ACROSS AMERICA — You could say Stephanie Sanders votes with love every time she casts a ballot in Arlington Forest, Virginia, elections.
Sanders believes in free, open elections, and thinks as a citizen who enjoys the privileges of living in America, she should do her part. So when updated her registration when she moved from Long Island, New York, to Virginia in 2007, she checked the box indicating her willingness to work at the polls.
She just didn’t expect her love affair with democracy to lead to a marriage.
Her polling place at the Arlington Central Library is where it all began for her and her eventual husband, Boris “Alex” Sanders. “I came in, and he was the chief,” Sanders told as she worked the polls on Election Day. “We started working together, became friends and we found love.” » By Michael O’Connell for Arlington, Virginia,
Players on the Giants flag football team in Glenview, Illinois — the first all-girl squad in the city park “Friday Night Lights” League — are literally punching above their weight. “Even though these boys have been playing football longer than us and are a bit more aggressive, we still keep on working through the games,” 10-year-old Jacqueline Spalo told . » By Eric DeGrechie for Glenview, Illinois,
“Thanks for being an awesome human,” a Rhode Island family recently wrote in a Facebook message. “Your parents are doing a great job with you.” What prompted such an outpouring of gratitude to the young girl named Kat? When she saw her neighbor’s Halloween decorations had been destroyed in a storm, Kat gathered all her coins and wrapped them in a note that read: “Hi guys. I am sorry your stuff fell over before Halloween. Here is my savings to help you. I am a big fan of your house. I went to it 1,000 times.” » By Nikki Gaskins for Warwick, Rhode Island,
Blake Burton (top photo) recently was sworn in as the newest, and the youngest, firefighter for Plainfield, Illinois. He’s 7 and has been fighting his own internal fire, advanced pediatric leukemia, since he was 4. The swearing-in ceremony took place at “Halloween Spooktacular for Blake,” a neighborhood party. » By Emily Rosca for Plainfield, Illinois,
An Assist For Tom The Can Man
Tom the Can Man, as folks around Safety Harbor, Florida, call Thomas Kostreba, is a giver, not a taker. At 84, the Marine is still serving. Oh, he collects the deposit on the beverage cans he finds around town to supplement his Social Security check, but he gives the pennies he finds to veterans, and the pop-top tabs to the Shriners to sell and use the money to get sick kids to the organization’s hospitals. Tom the Can Man helps out in lots of other ways, too. There aren’t many secrets in the close-knit community — including that Tom the Can Man got a citation from the city to clean up and repair his property. His neighbors have decided it’s time to take care of Tom the Can Man and show him how much he’s appreciated and valued. » By D’Ann Lawrence White for Safety Harbor, Florida
Dolphins Help Save Swimmer
A pod of dolphins attracted a sailor’s attention off the coast of Marina del Rey, sending the mariner on a lifesaving mission. The dolphins were fine. The woman who had gone for a swim near the Santa Monica Pier 12 hours earlier was not. She was about 3 miles offshore, and had spent half a day treading water and floating on her back. » By Nicole Charky for Marina Del Rey, California,
Give It Up For This Dog
Just call him “Super Dog.” A brave pooch is being called a hero after recently defending his family from a large mountain lion lurking around their La Verne, California, home. Mary Padres bolted back into the house when she saw “the mountain lion was looking right at me.” Her pit bull, Rocky, bolted, too, but not for shelter. He chased the feline away, but got roughed up a little in the process and needed more than two dozen stitches to close large puncture wounds. » By Nikki Gaskins for Claremont-La Verne, California,
No Tricks, But Hundreds Of Treats
Thanks to two young girls’ thoughtfulness and spirit of volunteerism, Halloween became a bit more fun for Bowie, Maryland-area kids who couldn’t afford a costume and wouldn’t be able to go trick-or-treating. Girl Scouts Katie Greer, 10, and Molly Thorpe, 9, launched a Halloween costume donation drive that netted more than 145 costumes and more than 50 accessories. » By Kristin Danley-Greiner for Bowie, Maryland,
30 Days Of Gratitude
Today, it’s hard to imagine that Dan Knight, an accomplished jazz pianist and composer, thought of ending his life. He had to start over when he was 18, so full of promise then with a golden voice and full-ride scholarship that was practically a ticket to a spot The Met, the famed New York City opera company. A drunken driver shattered that dream. Knight, who told his story for ‘s “30 Days Of Gratitude” series running throughout November, coded during his long recovery, we still keep on working through the games to live with gratitude that served him well