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5 heartwarming ‘good news’ stories of 2013

Miles Scott, a five-year-old leukemia patient, runs to save a damsel-in-distress as part of his wish to be Batkid for a day. The Make-A-Wish Foundation

TORONTO – A stranger walks into a Tim Hortons in Edmonton and purchases coffees for the next 500 customers, sparking others to do the same in cities nationwide.

In San Francisco, thousands come together to make a wish come true for a five-year-old leukemia patient, now known simply as “Batkid.”

We take a look back at some of the most heartwarming and “feel-good” news stories of 2013.

1. Batkid saves Gotham City
On November 16, 2013, thousands of volunteers gathered to transform the city of San Francisco into Gotham City in order to fulfill the wish of Miles Scott, a five-year-old leukemia patient who dreamed of being “Batkid” for a day.

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Police escorts 5-year-old leukemia survivor Miles, also known as BatKid and Batman after they arrest the Riddler November 15, 2013 in San Francisco. Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area foundation turned the city into Gotham City for Miles by creating a day long event bringing his wish to be a BatKid to life. (Photo by Ramin Talaie/Getty Images).
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A San Francisco police officer on bike escorts 5-year-old leukemia survivor Miles, also known as BatKid after arresting the Riddler November 15, 2013 in San Francisco. Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area foundation turned the city into Gotham City for Miles by creating a day long event bringing his wish to be a BatKid to life. (Photo by Ramin Talaie/Getty Images).
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5-year-old leukemia survivor Miles, also known as BatKid and Batman arrive at former bank vault to arrest the Riddler November 15, 2013 in San Francisco. (Photo by Ramin Talaie/Getty Images).
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San Francisco police officers arrest the Riddler with the help of 5-year-old leukemia survivor Miles, also known as BatKid November 15, 2013 in San Francisco. Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area foundation turned the city into Gotham City for Miles by creating a day long event bringing his wish to be a BatKid to life. (Photo by Ramin Talaie/Getty Images).
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Crowds gather in front of a former bank vault waiting for 5-year-old leukemia survivor Miles, also known as BatKid November 15, 2013 in San Francisco. Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area foundation turned the city into Gotham City for Miles by creating a day long event bringing his wish to be a BatKid to life. (Photo by Ramin Talaie/Getty Images).
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5-year-old leukemia survivor Miles, also known as BatKid leaves in his Batmobile after arresting the Riddler November 15, 2013 in San Francisco. Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area foundation turned the city into Gotham City for Miles by creating a day long event bringing his wish to be a BatKid to life. (Photo by Ramin Talaie/Getty Images).
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Batman assists Miles Scott, 5, dressed as Batkid, as he prepares to save a damsel in distress in San Francisco on Friday, Nov. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Bay Area News Group, Gary Reyes)
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Miles Scott, 5, dressed as Batkid, rescues a damsel in distress in San Francisco, Friday, Nov. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Bay Area News Group, Gary Reyes).
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Daniel Fry holds up his daughter Kayla, 5, as they wait for Miles Scott, dressed as Batkid, in San Francisco, Friday, Nov. 15, 2013.

In one day, Miles became a social media sensation and attracted fans around the world, including President Barack Obama.

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READ MORE: Thousands rally to turn San Francisco into Gotham City for young leukemia patient

“Way to go, Miles! Way to save Gotham!” said Obama.

VIDEO: Obama thanks Batkid for saving Gotham

Miles was able to fulfill his dream through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the city and volunteers who stepped forward to help. He was diagnosed three years ago, underwent chemotherapy treatment and is now in remission.

2. Volunteers come together to help Alberta flood victims

Following the devastating flood that hit southern Alberta in July, residents in and around Calgary quickly came to the aid of their fellow Albertans.

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VIDEO: Calgary Mayor shares heartwarming stories of community support

Many spent hours helping strangers, cleaning up debris and dropping off supplies for those in need.

The support also extended to the online world.

On social media, users on Twitter, Facebook and Reddit reached out to offer help for those in need of shelter, food and dry clothing while dozens of Canadian companies offered donations and support to help the recovery efforts.

3. Man buys 500 free coffees, sparks ‘pay it forward’ movement
Days after an Edmonton man walked into a Tim Hortons in July and paid $860 for coffee for the next 500 customers, an anonymous man in Calgary did the same. This was followed by two others who repeated the gesture in Ottawa  and Red Deer, as well as many other cities across Canada.

VIDEO: Generosity brews for coffee drinkers

Shortly after, we asked you to share your stories of acts of kindness on our Facebook pages and this page here. Stories ranged from “simple” gestures as having one’s bus fare paid by a fellow commuter, to “grand” acts of kindness, such as gifting rent money back as a down payment for a house.

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4. Time-lapse video of homeless U.S. Army veteran undergoing physical transformation

In November, a time-lapse video of a U.S. Army veteran receiving a physical transformation went viral.

READ MORE: Video of homeless U.S. Army veteran undergoing physical transformation

Inspired by Dove’s “Evolution” ad campaign, the clip showed Jim Wolf sitting in a chair as he gets his beard trimmed, a new haircut and new clothes.

VIDEO: U.S. Army Veteran undergoes physical transformation

According to the video, Wolf has struggled with poverty, homelessness and alcoholism for decades.

While many users commented that a physical transformation was not enough to help veterans in need of support, some argued it was a start.

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5. Victoria man’s “Random Acts of Coolness”

In August, a Victoria man began to receive thousands of views on YouTube for his “Random Acts of Coolness” video.

Motocross blogger Kim Faganello filmed a video of himself helping out a woman in a motorized wheelchair who had got stuck on a curb. After posting the clip, he encouraged people to do good deeds and created the “Random Acts of Coolness” contest.

READ MORE: Victoria man’s random act of kindness goes viral on YouTube

“Kindness had been done, I wanted to do something that younger guys would be more into saying or doing,” he said. “They will say ‘cool,’ but you’re not going to hear a 24-year-old guy say, ‘that was really kind.’ ”

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With files from Global News and The Associated Press

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