An open letter to humans from 20 animals who may not be around much longer.

We, the undersigned, are tired of your excuses.

1. Sea lion. Photo by Jean-Christophe Magnenet/AFP/Getty Images.


We are animals from around the globe. Strong, majestic, and beautiful.

2. Giant panda. Photo by John Moore/Getty Images.

But some of us are just starting to feel vulnerable.

3. Marine iguana. Photo by Rodrigo Buendia/AFP/Getty Images.

And others are rapidly approaching extinction.

4. Hawksbill sea turtle. Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images.

We're not here to point fingers. Mostly because we don't have any.

5. Black rhino. Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images.

But if we're being honest, a lot of this is your fault.

6. Rockhopper penguin. Photo by Marc Müller/AFP/Getty Images.

Well, not you specifically, but your kind. You know, humans.

French customs recovers some narwhal tusks. Photo by Francis Roche/AFP/Getty Images.

Thanks to some of your favorite pastimes like logging, overfishing, poaching, hunting, and being lax on climate change, we're in the weeds.

7. Great white shark. Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images.

In fact, it's worse than the weeds. Some of us would kill for some weeds.

8. Red panda. Photo by Jean-Christophe Verhaegen/AFP/Getty Images.

Seriously, it's bad. We're in trouble.

9. Bonobo. Photo by Thomas Lohnes/AFP/Getty Images.

But all is not lost.

10. Indochinese tigers. Photo by Ken Bohn/Zoological Society of San Diego via Getty Images.

We're holding on as long as we can, but we need your help.

11. Amur leopard. Photo by Sebastien Bozon/AFP/Getty Images.

And there are a few things you can do right now that would really help us out.

12. Dugong. Photo by Off/AFP/Getty Images.

Things like buying sustainable products and recycling, especially when it comes to your electronics.

13. Gorilla. Photo by Ivan Lieman/AFP/Getty Images.

Columbite-tantalite, known as coltan, is a metallic ore used to make cell phone and computer batteries. It's found in large quantities in central Africa which is also home to endangered gorillas. Recycling the batteries reduces the demand for coltan and could help preserve this vital land.

You can visit us in your local park or wildlife refuge.

14. Bison. Come and explore. Check out our homes and habitats. See what we're all about. Photo by Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images.

Because once you see what's at risk, we'll be a little bit harder to ignore.

15. Humphead Wrasse. Photo by Greg Wood /AFP/Getty Images.

Oh, and have we mentioned you can take action on climate change?

16. Snow leopard. Photo by Volker Hartmann/AFP/Getty Images.

We know it's hard to think about solving climate change as an individual, but we have this thing we do called "teamwork." Maybe it will work for you too.

17. African elephants. Photo by Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images.

And lastly: Speak up. Your words are a gift. Use them for good.

18. Monarch butterfly. Photo by Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images.

Write your elected officials. Talk to your friends. Engage with the organizations fighting the good fight.

19. Chimpanzee. Photo by Sia Kambou/AFP/Getty Images.

Because we need your voice now more than ever. Especially since we don't have voices of our own.

20. Polar bear. Photo by Peter Steffen/AFP/Getty Images.

Signed,

Earth's Threatened, Vulnerable, and Endangered Species

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

Image is a representation of the grandfather, not the anonymous subject of the story.

Eight years a go, a grandfather in Michigan wrote a powerful letter to his daughter after she kicked out her son out of the house for being gay. It's so perfectly written that it crops up on social media every so often.

The letter is beautiful because it's written by a man who may not be with the times, but his heart is in the right place.

It first appeared on the Facebook page FCKH8 and a representative told Gawker that the letter was given to them by Chad, the 16-year-old boy referenced in the letter.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."