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✨ Good morning! Today is Friday, December 21, 2018 and it looks like Santa could be making a pit stop at the Peach Pit this year.
WE’RE FEELING FESTIVE…
The Friday before Christmas always feels like the unofficial start of the holidays.
The kids are finishing school, a good number of businesses are closing up shop and many are counting down to two solid weeks of time with family and friends.
So whether you’re off for the weekend, the week or the rest of this year, we’re sending you out with the top feel-good news stories of the week.
• All Together Now
There’s nothing worse than being separated from loved ones over the holidays — and one Arkansas couple decided they just wouldn’t stand for such a situation. Three years ago, Michael and Terri Hawthorn decided to foster three-week-old Korgen, and then added his younger sister Haizlee, who’s now a year-and-a-half. To ensure Korgen and Haizlee were never separated, the Hawthorns adopted the two siblings in April, but when they found out there was another group of seven (!) siblings that were split up in the foster care system, they decided they’d adopt them, too. The couple shared the news with the family earlier this month, and the siblings couldn’t believe their luck. According to Dawson, the eldest, he’d been praying for a family that his siblings could enjoy Christmas with, and they finally found it: “You’re safe. You know you’re not going to leave and it’s good to know you’re in a forever family and you won’t have to worry about danger.” (Talk about happy holidays.) Fox News
• Secret Santa Strikes Again
Nothing says Christmas like expanding waistlines — and debt. But the customers at a Walmart in Nashville, N.C., got to check items off their Christmas lists without going into the red when an anonymous donor paid off more than $40,000 in layaways. One woman, who lost her husband five years ago and was willing to fall behind on her mortgage payment in order to pay off the layaway Christmas gift for her son, described the relief and gratitude she has for the generous donation. The unnamed donor is a local resident of the Nash County area (and definitely on Santa’s ‘Nice’ list). WRAL
• A Step in the Right Direction
Though most things in Washington, D.C., are as dysfunctional as ever (another resignation? Come on guys), there’s one area where the capital seems to have its sh*t together: reducing climate change. On Tuesday, Washington’s city council unanimously passed a bill that would require the city to run completely on renewable energy by 2023. While Washington’s not the first to pass such a bill, it is the most ambitious — the other 90 cities that have passed similar legislation aim to make the switch by 2030. The bill will require all buildings (including the White House!) to follow stricter energy efficiency standards. All the city’s public transportation and ride share services will also need to be carbon-free by 2045. Mind Body Green
QUOTE OF THE DAY
We try just to alleviate as much as we can so they can pay an electric bill or buy an extra gift.
– Oklahoma native Tommy Kelley, who donated $10,000 this week to Putnam City Public Schools to help pay off student lunch debt. MSN
• Buzzworthy Bonus
A $20K Christmas bonus is the stuff of dreams for most people, but it’s the reality for lucky employees at one Michigan company. Foam-producing company FloraCraft gifted their employees with more than $4 million in bonuses this Christmas season. (Let’s make like Clark Griswold and put in that pool!) Owner Lee Schoenherr said he’s been planning the generous gift for his 200 full-time employees for a few years. The total amount was split two ways, with 75% being added on to their salary for the year and the rest going home with them in cash. (Yes, please.) ABC 13
• Miracle Child
We all know the healing powers of thoughts and prayers in times of crisis 🙄. But jokes aside, prayers seems to have been just the ticket for one 11-year-old, whose deadly brain tumour disappeared (presumably) overnight. Roxli Doss was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG for the tongue-tied) in June, the side effects of which are usually vision loss, difficulty breathing, and decreased ability to talk. But Roxli now seems to be in the clear with miraculously clean MRIs. According to her parents, that’s the power of
radiation prayer for you. USA Today
• Limbitless Possibilities
Microsoft has been known to lend a hand to those with disabilities in the past. Now it’s teaming up with bionics non-profit Limbitless Solutions, the creators behind the popular Iron Man and League of Legends prosthetic arm designs that are coming in 2019. Together the two companies are adding Halo-themed, 3D-printed, prosthetic arms to the Limbitless catalogue — and best of all, they’ll be donated free of charge to recipients. Included in the new Halo lineup is a remake of Master Chief’s camo green arm as well as colour-customizable versions so kids can embody their characters in the game. (Sounds like a winning combo to us.) The Verge
• Power Player
A major athletic company is throwing its strength (and stamina) behind female athletes. Adidas’s new initiative, aptly titled “She Breaks Barriers,” will include several projects that will focus on “supporting professional athletes, identifying barriers and proposing solutions to get girls participating in sports.” The company launched the initiative with a “She Breaks Barriers” film at this month’s NBA awards, which featured appearances by some of Adidas’s most influential female and male athletes, and narrated by Pharrell Williams. The film will air this month across television networks, in movie theatres, and on digital and social media. Fashion Network
• We 💙 Mark
Mark Ruffalo bought a few of his fans coffee this morning when he tweeted out a $100 Starbucks gift card for his followers to use and share. (It lasted 10 people, tops, but it’s the thought that counts, right?) The gesture was part of a Pay It Forward Challenge that the star started last year. The Incredible Hulk then encouraged his followers to add on to the gift card if they could (and many did!) in order to spread a little (or a latte) love this holiday season. He also called on fellow Marvel co-stars like Don Cheadle, Chris Evans, Robert Downey, Jr., and Zendaya to join the movement. (The big guy gives us all the feels.) People
• Winter Solstice
Though it’s felt like it for weeks, today is actually the first official day of winter (a.k.a. the shortest day of the year).