Feel good news: Five reasons to feel good this week

Bad news stories getting you down? Take a look at these feel-good stories from the past week.

Posted on March 26, 2014 at 8:00 a.m.

1. After $5,000 theft, Santa’s Pantry aims to help Cub Scout Pack 762

After a local Cub Scout pack’s leader stole $5,000 the group raised selling popcorn, two organizations are holding a fundraiser in hopes of earning the kids’ money back.

Santa’s Pantry and the Pay It Forward 4-H Club will be hosting a chili dinner from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, April 4. Attendees will be asked to trade a donation for their food. All proceeds will go to Cub Scout Pack 762.

In preparation for the meal, Santa’s Pantry is also accepting donations of raw hamburger, cans of chili beans, cans of diced tomatoes, chili spices, side dishes and utensils.

2. Ox Bow County Park’s March for Tower raises more than $1,300

More than 75 community members showed up for a walk and run on Sunday, March 23, to raise funds to rebuild Ox Bow Tower.

The event raised $1,325, leaving Elkhart County Parks with just $1,500 more to raise before reaching its $130,500 goal.

“People are getting excited,” Superintendent of Operations Ronda DeCaire said. “They are constantly coming to the park and asking when the tower will be built.”

The original tower, which was built in 1972, was burned down in 2010.

3. Elkhart’s Steve Travis has given his life to Taekwondo and seeing students succeed

What started as something he just did for kicks transformed into a way of life for Steve Travis.

Travis, a Taekwondo teacher, has won countless medals, trophies, ribbons and championships. He's now a nationally-known martial arts instructor and earned his ninth-degree black belt just a few months ago.

Though his own success has been satisfying, Travis' passion these days is helping his students perfect their craft. He pushes them to become masters of their own weaknesses and works to make sure all of his students feel like champions in their own ways. 

"Steve demands perfection and finds a way to bring out the best in each and every one of his students," one of Travis' long-time students said.

4. Elkhart Pays It Forward shares story about a random act of kindness at Martin's

Elkhart Pays It Forward, a Facebook page that encourages locals to perform random acts of kindness, shared this message on its Facebook page Friday, March 21: 

"Yesterday while I was at Martin's grocery store, I noticed the cashier wearing one of the Pay It Forward bracelets that I had dropped off there after the tragedy. While talking to her, another cashier came up and asked where she could get a bracelet so I took mine off and gave it to her. Then they shared a story of a young mom that had came in to purchase supplies for her baby but her debit card was denied. The young cashier told her not to worry about it and paid for it herself. I guess the mom was in tears. The ripple effect of kindness (paying it forward) is started in Michiana. Let's keep it going!!!!"

5. Strength is your biggest companion

Monica Murphy, who writes a community blog for The Elkhart Truth, is teaching and doing social work in Ghana, Africa. She recently shared a story about a mother she met who remains positive for her children despite the challenges her family faces.

The mother grew up living in a single small room with her family of 12 and struggled to secure an education. Now, she does everything she can to ensure her children get the educations they need to become productive members of society. She has stayed true to her goal despite facing problems like not having enough food.

"Strength is important because without it, you can't work and care for your children," she said. "My advice for other females out there is to focus, believe and be courageous."

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