21 trees going out on a limb to ask for your help.

Hello, human!

1. A tree grows amid a field of flowers. Photo by Guillaume Souvant/AFP/Getty Images.

Yes, you down there. We're talking to you.

2. Stars twinkle in the night sky over the treetops of a forest in Frankfurt. Photo by Patrick Pleul/AFP/Getty Images.


It's us — the trees.

3. Beautiful fall leaves. Photo by Ozma/Flickr.

We need a word with you. And it's important.

4. The sun rises in Honolulu, Hawaii. Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images.

Take a seat.

5. A tree made for climbing. Photo by Sergei Gapon/AFP/Getty Images.

We feed you.

6. Trees: They give us fruit. Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

We cool down cities and sidewalks.

We release water vapor into the air and provide much needed shade to homes and streets to help keep cities cool.

7. A row of ash trees in a Chicago park, which have been treated with insecticide to keep them safe from pests like the emerald ash borer. Photo by Nova Safo/AFP/Getty Images.

We provide a beautiful, affordable way to clean up air pollution.

Not to brag, but in Chicago alone, we remove 18,000 tons of air pollution each year. And in Kansas City? 26,000 tons! Amazing, right?  You're welcome.

8. The midtown New York skyline behind blooming trees in Central Park. Photo by Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images.

We provide you with oxygen, free of charge.

9. A tree by the sea. Photo by Stephen Wernicke/Flickr.

And we even raise your property values and can help lower crime rates.

Again, you're welcome.

10. A Japanese white-eye (Zosterops japonicus) sits on a kanzakura tree in Taipei. Photo by Sam Yeh/AFP/Getty Images.

We don't do it for credit. But after helping out like this for millennia, we could use a favor.

11. Snow covered trees are seen as Amtrak's California Zephyr rolls past. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

We're being destroyed.

12. A deforested area in the Río Plátano biosphere reserve in the La Mosquitia region, Honduras. Photo by Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images.

We're not given an opportunity to thrive.

Even in areas where timber operations are illegal, like the Amazon jungle, the practice continues.

13. A deforested area in the middle of the Amazon jungle in Para, Brazil. Photo by Raphael Alves/AFP/Getty Images.

It's getting dire for some of us. And for the animals that call us home.

14. Trees provide homes and food for all kinds of wildlife. Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images.

Sumatran orangutans are just one species affected by Indonesia's booming palm oil industry. Millions of acres of prime peatland forest have been cleared to make way for plantations — a practice that releases tons of carbon, displacing trees and the destroying animal habitats.

So we need you to give a damn.

We saw some of you at the March for Science. Thanks for that. But you're not done.

People in Times Square at the March for Science in New York. Photo by Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images.

We need you to stand up for trees. In your communities, in your preserved natural spaces, and around the globe.

15. Coastal redwood trees at Muir Woods National Monument. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

We need you to support conservation efforts, buy and support companies and products that don't contribute to deforestation, and encourage sustainable tree planting and harvesting.

The demand for avocado is so high that it's fueling deforestation in Mexico. Farmers are thinning out existing pine forests to plant avocados. Not cool, folks.

16. Trees are better in bunches. Photo by Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images.

We need you to fight for us — because we've bent over backwards to do the same for you.

Cough, cough, "The Giving Tree,"  cough, cough.

17. A leaning tree near the Dinder national reserve, a protected region in Sudan. Photo by Ashraf Shazly/AFP/Getty Images.

Even when you make fun of us for accidentally having belly buttons.

18. Trees, like people, come in all shapes and sizes. Photo by William Warby/Flickr.

So, please, lend us a hand.

19. A boy climbs a tree near the lake Ammersee in the small Bavarian village of Herrsching, in southern Germany. Photo by Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images.

We'll keep doing our part to blow you away with our friggin' majesty.

20. Trees are gorgeous. Photo by Bram van de Sande/Flickr.

Stop by and visit us anytime, OK?

We really like watching all of you grow up.

21. A woman photographs blossoming cherry trees in Berlin, Germany. Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

Warm regards,
The trees

Courtesy of Creative Commons
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After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

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Cats are notoriously weird. Everyone who's had cats knows that they each have their own unique quirks, idiosyncrasies, preferences, habits, and flat-out WTFness.

But even those of us who have experience with bizarre cat behavior are blown away by the antics this "cat dad" is able to get away with.

Kareem and Fifi are the cat parents of Chase, Skye, and Millie—literally the most chill kitties ever. They share their family life on TikTok as @dontstopmeowing, and their videos have been viewed millions of times. When you see them, you'll understand why.

Take Chase's spa days, for example. It may seem unreal at first, but watch what happens when Fifi tries to take away his cucumber slices.

When she puts them back on his eyes? WHAT?! What cat would let you put them on once, much less get mad when you take them off?

This cat. Chase is living his best life.

But apparently, it's not just Chase. Skye and Millie have also joined in "spaw day." How on earth does one couple end up with three hilariously malleable cats?

Oh, and if you think they must have been sedated or something, look at how wide awake they are during bath time. That's right, bath time. Most cats hate water, but apparently, these three couldn't care less. How?

They'll literally do anything. The Don't Stop Meowing channel is filled with videos like this. Cats wearing glasses. Cats wearing hats. Cats driving cars. It's unbelievable yet highly watchable entertainment.

If you're worried that Kareem gets all the love and Fifi constantly gets the shaft, that seems to be a bit for show. Look at Chase and Fifi's conversation about her leaving town for a business trip:

The whole channel is worth checking out. Ever seen a cat being carried in a baby carrier at the grocery store? A cat buckled into a car seat? Three cats sitting through storytime? It's all there. (Just a heads up: A few of the videos have explicit language, so parents might want to do a preview before watching with little ones.) You can follow the couple and their cats on all their social media channels, including Instagram and YouTube if TikTok isn't your thing, here.

If you weren't a cat person before, these videos might change your mind. Fair warning, however: Getting a cat because you want them to do things like this would be a mistake. Cats do what they want to do, and no one can predict what weird traits they will have. Even if you raise them from kittenhood, they're still unpredictable and weird.

And honestly, we wouldn't have them any other way.

True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

When Donato Di Camillo was a kid, his family couldn't afford film for their Polaroid camera.

So instead, he ran around the house with a film-less camera pretending to be a hotshot photographer on an African safari, mimicking the heroes behind iconic photos he saw in the discarded National Geographic magazines his dad grabbed for him out of the garbage.

Years later, when Di Camillo found himself in prison after collecting a lengthy rap sheet of thefts, he discovered a library full of those same magazines.

While other inmates were working out or getting into trouble, he pored over old issues of National Geographic, Life, and Time.

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There have been many iconic dance routines throughout film history, but how many have the honor being called "the greatest" by Fred Astaire himself?

Fayard and Harold Nicholas, known collectively as the Nicholas Brothers, were arguably the best at what they did during their heyday. Their coordinated tap routines are legendary, not only because they were great dancers, but because of their incredible ability to jump into the air and land in the splits. Repeatedly. From impressive heights.

Their most famous routine comes from the movie "Stormy Weather." As Cab Calloway sings "Jumpin' Jive," the Nicholas Brothers make the entire set their dance floor, hopping and tapping from podium to podium amongst the musicians, dancing up and down stairs and across the top of a piano.

But what makes this scene extra impressive is that they performed it without rehearsing it first and it was filmed in one take—no fancy editing room tricks to bring it all together. This fact was confirmed in a conversation with the brothers in a Chicago Tribune article in 1997, when they were both in their 70s:

"Would you believe that was one of the easiest things we ever did?" Harold told the paper.

"Did you know that we never even rehearsed that number?" added Fayard.

"When it came time to do that part, (choreographer) Nick Castle said: 'Just do it. Don`t rehearse it, just do it.' And so we did it—in one little take. And then he said: 'That's it—we can't do it any better than that.'"

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