Heartwarming highlights from 2019: moments of grit, generosity and kindness

by Editorial Team

With all the shootings, tweet storms, antagonism and mayhem that seem to characterize these times, it’s easy to forget that underneath it all, most people are actually good to each other. Others rise above their flaws and day-to-day petty squabbles to perform heroic acts. Still others among us exhibit inspiring amounts of empathy.

Here are 10 uplifting, sometimes poignant, moments from the past year, showing what is possible with even a small amount of grit, generosity and kindness.

Boy invited entire kindergarten class to his adoption hearing

It was annual Adoption Day in Kent County, Michigan, and kindergarten student Michael Clark Jr. wanted everyone to see him become part of a family. So as his adoption was finalized, his classmates could be seen behind him, clutching paper hearts. He was one of 37 children adopted that day in Grand Rapids, and there was not a dry eye in the courtroom.

A Michigan kindergartner brought his entire class to witness his adoption hearing Thursday in an adorable courtroom scene marking Kent County’s 23rd annual Adoption Day.

Girl fighting rare brain tumor asked for letters from dogs – and 50,000 comply

When 7-year-old Emma Mertens, fighting a rare brain tumor on her brain stem, asked for letters from dogs, the response was overwhelming – she got 50,000 of them, from as far away as Scotland and Venezuela. They also got enough money in her GoFundMe account to offset medical expenses.

Emma Mertens is pictured at Timbavati Wildlife Park in Wisconsin.

High school robotics class designs stylin’ ride for toddler who can’t walk

When a high school robotics class learned of a 2-year-old who couldn’t walk on his own, the team took their classroom learning into real life and built the tot a customized toy car. Toddler Cillian Jackson suffers from a rare genetic condition. The students at Farmington High School in Minnesota needed a project and learned about his plight. Synergy ensued.

Farmington High School freshman Alex Treakle, working on the motorized vehicle.

One last beer with his sons – a poignant moment

The man whose wish was to have one last beer with his sons was granted the night before he died of colon cancer. All Norbert Schemm of Appleton, Wisc., wanted to do in his final hours was to kick back with loved ones. His three grown sons gathered around the 87-year-old and smiled for the camera. Schemm’s grandson Adam Schemm posted the family snap online, where it elicited a slew of like-minded last moments that people had had with their dear ones – ranging from beers to golf to a televised Yankees game.

Norbert Schemm had one last beer with his family before he passed away.

Message from beyond

Another doomed man pranked his mourners from beyond the grave, arranging for a pre-recorded message to be played as his coffin was lowered into the ground. Suddenly there was knocking, and yelling, and cursing. Funeral goers were at first flummoxed then convulsed with hilarity. A viral video was born.

A man pranks funeral goers by screaming from coffin in pre-recorded message as he’s lowered into the ground.

Life for a life – daughter gives her adoptive father a kidney

When North Carolina woman DeLauren McKnight, 27, learned her adoptive dad needed a kidney and that his biological sons were not matches, she did not hesitate. Adopted as an infant in 1992, McKnight was found to be a match for 64-year-old Billy Houze. She was able to return the gift of life to the man who had saved hers.


High school graduation falls silent so noise-sensitive student with autism can receive diploma

When Jack Higgins graduated from Carmel High School in New York’s Putnam County, he just needed a little help from his classmates. Jack, who spent eight years in the Carmel, N.Y., PACE program tailored to students with disabilities, is autistic and severely sensitive to noise, and needed complete silence. Principal Lou Riolo asked the students not to cheer or applaud, but to do a noiseless “golf clap” while Higgins walked up to accept his diploma. The results were stunning.

State trooper pays homage to funeral procession he was leading

West Virginia Senior State Trooper R.L. Paynter stopped his car as he was leading a funeral procession, got out and stood in a salute until the last vehicle had passed by. The deceased was a beloved local businesswoman. A passerby saw him standing there and snapped a photo that quickly captured hearts on Facebook.

A West Virginia state trooper blocked traffic and saluted each car on the way to ta gravesite.

5-year-old aspiring “Army Man” gets uniformed sendoff

River “Oakley” Nimmo wanted to be an “Army Man” when he grew up, but he didn’t get the chance. But when this truest of warriors succumbed to the rare cancer neuroblastoma at age 5 in June, his family invited military members to his funeral. Dozens of police officers and soldiers, all in uniform, showed up to honor the boy, and the Arkansas National Guard promoted Oakley, posthumously, to “colonel.”

A rare person donates even rarer blood to unknown toddler many states away

When a New York woman, who remained anonymous, learned that 2-year-old Zainab Mughal of Florida needed a lifesaving bone marrow transplant to combat cancer, her new-mom instincts kicked in. The woman had just delivered a baby herself two weeks ago, and had stored some blood in case she needed it during pregnancy or delivery. She donated two units of it to the tiny patient.

READ FROM SOURCE: https://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ny-heartwarming-highlights-2019-list-20191229-6bvvp755frg4hdixr7aenc5jku-story.html

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