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Against The Current’s Chrissy Costanza: “There Is Light Out There”

Chrissy Costanza
Chrissy Costanza 14 January 2018 at 16.32

Chrissy gives us some reasons for hope in her latest column. 

And so, we meet again! It’s December, the holiday season, the most joyous and simultaneously stressful season of them all. Quite frankly, I’m exhausted from a long bout of touring, and from writing and recording our album in every space we had between tours. I am stressed half of the time and exhausted from being stressed the other half of the time. Somehow, I committed myself to a full weekend of activities and events the day that I got home for the year, and now I’m just thankful to sleep. I’m tired of being a stressed wreck, I just want to be consumed by good things. 2017 was pretty rough (remember when we were bummed about 2016?), but some good things happened within it. I raided goodnewsnetwork.org and found some really amazing and sweet stories that I figured I’d share some with you.

At a Goodwill store in Colorado, there is a man who goes every year and pays for the entire children’s section, so that every child who comes in can have a toy, stuffed animal or book for free. Apparently it’s a family tradition now, and an incredibly sweet one. This isn’t the only example of a Secret Santa, either. One woman, Desiree Williams, had toys for her children on layaway at a Walmart in New Jersey and was struggling to find how to pay for them when she woke up to an email, as well as multiple other families, saying that her layaway had been paid off by a Secret Santa. When you do good, sometimes it inspires others to good as well, as Desiree then went and donated some of the toys to less fortunate children who otherwise would not have received any.

There aren’t just Christmas stories, though. Earlier this year, a police officer named Jody Thompson investigated a child abuse case. They found eight-year-old John tied up in a trash can full of cold water. They stayed with John through everything, even in the emergency room and became a certified foster parent that week so that he could take John home. John’s biological mother was pregnant at the time of arrest and had a baby girl in jail. Officer Thompson immediately adopted her as well, when she was only 24 hours old. If you guys were watching me write this article in real time I promise you there would be a lot of crying breaks. This story killed me.

Cancer is a horrific disease that affects so many lives, but so many of the success stories can bring so much joy and hope. The fight is never easy and any good news is worth celebrating. So, on Amy Kleiner’s last day of chemotherapy, her community took their job of telling her how proud they were of her very seriously. When she came out of her garage, there was a parade of friends, family and neighbours waiting outside.

Now that it’s winter it’s cold af here in New York, and I know that it must be freezing in the UK as well (we were just there and I was not having the weather), so a local crossing guard took it upon herself to make sure the kids she helped cross the street were staying warm. She went and purchased 30 coats from the local Salvation Army to give to any kid that needed one. Any coats she has left over, she’ll donate to a local church organisation that donates clothing to foster kids who are entering new homes. This is so sweet! As it gets colder, if you have spare warm clothes that you have outgrown or don’t wear anymore that are just sitting around, keep in mind the many places you can donate them to. You could help keep someone warm this winter.

This next story made my heart melt into a tiny little puddle on the floor. A couple were getting married in Brazil when it began to rain, so the wedding party was moved under a tent. A stray dog happened to wander into the tent looking for a dry place to nap, and although wedding organisers tried to escort him out, he kept coming back. Then - here’s when it gets good - the dog comes in and lays down on the bride’s veil while they’re exchanging their vows! The couple let the dog stay (obviously, how could you not?) and fed him. He left on his own (why would you let him leave?!), but the couple used social media to find the dog again and adopt him. If this doesn’t happen at my wedding, I’d like a do-over please.

I hope some of these stories made you smile! In the midst of all the darkness, it’s just a small reminder that there is light out there.

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