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These are the stories that made you smile in 2021



The COVID-19 pandemic and political tension dominated much of 2021. But there were still plenty of moments in between that brought us smiles, laughter and love.While on a trip to the Cincinnati Zoo, Izzy Meltzer instantly created a very special bond.Meltzer posted a video on Twitter showing off her new penguin friend. The video shows the penguin looking up at Meltzer and following her as she runs back and forth outside of the penguin’s enclosure.Watch the adorable moment in the video above.The COVID-19 pandemic devastated small businesses across the country. In Wisconsin, one man took it upon himself to help.Stan Anderson started the project in 2020. He collected donations through mobile payment apps to help local restaurants.”They Venmo me, or Cash App or Chase pay/Zelle, whatever. They give us money and they trust us to go to restaurants like here and give the money to the restaurateurs,” Anderson said.In January 2021, Stan had already raised over $18,000 for struggling businesses through the Venmo Challenge. By December 2021 he was close to gifting $100,000 to small businesses.Watch the full story in the video above.Timothy Harrison, an employee at the Waffle House in Center Point, Alabama, made it to his high school graduation with a little help from his co-workers.Harrison was going to work and skip his high school graduation because he didn’t have a ride to the commencement ceremony across town. His manager and other Waffle House employees, stepped in and bought Harrison dress clothes and got him to his graduation.Since then, Harrison decided to attend Lawson State Community College.Watch the video above for more.An elementary teacher in Clarksville, Indiana, gave her students something to remember during the school year plagued by challenges due to the pandemic.With the musical, Christmas play and class parties canceled, Emmy Bodner got help from a professional audio engineer to help her create a music video for the iconic charity song, “We Are The World.”Watch the video above to see the music video. A 6-year-old girl in Arizona went viral earlier this year for her sales pitch for Girl Scout cookies!Allie Shroyer immediately began the sales pitch after ringing a neighbor’s doorbell. The adorable moment was caught on camera. The young business woman suggested picking a cookie flavor based on the color of the cookie box.”Her sales pitch was so successful that she sold over 20o boxes in the first 24 hours,” Kristen Shroyer, Allie’s mom, said.Watch Allie’s sales pitch in the video above.A Louisiana father got national recognition for starting “Dad Lunch Notes,” to try and motivate his daughter, Addison.“I scribbled a note on her sandwich bag and put it in her lunch box, shared it on Twitter and Instagram, not thinking anything of it,” Dr. Chris Yandle said.It started in 2017. Addison was going to fourth grade and starting at her fourth new school in five years. Yandle decided to leave her a surprise lunch note to ease her anxiety. The first note read, “Addy, be nice to others. Not everyone will look like you. Learn to spot the unique and special things in other people. You have the power to change someone’s life. Love, Dad.”One lunch note quickly became 690. Addison started eighth grade this year.Watch the video above for more. After more than three years of serving abroad, veteran Mac McQueary returned to the U.S. But she had trouble acclimating to everyday life.Then she met Mary through K9s for Warriors.”One of the things they do is they go around to the kill shelters. They rescue the dog, so they can rescue the veteran,” McQueary said. “So it’s saving two lives in one. And she saved my life, and I think I’ve done the same for her.”

The COVID-19 pandemic and political tension dominated much of 2021. But there were still plenty of moments in between that brought us smiles, laughter and love.

While on a trip to the Cincinnati Zoo, Izzy Meltzer instantly created a very special bond.

Meltzer posted a video on Twitter showing off her new penguin friend. The video shows the penguin looking up at Meltzer and following her as she runs back and forth outside of the penguin’s enclosure.

Watch the adorable moment in the video above.

The COVID-19 pandemic devastated small businesses across the country. In Wisconsin, one man took it upon himself to help.

Stan Anderson started the project in 2020. He collected donations through mobile payment apps to help local restaurants.

“They Venmo me, or Cash App or Chase pay/Zelle, whatever. They give us money and they trust us to go to restaurants like here and give the money to the restaurateurs,” Anderson said.

In January 2021, Stan had already raised over $18,000 for struggling businesses through the Venmo Challenge. By December 2021 he was close to gifting $100,000 to small businesses.

Watch the full story in the video above.

Timothy Harrison, an employee at the Waffle House in Center Point, Alabama, made it to his high school graduation with a little help from his co-workers.

Harrison was going to work and skip his high school graduation because he didn’t have a ride to the commencement ceremony across town. His manager and other Waffle House employees, stepped in and bought Harrison dress clothes and got him to his graduation.

Since then, Harrison decided to attend Lawson State Community College.

Watch the video above for more.

An elementary teacher in Clarksville, Indiana, gave her students something to remember during the school year plagued by challenges due to the pandemic.

With the musical, Christmas play and class parties canceled, Emmy Bodner got help from a professional audio engineer to help her create a music video for the iconic charity song, “We Are The World.”

Watch the video above to see the music video.

A 6-year-old girl in Arizona went viral earlier this year for her sales pitch for Girl Scout cookies!

Allie Shroyer immediately began the sales pitch after ringing a neighbor’s doorbell. The adorable moment was caught on camera. The young business woman suggested picking a cookie flavor based on the color of the cookie box.

“Her sales pitch was so successful that she sold over 20o boxes in the first 24 hours,” Kristen Shroyer, Allie’s mom, said.

Watch Allie’s sales pitch in the video above.

A Louisiana father got national recognition for starting “Dad Lunch Notes,” to try and motivate his daughter, Addison.

“I scribbled a note on her sandwich bag and put it in her lunch box, shared it on Twitter and Instagram, not thinking anything of it,” Dr. Chris Yandle said.

It started in 2017. Addison was going to fourth grade and starting at her fourth new school in five years. Yandle decided to leave her a surprise lunch note to ease her anxiety. The first note read, “Addy, be nice to others. Not everyone will look like you. Learn to spot the unique and special things in other people. You have the power to change someone’s life. Love, Dad.”

One lunch note quickly became 690. Addison started eighth grade this year.

Watch the video above for more.

After more than three years of serving abroad, veteran Mac McQueary returned to the U.S. But she had trouble acclimating to everyday life.

Then she met Mary through K9s for Warriors.

“One of the things they do is they go around to the kill shelters. They rescue the dog, so they can rescue the veteran,” McQueary said. “So it’s saving two lives in one. And she saved my life, and I think I’ve done the same for her.”



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