FEEL GOOD FRIDAY
All the good parts of this week’s snowstorm that’ll make you feel like a kid again
Snow was perhaps the most common conversation topic in Southwest Virginia this week, and as adults we sometimes tend to focus on the roads, the power going out and how to get where we need to safely. But, in this weeks Feel Good Friday segment we want to highlight the good parts; the excitement from kids, the fun with have with our pets and the joyful moments.
Southwest Virginia native credits hometown values for success leading FBI, fighting cancer and violent crime
Fighting violent crime, responding to 9/11, and beating cancer twice, Galax-native Stanley Meador is the epitome for perseverance. A trait that now serves him well as the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office in Virginia.
‘They are not alone’: Local students empty piggy banks to help Afghan refugee children
When given the opportunity to make a difference, students at Roanoke Catholic chose to help the children of Afghan Refugees now living in the Commonwealth. Students have been donating money all week to send to Commonwealth Catholic Charities to purchase backpacks and supplies.
Saving lives is a family affair for Covington’s EMT state champions
While it may be hard to imagine working with your immediate family members – the Markham’s love it. They admit it can be challenging at times, but they say they’ve formed a bond that helps them better treat patients. “It’s almost like you know what the other one needs or is doing without them ever having to talk,” said Shane Markham, the family’s son.
VMI cadets join Kyle Petty to honor veterans during surprise presentation at D-Day Memorial
In a surprise ceremony, Virginia Military Institute cadets paid their respects to veterans and the children's charity Victory Junction they were raising money for by presenting the colors. “To have the color guard from VMI be here, It was so special,” Petty said.
Serving those who served their country: New program helps homeless veterans move into a home of their own
A new program is helping homeless veterans gain back their independence as they transition out of a shelter and into their own home. Thanks to a generous donation and partnership between ARCH and the McLeod Family Foundation, more than $21,000 will be designated over the course of this year to help homeless veterans at ARCH's trust house in Roanoke to help move into a permanent home.
Bringing broken spirits back to life: Local rescue overcomes the odds to save horses in need
While much of the business world was shutting down over the past year, life on the farm only got busier. This is especially true for a local horse rescue that despite facing a fire and financial hardships, managed to care for a growing number of horses in need.
Communities keep traditions alive despite another pandemic Easter
The Easter Bunny is hopping into town, and while kids may not be able to give him hugs or sit on his lap for a photo again this year, they are finding creative ways to make memories.Although this will mark the second year in a row we have spent the Easter holiday socially distanced, there is still a lot to celebrate. Families are making the most of it.
Spring fever? Animals feel it, too! Baby season begins at SWVA Wildlife Center
ROANOKE, Va. – Spring begins Saturday and while many of us are ready to get out and about, animals are feeling spring fever too, especially those who have wintered indoors while recovering at the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center. The center is at the start of what Executive Director Sabrina Garvin calls their ‘baby season,’ the center’s busiest time of year. AdThe seasonal euphoria of spring spreads quickly at the wildlife center. It’s that magic moment Garvin describes that keeps center volunteers and staff passionate about the work they do. Follow the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center for more photos and videos of new patients and success stories.
Franklin County family credits kindness of strangers for saving their dog
Joshua Boyd is happy after being reunited with his dog, Pocket. (Sarah Boyd)Sarah and Joshua Boyd of Franklin County said their puppy, Pocket, became sick with Parvo. They took Pocket to the Emergency Vet Services of Roanoke for treatment. Pocket’s care came at a $3,000 price tag, but the family was determined to give Pocket the care it needed, especially for their two young children who love the dog dearly. The family also says they are very grateful to the veterinarians who worked to save Pocket.
Local firefighter climbs 30 feet to rescue cat stuck in tree
NATURAL BRIDGE – A curious cat got more than it bargained for after it got stuck in a tree on a branch 30 feet off the ground. Thankfully, the local fire department still makes cat rescues, which is now uncommon among other rescue organizations. Firefighters got out their ladder truck and sent firefighter Sheldon Snead up the ladder. He says he is no stranger to heights, but this was the first time he had been sent up to rescue a cat. With the cat tucked under his arm, Snead carried it back down to safety.
Local 10-year-old turns birthday parade into charity fundraiser
SALEM – A local 10-year-old chose to give gifts instead of receiving them this year for his birthday. For his birthday he wanted to take up donations for the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center, and the community certainly showed up. A number of vehicles drove through his birthday parade and dropped off donations the center needed. 10-year-old Gabe asked for donations instead of presents for his birthday parade. AdThe wildlife warriors, a local group that supports the SWVA Wildlife Center also gave Gabe a gift of his own.
Instead of gifts, Salem boy asks for donations to local wildlife center for his birthday
SALEM, Va. – Instead of receiving gifts, a soon-to-be 10-year-old is going to be the one giving out presents this year to a good cause. They safely scooped the bird up in a bucket and took it to the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center in Roanoke, where staff were able to help it fly again. Now instead of gifts for himself, this year for his birthday he’s asking for donations to help other animals like Toby at the center. They’re asking you to purchase a gift from the SWVA wildlife center needs list. Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center of Roanoke Wish List:
Virginia’s longest married couple celebrates 80-year anniversary before husband’s death
TRUEVINE, Va. – Virginia’s longest married couple recently celebrated another incredible milestone, 80 years of marriage. AJ and Lillie Reeves of Truvine celebrated their 80th wedding anniversary on Jan. 25. Feel Good: Longest married coupleThe couple was recognized in the U.S. House of Representatives Congressional Record as the 2019 Virginia winners of Worldwide Marriage Encounter’s Longest Married Couple Project. At the time recognized, A.J. Just weeks after reaching the milestone, AJ Reeves passed away at age 106.
Floyd County’s creative use of CARES Act money kept a community well-fed, in business
The way Floyd County used it’s CARES Act Funds truly showcases that community spirit. Melissa Branks, the manager of the Floyd Farmers Market, said COVID-19 had a huge impact on the ability of local farmers and vendors to sell their products. Floyd County Supervisor Linda DeVito Kuchenbuch said it was the perfect way to spend county CARES Act money before the deadline. “I like to call it a win, win, win, win, win, win, win, because it had a domino effect,” DeVito Kuchenbuch said. The local farmers and producers, they were excited because it was a game-changer for their year of course.
‘Take a mask. Stop the spread’: Salem woman honors healthcare workers with yard display
SALEM, Va. – Honoring healthcare workers on the frontlines, a Salem woman has put up a special display in her front yard to thank them and remind us all to do our part. In front of Anne Craighead’s home on Stonegate Drive in Salem, you’ll see a large metal star adorned with blue lights. On it, she’s hung handsewn masks and a sign that reads, “Please show your love for our health care workers. Stop the spread.” Craighead said she hopes it’s a small reminder to help us all come together and to do our part. Many are leaving their Christmas lights up until Jan. 31 for health care workers.
During difficult times, local charity opens doors to continue feeding those in need
ROCKY MOUNT, Va. – We’ve faced unprecedented challenges during the pandemic, but so many in our community are rising above those challenges, determined to do good. When you need a hot meal in your stomach but have nothing in your pocket, you go to Stepping Stone Mission in Rocky Mount. Feeding 350 people a week volunteer and board member Ruth Carey said it has taken a team of volunteers to make it work. So, Stepping Stone Mission started offering take out. In the middle of a pandemic Stepping Stone Mission started a business in their basement.
Local dance company makes more dreams come true this year for little ballerinas
Even though live holiday performances aren’t happening this year, one local dance company is more than proving, the show must go on. That’s why her dance company has embraced the change, and used it as an opportunity to give every little girl her Christmas dream of becoming the leading lady. “We thought in a year where we got nothing we wanted and the kids didn’t get anything that they wanted, we would give them the one thing we know they wanted,” Leeper said. There is still time to have the Clara experience. The cost of the Clara experience is $300, which is $150 out of pocket when you use Blacksburg bucks.
Love these Christmas lights? Nominate someone in need to win the same holiday light makeover!
Now, after all the positive attention the Bonsack Chick-Fil-A has gotten, Christmas Décor Roanoke, the local businesses that hung the lights wants to keep those smiles coming. Christmas Décor Roanoke is known for their over the top holiday displays. Offering a contest for a free home holiday makeover, Christmas Décor Roanoke is asking the public to nominate deserving people who may be struggling and could some extra love and light. Christmas Décor Roanoke will decorate the homes of the winners for free, and even take the lights down. They hope to do several of these free holiday makeovers and have yet to cap the number of winners.
Chick-fil-A in Roanoke decked the halls with over 55,000 Christmas lights
The Griswalds have some competition this year in the Christmas lights department. During a time when many are forced to scale back their holiday celebrations, this Roanoke Chick-fil-A is turning up the Christmas spirit with an amazing display that’s getting a lot of attention. It’s so wonderful and we love that chick-fil-a embraces Christmas in such an extravagant way,” said another customer Michell Hutchens. Just the joy that lights bring, especially this time of year, is really exciting to a lot of people,” said Duffsey. “It’s a happy time of year and I think we need to keep remembering that.”The Christmas lights display was done by a local company called Christmas Decor Roanoke.
Roanoke Valley SPCA raises nearly $25,000 for Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center
ROANOKE, Va. – A local wildlife center, that’s usually the one to swoop in and save the day, is now the one getting rescued by another animal-loving nonprofit. The Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center of Roanoke relies on donations to take care of the hundreds of animals they work to save each year. The Roanoke Valley SPCA stepped in and helped them take their silent auction online and they raised $23,000. “It’s really heartwarming to see,” said Sabrina Garvin, Executive Director of the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center. The center has 200 more patients compared to this time last year, so the donation will go a long way.
’Free stuff without judgement’: Local woman creates Facebook group to help those in need
RADFORD, Va. – A place to find help when you need it, and a way to give when you can – that’s the idea behind a new Facebook group created by Mandy Shiftlett. Shiftlett tells 10 News she saw a need in the community and knew she couldn’t help in the way she wanted all on her own. So, she made a space on social media to connect those in need with those that could help. She started a Facebook group called “Free stuff without judgment.” Those who need help paying bills or finding food or clothing for their family ask, and those who can help offer up what they have. The foundation will be named in honor of a local man Corey Mayhew who died this year.
This good ‘cemeterian’ goes viral for the best reason -- and her time-lapse TikToks are incredibly satisfying
BEDFORD, Va. – A Bedford, Virginia woman is now TikTok famous. She’s sharing graveyard videos, showing the process of how she cleans old, seemingly forgotten headstones -- and most of her clips have gone viral. Here it is:Her transformative videos are garnering praise from around the world, and they’re even inspiring others to follow suit. “I took to it like a duck in water,” Williams said. There’s something very satisfying about hundreds of years of dirt being wiped clean, revealing a story long left untold.
No pet goes hungry in the New River Valley thanks to a new pet food pantry
CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – A local animal shelter is making sure money doesn’t stand in the way of a pet’s next meal. Knowing that many families are in a financial bind due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Humane Society of Montgomery County is giving away free pet food to those who need it. Volunteers are holding a free pet food pantry in the shelter parking lot, an initiative Ron Brown said they started in March. If we can alleviate that one choice and make pet food available to them, that should make things easier and allow them to keep their animal,” Brown said. The pet food pantry is from noon to 4 p.m. in the parking lot at 1183 Flanagan Drive in Christiansburg.
RVSPCA works to ensure no pet goes hungry with first-ever drive-thru food pantry
For the first time, the Roanoke Valley SPCA held a drive-thru pet food pantry. “We are able to provide this assistance because of a generous gift left to the Roanoke Valley SPCA by long-time friend, Dorothy Hannaford,” said Hayes. The pet food pantry is also available to individuals at the shelter. Roanoke Valley SPCA Dot's Drive-Thru (Copyright 2020 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.) The Roanoke Valley SPCA is participating in an adoption event and golf tournament at the Blue Hills golf club in Roanoke.
Lowe’s partners with nonprofit to build bunk beds for children in need
Local volunteers and businesses are coming together this weekend to help kids in need, making sure every child has a bed to sleep in at night. The local chapter of the nonprofit Sleep in Heavenly Peace is made up of volunteers dedicated to building, assembling and delivering top-notch bunk beds to children and families in need. Roanoke Valley Chapter President Dave Jones said the need is overwhelming in Southwest Virginia. The Roanoke Valley Chapter just opened in January. Four local Lowe’s stores are partnering up with the organization and volunteers tomorrow to build at least 40 bunk beds.
Life of good deeds comes full-circle: Community gives back during man’s time of need
GILES COUNTY, Va. – A life’s worth of good deeds is coming full circle. A man who has dedicated his life to serving our community is now getting that love back when he needs it most. If you live in Giles County, you know Rodney Freeman. Now the community is stepping up to help, sending their donations to a relief fund started by the rescue squad. Amber Jones, a member of the Giles Lifesaving and Rescue Squad says Freeman is like family.
Local World War II veteran receives surprise parade on his 100th birthday
GILES COUNTY, Va. This week marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II its also a special milestone for a local World War II veteran who just turned 100 years old. Hitting that century mark deserves a massive celebration, especially for someone who served our country, and the Giles County community did not disappoint. June Atkins of Giles County was born on Aug. 23, 1920. Im the reason hes 100 years old, Dora said while laughing. In Giles, June is known as one of the Maybrook Men. He is one of five brothers who all served in World War II at the same time.
Helping shelter pets: Local 6-year-old chooses the gift of giving for her birthday
Shes using her wishes for shelter pets, looking for a forever home. She asked for donations of pet food and supplies for the Franklin County Animal Shelter in Rocky Mount. Animal Shelters like the one in Franklin County rely on donations. For a 6-year-old to take her birthday presents and turn that into donations for our animal shelter is just truly amazing, said adoption specialist Katie Bittienger. She said she loves animals and it made her birthday special to be able to help those in need.
A walk in her shoes: How a local womans luxury brand is making adoption possible
SOUTH BOSTON, Va. The joy adoption brought to a local woman's family has inspired her to help others find the same. Ashley Hensley of South Boston is working to break down financial barriers to adoption, one shoe at a time. She designed her adorable shoes for comfort, style and to spread the message of the beauty of adoption. A portion of the proceeds from each sale goes to the Hope for Adoption Foundation which provides grant money to families looking to adopt. To date, the Hope for Adoption Foundation has provided money for two families to adopt a child.
Woman raises money to help grant wishes to sick children
There are 287 children in Virginia waiting for their wishes to be granted, 30 of them live in Southwest Virginia. It boils down to they have to have money to grant these wishes, Beck said. but president and CEO Sheri Lambert explains the need to grant wishes is now greater than ever. Seeing first-hand the power of a wish, Beck made it her mission to make another childs come true. If you want to help grant wishes visit their website.
Tiny kitten saved by local Virginia State Trooper
Pulaski County A Virginia state trooper is living the oath he took, to serve and protect, even when its the tiniest of creatures. Hes now fallen in love with a tiny kitten that may not have survived without his help. She was so happy.Kitten saved by Virginia State Trooper (Copyright 2020 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.) Trooper McGlothlin was called to another scene, so he took the kitten to the Pulaski Animal Care and Control Rescue. Viars said the very next day Trooper McGlothlin returned to the center with his family to adopt the kitten, thats now known as Aspen.
See the kitten that spent 10 hours hidden in a car engine, traveling to SWVA from Kentucky
Curiosity definitely got the best of a tiny kitten that may have just used up one of its nine lives. Angel, at 5 weeks old, finished up a several hundred-mile adventure hidden inside a car engine. Angels were watching over her on that 10-hour ride, said Missy Viars, co-director of Pulaski Animal Care and Control. Kitten takes 10-hour-ride in car engine (WSLS)They worked to get the kitten out of the engine, and the owner said its not my kitty and left, and left him standing there with the baby, Viars said. Another kitten named Piper was also found in a car engine by a local mechanic.
Giles County dispatcher welcomes dad to the force with a special Fathers Day message
Giles County Ive always got your six. Thats a message that could be heard across area scanners on Sunday during a special shoutout to a Giles County deputy during his first day on the job. Giles County dispatcher Landon Patteson honored his dad in a very special way on Fathers Day -- by welcoming him as a brother of the badge. Happy Fathers Day Robby Patteson stay safe! #Officer #Dispatcher #Father&Son Posted by Landon Patteson on Sunday, June 21, 2020Patteson has worked as a dispatcher for Giles County for the past 10 months. Also joining the force, Robby Patteson, Landon's dad, began his first day as a road deputy on Sunday.