Inspiration

#TGIF: 5 Feel-Good Stories That are Sure to Put a Smile on Your Face This Weekend

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The end of the week calls for some lighthearted content that helps us relax and unwind. Luckily, you don’t have to spend hours scrolling through social media to find moments that will make your heart melt. Take a look at this list of five inspiring stories in the second-edition of our weekly “Feel Good Friday Roundup” series. 

Whether you’re here to see a dog reunion or learn about the generous surge due to the pandemic, these stories will have you smiling all weekend long! 

1. This 101-Year-Old Man Finally Receives His High School Diploma

Former Storer College student Merrill Pittman Cooper recently fulfilled his dream of receiving a high school diploma!

Cooper had attended the West Virginia school as a student from 1934 to 1938. However, he couldn’t finish his schooling at Storer after moving to Philadelphia with his mother during his senior year. He had a successful career in transportation instead, and lived in Philly for 50 years.

Cooper visited the former Storer campus in 2018 and revealed his regret over not earning his high school diploma. So, his family members decided to change that. They contacted Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (NHP) staff members in hopes of recognizing Cooper’s time as a Storer student.

The collaborative effort between the NHP alongside local, regional, and state organizers finally made Cooper’s dream come true this past March. He received his diploma at 101 years old!

 “Jefferson County Schools is committed to helping every student, young or old, fulfill their dreams,” superintendent Bondy Shay Gibson-Learn said in a statement.

“For Mr. Cooper, that meant receiving a high school diploma. We are honored to help make that dream a reality.”

2. This Woman’s Adorable Introduction the Newest Member of Her Family

Previous family memories are always worth capturing — especially this moment shared on the Good News Movement’s Instagram page

The clip shows a mom named Grace De Young introducing her grandmother to the newest member of the family in a very special way.

“About a week ago, my mom flew me out so my grandma [could] meet her great-grand baby for the first time. It was such a sweet surprise 😭. [I’m] so thankful I can rewatch this moment again and again ❤️,” the caption reads.

You’ll love watching the video below!

3. Dolly Parton’s Former Home Turns Into a Free Wedding Venue for Couples Affected by Wildfires

Dolly Parton’s former Sevierville, Tennessee home is turning into a wedding venue! The property will open its doors for free to some couples in light of Sevier County’s recent wildfires.

The property (now named “Red Smoky Top Mountain Lodging“) is currently owned by Mike Whitcomb, who says the country singer inspired this act of kindness.

“Everybody loves Dolly for a reason,” Whitcomb told FOX. “It’s not by chance, [and] it’s not just her skills. It’s her humanity, her kindness, [and] her beauty.

“I wanted to make sure, from my perspective and our family’s perspective, that we can add our voice to that,” he continued.

Red Top Destinations is allowing couples to say their “I dos” at the venue free of charge between April 1 and May 1. To qualify, couples need to prove that their original venue is destroyed or impacted due to the wildfires.

Be sure to visit the venue’s website (Red Top Destinations) for additional information about the property and its services.

4. A Long-Awaited Reunion Between Two Dog Brothers

Don’t you love witnessing the sheer joy that dogs feel when they reunite with a furry friend? Imagine if those two canines hadn’t seen each other since they were pups!

That’s exactly what happened to Renlee and Sir Lancelot, two dogs from the same litter. They were adopted by Andrea Riggle (from Houston, Texas) and Melanie Morrison (from Springfield, Oregon), respectively, but neither owner knew that her dog had a brother. Riggle and Morrison discovered the news because they signed up for Wisdom Panel, a pet DNA test service.

Once the moms found each other on Instagram, it didn’t take long for them to plan a dog reunion for Renlee and Sir Lancelot in LA. See the sweet meeting below in this GMA clip!

5. Generosity Soars Amidst the Pandemic

We’ve all experienced our fair share of ups and downs because of the pandemic. Thankfully, good people in the world are helping to lift each other up! A recent study published in Scientific Reports reveals that financial generosity in the country is currently soaring. 

“This is surprising, given that a record-high majority of Americans reported a worsening financial situation during the same time,” lead author Ariel Fridman said in a press release.

Fridman and other co-authors studied two charitable giving datasets — one of which spanned from July 2016 to December 2020.

Here are the two main findings from their research:

  • From March to August of 2020, charitable giving increased in 78 percent of counties that were greatly affected by COVID-19.
  • Charities that shelter homeless people, feed the hungry, and care for younger children or older adults benefited most from this increase in generosity. 

“Amidst the uncertainty, fear, and tragedy of the pandemic, we find a silver lining: people became more financially generous toward others in the presence of COVID-19 threat,” the study concluded.

We hope you enjoyed the second-edition of our weekly Feel Good Friday Roundup!

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