A sister who takes care of her adult brother wasn't expecting anything more than an interview.
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Ad Council + AARP

Camilla's mom had one wish when she fell sick.

She hoped Camilla would do whatever she could to look after her brother, Reggie, who has schizophrenia and intellectual disabilities.

Camilla took the request very seriously, and she brought her brother into her home to live with her. She took him to doctors, got him on the right medications, and began the work of helping Reggie have the best life he can have. At the time, he was afraid to be hugged or touched. Camilla had a long road ahead to help her brother.



In addition to daily life tasks, just spending time with loved ones to keep them mentally engaged is a big part of being a caretaker.

She said it was a point in her life where she realized it's not all about her, and her life became about something more.

A hug is sometimes more than just a hug.

When Reggie first moved in with Camilla, his disabilities made human contact intimidating to him instead of welcoming or reassuring.

But research shows that human connection can be a significant component of healing. It's not good for anyone to go without some kind of caring touch, and it's even more important for those who are ill or disabled to experience it.

A study published in 2006 reports that participants with various mental health concerns like stress, depression, and anxiety who participated in "healing by gentle touch" therapy consistently had significantly reduced amounts of stress following the therapy as well as higher levels of relaxation and coping skills.

Reggie has come a long way. Now he'll easily exchange warm hugs with his sister and with others. It's not just a nicety for him; it is a huge sign of growth and a big milestone regarding his quality of life.

This is the kind of selflessness that caregivers across America are demonstrating every day.

"An estimated 40 million adults in the United States have provided unpaid care to an adult or a child in the prior 12 months." — National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP

So, a local caregivers union wanted to pull together a little surprise for Camilla — to say thank you for her work with her brother, her involvement in homecare support networks, and to help energize her for her road ahead.

How can you pay it forward to a caregiver you know? Sometimes just a kind word or gesture here and there can make a huge difference for someone doing heroic things everyday.

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Anne Hebert, a marketing writer living in Austin, TX, jokes that her closest friends think that her hobby is "low-key harassment for social good". She authors a website devoted entirely to People Doing Good Things. She's hosted a yearly canned food drive with up to 150 people stopping by to donate, resulting in hundreds of pounds of donations to take to the food bank for the past decade.

"I try to share info in a positive way that gives people hope and makes them aware of solutions or things they can do to try to make the world a little better," she said.

For now, she's encouraging people through a barrage of persistent, informative, and entertaining emails with one goal in mind: getting people to VOTE. The thing about emailing people and talking about politics, according to Hebert, is to catch their attention—which is how lice got involved.

"When my kids were in elementary school, I was class parent for a year, which meant I had to send the emails to the other parents. As I've learned over the years, a good intro will trick your audience into reading the rest of the email. In fact, another parent told me that my emails always stood out, especially the one that started: 'We need volunteers for the Valentine's Party...oh, and LICE.'"

Hebert isn't working with a specific organization. She is simply trying to motivate others to find ways to plug in to help get out the vote.

Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

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Empathy. Compassion. Heart-to-heart human connection. These qualities of leadership may not be flashy or loud, but they speak volumes when we see them in action.

A clip of Joe Biden is going viral because it reminds us what that kind of leadership looks like. The video shows a key moment at a memorial service for Chris Hixon, the athletic director at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in 2018. Hixon had attempted to disarm the gunman who went on a shooting spree at the school, killing 17 people—including Hixon—and injuring 17 more.

Biden asked who Hixon's parents were as the clip begins, and is directed to his right. Hixon's wife introduces herself, and Biden says, "God love you." As he starts to walk away, a voice off-camera says something and Biden immediately turns around. The voice came from Hixon's son, Corey, and the moments that followed are what have people feeling all their feelings.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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via Witty Buttons / Twitter

Back in 2017, when white supremacist Richard Spencer was socked in the face by someone wearing all black at Trump's inauguration, it launched an online debate, "Is it OK to punch a Nazi?"

The essential nature of the debate was whether it was acceptable for people to act violently towards someone with repugnant reviews, even if they were being peaceful. Some suggested people should confront them peacefully by engaging in a debate or at least make them feel uncomfortable being Nazi in public.

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The English language is constantly evolving, and the faster the world changes, the faster our vocabulary changes. Some of us grew up in an age when a "wireless router" would have been assumed to be a power tool, not a way to get your laptop (which wasn't a thing when I was a kid) connected to the internet (which also wasn't a thing when I was a kid, at least not in people's homes).

It's interesting to step back and look at how much has changed just in our own lifetimes, which is why Merriam-Webster's Time Traveler tool is so fun to play with. All you do is choose a year, and it tells you what words first appeared in print that year.

For my birth year, the words "adult-onset diabetes," "playdate," and "ATM" showed up in print for the first time, and yes, that makes me feel ridiculously old.

It's also fun to plug in the years of different people's births to see how their generational differences might impact their perspectives. For example, let's take the birth years of the oldest and youngest members of Congress:

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