Whether you’re snowed in this weekend or enjoying the balmy weather (hey, Floridians), here are five stories from this week to warm your heart.
Earlier this week, a man was driving under the influence in Jamie Foxx’s Los Angeles neighborhood. The man lost control of his car and drove into a ditch, hitting a pipe that caused his vehicle to flip three times, then land on the passenger’s side before it burst into flames. The man was trapped inside.
Foxx and a group of friends witnessed the accident, and Foxx took action. “Jamie didn’t hesitate,” one of Foxx’s friends told ABC News, “He jumped out and ran to the car.” Foxx and another unidentified do-gooder haven’t officially been identified in LAPD’s report of the incident, but the details of the events were made clear in the report:
Two witnesses that were near the collision scene ran to the burning, overturned truck in an attempt to free the driver. One of the witnesses retrieved a rescue tool from his vehicle, allowing the two citizens to break the window, cut the seat belt, and extricate the driver.
In an interview with ABC News, Foxx said, “I’m not a hero, but had to do something.” Foxx met the father of the young man, who sustained head and neck injuries and is expected to be hospitalized for some time, and shared a picture of the moment on Instagram, writing “a man, a son, a brother’s life was spared last night. God had his arms wrapped around all of us. … No heroes. … Just happy fathers.”
Last week, The U.S. did a prisoner swap with Iran, releasing seven Iranian prisoners in exchange for five American citizens being held in Iranian prisons. One of those American prisoners was Iranian-American Pastor Saeed Abedini, who ran an orphanage in Iran and was imprisoned after allegedly helping to lead illegal underground Christian house churches in the country. Abedini had been held since 2012. Church groups had campaigned for his release for years, and Amnesty International also petitioned for his release, saying that he was a “prisoner of conscience,” jailed for peacefully exercising basic human rights.
The release has had its fair share of controversy. Back in November, his wife, Naghmeh Abedini, temporarily stopped being active on social media (she had long used social media to advocate for her husband’s release), and wrote an email to supporters saying that she suffered abuse in their marriage, though she later said she regretted the admission, adding that they were written during a time of “great psychological and emotional distress.”
This week, Abedini arrived back in the U.S. and was reunited with his family. Naghmeh has said she is looking forward to rebuilding her family and her marriage.
“It’s a time of celebration,” she told the Idaho Statesman. “Our family: We’re strong. Saeed’s strong. And we’re going to be able to process and move past things and become more unified.”
Jim Hackett took over as the University of Michigan’s interim athletic director in the fall of 2014, and he’s been working on a month-to-month basis since then until the school can make a more permanent hire. This week, Hackett announced his new plan to transition out of the role, and he also revealed that in 2015, he and his wife Kathy decided to donate half their salaries to the school’s depression center, which has a program that supports the mental health of student athletes.
Kathy thought this was a really special thing for athletes,” he said. “She was moved by that. It was her idea, and I thought ‘let’s do that.’
Iraq War Veteran Justin Anderson is an American hero. The Nebraska resident has found a way to help his neighbors and local school children by rigging his off-road wheelchair with a custom snowplow blade. After heavy snow fall in the area, he’s been clearing sidewalks around an elementary school, explaining to a local news station, “I don’t want kids or parents having to go through the snow and possibly trip or hurt themselves … The community has supported me immensely with my struggles and tough times as I had a leg amputated and my fight with brain cancer. This is my way of giving back.” In case you’re wondering, Anderson said he is still planning on making some more sweet modifications to the off-road machine.
The wait for season two of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is almost over—it drops on April 15—and there’s also some more good news for fans of Ellie Kemper’s Netflix sitcom. Co-executive producer Tina Fey told reporters at the Television Critics Association press event this weekend that the streaming network had also picked up the show for a third season. The series started as a pilot for NBC, who passed on the show, before becoming a critical and fan favorite on Netflix. Kemper told reporters, “I’ve had a lot of people share with me that they were going through a difficult time, they watched this and it helped them to feel better.