Dolly Parton Bedtime Stories, Rainbows In New York & 7 Other Good Things That Happened This Week

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Give yourself a round of applause. You’ve made it to Friday and the end of another homebound, often anxiety-ridden week in quarantine. Whether you’re confidently striding into the weekend or limping past the finish line, here is a collection of positive news stories to reflect on this week. People are combatting this weird time by starting new charitable organizations, reuniting with family members, and offering virtual entertainment when we need it most. Below, a roundup of the stories that made conquering this week just a little bit easier.

1

A Rainbow Appeared In NYC During The 7 O’Clock Cheer

After a rainy Monday in New York City, a rainbow appeared above the skyline. Many noticed the colorful occurrence while documenting the daily 7 p.m. applause for essential workers in the city. Gothamist has compiled a collection of the best views here.

2

Ava DuVernay Launched A Grant Program For Arts Organizations Centering On Women & People Of Color

The Oscar-nominated filmmaker behind When They See Us and Selma launched a $250,000 grant program with her non-profit ARRAY Alliance. The initiative will support arts organizations that center on people of color and women. Array Grants’ goal is to provide financial support for grassroots film festivals, arts advocates and creators that “serve as a cultural catalyst for narrative change.” Unrestricted grants of $10,000 have already been awarded to 14 inaugural honorees that serve African American, Latinx, Asian American, Native American, multiethnic and women-centric film communities: BronzeLens Film Festival, Cine Latino Film Festival, IllumiNative, Sankofa Film Society, Gary International Black Film Festival, UrbanWorld Festival, Cinema Sala, Lumbee Film Festival, Indigenous Film Festival, Black Femme Supremacy Film Festival, Visual Communications, ImageNation, Cinema Detroit and the Houston Museum of African American Culture. Additional grants were presented to The Sarah Jones Film Foundation and to Wilson Morales of BlackFilm.com.

3

Mothers Met Their Newborns After Recovering From COVID-19

In a testament to the strength of expectant mothers and healthcare professionals, ABC News reported on a pair of mothers who met their newborn babies for the first time after recovering from the coronavirus. Both women were placed in medically-induced comas in order to give birth to their babies while battling the disease. Once they tested negative, each was able to meet their newborns for the first time, in touching footage captured in the story above.

4

A 99 Year Old WWII Veteran Raised $24 Million for U.K. Healthcare Workers

99-year-old Tom Moore, a WWII veteran in the U.K., raised more than £20 million ($24 million) for Britain’s National Health Service. He initially aimed to raise £1,000 for NHS Charities Together after a recent hip surgery by walking 100 laps of his Bedfordshire garden before his 100th birthday on April 30. But on Thursday, he exceeded that goal and his initiative inspired the largest donation JustGiving’s site has ever seen. In an interview with ITV, Moore said he would “try and continue walking for all the time that people are kind enough, and thoughtful enough to give some money to such a good cause.”

5

Loki The Therapy Dog Delivered Care Packages To Healthcare Workers

A “dogtor” named Loki is delivering “hero healing kits” to intensive care unit nurses at the University of Maryland Medical Center. The therapy dog, owned by medical student Caroline Benzel, previously spent about three days a week visiting patients at the hospital, she told Fox 17. Since the pandemic, Loki and Benzel have been delivering care kits to medical workers that are stocked with moisturizer, chewing gum, chapstick, and tea. Their outreach has extended to multiple hospitals and nearly 2,000 kits. To donate to the campaign, you can order products from their Amazon Wishlist or message them about making healing kits in your own area.

6

Andy Cohen & Amy Schumer’s Sons Had A Zoom Playdate

During Schumer’s virtual appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen this week, the two new parents discussed the friendship between their sons. “Amy, I count your son Gene as one of Ben’s only friends his own age,” Cohen explained. “And sadly our playdates have been halted since the quarantine.”Schumer agreed that Gene “misses Ben so much” before both parents brought their babies onscreen for a mid-Zoom wave. “See you after the pandemic,” Schumer joked as both babies adorably greeted each other from afar.

7

Dolly Parton Continued To Hold Virtual Storytime

While sheltering at home, celebrities have been delving into new mediums (we see you on TikTok, Judi Dench and Jane Fonda). Perhaps no one has mastered this trend more gracefully than Dolly Parton, who has been reading children’s books in her “Goodnight With Dolly” series every Thursday since early April. At 7 p.m. ET weekly on Facebook and YouTube, she reads selections from the Imagination Library, her book gifting program that’s been sending free books to children since 1995. The 10-week livestream series kicked off with The Little Engine That Could and is reason number 10,001 why we love Dolly.

8

Grandparents Held A Zoom Wedding After Cancelled Nuptials

When a couple’s spring wedding was cancelled due to coronavirus safety concerns, they got creative with their nuptials. CBS News shared the story of Alvin Lee, 90 and Dorothy Driskell, 85—a couple who married in front of 20 family members and friends over Zoom last Friday. The newlyweds met last year and bonded over their grandchildren and previously losing spouses. One of Whitaker’s grandchildren shared footage from the sweet ceremony, which was also the pastor’s first Zoom wedding.

9

New York City’s Sanitation Deputy Chief Offered Happy Hour To Healthcare Workers

After finishing their shifts at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, New York City Sanitation Deputy Chief James McGovern treated healthcare workers to happy hour. In a video McGovern’s niece Emilee posted on Twitter, he can be seen offering medical professionals a selection of mini cocktails via his mobile mini bar. Today also reported on the feel-good effort, which also benefited health workers from across the country who have traveled to NYC to treat patients.

Savannah Walsh
Editorial Fellow
Savannah Walsh is an Editorial Fellow at ELLE.com.

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