A caravan of tiny terrorists is on its way: an essay by one very scared man.

Buckle up, fellow Americans. The caravan is on its way.

Any hour now—any minute—hundreds if not thousands of tiny masked weirdos will spill into our neighborhood streets, invade our porches, bang down our doors—and change the face of this great nation forever.

There’s a strange chill in the air—can you feel it? Beth says that’s just the time of year, but I don’t think so. Feels different. Like the calm before a storm of tiny weirdos dressed like Elsa from "Frozen."


Beth says I’m making mountains out of molehills, but does she spend all day in the basement keeping up with the news? No, she does not. Says she’s too busy changing my sheets and organizing my pills.

Dale gets it—says the whole thing scares him to bits. “We have no idea who these little people are,” says Dale. “What houses they coming from? Nothing.”

Beth says most likely they mean no harm. But I’m like, how can you say that when you don’t know who “they” is? I heard reports they’re armed with eggs, toilet paper, pebbles from the driveway—you name it. Well, Beth heard that and got real quiet.

“What kinda eggs?” says Beth.

I told her hop to it and bring me the AK.

Well, she might be scared, but not me. Tell you the truth, I’m P.O.’d. These tiny weirdos are out to take candy away from deserving Americans. Our people are wanting Tootsie Pops. Our citizens need Hot Tamales. And they're about to go to a bunch of Trick-or-Traitors?

Not on my watch.

My neighbor Phil’s like: you better relax before you kill your damn self with a heart attack. Well, I told Dale that and he just laughed. “Phil’s the kinda guy who leaves an untended bowl of candy on his front porch with a handwritten sign that says: ‘Please, take one only.’”

Other day I looked away from the TV and saw an autumn leaf drift by the skylight: just this bright, beautiful shade of orange. Made me think of our President. After dinner, Beth reads to me from his Twitter, which I find soothing. Last night he wrote: “These tiny losers MUST BE STOPPED! I have placed an executive order to scoop out the contents of Mitch McConnell’s head, light a candle inside, and leave it on the White House steps! This is a NATIONAL EMERGENCY!!!”

As you may imagine, I slept well that night.

Beth tells me Kimmy, the gal who does her nails, says Trick-or-Traitors are just, “little kids having fun.” They been doing this every year for as long as she can remember, says Kimmy, and she’s never had an issue. In fact, most of them are, “real polite.”

Well, I practically choked on my Jell-O when I heard that.

“Listen,” I tell Beth. “You come to my house dressed up like a Wolfman Ewok gypsy ghost, who’s to say that’s not exactly who you are? You telling me behind every mask there’s an innocent little kid with a sweet tooth?”

Mainstream media nonsense.

I for one am not about to waste my time wondering if behind all that face paint there’s an actual human being.

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

Image is a representation of the grandfather, not the anonymous subject of the story.

Eight years a go, a grandfather in Michigan wrote a powerful letter to his daughter after she kicked out her son out of the house for being gay. It's so perfectly written that it crops up on social media every so often.

The letter is beautiful because it's written by a man who may not be with the times, but his heart is in the right place.

It first appeared on the Facebook page FCKH8 and a representative told Gawker that the letter was given to them by Chad, the 16-year-old boy referenced in the letter.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."