A few weeks ago, NewsBusters introduced readers to an amazing homeless girl in Florida with a truly inspiring view of life.
Her story, first told by CBS's 60 Minutes, touched so many Americans that Scott Pelley announced at the end of Sunday's program more than $1 million had been sent to various charities in Florida, and colleges have offered full scholarships to the main characters (video follows with transcript and commentary):
SCOTT PELLEY: An update now on the story that we aired two weeks ago called Hard Times Generation. About children living with their families in vehicles in Central Florida because homeless shelters were full. The children we met included Arielle and Austin Metzger who showed us how they get through the day after getting ready for school in gas stations. They didn`t ask for anything.
But since our broadcast, viewers have sent in or promised more than one million dollars to help homeless families in Central Florida. Beyond the cash came offers of housing and jobs. And for Arielle and Austin, three colleges have offered full scholarships. The Metzgers and other families we interviewed have been given free housing and all of the parents in our story have been offered jobs. Quite a holiday present.
Quite a holiday present indeed.
On a personal note, I received more email messages about this piece than anything I've written in quite a while. Most were asking how they could contribute to Arielle, Austin, and others in need in Florida.
My Christmas wishes have come true with Scott's announcement Sunday.
G-d bless us all, everyone.
And to Arielle and Austin, make the blessings you've received from strangers this Christmas count.
For those interested, here's the 60 Minutes segment that touched so many people, including me (transcript here):