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A Republican office was attacked. Here's how Democrats helped in response.

People across the political spectrum condemned the attack.

A Republican office was attacked. Here's how Democrats helped in response.

A Republican Party outpost in Orange County, North Carolina, was firebombed over the weekend. Luckily, nobody was hurt.

An already tense election season took a turn for the worse as pictures emerged showing the charred aftermath of what some were quick to label an act of political terrorism.

While it's unclear who carried out the attack, it was quickly condemned by people from across the political spectrum.

Presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump offered short statements via their Twitter accounts on Sunday afternoon.


Trump's chosen rhetoric, assigning blame to Clinton and North Carolina Democrats, didn't seem to bode well for anyone hoping for a calm, level-headed investigation into the attack.

A few short hours later, a group of Democrats did something many would have considered unthinkable just a day earlier: They gave money to the Republican Party.

Led by David Weinberger, a senior researcher at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, a small group of Democrats launched a GoFundMe campaign to help the Republicans rebuild and reopen the office. Within hours, they raised more than $13,000 from 550 donors.

"As Democrats, we are starting this campaign to enable the Orange County, North Carolina Republican office to re-open as soon as possible," reads a statement on the GoFundMe page. "Until an investigation is undertaken, we cannot know who did this or why. No matter the result, this is not how Americans resolve their differences."

Helping the GOP reopen its Orange County office seems like a noble thing to do, but not all Democrats agreed with the decision.

Some pointed to the fact that there's still no way to know who carried out the attack or what their political leanings are — as Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo notes, situations that look like politically-motivated attacks aren't always what they seem. Others noted the fact that any damage to the office would likely be covered by insurance.

Photo by Jonathan Drew/AP.

The attack was wrong — that is something we can all agree on. Giving money to the Republican party in North Carolina, however? The same party that tried to enact a voter ID law designed to disenfranchise people of color? The same party that pushed through virulently anti-LGBTQ legislation? To some Democrats, that didn't make sense.

Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images.

A list of North Carolina organizations in desperate need of funding quickly popped up on social media for people in search of a good cause to donate to instead of (or in addition to) the GOP.

Among organizations listed were relief funds set up to help the people of Fair Bluff and Lumberton, still reeling from the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Others recommended the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, LGBTQ legal organization Lambda Legal, a University of North Carolina scholarship fund set up in honor of Muslim students killed in a hate crime last year, North Carolina Justice Center's Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, Equality NC, the ACLU of North Carolina, the Carolina Justice Policy Center, the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, Southerners on New Ground, and the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

A man in Lumberton, North Carolina, walks down a flooded street in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images.

The response to the attack — whether or not donating money to the North Carolina Republican Party is the morally right response — is one on which reasonable people disagree, and that's OK.

In the end, nobody got hurt, the GOP office has funds to reopen, and hopefully, some money that wouldn't have otherwise been donated made its way to a few important charitable causes.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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