A Truth About Sharks That Will Take A While To Fully Comprehend. But When You Do, Man, It’s Killer.

EXCUSE ME WHILE I DROP SOME FACTS:


  • Ever heard of the Great Barrier Reef? It's one of the most amazing natural wonders on earth, and it's home to 134 species of sharks and rays. Unfortunately, the reef may be gone by 2050 thanks to climate change and a host of other nasty factors. So, that's going to be really bad news for those sharks.
  • Even if all you're worried about is money, you should still care about keeping sharks around. According to one study, in its lifetime, a single reef shark may be worth up to $1.9 million in tourism.
  • Some organizations say they technically aren't illegally shark finning because they remove the fins on land — as opposed to cutting off their fins at sea. But a survey by James Cook University turns up some strong circumstantial evidence that this banned practice is going on: Open fishing zones and "no-take zones" show 97% fewer gray reef sharks — one of the most abundant species in the Great Barrier Reef — than in "no-entry zones," which is attributed to illegal fishing. That smells like a pretty fishy technicality.
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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.