2016: Was It Really That Bad?

I think we can all agree that 2016 hasn’t been the best year. It’s easy to get caught up in all the bad things that happened, that we forget to acknowledge all the good news that was out there. In this post I will be looking back at some of the nicer news stories from the past year that hopefully restore a little faith in humanity.

JAPAN ADDRESSING THE IMPORTANCE OF EDUCATION
Kami-Shirataki Station in Northern Japan was deemed as remote and defunct due to it’s low passenger count. Once on a list of Japanese railway stations that need to go, the station remained open so that a young girl was still able to get to school. The station only saw two trains pass through; one in the morning to pick her up for school and the other in the early evening to drop her off back home. Once the girl finished school in March, the train station shut down for good.

Read the full story here

DOG ACCIDENTALLY RUNS HALF MARATHON; COMES IN 7TH PLACE
An Alabama dog, Ludivine, snuck out of her backyard and made her way to the races start line and then proceeded to run the half marathon alongside it’s human entrants. Ludivine managed to complete the race in just over an hour and a half, claiming the 7th place position. The races organisers then sent pictures of Ludivine at the finish line wearing her medal to her owners.

Read the full story here and here

A MOTHER’S LOVE
Australian shepherd cross called Maggie was separated from her own litter and when she heard the cries of rescue puppies, she wriggled out of a hole in her kennel door and headed towards the puppies and lay outside their kennel door. The owner of the kennels saw what was happening via a live feed from the surveillance cameras and headed down where she opened the puppies kennel door and watched as Maggie snuggled up to the puppies.

Read the full story here

STUDENTS GIVE TEACHER BIRTHDAY CAKE
When a high school teacher in Texas made a comment about not having had a birthday cake in a decade he probably didn’t think much of it. However, his students remembered and when his birthday came around they treated him with a birthday surprise he’d never forget. The students decorated the classroom, bought him gifts and got him his own birthday cake.

Read the fully story and watch the video here

POLICE WALK AN 81 YEAR OLD WOMAN SAFELY HOME
The police are often caught in the headlines, most often not for a good reason. However, this news story is different. 81 year old Roberta went on her daily walk down the driveway and back to her house again, but this time she decided to keep on walking. You’d think it was perfectly fine for a woman like Roberta to take a longer walk if she felt like it, but Roberta has dementia and had gotten lost in a nearby woods. Roberta’s daughter, clearly worried about her mother’s disappearance, called 911 to report her missing. The local police force sent out a group of officers to find her and take her back home.

Read the full story and see the picture of Roberta and a police officer here

SON TAKES HIS MUM TO HIS SENIOR PROM
When Kerry Huffaker was diagnosed with stage IV glioblastoma multiforme, “the deadliest, most aggressive brain cancer you can get”, she was only concerned about one thing, her teenage son Dylan. Being given only months to live, Kerry admits that she had asked Dylan who was going to dance with him at his wedding when the mother of the groom is supposed to dance with her son. Dylan then surprised his mum when he asked her to go to prom with him, asking her via a box of doughnuts with icing on saying ‘will you go to prom with me?’

Read the full story and watch the video here

HIGH SCHOOL RECREATES GRADUATION
Graduation is a right of passage of any young person completing a certain level of education. Imagine being in an accident just days before your graduation and when you wake from a medically induced coma you find out you’ve missed your big day. That is exactly what happened to Pennsylvanian student Scott Dunn. Scott was due to graduate on 25th May but on the 22nd May, Scott got into a serious car accident and was kept sedated for a week. When he woke up, his parents told him what date it was and Scott was gutted to learn that he’d missed his graduation. The school’s principle got word that Scott was recovering and had been released from hospital, he decided to recreate the ceremony especially for Scott. Benjamin Fausey, the school’s principle, got in contact with Scott’s classmates and families and asked if they would join in the ceremony for Scott. Half of Scott’s class turned up and gave him the special day that he will treasure forever.

Read the full story and watch the video here

GIRL RESTORES FAITH IN FUTURE GENERATIONS
A 6 year old girl from Virginia spotted a homeless man crying and gave him her pocket money and told him to go and and eat as that would make her happy. In a post on Facebook, the girls mother says that

…she walked over to him and goes “hi sir be happy it’s a nice day it’s not raining. Are you hot ? Why don’t you go home the ground is dirty?” He says I have no home but I will be ok. She looked at him with the saddest face and goes “so that means you’re homeless. So you have no food because you have no refrigerator.” She gave him a few dollars out of her purse and her drink and said, “Please go eat. It would make me happy. I like McDonald’s you should go there.”…

Read the full story here

OLYMPIC SPIRIT
I’m sure we’ve all heard this story of sportsmanship (or sportswomenship) from this years Olympic Games. During the woman’s semi-final of the 5000m race disaster struck for two of the runners. Nikki Hamblin from New Zealand and Abbey D’Agostino from the United States collided just 4 laps before the finish. D’Agnostino was quick to get back up and when she saw Hamblin laying on the ground D’Agnostino helped Hamblin back on her feet. The two then started running again but moments later D’Agnostino fell to the ground in severe pain. Hamblin stopped running and turned to D’Agnostino, reaching out to her with open arms. Either one of the pair could have made an attempt to finish the race, but they both wanted to make sure that the other was okay.

Read the full story here

GIANT PANDAS NO LONGER ENDANGERED
Giant Panda’s have been downgraded from ‘endangered’ to ‘vulnerable’ on the global list of species at risk of extinction. The IUCN has pointed at a 17% rise in population in the decade up to 2014, when a nationwide census found 1,864 giant pandas in the wild in China. The WWF Director General Marco Lambertini said “the recovery of the panda shows that when science, political will and engagement of local communities come together, we can save wildlife and also improve biodiversity”.

Read the full story here

NOT ALL HEROES WEAR CAPES
Heroes come in all different shapes and sizes, and a man onboard a Minneapolis to Atlanta flight has been hailed a hero for his selflessness. A pregnant woman was onboard the flight with her young son who became upset during the flight and his exhausted mother was unable to calm him down. Enter the hero who took the child and walked up and down the plane with him in an effort to comfort him whilst his mother rested.

Read the full story and check out the picture here

MOTHER TAKES HER SON TO ‘DONUTS WITH DAD’ DAY
Being a single parent isn’t easy but when Yevette Vasquez dropped her son Elijah off at school she noticed that the car park was busier than usual. When she asked her son he told her that there was an event for students and their fathers. Yevette quickly went home, put on a baseball cap, a plaid shirt, a fake moustache and cologne and headed back to her son’s school. Yevette admitted that her son has missed similar events in the past but that she didn’t want him to miss out anymore, her only wish is that she had done the same thing sooner.

Read the full story here

STUDENTS SING TO TEACHER BATTLING CANCER
400 students and faculty members from a school in Nashville turned up outside a sick teachers house and sang to him to show their support. Ben Ellis was diagnosed with esophageal cancer that had recently spread to this lungs. Ellis is described as a highly influential teacher who would stop you in the middle of the hallway just to see how you were doing. He taught children of all ages ranging from pre-K to 12th grade.

Read the full story and watch the video here

BUS DRIVER SAVES 20 LIVES
A school bus driver from Maryland becomes a hero after saving 20 children from her bus after it catches fire. Renita Smith was on her way dropping the children off from school and as she made her third or fourth stop the vehicle’s dashboard started beeping. The bus then began smoking. Smith stopped the bus, prepared to call for a backup vehicle and looked in her rear-view mirror when she saw flames. She jumped out of her seat and made sure that all the children got off the bus and into a safe place. She then went back in the burning bus, checking each individual seat to make sure all of the children were off the bus safely.

Read the full story here

AN UNLIKELY FRIENDSHIP
A 4 year old girl has befriended an elderly man she met at the grocery store and he is now part of the family. Tara Wood, from Georgia, was shopping with her daughter Norah when the young girl hopped up in the cart and shouted “Hi, old person!” at a man passing by. The man stopped and said “well, hi little lady! How are you today?” Norah and the man, 82 year old Dan Peterson, chatted for a few minutes and then went their separate ways. Norah asked her mum if she could take a picture with her new friend and after tracking Peterson down again he happily agreed. Tara then posted the story and photograph to her Facebook page when a reader sent her a message explaining that Peterson’s wife had passed away and that he had bee lonely and depressed ever since. Tara eventually got Peterson’s contact information and she reached out to him again.

Read the full story here

FRIENDSHIP HAS NO LANGUAGE BARRIER
10 year old Amanda Moore noticed that her classmate Rafael Anaya eating alone and decided to reach out to him, irregardless of the fact they speak different languages. Amanda used Google Translate to write Rafael a message telling him that he is welcome to come and sit with her so he isn’t alone. Since Amanda gave Rafael the note the two have become good friends, and Rafael says that they will be friends forever.

Read the full story here

GRANDMA SENDS TEXT TO WRONG PERSON AND ENDS UP COOKING FOR 20
We’ve all been there, sent a text to the wrong person by mistake. But you usually don’t hear back from them. Well 17-year-old Jamal Hinton from Arizona replied to a text from his ‘grandma’ confirming the time of Thanksgiving dinner. He replied to the message and asked for his ‘grandma’ to send a selfie when he soon realised it wasn’t his grandma at all. He asked if he would still be able to have dinner with them to which Wanda Delch responded to with “of course you can. That’s what grandma’s do…feed every one”. The two have now struck up an unlikely friendship all because of a missent text.

Read the full story and see the messages here

WOMAN SELLS NOTHING AT FAIR, SON TWEET ABOUT IT AND GOES VIRAL
Martyn Hett, 28, messaged his mum, Figen, asking how was doing. She tells him that she set up a stall at a local craft fair and didn’t sell anything. Martyn then tweets out about his mother’s online store and customers come flocking. Figen then tells her son that she was about to give up knitting but that Martyn had convinced her to carry on.

Read the full story here

ILLNESS DOESN’T STOP EDUCATION
An Iranian teacher visits a student in hospital as he battles cancer. The teacher stops by every day to fill the boy in on the lessons he missed in school. Communicating via phones (one outside the boys room and one inside) the teacher sits on the floor holding a tablet for the boy to see. The teacher has been praised for his dedication and for helping the young boy through such a difficult time. Every child is entitled to an education and if a child falls seriously ill, most children miss out and end up having to play catch up.

Read the full story here

Those were just a few of the ‘feel good’ stories that happened this year. You can view more on The Huffington PostSunnySkyz, GoodNewsNetwork or anywhere else online by simply searching for ‘good news’. Positive ad heartwarming news stories are out there, you just have to find them yourself.

I hope this post has made you feel a bit better about 2016. As I said at the beginning 2016 has been a terrible year but there are still good people out there doing great things. We need to take more time to recognise those people and become one of those people ourselves to make a positive difference to the world.

I hope you all have a great New Year’s Eve!

Emma Jayne

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