The news cycle is undoubtedly filled with an overwhelming amount of upsetting and gut-wrenching stories that dominate the headlines, but there are also stories of hope and happiness that shouldn't be forgotten.
Take a look back at some of the good news stories from 2021 that made us smile, laugh out loud or even burst into happy tears.
Did you see him? A happy-go-lucky man inside a full-body teddy bear costume captivated audiences, both in person and on social media, as he walked from Los Angeles to San Francisco, spreading joy to complete strangers every step of the way.
For San Francisco police Officer William Ma, policing isn't just about catching criminals. It's about keeping an eye on victims and making sure they feel taken care of. Ma did just that after coming across a 62-year-old Chinese-speaking woman who was apparently abandoned by her family.
Despite challenges and delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a massive wildfire, nonprofit Clean Up the Lake is pushing ahead with its mission to remove trash from Lake Tahoe's entire shoreline. The group, having already pulled out tens of thousands of pounds of waste from the water, hopes to finish the cleanup effort in early 2022.
The Bay Area's beloved basketball star – Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry – is widely regarded as the best shooter in NBA history. He certainly solidified that sentiment when he became the all-time leader in 3-pointers made in league history.
At wildfire basecamps in California and beyond, exhausted firefighters coming off the front lines are increasingly finding furry friends waiting to give them a much-needed distraction. Therapy dogs and their handlers are proving to be a valuable resource for crews working days on end in life-threatening conditions.
The simple act of handing out water bottles to homeless people in Palo Alto led Scott Kuczmarski to Robert Pineda, a complete stranger who quickly became a close friend.
The San Francisco Giants capped off a remarkable 107-win regular season by winning the National League West on the final day of the campaign. The Giants last won the division in 2012.
Need some motivation? Look no further than Tom Butts. The triathlete from San Jose, who's in his late 60s, was in the hospital for over 100 days fighting COVID-19. The virus took its toll on Butts' body, but he battled back, eventually got released from the hospital, and decided to jump back into the sport he loves.
One woman's small act of kindness inspired a community in Scotts Valley to keep the graciousness going. It all started when 6-year-old Bradley Downing lost his beloved binder full of Pokemon cards and ended with complete strangers helping to replace the prized possessions.
Expecting mother Maria Vang was at death's door. When she was 17 weeks pregnant, her heart failed. Thanks to a specialized machine and a dedicated team at Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center, she was able to recover and eventually deliver her first born.
Danville's Maggie Steffens, one of the many local Olympians who represented Team USA at the Toyko Olympics, put on a show in the pool, breaking the record for most goals scored in Olympic water polo history.
Saddened by the growing number of people in need of food, Heather Ochoa of Oakley decided to turn her front porch into a pantry where anyone and everyone could come and pick up items they needed.
It's tiny, but it aims to create big smiles. Check out the quirky firetruck cruising around San Francisco.
For more heartwarming stories, check out our Something Good page.