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Woman Escapes California Wildfire Carrying 70-Pound Dog In Her Duffel Bag

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With only minutes to escape a devastating wildfire in California, Natasha Wallace grabbed the most important thing to her: a 70-pound dog named Bentley.

Wallace, a college student, had been on campus when the fire broke out. Shortly after 1 a.m., she neared her home and saw a wall of fire blazing across the freeway. After stopping to glimpse the phenomena for a second, she realized she needed to get out of the element’s way before it was too late. Wallace told The Dodo: “It was like a flamethrower. I knew how fast the fire was going. It was really scary.”

As soon as she reached her house, Wallace hurriedly packed a few bags. With Bentley and her things in the car, she then took off. Due to horrendous traffic, however, they were trapped in the neighborhood. That’s when she decided to do something drastic.

“I sat in my car for about two minutes, and I could see the fire getting closer. I said, ‘I’m not burning in my car,’” said Wallace. “So, I turned around and went back to the house.”

She traded her car for a bicycle and ditched almost all of her possessions to make room for Bentley in her duffel bag. “I knew the only thing that mattered was my dog. That was it,” Wallace recalled.

“I emptied out a duffel bag that had clothes and some of my belongings,” she added. “I told Bentley to sit inside, and he just hopped right in. It’s like he understood the situation. He knew something was wrong.”

With the bag hung around her neck, Wallace began pedaling. She admits that it was hard.

“I was trying to avoid the branches and everything on the road,” said Wallace. “The first 2 miles were OK. I was going off pure adrenaline, or supermom strength. Bentley just sat there the whole time, like a super good boy. His well-being was the only thing I cared about at that point.”

Before long, a compassionate stranger saw the duo and offered to give them a ride. Though they were safe, Wallace lost her home and basically everything she owns. At least she has Bentley, however.

“He’s been wonderful to cope with,” Wallace said. “When I was at the shelter, all I had was my dog. I literally just hugged my dog this whole time.”

With their home destroyed, the duo is now staying Wallace’s relatives. It has been difficult, to say the least, but the college student knows the most important thing was saved. “You can pack hundreds of dollars worth of material things, but my dog is priceless,” she said.

h/t The Dodo

Inspirational

Genius 12 Year Old Boy On Way To Receive Aerospace Engineering Degree

Justin MacLachlan

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A 12-year-old genius is on his way to receive an aerospace engineering degree in just two years, an incredible feat.

If that’s not shocking and impressive, according to CBS, twelve-year-old Caleb Anderson knew sign language by the time he was only nine-months-old, could read by age one, and knew how to do fractions at just age two.

Anderson is now in the process of attending his second year at Chattahoochee Technical College in Georgia the U.S. and Anderson already got his sights set on working for Tesla owner Elon Musk.

Anderson hopes to get an internship with SpaceX founder Musk, speaking to USA Today earlier this year, he said: “When I was like one, I always wanted to go to space. I figured that aerospace engineering would be the best path.”

Anderson doesn’t see himself as a genius telling CBS: “I’m not really smart. I just grasp information quickly. So, if I learn quicker, then I get ahead faster.”

He added: “This is my life. This is how I am. And I’ve been living this way my whole life.”

Being so incredibly smart hasn’t always been a walk in the park for Caleb though, as he admits middle school was “awful.”

“The kids there, they kind of looked down on me, they treated me like I was an anomaly,” he said. “And I kind of am.”

Despite his previous treatment in middle school, Anderson is excited about college stating quite the opposite, telling USA Today: “It’s really accepting. People might think something about it, but they don’t show it which is really nice.”

Although Anderson is in his second year at Chattahoochee Technical College and he has had much success. The young boy and his family want him to attend Georgia Institute of Technology or the Massachusetts Institute for Technology.

His mother Claire explained: “We want him to be in an environment where he is accepted and not tolerated.”

Professor Mark Costello, chair of Georgia Tech’s School of Aerospace Engineering said Caleb was “the perfect candidate” for the course and will “be very successful” if he attends.

What do you think about Caleb Anderson?

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Good News

Michael Jordan feels “great pride” as he opens new health clinic for uninsured in his hometown

Elias Marat

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Legendary basketball superstar Michael Jordan is giving back to his community in a big way, and has opened a second medical clinic in his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina, to offer critical care to underprivileged community members during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Last year, the 57-year-old former Chicago Bulls shooting guard unveiled the Michael Jordan Family Clinic on Freedom Drive, which he personally contributed $7 million to. The clinic, which provides much-needed access to primary and preventive care to low-income residents, is being operated by nonprofit healthcare group Novant Health Clinics.

During the October 2019 opening, the six-time NBA champion and owner of the Charlotte Hornets tearfully explained that “it’s a very emotional thing for me to be able to give back to a community that’s supported me over the years.”

Jordan has now opened a second clinic alongside Novant Health in hopes to provide comprehensive primary care to underserved communities.

“It gives my family great pride to know that we are making a difference in Charlotte,” Jordan told The Charlotte Observer.

While the opening of the second clinic has long been in the works, the timing couldn’t be better given the dire impact of the ongoing pandemic on people across the United States and especially the Black community.

In April, the Freedom Drive clinic became widely used as a respiratory assessment center where locals had free access to coronavirus “screening, testing, treatment and education.”

“When this clinic opened, I said ‘We’re here for the long haul. Not just in a crisis’,” said Novant Health CEO and president Carl Armato.

“In fact, the first clinic enabled us to better respond to the [coronavirus] crisis. It gave us the infrastructure to set up walk-up testing – no referral needed. It gave us a platform to educate and treat patients – close to home,” he added. “It even gave us a distribution point for our universal masking initiative, where we provided free masks to anyone who needed them. This second location is critical, as it expands our impact and reach.”

Over 14,000 tests for the deadly virus were provided while around 12,600 mobile health appointments were conducted, forcing the Michael Jordan Family Clinic to direct those in need of primary care to another location – and proving the need for the second clinic to urgently begin operations amid the spiking demand in treatment.

“When we came together to mark the first clinic’s opening last fall, no one could have predicted we would be facing a global pandemic just five months later,” Jordan said in a Zoom meeting to launch the new healthcare center.

“I’m so proud of the positive impact our clinic has had on the community so far, especially during [the pandemic],” he added. “Our second clinic will provide critical services to improve the health and lives of more Charlotteans, which is so important to me and to Novant Health.”

The new clinic will be opening on Statesville Ave. in the North End of Charlotte, and will include 12 patient exam rooms, an X-ray room, and a physical therapy center. A full-time clinical social worker will also be on-site.

“We are thrilled the North End community of Charlotte will have access to the same comprehensive care that is transforming lives at the Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinic in west Charlotte,” said Armato.

“The impact of the first clinic has been measurable and if [the coronavirus] has taught us anything, it is the importance of having accessible, safe and quality care in communities that need it most,” he continued.

“Michael Jordan’s commitment to improving the health of our communities, and society, is deep-rooted,” Armato added. “We’re so grateful to be his partner in bringing care and resources to those who would otherwise be without.”

Jordan is hopeful that the community has better days ahead.

“We’ve been dealt with some very difficult cards in 2020,” he commented.

“I hope 2021 is going to be much better.”

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Inspirational

Ocean Spray Buys New Truck For Star Of Viral Fleetwood Mac TikTok Video

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(TMU) – In the midst of all the pain, suffering, and hatred going on in the world right now, a TikTok user named Nathan “Doggface” Apodaca, inspired millions with a short and uplifting video of himself skateboarding down the street while listening to Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” and drinking a container of cranberry juice.

Nathan was riding his skateboard that day because his car broke down, but he was making the most of a bad situation and enjoying his life as much as he could in that moment. The short clip quickly captured the world’s attention, and turned into an accidental advertising campaign for both Fleetwood Mac and Ocean Spray.

The video sent streams of the Fleetwood Mac song soaring to record numbers, and inspired Mick Fleetwood to join TikTok and post his own video.

Dreams had 8.47 million streams in the US last week, which far surpasses the previous high of 3.83 million.

The song also returned to the UK charts last week, at No 85.

Rumours, the album that features Dreams, returned to the US Top 40 for the first time since 2013, reaching No 27. In the UK, it holds its position from the previous week, No 22. Rumours has spent the last 41 weeks in the UK Top 40, and a total of 856 weeks in the Top 100 since its 1977 release, according to the Guardian.

Ocean Spray has not revealed exactly how much the video has boosted sales for them, but the company’s stock price has climbed significantly since the video first went viral. The increase in sales and stock price was enough to catch the attention of the company’s executives, who decided to give back and get Nathan a new truck. The company posted a video of Nathan’s reaction on its Instagram page.

 

Representatives from the company showed up at Apodaca’s home with a new 2020 Nissan Frontier truck, and a large supply of Ocean Spray cranberry juice.

“This is from Ocean Spray to you. Thanks for keeping it positive. That truck is yours. All the Ocean Spray is yours. All from Ocean Spray to you, man. Congratulations,” the representative said.

Ocean Spray is not a traditional corporation, but an agriculture cooperative owned by more than 700 grower-owners.

Chris Ferzli, Ocean Spray’s director of global corporate affairs, says that the video “struck a chord.”

“Just the fact he was making the best of a situation despite a challenge really resonated with people. There is such a calm and positive energy to the video and given 2020 is an especially challenging year, it was just so welcome,” Ferzli said, according to The Drum.

“We caught notice of it about a week ago and we knew we wanted to get involved. We heard his story and wanted to help so we took some time, pulled together a plan to buy him a new truck, and filled it with cranberry juice,” he added.

Ferzli also hinted in a recent interview that the company may be bringing Nathan on as a full-time brand ambassador. This may be the beginning of a new partnership and possibly a new path for Nathan.

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