9 good things that happened around the world this week

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Image: Roberto Westbrook | Courtesy photo

Every time we try to catch up on the news, negative stories constantly seem to dominate the headlines. There’s a reason why we say some things “restore our faith in humanity” – it’s because we rarely get exposed to the wealth of good things happening around us everyday.

That’s why each Wednesday, we bring you a roundup of some of the biggest news stories about good things that happened around the world to help brighten your day. Here’s nine positive things that happened last week that you should know about (in no particular order):

June 11 to 17, 2015

1. Kangaroo shot in the head with an arrow survives life threatening surgery

Image: Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital

Image: Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital

A mother kangaroo survived after being fatally shot in the head with an arrow in Toorbul, Australia. The kangaroo was carrying a joey in her pouch when an arrow hit her, almost grazing her brain. Luckily, rescue workers at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital were able to perform a life saving operation to remove the arrow. The kangaroo is recovering and will be released back into the wild soon.

2. Little boy’s lost stuffed animal gets returned to him in a very special way

Image: Tampa International Airport

Image: Tampa International Airport

When six-year-old Owen Lake lost his favourite stuffed animal at the Tampa International Airport, he was worried he would never get it back. Hobbes, the stuffed tiger, is extremely important to the little boy but luckily the airport staff were able to find it. Instead of just returning Hobbes right away, they decided to surprise Owen by taking his stuffed tiger on adventures all over the airport. Photos were taken of Hobbes getting gelato, working out at the airport gym and hanging out at the air traffic control center. The staff put the photos in an album and when Owen returned to Tampa from his trip to Houston, he was surprised to be reunited with Hobbes and see all of his airport adventures.

“When Owen asked for Hobbes on the plane, my husband and I looked at each other and our hearts sunk. We knew he was left behind. Owen really loves him. He’s special, and we are so thankful for the airport and what they did,” the little boy’s mother told reporters.

3. Boy donates all of his birthday presents to the children of a recently fallen police officer

Image: Wdam

Image: Wdam

Like any nine-year-old, Carson Atkins was very excited to celebrate his birthday. He invited all of his friends to go swimming and enjoyed eating a delicious cake. When it came to presents, Carson requested that his guests bring cash. However, the money was not for him. Carson wanted give the monetary donations to the children of a police officer in his town, who was killed while on duty in May. All together, Carson was able to raise $1,000 for the children of the fallen officer.

“That’s the Carson that we have raised,” the boy’s mother, April Atkins, told reporters. “He’s a very giving child… a very special child.”

4. Man who has given blood over 1,000 times has saved nearly two million babies with his donations

Image: DAVID GRAY/Reuters /Landov

Image: DAVID GRAY/Reuters /Landov

James Harrison fell very ill when he was 14-years-old. One of his lungs needed to be removed and a reason he survived was due to the two gallons of donated blood he received during the operation. Ever since then, Harrison was determined to give back. When he turned 18, Harrison decided to become a blood donor and he has made a donation every three weeks for nearly 60 years. He has donated enough blood to save at least two million babies, including his very own grandson. His generosity has also earned him a Guinness World Record for the most blood donated by one person.

“Some people say, ‘Oh, you’re a hero,'” Harrison said in a recent interview. “But I’m in a safe room, donating blood. They give me a cup of coffee and something to nibble on. And then I just go on my way… No problem, no hardships.”

5. Poker player participates in the wrong tournament and ends up winning $81,000

JOHN LOCHER/AP

JOHN LOCHER/AP

Christian Pham won $81,000 playing a game he never played in his life. Pham was attending the Las Vegas World Series of Poker and he meant to sign up for a no-limit Texas Hold’em tournament. Instead, he accidentally signed up for No-Limit Single Draw – a game that is almost the opposite of standard poker because the lowest hand wins. “When I got to the table, and when I got dealt five cards, I realized that something was wrong,” Pham told reporters. However, he went along with the game and ended up beating 216 players and took home $81,314.

“I didn’t understand much of the game, but enough, and in the future for sure I will register for this game. I love it,” Pham said.

6. Blind athlete runs 26 km race with only a GPS to guide him

Image: AFP

Image: AFP

A blind runner completed a 26 km race in France with only a special GPS and his cane to help him find the way. Clement Gass ran alongside 200 other competitors in the race with the help of a special GPS device that uses an automated voice to provide him with directions. The 27-year-old runner was the first in the world to test the special GPS, which was developed by a research team. Next week, Glass will run in a six-stage 80 km race, accompanied by other visually impaired athletes.

7. State trooper pulls over elderly woman on the highway all for a good cause

Image:  KOMO 4 

Image: KOMO 4

A state trooper in Lynden, Washington, pulled over an elderly woman rolling down the freeway on her mobile scooter at 10 km/h. Trooper Dave Hintz received a radio call about an old woman going down the freeway very slowly on her scooter and he knew he had to give her a helping hand. “I wasn’t trying to stop her. I wasn’t trying to detain her. I was just trying to get her back to her home. I just treated her the way I would’ve wanted somebody to treat my mom,” Hintz said.

The woman had gone out for coffee earlier but got lost on her way home and ended up on the freeway. Lyndon was worried that a speeding car or truck would hurt her, so he followed her in his cop car very slowly for nearly one hour until she arrived home safely. “Our motto with the State Patrol is service with humility. This particular case took a little more patience and humility but I wouldn’t have done it any differently,” Hintz told reporters.

8.  Stranded ducklings get ride to safety from a Calgary taxi driver

Image: Checker Yellow Cabs

Image: Checker Yellow Cabs

A duck and her ducklings got a life saving ride from a Calgary cab driver this past week. Urga Adunga found the duck and her nine ducklings stranded in traffic on a busy road. He pulled over and with the help of a few other people he transported the ducks from the road into his cab. From there, Adunga drove the ducks back to the local river. It was about a $21 ride but the driver decided to waive the fee for his special guests.

“As a human it is our responsibility to protect those animals, and nature and the environment,” Adunga told the CBC. “I could do it again too. Not only the animals, humans too. We have to rescue each other, we have to help each other.”

9. Postal worker writes a kind note for a little boy who sent a letter to his dog in “Doggie Heaven”

Image: Roberto Westbrook | Courtesy photo

Image: Roberto Westbrook | Courtesy photo

When Mary and Roberto Westbrook’s 13-year-old beagle passed away in April, there was no one more devastated than their three-year-old son, Luke. The toddler kept asking his parents where Moe went and to make things easier for her son, Mary encouraged him to write letters to Moe. They addressed the letters to “Moe Westbrook, Doggie Heaven, Cloud 1.” Luke would run to the mailbox every day to “send” the letter.

Every night, when Luke was sleeping, Mary would take the letters out of the mailbox but one night she forgot. She thought that the mailman probably threw the note out but the next morning, there was an unstamped letter from Moe to Luke. It read: “I’m in Doggie Heaven. I play all day. I am happy. Thank you 4 being my friend. I wuv you Luke.” 

The little boy was overjoyed to hear from his beloved pet. It turns out that a postal service worked named Zina Owens was sorting through mail when she found the letter. “The letter’s innocence made my day,” she said, “so I wanted to make his. It’s just love. Plain and simple.”

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Simran Singh is a Contributor at Vancity Buzz. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Journalism at the University of British Columbia. She is a big fan of coffee, writing and exploring Vancouver. Send a story idea her way at simran@vancitybuzz.com
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