This man mentors kids by repairing their bikes. Then NASA thanked him.
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Trent Griffin got a surprise when NASA Cmdr. Scott Kelly sent him a special thank you on ABC's "Good Morning, America" — live from space.

GIF via ABC/YouTube.


Kelly, a NASA astronaut on board the International Space Station, video-chatted from the International Space Station to thank Griffin for his dedication to community service in Huntsville, Alabama, home of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.

Griffin volunteers with the local Juvenile Conference Committee for underserved youth, visits schools to teach kids science experiments to do at home, and is the president of the Northwest Huntsville Neighbor Association.

But that's not the only reason why the NASA commander wanted to give Griffin some praise. A year ago, he came up with another idea to engage with local children in a positive way — and it has to do with bicycles.

Griffin acquires used bikes and donates them to kids.

Griffin with some of his "bike kids". Image via ABC/YouTube.

The idea came to him when he saw a kid riding a bike with no tire on one of the wheels, says Griffin in an interview with WHNT 19 News. Then he found out the child shared the broken bike with five other siblings.

So Griffin picked up some bikes from a thrift store and restored them for the kid and his siblings.

They were really happy to have them, he says, and soon word began to spread. Other kids showed up to ask about acquiring a bike or getting their own repaired, and Griffin just couldn't say no.

But he added a catch.

In exchange for the bicycle, Griffin has the kids he donates them to sign a "contract."


Image via WHNT 19 News.

The contract asks that each kid respects their parents, finishes their homework, tries to get good grades, and maintains their bicycle. The attention and motivation seem to be working, too.

"When I went to go talk to a school at an awards ceremony, turns out one of my bike kids got the most improved behavior," Griffin shared with WHNT 19 News.

Oh yeah, and that thank you from NASA's Cmdr. Kelly? It was particularly special because of another role Griffin wears:

He's also a NASA physicist.

That's right — this guy's day job has him doing stuff like helping build a new facility for the International Space Station.

Kelly explained on "Good Morning, America" why Griffin is a hero, both in his community and at NASA:

"A lot of people look up to astronauts because we fly in space, but we really, really rely on the people on the ground ... people like yourself that help us do our job up here and make our lives safer and easier,” Kelly said. “But what I really look up to are people that do things when they don't expect any recognition. And I think that's what you do by donating your time and by getting these bikes for [these kids], and getting them to be in a position someday where they can be successful adults."

Kelly also announced that 50 brand new bicycles would be donated for Griffin to give to more local kids.

For his part, Griffin hopes what he does will inspire people to come together, he says, "as part of the village helping kids find their direction."

Giving kids the stuff they want with the training they need is definitely an idea worth passing along.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

When the COVID-19 pandemic socially distanced the world and pushed off the 2020 Olympics, we knew the games weren't going to be the same. The fact that they're even happening this year is a miracle, but without spectators and the usual hustle and bustle surrounding the events, it definitely feels different.

But it's not just the games themselves that have changed. The coverage of the Olympics has changed as well, including the unexpected addition of un-expert, uncensored commentary from comedian Kevin Hart and rapper Snoop Dogg on NBC's Peacock.

In the topsy-turvy world we're currently living in, it's both a refreshing and hilarious addition to the Olympic lineup.

Just watch this clip of them narrating an equestrian event. (Language warning if you've got kiddos nearby. The first video is bleeped, but the others aren't.)

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