Unrest in the Middle East, the Boston Marathon bombings, the NSA spying scandal, the government shutdown, Miley Cyrus…there have been plenty of news stories in 2013 that make me want to curl up in a fetal position. People can absolutely be the worst. Which is why I’m a sucker for those yearly roundups of uplifting news you tend to see at this time every year. You know, the ones that are supposed to restore your faith in humanity? Because here at the end of 2013, it turns out I do, in fact, need my faith in humanity restored.

So this year I decided to compile my own list. Over at Babble I’ve compiled a few of the heartwarming stories that caught my attention this year and reminded me that despite what I might see on the nightly news, people can also be truly awesome.