Today the Department of Awesomely Good Deeds salutes Mustafa Efe, Imam at the Mahmud Hüdayi Mosque in the historical Üsküdar district of Istanbul, Turkey. In addition to his religious and community leadership work, Efe is a devoted animal lover with a great big heart. Last year he began welcoming the city’s numerous stray cats and their kittens into his mosque. Efe refers to his feline visitors as “guests” and wants them to find safety and warmth within the walls of his historic mosque, particularly during the cold winter months.
One mama cat was observed bringing her newborn kittens into the mosque one by one. She carried them in her mouth up the stairs and over to the safety of the mosque’s pulpit, where she proceeded to groom and feed them:
On Facebook Imam Efe wrote, “The kitty has found the heart of compassion and mercy.” Meanwhile other feline guests are known to sit in on Imam Efe’s sermons alongside human congregation members.
The newest member of the Department of Awesomely Good Deeds is The Crayon Initiative, a nonprofit organization started by Bryan Ware. It all began when Ware was watching his sons coloring during a birthday dinner out at a restaurant and wondered what happened to the crayons if his kids left them behind. He posed this question to a restaurant employee and was distraught to learn that all the leftover crayons are simply thrown away after customers leave. It turns out that 75,000 pounds of crayons are thrown away by restaurants and schools each year. So Ware decided he could find a way to make sure the crayons weren’t wasted and instead given to kids in need.
Now Ware collects old crayons from restaurants, schools, and friends and turns them into brand new crayons for children at California-based hospitals. He melts down the leftover crayons and then uses a special mold that he created in collaboration with an occupational therapist. The new crayons are thicker, which makes them easier for little kids and children with special needs to grasp and use.
2,000 boxes of recycled crayons have been donated to California children’s hospitals since The Crayon Initiative was founded in 2013. Now the organization is planning its first out-of-state donation to a hospital in New York City later this month.
In doing so, Ware hopes to continue expanding as he supports the hospitalized youth all across the country. “From my perspective, the biggest goal is to give them an escape,” he continued. “I can’t even fathom what these kids are going through. If these crayons give them an escape from that hospital room for ten minutes, we did our job.”
And Allah presents an example of those who believed: the wife of Pharaoh, when she said, “My Lord, build for me near You a house in Paradise and save me from Pharaoh and his deeds and save me from the wrongdoing people.”
Losing your best stuffed animal friend is a terrible thing, so when the staff at the Adare Manor Hotel in Adare, County Limerick, Ireland discovered a sweet plush bunny named Jellycat all by himself, they new he must’ve been forgotten by a child who was surely missing him terribly. Claire, the hotel concierge, immediately started to make some calls in effort to locate Jellycat’s bff and the hotel posted a photo (top image) of the bunny on their Facebook page in hopes that his owner’s family would see it and contact them.
In the meantime other members of the Adare Manor decided to give the lost bunny the royal treatment and post photos of his impromptu vacation. They treated Jellycat to afternoon tea, a massage, a walk around the grounds, and a cozy seat by a fireplace. When it became clear that Jellycat was going to be spending the night, he was put up in a 5-star room with a king-sized bed, a tiny bathrobe, and tasty chocolates.
A few days later Jellycat was reunited with his young friend and her family, who were incredibly grateful that the hotel had worked so hard to find the bunny’s owner and treated him so extraordinarily well during his unexpected stay.
Today the Department of Awesomely Good Deeds salutes police officers in Parma, Ohio who, upon discovering that a mourning dove had built her nest and laid eggs on the windshield cowl of one of their backup squad cars, went out of their way to protect the mama bird rather than displace her.
Officers attached an umbrella to the police car’s windshield, both to give the bird shade and keep her dry, set up a little cup of water for her, and taped off the vehicle so that no one would bother her. They also named her Gerty.