Social media gets a bad rap sometimes. Sure, it's full of people spewing weird insults and half-baked conspiracy theories, but it's also one of the best places to witness under-the-radar moments of beauty and kindness. No, we're not talking about the 5,674th picture your sister-in-law posted of her toddler smashing food on his face (though that's also sweet). We mean those everyday good vibes that deserve to be amplified into the universe. Without social media, would we know about the police officers who banded together this week to help a hardworking guy in a tough spot? Or the grandmother whose selfless act caught the attention of the richest man in her country? Probably not. But luckily, we did, and they're some of the stars of this week's Good Stuff.
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Our favorites this week
Get going with some of our most popular good news stories of the week
A big-hearted shopping spree
Nothing can wither your happiness like having your stuff stolen and knowing there's almost nothing you can do about it. Adrian Salgado, a gardener in Santa Ana, California, was left high and dry when thieves stole his pickup truck, and with it, his cell phone, landscaping equipment and $1,000 of rent money he'd been saving up for months. Police recovered his truck, but couldn't legally do anything about the money or the equipment. Instead, the officers sprouted an incredibly kind idea: They went out on a limb and dug up some of their own money to take Salgado shopping and replace all of his stuff. The police department and The Home Depot also pitched in some green to help out. The officers said they all come from hardworking backgrounds and admired how dedicated Delgado was to providing for his family. Yes, we had to plant some gardening puns in there. We just love this story sow much.
The grandma and the billionaire
Here's a woman who's the definition of strong: 71-year-old Plaxedes Dilon of Zimbabwe wanted to help victims of Cyclone Idai, which tore through parts of Africa last week. So, she loaded up a giant sack of clothes and household items and walked 6 miles to a church in Harare that was collecting donations. It gets even better: The church, thoroughly impressed with her generosity (and probably her upper body strength) posted about her donation, and it caught the eye of Zimbabwean billionaire Strive Masiyiwa. The telecom executive said Dilon's trek was "one of the most remarkable acts of compassion I have ever seen." He vowed to meet her, pray with her and even build her a house and provide her with some living money. "I admire people who are moved to act in a crisis!" he wrote. "It is not about how much you have."
An epic bus journey for an epic man
Speaking of older people with amazing stamina, a 95-year-old World War II veteran in New Zealand recently got some much-deserved love for his own generous jaunt. John Sato said he was so disturbed by the terrorist attack in his country two weeks ago, he had trouble sleeping. So when it came time for a solidarity march against racism in Auckland last Sunday, Sato took not one, not two, but four different buses from his suburb so he could attend. Once he was there, a police officer and some strangers helped him get around. Other marchers were in awe of his story and his positive mood. After all, that kind of commute can leave anyone a little grumpy. Sato said the tragedy has moved people to show more love. "It has brought people together, no matter what their race or anything," he said. "People suddenly realized we're all one. We care for each other."
Raise a glass to...
Peter Tabichi, a math and physics teacher from rural Kenya who is also a Franciscan brother, and now the latest winner of the $1 million Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize. Tabichi gives away 80% of his monthly income to help the poor, and his dedication to teaching has made his community's small, impoverished schools into a serious contender in national science competitions. So basically, he's awesome. Judging from the photo, Hugh Jackman agrees.
A bright idea
Hey sleepyhead, space scientists wants to pay you $19,000 to lie in bed for two whole months. Apparently, being horizontal mimics the weightlessness that affects astronauts in space. By studying how bodies adapt to two whole months of Netflix and naps, scientists contracted by NASA and the European Space Agency hope they can find solutions for some of the less enjoyable side effects of weightlessness that astronauts have to endure. (Don't worry though, it seems like the biggest side effect test subjects will have is extreme boredom.)
You gotta see this
NINE nurses are pregnant at the same time in the same labor unit at the Maine Medical Center in Portland (Your eyes aren't deceiving you, only eight are pictured here)! These ladies are all due between April and July, and they say it's actually been pretty fun to have a built-in support group of equally pregnant coworkers. You know what else will be fun? The giant play dates!
Heroes among us
CNN's lineup of 2019 Heroes continues with Kerrie Brodie, who founded a non-profit called Emma's Torch that provides culinary training for refugees and connects them with jobs in restaurant kitchens. Brodie, 28, is a child of refugees herself and says her family has always believed deeply in the American Dream. Emma's Kitchen is her way of helping new refugees achieve theirs. (FYI, Emma's Kitchen is named after Emma Lazarus, a 19th-century poet and immigration advocate. She wrote the sonnet "A New Colossus," which is about the Statue of Liberty. It's a great read.)
Wanna get away?
Listen, I grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland, so there are few sights more beautiful to my Old Line State eyes than cherry blossom season in Washington, DC. These dreamy pink wonders, gifted to the United States by Japan in 1912, will reach full bloom on April 1.
Did you know that each rubber ball used in Powerball drawings costs about $100 to make? So let's see, with 69 white balls and 26 red balls that's a total of ... $9,500 a draw! No wonder they're kept in a sealed vault that requires three people to open (yep, that's true too!).
Tell us something good
Highland Village, TX
Um, this is an absolutely brilliant idea. Rebecca Bonner, an art teacher at McAuliffe Elementary School in Highland Village, Texas, wanted to showcase her students' artwork. So, she bought a plain white dress online and asked some of her 580 students, ages 3 to 11, to go to town on it with Sharpies. Somehow, it came out fabulously, and she's worn the dress to two school art shows. The kids are proud and excited to see their work, and when photos of the dress were posted online, fellow teachers and students alike said they loved seeing such a creative, inspiring display of art education.