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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.

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? 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.

The year 2018 was a pivotal one in the produce industry, the Red Delicious was supplanted as the most popular apple in America by the sweeter, crisper Gala.

It was only a matter of time. The Red Delicious looked the part of the king of the apples with its deep red, flawless skin. But its interior was soft, mealy, and pretty bland. The Red Delicious was popular for growers because its skin hid any bruises and it was desired by consumers because of its appearance.

But these days it's having a hard time competing with the delectable crunch provided by the Gala, honeycrisp, and Fuji.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."