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A CT Community Honored a Returning Army Vet By Building Her a Dream House

Homeownership has long been a marker of a stable, happy life for adults in America. Among those most in need of such stability? Military veterans, some of whom struggle mightily with re-assimilating into daily life after returning from deployments.


Dale Beatty and John Gallina are friends and veterans who connected the dots between the needs of veterans returning from abroad and the happiness that comes with owning a home, thanks to personal experiences. Dale recalls the strong desire he felt to own a home, and the satisfaction he felt once he and John worked together to build it, and how that led the friends to an epiphany: "We stepped back and said, hey, we can do this for other veterans, wherever."

Together, Dale and John founded a non-profit called Purple Heart Homes, which helps purchase and renovate homes specifically for military veterans.

One of the veterans that Purple Heart Homes has helped is Sandra Lee. In 8 years of work as a Staff Sargent in the Army, Sandra was exposed to multiple IEDs, and she came home with a condition called post-concussive disorder.

"It was hard to adjust to normal life," Sandra recalls of the early days following her return from Iraq. "It was hard to relate to people."

Fortunately, Sandra met two of the right people: Dale and John. For Sandra, Purple Heart Homes purchased a house in foreclosure; then the community of Manchester, CT pitched in to perform the demolition and remodeling, a way of rewarding Sandra for her service by building her the house of her dreams. And the result is more than just a house for this brave Army veteran.

"This project, and the kind of support that has come out of it, has renewed my faith in humanity," Sandra says.

If you would like to stay connected to Purple Heart Homes and the work they do, you can follow them on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.And to watch more inspiring videos, follow us on Facebook and sign up for our Only Good News Newsletter.

Adorable Baby's First Steps

** OGTV's second GOOD STORY of the week is simply a joyous celebration of that special moment when your baby figures out the wonder of standing on their own two feet and becomes a toddler. **

There are many milestones in life worth remembering. Losing your first tooth, riding your first bike and getting your driver's license are all huge, but a baby's first steps are one of the first and most important!

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More Than A Dancer

** For National Dance Day, OGTV is sharing this story of a young girl with cerebral palsy who refuses to be separated from her favorite dance troupe no matter how high the obstacles. **

This little girl dreamed of one day dancing. Unfortunately, she suffers from cerebral palsy, making this dream more difficult to fulfill than others. In spite of it all, she is able to overcome the obstacles and defeat the odds. Meet Meg Worrick, the 13-year old dancer.

Meg first knew she wanted to become a dancer when she attended one of her little sister's dance recitals. She was filled with an overwhelming emotion of sadness, seeing her sister up on the stage, wishing she could be up there dancing too. With the unconditional support from her parents, dance studio, and dance instructor, this dream became a reality.

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Best Friend Teens Are Selling Handmade Bracelets To Help Heal Cleft Lip & Palate

** OGTV is celebrating the International Day Of Friendship with this story about two lifelong friends who are using their skill for making jewelry to help babies in developing countries with birth defects get life changing surgeries. **

It's not rare for a baby to be born with a cleft lip or cleft palate. In fact, it happens globally about every three minutes. For the 170,000 babies with one of these conditions each year, there is a simple surgical solution to prevent future challenges with speaking, eating, and breathing—but only if their families can afford the $250 surgery.

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Family & Home

Healthy Recipes From Twin Sisters Who Care - Lasagna Soup

** OGTV celebrates National Lasagna Day with Joy and Judy, twin sisters from a large Italian family who love to take their favorite recipes and serve them up with a healthy spin. **

When most of us think of our favorite family recipes or holiday classics, we do not necessarily think of healthy food. Casseroles, biscuits, cheesy and buttery and fried bites tend to dominate discussions of "comfort food." Well, twin sisters Joy and Judy from our original series Twin Sisters, Love & Cooking! are trying to develop a different, healthier style of comfort food, and this scrumptious Lasagna Soup recipe is a perfect example!

Joy and Judy were inspired to re-work their Italian family's favorite recipes into healthier versions after Judy was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009. Fortunately, today, Judy is a survivor, and the twin sisters get to spend tons of quality time together—especially in the kitchen.

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Series - Beauty Redefined

Woman Sumo Wrestler and Dudeoir Love the Skin They're In - Beauty Redefined (E2)

** OGTV's second Beauty Redefined Playlist story of the week features Josh stepping out of his comfort zone to hit the mat with a woman who is challenging athletic norms as an active Sumo wrestler. **

Sonya del Gallego is a small, powerfully built, cheerful woman who doesn't exactly fit the profile of what one imagines when they think of a sumo wrestler. Not surprisingly, she is defiant in challenging gender stereotypes, and is an advocate for being yourself, regardless of whether it fits society's standards of "normal".

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A Baby Goat and Emu Find Friendship on Rescue Farm

** OGTV's first GOOD STORY of the week is a sweet tale of a baby Goat and a baby Emu who helped each other survive and thrive at a special place that gives animals in severe situations a chance to live happily again. **

You have never seen a love story like this before!

Don't Forget Us Pet Us is a non profit that strives to create second chances for animals that otherwise would not have one. While we love all of their animals, Spartacus, the baby goat, holds a special place in our hearts. When Spartacus was born his mom left him in the field. His owner found him and had to give CPR and brought him back to life. He still suffers some medical issues due to his circumstances but he is truly a miracle baby!

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For the Animal Lover In You - Press Paws

Is your life fuller and happier when pets and other animals are around? This week, OGTV is sharing stories from Press Paws, our heartwarming series for the animal lover in all of us! Hosted by Michelle Ray Smith, Press Paws tells passionate stories of the unique bond between animals and people and how they help each other live a happier, more fulfilling life. Watch more here!

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Series - Beauty Redefined

From Bail Bondsman to Calendar Model - Beauty Redefined (E1)

** OGTV's first video from our Playlist of the Week, Beauty Redefined, is a story about a bail bondsman / dudeoir who became a surprising calendar model sensation thanks to the creative vision of his photographer. **

Joshua Varozza is a bail bondsman by day and a male model by night, but not the typical male model. Joshua is a dudeoir (dude + boudoir) model; basically he mimics sexy poses in his underwear.

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