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Don't Laugh, But A Single Artist Just Totally Outshined An Army Of Government Planners

These magnificent creatures make up part of one of the most innovative emergency management programs in the country — seriously, the CDC and FEMA even said so — by providing memorable locations where New Orleans residents know they can show up and find free rides in the event of an evacuation.

Don't Laugh, But A Single Artist Just Totally Outshined An Army Of Government Planners
Here's how it would work: You hear about an evacuation, and you go to that spot where you remember you've seen this guy.

Or maybe it's this guy.


There's a lot of them!

And Evacuteers, who are trained each season, will meet you there. 

And take you out of your neighborhood to where the official folks are waiting ...

... and can help you get the heck outta Dodge. 

Sure beats the old system! Would you remember your evacuation spot if it were marked like the picture on the left?


True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.