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Inspiring News Stories
Excerpts of Highly Inspiring News Stories in Major Media


Below are one-paragraph excerpts of highly inspiring news stories from the major media. Links are provided to the original stories on their media websites. If any link fails to function, click here. The inspiring news story summaries most recently posted here are listed first. You can explore the same list with the most inspiring stories listed first. See also a concise list providing headlines and links to a number of highly inspiring stories. May these articles inspire us to find ever more ways to love and support each other and all around us to be the very best we can be.


Note: This comprehensive list of inspiring news stories is usually updated once a week. See also a full index to revealing excerpts of key news articles on several dozen engaging topics.

Forest schools flourish as youngsters log off and learn from nature
2021-10-31, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/education/2021/oct/31/forest-schools-flourish-as-...

After more than a year of lockdowns, with limited access to nature, Magdalena Begh was delighted when her six-year-old daughter came home from forest school and informed her she had found three rat skeletons. Since Alia and her sister Hana, nine, started going to the Urban Outdoors Adventures in Nature after-school club in north London in June, they have used clay, learned about insects and made campfires, marmalade and bows and arrows. They are part of a wave of children across the UK who have joined forest schools since the start of the pandemic. Of more than 200 forest schools surveyed by the Forest School Association (FSA), about two-thirds said demand for their services had increased since March 2020. Among the reasons cited were increased awareness of the benefits of the outdoors, especially in relation to stress and anxiety, Covid safety, and dissatisfaction with the school syllabus after months of pandemic homeschooling. Forest schools, which centre around unstructured play, exploration and intrinsic motivation, arrived in the UK in 1993. Inspired by the outdoors culture – or friluftsliv – of Scandinavia, sessions are usually held either entirely or mostly outdoors and are intended to supplement, rather than replace, traditional education. State schools are increasingly putting on forest school sessions for pupils within the school day because they are considered to be beneficial to mental and physical health, behaviour and academic attainment – as well as being relatively "Covid-proof".

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


An 8-year-old boy paid off the lunch debt for his entire school by selling key chains
2020-02-04, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/04/us/boy-pays-off-lunch-debt-trnd/index.html

You may have heard of celebrities or multibillion-dollar companies donating money to cover students' lunch debt. But Keoni Ching from Vancouver, Washington, is just your normal 8-year-old who wanted to help his schoolmates. With his handmade key chains that go for $5 each, Keoni raised $4,015 to erase the lunch debt of students from his school and six others. It all started because Keoni wanted to do something special for "Kindness Week" at his school, Benjamin Franklin Elementary. With his mother, April, and father, Barry, by his side, Keoni thought about projects that would truly reflect kindness. Keoni said he decided to make key chains because, "I love key chains. They look good on my backpack." Once word of Keoni's key chains and his heartwarming cause got out, people from all over the country started sending in their requests for one of the custom key chains. "We have sent key chains to Alaska, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Arizona, all over the country," April Ching told CNN. "There was one lady who said she wanted $100 worth of key chains so that she could just hand them out to people. There were several people who bought one key chain and gave (Keoni) a hundred bucks. It was absolutely amazing how much support the community showed for his whole project." With the help of not only his parents, but also his grandparents, Keoni made and sold more than 300 key chains. Keoni delivered the $4,015 check to Franklin Elementary last week.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Fish in the driver's seat: Israeli scientists teach goldfish to operate vehicle
2022-01-11, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/01/11/israel-goldfish-drives-car/

Israeli researchers have taught goldfish to drive, according to a study that offers new insights into animals' ability to navigate – even when they're literally fish out of water. For the study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Behavioural Brain Research, the goldfish were trained to use a wheeled platform, dubbed a Fish Operated Vehicle. The FOV could be driven and have its course changed in reaction to the fish's movements inside a water tank mounted on the platform. Their task was to "drive" the robotic vehicle toward a target that could be observed through the walls of the fish tank. The vehicle was fitted with lidar, short for light detection and ranging, a remote sensing technology that uses lasers to collect data on its ground location and the fish's location within the tank. The researchers, from Ben-Gurion University, found the fish were able to move the FOV around unfamiliar environments while reaching the target "regardless of their starting point, all while avoiding dead-ends and correcting location inaccuracies." The goldfish in the tank were placed in a test arena and tasked with driving toward a target. Upon successfully hitting the target, they received a food pellet reward. After a few days of training, the fish were able to navigate past obstacles such as walls, while eluding efforts to trick them with false targets. "The study hints that navigational ability is universal rather than specific to the environment," said Shachar Givon, one of the study's authors.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


‘Blind date' for political rivals? TV show is breaking down barriers.
2021-05-05, Christian Science Monitor
https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/2021/0505/Blind-date-for-political-r...

It's called "Political Blind Date." And far from being a hokey reality show for the political set, the popular Canadian series aims to break down walls around contentious issues from gun rights to climate change. At a time when political exchanges are often caustic and unyielding, a Canadian TV show is modeling a different approach. It creates space for rival politicians to share views and experiences respectfully – and viewers love it. With filming of a fifth season underway, about 50 politicians have participated, spending two days together with each other's constituents. The show has been optioned to the United Kingdom, France, Israel, and South Africa, and is being shopped in the United States. "It's a moment," says director Mark Johnston, "where people are trying to heal and listen to each other." Getting beyond the media scrum, the yelling during parliamentary question periods, the sound bites on nightly news, and the callous swipes over social media, producers set the stage for participants to engage one another with the time and respect that complex problems require. "Respect is at the heart of it. Not only are politicians, in the way they are using political rhetoric, not respecting each other; they're disrespecting their citizenry," says Mark Johnston, showrunner of "Political Blind Date." The goal is not to get the two politicians to reverse their positions, something that rarely happens. It's to slow down and study policies in all their complexity, and to hear the human concerns and perspectives that lie behind their support.

Note: Enjoy a wonderful compilation of inspiring stories from the pandemic times on this webpage. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


At age 70, Yankees fan gets to live out her dream of being a bat girl
2021-06-28, Today.com
https://www.today.com/news/yankees-fan-serve-bat-girl-60-years-after-being-tu...

It was a field of dreams come true. On Monday, Gwen McLoughlin, 70, served as bat girl for the New York Yankees when they hosted the Los Angeles Angels, 60 years after she was rejected when she wrote a letter to the team as a 10-year-old asking if she could serve in the role. "It's been an amazing opportunity. A day of a lifetime," she said after the game. "I can't put it into words." In 1961, McLoughlin, then Gwen Goldman, received a response from Roy Hamey, who was general manager of the team after she wrote a letter asking to be a bat girl. "While we agree with you that girls are certainly as capable as boys, and no doubt would be an attractive addition on the playing field, I am sure you can understand that in a game dominated by men a young lady such as yourself would feel out of place in a dugout," Hamey replied. Fast forward six decades and McLoughlin's daughter Abby forwarded the letter to the team, which caught the eye of current general manager Brian Cashman, who replied with a more favorable reaction inviting her to be the honorary bat girl during the game as part of the Yankees' annual HOPE Week, which shines a light on inspiring stories and people. "Although your long-ago correspondence took place 60 years ago – six years before I was born – I feel compelled to resurrect your original request and do what I can to bring your childhood dream to life," he said. "It is my honor and my dream and I can't thank you enough for making this come true," a choked up McLoughlin said.

Note: Enjoy a wonderful compilation of inspiring stories from the pandemic times on this webpage. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Oklahoma imam left 'emotional' over Jewish teen's act of kindness
2021-06-01, Today.com
https://www.today.com/news/oklahoma-imam-left-emotional-over-jewish-teen-s-ac...

An Oklahoma City imam highlighted interfaith unity in his community after a teenage girl, who identified as Jewish, asked him at his mosque to donate her babysitting money to help Palestinians. The imam, Imad Enchassi, said he was working outside his mosque last week when a car dropped off a teenager in search of the imam. She arrived Wednesday between prayers before sunset, and the only person there was Enchassi, who was wearing gym clothes and a cap while he did yard work. He said the teenager was carrying an envelope with $80 and told him that she wanted it to help a family in Gaza. "I want you to tell them this is from a young Jewish girl that worked all week babysitting. And that we love them and feel their pain," Enchassi said she told him. The gesture, which caught Enchassi off guard, inspired him to write about it in a Facebook post that has been shared 4,400 times and has received hundreds of comments. "Humanity is marvelous indeed," he wrote. "Your post made me cry," a Facebook user wrote in response. "Crying with you," Enchassi responded. "Kindness, humility and love has no boundaries of religion, race, ethnicity or nationality," another wrote. Enchassi, who is Palestinian American, said one of his congregants lost several relatives in Gaza during violence between Israel and Hamas. So when Enchassi was given the gift, it left him "emotional," he said. The imam said the teenager didn't give her name when he asked, which he interpreted to mean she wanted to remain anonymous.

Note: Enjoy a wonderful compilation of inspiring stories from the pandemic times on this webpage. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


A man strung Christmas lights from his home to his neighbor's to support her. The whole community followed.
2021-12-21, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2021/12/21/baltimore-rodgers-forge-c...

It started last November with a single string of Christmas lights on a Baltimore County street. Kim Morton was home watching a movie with her daughter when she received a text from her neighbor who lives directly across the road. He told her to peek outside. Matt Riggs had hung a string of white Christmas lights, stretching from his home to hers in the Rodgers Forge neighborhood, just north of the Baltimore city line. He also left a tin of homemade cookies on her doorstep. The lights, he told her, were meant to reinforce that they were always connected despite their pandemic isolation. "I was reaching out to Kim to literally brighten her world," said Riggs. He knew his neighbor was facing a dark time. Morton had shared that she was dealing with depression and anxiety. Riggs could relate. A bit of brightness was in order, he decided, but he certainly did not expect that his one strand of Christmas lights would somehow spark a neighborhood-wide movement. Neighbor after neighbor followed suit, stretching lines of Christmas lights from one side of the street to the other. Leabe Commisso ... wanted in. "I said to my neighbor: ‘Let's do it, too,' " she recalled. "Before we knew it, we were cleaning out Home Depot of all the lights." Quickly, other neighbors caught on. "Little by little, the whole neighborhood started doing it," said Morton, 49, who has lived in Rodgers Forge for 17 years. "The lights were a physical sign of connection and love." For the first time in a long time, a feeling of togetherness – and light – had returned.

Note: Enjoy a wonderful compilation of inspiring stories from the pandemic times on this webpage. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Community buys grieving Red Deer family's classic car at auction – then gives it back
2018-09-11, CBC (Canada's public broadcasting system)
https://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as-it-happens-tuesday-edition-1.4818811/...

Ben and Marilyn Keryluke didn't want to sell their late son's 1973 Pontiac Parisienne, which he painstakingly repaired and refurbished in the hopes of passing it on to his own children. But when Brent and Nicole Keryluke were killed in a motorcycle crash on May 5, the Red Deer, Alta., couple suddenly found themselves raising two small grandchildren with special needs. So they took Brent's prized car to Electric Garage Auctions on Saturday, hoping to earn at least $14,000. But when the auctioneer introduced the item, he told the whole story of what happened to the Kerylukes. "They told the story of why it was being sold and that we wanted to keep the car but, unfortunately, if you can't, you can't," Keryluke said. "Then they started the auction and what happened from there was nothing short of amazing." The auction house had previously promoted the item heavily in local media using the Keryluke family story. And the community came out in full force. The bids immediately soared past the family's expectations and the car sold for $29,000 to Rod McWilliams. McWilliams turned around and donated the car right back to the auction house, so it could go back on the block immediately. It sold in the second round for $30,000 to Danny Fayad from Edmonton, who also gave it back. Finally, it sold for $20,000 to Bob Bevins from Bulldog Metals, who returned the car, at no cost, to the Kerylukes. The donations ... are still pouring in, and so far the family has earned $100,000 from the auction – and they got to keep the car.

Note: Enjoy a wonderful compilation of inspiring stories from the pandemic times on this webpage. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


"There are no unimportant jobs": This retired FBI boss became a school bus driver amid shortage
2021-10-15, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/steve-hartman-on-the-road-mike-mason-fbi-school-...

If anyone has earned a coffee break, it's 63-year-old Mike Mason of Midlothian, Virginia. He has served his country for decades – first as a captain in the Marines and later as the No. 4 man at the FBI. Mason left the bureau in 2007 and went to work as an executive at a Fortune 500 company, and then retired. But Mason said retirement did not sit well with him. [Yet] if he was going to start a new chapter, he knew it would have to be something really important. The choice was clear: He became a school bus driver. "When I gave them my resume, I actually got called by a very senior person in the county and he said, 'Just checking, why do you want to be a bus driver?' And I told him," Mason said. Mason had heard the Chesterfield County Public School District was short 125 drivers. It's part of a national crisis, with more than half of school districts in the U.S. reporting "severe" driver shortages. So Mason stepped up. "This is important work," he said, adding that he believes the work is just as important as what he was doing at the FBI. "I think in our society we need to get next to the idea that there are no unimportant jobs. I mean, what could be more important than the attention we pay to our education system?" As for the salary, Mason said he has already donated all of what he expects to make this year. But, of course, the much bigger gift is far less tangible. Mason had climbed to the highest level, but by ... beginning a completely new career in a time of need, he is demonstrating the greatest leadership of all.

Note: Enjoy a wonderful compilation of inspiring stories from the pandemic times on this webpage. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


China, US, UK, France and Russia pledge to avoid nuclear war
2022-01-04, CNN World
https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/04/world/p5-nations-nuclear-pledge-intl-hnk/index...

Five of the world's largest nuclear powers pledged on Monday to work together toward "a world without nuclear weapons" in a rare statement of unity amid rising East-West tensions. "A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought," said the joint statement, which was issued simultaneously by the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom and France. "As nuclear use would have far-reaching consequences, we also affirm that nuclear weapons - for as long as they continue to exist - should serve defensive purposes, deter aggression, and prevent war." The statement also stressed the importance of preventing conflict between nuclear-weapon states from escalating, describing it as a "foremost responsibility." The statement released by the five powers ... as permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, called on all states to create a security environment "more conducive to progress on disarmament with the ultimate goal of a world without nuclear weapons with undiminished security for all. The five pledged to adhere to the 1970 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) which obligates them "to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament." Some of the text of the statement ... echoes a statement issued by the five nations after a December conference in Paris that laid the groundwork for the since delayed review of the treaty.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Bridging America's political divide with conversations, "One Small Step" at a time
2022-01-09, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/one-small-step-storycorps-60-minutes-2022-01-10/

Dave Isay has created a program called "One Small Step" to get Americans from across the political spectrum to stop demonizing one another and start communicating - face to face, one conversation at a time. It has taped more than half a million Americans telling their stories – to become the largest single collection of human voices ever recorded. StoryCorps is an important part of adding history and context and the individuals who make history. Not just the ones that we see on the news, but the people who are part of the fabric of our American life. Around the time of the 2016 presidential election, Dave Isay says he got the idea for a new kind of StoryCorps that could perhaps help unite a country becoming increasingly divided. He decided to call it "One Small Step." "So we match strangers who disagree politically to put them face-to-face for 50 minutes," [said Isay]. "It's not to talk about politics, it's just to talk about your lives." Facilitators begin by asking the participants to read one another's biography out loud. The project tries to match people who may be from different political parties but have something else in common. The format is derived from a psychological concept developed in the 1950s called contact theory. When you have two people who are enemies and you put them face-to-face under very, very specific conditions , and they have a conversation and a kind of visceral, emotional experience with each other, that hate can melt away. And people can see each other in a new way.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Canada reaches $31.5 billion deal over Indigenous children put in foster care unnecessarily
2022-01-04, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/01/04/canada-indigenous-foster-care...

Canadian officials said Tuesday they have reached $31.5 billion in agreements in principle with Indigenous groups to compensate First Nations children who were unnecessarily taken from their homes and put into the child welfare system, a major development in a dispute that has long been a sticking point in Ottawa's efforts to advance reconciliation with Indigenous people. Under the agreements, half of the money would go to children and families harmed by an underfunded and discriminatory child welfare system on First Nations reserves and in the Yukon, while the rest would be earmarked over five years for long-term reforms, the Indigenous services ministry said. "This is the largest settlement in Canadian history, but no amount of money can reverse the harms experienced by First Nations children," Marc Miller, Canada's Crown-Indigenous relations minister, told reporters. "Historic injustices require historic reparations." The dispute dates to 2007, when several Indigenous advocacy groups claimed in a human rights complaint that the federal government's "inequitable and insufficient" funding of child welfare services on First Nations reserves was discriminatory. In 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal agreed with the advocates. The panel said the federal government's funding formula was based on "flawed assumptions about children in care," resulting in a system that incentivized the removal of First Nations children from their homes and their cultures.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Washington state governor OKs bill banning for-profit jails
2021-04-14, ABC News
https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/washington-state-governor-oks-bill-...

One of the country's largest for-profit, privately run immigration jails would be shut down by 2025 under a bill signed Wednesday by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. The measure approved by the Washington Legislature bans for-profit detention centers in the state. The only facility that meets that definition is the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, a 1,575-bed immigration jail operated by the GEO Group under a contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "Washington has not supported use of private prisons, and this bill continues that policy by prohibiting private detention facilities from operating in the state," Inslee said before signing the bill. Washington joins several states, including California, Nevada, New York and Illinois, that have passed legislation aiming to reduce, limit or ban private prison companies from operating. But Washington is only the third – following Illinois and California – to include immigration facilities as part of that ban. "Widespread civil immigration detention is one of the greatest miscarriages of justice that currently exists in our political system," Matt Adams, legal director at the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, said. "This bill is an important step towards rejecting the privatization and profiteering model of immigration detention centers that has pushed the massive expansion of immigration detention." President Joe Biden has instructed the Justice Department not to renew contracts with private prisons, but that order doesn't apply to the immigration detention system.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


The rise of the human library: How lending people out for conversations is tackling prejudice
2021-05-29, Image
https://www.image.ie/self/the-rise-of-the-human-library-how-lending-people-ou...

The Human Library is, in the true sense of the word, a library of people. Against the backdrop of a rise in curiosity and the thirst for authenticity, the idea of learning and being transported by a person telling their story rather than reading it from a book, is growing in popularity. The human "books" in these cases are volunteers. Those with a story to tell. And the way they are dispersed is tailored to each individual's own biases and prejudices. In other words, they're tackling diversity and inclusion, one person ("book"), at a time. The original event was open eight hours a day for four days straight and featured over fifty different titles. The broad selection of books provided readers with ample choice to challenge their stereotypes and so more than a thousand readers took advantage leaving books, librarians, organisers and readers stunned at the reception and impact of the Human Library. One such volunteer, Bill Carney's book title is "Black Activist". He told Forbes magazine his motivation for getting involved. "It's easy to hate a group of people, but it's harder to hate an individual, particularly if that person is trying to be friendly and open and accommodating and totally non-threatening." "I'm not pompous enough to believe that a 25-minute conversation with me is going to change anybody," he [said]. "What I am pompous enough to believe is that if I can just instill the slightest bit of cognitive dissonance, then their brain will do the rest for me. And it will at least force them to ask questions."

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


8 Trends from 2021 We'll Carry to the New Year
2021-12-30, Optimist Daily
https://www.optimistdaily.com/2021/12/8-trends-from-2021-well-carry-to-the-ne...

There is no question that 2021 was another unpredictable year and we are still living in uncertain times. And so, as we say adieu to this turbulent year, we are highlighting eight positive trends that we see sticking around! The pandemic allowed us to slow down and reevaluate our work-life balance with new work patterns that are here to stay. Some people are now permanently working from home, and some returned to the office, even if for just a few days a week, under a hybrid model. We also saw an even greater, and much-deserved appreciation for our frontline workers. We have developed an increased respect for service industry workers and those people employed to keep our health care, infrastructure, and education systems running. Even on the world's biggest stage, mental health became a number one priority this year, and helped recenter the conversation around the globe around what makes a person thrive. With the loss and altering of life over the past almost two years, many of us have looked at ways to improve our overall health and extend our days. Maybe more of us can even achieve new heights such as this 105-year-old setting the world-record for the 100 meter dash earlier this year! Speaking of health, many people over the course of the pandemic wisely decided to bring more houseplants into their lives. This bit of green lifted moods and gave us plant parents new purpose as we spent more time in our homes working or learning remotely and social distancing.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Rapper Logic's "1-800-273-8255" song may have saved hundreds of lives, study finds
2021-12-15, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/logic-1-800-273-8255-song-suicide-prevention/

Four years ago, rapper Logic released his hit song "1-800-273-8255" – a reference to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – in hopes of helping others. A new study released this week found it did just that: researchers say the song potentially helped saved hundreds of lives. The study, published Monday in the BMJ, found almost 10,000 calls went to the Lifeline – a 6.9% increase over the expected number – during 34 days in 2017 and 2018 when the song was receiving heightened public attention. And an estimated 245 fewer suicides took place in that same time period – 5.5% below the expected number. The study authors' looked at the days immediately following the song's release, Logic's performance at the 2017 MTV Awards with singers Alessia Cara and Khalid, and their act at the 2018 Grammys. According to the research, those events were also linked to a surge of activity connected to the song on Twitter. "To know that my music was actually affecting people's lives, truly, that's what inspired me to make the song," Logic said in a statement to CNN. "We did it from a really warm place in our hearts to try to help people. And the fact that it actually did, that blows my mind." The song centers around a high school student struggling with his sexuality and contemplating suicide. However, after a call to a hotline, he realizes he wants to live. The song went quintuple platinum and remained Logic's best performing song on Spotify.

Note: Watch this inspiring song which has been viewed over 400 million times at this link. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Dunkin' customer surprised beloved employee with fully furnished home after eviction
2021-12-07, Today.com
https://www.today.com/food/people/dunkin-customer-surprised-employee-fully-fu...

Ebony Johnson's enthusiastic service at a Dunkin' location in Ohio is so memorable that regular customer Suzanne Burke noticed when she had not been working the drive-thru for a few weeks in March. When Johnson, 33, returned to work at the Mount Healthy location, where she's been employed for three years, she shared with Burke that she had been struggling financially while also trying to find housing for her and her three children following an eviction. Burke left Johnson a note saying that if Johnson wanted help, Burke would gladly do her best. Johnson accepted, and Burke, who has done work with social services in her career, got to work on reaching out to different businesses and organizations. It all led to a moment nine months in the making on Dec. 3 when Johnson broke down in tears and her young children broke out in smiles when they moved into a fully furnished apartment in Cincinnati. "Oh my God, it was so amazing, I just busted out crying," Johnson said. "I never had a full furnished house. I never had help like this. I had been asking God to put us in a home before Christmas, and He really did. I'm just so thankful." "It was so exciting, we all cried," Burke told TODAY. "I've got three kids, and I can't imagine not having a home to go to and then to have to get up, get the kids to school, and show up at work with a positive, happy attitude? I've been in awe of her." Johnson was able to secure the apartment through the help of the Cincinnati-based organization Strategies to End Homelessness.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Clever canines can understand an average of 89 words
2021-12-09, BBC News
https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/59580613

We all talk to our dogs, whether it's calling their name, playing fetch or teaching them new tricks. But do they actually understand the words we're saying? Well according to a new study, they do! The research has found that dogs can recognise an average of 89 words or phrases. The study asked 165 owners of different dog breeds to note down words that they thought their dogs responded to. The results showed the most common words the pooches understood were commands like sit, stay and wait. The research was carried out by Catherine Reeve and Sophie Jacques, from the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, Dalhousie University, in Canada. During the study, dog owners were asked to say if they thought their pup responded to the words or commands they were giving. The owners then had to record if their pet got excited, looked for something, looked up or did an action in response to a command. The research found that 89 words was the average number that the dogs could understand - one clever canine is believed to have understood 215 words in total - but the worst performing pooch knew only 15. Nearly all of the dogs that took part in the study reacted to their own name and many gave a response when being praised. The researchers said: "Those of us who have owned dogs would not be surprised to see most dogs respond with an enthusiastic tail wagging or a treat-seeking response on hearing, good girl/good boy."

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Random acts of kindness have helped them since their son died
2021-11-11, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2021/11/11/grief-death-random-act-ki...

Brenda Thomas's heart became a shell when her 21-year-old son died in a motorcycle accident. But she has found something that helps her grief: She keeps folded pieces of paper, tucked in her purse at all times. They are "acts of kindness" cards. Whenever she does a good deed for a stranger – which is about once a week – she passes along a card with a message: "If you receive this card, then you must be a recipient of a random act of kindness." At the top of each note is her son's name, Trevor Paul Thomas. He died in September 2019. His most standout quality was his compassion for others, no matter who they were or how well he knew them. "He was always kind to everyone," said Thomas. "That's just who he was." Trevor regularly shoveled snow off the driveways of older neighbors, delivered hot meals to those in need and befriended classmates who struggled to fit in, she said. The Thomas family decided to create cards and distribute them around their community, in the hope that it would encourage people to do a good deed as part of Trevor's legacy. The goal, they said, was to launch an ongoing chain of kindness. "We not only want people to understand that they're a recipient of an act of kindness, but we also want them to pay it forward," said Whitney Thomas. On each card they wrote the hashtag #liveliketrev23, and urged recipients to consider sharing their experience on social media so that the family could read about the heartwarming gestures.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


After decades, some of America's most toxic sites will finally get cleaned up
2021-12-17, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/12/17/superfund-clean...

The laboratories and other buildings that once housed a chemical manufacturer here in New Jersey's most populous city have been demolished. More than 10,000 leaky drums and other containers once illegally stored here have long been removed. Its owner was convicted three decades ago. Yet the groundwater beneath the 4.4-acre expanse once occupied by White Chemical Corp. in Newark remains contaminated, given a lack of federal funding. But three decades after federal officials declared it one of America's most toxic spots, it's about to get a jolt. This plot in Newark is among more than four dozen toxic waste sites to get cleanup funding from the newly-enacted infrastructure law, the Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday, totaling $1 billion. "This work is just the beginning," EPA Administrator Michael Regan said. President Biden signed legislation reviving a polluter's tax that will inject a new stream of cash into the nation's troubled Superfund program. The renewed excise fees, which disappeared more than 25 years ago, are expected to raise $14.5 billion in revenue over the next decade and could accelerate cleanups of many sites that are increasingly threatened by climate change. The Superfund list includes more than 1,300 abandoned mines, radioactive landfills, shuttered military labs, closed factories and other contaminated areas across nearly all 50 states.

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