10 practical and meaningful ways you can take part in this historic moment
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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.

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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.

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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

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In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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Images via Canva and Unsplash

If there's one thing that everyone can agree on, it's that being in a pandemic sucks.

However, we seem to be on different pages as to what sucks most about it. Many of us are struggling with being separated from our friends and loved ones for so long. Some of us have lost friends and family to the virus, while others are dealing with ongoing health effects of their own illness. Millions are struggling with job loss and financial stress due to businesses being closed. Parents are drowning, dealing with their kids' online schooling and lack of in-person social interactions on top of their own work logistics. Most of us hate wearing masks (even if we do so diligently), and the vast majority of us are just tired of having to think about and deal with everything the pandemic entails.

Much has been made of the mental health impact of the pandemic, which is a good thing. We need to have more open conversations about mental health in general, and with everything so upside down, it's more important now than ever. However, it feels like pandemic mental health conversations have been dominated by people who want to justify anti-lockdown arguments. "We can't let the cure be worse than the disease," people say. Kids' mental health is cited as a reason to open schools, the mental health challenges of financial despair as a reason to keep businesses open, and the mental health impact of social isolation as a reason to ditch social distancing measures.

It's not that those mental health challenges aren't real. They most definitely are. But when we focus exclusively on the mental health impact of lockdowns, we miss the fact that there are also significant mental health struggles on the other side of those arguments.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

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Gates Foundation

Once upon a time, a scientist named Dr. Andrew Wakefield published in the medical journal The Lancet that he had discovered a link between autism and vaccines.

After years of controversy and making parents mistrust vaccines, along with collecting $674,000 from lawyers who would benefit from suing vaccine makers, it was discovered he had made the whole thing up. The Lancet publicly apologized and reported that further investigation led to the discovery that he had fabricated everything.

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via Budweiser

Budweiser beer, and its low-calorie counterpart, Bud Light, have created some of the most memorable Super Bowl commercials of the past 37 years.

There were the Clydesdales playing football and the poor lost puppy who found its way home because of the helpful horses. Then there were the funny frogs who repeated the brand name, "Bud," "Weis," "Er."

We can't forget the "Wassup?!" ad that premiered in December 1999, spawning the most obnoxious catchphrase of the new millennium.

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