10 things that made us smile this week

As we digest this week's heavy news, it's vital that we all balance our media consumption with uplifting and inspiring content. Doom-scrolling is a quick way to slip into despair, so we're here to offer some joy-scrolling to lift your spirit.

Here are 10 things that can help bring a smile to your face as you wrap up your week:

1. A photographer captured the innocent joy of an Afghan girl skipping across the tarmac after landing safely in Belgium

It's hard to find uplifting news surrounding the tragic events in Afghanistan, but this Reuters image of an Afghan girl skipping across the tarmac with her family after being evacuated to Belgium offers a glimpse of hope and a reminder of what freedom means to those who are fleeing Taliban rule. A little beam of light in the darkness.

2. This martial arts instructor took forgiveness to a whole new level after kids broke his studio window.

"To the kids that threw the rock at my window & shattered it, I was a wild kid too, and I forgive you," they wrote in a note. "If you want to learn how to channel your anger, I will train you for FREE. I will help you." Signed, Warrior Poet.

Warrior Poet indeed. What a beautiful example of the best of humanity.


3. Elementary teacher perfectly illustrates fairness in a simple lesson using Band-aids.

Good teachers are treasures, and Ms. Aimee here proves herself priceless as she explains how she teaches her third-grade students about what fairness really means. Fairness doesn't mean everyone gets the same thing, but rather everyone gets what they need to be successful. Simply brilliant. Read the full story here.

4. Speaking of great teachers, Mr. Monroe and his therapy dog, Nala, are lighting up TikTok with empathy demonstrations.

Josh Monroe is winning hearts all over the internet with his TikTok videos showing how he empathizes with students who are struggling. He also shares how he utilizes Nala, his therapy dog, in the classroom. This guy will restore your faith in humanity in an instant. Read the full story here.


5. Isaac Kearney might just be the best lip synch artist you've ever seen.

I have no idea if this kiddo can actually sing or not, but his lip-synch performances are off the hook. So much passion and emotion in such a tiny package. I could watch him all day.

Here he is with a little Whitney:

And some epic Phill Collins:

6. This bird actually can sing and pianist Kevon Carter adding some accompaniment to it is just sheer delight.

It's the little head shake with the eyes closed for me. "Yeeeeahhhh....Yeeeeahhhhh" Unreal, but so fun.


7. 11-year-old drummer Nandi Bushell finally got to perform live with Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters.

Nandi Bushell is a drum prodigy (for real) and she became internet famous during the pandemic for her drum challenges with Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl. That story is amazing on its own, but seeing Bushell's dream come true in front of a whole stadium is something else. Look at this joy (and talent—holy moly).

8. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson surprised a tour group in his neighborhood and I'm not sure who got more joy out of it.

The Rock is beloved for being one of those celebrities who genuinely seems like a good guy. Watching him casually roll up next to a tour bus and give fans the surprise of their lives is just some good, wholesome fun. Read the full story here.

9. Speaking of wholesome fun, this great aunt giving Australian football a go is definitely smile-worthy.

We all have that cool older relative who's up for anything. Great Aunty Judy's laughter is contagious, and her slipper flying off during her kick attempt is just the icing on the cake.

10. Want to see sheer, unadulterated joy? Watch Walter the Golden Lab book it down to the ocean in Sicily.

It's me. I am Walter. This is pretty much exactly what I would do if someone let me loose on a beautiful Mediterranean island, ears flapping and all. Wait for the unhesitant leap and plunge at the end.

BONUS: You want the SOUND UP on this one, I promise.

I shared this video in last week's round-up, but I figured it's worth sharing again because I've watched it approximately 85 more times since then. Can't stop, won't stop. Not even sorry.

Keep seeking joy and finding reasons to smile, everyone.

True


Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


*Upworthy may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through affiliate links on our site.

via Pixabay

Over the past six years, it feels like race relations have been on the decline in the U.S. We've lived through Donald Trump's appeals to America's racist underbelly. The nation has endured countless murders of unarmed Black people by police. We've also been bombarded with viral videos of people calling the police on people of color for simply going about their daily lives.

Earlier this year there was a series of incidents in which Asian-Americans were the targets of racist attacks inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given all that we've seen in the past half-decade, it makes sense for many to believe that race relations in the U.S. are on the decline.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo courtesy of Macy's
True

Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

Photo courtesy of Macy's

Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

Keep Reading Show less