Italian designer Chiara Ferragni helps raise over $4 million for coronavirus intensive care units

Italy is the European country hit hardest by COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. Over 10,000 people have contracted the disease in the country of just over 60 million people.

Over 630 people have died from COVID-19 and 1,000 are confirmed to have made a full recovery.

A major reason for a large number of fatalities is Italy's aging population. Italy has the oldest population in Europe, with about 23% of residents 65 or older, according to a report in Live Science.


Many of Italy's deaths have been among people in their 80s and 90s, a group that is more susceptible to complications from COVID-19.

To prevent the spread of the disease, most of the country is on lockdown and public gatherings have been shut down for the time being. "No more nightlife; we can't allow this anymore since they are occasions for contagion," Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in a statement.

Italian influencers Chiara Ferragni and her husband, rapper Fedez, have used their fame to help their homeland by soliciting donations on their Instagram page. In just two days, they've raised over €3.5 million ($4 million) for coronavirus intensive care units.

The couple's GoFunMe campaign is "Coronavirus: Rafforziamo La Terapia Intensiva," translated to "Coronavirus: We Strengthen Intensive Care."

The money raised will go toward noninvasive ventilation devices, hemodynamic monitoring, fans, and monitors for the intensive care unit at Milan's San Raffaele Hospital.

The campaign was created with the help of Professor Alberto Zangrillo, head of the Milanese hospital's cardiovascular and general intensive care department.

"This is a concrete contribution, which we tremendously appreciate and that we hope can be an example for many," Zangrillo said. "We continue our battle, which we will win, against this extraordinary emergency, where intensive care is the only chance to cure the patients most affected [by the virus]."

via Angel Dust / Flickr

Ferragni is a mega-popular fashion influencer and Fedez is a hip-hop superstar. Together, they have a total following of 27.9 million Instagram users. The couple's wedding last September was one of Italy's biggest pop culture events of 2019.

Ferragni is the founder of The Blonde Salad, a fashion blog that has turned into a global retail business.

The couple started the campaign with a $100,000 donation to create beds in the intensive care area of Milan's San Raffaele hospital. "We hope that this initiative will raise awareness among people in Italy and aboard of the current coronavirus crisis, which is affecting all of us," Ferragni and Fedez said in a joint statement.

The campaign started with a €1,500,000 ($1.8 million) goal, but was quickly doubled after its runaway success.

"This is the power of social media when used in the right way," Ferragni said on Instagram. "I'm so proud of you. Let's keep donating and making a change."

While the world of Instagram users is often criticized for promoting vanity, unrealistic body images, and unobtainable lifestyles, Ferragni and Fedez should be commended for using their collective platform for good.

Their work goes to show that influencers can use their power to do more than just promote themselves.

True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

Terence Power / TikTok

A video of a busker in Dublin, Ireland singing "You've Got a Friend in Me" to a young boy with autism is going viral because it's just so darn adorable. The video was filmed over a year ago by Terence Power, the co-host of the popular "Talking Bollox Podcast."

It was filmed before face masks were required, so you can see the boy's beautiful reaction to the song.

Power uploaded it to TikTok because he had just joined the platform and had no idea the number of lives it would touch. "The support on it is unbelievable. I posted it on my Instagram a while back and on Facebook and the support then was amazing," he told Dublin Live.

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True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

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via Ken Lund / Flickr

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The display was planned by a group of around 40 LGBT students to mark the one-year anniversary of the university sending out a letter clarifying its stance on homosexual behavior.

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