7 Stories to Warm Your Heart: Kids Reading to Cats, Puppies Saved in Sochi and More
If you need something to put a smile on your face today, we’ve got seven stories that are currently making big headlines that will make your heart glad. Here are just some of the wonderful news stories that came to light over the past few weeks.
1. Kids Reading to Cats: Could Anything be Cuter?
Have you heard about the “Book Buddies” project? If not, prepare to “awww.” The program at Berks Animal Rescue League in Berks County, Pennsylvania allows children in grades 1-8 to read to cats who are waiting for adoption. The idea is the cats get lots of lovely time to play and be fussed over, while the children, aged between 6-13, can build their reading skills. Wanting to publicize the drive, Reddit user Dagorlad uploaded the above picture to the aggregating site earlier this month, and it quickly went viral.
According to the Metro, parents of children who have participated in the scheme say they are delighted with how it has improved their kids’ reading abilities, with one mother quoted as saying, “I believe it truly helps him to not only read, but to help the animals who do not have warm loving homes, and that we must help speak up for the critters who do not have a voice.”
2. Olympian Wins Our Gold Medal Award for Saving Sochi Puppies
Silver-medal winning skier Gus Kenworthy made the world breathe a collective sigh of adoration this week when it emerged that while in Sochi he is doing everything possible to adopt a litter of puppies, thereby saving them from an uncertain and possibly bleak future given the dog-killing policy local authorities have employed.
According to The New York Times, Kenworthy is in the process of adopting the four puppies and their mother, all with the mind of keeping one of the puppies for himself and then finding homes for the remaining puppies among his family and friends.
3. John Cena Wrestles Record Breaking Number of Wishes into Life
WWE star John Cena has sometimes been a controversial figure, but he is renowned for his commitment to charity work. This month, the Make-a-Wish foundation, which aims to make wishes come true for terminally ill children, announced that Cena had in fact granted 400 wishes, the most wishes completed by any celebrity. This while working in excess of 300 days a year touring with the WWE and on his own businesses. Maybe Congress could learn a thing or two?
Announced the foundation: “We would like to thank John Cena for his commitment to Make-A-Wish, and congratulate him on being the first celebrity to grant 400 wishes!”
4. Awesome Teacher Creates Love Ninja Strategy to Battle Bullying
Blogger Glennon Doyle Melton published an amazing story to her blog on momastery.com in January, talking about how her child’s teacher has a very unique way of tackling bullying and gauging the dynamics of her class.
Every Friday afternoon Chase’s teacher asks her students to take out a piece of paper and write down the names of four children with whom they’d like to sit the following week. The children know that these requests may or may not be honored. She also asks the students to nominate one student whom they believe has been an exceptional classroom citizen that week. All ballots are privately submitted to her.
And every single Friday afternoon, after the students go home, Chase’s teacher takes out those slips of paper, places them in front of her and studies them. She looks for patterns.
Who is not getting requested by anyone else?
Who doesn’t even know who to request?
Who never gets noticed enough to be nominated?
Who had a million friends last week and none this week?
You see, Chase’s teacher is not looking for a new seating chart or “exceptional citizens.”¯ Chase’s teacher is looking for lonely children. She’s looking for children who are struggling to connect with other children. She’s identifying the little ones who are falling through the cracks of the class’s social life. She is discovering whose gifts are going unnoticed by their peers. And she’s pinning down — right away — who’s being bullied and who is doing the bullying.
The post, which I encourage you to read in its entirety, has been shared thousands of times, and has been republished by a number of other outlets. Congratulations to Chase for having such a wonderful teacher (and to the school who gives teachers like Chase’s the resources to employ such brilliant strategies).
5. Homeless Man Who Won the Lottery to Start Charity to Help Abused Women
Until recently, Laszlo Andraschek’s prospects were slim. He had no job, was deeply in debt and was homeless. Figuring he had nothing to lose, the Hungarian spent the pittance he still had on a lottery ticket. In September of last year, Andraschek won Hungary’s biggest ever jackpot of 630m Hungarian forint (about $2,846,140).
Andraschek settled his family’s debts and began trying to start his life anew, but rather than keep all his winnings to himself, Andraschek has pledged to start a shelter for people dealing with addiction (Andraschek appears to have battled addiction himself) and women who are escaping violent home environments.
6. Two Blind Cows Find Forever Homes and Friendship with Each Other
Sweety and Tricia are two blind cows who, once the dairy industry had no use for them, were destined for the slaughterhouse until they were rescued and brought together from across the miles. Sweety had lived for eight years on an industrial dairy farm in Canada where she was forced to give birth to calf after calf until blindness and an infection in her hoof meant that she was costing the dairy more than she could make them and she was signed up for slaughter.
Fortunately, Sweety was rescued by Farm Sanctuary in New York and her life continued to get better: Farm Sanctuary is home to another blind cow called Tricia. Due to her condition, Tricia has to be kept apart from other cows but had been housed with another cow who also had a disability. Sadly, that cow died, leaving Tricia without a friend — that is, until Sweety showed up.
7. Recycling Truck Driver Gives His Autistic Friend a Present
Five-year-old Daniel Mulligan from Southern California is like most kids. He loves trucks and in particular the recycling truck that pulls up outside his house every Monday. Daniel, who has autism, has struck up a friendship with the truck driver Manuel who drives for E.J. Harrison & Sons. So lovely is that friendship that Daniel’s mom had decided to film Daniel’s excitement one particular day when, to her and Daniel’s surprise, the truck driver Manuel asked if he could give Daniel a present: a toy truck.
The video of this encounter has been shared over the Internet thousands of times since Daniel’s mother uploaded it to Facebook earlier this year, and has made headlines across the world.
Hope you found a reason or two to keep smiling. Have a wonderful day!
Photo credit: Thinkstock.