From natural disasters to horrifying stories of sexual harassment to President Trump (no explanation needed), there’s been no shortage of things to feel depressed about in 2017. But while taking action and getting involved to make 2018 a better year is important, it’s also important to look for moments that can make us feel grateful and hopeful in times of darkness.
It wasn’t all bad news in 2017 and we’re here to prove it.
1. When a man removed hateful graffiti for free
After seeing racist and hateful graffiti in Montreal, a man decided to donate his time and resources to remove the graffiti for free. He hopes to begin removing similar types of graffiti across Canada.
2. When a dad’s Instagram went viral
Thanks to the help of his daughter, frequent traveller and hotel carpet enthusiast Bill Young got to see his niche Instagram account go viral. Telling her followers that her dad wanted to go viral for Christmas, word quickly spread and Bill’s followers jumped from 86 to 656,000 and counting. Those are some nice carpets.
3. When an adorable friendship between a dog and cat went viral
Avid hiker Cynthia Bennett decided to adopt her dog Henry in 2014 and this year added a cat to her home. Surprisingly, the outdoorsy new brother and sister not only got along, but are now inseparable. If a dog and cat can be besties surely the rest of us can find peace.
4. When a little girl danced like no one was watching
Possibly taking her cue from Taylor Swift at every award show, six-year-old Loren used her school concert to teach the rest of us stuffy adults a lesson; life is too short to not dance whenever you feel like it. You go, Loren.
5. When a couple in love after 80 years of marriage celebrated their anniversary
They say the first year of marriage is the toughest, but what about the other 79? Now in their 100s (you read that correctly), Arthur and Marcia Jacobs celebrated their 80th wedding anniversary and are still in love. Chalk one up for true love.
6. When Sesame Street became more inclusive
7. When a stranger delivered dolls with hijabs
When Sheza Hasan found a box on her porch outside her Milton home, she was shocked to find that inside were hand made dolls all wearing hijabs. An anonymous stranger made the dolls for Hasan and asked her to hand them out to children who never got to see dolls that looked like them.
8. When bus drivers were the heroes we needed
In the UK, a bus driver saw a young girl crying and pulled over to check on her. After finding out she had missed her bus and was going to be late for the first day of school, he called her a cab and waited with her, paying the fare and ensuring she would be on time. In Ottawa, a driver overheard a man calling a woman wearing a niqab a ‘terrorist’ and stopped the bus, telling the man to either get off or wait for security. No surprise, he left the bus. Another Ottawa bus driver was commended after seeing a half-naked woman standing on the side of the road at 1 am. He pulled over and spoke to the woman, learning she had been assaulted. The driver brought the woman on the bus and suspended service until police arrived to help. Hail to the bus driver(s).
9. When parents helped one another
When a pregnant woman on a flight tried to comfort her crying toddler, another passenger, who told her he was a parent as well, offered to hold her child so she could get some rest.
10. When Hurricane Harvey brought out the best in people
Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston this year and left many dead and homeless in its path. While the state of Texas continues trying to heal, we continue to be moved by the incredible acts of bravery and selflessness exhibited by so many of its residents who did whatever they could to help others.
— ABC13 Houston (@abc13houston) August 30, 2017
11. When a Winnipeg bride turned her cancelled wedding into a wonderful story
After Hannah Pratt cancelled her wedding in March, she listed her $1,300 wedding dress on Kijiji for free to the most deserving bride in exchange for paying it forward. Pratt eventually donated her dress to a woman who is now clean after a decade of drug addiction. Pratt’s story inspired other brides to donate their dresses to deserving brides, with 14 dresses and counting already donated.
— CTV Winnipeg (@ctvwinnipeg) August 29, 2017
12. When a Toronto cop gave a shoplifter a second chance
When police in Toronto responded to a man shoplifting at Wal Mart, the suspect they found was an 18-year-old stealing clothes for a job interview. Rather than arrest the man, the police purchased his clothes for him and wished him good luck on his interview.
— CTV Toronto (@CTVToronto) August 7, 2017
13. When a groom gave his bride a beautiful gift
A groom surprised his bride by flying in the man who received her son’s heart transplant. The recipient stood in a as a groomsman after the bride got to hear her late son’s heart beating in his chest.
14. When a mom and a pup received honorary degrees
In Colorado, a mom received an honorary degree for helping her paralyzed son get to his college classes every day. Her son arranged for his mom to be surprised when she wheeled him across the stage to receive his diploma. In Calgary, a different kind of helper also received some educational kudos. Tiana Knight received her law degree from the University of Calgary and her guide dog Cashmere also received a Juris ‘Dogtor’ degree.
15. When a Toronto charity helped the homeless do their laundry
A new charity called Clean Break T.O. is holding monthly events for homeless people so they don’t have to choose between eating and clean clothes. With Clean Break T.O., local homeless people can do their laundry for free and receive snacks and gently worn clothing while they wait.
16. When a video of baby who loves being unswaddled was the cutest thing ever
What’s even better than a video of a super cute baby being unswaddled? A compilation video set to the perfect songs.
17. When a divorced dad taught his sons how to be men
When a divorced dad bought flowers, and made breakfast for his ex-wife on her birthday, many friends questioned his actions. His perfect response was that he was teaching his young sons by example and that means treating their mother with love and respect so his sons will know how to treat women.
18. When a Montreal restaurant made sure no one leaves hungry
The Marché Ferdous restaurant in Montreal posted a sign outside their door this year offering free food to anyone who couldn’t afford to pay for their meal. One customer tested the restaurant’s offer and told the owner they didn’t have any money. The owner told the customer it was no problem let them pick out whatever food and drink they wanted for free.
19. When a WestJet pilot bought food for a competing airline’s passengers
When passengers on an Air Canada flight were grounded for the evening in Fredericton, they were told it was too late to order food in the airport. A WestJet pilot stepped in and ordered pizza for all the stranded passengers.
Here’s hoping for an even better 2018!