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:

First Female Trumpeter to Perform at Royal Wedding

An American Princess isn’t the only historic part of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s wedding day. Lance Corporal Kate Sandford will be the first female trumpeter to ever perform at  a royal wedding. She will play along with the “Band of the Household Cavalry,” the elite military trumpeting team she is a member of. Sandford is looking forward to the big day and has an inspiring message for young girls: “Any young female can do what I do. You just have to be prepared to work for it, but the opportunities are there and you can achieve them.” Read more

IKEA Donates Beds to Refugees

IKEA is lightening the load for refugees in Jacksonville, Florida. World Relief Jacksonville received more than 100 beds, pillows, and bedding from IKEA that will be going into refugees’ homes in Northeast Florida. This donation will allow the federal funding of the relief organization to be put toward other crucial things, like paying rent. Last year, World Relief Jacksonville helped settle 233 refugees, and in 2018 they have helped place 59 refugees in Florida so far. If you’d like to donate a “welcome kit” to refugees, check out World Relief Jacksonville’s website. Read more.

#VicAndPink Goes From Web to Reality

Pink made a talented 12-year-old’s dream came true this week. Vancouver native Victoria Anthony started a social media campaign, #VicAndPink, to try to perform onstage with Pink during her tour. While she didn’t get onstage, Pink recognized her during the concert, asking “Are you who I read about on the news?” and handed Victoria the mic. She belted out “Perfect,” and Pink, and the rest of us, were blown away. Check out the video to be as impressed as Pink! Read more.

Mom and Son Graduate From College Together

Mother and son Patricia Love Davis and Kenneth McCray graduated from South Florida’s Broward College together last week, but it was anything but an easy journey. When McCracy was just 11, the two found out Davis had a rare form of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. After she recovered, they dealt with bouts of homelessness. When McCray graduated high school, he deferred college to work to help out his mom. Now, the mother-son team is living out their dreams. Davis, 50, has earned her associate’s degree in criminal justice, and McCray received his associate’s degree in computer science. He plans to continue on to get his bachelor’s in the subject. What has McCray learned from his journey? “You can make it through anything,” he says. “Keep doing it until you get to the end.” Read more

Former Student Donates Travel Vouchers to Teachers

A former student of Lindley Elementary School in Greensboro, North Carolina, is saying thanks for a great education  in a big way. The alum, who now owns a travel agency, surprised the teachers and staff with travel vouchers totaling $96,000 in value. The vouchers can be used on lodging anywhere in the US for a three-seven day trip. Principal Tracy Roof was thrilled, saying, “I wish I had that kind of money to reward our staff because they work so hard. I am glad to see someone else sees the value in teaching…it’s just one of those moments you’ll just never ever forget.” Read more

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