It wasn't all bad!

The week's good news: Nov. 3, 2022

1

Alabama woman sets aside part of every paycheck to fund random acts of kindness

Whether it's paying for groceries or picking up the lunch tab, Lyn Thomas is all about surprising people with generosity. Thomas lives in Birmingham, Alabama, and is the assistant manager at a convenience store. She puts aside money from every paycheck to do something nice for people through a project she calls Sowing On Purpose. "There is so much going on, and this is just showing love and blessing somebody just because," Thomas told USA Today. She turns it into a game, asking people on Facebook to pick a color or number, and the person who responds with the correct answer gets a free meal or tank of gas. "I played and won and it was really cool," participant Krystal Bell said. "Random acts of kindness make the world go around." Thomas believes in unconditional love, kindness, and compassion, and by giving to others, "I feel freedom," she said.

2

Family embarks on world tour to create visual memories for kids

A Canadian family is exploring the world with just one thing on the agenda: making visual memories to last a lifetime. Edith Lemay and Sebastian Pelletier have four children, and three of them have been diagnosed with a genetic disease called retinitis pigmentosa. Over time, they will lose their field of vision, and then "their vision from the outside to the center and in the end, it's like seeing through a straw," Lemay told CBS News. There's also a chance that by midlife, they could be completely blind. A specialist said the best thing to do was fill their visual memory by reading books with pictures of animals like elephants and giraffes, and Lemay decided instead, "I'm going to see them in real life." The family left Canada in March for a year-long adventure around the world. Not only are they seeing nature and landmarks in places like Bali, Namibia, and Turkey, but the kids also plan special activities, like horseback riding in Mongolia and sleeping on a train in Tanzania. "It's not an easy travel," Lemay said. "It's uncomfortable. Sometimes they're tired and there's frustration and we're hungry. It's difficult. But with the travel, I want them to be resilient."

3

Elementary school students grow vegetables for kids living in a food desert

The kids at Summit Elementary School in Butler, Pennsylvania, are looking out for their peers five miles away at Broad Street Elementary. Broad Street is in a food desert, where it's difficult to get fresh produce. Two years ago, Summit Elementary school students, led by teacher Angela Eyth, began growing fruit, vegetables, and herbs on campus, with the bounty going to families at Broad Street Elementary. "It's amazing when you start with a small idea and it can grow," Eyth told People. "No pun intended." The Summit Elementary students are not only learning how fruits and vegetables grow, but they are also gaining math skills through measuring and estimating and coming up with solutions to problems; recently, they figured out a way to keep out bugs that eat kale. The school received a grant to build a stand at Broad Street Elementary, where they will put out the corn, squash, carrots, beans, and other items they grow. This is just the beginning — future plans include planting sunflowers, Christmas trees, and a pollinator garden. "The kids are in charge of everything," Eyth told People. "They're so proud of what we're doing here."

4

Artist fulfills dream of doodling over his entire house

It took 900 liters of white paint, 401 cans of black spray paint, 286 bottles of black drawing paint, and 2,297 pen nibs to make Mr. Doodle's dream come true. Artist Sam Cox, 28, goes by the name Mr. Doodle, and is known for his monochrome artwork featuring zig zags, squiggles, and cartoonish characters. When he was a teenager, he doodled all over his bedroom and decided then and there that as an adult, he would cover his entire home with his scribbles. "[I wanted] to live in a completely doodled environment," Cox told NBC News, adding, "It's been like a happy obsession ever since." He got his wish when he purchased a mansion in England's Kent County. Every square inch is covered in black and white doodles, and it's not just the walls — even the furniture, appliances, and car are covered in squiggles. Cox's wife, Alena, is also an artist, and sometimes they collaborate, with Alena adding color to the doodles. Nothing he does is planned out in advance, as Cox feels it's best not to mess with "the organic nature of a doodle."

5

Newlyweds on their honeymoon rescue babies from burning building

Doran Smith and David Squillante didn't expect to become heroes on their honeymoon in Barcelona, but that's exactly what happened after they helped save babies from a burning building. The Rhode Island couple saw their honeymoon delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and they were thrilled to finally be in Spain. While walking through a park, Smith spotted several women running into the street, panicking. "I saw a flame coming out of the doorway next to the door that these women had come out of," she told WJAR. "I said, 'Oh my God, there's a fire.'" Smith and Squillante ran over and realized the women had come out of a nursery filled with babies. "Instinct took over," Squillante said. "I found myself looking at 15, 20 babies sleeping, and immediately just kind of lined everyone up and we started grabbing them, putting them into the crib." The cribs were then rolled outside to safety. Everyone was fine, and the relieved couple then continued their walk through Barcelona. "It was wild," they told Today.

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