The week's good news: April 20, 2017

It wasn't all bad! 

A goat in his enclosure
(Image credit: JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

1. Pet goat saves Arkansas family from fire

A family in Poinsett County, Arkansas, is crediting their new pet goat with saving them from a blaze that destroyed their garage and caused extensive smoke and soot damage to their home. Abigail Bruce, 10, said that one night earlier this month, Speedy the goat began bleating loudly and jumping on the girl's legs and chest, and when she finally opened her eyes, all she could see was smoke. She ran into her parents' bedroom to wake them up, and they discovered the garage was up in flames and "the fire was already starting to come through the windows," says Abigail's dad, Nick Bruce. The family jumped out of a window and tumbled down onto the front lawn, with all of them escaping injury. Officials say the fire was electrical, and the family believes if it wasn't for Speedy, the flames could have spread and caused more damage. "He knew what to do and everything," Abigail said. "I think he was special before we got him."


2. 98-year-old bakes hundreds of treats a year for strangers in need

After his wife of 72 years died, Leo Kellner spent some time "moaning and moping," and then got to baking. Kellner, 98, of Hastings, Nebraska, keeps his late wife's memory alive by making sweet treats for people going through hard times; in the year after her death in 2012, he baked 144 pies for those in need. He contacts area funeral homes and community organizations to get the names of people who might appreciate his complimentary baked goods, and he works around allergies and finds out their favorite flavors. Kellner said he has received thank you cards from as far away as Alaska. He also bakes for his friends, and teaches some of the neighborhood children how to cook. "I try to be happy," he says. "I place nobody above me, I place nobody below me. I like everybody and I've never held a grudge." He also has a secret ingredient in all of his cakes and pies: "Love."

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3. Generous couple leaves waitress huge tip so she can pay off student loans

A Hawaiian waitress is debt-free, thanks to some very generous customers. Cayla Chandara, 22, was chatting with an Australian couple at the Waikiki restaurant where she works when she mentioned how money problems had forced her to drop out of college. Touched by her story, the vacationers gave her a $400 tip. Chandara left a thank-you note and flowers at the couple's hotel, and the pair returned to her restaurant the following day with an even more generous gift: $10,000 to pay off her student loans. "I will take this opportunity with an open heart," says Chandara, who now plans to go back to college.

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4. Hospital staff throw special prom just for sick teenage patient

Corinne Bass was certain she'd never have a prom. For the past two years, the 18-year-old from Mount Pleasant, Michigan, has been battling a rare blood disorder. She underwent a bone marrow transplant in February, a procedure that required her to spend several months in isolation at the hospital. Determined that their young patient shouldn't miss out on a quintessential high school experience, nurses at the hospital organized a special prom just for her. The teen chose a Great Gatsby theme, and on the big day, Bass and hospital staff dressed up in Roaring '20s outfits and danced the Charleston. "It was better than a normal prom," says Bass.


5. Man raises money to send care package to soldier he's never met

An Ohio man is raising money to send a soldier he's never met a care package brimming with 3,000 cookies. Mark Chalifoux got the idea after he was accidentally included in a family group text. He said he repeatedly tried to indicate he was not supposed to be in the chat, but the family members didn't seem to notice. The texts continued, and Chalifoux got a picture of four soldiers and a message detailing how to send care packages overseas. He decided to start a GoFundMe fundraising campaign to make a truly memorable care package for this family's soldier. He's already raised more than $1,000, thanks to donations from 90 people. "I am hoping he'll be encouraged that 90 people contributed and it will let him know that someone cares," Chalifoux said.


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Catherine Garcia

Catherine Garcia is night editor for Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.