A boy stole stuff for his mom, and it paid off for the shopkeeper in the end.

Imagine you met this little law-breaking, ne'er-do-well kid.

He's a thief who stole food from your store.


At that moment, you've got a choice. You can either punish him or try to understand his reasoning.

.

Imagine you decided to be generous and understanding.

And you discover his mom is very sick.

Like, super-sick. The kind of sick where she can't work or provide food for her children.

So you offer him your food.

It's not much, but it's what you have.

Now fast-forward.

It's 30 years later, and you're just living your life — still being that Mr. Rogers-type person...

And something happens ... you get sick.


It's devastating to your whole family. HUGE medical bills.

But that one small moment of generosity from years ago changed a life. And now it's changed YOUR life.


All expenses paid ... 30 years ago.



We are all bumbling around this planet, and each of us comes from a different situation in life. There's never really a way to know what someone else's circumstances are or what drives any of us to make the choices we make. What we do know is that sometimes we will be wronged in big or small ways. When this happens, maybe we can take a moment to think about the motivations of other people and try to mentally meet them where they are. If we apply this story, maybe, just maybe, we can begin to understand each other and make life a little bit easier.

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.