+
14-year-old makes and donates bow ties to help shelter animals find their forever homes
Photo courtesy of Sir Darius Brown
True

This article originally appeared on 07.11.19

Young entrepreneur Darius Brown is on a mission to find homes for shelter animals, and he's doing it with style—literally. The 14-year-old makes bow ties for dogs and cats in the hopes that it will help more of them find homes.

Many people find it hard to resist a puppy. But a puppy with a bowtie? That's just not even fair.

Brown, who goes by Sir Darius Brown on social media, wears a bow tie himself most of the time. "Literally everywhere I go, I wear a bow tie" he says.

It all started when he was eight and his older sister started making hair bows in cosmetology school. Brown had been diagnosed at age two with comprehension, speech, and fine motor skills delays, and helping out with his sister's sewing projects seemed to help him.


"With his fine motor skills, he wasn't able to really use his hands well—tying a shoe was challenging," his sister told the Today Show. "My mother and I came up with the idea that if he helped us with things like prepping the ribbon or cutting it, and sewing fabric together, it would help him. And it did—it worked!"

Brown started making his own bow ties to wear, and eventually his love of animals led him to make them for his furry friends also. He has now donated hundreds of ties to animal shelters all over the country.

"It helps the dog look noticeable, very attractive," Brown told Today. "It helps them find a forever, loving home…I love everything about dogs and cats."

Seriously, though. So. Not. Fair.

Brown has created his own organization called Beaux and Paws, and he's begun fundraising to be able to provide more ties. He's also received donations of fabric and supplies from people who support his mission. "The donations help a lot because we were just digging in our pockets, buying the fabric ourselves," his mother told Today. He now uses GoFundMe to bring his "paw-some" mission to life.

And the good work doesn't stop there. During the pandemic, he created over 100 face coverings for essential workers and the homeless as well as created koala mittens for koalas bears that burned their hands due to the Australian bushfires. Sir Darius hopes to continue bringing more awareness to pet adoption, finding new ways to support shelters and pet adoption, and encouraging youth to get involved with volunteering at shelters.

The preteen's work hasn't gone unnoticed. Former President Barack Obama even sent him a letter of praise in 2018.

"Dear Darius," Obama's letter reads. "After hearing your story, I wanted to reach out to commend you for your commitment to community service. From founding Beaux and Paws to lifting up the lives of those around you, it's clear you are doing your part to look out for your fellow citizens. And I trust you take tremendous pride in all you have accomplished.

As long as you stay engaged in the world around you, continue looking for ways to help others, and never give up on yourself, I'm confident our future will be bright. Know that I'm rooting for you in all you do, and I wish you the very best."

Well done, Sir Darius! Keep up the inspiring work.

Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

Keep ReadingShow less

Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

Keep ReadingShow less