hooplaha

rumble

Visiting other places can bring joy and happiness. Natural beauty abounds and stopping to enjoy it can help keep you balanced and reduce stress. Here is just a taste of some of the extraordinary sights of natural and man made wonder from around the world. But, you don't have to travel far to find your next moment of positivity and hopeful abandonment. Be inspired anywhere. Live life extraordinarily - Get caught up in whatever and where ever you are.

An envelope can reveal many things - a love letter, an invitation, a 'thank you' message -anything showing connection to and relationships with other people. What resides within the folds of the envelope that can be seen in this video? Everyday heroes. Open the envelope to see U.S. soldiers crawling in the mud and risking their lives for the safety of our country, and hardworking volunteers making people feel comfortable in society.

Listen to the words of bravery and empathy, see the compassion everyday heroes have for others, and reminisce on your own place in this world. Find where you see everyday heroes in your own life, and how you can relate to them, just as this envelope introduces you to the just some of the heroes in the world around us.

When best friends Ashlee and Jenny were laid off from office jobs around the same time as each other, they decided that they wanted to continue working together. How do best friends start a new company? By finding what they both have in common, and for Ashlee and Jenny, their mutual passion was pickles.

Ashlee explained that you can't drive a car without both the gas and the breaks, and in this dynamic relationship, Jenny is the gas, and Ashlee is the breaks. Together, these two women from diverse backgrounds come together each day to co-run, "Miss Jenny's Pickles."

They self-described themselves as America's first pickle ladies, and Jenny emphasizes the advice for people who want to start their own business to "believe in yourself, believe in what you are doing, and anything is possible." The motto followed by Ashlee and Jenny is to do something right, or not at all. These two women are not only building a future for themselves, but for their families as well.

Ashlee and Jenny's determination to continue working together, and their ability to persevere toward a common goal despite being laid off from their previous jobs, shows that when one door closes, another truly does open.

If you show a mouse kindness … he'll probably want to spread some to other people! Mother and daughter duo, Natalie and Sophie, began the movement of Anonymouse, where they leave anonymous notes of encouragement to people who they see need inspiration or gratitude.

From Boulder, CO., this dynamic duo makes it their mission to spread kindness to as many people as possible. Natalie, a philanthropy consultant, was in the midst of writing a few kindness notes, when her daughter Sophie wanted to be involved. The first note the two wrote in collaboration with each other was to a janitor who they said, "seemed like she could use a little lift."

Natalie explained that she grew up on food stamps and other government assistance, and came up through grit, drive, and ferocity. She then described Sophie as being born with a big heart and a strong willingness to help others, and the Anonymouse movement helps Sophie harness her passion to spread kindness.

Together, the mother/daughter duo published a book entitled, "The Secret Adventures of Anonymouse," which tells the story of a little mouse, whose mother explains that small deeds of kindness can create a lot of change and goodness in the world. In a society where anxieties and troubles seem to congregate on a multitude of levels, Natalie and Sophie show that even a creature as small as a mouse can roar as loud as a lion - as long as it is done so through kindness and empathy.

Love letters aren't just for a significant other! In fact, over 25,000 people around the world write love letters through a NOTEworthy movement that encourages people to send messages of appreciation to those who need them most. Hannah Brencher founded The World Needs More Love Letters after undergoing a difficult transition when moving to New York City.

Hannah initially moved to NYC for a volunteer opportunity, and quickly realized her new lifestyle was nothing like she expected it to be. She became lonely, which eventually led to her depression. To combat her depressed state, Hannah wrote down her feelings in a journal she kept with her at all times, which eventually transitioned into writing down notes for people she saw on subways. Hannah began to leave these love letters and messages of encouragement around the city for whomever needed to find them.

The World Needs More Love Letters publishes between eight and 10 stories on a monthly basis. Movement supporters around the world read these special stories and then write letters to the people featured in them to lift their spirits and remind them that they are loved. People receive letters for a variety of reasons - they could suffer from depression, illness, loneliness or homesickness. Receiving letters from hundreds of people from around the world on a day when no mail was expected at all is enough to make anyone's smile return.

Hannah describes one instance, where the sister of a soldier who came back from war and suffered from PTSD, called Hannah requesting that he be sent letters. About one month later, the sister emailed Hannah saying that her brother broke down from tears of joy and explained that the letters propelled him to pull his life back together.

After speaking on a TED Talk, which was published online, Hannah continued to deliver speeches across the country. She went on to publish a memoir, "If you Find this Letter" explaining not only her movement, but also the importance of connecting with other people. Sharing positivity and encouragement is an act of kindness that can benefit someone else's life for the better - so, be like Hannah and go out and spread the love!

There are 3,200 tigers estimated to be living in the wild, compared to about 10,000 being kept as pets in the U.S. As a company that rescues all wild cats, Carolina Tiger Rescue has the overall goal of eventually going out of business - meaning, one day they hope there won't be a need to rescue tigers. Going online and purchasing a baby tiger is surprisingly an easy feat, but something most people who adopt tigers don't realize is that they become increasingly difficult to care for.

These initially small, cuddly animals grow into 700-pound cats, and become nearly impossible to take care of domestically. Carolina Tiger Rescue saved one tiger in particular, Aria - a tiger they found nearly 200 pounds underweight from malnutrition. The company has undergone similar rescues with 20 other tigers over the course of the past few years.

Tigers are valuable beings in the world yet shouldn't be treated as domestic animals. The Carolina Tiger Rescue cautions people to respect the fact that tigers are wild animals and should be treated as such.

Embrace the nature that surrounds you every day!

With technological developments slowly overpowering the growth rate of the human population, it can oftentimes be difficult to separate oneself from the 17 billion mobile devices circulating the world. Nature reminds us what it's like to completely be in tune with one's natural senses, while disregarding the influence of technology.

Follow the overgrown path in your hometown, or local river that branches off into a stream, where you can find yourself alone with nothing but the ever-evolving beauty of nature. This will fully engage your senses, where you can see clouds moving, time passing, and listen to wind blowing, moving the earth's leaves and branches around you.

Being surrounded by the oxygen, calcium, water, and salt that make up the Earth can reconnect oneself with their own senses, as these natural elements are what also makes up the human body. Through the flowing imagery and distinct sounds that this video showcases, people will be reminded that nothing else can reconnect a person with their own senses as well as the magic of nature.

"One man's trash is another man's treasure." And it's a good thing.

Each year the U.S. population produces approximately 18 billion cubic feet of trash. To combat this exceedingly high amount of waste, artists across the country are transforming recycled and thrown away objects into unparalleled sculptures and landscapes. Open your mind to the beautiful works these artists create out of unwanted objects.

Follow the journey of hundreds of canned goods with Canstruction, as they take common food-drive products and use them to create intricate sculptures, such as rocket ships and cartoon characters. An annual competition is held where designers showcase their talents, as they create their own innovative artwork. Once they've finished their creation, all food from the used containers is donated to local food banks.

New York City commuters discard used and expired metro cards each day. German artist, Nina takes these thrown-out yellow and black pieces of paper and transforms them into recognizable City landscapes. Nina collects the used cards, cuts them into tiny pieces and organizes them by color to create collages that, at first glance, look like intricate yellow and black paintings of New York City.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and artist Ernie discovered a way to make breakfast cereal that much more meaningful. Ernie initiated a photo series project that looks at common cereals in a new light. Piles of frosted mini wheats could be transformed into an igloo, overlooking a skyline at dusk - a creative project that Ernie describes as entertaining to both the audience and himself. He may not have thought of it this way, but Ernie's art could serve a greater purpose - the recycling of cereals that have not sold.

Art is a form of creative expression for people of all ages and backgrounds. As shown by these innovative and unique artists, art can be used as a powerful method to tackle the growing rate of trash and waste abundance within our own communities.

Art classes allow young people to express themselves in important ways. Unfortunately, arts education is disappearing from schools in America; since 2008, 80% of school districts have cut funding for art programs. Simultaneously, student creativity scores have dropped. Fortunately, there are people and groups out there fighting to keep arts education present and vibrant in schools across the country.

One of those pro-arts fighters is LIFEWTR, a premium bottled water brand committed to advancing and showcasing creativity. By inviting young artists to submit work for a high-visibility canvas—their bottles!—LIFEWTR hopes to inspire a new generation of young artists devoted to drawing, painting, design, and more.

LIFEWTR Series 4 water bottles are decorated with the works of three young artists, each of whom demonstrates the far-reaching impact and positive influence that art can have on young lives. The artists are all young people from varied communities: KRIVVY from Toronto, David Lee from Los Angeles, and Luis Gonzalez, a Boston native who's featured in this video.

Luis is a high school senior. He describes growing up in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston as "nothing too easy." Because of this, Luis considers himself lucky to have found a passion for life and inspiration to stay in school, thanks to the lessons and mentorship he received in his art classes. For Luis, art was more than just a way to express himself; it was a "life-saver."

Under the guidance of his art teacher and mentor, Ari Haube, Luis began to bring his unique point of view to life through drawing and painting. He "finagled" his way into getting extra hours of art classes each week, and was able to find art and inspiration in everything around him. Ultimately, his commitment to creating art that reflected his life led to his partnership with LIFEWTR; the piece he created for the bottles includes the word "DAYDREAMER," which is how Luis views himself.

Luis tells us that he hopes to incorporate art into his professional career. In the future, he'd like to teach young people that art can open doors—as it did for him.

With his artwork splashed across LIFEWTR bottles, he's getting there! Buy yours here: https://www.lifewtr.com/artist/luis-g...

This HooplaHa original video was produced by Dani Guitelman, shot by Manx Taiki Magyar and Dylan Steven, and edited by Kellie Sieban.

Join us in spreading good news. Follow us on hooplaha.com.

HooplaHa is Only Good News. We believe that positivity can change lives and strive to be the voice of humanity that recognizes people are good & doing good things for mankind. We shine a light on individuals and organizations involved in this movement. Help us celebrate people filled with kindness, those overcoming adversity with grace & inspiration, and the good in life.

Tennis is a popular and fun pastime, in that it requires mental focus and athletic ability. But due to the cost of equipment and court time, lots of kids never get the chance to try their hand at the sport. Leaders of the Junior Tennis Champion Center (JTCC) recognized this cost challenge, and decided to do something to change it. In 2009, JTCC launched a Community Outreach initiative, with the goal of introducing underserved kids in Prince George's County, MD, and Washington, DC to tennis. And the program has become an indisputable success.

For anyone unfamiliar with JTCC, it's a program based on a mentoring model: JTCC recruits high-performing student-athletes in their early teens to become role models for pre-teen youth in their communities. To date, the program has reached more than 2,800 kids—amazing!

One of these teens is Robin Montgomery, whose story illustrates how important JTCC can be in a young person's life. Robin was just 5 years old when her mother brought her to start training at JTCC. Thanks to JTCC's emphasis on making tennis accessible to all, Robin was granted a scholarship. Today, Robin is 13 and a worldwide tennis star.

Robin's list of accomplishments and awards is incredible, especially given her young age! Just to name a few: Robin achieved a #1 ranking in her USTA section, and #30 in the nation; in August 2016, she made her international debut at Coupe Le Blanc in Montreal, Canada, where she helped Team USA reach the top step of the podium; and in the summer of 2017, Robin won her first national title at the USTA National Girls' 14 Doubles Clay Court Championship.

In addition to her star qualities on the court, Robin has distinguished herself off-court as well. Recently, the young athlete won a prize in the USTA Foundation's prestigious National Junior Tennis and Learning Essay Contest.

"Not only does JTCC focus on tennis and the competitive aspect of it, but its life-long lessons: problem-solving, excellent character, sportsmanship. It's a positive part of your life," says Robin's mom Gabby.

Most recently, Robin lived up to the off-court lessons of the JTCC through her involvement in establishing a community outreach site at Hope Community Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. She takes seriously the emphasis that JTCC puts on student-athletes becoming role models for kids in their communities. And she has been recognized for it: Robin received the 2017 FILA REACH (Realizing Extraordinary Accomplishments with Courage and Humility) Award.

Thanks in part to the JTCC and its unique program, Robin has achieved an incredible amount in just 13 years. "JTCC will always have a special place in my heart," she says with a smile.

This HooplaHa original video was produced by Tracy Chevrier, shot by Adam Morrell, and edited by Kellie Sieban. For more inspiring videos, follow us on Facebook and sign up for our Only Good News Newsletter.

What's more fun than watching a fashion show? How about a fashion show featuring incredibly cute dogs??

That's exactly what took place recently at New York City's Historic Hotel Pennsylvania. The New York Pet Fashion Show (NYPFS) is among the world's largest animal rescue benefits, bringing fashion lovers from around the world together for a wonderful, colorful, fun-filled event featuring four unique runway shows: International Carnivale & Hat Couture, Country Western Couture, Made In The USA, and Best In Show.

Presented by TropiClean, NYPFS describes itself as "a celebration of and dedication to the couture style of our world, to rescue our animals in need and honor our planet."

This year's show benefited the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals, an organization that seeks to provide quality of life and find "forever homes" for domestic animals.

In this HooplaHa Original, you'll get to meet Ada Nieves, pet fashion designer and one of the founders of the NYPFS.

Ada got her start designing costumes for animals after her husband surprised her with a pet chihuahua before he departed for a military tour abroad. Raised by seamstresses and tailors, Ada had a natural talent for clothing design—and her pup provided the perfect model! The animal fashion designer rose to international prominence after photos of Oscars-inspired dresses she created for her chihuahua went viral, and today, Ada sews animal costumes for dozens of events a year, including the Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade, the Algonquin Hotel Cat Fashion Show, and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular..

While her Oscars-inspired dresses go for thousands of dollars, Ada generally doesn't charge more than $500 and most of her fashion-show work is for charity. Both at the NYPFS and at other events, Ada puts great emphasis on collecting donations and raising awareness for animal rescue groups.

"Animals are part of my world and I need to know they're okay," Ada explains. "I choose to be the voice that they don't have. I choose to be active, advocate, and to help in my own way."

You'll love Ada's giving attitude, her story of how she got started in this special industry, and her commitment to helping animals lead happy and healthy lives.

This HooplaHa Original was produced and shot by Fanny Texier, and edited by Kellie Sieban. To see more inspiring news, follow us on Facebook and sign up for our Only Good News Newsletter.

Jim Curtis is an award-winning health industry pioneer. But reaching the pinnacle of success, as he has today, was no cake-walk. Only after accepting the curveballs and challenges that life threw his way could Jim find happiness and thrive in his career.

The sudden onset of a mysterious illness when he was a teenager completely altered Jim's life. He woke up one day with numbness and pain in his feet and, very shortly afterward, the numbness consumed his whole body, leading to paralysis in his right leg, neurological complications, fatigue, and eventually a deep depression as a result.

Consumed with his illness, Jim was living in despair. That is, until he took matters into his own hands. Jim traveled across the world, visiting more than 200 doctors in the hopes that someone would be able to shed some light on his condition. But he never found the answers he was looking for.

"In the beginning, I was in survival mode, meaning total denial, and I did that for a really long time. Until I got older, a little bit stronger emotionally, and more evolved mentally, that I said, I have to snap out of this survival mode and find a new way of doing things," says a happier and healthier Jim now.

Adopting his new positive mentality, Jim set out anew to fulfill his life's journey. He followed his passion, stayed connected to healthcare, and ended up overseeing the growth of companies like Remedy Health Media, Everyday Health, WebMD, and OnHealth into immense digital health platforms. Jim found along the way that through story-telling, he could help others overcome their obstacles.

Jim outlines his own incredible journey, as well as his step-by-step program to overcome pain, setback, and struggle in his new book: The Stimulati Experience. In it, the author uses real people's stories of overcoming challenges to show that anyone can transform their life into one filled with freedom, joy, strength, and purpose—simply by changing their mentality.

This HooplaHa original video was produced by Tracy Chevrier, shot by Fanny Texier, and edited by Kellie Sieban. For more inspiring videos like this, follow us on Facebook and sign up for our Only Good News Newsletter.

In a sun-filled church in Stamford, Connecticut, a small group of young students sit with their musical instruments. Among them are many instruments you'd expect to see in a classroom—like violins and guitars—and also several that you may have never seen before, like the South American Charango and a Caribbean steel drum. That would give you your first hint that you're not looking at a standard music class. This is an INTEMPO class.

INTEMPO is a Stamford, CT-based non-profit arts organization that teaches students in a few nearby towns not only musicianship, but also multicultural awareness and pride in their diverse backgrounds. Part of that is accomplished by including native instruments like the Charango and the steel drum.

Founded in 2011 by violinist and educator Angelica Durrell, INTEMPO envisions a new word of musical opportunity and engagement among people of all ages. In this new world, the audience at a performance can see themselves reflected in the musicians and hear their heritage celebrated in the songs being performed.

"Cultural identity creates a sense of security and empowerment. So we really focus on that with our kids, parents, and partners," says Angelica, talking about INTEMPO.

She hopes that INTEMPO will help make classical music of all kinds relevant to a variety of communities. The organization brings together students from 30 different schools in Norwalk CT, Stamford CT, and Port Chester NY, who can participate in lessons centered on instruments or even in INTEMPO's multi-language choir.

"I'm a violinist by training.. but had it never been for the moment that I identified there was a huge gap missing in my community and that I could do so much more for these kids and families... this would have never happened," Angelica recalls of when she made the switch from musician to educator and organizer.

Angelica attended Norwalk High School in Norwalk, graduating in 2007. She participated in orchestra, the Norwalk Youth Symphony, and the Chamber Music Institute for Young Musicians in Stamford, where she has been a faculty member for the last four summers. And music runs in her family:

"I am a sixth-generation musician from Ecuador on my mom's side, and a fourth-generation musician on my adoptive father's side."

Through the music scene in Norwalk, and specifically the Youth Symphony, Angelica met Dr. Lisa Pento, a long-serving member of the Youth Symphony's Board of Directors who was for 3 years the Chairwoman of the Board. Lisa spearheaded a number of initiatives during her tenure at NYS, including rebranding of the organization, altruistic campaigns, and international tours. Given their overlapping interests, it's no wonder that Angelica and Lisa decided to work together. The two formed a partnership between the NYS and INTEMPO, and Lisa joined INTEMPO's Board of Directors in 2012.

Since its founding, INTEMPO has expanded far beyond its initial partnerships. It reaches more than 120 students today, and comprises 5 different programming areas:

• Native Instrument Academy
• Annual Gala and Fundraiser Concert
• International Women's Day Concert
• INTEMPO Ensemble
• International Composition Partnership

Through these 5 offerings, INTEMPO is changing the landscape of music and boosting confidence in the kids and families involved!

If you'd like to learn more about INTEMPO, visit their website.

This HooplaHa original video was produced by Dani Guitelman, shot by Johnny Perez, and edited by Matt Binetti. To see more inspiring videos, follow us on Facebook and sign up for our Only Good News Newsletter.

BalletNext's search for innovation led the New York City-based company and its Artistic Director Michele Wiles to a first-of-its-kind production, a ballet called "Follin."

"Follin" is a performance that incorporates American Sign Language in both language and movement. To create this accessible piece, Wiles teamed up with deaf dancer and choreographer Bailey Vincent. Their hope is to encourage inclusivity within the dance community, and to increase awareness of the needs of people with hearing impairments, without sacrificing technical or artistic standards.

Vincent and Wiles met after Vincent sent the NextBallet founder a cold email pitching her idea. Now, the collaborators are 2 of the 5 dancers who perform in this groundbreaking ballet.

Both women express their hope that the emotional impact of their piece will resonate across audiences of varying abilities. Vincent believes it will be touching for deaf audience members, because "it elevates this language that means so much to the deaf community." And as for hearing audience members, Wiles says that "it's going to open their eyes."

This HooplaHa original video is produced by Dani Guitelman, shot by Fanny Texier, and edited by Kellie Sieban.

Bailey Vincent

Vincent began losing her hearing in her teens due to a medical condition called atypical cystic fibrosis. Her internal metronome allows Vincent to dance in time without hearing the music. In her daily life, she reads lips in interactions with people with full hearing; and when she's choreographing, Vincent communicates through an interpreter. She trained at Rockbridge Ballet in Virginia before college and later danced with a small company in the DC-metro area. Today, Vincent is the Director, Choreographer, and a Dancer for Company360.

Michele Wiles

Wiles founded BalletNext in 2011 and serves as its Artistic Director. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, at age 10 she moved to Washington D.C. to train at the Kirov Academy on a full scholarship. She was a Gold Medal winner at the 18th International Ballet Competition in Varna, Bulgaria; a Bronze Medal winner in Nagoya, Japan; and a finalist at the Paris International Dance Competition. She received a Fellowship from the Princess Grace Foundation for 1999–2000, and won the Erik Bruhn Prize in 2002. After joining American Ballet Theatre in 1998, Wiles was promoted to soloist in 2000 and to principal in 2005. In 2011, she left American Ballet Theater to start BalletNext.

As BalletNext's search for innovation continues, hopefully we'll see Wiles and Vincent collaborate again soon.

Do you remember your first love? Unless you are still with them, it most likely ended in heartache. One couple knows this feeling all too well.

When they were in college in 1961, Janice and Prentiss fell in love. It all happened fast but they knew they wanted to be together forever. They got engaged and wanted to be married! But Janice's father had other plans. He forbid the two from seeing each other or he would cut off her tuition. There, in college, they ended their relationship. They both went on to live their lives separately. Though they never lost the love for each other they both married other people. But fate wouldn't let those last.

Years later, Tom found the newspaper clipping from their engagement in his mother's belongings. Janice found the same clipping in her mother's things. They both kept it. Unlike Janice's father, their mothers knew they should be together. This was a beautiful, clear sign they were meant for each other.

Decades after they parted, they ran into each other and the rest is history. They never stopped thinking about or loving each other. Now both age 71, 50 years after they met, they finally got married. Like the famous saying goes, "It's better late than never!" They weren't wasting any more years, they are going to make the most of their time together.

"We are so happy. Our marriage is perfect. Of course we have few years to live it, but it will be perfect," Janice explains of their new life together.

Sometimes celebrities get a bad rap for being self-centered, but not these celebrities! These 3 celebrities are following their passions outside of the music, television, and film industries, and as a result, they're helping others!

1) Country Superstar Charlie Daniels Has A Special Passion Project!

Charlie Daniels was 5 years old when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. He didn't realize it at the time, but he now understands that "there's only two things to protect America: the grace of God and the United States Military. So, I grew up with a great respect, admiration, and a great amount of gratitude for the military." Following his passion, Charlie Daniels created The Journey Home Project.

The Journey Home Project helps men and women, who have just come off the battlefields, transition back into civilian life. Started in 2014, it is an organization dedicated to the welfare and care of our veterans through rehabilitation, reintegration, education, and employment.

2) Actress Melissa Joan Hart Helps Shower Military Families With Joy

For actress, director, businesswoman, and mother, Melissa Joan Hart, one of her passions is Operation Shower. Founded in 2007, Operation Shower is based on the idea that expecting wives of deployed military members, who are home alone, need the love and support of others while their partners are away.

3) Gary Sinise, An Actor of Valor, Supports Our Troops!

Gary Sinise has a long history of giving back to the men and women who defend our country through working with the USO. He has participated in many tours with the organization, visiting troops and boosting the morale of our service men and women.

"It means a lot to them that someone would jump on a plane and come out to see them," Gary said. "Showing them our commitment is important."

We hope you enjoyed these stories as much as we did! Know of any other celebrities doing good? We'd love to hear about it!

This HooplaHa original video was edited by Kellie Sieban. For more inspiring stories, follow us on Facebook and sign up for our Only Good News Newsletter.

Since 2003, the American Dental Association has offered an annual free program at New York City schools called Give Kids a Smile. The program, New York City Dental Society's largest community-focused event, unites dentists, orthodontists, dental staff, and other volunteers to provide screenings and oral health education to students, their parents, and teachers.

Give Kids a Smile is celebrating its 15th year in 2018. In celebration of this milestone, program organizers hope to provide even greater numbers of underserved children with exams, assessments, and hygiene instruction than ever before!

Dr. Whitney Mostafiz, who is hosting the event, has one mission: to make children smile. An award-winning orthodontist in New York City who treats both children and adults, Dr. Whitney is also an active leader in the dental community. She keeps an active and healthy lifestyle that she encourages with her patients: she loves to practice yoga and run, and she even completed the Chicago Marathon in 2013. As a key member of the steering committee for Give Kids a Smile and a native of Long Island, Dr. Whitney was the perfect person to host the anniversary event!

One of the more lofty goals of Give Kids a Smile, beyond providing exams and cleaning, is to set young kids up for success in their oral care routines and habits. The volunteers want to help the students have the knowledge to care for their teeth and mouths, and to feel confident when they go to the dentist.

"It's a new experience for them, so we want it to be positive and fun," says Dr. Mostafiz. "Then when they go to the dentist in a more formal setting, they'll be more comfortable and amenable to the opportunity.

This HooplaHa original video was produced/shot by Fanny Texier and edited by Kellie Sieban. To see more inspiring videos, follow us on Facebook and sign up for our Only Good News Newsletter.

AJ Muss is just 23 years old, but his has been an eventful life so far. As an alpine snowboarder, AJ qualified for this year's Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, competing for Team USA— but that's not the only reason we love his story. We've already seen a number of new young American stars be made on the mountain during these Olympic Games, including fellow snowboarders and gold medalists Chloe Kim and Red Gerard. When AJ competes in the Men's Parallel Giant Slalom beginning later this week, we hope to see him shine as brightly as his teammates have so far.

Because there was a time when AJ was at risk of never making it out of the hospital, let alone down a mountain at the Olympics. It was his near-death experience that inspired the New Jersey native to become the best snowboarder he could possibly be.

AJ started racing when he was 6 years old. By the time he was in fifth grade, his family moved to Colorado for the winter, so that AJ, who was proving to be a snowboarding prodigy, could compete at a higher level. From the beginning, AJ had one goal: be the best and don't let anybody or anything stand in his way. And he hasn't—even after being close to death.

In 2014, AJ underwent a routine surgery after suffering tears in his shoulder. But his recovery was the furthest thing from routine. What AJ and his family learned later was that the athlete had developed a life-threatening hole in his heart, called a postoperative pulmonary edema. But in the moment, when his mother found AJ with his eyes rolling back in his head, all they knew was that he needed immediate and drastic help to stay alive. After a complicated transfer to a hospital in Denver, during which he had to be revived after being clinically dead for 30 seconds, AJ was put into a medically induced coma so that doctors could investigate the issues and operate to fix them.

AJ survived this ordeal, thanks to the close attention of his surgeons, but doctors told him he needed further procedures, including heart surgery, which would mean he'd have to give up the thing he loved most: snowboarding. That's where he drew the line. "Snowboarding is a dream I would never give up," says AJ.

Determination and the support of his family helped AJ make a full recovery, even without the heart surgery, and since then he has clocked some of his best times ever. "I was a good snowboarder before the incident, but after I became a great snowboarder," he says.

At age 23, AJ is the first and youngest snowboarder to claim EIGHT first-place prizes in the same NOR-AM season, and he's currently ranked in the Top 30 Alpine Snowboarders worldwide! To top it off, the young athlete is about to achieve his life-long dream of competing in the Olympics.

Here's how AJ describes it: "Being named an Olympian is an honor and pleasure. It's something I've always wanted to be and I'm proud to be named an Olympian."

You can watch this resilient American athlete compete in Men's Parallel Giant Slalom events this week. To see even more from AJ, follow him on Instagram and Facebook.

This HooplaHa original video was produced by Tracy Chevrier, shot by Sergio Uzurin, and edited by Kellie Sieban.

Join us in spreading good news. Follow us on hooplaha.com.

HooplaHa is Only Good News. We believe that positivity can change lives and strive to be the voice of humanity that recognizes people are good & doing good things for mankind. We shine a light on individuals and organizations involved in this movement. Help us celebrate people filled with kindness, those overcoming adversity with grace & inspiration, and the good in life.

At the age of 24, Shilamida felt that she had found success: she was earning a six-figure income and had a nice boyfriend. But just 2 years, everything seemed to fall apart. Her relationship ended shortly before she discovered she was pregnant. Her father passed away from cancer and her mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time; Shilamida found herself as a <a href="https://rumble.com/v3r92p-volunteers-finish-roof-of-single-mothers-new-home.html" target="_blank">single mother</a> and was living in poverty. This was rock bottom.

Fortunately, Shilamida didn't allow her hardship to destroy her life. In her search to recover peace and achieve her dreams, she credits the birth of her son and also the discovery of meaningful spiritual practices with helping her turn her life back around. After going to massage school and starting a new career in acupuncture, Shilamida began to study under some prominent spiritual advisors. Through her practice, she discovered what she had been missing in her life: gratitude.

During the next 13 years, Shilamida intentionally pursued feelings and practices of gratitude&mdash;and her life completely changed! She lost over 100 pounds and started to let herself be loved by others. Now, Shilamida is 38 years old, and living a life she feels proud of with the love of her life and their five children.

This past year, Shilamida released her first book, inspired by her experiences and spiritual practice. In the interactive book, called &quot;31 Days of Gratitude&quot;, Shilamida shares hard-earned knowledge and encourages journaling and reflection on how readers can live happy lives, just by changing their mindsets.

When asked if she had any advice to give to others, Shilamida simply stated: &quot;The life that you want is yours for the taking.&quot; We hope that Shilamida's story inspires to live the life you've always dreamed of! We know it has for us.

This HooplaHa original video is produced by Tracy Chevrier, shot by Paul Galan, and edited by Kellie Sieban.

Join us in spreading good news. Follow us on hooplaha.com.

HooplaHa is Only Good News. We believe that positivity can change lives and strive to be the voice of humanity that recognizes people are good &amp; doing good things for mankind. We shine a light on individuals and organizations involved in this movement. Help us celebrate people filled with kindness, those overcoming adversity with grace &amp; inspiration, and the good in life.

The author Chuck Klosterman said, &quot;Art and love are the same thing: It's the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you.&quot; This idea&mdash;that our identities are necessarily reflected in our art&mdash;runs through the veins of three artists we spoke to about their work. Each of these artists is demonstrating that in order to live life to the fullest you must pursue what makes your soul sing.

1) Born without arms, Rosie Jon didn't let adversity prevent her from pursuing an deep-seated passion for art. It was with support from a ministry called &quot;We Want More&quot; that Rosie started to paint using her feet. Invigorated by that experience, Rosie kept at it. Now she paints full time, is a motivational speaker, has a wonderful family, and is proving that anything is possible with determination and bravery.

&quot;From the beginning, I knew there was a special reason I was born this way,&quot; she said. &quot;I'm always striving to be extraordinary rather than ordinary. This motivates me to get there.&quot;

2) Michael Reagan is a portrait artist and a Marine veteran of the Vietnam War. 13 years ago, he started drawing portraits of fallen heroes from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as a way to help the victims' families heal.

The impetus for Michael's art was always one of generosity; when he got a phone call from a woman who had lost her husband to war requesting the price for a portrait, Michael realized that he could offer his services for free. So he combined his dual passion for art and for helping people, and created the Fallen Heroes Project. Michael knows that all the effort he puts into the portraits are worth it, when he hears from families who find great solace in the artistic renderings of their lost loved ones.

3) In 2009, Peter Mikulak was an average guy working as a contractor in New Haven, CT. But when the economy took a turn for the worse, Peter nearly lost everything. In a sort of silver lining, this was a wakeup call for Peter. He decided to sell his house and pursue his dreams of becoming an artist.

With his easel and a toolbox on the side of the road, Peter worked his way through hardships but never lost sight of his goal of earning money through art. &quot;Success is a choice,&quot; he says. &quot;If you choose to focus and put all your energy towards something, eventually there will be a breakthrough.&quot;

This HooplaHa original video was edited by Kellie Sieban. For more inspiring stories, follow us on Facebook and sign up for our Only Good News Newsletter.

We've met a lot of amazing organizations and non-profits over the years, especially ones that do amazing things to help shelter dogs, who are close to euthanasia, find love and forever homes. Some of these organizations are small and community based, while others cover a larger regional or national footprint. No matter their size, what they do to support these dogs is nothing short of inspirational.

Today, HooplaHa would like to shine a spotlight on 5 very special groups that have made a tremendous difference in saving lives, giving love, and finding shelter dogs furever homes.

1) Snuggle Delivery
Enlist the services of Snuggle Delivery! The Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, FL started a program where for a small donation to the organization, they will load up a van filled with adorably adoptable puppies to your office or work place for a few hours of cuddle time!

2) Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC)
The ACC is one of the largest animal welfare organizations in the country, taking in more than 35,000 animals each year. They help all types of animals (cats, dogs, rabbits, reptiles, birds, and farm animals) with all types of needs (homeless, abandoned, injured or sick). ACC is the only 501(c)(3) nonprofit in NYC with this unique responsibility.

3) Rescue Road Trip
There is an abundance of shelter dogs in the deep south. That's why Greg Mahle founded a transport service called Rescue Road Trip to relieve these unwanted dogs from their death sentence and ship them north to the arms of loving and eager canine owners. The trip starts on Tuesdays in Ohio, goes south of the Mason Dixon Line to retrieve the dogs and then circles back up north for joyful reunions later in the week.

4) Humane Society of Utah
There is an abundance of shelter dogs in the deep south. That's why Greg Mahle founded a transport service called Rescue Road Trip to relieve these unwanted dogs from their death sentence and ship them north to the arms of loving and eager canine owners. The trip starts on Tuesdays in Ohio, goes south of the Mason Dixon Line to retrieve the dogs and then circles back up north for joyful reunions later in the week.

4) Humane Society of Utah
Have you ever found it difficult to connect with a pet in a dog shelter? They are loud places where lots of animals are jumping, barking, and competing for your attention. That's why the Humane Society of Utah decided to give each dog its individual chance to shine in front of the lights of their staff photographer, Guinnever Shuster, to show off its unique personality.

5) Tracy's Dogs
Tracy's Dogs is a not-for-profit National Rescue &amp; Transport Initiative for shelter dogs. The focus of the program is to rescue and rehabilitate dogs with pending euthanasia dates residing in kill shelters with the hope of putting them up for adoption to find forever homes!

This HooplaHa original video was edited by Rachel Fusco. For more inspiring stories, follow us on Facebook and sign up for our Only Good News Newsletter.

To NBA fans, Chris Herren looked like he had it all. Money, fame and a gorgeous family, however, his life away from the bright lights of the NBA court was ridden with addiction to drugs and alcohol. In his efforts to prevent others from following the same tumultuous path he did, Chris created &quot;The Herren Project&quot; a mission to increase awareness and addiction prevention.

Chris Herren and his team of runners are running to make a difference. Every dollar raised will support The Herren Project's areas of focus including treatment navigation, educational initiatives and mentoring programs in the hopes of saving a life and making a difference in the lives of those touched by addiction. Here's THP Runs team participating in the 121st Boston Marathon in Boston, MA Monday, April 17, 2017.

Join us in spreading good news. Follow us on hooplaha.com.

HooplaHa is Only Good News. We believe that positivity can change lives and strive to be the voice of humanity that recognizes people are good &amp; doing good things for mankind. We shine a light on individuals and organizations involved in this movement. Help us celebrate people filled with kindness, those overcoming adversity with grace &amp; inspiration, and the good in life.

The Ivy Girl Academy is a leadership training program for teenage girls in South Jordan, Utah, and it culminates with a pageant that's a little different from the typical kind of beauty contest. At the Ivy Girl pageants, the contestants showcase leadership skills that they've developed over the course of their time with the Academy. Leading up to the pageant is a four-month intensive program consisting of 30 hours of service, character-building challenges, and mentorship of younger Ivy Girls through community clubs.

&quot;We want girls to certify in leadership from the Ivy Girl Academy,&quot; says founder Jessie Funk.

The focus of the Ivy Girl Academy is growth and the cultivation of confidence and leadership skills. Only when they've completed the four-month program do the Ivy Girl contestants get to show off what they've learned in a big, fun pageant.
Picture it. Having been dropped off on the red carpet in a limousine after having their hair and makeup done by professionals, 23 confident, dynamic Utah ladies vie for the crown, the title of Ivy Girl 2017, and a service scholarship! They get to feel like royalty when they strut across the stage and receive their leadership certification in front of their biggest supporters.

The program and its celebratory pageant is helping empower girls to become strong, brave, resilient and service-oriented leaders&mdash;and that's what should be celebrated most.

In this video, we meet one special contestant. 17-year-old Kylee has faced major adversity in her life. At the age of 7, Kylee lost her father to cancer and hemophilia. Her mother struggled in the wake of her father's death, so Kylee moved between homes, until she was taken in by her aunt. Several years later, that same aunt told Kylee about Ivy Girl Academy, and Kylee knew right away that she wanted to join.

&quot;I like helping people,&quot; the young aspiring leader explains. Kylee chose hemophilia as her platform during her leadership training, given the impact that the condition has had on her life. As for her goals for the Ivy Girl Academy, Kylee says that &quot;winning wouldn't mean getting the crown. It would mean just doing the best that I can.&quot;

Kylee believes that with Ivy Girl Academy, she can and will make a difference in the world&mdash;and that alone proves how grateful we all should be for the Ivy Girl Academy.

The 12 Levels of Ladyhood

1. Confidence:
Happiness requires a foundation of confidence.
2. Leadership:
Discover your inner leader- everyone has one!
3. The Art of Gratitude:
Classy ladies are gracious and show gratitude.
4. Self-Defense:
We are worth protecting.
5. Dining &amp; Social Etiquette:
Learning the art of caring for and about others
6. Service:
Looking for happiness? Serve someone!
7. Health:
Valuing and appreciating our bodies enough to take care of them through exercise and nutrition.
8. Motherhood:
Preparing for the beautiful opportunity of motherhood- if chosen.
9. Positive Mental Attitude:
Understanding the science behind the power of a positive attitude vs. a negative one.
10. Personal Power:
Owning our lives by not making excuses, not putting ourselves down, standing up for our friends, not placing blame, and avoiding toxic relationships.
11. Self-Respect:
When we are put together on the outside, we can be more confident on the inside.
12. Goal setting:
Living our lives with purpose and passion

This HooplaHa original video was produced by Lucia Nazzaro, shot by Juston Rindlesback, and edited by Kellie Sieban.

Join us in spreading good news. Follow us on hooplaha.com.

HooplaHa is Only Good News. We believe that positivity can change lives and strive to be the voice of humanity that recognizes people are good &amp; doing good things for mankind. We shine a light on individuals and organizations involved in this movement. Help us celebrate people filled with kindness, those overcoming adversity with grace &amp; inspiration, and the good in life.

Started as a social experiment in Venice Beach, California, the Community Healing Gardens has grown into so much more. Founder Nicole Landers initially wanted to develop a framework for introducing new and long-standing residents of her neighborhood to one another, and her mind made a natural leap.

&quot;The one thing that binds us all together is food. So, what better way than to build a garden?&quot; she explains.

After assessing available space in Venice and the surrounding neighborhoods, Nicole knew that her idea was possible. She set out to transform an acre of space behind a Middle School in Watts, into a community garden. Joining her in bringing the idea to life was a group of local concerned citizens and residents, independent local business owners, the school leaders and active community members, both from Venice and from nearby Watts.

Watts, while just 18 miles from Venice, can feel like a world away. Bridging the gap between these communities was one of the ambitious goals of Nicole's project. In Watts, the population is dense, income is low, and fresh food grocery stores are rare; the promise of a project like the Healing Community Garden was immeasurable! The seeds that would be planted there would be literal, but also conceptual: they would be seeds of change, particularly for the young kids of Watts.

Many families in Watts live under the poverty line and do not have access to healthy food like leafy greens. So Nicole and her team committed to planting such healthy food in the community garden. &quot;We need to become self-sufficient,&quot; she says, in terms of healthy food, and &quot;to make it accessible and affordable to all.&quot; In the garden, students from the nearby school learn about earth sciences while families from the neighborhood gather their fresh-grown vegetables.

Nicole knew that there was power in the earth's ecosystem to change lives, but she didn't realize how substantially her project could help her community tap into that power. Now that the community garden has impacted over 750 K-8 students, with 700 volunteers and more than 3,000 pounds of food grown, donated, and consumed, she is starting to understand just how important this project truly is.

The Community Healing Gardens achieved Nicole's original goal, to bring people together, while also providing food for people of all socio-economic status, from Venice to Watts. It just goes to show that ALL THINGS GROW WITH LOVE!

To stay up-to-date on all things Community Healing Gardens, visit their website, Facebook, or Instagram.

This HooplaHa original video was produced by Lucia Nazzaro, shot by Sandra Garcia, and edited by Kellie Sieban. For more inspiring stories, follow us on Facebook and sign up for our Only Good News Newsletter.

Many animals are very smart. Like the dog who opens doors, or a monkey who can play chess... But one very special horse has captivated our attention for his unbelievable talent.

After retiring from being a racehorse, Metro seemed to be nearing the end of his life. Born with a knee a problem that was the cause of his career's end, he could have been put to sleep. Luckily, Ron Krajewski, an artist from Gettysburg, PA, and his wife, Wendy, adopted him.

They quickly fell in love! They knew Metro had a knee condition, but didn't realize how bad. It got to a point where Metro couldn't even go on the trails. A vet told them his condition was terminal, but the horse and his owners didn't take that news lying down. They were going to see to it that Metro continued to fulfill his destiny. After all, he is a very special horse!

Ron noticed that Metro liked to bob his head up an down. Naturally, the artist in him had an idea. He put a paint brush in Metro's mouth and beautiful things started happening. Metro was a natural painter! His big, colorful brush strokes would lead him to become a best-selling artist in Gallery 30 in Gettsysburg. The money his paintings earned even saved his life! They had an experimental procedure done which reversed the bone growth. He also donates the rest of his earnings to New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, which helps retired thoroughbreds find homes and get new careers.

This painting horse not only captivated our attention but also our hearts!

Learn more about Metro and see his awesome paintings by visiting paintedbymetro.com and www.facebook.com/PaintedByMetro.

Join us in spreading good news. Follow us on hooplaha.com.

HooplaHa is Only Good News. We believe that positivity can change lives and strive to be the voice of humanity that recognizes people are good &amp; doing good things for mankind. We shine a light on individuals and organizations involved in this movement. Help us celebrate people filled with kindness, those overcoming adversity with grace &amp; inspiration, and the good in life.

SHOW MORE

Created 2 weeks ago.

25 videos

CategoryPeople & Family