10:05 AM EDT 12/07/2013
Originally posted 11/15/2013 10:30AM
Two years ago, Madonna Bagder endured the worst Christmas imaginable: Her three young daughters and parents died in a fire that tore through her Connecticut home.
In the aftermath, a despondent Badger repeatedly threatened to kill herself, barely coping in a haze of grief and despair.
But today, the 49-year-old ad-agency owner has managed to find happiness again – and is even engaged to be married.
"It’s never going to be easy. The pain is just so huge that sometimes it feels like a prison cell," she writes in a moving first-person essay in Vogue. "But trying really hard to not feel sorry for myself makes me feel good ... Basically, I go to wherever the light is, because anything else is darkness, and it can be a deeply black darkness."
Originally posted 11/15/2013 05:30AM
The high winds and deadly tides may have subsided, but the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan continues to threaten the region with a critical scarcity of food and water.
In Tacloban, one of the hardest-hit cities in the Philippines, Erlend Johannessen is desperately trying to secure supplies for Streetlight Orphanage, which he founded in 2004 and is currently home to 72 children and staff.
The orphanage's food and water supply is running dangerously low, with only a single day's worth of drinkable water. Each day since the storm, Johannessen and some of the older children scrounge for provisions.
Originally posted 11/14/2013 08:30PM
Bao Tran still remembers an old man shuffling onto the bridge to hand him a tiny bundle tucked into a straw hat.
It was May 1972 and Tran was in the South Vietnamese Army fighting alongside the Americans. His company was about to blow up the bridge outside Quang Tri.
"The man said the baby was trying to nurse on its dead mother," Tran, now 65, recalls.
He carried the baby in that hat for 60 miles – "I was in full combat gear, with explosions all around," he says – to an orphanage, where he left her with the name he'd planned for his own daughter someday: Ngoc Bich.
Originally posted 11/13/2013 04:30PM
In the horrific aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, at least 2,000 are dead and 600,000 more left homeless as Philippine survivors begin to grasp the full and devastating impact of one of the worst storms on record.
Amid stories of both horror and hope, relief efforts are now under way, with organizations from around the world stepping up to help the island nation in its efforts to care for survivors and rebuild.
Here is a list of organizations that have pledged to help victims and survivors of Typhoon Haiyan – and which are accepting donations to aid in their efforts.
Originally posted 11/12/2013 01:15PM
It's a scene of nightmarish devastation in the Philippines just days after Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the Pacific island nation, leaving 2,000 or more dead in its wake (according to the most recent estimate) and terrified survivors unsure of what to do next.
A young woman in the hardest-hit city of Tacloban sobbed as she recounted her experience during the storm, which included clinging to a roof rafter while holding her 11-month-old son on her head.
"All I hear [is] many cry, many people crying," she emotionally told CNN while her baby played contentedly on her lap. "Many people say, 'Help, help.' "
Originally posted 11/12/2013 12:20PM
At just 16, she has experienced enough pain and struggle to fill a lifetime. Yet she remains defiant – and above all, fearless.
On Monday, before a rapt and adoring audience at Glamour's Women of the Year awards in New York, Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai shared her dream for a better world for children through education – preaching bravery against the forces of oppression that just a year ago tried to murder her.
"We must not be afraid of anything. We must not be afraid of anything!" Yousafzai said. "I believe that a gun has no power at all. Because a gun can only take life. But a pen can save lives."
Originally posted 11/11/2013 03:15PM
In honor of Veterans Day, Good Morning America helped USO Coast Guardsman of the Year, Sam Peikert, pull off a big surprise for his girlfriend – an on-air marriage proposal featuring Jason Derulo singing "Marry Me."
"I'm still in shock, definitely," says Jackie Fairchild on GMA Live!, after having gladly agreed to marry Peikert.
"They came to me, they started putting a mike on, and my makeup, and I didn't think I was going to be on TV. I was adamant on not being [on TV], and then, when I got into the green room, they just pushed me out there," Fairchild explains.
Originally posted 11/11/2013 11:30AM
In the wake of a deadly typhoon that is estimated to have killed 10,000 people in the Philippines, a new life began in the devastated city of Tacloban.
On Nov. 11, Emily Ortega, 21, gave birth to daughter Bea Joy in a makeshift hospital set up in what remains of the Tacloban airport.
"She is my miracle," she told the Agence France-Presse. "I had thought I would die with her still inside me when high waves came and took us all away."
Originally posted 11/09/2013 03:45PM
For nine years, family and friends of a Wisconsin teen who vanished in 2004 worried about her fate, and whether they would ever hear from or see her again.
In September, they learned that Connie McCallister, now 26, is alive and living in Mexico – and after speaking with a missionary who contacted the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, McCallister is seeking help to finally come home.
"We want to use this as an example for families with missing relatives to never give up hope," family friend Judy Weise told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Originally posted 11/08/2013 01:45PM
This is Jim Wolf. He's a U.S. Army veteran, and sadly, like many veterans, he's struggled with poverty, homelessness, and alcoholism for decades. And while clothes may not make the man, you're about to see just how much a shave, haircut, and new suit can mean to someone who's gone without for a long time.
This video, produced by Rob Bliss Creative with help from Design 1 Salon & Spa, Kevin Budzynski of Whiskey Neat, John Boros, and Green Frog Photo, shows what a few hours of grooming can do to a person. While helping someone rarely boils down to getting them a haircut, the change in Jim seems to go far deeper than his roots: Watch his expression at the end of the video and try to keep it together.
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