This Week’s GOOD NEWS From Around The World (Oct 15/16)

Animal Helpers

Eight-Year Old Boy Saves Pennies to Buy a Rescue Dog

An 8-year old Vermont boy has been saving his pennies for four years – now he finally has enough to buy his own service dog. Aiden was diagnosed with type-1 diabetes at the age of 4, and found out that service dogs could help monitor their owners’ blood glucose levels. When a local news network learned about Aiden’s savings, donations poured in, helping the boy reach his goal and become the proud owner of a new companion: Angel. (Sunny Skyz)

Rescue Dog Alerts Owner of House Fire

In Springfield, Missouri, a service dog is being hailed as a hero after saving her owner from a house fire. Diane Gaddy’s home apparently caught fire while the woman was asleep at her computer desk. Thanks to the efforts of Queenie the dog, Gaddy was awake and able to escape the burning house without injury. (Local 12)

Debate Party Includes Therapy Kittens

The Bangor Daily News in Portland, Maine is holding a presidential debate-watching party – complete with therapy kittens. The kittens come from the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland, and will be available for adoption if debate viewers become extra attached. Some research has shown that petting kittens helps to reduce stress and lower blood pressure – a much-needed benefit for close watchers of the current political climate. (Huff Post)

Animal Conservation

Colombian White-Tailed Deer Down-listed From Endangered

The Colombian white-tailed deer was one of the first animals to be federally recognized as endangered in 1967. Now, nearly 50 years later the rare species of deer is being down-listed from “Endangered” to “Threatened.” The deer population has nearly doubled from 450 in the past few decades, giving conservationists a tentative cause for celebration. (CS Monitor)

Two New Black Rhinos Born

Two captive black rhinos have given birth to healthy calves, giving conservationists a glimmer of hope for the critically endangered species. The new mothers, Grumeti and Zawadi, were both bred in captivity at Port Lympne Wildlife Park in Kent, England, run by the Aspinall Foundation. These black rhinos are just two of the eight that the Aspinall Foundation has thus far successfully released into the wild. (Good News Network)

Hope for Humanity

Hurricane Victim Wins $1 Million Sum in Lottery

James Lapez, a resident of Central, Louisiana, recently saw his luck change for the better. The 72-year-old saw severe damage to his home in the August floods, one of tens of thousands of other victims. On October 1st, Lapez found out that he was the winner of a $1 million Powerball lottery prize, which he plans to use to pay off his home and retire. (Huff Post)

Barber Shop Encourages Reading for Kids

A Michigan barber shop is helping kids practice their reading skills, while getting their hair cut. The Fuller Cut Barbershop offers a $2 discount on haircuts for kids who read aloud from their favorite books while in the barber’s chair. Barber Ryan Griffin says that not only is the program a hit with parents, but it helps to build kids’ speaking confidence. (Sunny Skyz)

Icelandic MP Breastfeeds Baby in Parliament

A pleasant image for new mothers is this short clip of an Icelandic MP breast-feeding her baby in parliament, without so much as a sideways glance from other MPs. Unnur Brá Konráðsdóttir is member of the Iceland Independence Party. Her newborn baby is reportedly a frequent guest at Parliament, and remains remarkably calm throughout the proceedings. (QZ)

Artist Teaches Herself to Sculpt Without Sight

A U.K. artist has rediscovered her passion for creation after a medical emergency left her without sight. Branwyn Owens, 42, was an avid artist, drawing and painting everything that caught her eye, until two years ago she suddenly went blind due to bleeding on the brain. After learning about another blind sculptor who created artworks using touch, Owens decided to try for herself – and realized she had quite a talent! (WalesOnline)

Refugees Subdue a Suspected Bomber

A pair of Syrian refugees took down a suspected bomber in Germany, following an unsuccessful two-day manhunt by authorities. Mohammed A. had been chatting with the suspect on a networking website for recent migrants when he recognized the man from a news report. After meeting the suspect at a train station, Mohammed and a friend were able to subdue the man and keep him captive until police arrived. (Good News Network)

Covergirl Selects First Ever Male Spokesperson

The newest Covergirl is a 17-year-old boy from Bethlehem, New York. James Charles is a high school senior and a self-taught makeup artist with thousands of avid followers on Instagram. Charles is the first male Covergirl spokesperson in the company’s 60-year history, and is helping break down outdated gender norms and narrow beauty constraints. (NY Times)

Young Refugee Turns to Rap to Help Stop Child Marriage

Sonita Alizadeh is an Afghan refugee who uses poetry and rap to raise awareness and try to end the practice of child marriage. Alizadeh, now 19 and a college student in the United States, was just 10 years old when her parents tried to sell her into marriage. The young woman managed to avoid her fate and is now speaking out to educate her peers about the complexities and traditions that keep child marriage alive – and to help stop it. (Positive News)