1. Ugh.

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2. Ugh ugh ugh.

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3. Uggggggggggggghhhhh.

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4. What fresh hell is doing my taxes going to bring this year?

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5. I have too many 1099s. Brutal.

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6. What are benefits repaid to SSA?! Do I even need this form?

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7. By this time next week, I will be thousands of dollars poorer. Hooray!

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8. Thanks, Uncle Sam! You did this.

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9. I can’t deal with it right now.

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10. I mean, why should I have to pay taxes?

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11. I work hard. I give to charity. Why do I have to pay so other people can get free stuff?

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12. That's it. I'm going for a walk.

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13. Probably gonna get a donut.

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14. I deserve to treat myself today. I'm doing my taxes, after all.

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15. Just two blocks to the donut store.

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16. Looks like they finally repaved the sidewalk. That’s something, at least.

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17. You know, I never really thought about how the sidewalk gets paved.

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18. Does someone in an office downtown just decide one day, “Hey, that sidewalk is pretty messed up” and send a bunch of construction workers to do it?

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19. I guess I pay for it.

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20. With my taxes. That I don’t want to do. Or pay. Or think about.

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21. Glad it got done though.

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22. Wow. What a beautiful day.

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23. Hey, look at that mountain!

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24. That’s a cool mountain.

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25. I look down at my shoes so much I never noticed I lived by a mountain.

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26. ‘Sup, mountain.

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27. It must be part of that newly designated national forest.

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28. I guess ... I should also be grateful that my taxes pay for the park rangers to take care of it.

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29. I mean, the mountain definitely helps property values around here.

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30. And without taxpayer-funded government protection, it might be all covered in trash and scrap metal and stuff.

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31. Or have its top blown off by some coal company.

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32. I should hike up that mountain one day.

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33. But donut first.

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34. Definitely donut first.

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35. What kind of donut do I want?

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36. Glazed? Chocolate cake?

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37. Of course, the fact that I know how to read the donut menu at all is because I was educated in public schools, which my parents’ taxes paid for.

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38. Ooh, yes. Vanilla sprinkles. There it is.

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39. Love a frosted donut.

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40. Now that I think about it, taxes also pay for the farm subsidies that help America grow ungodly amounts of corn that becomes the corn syrup in the frosting.

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41. Would this donut even exist without farm subsidies?

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42. If it did, it’d be like $17, instead of $1.05.

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43. Maybe that’s why there are so many frosted donuts in America.

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44. I wonder what would happen if somebody punched me in the face and stole my donut?

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45. I’ve never been punched before.

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46. I guess it would probably hurt pretty bad.

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47. And someone would call the cops.

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48. Why do cops even exist? I suppose because we all pay the government once a year and a small portion of that goes to pay cops.

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49. Not that, you know, cops are always 100% chill, but still. Nice to have someone to call, if you need to, when you get punched.

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50. Mmmmm. Fried donut. Fried in greasy, greasy oil.

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51. Come to think of it, donut shops are kind of dangerous.

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52. What if all that oil caught on fire?

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53. I guess the fire department would come.

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54. And put it out with their tax-funded trucks and hoses.

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55. Hm ... guess I should probably start walking home to do my taxes after all.

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56. Good thing that car stopped when I crossed the street instead of mercilessly mowing me down, as it probably would have without a tax-funded streetlight to stop it.

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57. Wait a sec — I feel like ... like there’s someone behind me.

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58. Like, multiple people.

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59. Oh, it’s a youth soccer team. Phew.

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60. It's not a horde of crazed cannibals.

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61. Double phew.

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62. Why aren’t there crazed cannibals around?

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63. I suppose it’s because my taxes pay for food assistance so people don’t have to resort to eating human flesh.

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64. And housing assistance so people don’t have to starve alone in dank, musty caves.

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65. And a legal system that imposes severe penalties for killing people and cooking them.

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66. It’s almost as if ... there’s an entire, complex, hidden infrastructure undergirding my ability to safely get a donut that depends on me paying my taxes.

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67. Which I still need to do.

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68. True, there’s a lot of stuff I'd rather my taxes not pay for.

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69. Like dropping bombs on random countries.

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70. And a new football stadium every three years.

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71. But we don't get to pay a la carte. Otherwise, everyone would just pick and choose, and important programs that we don't even think about wouldn't get funding.

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72. Not to mention, other people might not want to pay for the stuff that I want my taxes to go toward.

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73. Like the subway so I can get places without a car.

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74. And weather satellites so I know when to put on my boots before I go outside.

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75. But especially this donut.

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76. Millions of other Americans paid up so I could have this sweet donut.

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77. Thanks, everyone!

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78. You’re the best.

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79. Even though taxes are something you have no choice but to pay.

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80. And you’re probably more than a little pissed about having to do them right now.

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81. OK, I'm home. It's time to face the beast.

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82. Weirdly, I actually feel good about paying taxes now.

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83. Anything that prevents me from twisting my ankle, dying in a fire, or being eaten by a ravening horde is OK by me.

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84. Ooh, and maybe I'll get an article out of this.

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85. And I can deduct that donut as a business expense.

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86. Boom. Just owned taxes.

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87. Definitely need another donut to celebrate.

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Images courtesy of Letters of Love
True

When Grace Berbig was 7 years old, her mom was diagnosed with leukemia, a cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues. Being so young, Grace didn’t know what cancer was or why her mother was suddenly living in the hospital. But she did know this: that while her mom was in the hospital, she would always be assured that her family was thinking of her, supporting her and loving her every step of her journey.

Nearly every day, Grace and her two younger sisters would hand-make cards and fill them with drawings and messages of love, which their mother would hang all over the walls of her hospital room. These cherished letters brought immeasurable peace and joy to their mom during her sickness. Sadly, when Grace was just 10 years old, her mother lost her battle with cancer.“

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Losing my mom put the world in a completely different perspective for me,” Grace says. “I realized that you never know when someone could leave you, so you have to love the people you love with your whole heart, every day.”

Grace’s father was instrumental in helping in the healing process of his daughters. “I distinctly remember my dad constantly reminding my two little sisters, Bella and Sophie, and I that happiness is a choice, and it was now our job to turn this heartbreaking event in our life into something positive.”

When she got to high school, Grace became involved in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and a handful of other organizations. But she never felt like she was doing enough.

“I wanted to create an opportunity for people to help beyond donating money, and one that anyone could be a part of, no matter their financial status.”

In October 2018, Grace started Letters of Love, a club at her high school in Long Lake, Minnesota, to emotionally support children battling cancer and other serious illnesses through letter-writing and craft-making.


Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Much to her surprise, more than 100 students showed up for the first club meeting. From then on, Letters of Love grew so fast that during her senior year in high school, Grace had to start a GoFundMe to help cover the cost of card-making materials.

Speaking about her nonprofit today, Grace says, “I can’t find enough words to explain how blessed I feel to have this organization. Beyond the amount of kids and families we are able to support, it allows me to feel so much closer and more connected to my mom.”

Since its inception, Letters of Love has grown to more than 25 clubs with more than 1,000 members providing emotional support to more than 60,000 patients in children’s hospitals around the world. And in the process it has become a full-time job for Grace.

“I do everything from training volunteers and club ambassadors, paying bills, designing merchandise, preparing financial predictions and overviews, applying for grants, to going through each and every card ensuring they are appropriate to send out to hospitals.”

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

In addition to running Letters of Love, Grace and her small team must also contend with the emotions inherent in their line of work.

“There have been many, many tears cried,” she says. “Working to support children who are battling cancer and other serious and sometimes chronic illnesses can absolutely be extremely difficult mentally. I feel so blessed to be an organization that focuses solely on bringing joy to these children, though. We do everything we can to simply put a smile on their face, and ensure they know that they are so loved, so strong, and so supported by people all around the world.”

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Letters of Love has been particularly instrumental in offering emotional support to children who have been unable to see friends and family due to COVID-19. A video campaign in the summer of 2021 even saw members of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and the NHL’s Minnesota Wild offer short videos of hope and encouragement to affected children.

Grace is currently taking a gap year before she starts college so she can focus on growing Letters of Love as well as to work on various related projects, including the publication of a children’s book.

“The goal of the book is to teach children the immense impact that small acts of kindness can have, how to treat their peers who may be diagnosed with disabilities or illness, and how they are never too young to change the world,” she says.

Since she was 10, Grace has kept memories of her mother close to her, as a source of love and inspiration in her life and in the work she does with Letters of Love.

Image courtesy of Grace Berbig

“When I lost my mom, I felt like a section of my heart went with her, so ever since, I have been filling that piece with love and compassion towards others. Her smile and joy were infectious, and I try to mirror that in myself and touch people’s hearts as she did.”

For more information visit Letters of Love.

Please donate to Grace’s GoFundMe and help Letters of Love to expand, publish a children’s book and continue to reach more children in hospitals around the world.

Upworthy is sharing this letter from Myra Sack on the anniversary of the passing of her daughter Havi Lev Goldstein. Loss affects everyone differently and nothing can prepare us for the loss of a young child. But as this letter beautifully demonstrates, grief is not something to be ignored or denied. We hope the honest words and feelings shared below can help you or someone you know who is processing grief of their own. The original letter begins below:


Dear Beauty,

Time is crawling to January 20th, the one-year anniversary of the day you took your final breath on my chest in our bed. We had a dance party the night before. Your posse came over. Aunts, uncles, grandparents, closest friends, and your loving nanny Tia. We sat in the warm kitchen with music on and passed you from one set of arms to another. Everyone wanted one last dance with you. We didn’t mess around with only slow songs. You danced to Havana and Danza Kuduro, too. Somehow, you mustered the energy to sway and rock with each of us, despite not having had anything to eat or drink for six days. That night, January 19th, we laughed and cried and sang and danced. And we held each other. We let our snot and our tears rest on each other’s shoulders; we didn’t wipe any of them away. We ate ice cream after dinner, as we do every night. And on this night, we rubbed a little bit of fresh mint chocolate chip against your lips. Maybe you’d taste the sweetness.

Reggaeton and country music. Blueberry pancakes and ice cream. Deep, long sobs and outbursts of real, raw laughter. Conversations about what our relationships mean to each other and why we are on this earth.


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Images courtesy of AFutureSuperhero and Friends and Balance Dance Project
True

The day was scorching hot, but the weather wasn’t going to stop a Star Wars Stormtrooper from handing out school supplies to a long line of eager children. “You guys don’t have anything illegal back there - any droids or anything?” the Stormtrooper asks, making sure he was safe from enemies before handing over a colorful backpack to a smiling boy.

The man inside the costume is Yuri Williams, founder of AFutureSuperhero And Friends, a Los Angeles nonprofit that uplifts and inspires marginalized people with small acts of kindness.

Yuri’s organization is one of four inaugural grant winners from the Upworthy Kindness Fund, a joint initiative between Upworthy and GoFundMe that celebrates kindness and everyday actions inspired by the best of humanity. This year, the Upworthy Kindness Fund is giving $100,000 to grassroots changemakers across the world.

To apply, campaign organizers simply tell Upworthy how their kindness project is making a difference. Between now and the end of 2021, each accepted individual or organization will receive $500 towards an existing GoFundMe and a shout-out on Upworthy.

Meet the first four winners:

1: Balance Dance Project: This studio aims to bring accessible dance to all in the Sacramento, CA area. Lead fundraiser Miranda Macias says many dancers spend hours a day at Balance practicing contemporary, lyrical, hip-hop, and ballet. Balance started a GoFundMe to raise money to cover tuition for dancers from low-income communities, buy dance team uniforms, and update its facility. The $500 contribution from the Kindness Fund nudged Balance closer to its $5,000 goal.

2: Citizens of the World Mar Vista Robotics Team: In Los Angeles, middle school teacher James Pike is introducing his students to the field of robotics via a Lego-building team dedicated to solving real-world problems.

James started a GoFundMe to crowdfund supplies for his students’ team ahead of the First Lego League, a school-against-school matchup that includes robotics competitions. The team, James explained, needed help to cover half the cost of the pricey $4,000 robotics kit. Thanks to help from the Upworthy Kindness Fund and the generosity of the Citizens of the World Middle School community, the team exceeded its initial fundraising goal.

Citizens of the World Mar Vista Robotics Team video update youtu.be

3: Black Fluidity Tattoo Club: Kiara Mills and Tann Parker want to fix a big problem in the tattoo industry: there are too few Black tattoo artists. To tackle the issue, the duo founded the Black Fluidity Tattoo Club to inspire and support Black tattooers. While the Brooklyn organization is open to any Black person, Kiara and Tann specifically want to encourage dark-skinned artists to train in an affirming space among people with similar identities.

To make room for newcomers, the club recently moved into a larger studio with a third station for apprentices or guest artists. Unlike a traditional fundraiser that supports the organization exclusively, Black Fluidity Tattoo Club will distribute proceeds from GoFundMe directly to emerging Black tattoo artists who are starting their own businesses. The small grants, supported in part with a $500 contribution from the Upworthy Kindness Fund, will go towards artists’ equipment, supplies, furnishings, and other start-up costs.

4: AFutureSuperhero And Friends’ “Hope For The Holidays”: Founder Yuri Williams is fundraising for a holiday trip to spread cheer to people in need across all fifty states.

Along with collaborator Rodney Smith Jr., Yuri will be handing out gifts to children, adults, and animals dressed as a Star Wars’ Stormtrooper, Spiderman, Deadpool, and other movie or comic book characters. Starting this month, the crew will be visiting children with disabilities or serious illnesses, bringing leashes and toys to animal shelters for people taking home a new pet, and spreading blessings to unhoused people—all while in superhero costume. This will be the third time Yuri and his nonprofit have taken this journey.

AFutureSuperhero started a GoFundMe in July to cover the cost of gifts as well as travel expenses like hotels and rental cars. To help the nonprofit reach its $15,000 goal, the Upworthy Kindness Fund contributed $500 towards this good cause.

Think you qualify for the fund? Tell us how you’re bringing kindness to your community. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis from now through the end of 2021. For questions and more information, please check out our FAQ's and the Kindness Toolkit for resources on how to start your own kindness fundraiser.

A round-up of delights from around the internet this week.

Hey all!

Welcome to Upworthy's weekly roundup of delights from around the internet. This week's list features a little of everything—gorgeous music, cute kids, adorable animals, hope for the planet and a brand new video message from the late and great Betty White.

That's right, Betty White left us a message of gratitude shortly before her passing. It's brief, but how lovely to see and hear her speak to her millions of fans one last time. Few celebrities are as universally beloved as Betty White was, and though we knew she couldn't live forever, it would have been fun to see her celebrate her 100th birthday. Now, at least, we get to experience her joy and warmth with a few last words.

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The airplane graveyard that 3 families call home is the subject of a stunning photo series.

From the skies to the ground, these airplanes continue to serve a purpose.

This article originally appeared on 09.18.15


What happens to airplanes after they're no longer fit to roam the skies?


An abandoned 747 rests in a Bangkok lot. Photo by Taylor Weidman/Getty Images.

Decommissioned planes are often stripped and sold for parts, with the remains finding a new home in what is sometimes referred to as an "airplane boneyard" or "graveyard." Around the world, these graveyards exist; they're made up of large, empty lots and tons of scrap metal.

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