This weekend, you’ll have the opportunity to eat lots of free candy and dress up like a crazy person without anyone judging you. But in case that isn’t enough good news for you, here are a few other great things that happened this week.
Since China implemented its one-child policy in 1979 to curb population growth, experts estimate it has prevented about 400 million births. Enforcement of the policy resulted in fines for families with more than one child, forced abortions and even female infanticide. The policy did slow down the country’s population growth, but it also caused a whole host of other problems, including an aging population and a gender imbalance.
The Chinese government has been easing the restrictions for the last few years, but this week, they announced they were officially ditching the policy and will now allow families to have two children. Though the policy can’t remedy the negative effects of the one-child policy, and it won’t necessarily mean a baby boom, experts say it’s a hopeful change for China’s future.
About a year ago, Tim Jones—the pastor of Mercy Independent Baptist Church in Kannapolis, North Carolina—met a man named Don Herbert at a church event. When Jones found out a few weeks later that Herbert needed a kidney transplant, he decided to donate his kidney to his new friend. But ironically enough, in preparing to save someone else’s life, Jones may have saved his own, as well. When doctors went in to remove his kidney, they found an aneurysm in an artery behind his kidney. The artery was in danger of rupturing at any point, and if it had, it would probably have killed Jones. But because of the surgery, doctors were able to remove the aneurysm before it could rupture, saving Jones from a problem he never would have known existed if he hadn’t been willing to give a kidney.
After leaving his post as the host of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart has continued speaking out for causes he believes in. This week, he and his wife, Tracey, announced that they are dedicating their 12-acre farm in New Jersey as a home for abused farm animals. The couple is partnering with a nonprofit called Farm Sanctuary, which cares for rescued farm animals and advocates to decrease abuse of farm animals.
Swedish homegoods store Ikea asked kids to design their own stuffed animals, and then made 10 of those toys a reality. Those toys are now on sale, and Ikea will donate one euro from each toy sold to children’s education projects by Unicef and Save the Children. The event is part of an annual fundraiser, which has raised more than $90 million for children’s causes since it started in 2003.
At 83 years old, John Joyce is still determined to keep up his yard service business. So when his 1994 truck died, Joyce kept right on going, walking several miles a day to mow his customers’ lawns. Two of his long-time customers, Robert Norton and his wife Nikki Norton, decided to do something to help Joyce out, so they launched a GoFundMe account to raise money to get him a new car. In just a few weeks, the page raised $13,000, giving the Nortons enough money to buy Joyce a used truck, pay for his insurance and plates and give him a gift card for a new lawnmower.
It was super exhilarating to do a good thing for such a good man. I’m at a loss of words, Robert Norton told People after they had given Joyce the truck.
Joyce was overcome and grateful for the gift. “I think it’s wonderful,” he said. “There couldn’t be anything better.”
Bonus: This Dad Made His Son’s Wheelchair Into an Awesome Star Wars Costume
Dargan is a former RELEVANT editor turned freelancer. Find her online at darganthompson.com or follow her extremely random train of thought on Twitter @darganthompson.