This article appeared in the March 27, 2019 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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Uncommon generosity, from a child chess champ and a Zimbabwean granny

Russell Makofsky/AP
Eight-year-old Tanitoluwa Adewumi poses with his trophy after winning the New York State Scholastic Championships tournament for kindergarten through third grade on March 10 in Saratoga, New York. Tani and his family lived in a New York City shelter since fleeing Nigeria in 2017.

When Plaxedes Dilon set off on her 10-mile walk with a heaping sack of clothes and kitchen utensils on her head, the trip seemed to her completely ordinary. Yes, the distance was a little longer and the purpose was different: the sack was full of donations for those affected by Cyclone Idai. But long walks and heavy sacks are a routine part of life for the clothes seller.

To Zimbabwe’s richest man, however, it was an extraordinary feat of kindness. Strive Masiyiwa is offering Ms. Dilon a solar-powered house and $1,000 a month for life. Citing the biblical parable of the widow woman, he said “she gave more than us all.”

In New York, meanwhile, many gave generously to a different cause: one of the city’s young chess champions, who was homeless. After a story appeared in The New York Times about 8-year-old Tanitoluwa Adewumi, $250,000 poured in, as did offers of a free car for his Uber-driving, real-estate agent father, a new health care job for his mother, and admission to three private schools.

The family, who is from Nigeria, is not keeping the money, instead using it to set up a fund for other African immigrants. And it is accepting one of the more modest housing offers, a two bedroom apartment. “Tani” will be staying at his public school too. “This school showed confidence in Tanitoluwa,” his mother said.

Why is Tani’s father not taking a quarter million dollars? “God has already blessed me,” he told the Times. “I want to release my blessing to others.”

Now on to our five stories today. We look at how perceptions around Benjamin Netanyahu are – and aren’t – shifting in Israel, whether scholarships matter much to top college athletes, and innovation for the masses in Maine.

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This article appeared in the March 27, 2019 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 03/27 edition