He Was Exhausted By Negative News. So He Made A List Of Good Stories From 2017.

2017 wasn't all doom and gloom.

2017 was dominated by news stories about natural disasters, a myriad of terror attacks around the globe, the refugee crisis, and more, but the past 365 days or so have also been filled with encouraging (albeit less publicized) tales of environmental progress, important scientific discoveries, and generosity of the human spirit, to name a few. 

In an effort to emphasize the latter group, Twitter user Jacob Atkins started a thread about some of the positive stories that made waves this year. The 12-tweet thread, which was originally posted on Dec. 20, has since received thousands of likes and retweets, as well as hundreds of comments thanking Atkins for reminding everyone that this difficult year was filled with many triumphs as well.

Atkins began the thread by drawing attention to environmental issues, specifically the Great Barrier Reef. Much attention has been given over the past several years regarding how the reef is dying, but Atkins' positive story draws attention to the fact that scientists have figured out a way to rebreed sections of the stunning natural wonder.

Before turning his attention back to the environment (more specifically snow leopards, which are no longer considered an endangered species), Atkins shared a positive piece of economic news. While a great deal of attention has been paid to tech giant Amazon's plans to open a second headquarters in the United States, the company's plans to donate more than 47,000 square feet of their Seattle campus to the Mary's Place homeless shelter when they move into a new building in 2020 was met with little fanfare.

"To have a permanent downtown Seattle location within Amazon is a game-changer for Mary's Place and the families we serve," Marty Hartman, Executive Director of Mary's Place, said in a press release back in May. "We've loved being Amazon's neighbor, and now the opportunity to move into their headquarters permanently is truly a dream come true. This unique, first-of-its-kind shelter will remind families that they matter and that their community wants to help them succeed."

Sustainability and women's rights were also two major issues of 2017, and while stories about America's decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement and the gender pay gap were discouraging to say the least, Atkins found stories of impact.

As noted in one of his tweets and confirmed by Public Radio International, a shoe company in Argentina makes shoes from recycled tires and employs only women from rural areas. According to the outlet, the new company empowers women while simultaneously addressing Argentina's big air pollution problem.

And last but certainly not least, Atkins, a University of Iowa student, shared a story we brought to you earlier this year about a new tradition the U of I football team has started in an effort to cheer up sick kids. Since the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital now boasts a new building that overlooks the stadium, members of both teams and the audience of thousands of fans have begun waving at kids watching from the hospital upon completion on the first quarter.

The idea was apparently the brainchild of fan Levi Thompson, who runs an Iowa football fan page called Hawkeye Heaven and received an email from a woman asking him if he could attempt to use it to do something nice for the hospital. 

"I wanted it to be something the fans could accomplish without getting the University or any kind of money backing it," he told HawkeyeNation.com. "That's when we thought about waving to the hospital after the end of the first quarter would be the perfect thing."

Though Atkins was not expecting his positive Twitter thread to go viral, he humorously shared that he hopes to continue the tradition for years to come. "Because this thread did numbers, I'm doing a 2018 edition next year," he tweeted. "With the sources since some of y'all became professors and want citations in MLA format."

Though it is important to remain dedicated to and report on some of the more difficult obstacles facing the world today, Atkins' Twitter thread illustrates we are yearning for more positive stories as well.

(H/T: Bored Panda)

Cover image via Shutterstock /ZoranOrcik.

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