14 Most Inspirational News Stories of 2014 (PHOTOS)

Kiri Blakeley | Dec 26, 2014 Good News

2014 is almost over, my friends, and what a ride it's been, eh? Wow, it went lickety-split, like that! When we look back on the things that happened this year, there's plenty 'o war, unrest, turmoil, murder, and all that usual stuff. But there's good stuff, too!! In fact, most of the time, human beings are being good people, but the news tends to focus on the negative. So let's focus on the positive, shall we? Here are 14 of 2014's most inspirational news stories.

  • ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

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    Image via Anthony Quintano/Flickr

    The biggest trend of the year was probably the Ice Bucket Challenge, and unlike twerking, it was actually for a good cause -- to benefit ALS. Millions of people, including notables from Bill Gates to Kendall Jenner participated, dumping a bucket of ice water over their heads. It all helped raise more than $50 million for ALS research.

  • 17-Year-Old Malala Yousafzai Wins Nobel Peace Prize

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    Image via WPA Pool/Getty Images News

    When you think of Nobel Prize winners, you think of, well, adults. But Malala Yousafzai became the youngest prize winner for her work advocating for educating girls. Yousafzai had been shot in the face by the Taliban for her views, but obviously that didn't stop this incredibly brave teen.

  • Commuters Save Man Stuck in Train Gap

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    Image via Daily Mail

    When a man in Perth, Australia became stuck between the platform and train gap at a commuter rail station, hundreds of people on the platform worked in tandem to lift the train off of him, resulting in one of the most touching photos of the year.

  • Newlywed Fights for Right to Die

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    Image via Brittany Maynard/Facebook

    While 29-year-old newlywed Brittany Maynard dying of a brain tumor was no feel-good story, her brave journey to die on her own terms -- surrounded by her loved ones, at her home, when she wanted to -- was truly remarkable. Maynard died fighting for other terminally ill people to die the way she did -- with dignity.

  • Cat Saves Boy from Dog Attack

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    Image via Tara Hero Cat Official/Facebook

    Cat lovers have it tough. Usually they are thought of as lonely spinsters and their favorite pets as "jerks." But cat lovers got a huge surge of righteous justice when surveillance video caught Tara the cat streaking out of the yard to fight off a large dog who was attacking her little master. Finally! Dog people had to bite it. And a little boy was saved ... by a cat.

  • Parents Reunited with Girl Lost in Tsunami 10 Years Earlier

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    Image via U.S. Official Navy Page/Flickr

    In one of the more incredible stories of the year, a 14-year-old Indonesian girl was reportedly reunited with her family after the Boxing Day tsunami had swept her away 10 years earlier. The girl had apparently been swept into another village and adopted by a fisherman and his wife. I'm still waiting for the results of the DNA test (cynical me!) but quite an inspirational story anyway.

  • Homeless People Save Autistic Boy

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    Image via San Jose Police

    Family feared the worst when a 6-year-old non-verbal autistic boy went missing from his home in San Jose, California. Around 4 a.m., the little boy showed up hungry and nude (autistic children tend to disrobe) at a homeless camp set up on the outskirts of town. Residents of the camp fed him, gave him some clothes, and called 911.

  • Stray Dog Follows Extreme Sports Team Through Amazon Jungle

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    Image via Krister Goransson/TeamPeakPerformance/Facebook

    Four extreme sports adventurers were on a 430-mile trek through Equador and the Amazon jungle when the captain, Mikael Lindnor, spotted a starving and smelly street dog. He threw him a meatball and that was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. The dog, whom he named Arthur, followed the team through knee-deep mud, and the Amazon River, until he crossed the finish line with them. Lindnor eventually adopted him and brought him back to Sweden.

  • Dad Quits $100 Million Job to Spend Time With Daughter

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    Usually if a CEO quits his multi-million-dollar a year job, it's over some scandal. Not so with head of investment firm PIMCO, Mohamed El-Erian. When his daughter handed him a list of 22 important moments he had missed of her life so far that year, he turned in his CEO papers and collected his Dad papers.

  • NFL Re-Signs Player Dad So He Can Pay For Daughter's Cancer Treatment

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    The NFL had quite a horrible year, given the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson scandals, but it did have one shining moment: When Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still was re-signed after being cut from the team. The reason? Humanity. The NFL wanted him to be able to keep his health benefits so he could take care of his 4-year-old cancer stricken daughter. At least once this year NFL done good.

  • Touching Photo Shows Hope in Ferguson

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    Image via ChambersVisuals/Instagram

    The riotous aftermath of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri has been one of the low points this year, but out of chaos came instances of wondrous humanity. One of them, a white cop and a tearful black young man hugging, was snapped by photographer Johnny H. Nguyen and instantly went viral.

  • Police Officer Gives Booster Seat Instead of Ticket

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    When Alexis DeLorenzo got pulled over by a cop for not having her daughter in a booster seat, she fully expected to get a ticket. She told the officer that she was facing tough times, her car had been repossessed, and with it the car seat, and she didn't have enough money to buy another. Instead of ticketing her, Officer Ben Hall brought her to Walmart and bought another.

  • Video Captures Goodness Around the Globe

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    Image via Coca-Cola/YouTube

    Surveillance cams catch all kinds of shenanigans, a lot of them not good, but hey, they capture a lot of awesome stuff too! Take this Coke ad, which purports to be a montage of surveillance camera footage from around the world showing people helping and loving each other. Let's hope it's real!

  • Little Girl Starts Subway Dance Party

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    December is cold, dark, and dreary in New York City, but not for one little girl in pink, who bust out into spontaneous dance to the buskers' boppy tune atop a Brooklyn subway platform. Her moves were so infectious that soon normally-dour black-clad New Yorkers were joining in. The resulting capsule of happiness on video went viral.

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