The week's good news: February 11, 2021
It wasn't all bad!
Massachusetts man creates card game to celebrate Black history
Dominique Price has played a lot of games with his family during the pandemic — including one that he created to get people talking about Black culture and history. The Worcester, Massachusetts, resident was inspired to make BlackedOut Game after discussing the Black Lives Matter movement. Price told NBC Boston his younger cousins didn't know anything "Black culture related," and he wanted to remedy that by creating an educational card game that goes "deep" into Black history. The game has six categories, and as people play, they learn facts about Black history and culture that are often overlooked. Price has launched a Kickstarter in the hopes of getting his game out into the world, where it can spark conversations. "I just want people to have fun, get together with your family and friends, learn about Black culture, learn about Black history, and forget about color," he said.
Students fight food insecurity in their community by opening a free grocery store
The students at Linda Tutt High School in Sanger, Texas, are doing their part to make sure no one in their community goes hungry. In November, the school opened an on-site grocery store, with students safely doing the shopping for customers and bringing the groceries out to cars. Instead of cash, people make their purchases with points. Points are based on the number of people in a family, but for students, they can get bonus points by committing acts of kindness. "I get a joy out of it," junior Preston Westbrook told the Houston Chronicle. "It's one of the things I have a passion for, to help out. Everything from stocking the store and giving groceries to people." The shelves are stocked with fresh food, canned goods, and other items that help about 130 families in need of extra assistance during the pandemic.
Strangers work together to reunite man with the wallet he lost in Antarctica 53 years ago
When Paul Grisham returned home to California from Antarctica in 1968, he left one thing back on "The Ice," as he called the continent: a brown wallet, which held his Navy ID, driver's license, beer ration punch card, a recipe for homemade Kahlua, and a card with instructions on what to do in case of a chemical weapons attack. Last week, the battered wallet made its way back to Grisham, a former Navy meteorologist who spent 13 months in Antarctica as part of Operation Deep Freeze. Now 91, Grisham said he actually forgot that he lost his wallet, which was found in 2014 when a building at McMurdo Station, the southernmost town on Earth, was demolished. It took a network of people several years to finally track down Grisham, who told the San Diego Union-Tribune he was "blown away" by their determination to track down the wallet's rightful owner.
Grandfather raises money for Alzheimer's research by rowing solo across the Atlantic
Frank Rothwell's fundraiser for Alzheimer's research also put him in the record books. Rothwell, 70, lives in Oldham, England. To raise money for Alzheimer's Research UK, Rothwell rowed 3,000 miles solo across the Atlantic Ocean, leaving the Canary Islands on Dec. 12 and arriving in Antigua on Saturday. He is now the oldest person to ever take on this feat, and also raised more than £640,000 ($878,761), with Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation doubling the first £500,000 ($686,532) in donations. Crossing the finish line was a "completely euphoric moment," Rothwell told PA Media, and while it took six weeks to cross the ocean, he had been preparing and training for 18 months. He was inspired to raise money for Alzheimer's Research UK after seeing his brother-in-law battle the disease, and said he is grateful for "everyone who has reached into their pockets and donated. Having the support from so many means the world to me."
Since retiring from the Navy, veteran has raised 21 guide dogs
Whether she's running into the grocery store or spending an afternoon at the Washington Monument, Melissa Harrington brings Sunny With A Purpose, aka SWAP, along for the ride. Harrington began volunteering with the nonprofit Guide Dog Foundation following her retirement from the Navy. Since 2002, the Virginia resident and her family have trained 21 service dogs to assist people who are blind. SWAP is an 18-month-old Golden Retriever, and as part of her training, she needs to be exposed to people in different environments. Because of that, SWAP gets to go on lots of adventures with Harrington. "That's always my goal: By the time I turn in a dog, this dog has been truly socialized and goes places," Harrington told Today. "The more that these dogs have been exposed to — in a very relaxed way — as a puppy is going to serve them in great stead when they're actually out there supporting and making decisions and guiding."