Workers Given 500 Paid Hours to Pursue Passions; Plus Top 10 Good News Stories of the Week!

While bringing positive news to the world I got this email: "I am writing this from a tent in Afghanistan. I am surrounded by the constant sounds of war, the wailing of alarms, the lack of a simple moment of silence… Sometimes, you forget what good people are capable of… but I refuse to give up on my fellow man. We are good in the depths of our souls. We prove it every day but most of our acts go without notice. Thanks for reminding us that good DOES exist." -TG

Top 10 Good News Stories of the Week

Ad Agency Gives Workers 500 Paid Hours to Pursue Passions
Executives at a Minneapolis advertising agency founded 7 years ago, decided to give each of their 18 employees a free summer. Each was given paid leave and full benefits for 12 weeks to do something meaningful. I think people were stunned more than anything else, says Stuart D’Rozario, the president and creative director of Barrie, D’Rozario, Murphy, who first had the idea.

Recording Studio Brings to Life Old Man’s Love Song to Late Wife
<http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/images/stories/moods/elderly_songwriter_Fred_Stobaugh_dreams_of_wife-GreenShoeStudios.jpg>A 96-Year-old man, heartbroken by the loss of his wife, wrote down some song lyrics for his Sweet Lorraine, and sent them to a singer-songwriter contest he saw in his Illinois newspaper. Green Shoe Studios in East Peoria was so touched by Fred Stobaugh’s letter, that they decided to record the song for him as a testament to his lost love. The resulting song, a haunting, simple tune has now gone viral.

NYC Programmer Offers to Teach Bright Homeless Guy to Code
Every day on his way to work Patrick McConlogue passes a young man who lives on the streets. Last week, McConlogue, a New York City entrepreneur, programmer and designer, decided to offer the man a choice: Either he could accept $100 in cash, or he could learn how to code and be given three books on JavaScript, a used laptop and free lessons for one hour each day.

Mystery Gnome Homes Appear Along Kansas Trail
Some tiny little people moved into Overland Park, Kan., or at least that’s what city workers think. The city doesn’t know who is building the gnome homes, but they are intricate, with miniature doors at the bottom of trees, and tables and place settings beyond tiny welcome mats.

Generous Donor Pays for Shopping Spree for 90 Kids
More than 90 low-income students in Seattle will be boarding buses together on a shopping trip for back-to-school clothes because of the generosity of a one woman who has no children of her own. For a decade, Mrs. Jean Renny has been donating money to the Salvation Army so that kids could buy what they need for the new school year. This year she is giving $20,000 for the shopping spree. (Video)

Photographer Asks Strangers to Touch
<http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/images/stories/recreation/Touching_Strangers_photographer_Richard_Rinaldi.jpg>New York photographer Richard Rinaldi has embarked on a remarkable photo project called Touching Strangers. He wanders the city streets looking for strangers willing to pair up. After Rinaldi arranges his strangers side-by-side or face-to-face, or one kneeling beside, always with hands touching, a transformation takes place. "I felt like I cared for her," said a man who agreed to pose with a 95-year-old woman.

Homeless Man’s Random Act Of Kindness Spurs Reddit Love
This homeless man found a bunch of my wife’s stolen property strewn all over downtown Tulsa, wrote a user (AnitaSanger) on Reddit. He took the time to gather it all up in the rain and call us for retrieval. I just want to recognize him as an awesome human being.

When Light Rail Died in Detroit, Young Man Starts Better Bus Company
Citywide transit options in Detroit in 2012 were bleak. Bus service was limited by severe budgetary cutbacks. The light rail project was abandoned. 25 year-old entrepreneur Andy Didorosi was disgusted and so he bought a bus and started the Detroit Bus Company. His transit innovations include a high tech app that lets riders know exactly where the buses were at any time of day.

Middleman Gives Tons of Business Surplus to Charities
Partnering with 40 hotels and dozens of businesses, Judson Kinnucan, 37, has made it his mission to collect their donated items, like surplus shampoos and toilet paper, and get them to charities in need. For example, every month, Kinnucan delivers about 200 pounds of donated shampoo, conditioner and lotion and about 1,000 rolls of toilet paper to homeless shelters Chicago.

Lego Honors Schoolboy for Charity Work With Life-size Likeness
A boy who lost his mother to cancer has had a life-size statue built in his image out of Lego, after the toymaker hailed him as a hero for his charity work. Jack Covill-Lowndes was honored with the 35,000 Lego statue for raising thousands for the hospice that cared for late mother Steph. (Metro UK)

Video of the Week: College Freshman Sinks Half-court Shot to Win Free Tuition

<http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/images/stories/sports/half_court_shot-Video-snippet.jpg>
Every year during "Welcome Week" at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, students get a chance to win free tuition by making a half-court basketball shot. For the first time, a student sank the difficult shot as the gymnasium erupted in cheers.

(Watch the amazing moment)

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