Upworthy readers send over 1,500 letters and gifts to 90-yr-old 'Grandma Florence'

Sometimes humans strangers pull together for no reason other than to simply bring joy to another human.

That's what happened when Upworthy shared a request we'd been sent by a reader whose grandmother had fractured a vertebrae. Leslie Agan contacted Upworthy saying that her 90-year-old Grandma Florence needed a little pick-me-up. She had fallen on Christmas morning and fractured a vertebrae in her neck, and was "feeling depressed in rehab after being told she won't be able to go home for several months."


"She is 'all there' mentally, and just celebrated her 90th birthday last May," wrote Agan. "Would it be possible to invite your followers to send her a card/note wishing her a speedy recovery?"

"She is an amazing woman who has a wonderful sense of humor," she added, "is very personable and sweet, but is having a hard year so far."

We felt for Grandma Florence and invited our Instagram followers to help her out.

And help her out they did.

People from all over the world began responding to the Instagram post, saying that they were putting a letter in the mailbox for Florence. Even actress Jennifer Garner responded with a heart and a checkmark.

Grandma Florence has received more than 1,500 cards so far, and they keep on coming. "She has been genuinely overwhelmed and overcome with emotion," Agan says. "She says she wishes she could hug and thank every person who has sent her something. She was feeling so depressed and now she says, 'To receive cards every day - it feels like Christmas! I can't thank everyone enough.'"

Grandma Florence is determined to read every card she gets immediately—but it's not just cards she's received. A reader from Australia sent her a stuffed koala, a couple from New York sent her a Harry Potter book and a picture of their baby, and she even got a card from "Bob the Dog" in England.

She also received handmade notes from an entire classroom of kids. "My grandma cried when she read all of the beautifully hand signed and drawn cards from Classroom 10," says Agan. "Those might've been a favorite."

Agan's mother, Liberta (Florence's daughter who has been helping her with rehab) says, "One thing I've noticed is that people don't just sign the card, they always write a paragraph or two. It's very sweet what these people are doing."

When Upworthy fans are called to show kindness, we're not surprised that they show up in droves and go the extra mile. Taking immediate action to help out a fellow human who is struggling is the most Upworthy thing there is.

"The world is full of negativity, and this outpouring of love reminds me that there really are others who are willing to help someone who is struggling," says Agan. "At the same time, my heart goes out to the elderly that are just left alone in these facilities, forgotten and alone. We really need to let loved ones know that we care, no matter their situation. I'm so thankful that Upworthy has provided the platform to bring my grandma this kind of joy and hope."

And we're so thankful you gave us the opportunity to help.


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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.

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

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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.

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