After a tragedy, we all need something to give us hope.  Here's how sports have done that.
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DICK'S Sporting Goods

When Hurricane Harvey struck southeast Texas in August 2017, it left the area underwater, and many residents found themselves completely devastated.

Image by South Carolina National Guard/Wikimedia Commons.

They'd lost their homes, their towns, and their sense of safety.


But even after all that pain, there was one thing that Houston residents could still come together and root for: the Houston Astros.

The baseball team, which had never won a World Series, was having an incredible season. It seemed like they might have a shot at going all the way. On the day Harvey hit, the team was already leading their division by 12 games.

After the storm, they team played on, even hotter than they had been before. They finished the regular season 21 games ahead of division's second-place team, the Los Angeles Angels.

And just nine weeks after Harvey struck the state, the Astros made that World Series win a reality.

Fans celebrated in flood-damaged homes, sitting in rooms with walls stripped down to the studs and nothing but a TV and lawn chairs inside.

Astros players told the media they'd done it for the city.

"We love each and every one associated with Houston. We've been through a lot, and for us not to be there when everything was going on really hurt us," pitcher Dallas Keuchel told MLB.com. "This is our redemption. This is what we give on back."

This wasn’t the first time that a sports team gave their cities something to hope and cheer for in times of tragedy.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina, a category 5 storm, decimated the city of New Orleans. So during the 2006 draft, the New Orleans Saints were in bad shape.

Photo by Mark Wolfe/Wikimedia Commons.

“I remember driving from the airport to the team facility as a free agent the spring after Katrina,” Scott Fujita, who signed with the Saints in 2006, told Sports Illustrated, “and there’s only one way to describe what I saw: post-apocalyptic.”

The team drafted Reggie Bush, a star linebacker who would prove crucial to the Saints’ success a few seasons later. By 2009, the city was still in the midst of their hurricane recovery, but the team was showing signs of life. That season, they jumped to a 13-0 record.

"A lot of fans would explain to us that this was their break from their reality," Jonathan Vilma, former Saints linebacker, told CBS Sports. "So they wanted to go and get there early, tailgate, get away from whatever problems that they had going on."

When the team won the 2010 NFC Championship, in the Superdome that had been a shelter and become a symbol of Katrina, the significance wasn’t lost on anyone.

The Saints' victory. Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images.

And when they went on to win the Super Bowl, it felt like a victory for everyone.

“It’s not just a game, it’s a rally for the city, for the team,” says Jonathan Levitt, who was living outside of Boston at the time of the 2013 Marathon bombing.

For Levitt, that day was a personal turning point: It was the day he decided he wanted to run marathons. For the city of Boston, recovery would take time. “The next few days were really strange,” he says. “Nobody really knew what to do, where to go, what was safe.”

But it was baseball season, so the Red Sox stepped up to be the leaders Boston needed. David Ortiz, affectionately called “Big Papi,” grabbed the microphone during a home game at Fenway Park. “This is our fucking city!” he boomed to a cheering crowd. “And nobody’s going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong.”

Led by Ortiz and backed by Boston residents, the 2013 Red Sox began to get hot. And they stayed that way throughout the season. They won their division, then the pennant, and then the World Series itself.

Fans celebrating the Red Sox winning the 2013 World Series. Photo by Kiva Kuan Liu/BU News Service/Flickr.

“The city rallied around [the Red Sox] and it became sort of a unifying thing,” Levitt says. “Then they go on to win the World Series and I think it was a pretty inspired season.”

Sports give people a temporary escape from reality.

“We truly embrace having other people commiserate with us. It’s a real bonding thing to feel connected with people who care as much as you do,said Edward Hirt, a professor with the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University who researches fanship, to Headspace.

“What a great opportunity to feel connected to something that transcends ourselves.”

Image via iStock.

The tragedies also seem to inspire greatness in athletes may feel an obligation to step up and perform.

Perhaps it’s what they feel they can give at a time when it’s easy to feel small and helpless.

“When you see underdogs win, [it shows] that stuff pays off,” Hirt said. “The team that wants it more and tries harder getting rewarded is a theme that really resonates with us. It makes us feel like there’s justice in the world.”

At the World Series in 2001 at Yankee Stadium, just weeks after the devastation of 9/11, President George W. Bush threw the ceremonial first pitch while wearing a bulletproof vest.

Photo by Eric Draper/Wikimedia Commons.

“For the first time I think in the history of baseball, people around the country were rooting for the Yankees to win,” actor and Yankees fan Billy Crystal told ESPN.

That is the unifying power of sports. It can bring together the unlikeliest of people, and for a few hours, they can feel as one.

This story was produced as part of a campaign called "17 Days" with DICK'S Sporting Goods. These stories aim to shine a light on real occurrences of sports bringing people together.

Correction 2/20/2017: This post was updated to fix a misattributed quotation.

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2020 was difficult (to say the least). The year was full of life changes, losses, and lessons as we learned to navigate the "new normal." You may have questions about what the changes and challenges of 2020 mean for your taxes. That's where TurboTax Live comes in, making it easy to connect with real tax experts to help with your taxes – or even do them for you, start to finish.

Not only has TurboTax Live helped millions of people get their taxes done right, but this year they've also celebrated people who uplifted their communities during a difficult time by surprising them with "little lifts" to help out even more.

Here are a few of their stories:


Julz, hairdresser and salon owner

"As a hairdresser and salon owner, 2020 was extremely challenging," says Julz. "Being a hairdresser has historically been a recession-proof industry, but we've never faced global shut down due to health risk, or pandemic, not in my lifetime. And for the first time, hairdressers didn't have job security."

Julz had to shut down her salon and go on unemployment benefits for the first time. She also had to figure out how she was going to support herself, her staff and her business during this difficult time. But many other beauty industry professionals didn't have access to the resources they needed, so Julz decided to help.

"My business partner and I began teaching basic financial literacy to other beauty industry professionals," she says. "Transitioning our business from behind the chair to an online academy was a challenge we tackled head-on so that we could move hairdressers into this new space of education, and create a more accessible curriculum to better serve our industry.

Julz connected with a TurboTax Live expert who helped her understand how unemployment affected her taxes and gave her guidance on filing quarterly estimated taxes for her small business. "I was terrified to sit at a computer and tackle this mess of receipts," Julz says, so "it was great to have some virtual handholding to walk me through each question."

In addition to giving Julz the personalized tax advice she needed, TurboTax Live surprised her with a "little lift" that empowered her to help even more beauty professionals. "When my tax expert Diana surprised me with a little lift, I was moved to tears," says Julz. "With that little lift, I was able to establish a scholarship fund to help get other hairdressers the education they deserve."


Alana, new mom

Alana welcomed her first child in 2020. "I think my biggest challenge was figuring out how to be a mom, with no guidance," she says. "My original plan was to have my mom by my side, teaching me the ropes, but because of COVID, she wasn't able to come out here."

She was also without a job for most of 2020 and struggled to find something new.

So, Alana took it as a sign: she decided to launch her own business so she could support her new baby, and that's exactly what she did. She started a feel-good company that specializes in creating affirmation card decks — and she's currently in the process of starting a second, video-editing business.

TurboTax Live answered Alana's questions about her taxes and gave her some much-needed advice as she prepared to launch her businesses. Thanks to their "little lift," they provided her with a little emotional support too.

"I got my mom a plane ticket to finally [have her] meet [my daughter] for her first birthday," Alana says. "I was also able to get a new computer," which helped her invest in her new business and work on her video editing skills. "It's helped my family and me so much," she says.


Michael, science teacher

When schools shut down across the country last year, Michael had to learn how to adapt to a virtual classroom.

"As a teacher, I had to completely revamp everything," he says, so that he could keep his students engaged while teaching online. "At the beginning, it was a nightmare because I had no idea. I had to go from A-Z within a couple of weeks."

Michael's TurboTax Live expert answered his questions about how working from home affected his taxes and helped him uncover surprising tax deductions. To top it all off, his expert surprised him with brand new science equipment and supplies, which allowed him to create an entire line of classes on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. "Now I can truly potentially reach millions of children with my lessons," he says. "I would never have taken that leap if not for the little lift from TurboTax Live."



Ricky, motivational youth speaker

As a motivational speaker, Ricky was used to doing his job in person, but, he says, "when COVID-19 hit, it altered my ability to travel and visit schools in person [because] schools moved to fully virtual or hybrid models."

He knew he had to pivot — so he began offering small virtual group workshops for student leadership groups at middle and high schools.

"This allowed me to work with student leaders to plan how they would continue making a positive impact on their school community," he says. He wasn't sure how being remote would affect his taxes, but TurboTax Live Self-Employed gave him the advice and answers that he needed to keep more money in his pocket at tax time — and the little lift he received from them has helped him serve even more students.

"[It] has been a major blessing," he says "There will be multiple schools and student groups from across the country that I can hold leadership workshops with to empower them with the tools to be inspirational leaders in their school, community, and world."

Plus, he says, it was great knowing he had an expert to help him figure out how being remote affected his taxes. "I felt confident and assured in the process of filing my taxes knowing I had an expert working with me, says Ricky. "There were things my expert knew that I would not have considered when filing on my own."

Filing your taxes doesn't have to be intimidating, especially after a year like 2020. TurboTax Live experts can give you the "little lift" you need to get your taxes done. File with the help of an expert or let an expert file for you! Go to TurboTax Live to get started.

via Wikimedia Commons and Goalsetter

America's ethnic wealth gap is a multi-faceted problem that would take dramatic action, on multiple fronts, to overcome. One of the ways to help communities improve their economic well-being is through financial literacy.

Investopedia says there are five primary sources of financial education—families, high school, college, employers, and the military — and that education and household income are two of the biggest factors in predicting whether someone has a high level of financial literacy.

New Orleans Saints safety, two-time Super Bowl Champion, and social justice activist Malcolm Jenkins and The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation hope to help bridge the wealth gap by teaching students about investing at a young age.

Keep Reading Show less
True

2020 was difficult (to say the least). The year was full of life changes, losses, and lessons as we learned to navigate the "new normal." You may have questions about what the changes and challenges of 2020 mean for your taxes. That's where TurboTax Live comes in, making it easy to connect with real tax experts to help with your taxes – or even do them for you, start to finish.

Not only has TurboTax Live helped millions of people get their taxes done right, but this year they've also celebrated people who uplifted their communities during a difficult time by surprising them with "little lifts" to help out even more.

Here are a few of their stories:


Julz, hairdresser and salon owner

"As a hairdresser and salon owner, 2020 was extremely challenging," says Julz. "Being a hairdresser has historically been a recession-proof industry, but we've never faced global shut down due to health risk, or pandemic, not in my lifetime. And for the first time, hairdressers didn't have job security."

Julz had to shut down her salon and go on unemployment benefits for the first time. She also had to figure out how she was going to support herself, her staff and her business during this difficult time. But many other beauty industry professionals didn't have access to the resources they needed, so Julz decided to help.

"My business partner and I began teaching basic financial literacy to other beauty industry professionals," she says. "Transitioning our business from behind the chair to an online academy was a challenge we tackled head-on so that we could move hairdressers into this new space of education, and create a more accessible curriculum to better serve our industry.

Julz connected with a TurboTax Live expert who helped her understand how unemployment affected her taxes and gave her guidance on filing quarterly estimated taxes for her small business. "I was terrified to sit at a computer and tackle this mess of receipts," Julz says, so "it was great to have some virtual handholding to walk me through each question."

In addition to giving Julz the personalized tax advice she needed, TurboTax Live surprised her with a "little lift" that empowered her to help even more beauty professionals. "When my tax expert Diana surprised me with a little lift, I was moved to tears," says Julz. "With that little lift, I was able to establish a scholarship fund to help get other hairdressers the education they deserve."


Alana, new mom

Alana welcomed her first child in 2020. "I think my biggest challenge was figuring out how to be a mom, with no guidance," she says. "My original plan was to have my mom by my side, teaching me the ropes, but because of COVID, she wasn't able to come out here."

She was also without a job for most of 2020 and struggled to find something new.

So, Alana took it as a sign: she decided to launch her own business so she could support her new baby, and that's exactly what she did. She started a feel-good company that specializes in creating affirmation card decks — and she's currently in the process of starting a second, video-editing business.

TurboTax Live answered Alana's questions about her taxes and gave her some much-needed advice as she prepared to launch her businesses. Thanks to their "little lift," they provided her with a little emotional support too.

"I got my mom a plane ticket to finally [have her] meet [my daughter] for her first birthday," Alana says. "I was also able to get a new computer," which helped her invest in her new business and work on her video editing skills. "It's helped my family and me so much," she says.


Michael, science teacher

When schools shut down across the country last year, Michael had to learn how to adapt to a virtual classroom.

"As a teacher, I had to completely revamp everything," he says, so that he could keep his students engaged while teaching online. "At the beginning, it was a nightmare because I had no idea. I had to go from A-Z within a couple of weeks."

Michael's TurboTax Live expert answered his questions about how working from home affected his taxes and helped him uncover surprising tax deductions. To top it all off, his expert surprised him with brand new science equipment and supplies, which allowed him to create an entire line of classes on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. "Now I can truly potentially reach millions of children with my lessons," he says. "I would never have taken that leap if not for the little lift from TurboTax Live."



Ricky, motivational youth speaker

As a motivational speaker, Ricky was used to doing his job in person, but, he says, "when COVID-19 hit, it altered my ability to travel and visit schools in person [because] schools moved to fully virtual or hybrid models."

He knew he had to pivot — so he began offering small virtual group workshops for student leadership groups at middle and high schools.

"This allowed me to work with student leaders to plan how they would continue making a positive impact on their school community," he says. He wasn't sure how being remote would affect his taxes, but TurboTax Live Self-Employed gave him the advice and answers that he needed to keep more money in his pocket at tax time — and the little lift he received from them has helped him serve even more students.

"[It] has been a major blessing," he says "There will be multiple schools and student groups from across the country that I can hold leadership workshops with to empower them with the tools to be inspirational leaders in their school, community, and world."

Plus, he says, it was great knowing he had an expert to help him figure out how being remote affected his taxes. "I felt confident and assured in the process of filing my taxes knowing I had an expert working with me, says Ricky. "There were things my expert knew that I would not have considered when filing on my own."

Filing your taxes doesn't have to be intimidating, especially after a year like 2020. TurboTax Live experts can give you the "little lift" you need to get your taxes done. File with the help of an expert or let an expert file for you! Go to TurboTax Live to get started.