What’s Right 2019: The good things that happened this year

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Over the span of a year, you hear a lot of bad news.

So, let’s end this year by focusing on the good stuff. 

We’ve compiled a series of stories focusing on the great and inspiring things that happened in our community in 2019. Check them out below and share your favorites with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Want to see more? Tune into the What’s Right Holiday Special, airing at 6 a.m. on December 25 on WHAS11.

JANUARY

Shelby Co. teachers see that no students go hungry during snow days

Shelby West Middle School teachers spent their work days delivering food to students who may face difficult burdens during snow days. 

Bulldog building relationships with Indiana cancer patients

He’s a visitor you wouldn’t expect to see during your chemotherapy treatments, but he’s making a big impact on patients at a Southern Indiana cancer center.

FEBRUARY

Louisville Bats honor ‘Cookie Lady’ with bobblehead

Elizabeth Kizito of Kizito Cookies has been selling her cookies at Louisville Slugger Field since it opened in 2000. This year, she was given her own bobblehead.

Hundreds turn out to help clean vandalized Hindu temple

People of all ages, faiths, and backgrounds spent their Saturday morning at the Swaminarayan Temple, armed with cleaning supplies, days after the Hindu temple on Bardstown Road was broken into and vandalized. 

Superheroes create smiles and clean windows at Norton Children’s Hospital

Window washers scaled the windows outside the hospital in their superhero personas for the day, and the smiles speak for themselves.

MARCH

Fern Creek HS knocking down student barriers one load at a time

Fern Creek High School implemented a new service to make life a little smoother for its students: a laundry room.

It started with a wave: Texas truck driver gets a taste of Kentucky kindness

An encounter between a diverted truck driver and a generous Kentucky resident warmed hearts across social media.

Bus driver, administrator save 12-year-old student’s life

It’s a day Eastside Middle School will never forget. On February 28, the school almost lost one of their students before her bus driver and assistant principal saved her life.

APRIL

Louisville artist who paints victims of city’s violence given art scholarship

Her paintings put a focus on the unforgotten faces of Louisville’s violence.

WWII veteran celebrates 100th birthday with thousands of cards

It’s one thing to turn 100 years old. It’s another to get the whole world to celebrate you. That may be bit of a stretch, but that’s certainly what it felt like for one Scottsburg senior preparing for his biggest birthday yet.

MAY

Breast cancer survivor throws out first pitch at Bats game after son’s letter to team

Ty Westerman sent a letter to the Louisville Bats asking if his mother, a breast cancer survivor, could throw the first pitch at a game. They said yes.

Teen’s non-profit cleans community, changes other’s perspectives

Travis Durham began mowing lawns as a form of therapy after his father died. Three years later, his non-profit is changing his community in huge ways.

‘It is super emotional’ | Offering comfort to nursing home patients through baby dolls

What started as a gift to a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s has provided over 300 dolls to nursing homes across Kentucky and Indiana.

Kentucky Oaks Survivors Parade celebrating 10 years of strong women

The Survivors Parade is one of the most heartwarming traditions during the Kentucky Oaks. This year, the parade celebrated a decade of strong women.

Old Forester searching for mystery couple who got engaged at Churchill Downs

In the spirit of the Kentucky Derby, special moments often take center stage at Churchill Downs. For one couple, it was definitely a Derby Day to remember.

JUNE

Couple shows ‘signs’ of love during Color Run

A local couple got engaged in the most special way during the annual Color Run at Waterfront Park.

Teen cancer survivor is able to walk again thanks to new joints

Cancer treatments left Trinity with the bones of a 75-year-old. Thanks to a team of local doctors, she is able to walk – and dance – again.

JULY

Hundreds pay respects for Ind. veteran they never knew

Vietnam veteran Larry Miller died in a nursing home, alone. An Indiana funeral wanted to give him one final send-off with the spirit of family.

AUGUST

WWII Navy veterans, longtime friends reunite in Louisville

Paul Schank, 94, and Dewey Williams, 96, have a bond only those who served together can relate to.

Program provides JCPS students, parents with free clothing for new school year

For nearly five decades, one JCPS program has been helping students and parents prepare for the upcoming school year with free uniforms, belts and even socks.

SEPTEMBER

Teacher carries student so she can enjoy field trip without her wheelchair

A JCPS teacher’s act of kindness gave a Tully Elementary School student a chance to go on a field trip with her friends.

Louisville ministry helping people in Zambia turn trash into trade skills

RecycloCraftz teaches people how to make crafts from recycled materials. But the ministry goes far beyond just providing jobs for those in need.

Local group surprised with backstage meet and greet with Backstreet Boys

The “Larger Than Life” moment happened for Down Syndrome of Louisville after they submitted a video in hopes of meeting the group.

Local couple brings supplies to Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian devastates island

Some lost everything after Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas, but those who had the ability to help did as much as they could. 

Local nonprofit uses bourbon to raise funds for children with autism

Donna McGraw collects bottles of liquor for a bourbon pull to benefit the Families for Effective Autism Treatment, a nonprofit that supports and funds autism programs for families.

OCTOBER

Louisville boy battling cancer celebrates 10th birthday with thousands of cards

Carter Willett, a Louisville native battling a rare form of cancer, is celebrating his 10th birthday with thousands of cards.

Fospice program helps pets that might otherwise be euthanized

The Kentucky Humane Society program that acts as a hospice for pets has been comforting dogs and cats for two years.

3 Clarksville officers recognized as ‘heroes’ for saving missing man’s life

Three Clarksville police officers went “above and beyond” on their search for a missing person, saving a man who had been stuck in a creek bed for two days.

Louisville mother shares her son’s compassion through nonprofit established in his honor

Rose Smith lost her son to gun violence in 2015. Through the ACE Project, she has been able to honor her son’s memory by giving back to the community.

Louisville step coach’s impact goes beyond the stage

The KY Elite Step Team has national acclaim, but Jasmine Collins said the experience is more about what members learn off stage than on.

76-year-old Habitat for Humanity volunteer reflects on 21 years of helping families in need

Chuck Srgo has helped build 165 houses with Habitat for Humanity since 1998. He says giving back to the community has been ‘a blessing to me’.

NOVEMBER

Local 7-year-old collecting coats, hats, and gloves for the homeless

Bailey Griffin hosted a donation drive in Shively in November. She said she does it because she likes “helping people in need.”

Vine Grove family with four children adopts medically-complex girl

Bob and Barbara Grose foster children through St. Joseph Children’s home but say they always knew they had room for more in their hearts.

Meet the man spreading smiles across Louisville

Michael Ray’s love for his daughter with down syndrome inspired “Smile Project Louisville.”

Two local boys work during the summer to present K-9 officer with a special gift

The boys started a lemonade stand to raise over $3,000 for a Kevlar vest for K-9 officer Hundo.

Louisville veteran reads love letters to his wife on 77th anniversary

For one Louisville veteran, who has had years of reflection, Veterans Day is about more than his service but a special anniversary that happens to be days before.

Local railroad worker defies boss, saves kitten from train car

Chris Small was working his normal night shift on the Norfolk Southern railroad when he heard a series of small meows.

DECEMBER

Family of 6 who lost everything in grease fire gets new home days before Christmas

The family who was forced to live in a hotel at the Omni unexpectedly received a call two days after the fire about a new property waiting for them.

Local family receives life-changing gift in time for Christmas

A mother battling cancer received the surprise of her life in the form of a generous donation from her community.

Kindergarten teacher makes hats and bowties for students for the holidays

A local kindergarten is spreading christmas joy with a tradition he learned in his native Puerto Rico.

‘Signing Santa’ uses ASL to share Christmas message in heartwarming video

Jarod Mills wanted to make sure that kids who use sign language to communicate got a special message from Santa Claus. The result is pure Christmas cheer.

Foster program provides families for elderly veterans

The Robley Rex VA Medical Center’s foster home program pairs veterans with families so they don’t have to spend their final years in a nursing home.

Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the WHAS11 News app now. For Apple or Android users.

Have a news tip? Email assign@whas11.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed.