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AOC raised $2 million in less than 24 hours to provide aid to struggling Texans

As millions of Texans have suffered through a disastrous winter weather crisis this week, people around the country have rallied to offer support in any way they can. Northerners who are accustomed to winter power outages have offered advice for staying warm, volunteers around the country have participated in welfare check phone calls to seniors around the state, and Americans of all political persuasions are donating money to aid organizations on the ground trying to get people's basic needs met.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stepped up with her team to assist in that effort yesterday, and ended up raising a whopping $2 million in less than 24 hours. The money will be distributed evenly between the following aid organizations: Feeding Texas, The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center, North Texas Food Bank, ECHO (Ending Community Homelessness Coalition), Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley, Corazon Ministries, Central Texas Food Bank, Family Eldercare, and Houston Food Bank.

AOC has also announced that she will be flying to Texas to meet with Houston Representative Sylvia Garcia and highlight what's happening there and "amplify needs and solutions."



Meanwhile, the Biden administration immediately approved requests from the state for FEMA assistance, and did so without any jabs about being a red state or criticizing Texas leadership. The White House has reached out to more than a dozen mayors of cities throughout Texas to see what they need the most, and federal assistance already sent has included generators, fuel, blankets, and water.

This is what that elusive idea of "unity" actually looks like. By definition, to unite means to come together around a common purpose. It doesn't mean to always agree, it doesn't mean to compromise on injustice, and it doesn't even mean to always meet in the middle. Unity means seeing the needs and working on meeting them in ways that do the most good for the most people. It means setting aside petty political bickering and taking care of what needs to be taken care of. It means seeing people as Americans first, not blue or red, liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican.

There are many people in Texas who have viciously attacked AOC for her politics who will now be directly helped by the fundraising she organized for them. There are many in Texas who badmouth the federal government and think Biden is a demonic baby eater who will be directly helped by the aid being sent by his administration. It doesn't matter. The people of Texas are Americans who are suffering, and the whole country is reaching out to help them. That's unity, no matter how many partisan barbs people throw around at one another.

Mister Rogers said to "look for the helpers" in a crisis, and helpers right now are coming from all sides of the political spectrum. While there are legitimate debates to be had about Texas political policy leading this disaster, right now Americans are suffering and need immediate assistance. Let's unite around that need, offer genuine gratitude to everyone who's lending a hand, and recognize real unity when we see it play out.

Then let's apply that same idea of unity to the multiple disasters we're facing as a nation, from the COVID-19 pandemic to the economic crisis to the looming environmental impacts of climate change. We can disagree on how best to meet those challenges, but we can't deny that they exist or pretend that the needs are not dire and immediate. We're watching the whole country unite around Texas—there's no real reason we can't apply the same energy to the country as a whole.

Images provided by Pacifico

Making waves in the best way

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At last, summer is here. And for many people, that means it's time for heading to the beach and maybe even catching some waves. Surfing is a quintessential summertime activity for those who live in coastal communities—it’s not only really fun and challenging, it’s also a great way to celebrate Mother Nature’s beauty. Even after a wipeout, the cool water mixed with warm sunshine offers a certain kind of euphoria. Or, you know, just hanging back on the sand is plenty fun too. Simply being outdoors near the ocean is its own reward.

pacifico quiksilver beach cleanupLet’s protect the places where outdoor adventure happensAll photos provided by Pacifico

However, it's well known that our beautiful beaches are suffering the consequences of overcrowding, pollution and littering. What was once a way of playing in nature is now slowly destroying it. And of course, this affects beachgoers everywhere. The sad truth is—without taking action to preserve all the natural joys the earth provides, we will eventually lose them.

But there is hope. Two popular brands that both have roots in surf culture have teamed up to help make trips to the beach a more sustainable pastime. The best part? You don’t have to know how to hang ten in order to participate.

Pacifico®, a pilsner-style lager originally brought to the U.S. by surfers, and Quiksilver, an iconic apparel company loved by both surfers and beach goers alike, have created a brand-new range of clothing and accessories with sustainability in mind.

Take a look below. These threads are great for all kinds of fun in the sun, without compromising the environment.

pacifico quicksilver beach cleanupsReady to make some waves

The collection launches on July 5 and includes tees and woven shirts, boardshorts, hats, flip-flops and a special beach towel and tote bag. The unique collaboration features the vibrant, colorful designs that are the hallmark of Quiksilver combined with Pacifico elements, created to make a positive impact.

Each item has been thoughtfully curated to minimize an environmental footprint and protect the outdoors. The hats, for example, are made from NetPlus® by Bureo®, a raw material created from South American recycled fishing nets. Additionally, the board shorts are made from recycled plastic bottles, and tees are made with 100% organic cotton. Pretty rad stuff, to put it in surfer lingo.

The prices on these pieces are equally rad, ranging from $28 flip-flops to $60 boardshorts.

In keeping with the sustainable ethos and protecting the places we play, Pacifico and Quiksilver will celebrate the products’ launch by hosting two beach cleanups. The first is on July 5 at Sunset Point in Malibu, California, from 4-5:30pm, and the second is on July 9th at Deerfield Beach in Florida from 8:30 – 10:30am.

pacifico quicksilver clothing lineCleaning up and looking good while doing it

Theses beach cleanups are open to anyone over the age of 21 who’s ready to have some fun while taking care of nature’s playground.

Those who can’t make it to the beach (bummer, dude) don’t have to miss out on all the fun. The new collection will be available on July 5th at www.quiksilver.com/mens-collab-pacifico. And even if you don’t surf, never plan to surf, have no desire to even be near a surfboard, rest assured, the apparel is still cool. Plus sustainable choices are always good fashion.

Our planet provides us with an endless supply of beauty and adventure. But without more mindful actions from humanity, its natural wonders will eventually diminish. Fortunately Pacifico and Quiksilver are making it easier than ever for people to enjoy the great outdoors without jeopardizing it. That’s a wave worth riding.

This article originally appeared on 09.06.17


Being married is like being half of a two-headed monster. It's impossible to avoid regular disagreements when you're bound to another person for the rest of your life. Even the perfect marriage (if there was such a thing) would have its daily frustrations. Funnily enough, most fights aren't caused by big decisions but the simple, day-to-day questions, such as "What do you want for dinner?"; "Are we free Friday night?"; and "What movie do you want to see?"

Here are some hilarious tweets that just about every married couple will understand.

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Image courtesy of Meta’s Community Voices film series

Nenad Bach, founder of Ping Pong Parkinson's.

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Nenad Bach, a Croatian American recording artist, and peace activist has led an impressive life propelled by his inspiring optimism. As a musician, he’s performed alongside Bono and Luciano Pavarotti and took the stage at Woodstock ‘94. He’s recorded with legendary artists such as Garth Hudson and Rick Danko from The Band and The Grateful Dead’s Vince Welnick.

As an activist, he was highlighted by the United Nations for his World Peace in One Hour campaign.

But in 2010 his life came to a temporary halt after being diagnosed with Parkinson's, a nervous system disorder affecting movement. According to the Michael J. Fox Foundation, it’s a progressive disease that slowly worsens over time.

Over a million people in the U.S. and 6 million worldwide are affected by the disease.

After being diagnosed with Parkinson's, Bach was invited by a friend to play ping pong. The next day he couldn’t believe how much better he felt. His cognitive abilities improved, his tremors were less intense, it was easier for him to walk and talk and he felt a greater “desire to live,” he told Upworthy.

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Paul Rudd in 2016.

Passing around your yearbook to have it signed by friends, teachers and classmates is a fun rite of passage for kids in junior high and high school. But, according to KDVR, for Brody Ridder, a bullied sixth grader at The Academy of Charter Schools in Westminster, Colorado, it was just another day of putting up with rejection.

Poor Brody was only able to get four signatures in his yearbook, two from what appeared to be teachers and one from himself that said, “Hope you make some more friends."

Brody’s mom, Cassandra Ridder has been devastated by the bullying her son has faced over the past two years. "There [are] kids that have pushed him and called him names," she told The Washington Post. It has to be terrible to have your child be bullied and there is nothing you can do.

She posted about the incident on Facebook.

“My poor son. Doesn’t seem like it’s getting any better. 2 teachers and a total of 2 students wrote in his yearbook,” she posted on Facebook. “Despite Brody asking all kinds of kids to sign it. So Brody took it upon himself to write to himself. My heart is shattered. Teach your kids kindness.”

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