21 most inspirational stories of 2021


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — This year has been difficult for many, marked by tragedy, business closings and milestones delayed.

But amid that turmoil, we have witnessed people overcoming the odds: neighbors banding together to help refugees and chefs collecting thousands to help struggling restaurants.

This week on The Seven, News 8 celebrates the 21 most inspirational stories of 2021:

No. 21: GRCC: Metallica’s welding scholarship ‘changing lives’

No. 20: Man who lost leg inspires beyond the weight room

No. 19: Holiday surprises for patients at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital — Thanksgiving desserts and Christmas presents

No. 18: Local man overcomes paralyzing crash to become elite handcyclist

No. 17: Journey to victory: Union football sees 1st winning streak in 18 years

No. 16: Adaptive bike helps young girl with special needs overcome challenges

No. 15: ‘Best I can be’: Female hockey officials check skepticism

No. 14: Mural honors Maurilia Ortiz Blakely’s impact on GR’s Hispanic community

No. 13: Wish come true: 7-year-old named honorary Hastings officer

No. 12: Grand Rapids neighborhood welcomes Afghan refugee family

No. 11: Woman supporting restaurant industry gets her own surprise

No. 10: Hudsonville teen born with one hand joins LPGA favorites on the green

No. 9: Hairstylists push for an end to natural hair discrimination

No. 8: 4-year-old with one hand encouraged by professional violinist

No. 7: Results are in for Frenzy Food Drive, they show West Michigan’s generosity

No. 6: Police cheer on young cancer patient with hundreds of patches

No. 5: Family reunited with dog after 43 days

No. 4: ‘Christmas miracle’ after contractor allegedly ripped off Rockford family

No. 3: ‘Miracle’: Whitecaps’ Rivera helps save man with heart failure

No. 2: Grammy winner returns to Muir with gift of 200 guitars

No. 1: Raw emotion: Grand Haven veteran reunites with beloved Afghan interpreter

*Correction: A previous version of this article included an image that transposed the rankings of two reports. We regret the error. The image has been updated.

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