The week's good news: February 22, 2018
It wasn't all bad!
Pilot hand-delivers passenger's missing engagement ring
How's this for some customer service? After a United Airlines gate agent discovered a passenger's missing engagement ring, she gave the ring to a pilot, who personally dropped it off at the passenger's home in San Francisco. Brit Morin tweeted that her ring disappeared somewhere between New York City and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, last week. The gate agent found the ring, put it in a safe, then gave it to the pilot for a very special delivery. The captain dropped the ring off on Monday along with a note, which read: "I take pride in getting passengers from Point A to Point B safely and on time. Today, I'm happy to be part of a team focused on making just one individual happy (you!)." Morin tweeted that she now has "a newfound faith in humanity and airlines. Thanks United."
After a kidney transplant, couple renews vows atop Empire State Building
Alix and Brett Epps are the perfect match, in more ways than one. They've been through a lot since their first date in 2014 — that night, Brett started having chest pain, and was later diagnosed with a rare form of kidney disease. His friends and family volunteered to donate their kidneys, but only one person ended up being a match: Alix. A few weeks before the kidney transplant, Brett asked Alix to marry him, and they wed in 2017. "It's this extra bond," Alix told ABC News. "I always felt so close." They've only been married one year, but the couple entered a contest to renew their vows on Valentine's Day atop the Empire State Building, and won. They flew in from North Carolina, and along with 10 other couples, said "I do" again. "I'd marry her every day of the week if I could," Brett said.
Son helps father recreate his youth hiking through the Alps
Writer Mike MacEacheran's father used to regale him with tales about his youth spent summitting peaks throughout the Alps. As an adult, MacEacheran wanted to experience the mountains with his dad, now 74, and suggested they embark on the 10-day, 110-mile Tour du Mont Blanc. Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in the Alps, and the Tour du Mont Blanc takes hikers through France, Switzerland, and Italy. MacEacheran said he considered that the long-distance hiking trail might be too strenuous for his father, but "that first sunlit afternoon, it was instantly obvious we'd made the right decision." As they made their way along the trail — taking their time, getting up late, and enjoying beers with their lunches — MacEacheran realized what he thought was his dad's "unhealthy obsession with the mountains revealed itself to be a bond I never knew we had."
Message in a bottle brings together families from Washington and Guam
More than two years after Wanda Roberts and her family threw a message in a bottle into the Pacific Ocean, it was found by Edward Paulino, thousands of miles away in Guam. Roberts' late father, Bob Mahan, loved to camp out by the ocean, and on Sept. 9, 2015, the family gathered on the beach in Navarro, California, sending a message in a bottle out to sea in his honor. It ultimately reached the shores of Malojloj, where it was discovered on Feb. 3 by Paulino. Paulino's daughter, Gerika, messaged Roberts, who lives in Washington, on Facebook, and she was thrilled to hear the bottle made it to Guam. "Social media is a wonderful outlet connecting us to another part of the world," Roberts told the Pacific Daily News. "This brought back fond memories, and all of the family agrees that my dad would have loved to know we did this."
Woman thwarts purse-snatching, takes would-be thief to coffee
A woman chased down a purse-snatcher in Edmonton, Canada, last week, only to take the would-be thief out to coffee after catching up to him. Tess Aboughoushe cornered the man in an alley after she heard a woman calling "stop, thief, he took my wallet!" Aboughoushe was surprised to discover the thief crying when she found him: "He came out from behind the dumpster and says, in a conciliatory way, 'Here is the wallet, I can't do this anymore, I'm sorry, just take it, take it,'" she told CBC. After returning the wallet, Aboughoushe took the desperate thief out for coffee and pointed him in the direction of the local library, where he could get help from social workers on staff. "He said, 'I've never done anything like this before. I just really need the money' … I wanted to show him some compassion," she said.