The start of 2020 so far has been nothing short of a whirlwind , and families everywhere are gaining a new perspective on what is important in life: Each other.
Right now the news is an important source of information that can help protect our loved ones, but it can be hard to read too many news stories about the many problems we all face without seeing at least a few that reaffirm people and goodness.
We can honor what we have endured this year and carry hope for the future by recognizing the good things that are happening in a world dominated by "bad news" headlines.
Here are 7 "good news" stories keeping our hearts full this summer:
11-year-old boy gets scholarship after video of him dancing in the rain goes viral
Anthony Mmesoma Madu, an 11-year-old ballet dancer from Nigeria, was just offered a scholarship to one of the most distinguished ballet schools in the world after this video of him dancing in the rain went viral.
"A friend who lives in the UK sent me the video," Cynthia Harvey, the artistic director of the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of Dance in New York told the Cincinnati Enquirer . "Within a day, I was trying to find him."
Within two days she had tracked him down and offered him a full scholarship to ABT's virtual Young Dancer Summer Workshop, a three-week intensive program, and she also offered his ballet teacher at Leap of Dance Academy in Nigeria a spot in the National Training Curriculum. Leap of Dance Academy doesn't have a dedicated indoor dance spot, so Anthony and his classmates often practice outdoors.
The 11-year-old is pretty pumped about going viral and busting stereotypes.
"When people see ballet they think it is only for girls," he said. "How I want them to see me is when I am dancing, they know that there is a male ballet dancer. "
These 3 sisters gave birth on the same day, in the same hospital
These three sisters truly had a miracle birth as they all had their babies on the same day.
On July 3, sisters Daneesha Haynes, Ariel Williams and Ashley Haynes gave birth to their babies at Ohio Health Mansfield Hospital. Babies Emrie, Adrian and Sincere came into the world in the span of a couple of hours.
As if these women's sisterly connection isn't already strong enough, the sisters had a running joke that whoever gave birth first gets a free meal. Congrats to these three strong mamas who really put family first!
Ryan Reynolds helped reunite this woman with the teddy bear that holds her mom's voice
As reported by CNN , a teddy bear containing a late mother's voice was recently returned to a daughter in Vancouver.
Mara Soriano, who lost her mother after a battle with cancer in 2019, received the bear as a gift from her mom and was devastated when it was stolen from her U-Haul.
After reaching out on social media for help, the search caught the attention of big names like Ryan Reynolds, TV personality George Stromboulupous, and Kraft Peanut Butter. The trio eventually joined forces to create a $15,000 reward for the return of the bear.
On July 29th, the beat was returned to Soriano without a scratch.
"Every time I look at that bear now it's just a reminder that my mom really is with me always," said Soriano "that she'll always come back to me."
Viral photos from the Black Fatherhood Project show how strong Black fathers really are
Photographer Naisha Bailey-Johnson is changing the way America sees Black dads and eviscerating damaging stereotypes with her beautiful art.
"I really want people to just view our community in a different way," she said. "I'm protesting the narrative with my artwork."
The collection is called the Black Fatherhood Project, and its purpose is to dismantle the negative stereotypes surrounding Black men—especially those who are fathers.
The Today Show interviewed the photographer, and she shared the importance of imagery through pictures to show the power and positivity in Black fatherhood.
"I just want to spread positivity," she said. "We deserve respect. Let's put that out into the atmosphere."
OB-GYN who delivered this mom also delivered her baby
On July 26th, 2020, Lauren Cortez gave birth to her son Logan with the help of her OB-GYN Dr. Bryan Cox.
Dr. Cox was the same doctor who helped Cortez's mother deliver her over 25 years ago. The spectacular moment was in no way a coincidence, with Cortez saying how she reached out to Cox to be her doctor after hearing the 5-star-reviews from her mother.
"My mom always spoke to me about how caring he was," Cortez told TODAY Parents . "He builds a really strong connection with you where you feel like you're just hanging out with a friend."
After snapping a memorable pic of the new mom and her doctor, the picture blew up on Twitter with over 767,000 likes.
Little girl goes viral after hearing for the first time
On August 2, a young girl could hear for the first time after being deaf since birth.
4-year-old Mavis Malone, who was born deaf as a result of a rare condition, received cochlear implants in August and has now gained her hearing.
ABC News captured the moment that young Mavis could finally hear her mother's voice and her reaction was tears of joy.
The successful surgery was a blessing for Mavis's parents, and now the family can bask in the newfound ability that their daughter has.
This nurse in Beirut comforting 3 babies after explosion is our new hero
When photojournalist Bilal Jawich showed up at Lebanon's Al Roum hospital in the aftermath of a massive explosion that rocked the city , he found a hero in scrubs, holding three little babies.
She told him she'd been working in the maternity ward when the blast hit. She lost consciousness but when she regained it she just found herself carrying the three babies, like she'd saved them while on auto-pilot.
"I noticed the nurse's calm," Jawich told CNN, adding that there were injured people all around her.
"However, the nurse looked like she possessed a hidden force that gave her self-control and the ability to save those children," the experienced photojournalist explains. "People stand out amidst these violent and dark and evil circumstances and this nurse was up to the task."
The babies and their moms are now recovering in other hospitals.