I think we can all agree that 2020 has been quite the year. I’m talking garbage trash fire kind of year. Amidst the devastating news, exposed issues, and various crises, we could all do with a dose of positivity. So I’ve gathered a number of heartwarming, wholesome, good news that’s happened this year.

1. Tattletales from Tanqueray

 

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2.A post shared by Humans of New York (@humansofny)

Brandon Stanton, the founder of Humans of New York, caused quite a stir when he shared Tanqueray’s story, where she talks about her experience as a stripper in the sixties.  After their initial meeting, Tanqueray (real name Stephanie) shared her life story with Stanton, who planned to turn her tale into a podcast. But when Stephanie’s health worsened, he shared her stories over a 32-post series named “Tattletales from Tanqueray”, to raise money for her care and trust. Let me tell you; her story has some TEA. Between wayward presidents, lost loves, and flirty celebrities, her intriguing tales delve into the intricacies of New York City’s nightclub scene. Fans rallied around her stories and raised 2.65 million dollars for her trust. Although the fundraising campaign is over, I encourage you to read her story; it’s truly remarkable. 

2. Tabitha Brown serving us wholesome content

Amid the chaos that was 2020, Tabitha Brown has been blessing our feeds with her online presence documenting her journey on a plant-based diet. From her quirky Tik Toks to her uplifting videos, Brown’s mission to spread love and light has certainly been one of the brighter parts of the year. We stan a joyful queen, and that’s our business.

3. Goats about town

As lockdown has kept many indoors, some animals have taken the opportunity to explore the undisturbed outdoors. In the town of Llandudno, Wales, the goats have taken it upon themselves to roam the streets. Want to see more of the frolicking fuzzies? Check out this thread.

4. A legend playing this uplifting song…

Yo-Yo Ma, the legendary cellist, released a new album with British pianist Kathryn Scott, titled ‘Songs of Comfort and Hope’. The album was inspired by the cellist’s quarantine performances; using the hashtag #SongsofComfort, he tweeted clips of himself playing a collection of popular songs and new tunes in a bid to uplift people during anxious times. With his uplifting tunes, Ma reached millions of people. I don’t know about you, but watching these musicians peacefully do their thing certainly puts a smile on my face.

5. Dancing in the streets

The Dance Theater of Harlem went viral earlier this year when they posted a video, showing beautiful ballerinas leaping through the streets of New York. Created for Harlem Week and the African American Day parade, the choreography features eight of the company members. Five minutes of perfection, if you ask me.

6. … and around the city

Likewise, a violinist and a ballerina decided to take advantage of Amsterdam’s empty streets. They collaborated to make a beautiful video to spread hope to others through their art. So beautiful.

7. An adorable stowaway

A saw-whet owl is being held by a worker wearing a lime green hoodie
[A saw-whet owl is being held by a worker wearing a lime green hoodie], via Reuters
When workers were transporting the Rockefeller City Christmas Tree for its annual stint, they found a stowaway— a saw-whet owl. The feathered friend, now named Rockefeller, was taken to a wildlife shelter and has now been released into the wild. After the dismal comments about the state of this year’s tree, this little cutie certainly brightened things up.

8. Senior Socials

An old man and woman standing together in front of green foliage
[An old man and woman standing together in front of green foliage]
Since lockdown began, many seniors have found themselves unable to connect with friends and family. To combat this social isolation, various programs have been started to connect seniors with volunteers on the phone. For many seniors, these calls have been a ray of light in their lonely communities. Just imagine all the wholesome conversations being had!

9. A lonely elephant is lonely no more

Kaavan the elephant's trunk, touching the trunk of another elephant
[Kaavan the elephant’s trunk, touching the trunk of another elephant], via Four Paws
Kaavan, also known as the world’s loneliest elephant, has finally made a new friend. After decades spent living alone in poor conditions, the elephant was transported to Cambodia’s wildlife sanctuary, where he’ll spend the rest of his days roaming around in a freer space, with other elephants to keep him company.

10. A new take on album art

Residents of Sydmar Care Home found some creative ways to have fun during the lockdown. Their activities manager, Robert Speker organized an activity where the residents posed for photos to recreate classic album covers. Each picture even had a personal touch for the resident, and the caretakers too part as well. The fun pictures went viral, to an overwhelmingly positive response from people. From Adele to Bowie, these seniors sure know how to have a good time.

11. Reindeer contemplating nature

If you’re struggling with deciding whether to focus on the beautiful sky or the beautiful reindeer, I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone.

12. Dwayne Wade’s reaction to a proposal

 

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A post shared by SportsCenter (@sportscenter)

This couple in the middle of an adorable engagement got quite the surprise when an unsuspecting guest strolled by— former NBA superstar Dwayne Wade. After walking by, he joined in on some of their photos and congratulated them on social media.  Dwayne Wade’s reaction is the literal definition of wholesome.

13. These students planning a sweet surprise

@vizzywapduring these tough times it’s important to show extra appreciation! #fyp #foryoupage #zoom #dontletthisflop #college #covid #professor #thankyou♬ original sound – James Blake

The pandemic has certainly had an impact on education, with many schools opting for virtual programs. Teachers have been a large part of helping students adapt to the new learning modes. So after a semester of teaching students virtually, this class planned a sweet way to thank their teacher. Because not all heroes wear capes.

14. Time Magazine named its first ‘Kid of the Year’

Gutanjali Rao wearing a lab coat and sitting on a white cube
[Gutanjali Rao wearing a lab coat and sitting on a white cube], via Sharif Hamza for TIME
In a partnership with Nickolodeon, Time Magazine awarded its first prize from a pool of 5000 young leaders and changemakers. The winner, Gitanjali Rao, is a fifteen-year-old scientist and inventor whose work spans from combatting cyberbullying to detecting water pollution. She hopes to create a global community of young creators who will change the world. This young queen is certainly going places!

15. Italians making the best of lockdown

Earlier this year, when Italy went on lockdown, its citizens still found a way to connect joyfully with each other—through music. Neighbors turned their balconies and rooftops into concert venues, serenading others with ballads or belting out songs together. All over the country, people used the power of music to lift spirits and stay connected.

16. The first IVF cheetah cubs were born

A cheetah cub
[A cheetah cub], via Grahm S. Jones.
These cheetahs aren’t only special because they’re so adorable. They are also the first cubs successfully born via IVF. This is seen as a breakthrough for the scientific community, especially because this is the third attempt, but first success. Cheetahs have been classified as a vulnerable species, but due to habitat destruction, hunting, and other conflicts, they are nearing endangerment. This development could potentially pave the way to help the cheetah population.

17. A sweet chain reaction

The back of a car with bright tail lights going through a drive-trhu
[The back of a car with bright tail lights going through a drive-thru, via Erik Mclean on Pexels
Earlier this week, a customer at a Dairy Queen drive-through decided to pay for the customer behind him. This kind act sparked a chain of giving, where over 900 cars chose to pay for the customers behind them. People found out about what was happening and started visiting that particularly Dairy Queen just to keep the chain going.

18. The adventures of Sapphire the fairy

This heartwarming thread by photographer Kelly Victoria went viral, and for good reason. On a stroll one day, Kelly came across a fairy garden set up by a four-year-old wanting to spread some cheer. So Kelly wrote the little girl a letter, pretending to be a fairy named Sapphire. And thus began a regular correspondence that boomed into a magical friendship. This wholesome interaction is truly definitely the stuff of fairytales.

19. Good vibes

@420doggface208Morning vibe #420souljahz #ec #feelinggood #h2o #cloud9 #happyhippie #worldpeace #king #peaceup #merch #tacos #waterislife #high #morning #710 #cloud9♬ Dreams (2004 Remaster) – Fleetwood Mac

Tik Tok star Nathan Apodaca, aka Doggface, started a wave on the Internet when he posted this clip of his commute to work after his car broke down. The video went viral, starting a trend where others grabbed their skateboards and a bottle of Ocean Spray Cranberry juice. It even caught the attention of Ocean Spray’s CEO and Fleetwood Mac’s co-founder. But the good vibes didn’t stop there. Ocean Spray provided Apodaca with a new truck, filled with cranberry juice. And after fans discovered he was living in an RV, they pooled enough donations for him to put a down payment on a house.

20. This generous artist

Many artists have been negatively impacted by this year’s pandemic, which has caused a lot of independent artists to lose their income. So one artist decided to do something about it. NYC-based painter Guy Stanley Philoche spent 65,000 dollars buying over 150 works of art from friends and strangers. Artists supporting artists—we love to see it.

21. And finally, a great way to start the morning

Multi-instrumentalist Acoustic Trench and his trusty sidekick Maple have been responsible for a lot of YouTube’s most wholesome videos. In this one, he plays the kalimba while his adorable pup wanders through a field. These vibes are on point.

2020 has certainly been a challenging year, but through it, there have been some uplifting moments of kindness; between strangers and friends alike. Through the turbulent times, I hope we can all find reasons to smile.

 

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  • Simi Segun

    Nigerian by origin and global by hearth, Simi Segun is a curious writer who wants to make the world of storytelling a more nuanced place. When she’s not scribbling something down, she can be found loosely following new recipes or staring out of a window somewhere.

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