published Monday, September 1st, 2014

How do you spend your labor?

On Labor Day, it's instructive and perhaps inspirational to see how some people work and what they do with their talents and what they earn. Some people don't have much but choose to help someone else anyway. Others have a lot more, and instead of hoarding their good fortune, choose to shower their beneficence on others. Here are a few stories:

• Tim Tebow, the former NFL quarterback, created a program called W15H -- 15 was his University of Florida uniform number -- as an offshoot of his Tim Tebow Foundation, in which children, often suffering from critical illnesses, are granted a wish they would not otherwise be able to experience. His program has granted more than 40 official W15H experiences, including trips to Disney World, award shows and NFL games. Recently, a 15-year-old girl with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome just wanted to meet Tebow. She did just that at Scottsdale, Ariz., and while there she and her family were housed in the presidential suite of a local hotel and given an airplane tour of the Grand Canyon. She also threw out the first pitch at an Arizona Diamondbacks game. Tebow was alongside the family throughout the visit and even prayed with them.

• The St. Louis Tea Party, following nights of looting and vandalizing at Ferguson, Mo., by protesters of the recent fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, posted word of a "BUYcott" on Facebook. They were hoping they could get at least 20 people to come to the St. Louis suburb and spend their money at the damaged -- but innocent -- Ferguson businesses. In fact, about 40 people came to the BUYcott to see what they could do to help. One of the members, who wrote about the experience, described a confrontation with a guy who wanted to know what organization the people were with. When told they were with the St. Louis Tea Party, the guy said, "You bad boys," then said, "The tea party came up here to do this?" When the realized they weren't the hate-mongering racists he media make them out to be, he warmed up and treated them like his "best friend."

• Meghan LaPlante is only 14, but the Old Orchard Beach, Maine, teenager already has her own lobster business. Last weekend at Saco Bay, she pulled out a one-in-two-million find, an electric blue lobster. LaPlante has been setting traps for the last eight years with a student lobstering license under the business Miss Meghan's Lobster Catch, according to the Portland Press Herald. The coloration, according to the University of Maine Lobster Institute, "comes from a genetic defect that causes the lobster to produce an excessive amount of a particular protein" and thus the color. LaPlante said she planned to give the lobster, which she named Skyler, to the Maine State Aquarium.

• When a man in his congregation fell out with a heart attack during a recent sermon, Dr. E. Dewey Smith of Hope Church in Decatur, Ga., did what instincts told him to do. He asked the congregation to reach out to the man, who had flat-lined, and pray aloud that Christ would take action. After some 15 minutes of chest compressions by paramedics, the man indeed revived and was taken to a hospital. "I just felt led to pray," said Smith, quoted on the Mr. Conservative website. "I didn't know what else to do. I felt it was a critical situation, so I just wanted to pray, and I do believe in the power of prayer."

• Finally, if you think all life has handed you is lemons, make lemonade like Matt Douthit did, according to The Blaze. After having enough of coast-to-coast truck driving, he moved to the oilfields of Oklahoma, where first one company he worked for closed its doors, then another did the same. Then he moved to Texas to work for a large semi-truck manufacturer; after nine months that business moved to Mexico. Instead of being down, Douthit began researching all he could about antique trunks, in which he had an interest. He taught himself how to restore and preserve them and sold each one he completed. Then he started making them from scratch using the same materials, hardware and construction methods used in the late 1800s. Now, the craftsman makes the trunks one by one. He says he enjoys doing something "that supports our economy and country."

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