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The week's good news: July 5, 2018

Catherine Garcia
Giakas/iStock
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1.

Youth football team donates equipment to rival team in need

When the Lakota Tomahawks heard their rival football team needed equipment following a theft, they didn't hesitate to send over a donation. More than $40,000 was stolen from the Middletown Youth Football and Cheer League in Middletown, Ohio, and the Tomahawks coaching staff wanted to help in any way possible. They donated shoulder pads, and another local nonprofit, Cleats for Kids, rounded up shoes and other items. "It always makes you feel good when somebody that is your competitor comes in to help you out," Middletown Middies coach Quincy Hightower told WCPO. "We hope to do the same and pay that forward in the future." More than 170 elementary school kids are part of the Middletown Youth Football and Cheer League, and they've already held several fundraisers, including dinners and car washes, to make up for the stolen money, which will pay for any additional equipment they still need. [WCPO]

2.

Oregon county residents rally to save local libraries

The public libraries in Douglas County, Oregon, should be closed, but dedicated volunteers are ensuring they remain open. This is a logging area, and due to dwindling federal timber revenues, the county asked voters last year to approve a small tax initiative that would have funded the libraries. It didn't pass, and branches slowly started to close. Book lovers of all ages brainstormed ways to keep the libraries open, and they decided to volunteer their time and skills in any way possible — some are there to check books in and out, and others are updating branch websites. "It's very heartening to see so many people turn out to preserve something that is so very good for this community," volunteer and author Robert Leo Heilman told The Oregonian. Nine of the 11 closed libraries are back open, thanks to these volunteers, donations, and fundraisers. [The Oregonian]

3.

Brazilian soccer fan with DIY jersey will meet his World Cup hero

Wallace de Oliveria Rocha and his bright yellow jersey happened to catch photographer Bruno Itan's eye while at a free World Cup viewing party in Brazil. The 12-year-old was watching the Brazil v. Costa Rica game while wearing a homemade jersey emblazoned with the name of his favorite player: Philippe Coutinho, #11. Itan snapped a photo and posted it to his Instagram account, and almost immediately, people began commenting and sharing the picture, trying to get Coutinho's attention. Itan went back to the favela where Rocha lives, and learned that he wanted a Brazilian national team jersey to wear during the World Cup, but at $66, his family couldn't afford it. Not only did Coutinho arrange to meet his fan when he's back in Brazil, but he also recorded a message and sent an official autographed jersey to Rocha's home. [NBC Miami]

4.

After 30 hours, rescuers safely retrieve deaf puppy that got stuck in a hole

The 30-hour rescue of Toffee, a 7-week-old Australian Shepherd mix puppy, has been the talk of Huntsville, Alabama, and beyond. Toffee is deaf and visually impaired, and while outside with her foster mother Karen Smith late last month, tumbled down a 50-foot hole. The Smiths called 911 and the dog rescue, trying to figure out how to help her, and strangers brought over equipment and offered to help. After 30 hours, volunteer firefighters and a wildlife services employee were able to snake a snare through a PVC pipe and feed it down the hole, using sardines as bait. Toffee approached the bait, and was slowly lifted to safety. "I think the biggest thing with this is finding out about the power of a community," Karen Smith told AL.com. [AL.com]

5.

Breakthrough in rhino IVF could save functionally extinct species

When the last male northern white rhinoceros, Sudan, died earlier this year, scientists imagined it would be just a matter of time before the species went entirely extinct. That was before a breakthrough in rhino IVF by Professor Thomas Hildebrandt at Berlin's Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, BBC reports. Using the sperm from two dead male white rhinos and carefully extracted eggs from a living female, scientists were able to fuse the two into viable embryos. While a successful transfer of embryos into a surrogate rhino has never been done, "everyone believed there was no hope for this sub-species," Hildebrandt said. "But with our knowledge now, we are very confident that this will work with northern white rhino eggs and that we will be able to produce a viable population." [BBC]