(WECT) – A lot of people associate "the news" with negativity. While there are a lot of stories about crime and hate, there are also those that are uplifting and heartwarming.
Here's a look back on some of the more positive stories covered in 2013.
Which story did you like the best? Take the poll to the left of this story on wect.com and let us know!
The votes are in and as voted by you the viewers, the most popular story of 2013 was the Soldier who surprised his daughter at school. The story of Springer, the malnourished dog rehabilitated to health came in a close second. Thanks for voting and keep watching WECT in the new year for even more great stories to come!
Peyton Chitty, a counselor at Shallotte Middle School knows that one man's trash is another man's treasure. Half the students in his school live in poverty, so many don't have running shoes.
When Chitty put out a call for used pairs, the donations poured in for the students.
Watch the full story in the video player above.
When state lawmakers cut funding for drug treatment court in 2011, New Hanover County commissioners agreed to cover the cost. Two of those men, who now serve as state representatives said they would support a bill to put state money back into the program.
At least one person who graduated from the program said he owes his life to the drug treatment court and its staff.
Click here to read the full story: http://bit.ly/1cm7Nik
Students at Heide Trask High School spent several months planning for a prom – complete with music, handmade decorations, and food – for special needs children in the area.
Parents say the event meant more to their children than anyone could possibly imagine.
Click here to read the full story: http://bit.ly/K2SiBO
An Army wife who lost over 100 pounds while her husband was away in Afghanistan surprised the soldier in May when he arrived at Wilmington International Airport.
Misty Shaffer, who once weighed over 300 pounds, hadn't seen her husband in over a year. She kept her weight loss a secret and showed off her new look when Specialist Larry Shaffer stepped off the plane.
But that wasn't the only welcome home surprise…she also bought a house.
Click here to read the full story: http://bit.ly/Jbl2aZ
Through the support of his fellow classmates and the community, Trevor Hancock is blossoming at West Bladen High School
He was named prom king in May 2013 after weeks of campaigning and being nominated.
Friends and family watched with tears in their eyes as their king was crowned. As Trevor was crowned, he thanked everyone and told them that he loves them.
Click here for the full story: http://bit.ly/1a6kglY
The Brax Stadium of the Miracle League of Wilmington opened to the public in August after more than six years of planning. The field is designed for disabled athletes and features a unique rubber field.
The new field began hosting league games in September.
Click here for more about the field's opening: http://bit.ly/JbmjP3
It's a true story of grace and redemption; the happy ending to a story we first brought to you back in March of this year.
Springer, an Australian-shepherd mix, was found locked in a cage inside a foreclosed home in March. .
He was malnourished and dehydrated at the time, but after months of rehabilitation, Springer had a new lease on life. Lt. Tolley, director of the Brunswick Co. Animal Protection Services, adopted Springer and gave the dog a new happy home.
Springer's story became part of a national campaign to raise awareness for animal shelters.
Click here to learn more about Springer: http://bit.ly/1cPW6wT
On Veterans Day Harold Garish, a veteran who witnessed the attack on Pearl Harbor, spent his 95th birthday showing off his moves on the dance floor.
Garish had performed more than 20 steps, but was determined to master just one more – the two-way underarm turn.
He was focused on mastering the step so it would be perfect for his big performance later that week.
Click here to read his full story: http://bit.ly/JbnuhF
Major Bill McKernan spent the last year serving the United States Army in Afghanistan. He surprised his twelve-year-old daughter Caroline by showing up to her classroom at Clarkton School of Discovery.
When the seventh grade class entered the media room, they had been told their teacher had won teacher of the month so that Caroline would not be tipped off by the cameras. They began to take turns acting out different professions. Caroline acted out the word "soldier."
As soon as she finished acting it out, her very own soldier appeared right before her eyes.
Click here to see the full story: http://bit.ly/18Jv8M3
John Henry, a Vietnam veteran, donated $1,000 worth of sheets and pillows to the Salvation Army's Wilmington shelter.
Henry was touched by a report he saw on WECT about the Salvation Army's plans to help thousands of families this Christmas season and the need for the shelter.
The veteran wanted to make sure everyone in the shelter could have a clean place to rest their heads this holiday season.
Click here for the full story: http://bit.ly/IKtTzY
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