A Miami police officer becomes a mentor to the teen who attacked him at a BLM protest
via Julian Stroleny

Seventeen-year-old Michael Marshall had never been to a protest before, but on June 10, his mother dropped him off at Bayside Marketplace in Miami, Florida to join Black Lives Matter in their call for justice.

"It was important to me as a young Black man to go out there and stand with my people," he told The Miami Herald. "It was important to represent something way bigger than me."

The protests turned violent when demonstrators began vandalizing statues of Juan Ponce de León and Christopher Columbus. This resulted in the Miami Police Department deploying a response platoon against the demonstrators.


This caused a melee in which the 6-foot-4, nearly 300-pound Marshall whacked officer Raymon Washington in the head with his skateboard.

Boy, 17, faces charge after video shows him hit officer with skate board www.youtube.com


Soon after Marshall struck the officer he had deep feelings of remorse. "When I was going home, I looked around and realized this took a hard curve and it wasn't for me," he said. Marshall, a standout Northwestern High football player, had never been in any trouble before or had any encounters with the police.

As Black man, Washington understood the protestors' rage.

"The uproar — I understood it because I'm Black myself," Washington said. "I still get stopped in my neighborhood in my car by the police. I get it. There is change that needs to happen but tearing up the city is not one way."

Washington didn't immediately realize he had been struck, but after things calmed down in downtown Miami, he vomited and was sent home. "I took a shower, ordered a pizza and slept for three days," Washington said. "I woke up to my brother kicking in my front door. They thought I was dead."

Washington was concussed by the blow. This added to the lingering effects of multiple concussions he received as an athlete in his youth.

After video of the teenager striking the officer spread online, Marshall turned himself in to authorities and was charged with aggravated battery of a law enforcement officer.

Julian Stroleny, the teenager's lawyer, got to work on a plea deal that would spare Marshall a mark on his clean record and impede his promising football career.

"I had seen the pictures distributed by the media, I had seen the video, but the young man before me was kind, timid, humble, and incredibly remorseful," Stroleny said. "He had no priors, excellent grades, and was a star athlete. Not even a detention at school."

As part of the deal, he proposed a meeting between Washington and Marshall to reconcile.

However, Washington was hesitant.

"I was like, 'No.' I didn't really have a good understanding of the juvenile justice system," Washington said. "I'm used to dealing with adults — do the crime, do the time type of thing."

But after Washington learned about Marshall's athletic aspirations he agreed to meet with the teenager.

The two, along with members of Marshall's family met in a State Attorney's conference room where Washington read Marshall's three-page letter of apology. The letter brought him to tears.

"I was that kid — a high school athlete, wanted to go to college. Had offers on the table. I was like, I don't want to screw this kid up. If I can change one life, and that's it, then that's it," Washington said. "I should have been dead three times this year. For some reason, God was like, you're here for a reason."

Marshall was devastated after learning the officer's history with concussions.

The police officer then did something extraordinary. He gave the teenager his cellphone number and arranged for him to receive tutoring and offered him rides to and from football practice.

The two are now in regular communication through text messages and Washington has become a mentor to the teen.

Recently, Washington visited the teenager's home and was in the stands for Northwestern's game against its rival, Central High.

"We won. I played great," Marshall said. "I played amazing. He was so proud of me."

"The divide between police and the communities they service isn't good for anybody," Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said. "This is a shining example of how we can overcome the tense relationships that exist. It's a beautiful story."

Marshall's attorney has reached a plea deal with the state that includes Washington's blessing. If he completes his probation and volunteer hours at the Miami Police Department, his record will be expunged at the age of 19.

Marshall is a senior looking to graduate this June. He has already received a few scholarships offers and hopes to play for a Division 1 team.

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A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.

Usually when we share a story of a couple having been married for nearly five decades, it's a sweet story of lasting love. Usually when we share a story of a long-time married couple dying within minutes of each other, it's a touching story of not wanting to part from one another at the end of their lives.

The story of Patricia and Leslie "LD" McWaters dying together might have both of those elements, but it is also tragic because they died of a preventable disease in a pandemic that hasn't been handled well. The Michigan couple, who had been married for 47 years, both died of COVID-19 complications on November 24th. Since they died less than a minute apart, their deaths were recorded with the exact same time—4:23pm.

Patricia, who was 78 at her passing, had made her career as a nurse. LD, who would have turned 76 next month, had been a truck driver. Patricia was "no nonsense" while LD was "fun-loving," and the couple did almost everything together, according to their joint obituary.

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Courtesy of Macy's

Brantley and his snowman

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"Would you like to build a snowman?" If you asked five-year-old Brantley from Texas this question, the answer would be a resounding "Yes!" While it may sound like a simple dream, since Texas doesn't usually see much snow, it seemed like a lofty one for him, even more so because Brantley has a congenital heart disease.

On Dec. 11, 2019, however, the real Macy's Santa and his two elves teamed up with Make-A-Wish to surprise Brantley and his family on his way to Colorado where there was plenty of snow for him to build his very own snowman, fulfilling his wish as part of the Macy's Believe campaign. After a joy-filled plane ride where every passenger got gift bags from Macy's, the family arrived in Breckenridge, Colorado where Santa and his elves helped Brantley build a snowman.

Brantley, Brantley's mom, and Santa marveling at their snowmanAll photos courtesy of Macy's

Brantley, who according to his mom had never actually seen snow, was blown away by the experience.

"Well, I had to build a snowman because snowmen are my favorite," Brantley said in an interview with Summit Daily. "All of it was my favorite part."

This is just one example of the more than 330,000 wishes the nonprofit Make-A-Wish have fulfilled to bring joy to children fighting critical illnesses since its founding 40 years ago. Even though many of the children that Make-A-Wish grants wishes for manage or overcome their illnesses, they often face months, if not years of doctor's visits, hospital stays and uncomfortable treatments. The nonprofit helps these children and their families replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy and anxiety with hope.

It's hardly an outlandish notion — research shows that a wish come true can help increase these children's resiliency and improve their quality of life. Brantley is a prime example.

"This couldn't have come at a better time because we see all the hardships that we went through last year," Brantley's mom Brandi told Summit Daily.

Brantley playing with snowballs

Now more than ever, kids with critical illnesses need hope. Since they're particularly vulnerable to disease, they and their families have had to isolate even more during the pandemic and avoid the people they love most and many of the activities that recharge them. That's why Make-A-Wish is doing everything it can to fulfill wishes in spite of the unprecedented obstacles.

That's where you come in. Macy's has raised over $132 million for Make-A-Wish, and helped grant more than 15,500 wishes since their partnership began in 2003, but they couldn't have done that without the support of everyday people. The crux of that support comes from Macy's Believe Campaign — the longstanding holiday fundraising effort where for every letter to Santa that's written online at Macys.com or dropped off safely at the red Believe mailbox at their stores, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. New this year, National Believe Day will be expanded to National Believe Week and will provide customers the opportunity to double their donations ($2 per letter, up to an additional $1 million) for a full week from Sunday, Nov. 29 through Saturday, Dec. 5.

There are more ways to support Make-A-Wish besides letter-writing too. If you purchase a $4 Believe bracelet, $2 of each bracelet will be donated to Make-A-Wish through Dec. 31. And for families who are all about the holiday PJs, on Giving Tuesday (Dec. 1), 20 percent of the purchase price of select family pajamas will benefit Make-A-Wish.

Elizabeth living out her wish of being a fashion designer

Additionally, this year's campaign features 6-year-old Elizabeth, a Make-A-Wish child diagnosed with leukemia, whose wish to design a dress recently came true. Thanks to the style experts at Macy's Fashion Office and I.N.C. International Concepts, only at Macy's, Elizabeth had the opportunity to design a colorful floral maxi dress. Elizabeth's exclusive design is now available online at Macys.com and in select Macy's stores. In the spirit of giving back this holiday season, 20 percent of the purchase price of Elizabeth's dress (through Dec. 31) will benefit Make-A-Wish.You can also donate directly to Make-A-Wish via Macy's website.

This holiday season may be a tough one this year, but you can bring joy to children fighting critical illnesses by delivering hope for their wishes to come true.

via Twins Trust / Twitter

Twins born with separate fathers are rare in the human population. Although there isn't much known about heteropaternal superfecundation — as it's known in the scientific community — a study published in The Guardian, says about one in every 400 sets of fraternal twins has different fathers.

Simon and Graeme Berney-Edwards, a gay married couple, from London, England both wanted to be the biological father of their first child.

"We couldn't decide on who would be the biological father," Simon told The Daily Mail. "Graeme said it should be me, but I said that he had just as much right as I did."

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via Elliot Page / Instagram

Elliot Page, once publicly known as Ellen Page, has announced he is transgender. The announcement makes the Oscar-nominated actor one of the most high-profile celebrities to come out as transgender.

The actor currently stars in Netflix's "The Umbrella Academy" and has acted in films such as "Juno," "Inception," and the "X-Men" franchise.

Page made the announcement on social media where he celebrated the joy of coming out while taking the opportunity to discuss the issues faced by the transgender community.

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