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A Reminder Of How Good People Can Be To One Another During The Shutdown

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The shutdown has brought a lot of stories about people suffering over the last month. Now, a brief moment to talk about how good people can be to one another.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Our co-host Ari Shapiro reported yesterday from the small town of Oakdale, La. And one of the voices he brought us was Nathan Dyer. He is a prison worker whose young son has a birthday today. Here he is.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

NATHAN DYER: My wife talked about last night, like, I mean, I know years down the road he'll never remember it because he's 2. He won't remember it. But we talked Friday night about, like, what are we going to buy him? You know what I mean?

KELLY: Ari is back in the studio now. And I gather, even before this story aired, you were getting signs it was going to hit everybody the way it hit me in there - just choke us all up.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Yeah. We included that clip of tape in a promo for the story that started airing yesterday morning, and immediately, I got this flood of message from listeners saying, how can we help?

KELLY: It wasn't even my story, but I also was getting flooded by listener messages. One of them called my voicemail while we were on air while this story was airing and left this message. This is Barbara Scott of Goochland, Va.

(SOUNDBITE OF VOICEMAIL MESSAGE)

BARBARA SCOTT: My heart just went out to this gentleman, and I would like to send a check to him. It will be small. I'm old and retired.

SHAPIRO: We got so many messages like that on Twitter and Facebook and email and voicemail. And I referred all of these listeners offering gas cards, gifts, money to the local union president, Corey Trammel. And when I called him today to check in, he was kind of amazed.

COREY TRAMMEL: There was another 50 people this morning. And last night, I probably seen 50 to 75 emails.

SHAPIRO: He said it gave him so much hope just to hear from parents of young kids, people who might not have much still saying, what can I do?

TRAMMEL: We have grown men that's never even met us crying for us because that's how big of a deal. And, dude, that's American. That's exactly what that is.

KELLY: That does feel American. Meanwhile, what happened to Nathan, the man whose son has his birthday today, turning 2?

SHAPIRO: We also called Nathan this afternoon, and he was totally in shock.

DYER: Me and my wife, you know, we sat at the table last night and just couldn't believe that all of this was happening.

SHAPIRO: You know, he was anticipating that not having been paid for a month today was going to be a really hard day, his son's birthday, where he would not be able to provide for his kid. And I asked him how he will look back on this day now.

TRAMMEL: I can't wait till he gets older to where he can understand so I can go back and show him that, you know, there still is good people in this world, you know, that they'll look out for a complete stranger to make sure that, you know, they're OK.

KELLY: Beautiful end to a really tough story. Thanks, Ari.

SHAPIRO: You're welcome.

KELLY: It's our co-host Ari Shapiro following up to his reporting yesterday from Louisiana. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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