A charity in Philando Castile's name helped pay off hundreds of students' lunch debt.

The world watched Philando Castile die, but thanks to the work of a new foundation, his legacy lives on.

On July 6, 2016, 32-year-old Castile was driving with his girlfriend and her 4-year-old daughter when they were pulled over by two St. Anthony, Minnesota, police officers. During what should have been a routine traffic stop, officer Jeronimo Yanez fired seven shots into the car, hitting Castile five times. Castile died soon after at a local emergency room.

What made Castile's death especially shocking was the fact that the incident was caught on camera. Diamond Reynolds, Castile's girlfriend, livestreamed the immediate aftermath. Castile informed Yanez that he had a gun, as is the responsible thing to do in that situation. The officer's response was to begin shouting, accusing Castile of reaching for the gun and firing his weapon. It was a horrible injustice made worse when Yanez was acquitted of charges of manslaughter and reckless discharge of a firearm.


Demonstrators march through St. Paul carrying a photo of Castile shortly after his death. Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images.

Castile worked in the cafeteria at St. Paul's J.J. Hill Montessori Magnet School, where he was beloved by children and colleagues. His death inspired a massive fundraiser for those kids.

A number of J.J. Hill elementary students had accrued thousands of dollars in lunch debt. While some qualified for free lunch, many families had incomes just outside the support cutoff. A new YouCaring campaign, Philando Feeds the Children, is working to wipe that debt clean — and then some.

Thanks to extensive public support, what started as a plan to wipe out lunch debt at J.J. Hill soon became a plan to address lunch debt across each of the 56 public schools in St. Paul. As of this writing, the group has raised more than $153,000.

Protestors at a Dallas rally in support of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Photo by Laura Buckman/AFP/Getty Images.

The entire concept of a "lunch debt" is pretty ridiculous, but it's happening all around us.

For many students from low-income families, a school lunch might be the only nourishing meal they get each day. In 2016, writer Ashley Ford offered a suggestion to her Twitter followers, writing, "A cool thing you can do today is try to find out which of your local schools have kids with overdue lunch accounts and pay them off." In the months that followed, people donated thousands of dollars to their local school districts, wiping out balances. It was a powerful show of empathy and humanity for a problem that shouldn't exist.

A related issue is something called "lunch-shaming." In Alabama, one student reported being stamped with the words "I need lunch money." A Utah school collected lunches from 40 students who owed a lunch balance and threw them away in 2014. In 2017, New Mexico passed the "Hunger-Free Students' Bill of Rights," aimed at making it easier for parents, teachers, and students to apply for free and discounted lunch programs while reducing the stigma and shaming.

People protest outside the Minnesota governor's mansion in July 2016. Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images.

To support the Philando Feeds the Children program in St. Paul, Minnesota, visit the campaign's YouCaring page. Additionally, if you're interested in helping out at a local level, GoFundMe has its own curated page of lunch debt elimination campaigns.

The Hill/Twitter

It was a mere three weeks ago that President Biden announced that the U.S. would have enough vaccine supply to cover every adult American by the end of July. At the time, that was good news.

Today, he's bumped up that date by two full months.

That's great news.

In his announcement to the nation, Biden outlined the updated process for getting the country immunized against COVID-19.


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True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

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It's amazing to consider just how quickly the world has changed over the past 11 months. If you were to have told someone in February 2020 that the entire country would be on some form of lockdown, nearly everyone would be wearing a mask, and half a million people were going to die due to a virus, no one would have believed you.

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PPE masks were the last thing on Leah Holland of Georgetown, Kentucky's mind on March 4, 2020, when she got a tattoo inspired by the words of a close friend.

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via ABC News

Julia Tinetti, 31, and Cassandra Madison, 32, first met in 2013 while working at The Russian Lady, a bar in New Haven, Connecticut, and the two immediately hit it off.

"We started hanging out together. We went out for drinks, dinner," Julia told "Good Morning America." "I thought she was cool. We hit it off right away," added Cassandra

The two also shared a strong physical resemblance and matching tattoos of the flag of the Dominican Republic. They had a bond that was so unique, even their coworkers thought there must be something more happening.

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