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7 reasons to be happy that Michelle Obama is preserving the White House garden.

"This little garden will live on as a symbol of the hopes that we all hold of growing a healthier nation for our children."

7 reasons to be happy that Michelle Obama is preserving the White House garden.

As one of her last acts as first lady, Michelle Obama unveiled significant renovations to the White House Kitchen Garden.

Renovations that will make it much harder for any future president to uproot it. Not that any future president would want to, but, in these — uh — tumultuous times, it can't hurt to be safe.

Do not mess with this woman's plants. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty.


The garden has more than doubled in size, from its initial 1,100 square feet in 2009 to 2,800 square feet, and now, it's accented by cement, stone, and steel reinforcements. The first lady also tasked the National Park Service with maintaining it and secured its upkeep with $2.5 million of private funding (aka not taxpayer dollars).

Needless to say her beloved garden isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

Like most everything else the first lady does, the garden is meant to serve a lasting purpose.

It's more than a passion project, it's about teaching kids where our food comes from, introducing them to fresh vegetables, and giving them a healthy appreciation for the work that goes into bringing it to the table.

“I take great pride in knowing that this little garden will live on as a symbol of the hopes and dreams we all hold of growing a healthier nation for our children,” Obama said at the garden's unveiling. But that's just one reason why preserving this garden matters so much to the first lady (and should matter to all of us too).

Here are seven more reasons to care about preserving the White House Kitchen Garden:

1. It's the first vegetable garden on White House grounds since Eleanor Roosevelt's victory garden in WWII.

Photo by Saul Loeb/Getty Images.

Victory gardens first came into existence in America during WWI in order to help contribute food to the war effort and America's allies. Eleanor Roosevelt planted one on the White House front lawn to boost morale during WWII and to encourage families nationwide to plant their own so as to safeguard against food shortages on the home front.

While Roosevelt's wasn't built to last like Michelle Obama's, the mission was similar — to encourage sustainability.

2. The food harvested from the garden is utilized by the White House kitchen, reducing the first family's need to rely on imported food.

The Let's Move! kids. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

The garden, which was part of Michelle’s “Let’s Move!” campaign, also helped the first family break its fast food habit. In fact, Michelle Obama credits her experience as a working mom trying to feed her two daughters as being what prompted the idea for the garden in the first place.

3. What better way to teach a new generation to appreciate fruits and vegetables than by getting them involved in growing them?

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

Students have played a pivotal role in the garden's upkeep since they broke ground on it back in 2009. Not only do students help harvest the 2,000pounds of yearly crops every year, they're invited to visit and help out anytime.

4. Anything from the garden's harvest that doesn't get used by the White House goes to local food banks and shelters.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Considering the harvest yield, the donations end up being quite sizable. Miriam's Kitchen, the homeless meals program in Washington, D.C., is primarily responsible for distributing the harvest and serves over 87,000 meals to those in need each year.

5. The garden is also home to the first ever White House beehive.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

Honeybees are responsible for making a substantial portion of our harvests grow. While they're not yet endangered, American has lost a reported 25% of its honeybee population since 1990, and the number of hives is the lowest it's been in 50 years. Their presence in the White House Kitchen Garden shows the Obamas understand how vital they are to our food supply.

On a lighter note though, the honey from the bees also helps make a tasty local honey ale and honey porter.

6. And the garden as a whole promotes the environmentally conscious, locally grown, farm-to-table movement.

Photo by Saul Loeb/Getty Images.

While big agriculture believes the farm-to-table movement is impractical for the nation as a whole, the first lady stands firmly behind it. Industrial agriculture uses up an exorbitant amount of energy. If there were public gardens in every small town producing food for the local community, it's likely energy consumption would diminish significantly.

7. Finally, the project is building a sense of community across the nation.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

As evident in the photos above, gardening is most fun when it's a group effort. Over the last seven years, the idea that gardening could be a great community-building tool has started to catch on, and as a result, communal gardens have popped up everywhere.

"They’re even doing some community gardening in space, as we understand, which takes the concept to a whole other level," said Obama at the annual garden planting.

A lot could change at the White House after this election concludes, but one thing Michelle Obama's made damn sure of — regardless of its literal existence, her gardening legacy will live on in the movements she's inspired and all the lives she's changed.

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This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

Watch the full story:

Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

Usually when we share a story of a couple having been married for nearly five decades, it's a sweet story of lasting love. Usually when we share a story of a long-time married couple dying within minutes of each other, it's a touching story of not wanting to part from one another at the end of their lives.

The story of Patricia and Leslie "LD" McWaters dying together might have both of those elements, but it is also tragic because they died of a preventable disease in a pandemic that hasn't been handled well. The Michigan couple, who had been married for 47 years, both died of COVID-19 complications on November 24th. Since they died less than a minute apart, their deaths were recorded with the exact same time—4:23pm.

Patricia, who was 78 at her passing, had made her career as a nurse. LD, who would have turned 76 next month, had been a truck driver. Patricia was "no nonsense" while LD was "fun-loving," and the couple did almost everything together, according to their joint obituary.

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Courtesy of Macy's

Brantley and his snowman

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"Would you like to build a snowman?" If you asked five-year-old Brantley from Texas this question, the answer would be a resounding "Yes!" While it may sound like a simple dream, since Texas doesn't usually see much snow, it seemed like a lofty one for him, even more so because Brantley has a congenital heart disease.

On Dec. 11, 2019, however, the real Macy's Santa and his two elves teamed up with Make-A-Wish to surprise Brantley and his family on his way to Colorado where there was plenty of snow for him to build his very own snowman, fulfilling his wish as part of the Macy's Believe campaign. After a joy-filled plane ride where every passenger got gift bags from Macy's, the family arrived in Breckenridge, Colorado where Santa and his elves helped Brantley build a snowman.

Brantley, Brantley's mom, and Santa marveling at their snowmanAll photos courtesy of Macy's

Brantley, who according to his mom had never actually seen snow, was blown away by the experience.

"Well, I had to build a snowman because snowmen are my favorite," Brantley said in an interview with Summit Daily. "All of it was my favorite part."

This is just one example of the more than 330,000 wishes the nonprofit Make-A-Wish have fulfilled to bring joy to children fighting critical illnesses since its founding 40 years ago. Even though many of the children that Make-A-Wish grants wishes for manage or overcome their illnesses, they often face months, if not years of doctor's visits, hospital stays and uncomfortable treatments. The nonprofit helps these children and their families replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy and anxiety with hope.

It's hardly an outlandish notion — research shows that a wish come true can help increase these children's resiliency and improve their quality of life. Brantley is a prime example.

"This couldn't have come at a better time because we see all the hardships that we went through last year," Brantley's mom Brandi told Summit Daily.

Brantley playing with snowballs

Now more than ever, kids with critical illnesses need hope. Since they're particularly vulnerable to disease, they and their families have had to isolate even more during the pandemic and avoid the people they love most and many of the activities that recharge them. That's why Make-A-Wish is doing everything it can to fulfill wishes in spite of the unprecedented obstacles.

That's where you come in. Macy's has raised over $132 million for Make-A-Wish, and helped grant more than 15,500 wishes since their partnership began in 2003, but they couldn't have done that without the support of everyday people. The crux of that support comes from Macy's Believe Campaign — the longstanding holiday fundraising effort where for every letter to Santa that's written online at Macys.com or dropped off safely at the red Believe mailbox at their stores, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. New this year, National Believe Day will be expanded to National Believe Week and will provide customers the opportunity to double their donations ($2 per letter, up to an additional $1 million) for a full week from Sunday, Nov. 29 through Saturday, Dec. 5.

There are more ways to support Make-A-Wish besides letter-writing too. If you purchase a $4 Believe bracelet, $2 of each bracelet will be donated to Make-A-Wish through Dec. 31. And for families who are all about the holiday PJs, on Giving Tuesday (Dec. 1), 20 percent of the purchase price of select family pajamas will benefit Make-A-Wish.

Elizabeth living out her wish of being a fashion designer

Additionally, this year's campaign features 6-year-old Elizabeth, a Make-A-Wish child diagnosed with leukemia, whose wish to design a dress recently came true. Thanks to the style experts at Macy's Fashion Office and I.N.C. International Concepts, only at Macy's, Elizabeth had the opportunity to design a colorful floral maxi dress. Elizabeth's exclusive design is now available online at Macys.com and in select Macy's stores. In the spirit of giving back this holiday season, 20 percent of the purchase price of Elizabeth's dress (through Dec. 31) will benefit Make-A-Wish.You can also donate directly to Make-A-Wish via Macy's website.

This holiday season may be a tough one this year, but you can bring joy to children fighting critical illnesses by delivering hope for their wishes to come true.

via Twins Trust / Twitter

Twins born with separate fathers are rare in the human population. Although there isn't much known about heteropaternal superfecundation — as it's known in the scientific community — a study published in The Guardian, says about one in every 400 sets of fraternal twins has different fathers.

Simon and Graeme Berney-Edwards, a gay married couple, from London, England both wanted to be the biological father of their first child.

"We couldn't decide on who would be the biological father," Simon told The Daily Mail. "Graeme said it should be me, but I said that he had just as much right as I did."

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via Elliot Page / Instagram

Elliot Page, once publicly known as Ellen Page, has announced he is transgender. The announcement makes the Oscar-nominated actor one of the most high-profile celebrities to come out as transgender.

The actor currently stars in Netflix's "The Umbrella Academy" and has acted in films such as "Juno," "Inception," and the "X-Men" franchise.

Page made the announcement on social media where he celebrated the joy of coming out while taking the opportunity to discuss the issues faced by the transgender community.

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