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The week’s good news: February 18, 2021


Using his chains, ropes, and four-wheel drive, over the course of two days Ryan Sivley helped rescue about 150 people stranded by the side of the road in Austin, Texas. A brutal winter storm is battering the state, and Sivley told KVUE after thinking about what it would be like to be stuck outside in the freezing temperatures, he knew he had to do something. “I’ve been helping anybody I find on the side of the road,” Sivley said. “I do a lot of off-roading with different groups in Austin, so I had recovery straps and chains and I have two trucks that are four-wheel drive.” In addition to pulling cars to freedom, Sivley has also helped get stranded nurses to work and driven patients home from the hospital. His rescue service is free, and everybody he encounters is “really happy,” he said. [KVUE]


A friendly college rivalry has been a boost to restaurant workers, as fans and alumni of Xavier University and the University of Cincinnati try to out-tip each other. The “tip war” started on Jan. 9, when an Xavier University alumnus ate lunch at Zip’s Cafe in Cincinnati. His server was also an alum, and he tipped her $1,000 on his $54.59 check, asking in a note that she share the money with her coworkers as a thank you for their hard work during the pandemic. “Go Xavier!” he added. The owner of Zip’s Cafe shared a photo online, which was seen by two University of Cincinnati fans. They left a $1,001 tip at the Keystone Bar & Grill, writing on their bill: “Let’s see how long we can keep this going. Bearcats up by 1!” Since then, Xavier and University of Cincinnati fans have been tipping generously at restaurants across the area. ABC News estimates the tip war has generated more than $34,000 for restaurant workers. [ABC News]


Nick Dyer and Barbara Matthews have found a way to form a friendship amid the pandemic, from opposite sides of a window. Dyer drops off groceries to Matthews, 90, at her home in St. Paul, Minnesota. He used to leave them and go, but after watching Matthews wave to him from her window the entire time he was making his delivery, Dyer realized this was a chance to also offer “companionship” and “conversation,” he told the Star Tribune. Once they started talking, Dyer noticed Matthews’ British accent, and since then they have had conversations through a closed window about what it was like for Matthews to grow up in London. When his future grandchildren ask him about life during the pandemic, Dyer told the Star Tribune he is going to tell them about his friendship with Matthews, and that “everyone stepped up and helped each other out.” [Star Tribune]


It doesn’t get more win-win than this. Robert Magiet regularly drives around Chicago to different tamale vendors, then buys out each cart. While the happy vendors go home for the day, Magiet takes the tamales and puts them in community refrigerators, where people can pick up free food, or drops them off at shelters that help the homeless. Magiet, the owner of TaKorea Cocina restaurant, estimates that on the average day, he buys about 15 dozen tamales, at $16 per dozen. Vendors are usually “in disbelief,” Magiet told CNN. “They don’t understand why someone would want to buy so many tamales.” He got the idea to buy out vendors on a freezing morning, when no one was stopping to purchase food. To their surprise and delight, he is now a regular customer at many Chicago street carts. “Together we can all make a huge difference in others’ lives,” Magiet told CNN. “It’s never been more important to support each other.” [CNN]


Brian Myers rescued his German shepherd Sadie last fall, and she returned the favor last month. The New Jersey resident quickly formed a bond with Sadie, and it “just seemed to me that she was saying, ‘Thank you for rescuing me,'” Myers told Today. When Myers became sick with COVID-19, Sadie was right by his side. Last month, Myers thought he was on the mend, but on Jan. 16, he had a stroke in his sleep. When he got out of bed, he collapsed on the floor, and was unable to get up. Sadie came running and started to lick his face, and Myers had an idea. He grabbed her collar, and Sadie “instinctively knew to start walking backwards and pulling me,” Myers said. She helped slide him across the room, where he could call for help. Myers is grateful for Sadie’s help, telling Today, “My intention is now to give Sadie the best life that I possibly can going forward.” [Today]

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