Do you stress about money? A 'money coach' might be the remedy.
Capital One
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Capital One

Like many people, Dana Nielsen had spent much of her life struggling with her relationship with money. "It was this object way outside of me that I didn't have control over," she says. "It was something that I needed but didn't value. And I didn't know how to have a relationship with something that I needed but didn't value."

Little did Nielsen know that exploring her relationship with money, figuring out what mental or behavioral obstacles were getting in her way, and forming a plan of action would give her power over her finances for the first time. But that's how she felt after three Money Coaching sessions in a Capital One Café—empowered.


"It gave me confidence," she says. "It gave me trust in myself and trust in money in a way that I had not had in the past. It really connected the dots for me."

Nielsen was just launching her own private psychotherapy practice when she decided to try out the Money Coaching program. She says she was surprised by what it felt like when she arrived at the Capital One Café in San Francisco.

"It was a really different experience of being in a bank than I had had in the past," said Nielsen. "Very calm and casual."

Instead of a sterile atmosphere, Capital One Cafés feel like cool coffee shops, complete with cozy nooks, quality coffee, free WiFi and good lighting. Nielsen was offered a beverage, then her Money Coach invited her to a private space to chat about her goals and values, and how to use money to create a life she would love.

Capital One

The Money Coach didn't tell Nielsen much to contribute to her 401K or which stocks she should buy. Instead, the coach helped her explore her beliefs and emotions around money, set financial goals, and make an action plan for reaching them. She left feeling empowered and confident about her finances in a way she never have before — and it didn't cost her a dime.

Nielsen says she had a lot of limiting beliefs about money, and her Money Coaching sessions helped her have a more positive outlook. They allowed her to set a different bar for herself and to align herself with the belief that she could create abundance and have control over her financial life. And it was fun, she says. "I loved bringing play to something that has historically and culturally so dry and so serious. Making it into something personable that I could work with was just so encouraging."

That change in mindset resulted in real-life change. Since completing her Money Coaching sessions, Nielsen has opened a high-interest savings account, paid off a private business loan, raised her fees, and adjusted her sliding scale spots. She has also become more purposeful about where she chooses to spend her money, focusing on conscious brands and supporting more minority-run businesses, to align her spending with her values.

Now Nielsen recommends Money Coaching to people on a regular basis.

"Money is a foundational issue for a lot of people," says Nielsen. "It's in the same kind of belief categories as our sense of safety, sense of belonging, sense of home." She has clients who make a lot of money but also have a lot of debt, and their relationship with money is messy. "For clients and friends that have issues in that department," she says, "I refer them to Money Coaching as a supplement to therapy."

Similar Money Coaching experiences are happening in Capital One Cafés across the U.S., and the program is the brainchild of a team of Capital One creatives and financial advisers who set out to explore what kinds of financial services people really need.

Through their research, the team found that people of all ages and life stages struggle with financial anxiety. If people don't look at their emotional relationship with money, it doesn't matter what changes they make on paper. People's financial success won't budge if they don't address the thoughts, beliefs, and patterns of behavior they have around money.

Mira Lathrop, a co-founder of the Money Coaching program, worked as a financial planner for ten years prior to collaborating on the program, helping people manage their money. That experience, along with a degree in psychology and her work as a certified life coach, made Lathrop the perfect person to help build what has become Capital One's Money Coaching service.The team created the Money Coaching service to help people move from stress to confidence in their relationship with money. This "money journey" is a free service available to the public, even if you're not a Capital One customer. Anyone can come in for three in-person sessions with a Money Coach at no cost and with no further commitment.

Here's how it works:

You set up a time to meet with a Money Coach at a Capital One Café near you. When you arrive for your appointment, an Ambassador in the Café will ask if you want something to drink, give you a tour of the Capital One space if you'd like, and then you meet your Money Coach — a certified coach who has been trained to help people work through beliefs and feelings about money.

You'll be asked a series of open-ended questions and then the coach will help you choose from 10 tools the program has designed to help you discover an alternative perspective. The tools are interactive on an iPad, and include things like; Clear Your Path, Chart Your Values or Looking at your Future. The purpose is to help facilitate an honest, deep-dive into your hopes, fears, and goals — and ultimately leave you feeling empowered in your financial life.

"In coaching, we really believe that you are the driver of your life," says Lathrop. "You know what's best for you. Of course, there are answers that you might need to get, feedback you'd be interested in, and things you need to dive deeper in. But we're facilitating a journey for you and walking alongside you, reminding you that you have access to what you need. You're empowered to find out what's the next best step for you."

Capital One

Lathrop says the most consistent feedback from people coming out of sessions is that it wasn't at all what they were expecting, but they are "surprised and delighted" by the experience. People find having an authentic, honest conversation about money refreshing, which is exactly why Capital One designed the program.

"There's a lot of financial advice available, but learning how to engage with money is not something we're taught, she says. It's not taught in school, and it's not very comfortably talked about or taught in families."

"I feel like this is such a rare and beautiful opportunity we're offering," she adds. "Everyone has a powerfully unique experience."


To find a Capital One Café near you and make a free Money Coaching appointment, go to CapitalOne.com/MoneyCoaching.

Images courtesy of Letters of Love
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When Grace Berbig was 7 years old, her mom was diagnosed with leukemia, a cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues. Being so young, Grace didn’t know what cancer was or why her mother was suddenly living in the hospital. But she did know this: that while her mom was in the hospital, she would always be assured that her family was thinking of her, supporting her and loving her every step of her journey.

Nearly every day, Grace and her two younger sisters would hand-make cards and fill them with drawings and messages of love, which their mother would hang all over the walls of her hospital room. These cherished letters brought immeasurable peace and joy to their mom during her sickness. Sadly, when Grace was just 10 years old, her mother lost her battle with cancer.“

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Losing my mom put the world in a completely different perspective for me,” Grace says. “I realized that you never know when someone could leave you, so you have to love the people you love with your whole heart, every day.”

Grace’s father was instrumental in helping in the healing process of his daughters. “I distinctly remember my dad constantly reminding my two little sisters, Bella and Sophie, and I that happiness is a choice, and it was now our job to turn this heartbreaking event in our life into something positive.”

When she got to high school, Grace became involved in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and a handful of other organizations. But she never felt like she was doing enough.

“I wanted to create an opportunity for people to help beyond donating money, and one that anyone could be a part of, no matter their financial status.”

In October 2018, Grace started Letters of Love, a club at her high school in Long Lake, Minnesota, to emotionally support children battling cancer and other serious illnesses through letter-writing and craft-making.


Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Much to her surprise, more than 100 students showed up for the first club meeting. From then on, Letters of Love grew so fast that during her senior year in high school, Grace had to start a GoFundMe to help cover the cost of card-making materials.

Speaking about her nonprofit today, Grace says, “I can’t find enough words to explain how blessed I feel to have this organization. Beyond the amount of kids and families we are able to support, it allows me to feel so much closer and more connected to my mom.”

Since its inception, Letters of Love has grown to more than 25 clubs with more than 1,000 members providing emotional support to more than 60,000 patients in children’s hospitals around the world. And in the process it has become a full-time job for Grace.

“I do everything from training volunteers and club ambassadors, paying bills, designing merchandise, preparing financial predictions and overviews, applying for grants, to going through each and every card ensuring they are appropriate to send out to hospitals.”

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

In addition to running Letters of Love, Grace and her small team must also contend with the emotions inherent in their line of work.

“There have been many, many tears cried,” she says. “Working to support children who are battling cancer and other serious and sometimes chronic illnesses can absolutely be extremely difficult mentally. I feel so blessed to be an organization that focuses solely on bringing joy to these children, though. We do everything we can to simply put a smile on their face, and ensure they know that they are so loved, so strong, and so supported by people all around the world.”

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Letters of Love has been particularly instrumental in offering emotional support to children who have been unable to see friends and family due to COVID-19. A video campaign in the summer of 2021 even saw members of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and the NHL’s Minnesota Wild offer short videos of hope and encouragement to affected children.

Grace is currently taking a gap year before she starts college so she can focus on growing Letters of Love as well as to work on various related projects, including the publication of a children’s book.

“The goal of the book is to teach children the immense impact that small acts of kindness can have, how to treat their peers who may be diagnosed with disabilities or illness, and how they are never too young to change the world,” she says.

Since she was 10, Grace has kept memories of her mother close to her, as a source of love and inspiration in her life and in the work she does with Letters of Love.

Image courtesy of Grace Berbig

“When I lost my mom, I felt like a section of my heart went with her, so ever since, I have been filling that piece with love and compassion towards others. Her smile and joy were infectious, and I try to mirror that in myself and touch people’s hearts as she did.”

For more information visit Letters of Love.

Please donate to Grace’s GoFundMe and help Letters of Love to expand, publish a children’s book and continue to reach more children in hospitals around the world.

Freya from Maya Higa's YouTube video.

Ever wonder what an ideal date for a lemur would be? Or a lizard’s favorite Disney princess?

Thanks to one YouTube poster with a passion for animals and an endearing sense of humor, all questions shall be answered. Well, maybe not all questions. But at the very least, you’ll have eight minutes of insanely cute footage.

In a series titled “Tiny Mic Interviews,” Maya Higa approaches little beasties with a microphone so small she has to hold it with just her thumb and forefinger. And yes, 99% of the animals try to eat it.

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Images courtesy of AFutureSuperhero and Friends and Balance Dance Project
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The day was scorching hot, but the weather wasn’t going to stop a Star Wars Stormtrooper from handing out school supplies to a long line of eager children. “You guys don’t have anything illegal back there - any droids or anything?” the Stormtrooper asks, making sure he was safe from enemies before handing over a colorful backpack to a smiling boy.

The man inside the costume is Yuri Williams, founder of AFutureSuperhero And Friends, a Los Angeles nonprofit that uplifts and inspires marginalized people with small acts of kindness.

Yuri’s organization is one of four inaugural grant winners from the Upworthy Kindness Fund, a joint initiative between Upworthy and GoFundMe that celebrates kindness and everyday actions inspired by the best of humanity. This year, the Upworthy Kindness Fund is giving $100,000 to grassroots changemakers across the world.

To apply, campaign organizers simply tell Upworthy how their kindness project is making a difference. Between now and the end of 2021, each accepted individual or organization will receive $500 towards an existing GoFundMe and a shout-out on Upworthy.

Meet the first four winners:

1: Balance Dance Project: This studio aims to bring accessible dance to all in the Sacramento, CA area. Lead fundraiser Miranda Macias says many dancers spend hours a day at Balance practicing contemporary, lyrical, hip-hop, and ballet. Balance started a GoFundMe to raise money to cover tuition for dancers from low-income communities, buy dance team uniforms, and update its facility. The $500 contribution from the Kindness Fund nudged Balance closer to its $5,000 goal.

2: Citizens of the World Mar Vista Robotics Team: In Los Angeles, middle school teacher James Pike is introducing his students to the field of robotics via a Lego-building team dedicated to solving real-world problems.

James started a GoFundMe to crowdfund supplies for his students’ team ahead of the First Lego League, a school-against-school matchup that includes robotics competitions. The team, James explained, needed help to cover half the cost of the pricey $4,000 robotics kit. Thanks to help from the Upworthy Kindness Fund and the generosity of the Citizens of the World Middle School community, the team exceeded its initial fundraising goal.

Citizens of the World Mar Vista Robotics Team video update youtu.be

3: Black Fluidity Tattoo Club: Kiara Mills and Tann Parker want to fix a big problem in the tattoo industry: there are too few Black tattoo artists. To tackle the issue, the duo founded the Black Fluidity Tattoo Club to inspire and support Black tattooers. While the Brooklyn organization is open to any Black person, Kiara and Tann specifically want to encourage dark-skinned artists to train in an affirming space among people with similar identities.

To make room for newcomers, the club recently moved into a larger studio with a third station for apprentices or guest artists. Unlike a traditional fundraiser that supports the organization exclusively, Black Fluidity Tattoo Club will distribute proceeds from GoFundMe directly to emerging Black tattoo artists who are starting their own businesses. The small grants, supported in part with a $500 contribution from the Upworthy Kindness Fund, will go towards artists’ equipment, supplies, furnishings, and other start-up costs.

4: AFutureSuperhero And Friends’ “Hope For The Holidays”: Founder Yuri Williams is fundraising for a holiday trip to spread cheer to people in need across all fifty states.

Along with collaborator Rodney Smith Jr., Yuri will be handing out gifts to children, adults, and animals dressed as a Star Wars’ Stormtrooper, Spiderman, Deadpool, and other movie or comic book characters. Starting this month, the crew will be visiting children with disabilities or serious illnesses, bringing leashes and toys to animal shelters for people taking home a new pet, and spreading blessings to unhoused people—all while in superhero costume. This will be the third time Yuri and his nonprofit have taken this journey.

AFutureSuperhero started a GoFundMe in July to cover the cost of gifts as well as travel expenses like hotels and rental cars. To help the nonprofit reach its $15,000 goal, the Upworthy Kindness Fund contributed $500 towards this good cause.

Think you qualify for the fund? Tell us how you’re bringing kindness to your community. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis from now through the end of 2021. For questions and more information, please check out our FAQ's and the Kindness Toolkit for resources on how to start your own kindness fundraiser.

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That's right, Betty White left us a message of gratitude shortly before her passing. It's brief, but how lovely to see and hear her speak to her millions of fans one last time. Few celebrities are as universally beloved as Betty White was, and though we knew she couldn't live forever, it would have been fun to see her celebrate her 100th birthday. Now, at least, we get to experience her joy and warmth with a few last words.

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