A bride asked guests to do kind acts instead of giving gifts. Here are 10 you can do on your own.
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KIND®


It's normal for a couple to be showered with gifts when they celebrate their big day and walk down the aisle.

But Leigh Clark wanted her guests to do something a little different. She wanted them to give their gifts — in the form of kindness to the world.


Leigh is a big believer in making the world a better place through acts of kindness.

In a phone interview, Leigh told me she caught the bug a few years ago when she decided to do one act of kindness every day from Thanksgiving to Christmas:

"My first act was delivering meals to underprivileged families on Thanksgiving. I was able to give this giant sheet cake away to these kids who were playing with their parents nearby. The amount of joy that they radiated back at me was so amazing that it was like I was hooked. And that's when I understood for the first time in my life that happiness doesn't necessarily come from within. It can be reflected back to you."

So when her wedding was approaching, she knew that asking guests to do good deeds would be an amazing way to celebrate love — and not just between her husband and herself, but the world.

The response was overwhelming. And it wasn't just her wedding guests who opted to join in. Other acquaintances and childhood friends hopped on board, too.

Jillian Bhatia, a childhood friend of the bride, got her family involved. She and her kids, Rohan and Vivi, pitched in and donated supplies to a local women's shelter.

Bridesmaid Emily Schairer and her daughter, Chloe, brought pet supplies to a local animal shelter.

London-based Caitlin Blewett, another of Leigh's childhood friends, bought some frozen yogurt for the office security guard.

As Leigh told me, "If you're doing the right thing while going about your day and trying to make the world a nicer place, the world smiles back."

Fortunately, you don't have to wait for a wedding invite to go out into the world to commit acts of kindness.

Here are 10 super easy acts of kindness you can do to continue to spread the love and make the world a kinder place:

1. Thank someone who's supported you in the past, like a teacher, friend, or mentor, by giving them a hand-written letter.

2. Spend a couple hours volunteering at a local nonprofit organization.

3. Donate goods to a local shelter.

4. Buy lemonade at a child's lemonade stand.

5. Call a friend and tell them how much they mean to you.

6. Send kind words to someone getting a lot of hate on social media.

7. Send groceries to a friend who is busy and/or going through a difficult time.

8. Put a quarter in an expired parking meter to help a stranger avoid getting a ticket.

9. Send flowers anonymously to a receptionist or security guard.

10. Leave an encouraging note somewhere on a store shelf or in a popular library book.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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