10 Positive News Stories to Brighten Your Day

Art+by+Emma+Boden

Art by Emma Boden

Claire Sarnowski

During these uncertain times, it may be difficult to find something to be positive about. Whether you feel bored, overwhelmed, anxious or saddened with the flood of news relating to COVID-19 or distance learning, it is important to remember that there is still good happening in the world!

Here is a list of 10 positive news stories that are sure to uplift your spirits and put a smile on your face.

1. Captain Thomas Moore Makes History for National Health Service

World War II veteran and United Kingdom resident Thomas Moore decided that he wanted to do something special to honor the National Health Service to celebrate his 100th birthday. He understood the pressure healthcare workers were under and set a goal to raise £1,000 by taking 100 laps around his garden before his birthday on April 30. 

Since he started fundraising and taking laps on April 6, he has raised over £29 million which is equivalent to over $36 million. All the money being raised will help medical workers across the United Kingdom by purchasing items such as sleep pods, reclining chairs and care packages.

2. Tom Hanks Surprises 8-Year-Old Fan

Corona DeVries, an 8-year-old boy from Gold Coast, Australia, wrote a letter to Tom Hanks after being bullied by his classmates because of his name. Hanks responded to his letter using a Corona brand typewriter he used during quarantine when he tested positive for COVID-19. 

In addition to the letter he wrote, Hanks also included the typewriter as a gift. At the end of his letter, Hanks referenced Toy Story when he wrote, “P.S. You got a friend in ME!”

3. Pop’s Birthday Parade

Peter Zagara, known as “Pop” to his family and friends, was moved to tears after a surprise birthday parade was planned to celebrate his 100th birthday. After his party was canceled, Pop’s grandson, PJ Franovic, decided to gather his friends, family and local policemen and firefighters to drive by Pop’s house in Toms River, New Jersey to celebrate. 

Reaching a centennial milestone isn’t Pop’s greatest accomplishment. Pop served in World War II where he fought for Italy and then was a prisoner of war for five years in England. You can watch a video of Pop’s reaction here: https://www.facebook.com/WorldNewsTonight/posts/10157880479319818

4. Local TikTok Doc Goes Viral 

Dr. Jason Campbell, a resident physician in anesthesiology and perioperative medicine practicing at OHSU hospital, found his passion making TikTok dances to share with his colleagues and the world. His dances to classic songs like “Cha-Cha Slide” and “Cupid Shuffle” helped him gain over 233,000 TikTok followers.

Although he hopes to offer joy and happiness in times of worry and boredom, he wants his followers to know that he takes his work seriously and is just trying to bring smiles to people around the world. He explains that he wants people to see doctors as normal people.

“To see doctors in this light, it’s energizing and humbling and fun,” said Campbell in an interview with KPTV Fox 12. “It doesn’t take away from our degrees and what we do, just another way to say we’re human too.”

5. Callaghan’s Joke Stand

Callaghan McLaughlin, a 6-year-old boy from British Columbia, has found a new way to spread joy in his neighborhood. McLaughlin was disappointed when he found out he could no longer run his lemonade stand that he had been planning for months. Instead of making lemonade, he decided to use a talent he already had to spread cheer.

Every morning McLaughlin sets up in his driveway his “drive-by joke stand.” He loves to socialize with all who walk by and make them chuckle with one of his jokes. One of his favorite jokes to tell is “Where does a trout keep his money? A river bank!”

6. Zoomers Give Back to Boomers

A group of teens in California set up a grocery delivery service named Zoomers to Boomers, which helps the elderly and immunocompromised population in their community. Through social media, their movement has spread to 21 cities across the United States. 

Since their founding, they have helped over 2000+ individuals and have acquired over 250 volunteers nationwide. To learn more about their mission, you can visit their website: https://www.zoomerstoboomers.com/

7. Beaverton Student Helps the Hearing-Impaired 

Eric Kim, a Sunset High School junior, is making clear masks to assist individuals who are hearing-impaired in reading lips. He was inspired to take on this project after having unexplained hearing loss in his left ear as a sixth grader and his volunteer work at Tucker Maxon school helping deaf and hard of hearing students. 

Kim detailed that he used clear fabric and a sewing machine to make the masks. Each mask takes about three to four hours to make.

Kim has already sent out masks to individuals in New Jersey and Texas. He plans to continue making free masks for people nationwide.

“As long as people keep requesting, I’ll be making masks whenever I have time,” he said.

8. Matthew McConaughey Zoom Bombs Bingo Game

Quarantined residents of The Enclave at Round Rock Senior Living housing in Round Rock, Texas received a surprise call from Academy Award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey.

McConaughey decided to unexpectedly join the residents’ virtual Zoom bingo game. He not only talked to the residents but also called a few rounds of bingo. After McConaughey’s surprise visit, residents of the facility posted a video to Facebook thanking the actor by holding up signs with his iconic saying “just keep livin’.”

9. Nurses En Route to New York 

On their Instagram page, Southwest Airlines posted a photo of 29 Atlanta health care workers on a flight to New York. In the heartwarming photo, the workers and flight attendants posed with their hands in the shape of a heart. 

The workers will be working in New York hospitals to take care of patients during the crisis.

 “These brave souls soldier on in the midst of tremendous risk and exposure, constantly putting the needs of others above their own,” Southwest captioned the post. 

10. Hallmark Cards Spread the Love

Since last month, Hallmark has given away over 4 million greeting cards free of charge. Anyone who wanted a free card could sign up on the Hallmark website and the blank card would be sent in the mail. 

The goal of this campaign was to encourage as many individuals as possible to send cards to those working on the front lines.