The Good News Collective - July 2 edition

The Good News Collective is a handful of short, positive news blurbs designed to remind us that there is still a lot of good going on out there in the world amidst the COVID pandemic.

A ‘Sweet’ Birthday Wish

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A Florida pastor wanted to celebrate his 73rd birthday the same way he celebrated his 17th: driving an ice cream truck.

To make that wish come true, his daughter made arrangements to rent a truck for him. Pastor Bill spent an entire Saturday driving around the community handing out hundreds of free ice cream treats to children and adults. Some of the grateful recipients said they hadn't seen an ice cream truck visit the area in many months, so it was a special thrill for them as well.

Pastor Bill was excited to share his birthday with many new friends.

Back on the Right Path

A California company working in the recycling business is doing much more than recycling waste. Projects include an innovative plastics program, an initiative working with food and agricultural waste in new ways and a different approach to dealing with electronics. But the company sees itself as more than a recycling company. They have a goal of training and employing formerly incarcerated men and women and helping them transition to a new life.

The challenge in finding work after incarceration led the company's management to help those facing barriers to employment. The results have been positive. About 23% of the company's employees have gone on to re-offend compared to the nationwide average of 60-75%.

Near-Tragedy to Triumph

Malala Yousafzai graduated with a Philosophy, Politics and Economics degree from Britain's Oxford University, eight years after taking bullets to her head.

Malala was 15 years old when she was shot on her way home from school in Pakistan in an attack that also saw two classmates badly injured. She had been targeted because of her advocacy for education for girls. Malala and her family were airlifted to England where she received medical treatment and rehabilitation to recover from her injuries. The family remained in England and made it their home.

Like other graduates this year, Malala completed her degree online and celebrated her graduation at home with family. The winner of the Nobel Peace Prize said it was hard to express the joy and gratitude she felt earning her degree and seeing what the future might bring.

New Arrival

The Calgary Zoo welcomed a baby gentoo penguin last month, the first birth in three years.

With the addition of the newborn, the Calgary Zoo is home to 14 gentoo penguins. There are also colonies of humboldt penguins, king penguins and rockhopper penguins.

A…Unique Audience

A Spanish opera hall is ready to play to a full house. No social distancing. No masks required. That's because a performance of Puccini's concerto Chrisantemi will play to a packed house of 2,292 potted plants.

Concert organizers said they contemplated the way nature has reclaimed some of its space and felt plants should receive the honor of the first performance back at the Catalan concert hall.

The concert could be streamed for free by music lovers, but the audience was made up entirely of plants. Once the violins, viola and cello finished the performance of Chrisantemi (which means chrysanthemum in English), each plant in the concert hall was donated to a health worker.

© The Outlook

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