TODAY's Takeaway

TODAY's Takeaway: Navy Yard heroes, child donor, Mindy Kaling

Sep. 17, 2013 at 3:00 PM ET

1. An iconic image has emerged from Monday’s Navy Yard shooting in Washington: A civilian helping his blind colleague exit a building to safety.

The employee, Omar Grant, told TODAY about the ordeal.

"I couldn’t make out exactly what they were shouting, but I knew it was something serious,” he told Carson. “I told my colleague there that we were going to get out of the building, and I was going to help him because normally he’s got somebody with him there, and this morning he was all by himself."

Navy Yard employee Omar Grant, right, leads a blind colleague to safety after  the deadly shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C, on Sept. 16.
Chris Moody / Yahoo News
Navy Yard employee Omar Grant, right, leads a blind colleague to safety after the deadly shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C, on Sept. 16.

Also making headlines after the shooting rampage was Dr. Janis Orlowski, who made an impromptu plea during a news conference Monday to end gun violence.

“It was direct from my heart. I meant every word of it,” she told Matt Tuesday morning. “I must have poked the underbelly, because I’ve gotten quite a few comments and phone calls and emails and tweets about it.”

Video: Dr. Janis Orlowski, Chief Medical Officer at Medstar Washington Hospital Center, tells TODAY’s Matt Lauer that saying she hopes her trauma center goes out of business was a spontaneous moment that has garnered a lot of attention online.

2. The mystery boy who donated his savings – all $10.03 of it (in change) – to his local police department has been identified.

Eleven-year-old Max Siepert said he was inspired after learning in school what police and firefighters did to help on 9/11. He also is the grandson of a Milwaukee police officer who was killed in the line of duty in 1974.

“One day that’s going to make a difference,” Max said of his contribution. “It might not be a really big difference, but at least it’s something.”

Video: The mysterious contributor who donated $10.03 to the Greenfield, Wis., police department shortly after the anniversary of 9/11 has been revealed. The 11-year-old boy said he learned about the Sept. 11 attacks in school and has been collecting money to donate since April.

3. NBC’s Miguel Almaguer reached Jamestown, Colo., a town devastated by the area’s flooding, to speak to with victims who'd lost friends.

“We haven’t even had a chance to grieve our friend that died,” Anne Breiler told Miguel. “We’ve been dealing with survival.”

Video: The small community of Jamestown, Colo. was among one of the hardest hit in the flooding that has ravaged part of the state. NBC’s Miguel Almaguer heads into the town, which was inaccessible by foot or car as the floods raged.

4. Tom Brokaw’s wife of 50 years, Meredith, brought a skill she learned as a little girl in the Great Plains to the women of Malawi: canning tomatoes.

Three years later, Malawian women’s business of preserving the staple is thriving.

“The project is representative of what works here,” Tom said of his wife’s impact. “Not handouts, but local solutions to local problems.”

Video: Sometimes the greatest deeds come from the simplest ideas. Meredith Brokaw noticed on a trip to Malawi tomatoes were left to rot at the end of the season. So she helped set up a canning and preserving business for the women there, who are selling their canned goods and making a living for their families. Her husband, NBC’s Tom Brokaw, reports.

6. Mindy Kaling, star of “The Mindy Project,” dropped by the plaza for a visit, and gushed over one of the show’s guest stars, James Franco. She also joked that the short ‘do she sported on it made her look “like a little Indian boy.” And what does that mean? You should watch her show.

Video: Talented writer, actress and comedian Mindy Kaling talks about the upcoming second season of her hit show “The Mindy Project,” and her affection for James Franco, who makes an appearance as Dr. Paul Leotard.

7. Also on the plaza this morning: affordable fall fashion! Vogue’s Meredith Melling Burke showed off some of her favorites from the magazine’s annual "100 Under $100 Guide." Did you catch that? Less than $100 from Vogue!

Video: Meredith Melling Burke, senior market editor for Vogue magazine, shares five perfect fall outfits put together from their annual 100 under $100 list.

And that’s TODAY’s Takeaway!