It wasn't all bad

It will be called the Harmony Playground, where all children will be free to play in their own way.

The town of Clayton, North Carolina, is planning on breaking ground for this inclusive project in 2019. The inspiration came after planners heard about the difficulties some families face when it comes to finding places where their children feel welcome. "You know, it really broke my heart when I started talking to parents that when they have children with special needs, that they avoid playgrounds," Dean Penny of the Clayton Recreational Foundation told WRAL.

Harmony Playground's design takes into account all kinds of special needs and disabilities; for example, the sidewalks will be at different elevations, so a child in a wheelchair will be able to wheel down to the lower level. Several businesses in the area are supporting the effort and helping raise funds, and the town is about halfway to its goal of $800,000. Catherine Garcia

October 17, 2018

It all started with a blood drive at his church.

Richard Packman, 74, first donated blood in the early 1990s, and after being told by a phlebotomist he had "big veins," the Chicago resident made the switch to platelets. "It takes longer than a blood donation, but it's well worth it," he told the Chicago Tribune. "I really enjoy being a platelets donor because you really know you're saving lives." It takes about two hours to donate platelets, which are commonly used for cancer patients who lose platelets during chemotherapy treatment, but Packman said the time passes quickly, as he watches a movie or chats with staff.

Packman has spent an estimated 1,000 hours giving blood or platelets, and on Friday, made his 500th donation. A small celebration was held, with streamers and carrot cake, and Packman plans on continuing to donate beyond this milestone. "Just remember one thing: It's better to give than to receive," he said. Catherine Garcia

October 16, 2018

After watching a movie about the Iron Cowboy — a man who completed 50 triathlons in 50 days — Niall McDermott thought, "I could do that."

The 10-year-old from San Francisco tweaked it a little, telling his parents he'd like to run 50 5K races in 50 days. After getting the okay from his pediatrician, McDermott ran his first 5K, with his parents letting him know he could stop whenever he wished. He kept at it, and on Sunday, he ran his 50th 5K alongside a friend. He told KPIX that while he was running, "I was thinking, 'I'm gonna finish this and I can do it, and when I finish it, I won't have to do it anymore.'"

McDermott's grandfather has lung cancer, and McDermott turned his running into a fundraiser, getting $4,000 in pledges that will be donated to the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation. His mother, Maggie McDermott, is proud of her son for not giving up. "He never complained a single day, said he didn't want to do it, or he's too tired or something hurt," she said. "He was just ready to go every day. I'm amazed." Catherine Garcia

October 14, 2018

This isn't a desert mirage — Benny the yellow lab from Las Vegas really does ice skate and fetch hockey sticks.

The 5-year-old dog was rescued from a Las Vegas shelter right before he was to be euthanized. His new family realized that he learned things quickly, and they had custom ice skates made for Benny's front paws so he could practice skating. He picked it up almost immediately, and now he goes around the rink with an American flag on his vest and a stick in his mouth.

Benny's dedication has paid off, and he's branched out from skating in front of his family during weekly practices — he's also entertained fans ahead of Las Vegas Knights and University of Nevada, Las Vegas hockey games. Catherine Garcia

October 12, 2018

Harper Yeats is only five months old, but she's already seen more of the United States than most seasoned travelers.

Harper's mom, Cindy Lim, and dad, Tristan Yeats, are originally from Australia, but they've lived in Canada for the last three years. In June, the family visited Maine, and came up with an idea: What if they spent their leave traveling to all 50 states? It was something they'd always wanted to do, and they thought it would be even better if their newborn daughter joined the ranks of the All Fifty States Club. "It was just our plan to do it together and have fun," Lim told CBS News.

The family has checked off more than 40 states, documenting their adventure on Instagram with photos of Harper smiling in front of giant trees in California and sleeping next to a "Welcome to Maine" sign. They will reach their final state, Vermont, on Oct. 18, and Lim said she hopes that when her daughter is older, "when she looks at the photos and I tell her all the stories, that she can have the confidence that she can do anything." Catherine Garcia

October 11, 2018

Adam Keys was given a second chance at life, and he's making the most of it.

In July 2010, Keys was serving in Afghanistan as an Army paratrooper when he was severely injured by a roadside bomb. It was "touch and go," he told CBS News, and doctors gave him less than a 1 percent chance of survival. Keys beat the odds, making it through more than 100 surgeries, then learning how to walk and talk again. Through it all, he said, he thought about his fellow soldiers who didn't survive the bombing, and decided to live life to the fullest in their honor.

Keys, who has three prosthetic limbs, started competing in marathons on a hand cycle. Then, he set a major goal for himself: To climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa. Keys was accompanied on his journey by a friend who is a medic, as well as several Tanzanian guides who pushed him and kept his spirits up. After five grueling days and freezing nights, Keys reached the top. He left behind his Purple Heart, "for everybody that's ever been in the service," he said. "We owe you big time and we always, always appreciate it." Catherine Garcia

October 10, 2018

When he was a kid, Kevin Boyer's parents left him special notes in his lunch box, and he's keeping that tradition alive with his own students.

Boyer is the family and student support coordinator at Gorsuch West Elementary in Lancaster, Ohio. Last year, he wrote a personalized letter to every student in the school, and he's doing it again this year. Every day, he pens six notes, so that by the last day of school, he will have written a letter to all 600 students. Boyer makes it a point to learn the name of every kid in the school and finds out their interests and hobbies so when it's time to write their letters, they are one-of-a-kind.

Last year, students would rush up to him in the halls with their letters, and give him hugs and high-fives, Boyer told The Lancaster Eagle Gazette. "Not only was it a pick-me-up for the students, it was also a pick-me-up for me and kind of kept me going throughout the school year as well," he said. Some students told him they've taped the notes to their desks, while others said they brought them home and proudly display them on their refrigerators. Catherine Garcia

October 10, 2018

You can check out more than books at the New York Public Library's Riverside branch on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

Through a new program proposed in August by young adult librarian Michelle Lee, the library is lending out purses, briefcases, and neckties to people looking for work who might not be able to afford the items necessary for job interviews. Lee came up with the idea after a girl attending one of her employment workshops told her she didn't have any nice clothes to wear to an interview.

While the program is targeted to young people, anyone with a library card can stop by and borrow a purse or tie, for up to three weeks. Community members have been dropping off donations in droves, and Lee said she wants to see more job seekers use the service, telling The New York Times that "this hopefully gets them started on their career, first job, or first internship." Catherine Garcia

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