Caine’s Arcade

Caine is a 9-year-old who spent his whole summer building an elaborate cardboard arcade inside his dad’s used auto part store.  Caine waited every day during the summer, and every weekend once he got back in school for people to come play at his arcade, but only one guy played.  But, that man used the internet to set up a surprise flash mob to come spend the day at Caine’s Arcade.   A hundred people came to play at Caine’s arcade that day.  Now, the story has gone viral, inspiring millions.  He even has a theme song and staff t-shirts you can buy, and there is a scholarship fund set up for him that is being matched dollar for dollar.  Incredible!  Just one kid with a dream of having his own arcade, and one guy who wanted to make one kid’s day.

Mini-Resolutions: No. 1 – Lend A Hand to Someone In Need

What better way to start a new year than with a good news story?  Amanda’s story is a great example of how one person (you!) can make a difference by taking the first small step.

Throughout the month of January, we’ll be sharing some mini resolutions for you and your family to get started on the right foot in the new year.  Today, lend a hand to someone in need.  Share your story on our Facebook page, give us a call at 855-987-4463, or leave a comment below.  We can’t wait to hear your story!

Operation: With Love From Home

Here’s a bit of Christmas cheer to share with you. Hundreds of volunteers lined up at a California church to fill 1,000 care packages for troops deployed overseas. Their goal was to make sure that soldiers in Afghanistan and other countries are not forgotten this holiday season.

According to a story in the Napa Valley Register, “Operation: With Love from Home” drew volunteers of all ages to CrossWalk Community Church. They worked in a chain to fill U.S. Postal Service boxes with cards, toiletries, beef jerky, socks, candy bars, soups and other goodies.

Among the volunteers was Vicki Langdale, a nurse whose son, Jarrod Little, of Lakeside, Texas, was killed in Iraq. Also helping out was Simri Casas, whose boyfriend is deployed overseas.

As she distributed packages of instant coffee, Casas said she had volunteered to give back and “to let (the troops) know that we love them and that we’re thankful for what they do.”

Operation: With Love from Home also sends care packages for Valentine’s Day and during the summer.

In the nearby community, volunteers with American Canyon Troop Support have been sending care packages every month for the past decade to soldiers deployed overseas. The group sends around packages every month, or about 700 parcels a year.

For Christmas, the volunteers packaged and shipped two boxes for each of 57 soldiers on the list. One box contained a 3-foot-tall artificial Christmas tree with ornaments, lights, and decorations including a Santa hat.

The other box was filled with hygiene items, holiday candy, blank holiday cards with pens, hot chocolate and hot apple cider packages, and cups of homemade fudge.

I’m Bill Maier, wishing you a Merry Christmas from Shine.FM!

CLICK HERE for the audio version of this article.

Oklahoma Boy Turns Birthday Party Into Toy Drive

Good morning, it’s Kurt, Rob, and Lisa. Did you see this story about the Oklahoma boy who turned his birthday party into a Toys for Tots drive? Those have got to be some proud parents!

Want to brag on your kids? Let us know what they do for others that makes you proud!

A Very Special Christmas Benefiting Special Olympics

Join the New Shine.FM artist Francesca Battistelli as GMC TV celebrates 25 years of “A Very Special Christmas,” the holiday album series benefiting Special Olympics, with a landmark documentary music special called “A Very Special Christmas: 25 Years of Bringing Joy to the World.” The special will blend new and historical performances, music videos, interviews and inspirational athlete profiles.

Hosted by GRAMMY, Emmy and Tony-nominated entertainer Vanessa Williams, the show will also have interviews with influential people who shaped the album series’ success including recording industry icon Jimmy Iovine, Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver and the Shriver family. “A Very Special Christmas” is the most successful benefit recording in music history generating more than $109 million for Special Olympics.

Thousands of Kids Memorize Hundreds of Bible Verses!

Two weeks ago, hundreds of young Bible scholars gathered in Tennessee to compete in the 2012 National Bible Bee, an annual event where $260,000 in prize money was up for grabs.

According to the Christian Post, the fourth annual Bible Bee was held in Sevierville, Tenn., where 300 qualifiers from across the U.S. competed in events designed to test their knowledge of Scripture.

This year the Bible Bee focused on 1st and 2nd Timothy – letters written by the Apostle Paul to Timothy, a young pastor in Ephesus.

At the local level, contestants had thoroughly studied 2 Timothy and memorized at least 25 Bible Memory passages.

Kids in each age division were also responsible for having thoroughly studied 1 Timothy and having memorized several hundred additional verses from throughout both the Old and New Testaments.

John Smythe, a volunteer at this year’s event, says the Bible Bee is about studying God’s Word, not just memorizing passages. He says “the intent is to have the parents right there studying with [their children].”

The nonprofit organization behind the Bee is The Shelby Kennedy Foundation. It is named after a young woman who died of cancer in 2005 at the age of 23.

Before her death, even in her weakness, Kennedy dedicated her time to studying the Scriptures and proclaiming the message of Jesus Christ to others.

The nonprofit was formed in honor of Kennedy with the goal of encouraging children to grow in their faith through Bible memorization. 7,000 young people participated this year.

To learn more about the Bible Bee, and how your kids can participate next year, just go to

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

CLICK HERE for the audio version of this post.

Indianapolis Groups Join Forces to Fight Hunger

The city of Indianapolis is striving to fight hunger in the city. Mayor Greg Ballard recently kicked off Indy’s annual Pack the Pantries food drive, which runs through Dec. 10th.

Indy Star reporter Jon Murray has a story about the anti-hunger initiative that was started by the mayor’s office a few years ago.

Murray reports that it has resulted in closer collaboration among the roughly 300 organizations working to reduce hunger in the city. Most are small food pantries run by churches, other houses of worship and nonprofits.

According to stats from the US Department of Agriculture, the recession has increased “food insecurity” in Indiana, and the number of residents who sometimes go hungry has increased by 7 percent.

Earlier this year, the city and the participating groups — including Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, Second Helpings and Midwest Food Bank – helped form the Indy Hunger Network.

Its goal is to expand programs and food stamp benefits so that by 2015, nobody in the city has to miss a meal.
David Miner, the network’s volunteer chairman, says Gleaners and Second Helpings both are working to double their capacity.

Miner is a retired Eli Lilly & Co. scientist, and he says this this year, the Indy Hunger Network is on track for 3 million additional meals for all ages.

Through the network, efficiency experts provided by Lilly have scrutinized several local organizations’ operations and suggested improvements to make them more effective.

If you’d like to learn more about their efforts—and perhaps even help out, you can visit their website at

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

CLICK HERE for the audio version of this post.

Uniting To Make A Difference

Christians are making a difference all across the country, and I thought you’d like to know about it.
A group of evangelical churches in New York’s Staten Island has formed a storm relief network that is working in conjunction with Christian relief groups and government agencies.

Church of the Gateway Pastor Tim Mercaldo says his church itself had little damage and amazingly has never lost power. That’s allowed it and three other evangelical ministries to serve as distribution hubs for relief supplies.
Mercaldo says the four churches don’t agree on everything but have set aside all differences to create a unified response team that is working with the Red Cross and with local and federal agencies including FEMA. Mercaldo envisions a lasting partnership to address long-term needs of those affected by the storm.

Closer to home, last week, Grace United Methodist Church in Franklin, Indiana distributed 42,000 pounds of potatoes at its first-ever Potato Drop. The men’s ministry at the church brought in a semitrailer and handed out the bags of potatoes to needy people in the community. Church leaders say wanted to do something different to help families in their area and to help ease hunger.

And a youth group from a church in Howell, Michigan, plans to collect Bibles to send to missionaries in India and Africa. The project was the idea of 14-year old Jordan Belanger. The youth group at SonRise Church hopes to collect 20,000 Bibles by December 20th. The Bibles will be distributed by Christian Resources International.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.