31 Days of Happiness Countdown: Paying it forward pays off. (Day 9)

Welcome to Day 9 of Upworthy's 31 Days of Happiness Countdown! If this is your first visit, here's the gist: Each day between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31, we're sharing stories specifically designed to bring joy, smiles, and laughter into our lives and yours. It's been a challenging year, so why not end it on a high note with a bit of laughter? Check back tomorrow (or click the links at the bottom) for another installment!

We're about a third of the way through the 31 Days of Happiness Countdown, and I honestly can't believe we've only featured one "paying it forward" story. Here's another — this time with a twist at the end sure to bring a smile to your face.


Kate McClure was driving down I-95 outside of Philadelphia when she ran out of gas. Stuck on the side of the road, a homeless man named Johnny Bobbitt approached McClure to offer her his last $20 and help her get back on the road. He didn't ask for anything in return, and while he certainly needed the money, he knew that in that specific moment, she did too.

Sweet "pay it forward" story, right? WELL, IT GETS EVEN BETTER.

Image from ABC News/YouTube.

Looking for a way to pay the man back, McClure started a GoFundMe page, hoping to shine a light on Bobbitt's good deed and raise a few thousand dollars to gift him in return.

She set a goal of raising $10,000. She ended up raising nearly $400,000. Holy cow! In interviews, Bobbitt has been all smiles. He plans to buy a new truck and find a place to stay. It's pretty freakin' remarkable to watch how one man's totally altruistic gesture to someone else resulted in that sort of kindness being returned thousands of times over.

For all the bad stories out there in the world, sometimes the good ones are hard to find. With the year coming to an end, we've all earned letting ourselves indulge in some of the happy-feely-goodness that is this one.

More days of happiness here: DAY 1 / DAY 2 / DAY 3 / DAY 4 / DAY 5 / DAY 6 / DAY 7 / DAY 8 / [DAY 9] / DAY 10 / DAY 11 / DAY 12 / DAY 13 / DAY 14 / DAY 15 / DAY 16 / DAY 17 / DAY 18 / DAY 19 / DAY 20 / DAY 21 / DAY 22 / DAY 23 / DAY 24 / DAY 25 / DAY 26 / DAY 27 / DAY 28 / DAY 29 / DAY 30 / DAY 31
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via KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Travelling during the holiday season can be a hectic experience. Airports are busy, people tend to be bogged down by extra extra luggage filled with gifts, and the weather is terrible so flight delays are common.

People can be stuck for hours in a terminal waiting for their flights, many of them alone as they travel to see family or make an end-of-the-year-business trip.

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via TK2LDCNews / Twitter

For the first time since the annual holiday production began in 1954, the lead role of Marie in The New York City Ballet's production of "George Balanchine's The Nutcracker," is a black ballerina.

Eleven-year-old Charlotte Nebres, whose mother's family is from Trinidad and father's is from the Philippines, is a student at the School of American Ballet.

The leading role of the young heroine is known as Marie in the New York City Ballet's production, in others the young girl who dreams The Nutcracker to live is called Clara.

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Despite controversial-but-compelling evidence that homework takes time away from families with little to no appreciable benefit for students, kids continue to slog through hours of school work outside the time they spend in the classroom. And despite evidence that small acts of kindness can infect a community like a positive virus, far too many kids are on either the giving or receiving end of unkind bullying on a regular basis.

Perhaps that's why an elementary school in Ireland has decided to do something radical—ditch all homework for the month of December and assign kids "acts of kindness" instead.

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Brace yourselves, folks, because this is almost too friggin' adorable to handle.

A 911 call can be a scary thing, and an emergency call from a dad having chest pains and trouble breathing is no exception. But thankfully, an exchange between that dad's 5-year-old daughter and 911 dispatcher Jason Bonham turned out to be more humor than horror. If you missed hearing the recording that has repeatedly gone viral since 2010, you have to hear it now. It's perfectly timeless.

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