The Friday 5: Your Uplifting Stories of the Week

Sometimes the news can be, well, not so inspiring. When headlines get you down, it’s important to remember that positive things are still happening all around us. Here are five hopeful and encouraging stories to pay attention to this week:

Baby’s First Graduation

While every graduate has their whole life in front of them, for the newborns  who begin life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, this is quite literally the case. Newborn babies that are admitted to the NICU often spend weeks or months battling the side effects of a premature birth. Nurse Melissa Jordan recognized that this is no easy accomplishment. After the parents of one particular baby made a shirt that read “NICU Graduate,” Nurse Melissa decided that every discharge should be accompanied with a miniature graduation cap and photoshoot of the newborn. Today, dozens of newborn graduation portraits that line the walls of the NICU are bringing much needed hope to concerned parents. Read more

Woodworking Program Inspires the Disabled to Focus on Strengths

Vocational woodworking program Skidz Reimagined has given dozens of people with developmental disabilities a chance to pursue fulfilling work. Founded by Tony Mitchell, Skidz Reimagined pays people with developmental disabilities to craft wooden furniture, all while teaching them valuable workplace skills. As many as 25 people a day come to the 13,000-square-foot workshop, each of them able to focus on their strengths, rather than their disabilities. Read more

Nice to Meet You, Jimmy Carter

Passengers on a flight from Atlanta to Washington were greeted by someone unexpected: Jimmy Carter. The 92-year old former president made quite the impression: he went around shaking hands with every single person on board. The gesture touched may of the passengers, including James Sheffield, who documented the event on social media. Sheffield says Carter’s friendliness “was authentic and humble, in a way that made things feel less heavy.” We could all learn a thing or two from Jimmy Carter’s hospitality! Read more

An Act of Kindness for a 95-Year-Old Vet

On a hot summer morning, WWII veteran Julius Hatley’s air conditioner broke. He called 911, and the responding officers Christopher Weir and William Margolis decided to lend a hand. Not about to let the 95-year-old Hatley sweat it out in the 90-degree summer, they went to Home Depot to buy him a new unit. The employees there were so touched by the story that they chipped in $150 of their own money to split the cost of the AC. The officers returned to Hatley and installed the AC themselves, saving the day for a deserving vet. Read more

Woman Wouldn’t Let Homeless Man Walk Away Without a Meal

When Bonnie Monroe saw multiple people turn away a homeless man while eating dinner with her son at a restaurant in Augusta, Georgia, she was not about to let that man leave without a full meal. At the restaurant, Monroe noticed a man approaching several tables asking for food. When the man left without reaching out to her, she chased him down, walked him to her table, and wouldn’t let him leave until he was full. Monroe posted the story of her dinner with the man, Byron, to her Facebook page and set up a GoFundMe for Byron, where people touched by the story have raised more than $1,000. Read more