Feel Good Friday: This Week's Stories That Will Melt Your Heart

From a boss buying one of his employee's a kind gift to Robert Downey Jr. making his biggest fan's dream come true, these feel good stories will put a smile on your face

By Tierney Bricker Jan 17, 2020 10:00 PMTags

Ready for an immediate mood boost? 

Every Friday, we're highlighting six stories that are sure to brighten your day in our new series, Feel Good Friday, and this week's offerings are definitely sure to make you smile.

In Omaha, a generous boss gave one of his employees a generous gift, while an Avengers star made one of his biggest fan's dreams come true after learning about what an impact his superhero character had on the child. Plus, another child's mission to help the animals impacted by the bushfires in Australia went viral in a major way, raising well over 100 times his intended goal, and two turtles won the hearts of people all over the world after their inspiring stories made headlines.

And while the holidays are long over, we're sharing a story about lonely strangers coming together this past Christmas that would make the Grinch's heart grow three sizes.

Feel Good Friday: This Week's Stories That Will Melt Your Heart

Here are six heartwarming stories sure to start your weekend off on a positive note...

World's Best Boss

When Jeff Bremer, a Taco John's franchise owner in Omaha, learned April Mungia, a 10-year employee and single mother of four children, had fallen on hard times, including her electricity being shut off and her car being hit by an uninsured driver, he went above and beyond to help her out: he bought her a 2010 Ford Escape, with 6 News first reporting the heartwarming story. 

"I am extraordinarily fortunate to work closely with some remarkable team members," Jeff exclusively told E! News of his kind gesture. "They do such a great job serving our guests and I am thankful that I am able to help them in times of need."

Explaining he felt "fortunate to be able to demonstrate to them how important they are to me," Jeff said he was inspired to buy a car for April because "sometimes people just need good news. I could see April was struggling and I wanted her to know that her Taco John's family has her back."

Owen to the Rescue!

A 6-year-old named Owen Colley from just outside of Boston has raised over $150k to help the Australian animals impacted by the devastating bushfires, far exceeding his initial goal of $1,000 through a GoFundMe campaign that has now gone viral. 

"Owen was upset by the fires and we wanted to provide an outlet for him to feel like he could do something to help," Owen's mother Caitlin Colley exclusively told E! News of her son's initiative to make and sell clay koalas for donations of $50 AUD that are going to the Wildlife Rescue South Coast.

The orders for his clay koalas? Almost at 2,500. "It's a lot and it can be a bit overwhelming," Caitlin said, "but the people on the ground helping the displaced animals—getting them food, getting them shelter—have it so much harder and this is a small thing we can do to help make their day a little easier."

At just 6, Caitlin said Owen is a bit too young to "comprehend" the amount he's raised s far, "so we explain it in number of cars or number of joeys that can be fed—$25 feeds 1 Joey for a month."

Always Meet Your (Super)Heroes

And this is why we love Robert Downey Jr. 3,000.

While guest-hosting The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the OG Avenger sat down with his biggest fan: Vincent Arambula, a 10-year-old boy with autism whose love of Iron Man helped him regain his ability to speak. After losing his ability to speak when he was just 1, he was diagnosed with autism at the age of 4. But when he was gifted with an Iron Man mask when he was 6, Vincent eventually regained the ability to speak thanks to the confidence the superhero mask gave him.

He explained to RDJ that the mask "helped me talk and imagination play...it helped me talk. It helped me hide my identity from the world." At the end of the interview, Robert presented Vincent and his parents with a check for $20K, and thanked them for being one of the reasons he will miss playing Tony Stark the most, saying, "being able to talk to moms and dads and young folks and see how, somehow or other, this thing had a positive impact on you..it makes just all these last years of working on it worthwhile. I cannot thank you enough."

Meet Goody

Prepare to cry over this story about Goody, the sea turtle, who can finally swim again after receiving a prosthetic flipper. 

The endangered Thai animal lost her flipper years ago after she was entangled in a fishing net and it left her immobile, per Reuters. But now, Goody, who is an olive ridley sea turtle, can "swim with ease again, after receiving Thailand's first prosthetic flipper last week."

According to Nantarika Chansue, the veterinarian who was part of the team who developed Goody's prosthetic flipper, Goody is " swimming much better and she's learning to use the two flippers to turn. You can see the difference." 

Go Diego, Go!

Another day, another turtle making us cry.

At 130 years-old, a Galapagos giant tortoise named Diego is making his return home after saving his species. How? By fathering 800 offspring, with the population going from 15 to 2,000 tortoises thanks to Diego. Plus, 40 percent of the current population of tortoises are thought to be descendants of Diego.

Now Diego is finally able to retire after Ecuador's Environmental Ministry announced it will be ending the 40-year captive breeding program that first brought Diego to the island in the '60s. 

Now That's the Christmas Spirit

After spending the holidays alone last year and calling it "one of the worst feelings to experience," Brad Lancaster decided to do something different: host a Christmas dinner for 50 strangers so they wouldn't be alone. In a YouTube video documenting the experience, the Vancouver-based Discover Connection founder secured the location, the funding (starting a GoFundMe campaign), the food, the gifts, and the guest list (using social media, interviews on local news stations and various other avenues). 

"And having my Christmas dinner with strangers genuinely turned out to be the happiest Christmas I have ever had!" Brad wrote, with the video showing all 50 people coming together at the dinner. So yeah, we think Brad has definitely earned a spot on the nice list for 2020.