+
More

13 photos show a heartwarming welcome waiting for refugees in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland is welcoming its new Syrian residents home with arms wide open.

The U.K. is accepting 20,000 Syrian refugees throughout the next five years as part of its Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme, as BBC News reported. And on Dec. 15, 2015, the very first group of 11 families (51 individuals) arrived in Belfast.

From the looks of it, the families received quite the warm welcome.


Because, as is the case when welcoming any new neighbors to your 'hood, there's a few things you should provide, like...

1. Welcome signage.

There's nothing better than a colorful sign to let you know you've finally arrived.

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.

In this case, the sign was in the special welcome center in Belfast, where the families will be staying until they find more permanent homes.

2. Cozy sleeping quarters are vital too.

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.

Pro tip: A splash of color on one wall can only help brighten someone's day. (And if anyone's day could use a little brightening, it's someone whose life has been uprooted by war.)

3. And cards. Cute greeting cards are mandatory.

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.

These were made by local schoolchildren, excited to welcome and greet their new neighbors.

4. ... Seriously, you can never have too many cards.

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.

5. Also, make sure the fridge is kept stocked.

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.

These refugees lived in unstable, dangerous circumstances, waiting for some permanence and safety for months (sometimes, even years). They deserve a cold drink.

And make sure the clocks are ticking accurately, too.

6. And have holiday decorations on display.

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.

I mean, even if you don't celebrate Christmas, I think anyone can appreciate a festive Christmas tree.

7. That includes this adorable Christmas angel.

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.

Let's say it together: Awww.

8. Don't forget to have plenty of seating available.

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.

(OK maybe a little more seating for the next round of guests.)

9. Especially couch seating with soft pillows. (Yes, please.)

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.

For folks who've traveled thousands of miles to make it to the U.K., a comfy seat goes a long way.

10. And, of course, useful kits that cover the basics.

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.

Emergency multilingual phrasebook? Check.

For families who've had everything stripped away from them, little things, like soap and toothbrushes — things many of us take for granted — are much appreciated.

11. And toys.

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.

12. ... Lots and lots of toys.

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.

13. Just like with cute greeting cards, you can never have too many toys.

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.

After all, playing games and being creative may just help children find relief after they've seen the brutal effects of war.

What these families have been through is unimaginable. They need our help.

There are more than 4.3 million Syrian refugees who've been severely affected by conflict in their country according to the UNHCR. That's why — instead of banning Muslims from entering the U.S. out of fear, or building walls to keep immigrants out — we should be finding ways to aid those most affected by terrorism in the Middle East.

(By the way, if you want to help a refugee child in need, here's one way you can do it.)

I gotta hand it to those folks over in Belfast — they know how to be neighborly.

They must have taken a hint from Canada.

Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.

Science

Sustainably good news: Recycling is getting better and this family is showing us how

What if instead of focusing on what isn’t working, we looked at these stories as an invitation to do better?

Via Ridwell

Ryan Metzger and son Owen

There is no shortage of dire news about the state of modern recycling. Most recently, this NPR article shared the jaw-dropping statistic that about 5% of all plastics produced get recycled, meaning the rest of it ends up in landfills. While the underlying concerns here are sound, I worry that the public narrative around recycling has gotten so pessimistic that it will make people give up on it entirely instead of seeing the opportunities to improve it. What if instead of focusing on what isn’t working, we looked at these news stories as an invitation to do better?

Keep ReadingShow less
via Tod Perry

An artist's recreation of Jackie's napkin note.

A woman named Jackie pulled a move straight out of a romantic comedy recently, and it has the internet rallying around her potential love interest. Jackie met a guy at a bar and liked him so much that she gave him her phone number. Well, 80% of her number, that is.

The world heard about it on January 17 when Twitter user Henpecked Hal and shared a picture of the napkin with her partial phone number written on it. "My 22-year-old cousin met his dream girl at a bar and it's going pretty well,” Hal wrote in the tweet.

Keep ReadingShow less

Women are looking for love at Home Depot.

Even though people have endless options to find love these days, whether in real life or online, finding the perfect person still isn’t easy. In fact, according to Pew Research, 55% of women believe dating is harder today than it was 10 years ago. So it’s understandable that some are considering ditching the apps to meet people in real life.

Studies show that for people looking for a serious relationship, real life may be the better option.

According to Newsweek, a study by Illinois State University sociology professor Susan Sprecher found that young people who first met face to face were 25% more likely to report feelings of closeness than those who initially met online. Aditi Paul, a communications professor at Pace University in New York, found that people who first met in real life lasted four times longer than those who met online.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

A letter to the woman who told me to stay in my daughter's life after seeing my skin.

'I'm not a shiny unicorn. There are plenty of black men like me who love fatherhood.'

Doyin Richards

Dad and daughters take a walk through Disneyland.

True
Fathers Everywhere

This article originally appeared on 06.15.16


To a stranger I met at a coffee shop a few years ago who introduced me to what my life as a parent would be like:

My "welcome to black fatherhood moment" happened five years ago, and I remember it like it happened yesterday.

I doubt you'll remember it, though — so let me refresh your memory.

Keep ReadingShow less
Science

Man was awake and playing the saxophone throughout his entire 9-hour brain tumor surgery

Several times during the surgery, the patient played the theme song from "Love Story" by Francis Lai.

"Awake surgery" allows brain surgeons to see the functioning parts of the brain to avoid during surgery.

This article originally appeared on 10.17.22


Do you ever step back and marvel at the miraculous things human beings have figured out how to do?

Less than 200 years ago, no human being had ever played a saxophone, there was no such thing as anesthesia and if you had even a simple brain tumor, you were just out of luck.

Now, a team of doctors in Italy has successfully performed a highly complex, nine-hour brain surgery on a man while he was awake and while he played the saxophone. Not only that, but the patient reported feeling "tranquility" during the surgery and only spent a few days in the hospital after the surgery before being discharged.

Keep ReadingShow less
The Prince Charles Cinema/Youtube

Brendan Fraser dressed as Rick O'Connell.

Brendan Fraser might be making the greatest career comeback ever, racking up accolades and award nominations for his dramatic, transformative role in “The Whale." But the OG Fraser fans (the ones who watch “Deadpool” solely to hear his voice and proudly pronounce his last name as Fray-zure, for this is the proper pronunciation) have known of his remarkable talent since the 90s, when he embodied the ultimate charming, dashing—and slightly goofball—Hollywood action lead.

Let us not forget his arguably most well known and beloved 90s character—Rick O’Connell from the “Mummy” franchise. Between his quippy one-liners, Indiana Jones-like adventuring skills and fabulous hair, what’s not to like?

During a double feature of “The Mummy” and “The Mummy Returns” in London, moviegoers got the ultimate surprise when who should walk in but Brendan Fraser himself, completely decked out in Rick O’Connell attire. The brown leather jacket. The scarf. Everything.

Keep ReadingShow less

Parenting children requires some serious balancing skills.

This article originally appeared on 03.08.16


Like most parents, I didn't know what I was doing when I first became a mom — because I'd never done it before.

I was 27 when our first child joined our family through adoption. He was 10 months old.

My son and me shortly after his adoption. That look on my face can probably best be described as "clueless but hopeful." All photos of my kids and me belong to me.

Keep ReadingShow less