7 good news stories from around the world to end your week

May 8 2020, 5:00 am

Sometimes catching up on daily news can be a daunting task. With a multitude of fear-inducing headlines, it’s enough to make anyone feel discouraged.

While staying informed on both local and international news is necessary, it’s essential to remind ourselves that it’s not all bad in this world.

To assure you that all is not doom and gloom, we’ve rounded up a few good news stories from around the world that are sure to put a smile on your face.

Celebrities are reading Harry Potter aloud for fans online

Get whisked away to the land of witches and wizards with some of your favourite celebrities. That’s right, famous friends of the Wizarding World are coming together to read all 17 chapters of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone/Sorcerer’s Stone, much to the delight of audiences around the world. Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe, along with Stephen Fry, David Beckham, Dakota Fanning, Claudia Kim, Noma Dumezweni, and Eddie Redmayne are among those who will read the story aloud in videos and on curated Spotify playlists. Appropriately, Radcliffe is starting things off by reading chapter one of the book entitled, “The Boy Who Lived.” The initiative is part of a more extensive program created by J.K. Rowling called Harry Potter at Home, which brings the magic of the stories right into fans’ homes through various reading materials and activities.

These women are finding fun in their social distancing meetups

In a tweet posted by Twitter user Miss S, users can see what appears to be a woman wearing a slightly terrifying mask resembling the head of a pig. While the pig mask may give some of us some unfavourable flashbacks to Jigsaw from the Saw movie franchise, Miss S’s explanation behind it is much more fun-loving. According to the tweet, her grandmother’s best friend lives at the end of the garden. Thus, to be able to see one another, they open their adjoining gate and take chairs to sit and talk to each other, maintaining a safe distance and wearing masks. “It was today I found out that this is the mask my Nan has been wearing,” she explains. We commend her grandmother for poking fun and having a laugh with her physical distancing meeting. In times like these, you have to learn to find the humour in things.

Canadian students are taking prom online in support of a good cause

 

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High school graduates across Canada are coming together to enjoy one of the most important events of their senior year, prom. While they may not be able to participate in a conventional sense, this generation is no stranger to digital media. Thus, they’re taking prom online. The national livestreamed event, #PromIsOn2020, is being organized by a national committee composed of 36 student leaders representing every province and territory across Canada. During the digital dance, grads will dress to impress, meet other students from across the country, and dance to a live DJ set put on by Juno award-winning artist Loud Luxury. Rumour has it there may also be some additional special guests announced soon. To ensure that it is a night to remember, the student committee is also collaborating with Student Life Network, the largest online network of students in Canada. The combined effort is to raise funds and mental health awareness for Kids Help Phone, a 24/hour e-mental health service that provides free, confidential services to young Canadians. “For every student that Tik Toks, promposals on Instagram or joins #PromIsOn2020 live on May 22, a donation will be made to Kids Help Phone,” an official press release for the event explains.

Two siblings in the UK are creating thank-you bags for healthcare workers

Ella and Cameron Fisher from Newmarket, England, aged 12 and 10, respectively, are giving back to the fantastic workers operating within the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK. They are creating surprise bags full of “treats and goodies” so that when life returns to normal, they can visit hospitals and surprise workers with these wonderful gifts. The pair are creating the bags to express their sincere gratitude for all the work that these healthcare workers have done and continue to do to keep everyone safe and healthy. They started a GoFundMe page to raise funds for the bags’ various contents with a goal of £250 (CAD $432). Since its creation, the page has raised more than quadruple times the original goal. Additionally, it has caught the attention of multiple local businesses who have donated supplies for the cause. They delivered their first surprise bags off on Wednesday, May 6.

A Game of Thrones actor has taken a job as a grocery delivery driver to bring food to those in quarantine

In times like these, we should all do our part to help one another. Michael Condron, an actor well-known for playing Bowen Marsh, First Steward at Castle Black, in the HBO hit series Game of Thrones, recently revealed that he had started a position as a grocery delivery driver for British supermarket retailer Asda. In a tweet posted on April 20, Condron recounts an exchange that he had with a woman by the name of Ms. Wang for his last delivery of the night, describing her as “possibly the nicest woman [he’s] ever met.” According to the tweet, Wang told Condron how grateful she was for what he and other delivery drivers were doing and gifted him with a “handful of masks” because “what [they’re] doing is a dangerous job.” We agree. Kudos to all of the selfless essential workers, Condron included, who are keeping communities safe and equipped with necessary supplies. You are the true heroes.

This talented artist is creating balloon art for essential workers in New Jersey

 

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Eddie Lin of Edison, New Jersey, USA, is a special needs young adult on the autism spectrum. When he was 10-years-old, he discovered a passion for balloon art that grew into an “expressive passion” and admirable talent. He turned this creative outlet into a successful YouTube channel and business called “Ausome Balloon Creator.” Before you ask, no, it is not a typo. According to his Facebook page, “ausome” is a play on words and “stands for Eddie’s autistic trait, only one of his many unique qualities.” Now, Lin has been using his skills to honour the essential workers of New Jersey. He is taking requests from family members of essential workers to create custom balloon art for their loved ones. Lin has created balloon art depicting doctors, nurses, a mailman and a US Postal Service truck. But his talents don’t stop there. To see more of his outstanding and beautiful creations, check out Lin’s Facebook and Instagram.

This Lord of the Rings actor is hosting a live reading of The Hobbit for charity

 

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Known as the actor who portrayed the character of Gollum in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film anthologies, Andy Serkis is raising money for coronavirus relief in a creative and entertaining way. The actor will be reading The Hobbit, cover to cover, on Friday, May 8, starting at 5 am EDT (2 am PDT). “While times are tough, I want to take you on one of the greatest fantasy adventures ever written, a 12-hour armchair marathon across Middle Earth,” Serkis wrote on his GoFundMe page dedicated to the event. The initiative will raise money for two UK-based charities, Best Beginnings and NHS Charities Together. Best Beginnings is an organization that provides pandemic support to infants, toddlers, pregnant families and new parents while also working to reduce inequalities. NHS Charities Together is an umbrella organization that encompasses all official charities associated with the National Health Service (NHS). According to the GoFundMe, of the £100,000 (CAD $172,945) goal, the page has already raised £74,221 (CAD $128,358). Serkis will provide the link to the livestream on his GoFundMe for viewers to follow along with what he is calling a Hobbitathon. Social media users are encouraged to use the hashtag #Hobbitathon to promote this epic literary adventure.

Do you know a local Good Samaritan? Send in your stories, photos, or videos of positive things you see in your community to [email protected]