on the waterworks. The police in Italy responded to a call about crying coming from the apartment of an elderly couple and decided to pay the couple a visit to do a wellness check.

It turns out that 84-year-old Jole and her 94-year-old husband Michele had been watching television and became so upset about the state of the world that they began to cry after seeing all the horrific stories playing out. It also turns out that they were feeling quite lonely as well, so of course that led the pair to shed even more tears. We can’t stress the importance of calling your grandparents and other elderly loved ones, in our busy lives we sometimes forget that they get lonely and can at times feel forgotten about. It is important to remind them that you are thinking about them and that they are truly not alone.

The police decided to call an ambulance to further check-up on the couple, but instead of just leaving them alone to wait for the transport medics the police decided to spend a few extra minutes with the couple and cooked them a lovely pasta dinner while they waited. Such an amazing act of kindness on behalf of the Italian police officers. The officers shared photos of their dinner party with the couple on the agency’s Facebook page and it has since gone viral being shared over 25,000 times.

Many people commented on the post praising the officers for their good deed and thanking them for showing concern for the couple, who sadly do not receive many visitors these days. Hopefully, Jole and Michele are feeling some better now and perhaps they will receive some more visitors in the future.

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Grab The Tissues! Husband And Wife Married 63 Years Die 20 Minutes Apart In The Same Room

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(PCM) Such a heartwarming, yet saddening, end to a beautiful life-long love story! Henry and Jeanette De Lange were married for 63 years and both sadly passed away a mere 20 minutes apart in the same room. 87-year old Jeanette passed away first at 5:10pm after succumbing to her battle with Alzheimer’s and was quickly followed in death by her husband 86-year old Henry who passed away at 5:30pm after his battle with prostate cancer.

After Jeanette passed, one of couples son’s looked over at his father and told him “Mom’s gone to heaven” and he claims that at that point his father knew he didn’t have to fight to stay alive any longer. He says Henry opened his eyes one last time to look at his wife and then he too passed away just 20 minutes behind her.

The family claims they could not have asked for a more beautiful way for their parents to leave this earth and thank God for showing mercy on the couple who couldn’t bear to live without one another. A joint funeral was held for the couple who are hopefully spending a true eternity with one another.

The post Grab The Tissues! Husband And Wife Married 63 Years Die 20 Minutes Apart In The Same Room also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

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