Several students from the University of Miami decided to have a different kind of spring break, leaving the beach for Colorado, where they volunteered for a week at the Chelsea Place memory care facility.
The students spent their days in Aurora getting to know the residents, who have dementia. They ate lunch together, shared stories, and at the end of the week, split up into pairs and created paintings that represented their experience, with the artwork then placed in a small gallery set up by the facility staff.
Junior Amanda Lorenzo told CBS Denver spending the week getting to know the residents of Chelsea Place was unforgettable. "They have had more of an impact on me than I would have realized and I'm so thankful that I came on this trip," she said. Catherine Garcia
While walking home from the subway last Thursday, firefighter Roben Duge saw black smoke billowing from his neighbor's two-story house, and although he was off-duty and didn't have his gear on him, Duge ran into the flames to save a family.
"I'm not a hero, I'm just reacting off instinct," the father of three told the New York Daily News. "When I heard the kids screaming, it hit home." Duge, a resident of Jamaica, Queens, has been with the FDNY for five years, and was able to get a grandmother and her two grandchildren out of the building safely. He brought the trio over to his house, and they were treated by paramedics.
His neighbors praised him for his bravery, but Duge's wife, Crystal, wasn't surprised by his act of heroism. "It's just who he is," she said. "He's Superman." Catherine Garcia
A heavy snowstorm that brought much of Scotland to a standstill last week couldn't stop one surgeon from doing her job. After waking at her snow-covered Glasgow home, Lindsey Chisholm realized she couldn't drive to her hospital in Paisley 8 miles away, where she was scheduled to operate on a colon cancer patient, Britain's The Times reports. So Chisholm put on her winter gear and trudged through the snow for nearly three hours.
"I had the right equipment, I knew there was no avalanche risk, I was not going to get lost, there were places I could stop on the way if the weather did become absolutely terrible so I just didn't think anything of it," Chisholm told BBC. When she walked in, her patient, Iain McAndrew, was overjoyed. "My heart took a wee jump," he said. "If there is a real-life superwoman, she is it." Christina Colizza
For the past three years, Tim Felix has spent most mornings walking from his Old East Dallas apartment to the J.W. Ray Park down the street, trash bag and picker in hand, so he can clean up litter and make it a safe place for neighborhood kids to play.
Felix used to go to the park just to listen to gospel music and walk his dog, but during a visit in 2015, he noticed how much trash was hidden in the grass, he told The Dallas Morning News. He started coming every day — except Sundays, when he goes to church — so he can pick up cans, junk mail, and plastic bags.
Felix, 30, has a mental disability, and while sometimes he's teased by people who can't understand him, others thank him for the hard work he does. He likes to get to the park early before children do, because he's found some dangerous things, including drugs and, one time, a gun. "See what I'm talking about?" he said after finding a baggie of what appeared to be marijuana. "Thank God I'm here." Catherine Garcia
Ghost's life could have turned out a lot differently, had a rescue in Florida not taken a chance on the deaf pit bull.
He was abandoned as a puppy and nearly euthanized, but the Swamp Haven rescue got in touch with the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society in Port Angeles, Washington, to see if they could help him. Dr. Suzy Zustiak at the Port Angeles shelter told Today that because Ghost was deaf and a "very high-energy, untrained dog," he "pretty much had three strikes already against him," but after seeing similar dogs go on to become working animals, Zustiak called Barbara Davenport.
Davenport has trained more than 450 dogs to detect narcotics for the Washington Department of Corrections, and after some initial tests, she determined that Ghost was ready to give it a shot. Using hand signals and a vibration collar, Davenport and Ghost's handler, Joe Henderson, taught the dog how to detect drugs, and after 240 hours of training, he's now a narcotic K-9 with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. Henderson said it was "an absolute blast" training Ghost, who is nearly 3 years old and fully certified. Catherine Garcia
After Adrien Charpentier had surgery, his hands were giving him trouble, and the 78-year-old asked his waitress at the La Marque, Texas, Waffle House if she'd help him by cutting his food.
Evoni Williams, 18, thought only Charpentier was watching as she assisted him, but diner Laura Wolf had her eyes on the pair, and she took a photo of the act of kindness, posting it on her Facebook page. "It was so busy in here and she actually took the time to stop and hear what he had to say, instead of walking past him," she told KHOU. "That just meant something to me."
The photo went viral online, with thousands of people seeing it — including officials at the city of La Marque. They surprised Williams by coming to her work, proclaiming it Evoni Nene Williams Day, and notifying her that she was receiving a $16,000 scholarship to Texas Southern University. Williams works at the Waffle House in order to pay for college, and she is grateful for being recognized for doing the right thing. "It's something I'd do any other day," she said. Catherine Garcia
Mary Lou Smith is known as the Queen of the Conch. The 70-year-old has been joyously blasting the large pink shell at weddings and parties on Key West, Florida, for nearly two decades and has won the island's annual conch-blowing contest several times.
But Smith's shell talent inspired a particularly special moment this week when, shortly after she won this year's women's division contest, her beau, Rick Race, 73, jumped onstage, got down on one knee, and proposed. It took Smith a moment to gather her thoughts. "I didn't know what to say, so I blew the conch," she told the News Herald. "Then, I said yes." Christina Colizza
Quebec musher Anny Malo was 25 miles into the 150-mile CopperDog sled race when disaster struck. One of her dogs, Max, had collapsed after a piece of ice became lodged in its throat. Malo was trying to help the dog when fellow musher Frank Moe passed by. A trained EMT, Moe suspended his own race and performed doggie CPR, blowing air into Max's snout and reviving the animal. Moe finished 11th in the race — but his generosity earned him a sportsmanship award, Keweenaw Report says. As for Max, Malo says he's doing well. He spent the rest of the race tucked safely in Malo's bag. Christina Colizza