People Are Awesome: Help the 'Highway Angel' Get Back on the Road

Thomas Weller had been driving San Diego's highways since 1966, helping people in need of roadside assistance—until his car was totaled.


In 2008, the Los Angeles Times profiled Thomas Weller, the "Highway Angel," who until recently spent his days driving up and down the highway helping those in need of gas or other roadside assistance. And just a few days ago, the paper's videographer uploaded a video profile of Weller from the same year. He had been traipsing around San Diego's highways since 1966, carrying a card that reads:

You don't owe me a thing. I've been there too.
Someone once helped me out just the way I'm helping you.
If you really want to pay me back, here's what you do.
Don't let the chain of love end with you.


He explains in the video that his trips have become more infrequent with rising gas prices—they range from every day to every few days—but he still thinks it's a worthwhile way to spend one's money. "Some people spend it for goin' to Disneyland," he explains. "Some people go on vacations. I go out and play on the freeway... When I get depressed, I go out on the freeway, and I help one person, and I come back lifted."

As the video follows Weller on his daily routine, it's clear just how much a small act of kindness thrills him. "I'm gonna give you gas and send you on your way, and you help somebody else to pay me back," he assures one passenger.

Sadly, as the Huffington Post discovered, Weller's tricked-out rescue car, "Beulah," has run into some trouble. After getting help last year from the San Diego Auto Museum and Ray Brock of Ray Brock Racing, Beulah's faulty engine was repaired, but shortly afterwards, Weller's car was totaled while he was on duty. This time, Weller is the one in need of roadside assistance—a perfect chance for those he's helped over the years (or those who admire him) to celebrate Weller's altruistic alternative to Disneyland.

via National Nurses United/Twitter

An estimated eight million people in the U.S. have started a crowdfunding campaign to help pay for their own or a member of their household's healthcare costs, according to a survey released Wednesday.

The poll, which was conducted by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago, also found that in addition to the millions who have launched crowdfunding efforts for themselves or a member of their household, at least 12 million more Americans have started crowdfunding efforts for someone else.

Keep Reading
via Library of Congress

In the months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the military to move Japanese-Americans into internment camps to defend the West Coast from spies.

From 1942 to 1946, an estimated 120,000 Japanese Americans, of which a vast majority were second- and third-generation citizens, were taken from their homes and forced to live in camps surrounded by armed military and barbed wire.

After the war, the decision was seen as a cruel act of racist paranoia by the American government against its own citizens.

The internment caused most of the Japanese-Americans to lose their money and homes.

Keep Reading

Step by step. 8 million steps actually. That is how recent college graduate and 22-year-old Sam Bencheghib approached his historic run across the United States. That is also how he believes we can all individually and together make a big impact on ridding the world of plastic waste.

Keep Reading
The Planet