19 Heartwarming Moments From 2019 That Will Make You Smile
Grab the tissues, and indulge in the best feel-good moments of 2019.
There's nothing like scrolling through social media and coming across a striking photo or a heartwarming story that makes you think, "Wow, maybe things aren't so bad!" It makes us grateful that the internet exists so we can share in someone else's magical moment, and have our faith in humanity restored. So, if you're looking to indulge in the best feel-good content from the last 12 months, look no further. To cap the year, here are the most heartwarming 2019 moments we've come across. We can almost guarantee that reading these stories will make you shed a tear or two, or at least put a bright smile on your face.
When this kindergarten class went to their classmate's adoption hearing
When Michael Clark Jr. headed to his adoption hearing, he knew it would be a day he would never forget. And, to make it even more special, he got to share it with his entire kindergarten class. Michael's teacher, Kerry McKee, first brought up the idea of inviting the whole class, and Michael was all for it, saying, "The class is kind of my family." As he sat at the Kent Country court house with his adoptive parents, Andrea Melvin and Dave Eaton, Michael's entire class was sitting supportively behind him, waving red hearts on wooden sticks.
When this dog "wrote" an adorable letter to neighbors that just wanted to be her friend
Any dog lover who lives in a building that doesn't allow pets knows how hard it can be—which is how four guys sharing an apartment in Bristol, England, felt. When they saw that their neighbors had a dog, they couldn't help but write to the owners, asking if they could hang out with the pooch sometime. But what the guys didn't expect is that they would get a reply—not from the owners, but from the dog herself! The adorable reply letter was addressed to "The Boys" and sealed with a paw print from Stevie Ticks.
"You're right that I am the bestest girl—how did you know??" she wrote. "I am very friendly and full of beans. I love meeting new people and it would be great if we could be friends. I must warn you that the price of my friendship is five ball throws a day and belly scritches whenever I demand them."
And it looks as if this was the start of a beautiful friendship between the boys and Stevie—which was documented by one of the four men, Jack McCrossan, on Twitter. McCrossan said that Stevie's response "was better than we could have ever hoped for."
When colorblind glasses helped a 12-year-old see color for the first time
The ability to see colors is something most people take for granted, but it was something 12-year-old Jonathan Jones never thought he'd get to do. As Jonathan was learning about his color blindness in class, his principal—Scott Hanson, who is also colorblind—let him borrow his special pair of colorblind glasses, which allow him to see the full spectrum of colors.
When Jonathan put the glasses on, it was a moment that touched everyone's hearts. He began to cry and marveled at the many shades of color on the periodic table hanging on the wall, as seen in a tear-jerking viral Twitter video. People around the world were so moved that they raised enough money to get Jonathan his own pair, which Jonathan's mother said had her "overwhelmed" by the "so many amazing people in this world who would help a young man they have never met."
When this elderly man went to Walmart to buy his wife's favorite things
Alesha Nemechek has watched as her 85-year-old grandfather, "Papa Joe," has struggled with a slipping memory recently. But when he asked her to take him to Walmart one day, she was all too happy to do it because "he shouldn't be driving" and it would "benefit [her] grandma to have the house to herself for a while."
However, she had no idea what her grandfather wanted from Walmart—that is, until she saw that everything he placed in the cart were things her grandmother, his wife of 60 years, loved.
"He got a bottle of her favorite soda, he carefully picked out a bag of her favorite grapes, he even bought her a small, lemon pie," Nemechek wrote. "My eyes welled with tears as I watched him hobble over to the fresh flowers and pick her the bouquet that had the most purple in it, and on our way home, he insisted we stop and grab a sandwich to take home for grandma's lunch!"
When this photo series featured children with Down syndrome dressed as Disney characters
Nicole Louise Perkins, a special needs teacher in Birmingham, England, knew she wanted to use her part-time photography work for good. In 2018, she created a photo series called "Down Right Beautiful," which featured children of all ages with Down syndrome, along with stories written by their parents about what it's like to have a child with Down syndrome. After that campaign became so successful, she was inspired to create her "Down With Disney" campaign this year, where she featured more babies and children with Down syndrome, this time dressed as characters from Disney movies.
"According to some estimates, the abortion rate in the U.K. for families that find out their baby would have Down syndrome is 90 percent, which I find heartbreaking. I'm around children with Down syndrome a lot of the time and, honestly, they make my life so much better," Perkins previously told Best Life. "Given that last year's project was so informative, I wanted to create something that was a bit more fun and more of a little celebration. I'm a huge Disney fan, so I thought this would be perfect."
When the police surprised a woman who had anonymously baked them cookies for years
The police department in Medford, Massachusetts couldn't let an anonymous good deed go unrewarded. Every once in a while, for years and years, a tray of homemade pizzelles—a traditional Italian waffle cookie—would suddenly appear on the main desk of their building, without any clue as to who the secret baker was. After the baker sent her daughter to deliver some of her garden tomatoes, however, they identified the anonymous woman as Antonietta Manganiello, who had "made the pizzelles to show her appreciation" for all their hard work.
The department decided to return the favor this year by surprising her at her home, offering her a bouquet of flowers and a trophy with her name on it to express their gratitude. And the viral video of the moment couldn't be sweeter, as Manganiello was clearly caught off-guard but delighted to be greeted by Chief Jack Buckley, while receiving a round of applause from the entire police department.
"For so many years, you think about us and deliver those pizzelles to us," Buckley told Manganiello, who had tears in her eyes. "We are so grateful for everything you've ever done for us. You did it out of your heart and kindness."
When Snow White comforted this six-year-old boy with autism in a truly magical way
When Lauren Bergner brought Brody, her six-year-old son with autism, to Disney World, she never expected the treatment he would receive. In the middle of taking photos with Snow White, Brody began to have a breakdown—not uncommon for children with autism—but luckily, Snow White was more than ready to be Brody's princess in shining armor.
"Snow White could tell Brody had special needs," Bergner wrote in a Facebook post. "She took him for a walk and got him time away from the crowd! This is true magic!"
When this assisted living facility created the most heartwarming "back-to-school" photos
During back-to-school season, parents like to take photos of their kids on their first day, holding up signs with their age, their interests, and more. Garden View Assisted Living in Carroll, Iowa, decided to put their own fun spin on the trend with back-to-school photos of their residents holding up white boards featuring their ages, the year they graduated, and their advice for students today. One resident, Marie, who coyly noted she graduated "many moons ago," wrote that she hopes that kids today "do the best [they] can and have fun doing it." What a sweetheart!
When this boyfriend built his partner a wall to display the mugs her ex had shamed her for
When Jodi Lyn Stanowick started dating Brad Davis after her divorce, she knew she had found a good one—but when they moved in together, he proved just how good of a partner he is. In a now-viral tweet, Jodi's daughter, Ana Stanowick, shared a photo of Davis as he put up a display shelf for Stanowick's mug collection. While her ex-husband used to criticize her for bringing home so many mugs, Davis built a ceiling-high shelf to display them.
"This picture was actually sent in my family group chat because my mom and her boyfriend just moved in together," the younger Stanowick previously told Best Life. "I thought it was so cute, so I wanted to post it for my friends to see … I thought they would enjoy seeing how happy she is with her boyfriend."
When Disney surprised a child who spent his savings to help Hurricane Dorian evacuees
Jermaine Bell had spent a year saving up money in the hopes of celebrating his seventh birthday at Walt Disney World in September. But when Hurricane Dorian hit, he took his savings and bought food and water for some of the storm's evacuees in Allendale, South Carolina. After his compassionate act made headlines, Disney surprised Jermaine at his birthday party to gift him and his family a VIP vacation to Disney World later that month.
"I was just super happy," Jermaine said of the surprise. "I'm really excited because I've wanted to go to Disney for a long time." Which just goes to show, "the more you give, the more you shall receive," the wise seven-year-old said.
When this elderly couple couldn't stop smooching during a photo shoot
London-based photographer Sujata Setia has been traveling around the world taking family photos for the last five years. During her time as a professional photographer, she's noticed that her photo shoots rarely include grandparents—something she now seeks to change by gifting photo shoots to elderly couples.
The couple featured above was the subject of a recent shoot on a beach in Ireland. The weather was less than ideal, but it didn't stop these two love birds from having a wonderful time.
"It was ridiculous weather that day—rain and thunderstorms, and the couple were freezing. But, boy, that lady would not stop kissing her husband," Setia previously told Best Life, even noting that she had to tell the woman to stop so she could take varied shots. "They were such an amazing couple and so inspiring. One day, they just sold their home and decided to travel the world in a camper van."
When these adorable toddlers reunited like they hadn't seen each other in months, even though it had only been two days
When New York City's cutest toddler duo, Maxwell and Finnegan, saw each other on the street after two days apart, they were unable to hide their excitement. Maxwell's father, Michael Cisneros, captured the two on video joyfully charging at one another to hug, looking like it'd been months since they'd seen each other. After he shared the video on Facebook, the internet was overcome with joy as well.
"When they are away from each other, they are always asking about one another," Cisneros told ABC News. It's just too cute!
When a groom released butterflies in honor of his late sister at his wedding, and they literally touched everyone
At his wedding, Max Van Gorder wanted to acknowledge his late sister who had passed away in a car accident, so he released butterflies in her honor during the ceremony. However, these butterflies didn't simply fly away; instead, they clung tightly to the family and stayed throughout the entire ceremony, making sure not to miss a single special moment.
"This same butterfly on [Max's father's] finger stayed there the entire ceremony and then flew on to the bride's bouquet. Lydia, the bride, even walked down the aisle with two on her dress," their wedding photographer, Jessica Manns, recalled in a Facebook post. "Then a few hours later during the speeches, another butterfly somehow got inside the barn and landed on Lydia's neck and remained there for all the speeches." This entire endeavor was made all the more special by the fact that Max's late sister's name was Vanessa, which comes from the Greek for "butterfly."
When this eight-year-old student comforted his classmate with autism on the first day of school
The first day of school can be hard for any child, but it can be especially difficult for a child with autism, like Connor Crites. After being dropped off at school, the eight-year-old boy broke down in tears. But as soon as classmate Christian Moore saw what was happening, he went over to Connor and grabbed his hand to comfort him.
"I'm so proud of my son," Christian's mother, Courtney Moore, posted on Facebook after capturing the heartwarming moment. "It is an honor to raise such a loving, compassionate child!" Since the encounter, both Christian and Connor (and their mothers) have become friends, which makes this sweet story even better.
When this couple didn't let a New York City blackout ruin their wedding
Craig Silverstein and Amy Rosenthal were in the middle of their wedding ceremony at New York City's Plaza Hotel on July 13th when all the lights suddenly went out, the result of a blackout affecting most of Manhattan. Some may have chosen to call the ceremony off on account of the darkness, but not these newlyweds. They carried on, reciting their vows to a sea of guests who held up their smartphones for light. As they took the wedding festivities to a nightclub, the bride's brother managed to capture this magical photo of the couple embracing in front of the darkened hotel.
When this deer adorably photobombed this couple's wedding photos
The bouquet toss tradition took a turn at Morgan and Luke Mackley's wedding at The Felt Estate in Saugatuck, Michigan. During a photo shoot, a deer simply strutted over and took the bride's flowers, ensuring he'd be the next one to walk down the aisle.
"Morgan really wanted the post-ceremony wedding photos to take place in a field near the reception, so we walked over there after dinner," photographer Laurenda Bennett previously told Best Life. "The deer was grazing in the field, and, as soon as it saw us, it walked right over and stepped over this little white fence and started grabbing individual flowers from the bouquet."
When this teen dressed up in costumes every day to greet his little brother after school
Noah Tingle, a high school senior from Louisiana, realized he might not get to be around his little brother, Max, after graduation, so he made it his mission to do something to savor their time together. That's when he decided to start greeting Max at the bus stop after school every day in a new, ridiculous costume.
"He's my best friend," Noah previously told Best Life of Max. "I wanted to embarrass him and make some memories." From Santa to Godzilla, all of the costumes have been documented on a Facebook page their mother created called The Bus Brother. Noah said he plans to continue the tradition for as long as possible, and strangers have even started to send and donate costumes for him to don.
When this teacher penned a letter to the tooth fairy on behalf of her student who accidentally threw her tooth away
When first grader Lily Sciulli lost her tooth at school, she was excited to hand it over to the tooth fairy that night to claim her reward. But when she accidentally threw out the tooth at lunch, she was devastated.
Luckily, her first grade teacher, Laura Roth, was there to save the day, penning a letter to the tooth fairy about the situation on Lily's behalf. "Dear Tooth Fairy," Roth wrote. "I can confirm with full confidence and authority that Lily lost her tooth at school today … Please take this note as proof of tooth loss. If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out to me at any time!"
Lily placed the note under her pillow that night, and she happily awoke to a handwritten response from the tooth fairy and two dollars.
When police granted this woman's dying wish by arresting her
Not many people have a smile on their face when they're escorted away in handcuffs—but for Josie Birds of Manchester, England, getting arrested was a dream come true. "She is 93 years old and her health is failing, and she wanted to be arrested for something before it's too late," Birds' granddaughter, Pam Smith, wrote in a viral tweet.
The Greater Manchester Police Department went out of their way to fulfill Birds' wish with a mock arrest. "She has a heart of gold and thoroughly enjoyed it," Smith added.