10 practical and meaningful ways you can take part in this historic moment
Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash
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So we can all agree that 2020 is panning out to be pretty rough, right? We're dealing with a global pandemic, economic crash, 400 years of racial inequality , and murder hornets.

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If you're sitting at home, shouting expletives and/or wringing your hands wishing there was something you could do, guess what? Every single human being can find a small way to help, and we are here to inspire you to make a difference.

Got your notepad ready? Here we go.


You feel paralyzed every time you log on to social media or turn on the news.

Solution: We get it. It's a lot. We invite you to stop arguing with your distant relatives on Facebook and turn your attention to the outside world. Wave hello to a neighbor. Smile at a child. Scream into a pillow.

Help a senior citizen by running an errand, loading groceries into their vehicle, or carrying bags to the front door. Do something small to make someone else's day better, before returning to your own.

You want to donate money to a good cause but find the choices overwhelming.

Solution: There are so many worthy causes out there right now. The problem of having too many choices is actually not a bad one to have; it means a lot of kindred spirits are out there doing wonderful things, and all you have to do is click a few buttons to send support.

You can do this. Really.

You want to help people in need, but you have $10 or less to spend.

Solution: On your next grocery trip , hit the BOGO sales. Buy an extra box of cereal or can of black beans and give the surplus to a local food bank. Every item makes a difference, and if you take advantage of a drugstore sale, pick up feminine hygiene products, deodorant, or shampoo and donate them to a homeless shelter.

You want to be an activist but have no idea where to start.

Solution: Half of the battle is won already, friend. Use the internet to find a local group of like-minded people. Enter a search on your city and include the type of activism you are interested in. Look up the word "activism" to make sure you understand what it is. See when and where virtual activist training is available. Be open. Follow the minority leadership, be peaceful, and listen.

Photo by Mike Von on Unsplash

The idea of activism makes you want to hide in a closet.

Solution: Great! How are you at writing letters? Baking? Childcare? Errand-running? Figure out what you have to offer, and then volunteer your services to the activists in your community. Many of them want to do more but can't because they're too busy doing a task that you might find enjoyable.

Children have questions. About everything.

Solution: Yes, we know. There really is a lot to take in, and you haven't had time to fully process it, and you'd rather just not have those conversations. But if you muster up the courage to face it head on, the kids will be empowered with the knowledge they need to navigate tricky situations with their peers. Talking to children openly and honestly helps them become future allies and advocates for justice, period.

You suspect you might be part of the problem, or know someone who might be part of the problem.

Solution: The first step in making a difference is acknowledging that there is a problem. Find some quiet time to ponder this. Think about what you can do to improve the situation within your small sphere of influence.

Important people in your life don't agree with your views.

Solution: Your job isn't to change them. Your task is to love them enough to have an honest conversation. Listen to why they might feel strongly about an issue. Ask questions without judgement so that you can better understand where they might be coming from. It's possible to create space for them (and their quirks) without condoning bad or unethical behavior. Humanity is complicated—just love them, and burn a lot of sage.

You've got very little free time, money is tight, and your emotional bandwidth is tapped.

Solution: Text a friend, just to check on them. Admire the birds from your window. Sign up to give back every time you buy essentials like laundry detergent and toothpaste, so that you're able to do good without having to think about it.

You are very often in a bad mood.

Solution: Tap into the positive energy of Mother Earth. Garden, plant trees to fight climate change, shake your fist at the sky, sit in the sun and stick your feet in a patch of grass. Everything is connected to everything else—creating positive energy will help everyone, most of all, you.

If all of us aim to improve the common welfare, think of the possibilities for our future! Don't let excuses or lack of experience keep you from making a difference.

Turn your everyday actions into acts of good every day at P&G Good Everyday.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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The verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, a former Minnesota police officer convicted of murdering George Floyd, has many breathing a sigh of relief. Even though the disturbing video evidence of Floyd dying under Chauvin's knee is impossible to refute, it's incredibly hard to convict an officer of murder.

The United States judicial system is so preferential to law enforcement that even though the world saw murder in broad daylight, many were skeptical of whether he'd be convicted.

"Most people, I think, believe that it's a slam dunk," David Harris, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh and an expert in policing, told the Washington Post before the trial. "But he said, "the reality of the law and the legal system is, it's just not."

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2020 was difficult (to say the least). The year was full of life changes, losses, and lessons as we learned to navigate the "new normal." You may have questions about what the changes and challenges of 2020 mean for your taxes. That's where TurboTax Live comes in, making it easy to connect with real tax experts to help with your taxes – or even do them for you, start to finish.

Not only has TurboTax Live helped millions of people get their taxes done right, but this year they've also celebrated people who uplifted their communities during a difficult time by surprising them with "little lifts" to help out even more.

Here are a few of their stories:


Julz, hairdresser and salon owner

"As a hairdresser and salon owner, 2020 was extremely challenging," says Julz. "Being a hairdresser has historically been a recession-proof industry, but we've never faced global shut down due to health risk, or pandemic, not in my lifetime. And for the first time, hairdressers didn't have job security."

Julz had to shut down her salon and go on unemployment benefits for the first time. She also had to figure out how she was going to support herself, her staff and her business during this difficult time. But many other beauty industry professionals didn't have access to the resources they needed, so Julz decided to help.

"My business partner and I began teaching basic financial literacy to other beauty industry professionals," she says. "Transitioning our business from behind the chair to an online academy was a challenge we tackled head-on so that we could move hairdressers into this new space of education, and create a more accessible curriculum to better serve our industry.

Julz connected with a TurboTax Live expert who helped her understand how unemployment affected her taxes and gave her guidance on filing quarterly estimated taxes for her small business. "I was terrified to sit at a computer and tackle this mess of receipts," Julz says, so "it was great to have some virtual handholding to walk me through each question."

In addition to giving Julz the personalized tax advice she needed, TurboTax Live surprised her with a "little lift" that empowered her to help even more beauty professionals. "When my tax expert Diana surprised me with a little lift, I was moved to tears," says Julz. "With that little lift, I was able to establish a scholarship fund to help get other hairdressers the education they deserve."


Alana, new mom

Alana welcomed her first child in 2020. "I think my biggest challenge was figuring out how to be a mom, with no guidance," she says. "My original plan was to have my mom by my side, teaching me the ropes, but because of COVID, she wasn't able to come out here."

She was also without a job for most of 2020 and struggled to find something new.

So, Alana took it as a sign: she decided to launch her own business so she could support her new baby, and that's exactly what she did. She started a feel-good company that specializes in creating affirmation card decks — and she's currently in the process of starting a second, video-editing business.

TurboTax Live answered Alana's questions about her taxes and gave her some much-needed advice as she prepared to launch her businesses. Thanks to their "little lift," they provided her with a little emotional support too.

"I got my mom a plane ticket to finally [have her] meet [my daughter] for her first birthday," Alana says. "I was also able to get a new computer," which helped her invest in her new business and work on her video editing skills. "It's helped my family and me so much," she says.


Michael, science teacher

When schools shut down across the country last year, Michael had to learn how to adapt to a virtual classroom.

"As a teacher, I had to completely revamp everything," he says, so that he could keep his students engaged while teaching online. "At the beginning, it was a nightmare because I had no idea. I had to go from A-Z within a couple of weeks."

Michael's TurboTax Live expert answered his questions about how working from home affected his taxes and helped him uncover surprising tax deductions. To top it all off, his expert surprised him with brand new science equipment and supplies, which allowed him to create an entire line of classes on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. "Now I can truly potentially reach millions of children with my lessons," he says. "I would never have taken that leap if not for the little lift from TurboTax Live."



Ricky, motivational youth speaker

As a motivational speaker, Ricky was used to doing his job in person, but, he says, "when COVID-19 hit, it altered my ability to travel and visit schools in person [because] schools moved to fully virtual or hybrid models."

He knew he had to pivot — so he began offering small virtual group workshops for student leadership groups at middle and high schools.

"This allowed me to work with student leaders to plan how they would continue making a positive impact on their school community," he says. He wasn't sure how being remote would affect his taxes, but TurboTax Live Self-Employed gave him the advice and answers that he needed to keep more money in his pocket at tax time — and the little lift he received from them has helped him serve even more students.

"[It] has been a major blessing," he says "There will be multiple schools and student groups from across the country that I can hold leadership workshops with to empower them with the tools to be inspirational leaders in their school, community, and world."

Plus, he says, it was great knowing he had an expert to help him figure out how being remote affected his taxes. "I felt confident and assured in the process of filing my taxes knowing I had an expert working with me, says Ricky. "There were things my expert knew that I would not have considered when filing on my own."

Filing your taxes doesn't have to be intimidating, especially after a year like 2020. TurboTax Live experts can give you the "little lift" you need to get your taxes done. File with the help of an expert or let an expert file for you! Go to TurboTax Live to get started.