With so many distressing events happening around us, it's easy to feel helpless and overwhelmed. But there are plenty of good things happening in the world, too. We could all use a reminder of that sometimes, so we made you a list of heartwarming stories (plus a few ways to have a little fun) to brighten your spirits.
Courtesy of Cedar Ridge Distillery A hand sanitizer drive in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
1. Communities Are Setting Up Hand Sanitizer Drives
As cleaning supplies run short, some communities are organizing hand sanitizer drives to distribute this in-demand cleaning product for free. Steve Shriver, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, teamed up with a local distillery to produce 1,000 bottles of hand sanitizers, which he'll give away for free at a drive-through pickup site this weekend. Even large distilleries, like Anheuser-Busch InBev, are repurposing their facilities to contribute to the cause.
2. Handwashing Stations Help Those In Need
Effective handwashing is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick, but that's not always an option for those without a permanent home. So community leaders in Atlanta, Georgia, set up handwashing stations to help the homeless wash up and stay healthy, as reported by CBS News. The portable sinks hold soap and 10 gallons of water each.
3. You Can Now Stream World-Class Entertainment
If you've run out of Netflix shows to watch, here's some good news: Some of the world's best entertainment is now accessible from the comfort of your couch. Broadway musicals, world-renowned art and history museums, opera shows, concerts by famous artists: you can stream it all right now for free. So if you've always wanted to watch a performance by the Metropolitan Opera, now is your chance (and you'll have the best seats in the house).
4. Dogs Are Also Working from Home
While many of us clock in remotely, our canine companions have become our co-workers, and some of them are taking their jobs very seriously. The Instagram account @dogsworkingfromhome is filled with hilarious pictures of dogs hard at work. Scroll through the posts when you need a laugh, then snap a picture of your own pup to send in!
5. Volunteers Are Sewing Masks to Help Healthcare Workers
Face masks help protect healthcare workers when caring for sick patients, and volunteers around the country are pitching in to help make more for hospitals and clinics in need. If you'd like to help, JOANN stores are providing free kits with pre-cut fabric and all the mask-making materials you need. You can pick up the kits curbside, then drop off the finished masks to be donated.
6. Christmas Lights Came Back Out
Winter might be over, but the holiday spirit is back in full swing. Across the country, residents are putting their Christmas lights back up to spread joy to their communities. Since taking a drive around the neighborhood is a perfectly acceptable social distancing activity, you might as well enjoy some twinkling lights and holiday decorations while you're at it.
Courtesy of Beekman 1802 One of the baby goats at Beekman Farm.
7. You Can Watch Live Footage of Adorable Animals
Yes, a live video of baby goats exists, and the furry friends at Beekman Farm could not be cuter. But if goats aren't your thing, there are plenty of other live videos of your favorite animals to keep you occupied. The next time you need a mental break, tune in to one of these adorable animal cams for your daily dose of cuteness.
8. Canceled Events Provide Ways to Give Back
All those flowers from canceled weddings, galas, and other events are not going to waste. Many organizations and individuals are donating unused bouquets to nursing homes and hospitals. The donated arrangements can spread joy to sick or elderly individuals who might need it most.
Now more than ever, it's important to take time to appreciate the small joys of life, like reading a feel-good story or scrolling through an Instagram account of cute creatures. When you need some reassurance or just a mental health break, seek out some positive news and remember that there's still good in the world.