School surprises beloved custodian after losing car in crash

When a custodian at a school in Dunwoody, Georgia lost his old beaten-up car in an accident, his colleagues got together with an online car dealership and fixed him up with a new set of wheels. The car had been a little bit famous, after appearing in a film called Miracles from Heaven, but since the accident, Grey, the custodian had to get to and from work on his own steam. Now he’s driving a 2015 Mazda 3, just because his school loves him.

Home Depot employees build custom walker for 2-year-old

Over to Texas now, and the story of Silus Johnson. Silus has Norrie Disease, which affects his eyesight and muscle tone. He’s only 2 and it’s hard for him to walk, but a group of employees from a local Home Depot are helping out by building a contraption that’ll help him walk. For us in the UK it’s a device like a Zimmer frame, but they don’t make them for kids of Silus’ age so they’ve taken on the project themselves.

Neighbors scrub hate messages before family sees them

When vandals spray-painted a home with hate-speech while the family were away, a neighbour decided to take action. She rallied on nearby friends and neighbours, who all came together to paint over the N-words and KKKs that were sprayed all over the family’s home. They were nearly finished when the Phillips family returned, but thanks to help from the local community, including an on-duty police officer, they came back to a show of love, rather than hate.

The world’s largest beach cleanup has cleared more than 4 million pounds of trash

A beach once famous as a thriving spot for fishing has in recent years become synonymous with a rubbish tip, but thanks to a lawyer local to the area, Versova Beach in Mumbai is now home to a record-breaking rubbish cleanup operation, which has seen over 4 million pounds of garbage cleared. If you want to see the “before” shot, follow the link in the shownotes.

Justice Department plans to stop using private prisons

If you’ve ever seen John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight piece on private prisons in the US, you’ll have an idea of how money and justice meet in uncomfortable ways. Well, independent news organisation Mother Jones is crediting itself with having spurred the US Department of Justice to stop using private prisons. Whatever the initial impetus, the DoJ looks to be committing. Although the memo circulated to staff doesn’t appear to give a timeline, the advice has been one of “reducing – and ultimately ending – our use of privately operated prisons”. As a result, stocks in the two biggest prison companies in the US are plummeting.

And that’s your Mood Elevator for this week. You can find me on Twitter @iamsteadman and if you have any stories of your own, email feedback@moodelevator.org. See you Thursday.