It can be tough to focus on the positive sometimes, particularly when the media spews negative news all the time about the environment, politics, and the world’s general state of affairs. However, sometimes a heartwarming story slips in that makes you smile.
Human interest stories are uplifting and often restore our faith in humanity. There are a lot of good people out there who selflessly help others and raise them up instead of knocking them down. And in 2019, there were plenty of people who did some pretty remarkable things…
A Community Learned Sign Language After The Birth Of A Deaf Girl
When Glenda and Raphi Savitz moved to Newton, Massachusetts, over two years ago, they started a new life after giving birth to their daughter Samantha. She was born deaf and was the first person the couple had ever known who had hearing loss. Then the neighbors spotted the couple signing to their daughter.
Before long, the community decided they wanted to communicate with Samantha as well, so they started taking weekly classes to learn American Sign Language. Over 20 people joined the class. “It’s so important for deaf babies and kids to have full access to language,” the ASL teacher told Action News. “What this community is doing to support Sam shows the power people have to really change one person or one family’s life.”
An Elderly YouTuber Wrote Down His Subscribers’ Names & Thanked Them One By One
Portuguese YouTuber Nilson Izaias Papinho began uploading videos on YouTube in 2018. Topics included things like tours of his garden or discussing what he ate for breakfast. Then in January 2019 he shared something special with his viewers: a handwritten notebook with the names of all the people who subscribed to his channel.
Nilson proceeded to thank them all for their support. He continued to thank his new “amigos y amigas,” and something extraordinary happened: his fan base grew exponentially. He currently has over 4.8 million subscribers. One person wrote: “My human faith has been restored.”
An Arkansas Woman Texted Her Dad Every Day After His Death & Then Someone Responded
Chastity Patterson’s father died several years ago, but she continued to text him every day. Four years after his death, she got a response. It was the day before the fourth anniversary of her dad’s death. The response was: “My name is Brad and I lost my daughter in a car wreck August 2014 and your messages have kept me alive. When you text me, I know it’s a message from God.”
He then praised Patterson for being such a good daughter and said he wished his own late daughter would have become the type of woman Patterson grew into.
Norwegians Made It Easier For The Homeless To Make Money
Earlier this year, a user on Reddit posted a photo of a public trash can that looks a little different than the ones we have in the United States. The user explained in the caption: “Trash can holders for bottles and cans in Norway so homeless and others can easily collect them.
“Would love to see these in public areas in Eugene like LTD station, would prevent folks from constantly rummaging through the garbage and make sure more bottles are recycled – win/win!”
A Loyal Customer Gave A McDonald’s Employee A Free Car
In January 2019, McDonald’s employee Vicki Anderson from South Hutchinson, Kansas, got a huge gift she didn’t expect. Anderson worked in the drive-thru and mentioned to a regular customer that her car had died. That’s when the customer, Chris Ellis, made a life-changing decision.
He and his son Josh decided to give Anderson Josh’s car, which they had originally planned on selling. Anderson was shocked by the gesture. “You’re a blessing to me. You make me smile every time I come through here and I don’t forget stuff like that,” Ellis said in a video that ended up going viral.
A Football Team Surprised An Autistic Nine-Year-Old Boy At His Birthday Party
In June 2019, a high school football team in Idaho learned that only one person was going to a local nine-year-old boy’s birthday party. Even though invitations were sent out two months in advance, only one person responded “yes” to Christian’s party. His mother posted on Facebook that she was disappointed but understood because her son had autism and had trouble making friends.
Word spread, and the Napa High School football players responded by turning up for the science-themed party. His mother wrote, “It was truly amazing to watch them. Those High School seniors stayed until the end of the party. They interacted with all of the kids. They played games and got down on the level of the little kids and got them all involved.”
A Billionaire Paid $40 million In Student Loan Debt For The Morehouse College Class Of 2019
In May 2019, investor and philanthropist Robert F. Smith told the Morehouse College class of 2019 during his commencement speech that he was paying off their student loans. There were nearly 400 students with a debt of around $40 million. Smith is worth about $5 billion and in 2018 was the wealthiest African American in the United States.
He previously donated $1 million to the college to build the Robert Frederick Smith Scholars Program as well as an extra $500,000 to design an outdoor study area for students.
A Michigan Kindergarten Class Turned Out To Witness A 5-Year-Old Boy’s Adoption
Michael Clark Jr., 5, had a very special day in December 2019. He was officially adopted by his parents, and his kindergarten classmates were all there to witness and celebrate the events. They showed their support by waving sticks with small hearts attached to them.
Thousands of people shared the story on Facebook, and according to Kent County, there was “not a dry eye” in Judge Patricia D. Gardner’s courtroom. Kerry McKee of Wealthy Elementary School in East Grand Rapids invited the class to support Michael and to teach the kids about adoption.
An Indiana Town Gave Free Haircuts To Kids Heading Back To School
In South Bend, Indiana, there’s a program geared toward elementary school children that makes sure they’re ready (style-wise) when heading back to school at the start of the year. Hair Kutz 4 Kids provides free haircuts to South Bend students as well as a free lunch and a backpack full of supplies.
The program has been in effect for nearly 15 years, and many local companies sponsor the program. Over 300 students participate. “We’re looking at doing this two times a year now,” Henry Davis Jr. told WSTB 22 News in August 2019. “Not only because of the need, but also to make sure we’re restoring and building relationships with our children.”
Customers And Staff Take Care Of A Stray Cat At Denny’s
For over 10 years, the staff at a Denny’s restaurant in Oregon have been feeding and caring for a stray orange tabby cat that lives in the area. The cat, called Dennys, was scared and lonely when he first turned up, and employees gave him some water before realizing that he’d been dumped there.
The restaurant adopted the cat, and people from all over frequently bring him blankets and heating lamps for the winter. He also regularly goes to the vet and is taken care of by a large support group. He’s well known in the community and is very loving in return to all those people who make sure he’s comfortable and fed.
A Teacher Helped Save A Student’s Diabetic Father
When his diabetic father fell unconscious in February 2019, seven-year-old Cameron Simoncic from South Carolina tried calling for help but couldn’t unlock his dad’s phone. So he got on his bicycle and tried to ride to his grandmother’s. His former teacher, Keller Sutherland, saw him riding near four lanes of traffic and took action.
She stopped and learned that his dad was in trouble. She and two other motorists called 911. They went to Cameron’s home where EMTs treated him. Earlier in the day, Sutherland felt like she wasn’t making much of a difference in her students’ lives, but the incident changed her outlook.
A Server Got A Surprise $1,000 Tip From A Stranger
A waitress named Sam Meyer at Mama Catena, an Italian joint in Euclid, Ohio, was stunned in October 2019 after a guest left her a $1,070 tip on a bill for himself and his wife. Specifically, it was an 877 percent tip. She told Cleveland’s Fox 8 that the gesture “made her month.”
Ironically, she had spent part of her shift “thinking that I have so much that I have to pay in the next week.” And instead of keeping it all to herself, she shared some of it with her coworkers.
A Police Officer Drove A Three-Year-Old To School After Her Mother Got A Flat Tire
Shemeca Mabry was driving her three-year-old daughter to school in September 2019 when she got a flat tire. Officer John Rozyskie of the Waco Police Department stopped to help and realized Mabry had a young child with her. So he offered to bring the child to school so she wasn’t late.
The officer later wrote on Facebook, “What I did for Shemeca and her daughter was my upbringing and my profession. We help people in my business. I was called out to her location, saw her and helped her. That’s what we do.”
An Entire Neighborhood Gave A Longtime Mail Carrier A Tremendous Goodbye At His Retirement
Floyd Martin was a Georgia mail carrier since 1985. He serviced the same neighborhood in Marietta for 20 years before he decided to retire, and his community came out in full force when they learned he was leaving the job. Martin became friends with many of his customers, and they reciprocated over the years by inviting him to dinner and giving him gifts.
Martin retired in May 2019, and the 500 people on his route threw him a celebration. They decorated their mailboxes and invited him to a potluck party. It was the least they could do for the man who celebrated numerous birthdays, graduations, etc. with his customers. He would even give graduates $20 by leaving the cash in the mailbox.
A Group Of Dads Comforted A Crying Boy On His First Day Of School
In Philadelphia, there’s a group of dads that participated in “Hi-Fives With Dads” at the start of school in September 2019. They lined up to welcome kids back to school and give them high fives at Allen M. Stearne Elementary. However, one child named Ian had a tough time because it was a new school for him, and he was late.
He started to cry, and the dads put their arms around him and made sure to pump him up for the new school year. They gave him words of encouragement and finally got a smile from the little boy. The tears went away, and he entered his new school with confidence — all due to strangers who lifted him up.
A Washington, D.C. Restaurant Feeds The Homeless Every Day
Kazi Mannan, owner of Sakina Halal Grill in Washington, D.C., manages to keep his restaurant running even though he gives free meals to the homeless every single day. Only a few blocks from the White House, the restaurant serves Pakistani Indian food. Anyone who asks gets a free lunch or dinner.
Those who have teeth problems get special boneless chicken that’s easy to digest. He’s been serving the homeless since 2013 when he opened his restaurant. “I don’t want any donation but if you’re coming in to eat, that’s your support of helping a community restaurant that is offering kindness and love others,” Mannan told WJLA channel 7 news.
Hospital Staff Lined The Hall To Celebrate A Marine’s Graduation From Boot Camp
Micah Wooten, 17, graduated from boot camp and was looking forward to graduation. However, he was forced to have emergency surgery and was rushed to Beaufort Memorial Hospital in South Carolina instead. There, he reunited with his family, whom he hadn’t seen for three months.
The assistant director of the operating room, Laurie Harvey, R.N., decided that she needed to do something for the young man. After he completed the surgery, Harvey and several doctors and nurses lined the wall outside the operating room as the Marine Corps hymn played. They all clapped, thanking him for his service.
South Carolina Neighbors Gave A Car To A Woman Who Walked 24 Miles To Work Every Day
Darlene Quinn, 60, from South Carolina, used to walk 24 miles a day to and from work. Then her neighbors stepped in and compiled enough money to buy her a car. “You have inspired so many of us to do great things,” FedEx coworker Josh Lewis noted in a video on Facebook. “So me and about 100 other people got together and we raised enough money to buy that car for cash for you today.”
Quinn was blown away by the gesture. The community created a GoFundMe page and raised $6,205 through 105 donors to buy her a used 2014 Chevy Captiva.
A Police Officer Gave A Two-Year-Old Discharged Patient A Special Send-Off
In November 2019, a little boy in Manchester, New Hampshire, was ready to leave Elliot Hospital and Health System after treatment. But the two-year-old had a tiny request before he went home. He wanted a hug from a police officer.
The hospital posted on Facebook that the little one “thought a hug from a police officer would ensure he’d feel all better after his time at the hospital.” Officer Tony, who worked in the emergency department, made a special visit and was part of an “extra-special badge ceremony send-off!”
A Texas Principal Reads Bedtime Stories To Kids On Facebook Live
Last school year, Dr. Belinda George was a first-year principal at Homer Drive Elementary in Beaumont, Texas. She has been reading bedtime stories to her students every week using Facebook Live. The sessions are called “Tucked-In Tuesdays,” and she began the tradition in December 2018 during Christmas break.
She told Good Morning America that the goal was “to bridge the gap between home and school. I also want to form relationships with my scholars and their families.” She added, “I love children, and I just want to help my parents in any way that I can,” George said. “I am just doing what I love and that is honoring children.”