After I wrote recently about the number of people who came to the rescue of Andrew Riggle, who was stuck during a rainstorm in the middle of an intersection when his motorized wheelchair was shorted out by the flooded street, I received a heart-warming response.
Jeff Stokes e-mailed, saying he and his family wanted to pay for the repairs to Riggle's wheelchair. I forwarded that to Riggle, who expressed deep gratitude for the Stokes' generosity, but noted that as a lobbyist for the Disability Law Center, he has insurance through his work, so the repairs were handled.
I forwarded that to Stokes, who then chose to donate $1,000 to the Disability Law Center.
Community of crocheters • After my column ran last Monday about Utah State Prison inmate Robert Jones' yearlong effort to crochet 540 winter hats at the prison and then donating them to the students at Oquirrh Hills Elementary School, I heard from Joyce Cottrell, executive secretary of the Utah Board of Regents.
Cottrell told me that a number of women in her office crochet and they have quite a bit of leftover yarn from their projects. They offered to donate their yarn to the prison for future Jones projects, or whatever needs that donation could meet. She also told me she made an announcement about donating yarn in her church and heard from her daughter, also a knitter, who plans to help in collecting yarn for the prison.
She estimates that she and her cohorts will come up with at least 20 skeins of yarn within the next week, and may turn it into a long-term, ongoing project.
Warming the soles • While inmate Jones has warmed the heads of Oquirrh Hills students this winter, Utah's Credit Unions (formerly the League of Credit Unions) will be doing the same for the feet of another group of students largely from low-income families.
On Monday, the staff of Utah's Credit Unions will be at Mountain View Elementary in Salt Lake City's Glendale area to deliver hundreds of pairs of shoes purchased from Payless ShoeSource, whose employees also will be at the school to fit the students with their new shoes.
Credit union representatives visited the school in October and noticed many of the students wore hand-me-down shoes that did not fit their feet. They measured the students' feet and ordered shoes to fit.
The credit unions have been raising money in their branches for months for the Warm the Soles project, an effort they have been involved in since 1994.
A personal moment • Last week I was driving to the Smith's store on 4500 South and 900 East when, just before getting to the parking lot, a car in front of me stopped and the driver motioned for me to go around him. I drove around and into the lot and noticed he had gotten out of his car and was pushing it. I stopped in the nearest stall, then ran onto 4500 South to help him push his car into the lot.
I happened to be wearing my red Utah Utes coat.
At the same time I was getting out of my car to lend a hand, a car driving east on 4500 South pulled into a lot across the street and the driver jumped out, also to help the man push his car.
The two of us got the man's car into the lot and to a gas pump, since his problem was that he had run out of gas.
I then noticed my collaborator was wearing a blue BYU coat.
I glanced at him, he glanced at me, and we agreed: "This is cool."