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11 times we were reminded there is good, despite the dud of a year we’ve had

Sgt. Pam Kelly
Sgt. Pam Kelly (YouTube/Villagers for Veterans)

This story is a part of our "Something Good" series, which is designed to remind you of all the goodness in the world: the moments that can make you smile, feel warm inside and applaud humanity.


It’s been one heck of a year.

Despite the fact that the entire world has been living through a pandemic, there has been a lot of good happening, and we have managed to find quite a bit of it.

If you haven't heard of "Something Good," now's your chance.

We’ve made it our mission to seek out and find people who have seen, experienced, been the recipient of, or who are doing positive things for the community. There are so many people doing good things, but we’ll start by sharing these 11 stories with you.

1. Elderly couple reunited after 3 months of quarantine: ‘Without her, nothing matters’

Each morning, this man would arrive at the long-term facility where his wife lived to help her with her makeup, get her jewelry on and comb her hair. Then, he’d spend the day with her doing different activities, including bingo, eating meals with her and pushing her wheelchair up and down the halls to visit friends.

But when people inside nursing home facilities were forced to quarantine, the couple’s routine changed abruptly.

It was some time before the two were reunited, but when they did, “they were laughing like teenagers.”

Want to read more? Click here.


2. Community raises $300K for injured, retired Army veteran’s new smart home: ‘Pam will never be alone’

U.S. Army Sgt. Pam Kelly envisioned the rest of her life unfolding in the military, but that all changed in 2002, when Kelly, who conducted sling-load operations at the time, suffered a devastating injury: Some equipment fell on her, crushing her spine, head and both of her shoulders.

Kelly, who served for 17 years, found readjusting to civilian life to be a challenge. She became isolated and shut off from the world.

Enter the nonprofit group Villagers for Veterans. Since 2014, the group has focused on helping severely wounded veterans by raising much-needed funds or helping to secure them additional resources -- whatever they might need.

“I’ve grown a family here,” she said in a video, linked below. “It’s kind of taken me out of my shell.”

And wait until you see the house.

Want to read more? Click here.


3. Cold winter? Global pandemic? Nothing could stop these students from building this incredible home

The Oakland Schools Technical Campus Northeast in Pontiac, Michigan, works with neighboring high schools to offer enhanced classes and learning opportunities that students might not be able to get at their high school buildings.

The idea brainstormed was essentially this: “What if we built a house at our campus and had it delivered to the site?”

From working through and having to endure a cold winter, to dealing with an unprecedented pandemic, to not having the house even be built at its final resting spot -- which led to a sight many never thought they would witness -- it was an experience the students will never forget.

Want to read more? Click here.


4. Children’s hospital’s creative 'Button Project’ is the perfect way to calm intimidated kids

The Button Project came to life after the people at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville decided they needed to get creative to ensure the children and families who visit the clinics each day can see the same friendly faces they’ve always known, that now exist behind masks.

Professionals involved in the project have been identifying teams and their staffers across the Children’s Hospital who would like a photo button of their faces to wear on their shirts so that their patients can tell who they are.

“Our goal is to ensure that patients and families feel safe during their stay, so the staff decided to find a creative way to wear colorful, fun masks and personalized buttons so everyone could see their faces,” said Barb Shultz, administrative director of Surgical Services.

Want to read more? Click here.


5. School bus driver doesn’t think twice when asked to make special food deliveries: ‘Anyone would do it’

For parents of children who have special needs, at some point, Michigan’s Plymouth-Canton district realized perhaps they could use a hand. So a few school bus drivers volunteered to deliver breakfast and lunch to those families -- about a week’s worth of food at a time.

“I don’t think what I did was extraordinary,” Lisa LiGreci said with a laugh. “I am at a higher risk for the virus, but I didn’t even think about that because these kids need food. Anyone would do it.”

Want to read more? Click here.


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6. Field of dreams: Volunteers keep baseball going in this community after COVID-19 cancels league play

Parents and kids who are interested have shown up to a field with gloves and bats. Coaches and parent volunteers divide the group into random teams, and games that last roughly an hour begin.

It’s sandlot baseball in its truest form.

Want to read more? Click here.


7. ‘My Favorite Quarantine Things’: Girl parodies classic song, and it is life

Randa and her daughter, Ryanne, found things to keep themselves busy as people began quarantining in the start of the coronavirus pandemic. One of those things was watching movies.

While watching “The Sound of Music” one day, Ryanne said, “This would be a really great song to parody," so she did.

Want to read more? Click here.


8. Four-year-old’s lemonade stand raises thousands of dollars for Beirut blast victims

After an explosion in Beirut that killed more than 200 people earlier this year, the Badaoui family was talking about what happened in Lebanon.

“We were saying people were hurt, they lost their stuff, and (the 4-year-old) says, ‘Why don’t we help the people in Lebanon?’” Mustapha Badaoui recalled.

He said his brain just kind of exploded, figuratively speaking, and his next reaction was, “Yeah, let’s do it!”

Want to read more? Click here.


9. This teacher found a unique way to keep her students engaged with their class pets during quarantine

Jessie Brawner, a second-grade teacher from Kissimmee, Florida, tried everything in her power to make at-home school as easy as possible for her students, and that meant keeping them up to date when it came to the growth of their quacky class pets, Finn, Daffy and Phoebe.

The three little ducklings were born Feb. 22, just a few weeks before the shutdowns started.

“When we switched to virtual learning in March, I kept the ducklings at my home and frequently made videos or sent pictures -- even put the ducklings on Zoom for my class to see,” Brawner said.

Thanks to technology, Brawner’s second-grade students were able to see the ducklings grow into full, adult ducks.

Want to read more? Click here.


10. 2 small business owners ‘lift each other up,’ come up with brilliant plan to build traffic for area businesses

Amy LeVick and Kim Sheffield had never met when they were each forced to shut the doors of their respective businesses, despite the fact that their consignment shop stores are just 2 miles apart.

“When it was getting time to open our stores again, we were talking about different ways to support each other,” Sheffield said. “We were a big resource for each other.”

That’s when the duo came up with the “We Rise by Lifting Each Other” campaign. The idea came after the two discussed how small business owners were really struggling. As they began to execute their plan, they had no way of knowing just how well it would work.

The women said they’re excited about what they have created, and they hope to continue to grow business for themselves, as well as others in the community.

Want to read more? Click here.


11. This letter brought a Publix employee to tears -- the happy kind

Asli Knowles, an employee at a local Publix supermarket, said it was nearly impossible to communicate with customers who were deaf.

“I would have to take off my mask to have them read my lips,” Knowles said. “And I didn’t want to put anyone in danger.”

Then, Knowles found out about some special face coverings for the deaf.

“I told him smiling is a part of our uniform and I want to make my customers happy in these hard times.”

Want to read more? Click here.


In the spirit of all things GOOD, do you know of someone who has done "good?" Or maybe you’ve been the one. Regardless of who or what, we want to hear more about it. Click here to share your story.


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