From Brexit to exploding cellphones, endless celebrity deaths, the Syrian crisis and one of the most contentious presidential elections in recent times, 2016 has certainly had its fair share of turbulence.
“Let’s face it: 2016 has been one calamity after another,” said TV personality John Oliver. One interviewee on his show said, “if we could erase 2016 off the calendar, it would be perfectly good with me.”
If you’ve been having similar thoughts about this year, take comfort in knowing it wasn’t all bad; in fact, there were quite a few good things that happened throughout the year.
On that note, here are 6 positive stories to focus on from the past 12 months.
#1 – Police have dinner with elderly couple after finding them crying.
According to media in Rome, police there received a call one evening from someone reporting loud cries and sobs coming from an apartment.
When officers arrived at the apartment, they found Jole and Michele, who had been together for nearly 7 decades, crying because nobody had visited them in ages.
Police proceeded to stay with the couple and even made dinner for them.
#2 – Couple spends thousands on food for Louisiana flood victims.
Flooding in Louisiana this past summer was reportedly the worst US disaster since 2011’s Hurricane Sandy.
According to ABC News, one couple from the state stepped forward and spent nearly $2,000 of their own money to host a two-day barbecue for victims and emergency workers.
On their first day of service, the couple – veteran Christian Dornhorst and his wife Amanda – reportedly fed 3,000 people.
#3 – Woman holds mentally ill stranger’s hand on subway to comfort him.
According to Facebook user Ehab Taha, the above photo shows a woman comforting a stranger as he suffers from “drug abuse and/or mental health issues.”
Taha said the man was behaving very aggressively and shouting, prompting several passengers to back away from him. That’s when an elderly woman reportedly took the man by the hand and held on until he calmed down and began to cry.
“I spoke to the woman after this incident and she simply said, ‘I’m a mother and he needed someone to touch,'” said Taha. “And she started to cry.”
Taha’s account of the incident has been backed up by media in Canada.
#4 – 300 plumbers install water filters in Flint for free.
According to ThinkProgress, 300 plumbers from unions across America poured into Flint and installed new faucets and water filters there to protect citizens whose water was severely contaminated with lead.
The plumbers reportedly acted out of frustration towards the government’s inaction during a water crisis that placed thousands of lives at risk.
“We did not cause this American tragedy in Flint,” said one of the union officials. “But we can certainly help correct the damage that has been done!”
In one day alone, they visited more than 800 homes.
#5 – High-end retailer donates 100% of its Black Friday sales to grassroots environmental efforts.
Just weeks ago, outdoor gear retailer Patagonia announced it would be donating 100% of its Black Friday earnings to grassroots organizations working towards improving the environment.
At the time of the announcement, the company predicted its Black Friday sales would reach $2 million. Lo and behold, however, that number ultimately reached $10 million.
The company says it will be donating every penny to “underfunded and under the radar” environmental groups.
#6 – New Zealand natives launch support group for Standing Rock.
Earlier this year, natives in New Zealand launched a group called ‘Haka With Standing Rock’ to express support for the Sioux tribe as the Dakota Access Pipeline threatened to taint their land.
The group ultimately grew to be 50,000 strong and featured videos like the following.
The DAPL, of course, was ultimately forced to re-route.