Ceres pastor keeps light shining; good deeds in Turlock, Riverbank

Danielle Cathcart of Ceres called last week to praise pastor Adam Miller of Ceres Christian Church.

“I had an appointment with The Salvation Army because TID (Turlock Irrigation District) was going to turn off my electricity the next day,” Danielle said. “They (The Salvation Army) said they didn’t have any more money to help with this.”

So she went to Ceres Christian, the church she’s been attending for three months.

“I shook the pastor’s hand once. He doesn’t know me,” said Danielle, who has a 23-month-old and a husband who recently was laid off from his job as a tow truck driver. “But Pastor Adam gave me $150 from his personal checking account to pay my TID bill.

“When I told him I would pay it back, he said if I can pay it back, fine. And if I can’t, not to worry about it. He said he couldn’t see my son going without electricity.”

Danielle said she was overwhelmed by the generosity of a pastor, who doesn’t earn a huge salary, extended to someone he doesn’t know well.“He was a godsend,” she said.

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John Folly of Turlock wrote to tell about the day in late August when he was playing tennis with his son at Crane Park. Suddenly, he said, he went into cardiac arrest — his heart stopped and he wasn’t breathing.

His son started CPR and “yelled for help to the only other person in the area, Scott Mederios,” John said. Scott called 911 and began helping with CPR. Turlock fire and ambulance personnel responded and were able to restart John’s heart. He had triple bypass surgery four days later in San Francisco.

“I’m happy to report I’m doing fine — no brain damage and no heart damage,” John said. He credits his “heroes,” his son, David, Scott and the Turlock emergency crews for their quick response to save his life.

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Catherine Jessup of Turlock wrote last week to thank the stranger who turned in her niece’s money to the Riverbank Target store. Here’s what happened:

“My 12-year-old niece, Rachel, had been saving up for a new Wii game. When she discovered the money wasn’t in her pocket, she became very upset. We retraced our steps, but nothing. I told her we would check to see if someone had turned it in, but I was very doubtful, since it was $80 in cash.

“To our surprise, they said someone — they had no idea who — had turned it in. I can’t begin to tell you how surprised and excited we were. I am thrilled to know there are still honest, good people in the world.”

Catherine hopes whoever the finder was, he or she will know “how thankful we truly are. I will pay it forward as a thank you.”

Cathy Klopping of Turlock said she is grateful to “the Good Samaritan, who informed me that I had a flat back left tire. As I was leaving the Target parking lot in Turlock, I saw a note on my windshield stating, ‘I noticed you have a flat tire in the back. Be careful.’

“In times where all we see is negative news and reports about how people only look out for themselves, my heart is warmed to see how kind people can be. To my unknown guardian angel: Thank you for caring about me even though you had no idea who I was. God bless you!”

Do you have a story about someone who has helped others or is a terrific role model? Send a brief item to Sue Nowicki at P.O. Box 5256, Modesto 95352 or e-mail