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High school classmates of Philando Castile were gutted last week when the police officer who killed him on the side of a suburban Minnesota street was found not guilty.

Protesters gathered in November outside the St. Paul school where Philando Castile worked. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images.

In the week since, several of them have turned their outrage into action, raising over $5,000 for a scholarship in Castile's name.


"We really didn’t ask for it. People just didn’t know what to do with their grief and all of that," says Abby Heuckendorf, who went to school with Castile from fourth grade on and is a member of Central Honors Philando, the group that established the fund.

Heuckendorf and a half-dozen others who grew up with Castile established the scholarship fund shortly after his death in 2016 at the suggestion of Central High School's principal.

The small team settled on the scholarship as a fitting tribute to the memory of their classmate who continued to work in the school district where they grew up as a much-beloved kitchen employee — known to students as "Phil" — for 14 years.

The money raised in the days following the verdict adds to the over $45,000 that Central Honors Philando has raised in Castile's name since the shooting.

"It still feels like losing somebody in your larger family circle," Heukendorf says.

The first scholarship grant was awarded to Marques Watson-Taylor, a 2017 Central graduate who the group selected based on an application that the committee felt accorded with Castile's background and values.

[rebelmouse-image 19527469 dam="1" original_size="582x422" caption="Philando Castile's mother Valerie, left, and sister Allysza with scholarship recipient Marques Watson-Taylor. Photo by Central Honors Philando/Facebook." expand=1]Philando Castile's mother Valerie, left, and sister Allysza with scholarship recipient Marques Watson-Taylor. Photo by Central Honors Philando/Facebook.

The committee has raised over $45,000 since

The group was planning to kick off a fundraising campaign — culminating in an outdoor community event in August — for next year's award when the verdict came down.

"It was like, 'Oh, we’re back to square one,'" says Adrian Perryman, a member of the fundraising group whose older brother was a classmate of Castile's at Central High School in St. Paul.

"This is a way for people to help out in a sort of different way, to grieve as well as give back."
— Adrian Perryman

After a brief statement on Facebook condemning the verdict, donations to Central Honors Philando began pouring in organically — enough within one week to finance next year's scholarship.

The group still plans to hold the fundraising event in August, which will include food, art projects, and performances in memory of Castile's life.

[rebelmouse-image 19527470 dam="1" original_size="700x467" caption="Attendees at last year's fundraising event listen to a musical performance. Photo by Central Honors Philando/Facebook." expand=1]Attendees at last year's fundraising event listen to a musical performance. Photo by Central Honors Philando/Facebook.

In addition to those events, the group will honor individuals who work behind the scenes to support local schools, inspired by Castile's dedication to the district's students.

All proceeds from the event will support the scholarship, with the goal of helping more Central High students take the next step in their education.

"Not everybody wants to protest," Perryman explains. "Not everybody is able to do certain things. Not everybody can camp out at their elected official's office all week and whatnot, so this is a way for people to help out in a sort of different way, to grieve as well as give back."

Devastated but not defeated by his case's resolution, Castile's neighbors may yet get justice by establishing a small semblance of it for the next generation.

Joy

Delivery driver's reaction to snacks left for him shows how a little kindness goes a long way

'Seeing a grown man get so excited about Capri Sun is extra wholesome.'

"Dee" the delivery guy stoked to get some Doritos.

Sometimes the smallest gesture can change someone’s day for the better, especially when that act of kindness lets them know their work is appreciated. Over the last few years, delivery drivers have done a fantastic job keeping people healthy during the pandemic, so Toni Hillison Barnett told News 11 that she and her husband started a tradition of leaving snacks for their drivers on the front porch.

The Barnetts, who live in Louisville, Kentucky, can see the drivers' reactions by recording them on their doorbell cameras. “I live for reactions like this to our snack cart! Thx to all of the delivery drivers out there! We appreciate you!” Toni wrote on an Instagram post.

Recently, one of the Barnetts’ delivery guys, a joyous fellow that we believe is known as Dee, went viral on TikTok because of his positive reaction to receiving some snacks during his deliveries. The snacks are tasty, no doubt. But it’s also wonderful to feel appreciated. After Toni posted the video, it received more than 100,000 views.

“Oh my God, you guys are the best, I gotta take a snapshot of this,” Dee can be heard saying in the video. “Oh, Capri Suns are my favorite, Yes!”

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Photo by Pixabay/Pexels

Train tracks leading into Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.

Kanye West (who has legally changed his name to Ye) has been making headlines—again—not only for his bizarre public behavior, but for blatantly antisemitic remarks he made in recent interviews.

There's no question that Ye's comments praising Hitler and Nazis and denying that 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust are hurtful and dangerous. There's no question that bad actors are using Ye's antisemitic comments to push their white nationalist agenda. The question is whether Ye fans would allow their admiration of his musical talents—or whatever else they like about him—to overshadow the fact that he is now regularly spewing pro-Nazi rhetoric to millions of people.

In at least one corner of the internet, fans are responding in what may be the most effective and meaningful way possible—by countering Ye's commentary with a deluge of Holocaust education and remembrance.

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Photo by Roméo A. on Unsplash

Cat hilariously rats out owner in front of the landlord.

Maybe it's a right of passage into adulthood or maybe some landlords discriminate against pets because they can't tell people kids are forbidden in their residence. Either way, just about everyone has lived in a rental home that didn't allow pets. Most people just abide by the rules and vow to get a pet when they find a new home.

Some people, on the other hand, get creative. I once came across a post on social media where someone claimed their pit bull puppy was actually a silver Labrador. But one woman on TikTok was harboring a secret cat in her rental that had a no pets policy, and either her cat was unaware or he was aware and was simply being a jerk.

My money is on the latter since cats are known to be jerks for no reason. I mean, have you ever left something on the counter for a few minutes? They make it their mission to knock it on the floor. So I fully believe this fluffy little meow box wanted to make his presence known in an effort to rat out his owner.

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Pop Culture

'Princess Bride' star Mandy Patinkin shared a moving detail about the film with a grieving woman

Two souls connecting over the loss of their fathers. (Phew, grab a tissue for this one, folks.)

via Mandy Patinkin / TikTok

This story originally appeared on 08.25.21


There was an emotional exchange on TikTok between two people who lost their fathers to cancer. One was actor Mandy Patinkin, the other was TikTok user Amanda Webb.

Patinkin currently stars on "The Good Fight" but one of his most famous roles is Inigo Montoya in the 1987 classic "The Princess Bride." In the film, Montoya is a swordsman who is obsessed with confronting a six-fingered man who killed his father.

Webb recently lost her father Dan to mantle cell lymphoma. She had heard a rumor that Patinkin used his father's death from cancer as motivation in a pivotal scene where he confronts the six-fingered Count Rugen (Christopher Guest) in a duel.

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