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7 Stories That May Change The Way You See People With Special Needs

4.6 million people in the U.S. live with a developmental disability... and that hasn't stopped these people from achieving their dreams! There are literally thousands of people and organizations supporting those with special needs. These 7 inspiring organizations and individuals are proof that once you put your mind to something, and are given a little bit of help, anything is possible!


1) Blake's Snow Shack - Blake Pyron from Sanger, Texas became the first business owner in the state of Texas with Down Syndrome. Inspired by the Texas heat, Blake decided to open a snow cone truck to help his community cool off!

A Texas Snow Cone Shack That Inspires Community

2) GiGi's Playhouse - GiGi's Playhouse, founded in 2003 in Illinois, is a Down syndrome achievement center that offers educational and therapeutic programs at no charge to families with down syndrome. With over 30 locations nation-wide, GiGi's Playhouse provides life-changing training to over 30,000 people every day!

A Playhouse Where People With Down Syndrome Shine

3) Prospector Theatre - The Prospector Theatre in Ridgefield, CT provides adults with disabilities opportunities for meaningful employment and vocational training through the operation of the movie theater. It provides them with the opportunity to learn and grow as professionals, all while being a part of their community.

Movie Theater Provides Meaningful Employment For Disabled Adults

4) National Down Syndrome Society - Joey Agostino of Norwalk, CT was born with Down Syndrome, but that didn't stop him from following his lifelong dream…of becoming a professional DJ! And after winning the Ethan Salyor Memorial Scholarship from the National Down Syndrome Society, he was finally able to make his life-long dream a reality!

National Down Syndrome Society Scholarship Winner's Dreams Come True!

5) Tim Tebow's Night To Shine - A Night to Shine is an unforgettable prom night experience for people with special needs ages 14 and older. The Night to Shine event was hosted by 375 churches from around the world... all on the same night with 75,000 guests and the support of 150,000 volunteers.

Tim Tebow's Night To Shine: An Epic Experience For Special Kids

6) Inclusion Films - This vocational program is to provide special needs adults with entry-level working experience that they can take into the film industry or any career they want to follow. The program encourages independence, self-confidence, communication, and collaboration through acting and digital filmmaking. And this summer's Short Film Camp (Camp Kindness), Inclusion Films along with the students are creating a campaign around the importance of simple acts of kindness.

Film Workshop Teaches Movie Making To Adults With Developmental Disabilities

7) Rising Tide Car Wash - John D'Eri and his son, Tom, first opened Rising Tide in April of 2013 to provide their autistic son and brother Andrew a means of employment. Its mission is to employ adults with autism and provide them with the opportunity to build a career and achieve an independent lifestyle. To date, the car wash has hired over 90 associates with autism!

Father Opens Florida Car Wash And Watches Autistic Son Thrive

This HooplaHa original video was edited by HooplaHa's Intern Blake Rozelle. To see more videos just like these, follow us on Facebook and sign up for our Only Good News Newsletter.

5 New Year's Resolutions to Make Every Year

With every new year comes a clean slate and the opportunity to make your next 365 days as meaningful as possible. What are some of your resolutions? We came up with some ideas for resolutions for this year and every year after.

From our OGTV family to yours, Happy New Year!

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Blind Waiter Serves Up Diner Classics and Life Lessons

** As we wind down to the final days of this difficult year, OGTV is tipping our hat to all of the essential workers on the front lines with this uplifting story about a New Jersey man who has found a way to do this difficult job for years, even without his eyesight! **

The flickering neon sign reflects eerily off the aging, chrome exterior; a long smooth marble counter with spinning stools draws your gaze left and right as you enter; the checkered linoleum floor seeps under the rows of back-to-back leather booths enveloped by the rain streaked wrap-around windows. You may think you've entered a typical American roadside eatery, but your experience here will be anything but ordinary.

You have just stepped into the Bendix Diner, a staple in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey since the 1940's. It's no surprise that The Bendix can serve up a sizzling Burger with deep fried onion rings and a frothy chocolate shake. What is unique about this meal is the waiter who delivers it to your table – his name is John Diakakis, and he is blind.

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How to Reduce Feelings of Isolation and Loneliness - Ask The Doctor (E7)

During these incredibly stressful days, OnlyGood TV is excited to launch a new series - Ask The Doctor - that explores the questions and provides guidance for finding the road to achieving emotional, psychological, and spiritual wellness.

Hosted by Dr. Stacy Berman, each episode will help you navigate through these rough times and find your way to a happier and healthier life. Feeling lonely and isolated during quarantine? In this episode, Stacy reminds us that we are all wired to be part of a social community and offers a simple, self-soothing exercise to fill that connection gap that we are all experiencing.

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Are You A Christmas Trivia Expert? - Not Your Average Joe

Everyone could use a few more smiles in their daily lives…and watching a funny video will often do the trick! OnlyGood TV videos help make your life fun, more manageable, happy and stress free!

Joe Leonardo is an improv actor from New York City. For our new "man on the street" series, Not Your Average Joe, he traveled through Times Square asking New Yorkers trivia questions about Christmas! Check out this hysterical video and see which city pedestrians know their facts and which don't... Keep track of your own answers too! Happy Holidays!

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Chefs Honor Sailors and Their Families With a Holiday Feast to Remember (Random Acts of Cooking E1)

What would be a unique way to honor the service of 400 hungry sailors and their families for the holidays? You contact Chef Plum, have him round up his crew of top flight chefs and grill masters, bring in enough food to feed…well…the Navy, spice it up with a dash of top flight entertainment, and you have all of the ingredients for a memorable evening of food, love, and family!

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Sullivan the Therapy Dog Helps Make A Christmas Movie - Sullivan's Travels

** OGTV is celebrating the first day of winter and the holiday season by inviting you to join a golden retriever named Sullivan on one of his many adventures. **

Do you ever wonder what a day in the life of a therapy dog is like? In the OGTV Original Series "Sullivan's Travels," a golden retriever therapy dog named Sullivan Travolta takes us along with her as she assists folks in all kinds of settings. Having been trained at Project Chance in Jacksonville, Florida, Sullivan provides support and happiness to kids and adults in schools, nursing homes, classes, and any other program where she's needed.

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Josh Learns To Elf For Santa Larry - Breaking Beauty - NOW on Crackle!

Josh Varozza introduces us to uniquely interesting and creative people who don't live up to the world's standard definitions of beauty but turn out to be exceptionally beautiful inside and out.

In this episode, Josh catches a trip on his sleigh to the Mall of America to meet the most unique Santa in the world. Can Santa Larry work his Christmas magic in order to help Josh become the perfect Elf and grant wishes to the children of Minneapolis?

Watch Breaking Beauty - a new series, for Free, and only on CRACKLE !

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USPS Chief Elf Answers Children's Letters To Santa

** We love this story that celebrates a warm and dedicated member of the US Postal Service who makes the holiday special for kids waiting for a letter from Santa. **

Thousands of children each year send their wishes to Santa. Where do the letters really go? Do they get answered? Did you know there is a Chief Elf at the United States Post Office who help makes children's holiday wishes come true?

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