A man fleeing a wildfire begged her for help. That's when this kid sprang into action.
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Hasbro Be Fearless Be Kind

One morning in Santa Cruz, a man in a dusty SUV rolled into town looking for help.

“He was distraught,” says Chyna Darby in an email. She and her young daughter Reese, 11, listened as the man asked for directions to the highway, any highway. He kept telling them he was trying to find his wife. Inside the car were all of the man’s belongings and his three small dogs.

Eventually, the Darbys figured out that the man was fleeing his house in Northern California, where wildfires were consuming entire towns. “He had lost his home and had not slept in three days,” she says. “He just wanted to find somewhere safe.”


The Darbys helped the man gain his bearings as much as they could. But even after he drove off, young Reese couldn’t stop thinking about the man and others like him who had lost everything. “She felt how devastated he was,” Chyna says. Reese decided to do something about it. Little did she know, that desire to make a difference would only be the beginning.

Photo courtesy of Pacific Elementary.

Kids cope with tragedy in a lot of different ways. Reese and her friends responded by launching into action.

That night, Reese and her friend Brooke Andrews put their heads together to figure out how they could help the victims of the NorCal fires. The next day, they brought their ideas to school and started planning a bake sale.

“It was one week from idea to execution!” says Chyna. “As the week went on, the event took on a life of its own.”

Photo courtesy of Pacific Elementary.

What started as a conversation between two kids was now a movement: students were baking, soliciting donations, making posters and signs, and booking entertainment. Three of the kids even wrote jokes and sold them typed up on paper.

It was an act of kindness that made a real difference.

“The tables weren't even set up on Pacific Avenue downtown before members of the Santa Cruz community were buying goods and donating money,” says Chyna.

Over the course of just two days, the kids raised more than $1,800 for the victims of the Northern California fires.

Photo courtesy of Pacific Elementary.

The bake sale had a lot more impact than just the donations it provided to victims and their families.

It also gave the kids an opportunity to process a pretty difficult topic — loss — in a positive and healthy way.

“It came up during class, recess, lunch, carpools, and in homes,” Chyna says. The discussions the kids were having about the fires, both with adults and among themselves, made it clear that they were deeply affected.

But after the fundraiser, the students were able to look back and see how helping others in times of need is good not only for the people receiving help, but for them too.

Photo courtesy of Pacific Elementary.

“It felt great,” said Iphigenia Wilder, 9, in a written statement. “I love helping people.” Armiel Goodman, 8, wrote, “It felt good to know that I was helping people in need.”

“The fundraiser was a bit of the ‘art therapy’-type experience,” says Chyna. “The process provided the students a hands on avenue for processing, feeling empathy, and becoming empowered to help ... all while having fun.”

The kids also had an opportunity to gain valuable skills from the experience of planning and executing a charitable event.

The teachers at the school used the opportunity to engage kids in different interdisciplinary lessons related to the fire and the fundraiser.

“A few of the older students did research into aspects of the fire that interested them,” says Chyna. “Where do people go if they lose their house? What services provide support for disasters?”

Photo courtesy of Pacific Elementary.

Younger kids were given math assignments to help calculate the profits from the sale and the expense of mailing out the gift cards to the victims. And ultimately, it was the kids who were allowed to discuss, vote on, and eventually decide where the funds raised should go.

Pacific Elementary’s event shows us how kids can have an incredible, positive impact — both on those in need and on their own personal development.

When given the opportunity, kids like the students of Pacific Elementary can use their creativity, compassion, and enthusiasm to do great things and make a difference in people's lives.

“The big picture hope is that their connection to this event and their efforts to help will engender empathy and a feeling of empowerment that will stay with them as they move in the world,” says Chyna.

“While our achievements may be a drop in the bucket, our hope is this will help those it reaches, and be a stepping stone to greater works in the future.”

That’s our hope too.

Courtesy of Creative Commons
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After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

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Cats are notoriously weird. Everyone who's had cats knows that they each have their own unique quirks, idiosyncrasies, preferences, habits, and flat-out WTFness.

But even those of us who have experience with bizarre cat behavior are blown away by the antics this "cat dad" is able to get away with.

Kareem and Fifi are the cat parents of Chase, Skye, and Millie—literally the most chill kitties ever. They share their family life on TikTok as @dontstopmeowing, and their videos have been viewed millions of times. When you see them, you'll understand why.

Take Chase's spa days, for example. It may seem unreal at first, but watch what happens when Fifi tries to take away his cucumber slices.

When she puts them back on his eyes? WHAT?! What cat would let you put them on once, much less get mad when you take them off?

This cat. Chase is living his best life.

But apparently, it's not just Chase. Skye and Millie have also joined in "spaw day." How on earth does one couple end up with three hilariously malleable cats?

Oh, and if you think they must have been sedated or something, look at how wide awake they are during bath time. That's right, bath time. Most cats hate water, but apparently, these three couldn't care less. How?

They'll literally do anything. The Don't Stop Meowing channel is filled with videos like this. Cats wearing glasses. Cats wearing hats. Cats driving cars. It's unbelievable yet highly watchable entertainment.

If you're worried that Kareem gets all the love and Fifi constantly gets the shaft, that seems to be a bit for show. Look at Chase and Fifi's conversation about her leaving town for a business trip:

The whole channel is worth checking out. Ever seen a cat being carried in a baby carrier at the grocery store? A cat buckled into a car seat? Three cats sitting through storytime? It's all there. (Just a heads up: A few of the videos have explicit language, so parents might want to do a preview before watching with little ones.) You can follow the couple and their cats on all their social media channels, including Instagram and YouTube if TikTok isn't your thing, here.

If you weren't a cat person before, these videos might change your mind. Fair warning, however: Getting a cat because you want them to do things like this would be a mistake. Cats do what they want to do, and no one can predict what weird traits they will have. Even if you raise them from kittenhood, they're still unpredictable and weird.

And honestly, we wouldn't have them any other way.

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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.

When Donato Di Camillo was a kid, his family couldn't afford film for their Polaroid camera.

So instead, he ran around the house with a film-less camera pretending to be a hotshot photographer on an African safari, mimicking the heroes behind iconic photos he saw in the discarded National Geographic magazines his dad grabbed for him out of the garbage.

Years later, when Di Camillo found himself in prison after collecting a lengthy rap sheet of thefts, he discovered a library full of those same magazines.

While other inmates were working out or getting into trouble, he pored over old issues of National Geographic, Life, and Time.

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There have been many iconic dance routines throughout film history, but how many have the honor being called "the greatest" by Fred Astaire himself?

Fayard and Harold Nicholas, known collectively as the Nicholas Brothers, were arguably the best at what they did during their heyday. Their coordinated tap routines are legendary, not only because they were great dancers, but because of their incredible ability to jump into the air and land in the splits. Repeatedly. From impressive heights.

Their most famous routine comes from the movie "Stormy Weather." As Cab Calloway sings "Jumpin' Jive," the Nicholas Brothers make the entire set their dance floor, hopping and tapping from podium to podium amongst the musicians, dancing up and down stairs and across the top of a piano.

But what makes this scene extra impressive is that they performed it without rehearsing it first and it was filmed in one take—no fancy editing room tricks to bring it all together. This fact was confirmed in a conversation with the brothers in a Chicago Tribune article in 1997, when they were both in their 70s:

"Would you believe that was one of the easiest things we ever did?" Harold told the paper.

"Did you know that we never even rehearsed that number?" added Fayard.

"When it came time to do that part, (choreographer) Nick Castle said: 'Just do it. Don`t rehearse it, just do it.' And so we did it—in one little take. And then he said: 'That's it—we can't do it any better than that.'"

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