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steven nava, hose villaruel, homeless teacher

Steven Nava hugs his former teacher, José Villaruel.

For decades, José Villaruel, 78, was a substitute teacher in Fontana, California, 50 miles west of Los Angeles, where he was affectionately known in schools as “Mr. V.” But all of that changed in March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. After schools pivoted to distance learning, the substitute teacher was out of work.

Villaruel was forced to retire and live off his social security check, but he had debts and sent a large portion of his money to Mexico to pay for care for his sick wife. To make ends meet, Villaruel was forced to live in his blue Thunderbird until his fortunes improved. But he had a strong hope they would.

Around that time, Steven Nava began to notice someone sleeping in their car every morning in a parking lot near his home.

"I noticed that he had all of his belongings in his car, and that's when I realized he was homeless," Nava told NBC Los Angeles. He also noticed that the man living in his car was his former substitute teacher, Mr. V.

Once Nava made the connection, he gave him $300 to stay in a hotel room for a few nights.


"I had a mission to help the teacher who was going through a difficult time during the pandemic,” he said. "I spoke to Mr. V., and he told me that the only source of income was a monthly Social Security check and that most of that money was sent to his wife who is very ill in Mexico."

Knowing that Villaruel needed more help, Nava put together a GoFundMe fundraiser for him and posted about it on social media.

Nava’s tweets quickly went viral and he raised $27,000 for his friend. On Villaruel’s 77th birthday, Nava, with the help of a local news station and former students, surprised him with a check for $27,000. "Everybody always recognized him because when he went into the classroom he always had just such good energy," Melissa Lopez, a former student of Mr. V.'s, told Fox 11 at the ceremony.

After the initial fundraiser ended, Nava started a second fundraiser that earned $30,000 more for Villaruel.

"It is an experience of my life that will be kept for the rest of my life. I carry it in my heart," Villaruel said. "I felt that something was going to happen, that things were going to change, and it happened suddenly when I least expected it.

“I tell the students when they have a project, keep going despite the difficulties, don't give up. Do not give up. Don't quit." Mr. V. didn’t quit and his students didn’t give up on him.

@stevennava_

update- THANK YOU! we’ve been busy with interviews, NEW YT VID TONIGHT 6PM PST| LINK IN BIO GO SUB! #fyp #foryoupage #thankyou #mrv

The story of Nava and Mr. V. is a powerful example of the effect that a teacher—even a substitute—can have on their students. No one deserves to be without a home, especially those who spent decades educating children.

In September 2021, Nava revealed that thanks to all the help, Mr. V. was able to return to his family in Puebla, Mexico. “So long friend,'' he wrote on a TikTok video. “Keep spreading positivity.”

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Co-sleeping isn't for everyone.

The marital bed is a symbol of the intimacy shared between people who’ve decided to be together 'til death they do part. When couples sleep together it’s an expression of their closeness and how they care for one another when they are most vulnerable.

However, for some couples, the marital bed can be a warzone. Throughout the night couples can endure snoring, sleep apnea, the ongoing battle for sheets or circadian rhythms that never seem to sync. If one person likes to fall asleep with the TV on while the other reads a book, it can be impossible to come to an agreement on a good-night routine.

Last week on TODAY, host Carson Daly reminded viewers that he and his wife Siri, a TODAY Food contributor, had a sleep divorce while she was pregnant with their fourth child.

“I was served my sleep-divorce papers a few years ago,” he explained on TODAY. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to us. We both, admittedly, slept better apart.”

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