Family

Some of these pianos are decorated with paint, some with grass. Find them in the park and go nuts.

When I lived in New York, it took a lot to phase me. Between dancers breaking into routines on the subway and poets spontaneously performing on the streets, bold public art was the norm.

Some of these pianos are decorated with paint, some with grass. Find them in the park and go nuts.

But one day I noticed something that actually gave me pause.

It was one of those warm and cuddly "Awww … now THIS is why I love New York moments." As I found myself walking through different boroughs of the city, I'd see brightly colored pianos in parks and other — what I thought were random — outdoor spaces. It turns out that these musical instruments have been sprinkled throughout the communities since 2006.


Image of Sing for Hope piano by CBSNews.com.

Sing for Hope is the organization that's responsible for this mysterious piano trail. The nonprofit, powered by volunteer artists, seeks to make art and music accessible to all.

Their piano project, which was highlighted by Nick Dietz in a story for CBSNews.com, was started by Monica Yunus and Camille Zamora. They also happen to be BFFs and successful sopranos themselves.

Here's how the magical initiative works.

Generous people and organizations from all over New York donate pianos. Once the instruments are inspected and approved to withstand the fun journey ahead, a team of artists brings the pianos to life. They deck them out with colors, inspiring messages, and eye-catching designs. No two pianos are the same.

The precious instruments are then placed in outdoor spaces throughout the five boroughs of New York. There are no instructions or special guests of honor. Their simple placement is invitation enough for folks in the community to experiment and play.

This guy was inspired during the Sing for Hope public installation. Image by CBSNews.com.

The best part about this program is that people who may not have access to a piano or be able to afford to hear live music can do so during the 16-day public installation period.

In a telephone interview with Rachel Benichak, a representative for Sing for Hope, she explained:

"Communities really rally around these. These are beautiful pieces created by artists that took hundreds of hours to make and are then placed outside. We've seen friendships formed, proposals — impromptu happenings. Normal people interact with the pianos and it makes their communities better. It's a really fun project."

But the fun doesn't stop there.

After each summer exhibit, the pianos are shipped to their next destination — schools, hospitals, and community organizations.

Teachers at P94M, The SPECTRUM School, in Manhattan's East Village, were ecstatic when they were gifted a Sing for Hope piano in 2013. Music exploration is helping their students develop their voices.

"We work with children with emotional disturbance, children with autism, children with intellectual disabilities. This provides a very therapeutic space for them," says Tessa Defner, an arts coach.

After the pianos are delivered to the various community organizations, Sing for Hope supplies each location with artists who give piano lessons and classes on interpreting the instrument's design.

A child at P94M using a Sing for Hope piano. Image by CBSNews.com.

It's a win-win for students, artists, and the community at large. To learn more about this inspiring effort, check out the video below.

Courtesy of Creative Commons
True

After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

Keep Reading Show less
Terence Power / TikTok

A video of a busker in Dublin, Ireland singing "You've Got a Friend in Me" to a young boy with autism is going viral because it's just so darn adorable. The video was filmed over a year ago by Terence Power, the co-host of the popular "Talking Bollox Podcast."

It was filmed before face masks were required, so you can see the boy's beautiful reaction to the song.

Power uploaded it to TikTok because he had just joined the platform and had no idea the number of lives it would touch. "The support on it is unbelievable. I posted it on my Instagram a while back and on Facebook and the support then was amazing," he told Dublin Live.

"But I recently made TikTok and said I'd share it on that and I'm so glad I did now!" he continued.

Keep Reading Show less
True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

via Pexels and @drjoekort / TikTok

Gay sex and relationships therapist Dr. Joe Kort is causing a stir on TikTok where he explains why straight men who have sex with men can still be considered straight. If a man has sex with a man doesn't it ultimately make him gay or bisexual?

According to Kort, there can be a big chasm between our sexual and romantic orientations.

"Straight men can be attracted to the sex act, but not to the man. Straight men having sex with men doesn't cancel somebody's heterosexuality any more than a straight woman having sex with a woman cancels her [heterosexuality]," he says in the video.

Keep Reading Show less
via Ken Lund / Flickr

The dark mountains that overlook Provo, Utah were illuminated by a beautiful rainbow-colored "Y" on Thursday night just before 8 pm. The 380-foot-tall "Y" overlooks the campus of Brigham Young University, a private college owned by the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), commonly known as Mormons.

The display was planned by a group of around 40 LGBT students to mark the one-year anniversary of the university sending out a letter clarifying its stance on homosexual behavior.

"One change to the Honor Code language that has raised questions was the removal of a section on 'Homosexual Behavior.' The moral standards of the Church did not change with the recent release of the General Handbook or the updated Honor Code, " the school's statement read.

Keep Reading Show less