This 20-year-old was brought to tears after his city surprised him — big time.

The 95-degree heat was blistering in Rockwall, Texas, earlier this month. But Justin Korva didn't let it deter him.

The Taco Casa restaurant employee was on his typical walk to work when Andy Mitchell, a local businessman, spotted him alongside the road. Mitchell asked the 20-year-old if he needed a ride.


It was a carpool experience he'll never forget.

"Meet my friend Justin!" Mitchell later wrote in a Facebook photo caption. "He told me he walks three miles to work and home every day."

Meet my friend justin! I picked this boy up this am and gave him a ride to work at taco casa. He told me he walks 3...

Posted by

Andy Mitchell on Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Yep, that's right. Without the funds to buy a vehicle, Korva walked three miles in the Texas heat — each way — in order to earn a paycheck.

Mitchell's photo quickly began making waves in the Rockwall community.

In just a few days, hundreds of likes, shares, and interest in helping Korva filled the post's comment section.

Image via Facebook/Andy Mitchell.

That's when folks jumped in to act.

"I felt compelled to do something,” says Danny Rawls, general sales manager at Toyota of Rockwall.

Rawls learned that his friend, restaurant owner Samee Dowlatshahi, had set out a donation box for Korva at his local Italian bistro, CBS News reported. According to The Independent, that box had garnered a whopping $5,500 in just two days, from patrons looking to help Korva get a car.

Rawls chatted with his boss at the dealership to see if they could get the price down on a vehicle for Korva using the funds raised at Dowlatshahi's restaurant. His boss liked the idea.

On June 23, the team at the dealership and other community members surprised Korva outside Taco Casa with a 2004 Toyota Camry.

"Justin, you can't imagine all the people who wanted to help you," Mitchell said at the surprise event. "So, instead of walking to work, buddy, you're driving this car from now on."

Photo courtesy of Toyota of Rockwall.

The folks in Rockwall had raised enough money for the car, insurance for a year, two years' worth of oil changes, and a $500 gas card.

Photo courtesy of Toyota of Rockwall.

"Are you serious?" an emotional Korva asked, giving away hugs and wiping away tears.  

Photo courtesy of Toyota of Rockwall.

It may seem like a grand gesture. But the motive behind the gift was a pretty simple act of kindness, if you ask Jason Kirksey.

“Sometimes when you see a need, you try and fill that need," says Kirksey, internet sales director at the dealership.

There are millions of Justins out there this very moment, fighting uphill battles to make ends meet.

We may not all have the power to give away cars, but we all have the power to chip in and make a difference when it counts.

After all, finding the simple ways you can help can counter the false idea that the bad outweighs the good out there.

“The world is not that bad — if you look around and you find the good things to focus on," says Kirksey, applauding his community in Rockwall. "If you focus on the good things, the bad things seem not so bad.”

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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via Fox 5 / YouTube

Back in February, northern Virginia was experiencing freezing temperatures, so FOX 5 DC's Bob Barnard took to the streets to get the low down. His report opens with him having fun with some Leesburg locals and trying his hand at scraping ice off their parked cars.

But at about the 1:50 mark, he was interrupted by an unaccompanied puppy running down the street towards the news crew.

The dog had a collar but there was no owner in sight.

Barnard stopped everything he was doing to pick the dog up off the freezing road to keep it safe. "Forget the people we talked to earlier, I want to get to know this dog," he told his fellow reporters back in the warm newsroom.

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Courtesy of CeraVe
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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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