The week's good news: June 3, 2021
It wasn't all bad!
NASA to send 2 missions to Venus
It's Venus' time to shine. On Wednesday, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson announced that the space agency will send two missions to the planet: One to study its atmosphere and another to map its topography, The Washington Post reports. Both missions will study "how Venus became an inferno-like world capable of melting lead at the surface," Nelson said, adding, "We hope these missions will further our understanding of how Earth evolved and why it's habitable when others in our solar system are not." NASA scientist Tom Wagner told the Post it is "astounding how little we know about Venus, but the combined results of these missions will tell us about the planet from the clouds in its sky through the volcanoes in its surface all the way down to its very core. It will be as if we rediscovered the planet." It's been more than 30 years since NASA last sent a probe to Venus.
California couple hid cash in baby products to surprise new parents
Newborns are expensive, and no one knows this more than Krystal and Patrick Duhaney, a husband and wife living in Southern California who have an 8 year old, a 5 year old, and a baby on the way. It hasn't been that long since they welcomed their first child, but Krystal told Today Parents that during a trip to Target, they were surprised by the high prices of baby necessities. "We recalled how hard it was for us as new parents to afford some of the basics," Krystal said. "And we could imagine how difficult it must be during this pandemic." Wanting to help others who might need a boost, Krystal and Patrick tucked cash into diaper boxes and under formula lids (never breaking any seals or tampering with the product), hiding $1,000 in three Targets near their home. Krystal said it was important to let "other parents who may be feeling alone to know someone out there cares about them."
Manager's act of kindness helps homeless man find a job
It was a chain reaction — had a stranger not purchased a $100 gift card to an Outback Steakhouse in Fort Worth, Kenneth Smith might never have met managing partner Laura Hodges, who became his friend, mentor, and boss. Smith became homeless after being evicted from his apartment, and earlier this year, he fell asleep outside of the Outback. A woman leaving the restaurant gave him a gift card, and told Smith to enjoy dinner. Inside, he met Hodges, and she invited him to come in whenever he needed something to eat. Over the next few months, they formed a friendship, and after Smith asked if he could do odd jobs around the restaurant, Hodges extended a full-time job offer. Smith accepted, becoming a busser. "I was so happy, I couldn't believe it," he told Good Morning America. "I feel good knowing that I have a job, knowing that I can smile, knowing that I can do good things."
Teacher gives student the shoes off his feet to make sure he can attend graduation ceremony
When Daverius Peters learned he wasn't wearing approved footwear for graduation, his mentor John Butler stepped up and saved the day, giving him the shoes off his feet. "It was a no-brainer," Butler told The Washington Post. "This was the most important moment in his life up to that point, and I wasn't going to let him miss it for anything." They don't wear the same size, and Butler said they laughed over the way Peters shuffled in the larger shoes. Peters wasn't surprised by Butler's offer, because he's "that type of person. At school, if you're having a bad day, he'll be the one to take you out of class, walk around the school with you, and talk to you." Butler will meet with administrators to go over the dress code and guidelines for future graduations, because something as small as the type of shoe worn to the event "shouldn't rob a kid from experiencing this major moment," he told the Post.
Man finds 2.2-carat diamond while mining for engagement ring materials
Christian Liden already struck gold, and in May, he found the diamond necessary to finish a ring for his fiancée. Liden knew he wanted to design a ring for his bride-to-be using materials he mined. Over the last five years, Liden has panned for gold, and after discovering enough to create a band, he moved on to the diamond. He traveled from his home in Washington to Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas, and on day three of his visit, after an hour of searching, he found a triangular stone. "I saw it shining as soon as I turned the screen over and immediately knew it was a diamond," Liden said in a news release. The stone was a 2.2-carat, one-of-a-kind yellow diamond. Liden isn't done yet — on his way back home, he stopped in Nevada to mine for opals, as he wants to create another ring for his fiancée with various stones he found during his mining adventure.