Quick thinking waitress had a gut feeling a boy was being abused. So she gave him a sign.
via WFTV

Server Flavaine Carvalho was waiting on her last table of the night at Mrs. Potatohead's, a family restaurant in Orlando, Florida when she noticed something peculiar.

The parents of an 11-year-old boy were ordering food but told her that the child would be having his dinner later that night at home. She glanced at the boy who was wearing a hoodie, glasses, and a face mask and noticed a scratch between his eyes.

A closer look revealed a bruise on his temple.

So Carvalho walked away from the table and wrote a note that said, "Do you need help?" and showed it to the boy from an angle where his parents couldn't see.



Mr.s Potatohead's in Orlando, Florida


The boy shook his head, no. "I knew it that he was afraid," she said.

Carvalho made two more attempts until the boy nodded yes.

The server then called the owner of the restaurant to let her know that she was going to call the police on the boy's parents.

The police arrived and arrested the boy's father

on one count of third-degree child abuse. His mother Kristen Swann was arrested with two counts of child neglect. A four-year-old girl was taken from the family by authorities. They say she showed no signs of abuse.

Detectives spoke with the boy and learned his parents frequently withheld food from him as a form of punishment. He was 20 pounds underweight. After searching his body, they discovered that he was nearly covered in bruises.

His father had recently beat him with a broomstick and back scratcher.

via Orlando PD

The boy told detectives that he was once hung upside down from his ankles in a door frame by his father and had been restrained by being strapped to a furniture dolly.

"To be honest what this child had gone through was torture," Detective Erin Lawler said. "There was no justification for it in any realm of the world. I'm a mother and seeing what that 11-year-old had to go through, it shocks your soul."

Carvalho's quick thinking and bravery may have saved the lives of two children.

"This could have been a homicide situation if she had not have intervened," Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon said.

"The lesson here for all of us is to recognize when we see something that isn't right to act on it… This saved the life of a child," he added.

The restaurant's owner, Rafaela Cabede, hopes that Carvalho's bravery inspires others to look out for signs of abuse as well.

"We understand that this has to encourage other people that when you see something, say something," Cabede said. "We know when we see a situation that is wrong, we know what's the right thing to do. We know that speaking up is the right thing to do. But it takes more than acknowledging it. It takes courage.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

In the autumn of 1939, Chiune Sugihara was sent to Lithuania to open the first Japanese consulate there. His job was to keep tabs on and gather information about Japan's ally, Germany. Meanwhile, in neighboring Poland, Nazi tanks had already begun to roll in, causing Jewish refugees to flee into the small country.

When the Soviet Union invaded Lithuania in June of 1940, scores of Jews flooded the Japanese consulate, seeking transit visas to be able to escape to a safety through Japan. Overwhelmed by the requests, Sugihara reached out to the foreign ministry in Tokyo for guidance and was told that no one without proper paperwork should be issued a visa—a limitation that would have ruled out nearly all of the refugees seeking his help.

Sugihara faced a life-changing choice. He could obey the government and leave the Jews in Lithuania to their fate, or he could disobey orders and face disgrace and the loss of his job, if not more severe punishments from his superiors.

According to the Jewish Virtual Library, Sugihara was fond of saying, "I may have to disobey my government, but if I don't, I would be disobeying God." Sugihara decided it was worth it to risk his livelihood and good standing with the Japanese government to give the Jews at his doorstep a fighting chance, so he started issuing Japanese transit visas to any refugee who needed one, regardless of their eligibility.

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