This week, COVID-19 numbers continued to surge, but there was good news as well: Hanukkah began, it snowed, and Taylor Swift dropped yet another surprise album. We're turning up the holiday music and focusing on the things that make us happy. Join us.
This football team has clear eyes and full hearts...
The Texas School for the Deaf's superintendent almost canceled not just this football season but the whole football team due to COVID-19 concerns and a lack of participation.
But the team, like so many of us, decided to pivot instead: The players dropped down a division and started playing smaller teams like themselves. Now, this team is going to the State Championships for the first time! Way to make it work, Rangers!
...and these friends show that teamwork can make dreams work
TikTok user @josephthescholar, also known as Joseph Abell, inspired followers by telling the story of how he overcame homelessness to win a full wide at the University of Southern California's law school with the support of a college friend, Jonathan Arnold. "Iron sharpens iron," Abell captioned the video, which now has 2.1 million views.
A little girl was determined to save her baby brother...
When she was only 4 years old, Olivia Vasquez found out she was the only perfect match to donate bone marrow to her baby brother Eli, who was born with Hurler syndrome, a genetic disorder in which the body doesn't produce the enzyme necessary to digest sugar. The disease is eventually fatal and has no cure, but Eli's life could be prolonged through blood and bone marrow transplants.
Olivia's response? “She said, ‘Yeah, let's do it,’” her mom recalled. “What she understood the situation by was that her brother had bad blood, hers was good and she was going to give it to him to make him better.”
Eli is now in a good place, with no developmental issues at this point, and he and Olivia are best friends, their mom said.
... and this little girl can't wait to be a big sister (and she's the cutest)
Twitter user @piratedadd interviewed his daughter about becoming a big sister to "Ahbinose" — which apparently translates to Baby Jonas. She's ridiculously cute, and the video has won her over 3 million views and probably just as many fans. Among them is singer Joe Jonas himself, who commented on the video.
We know one thing: Baby Jonas is one lucky little brother.
A Dunkin' Donuts is claiming this 81-year-old grandpa as their own...
In the midst of so much isolation and loneliness due to the COVID-19 outbreak, 81-year-old Gil Walker has bonded with the staff of his local Concord, California, Dunkin' Donuts.
Walker, who has three kids, 13 grandkids and 20 great-grandchildren, said his closest family lives hundreds of miles away. But the staff at Dunkin’ — mostly teens and young adults — have been there for him this pandemic.
The store's manager, Matt Cobo, said the feeling is entirely mutual. The staff rushes to the drive-thru window each morning to say hi when “Grandpa” rolls up.
“There’s people that just have this smile and warmth — you say, ‘This guy is just goodness,'” Cobo explained. “That’s what he is. People catch that and they share that.”
...and this grandpa bonds with his granddaughter through the sports he loves
When your grandpa happens to be Frank Reich, head coach of the NFL's Indianapolis Colts, you start learning about ball security young. When Reich's oldest daughter Lia tweeted a video of Reich teaching her daughter Bishop, 1, how to hold and run with the ball, the whole internet said, "Awww."
One mom's relatable post about an abandoned dirty sock went viral for all the best reasons...
But after a week, Campbell began to get creative... and then Kestrel did too. The resulting"Forgotten Sock" art exhibit was both relatable and amazing in that it showed a gentle and clever side of parent-child housekeeping negotiations.
"I asked when the sock might go away. She said 'how long do art exhibits usually last?'" said Campbell.
... and this daughter made us miss our dads
TikTok user @diyandcry's video detailing her move to her first solo apartment in New York City packed an unexpected emotional punch.
"I told my parents I planned to do it myself. Without missing a beat, my dad said said he was on the way," she wrote. He drove overnight from Chicago, taking work calls on the way."
After a lot of cleaning and work, her dad left, and yeah, that's our hearts breaking a little too. "It was the first act of kindness I had been shown in a long time and it meant everything to me," she wrote. "I had a big cry when he left to go back home. Love you, Dad."
A "pay-it-forward" chain at a Dairy Queen drive-thru in Brainerd, Minnesota, resulted in 900 cars paying for each other's food over the course of almost three days this week.
"Since March, tons of things have changed, tons of things are going on, and it's not just in the store," said the store's manager of the phenomenon. "We are people. We have things going on outside … The energy was definitely uplifting. There was no negative energy going on."
... and a drive-by Grinching made us smile
Over 9 million people have smiled at TikTok user @kgr8ce's video of a Grinch spotted in the wild: cruising down the highway on a motorcycle. Now that's the holiday spirit!
And speaking of the holiday spirit...
We all know that toddlers cannot keep their hands off a Christmas tree, and TikTok user @briaallyse's little boy is no exception. But his face... oh, Mama, you will have your hands full this holiday season!
Be careful out there, and Happy Hanukkah!