It’s been a heavy week. And while we should take time to grieve and not just brush off sad news, we all could use reminding that there’s still good in the world.
Here are five good things that happened this week:
Carl Bates, a farmer in Illinois, was worried what would happen to his crops when he had to go into treatment for cancer. His family reached out for help via social media, and more than 40 of their neighbors from the farming community answered the call. The group was able to finish harvesting all the crops from Bates’ 450-acre farm in a day—a task that would usually take the farmer a week. “It fills us with pride to be from here,” the farmer’s cousin, Jason Bates, told The Huffington Post. “It shows how many good, selfless people there still are in this country.”
The city of Albuquerque is teaming up with St. Martin’s Hospitality Center to get the city’s panhandlers off the streets and into decent-paying jobs. As the program gets off the ground, a van will drive around the city and pick up panhandlers who accept the offer of a day-long job working on city beautification projects and weed and litter control for $9 an hour. At the end of the day, the van will take them to St. Martin’s Hospitality Center to get paid and help them get food, housing and resources for things like substance abuse and mental health issues. The ultimate goal is to help the panhandlers get connected to full-time jobs. “We might come across some folks and this is how they get started getting off the corner and away from panhandling,” said Albuquerque’s mayor, Richard J. Berry. “They can get a little bit of foundation and get connected to some of the services through our local nonprofits and they can start getting treatment for substance abuse if that’s the issue, or mental health if that’s the issue. We hope to see some uplifting stories come out of this.”
Six-year-old Mable is a real life hero—she’s been fighting leukemia for two years. But Mable is also a big fan of superheroes, and she recently got to be the hero of her hometown of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The city partnered with the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada to set up a day of fighting crime for “Spider-Mable.” Mable teamed up with a few other heroes and spent the day rescuing the captain of the Edmonton Oilers from a supervillain who had kidnapped him. You can see how the story played out here.
This Dad Invited His Daughter’s Step Dad to Help Walk Her Down the Aisle
Todd Bachman hasn’t always gotten along with his daughter Brittany’s stepfather, Todd Cendrosky, but at Brittany’s wedding, he decided it was time to put their differences aside. As Bachman was starting to walk Brittany down the aisle, he unexpectedly stopped and grabbed Cendrosky so they could walk her down the aisle together. The moment was captured by the wedding photographer, who shared it on Facebook, saying, “Families are what we make them…make it about your kids and not your ego.” The pictures have since gone viral online.
This week, a news show on HLN decided to call in Jon Hendren, an Edward Snowden supporter, to weigh in on Snowden’s return to Twitter. The segment started off smoothly enough, with the anchor summarizing the situation and Hendren defending Snowden’s right to speech. But pretty soon, things went off the rails, as Hendren started hard-core trolling by talking about Edward Scissorhands instead of Snowden.
“To cast him out, to make him invalid in society simply because he has scissors for hands—I mean, that’s strange. People didn’t get scared until he started sculpting shrubs into dinosaur shapes and whatnot,” he says at one point (about 2 minutes in)—managing to keep a completely straight face. The anchor keeps going, either unaware of what’s happening or desperately trying to keep things professional. You can watch the whole hilarious exchange below. In hindsight, the show producers probably should have known better than to call on someone with the Twitter handle @fart to weigh in on a serious issue.
Dargan is a former RELEVANT editor turned freelancer. Find her online at darganthompson.com or follow her extremely random train of thought on Twitter @darganthompson.