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:

The Most Puplifting Sporting Event of the Year Just Got Even Better

Woof! The annual Puppy Bowl is almost here, and this year’s competition is more inclusive than ever. Among this 2021 competitors are six dogs who each have a disability, but are just as excited to be part of the action. Jett, Fletcher, Marshall, Rumor, Hank, and Theodore come from a few different shelters, but they have one thing in common — they’ve all beaten the odds. The dogs are too cute to handle (and all up for adoption!), so you’ll have to tune in this Sunday and see how they do. Read more.

Female Directors Make History

It’s that time of year again, the Golden Globe nominations are in, and this time, female directors are making history! For the first time, three female directors (Emerald Fennell for “Promising Young Woman,” Regina King for “One Night in Miami” and Chloe Zhao for “Nomadland,”) have been nominated for Best Director. Zhao will also become the first woman of Asian descent to be nominated in the category. Never before have women outnumbered the men nominated in the category. A female director has not been nominated in the category since Ava DuVernay for “Selma” in 2015 and Barbara Streisand remains the only woman to have ever won Best Director for “Yentl” in 1984. Read more.

Couple Starts Facebook Group to Help Seniors Get Vaccinated

When Russ Schwartz and Katherine Quirk, an engaged couple, saw that COVID-19 vaccine appointments would have to be booked online, they decided to help their elderly parents and senior citizens of their South Florida town secure their appointments. The couple wanted to help make vaccine appointments more accessible to seniors who may struggle with technology, so they started a Facebook group that shares information about how to sign up for an appointment. The Facebook group named “South Florida COVID-19 Vaccination Info” amassed nearly 20,000 members over one month. Both Schwartz and Quirk continue to update the page and work with a team of about 120 volunteers who individually assist people with questions and bookings. The couple has received countless messages of gratitude from seniors and their families for the services and information they’ve provided. Read more.

Self-Taught Barbeque Pitmaster Uses Talents To Feed His Community

Jonathan Jones, a self-taught pitmaster from Phoenix, Arizona, is putting his barbecue talents to use fighting food scarcity in his community. After years of watching videos, reading cookbooks, and good old trial-and-error, Jones mastered the skill and decided to start a nonprofit called Smokin’ Hope, which delivers delicious meals to those experiencing food insecurity in his area. Since its founding in 2018, Smokin’ Hope has delivered more than 1000 meals to people in need. Read more.

4-Year-Old Girl Finds Finest Dinosaur Print Found in a Decade

A paleontologist in training! When Lily Wilder was out for a walk with her family, the observant toddler spotted a footprint that didn’t look like it came from a neighborhood pet. At first, 4-year-old Lily Wilder’s dad was not even sure if it was a real dinosaur fossil but was shocked to discover its authenticity after posting the image to a fossil identification Facebook page. Archaeologists were shocked to see the pristine condition of a 215 million-year-old dinosaur fossil. They said the discovery is one of the most perfect footprints found in over 10 years, if not, ever. The National Museum Cardiff in Wales quickly accepted the fossil for display. Here’s to more history-making explorers, young and old. Read more.

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