This man's thank-you to Chelsea first responders represents the best of New York.

On Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016, a bomb went off in the New York City neighborhood of Chelsea.

As of this writing, there are still many unknown details. But we do know 29 people were injured and the act was intentional.

Photo by Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images.


Immediately after the explosion, NYPD officers rushed to the scene and began an investigation. Within hours, they found a second device and prevented it from exploding. On Monday, Sept. 19, a suspect was identified and arrested.

It's times like this when we all need to take a moment and appreciate our first responders.

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

When they're rushing toward the scene that everyone else is running away from — putting themselves in harm's way to keep the rest of us safe — they deserve our respect and our deepest thanks.

And maybe a cup of coffee.  

That's why this man showed up in Chelsea to give the officers there a well-earned pick-me-up.

His name is Jermaine, and he was captured on video handing NYPD and FDNY officials cups of coffee and bags of pastries from Starbucks — as a thank-you for their hard work.

ACT OF KINDNESS

ACT OF KINDNESS » As NYPD Guards the Explosion Scene Created by the Worst in People, First Responders Get Free Starbucks Delivered by New Yorkers, Seeing the Best in PeopleWe flew a crew to NYC to cover the #ChelseaNYC explosions the governor called terrorism this morning. Officials have not yet linked it to an international group. More stories like this to come.

Posted by KnightNews.com on Sunday, September 18, 2016

In the video, Jermaine says he wishes he could do more for the first responders keeping his neighborhood safe. The thankful officers say they are just happy to help.

Despite what you may think of New Yorkers, this small act of kindness isn't out of character.

Sure, most of us New Yorkers spend our days with tunnel vision — hopping from subway to subway, deli to coffee shop, just trying to get where we're going and make ends meet.

What little interaction we have with each other is either desperately shoving our way onto the 6 train or cursing at the cab driver who slammed on his brakes and stopped about four inches short of killing us in the crosswalk.

But there's so much more to the people of NYC than that. With the collective acceptance of the madness of city life, we also understand the importance of lifting each other up in times of need.

The secret to living in New York City is having each other's backs.  

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

That's never more clear than when a tragedy strikes, and we're forced to take a moment and see if everyone's OK.

For better or worse, New Yorkers know how to handle things like this.

We may go back to ignoring and yelling at each other soon, but when the chips are down, the best of us are there to help, say thank-you, and hand over a bag of muffins.

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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The fasting period of Ramadan observed by Muslims around the world is a both an individual and communal observance. For the individual, it's a time to grow closer to God through sacrifice and detachment from physical desires. For the community, it's a time to gather in joy and fellowship at sunset, breaking bread together after abstaining from food and drink since sunrise.

The COVID-19 pandemic has limited group gatherings in many countries, putting a damper on the communal part of Ramadan. But for one community in Barcelona, Spain, a different faith has stepped up to make the after sunset meal, known as Iftar, as safe as possible for the Muslim community.

According to Reuters, Father Peio Sanchez, Santa Anna's rector, has opened the doors of the Catholic church's open-air cloisters to local Muslims to use for breaking the Ramadan fast. He sees the different faiths coming together as a symbol of civic coexistence.

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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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