The year 2020 will go down in history as the year of a global pandemic that changed the way we live our everyday lives.

Simple gestures like shaking hands were replaced with social distancing, residents of long-term care homes were isolated from their families, and businesses of all types were forced to close to the public.

It's been a year that the average person could never have predicted with a highly contagious illness we all came to know as COVID-19.

Still, 2020 wasn't all plague and pestilence. The dark shadow COVID-19 produced allowed us to see how resilient we can be.

Locally, the past year held moments of happiness for several families.

Here are a few of their stories.

Triple the fun

The pandemic put a wrench in the wedding plans of many, but three Barrie sisters decided to turn their initial disappointment into a very special occasion.

Sisters Cassidy, Brooke and Taylor Davis each had plans to get married this past summer, but when COVID-19 halted their dreams, they made alterations for a triple wedding.

"Just a private ceremony for the three of us and our three grooms," one sister said.

The ceremony was live-streamed for everyone who would have been there to enjoy.

The young couples said they are excited about the next chapter.

Birthday surprise for young cancer warrior

All Sarah Hamby asked for on her 12th birthday while fighting cancer for the fifth time was some greeting cards.

But her community in Beeton decided that wasn't nearly enough for such a courageous girl. They put on a full-blown parade to show their support.

"She was happy and overwhelmed. She didn't know what to say," said Leila Paugh.

Sarah did get her greeting cards, thousands of them, hand-delivered by Ontario Provincial Police.

Community rallies to help Holocaust survivor with renovation

A 91-year-old Barrie woman was overwhelmed when her community pitched in to help her with a special renovation.

Madeleine Jug is a holocaust survivor who needed a shower on the main floor since walking up the stairs proved too much for the senior.

Sultana Mechali, with the Chabad Jewish Centre, soon became the driving force behind the mission to help Ms. Jug have a proper shower.

"I'm very blessed," Ms. Jug said. "I thank god every minute there are still good people in the world."

Strangers raise more than $12,000 to help Stayner girl stand

The only thing on nine-year-old Chloe Fraser's Christmas list this year was to be able to stand.

Chloe was born with a rare C2 spinal cord injury that left her relying on a wheelchair. Chloe's parents set their sights on a standing chair, hoping it would develop her core and legs to allow her to walk someday.

After overwhelming community fundraising campaigns, Chloe's parents bought a specialized standing wheelchair, which was an out-of-reach dream a few months ago.

"It was an incredibly special moment. It was just overwhelming," said mom Carol Fraser. "I wanted to scream and cheer."

Now, the possibilities for Chloe are endless.

Innisfil server shocked by $1,000 tip

Jessica Reichel served a couple she had never seen before at the St. Louis Bar and Grill and was shocked to find they had left her a $1,000 tip on an $82.86 bill.

"I kind of blacked out, if I'm being completely honest, because I've never seen anything like that," Reichel said.

The 21-year-old server said she had just told her family she couldn't afford to have a Christmas because things were tight, but the act of kindness from a couple of strangers with big hearts changed her holiday plans.

"I would like to thank them. Thank you for making Christmas possible this year for my family, and I am forever ever grateful, and I'll never forget those beautiful faces that walked in here," she beamed.