31 Days of Happiness Countdown: this guy's awesome job blowing up snow. (Day 4)

Hello and welcome to Day 4 of Upworthy's 31 Days of Happiness Countdown! Each day between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31, we're sharing stories we hope will bring joy, smiles, and laughter into our lives and yours. It's been a challenging year for a lot of us, so why not end it on a high note with a bit of happiness? Check back tomorrow for another installment!

The weird, invisible jobs that help keep society moving are fascinating. If you sat me down in front of a TV and told me I was going to watch a show about professional duck wranglers or fortune cookie writers, I'd tell you to go make popcorn. How do you get this kind of job? What is their day like? What do they talk about at the fortune cookie-writing watercooler? I want to know.


This video from The Seattle Times is like the epitome of that fascination. It's  a profile of John Stimberis, a Department of Transportation worker whose job is to help keep drivers safe by purposefully triggering avalanches with explosives.

Wait — how does that keep drivers safe, again? You'll just have to check it out.

Even if you already knew there were professional snow-bombing-avalanche-makers, the interview and details (like his little bike!) are so delightful. And there's something so fascinating, so calming, and so amazing about watching the snow go BOOM.

More days of happiness here: DAY 1 / DAY 2 / DAY 3 / [DAY 4] / DAY 5 / DAY 6 / DAY 7 / DAY 8 / DAY 9 / DAY 10 / DAY 11 / DAY 12 / DAY 13 / DAY 14 / DAY 15 / DAY 16 / DAY 17 / DAY 18 / DAY 19 / DAY 20 / DAY 21 / DAY 22 / DAY 23 / DAY 24 / DAY 25 / DAY 26 / DAY 27 / DAY 28 / DAY 29 / DAY 30 / DAY 31
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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.