After Firefighter Loses His Life, Team Organizes Parade for His Son’s Birthday

Firefighters hold birthday parade for fallen colleague's son
(Youtube/Rockland Report, CBS New York)

Emergency responders put their lives on the line every single day to protect their communities. First responders go through extensive training to keep them as safe as possible on the job, but there are some situations that no amount of training could have prepared them for. 35-Year-old Jared Lloyd, a Spring Valley volunteer firefighter and father of two, tragically lost his life while putting out a fire at a nursing home in late March – just one day before his oldest son’s 6th birthday.

According to CBSN New York, the nursing home’s alarm system was not properly set up, and emergency dispatch services were not automatically contacted when the fire alarm went off. The devastating delay allowed the fire to grow as 112 people struggled to flee from the building.

When firefighters arrived, they hit another roadblock. The water pressure was inadequate, stifling their efforts to get the growing flame under control. Jared Lloyd bravely rushed to the third floor to save a resident still trapped inside, and tragically, conditions became too dangerous for the firefighter to escape.

“This is probably the greatest joint save effort with the worst type of outcome, meaning, there were so many people saved that day, but we lost one of our own,” Fire Chief Ken Conjura said.

Family, friends, and coworkers of Lloyd rallied to support the fallen firefighter. Lloyd was well known as a giver, someone who would drop everything to help those in need. A GoFundMe has been set up in his honor and has already raised over $600,000 for his two young children.

On March 24, a nearly hour-long parade of fire trucks, tow trucks, police cars, and garbage trucks drove past the fallen firefighter’s home for his son’s 6th birthday. With Conjura leading the way, the community rallied together to support the young boy. Some brought presents, some came with signs, some simply honked their horns and waved as they passed. The parade served as more than just a birthday celebration – it was a message of support to Lloyd’s family, the reassurance that they were not alone.

“He was that guy that you could call and he would be here in a minute,” Conjura said of Lloyd. “He was that guy that couldn’t leave because he was afraid to miss something. He was that guy that you want to have on your team. He’s going to be a big, big, tremendous loss to this department. He died as a hero.”

Story of Dads Helping 8-Year-Old Who Lost His Father Sparks Touching Thread

Touching twitter thread after story of dads helping 8-year-old
(Twitter/TorrensJonathan)

It really does take a village to raise a kid, an idea that was brought to light in the most touching way after a Twitter user named Jonathan Torrens shared a story from his childhood. Losing a parent is exceedingly difficult, especially at a young age. Kids crave attention, love, and guidance from their parents, something they’re reminded of time and time again as they watch their peers with their own parents.

At the age of 8, Jonathan Torrens experienced a kid’s worst nightmare – the loss of his dad. Though nothing can ever fill the void of a parent you’ve lost, dads who knew Jonathan through hockey began to step up. Quietly, subtly, not drawing attention to the little boy who didn’t have a dad to help him tie his skates, the fathers of his peers helped Jonathan feel a little less alone. No pity, just kindness.

“My dad died when I was 8,” Jonathan wrote in his post. “Every week a few of the dads on my hockey team would offer to tie my skates. Not in a big showy way, in a quiet kind way. They filled the gap. Find a way to fill the gap for someone. It’ll make you both better.”

Jonathan’s touching story and call to action gained the attention of people around the world, inspiring others to share stories of their own.

There was the uncle who fully embraced the role of hockey parent for his nephew

The Zamboni driver turned coach who made sure no kid was left behind

The couple who took “friends forever” extremely seriously

Fairy godmothers giving Disney a run for their money

A father figure who knew exactly what role he needed to fill

A neighbor overflowing with generosity in more ways than one

The whole village showing up to do their part

Hockey dads filling the gap for another kid in need

Dads so kind even the nuns were impressed

Jonathan’s story and the moving thread that followed is a reminder that no gesture is too small to make a difference. Every dad knows that being a parent doesn’t stop with your own kids – once you’re a dad, you’re a dad for life. Maybe that means you respond to “I’m tired” with “hi tired, I’m dad” no matter who says it. Or maybe, being a dad means that you know when a kid, any kid, needs one.

Heroic Police Officer Killed in Colorado Grocery Store Shooting Was Father of 7

Officer Talley
(Twitter/City of Boulder)

The mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado on Monday has rocked our nation – ten lives were lost in a senseless grocery store shooting. One of those tragic losses was a dad of 7, and a Boulder police officer, who acted heroically and gave his life helping others stay safe.

51-year-old Eric Talley was killed responding to the shooting at King Soopers grocery store, and the Boulder police chief praised his heroic actions on the scene. More than a police officer, he was a loving dad, as Talley had seven children, the youngest of which is only 7 years old.

Talley’s father, Homer, said his son loved being a police officer, but he loved being a dad more. “He loved his kids and his family more than anything,” his dad said. He added that his son had recently been training as a drone operator, so he wouldn’t be serving on the front lines anymore.

President Biden called Talley an American hero. “When he pinned on that badge yesterday morning he didn’t know what the day would bring…But when the moment to act came, officer Talley did not hesitate,” he said.

His police vehicle was parked outside the department and quickly became a memorial to the heroic officer.

On social media, some were reminiscing about other heroic actions from Officer Talley, including one woman who recounted how he protected her from an abusive ex.

A journalist shared a story about Talley rescuing ducklings on duty several years ago.

His sister shared a sweet photo of them as kids.

There’s no question Officer Talley was, in the words of the President of the United States, “An American Hero.” While there’s still so much more to mourn and learn in the aftermath of the shooting, it’s important to remember and honor those who lost their lives more than any shooter. Officer Talley was a hero, yes, but he was also a dad.

Paralyzed Dad-of-Three Walks 125 Miles in Robotic Suit in February for Charity

Paralyzed dad walks 125 miles in robotic suit for charity
(YouTube/Metro Newspaper UK)

Dads have been known to accomplish near-superhuman feats when they’re motivated by their kids. They display incredible bravery in life-or-death situations, and do things they never thought possible to be the hero their kids need. Simon Kindleysides from Norfolk, England is no exception. This father of three refused to slow down after becoming paralyzed from the waist down. He was so determined, in fact, that he learned to walk again.

In 2013, Simon was diagnosed with a brain tumor as well as a functional neurological disorder. He credits the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for saving his life many times over, but the lower half of his body was left paralyzed. To give back to the hospital that saved his life, Simon set a lofty goal to raise money for ICU equipment and a new operating complex – the determined dad set his sights on walking 112 miles in the month of February.

Now 36 years old, Simon is miraculously able to walk using a battery-powered ReWalk exoskeleton. To make the suit move with him, Simon has to tilt his arms to tell the suit to utilize his hips with every step. Walking is a full-body effort for Simon and his robotic suit, but with encouragement coming both from his family and from strangers around the world, he was determined to reach his goal of raising £2,000 ($2,797.81 USD).

“The most exciting part of the task was walking in snow,” Simon recalled in an interview with the Eastern Daily Press. “I hadn’t walked in snow for 10 years. When I went out into the snow I was leaving footprints and not wheelchair tyre tracks. It was amazing.”

Simon used a step counter, tracking his distance wherever he decided to walk that day. Some days Simon completed his trek outside, but when the weather was less than ideal, he walked in circles around his living room. Occasionally, he was trailed adorably by his endlessly supportive kids and one very excited dog.

Simon blew past his initial goal, walking a staggering 125 miles throughout the month of February and raising over £14,000 – he even set a world record in the process. Simon’s GoFundMe page is still active, as he hopes to reach his amended goal of £15,000.

“The support I got from people was amazing,” Simon marveled. “People were coming out and clapping me and giving me money from their cars. It was magical. The generosity from strangers to support me and the NHS was overwhelming.”

One Texas Man With 4-Wheel-Drive Saves Hundreds of Stranded Drivers

Texas Man Helps
(YouTube/KVUE)

Texas dealt with a dangerous and unusual winter storm this month, leaving millions without power and water. While some took it as an opportunity to squabble and play politics, the true heroes were the people on the ground, taking care of their neighbors and helping each other through the crisis. One Texas man in particular took that to the next level, using his car to help hundreds of stranded drivers.

Ryan Sivley took his four-wheel-drive vehicle all-around Austin, helping cars stuck on the side of icy roads around the city. He rescued several hundred cars during the course of the week, just because he wanted to help.

“Well, put yourself in their shoes,” he told a local TV station. “If you were sitting on the side of the road with your wife and your kids and you’re freezing in the car, and it’s not running and you don’t have anywhere to go and you don’t have anyone to call, what do you do?”

“I’ve seen wreckers turning people away because they won’t pull them out due to liability. You need to stay in your car and just freeze to death? If I was in that spot, I would beg and hope that somebody would help me. So that’s what I’m doing.”


Boom. I would hope somebody would help me, so that’s what I’m doing. Real king shit right there. He reportedly said his inspiration was when he was involved in a dangerous car accident last year. He said he can’t walk for more than an hour or two, but he can drive a truck, so he’s been doing that to help. Helping anyone he can.

One woman he saved wrote a lengthy Facebook post about his efforts, saying he was an “angel.” He even gave the TV station his telephone number in case people are stuck and need a hand.

When tragedy strikes, nothing is more disheartening when politicians try to manipulate to serve some agenda that bears little resemblance to reality. Sure, some politicians raised money for charities and did welfare checks and helped constituents, and some went on TV or on vacation.

But the true heroes are the people who want to help, in any small way they can, and find a way to do help their neighbor through something terrible. One dude, helping hundreds of stranded drivers, for no charge. Just because it’s the right thing to do.

The Dad Staff is donating to a collection of food and warming centers throughout Texas to help families in need. Impact Your World allows us to contribute to 14 organizations, including The Red Cross, Mercy Chefs, Austin Pets Alive, as well as local food banks in Dallas, Houston, and Austin. If you are able, please consider donating any amount here.

Michael Jordan Donates 10 Million To Open Two New Health Clinics in His Hometown

Michael Jordan Opens Clinic in Hometown
(Getty/Franck Fife)

Michael Jordan is a legend for his play on the court, but he’s becoming an even bigger legend thanks to his off-the-court moves in recent years. Jordan is coming through for his home state in a MAJOR way, as he donated $10 million to open TWO new health clinics in his hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina.

The new health clinics will serve the uninsured or underinsured people in that community, making it a much-needed addition to the area. The announcement is similar to the two clinics Jordan has already bankrolled, both in the greater Charlotte area, where Jordan owns the NBA Charlotte Hornets.

Both the existing clinics opened recently in Charlotte, as Jordan put up the money and partnered with Novant Health. The first opened in 2019 and became a Covid-19 screening and testing site during the pandemic, and his most recent clinic opened in October. The health system said the clinics brought primary care and social support services to the area’s most vulnerable communities and served thousands of patients.

The new clinics will be in Wilmington, Jordan’s hometown, and will be serving the town and the surrounding rural communities.

“Everyone should have access to quality health care, no matter where they live, or whether or not they have insurance,” Jordan said in a statement. “Wilmington holds a special place in my heart and it’s truly gratifying to be able to give back to the community that supported me throughout my life.”

Novant said they were extremely appreciative of the gift from the sports legend.

“We are so appreciative of Michael’s unwavering commitment to help us bring affordable care to our communities that need it most. It’s not only an investment in us as a partner, but it’s an investment in each and every person that our clinics can reach,” a spokesman said.

The $10 million gift will help the new clinics open sometime in 2022.

Family Starts Mobile Soup Kitchen Under a Bridge to Help Those in Need

Bridge Kitchen
(Facebook/BridgeUnderTheBridge)

“In these unprecedented times” is a phrase that’s so worn out by brands releasing cringy commercials they almost have no meaning nearly a year into the global pandemic. But it’s helpful to remember that we’re going through something we haven’t faced before and we did to help those who needed it is what we’ll remember most. That’s the approach taken by a dad and his family in Iowa, who have responded to “these unprecedented times” by providing hot meals and food for those in need in their Iowa city.

They even set up their operation under a highway overpass. Jovountae Robinson, his wife Bridgette, and their kids decided to take action after a devastating derecho hit Iowa in the summer. The storm and the pandemic left their community reeling, so they did what they could to help, setting up Bridge Under the Bridge with their own food and their own money to get food to people in the community who needed it. It’s as direct a community operation. And they haven’t stopped.

But with the cold weather threatening their continued operation, Good Morning America stepped in with a huge surprise to the Robinson family, providing them a brand new trailer to continue their mission.

“We cook every day. It’s not just people that are unemployed, it’s people that are working that are just struggling,” Bridgette Williams-Robinson told the morning show.

The family started a GoFundMe, to help raise money to keep their mobile soup kitchen operational, and to help deliver food to those who can’t make it to the bridge. If they had a slogan, it would be ‘Stop by If you need a meal no questions asked,’ as they serve all types who need it.

The Robinson family has decided to make their operation permanent, as a way to thank the city that helped their family so much when they were homeless just five years ago. Jovountae told GMA the people they help “live next door to me and I never know they didn’t have anything to eat. Just because a person smiles and drives a nice car doesn’t mean that everything is OK.”

He also said the kids love being part of it and being able to actually make an impact on their community and for their neighbors. “It’s an amazing feeling,” he said.

Father of 6 Provides Free Plumbing Services to Elderly Customers During COVID

Depher
(Facebook/Depher)

One of the most inspiring parts of the last year is seeing regular citizens stepping up in incredible ways to help their neighbors and communities during the pandemic. Whether it’s a college kid making pizza in his kitchen and dropping it out his window to raise thousands for food kitchens, a dad who lost his job and used his spare time to mow lawns of the elderly for free, or thousands more like them.

Here’s one more to add to the list of regular, everyday heroes; a plumber in the U.K. who has been fixing the heating and plumbing of elderly and disabled customers FOR FREE, helping thousands of families keep their heat and water going during the pandem.

James Anderson, a 53-year-old plumber dad of six in the U.K., started “DEPHER,” which is the Disabled and Elderly Plumbing and Heating Emergency Response, as a nonprofit to help even more people. To date, he’s helped thousands of families for absolutely no cost. In fact, he estimates he’s spent nearly $80,000 of his own money on these free service calls, which he said he does not regret a bit.

“Worth every penny if it kept people alive and warm,” he told the Good News Network. The dude does not take a day off, working 7 days a week and 70 hours per week on average. Oh, and he’s a father of 6.

He set up a GoFundMe so donors can help him continue to work. He said the money goes to hiring other plumbers in different locations to help him provide the free service to as many as they can help. He also said some rogue plumbers unfairly target and gouge elderly and disabled customers, who may not realize they are being taken advantage of.

So, you’ve got a guy with great skill, not only helping to literally save lives during a deadly global pandemic, but he’s also helping to stop shady and downright villainous predatory actors in their paths. He sees his mission pretty clearly:

“We’ve all got a social responsibility to each other – we need to be there for each other.”

You can donate to his efforts here.

Ring Doorbell Captures Dad and Daughter Firefighters Rushing To Work Together

Dad daughter firefighters leave for work together
(TikTok/chloewilson111)

You know what they say, families that save together stay together. Ok, maybe nobody really says that but it’s only because they didn’t have a reason to until very recently. Having one firefighter in your house instills a sense of safety – these people are heroes, bravely putting their lives on the line every day to protect their community. A one-firefighter household means that one person will always be relatively calm in potentially dangerous situations, but a two-firefighter household is the obvious next step – TikTok fame.

Chloe Wilson and her dad Phil Wilson live together in Northern Ireland, and in early January, a video compilation of the pair leaving for work went massively viral. The dad-daughter duo often leave for work at the same time, because incredibly, they work for the same fire department.

Phil has been a firefighter since 1992, and during her last few years of school, Chloe decided to follow in her dad’s footsteps.

“I literally only started in December, I had always been interested in getting involved, especially with my dad being part of it all too”, Chloe told Armagh I.

After Phil’s wife Nuala got him a Ring doorbell for Christmas, the family quickly realized the doorbell’s camera captured some incredible footage – the very footage Chloe compiled and shared on TikTok.

“It comes up with a video every time the door is rung but it also has a sensor which detects and records if someone is coming up the driveway, so it goes off every time we leave the house on a call,” Phil explained.

Chloe compiled a video of the brave duo rushing from their home during all hours of the day and night, any time the on-call firefighters are alerted of an emergency that needs their assistance. The video Chloe shared on TikTok has received nearly 300,000 likes so far – people simply cannot get enough of the life-saving duo.

@chloewilson111🚒🚨 ##fireservice ##firefighter ##northernireland ##fyp ##emergencyservices ##foryoupage

♬ original sound – Chloe Wilson

Though Phil and Chloe work for the same fire department, they take separate cars since Phil is a veteran firefighter and more likely to actually end up attending to the calls. However, Chloe plans to continue working and gaining experience in the hopes of one day becoming a full time firefighter.

“I enjoy it that’s why I have kept at it,” Phill says. “And I think my daughter is enjoying it so far too.”

Single Dad Adopts Girl With Down Syndrome Rejected by 20 Families

Alba and Luca Trapanese
(Instagram/trapaluca)

Alba was just a few days old when she was put up for adoption by her parents because she has Down syndrome. Sadly, 20 other families passed on adopting her by the time she was only 13 days old. But her story got a happy ending when a single dad stepped in to adopt the adorable weeks-old infant.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Wedding Livio e Serena❤

A post shared by Luca Trapanese (@trapaluca) on

Luca Trapanese’s story went viral with the release of a book he wrote about his life with Alba, a story he says “destroys many stereotypes about fatherhood, religion and family.” Adoption laws in Italy are fairly strict, and rarely are single parents approved, but Alba’s condition warranted an amendment to the normal regulations. And Luca said he experienced no trepidation about the decision, driving to the hospital to fill out the paperwork the moment he was approved.

(UPDATE: We chatted with this hero dad to see how he and Alba are doing. Read more here.)

 

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Ma poi andrò in vacanza anche io?😂😂😂#Procida #estate2019 #Alba #maldischiena

A post shared by Luca Trapanese (@trapaluca) on

Luca had a history of volunteering and working with children with disabilities, so he felt prepared to raise a child with Down syndrome. And he couldn’t wait to become a dad.

“When I held her in my arms, I was filled with joy,” he told the BBC. “I felt she was my daughter immediately. I knew I was ready to be her father.”

 

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I momenti di relax con Alba sono veramente pochi😂😂😂 #alba #nataperte #padre #diversità #single #roma #nuoviamici

A post shared by Luca Trapanese (@trapaluca) on

Luca said Alba, now 1.5 years old, loves to play and meet new people. “I will spend the rest of my life with a girl I love,” Luca says, “and we will do many wonderful things together.”

Dad Spends 30 Hours Getting Tattooed To Make Son Less Insecure About Birthmark

Dad spends 30 hours getting tattoo of son's birthmark
(Facebook/Juicy Quill Tattoo)

We all have things that make us stand out. But when you’re a kid, feeling different can be a source of stress and even bullying. As parents, we can urge our kids to embrace their own differences and appreciate unusual traits in others – but sometimes, certain situations demand that we do more than simply talk the talk. For Derek Prue Sr., it meant showing his son that he wasn’t alone by embracing the very thing that made him feel different.

Derek Prue Sr.’s 8-year-old son was born with a large birthmark on his torso, one that often left him feeling insecure. When the family goes swimming, 8-year-old Derek refuses to remove his shirt. He wasn’t often vocal about his insecurity, but he did his best to hide the birthmark from others.

Seeing his son struggle was challenging for Prue, so without telling the 8-year-old, he took on an enormous project to ensure his son would never feel alone again. With the help of Tony Gibbert, owner of the Juicy Quill tattoo studio, Prue began working on his own identical (post)birthmark.

Neither Gibbert nor Prue knew exactly how long the project would take, which was probably for the best. In total, Prue’s matching birthmark tattoo took a whopping 30 hours – 30 hours of holding still, of constant pain (or at best, extreme discomfort), all to support his son in the best way he knew how.

During a pool outing with his family, Derek Prue Sr. unveiled his new ink. His son was both startled and delighted, seeing the very thing that caused him distress replicated on his biggest cheerleader.

“I think it’s amazing to be able to comfort your son like that,” tattoo artist Tony Gibbert told CBC. “It’s more than just your kid seeing your name, or something, you get to actually, like, really change the way he feels about himself.”

After the pain and monotony of his 30-hour ordeal, Derek Prue Sr. couldn’t be happier with the results. He and his 8-year-old son will match forever – through childhood, adolescence, and beyond, the pair will look like two members of an exclusive club with one heck of an orientation process.

As for the pool, 8-year-old Derek feels ready to jump in without the extra layer – with one stipulation.

Derek explains, “Whenever Daddy’s there I can take the shirt off.”

Dad Steps up To Sing Anthem When PA System Fails and He Crushes It

Dad Anthem
(Facebook/JohnnyFuthey)

When things go wrong, you can always count on a dad to step in to lend a helping hand, or in this case, a voice. A high school basketball game in Ohio faced an awkward delay when their sound system malfunctioned as the teams lined up for the national anthem. That’s when Trenton Brown’s wife gave him a nudge and said “sing.” So, he did and sang it a capella.

Oh, and he freaking ROCKED IT.

“I started singing and that was it,” he told CNN. The man has sung and played music most of his life, but had never performed the anthem before. It was recorded by another parent on the team, and the entire gym broke out in a standing ovation after he was done. The dad that recorded it said ‘he brought everyone in the gym to tears when he saved the day by singing the anthem.’

He said he posted it because he thought the world needs to see it, but never expected it to go viral.

And in true dad fashion, after he NAILS IT, he simply sits down to enjoy his popcorn.

Impossible to watch without getting chills.

Dad Accidentally Orders 35ft Inflatable Grinch, Raises $25k for Hospice House

Dad Orders Giant Grinch
(JustGiving/GrowYourHart)

Dads always do things to impress their kids and sometimes those efforts turn into happy little, errr, big accidents. You can’t blame a dad for trying to ramp up the excitement during the holidays by surprising their kids. That’s exactly what one dad in the U.K. was going for when he surprised his daughter, who loves the Grinch, with an inflatable decoration of her favorite Christmas character. Only one problem; he accidentally bought an inflatable LARGER THAN HIS FREAKING HOUSE.

The Grinch inflatable is actually 35-feet tall and is one of only five in the world, reportedly. And the dad just wanted to cheer up his seven-year-old daughter with the purchase, which he naturally didn’t realize was quite so large. Hey, mishaps happen, OK? But there is a happy twist.

A few people started stopping in front of the house to grab a picture with the giant Grinch. And a few more. And then the dad decided to capitalize on his mistake and turn it into a fundraiser for the hospice house that cared for his dying father earlier this year. So, he took a giant Grinch and used it to make people happy, while also raising money for the people who cared for his father in his final days after battling COVID-19.

So far, he’s raised more than $20,000 for the Alice House Hospice as the “Grow your Heart” campaign.

The man said he was surprised when someone offered him money for a photo in front of it and then thought it could be a way to raise money for the hospice house. He said they took great care of his dad, and that he always ‘wanted to do something as a thank you.’

He was thrilled just as the response of his daughter at the sight of the giant Grinch but has been blown away by the thousands that have visited.

“I just want everyone to enjoy it…it’s really heart-warming,” he told a local newspaper.

This is the type of dad content that just makes your heart grow three sizes.