AUSTIN, Texas — We know 2020 has been difficult, so we decided to take a look back at some of the stories that actually made us smile this year.
First, we're starting in Georgetown.
After COVID-19 hit, nursing homes locked up. A lot of senior citizens have had to stay away from loved ones, but Hank Cavagnaro got to go to a local memory care facility that got creative to help families get close again.
For many families, spending all their time together was tough. Finding ways to fill the time was easier said than done.
Tori Larned met one family who made some memories they'll never forget.
This next couple would describe their relationship as anything but normal.
Bri and Lindsey met two years ago and planned to get married earlier this year.
That was until the pandemic canceled their plans.
But as the saying goes, "When one door closes, another one opens."
This year, many educators also had to get creative.
For one teacher in Del Valle, that meant turning her garage into a fully stocked community library.
Not only did the coronavirus affect students' studies, it also affected their extracurriculars – things like choir.
Earlier this year, Round Rock students couldn't sing together. So, they decided to try something new.
Some University of Texas students are working hard to tackle food insecurity.
That means a family doesn't always have access to healthy food, and the pandemic has made that even worse.
But, one box at a time, Good Apple is hoping to change that.
For this next story, the word "inspiring" is an understatement.
A local football player is making his setbacks into a comeback. Between the coronavirus and a knee injury, Ayrton Hignojos could have called it quits – but he didn't.
Jake Garcia shows us this isn't much of a surprise, because he's been overcoming adversity his entire life.
There are a lot of inspiring people in Central Texas, including Al Blaschke.
This year, he became a world record holder for doing something many of us would never think to do at any age.
Every dog deserves a loving home, but some pups just don't get picked and are called "unadoptable."
As Emily Giangreco shows us, one Central Texas woman is creating something special for those animals.
During the past few months, at one point or another we all got bored channel surfing and clicking through Netflix
So, some picked up new hobbies, including this woman in Leander who discovered something three-dimensional.
There was even some good from this year's election.
Without a doubt, it caused tension between some people, but not for these neighbors.
Daranesha Herron spoke with the duo from Cedar Park who didn't let politics divide them.
Many families struggled financially this year because of the pandemic, and local food banks are still working hard to make sure all Central Texas families are fed.
But it's a big undertaking.
Hannah Rucker visited with some local farmers this year to see how they teamed up with Capital Metro for some special deliveries.
Another way families are getting food while the pandemic continues is through schools.
Hannah also spoke to a local restaurant that's making sure they stayed afloat, while also helping Austin ISD.
Being stuck at home with your kids doesn't necessarily mean you have to be stressed or bored.
And, it turns out, you don't have to travel to a galaxy far, far away to have some fun!
Putting on a live musical is no easy feat.
Putting on a live musical virtually – that seems nearly impossible.
Yet, creatives will always find a way to create.
One of this year's happiest moments included watching people's dreams come true.
Jake Garcia takes us back to a rivalry game between Lockhart and Bastrop that might just be one for the ages.
Desmond Pulliam's story was amazing just there but, imagine this, it got better.
Just like Jake said, millions of people saw it, including an NFL team looking to make that moment even better.
Ana Smith grew up swimming and playing softball, but her true passion wasn't in the water or on the diamond.
She tried photography, taking pictures during games, hoping it would bring her closer to the sport that she loved, but it wasn't enough. She wanted to be part of the action.
Sometimes, those who dedicate so much time to helping others need help themselves.
One South Austin man made it his mission to help them take a load off for some.
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