By Stacy Thompson
So first of all…the flu stinks – don’t know if I actually had the flu, but I certainly felt pretty bad for several days and kept myself quarantined just to avoid any contamination. Still not at 100%, but I’m back in the swing of things—apologies for my late blog submission, but just couldn’t stay upright to get it in earlier!!
So, as excited as I am about both South Carolina teams this Spring – baseball and softball, that is – I have to rave about my new favorite Facebook obsession, and the absolute best feel-good moment you will experience…EVER! Yes, I realize that Facebook is likely mocked by those born in the 2000s and the butt of any joke which includes the terms “grandma” or “so-last-decade” or accompanied by a serious eye-roll – but, let’s face it, I love to keep up with my friends who are from that decade, many of whom are in fact, grandmas, and I could care less whether I see an eye-roll, as long as I can wish a long-lost-friend a most Happy Birthday or Anniversary!!
By far one of the best experiences I have had on Facebook recently doesn’t involve politics, or recent meals, or even prom invites…if you need to feel good about humanity, and know for sure that there are still wonderful people doing amazing things in their community, look no further than Mike Rowe – he of Dirty Jobs (which was an awesome reality show before reality shows became laughable) – Mike not only loves his mother (see no further than his podcasts, in which he reads her e-mails and hilarity ensues…’Old Blue’ being one such example — http://mikerowe.com/2016/09/mondays-with-mother/) but is a genuinely good guy as well. He has started a show on Facebook called ‘Returning the Favor’ – if you haven’t seen it yet, please, do yourself a favor a check it out, as it will restore your faith in humanity, inspire you and give you a good cry…all in about ½ an hour.
One of the first episodes I caught on Returning the Favor was about a once homeless kid who decided to make soap for homeless shelters – here was this guy who now had a home, but decided to give back nonetheless, and in the simplest way possible – by making soap. If ever you thought that a small gesture could not make a big impact, you were sorely mistaken – he and his mom are true examples of paying it forward. https://www.facebook.com/ReturningTheFavor/videos/1941259262812001/
Other amazing stories I cannot get enough of:
- A woman who teaches young women how to use power tools to empower: https://www.facebook.com/ReturningTheFavor/videos/1944905522447375/
- A couple who works with veterans to provide service dogs to enable them to live independently and confidently: https://www.facebook.com/ReturningTheFavor/videos/2045985955672664/
- Another veteran who helps veterans build motorcycles while building mental stability (these stories will absolutely blow you away!): https://www.facebook.com/ReturningTheFavor/videos/1942086476062613/
- A woman who runs a clothing store for homeless/low income families to build confidence: https://www.facebook.com/ReturningTheFavor/videos/2026782544259672/
- A couple and group who builds beds for families in need: https://www.facebook.com/ReturningTheFavor/videos/2020109721593621/
- A woman who employs parolees to give them a second chance and new skills to move forward: https://www.facebook.com/ReturningTheFavor/videos/2039154593022467/
- A group of senior women who build roofs (or rooves!) for those in need: https://www.facebook.com/ReturningTheFavor/videos/2060065834264676/
- A former teacher who created a supply store for other teachers (this is classic because it includes Mike’s Mom & Dad!): https://www.facebook.com/ReturningTheFavor/videos/1964830810454846/
- A woman from our own hometown of Greenville who sought only to provide people with clean clothes and a fresh start: https://www.facebook.com/ReturningTheFavor/videos/1942086476062613/
- A former bully who works with other bullies and those who are bullied on the art of self-defense, comradery and basic compassion: https://www.facebook.com/ReturningTheFavor/videos/2043967395874520/
The main message in all of the above is not what these individuals are doing (although it should be noted that they are all amazing!!) – it’s that we can do this in our community, in our towns and to help our people – please watch, please listen and, more importantly, please Return the Favor!! Love you Mike Rowe, and we all look forward to Returning the Favor!!!