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upworthy
Joy

People are sharing good things happening in America that are flying under the radar

Don't let negative headlines overshadow the positive things happening all around us.

sign that says "good news is coming"
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

We can all use some good news, and thankfully, there's plenty of it.

When you watch or read the news, it can be easy to get down on the world. It's not your imagination that the news has a negativity bias. One study showed that headlines denoting anger, fear, disgust and sadness steadily increased from 2000 to 2019, making it even harder to stay informed without feeling a sense of despair or hopelessness.

But that doesn't meant that everything is bad. The reality is that there are wonderful things happening all around us that fly under the radar. Just because good news isn't flooding our social media feeds doesn't mean it isn't there—we just might have to dig through the muck and mire of the media to find it.

Or, as one person discovered, ask people to share in a Reddit thread.

When Reddit user u/NorthPengyyy asked the Ask Reddit board, "What is a good thing happening in the US right now that people aren’t aware of?" people delivered.


Check out these uplifting developments that might just restore your faith and hope in humanity.

1. There's a promising new drug treatment for Multiple Sclerosis

"We've discovered a drug that places a significant pause on Multiple Sclerosis progression and are in trials for what could very well be the cure." – Alarming-Series6627

As Neuroscience News shares, "A new small molecule drug targeting the glutamate system shows promise in treating MS, potentially repairing myelin damage. This innovative approach could revolutionize MS treatment."

2. Not only that, but a new "inverse vaccine" may revolutionize all autoimmune disease treatment

"Not only MS, but potentially all autoimmune disease, including crohns, T1 diabetes, arthritis, lyme, and even allergies." –AVeryHeavyBurtation

In the lab, a new "inverse vaccine," which removes the immune system’s memory of one molecule, showed an ability to completely reverse autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes without shutting down the rest of the immune system. Could be a gamechanger for autoimmune diseases.

3. Anonymous donor regularly hides thousands of dollars at a children's rehab center

"There's a guy in my hometown who hides thousands of dollars outside a children's rehab center, then calls the front desk and they have a little scavenger hunt until they find it. They then use the money to help families buy holiday gifts. No one knows who he is, but over the years, he's given over $100,000. It's usually front-page news when the year's donation comes in!" – violetmemphisblue

How much fun must that be, both for the anonymous donor and for the employees and kids?

4. A judge in California thought there must be a better solution than locking young young people away for life. So he created an amazing, innovative educational alternative.

Superior Court Judge John Phillips had grown tired of seeing so many young people come through his courtroom and having no recourse but what the system provided—mostly jail time. So he created what he saw they needed. It's called Rancho Cielo and it's a place where kids who are at risk of falling into criminality go for education, support, enrichment. Here they won't fall through the cracks and they are able to become their best selves. Read more about how and why it works here.

5. New treatments for brain cancer have arrived after a long lull

"There is a new treatment for my brain cancer. There have been NO advancements in like 40 years. I should be able to take it next year and it will hopefully delay my tumor growth.

It’s pretty exciting. I have done two clinical trials. One did not pan out. The other one they won’t have the information for probably another 6-10 years." – chasingcomet2

This person could be talking about a new drug that's showing promise for brain cancer that develops in the young, or they could be referring to an immunotherapy treatment for glioblastoma, or perhaps another treatment. The science is moving along quickly on this front!

6. Sea stars are making a comeback after being largely wiped out

"The sea stars on the west coast are returning after suffering a wasting disease a few years back." – suitopseudo

sea star on a rock by the sea

Sea stars are on their way back.

Photo by geoff trodd on Unsplash

In 2013, sea stars (also commonly called starfish) began dying in droves when a wasting disease swept through the population. Thankfully, scientists now have some idea of what caused that deadly epidemic and we've seen an increase in the number of sea stars in Washington, Oregon and northern California after the mass die-off.

7. Americans might soon save on tax filing, thanks to a new IRS program

"The IRS is testing a program in 2024 that will let most people file their taxes for free right at their website, so that should save people a little cash this spring." – ndorox

Yes, calculating and paying taxes is an annoying and tedious process, which is why anything that makes it easier is a good thing.

8. Honeybees are making a comeback, too

"After some really scary news in the late 00's, bee populations have been steadily on the rebound." – CryptoCentric

It's true. Yay for the honeybees!

9. And apparently, so is Detroit. (Go Detroit!)

"Detroit is supposedly making a comeback." – MoreCowsThanPeople

"Can confirm! Certain areas are for real pretty nice and a lot of hip businesses have popped up. It's still a very weird city. You have a gorgeous church or historical venue and two doors down, a burned out building. The blight is diminishing though and it's good to see." – sane-ish

"Lowest crime in 60 years! Downtown Detroit is having a moment right now." – TheDadThatGrills

10. We're kicking cancer's butt all over the place.

"We're killing cancer. Look at cancer survival rates over the last five years." – TheDadThatGrills

In addition to the cancers referenced above, there have been huge leaps in breast cancer treatments and even treatments for aggressive cancers that used to mean a dire prognosis. We still have a long way to go, but the strides made on the cancer front the past decade have been nothing short of remarkable.

11. Local goodness abounds in communities everywhere.

"I look in my community. COVID has changed a lot. Ordinary people are helping out ordinary people either openly or in secret.

"There’s a hole in the wall Mexican restaurant near me. Not great food. But good amounts for cheap. I wondered why it had so many customers. They feed the homeless in the community. Some come and ask for food. Or some help at closing and in exchange get food. They never say no and happily give them food and even ask if they want chips and salsa. As a way of contributing, customers leave huge tips.

"When my friend was diagnosed with breast cancer her old next door neighbor couple took care of her yard and checked in on her." –ClayWheelGirl

"Every year in Atlanta and surrounding areas Clark Howard (and affiliates) raise donations to give literally every single kid in foster care gifts of their choosing for Christmas morning. They make the quota every year, and participating in it is a Christmas tradition at my house. Google Clark's Christmas Kids and give what you can." – LarvellJonesMD·

"Last year I left a Domestic Violence situation and had basically nothing, but my kid got an unexpectedly huge haul from 'Santa.' It was like, 3 huge garbage bags full of toys and clothes. This year she started school and we had to classify her as homeless for her school paperwork because we live with my parents (it was required--I tried to get out of doing it) so she's always getting offers for help from different organizations. We decline them, but it's good to know they exist for those who are truly in need." – NeedsMoreTuba

"Despite a tornado ripping through my town on Saturday, our community has banded together and there are more volunteers and supplies than the churches and schools can manage! People showing up to serve hot meals, loaning generators, taking in fur babies, and cleaning up." – reggaeisanotherbag

12. People are realizing we need more positive news

"This thread does wonders for my mental health. Wow, what a bit of positivity does." – Beliriel

"I'm so used to doom scrolling that I didn't realize how desperately deprived I was of whatever dopamine you could get from good news, but these comments woke it up. Thank you everyone." – Critical_Escape7745

"This thread gives me hope. For the first time in a long time." – JoKatHW

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Pop Culture

UPS driver shares his weekly paycheck, and now everyone wants to apply

People are shocked to find out how much delivery drivers make.

@skylerleestutzman/TikTok

People were shocked to find out how much Skyler Stutzman earned as a UPS driver

People are seriously considering switching careers after finding out how much can be made as a UPS delivery driver.

Back in October, Skyler Stutzman, an Oregon-based UPS delivery driver went viral after sharing his weekly pay stub on TikTok.

In the clip, Stutzman showed that for 42 hours of work, and at a pay rate of $44.26 per hour, he earned $2,004 before taxes, and ultimately took home $1,300 after deductions.

This both shocked the nearly 12 million viewers who saw the video…not to mention it stirred their jealousy a bit.

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Do you ever feel like you could be doing more when it comes to making a positive impact on your community? The messaging around giving back is louder than ever this time of year, and for good reason; It is the season of giving, after all.

If you’ve ever wondered who is responsible for bringing many of the giving-back initiatives to life, it’s probably not who you’d expect. The masterminds behind these types of campaigns are project managers.

Using their talents and skills, often proven by earning certifications from the Project Management Institute (PMI), project managers are driving real change and increasing the success rate on projects that truly improve our world.

To celebrate the work that project managers are doing behind the scenes to make a difference, we spoke with two people doing more than their part to make an impact.

In his current role as a Project Management Professional (PMP)-certified project manager and environmental engineer for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Joshua Williard oversees the cleanup of some of America’s most contaminated and hazardous waste sites.

Courtesy of Joshua Williard

“Recently, I was part of a four-person diving team sent to collect contaminated sediment samples from the bottom of a river in Southeastern Virginia. We wanted to ensure a containment wall was successfully blocking the release of waste into an adjacent river,” Williard says.

Through his work, Josh drives restoration efforts to completion so contaminated land can again be used beneficially, and so future generations will not be at risk of exposure to harmful chemicals.

“I’ve been inspired by the natural world from a young age and always loved being outside. As I gained an understanding about Earth's trajectory, I realized that I wanted to be part of trying to save it and keep it for future generations.

“I learned the importance of using different management styles to address various project challenges. I saw the value in building meaningful relationships with key community members. I came to see that effective project management can make a real difference in getting things done and having on-the-ground impact,” Williard says.

In addition, Monica Chan’s career in project management has enabled her to work at the forefront of conservation efforts with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF-US). She most recently has been managing a climate change project, working with a diverse team including scientists, policy experts, data analysts, biologists, communicators, and more. The goal is to leverage grants to protect and restore mangroves, forests, and ecosystems, and drive demand in seaweed farming – all to harness nature's power to address the climate crisis.

Courtesy of Monica Chan

“As the project management lead for WWF-US, I am collaborating across the organization to build a project management framework that adapts to our diverse projects. Given that WWF's overarching objectives center on conserving nature and addressing imminent threats to the diversity of life on Earth, the stakes are exceptionally high in how we approach projects,” says Chan.

“Throughout my journey, I've discovered a deep passion for project management's ability to unite people for shared goals, contributing meaningfully to environmental conservation,” she says.

With skills learned from on-the-job experience and resources from PMI, project managers are the central point of connection for social impact campaigns, driving them forward and solving problems along the way. They are integral to bringing these projects to life, and they find support from their peers in PMI’s community.

PMI has a global network of more than 300 chapters and serves as a community for project managers – at every stage of their career. Members can share knowledge, celebrate impact, and learn together through resources, events, and other programs such as PMI’s Hours for Impact program, which encourages PMI members to volunteer their time to projects directly supporting the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

“By tapping into PMI's extensive network and resources, I've expanded my project management knowledge and skills, gaining insights from seasoned professionals in diverse industries, including environmental management. Exposure to different perspectives has kept me informed about industry trends, best practices, and allowed me to tailor my approach to the unique challenges of the non-profit sector,” Chan says.

“Obtaining my PMP certification has been a game-changer, propelling not only my career growth, but also reshaping my approach to daily projects, both personally and professionally,” Chan says. Research from PMI shows that a career in project management means being part of an industry on the rise, as the global economy will need 25 million new project professionals by 2030 and the median salary for project practitioners in the U.S. is $120K.

PMI’s mission is to help professionals build project management skills through online courses, networking, and other learning opportunities, help them prove their proficiency in project management through certifications, and champion the work that project professionals, like Joshua and Monica, do around the world.

For those interested in pursuing a career in project management to help make a difference, PMI’s Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification could be the starting point to help get your foot in the door.

Family

This woman wants to know where all the 'middle class moms' have gone this Christmas

What's with all the "immaculate houses" and "$500 Target hauls", she wonders.

@bridineen/TikTok

Bri argues that the extravagant Christmas decor she sees online doesn't reflect her reality.

Generally speaking, folks are feeling…shall we say…financially cautious this year when it comes to holiday spending. According to USA Today, a combination of inflation, dwindling savings and rising debt has caused many Americans to focus only on the essentials when it comes to their Christmas celebrations.

However, social media tells a different story. A five second scroll through TikTok will make you think that every home in the world (besides yours, of course) is prepped for the holiday issue of Architectural Digest. Spotless, all white furnishings, giant decorations that would put department stores to shame, luxury brand snacks left out for delivery drivers…you get the picture.

And sure, while watching aspirational videos online might provide a fun temporary escape, many are feeling like the novelty has worn off.

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A couple shares why they decided to leave the United States.

Although it is difficult to tell if there is a trend of Americans moving out of the country, rough estimates show that around 8 million currently live in other countries—double the 4.1 million living abroad in 1999.

The most popular countries for Americans to move to are Mexico, Canada and the United Kingdom, in that order.

A big reason why some are leaving the U.S. is that an increasing number of employers allow people to work abroad. Others are choosing to leave because of cost of living increases and “golden visa” programs. Golden visas offer the chance to get a foreign residency permit by purchasing a house or making a significant investment or donation.

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Courtesy of the Carbondale Public Library

Library book checked out in 1904 is finally returned

Just about everyone has had the misfortune of forgetting to return a library book. Some turn it in and pay whatever fine that's been assessed while others never find the book and decide to pay for the replacement. But there's a small group of people that don't return the missing book or pay the library to replace it. It's simply checked out forever for reasons no one knows.

Horace Short fell into the latter category. Back in 1904, Mr. Short checked out "The Cruise of the Esmeralda" by Harry Collingwood, a novel about adventures at sea, from the Carbondale Public Library. For some reason, Short never returned the book and librarians assumed it had been discarded according to Jessica Pratt, Adult Services Librarian at Carbondale Public Library.

Much to the delight and surprise of the librarians, the book was recently returned, 120 years late. Hawley Public Library found the antique book at their book sale and informed the Carbondale library of their discovery.

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Why North American can't build nice apartments.

One of the most beautiful features of old European neighborhoods are the rows of quaint, walk-up apartments that are the backbone of walkable neighborhoods. They help create a community where people can exit their front door and walk to a local café or market without getting in their car.

Unfortunately, these neighborhoods are hard to find in the United States, where these types of apartment buildings are exceedingly rare. Why is that? In the video below, About Here’s founder, Uytae Lee, explains why regulations in North America have made these quaint walk-up apartments, known by architects as point access blocks, nearly impossible to build.

Uytae Lee is an urban planner and videographer passionate about sharing stories about our cities.

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@nativeamerica_tiktok/TikTok

Creating magic for kids is the best.

There’s nothing quite like creating Christmas magic for kids. Seeing them light up at the mention of Santa, squeal with glee at Elf on a Shelf antics, look with pure awe and wonder at all the sights and sounds of the season…it all helps rekindle that inner child spark that tends to fade as we grow older. It’s one of the many things that makes being a parent so rewarding.

In an effort to create a little extra holiday whimsy for his daughter, a father named Chinook used his natural storytelling skills to make a unique tradition—all involving a pinecone and the magic of the moon.

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