News Anchor for KTNV Channel 13 “Together Making Las Vegas A Better Place to Live”
Did you ever meet those people who just totally and completely take you by surprise? Those people who come out of nowhere and make you want to be a better person? I met a couple of them this year. And it all started, like so many of the people I meet, with an email.
I love email. I really do. Email is how I found one of my best friends. (She emailed me a story idea at the TV station.) Email is how I found my church. (The Pastor’s wife sent me a message.) And email is how I met these guys who call themselves AAOK—Amazing Acts of Kindness. Someone emailed me and said, “You need to check out AAOK.”
I found an email address for AAOK and typed in the subject line, “Who are you?” The response came from Brian Golbourne that he, along with his friend Kelvin McLeain, wanted to make the world a better place and started AAOK. In fact, our inside joke is when we communicate, the subject line still reads, “Who are you?”
By the way—they are hot. Yes, you read that correctly. I don’t know why that surprised me. I guess because I assumed these handsome professional men might have super busy work and social schedules and therefore wouldn’t have or make the time to make a difference. (I know, shame on me). Golbourne and McLeain care about people. They pour their time, energy and hearts into people. And that makes them really sexy people themselves. (Disclaimer: my husband of 14 years would say the same about these guys so I’m just telling it like it is.)
A few years ago, McLeain and Golbourne decided they wanted to help families in need during the holidays. With the support of their friends, they adopted eight families and AAOK was born. The following year, they adopted 100. How does a brand new group go from helping eight families to 100 in one year? They make it personal.
The cool thing about AAOK is that every family gets to meet the family they adopt. Irene McGuire and Sal Napoli heard about AAOK through our story on Channel 13 and adopted a grandmother raising her four grandchildren. But McGuire and Napoli didn’t just buy gifts for this family. They took the kids bowling (the children’s first time). They drove them to see Christmas lights (the children’s first time). They made a gingerbread house together (the kids hadn’t ever done that either). McGuire and Napoli have poured time and love into this family and now are part of the family. It’s a beautiful thing. This sets AAOK apart from so many other organizations.
It’s personal. And let’s face it: more than gifts, money or clothes, people need to feel loved. They need to know someone cares. McGuire and Napoli get that. So do Golbourne and McLeain.
These guys took me by surprise. They make me want to be a better person. I lovingly stalk McGuire and Napoli on Facebook now so I can see and read about their latest adventure with the kids. And I’m sure if I met every single person who contacted AAOK this year wanting to adopt a family, I’d feel the same way about them.
Beth Fisher is a morning anchor for Channel 13 Action News. She reports on the people who make Las Vegas a better place to live. Beth’s stories air at 5:45 and 6:45 a.m. every day on “Good Morning Las Vegas.”