This year has been incredibly tough on so many levels. From the devastating coronavirus pandemic to historic wildfires, people in the Bay Area have faced hardship after hardship.
But, as difficult as it may be to believe, 2020 wasn't all bad. Take some time to look back and cherish these good news stories that made us laugh out loud, crack a smile, feel inspired or cry some happy tears.
Silicon Valley Superhero: Meet the Teen Who's Shining the Bat-Signal on Homelessness
There was a superhero patrolling the streets of San Jose this year, but he wasn't fighting crime. He was delivering food and clothes to his unhoused neighbors. This is the story of Batman of San Jose, an anonymous teenager doing his best to help those in need.
6-Year-Old Girl Leads Fundraising Effort to Save the Oakland Zoo
Age is just a number. Take Andy Soulard for example. Back in July when she was 6, the East Bay girl led a fundraising campaign to help save the cash-strapped Oakland Zoo as it teetered on the brink of shutting down permanently. Read about the inspiring story here.
San Jose Man Donates Collection of 25,000 Baseball Cards to 9-Year-Old Who Lost All Hers in Wildfire
Kevin Ashford of San Jose had a massive baseball card collection — about 25,000 cards at least, he guessed. He said he was planning on selling the cards, but then he heard about 9-year-old Reese Osterberg. She lost her home and her precious baseball card collection in a wildfire. That's when Kevin decided to make a monumental donation. Read about the uplifting act of generosity here.
About 200 Goats Escape, Roam the Streets of East San Jose
Goats on the loose! Back in May, a massive tribe of goats busted through a fence and scampered through a San Jose neighborhood, much to the surprise of neighbors. Check out the hilarious video here.
More Than 100 Days Later, Coronavirus Patient Released From Hospital
Want to see perseverance in action? Look no further than Tom Butts. He spent more than 100 days in the hospital fighting COVID-19. At times, doctors didn't think he would make it. But he kept fighting. And then he won. Check out his moving story here.
Keanu Reeves Eating Ice Cream in Alameda?
Keanu, is that you? Looks like the beloved actor decided to stop for a sweet treat in Alameda at the beginning of the year. His ordinary act, of course, sent social media into a frenzy. Check out the reaction here.
Nonprofit Pulls 8,000-Plus Pounds of Trash From Lake Tahoe, Donner Lake
Lake Tahoe and nearby Donner Lake are beloved treasures in Northern California. But the trash left behind at these popular destinations, not so much. That's where Clean Up the Lake comes in. The nonprofit spent months removing a whopping 8,000-plus pounds of garbage from the two alpine lakes. And the group is just getting started. Here's the story on their massive cleanup efforts.
San Francisco Woman Reunites With Her Dog Who Was Stolen Months Ago
After her beloved pup Jackson was stolen from outside a San Francisco grocery store, Emilie Talermo did just about everything to get him back. She offered a $7,000 reward, distributed thousands of flyers and even hired a plane to fly a banner that displayed the name of the website she was using to spread the word about the search effort. Months later, Jackson turned up in Southern California and was eventually taken back home. Check out the happy reunion here.
‘Masked Bandits': 2 Raccoons Break Into Peninsula Bank
This was not your ordinary bank robbery. Two raccoons — yes, you read that right — managed to bust into a bank in Redwood City. See them caught red-handed here.
12-Year-Old Piano Prodigy Plays for Neighborhood Seniors
At times, it's the simple things in life that can go a long way. Take piano playing for instance. Every other week, 12-year-old Christopher Nguyen ventured to an assisted living facility in the East Bay to play for the residents. Check out the Bay Area Proud story here.
Kamala Harris Calls Bay Area Teen to Thank Him for Painted Portrait
Tyler Gordon, a San Jose teenager, has some serious artistic ability. He showcased those skills in a stunning painting of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Hoping she'd see it, he posted the work of art on social media. The post quickly went viral and made it all the way to Harris, who hopped on a phone call with the teen to thank him for the portrait. Take a look at the painting and listen to the call here.
SF Post-it Hearts Become Contagious as People Reach Out to One Another
Trapped inside during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, Nick Munro of San Francisco covered his window with a heart made out of Post-it Notes. The small but uplifting gesture turned out to be contagious. Soon, Post-it hearts were popping up in windows across the city. Click here to read more about the messages spreading from window to window.
Coyote and Badger Spotted Traveling Together Under Bay Area Highway
Ready for a heartwarming animal video? This viral clip shows a playful coyote and their badger buddy traveling together under a South Bay highway. While it seems like a normal interaction in the wild, it was actually pretty significant. Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) said the moment marked "the first time this type of behavior has been captured" in the Bay Area. For more on the special caught-on-camera moment, click here.
East Bay Teen Continues to Recover From Spinal Cord Injury
Roughly three years ago, Ryan Joseph was wrestling when he suffered a devastating spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the neck down. Back in January when we caught up with him, he was able to walk on crutches. Read about his remarkable recovery here.
4 Sets of Twins Born at Children's Hospital Stanford in 32 Hours
Wow! What are the odds? During a 32-hour stretch this past summer, doctors at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford delivered four sets of twins. Read more about the rare occurrence here.
A worst nightmare situation came to life for Jenna Madrid of Livermore. Back in September, she was in the bathroom of her home when her wedding ring slipped out of her hand and landed in the toilet just as it was flushing. She thought it was gone for good. Thanks to a Livermore Public Works crew, that wasn’t the case. More on the miraculous find here.