Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has expressed his anguish over the plight of children in war-shattered Syria and made a donation to help fund emergency supplies in Aleppo.
Aleppo has witnessed four years of brutal fighting between rebels and government forces until Thursday when opposition fighters left, putting the government in full control for the first time since 2012.
In a video message posted on his official Twitter account, the Portugal captain said: "This is for the children of Syria. We know that you have been suffering a lot. I am a very famous player, but you are the true heroes. Don't lose your hope. The world is with you. We care about you. I am with you."
Save the Children says Ronaldo's "generous donation" will fund food, clothing and medical care for families in Aleppo and across Syria.
"Cristiano Ronaldo's generous donation will help us to support children from Aleppo and across Syria, who have suffered things children should never have to live through," Save the Children director Nick Finney said in a statement.
"We are tremendously grateful for his life-changing support. Ronaldo is not only one of the world's most iconic sports figures, but he also has become a beacon of hope for millions of boys and girls worldwide -- and hope is something that Syria's children need now more than ever."
Street fighting and punishing aerial bombardments in Aleppo saw hospitals bombed and tens of thousands of homes and apartments become uninhabitable.
Northampton man receives pizza for a year
And gives it all away.
NORTHAMPTON, Pa. - At Christmastime, Mario's Pizza in Northampton seems extra warm - a lot like the smiles, passed for decades from the people behind the counter, to the customers in front of it.
Co-owner Giovanni Aiello tells us, that's the recipe.
"I've been making pizza for 43 years," he says.
Frank Grigoli is a manager here. His father is Giovanni's brother, another co-owner.
"We've done a lot to this place, but one thing we've never changed is the quality," Frank says.
That's why, recently, they decided they'd reward their customers with something new: a contest for free pizza for a year.
Giuseppe Aiello, Giovanni's son, tells us they never expected what came next.
"I thought someone would win, they'd be excited, come in and get their pizzas, but a story like this to come out of a contest like that..." he trails off.
You see, when the computer randomly chose a winner from the 1200 people who signed up, up popped the name 'Josh Katrick' - someone who really deserved to get some good news.
Josh was diagnosed with colon cancer in July. He got the email from Mario's on a Friday, just as he was leaving the chemo treatment center.
"I remember coming out of there thinking, 'I just won pizzas for a year! That's cool!' he says.
But then Josh - a winner Mario's found so deserving - did the darnedest thing.
He gave it away.
"I've been getting so much from family, friends, people I don't even know well, the last few months," Josh says.
Getting so much love and support…I just wanted to give back to people that could use it more than I could."
Josh wrote Mario's back and asked if he could give his free pizza to someone else.
Frank remembers the conversation. "We asked the question, 'who are you thinking?' and he said, 'Northampton Food Bank.' And it kind of, like, it hit a nerve…in the heart," Frank says.
So, a pizza shop known for spreading the warmth, decided this Christmas to spread it a little further.
They're giving both Josh and the food bank, free pizza for a year.
"It's better to give than receive, and especially during this time of year - Christmas - it's a great time to think about that and see examples of it around town," Giuseppe says.
"And this time of year, doing what we're doing, I can't think of anything better," Frank adds.
This Christmas, this group says they hope their story warms up your heart - and reminds others to practice kindness.
You never know when it might come full circle.
Boss Pays for Caribbean Cruise for 800-Plus Employees at Iowa Company
January in Iowa can be cold and dreary, but employees at a cabinet company are about to get a sunny reprieve from the winter doldrums, all thanks to the boss.
All of the more than 800 employees of Bertch Cabinets in Waterloo, a city of about 68,000 people some 85 northeast of Des Moines, will get a free trip to the Caribbean next month. The company announced the trip on its Facebook page.
“We leave January 8,” company president Gary Bertch told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. “We’ve got four charter aircraft that will be flying directly to Miami Sunday and staying at a nice five-star hotel. Then on Monday, we’ll bus over from the hotel to the port and load up on the ship.”
Bertch told his employees the trip was a reward for them after they helped the company meet its goals for the year. He offered the cruise as an incentive a year ago.
“We just tried to get all of our people pumped up a little more to achieve the various goals, both customer-oriented goals and financial goals,” he explained.