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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FIU chapter.

     When we think of news stories, we often imagine anxiety-inducing content like political division, crime, terrorism, or other negative fields covered by the media. We can become consumed by this as it appears everywhere in our lives, from watching TV or simply from scrolling through social media. It’s important to stay informed on the situations that are impacting our world, but it is also equally, if not more important, to take some time and focus on your mental health. Every now and then, it can be beneficial to take time out of your day and look at the positives that are happening in life. As a way to make your day even the slightest bit brighter, here are 4 positive news stories gathered from around the world. 

Abandoned Senior Dogs Rehomed With Love At This New Retirement Sanctuary

     At Marty’s Place in Upper Freehold, New Jersey, Doreen Jakubcak is making it her mission to rehome older canines. Dogs older than 7 are significantly less likely to be adopted and are often abandoned. Because of this, the non-profit location has become a sanctuary to senior dogs that are admitted, many times, by owners who can no longer care for them. 

     Each dog at Marty’s is given plenty of living space, lots of human and canine bonding, and consistent dental and medical care. They are also given access to activities that are both mentally and physically stimulating that are also appropriate for their age and capabilities.

     “The facility is equipped with walking trails, sleeping suites, an indoor pool, and a family room where dogs can relax, exercise, and interact with volunteers,” according to ABC News. Eventually, some dogs find adoptive pet parents, while none of them ever have to worry about being abandoned. 

     Jakubcak told Good Morning America how, “When people hear the term senior dogs, they immediately think, ‘Ugh they’re boring,’ but some are high energy and require lots of exercise and stimulation,” she emphasized how dogs know what you do for them and they will always show gratitude. “That bond is nothing like you could imagine.”

     Volunteer Rennie Rankin added how the dogs are, “so lucky that they can live out their golden years in this amazing place. We should all be that lucky, as human beings, we should be that lucky […] Every time I walk in the door, I think about that. Wow, this is how I should live out my last days.”

     Despite the financial challenges faced as a result of the pandemic, the staff at Marty’s place is working arduously to fundraise by hosting virtual events to continue serving their beloved senior dogs.

     Jakubcak also explains that Marty’s Place is more than just a sanctuary, it’s a family. “That family consists of our dogs, our staff, and our volunteers,” she tells. “Everybody that’s here truly embraces the dogs and truly cares about them like they’re their own personal dogs.”

California and Banning the Sale of New Gas-Powered Cars by 2035

     As climate change and global warming continue to grow as concerns over time, it is amazing that we are making the steps, however small, to try and counter it. California seems to be at the forefront of attempts to reduce carbon emissions from cars when it comes to the switch to sustainable means of transport. The Golden State adopted a new law earlier this summer that requires all commercial trucks and vans sold in the state to be emission-free by 2045.

     California Governor Gavin Newsom has recently signed an optimistic executive order aiming to transition out of using combustion-engine vehicles in the state by only permitting the sale of zero-emission passenger vehicles by 2035, as the state continues to cope with climate change-induced wildfires. The Hill also reports that the order includes a provision to refrain from issuing new permits for oil and gas fracking by 2024.

     “When we are looking to achieve our audacious goals to get to a 100 percent carbon-free economy by 2045, we can’t get there unless we accelerate our efforts in the transportation sector,” said Newsom on Wednesday.

     He also added how, in the next 15 years, California will eliminate the sale of internal combustion engines and reach a greater goal of decarbonizing our vehicle feet as well as moving forward to green. In doing so, this would substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as oxide nitrogen.

     The governor said the move, which was also supported by environmentalists, will boost the economy of the state, referring to the fact that electric vehicles are some of the largest exports from the state and that expanding this sector would increase job opportunities. 

     With the severity of the climate crisis becoming more evident, let’s hope that the landmark decision by California encourages other states to follow behind.

Germany Provides €50 Billion Aid Package for Small Businesses to Help Artists and Galleries

     “The German federal government is stepping in with a sweeping aid package for the country’s creative and cultural sectors,” according to Artnet News. 

     “We know the hardships, we know the desperation,” said culture minister Monika Grütters in the statement. “The cultural sector, in particular, is characterized by a high proportion of self-employed people who now have problems with their livelihoods.” She said that the federal government is “wholly aware” of the importance of the creative industries, adding that “[h]elp is coming as quickly and with as little bureaucracy as possible!”

     According to Positive News, with reference to a press release shared by the ministry of culture and reports in the German press, a staggering €50 billion ($54 billion) in backing will be provided specifically to small businesses and freelancers, including those from the cultural, creative, and media sectors.

     “Our democratic society needs its unique and diverse cultural and media landscape in this historical situation, which was unimaginable until recently,” said Grütters. “The creative courage of creative people can help to overcome the crisis. We should seize every opportunity to create good things for the future. That is why the following applies: artists are not only indispensable but also vital, especially now.”

Izayah Edwards and His Kind Gesture to an Elderly Woman

     Izayah Edwards is a senior at Merrillville High School and works part-time at Jewel-Osco in Crown Point, IN. 

     Edwards, who has worked at the Jewel-Osco for about a month, said he noticed an elderly customer was taking a long time to count her money and was fumbling around in her purse, coming up $20 short on a grocery bill of about $150. He just so happened to have $50 in his wallet, so he gave her $20. But this small act did not go unnoticed. 

     He stated how, what most inspired him, was the whole pandemic situation and how he felt bad about the negative things going on in the world. “This was a little moment in the day where I could show that someone out there really did care.” 

     After the event, Edward mentioned how he had become a sort of celebrity at work because of his selflessness. 

     “It’s been crazy. People have been congratulating me at work like I’m a superstar or famous now, so that’s kind of fun,” he said. “It’s gotten a lot of attention. People said it says a lot about my character, that I was raised right, that I have a good heart, all these heartwarming things about me.”

     I hope that these little moments of good were able to brighten up your day as they did mine. In a time where there is so much to consume in terms of information, balancing your everyday sources with positive stories is essential. It can offset the negative effects of bad news and preserve your mental health. Even tiny accomplishments, such as having a good night’s rest, drinking the perfect Starbucks cup, or even watching a sunrise on a cool spring day can become positive memories to share with others. We not only improve our own spirits in doing so, but give those around us an opportunity to feel that joy with us. In this way, by exchanging positive experiences with others, we can all intentionally become an anecdote to bad news.

You can often find Endry working on her courses, hanging out with friends, and drinking Coka Cola (usually simultaneously). A blue enthusiast and organizer at heart, Endry is always decorating and cultivating new aesthetics. Lover of drawing and painting, poetry, self-care, and all things style.