Good News Monday #32: Labor, Kids, Church

collection of construction safety helmet Photo by Skitterphoto on

This week, good news came at me whenever I sat down and took a break. I got out my phone, and jotted a few things down in my “Notes” app so I wouldn’t forget. Because, you know, Bad News keeps on a keeping-on.

There is some really good news. And lots of evidence of people doing good things. Here’s some I found this week.

A Resurection at St. Nicholas’s

From Sunday’s 60 Minutes episode.

Look closely at this icon. The sea the apostles are sailing is New York City.

Only one house of worship fell when the twin towers went down on September 11, 2001. The tiny St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at 155 Cedar Street. During Prohibition, the church was converted in 1922 from a tavern. Since then, nothing could come between the people and their church. Well, until 9/11.

According to “60 Minutes,” 31-year-old John Katsimatides, a bond broker in one of the towers, discovered St. Nicholas on a lunch hour. His remains were never found.

Five thousand miles away, at Xenophontos Monastery, monks work to replace the iconography that brought so many people like John and his sister Anathoula peace.

This quote from Anthoula gave my soul an extra squeeze.

“The good of mankind can conquer evil, no matter what.”

Anthoula Katsimatides

The re-creation of the church is still a long way off. Still, it gave my heart a lift to know that people all over the country and across the globe are working to make it happen.

There’s a lot more to this story. I’ll admit, not all of it is good news. For the full “60 Minutes” coverage click here.

Ms Diane’s Kids off the block

Diane Latiker raised eight kids of her own and lent an ear to thousands more.

It started in 2003 when her youngest was 13 years old. Some friends needed a respite from the violence in the neighborhood. She opened her doors to those nine kids and never shut them. She sold her TV to get the kids a computer, got rid of some furniture to make room for kids, and her “Kids Off the Block” program was born.

Here’s some quotes from a couple of her “kids.”

“Knowing you can come to a place and be safe and have fun and be around a lot of love changes a lot,” participant Denzel Russell said.

“She made me realize I’m going to take some wins and losses, just keep pushing and don’t give up,” participant Daqwon Hargrove said.

Diane was 16 when she gave birth to her first child. She’s 62 now and still having and loving children every day.

To read more about Diane and her “Kids Off the Block” program, click here.

Celebrating Labor

CoCo and Wrestler #1 both have birthday’s this weekend. So my personal good news is I celebrate the fruits of my labor every year on Labor Day.

Aside from that, Labor Day is something worth celebrating for all of us.

man holding shovel
Photo by Kateryna Babaieva on

There was a time when tons of people never left work because their dining rooms were tiny manufacturing sites. Some workers got locked inside of factories and toiled every day of the week for long hours. Hard labor was commonly a part of childhood.

Labor Unions had a big part in making that change. Oregon was the first state to officially celebrate Labor Day.

This holiday—now observed in countries across the world, where it is also called International Workers’ Day—actually originated in the U.S. On May 1, 1886, in what came to be known as the Haymarket Riot, workers flooded Chicago streets to demand an eight-hour workday. The demonstrations lasted for days, punctuated by scuffles between workers and police. On May 4, after police ordered a crowd to disperse, a bomb detonated. Seven police officers and up to eight civilians were killed. The perpetrator was never identified.

From National Geographic

Can you believe our national holiday, Labor Day, was actually created to placate the labor force after the violence? It would take another 44 years before we started limiting work weeks, set a minimum wage, and put an end to child labor. Still, according to Samuel Gompers, president of the AFL in 1910,

“Labor Day marks a new epoch in the annals of human history. Among all the festive days of the year…there is not one which stands so conspicuously for social advancement of the common people as the first Monday in September.”

National Geographic

A sixteen-year-old mother, a destroyed church, and people killed during demonstrations? It seems like all my good news this week started from bad news. Maybe that’s the really good thing to hang onto this week. There can be really good things that spring out of tragic circumstances. It’s so often impossible to see those good moving inside the moments of woe.

What’s on your good news radar this week? I’d love to hear. More is always better.