Who else could top this Christmas Day post then Santa Claus himself? And for good measure I thought I’d throw in a few! 2016 has been a difficult year for many, and particularly for the world. But I want to keep this Christmas post upbeat and as I always say there is SO much good news that unfortunately goes unnoticed. So to interrupt your Christmas dinner and marathon film watching, here are my favourite positive news stories from all my happy news posts this year. There may have been some questionable decisions but there are plenty of amazing, generous, kind people out there, so without further adieu (I love that phrase!), let’s give them a lot more airtime…
An Egyptian billionaire approached two Greek island owners to ask to buy their islands so he can house refugees. This is an incredible story. There’s been so many amazing acts of generosity but rarely do they get much coverage – I remember reading about a Greek grandma taking refugees into her home and acting as if they’re her children too. But this man, Naguib Sawiris, thinks it’s feasible that he could house thousands in need temporarily, if he can just buy an island!
A social experiment in Cardiff tested how many people would return dropped wallets, and every single person gave the wallets they found back. Maybe people are more honest than we think?
This is so cute, a Starbucks barista learnt sign language to communicate with a regular deaf customer. Ibby Piracha was amazed when he arrived to get his normal coffee and she was able to greet him. Before this he always had to write out his order on his phone. How lovely!
A travel agent surprised all her employees by rewarding them with a three day holiday to Barbados. Imagine this, you think you’re celebrating your company’s tenth anniversary with a day out to Flamingo Land in Yorkshire, and you end up on a trip with your 32 workmates to the Caribbean. The manager Helen Bilton is clearly a legend.
This story has all the feels, a regularly rejected one-eyed puppy finds a new home with a partially-sighted man. Little Australian shepherd Shiner Solo was repeatedly rejected by prospective owners because he was born without a left eye. After a gardening accident, Jordan Trent lost the sight in his left eye aged 15. So when Jordan went to adopt a puppy, he found his perfect partner in Shiner Solo.
This hasn’t appeared in any of my happy news posts this year but I just had to include it because I think it’s the most inspiring of 2016. Little Syrian 7-year-old Bana al-Abed has escaped Aleppo for Turkey after tweeting and raising awareness of the terrifying conditions there. What an amazing and brave little girl, I am so pleased this story had a happy ending.
And finally… The story that inspired all my Happy News posts in the first place. A penguin swims 5,000 miles every year to visit the man who saved his life. 71-year-old retired bricklayer and part-time fisherman Joao Pereira de Souza saved the penguin’s life years ago when he found him covered in oil.