A hero photographer is helping flood victims save their priceless family photos.

The water never reached Kimberly Viator's doorstep because her house sits up on a hill.

But all around her, her Youngsville, Louisiana, neighbors' homes were taking on massive amounts of water.

And all over the state, things are just as bad: Over 40,000 homes are said to have been destroyed or damaged in this year's Louisiana flooding.


An intersection is completely engulfed by floodwater. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

"We were so blessed," Kimberly said.

When Kimberly heard of people throwing away their treasured family photos because of water damage, though, she felt her heart break.

Kimberly says a family member was helping out at a neighbor's house, and they started throwing albums and albums of sopping wet photos into the garbage, assuming they were ruined.

"I said, 'No, don't do that, oh my gosh. We can try to salvage them.'"

Kimberly knew she could put her years of photography experience to use. So she posted on her professional Facebook page with a simple message, offering to do anything she could to help save photos for those in need:

For anyone in the flood area here in south Louisiana please do not throw out your wet or damaged photos. I am not just...

Posted by Kimberly Ann Photography on Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Almost immediately, thousands of cries for help filled Kimberly's inbox.

Her first challenge? Carefully thawing and drying a frozen wedding album for a nearby couple.

Removing wet photos from an album like this is tricky work, and it needs to be done fast. Photo by Kimberly Ann Photography, used with permission.

Freezing photos can help keep the images intact while you move them to a place where they can dry out properly, she says. This first batch dried perfectly with no damage, but Kimberly also fixes smearing, smudging, tears, and other kinds of damage by creating high-resolution scans of the photos, manipulating them in Photoshop, and reprinting them on photo paper.

Then there was a woman whose 10-year-old son had passed away just days before the flooding.

"Anything she had of his was still very fresh and so precious," Kimberly said. "And it was all gone."

Except for a handful of photos.

"It's something that, in the scheme ofthings, seems very meaningless compared to someone losing theirhome. But I've had people tell me, 'My home can be rebuilt, but Ican't have another photo taken with my grandfather who passed away. I can't bring back my child who passed away and this was theirlast picture,'" Kimberly said.

"It's almostlike it's the last thing they have."

The sheer number of desperate requests has been far too much for Kimberly to handle alone.

So it's a good thing people all over the world have offered to help.

Every surface in Kimberly's house is covered in photographs. Photo by Kimberly Ann Photography, used with permission.

Placing individual photos around her house, drying them, scanning them into the computer, then editing and reprinting them is massively time-consuming.

But her inspiring work has traveled far and wide. And others want to help.

"I've had an astronomical amount of people from as far as Australia offer to do Photoshop work for me. These are legitimate professionals. ... In every state in the U.S. someone has offered to help."

But that's just the digital work. When it comes to collecting and drying the photos, Kimberly is on her own, for now. She says she's running out of space in her house and is hoping to find free access to a warehouse nearby to continue her work.

The houses and automobiles of Louisiana will eventually be repaired or rebuilt.

But memories aren't so easy to replace. Playing on the floor of their parents home as a kid or being a wide-eyed teen pulling off in their first car — that's what Kimberly is fighting to save.

"There's no one else here to help," she said. "It's neighbor helping neighbor."

With neighbors like her working tirelessly to make a difference, it's hard not to feel hopeful that, one day, things will be OK in Louisiana again.

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.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

Public Domain

A very simple thing happened earlier this week. Dr. Seuss Enterprises—the company that runs the Dr. Seuss estate and holds the legal rights to his works—announced it will no longer publish six Dr. Seuss children's books because they contain depictions of people that are "hurtful and wrong" (their words). The titles that will no longer be published are And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, If I Ran the Zoo, McElligot's Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super! and The Cat's Quizzer.

This simple action prompted a great deal of debate, along with a great deal of disinformation, as people reacted to the story. (Or in many cases, just the headline. It's a thing.)

My article about the announcement (which contains examples of the problematic content that prompted the announcement) led to nearly 3,000 comments on Upworthy's Facebook page. Since many similar comments were made repeatedly, I wanted to address the most common sentiments and questions:

How do we learn from history if we keep erasing it?

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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.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

You know that feeling you get when you walk into a classroom and see someone else's stuff on your desk?

OK, sure, there are no assigned seats, but you've been sitting at the same desk since the first day and everyone knows it.

So why does the guy who sits next to you put his phone, his book, his charger, his lunch, and his laptop in the space that's rightfully yours? It's annoying!

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When an earthquake and subsequent tsunami caused a nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, in 2011 most people who lived in the area fled. Some left without their pets, who then had to fend for themselves in a radioactive nuclear zone.

Sakae Kato stayed behind to rescue the cats abandoned by his neighbors and has spent the last decade taking care of them. He has converted his home, which is in a contaminated quarantine area, to a shelter for 41 cats, whom he refers to as "kids." He has buried 23 other cats in his garden over the past 10 years.

The government has asked the 57-year-old to evacuate the area many times, but he says he figured he was going to die anyway. "And if I had to die, I decided that I would like to die with these guys," he said.

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