A few years ago, ABC World News ran the story of a surprise reunion. A young man, 22 year old Joseph Bitetto, had decided to dedicate his life to helping others. On the day he was set to graduate and become one of FDNY’s newest EMTs, he got the joyful surprise of his life when he came face to face with a hero he had met years ago. In 1996, Joseph’s mother, pregnant with Joseph, had to call 911. Only 28 weeks into her pregnancy, she had gone into labor early. She was forced to deliver Joseph in her home, and both of their lives were in danger. Thanks to the heroic actions of the NYPD and FDNY personnel that arrived at their home, both mother and son were saved. Joseph was in an incubator for over a month, but he grew strong and healthy. At Joseph’s graduation ceremony to become an EMT, as a surprise for Joseph and his family, was the EMT who saved Joseph and his mother. Joseph, now 22 years later, wearing the same uniform of the man who saved his life, was able to meet and thank Howard Blanck.(Howard now works as a detective for NYPD).
Joseph Bitetto was thankful for how his life, and that of his mother, had been saved by first responders and he wanted to “pay it forward” by choosing the same profession. He decided that he wanted to make a difference in the lives of others.
There are days when it would appear that the world needs a bit more encouragement and inspiration. On those days (and every day), remember that we have chosen to follow in the footsteps of Jesus the Christ. Even the smallest act of kindness and compassion can help change a life. Sometimes it may be sharing your resources and talents with others; other times it may be that advice or encouraging word that turns around a life. Whatever it might be, know that whether you see the end results or not, you have made the world a better place. As we enter 2023, may you resolve to “pay it forward” in gratitude for the saving grace of God.
Blessings for the New Year,