Positive News to Make You Smile (Part 3)

by Julia Robins ’20

Every newspaper, magazine, and television newscast shows the same stressful and depressing stories of coronavirus, war, pollution, inequality, and divisive politics. Where are the uplifting stories? This constant negativity is harmful to one’s mental health. According to the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, television newscasts increase depression by 38 percent, and according to the Preventive Medicine Journal, those who read/watch the news more than 4 hours a week are 61 percent more likely to experience anxiety. Combating those statistics, below is a collection of recent uplifting news in the world! 

“Seattle Will Provide $800 Each in Supermarket Vouchers to Thousands of Families During Coronavirus Crisis”

According to the Seattle Times, the 5 million dollars that the city made on taxing sugary beverages this past year will be distributed to the 6,250 families in need of financial assistance. They will be usable at any Safeway and will be partnered with their Fresh Bucks fruits and vegetables voucher program. 

“Rockville Distillery Going out of Business Makes Hand Sanitizer Amid COVID-19 Pandemic” 

In more local good news, Twin Valley Distillers, Montgomery County’s only distillery, is set to go out of business and bankrupt within the next three months. However, they are choosing to stay open to make hand sanitizer for hospitals and nursing homes, according to WJLA.

“The Kindness Pandemic: Sharing Stories of Kindness Amid Coronavirus Panic”

The coronavirus pandemic has the capacity to bring out violence and negativity, but it also has the potential to bring out kindness. The Kindness Pandemic Facebook group with almost 350,000 members is dedicated to acts of kindness amidst this crisis. For example, at a West Virginia McDonald’s, nearly 100 customers paid for the person behind them. People are fixing people’s cars for free, and even putting 20 dollar bills in random mailboxes, according to 3AW. 

“TV Medical Dramas Are Donating All Their Gowns, Gloves, and Masks to Real Hospitals Fighting COVID-19”

According to TVGuide and GoodNewsNetwork, the majority of medical dramas have been stopping production and donating their medical equipment and supplies to real hospitals and first responders. This includes NBC’s New Amsterdam and One Chicago series as well as ABC’s Station 19 & Grey’s Anatomy and The Good Doctor. These shows and more have donated all their masks, gowns, gloves, and other medical supplies to the hospitals in their area. Station 19 donated over 300 N95 masks from their set.

“The Guys Who Sell Ocean Plastic Bracelets Are Closing in on 8 Million Pounds of Waste Pulled From the Sea”

The company 4ocean, located in Indonesia, Florida, and Haiti, are cleaning up the ocean and selling beaded bracelets made from reclaimed ocean glass and plastics. For the past three years, they have pulled and repurposed a total of eight million pounds of trash! You can buy it here

“Victory! Kellogg’s Stops Using Palm Oil to Save Orangutans”

With over 800,000 signatures on change.org, two preteen sisters petitioned Kellogg’s two years ago to use only sustainably sourced palm oil or not use it entirely. Twenty five orangutans are killed every day due to palm oil usage. On February 23, 2020, the company pledged 100% of its palm oil would be eliminated or sustainably sourced by 2025, according to vegannewsnow.com 

“Students Are Returning to Indian School After It Transformed Two Old Train Cars into Vibrant Classrooms”

Ashokapuram Primary School in India had one of the lowest attendance rates in their country, which was mostly due to the lack of actual school buildings. Now, they are the first school in the world to remodel old train cars into classrooms- now refurbished and beautiful. Watch this video detailing how this school is making history and changing the lives of students. 


“This Collapsible, Self-Cleaning Steel Straw Could Finally Spell the End of Disposable Plastic Alternatives”

According to the National Park Service, the average person uses close to 40,000 straws in their lifetime. Most plastic straw alternatives are difficult to store and timely to clean. These two issues are solved with the Penna Straw, a tiny stainless steel straw. It cleans itself with UV light and is easily portable in a tiny case. It is expected to ship in mid-April. You can preorder one here

“Utah Man Creates ‘Cat Coolers’ to Help Feral Cats Escape Winter Cold”

In Utah, one man is transforming coolers into insulated, warm homes for stray and feral cats. After drilling in a bigger opening, inserting a three-quarter-inch pipe insulation of styrofoam, and adding some straw, homeless animals can have shelter, according to KSTU.

“You Can Now Download Over 300,000 Books from the NYPL for Free”

When you are stuck at home, there is nothing better to do than to read a good book! For New York folks, that’s easy with the new app SimplyE. According to TimeOut, everyone in New York can download any book, newspaper, or manuscript straight onto their smartphone.