The week's good news: December 28, 2017

It wasn't all bad!

New boots.
(Image credit: iStock)

1. 89-year-old brings joy to hospital patients by playing his ukulele

Every Wednesday, his ukulele in tow, 89-year-old Tom Ruggles arrives at Emerson Hospital in Concord, Massachusetts, ready to entertain the patients and staff. When he retired in 1999, Ruggles came up with the idea to volunteer at the hospital. "We gave it a try and I performed for a patient and it worked out," he told "The head of the volunteers said, 'You're on.'" He goes from ward to ward, singing and playing the ukulele, and makes sure he knows the name of every patient he meets. "A lot of people say to me, 'Hey, you just made my day,'" he said. The former traveling salesman has no plans to slow down. "The only way I'd stop is if I couldn't walk anymore," he said.

Inside Edition

2. Students surprise beloved custodian with new work boots for Christmas

Custodian supervisor Brian Junk makes sure that the Garden City High School campus always looks beautiful, and the students there felt Christmas was the perfect time to show Junk how much they appreciate his hard work. After seeing how worn his work boots were, several students pooled their money and bought Junk a brand new pair for Christmas. They surprised him one day before winter break, and he became emotional before he even opened his present. "You guys are gonna make me cry," the Michigan man said as he hugged the excited students. After he opened his gift, Junk thanked the students profusely, but it was their pleasure. As student Kenna Hermanson wrote to Junk: "Thank you for everything you do and making the school day more enjoyable for us. Merry Christmas."

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3. Man finds kidney donor after wearing a special shirt at Disney World

Knowing he would be surrounded by throngs of people during a trip to Disney World in August, Robert Leibowitz wore a shirt with a message he wanted seen by as many eyes as possible: "In Need of Kidney O Positive Call 917-597-2651." Leibowitz, a 60-year-old single dad from New Jersey, has had chronic kidney disease for decades and had been on dialysis for years. A woman snapped a photo of his shirt and posted it on Facebook, where it was shared 40,000 times by the end of Leibowitz's trip. Strangers called Leibowitz, asking if they could help, and five people were tested. One of them, Richie Sully of Indiana, was a match. "I was in shock," Leibowitz's 17-year-old son, Max, told People. "All the worrying about whether he's gonna be able to go to my high school graduation or not is just all gone."


4. Friends chip in to give waitress $1,000 tip

A group of seven friends wanted to make someone's Christmas a little more merry this year, and they gave an unsuspecting waitress a gift she'll never forget. Last week, Mike "Tonto" Alexander and his friends pooled their money to leave a big tip for their server at Theo & Stacy's Restaurant in Kalamazoo, Michigan, a restaurant known for giving back to the community and providing free meals during the holidays. The friends sat in Mary Lively's section, and after they paid their $70 check, they handed Lively an envelope containing a card and 10 $100 bills. "All these years being a waitress, I finally got a bonus," Lively told WWMT. "A good one, too!" Lively said she would use her generous tip to make her car payment, pay off bills, and buy presents for family.


5. College classmates discover they're long-lost brothers

When Kieron Graham got the results from a DNA test, he recognized the name of someone listed as a close family member — it was one of his college classmates. Graham was adopted at three months old, and said he was always curious about his biological family. His adoptive mother gave him an DNA test as an early Christmas present, and the results showed that Vincent Ghant, his classmate at Kennesaw State University, was his long-lost brother. Graham contacted Ghant on Facebook, and "we didn't even know what to say at first," he told WFAA. "He was just kind of like, 'Is this real? You're my brother.'" Ghant is 29, and remembered giving his little brother a bottle and changing his diapers. This year, the Graham and Ghant families spent Christmas together.


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