Busch is giving free beer to people who rescue shelter dogs during the coronavirus crisis
via Busch

One of the most uplifting stories to come out of the coronavirus epidemic has been the number of people who have fostered or adopted shelter dogs or cat over the past few weeks.

After the first few cases of COVID-19 began popping up in the U.S. animals shelters across the country put out pleas for people to adopt or foster a pet. The shelters feared many pet owners would become sick and would have to temporarily surrender their pets because of the virus.

They also feared their employees would become sick and they wouldn't be able to provide proper care for the animals.


The shelters' pleas combined with a lot of people suddenly having a lot of time on their hands made for a perfect storm that increased the number of dogs being adopted and fostered.

via Pixabay

"They just want to help," Katy Hansen, spokesperson for the Animal Care Centers of New York City (ACC), said according to The Daily Beast. "Having another heartbeat in the apartment is so nice, and another reason to get up in the morning and take care of something, so the focus is not on you and how sad and sorry you are."

Busch is further encouraging people to adopt a dog at the Midwest Animal Rescue in Minnesota by offering a three-month supply of beer to the first 500 people to adopt or foster a dog.

"Everyone could use a companion for the couch right now," the brewery said on Twitter. "So if you foster (or adopt) a dog from Midwest Animal Rescue, we'll give you 3 months worth of Busch to enjoy by their side."

Entries must be received by April 25.

Three months worth of beer could mean a lot of different things depending on one's ability to suck back a cold one. Busch is giving away $100 gift cards — the cash equivalent of two 24 packs a month for three months.

"During these uncertain and lonelier times, people need an escape: cue the cute puppy memes and photos," a spokesperson for Busch told People magazine in a statement. "But as much as we need those cute puppy pics to help get us through social distancing, it's actually them who need us."

"Social distancing is better with a furry friend by your side and a cold beer in your hand," the spokesperson added.

Although Busch is only giving away the beer to people who adopt at a specific shelter in Minnesota, the promotion has gone viral so it's bound to inspire others to adopt throughout the country — free beer or not.

The number of people adopting and fostering dogs right now is encouraging but shelters aren't getting too excited. The coronavirus outbreak has caused an economic downturn and that usually corresponds with more people surrendering their dogs due to economic hardship.

"We're doing whatever we can to empty all of our shelter facilities," Lisa LaFontaine, chief executive officer of the Humane Rescue Alliance, said. "We don't know what's going to happen when the economic wave starts hitting."

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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."