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Inspiring

Real-life Santa Claus Travels Across the Globe to Spread Love Through Toys

She’s putting a smile on the faces of hundreds of children all over the world, one toy at a time.

40-year old Rina Fernandez, a resident of Van Nuys, California and a native of Venezuela, has been spreading the Christmas love to children since 1996. Born to a poor family in Venezuela, Rina only received toys once or twice a year. “Looking back on it now, the toys weren’t very nice at all, but back then, I thought they were the most amazing things ever,” she recalls.

Despite being poor themselves, her father used their free money to buy toys for the other kids in their community who were less fortunate than them. Her father’s simple act of kindness was ingrained deeply in Rina’s heart, and it also served as the inspiration for her to start donating toys.

In 1996, after emigrating to the United States and marrying her husband Jared, Rina decided to start her toy project with a budget of 10,000 USD.

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First, Rina does toy runs on secondhand and thrift stores, buying as much toys as she can.

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After this, she washes the toys and fixes whatever damage needs to be repaired. According to her, “I’m not going to give them dirty or broken toys. I want them to be the highest quality possible.”

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Finally, she packs the toys for distribution to impoverished countries. She does this with the help of family and friends.

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The question now is, why is she going through such lengths to give toys to children in far-flung countries? Couldn’t she just donate to charity instead? Her answer, though simple, shots an arrow straight to our hearts.

Seeing the joy and smiles on the children’s faces is what she lives for.

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And she’d rather make sure that what she donates reaches her intended recipients, unlike when she donates and she doesn’t know if children really receive her gifts or not. According to her, “The reason I don’t just donate money is because I don’t know where it goes. Will the people who need the money actually get it? At least when I visit these places, I know they’ll get something because I’m the one handing it to them.

However, her project isn’t exactly cheap; it comes with a hefty tag price. Apart from the cost of the toys itself, the price of her project balloons with the administrative costs. Due to this, Rina and Jared have reached out to the public and partnered with a non-profit organization to manage the administrative and management issues of their project.

Getting toys for Christmas may be a small thing for some, but for Rina’s project beneficiaries, a simple toy goes a long way.

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Inspiring

She Only Wanted One Thing for Christmas: To Spend Time With Her Best Friend

This Christmas, can you give the best gift of all? The gift of TIME?

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Once or perhaps a couple of times in our lives we came to the point of wishing that we could turn back time. Turn it back to those moments that we are not as busy as we are now, or that we still have time to spend for our loved ones. Growing up and going through life surely demands most of our time and attention that we may forget or neglect important people and events. However is it really that we just don't have the time, or we fail to make time for them?

While we don't hold it against our loved ones or our friends if they have to turn down our invitations for the nth time, or they forget the date again; sometimes there is that little part of us that wish things didn't have to change. Because sometimes those Facebook greetings we send to compensate, do not amount to our actual presence. Such is the story in this 3-minute short film of nostalgia and friendship.

Grab some tissues, for this one may turn on the waterworks!

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Inspiring

He Was Walking by a Half-Frozen Lake, When He Saw Something that Made Him Jump!

Will you have jumped too if you were in his situation?

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It seems like people are finding quite a lot of things from frozen lakes, such as the "alien eggs" in Utah. This time, two friends from Norway found something in the half-frozen lake that made one of them jump immediately.

Lars Jørun Langøien and Yngvil Søholt were strolling by and taking pictures, when Lars spotted a little duck waddling through the thin sheet of ice. The duck fell in the frigid waters and became trapped. Without second thoughts, Lars jumped after the duck for rescue. Never minding the frozen waters, Lars swam and scooped up the duck. It was unresponsive and Lars had to pump its heart, massage it and even give it resuscitation.

The thing that made Lars jump in the waters...

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Inspiring

Little Girl Mistakes a Bearded Shopper for Santa… And He Gamely Plays Along!

It’s just the sweetest thing!

During the Christmas season, you can definitely see lots of old bearded guys in Santa suits walking along the streets or commanding an audience of kids at the mall. More often than not, these jolly-looking guys are paid to don the suit and entertain children, so they happily play the role for the kids' sake.

But what about those who are just minding their own errands and suddenly get mistaken for good 'ol Santa? This bearded man named Roger got approached by an adorable little girl named Sophie, who honestly thought he was Saint Nick and to her parents' delight, he played along and indulged her.

"I've been told you've been a good girl this year," he told the cute and innocent girl....

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