The week's good news: March 11, 2021
It wasn't all bad!
Miami janitor keeps people fed, in her neighborhood and beyond
Every Friday night, long after everyone else in her house has gone to bed, Doramise Moreau is in the kitchen, cooking plate after plate of chicken, turkey, rice, and beans. She's been doing this since the pandemic began last spring, and doesn't plan on stopping. Moreau, 60, cooks at least 1,000 meals every week for the hungry, delivering them to Miami's Notre Dame d'Haiti Catholic Church. The church uses donations to pay for the groceries, but Moreau does the shopping and cooking solo, after she is done working for the day as a janitor. Moreau doesn't earn much money, but makes it a priority to regularly send food pallets to relatives and neighbors in her hometown near Port-au-Prince. "She takes care of everybody from A to Z," Reginald Jean-Mary, Notre Dame d'Haiti's pastor, told The Associated Press. "She's a true servant. She goes above and beyond the scope of work to be a presence of hope and compassion for others."
Long-lost friends have a 'miracle' reunion 80 years later
Now that they've found each other again, more than 80 years after their last hug in Berlin, there's no way Betty Grebenschikoff and Ana María Wahrenberg are drifting apart. Every Sunday, Grebenschikoff and Wahrenberg, both 91, chat on Zoom, and during the week they keep in touch by phone and email. Best friends while growing up in Germany, they were separated in 1939 when their families fled from the Nazis, with Grebenschikoff going to Shanghai and Wahrenberg to Chile. They lost touch, but didn't forget one another — both women wrote memoirs about surviving the Holocaust and shared their testimonies publicly, mentioning their friendship. In November, a researcher from the USC Shoah Foundation heard Wahrenberg speak, and while searching the foundation's archives for more information on her story, discovered Grebenschikoff's recorded testimony from 1997. In the tape, Grebenschikoff asked for assistance finding her best friend, Wahrenberg. The researcher quickly connected the two, and it was "such a miracle," Grebenschikoff told The Washington Post.
California student spends 589 days picking up trash in local park
It didn't matter if it was raining, foggy, or the temperature topped 100 degrees — through all kinds of weather, Edgar McGregor was in Eaton Canyon, picking up litter strewn across one of Los Angeles County's most popular trails. McGregor, a 20-year-old student and climate activist, decided in May 2019 that he would regularly visit the park to pick up trash, and wouldn't stop until it was clean. On Friday, he tweeted that after 589 days, he reached his goal and was able to "say with confidence" that the trail is now "free of municipal waste." He filled at least two buckets worth of trash every day. McGregor told ABC 7 Los Angeles he started his project because "I knew no one was doing it, so that was that."
Black-browed babbler spotted in Borneo for the first time since 1850s
After 170 years, the black-browed babbler reappeared in a Borneo forest, leaving ornithologists stunned — and delighted. The first and only known specimen of the black-browed babbler was collected in Indonesia in the 1850s. Because it was wrongly labeled as being from Java instead of Borneo, people searching for more black-browed babblers never discovered any. The error was eventually corrected, but still, no one was able to find the bird. In 2016, the bird-watching group BW Galeatus was established in Borneo, and last October, two members captured a black and brown bird they didn't recognize. When the bird was confirmed as a black-browed babbler, ornithologist Panji Gusti Akbar told The New York Times, he felt "excitement, disbelief, and a lot of happiness." The bird was released back into the wild, and once COVID-19 travel restrictions are lifted, several experts plan on traveling to Borneo so they can learn more about the elusive species.
Cat rescued by an optician now helps kids get comfortable wearing glasses
Truffles is not your typical cat. Danielle Crull rescued Truffles in 2016, and with the help of treats, taught Truffles how to sit and give high fives. After seeing how quickly the cat picked up these tricks, Crull, an optician who owns a glasses dispensary for children in Pennsylvania, decided to teach Truffles how to wear spectacles. She figured it would help kids who were nervous about eye exams or wearing glasses feel more at ease, and Crull was right — they go from crying over trying on glasses to laughing hysterically when Truffles comes out wearing frames. "It's just like magic," Crull told Today. "As soon as the kids see her, they're like, 'Okay, glasses are amazing.'" Truffles — who has about 20 pairs of glasses and sunglasses — also wears eyepatches, to show solidarity with kids who need to use them to treat the eye condition amblyopia, and stars in videos on how to prepare for exams and care for eyewear.