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The 15 Best Feel-Good Stories of 2017

These moments hit us right in the feels.

There has been more than enough bad news to go around in 2017. Fortunately, amid all the negativity, there's a silver lining. Around the globe, people are doing kind deeds for one another, proving there's still plenty of good left in the world. From people helping their neighbors out of life-threatening situations to strangers on the internet banding together to give gifts, these feel-good stories are sure to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. And when you're in the mood for a well-deserved laugh, treat yourself to the 20 Memes That Perfectly Capture 2017!

Woman Changes Homeless Man's Life

Kate McClure GoFundMe

When Kate McClure's car ran out of gas in Philadelphia, homeless Marine Corps veteran Johnny Bobbitt rushed to her aid. With his last $20, he helped her gas up her car so she could return home. Moved by his act of kindness, McClure set up a GoFundMe with the hopes of securing $10,000 to get Bobbitt back on his feet. However, donations began to pour in from around the world and the campaign has since earned over $397,000 that will help Bobbitt secure a permanent living space, a car, and other necessities. And for more feel-good stories, read about the time Mark Hamill performed a touching gesture for one super Star Wars fan. 

11-Year-Old Girl Invents Lead Detector

Kitchen sink

After hearing about the lead crisis in Flint, Michigan, 11-year-old Gitanjali Rao of Lone Tree, Colorado knew she had to do something. Instead of donating her allowance to the cause, Rao donated her impressive aptitude for science. Rao created a device that can detect lead in water, potentially saving millions of lives in the future.

Homeless Man Saves Children From Burning Building

Putting out fire

When Anival Angulo, a homeless man in Las Vegas, saw a local apartment catch fire, he didn't think twice about running inside. Upon entry, Angulo found two small children, a 3-year-old and a 10-month-old, and rushed both to safety, risking his own life in the process.

Grieving Grandpa Buys 2-Year-Old Toys

Man giving cash tip

While many parents give the side-eye to strangers expressing interest in their kids, Arkansas mom Alyssa Hacker found herself pleasantly surprised when an older man started talking to her toddler son in Target. As it turned out, the man had recently lost a grandchild around the same age. Brought to tears by seeing the boy, he gave Hacker and her son $20 to buy some dinosaur toys.

Member of Australian Parliament Proposes to Partner During House Hearing

Wedding rings

The debate over the legalization of same-sex marriage in Australia got a lot more poignant on Monday, December 4th. During his impassioned speech for the passing of a bill that would allow same-sex couples to wed, Tim Wilson, a member of Australian Parliament, proposed to his partner, Ryan Bolger, who was sitting in the balcony. Bolger, with an ear-to-ear grin on his face, accepted. And if you're thinking of popping the question sometime soon, know the best engagement ring for every budget. 

Philadelphia Man Offers Homeless People Haircuts


Helping homeless people regain some sense of self was at the heart of Brennon Jones' mission when he started Haircuts 4 Homeless in his native Philadelphia. Jones' mission so touched fellow barber Sean Johnson, owner of Taper's Barber Shop, that he donated a space to the 29-year-old do-gooder, providing Haircuts 4 Homeless a permanent home.

Officer Buys Alleged Shoplifter Diapers

While we often hear about the negative side of law enforcement, Officer Johns of the Laurel, Maryland police force may have restored some faith to his community. The rookie officer responded to a call at a supermarket, where a woman was reportedly trying to shoplift diapers. Instead of simply arresting her, Officer Johns purchased the diapers for her.

Crowd Turns Out For WWII Vet's Funeral

American flag

When 90-year-old Gordon Hale, a WWII vet with no living relatives passed away in Grand Haven, Michigan, the staff at the nursing home where had lived stepped in. After news of his funeral was posted to social media, more than 150 people showed up to pay their respects.

Man Spends $10K Paying Off Layaway Toys

Buying presents

Christmas miracles do happen—just ask some lucky folks in New Jersey. A local man, known only as Charlie K, scooped up $10,780 worth of layaway items at the Cherry Hill Toys"R"Us, giving some lucky parents a little extra pocket change this holiday season—and making Christmas a whole lot brighter for their kids. If you want to make this holiday special for someone in your life, pick one of these 100 gifts for the person who has everything.

Young Boy With Cancer Gets Thousands of Halloween Cards

Brock Chadwick, a seven-year-old from Biddeford Maine, was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a rare form of brain cancer, in early 2017. To lift his spirits, his family organized a small drive of Halloween cards. However, word got out about Brock's wish. Thousands of people around the world turned out to celebrate Brocktoberfest, sending cards and gifts.

Little Boy Raises Money For Hurricane Harvey With Lemonade


For most little kids, a lemonade stand is a good way to earn a few extra bucks. However, for five-year-old Jett, his lemonade stand had a higher purpose: to raise money for charity. Through his determination (and a killer recipe), the pint-sized philanthropist raised over $400 for Hurricane Harvey relief.

Disabled Man Gets Flood of Tonka Trucks

Tonka Trucks

Redditor aishavoya had one simple wish for the holidays: to get her brother, Max, a Tonka truck for Christmas. Max, a 25-year-old with cognitive and physical disabilities, is very picky about his trucks. So, his sister turned to Reddit, prompting a mass hunt for the discontinued model he favors. Fortunately, both kind-hearted Redditors and Tonka came through, sending a flood of trucks to Max for the holidays.

Astronauts Get Space Pizza

Pizza slices

When Paolo Nespoli, an astronaut on the International Space Station, made it clear that space has few good pizzerias, his bosses did the best to help. Paolo and his pals on the ISS were sent supplies to make their own. The crew enjoyed a zero-G pizza night together, which they happily documented on social media.

Radio Station Donates 2.2 Million Meals

Soup ladle

Philadelphia radio station 93.3 WMMR wanted to make it clear to their fans that they do more than spin records. In an attempt to do right by their community, the radio station hosted a fundraising drive, gathering 1,679,823 pounds of food and $272,683 for Philabundance, a local non-profit food bank. This act of generosity meant that 2.2 million meals could be served to those at risk of going hungry.

Teens Collect 300 Cases of Water For Senior Citizens in Flint

Teenagers often get a bad rep, but the Dream Kings, a group of 45 Detroit high school students, might just change that forever. These community-minded kids wanted to make sure that senior citizens in nearby Flint, affected by a lead poisoning crisis, still had clean water to drink. The Dream Kings then gathered 300 cases of water and brought them personally to Flint senior centers. And if that's not enough to make you smile, brighten your day with the 70 Genius Tricks to Get Instantly Happy!

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Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more
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