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​A 13-Year-Old's List Of 'Important' Things Sure Has Me Surprised

Note: This #UpChat has concluded, but don't worry! You can check out our recap of the discussion below and here.When I first heard of Madison Kimrey, she was 12 and explaining how voter registration works to an elected official. Now, she's a year older, is still incredible, and has an important message for you (yes, you!) about voting. Since, you know, it's kind of important.If you're as thrilled about this as she is, you should skip below the video (after, you know, watching it) and learn about a super-cool event happening on Nov. 3 at 1 p.m. ET. Spoiler alert: It's a Twitter chat. Double spoiler alert: It's gonna be amazing. But anyway, take it away, Madison!

​A 13-Year-Old's List Of 'Important' Things Sure Has Me Surprised

...How cool was that? And now you better brace yourself because I'm about to talk about something just as cool, if not cooler.

That's right! Upworthy is partnering with our friends at AFL-CIO to hold an #UpChat all about the economy and the upcoming election! Cue the confetti, y'all, because this is gonna be a party. So make sure to mark your calendar for Monday, Nov. 3 at 1 p.m. ET. We'll be talking on Twitter, where we'll be hashing out the details (with hashtags!) and having an enlightening chat about politics, voting, and labor.


Have questions about what the heck an #UpChat is and/or how that works and/or how to pronounce "#"? No worries. Read on for more information!

So, um ... what exactly is an #UpChat? What's the deal here?

An #UpChat is just a casual chat on Twitter where we discuss an important topic. This particular #UpChat is brought to you by the extra-amazing AFL-CIO and will be all about the elections on Nov. 4 and the economy. We'll be joined by a bunch of great partners, too! Basically, it's going to be really fun and really educational. And what's better than that? (Answer: nothing. #UpChats are the best.)

OK, can you tell me what I can do now?

I love your enthusiasm! The biggest, most crucial part of all this is to have people like YOU — yes, I am talking about YOU — join in and make your voice heard! Here are the three steps to get this educational party started:

1. Follow @Upworthy on Twitter.

2. Check out the #UpChat hashtag on Monday, Nov. 3 at 1 p.m. ET — and join in the conversation!

3. Check out all the awesome folks joining us on this handy-dandy list we've compiled for you.

4. Share this post! If you're going, then share so other folks know you're coming! Can't go? That's cool too! Share this post so maybe your friends will stop by instead! The more, the merrier!

BUT I JUST CAN'T WAIT UNTIL THEN. I NEED TO DO SOMETHING NOWWWW.

Ugh, I know! Trust me, I'm sitting here too, wondering if it's possible to make the earth turn faster so we can get to the #UpChat and the elections sooner! (Obviously that is impossible unless you're Superman. But, uh, not to upset anybody reading this or anything, but I'm not Superman. Sorry, folks.)

In the meantime, here are some awesome links to check out while you patiently wait for the #UpChat:

1. Get up to date on voting rights in your state on this kinda incredible interactive map from AFL-CIO!

2. If you don't feel like voting this year, this might be a huge reason why.

Courtesy of Verizon
True

If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

via CNN / Twitter

Eviction seemed imminent for Dasha Kelly, 32, and her three young daughters Sharron, 8; Kia, 6; and Imani, 5, on Monday. The eviction moratorium expired over the weekend and it looked like there was no way for them to avoid becoming homeless.

The former Las Vegas card dealer lost her job due to casino closures during the pandemic and needed $2,000 to cover her back rent. The mother of three couldn't bear the thought of being put out of her apartment with three children in the scorching Nevada desert.

"I had no idea what we were going to do," Kelly said, according to KOAT.

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