Valentine's stories that will make you believe in love

Posted Saturday, 15 February 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Happy Birthday to us! One year ago this weekend, my hands were shaking as I pressed send on the very first edition of The Good Stuff. Our little team had spent months dreaming, planning, strategizing, designing and drafting, all with one goal in mind: To create something that brought people joy.We never could have imagined the joy you have brought us in return.If I had to describe The Good Stuff in one word, it would be "people." Yes, it's inelegant. It's not even an adjective. But whenever the news gets hard to handle, it's worth remembering that, at the heart of every Good Stuff story, there's someone who is leaving the world a little bit better than they found it. Someone like you.So, thank you. Thank you for spending time with us every weekend, for your ideas, insights and wisdom, and for spreading good news in whatever form to those around you. Here's to all the Good Stuff to come.Our favorites this weekGet going with some of our most popular good news stories of the weekA sum for your supper Bronx convenience store owner Ahmed Alwan has a genius idea to help customers stay sharp and get some well-deserved grub. When people come in his shop, he poses a challenge: Solve a math problem, and get five seconds to grab any food in the store, for free. The challenges have gone viral on the short video app TikTok, with excited patrons flexing their math skills and Alwan encouraging them like a game show host. Alwan pays for everything out of his own pocket, but the money isn't what matters. He says he wants to help low-income community members save for higher priority expenses, such as rent and utilities. A lot of the customers that come in to the shop are familiar faces, and Alwan hopes their moments of mathematical fame will encourage other people to support the store's efforts or engage in their own fun ways of giving back. True love never dies Rich Cox passed away of throat cancer in 2012, but the Kentucky man made sure his wife would always be reminded of how much he loved her. Every year, around Valentine's Day and her birthday (which are only a day apart), Tracey Cox gets a beautiful flower arrangement from her late husband, complete with a loving message. The couple's four children know Rich planned out years of deliveries, although the specifics are a closely guarded secret. Regardless, they say the flowers will keep on coming. "Every time I get them, it really brings back a lot of emotions and joyful tears," Tracey says. "It really brings back all the memories we were able to make together."One good deed deserves another Acia Williams has known her friend and mentor Chet Bennett for 20 years. He owns the the Washington, D.C. beauty shop where she started her career and worked as a manager. Well, at least, he used to own it. In 2018, Bennett found out he needed a kidney, and Williams was moved to apply as a donor. When she came back as a match, she didn't hesitate, and the pair went through a successful transplant procedure in April of 2019. It's the kind of gift that's hard to top, but Bennett managed: He gave Williams the salon, which she had always dreamed of owning. "I can't begin to thank you enough for you giving me life," Bennett said in a message to his friend. "But we can start with you making your dream a reality by having your own salon." An extra slice of happiness We couldn't resist adding another story to our favorites. C'mon, it's our birthday! A few weeks ago we told you about Maj. Bill White, a 104-year-old Marine Corps veteran who asked for people to send him valentines so he could make new memories. Well, they delivered! He has gotten hundreds of thousands of them, so many that they cover the walls and fill up the tables and rooms at his retirement home. In fact, Guinness World Records were called in to do an official count to see if any records were broken. The avalanche of kindness has also given White and his friends some extra company: Community members have teamed up to read all the letters out loud, one after the other.Raise a glass to...Chitetsu Watanabe, the world's oldest living man! Watanabe turns 113 next month, but he got an early birthday present when Guinness World Records confirmed his superlative status. How does one stay young at the ripe old age of (almost) 113? Well, Watanabe loves sweets like brown sugar and custard, but he says the real secret to longevity is to "not to get angry and keep a smile on your face." You gotta see thisRepresentation. Matters. Just look at this sweet little boy, enthralled by an ad at Target featuring someone just like him! Oliver Garza-Pena has caudal regression syndrome and uses a wheelchair to get around. His mother, Demi Garza Pena, said he stopped dead in his tracks during a recent Target run, and couldn't take his eyes off the poster. She shared the photo on social media, thanking the store for showing different types of diversity. Her kind message even made it to the boy in the poster and his family! Wanna get away?It's easy to fall for the Guianas, the name given to the independent nations of Guyana and Suriname plus the French territory of Guyane (also known as French Guiana). Located just north of Brazil, the region is 80% covered with rainforest and boasts a blinding array of wildlife. Interesting fact: "Guyana" or "Guiana" is an Amerindian word that means "Land of Many Waters." You can't get much more watery than the massive, single-drop Kaieteur Falls in Guyana. Hear, hear!Love is the greatest force in the universe. It is the heartbeat of the moral cosmos. He who loves is a participant in the being of God.- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. King was asked what he thought the meaning of love was, and he responded in this touching, newly-discovered letter from the mid-1960s. (As for the reference to God, keep in mind before King became a civil rights legend, he was an influential preacher.) Tell us something goodVirginia Beach, Virginia Every year, a crowd of brave, bedecked daredevils lines up along the ocean shore in Virginia Beach, and charges headfirst into the frigid winter waters. It's one of several Polar Plunge events organized throughout the state by the Virginia Special Olympics. Not only are the plunges a great opportunity to dress up and have fun, they also raise big money for Special Olympics events in the state. North Carolina resident Sam Catron and his family have been attending the plunges for 15 years. Catron's brother, Scott, is a longtime VA Special Olympics athlete. "Not only is this a fun event but it's an awesome way to support Scott and his fellow Special Olympics athletes," Catron says.Impact your worldBreak out the binoculars this weekend and give the National Audobon Society a hand with their annual Great Backyard Bird Count! All you have to do is create a free account, keep an eye out for birds in your backyard for at least 15 minutes, and then record the birds you find. Your input will help the Audobon Society learn more about local bird populations and how they're growing or changing. Plus, birdwatching is good for your mental health. It's a total win-win. Hurry, though. The Great Backyard Bird Count ends February 17th (Sorry, weekday readers! But now you can mark your calendars for next year's event.)Shameless animal videoThere's always time for cute animal videos. That time is now.It's time to break open another one from the all-time classic vault. Where my Boston Terrier lovers at?! (Click here to view)

Other articles published by CNN

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Rwanda has introduced robots as part of its fight against coronavirus.With 314 confirmed cases of the virus as of May 22, the East African country has enlisted the help of five anti-epidemic robots to battle the virus. The robots were donated by the ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)It was a mouth-watering prospect for sports-starved fans everywhere. Four of the greatest athletes the world has ever known, on the golf course at the same time, offering us a glimpse of who they are when they aren't winning Major Championships and...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)A Texas community hit by terrible tragedy months ago came together over the weekend to celebrate a survivor's first birthday.Paul Gilbert Anchondo was two months old when his parents died shielding him from a shooter at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart on ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Several members of the graduating class at The Lovett School in Atlanta, Georgia, have tested positive for Covid-19, according to a letter from the school."The school has been notified by several Class of 2020 families that their students have...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Just when you thought you'd learned how to spell Grimes and Elon Musk's unusual baby name, they've gone and changed it.Earlier this month, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Musk announced the birth of the baby boy in a post on Twitter, revealing his son was...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

In this weekly column "Cross Exam," Elie Honig, a CNN legal analyst and former federal and state prosecutor, gives his take on the latest legal news. Post your questions below. The views expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion on CNN. ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

Rome (CNN)"The doctors were shocked. They said they had never seen anything like this," says Valentina Vigilante, recalling the terrifying day her 6-year-old son Nicolò was rushed into intensive care in Bergamo, northern Italy, as he struggled to...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Vanessa Bryant, wife of the late Kobe Bryant, shared a sweet moment this Memorial Day weekend -- a film of their baby daughter's first steps. In a video posted to Instagram, 11-month-old Capri stumbles across the room for the first time, into the...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)With two barren peaks that rise only about 170 feet above sea level, the now extinct Pūhāhonu volcano in the Northwestern Hawaii Islands doesn't look like much. This is especially true since in the same archipelago, Mauna Loa towers over every...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Photos and video of Memorial Day weekend celebrations across the US showed plenty of people going to the beach and gathering on boardwalks, but not a lot of people social distancing or wearing masks. From Florida to Indiana and across the country to ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

Hong Kong (CNN Business)An online grocery business backed by Asia's richest man is expanding to hundreds of cities across India — a move widely seen as a challenge to Amazon (AMZN) and FlipKart.JioMart, the grocery platform owned by Mukesh Ambani's Jio ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(Kaiser Health News)As states relax coronavirus restrictions, older adults are advised, in most cases, to keep sheltering in place. But for some, the burden of isolation and uncertainty is becoming hard to bear.This "stay at home awhile longer" advice...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)As warm weather sends people outdoors, some are encountering tenacious pests with no respect for social distance. Forget staying 6 feet apart: Ticks go for blood in the hardest-to-reach places on the human body. Many of those ticks are infected with ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)At a glance, it may look like many Americans have long forgotten about the dangers of coronavirus.Crowds packed beaches in Florida, Maryland, Georgia, Virginia and Indiana over the weekend -- many venturing out without masks and others failing to...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)At first glance, Shelley Allwang's cubicle looks just like any other office space.But alongside a pinboard full of tchotchkes and a photo of her dog, sits a story that reminds Allwang of the importance of her job, now more than ever. "The Boy and...