+
True
Tillamook

When Caroline and Trey started their small business, they knew they wanted to run things a bit ... differently.

Here they are with their tea:


Hey there, Caroline and Trey! Image by Jen Christo.

The challenge they faced was this: How could they combine their delicious iced tea recipes with their love for community?

So they created solidariTEA, an iced tea company that donates 10 cents to community groups for every bottle of tea sold.

Caroline and Trey started brewing up (heh heh) the idea for solidariTEA in the spring of 2011 as a way to strengthen their community.

"We see communities as the societal equivalent of an ecosystem," they explained to me. "The stronger and healthier the community, the better it will be able to serve and support its members."

Even their cat loves the tea. Image courtesy of solidariTEA.

To get the project going, Caroline and Trey had to raise money of their own. They turned to microlending campaigns and even got a boost of support from Tillamook Co-Op members, which works hard to support community real-food projects.

Next up was deciding who they were going to support. The duo didn't just want to create a new community organization. They wanted to support the groups already doing great work on the ground. So they started partnering with existing community groups to provide an alternative to traditional nonprofit grant funding.

In May 2015, solidariTEA made its first donation of $3,500 to partner nonprofits. And that's just the beginning.

After the first couple years of making and selling tea, Caroline and Trey were able to make a donation in May 2015 that represented their sales through the end of 2014.

The solidariTEAm giving their first checks to community partners. Image courtesy of solidariTEA.

Who were the lucky recipients? Rock Paper Scissors Collective, a volunteer-run community arts organization, and People's Grocery, a group that aims to provide education and healthy local food choices to the community — both based in Oakland, California.

"We understand [that $3,500] is small potatoes now," Caroline and Trey told me, "[but] as we scale up our business we expect ... our teas to represent a real source of stable income to our partners to continue the amazing, grassroots work they do."

Still, their first donation is a huge success for everyone involved! That's $3,500 these community groups can spend "on absolutely anything that fits within their scope and mission." That's because, unlike traditional nonprofit grants, solidariTEA's donations are based on trust, respect, and solidarity and come with zero spending restrictions or strings attached.

Pretty cool, right?

Despite all the hard work it's taken to start their own business, Caroline and Trey say it's all been worth it.

"We've met a lot of really inspiring, wonderful people: people with big hearts who are doing bada** things, from which a lot of new friendships have grown."

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

Keep ReadingShow less

Memories of childhood get lodged in the brain, emerging when you least expect.

There are certain pleasurable sights, smells, sounds and tastes that fade into the rear-view mirror as we grow from being children to adults. But on a rare occasion, we’ll come across them again and it's like a portion of our brain that’s been hidden for years expresses itself, creating a huge jolt of joy.

It’s wonderful to experience this type of nostalgia but it often leaves a bittersweet feeling because we know there are countless more sensations that may never come into our consciousness again.

Nostalgia is fleeting and that's a good thing because it’s best not to live in the past. But it does remind us that the wonderful feeling of freedom, creativity and fun from our childhood can still be experienced as we age.

A Reddit user by the name of agentMICHAELscarnTLM posed a question to the online forum that dredged up countless memories and experiences that many had long forgotten. He asked a simple question, “What’s something you can bring up right now to unlock some childhood nostalgia for the rest of us?”

Keep ReadingShow less