Good News Thursday: Man shelters over 300 animals during hurricane, unlikely pair run a marathon


Man shelters about 300 dogs during Hurricane Delta

Ricardo Pimentel holds a rescue dog. During Hurricane Delta, Pimentel housed about 300 dogs and many other animals. (AP Photo/Luis Andres Henao)

When Hurricane Delta headed towards the Yucatan Peninsula instead of locking the doors to the storm, Ricardo Pimentel opened his doors to about 300 dogs. Pimentel didn’t just stop at dogs — dozens of cats, some chicks, bunnies, and even a hedgehog moved into every room in the house. Pimentel owns Tierra de Animales, an animal shelter southwest of Cancun that doubles as his family home. Typically the animals live outside, but out of concern for the hurricane, Pimentel decided to move the animals inside.

He posted on social media about the hurricane hoping that people would donate. After days of working to repair the hurricane’s damage, he was surprised to find that his posts of hundreds of dogs covering the floor went viral. People donated thousands of dollars to Tierra de Animales. And even though the animals stunk up the house and broke some objects, for Pimental it was worth it.

“It doesn’t matter if the house is dirty, it can be cleaned. The things they broke can be fixed or bought again, but what’s beautiful is to see them happy, healthy and safe, without wounds and with the possibility of being adopted,” he told The Associated Press.

Parents build desks for students, families in need

Al Berrellez builds a desk in Gaithersburg, Md. Parents and volunteers everywhere are building desks to help students and families in need. (Jessica Berrellez via AP)

Mark Couch looked up instructions on how to make a cheap desk when he realized his nine and 16-year-old kids had no place to study. After finding a way to make a desk for $20, he decided to upload a video on YouTube for other parents trying to find a cheap way to make a desk. His desks were quickly in demand by a local grocery store that contacted schools to locate in-need students. This trend of volunteer desk building has grown across the United States.

Businesses and parents everywhere used his tutorial to give kids a place to focus on schoolwork instead of being bent over their laptops in bed. Marcus Holley of Omaha, Nebraska also began making desks for students. Holley made about 150 desks after receiving about $8,000 in donations. With $5,000 left he continues to answer requests and make more desks for those in need.

“I hope that people look back at this time and like they look at that desk and they’re like that was a bad year, but I’m grateful for the desk,” Couch told The Associated Press. 

Pixie post lets people write letters to fairies, receive letters back

Maya Gebler, center, Cate and Sophie Carroll, right, write letters to fairies outside the pixie post. This fairy village has received over 700 letters (AP Photo/Ben Finley).

In front of the home of journalist and children’s book author Lisa Suhay lies a surprising new hollow: a Pixie post for sending letters to from fairies. People can simply write to the fairy of their choosing and the fairy will reply. Over 700 letters have been sent with responses from various fairies including Fairy Godmother, Fairy Queen Lysandra and Tinker Bell.

Though the pixie post draws many imaginative children to draft letters, many come from adults. One child wrote, “Can U please make the corona disappear very soon?” Others write about helping family through hard times or making new friends. One letter talks about breaking up with a “toxic boyfriend” saying, “I’ve never felt so free!”

The letters offer a therapeutic way for all ages to release stress from the pandemic. Various letters express gratitude and wish for peace. Suhay is grateful for the fairy village saying it lifts her spirits. “I find myself feeling weighed down by all the negativity and all it takes is looking out my window and hearing a little girl singing a song from ‘Frozen’ at one of the doors to the tree. There are no bad days when this is in front of your house,” Suhay told The Associated Press.

To write a letter visit their website.

Woman finishes marathon with help of inmate

Carrie Kellery and Fidel Ybarra celebrate after finishing a marathon. Ybarra ran with Kelley for 22 miles in support of her finishing. (KSL)

Carrie Kelley of Sandy started her marathon and felt good up until mile four. Kelley began to wonder whether or not she would make it the full 26.2 miles. That was when Fidel Ybarra started to run alongside her and didn’t stop until the finish line. Working as a prison inmate out on work release, Ybarra stuck by Kelley the rest of the 22 miles, even in his work boots. His deputy followed in their work van while the two runners chatted and picked up trash on the running trail.

With the help of Ybarra, this became Kelley’s 68th marathon. Kelley credits the help and determination of Ybarra to finish the race with her as her drive to finish. For Ybarra, he saw himself and other inmates in Kelley’s struggle and wanted to run with her to know she wasn’t alone.

“I am not sure why I began running with her, but I think maybe I saw a little bit of myself and other inmates in the situation. We are normally left at the back and left to our own devices… I felt like I could not let her finish the marathon alone. I did not know that once I started running, 22 miles later we would cross the finish line… but something kept me going. I feel like by the end I was in more pain than her, but the feeling of accomplishment was more than I can describe in words,” Ybarra told KSL. 

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