11 stories of hope and resilience in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Natural disasters bring out the worst of Mother Nature but the best of humanity.

Hurricane Harvey is no exception.

The massive storm made landfall in Texas on Aug. 25, inundating the Houston metro area with record-breaking floodwaters and high winds. To avoid chaos on the highways, there was no mass evacuation order for the city's 2.3 million residents. But most homes and buildings were no match for the unprecedented storm.


Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images.

Local first responders and the Coast Guard are working around the clock to rescue people from roofs and attics as the waters rise. But their numbers and resources, particularly those of the aquatic variety, are limited.

Thankfully, there are ordinary heroes among us too.

These are the people who aren't afraid to step up and lend a hand, even in the face of danger or uncertainty. Here are 11 of their stories.

1. Abe Minor planned to rescue his friends. Soon, he was rescuing dozens more.

Once his friends were safe, Minor kept going, rescuing as many as 20 different people and their pets. And he's going back out today.

2. Cole Geeo put his monster truck to good use and went out to help.

Geeo saw the coverage on the news and knew he (and his 8-foot-tall truck) could be of assistance. Using a few ladders, Geeo was able to help his neighbor Deborah Wright get down from her second floor and into his truck.

"That's a redneck rescue, I do believe," Wright's coworker Dina Young Gray told local ABC affiliate WFAA.

3. Even 15-year-old Declan took to the water to help his neighbors in the Meyerland area of Houston.

Way to go, Declan!

4. These men waded into waist-deep water to help a stranger clinging tight to a road sign.

They used a refrigerator as a float to get to the man, then created a human chain to get through the rushing water.

5. This preacher went door-to-door to make sure nobody was stranded in these submerged cars.

When it was time to step up, he put his values into action.

6. Animals are in dire need, too. That's why Alicia Plunkett did her part to keep Houston's bats from drowning.

It may sound small, but in the wake of the storm and standing water, the region will be be inundated with mosquitos and the diseases they carry. Bats can assist with that problem, but only if they're alive to help.

7. Storm tracker Aaron Jayjack found a lost dog. And his story has a yappy, er, happy ending.

Jayjack stopped for gas, and the sweet pup jumped into his car. Jayjack used social media to help find the dog's owner, and the pair was reunited.

8. Local and national journalists continue to prove their mettle during this storm. A local news team helped first responders save the life of a stranded trucker.

The powerful moment of everyday heroics was captured by the crew.

9. And CNN correspondent Ed Lavandera joined local college student Austin Seth on his civilian search-and-rescue mission.

Lavandera continued to report the story while rescuing families and helping them into Seth's flatboat.

10. As a thank you to the reporters covering the storm and its aftermath, this woman delivered a six-pack on air.

It may not be strictly heroic, but in a weekend full of hardship, uncertainty, and tragedy, a little levity can go a long way.

11. Once people are rescued, they need a place to go. This screenwriter stepped up to run a shelter.

When the community of Rockport opened a shelter at an elementary school but didn't leave anyone in charge, screenwriter Zachary Dearing stepped up to the challenge. With no emergency response training, he took stock of the situation and recruited volunteers to help people get resources and organize visitors. Bravo!

Whether you're driving a flatboat around Houston picking up strangers or sending money from Seattle, there are plenty of ways to help communities devastated by this storm.

You don't need a cape or even a uniform to be a hero, just a willingness to lend a hand. Here are a few places to start.

Because near or far, when natural disasters happen, we're in this together. Thanks to everyone doing their part.

Photo by Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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