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Living Mutual: Real stories

Allen Wastler

Posted on August 15, 2017

Allen Wastler is a former financial journalist with over 30-years of experience, including time at CNBC, CNN, and Knight-Ridder Newspapers.
Off-white dog in a park jumping for a toy in owner's hand

A birthday party, a lost dog, an unfinished race…these are just three small instances in the last month of people coming together to help someone else, and making themselves and the world better for it.

They are worth noting…

Nobody showed up to 7-year-old Adonai Gutierrez’s birthday party in Woodland, Calif. “I was like why did I even have a birthday if nobody came," Adonai told a local news station, recounting how he blew out the candles with just a few family members present.

But two days later, over 200 strangers surprised Adonai with a “do-over” birthday party after hearing about his disappointment via his aunt’s FaceBook page.

People came together as well to search for a dog that ran away after a car crash that injured its owner. “He goes everywhere with me. I’m single, I don’t have kids, he’s my entire life,” Lauren Etz said in an interview after the crash. After several days of searching by dozens of people Tanner, the dog, was found and returned to Etz. “I am overwhelmed," she said with Tanner in her arms. "I have no words right now."

And two fellow runners stopped during the Boston Marathon and helped Julianne Bowe make it to the finish line after she collapsed from heat exhaustion just a half-a-mile from the goal.

"I just want to thank them for being so selfless," Bowe said of the two men. "They could have gotten a faster time but instead they chose to help a complete stranger. That takes a special kind of person."

It’s inspiring when people help one another. And at MassMutual, we celebrate it.

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