It wasn't all bad...

The week's good news: March 2, 2017

Catherine Garcia
The inspiration.
Hopper Stone


13-year-old aspiring astronaut raises enough money for 1,000 girls to see Hidden Figures

Taylor Richardson, a 13-year-old who plans on becoming an astronaut when she grows up, loved Hidden Figures so much that she raised enough money for 1,000 other girls to watch the movie about three black women who worked as mathematicians at NASA during the Space Race. Richardson saw the film in December during a special screening at the White House, and wanted her peers back home in Jacksonville, Florida, to have the same opportunity. She started a GoFundMe, and raised enough money to hold three screenings. "I feel it's important for everyone who has a dream or who may feel they can't reach it or are told they shouldn't reach it to see this movie," she told People. "Girls need to know if we do the work and stick together like these women did, we can accomplish many things." Richardson has inspired 70 similar campaigns. [People]


Taco truck opens amidst huge Seattle traffic jam, delighting drivers

Commuters stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on Seattle's I-5 enjoyed a surprise lunch when a taco truck opened for business in the middle of the standstill. Thomas Lopez, who owns Tacos El Tajin, was one of several drivers stuck in gridlock after a tanker truck rolled over. When Lopez realized he wasn't going anywhere soon, he rolled up the truck's awning — and drivers quickly abandoned their cars to line up for food. School bus driver Rachael McQuade, 33, who ordered chicken and steak tacos, said she didn't mind missing her afternoon route. "You got to make the best of it, right?" [Seattle Times]


The dishwasher at one of the world's best restaurants is now its co-owner

Ali Sonko started the day as a dishwasher at Copenhagen's Noma restaurant, and ended it as co-owner. Sonko, a 62-year-old father of 12 who moved to Denmark from Gambia 34 years ago, has been with Noma — named the best in the world four times by Restaurant magazine — since it opened. Noma is moving to a new location, and during a party last month to celebrate the occasion, chef René Redzepi announced Sonko's new role, given in recognition of his hard work and dedication. "I cannot describe how happy I am to work here," Sonko said. "These are the best people to work with and I am good friends with everyone. They show enormous respect towards me and no matter what I say or ask them, they are there for me." [The Guardian]


A New York City fire station's newest recruit is a rescued pit bull

Ashley, a 1-year-old pit bull, was found emaciated and living in squalor, but her spirit was never broken. Erica Mahnken of the No More Pain dog rescue found Ashley in a Staten Island drug den, and asked friends working at a fire station on Manhattan's Lower East Side if they could keep Ashley for a few days while she found her a home. "As soon as we walked her in there everyone loved her," Mahnken told Inside Edition. "She was jumping on everyone and licking everybody." The firefighters quickly decided they wanted her to stay with them permanently, and now a healthy and happy Ashley spends her days hanging out at the station with her new family. The firefighters also document Ashley's life on her own Instagram account. [Inside Edition, Instagram]


74-year-old lends stranded stranger a car so he can attend a funeral

Todd Steinkamp was already having a rough morning when his 2005 Chevrolet broke down on the way to a funeral in Wisconsin. The 39-year-old Iowan thought he had no hope of completing the remaining 70 miles to the service — until he parked outside an auto repair shop in the town of Wild Rose and mechanic Glenn Geib, 74, offered the stranger his own 1999 pickup. Steinkamp made the funeral just in time, and thanked Geib for his generosity. "Glenn turned a terrible day into a good one with a great lesson: 'Just be kind and help.'" [Des Moines Register]