Online content often comes across with a negative tone. Even helpful articles focus on stuff you aren’t doing or don’t know. And it makes sense. After all, who really wants to read “4 Ways You’re Fine and Shouldn’t Change Anything”? Still, the Internet can be a heavy place.
Well, we think we all need a break from the bad news. So we’ve compiled five(ish) things from this week(ish) that tell good stories, offer some hope or at least make you smile.
Happy Friday, world.
There’s not much good news coming out of the Middle East these days, but this week, Assyrian leaders managed to strike an agreement with ISIS to gain freedom for 22 of the Assyrian Christians the terrorist group had abducted in February. Many of those released had health problems or were elderly. The captives reported that they had not been physically harmed, though they had been held in cramped rooms and encouraged to convert to Islam. Negotiations to release other captured Assyrians are ongoing. Only 45 have been released since the abductions, but the latest release still offers a glimmer of hope.
NBA star LeBron James is partnering with the University of Akron to sponsor college education for every child who completes his foundation’s “I Promise” program in the Akron public school system. The program currently enrolls about 1,100 kids, who will have to fulfill attendance and grade requirements in order to get the scholarship.
I think it’s probably one of the best things I’ve ever been apart of, James said. “This is very special to me. As a kid growing up in the inner city and as an African American kid, you don’t really think past high school because it’s not possible or your family can’t support you. For us to be able to do something like this … it means so much.”
At this rate, the first students to graduate the program would head to college in 2021, and fortunately, it’s unlikely that James would pull a “Scott’s Tots” situation.
Instead of hosting a traditional reception, this Turkish couple served food to thousands of Syrian refugees.
A woman in Minnesota sent 86 made-from-scratch sweet potato “comfort pies” to the Bible study at the Charleston church where a racist shooter opened fire two months ago. Rose McGee, whose pie recipe has been passed down through her family for generations, said she hoped the pies conveyed to the church members that people around the country are still thinking of them and praying for them.
Fey and the writers behind 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt are at it again, this time working on a show about a mother who gets an internship at the same news network where her daughter works.
Bonus (Because we couldn’t stop at five):
And, in honor of World Elephant Day this past Wednesday—which may or may not be a real thing—here’s a baby elephant who just can’t get it together.
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.