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A Starbucks barista gave a note to a deaf man and became a shining example of service.

Can you imagine if you had no choice but to speak another language unknown to most people?

A Starbucks barista gave a note to a deaf man and became a shining example of service.

A man goes in for a coffee and comes out with a double shot of human compassion.

When Ibby Piracha, a deaf man from Leesburg, Virginia, headed into his regular Starbucks location last week, he wasn't expecting a random act of empathy.

But then the barista pulled a surprise move. She handed him a note and then asked him in sign language what he wanted to drink.


Piracha told the local ABC news affiliate he was moved that she was motivated to dedicate herself to learning American Sign Language (ASL).

"She actually wanted to learn a different language. ... Sign language is really a totally different language and it was something that she wanted to do because of me? Because I was a deaf customer? I was very, very impressed."

Just how many people are missing out on easy transactions because of a hearing impairment?

According to the Gallaudet Research Institute's calculations from 2005, "anywhere from 9 to 22 out of every 1,000 people have a severe hearing impairment or are deaf."

And HearingLoss.org reports that "hearing loss is a major public health issue that is the third most common physical condition after arthritis and heart disease."

It's a whole other language, but it's not too hard to learn! Image by Australian Department of Foreign Affairs/Flickr.

What would happen if more agencies, businesses, and online media outlets provided services for those who speak ASL, or provided transcripts for the deaf and hard of hearing?

The world might just be a little more inclusive, making Ibby Piracha and other deaf citizens like him feel just a little bit more at home.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

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In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.