All the Good News Happening in the World Right Now

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As we settle in for another week of social distancing, news scrolling, and panic shopping, it’s key to put it all into perspective and seek out the positive. In times of crisis, communities get creative when it comes to forging ahead. Art and culture streams on, neighbors reach out, and cute animals continue to save our sanity on social media. Below, a few of the bright spots filling our world, from inspiring new volunteer initiatives to the viral videos giving us peace of mind.

1

Young People Are Delivering Goods to Vulnerable Populations

Across the country, young people are helping deliver groceries and prescriptions to those in need. In New York, two twenty-somethings—Liam Elkind and Simone Policano—started Invisible Hands. According to the AP, their operation inspired 1,300 volunteers in 72 hours to deliver essential goods to the vulnerable people across NYC and New Jersey. (Find more info about volunteering or request a delivery here.)

Jayde Powell, a University of Nevada college student, founded Shopping Angels, where senior citizens can provide a shopping list for an assisting volunteer. And in the U.K., Becky Wass has commissioned a viral postcard chain, where communities can offer help to their neighbors in need.

2

Animal Shelters Report a Boost in Foster Applications

Faced with an empty home during an extended period of social distancing, The New York Times reports that people are opting to foster or adopt pets in increasing numbers. The article notes organizations in New York City, Kansas City, and Dallas have received an influx of requests to help shelter animals. “A lot of people are facing prolonged periods of time at home and inside,” Eileen Hanavan, director of the foster and engagement program at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, told the Times. “They want companionship and to not feel alone during this unsettling time, and it is benefiting our animals directly.”

3

This Wholesome Footage of Foster Puppies Playing in a Plush Bread Bed

Speaking of the joys of fostering, the second you feel an anxiety attack coming on, head to this three-minute video of two puppies posted by Youtube’s Kitten Lady. Instant, if temporary, relief.

4

Businesses Are Finding New Ways to Innovate

5

It’s Christmas in March

6

People Are Sending Cards and Letters to Nursing Home Residents

Retirement homes and nursing facilities across the country are limiting visitations for residents. Instead, facilities are requesting cards and letters be sent to lift their population’s spirits. People have taken the ask to heart, sending drawings and notes to their local nursing homes, with USA Today sharing examples.

7

It’s Never Been Easier to Watch Movies & Theater from Home

Although we’re mourning the closures of movie theaters and live performances, the entertainment industry is adapting the way we experience art. New movie releases including Emma, The Invisible Man, and Onward are hitting on-demand and streaming services early. Live theater-wise, The Actors Fund YouTube channel is producing daily mini-musicals. Plus, BroadwayHD and On the Boards are streaming theatrical productions that range from mainstream to experimental.

8

Three British Women in Quarantine Are the Real-Life Golden Girls

We’ve officially found our favorite Quarantine Crew: three British grandmothers named Doreen Burns, Carol Spark, and Dotty Robinson. In a delightful interview with BBC Breakfast, the trio explained that after a week spent solo making sure they showed no symptoms of COVID-19, they opted to isolate together. Friends for more than 40 years, the self-dubbed Golden Girls plan on drinking wine and catching up on The Crown. (SAME.)

9

Disneyland Is Donating its Excess Food to a Food Bank

Disneyland closed this month amid novel coronavirus safety concerns. But while the park is closed, its surplus of snacks will be donated to Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County. Disneyland Resort external communications manager Kyleigh Johnson announced the move as a commitment to reducing food waste during closure.

10

Animal and Zoo Livestreams Are Saving Our Sanity

After footage of penguins wandering Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium stole everyone’s hearts, other animal organizations followed suit. At this very moment, you can watch livestreams and virtual tours from aquariums, zoos, and animal sanctuaries across the globe. CNN has compiled a helpful list here.

11

A Family Celebrated Their Grandmother’s 95th…from a Distance

When it came time to celebrate 95-year-old Kathleen Byrne’s birthday, her family wanted to honor their grandmother in a way that would not compromise her health. In a now-viral video clip, the family sang “Happy Birthday” to Byrne with handmade signs from her Syracuse, New York yard.

“We literally call her an angel on Earth,” her grandchild Sara Byrne told CBS News. “She is just the sweetest person. So, her reaction was just typical Gram—a big smile on her face. She was just super thankful and it made her feel really special. We just wanted to make a big deal about her, even though she says we don’t have to.”

12

It’s Never Been a Better Time to Catch Up on Reading

Let your spring reading list daunt you no longer. Diving into a great book (or 10) while home has never been simpler. New York residents can download SimplyE, a free e-reader app with access to 300,000 different titles. Those in other cities can download Libby, an app that connects to local libraries and allows you to check out any of their available ebooks, magazines, and audiobooks for free.

13

Medical Dramas Are Donating Supplies to Hospitals

In addition to providing hours of bingeable TV, shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, The Good Doctor, Station 19, and The Resident are offering supplies to hospitals in need. Deadline reports that those series are donating masks, gloves, gowns, and other medical equipment to medical workers and hospitals.

14

You’re Invited to a Koala’s Birthday Party

Once you’ve exhausted animal livestreams, head over to Symbio Wildlife Park’s Facebook page. There, you’ll find the impossibly pure sight of a koala’s first birthday party. (Yes, he does receive a stuffed koala as his present. No, we’re not recovered.)





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