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10 Uplifting Stories To Get You Through The Week (7/21/19)

by Radu Alexander
fact checked by Jamie Frater

If the week has got you down, this list might help lift your spirits. We looked at all the positive, inspiring, and amusing stories that made the headlines over the last few days and put them all into one list. It goes well with a side of offbeat quirkiness.

This week, we look at regular people doing the right thing. Three young brothers raise money for the homeless while a neighborhood comes together for a girl who was trying to do a good deed. An officer saves a baby’s life during a routine traffic stop, and a man gets a pen pal after 50 years. Also, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing.

10 Traffic Stop Saves Baby’s Life

SC deputy saves newborn’s life after pulling car over for speeding

Last week, a deputy pulled over a car for speeding and ended up saving the life of a 12-day-old girl.

Deputy Will Kimbro from Berkeley County, South Carolina, was on routine patrol when he noticed a vehicle going over the speed limit. He stopped it, and the frantic driver announced they had a baby who had stopped breathing after drinking from the bottle. A quick inspection revealed that the little girl was limp and her body was turning bluish.

After calling emergency services to the scene, Kimbro put the baby on her mother’s lap in the passenger seat and gave her a heart massage. After a while, the baby started crying which the officer saw as a good sign because it meant she was breathing again. However, she was still struggling to inhale, so Kimbro continued performing CPR until an emergency medical team arrived.

The baby girl was taken to a hospital from which she was subsequently discharged in good condition. Deputy Kimbro received a medal for his heroic and well-timed actions.[1]

9 Zoe To The Rescue

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Zoe the police dog is being praised as a “really good girl” after finding two teens who had been missing for three days in Ontario’s Algonquin Park.

Last Thursday, 16-year-old Maya Mirota and Marta Malek went camping in the park’s western sector. They were declared missing after failing to meet up with the rest of their group, and authorities were alerted.

Four different canine units were brought in by float planes to assist with the search and rescue. Roughly 90 minutes after setting off, Zoe, the two-and-a-half-year-old Labrador, picked up their scent.

Trailed by her handler, Ontario Provincial Police Canine Unit Officer Scott Gannon, she led the emergency team straight to the two missing girls. They were dehydrated and covered in bug bites but otherwise in good condition.[2]

8 Candles And Charity

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Three brothers from Indian Head, Maryland, started their own business to raise money for toys and video games but soon decided that they should use part of their profits to help the homeless in their area.

Collin, 13, Ryan, 11, and Austin Gill, 8, wanted some extra funds so they could splurge on Nerf guns, games, and other typical things that young boys like. When their parents said “no,” they decided to start their own moneymaking operation. They settled on a candle shop because candles were their mother’s favorite thing to buy. A few weeks later, “Freres Branchiaux” opened for business.

It did not take long for the company to be a hit. At the moment, the brothers sell their products in 36 stores and are working on a contract with Macy’s. Although their candles are by far their best sellers, they also offer related products such as bath salts, oils, soaps, and room sprays. All the scents are created in-house by the brothers.

Once the money started coming in, Ryan thought that they should do something to help the community. Most of the income goes back into the business and some gets spent on toys, but 10 percent goes to homeless shelters in the Washington area such as Pathways to Housing DC and the Father McKenna Center.[3]

But that’s not all because the boys want to start volunteering at the center. As soon as they raise enough funds, they plan to open a new shop that hires homeless people.

7 A Sight For Sore Eyes

Photo credit: The Guardian

A new implant hailed as a “paradigm shift” has restored partial sight to blind people by transmitting images directly to the brain. The revolutionary development comes to us courtesy of specialists from the Baylor Medical College in Texas and the University of California Los Angeles.

Up until this point, there have been efforts to use a similar implant to create a “bionic eye,” but they didn’t live up to expectations. This time, however, scientists implanted electrodes directly into the visual cortex of the brain, bypassing the eye and optic nerve completely. The patients wear special pairs of glasses that have cameras capable of transmitting video images which get picked up by the electrodes.

So far, six people, who had been completely blind for years, had the implants fitted inside their brains. They were then asked to look at a black computer screen and identify a white square that appeared in random spots, something they were able to do most of the time.

There is no word yet on if the technology will work on people who were born blind. Neurosurgeon and study leader Daniel Yoshor knows that there is still a long way to go, but he believes that functional sight can be restored to the blind within his lifetime.[4]

6 Pen Pal For Paul

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It might have taken 50 years, but Paul Gilmore finally found a pen pal.

Back in 1969, then-13-year-old Paul and his family moved from their home in England to Melbourne. On the sea voyage there, he obtained a few empty bottles and composed messages for each one. He was looking for a pen pal to write to him at his new address in Australia. He threw them into the ocean at various points during the trip.

For decades, it seemed like Paul’s messages got lost in the vastness of the ocean. Until this Tuesday when nine-year-old Jyah Elliott found one of the bottles washed up on Talia Beach in South Australia. He wrote and posted his reply that same day.

Jyah’s letter was unlikely to reach Paul as the Gilmores had moved several times since then. However, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation managed to track Paul down through his extended family in Australia and back in England.

His siblings were thrilled that someone had found their brother’s letter, although, as of this writing, Paul still has no idea because he is out at sea again. However, his brother and sister are certain that Paul will write to Jyah as soon as he returns.[5]

5 Lemonade Brings Neighborhood Together

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A whole neighborhood in Naperville, Illinois, rallied around a young girl after her lemonade stand was robbed of the money she was raising for charity.

One day, 11-year-old Alizay Kashif wanted to help out her community so she decided to make and sell lemonade for a good cause. She intended to donate the profits to a food bank called Feeding America. After a few hours, she raised $9, but a group of teenagers drove past the lemonade stand and swiped the money basket.

Alizay was disheartened, and her father posted on neighborhood social media platform Nextdoor asking for advice. One neighbor offered them the use of his driveway because it was on a busier corner. Others started donating through Facebook.

A police officer showed up to keep watch and advised that they had a few thirsty friends coming. Soon enough, a line of squad cars formed in front of the lemonade stand, and the police collected $170 to donate to the charitable cause. All in all, Alizay and her sister raised almost $350 for the food bank that afternoon.[6]

4 Reunion At Big Red Bash

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A series of unlikely but fortuitous circumstances led to a heartwarming reunion between a woman and her dog at a music festival in the Australian desert.

When the Big Red Bash took place this week, thousands of people drove out to a giant sand dune in the middle of nowhere and created a pop-up village known as Bashville. Among them was Mal Mead, who was driving across the remote and arid Birdsville Track when he saw a dog.

This was hundreds of kilometers from civilization, so he approached the pooch who proved to be quite friendly. Not wanting to leave her alone in the desert, Mead took the dog along for the ride.

He named her Birdy. One early morning at Bashville, Mead was headed toward a yoga class on a sand dune with Birdy when he ran into ABC Radio producer Dan Prosser. The two struck up a conversation, and after hearing the dog’s story, Prosser decided to write a news item on her for the Drive program.[7]

Thanks to the radio show, word of the pooch reached her owner, Shannon Bell, who immediately left work, jumped in a car and drove to Birdsville. Once there, it took a few hours of searching the vast campsite, but eventually, Bell and her pooch, real name Pip, were reunited.

3 Tire Change With A Side Of Fries

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A manager at a Chick-fil-A in Severn, Maryland, is being praised for his act of kindness which, unknown to him, was caught on camera. When an elderly regular came into the fast-food restaurant visibly shaken due to blowing out a tire while driving, Daryl Howard immediately took a break and went outside to help the older man change it.[8]

Last Thursday, a 96-year-old veteran known as Mr. Lee walked into Chick-fil-A after driving on three tires. Another employee named Rudy Somoza said that he was “shaking, almost in tears.” Howard said that he “needed to help” Mr. Lee right away. He went outside and, in about 15 minutes, replaced the flat tire.

Somoza was the one who snapped a few photos of Howard in action and later shared them online. As for his reasoning, he said that Howard is always helpful and kind and deserves the recognition.

2 California Condor Comeback

Photo credit: The Guardian

Conservationists celebrated a major milestone this week. After decades of trying to bring back the California condor from the brink of extinction, they welcomed chicks No. 1,000 and 1,001 into the world.

During the early 1980s, the species seemed destined to vanish off the face of the planet. Only 22 birds remained in the wild. Hunting, loss of food, and loss of territory had completely decimated their numbers. However, a breeding program launched in 1987 proved to be very successful. Condors were bred in captivity and slowly released into the wild as their numbers increased.

Recently, researchers noticed that a condor couple started scavenging in shifts. This was a sign that they might have a chick. A few days ago, the researchers managed to snap a photo of the 1,000th hatchling.

Soon after, they spotted chick No. 1,001 born to different parents. And they are hopeful that there are four more chicks which have hatched and they haven’t seen yet. The condor is still listed as critically endangered, but so many birds being born in the wild is “a sign of progress.”[9]

1 Remembering Apollo 11

Photo credit: The Guardian

This week marked the 50th anniversary of one of mankind’s greatest achievements—landing on the Moon for the first time on July 20, 1969.

As expected, many media outlets looked back on the world-changing event. Some provided a retrospective on the Moon landing while others offered rarely seen image galleries.

Some news items focused on specific, little-known details about the Apollo mission. For example, a mistake occurred during the module’s reentry into Earth’s orbit that could have proved fatal were it not for pure luck. The command module which contained the astronauts was supposed to land safely while the service module was intended to break apart and burn up in the atmosphere.

To avoid the command module being hit by debris, the service module was supposed to thrust itself out of its path following separation. This never happened, but fortunately, none of the pieces hit the module with the astronauts inside.

While most stories look at the past, some are focused toward the future. Professor Jan Worner, director general of the European Space Agency, would like the Apollo 11 landing site to be granted heritage status. The same thing goes for the site of Lunokhod where the Soviets landed their first rover in 1970.[10]

As space agencies and private companies are planning renewed activities on the Moon, now is the time to ensure protection for these landmarks. Of course, this raises the tricky question of who, exactly, would have the authority to provide these heritage designations.

Read more uplifting stories you might have missed from July 7, 2019, and June 30, 2019.

fact checked by Jamie Frater