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It's not the gift, it's the thought

Even though Julie Makinen's mom develops dementia and gets further along in her memory loss, she still never forgets a special milestone. Whether birthdays or Christmas, Julie's mom gifts each person with a pair of jeagins. Julie is both amused and comforted by the annual gift that her mother thinks is both original and something no one has ever received because every time a new pair is sent, it's an indication that her mother's memory isn't totally gone because she has remembered the occasion. And, as the saying goes and takes on greater meaning given Julie's mom's health, "It's not that gift that matters, but the thought."

Video/audio: Watch Julie share her story here with humor and warmth.

A friendly gesture

Megan Finnerty was a recent college grad when she moved from Indiana to Arizona for an internship at the Arizona Republic. She didn't know anyone and was very lonely being in a new city and away from her twin sister. She found grocery shopping, movie going and general living sad and alienating. Then, while covering a story, she was introduced to someone who would become one of her best friends.

Video/audio: Listen to Megan share her story in Arizona.

A new lease on life

When she was in her 20s, Bethany Yeiser, lived homeless on the streets of Los Angeles for four years enduring an extended episode of schizophrenia. She recounts specific episodes of powerful delusions. One day, the police took her to a psych ward for an evaluation and contacted her parents. Her parents brought her home and got her into treatment, which took months of trial and error on various medications. Finally, she found something that worked, and she was able to get her college degree. She now teaches piano part time and has a full life.

Video/audio: Listen as Bethany shares her story in Cincinnati, Ohio.