It’s all too easy to get caught up in the negative news cycle—but we have your regular reminder that there were plenty of heartwarming, good news stories out there, too! Whether it was kiddos making a major difference, parenting on parade or companies that gave back, these feel-good stories made us more than smile recently—and they reminded us all about the power of compassion, too.
Read on for our roundup of recent feel-good news stories you’ll want to pass along.
Not All Superheroes Wear Capes
Wonder Woman, Batman and Thor are pretty cool in their own right—but these IRL superheroes totally grabbed our attention.
1. The 116th U.S. Congress is its most diverse ever, with a record number of women elected into office in 2018. Meet the newly-elected moms of Congress who are already making her-story.
2. When an Iowa mom gave birth at home, these first responders went above and beyond the call of duty—during the polar vortex, no less.
3. Microsoft's Super Bowl commercial for its adaptive Xbox controller reminded the world that, "When everybody plays, we all win."
4. Do you wanna build a snowman? How about this dad's incredible wheelchair-accessible snow fort for his nine kids with special needs?
Mighty Kids Making a Difference
Don't let their young ages fool you: these kiddos are the next generation of change-makers.
1. Ruby Kate Chitsey may only be 11 years old, but this fifth grader has already raised $30,000 to help the elderly in need in her hometown.
2. Jonah Larson is an 11-year-old "crocheting prodigy" and he's out to make a difference in the world, one crochet project at a time.
3. Kate Gilman Williams is a nine-year-old on a mission to end the illegal poaching of wildlife, so she wrote her own children's book to do just that.
4. Lowri Moore is a nine-year-old who wrote a letter to Disney CEO Bob Iger with a simple, but important request: more Disney princesses with glasses, please.
Moms & Dads Who Won at Parenting
These moms and dads def showed us what it means to be a rockstar parent.
1. Have you read a book with your kids today? You’re not alone. New research shows more parents are reading aloud to their kids than ever before.
2. A super-sweet (and now viral) daddy-daughter dance photo is everything a blended family could or should be.
3. Parenthood comes with a lot of shocks and surprises, but one mom was in for a truly special surprise when she adopted her two kids.
4. It’s not often that contestants on ABC’s Shark Tank elicit a shocking reaction from the investors, but a single mom managed to leave them in tears with her incredible story.
5. Usually a gender reveal photoshoot happens before baby arrives, but this awesome mom had a photoshoot 20 years after her baby was born for this incredibly touching reason.
Celebs Generally Being Awesome
These celebs totally impressed us—and not with reputation, money or good looks. They went above and beyond and were generally awesome.
1. Drew Barrymore’s #TheWayItLooksToUs hashtag seeks to change the way we depict parenthood, one IG feed at a time.
2. Justin Timberlake came through for these young cancer patients in the best way.
3. Aspiring young girl athletes can thank Steph Curry for Under Armour’s new girls’ basketball circuit.
Laws & Policies Making It Work (for Parents)
From paid leave and universal daycare, here are stories about parent-friendly policies making a difference for families everywhere.
1. One state has finally recognized the fact that yes, dads actually change diapers, too, with this important new law.
2. Big news for paid leave: California could become the first state to offer six months of paid parental leave.
3. Washington state is on track to offer parents 16 weeks of paid family leave starting in 2020.
4. This city now offers free public daycare for kids ages zero to three—and here's hoping more cities follow suit.
Master Classes in Kindness
These teachable moments offer lessons for a lifetime of compassion.
1. It should go without saying, but there's a good reason to be super nice to flight attendants.
2. Speaking of flight attendants, this airline now allows kids up to age 14 fly free. Now that's some kindness to your wallet!
3. Twitter helped with #FirefightingtSexism to prove to girls that yes, they can be fire fighters, too.
4. This teacher keeps her school's bus stocked with books for an amazing—and compassionate—reason.
Just Try Not to Smile
These were the stories that made us smile, giggle and laugh out loud.
1. This might just be the coolest Little Free Library ever built.
2. California's new governor had not one, but two epic cameo appearances by his toddler son—right smack in the middle of his inauguration address.
3. The National Parks system is getting a new addition thanks to the family of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.