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A boy asked his mailman for junk mail so he could practice reading. He didn't get his exact request.

At first, I was like, "Oh, god, this is sad." Then I was like, "Yessss! Humanity for the win!"

A boy asked his mailman for junk mail so he could practice reading. He didn't get his exact request.

Utah postman Ron Lynch was making his routine deliveries one day when he saw a boy rifling through a container full of junk mail.

12-year-old Mathew Flores was collecting and reading discarded pieces of spam's more wasteful predecessor.


Photo by Judith E. Bell/Flickr.

As someone who drops the widely-seen-as-worthless stuff into mailboxes for a living, Lynch was intrigued.

Why would anyone, let alone a 12-year-old kid, want junk mail? Save, perhaps, for the watchful Internet bargain hunter.

Photo (altered) via Pretzelpaws/Wikipedia.

When Lynch asked Flores what he was doing, the boy's response was both heartbreaking and galvanizing.

The Deseret News reported that Flores told Lynch he reads junk mail "because he doesn't have books of his own and that bus fares made it difficult to get to the library."

So Lynch put a call out for his network to show a little love for the young and hungry reader.

He was surprised to see the post spread beyond his personal circles. "It's gone crazy from there," Lynch said to Deseret News. "I've heard from the U.K., Australia, from India."

The response was overwhelming. Books arrived by the stacks on the child's doorstep.

So many, in fact, that he thought it was a mistake. It wasn't. Flores is now the proud owner of a library that should keep him reading for years to come.

"They said these books are for you. I thought they were mistaken, but they were for me." — Mathew Flores

The story is inspiring, to be sure. But let's remember that Flores is not alone.

The U.S. is the richest country on the planet, but it's still failing kids like Flores when it comes to providing a path for the future. Today, 45% of American children live in low-income families (22% live below the federal poverty line).

Parents and their kids wait for new shoes and school supplies during a charity event in Skid Row, Los Angeles. Photo by Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images.

And when you consider that educational opportunity for children is directly affected by the economic health of the communities in which they live, well, you don't need me to explain why that's a problem.

Lynch deserves a big hand. But let's not forget: We shouldn't be leaving children's futures to chance.

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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.

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A 2015 survey conducted by the National Union of Students found that 60% of respondents turned to porn to fill in the gaps in sex education. While 40% of those people said they learned a little, 75% of respondents said they felt porn created unrealistic expectations when it comes to sex. Some of the unrealistic expectations from porn can be dangerous. A study found that 88% of porn contained violence, and another study found that those who consumed porn were more likely to become sexually aggressive.

But now the thing that breaks those unrealistic expectations… might also be porn? Pornhub has launched a sex education section.

The adult website's first series is simply titled, "Pornhub Sex Ed" and contains 11 videos and is accessible through the Pornhub Sexual Wellness Center. The section also contains articles, some showing real anatomy and examples in order to bust myths people may have picked up on other portions of the website.

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A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local 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 charity of choice.

There are creative, romantic proposals, and then there's this one.

Lee Loechler recently proposed to his girlfriend, Sthuthi David, by taking her to a packed theater to see her favorite movie, Sleeping Beauty. Little did she know that Loechler had spent six months altering the animation of the film's most iconic scene, changing the characters to look like the couple themselves and altering the storyline to set up his Big Question. And that's only the beginning.

Watching David's face during the scene change is sheer delight, as her confused look proves that she has no clue what is about to happen. The set-up is great, but the magical moment when Loechler's illustrated self tosses the engagement ring to his real-life self? That's when we all toss up our hands and say, "OKAY, man. You win at proposing. Everyone else must bow before you now."

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While many of us have understandably let the challenges of 2020 get under our skin and bring us down, a young man from Florida was securing his place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Chris Nikic became the first person with Down syndrome to complete a full triathlon.

For the majority of people, a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride or a 26.2 mile run would be difficult on its own. The Ironman competition requires participants to complete them all in one grueling race. In a statement, Special Olympics Florida President and CEO Sherry Wheelock called Chris "an inspiration to all of us." She continued, "We are incredibly proud of Chris and the work he has put in to achieve this monumental goal. He's become a hero to athletes, fans, and people across Florida and around the world."

Nikic's journey to become an Ironman started off as a challenge far less lofty. He and his father, Nik, created the "1 percent better challenge." The idea was to keep Chris motivated during the pandemic and beyond. According to The Washington Post, the idea was for Chris to improve his workouts by one percent each day because he "doesn't like pain" but loves "food, videos games and my couch." The plan was to keep building strength and stamina while keeping his eye on the grand prize of completing a triathlon. Nik told the Panama City News Herald, "I was concerned because after high school and after graduation a lot of kids with Down syndrome become isolated and just start living a life of isolation. I said, 'Look, let's go find him something to get him back into the world and get him involved,' so we started looking around and we were fortunate that at the same time Special Olympics Florida started this triathlon program, and I thought, 'What a great way to get him started, get him in shape and get him to make some friends.'"


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