This Week’s GOOD NEWS From Around The World (Oct 8/16)

Science and the Environment

U.K. Village On Track to Carbon Neutrality

A village in Cheshire County is set to become the first carbon-neutral community in England. Residents of Ashton Hayes village have been working hard to cut their carbon emissions since 2006, and have managed thus far to reduce emissions by an incredible 40%. The reduction is so promising that officials from countries including Taiwan and Norway have visited the village to learn about the residents’ solutions. (Good News Network)

A Space Program for Countries That Can’t Afford One

The U.N. has partnered with the Sierra Nevada Corporation to create an affordable way for economically disadvantaged countries to conduct their own space-based research programs. The Dream Chaser is a reusable spacefaring craft that is capable of taking off from and landing at regular airports. The vehicle is equipped with onboard labs and scientific equipment that can be used by smaller nations for a manageable fee. (Good News Network)

People Helping People

Mall of America to Close for Thanksgiving

Mall of America, the largest shopping mall in North America, has promised to close its doors on Thanksgiving Day this year. Inaugurated in 1992, the mall has historically always had its doors open for shoppers on Thanksgiving – this year, however, the mall is opting to close to encourage and allow retail workers and potential customers to spend more time with their families. (Huff Post)

University Student Creates New Prosthetic for Young Violinist

Northern Illinois University engineering student Oleseun Taiwo has created a special prosthetic to allow 12-year-old Sarah Valentiner to play the violin. Valentiner, a middle-school student in DeKalb, IL, was born without a hand and had previously been playing the violin with a different prosthetic that served the essential purpose but did not allow for the precision required for the girl’s growing skill. Taiwo constructed the prosthetic with the guidance of Federico Sciammarella, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at NIU. (AJC)

Mystery Donor Pays Off Food Bank’s Mortgage

A food bank in Kelowna, British Columbia received a significant financial gift, allowing it to pay off its mortgage in its entirety. Like most other food banks in the region, the Westbank branch of the Central Okanagan Food Bank relies on volunteers and donations to keep its facilities running. This week, the branch received a cheque for $190,000, allowing it to completely pay off the mortgage that had previously been costing the bank $1,800 monthly. (CTV News)

Stranger Returns Bundle of Cash

Thanks to the kindness of a stranger, a woman avoided losing a significant sum of money in a shopping mall in Gdansk, Poland. A 36-year-old man – who wishes to remain anonymous – came across the bundle of money, which amounted to just over €5,000. The police were contacted and the woman was quickly reunited with her money. (Expatriate)

11-Year-Old Raises Money for Unknown Father’s Tombstone

In Fargo, North Dakota, an 11-year-old boy is hard at work, mowing lawns to raise enough money to purchase a tombstone for his late biological father – a man he’s never even met. In January of this year, Brandon Bakke became curious about the identity of his biological father. With the help of his adoptive mother Brandy Bakke, Brandon, found out that his father had recently passed away in Chicago and was buried in an unmarked grave, being unable to afford a grave stone. Bakke decided to do something that he believes would have made his father proud. (Huff Post)

Community Helps to Reunite Autistic Boy With Comfort Blanket

James Davies, a seven-year-old boy with autism, was recently reunited with his blue comfort blanket after it was lost on a day trip with his mother. The U.K. boy was unable to sleep without the missing blanket, and his mother, Tina Davis, took to social media to try to locate the missing item. After a search by many concerned citizens, the blanket was relocated and Davis was able to return to the shop to get it. (Mirror UK)

Animal Rescue

Kitten Rescued From Barbed-Wire Wall

A kitten was rescued from a castle wall in Pembroke, Wales, after becoming tangled the barbed wire at the top of the wall. After a passerby noticed the black and white kitten struggling, fire crews used a safety line to scale the wall and free the cat. The kitten was later treated for superficial injuries and is now on the mend. (UPI)