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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy.

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Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

More smiles are always a good thing.

Hey there, lovely people. Let's talk about the kindness of everyday people.

A few weeks ago, I hit a deer on a dark, two-lane highway while driving a carload of kids home from a day at the theme park. In the 20 or so minutes it took to assess the damage to the car, three different strangers stopped to help me.

The first checked to see if we were OK. I said we were, but that I didn't know how to get the deer out of the middle of the road so other cars wouldn't run over it. He took care of the deer for me.

The second stopped as I was trying to figure out if the car was drivable. There was a section of the bumper that was dangling on the ground, and he helped me get it off so it wouldn't drag while I drove. He also checked the wheels and the lights and looked for leaking fluids, then said it looked like we were good to go.


The third stopped just as I was getting into the car to drive the rest of the way home. By then, everything had been taken care of so I thanked them for stopping and we all went on our way.

We often hear the stories of bad human behavior because they grab people's attention, but we don't hear as often about the average kind deeds strangers perform all the time. Hitting that deer wasn't fun, but it turned out to be a good reminder that most people really are kind.

We have some stories of human kindness for you in this week's "10 things" list, as well as some sweet animal videos, a little Jack Black and Elton John, a touching mother-son reunion, the world's most delightful hockey goalie and more. Enjoy!

1. Umm, why did no one at my high school job fair tell me 'panda snuggler' was a real job?!

I feel like this would have been a vital piece of information to have on hand when choosing a career path. Failed by the system, I tell you. Sign me up for all the panda snuggling courses ASAP.

2. Mic'd up hockey goalie delights people with his wholesome self-talk.

@nickthegoalie_1

Mine! #hockey #goalie #nhl #hockeyboys

As one commenter put it, "This is how I imagine a golden retriever's internal monologue." Yes, 100% golden retriever energy, and people can't get enough of it. See more mic'd up videos from Nick the Goalie here.

3. Baby bird hasn't figured out that the food doesn't automatically enter its mouth.

Oh, sweet baby birdie, this is so adorable and hilarious. "Why doesn't this worm get in ma bellyyyy?" This is why we teach kids to cook and clean before they leave the house.

4. Jack Black takes the time to serenade a 'School of Rock' fan.

Abraham is a 15-year-old who has a rare mitochondrial disease and is in palliative care. At a fundraising walk hosted by Jack Black, he got to meet the "School of Rock" star, and their interaction was such a pure, sweet moment. Love it when celebrities take the time to genuinely connect with someone. Read the full story here.

5. The kindness of this taxi driver and his wife is a prime example of the best of humanity.

These kinds of everyday human connections that don't make headlines happen far more than we know. Here's to people extending an extra measure of kindness just because they can.

6. Watch the incomparable Sir Elton John pull out a crumpled piece of paper and play 'Tiny Dancer' for the first time.

Wow. What a fun treat to see Elton John casually uncrumpling Bernie Taupin's "Tiny Dancer" lyrics like a high schooler pulling out a homework assignment, and then playing, for the first time, a tune so familiar to us now. The birth of a legendary song, and he makes it look so effortless. Amazing. Read the full story here.

7. People share dance moves from their homelands and it's pure delight.

Dance is such a wonderful way for humans to express themselves, and experiencing different cultures through it is just delightful.

8. The way this guy cares for his cat, Professor Pouncey, is the kind of pampering we all deserve.

@professor_pouncey

Did someone say... Heated Basket Version 2.0...? #bengal #cat #ebike #electricbike

Putting in my request for a heated bike basket big enough for a human, please and thank you.

9. Mom surprised her son when she came home from military deployment early.

And right after his sweet tribute to her, too. Dang, who is cutting all these onions?

10. Let's hippity hop into the weekend with the enthusiasm of this horse race-loving doggo.

Hope that brought some smiles to your world! Come back again next Friday for another roundup of feel-good finds. (And if you'd like to get them in your inbox each week, you can subscribe to our free email newsletter, The Upworthiest, here.)

True

The last thing children should have to worry about is where their next meal will come from. But the unfortunate reality is food insecurity is all too common in this country.

In an effort to help combat this pressing issue, KFC is teaming up with Blessings in a Backpack to provide nearly 70,000 meals to families in need and spread holiday cheer along the way.

The KFC Sharemobile, a holiday-edition charitable food truck, will be making stops at schools in Chicago, Orlando, and Houston in December to share KFC family meals and special gifts for a few select families to address specific needs identified by their respective schools.

These cities were chosen based on the high level of food insecurity present in their communities and hardships they’ve faced, such as a devastating hurricane season in Florida and an unprecedented winter storm in Houston. In 2021, five million children across the US lived in food-insecure households, according to the USDA.

“Sharing a meal with family or friends is a special part of the holidays,” said Nick Chavez, CMO of KFC U.S. “Alongside our franchisees, we wanted to make that possible for even more families this holiday season.”

KFC will also be making a donation to Blessings in a Backpack, a nonprofit that works to provide weekend meals to school-aged children across America who might otherwise go hungry.

“The generous donations from KFC could not have come at a better time, as these communities have been particularly hard-hit this year with rising food costs, inflation and various natural disasters,” Erin Kerr, the CEO of Blessings in a Backpack, told Upworthy. “Because of KFC’s support, we’re able to spread holiday cheer by donating meals for hunger-free weekends and meet each community’s needs,” Kerr said.

This isn’t the first time KFC has worked with Blessings in a Backpack. The fried chicken chain has partnered with the nonprofit for the last six years, donating nearly $1 million dollars. KFC employees also volunteer weekly to package and provide meals to students in Louisville, Kentucky who need food over the weekend.

KFC franchisees are also bringing the Sharemobile concept to life in markets across the country through local food donations and other holiday giveback moments. Ampex Brands, a KFC franchisee based in Dallas, recently held its annual Day of Giving event and donated 11,000 meals to school children in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods.

If you’d like to get involved, you can make a donation to help feed students in need at kfc.com/kfcsharemobile. Every bit helps, but a donation of $150 helps feed a student on the weekends for an entire 38-week school year, and a donation as low as $4 will feed a child for a whole weekend.

Celine Dion spoke directly to her fans on social media.

Celine Dion has shared the devastating news that she has been diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder called stiff person syndrome.

In an emotional video to her fans, the 54-year-old French-Canadian singer apologized for taking so long to reach out and explained that her health struggles have been difficult to talk about.

"As you know, I have always been an open book, and I wasn't ready to say anything before. But I'm ready now."

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Adam Sandler and Brendan Fraser for Variety's "Actors on Actors."

There are few actors in this world as universally loved as Brendan Fraser and Adam Sandler. So when the two sign on to interview one another, you can bet that people are going to be thrilled.

During one of Variety's “Actors on Actors” segments, the two swapped stories of being in the entertainment business—from the movie “Airheads," which they both starred in, to more recent projects like Sandler’s “Hustle” and Fraser’s “The Whale.”

It’s clear that these two respect and admire each other’s work. Sandler applauded Fraser’s career-long stride of making bold and interesting choices, and especially commended him for his starring role in Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale,” which has been hailed as a major comeback for the “Mummy” franchise star.
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Tenacious D performs at the Rock in Pott festival.

The medley that closes out the second side of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album is one of the most impressive displays of musicianship in the band’s storied career. It also provided the perfect send-off before the band’s official breakup months later, ending with the lyrics, “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

In 1969, “Abbey Road” was the last record the group made together, although “Let it Be,” recorded earlier that year, was released in 1970.

At first, the medley was just a clever way for the band to use a handful of half-finished tunes, but when it came together it was a rousing, grandiose affair.

Arranged by Paul McCartney and producer George Martin, the medley weaves together five songs written by McCartney, "You Never Give Me Your Money," "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window," "Golden Slumbers," "Carry That Weight” and "The End," and three by John Lennon, “Sun King," "Mean Mr. Mustard" and "Polythene Pam."

Fifteen seconds after the medley and the album’s conclusion, there is a surprise treat, McCartney’s 22-second “Her Majesty,” which wound up on the record as an accident.

Jack Black and Kyle Gass, collectively known as Tenacious D, recently reimagined two of the songs in the medley, "You Never Give Me Your Money" and "The End," for acoustic guitars for a performance on SiriusXM's Octane Channel. Like everything with Tenacious D, it showed off the duo’s impressive musical chops as well as their fantastic sense of humor.

The truncated version of the medley was also a wonderful tribute to the incredible work the Beatles did 53 years ago.

Warning: This video contains NSFW language.

Joy

13 strangers became stranded at an airport, so they set off on a road trip together

The unlikely friends went viral online after documenting their 10+ hour journey.

@alanahsotry21/TikTok

From strangers to friends in one night.

Sometimes the greatest friendships are born out of the most unlikely circumstances.

Thanks to a canceled flight, 13 complete strangers found themselves stuck at Orlando International Airport on their way to Knoxville, Tennessee, with no way to get to their destination.

What started off as a disaster quickly turned around into an impromptu adventure, as the determined group banded together to rent a minivan and drive more than 500 miles from Orlando to Knoxville. Along the way they documented their travels, and the story was quickly picked up by news outlets like CNN, spreading like wholesome viral wildfire online.


The band of merry travelers hailed from different parts of the U.S. and Mexico, and didn’t all speak the same language. Plus each had their own reason for wanting to get to Knoxville. One college student was trying to make it back in time for her final. Another was hoping to tour her dream college with her mom and dad. A well-known farming influencer was set to deliver a keynote speech at a conference. A mother wanted to go fight for custody of her son, while another woman wanted to meet a friend to help her move. Others were just there to have fun.

Regardless of their differences, their road trip created unexpected community and a memory they won't soon forget.

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