December 2012

It’s Christmas Day and here at the Feel Good Depot we count our blessings and the beautiful life we are so thankful to enjoy.

During this time we reflect as a family on those less fortunate and how we might also help those in need along the way.

This year we decided to not go all out on the family gifts but to help others we know need it and we feel good about that but this story makes me feel like we need to do more… This man TOTALLY FREAKING ROCKS!!!!

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/family-lost-home-sandy-miracle

Katie Troy, Kerry Ann Troy, Connor Troy, Chris Troy, Ryan Troy

LONG BEACH, N.Y. (AP) — The text from Sister Diane at St. Ignatius Martyr church was as odd as it was urgent: “A man is going to call. You must answer the phone.”

Kerry Ann Troy had just finished her daily “cry time” — that half-hour between dropping the kids off at school and driving back to her gutted house on New York’s Long Island, or to the hurricane relief center, or to wherever she was headed in those desperate days after Sandy, when life seemed an endless blur of hopelessness and worry.

Cellphone reception was sporadic, so even if the stranger called, she would likely miss him. Besides, she had so many other things on her mind.

After spending the first week with relatives in Connecticut, Troy, a part-time events planner for the city, and her husband, Chris, a firefighter, had managed to find a hotel room for a week in Garden City. The couple had no idea where they and their three children — Ryan, 13, Connor, 12, and Katie, 4 — would go next. Hotels were full. Rentals were gone. Their modest raised ranch, a few blocks from the beach, was unlivable.

But the Troys faced another dilemma.

The family had been looking forward to a weeklong, post-Thanksgiving trip to Disney World, paid for by the Make-A-Wish-Foundation to benefit Connor, who suffers from a life-threatening, neuromuscular disease. He had lost one wheelchair to the storm. His oxygen equipment and other medical supplies were damaged by water. He was disoriented and confused.

How could they tell their sick child that the storm that had disrupted his life might also cost him his dream — to meet Kermit the Frog?

Yet Chris Troy felt he couldn’t leave. And Kerry Ann said she wouldn’t go without him.

And then — in the space of a few hours — everything changed.

A school administrator pulled Kerry Ann aside when she went to pick up Katie. She told her of a vacant summer home — a spacious, fully furnished, three-bedroom house in nearby Point Lookout, which the owners wished to donate to a displaced family. The Troys could live there indefinitely, at no cost, while they sorted out their lives.

Kerry Ann could hardly believe their good fortune. The kids could stay in their schools. The family could go to Florida after all.

But that was only the beginning.

The stranger that Sister Diane had texted her about earlier had left a message.

His name was Donald. He wanted to meet the Troys. He wanted to help.

___

At St. Ignatius Martyr, offers of help began pouring in as soon as the storm waters receded: spaghetti dinner fundraisers, fat checks from churches in North Carolina and Texas, smaller donations from nearby parishes.

For weeks the church had no power, heat or working phones. Masses were held in the school gym. Monsignor Donald Beckmann, scrambling to help his displaced parishioners, was a hard man to track down.

But Donald Denihan, a 51-year-old businessman from Massapequa, managed to find him. He wanted to see the devastation firsthand. And he wanted to help one family rebuild. He would pay for everything, from demolition costs to new paint. He just wanted to make sure he found the right family, perhaps someone elderly, perhaps someone with a disability.

Over the phone he asked Beckmann: “Will you help me choose?”

The priest’s heart sank. There were thousands of families in need, people who had lost everything. How in the world could he pick just one?

A few days later Beckmann and Sister Diane Morgan gave Denihan a tour of their battered barrier island town off the South Shore of Long Island. They took him to the West End, a warren of narrow streets named after the states — Arizona, Ohio, Michigan — and crammed with small homes, many of them passed down from generation to generation. The neighborhood is staunchly working class; police officers and firefighters and teachers live here, many of them of Irish and Italian descent.

Now it was a disaster zone. Nearly every home had been flooded, their interiors — kitchen stoves and sheet rock, children’s toys and mattresses — spilling out of Dumpsters that lined the streets.

Father Beckmann drove Denihan to a small raised ranch at 103 Minnesota Avenue with a wheelchair ramp at the side. He told him about the family who lived there, the Troys, how they had evacuated to Connecticut mainly because of their sick son, how Kerry Ann’s childhood home around the corner, newly rebuilt after burning to the ground six years earlier, had been lost to the flood.

Then he took Denihan to another ruined house, the tiny bungalow where the church’s 74-year-old cook had climbed a 7-foot ladder into the attic to escape the rising water. All she could do was pray as she watched her disabled son nearly drown in his wheelchair below.

Both families were in urgent need of help, Beckmann said. Which one would Denihan choose?

Denihan listened intently.

After surviving three near-death experiences — a duck-shooting accident at 16, prostate cancer at 36, and a serious boating accident in 2011 — he had concluded there was a reason God wanted him around.

And so Denihan, who had made his money in hotel and real estate investments, had set up a fund. He called it God is Good. Until now, he wasn’t sure how he would use it.

“I can’t choose, Father,” Denihan confessed, as they drove back to the church. “I’ll just have to take care of both.”

The priest offered up a silent prayer of thanks.

The nun grabbed her cellphone and texted Kerry Ann.

___

Nothing had prepared Chris Troy for the sight of his home when he returned two days after the storm. The basement — including his beautifully finished wooden bar, Kerry Ann’s office space, the kids’ playroom, the laundry and boiler room — were dank and foul-smelling and mold was already growing. The water had reached to the ceiling, seeping into the living room, kitchen and bedrooms upstairs.

Troy prides himself on his stoicism, on being able to cope with anything. But a few hours passed before he could bring himself to break the news to his family.

“The house is a mess, and Daddy will fix it,” he told Katie, who burst into tears when she heard her toys were gone. “And the toys you lost you will get back at Christmas.”

In reality, he didn’t know how the family was going to cope or where they would spend Christmas. Insurance wouldn’t cover the basement area. He couldn’t afford to pay for repairs himself. And though friends and volunteers offered to help, most could spare only a few hours because they were so busy dealing with damage to their own homes.

“We were in a tough situation,” Chris said.

So they gladly agreed to meet with Denihan. Perhaps he would offer to pay for the sheet rock, or a generator, Chris thought. That would be nice.

Denihan showed up with a contractor. He walked through the house. He talked to the children. He seemed kind and matter-of-fact and purposeful.

Standing on their front porch, in the chilly morning sun, Denihan made a promise. He would rebuild their home. They could make any alterations they wanted, like installing a wheelchair-accessible shower and central air, something the Troys had dreamed of, because Connor’s disease causes him to overheat.

“I’ll take care of everything,” Denihan said. “And we’ll start first thing tomorrow.”

It was a few days before Thanksgiving and the Troys, distracted by the move to the borrowed house and their upcoming trip to Florida, didn’t fully comprehend. What exactly did he mean by “everything?”

It wasn’t until a moving van trundled up the next morning and workers carted off their remaining belongings and started tearing down walls, and Denihan told Kerry Ann to start picking out paint colors and tile, that the enormity of it began to sink in.

“This stranger walks into our lives and offers not just to rebuild our home, but to build us a better home,” said Kerry Ann. “And another family lends us their home. It’s absolutely a miracle.”

___

The trip to Disney World was the best of their lives. Connor had never been happier, bright and alert and grinning from ear to ear as he met the Magic Kingdom characters — Mickey and Woody and the Minions and, of course, Kermit. He went on carousel rides specially rigged for wheelchairs, splashed in the pool in his water chair and ate ice cream all day long.

Back home, they marvel at their new accommodations: The house is bigger than their own, with sweeping views of the Atlantic and a backyard with a swing-set that Katie calls her private park.

Still, they wrestle with how to come to grips with their new reality. And how to give thanks.

The Troys are used to struggle, to battling through on their own. Kerry Ann’s father died when she was a 19, after seven years in a coma, and she helped raise her younger siblings. They nearly lost Connor a few years ago, after spinal surgery left him in a body-cast for eight weeks and doctors didn’t think he would survive. Kerry Ann’s mother, Kathy, spent a year living with them in the basement, while her burned home was rebuilt.

So they find themselves agonizing over Denihan’s generosity, sure of their gratitude but unsure how to process it.

“How do you thank someone for giving you back your home and your life,” Chris asks. “What do I do … give him a child?”

Denihan isn’t looking for thanks — and he has his own children. He said he just feels blessed to be in a position to help, and grateful that others are pitching in, too. His contractors — plumber, electrician and builder — have offered to do the work either for free, or at cost. Perhaps, he says, others will hear the story and step up to help more Sandy victims in the same way.

Denihan hopes the family can move back home for Christmas — a goal the Troys initially thought was wildly optimistic, until they saw how rapidly everything was progressing. Already, new walls have gone up, the accessible shower has been installed, they have light and water and heat.

Most of all, two months after Sandy destroyed their home and disrupted their lives, they have hope. And plans.

They will have Christmas and a tree and Santa will bring the kids gifts. They will throw a party at their sparkling new house on Minnesota Avenue.

And they will celebrate a special Mass at St. Ignatius Martyr to give thanks for surviving the storm — and for the miracle that happened after, when strangers walked into their lives and gave them back their home.

___

Eds: Helen O’Neill is a national writer for The Associated Press, based in New York. She can be reached at features(at)ap.org.

 

Mr. Denihan… You are an amazing person we the world is lucky to still have you in it!! I am proud to talk about you in this blog as events like what you have helped with are the reason it exist. I wish you continued success so that you may again be able to help others.

Helen O’Neill… thanks for bringing this story into the open.

St. Ignatius Martyr Church – Your help and understanding has helped a great many in their time of need and may your church prosper from the seeds you have sown.

And to all who have ways found ways to help those in need… THANKS!!!

My words cannot express the sentiment in a way that could properly articulate the AWESOMENESS of this article so I won’t even try.

Simply put, we will end with Thank You and Merry Christmas.

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Since today is full of traveling and spending time with families. Some of you may need a nice little game to help you through the day..

Comedian/drunkard Hannah Hart, the star of YouTube favorite “My Drunk Kitchen,” has helpfully laid out the rules of this year’s Christmas drinking game. Rules include “Take a drink anytime someone inquires about your current relationship status” and “Take a drink every time you accidentally start discussing politics with a family member.”

Enjoy your Christmas and watch out with the holiday egg nog… it can pack a hidden punch.

Feel Free to make up your own rules as you go along as needed to keep the game interesting.

Enjoy your holiday!!

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OK, I like to believe that I am a REALLY GREAT Dad but after this I may have to reevaluate that just a bit as this is truly AWESOME in the Feel Good Depot kind of way.

This young lady graduates from High School and her dad gives her a gift. The book, “The Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss.

She initially gives it the teenage shrug (you know the one I am talking about) basically and her dad encourages her to open it… and then WOW. How Inspiring… here are her words:

"Oh the Places You'll Go..."

 

I graduated High School this week. When my Dad said he had a present for me I thought I was getting some cheesy graduation card. But what I received was something truly priceless. Following the ceremony he handed me a bag with a copy of “Oh the Places You’ll Go,” by Doctor Seuss inside.

At first I just smiled and said that it meant a lot and that I loved that book. But then he told me “No, open it up.” …

On the first page I see a short paragraph written by none other than my kindergarten teacher. I start tearing up but I’m still confused.

He tells me “Every year, for the past 13 years, since the day you started kindergarten I’ve gotten every teacher, coach, and principal to write a little something about you inside this book.” He managed to keep this book a secret for 13 years, and apparently everyone else in my life knew about it! Yes the intended effect occured… I burst out in tears. Sitting there reading through this book there are encouraging and sweet words from every teacher I love and remember through my years in this small town. My early teachers mention my “Pigtails and giggles,” while my high school teachers mention my “Wit and sharp thinking..” But they all mention my humor and love for life. It is astounding to receive something this moving, touching, nostalgic, and thoughtful. I can’t express how much I love my Dad for this labor of love.

Dad, you TOTALLY ROCK!!! And congrats to you young lady on Graduation…. You have one inspiring POP!!!

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From News Channel 5:

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School, one local father and former Marine is standing guard at his children’s school and parents said he’s a welcome addition to the school.

Jordan Pritchard, a former Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, pulled down his old Marine Corps uniform from the attic Sunday night and decided to make a difference in his community. When he was in the military his job was to keep our country safe and for the next week he planned bring that safety home by standing guard outside the front door of Gower Elementary School.

He said it’s his responsibility.

“I’m doing this because we need hope man. We need hope,” explained Pritchard.

He’s a volunteer. He’s not getting paid. He’s not even armed, but parent said they feel a whole lot better about leaving their children at school while he’s been at the front door.

The shooting massacre in Newtown, Connecticut was a thousand miles away, but what happened there hits too close to home.

Pritchard said it’s his duty, and parents are appreciative.

“If you are able and capable of doing something you have the responsibility to act,” he said.

Sarah Knies has 2nd and 3rd graders who attend Gower Elementary School. She said she was comforted knowing Pritchard was there.

“He made me feel good. Just to know that he stood up and did something to make us all feel better today,” she explained.

Many parents, staff and students stopped by to thank Pritchard.

“When parents come up to me and they’re crying and thanking me for being out here,” Pritchard said. “There’s no job in the world that can pay me enough money to not do things for the kids and the parents.”

Pritchard also has children who attend Gower Elementary School: a daughter, Valerie, in second grade and a son, Colby, in first grade. He insists his actions have not just been about them. He said he feels is about something much bigger.

“We have to live this life for other people. That’s the only way that happiness and true peace and hope will come back to our nation is when we all come back together and love each other,” he said.

Sergeant Pritchard plans to stand guard at the school until Wednesday, when Metro Schools finish for the year.

We here at The Feel Good Depot Salute you sir. You are incredible and this reflects highly on yourself and the US marine Corps.

While we all may not know what the right answer is to preventing these nightmares from occuring,,, I applaud your efforts to do anything to ensure our children and those who watch over them are safe as you can make them…

I’ll take an UNARMED Marine (preferably an Armed one) any day at a door my kids must go through!!!! You totally ROCK and I hope others pick up your mantle after the new year!!

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The First 10 Minutes of the New Star Trek Into Darkness Leaked Online

December 17, 2012

Reported by Gizmodo The First 10 Minutes of the New Star Trek Into Darkness Leaked Online http://video.yandex.ru/users/geogz/view/7/#hq You’ve got to watch this: a Russian site has obtained the first ten minutes of the new Star TrekInto Darkness movie. It’s a bit blurry but WOOHOOO!!! Gonna BE SICK!!!! In it you can see the villain, looks like Gary Mitchell, being […]

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Dozens reported dead in Connecticut school schooting – Houston Chronicle

December 14, 2012

HOLY CRAP!!!! What is the world coming too. NEWTOWN, Conn. — A shooting at a Connecticut elementary school Friday left 27 people dead, including 18 children, an official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was still under way. Another official, speaking on condition of anonymity for the same reason, said the […]

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Ditto Christmas lights sign upstages neighbor

December 14, 2012

Ditto Christmas lights sign upstages neighbor. GOTTA LUV IT!!!

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Holy Spock! The Star Trek Medical Tricorder Is Real, And It’s Only $150

December 7, 2012

THIS IS REALLY FEEL GOOD DEPOT TYPE  AWESOME!!!!! Holy Spock! The Star Trek Medical Tricorder Is Real, And It’s Only $150. – SOURCE Holy Spock! The Star Trek Medical Tricorder Is Real, And It’s Only $150  Jesus Diaz The device you’re looking at is called theScanadu SCOUT and, basically, it’s a medical tricorder that will give you precise […]

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Friday 12/7/2012 – Feel Good Depot Idiot of the Week

December 7, 2012

Somebody is an IDIOT!!

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Ervin Brittnacher, former bull rider, knocks out alleged armed intruder

December 5, 2012

Ervin Brittnacher, former bull rider, knocks out alleged armed intruder. NICE!!! Got BEAT DOWN!!! The Feel Good Depot

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