2017 was a full year of news.
Among the political pieces, crime investigations and major weather events were stories that conveyed a different side to humanity... the heartwarming side. Unfortunately, those playful, positive and loving stories don't typically steal the spotlight or make headlines, but nevertheless, encouraging stories will always be there.
While bringing you the latest from the Queen City, NBC Charlotte continually makes an effort to keep you well informed on the "happy" news too. Some of these stories even nabbed national headlines. After calculating video views and interactions from videos posted to our Facebook page, we tallied up the top 10 heartwarming stories of 2017.
From a local teacher who creates individualized handshakes with each of his students to a dancing granny, these videos are sure to make your heart burst with joy and be a reminder of all the good that occurred in 2017.
1. Charlotte-Mecklenburg teacher connects to students with personalized handshakes
Most teachers start their day off with attendance, but a local teacher has found his own unique way to connect with students before they enter Room 219.
Barry White Junior teaches fifth-grade literacy at Ashley Park PreK-8 School. The Title I school encourages teachers to find creative ways to engage with students. But before Mr. White incorporates "vocabulary shootout" and shoe-tapping songs into his curriculum, he tries to connect with each of his students.
"The most critical component is the relationship, the rapport you build with your students because sometimes it can go underrated or overlooked," White says. "Before I'm able to deliver a substantial amount of content to them, they have to invest in the teacher."
White says he wants his students to be excited about school. In an effort to bring joy and build trust, White began creating individual handshakes with students. Click here for full story.
2. A massive stroke stole his voice. But for Randy Travis, the music that made him could also save him.
3. North Carolina officers join in on block party fun
Two Asheville Police officers getting a lot of attention for joining in on some neighborhood fun this Fourth of July holiday. The officers responded to a call about a street disturbance on Monday. When they got there, they found a block party going on.
One of the neighbors at the party created a makeshift water slide with plastic sheeting. As officers realized no laws were being broken - they joined in the fun and took a ride on the water slide.
4. Charlotte math teacher creates customized raps to help students learn
A middle school math teacher took students by surprise on their first day of class Monday with her own version of a popular rap song in replacement of a typical introduction.
Shatina Morgan, 29, is an eighth grade math teacher at WhiteWater Middle School. While attending a teaching conference over the summer, she was inspired when they discussed how to bring joy into your classroom.
"So listen class, you can learn some math if you want to," Morgan started her rap with.
Morgan downloaded an instrumental version of the popular song, "Bodak Yellow" by Cardi B, and created her own mathematically-inspired lyrics in an effort to bring fun and education to the classroom.
"They learn by music so taking a rap and changing the lyrics, just to help them remember stuff, that's my whole goal," Morgan said. Click here for full story.
5. Dad comforts baby with mother's clothing
When this baby wouldn't stop crying, Dad handed him a shirt from Mom's laundry basket. The 3-month-old instantly calmed down after recognizing her smell.
6. Charlotte pastor & wife who lost two children in crash expecting twins
A Charlotte couple who lost both of their children in a car crash in 2015 announced they are expecting twins.
Hadley Eddings posted on a Facebook support group Sunday.
“Y'all have held us up in prayer and we are so grateful! Now we ask you to add two more Eddings to your prayers! We are expecting twins this summer!”
In 2015, Matthew Deans' truck rear-ended Hadley's car on Highway 17 in Pender County.
The Eddings' 2-year-old son Dobbs was killed in the crash. Paramedics rushed Hadley to the hospital where she delivered another son, Reed, by emergency Cesarean section, but he died due to injuries sustained in the crash. Click here for full story.
7. When you're hungry and tired at the same time
We can all understand feeling hungry and tired. But a video published by Daily Blast Live encompasses the mixed emotions perfectly.
8. Nurse sings to dying patient for hours
Nurse Olivia Neufelder sat with her dying cancer patient for hours and sang to her.
9. 'ICU Grandpa' spreads joy, comforts smallest patients
A weekly visitor to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta is making an impact on parents—and the hospital's smallest patients. According to a Facebook post by CHOA, David, also known as “ICU Grandpa”, makes the rounds on Tuesdays and Thursdays, visiting and holding babies whose parents can't be with them that day.
A photo “taken by baby Logan's mom as she fought back happy tears” has grabbed the hearts of thousands online, with already more than 34,000 likes and 6,000 shares.
David has been volunteering at the hospital, comforting its smallest patients, for 12 years. Click here for full story.
10. 'Boogie Woogie' grandma surprises family with dance
93-year-old Olive Haggett lives in upstate New York, passing her time with jigsaw puzzles and visits from family. When her daughter Alta was visiting from Kent, Washington this week, they put on some of mom's favorite music. It was a mix of "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," an iconic war time tune by The Andrews Sister.
Olive shocked her family when she grabbed her walker and started dancing! Daughter Alta says, "This music pulled a memory of Dad from her archives and she was wishing Dad was dancing right beside her. A true reality love story instead of all the world's doom and gloom."
Olive was married to Robert Haggett for 67 years until he passed away in 2012. The farming couple raised eight kids together in New York and loved going to barn dances since their teen years. Their favorite music was big band, which sparked Olive's memory this past week.
Daughter Alta hopes to share the smile with her family from Washington to New York -- and around the world! Click here for full story.