Good News Thursday: Baby panda gender reveal, man builds desks for elementary students in need

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National Zoo: Genetic tests reveal new baby panda is a boy

The National Zoo just revealed their new baby panda is a boy. The gender was revealed through a blue painting his father Tian Tian made. (Roshan Patel/Smithsonian’s National Zoo via AP)

The National Zoo announced their new baby panda is a boy on Monday. A video by the National Zoo revealed the gender through a blue painting his father, Tian Tian, made. Infant pandas are unable to be distinguished as male or female by outward appearance, so genetic tests were done to reveal he is male.

The baby has grown popular over the course of his mother’s pregnancy and birth thanks to the National Zoo’s Giant Panda Cam, a livestream of the baby panda and his mother Mei Xang. The baby is Mei Xang’s third child and at age 22 is the oldest panda to give birth in the United States. She gave birth on Aug. 21 and the baby has grown to be 14 inches long and weighs 3.6 pounds. The zookeepers are delighted to have a new edition to the panda exhibit. “Something like this is kind of a miracle for us. It lifts the spirits of my team and the whole world.” National Zoo Director Steve Monfort told The Associated Press.

Older sisters adopt younger siblings after mom’s passing

Katherine and Jennifer Guzman read to their two adopted children. The sisters received custody of the two after their mother passed from COVID-19. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

After Lunisol Guzman passed from COVID-19, her two adoptive children were left orphaned. In response, her daughters, 32-year-old Katherine and 28-year-old Jennifer, decided to raise the children themselves. Guzman raised three children as a single mother in her 40s, an example to her two daughters who received joint custody of the two children.

After raising three children, Guzman adopted the two toddlers to provide a home for children in need. Her daughters want to continue the legacy of their warm, big-hearted mother. Though mourning their mother, Katherine and Jennifer have always looked forward to motherhood and feel so grateful they are able to help during this difficult time. “It’s a curse because we lost our mom, but it’s a blessing overall. We gained two little angels,” Katherine told the Associated Press. 

California man finds a new passion in building desks for at-home learners

Chai Hansanuwat builds desks for students learning from home. (Chai Hansanuwat)

When Chai Hanasuwat lost his job in tech at the beginning of the pandemic, he returned to his passion of woodworking. He thought it would be a good way to make some more money and still do something he loved. But when we noticed some of his son’s classmates were doing work on couches, beds or on the ground, he decided to make desks for students to have a place to study and stay focused.

Hansanuwat posted on social media that anyone could contact him for a free desk. His post went viral, leading to hundreds of desk requests across the nation. He recruited 10 other woodworkers to help, hoping to make 500 desks. Hansanuwat has GoFundMe to help fund his work. “If they have a space that feels like school, where they only go for school, that’s going to help them focus,” Hansanuwat told The Washington Post.

Big League foul balls bring fans joy

A UPS driver holds a gifted foul ball. (AP Photo/Janie McCauley)

Baseball organizations with empty arenas are divvying out foul balls to fans unable to catch them in the stands. Organizations like the A’s and the Giants gather foul balls during games and are distributing them to essential workers, long-term fans, schools and teachers.

Over 100 balls have been given, some dropped off at a workplace, others delivered during the games. The furthest a ball traveled was 5,500 miles to 85-year-old Giants fan Manner Pohl in Schwentinental, Germany for his 85th birthday. “He is so excited, giving him something to live for since he is almost blind. It was wonderful to hear him being so happy,” Pohl’s daughter told The Associated Press.

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