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    19 Wholesome Facts That'll Make You Realise The World Isn't All Bad

    No, I'm not happy crying, you're happy crying.

    1. After the Fukushima disaster, one man stayed behind to care for all of the animals and displaced wildlife.

    Facebook: 182452015189991

    His name is Naoto Matsumura and he lives in Tomioka. He's the only person left out of an original population of 16,000. His home has no electricity or running water but he cares for dozens of horses, 100 cats, 10 dogs, and an ostrich. He was told that radiation levels would kill him in around 30 years, but he said, "I'll probably be dead by then anyway."

    2. The voice actor who plays Winnie The Pooh calls sick children and chats to them in character.


    His name is Jim Cummings, and, in collaboration with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, he phones children who are in hospital and uses his Pooh voice to cheer them up and make them laugh. One child Jim he spoke to had autism and was nonverbal, but he was so thrilled to be on the phone to Pooh that he began to reply and ask questions. Wow.

    3. There are fences in Germany that protect migrating frogs and keep them safe on the road.

    Carsten Koall / Getty Images

    These "frog fences" prevent the frogs from crossing the road and getting hit by cars. Some of them divert the frogs to tunnels underneath the road, others just keep them contained until volunteers can come find them and help them cross.

    4. Last time Liechtenstein went to war, they sent 80 soldiers. 81 came back, because they made a friend.


    During Liechtenstein's last military engagement against Italy in 1868, 80 soldiers were sent to fight, but didn't stay long. They came home a day later with an Italian soldier whom they'd befriended and who wanted to move to live in Liechtenstein.

    5. Billy Joel never sells front-row seats, instead he gives them away for free to fans who can't afford them.


    He does it because he wants to help people, and also because he wants to see the "real fans" in front of him, not just wealthy ones. He usually chooses fans in the farthest away, highest seats, and upgrades their seats for free. Nice.

    6. In 2005, Swedish millionaire Johan Eliasch bought 400,000 acres of Brazilian rainforest to preserve it.

    Pixabay / Creative Commons

    It was the size of London, and he bought it from a logging company for $8 million. Fellow philantropists Doug and Kris Tompkins have bought a similarly large amount of rainforest in Patagonia, too, and they've turned it into a national park.

    7. In 1977, a group called the "9 Nanas" began to secretly meet to help people in need. They're still doing it.

    Twitter: @AbToHas

    The group of nine women have been meeting at 4am for decades to make hundreds of pound cakes to send to total strangers in their local community. They also reach out to widows and single mothers and offer to pay their bills. Until recently, nobody (not even their husbands) knew they were doing this altruistic night shift work. What legends.

    8. Marvel Comics invented a brand-new superhero to encourage a little boy to wear his hearing aid.


    The little boy (Anthony Smith) was first fitted with a hearing aid at 4 years old, but he was unhappy as he felt different from the other kids, and in 2012 started to refuse to wear it altogether, saying "superheroes don't wear blue ears". His mother emailed Marvel Comics for help, and they created deaf hero Blue Ear in response.

    9. There are biker gangs who help child abuse victims feel safe by escorting them to court.

    Facebook: BikersAgainstChildAbuseInternational

    They're called Bikers Against Child Abuse International, and they were founded in 1995. They protect victims of bullying and sexual abuse. They guard the kids' homes at night, and accompany them to give evidence against their attackers. Amazing.

    10. And Truckers Against Trafficking is a group of truckers who work to rescue sex-trafficking victims.

    Facebook: truckersagainstrafficking

    In the US, many victims of sex trafficking and forced prostitution are made to work at truck stops. TAT are a group of truckers who produce anti-trafficking leaflets and run in-depth training for drivers to help them identify and support victims.

    11. After being fired from Disney World, a millionaire paid for free daycare for a whole Florida neighbourhood.

    He's called Harris Rosen. After being fired for not being quite "Disney" enough he also funded free college scholarships as well. One unexpected benefit of this awesomely kind act was that crime rate was cut in half and the graduation rate jumped from 25% to 100%.

    12. In 1984, a man asked his waitress to help him choose lottery numbers. He won, and tipped her $3 million.


    Her name is Phyllis, and she'd spent the previous 24 years of her life serving pizza at Sal's Pizzeria in Yonkers, New York. One day, one of her regular customers, Robert Cunningham, a cop, asked her to pick his lottery numbers. She didn't expect him to come back a week later and tip her $3 million (half his winnings) but he did. What a guy.

    13. Bill Gates has given away $28 billion since 2007.

    And his charitable giving is estimated to have saved around 6 million lives, mainly thanks to the in-depth and extensive project (GAVI) that he's funded to provide vaccination programs against malaria, whooping cough, and other preventable diseases.

    14. The Italian government gives all 18-year-olds a €500 "culture bonus" to spend on trips to the theatre, etc.


    They can spend it on trips to theatres, concerts, or museums, as well as visiting archaeological sites, and buying books. About 575,000 teenagers will get this money every year, at a cost to the government of €290 million. So classy.

    15. A kid from Seattle has befriended a group of crows, who bring gifts like jewellery and other "treasures".


    Eight-year-old Gabi has been feeding the crows for years, and in return they bring along little "treasures" including a miniature silver ball, buttons, shiny paper clips, and even a pearl-coloured heart. Gabi keeps all of these fancy gifts in a special box.

    16. Hundreds of love letters between two gay World War II soldiers are being made into a book.

    Oswestry Town Museum

    The beautiful letters include the phrase "wouldn't it be wonderful if all our letters could be published in the future in a more enlightened time. Then all the world could see how in love we are", so staff at the museum where the letters are stored are working on a copy for publication to honour the two men.

    17. Swedish blood donors receive a text whenever their blood is used to help someone.

    Twitter: @robertlenne

    They get a "thank you" text when they first donate. Then, they'll get further "thank you" updates when the blood is used to save a life. And Stockholm residents can even view a live chart of how much of their blood is left in stock online.

    18. German law prohibits killing animals for no "proper" reason, so their shelters are all no-kill.

    Twitter: @bestocker

    These "Tierheims" are really fancy, too: Dogs’ rooms are large with transparent walls so they can see each other, and cats have loads of climbing equipment. The shelters also have a 90% adoption rate, impressively. Props to Germany.

    19. And there's a place in Costa Rica called Territorio De Zaguates which is a huge, no-kill dog shelter.


    It means "land of the strays", and visitors can hike through the surrounding mountains accompanied by 970 overjoyed dogs. The sanctuary is run by a team of volunteers, so give them some donations if you can. TL;DR: Heaven exists.

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