Surgeon Creates Hand-drawn Bandages To Cheer Up Young Patients

I really needed some good news today. This story is several that did it for me.

Dr. Robert Parry is a pediatric surgeon at the Akron Children’s Hospital in Ohio. He regularly performs surgeries on children going through a variety of health problems, which can be overwhelming and traumatizing for kids and their families. However, he’s managed to turn a stressful situation into a happier occasion by using one of his other talents to make a recovering kid smile.

Dr. Parry regularly draws cartoon characters by hand on the bandages for these kids after their surgeries are over! The surgeon told InsideEdition.com that he was inspired to draw by his mother, an art historian and amateur artist, and finds it to be a small escape from reality. “I have a little bit of downtime, but I don’t want to leave the room until I know the kid is OK, so it just fills that time in perfectly,” Dr. Parry said. “It’s fun for everyone, and it’s selfishly fun for me. I love doing it. I love the reactions of the kids and parents and the staff.” 

Mom Heather Vincent was surprised to see a picture of Buzz Lightyear on her son Jackson’s belly after surgery to treat his high-risk neuroblastoma, with which Jackson was diagnosed when he was just 2 years old. She smiled at the idea, knowing how happy Jackson would be to see his favorite character when he woke up. “It was awesome,” seven-year-old Jackson said excitedly.

Over the years, Dr. Parry has drawn over 10,000 bandages in his career and is still going! He loves the thought of kids finding beauty in the midst of a hard situation. “Kids are incredibly resilient; they’re strong and they can still enjoy beautiful things, even when some stuff around them really isn’t that great,” he shared. “Children are just eternally optimistic. They’re just born that way. Things can be 90% bad in their lives and 10% good, and kids go to the 10% good. For the selfish side of me, it’s good to be around that optimism.”

This really made me smile. Something so small means so much to these kids and their families, especially with all that they’re going through. Check out more of Dr. Parry’s artwork in the clip below!

Michelle Obama and Ellen DeGeneres Give Huge Gifts To DC Elementary School

I absolutely love my forever First Lady Michelle Obama and Ellen DeGeneres! The two, in partnership with Apple, recently gave back to an elementary school in DC with some much-needed school supplies!

In a special trip to Randle Highlands Elementary School in Southeast, Washington, D.C., First Lady Obama shared more about the school and its students and staff Principal Kristie Edwards revealed that a majority of the students are in the foster care system or are homeless. However, without missing a beat, she and the teachers work to provide these kids love, a safe space, and the quality education they need and deserve. They also provide other services like school supplies, free lunch, a garden, and a washer and dryer at the school if children need clean clothes.

Through Ellen’s Greatest Night of Giveaways, Mrs. Obama surprised the principal and teachers with $100,000 for whatever supplies they need. The school also received a new basketball court, new Apple computers and laptops for their computer lab, and new iPads for ALL 350 STUDENTS!!!! What?!

I used to pass by this school all the time to get to church or my grandmother’s house not too far away. I would hear about the great work happening there and how these teachers are working to empower these young people. I’m so happy to see them receiving this huge Christmas blessing!

Watch the beautiful video below.

Went To An Adult Field Day To Blow Off Some Steam! (Adult Play Date DC)

My best friend Chelsey and I had the opportunity to go to Adult Play Date DC on November 23, right before Thanksgiving week. It was basically a day filled with fun games and activities for ADULTS ONLY! A perfect way to relieve some stress and be a kid again…at least for a few hours before getting back to real life.

The event had relay games, tag, an Escape Room, arts and crafts, and much more, all to let us grown folks blow off some steam with the hustle and bustle of life.

Thank you to Yolanda Carter and event planning and promotions company The City Vault for inviting us. We had a BALL, as you’ll soon clearly see!

Check out some of my footage from the day below.

New York Man Has Fostered Over 50 Young Men in His Home in 12 Years

I absolutely had to share this story with you all today about a man who has made a positive impact in the lives of other young black men.

Guy Bryant and his family had always helped people where they could. “Everybody on the block came and sat on our steps and if somebody had no place to go, my family was always taking them in,” he told InsideEdition.com. That caring spirit moved Bryant, affectionately known as Mr. B, to foster over 50 teens and young adults in the past 12 years.

At 61 years old, Mr. B is a single dad in Brooklyn who’s been divorced for some time. While working at the Administration for Children Services (ACS), he was struggling to find a placement for an 18-year-old young man. The teen asked if Mr. B would consider becoming his foster dad. Mr. B hesitantly accepted but the two grew to love and respect each other.

That foster child would be the first on a long list of young men that reached out to Mr. B for help. Mr. B now officially fosters through a non-profit organization called Rising Ground, which helps match children who have been placed in ACS’ care with foster children.

Mr. B typically takes in young men who have a hard time getting placed in foster care. He provides a true home for them as they cook together, watch games, and go on different outings.

Calling himself a “forever dad,” the 61-year-old is currently fostering four boys, a few of whom have phased out of the foster care system but still need help. “Once a child is with Guy, he is responsible for helping this person to adjust what has happened to them,” said Rising Ground CEO Alan Mucatel. “It takes a really special person like Guy to help a young person makes sense of all of that.”

Fifteen-year-old Dior Dillard agrees. “We were born to the streets,” Dior Dillard, 15, told InsideEdition.com. “We had to look to the streets for things, hustling, stuff like that. Now that we have Mr. B, he saved all these people that came into his possession.” Dior added, “I appreciate the support, the love, the care. He also helped me to relax and lower my energy down because I usually have a mean demeanor. I’m an aggressive person sometimes, but he helped me to look at things different and take a different path.”

Bryant stays in touch with most of the men he’s fostered. In fact, many come back to spend quality time with him on occasion.

Watch more of Mr. B’s story below!

Common Holds Burlington Coat Drive in His Hometown of Chicago

Throughout the holiday season, Burlington customers can donate new and gently worn coats at their local Burlington store. This year, Common, along with teenage students from his Common Ground Foundation, launched the iniative in his hometown of Chicago.

For the past 13 years, Burlington, alongside their partner Delivering Good, has been committed to hosting this coat drive for the less fortunate. Over 41 million people live below the poverty level in the U.S., and they are in desperate need of coats in these colder months.

“I am committed to supporting and uplifting the people of Chicago through any ways possible. The Common Ground Foundation has been one of the greatest and most impactful ways to give back to my hometown. I am excited to team up with Burlington and Delivering Good and bring it home so that we can give Chicagoans a sense of hope, keep them warm and make a difference in their lives, ” said Common.

Anyone can donate a coat at any Burlington store through January 20, 2020. All of those who donate will receive 10% off of their total purchase at the store. To learn more and find a store near you, visit Burlington.com.

Watch a quick video from the event below!